Finally (Ka)yaking…

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 7/26/15

Christian and I had talked about going on the lake. He told me that we needed to take advantage of it. The lake is at ultra-high levels and is strangely warm (for Lake Michigan). I believe the temperatures are around the low 70s.

So, at about 6:00 AM, I headed to Winnetka to see if the relatively calm and not very cold lake was ready to deal with my kayaking. I took the Eddyline kayak because it is a sit on, virtually impossible to dump, and has a rudder, which makes it easier to control and steer. I think it is a very logical choice if I am to go on Lake Michigan.

We were there about 6:30 AM or so and quickly got in and went south. The water was way warmer than I ever would have expected and luckily I didn’t need to find out by swimming in it. I suspect, though, that swimming would not have been too bad.

We went about one and a half miles south, taking about thirty minutes to do so. There were mini waves, a bit larger than expected. Christian paddled on his paddleboard while I kayaked. We had a great time.

It was really nice to finally get out and kayak. I was also pleased that I was able to easily get the fifty-something pound kayak on the roof of the car and, more importantly, secure it so that it didn’t move during the trip between home and lake.

The mansions viewed from the lake were even larger than they appear when driving through Winnetka and Kenilworth. I really had the feeling that I was actually in the Hamptons or something.

There is nothing like the freedom of being on the water like that, nothing.

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A splashing good day!

MK's car all set to go...

MK’s car all set to go…

A Koerner splash from one of the three sons...

A Koerner splash from one of the three sons…

The day was a great one but not with a most auspicious beginning. I was in a mad rush to get my grading done, so as not to have it over my head as we celebrated and when I went to find my Excel Spreadsheet, which takes the points from the online textbook and workbook and converts them percentage-wise into a number under thirty, only to find it was not there. Mysteriously, the file was not to be found, not in the trash, nowhere else. Now it was not a big deal to make a new one, but it was an annoyance. It is not as if I did not know better either, I know full well not to only have something on the desktop, but hey, I messed up! I was playing with fire and got burned!

I somehow managed to be done with all of my schoolwork by almost noontime and we headed to Deerspring Park for a picnic lunch and a celebration of our two year old granddaughter’s birthday. It was perfect, everyone was there and the weather held out. After the picnic, we did the singing, the cake, and the presents, before heading to the pool for a quick dip. Because the weather was not the hottest, nor the sunniest, the pool was pretty empty. It was a great celebration for oh so many reasons.

We came home and I put the kayak on the MK’s car’s roof, hoping to go to Lake Michigan tomorrow since the lake is pretty calm and the water is relatively warm. I have this information thanks to the regular family Lake Michigan surf stud. Then we cleaned up and went to the Nursing Home to see MK’s mom. That was followed up by a nice meal in a local hotel restaurant.

It was a great day and we had a splashing good time.

Posted in Family, Kayaking, Life in general, Subaru, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Two does and three fawns


It does not matter how often one sees them, deer are always a beauty to behold.

I do not like the fact that there are too many of them. I do not like the fact that they destroy landscaping. I do not like the fact that their overpopulation causes them to get sick and die in the winter from malnutrition and disease, but again, they are beautiful to behold.

Stewart and I were back on track on Saturday morning. I had abandoned him to his own devices on Friday since I had my appointment with the medical devil and the test that shall remain nameless. Okay, actually my doctor is amazing, but let’s face it, anything that gets us to drink poison water is going to look bad no matter what. Something that causes us to get little if any sleep the night before is not going to make the human working with it look really good. Note that I am not even mentioning the other after effects of the poison water!

We took our walk, he was quite happy, not happy that I dragged him off when a Golden Retriever appeared behind us and I forced him to head in a home direction, but happy to see the bunnies (coyote, where are you hiding?), squirrels, chipmunks, and today’s deer convocation.

Two beautiful does and three fawns, one fawn being a bit taller than Stewart and probably not weighing as much, appeared by the volleyball court next to Deerspring Park and Pool, and played as we watched from afar. The one fawn’s spots stood out as he or she pranced around in circular, playful runs. Both momma deer were carefully herding the three fawns that looked as if they were curious to see the ‘canimarche-ers’ as they sauntered by.

A beautiful summer day, thank goodness, it has been a long, seasonal haul to get to this point. Saturday is one, glorious day!

Posted in Border Collie, Life in general, Nature, Pets | Leave a comment

A sense of spud wonder…



I was in the way back yesterday, behind the garage, doing this and that as I ‘shook’ my way through the day, shaking because it was a clear broth day and I could not have any actual food. They allowed me black coffee, popsicles that were not red, and anything clear without pulp. It was a pain and I must say that it made me edgy. Luckily, the girls were with us and I had to behave. Preparing by a different diet for a medical test is a real pain.

As I pondered the potatoes I was growing, I wondered what their status was. In the spring, I had a bag of soft and almost rotting potatoes. I took them outside and shoved them in the soft earth of one of our raised beds. On Thursday, I found that some of the plants had shriveled, heralding a harvest. I stuck my hand in the ground and retrieved some of them and quickly got Samantha and said to her in French that I wanted her to dig with her hand. She did so and did something few children her age around here will do, harvest potatoes. I showed her the onions as well. She is already a raspberry picker, having loved the red fruit since a very early age, and now knowing how to harvest them. I had thought to myself, ‘What a wonderful learning moment!’

She was amazed as she picked the hard red ‘pommes de terre’ (apples of the earth) and placed them in a bowl.

This week was our best raspberry week and of course, my planning on the medical test meant that roughage of the sort that comes from raspberries, is not to be eaten in the week preceding the test. Needless to say, we froze a few.

Friday is spent chilling. The test was at 7:00 AM and I pretty much only slept about five hours or so. The vile liquid I was chugging in two sessions of an hour each, 8 oz. each fifteen minutes, produced after effects that did not allow for rest. The first session was at 4:00 PM and the second was at Midnight. I was in the hospital at 6:30 AM and out of the hospital GI Unit by 7:45. Off to Walker Brother’s for a superb breakfast with lots of steaming coffee. What a pleasure to eat food and have coffee with cream!

It is sunny, it is cool, it is a birthday weekend for one of the granddaughters. So far this year, we have celebrated two and this will be number three. I am out on the patio chilling; most of my Speaking Exam grading was done yesterday. This coming week will be the final exam and a cultural essay that my students have to do. Then I have a quick break before the fall semester. If all goes as it appears, I may not have online classes as very few have signed up, as of yet.

I am falling asleep. Is it nap time?

Posted in Grandchildcare, Horticulture, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Neighbors, continued…

The Koerner patio on a 'girl' day.

The Koerner patio on a ‘girl’ day.

There seems to be a lull in neighbor activities, at least outside of the semi-constant playing of the same music list. There has been no more signage, and and there has been no more MZ activity.

The neighborly subject is more about the missing neighbors across the street. The Grady family was always a quiet one, one that we knew by a hand wave, a quick hello, or possibly from a quick connection for some unknown reason, maybe our walking down the street on their side.

We would watch them coming and going, never seeing much activity, their only daughter having moved out years ago, never to be seen again.

Then, all of a sudden, a neighbor down the street stopped me and said, “So what happened to the Grady family?” I had no response. I was accustomed to not seeing activity and to not seeing much of them and I had not realized that they were no longer living there. I do recall having seen some ‘moving’ action, but it was on a small scale and I just assumed some relative of theirs was either moving in or moving out.

It begs the question, what happened to them? We have known them, at least as well as we could know them within the given framework, since 1987. Then, all of a sudden, they are gone. The house, pretty much untouched as long as we have known it, does not look any different. A gutter garden has been de rigueur for some time and I cannot imagine being inside without some sort of pail handy for summer rains. Someone comes by periodically to do a little grass mowing, but that is it.

Strange when people depart and nobody has an inkling as to why.

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