Random bits of my so-called life.

Closing the moomincabin on the Labor Day weekend…

September 4th, 2017 by kayak woman

The Mackinac Bridge has opened up to walkers on Labor Day for more years than I am strong enough to count. I have never walked the bridge. Not sure I will ever do it, given the logistics that are involved. Many times I have driven down across the Mac on Labor Day. Today I could not do that. The bridge was closed to automotive traffic, except for the buses that transport walkers across the bridge. I’m not sure how all of that worked out but I decided to stay here at the moomincabin and drive down tomorrow.

I worked all morning to clean and pre-pack stuff so that we could clean up and close the moomincabin tomorrow. At the end of the day, here are a few photos. For one thing, it was a good thing that we pulled the Motor Bote out of the water yesterday because we could not have done it today.

After a long session of cleaning and organizing and packing, etc., I decamped to the beach to sit on the bank and here are some softy friends joining me on Bill’s Beach Bank Bench.

And a close-up for Mouse.

I wish it could’ve been warmer on the beach today but it wasn’t but that is okay. It is what it is. The wind seemed to shift to the north and we pretty quickly headed up to the moomincabin. We cooked some chicken on the grill and our buddy C*Q*L came over to visit and show us some of her school supplies.

We will miss this beach urchin greatly, along with her older siblings (triplets who are high school seniors this year) and mom and grandparents.

Rainbow aminals that appear and disappear

September 3rd, 2017 by kayak woman

We had a reeeeaaalllly slow start today. It was okay. I think we needed that. Yesterday I was thinking I was having a particularly difficult time communicating with the GG. I felt like I was talking to a wall for the most part. At the end of the afternoon, we were all sitting down on the bank and he was not feeling very well. It’s a version of the Common Cold, so he isn’t down for the count or anything but he had an awful night last night with a fever and about a billion nose-blowing sessions. He slept downstairs and I slept up so I didn’t experience any of his misery.

It wasn’t all that cold out this morning but we let the GG keep the gas stove going for a long time since he was not feeling well. I cooked breakfast and then Liz and I sat around reading or doing the xword or whatever while the GG slept. npJane came over for a bit before loading her parents into their car for their end-of-summer trip down to the Planet Ann Arbor. We talked (and giggled) quietly and the GG did not wake up.

It was a comfortable morning but after a few hours, Liz kind of mobilized. Moom, do you want to walk the Jim? (My brother’s memorial nature trail up on the escarpment behind the moominbeach.) Yes. Let’s do it. We left the GG sleeping and when we came back, a rainbow-striped stuffed animal was here. It could only have been left by Cap’n *Queen* Leila.

The GG was awake by then and decided he was feeling well enough to tag along with us for lunch at Pickles. When we got back from Pickles, the rainbow animal was gone and the weather had greatly improved. Liz relaxed a bit on the beach bank bench and then took a beach walk and headed [reluctantly] downstate. It’s okay, she’s having fun with CFam relatives at Houghton Lake for the night before heading further south, but still, it is always hard to leave the moominbeach.

After Liz left, Cap’n *Queen* Leila piloted the Motor Bote over to the state park so we could (alas) pull it out for the end of summer 2017. Along the way to the state park, C*Q*L and the GG encountered various members of porterization floating on various float toys in the lake and so the GG and I schlepped over there to watch the sun head down toward the horizon.

Back here for more time on the beach bank bench and leftover lasagne for dinner and I think I am done done done for now.

Love y’all, KW

Slow as she goes

September 2nd, 2017 by kayak woman

We made an improvement to the moomincabin this weekend. We (actually, the GG) installed a LIGHT in the teensy tinsey hallway outside the teensy tinsey moomincabin bathroom. Straight ahead through the open doorway is what we now call the “back bedroom” or something. When I was a child, my brother and I slept there in bunk beds. We didn’t really fight much about who got the top or bottom (that I remember), we just switched off throughout the summer. The last time I remember sleeping in that bunk bed was when I was in the bottom bunk with my baby Elizabeth.

I do not know why there was never a light in the “hall” before but probably because when I was a little kid we lived with a bit more sand and dirt and dust and dog kibble than I am comfortable living with now. My mom was a decent housekeeper but it is hard to keep up when kids and dogs are tracking in sand, etc. So I was trying to sweep the hall earlier in the summer and it was black as pitch there and I thought something like, “Why don’t we have a light here?” And so the GG put a light in.

So this switch has ALWAYS served to turn the main light on in the moomincabin bathroom. It is on the outside of the room, which isn’t standard. Probably that has something to do with the fact that for many years the bathroom was NOT a bathroom. It was called The Little Room and it contained shelves full of sheets and towels and I fergit what else and it was where we changed in and out of bathing suits and pajamas. We went to the bathroom in the outhouse and bathed in the lake. Eventually my parents acquired a daughter-in-law who was squeamish about using outhouses and my mother built an indoor bathroom.

We have a new light switch for the bathroom now. It is on the inside of the bathroom, which is more standard.

Except I am having a horrible time remembering *not* to turn on the outside switch if I want to go into the bathroom and to turn on the light switch INSIDE the bathroom. Other people are struggling with this too but I think we all agree that this is a good thing.

Here is a mini-view of the moomincabin bathroom. It is very small. When The Commander finally decided to install indoor plumbing and a toilet and shower, she figured out that the only way to fit a shower into The Little Room was to buy an RV shower. And so that’s what we have. It works well. You can see a bit of the toilet on the bottom right there. I clean toilets EVERY DAY.

At the end of the day, Lizard Breath arrived and here she is with her second cousin once removed. Same hair? Yes. I have that kind of hair too, except at this point in time, mine is all gray/white.

Cocktail cruise

September 1st, 2017 by kayak woman

So I got up at my usual time (5:30 AM) this morning but instead of going to work, I scrambled a bunch of stuff into the Ninja and drove across town to Bugs & Horsey’s house, the other house, the real house where they live some of the days to quote a once-small Lizard Breath talking about her own grandma’s house. I picked up npJane there and we headed north. We talked the *entire* way and I felt lucky that I managed to not get distracted enough that we ended up in East Lansing or someplace. We caught up on family gossip and our own lives and our grandmother’s house in Sault Ste. Siberia. I usually like to drive but I handed the Ninja keys over to npJane at the rest area just below Gaylord and relaxed into my phone for a while, although we never stopped talking. npJane is my “baby cousin” so she is eight years younger than me but we seem to have received some similar DNA somehow because it feels like we can just about finish each others sentences sometimes.

We got off the freeway at Rudyard and took Tilson Road up to M28 and then Brimley, where we met the GG at Jack’s Grub and Pub. We needed to eat before we got to the beach.

We have not had a whole lot of beach days here this summer. Today was a pretty good beach day and below are some pics from a little cocktail cruise the GG and I took in the Motor Bote in the late afternoon. We only hit one rock…

Tasty little morsel

August 31st, 2017 by kayak woman

Oh, not this forged artifact. I am posting the photo because the creator of the artifact posed for me. Almost immediately after taking the photo, I wished that I had gotten his face into the photo too. I wasn’t quick enough. I guess I did get his buddy back there sitting on his motorized scooter.

I am always a bit torn about whether to take photos at events like Black Iron Days and art/craft fairs in general. People are demonstrating their art or craft but they are also selling their wares. Do they want to be Instagrammed all over hell and gone? I’m not sure I would. But since everybody and his special friend from Zephron 3 now have cameras in their pockets, I guess a lot of people who exhibit and sell stuff at fairs are growing accustomed to having themselves and their work photographed. Sometimes there may even be a good reason to take a photo, like to send it to your spouse asking something like, “Is this what you wanted?”

I did not buy anything at Black Iron Days this year (except I did but it is a “secret”). A man who paints great lakes freighters in a style I love was there but I forced myself to walk by his booth without even taking a look. If I bought something, where would I put it? Not that The Landfill is overwhelmed with art, just that it isn’t well organized.

Hmmm… Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, it was that I was more interested in the wide variety of forges that the blacksmiths were using than what they were selling. I can only guess that there are commercially produced forges because the GG bought a lottery ticket to win one. Other people have devised their own forges. These folks are do-it-yourself people from the get-go so that isn’t surprising.

Moving on… Even though it was “hot” today (in the 70s), I am sitting in the back yard now and the sun is sinking toward the horizon on the other side of the Landfill so I am in the shade and I have put on a polar tech vest and a pair of smartwool socks on along with my tie-dyed t-shirt and long skirt. I really need a week of 85 degree days (I am not a fan of 90s) but I don’t think I’m gonna get that this summer. It may have happened here but if it did, I was up at the moomincabin. I did get it last April down in Crazy Old Florida. Was that my summer? Maybe but I still love the darned old Great Lake State, unpredictable weather and whatever.

With luck, we’ll get back to the tasty little morsel sometime this weekend 🐸

Grammable Millennial Pink

August 30th, 2017 by kayak woman

Hurry up and wait. That is my job this week. My important prodjects are winding down but things keep randomly cropping up at odd times. There is never enough time between the cropping ups for me to focus on my back burner prodject, which is to write “the bible”. I love this kind of prodject but I know all too well what a morass it can be.

So I sneaked out a bit earlier than usual and was promptly stuck in yet another massive traffic jam. I will not even try to describe it.

If I get it right, a grammable location is a place where people “millennials” go to post photos on Instagram – selfies or not – maybe (but maybe not) in lieu of visiting local landmarks. You know, like the Statue of Liberty or Tahquamenon Falls or whatever. Now I have taken umpteen billion photos of Tahquamenon Falls and Instagrammed them, so I know Tahq is a grammable location even though it is definitely a landmark. Except for one problem, which is that most phones do not have service at Tahq. Even the Brewery doesn’t have wifi (that I know of, hmmmm). This is okay and I guess folks just gram their photos later when they have retreated to a place that has service, which would be a private cabin/motel with wifi or Paradise. The yooperland town, not the utopia.

I gram whatever I happen to gram. I use Instagram mainly to connect with family members who don’t often post Facebook stuff for various reasons and I post what I see and rarely go out of my way to find a grammable location.

First of all. Millennials? Are my children (born in the 1980s) millennials? When I began my “adult job” 10 years ago, one of my new co-workers often called meeeee a “token millennial”. It was because I had an iPhone and used social media, I guess. She lost her job a few years after that and I miss her (she was a long-time employee and I liked her and we took her out to lunch on that awful day). But I think that I am still there in part because I am able to adapt to new technology and look forward, although I can be choosy about what I adapt to.

I guess I could google whether or not my kids are millennials. I did and they are (arguably). I am a baby boomer (definitely). My children were drawn toward pink as small children. I do not think they are overly enamored about “millennial” pale pink but you never know.

Oh, BTW, my kids are female. They wore pink stuff and pretty dresses when they were children. They also wore pants and overalls when they were children. Nowadays, they rock both pants and skirts in any color they desire. I now wear skirts almost exclusively except when I am walking in the winter and need leggings. We all rock skirts when we wear them.

Ghosted Again, by the King of Cryptic Text Messages

August 29th, 2017 by kayak woman

So I got home from work today after another long rainy slodge with accidents all over the I94 18-Wheel Slogway (I didn’t take the Slogway, what did we do without Google maps/traffic?) and I won’t even describe the standstill at the Ellsworth/State roundabout. The King of Cryptic Text Messages was not home. The Frog Hopper was here. No one was home. The Landfill Dungeon was pitch black so he wasn’t down there. It was raining cats and dogs so he certainly wasn’t sitting outside feeding the chipmunks. He wasn’t in the Lyme Lounge. I texted “Where are you?” 👻. I called and left a message. 👻. I texted, “Hello?” 👻. Then I opened up my email and there was an email receipt from Staples (over in Westgate) sent at 5:39. So THAT’S where he is. There is more than one way to skin a cat (or find the King of Cryptic Text Messages) and thank you Staples. As it turns out, he left his phone home, on purpose I think. “I wouldn’t want anyone to be tracking me.” Well, who would be tracking you besides meeeeee and the damn Tin Foil Hat folks?

I love the GG but life can be interesting sometimes. Either he is Kexting me (he doesn’t usually Kext me) or ghosting me or just plain sending indecipherable texts. Whaaaaaaat did you just say? I don’t *think* he has autocorrect turned on so I don’t *think* we can blame it on that.

Switching gears a bit, I read a story about a young man who moved to Texas to accept a job as a news reporter, got stranded in the hurricane, and was fired BY TEXT MESSAGE when he didn’t get to his new job on his hire date after MOVING from wherever his parents lived into an apartment in a new city. I’m not sure if the story was true or fake news but if true, a POX on the employer. That employer should apologize to the person and make good on the job offer.

Then again, maybe that employer isn’t worth working for. More years ago than I want to count, I talked to my mother on the phone one morning and made her go to the ER. I went to work to let people know what was going on and wrap up whatever I could. I was my mom’s only living child and I had no choice but to drive five hours north to deal with this. My boss said, “Family takes priority and you need to go.” I won’t describe the next 10 months. I did my best to keep up with work remotely or in the office while dealing with my mom. In the end, I still had a job, the same job I have now, a rather amazing five years later. In other words, my employer values the folks they hire enough to provide freedom to deal with family emergencies, even on-going emergencies. I know that my employer has offices and clients that are affected by Harvey and I know that they are focused on the well-being of all of those folks and I will bet that includes new hires who could not get to work on their first day.

Don’t cry for me Argentina, Cajun Navy not needed here

August 28th, 2017 by kayak woman

After a day of on and off rain showers, the skies opened up and DUMPED at exactly the time I walked out the door at work. I decided not to take the freeway. I dodged a few puddles that looked like, well, not that they would float my vee-hickle, I was driving my cute little Ninja and thinking about hydroplaning or something. Even at 45 mph, that wouldn’t be fun. It was a slower slodge than usual but when I got home the rain had slowed up a lot and I came home to a house with electricity and NO standing water anywhere, not even in the dungeon. That’s about as far as I will go with the flooding in TX. We have all seen the pictures and read/heard the stories. I do love the huge number of private botes going out to rescue people trapped by Harvey. The Cajun Navy and other people with botes (like us, except that we aren’t in Tx). But that’s what this country is all about. People mobilizing whatever resources they have to help other people who need help.

Ironically, the only time the Landfill Dungeon got even a wee bit wet from a weather event was when Hurricane Ike reached a watery finger up to SE Michigan. I don’t think Ike did anywhere near the damage to Texas as Harvey is doing although I am sure there are plenty of folks who had to rebuild or relocate after that weather event.

So, we don’t have standing water in our house but we do have mus musculus. When I got home, the post-it note in the pic was on my closed MacBook Pro. There was only one bus mus drawing on it. The GG went out to the hardware store and I did some non-chitchen chores and when I was walking back to the chitchen, there was a weird dark thing on the floor. I thought it was a dead leaf but when I tentatively reached down toward it, nooooooooo, it scooted into the chitchen and under the refrigerator. I reported this to the GG when he came back from his hardware store errand (to buy more mouse traps) and his traps promptly caught two more.

We both have a hard time with killing mice but I do not want them running around in my chitchen, contaminating our food and under my feet and all of that.

Love y’all, KW

Emulating (or trying to) mouse-style iPhoneography

August 27th, 2017 by kayak woman

The photo I wish I had gotten was the one where the GG nosed the Frog Hopper down a wee two-track to the bank of the Muskegon River and WHOOOOOOAAAAHHHH! What was that? We (me, the GG, and his sister) all thought at first it was TWO bald eagles flying together. Right in front of us! Although we determined that there were two eagles in the area, we decided that what we actually saw was ONE bald eagle carrying prey.

Yesterday we were plotting and planning a Coffee Cruise in the Pontoon Bote this morning. That didn’t happen. It wasn’t really all that cold and the waves were not too big for the Bote but it was not beautiful and calm like yesterday afternoon. A Coffee Cruise requires calm seas and sunshine. So instead we took the Frog Hopper out for a slow cruise along the back roads by the Muskegon River, parking in various places to take a look (and in one place a cute little hike around a lake except we ran out of trail and had to turn around). We ended up at the Reedsburg Dam, which was our general destination in the first place. (Every time I write Reedsburg Dam, spellcheck flags Reedsburg and I have to google to make sure I am spelling it correctly.) I got this wee flower at the dam.

Back on the Planet Ann Arbor now. I saw orange on the I75 SUV Speedway between Standish and Bay City so I re-routed us down M13 for that stretch. I dunno if it was faster than the freeway today, it probably wasn’t, but it is more interesting and I enjoy taking secondary highways or even back roads if I have the time. And we did today.

We passed a lot of Dollar General stores on our trip south today. I noticed all of them but the GG was taking a nap for a while so he missed most of them. As we were driving through Kawkawlin, I spied a Dollar General on the right and I knew the GG was awake when he said, “Dollar General!” in the voice we used throughout our wonderful April trip to Florida.

Dum dum da da da dum dum da da

August 26th, 2017 by kayak woman

We never schedule trips to Houghton Lake *because* of Black Iron Days at Harwick Pines State Park. But if we happen to be up here during Black Iron Days, we try to get up there to check it out. I took a few photos there today but I don’t feel like posting them all. This one was the “money shot” if I had one.

As I was backing up to get this photo, an elderly gentleman approached. I had stumbled over the word for the ovens/devices that the blacksmiths use to work their iron. He had overheard me and gently reminded me that the word was “forge” (well, duuuuuh, KW). We got to talking to him and he mentioned that his 17-year-old grandson was one of the blacksmiths at the event. I was thinking that maybe the kid got his skills from his grandad but no no no. This young man has been fascinated by iron work since he was a young child and has worked with a blacksmith neighbor to learn the trade. It was not a skill passed down through the family.

We talked a little bit about practice and perseverance, and how hard it could be for young people to learn a skill without getting discouraged because things weren’t happening as fast as a kid might want them to happen. My brain was resonating with this, remembering when I was a young musician and somehow glommed on to how to carefully practice scales and arpeggios and tone exercises and and and more than you care about. Other kids may have been bored by those things but I was *driven*. I didn’t say anything to the grandfather about that. I did say that I love when children / teenagers find something they are passionate about and follow it. I didn’t end up making a living out of my childhood passion and maybe this young man won’t either but the fact that I worked as hard as I did on mine has helped make me successful and that kid will probably be so too, whatever he ends up doing for a living.

We mobilized early so as to get to Black Iron Days before the crowds arrived. And they did arrive as we saw when we were decamping from the state park to the Paddle Hard Brewery in Grayling for lunch. And then back to the Cfam cabin and a long, slow, beautiful Pontoon Bote ride for groceries and a bit of sight-seeing.

Oh dear. It is a butt shot. I hope I don’t get into any weird trouble about this. The GG’s butt is actually very skinny and please focus on the bote and the fake lighthouse. Ignore the empty beer can…

I won’t describe what happened as we left Black Iron Days today except that I left first with a “secret” xmas gift for the GG, one that he picked out himself. Then he got distracted at the last moment by a raffle. He bought a ticket and the prize is a forge and a set of tools for operating it. It’s okay with me if he wins it as long as he checks out whatever the Planet Ann Arbor rules are for operating a forge in your backyard.

Alternative reality

August 25th, 2017 by kayak woman

A storm of sexting kexting this morning began with a pitcher (intentionally misspelled) of a breakfast in the Atlanta airport because I guess if you want to travel by plane to Albuquerque these days, one way to get there is through Atlanta.

Apparently everyone else in the restaurant was drinking multiple mimosas, at 8:?? AM EDT. I would probably not have been drinking *multiple* mimosas but if I were flying, I would certainly have had one (or maybe two) and then probably a whine on the plane. I am a nervous flyer and a weeeeee bit of alcohol takes the edge off although I know better than to get rip-roaring drunk while flying. Not a good thing. Sleep on a plane? R U kidding me? My musician ears/body are constantly attuned to every little change in noise, altitude, or whatever. Even though my WWII pilot dad flew me up in small planes all the time when I was little and it was always fun and sometimes he even let me control the plane a bit when I was in the passenger seat. Go figger.

So, Albuquerque. It’s a wedding and the bride and groom are wonderful. They traveled out here last summer and we toured them around Houghton Lake on the Pontoon Bote and they marveled at the amount of green and water we have here. In the summer. They didn’t get to witness the hardland of the winter.

My parents got married somewhere out in the southwest. I wish I could remember where. It was during WWII and they got married at the moment they did because my dad, who had spent his war years as a flight instructor, had recently been told he would be sent to the South Pacific to fly combat missions. My mom took the train(s) down to where he was. When she arrived at the station, there was NO ONE THERE. It was closed for the night. She was pretty much terrified and then a man approached her. It was my dad! Happy ending.

The next happy ending was that “we” dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II. This was a happy ending for my parents, who didn’t have to face my dad being deployed to combat duty in the south Pacific. It was a horrific ending for the Japanese people and I hope we do NOT EVER deploy nuclear bombs anywhere on earth any time again. Or even threaten them. Have we not learned our lesson?

Anyway, my mom apparently told her grandchildren that they considered settling in Albuquerque. She may have told me that too but I don’t quite remember. They didn’t. They came back to the Great Lake State, first to Detroit, where mom’s family lived, then to dad’s home in Sault Ste. Siberia. I wonder who/what I would be like if I had grown up in Albuquerque. If I hadn’t been a Yooper. Not sure.

I think I need to go to Albuquerque and other places in the American southwest one of these days to see where my parents lived when they were young. Where were they when my dad bought her that beautiful old Singer sewing musheen, etc.?

The pic was sent to me from Albuquerque (or maybe Santa Fe). That is not my reality this weekend. I am at the Cfam cabin at Houghton Lake. It is beautiful here and although I am a bit tired of traveling and had to kind of sneak outta work early, I made the effort and I am glad we’re here.

Love y’all and g’night, -KW

Snippety snap

August 24th, 2017 by kayak woman

So, Mr. B’s Joybox Express is going to Mackinac Island. It is going to St. Ignace by bicycle (not sure how they will get across the Big Mac, which is NORMALLY only open to motorized traffic) and then it will be placed on a barge and towed to the island by SWIMMERS. Mr. B is a local guy and I have various pics of him and his joybox from around town.

And then there’s today’s Lunch Saga. Every day, I pack a bit of lunch in a small pyrex container. My lunch almost always consists of a smidge of leftovers with salad on top. I packed a lunch container last night and put it in the refrigerator, overly proud of myself for getting ahead of the game. This morning I pulled it out and put it into my lunch bag. I was hungry enough to eat my arm at lunchtime and when I finally pulled out my container, it was filled with PESTO!!! Yes. Pesto, which we had with pasta last night and I put the leftover in an identical container to my lunch. I love pesto but there was no way I was going to sit there and eat a container of pesto for lunch! So, I ordered Panera and when I got there to pick it up, I ran into my former neighbor, who probably thinks I am nuts because about the only thing I said to her was, “Do you know where the pick up is?” (It had moved since the last time I ordered from Panera.) Sigh. I was in a hurry but I am also VERY awkward at social interactions, especially unexpected ones.

What else? I was actually looking around for something to do for 15 minutes or so at work today. I actually told FZ about that. And then we had another hi-pri defect meeting and I am uber-busy again.

Speaking of Grand Island, Nebraska… Were we speaking of Grand Island, Nebraska? Maybe not but that’s where FZ landed on his eclipse-chasing quest over the last week. I think I surprised him a bit by saying that I had eaten at the Plastic Cow in Grand Island, Nebraska TWICE! It was on an extended-family ski trip to Steamboat Springs back in the early 1970s and we ate gorgeous steaks at the Plastic Cow on the way out AND the way back. I think. Not sure about the way back. Actually, the restaurant was named Dreisbach’s, not the Plastic Cow, but the sign looked like a plastic cow and that’s what my uncle Duck Duke called it. I have googled the Plastic Cow before and found it to be long closed but I just re-googled it and apparently it was resurrected in 2013.

Oh, and jury duty? A family member has been called, doesn’t matter who. I went through a spate of being called for jury duty left and right but never actually served. It’s been a while and I have probably jinxed myself by saying that on my blahg. I get that it is a civic duty yada yada. I still don’t like it. Why? I AM AN INTROVERT!!!! I do not LIKE to have to be questioned in a place like a courtroom. Why isn’t there an “I am an introvert” checkbox on the “questionnaire”?

Finally, the fuzzy pic? Henry (that’s both singular and plural for backyard rabbit(s) that are not afraid of people) is eating my apples! It could be worse. MMCB1 encountered FOUR bucks in her yard this morning. They were munching on leaves, not apples.

Oh, hahahahaha! The GG apparently has a motor bote registered through 1919! Yay!

Good night,
Kayak Woman

P.S. It is August and I am sitting in the backyard waiting for leftovers to heat up (and watching Henrys eat my apples). I am comfortable wearing Smartwool socks and a polartech jacket.

The droven-ins

August 23rd, 2017 by kayak woman

I don’t read the Sault Evening News much any more but tonight somebody posted a photo of a short little traffic accident blurb on Facebook and it had me rolling around on the ground gnoffing. Apparently several people were driving around in an automotive vee-hickle when the airbags spontaneously activated for no apparent reason, i.e., no impact with another vee-hickle or anything else. Police verified that there was no exterior damage to the car. The vee-hickle was loaded on to a tow truck and for reasons I don’t totally understand, it rolled off and crashed into the police car. No one was injured (and I don’t think anyone was charged for anything) and the headline for this little article was “Christine?”.

Boy did that bring back memories because the droven-ins, which is what my parents came to call the newspaper police report, have always been funnier than a crutch in the Evening News, what with people p**ing behind the Alpha Bar and whatnot. Except they never actually said “p**ing” and I can’t remember exactly what euphemism was used. (And I just learned that the word is “euphemism”, not “euphenism”. Jeebus.)

Why did we call the police report the droven-ins? Well… So, one day when the beach urchins were small, we were at the moomincabin and one of the urchins decided to go down to the beach. Except that as soon as she got out the door, she beat a hasty retreat back inside. “Moom! Someone has droven in!” I peered out the window and saw the grandparents’ car in the driveway and Grandroobly getting out of it. I said, “Why don’t you look out and see who it is?” The urchin took a peek and relaxed. “Oh, it’s just a great big mouse.” That “big mouse” being her grandfather.

Everybody had a good laugh about that and it wasn’t too much later that there was a misprint in the Evening News droven-ins where someone had “droven in to a ditch”. Well, maybe it was a misprint or maybe it was my parents mis-reading it. Anyway, the whole droven-in thing took on a hilarious life of its own after that and for a long time we would eagerly check the droven-ins for glimpses of delinquency and mishaps in the small Canadian border city where I was born and raised and know by the back of my hand. Big-city newspapers and even places like the Planet Ann Arbor do not (appropriately) include every single little droven-in.

Memories like these are the ones that make me miss my parents.

Legs in (or out)

August 22nd, 2017 by kayak woman

I have this cute li’l timehop app with a dinosaur and everything that shows me old pics from the last eight (!) years. Sometimes they bring me good memories, sometimes I swipe through them lickety-split, not wanting to remember. Sometimes they are just as funny as a crutch. Like this one. Whaaaaaa?

It’s a good thing I captioned it when I originally posted it because otherwise I would have no clue that these boyz were scraping paint! It is the Twinz of Terror and one of their long-suffering brothers-in-law. But not the Lord of Linden, as I figured out when I looked up the pic in August 2009 and saw some other similar pics that showed more than legs. They are scraping paint on the Houghton Lake garage. Don’t you love the little garden? The UU is the garden master and I can remember the years that Mouse helped him put flowers in. Others also help. In the CFam, people pitch in when they can and/or have expertise and there is very little squabbling, which is a good thing for meeeeee because I am not often all that much help. Although I *do* wash dishes, one of my (few) areas of expertise.

So then, I segued over (I don’t even know why) to Legs Inn, which is a restaurant in Cross Village, MI, that might be on my bucket list if I had one (parachuting out of an airplane would DEFINITELY not be on it). We kind of almost tried to go to Legs Inn this summer. We had a tentative plan for a road trip to Cross Village with lunch at Legs Inn penciled in. As it turned out, we scheduled it for a Friday and on Wednesday night, things took a turn toward fun and busy as my MacMu cousins confirmed that they would indeed be coming up for the weekend! Okay, we’ll still go to Cross Village but since Legs Inn doesn’t open until noon, maybe we should seek out lunch on our way back, like in Iggy or Mack. We needed to get back to get some things done and make dinner before our guests arrived.

So we had an idyllic trip down to Cross Village. We visited the town park on Lake Michigan there and the art center. And then. Dun dun dun. We were barely out of Cross Village when the Frog Hopper lit dashboard lights. I had been picking at the GG all morning. Do we need gas? Not yet. Do we need gas? Not yet. There was a gas station in Cross Village and I had asked again. Not yet. Then the lights came on and even though they had nothing to do with what was in the gas tank he said, “Okay we’ll go back and get gas”. And hook up the OBD device and look at what the code is.

Our trip back was not as idyllic as our trip down but we made it home on five-ish cylinders and even stopped at our dependable old Driftwood Inn for lunch in Iggy. Someday I hope we make it to Legs Inn but we had a fantastic time with our MacMu cousins and I would rather spend time with them than go to a restaurant any day of the week!

Eclipse glasses for sale, cheep!

August 21st, 2017 by kayak woman

Sorry, you can’t have these. As you might be able to tell, Froooggy has already absconded with them and incorporated them into his wardrobe. Sorry he doesn’t have much else on today. Hey Froooooggg, at least go get your tutu on.

I did not take photos of the eclipse. My chosen photographic tool is my iPhone and although I know some folks have used their iPhones to get some decent photos, I didn’t have the guzzinta today. The technology used at work ran the gamut from pinhole box to Go-Pro cam with welding filter to whatever the heck the Benevolent Despot was doing with his iPhone and a filter from a pair of eclipse glasses. I took this pic from inside the “lunchroom”. I kind of love that you can see a reflection of *my* iPhone on the left.

We were only at 80% or something like that here on The Planet Ann Arbor but it was still a good show. We had an ice cream social during all of this (which means that all of us nerds grab an ice cream treat and go outside or back to our cube, whatever). And then, our project (intentionally spelled CORRECTLY) manager scheduled a meeting for 2:30, just after peak. Whaaaa? There is a need for project managers but… This was the same person who was asking us if she could look at the sun through her sunglasses. Uh, no…

I was hoping it would get a little darker at peak but it didn’t but then… Just after peak things got a bit dark but it wasn’t from the eclipse. Does anyone else notice the cloud formation with the two “eyes”? Snake? If you saw this eclipse as an aborigine and then saw a snake-looking storm cloud approaching you, would you think the world was going to end? Anyway, around the time the ill-timed meeting began, the sun and moon were doing their thing behind clouds and we begrudgingly went to the meeting.

Being a pensioner, The Pensioner drove down to St. Louis to view the eclipse in totality. Here is a pic he took with his iPhone and his telescope (for which he has a solar filter). I don’t really understand how all this stuff works, so don’t ask.

Finally, here is TP with his telescope in somebody’s driveway somewhere in the St. Louis area. Here on the Planet Ann Arbor, Henry (or maybe his great-great-great-great-grandchild) is hopping happily around the back yard.

Title anyone?

August 20th, 2017 by kayak woman

So, this was Canning Weekend for my Mouse. She likes to can tomatoes over here at the Landfill because the chitchen and Gretchen (the stove) are a wee bit bigger than the perfectly serviceable stuff at her house… and… she gets to spend time with meeeeeee… Last year I provided slave labor for this project. This year? I didn’t get all that involved. It was a gorgeous day here and I slugged around in the back yard reading a book while Mouse commandeered my kitchen. In a way, I think it was easier for her to just do the whole thing without “help”. She didn’t have to teach me (again, I would’ve needed remedial training) what to do and, without two work stations, the cleanup was easier. So here’s part of what got dropped off yesterday for this prodject.

And here is the prodject in its beginning stages.

And here is Mouse in the midst of canning. The photo almost looks like a 1950s ad for some kind of kitchen appliance…

It also looks a bit like this photo of The Commander cooking in our shabby little Superior Street bungalow up in Sault Ste. Siberia in the 1950s.

After the canning was done, we walked over to the neighborhood HOMES brewery for lunch. My niece’s cats (Simcoe and Citra) were featured on the beer list so of course I had to take a picture of it.

Mouse asked what the restroom at HOMES was like. I said it was modern (it is) and then after I came out of the restroom, I told her she would like it. This is what is on the wall.

Well, yes, but Mouse asked does the mens room have a deer with antlers? I kind of wanted to check that out but maybe not today.

Anyway, g’night from the Planet Ann Arbor Landfill back yard. Love y’all,

Lucky-shuckial art

August 19th, 2017 by kayak woman

Is it bad when you are leaving your fave Saturday brewpub lunch place and you and the bartender are trying to figure out when you will next meet up? We haven’t seen Jennelle (intentionally misspelled) since sometime in June. There was a Girls Saturday in Daytwa where I went down to visit Liz and get some summer hair going. Then there were a couple weeks in the yooperland surrounding 4th of July. The next two Saturdays, we were here on the planet and we went to the Griz but Jenelle was not there. And then THREE weeks in the yooperland. Today. I’m not sure the GG really wanted to go downtown for a beer lunch but I did and I wanted Jenelle to know we were still alive and in her fan club. So yes, we went downtown and she was THERE!

As we were leaving we were all trying to figure out when we would connect again and I finally said something like, “We *will* be back!” Once we were outside, the GG said something like well of course she is cultivating her customers. I said something like well, yes, of course she is, but I do not think that it’s necessarily a bad thing to consider a bartender (or grocery store cashier or whoever) a friend. And then the GG remembered the time he and Mouse ran into Jenelle at another pub after they had taken a kayak trip on the river and… She. Bought. Their. Lunch. Friendness runs a continuum and Jenelle is somewhere on that continuum, whether or not she serves us beer/whine and lunch on Saturdays when we are in town and not too busy to walk down to the Griz.

The lucky-shuckial art? The GG has managed to trace all of the electrical connections in the moomincabin and chart them out by hand on a piece of paper. There are some things that need to be upgraded. I won’t say anything more because I am NOT a trained electrician. But “we” are going to start by grounding some things that are currently not grounded. Like when I was using my work laptop up there, I was sitting in a particular place and had it plugged in to a particular plug and when my arm grazed certain parts of my laptop, I felt a small current. Not dangerous but not good either.

When my parents built the place in 1960, we had very few electrical needs. Lights, stove, and refrigerator. That was about it. The place has grown *organically* since then and my parents did not do a whole lot to upgrade the electrical system. At least not that I know of. The GG probably has a better idea and he also replaced a lot of old outlets with modern ones, the outlets that support three-pronged plugs, etc. More work needs to be done though and this piece of art is a map toward that work.

P. S. I got FRESH lima beans at the farmers market today. Those are a rare commodity and I pounced upon them and bought three boxes! I know some people don’t like lima beans. I’m sorry 🙃

I went to a high priority defect meeting this afternoon and when I got out of that meeting Bannon was gone

August 18th, 2017 by kayak woman

Yeah, that Bannon and yes we do check news and twitter and Facebook and whatever during our workday although we *rarely* talk pollyticks. I was not the first to discover that Bannon was gone. GoGrannyGo got a news notification from somewhere. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this. Bannon was my second least fave person on Trump’s “team” or whatever it is, topped only by Kellyanne (you know her last name). But who knows what he’ll do next. At any rate it was even a slower Friday than most and I cannot believe how much time people spent hanging out in the “hallway” next to my cube kibitzing about pollyticks and whatever else. Even the Benevolent Despot was in on it today. And then I snuck out a wee bit early and he yelled my name! Oops. Except that he had only managed to lock himself out and needed someone (me) to let him back in the building. He couldn’t have cared less when I was leaving. It was just my Work Ethic kicking me in the you-know-what again.

REM dreams often plague me. Last night (aka early this morning) I dreamed that one of my beautiful, elegant Amazon beach urchins had taken up smoking *cigarettes*. Doesn’t matter which one and I won’t describe the dream too much further except that I was screaming bloody murder at her about it. The whole thing unnerved me enough that I was relieved when I texted her to tell her about the dream and she assured me that she was *not* smoking cigarettes. I *knew* that. It was just a very weird dream. And then I felt like I was starting to kext so I texted a last 🐸💜 type thing (I love you and we can be done with this thread because we both have to work) and went on with my day.

Cigarettes… My first two boyfriends both smoked them. I never really thought that much about it. My parents did *not* smoke them. Oh, dad smoked cigars sometimes and I have *very* early memories of mom messing with a cigarette at a bridge party or whatever but it was *never* a habit for her in any way shape or form. But plenty of friends’ parents smoked them and a few relatives and it just wasn’t a big thing back in those days. We would find cigarette butts on the moominbeach and incorporate them into whatever structures we built from sand if we wanted to. It has been eons since I’ve seen a cigarette butt in the sand.

Back when I first worked at That Darn EPA, my childhood boss Byron smoked cigarettes right there in his office. I never really thought that much about it.

Me? I have never been a smoker. There was a short period in my early 20s when a friend and I played at cigarettes when we were bored at bars. Back in those days it still actually (believe it or not) seemed like it might look “cool” to sit and smoke a cigarette. Fortunately for me I never did manage to get happy with inhaling smoke, or even figure out how to do it, so it never turned into a habit for me.

Of course, nowadays, smoking cigarettes is pretty much taboo everywhere except in your own dwelling space or car. There are a few people at work that take a smoke break OUTSIDE THE BUILDING but not many and boy oh boy can I smell it when I happen to come in or out when they are smoking.

I have long loathed the idea of smoking cigarettes but I cannot get to the point of condemning those who do. My children had a few loving relatives who enjoyed cigarettes and I can remember having to do a wee bit of deprogramming at one point when I felt that the lessons they were learning at school were a bit too judgmental about people who smoked. Smoking may be a bad and dangerous habit but smoking does not make someone a bad person.

Good night, love you all, KW

Porterization inspired prodject

August 17th, 2017 by kayak woman

I think I have said before that I almost never know what The Pensioner does while I am at work until I get home. Unless he starts texting me about bank records and things 🐽 Two days ago he was listening to tin-foil-hat radio via earbuds. Yesterday he was drawing lucky-shuckial diagrams. Today? He was kind of rummaging around outside and I went for a wee walk, enough of one to get me over my default 10K steps since a thunderous event cut my 0-skunk-30 walk waaaaay short.

When I got home from my wee walk, he showed me today’s prodject, which was to ream out an outdoor windowsill, clean out all of the dead wood and begin the process of replacing it.

I believe that the GG was inspired to do this by a recent prodject our friends of Porterization did with their cabin a half mile or so up the beach from the moomincabin. They have a lovely vintage cabin. It is older than ours and has a wood-capable cooking stove in it with an electric component. Ours is new enough that it has always had an electric stove although I remember the old wood stove in the Old Cabin when I was a kid. Vintage aside, our cabins are both basic, rustic places and they both happen to have “picture windows” utilizing salvaged glass from old storefronts. I’ve probably blahgged about this recently but can’t remember and don’t want to look it up. I don’t have a good picture of the new window of porterization although I do have this pic of jp and tp. The cleaned up, re-framed window is out of view on the left and I spy a vintage chart of the upper St. Marys River behind them and aren’t these old boyz cute? 🐸

It was raining cats and dogs that night and here is a loverly view of our loverly little two-track road, the one that leads into the cabins on the moominbeach, the one that I have been traversing my entire life.

So, our friends of porterization cleaned up their entire front window and the room just inside it and it is gorgeous and we even stood out in the rain looking at the outside of the window although I preferred the inside. So, The Pensioner has taken on this prodject here at the Landfill. I am happy about this!

BTW, my spelling is and always has been [usually] impeccable, so if you see something on here that’s misspelled (and yes, that’s how you spell “misspelled”, we had that convo at work just the other day), there is a 99% chance that it is *intentionally* misspelled. If I don’t know how to spell something, I look it up. On the off chance that I do misspell something, I fix it as soon as I spot it, with great mortification. Some day when I am bored or whatever is going on is un-blahggable, I might explain why I intentionally misspell “project” and some other words.

Radical Mom

August 16th, 2017 by kayak woman

Hahahaha! The two-year-old next door is screaming bloody murder (they are outside grilling something for dinner) and we are sitting out here calmly analyzing the situation. The GG asked if I thought she was genuinely upset or “just” being manipulative. I am guessing there is a bit of manipulation involved but I think she is also genuinely upset. This kid is highly capable of using language to verbalize her needs but I think that probably something upset her and she Lost It before she could organize the words to verbalize the problem. Whatever the issue was may not be rational to her parents but it is upsetting enough to her that she cannot calmly pull out the right words. What the heck, sometimes I STILL DO THAT! Do you? (Be honest with yourself.)

OMG! We are sooooo smart now that we are baggy old parents of adult children. If we had only been able to figure that kind of thing when our children were throwing 2-year-old “tantrums” instead of freaking out and doing whatever we thought we needed to do to placate our kid so the neighbors wouldn’t call the police or whatever. We know that Becqet (intentionally misspelled) is well taken care of by her gentle, thoughtful parents. We remember the bad old days when our own beloved beach urchins threw tantrums. And that’s why we’re sitting out here philosophizing and laughing in a commiserative kind of way.

When we had our children we thought we had invented childbirth. We were gonna do it all better. Our kids were gonna sleep through the night and eat their vegetables and yada yada yada. And they did some of that stuff or not or sometimes they did it and sometimes not and if/when was always unpredictable. Like, the kid eats one kind of food (healthy or not) voraciously for a couple weeks (gimme more more more), and then, after you have obtained a lifetime supply of said food, THE KID REFUSES TO EAT IT!

I won’t even get in to the middle school or teen years or even college except to say that my children never gave me one iota of any kind of serious trouble during those years. The arguments could be difficult sometimes but that’s how it goes. I am still working my way through being the parent of independent, successful adults. All I will say is 1) don’t give unsolicited advice (although I sometimes do) or 2) kext (although I sometimes do) or 3) EXCESSIVELY tag your children on social media or even “like” their posts. I get away with that last only because my kids only post things that are safe for mooma to “like” or whatever.

P.S. Thanks to Lizard Breath for the Radical Mother banner. I love it! <3