Random bits of my so-called life.

Lickety split!

July 7th, 2017 by kayak woman

I was lucky to get even the default 10,000 steps in today. I could hear thunder in the distance well before my usual wake-up time this morning (5:30 AM) and wouldn’t you know by 5:30, we were in the thick of it, so I didn’t take my usual 0-skunk-30 walk today. In fact, I didn’t even get up until after six. Shower? With lightning around? Isn’t there some way you can be electrocuted by taking a shower during a thunderstorm? I didn’t want to find out.

Our weather forecast only predicted thunderstorms into the early afternoon but we didn’t get any storms the entire time I was at work today. And then, as I was driving home, I was looking at some pretty iffy clouds. By the time I got home, I was hearing thunder and phone weather was showing what the GG called “popcorn” storms coming through. Okay. I will wait a bit before walking downtown. I do NOT walk in lightning. I waited for a while but the “popcorn” storms didn’t exactly blow through. Instead, more kept forming.

I was thinking about driving down but I hated that idea. The GG texted, “what about the bus?” I had been thinking about the bus too but when and where would I catch the bus to go downtown?

Okay, Google Maps said the 31 would stop, well, somewhere near, at 5:43. It was 5:30. I scrambled myself and headed out the door running through heavy rain (I did have a rain jacket). I wasn’t exactly sure where the bus stop was but, as I approached the Dexter/Maple intersection, I saw a bus stop sign across from Aldi’s. So I knew where to go.

I was watching like a hawk for the bus as I approached the intersection. And THERE IT WAS! About to come around the corner. But I was stuck at the dern LIGHT and there was all kinds of traffic (and a cop) and I couldn’t get across the street. I didn’t know what to do. I gave a bit of a wave to the bus but didn’t expect it to stop for me. I figgered I’d have to go back and get the Ninja and drive down. The bus turned the corner and STOPPED at the bus stop. I scrambled across the street through the traffic and found out that yes, the bus driver was waiting for meeeee. I got on and texted the GG, “On bus. Whew!”

I was the only passenger on the bus and it was a quick ride downtown. I got off at Huron and Main and hoofed quickly over to the Oscar Tango, where the GG said, “You got down here lickety split!” This is the first time I have ever taken the bus to get anywhere by myself, not to mention a bus stop near home, so this is a new and handy skill for me.

We were hit with storms again as we were leaving the OT so we took a porter-cab home and hung out here for a small nightcap.

Yes I did the default 10K steps in today despite the inclement weather and walking conditions!

I cannot count

July 6th, 2017 by kayak woman

This is actually gonna turn into a swan story in a minute but I don’t have a pic of those so here are the teenage ducklings that were gathered outside Cubelandia yesterday afternoon. I suspect that Dreadlock Guy is feeding them occasionally. I’m not sure that feeding ducks is a good idea but he’s such a sweet person that I’m not going to say anything to him. Anyway whaddo I know?

I’m not sure if I wrote about Swan Corners here or not. I *think* I did write about it back in the spring. At that time Daddy Swan had succumbed to death by some kind of natural cause. He and Mooma Swan had seven eggs. Four of them hatched. Two of the cygnets eventually went missing. There was some speculation that they had been run over by an automotive vee-hickle but it turns out that the fuzzy little remains on the road were goslings. So snapping turtle was the next guess. This is Mother Nature at work, maybe sadder to humans than to wildlife mooms.

Last weekend, someone caught a glimpse of one of Mooma Swan’s wings and it looked broken. Many feathers were missing and it looked like she was bloody, etc. A minor panic ensued and someone called the humane society. The result of that is the live-trapping of the two remaining cygnets and transportation to a rehab facility. They had a bit more trouble snagging Mooma.

And this is where it got a bit ugly, given that there is a Swanfriends facebook group, which is on the Internet… People started to weigh in saying that the ugly looking wing was a normal part of molting (which we know Mooma is doing) and that when new feathers come in, blood is visible in that it is an important part of growing new feathers. It isn’t like her wing is dripping blood on the ground.

I don’t know anything about swan physiology (except that they are BIG and do not get in Daddy Swan’s way) or wing structure or molting processes. All I can say is that I am happy to report that Mooma Swan was eventually captured and reunited with her cygnets. They are in a safer area now. At Swan Corners, all of the ponds are directly adjacent a couple feet from the roads and the swans hang out near or *on* the road because it is warm there (I think).

Dude, where’s my car? (chapter 2)

July 5th, 2017 by kayak woman

Took a while to locate my loverly little beastie. Turns out that the collision shop was NOT closed this week (just yesterday but we expected that). It is just running a skeleton crew, certainly enough people to accept payment for a paint job and release a vee-hickle. However, they were still waiting for parts this morning so the Ninja wasn’t ready until I dunno, sometime in the afternoon, so there must’ve been someone there to do that.

I’m pretty impressed with my Ninja’s new paint job and when the GG told me they fixed all of the dents, I was like, “Whaaaaa? What dents? I didn’t run into anybody.” Certainly if you looked at the Ninja pre paint job, you didn’t see big dents. But it is a 9-year-old vee-hickle and “dent” in this case means car door dings and tree branch falling dings and KW putting “stuff” on the top of the trunk dings, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Of COURSE they had to smooth out the DENTS to repaint the car! So here it is in all of its glory. Er, maybe we need to defrog the headlamps…

I was thinking about faaaaarworks today and how people love or hate them. I don’t remember anyone hating them when I was a kid. We loved them. My dad was a WWII vet and they didn’t freak him out but that could well have something to do with the fact that he spent his service time rattling around the American southwest teaching other people to fly planes. He was about to get sent over to the South Pacific when we dropped The Bomb and he spent the rest of his life as a “successful failure” (much like his daughter, aka yer fav-o-rite blahgger, both of us in the banking industry if that makes any sense). I think he would be proud of me working at what I do even though he might not exactly understand it! (I hope no one ever decides to drop/lob/whatever a nuclear bomb anywhere on earth ever again.)

Last night, the typical neighborhood fireworks kind of lulled me to sleep, if you can believe that. I have to remember a long ago incident though. One that scared the bejeebus outta me. It was the summer before Lizard Breath entered kindergarten (or maybe it was even 1st grade) and she and Mouse and the GG were safely tucked in, snoozing in their bedrooms while moom had some moom-alone time in the back room. It wasn’t 4th of July but there had been some “explosions” off and on for a few weeks. All of a sudden KABOOM. A large explosion from the school yard. I didn’t know what it was. I high-tailed it into the bedroom. The GG hadn’t heard it.

I kind of forgot about the Big Bang over the summer and then, days before school started, I came home from my childhood career and was processing laundry and I could hear people having fun over in the schoolyard and it was still light out and all of a sudden… KABOOM. Alas, this time the KABOOM was followed quickly by “call the ambulance”, followed shortly by sirens. Amazing to me now to think how fast 911 got called back in an age when NO ONE had a cell phone!

What happened? A 20-year-old kid and his friends had been experimenting with making “bombs” by putting black powder into gas cylinders. They were not bad kids. They were trying to blow up the old tire playground structure over there and they carefully aimed the bomb so that it would not hit the kids playing baseball quite a way past the structure. Alas. The bomb exploded prematurely and almost killed one of the girls in the group. I haven’t heard anything about her in a long time but last I knew, she was still partially paralyzed.

Oh where, oh where is my Ninjamobile? Oh where, oh where can it be?

July 4th, 2017 by kayak woman

After 35 (plus) years of traveling up and down the I75 SUV Speedway to the Moomincabin and wherever, the GG and I are pretty dern good at mobilizing to travel to or from. And so we did that this morning, giving our captain’s salute as we drove out of the driveway just before 8:00 AM.

Man oh man, what a smooth drive home. 75 mph on I75 on dry pavement with light traffic makes the whole trip go faster. On the trip down we conjectured whether or not the Ninja would be in the driveway. It spent the last 10 days getting TLC via a new paint job. It was not in the driveway. Where is the Ninja? We do not know. We drove down to the body shop. It wasn’t there. The GG peered into the garage window. He couldn’t tell if it was there or not. There was a sign on the door saying they were on vacation for the week… … … Hmmm… Maybe it’s at the dealer? We actually drove out to Howard Cooper Germain Honda to look for our vee-hickle. No luck.

So we don’t know where our my car is. Hopefully we’ll find it tomorrow.

Happy 4th of July. I hope everyone in our country feels as patriotic as I do. The country I was born in and live in provides freedom for people to practice whatever religion they want to. I hope that continues to apply.

We’re hanging out in the Landfill backyard with Mouse. We’re listening to people shoot off fireworks around the neighborhood. We’ll figure out where the Ninja is tomorrow.


July 4th, 2017 by kayak woman

Low key anniversary celebration. I telecommuted to work this morning. It was a weird day at work, the Monday before a Tuesday holiday, so not a whole lot of people were there and we canceled a meeting and I bagged out a bit early. I spied my cousin Jan walking past the Lyme Lounge to the moomincabin and so I headed over to our deck to talk to her for a bit.

I worked for a while after that and then the GG and I drove into town to eat lunch at Wicked Sister. I remember when Wicked Sister was Benoit’s Gin Mill. I was not above going into dive bars in my youth but I never went to the Gin Mill. I do remember when it burned. I was with Radical Betty and Uber Kayak Woman at Penny’s Kitchen and we saw big smoke to the north south across the canal. Some wonderful people eviscerated the old Gin Mill and have created a wonderful new restaurant with a changing menu of good food and lots of beer choices and whine and cocktails, etc. We had a great lunch there and then we snagged a couple of tenderloins to grill at the new Meijer.

In the late afternoon, we were Porterized and our fave C*Q*L joined us and so here are a few pics from all of that, on the bank of the beach.

I cannot believe I have been married for 35 years. Advice? Don’t sweat the small stuff (although I sometimes do).

Sorry, fergot to hit publish last night!

Tick Tock Buggity Buggity

July 2nd, 2017 by kayak woman

Okay, so the Plan was to drive up to the Tahqua Trail and hike in to where the Beaver Deceiver was installed last fall. I was okay with that except that, on the way up there we drove through torrential rain. I did NOT want to hike in that stuff. Especially if there was lightning. I DO NOT DO LIGHTNING!

I knew how much the GG wanted to check out his beloved Beaver Deceiver and drains and things and that he would try to push me to hike in a situation I didn’t really want to hike in. We drove all the way down the Tahqua Trail to the parking place and this is what the road looks like there except that this is when we [eventually] drove out. Driving in, threatening clouds were ahead of us.

So. We parked at the parking place and I did not trust the weather and so I was being whatever it was that Pooh said about being unhappy on a hiking/camping trip down on the beach this afternoon. I can’t remember what she said but I was being a b*tch. But I am also afraid of hiking in lightning and I think that is a rational fear. The GG promised that if we heard thunder, we would return to the parking lot lickety split. So we got out of the Frog Hopper and sprayed ourselves with Deet or whatever and we were just about ready to head on over to the Beaver Deceiver when I heard thunder. I was done done done and then I got back in the Frog Hopper and he *sadly* obliged me. So we drove back up that dirt road and pulled off onto one of the pullouts on the re-routed North Country Trail. We were at the double bridge elevated walkway.

We walked a bit in that area and I heard thunder a couple more times but it sounded moiles away and then the sun started to make an appearance. There is no internet service in that area so I couldn’t check the weather but I steeled myself and said, “Hey buddy, dooya want to go back down to look at the Beaver Deceiver?” Yes yes yes. And so we did and I took the next couple of pics quick quick quick because this was just about the buggiest hike I have taken in quite a while. Mostly mo-skee-toes… Had to keep moving!

I didn’t mention before that the few minutes we were outside the Frog Hopper the FIRST time, I managed to pick up a tick. I pulled it off the back side of my wrist just as it was making moves to attach itself to me. We cannot figger how I picked that thiing (uh, thiing? thiiiiiiiing?) up but YICK!

After that we had lunch at the Silver Creek Saloon and then scooted down the Curley Lewis back to the moomincabin, where we decamped to the beach. We spent a long time (hours) watching this cloud bank form over Bay Mills, et al, and wondering if it would engulf us or not.

You know it did!

Good night! It is our anniversary tomorrow. I am not sure if I am strong enough to say how many years. Or maybe it’s just that I cannot do the math. We don’t plan on doing anything exorbitant or giving each other expensive gifts or whatever. We are going to do exactly what we (I) want to do. We have spent too many anniversaries managing funerals. I don’t expect we will be doing that tomorrow. At least I HOPE NOT!

Missing my little chickies…

July 1st, 2017 by kayak woman

So our niece and her SO left this morning and then the GG got all geared up to head off for North Country Trail maintenance.

He didn’t have the orange chaps on when he left. I think he acquired them in Rudyard or somewhere.

It was another cold, drizzly kind of day. I spent the morning vacuuming the moomincabin and the Lyme Lounge and other sorts of tweaking. It’s a futile job to keep sand and pine needles out of our living spaces around here. So it felt clean around here for about five minutes and then…

I kind of wanted to get lunch at Wicked Sister. It’s a new place in Sault Ste. Siberia and we didn’t get there last summer (it was a weird summer) but since then the GG has been there and he really liked it and so… I knew that he would probably not want to drive all the way into the Soo after his trail stuff so my backup plan was Pickles, which is wonderful and so we went there again.

At the end of the day, the GG took a long winter’s nap and I eventually decamped down to the beach. I dressed in a wool/silk turtleneck, polar tech jacket, long skirt, Radical Betty’s beach towel, smart wool socks.

As I was sitting down there this afternoon, I was kind of day-dreaming about the Sea Club, where we stayed when we road-tripped to Fla in April. My polar tech stuff and smart wool socks stayed packed during that trip and every night when we walked to the beach to watch the sunset, I wore a tie-dyed tshirt (no bra, I flung that) and a skirt. I love the Sea Club and I want to go back there again but this beach is home, as cold as it can sometimes be.

21st century yooperland

June 30th, 2017 by kayak woman

So I managed to work a whole week from the Lyme Lounge. One person tried to apologize to me for dialing into a meeting on my vacation. No, I am not on vacation. I am working from the camping trailer in the parking lot next to the family cabin in the woods on the shores of Gitchee Gumee. It is a wondrous place to work with wifi and heat (which I needed this week) and whatever. Earlier in the week when my Mousie was here, she brought me soup for lunch.

This morning, Ranger Bill took off in his cute li’l ranger suit to deal with Bucky Beaver and friends.

At the end of the day Mr. Golden Sun tried to shine down on us but for the most part it was a lot like the photoooo below and now it is raining. Again.

Here’s C*Q*L in my fancy new sunnies with the GG behind her.

And finally cBear returned from a paddle board trip around the point. He was out of sight for a bit, which raised my moom-lifeguard hackles up a bit even though the cBear is an experienced EMT and knows more about life-saving stuff than I ever have or will. At any rate, he made it almost all the way back and a “rogue wave” (boat wake or whatever) knocked him off the board. He was in shallow water and it was all okay.

So, grilled bratwurst and friends for dinner and cupcakes by C*Q*L and rain on the roof and hoping to meet with Planet Ann Arbor neighborhood friends tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.

Oh yeah. I made a quick run into the new Meijer this morning. As I was leaving, the woman who was hanging out near the door greeting folks said, “Thank you.” I told her thank you too and that I love having Meijer in town. She WALKED OVER AND HUGGED ME!!!!

Beary beery rainy day

June 29th, 2017 by kayak woman

So the big news from the north is that we have a large bear running around in the wee hours ravaging garbage containers and bird feeders. Our garbage is locked inside the garage and we do not have a bird feeder so we haven’t been victimized by the marauder yet but there we are sleeping in the Lyme Lounge and I can’t help wondering if he passed by us on his way from Jeep and Pan’s down to C*Q*L’s or vice versa. He was at J&P’s at 5:30 AM, which is just a bit before the sum sun comes up. Not sure what time he was anywhere else. Also don’t like the idea of having to WoodsP in the middle of the night if that becomes an issue. Neighbors are working with the DNR to try to get Mr. Bare relocated but that probably won’t happen until we return to the Planet Ann Arbor, where we don’t have bears, just a rabid skunk here and there. And about a billion rabbits. And shirls/cirkars/squirrels/screeeeeech!

The small news is that, hmmm, lemme see. It rained ALL DAY! We love rain and it was one of those nice warm misty kinds of rainy days but by the end of the afternoon I was hoping for more than the Bright Spot that appeared in the sky for five minutes or so. The Pensioner, Pengie and cBear did go up and hike my brother’s nature trail. In the rain. They did *not* collect any ticks. Usually there are ticks up there on that trail. We’re wondering if the lack of ticks was because of the rain? We do not know.

And then we went to Pickles for lunch. I love Pickles but I especially love it on a rainy day like today. I do not know why. The food was good and it was nice and dark inside (but not tooooo dark) and our server was a lovely young woman who treated us well.

And so now it is evening and we have eaten a gorgeous stir-fry concocted by Pengie and cBear and the GG is next door trying to help troubleshoot an automotive vee-hickle problem and, oh yeah, here are some bare footprints from this morning but these are not from a bare bear. They are from yer fav-o-rite blahgger’s own bare feet after she hosed her feet off from her morning beach walk.

G’night, Kayak Woman (typos be damned)

Rain moving in and that’s about it.

June 28th, 2017 by kayak woman

I am just about dead taaaaared. Just about the time the rain was moving in today, I was done with work. I had wanted to sit down on the beach but that didn’t quite work out all that well so I sat on the deck for a while instead.

Other than that, we scrabbled together a bunch of leftovers for dinner tonight and will probably use others for brek tomorrow and restaurant discussions are in the works. We’ll see. I miss my beautiful beach urchin daughters who had to go back down to Southeast Trollandia today. I am greatly enjoying my Pengo niece and her significant other.


June 27th, 2017 by kayak woman

So finally the wind died down enough that the GG could launch the Motor Bote. That means that someone has to drive with him over to the state park, launch him, and he drives the bote the three miles back to the moomincabin. Someone has to drive the empty bote trailer back to the moomincabin trailer. That someone is usually me but today Lizard Breath did the honors.

And here is the bote back on the beach with the GG and cBear ready to take off for a ride to meet a freighter.

We had steak and mashed potatoes and friends tonight and here is C*Q*L working on the potatoes. I was sooooo happy to have help with all of this stuff, especially since I worked all day and peeling potatoes was almost more than I could handle.

And then The Pensioner was grilling steaks and he saw the Mean Old Grunchie Old Grinchie’s truck came by and so I ran over there to try to entice the Grinch to come over for steak. And he did and then he actually came down to the beach with us.

G’night. KW.

A DAZ day of telecommuting from the Lyme Lounge

June 26th, 2017 by kayak woman

First of all, it was a RAINY day and here is @TMOTU makin’ bacon in the moomincabin chitchen. We are all so cozy here.

After breakfast in the moomincabin, I began my commute to work. I think I may have encountered one automotive vee-hickle along the way.

Here I am at the end of my commute already.

And here is my “office”.

It was pretty hilarious trying to present at a meeting from the Lyme Lounge. Actually I didn’t have any trouble getting in to the meeting but all the folks down at Cubelandia were scrambling because somehow the meeting room was double-booked or whatever and they ended up having to Skype in from their desks. Technology works when it works and ours finally did 20 minutes after the meeting was supposed to start.

I shared the pic with Amazon Woman (my supervisor) and Cube Nayber. Amazon Woman was concerned about Moosonee, wondering what crime he had committed to be hung. Cube Nayber said my workspace looked a lot like our former co-worker Broooooosie’s cube. Yes, it does.

The other folks plus C*Q*L went hiking out at Naomikong. In the rain. I have to admit I was kind of glad to have the “I have to work” excuse to not accompany them but Lizard Breath Instagrammed a fun Boomerang thingy of the others jumping up and down on the suspension bridge, so I knew they were having fun and I kind of felt like I was missing out. Our hikers got soaked through but we have a loverly hot shower here and some people also took naps (one accelerated his with some nap juice).

I got a DAZ from FZ today (those are hard to come by). I was moom alone for a few hours and when I was not, every time I walked into the moomincabin to use the water closet or whatever, somebody was cooking or sweeping or washing dishes. Which meant that I did very little in terms of household chores today. I am ecstatic about that although I have to admit that I did sneak in to wash dishes a few times. I am a compulsive dish processor. What can I say? 🐽

And now there are all these people here. Family members of all generations and all kinds of talk going on. This is what it’s all about here on the beach.

Love y’all, KW!

Kitchen Dancing and other Moomincabin Fun

June 25th, 2017 by kayak woman

My BFF posted an Instagram photooo of a mug this morning so I had to post my own Big Ass mug. My parents named this mug Big Ass many years ago. The Pensioner seems to always serve me coffee in this mug these days 💜

Eventually we made it in to the NEW SAULT STE. SIBERIA MEIJER STORE. We spent $200 there today. It was so much fun! YAY!

It is so wonderful to have adult kids who cook! Here is Liz with her helper C*Q*L making chicken tikka in the moomincabin chitchen. Liz had already made us a late pea soup lunch. I did my best to keep up with the dishes. I have always been a fanatic dish processor.

Meanwhile, the Hemulin was emulating Grandroobly by sweeping the deck and steps.

While C*Q*L was practicing her hula hoop routine.

The GG was carrying Turnstile the entire time.

Mouse is actually wearing a pair of pants of some sort under her skirt. And yes, smart wool socks were appropriate for today’s weather, at least on the beach.

G’night from the moominbeach. Love y’all, KW! Dum dum da daa da dum dum da daa da dum dum dadada dum… … …


June 24th, 2017 by kayak woman

You’ve heard of bi-coastal folks who keep one place in New York City and another in Los Angeles. I have never been to NYC or Los Angeles. I am not bi-coastal, unless you include the third coast, aka, the huge number of miles of coastline along the Great Lakes. Since I own property on both of Michigan’s peninsulas, I guess I am bi-peninsular.

So we launched out of the Planet Ann Arbor early this morning and I can’t remember where we were when I took this pic of the GG’s onboard diagnostics app and his duck.

Here we are going across the Big Mac. Again. We couldn’t use our commuter card today because we were pulling the Lyme Lounge and that meant we had to pay more for the extra axle. Friends of ours posted a similar pic a few hours after I posted this one.

We stopped for grokkeries at the Family Fare in Iggy. We could not get lunch there because this weekend is a big old car show and they close the streets. We kept going on north and ended up with lunch at Jack’s Pub and Grub in Brimley (it used to be Lazy Bob’s). A BLT and a cab there hit the spot for me. It took a bit for the gals there to find the GG’s chosen beer but they managed it. We were the ONLY people in the restaurant/bar except for an old trucker who I was thinking might be polly-tickally different enough from meeee that I might have difficulties talking to him but he was actually in agreement with me, at least on the issue that got discussed.

Anyway, we got to the moomincabin and there were no dead squirrels and after I got a few things settled in, I headed down to the beach.

Lizard Breath arrived after a few hours and here she is with C*Q*L on Bill’s Birch Point Beach Bank Bench.

We had a beautiful day here at the Moomincabin but not sure what will happen tomorrow. These clouds looked threatening but I think they plassed over. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

And finally, here is the “midnight” sun. It is actually around 10:00 PM when I took this photo but now we’re going on 11 and there is still light on the horizon.

Goodnight and love you all, KW

Early Bird Special

June 23rd, 2017 by kayak woman

I am such a big joker sometimes. I joked with the waitress at the Oscar Tango that The Pensioner and I had crossed the line into those sorts of folks who line up for the Early Bird Special. Well, no, we are not there yet. But it was an odd day and we ended up at the Oscar Tango at something like 5:00 PM, which is way earlier than I ever get there.

And tooooo early, I was thinking. But that’s how it all worked out. I had to drop off the Ninja at the body shop for her paint job before it closed at 5:00 and the GG needed the Frog Hopper today so he could run errands and pack it up for our next road trip, which begins early tomorrow morning. So I bagged work early, came home to dump off my work laptop and some toilet paper and stuff I bought for the moomincabin (even though I can easily buy it up there), and took the Ninja down to the body shop, which is downtown. I met The Pensioner there and we walked a few blocks up and over to the Oscar Tango.

A Drama unfolded outside our window. This is the best pic I could get because don’tcha know TP and I and the Civic Theatre folks at the round table were all jostling for a position to watch. It was a “kid” (although he had a bit of a receding hairline) and the cop had just put him into the squad car when I snuck this pic. They confiscated his car after a rather perfunctory search of his trunk, which was apparently full of backpacks? I didn’t see that part. I was thinking that when we dropped the Ninja off, there was almost nothing in it other than a GPS. An umbrella, a few microfiber rags, maybe some ice scrapers, a few shopping bags and almost nothing in the trunk.

We were sitting in the Oscar Tango kind of bored. We thought the Porters were in the Yooperland so The Pensioner texted them asking for a photooo of where they were. And so they did. We were both peering at the pic wondering where the heck it was taken and then I looked to my right and there they were, big as life, right next to our booth. In other words, they were still down here on The Planet Ann Arbor and the pic was from the parking lot behind the Ark and Conor O’Neil’s, etc.

So it turned out to be more of a regular night at the OT except that cHicks gave me a *third* ‘hattan. She knows I always get two but did not realize how early I got there, which means I had one *before* she got to work and took over our table. It’s all right. The OT does decent cocktails but they are NOTHING like Knights where ONE is usually more than enough.

So we are sitting here savoring the long light of a solstice evening, poising ourselves for a northward journey early tomorrow. My polartech jacket and a whole bunch of smart wool socks are packed!

Twitter play #1b687e9a

June 22nd, 2017 by kayak woman

@mothernature: Flash crash boom!

@tmotu via text message: Need a ride?

@kayakwoman [walking into Landfill front door]: No.

@tmotu: zzzzzzz

If you click and click again, you may be able to see the rain hitting the driveway pavement. In the grand scheme of things it was kind of a ho-hum storm. Just a little pop-up thingy that rolled through with only a couple flash crash booms. No tree shrapnel all over the neighborhood, etc. Heavy rain for a short time (thanks ma, we needed that), then it all moved on.

That little storm cramped my fitbit style, meaning I didn’t even hit the default 10K steps until sometime after 4:00 PM. But we’re walking over to Knight’s and maybe the Plum Market in a few minutes and that’ll help me get to my *real* default, which is 15K on an average weekday.

That’s about all I have today. I know. It isn’t much. You’re welcome. Happy solstice, a day late. Looking forward to the midnight 11 PM sun over Gitchee Gumee and smart wool socks next week even though I will be chained to my work laptop and Skype-ing in to meetings.

Totting it up

June 21st, 2017 by kayak woman

If I had shown you a before pic of the latest round of vee-hickle maintenance, which happened yesterday, it would’ve looked just like this. Lemme see, brakes, bushings, and probably an oil change, since that’s what the maintenance code was complaining about, and I’m not sure what else. I won’t tell you how much it all cost. You can probably make a good guess.

Next thing? The before pic looks just like yesterday’s. Because. New paint! Paid partly by us and partly by Honda. I won’t tell you how much that’s gonna cost. You can probably make a good guess.

The paint is happening next week at Ross-Beakes, conveniently timed in that I will be telecommuting from the Lyme Lounge in a remote location at that time so we will not need more than one vee-hickle.

What’s funny about all this is that when the GG went down to Ross-Beakes to make the necessary arrangements, everybody down there remembered him. I’m not sure exactly why this is except that we tend to take cars in there for body work for the most ridiculous reasons ever. Like…

1) The time we were pulling a bote trailer at Houghton Lake in the Frog Hopper and the bote trailer became disengaged from the hitch somehow and crashed into the back of the Frog Hopper and took a tail-light out. We remained calm and after the GG’s brother told us a story about his father-in-law seeing a boat he was towing try to PASS HIM, I am sure I started laughing.

2) The time a random thunderstorm blew through at 3 AM and *random* lightning exploded a tree back in the woods, sending tree shrapnel over about a block radius and shattering the Frog Hopper’s sunroof.

3) Or maybe they just remember the GG because he is such a cool, memorable guy. A guy who tells all kinds of funny jokes. Ha ha ha. I think it is 1 or 2. 🐽

4) There is also another weird Frog Hopper incident that we used Ross-Beakes for but neither of us can remember it.

So this is the before pic for my new paint job. It’s a fancy, tricky bunch of paint but those guys are pretty good. I don’t like driving around in a vee-hickle with deteriorating paint (unless it is named The Indefatigable or The Venerable) and I am thinking about my next vee-hickle. But I am not quite ready to part with my beloved Ninja yet. I know that manual trannys are (maybe) gonna go by the way with the increasing trend toward self-driving vee-hickles. I love my 6-speed manual. What to do…

But, like, how do you go, you know, outside? Like to get from your house to your vee-hickle…

June 20th, 2017 by kayak woman

A beloved cube neighbor’s god-daughter flew home to Phoenix today (to meet her sister’s new baby). I guess you can fly *to* Phoenix. Flying *out* of Phoenix is apparently more of a challenge.

Okay, I know how to get from my house to my vee-hickle when it is 20 below zero. I put on every layer of winter clothing I possess and head out the door. It isn’t exactly a picnic to be outside at that temperature even for a short period of time but it can be done. 120 degrees? I cannot quite imagine it. Isn’t that the temperature when you put your oven on warm?

Maybe that’s a starting point for the book I couldn’t muster the guzzinta to write about yesterday, Arcadia. Because climate change crept into the book at the end and, in my opinion, that was the weakest theme in an overall gorgeous novel about growing up on a “hippie commune” and continuing life after the commune eventually came apart at the seams.

A dystopian utopia, to steal a phrase from Lizard Breath. I remember being a teenage hippie-wannabe although even then, I think I knew that communal living wasn’t really a good fit for me. The downsides to communal living portrayed in the book reaffirmed that feeling, mainly lack of food, cramped living areas in old vans and things, sharing rustic bathroom facilities with tooooo many people, struggling to figure out a way to become profitable. And yet, I loved the protagonist and many of the characters. I identified with how much they loved that beautiful piece of land and how hard many of them tried to make the commune work successfully. How some of them succeeded post commune and some did not and, well, read it.

I was never a hippie living on a commune but I experienced some of the best of that world spending summers at the moominbeach with my extended family. Running back and forth to my cousins’ cabins and opening the door WITHOUT KNOCKING! Afternoons on the beach when our mothers would confer after a Beer Lunch about making a “community” dinner and then mobilize to make it happen. Sharing boats and toys and things with other people (up to a point). Using outhouses. And yet the moominbeach was lightly populated, not to mention it was *private family land* and all of our parents had “real jobs” and we only lived like that in the summer. Come Labor Day, those of us who hadn’t already left the beach for Real Life in far-flung places would pack up our bushel baskets and head to town, back to our “real” houses in Sault Ste. Siberia, ready to start another school year.

Climate change and the book. I do not want to go into climate change today. I am NOT a denier but I am a pragmatist and I have complicated thoughts about the issue although I TOTALLY agree with reducing the kinds of activities that accelerate climate change (and 120 temps really freak me out!). I thought that Arcadia was a solid story without anything about climate change. But I may have missed something. Maybe the author is thinking about writing another book in which climate change is more relevant to the story? That might be cool! Read Arcadia for yourself and see what you think. As I said, I LOVED the book.

Little Red Photobomber

June 19th, 2017 by kayak woman

I wanted to do a book blahg today but it turns out I don’t really have the “chops” for that this evening. At least not for the book I want to blahg about, which is Arcadia by Lauren Groff. I loved the book enough that it deserves more than a cursory “5 stars and let’s move on”. Instead I will talk about little red photobombers.

Some of you are probably saying, “That’s a horrible photo!” And you are right. It’s kind of fuzzy and the lighting sucks, and there is a total lack of composition. But, y’know, in a way, this was point-and-shoot iPhoneography at its best! I mean, I wasn’t even sure I had actually *taken* a photo of the Three Segway Musketeers until I looked at what I had in my phone photos. I would probably have thrown the pic out if it hadn’t been for the Little Red Photobomber in the foreground. When I saw that, I cracked up, knowing I had a keeper.

So, we were driving into Downtown Deeeeetroit with Lizard Breath at the wheel of my cute li’l Ninja and we were approaching Campus Martius (I think that’s where we were) and she wanted to turn right at the next street but… We couldn’t turn right. There was some kind of construction or utility work or whatever going on and there was absolutely NO WARNING that the street was closed until you got RIGHT THERE and couldn’t make your turn. So we were kind of in limbo for a few minutes but, after some stressful backing up and other awkward maneuvering, she got us re-routed and I looked out my window and there were these Segway Musketeers and I fumbled with my phone a bit and we couldn’t *stop*, so even though I pushed the button on my iPhone cam, I could just as well have ended up with a pic of my arm or the inside of the Ninja.

The Little Red Photobomber brought back memories of Radical Betty’s sojourn at the Freighter View assisted living facility. She would tell various people about the little man outside her window (or somewhere around the building, I think, I can’t exactly remember), which turned out to be a fire hydrant, and some of those people were Concerned! and would tell us they thought she was experiencing dementia. I never thought of Radical Betty (or The Commander) as having dementia exactly but I have seen that there are many forms and manifestations of confusion that happen when people are nearing the end of their lives and dementia-like behavior can come and go. I don’t really know, but I’d like to think that Radical Betty knew darn well that the little red man was actually a fire hydrant and was just stringing some of those Concerned! people along.

Burping Tregurtha

June 18th, 2017 by kayak woman

A beautiful day with a few little pop-up storms and a lot of sun in between. A lot of people are posting their dads on facebook and that is okay. I have done it before myself and I’ll probably do it again. I’m not quite in the mood for looking back today so I’ll focus on the main dad in my life at the current time, The Pensioner, dad of my daughters.

So here he is on a sunset cruise ship on Lake Huron.

And kayaking.

And on the moon.

Actually not. Lizard Breath came over and we walked to HOMES, our new neighborhood brewery. It is within quick walking distance of our house, i.e., could be dangereuse. Not a full service restaurant at this time but GOOD FOOD! We noshed on Kimchi fries (Korean poutine) and fresh rolls.

And now we are hanging out in the back yard getting ready to grill some Father’s Day rib-eye caps.

Cheers to all of the fathers everywhere!