A View From the Field









June, 2004


June 30

Wow, the end of another month already, and on Friday, I'll have been here for eight weeks. How time flies! I am going to make another attempt to go to bed early tonight, since I didn't make it last night. Collapse is addictive, for sure.


Oh, yes, and there was a green screen this morning again, and since I went to bed so late, it was late when I got to the office to check it. Sorry about that. What caused this one, I have no idea. Rebooting cleared it up just fine.


The real story today was the interesting weather. Sometime overnight, probably around 4 am, we had a thunderstorm. It rained like mad, but the thunder sounded like it was quite a long way off. So it was wet and humid when I got up this morning. Smelled heavenly outside. It did clear up rather nicely this morning, with sunshine and blue skies, and temperatures in the 50s. However, around 1:30 it started to cloud up seriously again, and around 3:15, the heavens opened, with accompanying noises, again. That was over in half an hour, so I got to go to the post office, and it cleared up some. Then about 5, the heavens opened again, with high winds and more noise. Now it is nearly clear again, and the sun is out. I think the line of storms is south of us now, and the wind is out of the north, so that should be the end of it.


It was the kind of weather one would expect when the temperature was in the lower 90s, and it did get up into the upper 60s between showers, but the rain cooled things down, and that north breeze has put temperatures back into the mid 50s again. 


I like thunderstorms, so this was kind of fun, especially because if you got here half an hour after it went through, you'd never believe it.


I did some embroidery, and I have a few rows of the blue iris bracelet done, but it really isn't going to be an easy project, and I'm not sure it will come out well enough to justify the difficulty I'm having working it. We'll see. I may just go back to my copper beads.


Buster bugged the heck out of me all morning, but I had started my breakfast and was trying to cut him a piece of ham when I inhaled part of my breakfast and had to make a fast trip, first to the bathroom, then to the closet for some clean clothes. He still wanted his ham, and when I got out of the bathroom for the second time, he was sound asleep on top of my hot-weather clothes in the closet. If it ever gets hot enough and un-buggy enough to wear shorts, I will have to wash them before I can wear them, since they are pretty well covered with black fur. That shelf does seem to be a nice cozy nook for him, and I think he sleeps there a lot. 


Now there. I've said all I have to say, and it's only 9:30! It's dampish in the field tonight, but the sun is shining again. 


June 29

It was Collapse last night, too,  but there was no way I could avoid taking a bath, so it was really late when I got to bed. I was up fairly early this morning, so tonight the collapse is going to be me into bed. Since I just spent a couple of hours trying to get a new bracelet started (everything happened, including getting it caught on me and trailing it half out the door when I went to chase the squirrel, so that the thread was caught under the roller of the screen - egad!) I think the evidence is that I'm tired and I need to make it an earlier night tonight.


I suspect it rained off and on all night, and at daylight this morning, the fog was so thick I couldn't see beyond the deck railing. The rising sun burned it off by about 8:30, and the rest of the morning was just beautiful, clear and calm and it felt warmer than it was. There was a haze of clouds in the sky, though, and along about 2 pm, it thickened up enough to more or less hide the sun. The temperature started out under 50º - the result of the north wind - but it got up into the low 60s before the wind shifted around to the southwest and is now picking up. There may be some showers tonight, too.


I did some embroidery, and started band 17 of the sampler...two more to go!...and finished the bracelet with the copper beads. I think it came out rather well, actually. What I was trying to do when I got tangled up in 7 yards of beading thread was start the one in odd count peyote that I was talking about. Starting one isn't exactly the easiest thing, and all that thread is hard to keep straight anyway. I think I've figured out a way to keep it straight until I get the first few rows done, but not only was it driving me crazy, it's getting dark and the beads are essentially black. So that one's for tomorrow!


Late in the afternoon, I was sitting in the office when a car with a kayak on top pulled up in back of the house, and I had a nice conversation with a man who wanted to tell me in person that some of my pictures have been an inspiration to him during a continuing battle with heart disease. He looks fine and very fit now, but he says he can tell that he's getting clogged up again. While I'm not too much in favor of people coming down the road without my prior permission, I have to say that I do enjoy hearing from all of you who have found some of what goes on at this site inspirational or stress-relieving or something positive. If I can help that way, I'm glad to do it.


Unfortunately, I went out on the porch to talk to him, and now I have a new crop of fly bites, including the first one on the top of my head. There wasn't much wind at that point, and I should have known better, but I have to report that the black flies are not gone yet. Oh, well. Live and learn.


Short hiatus while I brought in the feeders. The birds aren't coming quite so late in the evening now, for some reason. Maybe there is more natural food for them, or maybe they were nesting when they were coming around at sunset. I do have to say that the finches are eating thistle seed like there's no tomorrow. Of course, it's their favorite food, but they're really getting into it now. They like sunflower seed, too.


It's getting pretty dark. A hazy, orange, gibbous moon is shining in the south windows of the office - a really pretty color - and the wind is kicking up quite a fuss, so I think I'll call it a day in the field.


June 28

I got to playing Collapse last night, which I can't do while the phone line is on because it leaks data all over the modem program and pretty soon nothing works right, and the computer shut down on me, so I went to bed without bathing. I really shouldn't do that. My hair is slowly drying out, but it still needs to be washed every day or it starts to look stringy and clings together until it looks like I don't have any, but I was tired.


It was cloudy most of the night, I think, but it was lovely this morning, and it stayed sunny until about 3 pm. Just after 8 pm it started to rain, and that is why the late evening views show the inside of the office. The temperature was in the upper 50s most of the day, but around 5 pm it warmed up to the upper 60s.


I did some embroidery, and I am working on the last motif in band 16 now. Two more to go! I wish I was confident that the colors are from the original sampler and not something Mrs. Montclare put together. Whatever, the placement certainly is odd.


I spent the rest of the afternoon working intermittently on the bracelet, and it is now finished except for the closure. I decided to make it a standard size (7") and not to fit me. It got so dark when it started to rain that I had to turn on the lights for the first time in a while, because I couldn't see the beads, and then I started searching through my stash for a dark green bead of the right size. I really regret that I didn't somehow manage to bring those 5 kilos of Indian beads, because there isn't much green in what I have here. However, I found something that will do, I think, and I also found a few other really pretty things.


The waitress at Harbor Haus suggested that I put my perch in the microwave to crisp them up, and it worked beautifully, and drained off some of the fat besides, so I had a second go at my yummy dinner and it wasn't too much the worse for having been reheated. Yum. 


So now it's after midnight again, and I'd better get this uploaded or the computer will shut off on me again.


It's misty-moisty in the field.


June 27

Well, since I can't tell the copper beads from the dark green beads anymore, I guess it's time to stop for the night.


It was a rather pretty morning when I finally got up this morning, although there were some clouds, and it clouded up after noon. The sun came back out, more or less, around 3 pm, but it's getting cloudy again. Not a sign of rain, though. The wind was around 15 mph from the northwest all day, and the temperature was in the high 50s for most of the day. Nice. Just the way I like it.


I got some embroidery done, and when I came back to the office, after unloading the dish washer, I started the first bracelet with my pretty copper beads. It is pretty - half metallic copper, half copper lined crystal, with a zigzag line of very dark green between. I like it, even though the Czech beads aren't as uniform as the Japanese ones. The Japanese beads don't come in exactly these colors. The copper metallic beads are sort of fat, so that edge has a slight scallop to it. Unfortunately, the green beads are very thin, which makes a bit difficult, but I think it will come out nicely. Of course, I have been thinking of lots of other ideas to use the copper beads with dark green and dark blue...and call them the Copper Harbor bracelets. Fastenings will be something of a problem, but I think I may be able to hunt up enough dark green beads of a suitable size. If not, they will just have to wait until my next order from the bead catalog.


The nice thing about beading is that I can look up and watch the birds between stitches. My new bead mat is quite a success, I must say. It has just the consistency that the beads don't roll around much, but the tip of the needle doesn't get caught in it. Of course I still tiddly wink beads every so often, and I drop a certain number, either on the chair or the floor.


I swept the floor under the chair three times this afternoon, and each time I came up with more beads...not the ones I was looking for, but more beads. It seems like I have a black hole in this floor, too. It swallows the beads when they drop on the floor and then spits them back out a few at a time.


Tomorrow I will finish the bracelet and maybe start another with different beads. Last year I acquired a bunch of different sizes and shapes in a color called blue iris, which is actually more like a black rainbow, and I have an idea of how to combine some of them. The only problem with most of my ideas is that they are an odd number of beads across, and peyote stitch doesn't work really well on an odd number of beads, so I will have to experiment with using two needles, which seems to be the best solution I've seen. Stay tuned.


Tomorrow I am just going to have to attack the floor in front of the door again. I thought I mopped it fairly thoroughly, but from the feel of it under my feet, I just spread the sugar solution around more evenly. I must see if I can get it up, because my feet stick to it when I walk on it. Yuck. It's been a bit cool for the ant forays, but if it warms up much, they will begin, and I do not like having ants in my house.


So that is all there is to report, except that I went back to Harbor Haus and had perch, which were on the menu last night but not tonight, so they were made special for me, and I got a huge serving, half of which I brought home. Good dinner tomorrow, too. Oh, yes, and I ate the rest of last night's whitefish for breakfast, and Buster thought it was pretty good, too. What a funny little cat he is! I never thought I'd want to eat fish for breakfast, but since I ate it after noon, it was just fine.


It's bedtime in the field, and the clouds have covered up the moon for now.


June 26

The sky was fairly clear most of the night, and I saw Arcturus setting, but it was cloudy when the sun rose. By the time I made it out of bed, however, it was beginning to clear up, and there was lots of sunshine and lots of wind all day long. The temperature got up to the upper 50s, and it was a really lovely day. The black fly infestation seems to be on its way out, but the mosquitoes are fast replacing them. 


I took my time about getting up and getting food, but I didn't embroider too long, because I had the last load of wash in the washer and I wanted to get it dried. 


I actually did some cleaning, as well as folding all the clothes. The bathroom is clean again, except for the floor, which needs the vacuum and the mop, the kitchen is cleaner than it was when I got here, and I actually got out the mop and pail and more or less spot cleaned the floor. Whew! All this with intermittent stops, of course, to rest my back. The floor is better, although I just discovered, when I brought in the bird feeders, that I didn't do a very good job on the place in front of the slider where I've spilled all the nectar. It is still sticky when I stand on it. I'm afraid I didn't get all the spots off the kitchen, either, but it's better.


Anyway, it looked halfway decent when my guests arrived. Joe is a very nice man, and he has a nice son, too, and I'm glad to have met him in person. We enjoyed Harbor Haus, and he enjoyed the views, both from here and from there. We had a very pleasant time. The only thing was, Buster made himself scarce. It's too bad, because they are cat people, and they would have given him lots of attention. He is a weird little cat.


It is nice to have a clean house and clean clothes again, and tomorrow I can to back to things I like to do better.


So that is another day in the field, and the moon is shining on the water now.


June 25

Please excuse the green screen this morning. I decided to sleep in, so of course nothing came up properly. Shutting off the power to everything cleared up the problem, but the first good picture wasn't until 10 am.  Not that you missed anything. It was so cloudy this morning that for a few minutes I thought it might be raining, but it was just the leaves in the trees again. It began to clear up around noon, and the afternoon and evening were just glorious. The temperature got into the mid 50s, and the wind was fairly brisk out of the northwest, and I could take a whole summer of this.


So I just enjoyed it. I did some embroidery, and most of the wash. The last load is in the dryer now, along with the tee I was wearing when I upset my dinner tray and splashed steak juice all over myself. Sometimes I am more klutzy than other times. I was going to start a bracelet with some of my new beads, but every time I thought about it, there was something else to do first.


Late in the afternoon I got a phone call from a friend I made through the website, whose grandparents were good friends of my grandparents. It's a small world indeed. He is here with his son, who goes to Tech's hockey camp, and wants to come up for dinner tomorrow.


That precipitated a few minutes of frantic activity, since the floor of the office had disappeared under newspapers and boxes again. It's nice to be able to walk across the office without tripping over anything. I still want to try to make some sense out of the desk, straighten up the kitchen, and think about getting out the mop. That probably won't happen, but I have been spilling hummingbird nectar all over the place, and the floor in front of the slider is sticky. It's a wonder I don't have ants. It's good that I have these episodes, because otherwise, I probably wouldn't do any cleaning, and things get gross after a while.


Oh, yes. For the record, I got a huge pile of paper from American Express today, apparently a refutation of my filing with the NASD. I only skimmed a bit of it, but of course they say everything is my fault. I will look at it later, because I think it will probably precipitate some phone calls. While I probably shouldn't, since Joe is a lawyer and financial advisor, I will probably run the thing  by him. In my situation, I feel the need for all the advice I can get.


So now it is time to unload the dryer and toddle off to bed again.


The skies are clear in the field tonight.


June 24

I do seem to do better when I go to bed later. At least, I slept well last night with only two interruptions, and woke up again before 8 am. I could have gone back to sleep, but this had to be the day to go to town. So I got up and attem and took a leisurely time getting out of the house.


There wasn't anything outdoors to keep me here. It had been clear for a while overnight, but it was cold (under 50º) and cloudy and windy this morning. On my way south, I ran through some light rain and drizzle from about Mohawk to Calumet. Not very nice at all, and the further south I went the colder it got. It was about 51º when I left the harbor, but it was only about 45º in Houghton. I overheard a lot of comments on the lousy weather.


Warning for anybody coming this way: there is a lot of road work going on. They have been spiffing up the bridge over Fanny Hooe Creek. That may be just about over. I got a laugh out of it. I think it was Tuesday when they started, and they had traffic directors...those guys who prop themselves up with the stop/slow signs. The next day they were gone, and there was just a sign saying "Watch for oncoming traffic". There are so few people coming this way so far that there isn't any traffic to be directed!


The US-41 task for the summer is the stretch between M-26 in Calumet and Mohawk. They started at the north end, and they have the culverts and sides done now, but they are digging great holes in the road in Calumet, and it is a real mess. I came through as they were beginning their cleanup, and I ended up having to go around it: the end loader was propped up on top of a pile of dirt and didn't seem to be going anywhere. It's not that the road doesn't need redoing. It's really terrible the whole way. But it will be, shall we say, difficult, for most of the summer, especially when they start the paving.


Part of the new bridge approach in Houghton is done. Coming south, it's very nice, and coming from Marquette going north it hasn't changed. However, if you come in on M-26 and want to go north, there is still a detour. It's an interesting one, too, and takes you down a street at about a 45º angle. Coming home, a couple of fast stops had tipped two of my grocery bags, and by the time I got onto Sheldon Avenue, the wine bottles were up behind the front seats and clanking against each other. They have widened the approach considerably, but it still doesn't look to me like they have done anything about the basic problem, which will only be solved when they bite the bullet and install a multi-function traffic light. However, I'll wait and see. I have no faith in civil engineers at all.


In spite of the temperature, summer is coming to Keweenaw. The trees are beginning to turn from their light  spring greens and reds, and there are flowers. The red twig dogwoods and mountain ashes are in bloom, and there is cow vetch, daisies, buttercups, red hawkweed, and some water parsnips in bloom. Where ever people lived, there are patches of lupine which is coming out but still has a way to go. I do love that stuff, and I guess our ancestors did, too. The wild roses are beginning to bloom around here, but there don't seem to be many of those further south. The tame roses aren't out yet. The lilacs are still in flower, but they are full-blown now and soon will be gone.


When I got out of WalMart, the clouds were beginning to break up, and there was sun while I was eating lunch. It was sunny enough for me to need my sunglasses when I left for home, but around Calumet and north to Phoenix it was cloudy again...and then I came out of it and down into the harbor, where there was not a cloud in the sky! Oh, how I love to see the lake when the sky is clear! Blue, blue, blue!


The temperature got up to about 55º here, thanks to that great heat sink we live on, but the breeze was still fresh. It was rather nice here, actually, and I think the wind probably drove most of the bugs back into the woods.


I haven't completely unpacked the car, but the fridge and the freezer are full of good things that will last me for a couple of weeks. This time I really did get white peaches, as well as white nectarines. They are a bit under ripe, but they still taste good. There is also a large bag of dark red cherries. Yum. I even broke down and bought a container of salad greens, which I hope I can eat before it goes bad...spring greens, and not a leaf of iceberg! With balsamic vinaigrette, yum, yum. Chicken and pork chops and Italian sausage...I will eat well.


However, I have decided I'd better change my ways and go to town on Tuesdays after this. Econo Foods is a zoo on Thursday afternoon, and it seemed to be wheelchair and walker day at Ming Gardens. It's great that those people can get out, but I'd rather not get tangled up with them. And I saw another youngish woman pull into a handicap parking spot and hang up her sign...and walk into the store so fast that I didn't even see her go. I still think that's at least unethical.


So now the car is full of gas and the fridge is full of good things, and I can pay attention to things around here for a while. 


When I got home, I realized that there was no sound coming from the computer. Rebooting didn't fix it, so I shut it down and turned off the power to everything (my handy wall switch). That fixed the problem, but we missed a picture or two between 5 and 6 while I fiddled. Oh, well. It's OK now, I think.


The moon is shining down on the field tonight.


June 23

I just witnessed one of God's little light and color shows, but more of that in a moment.


It was clear when I went to bed last night, but I think it clouded up overnight for a while...couldn't prove it by me, I only got up twice all night long! When I got up this morning, it was another glorious morning, perfectly clear, with a moderate breeze from the northwest, and not a cloud. The sky was blue, the harbor was blue, and the temperature was in the low 50s. Totally awesome.


In fact, it was so awesome, and I was tired enough, that I didn't go to town today. Oh, well. Tomorrow is the day, because I really am running out of important things like orange juice and peanut butter, and I don't want to go on Friday.


The clear skies held pretty much all day, and it didn't start to cloud over until after 5 pm. I actually didn't notice until it was completely cloudy, and there was a nice big blotch on the radar map. Well, it hasn't rained in a while. The blotch was more or less southwest of Houghton, but it was moving toward us.


About 9:30, I think it started drizzling, but what I saw was the most beautiful apricot sky. It wasn't that color over in the west and northwest, where the sun went, but in the southeast, and it got more and more intense and brighter until the sun went down. Now it is all gray again, but for a moment everything was lit up by that beautiful, colorful sky. There, see? Rain isn't all bad.


It's drizzling a bit now, but not hard enough to wet the deck under the tree.


I got an explanation of my problems uploading the site Wednesday night. Charlie says apparently there was a failure in the network (SBC again), and they didn't reset the trunk line until yesterday morning, just before I got my successful upload. The further along we get in this telecom thing, the more SBC reminds me of the old Ma Bell...nothing is ever wrong, never tell the customer anything, cleared while testing. Well, at least it did clear up.


So I embroidered a bit and played with my new beads a bit, although mostly I was graphing possible patterns. Peyote stitch works up on a diagonal, which makes it nearly impossible to do patterns with horizontal lines. Verticals work OK and diagonals are great, but that rather limits one. I need to play some more, but I have a few ideas.


So now it is bedtime again, and I have not much to show for the day, but that's all right. It was beautiful.


And there's the pitter-patter of little raindrops in the field tonight...


June 22

Let me apologize to anyone who tried to read yesterday's journal before about 9:30 this morning. I kept getting some weird error when I attempted to upload, and after a conversation with Charlie, I just gave up. I got the same error this morning, but after rebooting twice (the first time because not all the icons on my desktop loaded!) I finally got a good upload. Ah, the ineffable joys of running a website!


For the past three nights, I have been enjoying the crescent moon. Sunday, it was just over Lighthouse Point, and last night, when I saw it somewhat later, it was peeking through the clouds over there. Tonight, it's high in the northwest, just out of camera range. So pretty. O, lovely moon!


The past 24 hours have been alternately cloudy and clear. When I went to bed last night, it was partly cloudy, but it cleared up later, then clouded over to the extent that for a while I wondered if it was raining (it didn't - just the wind in the trees). It was cloudy early this morning, but by the time I got up, it was sunny and blue, with puffy white clouds. The clouds came together for most of the morning, then shortly after noon, it cleared up again and the rest of the afternoon has been glorious. The wind was rather strong from the northwest all day (goodie - not so many bugs, except behind the house!) and the temperature got into the 60s for a while, but it was mostly in the 50s, and it is now down below 50º. What weather!


It may cloud up and rain overnight or tomorrow, but then again, it may not. I'm relying mostly on John Dee and the Clear Sky Clock, and from them, it doesn't look a lot like rain, the NWS to the contrary notwithstanding.


I actually didn't do much today. I had some thought of going to town to replenish the gas in the car and the food in the fridge, but I decided to put it off until tomorrow, so I mostly just sat around and enjoyed the weather. And endured my fly bites, which are driving me nutty. The only itch I have ever had that is worse than an almost-new black fly bite is hives...or the shingles. There are similarities to the shingles, because they itch and hurt at the same time. Nasty, nasty things! The ones on my wrist are all on the bottom side, where they hit things often, which is preventing the meat tenderizer from sticking. I'm thinking about getting a roll of gauze to cover them after I put the glop on them just to keep it in place. While it will take a couple of weeks for them to disappear, the itch should be gone in a day or so, but in the meantime, I'm not comfortable.


I did get some embroidery done, and some reading, but that was about it.


However, I got a bonanza in packages today, as almost everything I ordered came. So I had lots of fun opening packages and looking at my nice things. I have several craft books to peruse, as well as two jewelry catalogs and some magazines. Among the stuff were several hanks of copper and copper lined beads, so I will be trying out some of my peyote stitch bracelet ideas. I also got a special "bead mat" which I think will work better than felt. The needle tends to catch in the felt and pop the beads off...sometimes across the room...which drives me buggy. I don't think this new mat will shed fibers like the felt does. 


So that is all I know, and I will try to get this uploaded tonight. However, I'm not totally sure the problem has gone away. If it hasn't I hope everybody will understand.


Another beautiful, peaceful night in the field...


June 21

First off, before I forget again, yesterday morning when I went back to the bathroom after breakfast, I glanced out the window at the blue sky, and there soaring on the wind was the eagle...I think the same eagle we saw in the tree on Friday! He just had his wings outstretched and was riding the wind without so much as a twitch of a feather. What a beautiful bird! Wouldn't it be fun to be able to do that?


Contrary to what the NWS said, it was clear all night long, and I could see stars, although there was enough haze in the sky that seeing wasn't good. I had a nice, long sleep, although for a while I was awake because I was hot, and I'm still having trouble in that both my ears and both my shoulders hurt. 

According to the camera, it was cloudy at sunrise, then it cleared up about the time I got up, got cloudy again, actually rained a few drops, and finally decided to be clear around 12:30. If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes...  The wind did abate somewhat overnight, although it was still around 15 mph this morning, but it dropped off all day. More on that later. The temperature got into the mid 60s, but it is now dropping off again.


I actually got up rather late this morning, and did not much. There was some embroidery, and last night I started the sweater that is to replace the one I accidentally felted last fall. It is sort of tweedy shades of pale blue, merino wool, which means it is very soft, and it's on #10 needles, so it will go fairly fast.


Buster had a little tummy upset this morning. I'm not sure if it's what he had for breakfast - I hope not - but I had to clean up part of the floor in the office and wash the fleece throws. I'd been wanting to do that anyway, but he made it necessary. I think he's all right now, after a long sleep, but he certainly does have a sensitive stomach, the first cat I've ever had who did.


I was wondering whether to call Tom and remind him about my pump into the lake when he called me. So I threw the empty shipping boxes down the basement stairs and followed them, carrying my bug shirt. Wow, was I glad I did! The bugs were absolutely horrible in the garden. It had been windy, but of course the wind dropped off when he got here, and it's always less windy in the garden.


While he fiddled with the pump, I dug out half a dozen hound's tongue plants that had managed to get into the garden. Two, which have been there a while, took root right at the bottom of the deck stairs, and there was another encroaching on my biggest peony. One of the reasons I wanted to do that is that when I looked outside this morning, one poppy and one iris were open. The poppy is the coral pink ruffled one...thank heaven that's the one that is really growing like crazy, and not the other two that survived, which I don't like. The iris is the white one, and it is very pretty. I had thought about taking pictures, but after being out for a while and seeing the bugs crawling all over my bug shirt, I decided to call it a day.


However, I wasn't done. First off, the pump doesn't work, and it turns out that it is the second one. Uncle George installed one last spring, but when Tom came to take the hose out of the water, it didn't work, so he replaced it, and now that one doesn't work. He is going to call Uncle George tonight and see what can be done. Oh, dear. And this is the year that I have ordered the pond vacuum and I really want to use that pump! 


Anyway, he came to the front door, but not inside, to leave his yearly bill. I wrote the check and just stepped outside for a minute to give it to him...and now, either from that or because I wasn't careful enough about making sure my gardening gloves and bug shirt fit together, I have a string of bites right at the edge of my shirt cuff, one on the back of my wrist, and one on my forehead. This is by far the worst bug season I can recall in many a year, and this is around the time I've always vacationed here. It's positively horrible, and all I can hope is that it doesn't last very much longer. It makes one not want to go out at all, ever.


I guess I've been lucky that the wind is usually from the deck side of the house, and that's mostly where I've been. The back of the house is even worse.


So I may get pictures of the flowers, and I may not. I noticed that the wild roses are coming out. They grow down the steep bank from the garden to the beach, and they smell delightful. The lilacs on my north boundary have been out since last week, and they are so pretty. There are some daisies coming out, and I have been delighted to see that I have a modest number of lupines (all blue) scattered over the side and back yards. They aren't easy to get started, but once they do grow, they are tough and they spread. There have also been some little purple flowers growing along the driveway, that I think are candytuft, and there is one blue-eyed grass plant in my garden bed (where I'd just as soon it wasn't). So we are sliding into late spring, and soon it will be early summer.


I know the calendar says it's summer, but according to the growing things, it's still spring here. That makes it more confused than ever, since John Dee thinks summer actually started on June 1, but how the seasons change weather-wise, growing-wise and calendar-wise have little to do with each other.


So it is now getting a bit cloudy again, and it looks like it's cooling off and it will be a good night for sleeping.


Peace in the buggy field.


June 20

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there.


I came partway to about 3:30 this morning, and having been lying as nearly on my back as it is possible for me, I was thinking I wish that the force of gravity wouldn't cause my lips to drop open, because my mouth gets very dry and uncomfortable. I was lying half awake and listening to the sound of the wind, when all of a sudden there was a gust, and it ratcheted up probably ten mile an hour, and it got very noisy. It was clear, though, and I was able to see the whole Big Dipper (except for the star where the handle meets the bowl, which I could see only with averted vision) without my glasses for the first time this year.


I have a ghost cat. The last ghost cat was in my house on Hillcrest, where I lived before my mother died. After Dennis, the First Cat, died, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I could frequently hear him purring. Really. Silkie, the Second Cat, didn't purr, but I could hear purring. When I moved to Champine, I couldn't hear it anymore. As I was lying half-awake, I heard quite clearly the sound a cat makes when he licks his nose and closes his jaw. Buster was nowhere to be found, and the sound was coming from the left side of the bed near the pillow, where DC used to lie. So I have a ghost cat. I wondered, after he died, if I would hear him at Champine, but I never did, and it's clear that he's here. Don't ask me what it is, because I don't know. All I know is what I hear. We'll see if I hear him again.


The morning was perfect, completely clear and not as windy. The wind began to pick up around 11 am, however, and it got so strong in the early afternoon that I brought in the bird feeders after I saw that all the nectar was gone out of the hummingbird feeder. It was too windy for any birds to hang on to the feeders - except maybe the thistle sock - anyway, although I was sorry to disappoint any brave souls who tried to stop. The NWS station reported 18-33 mph, but I know it was stronger here. It wasn't too bad at all in town this evening, but it's still strong here. However, until just recently, the sky was completely clear and the temperature actually got up into the low 70s. Really nice! If there had been no wind, it would have been hotter than ....so it was nice. And besides, it has blown the bugs away pretty much, at least so far.


It seems that when I tripped on the deck, while I was working my way across to the stairs, a couple of black flies flew up my pant legs and took some chunks out of my shins. That hasn't happened for quite a while, and I'd forgotten what a problem it is. I'm not sure why, whether it is lack of blood circulation or lack of flesh or what, but I have a large fiery red patch on my right shin, with a couple of holes in the middle, one of which lost its scab last night and started to weep, and around the holes is a semi-circular ring of blisters. The whole thing itches at intervals, and sometimes it hurts like somebody was poking me with needles. My left shin isn't quite so bad, but there is a bite there, too. I remember one year when the whole thing got infected, so I am watching it carefully. When I go to town, I will get some gauze pads and some paper tape and try soaking it in ST-37, which my mother swore by, and which has solved my problem before. Anyway, I'm glad I can wear pants all the time, because it's a real mess and it's good to cover it up. If past experience is any indication, it will be several weeks before it all clears up. Those are nasty beasties and I am allergic to their bites.


I hope that all this wind blows them all away to the south and they stay there.


I went to Harbor Haus as usual tonight, and there were a number of little kids there for Father's Day, which wasn't too pleasant for me, but they are doing their half duckling a new way with a lovely rub on the skin, and it seems to be grilled. It was really good, and I brought most of the breast home for tomorrow. No way I can eat half a duckling! So it was a good dinner and everybody was cheerful, and the harbor and the lake were blue, blue blue. With the wind right out of the west, the mountain shields town from the worst of the wind, and the flags weren't being blown as much as I'd expected, although every so often a gust would come and blow the surface of the water around. It was very pretty.


Although I got up reasonably early this morning, just to enjoy the day, I ended up not doing very much. It just seemed nice to take the day off. I played games, including one that wreaked havoc with the part of memory where the modem software is loaded, so that I had to reboot around 6 pm. Then I got out my knitting and my book and just sat and read and looked out the windows.


According to my calendar, the sun reached the Summer Solstice sometime today, so we have finally reached the longest day, although the last couple have been the same length - just a tad under 16 hours between sunrise and sunset. Actually, sunset will be a bit later over the next four or five days, but sunrise will start to creep later. In a way, I hate to see it come, although it will be late July before it begins to make an appreciable difference. All this daylight is wonderful, especially when it's sunny and clear.


I'm doing this journal early tonight, so since I don't have to bring in the bird feeders, I think I will try to get to bed early and get another good night's sleep.


So all is at peace in the noisy field.


June 19

I ended up getting to bed so late last night that I wasted a good part of this beautiful day sleeping. I hope not to repeat that.


It was a gloriously clear day again today, and the wind was brisk, but not quite like yesterday. There were whitecaps on the harbor for most of the afternoon, but the bird feeders didn't blow away. The temperature was in the high 50s for most of the day, except after 6 pm when it got into the low 60s and the wind started to die off some.


I enjoyed the blue skies, and did some embroidery. Most of the afternoon was frustrating. I had made two three-strand twisted necklaces, and I realized yesterday that I had made them nearly 6" too long. In my befuddled state before I went to sleep last night, I thought I could simply twist them where I wanted them to end, take off the excess beads, and put the end caps back on. Well...One of them had  never twisted right, so I decided to twist it up some more when I had the beads off, and the first thing that happened was that one strand broke. So I took off all the beads onto three more strands and essentially re-made the necklace. It did come out better, and it twists very nicely. In doing it, I discovered a few tricks that, if I can remember them, will help when I make some more. I used a lot of little pieces of tape. The other necklace, the first one like that I made, hung fine, but it was too long. I discovered, to my dismay, that when I cut the strands to take off the beads, they came untwisted, so I ended up having to twist that some more, then one strand ended up too long, and I couldn't get the knot close enough to the end of the beads. I got it back together, but it isn't quite right, and I may end up just doing it over, too. Oh, my. I was going to shorten the second blue one, which I also made too long (I'd forgotten, when I got here, how long the strands were before I twisted them), but after two disasters in a row, I just decided it will stay the way it is. It looks fine, and it's about 30" long.


I met Shirley for dinner, but the fishing tournament was in Copper Harbor today, so Mariner was noisy and busy, and we didn't stay long. I'm afraid she doesn't feel very well, either. Dinner was good, though. The dining room was open, and the prime rib was yummy.


So the sun is about setting, and it's cooling off, and it's time to close the doors, so I will bring in the feeders early and trundle off to try to catch up on my sleep and get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow.


Blue skies in the field...


June 18

At about 11 last evening, I had just settled down in bed with Buster beside me, when there was a loud thud from the south end of the house. Buster's head went up and his ears went to full alert, then he took off down the hall. Since it was a loud thud, I got my glasses on and followed him, although somewhat more slowly, because all the lights were out and my eyes had not completely adjusted to night. I arrived in the great room to see a furry black blob ambling down the deck...my friend the bear. He sniffed the door a bit, and he sniffed under the kitchen window, and even when I turned on the floodlight, he seemed unperturbed. In the meantime, Buster was staring at him and meowing loudly. The bear came up to the door on the outside, and Buster went up on the inside, and for a minute they were staring at each other, before the bear decided Buster was too small to be a threat and too far away to eat and moved off. I decided I didn't want him nosing around my deck, where he might suddenly decide he didn't like the screens, so I pounded on the glass, and he took off down the deck.


I went back to bed, but that had thoroughly awakened me, so it was quite a while before I got to sleep.


This morning was totally beautiful, with clear skies and calm winds, and a temperature in the low 50s when I put out the bird feeders. This was the morning of the slow breakfast (French toast), so I spent some time at the computer, and before I was ready to eat, the wind had picked up to 15 mph, and it just increased all day, until late in the afternoon, it was blowing a sustained 20 mph with gusts up to 39 mph. Or, that was what they measured at the weather station. I think the sustained winds were higher here. It was enough to blow your wig away. I watched the poor little birds trying to eat at the feeders, and they were having an awful time hanging on. The wind had tipped the hummingbird feeders so much that they were empty, and it was quite a sight to see a little hummingbird flying forward as hard as she could just to stay in place. By 5 pm, it seemed clear to me that no good would be served by leaving the feeders out, so I brought them in. I will have to make more nectar tomorrow.


I went to dinner at the Seasons at Lac LaBelle with Nancy and her husband tonight. It is a cute place, quite rustic, but it is very noisy and the food was just OK. I guess the soup was good, and dessert was good, but I wasn't overly impressed by the rest. However, it was nice to have some time with Nancy and Chip. They have been here all week, trying to do a few things around their new house, but they have to leave tomorrow. They certainly do more traveling than I would want to, but I know they love it here as much as I do. They face the big lake, and they have seen lots of ships and the loons.


We drove to Bete Gris after dinner, and the south side of the peninsula was nearly calm and very pretty. I should have asked her to stop and let me take a picture of Bear Bluff, but I didn't. Oh, well. Next time.


We were driving down my road and had just started down the hill when Nancy, who was driving, said, "Oh, look!" and we looked up in a tall white pine to see the eagle sitting there. It was moving its head around, but otherwise it was sitting like a status, and frankly, it hardly looked real. What a beautiful bird. I tried to take a picture, but the flash went off, so I don't think it came out, and while I was trying to readjust the camera, it got tired of us looking at it and flew off, circling around over the lake. I wouldn't be surprised if it landed in a tree in my neighbor's yard. What a beautiful bird! What a huge wingspread! Unfortunately, it would have taken a lens like my old 600 mm telephoto to get a really good picture. We will just have to remember what we saw.


So it has been a rather exciting day here in the field. The wind has backed off a tad, but the entire weekend is supposed to be breezy and sunny. Not a bad combination, in my opinion. With the wind out of the northwest, it will blow the bugs away.


Excitement in the field.


June 17

Oh, I'm here, and there's nothing wrong. It's just that I didn't have much to say last night, and so I got engrossed in a game, and at 1 am, the timer on the computer shut down, and I was too lazy, and too tired, by that time, to override the timer and reboot.


Yesterday was a blah day, I must say. It was cloudy and windy all night, and around 4 am it started to rain hard. The rain had stopped by the time I got up, but it wasn't very nice out, and it didn't get very sunny all day long. The temperature barely crept into the low 50s. I implemented my change of schedule, and as a result, I got quite a lot of embroidery done, but I don't recall that I did much else except order a few beads and a couple of pairs of shoes. And get so engrossed in a game that I almost didn't go to bed. Having that timer on the cpu is probably a good thing, and I probably should do the same with the one on Champine. It's about as good a signal that I should go to bed as I can imagine.


It was cloudy all night last night, too, but it wasn't windy and it didn't rain. I do enjoy having that window open in the bedroom. I can wake up at intervals after 4 am, when it starts to get light, and hear the birds singing in the trees and it's lovely. The clouds stayed around for most of the day, but around 4 pm it began to clear up, and it is now totally clear and a perfectly gorgeous, perfectly calm evening. Now, that's more like it! Besides, the forecasts have been revised and say that we'll probably have sunshine for the next couple of days, at least. How nice.


The ducks were in the harbor yesterday morning, but they were gone this morning, so the fish must have gotten tired of being harassed and moved off.


The camera managed to catch me hanging up the feeder this morning, reassuring a couple of people who were concerned that there was no journal. I wasn't very happy about it, especially when I realized that I was standing there with my mouth open. Oh, no!  One of the things that I've found most irritating about old people over the years is the number that go around with slack jaws and their mouths open. I'm not sure why that annoys me, except that it makes them look totally stupid. I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn't do that, no matter what, but time and allergies seem to be conspiring against me.


Well, I just looked at the picture again, and it wasn't that bad. The worst part of it (besides that it shows how fat I really am) is that I'm clearly having more and more trouble standing up straight. I really don't know how to remedy that, since it's a result of arthritis, compressed discs and things like that. I hope when I'm not leaning forward to hang a bird feeder, my butt doesn't always hang out like that. And I need to do something about my hair.


Anyway, I adhered to the new schedule again, and got some more embroidery done. I am working the last motif in band 15, which has a million little squares in it. I should finish that tomorrow. Whatever problem I was having with breakfast last year seems to have passed for the time being, to the extent that I'm toying with the idea of hauling out one of the packages of bacon that have been in the freezer for a year.


There weren't even any unusual birds yesterday. Today there was a pair of evening grosbeaks, and several times I caught either big crows or ravens sitting on the railing. What they were doing, I don't know, but I guess I'd better look over the edge and see if something died down in the garden.


I had the thought that I might try another bracelet today, but after I looked at the beads, it just didn't turn me on, so I didn't. I was thinking I might haul out a knitting project and sit in the ugly chair for a while...but it's 9:30 already. I may do that anyway, because the birds still want to eat until after dark, which isn't coming until almost 11 pm now. I really would like to get to bed early, so I may just cut off their feed anyway.


So it's all quiet in the field.


June 15

Sometime, either before I got to bed or during the night, I decided that I am tired of the strange hours I have been keeping for the past few months, and it was time to get my life back on some kind of schedule. The idea was, in part, that maybe I can get more done during the day. Maybe.


So this morning, when I got up, the idea was to feed the birds, then feed me, do my morning embroidery, and then come into the office and the computer. It almost worked. I did have to stop and reboot the computer, because evidently the modem driver didn't load properly, but that didn't take long, then I had a nice breakfast, with a book that I got recently.


The radio station has been playing "Fresh Air" right after "Marketplace" and ATC, and one of the people on was a linguist who had written a book called "Going Nucular" (really - I didn't misspell it) which gathered up the commentaries he wrote for "Fresh Air" and other places. It turns out he had done an earlier book of similar short pieces, called "How We Talk Now". Language interests me, and this person writes rather well. It's a good thing to have at breakfast, because each piece is only two or three pages long and I can stop at any point.


I would prefer that the radio play music after "Marketplace", because another hour of talk is too much (four hours in a row!), but "Fresh Air" has some interesting guests.


Anyway. For a few moments I thought we were going to have "morning with loons", but when I got to study the two birds that were hanging around a couple hundred yards off the beach, they turned out to be a couple of male mergansers. It looks like now that they've done their part, the females have kicked them out. It was nearly calm this morning, and they stayed in the same place for a long time, so I guess the fishing was pretty good.


It was calm this morning and calm this evening, and not very much wind in between, which meant it was a good day to stay inside. The temperature barely hit 60º, so it was a little too cool to keep the slider open, which was a shame. I love to have the doors open when it's so quiet outside, because it's amazing what I will sometimes hear. No such luck today. It was cloudy this morning, but we had some sunshine in the middle of the day before it clouded up again. They are saying it may rain again tonight. Wonderful weather for ducks...and bugs.


I got to embroider for a long time and I made quite a bit of progress on my sampler. This is turning out to be a rather interesting piece. The style is clearly 17th century German, but almost all the motifs are various stylized flowers and leaves, which isn't that common. I don't have a lot of experience with old samplers, but I've never seen anything like some of these patterns, which makes it fun. It is in four colors - red, blue green and gold - and in some of the motifs the colors seem to have been placed rather randomly (provided the woman who reproduced the pattern actually used the colors of the original sampler, which I rather doubt in places). I really think in most cases it would have looked better with just one or possibly two colors per motif, like the couple of other German samplers I've done, but this is interesting to stitch. I wish more than ever that there was a way to see the back of the original, to find out how the original stitcher actually worked. The back of my copy isn't very neat. I've stitched about two-thirds of it so far, so I will probably finish it, at least until I get to the last band. That band has strips of openwork, and that isn't my favorite, and besides, the diagrams for it are terrible. I guess I'll try it, and see if I can make my way through. If it gets to me, I have lots of other things to do.


I had several conversations with parts of the mortgage company and my insurance agent, which I hope has solved that problem. It seems they moved their offices last year shortly after I got my mortgages, but they never bothered to tell anybody, so the endorsements on my insurance policies were wrong, and besides, since they were sent to the wrong address, the mortgage company thought I didn't have any insurance. I think I got it all straightened out, but we'll see.


I spent most of the rest of the afternoon trying to determine what I absolutely have to have in the way of jewelry findings in order to put together necklaces with the beads I have. I'm not done yet, because it got dark on me again, but I'm making progress. It seems toward the end of my packing I stopped keeping things sorted out and just threw stuff in boxes. I would like not to buy more of things I already have, especially gold filled and sterling silver, which are expensive. Tomorrow maybe.


I should probably go to town this week, but I think I am more likely to just get boos and eggs at the general store and wait until next week. By that time, I will need gas, too, and I hope the price has gone down a bit.


So it was a nice, quiet day in the field and it's time to sleep again.


June 14

The sky was clear most of the night last night, but it clouded up  by morning, and the day started out cloudy. There were periods of clear skies and periods of clouds, and now it is cloudy again. The temperature hung in the low 50s all day long, and there was a rather brisk northwest wind all day long. 


You might think that wind was good to keep the bugs away, but I managed to get another bite on my neck, where one of those little buggers crawled down my collar. I would have to say this is the worst bug season since I've been living here. I really hate to start using the bug spray, but I guess I'll have to.


It was a rather mixed up day, and I seemed to do things in the wrong order, embroidering  before breakfast, and not doing much else. I did do some reading, but that was about all.


After a slow start, the hummingbirds have eaten almost a whole feeder of nectar, and they are still at it.


I did notice that the lilacs are starting to come out. Some of the little sprigs that have taken root in the side yard are out (trying to get an early start on things, I guess), and the big bushes are showing color but are still buds. There is a huge hedge of them between King Copper and the house next door, and I noticed yesterday that some of them are out. So spring is continuing its development. The trees are fully leafed out, but they are still either pale green or reddish-green, depending upon the variety. The juneberry blossoms are gone now, but the later fruits are coming out, including the mountain ashes.


It was a quiet day in the field, and I don't have much to say for myself.


June 13

It was cloudy when I went to bed last night, and it was warm in the bedroom, and besides, I'd been sleeping too much on the side of  my back that hurts, so I couldn't sleep on the heating pad as long as I wanted to, but I think it helped anyway. I was a bit stiff this morning, but I'm not having spasms any more. Around 4 am, when I got back in bed after taking a walk, I realized that all the flashing I was seeing wasn't the lighthouse. A rather respectable thunderstorm came through south of us, so while I could see the lightening, the thunder was mostly too far away to hear...an eerie condition. However, it absolutely poured rain for a while. How long, I don't know, because I went back to sleep.


The rain was over by the time the camera started up, and there was a little sunshine as the sun rose. I saved the picture, because, I was struck by the pale yellow-green of the hills, so different from other seasons. Here it is. I just added another picture to that page - the last one of the evening, because it was so spectacular, with the sunset and the fog on the harbor. Unfortunately, I can't be in the ugly chair looking at things like that and typing my journal at the same time...


You can see the clouds in the west, and the morning was cloudy and foggy. However, there was some sunshine, as well as a lot of fog, especially late in the afternoon. It is fairly clear now, but it may rain overnight. The temperature was pretty steady in the low 60s until just a while ago, and it is falling off a bit now.


My second necklace with the new beads was not a complete success. For some reason, even though I wound it as tightly as I could, it apparently wants to keep coming untwisted. It is rather pretty, though, with an aqua tint to it. After my success of yesterday, I had a hard time twisting this one, for some reason. Probably me. That occupied me for quite a while, although I did get my embroidery in, and late in the day, I strung another necklace from a kit. This one is pale blue and crystal beads, and it turned out rather well. 


I brought in the box of kits and gemstone beads, so I guess I will be attacking either the gray one or the cloisonné one tomorrow. The gray one is labradorite, which is gray with an iridescence to it, iolite, which is gray-blue, and rainbow moonstone, which is white with an iridescence, along with silver beads and maybe some crystals.  I've had the components for a long time, but for some reason I'm shy about attacking it. Possibly I'm afraid I can't arrange the beads nicely. I mentioned these beads before, and there is one string of intricately cut labradorite that now sells for a rather large price, and I commented that I was sure I hadn't paid that much for it. I want to use those beads as focal points, just a few per strand, because they are so expensive, so I guess I will start there and see what happens.


Before I discovered the gray beads, I had gone crazy over the selection of cloisonné beads in my favorite catalog, as well as a necklace they had pictured, which uses black-background cloisonné beads in various shapes with aventurine (green), rose quartz, onyx, and gold. So I stocked up on all those things and never did anything about it. I am running low on gold findings, but I can fiddle with the beads and order the findings when I know what I need. 


So there are plenty of things in my stash to keep me busy and happy through the bug season.


Most of my bites have stopped itching very much, but there is one on my hand that has formed a huge blister (that happens to me with black flies), and it appears that I may have been bitten on both shins, because this morning they were fiery red, which is a bad sign. Shin bites are particularly bad for me, and I've had them get infected. Must have something to do with blood flow.


This evening, Shirley and I went to Harbor Haus for dinner, and they had one of my favorite dishes - tempura perch with wild mushroom risotto. Yum! We had a nice conversation and sat and admired the fog coming and going, although it turned out to be much more spectacular from this end. I didn't save any pictures of the fog, because I would have had to save at least eight or ten to get the full effect. Anyway, it was fun to watch.


Oh, and while we were sitting there, a loon surfaced out in front, for about 30 seconds before it dove again. I knew they are here, because I've heard them, but this is the first time I've seen one this year. They are neat birds. Shortly after I got back here, the hummingbirds drank the last sip of nectar out of the feeder, so I brought it in, and a few minutes later, half a dozen were buzzing around outside looking for a last sip before bedtime. I shall have to try to do better about keeping the feeders full. At this time of year, there aren't all that many flowers available.


And this morning, I put the hummingbird feeder out first, and while I was hanging the others, there were already two birds at it, while I was standing about three feet away. I guess I never realized how tame hummingbirds are, but my flock certainly is. I have to put their feeder out first, because when they see me, they come flocking around right away. It's amazing that such a tiny thing, with a brain that must be about the size of a baby pea, is smart enough to know where all that good nectar is coming from.


I was sorry that it was buggy, because when I went out this morning, it was very damp from the rain (like humidity close to 100%) and the smell of the air, full of forest earth, was enough to give me a high. I would like to have just stood and breathed forever, but I can do without any more bites, thank you, so I came in and left the slider open.


So it was a nice day in the field despite the rain and fog.


June 12

It was fairly clear when I went to bed last night, but breezy, but I think it rained a bit overnight, because there was some water on the deck this morning. I slept fairly well, except that I got warm without the window open. Evidently the Tylenol I take every night for my arthritis kept my other aches from being too bothersome. Several of my bites were (and still are) pretty itchy, but that didn't keep me awake, and I slept in this morning.


It was a pretty day altogether. The sky cleared around 11:30 and the wind, which was very strong this morning, died down quite a bit, and the afternoon was beautiful. I saved a couple of pictures, not so much to show the pretty day, but because I caught a couple of interesting shots of birds. In the first one, I got a pretty fair silhouette of a hummingbird, right above the feeder. In the second one, a male goldfinch is sitting on the railing in all his glory. Here they are. There were some others with birds in them and a squirrel seems to have spent over an hour hanging on the feeder. Neither the goldfinches nor the hummingbirds showed up in great numbers until late in the afternoon.


I really don't know what was going on yesterday, that so many goldfinches and hummingbirds showed up. It was really strange. The numbers were more normal today.


I finally washed the dishes, and the dishwasher was so full it won't surprise me if it didn't do a very good job. I really shouldn't let it go that long...I mean, it's such a hard job to load it! Unloading is worse, especially when it's that full. 


I did some embroidery, and I spent a good part of the afternoon working on more twisted necklaces, these made from the beads I found at WalMart. The colors are a bit more varied than the first ones, but they are predominately blue. I will try to take pictures  one of these days. I think I have figured out how to get the rope twister to work properly, and I only dropped the beads twice. The second time, I used tape as a stopper, which works fine, except that that one I pulled onto the floor and rolled the chair over, which cracked the beads and got the thread twisted in a caster, which frayed it so much that it broke, so I had to start the second strand over again. These take more time than the blue ones, because the beads are loose and I have to pick them up with a needle. The packages are mixed colors and shapes, which makes it fairly easy to get a random looking strand.


When the weather is nice like it was today, I like to do something at the desk instead of at the computer, because I can look up frequently and see what's going on outside. And I can chase the squirrel away. I heard when it pulled the perch out of the feeder...again...and went right out and put it back. Of course, it dumped a lot of seed onto the deck, but the chipmunks particularly are like little vacuum cleaners, packing their cheek pouches full of all the seeds, so I think most of them are gone already.


One of my fly bites is on my hand, and it has been very itchy, and it has now formed blisters all around where the stinger went in. I really am allergic to black flies. I think one on my cheek blistered, too, but I managed to scratch that off, so I now have a little scab. And there is one...on the back of my neck which is actually a double, two lumps side by side. Those guys are vicious. I haven't been putting on my bug repellent, because normally, I'm not outside long enough for them to find me. Yesterday was an exception.


While my back feels pretty good right now, it kept going into spasms this morning, so I think I will haul out the heating pad tonight and see if I can't bake it back into shape.


The wind is blowing a bit again, but for a couple of hours this evening, the harbor was just like a millpond, and it was so pretty. They are promising us rain tonight and tomorrow, darn it. But this has been a lovely stretch of weather. The temperature actually got into the low 70s late in the day, between about 5 and 8, and it was delightful.


So all is serene in the field.


June 11

When I went to bed last night, there were stars, but not particularly bright, so the clouds of sunset went away again, as they have been lately. Apparently I didn't move at all for several hours, because when I woke up around 2 am, I was so stiff and sore, I could hardly move at all. I guess I will have to close the window tonight and see if that helps.


When I woke up this morning, it was another beautiful, clear day. High cirrus and cirro-cumulus clouds started moving in fairly soon, but there was a lot of sunshine for most of the day...or I think there was.


I became rather preoccupied, I must confess. I was putting out the feeders when I glanced out at the water to see an adult eagle skimming so close to the surface that his feet dipped in. He was flying south, and I wanted to see where he went into the woods, so I tried to move forward. Unfortunately, I hit the high board in the deck and totally lost my balance, landing on my right hip and hand. My hip seems all right, but I wrenched my back and I think I sprained my thumb. At least it has been very sore and I can't grasp anything hard. So I have been nursing my wounds all day. 


It has been so long since I was able to get up off the ground that I've forgotten how I did it, so I had to scootch myself across about twenty feet of deck to the stairs on my seat - I can't kneel at all because of my bad knees - in order to get up. Fortunately, the deck boards are quite smooth, and there were no splinters. Of course, by the time I got back into the house, my hair was full of bugs and it's turned out I got several bites. Black fly bites don't start to itch and swell, at least on me, for several hours after I get them. They are now.


That episode sort of shook me up, and I didn't do much afterward. It was warm enough - it got into the low 60s, I think - that I could have the sliders open, although the wind has switched around to the southeast, so it is coming in more than it was yesterday. I did some embroidery, then I finished the African spiral bracelet - blue and green - that I started before I came here, and I put the findings on a twisted blue necklace that I had started making. I'm still fiddling around with the cord twister to see how best to use it with strings of beads. All the jewelry is now in a candy box left over from last year.


In the meantime, I spent a lot of time looking at the birds. I had at least a dozen goldfinches...at one point, every perch on the thistle feeder and every perch on the big feeder, as well as every available spot on the thistle sock, had a goldfinch on it, and there were several waiting in the tree. They remind me of a decorated Christmas tree when the sun shines on them. From late in the afternoon until sunset (about now), I have had six or eight hummingbirds all trying to get into the feeder, and the feeder is nearly empty...and it was full this morning. I don't know what brought these flocks around, but they're fun to watch. I particularly like to watch the hummingbirds. They hover like helicopters, and with the wind, they fan out their tails to stabilize themselves. After the poor little thing last night, I don't want to take the feeders in until I'm sure they're all gone to bed, but I keep thinking about that bear...


The sky began clouding up late in the day, and I guess we are in for some rain again. It's been a nice several days, I must say. And not for the first time in my life, I wonder why it always seems to rain on the weekends. A friend once theorized that the dome of pollution and heat over the city had something to do with it, but that certainly doesn't apply here.


So I'm licking my wounds in the field tonight...


June 10

It was a clear night all night long, and I watched Jupiter set (at intervals, of course), and around 4 am, the moon was shining over the breezeway right into the bathroom windows. It was a gorgeous morning, too, not very windy and very, very clear. It clouded up some as the day went along, but not enough to interfere too much with the sun. The temperature got into the upper 50s, and the wind was from the east, so I couldn't tell whether the NWS was right or not about its speed.


I puttered around most of the day, did some embroidery, and finished the peyote stitch bracelet. It turned out all right, but it's hard to get round beads to sit together well, and besides, it was such a narrow piece I had trouble keeping the thread taut. I will have to try another one, but it will have to have a different background shade, because I used most of the pale green beads from two tubes to make it. I can use the next darker shade, which is what I think I originally intended. In order to finish it, I had to sort a second tube of beads, but since they're only ten gram tubes, that didn't take all that long.


What a beautiful day it was, especially early, with that blue, blue sky and blue, blue water.


Late in the evening, I took a couple of magazines and sat down in the ugly chair to read until I couldn't see any more. I've been neglecting my reading lately. While I was sitting there, what I think was a Coast Guard boat left the harbor. It was about the size of the Isle Royal Queen, but it looked like it was mostly open. However, I didn't have the binoculars, so I couldn't get a really good view of it. With the wind blowing away from me, I couldn't even hear its engine.


There are a pair of hummingbirds that I think may be going to nest in the pine tree, even though they don't usually. The squirrel pulled the perch out of the feeder again, and I went down under the tree to get it, and all the time I was there I could hear humming. While I was reading, they were chasing each other around the feeder and into the tree. I brought the feeders in right before sunset, because I hadn't seen any birds for a while, but right after I did it, one of the hummingbirds came and perched on the railing in the exact spot where I had the hanger. Trying to tell me something, perhaps? Sorry, little bird.


With the wind from the east, I was able to have the slider open for quite a while without getting too cold, and it was so incredibly quiet. The wind died around sunset, and this end of the harbor was like glass. So pretty, and so peaceful!


All is serene in the field.


June 9

My aim for the night is to get to bed earlier, so I'm starting this before sunset. We shall see.


It was a nice day today, cool (around 50º) but with no wind to speak of. We did have a shower early in the morning, which I missed completely, which probably dumped a quarter inch of rain on us. I was disappointed that I was asleep, especially when someone pointed out to me that we'd had a rainbow. Rats! I'm glad the camera got as good a picture of it as it did, but the digital camera would have done better.


However, after I finally put out the feeders, late because I had to unload the car to get the seed, the little squirrel took up residence in the platform feeder, and it was so cute, I wanted to take a picture of it, and there was something wrong with the camera. So no squirrels. After fiddling around and charging the batteries, it seems to be OK now, but any attempts I made to take pictures before about noon today would have been frustrated.


I now have the camera out and charged, so if I see anything interesting on the deck, I can try to get a picture or two. So what do you bet nothing interesting happens?


My main task of the day was to collect the trash and visit the community compactor, which I did. So the wastebaskets are empty for the time being. Nice, after having to absolutely stuff stuff into them for several days.


Otherwise, I embroidered, starting band 15 (there are 17 in the sampler), and worked on the little peyote stitch bracelet that I'd started some time ago and had to tear out. It's coming along rather well now, and it's cute, even though the beads are rather wild colors.


It seems that Sunday when I was wandering around on the deck with my guests and Monday when I was wandering around on the deck with Charlie, I managed to pick up my first black fly bites of the season. The first was on my left ear, and I still haven't felt a lump, but from the soreness, redness, and amount of swelling of my ear, I'm sure that's what it was. The two from Monday are on the base of my neck, right above the top of my tee shirt. That seems the way they bite - right on the edge of something they can't get under. The two on my neck are big, red welts and they're very itchy, so I will just have to get out the Adolf's Meat Tenderizer tonight and doctor them up. I don't like to use that stuff, because the salt gets into my bed, but I'd rather not itch, too.


When I came back from the post office and trash compactor, there was a huge mosquito flying around the door to the breezeway, but I don't think it got in. It was cool enough that mosquitoes were flying pretty slow this afternoon.


I don't like to dwell on it, but it is bug season. I'll allow one more bite, then I'll start bathing in Deep Woods Off! and that will take care of things.


Sunset just happened, and the sky is full of beautiful apricot clouds in front of a sky-blue (that's DMC 547) sky. I've always maintained that sunsets are more interesting if there are a few clouds in the sky. This bodes well for the next few days, when it is supposed to be moderately cool and moderately sunny. I can take that.


It's pretty in the field tonight.


June 8

Today was a better day, although I can't say I got very much done. Oh, well.


Before I go on, I need to remark on the bird of the day for yesterday, which I forgot about when I was writing last night. I had a pair of European goldfinches in my feeder. They are really pretty birds, not as gold as our goldfinches, but with vertical stripes of black and white on the sides of their heads (unlike any North American bird) and beautiful red patches above and below their beaks. What they were doing here is beyond me. Not many of my  bird books even show them, and those that do say they are probably escapees from captivity. Weird.


I had several comments from people today on my complaint about the Share Your Experiences stuff. Upon reflection, I'm pretty sure it's a scam, set up to either get money from people, or, more seriously, get credit card numbers. I didn't look to see how one would pay him. I did look at WHOIS (where I had never been before - it's a great site), and discovered that it's apparently one guy. The address appears to be an office, but, of course, I could add "Suite 120" to my address, too, and people not familiar with my location would never be the wiser. He registered one domain name in February and two others (the two that were mentioned in the emails I got) just this month, all for only one year. Most suspicious.


Anyway, it didn't keep me awake last night. That's one of the nice things about writing this journal. I can vent here and go serenely to bed.


It was warm and breezy all night long, but with the one window open and no covers, it was just the right temperature to sleep. The only thing that was at all bothersome was the remains of a very stiff neck that I'd awakened with yesterday morning. It worked itself out pretty much, except when I was lying on it, but it's gone now.


In fact, it was still in the 70s when I finally got up this morning, but while I was sitting here reading my morning websites, the temperature dropped from 71º to about 58º, as the wind shifted to the northwest, my favorite direction. It also picked up into the 15-25 mph range. It did get into the 60s, and I was able to leave the doors open until just a while ago. By the way, I've just been looking at the NWS history, and I think there's something seriously wrong with the weather station here. The temperature and wind speed were all over the map, and it sure wasn't like that over here.


Now for the tale of the day. I had just come back to the office after putting away my dinner when I heard some thumping behind me, and when I turned around, there on the deck was a rather respectable sized and rather rotund black bear! He was going to nose around the feeders, so I went over to the slider, which was closed, and started pounding on it. He took off down the deck, but when I looked in the great room, there he was by the slider there, so I pounded some more and he took off down the deck. He apparently circled around the house and the next time I saw him, he was in front of the back porch, so I pounded again, and he went off, I thought, down the driveway, but halfway down, he turned north again.


I immediately hauled in all the feeders, except for the thistle sock, which he had ripped from its cord and left under the tree. A short while later, I heard more thumping, and there he was again, standing on the deck railing, and he was going to chew on the hanger for the platform feeder, sooo...I brought both long hangers in the house. And this all took place before sunset! A lot of nerve he had. He ran off, but he didn't seem particularly timid, and he certainly came back in a hurry.


Ah, the joys of living in the woods! The only thing that concerns me is if I should be late getting back from dinner when I eat out, he could trash the feeders before I get a chance to bring them in. And I really do want to continue to feed the birds. Well, we'll just have to see what happens, and hope I don't lose any more feeders. I do have one in reserve, but it has only one tube and it doesn't hold all that much. However, it's metal, like the big thistle feeder, and the guy I bought it from didn't think a bear could totally destroy it, which he could the three-tube one.  Stay tuned.


The day was mostly sunny, but the evening is clouding up, and I guess there may be some showers tonight, and it's supposed to be cooler tomorrow. I mean, it's only June!


It's very beary in the field tonight.


June 7

This has been a rather mixed-up day, so while my pizza finishes, I will get at this.


It started (wow, I'm mixed up, too - the right hand and the left hand aren't very coordinated tonight) when I woke up to the sound of a heavy downpour. I sometimes have a hard time, when most of the windows are closed, telling the difference between the wind in the trees and rain, but there was no question this morning. It poured for half an hour or so, while I sat with a most happy black cat in my lap.


Yesterday and today I got a number of odd emails from a site called "Share Your Experiences", and yesterday, I couldn't get into it, so I did this morning, and I am boiling. I don't know when this site started up, but its point is to allow anonymous writers to say anything they damn well please about any internet user who has an email address. They refuse to reveal the email addresses of people who post,  but when somebody does post something about you, they send you an email saying that it happened. 


Talk about the Next Bad Internet Idea!


I will say this straight out: no one I consider a friend or even a good acquaintance had better post to this site. While they say they do not condone defamation, they do not moderate posts at all, so there is no control of what is posted. You can trash any person or business in the world, and there is no control and no way the subject can either find out what you said or try to refute it, except by faking an ID.


There were four posts about my email address, and three of them said they know me "well" or "very well", and three of them said they knew me "professionally", "currently".


Well, the hell they do. I have no current profession. No one I know well or very well would want to talk about me behind my back. If you do, I've just crossed you off my list.


In my opinion, this site is the equivalent of the spam I've been getting lately that says "read other people's email" or "spy on what they're doing on the internet". Oh yes, and I might add, to get the full "benefit" of the "features" of the site, you have to pay.


The temperature started out this morning at a nice, 47º, and there was a bit of sunshine, but late in the afternoon it got up to 79º, and it is still 77º and humid. Not my idea of a delightful day. The wind has been strong out of the southwest all day long, and there was a thunderstorm over Isle Royal (all I knew personally was a bit of far distant thunder - now I know how far the lake will transmit sound!), so the wind has been very strong for a couple of hours. I opened the doors and east window in the office when the temperature got to 72º, but I will have to close up overnight, because it is likely to rain. I certainly hope this is not a harbinger of things to come...after all, this is just barely June!


Late in the afternoon, Charlie finally got here, having spent most of the day on top of a tower at the Mountain Lodge (in this wind!!), but I don't have my high-speed internet yet, because he couldn't get a signal. He isn't sure whether my line-of-sight is blocked by trees, or if there is some other problem. He will be back. He wasn't exactly sure where my house is, so we pinpointed it on his map, and unless it rains all day tomorrow, he is likely to be back up the tower checking it from that angle.


I finally gave up on most of my thread tangle, cut it off, and threw it away. It was just impossible to unknot. I do have, besides the spool, two rather long lengths, so if I lost 10 or 20 yards, that's just too bad.


I did manage to get some embroidery done, and I've located the line of cross stitch under the current band, so I can place the remaining motifs. Since the chart I was waiting for came without most of the thread or fabric (I guess it's at the other house), I will just continue on with this current project until I finish it or get really tired of it. Now, where was I when the thread fell off the spool...


It looks like it may be cloudy tomorrow morning, and anyway, the transit is over shortly after 7 am, so I guess I'll just pass.


So it was a rather frustrating day. At least the pizza tastes good. Summer has come to the field today...


June 6

The day got off to a somewhat rocky start, but it turned out nice anyway. It was cloudy and foggy when I got up this morning, but by noon the fog started to burn off and the sun came out, and the afternoon was lovely, with temperatures in the upper 50s, not much wind, and lots of sunshine. It was nice all the way to sunset, and now the fog has rolled in again. This is a common occurrence at this time of year, and I expect to see a lot more of it.


My day turned out better than I was anticipating, too, although the Pines was already out of turkey when we got there at 1:00. We had a very nice visit, and they liked the house and the location, and I got to eat at Harbor Haus anyway. So all that was good.


What with being social and all, I didn't get much else done, just a little embroidery and I washed the dishes.


I was down the deck stairs before breakfast, though, because the squirrel had pulled the perch out of the feeder again, and this time it ended up on the ground. Cute as the squirrels are, I guess I'm going to have to try to discourage them. They eat an awful lot.


I do have to report that the bugs are out. I didn't get bit, but they were flying around our heads when we were on the deck, so they'll be biting pretty soon.


I also have to report that Buster was a no-show while my guests were here. I don't know how he decides who to like and who not to. He had met Carole before and liked her. I don't know what got into him today, but of course he showed up as soon as they left.


I am still working on my thread tangle, and I'm beginning to think I might have to give up and cut it out after all. I've never seen anything quite like this. How anything could end up tangled like that is beyond me.


So that was my social Sunday, and fog has descended on the field again...


June 5

After the weather forecast, I was surprised to see a lot of sunshine this morning, although there were clouds in the sky. It was quite warm, and I had all the doors open...not the windows, yet.


Then suddenly, about 4:30, the wind shifted to the north and picked up, the temperature dropped, and it started to rain. In fact, it poured, and it is still raining and is supposed to continue all night long. It is still rather warm, compared to recent temps, in the mid 50s, but it had gotten up to about 72º before the wind shift.


It was fun to watch. It started around 3 pm, with a cloudbank in the west over the hills, and I could watch it approaching, then I watched it start to rain down the harbor, about five minutes before it got here. I enjoy watching that. I've never before lived in a place where I had a two and a half mile view of the weather.


I must apologize for the green screen this morning. I have no idea what happened, but a DLL didn't load, so I had to reboot anyway, and when I did the camera was fine. Strange.


I thought maybe I was going to get hooked up to wireless this afternoon. Charlie and Jonathan Hopper were up on Brockway working on the last link, although they don't have the solar power cells yet. I guess they ran in to a glitch, because they didn't get here. It will be nice to have high-speed access to the internet. It doesn't impact the camera a lot, although I'm toying with the idea of updating the website more frequently. What it does is allow me to do my usual stuff without interfering with the camera, or having the camera interfere with what I'm doing. For example, I have had to be very careful about doing software updates, because it seems that the camera uploads can corrupt long downloads. And of course, the DSL at the other house has spoiled me completely when I'm surfing. There are a few websites, with lots of bells and whistles and animation that I just try to avoid when I'm here. Anyway, it's coming, and it appears I will be able to connect without adding any hardware to the computer, which is good for my pocketbook.


In anticipation of the Hoppers' visit, and that of a friend tomorrow, I spent some time trying to make a little sense of the great room and the office. I finally took out all the plastic mats, and I may not put them back. They were dirtier on the bottom than on the top, and I'm afraid all the grit has made a total mess of the finish on my nice floor. When I have more time, I will mop and see if what I'm looking at is dirt or bare wood. I fear it's a bit of both.


I moved all the empty boxes down the hall to hurl down the basement stairs sometime, and I actually emptied one of the blue boxes and moved the others out of the way, so I finally have a reasonable amount of room between the desk and the counters, and it is nice.


When that was done, I brought my project boxes in from the breezeway and looked through them, and I was going to do a bit of embroidery on a Spanish sampler, when I ran across two more spools of beading thread. One of them had loop that had come off, so I decided to try to fix that, and oh, my did I get myself into a mess! I have now unraveled nearly 100 yards of thread and I have two big, nasty tangles that I can't seem to fix. It didn't help that it was getting dark and I couldn't see what I was doing. Nymo nylon beading thread not only tends to tangle, but when taken off the spool, it seems to twist up in knots very easily, in a way that is very difficult to untangle. I thought I was making progress the first time when about 40 yards more fell off the spool. Yikes! I have had to put it aside until tomorrow, but there went my intention to embroider. And no, I will not just cut it off and throw it away. Nymo is expensive and I am stubborn. I will get it untangled and back on the original spool.


I slid out for dinner at Mariner. The dining room was closed, but there were a lot of people in the bar. I was able to have my quesedilla, which I've been looking forward to for some time. I had considered going to Harbor Haus tonight, because I will be eating turkey at the Pines tomorrow and I won't be hungry for dinner. However, I'll just go Monday.


So that was about all for my day. The office looks a lot better than it did, although the desk is still rather full, and the boxes aren't in the middle of the great room anymore. I guess that's progress.


It's drippy in the field tonight.


June 4

I guess I've just never gotten off Eastern Standard Time. This is a problem I've had for a very long time, and it hasn't gotten any better as the years go by. I've kept weird hours, I've gotten up in the middle of the night, I've worked second shift, but I just do not accommodate to losing an hour in the summer.


It's made all the worse by the late sunsets at this time of year in the north country: sunset is at about 9:45 clock time at this time of year...and of course, with the location of Copper Harbor, clock time is off by about two hours from sun time, but that's another story. With 17 hours of sun, it's nearly impossible to either get up or go to bed in darkness. That part is OK - I just enjoy the long days.


This was a day to enjoy, for sure. The temperature got up into the upper 60s for a while - I had the sliders open most of the day - with light winds and clear skies. It was wonderful.


Along about sunset, it began to get cool and breezy, but I waited to shut the doors until after I brought the feeders in, because far across the harbor, I could hear the loon calling. I heard it yesterday, too, and it is the most wonderful, weird sound I know. I have not seen a loon this year, but I know they're around by their wild, wonderful song.


I did get some embroidery done, and I did some work on the kitchen, exchanging clean dishes in the dishwasher for dirty ones and washing some utensils. I then got the broiler all dirty again cooking my lamb chops, which were very nice.


I've mentioned this before, but it amazes me that I am able to get more tender meat - especially beef and pork - here than in the big city. Whatever the reason, I take advantage.


After sweeping the floor under my desk chair looking for beads, I think I have finally deduced where all the gritty dirt is coming from. There is some dirt in the garage, brought in on my tires, and of course there is sandy soil and pebbles all over the lot, and I must be bringing it in on my shoes. I suppose I should undertake a thorough cleaning, then decree that no one wears shoes in the house. However, I have to wear shoes or my feet swell so badly they get round on the bottoms as well as getting most uncomfortable, so I guess I will just have to deal with the sad fact that my lovely oak floors will never be really clean. A pity, but I never made any pretense at being a housekeeper.


One thing I noticed about having the doors open is how noisy the squirrels are. These are the little red squirrels with the white breasts, half the size of a gray or black squirrel, and they seem to be chattering away all the time they are in or near the feeders. It surprised me - I thought they were too busy eating to be doing anything else. There is something else twittering away in the tree, too, and I don't know if it's the goldfinches or the purple finches, both of which have long, involved, twittering songs. And when a jay is sitting right outside the window and lets loose with one of it's squawks...wow! What a loudmouth!


I found an inexpensive kit for a watch with a beaded bracelet yesterday at WalMart, and so this afternoon I decided to put it together. I haven't been having very good luck with kits lately, whether they're cheap, like this one, or expensive, like some of the ones I have from past years. As usual, I ran out of one kind of bead, although there were more than enough of others. Finishing this one off turned out to be difficult, and I had to sweep the floor twice to find the beads I dropped. However, it turned out rather nice, and I will probably wear it. Got me thinking about the watch components sold by my favorite bead catalog...hmm.


Working on the beads frustrated Buster to death. For some reason, he really wanted to sit on me this afternoon, and my lap wasn't available. I don't know what gets into his little mind sometimes.


So I've now been here four weeks, and it's a little bit of heaven, so far as I'm concerned...


June 3

It was a somewhat better night last night, because I opened one window in the window seat a few inches, and that kept the bedroom somewhat cooler. I believe I've mentioned in past years that my body has a hard time with the change of seasons...and the way this spring has been, I didn't get to go through it before I got here, so I'm doing it now.


Again, all night long, the moon shone brilliantly on the harbor, although it is so far to the south that I didn't get up to see the light trails. It was more fun when it was in partial phase, because I could see it from my bed.


I didn't get up as early as I wanted to this morning. I was awake at 7 am, and I just decided that was too early, so after a really weird dream about some of the people I used to work with, I rolled out of bed after 8:30.


That meant I didn't start for town until nearly 11:00, but probably it was a good thing. It was another totally gorgeous morning, with not a hint of a cloud in the sky and no wind to speak of, and temperatures in the 50s. I gathered up my stuff - camera, checkbook, two coolers and ice packs, etc., and started off.


The juneberries and some of the other early-flowering trees and bushes are mostly in bloom, which made for a pretty drive. The leaves are just breaking out, and with the preponderance of maples, it gives the hills across from Lake Medora a reddish cast that is entirely different from the color they are in the fall. There were some flowers out, including fields of dandelions - no wonder I've been sniffling and dripping! - and marsh marigolds in all the wet spots.


I'm sorry - I didn't take any pictures, but I did case the area, and I'm toying with the idea of going back to some of those places tomorrow and trying to get some pictures. On my way south, I was in too much of a hurry, and on the way back, I was too tired.


The temperature in Houghton got up into the upper 60s late in the afternoon, but even Hancock was cooler, and it wasn't over 60º from Calumet north.


The reconstruction of the bridge approaches is proceeding apace, and I have to confess I still don't think it will be much of an improvement. It's better now, because traffic headed south is being routed down to the edge of the water then back up to a place where there is a traffic light, but I don't think that's the permanent route. I think it's a bit peculiar that with all the times the Mining Gazette has mentioned the construction, they have never published a map of the new arrangement. Makes me really suspicious.


There were a couple of things I wanted to get at JoAnn's, so I went there first. I didn't do the entire store, but since it's at the back of the mall, there is some walking. Then there was WalMart, and while I tried to be efficient, I had to go around in circles a bit just because the way it's laid out. So I was tired and sweaty by the time I got to Ming Gardens.


Lunch was good, of course, and rejuvenating, but it was 2:30 before I attacked Econo Foods. Sometime I may get the hang of how that store is laid out, but so far as I am concerned now, their expansion has just jumbled things up more, and I really did have to go around in circles to get what I wanted there. They actually had a couple of lamb chops, the first time I've seen lamb in any grocery up here. They also had white peaches (which I just forgot until now - I will have to go get one) and some early nectarines and Rainier cherries, so I will probably make myself sick eating fruit. The white peaches first turned up in 2001 here and 2002 in Detroit, then for some reason they disappeared, and they are some of the best fruit I've ever eaten.


There was quite a backup at the bridge approaches when I started north, just before 4 pm. I suppose it was people starting for home. They are pouring concrete, too, and the big cement trucks block the whole road when they turn into the construction site. I didn't stop for gas, because I hadn't used very much, but if I go back out on the cliff drive tomorrow, I will have to go down to Allouez and gas up. The universal price, where it's displayed, is now $2.199. At least it hasn't gone up any further.


It was a pretty afternoon here, but the temperature didn't get over 60º. There are a couple of clouds in the sky, including one off in the east that turned a beautiful mauve-pink at sunset, but it looks to be another lovely day tomorrow. I hope so.


I got everything unloaded except for 75 pounds of bird seed and toilet paper, and I have to say my feet feel like they are worn down to my ankles, so I've been sitting. It's a pretty evening to sit. Now I will get my peach, then I will shuffle off to the north end for the night.


I'll take weather like this anytime!


June 2

Well, I didn't go. I got to bed late last night and didn't sleep very well...the temperature in the room was wrong, I think...and got up rather later than I intended, feeling sort of headachy and blah. Tomorrow, maybe.


I had been looking out the east windows for the moon, which is almost full, but when I got up to leave, I glanced out the south windows, and there it was, big as life and twice as brilliant. It lighted the sky and cast shadows in the bedroom all night...Oh, lovely moon!


When I woke up around 6 am, the sun was just rising in a pristine, clear sky. I never get tired of looking down the harbor when the sky and the water are so blue and the sun is just hitting the hills. However, when I got up for good, it had clouded up, and I thought, "Oh, no, not again!". However, by 10:45 it was clearing up again, and the afternoon has been just beautiful. The temperature even approached 60º, although there has been a 10-15 mph wind from the north (yay!) all day. It was a good day to just sit and look out, and that is just about what I did.


The mystery of the flock of blue jays is solved. When they were raiding the feeders so often a week or two ago, they were feeding their nestlings. At least some of them fledged today, and I just missed getting a picture of ma or pa jay stuffing something down the gullet of a guy that looked exactly like its parent only a bit smaller, but was fluttering its wings like mad with its beak open. I turned to hit "capture" on the camera, and they flew away, darn it. It always cracks me up when I see those big babies acting like they were still in the nest. I think the little guy spent some time on the deck post looking longingly at the feeder, but he apparently hasn't gotten the idea yet.


Some of the other birds may be nesting, even though it's early. I don't think the goldfinches are, though. They aren't supposed to nest until later in the summer when the thistles bloom. There are a real bunch of them around, too. I think the hummingbirds have been here, too, but I moved the ugly chair and it now blocks my view of the feeder, and I haven't gotten around to shoving it out of the way.


I didn't get much embroidery done because the UPS guy came with a package. I did spend some time playing with beads. When I looked through the beading stuff I left here, I found some small vials of beads I'd gotten sight unseen, then thought they were ugly. I seem to be attacking the ugly things lately, like they are a special challenge. These turn out to be very nice, uniformly round seed beads, but most of them are crystal lined with one of two shades of day-glo pink. There are also some clear yellow ones lined with pink, which look orange. Day-glo colors are not my thing, but I got to thinking they might appeal to kids. I have a reprint of a beading book that was originally published in 1904 that has a cute narrow peyote stitch band that has daisies sticking out from the edges of it. I wanted to try it, but when I used the cheap beads I made the blue and red bracelets out of, they were so uneven, I couldn't make it look right. Now these beads are quite uniform, and there is a quantity of several related shades of pale blue-green that makes a nice background for pink and orange daisies. I got about three inches done, and I like it, although the background would look better if it was mottled rather than blotchy, or all one shade. I'll do some more tomorrow, and I have partially sorted one vial of beads, which should make it easier to select the proper colors.


So the sun is now gone, the western sky is a bit pinker than it was last night, and I am going to bed as soon as I upload this and bring in the feeders.


Blue skies smile on the field ...


June 1

The original plan was to go to town today, because I am running out of bird seed, among other things, and I have a little list of things to get. However, even though I got up quite early this morning, when I looked out the windows, and especially when I looked at the picture of the bridge, I just decided that I can wait until tomorrow. There is still a bit of birdseed in the pail, and I filled the feeders this morning. I'm not particularly timid about driving in fog, but if it isn't essential, why push it?


The computer couldn't connect this morning (I heard it dial, but I turned over and went back to sleep), so it was a good thing I was up fairly early. It connected when I tried it, but I should have just rebooted then, because it finally became clear to me after it had to redial every fifteen minutes all afternoon, and I began to get "cannot find server" messages, that I had not gotten a clean load this morning (second morning in a row), and that was the cause of my problem. Oh, the joys of dial-up internet! If it has any problems tomorrow, I will just reboot first and be done with it.


So you didn't get to see much of the fog. During the night, there was a short period where it was so thick I couldn't even see the lighthouse, but the next time I woke up, it had gone away. The early morning was almost as ugly as yesterday, and the deck was wet, so we did have some rain. However, it brightened up during the day, and after about 5:30 this afternoon, the skies cleared up completely and it is now a truly gorgeous evening. 


The sun isn't setting until nearly 9:45 now, which is throwing my internal clock for a complete loop. I can sleep when it's light out, and in fact, since sunrise is around 6 am, I do almost every day, but I just don't want to go to bed before dark. Well, at least that's one explanation for the hours I've been keeping...


It is so beautiful. The temperature here is under 50º, but I have the doors open, because it got really  hot in here once the sun came out. Solar heat... The entire western horizon is peach right now, even though the camera doesn't show it. Funny, peach isn't my favorite color, but the sky is beautiful, dark peach at the hill line, and shading to pale peach then into blue with some colors that don't have names in between.


I do hope that this is the end of the rain for a while! The weather forecast seems to indicate that, and some slightly warmer temperatures, too. Of course, that will mean there will be bugs, but I can dig out my bug shirt and my DEET, and I can handle that. I don't expect to get away without a few black fly bites, but I've learned how to minimize the problem. Some sunshine and blue skies would be most welcome.


I actually fiddled around most of the day. I spent some time looking at some of the craft stuff I sent up here and wondering what to do with it. I don't want to leave an 18" cube sitting around all summer. I still haven't decided.


So tomorrow is the day for town, and I don't want to start too late, so I'm off to bed.


The moon is rising on the field...


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM