September 2003 Birch Pt. Beach Blog

August 03 | October 03

Mon. Sept. 1 (Labor Day): Drove home in the trashmobile: jeep & trailer full of junk to take to the dump. Refrigerator seems to be okay after all, apparently it's a NORMAL way for side-by-sides to get rid of excess water, which probably collected during the Great Power Outage. At least I got to completely clean the darn thing out! It needed it! But Liz did the right thing, considering -- actually she was a lot calmer than I was once when our old refrigerator sounded like a SEAGULL was trapped inside it :-)

Tue. Sept. 2: VERY skunky around here today. Nauseatingly so early in the morning. Later in the day we shut all the doors to go on a shopping trip and when we returned it was skunky INSIDE the house, but NOT outside! When a smoke alarm randomly decided to set itself off this morning (NO smoke anywhere, not even in the freezer ;-) I couldn't help fantasizing that skunk fumes were responsible. (Yes, I KNOW it's probably a battery issue! :-)

Wed. Sept. 3: Cooking, cleaning, powerbook backups and other drudgery :=/ (don't y'all get too excited about the "cooking" part -- I set off a smoke alarm in the process!)

Thu. Sept. 4: YAG babe rant w/ Paula via email... Kayaking on Huron River w/ Liz this afternoon, GB heron, egret, turtles, etc. We are getting to be AMAZONS about flinging kayaks on and off the jeep!

Fri. Sept. 5: TWO out of three automobiles (van & Honda) were almost completely out of gas this morning, so TWO trips to the gas station & 50-some bucks started out my day! Later on, reconnected with my best college friend SAM (!) after NINE YEARS!! We were WILD way back when and apparently we haven't changed much!! She and John are staying at a friend's house about ONE BLOCK away!

Sat. Sept. 6: kayaking on the Huron. YAG babe screw up on the latest flyer, wasting about a million sheets of paper (sigh!) Wish our customers would ALL use the website so we could get rid of the damn bulk mailings completely. Dinner@Zanzibar w/ Sam, John & their friends from Ft. Wayne who now live a block away. *Everyone* has a g4 powerbook, fun looking at pictures. Liz, Jess & Laura took my van to kzoo to start moving stuff over there for school.

Sun. Sept. 7: Kayaking on the Huron this AM, I got to our turn-around point but the GG (who has a bit of a sore throat) was WAY behind me so I was just hanging out waiting for him. I got out of my kayak and was standing there in the river in bare feet when my cell phone rang with Sue Roe, my WILD Brit theatrical-director friend, on the other end! Uh, Sue? Do you have any idea where I am? A bit later, I was standing on the front bumper of the jeep tying down the kayaks and heard the unmistakable shriek of my WILD friend Vicki, who was riding along on the back of her husband's motorcycle!

Mon. Sept. 8: Monday coffee w/ Marci & Jean then drudgery, drudgery, drudgery. YAG business at both the back and front ends of the post office, cleaned guinea pig cage, errands, cleaning, vacuuming, laundry, making food to freeze, pto tonight.

Tue. Sept. 9: Smooth drive to UP, got here in early afternoon. The octogenarians pointed out that they had already *done* the garbage so I didn't have to witness or be involved in that little weekly performance :-) Kayaked to Cedar Pt., swam, read on beach, then Sam & John showed up around 5 and stayed for dinner. Beach walking, talked to Betty. Hardly anyone is around. Weather is gorgeous.

Wed. Sept. 10: Another calm, sunny day. Talked to Paulette this AM. Kayaked to Cedar Pt. passing gill net. Met octos for lunch @ Penny's Kitchen, then back out, swimming and kayaking, etc. Pete packed big yellow rubber boots into his boat and headed out to the island (no birds left) for an exploratory trip. Reading in kayaK around 4 or so & Grandma came down and yelled for me to come in. Cam had invited us for cocktails so I drove a few octos over there for that.

Thu. Sept. 11: Work Day! Washing & waxing floors, cleaning bathroom & refrigerator (best it's been ALL summer, Grandma is back to normal). That's in between kayaking and walking the beach. Cozy Inn for fish tonight, this kitchen is mostly closed!! :-)

Fri. Sept. 12: Put storm windows on w/ NO blue language this time. Walked beach, did email, etc., kayaked up & down the shore, then drove to Houghton Lake. GG & I kayaked around in the Muskegon River near the Reedsburg Dam. All kinds of people and vehicles here later.

Sat. Sept. 13: Kayaked the Muskegon River from the dam @ Houghton Lake to the Reedsburg Dam. Very marshy river, no place to stop until almost the end of the trip, so if you go, use the bathroom prior to embarking. Parties again last night. This is the first time in years I haven't had to cook at HL, except for when Jim C. is here, that is :-)

Sun. Sept. 14: Immature bald eagle early this morning by the 1st bridge on the other side of the point. Kayaked w/ Scott around the point & into the canals, then GG & I packed up & drove jeep & honda home thru rain and somewhat crazy traffic. GREAT crew @ the cabin this weekend! (Mouse inadvertently replaced MY index page w/ HERS this afternoon :-)

Mon. Sept. 15: After nearly a week of mom jetting around the world (well, okay, driving around Michigan in a dirt-encrusted honda accord) this house is a trash pit. Mice are totally ignoring our traps. Guinea Pig's cage reeks. My junk is still not unpacked from the trip. There has been clean laundry sitting in the dryer all day. All cooking/eating-type surfaces are completely buried w/ mail, papers, & newspapers. I am *chained* to my computer to the point that I recruited a kid chauffer so I could work in the car while we did our errands...

Tue. Sept. 16: The big excitement today (Liz, don't roll your eyes too far into your head, they might get stuck) was getting a passport photo. For Liz, who's looking ahead to junior year study-abroad next year, not for me, my main travel route involves bouncing up and down from Megalopolis to the Great White North, punctuated by occasional jaunts to Kalamazoo or the northern Detroit burbs. But, the next time there's an extended road trip, it's a MOM road trip. The GG has taken both Liz & Mouse on 10-year-old trips & driver's license trips! I'm next, Canuckian Maritimes, here I come. He promised. I'll even try to camp!! (okay, I can say "Canuck" 'cause I'm a celt/canuck/yooper -- but i *hate* the word "yooper" :-) Yeah, it's too late for me to write a blog, I am tired & crazy after a wild YAG board meeting!

Wed. Sept. 17: Nutso-ness is over for now (sorry about yesterday). Walking this AM, I saw "The Rion" (Orion), meaning merely that it's dark when I walk. Went to Vicki's tonight for GNO (Girls Night Out) w/ Vick, Andrea, Yael, and Lainie (I never got her name straight but she was really cool :-) "Lainie" & Vick have met an A2 person who is involved w/ TNC and knew all about our UP land debacle. Besides that, good food, wine, and conversation!!! :-)

Thu. Sept. 18: battling with MICE (AGAIN!) in the kitchen and PAPER all over the house. Am losing ground on both fronts! And the GG, after a few lame tries, figured out what was new about the jeep! I CLEANED it from stem to stern and you can actually see out the windshield. But we still don't know where Mouse's sunglasses are...

Fri. Sept. 19:
1st day freshman year (last year):
We got up @ the crack of dawn. Nobody could eat. The VAN was LOADED w/ stuff! We made umpty-nine-million trips up 3 flights of stairs w/ all that junk. We spent the afternoon surviving a convocation & endless speeches from various teachers & administrators about how our kid wouldn't die at college. People (none of us though) were crying... When we got home, I had to go run a YAG audition but the GG made me make him a drink first.
1st day sophomore year: I got up @ the crack of dawn (I always do :-) but nobody was in a particular rush. We cooked & ate a "big" breakfast. We packed the HONDA up w/ about 1/10th the amount of stuff as she took last year. We left @ around 10:30 & ambled over there on back roads. We made a few measly trips hauling stuff up 3 flights of stairs (AGAIN!). We asked if she needed food and she said she had food in her room, not to worry. Then, we, um, left! No drinking when we got home although we're having one now as the sun is now officially over the yard-arm. (BTW: Thanks Mark (or Pooh maybe?) for Ratzilla -- we have doubled the number of mouse-traps around here and purchased better bait! :-)

Sat. Sept. 20: After the relative excitement of yesterday, today was horribly boring and I couldn't motivate myself to do *anything* much besides fool around with my computer. Liz is gone, summer is really over & I need to figure out *some* way of generating some more income without working for some 28-year-old guy in some office somewhere... so I can send my Mouse to a small private liberal arts college *too*. (And maybe replace my crappy old van someday :-)

Sun. Sept. 21: Lake Erie Metropark for kayaking & hawkfest. Kayaked around Celeron Island, then crossed choppy open water to mainland & watched duck hunters get a duck. Conversed w/ the only other 2 kayakers in the park -- from Columbus, OH. After we got out, the GG hung around with a mob of birders who were counting migrating raptors while I hiked the nature trails. Then we met at the nature center, ate hot dogs, hiked a bit more & headed home. Mouse is industriously cleaning her room w/ an eye to getting new carpet (I won't give specifics about the process but it's been about 3 years :-) We went shopping for something to organize her CD's & some new sunglasses so she can see on the way to school in the morning (the old ones apparently fell thru one of the holes in the jeep :-) :-) :-) Anyway, my "studio" (in the basement) is arguably worse than Mouse's bedroom!!!

Mon. Sept. 22: Raining cats & dogs all day. Web work, word processing, spreadsheet and storms of email to keep up with. Doors keep slamming (wind), scaring the bejeezus out of me. And there are about three different funky odors in here: 1) guinea pig cage 2) some "orange" dusting things (use 'em up, Mouse, I wish I'd never bought them) and 3) i dunno, but it isn't dead mouse...

Tue. Sept. 23: Full time job this week, mostly YAG w/ all of its usual craziness. At least Mouse is happy to be back in rehearsals again. Mouse's cleaning project is taking over my living room and I am still having a terrible time getting excited about cooking anything. Any suggestions, you guys?

Wed. Sept. 24: El ratón insiste en hablar con mí en español -- por un bocado del plátano esta mañana, ningún menos. ¡Ella predice que para el momento en que ella vaya a la universidad, yo voluntad *entienda* español! Pero la dudo y mis 3 años del latín de la High School secundaria de la parte posteriora en las edades oscuras no son mucha ayuda.

Thu. Sept. 25: No Liz, my dear Uncle Harry did *not* do that awful translation, he's fluent :-) I got it from babelfish. Mouse re-translated it for me after she got done laughing but I thought the bad translation was funnier so I left it there. My Spanish-speaking kids...

Fri. Sept. 26: Sure isn't much to say today. Battling w/ the latest rhinovirus, not very sick, just congested & froggy sounding. Using the whole thing as an excuse to not clean the house, etc.

Sat. Sept. 27: Mouse has been a licensed driver since her birthday in April and she *hates* when other people do dumb things like not use turn signals, me included. It can be annoying to be critiqued by a 16-year-old rodent, especially when she is RIGHT! I contend that I usually "forget" only when there's no one around to care, but I've become amazed at how many people do NOT use turn signals at times when *I* am trying to figure out what the HECK they are doing! So put your *%$# blinker on when you're gonna turn or change lanes! (I won't even mention MY pet peeves -- tailgaters and red light runners!)

Sun. Sept. 28: Mouse's room-cleaning project continues with new discoveries daily. Somehow a bunch of candy got down behind/under her dresser, the wrappers were shredded and the candy melted into the carpet. Scurry-mice are the suspected culprits. A big scary dead bug was found (I forget where) but fortunately it was an isolated instance -- she says it was NOT a cockroach. NO rodent skeletons yet.

Mon. Sept. 29: Life is never dull driving an 11-year-old jeep. We (Mom/Mouse) were cruising along N. Maple when liquid splashed down onto Mouse's accelerator foot! We had to stop at the "longest" traffic light in town (N. Maple/Jackson), so Mouse took off her sock & we passed it back & forth & SNIFFED it in an attempt to determine the composition of the liquid! Couldn't smell anything but dirty sock & then we noticed that water was streaming out of the kayaks onto the windshield and on down, so we deduced water & just kept driving, rather than returning home to trade for another old car.

Tue. Sept. 30: And then there's the "jeep wave" which I had never heard of till my kids started driving. Apparently, jeep drivers often wave to other jeep drivers they encounter on the road. I didn't believe this, thinking people were just waving @ my pretty daughters -- until one day random jeep owner waved at ME! (Unless they THOUGHT it was one of my daughters, it's a pretty distinctive car w/ green & purple kayaks on top.) THEN one day I got a VAN WAVE! Some old man w/ a vintage Island Teal Voyager SE just like mine waved at me. And I waved back :-)

August 03 | October 03