A View From the Field

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August, 2004

August 31

Wow, another month over! It sure has gone fast.

 

Again my good intentions were thwarted, but this time it was my body that acted up.  I somehow managed to acquire a very sore left upper arm, like catching cold in it, and until it finally worked itself out, about 3 am, I didn't sleep much. It was fine this morning, so I have no idea what brought it on, except that it had been getting steadily sorer all day yesterday, so I guess I must have sat in a draft or something. Weird.

 

Anyway, the moon shone beautifully on the harbor for most of the night, although it clouded up around sunrise. By the time I got up it was clear again, and it was like that all day - some periods of sunshine, some periods of cloud. We were promised thunderstorms, but I saw no hint of that, except one report of light rain in Houghton. There may still be some, but so far no. The temperature was in the low to mid 50s all day long. And this is August?

 

I finished the helix bracelet and started a spiral rope, which is about half done. However, after two emails from people inquiring about where they can buy the bracelets, I decided I'd better try to get at least one more copper and green one done, then rush what I've got to Peggy before the weekend. If anyone wonders, there won't be many - one helix, one spiral rope and about six copper peyote, with either green or blue. These things take quite a while to construct, and I don't work at it all the time! I had made a set I thought I would keep for myself, but when I wore one the other night, I decided I want it longer, so I will sell the ones I have and work on some for me later. I mean, wearing one is good advertising, right?

 

However, for the next few days, I'm afraid you'll have to put up with light from the office after dark, or I'll never get done. I'm torn between not wanting to be pressured and wanting to take advantage of anyone who may be in town over the weekend. So I'll see what I can do.

 

At least while I am beading during the day, I can look out and watch the birds and the harbor, and that's nice.

 

I realized sometime in the middle of the night that I'd forgotten to bring in the bird feeders, so I will go and do that now. Nobody came, but I don't want to tempt fate and the critters.

 

 So I am in production mode now. Buster doesn't like that, because I don't have so much time to let him sit on my lap, but oh, well.

 

It's another quiet night in the field.

 

August 30

My well-intentioned plan to go to bed early and get up early went awry because about 1:00 this morning, Buster got a mouse. He played with it all over the house until it succumbed...at which he said "mrow" very sorrowfully, and he brought it into the bedroom and laid it on my bedside rug...and began to lick it, as though he might resuscitate it. At that point, I turned on the light and retrieved the body and disposed of it. I suppose I should have rescued it while it was still alive and could report back to its family. As creatures, I really feel for the poor things, but as mice in my house, I'll let Buster have them.

 

Anyway, that interrupted my sleep rather well, so I got up late. It was cloudy when I went to bed, partly cloudy when the mouse succumbed, and around 3 am it was beautifully clear and the full moon was amazingly bright.

 

Not only was it cloudy when I got up, it was raining, which is why the bird feeders got out late today. I just didn't feel the need to go out in the rain to hang them up, even though the squirrel was eating what I poured on the deck last night. I was just as glad to see that seed still there this morning, by the way. It means the critters weren't around.

 

It tried hard to clear up for the rest of the day, but it didn't make it until after 3 pm. The rest of the afternoon has been beautiful, and it was really easy for me to work on the helix bracelet, because for quite a while, the sun was shining right on my work board. The temperature didn't get over the low 60s, and the wind was rather brisk out of the northwest.

 

I finally had to open up the house, however, because all that sunshine got the temperature in the office up to nearly 80 and I started to sweat.

 

I do have a picture to share. At around 7:15 (much too early to get up permanently), I woke up, and this is what I saw out my windows. I have to say, that's one of my favorite sights, the rising sun on Brockway. As you can see, it was mostly cloudy, and shortly thereafter, it started to rain. Anyway, I went peacefully back to sleep for another couple of hours.

 

I spent most of the day working on the helix bracelet, which sounds awful, except that I'm working from a bag of mixed color beads, and some of that time was spent sorting, sort of. I don't recall that bracelet taking so long to make, so I guess I'll have to rethink the pricing. Those are not nice beads, but the bracelet still comes out looking all right.

 

Buster was really wired by his playful night, and it wasn't until this afternoon that he really settled down for a good nap, on the window seat in the bedroom. When he's awake, he wants to be with me, but I'm glad to see he has gotten over having to be close by all the time. Besides, he likes it quiet when he's sleeping in earnest, and I keep moving around or getting up or something to disturb him.

 

I think I will try the early-to-bed thing again tonight and see if I can't get up a tad earlier tomorrow.

 

It's clear and breezy in the field tonight.

 

August 29

Today was nearly a copy of yesterday, except that there was almost no wind. It was cloudy and nondescript, and the temperature didn't get over the middle 50s. Another good day to ignore the out-of-doors.

 

I finished the blue and green bracelet, and I got to watch the birds. The goldfinches are back in number, about four or five chickadees were around, and the chipmunks have rediscovered the seed. There are two kinds of chipmunks - very small and very large. The large one is almost as big as my little red squirrel, who is a skinny little thing. The chipmunk didn't think he could make it into the platform feeder, though, although he sat on the railing and eyed it for some time.

 

Actually the first bird who came to the big feeder was the red-breasted nuthatch, and he has come regularly ever since. He is a funny little bird. He sort of slashes at the seed, and picks out and throws away a bunch of sunflower seeds before he finds the one that satisfies him. That results in seeds on the deck, of course, but he is very picky about the one he wants. The other birds aren't so plcky.

 

After looking at the tiny chipmunks, it appears that they must be beginning to gather their winter caches, because the ones I saw on the deck all had their cheeks bulging, and they weren't stopping to eat very much. It seems a bit early for that, but I suppose they are influenced by the temperature.

 

Apparently the new Old Farmer's Almanac says we are in for a snowy winter this year, for what that's worth. I don't give them much credibility, because forecasting so far in the future is totally unscientific. It would be nice if they are right - the northwoods are about due for a good winter. Besides, with all the rain there has been this summer, I think the lakes are probably rising, finally, and what they really need is 300 inches or so of snow north of the 45th parallel.

 

On that subject, I find it interesting and amusing that all of a sudden the lake levels are a non-issue. I haven't heard or seen one story about them this summer, unlike the past few years when the sky was falling...or rather the lakes were falling, and Armageddon was upon us just because the great lakes were in the low part of their natural cycle. Just wait a few years, when they start flooding over people's sea walls.

 

At dinner tonight, where I have a clear view to the north, it was nice to see a little blue sky, although I guess that isn't supposed to last long. Last night, with the nearly-full moon above the clouds, it was as light out as it is all the time in Detroit...a very unusual state for our pristine skies. It's nice to see that and know all the light is coming from above and not from below.

 

Well, I think Buster and I will try to get an early start on the sleep department. It's too late to work on my next bracelet...a red and blue helix, which I had a horrible time starting. I even stabbed myself with the needle twice. Ouch. Sometimes I am more thumb-fingered than other times. I think it's started properly now, but now I am having trouble telling the red beads from the blue beads, so I will just have to wait.

 

This is in the nature of an experiment, actually. The beading magazine I subscribe to has been using a lot of fine fish line for thread, so I decided to try it. WalMart has an incredible selection of fishing gear, including at least ten different brands of line, in weights from 8 to 50 or 100 lb test. Only the very lightest are useable with a beading needle, of course, because it has to fit through a very small eye. After several false starts, I have several weights of FIreLine and Power Pro, both of which are much thinner than the corresponding monofilament. I used 4 lb FireLine, which is made especially for beading, for the blue and green bracelets, and I am doing the helix with 8 lb test. I like it, because it doesn't fray like the nylon does, although it has a black coating that is just painted on and comes off as I bead...usually on me. And, of course, now that I have 4 lb and 8 lb test, the magazine is calling for 6 lb test! I wrote them a complaining email about that, especially when every project in one issue used Power Pro, which I'd never heard of. And they don't give a weight of Power Pro, which comes in all weights there are. I picked one that looked like it would thread through an eye, and we'll see how it works. It feels like wire, and it's not exactly easy to work with, especially in long lengths, but, for that matter, neither is beading nylon.

 

Tomorrow.

 

Tonight, it's cloudy and cool in the field again.

 

August 28

John was right this time. When I woke up this morning, it was very cloudy and the temperature was 50, and that's about how it stayed all day long. The temperature sort of reached the middle 50s, but that was it. There was not much breeze, but it wasn't the most inspiring day.

 

I more or less ignored it, did some embroidery and some beading (the current bracelet is 60% done), and that was about it.

 

Dinner was with Shirley, which was nice, as usual, and the only thing was, when I came home at 9:00, it was nearly dark. There are only about 13 hours of sun-up now, and it's getting shorter at about 3 minutes a day. I do hate to see the daylight go!  Twilight, both morning and evening, are a lot shorter than they were earlier in the summer, too, so it gets light later and gets dark earlier every day.

 

Unfortunately, the cool, damp weather has discouraged the tourists, and the town is pretty dead. I also read on the pasty cam page that some schools, in Wisconsin, I think, have started already, so that would tend to discourage tourism. Here in Michigan, a lot of them start next week, but they get a four day weekend for Labor Day (what good that does for tourism this far north, I don't know). So summer is essentially over.

 

I think I mentioned that when I was a kid, so far as I was concerned summer was essentially over after my birthday...August went by so fast it hardly counted. And it seems the same now, especially when it's so cool and the trees are beginning to change!

 

Besides that, even though I have close to three months left here, I'm on the downward leg to the time when I have to migrate south again. I do hate to do that! However, if I had really intended to settle up here permanently, I should have chosen a more accessible place for my house. I guess when I decided I would only be a summer resident, I didn't give much thought to the actual cost and aggravation of operating two households, or to the work involved in migrating back and forth.

 

Maybe that is part of the reason Buster is so clingy? With the weather cool, he is beginning to think about that horrible car ride. Or maybe not. He is extraordinarily affectionate anyway, and I know he is bored. Anyway, it is really hard to type with a cat resting his chin and one leg on my right arm, so I will end this.

 

It's cool and cloudy in the field tonight.

 

August 27

The strong wind overnight blew the heat and humidity and the clouds away, and it was a good night to sleep, so I did...for over 10 hours. I could have gotten up at around 8 am, but there seemed no reason to, so I didn't. The dreams were weird but pleasant.

 

It was 68 when I got up, the sun was shining, and the wind was blowing, and that was about the way it was all day long. The wind peaked at around 5 pm, at 18 mph with gusts to 26, at least at the NWS station. There were nice whitecaps on the harbor for most of the afternoon, and it was mostly clear until about 6, when a cloudbank came over, but the strong winds have blown it away, and it is nearly completely clear now, breezy and under 60.  

 

They claim it's going down below 50 tonight and clouding up, but Environment Canada says it's going to be mostly clear for most of the day tomorrow, and I'd rather believe them. The clear skies may make for low temps, but that only means good sleeping.

 

Let's see, did I do anything today? I washed the last load of laundry -the towels - although I have found I forgot a few things. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, but I didn't ever get to the pots in the sink. I brought in some of the produce I got Tuesday and decided not to bother with beet greens...they were too wilted. I embroidered some. I got the next bracelet started, with difficulty. I don't know why sometimes I can start those things with no trouble at all, and sometimes I can hardly do it at all. However, I have about half an inch done now, so it's on its way. I went to the post office, and I now have some more things to read. I petted a cat, who fell asleep on my lap this morning.

 

Typical stuff for the field.

 

I'm thinking about washing the sheet blanket and maybe even the comforter while the water is relatively clean. I've begun to collect the trash, for whenever I get it together.

 

Even though there wasn't quite the bouquet in the air today, I have to say I do like it better when the dew point is under 60. It was a gorgeous day today.

 

A couple of times, I heard something go crash, but I was otherwise engaged at the time, and I don't know what it was or where it was. I thought one of the chairs on the porch might have blown over, but no. I haven't found anything yet that seems to have fallen down. Weird.

 

Oh, yes, and I had a real treat for breakfast: blueberry pancakes with lemon curd rather than butter. Yum-yum! The only thing that's too bad is that I have to eat rather rapidly or everything gets cold, and it would have been nice to have savored it a bit longer.

 

All is calm and bright in the field tonight.

 

August 26

I think everybody knows I do not like hot weather, and hot weather with high humidity is even worse.  When I went outside to hang up the bird feeders, it was already 68 (I know, I know, but for Copper Harbor this summer that's warm) with a dewpoint of 66, which probably meant it felt like mid-70s. There was a little southerly breeze blowing, and the wonderful smells of damp pine and cedar and spruce were almost overwhelming. What a morning...so long as you didn't do anything.

 

It rained most of the night, I think, but the thunder stopped around midnight, and it was good sleeping weather. I find the patter of raindrops on the deck very soothing. There was almost a little sunshine this morning, but it soon clouded up, and I think I heard some thunder, but nothing happened here. It got into the middle 70s during the afternoon, with not very much breeze at all. Too bad, because every time the wind blew, I could smell that heavenly perfume....mmmmmmm!

 

So I did not very much this morning, a little beading, a little embroidery. I decided it was time to do some wash, because the pile of jeans was getting rather short, and I now have the second load in the dryer and the third load waiting to dry. Too bad there isn't some way to dry as fast as wash.

 

I finished a blue and green bracelet and tried to start another, but sometimes I have a terrible problem with the first two or three rows, so I decided, since it was getting dark, to wait until tomorrow. The blue and green one actually turned out to be one of my favorites, which I guess isn't surprising, since those are my favorite colors.

 

It looks like I will have to do trash tomorrow, too. The baskets are getting pretty full again.

 

The sun came out as it was setting tonight, and that golden light of late summer shines here, too. I didn't take any pictures, because it went behind another cloud before it went behind Lighthouse Point, and there wasn't very much to see afterward. I did sit on the porch for a few moments to watch it, and that puzzled Buster quite a bit, since I don't sit there often. He had to tell me all about it.

 

So the quiet days of the end of summer are upon us. It looks like we won't be getting any 90 weather this summer, at least in the harbor, for which I am grateful. It's cloudy again, and there may be some more fireworks tonight, although so far what is developing seems to be south of us and not quite so concentrated as they were last night.

 

I was thinking about washing again, as I did my laundry. When I was a little girl, Monday was always washday, and Tuesday was ironing day. Ironing? I haven't had the ironing board out since I've been here! And when I was quite small, during World War II, my mother actually made her own laundry soap out of lard and lye, when she couldn't get Fels Naphtha (remember that?). Either came in cakes, and I can remember seeing her shaving off the soap with a knife. I wonder how she knew how much to use? That was an old wringer washer, and it had a terrible time, especially with my flannel sheets, which it seemed every few weeks would wind completely around the rollers and have to be cut off with a knife.

 

It still surprises me that some incidents, even some trivial ones like mama washing, from my extreme youth are such vivid memories. And I suppose I'll remember those things clearly when I won't be able to remember what I did yesterday. Mind is funny, for sure.

 

Well, the air is perfumed in the field tonight.

 

August 25

I may have waited a bit long to do this, but more on that later.

 

Even though I went to bed early last night, I got up late this morning...I guess I really was tired last night. Shortly after I uploaded the journal last night, it started raining nicely, and it continued for about five hours, then around 4 am, it rained again for another couple of hours. The harbor was foggy all day long, and I think the temperature only got into the upper 60s. There were a few rays of sunshine, but not many.

 

I fiddled around a lot, did some embroidery and did some beading, and had a  long talk with the gas company about why I haven't had a bill for two months. It seems they changed their billing system and changed the rules but didn't bother to tell anybody. Oh. Now I know.

 

I was doing a bit of beading after the news when Debbie called, and we talked (with one short interruption) for three hours, more or less. Her situation is still up in the air, but she is getting settled down again, so that will help. She reminded me gently that I owe her a character reference. I will have to work on that.

 

Toward the end of our conversation, when it was getting dark, I started seeing flashes of light outside, but no thunder. Fortunately, I got the bird feeders in before it started to pour, because a few minutes later, with accompanying thunder and lightening, it started to pour. It sounds like that squall is moving off toward the northeast, but according to the radar map, there is a line of squalls following the south side of the peninsula, so I guess we can expect some more. 

 

When the thunder started, I began to have a hard time keeping the phone line connected, so I rebooted, and we'll see if I can get this uploaded tonight.

 

It was a quiet day, and there's Donner und Blitzen in the field tonight.

 

August 24

One of my correspondents pointed out to me that the journal didn't upload last night - my apologies. It was one of those cases where the upload hung and I had to reboot, and I made the unjustified assumption (without checking, of course) that the journal and the 2004 cam page had loaded, when all that did was the picture. Very sorry about that.

 

The sky had cleared by the time I went down the hall, and the quarter moon was leaving a nice trail on the water, and it was pretty much clear all night long. Sometime between 5 and 8:30, however, it clouded over, and it was more or less cloudy all day. It looked threatening, too, but apparently all the dire forecasts have been pushed back. We are supposed to get rain and/or thunder tonight and tomorrow. Originally it was this afternoon, but that didn't happen.

 

I got up at a reasonable hour, but I diddled around, as usual, and didn't leave the house until after 11. That's all right, since I couldn't manage any more shopping than half a day's worth.

 

The only problem was, I didn't get to Hughes' Farm until after noon, and by that time, all the cherry tomatoes were gone. However, they had lots of regular sized tomatoes, beautiful beets (I will try to cook the greens this time), carrots, mixed salad greens, and garlic. Yum. They also had pick-your-own raspberries, but I decided I was late enough that I wouldn't do that. 

 

I discovered the secret of the tomatoes: they grow in greenhouses. I certainly wondered, since this summer has been so cold that I'm sure they will never ripen outdoors. There isn't any sweet corn yet, or much zucchini at all, because everything is late, if it comes at all. Even though the tomatoes aren't outside, they taste as close to the ones my daddy grew as anything I've had in years. They do often need to be ripened on the windowsill for a few days, but that's all right.

 

Then it was on to Houghton, and my usual rounds. I think I mentioned, several weeks ago, the plastic tubs I couldn't get because I couldn't get them apart. I'm glad I waited, because today WalMart has some smaller ones, but bigger than my file boxes, which will be perfect to keep the craft stuff I'm leaving here. I only got four,  but maybe by the next time I get to town, I'll be able to tell how many more I may need, if any...and if they still have them.

 

My EconoFoods bill was surprisingly small, considering the amount I got, but I think I got everything I needed. I had been reading gas signs all the way south, and prices have headed up. However, Econo has a completely automated station in their parking lot, and they had the lowest prices - $1.98.  There were still a few $2.00, but BP and Mobil all had $2.06. With the amount of gas my SUV takes, 8 a gallon is significant. In Detroit, I'm fiercely loyal to the garage that does my maintenance (which is full serve and not cheap), but up here, I guess economic factors will have to overcome brand loyalty.

 

I made it home by about 5 pm.

 

The driving is still the pits between here and Houghton. They were putting the final surface on US-41 between Mohawk and Kearsarge and had the road down to one lane all day. The lines waiting were longer than I would have believed for this part of the country. The surfacing on Quincy Hill is done, but the new lane going down is still closed, which must have annoyed the eight or nine cars stuck behind a full log hauler tonight. US-41 in Calumet is still in progress, but the 6th Street Extension is open now, and it really is faster to go around through town rather than wait at the one-lane part. I could swear they surfaced that road last year, but it appears they are replacing sewer and/or water pipes (or something) and maybe widening the road. Maybe they'll be done before I go back to Detroit. And they're still diddling around on the south side of the bridge. Whew! Just tear up every major road in the Keweenaw, all at once!

 

The temperature here was apparently in the mid 60s all day, but it got up into the upper 70s in Houghton, and it was very humid, and I was very hot.

I do believe WalMart saves money by keeping that store warm in the summer - at least I'm always hot in there. Gone are the days when one gets frost on one's nose in a store, I guess. Even Econo wasn't any too cool, surprisingly enough. Anyway, the skies varied between totally overcast and hazy sun.

 

There are some late-summer flowers along the highways - St. John's Wort, goldenrod, milkweed in the swamps, Queen Ann's Lace and white sweet clover in places, and probably some yarrow and pearly everlasting. What surprised me a lot is that the maples are beginning to turn! Whoa, is that early! It's mostly the young, stressed trees and bushes that are turning color, of course, but a lot of the hillsides have a yellowish cast to them, a lot different from the way it looked in June. I suppose it makes sense that, with as cool a summer as this has been, the turning would come early, although I always sort of thought it was more of a matter of daylight hours rather than temperature. It will be interesting to see.

 

If the early colors are any indication, this may be an orange and red year, which will be much nicer than all the yellow of last year. However, only time will tell, and these early turners aren't a very good indication.

 

Something just went "bump!" on the deck - what I don't know - and when I went out to get the feeders, it was starting to rain. However, the humidity makes it smell just heavenly around here - of pine and cedar and spruce. I could just breathe, however, then I'd get wet.

 

Now it's time to toddle up to the north end and wash off all the sweat. There, that's done for a couple of weeks!

 

It's cloudy and damp in the field tonight.

 

August 23

In my second job, I worked in an office, or rather a bunch of cubicles, with lots of other programmers. There was one notorious incident where one of my co-workers walked into my cubicle and stood behind me, looking over my shoulder for quite some time before I became aware that he was there and made the appropriate shriek. The ability to turn off the outside world and concentrate totally on whatever I am doing is one I have had since childhood, and apparently it hasn't deserted me. Or, I like to think it's that rather than that I'm getting so old and senile that I can't relate to the outside world at all.

 

That occurred to me this morning when I got a couple of emails about a picture from the camera. What, they asked, was the animal in the 11:52 picture? Boy, was I mad at myself! I was sitting right here in the office, but engrossed in something on the computer, with my back to the window, and I never saw that a great blue heron came down onto the deck and obviously peered in the window at me. I never knew it! Darn! Drat!  Ahem!

 

Oh, well, those things happen. Evidently it was aware that the bird feeders were out and came over to see if there was anything it likes. Unless it happened to snap up a small chipmunk, there wasn't anything for it...sorry, I don't stock frogs and fish...

 

It was a beautiful morning, too, and I should have been looking out the window admiring the view.

 

I got to bed pretty early last night, and wasn't distracted by any sky shows...it was cloudy almost all night...so I slept rather well and got up at a reasonable hour. I hope I can do that tomorrow, too, because I have to go to town. I'm running out of orange juice, and Hughes Organic Farm is open for business.

 

The clouds started disappearing around 4 or 5 this morning, and it was just perfect when I got up, although a bit cool...about 50. I had a sweat jacket over my nightie, and I didn't particularly  notice the temperature, but that is because the wind has been from the east all day. I don't think the temperature got up to 60. and it's beginning to cloud up, but it really was a pretty day. Too nice to ignore playing computer games.

 

I filled some of the bird feeders and got them out, moved some furniture, swept up the birdseed I dropped when the top came off the big feeder, embroidered a bit...the colors will just have to do...and worked on some beads.

 

The bill from my disposall adventure came, and I'm glad I didn't go hog wild with the credit card. Plumbers have to be the most expensive tradesmen there are. Well. things happen, especially in older houses. I guess I'll just have to make do with the beads and things I have, even though I have a ton of ideas for other things.

 

Buster seemed most happy to find a squirrel on his deck, and he watched it for quite a while, and he spent part of the afternoon sleeping in one of the Ny chairs, which was in the sun.

 

So now the sun has just set, and the quarter moon is shining in the south windows again - it's clearing up at sunset, as it frequently does. 

 

All is well in the field.

 

August 22

Yesterday turned out to be a crazy and tiring day, so I went to bed when I got back from dinner. I got up early, because I wasn't sure when (or if) the window washers would turn up, but they did, around 11 am, and they worked till almost 6, but I now have the cleanest windows in Copper Harbor. It's really nice to look out at some sky thing and not have to peer through the spots and streaks and dust.

 

It turned out to be a beautiful day for window washing. The temperature topped out in the low 60s, and it was windy, but there was more or less sunshine all day long. I have a lot of windows...and doors...

 

I crashed when I got back from dinner with Shirley, and slept almost 12 hours, and I was OK when I got up this morning, but I'm tired again, so I won't be up long. There's nothing much to look at anyway.

 

When I got home, the crescent moon was shining in the south windows, but it clouded up, and around 4 am, it started to blow and pour rain, and the rain didn't stop until after 9 am. The rest of the day has been extremely cloudy, windy at intervals, and cool...it didn't get to 60. That was not what was predicted, but all the forecasters were wrong this time.

 

They are saying that the wind is supposed to switch around to the north and blow the clouds away tonight, and it should be sunny and cool tomorrow. i can take that.

 

It will take me a while to get things completely back together, since in the great room and office, a lot of stuff got moved around, but it was all worth it.

 

I did not much today. In the course of finishing the second corner of the bread cloth, I discovered that I had miscounted part of the first corner, so I had to rip out about a yard of thread and do it over. When I started the second shade of green, I decided I don't like it really well (where have I heard that before?), so I will have to get out my charts and samples and see what I can do. Trouble is, it's the first color, the one there is most of, that I don't like, and I'm not going to rip all that out, so I'll just have to see what I can do to recover. I didn't touch the beading, although I finally gathered up all my beading needles and put them in one box, so maybe I can find them when I want them?

 

Buster felt like the weather: he slept in the closet all day. And when I got up this morning, he wasn't ready, and he complained about it.

 

So another quiet day in the dull and cloudy field.

 

August 20

Just about the time I had this uploaded last night, the wind blew and the rains came down in a torrent that lasted quite a while. In fact, there was still a small damp spot on the screened porch this morning.  It was cloudy for most of the night, and that was a pity, because along about 3 am, I looked out and it seemed that behind the clouds there was some kind of a light show going on, but even when it cleared up enough to see Vega and Venus, there were clouds in the north.

 

That was not the case when I got up this morning, at a very respectable 8 am, the first time since before I went to Detroit that I've gotten up so early. It was perfectly clear and perfectly beautiful, but windy and cold (50). Such a beautiful day!

 

It stayed cool, topping in the low 60s, and windy. Along about 7:30 this evening, a cloud bank came rolling in - that wasn't supposed to happen! - and at sunset, it was still all cloudy. Rats. I had hoped to see the moon again and stars all night. That's the first time in a while that Environment Canada has been wrong about the cloud cover.

 

I think I have finally caught up on my sleep and all that. So I decided to take a day off, more or less. I did some embroidery, and I finished a copper and blue bracelet and started a blue and green one, but I didn't push it. I have found the beading is really hard on my hands, and both my thumbs are acting up. In order to get the feel I want, I have to yank the thread hard at the end of every row, and that has taken a toll on my arthritic hands. Trouble Is, I enjoy doing it. I should leave off and string some bigger beads, but that isn't so enjoyable.

 

Tomorrow could be an interesting day. My window washer from Detroit had called here while I was there, asking if I wanted the windows here washed...which of course I do, although It's likely to be expensive. He said he would be here tomorrow, but I haven't heard anything from him since. If they do come, I will have to work with them, to move things out of the way as they do the windows. So that will be interesting. This all started in a kidding manner a long time ago, after I had the janitors in 2001, and they did a lousy job on the windows, and didn't wash all of them, even on the insides. I never seriously thought Mark would actually come all the way up here. It would be nice to get them done once, well. So we shall see.

 

I'm not sure if Buster is sick or just bored. He has practically taken up residence in a little cavern he made for himself under the comforter on my bed, and he has been sleeping there all night and most of the day. If the wind ever dies down, I will have to get the bird feeders out, and that may get him interested again. Shirley said he did get a mouse - a very little mouse - while I was gone, but they could be having a convocation in the kitchen these nights and he'd never know it. 

 

I mentioned the light of late summer the other day. I saw it again this morning, when, at 8 am, the sun wasn't above the trees yet, and sending long fingers of light on the ground. I hate to see that happen. It means summer is indeed over. But the sky was so blue today and the lake was so blue, it looked like the wind and rain had washed all the haze and dust out of the air.  I just wanted to sit and watch it.

 

There are more clouds in the field tonight..

 

August 19

I left for the north end about 10 pm last night, and when I looked outside, not only was it perfectly clear, but a beautiful, slender crescent moon was setting over the mountain. I was in bed before it disappeared, having done the minimum possible. It turned out to be a gloriously clear night, even with the wind, which did diminish somewhat overnight. In fact, the NWS station says it dropped to almost nothing between 5 and 7 this morning, which I simply do not believe. It didn't out here. 

 

Anyway, I could see Arcturus setting in the northwest from my bed, and after that was done, Vega and the Northern Cross straight up. Along about 5:30 I noticed that something was being reflected in the glass block window at the back of the shower, and when I looked out the windows, there was Venus, shining brightly through the trees, a ways below Auriga. I guess If I'd gone to the great room windows, I could have seen Orion rising, too, but I didn't.

 

I was awake again at 7:30, but that seemed too early to get up, so I went back to sleep, and didn't wake up again until 10 am!  Nearly 12 hours' sleep! Well...there were some wakeful periods, of course. I had to walk several times, and I had a couple of coughing spells. However, I felt much better, and I expect to do the early-to-bed routine again tonight.

 

The day started out cloudy, then cleared up beautifully in the middle, and a while before sunset, a great black cloud came over, so there will be no moonset tonight, darn it. However, according to the Clear Sky Clock, it's supposed to clear up again after midnight and remain so for the next couple of days. I hope so. That moon was really pretty. It was pretty cold, too, in the low 50s overnight, and only in the low 60s today. As I recall from my youth, we usually do have a cool spell in August, although it's usually a bit earlier and it isn't usually quite so cool, even here in the northwoods.

 

On the subject of the moon, it interests me to notice that while in the pictures, the setting moon looks about the same size it is when it is high in the sky, to me, as I looked at it last night, it looked two or three times bigger...just another proof that it is an illusion. the camera doesn't lie.

 

I finished the last of the silver bracelets today and put away the silver beads for the time being. I do have a stock of very pretty light sapphire beads that would go very nicely with the silver, I think, although I will probably make round bracelets with them, either African helix or just round peyote. That's a future. Before I put away the blue beads, I started another plain copper and blue bracelet, and I do have to say I like it better, and not just because it's easier to stitch. Somebody will buy the ones with silver in them.

 

If anybody wondered what the odd light spot in the camera was tonight, I don't know exactly what it saw, but I moved my daylight lamp over by the desk, because it got so dark so early. I got that when I moved in, but since I had it by the ugly chair, I didn't use it much. The light is a strange one. It looks like a fluorescent, but it doesn't affect colors the way real fluorescents do, and it's very bright for the wattage it uses. As the days get shorter, I think I may be using it a lot. It's on casters, so I can move it out of the way during the day.

 

My late start confused all the rest of the day, and I'm glad I got something done. Washed dishes, too, and did a bit of embroidery. Wow.

 

So that's another quiet day. It's dark and cloudy in the field tonight.

 

August 18

We're having a gale! When I got up this morning, the wind was only about 10 mph, but it has been rising all day, and at the last report from the NWS station, which is somewhat sheltered, it was sustained at 38 mph, with gusts to 41 mph. That's a gale, guys.

 

Thing is, it's been mostly sunny since about 3 pm, although there have been some bands of clouds coming over for the last couple of hours, so it's been a pretty gale, with the whitecaps on a nice blue-green lake. It's been fun to sit and watch the wind pick up the surface of the harbor and blow it into spray. I'm sorry to say I didn't go out to the big lake, but I checked the marine reports, and a couple of the buoys are reporting about 10' waves out in the middle of the lake.

 

The Isle Royal Queen went out this morning, but I'm pretty sure she didn't come back. Just as well...I would not want to be out there in a big boat, and the Queen isn't really that big. It would be like being inside a cork.

 

It's noisy, too, with the wind and the surf. The temperature got up into the low 70s, but it's now down below 60, and I think it's going to be a pretty cool night. Unless the wind is pounding the corner of the bedroom, which it may be, since it's from the northwest, it will be a good night to sleep, with the wind and waves roaring outside.

 

Buster must have seen it coming, because he slept with me all night long. For most of the night, he was on the left side of the bed, half covered with the quilt, and after breakfast this morning, when I got busy beading, he went away, and I found him in a little cavern he had made out of the quilt, all curled up and dead to the world. He does not like wind. It makes too much noise, and some of the noises are downright alarming, when a blast hits the windows or the wall and makes them creak.

 

It was interesting when the wind started to rise, because it was more or less from the southwest at that point, and every so often a branch of the bird feeder tree would whap the side of the office. It took me a while to realize what it was...it sounded like something was coming apart. Then it shifted to the northwest, and there have been no more whaps.

 

Both the long hook I hang the platform feeder on and my front temperature sensor were blown out of the tree, but fortunately, I was able to find them. If the wind dies down somewhat tomorrow, as it's supposed to, I will really have to get the feeders out. The birds will be hungry after a day like today, which I'm sure disrupted their feeding schedule completely. However, if the wind stays as strong as it is predicted (15 - 30 mph), it won't do any good to hang the feeders out, because the birds won't be able to hang on to them.

 

Maybe that's another reason Buster doesn't like the wind: it's strong enough now that it would blow him off his feet if he got into it. I had to go around the side of the house to retrieve the hook and the temperature sensor, and it sort of blew me around, too. Small people  warnings...

 

So that has been the news of the day. It seems to me we've had one of these things every August (but I didn't check back), and it's just a harbinger of things to come. Usually there is more rain with them, though. And power outages. We did have four or five glitches in the power today, and I had the computer turned all the way off for a couple of hours just to protect the electronics, but it's been pretty stable for a while. They were just enough of a drop to make everything, including all the clocks, reset themselves and reboot the computer. I turned it off when we had two or three within a minute, because those are the conditions where something could get fried.

 

Now the sun has set behind a big gray cloud, although the zenith is clear, and since I spent the day beading, it's time to crawl into bed. I got yesterday's bracelet finished all right...the trouble was that the bead I used for the clasp is a tad smaller than the others...and started a new one, which I think is also pretty successful. I still have a couple of inches to go, and I won't try to push it tonight. Tomorrow is soon enough.

 

Surf's up in the field!

 

August 17

Apparently leaving the door open stabilized my temperature last night, and I slept much better and feel much better today. 

 

It was even clear for part of the night, and I could see Polaris and the two stars at the other end of the Little Dipper, as well as the handle of the Big Dipper as it disappears behind the trees to the north. However, sometime later, it clouded up, and it was cloudy when I got up this morning. 

 

I almost finished another bracelet with silver in it, and I like this one a bit better than the first one, although if it was my choice, I still wouldn't put silver with copper, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Nancy agrees when she sees them. I thought I was going to finish this one, then I broke three needles trying to put the stretchy loop on, and when I finally got it finished, it was too long. So I've now ripped back until I have enough thread to work in, and I will try the finishing tomorrow.  I like the stretchy loops, because they make it easier to close the bracelet, but I am having a terrible time getting the elastic through the beads without breaking either a needle or a bead (which is what I did last night). I guess the real solution is to get some copper toggle clasps from my supplier and give up on the beaded ones. Only I hate to do that. Hmm. It just occurred to me that I have silver toggles, but in order to use them, I'd have to rip out both ends...forget that!

 

It was cloudy to bright hazy for most of the day, and the temperature got up into the low 70s. There was a brisk breeze all day long which kept the harbor well ruffled up. During the afternoon, I caught a couple of people in kayaks who were sort of surfing down the harbor with hand-held triangular sails...the first time I've ever seen that. When they got to this end, they furled the sails and stowed them away and got out their paddles. Neat, and the ride down must have been fun. There was also a little power boat, but it didn't come very close or stay very long. I think it was probably a bit choppy out there.

 

I did accomplish one thing today: I got the car unloaded. There actually wasn't much left in there, but I also took out the coke cans and plastic bags, so my car looks less like a garbage can. And I found the stuff that was missing!

 

I simply couldn't believe I had left my manicure tools in Detroit...they are too important, and I seemed to remember stashing them away. So when I got my knitting out, I looked in the bag with the socks, and low and behold, there was the bag with the manicure tools, as well as the clock-calculator that I use for calculating dates, which I had also realized was missing. I guess I was knitting on my sock the last morning and gathered up everything I could see that needed to go when I put it away. 

 

I don't want to give the wrong impression about the manicure tools. I don't keep my nails "manicured"...but every three weeks or so, I have to cut them off or I can't type or fiddle with beads or use a needle. Since I don't use enough hand cream, lest it spot my embroidery, I have a problem with cuticles peeling off, so I use the nippers a lot. And besides, I have a lot of toenails that want to get ingrown, so I have a lot of work to do on my feet. I have been seriously thinking about getting the essential tools for here - nippers, nail scissors and tweezers - for over a year now, and this episode has shown me it would probably be a good idea. I will probably add an Exacto knife for when I need to do minor surgery, and a nail file, and then I won't have to worry about what is where. It's the little things like that which drive me nuts about having two houses.

 

Around 6 am this morning, I had to take a walk, and while I was sitting there, I remembered something I wanted to comment on when I was in Detroit. We had a couple of beautiful days there, and I do enjoy sitting in the kitchen looking out over the back yard, even though it isn't as nice as it used to be. And when I looked last week, it gave me a little heart pang which I have felt from the time I was a little kid. Around 8 or 9 am at this time of year, the sun is shining at an acute angle through the trees into the yard, and it has a peculiar golden hue that I've never seen any other time or any other place. It was the other sign, besides my birthday and my mother's birthday, that told me summer was over and fall was coming on. I guess the sun makes that same angle sometime in the spring, but the color just isn't the same as it is in August. It's one of the most beautiful, most bittersweet things I know.

 

It occurred to me this morning, because at 6 am it was barely light, and when I got here, the sun was almost rising at that time. Not only is the sun not rising until almost 7 am these mornings, but twilight, both morning and evening, is much shorter than it was earlier. I've noticed that at night, too. The sun sets at 9 pm, and boom! it's dark. That same thing does happen in Detroit, but it's much more pronounced here, because we are so far north. 

 

The sun is setting right over the lighthouse now, too, and soon it will be in range of the camera. There was a neat red sun tonight, but I wanted to change the batteries in the camera, because they were weak, and in doing so I dropped one, and by the time I found it, the sun was behind the trees. Rats. You catch some and you miss some...

 

I keep reminding me that last Friday was the midpoint of my stay here, and I have the better part of 14 more weeks before I have to head south. Even that's not enough, with the speed time flies by.

 

Oh, yes, and on a completely different topic, I heard with great sorrow that Dan Urbanski, the photographer who worked out of Silver City and mostly in the Porcupine Mountains, passed away Friday. He was only 50! They said he had been sick for a long time, and I guess so. I've wondered, for the past couple of years, what had happened, because he used to be a regular contributor to the Pasty Cam, and he had a lovely website, too, but there hadn't been a peep out of him. I wonder what it was...at that age it was most likely cancer, I would think. While there are a couple of others who have filled in, at least for the Keweenaw, Dan had a special eye, and he will be missed. Besides that, he was a very nice man. I had come e-conversations with him when I first started posting my pictures, and he was always generous with his praise of other photographers. Such a shame. At least he has left a lasting record of his talent.

 

So now Buster is under my feet, complaining because I booted him off my lap, and it's time for bed again.

 

Peace in the field.

 

August 16

Well the best laid plans, and all that. It wasn't too late when I got to bed last night, but I had troubles with temperature all night. It was too warm for the comforter, but when I threw it off, my arms got cold. So I was up several times, and I tossed and turned a lot, which didn't bother Buster at all. I did get to see some nice stars, and it was clear until around 3 am, I think.

 

It was cloudy for most of the day, and sometimes it was rather threatening, and I guess it rained in Eagle Harbor and Hancock, but so far, we haven't gotten anything. For a couple of hours, Mother Nature has been teasing us. There is clear sky over the lake, but over the land there is a cloud bank.  It made for a nice sunset, although it wasn't too red. The temperature got up to just about 70, and for a while there was a rather brisk wind from the west, as though it was trying to blow something up. No rain, though.

 

I finally did get some sleep this morning, and as a result, I got up very late and ate the rest of my travel sandwiches for breakfast.

 

The task of the day was to work on one of the copper and silver bracelets, and I finished it just before it got too dark to see anything. It's OK, actually better than I thought it would be, although I don't think I would put copper and silver together. The little silver beads are very pretty, though, and they look like they are covered with actual silver, although I'm sure they aren't. They look quite a lot like my 2mm sterling beads, which is nice. I must devise something else to do with them. I have another design that I will work on tomorrow which may turn out even better. Pictures when I'm through.

 

My eyes are still recovering from the drive, however, and I had to use the magnifier, and even with that they were getting sore toward the end. And I try to look up and out the windows every couple of rows, just for eye  relief. If I ever manage to get caught up on my sleep, that should help, too.

 

I was clearly not in the best of shape to work on beads this morning, and I think it took me a couple of hours to get started, which was most frustrating. I did determine that I'd been starting with a mirror image of the graph I had made (how I did that, I can't imagine!), so maybe the next one will be easier. It was also a matter of not having done any beadwork for ten days or so. I haven't been doing it long enough, and my hands forget if I stop for any length of time. After I once got started, the rest went quickly. Nancy is very fine boned, so these bracelets will be about an inch shorter than the first ones I made. I guess, when she decides which one she wants, I will just take the other one apart and lengthen it. After a couple of the disasters while I was doing the first few, I've discovered that isn't hard to do. I just rip back until I have enough thread to finish off safely, then I weave in a new thread and continue.

 

I had some thought of going to town tomorrow and getting my manicure tools, but that's all I really need, and if I go, I'll certainly spend too much money. Besides, the car isn't completely unloaded. Since I brought home enough food from both my dinners at Harbor Haus, and I have ziti in the freezer, I have plenty to eat. Hughes farm is open, and they might have raspberries, but better I stay here, unload the car and make bracelets.

 

Around 4am, Buster and I were both awake, and he suddenly jumped up and ran over me to peer out the front windows, and right afterwards, I got a whiff of something very nasty in the window seat window, which was open. It didn't quite smell like bear, but I suppose it was. I didn't hear anything, but bears can move quietly when they want to, and my hearing isn't that great anyway. Buster clearly heard, and probably saw. something. Times when I wish we could communicate a bit better.

 

So now I will try to get to bed a bit earlier than last night and leave the porch door open for a bit more air, and hope that helps my sleep. It always takes me several days to get over those long drives - i didn't really feel good until Thursday last week, then of course I did it all over again. A few more relaxing days and I my eyes at least should have recovered.

 

So it's quiet and cloudy in the field.

 

August 15

Wow, it's the middle of August already! How time flies!  I forgot to mention that Friday was the 87th anniversary of my mother's birth. And as much as I wish she were still here, I guess I'm glad that she wasn't around when I got sick. I know she would have taken it a lot harder than I did.

 

I am happy to say that we had a good night's sleep last night. Buster was right there, but he slept, too, which was a real relief. However, I have to say that, if anything I feel worse today than I did yesterday. That seems to be the way my body reacts to excessive exertion. I'll probably be blah tomorrow, too, and then I'll be all right.

 

While the sky was pretty clear all night, there were some clouds this morning and they persisted all day long, making it not quite so pretty a day as yesterday. The sun did get go shine through, however, and the temperature got up close to 70, which was nice.

 

I didn't do a lot today. Yesterday, I had begun sorting some of the Indian beads I brought back with me, looking for clasp beads, and today I went through two kilos, removing all the ugly orange ones and the amber ovals. Those are pretty ugly, too, but there was a pattern in that 1904 beading book that I think might be nice, using matte black seed beads with the amber. Of course, I don't have any matte black seed beads, so I'll have to wait on that one. What with my new disposall and the bill I got for service on the air conditioning on Champine, I'm going to have to watch my spending this month. This is summer tax month, too. So I guess I'll play with what I have.

 

I did get some embroidery done, on a housewarming gift for Chip and Nancy, and I restrung the pink and blue necklace that Nancy bought which then broke. This time, I did it on 20 lb test fishing line, so if it breaks again, I don't think it's my fault. That's kind of neat stuff, actually. It's stiff enough that I don't need a needle, which is good, because it doesn't fit through any needles. But I was able to fish it through the strands that weren't broken before I pulled out the old thread. I twisted it a little differently, but I think it looks OK. I still don't like the pink beads, which are pink lined crystal and rather garish, but together with all the others, they don't look so bad.

 

I guess I did accomplish something, then. I have more blue clasp beads than I'll ever need, and I also found a few red and green ones, although that Indian mixture seems rather lacking in both red and green beads, and there is an overabundance of purple and amber. Since I think it is the sweepings off the bead factory floor, and some of the beads are pretty nasty, I guess I can't complain too much. I've had them for several years, and now I have something to do with them.

 

The sun hasn't quite set yet, behind a cloud bank, but I really am tired tonight, and the next step is to start on the copper bracelets with silver in them, and I don't want to do that tonight. I have two patterns, and I think I will try both of them, and give Nancy her choice. I'm still dubious, but I'm willing to try the combination and see what happens.

 

I forgot to mention the flora. The daisies are mostly gone, but between Marquette and the Big Mac, the Queen Ann's Lace was thick enough that the roadsides were white. While that can be a noxious weed in the garden, it is a pretty wildflower. OF course there is a lot of spotted knapweed, too, and that is a noxious weed. Also black-eyed susans, some St. John's wort, and the various goldenrods, some pointed, some flat, are beginning to come out. My back and side yards are full of tansy, which I'm not too pleased about, but at least it hasn't crowded out the other flowers yet. 

 

One thing that is unusual is that the bracken is still quite green. In past years, it was browning out by this time. John Dee mentioned he measured almost 3" of rain in two days at his house, so I imagine we got close to that much up here, too. I guess I'm just as glad I wasn't here, although Nancy said the lake kicked up quite a surf. That seems to be enough to keep everything nice and green. The berries are coming...the roadside by the fort has been full of people mooning the road as they picked wild blueberries. The thimbleberries are coming, but most of the ones along my road are still green.

 

This has been an extremely cool summer so far, and at least for the next week, it looks to continue. I won't mind, but I'm curious now to see what effect all the rain we had in the spring has on the fall colors, which could possibly be early this year. It's always fun to watch.

 

Now the sun has set, and there ls a very light breeze, and it's time to shut my little eyes, which are still bothering me from my trip.

 

We're sleeping in the field.

 

August 14

I made it, safe and sound, in 10 hours.

 

Between all the JD and the sleeping pill, I slept really well Thursday night and got up just after 6 am. It was cloudy in Detroit when I left, at about 8:30, and I was late enough to miss most of the rush hour in town, although I headed north with a pack of cars and it wasn't until I stopped at a rest stop in West Branch that I lost them. There were four of us who wanted to go fast and six or seven that didn't, and not only did I have to rest, I figured it was time to lose them.

 

It was cloudy and in the middle 60s most of the way north, and around Gaylord, I think, there were a couple of drops of rain on the windshield,  but after that the clouds started to break up. At the Big Mac, it was partly sunny, with a pretty sky, but the water wasn't as pretty as it was in May...I may never see it like that again.

 

It got more and more sunny as I headed west and north, and when I got here, about 7 pm, it was perfectly clear and still in the middle 60s. There were spots where the temperature had gotten up to 68, but only a few.

 

My worst driving trouble was from Houghton to Copper Harbor. They are finishing the paving of US-41 up Quincy Hill, and they had it down to one lane, which was really ugly, and in Calumet, they have the entire street torn up between the 6th street extension and M-203. I thought they paved that last year, but they have the entire thing ground down again. What a mess! They have been paving north of Calumet in spots, but at that time of night, it wasn't too bad, and I made good time from there to the house.

 

When I came through the breezeway, Buster was sitting looking through the door, just like DC used to do, but when he saw me, he yawned so wide it's a wonder he didn't dislocate his jaw. That is not a polite gesture! Then he started hollering, and he was very, very glad to see me.

 

I didn't unload more than I absolutely needed last night, and I went to bed pretty early, but I didn't have a good night, partly as a reaction to my long ride, and partly because Buster was either crawling around me or trying to get me to pet him or something for most of the night. He can be a real pest. I hope tonight will be better.

 

I'm sorry to say that when I checked the camera, after it worked fine all week, it never made a connection yesterday morning, so there were no pictures until after I got here, at 7:30 or 8:00 last evening. It's just a Murphy's Law thing, I guess. Sorry, if you were trying to see how it was yesterday. Those things happen.

 

Today was another beautiful day. The forecasted "partly sunny" turned out to be completely clear, with a brisk northwest wind for most of the day. The temperature got up into the upper 60s late this afternoon, and it was really lovely.

 

Even more lovely was the phone call I got this morning from the relatives of my friend Carol, whom I have been eating Thanksgiving and Easter meals with for quite a while. They have threatened to come here for some time, and they finally made it. We had dinner at Harbor Haus, and they loved it, and everything they've seen. They came out to the house and went on out to the lighthouse. Unfortunately they are going back to the lower tomorrow, but they clearly like it here. And I don't think I've had a man in this house who didn't end up in the ugly chair.

 

So I guess my social life is continuing.

 

Other than get some of the stuff out of the car, I didn't do a thing today. My eyes were all puffy and really bothering me all day long, which meant it was hard to do any close work, and I am really tired.

 

I did unpack enough to discover that I apparently left my manicure tools in Detroit, darn it, but I have been toying with the idea of getting a set for here - clippers, nail scissors and tweezers - anyway, so I guess I'll just have to do that. In the meantime, I'll be trimming my cuticles with my embroidery scissors. Oh, well, it's always something, and I just don't know how I did that. They may turn up, but I thought I'd unpacked all the places they should have been.

 

I did look through a few of the five kilos of Indian beads I brought back and I have found a few beads to make clasps for the peyote bracelets, although I'm still really short of green beads. I don't know what the problem with Asian people and green is. Since Christmas ornaments and beads have been coming from places like Japan, China and India, green ones have been really scarce for some obscure reason. 

 

So now I will attempt to get this uploaded, and toddle off to the north end and hope Buster will leave me alone.

 

I'm back in the field, and I'm content.

 

August 12

I'm starting this early - before dinner, as a matter of fact - so I can do the reverse file thing and move changes back to the laptop. I'm going to miss my DSL. And by the way, after all the trouble I had with my MSN account a month or so ago, the old way works fine here. Since I can't tell you how I hate Internet mail, I intend to go back to the old way in Copper Harbor as soon as possible.

 

I struggled out of bed at about 8:45 this morning, feeling like I had hardly slept at all, but I wanted to get my call in for the disposall as soon as I could. I did that, then took off for cat food and me food.

 

Boy, I'm going to be glad to get out of here for other reasons! I thought the construction in Keweenaw was bad...they are still constructing the new sewers in Grosse Pointe Woods, and they are now working between city hall and Moross, so that is a mess, but St. Clair Shores is resurfacing Mack Avenue between the border with Grosse Pointe Woods and 9 Mile, which is where the pet food store is, and wow, is that a mess! Besides, there was more traffic on Mack than there is in all of Keweenaw this morning. 

 

Eventually, I got to the pet food store, and they are in the process of getting ready to begin to start to move, so the shelves were pretty bare. I think I got enough of Buster's favorite food to last until we come back, but that's about it. By the way, I wrote that sentence above on purpose. When I left in May, they were going to move in June. Yeah, right.

 

Then it was to the Food Emporium, for $100 of mostly snack food - good cheese and sandwiches for tomorrow and things like that.

 

When I hadn't heard back from the people about the plumber by 2 pm, I called back, and it seems I should have called when I got home at noon. So the plumber came and looked at the disposer and said, yeah, the motor is shot. So I now have a new one, about the same as the one in Copper Harbor, and that crisis is over, except that I'm holding my breath until I get the bill. Shudder!

 

After the plumber left, I got a lot of stuff into the car, although I will have to pack the cooler in the morning, and that won't be fun.

 

The weather...oh, yeah. Here, it was just my kind of weather. The sky was clear sometimes and cloudy sometimes...lots of pretty cumulous clouds, but no rain so far...and the temperature hung in there in the middle 60s. Just the way I like it.

 

It was a totally gorgeous day in Copper Harbor, one I'm sorry I missed, with hardly a cloud in the sky all day long. Rats. However, the temperature was only in the middle 50s, but I can take that, too. I'm glad I decided to close all the windows.

 

So as soon as my pizza finishes, I will eat, while I move files, then I will put the last of the stuff in the car, put out the trash, and crash. Don't expect a journal tomorrow night. I've learned that lesson, and I'm not going to even try to move files when I get home. I may just sleep most of Saturday, trying to catch up, but I will do a journal Saturday night. 

 

Oh, but it will be good to get back to the field!

 

August 11

Even another good night's sleep hasn't made me still tired. It was a more peaceful night, since it was cool enough to turn off the air and the ceiling fan, but somehow, I'm still tired.

 

I did a few things, not much, today. I got to the bank and to the drug store for JD for both places, and this afternoon, Debbie came and spent a couple of hours. She is beginning to calm down some, and it was good to see her.

 

This morning, I tried to turn on the waste disposer (do they still call them disposalls?) and nothing happened. EEEEKKK! After Debbie left, I reset all the circuit breakers in the kitchen, and now the motor hums, but nothing happens. EEEKKK! So I did the usual routine: used the wrench in the bottom, tried to push the reset button, which won't stay in, and even stuck a big screwdriver in to make sure the grinders were turning freely. They are, but not when I turn on the motor. 

 

Oh, dear.

 

So tomorrow morning, I will try to get a plumber over here to fix or (I fear) replace the thing. I do have to go to the pet supply store and at least one grocery, and I need to get the car gas tank filled to overflowing. So I guess I may actually get to use my cell phone someplace other than the hospital. And it is going to take something really spectacular to keep me from leaving Friday morning. Fortunately, my repair people have a key to the house.

 

I dug out the paperwork for the disposer (evidently a lot of people replace these things themselves? I wouldn't.). My mother got it in 1992, and I guess 12 years is probably a good lifespan for something used so often. But it does annoy me extremely to have this happen, and even more so that I didn't discover it yesterday. Oh, well. (Gad! That means my mother has been gone for 11 years...hardly seems possible!)

 

While I was down here checking the web world, I washed the clothes I wore home. I was going to wear the same jeans, which are my largest pair, but the ones I have on now are stretching out nicely, thank you. However, the only long sleeve tee I brought along is the one I wore home, and it needed washing after I sweat into it Monday night. So that is done.

 

When Debbie got here, I was looking for a few things in the sewing room that I want to take back with me, so I guess I will go finish that and try to get to bed earlier tonight. I started out fairly early last night, then spent quite a long time staring at the floor in the bathroom, too tired or zonked or something, to move. Maybe not tonight.

 

Even though the weather forecasts said this would be a "cool" week in Detroit, I brought short sleeved tops and even a pair of shorts...the best way I know to make absolutely sure it isn't hot.

 

It was another totally miserable day in Copper Harbor...rainy and cold again. Think of all the beadwork I could have gotten done! The temperature there got only into the low 50s, and there is a strong northeast wind. That is supposed to change tomorrow, and it should be nice when I get back.

 

Here, it was cool...70ish...and cloudy all day, but so far it hasn't rained here. I guess it's more of a possibility for tomorrow, just when I need to load the car. Fortunately, there's not much to put in, and some of it will have to wait until Friday morning anyway. If I had to be away from the field, this was probably a good week, weather-wise.

 

So things are falling apart in the field in exile.

 

August 10

It sure is nice to have my DSL. I arrived, safe and sound, in 10 hours, 15 minutes. But in order.

 

I got a good sleep Sunday night, except for a short wakeful period around 3 am, and sometime later, before it was light, I was awakened by Buster climbing the screens, and when I got up to see what the noise was, there was a mouse clinging to the top of one screen on the porch. Before I could get something to capture the mouse with (I really don't like the idea of grabbing one with my bare hands - it might bite), he had caused it to fall off, and he captured it and went trotting down the hall. There wasn't much thumping, so I went back to sleep.

 

I awoke at 6 as usual and got up, and found Buster at full alert in the kitchen, peering under the fridge. i even pulled the fridge out, but the mouse had disappeared altogether, and I wonder if there isn't some teensy crack under the fridge where they are coming and going.

 

I did not rush, and checked the camera and the weather and had breakfast and cuddled a cat, and it was 9:15 before I got off. The last thing I did was take one last stop in the bathroom, and as I did so, I saw Buster sneak away to the basement. I guess he thought, since the suitcase was out, that I was going to try to take him along. So I left. I imagine he was surprised and none too pleased to find his ploy had not worked.

 

It was bright cloudy when I left the harbor, and I chased the rain all the way across the UP, and finally caught up with it between Trout Lake and St. Ignace. It was bit nasty there for a while, since I was behind an asphalt truck and there was so much spray I couldn't see well enough to go around him. The original truck in front of me, some kind of tank truck, did pass the asphalt guy...a risky move, in my opinion...and even though he took off like a bat out of hell, I caught up with him near the bridge. So much for speeding off into nowhere.

 

The bridge was socked in, and about as different from the last time I was over it as can be. The rest of my trip south was the usual dull routine.

 

Actually, driving was not all that routine. There are three bridges being replaced on my route in the UP, where the roads are down to one lane, and the portable traffic signals were set only to let four or five of the thirty or more cars through on one green. And pretty much all the way from Birch Run to Joslyn Road I-75 is being constructed. However, I went through that part after the rush hour, and it wasn't too bad. We were going 77 or more all the way.

 

I arrived here at about 8:15, and unpacked the car completely. I spent the the next three hours, more or less, on the phone with Debbie, hearing all about the events surrounding her filing for divorce (it's about time!). As a result, I didn't get to bed very early, and I didn't sleep very well. This bed isn't quite as comfortable as the one in the field, and it was warm enough that I had the air conditioning and ceiling fan on all night, which I don't find really comfortable. Besides, I was thoroughly dehydrated when I got here, so I drank a lot of water, and as a result I was up a lot.

 

This morning, I got myself up and out faster than I wanted to and over to the  clinic. Now not only do they want to see my insurance card every six months, they wanted my driver's license, too. I see no reason why they should want that, and I refused to show it. There is a limit.

 

Dr. Lehman was in a talkative mood, and he did not find any lumps. So he decided that we should do the cat scans when I get back in November (actually, the first full week of December), and maybe we can get on a schedule so that I don't have to make this mid-summer trip back. I'd really like that. Oh, yes, and I've gained a bunch of weight. I thought my jeans were feeling tight.

 

That took the usual hour and a half, and I went directly to the garage and left off my car to be greased and oiled. When they called me (really fast) to say it was done, they mentioned that the oil cap was missing. Now, that's really interesting, because the only time the hood has been raised was the last time they changed the oil. Every so often they do something that really makes me wonder. Anyway, it didn't seem to cause any problems, curiously enough, and I now have a cap again.

 

One of my tasks while I am here was to apply for an absentee ballot, since this is still my legal residence, and when I called to ask about it, I was glad I had. It seems they will only send the application to your legal residence, although they'll send the ballots anywhere. Some weird state law, apparently. Frequently, I wonder what the devil our legislatures are doing, that they can have time to make laws like that and never have time to address the serious issues. Well, that's why I want to vote, isn't it?

 

Wnen I got back from the city offices, I came down here to the basement and began updating my security software. That didn't take long on this computer, with the DSL and fast processor, but it took forever on the laptop, especially since at one point it appeared to have hung up and I rebooted it, only to discover that it was supposed to work that way. Oops.

 

When I finally got to the point of moving the files over, that hung for some obscure reason, and I had to reboot both systems before I could make it work. And the final straw was, I tried to read the CD I made in Copper Harbor with all of last year's raw pictures on it, and it won't read on this system. And of course I didn't bring any blank CD-R's with me. I've just discovered that I do have one blank CD-RW, and I may try to use that, although for permanent archives like the pictures, I think the CD-R's are safer...or I may just wait until November and write one here. Those seem to be readable on the other two systems, and I can read the one I just made on the laptop...just not here. Really weird. I've suspected for some time that there might be something wrong with that CD reader on the other system. Unfortunately, I've managed to wait until it is out of warranty to check it.

 

So that brings us sort of up to date. It got warm in Copper Harbor yesterday - over 70, according to the NWS - but there was a lot of rain and fog, and some really spectacular skies, in the afternoon, and the temperature fell steadily from its high around noon. Today has been pretty nasty altogether there...cold and a lot more rain...with a temperature around 50 all day. It's raining now.

 

Here, the temperature was in the upper 70s and humid when I got here last night. It was in the low to mid 70s all day, but the temperature is supposed to fall off and be in the 60s tomorrow (of course, since I didn't bring any long-sleeved tees except the one I was wearing) and Thursday. However, I can cope. I guess I'll turn off the air before I got to bed tonight.

 

Let's see...the remaining tasks are Debbie, the bank, the pet supply store and two supermarkets. If it doesn't rain tomorrow afternoon, I'll see Debbie, and I'll try to fit in the other things around that and get packed up by Thursday afternoon. I have some craft things to unpack and some others to pack up, but that won't take too long.

 

And that's how it is in the field in exile...

 

August 8

Well, all right, it's only 7:30 and I think I have most everything under control (ha!), so I might as well do a short entry before I move the files.

 

I was sitting at my table at Harbor Haus tonight thinking, boy, am I tired! I just have not been sleeping very well lately, and even though I slept in this morning. it wasn't enough. Boy, am I tired! Of course, I'll take a sleeping pill tonight, and that will help, because I don't like to drive that distance when I start out more tired than usual.

 

There was some sunshine this morning, but most of the day has been cloudy, with a nice breeze and temperatures in the high 60s. There wasn't any rain today, but I guess it's going to rain tonight and may rain in the UP tomorrow. Oh, well. That will wash some of the dust off the car.

 

I think I got most of what I wanted to do done today. The kitchen is clean and the desk and computer desk are fairly orderly, and everything except the clothes that is going is piled up somewhere. After I do this, and before I have my nightcap, I will take some of the boxes and other stuff out to the car, so I don't have to do that in the morning. I see that there is still some gathering up to do, but that won't take long.

 

Buster slept all day...change in weather, maybe...and is now refusing to get off my lap even though I'm typing and he knows he's in my way.

 

I really hate to take this trip. I love it so much here, I'd far rather never be very far away, and so far anyway, the weather has been my kind for the summer. I guess it's going to be rainy this week, but that would be fine - I'd get a lot of beading done. I made a list of beading projects I need to do, and it's a long one, but I'm not going to take the beading stuff, except for some thread and needles, with me. So I will lose this week.

 

So now I will upload this, then copy the files to the other computer. That may make the phone line drop, but I'll start it again when I'm done. I think I have cleaned up the files so that nothing unnecessary will be copied.

 

Remember that there probably won't be a journal tomorrow night. There will be software updates to the security software when I turn on the other computer, and even with the DSL, I just don't think I want to get into that after driving 11 hours or so. I'll work on the whole thing Tuesday afternoon.

 

We're not happy in the field tonight.

 

August 7

Tonight I'm going to start this really, really early, and see if I can't possibly make it into bed before midnight!

 

There have been clouds in our sky all day, but some sunshine, too, and the temperature maxed out in the low 70s. There was a bit of a breeze, but it was rather warm to do a lot...or I got rather warm when I did somethng.

 

I began packing the blue box of stuff I want to take with me, and I swept the birdseed off the breezeway floor. I did some embroidery, and when I looked at my sock-in-progress (the waiting room project) I realized I had stopped knitting it in the middle of turning the heel. Not a good idea, since I either lost track of where I was or dropped something and ended up having to rip out a number of rows. However, the heel is now turned, and I am knitting on five needles again.

 

There are quite a few people in town today. The Copperman Triathlon was today, and the Civil War encampment at the Fort is this weekend. Made for lots of people parking and walking around in town, but somehow, they seemed a bit more considerate than they have sometimes been in past years. I was wondering about the encampment, since the first year we were here, they were shooting off the cannons all weekend and scared the dickens out of the cats...would have scared me, too, if I hadn't known what it was. I believe they shot out over Lake Fanny Hooe, but the hills across the lake reflected the sound, and darned if it didn't sound like they were shooting at us at times. Last year there were no cannons, and so far this year there haven't been any. Maybe they had a liability problem, or something.

 

Buster is clingy and sad looking, even though I don't have a notion how he could know I'm going. 

 

This evening I went to Mariner for the prime rib buffet, for the first time in a while, I think. It was very good, as usual, and I also came away with a nice, hefty check from Peggy. About half my jewelry has sold already...amazing. Some of it was to friends, of course, but some of it wasn't. She has moved it onto a top shelf in the case and has a light shining on it, which helps a lot. And she gave me a couple of ideas for necklaces. While I am in Detroit, I will be able to put together an order of semi-precious beads without feeling very guilty. Of course, I primed the pump with stuff I'd bought in past years, but I'm not trying to recoup that, just what I spend from now on. I think I might be able to do that.

 

While it is getting less buggy, every time I've been to the post office this week, I've gotten another black fly bite, and they've all blistered. Today I got one on my cheek below my glasses, the first bite on my face in several years. Yuck. Maybe by the time I get back, they will finally have died out!

 

So it's getting toward sunset now, and I've eaten the end of my strawberries, and I think I will cool down with a nice shower...since the back of my hair is wet, the rest of it might as well be, too...and try for a long night's sleep. Tomorrow is the end of the procrastination...I have to work.

 

Almost forgot to mention: there may not be a journal tomorrow or Monday. It depends upon when I start moving files to the laptop tomorrow, and it depends upon when I get to Champine on Monday, but after my experience when I got here, I'm inclined not to even try to use the computer after driving all day. I will get something out on Tuesday, however.

 

There are some clouds over the field tonight.

 

August 6

It was another perfect day, maybe moreso. The temperature got into the low 70s  and there wasn't a cloud in the sky until just before sunset, and then only in the west. What a stretch of weather this has been! I guess it is going to be coming to an end, just in time for me to drive 600 miles in rain, or possible rain.

 

I got to bed late, of course. Even when I don't sit at the computer until it goes off, it seems I sit and stare at the floor in the bathroom for a long time. I will try hard to do better tonight. I had just gotten settled and was drifting off when I heard, or thought I heard, something that sounded like a smoke detector starting to go off - just one chirp. So I got up  and padded around, sniffing, but there wasn't anything wrong, but then I had to get settled down again. The wind was pushing the smoke from the campground in this direction, but I had the porch door shut, so what I heard, if anything, I don't know. Sometimes I will hear things as I am drifting off to sleep, and sometimes I think they are actually inside my head rather than outside.

 

Anyway, despite all that, I was up and dressed fairly early this morning, because I thought I might have visitors to walk the beach, but they didn't come. So I ate the slow breakfast, did some embroidery, and got most of the stuff I sorted out yesterday packed away in the files. So the paper sorting is as done as it's going to be for a while, and that task is done.

 

I also collected up all the trash, including some stuff that had died in the fridge, and hauled it off to the dumpster, and I spruced up the cat pans. So all that is done. I still have some sorting and packing - and some things to find that I want to take along - and the suitcase to pack, and then all that is left is to clean up the kitchen and set out the cat food. I guess two days will do for that.

 

My new/old antihistamines are finally taking hold, and while I still have an occasional coughing fit in the night, I'm not having the sneezing episodes I was before. And it isn't because nothing is blooming that I'm allergic to. So I guess that is finally getting under control, which is good, because the hay fever season should be starting in southeastern Michigan.

 

This evening, I had my birthday dinner with Shirley, and we had a lovely time, and a lovely meal, as usual, and she gave me a lovely present - four beautiful mugs to add to my collection. I shall have to celebrate them with some tea. It was a beautiful night to be at Harbor Haus, with calm winds and the harbor like glass. It was busy, and dinner took a long time, but that was all right. She has been so busy that we haven't had a chance for a good talk in a long time.

 

Buster knows something is up, although how he knows it is beyond me. ESP, maybe? Besides, I have been going out a lot lately, and he doesn't like that. Of course, if I had people in, he wouldn't like that any better, I'm sure. Poor Buster. I hate to leave him alone for so long, but it would be worse to try to take him with me.

 

 I'll only be gone for five days, then I'll be around for the rest of our stay here. The halfway point of our stay in the field is the day after I get back (August 14), so I'll be here for over three months, but somehow, once the days start  getting short, time seems to go so much faster. Actually, the last three months has gone just as fast...too fast.

 

I noticed this morning that the sun is rising noticeably later...when I got up for my 6 am walk, it was much darker than it used to be. So summer is speeding onward. September is usually such a beautiful month that August doesn't feel like the end of summer like it used to, but by then we will have lost 4 hours of daylight from how it was in May and June. You'll be seeing a lot more of the inside of the office then, because there isn't much I can do in the dark except play computer games.

 

Several of the pieces of jewelry have sold, including the lapis necklace. The only thing that consoles me is that I know who will get it, and I know she'll enjoy it. And I do have enough beads to make another one for me. So I should be able to get some more beads without feeling too guilty.

 

Now Buster is hollering at me, and it's time to trundle up to the north end for the night.

 

The stars are shining on the field for one last night.

 

August 5

Somehow the beautiful weather never gets monotonous like the nasty weather does. Today was another one, beautifully sunny all day long, with a temperature that I think got up to around 70 with a nice breeze. Couldn't be more perfect.

 

I sort of muddled around all day, although I got up quite early. My contribution to tonight's dinner was strawberries and ice cream, and it took me most of the morning to wash the sand off the berries. That got me wondering about those plastic strawberries you get in the stores most of the year...they're not even sandy, and they're all white inside. Yuck. Anyway, enough of these were still good that I didn't have to rush down to Houghton to buy more, so I guess my microwave will be bought later and shipped. I have a gift certificate that has to be redeemed by sometime in October. I was glad I didn't have to go, as I seemed to be a bit groggy when I got up this morning.

 

I also went out onto the road...my first venture out there this year...to see if I could find any ripe bilberries. I got about half a cup, as well as two ripe thimbleberries. That was just enough to add a little color to the strawberries. The berries are all late this year, It looks to me like the thimbleberries will be peaking while I'm gone, and there is going to be a terrific crop. A couple of years ago, there was a worry that they might die out from a stem blight that infected them, but the blight seems to be gone, and the thimbleberries are rebounding. All of the rain we had early in the summer is paying dividends now in a great crop. There are a lot of bilberries, too, but not very many are ripe. Ripe bilberries are tart. Unripe ones are even more so.

 

Dinner was delightful. The people I met are all extremely nice, and they all just love it here. They are also very good cooks, so we ate very well indeed. Then we all trooped down to the shoreline to watch the sunset. The shore at Nancy and Chip's house is all rocky, and I found getting down there a real trip, even though I had my staff with me, but I found a spot on a rock where I could sit and still sort of get up from. The sunset was beautiful, and there are pictures in the camera which I will get posted eventually. Times like that when I rather regret that I don't face the big lake, but it's true that the view out my windows has more visual interest. However, they get to see the northern lights right down to the horizon, sunrises and sunsets in the summer, the ships passing by and the huge waves when we have a gale. Oh, well, there are many beautiful places in Keweenaw, and each one has its own aspects. Since I know Nancy and Chip, if I want to see any of the parts of their view (except the northern lights - I don't think I'd want to go blundering around in their front yard at night) I can just go to their house and see them. 

 

So it was a nice day altogether. I'm sorry all the rest of the people are leaving Saturday, but it was lovely to meet them, and they'll be back, I'm sure.

 

And the stars are shining on the field for another night.

 

August 4

I was late getting to bed, as usual, and I was tired enough that I was pretty much unaware of anything going on around me. I think the night was pretty clear, and I think I remember seeing moonlight on the side yard. It was another perfect morning, clear and blue, but the wind picked up overnight, and it was a bit cool to have the doors open. Around noon, a cloud bank floated through, but since then it's cleared up and is another fantastic evening. The temperature never got over the mid 60s, which is OK by me.

 

Panic is the best goad in the world, I find. I was idly looking through my payables file when I found the original copy of my license plate renewal form, and I realized that I had never put the tab on the license. I was sure I'd received it, but where it went, I didn't know. So I proceeded to sort through all the stuff on the desk and other counters and the "to file" file...without finding it. Panic time, for sure. I don't mind driving around Copper Harbor with an expired license, but I don't want to take off for Detroit that way. After going through everything a second time, I finally took the bottom of a box out of the inverted top...and there it was. Stupid place to put it, but at least it's now attached to the car and I have the new registration in my wallet.

 

Anyway, in the course of searching for that, I actually ended up going a long way toward sorting out the stuff in the office. It's not complete, but I have a good start. There was a file box of old magazines I had to leave here last winter because there was no room in the car and I wasn't going to ship anything that heavy, which I am filling up and will take back next week. I cleared off a lot of the counters and I have an orange bag full of stuff to throw out. So I feel I have accomplished something.

 

Good thing, because I think I am going to have to take a fast trip to town tomorrow. I said I would bring strawberries and ice cream to the going-away party (for the visitors who have been such nice people) tomorrow night, and I just don't think I have enough. Besides, then I can possibly get the microwave oven for Champine that I've been planning. Maybe. We'll see.

 

On my way to the post office this afternoon, I scared Baby Bear off the road down by Lake Lilly, so he is around again. That really bothers me. Proper bears don't usually roam so much during the day. Anyway, I didn't put out the hummingbird feeder today because when I put it down in the barrel last night, I tipped it and all that sugar syrup was in the bottom of the barrel. Yuck. I didn't want to make a whole new batch now, so I had nothing to put out...and wouldn't you know, the first thing, several hummingbirds were by looking for breakfast! Rats.

 

I did hang the finch feeders today, but this will be the last time until the end of next week. Then I will put everything out and see what the DNR does when Baby comes back.

 

Wow, I really hate to even think about going south! It just seems to be an awful exertion to get to a place I don't want to be. However, I've been telling myself that I've tried to be a good girl and do what the doctor wants, and I just don't think I want to change that now. Everything is all right, but if he feels the need to check that, so be it. It's been too hot in Detroit, and I know I won't like it.

 

Slowly things are coming together for my leaving, I guess, and I can move on to the next steps.

 

The sky is full of stars again in the field.

 

August 3

Of course, since I complained, last night's entry uploaded just fine. We'll see about tonight, because I've been having to manually reconnect all evening.

 

As usual, I am procrastinating. I managed to get involved with printing and binding journals today, and except for a certain amount of embroidery, that's all I did. It was such a beautiful day, it was wonderful to just do nothing. There was hardly a cloud in the sky all day long, and not much wind at all, and the temperature topped out at about 72. Talk about perfect...

 

The only imperfect thing about it was that during the afternoon Baby Bear turned up...for the first time in a couple of weeks, I think. He looks thin, and one of my more knowledgeable correspondents said his coat looked pretty scruffy in the pictures I took. But he obediently went away when I told him to. Poor Baby Bear!

 

I got mesmerized (again) by the journals for 2000 and 2001. A lot went on that year, including a trip to Detroit every month. We also had some hot weather at the end of July and beginning of August, although I don't know the details because I wasn't journaling every day then. Looking back on that in 2002 and especially last year was what taught me that I really do have to at least note the weather every day just for future reference. Although I don't have it in readable form yet, I remember that most of last summer was comfortable, too, until about the last week of August, which was horrible. 

 

Preparing those things for printing isn't what I would call fun, frankly. Not only are they posted backward from the way you'd want to read them normally, there are a lot of little typing glitches that seem to get onto these pages that MS Word doesn't like. A very nice lady combined everything from November 2000 to June 2002 into a file which she emailed me, but from that point on, I am going to have to fiddle with them myself. I have the supplies for a rather neat binding system, but I may just file them in a 5 x 8" binder. I feel the need to refer to them occasionally, and it would be easier if they were printed. Of course, I may run out of paper and I'll surely run out of ink before I get everything printed to my satisfaction. It won't be before I leave for Detroit!

 

So that is how I wiled away my time today. The stars are shining on the lovely field again tonight.

 

August 2

I apologize to anybody who tried to read yesterday's journal before about 9:30 this morning. I tried for nearly an hour to get everything to upload last night, and there was just no go, and I was tired, so I finally gave up and went to bed. From the look of the problems the camera is having, I'm going to have to reboot, maybe before I finish this journal.

 

For part of the night, the moon seemed somewhat clouded over, but after a while, it came out clearly. I didn't see it, but I could see the shadows it was casting in the side yard. It was bright enough that I could easily have walked around out there without falling over something. Maybe I can't see the Milky Way when there's a full moon, but I can see other things.

 

I don't think I slept very well...probably temperature problems again...and I had to get up earlier than I really wanted to because the ladies were coming to walk to the lighthouse. They actually came before I had breakfast anyway. The plan was that when they came back from the lighthouse, they would get me and we would go over to Pebble Beach, which is close enough that I think I could walk it. However, when they got back, they had decided against it, because the biting flies (sand flies, maybe?) were driving them crazy, especially the two who were wearing cropped pants. That was OK with me.

 

I woke up feeling like my head was full of cotton, and while I felt better after I ate something, I still didn't feel particularly robust. Besides, I was working on Suzanne's bracelet. I've finished it, and there are pictures in the camera, but I started doing something else and forgot them, so maybe tomorrow, because there are more...

 

It had clouded up by the time the ladies arrived, and while the NWS was predicting possible showers, the Clear Sky Clock said it would get progressively more cloudy until about noon, then start clearing up, and as usual, Environment Canada was right on. It was almost completely clear by 2:30, and the rest of the afternoon and evening has been glorious. The temperature has hung in the upper 60s all day, but it was extremely humid this morning - I  woke up with an almost perfect flip, and I hate that - and there was enough sun that I imagine it was pretty awful on the road, away from the wind. Thankfully, there was a nice breeze all day. That has now died away, and the harbor is like glass again. We were treated to a very orange sunset, which I did capture, but I need to get the pictures out of the camera and process them. Tomrrow.

 

Now, tonight, if this thing doesn't upload after I reboot, I am not going to beat on it, and I will do it as soon as I am ambulatory tomorrow, but I don't guarantee it will be very early. I haven't heard any more about my broadband since I talked to Charlie the day of the green screen. While I don't mind not paying for it, I'm getting anxious.

 

Bright moonshine on the field tonight.

 

August 1

Wow! August already! In spite of the fact that she was born in August, my mother always dreaded this month because so many bad things happened to her during it - she had her mastectomy and ended up in the TB san, her father, her uncle and my father all died in August, and there were probably a few other things I can't remember. Fortunately, my calamities have been spread around the year a bit more so I don't have to dread any month.

 

My social whirl continued today. Nancy and Chip had a sort of open house this afternoon, which was very nice and I met some more very nice people. They ended up having dinner with me at Harbor Haus. I had rouladen, which I love, but after the snacks, I could only eat less than half of it, so I'll have another good meal tomorrow. Yum!

 

It was another truly beautiful day. The temperature hung in the low 70s all day long, and while there were a few clouds for a while, for most of the day the sky was pristine and blue and the lake was nearly calm and so blue! I could take a lot of this weather, although I have to say that it was warm enough that if I'd had to do much in the way of work, I would have been sweating.

 

With my usual slow start in the morning, and Suzanne coming in the afternoon to deliver a lovely plaque she had painted...I will have to remember to take a picture of it tomorrow...I didn't get much done. I did get the pans cleaned out of the kitchen sink, and I did a little beading, but that was about it. 

 

Tomorrow, the ladies are going to come out to walk the road, so I will have guests then, too. And I need to begin to organize myself for the trip back to Detroit...boy, do I hate to go! However, I keep reminding myself that there were a bunch of pictures and beads that I couldn't bring along because there wasn't room, and I found some stuff I left here last fall, mostly magazines, that needs to be taken there, and I need to replenish Buster's supply of the one kind of cat food I can't get here (his favorite, of course!), so it won't be a wasted trip. I will try to see Debbie, and I need to get the car greased and oiled (and washed - all the dust has made a mess of it). So I guess the three days I will actually be there will be busy enough. I will know Dr. Lehman feels I'm really all right when I can go six months without seeing him.

 

Well, I need to up load the July archive, and I need to go to bed early, both because I'm tired and because the ladies will be around fairly early tomorrow morning and I need to be ready for them.

 

There's starshine in the field tonight.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM