A View From the Field

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May, 2004

May 31

What an incredibly lousy day! It started raining at about sunrise this morning, and when I got up for good, it had been pouring - and I mean pouring - for some time. It was so awful that I didn't put out the bird feeders until somebody shrieked at me, and that was round 11:30. By that time, the downpour had abated somewhat, although it was still raining, and it continued more or less hard all day long. There were some birds, but not the usual number, and they were all pretty bedraggled. I always get a chuckle out of the squirrels in this weather, because they use their tails as umbrellas. It doesn't keep the rain off their heads, but it does keep their backs a bit dryer.

 

So I fiddled around and did not much all day, except wash the dishes and put away most of the wash. I read some, embroidered some, and fiddled with beads some, but generally frittered away the day.

 

I did finally get my dinner at Harbor Haus. It was really quiet tonight, but the kitchen is just as good as ever, and the staff is just as nice as ever. I got to talk to Chris about the fire, and evidently, since the first take was that it was electrical (not very probable, but that's what it looked like to the inspector), they were able to get the damage repaired and cleaned up within a couple of days, thanks to our local builder and the staff, who showed up without being asked. So you'd never know anything happened. They are glad to know what really happened, because the other causes just didn't seem to make sense.

 

One interesting thing, it was curious to see the flags streaming out toward the west. Our winds, which are in the 15-25 mph range, are from the southeast again, which is highly unusual around here. So the flags were streaming backwards.

 

With any kind of luck, this will be pretty much over with by morning, although tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy and foggy. Once the wind shifts around to the north, it will clear up, and by the end of the week it should be a tad warmer. I don't mind being here in any kind of weather, but it really was pretty unpleasant today. The temperature started out in the low 40s and has risen just a couple of degrees all day, so it was raw and chilly. Not good weather for the arthritic crowd.

 

Since I had to stay up a bit longer than I wanted last night, I think tonight will be an early one. That's about all this weather is good for...sleep.

 

It's soggy in the field tonight.

 

May 30

When I left the office, much too late last night, the moon was shining in the upper windows of the great room, just to remind me why I did that. I pent some time awake, so it was rather late when I got up this morning. The clouds had rolled in overnight, and it was a rather dull day altogether, not particularly cold, but very windy. The temperature got just over 60,  but there has been this strong (14 - 28 mph) wind from the southeast all day long.

 

I didn't eat much breakfast, in anticipation of a really good dinner tonight. I spent some time embroidering, and some time playing with beads. Some of the things turned out and some didn't, so I finally gave up on it a while ago. I also did four loads of wash.

 

I was listening to ATC on the radio and contemplating my nice dinner, for which I made a reservation, when the power went out. Well! The load of clothes in the dryer was dry, but there was a load of towels just finished in the washer. 

 

The power went out at about 5:30, and shortly after 6, Chris, bless her sweet heart, called to tell me she wasn't sure how much longer they could continue cooking, so I canceled in favor of tomorrow. Drat. Just after 8 pm, the power came back on, far too late for anything but a sandwich or a TV dinner.

 

Anyway, Harbor Haus is open, in case anybody wondered. I guess they don't have bathrooms on the first floor yet, but there really wasn't that much damage. I guess I didn't mention that - about 10 days ago, Ron and crew showed up to get ready for the opening, and found a fire. They and the fire department managed to put it out - it was confined to the wall in the first floor bathrooms - without too much damage, and they aired out the smoke by opening all the lakeside sliding doors. At the beginning of the week, the Keweenaw County sheriff arrested a guy who had stolen some stuff from the Mountain Lodge and was using one of the cabins he broke into to sleep in. He confessed to setting the fire at Harbor Haus. 

 

Shirley says the guy had been around town for a while, and he was generally known to be wacko, which seems clear. There is even a hint that he might be responsible for the fire that destroyed the Gundlach building in Houghton a few days after I got here.

 

Anyway, the big question was, would Harbor Haus be able to open this weekend? The answer is, yes, they did. So their second night open, the power goes out! I certainly hope this isn't indicative of our summer.

 

All day, and particularly while the power was off, I could hear ATVs roaring around. Some of them sounded so close, they might have been on our road.

I certainly hope that isn't indicative of our summer, either.

 

So now, unfortunately, I have to wait until two loads of wash dry, but if it goes on too long, I might just close the laundry door. I don't like to do that, because Buster has been sleeping in there a lot, but I won't sleep with that noise. 

 

I had already published this once when I remembered another interesting incident in the mouse wars. One of the loads of wash was towels, so I went in the linen closet to get a fresh set to hang, and when I took the next-to-bottom towel out, there in between it and the bottom towel was a whole cache of birdseed! Of course it went all over the floor, so I had to sweep. There wasn't any mouse poop or any other indication that anybody had been there, except for all the birdseed. Believe me, I did not put it there myself! And this shelf is over four feet off the floor. I have no idea how a teensy mouse could get up there.

 

Buster, of course, was very interested, because I had to close the door, so he pushed it open to see what was going on, but there wasn't anything that smelled of mouse. How do they do that? I know they can stash seed in their cheek pouches, but it must have taken a lot of trips to get that much seed into the closet, then to climb up to the second shelf...if it wasn't my linen closet and my birdseed, I'd be much more impressed.

 

I'm afraid the rest of the weekend is likely to be damp, which is a shame, but at least we had two beautiful days.

 

Season's open in the field.

 

May 29

I was awake for a while in the middle of the night, and the moon was so bright it cast shadows, and it set almost due west, leaving a long yellow trail on the harbor, which was nearly calm. So beautiful! The stars weren't quite so bright as the night before, but they were there, and the sun rose in to a completely clear sky.

 

I was awake in the night thinking about beads, so it was a bit later than usual when I got up this morning. First off, I discovered that I had made a real mess in the crate I am using to hold the bird feeders. I had managed to tip one of the hummingbird feeders just enough that all the nectar ran out, and the other feeders, including the thistle sock, sat in the nectar all night. Yuck.

 

After I cleaned that up and had a late breakfast, I spent quite a while embroidering, and reworking one of the patterns. I'm wondering if maybe the author was sick that year, since she did two reproductions with far too many errors in them. They are both German blackwork samplers, my favorite, and I want to do both of them, but it's not easy.

 

The beads got me thinking, and I broke down and brought in three of the blue boxes. I certainly didn't pack those boxes very coherently. The materials for several different crafts are spread amongst all of them, which makes it rather hard to find anything.

 

I got to wondering what would happen if I took my four kinds of blue beads and braided them, so I started on that. I did manage to get the four strands strung the right length with not too much trouble. The last time I did it, I was working on my lap, which turned out to be a mistake. Today I worked on the desk, and having the flat surface helped a lot. My braiding project didn't come out very well, though. If I do braid any necklaces, the beads will all have to be about the same size. Some of these strands are bigger than others, and the braid didn't come out very even. Braiding beads isn't like braiding string or even hair, because sometimes the strands separate and lock together between beads. So tomorrow I will unbraid it and twist it.

 

The only trouble I may have with that is that I need a solid surface to attach the other end of the strands to, and I haven't located anything like that yet. In the other house, I pinned it to the ironing board, but I don't usually have my ironing board set up here. The instructions for the braid maker say you can just hold the end in one hand, but since it starts out about a yard long, I don't think that will work very well. We'll see.

 

The entire day was so beautiful that I opened the sliders. The air temperature wasn't all that warm - in the upper 50s, although it did get over 60 briefly late in the afternoon - but it was one of those days when your temperature depended upon where you were standing. In the sun, out of the wind, it got into the 80s, but in the breeze, it was quite cool. So you could be roasting on one side and freezing on the other. The sun heats the house rather well, so it was warm enough in here that a little outside air was quite welcome.

 

I have to report that the tourist season has begun, and all day long I could hear ATVs making horrible noises as they accelerated on the stretch of US-41 between my road and the end of the pavement. They are horribly noisy, and frankly, it sounds to me like the drivers are trying to make as much noise as possible. I don't suppose it ever occurs to them that some of us may treasure the intense quiet of a calm summer morning. Barbarians. The town isn't packed, but there are more people than there have been to date.

 

As I was coming out of the bedroom, I noticed something making a wake in the harbor, zigzagging back and forth and rippling the water. It wasn't a bird, and I guess it was a fish, because it went awfully fast and dove down rather than coming to the surface. Interesting phenomenon that one can only see when the water is nearly calm.

 

The little birds were here in abundance today, lots of goldfinches and at lest half  a dozen chickadees. They are so tame that one took a seed out of the feeder while I was standing beside it chasing a squirrel. I could have reached out and touched it. I could have touched the squirrel, too. It seems to think of me as the source of all good things, and when I went toward it, it just sat there, as though it was waiting for me to give it a treat! The little red squirrels are actually quite cute, but they eat a lot, and they were chattering most of the time they were in the feeders.

 

The blue jays weren't here quite so much today, but the females are starting to give their mating call, so they will be preoccupied from now on and shouldn't be in the feeders as much.

 

Oh, yes, and there was an evening grosbeak this morning. I didn't see anything much else, but then I wasn't watching the feeder tree all day, either. There is one female goldfinch who looks like she got squeezed through a knothole. She is much longer and skinnier than any of the others, and she has a particularly long neck, which makes her a rather weird looking bird. I wonder what genetic accident caused that?

 

The clouds were rolling in at sunset tonight, and there is a green splotch to the southwest of us on the radar map, actually over by Ontonogan now, so I guess the rain is on its way. Drat. The past two days have been so lovely, I could use a lot more weather like that! We had a lot of that weather last year, and I guess it's too much to hope for two years in a row. However, we have had more than our share of rain this month, and it would be really nice if it would stop.

 

Well, it's rather later than usual now, so it's time to do my chores and fold up for the night...

 

May 28

Oh, what a beautiful day!!! When I went to bed last night, there were some clouds, but they rolled away during the night, and around 2 am, the moon was shining over Porter Island, making a broad track in a harbor that was nearly calm. And it's just about at first quarter! It was so bright and so pretty. After it set, there were stars. The dipper was hanging down toward the lake again, and if I peeked up toward zenith, Arcturus was just coming into view from my windows.

 

I woke up again right about sunrise, but long before it peeked over the East Bluff, and it was lovely then, too, and when I got up, Brockway was all lit up. There were a few little clouds for a while, but for most of the day the sky was clear and blue and the harbor was clear and blue...my favorite color.

 

My goodness, I just checked the archives, and it was actually light at the first picture this morning, so I've set the camera to wake up an hour earlier. It doesn't matter when it's cloudy, but when the sky is clear, dawn is coming very early these days. This is the time of year when there isn't more than three or four hours of true, astronomical darkness. In fact, that's one of the reasons I lose track of time in the evenings. I'm used to going to bed after dark.

 

It's a real pity, but it's supposed to cloud up and rain again tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. I think we've had enough rain for a while, frankly.

 

It seems to be affecting the start of the tourist season, too. Mariner was totally dead tonight. I'm afraid the cold weather, rain and the price of gas have combined to keep people away from this part of the country. Too bad, because it's been cold enough to keep the bugs down, and it is really pretty now, with the leaves just coming out.

 

The juneberries and other spring flowering bushes are going to be out in a few days, too. A few little ones are showing flowers already, and the buds are swelling on the rest. It is such a pretty time of year!

 

I am glad to report that my meadow is not full of winter cress this year. There are a few plants in the parking lot and the garden, but last year, the back part of the lot was covered with them, before the daisies came out. I hope that doesn't mean there won't be any daisies, either, but it could be. They come later, around the end of June.

 

Buster had not been sleeping on the fleece throws in the office, and I thought it might be because they smell like DC, so I was going to wash them this afternoon. However, when I came back from the post office, he was curled up beside the south windows in the sun. I will wash them anyway, just because they must be dusty, but I didn't bother today.

 

In fact, I guess I didn't do anything much today except embroider, go to the post office and visit Shirley. It was too nice a day to do anything but enjoy it. 

 

The temperature got into the middle 50s, and it was lovely to be outdoors. it would be nice if it would last, but oh, well...

 

May 27

I got to bed fairly early last night and slept fairly well, with the usual hot flashes. It was cloudy all night, and around 4 am it started to pour rain, and that lasted until nearly 8. It was nasty when I put out the feeders, and I got a head full of water from the branches of the pine.

 

Before I had breakfast, the sun was coming out, and while I  was in the bathroom, as the tree branches moved in the wind, I could see little bright spots where the sun shone through the drops of water. The sun was out most of the afternoon, although the camera didn't show that, and the temperature was in the middle 40s. We may not have set a record for the coldest May, but it certainly has been remarkable. I keep hoping that will mean we will have a moderate summer.

 

The item of the day was one of the shepherd's crooks that I use to hang the hummingbird feeders disappeared over night. I couldn't see it from the deck, so I only hung out one feeder today. It was used, at least a bit. Just a few minutes ago, a hummingbird flew right up to the window and hovered there before he went to sip nectar. Maybe that was "thanks"?

 

So I just went outside and down the deck stairs. The temperature is in the low 40s, but there isn't a lot of wind right now, and it wasn't bad at all out. Remember, the colder it is, the less the bugs will bother us! Anyway, I found the hanger under the deck, as well as something that may have been bear scat in the garden. It was the right color and consistency, but it was a bit small for a bear. Believe me, I'm not going to sit up to see it!

 

I also discovered that the chipmunks have made a lovely den almost under the boat anchor - ahem, I mean, generator - where there are some big rocks. I thought maybe they were there, They have been running around all over down there. Enough seed drops through the cracks in the deck that I imagine they eat pretty well without braving the deck itself.

 

There weren't any exciting birds today, but the platform feeder was nearly appropriated by a real flock of blue jays...at least eight. They are huge and noisy and bullies, and I'm sorry they're there, but if prior years are any indication, they'll go away shortly when they begin nesting. Curiously, they give way to the grosbeak. I wouldn't have thought he was higher in the pecking order, but evidently he is. It's been two days since I've seen the cardinal, but I still hope that's because I haven't been looking every minute.

 

I finished band 13 of the blackwork sampler, and I actually got three boxes unpacked and the craft materials put away in the shelves I emptied. There is one box left, but it is full of trims, and I haven't decided what to do with it.

 

In the course of the unpacking and sorting, I discovered the first real serious damage the mice did. I had two 400 yard balls of crochet cotton in the bottom drawer beside the sewing station, as well as two pieces of fleece I had cut off the sleeves of my fleece robe. Well! One of the balls, I just threw away, since it looked like every single wrap of the ball had been pulled out and cut off one end. There was also a wad of batting or stuffing that I just don't remember being there, although I haven't yet found anything that seems to be chewed or unstuffed. And they had chewed the seams of the fleece and some of the rest of the fabric. The other ball of crochet cotton has some cuts in it, and I tossed ten or twenty yards, but I think the rest is usable. I use it as very fine twine, and I don't usually need hundreds of yards unbroken. I have moved it out of the drawer. A piece of drawstring elastic that was in the drawer needs to be washed (ahem!) and there was a large amount of mouse poop in the drawer, too. I will have to decide what to do about that before I go south.

 

I would really like to invest in some covered plastic barrels to store stuff in over the winter, but as I know from experience, that can get really expensive. I shall have to root around in WalMart and maybe check Shopko and see what I can find. I hardly dare to leave material in the lower cupboards, because if they could get into that drawer, they could surely get into the cupboard! These are some of the painful things about having two houses.

 

Mr. Grosbeak is ensconced in the center of the platform feeder right now, and as soon as he leaves, I will bring in the feeders and trundle up to the north end.

 

This is the end of my third week here, and it certainly is wonderful.

 

May 26

I like this going to bed early. I'll have to try it again. I only got hot a couple of times during the night, even though Buster decided to spend most of the night with me, including a couple of hours when his back was up against my back. Wish I could get him to do that when it hurts.

 

The night turned out partly cloudy. Around 1:30 I woke up and the moon was hanging over the end of Lighthouse point, bright enough to cast shadows. The clouds rolled in, but later, after moonset, they rolled out again and I could see the Big Dipper hanging by its handle over the lake. I woke up briefly early in the morning when the rising sun was shining full on Brockway, and it was still sunny and lovely when I finally got up.

 

The rest of the day was partly cloudy, but there was a lot of very welcome sunshine. It didn't get all that warm - mid 50s maybe - but the sunshine made it seem warmer.

 

I dawdled around long enough that  I had just finished breakfast when it was time to go to the ladies' meeting. There were lots of us today, and almost everyone had something for show and tell. I took my jewelry. Most of the ladies are quilters, and they had brought some of their efforts. Very nice to look at. So we had a good time, and it's too bad that everyone will be so busy that we can't do it over the summer. But some of them have shops, and most of those who don't have houseguests for most of the summer. A pity, they are nice people.

 

It is still quite windy, but I put out the hummingbird feeders anyway, although I don't think they got used. Late this afternoon, the blue jays took over the feeders. They are so big and such bullies that all the little birds were waiting, lined up along the deck railing, for them to go. Curiously, they defer to the grosbeaks. I don't know why, although those big beaks do look like they peck pretty hard.

 

Last night, I dumped both seed feeders on the deck before I took them in, and by the time I got back this morning, every last seed was gone. I have to believe there is a critter around. I know there has been a bear in the Rooks' thistle feeder. Well, I'll just have to continue to bring everything in at night.

 

Laurel said there have been some interesting sightings of unusual birds around here lately, but she assured me that Jim would be interested to hear about my cardinal. I do hope he takes up residence! Evidently there have been some in town in past winters, although there weren't any this year, so they are coming north. It does get a bit cold for them around here, and I don't think they could make it without the people who feed the birds all winter. Sorry, I can't quite arrange to do that!

 

So it was a lovely day in the field, and it was good to see the sunshine.

 

May 25

I spent quite a while in bed overnight, but I won't say I slept well. I kept waking up hot and having to throw off the covers until I cooled down. That is a problem I have always had when I have or am coming down with a bug. I do feel somewhat better today, although I am still dripping. Another long sleep and I should be fine again.

 

Before I forget again I want to apologize for the nasty green screen yesterday morning. Sunday I jostled the wiring while I was moving things around, and apparently loosened the USB connector, which is strung nearly taut across the office. A quick check of the connections and a reboot and everything was fine again. Of course it would happen when I was particularly late getting up!

 

The night was a good one to sleep. Around 1 am, I think, I woke up and there between the clouds was the crescent moon. It was particularly interesting because the clouds were going east to west, which is not their usual direction! For such a slim crescent, it was very bright. The next time I woke up, the moon was gone and the clouds were thick, and we had some rain overnight. There was some fog this morning, then around noon or so it began to clear up, the wind shifted from east to northwest and began blowing hard, and this afternoon was really pretty, if windy.

 

It was so windy that I didn't even put out the hummingbird feeders today, because I don't think they could have come to it. And the hanging feeders were swinging back and forth like pendulums.

 

The birds of the day were three evening grosbeaks, two males and a female, who visited the platform feeder in the middle of the afternoon. I am glad to see that they are back. They came right to the platform feeder and seemed very happy there. All the other visitors were back, including my cardinal, who came just a few minutes ago and kept me from chasing the red squirrel away. I don't think I've seen any white-crowned sparrows lately, but they would only have stopped on their way through, since they winter south of Michigan and  nest up around the arctic circle. The goldfinches are coming in greater numbers now, which I like. Thistle seed is too expensive to waste on sparrows!

 

The squirrels are a problem, but I'll just have to deal with it.

 

On the subject of the wind, the NWS station over at the sewage ponds is annoying me again. Their last report said that the wind was 7 mph and variable, when out here it is blowing at least 15 mph out of the northwest. The place they have put it is just too sheltered to give accurate readings. It's a shame I've had to put the weather station on hold, but someday I hope to have one and prove they're wrong.

 

So now I think I will finish my wine and make it another early night, and see if I can't beat this cold.

 

May 24

I woke up around 7:30 this morning and decided it was too early to get up, so I turned over and slept for three more hours! Wow! However, when I got up, I started sneezing, and it seems I have come down with a little cold, so the rest of the day was rather quiet.

 

It started out to be another dreary, cold day, but there were a couple of hours of partial sunshine this afternoon, and the temperature got up over 50 for the first time in a while. I spent a while sitting in the ugly chair knitting, with a cat on my lap, and that was nice.

 

And that brings me to the excitement of the day: I was sitting and watching the birds when who should fly up but a male cardinal! Whee! He looked to me like a young one, because his base color was almost orangey-red. He was clearly out of his territory, because his crest was standing straight up except for a brief time when he was eating in the platform feeder. He is such a pretty bird. I hope he likes it around here and brings a mate. I've really missed the cardinals around here, so I hope they take up residence.

 

It is possible that this cardinal just got off course, like some of the other birds I've seen around here. I know cardinals have been steadily moving north over the past number of years, so there is a possibility that they've finally gotten here. We'll see.

 

I'm writing this earlier than usual tonight, and I'm planning to go to bed very early and try to zap this cold right away.

 

I did cook tonight, because I had defrosted the pork chops, and my Spanish rice tasted very good. Fortunately, with the food processor, it isn't hard to do.

 

And I was in the powder room a little while ago when I saw something strange behind the birches, and when I looked more carefully, there was my big deer. So it is back. I tend to think this is the buck I saw a couple of years ago when he had his rack, but he has no antlers at all right now. I didn't get a good enough look to tell, but the bucks I have seen seem to have a shaggy line of fur down their breasts, so I should be able to tell its sex. This one was quite at home, wandering around munching something that was not grass growing in the drain field. It seemed quite calm and at home, and I'm so glad it's quiet and remote enough here. Of course, it will munch the thing growing in my garden that I've never identified which, surprisingly, didn't die. I guess when I send for my red pepper spray, I will also have to send for some deer repellent.

 

So it was a quiet day in the field, and I hope to feel better tomorrow.

 

May 23

On my way to sleep last night I solved part of my storage problem, so before breakfast this morning, I tore into the drawers and cupboards on either side of the computer station. It seems there were two shelves and four drawers in the bookcase that were completely empty. They aren't easy to get to, because they are sort of beside the ugly chair, but they are quite all right for less-used office items.

 

I had quite a mess for most of the day, but that is pretty much taken care of now and I have two drawers and two shelves that are empty and ready for craft stuff. I'll get at that tomorrow.

 

In the course of emptying out and rearranging the drawers, I found some interesting items, like a lot more mouse poop, and one piece of dry cat food. Those cute little mousies were really busy over the winter, and I suppose they spent a lot of time in the office. Not only was the computer on to keep things warm, it is right on top of the mechanical room, so it tends to be warmer than the rest of the house, and they could always go down to the basement if they got cold. I really don't know how to solve the problem, because I know I didn't drop any crumbs in the drawers. The rest of the office was probably full of edibles, because I eat in here most of the time, and there are always crumbs falling into and around the keyboard. Last year I spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the keyboard, and I suppose I'll have to do the same thing again.

 

It was a good day to get into something like that. It didn't start raining until around 5 pm, but it was dull and dark and cold - around 40 - all day long. It was dark enough that if I'd tried to do anything else, I'd have had to turn on the office lights, and that interferes with the camera, not that there was so much to see outside either.

 

When I was setting up this house, I sort of went nuts with drawer inserts. Some of them are necessary, like the ones in the kitchen, and the one in the desk drawer, but some of the other ones were less than useless, and took up too much room. So I removed them.

 

Short hiatus there while I fetch in the feeders. It's not quite dark, but it's so miserable that all the poor little birds have gone away to roost where it's not quite so damp. They were hungry today, too, and the feeders are nearly empty.

 

I'm very glad to say that the big gray squirrel didn't appear today. The little red guys were here, but not very long, and they don't eat so much. There are lots of chickadees, some goldfinches and purple finches, and the rose breasted grosbeaks are practically camping out here.

 

Anyway, tomorrow I can begin to unpack the boxes and see just what I sent myself and where to put it. A lot of the big stuff goes in the vestibule closet, which is supposed to be for coats, and it is, but I never go out that way, so I am using it as a storage closet. If I organize carefully, I think I can probably get the rest of it in here without having piles on the counters. Or, I hope so. We shall see.

 

I also talked to my friend Carol in Grosse Pointe, and she assured me that the worst of the storms were on the other side of town, although there has been so much rain that the ground is saturated. I can imagine that I have a nice swamp over the sewer in my backyard. 

 

As I said yesterday, there are real advantages to living on a pebble pile. I may have had to have a gold-plated septic field, but I'm not in very much danger of having a flooded basement, either. And the rain is very good for the lake levels. Now that my house is firmly planted, the lake can rise as high as it was back in the late '80s, when I had about three feet of beach and waves washed over the docks at King Copper. The lake goes up and the lake goes down, and it's cyclic, and we should be beginning the upward side of the cycle now.

 

This is good sleeping weather. I did pretty well last night, and I think I will try to start earlier tonight. I'm beginning to want those boxes out of the great room.

 

It's a bit soggy in the field tonight. 

 

May 22

Now, this was a nasty day, I have to admit. It rained hard most of the day, and the temperature never got much above 40. Yuck. Buster slept most of the day, and that was about all it was good for. 

 

I didn't do much, either, I have to confess. I got up late and sort of sat around until after noon, when I was hungry and cold. After I ate, I did some embroidery, and that was about it. I looked into the remaining UPS boxes, but I didn't do anything with them, because I'm not quite sure where to put all the stuff - it is all craft stuff, with the exception of my down parka and some shoes. I did want all that stuff here, but now that it is, I'm going to have to find a place to stash it.

 

I have two bottom cupboards, on either side of the computer, full of office supplies and computer stuff, and I guess I'm going to have to go through all of that and see if I can free up a couple of shelves for the craft supplies. Hmm. That should take me a while!

 

The rain didn't keep the birds away very much, except for the hummingbirds. I wonder what they do when it is this cold, but they don't come to the feeders. The other birds do, even though they get looking rather bedraggled after a while. And when the little red squirrels' tails get wet, they really look sad. It seems I have two red squirrels, one smaller than the other, but as I said, they don't eat a lot. I did chase the gray guy away again, and I hope to teach him to stay away (fat chance, eh?). 

 

Late last fall was the first time I was taking the feeders in to the office, and it really is a lot easier. Having to walk the entire length of the deck with them may be good exercise, but it's not fun when it's rainy and/or cold. Now that I have a box to keep them in so they won't mess up the floor, it will work even better. 

 

So I must do that, and then to bed.

 

I haven't been keeping close track of the weather in Detroit, but I guess they had some really severe thunderstorms with high winds and lots of rain yesterday and today. The Detroit papers didn't mention the east side or the suburbs along the lake, except for a picture of a car up to its floorboards in Mount Clemens, so I am going to assume everything was all right at the other house unless I hear otherwise. There are advantages to living on a pebble pile (I think I've said that before). There are also advantages to living where one is not dependent upon sewers and storm drains and where there isn't so much concrete that rain runs off instead of soaking in.

 

There were reports of green skies. I've seen skies like that, and I don't like them. They also said that there was a gust of wind clocked at 95 mph in Ann Arbor. That's hurricane force, friends. 

 

I just looked at the reports from the storm, and apparently the worst hit in western Wayne County and downriver, and besides the rain and high winds, they had large hail. So it was really nasty. It has calmed down now, but the temperature is 73 and the dew point is 66, which is some of my least favorite weather of all, and tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80s with more rain. Ugh!

 

I'll take rain and 40 any time, thank you! It's good to be in the field.

 

May 21

The mouse of the day apparently arrived around 6:30 this morning, which is after it was light, but Buster apparently chased it back where it came from. Since I haven't found any bodies, I have to assume they escaped, although one of these days I'll look under the sofa just to be sure.

 

The early part of the night was clear last night, and there were some nice stars for a while, but the clouds rolled in and they lasted all day. When I came back from dinner, it was spitting rain. Not nice.

 

The other hummingbird feeder was empty this morning, so something is clearly coming to drink the nectar.  Something had also torn a hole in one of the sock feeders, so I have that in for repairs. And I have a gray squirrel who is an incredible pig. It gets upside down on the feeder and I think it would eat every sunflower seed in it if I'd leave be. I chased it four or five times today, and one of my correspondents suggested hot pepper spray, which I'd forgotten about. I'll have to see about getting some. In the meantime, I'm hauling everything inside at night again. This year, I'm going out the office slider, which is close to the feeder tree, and I am stashing the feeders in a plastic box to try to keep seed and sugar water off the office floor. It's a pain, but it may save the feeders. It does mean they won't be out so early in the morning, but I can't help that.

 

I am still fooling around with the location of the feeders. I like where the thistle feeders are now, but the seed feeder is too much in the middle of the camera. I will have to fiddle some more. I also raised the platform feeder a bit, which makes it some harder for the squirrels to get into it.

 

The task of the day was to collect the trash and haul it to the dumpster, which I did do, and I also unpacked another box, I think the only other one full of clothes, so that is done. 

 

This evening, I went with Chip and Nancy to the Eagle Harbor Inn for a nice dinner. It is a completely different sort of place than either one in Copper Harbor, more like the restaurants thirty years ago, but the food is good. It seems to be the place to be on Friday night, and there were several very raucous groups in a very small dining room. However, everyone was friendly and Chip and Nancy saw several people they know, so it was fun.

 

So now it's time for bed again. Peace in the field.

 

May 20

I think it rained overnight, and it was cloudy and foggy this morning, and quite a bit cooler than yesterday, although how cool is debatable. The NWS station and my little thermometers just didn't agree all day long...when they were warm, I was cold, and when I was warm, they were cold. It was quite windy until late in the afternoon, though, and I think the reported temperatures depended upon whether the wind was blowing on the thermometers or not. The NWS was also reporting calm winds late in the afternoon when I could see pine branches swaying in the breeze. Makes it hard to report exactly what was going on.

 

Anyway, the temperature seemed to stay between 45 and 55 all day long.

 

It was so windy this morning that the birds were having a hard time, and one of the hummingbird feeders was completely empty. It must have tipped, because the other one was fine.

 

The birds of the day were a Baltimore oriole, who has been sipping nectar out of the hummingbird feeder and scaring away the hummingbirds, and a real, honest-to-goodness purple finch. I haven't seen one of those in a long time, because the house finches chased them all out of Champine. There don't seem to be any house finches around here, but I think they are city birds anyway.

 

The grosbeak hung around all day long, and there are two females but only one male. Hmm. I wonder if they are polygamous? I will have to check. There were several red wing blackbirds, half a dozen blue jays, and a good selection of goldfinches and sparrows. I have seen a couple of pine siskins since I put out the thistle socks, but I'm not sure they were around today.

 

The platform feeder is a real success, although there is one round brown seed nobody likes. It should be three times as large, and there were several pecking contests. The jays usually get first pick, although the grosbeak wasn't too scared. I also witnessed a bill-open standoff between two jays that was interesting.

 

Unfortunately, the squirrels have decided the tube feeder is a better place to get their sunflower seeds, and one of them seems to have spent the better part of the day hanging upside down on it. They are persistent, too. If I chase them away, they come right back.

 

At one point, a crow (or a raven? it was pretty big) walked around on the deck looking to see what he could find, and all the birds and critters were shy of him. Of course, he is a big bird, and he could snap up one of my teensy chipmunks easily. So they stayed out of the way. 

 

I wonder about those chipmunks. One of the first critters when I put out the feeder was a big chipmunk, who could jump into the feeder, but it hasn't been back, and the two tiny ones, which are about half the size of the big guy, have had the deck to themselves. I don't know if the big guy decided he could eat elsewhere and it was better to feed up the little ones, or what.

 

Obviously, I didn't do much but watch the birds today. I kept looking out, because I was afraid I would miss something. And I did...some large thing went flapping across the harbor, and I got my binocular strap caught in a glass that still had some juice in it, and the glass and contents went on the floor in pieces, which made a real mess. And of course by the time I got everything untangled, the bird was gone. I'm pretty sure it was an eagle.

 

When I moved in, I got some floor protectors for the office because I was afraid of what the casters would do to the floor, but I'm thinking of taking my chances. They aren't the right shape for the area, stuff gets underneath them, and the whole floor and protectors is a real mess. it would be easier to clean without them. I must think about that.

 

It did clear up and get sunny this afternoon, but by the end of the day, some clouds were coming up from the west, so it may not be as clear overnight as they predict. We'll see.

 

Buster spent most of the day asleep in the Ny chair, and he has now awakened again. His schedule and mine are just not the same, for sure. There weren't anymore mice last night, but he was quiet all night, which was nice. Much as he needs his exercise, I'd be just as happy if he's convinced the mice to stay outside. We'll see about that, too.

 

It occurred to me the last time it was clear at night that I was really so lucky to be here in 2001 - 2003, when there were lots of northern lights. Everything is quieting down now, and there haven't been any light shows in a long time, and that's likely to be the norm for quite a while. The solar cycle is 11 years long, so there's a good chance I won't see another solar max. At least the last one was a good one!

 

So it's another quiet day in the field.

 

May 19

Well,  before I left the office last night, Buster was chasing a mouse or something around my feet, and since there were no more critters around, he got into everything overnight, including an empty box in the hall and the corner of the bathroom. I have no idea what he thought he was chasing (maybe he was seeing things?), but I finally had to pull everything, including the wastebasket, out of the corner to get him to quit it and let me sleep. Whatever he was after earlier got him really wired.

 

It was a lovely night, quite clear and starry. I enjoy looking out the bathroom window and seeing Polaris, which I can see without my glasses, and parts of the Big Dipper, and Jupiter was setting in the west.

 

This morning, I got up fairly early, and it was a glorious morning, clear and calm with the temperature over 60, so nice that I opened the slider in the office and incidentally blocked the camera with the doorframe! I fiddled around with bird feeders for most of the day and I think I finally got things the way I want them.

 

It was a day of birds. Not half an hour after I put out the hummingbird feeders, they were there, but only the males so far, and when I went out later in the day, they were buzzing around me. I hung up the sock feeders and had a lot more goldfinches today. According to the camera, before I got to the south end this morning there was a crow sitting on the deck railing, but he didn't try to eat out of the feeder.

 

Most of the afternoon, there was a female rose breasted grosbeak, who is a dull brown stripy bird, hanging around trying to pick up seeds, so I finally decided I must hang the little flat feeder I bought yesterday. When that was up, only a few minutes Mr. Grosbeak was sitting in the middle of it, scarfing down sunflower seeds. He wasn't the first, though. The chickadee was in it, and I think one jay, too.

 

The squirrel spent quite a bit of time hanging on the feeder, so I hope this platform feeder will help keep him away from the other feeder so the little birds can eat. The nuthatches were around as well as a pair of red winged blackbirds. My, but we're birdy!

 

Unfortunately, there is no way I can hang the platform feeder so that it is in camera range. It wouldn't show much anyway, because most of the time all the camera shows is the silhouette anyway (gad, did I actually spell that right - hard to believe!). 

 

It was such a lovely day that I had plans, but I ended up spending a long time on the telephone with a friend, so that took care of that!

 

Buster was most intrigued by the birds and critters this morning, especially with the door open. He was nine years old yesterday (hard to believe...it seems like he's been around forever), and for a cat his age, he sleeps about half as much as every other cat I've ever had. One gets used to having cats around that don't bother one much because they're asleep, and he sometimes really gets on my nerves. I wonder why that is, and sometime I'll have to mention it to the vet. Anyway, while I hate to wish for mice, it's nice to have something to keep him occupied.

 

It began to cloud up in the middle of the afternoon, and it got breezy and cooler, and I guess there is rain headed our way, again. However, I have to report that Brockway, which was mostly gray-brown yesterday, today is covered with pale green...and the buds are swelling on all the trees and bushes around here. So spring is on its way, and not quite so late as it was last year. This is such a pretty time of year around here that I'm really looking forward to it. Even though it wasn't very warm yesterday, at least here by the lake, all the sunshine has caused the trees to burst into leaf.

 

Ah, spring in the field...

 

May 18

It was warm in the bedroom last night, and besides, there weren't any mice, and Buster did a lot of complaining about that. As a result, I didn't really sleep very well. I did get up a bit earlier than usual this morning and I actually got on the road just after 10:30.  Very good time for me.

 

It has been an absolutely gorgeous day. There were a few clouds this morning that soon went away, leaving sunshine and blue skies and blue waters...a very good day to go somewhere and do something.

 

Walmart is as big as ever, but they haven't moved anything, so I was pretty well able to get the stuff I needed without too much backtracking. That was good because I was getting tired and sweaty before I got out. The birds are now well supplied for and I have a small hanging platform feeder that I will try to get out tomorrow. Maybe it will keep the jays and squirrels out of the hanging feeder. There was a squirrel in the feeder when I came into the office this morning, and it ate most of the sunflower seeds.

 

Ming Gardens is as good as ever, and that gave me some rest before I attacked Econo Foods. They have just opened a large addition that isn't altogether together yet, and they have moved a bunch of things around. It was too big a store before, and now it's impossible. Since they'd moved things around, I had to do a lot of going around in circles, and I was really tired and had a sore foot before I got out of there, but I have a few things to eat and a few more things to stock the freezer.

 

It was a lovely trip back, although I nearly had a heart attack when I stopped to get gas. My old faithful Mobil station's gas was $2.20 a gallon! Yikes!  I wish I had checked more carefully, because the station in Allouez had it for $2.15, but still...

 

My advice for anybody who is coming this way from the east is, stop at the big station in Baraga, which is on the Indian reservation, and which always has the lowest prices around, and fill up...Also bring money and be prepared. I'm hoping this won't last the summer or it's going to put a real crimp in the tourist business.

 

The detours around the construction in Houghton actually make getting through that ridiculous interchange a lot easier, although I'm not sure what the final configuration will be. I still say a couple of well-placed multifunction stop lights would have done the same thing, but who am I? They are beginning the process of resurfacing US-41 between Calumet and Mohawk (not that it doesn't need it!), but so far they are mostly redoing culverts. So far, there is little enough traffic that the one-lane areas don't slow things down much. Of course, it will go on all summer, and it may get ugly later. Your tax dollars at work...

 

I got back about 4 pm, and I've been enjoying the weather. It got up into the low 60s inland and in Houghton, but it was only in the upper 40s here by the big lake. But oh, that sunshine! It's supposed to be clear tonight, too. 

 

I should go out and try to see comet NEAT before it fades away, but it probably won't be visible until full darkness, which will be around 11 pm, and I don't want to wait that long.

 

I did take the camera, but I didn't see anything to take pictures of. Some maples have their red flowers and in some locations inland there is a haze of green around the birches, but mostly the deciduous trees are still gray and bare. The grass and weeds are greening up nicely, and several lawns I passed have a lovely crop of dandelions. The daffodils and early tulips are out...I must really try to plant some tulips this fall...but spring is just barely coming here. It's so lovely to watch it come! All the nice things I saw around  Detroit are so much nicer here, the second time around.

 

So that is another day in the field, and my feet are still sore.

 

May 17

Well! Another good night's sleep and I think I'll be back together. It was a good night to sleep last night. It was raining when I turned off the monitor, and it rained hard for most of the night, and it was foggy and nasty. It was more of the same today, with a temperature in the low 40s, and it was raining hard when I should have gone to the post office, so I didn't.

 

I did stick my head out the door a bit. This morning, I noticed that one of the perches had fallen (or been pushed) out of the feeder, and since it was getting empty, I fetched it in and, I think, fixed it. I left the seed on the deck, and I am just going to have to find a platform feeder. There were lots of birds that won't perch in the feeder, mostly sparrows, but some of them were white crowned and white throated, and a song sparrow or two. The seed on the deck also kept most of the blue jays out of the feeder.

 

The bird of the day, however, was the rose breasted grosbeak. Oh, but he's pretty! He was reluctant to try the feeder...it's a little small for him...and at one point when it was raining hard, I saw him huddled up in the branches of the pine looking miserable. I do hope he'll come back.

 

Actually there were several other visitors. The nuthatch was around, and there was a clay-colored sparrow, the first I have ever seen. While I was mostly watching the feeders, my eye caught something out the south windows, and I looked up to see a young eagle soar by. Laurel Rooks said the other dayt that the eagle population has exploded, but this is the first one I've seen for sure. The vultures are back, too, but I didn't see fit to mention them the day I saw them soaring around the fort campground.

 

Anyway, the cold damp weather has made the poor birds awfully hungry, and there were tons of sparrows around the feeder and on the deck all day long. I'm not worried about leaving seed on the deck. If the birds and chipmunks don't clean it up today, something will take care of it over night. I have the suspicion that something is responsible for the perch coming off the feeder, but it's really hard to say.

 

I must also report that Buster is getting his exercise. There was another mouse last night, or this morning, rather, about 2 am. Fortunately, it didn't come into the bedroom, and I guess he chased it back where ever it came from, but I actually think it's good for him. He needs the exercise. He was asleep someplace (I don't know where) when I got up this morning, but he was surprisingly wakeful for most of the day, except when he was dozing on my lap. Now he is asleep again. He has taken up residence on one of the Ny chairs, where I threw a couple of fleece throws, and he has made a nice little nest for himself in a place where he can monitor all activity. The Ny chair is a sort of canvas sling chair that I bought many years ago when I could still get out of low-slung chairs. If I ever get the boxes out of the great room, I'll try to get a picture of my black mouser taking his ease...

 

It has finally stopped raining, but it is still foggy and nasty, and the temperature is only about 40 here...a lot cooler than over at the NWS station. The wind has turned from the north, though, so I am getting the cold air off the lake. They are saying that tomorrow will be better. I hope so. I think it's time to take a trip to Houghton and lay in some gas and food, and there are a number of things I need from Walmart...from toilet paper to bird seed. As usual, I keep thinking of things then forgetting. I will have to start a list.

 

When I got up at 2 am, there was a boat out in the lake sounding its foghorn. I still love to hear that sound, even though it's not as deep as they were when I was a child. Five second blast...every couple of minutes, I think, although I wasn't timing the intervals. Imagine trying to sleep on board when that's going on! He was quite far out in the lake, wisely, so it wasn't very loud, but I went to sleep to it.

 

I did get one box of clothes unpacked, which is good, but all that bending and standing was hard on my back, so I didn't do another one.

 

I have been spending too much time playing on the computer, and my eyes are telling me so in no uncertain terms. The cataracts are definitely making a difference in my close to middle distance vision, so I will have to try to wean myself away from the games and try to do something else. 

 

One of the projects I brought along is a sweater that I started re-knitting five or six years ago and put aside for more interesting things. It is done in an ombre yarn (boy, is that stuff old!) in sky blue, greens and purple, rather muted, and I liked it so well that after I developed my oversized crew sweater pattern, I tore it out and began it over. I'm working on the body, which is several hundred stitches around and around until I run out of yarn (or patience), and it's a wonderful project to work on while I read, except that it's a bit bulky now. The yarn is weird in that while it's all the same dye lot, some of the skeins work up in a random pattern, some of the other ones come out in very definite stripes. There is a two inch area right across the chest under the arms that is all diagonal stripes, then it goes random, and the next ball is coming out in elongated stripes. I actually liked the thick stripes, and I wish the whole thing would look like that, but no such luck. It will be a good thing to wear around here, pretty colors but not quite right for the big city. The yarn feels like it needs to be washed, which makes it hard to work on, but I'm making some progress.

 

I would really like to start on the yarn I got to replace the sweater I felted by accident last fall, but I'm resisting, at least till the vest is done. I am working on the next-to-last rectangle on the vest, and after that, there is just a very small yoke and the edging, so that is coming along well.

 

So that is all there is on a misty, moisty day in the field.

 

May 16

I guess my late nights have finally caught up with me, and I sat around like a zombie all day. Oh, well. It was that kind of day.

 

I did finish row 12 of the sampler, but that was about all I accomplished.

 

The weather was cloudy, except for a ray of sunshine around 10 am, and it got into the low 50s, but there was hardly any wind. I stepped out late this afternoon to breathe the fresh air and look at my garden, and it was actually pretty nice out.

 

In the garden, there are peonies and iris coming up amongst the weeds, and the one plant that the deer liked a lot last year seems to have made it. I should get some kind of deer repellent and see if I can find out what it is...I think it's a phlox, but last year every time it put out some more leaves, they got chewed off. I don't see the white coneflower, but maybe it's too early for it. I was going to move it or dig it out anyway, since it got right on top of an iris, but maybe it didn't make it. I can't see the roses well enough from the deck to know if they're all right.

 

I spent some time in the ugly chair, knitting and reading, and I am happy to report that there were a few goldfinches today. The males are so brilliant they almost seem to glow, and even the females are more yellow than green. I hope to entice more of them, so I'll have to put out the sock feeders. The sparrows have decided they like thistle seed, too, which annoys me, but oh, well. In the middle of the afternoon, I had a flock of blue jays. They annoy me because all the little birds disappear when they show up, but they're fun to watch. Each one seems to have his or her own way of trying to get into the feeder. Some are small enough that they can perch and stick their bills into the hole by the perch. One was tall enough that it could perch on one perch and eat out of the hole one perch up. Several of them were making flying stabs at the holes, trying to pick off a seed or two on the fly, but I don't think they were very successful.

 

The minute the jays went away, the little birds came back, although they did discourage the goldfinches. The chickadee was around, and there was a junco and a white crowned sparrow in the tree, but he wouldn't eat from the feeder. It's really tempting to get a platform feeder for the jays and the little birds that won't perch. I'll have to look around and see what I can find.

 

Apparently the windows are pretty invisible, because several jays ran into them today, but there didn't seem to be much damage. I was looking at that window, and one of these days, I'll have to wash it. There are bird imprints all over the outside and something on the inside, too. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to interfere with the camera.

 

The shades of night are falling early tonight, because it's so cloudy, and the harbor has glassy spots in it, and it's another quiet and serene day in the field.

 

May 15

It was a cloudy night and morning, but the sun came out this afternoon, and it's still clear, but the temperature never got above the low 40s, so it was right brisk out there. The sun made it warm in the house, and it was lovely to see the blue water and blue sky.

 

I noticed yesterday that the willows around the post office are beginning to turn yellowish, and today the maples with the red flowers are in full bloom. These are the same maples as the one in my front yard on Champine, I think, but they don't grow as large or robust here. And when we came out of Mariner tonight, the spring peepers were singing (rather slowly) in the park behind the community building. So spring is on its way. Stay tuned.

 

I took my time about getting up and about, but I did make it to the post office (it is still on winter hours - 12 pm to 3 pm, with the "lobby" open until 5), and it was good that I did, because my forwarded mail is beginning to come through and my box was full.

 

Before I went out, I hauled out the vacuum and cleaned up the floor in the office. It's now about as clean as it ever has been or is likely to be. I finally got rid of the remains of the flies in the slider track, and I'm hoping it will slide better now.

 

Then I followed up on one of the conversations I had last night, and spent some time visiting with a friend in town and showing her  how to use her digital camera. She owns a business in town, and this time of year is about the only time she has time to talk.

 

Buster was not pleased, because I was gone most of the afternoon. Besides, when I got home, I decided to move the sewing machine and the CraftStor boxes into the office. That would have been all right, except that when I tried to tip the hand truck back, the two boxes tipped off the front, down the breezeway stairs, and all over the floor, so I spent some time putting everything back in the boxes. Grr. When I go to Walmart next, I am going to have to try to find some bungee cords or straps or something to strap up those boxes so that the lids don't come off when they tip. 

 

I went to Mariner for dinner - nachos - and as I was leaving Shirley and Cindy were coming in for a nightcap, so I turned around and went back in, and got home quite late. I don't expect to make a habit of it, but it was a nice evening.

 

Tomorrow I will have to get the sewing machine in place and set up, and make sure the CraftStors are sorted out properly. I sort of dumped stuff back in them.

 

This has turned out to be a rather social weekend, and I will have to make up for it by hibernating tomorrow.

 

May 14

Well, of course, I ended up staying up too late last night and getting up too late this morning, and I finally ate "breakfast" at 2 pm. I've been here a whole week now and the boxes are still out in the breezeway.

 

However, I did finally get my sweeping and dusting done in the office this afternoon, and tomorrow I will break out the vacuum and finish up. Buster was not at all pleased.

 

One reason I've not been pushing to get the boxes in here is that I don't quite know what I'm going to do with them. There really isn't that much storage space on the first floor in this place, and I like to have all my "stuff" at hand. If I can get the vacuuming done, I can set up the sewing machine, then I can possibly get at some of the things I thought I would do over the winter and didn't. I might as well, while the weather is like it is.

 

It was ugly today. It rained more or less hard all day long, and it was dull and gray and foggy. The temperature never hit 40, and it was raw and misty when it wasn't raining. The lake was speaking moderately, although the wind wasn't too strong.

 

I love to hear the lake. it has all kinds of moods. Yesterday morning, I could hear the bell buoy, it was so quiet, but by afternoon there was a quiet roar (if there is such a thing) that is still going on. It sounds rather like a far-away train. As the wind rises and the sea rises, the roar deepens and gets louder, till when we're having a gale, sometimes it keeps me awake it's so loud. There were breakers on the rocks between the lighthouse and Porter Island, and there were also a few on the shore of the harbor across from the "gap" as I've always called it. Here in the east end, it was quiet, though. There has to be a 20 mph or greater wind out of the northwest before there are any breakers on my shore, and I doubt there is ever much action down at the west end.

 

And then there are the days in the summer where it's as quiet as a millpond, and all I can hear is a quiet gurgling through the rocks on the shore. I love to stand on the deck early in the morning when it's like that and just smell and look and listen. 

 

This afternoon the volunteer fire department had their spaghetti dinner, which I'm happy to say was very well attended. I think they'll do well. Everyone in town came, as well as a slew of people from the entire area. The food was good and the fellowship was good. I came home with a couple of things from the bake sale...although I could have bought everything at the table. Yum. Nobody minded the weather at all.

 

So I've been here a week already. Time goes too fast.

 

May 13

I got to bed too late last night, and got up too late this morning, but there wasn't much reason to get up earlier. It was cloudy and rainy and 40-ish all day long, and I didn't even stick my nose outside. However, if it's going to be this kind of weather, I'd rather be here. 

 

I'd rather be here anyway.

 

The bird feeders were a source of enjoyment for both of us today. There still haven't been any goldfinches...I wonder where they are? However, the chipping sparrows have decided they like thistle seed, too. Sort of an expensive way to feed sparrows. The bird of the day was a  male downy woodpecker, who came several times this morning for sunflower seeds. There was also a redwing blackbird and a cowbird (boo! hiss!). The chickadees were back and forth all day long, and two of my teensy chipmunks are back. A lot of this was of great interest to Buster, too, especially when little things were running or hopping around on the deck.

 

I forgot to mention yesterday that on the way home from the ladies' meeting, I nearly ran over a grouse that was standing by the side of the road across from my house, and there was a pair of mergansers, he in his black and white mating plumage, in the harbor in front of the house yesterday morning. I'm sure if it warms up some, more birds will come.

 

Because it was so nasty outside, I didn't do the hummingbird feeders, although I did locate the hangers. Tomorrow?

 

In fact, I didn't do much, except some knitting this morning and some embroidery this afternoon. It was that kind of day.

 

And now when I want get this published and go to bed, one of my favorite Beethoven piano concertos is playing, so I have to wait till that's done...

 

The only way it could have been quieter in the field is if I'd slept all day...

 

May 12

It was a cloudy night last night and this morning, although it was rather bright. I was up by 8 am, and Buster was asleep, so I got some knitting done, then I had breakfast at a reasonable hour and got some embroidery done. On the embroidery scene, I have done the last of the "over three" patterns and started on the first "over two" patterns - threads, that is. This is nice mindless work which nevertheless requires some concentration. I don't know that it's going to be particularly pretty, but like a lot of the other reproduction samplers I have done, it's the process, not the product, that's important.

 

There was a meeting of the "Ladies Handwork" group at Carolyn's house this afternoon, and i always like to go to those, just to see some of my fellow Harborites. This was a good group, and I had a nice time. This year, there is going to be one more meeting, which is great so far as I'm concerned. A different selection of ladies comes to each meeting, and it's always fun. Harbor people are great anyway, and the women are the greatest.

 

One of the things they do is someone always brings a "what is it?" item, and today Laurel Rooks came with a real barnacle (minus the animal, of course) from a whale. I had never seen one before, and it was a neat thingie. The shell, or whatever you call it, looks and feels just about like concrete. No wonder they're such a problem to remove from ships!

 

When I got home, I immediately took out my list of address changes, which I should have attended to before I left Detroit, and took care of all but two. It isn't such a chore as it used to be because I have considerably downsized my magazine subscriptions, but it's always a chore I hate. It's worse when I move back south, of course, because I get awfully tired of saying "C, as in Charles, H, A, M, as in mother, P, as in Peter, I, N, E, Place", but you wouldn't believe how many times it's been misspelled even when I do sound it out. And Champine is a good old French name, so far as I know, that goes back to the French farmers who originally settled the land where my house is located. And sometimes the zipcode isn't changed, or something else is screwed up. The problem with having two houses is that a change of address is only temporary, and while the postal service will forward first class mail forever, they will only forward periodicals for two months (and at least my old mail carrier was unclear about what is a periodical). There are a few things about this migration that are a real pain, and this is one of them. Well, at least it's nearly fixed. Two phone calls and one visit to a website tomorrow, and I'll be set until November, I think.

 

Oh, I'm forgetting. Before I even had breakfast this morning, I put out the bird feeders. Tomorrow I must do the hummingbird feeders, because I heard today that they're back, too. The first bird was a chipping sparrow, and it was eating thistle seed (I didn't know they liked thistle seed!). Later in the day, the chickadees were around and there was even one junco (a.k.a. snowbird) who tried it out. I know the goldfinches are eating at John Dee's feeder, so I assume they'll be here soon. As soon as they are, I'll put out the sock feeders, too. Both Buster and I (and I think some visitors to the webcam) enjoy watching the birds at the feeders. I may have to make some adjustments to both the feeders and the camera so we can all enjoy the fun. I know last year I had some really interesting birds.

 

It was a day the locals live for, so far as the temperature was concerned, today. The temperature got into the middle 70s (for the first time this year - it's been a cold spring, as I've mentioned), and there was actually some sun this afternoon. Late in the afternoon, the clouds rolled in, and shortly after 7 pm we were having a nice thunderstorm, with a modest amount of lightening and lots of rain. I had opened the sliders, and I was really disappointed to have to close them, but it was raining in. When I checked about an hour ago, it was still raining, but the storm celss have moved off to the east. I guess the rest of the week is supposed to be rainy and cooler, but this afternoon was a time we all wanted to be outdoors or nearly outdoors.

 

That reminds me that I will have to put the towel on one chair on the porch, so Buster will have a nice, comfy place to sit. The chairs are imitation wicker, and I think it hurts his feet. but last summer, as soon as I put the towel on the chair, he claimed it and was really happy every time the door was open.

 

He wasn't too happy this evening, because there was noise, and then there was all that water, and he doesn't like water at all. He did get to sleep in my arms for sometime, however, so he wasn't completely upset. I think now he is off in his cubby in the closet: my shorts and tank tops are going to have a lot of black cat hair on them.

 

So it was another lovely day in the field...

 

May 11

When I went to bed last night, Venus was shining brightly, and all night long the stars were out. Around 4 am or so, I woke up, and Jupiter was shining right in my windows, so bright and steady... in Leo, which is my sign.

 

It was clear almost until sunrise this morning, then it began to cloud up, and it was partly cloudy all day long, although there was some sunshine late in the day. The temperature got up to the low 50s, but there wasn't so much wind. I guess the rest of the week is supposed to be rainy, with more thunderstorms and temperatures lower each day. It seems to me I was through all this already, but that's all right, because we do need the moisture.

 

My intentions were good this morning, and I even got dressed before breakfast, but that was about it. I did locate all the bird feeder hangers, and barring a torrential rain tomorrow morning, I will get the feeders out. There are a few other things I will be doing, too, but I guess I am still recovering from my arduous week. Enough, already. Time to move.

 

I had just awakened about 4, as I mentioned, when Buster went ka-thud off the dresser, which is one of his favorite sleeping spots, and went skittering down the hall. I presume it was another mouse. I'm hoping that eventually he will chase them all out of the house for the summer. That is a good reason for me to try to clean up thoroughly before I leave in the fall...and put my slippers up high and out of reach! I don't think we can keep them out completely, but we can try not to give them much to eat. There was even mouse poop on my bedspread, which didn't make me too happy...what would happen if they got into the down, I don't like to think about!

 

So it is now dark, and as soon as the Beethoven is over, I will trundle down the hall. It's so much nicer not to have to haul myself up two flights of stairs and clamber into the bathtub to take my shower. How I love it here!

 

All quiet in the field, as we wait for spring...

 

May 10

Well, I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, but I did get a package off to my attorney, and I got all the bathroom stuff put away - bottles of pills and stuff like that.

 

While I was filling my pill dispensers, I discovered the probable reason why I was so uncomfortable Saturday night and so swelled up yesterday: I forgot to take my pills before I went to bed Saturday. That includes some Tylenol for the aches and an allergy pill.

 

Last night, I did everything I was supposed to, and I really slept very well, considering that it was a rather active night. I was awakened about 12:15 by something, and when I looked out the windows, there was almost continuous lightening in the sky. It was a funny storm, because even though the lightening was remarkable, and I know I actually saw a couple of bolts almost over the harbor, the thunder sounded like it was several miles away. I'm not sure whether it was higher up in the sky or it was further out over the lake than I thought. Anyway, it was a good show, and it went on for around half an hour before the storm moved out over the end of Keweenaw and out into the big lake. It rained some, too, but not loudly enough to keep me awake.

 

Then, around 4:30 this morning, I was awakened again by Buster racing around the house and thumping around in a most characteristic manner, and when I turned on the light and put on my glasses, sure enough, he was harassing a little mouse. It was a lively sort, and it ran down the hall, but I have the suspicion it might have ended up under one of my night tables. I will have to move them (something I should do anyway) and make sure there aren't any remains.

 

After that I went back to sleep again, but when I woke up around 6:30, Buster was all full of vim, vigor and meows, telling me all about it and what a beautiful morning it was, and wasn't I going to get up? Nope. I finally crawled out of bed at around 8:30, and by that time he was snoozing in the closet, so I got to do some knitting before he realized I was up and came to sit on my lap. That mouse really jazzed him up, though, and he bugged me for most of the morning before he finally went away to sleep. Cats his age are supposed to sleep a lot more than he does, and I wish he would.

 

I did get my package to the post office before the pickup, and I now have the box with my papers in it in the office, but otherwise, I just goofed off today. The boxes from UPS arrived this afternoon and they are all in the great room, ready to be unpacked when I get to it. 

 

The weather was beautiful most of the day. although it was cloudy this morning and the NWS says there was a trace of rain  between 10 am and 11 am - I don't know about that, because the camera shot shows nearly clear skies. Early in the morning, between 7am and 8 am there was a lot of fog in the harbor. The temperature got into the middle 50s, really nice, and the wind was rather brisk from the northwest, strong enough to raise some nice little whitecaps on the harbor. The NWS reports of high 50s may have been true for town - it seemed warmer when I was there - but it didn't get nearly that warm here. However, it was a lovely day to sit and watch the sun on the water.

 

Oh, yes, I had two telephone calls today, one from my financial advisor, and the other from the investigator from the NASD. So that was rather interesting.

 

Otherwise, it was a wonderfully quiet day in the field.

 

May 9

Let me wish a happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. 

 

On the way down the hall last night, I could see Venus shining brightly through the windows, to the right of the lighthouse, right over where the sun had set. It was so bright and so pretty! When the lights were out, there were other stars, too...it was a clear night, at least until about 3am, after which I lost track.

 

I slept forever, and when I woke up, I was groggy and tired and so stiff I could hardly move. This is not unusual: frequently I feel the effects of overexertion two days after the exercise. For some reason, my hands and feet are very swelled up, and that makes it hard to walk or do anything else.

 

As a result this was a nearly lost day. I sat in the office until after noon, doing nothing and trying to figure out what to have to eat, then I embroidered for a long time...it was nearly 4 pm before I got moving at all.

 

I guess I did finally accomplish a few things: the suitcases are unpacked and put away, although I haven't sorted out the outer clothes yet, the cat food and non-perishables I brought with me are put away, and the hurricane shutters are rolled up.

 

It was a rather dull day, partly to mostly cloudy, with quite a wind from the south, but the temperature did get into the upper 50s, so I decided I'd better at least poke my nose out the door and smell the fresh air. Besides, the kitchen and hall are so dark when the shutters are down that I just hate it. The shutters do what I intended: protect the porch and the furniture during the winter, but I don't like to have them rolled down when I am here.

 

It smelled really good outside, but I have very stuffed up sinuses and I'm not smelling or tasting very well at all right now. What's great about the air is that it either smells good or it smells like nothing at all. So pure and clean!

 

Late in the afternoon, I spent some time sitting in the ugly chair, and even though I was looking at the same picture the camera shows, it was so good to watch the wind blowing the clouds across the sky and making swirls on the face of the harbor. Being here is much better.

 

Tomorrow, I hope to be doing better, and unless it is pouring rain, I will get the bird feeders set up. There are goldfinches in Lake Linden, so I suppose they are here, too. I would have done it today, except that with the wind (15 - 25 mph), there wouldn't have been any birds anyway. I will move the camera a bit to the left so that everyone can see the feeders, too.

 

I think I will try leaving them outside overnight until I see what kind of critters I have around here this year.

 

Speaking of critters, it looks like I had an army of mice in here over the winter. There was mouse poop on my dining table, some on my bed, and when I took off the towel to sit down in the ugly chair, there was a little pile of all the birdseed that I'd left on the floor, neatly placed in one of the tufts of the seat! They are all gone now, or Buster would be having the time of his life.

 

He is very clingy and somewhat nervous, although he was happy to sleep on the footstool while I was in the ugly chair. As soon as I moved out of it to make my dinner, he got into it, so I guess I'll have to share with him.

 

So it was a quiet day and although it's a while till sunset, since it's cloudy it's getting kind of dim. My plan is to get to bed early and sleep long and hope tomorrow is more productive.

 

It's wonderful being back in the field again.

 

May 8

First off, we got here safe and sound, and I'm so glad to be here. But in order.

 

Thursday was not the most wonderful day to be schlepping boxes around, especially with the way I sweat. It was 70 already when I got downstairs, and it felt humid, no matter what the NWS said. It got up to 82 late in the day, which is much hotter than I've experienced for over a year. I nearly melted away.

 

I did it in stages: first I packed everything, then I moved everything to the top of the stairs in the order it would go into the car, then I moved it to the back door, and then into the car. It meant lifting the boxes several times, but it was easier than trying to carry each box downstairs and out. I got everything in the car but the last minute stuff - the cooler, the laundry bag, and a few odds and ends.

 

By the time the car was safely back in the garage I was totally exhausted and I ached in every muscle and joint. I was surprised what a few minutes sitting down and a double JD did for me, and I managed to get the plants watered before I dragged my bones upstairs for a nice, cooling shower. I did take a sleeping pill, but I think I probably would have slept almost as well without it. When I say I'm out of shape, I'm not kidding.

 

I was up shortly after 6 am Friday, with not enough sleep, but I didn't feel too bad. I pulled a fast one on Buster again. When he came down to get his breakfast, I stuffed him in the carrier. He was not happy. As soon as I moved the car to the back door, I got him in the cage, where he had water and a pan, then I finished packing the car. It was good that I got up so early, because it was 8:30 before I got away anyway.

 

Overnight, we had had a short thunderstorm, and it was a lovely 50-ish day Friday, mostly clear, but a good temperature for driving. 

 

Leaving when I did meant I hit the end of the rush hour on I-75, and traffic was heavy until I got north of Bay City, so we didn't make as good time as usual. Unfortunately, Buster made a mess in the center of the cage when we started rolling...probably it was totally an accident, but I wasn't in a position to clean it up, so he had to skirt the edges of the cage all day. He howled for about 45 minutes when we left, and every time he woke up all day long, he howled some more. He evidently was frothing at the mouth part of the time, too, so he was sort of a mess. Poor Buster.

 

The weather was beautifully clear all the way to Munising - somehow, there is frequently sort of a line about there. The Straits were as beautiful as I've ever seen them. Under a clear sky, the water was dark, dark blue with little whitecaps, except where it got shallow, where it was aqua. So pretty!

 

There was a minimum of traffic north of West Branch, and all the construction seems south of there, too, so north of there, I made good time until I hit the rush hour in Marquette. West of Munising there were high cirrus clouds, but it was mostly sunny.

 

The construction just south of the bridge in Houghton is going to make driving really fun this summer, but they have re-routed traffic in such a way that it's really easier to cross going north from the east.

 

While I had to follow a camper half way down the covered road, we pulled into the garage at about 7 pm. After my exertions of Thursday and sitting all day Friday, I was really sore and creaky, so I only unloaded the bare minimum of what I needed from the car.  Buster did let me pick him out of the cage and carry him into the house with only a little wiggling. 

 

He immediately cased the joint: he did not make a beeline for the sofa, which delighted me. He was all over, however, and I wonder if he was looking for DC. It appeared he might be.

 

The first thing I did was to break the computer. There was a message about updates to Internet Security, so I decided to try to download them right then, and I left the camera running. One of the files is 20mb, and such large ones are always a problem at 28kb. When I tried to restart the computer, it appeared to hang up. Now I think it probably wasn't hung, but it looked like it to me, so I started fooling around and got a bunch of errors, including blue screens, so I finally ended up doing a massive rollback to the beginning of the day. That took some time.

 

Then it was on to try to move the files from the laptop. Well! I've now pretty much determined that the only way to successfully move files is to push them from the computer where they reside to the target. Every time I've tried to pull them from the computer where they reside to the target (that is, run the process on the target computer), it gets partway done and loses the USB connection and can't find it again until after it's been rebooted...maybe several times. That happened last night.

 

So finally, around 11:30, I said bag it, rolled back to before I started moving files, shut everything down, and went to bed. Whew!

 

My lovely shower was delightful and the rose bed is just as comfortable as I remembered, but I woke up in the middle of the night and was restless for quite some time because I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie.

 

This morning, it was partly sunny and nice when I woke up, and I took my time, although I was in the office while I drank my orange juice. I managed to do the downloads, and I checkpointed them by rebooting before I tried Laplink again. I tried pulling the files first, and had the same problem as before, but after several reboots, various blue screens and a lot of other junk, I managed to get the connection to work from the laptop to the desktop, and I think I got all the files moved successfully. At least, everything I've looked at so far has been all right. Gad, what an ordeal! And how annoying!

 

When I went to the post office to announce my presence, I took a corner  a bit fast, and one of my CraftStor boxes of embroidery tools landed upside down in the back of the car, and it made a real mess, so ;ate this afternoon, I finally got all the boxes and other stuff out of the car. It's mostly in the breezeway, but I'll be able to bring it in slowly as I need it and as I get the place cleaned up a bit.

 

It was a gorgeous afternoon, sunny and lovely, with light winds. The temperature here got up to almost 60, although the NWS isn't reporting that high. It finally cleared up completely late in the day, and sunset was pretty...and it's way, way north of the lighthouse. Venus should be over there, too, so I will have to look for her tonight.

 

Because it's Mother's Day weekend, Mariner had their buffet tonight, so I met Shirley there for dinner. It was good to eat their food again, and it was a very nice buffet. I do love their salad bar. It was good to see Shirley again. She looks good, even if she isn't feeling so good.

 

Buster has calmed down a lot, although he still wants to cling to me. He only got dry food for dinner last night, but he has eaten pretty well twice today. He's been down to the litter trays, although when I went down to reset the circuit breaker (apparently the speakers on the computer are plugged into some outlet other than the surge protector, which is interesting, and I'll have to do something about that, since I discovered I've come to rely on the noises). We'll see if he sleeps with me tonight. He didn't last night.

 

So now I'm tired again, and maybe I can sleep better tonight, since I'm not quite so stiff and sore.

 

Well, we're here, and we will be for 28 weeks, more or less. It's good to be here. How I love this place!

 

May 5

All I can say is, this is more like the way it was supposed to be. I submitted my arbitration request before I went upstairs last night, and so I was awake for a couple of hours during the night thinking about the arbitration hearing. I had to get up at a semi-reasonable hour because I really wanted to got to Bible class. I made that, and it turned out to be very nice, although the man from the cemetery talked over-long. The rest of it was nice, and I got to say good-bye to those people.

 

Then it was off to Farmer Jack, and I think I got everything I wanted to get there.

 

I had some problem getting started once I got home, but that's nothing new. The boxes left at 4 pm, and I now have a kitchen so clean it doesn't seem like mine. I did have to sit down every so often, because all the bending and lifting is doing a number on my back, but it's done. It's not perfect, but it will do.

 

There are a few things that will not get done, like the inside of the fridge, but that's because I procrastinated too long.

 

While I was working on the kitchen and waiting for the package people to arrive, I had a call from my lawyer, and she thinks I really do need help with this arbitration thing, so I dutifully went upstairs and moved the yearend reports to my file box. When I get settled in, like Monday, I will send her all the information I have. I know it will cost me, but it might increase my chances of getting something out of it.

 

I am now very tired, but tonight is the night to move the files, so I will have to stay until that is done, then pack up the laptop and shut down the desktop. At least I'm sitting down, although my feet are sore.

 

It was a lovely day to be flying around here, sunny with temps that got into the low 60s briefly. I guess the rain is supposed to come tomorrow, then Friday will be OK...which proves it's not a good idea to believe weather forecasts for more than a couple of days in the future. While I don't relish loading the car between thunderstorms, I'd rather do that than drive in them.

 

It wasn't so nice in Copper Harbor today. It was gray and cloudy all day, but the temperature did get into the middle 40s. The showers are supposed to hit there tonight, so Friday should be OK.

 

So now I will publish this and pack things up. If it's an easy (relatively speaking, of course) trip and I get there at some decent hour, and I'm not too tired, you might hear from me Friday, but don't be surprised if there isn't anything new in the journal until Saturday.

 

I'm really looking forward to climbing into the rose bed. I am not looking forward to hassling the cat, who is still really upset, and the length of the drive is just a necessary evil.

 

I will make it! Amazing.

 

May 4

The shipping boxes are packed, but not sealed, and will be picked up tomorrow afternoon. Whew! The beads are packed up (and picked up - in the process of clearing the cutting table, I dumped most of a half kilo of beads out of the bag and had to put them back), and most of the other stuff that has to be packed is in neat piles. The bathroom is clean, except for the floor, which is carpeted and needs vacuuming. And it's only Tuesday! 

 

I went out to the pet store and Kroger's today, so that is taken care of. I need to go to Bible class tomorrow, in part to leave off some stuff and pass on my mother's notebook from the last rummage sale she worked on to the next generation. On my way home, I will do Farmer Jack and get my sandwiches for the trip north, some cheese (Kroger's has ceded the fancy cheese market to the Food Emporium), and some ham slices. Since the boxes will be picked up, I'm thinking I will go to the gas station and gas up on my way back, and then I won't need to go out at all on Thursday, which will help.

 

I think we may make it.

 

I didn't have a good night last night. All the running (well...walking slowly) of stairs resulted in leg cramps in both calves at 4 am, which took a good half hour to work out. However, it's earlier tonight than it was last, and I will be going upstairs as soon as I finish this to try to get an earlier start. There are a few things that won't get done...like potting...and planting (I may just take those primroses with me), but I think the essential things will get done, if I just keep at it.

 

I still haven't taken the plants off the porch, because the weather forecast for last night was so dire. It actually didn't get much below 40 here in the big city, but I was glad I waited. It should be a bit warmer from now on, so I will haul out the plants tomorrow, then I can vacuum up the birdseed on the porch.

 

The big thing, other than packing the things that go into the car, and the car, is the kitchen, and I will try to get at that tomorrow. It is most convenient that trash day is Friday, because I have tons of grocery bags, old food from the fridge, and boxes to put out, as well as a pretty full load of recycling. I will probably do the kitchen tomorrow and most of the packing Thursday, much as I'd rather not...that's an awful lot of stuff to haul down the stairs, one box at a time, two steps at a time with me going down backwards. A single floor house is so much more convenient!

 

Buster is increasingly unhappy, the more boxes that get packed and the more stuff that gets taken downstairs. Being a smart, if self-centered, ,kitty, he knows exactly what is about to befall him and he does not like it. He thinks if he is either very funny, or very loving, or very noisy, maybe it won't happen. Well, I hate to disappoint him, but...

 

Shirley called this evening and we had a  nice talk. She is still living mostly in Hancock, and I don't know when the motel will open. Sully is not doing so well, and getting that place open is a big job. I didn't pursue it. However, we have tentative plans for dinner Saturday.

 

The weather in Copper Harbor was sort of yucky today. It did get into the middle 40s, but there was rain this morning, and it was cloudy most of the day. That's all right. I can imagine breathing that air...

 

Here, it was warmer than yesterday - it made it up to about 60 - and there was a little sunshine, although it clouded up later in the afternoon. Not much to talk about.

 

Well, besides leg cramps and gas, I have been having weird dreams again, so I guess I'll go and have some more, and think about crawling into my lovely rose bed in about three days...

 

May 3

It was a better day today than yesterday, although it started rather slowly. I didn't sleep very well last night, because I made the mistake of having bean soup for dinner, and since my cold seems to have done a number on my gut (strange, that), I spent the night so full of gas it was a wonder I didn't float away. So I wanted to sleep in a bit this morning, but Buster has decided 8am is the time we're getting up now, and when I didn't he fussed around, meowing and stomping on me, until I did.

 

After breakfast, I got to embroidering again, so that took some time, too.

 

However, I think I have the clothes all sorted and three boxes are pretty much packed. I also went to the post office and the bank.

 

Tomorrow maybe I can get an earlier start (I decided against having a pastrami sandwich for dinner just in case...), because I need to go to the pet supply store and Kroger's, and I do want to get all the boxes packed up.

 

What's hard is that the boxes to be shipped are supposed to hold the overflow from what I can take in the car, but I need to pack the shipping boxes first. Makes it confusing, and I'm sure after they are gone I will discover some things I should have sent.

 

Buster now knows for sure that we are going, because the boxes are out, and he is very upset. I keep trying to console him, but all he can think about is that horrible car ride. Poor baby. This is when I wish I could  make him understand a little more. He'll be fine once we get there and he settles down again, but right now he is not a happy camper.

 

The weather here was cool again. It was beautifully sunny when I got up, and soon there were puffy white clouds in a sky that was about as blue as it ever gets in this dirty city, but the clouds took over and the afternoon was cloudy, with temps that only got into the mid 40s. There is a frost and freeze warning out for tonight. I haven't put out the plants or turned on the hose bib because it has been so cool, but I will have to do that before I go and hope it doesn't freeze again. Spring in Michigan is so much fun.

 

The gardeners were here today, and the old lilac is starting to bloom, but it was too cold to smell it. My senses of smell and taste are pretty much zapped right now anyway, because of the cold, but it needs a warm, humid day to really get the odor of the lilacs and gooseberries.

 

It was a beautiful day in Copper Harbor, again, and the temperature briefly got into the 40s, although most of the day was in the 30s. Thanks to one of my correspondents who pointed out that we shot the moon again. Pretty, huh? I never get tired of looking out my windows, day or night, summer or winter. Unfortunately, it was beginning to cloud up at sunset (a big cloud mass in the west), and it's supposed to be cloudy and rainy tomorrow, just like here. Can't wait...

 

According to the weather forecast, I won't have the best weather to travel on Friday. It's supposed to cloud up and possibly rain by afternoon, and that's never fun. However, that's a few days away, so maybe they'll be wrong. They have been before. At least there is a working house with an attached garage at the other end, so it really doesn't matter when I arrive.

 

I will mention this now, but I'll say it again: my intention is to shut down the computer here on Wednesday, and I don't know whether I'll feel like moving the files when I get to Copper Harbor on Friday, so there won't be any journal on Thursday, and it may be Saturday before you hear from me again. The office will be so dusty I'd really like to haul out the vacuum before I hook anything up or move anything in, and I'm sure I won't do that Friday night!

 

So now it's time for bed. Four days...

 

May 2

This was a really lost day. My late nights finally caught up with me, and I didn't want to get up this morning, but since it was the last time I'll sing with the choir until December, I did, and I was useless for the rest of the day.

 

It wasn't a day one wanted to be out here anyway (and I can't type tonight, either!). While the official temperature was in the mid 40s all day, when I got downstairs, my thermometers read 34, and it rained or drizzled all day long, so it was dark and dank and yucky. Bah.

 

In Copper Harbor, while it was cloudy this morning, it cleared up by noon, and the afternoon was perfectly clear, with temps in the mid 30s. If it's going to be that cold here, I want to be there!

 

Well, I'm off for the second story, and tomorrow will be better...it had better be! 

 

May 1

I got to bed so late last night (this morning?) that I slept a bit later than usual, and when I got up, I couldn't remember what I had planned to do today. It didn't help that it was a very dark, dreary day with a few sprinkles and temperatures in the 40s.

 

So it turned out to be sort of a lost day, although I did get the underwear folded and the clothes in the front room sorted out. I certainly did bring a lot home, and I don't remember very well what I'd intended to leave here and what I'd intended to take back. Next November, I will have to try to make notes. The trouble, of course, is that it's impossible to say, in November, what the winter and spring weather will be. This year, I brought too many warm weather things...although I did wonder if maybe bringing a pair of shorts that fit prevented us from having any really beastly hot days.

 

The semi-warm weather we've had is hard for me, because the things I wear in Copper Harbor in that kind of weather really aren't quite appropriate around here. Even though I wear jeans all the time, I try to be a little more dressed in my tops...or maybe I don't have anything like that any more.

 

Anyway, I will take another load up tonight and try to sort that tomorrow and get packing. It was tempting to move everything down to the living room, but then I'd have to do the stairs a lot just in order to get dressed.

 

I've said it before: if it wasn't Copper Harbor, I don't think I could do it. It's a terrible job altogether.

 

I also sort of went through the craft stuff that is in the front room and selected a few balls of sock yarn. Right now, I'm doing two pairs of wool socks, but I feel the need for more cotton or part-cotton socks, so I put some of that together. My intention is to leave there what I don't work on over the summer. I know I left yarn for two or three sweaters last year, and I will probably leave more this year.

 

Buster felt like the weather. While I was embroidering in the bathroom, he was asleep on my bed, and when I moved into the front room, he went to sleep on my shorts, and even all my rustling around didn't disturb him very much. It was that kind of day.

 

It seems to have been rather nice in Copper Harbor today, with temps in the high 30s and sunshine, but you couldn't prove it by the camera. The computer hung up this morning at 9:30 with the phone line connected and it hasn't done anything all day. I'm sorry about that, and I'm really curious to get there and watch it to see what's going on. There may be something flaky in the system, or, more likely, the phone line has gone south again. It will power fail tonight, and with any luck, it will be OK again tomorrow.

 

So we progress, and in six days I'll be there. It looks like I might make it...I wonder what I'm forgetting?

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM