A View From the Field

Home

journal

gallery

livecam

mission

links

Help

November, 2004

November 30

Well, here it is the end of November already. Amazing.

 

I rather forgot, when talking to the doctor, the way things work at hospitals and things. I will wear the heart monitor from Thursday through Friday, and the ultrasound won't be until a week from tomorrow...and by that time I will have seen Dr. Lehman and be into the cat scan thing. So I can go merrily on my way and not have to rush around, at least for a while. Now all I have to decide is whether to get my blood drawn before or after I get the monitor. OF course, I could get the blood done around noon, then go to Lucy's for lunch...hmm...

 

It turned out I forgot some important things yesterday, so this afternoon I ventured out to the other supermarket...and of course forgot some of them. They have rearranged a good portion of the east side of the market, and now have much more wine than they used to, but they have it layed out in such a terrible way that it's almost impossible to find anything you're really looking for. However, I got a couple of their good sandwiches, and still forgot one of the things I wanted to get...juice!

 

That's rather important, because the doctor told me to lay off all caffeine. It's not that I need coffee in the morning but that I like to have something hot with my breakfast...it gets things going. So no coffee, no tea, and - horror of horrors - no chocolate! I wonder if I'll survive? And finding something hot to drink in the morning may be a problem. I have lots of herbal teas around, but I don't know how well they will go with breakfast. I guess I'll see.

 

IT wasn't a very nice day here, very dark and dreary, with temperatures almost steady in the upper 30s, and drizzle or rain or something (the NWS calls it mist) all day long. Yuck.

 

Now, in Copper Harbor, it was another story. The temperature was about the same as it was here, but it was clear and sunny and not very windy all day long...just beautiful! Oh, that we were there...

 

Now, things are going to deteriorate both places tomorrow. We are supposed to start getting snow after midnight, but there won't be much accumulation in the city. Same thing in Copper Harbor, except there may be some accumulation. Well, it's winter, after all. I'm not sure you can say that winter, weather-wise, starts the first of November, but certainly it does by the 15th.

 

Well, I now have an even more incredible mess in the kitchen than I did yesterday, but when it will get cleaned up is debatable. If I get up early enough tomorrow, I would like to go to bible class (seems I said that last week, didn't I?) but at any rate, I see the financial guy in the afternoon, then there is the first Advent service and choir at church. Oh, well. It will get cleaned up  sometime.

 

Now, even though it is pretty early, I am going to haul myself upstairs. After being just fine all night and all day long, my heart is palpating again and I think it's time I put it to bed. I will be interested to see what the cause is...

 

November 29

Well, the camera and the phone line cooperated this morning, for which I was grateful.

 

As for me, I went to bed at 11 pm and got up at 10 am this morning, with very few interruptions, and I would have felt better except that I had a sinus headache all day. I'll try to do it again tomorrow.

 

Copper Harbor had some snow this morning, which stopped around noon, then it cleared up and there were clear skies and sunshine all afternoon. There was a cloudbank coming over at sunset, but the afternoon must have been lovely. The snow looked serious in the pictures, but there was hardly any accumulation on the deck. Oh, to be there... The temperature hung in around 30, with not much wind.

 

Here, it started out clear this morning, but soon clouded up and began to drizzle early in the afternoon. The temperature was in the upper 30s, with not much wind, and it wasn't too bad out until the rain came. That may possibly be mixed with snow later in the evening, but mostly it was just an annoyance.

 

I moved with some speed, and got out around 1 pm. The new pet store is very nice, but very big, and has a wonderful selection of stuff. Buster will be pleased, I think. I got all his favorite flavors. Then it was Kroger, and I needed enough stuff that I had to do practically every aisle, and still I didn't get everything I needed. Most of that is the Monday thing...they typically restock Monday and Tuesday, but there were an incredible number of people in the store today. They had only three checkout lanes open, so I guess they were caught off-guard, too. And I had a surly checker. I must say that Econo Foods has spoiled me. Instead of ten feet of stuff people don't buy (because Kroger gets kickbacks from the companies), Econo has two feet of everything. It makes a big difference.

 

Anyway, $260 later, I had to load up the car, come home, and unload the whole thing. Actually I didn't: the kitty litter and the birdseed are still in the truck. I was exhausted, and ended up changing all my clothes, because I leaked on the way to the bathroom.

 

I guess I can talk about the problem I've been having, although we are still in the diagnosis phase. On November 2, at 3:45 in the morning, I woke up very abruptly, after having had an interesting twist on the potty dream - besides looking for a toilet, I was trying to find a drink of water. Anyway, I sat up rather abruptly, and my heart was really pounding, for some reason. While I was sitting in the bathroom, I realized that it was skipping beats...irregularly, but consistently. When I got back in bed, I could feel my heart, which I can't say I ever have before, and it didn't feel very good, bad enough to keep me awake.

 

I've had various irregular heartbeats and associated symptoms ever since, so I decided I'd better check it out when I got back here. I couldn't get an appointment with my own internist until later in the month, so I took the first appointment, which was this afternoon, with a pleasant young Indian woman. The appointment was at 4:45, so tomorrow I have to go back for blood work, and to get a heart monitor from the hospital, and I have to schedule an ultrasound. 

 

Most peculiarly, my heart seems fine when I've been active, and the irregularities only seem to occur when I'm in rest mode. So tomorrow I will go do the rest of the stuff, and then we'll see what the problem is. Besides an intrinsic heart problem - which is possible, considering my medical and family history - it could be an electrolyte imbalance, which I've certainly had before, or a thyroid problem, which I've also had forever. So it will be interesting to see what the diagnosis is, and my next appointment is with my own internist.

 

I find the symptoms more annoying than otherwise, and one of the principal problems I've had is that they interfere with my rest. I think the reason I didn't have any problem sleeping last week is that I was rustling around with the boxes. And I'm sure, other things aside, that I was stressed out enough about leaving Copper Harbor that the problem got worse then.

 

At least I have the winter to get it under control.

 

So now I have a fridge full of goodies (actually, mostly healthy food, amazingly enough) to eat, and a real mess in the kitchen. Among the things I have to nosh on are a turkey breast (I didn't get my turkey last week!) and ham hocks to make a washboiler of pea soup with. Yum. Oh, yes, and I have been instructed to avoid all caffeine. Not that I get a lot of it, but I do like my coffee in the morning. I'm not sure what I will do about my hot drink in the morning - tea has caffeine in it, too, even if I could drink it for breakfast, which I can't.

 

And that is all I know, and I'm getting hungry. We progress.

 

November 28

It took me a while to get to sleep, but once I did, I did well, except for one of those extremely vivid dreams. However, I woke up before 8, and got up around 8, and that was too early. It was good that I did, however, because the computer in Copper Harbor hadn't connected again. I hope this is just a passing problem. I will be checking it as early as I can, however, until I'm sure it's OK.

 

Of course, there have been very high winds in Copper Harbor for the past few days, and that could have something to do with it. I hope.

 

I was able to concoct a relatively good looking outfit to wear to church today, and I did notice that the majority of women are not doing what I would call "dressing" for church anymore. Good, because I'm not either. There was a baptism of an adorable little blond girl who is almost a year old, and the choir sounded very good, even though Carol wasn't there. Bruce is a really excellent director to make a rather ordinary group of people sound like a real choir. The anthem was sung with bells, which I enjoyed. And there was communion, for which I was glad. It's been a long time.

 

There was a voter's meeting after the service, and they never really dismissed us, but I left anyway. I just do not want to get into all that. I was tired when I got home anyway, so it was good I left.

 

I embroidered for q while then, and finished the wings and started on the angel's head. The hair is a bit difficult to follow, but I'm making progress. 

 

And that was about it.

 

It was cloudy and windy in Copper Harbor. The temperature hung in the low 30s and the wind was in the 25-40 mph range from the northwest. The waves would have been fun to watch. Here, it rained a bit, off and on, and the temperature started out in the upper 30s and dropped all day. Late in the afternoon there were actually a few rays of sunshine, and the moon was rising in the far northeast when I went up to get my dinner. That isn't going to last long, however. We are into the part of the year that is mostly cloudy over all of Michigan.

 

So I will try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight, because I have to go food shopping tomorrow. Both Buster and I are running out of stuff to eat. I do have some meat in the freezer, but there are a few things I need. And late in the day, I have a doctor's appointment...which is all I'll say about it until I see what's going on.

 

Oh, yes, I have to report one interesting thing. Buster has not come downstairs for breakfast with me since we got home. What a snot! He remembers that the morning we left, last May, when he came down for breakfast, I grabbed him and stuffed him in a carrier. He may not remember the good things, but he never forgets the bad things! I'm sure he'll get over it, but it's really rather amusing. Actually, I wish I was putting him in the cage for the trip north!

 

It's winter in the field in exile.

 

November 27

Well, I'll get my sleep sometime. I had a hard time getting to sleep, but once I did, I did well, but when I woke up at 9:30, I just didn't feel like getting out of bed, so I dozed for almost another hour before I got up. Cuts into the day no end, let me tell you.

 

And when I got down to the computer, I discovered that again it had failed to connect to the internet, but once I power failed it, it came up just fine. Really strange. I hope that doesn't continue - it's a pain.

 

Not that there was much to see. It was a cloudy, dark and dreary day in Copper Harbor today. While it was snowing further down the peninsula, it only rained in the harbor, apparently all day long, but the wind was from the east, more or less, so the feather didn't get washed off the window. That may change tonight, as the wind is now from the northeast at 27-32 mph. If it moves more toward the north, either the rain or the wind should get rid of the feather. It may also start snowing, although currently the temperature is above freezing.

 

We must be on the other side of the low here, because it got up to 50, and while it's dropping off now, and the wind is also 26-32 mph, it is from the south, which should mean rain and not snow, I would think.

 

There are spots in the interior of the UP that have a respectable amount of snow on the ground, but so far, none in the harbor. We'll see tomorrow.

 

So I did not much, again, except some embroidery, and I finished all of the wings except for a bit on the end of the under wing. I always do the wings first on those angels because they are the hardest, most boring part. The rest should be more fun, although it's a big piece and it will take a while.

 

Tomorrow, I hope I get up in time to go to church (!), and it will be really interesting to try to get some kind of decent clothes on for a change...maybe even pantyhose? Maybe not. It's OK to wear slacks to church, so long as you look put together. It will be good to go.

 

I will try to check the computer before I go, just in case the camera is down again.

 

Another dull, dark day in the field in exile.

 

November 26

I didn't sleep quite so well last night, but I got up at a reasonable hour anyway. I don't want to get so turned around that I can't get out in the morning when I need to. It was just as well that I did, because the computer in Copper Harbor never made a connection, so I had to power fail it. After that it was fine, and I have no clue what its trouble was. Sometimes it just can't connect up, and its retry limit is totally unknown.

 

On the subject of the camera, there appears to be a feather on the window almost right in the middle of the camera view. That's what the fuzzy spot is. If the snow over the weekend is slushy or turns to rain, I expect it will get washed off, and if it doesn't, I may have to call Tom and ask him to remove it.

 

Otherwise, there wasn't anything to report. I could have taken one picture and it would have done for all day, except for a few alterations in the clouds. I guess it is supposed to start snowing tonight, and the completely calm harbor at sunset suggests the calm before the storm. I'll be interested to see what tomorrow brings. The temperature actually got into the upper 30s in the harbor - down in Houghton it was colder, and the last report (at 9pm) said it was snowing. Mother Superior strikes again.

 

Here, it was about the same, with the temperature rising slowly to almost 40, and I guess it is drizzling now. It was basically dark and dull and raw all day.

 

Let's see, did I do anything? Some embroidery...I can see the end of the angel's wings...and I wrote some checks and went out to the bank and the post office. Not much.  I would have begun taking the boxes upstairs, except that I can't decide which ones to take first, other than the one with my current papers in it. Good excuse, eh?

 

So another quiet day in the field in exile. Maybe I don't want to unpack because that will admit that I'm really here for the next 5 months?

 

November 25 Happy Thanksgiving

Well, I didn't get up in time to go to church this morning, and I'm sorry, but right now I need my rest.

 

I rested quite well last night, I must say, although I was wakeful for a while around 6 am. Sometime in the middle of the night I woke up and the roof of the garage was white - we had a dusting of snow. It wasn't much to speak of, and only the places where the sun didn't hit today have anything at all white on them. The day was cold and beautifully clear here, with temperatures that hung right around freezing all day. I haven't gotten the temperatures sensors out yet (I wasn't going to put them out in the pouring rain yesterday), so I can't say what the local microclimate was, but it was about right.

 

In Copper Harbor, it snowed lightly all day, with not much accumulation, and it was dark and windy - temps in the high 20s and a brisk north wind. Brrr. Wish I was there. I mean, this is the first measurable snow in Copper Harbor, and I missed it. Strange, strange weather year! Anyway, it's started, and I guess it's supposed to snow for the next week, for starters.

 

And I vegged out again. Spent quite a while at the computer, just like when I'm there, and didn't get dressed until late in the afternoon. I did do some embroidery and got the first blue box upstairs...but then, I need to write some checks tomorrow, and I need the bills for that.

 

It was a quiet day, but a thankful one. I have had a most wonderful year, and there is even the faint hope that I might be able to live in my favorite place all year. On that subject, ATC had a long interview with Mary Chapin Carpenter this evening, and she has written a number of songs about her favorite place that just echo my feelings about mine.

 

So that is all I know, and I'm about ready to call it a night, except that "Pictures at an Exhibition" is on the radio just now, and I want to hear the end of it...My radio station down here, that I can only get reasonably well on the computer, plays the same stuff the one in Copper Harbor does at night, and I usually like their selections. Their Minnesota Lutheran roots keep coming to the surface with lots of choral, especially sacred choral, music. Tonight it was Bach's setting of "Nun danket alle Gott" (MS dictionary sure doesn't like that one!) which I sang in a former life, although as I recall the sopranos were the cantus firmus, so we didn't get in on any of the fun. Don't know of any other radio station I've ever listened to that just stuck something like that into the middle of an evening's programming. And they do Thompson's "Alleluia" and Barber's "Agnus Dei" regularly. I'm looking forward to their Christmas season programming, which is always very heavy on the choral music.

 

So with the "Great Gate at Kiev" to buoy my feelings, I can say, life is good, and could only be better if I was in the field instead of in exile.

 

November 24

So I changed the quilts around on the bed, bathed, and got into a flannel nightie...and was in bed by 10:30. I crawled out at 9:30 this morning. So much for my thoughts about going to Bible class. I haven't slept so well for nearly a month, so I guess my leavetaking really got on my nerves. Maybe I can do it again tonight, although I would like to go to church tomorrow.

 

Fortunately, Charlie is checking the camera, because it came up with a green screen this morning, but by the time I got downstairs, he had reset it. It was actually a much nicer day in Copper Harbor than it was here. It was cold (around 30) and windy, but there was a bit of sunshine. Here...well! We had pouring rain and strong winds from the north all day long. I guess there was a while in the middle of the afternoon when it stopped raining, but around sunset it started pouring again, and I guess it either has or is about to turn to snow. Yuck. If it's like that tomorrow morning, frankly, I shall hibernate. When I am within a couple of miles of a church, I like to take advantage, but since they are building the addition and have closed off the back doors, it's sort of a hike to get into the church these days, and in the wind and rain, I don't think so.

 

I did not accomplish much of anything today. I did do some embroidery on the angel, and I located my seed bead bracelets, but otherwise, I more or less just looked at my piles of boxes and other stuff. Tomorrow will be a quiet day, because my usual Thanksgiving dinner hostess is in Las Vegas with her daughters, so maybe I can begin to move stuff around. Oh, I did move the suitcases out of the middle of the upstairs hall, but except to put some of the underwear away, I didn't do anything else.

 

It always takes me a while to recover from the exertion of that long car drive plus all the loading and unloading, so I expect to feel a bit better tomorrow, especially if I get another good night's sleep. It certainly makes a difference to have the temperature inside the bed right.

 

So I guess we're settling down, except that Buster is still acting a bit strange. I guess he thinks if he comes down for breakfast, I will grab him and stuff him in a box or something, which of course is nonsense, but he'll get over it. In some things he is a smart cat, but he still hasn't gotten used to the new program. Now, DC had it all figured out after the first year, but then, he was an extraordinary animal altogether.

 

So that is all I know, and it's a cold, soggy night in the field in exile.

 

November 23

We arrived, safe and sound, around 8:40 last evening. First, thanks to everyone who emailed me yesterday. I appreciate your good wishes more than I can say.

 

So, in order.

 

The car was packed Sunday night, except for the cooler and a totebag for my nightie, but with everything I had to do, it was midnight before I got to bed.  With the help of a sleeping pill, I did get a good night's sleep, but I got up at 730 yesterday morning, and frankly, that really isn't enough sleep for me. But with everything I had to do, if I'd slept longer we would never have gotten out of there. As it was, it was after 10:30 (I think - I haven't been able to find  the records on my tape recorder) before we left.

 

 I managed to find Buster and confine him to the bathroom, but he got away from me when I went to get him, and I had to chase him halfway up to the loft before he decided it wasn't worth it to fight. The last minute things we had to do included setting all the thermostats, and after finally reading the directions, I realized I can just put them on "hold" at the winter temperature and then, when Tom warms up the bedroom and bathroom, all he has to do is push "hold" again and the program will pick up. Duh. It pays to read the directions, I guess. I really can't remember if I actually set them all, but he will be around sometime to close things up, and he'll check to make sure I did.

 

It was cloudy and in the upper 30s when we left the harbor, but there was some sunshine and temps in the mid 40s through the UP. Because I left so late and I was wearing a Depends, I made it to the Seney Stretch rest stop with only a little leak, even though that was about 4 hours of driving. My worst problem was that the way the car was packed, things kept sliding off the side piles and into the middle, which is the place I leave as open as possible so I can see out the back window.

 

There wasn't much traffic in the UP, and I think I only had to pass people on the two lane highways a couple of times. Since I left so late, it was after 4 pm by the time I got to the Mackinaw Bridge, so most of my trip down I-75 was in darkness.

 

I was really surprised about how much traffic there was, going in both directions, although there were stretches between Gaylord and Bay City where I could turn on the high-beams and actually see where I was going. And I was surprised by how many people in the same situation weren't using their high beams. City folks, obviously. On the other hand, there were a few idiots who didn't turn down their high-beams when there was traffic, which is one of my pet peeves. I mean, how do you expect me to see when your headlights are shining right into my eyes...or being reflected off my side-view mirror right into my eyes? The center rear-view mirror is one of those adaptive things, and it really helps, but I need that on the left side mirror, too.

 

Anyway, the drive from Bay City to here is the pits under the best of conditions, and the amount of traffic - and this was all far later than the rush hour - just made it worse. There are too many people and too many cars and too many idiots in this area. Especially, the part of the trip through northern Oakland County - south of Flint - Is excruciating.

 

Buster was not a happy camper, and he howled for half an hour without stopping when we left, and at intervals for the next hour before his throat apparently got sore and he was so exhausted that he had to sleep. After that, every so often, especially when we hit a rough stretch of road, he would wake up and complain a bit. I'm not sure he used his tray, but he did drink most of the water in his water dish...I expect all that howling gave him a sore throat.

 

We pulled into the driveway at about 8:40 pm. Either we set a new record,  or I'm wrong about when we left.

 

As soon as I opened up the house and moved the things from beside the cage, I carried Buster out and set him down in the kitchen. He looked around as if to say, "Oh, this is where we are!". then he ran down the basement, to pee, I think. I only unloaded the absolute essentials last night, the cooler and crates of food, my suitcases, and things like the computer and the camera. I was too exhausted to do any more.

 

When I turned up the heat, there was an awful noise from down in the basement, which I deduced must be the booster fan in the air duct to the sewing room. Fortunately, it has either stopped working or quieted down (I suspect the former), or I would have had a hard time sleeping.

 

I didn't even take a bath last night, even though I had been sweating pretty hard both in the morning and when we got here. I will have to adjust the night temperature and change the quilts on the bed, because I had to sleep in my fleece robe last night, which didn't actually work very well. And I crashed about 11 pm. Unfortunately, I was wakeful for several hours during the night, partly, I think, because of the sleeping pill the night before, but I finally climbed out of bed this morning about 10 am...

 

One reason I got up then was that somebody was either cutting grass or leaf blowing at one of the neighbors', and two jet planes went right overhead to land at City Airport...and the grass cutting and leaf blowing went on at various sites uninterrupted all day long, for heaven's sake!

 

I moved slowly all day, but I did manage to get the rest of the car unloaded and get gas.

 

Oh, yes, and when I arrived last evening, the four boxes from UPS were on the front porch, just where everyone could see them, and when I shoved them in the house, two of them had split open along one side. I don't think anything fell out, but still...I think they could be just a tad more careful with their shipments. There was also a ton of mail, so that worked right.

 

So I guess I'm here for the winter. The house is a total disaster, as you might expect, because almost all the stuff is still downstairs. I have misplaced my two seed bead bracelets...I remember stuffing them in a plastic bag with some other jewelry that happened to be in the office, but I can't remember what I did with the bag...and I haven't located a bunch of other stuff I will shortly need, although the important box of papers is on top.

 

If I can get up early enough tomorrow, I may go to bible class, but  I'm not going to push it. Tonight, after the laptop finally finished updating Norton (even at 52kb, it takes forever - the DSL is even more wonderful than I'd remembered), and the site is updated, I will go and get clean and change the quilts, then crash again. About the site - I've mentioned before that FrontPage has a serious bug in its date handling, so ever since the time change, it has been trying to update every file that has not been updated since the last time change - most of the picture files, at least. I have been answering "no" about 500 times every night, because no way was I going to attempt that kind of an update at 28.8kb! So now that I am back on the DSL, I'll let 'er rip.

 

It seems I missed a couple of pretty days in the Harbor already. Last night's sunset must have been spectacular, to judge from this shot, which I'm sure doesn't do it justice. Today there were a few rays of sunshine amidst the cold, gray clouds, and there was quite a wind, as you can see. The weather station reported the wind between 22 and 33 mph all day long, and the temperature was in the mid 30s. Brr.

 

Wish I was there.

 

So that is the first report from the field in exile. I don't like it here. I'm sorry I had to come. I want to go back.

 

November 21

Well, it's about 6:30, and I  still have an awful lot to do, but I'm tired and hungry, so I will do this while I eat at TV dinner, and once it is uploaded, I can start the file transfer while I do other things.

 

The blue boxes are all packed and in the car, and I am taking back an incredible amount more than I brought. Fortunately, I sent most of my clothes (I hope), and I have determined that I can put another three-high pile behind the first one, so maybe that will be enough room...I hope. I know every nook and cranny of the car will be stuffed (except the cage, of course), and I'll probably get terrible gas mileage.

 

The day didn't start out very well, or very early. I just could not get to sleep last night, and I guess I should have taken a sleeping pill, because I ended up only getting about 5 hours' real sleep. Part of the problem was that we had very high winds - I would guess gusts into the middle 30 mph range here - from the northwest, and it was noisy. I was sitting in bed reading around 10:30, and when I looked at the end windows in the window seat, they were moving in and out by about a quarter inch...the wind was that strong. I'm glad I don't have that vantage point on the front windows in the great room when it's blowing a gale! Yieee! Anyway, that was only part of the problem. I don't know why I am so clutched up about leaving this time. And I was apparently really clutched up about getting packed today.

 

 So I started out the day tired and not feeling very well. I didn't jump right into it, I must confess, but spent my usual morning time reading the funnies and looking at my favorite websites.

 

However, eventually I got at it, and I almost managed to adhere to my desire to move stuff as I packed it. There are 2 file boxes of paper - my filing, some important books and magazines, and various other stuff. The other stuff is an annoyance: specialty computer paper, like greeting cards and business cards and mailing labels, and now I am schlepping fancy papers that I use to make the tags for my jewelry. I really need to pay attention to that stuff and get it sorted out next...unless of course, it all ends up here!

 

So at this point, I am about to start on the overflow and the foodstuffs...and it just occurred to me that I can leave most of the cat food here, just taking enough for a day or so and all the dry food. That would help. However, I have a lot of American Spoon Foods preserves that I have to sort out and take some back with me. And the 1.75 liter jug of JD I am taking back is now open, because I want to leave a full fifth here.

 

And to digress (I've been digressing a lot lately), a long time ago, my mother started decanting her 1.75 liter bottles of Bacardi Sliver into a fifth bottle, because it was so easy to pour, and at the time I rather laughed at her, because big Bacardi bottles have a handle on them. Well...as in many, many other things, mama knew best. Big JD bottles do not have a handle, and they are most difficult to pour out of. I can't tell you how many times I've poured the precious stuff all over the counter while filling my jigger. So I have been decanting my big bottles into a fifth, and it's wonderful...so long as I pay attention while I'm decanting. I have a strange failing while pouring: for some reason I don't understand, unless I pay very close attention, while pouring from a large container into a small one, I have the really weird tendency to continue pouring after the small container is full. This happens with both bottles and glasses, and I just don't understand it. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to pour over an ounce of JD on the counter. Fortunately, I was able to recover most of it. And, I might add, that JD is a wonderful Formica cleaner, so long as you wipe it up while it's still liquid. The alcohol, I guess.

 

Anyway, sometime tonight I will take a sleeping pill and hope that will give me at least eight hours' good sleep. When I start off doesn't matter much, really, because the sun sets at around 5 pm everywhere, so the end of my journey will be in the dark at any rate. And this year, I will be able to get into my driveway!

 

Oh, yes, and I must mention that at about 10:30 a year ago today, DC died in the upstairs bathroom on Champine, of respiratory failure. Poor D! How we still miss you!

 

Oh...the weather. I'm forgetting. it was in the mid 30s and cloudy for most of the day, and while there was no precipitation, those clouds looked like snow! Along about sunset, it began to clear up, and the quarter moon was shining in the sky when I went out to secure the shutters over the porch screens and  take in the bird feeders. Nothing special about it, except that November has been pretty warm...not so warm as 2001, but amazingly lacking in cold and snow.

 

Oh, yes, and that was another distraction. I didn't want to pull down the shutters over the porch screens until I had to, because it makes it so dark in the hall, so I was out almost in the dark tonight, trying to figure out which lock went which place. It was pretty cold and windy, let me tell you. Then, as soon as it got dark, I dumped all the remaining birdseed on the porch and took in all the feeders and all the hangers.

 

There are a lot of things that aren't going to get done. I hope to be able to at least sweep the kitchen floor, but it isn't going to get mopped. There are dead files and other things all over the great room and the office, and they will just have to stay until spring. Maybe I will get the counters wiped one last time.

 

I do not want to leave here, and May 6 can not come fast enough to suit me.

 

There almost certainly won't be a journal tomorrow, but I will try to get back online by Tuesday and report on our trip south and how things are in the big city. I also try to keep track of the camera pictures and the weather here, and although the journal does take a slightly different angle and isn't updated quite so religiously, I do try to keep it going.

 

So that is all I can thing of, and I'll get the show on the road. We're weepin' and a-wailin' in the field tonight.

 

November 20

I did what I planned, but I was wakeful in the middle of the night, and as a result it was very late when I got up this morning, and along about 2:30 this afternoon, I realized I hadn't done anything at all...oh, my.

 

So I scuttled around, cleaned the bathroom, did cat pans, and got the cage into the car...and that was about it. Along about 4 pm it got too dark to see in the office, so I gave up and relaxed for a while before I went to dinner with Shirley again...this time it was char-broiled lake trout, which was pretty good, too.

 

We had a nice dinner and sat for a while afterwards, and now I am tired enough that I think I am going up to the north end...I guess I could even leave Tuesday, if I had to, but I can't wait until Wednesday, because then I'd get into all the Thanksgiving traffic, and it would be going every which way all the way south. I'm still aiming for Monday, but we'll see.

 

I have had the interesting notion that as I pack something, I will take it out to the car, instead of trying to move everything to the car all at once. I think that might work better. And as usual, a lot of things won't get done, but oh, well. Next spring is a new year.

 

Today was a fairly nasty day, weatherwise. When I got out of the shower last night, I realized it had started raining hard, and I think it did that off and on all night. At least the deck was wet this morning. It was a dark and dreary day, with a brisk wind out of the northwest and temperatures in the low 40s, but mostly it was just dark. It began to look like twilight around 4 pm. As I came back from dinner, it had begun to rain again, but what was coming down was a bit harder than rain...not quite sleet, and not snow, but not quite rain, either. Not nice.

 

So that is another lost day in the field, and I'm off to bed. It's a night not worth doing much else.

 

November 19

Last night was a much better one, and I had a good sleep and got up early...even though I didn't feel like it. And it was a fairly productive day. I washed two loads of clothes (and towels), and I schlepped seven bags of trash to the dumpster, and Nancy's gift to the General Store, and then I had a nice dinner (charcoal grilled rib eye steak - yum) at Mariner with Shirley. So we progress.

 

The night was calm and mostly clear, surprisingly, and I saw stars until about 4 am. The temperature was pretty much steady all day long, in the low 40s, and with the wind out of the southeast, it turned out to be a pretty nice day altogether. I guess it's supposed to rain and maybe snow for the rest of the weekend, but Monday should be a pretty good day to travel.

 

Rats.

 

I actually cleared out around the sewing machine enough to finish the bread cloth, so this end of the office is beginning to look almost decent. However, the other end...

 

Tomorrow, I shall have to do some cleaning and pack the file boxes, alternately, I suppose, so that I can sit down sometimes. Even though it looks like a disaster in the office, I think things are in pretty good shape. The only things that may not get done are sweeping up the great room (scads of dead flies) and the office, but we'll see. I'm not going to give up on those things yet.

 

So I have not much to report except that I'm making progress in spite of myself, and I think I shall repeat last night - bath, then read a while, then sleep good.

 

It's a quiet, cloudy night in the field tonight.

 

November 18

Wow, what an awful night! I guess I was (or am) really bent out of shape about packing up and leaving, and try as I might, I just could not get to sleep. Finally, sometime after 3am, I decided to think happy thoughts, and that helped, but not a lot, since I still had to get up several times, and I was coughing a lot. The humidity in the house is down below 30%, and I think that has something to do with it, as well as all the dust there is around here.

 

Nevertheless, I was up at 9:30 and swung into action even before I ate. I find the large glass of orange juice gives me quite a while before I get hungry enough to eat.

 

It wasn't exactly easy, but I had the boxes packed and sealed before 2 pm, and wouldn't you know, this is the day UPS was exceptionally busy, and he didn't get here until 4 pm! Gad, I could have dragged my feet forever. Anyway, the boxes are gone, and whatever I want to take with me, if I can't pack it in the containers that fit in the car, it isn't going. I have the feeling the car is going to be rather fully packed...although I did send enough clothes that my suitcases are likely to be fairly empty. It looks like I'm getting the clothes part of it under control, at least. The main reason there were two boxes is that my fleece and berber tops take an enormous amount of room, and I needed to send them, because last year, I didn't and I needed them. So I suppose this year, I probably won't.

 

Anyway, after the UPS left, I made a fast trip to the post office and a stop at the General Store. I get to have the slow breakfast tomorrow, and I needed milk. I also needed to talk to Kelly, because the Sestoks aren't back yet, and I want to leave their gift with her rather than putting it on their stoop, where the stuff in glass might freeze. I've almost found the sewing machine, too, and hopefully I will get that taken care of tomorrow.

 

The other major task for tomorrow is to get the trash to the dumpster, including the over-ripe contents of the fridge. Of course, I will make some more trash before Monday, but it should be modest. I usually leave an orange bag in the bag holder in the breezeway anyway. And in the meantime, I can maybe get some more of the packing away done, as well as a little moving around. I hope. After getting all the nice Sterlite boxes, I haven't done anything about what goes in them, but now I have room in the front closet so I need to do that.

 

However, for tonight, the plan is to get this published, bathe (which I didn't do last night - a mistake, I think), and read for a while to induce the pleasant thoughts, then crash. I expect I won't read for long.

 

Oh - the weather. It's worth talking about, because Buster thought it was great. It was a foggy morning, but pretty soon the wind picked up and blew most of the fog away, and the sun came out. well...not enough to show in the camera, but enough so that I couldn't see the computer screen.  It turned into a really lovely day, with temperatures that hung in the mid 40s from midnight onward. The temperatures are now dropping off, and I guess it's supposed to rain tomorrow and be cooler. I mean, it wouldn't be leaving if I didn't leave at least under the threat of snow, would it? However, unless I drive into it, Monday looks to be a pretty good day to travel. Cooler, but partly sunny.

 

Oh, I don't want to go!!!

 

Buster was alternately full of ginger and clingy for most of the day. He had a wonderful time for most of the middle part of the day, romping around on the railings of the loft, and sleeping either on me or on the other chair right beside me. He certainly knows what's going to happen, and he keeps looking at me as though he's trying to say, 'Oh, please, can't we stay?" Boy, Buster, do I wish. Right now, he is curled up on the fleece throw in the task chair, sound asleep. I bet I have him with me all night long, too. Cats simply do not understand the concept of having to do something you really, really don't want to do. Aren't they lucky?

 

Late this afternoon, I cleaned off the desk under the computer screen and washed it thoroughly, and also removed some nasty but unidentified guck that had gotten into the keyboard. I can't help eating while I compute, but it sure is hard on the keyboard. I didn't do a thorough job, having already done that once this year, but I got most of the stuff out...and there was a slight pause as I realized the left-hand shift key wasn't seated properly. Is now. I hope, in my final cleanup, to be able to vacuum behind the CRT and under the desk, both of which are dusty beyond belief.

 

Well, there are still a lot of piles around here, but I think things are beginning to get under control. Tomorrow is another day.

 

Before I turned the lights on, I caught something in the corner of my eye, and when I looked out, the almost-first-quarter moon was shining serenely in the window. How I will miss all my views...

 

It's a calm and quiet night in the field tonight.

 

November 17

Well. I made it official. I'm not going until Monday. When it got to be time to go to the post office and I still hadn't even gone downstairs to get the boxes, I just decided I wasn't going to beat my head against an impossible wall. I did do some sorting and piling into piles, and the boxes are now upstairs, and one of them is partly packed.

 

When I got back from the post office, I was going to rush around and collect all the trash, and then I just gave up on that, too, partly because by that time I could see I would be here Friday, and partly because there is so much stuff scattered around the office, particularly, that there was no way I could possibly have gotten everything anyway. So I began my sorting, and decided to save the trash for another day. I suspect the compactor is open all the time now, but Friday sounds like a good time to go. By then I hope to have things pretty well organized, and maybe even into the breezeway, so I can do some cleaning.

 

It was a good day to turn inward toward the house. It did get quite warm - into the upper 40s - but it was moist and very foggy all day long, and for most of the time there wasn't anything at all to see beyond the bird feeders. So I stirred around a bit, and I hope I will be ready when UPS comes tomorrow. I hope...

 

Buster now knows that something is up (and he knows what, too) and his ploy today has been to sit on my lap as much as he possibly can, to help me not do anything. Is he smart, or what?

 

So that is another day of procrastination in the field. Instead of going to bed early last night, I sat and read until I couldn't see the page, so I got up late and was tired all day. I mustn't do that tonight.

 

And it's a dark, dreary, foggy night in the field...

 

November 16

Oh, this is horrible! I don't remember in past years being quite so reluctant to leave, and everything I get into has conspired against me to try to make it harder.

 

It was mostly clear last night, and when I was up around 5 am this morning, I could just see Venus peeking over the breezeway, but when I finally rolled out of bed, it was foggy, and the fog never really lifted all day, so it was dim and misty-moisty all day long. The temperature got up to 46, and there was no wind, so it was really rather nice out. I didn't go out much, but I did go out with Phoebe, and if actually felt warm behind the house.

 

Phoebe came and picked out a unique color scheme for her bracelet, which is OK, and I have the winter to construct it. She was going out to the lighthouse to run her dog. Carly is a golden retriever, and she's only 4 years old, and I really think she doesn't get enough run time for a dog her age. Phoebe tries, but after all, she is older than I am. Anyway, Carly is wired, and a good run around the lighthouse was probably good for her. It just occurred to me, though, that there used to be a ferocious stand of teasel out there, and if Carly gets into that...oh, boy!

 

Anyway, Phoebe arrived as I was in the middle of a very frustrating couple of hours with the UPS website. The people who shipped my stuff last spring  did a good job, and they told me they could issue the shipper when it was time for me to go back. However, when I called this morning, the girl (not the person I talked to last spring) I spoke with told me she didn't know how they could do that! After looking at the UPS website and talking to the customer service person at UPS, I find that hard to believe. I am not sure whether the girl was just new and uninformed, or if they don't do it there, but I have now discovered that UPS has changed their stripes and I don't need an intermediary to do my shipping at all. However, their website was so complicated and confusing and loaded so slowly that ultimately I ended up on the telephone (and paid an extra $2 a box) to get a pickup scheduled for Thursday. I could have gotten it tomorrow, but then the boxes would have gotten there Friday, and since it now looks like I won't, I opted for Thursday, which will give me some time to actually pack the stuff. The boxes will come Monday, which will be closer to the time I probably will get there.

 

As a result of all that, I didn't get much done today, and I'm not going to stay up all night or get up at the crack of dawn. So I guess we won't make it for Friday. I just don't see how I can do it. Oh, well.

 

Oh, yes, I did get almist all the address changes done, and a few more magazines are keeping two addresses now, which slowly but surely will make my migration easier. I get so tired of saying "C, as in Charles, h, a, m, as in mother, p, as in Peter, i, n, e" and "GrossE PointE"! Gag. I just remembered the mortgage company, so I will do that tomorrow during a some downtime.

 

And that is how it is in the foggy, cloudy, but most unseasonably warm, field tonight.

 

November 15

After another beautiful night, it was a lovely morning, but along around 11 am, I began to worry that our string was ending, because a band of clouds came over and blotted out the sun. That only lasted about an hour, however, then our gorgeous blue skies returned and pretty much lasted for the rest of the day. The temperature got up into the middle 40s, and the wind was essentially nonexistent all day long. Gorgeous!

 

Around sunset, however, there were a few little streamers of clouds in the sky, so I went running outside. The first picture shows the sunset, and the second shows what I saw in the south. Here. I was particularly happy about the moon shot, because I think it's the very first time I've managed to take a picture of it with the Nikon without shaking. That one is steady right down to the pixels in the original. Oh, how lovely is the evening...

 

I made a bit of progress today, I think. Most of the filing is done, although I keep seeing paper lying around on the desktops. At least the paper box is about as full as it's going to get, and I began trying to organize the beads and other stuff to pack up. I went through the four other boxes in the office, and there seems to be an awful lot of stuff there that I brought along and didn't use. However, I have to take it all back in case I want to use it over the winter...not to mention the stuff in cupboards.

 

I'm not sure what I brought all the beads in, but I am going to have to try to find another relatively small box to put all that stuff in, as well as bring up some of the shipping boxes. This is all taking too long, as usual. And I knew it would, and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Oh, well.

 

I also got back to embroidering my angel, but I didn't do that for long. And I began the job of changing my mailing address. All of this is such a pain, when I really don't want to go at all...

 

However, it's beginning to happen, and while I may not get out of here on Friday, I will get out of here.

 

It's another calm, starry night in the field.

 

November 14

And another one! What a stretch of beautiful weather! This one got up into the mid 40s, and there were some high clouds at sunset, but the Clear Sky Clock says that will go away sometime before tomorrow morning. We'll see. There was a little breeze from the southwest, and it wasn't a day you'd want to sit around outside, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

 

I actually slept in quite a bit, after not sleeping too well overnight. My back was bothering me, so I was lying on the heating pad for most of the night, and I never sleep well on my back. So finally I turned it off and turned over and did a good job for a couple of hours. I'm not quite so creaky today, so maybe it will be better tonight. It occurs to me that maybe I need to try a flannel nightie, to keep me a bit warmer when I get up. The temperature is going down into the low 60s around here at night, and my cotton nighties weren't meant for warmth. I'll have to try it.

 

The news of the day is that I finished the embroidery on the bread cloth. Eeee-yaaah! i still have to machine stitch around the edges, where I pulled out some very bad stitching, but that won't take long once I find the sewing machine, which is buried under boxes and baskets of beads. What an awful project that turned into! It is pretty, though. I will take pictures, but I won't post them until the recipients get it.

 

And I have made some progress in the sorting and filing, although sometimes I think I'm just re-sorting the piles and moving them around. There is beginning to be less of a mess on the desk and computer desk, so I guess that means progress. Tomorrow, I really need to swing into high gear. Haven't I said that before?

 

I really don't want to go. I mean, really.

 

However, I will plug away at it, and hope to make it on time.

 

It's quiet and starry in the field tonight.

 

November 13

It was another beautifully clear night last night, but there wasn't a hint of a northern light, and the sunspot group that was causing all the fuss has rotated out of view, leaving the face of the sun pretty calm.

 

By the way, before I go on, I want to mention that sometime last week, ATC interviewed a so-called amateur astronomer who gave what I believe was a completely erroneous explanation for the aurora. He claimed it happens when the sun's magnetic field intersects and interacts with the earth's magnetic field. Well...so far as I am aware, that is not the cause. Northern lights happen when the sun belches forth a cloud of high-energy, highly charged particles (electrons and protons, mostly, I think), and that cloud of particles rains down on the earth's ionosphere and interacts with the atoms in the ionosphere, causing them to fluoresce. That's why they call the particles a coronal mass ejection. The earth's magnetic field does deflect the particles so that they tend to hit mostly around the poles, but it's not a purely magnetic thing. Or I don't think so.

 

Anyway, it was a lovely starry night, and I proceeded to ignore it and sleep. It was beautiful when I woke up this morning, and the entire day was just gorgeous, like yesterday. Unfortunately, the camera didn't capture it. Today we had both problems: the camera software wasn't seeing the camera, so there was a green screen, and sometime between the time I last checked the dialin definition and the time the computer shut down, the definition got changed to "never dial a connection". How I wish I knew how that happens! Actually, it was for the best: last night's last shot was up on the web page until I rebooted, rather than the horrid green screen. And Phoenix Phil was awake before I was (!) and asking if everything was all right. Oh, well. Except for the movement of the sun, what we didn't see looked about like what we did see. Sunset was beautiful tonight, but not especially exciting, because there were no clouds then, either. And tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night are supposed to be more of the same.

 

The temperature got into the mid 40s, but there was a rather brisk wind from the southwest for most of the day. Beautiful indeed!

 

I diddled around again. The pile on the desk was such a mess I didn't know quite where to start on it, and I still don't, but I'll have to do something about it tomorrow or maybe tonight?

 

However, it turned out not to be a completely lost day. On the way to the post office I noticed that Tom was out fiddling with his truck, so on the way back, I stopped and had a conversation with him, so the caretaking of my house over the winter is in good order.

 

Then, as I was driving back down our road, I met the person who is living out here full time (well...he is planning to move into Copper Harbor when the snow comes) and we had a most fruitful conversation about plowing the road. Between us, we know four people who would probably go together to pay for plowing, and he knows a person who claims to have access to commercial snow moving and blowing equipment. So he is going to poke into that over the winter, and next summer, I will try to get something in motion. I would really like to try staying here over the winter before I cut my ties to Detroit, and that might be a really good way to do it.

 

And I saw Phoebe at dinner and showed her the bracelet (which I remembered to wear), and she might be interested in buying one. Besides, Peggy gave me a check for the three she sold.

 

So I guess I am not going to be able to retire the zigzag design at the end of the year, as I sort of intended. I guess I ought to plan on doing it for at least 100 or 200 (gaaacckkk!!!) pieces, so there will be more, but not until next year. And really - really and truly - I'd like to go on to other things eventually!

 

However, I'm not going to stop making something that seems to sell.

 

Besides, I sort of said I would be interested in possibly doing King Copper's website over, after Shirley cuts her ties with the current person. I don't know how that would work, or even if it's possible, but it might go.

 

All of the above, plus a Mariner cheeseburger with everything on it, has left me feeling pretty cheerful, so I will toddle up to the north end and sleep soundly under the stars in the field.

 

November 12

It was clear and dark when I went to bed last night...or rather this morning. I got to embroidering, and it was 1am before I turned out the light. No trouble sleeping, for sure. Along about 4 am I got up, and the northern horizon was very light, but it barely got above the trees. About 45 minutes later, when I got up again, the light sky was extending up about two-thirds of the way to Polaris, which would be about 30 from the horizon, but it didn't seem very active.  That lightness continued until I started my morning sleep.

 

I had awakened around 8 am and decided to go back to sleep - notwithstanding that it was a gorgeous morning - when the Keweenaw glass guy called to be sure he knew what had happened and get my mailing address - there is a labor charge on the door locks. He also said he had already ordered the window, which is fine by me. Then when I call them next spring, all we'll have to do is agree on a time to install it. I wasn't sure they had room for it, but evidently the boss decided it would be better to get it now rather than have to try to find the paperwork next year. I rather agree, knowing what I do about paperwork and how most small businesses operate.

 

Anyway, that got me thoroughly awake, so I got up, and I've been tired all day. Maybe I can get to bed at a sort of reasonable hour tonight and ignore the world tomorrow morning? The Minnesota Orchestra is playing Mahler's 7th, which will go on for some time, and really doesn't interest me enough to stay up for. Now if it was Beethoven, or Mozart, or Bach...

 

I did do some embroidery today, and I can see the end of the project. I must remind myself if I ever consider getting into such a thing again...DON'T!! 

 

Let's see...unloaded the dishwasher and began reloading it, and got at the very full 3" expanding file with all the filing in it. The folder is empty, but some things are missing, and there are some things beside the printer (what a neat bookend that makes!) that I need to go through. Not everything is filed away either. My paper file box is now stuffed, and I had to take out some stuff I brought up here in it, unfortunately...things like checks and planner paper I have to take back with me. I must go through it and find out why it's so full, when it was so empty in May. The filing didn't take up that much room. I was still working on it when it got too dark to see.

 

I know it sounds funny, but sunset was at 5:18 pm this afternoon, and sometimes sunsets are so beautiful I don't like to mess them up with lights in the office. And this time, I was totally vindicated. Sometimes, the webcam washes out the sunset shots, but tonight it did a better job than the Nikon would have. See?

 

I think that cloud bank has passed, by the way. it was going by the time it got dark.

 

Oh - the weather. Oh! The weather!!! The temperature only got up to 39, but the wind was nearly calm all day long, and until that cloud bank came over just before sunset, it was a nearly cloudless, perfectly beautiful day. I mean, drop-dead gorgeous. I could stand a lot of this! And we're supposed to get it, too - at least several days' worth, with warming temps, getting up to around 50 by Sunday. Now, this is my idea of late autumn!

 

The first year I was here was warm, in fact warmer than this, but the last two years have been cold and miserable. So you see why I stay so long...sometimes it's really worth it.

 

On that subject, I ran into Phoebe at the post office today, and we had a nice talk. I haven't seen much of her, nor written about her, for quite some time, because she has a camper and she has been gone a lot and keeping to herself when she was here. She is a nice person, and I enjoy talking to her. She had such bad weather in Arizona last winter (she golfs) that she has decided to stay here this year, until March or so. Lucky her! But her house is about two blocks from the blinker on M-26, so she can get out, and her health is good.

 

I've often said that if I were a traveler at all (which I am not), March and April are the months I would choose to get out of Michigan, March particularly. What a nice time of year to go to...oh, Australia and New Zealand, or Tahiti, or even Hawaii...ha! It would probably kill me. I just do not travel well.

 

Anyway, it seems the community Thanksgiving dinner is the Sunday after I leave, so, should I not leave...No, I will aim to go when I'd planned, and only stay over if the weather or my preparations warrant it.

 

Don't want to go. Don't want to go at all!

 

And it's a nice, quiet, if cold, night in the field.

 

November 11

It was clear all night long, and there was barely a hint of any northern lights. The wind was blowing and the lake was speaking loudly, but I don't think that was why I was wakeful. For some reason I kept coughing and blowing and disturbing Buster, until I finally ate a cough drop (duh) and then I was fine.

 

I was awake when the phone rang this morning, and the caller said someone would be out around noon to (hopefully) fix the locks on the slider and look at the window Mark said had spots between the panes (Mark the window washer, that is). So I tried to go back to sleep, without much success, and finally got up around 9 am, feeling like I had not had enough sleep.

 

It was a gorgeous, sunny morning, and I had not quite made it to the office when Charlie from PastyNet called to ask if there was something wrong with the camera, and low and behold, there was a glorious green screen again! Arrgggh!! So we missed the earlier shots of the sun rising over the harbor and the puffy white clouds in the sky that were nearly gone by the time the first shot got uploaded. Darn. However, the rest of the day was really pretty, if cold.

 

The NWS station is still down, and by a bit of poking around on the internet, I found the email address of "our representative", and sent her a message asking if they planned to fix it. So while I know that the wind was out of the west in Houghton, and it was fairly brisk all day, and I know the temperature here got barely into the middle 30s, that's about all I can say. They are forecasting a really cold night (in the teens, maybe, but that would probably be inland. Our wonderful heat sink is at work again), and snow after midnight and tomorrow. 

 

But it sure was nice to see the sun shine.

 

The man came and replaced one door handle and shimmed out the strike plates on both doors, and now they latch like they ought to. It's only been four years... And, oh, yes, I do need a new window pane (technically, a light). Since that is special order, with the black trim on the outside, we will take care of it next spring when they know I will be here. It isn't horrible, like the transom over the great room slider was (that one got all steamed up inside), but there are spots between the panes. I do wish they had a Marvin windows distributor up here...and it's really strange that they don't, since they're made in Wisconsin. Quite strange.

 

So that took care of the morning. I did a bit of embroidery, and almost all the magazines and catalogs are now in a file box. When I see how the packing goes, I will have to go through them and pick out the absolutely essential ones. The other task of the day was three big loads of clothes and one little load of odds and ends which are now in the dryer. I like to have as many of my clothes clean when I leave as possible. 

 

While the man was working on the other slider, there were squirrels and blue jays around the feeders, and I took a couple of pictures. Now I know where all my sunflower seed has gone. I'm sure, with the temperature and the wind, that the squirrel had his fur all fluffed out, but still, I have never before seen a red squirrel quite that chubby. They are usually skinny little things. I have to believe I had something to do with it. However, since the evergreens didn't fruit this year (they seem to set cones only about every two years, and this was the off year), except for the acorns, and I don't know how good a crop of those there was, the poor things would really have to have been scrounging for seeds. There are actually three squirrels (mom, pop and the kid, maybe?), but since they usually sit the way the pictures show, it's hard to tell their sex.

 

Those pictures, by the way, have been edited some. I took them through the slider where the webcam is, and I had to crop them down and lighten them up a bit. If they look blurry, it's because I had to blow them up so much. With all the sunshine and the shade of the tree, they were hard shots, so they didn't come out quite so well as I could wish. I might have put on the telephoto lens, but then I might not have gotten any  pictures at all, too. I tried to take one of a chickadee, which was a total loss. Those little guys move too fast.

 

So that was the day. The laptop is now almost completely uncovered, and I can start on the hard stuff tomorrow. There is sooo much stuff lying around in here...

 

And it seems rather quiet in the field tonight.

 

November 10

Somehow, in spite of my best intentions, it was after midnight when I got to bed last night. How do these things happen? Anyway, I still got up at a relatively reasonable time this morning, which was good.

 

It was cloudy all night long, but it was clear that something wonderful was going on above the clouds, because the sky was as bright as it had been on Sunday, at least until about 4 am. The longer I live at this latitude, the more I wonder how European astronomers ever managed to discover anything...and after all Tycho Brahe and Kepler observed in Denmark, and there were any number of British and French astronomers. In the summer, there isn't much night at all, if any, and in the winter, it's cloudy and cold. Of course, living in a lake effect snow belt doesn't help a lot, either. 

 

On that topic, when I got home tonight, the sky was nearly clear! But in order.

 

What with everything I do in the morning, it was still after 12:30 before I pulled out of the garage, to find the health department woman about to turn in. My fears about the change in the road name and the fire numbers has been well borne out, and the poor girl said she drove around for almost an hour and finally had to ask somebody (I wonder who?) where my house was. I had hoped they wouldn't want to inspect the drain field this year, but apparently the guidelines from Lansing say they should. The head honcho around here is trying to get that changed, because they all agree that it's nonsense. Every two years minimum for my kind of system should be just fine.

 

Anyway, we talked for a few minutes, so I didn't get out of here until after 1 pm, which made my trip a rather late one. At least I was about the only person on the road, except for a road crew that was just cleaning up after either felling a tree or one that fell of its on accord, down around Mandan. It must have been quite a tree, because the debris filled a dump truck! At least they were done when I went by.

 

When I got to WalMart, it looked like the world was there, and for the first time there were long lines at the checkouts, but by the time I did my circuit, that had pretty much cleared out. I like my clear draining board and my hands-free phone headset so well that I got them for the other house, too. Ah, the joys of two houses!

 

Then it was off to Ming Garden for the last lunch, and it was good, but it was nearly 4 pm when I got to Econo Foods. There I was not so successful in getting everything I wanted, but of course, I forgot to look at my list. I had to make two circuits, because the first time through the meat department, I forgot to get lunchmeat, and I will need that for the trip south. I also have a lot of Volwerth's pork sausage that needs to be packed in small packages and frozen. I did forget the special rice that I have been enjoying, but that will just be an added incentive (if I need any!) to get back here.

 

There wasn't as much traffic at 5 pm as I might have thought, although I did run across several excessively law-abiding drivers. It was beginning to get dark by the time I got here, since the sun set at 5:20. I was surprised to see that the sky appeared to be nearly clear, although by the time the last camera shots were taken, it was beginning to cloud up again...rats. I thought just maybe I might see a light show tonight. Guess not, though. And it's supposed to rain and/or snow for the next few days. Then it will warm up a bit again, and so far it looks like next week will be a good one.

 

With not quite enough sleep overnight, and my running around in circles, I was really tired when I got home (ah, home! How I love to write that!), but almost everything I bought at Econo was perishable and had to be stashed either in the fridge or the freezer, so I eventually got that done, and I've been relaxing since. Now as soon as I finish and upload this, I will definitely trundle off to bed, and I think I may forgo the bath tonight. Once a week I think I can do that, especially when I have no plans to go anywhere but the post office tomorrow.

 

And I must gear myself up to start the serious packing tomorrow. There is that and cleaning, and maybe if I do them alternately, I can get everything done?  I can start by going through my "to be filed" file in preparation for a trip to the dumpster on Friday. I haven't done that since August, and it looks it.

 

So that is all there is. The lake is speaking tonight, and it seemed pretty breezy when I brought in the empty bird feeders, from the north or northwest, but the NWS station in Copper Harbor is still down, so I'm not sure what the current conditions are. Now the plan is that next year, I will have my own complete weather station, which I have discovered have come down considerably in price since the last time I investigated them. I do know that the temperature has fallen from the 40s when I got home into the mid 30s, and it may go into the 20s before morning. A good night to pull up a warm cat...

 

The lake is calling in the field tonight...

 

November 9

It was fairly clear for a while last night, and there was a glow behind the trees to the north, maybe with a spike in it, but no great spectacular show, so I went to sleep, and when I woke up around 3:30, it was cloudy. So as usual, you have to grab your shows when you see them and not expect anything particular to happen...because it probably won't.

 

I did get to bed rather late again, this time because I picked up my embroidery instead of getting ready for bed. Maybe I think the longer I'm awake the more time I'll have here? Or something. I am still in the mode where I need to bathe every night... actually, I could wash my hair every 36 hours, which doesn't work very well. I also seem to sleep better most of the time if my body is clean.

 

So I was rather late getting up this morning, and despite what the weather forecasters said yesterday, it was cold and cloudy...upper 20s to low 30s for most of the day, I think, although right now my thermometer says 42, the warmest (?) it's been all day. Something has happened to the NWS station, and it hasn't reported since 9am this morning, so I have no report on the wind, except that it has picked up again.

 

So I didn't go to town. I guess I wanted to wait until it was raining or snowing or something, which is what's forecast for the rest of the week. And yes, I do need to go. It's the breakfast food thing again.

 

While I won't claim I did a lot, I did make a start on the preparations for leaving. The catalogs are now sorted out, and there are two orange bags, as well as one smaller one for Shirley, and I have started a file box for those things I won't be able to take with me. Some of the magazines are sorted, too, although I have another foot high pile of those to go through. I guess I will content myself with taking the beading magazines and a few critical catalogs and leave the rest for the probable trip to Detroit next summer.

 

I also did the first three address change calls, so that is under way.

 

I am trying hard (and probably not very successfully) to keep the counters in the kitchen as clean as possible. Tonight I made one of my chicken with rice dishes, so there are some spills and spatters to clean up, but maybe if I do it right away, it won't turn into a major job.

 

One of the problems with the catalogs is that every time I go to the post office, I bring back half a dozen more, and some of them I need to keep, because I won't be back at Champine in time to get them. So I keep sorting and re-sorting and re-re-sorting.

 

So it's a cloudy, cool night in the field, and this time I'll try to get to bed a tad earlier.

 

November 8

I did go up to the north end right after I published last night, but I diddled around for quite a while, listening to the wind and the breakers, and it was about 11:45 when I turned out the light.

 

My eyes had not even gotten completely night-adapted when I realized there was something really exciting going outside. There were a lot of puffy lake effect clouds in the sky, but behind them, the sky looked like about half an hour before sunrise...except that it was white, especially in the west and northwest. There was one spot in the northwest where there was a streak so bright it looked like a searchlight, but it was behind the clouds. After watching some dark patches come and go for a few minutes, I realized I was not seeing things, the sky was clear, and we were having a spectacular northern lights show. 

 

I've mentioned that my best viewing site indoors is from the bathroom, and when the temperature was 35 and the sustained winds were 29mph from the north, there was no way I was going outside, even if I'd been fully dressed! So I sat and craned my neck to see out the window and watched sheets and spikes and pillars and clouds and all the time that white sky, so bright I could see the harbor and the bushes in the side yard, and I could walk around the house in the dark without tripping over a cat. The light was reflecting in the glass block window in the shower just like the moon did. It was truly an incredible display, but the wind kept blowing and the clouds started moving in again, and by 12:30 the sky was covered. It was still light, because the clouds weren't that thick, and the sky was so bright it was lighting up the clouds!

 

I went to bed when it clouded up, but when I was up at 3, 4, 5, and 6 (yup - every night) the sky was still bright, although there were no clear patches again. And it was all a real surprise. I guess there was solar flare activity, but the Astroalert system only kicks in when mid to low latitude displays are supposed to happen, so they didn't announce this one. Apparently more flares are coming from that sunspot complex, so there are expected to be more displays over the next couple of days. Tonight may be a bit clearer, so I'll have to keep peering out and be ready to grab the glasses if I see anything.

 

I really think it was nice of God to give me really nice northern lights as a going-away present.

 

I will also say that Buster didn't like it too well. I'm not sure if he was upset by me walking around in the middle of the night, or he was aware of the funny lights outside and he didn't like that. Who knows? I used to know what DC was thinking, but I haven't been able to tune into Buster's wavelength very well yet.

 

It got cold overnight - down to 30 - and it never got over 34 all day, so I stayed in. The wind was still blowing overnight, although it did begin to diminish, and it is now down to a reasonable 10 mph out of the north. Tomorrow, besides being partly sunny, is supposed to warm up into the low 40s, which would certainly be nice, although tonight is supposed to be down into the low 20s. It's 28 by my thermometer at 9:30, so I guess they're right. The NWS station is saying 33, but not only is that in a more sheltered location, it is right besides the sewage holding ponds, which would certainly tend to be warmer than here. They certainly picked a dumb place to put their instrument package.

 

Anyway, my rather late night meant that I really slept in this morning. I did some embroidery and began sorting out the catalogs, and I finished cleaning the oven, wiping the bottom and the door and trying to get the stuff out from between the bottom of the oven and the door...that's not the smartest design I've ever seen. I cleaned up the racks somewhat, but I guess I'm just going to have to clean them with the oven, because I couldn't get all the burned on stuff off. It didn't help that I can't put any pressure on anything with my right thumb, but even with my left hand, I couldn't scrub much off.

 

Oh, yes, and when I ambled into the office around 10:30, the dialup connection had gotten set to "never dial" again...and I know I checked that before I left last night...but it was actually all right, because the camera hadn't come up right and if it had been uploading it would have been uploading a green screen! Geez! At least I have some hope that it does work better when I'm not here.

 

I got into some stuff on the internet today, and I am becoming pretty satisfied that it is Internet Explorer itself that leaks data all over the dialup software, because I think I had to reboot three times more. What a pain. OF course, I shouldn't have been doing that. I should have been starting to pack up. Oh, well.

 

I do need to go to town this week, and I'm not sure I want to go Thursday, both because it's Veteran's Day and because it's supposed to snow, but I guess we'll see how things go tomorrow. 

 

So now I will sashay up to the north end and hope to see more light shows tonight.

 

The gales are ended for a while, and it's a quiet night in the field.

 

November 7

It was indeed a wild and noisy night, just the right kind to sleep to, and I certainly did. I had a wonderful sleep, and woke up this morning feeling good, not that I did anything about it. 

 

The wind blew and the lake roared all night long and all day long, and the temperature has been steadily dropping, from 48 at 1 am, to 38 now. The wind has been from the north or northwest, and it got up to 33mph with gusts to 44mph last night and again around 2 pm. 

 

The thing that interested me was that for the early part of the night, the sky was clear and starry, and it was only early this morning that it clouded up and sprinkled a bit, again, not enough to show in the rain gauge, but the deck was wet and maybe a little icy in spots, and there were a few little piles of white stuff in the valley of the roof between the breezeway and the garage. That was all for the day, although they are saying it may snow some overnight, and they claim it's snowing at the airport.

 

Mostly it blew a gale, and the waves are crashing into the shoreline, even in the harbor. It doesn't appear they got much over t0 ft, but that's big enough.

 

Today was actually a pretty day, with all those puffy lake effect clouds in a purely blue sky and even a bit of sunshine. And sunset was spectacular for about five minutes, with bloody red clouds under the steel gray. Looks cold, doesn't it? It was. I was outside for about two minutes, wearing my nice sherpa-lined fleece jacket, and my hands were so cold I could hardly hold the camera when I came in. However, the webcam didn't capture the colors at all, so I'm glad I went out.

 

Other than a little embroidery, and unloading the dishwasher, I didn't do a blessed thing. Sunday as a day of rest is a nice theory, but I should at least have started gathering up the catalogs to give to Shirley (she said she would take them so I don't have to throw them out - nice of her - Sully will be mad). Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm not in panic mode yet.

 

So as soon as I eat the rest of my Nacho Grande, I will go and try to get another good night's sleep.

 

It's dark and noisy in the field tonight...

 

November 6

Well, the days dwindle down to a precious few, and when I have one like today, it just makes it that much harder. For some reason, I didn't sleep at all well last night, so when I finally did get to sleep...around 5 am...I slept late, and I felt blah when I got up. As a result, I didn't do much of anything today, a little embroidery, a little beading, and that's about it. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

 

The Clear Sky Clock was a bit off, and it didn't clear up much until around 4 am. For a while there it was really clear, and I put on my glasses to see Cassiopeia and Cepheus and the Little Dipper, although I couldn't see the dimmer stars in the Dipper, probably because the last quarter moon was shining brightly high in the east. I had some vague idea of maybe being awake around 6:30 to see Venus and Jupiter, which just passed conjunction, but I missed that completely.

 

I was awake, sort of, at 8 am, when the Isle Royal Queen - the new one, I think - blew her horn as she left the harbor, but I didn't even keep my eyes open long enough to watch her leave. Shirley and I think they're taking her down to Houghton or thereabouts for the winter.

 

This was a good day for it, probably the best for the next few. It was quite windy overnight, and the temperature topped out at 52 at midnight (really weird), then dropped off gradually all day, till now it's 44. The wind died down after 7 am, and it was moderate to calm all day...I guess the calm before the storm. We have gale warnings out for after midnight, so it may turn into a wild and hairy night. There have been occasional spits of very light rain off and on all day, but nothing to even register in a rain gauge. It was rather bright this morning, but it has gotten darker and darker all day long (before sunset, of course), until I had to use my itty-bitty task light to see the beads. A typically dismal late autumn day. Blah.

 

The fifth bracelet is almost done, so when I finish that, I can start packing up the beads. I'd better start packing up something or I'll never get out of here! Besides, I cleaned the oven last night, and I decided to take the racks out, because they get so ugly looking when they stay in the oven, so now I have to clean those, too. If it's not one thing...

 

I decided it would be easier in the future if I could fix up the month's journals to be printed, reversing the order of the entries and putting them into Publisher via Word, a month at a time, so I did October's today. That took a couple of hours, and it's pretty boring, but someday, as I've mentioned in the past, I'd like to get the entire thing printed so it's easy for me to refer to. What a good excuse to avoid doing what I should be doing, eh?

 

I met Shirley for dinner. Mariner was open tonight, but there wasn't anybody there, so I don't know how much they'll be open over the next few weeks. She has a bad cold and sounds - and I think feels - terrible, but it was good to see her.

 

Now I'm off to bed early in the hope I'll feel better tomorrow. It's quiet and dark in the field, at least now.

 

November 5

It was a wonderful night to sleep, and I did. The roaring of the lake was sort of like a lullaby...and while I don't think Buster did, and he was pretty clingy all night long, but that didn't keep me awake. The wind was strong, but it was hitting the house at and angle that didn't cause much sound. By this morning, it had died down, and the day was cloudy and almost calm.

 

By the way, you who looked at the camera before about 10:30 this morning, for the first time that I can remember, the computer didn't come completely up. When I got to the office, the wallpaper was on the screen, but there was nothing else. Who knows what happened, but when I rebooted, by turning the cpu off, by the way, it wanted to come up in safe mode, but after it did a disc scan, it was fine. So we missed sunrise this morning, which wasn't much. 

 

Let's see. The activities of the day...I finished the cross stitch on the bread cloth, and I am now starting the backstitching, which is the last part. Whew! I worked on the bracelet a bit, but not much. I climbed up on the step stool to put away some of the stuff on the counter in preparation for a thorough cleanup of the sink side of the kitchen. I did dishes, including a lot of stuff that didn't fit in the dishwasher. I decanted a couple of kinds of hot cereal into airtight containers and moved stuff around to make room for them in the cupboards. I had moved my casseroles from the cupboard over the cooktop to one side, and while that makes them easier to get, it wastes some valuable cupboard space so I moved them back. My real problem is the glass lids, anyway, and I just don't know how to solve that problem. the next higher shelf is too high to reach easily. Since half the casseroles were in the dishwasher, I'm not quite sure how it will work out.

 

The weather: in spite of some of the forecasts, it was cloudy all day, although not so dismal as yesterday,  The temperature started out in the high 30s this morning, and it has been rising all day, until now (at 10:30) it's 50. They are promising that tomorrow is going to be nice, before the snow moves in...the weather at this time of year is so interesting.

 

So that is another day in the field, and now only have 13 left. I am listening to a  live broadcast of Mozart's C minor Mass, and as soon as that is over, I will trundle up to the north end...

 

November 4

It was a mostly clear and calm night that got down just under freezing, By sunrise, it had clouded up, however, and when I got up, rather late, it was very dark and dismal. Along about 11 am, there was a brief shower, and the wind blew up rather quickly to over 25 mph, and we are now -oh, goodie! - in the midst of a nice northwest gale, with sustained winds of 36 mph and gusts to 46 mph. All this happened behind my back, actually, but I imagine it's rather noisy up at the north end, and the lake has been roaring all day. There have even been some respectable breakers on my beach.

 

I got to bed late again because Nancy called to say good-bye - they were off this morning - so I just slept this morning. It was a good morning to do it. I haven't done much at all, except to write a few checks and take them off to the post office.

 

I did spend some time watching the birds. I have a rather large flock of goldfinches, who are now all dull and olive-colored in their winter plumage. I wonder if they weren't off hiding someplace while they molted. Even with the cool fall we have had, the hoary redpolls haven't appeared yet, although I do think the juncos have gone south.

 

Besides all that, almost all the leaves are gone, except for a few bushes in the underbrush. Dull winter is almost here.

 

I was also interested to see that practically all the businesses were closed, except for the general store. Even Mariner and the Pines were closed when I went in to the post office just before 3 pm. They may open for the evening, but for the day, you couldn't even get lunch. And sometime since Tuesday, someone has put up the winter protection over the road side of the King Copper Annex. There isn't any heat inside, but the boards (plastic, maybe?) keep the snow out. It also means that you may have to walk quite a way to your room, because of where the doors are. So the town is now in winter mode for sure.

 

We actually had a few rays of sunshine right around sunset tonight, but those heavy, low snow cumulous clouds were still rolling in, and the forecast is for a few snow squalls, although mostly on higher ground.

 

So I think I will trundle up to the north end and snuggle under my quilt and listen to the lake and the winds. Two more weeks...

 

November 3

Well, my intention to go to bed early didn't pan out. I had just laid down when Nancy called, and we had a long conversation, in which it became clear that a lot of the reason we like each other so much is that we see a lot of things the same. It was good to hear from her, since they have been sneaking in and out every couple of weeks, it seems. They were able to get her parents up to see the house, which was a good thing. I still wish my mother could have seen this one...and of course, my dad died before I bought the property.

 

Anyway, it was pretty late before I got to sleep. It was a pretty night, clear and starry, and while I never did see the moon itself, I saw its light in the glass block window of the shower and the shadows it cast on the ground, and this morning I saw Venus again, although she is moving pretty far south now, and soon I won't be able to see her from the bathroom.

 

I really wanted to go back to sleep when I woke up around 8, but I had promised to get up and get dressed before I left the bedroom, which I did. I turned on the radio just long enough to find out what had happened, then I went off to my usual morning stuff.

 

I made some progress on the embroidery, but it seemed I spent the afternoon un-beading. I was going right along when I pulled the thread to tighten the row, and it got cut by the bead at the other end...arggh!  So I pulled out enough rows to end off, and started again...and at the end of the first row, evidently I had picked up the same bead, and the thread broke again! This time, I had to pull out an inch or so to get some good thread to end off, and that took quite a while, as well as working in the old thread and the end of the new one. Now, however, I have used up so much of the needlefull that I am going to have to end off and start another new thread...it makes me tempted to employ the way the 1904 book suggested, which was just to use a weaver's knot to tie the two threads together. However, the ends would still have to be woven in, and it would be harder because they would probably be short. Fortunately, the bracelet still looks OK, so I will be able to wear it as a sample of my work.

 

In between all that, I did quite a bit of work on the kitchen. I got most of the groceries from the breezeway put away...not as much as I'd thought, actually..., and wonder of wonders, I got the stove side of the kitchen completely cleaned up, including the exhaust fan. I try to do a thorough job once a year, including washing out the filters in the fan. I just remembered that I need to clean the upper oven...tomorrow, I guess. I don't like to leave that on when I go to bed because it smells. The sink side isn't quite so dirty, so it will be easier to clean. On Friday, I will have to remove all the old stuff from the fridge and take a trip to the dumpster, then maybe I can wash a couple of the shelves an drawers that are pretty bad.  After all that is done, I can do the floor, and hope I don't make too much of a mess in two weeks. 

 

Oh, how I hate to go!

 

Especially on a day like today. The temperature didn't quite make it to 50, and the wind was strong, but there was not a cloud in the sky until just at sunset, and it was so beautiful! I found myself standing beside the door to the breezeway thinking how much I love to see the sun shining in all those windows in the great room. And even though the sun in the office interferes with my use of the computer, I love to see it. Buster evidently loves it, too...I found him sleeping in the middle of his circular toy with the ball in it, because it was right in the sunshine.  It did get warm inside, however, and I had a couple of doors open for a while.

 

Oh, yes, I also cleaned the toilets, washed a load of towels, and swept up the birdseed in the breezeway (which immediately got dirty again, when I filled the feeders!). I had had a trash bag in the hallway, which I took out to the garage, and when I lifted up, there behind it were some sunflower seed shells. Uh-huh. Buster is shirking his duty. I do hope the ultrasonic repellers work when we're gone.

 

So I guess I really did have a pretty busy day, and I can legitimately be tired. Of course, I had to sit down frequently, because I got hot and my back hurt, but at least I did make a start on all the stuff I need to do.

 

In between, I got to look out at the beautiful blue sky and the beautiful blue water. It seems it's been quite a while since we had any sun, which makes it all the nicer. And tomorrow, they say it's going to snow.

 

The sun went behind the hills at 5:20 tonight (actual sunset was 5:30), and in looking at the camera archives, the actual place where it disappears has moved out of the camera on the left. We won't see it set again until February. There are only 9h 52m of daylight already (about 8 at the solstice), and it's dark for a very long time. Night seems to fall faster at this time of year.

 

Oh, how I don't want to go!

 

However, I will try again to get to bed early. I had to sleep on my right side last night, so I didn't get to put the heating pad on my hand very much, and after my exertions of the day, my thumb is pretty sore again. It even hurt when I was pulling the needle through the beads, but I have a palir of pliers I can use for that (which hurt, too).

 

So it's quiet and starry in the field, at least now.

 

November 2

Not much to report today. It was another dark, dingy day, with a few rain showers. There was one ray of sunshine late in the day which didn't last long,, and then it began to spit rain again. The temperature hung in the low 40s all day long, and there was something of a wind from the north, but not too strong. Blah.

 

I was blah, too, after I woke up at about 4 am having had a horrible dream about helping an acquaintance (how I ever picked that poor lady, I'll never know!) through a stem cell transplant, and since my tinnitus was pulsing in my ears, I didn't ever get back to sleep very well. Blah.

 

I will say that it is clear to me that, clocks notwithstanding, my body never went on daylight savings time, so now that we are off it, I am operating more like a human being.

 

I just remembered that I was going to do a load of towels this afternoon...oh, well, tomorrow is another day. I have enough food, with the eggs and bananas I got at the general store, that I don't have to go to town until next week, so I can muddle around here.

 

I did get bracelets #1 - #4 packed up and off to their buyer today, so that is out of the way, and I worked on #5, after ascertaining that the person who was interested "forgot" to send me a check...so this one will have one more repeat and belong to me.

 

Along about the time it was getting dark, Debbie called, and while we were talking, Buster went bonkers, and I discovered there was a mouse in here. This one looked like a house mouse -the long, skinny black kind, not the cute little brown and white field mice - and there was enough stuff on the floor that even though I tried to help Buster out by moving it, he never did catch the thing. I wonder where it went? There is about a quarter inch gap between the toe boards in the corner where the sewing machine is, but no mouse could get into it, especially this one, which wasn't exactly small. Anyway, it got away, leaving Buster looking at me accusingly, like it was my fault. I guess if we're going mouse hunting together, we're going to have to coordinate better.

 

This is on top of one that he chased all around the house around 6 am this morning. It seems to have gotten away, too, unless it is dead under the bed (I haven't looked yet). If it wasn't that it gives Buster so much exercise, which he needs, I'd turn on the pest repellers now. Really, I do not like mice in my house especially now that I know what they can do.

 

I am pleased to report that after putting the heating pad on my hand for an hour or so last night, even though it is still very stiff, it isn't nearly so sore, so I will do it again and hope that I can get it back into shape before I have to start packing in earnest...like next week...yaaaaaaaah!

 

The weather forecast is for clearing skies tonight and maybe sunshine and 50 tomorrow, and besides I guess I will have to try to get up at a decent hour and listen to the news. I cannot express how happy I am that today is election day and all that crap is over with, but I am somewhat interested in the outcome.

 

So that is all I have to report, and it seems to be a cool, quiet night in the field.

 

November 1

I just looked at October 2003 and realized that I get an extra week this year, so I can't complain too much, I guess. Well...I can, but I did get a little bonus.

 

I read forever last night again, and had some trouble sleeping, again. It seems I do my best sleeping between 6 and 9 am. I might have thought it was because I was cold, but actually, I was hot during the night, then I had a little acid reflux, and it wasn't until I cured that that I got to sleep.

 

One thing I did while I was reading, I wrapped my hand in the heating pad, and it felt pretty good until it got cold today. I was talking to my friend from church, Carol, who is a nurse, tonight, and she agreed that heat is the best thing for it. She said hot water, so I guess I'm duty-bound to wash the pots and pans tomorrow, eh?

 

The weather has been blah - really blah. No sun, no wind, no rain, no nothing, just dark and dreary and cloudy. The temperature hung in the upper 30s all day long today.

 

My pest repellers arrived today - that was fast! - so I'm set on that front. There were no pests last night anyway, and Buster slept with me for most of the night, which may have been another part of my problem. Early this morning, when I turned over to go back to sleep, he was right beside me with his nose almost in my face, but he didn't kick or pick or anything.

 

Except for a little embroidery, the only thing I did was to make and attach some tags to bracelets #1 - #4, to get them ready to ship. I am missing a holed punch - heart shaped. I can't imagine what happened to it. That tells me, if I didn't know it before, that it's time to begin to get things in order. I keep reminding myself that I got all that stuff here, so I should be able to get it back south again. Tomorrow.

 

When I looked out the office sliders this morning, there was a dead junco on the deck. How it got there, I don't know, but I keep hearing "clunk" against the windows - and against the side of the house - all day long, so I suppose it hit the upper window. Too bad. I eventually went out and removed it - pitched it over the side - because it was keeping the birds away.

 

So there is really not much to report, except that when I went to upload the journal last night, this stupid program I use wanted to upload the entire website. I didn't let it upload anything that was changed on 4/5 (the last time this happened), but it did load everything that had changed since...or I hope it did. The program simply cannot handle the time changes, and there is just no excuse for that. But, of course, since I'm using an old version (because I won't go to XP), I'm sure Microsoft won't ever do anything about it. At the speed of the dialup, I just can't do any software updates except to the security programs, and even that's shaky. So twice a year, I am going to have this problem, probably so long as I support the website. It drives me nuts, but I just left it, and I hope it worked. Eventually I'll find out.

 

It's cold and quiet in the field tonight.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM