Random bits of my so-called life.

All wrapped up

April 20th, 2019 by kayak woman

I was up early this AM but we kind of slogged out of an early trip to the farmers market in favor of a bunch of cleaning chores and a grokkery run (for me). By the time we got down there it was raining cats and dogs and the place was slammed, which I knew it would be, which is why I *usually* get down there at 0-skunk-30.

Today, we had to pick up a Protective Fish, one that Victoria had repainted for us after a bunch of years getting beaten up by the weather up on the Hoton Lake Garatchkey. So we never really parked anywhere. The GG parked in a NO PARKING ZONE to go get the fish. I drove around the block. Then… I panicked about the food I have stashed for Easter dinner and decided to obtain a bit more. So… The GG hung out in a NO PARKING ZONE while I ran through the market to buy what I needed. No asparagus yet (but I knew that). It’ll be coming soon.

All of this happened in drenching rain so it was extra fun. After the market, we did a River Ride with the goal of eating lunch at the bar at Dexter’s Pub. Problem? The place was slammed! Apparently we were not the only people who wanted to go to the pub for lunch. So no seats at the bar, which was what we wanted. In the end, a nice gentleman who was sitting between two empty seats kindly moved over one and we had our pub lunch.

The pic is of two bloodroot plants still wrapped up warmly in their leaves. Credit to my Mouse for this pic (and permission to post it). The huge rain we had today and the sun and warmer temperatures we’re supposed to get in the near future will kick spring into full gear although I would not be surprised if Old Man Winter throws a few more snowballs at us. Yes, Michigan.

Vac 6

April 19th, 2019 by kayak woman

So what do you buy someone who has “everything” for their birthday? Actually, his birthday isn’t quiiiite yet but I gave him his new drudge toy early. It is a Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner.

When I came home from Cubelandia today, the house smelled like cleaning products (no Febreze, thank you very much) and the new purple vacuum cleaner had obviously been in use. I think it is a keeper. We’re adding it to our stable of vacs. Lemme see… A big Hoover upright vac, the Electrolux canister vac that my uncle used in his medical office back in the 1950s, a shop vac, Roooooomba, and there has got to be another one but I fergit whut. And now this one, cordless and bagless but able to easily reach difficult places to dust and eradicate spider webs and things.

Hey, I wanted to buy him a drone but he seems to be happy with a vacuum cleaner. What can I say?

Live by the Golden Rule

April 18th, 2019 by kayak woman

First a Twitter play:

KW [surveying some household disorder in the Landfill Back Room]: We’re having actual guests on Sunday.

GG [tongue in cheek]: Then you better get going and clean the house.

KW: [aaah!!!]

GG: [silent giggling]


Okay, I am lucky enough to have a good job (knock on wood) and I live with the loverly Suzy Homemaker.

Today Suze was two-and-a-half outta three.

1) It’s Garbage Day Eve and he met me IN the driveway as I arrived at home. He asked if I wanted him to take the bins down to the curb. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I would love that. But wait! There is a bag of garbage in the chitchen that needs to go out and a couple of recycling items. Ha ha! He was taking the chitchen garbage outside and complaining about how horrible the smell was. And then he remembered that the smell was Febreze 🐽🐽🐽. The sooner we get through those garbage bags, the better. (Or maybe I should offer them up on Nextdoor Neighbor and see if anyone wants them. For free. Hmmm…)

2) The dishes he used today were washed and air-drying in the bamboo rack. Most of them could’ve gone into Bertie to be washed later but I’ll take it.

3) Bzzzzt! I put a load of laundry in this morning before I took my 0-skunk-30 walk. I put it into the dryer before I left for work. When I got home, it was still down in there. But. Suze was only too happy to retrieve it for me so he gets a half-point for that.

Note that I can do any and all of these things myself with absolutely NO PROBLEM and often do and sometimes WANT TO. Today I was happy not to have to.

Oh yeah, that report? I am not surprised. That doesn’t mean I support the Orange Baboon. I think he is the worst president ever, not to mention human being. Yes there *are* some Bad Hombres out there and I believe the OB is one of them (although I doubt he is killing people or selling them into slavery). I cannot for the life of me fathom why anyone with any kind of reading comprehension and critical thinking skills cannot sort through all of his Word Salad and Twitter Crapola to decipher his lies, gaslighting, and ugly swipes at people who disagree with him for whatever reason.

I cannot for the life of me fathom why any woman would be attracted to the Orange Baboon unless she was doing it for money. I would have to hold my nose to get within 50 feet of him (of course I’m sure he wouldn’t be interested in me either).

I am not a particularly knowledgeable person when it comes to polly-ticks. Although I am not religious, I do try to live by the Golden Rule I learned back in Sunday School at the Sault Ste. Siberia mainstream Methodist church. I see Trump through the lens of the Golden Rule and he is not cutting it in my not-so-humble-opinion. I hope our country survives his presidency and I hope he is a one-term president.

Love y’all, KW


April 17th, 2019 by kayak woman

So, I took the compost out a few days ago. I walked all the way out to the southeastern corner of the Landfill backyard, where the compost bin has *always* been. And. It wasn’t there!

This empty spot is where it was. Note that you can also see the back end of our dilapidated, tree-damaged metal shed. You know the kind. It’s where you store all kinds of cosmic debris if you don’t have a garatchkey (besides the front closet). Lawnmowers and other lawn tools, snowblowers and other snow tools, Sugar and Jealousy if they still exist, a big metal cFam thingy with a picture of a Marine (?) on it and a spray-painted swastika. I think. I am too lazy to walk back there and look right now. Or maybe The Pensioner [finally] got rid of it. I dunno. He tried to give it to Victoria of Protective Fish a couple years ago but she deftly side-stepped the offer.

A disclaimer re the swastika thing: the GG and his family are not Nazi sympathizers. His dad spent WWII in the South Pacific on the Hornet aircraft carrier. The GG has a few “oddities” in his “collection” and that is all I can think of to say. We have often joked that I’m just waiting for him to die to get rid of that thing. And that awful painting in the Freakout Chamber. AND THAT HORRIFYING MANNEQUIN in the Landfill Dungeon that freaks me out EVERY time I see it even though it has been around here for YEARS! Of course I do not want The Pensioner to die any time soon.

Anyway, I was nonplussed about the missing compost bin for a split-second and then I remembered that we (aka The Pensioner) are about to embark on a prodject to jettison the crappy old metal shed and build a loverly new one. I turned 180 degrees and there on the northeast corner of the Landfill back yard, was the compost bin. Note that we are not prolific gardeners but the compost bin does provide me with soil to pot my impatiens in. I’m remembering that the first thing The Pensioner did upon his retaaaarment was to rebuild our compost bin…

Sugar and Jealousy? They are cute little plastic sleds. Sugar is pink and what color do you think Jealousy is? One winter back in the Jurassic Age, I used to have to keep a bowl of warm water on the front porch so Sugar and Jealousy had something to drink. And once, after a big wet snowstorm, one of the beach urchins came home from school in tears. I was surprised because it was rare for one of my beach urchins to come home crying even when a tear-worthy event may have happened (“my eraser was stolen but I got it back”, [told to me in almost a whisper] etc.)

That particular day, the tears were real because a tragedy was waiting to happen. The kids had all made “snowballs” at recess and my beach urchin was terrified that someone would destroy her cute snowball (“others who are not girls”, no doubt). What did I do about this? Of course I saddled up Sugar and we went over to the schoolyard, loaded up Cute Snowball and hauled her home, where she proceeded to melt undisturbed in the Landfill front yard. I soooo miss those days.

P.S. I was about to spell “nonplussed” with a hyphen, i.e., “non-plussed”, but something the systems analyst (emphasis on “anal”) in me made me do The Google and I found out that it is not hyphenated in any way, shape, or form. I also wanted to make sure I was using the correct meaning and I was. I seriously doubt that “nonplussment” is a word 🐸

Oh yeah. Yes, almost everything is brown and kind of oogly around here these days. Give it a week or two and The North Shall Rise Again!

Tin Foil Hat woman

April 16th, 2019 by kayak woman

I’d post the pic of yer fav-o-rite blahgger wearing the household Tin Foil Hat but it is an oooogly of titanic proportions and I do actually have a bit of vanity going on so you get this beauteous crocus instead.

The Tin Foil Hat was specially hand-made by the GG in the earlier days of his re-taaaarrr-ment. Contrary to most of the Tin Foil Hat folks, I don’t reach for our Tin Foil Hat when Rush “Limbo” tells me to. I reach for it *before* listening to Rush.

Long ago a fellow (beloved) cFam out-law dubbed me “The Family Liberal” (that story is funny as all getout but it isn’t exactly internetable) so y’all are wonderin’ why I listen to Rush “Limbo”. Well, I don’t, at least not frequently. But on a recent trip up to the Great White North, someone else turned on Patriot Radio and I decided to listen to the old entertainer for a bit to see what kind of crapola he was gonna spew upon his fan base.

As it turned out, I actually agreed with some of what ol’ Rush was saying. I can’t remember the exact details but it was something about the Mueller investigation report. I have never believed that the Mueller investigation would end in a Trump impeachment. Frankly I don’t think Trump is, well, maybe “savvy” is the best word, enough to “collude” with Russia unless the “collusion” involves a new Trump tower. So I didn’t hang my hopes on the investigation to get rid of the Orange Baboon. I’m with my new fave politician Nancy, “he isn’t worth it.” And will someone *please* define “collusion” to the OB (and his base) and educate him/them about the fact that it isn’t a legal term? Labels are important!

What I did NOT like about the “entertainment” was the nasty inflammatory language Rush was using to rile up his fan base. We all need to be *talking* to each other and such language only serves to divide us further. For example, I want to know why the “Trumpers” feel so threatened by immigrants. To my mind, these “convoys” that approach our southern border largely consist of bedraggled, desperate people trying to escape horrific living conditions, like many of our own ancestors did. And when the Orange Baboon says stuff like “our country is full”, I don’t believe he is basing his statements upon facts. I don’t know what the facts are but when I hear people refuting his reckless statements, they are generally speaking calmly and citing statistics, not ranting and raving about anyone they disagree with.

Sorry about that. This started out with our first crocus and a tin foil hat and turned into a stream-of-consciousness rant. And that made me remember that during the couple years my brother was alive to read my blahg (and occasionally guest blahg), he liked when I did incoherent stream-of-consciousness stuff. I wonder if he wouldda liked this one or what he might’ve thought almost 14 years after he died. He didn’t always agree with me about politics but I think he may have listened to my views. But. Missing you tonight, brother…


April 15th, 2019 by kayak woman

So, I was uncharacteristically nervous about driving down to Detroit on Saturday. It’s not like I haven’t droven down there about a gazillion times before what with visiting various people incarcerated at the good old Henry Ford Hoosegow for days on end.

It was *partly* because when I go to Mexicantown, if I miss my exit, I will end up on the Ambassador Bridge, which means I am going across the border into Cananananada. I have never missed that exit but people do and it is not as easy to return from an accidental border crossing these days as it was when my old [late] friend Ozone Bob drove up to Sault Ste. Siberia from someplace in the northern lower. He *forgot* that he had crossed the Mackinac Bridge (which connects Michigan to Michigan) and so when he got to the International Bridge (which connects Michigan to Ontario, Canada) he paid the toll and crossed it. When asked at Canadian customs, “What do you have to declare?” He replied, “Paraphernalia! I don’t want to go to Canada!” The paraphernalia was for his head shop and Canadian customs simply turned him around without making a national incident out of it. I’m thinking Canadian customs called American customs and said something like, “We’re sending this guy back. We didn’t want him in Canada.” I’ve heard that it isn’t all that easy in this day and age of “terrorists” and “gang members” and various other “Bad Hombres” that the Orange Baboon seems to think are thronging our borders. But I managed NOT to go to Canada. I got off an exit or so early at Vernor Highway and I know my way from there.

But really, what I was nervous about was the Dreaded Dashboard Lights. I had no reason to be nervous. The Ninja is getting up there in years but it (knock on wood) purrs along like nobody’s business. And so it did, all the way to Detroit, all over downtown Detroit, and all the way home to The Planet Ann Arbor. No Dashboard Lights, no matter how many times I nervously checked the dashboard.

Guess what? The GG was rattling around in the Great White North all weekend in the Frog Hopper and THAT vee-hickle lit Dashboard Lights and was running “rough”. He managed to limp home this morning and GUESS WHAT!?! The Subaru dealer cannot get the Frog Hopper in for a MONTH! I cannot believe that for the price we paid for that vee-hickle, they can’t provide better service than that.

It’s okay, he is taking it to somebody else that works on Subarus. There are plenty of people around here that do. But boy oh boy am I annoyed. If I have any real say about our next chosen vee-hickle, which is coming up sooner than we want it to, we will be buying a[nother] Honda. Never a problem getting into Honda for service. I mean, if there weren’t other shops around here that can work on Subarus, what were we supposed to do? Rent a car for a month? No.

I know that the Notre Dame Cathedral story is (so far) the story of the day but did anyone see the Killer Cassowary story? You’ve heard of “Florida Man”? This is “Florida Bird”. Maybe with a bit of “Florida Man” thrown in given that the man owned a cassowary? Sorry that he died but jeeze. And the cathedral story is horrific but not too surprised that it lit up like it did, given all of the ancient wood in that place.

Fugly enough to be beautiful

April 14th, 2019 by kayak woman

That describes the weather today. Rain/snow/whatever. Other people in the lower Great Lakes area are posting pics of actual snow. Ninja had a wee bit of wet snow on her veeeendsheeeelds but that was about it. We always get a few days like this in April. I am totally wallowing in the fugliness! I jumped around in the early AM and got my walking and gas/grokkery-getting out of the way early so I could get settled in with my book and all the xwords I’ve been hoarding all week before Sunday Morning Jazz started.

I got to see one of my beach urchins over @Plum and, I impulsively handed her some cash to “go do something fun”. The beach urchins do not need money from me. Yesterday, the other beach urchin paid for my haircut and subsequent lunch. That was a xmas gift that I didn’t cash in on earlier because it had to happen on a Saturday and I didn’t want to have to cancel a scheduled haircut if a blizzard or ice storm happened that prevented me from getting there.

Handing out random bits of cash is a tradition I guess I am carrying on from The Commander, who would occasionally spring a $50 bill on me during her later years. Once I was standing at the counter in Barry Bagels and somehow DROPPED one of her $50s on the floor. A fellow patron alerted me to that fact and, as I picked it up, I laughed, explaining, “$50 dollar bills come from my mother.” He said he wished she would give *him* a $50 bill too, which was particularly funny because I think he was a lot closer in age to my mother than to me.

Oh yeah, I had a coupon misadventure. I am not a coupon user (except for the electronic ones that come with the @Plum app) but somehow some Meijer coupons came in the mail for products that I actually buy, I mean like *all the time*. Dish detergent, terlet paper, laundry detergent pods, and whatnot, all of them *brands* I actually buy. Okay, so I will use the coupons.

Problem. Do I know how to use coupons at the UScan? No I do not. My method involved swiping the item, then immediately swiping the coupon. Then after I “swope” the next item, the musheen would get confused and tell me there was an item on the scale that didn’t belong there and was I using my own bag. I was in fact using my own bag but said bag was in my trolley, not on the scale. That meant that the cashier had to come over and jumpstart the musheen to get it going again.

The second time this happened, a light bulb came on in my head and I asked her if my coupons were contributing to this problem. Yes, yes they were and she instructed me to save my coupons until the end. I made sure to *thank* her for being so friendly and patient with me, obviously a complete Coupon Klutz! The uscans were SLAMMED this morning and she was running all over the place fixing all kinds of problems for people. Grocery store cashiers deserve to be paid a LOT more money!

Thanks to “Morgrat” (Margaret), I am reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and LOVING IT! In fact, I am not far from finishing it but I had to put it down in order to get dinner ready… Even though… I am eating solo tonight… So dinner amounts to heating up leftovers…

In which I loose a *lot* of weight and do NOT go to Cananananada!

April 13th, 2019 by kayak woman

In terms of hair, that is. I have a *lot* of hair and it was reeeaaallly long and driving me NUTS. My fave Hair Perfectionist cut a lot of it off today (she even cut a lot of it off before she washed it, why bother washing hair that’s gonna be cut off anyway🐸) and I *think* she even thinned it a bit in the back. She told me what I sorta already knew, that my straight-looking hair is pretty dern curly underneath. Which is probably why it looks scraggly so much of the time.

So, getting a haircut these days also means a drive down into the “Motor City” to meet up with my own beach urchin who discovered this Hair Perfectionist. She has moved her business to a new location since I last got my hair cut and this is what the building and entrance looks like. Ringing a doorbell is necessary to gain entrance to this black box.

The next pic shows what the place looks like *inside*. I have no clue what this building originally was. It now resides on an open piece of land surrounded by The Casino and other large structures. Detroit is such an interesting city…

After my haircut, we parked at MOCAD, where my beach urchin has worked for a number of years, and walked a couple of blocks to the Motor City Brewery for beer/whine and pizza. I always hand my car keys to Lizard Breath when I go to Detroit and let her drive me around so it wasn’t until today when we *walked* from MOCAD to Motor City Brewery, that I realized they were two blocks away from each other…

I don’t really understand the road/freeway geography of Detroit. As a young child, I rode in the back seat of my Detroit grandaddy’s Cadillac when we visited them on Mark Twain Street. Nowadays they have a great-grandchild who lives in Mexican Town and she drives me around, albeit not in a Cadillac. Worlds collide a bit for me albeit softly.

Nevertheless, I did manage to navigate the trickiness of getting on to the correct freeway to get me back to The Planet Ann Arbor. And going down to Mexican Town, I managed not to get on to the Ambassador Bridge…

Because I have to post something…

April 12th, 2019 by kayak woman

I am not at the beach and I am kinda puzzled that it looks like there is a bote on the beach. I thought all of the botes were in the garatchkey for the winter but I could be wrong. Anyway, since me and the GG take care of the botes and this bote in particular is *ours*, there is no reason for any of the fainting-type Fin folk to get their underwear in a bunch. The bote will be fine and North Shall Rise Again. Soon!

Oh man, I decided to “work” from home this afternoon. Was I productive? No way, Jose. I totally got myself distracted. In part by finishing the book Middlesex. Wow! I have no clue what I want to read next. I will make up my slack time by putting in some time working this weekend but how do I follow that book?

Labels are important

April 11th, 2019 by kayak woman

When I was in high school, I learned definitions for terms like “communism”, “socialism”, “democracy”, “republic”, “monarchy”, “dictatorship”, and others. I also learned all about the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and how that division kept our government’s balance of power.

Nowadays… I could probably remember how to solve a quadratic equation if my life depended on it. I definitely know how to structure almost any kind of writing assignment and that’s largely how I make my living (don’t refer to this blahg as a shining example of my writing).

I do not remember a lot of the civics/government lessons of my youth. I so wish I did. I wonder how many folks my age remember their civics/government classes. Some of them prob’ly do but they also may not remember how to solve quadratic equations.

What does communism (or whatever system you want to talk about) mean and how does one decide that this or that American politician is a communist (or whatever)?

I do NOT like the Orange Baboon, not one blasted little bit. I really don’t like the kind of person he has always shown himself to be and I think he is a terrible president but I will not label him as, say, a racist (among other things). Whether or not Trump is racist, I am not sure that labeling him as such is going to help those of us who cannot stand him to get rid of him.

Please, please, please, everyone. When you click over to news articles on facebook, please do not share them without reading them and thinking about them and the language they include.

Oh, and this is April in the Great White North. This pic is from the GG up in Gaylord. I am home on The Planet where there is no snow.

Love y’all, KW!

Note to self…

April 10th, 2019 by kayak woman

…Read the LABEL the next time you buy garbage bags, especially if you are buying them for the chitchen. Last time I bought “tall kitchen garbage bags”, I either totally spaced out the presence of the word “Febreze” on the box or had my eye on some regular unscented garbage bags and grabbed the wrong box. It turns out I HATE the smell of Febreze! Now I am working my way through 40(!) Febreze scented bags. The smell doesn’t really bother me much until I get enough garbage in the bag that something starts to stink. To my nose, the interaction of Febreze with, say, chicken bones, makes it WORSE. Wanna mask a bad smell? Douse it with a chemical scent! (Not!)

Hmm… I finally figured out that Febreze garbage bags are probably what the GG has been smelling the last few weeks… He keeps asking “do you smell something?” He asks me because I [normally] have a Super Nose.

We’ll interrupt this terribly important blahg entry for a Twitter play.

Setting: The Landfill Chitchen (the OLD FUGLY one):
College Age Beach Urchin: Moom, what is that smell in the refrigerator?
KW [without looking in the refrigerator]: Old dead broccoli.

Febreze is not a smell I have encountered before.

The Commander used to tell a story about how they took me to a pig farm when I was a young toddler and apparently I did something very funny with my nose (I can’t remember how she described it). Well, wouldn’t you react negatively to pig farm odors if you hadn’t been to a pig farm before. Why were we at a pig farm? I do not know! I think “we” knew the farmer somehow but I don’t EVER remember my family EVER going to a pig farm again.

For the record, I usually freeze chicken bones and other food-based garbage items until trash/recycle/compost pickup day. Which requires a ziplock bag… I am trying to reduce my use of throwaway plastic bags of all sorts… But that might be an entry for another day except to say I *am* using far fewer ziplocks than I was even last summer.

And no (since I have once again been asked the question), I will not vote for Trump EVER, even if his opponent is labeled as a “Communist”. MAGA MAGA MAGA Dump Dump Trump! (To be clear, by not re-electing him, not by impeachment.) Why do I feel a need to hold my nose right now? 🐽🐽🐽

Paperorplastic paperorplastic paperorplastic

April 9th, 2019 by kayak woman

Years ago when the beach urchins were small and I schlepped them over to the Westgate Kroger to do the grocery shopping, there was a guy working as a bagger over there who seemed to have Tourette’s Syndrome or something. One day, in addition to his typical tics, he must’ve asked me 20 times “Paper or plastic?”. Over and over and over again. I looked at Elsie, the Uber Cashier who was somehow related to The Burkes (who lived next door to us then). I whispered, “Is he stuck?” She just rolled her eyes.

No that wasn’t “nice” of me but I don’t think the beach urchins were old enough to “get my drift” (but ya nevah know) and I knew Elsie would. Tourette’s or not, I think this man had multiple issues going on and I am glad Kroger was willing to employ a harmless if rather difficult person. Since the Plum Market moved in I don’t shop at Kroger much any more. I kind of think that both Elsie and the paperorplastic guy have died…

I do my best to take my own bags to the grocery store. Backpack, Chico bags, and others. I have been doing that for years. I hate when I get to a big grocery store and don’t have my own bags and the cashier bags umpteen gazillion items two to a plastic bag. I can use a certain number of plastic grocery bags to line small wastebaskets but I would rather not take plastic grocery bags home at all… Especially not to the moomincabin…

…but I do not have a dog… NPR posted an interesting article about the issues surrounding plastic grocery bags. The gist (one of the gists) is that if plastic bags are banned at the checkout, people who typically re-use those bags buy small plastic *garbage bags* (in boxes) to pick up Rover’s poop and line their smaller wastebaskets. And then there’s the whole thing about if we use paper grocery bags, we are cutting down trees to make them. But then what do we do about the giant bag fields in Kenya or the garbage patches in our oceans?

I do not have an answer. The pic is my own mound of outerwear for the various temperatures we endure around here in the winter. None of it will be garbage for a loooong time. It is on an ugly green armchair in our front living room and consists of three jackets, a LOVERLY pair of Smartwool leggings, a long wool skirt, I dunno how many scarves, three balaclavas, a bomber hat, my cute red hat, my purple skiband, and glubs. When I am suiting up in the dark in the winter, I have to use my iPhone flashlight to find my purple skiband because everything looks black, even with the LED twinkle lights that keep The Landfill at a twilight zone level of light throughout our long winter nights. Yes of course I could turn on a *regular light* but that would take all the fun out of it.

The obligatory annual crocus pic

April 8th, 2019 by kayak woman

I took the pic a few days ago. Today was the first day in I can’t think how long that I did not have to suit up to walk and then head over to work. I put on a tank top (and skirt and tights) with a lightweight red plaid jacket on and waltzed out to the Ninja without any kind of hat or glubs. 57 degrees! This afternoon, I am in the Landfill backyard wearing a tie-dyed tshirt and polarfleece vest (and maxi skirt) watching mourning doves do nesting-type activities. In an old bluejay nest. We are not finished with Old Man Winter yet but I’ll take what I can get.

So now I am reading Middlesex. I am enjoying it although there is some squickiness and I’m not sure it would be everyone’s cup of tea, especially not “stodgy” old “church-going” people but I read a lot of stuff like that. A long time ago before ebooks, I read The Virgin Suicides by the same author. Again I enjoyed it (except for some squickiness). They are both set (largely) in the Detroit area, which makes them especially interesting. How many popular novels are set in Detroit or even Michigan? Not very many.

I actually started reading Middlesex a loooooong time ago, again, back when I didn’t read on my iPhone. I’m not sure what happened that I didn’t finish it. It went missing, probably via a beach urchin biblioklept. Then… A few years later, we were at The Commander’s house. I mean “Grandma’s Other House, the Real House, Where She Lives Some of the Days” aka her house on Dillon Street, not the moomincabin. The book Middlesex somehow surfaced (I can’t remember how) but tucked in between the pages of the book was my Sunday School Kindergarten Graduation certificate. I do not know how it got there and didn’t even really remember the certificate or whatever it was. It seems like an odd book to bookmark with someone’s Sunday School Graduation certificate given the subject matter of the book. Wheeeeee!

For whatever reason, I didn’t continue the book even then but now I am. This is my fourth book since the ivory carver trilogy and I am up to something like 23 or 24 books out of my Goodreads challenge for the year, which is 52 books.


Chainsaw guy

April 7th, 2019 by kayak woman

Relatively quiet Sunday on the Planet Ann Arbor. We headed down to Swan Corners mid morning, about the time Sunday Morning Jazz starts on the EMU NPR station. I love Sunday Morning Jazz. It is usually old old old jazz. I do not know all that much about jazz but I like certain types of music running along in the background of my life and I love old jazz on Sunday morning.

We eventually found a pair of swans at Swan Corners today. They were digging down into the water dredging up nesting material. I didn’t even try to take a picture. I knew my iPhone wouldn’t do the situation justice. In fact, I didn’t take any photos throughout our little jaunt through the back roads, purring along in the Ninja. There was plenty of beauty in the bare bones of the trees in this early spring season but it isn’t all that easy to photograph. Instead, it was an audio trip! Every time we encountered the least little bit of water, we heard a chorus of amphibians. I can’t count how many times we stopped to roll down the windows and turn off the radio to listen.

Later at the Landfill, our Mouse came over for dinner and laundry. We had a wee bit of chainsaw business back behind our backyard. A tree fell over onto our crappy old tin shed last summer and the GG has a permit in place to build a new shed. He asked our Mouse to hand the chainsaw over the fence to him so he could rip up parts of the fallen tree and here he is doing the deed in his chainsaw chaps.

Why hand the chainsaw over the fence to him? Well, because getting into the woods requires walking down the block and around the corner to the entrance. As Mouse said, it probably wouldn’t be a great idea for him to be walking around the neighborhood carrying a chainsaw… I agree but I can’t help remembering that before we bought the Landfill more years ago than I am strong enough to count, he walked around the neighborhood checking out the (then) neighbors with a small pair of binoculars. Who lived here? Could they pay their rent? After all these years I would say yes, mostly at least. It is a wonderful neighborhood to live and raise children in.

Farmers market pasty intrigue

April 6th, 2019 by kayak woman

Of course I bought lettuce from our Blissfield friends. I bought potatoes and onions and Emergency Swordfish Scallopini, and a whole chicken and some tenderloin for tonight’s stroganoff.

I wanted to buy some stuffed cabbage but I could not find the Polish folks. I did find pasties. It wasn’t Uncle Peter’s pasties. It was a woman from Copper Harbor who was using her great-grandmother’s recipe from Cornwall, in England.

Of course I had to ask if she had driven down from Copper Harbor to do the A2 farmers market. Of course not. She lives in Plymouth now. Okay. What happened to Uncle Peter’s pasties? I didn’t ask that point blank but I mentioned Uncle Peter. Oh myyyy. He is not doing that business any more. I won’t say anything else about that although I got a few unasked for details about it (a divorce…). Today’s pasty woman said, “Wait until you taste *my* pasties.” And they do look good.

The GG left a sorta battered Protective Fish with its creator Victoria so she can refurbish it and I eventually caught up with him watching a couple of Little Brown Birds trying to kill each other. I tried to watch this for a while but eventually I couldn’t watch any more and so retreated to the Ninja to work on the xword.

The Witch of the Great White North

April 5th, 2019 by kayak woman

The freaky expression is mostly because I don’t really have any expertise at taking selfies. I can’t quiiiite figger out how to get the eyes right somehow… Not really looking for help here, just ‘splainin’.

The GG somehow likes my hair like this. I think it looks scraggly as all getout. I grew up wanting long hair but The Commander kept getting me what she called “pixie” cuts. Moom, I am NOT a pixie. I thought long hair would make me a beautiful girl. Except that I was also kind of what we used to call a “tom boy” in those days. I mean I could beat most of the boys in our south side Sault Ste. Siberia neighborhood in running and jumping and other street games and prided myself on that. So not sure how all of that fits together.

Alas, junior high came along and I stopped playing in the streets because it wasn’t “cool” any more. I walked downtown to the junior high carrying my clipboard and books in my left arm, flute in right hand. I grew my blonde hair long and did my best to follow the latest fashions. This was helped by trips to visit my Detroit grandparents where The Comm and I shopped at the downtown Hudson’s store where she worked before she was married but I also sewed a lot of stuff myself. (Don’t get me wrong, none of this made me “cool”.)

So just before I got up at 0-skunk-30 this morning, the GG muttered “Timothy Leary” in his sleep. I’m not sure what that dream was all about but tonight he streamed the Moody Blues song a while back and has segued from there through may tunes from the 60s to Sky Pilot. YouTube has a ton of Viet Nam helicopter footage set to 60s rock if you ever have some idle time to fill and a few tears to cry.

Viet Nam was scary as hell when I was a teenager. Nobody wanted to go over there. My second boyfriend in high school was old enough to get sent to war but he was in college so he had a deferment and then got a high draft number so he never had to serve. The GG squeaked by because the war ended before he graduated from high school. I fergit what his draft number was but I didn’t know him until quite a few years later so it wasn’t important by that time.

I am off on too many tangents and I cry when I hear songs like Sky Pilot so I will quit for the night.

Bankin’ biz

April 4th, 2019 by kayak woman

Meet Trunky! She is in the bankin’ biz. She belongs to a beach urchin and the GG dredged her out and filled her up and fixed her ears? Maybe? Back in the day, the beach urchin would fill Trunky up with coins and then hit me up for cash to exchange for Trunky’s coins.

I would then get the job of rolling the coins and taking them over to deposit at the Maple Village bank branch. That was okay. Back in those days I spent a lot of my time counting cash and coins for various non-profit orgs and taking it all over to the bank to deposit. The bank branch I used then has since closed and I wonder if Eleanor the teller is still around the neighborhood. I was on a first-name basis with her. She may occasionally wonder about me too. After I got out of the non-profit treasurer biz, I rarely had to do anything *inside* the bank. Almost everything I ever need to do can be accomplished online nowadays. Oh, once I went inside to get a cashier’s check from her. To buy a new vee-hickle! It was a fugly, snowy day and she and I commiserated about what an awful day it was to buy a new car, one that the Honda dealer had to dig out of a snowbank (it was a stick shift and nobody else wanted it).

Did I ever exchange Trunky’s coins for non-profit treasury cash? Yes, probably, if it was handy and I didn’t have any personal paper cash. I usually counted and removed treasury money out of the Landfill PDQ. I always made a fair trade though and Trunky never came out even one penny ahead. I was more interested in bookkeeping and counting money than embezzling or even commingling funds. I am much more interested in the DATA involved than trying to abscond with a few twenties (or more).

If you are one of my few regulars, you’ve heard this before but it never fails to amaze me that I, a banker’s daughter (and granddaughter), a college MUSIC MAJOR, ended up in the on-line banking biz, even though I don’t work at a bank or deal with money. LOL!

PS. Don’t look at the shirt…🐽

Toilet Tornado

April 3rd, 2019 by kayak woman

Who created this piece of art? I do not know. The GG has been on the move this week, dredging through old files and paperwork and I’m not sure where he found this artifact but he presented it to me along with a notecard that included a control file from my childhood job at That Darn EPA and a bunch of camping-type receipts and other ephemera from our honeymoon trip through Cananananada to the beautiful maritime provinces. I do not want to keep all of it but I haven’t sorted through it yet. I didn’t even know we still had all of that stuff.

So my first thought was that one of the beach urchins created this after our encounter with the Toilet Tornado. But I dunno. For one thing, this is a watercolor and I’m not sure the beach urchins had mastered this kind of skill, at least not around the time we were hit by the Toilet Tornado. Also, this pic is on water and there are boats. We ran into the Toilet Tornado in our loverly Island Teal minivan, the POC, on the freeway.

I do not know who painted this beautiful pic but I will (again) tell the story of our encounter with a tornado on the northbound I75 SUV Speedway, July 4th weekend of 1997. We were headed north for a long weekend at Houghton Lake and the moominbeach. There were weather warnings. We got just north of Flint (yes, *that* Flint) when things got fugly. The sky was black as all getout and the radio was blaring tornado warnings and faaaar engines were sitting on top of highway bridges, waiting at the ready.

I was driving and there was a rest area and the GG said to pull in. I was freaked out, so I did. I saw a guy walking around with a coffee cup. How can he be so nonchalant? I was ready to go hide underneath a crappy old rest area toilet. The GG told me to drive OUT of the rest area. I was not happy about this but we got onto the freeway entrance ramp and he said, “Stop here.” The tornado rolled through at that point. It rocked the POC a bit but that was about it. A highway sign near us broke off and I will never forget seeing a young woman running, crying, out of her overturned car on the freeway.

Mouse was behind me during all of this and I reached back and grabbed her hand at the beginning of it. I could see Liz back in the 3rd minivan seat and I wanted to reach her but I couldn’t. For miles after that we drove slowly through blinding sheets of heavy rain and eventually my mouse let go of my hand.

When we reached Hoton Lake that night we called home and left a message on the answering musheen (remember those?) to check on all of the stuffed aminals and let them know things were okay.

“Gogol was Goggle-eyed!”

April 2nd, 2019 by kayak woman

So, when was it that I finished reading the ivory carver trilogy? I wrote about starting this trilogy a while back (when the moon was full) and I absolutely devoured it in full-tilt Outlander style. I remember wondering what to read after my Martian binge (“The Martian” and then Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”, which I read as a teenager and apparently remembered *nothing* of).

I started in on the first book in the ivory carver series (“Mother Earth, Father Sky”) because… 1) it is on the bookshelves at the moomincabin. 2) I knew that an eastern yooperland woman wrote it (which is probably why it’s at the moomincabin) and I very recently learned that she is the s-i-l of a North Country Trail friend. Mars to prehistoric Alaska? Somehow it worked for me. Kayaking (ikyaking) around to various beach communities is kinda right up my alley although my kayaking is just for fun and not a skill I need for survival.

I am a wee bit surprised that when I google the ivory carver trilogy, the info about it that shows up on the sidebar labels it a young adult series. As it turns out, when one of the beach urchins was about 13, she read the first book while we were at the moomincabin for a few weeks. She recently told me that she was a little surprised that she was “allowed” to read it then. When I finally read it, I understood why. Although it is not exactly what The Commander used to call a “potboiler”, there was sex and violence aplenty. Not to mention slavery.

Not sure if I can put my feelings about this into coherent words right now but… YA lit has evolved quite a bit since the Jurassic Age and I know that difficult topics are often included. This is apropos because a lot of teenagers experience sex and violence aplenty. And slavery.

I loved reading books to my children from the get-go and I did not shy away from children’s books that some people might think were a little iffy, like Gorky Rises. It’s kind of an LSD trip of a book – Frog mixes a magic potion that makes him float up into the air – but I chose to read it to my young children as a fantastic adventure. I certainly never prohibited my children from reading whatever book they wanted to read as children and nowadays I snag a lot of my books from their Goodreads posts.

Knowing this beach urchin, I am pretty sure she could handle the ivory carver trilogy at that age. I know I could have.

One of the “fun” characters in the ivory carver series is a combination of the Orange Baboon and Dr. Smith of the old Lost in Space TV series.

Aaaapple Cup Apple Cup Apple Cup

April 1st, 2019 by kayak woman

Something about the title is making me remember one of the beach urchins toddling around yelling “Yeeeeellow cup! Yellow cup! Yellow cup!” It was time for me to regain a bit more control over my body and she absolutely REFUSED to use a bottle. Perish the thought. The yellow cup worked and nowadays I’m kind of wondering where all of those old plastic sippy cups went. Probably got chewed up enough that I threw them out.

So, the Little Boots Diner is one of those places that puts out a random assortment of coffee mugs, which is always fun. A couple years ago I ended up with a Queen of Everything mug there. It would’ve been even better if it was a QOFE mug but I don’t think a QOFE mug would be appropriate at a family diner. I did once see a safe sex themed mug at a breakfast place but that was a “hip” breakfast place down in Dee-troit. Even though it did not contain a swear word, it probably wouldn’t make the cut at Little Boots.

Anyway, The Apple Cup was pretty appropriate since we bought our first Apple computer back in 1979 and haven’t looked back. We still own our original Apple II+ plus a second one that we got from somewhere. They both still work… … … We have stacks of Apple laptops and iPhones.

That said, I am a little grumpy that my current MacBook Pro is doing some weird things that I don’t have time to debug. One is that it keeps telling me (like three times each time I power it up) that there’s something wrong with iCloud and I need to sign in to fix it. 1) I only use the cloud (I think) to store my most recent 1,000 photos or whatever. 2) I have tried (a few times) to sign in to fix it and I immediately get a text message on my iPhone that someone is trying to access my account from some random city. This is not user friendly. And then there’s some weird sideways sliding when I try to change to the Photo app. I used to be able to correct this but… hmmm…

Nevertheless, I am not ready to switch to the Other Side. I have a loverly Dell laptop for work. I have gotten to be friends with Windows over the years. The thing is that I don’t own my work laptop. The Mothership owns it. If I have an issue with it, The Mothership reaches in and fixes it. And every few years, they throw a new musheen al me. I’m not sure owning a Windows musheen would be all that easy without The Mothership. Kinda like owning a GM instead of a Honda. My late brother worked for GM but became a huuuge Honda fan before he died 🧡

The main point here is that Little Boots Diner is a wonderful diner. Fast and friendly. Go there if you are ever in the Houghton Lake, Michigan area.