A View From the Field








March, 2004

March 30

This is going to have to be the end of month entry for March, since I won't be online long enough tomorrow. Whew! March is finally over! I don't know what it is that makes this month so much longer than, say, May or October, but it always has seemed to me that it must be at least 60 days long. It's good to have it out of the way.


I didn't sleep very well last night, nor very long, because I got to bed late, it was warm, and at 9 am, the guys called me to say they had the side rail for my bed. So I hauled myself up and got dressed, and I now have a complete bed, not held up by cement blocks. They didn't do a bad job of matching the stain, and it looks pretty good.


I embroidered a bit and knitted a bit, although Buster missed his morning sit on my lap because I didn't do things in the usual order. So he curled up on the bed beside me as I was knitting, an that seemed almost as good to him.


Then it was off to the eye doctor. Evidently there has been not very much change in my eyes since last year, especially the cataracts, so I guess I'm good for another year. I was glad to hear there had been little change in the cataracts, because the longer I can put that off, the happier I will be. I know it's no big deal these days, but I'm not looking forward to it anyway.  I need more light to do close things, and I have halos around lights at night, but I can still see to embroider and drive, and that's what's important.


Right before I left, Terry, the new financial guy, called me to say that the transfer of my assets seems to have taken place, and we can now look forward to getting things set in order. That is a relief. I need to write a letter to get an insurance policy liquidated, but otherwise, I am free of the old guys. That was good news.


It was a truly lousy day in Detroit today. weatherwise, with temperatures in the mid-40s and light rain almost all day long. Yuck!


It was better in Copper Harbor. It started out cloudy and either snowing or foggy, I couldn't tell which, but after about 2 pm, it began to clear up, and there was a nice, clear sunset again. The temperature hung in around 30º, so it wasn't exactly spring-like.


The one thing I really hate most about having my eyes examined is having my pupils dilated, because it makes my eyes hurt, and I can't see very clearly for some time. I managed to make it home, but that isn't very far, but I had to run the magnifier to see most of what was on my screen when I logged on the internet, and I had my sunglasses on until around 7 pm. It's getting better now, I have my regular glasses on and I can see fairly well again. Then they shine all those really bright lights into my eyes, and that hurts, too. Oh, well, it's only once a year.


So March is effectively over with, thankfully. Thirty eight days...


March 29

I ended up sleeping forever this morning, so there isn't much to report today; Actually, I can't say I slept well, but I made up for it by sleeping long. I began to solve my temperature problem by wearing a light cotton nightie. I think I will have to switch comforters and probably turn down the heat, but they keep saying the temperature is going down some, so I want to wait.


It was a moist and cloudy day again here, with a temperature in the mid 50s and a bit of rain. I shopped for food, so of course it began to rain while I was in the store and continued until after I had unloaded the car.


I forgot to mention that Saturday when the gardeners were here, I got them to remove the bird feeder from the pole and the pole from the ground. I just couldn't do it, and they had some trouble. In the course of that, they took the bottom off the feeder, which is really the only way to clean it. Clearly, something had grown in the humus at the bottom of the feeder, and then last summer, either wasps or yellowjackets built a nest in it: they took out a piece of papery stuff full of hexagonal holes. After I saw that, I decided that, squirrels or no squirrels, I am not going to be able to leave the feeder out when I'm not here. So we uprooted the pole, and I repositioned one of my shepherd's crooks, and the feeder is now full.


It hadn't been hanging there for more than an hour when Mr. Cardinal was there, picking out his favorite seeds. He has been back a couple of times when I was looking, and he looks very strange: his crest is flat to his head, I guess as a signal that he is in peaceful mode.


Today, I discovered that now I can back the car almost straight up to the sliders. I was doing that when the chickadee came to get a seed, not even concerned that there was a very big car almost right beside the feeder! And he was back while I was unloading the car, totally fearless. They're just the same in Copper Harbor, and I've often thought that with very little effort, I could coax them to take seed out of my hand.


I didn't see the blue jay in the feeder - he's a little large for it - but I did see him in the tree, and I saw a grackle trying to figure out how to get into it. I've also had a couple of squirrels trying to figure out how to get to the seed, and in fact, I found one sitting on top of the feeder. However, the first set of holes is just a little too far down for the black squirrels, so actually, it appears that the new arrangement is relatively squirrel-proof...or at least it seems to be so far! There have been lots of black squirrels gleaning under the feeder, so I threw out some pumpernickel bread that I had been going to throw away...and they promptly buried it. Good fertilizer, I guess. They want seeds or sweet things, and I'm not going to start feeding them cookies!


So I will take the feeder in when I leave, just like I do in Copper Harbor, but I'll be able to put it out when I get home, and feed the birds all winter, which I do enjoy, even though I get mostly house sparrows. There are chickadees and house finches (the rosy kind), too, and juncos, the "snow birds" who glean around the bottom. 


Those snow birds...they haven't left yet. Their going is my sure sign that spring is coming in the north, since they winter here and summer from the UP northward.


The weather in Copper Harbor was in the mid 30s, and it started out the way it ended yesterday - cloudy and rainy - but around 1:30, it began to clear up, and there was a pretty sunset. If you go to the camera page for 2004, you can view the movement of the sun from the time it got back into the picture in early February. Pretty soon it will be out of sight to the north. You can also see from today's picture that the wind blew the ice back into my end of the harbor, but it is just floating pancakes, and the juniper is beginning to appear.


Well, now there are 39 days until I am there, and they are going to be busy ones indeed. Tomorrow I see the eye doctor, which will be interesting. 


I finally caved and will make an appointment to get my hair cut. My bangs are hanging down to the bottom of my glasses, and I find it is long enough that it is beginning to bug me. It tickles my neck and I keep finding long hairs in everything, including my knitting and my embroidery. When I'm in the wind it blows all over my face and is generally a nuisance. I am not going to get it cut short - I still prefer the way I look with it longer - but I think I will probably get a couple of inches off the bottom and let it grow over the summer. I can take care of the bangs pretty well, but I can't cut the sides and back very well. I shall have to lay in a supply of barrettes and scrunchies. When I get back here in the fall, I'll rethink the long hair thing again. The last time my hair was this long was when I was about 30 years old, and it eventually got down to my shoulder blades, but then we were wearing French twists and things like that. In about 1978, while we were staying at King Copper Motel, I let my mother cut about 8" off it, which left it just under chin length, and that's how I wore it until 1998, when I started the chemo and it all fell out. I like that length, because it frames my face but it doesn't get in my way so much, and it curls better when it's shorter. My hair has some curl in it...enough that it acts better in humid weather, provided it's short enough. I really thought I might never cut it again, but it's too much trouble when it's really long. I knew there was a reason I cut it the first time.


So that's the current state of affairs in the field in exile.


Thirty nine days...


March 28

Well, the last load of wash for the evening is in the dryer, so I will write something while it's finishing up. I discovered that I was out of underwear this morning, and I had noticed a couple of days ago that the dirty clothes were almost up to the second floor in the chute. In fact, several items got caught in the first floor door, so my loads were not quite so well sorted as I wanted. I wear a lot more clothes here in town than I do in Copper Harbor, and it doesn't all have to do with it being winter when I'm here. This is a dirty place. Besides, in Copper Harbor, I tend to wash more often, because the clothes bins don't hold as much as the chute here does - or I don't think it does.


I had another restless night last night, partly because I'm having a hard time getting my temperature adjusted, but I had a lot of strange dreams. I'm now starting to dream about Copper Harbor. This time, I woke up with some elderly people I don't know looking in my bedroom window, and before the dream was over, my house was full of people I don't know. It's strange how my mind connects things. However, the house and the view were perfectly clear and perfectly accurate. These dreams will continue until I get there, I'm sure. Of course, I never dream about this place when I'm in Copper Harbor. Gives you some idea about how I feel about that place. If only it weren't so isolated...but then I wouldn't love it so well, of course.


I actually got up early enough to get to church on time, but I got to looking at some beautiful pictures in Sky and Telescope, then I started knitting, and I was almost late. We had only four sopranos and three altos with four men today, but Bruce seemed happy with the way we sounded. We sang a paraphrase of "Beautiful Savior" to a different, but very pretty, tune, and even though the words aren't exactly the same as the hymn, I always tear up...

Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands,

Robed in flow'rs of blooming spring;

Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer;

He makes our sorr'wing spirit sing.


Fair is the sunshine, fair is the moonlight,

Bright the sparkling stars on high;

Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer,

Than all the angels in the sky.


You know what I'm thinking about when I try to sing those verses.


The day started out cloudy and misty, and the temperature got up to around 50º. According to the NWS, it's clear now, but you couldn't prove it by me. I will check when I go upstairs.


In Copper Harbor, it was an ugly day altogether. There were raindrops on the window at 6:30 and there were were raindrops on the window at 7:30 this evening, although in between it was just very foggy. The temperature was in the low 40s most of the day with a fairly strong wind out of the south. Yuck. Better it snow. There is apparently going to be enough rain and snowmelt that there is a flood warning out through tomorrow. Then it's supposed to cool off to under freezing, so that will ease the melt, and there may be snow during the week. Late March and April are the months in Keweenaw when it's really ugly...the mud season.


Well, I was hoping for a late spring.


It seems hard to believe that next week is Palm Sunday and the week after that is Easter. And this year, Easter is at about its average time. We had a good chuckle in choir last Wednesday when I reminded everybody of the year when Easter fell on the first Sunday in April...the day Daylight Savings Time starts. On Easter, the choir sings at both services, and the early service is at 8:00, 15 minutes later than usual, and because of the music and all, we have to be robed at 7:30.  We were all a little groggy that day!


During the sermon (which he had already heard once, of course), Bruce was busy taping in a rearrangement of the last verse of one of our Easter anthems, which is based upon Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". The last verse, the original had the sopranos singing about 20 measures of high G's, and frankly, with our depleted choir this year, we just can't hack it. Since Bruce was a professional singer, and he has perfect pitch, he can't stand us amateurs screeching away above the top of our registers, so he frequently brings us down. He did that in our anthem today, and I'm dying to see what he has done with the Easter thing. Frankly, all those high notes didn't do all that much for the song anyway, in my opinion, and apparently he agrees. His feeling is, better we sing lower and more accurately. 


Sometimes I don't agree with him. With my voice, I have to practice to be able to sing the really high notes, and since every time I sing aloud around the house, Buster comes up and starts meowing loudly at me, I don't practice. DC did the same thing. I don't know if they like to hear me singing, and they want to sing along, or if it hurts their ears and they'd rather I stopped. I don't have the range I did when I was 30 anyway.


This afternoon, I embroidered a bit, knitted a bit - I've restarted the underarm part of my vest - then came down to the basement and washed...and washed...and washed.  There are still two or three loads left to do, but they will just have to wait until tomorrow.


So that is my Sunday. Forty days...


March 27

It was another restless night. The problem with a two-floor house is that the heat rises, and while the first floor and the kitchen are quite comfortable now, the temperature is over 70º in the bedroom, which is too warm for the covers but too cool to be without them, so I had a bit of a problem sleeping. If it stays this warm, I will have to turn down the thermostat and switch comforters.


It was another mostly cloudy, warmish day, not quite so warm as yesterday, but it was comfortable outside in just a light sweater. I spent a bit of time outside, because the gardeners were here, cleaning the hay off the rosebushes and raking up the yard. I wish the inside of my house was as clean. Things are beginning to grow, and the grass is even greening up. The beginnings of flowers are showing on the lilac bushes, which is rather surprising considering how cold it's been. I took a turn around the house, and pulled the ivy off the air conditioner. What with all the cement work, the front part of my yard has hardly any grass growing at all, so I guess it's my task to fix that. I think I will probably try to get some of that lawn patch that has the green stuff mixed with the seed, just so everybody who works on my yard knows there's something planted there so don't mow it or rake it or till it up.


The temperature got up to about 55º, but it's now cooling down somewhat, and later in the week it's supposed to be cooler and rain. Yuck.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature got to just under 40º, and it was very foggy for most of the day. Except for a little pancake ice floating right in front of the house, my end of the harbor is ice-free and I notice that a bit more of that juniper you can see through the deck railing is showing, so the snow is beginning to melt.


I just looked back at the end of March last year, and I now see why I promised myself to 1) journal each day and 2) report on the temperatures. However, I did notice that on the 28th last year, there was a blizzard in Keweenaw. I don't think that will happen this year, and it's been a bit warmer this year than last, too. Does not bode well for the summer, but we'll see. Actually, the weather forecast for next week indicates the possibility of some snow in Keweenaw, but it won't be cold enough for it to stick around. We takes what we gits, I guess.


I knitted a little, embroidered a very little, and spent some time working on another jewelry kit from the same place as the watch...in this one, there was one bead less than I needed... It goes with the funny shade of linen in the dress I may wear for Easter, which is sort of the color of tomato soup made with whole milk. I didn't finish it, because I hoped I could make it a bit longer, but no such luck. It isn't bad looking, though, and it has dangly earrings to match.


So that is another quiet day. Forty-one days...


March 26

This is the time of year when my body has a hard time regulating its temperature when I'm asleep, and it spoils my rest. It did last night, and this morning I had a long dream about DC. Curiously enough, when I woke up, Buster was sleeping right beside me, with his little head resting on a lump in the quilt. I have often wondered if cats can read minds.


The day started badly. I finished the underarm of my knitted vest and discovered that I had too many stitches, and I ended up ripping out not only the underarm section but the last rectangle on the back, too. Oh, dear. So now I have a huge pile of yarn on the floor and no doubt it will get all tangled up while I knit it back up, but at least I'm starting with the right number of stitches, and I will be much more careful about counting. 


I did a little embroidery, on one of the small things I keep around, then I decided to work on the beaded watchband which I started over a year ago and abandoned when the chain broke. I managed to fix that without undoing the entire half of the band, and I began putting on the dangles on either side, and the chain broke again. However, I fixed it and finished it (it really needs four more crystals, but I don't have that many, especially after I dropped one on the floor and can't find it). It isn't bad looking, but it is my first time really bending loops in the end of wires, and they aren't very round or very consistent in size. I hope nobody will notice. It is a rather pretty thing, with blue and silver crystals and silver findings, but now that the chain has broken twice, I'm suspicious that it will be too fragile to wear much. The problem is that the sides of the band are held together by two lengths of very fine figure-eight chain, and the tiny figure eights are so very small that they aren't finished very well. This is a kit from a place that specializes in jewelry kits, and after this experience, and seeing what I have gotten for my money, I doubt I'll ever buy any more.


So that took the latter part of the afternoon.


It was a very dark, cloudy day with occasional rain showers, and a temperature that got up to the low 60s, which feels like a perfectly good temperature for the outdoors to me. I'd be quite content if it never got much warmer.


It was cloudy and very foggy in Copper Harbor, especially in the morning. The temperature started out in the upper 30s and fell all day long, until now it's about 28º, but the forecast is for warmer temps and rain over the weekend.


It really seems like spring has sprung. When I went out to fetch in the recycling barrel this afternoon, there were three pretty purple crocuses just coming out beside the front porch. I think those are the only ones there, and I'd love to have more. Maybe this year, it will be possible for me to plant a few more when I get back here in November. The very narrow strip of dirt between the driveway and the house is a good place for stuff like that. There are lots of grape hyacinths and star-of-Bethlehems there, too. They stay confined and out of the way, and they are very cheerful in the spring.


I've said that March is the longest month, and it certainly seems like that. It feels like it will never end and be April. I don't seem to have that problem with the other 31-day months. This is also the time of year when not being in Copper Harbor really begins to wear on me. I miss my lovely office and my lovely stall shower and my comfy bed and my incredible view and my state-of-the-art kitchen more and more about now.  Well, in only six weeks I'll be there, or I hope I will. If the snow melts and everything that is going on with my finances settles down, by this time of night in 42 days, I will be back in my favorite place.


I have been reading my May issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, and I certainly hope there are clear skies in May!  There are lots of planets in the west and possibly two naked-eye comets visible in May. Of course, nobody can predict what a comet will look like beforehand, but it looks like at least one of them could be pretty bright. While I saw Comet Hale-Bopp through the bathroom window here without my glasses on, because of all the light pollution, it really wasn't very impressive, not like it was under dark skies. I'd really like to see something like that in the pristine skies of Keweenaw.


And then in June there's the transit of Venus. That is mostly a curiosity, because it hasn't happened since 1882 and the next one is in 2012, by which time I may not be seeing anything, so I will have to try to figure out a way to view it safely. I may do something like open the back of my film camera and attach the 600 mm lens and project it on a piece of paper. Hmmm.... That might just work. Viewing the sun safely is always a problem, but I've seen several partial eclipses by projecting the image through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard. With the long lens, I should be able to enlarge the image enough to see that little black dot. Well, I'll have a month or so to experiment. Unfortunately, it appears like the telescope will be on hold for a while at least.


So that is another week. Forty-two days...


March 25

Yesterday was a misty-moisty, warmish day here, with periods of rain and periods of dark clouds. The temperature got into the 50s eventually, but this is the kind of weather that really makes me long for Copper Harbor. For some reason, it seems damper here, and that does nothing good at all for my arthritis, so I was achy all day.


It was foggy and in the upper 30s in Copper Harbor, however, so that wouldn't have been much better. 


It was a busy day, with Bible class in the morning, a meeting with Terry, the new financial guy, in the late afternoon, then church and choir practice.  Slowly but surely my portfolio is getting transferred, I think. Some money is certainly gone from American Express, but it hasn't turned up at Wachovia yet. Interesting.


I was so sore Tuesday night that I sat here at the computer much too long, so I didn't get all my sleep, and I was tired last night. While I slept good and long, I was still tired today, so apparently I really overdid Tuesday.


However, today was a day when I just had to be outside. It was partly sunny and the temperature got into the low 70s! I don't like to see it so warm so soon, but it certainly was nice outside. So I got gas, replenished my supply of Jack Daniels, then left the kitchen slider open to air out the first floor. 


I also spent some time trying to get the bird feeder off the post, but I didn't succeed. I am simply not strong enough to break the corrosion, even after spraying it with WD-40. I will try again, because I can't feed the birds until I can turn it upside down and clean it out. Actually, I should remove it, because one of the things that seems to be in it is a small wasp nest...a result of leaving it empty all summer, I guess. I will have to try to struggle with it again over the next few days. The spring migration has begun, and I want to see the birds come through. While I was working on the post, there was a chickadee sitting in the pear tree talking to me. It hardly seems possible, but he seemed to know that person plus bird feeder sometimes means food. I was sorry to disappoint him.


Anyway, it was a nice way to spend some time outside. I didn't even mind taking out the trash and putting out the recycling. 


It's going to be fairly warm for the next few days, I guess, but it is supposed to rain some more. 


So spring is coming, and in 43 days I will be in Copper Harbor...


March 23

I had done some knitting this morning and was thinking about getting dressed in case Debbie got here before I went back upstairs  when she called to say the day was canceled (along with a couple of her doctor's appointments) because Daniel, her oldest, was home with the stomach flu. So we had a nice talk, and it was 11 o'clock before I got downstairs to eat. Needless to say, I was a bit hungry, particularly since I hadn't had my orange juice to give me my sugar kick in the morning. I discovered last summer that I can go for quite a while before I get hungry if I've had my orange juice., but I hadn't. Then I picked the wrong thing to eat, so my breakfast wasn't very satisfactory.


I was sitting upstairs looking out the window at an almost clear sky when I decided that the day was a nice enough one that I would take my safari out to 13 Mile and Gratiot (this is pronounced Gra-shot in Dee-troit, by the way). I stripped down to my wallet and keys in my pockets and a little bag with the things I needed buttons for, and another little bag of watches. It seems I'd gotten down to one working watch, which meant I couldn't wear my dress watches if I'd wanted to.


My first stop was the watch repair shop, and it turned out to be a very positive decision. They had in their showcase a few pieces of bead jewelry, any one of which I could easily make, with most interesting prices, and the woman assured me they were selling. One was a string of about 4mm rose quartz beads with a pretty carved mother-of-pearl flower hanging from it, with sterling silver findings, and they wanted $55 for it...probably four or five times what the components would cost. They also had some pretty little stone bracelets, strung on elastic cord with sterling silver beads, and they wanted $18 for them...again a lot more than the cost to make them, since they were only about 6" in circumference. Those would be particularly easy to make, so I shall have to peruse my supply catalog again.


Once the watches were running, I went on to JoAnn's. That is a very large store, so I'd hoped to do all my shopping there, but they were almost out of embroidery floss and I never did find the jewelry department, although the checkout girl assured me it was there. However, I was a good girl. I had put three bolts of fancy material in my basket - two of dupioni silk and one of silver colored satin - when I started looking in the remnant baskets. What should I find but about ¾ yard of the very off-white dupioni I had in the bolt...at half price. So I put back all the bolts and found a few other remnants, including some bright blue ripstop nylon that is exactly what I've been wanting to make my checkbook cover from.


I did find buttons, although they aren't exactly what I had in mind, but they'll do. Then I went off in search of floss, yarn, and beads. The floss bins were empty, although I did splurge on a ball of sock yarn and a circular needle, and I never did find the jewelry.


So then it was off to Michael's, although I was already hot and sweaty and my legs hurt. I wanted to go to Michael's anyway because they had a full-page ad in the last beading magazine, and I hoped they would have the floss (only 8 skeins of 4 colors) that I needed. They did, but the bead department was pretty much of a disappointment. They didn't have much more than they had a couple of years ago, the last time I was there. Besides, while I was looking over the findings, a lady came from the other direction and grabbed the last package of gold colored lobster claw clasps, which are the only kind I really like. I did get a couple of spools of stretch elastic, however, in anticipation of lots of cute little bracelets... 


Besides the source for semiprecious gemstones, I have probably 10 kilos of mixed Indian glass beads, some of which are very pretty, and all of which would make interesting, cheap necklaces and bracelets, if I can get some plated findings (which I can) and beads to go with them. I'd been thinking about necklaces, and now I know how to make the stretch bracelets. In case anybody wonders, I'm not too interested in earrings, since I just don't wear them now that my hair is long again, and I don't have pierced ears anyway. It has to be something that interests me...


By the time I checked out of Michael's, I was really lumbering along, with very sore legs and an extremely sore right foot. I think I probably have a neuroma in my right foot, and when I've been standing for a long period of time, it gets so sore I can hardly stand on it. It's better since I have been sitting down, but my legs are still sore and my knees and ankles are really stiff. Clearly, I need to do more walking.


So that was my nice day. I managed to get everything I really wanted, and I didn't really break the bank. A relief.


It was a nice day to be outside, even though it did cloud up some late in the afternoon. The temperature got up to 53º, and there wasn't a lot of wind. However, I really dislike driving around this area at this time of year. What growing things there are are all brown, and the spring cleanup hasn't started yet, so there is trash all over the place, and it makes things really ugly.


It was a beautiful day in Copper Harbor today, too, but cold...the temperature dropped off from midnight, and the daytime high didn't get much over 25º. The morning started out cloudy, but it soon cleared up, and there was lots of blue sky all day long. Sunset was very pretty, and look how far north the sun has moved in just a couple of days! Because it's setting later and over the lower part of the hill, the sunset picture today was 15 minutes later than Sunday's, too.


So spring is coming, even though there's not much evidence of it in Keweenaw yet. Pretty soon the sunset will be out of camera range to the north. I've forgotten to mention that my daffodils here are poking up about 6", even through last week's snow, and the grape hyacinths and star-of-Bethlehems are all green. So it's coming...


Forty-five days...


March 22

I actually got up around 8:30 this morning, amazing considering when I went to bed, and I had some idea of making a foray into a store other than a grocery, but between knitting, reading, embroidery and Buster, I ended up not getting further than the mail box. Part of the reason was that I finished the thing I was embroidering. It is a Just Nan called "Strawberry Summer" and after I made a few alterations, including leaving out one big band entirely, it didn't come out badly. It is done on a pretty shade of pink linen (I won't use that brand again, though), and has some nice bands in it. It also uses two of the most awful threads it has ever been my misfortune to use, and they drove me batty, which was one reason it took me a month do do a thing that turned out about 4"x7".


I wanted to go to the super JoAnn's to see if I can find buttons for the blue vest I am knitting and also for the raspberry boiled wool jacket I got on sale at Land's End last summer, which has very ugly brown buttons on it. Then there is lining material for some little needlework accessories I did just after I got here and which have been sitting around waiting to be finished. They are very elegant and flowered quilt cotton just won't do. There are a couple of other things on my list, and I have been postponing my trip as long as possible to avoid spending money. However, if I don't go soon, none of those things will get finished before I leave for the north.


I wanted to get out, because it was a very pretty day, although when I went out to go to the mail box, it was not much over freezing and rather windy...not as nice as it looked. It was perfectly clear, and there was a ton of sunshine. The sun is peeking around the house next door in the mornings these days, and I shall have to make room on the steps for Buster, who loves to sleep in the sun.


The morning was clear and lovely in Copper Harbor, too, with a temperature around 10º. I guess it got colder inland and to the south, but that big heat sink to the north kept it warmer - warm being a relative term here - in the harbor. It began clouding up around 11 am, and while there was a little sun late in the day, at sunset it was cloudy, and it looked like the forecast of snow was a distinct possibility. I can imagine that if you're not a snowmobiler, this is the time of winter that really gets wearing. It has been winter for five months now, and it should be time for it to go away.


I do know that I'm not the only person who is contrary enough that when it's too cold or too nasty to spend time outdoors, that is the time I really want to go. When the weather is beautiful, I can just as well stay in and admire it from inside.


So now it's time to hit the pillow again. Forty six days...


March 21

Well, I didn't quite make it to church today. I did wake up about 6:30, but I had been awake during the night, and it was just too early. So I went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until 10:15.


I haven't talked about Buster and my new routine, which has been going on for some time now. When I get up, I go into the bathroom, and he immediately jumps on my lap for his morning pet. However, he just keeps sitting there, so I have been getting quite a bit of knitting done, despite the fact that he tries to catch the needles and glares at my hands. This morning, I kept on knitting, so he jumped down and came back twice before I finally got up and went downstairs. 


Then he wants breakfast, and when I sit down, either to read or wait until the coffee is done, for the past several days, he has been jumping on the other chair and making a nuisance of himself. So Friday, I opened the end drawer in the counter and took out his Cat Dancer. This is a piece of springy wire with a bunch of cardboard strings on the end of it, and it has been his favorite toy since he was a baby kitten. Well! Did that go over well. He played and played until I got bored, then he would have played some more. Yesterday and this morning, he has been climbing up on the back of the chair, as though he could open the drawer himself. So first we played with the Cat Dancer, then I looked around and found a piece of furry material on the end of another wire, and a thing on the end of a string that is retracted by a battery operated pulley. In between all this, I am trying to make breakfast (although today I had a sandwich), read and eat.


He bugged me until I went upstairs again, and when I came down sometime later, he was curled up in a little ball in the pink chair, where I don't think he's slept for years. It's been warmer in the house, though, and probably sleeping in front of the registers is getting too hot. He's been sleeping mostly on the end of the bed, too, rather than next to me. That's probably partly because it's warmer, and partly because I don't disturb him so much when I get up.


I believe he is really bored, poor kitty, and I'm the only playmate he has. I know I've heard him several times after I'm in bed at night, pushing the ball around in the circular track of one of his toys, but that isn't really very interesting, since where it moves is predictable. He likes moving things, like Cat Dancers or mice. Or another cat.


The weather here was cold - it didn't get above freezing - and breezy, and there was at least one brief snow shower, although the weather service says that now it's cleared up and is cooling off.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy and windy this morning, with some snow, but around 3 pm, it began to clear up, and sunset was beautiful. However, at the last reading, the temperature was down to 10º, so it's going to be clear and cold tonight. In spite of that, the ice on the harbor is broken up into chunks, probably because of the waves caused by the high winds overnight. 


Spring isn't here yet, anywhere in Michigan.


Forty-seven days...


March 20

At about 5 am I woke up to the sound of thunder...the first thunderstorm of the spring! Happy Spring, everyone! Now it's astronomically official, and (if I remember) I can change the banner in my hallway.


The thunder and lightning and heavy rain went on for more than an hour, then I went back to sleep for a while. It rained all morning, more or less hard, but around 2 pm, it began to clear up, and for the rest of the afternoon it was fairly clear, and the official temperature got up to 57º. That is supposed to change overnight, and it should get down below freezing, with a strong wind. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and cold with maybe a snow flurry. Ah, March!


In Copper Harbor, it was cold and cloudy, with temps around 30º, and strong winds, although they were a bit later in coming than predicted, and are still gathering strength. At 9 pm, the wind was 31 mph out of the north with gusts to 46, the highest they have been all day. And remember, this was measured at the sewage ponds, which is a rather sheltered location. There are gales in March, too.


I knitted a bit, read a bit, and embroidered a bit, then I spent the afternoon inventorying my gemstone beads and pricing them for future reference. Some of the prices surprised me - I don't remember paying that much, but the company has a lot of special sales, and I think I probably got the more expensive things that way. I guess the next necklace projects will be using my iolite, labradorite and moonstone beads, because they need silver findings and I have those. I also have some cloisonné and the aventurine, onyx and rose quartz to make some nice pieces, but they need gold findings, and I'm pretty much out of those. Then there is all the rose quartz I got on sale...either gold or silver will go with them.


My feeling, however, is that I may finish the seed bead bracelet I have started, then work on boxes for a while. Oh, yes, and the kit with the rose beads that go really well with that strange-colored linen dress I've had for two years and never worn. It has short sleeves and would be good to wear for Easter. There's also a watch with a band made of blue and gray crystals that I'd like to finish (one side of it broke, and I got the replacement chain, but I've never gotten around to taking it apart and redoing it).


So now I will crawl upstairs and try to get to bed early, with the hope that I will get up early enough to go to church at 8:15. I've been waking up around 6:30 lately, and if I got up then, I could probably make it. I move really slowly in the morning these days.


So spring is official, and in 48 days I will be in Copper Harbor...


March 19

Not much to report again. I embroidered a little, knitted a little, cleaned up the kitchen a little (the dishes in the sink were getting sort of deep), and finished my pearl and stone chip necklace. The chips are amethyst, citrine, peridot and blue topaz, and it came out rather nice, I think...rather understated and summery. It is 18" long, which lays on top of my collar bones but would hang down in front on Debbie. 


Unfortunately, I am running out of gold-filled findings, so sometime soon I will have to get together an order, and it will be hard to control myself and not spend a fortune on amazonite and garnet and a couple of other things. That company has a new line of very lovely sterling silver beads, too. See, I'm going to have to try to sell this stuff, just so I can get these pretty things and play with them.


There are also seed beads that are copper colored, or crystal lined with copper (which are even prettier), and I have several ideas for bracelets using them...


Oh, yes, and in the course of stringing the pearls, I broke two wire needles, so I need more of those. It never ends.


The weather here was rather pretty, sunny and 40-ish, but when I went out to get the recycling barrel, there was a rather chilly wind blowing. I guess it's supposed to cloud up and rain tomorrow. Ah, March...


In Copper Harbor, it was mostly clear at sunrise, but pretty soon it clouded over and it was dull and dreary for most of the day. The temperature got just over freezing, and there was a little  more clear water in the harbor than yesterday. There is going to be a little more snow there, and there is a high wind advisory out for tomorrow (gusts to 50 mph? That I'd love to see - and hear!). The snow is holding up pretty well, however, so maybe I'll get to see spring again.


And seven weeks from this time of this day, I'll be at home in Copper Harbor. Aahhhh......


March 18

I was just sitting here noticing that the weather says it's snowing lightly when I remembered that I have to get the trash and the recyclables out tonight. Oh, dear.


Yesterday was a cloudy day both here and in Copper Harbor, with temperatures in the upper 20s and a little snow here and there, not enough to bother anything. Today was the same here, but it was sunny and beautiful in Copper Harbor, and the temperature got up to about 36º. Spring is trying to push out old winter, but it's not strong enough yet. While the concrete is pretty much clear here, the ground is covered with snow.


Yesterday was the church day, but since we aren't singing again on Sunday, there weren't many people in choir. I discovered that Sunday is Pre-school Sunday, which means little kids, really little kids, and the late service will be full of their relatives, so I have to make the decision to try to get up and get to church by 8:15 or skip it. we'll see what happens.


Today, I woke up early enough that I could have done that, but I went back to sleep and had just come to again at 9:30 when Nancy called me with the bad news. So I will have to plug her numbers into my projections and start juggling. I keep wishing this whole thing would get over with, but it doesn't look like it will any time soon. Finances and juggling money is one task I really hate about as much as anything, and there are so many things I could do that it really bugs me. So I will keep slogging along.


Yesterday afternoon, I put aside my seed bead project and started a new necklace which has pearls and stone chips and I think will be rather pretty, but today there were too many other things going on. I was going to to upstairs and work on it a bit when I remembered that I had to send back the contracts for my lawn and tree fertilization, and there was one bill to pay. Then Terry came briefly for me to sign a slew of forms to set up my accounts, and I had to run out to the post office.


And all this other stuff is going to be the ongoing problem with trying to put together some crafts that I can sell: there are too many other things to do. I'm not sure if it's that time is just going so much faster or I am moving so much slower as I get older, but I just seem to have so much less time to do anything. Since this is supposed to be partly about things I enjoy doing, I'm not going to put myself on a schedule (which I hate most of all), so I'm not sure how I'm going to get these things done. 


Seven weeks tomorrow...


March 16

It's really funny to talk more about the weather here in Detroit than in the UP, but that's how it is today. It was snowing when I woke up, and it's still snowing, and the total so far is about 4". The temperature hung in around 25º all day long, and it wasn't very nice out.


Needless to say, I didn't have my meeting with Terry this afternoon. If anything, Birmingham, where he works, got more snow than we did, and I strongly expect that the roads were in really bad shape. Actually, that wasn't the case here - around 3 pm various plows and salt trucks came whizzing down our street, going much faster than one ought to on a one-block street. However, the street wasn't in bad shape afterwards. For one thing, during the day there isn't anybody parked on the street, so they had a clear shot.




Copper Harbor had a beautiful day. It was sunny all day long, with a few clouds occasionally in a lovely blue sky, and a temperature that got up just to freezing. It was beginning to cloud up at sunset, however, and there is supposed to be snow there over the next couple of days.


March weather is certainly some of the most interesting! I'm actually happy this happened. The later spring is, the better, so far as I am concerned. It means I'm more likely to be in Copper Harbor before the leaves start to come out, and I like that. Here in Detroit, we'll have our spring flowers, so I'll be able to see the bulbs and the lilacs twice.


I got up late and didn't do much except for some embroidery, and now I'm going to bed, because there will be Bible class tomorrow, which means up early. i really need to do something in the kitchen again, but I just didn't. Tomorrow, maybe.


March 15

Well, it's the Ides of March already! And in  8 weeks, I'll be back in Copper Harbor, if everything goes well.


I was able to take my time about arising and eating and all this morning. It was a nice, clear, sunny day, with temperatures in the upper 30s, and a good day to take a ride. Traffic was lighter than I anticipated, but they're driving even faster than they were last year. Cruising speed on I-696 is 75 mph, and you have to watch it if you're in the left lane or you'll get mowed down by the guys going 85. Every so often you'll run across somebody trying to be legal, and if they weren't doing it out in the middle lanes I'd feel sorry for them, with all the speeders going around them on both sides. Why won't those people stay over to the right? Appointing yourself the speed regulator is just asking for an accident. Oh, well.


Nancy is a really nice person, and we had a long but productive conversation. Unfortunately, I misestimated how much I would be withdrawing from my IRA, so I will have taxes to pay, but that's how it goes. I think I will have a better handle on things this year. We also talked about the possible advantages, tax-wise and expense-wise of changing my principal residence to Copper Harbor (I wouldn't be selling this house), and it has possibilities, but I have a lot of work to do to get the figures together before I could determine which way to go.


So I guess I had a productive day.


Before I left the house, I came down to the computer with the idea of doing battle with SBC about the state of my email, and lo and behold, it was working again! I can send email using that account! All I can figure is that I wasn't the only one with the problem.


When I logged on, it was sunny and beautiful in Copper Harbor, with a temperature in the low 20s, although it has now fallen off into the low teens. There was a new sunset picture tonight, and you can see how much the sun has moved in just a few days. By the equinox, it will be over the next hump to the right.


I also looked at some of the pictures I have saved from past years, and it seems I have saved the March 15 shot each year. In 2002, the harbor was clear of ice by this time, and that was a pretty warm summer. In 2003, there was a much thicker ice cover than there is this year, and last summer was a lovely, cool one. So I have some hope for this year. Someday I would like to go swimming in the harbor, but it would be nicer for it to be cool enough that I couldn't.


So now it is time for bed, to get ready for the next task ahead, to get my finances settled.


March 14

The day didn't start out very well, because I didn't wake up until 9:15. It was a good thing the choir wasn't singing, because I wouldn't have made it. I did make it to church with a couple of minutes to spare, so that worked. The bell choir played, and they were nice to hear, and there was communion, and that was good. The sermon was about the story in Luke when someone asked Jesus if some people who had been massacred in the temple were worse people than others, and He said, of course not. It's a lesson Christians should know about living in the world and the bad things that happen, but it's good to hear every so often.


The weather wasn't very nice, with temperatures in the mid 30s mostly and drizzle, and in the afternoon, the wind picked up and is now blowing from 18 to 25 mph and there may be more sprinkles. March tends to be nasty like that.


In Copper Harbor, it snowed off and on all day, temperatures got into the low 30s, and now there is a lovely north wind blowing 33-38 mph. I can just hear it beating against the house. March is still winter in the northwoods. There has been a good amount of new snow over the past couple of days, with will keep the snowmobile people happy.


I ended up not doing much today. I embroidered some, and collected things together for Nancy tomorrow, packed my briefcase, and wrote a few checks, and that's about it.


I am having some kind of trouble with my internet connection. For the past week, while I have been receiving messages, I have been unable to send anything using my ameritech account. I will call them tomorrow and raise cain. However, this evening, there have been a certain number of websites, like WKAR in Lansing, and the Soo locks webpage, and the site that has most of my comics and my daily jigsaw puzzle. I'm not sure whether it's them or me at this point, but I may try a few things before I go to bed, like logging on to pastynet and seeing if that works. Anyway, I will see if I can clear up the mail problem tomorrow, because one of these days the msn account is going to go away. Oh, me, if it's not one thing it's another.


The furnace is running like it's getting cold outside, so I will put this to bed, then do the same for myself.


March 13

I slept late and diddled around, doing some embroidery, especially what I had ripped out yesterday. I seem to be doing a lot of ripping lately, probably because my mind has been on other things.


However, I did go through all the papers, sorted some of them, and gathered the stuff for Nancy, and I just printed out what she needs from my ledgers. So I guess I'm ready for her. It's good to get that out of the way. It's also good, as I have mentioned in past years, not to have to worry about doing the tax forms properly myself. With all that has been going on since I retired and all the changes in the tax laws, there is no way I could have done it myself anyway without getting into big trouble. Sometimes it pays to pay somebody to work for you.


Last night before I went upstairs, I finished making the changes to the webcam page. Now, if you scroll down below the picture, you will find a grid of numbers which correspond to the old pictures, and you can click on any of them and sort of page backward to see what's been going on. I don't know why that never occurred to me before, but while I was talking to Terry (the new financial guy) about the website, it suddenly hit me how to do it, and except for having to put in all the links manually, it was easy to do. It doesn't mean I will stop archiving particularly nice pictures, though, because only about a day and a half's worth of shots are archived on the website, and I find it lots of fun to look back further than that, especially when I'm tracking the sun or the moon or something.


No moon or stars today, though. Sunrise was clear and pretty in Copper Harbor, but it was very cold  - close to zero. It began clouding up before 10 am, and the temperature rose to around 30º, where it is now. By 4:30, it was snowing across the harbor, and shortly the house was engulfed in heavy snow, which is still going on, since the lights of town are invisible. There didn't seem to be much accumulation on the deck by sunset, but that may be because there is a 20 mph wind blowing. It's winter again! It's supposed to snow all day tomorrow.


Here, it was clear all day long, and I was sorry to be stuck in the back rooms and not able to bask in the sunshine. The temperature got up to 35º briefly, but it's down into the mid 20s again now. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy or snowy or something and fairly warm, in the mid 40s, then it will clear up again for Monday, which is nice, seeing as how I have a 40 to 45 mile drive in front of me. I do get spoiled living in the big city, I guess. When I'm in Copper Harbor almost everything is a 40 or 45 mile drive...only traffic isn't so bad.


This evening, I cooked my lamb shanks, and for some reason they seemed to come out particularly yummy, with nice mashed potatoes and good gravy. So I will eat well for the next four or five days. I still have to pack them away in the fridge, so I will get this uploaded and to off to bed.


March 12

Except to sign my name once and extol the virtues of Keweenaw, I did not much today. I got to bed late last night and got up late this morning (and I'll be getting to bed late again tonight). However, as I was talking to my new financial advisor, a way of making the last 99 webcam pages available to view occurred to me. I've started working on it, but not all the links are in place, since doing it is all manual, and I want to make sure it works before I do all 99. What I've done is out there on the webcam page, but I make no guarantees.


The weather here was blah, dark and cloudy, with temps in the mid-20s and an occasional snow shower (they say - I didn't see it, but I wasn't looking).


In Copper Harbor, it was cold all day. The highest temperature they reported was just over 17º with winds out of the north from 15-20 mph. Sounds like winter, doesn't it? Looked like winter, too, until 3 o'clock or so, when it began to clear up, and by sunset, it was almost completely clear. I don't know if it still is, because I just looked at the pictures, and I didn't see Venus, but it is supposed to be clear and cold all night.


Buster was in his glory, because I sat around for quite a while, and he likes the new financial guy, who is gentle and soft-spoken and likes cats. This was an "on" day for him - he seems to have one day "on" and one day "off", when I may hardly ever see him and he sleeps.


Tomorrow I have to dig into the piles of papers that need to be filed and get my taxes ready for the accountant on Monday afternoon. That will actually a fun visit...I like Nancy, and we don't get to talk very often.


So that is all there is, and I'm anxious to get this uploaded so I can see if my idea will work...


March 11

To start off, the CT scans showed nothing, and the doctor said, come back in six months. Actually, it will be more like five, because I don't want to come back in September, so it will be the second week of August. There is still one tiny node (less than 1 cm) showing in my neck, but it has been unchanged since 2002, and apparently the several others that were there are now gone. So far, so good. So now I can get on with other things.


Yesterday was, of course, church day, so I didn't do much in between. After I saw the doctor today, I did some food shopping, and feasted on lamb chops and fresh asparagus today. I don't even know how much the asparagus was, but it certainly tasted good. The first fresh asparagus of spring is always a special treat for me. This was exceptionally sweet despite being rather large. I shall have to keep my eye out for more. Yum.


I have been mostly knitting for the past couple of days. I finally started the alpaca lace shawl...four times, before I got the cast on row right. Now I am slogging through 20 rows of seed stitch, which I hate just as much as I hate ribbing, but it needs something non-curling for a border. The alpaca is about the thickness of heavy duty sewing thread, and it isn't much fun to knit in. I have done all my lace knitting in size 30 or smaller crochet cotton, and this is the first time I've done lace in wool. I had hoped it would be a little stretchier, but it's not, and besides, it splits easily. Maybe when I get to the lace patterns it will be more fun.


I am also working on my expensive vest, which is done in modular knitting and I think will go quickly. Now that yarn is a mid-weight mohair and wool hand painted yarn, and it is very nice to work with. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd be tempted to use a lot of it. The vest will be nice, though.


Buster has found all the goings and comings and fiddling with yarn and needles most disgusting. In his ideal world, I would stay home all the time and mostly sit quietly so he could sit - or sleep - on my lap. Well, none of us has the world just the way we'd like it.


The weather has been interesting. In Copper Harbor, it got into the low 40s yesterday afternoon, although it was cloudy, and the temperature has been falling steadily ever since, until now, it's in the low teens. The wind has been rising all day, and is now in the 20 mph range. There seemed to be some light snow late in the day, and it seems to be continuing. Winter, for sure.


Here in Detroit, yesterday was quite nice, with some sunshine, and temperatures in the 40s, although they did fall off some last night. Today was cloudy with a bit of rain and/or snow, and according to the NWS, it's now snowing lightly. I haven't checked, but I do need to take out the trash, so we'll see what we see. The temperature was in the 40s for most of the day, but it's now fallen to the mid-20s. So winter isn't over here, either.


So that is all I know, and I've fiddled around much too long, and it's time to take out the trash and go to bed.


March 9

Surprisingly enough, in spite of my big meeting today, I slept well last night, with some really interesting dreams. I took my time about getting up and eating and all, and apparently Debbie's schedule didn't mesh with mine at all, because she didn't show up.


It was a nice day for a ride, sunny and 40-ish, but there are just too many people around here. I think of that every time I go over the 12 Mile overpass on I-75 around noon and find bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. Ah, for the traffic jams of Houghton, when people mutter if there are five cars waiting to get on the bridge! On that topic, something is going to happen that is supposed to happen this summer to relieve "congestion" in that area...which will make driving around there a real fun trip all summer, I'm sure. 


Anyway, I went and I heard, and I called Terry when I got home and told him to initiate the transfer. We will meet Friday for me to sign all the documents. The other guys really tried hard, even running a Morningstar report for me, but they just don't get it. They still maintain that their figures for my withdrawals are right, and they still think that talking to me and reviewing my portfolio once a year is enough. I'm only sorry it has taken me so long to find out that a real financial advisor should do ever so much more. Well, live and learn. I really never expected to have a lot of money, and at least I got a fantastic house in a place I love out of the whole thing, and I had a lot of fun while it lasted. With a little care and planning, I'll manage to do what I want for some time to come, maybe as long as I'm physically able to do it.


Anyway, after that I called Nancy, my accountant, and set up an appointment for next Monday. If I don't do that, with a fairly short deadline, I will never get the tax stuff together. We had a nice chat while she was waiting for her next appointment, and I am beginning to discover where some of the money went, and it only confirmed that my decision to change advisors was the right one.


My eating schedule has been interesting today. I ate a large, late breakfast, and when I got home, I was hungry, so I celebrated with a pastrami sandwich (how I love that stuff...and, oh, what it does to my tummy!). My "dinner" is apparently going to be a nice JD on the rocks, because I'm not hungry, but I am tired.


Well, things will never be the same, because I will have to watch my spending, but I sincerely hope that the financial convulsion is at an end, at least for the next few years. It's disappointing, because I had hoped that my years of having to count pennies were over, but evidently that's not what God has in mind for me, so I will cope, as I have for most of my life. It will be nice to look ahead to my migration north.


It was a lovely day in Copper Harbor, too, with temperatures around freezing, and lots of sunshine. For some crazy reason, the camera didn't wake up until 5:40 this morning, so all the day's pictures were off-schedule, but the sun set right on top of the mountain. That is why it looks kind of flattened in the picture. You can see that the end of the harbor is full of ice again, but I think it's slush ice. 


Much as I feel for the full-time residents of Keweenaw, I really hope spring comes late so I can see it all again. Spring is nice here, but somehow, it's so much better when I am out in the woods and so close to the land. Besides, it smells so good! My sense of taste and smell got really zapped by all the chemo, but there are certain things that still come through, and the smell of the earth warming, and the smell of the pines after a rain, are two things that I can still sit and breathe in until I'm dizzy. Oh, how I love that place! I wasn't kidding when I said I think it would kill me if I couldn't live there any more.


So slowly but surely things are getting straightened out, and I'm tired tonight.


March 8

Another good sleep (punctuated by interesting dreams) and another morning of waking up without a head stuffed full of stuff. I really think I'm dripping a little less, too. One of these days, I'll be over it.


I finished the lime green sock, so now I have another pair of wool socks. It occurred to me that it's getting toward spring, and it would be nice to have another pair of hand-made cotton socks,  but all of my yarn for those works on #2 needles, and I have a pair started on #2s. You know the rule - only one project on one size needles at a time. Actually, I may break the rule. The coat of many colors is on #3s and so is my lace shawl, which I am itching to start. We'll see.


I embroidered a little, but not much. The project I'm working on just doesn't interest me all that much.


Then I repaired to the sewing room and made the second twisted necklace. This one turned out to be just as much of a pain as the first one, but it turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. I'm learning a lot about stringing seed beads, and using both of my cord twisters. One of the beads is a rather large, shiny one, and it is almost impossible to keep it from sliding off the string. Evidently the shiny finish makes it exceptionally slippery. Well, anyway, that's done.


When I go back upstairs, I have to gather together the things I want to take to my wonderful meeting tomorrow. I have received a few things in the mail that I want to know what they are (not that it really matters anymore, but still). Since Debbie said she was going to stop by, I probably won't have time to do that tomorrow. I will be so glad when all this is over.


It did occur to me that they know my website name and they could be reading my journals, in which case they would know my plans. Hmmm...naw, they wouldn't think about that.


The weather here was nondescript - cloudy and low 30s. It didn't snow last night, but they are saying it might tonight. The sky is falling...the sky is falling... March is almost always a terrible weather month in Detroit, cold and damp and unpleasant.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy this morning, and there may have been some snow overnight. The wind pushed a sheet of pancake ice into my end of the harbor overnight. It's covered, but I think if I were there, I would see it heaving with the winds. It certainly isn't solid. Around noon, it began to clear up, and it was clear late in the day, although the actual setting of the sun was covered by a cloud coming in from the north. The temperature was 28º all day, although it's dropping off now.


So that is all I have to report, and I'd better go sort out and pack up.


March 7

For the first time in a month, I think, when I woke up this morning, my head was not stuffed full of cotton, and it was really nice to sit up in bed without feeling dizzy or headachy. I am still dripping like a sieve, but I think I'm finally getting over whatever it was. Quite a relief!


We sang, but there weren't a lot of people in church. We did an arrangement of Bach's "Air on the G-string", and for there only being 14 of us, including Bruce, we did pretty well...at least he was satisfied. It's a nice thing to sing, but it does go to prove a soprano is not a violin. There are some interesting octave jumps that are really hard to hit properly. We will sing it again on Good Friday.


After I got home, I got right at the recalcitrant necklace, and despite a near disaster, I finished it and i rather like it. I strung 4 related kinds of beads on 4 60" threads, then tied them together and twisted them like making a twisted cord. After they are well twisted, they fold in half and twist in the opposite direction to make a rope. The near disaster was when the end I was twisting from suddenly broke off...and I said "oh, no!", but it turned out that it left some of the knots in place, so I didn't have to restring the whole thing after all...besides which, there would have been hundreds of beads on the floor. Whew! I put a clasp on it, and I think it's rather pretty. I will take a picture.


After that, I sort of petered out. I couldn't decide whether do do a similar but narrower rope with the same beads, or work on the bracelet I started a couple of weeks ago, or look through my stash of bigger beads...or what. So I looked through the box of bigger beads, then quit for the afternoon.


My excuse is, lying flat on my back on the CT scan table for nearly an hour really did my back in, and it has been stiff and sore ever since. Neither chair in the sewing room is at all comfortable, and my back began to bother me. Good excuse, huh?


So I came downstairs and played with the computer, discovering along the way that it isn't possible to find pictures of three or four jewelry kits I got from one supplier, and there isn't much about Wedgwood china patterns (a request from Shirley), although I got more results when I spelled it right. Also Ebay has an incredible number of listings for antiques and costume jewelry, and while I guess the jewelry sells, it doesn't bring much. I noticed quite a number of entries where the bids didn't come close to what the seller wanted. It's amazing what you can find on the internet.


The weather here was cloudy all day and 40-ish, and I think late in the day it started drizzling, and that may have turned to snow since the temperature has dropped into the mid 30s, but I'm relying on the NWS station at City Airport, since I haven't looked out since it got dark. A good day to ignore the outside.


It was nondescript in Copper Harbor, too, where the temperature was around freezing all day and it was very dreary and cloudy, although it's been snowing at Houghton since it got dark, and the lights of town look dim enough that it's probably snowing there, too. There is open water at the east end of the harbor, but I looked at the other Copper Harbor camera today, and down in front of King Copper, there is still snow-covered ice. I don't think I'd want to walk on it, because it looks like it is badly cracked.


So winter is more or less back in Michigan.


Now it's time for bed again, after I figure out what the cat wants now.


March 6

Well! I slept, and slept and slept, and slept some more, and I still felt like my head was full of cotton when I finally got up, but I really think I needed it. As a result, however, I didn't do diddly all day long. I read for a while, ate brunch, embroidered (and ripped!) for a while, then came down to get the mail and read some more, after which I came downstairs to the computer. A real lost day.


The weather was cloudy and breezy, and the temperature hung right around 41º all day long. When I went out to get the mail, it felt a lot nastier than the last time it was that temperature, but I think it's because it's still pretty humid. A good day to ignore the outside.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy with an occasional snow squall  until around 5pm, when it started to clear up. Sunset was lovely, and I wish I'd been there to see how pretty it really was. The camera washes out the colors. The sun is now setting on the south flank of Brockway, so it has moved quite a bit in the past week. It still has a ways to go to get to due west, however...about three weeks from now. The other thing I noticed yesterday and forgot to mention is that the ice on the harbor has broken up and turned to pancake ice, and most of the harbor is either clear or has just a thin film over it. Yesterday afternoon the winds were pretty strong, and I suppose that and the warm temperatures for the previous week were what caused the breakup. Today the temperature was in the mid 20s, and there wasn't much wind. I'm getting antsy...


So now it's time to trundle upstairs again. My right eye has been scratchy all day, which indicates to me that I still haven't caught up on my sleep.


March 5

I still have enough of my sinus thing left that when I get up in the morning, my head feels like it's full of cotton, and if I bend over at all, I start to drip. It will be nice to be able to sleep a long time and wake up slowly tomorrow.


This morning, I had just finished my breakfast when I had to start drinking barium, and it didn't set very well. However, I got to the hospital, and I am pleased to report that I didn't get sprayed. There was a problem getting the IV to flow, but the tech overcame that, and my scan is now done. Nice to have that over for a while.


I got out in time to eat at Lucy's. I like their food, but it doesn't appear they are getting the business they were when I first started going there, which is too bad. They have even started a carry-out service. However, there are actually three restaurants in that block, from the very high-priced to what I understand is a sort of family place, with Lucy's in the middle, so the area may be over saturated. On the other hand, the service left a bit to be desired, so that may be the problem.


I actually had dinner, tenderloin tips and pasta in an interesting brown sauce that was really yummy, and there was so much of it, I brought part of it home and had it for dinner. I don't get to eat out enough when I'm here, and it was a pleasure.


When I got home, ominous rumblings began in my gut, and I spent a good part of the afternoon close to the bathroom getting rid of my barium. Sometimes it doesn't affect me adversely, but this time it certainly did! I had enough gas to float away, butt first. Very strange.


My intention was to work on the recalcitrant necklace, but Debbie had called - she changed her mind again - and we had a nice conversation, then I called a friend from church whom I haven't talked to since I got back here, and we had another nice conversation. Since my ear was already numb, I ended up by calling Shirley to see how she is doing.


It turns out that she is all right, more or less. She didn't have to have angioplasty, which was good, and she seems to be doing all right on her new medication. She says she is enjoying the winter off, but she sounded a bit lonely, and she had a lot of news to tell. So that took care of my afternoon.


Actually, I was lucky to catch Shirley in Hancock, since she had planned to go to the harbor for the weekend, but they had a blizzard today in Keweenaw, and on the advice of her friend who lives at the top of Quincy Hill, she decided to stay in. Good choice, I would say. At least in the harbor, there was at least 6" of snow by this evening, I would guess, from the look of the deck, and since the temperature hung at around 28º all day long, I'm sure the roads were exceptionally slippery, and I'm not sure where the snow plows were, but they hadn't been out yet early in the afternoon. I'm wondering if, since the load limits went into effect on the roads this week, the road commission decided to go into spring mode. Oops. They should know better by this time.


Here, it was as different as it could be. It rained heavily enough over night that, since the ground is still either frozen or saturated, I had a hint of Lake Champine in my front yard this afternoon...the guy who did the sidewalk work didn't raise the old blocks nearly enough. When I got downstairs this morning, it was already 63º, and when I got out of the hospital, it was around 68º. Summer, already. The heat and humidity this morning caused an amusing phenomenon when I opened the garage...the car windows fogged up on the outside, and I had to turn on the windshield wipers and defoggers to clear them up. It would have been a lovely day to drive with the windows open except that there was a 26-40 mph wind blowing from the west and it kept blowing my hair into my face. There are some disadvantages to long hair, I'm finding.


There was even a little sunshine, and when I went upstairs a while ago to get my dinner, there was a hazy almost-full moon shining in the grade door. The temperature, however, has dropped off to the low 50s on its way to the mid 30s overnight, and it's supposed to be cold and snowy or sleety for the next two days.


March weather in Michigan is always so interesting.


Well, it was a busy week, and I'm glad it's over. Next week there are a few things to do, but not so many early mornings, which will be good. I am still doing my best sleeping the first three and last three hours I'm in bed, which means I'd rather not get up too early.


So now it's bedtime again. 


March 4

So I'm halfway through my CT scans, and that's good. With any luck, I'll get through tomorrow without being sprayed on or falling off the table or anything like that. I don't relish having to drink a liter of barium in half an hour, but that's part of the deal. 


I had another meeting with the new financial guy this afternoon, and I like what I heard. As I had pretty much concluded, I really don't have to do much but try to rein in my spending to some extent and maybe refinance my mortgages to try to get the lowest rate, and keep an eye on things for the next five or six years. So the panic mode was unwarranted and I'm beginning to believe that the other guys did it just to try to get some more money from me. Well...that won't happen. So he left me feeling pretty good altogether. It will all work out, and 


Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


I have spent a bit of time for the past couple of days working on a new necklace, and I was wondering if I was snake bit. It has four strands of seed beads, and right after I strung the second strand, I realized that getting them all the same length wasn't going to be all that easy. Today I had that trouble, besides dropping about 8" of beads on the floor...three times! I now have about the cleanest sewing room floor in the city. And the four strands are still not all the same length. I will fiddle with that tomorrow.


I had hoped to meet Debbie for lunch tomorrow, after my scans, but she canceled out, so I guess I'll go to Lucy's by myself. I haven't been there since last year, and they have good food.


The weather has been warm and misty-moisty for the past two days, and I guess it's supposed to rain and get up into record temperature range tomorrow, after which it will drop off and snow. March weather in Michigan is always so interesting!


In Copper Harbor, the temperature dropped off yesterday and there was a bit of snow late in the afternoon. Today, it was cold (around 20º) but there were some nearly clear skies in the afternoon. However, there is a winter storm warning out for tonight and tomorrow, and they could get 8"-12" of snow tomorrow. Like I said...


It was pretty this afternoon, especially if you didn't know that that light color on the harbor was ice, not water. It made me start to get the itch to go, but I sincerely doubt I could get down the road, and it will be sometime in April at the earliest before I could, and that's Easter time here. So I will just have to wait and enjoy the camera.


So it's off to bed now, and back to Cottage Hospital tomorrow morning.


March 2

Much to my surprise, I didn't wake up until 8:45 this morning...an hour before my appointment! Needless to say, my blood pressure was slightly elevated when I got to the doctor's office! My knack of being the good listener hasn't deserted me...Dr. Lehman has had a bad few weeks, and I heard all about it. I've said before, and I said it to him, I really don't know how anybody could stay in a field like oncology for a long time. I mean, you know a good proportion of your patients are going to die. He's had a string of people who had recurrences and died, including some who no way should have. I commiserated.


Then I came home and woke up. My sinuses were so full this morning that I had quite a headache, and I dripped every time I tilted my head down. Yuck. I did a little embroidery, then moved some of the stuff piled up in the bedroom. I discovered one of the missing file jackets, but there is either one or two more that I didn't find. Among the missing is last year's check register, and I really need that. 


Oh, yes, and I discovered that my financial friends had neglected to move money until too late last week, and instead of my usual first-of-month payment, I got just over $16. They heard about that before I left for the doctor, and I decided I'd better get on the internet and cover my overdrafts before the checks clear. Of course, once I get on the computer, nothing much else gets done, and I spent the rest of the afternoon here. I looked at pictures of loons (Google has in incredible number of pages referencing loons, and lots of them have pictures), and I took a look at EBay. I got to thinking that might be the way to get rid of my cross stitch kits and yarn. I'm not sure about fabric and I'm not sure how many books I will want to unload. I have some more work to do before I actually try to list anything, but it looks promising. It's at least worth a try.


The weather here was overcast for most of the day, with a temperature that got just over 50º. There was a ray of sunshine late in the day, but it didn't last long. It did rain overnight, but it didn't rain today. That's supposed to change later in the week, and there even might be a little snow, but in general it's going to stay quite warm. Rats.


In Copper Harbor, it has cooled off to the low 30s. It was very dreary and cloudy all day, but I didn't notice any snow during the day. The snow is coming, however, for the rest of the week, so winter isn't over in the northwoods.


So now it's time to trundle upstairs again. Bible class tomorrow...


March 1

So March is here, and it came in sort of mixed. Here, it was quite warm - in the low 50s - and cloudy with periods of rain. Yuck.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature was in the middle 30s and it was foggy all day long. The fog wasn't dense enough to hide the shoreline, but it hid the mountain and town most of the day. Now, after dark, it's so foggy that all the camera shows is a perfectly black screen - no lights at all. Yuck.


It is supposed to cool off over the next few days and possibly snow, at least in Keweenaw. Here, we are expecting rain and possible thunderstorms tonight, and warm temperatures until the end of the week. Oh, my do I hope it cools off!


I started a new crazy sock this morning. This one is red, white and blue with lime green and hot pink, and it is actually a better combination than it sounds. Buster didn't like that, and he kept trying to play with either the needles or the yarn while he was sitting on my lap in the morning. This has become the routine in the house. When I get up and go into the bathroom in the morning, he immediately runs from where ever he is and jumps on my lap. I have to pet and scratch, at least until I get bored. This morning he sat there for a solid hour. I really think that if I never moved, neither would he, for more than a few minutes. Tonight when I go upstairs, he will want to sit again, if I'll let him, and be petted, either on or off my lap. He always has wanted lots of petting, and it almost seems he is trying to make up for all the years when he had to share me with somebody else.


I went to the post office and sent off the stuff to the financial guys, and I embroidered for a while, but otherwise I did not much.


On the financial front, I have misplaced three file jackets with stuff in them I really need, and I have ransacked every possible place they could be and can't find them. How to go quietly crazy.  They ought to be in one of the blue boxes, because they are things I will be taking north with me, but they aren't...they aren't anywhere. I am sure, in the course of sorting and filing, I will find them in some strange place, but in the meantime it's driving me nuts.


So it's a misty-moisty night in Michigan, I have to be up early tomorrow to see my favorite doctor (ahem!) and the longest month is upon us.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM