A View From the Field








September, 2002


September 30

This turned out to be a satisfying day altogether.


I didn't get up early, but I shortly after I did, we had a nice thunderstorm and very heavy rain. While I was in the bathroom, the clouds rolled away and the sun started to come out. The temperature when I got up was in the middle 50s, warmer than it's  been for some time.


I embroidered for quite a while, and got most of an interesting little piece done...terrible directions, but fortunately the picture is clear enough to see with a magnifying glass.


When I got through with that, I started washing and cleaning up the kitchen. I maintain that not all of my reluctance to clean is because I'm lazy (although that's probably true, too). Standing for any length of time at all, especially with my arms out in front of me like they are when I clean, does really nasty things to my back. I did the stove side, then sat down for a while, then did the sink side. Every so often, I would go down and do something in the laundry room. I have lots of clothes to fold, but that messes up my back, too, but if I don't fold my knitted shirts, they get all wrinkled.


Since I was eating in tonight, I decided it was time to cook the beets I bought at Hughes. They have been in the fridge long enough that the tops weren't any good any more, but I shouldn't eat those anyway (greens, you know). It's a good thing all they're taking tomorrow is blood, because I cooked six nice small beets and ate half of them. I love buttered beets (and pickled beets - but not Harvard beets), and these were wonderfully sweet and tasty. That plus a tomato and a cucumber and a TV dinner has left me quite satisfied...and I have enough beets for another meal.


I had to work rather hard to keep beet juice from getting all over my nice clean kitchen, but I think I did that.


It got up almost to 70 this afternoon, and I had the slider and the porch doors open most of the day. Buster was captivated...the confusing fall warblers were all over outside, eating bugs and totally ignoring him.


Then around 5pm (I think - I wasn't paying too close attention) it got really dark again and began to rain, with some thunder. The temperature dropped immediately, of course, but only to about 64 then. That passed and then at about 8pm there was a lot of thunder and lightening - including one crack that sounded like it hit the nearest utility pole - and another torrential downpour. That put the temperature down below 60. 


According to the Weather Underground, it's supposed to clear up later tonight, and oh, how I hope it does! There's an AstroAlert out for mid-latitude auroras tonight!  This is the first time in a month that there's been any hiccupping from the sun, and even when it's been clear, it's been dark. The moon is at last quarter, so it shouldn't interfere. Believe me, I will be peering out the windows every time I wake up tonight!


During the storm there have been the usual telephone problems, but believe me, nobody missed anything because the camera didn't update (it tried to do so for a solid half hour, so I killed it). The only interesting thing was that the rain was so hard, you couldn't see any of the lights of town.


So that was my nice day. Tomorrow I have to go to town, and they're predicting a sunny, upper-60s day. I will take the camera, just in case.


I am still grappling with the idea that this is the end of September, and in about seven weeks, I will have to move back to Detroit. It will be time before I know it. Sigh.


September 29

It wasn't exactly nasty today, but it wasn't exactly beautiful, either. It was cloudy and almost calm all day long, but there wasn't any rain. As I was driving back from dinner, there was a little mist on the windshield, but that was all, and the temperature was in the middle 50s.  Blah. I guess it's supposed to rain and thunderstorm tonight and tomorrow - so if the camera doesn't update, that's why. Today it's been very misty and hazy over the mountain, and nightfall seemed to come awfully early.


There are still an awful lot of people in Copper Harbor. Harbor Haus had 25 minute waits for people just happening in. I had to wait 15 minutes or so, because the people at the table I was supposed to have just wouldn't leave. I respect people's desire to have a leisurely dinner - and heaven knows Harbor Haus never rushes anybody - but frankly, when we saw that a restaurant was exceptionally busy, we always tried not to dawdle.


I thought I was taking Beulah to dinner tonight, but she had gotten confused about which day, so I didn't. That was good, because I invited her to see the house - which she hasn't yet - and I would have had to scramble around to at least clean up the kitchen and sweep. I got to bed late and didn't sleep very long, so I didn't feel much like doing that. Tonight I will get to bed right after I finish this, and tomorrow I WILL do my cleaning. The kitchen is so gross it even bothers me, and there are magazine inserts all over the great room floor, from when the wind blew while I had the slider open.


Today, I moved things around in the office, and actually got all my fabric zig-zagged. After looking at all those things, I still don't know what I want to do next, so I guess I'll work on some of the little, fast things while I decide. It's not that I want to do something I don't have with me - this same thing would have happened if I was at Champine. I'm tired of samplers, but I'm just not sure I'm ready to start a really big project, like one of the angels I brought along. This happens to me periodically, so I just have to do small things or work on some of the reproduction samplers until I get a notion. 


I differentiate the reproduction samplers from the stuff I've done this summer, because they are mostly counted satin and double running stitches and I peck away on them periodically for years. One, the notorious Spanish Sampler, which is about the size of a crib quilt, I've been working on since 1982 or something, and I don't have quite two thirds of it done. It's not that I don't like working on it, but the bands are so big they get boring, and if I worked exclusively on it, I wouldn't get any other projects done. Every now and then, I go back to one of them and work for a week or two just for something different to do.


So that was today. Tomorrow may be more interesting, if it thunders.


September 28

Today was just as nasty a day as yesterday was nice...at about the same temperature. It started raining while I was eating breakfast and it dripped all day long. Yuck.


When I went to the post office this afternoon, the entire length of US-41 from the general store to the blinker was lined with Corvettes of every year and color, including one classic from '55 or '57 or whenever they started making them. I've had a love affair with Corvettes since I saw the first one (I owned two) and I've always wanted to drive one on US-41 from Mohawk north and on M-26. That is probably at least part of the reason I drive the Yukon the way I do.


Anyway, I tried to go to dinner about 7pm, and while the Corvettes were all gone, Mariner's parking lot was so packed I couldn't find a place to park, and besides I saw bunches of people going in, so I came home and ate TV dinner. Not nearly as nice as prime rib buffet would have been.


For the sake of my friends, I am really glad to see as many people in town as there are. Last year, Mariner closed the dining room on about September 15, I think, and there were never enough people in town to re-open it. They serve food in the bar (the complete menu when the dining room is closed), but there is no salad bar on that side. Of course, last year there were unusual circumstances, and I think a lot of people decided to stay home and nest after the affair of 9/11. I'm wondering if a lot of the people who decided not to come then came this year instead.


I got out the piece of black material I bought and taped it over the camera and the window, but it doesn't do as good a job of blocking the light as I'd hoped - it's not opaque enough - and besides, it looks awful, so I think I will take it down tomorrow and people looking at the camera between the time it gets dark and the time I go to bed (or the camera quits, whichever is earlier) will just have to get used to seeing the reflection of the office. Someone suggested I try that, but there are several problems (besides the way it looks). First, the cloth that the old photographers used to use must have been very thick and opaque, and second, the cord from the camera comes out at such an angle that I had to make a slit in the fabric. Anyhow, it was worth a try. Maybe I'll just have to start reading in bed again so the lights stay out. Or maybe I'll just ignore the whole thing.


I almost got things straightened out enough to do a little sewing today, but not quite. I have quite a few pieces of embroidery fabric that need to be zig-zagged around the edges. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow. And maybe not.


I had gotten hooked on some of the printable crossword puzzles, from the LA Times and the Tribune, that are available on the internet, but over the past few days, I have decided they're not good enough to bother with. Some are incredibly hard, because the clues are so nebulous, but I've found a lot of simply incorrect clues - that is, the word in the puzzle is not defined by the clue. So that should give me some more time. I've worked crosswords for probably fifty years (gaak!), and I  discovered a long time ago that some of them are of high quality and some are junk. The online puzzle I work every day is pretty good, but these other ones aren't worth the effort. Since I subscribe to UPuzzles, I think I will probably write the webmaster and tell him so.


Oh, yes, and all the caulking didn't do a thing for my shower. It still leaks like a sieve. I looked at the door, and there seems to be a place on it that should be caulked, but I may try to do that myself...after I take my bath, so it will dry by the next evening.


On another subject, I told Charlie Hopper of the Pasty Cam that he could have the old Intel webcam...and between the time I told him and the time he accepted it, I seem to have lost it. I packed it up in a box and labeled it, and right before I went to Detroit in July, I put it away someplace, since I hadn't heard from him. Where I put it, and where it has gone to, is totally beyond me. I have ransacked the house, and I went through everything carefully before Adam hauled it away the other day, and the camera is gone. Oh, well. If I'm lucky, I'll find it. If I'm not...well, things like that happen.


So another quiet day in the field. 


September 27

It was a lovely, cool, sunny autumn day - all that was missing were the yellows and reds of the trees, since around here, at least, it's still nearly as green as it was in July. The sky was nearly clear all day, with just some puffy clouds occasionally, and the temperature got up to 54, according to the NWS.  In fact, it got so hot in the office late this afternoon - over 80 - that I opened a window. Since there is almost no breeze, it isn't helping much.


It's supposed to get quite cold tonight - 40 here and frost in the low lying areas closer to Houghton - but we'll see about that. Right now, it's not bad at all.


This morning, the Hassigs - Walter, with Bill and Sharon - came over to see the house, which was nice. Since I ate breakfast at the computer again, I didn't get to do my usual embroidery in the bathroom, so I brought the project to the office and actually got quite a bit done this afternoon. The sun is already low enough in the sky that it hits the end of the desk in mid-afternoon, and it was like having a spotlight right on my work.


I also finally climbed up on a stool and rearranged the shelves over the computer desk so they are more useful. I have moved the boom box to the lowest shelf, and it works very well there. I don't know why I didn't think about that before. But then the catalogs and telephone books I'd had on that shelf had to be moved up, and so on.  I think I have things set up correctly now.


One thing that has amused me since I moved into this house is how short I feel. I'm not - I'm about 5'8" and I have very long arms - but the ceilings are 8' high, and all the cabinets and book cases go right to the ceiling. I should have realized what would happen, but I've never lived in a place with high ceilings where the cabinets went all the way up. Frankly, the top shelves are pretty useless, and the next one down only a little less so. I could have had my soffits in the kitchen after all...however, I like the lights the way they are much better. However, every time I look into a cupboard or at a bookshelf, I feel like a shrimp. A very weird feeling, one I've only had very few times before when I met guys who were 6'6" or more.


Anyway, slowly but surely I'm getting to the point where I will be able to do some cutting on the desk (which means clearing it completely) and some sewing. I need to do a few things. I deliberately didn't being a warm robe, so that I would be forced to make the fleece one, and now is the time to begin. Before I leave here, I'll be wearing flannel gowns and I'll want a robe when I get up in the morning.


Tonight I am going to publish this and trundle up to the north end right away. I didn't get to bathe last night because of the caulking, and I didn't feel like going to the effort of filling the tub, so tonight I will indulge in a nice long shower...and see if the new caulking has solved my water problem. The water has been pouring out under the shower door all summer, so bad that I have had to wring out the bath mat after I was done. I hope this has fixed the problem.


 I reread my comment about daylight savings time from the other day, and clearly I wasn't thinking very clearly. We fall back in autumn, so if we weren't on daylight savings time, the sun would be setting at 6:30...which is far too early.  It doesn't bother me too much when it rises, since I very rarely get up early anymore. I do know that while I've never minded going to be when it's still light out, I mind very much getting up before it's light. So I suppose, if I had all the money there was, I should summer here and winter in Australia. A nice thought to dream about.


September 26

This will be short. I spent part of the night in the bathroom again, although I wasn't sick, just running, and as a result, I got up late and didn't do much of anything today. I woke up with a sort of headache, and I just felt blah, and still do.


As a matter of fact, I ate breakfast (brunch, really) at the computer, and I was still there when a dump truck pulled up. Unfortunately, they were only here to pick up the junk and caulk the shower. The window isn't scheduled to arrive until October 11. It seems to me I've heard that song before...


Actually, I did do something.   There was room in the truck after Adam picked up all their junk, so he hauled out a bunch of stuff from the basement, some of which was theirs and some of which was mine.


The weather started out very dark and cloudy, and it even spit a few drops of rain, before the clouds rolled away and the sun came out. The late afternoon was very pleasant, even though the temperature hovered around 50 all day. Almost any temperature is more pleasant when it's sunny. I guess tomorrow is supposed to be sunny, too, with temps a little warmer, before it starts to rain again.


The only other news I have to report is that late this afternoon, I discovered that the thing I had taken to be a leaf on the kitchen floor was in fact a dead vole. I deduce that it was a vole because it had a very pointed nose and the entire critter wasn't more than two inches long, minus the tail. I guess the mighty hunter has been at work, although I'm not sure whether I heard any of the thumping around that usually accompanies his hunting. It would only have taken one thump to dispatch the tiny little vole.


He (this is Buster - DC doesn't do any of these things) has also been jumping up on the part of the loft railing right over the back door and peering out the windows and meowing. The confusing fall warblers are hawking bugs around all of the eaves, and apparently a lot of them are visible from that window.


While I am not at all pleased to find that something had gotten into the house, it is nice to know that I have a mighty hunter (all nine pounds of him!) around, and anything that does get in isn't likely to last long so long as we're here. Philippe warned me that eventually I would have critters, so all I have to do now is make sure all the stuff they might want to eat is either bottled up securely or I take it with me when I leave for Detroit. Right now, there is a lot of mouse-type food just lying around open, so I will have to get to work on that.


I felt so blah that I didn't do anything about the cloth over the window, so there are more pictures of the office tonight, including one where I could distinctly see a black cat sitting on the desk - he was eyeing my soup bowl with interest, although after he tasted it, he decided he didn't like it.


He has been curled up on the blankets having a catnap, but he just woke up, yawned and went off. And so will I, as soon as I publish this.


September 25

I carefully waited until the last of a very interesting sunset disappeared from the camera, then I turned on the lights. Tomorrow I will try to get the piece of black fabric I bought last spring spread over the window frame, but if it doesn't block out the light, you will have to put up with pictures of the office blurrily reflected in the window. Sorry, but I'm just tired of sitting in the dark, and when it gets dark at 8pm, It's a little too early to go to bed.


When it got dark last night, I could see clouds coming in from the west, and this morning it was all gray and dreary, and it stayed that way all day. Around noon, it started to rain, and that is still going on, although it's decreased to almost a mist. The temperature  (at least according to the NWS) actually got up almost to 60 at noon, but it soon dropped off, and it's been hovering either just above or just below 50 for the rest of the afternoon. Not an inspiring day at all.


I began working on a pretty little sampler called "Peaches and Cream" by  The Victoria Sampler yesterday. I had actually started it quite a while ago, but it uses heavy silk perle (Trebizond) and at the time  I was having an awful time handling it. All my silk work this summer has taught me what to do with that slippery stuff that's twisted backward, and this time I haven't had so much trouble with it. It isn't easy to work with, but I can do it. There are also silk ribbon roses in this piece, and they intimidated me completely, but I just decided to forge ahead, and they came out all right. However...there was also supposed to be a little very fine wool yarn used, and a length was included with the chart. It seemed all right when I sorted the threads (like I say, several years ago - I don't remember quite when), but when I tried to unroll it this morning, all I got were little pieces, from 1" to 3" long. It just fell apart. I don't know if I somehow got clothes moths in it, or if there was something defective about it, but there was no way I could use it, because most of the pieces were too short.  Arrggghh!  I think I have something to substitute at Champine, but that means I can't finish it until I get there. I'll do the rest and leave it unfinished, even though I don't like to do that.


I guess that's an argument against stashing away things for years at a time, and all I can say in my defense is that things like this don't happen very often.  There are some interesting stitches in this thing, and it is very delicate and pretty, so I will see what I can do.


I didn't get to bed last night quite so early as I'd planned - Minnesota Public Radio seems to play the music I like best after 9pm, and I finally had to turn it off in the middle of the first movement of Sibelius' First Symphony or I'd have been up till midnight again. Tonight I have resolutely not turned the radio on, even though they were playing something neat by Telemann that I would like to have heard. So I will waddle off to bed as soon as I publish this.


When i got to Harbor Haus, there were clouds and haze right down to the surface of the water, and it was hard to see the lighthouse or the East Bluff, but the atmosphere did clear up some before I left. The Weather Underground is saying showers all night, but from the radar map it really looks to me like the rain is now passing south and east of us. It probably won't clear up until sometime tomorrow, but it doesn't look like it will rain any more.


I just took a look at the camera picture, and I guess if it's going to be published all over, I'm going to have to rustle around and straighten up some. You can clearly see the piles all over my desk and around the sewing machine. Fortunately, the computer is hidden behind the camera, because it's really a mess in this corner. Tomorrow...


I haven't heard from Philippe's people all week, which leaves me wondering if the window hasn't arrived or it's just been too nasty to install it. Usually they don't let the weather bother them too much, although they won't try to do siding in the rain.  It would be nice to get the project finished before I leave for Detroit...


So these are the dreary days of early autumn. This happens pretty much every year for a week or so, and while I feel sorry for the many people in town on vacation, I coulda tole ya so. Next week should be better, but from now on, the weather will unquestionably be pretty unstable. It could get sunny and warmer, or it could snow. Evidently one of the weather forecasts was predicting snow for the end of the week, by the way, but I really wonder where they got their information. John Dee, Weather Underground and Accuweather all say it will be dry over the weekend. Sometimes I wonder...


And that's about all that's going on in the field.


September 24

I knew it would happen sometime: the timer turned off the PC while I was still on...that was 1am. It's a very good hint that it's time to go to bed. I seem to be free-wheeling again.  This is the first time since I've been here that I've gotten into that mode, and I plan to nip it in the bud tonight. My natural diurnal period seems to be something more than 24 hours, and if I don't watch myself, I find I go to bed later every night and get up later every morning...I supposed if I let it go on too long, I'd end up back on schedule again, but in the meantime, there would be times when I'd sleep all day, which means that I'd have a hard time interacting with the rest of the world.  It also means, I guess, that if I ever get the telescope, I'll be able to stay up late enough to see something.


Today, surprisingly, turned out to be a pretty day, although the temperature never got out of the lower 50s. it's chilly, but the morning was absolutely beautiful. By the time I got to the office (my 80-foot walk), it was cloudy, and that lasted through most of the day, then just after 5pm, it cleared up, and now the sky is almost completely clear, except that three are some clouds in the west.  It would have been a nice day to be out, but I decided not to, except for the mail run.


The first color is finally showing up in my birch bushes, and I imagine that it should be quite pretty when I go to town next week. I just checked back to last year, and the color was very "late" then, too.  In years past, it peaked shortly after I went back south from my vacation - around now. But as yet, there's hardly anything showing, or at least that's what I hear. There was essentially no color at all last week when I went to town.


It just goes to show that predicting things like that is pretty futile.


The days are really getting short - close to 12 hours now - and it's dark already. Twilight is also shorter - it goes from pretty light to nearly dark in 15 minutes. When I got here in May the sun hadn't set at this time of night (8:45), and I'm just not used to the short days. It would help if we could go off daylight savings time at the end of September rather than the end of October, but frankly, I consider the whole daylight savings thing totally irrational anyway, so that's all I'll say.


And that's all I'll say. As soon as the Haydn symphony ends, and this is uploaded, I'll call it a day.


September 23

I must say that the weather has turned decidedly autumnal. While there was a short period of sunshine early this morning, it soon clouded up and threatened to rain, although the rain didn't start until around 4pm. The temperature hovered around 50 - a tad under this morning and now and a tad over around noon. I never went out today. It just didn't look worth it.


I did manage to finish the other little sampler that I've been working on, called "Winter Into Spring". This one has a lot of off-white in it and a number of really interesting stitches, but evidently I worked more diligently on it, because I finished it faster than its companion. And I just realized that I haven't picked the next project, and now it's dark in here. I will have to dig around and find something to work on tomorrow.


Someday, probably not this week, it will be sunny again, and I will try to remember I want to take a bunch of pictures of all the projects I haven't documented yet.  


According to the weather, it's going to be mostly cloudy and rainy for the entire week, although the temperature is supposed to rise a bit. Not that I really trust the forecasts, even John's, out more than a couple of days, but it looks like it will be the weekend before there will be any decent weather again. Well, I said it before - it's always nasty around the equinox, and today is the equinox. The sun actually crossed the equator sometime around midnight last night (Eastern Daylight Time), but at any rate, this is the first full day of autumn. So now it is official. Summer is over. We could still have some nice weather, but it isn't likely to get really warm again. That's a relief. I will dig out my sweaters and sweatshirts and long sleeved tees quite happily, thank you. It's much easier to put more on than to try to figure out what else to take off.


I have been amused at John's talk of "lake effect" rain showers, but that was certainly what we had yesterday. Those big billowy clouds sailing in from the northwest and dropping rain showers on us will be dropping snow in a couple of months.


Now, I don't really mind snow, especially up here, but I do admit I'm a little nervous about the prospect of a foot or more while I am still north of the gully and may need to get out. I guess I'd just as soon it waited to snow seriously until I get back to the big city with snowplows and people to clear my driveway for me.  That is, after all, what the camera is for - to look at all that snow when it happens.


It would be nice if we could have the full effect of the fall color, too, and that means sun and winds not too strong. The mountain is still summer-green, although I noticed this morning that there are some yellow edges on a few leaves of my smaller birches. It will be another week before there's even much color along US-41 and the Cliff Drive.


I've realized that I haven't taken a lot of pictures this summer, but there hasn't been much to take pictures of, and I'm sure everybody gets as tired of seeing the same stuff as I do. Maybe we'll have a pretty couple of weeks and I'll be able to make up for lost time a bit.


Well, one of these days my window should come, and I'll be awakened at 7:30 again, but in the meantime, I am going to take advantage of the quiet.


September 22

Well, if I thought yesterday was a wasted day...


I could tell that there were clouds coming and going, because I could see them in the light of the moon, although sometimes the sky seemed almost clear. Then about 3am, I developed a little intestinal upset, and I ended up sitting in the bathroom for over an hour. While I can get up frequently and go right back to sleep, staying up for that long breaks my rest completely, and as a result, I didn't get up until after 10am. 


It must have been an interesting night, because apparently the times of clear skies were followed by clouds full of rain showers, and there were squalls all night long.  The camera almost caught the moon at 7am, but it was out of the picture on the top, and the next picture was perfectly black, and I think I remember hearing rain.


The rain is interesting when the house is closed up, because it is so soundproof that I have a hard time discerning the difference between rain and wind in the trees. However, the deck and the west windows were all wet when I got up, and one of the problems with the camera's 7am picture was that there were so many drops on the window that there were lots of reflections. While there were plenty of clouds off and on today, it didn't rain again until just before I went to dinner, when there was a very brief shower. 


The temperature, however, is down. It was under 50 when I got up this morning, and it never got much over 50 all day. With a fairly stiff wind blowing whitecaps on the harbor for most of the day, it wasn't a good time to be outside.


Tonight is supposed to be pretty much like last night, with clouds and clear and maybe even a shower or two, so it will be a good night to catch up on my sleep. It also looks like now is the time to raise the temperature in the bathroom so that the floor will stay warm. I do like those warm floors!


So I will catch up on my sleep tonight and try to do better tomorrow.


September 21

Well, this was a wasted day.  My back was bothering me so much last night that it finally dawned on me that I do have a heating pad, and I got it for just such occurrences.  I slept on it for a couple of hours, and I think if I do the same tonight,  the worst of my problems will be over...but I'm not going to stash it away.  It was hard, though, because I was most comfortable on my left side, but there's no way I can sleep on my left ear all night, so I ended up spending a lot of my time nearly on my back, and I never sleep very well that way. So when I finally found a comfortable position, I slept until 9:30.


It was sunny and quite windy when I got up this morning, and the temperature was in the middle 50s. Pretty day. There were some cloudy times, but mostly it was partly sunny and breezy, with temps in the low 60s.


I usually look at the last day's camera pictures while I am writing this, just in case I should misspeak when I describe the weather. When I looked just now, two shots just jumped out of Explorer at me. I caught the moon again! I also caught the only disadvantage I have yet seen to the new camera. When the light is very dim, the pictures are very red. I tried using Adobe PhotoDeluxe to modify the color balance, and I really couldn't get anything like what the real scene must have looked like, so I left them as they were. I can see myself creeping toward PhotoShop, and I just don't want to spend the money right now.


Well, that added a little excitement to an otherwise quiet day! Shoot the moon...


When I came down the hall toward the kitchen this morning, there was a strong draft of air coming through the cat door, and later, I went downstairs and discovered that the guys went off and left the basement door open (the screen was still closed, of course). Makes me wonder if they were born in a barn, like my mother used to say. They also left the cover off the generator, for reasons unknown to me. The trickle charger is unplugged, but Adam did say Philippe wants the electrician to check the whole thing over and make sure it's wired right.


I forgot to mention that when I finally heard from Theresa yesterday, at the doctor's office, she said I can now get my blood tested every two weeks, since everything seems to be staying nicely in the desired range. I won't mind. I suspect I've spent a lot more money than I would otherwise have because I was in town every week. And I don't mind not getting poked every week! That got old really quick.


It appeared to me, when I went around the house, that all my little roses have survived the summer. They haven't grown much, but they all seem to be alive. I have to confess that with all the stuff that went on this summer, I have rather neglected the garden, and now I will have to wait until spring to plant anything more (except wildflower seeds). 


It's now dark, and it was partly cloudy when I could see it, so maybe the camera will catch the moon again tomorrow morning, since it's full tonight. As for me, I will wake up and see it shining on my bed and making a wide, white river across the harbor...


September 20

Sorry for the lack of journal last night, but the Copper Harbor Improvement Association (a.k.a. CHIA) dinner was last night and I was invited and it was late when I got home. It was a very pleasant evening and a nice dinner, although we managed to get to be the last of the 80 people to get our food, so we were pretty hungry. It was held at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, which I don't think I've mentioned here before. It's only about a mile and a half from town, the food is usually very good, and there are some pretty views out the windows, but somehow I don't go there very often.


So I got home late, and just after I piled into bed, Buster got a claw caught in the screen on the porch, so I had to get up and rescue him. You'd think by this time he would have learned better, but I think he never will.


Yesterday was an unprepossessing day, sort of gray and 60-ish with a lot of fog, not much to write about. Mike sanded the drywall, which was a quiet job, then he left.


Shortly after I unhooked Buster from the screen, he discovered one of his toys in the bedroom and started playing with it. It has a jingle bell on it, so I heard all this thumping and jingling, then he proceeded to go running around in circles - down the hall, out the door, up the porch and back around again - three or four times, thumping his feet on the floor all the time. For a little cat, he sure can make noise!


We finally settled down, and around 4am when I got up, he was at it again, with DC, up and down the hall. You would have thought today was going to be a beautiful day.


I noticed, when I got up, that the nearly-full moon was shining behind a thin cloud layer, and the harbor looked as bright at 4am as it would a half hour or so before sunrise.  It was only a little brighter than that one night of the northern lights, only this was clouds.


Today was not a beautiful day, cats or no. It was pouring rain when I got up and it continued to pour until after 1pm, then it was just dreary and drizzling and 60-ish. There was a lot of fog in the harbor, but otherwise there wasn't much to see at all.


The guys painted the breezeway and installed some of the moldings, so everything is done that can be done until the window arrives. They also pumped out the pond and inspected it, then filled it up, and Adam suggested they get a couple of pieces of plywood to cover it in the winter, which I think is probably a good idea. It had stopped leaking this spring anyway, so whatever caused it to leak last year seems to have gotten plugged up. I hope getting it cleaned out doesn't bring back the leak, but we shall see.


Since the post office is closing so early, I didn't even go today, and it was good that I didn't, because the UPS guy came with my slicker from Land's End (which I needed!) and I finally got rid of the old power supply. I hope it wasn't too late, and Gateway doesn't try to charge me for the new one. What a pain! But now it's gone and the hardware thing is all wrapped up until I get back to Champine.


I do like the way the system is behaving with the added memory. I probably have more than I really need, but that's better than too little. I have been having more and more trouble with the internet connection, and probably one of these days I'll have to fool with the software again.


I finally moved the couch back where it belongs and got the two lamps on the end tables plugged in. I discovered that the slipcovers are totally covered with cat hair, and in places that look weird because after I shook the flies out of them last spring, I sort of left them piled on the furniture. I will have to get at them with my hair remover, a thing like a squeegee with a very short blade that works great, and see if I can clean them up and get them arranged again. Might as well leave the house in better shape than when I got here, which it might be, once the breezeway is done and I can get some of the stuff out of the great room.


I got invited to Harbor Haus for dinner tonight, and while we were there, I met some people that Beulah North knows, and the woman said, "Oh, you're the girl with the web site!" Small world indeed.


So now it is dark again and the furballs are waiting for me to head north, and I think I will.


September 18

When I opened the journal this evening, I found all sorts of italics and white print and other stuff I never intended. I don't know how that happens, because it wasn't like that when I finished last night's entry, but it sure got messed up before I published it. I'm sorry. Sometimes FrontPage is wonderful and sometimes it leaves me wondering.


For some reason, I ended up getting to bed quite late last night, and I did the usual walking back and forth, but I got up at a reasonable time this morning, to find Mike putting the second coat of mud on the drywall. That is quiet work, so he didn't bother any of us, and he was gone around noon.


DC went to get into the ugly chair and take a bath, and all of a sudden he said "mrrrrwp!" in a very agitated voice and jumped up and went running off. I have no idea what happened, but he acted like the chair had given him a poke, and he hasn't been back since. I have to believe it was his arthritis or something that poked him, but obviously, he thought it was the chair, poor fellow. I suspect this coolish, dampish weather is bothering his back as much as it is mine.


It was cloudy when I went to bed, and in fact, it was so cloudy by moonset that it wasn't even shining into the bedroom, and it was a gray Superior day today. The temperature just about made it into the low 70s, and the breeze was from the southeast, which means it came alternately in the back windows of the office and the side windows. There were some pretty skies and a smidgen of sunshine, but mostly gray and quiet.


I guess the rain is supposed to start overnight, and it's supposed to rain off and on for the next two or three days, with slowly falling temperatures. How far they fall by the weekend is up for grabs. John Dee says to the low 50s for highs, and the Weather Underground says low 60s. We shall see. I tend to trust John more, because he spends more time studying the weather in this area specifically. 


At any rate, our usual equinoctial upset seems to be upon us. I'm sorry for the people who are vacationing at this time, but I could have told them...when we first started coming up here, we would come for the last two weeks of September, and the weather the first week was so consistently bad that we pushed back our arrival to right after Labor Day. We never saw much of the color, but overall the weather was better. When you only have two weeks of vacation, it's a downer when the first week is all rain. 


The first time I was snowed on on September 22, we were on our way up.  It was so cold we cut our vacation short that year (and the weather was cold but clear after we left, of course), but I think that was 1977, the winter that convinced me I wanted to drive an SUV with 4 wheel drive. The second time was, I think, in 1996, and I left Copper Harbor that day. That was the year they repaved US-41, so I had to use M-26 to Eagle Harbor, then take the cutoff road, and right after I turned onto US-41, there was about four inches of slush on the road and a young girl in a car had slid off on the other side. It rained and snowed all the way to Grayling and it wasn't a fun drive at all. If it doesn't snow that early again until 2015, it will be all right with me.


I am just enjoying the breezeway no end, unfinished as it is. I threw the orange bags down the steps and hauled them to the car on level ground, and it was so easy!  I finally collected the trash today and hauled it off to the compacter.  The wastebaskets were all full to overflowing, so it was time.


My other accomplishment of the day was to finish my chenille vest. It turned out very nice, and I hope I can wear it tomorrow. That stuff is not easy to knit in, and I am turning back to my sock with relief. My hands were really sore the day I finished the back, and one of the reasons I usually like to knit is that it rarely bothers my hands. So back to the ordinary yarn for a while. I would like to take pictures of some of my knitting projects, but I'm getting a much better appreciation of the photographers and photo stylists who do the pictures for the knitting magazines. It's not easy to take a picture that shows a garment to advantage.  I'll keep trying.


While I was eating at Harbor Haus tonight, a woman at the next table was saying "and there's a gal who lives down at the end of the harbor who has a webcam..." I was tempted to shout out, "Yes, and she's sitting behind you!", but I didn't. Apparently she spends part of her time in Indiana and resorts to the camera when she gets homesick for Keweenaw, just like all the rest of us. It's really an unexpected delight that so many people enjoy looking out my window.


After two days, the post office finally posted the fact that he's gone on winter hours (closes at 3pm), and as I drove back around all the tourists in town, I couldn't help thinking, if it's winter, why don't they all go home? There were people walking down the middle of the streets like they were sidewalks. Even the folks at Harbor Haus are looking forward to closing (in three weeks).


Ack! October 12 is in three weeks!??!! Actually, it's three and a half, but still...


So I will publish this and go hide my head. Time is passing too fast!


September 17

There wasn't any pounding until 9am, but Mike was here, plastering the joints in the drywall. It was really nice of him to wait until then, because I had another one of those interesting nights, and I did most of my sleeping after 4am.


That, plus talking a lot, meant that I got a late start this morning and got home late. The day was beautiful indeed, clear and sunny. It was only about 60 when I got up, but by the time I left, it was in the upper 60s and in the low 70s in Houghton...and going up. By the time I left town this afternoon, it was over 80 there, although it went down into the middle 70s as soon as I got to the top of Quincy hill.


There were a couple of things I wanted to get at JoAnn's, and I needed breakfast food, which meant EconoFoods. I toyed with the question of whether to stop at Hughes' farm, but I was nearly out of tomatoes and all out of cucumbers, and since it's the Northwoods and the middle of September, the fresh produce isn't going to last too much longer. In fact, the woman who was tending the store there mentioned that the winter squash would be coming in in a week or so. They had acorn squash already, and there will be buttercup and one other at least. Yum. I'm not too fond of acorn squash - had too many of those when I was a kid, when the only squashes you could get were acorn or hubbard - but I like all the other ones I've eaten.


Altogether, it was quite late when I got home. When it's finally finished, loading and unloading the car through the breezeway is going to be easy, although I will need to bring my horizontal handcart up from the basement. I'm also going to need a railing on the steps. It was interesting going up them and trying not to put my fingers into the slightly soft mud on the walls.


It was in the low 70s here when I got home, and it's now going down very nicely, thank you, with the breeze coming in the east and south windows alternately. I guess we're in for some rain around the end of the week, and the temperature will start down, but it's that time of year, so we should expect it. The 80 in Houghton was too hot!


I just went out into the kitchen with my dinner plate (three ears of corn) and when I looked up, the gibbous moon was shining brightly right in the middle of the upper window beside the fireplace. So it looks like it may be another clear night, even though there were a few clouds in the west when the sun set. It will be hard to see any northern lights for the next week or so, because of the full moon. It is full on September 21 - the Autumnal Equinox, and I think this one is the Harvest Moon, which means it will be in the sky for a long time. Of course, if it rains all weekend like they're predicting, we won't see it anyway.


My observation has been that there is always some kind of nasty weather right around the equinox or the week following. Twice, I've been snowed on on September 22. After it gets that out of its system, there are usually several weeks of pretty good weather again.


Shirley called tonight to invite me to the Copper Harbor Improvement Association dinner on Thursday, so I guess I'd better try to get my chenille vest finished. I really didn't bring anything much to dress up in at all - I even took my dressier shoes home in July - so I will have to scrounge around and hope my order from Land's End arrives so I have a white shirt to wear. A t-shirt or turtleneck would look all right with the vest, but it really needs a shirt.  One of the things I got today at JoAnn's is a hook-style clasp to keep the vest closed, and I'm halfway up the second front, so I think it will be ready to wear, if it looks all right. Both of the sweaters I knitted over the summer are far too warm to wear yet - they are both thick and fuzzy and good for the depths of winter.


The word "skirt" has been excised from my vocabulary, but I do have a couple of pairs of pants other than jeans, and I guess I can scrounge up some shoes.  Last year, I did bring a couple of dressier things and I never wore any of them, so this year I just didn't bother. I haven't worn any pants other than jeans since I got here. That is one of the things I like about it here: there are very few places you can't wear jeans. After all the years when I had to dress like a banker, I went for comfort when I retired. My mother would never approve.


So it's now night time, and I think I will wrap this up and knit tomorrow.


September 16

I awoke to pounding at 7:30, much to my surprise. I thought the guys were off to Mackinaw and I'd have a week of peace, but no such luck. So  I got an early start this morning, and I will be getting to bed early, I hope. 


It was a beautiful day, clear and blue, and the temperature started out around 50 - cool enough for the workers to have the hoods up on their sweatshirts - and topped out at around 70. There was a brisk wind out of the west and whitecaps on the harbor for most of the afternoon, and it was lovely.


My porch is apparently done - I haven't looked at the outside yet - and all the junk on it is gone and swept up nicely. The drywall is up in the breezeway, including covering the window (I'm not so sure that's such a good idea), and it will be sanded tomorrow, then we can wait for the window and the finishing. I guess a bill is coming, but I'm not too clear on that.


The sun went down right around 8 pm - so early! - and  I looked at it just before, and it's setting over Hunter Point now. By Friday, it will be due west and heading south at a brisk pace. 


I spent some time clearing out the bills on my desk and clearing off my desk, and I finished the back of the vest (knitting). So I guess I can say I accomplished something today, but mostly I just enjoyed the weather.


Tomorrow is the weekly trip to Houghton and a good lunch, and Wednesday I really must break down and take the trash to the compactor. All my wastebaskets are getting full, and I have one medium bag (about a 30 gallon bag) almost full of mostly plastic bottles. I know the recycling barrel can get pretty full on Champine, but I don't think one realizes just how much of that stuff there is until one starts to collect it up for two weeks. I find that now that I'm responsible for schlepping my own trash, I get more and more upset with the amount of packaging everything comes in. And that's not including all the cardboard boxes. Adam suggested the middle of the parking lot would be a safe place to burn, so one of these days when the wind isn't blowing, I shall have to have a conflagration and get rid of some of that stuff.


Tomorrow I will see how easy it is to get the cooler into the car in the garage. I think I will have to move my old handcart into the garage pretty soon and use that to haul. Now that I have finally figured out the easiest ways to get into the house via the front and old back doors, I will have to devise a new plan for the garage. My aim is to save as much wear and tear on my back as possible.


As I write this, it is nearly dark and there is a little breeze coming in the east window, and the only sound from the outside is the quiet shush of little waves lapping on the shore. The one thing I miss about keeping the windows closed is that the house is so tight I can't hear much that goes on outside, unless the lake is speaking. Curiously, I do hear the birds at dawn, both here and on Champine, and for a long time I really thought I was hearing things (when one has tinnitus, one is very suspicious of any very soft noises), but since I don't hear them all the time, I think it is really the birds.


Anyway, the peace of this place is overwhelming me again, and I think I will go and sleep on that.


September 15

It's unbelievable that this is the middle of September already! Next week is the first day of Fall. My mama always said that the older she got the faster time went, and she was right. Amazing.


Last night was very clear all night long, but there were no northern lights, just plenty of stars. Today was a lovely day, mostly clear and sunny with a light breeze, and the temperature didn't get much over 60. I do have a few windows and doors open, because all the sunshine made it pretty warm in the south half of the house. Strange that the weather says the breeze is from the southwest, and it is coming in the east window of the office...which I have now closed, since it's a bit cool out.  


It looks like this is going to be another clear night, so I'll hope for the best, although the aurora map doesn't look like there will be much action. With all the sunspots and things, we're bound to get some more northern lights.


For some reason I didn't sleep very well last night and had to get up frequently. I'm not sure whether I don't sleep because I have to get up or I have to get up because I'm not sleeping. Whatever, it was not a good night, and I did my best sleeping after about 5:30 am and got up quite late again.


There was a sight pause because Buster was making some strange noises, and when I turned around, he was walking on the loft railing. That is probably because I kicked him off my lap so I could type and his nose was out of joint. Too bad. Only he gets up on the railing and starts eyeing the second story windowsills and the beams in the ceiling. I think he is smart enough not to try for either place and he is just trying to get a rise out of me, but with Buster, you never know. That is one of the reasons he is named Buster.


When I processed the pictures from Friday, they were all out of focus, so clearly there was something wrong with the settings on the camera and I will have to investigate. Anyway, none of them were worth publishing. I will have to try again the next time we have a really beautiful sunset.


So another quiet, lovely day in the field.


September 14

There was no question about whether it was cloudy or clear last night: it was cloudy all night long, and the temperature went down below 60. There was enough of a wind that the bedroom was nice and cool - perfect for sleeping. Wow, did I sleep! I was so soundly asleep that twice I woke myself up dreaming that I had to go to the bathroom...which means I better move fast. I think it was after 9:30 that I finally decided I'd been sleeping enough, and besides DC jumped up on the bed and "Maw-waw?", which means, "aren't you ever going to get up and feed me?"


DC has the most amazing vocabulary of any cat I've ever known. Not only does he have all kinds of sounds and combinations of sounds, including the one that says "Oooooout!", he knows that a rising inflection on the last syllable is a question. I've heard him chew me out - usually because I went away and left him, or sometimes because he's hungry and I'm not doing anything about it - but I've also gotten an equally long statement that simply means, "You went away, and now you're back, and I really missed you when you were gone!" He grunts a lot on a high pitched tone, which usually means whatever is going on is pleasing to him and he's happy. He's fun to listen to and to talk to, because he usually talks back.


Buster is a more silent type, which is surprising, since he grew up with D talking to me and me talking to D, but some cats do and some cats don't. He does like to be talked to, and he has a little grunt that says everything is OK.


Both of them have wonderful purrs, deep rumblings that, when they're particularly happy, sometimes choke them a little. I really appreciate the purrs, because for some reason my sweet Silkie never purred at all until she was frightened, even though she was very affectionate and loved to be petted.


Anyway, I took my time with my breakfast, and afterward I spent a long time embroidering. Yesterday I finished a little sampler by The Drawn Thread called "Summer Into Autumn", and today I started its companion piece, "Winter Into Spring". Both of them are full of interesting stitches. "Summer Into Autumn" is green and yellow with some plum in the overdyed thread, and while it's pretty, I really like "Winter Into Spring" which is pink and green and pale teal and very delicate.  


It wasn't a very nice day, cloudy and dark and around 2pm we had a brief shower.  After that, though, the skies started to clear up, and by sunset, there were only a few clouds in the west and the quarter moon is shining brightly in the windows. It never got much over 60, and after the shower it was in the 50s and sort of raw, and it is supposed to get quite cool tonight. More good sleeping weather.


I forgot my good intentions about processing the pictures I took last night, but maybe I'll be able to remember tomorrow.


I have to say that it was very nice indeed to walk out to my car and get in without having to go out in the wind and rain. It will take me a little while to  determine just where is the best place to park it so that I can back around toward the house and drive out forward, but I seem to be getting the hang of it. Even though it's not done yet, I like my breezeway and garage a lot.


The next few days are supposed to be cool and sunny and the nights will be clear, so maybe there's a chance for more northern lights. If not, I can always sleep...and sleep...and sleep...


September 13

It was frustrating to wake up and look out in the middle of the night. I could see that the clear sky over the lake to the north was full of northern lights, but most of that is hidden by trees, and overhead, I could see that the tops of the clouds were lighted in a way that just doesn't happen unless the sky was full of northern lights, but it was too cloudy to see what was going on up there. How disappointing!  It looked like it was a really good show. Tonight may be more of the same, since the southern half of the sky is cloud covered. If the wind is from the southwest, as it looks like it will be, the clouds will cover everything and it will start to rain after midnight.


Today was a more or less nondescript day, mostly cloudy most of the day with light breezes mostly from the south, and temperatures in the mid 60s. We did have a very pretty sunset, and I have pictures, but they will have to wait until tomorrow when I can see what I'm doing.  The webcam has washed out the colors as usual, so I will have to post my Nikon photos. I also want to do some work on the website, and get the summer's pictures into the gallery.


This morning, I wasn't sure anybody was coming to work, but shortly after 9am there was some tentative pounding, and I discovered that the electricians were here. They have now done all the wiring they can  until the breezeway is closed in. This crew is a much more accommodating bunch, and the owner agreed with me that the plugs in the laundry room are indeed upside down, and they will take care of that when they come back to finish up the other stuff.


Of course, they started running the radio in their van, playing John Dee's station, whose music (if you can call it that) is not to my taste, but a while before they left it stopped rather abruptly. They and I discovered that the reason was that they had run down their battery. Since I don't own any jumper cables, they took a piece of wire and one guy held the ends to the van's battery terminals while the other held the ends to my battery terminals, and we jumpstarted the van. It worked fine, but I think you have to be an electrician to be so casual with a piece of wire. The voltage in a car isn't high, but the starter pulls a lot of amps, the last time I checked. So they went on their way leaving me laughing.


When I came home from dinner, I pulled into the garage and came in through the breezeway, and I'm going to like that.  Right now, of course, I can't close the garage door, and there are no lights, but that isn't a problem. When they built the new steps to the door of the house, they put them very close together, and I found it really easy to go up. I think I will be able to load and unload the car right from the garage, so that will be very nice indeed.


Now I can look forward to over a week - maybe two - with no pounding in the morning, and all of us will like that. We can sleep as long as we like and we won't have go run and hide from the men, so we can relax. DC has been telling me he's not very happy, so maybe he will calm down a bit.


So it was a quiet day, and it will be a cool, quiet night.


September 12

What I was trying to say last night in my usual confused state is that while we must remember 9/11 or risk it happening again, we don't have to wallow in it. But I should know better - the "American People", whoever they are, love to wallow, and surely they got their fill yesterday. I am just not the wallowing type and, frankly, I distrust people who are.  So that takes care of that for another year.


I did get to bed at sort of a reasonable hour last night, and I slept good, with the usual interruptions. There were no northern lights that I could see, but the sky was clear enough to tempt me to go lie on the deck. I didn't, but probably I should have. It was really clear and I'm sure the Milky Way would have been beautiful.


Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind shifted or changed or something with a whoosh! and it has been really windy ever since. The temperature, however got close to 80, which is a little warmer than I really like. The workmen seemed to be in a grouchy mood today, so I had almost no conversation with them. When they are growling at each other or not speaking, I'd rather keep out.


It is still windy, but the temperature is beginning to drop back toward 70, and at 8pm it's getting dark! In the spring and summer it's light right up to sunset and for sometime thereafter. Now I know what it is about this time of year - sunset isn't for 15 minutes yet (or it wasn't when I noticed what was happening) but already it's beginning to get dark enough to need some light to read small print. There are some clouds in the western sky, and of course that isn't helping.  I guess I'm just greedy - I expect 15 hours of daylight all year long, and that doesn't happen.


It was a balmy day when it was too easy to do nothing, but I did get the memory into the PC. That took all of 5 minutes, then it took me half an hour to get the wires untangled and the CPU back into its spot under the desk. The cable gremlins were having a field day today, and I think I untangled the power cord from the X10 unit at least four times. Now all I have to do is poke everything far enough back that I don't catch it all with my feet when I move away from the desk - and that may take some doing.


I haven't really checked out the full advantages of having 768mb of memory yet, but I do notice that the disk only moves when Kabcam updates or a brand new web page comes down, and that's better already. That much memory may be overkill with Windows ME, but it seems to be working just fine so far.


I didn't mention yesterday that around 4:15 - after it was too late to go to the Post Office - I discovered that the UPS guy had been here and threw the package inside the door without ever telling me he was here, so I got on the phone and told Gateway that if they want their power supply back, they will have to dispatch somebody. If I ask for a pickup it will cost me $10, even though the only UPS ground drop off place is in Houghton (45 miles away) and is only open between 4:30 and 5:15 daily!  We'll see if somebody comes. I was not pleased, even though I was glad to get my memory chip over night. I sometimes wonder how businesses stay in business.


So now the sun has set and the moon is shining in the south windows (half-hidden by a little cloud) and I think I will wrap this up. It's going to be at least a partly cloudy night, so I won't see stars or northern lights, so I will sleep. Next week nobody will be working on the garage, and it will be delightful to be able to sleep in as long as I want.


September 11

I understand there were some spectacular northern lights right before dawn this morning, but you couldn't prove it by me. I somehow managed not to get to bed until after midnight last night, and while I was up around 5:30, I jumped back into bed without even peeking out the window. Well, you win some and you lose some.


Tonight looks to be spectacularly clear, so maybe this time I'll be lucky...and I am going to bed earlier tonight. That should mean I can check outside at 12, 2, 4, and 6. I'm not kidding.


Today was near perfect weather, so far as I'm concerned. The temperature didn't get up to 70 until the wind dropped around 7pm, and the sky was pristine all day with a brisk northwest breeze for most of the day. My kind of weather, for sure!


The workmen got the rest of the siding on the garage and are working on the sort of picky parts of the breezeway. Adam spread a load of mine rock and they took away all the debris, which makes things look a lot more finished. In fact, from the road and from the north side, the entire project looks done. Only the window and some of the siding is missing from the breezeway, and they will be insulating and drywalling it when they get back from Mackinaw.  I will be able to park in the garage pretty soon, although I won't be able to close the door until the electric wiring is done. We make progress.


Tami Kirkish Keller and I will never forget each other, because she installed my vertical blinds a year ago today.  She was the one who told me that something had happened, because when I turned off the radio at 9am, NPR wasn't reporting anything yet. It wasn't until after she left that I turned the radio back on and got on the internet and found out what had really happened.


I couldn't listen to All Things Considered tonight, because they spent the entire program rehashing the entire day... I believe it's right to remember the day, but I find the retelling and re-retelling the story gets to be too much really fast.  The physical facts of what happened are terrible, for sure, but I doubt there is anyone over the age of about 6 in the United States who doesn't know what happened.


The thing I have only heard referred to rarely is the impact of the events as I see them. This day was the absolute end of our innocence. The end started a long time ago, when John Kennedy was assassinated. That brought the US out of the dream world we had lived in after the end of WWII. All the nasty events that have happened since have slowly chipped away at Americans' feelings that everything was safe and free and open, but 9/11 was the final jolt that awakened us.  Perhaps one has to have grown up in the 40s and 50s and remember how things were then to see just how much everything has changed.  I'm not sure we're mature enough as a society for what we face, but we are living in the real world now, the same place the rest of the world has been for thirty years.  From what I've seen, we don't like it.


It does occur to me, though, that I haven't heard much lately from the idiots who used to insist we should ignore the rest of the world, stop foreign aid, withdraw from the UN, and pay no attention to everyone else. So maybe in the long run some good has come out of it.  It was a high price to pay for reality.


It also occurred to me, when nobody knew if those four planes were the entire attack, that this is a pretty good place to be living. There's nothing of such particular strategic or government or financial importance anywhere near the Keweenaw.


Anyway, maybe tomorrow the media will get back to more or less normal and stop beating the dead horse. Remembering is fine, but enough, already!


The sun has now set on a beautifully clear sky and Venus is twinkling in the haze over the hills, so I will wind this up for the day.


September 10

I did sleep.  However, when the workmen woke me up at 7:30, it was pouring rain and my back was so sore I couldn't go back to sleep. It rained hard until around 10:30 here, with a brisk north wind, and the lake was speaking for the first time since last spring. It only talks when the wind is from the north, and our summer gales were all from the west.  How I love that sound!  Today it sounded like the wind in the trees, but when it is really kicking up it sounds like a freight train rushing by.


I got a late start to town because I wanted to make sure my other memory chip didn't come while I was gone and couldn't give the UPS carrier the bad power supply to take back. The memory hadn't shipped yet, so I was safe.


It rained all the way to Hancock, so it was a slow trip, especially when I got behind some excessively cautious drivers. I try not to be too hard on people who drive cautiously when it's wet, because I don't know the condition of their tires, but when the car is almost new, I really wonder. They all probably thought I was a maniac, but I know the road and I know the car.


When I continued to Ming Gardens, the parking lot was so full that I decided to wait a while and went on to WalMart, figuring I could find something to buy. OF course, I did.  They had fleece throws for under $10 - patterned this year, and not the prettiest patterns I've ever seen. That doesn't seem to bother the kitties, however.  I also wanted to get a navy blue towel to lay over the ugly chair's footstool to keep it from fading and getting hairy. Buster has appropriated it when the sun shines in.  I needed a large airtight container for my noodles, so I got that, too. It was a real mixed bag of stuff, as usual.


At this moment, the throws are on the floor behind me, and DC is sitting on them. In fact, Buster sat down on one before it was completely unfolded. They voiced their preferences early.


By the time I got out of EconoFoods with cat food, mostly, the sky was clearing and I was tempted again to come home via Five Mile Point Road and M-26, but my back was bothering me so much, I decided to come straight home instead. 


It was a really pretty drive up the covered road.  The leaves and underbrush are so thick this year that it's like driving through a green and gold tunnel for most of the way. And when I came down the hill into Copper Harbor, the sky was clear and the lake was blue, blue, blue.


The temperature all day was right around 60 - a couple degrees under this morning and a couple degrees over this afternoon. It was so warm in the house that I opened things up, but now it's cool and breezy and I think I will shut the window when I go to bed.


After I unloaded the car, I logged on to read my comics and do my puzzles, and apparently I was so engrossed that it clouded up and we had a brief shower and I didn't realize it until it was over. I think it's clear again now. I hope so, since there's a chance of northern lights tonight.


The natives are beginning to get restless, and the radio has gone from Bach to Mendelssohn to Stravinsky, so I will wrap this up.


September 9

I guess the older I get, the fewer are the conditions when I can sleep. It was cooler last night than the night before, but it was still breezy, and I just could not fall asleep. Ugh!  There were no light shows outside, although it was as clear as it could be with all the haze, and with no moon, it was dark. 


It was nice and about 70 when I got up this morning, with a strong southwest wind, but the temperature began rising quickly and around noon it was in the low 80s. I felt sorry for the guys up on the roof putting on the shingles, because it was no day to have nearly-black shingles radiating back at you, especially since, with the wind from the front of the house, there wasn't much breeze back there.


However, while they were eating lunch, in the shade of the trees on the deck, the wind began to shift toward the west and pick up so that there were whitecaps on the harbor, and the temperature has been dropping ever since.  The wind has now shifted almost northerly, and the temperature here is down to 64.


If you don't like it, just wait five minutes...


It clouded up around sunset, but it looks like we won't get any rain here, at least not until much later tonight, as all the storms seem to be south of us around Marquette. According to the Weather Underground, there is a cold front passing over as I write, although their regional and US radar maps are blank - oops!


It does look like it will be a good night to sleep, and I certainly need sleep!


They are coming along well with the garage, although they still have to do the siding on the gables and the front of the breezeway and a  lot of trim. It is beginning to look pretty good, if I do say so, although I still haven't looked at it from the road.


Tomorrow I have to go to town again, but I think I will skip Hughes farm. I still have a lot of stuff left to eat, although I had a tomato sandwich for lunch and my corn for dinner. If I get too much, it will end up all getting thrown away, and that would be a pity.


Well, my pillow is calling, and I have to close a lot of windows and doors, so I will call this an entry and upload it.


September 8

As soon as I got last night's journal updated, I grabbed my red-light flashlight and trotted off to the bedroom. When I looked out the windows, I almost thought Laura was wrong, but I did see a few wisps. I decided, since it was still warm and the wind would keep the bugs away, to go outside.


I sat on the north end of the deck for half an hour or more, watching pillars and clouds all pointing toward zenith - in fact, pointing toward a rather small circle of darker sky with Vega in the middle of it. The streaks and clouds came and went, and there was a definite light glow to the entire sky. After half an hour or so, though, almost all the brighter features suddenly disappeared, leaving one bright little s-shaped feature right overhead. Really neat, I thought.


Of course, in order to bathe and get ready for bed, I had to turn the lights on, and when I turned them off and settled down, There didn't seem to be much going on...then I noticed a faint reddish glow through one of the west windows, and while I watched, it got really bright and really dark red - then blinked out! That was my first for-sure colored aurora. Since I had my red flashlight with me, I unplugged the nightlight, and I could immediately see that the background glow of the sky was so bright that I could see quite well to walk around.


It was so warm and so noisy from the wind that I couldn't fall asleep, so i kept peeking out the west windows. Around midnight, I saw something that looked pretty bright at the right edge of the windows, so I got up and sat down in the window seat - to see bright ribbons of pale greenish light with dark areas between them and a bright glow in the north. I watched that for half an hour or so, and it all faded out, except for the background glow, and I went  back to bed.


Along about 2am, when I got up, looking out the bathroom window, all I could see was a bright glow right above the trees to the north, but by the time I got back into the bedroom - oh, my! There was a bright half-circle at the horizon, with spikes shooting up from it, a dark band, then an almost parallel arc over the circle, also with spikes in it. It reminded me of some native American motifs one sometimes sees. This show continued for about five minutes - then it blinked out, so I laid down again, and only a couple of minutes later, it was like someone had flipped a switch - the entire sky was dark and clear. The big show was over.


But what a fantastic six hours it was!  This one didn't have the fast-moving changes I've seen in other displays, but they were very bright - bright enough for me to see color - and some of the most interesting formations I've seen yet.


I think, from what I saw last night, that at least sometimes the coronal mass ejections (CME's) that cause some of the auroras come at us in waves rather than one big clump...at least it looked like this one did. There was a bright background sky, but the brighter formations would switch on, then switch off, and very abruptly. And I've never before experienced such an abrupt end to a display - click! and everything went dark.


This isn't the first time, nor do I expect it to be the last, that I wish my property faced north. To see the display all the way from the horizon to zenith must have been really awesome.  So for all the displays I've missed this summer, now there have been two in one week that were worth waiting for. With the sun as active as it is, and the clearer skies we frequently get in autumn, I am looking for a lot more sleepless nights for the next couple of months. Or I hope so.


Unfortunately, it was still very warm and noisy, so I didn't sleep at all well all night, until it cooled off some before dawn...and then I kept waking myself up snoring. With all the windows open, even this far north, there's a lot of pollen around. So I slept in a bit this morning and I didn't do much but enjoy the breezes all day. It was a really pretty day, and the sunset was beautiful but very hazy in the west, with a slim sliver of new moon hanging right over the mountain. In fact, it was such a slim sliver that all the camera caught was the light, not the shape.


I say again, it's getting dark awfully early these days.  A couple of months ago, it was still light at 9:30, and now it's dark enough to see northern lights when there are some. So autumn is coming, weather or no.  The temps topped out in the mid 80s, but it's down below 80 and maybe it will be a more comfortable night to sleep tonight. According to the weather prophets, all this should come to an end sometime during the week, and temperatures should be back more in the range I like.


When I went to change clothes for dinner, I found DC on a shelf in the closet, which was actually the coolest spot in the house. He is a canny cat, for sure. He doesn't like the wind, but he managed to find a cool spot despite that.


So I will toddle off to the north end with visions of auroras in my head and hope to get a little more sleep tonight. If I get tired enough, it doesn't matter about the surroundings.


September 7

Summer ain't over yet, no matter what John says. While it was only in the low 60s when I woke up this morning, the temperature went up fast, and it's around 80 here at 8:45 pm. although it didn't get much hotter. At least now the breeze has picked up some, and I know it will cool down tonight.  At least I wasn't in Houghton or Detroit, where it was 90ish all day.


The office was the best place to be all day, because whatever breeze there was was mostly from the south to southwest, so there was air here. The camera took one picture at 5:30 this morning and went into hibernation again, and however that works on the desktop, I have to powerfail it again to get it to restart. 


I hope that the new power supply will solve that problem, because it's nasty. I finally attacked the hardware this afternoon, and it was easier than I feared. By writing down where all the connecters went, I was able to connect the new wires without much problem. My worst problem was that I had to bend out the clips that hold the power supply to the top of the case before I could get it to slide into place. Otherwise, I had no problems with the power supply. The fan is quiet and there seems to be more, not so warm, air coming out of the vents.


The memory, however, was another thing, and I will have to take the computer down again whenever I get the rest of it - probably Wednesday.  It seems that the kind of memory I have in the desktop computer comes in pairs of boards and they only sold me one instead of two.  I called Gateway because there was something in the manual I didn't understand, and I was glad I did, because the one board I have didn't work when I installed it.


The result is, however, that I have a choice: I can either keep the two 128mb boards here, get two more 256mb boards for the Champine system, and have 768mb, or take out the 256mb I have now, take it to Champine and install it there and have 512mb in both systems. Decisions, decisions, decisions... I think I'm going to run with the bigger memory for a while and see how it works before I decide.


I had to call them again about the laptop, but once I understood that there is memory on the laptop motherboard, that one was easy to install and works fine, and I have 544mb in it.


Now that I have seen the insides of the desktop, I will have no further fears about opening the case. The amusing thing is that I actually didn't need to get that anti-static strap, and even the tech support guy from Gateway said so. I'm glad I have it, and I will use it, because if I should accidentally zap something and I wasn't wearing it, it would void the warranty, but chances are good that it would have worked just fine, especially on a day that's as humid as today has been. This computer is meant to be opened up and worked on (even if they don't really expect to have to replace power supplies!), and almost everything can be done without any tools at all. I also don't need to remove all those cables before I open the case or put them all back before I power it up again, both of which will make it a lot easier and faster when the memory comes.


Except that it was too hot and hazy, it was a pretty day today, although I wouldn't have wanted to be wandering around in the sun very much. This may be September, and meteorologists may think autumn starts on September first, but it's not autumn yet, even here. It may be that the weather patterns are more like autumn, but the temperature, the wind and the humidity are summer, for sure. The breeze died off a couple of hours before sunset, and it has now begun to pick up again (a little earlier than it would have in July). To me this is late summer, and it's just like most early Septembers I can remember. Next week may be different, but not yet. It's a good time to lie around and enjoy the weather and not do very much.


Buster had to try to sit on my lap all the time I was on the phone, but he is in bad odor right now. He was trying to be cute this morning and stomped on my hand then jumped onto the printer and put a nice slice at the base of my left thumb. He tries to be funny to get attention, but I don't think he got the kind of attention he wanted. When he does one of these things, I make sure I let out a good, loud shriek, so he knows he hurt me, and believe me, he knew he had. We made up later in the day, but he knows he's been a bad boy.


Oh, yes, and there is an astro-alert out for northern lights tonight. I guess the biggest display may have been over Europe, earlier, but we should get some of it, too. It's pretty hazy and there were some clouds in the west, but it may be clear enough to see anything there is to see. Believe me, I'll be peering out the windows every time I get up tonight!


I was thinking it will be warm enough to go outside, but as I was getting out of the car after dinner, a mosquito landed on my arm, so that pest isn't gone yet.  They don't fly much when it's cool, but oh, boy, when it's warm...


One last personal note. I got an email from my friend Debbie saying that her mother passed away this morning. It was by no means unexpected, but she has been a real fighter, and it's been an awful year for Deb.  Hard as this is for her, it will be a relief to have closure at last.


A friend in Copper Harbor just called to tell me the northern lights are out already, so I will quick get this published so I can go see!


September 6

Well, now I'll start this over again. The system never powerfailed last night and as a result, I had problems with the internet connection until I rebooted today. I have been fooling around with the timer, and I think I had it set on "ON". At least it was that way when I just looked at it, and unfortunately, in order to get to "AUTO" I had to go by "OFF" first...oops!  I've more or less forgotten what I was writing about.


It was cloudy last night and a little warmer than before, and it was quite dark this morning and very humid. The workmen arrived at 7:30 as usual and pounded enough that I couldn't go back to sleep. By the time I got up, they had the two trusses in place and most of the rest of the garage roof covered. I think they spent most of the day  starting to put the shingles on.


The only bad news is that the window in the breezeway won't be here for two or three weeks, because the black frame is special order. It's a disappointment for all of us, but in no way would I ever change the color of the window frames, and I certainly want the one in the breezeway to match. So they will do everything they can and finish up after the window comes in. I think that will mean I can park in my garage sometime around the end of next week.


As a result of my problems with the internet connection, I didn't do my hardware work again, but I really must do it tomorrow. I just discovered that Gateway wants the old power supply back, so I'd better not postpone it much longer.


The temperature actually didn't get much over 70 today, but until the middle of the afternoon it was extremely humid and not very nice. Once the humidity went down some, it was lovely, and only partly cloudy. We had a nice sunset tonight, and while it is somewhat hazy it looks like it may be clearer tonight.


Not that I expect to see any more northern lights, because that was a fluke the other night, but of course I peer out the windows every time I wake up. Even without my glasses I can see stars (sort of) when it's clear, and I can see the brightness in the sky when there are northern lights. In fact, the reason I got up to sit in the window seat the first time the other night was that I could see movement in the light without my glasses. 


What I am seeing when it is clear is Vega in the west...a sure sign fall is coming. The other sign is that there is nobody much in town but the residents right now. The week after Labor Day is always dead around here. It's one reason I always tried to get here by Thursday when I was vacationing here. I like it like that. The next few weeks there will be more people, but it won't be like it was for the last six weeks, and for that I am thankful.


I have fooled around with this thing long enough, so I will get this uploaded and toddle off to the north end. Tomorrow we can sleep.


September 5

There weren't any northern lights last night, at least around here, because it started to cloud up about the time I got to bed, and it was extremely dark all night. It was also dark this morning, when four guys began whaling away at the garage at 7:30, and around 10am there was a thunderstorm and heavy rain. They stuck at it until around 1:30, and as soon as they left, the rain stopped. There were a few drops while I was out on the mail run, but not much. The temperature started out in the upper 50s this morning, and probably never made it to 65 - not a very nice day at all.


There may be some more rain tonight, since there is an area southwest of us, and possibly tomorrow morning, then it is supposed to clear up and get warm for the weekend. I doubt it will be too warm here, with that nice cold lake in our front yards, but this is only early September, after all, and even this far north, fall doesn't usually show up much until the middle of the month.


On that subject, every time I go to town there are a few more maple leaves turning, and some of the treetops are beginning to look sort of yellow-green, but it's going to be a while before there is any real color.


Even though they left early, the workmen got a lot done today. The back of the breezeway and the garage wall that faces the house are sided, and I think possibly the other two walls are, too, and Philippe spent a lot of time up on the roof in the rain beginning to prepare to put the shingles on - or at least I think that was what he was doing. I didn't go out to see. 


They also did a little more of the finishing work on the porch. When they screened in the porch and put up the hurricane shutters, they left the entire construction just bare wood and it didn't look very finished, so they are covering the wood with siding or soffit. It will look much better when they're done.


I guess I didn't do much of anything. Reading my email, my comics and working my jigsaw and my crossword puzzles seems to be taking up a lot of time lately, and the weather didn't inspire me. Maybe tomorrow...


September 4

It was 11:45 before I turned out the light last night, and I thought, when I looked out the window, that the northern sky looked suspiciously bright and maybe I had seen some of the brightness move, but I fell asleep before my eyes got completely accustomed to the dark. About 2:45 I woke up, and when I looked out, I knew for sure I was seeing northern lights, so I put on my glasses and climbed into the window seat.


Almost due north, there was a curtain folded back against itself that was very bright, and to the northwest, there were puffs and clouds of light that kept moving. Every so often, a puff would break off and climb toward the zenith. The lights were probably almost to the zenith in the north. I watched for maybe 15 minutes, then went back to sleep.


I awoke again around 4am, and the light was still there, but there seemed not to be much movement or any interesting formations, so I went back to sleep.


When I awoke at 5am (yup, I do this most every night!), the light, while it was pretty bright, had receded to just above the trees to the north, maybe 30 up, so I went into the bathroom, where I have a nightlight and I can't see much out the windows. When I came out of the bathroom five minutes later, I could tell immediately that something spectacular had happened, so I put on my glasses and climbed into the window seat again. 


There was a sort of light haze in clouds in the background, almost all the way to zenith, and in front of it were streaks and rays radiating from the north or northwest. They came and went very quickly, and there was one area, over the trees due north that got so bright that I could actually see a little bluish or greenish color to it. There was another bright spot in the northwest, and both of these were about 45 from the horizon.  I love to watch the streaks, because they move and spike and change so quickly.  About 5:30, it began to fade some, so I went back to sleep...until 9 am!


Now, you must realize that all of this is pretty dim when you see it. Or at least it is to me. I have never seen anything like the pictures people take, and I don't think anybody really has, since the photographs are time exposures and enhance the colors, sometimes, I think, at the expense of the formations.  The really bright patches I saw looked like the moon might look behind a screen of clouds, but there never was a moon where I saw the light, and most of the display was a lot dimmer, more like the magnitude of the Milky Way (which is usually quite visible up here).


A lot of the puffs and streaks and lines are right at the limit of my visibility, so much so that I sometimes wonder if I really saw them, until I see some more. Sometimes I have to use averted vision, which is when one looks at something out of the corner of one's eyes, where one's sight is more acute, in order to see the motions of the display. Some of what I saw last night was bright enough that a young person with more acute color vision than I have might have seen more color than I did. Most of the auroral displays are greenish (ionized oxygen or nitrogen, I think), and I've noticed from watching the lighthouse light that my perception of green in faint lighting conditions isn't what it used to be. With averted vision, of course, one seldom sees color, since there aren't many (or any?) color sensing cells on the edges of the retina.


Anyway, it was a wonderful display, and I had hoped to start this entry this morning when I could possibly remember more of what I saw than I do now. However, when I went to check the computer, before breakfast, something had happened to the phone connection in the middle of uploading the pictures, and instead of restarting automatically, it was asking if I wanted to reconnect.  I fooled around with multiple instances of this reconnect message until after noon, when I gave up and rebooted the system...and it's been fine ever since. It seems like the drivers just didn't load right after last night's (scheduled) power failure.


By the time I had taken care of that, read my email and got dressed, it was the middle of the afternoon, and I was sleepy from my midnight perambulations, so I postponed my hardware upgrade. The fan seems to be doing all right for the time being.  I will try again tomorrow.


It was a cool, bright day today, with temps in the middle 60s and mostly clear skies, although we had three waves of clouds pass over after I got up. It's down below 60 now, and looks to be another good night for sleeping. There may be a possibility of more auroral activity tonight (boy, did I have to search to find that out!), but at this point, the skies over Copper Harbor don't look like they will be quite so clear as they were last night, and it may turn cloudy after midnight.


That's one of the (many) things that is so great about being here all the time. As I've found out this summer, frequently scheduled events get clouded out, but on the other hand, every so often I am treated to a totally unscheduled and very satisfactory view like last night's aurora. So I will hope for the best tonight, and if it clouds over, I'll just catch up on my sleep. There is a cloud out over the lake right now which is covering up the sunset, but the wind seems to be out of the NNE, so we shall see.


The workmen have put in the outside doors and started the siding while they wait for the last two trusses and the window, which should be here tomorrow. The siding matches better than I had any right to hope, so that part of it is going to look fine.  Actually, as it begins to come together, I think the whole thing is going to look just fine, and I will have a little cul-de-sac behind my house. If I can get a little topsoil, I might plant a small, modest garden in the corner, with some shade-loving perennials. We shall see about that, too, since my other gardening projects haven't gotten off the ground. Most of the area will be covered with mine rock, so I can back out of the garage toward the house, do a "y" and drive out forward. 


Since my sleep was so interrupted last night (no, I don't consider my 5 minute trips to the bathroom as interruptions - I've done this so long, I can go right back to sleep most of the time), I think I will start early tonight, just in case there is something to look at after midnight.


September 3

I was waiting for last night's files to upload when all of a sudden, the wind shifted and picked up and began to howl around the house and the waves began beating on the shore, and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees, I think.  Really amazing, how fast the weather can change in these parts!  It was mostly clear and very windy all night and all day, although the wind is dying down a bit now.  It's supposed to be cool and windy all day tomorrow, too.


In due time, I packed up the car and headed for Hancock for my weekly blood test, and it was windy enough on the road that I was surprised there weren't any trees down. It was beautiful, though, with the temps in the mid 60s and clear skies and lots of sunshine.


One of the stores had some things in their weekend ad I thought I would like to see, but I chickened out and after lunch, I stopped at EconoFoods for breakfast fixings and fruit, then I headed to Hughes Farm. When I am going to eat all those things, I don't know, but I will have to do it soon.


On my way north, it dawned on me that two of the things I wanted to get - noodles and balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing  - I had forgotten, so I stopped in Calumet. 


There were a few clouds when I left Houghton, but they stayed south, and I got the notion to take Five Mile Point Road and M-26 back to the Harbor. However, about three miles outside Ahmeek, the road to Five Mile Point was down to one lane, so I turned around and came home the usual way instead. 


I was glad I did, because my anti-static wristband finally came, as well as a bunch of cross stitch magazines and a bead catalog. The bead catalog is almost an inch thick, so I will have something to pore over and drool over. I left all my bead stringing stuff at Champine, but that doesn't keep me from looking at the beads.


When I checked the computer this morning, it had taken two pictures and gone into hibernation for some obscure reason, so the first good picture was at 9:15 am. It has been fine ever since, so who knows what its problem was? I'm sorry if someone checked the site before then and saw blackness.  The rest of the pictures for today could have been the same shot, except for the sun moving around. And the 8:27 picture caught the sun off the end of lighthouse point about a minute before it set: we're getting to the time of year where we'll be able to see the sunsets right in front of us, and the days are getting really short. 


Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when the camera kind of washes out a very pretty sunset, but I guess you can't have everything.


The other piece of business is that unless I chicken out or something unforeseen happens, the camera will be down for quite a while tomorrow while I change the power supply and upgrade the memory. My knowledgeable sources tell me it shouldn't take long, but I make no promises. Things that work for other  people sometimes don't for me, and vice versa. I particularly want to make sure I have those umpteen connectors from  the power supply plugged into the right spots!


This is going to be a lovely night for sleeping, probably better than last night because I doesn't sound like it will be quite so noisy, with just enough wind and waves to be soothing.


September 2

It's only about 7pm, but we've already had one brief power outage, and I'm having a really hard time keeping the phone line open, so I will quick do this entry and see if I can get it uploaded. The thunderstorms arrived in the area about 6pm, and it has been thundering to the south, thundering to the north and thundering to the east, but so far it has not thundered right overhead, and there are only a very few raindrops on the car.  Mostly the severe thunder has been passing south of Copper Harbor, and evidently one bolt hit a transformer or something and we had about a 5 minute outage - enough to shut everything down and zap the clocks and, evidently, the speakers on the PC. 


When I got into the office this afternoon, there was no sound, and I spent the better part of two hours surfing through Gateway's online knowledge base and trying things. I finally got sound, and I'm still not sure how I did it. It was some combination of powering down the speakers, restarting the computer and looking at the devices. I finally hung the whole thing and when I rebooted, it was fine. Heaven knows why.


Anyway, last night, there was a brief power glitch while I was in the shower - I had just started rinsing my hair - but that was all. There was some thunder for a while after I went to bed, and it poured rain for a long time, but that didn't keep me awake.


In fact, I woke up around midnight and I was so groggy that it took me quite a while to figure out that the noise I was hearing was the rain pouring off the roof outside the porch. It's a relief not to be burdened with eave troughs and all that that implies, but I'm not used to it yet, particularly the sound when I have the windows open. The noise didn't keep me awake after I knew what it was, and I slept and slept and slept, and had a bunch of really weird dreams. Evidently the temperature was exactly right, because I really slept soundly and for a long time.


By this morning, those storms were long gone, and it was rather nice and even sunny for most of the day and it only began to cloud up and look ominous around 4pm. The storms moved in around 6pm, but the worst of it is still south and east of us...just the right location to zap the telephone and power lines.


It's about this time of year when the 28.8kpbs and the sometimes nasty phone line quality begins to get to me, but satellite is awfully expensive, and in weather like this, with the storms in the same direction the antenna would point, it probably wouldn't work very well either.


I finished the latest embroidery piece, called "Miss Kitty's Dragons", and if we get some sunshine I will try to take some pictures of the last three pieces. I also finished the right front of the fuzzy vest I've been knitting. Otherwise, I just enjoyed the weather.


It was a pretty nice day until the clouds rolled in, middle 70s for temps, and a little humid. Oh, yes, I washed towels, because I was getting tired of drying myself off with damp towels all the time.


There is quite a violent thing going on south of us - probably over Lac LaBelle and Bete Gris - but all that we're getting of it so far is a lot of noise...and a wind out of the east, which is weird. Oh, yes, and it's still affecting the phone lines.


Oh, my, I just looked back over the harbor, and is it coming! I doubt I'll be able to get a good connection until it passes us, darn. Oops, I went to get my dessert (fruit) and close the slider, and not only was the floor inside the slider wet, when I came back into the office, the radio and the printer were wet. Forgot about that again.


All the thunder and lightening is still south and east of us, but the rain  and wind isn't. Only the way the radar map looks, this is it, and it should  stop shortly.


Anyway, I chickened out on making my summer vegetables with noodles, and just had a nice ripe tomato with my fish tonight. Some nice balsamic vinaigrette would have been nice, but I don't have any yet. DC appeared and began to sniff when I put the fish in the microwave, and he sat beside or beneath me all the time I was eating, meowing. I don't know if Buster would have liked fish, because by the time DC got through with the plate, it looked like it had been through the dishwasher.  I liked it too. The nuking sort of overcooked the whitefish, not surprisingly, but the trout, both marinated and not, was delicious, almost as good as last night. I had the crab claw - I opened it with a hammer and scarfed it down cold. Yum.


Well, the sky is all yellow and there is even a patch of blue over the mountain, so I guess the storms have passed us by. The phone line is still iffy, but that should clear up when the rain stops. What's neat is that far away as the thunder is now, I can still hear it reverberating in the hills. It's cooled off nicely and looks like another great night to sleep.


So I will try to get this uploaded and knit a while before I toddle off to the north end.


Well! I thought I was through, and all I had to do was try to keep the phone line up long enough to publish this, when I looked out the back windows and there was a spectacular rainbow...or set of rainbows. I grabbed the camera and went running out onto the front porch in the rain, and after I snapped the first two pictures, I remembered the wide-angle adapter that I've never used, so I dashed in and attached that. Those pictures are almost wide enough to show the entire rainbow. I finally took the adapter off to take the last, almost best shot of all.


When I blew up the pictures in Photo Deluxe, in the ones taken with the regular lens, I could see the reverse rainbow below the main bow in the brightest parts, and the secondary bow was really bright.  I love rainbows anyway, and the air is so pollution-free here that they seem much brighter and prettier than anywhere else I've been.


After the rainbow, the setting sun turned the light all sorts of shades of yellow and apricot and coral. So that was a lovely end to a wonderful storm, and now I can upload all of this and go to bed. It's going to be another good night to sleep!


September 1

We'll see how far I get on this.


It was a cloudy, threatening day all day. This morning, it got very dark, but nothing happened, then it lightened up, and I could actually see a little blue sky through the clouds, although the haze down the harbor was thick. I was watching the weather maps, and I could see a large area of heavy rain moving in our direction. For a while, it looked like it might head out over the lake and miss us, but no such luck. It started to rain just as I was finishing my nice dinner at Harbor Haus, and it really came down hard as I was walking the block to my car. The town is full this weekend.


Anyway, I made it home, and for the past half hour or so I could tell it was coming. The wind is now picking up and the thunder is thundering, but mostly over the lake, and it looks like we're in for it. We'll see if I get this done before or after the power goes...I took the time to save the web here after I created the August file, just so I wouldn't lose all that work.


It is really dark and hairy.


The nice dinner was sort of an experiment. They have a rather expensive entree that has fish, crab legs, lobster tail and shrimp on it, far too much for one meal, so I ate the shellfish (except for one crab claw I need pliers to crack), and brought most of the fish home. There has never been fish cooked in this household, and I'm really wondering what the kitties will do when they smell it heating up tomorrow. 


Thunderstorms are so neat in Copper Harbor! The lightening is all around us and the thunder is echoing off the hills, and even if it was light out, you couldn't see beyond the beach. Some of the lightening is pinkish or yellowish because it is so high in the clouds.


Of course, the phone line dropped and it's having a hard time trying to reconnect (so what else is new?).


This particular storm is over us and south of us, and it is really racing by. Already most of the lightening is out over the point. I bet there will be another one behind it!


Oops - while I was busy trying to get reconnected amidst the static, the wind shifted around and blew some rain in the south window and all over my radio. But the thunder has now moved a mile or two to the east and the rain has subsided for the time being.


If I can get a good connection, I will try to get this uploaded and give up for the night! 


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM