A View From the Field








April, 2004

April 30

So April is at an end. Weatherwise, it was crazy, everything from 30s to 80s and snow to thunderstorms, but here in Detroit, spring has finally come, and it is beautiful.


When I woke up this morning and looked out the back door, the pear tree had burst into full bloom overnight and it is covered with flowers. Pear blossoms are particularly pretty, white with red stamens, and rather large. The only trouble is, this is a working pear tree, and the variety has to be picked green, all at once, and is only good for eating. What that means here is that most of the pears fall off into the grass and make a smelly mess. It's also a bit dangerous because the bees and yellowjackets love them, and there's nothing like being chased by a drunken yellowjacket.


The ancient lilac is beginning to show a bit of color, too. That lilac was planted in this yard in the first years we lived here, so it is at least 50 years old, and it blooms and perfumes better than almost all the newer ones. It is especially robust since I have had the gardeners and they have had a regular spraying program which got rid of the scale on the branches. I may actually get to stand in the yard next week and smell both the lilacs and the gooseberry at the same time...a small sniff of heaven, in my book.


It got warm enough to open the back door, briefly, before the temperature dropped back to the low 60s, and there was quite a bit of sunshine. The NWS is reporting "mist" now, which I guess probably means the rain is arriving.


In Copper Harbor, it got to the upper 40s. It was clear in the morning, cloudy during the middle of the day, and clearing at sunset. There was some nice sunshine, enough to overexpose the camera in one shot.


It is supposed to cool off both places, and there is even "snow" in the forecast for Keweenaw. Here, it will just rain and be nasty, no doubt.


I considered the situation and decided the best way to start my packing was to wash, so I have been down in the basement all afternoon doing that. The last load, sheets and towels, is in the washer now, but the dryer loads are backing up. I can leave the towels drying, but there is one more load of clothes before that, and sometimes I don't think my dryer works very well anymore. Of course, it may be the one I got in 1973 (I don't remember if I replaced it when I replaced the washer, but probably not), in which case it has served well.


The task for tomorrow will be to get all that stuff up to the second story and sorted out, then I can begin to do boxes and suitcases.


I find myself feeling like today is Saturday, for some reason. I do occasionally get confused about the day of the week.


However, if all goes well, by this time next week I will be settling down in my lovely rose bed with the lighthouse blinking in my eyes...aaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!


April 29

Last evening was choir practice, of course, the last one I will go to, and I was glad I went because very few others did. I don't quite understand, but in every church choir I've sung with, for some reason a lot of people think the season is over with Easter. Of course, it isn't, and most every choir sings through Pentecost, and some go through June. So I will sing Sunday.


I made a bit of headway yesterday, and my file of papers is pretty much put together. Today, I finally got all the books off the bedroom floor, where they've been for three or four years, and I can now get into my closet without hitting  a box. Nice. That led to a beginning on the embroidery projects to take.


Terry came this afternoon, and he is now beginning to move to try to raise me a bit more money. He also had the website for the NASD, and apparently I can file for arbitration online, which I will do in the next day or so. Buster likes Terry, so we were entertained. Buster is a real show-off when he's comfortable with people.


The weather has been interesting. Here, it was clear and nice yesterday, with temps getting up to the high 60s. Today, when I came downstairs, it was already 70, so I opened the slider, much to Buster's delight. It topped out below 80, but not by much. I had the front door open while Terry was here, and it smelled good this afternoon. It did not smell good this morning. There was a metallic odor in the air which I believe is the incinerator at St. John's Hospital. That has been a problem since the original hospital was built 40 or so years ago, and they've never adequately fixed it. In my world they wouldn't be allowed to burn anything until they made the process totally odorless, and if they couldn't they'd have to shut down. But that's my world. So instead of making them go away, I will go away.


It has been cool cloudy mostly in Copper Harbor, although there's been a little sunshine in the morning. It got up to nearly 50 yesterday, but it was below 40 all day today. I don't know if anybody else is using the archives, but I find it a lot quicker sometimes to use that, rather than downloading the entire day. If I see something worth looking at, of course, I download it, but otherwise, I don't bother. The past three days have been the "don't bother" kind. Yesterday afternoon, I did notice a duck swimming out in front of the house, but there wasn't anything else worth saving.


Well, tomorrow is trash day, and I haven't gotten anything out yet. I must recycle, too, so I don't have to worry about that next week.


Eight days...it hardly seems possible...I'm coming...I'm coming...


April 27

It turned out to be a day of nasty little surprises, nothing major, but annoying. Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke with a stuffy nose and realized that I had come down with a little head cold. It's nothing major, except that it has left me stuffy and headachy all day and drippy if I do anything at all. Just what I didn't need.


When I came downstairs this morning, I realized that it was precipitating outside, and what was coming down looked a bit too solid to be rain. I was right, because a few minutes later it turned to snow! On April 27, already! It didn't amount to anything around here and it soon stopped, but it was a raw and nasty day, cloudy with temperatures that didn't get over the low 40s and a brisk wind. The poor little flowers were shivering. 


I had intended to throw my mid-weight jacket down the chute to wash before I go, because I'll certainly need it in Copper Harbor, and I'm glad I didn't. I needed it today.


After some embroidery, I headed to Staples. They have completely reorganized the store since the last time I was there and taken down the tall shelves over most of the front of the store. It looks better, but they've downsized  a lot of sections, like the writing instruments and storage containers. I got everything I knew I needed. I almost bought some printer cartridges, but I sort of hesitated at the price. Well...


I set out to print a note card with one of last summer's pictures on it, and wouldn't you know, I immediately ran out of red ink! I just located the color cartridge I was sure I had, but now I have none, so I shall have to go back and get them. I always keep a spare set for just such emergencies, since it seems I always run out of ink right in the middle of a project.


I did get some sorting and ditching of paper done after I came home, but there's lots more to do...lots more to do! However, tonight I intend to go to bed early and see if I can't cure this cold thing in a hurry.


Ten days...oh, my!


April 26

Somebody is stealing the time, and I don't know where it's going. I did get to bed awfully late last night (or this morning, rather), but I was up at 8:30.  I petted the cat and knitted a while before I went downstairs, and I took my time with breakfast. The big thing was that I spent a lot of time embroidering (haven't done that lately), and finished another band. I started the next band, one I'm reworking, but after having to rip out most of what I'd done on it (suddenly couldn't tell the difference between two and three), I finally quit.


When I got back downstairs to have a bit of lunch, it was too late to do anything much serious, so I went through all the books in the living room and I now have a small pile that will go with me. They are mostly books on technique that I find most useful and inspiring, although there are a couple of Dover pictorial archives that I want to use when I start designing the daisy sampler.


Then it was downstairs. The camera was hung between 5 and 7, and I've just emailed Charlie to ask if PastyNet is getting excessively busy again, because the only thing I can think of is that the lines are so busy that the host doesn't respond before the FTP times out. Something else I can't check until I get there. In the meantime, we'll just have to live with it, I guess.


The weather was one of those Michigan days there. There was some sunshine this morning, but it clouded up by noon and there was rain between 2 pm and 4 pm, then it stopped and it's just dull and gray now. The temperature dropped steadily from midnight, and it's freezing now. The camera caught the rainstorm coming across the harbor, when there was a ray of sunshine on the deck and town was invisible behind a wall of water. First time this year. I imagine we'll see more of those.


Here, it was similar but warmer. It was clear and nice in the morning, then it clouded up after noon and there were some scattered showers, after which it alternated between partly and mostly cloudy for the rest of the day. The temperature got into the low 60s.


It is really pretty around here right now, with  most of the flowering trees in bloom and all the tulips and daffodils. I do like daffodils. The pear tree is going to burst into bloom almost any day, and I can begin to see the lilac buds from the house. The gooseberry is blooming, and when it's warm and the breeze wafts its scent in my direction it is most heavenly. I'm not sure I'll see the lilacs out before I leave, but I can hope so. At least I'll see them in Copper Harbor!


Tomorrow, I hope to get more done around here, and I guess I will have to break down and go to Staples (a place I try to stay out of!) because I am out of file jackets and storage boxes, and I need both to get organized.


Eleven days...eeekkk!!!!!!


April 25

I'm happy to report that Buster is nearly himself again and he has forgiven me. He slept with me for most of the night last night, and he has bugged me off and on all day.


The weather was blah until late in the afternoon, cool and cloudy with rain this morning. It did warm up to over 70 late in the day, but by that time I was at the computer, and it's now cooled off again. There was a bit of sun for a while, too, and now it's cloudy again.


In Copper Harbor, I think it snowed lightly most of the morning. At least that white down the harbor certainly looked like snow to me. After it stopped, the clouds were so low, you couldn't see the top of Brockway at all. The temperature hung in the mid-30s. It has been cool enough that I still have hopes of seeing all of spring come.


I began, if tentatively, to get ready to leave. There were two crates beside my desk in the bedroom that I hadn't looked at in years, so I attacked them this afternoon, threw out a bunch of stuff, and found a report that I thought I had never received. It was stuck inside a portfolio, and not even my accountant ever saw it. Oh, well. Now I have it and I can add it to the archives. I got the two crates down to one plus some stuff to go elsewhere. Tomorrow I would like to go through the piles of more or less current stuff and sort that out. Some can be boxed up and brought down to the basement, some will go with me, and some will stay here. If I can get the file box of papers to go organized and packed up, that will help.


All the time I was in the bedroom, Buster was asleep in the bed. He is active in the morning and for part of the night, and he sleeps in the afternoon, and there isn't much that will make him deviate from that schedule.


So now I have eleven days to get ready to go...


April 24

Well, it was a nice, if unproductive, day. I had lunch with a friend I made through the website, who spent time as a child in Keweenaw and loves it, as well as Munising and Grand Marais, so we had lots to talk about. We had some good laughs over the tourons we have known, although she tends to stay out of the area during the real summer months just to avoid all the people. We had a nice lunch, ending up at Lucy's, because my other choice is only open for dinner now. We ate late, and I was so full that I won't eat any dinner.


Buster did show up to be admired, and he sat on my lap and peeped until we left. He doesn't feel very good, and when I came home I found him lying amidst my clothes in the front room again.  He got the full spectrum of shots yesterday, and that always leaves him under the weather. If he isn't better by Monday I will call and consult the vet, but I'm sure he will be. I guess I am pretty much forgiven, although we'll see when he feels better.


The weather here was clear and sunny and in the low 50s, and it would have been a good day to work outside, but oh, well. I will dodge raindrops tomorrow, or start making piles of piles. It's not like I don't have a whole range of tasks to choose from.


In Copper Harbor, it started out beautiful, sunny and cool, but around 2:30 a cloud started appearing in the south, and by sunset it was clouded over and dull gray, but the harbor was almost calm. The temperature was in the mid 30s, which is tolerable. I noticed that there is only the tiniest bit of ice on the shoreline anymore.


That means that spring should be more advanced when I get there this year than it was last - rats! - but I'm hoping I'll get to see most of it. Every year is different, and it's fun to watch.


I got to bed too late last night, so I will try to do better tomorrow and make it to church on time.


Thirteen days...


April 23

I managed to fool Buster until the very last minute. When it was time to go, he was sitting behind the kitchen table looking out at the birds, and by opening the door, I managed to get him close enough to grab him and stuff him in the carrier. He was meowing before we got out of the house, and when he saw that he was going in the car, he began hollering at the top of his lungs - he has very healthy lungs - and he hollered all the way to the vet and all the time until the doctor came in, and she was late. A couple of times he looked through the holes in the carrier while we were waiting, and he was furious.


It didn't make him any happier to get out of the carrier, because he was subjected to all sorts of indignities: he got plopped on the scale (and his weight hasn't changed, I'm glad to say), he had all his claws clipped, he got poked and prodded and his heart listened to, he got stuck with two needles, and, most undignified of all, he had his anal glands palpated! Egad!


He was a bit quieter on the way home, but he beat it out of the carrier as soon as I opened it, and I haven't seen him since. I found, when I came downstairs, that he had thrown up when he got down into the basement, so he really was freaked out. Poor Buster! As I've often said, he puts up a brave front most of the time, but he really is a scaredy cat. I really hate to do it to him, but it's important. Next year he will probably need to have his teeth cleaned.


So now we are both physically ready for the summer. I'm going to be curious to see how long it is before he forgives me. I was glad to see that it was the same vet who took care of DC, and she is a very nice young woman.


So when we got home, Buster went off and hid, and he is probably still asleep because the rabies shot does that to him, and I fiddled around until it was time to come downstairs.


When I logged on to the internet, I couldn't contact the webcam page, or any other PastyNet site! After I logged on directly to PastyNet, using the laptop, and still couldn't get my site, I called the PastynNet trouble number. Charlie Hopper called me back later, on his way home, I think, and reported that the server which hosts their websites, Sequoia Networks, had been afflicted by the virus that's around right now affecting Cisco routers. PastyNet had installed the patches right away (that is one of the nice things about using a rather small service like PastyNet), but Sequoia didn't get around to it until sometime between 3:48 and 5:33 this afternoon, which is when the camera uploads began again. So if anybody but me was trying to access my site or John Dee or George Hite or the PastyCam during that time, they couldn't, and that is the reason why. I heard about the virus on NPR yesterday afternoon, so Sequoia had 24 hours to install the patches, and it's a disappointment that they didn't until they were hit with the virus.


Something hit the NWS station in Copper Harbor, too, because there were no temperature reports between sometime before midnight last night and 3 pm this afternoon. It seems to have gotten up to the mid 40s, and it was partly cloudy for most of the day, with high, hazy cirrus clouds that didn't interfere with the sunshine very much. I've forgotten to mention that over the past week, while it was cloudy, the sunset has disappeared from the camera. It's still well up in the sky between 8:00 and 8:15, when it slides north out of the picture. With daylight savings time and all, it isn't setting until 8:55 or so.


Here, it was another lovely, sunny day, with the temperature in the low 60s. I should have gotten out and spread grass seed, but I didn't. Tomorrow maybe - I'm going to lunch with one of the friends I've made through this site - or Sunday, in between the raindrops. The next two weeks are going to be intense, I need to get some of these things done now.


Fourteen days...


April 22

The camera behaved yesterday, when there wasn't much to see, but today there were no pictures between 5:34 and 7:30 am, so something crazy is going on with the phone line, probably...or with the computer. Time I got there to check it out...heh, heh.


Yesterday was one of those busy days that I'll be glad to get rid of. Bible class in the morning didn't make me feel so good, because Pastor was discussing stewardship, and I don't feel I've been a good steward. He said he wasn't thinking about me, but it hit home. Well, maybe I can regroup. Anyway, it was an interesting discussion. Stewardship, to a good Lutheran Christian is much more than how much money one gives to the church, it's how one takes care of everything one has. I'm not so good at that, either, as witness the messes my houses are in. Oh, well.


In the afternoon, I had my appointment with my dental hygienist, who is a nice woman nearing 50 who is studying part-time for the ministry. I guess there is something about me that makes people want to unload on me, and she did, about the disintegration of her marriage. That's all right, if it's helpful to people and they know I am not a therapist and can't advise them on topics I know nothing about. I do think she felt better when we parted, but with all that, I was there for over an hour. Whew!


Choir practice wasn't too long, but we are singing all new things, and not many people were there. I hope we sound all right on Sunday!


I read a bit when I got home, then had a nice long sleep.


The weather yesterday wasn't much to write about. It was cloudy here and we had a couple of showers in the afternoon which cooled it off, but temps were in the 60s. It was cloudy in Copper Harbor, too, with temps in the 40s, I think. 


Today, I started out the morning by making Buster's appointment with the vet for tomorrow afternoon. Boy, am I looking forward to that! Finding him and stuffing him into the carrier where DC was after he died is going to be a real trip, I'm sure.  When I was on the phone and I said "Buster", he ran across the room to me saying "meow". So he knows his name, for sure.


It was such a pretty day today that I decided to to see Carey, for the first time since right after I got home. She didn't have a lot of new stuff, for which I was grateful, but I got the new colors of overdyed floss to add to my stash. She says business has been dead, but that all businesses around here are that way. People in this area, even those with jobs, just don't trust the economy and they're holding onto their money. Too bad for my friends in business.


Before I left to see her, I checked to see if any bills needed paying, and I discovered that my water bill was due today. The Farms has a law that no matter what causes you to be late paying your bill, if it isn't in on time, you pay a penalty, so I drove it down to the city office myself, and while I was there I changed my address and got a chart explaining something about how the homestead property tax decrease works. I've been wondering that, and how much more it would cost me if I changed my principal residence to Copper Harbor. Now I can find out. I had intended to find out how early I can apply for an absentee ballot, but I forgot. I will have to call, but I think I'll have to do it when I am here in August.


It has never ceased to amaze me that all the women who work in the city offices are some of the nicest people I've met in positions like that. They are cheerful and helpful and knowledgeable and polite, and it's a  pleasure to talk to them. That isn't the case of all the men they work for, however.


Buster had his nose out of joint when I got home, because I left him for most of the afternoon, although he hollered for his dinner and he did come and sit on my lap until I started typing this.


The weather here was nearly clear, with temps in the low 50s, and it was nice to be outside. There wasn't much wind, so I should have stayed home and planted grass seed, but I did want to see Carey before I left, so that is taken care of.


So now I need to get out some trash and trundle upstairs. Pretty soon I'm going to have to start making piles and packing boxes or I'll never get out of here. There's also cleaning and potting and a few other things to do, too...


Fifteen days...eeekkk!!!!!


April 20

The camera hung up between 5:15 and 9:15 tonight. The phone line was still open (which meant I can't reset it), but no pictures got uploaded. I have not the foggiest notion what could have caused that, and I'll hope it won't happen again until I get there and can check things out. I don't think we missed much.


It was another day where it was actually warmer and nicer than it was here...weird. The temperature there got into the mid-50s, and it was sunny until around 2:30, when the clouds began to roll in.


Here, it was cloudy and mid-40s all day. Actually, the NWS says it was clear while we were in the restaurant, but I rather doubt it, because they said it was clear when we got out, and it wasn't.


I spent the morning on the telephone, and I think I got the last of my money transferred to the new company. It turns out that one of the mutual funds was a proprietary one (a B-fund, of course - they all were) that couldn't be transferred in kind, so finally they sent me a letter saying I had to call them to liquidate it and transfer it.


Then I thought it was high time I called Tom, the caretaker in Copper Harbor, to tell him that I plan to be t here May 7, and I had a nice chat with Tish, his wife. The low part of the road between Lake Lilly and the harbor is still snowed in, but my neighbor David got there yesterday (lucky!). Evidently he parks south of the low spot and walks to his house, which is about a quarter mile north of mine. I guess he doesn't bring all that much with him...or he is pretty strong. Anyway, it will surely be open by the time I get there.


Lunch with Debbie was good, and we had time for a long talk, which was also nice. I have snacked a bit, but I haven't felt like any dinner.


So nothing got done around the house today, and tomorrow is Bible class and choir, and my dental appointment has been moved up a week to tomorrow afternoon, so not much will get done then, either.


This is how it always goes...seventeen days...aiieeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 19

Happy Birthday, Debbie. We're going for lunch tomorrow.


I fiddled around with the journal in word until I couldn't see and my neck was stiff, and didn't get to bed until 1 am. I must stop that. The journal isn't going to go away, and I have lots of time to work on it.


So today was a bit truncated and slow.


I did finish a book, "Salt" by Mark Kurlansky, that I have been reading all winter. It is a good one...well written and researched and an entertaining slant on world history as the attempt to control salt production. I'd never heard it presented that way, but he makes a good case. So now I am reading "Knitting the Old Way", which I think, after reading a few pages, I have been doing for 40 years, making my own patterns, knitting in the round, and paying attention to how the stitches are formed. However, I can always pick up a few new tricks, and the patterns look useful.


I also finished the back right yoke of the vest and started the front yoke. These are all little 3" squares knitted together, and it's not until I start the bottom that it begins to take longer. Buster gets disgusted, because I sit there and don't pay much attention to him, even though he is sitting on my lap.


I also did a bit on the blackwork sampler. I'd like to get beyond the first 12 rows or so, when instead of rows, it turns into spot designs, but I don't know if I have the patience to slog through the rows.


I spent some time in the sewing room, gathering together a ton of trims I've collected and I want to send north. I have just as much that I'll leave here. Every time I look at them, I get all sorts of ideas of what I could do with them, but I've found there just isn't enough time here. Too much else is going on, and I end up not having extra time for days on end. Well, we'll see how it is there, but in the past, one of my problems is that when I was there all of my odds and ends of stuff are here. I also want to get several kilos of Indian glass beads there, but I'm not so sure how I'll do that. I promised not to make the boxes too heavy, and I don't want my traveling file boxes too heavy either. Beads weigh a ton.


The weather here was very warm for most of the day, up into the upper 70s, with a 30 - 40 mph wind, but around 5 pm the temperature started dropping and it's now below 60. I need to get upstairs and close the bedroom door and bathroom window before it gets too cold. Tomorrow is supposed to be more seasonal, with temps in the 60s. I hope so!


In Copper Harbor, it wasn't very nice at all. When light came this morning, it was pouring rain, and it was dull and dreary all day long. The temperature barely got to the mid 40s for a while and the wind was strong until late in the afternoon. So it looks like I might be lucky enough to see all of spring up there again. I hope so.


Now I need to go and close up the house and get some sleep.


Eighteen days - eek!


April 18

Church was Matins this morning, but the choir made up for it by singing three anthems, all rather well, I think. Two were from last week, and one was from last year.


When  I left for church this morning, the temperature was in the 50s and it was a bit cloudy, but by the time I got home, it was warming up nicely, and before the afternoon was over, it was into the 80s. Much too warm for this time of year! However, it felt good to have the doors open and feel the breeze, and Buster was a very happy kitty, sitting by one or the other door all afternoon. And it was nice to be able to leave the house without spending five minutes bundling up.


While I'm on the subject of weather, it started out all fight in Copper Harbor, and the temperature got into the low 50s. Every day there is less ice on the shore. However, late in the afternoon, it began to rain, and in the last picture before it got dark, there was so much fog in the harbor that it was invisible west of the fort. They are supposed to have an appreciable amount of rain over the next day or so, with some possible flooding. Times when I appreciate living on a pebble pile.


I sort of puttered around when I got home from church, spending a bit of time in the front room and a bit in the sewing room, and along about 4 I came down to the basement and finally got the thread book updated. Three makers of overdyed flosses keep coming out with new colors, and I try to keep the book up to date. It's not fun, because Publisher won't let me manipulate table entries directly: I have to copy the tables to Excel, make my changes and copy them back. It's a pain and it takes quite a while, but now it's done until the next trade show in June.


Then I started playing around with the journal again. I tried putting it on half sheets of paper, so I could bind it in a small binder, but I couldn't get enough on a page to suit me (and there would be the right and left-hand problem in Word anyway), so I eventually printed it on regular size paper...and I've now just discovered a typo, so I will eventually have to print at least one page over again. Oh, well. And that's just the few pages from 2000. 2001 is nearly 150 pages long, and I've just gotten January and February reorganized.


One problem I have is that the screen of this computer is not at quite the right angle and distance for my progressive bifocals, and I end up having to look at it with my head tipped back at a rather acute angle. After a while, I get a very stiff neck. Well, that will keep me from playing with it all night long.


Buster is yelling at me for some reason, so it's time to go. Nineteen days...yipes!


April 17

This turned out to be a rather lost day. I did my usual thing in the morning, and I had ideas of beginning to organize some stuff for packing when I went outside to get the bird feeder, and Charlotte was in her yard. I haven't seen her since the first of the year, so we had a long talk. She is doing well, and likes her new job very much. She hadn't heard about my financial troubles, and since she is a legal secretary and her husband is a lawyer, she thinks that is what I need. I don't know if that's necessary, but Phil has a friend who has handled securities matters, so I said I would talk to him if he's interested. So we'll see about that.


Anyway, we talked for quite a while, so I didn't get much done.


When I went out to fill the feeder, the temperature in my backyard was in the upper 70s, and there were six or eight wasps sitting on the empty feeder. I managed to chase them away without getting stung, I think, but now I know what Jackie was talking about last summer. Why they would pick the feeder, I don't know, but I'm glad I'll be able to take it in this year. I also need to turn on the hose bib (in the basement), and when I do, the next time the feeder is empty, I am going to wash it out thoroughly and see if that helps. I do not need wasps in my garden!


The weather here was cloudy or partly sunny and humid, and while the official temperature only got into the low 70s (Detroit City Airport seems to be offline), it got almost to 80 in my yard when the sun was out. Not nice.


In Copper Harbor, it was clear and pretty until around 2 pm, when it clouded up, and they are predicting heavy rain for tonight and tomorrow. The temperature got to about 50 probably, although the reported temps were jumping around by almost 10, probably because of the wind or lack thereof.


So that's about all I did besides balancing my checkbook. When I got on the computer, all the games seemed boring, so I have begun to shape my past journals into book form, a year at a time. A couple of years ago a nice lady turned everything up through June 2002 into a Word document, so I have something to start with. I spent the evening putting together 2000. I actually started journaling sometime in October, before I had the website up, so I added that to what was online. The big problem is that for ease of reading, I have placed the latest entry at the front of each month, and while it would be nice to switch things around when I archive each month, I've never done that, so I have to do it in the Word document, an d that's a pain. It will take a while, but there have been so many times lately when I've wanted to refer back to prior years that my plan is to print and bind a copy in a three-ring binder, so I can get at it when I want it.


We'll see how far I get, because there are also updates to the thread book I want to do before I leave, and I need to write a CD with last summer's raw pictures on it. I did that last spring, but I found, much to my amusement, that the folder is still on my hard disc - it's only 216mb of data. I guess I was afraid I wouldn't be able to read the CD in Copper Harbor, but I can, and while I'll want to try it one more time before I delete it, I really don't think I need that many copies...


So I have a few million things to do before I migrate...twenty days...


April 16

Spring came in with a vengeance today. It was mostly sunny, and the temperature got into the low 70s, for the first time this year. According to a little blurb the NWS put out, it's a bit later than the average - the first 70 day is usually around April 10 - but not surprisingly so. I think it was later last year, but I haven't checked back. It was nice. It was also weird to come back into the house and find that it was cooler inside than out, yet I had the heat on! These things usually take one by surprise. So I opened up the house and aired it out thoroughly, which makes it smell much better.


Buster didn't like it too well, I think, or else he was just over-stimulated by the springtime smells and sounds,, because he went around yelling at me until I shut the front door. I don't really know what his problem is...maybe he knows that pretty soon we'll be taking that horrible car ride. I know he looks at the screen when I have the webcam pictures up, and I think he recognizes the place. Stupid he is not...just rather more self-centered than most of my other cats.


It was a bit cooler in Copper Harbor and while the morning was sunny, it clouded up by around 1 pm, and there may be a bit of rain tonight. The snow is going fast, although there is still 14" on the ground at Phoenix Farms.


My task for the day (besides unloading the dishwasher) was to get Jack Daniels, but I had to take a fast side trip to the bank. We are still trying to clear out all my American Express accounts, and I had to write a fast check today. 


I decided it was time to get my boxes, and much to my dismay, I discovered that the store that has been shipping my stuff has gone out of business. It's a pity, because they were very nice people.


So I went on out to Evergreen Garden Supply to get some lawn patch and see if they had something I can use to muck out the pond. They had both those things, and I also came home with two blue primroses. I had planted a bunch of those in the past and somehow they are all gone this year. They only had two blue ones. They had masses of pansies, in all kinds of pretty colors, and I was tempted, but I really want them in Copper Harbor, so I resisted.


I thought I had seen another package store somewhere between the post office and the service station, so I ran around there and discovered that there is indeed one there. This one seems to be on a better financial footing, although that may be because their boxes are much more expensive. Anyway, they were most helpful, and I got my boxes.


I have decided to send some more craft stuff up north and leave it there, so there may be a lot of boxes. I did get smaller ones this year, and I will try hard not to make them so heavy that nobody can lift them.


So it turned out to be a lovely day indeed, but it seemed almost too warm for a while. I'm good up to about 72, then it's too hot. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, which I won't like, but it's supposed to rain, which we need. some of the bare patches in my lawn are cracking.


I ended the day with a nice dinner - lamb chops and asparagus - but I forgot to turn on the exhaust fan in the oven, and my broiling, even though nothing burned, set off the smoke detector upstairs! I sometimes wonder if those things are worth the hassle. The one in the kitchen has been disabled since I got here, because it always goes off when I broil. I found another use for the family cane, however. It was just the right length to punch the reset button. I have hardly ever used that cane for its intended purpose, but it is a very useful tool for lots of other things, like fishing stuff out from under the bed, and turning off the smoke alarm.


The smoke alarms at Copper Harbor are wired into the electrical system, and they seem to behave much better. I've never cooked anything that set off the one near the kitchen or any of the others, either. Somehow, the ones that are installed later seem much too sensitive. Well, soon I won't have to worry about that.


Twenty one days...yie!


April 15

Curiously enough, it was warmer in Copper Harbor today than it was in Detroit by a few degrees. It got over 60 in the Harbor, but it was mostly cloudy and around the end of twilight, there were raindrops on the window.


Here, it peaked at 59, but earlier in the day, and it was clear and sunny all day...a very nice day indeed. 


Since it was the day to collect the trash and the condition of the kitchen was getting to me, I decided to work on that, and while I was there, I opened the slider for a while to air out the house. I don't know if the funny smells I have been smelling lately are in my nose or in the air, but by this time after the winter, the house air is getting pretty stale. It was also rather warm, even in the kitchen, with all the sunshine. 


I certainly didn't get the kitchen all cleaned up, but I did make some progress, and I can actually see parts of the counters around the sink that I haven't seen since I arrived here last fall. The box of books is gone from the middle of the floor...Buster will be glad of that...and most of the grocery bags are gathered up and their contents put more or less where they belong. A while ago, I was looking for some paper goods and something fell down behind the shelf when I pulled it out. The window washers were kind enough to retrieve that for me, but I hadn't put the rest of the stuff back in. While I was into the cabinet, I took a look at what was on the upper shelf, and there are a lot of things I won't have to worry about buying for a long time. I found a lot of two gallon Ziploc bags, which I use for packing loose objects to take north with me, and those will go upstairs.


So I feel I am beginning the process of packing up and cleaning up to leave. Tomorrow, I will have to get some more Jack Daniels, so while I am out, I will stop by the Package Store and get boxes for shipping the stuff I can't take in the car. 


I may end up shipping a lot north, because I have finally admitted that there are so many distractions here that I won't be able to get many crafts done until I'm in Copper Harbor. However, all the materials are here, so I am going to have to transfer some of the stuff to there. It will probably take a while to make sure I have the right stuff. I will also have to spiff up the basement there and erect some steel shelving units so I have some place to put all the stuff I keep there. The front closet will only hold so much.


The day ended with a long talk with Terry, the financial guy. He has figured out that over the seven years or so my assets were with the other guys, I made 0.5%, and in 2000-2001, I lost an incredible amount of money...much more than was necessary. I could have put it all in a savings account and made more than that, and there was no excuse for what happened in the two really bad years. So he will be getting the forms I need to file for arbitration, and he will help me fill them out, and we'll see what happens from there.


It appears that I can't qualify for a reverse mortgage, and in any case, I couldn't get enough out of it to pay me to do it, so I guess we'll have to pray for miracles and consider other options. So the saga continues. I never figured that straightening this fiasco out would be easy or quick.


Tonight I had a nice talk with Nancy, who had spent a couple of weeks in their new house in Copper Harbor, and she made me even more anxious to get away. However, I have at least three weeks' worth of work as well as a couple of appointments before I can go. By that time the road will surely be open, if it isn't now. So I will have to work away at the tasks to be completed before I can go, and look longingly at the live cam...


Twenty two days...


April 14

The task of the day was to write the checks for the taxes and mail them, so while I was out, I went to the pet supply store and got Buster some of his favorite dry food. They had big bags of it, and I may get one, because I can't get that variety up north. He nibbles at the other kinds, but he chows down on Friskies Gourmet.


Then it was off to the grocery store, since I was running low on breakfast food, so I laid in some other stuff to eat, too. It seems I have to do that once every couple of weeks.


It was a nice day to be outside, sunny and in the mid 50s. When I came home, the birds were singing, including the cardinal. I'm concerned about that cardinal. He is singing, but I don't think he has a mate. He is a nice looking bird, except that he has one white feather at the base of one wing. I hope that doesn't keep him from finding a partner.  The doves are cooing and running around behind each other, and the other morning there was one trying to hop on the back of another one. They are amusing to watch.


The Pasty Cam had a picture of a pair of doves the other day, but they must be down in the towns. I don't think I've ever seen one in Copper Harbor.


It was a beautiful day in Copper Harbor again today, sunny and clear all day long. The temperature got into the mid 40s with not much wind. However, there was a film of ice on the east end of the harbor this morning that didn't melt off until around 11:00, so it got chilly overnight. I thought I'd throw in a picture of early morning, just to show I'm not totally hung up on sunsets.


I was most pleased that someone mentioned the pictures the camera took of moonset in the Pasty Cam discussion board. Clearly there are a lot of people who check in with this site who don't email me. That's nice to know. I really enjoy sharing the beauties of my favorite place. It's nice to be able to do that when I'm not there myself.


Oh, it is Wednesday, and I'm doing a journal, because there wasn't any choir practice tonight. Bruce is off visiting his family and relaxing.


So that's about all there was. Twenty three days...


April 13

The house stayed nice and warm, and I slept very well, thank you, and very long, thank you. Sometime during the morning I had a very vivid dream in which somebody was emptying bushels of ripe peaches and nectarines in front of me and I was taking nice big bites out of big juicy fruits. Since those are my favorite fruits, nectarines particularly, and I haven't had any since last summer, I suppose I'm getting hungry for them. There have been some in the markets, but they come from South America, and they don't have the flavor that the summer fruits do. I may have to try a couple anyway.


I was supposed to get to work on the kitchen today, but I never made it. I embroidered for quite a while and puttered around the sewing room for a while, then it was time to come down to the basement.


I did cook, and I seem to have created a new, even easier way to make something that approximates chicken cacciatore, and with a can of chick peas added, wouldn't be too far from my Colombian chicken. Somehow I managed to grab a large can of diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, which isn't any good for most of the recipes I make using canned tomatoes, but I wondered if it wouldn't substitute for the Italian tomato soup they don't make any more. Well, it does. I browned the chicken in olive oil, then dumped the tomatoes and a large can of mushrooms over it all and simmered it until the chicken was done. With some noodles, it was really yummy. It never ceases to amaze me that I can occasionally concoct something like that and it comes out good. I shall have to add that to my working set, since I usually have plenty of boneless chicken breasts around and I get tired of cooking them the same old ways. The tomatoes were Hunt's, by the way. I'm not sure other brands would be flavored as well. I know I got a can up north last summer that I didn't like at all.


The weather here wasn't very nice. It was cloudy and dark all day and the temperature was in the low 40s. It doesn't seem to be bothering the trees and daffodils, though. They are all coming out regardless, but slowly, which is all right with me.


In Copper Harbor, it was clear most of the day, but chilly, just in the mid-30s. The sun is setting just barely in the picture now, and in a few more days it will be gone until August or so. All the snow in my front yard seems to be gone.


I got a nice call from Shirley tonight...things are starting to wake up in Keweenaw...and we were wondering if the drifts have melted off the road. I shall have to call Tom and find out. Shirley says the meltdown has been a good one this year. It has been slow enough and gradual enough that there wasn't any flooding and very little mud, for which everyone is grateful, no doubt.


All that only made me more anxious to get there, and it's time I got started on the things I have to do before I go. It's going to be a busy three weeks.


Twenty four days...


April 12

When I awoke this morning, I noticed that it seemed rather chilly in the house, but the furnace wasn't running. So in due time, I trundled down to the basement, and indeed nothing was happening. I reset the circuit breaker, and immediately the burners in both the furnace and water heater came on. The blower started running, but it cut off after about two minutes. This time, the breaker was fine, and the water heater was working. So I put in a call to my friends in the business, and they promised to get the furnace man today.


He called a while later to say it would be mid-afternoon before he got there, so I jumped into my clothes and took a fast trip to the bank to deposit my check. For a short while, anyway, I can breathe a bit easier. I sat down and wrote a bunch of checks, but I never did get out to mail them. Tomorrow.


Debbie arrived shortly afterwards, bearing more chocolate - I will no doubt gain wait and break out in zits - and hard boiled eggs, and she stayed a while to talk. 


In the meantime, the furnace man came and apparently fixed the problem, which was another clogged water line or something. That was good news, because I was afraid it was the fan, and I really didn't want to have to pay to replace that right now! So it all turned out all right.


The weather here was clear and sunny until about 5 pm, with temperature that got up just over 50. Then it clouded up and it is now raining, and the forecast is for some snow mixed in. Yuck.


In Copper Harbor, it was mostly cloudy all day, and the temperature got just over freezing. However late in the day, it cleared up a bit, and there were some pretty views around sunset. Tonight is supposed to get into the lower 20s, but it's supposed to be sunny and warmer tomorrow. We'll see. I'd like to catch the sun one more time before it exits the picture.


I forgot to mention that I took my knitting to church yesterday to keep me occupied between services, and I finished the left front of the vest and started on the right side. This part is knitted on to the left side from the back, so the project is getting rather bulky. It would be nice to finish it before it's too warm to wear it, but I doubt I will. I also worked a bit on my blackwork and puttered around the sewing room for a while before Debbie got here.


So that is another quiet day in exile, and I think another good night's sleep and I'll be fine again.


Twenty five days.


April 11

Sorry for the hiatus, but when I realized I should do a journal last night, it was too late, and I had to get to bed in order to get up in time this morning.


Friday was taken up mostly with church, although I smiled sweetly at the doctor in between and got new prescriptions for my meds. He was nice enough not to order more blood tests, since Dr. Lehman had kindly sent him the results of the ones I had in March. That was nice, since the lab is "out of network" and he saved me two or three hundred dollars.


I like the Good Friday 1:00 pm service. It is usually short and pithy, and it was this year. And Tenebrae is always beautiful. We only sang two selections, but they were good ones - William Billings' "When Jesus Wept" (which I had requested from Bruce and he was kind enough to use), and an arrangement of Bach's "Air on the G String" to the words "Lord Have Mercy". That's a neat arrangement, since each choir voice takes one of the voices of the orchestra. It also proves that a soprano isn't a violin, and it's not the easiest thing we ever sang. The rest of the music was the good old hymns we all love.

So that was nice.


I came home afterwards, went right to bed, and slept 12 hours.


Yesterday, I spent most of the day finishing Carol's gift. It really came out nice, I think, and she liked it, although it's the kind of fingertip towel that should have a note attached saying "if you use this, I'll use it to strangle you". It is washable, but it's really for show.


I got to bed before 11 pm last night, but I didn't sleep well at all, probably because I knew the alarm was set and I didn't want it to wake me up. When I'm wakeful like that, I start to think about my financial woes, and that isn't conducive to sleep. So I was about to drift off at 6 am when the alarm rang.


That gave me time for a hearty breakfast, although I didn't get to do any embroidery before I got dressed, and I actually was a couple of minutes early getting to church. We were all sleepy, and we messed up one of our anthems at the first service. I was really glad to see that it wasn't nearly so warm in church - and in the choir loft - as it had been last week. I think they finally turned off the furnace. At the second service, when there were more people, we nailed all three selections, so we proved to Bruce that when we pay attention we really can sing. After that was over, I was totally exhausted. 


The second service was actually rather short, so when I got home, I laid down for half an hour or so, and that really helped, although I was about to drift off again when it was time to get up and go to Carol's.


Her dinner was lovely, as always, and the company was delightful. She and Ruth (another orphan - a widow) and I sat and talked for a very long time after the rest of the company left and it was wonderful. If I don't have any blood family, I couldn't find a better one to join.


So now I am having a time keeping my eyes open, so I won't be up much longer.


Oh, the weather. Blah. It's been cloudy and around 30 in Copper Harbor for the past three days, although there was snow on the deck this morning. It has melted, but it wasn't very nice there. There was a ray of sunshine right at sunset, and in the next few days, the sun is going to disappear off the right hand side of the camera. Spring is coming, it really is.


Here, Friday wasn't bad - it got into the mid 50s and there was a bit of sun in the morning, but the temperature has been dropping. Yesterday was mid-40s and cloudy, and today was low 40s and cloudy. Nothing to write home about.


So that is Easter. Twenty six days.


He is risen!

He is risen indeed!



April 8

It's been a busy couple of days, and I'm not sure I can remember everything that went on.


Yesterday, I spent some time on Carol's gift, and after changing almost all the colors in the design, I think  it will come out looking nice. Yesterday I finished the large flower, which is peachy-pink, and today I finished the small one, which is yellowish. I realized, however, that the shades of green were all wrong for the gentle shades I am using in the flower, so I had to go back and change them, too. So out of eleven shade of floss in the design, I have now changed six and added two. What I don't get into when making gifts...


Choir practice last evening wasn't as long as anticipated, because we did pretty well, all things considered. One of our pieces for Easter, I think the anthem, is based upon Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" theme and uses bells besides the organ and choir, and we hadn't heard it with the bells before, It's pretty neat. My only problem was that it is so hot up in the choir loft that even though I took off my sweater and I had a short sleeve shirt on underneath, I was sweating profusely by the time we were finished. Of course, we sang almost continuously for 70 or 75 minutes, and that's pretty strenuous for an amateur.


So I got home rather early, and I sat up rather late reading, which I haven't done for a long time. It felt good, except it is getting harder and harder for me to sit with my legs out in front of me, and I was pretty uncomfortable by the time I got up to take my bath.


Oh, yes, the other interesting thing that happened yesterday was that around noon, I received an unsolicited call from American Express, which is the company that franchises my former financial advisors, asking how satisfied I was with their work. Ha! Needless to say, I unloaded on the poor fellow, and he assured me I will be hearing from higher-ups in the company, especially when I assured him I intend to take them to arbitration. When I told Terry, the new financial advisor about it today, he found the whole thing curious, especially since the call seems to have been precipitated by some of the things the old guys did to my portfolio around the first of March - between the time of my last meeting with them and pulling my assets. He also told me that there is still close to $20,000 left in the account, which we would otherwise not have known until (or if) I get my next statement. We can use that $20k.


So the soap opera continues...


This morning, I got up in time to do a bit of embroidery and iron a shirt, except when I was almost through ironing, I discovered there was a brown spot right in the front of one side, and I ended up having to wear something else anyway. I figured that jeans weren't quite appropriate for a service where I would be going to communion without a choir robe. I must say that that shirt and about a dozen others has been hanging on the sewing room door needing to be ironed for at least two years, probably more. I made the mistake of acquiring a goodly number of all-cotton shirts, most of them white, all of them needing ironing, and most of them very hard to iron. So I wore one of the two permanent press shirts.


The ten of us ladies sounded pretty good, I thought, but again, it was extremely hot in the choir loft, especially after I climbed down the stairs and back up again.


I stopped briefly at the grocery store for a couple of sandwiches (and two items which I never purchased and left in my cart...wonder where my mind was today?). I changed clothes when I got home, and it was a good thing, since I slobbered all over my front eating a nice chef salad for lunch. It tasted good, for a change.


That didn't leave much time before Terry came, and it wasn't exactly the most pleasant conversation, because he had gotten the information about reverse mortgages, and now we're not sure I'll be able to do that, which will make it really hard to keep both houses. However, he took away all the year-end statements from the old guys that I could find (I think there's one I never got), and he seems to think I would have a good case for arbitration. Buster likes Terry, so he was happy, until he got tired and went away to nap.


So now I have to get the trash out, and tomorrow, while it will start fairly late, will be a busy afternoon and evening, so there won't be a journal.


Now the weather. Both yesterday and today were mostly cloudy and foggy in Copper Harbor, with temperatures in the high 30s. Yesterday started out rather clear and then fogged and clouded up, and today was mostly cloudy until late in the day, when there was a bit of sunshine before a dark cloud bank rolled in. For once in a long time, the sunshine through the clouds gave some beautiful crepuscular rays. That is one of my favorite atmospheric sights. You will notice that there was no wind, and the harbor was completely calm. So beautiful!


Here, yesterday morning was cloudy, but the afternoon and evening were clear and sunny. It clouded up again overnight, and there was a rain shower while we were in church. The temperature yesterday got into the low 50s, and it was about the same this morning, but it dropped into the middle 40s after the rain, and it never warmed up again. Nothing to write home about.


Now it's the middle of the night (I'm still on Eastern Standard Time, internally), and I still have chores to do.


Twenty nine days...


April 6

It was another day when I wish I was in Copper Harbor. The morning started out cloudy and foggy - no more moonsets, unfortunately - but it soon cleared up and the rest of the day was clear and sunny. The temperature only got to around 39, but it was really pretty. A lot more snow has melted in the past day, and for most of the day, the harbor was clear of ice. And the morning sun is now starting to hit the deck railing. There was one picture where the sunshine in the office windows was reflecting off the east wall and onto the window, but I couldn't see it clearly enough to really identify what was there. 


Here, it was mostly cloudy, but it got up to 60 briefly and there was no rain, so it wasn't bad to be outside at all.


My task for the day was to go to the bank and the card shop. I found what I was looking for in the safe deposit box. It's always gratifying to me to find something where I expected it to be.  I needed to go to the card shop to get a bag to put Carol's gift in, and I was looking for something for Debbie's birthday. Mission accomplished. That is a very well-stocked store, and it is only an added bonus that the owners are members of my church and Jan sings in the choir. They are also very nice people.


On the subject of Carol's gift...oh, my. I realized after I had done most of the first color that the rose wasn't peach or apricot, it was going to be orange, and that just wouldn't do. If you get a gift I've made for you, I will try to accommodate your color scheme, but only to the extent of colors I don't mind. Orange is not one of those. So I took my color card and my card of color families and picked some new ones, and it is now going to be peachy-pink. I could wish it was lighter, but it will do. Then I got to looking at the colors of the foliage, and the medium green just didn't go with the light and dark shades at all, so I changed it. The rose itself is rather pretty, but it really annoys me to find all of the colors need to be changed!   However, now I am going great guns, and it should be finished in a day or two. I will have to remember that while the designs in that leaflet are delicate and pretty (if you leave out the hokey hearts), but the color choices are just terrible. No wonder the company is no longer in business!


After I got back from my outing and read my mail, I came downstairs, and I still couldn't log on using the DSL, so I called again, and this time I got an English speaking person who could understand me and whom I could understand. He confirmed that there had been a line problem in this area last night, but that didn't explain my inability to log on today. So we changed the password again, and it's been working like a champ ever since. I let them know I was most unhappy with the tech support last night, and I also applied for, and got, a few cents off my bill, since I was unable to use the DSL for a day. Now all I have to do is remember my new password when I get to Copper Harbor, so I can access my primary email account. What a pain.


I'm also really spoiled by the DSL. Everything loads so fast, and I've been streaming audio from WKAR since I got logged on. Broadband is wonderful. I suppose I will pay for it when it's available in Copper Harbor, even though it's pretty pricey from Pastynet.


Anyway, that is another day. The rest of the week will be busy. There won't be a journal tomorrow night, because Bruce has promised a long dress rehearsal (two hours of constant singing - gack!), and I know I will be exhausted when I get home. Thursday, the ladies sing at 11 am, and Terry is coming in the afternoon. Friday, there is church at 1 pm, I see my internist at 3:20, then there is Good Friday Tenebrae at 7:30 (no journal that day, either). Whew!


Well, thirty one days...


April 5

Well, what an unpleasant surprise! I was minding my own business, watching the sunset in Copper Harbor and listening to my evening music, when all of a sudden my DSL connection went away, and it hasn't come back. After fooling around for while, I called SBC and was told that due to the high volume of calls, they couldn't answer me. So I fired up the PastyNet connection (after having to change the telephone number I was using). Finally I got someone in tech support...who sounded like she was from India...and there is some kind of a network problem, apparently. Hmm. Now that is why I have a dial up connection for backup.  However, I get so used to the DSL that the 50kb I can get with dial up seems interminably slow. I'm downloading the day's pictures right now, and wow!


As I suspected, the camera came up and worked fine all day today. It was just that infernal message.


In the middle of the night, I had awakened to take a walk and just crawled back into bed when Buster started howling like a banshee someplace downstairs. I knew what it was - a passing outdoor kitty - but he seemed awfully upset, and  when he finally stopped howling, he came up to tell me all about it and he was really wired. This morning, I discovered why he was so upset, and I apologized, because I couldn't blame him. The outdoor cat had backed up to the kitchen slider and let fly, and there was a nice dribble right down the window. Now, that is a nasty gesture in anybody's language, and I would have howled, too, if I'd been there. Thankfully, Buster never learned to reciprocate. All he does is make like a banshee.


So the window washers' timing was perfect, although they got here almost two hours earlier than they'd said. As of tonight my windows are all nice and clean, including the streak of whitewash that appeared on the porch window the day after they came last fall. Mark keeps saying he's coming up to Copper Harbor and will wash the windows there, but I'll believe that when I see him. It would be nice. The windows haven't been washed in a couple of years, and some of them never did get washed then, and even up there, they could use it.


I did manage to clean up a tad...not much. I took three bags of magazines and a bag of newspapers to the recycling bin, which got rid of most of the stuff on the floor, and I picked up most of the grocery bags in the kitchen, except those that still have stuff in them. Upstairs was a bit different, since I had to just clear out the stuff in front of the porch door and the closet (I keep the screen or storm insert in there). I looked at it all, and decided to leave the reorganization for another day.


Well! The pictures finally downloaded, and was it ever worth waiting for! I knew eventually, the camera would catch moonset in its entirety, but this is the first time it has actually been clear enough to see the entire thing - and here it is. I particularly like the second shot, in the blue of early dawn. The bright spot at the lower left corner of the moon is the reflection off the thermopane, and that's the only thing I can see that makes those pictures less than perfect. Oh, how I wish I'd been there to see it in person, but I will, in 32 days!


Most of the day was beautiful up there, not too warm, in the upper 30s, with a bit of wind, but clear and blue. It began to start to cloud up around 4 pm, and the sun set behind the clouds. It's supposed to rain tonight.


Here, it was clear all day long, and the sunshine was lovely, although it didn't get really warm. It was under 40 when the window washers got here, and it peaked out in the mid 40s, but there was no wind and no clouds.


I spent most of the rest of the afternoon putting things back, although I wrote some checks and went to the mail box. I have to go to the bank, but I was too late getting ready, so I'll have to do that tomorrow. Then I came down to the computer, and it was working fine until the DSL died. It will take a while to get this all uploaded, so I'll start that now.


Thirty two days...


April 4

Sorry to report that the camera was down all day. I believe this has happened every time we "spring forward" since the camera has been running, but I looked back and I apparently didn't remark on it. As most of you probably know, when you boot up your computer the morning after the time change, a message appears on the screen, saying to check the time, and somebody has to click on the button in order for it to go away. Well, there ain't nobody there to click. I tried power failing it half a dozen times, but nothing happened. I believe the message will go away tomorrow...or I certainly hope it will.


I wish there was some way to tell the system to just do it and don't bother me. I don't want to turn off daylight savings time, because from the first of April till I get there, the timestamp on the camera would be wrong, but I'm thinking about it. From everybody else's pictures of today, it was a pretty day, cold but sunny, and I'm sorry I missed it.


I also missed church. I actually didn't get up until after it had started, and it was after noon before I got downstairs. I guess I have sort of caught up on my sleep. I hope so, because the window washers are coming tomorrow afternoon.


I was sorry I missed the day here, too, because it was clear and pretty, although it was quite a bit colder than it was yesterday: only in the low 40s, and windy.


I spent most of the afternoon far away in embroidery-land, working on a reproduction sampler I ran across a couple of days ago. It is German blackwork (in colors), and it is done on one of my favorite fabrics. It is rather large, over 12" across, and 28" or so long, but I probably won't work on it too long. I like to do double running stitch, which is the stitch used for blackwork, but after a while it gets boring. This one will be better than most, because after the first row, the next twelve rows have two patterns each, then the rest are spot patterns, no rows, and they are fun to stitch. It never ceases to amaze me the infinite ways to connect the dots at the corners of squares!


I finally realized I'd better wash my jeans, since I'm wearing the very last pair, and they aren't clean, but as soon as the second load gets into the dryer, I'm off to bed, to try to catch up on my sleep, finally. This next week will be a busy one, and I will need to be getting up at a reasonable hour.


Thirty three days...


April 3

Let's see, where was I?


I did a bit in the kitchen this morning, but not everything that needs doing, and some knitting, and I finished the little piece of embroidery. I am still looking for a pattern for a towel band, although I've narrowed the choice a bit. I am disappointed in the quality of the towel. It is just a very cheap fingertip towel that they sewed a band of Aida and two bands of lace onto one bottom. It's supposed to be a velour towel, but there are ridges and spots in it, and the sewing is very poorly done. Makes me think I could do it better myself, but I don't have any unused fingertip towels, and I need it done by Easter.


Somehow, that was my day. Not very productive, but I felt like I didn't get enough sleep. 


The weather was pretty, very sunny for most of the day, with temperatures getting up into the 50, but it has dropped off abruptly and gotten cloudy, and now it's under 40 and raining. There might even be a bit of snow. Ah, spring in Michigan!


In Copper Harbor, it snowed until around 1:30, with no accumulation, then it cleared up and there was another beautiful sunset, half a rung over to the left and a bit higher than yesterday. The days are just about 13 hours long now, and increasing by almost 4 minutes a day. By the time I get there, both sunrise and sunset will be happening after the camera is off, and I'll have to reset the timer.


I've had some interesting times with the computer the past couple of days. When I turn it on, it will load up to the time when it puts up my wallpaper, then it hangs without loading the rest of the programs, and I have to turn it off manually. So today, I decided I would back up my files to the laptop before I got online...and the same thing happened to the laptop, except that when I finally did get it to come up, it couldn't complete the disc scan because something was writing to the disk. Egad. I did get the files backed up, however, so I feel a bit better about it. I guess I will have to fire up Spybot and make sure nothing has gotten into my system without me noticing it.


Oh, well, these things aren't perfect...far from it!


Thirty four days...


April 2

It's a bit earlier tonight, but by the time I put away my chili stew, it may not be. I got to thinking it had been a long time since I'd made anything with ground beef, and chili stew is my favorite. It has some aspects of regular chili, but it has more vegetables, including a lot of green pepper, onions, garlic, tomatoes and kidney beans, and I like it. I guess the last time I made it, I decided it didn't freeze very well, but that could have been because I wasn't tasting very well at that point. Seemed good to me tonight, so I may just eat it all up, which will solve the problem. I do know macaroni doesn't warm up very well - it tends to get overcooked.


Actually, that was about all I did today. The kitchen is still a disaster, but I've just been ignoring it. Maybe tomorrow...


It was another gorgeous day in Copper Harbor, although it was beginning to cloud up a bit by sunset. The temperature got into the upper 30s again, so some more snow melted, although there was plenty of ice at my end of the harbor. And it the past three or four days, the sun has really moved. In another week, it will be behind lighthouse point, then it will be gone for the summer.


Here, it was variable - it rained most of the night, and was cloudy this morning, but sometime after 5pm it began to clear up. The temperature got to about 50. I went out to get the mail and to fill the bird feeder, and it wasn't very nice, sort of damp and chilly.


Tomorrow, while it's supposed to be a bit warmer and sunny here, it's supposed to snow in Copper Harbor - we'll see - and we will get the colder, nasty stuff on Sunday.


The bird feeder has been a success, although the squirrels have figured out how to get into it. they hang by their hind feet from the perches and pick the seeds out of the lower holes.  They really look crazy hanging there, especially when they're hanging off the bottom. Oh, well, most of them are females, and I suppose they are either with child or feeding babies. My main point was to get rid of the birdseed before I leave anyway. There are flocks of sparrows, and the snowbirds are still here. Occasionally a chickadee will get his beak in, and the grackles stop by. I guess the blue jay has decided it's too hard. I'm sure the cardinals are around, but they mostly come at dawn or dusk, when their coloring isn't so  obvious.


So in 35 days, I will be in Copper Harbor. Five weeks - yike! I really should be doing something!


April 1

Well, I'm actually writing this after midnight on April 2...sorry, but I got sidetracked.


Choir practice was long last night, and I went right to bed after I got home, and slept well and long. The choir isn't singing Sunday...the kids are, and some are playing, too, and I am going to have a decision to make. Since the time change goes into effect that morning, it will be early anyway, so I know I can't make it at 8:15, and I hate to miss church on Palm Sunday, but I also hate the kids. Hmm. In my defense, I see no reason to go when the kids will disrupt my concentration on worship completely, so I may as well stay home. We'll see.


This morning, I got my hair cut, and it is a relief. The top was so long that it was hanging to the bottom of my glasses, which meant I kept having to push it away, and it bugged me. The sides and back are still quite long, but she did cut a couple of inches off it, too, so maybe it will be better behaved and stay out of my face more.


The weather here has been ugly...cold and damp. When I came home last night, it was raining, but some of the rain hitting the windshield was rather solid. Not nice at all. It didn't start raining until late this evening, but it is now.


In Copper Harbor, the past two days have been glorious...temperatures in the high 30s and not a cloud in the sky for two whole days! Yesterday the ice was mostly gone from my end of the harbor, but today the wind pushed it all back again. However, there is some open water in the harbor, and the juniper is beginning to appear more and more, so the snow is melting.


Yesterday, I finished the necklace and earring kit I was working on...it came out OK, I guess. If it stays this cold, I won't be wearing it anyway. Today, I spent most of the afternoon going through the archives trying to find a suitable pattern to embroider a hand towel for Carol. I didn't actually find what I was looking for, so I'm going to have to decide between purple pansies and coral roses. She likes pansies, but her bathroom, if I recall correctly, has coral in it. I'm not sure what I was actually looking for, but nothing really hit me. It makes me wonder if I'm missing some books of borders.


I was going to clean up the kitchen today...it is a total disaster...but I was too creaky to really get into it, and there wasn't even enough trash to take out.


So it's been a quiet couple of days.


Thirty six days...


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM