A View From the Field








February, 2004

February 29

Happy Leap Day, everyone.


For some reason I had a terrible night last night. When I went to bed, the light in Philip's bedroom, which shines right in my stair landing window, was on, and it really bothered me. Finally I got up to pull down the shade, and by the time I got back in bed, he had turned the light out. Oh, well. That wasn't all my problem. I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie, and sometime in the middle of the night, I had to haul all the covers back onto the bed - one of the hazards of my temporary bed is that I can't properly tuck everything in. Then, a while later, I had a full-fledged sinus drain, coughing and blowing.


Since I don't have to get up every day, I've found that on the days when I do have something to do, I have a hard time sleeping...like I'm afraid I'll oversleep, or something. Mind is funny.


It was a hazy warm day today. The temperature got up to 55, but only briefly, and I didn't go out to experience it. It seemed warm enough to me when I left church, and it was only 46 then.


Church was nice. We had a large group of people accepted into membership - 23 adults, by my count, along with a bunch of kids. It included my old surgeon, now retired, and his wife. He is the one who did my appendectomy and my mastectomy, as well as one of my lymph node biopsies. The only trouble was, in honor of the occasion, two of the hymns were ones I simply can't sing - "A Mighty Fortress" and "How Great Thou Art". Both are so close to my heart that I get all teary when I even hear them. "How Great Thou Art" is my summer anthem...it comes to mind almost every day when I look out of my windows in Copper Harbor. Then sings my soul...


I finished the crazy sock when I got home, and I am now wearing the pair. These are red, white, navy, light blue and brown. Not quite so wild as some of the combinations, but I like it.


By that time, I was hungry, so I finally had the pastrami I've been saving. Good stuff. After a late lunch, I had bean soup for dinner. That's good stuff, too.


Then I got together the last stuff I need to send the stuff back to my financial people. I will go to the post office tomorrow, and I think I may do some food shopping, too. What a pain. 


Since my sleep was so bad last night, I plan to start early tonight, and maybe do some better.


It was cloudy and foggy and warm in Copper Harbor today, although the temperature actually dropped off after midnight and got to 36 during the day. It was apparently very humid, and all the ice resulted in a very foggy harbor all day long. Not much to look at.


So the shortest month is now history, and the longest month is almost upon us. I keep hoping we will have some more cold weather in March and April to hold the spring at bay and maybe even keep the summer temperatures down.


February 28

After I posted last night's entry, I got to thinking that it was clear in Copper Harbor, the camera faces west, and Venus is nearly at its brightest, so it might be possible to see it. Lo and behold, when I looked at the 9:18 picture, it was indeed there. I'm not going to post the picture, because it's not really very interesting - just another bright dot, about the same intensity as the lights of town, but up in the sky. It was gone at 9:30, which I guess means there were either some clouds or some haziness in the west. But it was nice to see. Venus is the evening star every two years, more or less, and it will still be fairly bright by the time I get to Copper Harbor, so there will be lots of chances for more pictures. Maybe this year, I can put the Nikon on the tripod and see if I can get some good pictures of the moon and stars and other things in low light.


It's not clear tonight. In fact, it was sort of bright-cloudy all day, and the temperature got up to 48 briefly. Since the NWS says it's clear in Houghton, it's possible the clouds I was seeing are fog generated by all the ice and snow on the lake. However, it's also true that the automated weather station at the airport can't tell the difference between clear and high clouds. What I was seeing this afternoon in Copper Harbor would have registered as clouds, though, so it may very well be a lake effect.


It was fairly clear here, too, with just some high clouds, and according to my thermometers, the temperature got up to around 48. It really felt warm when I went out for the mail.


Clouds and rain are coming to all of Michigan within the next day or two, though, so we will have to enjoy the sunshine while we can. I am hoping for some more winter, although John isn't encouraging. It's still too early for spring.


Today I buckled down and edited the document my financial advisors sent me, and I will send it off on Monday. What a bunch of garbage. The guy I talked to last week sounds much better. We need to talk some more, however, and I couldn't make an appointment, because I am seeing Dr. Lehman on Tuesday, and there will be CT scans, and they come first. As soon as I have that schedule, I will be talking to the other guy. I am very curious to know what he has to say - he mostly listened the last time. It is clear to me that I am completely out of sync with the people who have been handling my assets (mishandling?) and it's time to find somebody new.


Anyway, that was an ugly task and it took most of the afternoon, so except for a bit of embroidery and some knitting (around a cat), I didn't do a lot. My head feels like my cold may be coming back, so I think it's time to put it on the pillow for the night.


February 27

Another quiet day (this gets monotonous, doesn't it?). Having my bed propped up on cement blocks and 2x4s doesn't seem to be keeping me from sleeping, I'm glad to say, but I'm going through another cycle of really weird dreams. Sometimes I wonder if this is a time of month thing, but it isn't important enough for me to keep detailed track.


I've been knitting a sock before I go downstairs in the morning, with Buster on my lap. He loves to be able to sit there, but he'd really prefer that I pay strict attention to him for half an hour or so, and that is not only boring but it cuts down on production. I'm doing another crazy sock, because I've been wearing them exclusively all winter, and the more I have, the less I have to wash clothes.


It was another beautiful, clear and warm day in Detroit today. The temperature was 47 here at the house when I went out to get the trash containers around 4 pm. It felt good to be able to walk outside without hauling on a coat for a change. I wouldn't have wanted to walk far, but for a few minutes outside, it wasn't that cool. I'm hoping, though, that this is just a passing phase. Springs that begin in February almost always precede summers that I'd just as soon forget.


I spent most of the afternoon in the sewing room, but I wasn't crafting - I was organizing and sweeping and throwing away. It had gotten to the point where there wasn't any floor to walk on, and that does bug me after a while. Things are much better now, I've located some things I was looking for - and found a bunch of other things - and I'm hoping that tomorrow I can work on some beads again. It's supposed to be sunny again, and that room is the place to be in February when it's sunny. It's not the place to be in July when it's sunny, even though the tree shades it! However, in July, I will be in my favorite place...


It started out sunny in Copper Harbor, too, but in the middle of the afternoon, clouds started to roll in. I've often mentioned that a partly cloudy sunset is more interesting than a perfectly clear one, and today was no exception. However, sunrise was so pretty, I kept two pictures - one from each end of the day. That sunset was so beautiful, I really wish I'd been there today to have captured it with the Nikon. Oh, well...only 10 weeks or so.


So that is all the news, which is not much, and I think I will trundle upstairs early and knit a while.


February 26

Not much to report, as usual. Yesterday, since I had to strip the bed so the carpenters could take the sideboard away, I decided it was high time I washed bedding (which was true). However, I forgot just how long it takes to dry the down comforters in the dryer, and I also forgot that it seems like after I've used it for a length of time, it doesn't get as hot as otherwise. So...at 6:45 I was putting the bed back together, and I hadn't eaten yet. Not only did I not completely finish my dinner, I was almost late for church. Whew!


Church was really very well attended for a Wednesday, but of course, since it was Ash Wednesday, lots of people who don't normally come, did. I think I am going to enjoy pastor's sermons this Lenten season. Last night's was about Jesus' passion and idolatry, and he pointed out that the Jews had created a God who was like they wanted Him to be - not how He is.


Then there was choir, but since we're in the middle of the snowbird season, as well as the sickness season, not many people were there. Sometimes I wonder how Bruce stands it.


Today I did not much except write some checks.  I did get all the newspapers and magazines into the recycling barrel, but I haven't taken it to the curb yet. It will be good to have that stuff out of the house.


The past two days have been just gorgeous all over Michigan, clear and sunny, with temperatures in the mid 30s. I was sorry to spend the afternoon in the basement yesterday, but that's how it is. Today was better, because I had to go to the mail box, so I got out in it.


Both days, I would love to have kept all the pictures from the camera. They were really pretty. However, I did keep a couple of sunset shots. This is yesterday's, and here is today's. Even though both pictures have the same timestamp, I think yesterday's was actually almost a minute later than today's, because the sun was almost gone. It certainly is moving north at a great rate. If you go to the 2004 cam page, you can see how far it has come this month. The days are getting longer, too, 10h 53m there, and 11h 4m here...almost a reasonable length. So spring will come, although I keep hoping it will take its time so I can enjoy it twice again.


So that is all there is.


February 24

When I downloaded the camera tonight, I suddenly realized that it was down all day. Sorry. I was otherwise engaged until late, and I think Charlie kicked it for me, but not until around 4:30. Too bad, too, if the beginning of the day was anything like the end, sunny with high cirrus clouds and pretty. Well, these things do happen, and it's been a fairly rare occurrence so far this winter. Clearly it was just a case of a bad load on startup, and Windows does that periodically. It's one time I appreciate the big systems I worked on, which had so many checks and rechecks of any program load (especially the operating system) that such things very rarely happened. System might not come up at all, but it rarely loaded a program wrong.


The temperature hung in at 28 all day there, so except for the melting caused by the sun, the snow pack is still intact.


Here, the temperature got up to around 35, and despite what the NWS was reporting at Detroit City Airport, the sun came out after noon, and during the afternoon, it was pouring in all my front windows. 


That, by the way, is the reason for the locust with the 24" (or bigger) trunk in my front yard. My mother planted it long ago to shade the front of the house during the summer, and it does a good job. It isn't my favorite tree. It sometimes has pods, it has zillions of tiny leaves that drop all over everything and are impossible to pick up, and the stems don't come down until long after the leaves do, making a really gross looking tree and a terrible mess. However, it grows like gangbusters, if it's fertilized and/or sprayed for beetles it grows great, and the sunlight is more or less filtered. I still can't grow grass under it, but that's probably more that I can't grow grass than the tree. In the winter and early spring, when the sunshine in the front windows (which face southwest) is most welcome, it comes in. 


I had a meeting with a nice man from another financial planning company today, and I liked what he said...except I didn't like hearing that he wished I'd known him three years ago. We have some more talking to do, and he has to tell me what he thinks I should do, but it sounds promising. In the meantime, the people I'm with are exhibiting signs that tell me they are completely out of control, and it makes me more and more nervous. What a can of worms!


Otherwise, I embroidered a bit, knitted a sock a bit, and petted a cat a lot.


Even though the man was very soft-spoken, and in fact, didn't talk much at all, Buster ran away and hid, the rat-fink.  Unfortunately, I'm afraid he won't ever completely be the open, friendly kitty he was when he was young. How I wish I knew what happened to him that he got afraid of men in the house!


Oh, yes, yesterday morning, I made the mistake of sitting on the side of my antique bed with a bounce, and the side rail split completely through. It is now propped up by a stool and tomorrow my friends at Albert D. are going to come and take it away and prop up the mattresses on cement blocks. Of course, the bed is probably over 100 years old now (it's a wooden 4 poster, and I like it), but I guess that is a small sign that I need to buckle down and consider trying to lose some weight. If it's not one damn thing, it's another.


I didn't have nearly so good a night last night, and I was awake coughing for some time, so even though it's early, I think it's time to toddle upstairs and try again. The cold is getting better, and I was encouraged to see some thick glop when I blew this morning, but I still don't feel all that good. So another long sleep is in order, and tomorrow is Bible Class. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...............


February 23

Ah, it's a little better today. I won't say I feel great, but I do feel better. I was able to sleep most of last night, with only one coughing fit and one wakeful period. Not that I got up so very early, but it was better than yesterday. I didn't knit before I went downstairs, and Buster was in his glory, sitting on my lap and purring for a good 15 minutes. In fact, I had to boot him off - he would have taken his nap there, and he does sort of clog up the works. I embroidered for a while, then went to do some errands.


I now have a clean car, for the first time since last summer (or was it last spring - I don't remember). It had gotten to the point where I was having trouble seeing out the rear window. I went to the mail box, the gas station, and when I went by, there was nobody in the car wash, so I got a really good job. Good thing, too, because the works costs $19.50...not something I can afford too often. Everything is now spiffy outside and well vacuumed and dusted inside now, and I'm not ashamed of the state of my vehicle any more. Then I stopped for boos and came home. At least today, wandering around in my neck of the woods between 2:30 and 3:30 was a good time to go. Now, next Monday, it may be different. And I noticed that the price of gas is up again. Of course, it will be, just as winter ends and the travel season begins. However, somebody asked John Dee's message board the price in Canada, and I guess we can't complain too much. $2.12 or so a gallon - ouch!


When I turned into the island to go to the drug store for my boos, there was a really enormous white Cadillac in front of me...one of those "great white whales" that I don't think they even make any more. And behind the wheel was a person so small I could just barely see the top of a head over the seat back...he or she must have been peering through the steering wheel. They did see me, however, and pulled forward a bit, which was nice, and they didn't take the last parking space in front of the drug store - they were going to the bank. For the very life of  me, I cannot understand why a person that small would ever drive a car like that when there are equally expensive and luxurious cars that are small enough to fit them. But I suppose they were thinking they could never understand why a person like me would drive a big clunky SUV. After my experiences with the Pontiac Trans Am - aka the "flexible flyer" - a couple of years ago, I'll rest my case. It was big enough once I was inside, unlike Debbie's Taurus, which I don't fit, but I couldn't get into or out of it. Besides, when I migrate, spring and fall, I really need a Suburban rather than a Yukon anyway.


It was another nondescript day here, cloudy, with a temperature that got up to around 36. According to the weather, it's snowing now. I don't know - it wasn't when I came downstairs.


In Copper Harbor, it was snowing when at sunrise, but for most of the day it was just cloudy, with a temperature that hung in around 30. Very blah.


When I got home, I moved some of the junk out of the living room in preparation for a visit from a financial person tomorrow. Not everything, but I did get the shoes and the plastic bags out of the room, as well as the piles of old magazines. There's still an awful lot of stuff in there, particularly on the couch, but I'll get at that some other time.


Tonight I made my "Zesty ziti", with hot Italian sausage and something other than ziti, which I can't get around here. However, it tasted great, and there is a lot of it. It is one of the easiest dishes I make, and it's wonderful comfort food. Of course, tomato sauce and pasta always is comfort food to me. 


So now it's time to trundle upstairs and see if I can continue my recovery.


February 22

Well, I didn't go. I woke up before 8am and didn't feel very good, so I went back to bed and didn't wake up again until 10:30. I was awake for some time during the night, coughing and blowing, until I finally took another cough drop. For most of the day, I didn't blow much (except when I bent over), but it began to come back as I was sitting here in the basement. It's about time I got over this. It's really getting old.


So there isn't much else to report. I did finish the fuzzy blue scarf, so that's done in time to wear it, maybe.


Then I started looking at the scarf I started before I knew I was going to acquire any fancy yarn, and I decided it was too wide, so I ripped it out and started it over again. Otherwise, I did not much at all.


The weather here was nondescript - mostly cloudy with temps in the mid 30s. There was a ray of sunshine late in the afternoon, but not much to speak of.


In Copper Harbor, there was some sun this morning, with hazy skies, but it clouded up later in the day, and the temperature got just to freezing.


So that is all I know, and it's time to put it all to bed again.


February 21

Not much to report, except that if I don't feel any better than I did this morning, I will be skipping church. This is getting old, and I'm getting tired of it. However, I did sleep for most of the night...and till 9:30 this morning, and that has to help.


There was a little snow over everything when I got up, but it quickly went away. It was cloudy and right around freezing all day today, most uninteresting, but that's winter in Detroit.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature was just under 30 all day, and while it looked like it had snowed some overnight, I don't think there was much today. According to the NWS measurements, Keweenaw County didn't lose much snow pack with the warm weather - there's 29" at Mohawk and 36" at Phoenix Farms.


I didn't do much, either. Instead of embroidering, I made a pattern for a new sweater that I want to knit to replace the one that got felted. Then I spent some time in the sewing room. I wanted to pack up my friend's sweater so that I don't forget to take it to her on Wednesday, and when I checked it out, another stitch started running from the neck, so I fixed that.   She likes the sweater a lot, and that's too bad, because I'm afraid it's not going to hold up very well. I haven't had a chance to look at medium-priced bought sweaters in a long time, and I'm not impressed by the quality of either the yarns or the finishing. This one is made out of a thin chenille that I wish I could get to knit myself, but I certainly wouldn't want to buy one.


Then I did a bit to try to sort out some of the things on the floor and make some room to move around...not very successfully. That is a small room, and it is rather full. The  cutting table is about 72" x 48", and it takes up an enormous amount of space in a room that is only about 8' x 10', along with three sewing machine tables, an old dresser and ironing board. Right now, there's a lot of stuff in the middle of the floor that I've been looking at and which is going to have to be put away...I can only hope I can remember it.


So that was it, and it's time to dive under the covers again.


February 20

I wonder how professional crafters manage the flow of ideas. In the middle of the night last night, I conceived the ideas for two square counted stitch samplers that I think I could graph and sell the graphs. So on top of the beads, the boxes, and the checkbook covers, now I have this!  I'll work on it for a day or so and see if it turns into anything.


I didn't sleep very well last night, but I certainly did well between 6 and 10 this morning! Not that I had anything to get up for, but I don't like to get back into that mode again. My cold is still bothering me, and I really didn't feel very well today...to the extent that I actually took my temperature. It was normal or nearly so, so whatever I have, it's just another normal cold virus that seems to have settled in my sinuses and won't go away. 


The sum total of my real accomplishments for the day was zero. I knitted for a while, embroidered for a while, and sat around for a while. Oh, well.


The weather was nondescript here. It got up to 48 for a while, and it rained. While it was warm, I put on my slicker and fetched in the trash barrels, and it felt very strange to not be frozen. It's supposed to be foggy for a while tonight, then the temperature is supposed to fall off and it will snow. We shall see. The snow is now all dirty and nasty looking, so some new cover would be nice.


In Copper Harbor, winter is back. It was snowing at sunrise this morning, and it continued all day long, although there wasn't much accumulation on the deck. The temperature was about 30 all day long, with a wind that gusted up close to 20 mph at times. 


Tonight I made my pork chops, and curiously enough, they went down well, even though I can't really taste a thing. Even when my nose seems fairly clear, something is clogging up the area that smells, and as a result, I'm not tasting much. That adds to my frustration. When I could get a whiff of my dinner, it tasted good.


So now I must put the rest of it away and toddle up to the second story. My theory is, if I can get enough sleep, eventually this thing will go away...


February 19

Choir practice was last night, and there weren't very many people there, between the sickies and the people who knew we don't sing on Sunday. As to that, I have a decision to make. The little kids are singing, and I do hate that, but on the other hand, there is communion, so I suppose I will go and just be uncomfortable. I apologize to all of you who love to watch the little children, but I didn't even when I was one.


We didn't practice too much, because there was only one man besides Bruce, so I got home early and got to bed early, but I am at the point in my upper respiratory thing where, by the end of the day, I am having a hard time keeping my nose clear. I've never been able to sleep while breathing through my mouth, and even though, as I get older, my jaw drops after I am asleep, I am still breathing through my nose. Finally, after snuffling and blowing and thrashing around for an hour or more, I ate a cough drop (N'ice,which is sugarless, but doesn't work as well as some others) and did get to sleep. After that, I was fine, although every time I got up, I had to blow several times. This is getting old, but I don't see much evidence that it is progressing.


This morning, I got up at a moderately early time, but I got to fiddling around with my calculator, which is a HP programmable one (but the scientific one, not the financial one). I programmed in the mortgage equation and spend some time fiddling with numbers. As a result, Buster had gone back to sleep by the time I got downstairs (he does have his good points, one of which is that he is much more forgiving of my hours than DC was). So I had a sandwich for brunch. I could have had an omelet, but that didn't sound good to me.


I embroidered a bit, and made a couple of phone calls, then I moved into the sewing room, which was quite sunny. A friend from church had asked me to look at a sweater of hers that had developed some strange holes in it, and I spend some time working on it. I managed to do a better job of patching than I thought possible, and I think she'll be pleased. One of the holes was just a run at the neck where the band hadn't been sewn on right, but the other was a place where they had tied in a new yarn with ends that were too short and it had come undone. Since it's a chenille sweater, I was actually able to darn it with thread and it doesn't show much. It isn't perfect, but it's in the back, and I don't believe it will be noticed. That made me feel good, because occasionally I've taken on these tasks and they don't come out well.


Since I was there, I decided to attack my other task. There is an item of altar linen called a "pall" that is a square of linen with a stiffening in it that covers the chalice. Occasionally, a speck of soot gets on one when the candles are put out after communion, and someone, who shall remain nameless, tried to cover the soot with, I think, white shoe polish, or maybe correction fluid. Anyway, I got the call, because a very long time ago, I resurrected the other pall which had had the same horrible treatment. I think this is shoe polish, because I tried correction fluid thinner on it, and it didn't do much. So I ended up having to take it off the plastic insert (to which it had gotten stuck because of the shoe polish) and start washing. Since it was so long ago, I had forgotten what I used the last time, but I tried Google, and got suggestions to use cleaning fluid, alcohol, or "white spirit", which I think is spirits of turpentine. So I shall have to invoke my collection of solvents. Fortunately, linen is a strong fiber, because this isn't a delicate treatment. Also fortunately, if I succeed in removing the shoe polish, more than likely I will have removed the soot stain, too. How I get into these things...


Both yesterday and today were sunny, pretty days here in Detroit, with temperatures over freezing. In fact, my thermometer read 45 when I went out to get the trash barrels, and it was actually really nice in my backyard. After my time up north, 45 is quite a tolerable temperature, so long as you're not sitting around doing nothing. The snow is slowly melting, but there is still a lot of it around.


It was warm in Copper Harbor, too, especially yesterday, when it got up to 39. The sun came out in the afternoon, and it was lovely. Today, it was cloudy and right around freezing all day. The warmth and all the ice and snow resulted in a really spectacular sunset last night, which I was certainly glad I caught. All that fog reminds me of last spring when I came north, and there was still ice in the lake.


We are supposed to get rain tomorrow, then colder temperatures and rain and snow (yuck!). Copper Harbor is supposed to get colder temperatures and snow. Frankly, I'd rather have snow. However, winter isn't over yet, and I keep remembering that all of Michigan has had some of our biggest snowstorms in March. I really do hope it stays cold and snowy at least until April. Early springs usually are harbingers of horribly hot summers, and I can very well do without that!


So now it's time to sleep again, in the hope I can get my drippy nose to go away.


February 17

For heaven's sake, I'm sneezing again! Enough, already! My head has been stuffed with cotton and my nose flowing freely all day long, and frankly, it's getting old.


I tried to sleep a bit later this morning, but Buster kept whining at me (a sweet whine, not an annoyed whine) so finally I got up. 


I've been working on my second scarf in the morning before i go downstairs, and after I had knitted several rows and started the second ball of yarn, I discovered I had dropped a stitch, so I had to unknit it all until I found the place, then knit it up again. I will be very glad to get that thing done. It's pretty, but it's been a real pain. Warning to those of you who knit: the softer eyelash yarn can be very difficult to knit in.


It was also the day to refill the pill dispensers, and I knitted some more after breakfast, and as a result, I was late getting dressed. My task for the day was to lay in some food for both of us, but I forgot I wanted to go to the pet supply store first, and ended up at Kroger's. Fortunately, I remembered before I got home, so I made my usual circuit backwards. For me, there were lamb chops, which I ate tonight, pork chops, and Italian sausage for my pasta dish. For Buster there was enough varied food to keep him happy for months. I shouldn't have bought so much, but I want to give him variety.


He was there when I got home, and when he saw the bags of cat food and sniffed what was in them, he got very excited and wanted to be fed right then. It may not be his highest priority, but I could tell he was very pleased by the full shelf where his food is kept. The trouble is, he is so self-centered it is hard to tell just how smart he is. Smart enough, I guess.


He was also rather happy, because he gets to sit on my lap while I'm knitting, and I did a lot of that today. Now he is off someplace having a nap. He is a real character, and I'm glad he has finally gotten to be top cat...even if it's only cat and he's not too happy about that. I do think, however, that he comes and bugs me sometimes when, if DC were still here, he'd be bugging DC. I still think a couple of really wired kittens would be good for him, but I'm not planning to do anything about it.


Oh, the weather.


In Copper Harbor, it started out cloudy, with a slightly falling temperature and some snow. In the middle of the afternoon, it started to clear up, and the temperature steadied at around 20, with a brisk wind. The wind dropped off as it got toward sunset (that big old lake again), and sunset was pretty. One of the reasons I set up the camera page was, besides consolidating the camera images I keep, it makes it easy to see the march of the sun across the view. Take a look, and you can see how much it has moved in just two days...it's also setting 15 minutes later! It's one thing I will never get tired of watching, although I confess I far prefer watching it move left to right, rather than the reverse.


Here in Detroit, it was 19 all night, and it started rising soon after sunrise, because it was mostly a lovely clear day. There was a period of cloudiness, but it didn't last long, and it got up over freezing. I really enjoy these sunny days in February and March, after all the clouds of November, December and January. I enjoy being able to sit in the sewing room, which is on the southeast corner of the house, and soak up the rays, even though I didn't get to do that today. There was kind of a wind, so it wasn't all that warm, but I was able to wear my light jacket over my sweatshirt sweater and I wasn't cold.


So that is all the news from here, and I need to lay my head on my little pillow and try to make my cold go away.


February 16

About the time I went to bed last night, I realized my cold had relapsed, my throat was scratchy again and my head was full of glop. Fortunately, that left me feeling bad enough that I did sleep, with the usual interruptions. One time, I woke up facing the window, with Buster behind me on the door side, and he started patting my back, like he will when he's going after something (like my hand) under the covers. Needless to say, I didn't appreciate that, because he had his claws part way out. I've been feeling blah and blowing all day long. This seems to be a sinus kind of upper respiratory thing, and it will just take some time to get over.


Debbie stopped by with her kids today and left me my vitamins, and we had a short conversation, because I bore the guys. I'm sorry to see that as they get older, their blond hair is turning dark, just like it does for most blond kids (except a certain number of Finns, of course). It's still not brown, but it isn't as pretty as it was when they were little, although it still is curly. Reminds me of my dad, although I never saw him with hair on the top of his head. He was going bald in his mid-20s, and while he had a few hairs there for some time, I mostly remember him as bald with the most beautiful curly hair on the sides. It bleached out in the summer, too.


Other than that, I embroidered a little and worked on my practice beads a little. Nothing strenuous.


The weather here was cold - it got up just over 20 - but sunny and pleasant. It was nice to work in the sewing room with the sun shining on the beads. 


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy all day, with no snow, and the temperature started below 10 this morning, and rose into the middle 20s by this afternoon - actually warmer than it is here. Weird, but that's happened several times lately.


So it was a quiet time, and I will go put my cold to bed and see if I can get it to go away.


February 15

It was a cold day in Michigan today, but a rather pretty one.


Here, it started out under 10, and topped out under 20, and has now dropped off again.  It was sunny this morning, clouded up for a while during the afternoon, and now it's cleared up again. It's supposed to get really cold tonight - down around zero.


In  Copper Harbor, it never got over 10, and it's supposed to get down below zero tonight. This morning, it looked like there was some snow, although there was a lot of blowing from the 20 mph winds out of the northwest...my favorite direction, when it sounds like it's trying to tear the corner off the bedroom. Around 2 pm, it started to clear up, and the rest of the afternoon was partly sunny and pretty. The sun is now setting firmly in the camera view, and it's moved quite a bit in the last week or so. 


While daylight hours are still a few minutes behind Detroit, they are gaining at over 3 minutes a day. They had a lot of catching up to do, and after the spring equinox, they will go racing ahead toward 16 hours a day of sunshine. It doesn't seem like Copper Harbor is that much further north than Detroit is (about 5 of latitude), but it makes a terrific difference in short days in winter and long days in summer.


I didn't sleep very well last night...still mulling over my situation...but I made it to church and sang, which was a good thing, because we had one soprano and two altos who were missing for various reasons. Considering the serious colds a lot of people have had, I consider myself lucky that mine has been fairly mild. My nose is still dripping some, and that causes me to cough at night, but I'm getting better, I think.


I restarted the Just Nan piece I decided to work on, which I started Thursday and had to rip out, and I did a bit of work on the little bracelet with the daisies sticking out. My practice beads are really nasty, and that makes it nearly impossible to do peyote stitch right, but I've figured out how to make the daisies stick out.


Late in the afternoon, I came downstairs. I discovered, when I got dressed this morning, that I had taken the last pair of underpants out of the drawer, which is a sure sign it's time to do some wash. The underwear is done, but I decided while I was at it, I might as well do most of what was in the chute. The last load is in the washer (it doesn't get put in the dryer) and there is a load in the dryer. So that will be done, and I'll have clean underwear again.


I also realized that since tomorrow is Presidents Day, I can't count on making most of the telephone calls I wanted to make, so instead I may do a bit of food shopping. Buster is running out of food he likes and litter, so it's time to stop at the pet supply store. I am getting low on breakfast food and I need something to cook for dinner. Frozen dinners are getting old, and besides, they make my feet swell.


So a quiet winter Sunday in the field in exile.


February 14

Not much to report for today, so I'll stick to the weather.


It was cold in Copper Harbor today - and I mean frigid. The temperature dropped for most of the day and bottomed out at 3 with 15-20 mph winds around noon. The temperature has risen slightly since, but so have the winds, till now we have 7 with 25-30 mph winds. Wow! It was cloudy for most of the day, but the sun tried to come out around 3:15, and this is what it looked like. I don't think there was any snow coming down - the winds were just whipping around what was already down. It began to clear a bit after that, but not much, and there were all those billowy lake effect clouds at sunset. Quite a while later, the camera caught somebody coming down from the top of Brockway...I bet it was frigid up there, even in a snowmobile suit!


Here, the temperature got into the middle 30s, and there were a couple of hours of clear skies this morning, before it clouded over, and according to the NWS, there was a bit of snow between 5 pm and 7 pm. The temperature has now dropped off to the mid-20s and it's supposed to plummet to close to zero before tomorrow. There's still a bit of snow passing over to the east, however, and it has a ways to go. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny but frigid.


So winter is still with us, and it's time for bed.


February 13

It's 11 pm and I've just finished eating. It was a somewhat traumatic day, but I think it turned out all right. I have some things to investigate and some other people to talk to, and then some decisions to make, but it sounds like it may be possible to keep both houses for at least a few years. When I got home, I put it all aside, and I will probably do the same for the weekend.


I finished my little bracelet this afternoon, and it turned out nice. It is much thinner and more delicate than the first one. However, I really like the other stitch better, so I started another one in that stitch that will, I hope, be smaller and not so stiff. We shall see.


The weather here was not bad today. It was sunny, with temperatures in the mid-20s, although there was a 25 mph wind that made wind chills go down into the low teens. The trick was to stay out of the wind.


In Copper Harbor, the temperatures were about the same, but with less wind, and it was cloudy for most of the day, except right before sunset. There was one pretty nice picture. The wind has now picked up again, and it's supposed to start snowing again. Winter isn't over yet.


So altogether it wasn't a bad day for Friday the 13th.


February 12

There was choir practice last night, so no journal. We're going to be singing a number of things I love very much during Lent and the Easter season. Unfortunately, my upper respiratory thing left me with not much voice, and our lead soprano left right after we practiced the piece for Sunday, with a very bad cold. 'Tis the season...


I went to bed very early and slept for a long time, and I do feel some better today, and my nose isn't running quite so much, so I guess I'm progressing.


I started a new embroidery project today, a Just Nan that I've had in the queue for quite some time. It is done on pink linen, and while the color doesn't bother me, the quality of the linen does. I think these designers have an arrangement with some of the wholesale suppliers where they get something in return for using some unusual materials that the suppliers want to push. It not only annoys me, the retail customer, it annoys the shop owners, too, who have to try to stock supplies they usually don't and aren't interested in. Drawn Thread has been doing the same thing, and it makes Randi crazy. Carey just substitutes, but her shop isn't quite so big as Randi's.


After that, I put away the barrette, which I worked on yesterday, starting over a third (or was it fourth?) time, leaving part of a needle in the one I discarded, and breaking four other needles. I'll get back to it sometime, but not for a while. 


A year or so ago I had gotten a couple of packages of fairly large glass beads which are wound with gold wire, so in about an hour, I had linked them together with jump rings into a kind of nice looking 30" necklace, even though the wire windings aren't done very well. 


Then I hauled out some of my practice beads (the same ones I made the red and blue bracelet out of last summer - I have tons of them) and tried another new stitch. I don't like it quite so well as the African spiral, but it goes much faster, and I got almost 7" done in two hours, in between sorting some of the beads by color. By tomorrow night or Saturday, it should be done. The book with the instructions called it "instant gratification" and it surely is. It's also infinitely variable, and it could be fun to play with.


A couple of days ago, I found an old Dover book, a reprint of a 1904 book on beading, that has a kind of neat pattern in it, for a narrow strip with beads sticking out here and there (actually, it has lots of kind of neat patterns for narrow peyote stitch bands). I've been playing around with the graph for it, and I think I will try it in the practice beads, probably another bracelet. Some of these things would make nice necklaces or lariats, but a bracelet is at most 8" of beading, which goes pretty fast.


Oh, yes, and I ripped out the second scarf this morning and started it over on larger needles. I was about 75% done, as it turned out, but it was coming out much too thick and pelt-like, while I wanted it light and airy. So I was right the first time, and I've wasted several weeks working on the wrong needles. Oh, well. It's various shades of blue, with no metallic, and it would be handy to have. Maybe it will go faster on the bigger needles.


I think I am about as prepared for my meeting tomorrow morning as I can be. That will be interesting.


Oh, the weather. In Copper Harbor, Yesterday, it was clear in the morning and clouded up and snowed in the afternoon, with temperatures in the low 20s.  Today, it was cloudy in the morning and cleared up in the afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-20s, but no apparent snow.  I didn't save any pictures, because the sun is shining on the deck railings in such a way that it does funny things to the picture.  It was pretty otherwise, but it didn't look spring-like at all. It's still the depths of winter there.


Here, yesterday was cloudy, with temps in the mid 20s, but rising steadily, and today they continued into the mid-30s. It was clear for a while this morning, but it clouded up pretty quick, and both days were sort of blah...typical Detroit winter. The warmer temperatures we've been having lately have melted some of the snow and along the roadsides it is now that dingy, dirty gray and black that is so ugly. There are still piles in my yard, except under the spruces, and I hope we have some more to cover up the ugliness.


So now I have to haul out the trash...I'm shirking the recyclables again...and trundle up to the second story.


Winter certainly is quiet in the field in exile.


February 10

To bed! I think I have done about all I can to get ready to meet the  nice man, and my throat is scratchy and I was sneezing this morning, so it's time to dive under the covers again.


I was awake in the middle of the night, having just remembered one reason why 2000 was such a bad year, and I couldn't shake the thought, so I ended up sleeping late this morning. Doesn't make me want to go back to bed any less, so I suspect my little cold may be trying to become a bigger cold. We'll see. 


I finished the little embroidery I was working on, and I did about 11 rows of a barrette, so I did accomplish a few things today. 


It was a nondescript day here, overcast with the temperature holding right around 30 and an occasional snow flurry, but the temperature is now dropping off, and the NWS now claims it's clear. We shall see, when I go upstairs.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy and around 15 all day long. There was some snow this morning, but the big event took place overnight - about 10"! No wonder I couldn't see the lights of town in the camera last night. It's probably snowing lightly again, or at least it is in Houghton. So it ain't over yet.


I'm not sure what Buster's problem was today, but he was extremely vocal today and I think he would have sat on my lap all day if I'd let him. Now what? I forgot to mention that Sunday when I was sorting and throwing away I finally found a picture of DC I'd taken probably in 1997 or so and had enlarged. I took it out and showed it to Buster, and I truly think he recognized DC! Maybe that's why he's been sort of riled up for the past few days: he thinks D may be coming back. I probably shouldn't have shown him the picture, but I didn't know that he would recognize it.


I am sorry he wasn't around when DC died, because he might have understood the finality of that, but he went away and hid that whole day and I don't believe I saw him until the next day after I got back from the vet. I suppose he did see the body in the carrier overnight, and I know he knew it was gone after I got back, but I really don't think he realizes what that meant. Poor Buster! "Gone for good" just doesn't have any meaning for him. I'll have to be careful not to show him any more pictures. I hope not much is left in Copper Harbor that smells greatly of D.


After I get over all this financial work, I will be working on pictures, and I think I can probably scan the enlarged picture of DC for the gallery. It was a pretty good shot, even though I did cut off the tops of his ears.


So that is all I know, and I need to lay my little head on my little pillow...


February 9

Well, I done about as much as I can do. Just to make sure I have all my ducks in a row, I decided to go back to 2000 and create the two page summary of my ledgers for the past four years. I had gotten 2002 and 2003 pretty much done, I thought, when Excel barfed all over me and I lost the whole thing. Soooooo...I created it anew and I've  been saving it frequently. I certainly wish Office was consistent. Word saves automatically, and Publisher prompts you to save, but not Excel. There isn't even an option to save every so often. Needless to say, I'm not done. I still have two more years to do.


I still have whatever upper respiratory thingie it is, and it kept me awake for a while, although I slept soundly from 4 am to 8:30, which was nice. I didn't really want to get up then, but it didn't seem like I was going to be going back to sleep, so I got up, feeling rather groggy, as usual.


Although the moon was shining every time I was up last night, it was cloudy this morning and all day long, but the temperature got up to 36, which means the snow is starting to look faded and dirty. However, we could have some snow tomorrow to cover it all up again.


In Copper Harbor, it was snowing again pretty much all day. The temperature got into the upper 20s, so that must have felt good to them.


I worked for a while on the little embroidery I've been doing, but it's not quite finished. For something only 3" square, it certainly is taking me a while to finish it. I'm down to the beads now, so possibly I'll be done tomorrow. Then I decided that before I go ordering more beads, especially the expensive Japanese ones, I'd better see what I already have...which is a lot more than I remembered. In my sorting in the basement, I came across a bill from several years ago that indicated I'd bought a lot, but I'd forgotten which ones. When I saw them, I sort of wondered why. It's amazing how one's taste can change in just a couple of years...


That was taking entirely too much time, however, so I put it aside and started on one of the barrettes in the kit I got. It's going to work the way I want to make it, but after four rows, I discovered that the thread I was using was entirely too thick, so I cut it apart, dug through the blue boxes for thinner thread, and I'll start it over tomorrow. In the course of my digging, I uncovered more Japanese beads I'd gotten over the summer...well! I don't really think I duplicated many, if any, because I'm thinking about different things now, but I have a bit of inventorying and sorting to do. I'm not sure exactly what the fascination of seed beads is, but I really do enjoy looking at them and working with them. I want to do these barrettes as practice, but I have some ideas for some quite different and more elegant ones, in a single color but multiple sizes of beads.


Since I wanted to get started on these summary sheets, I came downstairs right after 4 pm, but except to get my January ledger updated, and do two summary sheets twice, I didn't get a lot done...just enough to begin to be appalled by the outflow of money over the past few years. I haven't added up how much that house cost, and now I really don't want to! Wow!


So now it's bedtime again, and I'm ready to go.


February 8

Well, gee, it didn't snow in Copper Harbor today! In fact, there were a few patches of blue sky for a while, although it was clouding up by sunset. And the temperature topped out at 34. It wasn't that warm further south, and I doubt much snow melted, but I guess this is the January thaw? It's supposed to snow and cool down tonight.


Here, most of the day was beautifully clear again, but it was cold. The temperature got up to around 28, although it was in the teens when I went to church. It might snow here tomorrow, too. It was certainly good to see that sunshine again.


I woke up late and just could not get moving, but I wasn't too late for choir practice. We sang a couple of simple tunes, and someone told me afterwards that we sounded good. So that turned out all right. We're back to our old group again, where we have more altos than sopranos, which means the sopranos can sing as loudly as we want and nobody shushes us. A most unusual circumstance in choirs, but it's fun for us.


When I got home, I attacked the papers again, and I think I have everything of importance collected together. I still have a lot of filing to do, which I hate, but things are arranged a little better, and as soon as I transfer all last year's stuff from a crate to a file box, it will be even better. And I have another bag of trash. So that has turned out pretty well. I have a few more things to do, to gather up some other numbers, but I'm getting there.


Sorting through all that stuff took me most of the afternoon. There are two more crates in my bedroom that have been there for several years that I need to go through, because I think they have old catalogs and books of house plans that can either be thrown out or taken downstairs (somebody might want the house plan books, if they were in a garage sale). I  must get to that, as well as the final sorting of last year's stuff. Ugh.


I wore my necklace this morning and several people liked it a lot, but I don't think they know how expensive it is. Lapis is one of the more expensive semi-precious stones...of course. That's not why I like it: I like it because it's the most beautiful shade of blue, but it figures that it would have to be expensive. That's the way things work with me. There are a couple other stones in the catalog that I really like that are even more costly. Most of the cheap stuff is either brown or orange or dyed, and I'm not attracted to any of those...although the black agate (which is black and brown and clear) is rather nice. Anyway, I recalculated the cost to me of the beads in the necklace, since I had miscounted the number of little lapis beads, and the supplies (lapis, rice pearls, gold filled beads and findings)  cost almost $34. If I expect to get something for my time and work on the design, it will be expensive. 


I did try to take some pictures of the necklace in the sunshine this afternoon, but as usual, I left the camera upstairs, and I suspect I won't be able to process any of those pictures for posting until I load PhotoShop onto this computer, and I haven't gotten around to that. Soon.


I didn't sleep well again last night, because my sinuses are still draining and making me cough, and I really didn't feel that good today, so I'm off to the upper story and maybe I can get an early start tonight.


February 7

I guess I must have a little cold. I slept quite a long time and didn't want to get up, and didn't do much all day. My nose is still drippy and my sinuses are still plugged, and I feel sort of blah. Blah.


However, I did accomplish a thing or two. I wrote a couple of checks and went out to mail them, then late in the afternoon I tore into the boxes in the basement looking for the last four year's statements from my financial advisors. Despite what the box says, I could only find 2001 and 2002. 2003 is upstairs and not completely filed, but where 2000 is, is a mystery to me. So tomorrow I will have to tear into the boxes upstairs and see if I can find it. On the other hand, I now have three barrels and a crate that are empty, three bags full of stuff going back to 1993(!), and I found the rest of the fabric pieces I knew I had to cover boxes and make checkbook covers from. I found a slew of plastic file folders and some other stuff that had gotten buried. So I can't say it was a totally fruitless exercise. Only one of my least favorite.


The weather wasn't worth bothering about, overcast and mid-20s, but not particularly dreary.


In Copper Harbor, it snowed this morning, when the wind was from the northeast, then it shifted 180 in the course of the afternoon to the southwest. When it hit north, the skies started to clear, and sunset was very pretty. In the picture after the last one I kept, there was a headlight coming down on the mountain. Somebody was up there looking around. It was a pretty day to do that. The temperature hung in around 15 all day.


Well, tomorrow I have to be at church fairly early to practice something to sing, so I will take all my goodies and trundle upstairs for the night.


February 6

It was a lost day. I did absolutely nothing except tear apart magazines, and it felt good. However, I have no activity to report.


The weather here was awful, and I was glad not to have to go out. According to the weather service, there was light freezing rain all night - and I heard the drops when I woke up - but by mid-morning, the temperature was above freezing. Marty came by and spread salt on everything (and seeing me in the kitchen, he threw some on the steps), but the street looked really ugly and I can imagine that driving around the area was fun.


In Copper Harbor, it looks like it didn't snow all day today, and the temperature was in the mid 20s, but the wind was rising all day, and it's snowing now: I can't see the lights of town. So we can start a new streak today. I think the last one was 39 days.


Also, today there was a listing for Phoenix Farms (which is just east of Phoenix, off US-41), and there is 38" of snow there, while there is only 32" in Mohawk. Regardless, the "higher elevations" in Keweenaw County seem to have more snow than anyone else in the whole UP.


This is certainly a good old-fashioned Michigan winter, only I wish the freeze line would stay south of Detroit. Snow is bad enough, but freezing rain is the pits.


I think I have acquired a slight cold. I was sneezing a day or so ago, and now my sinuses are blocked and I am dripping freely. These things aren't serious, like the major upper-respiratory things I used to get when I was working, but they make me feel sort of blah and use a lot of Kleenex. Which I do and I did. So I think I will put it to bed and try to get over it by Sunday.


February 5

Well, the best laid plans, and all that. I was just ready to get into bed when a friend called and we talked for a couple of hours, so instead of getting to bed early, I got to bed late. It was all right, because she needed to talk. However, I was up any number of times in the night, and around 7:30, Buster decided it was time I got up. I don't know whether he was hungry, or what, but he bugged me until I got up.


So I got a little embroidery done and then I set to work on my necklace.. It's now finished, and I am a lot happier with it, even though all three strands aren't exactly the same length. I will try to take a picture. It left me wondering if somebody else might buy a lapis and pearl necklace, since it appears I have enough parts for another one. The place I get my semi-precious stones from has very good prices on them, but I have to buy them by the 16" strand, which means things seldom come out even. That may end up being a good thing, if I try to sell some of my jewelry.


I got to looking through my supplies, and it's clear I can do a lot without having to buy much more.


The weather wasn't worth saying much about, cloudy and in the mid-20s with a dusting of snow every so often. I had to go outside, because when I got up this morning, I discovered that I'd forgotten I'd left the car out of the garage in anticipation of choir practice, and I didn't want it to sit out if it was going to snow, which it is. Sometimes I wonder where my mind (if any) is.


In Copper Harbor, it looks like the string of snowy days was broken. It was cloudy most of the day, although late in the afternoon there was a little blue sky for a bit and no wind. The temperature got into the mid-20s there, too.


I did save one picture, from just before sunset, because the sun is peeking around the window frame for sure. This is the third year for the camera, and two years ago I got a shot on February 4 that also showed sun. Last year it snowed for most of February, if my pictures are any indicator.


That's coming, if all the weather forecasts are right, starting tonight, although right now the radar shows that  most of it is north of Detroit and south of the bridge. I'm sure there will be some left for Keweenaw, and probably some for Detroit, too. And in spite of what they say, it looks like it might stay all snow, I hope.


So now I have to haul out the trash, and it's late again.


February 4

A journal on Wednesday! Around dinner time I got a call that Bruce has a bad cold and decided to cancel choir, so I'm here, and it's only 8:15, so my aim is to go to bed early and sleep long.


Which I certainly didn't last night. I went to bed late and got up fairly early to go to bible class. I do enjoy that. I stopped at the Food Emporium on the way home, so I now have some nice sandwiches to eat. The excuse was that I was out of onions, but actually, I haven't been there since before Christmas, and I enjoy their deli, which is large and  well-stocked.


At length, I attacked the robe, and it is now done, although I haven't tried it on yet. Since I made it considerably smaller than the first one, I certainly hope it fits! The buttonholes went very well, all of which proves it's hard to tell what will work and what won't. I think they worked because the fabric slides over the machine easily, and I made them as wide as possible. I really don't like to sew on buttons (have I said that before lately?) but I managed. I use 4 threads in the needle, so I only have to go through each pair of holes twice, but these weren't shank buttons, so I had to make shanks. well, that's over with. 


It was cloudy by the time I finished, but I'll try to take a picture. This isn't a glamorous garment. It is plain and serviceable and warm, just like my nightgowns. I learned a long time ago to leave the sexy nightgowns to the young things and make gowns that serve my purposes. That means: roomy, with openings down to or below the waist (I learned that in the hospital), no collars, and very long with very long sleeves (for winter, at least). The robe has what are probably 3/4 sleeves, because I learned from the one in Copper Harbor that big, bulky, long sleeves just get dipped in the soup when I'm cooking. My robes all have buttons, because I've never learned how to keep a wrap robe closed and the belt tied when I'm doing anything. A long zipper would probably have worked as well, but that would have held up the project even longer, and besides, I would have had to re-cut the fronts. This one will work.


The weather here was cold - right around 10 all day - but sunny, and when I went upstairs to get my dinner, the nearly-full moon was shining in the grade door window. It was a pretty day, and Buster slept in the window in the sun for quite a while when I was in the sewing room. I think finally he got a bit cool - the windows, even thermopane, do radiate cold in this weather - and went off to the nearest register.


Also, I noticed, when I woke up around 6:30, that the sky is beginning to lighten at that hour now, so slowly we begin to gain daylight. So far, it's only 2 minutes a day, but pretty soon it will be longer. It's amazing to wake at that hour and not find it absolutely black outside.


In Copper Harbor, sunrise is still quite a ways behind Detroit, but there's only about ten minutes difference in our sunsets. That will change soon, as the days there get increasingly longer than Detroit's.


It was cold and cloudy and there was some snow in Copper Harbor. The temperature hung around 10, just like here, all day long, and there was snow between 12:00 and 4:00, more or less. There were a few patches of blue sky right before sunset. This is the 39th day, apparently, with measurable snow. I'm not entirely sure that's true of Copper Harbor, because I didn't note any snow showing in my December 28 journal, but that doesn't mean there wasn't any. I noted clouds rolling in during the afternoon that day, so I suspect there was. Tomorrow may break the string, however. It will be interesting to see.


The official Keweenaw County tally for the season is just over 183", but John pointed out that they only measure snow depth once a day, and that means they are probably erring on the low side. At this point, it will surprise me if they don't reach 300". That's a lot of snow. I hope the road is open by Mother's Day.


When I went upstairs last night, I set the timer on my dishwasher (a feature the newer one in Copper Harbor doesn't have) not to turn on until a while after I took my bath. I didn't hear anything, but this morning I had nice clean dishes...or as clean as they get when the dishwasher is overloaded. I think that's the first time I've ever used the timer, which is no doubt the reason they left it off the newer models. However, it is certainly a handy feature when I need it.


I had intended to play with some beads later this afternoon, but I got hung up trying to find an earring, so all I ended up doing is unstringing a lapis and pearl necklace I made a couple of years ago. It was another one of those things where I was trying to recall a picture I'd seen in a catalog, and I wasn't at all satisfied with my results. Now I've decided how to do it, and since I need some practice in stringing and finishing, I decided to start there. Tomorrow I will get at that. I'll take a picture when I'm done.


By the way, I'm sorry about the pictures. There are a bunch in the camera, but it's upstairs, and I keep forgetting to bring it when I come down to the computer. I'll try to remedy that, too. At the very least, I need to see if any of the pictures I took actually came out.


So now I can trundle up to bed...ahhhhh!!!!!


February 3

The weatherman missed it by a number of miles, and I was grateful. The temperature stayed above freezing all night and all day today, and as a result, instead of snow or sleet, we had rain. There were a couple of snowflakes this afternoon, but nothing to speak of, and so disaster was averted. I do not like sleet and freezing rain, and I'd much rather have heavy snow anytime. Whew!


In Copper Harbor it snowed for most of the day, the temperature dropped into the low teens again and the wind was from the north at 30 mph, so our "thaw" lasted about one day. The clouds looked like they might be breaking up a bit around sunset, but that isn't supposed to last long, and it should begin snowing again soon. Possibly Thursday will be the first day since New Year's without snow, but I'll have to see it to believe it. The official total (according to George Hite) for January was 107.1"...although for once, the Houghton County total was greater, 112", which set a new record. However, John says the measuring of snowfall is something of an art, and it depends greatly on who measures and when. Anyway, that's over 9 feet, which is a lot of snow by most measures. Of course, it's packed down to under 4' in most places, but still...


There are two or three inches on the deck today.


This turned out to be sort of a lost day for me. I was muddling around in the kitchen around noon (having had a sandwich for "brunch") when Debbie called and we had a couple of hour conversation. The mark of a soul sister is that you can happily talk for hours about practically nothing and feel good about it. She doesn't like the reverse mortgage idea, and part of me doesn't either, but I really don't know enough about it yet.


So after I got back upstairs and took care of that, the afternoon was pretty much shot. No buttonholes. Maybe tomorrow afternoon. I did locate another book and determined that it isn't the one that had the necklace in it, either. That is going to bug me until I find it. I think I remember how the pattern was done, but I tried it with all the same size beads last summer, and it didn't seem to work, so I need to do some more fooling around. 


All quiet in the field in exile...


February 2

This is getting as boring to write about as I'm sure it is to read. It was another quiet day. 


Last year sometime, I was looking through either a magazine or a book, either in the sewing room or in the dining room where my old craft magazines are stashed for now, and I ran across a necklace pattern that would be exactly right for a very large silver bead I acquired. Since I don't remember where I saw it, finding it again has been a problem. I spent quite some time today looking at every beading magazine I have received for the past three years, and still no luck. I can even see the picture, on a right-hand page, and the diagram of how to do the stitch (almost - that's why I want the reference), also on a right-hand page, but for the life of me, I can't find it. Frustration! I will probably just have to get out the beads and thread and see if I can put something together.


In the meantime, I ran across a good dozen ideas for little beaded things that I might be able to sell. Now if I can find them when I want them, and I have time to make some...


Time. That's always the problem. Not only does it seem to pass faster as I get older, it seems to take so much longer to do everything than it used to! Probably that isn't the case, it just seems that way.


After that, and leaving a whole pile of magazines on the floor that need to be pitched, I worked for a while on the robe. Everything is done but the closure. I had the brilliant idea of using snaps rather than buttons, but when I went through my snap box, the only large snaps I had were either gold or black, and neither seemed quite right for a light blue robe printed with dark blue and white snowflakes. So tomorrow I will have to make buttonholes and sew on buttons, and then I will have a nice cozy robe to cuddle up in. It felt really good to have it over my lap while I was sewing.


However, I'd forgotten, since the one I made up north, that sewing a floor length robe in my size is rather like making a small tent. Hauling all that material around is a pain. When you wear it, polar fleece feels almost weightless, but 4 yards of it is heavy. I had one near disaster, and cut a chunk out of the hem in the wrong place, but I tried a special foot that makes it easy to butt two pieces of material together, and it worked great, and since it's on the inside of the hem, it will never be noticed. Besides, I'd been wanting to try that foot on fleece, just for future reference.


The weather was non-descript here, cloudy and sort of blah, except that the temperature rose all day and is now slightly over freezing...not good, since a new winter storm is headed our way, and if it stays warm, we will have sleet and freezing rain before the snow. Yuck!  Another Tuesday to hibernate.


In Copper Harbor (broken record!) it snowed all day. I think that is 35 days straight. There wasn't much accumulation on the deck, but it looked like quite a bit fell, and it's supposed to snow overnight. The only good thing was that the temperature there got up into the upper 20s. It must have felt positively balmy after the frigid temps of the past three weeks! I'm glad Tom shoveled the deck yesterday. It's likely to need it again soon.


Buster has been wakeful and bugging me all day long, and I'm not sure what his problem is. When I was going through the magazines, he was sitting on a box with one of his catnip toys having a great time, then he scratched the back of the couch, and sat on it until I went into the living room.


Tonight, I roasted my chicken, and it turned out very nicely. It was one of those strange birds with two hearts and two livers and about half a gizzard, not that I'm complaining. Only every time I fry up livers, I think of DC. Liver was his very most favorite food of all. When I would put down the dish, he would stick his nose in it and just inhale for a moment, then he would carefully take each piece and chew it slowly and thoroughly. When he had eaten every bit, he would lick the dish, then lick his lips and paws for quite some time. And purr. What an unusual fellow he was! How I miss him! And I think Buster does, too.


February 1

Well, time passes, doesn't it, and having fun has nothing to do with it.


I didn't sleep very well last night, and I really didn't want to get up this morning, so as a result, I just about made it to church in time to practice. Oh, me.


I went upstairs early last evening with the idea of finishing the red scarf, but after tearing it out three times, I quit. I wanted to use all the yarn I had, and the ends of the scarf are pointed, so I had to guess when to start decreasing, and I didn't guess very well. I did finish it this morning in time to wear it. The others I'm working on both have square ends, and that's easier to finish.


When I got up this morning, it was cold and clear, but the temperature got up into the low 20s with mostly clear skies, although it clouded up late in the afternoon.


In Copper Harbor, it snowed most of the day again, but the temperature rose all day long, until now it's in the upper 20s...the warmest it's been in quite some time (and warmer than it is here!). The 12:18 picture has a close-up of a human back, and the deck is now cleaned off again. Thanks, Tom. It needed it. With the temperature into the 20s, I don't doubt he worked up quite a sweat, because it looked like a good 12", and the deck is 90' long. 


Yup, the house is pretty much like a railroad car, very long and not very wide.


It must have looked pretty fruitless to him, because it was snowing like mad while he was there, but not much settled after he left.


I did some more work on my robe this afternoon, but I didn't finish it. There is a lot of topstitching, which takes a while, if I'm going to try to make it as straight as possible. I have the underarm seams, the hems, and the buttonholes left. Tomorrow. One reason I haven't done very much is that the task chair (as well as the high chair) in the sewing room is one of the most uncomfortable I have ever sat in, and besides as I turn it counterclockwise, the seat gets lower and lower. I tried to get it higher, and I discovered that for some reason it stops turning at some point. Weird. Someday, I'd like a new one.


Buster sat in the high chair for some time, when it was in the sunshine, but eventually he must have gotten cold, because he went away and I think he was under the sofa.


So that was another quiet day, but we're into February - the longest month of the year.



Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM