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January, 2004

 

January 31

My goodness, January is over. What a month. I'm glad to see it gone. In 14 weeks, I'll be back at Rainbow's End, provided the road is open. If the rest of the winter is as snowy as January has been, there is a chance the road might not be open on May 7. It's happened before. I won't think about that.

 

The weather here was pretty today, with lots of sunshine, and while it started out below 10, it got up into the low 20s. Sorry, but I didn't get any pictures of the embroidery. When I got to the sewing room, it wasn't very bright, so I cut out the rest of the robe and started sewing. The front sleeves are attached to the fronts and the back sleeves are attached to the backs. Tomorrow I may get it done.

 

While I was there, I sewed the sleeves back into the old chenille robe. I will never understand why purchased items (I'm thinking of the robe and also the curtains in my bay window) are made out of material which will last a hundred years and sewn with thread that rots away in a few years. Makes no sense to me. 

 

In Copper Harbor, it was another day of lake effect snow, with temperatures around 10. This afternoon, it was clear and sunny further down the peninsula, and the result was this. The sunshine only lasted half an hour or so and the snow rolled back in, but it was fun to watch the sun shining on the deck while it was snowing like mad over town (no, I'm not there, but I got to the computer around 4:30, so I got to watch it and imagine being there.

 

It's a pity to feel good enough that I keep thinking I could live there year round and knowing there is no way I could reasonably do it. Oh, well. Dream on. At least I may be able to finagle a way to spend six months a year there for the foreseeable future.

 

The weather forecast for this area seems to indicate the temperatures may moderate somewhat in the next week or so...our January "thaw"  (over 32) the first week of February. Of course it may snow, or sleet or something, too. However, Monday is the midpoint of winter. Groundhog Day is one of the "Cross Quarter" days - halfway between the solstice and the equinox. So it's all downhill (except uphill for the sun) from now on. Soon the sun will be on its nearly vertical climb to the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.

 

Fourteen weeks.

 

January 30

I wasn't going to shop for food until next week, but when I looked at the amount of orange juice I had left, I decided I'd better go today. Besides, I have been eating frozen dinners or soup all week and I was about ready for something home-cooked.

 

Before I left, I located my salt and poured some on the back steps, and when I came back, I used my little ice chopper and cleared off the bottom step pretty well, but the top one has so much ice on it and it was so cold out that I couldn't make much headway except to score the ice a bit so I could get in. When it sleeted (or whatever it did) Tuesday, I had hoped Marty would clear off that step before the temperature dropped, but obviously I should have done it myself. I actually don't have much salt, but I'll put some more on it and hope I can chop away at it. I would hate to step out the slider and go flat on my fanny.

 

Friday is not a good day to food shop, because it's the traditional day for everybody who doesn't work. On the other hand, most of the shelves are stocked, so that's a good thing. I came home with some nice pork chops, and a roasting chicken. 

 

The chicken will hold, but the chops expired today (so I got a deal on them), so I made "Glorified Pork Chops" tonight - browned with onions and mushroom soup poured over. I serve it with rice. People make fun of the "universal solvent" - canned mushroom soup - but I happen to like it, and it certainly makes things easy. I have the pork chop recipe and also a good one for chicken. So I ate well tonight, for a change.

 

Shopping took long enough that I didn't get anything done on my robe, but tomorrow is another day.

 

The weather here was about the same as it has been - cloudy and cold. It was about 5 when I went downstairs this morning, and the skies were clear for a short time, but it clouded over, the temperature got up to about 15 and apparently there was a brief snow squall that I missed. When I walked out of Kroger's with my basket of food, there was a brisk and bitter wind blowing that made loading the car most unpleasant.

 

Lake St. Clair looks to have quite a bit of ice on it, although I certainly wouldn't go walking around on it, and it was hazy out toward the middle. Not much fun to see at all.

 

In Copper Harbor, it was more of the same, too. It was very cold this morning, but the temperature has gradually risen to about 14, and there is a north wind of over 20 mph which makes the wind chills sub-zero. In the first picture I saw this afternoon when I logged on, it wasn't possible to tell what snow was coming down and what was being blown around, but in most of the other shots, it's definitely coming down. There has now been almost 104" of snow in January, not including today, and the winter weather advisory has been extended through tomorrow. This is more like January 2001. although that year there was more in December and less in January...but the result was about the same. Lotsa snow! There's 10"-12" on the deck (ahem, Tom), and the wind has actually carved a curved drift in it. When you can see down the harbor, it certainly looks cold.

 

It certainly is cold. I wore my longjohns and cords today, and I wasn't any too warm. I don't really complain about the cold weather, though. Except for my arthritis, I actually feel much better when it's cold, and I've learned how to keep most of me warm, except for my hands and my face. My hands are cold because of the Reynaud's syndrome, of course. I guess I have to admit I have extremely sensitive skin, especially on my face, and I've never been able to wrap a scarf or anything over it, because when I breathe into the covering, all the skin that's covered gets severely chapped and very sore. So I just try to keep my face out of the wind, which isn't always possible. Then it feels like little sharp teeth gnawing at my cheeks...and of course my nose runs. My nose runs all the time anyway. The Michigan Drip.

 

So it was another quiet day, and it's nice to have some good edibles in the house.

 

January 29

It was another strange night in computerland, and I'm not certain I'm over it yet. However, everything of importance is now backed up on the laptop, so if I really have to do a Go Back to Monday, at least I can recover the website. I keep getting "undeliverable mail" messages from users I've never seen before, which claim my pasty.com account sent them, so I have to believe any number of users who visit this site and have emailed me at s_i_smith@pasty.com may have the W32.Novarg.A@mm virus on their machines. PLEASE!! If  you aren't running anti-virus software, get some  immediately! If you are running anti-virus software, be sure your virus definitions are up to date and run a total system scan right away! Also, if you get an email with an attachment from a user you don't recognize, especially if the subject of the message is something like "test" or "hi" and the message says "The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment", under no circumstances should you open the attachment. In fact, if you get emails with attachments and aren't sure about the integrity of the system the sender uses, don't open the attachment. Or, as a final block, don't open any attachments you can't see as part of the original message.

 

I'm getting to the latter point, although that will make it hard for some friends of mine to send me interesting stuff, because most of the time, that is the only way AOL users can send forwarded messages. It's a real pity that these things happen to mess up the internet, but apparently there are a lot of people with a warped sense of fun out in cyberspace.

 

My meeting with the financial people was this afternoon, and it left me dissatisfied, so I will probably be talking to some other folks over the next few weeks. There are some things I can do to get out of my current difficulty, and I am going to do some of them (like try to put together a portfolio of craft items that might be saleable), and consider some of the others, perhaps with some outside help. They contend that the entire fault for my situation was the stock market collapse over the past three years, but I will want some other input on that issue. So we'll see. Anyway, I think I can avoid having to sell one of the houses, and the consensus is that for any number of reasons living in my house in Copper Harbor year round is out of the question. 

 

A real pity, too, but over the past year three long-time Copper Harbor couples have pulled up stakes and moved south to more civilized places. All of them love the place as much as I do, but there comes a time in the lives of most people where the rigors and isolation of the north shore just become too much to handle. If I can make some arrangement to keep my current pattern, at least until I can't stand the move back and forth, that will be the best possible situation.

 

Yesterday afternoon, I got part of the robe cut out. What an unusual situation to have a clean cutting table! It hardly looks like my sewing room, just like the office in Copper Harbor hardly looks like my house when the desk is clean. Of course, I didn't get anything done on that today, but tomorrow I will finish cutting, I think, and maybe start sewing. My poor old chenille robe, which must be nearly 15 years old now, is losing its tufts and coming apart, and with the temperature so low in the kitchen, I could really use the warmth of the fleece.

 

Yesterday, the temperature here got up to the low 20s, but today the high was 12. It was cloudy and there were a few snowflakes but no accumulation.

 

In Copper Harbor - well, that's a different story. Both days, it snowed like mad with 20 mph winds, more or less, out of the north, and the deck now looks to have around 10" of snow on it. According to George, as of this morning, there had been 100" of snow in Keweenaw this month. The temperature has been hovering in the single digits both days, so it hasn't been very nice there except for snowmen. Brr!

 

This evening, I had a nice call from Shirley. She is at Mayo, and she actually seems to be enjoying herself, despite having had every test known to man. She has a nice motel, and her daughter Sherry is there with her, and she can go underground through a mall to the subway to get to the hospital, which is a lovely campus full of very nice people. Tomorrow is the day she has her talk with the doctors and finds out what the verdict is. She was wise, however, in that she actually wrote down a list of her concerns to show the doctors. That's a good plan, because it is so easy to forget something which may be important both to her and to the doctors diagnosing her problems. I will be most anxious to hear what they have to say. One of the reasons we have always gotten along so well, I believe, is that she has the same positive attitude my mother had and I try to have.

 

So Buster was most upset that I left him and he has been clinging to me ever since I got home (I mean, I was gone a whole three hours!). It's now later than I intended, due to my computer work, and I need to take the trash bags out to the barrel.

 

Onward and upward.

 

January 27

Now, while there is an inch or so of nasty looking stuff on my driveway (and more importantly, my steps), and I didn't go anywhere today, I have to say the Great Storm was another dud. When I got up this morning, it was raining and so dark it looked like morning twilight. The temperature was 30, and it rose over freezing by 10 am (at the airport, that is - it wasn't that warm here). From then on, it dropped off until it's now 21. There was some minor snow this afternoon, but the heavy snows and all that which were being predicted (the sky is falling! The sky is falling!) never happened. There was enough junk on the ground that I was glad I didn't have to go out. They are still saying there is supposed to be snow overnight and tomorrow, but I'll believe it when I see it.

 

In Copper Harbor, the temperature dropped from nearly 20 to around 12 now, and it snowed off and on all day. There was quite a bit of snow overnight, because there is now around 8" on most of the deck. There are caps on the deck railings, but for some reason, the little caps on the posts are only about an inch high. Out in the harbor, the open water that was going from the channel to the for has now been pushed over in my direction, so it seems clear the ice still isn't thick enough to risk going out on. According to George Hite, there has been just over 86" of snow this month in Keweenaw and for the season, about 152". That's about half the season's total, and 13 feet. There's about 35" on the ground in Mohawk, and there is a storm watch out for tonight and tomorrow. Even constant snow gets monotonous after a while.

 

It was very gloomy when I got up this morning, but not nearly so cold outside. For the first time in quite a while, I had a poached egg for breakfast, and it tasted good. I don't know what this thing with eggs is, but I think it has something to do with having eaten them nearly every day for 55 years or so. Fried eggs just turn me off completely these days, even with ham, and scrambled without ham and cheese isn't so good either. The poached egg tasted so good I may try it again tomorrow.

 

I completed the hemstitching around "Sanctuary", and it does finish the piece nicely, although now I don't know quite what to do with it. As soon as there is any sunshine, I will try to take some pictures to post, even though I will have to load Adobe Photoshop Elements in order to do it. 

 

For the rest of the afternoon, I hunted for a project case with two sets of sampler instructions in it. I know I brought it back with me, and I know I filed the last sets of instructions, but what I did with it then, I do not know. Clearly, things are piling up too much and one of these days I will have to do some sorting. By the time I gave up on that, it was time to come downstairs.

 

And it is now time to go back up and to bed. I have been sliding my retiring time, and I'm not getting enough sleep. Tomorrow, I must get up in time to go to bible class, so it's time to go.

 

January 26

Well, that was an interesting half hour or so. Some poor soul sent me a copy of the Novarg virus, which Norton recognized, but in attempting to either quarantine or delete it, it went into a loop, and I had to power fail the computer to stop it. Now there is probably something in my registry that I am going to have to get rid of. I hate to hack the registry, although so far I haven't done anything totally disastrous. I'm at a point in my interaction with computers that I resent anything that makes me have to work to recover.

 

The day started slowly. I got up at 9am because I thought I ought to, and it felt like I should just keep on sleeping. I was working on my hemstitching on Toccata when the financial guys called and asked if I would like to reschedule my appointment of tomorrow, in view of the truly nasty weather forecast. I agreed, and after another call, we finally got it rescheduled for Thursday.

 

Then I tried to get hold of the mortgage company, because I think they sent my interest statement for Copper Harbor to Copper Harbor, from which it would be returned to them. Unfortunately, when I refinanced, the company that bought the mortgages isn't nearly so much in control as the first one was, and I've had no end of problems getting things sent to the right place at the right time. However, there is a nasty storm on the east coast, which is where they are located, and half the time I couldn't get the call to complete at all, and when I did, I couldn't get to talk to a person. So I will try tomorrow.

 

I finished Toccata, and as soon as the sun shines again, I will take a picture. Then I decided to finish the other two things by the same designer that have hemstitching. One is called "Sanctuary" and I actually finished the embroidery a year ago, but didn't do the hemstitching. So I started that. This one has an actual hemstitched hem, which is harder to do than the other was, but I got about a third of it done. Then there are the little scissors fob and needlecase I was working on a while ago. By that time maybe I will have decided what to do next. Toccata #2 has been delayed (I talked to Randi), so there will be time to do another small piece. Hmm...

 

And that was about the entire day.

 

The weather in Copper Harbor was a little clearer today than it has been, and a little warmer. The temperature was around 18 all day, and the only obvious snow was this morning. There has now been 86" in January, and more is on the way for the rest of the week, although it doesn't look to be a new record (which was 110").

 

Here, it was about 15 all day, and it has now gone down to 10. There was an inch or so of snow overnight, and there was more early this afternoon. They keep predicting sleet and freezing rain for tonight, followed by quite a bit of snow tomorrow, which could get really ugly if it happens. So far, there's not much coming down, and the snow/rain line is well south of us. Since my appointment was rescheduled, it will probably be another dud, but I didn't want to take the chance I would turn up and find nobody there to talk to.

 

So another quiet day, and I can sit inside and watch the weather tomorrow.

 

January 25

Wow! I didn't get enough sleep last night. Better tonight, I hope.

 

Besides, when I got downstairs for breakfast and to feed the cat, the weather station was reporting -6. Brr! I might add, it was 61 in the kitchen, which isn't exactly balmy. However. By the time I left for church, it was above zero, which was something, but I bundled up, with longjohns, a wool sweater and my long down-lined coat. The only trouble with that was that it got rather warm in the choir loft. 

 

Sermons this month have been around stewardship, no doubt because the new building has to start this spring, and they are somewhat short of their goal for funds. As usual, Bruce can pick choir anthems that are appropriate to the theme of the day better than any other choir director I've sung for. We didn't have a very big group today, probably because of the weather. It was into the teens by noon.

 

In Copper Harbor, it didn't get so cold, but the temperature was nearly steady, between 9 and 12 all day long, with the usual snow. There was one interesting picture, which shows a lake effect snow squall on the other side of the harbor. In the next picture, which I didn't keep, there was a ray of sunshine on the deck, but there was so much snow you could hardly see the mountain. It was off and on like that all day, and shortly after sunset, there was a snowmobile coming down the mountain.

 

I ended up spending most of the afternoon finishing Toccata, all except for the hemstitching all around it. That has been a fun project, especially since it is small enough that it went fast. The designer has a thing about hemstitching, but it will finish off the piece. I have drawn the threads, but I need to weave the ends in, then I can start stitching.

 

I am watching the weather warily, because as of now, the weather forecast for Tuesday is one in which I don't particularly want to travel...sleet and freezing rain. Yuck. I'll be interested to see what John says tomorrow and how it develops.

 

So now it's time to crawl upstairs and into a warm bed...

 

January 24

I seem to be slipping back into my old sleep/wake habits, and that will have to stop.

 

When I got up this morning, close to 9 am, I was dawdling upstairs before coming down when I remembered that I had planned to take the car in to have the oil changed, for which it is quite overdue. So I threw on my clothes, drank some orange juice and put the coffee on, then took off for the garage. It was pretty quiet over there this morning, thankfully, so I had just finished breakfast (a nice big one of ham and cheese omelet) when they called to say the car was ready already. This is an independent service station, and I have been a customer since I moved back to Detroit in 1973, long before the present owner bought the station. They have kept my cars running in top shape ever since, including the '78 Blazer, which I had for 11 years and 125,000 miles, a new radiator, and new brakes. I don't think Chet is a very good person to work for but he is a fantastic mechanic and as honest as they come. When I backed the current car into the side of the house and cracked the housing on the rear-view mirror, he was the one who discouraged me from getting it fixed (it still works, so far as I know), even though he would have made a tidy sum on replacing it. It is really great to know somebody like that, especially for car repairs, where the innocent consumer can get taken to the cleaners really easily.

 

It was about 12 when I went out this morning, but it was clear and sunny and a really pretty day. It stayed that way all day long, and I'm sorry I didn't stay upstairs for the sunset. I keep thinking about moving the computer upstairs out of this frigid place and to a place where I can enjoy looking outside a bit. I'd have to have some electrical work done, unfortunately, or I'd do it in a minute. My excuse for keeping it in the basement was that I could play music on it while I use the treadmill, but the chances of that ever happening get more remote all the time. The only real disadvantage would be that I wouldn't have anything to do while I do the wash, but I could always leave the laptop. Hmmm...

 

Anyway, eventually I made it back upstairs, and I am now working on the final patterns in the border of Toccata. I do have to hemstitch around the entire piece, but that won't be too hard. It has been fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

 

I mentioned that I need to do some sewing, but there were a few things in the sewing room that I needed to take care of before I can start that. Since it was such a lovely day to be in that room, which is on the southeast corner of the house (not far different from the office in Copper Harbor), I settled in. I wound into balls all the yarn for my vest and my drop-dead shawl (which will be an amazing thing, if I ever make it), and put the yarn swifts and ball winder away. 

 

My dark navy cotton knit dress has been in there since I decided it needed to be washed, because it had white buttons on the front, and they looked horrible. It is another one of those Mother Hubbard things from Eddie Bauer, but it's very comfortable and good for church on days in late fall and early spring when dark colors are indicated and it's too warm for winter things. Besides, it's a solid color, and I have lots of jewelry to wear with it. I dug out some dark navy buttons some time ago, but sewing on buttons isn't my favorite task, so it was lying around in a heap, getting moved around as I did other things. So I threaded up a needle with four strands of thread and in about 45 minutes I had taken off the old buttons and sewn on the new. I didn't really look at the results, but I'm sure I'll be much happier.

 

I have gotten used to accepting the styles and fit of purchased clothing (for a very long time, I made almost all my clothes), except for dress pants, but I have been having a real problem lately with the incredibly bad buttons. The dark navy dress had off-white, plain four-hole buttons that were really too small for the buttonholes (Eddie Bauer). My lovely raspberry boiled wool jacket has plain brown buttons (Land's End), and I haven't decided whether to search for matching ones or use gold. I got two flannel dresses from Eddie Bauer a couple of years ago, one gray and one red and green, and both had brown buttons. I changed the ones on the gray plaid to black, but I haven't decided what to do about the red and green one, which I only wear at Christmas. All of these things were too expensive to have such corners cut on the buttons (although I got the jacket on sale at nearly 50% off). It's probably good that I don't need to buy any more clothes for a long time. The buttons would drive me nuts.

 

Those are some of the problems one has when one has made one's own clothing, but since I retired and began wearing much more casual things, I just don't need to do so much sewing. I live pretty much in knit tops (tees, polos and turtlenecks) and jeans, with something over the top in the winter. I did make one fleece top, and I need to make a couple more, because the Polartec fleece I can get direct from Malden Mills is much better quality than what I can buy...and the sleeves are long enough. My Copper Harbor robe, and the one I will be making, starting tomorrow, I hope, are both Malden Mills Polartec. I've never found it easy to sew in knit fabrics, and my few attempts to make jeans weren't very successful, so I buy those things. I seem to remember saying, earlier in the winter, that I should make a couple more pairs of wool dress pants, and I still think I should, but whether that will get done now is debatable. I need to do the robe, then I need to start experimenting with my for-sale crafts.

 

So that was my nice quiet day. I always feel better when I've spent some time in the sewing room, and after having dreamt about the house in Copper Harbor last night (somebody was wrecking the insides and all the windows were covered over), I needed that.

 

Oh - the weather. I'm forgetting! Here, it was sunny and in the mid-teens all day, a very nice winter day, in my opinion. In Copper Harbor, it snowed all day long, but it was a day when I wish I'd been there to see it, because it was classical lake-effect snow. You could see the great billowing clouds full of snow coming in over the lake, but overhead, and I'm sure in the interior, the sun was shining. Of the interesting effects that produced in the camera shots, this one caught my eye. You can see the sun shining on the mountain and Copper Harbor, and yet it's snowing like crazy. There are four or five inches of snow on the deck now. The temperature there was under 10 all day with about a 15 mph wind, so it wasn't very nice outside. Ah, winter in Keweenaw!

 

So that is a day in the depths of winter.

 

January 23

Today is the 64th anniversary of my parents' marriage. And 30 years ago, I had to stay home from the party because my appendix was bursting (it came out the next day).

 

While we're on the subject of anniversaries, I forgot to commemorate the third anniversary of the stem cell transplant on January 10. The nurses in the BMT unit referred to it as a "birthday" or, as I liked to call it, my re-birth-day. Maybe it's something I'd just as soon forget, although more likely I forgot it because I had other things on my mind a couple of weeks ago. So now it's three years and counting. If the current situation I find myself in doesn't cause a relapse, I'll think I have a chance to make it to five years.

 

When I went out to do the trash last night, it was clear and extremely cold, and Venus was setting in the west. Sometime later this spring, it should appear in the webcam, I think. It actually wasn't good seeing here, because the radiation from all the buildings in the city was causing a kind of haze over everything.  But wow, was it cold - about 2.

 

It got up to about 12 here this afternoon, then it started snowing lightly, and it still is. Maybe an inch or two has fallen here, and there isn't supposed to be much more. I did go out and fetch in the barrels, so that is done, and it actually didn't feel too bad out - there wasn't much wind.

 

In Copper Harbor, it got up to a whopping 9 and snowed lightly all day long, but it didn't look like there was much accumulation. The wind has died down a lot, too, so it's not so bad up there, although right now it's snowing hard enough that the lights of town are barely visible.

 

I got up later than usual lately (9:15), and had my old Friday breakfast - French toast and Volwerth's pork sausage - and it tasted good. I am now on halfway through the last row of squares in Toccata, and after that there is a little bit more border to do, and that will be done. Most of it has been lots of fun to do. I'll have to consider what to start next, while I wait for Toccata #2. 

 

Finally, the check that I couldn't read the amount of in my register cleared (gaak - what a sentence - sorry!) so I was able to balance my checkbook. That was a relief. I hate to go around writing checks when I'm not exactly sure of the balance.

 

And that was all there was, and it's time to go upstairs and warm up again. Another quiet day away from the field.

 

January 22

When I went outside after choir practice last night, the wind was apparently out of the southeast - or it was coming around the side of the church - and it actually felt rather warm on my cheek: the temperature was up in the 20s. I can't remember how far into the 20s it was, and the Weather Underground is having system problems, but it really wasn't all that warm! Today was a different matter, however. The sun was nice, again, but I doubt the temperature in my backyard got over 10, and when I put out the trash tonight, it was 2, with a 10-15 mph wind out of the west. Now that's cold.

 

Not like it's been in Copper Harbor, though. There, the temperature has been hanging around 5-10 and the wind has been up in the 25-35 mph range. Wow!

 

Yesterday was interesting there. Between 8 am and 11:30, there was apparently a mini-blizzard that John says dropped around 10" of snow. Then it stopped, although it didn't clear up. Today, it's been blizzarding all day long, with plenty of snow and high winds.  Through yesterday, there had been something like 78" of new snow since January 1, with 31" on the ground (remember, it's been so cold that this snow is very fluffy and packs down extremely). So far this season, there's been 137" in Keweenaw, which isn't a record, but December didn't produce much. Since there are 9 days left and John says there is another storm on the way for next week, there is a chance of breaking the all-time January record of 110". Now that's winter!

 

With the strong north wind, not much has accumulated on the deck, but the camera pictures show mostly nothing for today - it was snowing hard all day long.

 

Debbie came yesterday afternoon, and we exchanged Christmas presents and my birthday present...which was a Swarovski crystal cat. She had found a kitty tree ornament that is marked sort of like DC and has little wings...quite appropriate, I thought. She liked her scarf and all the other things. And we had a nice conversation. What a friend she is, and how I treasure her!

 

Buster was in his glory. He likes Debbie, and we were sitting doing nothing, so he went from one lap to another and got petted to his heart's content. I had hoped being awake all afternoon would have made him sleepy, but it didn't do much, and he was rustling around most of the night.

 

I am now working on the ninth row of Toccata, so I will be done with it by the time the next one comes. It's fun to do, although it isn't the kind of thing I would frame, most likely, since it isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever done. I find a lot of needlework is fun mostly for the process and the finished product is just a bonus.

 

This afternoon I attempted to put away some of the clothes I brought home, and I was not totally surprised to find I brought more than will fit in my dressers. Most likely what I should do  is set aside a lot of those things and wear out just some selected pieces. The trouble is, then I would wear the things I like best, and be left with things I don't like so much. I really didn't think I'd brought quite so much, and then I'll have to face the question if I should ship it back. Oh, dear. I'd hoped I was beginning to get those problems straightened out.

 

Buster was with me all the time I was in the front room, and for a long time he sat on one of the beds in the sun, just soaking up the rays. I'm not sure how much heat is transmitted by the double paned windows, but he seems to like it in the sun.

 

So nothing much is going on, but it's fun to watch the snow pile up in Keweenaw.

 

January 20

Poor Buster! Twice during the night, I had to wake him up and make him move because he was sleeping between me and the right-hand edge of the bed and I needed to get up. I must say that it didn't make him go away. He is slightly fey, but he has a sweet personality. He does desert me between 5 and 6, however, because that is when the furnace starts its climb to the daytime temps, and there are at least three places he likes to sleep where he's right by a register.

 

All he did was wait until I got back and sit by the pillow until he could see where I was going to lie this time, then he settled down again. He wants to lie in the curve of my body (I sleep on my side in a modified fetal position, with the underneath arm straight), sometimes with his back to me, sometimes with his feet toward me. I can't believe he can feel my heartbeat through all the covers, but it's possible. I know I must radiate heat, even through the quilt, but part of it is that he wants to be with me. Silkie was the same way after Dennis died, so I understand it.

 

I got up around 8:30 (11 hours in bed again!) and he was behind the bathroom door with the hot air blasting away on him, but he came down to eat.

 

I determined that my toaster oven had indeed died (I had to turn my toast and redo it on the other side, and it still wasn't right). So I needed to go off to Target and see if I could get a toaster oven like the one in Copper Harbor - a $30 one that is quite adequate.

 

I did want to do some embroidery, and I was finishing up with that when I got a call from the financial guys, and this was a person I'd dealt with extensively in the past, and frankly, I unloaded on him. I also ended up faxing the memo I created last week, which is my summary of my take on the problem. I'm not sure it was totally wise, but I am an open and straightforward person, and since I hate people who aren't, I could hardly do otherwise. I did manage to excite this person, and he called later to say he had talked to the head of the practice and gotten him upset, too, and he is going to be researching the history of my portfolio for the past four years. I meet with them next Tuesday afternoon. So I can put thinking about that off until Monday night...I may need a sleeping pill. Enough. Things are off dead center.

 

I went off to the nearest Target store, and I now have my new toaster oven, and it works. If I had bought it right before Christmas (fat chance!), I would have saved $5, but the place was nearly empty, and that is worth a lot to me. I never liked crowds, and the older I get, the more uncomfortable I am in them. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was (and I hope I don't offend anyone with this) that I was, I think, the only light-skinned person in the store. Eastland Mall, which is where this store is, is pretty close to Detroit, and it seems clear to me that white folks are now shopping further away. 

 

I was also struck by the woman in front of me in the checkout line. She had a basket full of staple products - toilet paper, soap, and other cleaning products. I wonder whether Target is really the best place to shop for that kind of thing, frankly, but anyway. The checker had to ask her for the things in the bottom of the cart - I don't know whether she thought she could get away without paying for them or what, but the total came to $113. She then began to take things out, and still she came up with a quarter too little, so the older woman in back of me gave her a quarter: it was clear she spent every cent she had. Heaven knows, I should have given her the quarter. No matter what our politicians may think, the fact is, things are not good in Detroit. And regardless of what the statistics report, inflation in the important things, like food and cleaning products, is still eating away at people who can't afford it.

 

I remember again the old saying that no matter what your condition, there are a lot of people worse off than you. "I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet..."

 

I stopped at the drug store for some more JD (my drug of choice these days), since I seem to have done quite a job on the last bottle over the past week. It helps sleep.

 

The weather here was cold but pretty today, clear with temps in the upper teens. There is a color to the sky on cold winter days that it doesn't get at any other time, and it was nice to see the sun. It would have been nice to spend some time in the sewing room today, but my bank statement came, and I made a (futile) attempt to balance it. I must try again tomorrow or Thursday. What the problem is I don't know, but a lot of the checks I wrote at the end of last year were still out. Oh, well.

 

In Copper Harbor, it started out just like the past two weeks, with snow, but that stopped around 10:30, and around noon it started to clear up...the first sun, I think,  since the day after Christmas! The temperature was about 10 all day, but there was no wind to speak of, and it must have been a beautiful afternoon indeed. However, the clear skies increased the heat loss, and the 8 pm readings showed a temperature of 1 and dropping. Brr. The clouds are supposed to move back in overnight, and by noon tomorrow there should be another system moving through with more snow. Ah, the depths of winter in the Keweenaw!

 

Tonight I had some more of my lamb shanks, which is a wonderful winter dinner, and I feel it is time to trundle back up to the second story and sleep some more, except that the Detroit Symphony is playing a Mozart piano concerto, which I may just have to stay to hear.

 

January 19

I had my usual wakeful period in the middle of the night, which wasn't helped by Buster, who wanted to sleep right up against me, but he wants to be on the front side, so I would wiggle around, then he would wiggle around, and that went on for a couple of hours, while I dozed in between. I really didn't want to get up at 8 am this morning, when it looked like it was still nearly dark outside, but I had to take a walk, and I wasn't going to sleep anymore until I did, so I got up.

 

I had been thinking about oatmeal, so I made some, and just put a banana and a very little maple cream in it, instead of the dried cherries, and I decided to have a piece of toast with some peanut butter for protein. When I put the bread in the toaster oven, the top browning elements didn't come on at all, so in order to toast my bread I had to turn it over, and it wasn't very well toasted. Oh, dear. I had hoped not to have to buy anything for a while, but I do need a working toaster oven. I thought I would try it again tomorrow before I go to get one.

 

I spent some time working on Toccata, and I finished the sixth row and half of the seventh row, so I am making good progress. As I mentioned, some of the squares are more successful than others, but since it's one of those things you have to look at really close-up anyway, and it's interesting mostly for the process, nobody will ever notice what didn't work very well.

 

Then it was time to write some checks and take them to the mail box. When I got back, from Buster you would have thought I'd been gone for days, but that's the way he is these days.

 

While I worked on cleaning up the sink side of the kitchen, I put the soup on to cook. I just finished a bowl of the result, and I must say it's pretty good soup. This time, I got the right amount of pepper, and it was very tasty. I still have to get it out of the pot and into freezer containers, which will, no doubt, mess up the stove again.

 

This was a good night for a hearty bowl of good soup. The weather here, besides being cloudy all day, was cold and  nasty. It only snowed a few flakes, but the temperature hung in around 19 all day long with some northwest wind. 

 

In Copper Harbor, it was like a broken record. It snowed all day long, and the temperature stayed right around 10 with 20 mph winds out of the north, although they are dropping some now. There was about 2" of new snow on the deck by nightfall, but the wind probably blew most of it away. John Dee said there was about 10" of new snow in his neighborhood over the weekend, and I think there is probably more than that up in Keweenaw County.

 

So another quiet day, and I will now go and decant the soup. It's so nice to have a good supply of soup in the freezer!

 

January 18

I didn't sleep quite so well last night, and I felt like I could go back to sleep about the time I had to get up. In spite of getting up at a reasonable hour, I dawdled around enough that I was a few minutes late for choir practice. The song wasn't too hard, but our lack of practice showed. Bruce was satisfied, I guess, but he wasn't ecstatic about our performance. Oh, well.

 

The service was Matins, which I don't think I've attended since I was back here, and it was nice for a change. We had a very unusual occurrence, too - a young 20-something man who is one of our custodians was baptized. I think that is always a very exciting time for the pastors, particularly this time, when they have to have had a lot to do with his coming to Jesus. He actually had quite a few relatives (no father) present and it was nice.

 

I embroidered for a while after I got home and accomplished a bit, but Buster didn't like my having left and he wanted me to make it up to him by letting him sit on my lap. I looked at the chores I have to do and decided this was the day to attack the kitchen. Ugh.

 

The stove and counters around it are now cleaner than they were when I got home, and I found out how to take the filters out of the exhaust fan and  clean them, although they probably need to be washed in the dishwasher to get all the grease out of them. When I pulled them out, a dead and desiccated yellowjacket fell out. Not a good sign, but at least it shows that even if they can get down the pipe, they can't get into the kitchen.

 

I didn't do as good a job on the cooktop as I would like to have, because in order to do it, I would have had to take the entire thing to pieces. I've done that before, and it's not a fun job, and by that time, my back was bothering me. I did have to remove the burner under the griddle (which, by the way, I think I've used more than my mother ever did), in order to clean up the spillovers, and by the time I got that back together, I'd had it. The sink side of the kitchen will just have to wait.

 

The soup got postponed again, too, because by the time I was done cleaning, it was too late to start it. Tomorrow?

 

Oh, yes, and the vacuum is in the kitchen. Back in December, when I was putting in my order to American Spoon Foods, I got some of their dried cranberries, which are very good, by the way. When I opened the package, I discovered there was a hole in the bottom, and I dropped a few on the floor. Well, today, I moved the package to the sink side of the kitchen, and the whole thing dropped right on the floor, with cranberries all over the place. I picked up some of them (not a lot, because the floor was dirty), but most of them had to be vacuumed up so I wouldn't step on them. What a mess! I've been eating them in my cereal, and they add a nice tartness.

 

So that is the story of the day.

 

The weather here was cold and sunny. The temperature started out in the upper 20s last night and dropped off, and all day today it hung right around 20. It was a bit windy, and it wasn't very nice out in spite of the sun. Because it was a weekend, it looked like the streets hadn't been plowed or salted, although the sun was beginning to melt some of the snow when I came home, and it was kind of a mess out there. I'd say there was a couple of inches of new snow yesterday.

 

In Copper Harbor, for the second day in a row, when I logged in to the camera, all there was was white. It snowed more or less heavily all day long, and for most of the day, the other end of the harbor was invisible. It must have been a hairy night last night, with the temperature in the low teens and the winds over 30 mph. The winds have dropped into the mid-20 mph range now, but the temperature has been nearly steady all day. There wasn't much snow on the deck - an inch or so - but I'm sure that's because of that north wind. Brr!

 

We're having a real wintry winter this year, for sure!

 

January 17

My state of nervous tension seems to have set my internal clock back. Now, instead of getting my 11 hours plus between 11 pm and 10 am, I'm getting it between 9:30 pm and 8:30 am...all to the good. It's amazing how much more I seem to be getting done that way. Of course, that's due to my nervous tension, too. Also, I have less of an appetite than I did, which is good, although Dr. Lehman may not think so.

 

Anyway, during my wakeful period in the middle of the night, I came up with another idea for an item that might be saleable. For years I have been frustrated by every check folder I have ever seen, and I had more or less designed my ideal one some time ago...and I was thinking about that again last night. The only thing that has changed in the past few years is that now I want an extra page of slots to keep the discount cards all the supermarkets are giving out. Besides that, it has to have a place for the register that can be written on and will keep the pages apart at the right place and prevent their corners from curling, and a place for both a pen and a pencil (I haven't written my check register in ink for thirty years), and it has to be, overall, the same size as the ones the bank provides. Thicker, maybe, but the other dimensions the same. Picky, picky, picky, I know, but those are my specs. I actually began thinking about this again last summer, but I wanted to make it out of a fabric that looks like chintz, but the coating is vinyl. I searched high and low and asked a lot of people, and I can't find a source for the fabric, so I am resigned to making them from cotton fabrics that can be washed. Even in dark colors, they're going to get grungy after a while. Of course, the ideal material would be glove leather, but as a foray into the world of craft items, I can't justify the cost. So that put me into a mood to sleep.

 

I also want to create a small, almost square wallet that will hold bills, change and credit cards and fit comfortably in a jeans pocket. I have one that I got a few years ago, but they have been discontinued, and besides, they had a zipper across the top and I want a flap. The little wallet I have with a flap doesn't have enough room for the credit card folder. So my mind churns on...

 

I finished another row of Toccata today, and started on the border along the side of it, so I am almost halfway done. While all the colors aren't exactly my favorites, and some of the squares work better than others, the whole piece will be pretty, and it certainly is fun to do! There's another one out in February that I'm interested to see. There aren't a lot of designers doing really interesting counted thread pieces these days.

 

I had lost a magnetized thing that I keep on my board to hold needles and things, so I ended up doing some work on the bathroom...and then I found it on the bottom of the board. I work on a 12" x 18" painted steel magnet board, so that I can attach magnetized place holders and needle holders, and this isn't the first time that half of something has ended up on the bottom. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to move around in the bathroom now. My bathroom here is a really large one for the time the house was built - not including the bathtub, it's about 8' x 6', and it's possible to move around in it, or, as in the old days, have more than one person in it at a time. However, it's not like the one in Copper Harbor, and I had a lot of embroidery stuff in there that needed to be moved out. I also put away a lot of paper products and bottles I've acquired since I got home, so the hall is cleaner, too.

 

Then it was on to the sewing room. I can now say that the cutting table is clean enough that I can consider cutting out my robe, and I found the pattern. I had thought about using a different pattern from the one I made in Copper Harbor, but finally I decided that raglan sleeves are actually a good idea over flannel nightgowns, and all I have to do is perhaps make it a bit smaller, with a bit shorter sleeves, and not try to do patch pockets, and it will be just fine...and keep me a lot warmer.

 

While I was into all that, it started snowing, and when it stopped, there were a couple of inches on the ground. 

 

I really needed to cook up the lamb shanks , since I've had them for a while, and when I took them out of the fridge, I said, "Oh, no!"  Thankfully, it was the wrappings that stank, and the shanks themselves were just fine. The only problem I had was that they are braised and they really need mashed potatoes with the gravy. When I checked, I discovered I had used all my potatoes at Christmas, but I found a package of instant mashed potatoes in the pantry (which aren't all that bad), so I was saved. They turned out good...I do love that dish...although for some reason I'm not tasting too well today. There were only three shanks, but two of them were huge, so I have enough meat for at least four meals. In spite of my disinclination to eat much, I enjoyed them. I've had them so infrequently lately that it was a real treat.

 

Maybe tomorrow, I can make bean soup?

 

The weather, ah, the weather. Here, the temperature hung in around 20 most of the day, and it's now rising into the mid 20s. The conditions  say "mist", but I guess that's either some cold fog or light snow. Icky.

 

In Copper Harbor, the temperature was around 20 all day, but sfter pm the wind suddenly rose over 30 mph. The result looked like this. Some of the snow was coming down, and it probably started around 1:30, but a lot of it was just being blown around by the north wind. Brr!  Apparently the clipper system was a little tardy in coming through, but it's there now, and there is a winter storm advisory through 6 pm tomorrow. Not much had accumulated on the deck when night fell, but we'll see what tomorrow shows. The camera isn't showing the lights of Copper Harbor, so it's definitely snowing or blowing or both. The temperature rose briefly to about 27, but it's now dropped back to under 20. Brr.

 

So that was another quiet day. Perhaps the nervous tension is a good thing, since I'm getting some things done that have needed it for a while. Tomorrow, after church, I can cut out my robe, wash my quilts, or clean the kitchen, whichever I feel is most vital. Actually, with the cooking today, the kitchen really, really needs it, but we'll see. A lot depends upon my back.

 

And January is half over, and I've been here for two months. Seems like two thousand years.

 

January 16

It finally finished snowing in Copper Harbor for a brief time, and when I logged on at 4 pm, there was a camouflage-clad back bent over right outside the window. Since it's supposed to start again tonight, I was glad to see it cleared, since beforehand it looked like there was a good 10" on the deck. It didn't actually stop snowing until a few minutes before he started shoveling, so there was some buildup from yesterday. The temperature hung in around 15, but the wind was out of the south, so the lake-effect machine wasn't doing its usual thing (egad, I just put an apostrophe on that its - it's contagious and I'm catching it! Aack!), That is all supposed to change after midnight, when another clipper system comes through and drops a bunch more snow on everything. I'll be interested to see the deck tomorrow.

 

Here in the big city, it got into the upper teens, but the sky cleared around 11 am this morning and it was sunny for the rest of the day. Pretty, but unfortunately, I am beginning to form icicles on the front of the house, and I remember distinctly sopping up water in the sewing room on the day after New Year's in 2001, as I was waiting for Debbie to carry me off to Ann Arbor for the stem cell transplant. There are still stains on the dust cover over the Featherweight (that's an old, wonderful Singer sewing machine that belonged to my mother and is older than I am) from that incident. I can certainly understand why there are no eave troughs in the northwoods. They almost seem to cause more trouble than they're worth, and I think it's just to avoid holes in the ground. Someday I will have to ask Greg what the theory behind them is...they don't make any sense to me anymore.

 

I was sleeping so peacefully in a pretty nice dream this morning that I didn't want to get up, although I made it out of bed by 8:30. That was a good sign, I think, although I had been awake and thinking about my situation in the middle of the night. Breakfast was a problem, since I was hungry and nothing seemed good, so I ended up with a turkey and cheese sandwich, and I actually got back upstairs around 10:30. Amazing.

 

The one thing about eating something cold, like the sandwich, for breakfast is that I don't have to bolt it down to keep it from getting cold. I don't like cold, hot cereal, and English muffins with peanut butter get hard to swallow when the muffin cools off. Since the temperature in the kitchen is holding around 62, everything cools off quickly. It's not much warmer in the basement, but my pasty was hot enough right out of the oven that by eating steadily I managed to inhale it before it cooled off. Although cold pasty is better than cold cereal.

 

Well. I was embroidering...I finished another row on Toccata... when Debbie called. It seems the snow put her behind a day and she had to go someplace (I think maybe Livonia) to get her and her son's hair cut today. That was all right by me, because I still haven't put together or wrapped her Christmas presents. Maybe Tuesday.

 

I was going to take some of the stuff out of the living room...and I may take it upstairs tonight...but I ended rustling around the kitchen for most of the afternoon. There were so many grocery bags, full and empty, on the floor and so much stuff on the counters that it finally began to get to me (I'm tolerant - some of the stuff on the counters was stuff I brought back in November). So I put cat food away and bottles of juice away and wine away (set on all three for some time, I think) and filled a black trash bag with grocery bags. It is actually beginning to look almost habitable in there, although the stove is still gross.

 

I nearly goofed by throwing some old, growing garlic down the disposer, but enough water and other stuff seems to have cleared out the smell. 

 

At least my nervous tension has resulted in my doing some things that really need it!

 

It's supposed to snow here tomorrow, too, but not a lot, then it's supposed to clear up for Sunday.  That will be good, because Bruce wants us there at 10:10 to practice a new anthem for the service. I'm sure it will be nothing difficult - it may be something we've sung before - and this usually happens at least once a winter when we have to call off practice, either because of snow or sickness.

 

So that is another quiet day away from the field. It's cold outside where ever you are in Michigan tonight!

 

January 15

This is starting out to be a good old-fashioned winter, both here and in Copper Harbor. Here, it was a whopping 9 when I got downstairs this morning, and it only got up to 12 or  so all day long. When I put the trash out tonight, including, I'm happy to say, kitty litter (in that regard, besides being fastidious, Buster has learned to be patient), it was back down to about 7, and the forecast is for zero or below. It stopped snowing about 4am, and there was another inch or so on the ground. It is so cold, it crunches. It's also so cold it's pretty slippery, as the crystals rub against each other. I went to the mail box, but that was a brief trip, and I was glad I didn't have much outdoor activity planned. Because Marty cleaned the driveway around 6pm last night and there is an inch or more on it now, I am not going to recycle this week - I can last another week - so everything that's going out is out. Amazing.

 

In Copper Harbor, the temperature has been consistently between 5 and 9 for some time, and it seems to have snowed lightly or a little more all day long. Actually, it doesn't seem to have been snowing at the last picture tonight, but the harbor, the deck and the yard are all white, and there looks to be close to 8" on the deck now. The wind has been light (under 10 mph) all day long, and it has swung around from north to southeast. Not to worry, there will be lake effect snow whatever. 

 

My goodness, it's cold in Michigan!

 

I was going to read a while last night, but I felt sleepy, so I didn't last more than half an hour or so. I did sleep pretty well most of the night. I do hope that one of these days I can convince Buster that just because I have to get up around 2 am, and he is awake, it isn't time to get up and do something! I almost tried to sleep in this morning, since there wasn't anything to get up for, but I had to walk again, so I was up at a reasonable hour. It didn't make much difference. I embroidered for quite a while, then spent some time gathering things like check registers, my calculator, various bills, and a bunch of other stuff that had gotten spread around the house over the past few days. It's now beside me in a basket, and will shortly all be upstairs where it belongs. Having the computer in the basement is a pain sometimes.

 

I actually have the stereo on upstairs, and I can almost hear my favorite station, now that I have plugged the antenna rotor back in. I got an antenna booster before Christmas, but then discovered that it is supposed to be plugged into the wall, which is a problem, and I haven't done anything further with it. I just felt like having noise around here this morning, and I do - mostly noise - although occasionally I hear something other than static. Curiously, the static always seems to get much worse just at the time a news broadcast comes on. 

 

So it was a quiet day, and I think I am going to try the reading in bed thing again...although it just occurred to me that i haven't had any dinner yet. Am I getting confused, or what?

 

January 14

What? A journal on Wednesday?

 

I did sleep last night, although I think I was wakeful for a while around 2 am when Buster was all ready for the day to start. I woke again around 8 am, and while I felt like I really could go back to sleep, it wouldn't be until after I took a walk, so I decided to get up and go to Bible class instead.

 

It was snowing hard enough that I called to be sure there would be a class, and I was glad I went. That is a good group and it was great to be in it again. Afterwards, I laid my problems on Pastor, and he made some suggestions, and offered some help, so I am waiting to hear back from him. He feels, like I rather do, that spending the winter in splendid isolation might not be a good idea, not to mention how far it is from medical facilities. However, I'm not making any decisions yet.

 

It had snowed about two inches, maybe more, when I left church after an hour and a half, and it kept right on. Not blizzardy, but steady fine snow and temperatures under 20, although late in the afternoon, the temperature went up to the mid 20s.

 

Around 1:30, Carol called to say that Bruce had called off choir practice - not that I was surprised. He lives in Inkster (his family is in Ohio, and I think one reason he stays to the south of Detroit is to make it a faster trip home), and I wasn't surprised that he didn't want to make the trip. Nina, our church secretary, lives in Sterling Heights, and she said I-94 was slow this morning. I can imagine what it was like tonight!

 

I spent some time folding wash and organizing the tops I brought back, although I didn't get them put away yet. However, my underwear is now in the bathroom, where it belongs, so I won't have to go walking into the front bedroom all bare every morning. Maybe tomorrow I can put some stuff away.

 

I quit that because I have been formulating a memo to myself about my financial advisors, and I wanted to get it typed into the computer. It was better in the middle of the night last night, but I think I've mentioned before that in the past I've composed "views from the field" when wakeful at night, and they are totally lost by morning. This one wasn't a total loss, so now I have two pages of notes. Whether anybody else ever sees it is iffy.

 

When I got downstairs, of course I first logged onto the internet. As you might expect, the live cam is my home page (I did that a year or so ago, when I suddenly realized - duh! - you can set any web page to be your home page!), and when it came up, it was showing the last picture for last night - oh, no! It's been working so well lately!  I called the line and power failed the computer, but evidently I didn't leave it down long enough, and it still didn't come up right, so I power failed it again.

 

Just then Ann, whom I'd called last evening when she wasn't home, and who has caller ID too, called me. We had a nice conversation. She is in the process of moving to Keweenaw, and of course she has her own angle on my situation, which I was glad to hear. Her worst worry was the social situation, which shouldn't be a problem for her, since she lives much closer to Calumet, Houghton and Hancock than I do.  Like everyone who has seen my home, she can't understand why I would even hesitate to move. Well, Copper Harbor is a bit isolated in the winter, when the main source of social interaction is to spend the evening in Mariner's bar, or the ladies' meeting, which is only once a month. Houghton, and the Rosza Center, is 50 miles away, over roads that, I have recently heard, aren't so well kept up since the state has taken over cleaning them...and there's the cat to consider. There's also my health problems to consider. However, it was really helpful to get her slant on things, and I'm sure we will be having more conversations over the next year or so, as I get this all straightened out.

 

How blessed I am with friends I never knew were there until I had this website! How I love you all, and how grateful I am for your concern and recommendations! It says a lot about how unsocialized I was until my mother died that only now am I discovering the delight of friends. Oh, well, that's long ago and far away now. Debbie started it, and all of you are continuing my education. Thanks again, for everything.

 

Anyway, it was a while before I got the telephone free to call the computer again, and this time, it worked! Unfortunately, then it was around 4:45. However, the picture looked just like it did yesterday, except that there is more snow on the deck. It's still snowing over the harbor, and there is ice all the way to the line between the lighthouse and Porter Island. So I guess we didn't miss much, except that it embarrasses me when John's site and the Bridge Cam site show a black screen all day. Oh, well. So far, it's done well this winter, and I can't complain. Besides, I don't think we missed much.

 

It's still very cold in Copper Harbor - it was in the middle teens this morning, then it dropped off to the single digits again and the wind rose to over 20 mph. This is the eighteenth day with measurable snow, so although it got a bit of a late start (December's totals were sub-par) it's beginning to turn into a real Keweenaw winter. The season's snowfall at Mohawk must be 100" by now. And this will go on at least to the end of March! Whee!

 

So that is the current conditions in the field and in the field in exile. I'm a little warmer now, with a TV dinner in my tummy, but the program I'd hoped to hear with a lot of Beethoven piano, is starting out with something very modern and awful, so I think I will repair to the upper story and hunker down in bed with a book and a warm cat and try to get in a mood for a good night's sleep. That's the best thing to do on a cold, snowy night in winter.

 

January 13

Last night was a little better. At least I got some restful sleep. However, there was no way I was going to sleep after 8 am, so I got up and ran over to the garage to see if I could get my oil changed...well! Nobody could take me home, nobody was going to be able to take me home for from one to three hours, and besides, oil changes are cheaper on weekends...when it's first come first serve starting at 8 am. Yuck. However, I don't need the car on Saturday, usually, so as long as I can get there at a reasonable hour of the morning, I can get it done. I'm overdue...I should have had it done when I got back here...but other things intervened.

 

So I went home, had my muffin with peanut butter (which I'm getting tired of, too), and embroidered some more. Then it was off to Kroger's. I was going to try the new store, but I decided it would be easier and safer if I went where I know the layout.  Besides I got to go out Lakeshore Drive, and the atmosphere was so incredibly clear today that I could see the smokestacks of the electric plants on the north side of the lake. There was also an empty ocean freighter (I think) going up. The Soo Locks are still open, and the intrepid shippers are still sailing.

 

Kroger's had lamb shanks for the first time this year, although they only had three...there must be some ethnic dish that uses one lamb shank for flavoring. They also had the large size Kleenex that I have stockpiled because it's so hard to find. I had pretty much given up on buying it locally and decided I would have to get it over the internet...and lo and behold, there it was. I got some, even though I don't really need it.

 

By the time I got home, the mail had come and the envelope was there, so I composed a note to attach to the paperwork, stuffed it all in the envelope and went off to the mail box. 

 

Poor Buster.  He was waiting at the back door when I came back from Krogers, and he didn't want me to go again, and even though I was only gone about five minutes, he was sitting in the front window looking for me when I came back, and he was so glad to see me! I'm afraid he is getting steadily more lonesome.

 

The weather here was yucky. There was a brief, nasty snow squall while I was at the garage, and even though the temperature was in the upper 20s, with the wind and the snow and the humidity, it was raw and unpleasant. There wasn't any more snow, and the sun came out for about two minutes, but the rest of the day the temperature didn't change and it was cloudy and nasty. Bah.

 

In Copper Harbor, it's cold again - the temperature dropped off steadily from 11 pm last night, and it was in single digits all day, bottoming out at 5 between 11 am and 4 pm. The wind dropped, too, fortunately, but man, it was cold up there! It also snowed lightly in the harbor all day long. There isn't much new accumulation on the deck, and the railings still have their little caps. One of these days, the one on that post is going to fall off, since it looks like it is hanging off by about 2", but so far, it's still there.

 

I had a nice long talk with Debbie today, and she is very supportive and trying to be helpful. This evening, Shirley called, and she is supportive, too. She is going to Mayo at the end of the month (thank heavens) because since the last time I talked to her, she has discovered that she has a blocked coronary artery and she will most likely need angioplasty. They will do a complete evaluation on her and maybe get to the bottom of her problems.

 

Shirley mentioned that somebody drove a snowmobile into the harbor last weekend. The ice looked like it was thick, so three guys were riding around on it, and one broke through, right out in front of their docks. The driver got off before the machine sunk, and after it was pulled out and drained, it seemed to be OK, but unfortunately, it's another story of an idiot on a snow machine. I think the people who post on John's site sound like they are mostly responsible, courteous and careful riders, but there sure do seem to be enough of the other kind, too!

 

So now it's bed time again, and maybe I can begin to catch up on my sleep a bit. It's supposed to be cold and probably snowy here tomorrow, a good day to hunker down inside, at least until choir practice.

 

Oh, yes, and I re-read John's journal, and this is the 17th day in a row with measurable snow in Keweenaw.

 

January 12

Nope, I didn't sleep any better last night and was up early this morning. I got the paperwork squared away as best I could, and the envelope should come tomorrow. They claim they still have my file, so it would have been nice if they'd used it. We have some things to talk about other than my finances.

 

I posted a question about snowmobiles in John's "Ask John" section, and I got a lot of wonderful feedback that got me thinking a bit more coherently about my whole problem. Unless the financial guys throw another curve at me, I am beginning to form a course to take at least for the next year or so. And I had a nice long telephone conversation with one of my correspondents (one an evening, Ann - you're on the list). I think I am a little bit more settled, although not much. My stomach still hurts. I hate to be in a position where I just don't know what to do, so having tentatively made a decision should help a bit.

 

Anyway, that didn't happen until I was halfway to the hardware store for my nuts and lock washers. I certainly spent more in gas than I spent for the washers, but they had exactly what I needed, and the hand truck that I use to hold my recycling basket is now back in one piece again. Good, because I didn't need to do any trash or recyclables last week, and I will this week.

 

I embroidered for quite a while, if you consider ripping out embroidery. Counting was a problem today, although eventually I got it straight. The weather was really cruddy. The temperature hung around the mid 30s all day long, it was dark and dreary and there were some snow showers that didn't stick. Mostly it was dark.

 

In Copper Harbor, it snowed more or less hard all day long, with temperatures in the low 20s. There wasn't much wind until around 5 pm, but it has risen steadily until the last report was for 25 mph. It was snowing so hard at the last picture that you couldn't see the lights of Copper Harbor, and there is a lake advisory out until tomorrow morning. John says it's been snowing for 9 days (I haven't counted, but I'm sure he's right) and it looks to keep right on.

 

There are still those cute little caps on the railings, and the one on the post sort of hangs off it toward the south. This morning, there was a small patch of open water between the lighthouse and Porter Island which had disappeared (as much as I could see it) by afternoon.

 

This is the time of year where the sun is hanging down at the bottom of the analemma and doesn't move much northward until almost February, so the days are short and dark and the nights are long and darker. I don't like it when I get up after 8 am and it's still twilight. Actually, looking at the almanac, that was because it was so cloudy this morning. The sun rose just before 8 am here. And even though there is very little change from day to day in the time of rising and setting, we actually are on the upward curve. It will be a while, however, before it begins to show.

 

So Buster has gone away again, and so must I, to the upper story and bed.

 

January 11

Talk about unsettled...I slept for three or four hours last night, and my dreams were full of being at Rainbow's End in the winter, with a riding snow blower and a snowmobile. However, after that, I more or less dozed for the rest of the night. Part of it seems to have been that I was alternately hot and having chills...probably I have a slight cold...but my mind was going in circles. 

 

Church was nice this morning, I thought, although there were far fewer people there than there were last week. We sang a "Gloria" from an early Mozart Mass, and I think Bruce thought we did OK, even though people were still rushing in when the service started (I excuse the couple who did - she is having a heart catheterization next week, and I can imagine she was distracted). It is nice to have our one (except for Bruce, of course) musically trained man back. Even when he's wrong, he has no trouble with singing out, and he's usually on key. The sopranos were, as usual, flat on the F's during rehersal, but I think we got up there during the performance. Sermons are going to be about stewardship during the Epiphany season (guess why - they are trying to get the addition paid for), but there was a message there, and there was communion. With Carol's help on the way down, and alone on the way up, I managed to do the stairs not at one step at a time. Strange, too, because I was really tired. Still am.

 

I worked on the paperwork, and frankly, I don't see quite how they can do an analysis from it, because it is totally disorganized. It seems to be missing a page (as well as the envelope). I also looked at the original documents again, and I am beginning to wonder if they lost my file, because most of the stuff in it doesn't pertain to my situation at all. I will be on the telephone tomorrow.

 

Ah, the weather. The first Copper Harbor picture of the morning showed cute 4" caps on the deck railings and the posts, and it snowed rather hard pretty much all day long, but the temperature has risen into the middle 20s, which is a lot better than it has been lately.

 

Last night, when I went upstairs to bed, the gibbous moon was shining in the hall window, clear and bright. The temperature started out in the mid-teens this morning, and has now risen to 36. It was a cloudy, dreary day, and it got dark early. I guess there may be some snow or rain overnight and tomorrow. I guess, if I have my choice, I prefer all snow.

 

Tonight I finally made turkey a la King, and it is a good batch (which still needs to be put in containers). And after dinner, I had a nice talk with my  cousins in Virginia. That helped a lot, just to have someone to talk to about the curious situation I find myself in. 

 

So now it's past bedtime, and I still have to put the a la away. Maybe I can sleep a bit better tonight?

 

January 10

Well, it was another unsettled night. I guess I won't be settled until I get to talk to the financial people, which may be next week or not. I got the paperwork they wanted today, and they didn't put an envelope in it, so I will have to wait until Monday to call and ask them what they want me to do with it after I fill it out. I like the way I organized my projections for the new year a lot better than theirs, but I guess theirs makes it easier to put into their analysis programs. I will work on it tonight, but I have been so upset, that after two double JDs, I may go right to bed, after I finish this and the last load of wash comes out of the dryer.

 

I did the rest of the wash today, because I had been wearing the same outfit entirely too long, and all the fleece tops I brought with me were dirty. Of course, this is the year that I left a lot of fleece in Copper Harbor, and it looks like I will need it. Figures.

 

I will say one thing about my financial troubles, then drop it: they want me to sell one of the houses, and they agreed that Copper Harbor isn't the one to sell. So there is a small, but finite, chance that I might really get to live there full time. Oh, how I would love that, but the problems seem insurmountable. I only wonder if I'm actually up to the task, physically and mentally, of moving out of this house. Since they did their projection without asking me for current data, when I furnish that, they may change their minds. Also, the person who was my rep for the past eight years has left the company, and I don't think the new one is entirely aware of my total situation. We shall see, and in the meantime, I am a nervous wreck.

 

For another day, it was colder here than it was in Copper Harbor. Here, the temperature started out below 10, bottoming out at 6 this morning, and it has been rising slowly all day. It was cloudy, and currently, it's 18. So far as I know, there has been no snow here.

 

In Copper Harbor, the temperature got down to 12 this morning, and it has been rising all day to 21 currently. It has also been snowing all day, and there is another 4" at least on the deck, and as you can see, there is more away from the house, including a good cover on the ice in the harbor. This year has gotten off to a late start, but it reminds me of the pictures I got from Shirley and Phoebe in 2001 (they are in the Gallery).

 

I spent quite a while working on Toccata, but I could tell I was distracted, because I had to rip out and redo a lot of my work, including some from yesterday, when I couldn't tell the difference from counting to 5 and counting to 6. It is going to be a really interesting piece, and part of it is that it's really quite small and easy to complete. Now, if I can only keep my mind on what I'm doing...

 

Curiously, Buster seems to be aware that I am unsettled. He slept with me for most of the night last night, and he has been going around howling again, which I think is his way of telling me everything isn't all right. Boy, is he right! He looks at me with great big eyes, as if to say, ok, now what's the problem? DC he is not, but he does seem to be in tune with my state of mind. Things like that make me a believer in ESP, at least certain kinds of ESP, like that between cats and people.

 

So it's a snowy night in the field tonight, and it's unsettled in the field in exile.

 

January 9

Somebody who looks at the site asked me what a blizzard looks like.  Unfortunately, I didn't save any pictures from Monday through Wednesday, but I did get one from today. This was not another blizzard, just a heavy lake effect snow squall, but the only difference I can see is that today the snow was piling up on the deck, whereas earlier in the week the 40 mph winds were blowing all but a thin layer off both the deck and the railing. As you can notice, there isn't much to see. Just a lot of white nothing. Today, you can see a few of the flakes as they fall, whereas during the blizzard, because of the wind, you couldn't. The temperature actually got up to 15 there today, and the snow was falling, faster or slower, all day long. It still is - in the last shot I saw just now, in the dark, you can't see the lights of Copper Harbor at all. I guess the snow advisory is for all night and most of the morning.

 

As for here, it was a beautiful, sunny day, but the temperature started out at around 15 last midnight and fell steadily to about 9 and it never got more than a degree warmer all day long. I took a quick trip to the mail box, and I was sorry I wasn't wearing my longjohns. I don't usually wear them when I'm going to be inside all day, because after a while, with all the clothes on, I start to feel like the Michelin woman.

 

I was so upset by the stuff from the financial people that I didn't sleep well last night and I got up pretty early this morning to check some more things on the computer, so it was a while before I got back upstairs. Then it was a couple of hours' work on Toccata, which is a lot of fun, the quick trip out, and I spent the later part of the afternoon in the sewing room, a nice place to be on a sunny afternoon in the winter. I did finish the green ornament, but it isn't very nicely done, since, besides all my other problems, I had to use some slightly different beads for the fringe. Oh, well. It's over with, and all the balls and beads are back in the other room.

 

I had, and still have, some other things to move around to get the cutting table cleared off, and it looks like I may end up taking the pattern for my new robe directly off the old chenille one. I'd rather not do that, so I'll mull the whole thing over while I make room to do the cutting. Since the table is the biggest thing in the sewing room, it tends to collect stuff, and it's been a while since I've done any sewing here, so it has collected a lot of stuff.

 

I understand it is still clear outside, and the furnace has been running almost continuously, so it looks to be another night to hunker down under the quilts. Maybe I can sleep a bit better tonight.

 

Winter has set in with a vengeance.

 

January 8

Well, despite being gone two days, I don't have much to report. The blizzard is over in Keweenaw, although it's still very cold and after a day of not much, there have been snow showers over the harbor all day.  The harbor is now pretty much frozen over, and by this afternoon, it looks like there is ice on the big lake the other side of Porter Island, too. That's pretty hard to see, as there is only a little bit of the lake I can peek at, but I do know the Eagle Harbor Cam showed ice out several hundred yards.

 

It has been cold here, too, with temperatures topping out at just over 20 but not so much wind. On Tuesday night when I went upstairs, the full moon was beaming in the side door, but yesterday and today were both cloudy and blah. There have been a few little snow showers now and then, but not much was added on the ground.

 

Choir practice last night was a laugh - it lasted about half an hour, and since a number of people didn't arrive until almost 7:45, it was interesting. However, Buster was happy to have me home.

 

I actually got up at a reasonable hour yesterday morning, and as a result, I was able to do some work on that pesky beaded ornament I had to put aside before Christmas. I finally got the cover on the ball and started the fringe, after several more false tries, but it doesn't look as nice as I'd hoped. I am not going to tear it all out again and start over! I will do the fringe, then the ornaments and the beads for them will be put away until some future time. My goodness, that was a frustration! I guess I'm just not supposed to have a green ball with a gold and red net cover on it.

 

I want to get the cutting table cleared off, because I really need my polar fleece robe. The temperature in the kitchen has been under 65 all the time, and if I sit there for any length of time reading (which I tend to do), I get really frozen. On the subject of temperature, I am going to adjust the thermostat down a tad tonight, because I was warm last night.

 

That may not be all because of the thermostat. I'm wondering if I still have the little cold I was fighting on Christmas. I went to bed at 10:00 last night, but I never got up until 11:30 this morning!  I did get up briefly around 6:30, which is altogether too early to rise and shine, but then I went back to sleep. And now, I have that coldish feeling in my head. 

 

I was disappointed not to get up earlier, but I am not about to start setting the alarm clock! I embroidered on Toccata for a while, then came downstairs to do some work on my ledger and expense projections for the year. I got a package from my financial advisors yesterday that nearly gave me a heart attack, but I think some of their numbers and assumptions are wrong, or at least I hope they are!  So it was time to do my work on last year and set up this year's ledger.

 

And now it is bedtime again. I didn't have enough trash to put out, so I can go put my fuzzy head to bed.

 

January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

It's a cold night in Michigan, that's for sure!

 

For once the NWS wasn't wrong. There has been a ton of snow in Keweenaw (12 inches or more, I think), The wind has been over 30 mph for most of the last 24 hours, with gusts to 40 mph or more (at 10 pm, it was 36mph with gusts to 46 mph), with temperatures that went down to -4 overnight and peaked out at 10. From sunrise until 4:30 this afternoon, all you could see if you looked at the camera was...nothing. It was solid white outside the windows beyond the deck railing. There isn't much of an accumulation on the deck or the railing, but I think that's because the wind is blowing it away. I've seen pictures like that at least once a winter since I've had the camera, but this is the earliest one so far. Of course, the winter of 2000-2001 started earlier and there was more snow at this time, but the camera wasn't there yet (in fact, the house wasn't finished then). So those who looked at the camera today saw an honest-to-goodness real blizzard. Very nice to watch, but I certainly wouldn't want to be out in it!

 

We aren't doing too badly down here in the southeast corner. There wasn't much snow overnight, but the temperature dropped steadily from a high of 25 last night to a low of 9 at 7:00 pm and it has now risen a couple of degrees. We don't have quite the wind, although it's been between 15 mph and 20 mph all day. That puts the wind chill at around -5. Baby, it's cold outside!

 

I am so grateful that I don't have to go out to work when the weather is like this! I can hibernate and admire the statistics and feel sorry for those who do have to. Of course, tomorrow is choir practice, so I will break out the longjohns and down parka and hat and put on my sherpa-lined mittens that have been in the car since I put them there when I left Copper Harbor (why I ever thought they would be more useful there than here, I do not know) and walk as fast as possible when I'm outside. All I can remember is the years I worked in Bellville, with the quarter-mile walk from the parking lot to the building. It was out in the middle of farm country, and the wind swept right across all the open fields, and it was impossible to stay warm. It's nice to have all that behind me, for more than one reason.

 

I celebrated by sleeping until 11:30 again. My excuse is that I was wakeful for several hours in the middle of the night...I wonder if maybe I was cold?...so when I finally did get to sleep, I kept right at it. That really truncated my day, and I actually ended up doing nothing much at all. Too bad - I don't like to do nothing like that. 

 

I think maybe I will crank up the thermostat a notch or two before I go upstairs tonight and see if that helps. It's a hard thing, because if I set it for weather this cold, as soon as it warms up, I will be too hot, and I don't like to be fiddling with it all the time. It is a multiple-setback programmable thermostat, and it's sort of  a pain to change it. On the other hand, if the temperature is going to keep me awake all night, I have to do something. I am waiting patiently for The Company Store to have their comforter sale so I can replace my winter comforter with one that has some down in it. The years and the washings have really depleted the filling, and now it has less down than the lightweight one in Copper Harbor. I think it's time for a new one.

 

So that is all I know. They're shivering in the field tonight.

 

January 5

It was a good day to hibernate, so I did. Not much snow fell after I got home last night, but the temperature today was in the mid 20s and it was nasty. I dropped a piece of mail that looked important (it wasn't), so I had to go walking around outside for a bit, and there was a cutting wind from the west.

 

However, it was nastier in  Copper Harbor. It looked like there were lake effect snows off and on (mostly on) all day long, and the temperature started out around 10 and dropped off all day, until the latest reading was 6. With the wind out of the north around 15 mph, that puts the wind chill at about 10 below. Really BRR! There is a blizzard warning out for all of Tuesday and Tuesday night, so the camera pictures may be interesting tomorrow and there may be a real accumulation of snow. Since the temperature for the next few days is supposed to stay below 10 (it's -2 at the Houghton Airport right now - that lake, even though it's partially frozen, really does help!), the harbor is probably finally frozen for the duration. The wind was pushing the ice down toward the east end, but soon I imagine it will be solid all the way to King Copper Motel. I would say this is about normal for a Keweenaw Winter. Shirley always says that you can never really count on the snow before Christmas, and it's only after then that it piles up and stays. So far as I've been tracking it, mostly through John Dee's site, that's right. She has lived there long enough to know.

 

 I awoke early and turned over and didn't get up until late, although I seem to have recovered from my strange hours of last week. Breakfast was a turkey sandwich. I finished the little things I was embroidering before Christmas, so tomorrow I can start on "Toccata Number 1", which will be lots of fun.

 

I was just getting my clothes on, finally, when Debbie called. The reason I didn't hear from her over the long weekend is that she has a bad cold or the flu or something and is lying low, partly because she doesn't feel very good. I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm grateful she didn't come to visit. That kind of a present I don't need!  There was a lady behind me in church yesterday who was sneezing and coughing, but I hope that because she was behind me, it won't spread to me. I wish people would stay home when they are sick. I know, I know, I didn't used to either, but I do now, because I've learned how easy it is to spread things around just by breathing in the same room.

 

My hands are cold now, and it's time to hunker down under the covers again. It's cold in the field tonight...

 

January 4

I spent a nice afternoon with an old friend of my mother's. She is a lovely lady and it was nice to talk to someone her age who isn't totally negative. 

 

However, that brought to mind something I unaccountably forgot to mention in the journal last year. Not that I wasn't thinking about it, but apparently not when I was writing. Ten years ago on May 24, my mother died. It hardly seems like that long, and it seems to everyone who knew her, including me, that it was just a short while ago. And we still miss her. Any amount of positive attitude or faith or feeling for other people that I have I can credit to her. There have been innumerable times when I have wished she was still here, for many reasons, but most importantly to discuss things with. I haven't had anybody else to do that with like I did with her. At the same time, it would have devastated her to have had me go through all the illness I have had in the past six years. Knowing what all her friends have had to endure, I sometimes think she was lucky.

 

It was cloudy and dreary when I left home, and probably around 5:00 or so, it started snowing. By the time I left, there was 2" of rather wet snow on my car. It was a bit slippery, too, but I punched the button and drove home (around a mile) in 4WD. Since somebody almost slid into me at a four-way stop about halfway home, I was grateful that I had it. The temperature hung just over freezing for most of the day and has now dipped a bit below, and there is no wind, so it isn't really nasty out, but I did wish I'd worn my down parka when I was cleaning off the car. The weather forecasts say the snow will turn into freezing drizzle later tonight...yuck!

 

In Copper Harbor, the temperature was around 15 all day, and there seemed to be numerous light lake effect snow showers. There is a film of ice over most of the east end of the harbor, with a film of snow on top of it, although late this afternoon there seemed to be sort of an open patch out front of the house. Winter, for sure.

 

Even though I slept pretty well last night, I seemed rather shaky today, and I think I will go up shortly and try it again. I did have some trouble getting to sleep, probably because of my long sleep the night before. Maybe, just maybe, I can get turned back on to people time now.

 

So there is snow in the field tonight.

 

January 3

This was a rather truncated day. I got to bed before 11:00 last night, and despite some nasty dreams, I didn't want to wake up this morning...and I didn't, until 11:30. Apparently I needed to catch up on my sleep, but it left me feeling rather groggy all day, so I will see if I can do it again, minus the dreams, please.

 

The weather was cloudy and warm, and there were apparently some very light rain showers, because the ground was wet all day. It is still over 40, but the radar maps show the snow is headed our way, so we shall see.

 

In Copper Harbor, it was cold and very windy all day, with the temperature dropping steadily, and it is now below 20 with a wind chill of something like 2. It looked like there was snow over the harbor all morning, but there must not have been any accumulation, and before the temperature started to drop, it got over freezing, and there wasn't much on the deck or anything on the railing. We'll see. The storm looks like it will hit us in Detroit rather than the UP, although with those winds and cold temperatures, there should be some lake effect.

 

I did accomplish a bit. I more or less sorted the stuff that needs to be filed, and which had kept falling on the floor in the bedroom, and put it in a basket, and I sorted out all the bills that need to be paid, and I will try to get a few of those taken care of before I go to bed. I started my dark red scarf (the other one is for Debbie). So despite the shortness of my day, I did manage to do a few things.

 

More tomorrow.

 

January 2

Well, I was even later last night. First, I got almost 1.9 million points playing Bookworm, then I finished one of the parts of Puzzle Inlay, discovering in the process that there are only 22 levels in each part. And for this I paid money? Anyway, it was really late before I fell into bed.

 

I actually didn't sleep all that long this morning, only until about 9:30, but I had a terrible time deciding what to eat for breakfast. I almost had a turkey sandwich, and I should have, because I had cereal, and a couple of hours later I had to have a snack because I was having a sugar low. Too  many carbs, I guess.

 

I had determined to do trash and recyclables today regardless, so I started that, and then took a fast trip to the drug store because I ran out of JD (a real emergency!). It was a very warm day, into the 50s, and very humid, which got to my back so badly that about every ten minutes I had to sit down and rest it. However, eventually I got almost everything outside, including a lot of the little boxes that were cluttering up the kitchen, and all the magazines and catalogs that were in bags scattered around the living room, kitchen and upstairs. 

 

It's not perfect, because the kitchen is still a disaster, but it's better than it was.

 

As I was taking the recyclables out to the curb, it started raining, and I also lost a wheel from the cart. I have the wheel, but the nut and lock washer are missing. I will have to scour the driveway tomorrow, when it's light, to see if I can find them. Otherwise, I will have to take a trip to the hardware store over on Harper, which is a hardware store's hardware store: if they don't have the nut, bolt, screw or whatever, it isn't made. I felt a bit out of place the last time I was there, what with all the professional builders around, but they were very nice to me anyway, so I will take my wheel and tell them I need a nut and lock washer for it...I'm sure they have one.

 

The weather here was, as I mentioned, very warm, and mostly cloudy. It was cloudy in Copper Harbor, too. There had been a bit of snow overnight, and the temperature hovered around or just above freezing all day. It was dreary there. There is snow on the deck and the railing, but there is no ice in the harbor. That could change over the next couple of days, as they are supposed to get high winds, colder temperatures and snow. When the west wind starts howling in at 35-40 mph with gusts to 50, I'm just as glad I'm not there. Brr! We may get some snow here, too, or it could just be rain and sleet. We'll see.

 

Things are getting sort of back to normal around here, and as soon as this is published, I am going up to bed!

 

January 1 New Year's Day, 2004

I ended up not getting to bed until midnight anyway, and then I had to wait 15 or 20 minutes before the war stopped. It's hard to believe there are that many guns in people's homes in Detroit. I don't think there was any shooting or firecrackers east of Mack Avenue, as it all sounded quite far away this year, and there were no bombs or mortars.

 

So I went peacefully to sleep, finally, and woke up sometime later, having dreamed about making fancy braids out of fuzzy yarn and gold cord, to find Buster curled up quite comfortably beside me. What it is about the end of the bed, I don't know, but he hasn't slept there since we've been back.

 

The next time I woke up, it was around 9am, and I decided it was time to get up. Buster was gone then, I think to under the sofa. I fooled around and embroidered a bit and ended up eating a late breakfast as usual, then it was back upstairs, and I happily spent most of the afternoon embroidering again, on the thing I was doing two weeks ago.

 

The weather report says it was clear or mostly clear until around 4 pm, but I don't recall even looking out very much, and it was cloudy when I did. The temperature has moderated to the middle 30s, much more reasonable for this time of year. It was cloudy and around 30 or below all day in Copper Harbor, too, so the snow stayed on the deck.

 

Not much else to report, and it was a very quiet day in the field in exile.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM