A View From the Field








January, 2005



January 31

So January is history. Amazing how time passes.


The camera came up before dawn this morning, and in the first picture it looked like there was someone up on the overlook...gee, I didn't think snowmobilers got up that early! But there was clearly a light from up there, and the only thing that can get up Brockway now is a snowmobile.


The rest of the day was dreary and dull and 30ish, the kind of day when every picture looks just the same. Toward the end of the day, it looked like there was some fog or something down the harbor, and it could be, because the temperature got over freezing. Or it might have been drizzle or snow. I don't care what the weather, it's good to be able to look out my virtual window.


Here, it was about the same, except that there was a ray or two of sunshine occasionally. It was kind of raw and windy, and I didn't spend any time out, except to get the mail.


Last night, I stayed up and finished the brown sock and started another one that I wanted to see what it looked like, but I'm not impressed, so I've gone back to the gray ones on small needles, and I started the sleeve on the blue sweater. That yarn is what they call mouline - it has three strands of DK weight wool twisted together - and I've found it somewhat difficult to knit. I keep splitting either the strands or the yarn and having to ravel back and crochet up the stitches. Maybe as I work on it more, I'll get more used to it, or it seems like I might.


Otherwise, except to finally get some of the clean pans put away, I did not much, but my day was severely truncated. So now I think i will go upstairs early and knit and read a bit. Not much else to do.


January 30

I didn't sleep very well last night. I think I mentioned that the temperature is set to keep the downstairs at a somewhat reasonable temperature - if you think 65 indoors is a reasonable temperature. As a result, the upstairs gets very warm when  it's not too cold outside. That seems to have been the situation last night. At least, every time the furnace came on, I got hot. Oh, well. It didn't make me feel particularly bad, except that my right eye is clearly tired now. When my eyes get tired, it feels like there is something in the corner nearest my nose, and that's how it feels now. There isn't anything there, it's just tiredness.


It seems that at the end of the week, the builders began to cut through the choir room into the new addition. As a result, the choir room was blocked off, and besides, there was so much dust that everyone was afraid to turn on the blower for the organ. So we worshiped with piano this morning, and the choir sat down in front. We also sang something Bruce gave us at about 10:25. We've sung it before, and it was just the ladies singing unison, but it appears that nobody told him about the organ either. He is such a humble, mild mannered person that he wouldn't think of complaining about not being told about what's going on. It all turned out all right in the end. I think he keeps a few pieces of piano music ready just in case...


Buster was waiting when I got home, and he acted like I'd been away for a week, rather than about two hours. Maybe it was because I sneaked out while he was taking his morning siesta, but he was extremely happy to see me.


I have nearly all of the foot of the brown sock done, and I might just finish it tonight. We'll see. Otherwise, except for unloading the dishwasher (finally), I didn't do much.


I was gratified to see the camera up when I logged on this afternoon. It didn't come up until after 8 am, so there is still a problem, but with the somewhat warmer temperatures and not much wind, it is coming up. I thought that the harbor was ice-free, but later in the afternoon, I realized that the snow-covered ice has floated down to the other end, and my end is covered with a thin sheet of perfectly clear ice. In the later shots, I could see cracks where it had begun to move around. I doubt it's more than an inch or so thick. It is somewhat surprising that there isn't more ice on the harbor, with all the cold temperatures there have been. However, it's only the end of January...


In Copper Harbor, it hung in around 30 all day, and it was cloudy and calm. Here, it was breezy and in the upper 20s, but it was perfectly clear and sunny. I used my sunglasses driving to and from church. and I really should have been up in the sewing room soaking up the rays, but instead I came down and checked the camera and played with the computer. I suppose I could take the laptop upstairs, since I have a phone connection in my bedroom (one more thing in my bedroom!), but I wouldn't want to open my email, and I've been having a nice conversation with an e-friend who is a knitter. It's probably a moot point, since they are predicting fog for the next two or three days, before it cools off and snows again.


So now I will trundle up to the warm second story and try to get my feet warm and finish a sock.


January 29

Well, I got to bed very late and slept very long, so it was a rather truncated day. Imagine my delight when I finally got to the computer and discovered that the camera came up before dawn this morning! Whee! It's temperature related, but it's also related to which way the wind blows.


I was most interested to see that despite all the bitterly cold weather in Keweenaw, our end of the harbor is full of pancake ice, and where the current comes in from the big lake, it is ice-free. Now, down by town, the ice seems to be pretty solid. It must have something to do with how the wind blows  


However, all that open water is keeping it relatively warm in Copper Harbor. Again, it was warmer there than it was here., but not by much. It got up to around 30 in Copper Harbor, but it was under 30 here. It was windy there, and calm here, but it was not a nice day out here. I had to go to the mail box, and it was raw and unpleasant outside. It was cloudy and dull both places.


But it sure was good to see the view out my windows!


I worked on my sock, but otherwise, I didn't do much. So now I need to get to bed, because I have to be up at a reasonable hour tomorrow. I'm one of two altos (!!!) for the anthem tomorrow, so it's important. I might add that Bruce, who is a true bass, is singing the middle part - and it sounds surprisingly good. I'm  not sure I could sing harmony in a really difficult piece, because I never have, but this is relatively simple, and there's not much of it, and I do read music. Anyway, it's an interesting change.


So another quiet day in the field in exile, and only 97 left to go.


January 28

It just stands to reason that since there was a green screen all day yesterday, the camera never connected today, doesn't it? That seems to be the way this winter has gone. Rats. Better luck tomorrow, I hope.


It's still cold around here, so I slept until Buster was practically beside himself, trying to get  me up. He just thinks I should do things on his schedule - whatever that is - and he gets upset when he wants me to get up and I don't want to, or when he wants me to go to bed and I don't want to...or whatever else happens to be on his mind at the time.


There's a curious situation with the weather just now. At 10:00, it was 29 in  Copper Harbor and 14 in Detroit. Not too many times that happens. It's supposed to warm up tomorrow, though, and it may get above freezing here. It will be in the upper 20s and snow in Copper Harbor.


Not much to report for today. I finished the green sock last night and have another one - this is taupey brown, pale blue, dark lavender and two shades of navy blue, rather subdued compared to some of the others - ready to do the heel. These socks on #4 needles go really fast, especially since the faster I can knit the more evenly I knit.


Otherwise, I wrote some checks and gathered together the last stuff to send the lawyer, but I was so late, nothing will get into the mail until tomorrow. It was a nice quiet day and now it's time to go and sleep again.


Oh, yes, and there are 98 days before I can go home...under 100 days. Hard to believe. Hard to believe January is almost over, too. Time does pass, it seems.

 Let's hope for something other than a green screen tomorrow!


January 27

First, I'm sorry for the green screen today. Of course the phone line worked all day long! I hope that by next year (if I'm not there quite all winter), the wireless will let me get into that computer and reset it even when it's online. We'll see.


Yesterday turned out to be a rather busy one. I got to bible class, but I didn't stop at the Food Emporium, because I knew my tummy would be full of barium. 


My CT scan was at 1:45, but it was delayed  by an emergency patient, and even before it started, I was beginning to feel ominous rumblings in my gut. It almost seems I react differently every time I have to drink that barium, but the technician said there had been numerous complaints lately about stomach problems. I wonder if maybe they've put even more laxative in it? Anyway, this time I had so much gas that I could hardly get my jeans closed, but not much else. Fortunately, most of it was gone by the time I went to choir, but for a good while there I was socially unacceptable.


So anyway, that's over.


I went upstairs and read for a while before I went to bed. It's warmer up there. 


It's not warm outside, and again it's a bit colder here than it is in Copper Harbor. Tonight, it's supposed to go down below zero here, but only be in the single digits there.


Yesterday there was some snow in Copper Harbor, and it was just cold and cloudy here. Today was a beautifully clear day both places, and it just seems that the camera is conspiring against us to make sure we don't see the beautiful blue skies and white snow in Copper Harbor. Drat. Hopefully, tonight's power failure will cure the camera and it will still be sunny for a while tomorrow. The temperatures both places both days have been mostly in the middle teens. It's cold.


This morning started out all right, but I had just made my breakfast and was walking back to the stove with the tea kettle when I slipped on a pile of newspapers and magazines and went flat down on the kitchen floor. Although I bent my glasses a bit, the big damage seems to be to my left knee, which I hit right on the top, and is now sore and swollen. It's just a bruise in a tender spot, because I have no trouble walking, but bending my knee with my jeans on is very painful. Made me mad, after I got over my very sore knees.


So I did a bit of embroidery and a bit of knitting - the green sock is nearly at the toe - and washed dishes, because i was flat out of big plates and forks.  And I have so little trash that I think I will wait until next week for that. As to the recyclables, my barrel is buried somewhere out in front of the house, and it may just stay there until the snow melts. I also called my lawyer to begin to get the arbitration thing under way.


Now it is extremely cold in the basement and in the kitchen, so I will climb up to the warmer second story and cuddle under my quilts.


Good hibernation weather.


January 25

Gosh, I guess my weekend off was good for me. I actually felt pretty good today. Got up around 8:30, and when I came downstairs, the SBC truck was out in front of the house. I guess i didn't mention that Saturday, I discovered that while the DSL was working just fine, there was no dial tone on that line. How long it had been that way, I don't know, but every so often I want to hook up the laptop to it to update the security software...besides, I'm paying for it so it should work, right? It turned out to be a central office problem and is now apparently fixed. I was a bit disturbed, because when I finally got down here to log on the DSL didn't want to come up. It was OK on the second try, but it made me wonder.


So I went off to the hospital and got my neck scanned, with two technicians I've seen often enough that we remember each other. 


For some time, I've been hankering for a real old-fashioned pot roast, with vegetables. I used to make that dish a lot, but it's been years since I have, and I had actually forgotten how to do it, so I guessed, but I got interested in what I was doing down here, and it was after 5 pm before I got it started, and pot roast takes a while to cook, so it was after 9 before I ate. The fashionable hour, as my mother used to say. Anyway, it was good, and it warms up really well, so I'll eat well for the rest of the week. Much as I like fowl, I had had it up to here with chicken and turkey, thank you.


I also finally got most of the pots and pans out of the sink, although they are still on the draining board and need to be put away. I had to do them in stages, because they all needed to be soaked and they all wouldn't fit in the sink at the same time. There's still some stuff to wash, including the iron pot from the roast, but eventually it looks like I might just get at the stove, which is, of course, a total disaster again.


When I got logged on, the camera was down, but I bounced it and it came right up...another one of those things where I'm sure there was a gray box in the middle of the screen. Makes me wish I had been able to figure out how to use Laplink as remote terminal software, but I've never been able to make get it working over a phone line, and I'm not sure what its interaction with the camera software would be anyway. Oh, for my broadband...this year, for sure!


Anyway, when I got the camera working, you couldn't see down the harbor it was snowing so hard, and the snow on the deck, which had settled some, is now over the lower railing again. It stopped around 5 pm, for a while anyway, but it was dark and the sky was really the color of lead. I think there was a squall right before it got dark, but just a little one. The temperature got into the upper 20s, although there was a wind, but I imagine it felt warm to the locals.


It did here, and it was in the upper 20s when I went out, and later, it got over freezing.  It's 36 now. There was no snow, but it was cloudy and dull.


So now it's time to go upstairs, except that after a lovely evening of Baroque music, they are playing one of my favorite pieces - Schubert's "Trout" quintet, so of course I have to stay up for that!


It's nice to feel like doing a little something for a change.


January 24

Well, it was a lost weekend, and I don't even want to talk about it. Even the camera was down all day.


The camera came up around 10:30 this morning - right before i got downstairs. I wonder if it knows?


The weather both here and in Copper Harbor was nondescript. There was no snow either place, and it got into the middle 20s, a bit warner than it has been. I guess it may be even warmer tomorrow here, with snow in the afternoon. In Copper Harbor it's supposed to start snowing tonight and keep right on. I don't know what the current total is - George hasn't posted for a few days. On the 20th it was 72" for the month, but there was some over the weekend. lotsa snow!


I did a few things today - wrote some overdue checks, began to clean up the kitchen, but got bogged down in a pot that I need to scrub with steel wool. Not much. It's the blah days of winter, and I usually veg out at this time of year.


S now it's to bed again. I get my neck CT scanned tomorrow morning, so I have to be up at a reasonable hour. By the way, it seems that if I'm not arising by about 9:30, Buster comes up on the bed and stares at me until I open my eyes, then he hollers until I either get up or chase him away. An alarm clock I've got!


January 22

Here in the big city, there is a particular bright orangish color the sky and ground gets when it's snowing. I woke up around 4 am this morning, and outside the windows looked like that, but from my bedroom it's not possible to have any idea how much snow may have fallen. I finally hauled myself out of bed around 10, and I noticed outside the window that there was snow drifting down...that fine, granular stuff that falls when it's very cold. 


I started another crazy sock last night, but this one isn't quite so crazy as some of the others. It's just three shades of green, tan and white. I made the first one quite a while ago, and I just decided it was time to finish the pair. At least I can wear them on St. Patrick's day (although with my ancestors, there ought to be an orange stripe in them). So this morning I sat with a cat on my lap until he got tired and went to sleep behind the door and knitted on my sock.


When I got downstairs, my was I surprised. There was a 4" drift up against the slider except that on the left half, where I had pushed the screen back, there was a beautifully shaped ridge almost 2' high. Since the light was behind it, I could see lilnes going through it, sort of like tree rings. Very interesting. From the amount of snow on the trash barrel and the birdbath, it appeared we'd had maybe 8", and it was still snowing. I may never find my recyclables barrel. I had the awful feeling I should have hauled them in yesterday. Oh, well. 


Anyway, it snowed more or less hard most of the day, and while I wouldn't say we got the 12.1" they had at Metro Airport, we have quite a bit. Finally, around 7 pm, Marty came around and plowed, so I guess I will just have to make an executive decision about church tomorrow. I'm inclined not to go, frankly, but I'll see what it looks like in the morning. Remember, I don't have any boots...and I mean no boots at all that I can get on my feet. Time to bag it, I think.


When I got up this morning, my eyes were puffy and teary, so I decided not to try to do any more on the journal. I'm afraid that peering at those little letters causes eyestrain. So I took the opportunity to write all of the past four years' worth of raw images from the Nikon - over 500mb of pictures - onto CDs - twice. So now all that stuff is backed up and I can delete it from all the computers. The "Easy CD Creator" really is, except that it has an odd interface (so what doesn't?) and there isn't any documentation. Slowly, I'm learning its pitfalls, however. And the CD I wrote in Copper Harbor last summer, that I couldn't read when I got here, read quite well, thank you, leaving me rather puzzled. Oh, well.


The camera was down, because it was snowing like crazy in Keweenaw, too, and still is. I bounced it around 3 pm, and low and behold, right around 4:45, it finally made a connection, so we got five or six pictures before it got dark. Now you tell me this isn't a phone line problem? Ha!  There were a couple of brief snow squalls while it was up, nothing big, but most of the deck is covered by about 5" (the lower railing is covered), except where the wind blew it away on the left side, so it had been snowing nicely all night and all day.


The snow is going to go right on in Keweenaw, but here it is supposed to stop overnight and maybe even be a bit sunny tomorrow. Interestingly enough, this snowfall in all of Michigan was accompanied by northeast winds, which means that the thumb is getting copious quantities of lake effect snow, a rather unusual state of affairs. Most of our snow comes out of the northwest. Very occasionally it will come from the southeast, and then, watch out. When the snow comes up the Detroit River is when we, here in the eastern part of the metro area, get our biggest snowfalls. 


I think, without having seen any of the statistics, that this winter is going to be the first one since 2000-2001 when we have actually had a good snowfall in the southeastern Lower. It certainly is nice to be able to sit inside and watch it and admire how pretty the spruces are without having to worry about getting someplace on Monday...or even tomorrow.


It's been interesting that until now, it's been a few degrees warmer in Copper Harbor than here, and our winds have been higher, too. Very odd but interesting storm.


So that's about all I know, and I am going to trundle upstairs and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, just in case I decide to try for church tomorrow. It's cold and snowy in all of Michigan tonight.


Oh, yes, and there are 104 days before I can go home.


January 21

Another Friday. Another week closer to going home.


I awoke this morning about five minutes before the phone rang, just to prove that I haven't lost that knack, which I had all the time I was on call, of never being asleep when the phone rang, no matter what the hour. This one was the doctor's office, with my appointments for my CT scans - Tuesday and Wednesday, neck first.


So I got up, and I was just finishing weaving in the last tail on the really crazy sock when the guy called to say he would be right over to put back the shelf the sewer cleaners broke...and he meant it. I was about half dressed when he arrived, so he had to stand outside for a couple of minutes. And now that is done, so shortly everything will be back the way it was, except no more "glug-glug" and no more nasty, moldy smells.


Curiously enough, the camera came up at around 8:30 this morning and worked all day long. That is a really intermittent problem, and since I was working on July today, it seems it actually was beginning not long after I got there last spring. 


Not that there was a lot to see. It was just dull and dark and blah, with no snow and no sun. The temperature hung in at about 18 all day long.


Curiously enough, while it was sunny here, it was also colder. The airport was reporting about 14 for most of the afternoon, but my thermometer out in the tree was reading 8, and that was cold. I did stick my head out to get the mail, and it was cold, so the trash barrel and recyclables bin are still out there.


I spent most of the afternoon processing the journal from last July, which was more difficult than usual because there were a ton of pictures, and at one point, I had to shut everything down and reboot to reclaim memory...proof that both Word and Publisher, not to mention FrontPage, have data leaks. I think those programs were all written as though they were going to be run stand-alone, like they used to be before Windows, so it isn't necessary to be careful about memory use and things like that. And I bet you if you could look at the code, you'd find places where the programmer deliberately modifies executable code on the fly. That is one of the old tricks of the trade, left over from the days of small memories and stand-alone programs, which is a real no-no in a multi-tasking world.


Anyway, things kept running slower and slower and it got to a point where a couple of the pictures wouldn't load, and I couldn't switch back and forth between the two programs, so I had to reboot. I resent losing the time, but July is now as done as it's going to be. Oh, yes, and the Publisher file is almost 180mb big. Fortunately, the disk on this system is pretty empty, or it was. It won't be by the time I get through with this exercise. I actually better plan on writing all those files on a CD-R before I go north. The laptop doesn't have a very big disk, and there's no use leaving them out there once they're cast in concrete.


All I have to do is decide what size page I'm really going to want to print them on.


So that's another day in exile. The more I read about last summer, the nicer it seems to have been, and the more I wish I was there, now.


January 20

Oh, yeah, that's right. No journal last night.


When I woke up yesterday morning, I was surprised to see a respectable amount of snow on the ground, but I decided to got to bible class anyway, because I wanted to go to the food emporium. When I stepped out the door, I discovered that it was a bit deeper than I thought - 4" or 5" maybe - and Marty hadn't come yet, but I didn't have any trouble getting out of the house or out of the street.


Mack Avenue was sort of a mess, but there wasn't any traffic, and when I got to church, I discovered that a whole three people, including me, had come to class. Gosh, guys, it wasn't that bad! We had a good class, however, and everybody else will have to catch up next week. 


There were a few more people in the parking lot when I moved the car, but not many, and I got my stuff. There were a lot more cars on the road around noon, and they had salted enough that the road was just sloppy. Marty had plowed by the time I got home. It always annoys me when that happens, because it leaves a pair of tracks on the otherwise clear driveway, but oh, well.


I spent the afternoon working on past journals, including inserting the pictures into their proper locations and learning how to use "autoflow" in Publisher.


Then it was off to choir practice, and I'm happy to say there were a few more people there last night, so we had a good practice. There is Lenten stuff in our folders already. Easter is March 27, so Ash Wednesday is February 9. That's nearly as early as it can be.


I had plans to go to bed early, but the sock intervened. I got to the heel, and I decided to do the entire heel before I stopped. Buster was getting antsy before I finally quit and took a nice hot bath to warm up. About the time I was going to bed, he was beginning to wake up, and I think he prowled around looking out of windows for part of the night.


I can't remember when I got up this morning, but it wasn't very early, and I knitted some more before I came downstairs, and by that time I was hungry, so I ate breakfast before I came down to the computer.


The camera was down all day yesterday - I think it was snowing in Copper Harbor - and it was still down when I got to the computer, so I took a chance and bounced it...and it came right up. I suspect there was a gray box in the middle of the screen that required an "OK" click...drat! Sorry I didn't check it earlier.


However, in working on the journals, I've discovered that the problem with the phone line probably started around the middle of last August, at the latest, and it has only been getting worse ever since. Since at that time I still thought I might get my broadband, it didn't make any impression. So now we'll just have to deal with it until I get back there to prove that, at least at times, the line is so bad the computer can't sync up with Pastynet at any speed. How annoying!


Then it was off to my late appointment with Dr. Lehman, finally. It seems he had to have his gall bladder out, and he thinks it's probably something he inherited from his mother. I wouldn't call that exactly "minor" surgery, but things have changed a lot in the past ten or so years. Anyway, we were late enough that I won't find out when my CT scans are until tomorrow.


I stopped to get gas, I think for the first time since I got here, and I was just as glad to get back inside. It was gray and nasty, with a temperature that hung in at around 18 all day, with little spritzes of snow now and then and a brisk wind. 


In Copper Harbor, I guess it was about the same, temperature a few degrees colder and a bit more snow, but not much. All the pictures were very gray and nasty, and there seemed to be a couple of layers of clouds up there. Apparently there was a wind, because in a few pictures I can see some snow devils on the frozen harbor. The other camera showed that the ice had broken up around the public dock, though, so clearly it's not thick enough to go out on.


I've been thinking about how to print the journal. My original idea was for pages 5" x 8", and that's one reason I'm using Publisher - because my version of Word won't print a booklet with print on both sides of the pages. Then I could either bind it with the little discs I got or put it in 3-ring binders. However, I got to thinking I could print it 8" x 11" and bind it in big 3-ring binders, too. So now I don't know exactly what I'll be doing. I like the smaller format, because it's easier to handle, but the larger one would save paper and the pictures could be bigger. Decisions, decisions...


In the course of putting these pages through both Word and Publisher, I've discovered a large number of typos that for some reason FrontPage never caught...or I never noticed if it did. I seem to have almost a habit of not capitalizing "I" all the time, and there were several places where I typed periods instead of commas, or vice versa, and one place where I had written "do do" instead of "to do". It would be really, really nice if all the programs that process words worked alike. But, sorry, I'm not going to start running these entries through Word just to catch all the typos. Its grammar checker isn't all that great anyway - or at least it has a hard time understanding what I write.


So now I need to bundle up and haul out the trash and recyclables - no trash, but lots of recyclables this week - then see if I can actually get to bed at a sort of reasonable hour for a change.


January 18

Well, see, it was all about the crazy sock yarn. I'd been thinking about it for a while, and I got it out the other day, and there was one combination that I haven't tried that is really wild (navy, purple, hot pink, orange and pea-green - wow!), and when I should have been going to bed, I started a sock. The crazy socks go fast, so I just kept knitting, and it was after 1 am when I got to  bed...so it was late when I got up, too. I do things like that every so often. It's a side effect of living alone. Buster would prefer a more orderly life, but he's learning to live with it.


Then Robert came this afternoon and kindly put the laundry room back together pretty much and mopped the floor for me, which I really appreciated. He also swept up all the broken tile and took measurements to find out how much it will cost to have half the room retiled. He is a nice kid. Both Greg's kids are nice, and it's a pleasure to deal with them. So now the basement looks about as good as it can.


It was cold out today, although there was a little sun. The temperature didn't get much over 15, I don't think, and there was a brisk wind.


In Copper Harbor, they actually had a ray of sunshine late this morning, before it clouded over. There was a rather vicious wind for most of the day making snow devils out on the harbor, and the temperature was actually a degree or two warmer than here. Along about 4 pm, however, it started to snow again and by sunset the harbor had disappeared, and the lights are still gone.


I was looking over January 2004 this evening, and there was over 100" by the end of the month, so we're right on track. The January record is 111", and if this keeps up, they could nudge it again this year. George's snowfall reports for the season are sort of messed up, but I believe there was no snow in Keweenaw County in November, which is a new record, so we probably won't be able to get into the 300" territory for the season. However you look at it, the 140" so far this season is a lot of snow.


So between fooling around and playing with last January's journal, I seem to  be staying up a bit late again, but they are playing a wind serenade (Brahms, maybe?) that I like, so I will wait until that is over before I haul myself upstairs. Got to get going tomorrow.


January 17

I was going to sleep this morning, but a certain black person got up on the bed beside me and started hollering at me at about 8:30, and I had to use the bathroom, so finally I gave up and got up. Of course, all he wanted was to sit on my lap, then to have his breakfast, and he went back to sleep, leaving me awake.


I picked up the shawl again, and I thought I was doing pretty well until I realized I had dropped a stitch and I began unknitting. Finally, I just tore out the entire block and started over again, although I just put in the first row. By that point, it was 11:00 and I figured I'd better just set it aside for another day. That alpaca is nothing like cotton at all, and it's still giving me fits. Maybe the second time will be better - I know it was with the triangles. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually, but wow! It's like no other yarn I've ever used in my career, and I've been knitting since I was 11 or 12.


When I got downstairs to the computer, the camera was up - but it had just come up. Do you suppose it knows when I'm going to check it?


Anyway, the day in Copper Harbor was just like the past four, so snowy you couldn't see anything beyond the deck railing. The wind has died down, but temperature hovered just above 0 all day long. Toward evening, the snow finally abated a bit, and in the last picture, it was possible, finally, to see the town and the lights, for the first time in a while. It's supposed to start up again tomorrow. They've now had almost 56" of snow this month...and it's only half over. From the pictures, it appears that the harbor has finally frozen over pretty much, although I don't think I'd want to go walking out on the ice just  yet. That water is mighty cold.


Here, the temperature was in the low teens, and there were periods of light snow and periods of a bit of sunshine. The snow was just a dusting, and the temperature is now diving toward 0. This is certainly a real old-fashioned Michigan winter!


The shawl discouraged me enough that I didn't do any more crafting. There is one online bead seller that has very good prices, but their website is absolutely the worst piece of garbage I have ever had the misfortune to try to use. They go in for all sorts of snazzy effects, but there are very few pictures of the beads, no search facility at all and a lot of mistypings and other annoying glitches. Some of the price lists aren't even in any kind of sorted order. For some time I've been wanting to grab some of their price lists and save them on my disk in some program where I can search for what I want. So I played around with that for most of the afternoon. 


Then I remembered that I had promised myself that I would process each month's journal soon after the month was over, and I'd never done December, so I got into that this evening. In the course of doing that, I decided I was fed up with one annoying glitch of copying between Word and Publisher - even though the type on this page and in the Word copy is 12 point, when I copy it to Publisher, it comes out 10 point, and that's too small. So I've finally figured out - sort of - how to correct that, and I did December and September. Now I have several other months to correct, and of course I still have the better part of last year, as well as the previous 3 years, to process. It takes a while to move the days' entries around so they read from the first to the last of the month, even before I copy them to Publisher. I can't do the moving in Publisher, because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles Word does. But I have to use Publisher for the printing, because Word won't print a book or pamphlet. Geez! I can't believe I'm the only person who ever wanted to do such a thing.


So now it is late, and I do want to take a bath, just to get my feet warmed up before I dive under the quilts for a long winter's nap. It's cold outside, guys.


January 16

It wasn't too late when I got to bed last night, but I didn't want to get up this morning. I don't know what this 11 hours a night is, but it cuts into production no end. However, I made it to church, and that was good, because there weren't very many of us.


The pots and pans didn't get done, but they won't go away, and the longer they soak the easier they will be to wash.  I did finish the triangles and started on the first lace square of the shawl, and unfortunately, the first pattern (maybe all of them) will look awful until it's stretched tight. Right now it looks pretty bad, even though I'm sure of my tension and all. I didn't finish the first square, but I'm about halfway through it. After that, I beaded for a while, and made a little progress. It was slowed because I kept stopping to graph out some more patterns. I'm finally beginning to like the silver with the copper, and I had some interesting ideas...like a twisted copper and silver rope down dark blue background? I'll have to try it. I have lots of things I'd like to try with an odd count, so I'll have to get at that. And last summer I graphed out some interesting woven looking and flowery looking patterns I'd like to try.


On top of that, I finally broke down and got a selection of the expensive Japanese beads, and I want to work with those, too. They are very uniform in size and nearly square, and they make an interesting, very flat fabric.


And there are still the gemstone beads waiting in the wings...so I won't be bored.


The weather here was cold, in the teens, and about the time I left for church it started snowing softly, but only about a quarter inch of very fine snow came down. Later in the day, the sun came out for a while, which is one reason I was in the sewing room.


In Copper Harbor, it's a broken record. The camera came up at 2:30, and it's still snowing, although not quite so hard, and the wind is dying down, which means there's quite a lot of snow on the deck now. The temperature was not much above zero all day long, and is now 1 (wind chill -18). However, it's -8 at the airport, so even in the depths of winter the big heat sink keeps it a bit warmer in the winter. It appears that the storm system is gone, and what's falling now is lake effect snow, but wow, what snow! This started Wednesday night, and it hasn't abated much yet. Unless it stops snowing altogether, this is going to be a very good winter for snow in the northwoods.


It's still snowing hard enough that the camera can't see the lights of Copper Harbor, and it's supposed to continue until at least Tuesday. Whew!


When it's as cold as it's been here - low teens - the wind cuts at my face when I go out into it, and my usual knitted baby cap isn't enough protection for my ears. So the list of equipment I'll need to go out in the snow gets longer...


The barometer has been high, and my little four-footed barometer has been full of ginger, or at least full of conversation. He got a whiff of cold air this morning when I went out, and I guess he didn't like it, because I didn't see him until late this afternoon. 


Buster has the right idea - this is hibernation weather...so I think I will go do.


January 15

I got to bed fairly early last night, and while I can't say I slept all that well, I got up around 8:30 this morning. It sure does make the day longer. Part of my problem was that Buster was bugging me for something for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. He thought maybe he wanted to get under the covers, but that wasn't it, and he sort of poked around and walked over my head and talked to me until finally I turned my back on him. Then he settled down with his back to me, although when I turned over, his feet were toward me, and we both went to sleep, I think. I'm not exactly sure what his problem was, but it sure was a problem for me.


Anyway, I finished the last base triangle on the shawl and started the side triangle, so I'm making progress. I put some pots away in the kitchen and tried to make a little sense. The day was so sunny that I spent an hour and a half in the sewing room, and finally started a bracelet, although my layoff seems to have made me all thumbs again, and I had to start it over three or four times before I got it right, so I actually only got half of one pattern done. Anyway, it was nice to sit in the sun.


When I got downstairs to the computer, the camera had just come up, at 9:30 this morning. Don't ask me. I have no clue. It was nice to see it working, but there wasn't much to see but white.


It's still blizzarding in Keweenaw, although the wind has abated somewhat from the 30-45 mph it was yesterday and overnight. It snowed hard enough all day long that you could just barely see the big birch tree at the edge of the cliff, and sometimes the bushes in the garden were invisible. There isn't much snow at the end of the deck, but I think quite a bit has come down, and all that wind has made for some pretty big drifts in spots. This is supposed to continue, with temperatures around 0 and northwest winds over 30 mph until Monday night. The NWS is advising people not to go out, and I sure know I wouldn't want to, if I was there, although with all the wind, it would be necessary to plow at least once a day just to keep the drifts under control. Now, that is a Keweenaw winter!


Here, it was cold - in the teens - but sunny, and it was nice to see the sun again. I guess we may get a snowflake or two overnight and maybe tomorrow and Monday, and it will be Tuesday in all of Michigan before the temperature starts to rise a bit. It's a good time to be able to stay inside.


I remember the last few years I worked, at a site out in the country, where I had a quarter mile walk from the parking lot to the building, with that west wind sweeping across the wide open spaces. That's the reason I have a full length down lined coat to wear. I was dumb enough to throw away my lined boots, and the ones I have on order won't be here until February (hopefully, they'll fit). But the only year since I retired that I would have needed boots before this one was in 2000-2001, and I was incarcerated in the hospital during the worst of it. By the time I was ambulatory again, most of the snow was over with. Now if I move to Copper Harbor, I'll need snow pants and snow boots with insulated linings, but the place to get those is up there, and I seriously doubt anybody expects you to look dressed up in this weather.


Anyway, I made my tetrazini this afternoon. That is one of those recipes that gets everything in the kitchen dirty - two pots, two frying pans, two bowls, three measuring cups, and assorted spoons, stirrers and spatulas. Oh, yes, and the baking pan it gets finished in. However, the results were as good this time as they seemed to be the last time I did it. It could use a bit of salt and pepper, but otherwise, it's yummy. Good thing, because it makes a boatload. I'll probably freeze two or three meals at least, but that's nice, too. I like having homemade TV dinners in the freezer. The bought varieties get really boring after a while.


The dishes won't get done until tomorrow. As always, some of the sauce stuck to the bottom of the pot, so it is in to soak now. The other stuff isn't quite such a mess, and some of it will go in the dishwasher.


I was thinking, though, as I was cooking, with frequent stops to sit and rest my back, that I wished I'd been doing it in the other kitchen. I can't remember now, but a couple of times there were utensils I wanted to use that are there...but the big pot I used for the sauce and the really big cake pan are here.  It will be good to get all that consolidated again.


As to my back, I simply can't stand in one place with my arms out in front of me, like you do when you're cooking, for very long without my back acting up. Someplace in my effects, I have some leaflets on back health that have some exercises to strengthen the back muscles. While it won't solve the underlying problem, it might help some. I've seen those things twice in the past couple of winters. I wonder what I did with them last?


So now my tummy is full of good things, and it's time to trundle upstairs so that I can get to church on time tomorrow. I am going to have to take myself in hand and try to keep going to bed early and getting up earlier. Then I might actually be able to accomplish something!


January 14

Well, I got my 11 hours of sleep in, even though I started late, so the day was pretty truncated. I actually didn't sleep 11 hours - I had a couple of hours of wakefulness around 5 am - so I'm tired again, and tonight I will go to bed earlier.


I finished the fourth triangle at the bottom of the shawl, much to Buster's displeasure, and otherwise, I fiddled around in the kitchen, and got all the pots and pans washed and the cat food put away. I boiled up my turkey stock and decanted it into freezer containers, but I didn't get the tetrazini done. That will have to wait for tomorrow. I ate some cheese and shrimp for dinner tonight. That's some indication of a rather mixed up day.


The weather here was beautiful...sunny and cold. It never got over 20, but there wasn't much wind, and I wish I could have spent the day in the sewing room, but that's the trouble with this house...the kitchen is downstairs and the computer is in the basement. Copper Harbor is much better. The crafts and the computer are in the same room, and the kitchen is just on the other side of the great room, so I can do things like hear kitchen timers going off while I craft or compute. 


The weather in Copper Harbor...ah, the weather! They are having another blizzard in Keweenaw. The temperature never got above 4, the winds were in the 30-40 mph range, although they're backing off now, and it snowed. IT's still snowing. I am going to have to check more carefully when the camera comes up (when it does), because the problem is clearly related to the temperature, and I think the phone line craps out when it gets below about 25, but I want to pin it down more carefully. It's very frustrating, but I doubt we could have seen anything beyond the railing today anyway.


So in spite of the late hour when I arose, my eyes are telling me it's time to go back to bed, and I will do so.


January 13

Yesterday was an interesting day, weatherwise, around here. The temperature rose all day long, until by the time I got out of choir practice, it was over 50. So even though I was tired and I went to bed early, it was warm enough in the upstairs that I didn't sleep very well. It also drizzled all day long and was generally yucky, but despite the rain, once it got over 50 all of a sudden most of my aches and pains went away. Interesting, that.


It apparently rained most of the night and all day today, and now almost all our snow is gone, except for the deep piles in corners. It looks really dreary. However, the temperature fell all day today, and is now down close to freezing. It's supposed to go down into the low teens tonight, but tomorrow is supposed to be almost sunny, but cold. Strange.


Now, in Copper Harbor, it's a different story altogether. It snowed lightly, with maybe a bit of sleet, all day yesterday, but the temperature dropped off, and today there was almost a blizzard all day, and now the temperature is 4, with north winds from 30 to 40 mph. Brr!


The camera didn't come up today. I'm thinking that not only is there a phone problem, it's a temperature-dependent phone problem. So now that the temperature is down in the single digits and teens, the camera is off. I guess we'll just have to bear with it, and enjoy the times it's on, until I get there on May 6. How frustrating. I would like to have seen the nothing there was outside the windows today.


I finally buckled down and made turkey stock this afternoon, although I haven't strained it yet. Tomorrow it will be tetrazini. Otherwise, it's been a quiet time, and I'm still sleeping a lot.  That's about all this weather is good for.


January 11

There seems to be a conspiracy afoot to keep me in bed until 10am. I went to bed rather early last night, but I didn't get to sleep any earlier than the night before, so I did a really good job between 7 am and 10 am. 


I was awakened by the snow removal crew. I don't know exactly how much snow we had overnight, but there was enough for Marty to come by and remove it. When I woke up, every branch of the pear tree and the spruces was frosted with a light coating of snow, which melted off as the temperature rose, but it was certainly pretty early in the morning.


I was determined to go food shopping, so I didn't come down to the computer until late in the day. It doesn't seem like I got myself much to eat - mostly odds and ends, actually, but Buster is well supplied for the next month or two. He likes something different every day, and it was getting hard to do that. Not now.


It was raw and cold, with temperature in the mid 30s and a northeast wind, I think, and some drizzle coming down when I went out...not nice at all...and there wasn't so much traffic as there was before the holidays, but Kroger's had a lot of cars in the parking lot. 


I acquired a lot more herb teas and some decaffeinated teas, although I didn't get the one variety I was particularly looking for. Since I had pretty much stopped drinking tea, I hadn't checked that section for a while, and the variety of tea and herb tea that one can get is astonishing. Apparently a lot of people have sworn off coffee. It seems like all I want is a large amount of something hot in the morning, and the caffeine has not much to do with it, so the herbal teas are working out just fine.


I also got the things I was missing to make turkey tetrazini, but I have to boil up the carcass for stock first. So that will keep me busy. And they had some lamb chops today...halleluiah! I found it hard to understand why they would have veal but not lamb, and apparently my complaint got heard.


I was pretty tired by the time I got home and got everything stuffed into the fridge - how I hate that thing! I know there is some stuff way at the back of the lower shelf that I will eventually have to dig out by sitting on a chair and reaching in with my reach extender. It's no wonder things die in the back of that fridge!  Some of the really big new ones are that deep or deeper, and I'd have to think hard before I'd ever get one, even if I needed the room. They are much too hard to get to the back of. The fridge in Copper Harbor really doesn't hold that much, since it's only a 36" side-by-side, but things don't get lost in it, and I can reach all the way to the back without much trouble at all.


Then I came downstairs and logged on...and low and behold, the camera had been up all day, and it was a perfectly gorgeous day, at that. I downloaded all the pictures, and I had a really hard time picking one: I really wanted to save all 46 of them, from the deep blue of the first light of dawn, the one with the shadow of the earth retreating into the west, or the sun rising and casting the shadows of the pines on the snow of the harbor, or...so I picked one from early afternoon. It doesn't get much better than this. How I wish I'd been there to sit in the office with the sun pouring in the south windows on me out of the incredibly blue sky...oh, my!


Anyway, I hope everyone there enjoyed the weather, because it's supposed to cloud up and snow for the next day or so and then an arctic howler is coming down to send the temperatures into the pits again. But that's winter in the northwoods.


Here, it's supposed to be rainy and warm, up into the 50s maybe, although the last time they predicted that, they were wrong, so I'll hope it doesn't happen. By Thursday it will drop into the teens here, too, and we'll be back to winter in earnest.


So now it's time to trundle up to bed, so that I can get up in time for bible class tomorrow.


January 10

Well, it seems I'm going to get my 10 - 11 hours of sleep most every night, no matter when I start. As a result, it was very late when I got up, and then I decided to attack the alpaca again, much to Buster's annoyance. He actually rose up and batted at the needle twice, and caught a claw in the knitting, just to tell me he was not pleased, and if I was going to sit there, he wanted to be sitting on me. Pooh. 


I finished the first base triangle. This shawl is made in a pattern called entrelacs, which are rectangles on a slant that end up looking woven. Each rectangle will have a lace pattern in it, and the result is really interesting. The pattern, rather than having another shawl, is the reason I decided to do this thing, and I'm sure that by the time I finish it, I'll be used to working in the yarn and I'll have the pattern down pat, but right now, at the beginning, it's a real trial to me. I've knitted a lot of lace, but all if it in cotton on really small needles, and the problems of using wool and large needles for the size of the thread are altogether different. Once it's stretched out fully the little glitches won't be noticed, I'm sure. However, I may have to break down and buy another needle, just because the stuff is so slippery. We'll see. I feel a sense of accomplishment just having gotten through the first base triangle. The next one ought to be easier.


In the meantime, the sun came out briefly, and that was nice to see, although it has since clouded over, and the forecast for tonight and tomorrow here is dire - freezing rain, rain, sleet, snow, and the whole bit. Yuck. Maybe they've overreacted again. I had intended to go shopping tomorrow.


I won't be going to the doctor...Dr. Lehman had minor surgery and will be off for another week. Maybe I'll get to see him sometime in the next month. I don't like it when the doctor gets sick.


The camera was down today, but apparently it was cold - mid teens - and sort of snowy in Copper Harbor, about as usual. There is ice on the harbor, but it seems to be floating ice, and it moves around depending upon the wind.


Sully's obituary was finally in today's paper, and his memorial service is tomorrow, and they are having a reception (whatever that is) at a restaurant in Laurium. I do wish I could have gone, but it's likely to be a mad scene, and I'm not sure where I would have stayed anyway, since the house is shut down for the winter.


I did finally remember to wash the dishes, after filling the dishwasher yesterday and forgetting to turn it on, so that is done. Otherwise, it was a very quiet day in exile.


January 9

The night was filled with weird dreams (I should keep track of this - I think it's cyclic), and I woke up at 7:30, which was not what I'd planned. I got up, because if I'd gone back to sleep, I never would have made it to church. So I was up early, and I got the parts of the sweater together for the body, but my hands were sore.


Church was a tad long this morning, since there was a baptism and communion, but there were quite a few people there. One of my older friends wasn't there, because she slipped on a patch of ice and broke her wrist. She is a very  nice lady, and I would have said she was too good on her feet to have something like that happen to her. So now I am warned to be more careful than usual. It can happen to anybody.


I was thinking about doing some beading, but when I got into the sewing room, the chair at the sewing table is so horribly uncomfortable that I couldn't sit there very long. My back has been bothering me lately, anyway. I should sleep on the heating pad, but it feels fine when I lay down. It's mostly when I try to stand up after sitting down that it hurts, and in that chair. I have said before that there isn't a comfortable chair in this house, and it's true. The only one that might be all right is an old rocking chair, but its seat is only about 12" off the floor, and I'm not sure I could get out of it. Well, I'll keep trying.


The camera finally came up at 4:00 this afternoon, which means we only got a peek at the harbor. It looked like it was snowing lightly. and from the look of the lights since it's gotten dark, it still is. That thing is going to drive me nuts.


It was in the 20s and there was some snow in Keweenaw today, and tonight the north wind is rising, and there will be a lot of blowing and drifting.


Here, it got just above freezing, and it was dark and dank and chilly, but there was no snow.


So that is another day, and it feels like it's high time I jumped back into bed.


January 8

This certainly is good weather for sleeping. I did it again, and while I was asleep, we had 4" or 5" of wet snow here, and the camera connected at 7:53 this morning. That tells me it is the phone line, because it will keep trying unless it gets a permanent error that requires a local click. Now I wish it would be a bit more consistent. At this time of year, it doesn't really have to come up until after 8 am. It did miss a few updates in the middle of the day, but it reconnected later and was fine until sunset. Oh, well.


I knitted a little, embroidered a little, had the slow breakfast for the first time in a while, and generally veged out.


Sully's memorial service is Tuesday, so I gather that he was cremated, and there is only going to be an hour before to see the family. How I wish I could go! But about the only places in town to stay are King Copper and Mariner, and I wouldn't want to bug them about that on top of everything else. I was disappointed that there wasn't more of an obituary in the paper, but that's the family's choice, of course. Sully had an interesting life. He was in World War II and he was a commercial fisherman, among other things.


In my dreams, I would stop at Shingleton and buy a pair of snowshoes and after I drove in as far as I could, I'd walk the rest of the way to the house and check out the camera myself, but then there'd probably be another 911 call. I don't think I'm up to walking half a mile on snowshoes yet. Dream on.


I don't think it snowed much, if any, in Copper Harbor today, and the temperature was in the low 20s. Here, it stopped snowing in midmorning, and the temperature probably got up a little above freezing. I'm glad I didn't have to shovel that snow, but it did serve to clean off the cement pretty decently.


So that is all there is, and I will have another long sleep, although not quite so long as last night, since there's church tomorrow morning.


January 7

The first order of business is to report that Shirley's husband, Sully (Willard) Kauppi  did die yesterday, either on the way to the hospital or shortly after he got there. What a sad thing! Sully was a quintessential grumpy, stubborn old FInn, but if you needed anything, he would be the first one there for you, and he could be very charming when he wanted to be. We got along well, after he got to know me. He will be sorely missed, and not only by his family. He was a fixture in Copper Harbor.


However, when my time comes, I'd like to go that fast. I know Shirley had said he hadn't been feeling well, and hadn't been eating well, but he was still perambulating until the end.


As far as I'm concerned, I crashed last night, and after 11 hours of good sleep, I feel much more human, not that I did much. I wrote a few checks and took them to the mail box, then stopped at the drug store for some JD and eggs. I only have 15 or so rows left on the front yoke of the sweater. And that was about it.


The weather was about the same, but it didn't snow either here or in Copper Harbor. Tonight and tomorrow it will, though, and on Sunday, it's supposed to warm up into the 40s and rain - ugh! At least in Copper Harbor, it will be all snow.


So that is all there is.


It's a sad night in the field tonight.


January 6  - Epiphany

Well, I said I didn't believe it. So the camera was down today again. This is going to drive me nuts.


I didn't sleep at all well last night, for some reason, and I got up early so as to be sure to be ambulatory when the sewer guys got here. They were late, because we had several inches of snow last night, followed by some rain and/or freezing rain, and the streets were ugly.


I had hoped to corral Buster and keep him out of the basement, but about the time I was headed downstairs, the snow removal crew arrived with their snow blowers and that sent him flying for the basement, and he stayed there all day long. Poor Buster.


He must have been right beside the jackhammer, although they didn't have to use it a lot to break out the part of the floor, which is about 2' by 3', and get at the trap. I didn't see the hole; I was upstairs for a while, then I unloaded the dishwasher, and I didn't get downstairs until they were cleaning up. The washer is hooked up, but it is in front of the laundry tubs, and it will be next week before the new cement is dry enough to put it on. They did an OK - not great - job of cleaning up, but they did break the brace for the little shelf above where I keep my soap, and I'd like that fixed.


I do hope I hear from the insurance adjuster soon, because I am going to have to make a decision about the floor. Most of the tile at one end of the laundry/furnace room is now gone completely, and it is really a mess. However, on top of the sewer cleaning and the stuff today, I'm not sure I can afford it at all. Oh, woe.


The only other thing I have to report is that a friend overheard a 911 call this morning for an unconscious elderly male at King Copper Motel. I have the horrible feeling that Sully (Shirley's husband) may have had a stroke. I do have an email in to one of the kids, but under the circumstances, I'm a bit reluctant to call, since they must all be in a tizzy. I hope it wasn't Sully, but it doesn't sound too good.


So now I will trundle upstairs (again) and try to get a good night's sleep again.


January 5

I don't believe it. The camera came up at 6:53 this morning and stayed up all day long...all by itself. And SBC was trying to tell me there wasn't a line problem? Ha! However, I'm not going to believe the problems are over until it stays up for a week or more. The problem seems to be in getting the initial logon, then once it's connected, it stays that way. Stay tuned...


There really wasn't much to see, except that it was awfully nice to see that view again. My very own View From the Field...how I do wish I were there!


Anyway, it snowed more or less hard more or less all day long, and the temperature was in the mid teens with winds around 10 mph from the north. A typical January day in the field. However, just before it got completely dark, there were a few breaks in the clouds, and I caught an impressive picture. Now, that's one I wish I'd been able to take with the Nikon, but there it is, the first picture posted from 2005.


On that topic, while I don't make New Year's resolutions, I have a few plans to take more pictures this year. Of course, I won't be able to start that until I get back up north, but then I'll see what I can do.


Here, the weather was pretty much the same as it was in Copper Harbor - snow all day, with temperatures in the low 20s, and a north wind in the mid-teens. It seems we're going to have a passable winter here, too, this year.


I completely goofed off today. I woke up at about 8:30 and decided I just did not feel like rushing around to get to bible class, so I went back to bed...and got up after 11!  It does rather shorten the day, I must say, and I didn't do a lot. However, when I came down to the computer and saw that the camera was operating, it put me in a rather good mood, I must say. I have spent most of the afternoon cleaning up the wash, since I don't know how long it will be before I can get my washing machine back into position after tomorrow. The place the sewer guys have to tear up the floor is right behind where the washer sits, so I won't be able to use it until the cement has hardened. I never did the underwear the last time I washed, and the chute was getting full again - winter clothes are so bulky! - so I decided to get it all done today. The last load is in the washer, and once that is dry, I will be set for the next month, at least.


Other than that, I did nothing much, and it felt good. This morning, before I came downstairs, I finished the right front shoulder of the sweater, much to Buster's displeasure, and connected the two sides, and I am now knitting the front yoke. Since it's on #10 needles, it is going pretty fast. And if the weather stays this cold, I'm going to want it.


Buster wants to sit on my lap and be petted when I get up in the morning, and it annoys him when I get a lap full of knitting and, in this case, knitting needles. When I picked up the sweater this morning, there were four circular needles in various places (I use them for stitch holders, too), sticking out at all angles and bugging him. He stood it for a while, then he went over behind the door and brooded. He's not going to be a happy camper tomorrow, for sure. I wish I could keep him out of the basement, but I don't know how I could. I may try, by closing the kitchen doors, but we'll see what happens. I presume they use jackhammers. Poor Buster! Poor me!


So that is all I know, and the 2005 camera pages are now in place, so I can go and take another long winter's nap.




January 4

This turned into a lost day. I woke up before 8 am, and since I knew I had to be at the doctor's sometime between 10 and 11, I got up, grabbed the sweater and sat in the bathroom knitting. Along about 9, the doctor's office called and said that the doctor was sick, and they would have to reschedule his appointments for today. Hmm. So he gave flu shots to all his patients and didn't get one himself, eh? So anyway, I didn't have to go.


As a result, I knitted until my hands went into cramps, finished the back yoke and the left front shoulder of the sweater, darned up the moth hole, and corrected the pattern, which I had somehow managed to write backward. I'm not sure just what I did, but it certainly wasn't coming out the way I wrote it.


When my hands got sore, I came downstairs and ate brunch, then came down here to read my funnies, got hung up in the computer, and never did anything else but wash dishes. Phooey.


The temperature in Copper Harbor peaked at 21 at 7 am this morning and dropped off all day long, and it snowed. The camera is still down, so I've divined all that from the Weather Underground and the other Copper Harbor camera. It's supposed to continue snowing for the rest of the week, about 5" to 6" a day. And you wonder why they get 250" a winter up there!


Here, it was dull and dank and just above freezing all day, but no precip. It's supposed to start snowing sometime tonight and continue for most of tomorrow and tomorrow night, but it won't be too cold. Ah, winter!


So there is nothing much to report. Whatever is wrong with the camera, it is going to take at least another visit by a person before it will work again, and I have no clue what its problem is.


It's winter in Michigan tonight.


January 3

Wow, did I sleep last night! And I would have kept on, except that my friends at the builder called to find out what had happened with the sewer, and after I talked to them, I was wide awake. On that subject, evidently, they will have to dig up some of the basement floor in order to replace the storm trap. Oh, woe.


We also discovered that while the city has maps of their sewers, they don't have any maps of where the taps are and where the sewers go into the houses. I would think that might be interesting information to have!


So that was the way the morning started. I sat and knitted for quite a while and finished the lower border of the lace shawl, but when it came to start the pattern, I did it three times and didn't like the way it looked, so I will try that some other time. 


The camera is down again.  I bounced it any number of times and it wouldn't dial in, so I guess I will have to call upon Tom again the next time he goes out to the house. It was my fault - I should have had him bring it out of standby and see if there were any interesting messages before we rebooted. Oh, well.


The first appointment I can get with the cardiologist is on February 22, and the insurance agent wasn't sure I could get anything for my water problem, but she agreed to submit the claim and see what they say.


The weather was cold - mostly in the teens - with some snow in Copper Harbor. Here, it was just dark and dank, with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s, but it started raining late in the afternoon, and is now misty. Yuck. I think I'd rather have snow...but we may get that, too, after the freezing rain overnight. Good days to turn inward.


I did get the turkey cut apart tonight, and I had a nice reprise of my New Year's dinner, with the little bits and pieces off the carcass, including those interesting things we always called "oysters" where the legs meet the body. They are dark meat, but they are always very tender and juicy. Everything else was even better than the first time, as it always is.


Otherwise, I spent most of the afternoon balancing my 2004 ledger and creating the summary pages. While I did spend a lot of money, I'm really proud of myself - I kept the total right down in the reasonable range. I haven't begun on the 2005 projection yet. My right eye is sore, which means I am still tired and I've been using it too much, so I will save that for another day.


And now I'll call it a night and try to be at least awake to see Dr. Lehman tomorrow morning.


It's wet and cold in the field tonight.


January 2

Wow, what a lost day! You'd think I'd been partying hard for the past two days. I did make it to church, and I must say not very many other people did, but when I got home, I took a nap. About an hour was all I needed, then I spent some time changing my health insurance cards and planner pages, so I am now up to date.


In the middle of that, Tom called, and while we checked everything out, and the camera is up now, I was so groggy that I didn't do the one thing I wanted...find out what was on the screen left over from this morning. Rats. However, everything looks just the same as when I left, and when he manually instituted a dialup, it worked, and the camera has been up all afternoon. He did say that SBC had called him and left a message that sounded recorded that they found no trouble. One thing, if I want to bounce it, I need to do it before 9:30, because it goes into standby after 4 hours on idle.


Come to think of it, that could be part of the problem. I can't remember whether, if it is in standby when it power fails, it reboots in standby. Anyway, I will check it tomorrow as early as possible, and try to keep it running. I'm convinced it's the phone line, but if SBC has to check out the lines on our road, it will have to wait till April, at the earliest.


Tom reports that the Holmses got out, but the road is totally impassable except by snowmobile, snowshoe or ski. They evidently have had over 6" of snow over the past couple of days, and it had drifted pretty badly in parts of my deck, so he shoveled it off. There is still snow between the newels of the railing, so I guess it had gotten pretty deep.


I forgot to mention the weather yesterday. It was cold in Copper Harbor - 20ish - and cloudy. Today was a bit warmer, in the 20s, and there wasn't any snow. Here, it was in the 30s yesterday and the 40s today, with some drizzle today. Altogether not very nice either place.


Copper Harbor is in for snow every day this week, according to the forecast, with highs in the upper teens and lows in the single digits. Brr! Here, it's going to be rather warm for another day, with possible rain, before it cools down again Monday night and snows lightly.


Well, it's winter in MIchigan.


I was tired enough that I didn't even warm up any of my good dinner...I just hacked off a couple of bones and chewed on them, and now I will go off to bed and try to catch up on my sleep.


It's winter in the field.


January 1 - New Year's Day

I wish everyone a happy, prosperous and healthy 2005, and may everything turn out just the way you want it. 


I ended up reading until 1:30 this morning. The war started around 11:30 and went on unabated for an hour, although it peaked at midnight, of course. There weren't any mortars or bombs this year, but I do swear I heard automatic weapons fire. NPR, a few weeks ago, when the assault weapon ban expired, had a feature where they recorded the sound of a rifle with an automatic magazine in it...and I know I heard more than one of those last night. All of the noise was coming from quite a distance, however, in Detroit, and unlike several years ago nobody around my neighborhood so much as set off a firecracker. One year someone did, and I have no doubt he heard about it from his neighbors. That's just not something we do in Grosse Pointe (sniff!).


As a result of my lateness, I didn't get up until 11:00 this morning, and the turkey was a bit late getting into the oven, so we ate later than I planned. No harm done. Debbie's kids were with their dad, so we were alone, which was nice, and Debbie's pie was yummy. The turkey is a good one, but it was slightly overcooked...I either missed the pop-up by a good margin, or it wasn't very accurate. However, it will do for my purposes. The gravy was terrific.


We ate in the dining room, the first time I've eaten there since I moved in (my mother died there, but that's not the reason...it's just that either it was too much of a mess or there was room in the kitchen), and I actually used my mother's good china, which I do like, but again, there just didn't seem to be any reason to use it before. I didn't break out the silver flatware, however. That seemed to be too much.


She liked her sweater and she gave me a beautiful hummingbird pin with sparkly rhinestones in it that I like a lot. And we got to have a nice long talk, which we wouldn't have if the kids had been here. Buster made a nuisance of himself. Besides me, Debbie is his favorite person, and he came running as soon as he heard her voice, and he was around us for most of the afternoon. While we ate, he took a nap, but just about the time we finished, I heard him go ker-thump on the floor upstairs, and he reappeared. I think I've mentioned that people food doesn't interest him much, although he probably would have eaten the gravy, so that wasn't a problem.


I did more standing than I have in a very long time, and my legs are so tired they will barely hold me, but I do have to take a bath. I got all sweaty while I was putting the meal together, and I need to wash all that off.


So that's over. I will leave the Noel banner up until Epiphany, but that's the end of the celebrations.


Now I can settle down, make jewelry, and look forward to my migration north. Or I hope I can. I've felt rather disjointed and going in all directions since I got here, and I'm certainly hoping that won't continue, at least past the next couple of weeks, when I will be doing my doctor and test things. 


After that, I hope to settle down to my Wednesday-and-Sunday church and be able to spend some concentrated time in the sewing room. I really am in desperate need of nightgowns, mostly flannel, but I really want to do two or three long-sleeved cotton ones, too, and there is polar fleece for a couple more pullovers...my, I could be really busy for the next few months. That will be good.


Easter comes on March 27th this year, so Ash Wednesday is February 9, which will be really weird.  To think it will be all over before the time changes! If it weren't for the snow and doctor's appointments, I could go north in April! I am so looking forward to getting back up there!


So it's New Year's Day in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM