A View From the Field








April, 2005


April 30

I didn't do exactly what I intended to do today, but I did accomplish something, and it wasn't anything that didn't need doing. I started out, rather late, with the idea of cleaning up the kitchen, but I opened Lon Emerick's lovely little book "Going Back to Central" and ended up reading the whole thing. I love to read about the UP and I love to read almost anything that is well-written, and this book is both. Beautiful.


It did take a while, however, but when I finished it, I got at the kitchen anyway. After putting away the dishes in the dishwasher and the pots and pans, I started in on the front end of the kitchen. There is a long counter there that had gotten packed with stuff, and I wanted to weed out and pack away.


However, then I opened the upper pantry cabinet and discovered where a lot of the meal moths that have been flying around all winter were coming from, so I ended up throwing away a lot of very old packaged goods and dusting out the cobwebs. And then...I opened the lower cabinet, and that turns out to be where most of the moths were. There were a couple of jars of dry cereal that were absolutely gross...somehow, the moths could get in, but they couldn't get out, and...yuck!  So a lot of stuff got thrown away and I vacuumed out the shelves. I will have to remember to change the bag in the Eureka.


In the meantime, Buster saw the open cupboard and went directly to the catnip without hesitation. Boy, does he have a memory, and a nose! So I poured out a goodly handful of catnip on a newspaper, and he was a very happy cat. At one point, I looked around at him, and he was absolutely covered, head to toe, in the stuff. That seems to be a habit of most cats I have known - they roll around in the catnip to cover themselves, then wash it off, giving themselves a bath in the meantime. Neat. I threw him a pillow-toy, and he had to try to disembowel that. At least it took his mind off all the moving and shaking that's going on.


So while the stove is still gross and the sink side needs some work, I did something that definitely needed doing. Now I have more boxes to schlep into the basement, and I have the task of packing the crates of food, but I did accomplish something. Amazing.


The weather was OK, in the low 50s, with some slight sunshine before it clouded up, and apparently now it is raining lightly.


In Copper Harbor, it was a beautiful day, with plenty of sunshine, some wind in the afternoon, and a temperature that hung in around 40. Late in the afternoon, there was a cloudbank over the lake that spoiled the sunset. However, they are predicting snow for tomorrow.


So I did something, and now I am tired and ready to climb up to the second story.


Six days - yiie!


April 29

God willing, a week from right now, I will be sitting in the field watching the very last rays of twilight and breathing the fresh air of home. Aaahhh....


I did get the trash and recyclables out last night, but it took me a while, and as a result, it was 2:30 this morning before I turned out the light. I wanted to sleep in this morning, in spite of some very weird dreams, but the lawn cutters were here at 10:00, and by the time they left I was wide awake.


I shouldn't complain about Marty. He never comes before 10:00, and he takes the clippings with him, and he does a good job.  That's unlike some of my neighbors' lawn services, who sometimes arrive before 9:00 (that nearly drove me to distraction the summer I was on chemo, when I needed 12 hours' sleep a night just to function minimally), and a lot of them just put their clippings in paper bags and leave them for our trash collectors.


I discovered, however, that my exertions of yesterday had done a number on my back and my knees, so I didn't accomplish much today, I'm afraid. I did go to the post office and submit my change of address, and I washed a load of dishes and some pots and pans. I am doing the second load of fleece throws, most of which are for Buster's cage.


This has been made more difficult by the little furball himself, who wants to come and sit on me any time I am sitting down. He persists in believing that if he stalls me long enough, and he is sweet enough, we won't take that horrible car ride. Sorry, Bubba. We're going.


The weather here was mostly sunny and in the 50s with not much wind. Not bad but cooler than average, which is fine by me. I guess it's supposed to rain all weekend, which we need.


In Copper Harbor, it was mostly sunny, too, and the temperature was about 40 all day long. It looked to be clouding up at sunset. Sunset is way north of the lighthouse already, with almost 14 hours of daylight. 


I really love the very long days of late spring and early summer up there. I can get so much more done with all that lovely light. As my cataracts progress, it takes more light for me to see acutely, and natural daylight is best.


So I guess I've made a little progress. 


Seven busy days...


April 28

I caught up on my sleep overnight, which means I didn't get an early start this morning, but eventually I got back upstairs and began some sorting and cleaning. I also have begun to break down a whole lot of little book boxes that I seem to have accumulated. There is still a lot to do...it will be late befor I get to bed tonight, too. But I'm making some progress. The task for the day is to get as much of the trash and as much of the recyclables out today. I think I'll eventually make it.


It didn't help that sometime during the night I must have slept on my left knee wrong and it keeps wanting to go out from under me and it is sometimes very sore when I walk on it. If I can stand up long enough, it gets better, but then my back starts to hurt.


It's hell to get old.


Anyway, I do feel I've accomplished something.


The weather here started out nice and clear, and the temperature got up to about 55, but then it clouded up.


The sky conditions were about the same in Copper Harbor, and the temperature got to about 45. There was some nice sunshine this morning.


So I guess that's all there is to report. The next four days will have to be the big push, because there is a lot of stuff I have to postpone until next week. What a pain. I hate this. How I am hoping to be able to move permanently! I am just not a traveler, and I absolutely hate to move.


Buster is sitting on my lap, which makes typing interesting, and I think he believes if he sits on me all the time he can convince me to stop all this moving and shaking. Well, he'll find out.


So now I have procrastinated much too long, and I must really do something.


Eight days...


April 27

Well, my gut is rumbling ominously, and I already had to change my clothes, so I will get this done and go to bed. I need to do that, because it was 1:00 before I got to bed this morning, and I got up early for bible class. I did sleep well, but that's usual when I haven't been getting enough sleep.


Bible class was actually a discussion of the embezzlement and the circumstances surrounding it, the letter, and what we should write to the judge. Pastor's slant on the situation was interesting, as was that of the other people there. It will all work out. Apparently both pastors have gotten one irate email a piece, Pastor Holzerland had one phone call in response to a very slanted article that appeared in one of the papers, and one parishioner is very angry and upset. Everyone else has rallied 'round the leaders, which is really remarkable.


I made a short stop at the food emporium for my usual sandwiches and vegetable tray, although I couldn't eat any of it when I got home. I killed the time between getting home and going to the clinic by sorting out and trying to pack up some of the stuff which has been accumulating at the top of the stairs since I've been here. I wish I could predict in advance what I would want to be crafting over the winter...or the summer, for that matter. However, I can't, so the only way to solve the dilemma is not to have to move. Heh-heh.


I went off to the clinic with the idea that I would have to spend the afternoon there, but it turns out they are most reasonable about those things. I drank one liter of barium there and brought the other one back home with me. While I was back here, I sorted out the books and piled them in relatively neat piles to take downstairs. I always pack the shipping boxes in the living room, because the way the stairway is, there would be no way I could get the boxes downstairs even if I could lift them when they are full. So everything will have to be schlepped down the stairs in washbaskets. I think I may be able to start packing tomorrow.


When I got back to the clinic for my appointment, I did have to wait a while, but it was worth it. The entire affair was completely uneventful, took a minimum amount of time for a CT of all of me from the jaw to the crotch. Actually, they do the chest, abdomen and pelvis first, then infuse the rest of the contrast and do the neck. So I was back and forth under the machine several times. Fortunately, I am not claustrophobic nor much susceptible to motion sickness, which are the two things that could make the test difficult.


Well, that's over with. Now I can get back to business.


The weather here was yucky. It kept sprinkling on and off all day long, and I heard a report of hail somewhere north of us. The temperature was nearly steady in the upper 40s.


In Copper Harbor it was very dreary with a temperature right around 36 all day long. I guess there was a bit of snow south of us, toward Houghton, but so far as I could tell from the pictures, there was no precip in the harbor. It's amazing what a difference 40 or 50 miles can make.


By the way, I want to thank everybody who wrote me with suggestions about where to get the Sterlite boxes. I have a couple of new leads, but I'll have to go in person to look for them, since they aren't apparently available on the web.  Part of my problem is that I've torn off all the labels, so I don't know exactly what they are called or how many quarts they hold (why the devil do they use that unit of measure? Why not just give measurements??). The ones I have are just about the size of a cardboard file storage box, with a hinged lid that will come completely off. I've decided that the thing to do for the time being is patch up the cracked one with duct tape, since it's only one upper corner that is damaged. When I get up north I'll try a couple of sources there. Or I might just get six different ones, and leave the blue boxes in the field.


The blue boxes aren't perfect, by any means. I mentioned the wide lip that wastes space. While they stack securely by means of feet on the bottoms and grooves in the lids, that means they don't slide well at all, especially on carpet. Of course, I would never slide them across my gorgeous hardwood floors in Copper Harbor! But they do stack well and once I have gotten them into the truck, they are very stable and don't go  sliding around like the Rubbermaid mega barrels. Plastic crates lock together, too, but they don't have lids and small things fall out, and if you put one on top of something other than another crate, it will slide all over the place. I tend to turn sharp corners.


I had an awful time with the Craft Stors last spring, and in fact, before I got them into the house, all three had turned over and spilled their contents. On the way back, I taped them shut with packing tape, and that worked just fine, thank you. Packing tape is really wonderful. I even once did a temporary repair on a prosthesis with some.


So things are progressing, including my gurgling gut. I'm pretty sure I'm way ahead of either trip last year.


Nine days...


April 26

Today ended up being a rather frustrating day. Dr. Lehman was in the middle of an emergency, so I didn't get to talk to him, and I couldn't make my CT appointments when I was there, because it was lunchtime, and the scheduling service for Bon Secours/Cottage goes to lunch at noon. So I went home, and four phone calls later, my scans will be tomorrow afternoon at the cancer center, but I have to be there two hours early to drink my barium there. Oh, yes, and the only day I can see Lehman next week is Thursday...at 1:00 along with a bunch of other people. Arrgh!


After all that, I decided to go and see my friend who sells cross stitch, and when I got there, the store was closed until tomorrow. Arrgh.


By that time, it was nearly 3:00, and the middle of the afternoon rush hour, and it had been raining lightly for most of the day. I have never seen such traffic. When I got to the I-696 - I-75 interchange, there had evidently just been an accident on the westbound side  of I-94 (where I wanted to go), and traffic was already backed up to 11 Mile and stopped. So I went east instead and got off at 12 Mile, after waiting in a three-block line. I shot down Little Mack, but turned left at 11 Mile, after sitting through three red lights there. Harper was better, and besides, it brought me right by my favorite Chinese takeout. I figured I deserved some compensation.


From there, I ended up going cross country, because Harper was backed up four blocks at 9 Mile. Mack was some better, and I made it home before 4:00 in spite of all that, with a very large bag that smelled perfectly scrumptious.


At least I had a lovely dinner - Super-Won Ton soup, egg rolls and Lo Mein, followed a couple of hours later by fried rice and chicken with pea pods and mushrooms. Yum. By the way, fried rice is good cold, too.


Like I said, it spitted rain for most of the day, and the temperature was pretty steady around 50...very uninspiring.


While I was waiting to hear from Lehman's office, I started going through the blue boxes, and I found that one of them has cracked. When I was at Staples, I noticed that they aren't carrying Sterlite boxes anymore, and after a search around Google, I wonder if anybody is. I do have one with black sides in the basement, but I prefer the blue ones, since I can see what is inside. So that was a frustration, too. I also use their shoe-box sized ones, and the half-shoe-box and quarter-shoe-box, because the lids are attached and don't come off and get lost. The big file boxes have lids that are removable, but they also hinge and lock. They do have rather large lips that waste space in the car...no doubt that is how the one got cracked, by having something shoved up against it...but I really don't want to invest in all new boxes, and in order to pack the car efficiently, they really have to be all the same.


Anyway, I do seem to have some space available for some of the new stuff, and I checked to be sure what is in the boxes is what I want there. I think so.


The weather in Copper Harbor wasn't very nice, either. The morning started out very foggy, and it was dull and dark and cloudy all day, although it didn't look like it rained much. The temperature was steady around 35, but there wasn't much wind.


Oh, well. We need the moisture.


So tomorrow I will pack up my knitting and a book and spend the afternoon waiting, and then I will be pretty free to attack the packing. There is still a chance I might not be able to leave on the 6th. If the CT scans show anything, I will have to have a PET scan, and that will mean it will be another week at least. However, neither Lehman nor I really think there is anything serious there. So we'll see.


When I was looking at the Weather Underground to get the current weather, I discovered that some jackass US senator has introduced a bill that would, in effect, make it illegal for the NWS to broadcast regular weather forecasts. This would mean the only way the general public could get weather forecasts would be from some private forecasting company, like Accuweather or the Weather Channel, neither of which, in my experience, are any good at it at all. If you go to the Weather Underground site (wunderground.com) and find the weather for someplace, you will find links to a discussion by their chief meteorologist and a link to the text of the bill (which is some of the worst writing I've ever read - clearly they can't write any better than they can think).


I find the idea of forbidding the NWS to publish their regular forecasts to be one of the most ludicrous I've ever heard. I am a taxpayer, and my taxes help fund the NWS, and I think I should be able to get all their information without paying for it twice. And I must point out that this ridiculous thing was submitted by one of the senators from Pennsylvania, which is where Accuweather is based.


It certainly gives me no warm feelings at all when the people who purport to run this country can't solve the serious problems but spend their time doing things like this. Anyway, I don't think it would be a bad idea if the Commerce committee was inundated by petitions and letters against this bill. I did submit a petition, and I don't do that very often. Neither of my senators are on the Commerce committee (of course - they're both Democrats), but I know I have correspondents in states whose senators are.


OK, now I'll put the soapbox away for a while.


And if everything is OK with my body, I have 10 days to go...


April 25

Well, now, that's more like it. The sun came out today, and the temperature got into the middle 50s and it was a nice day altogether...so I spent it either in doctor's offices or the basement. Figures. However, I have the dentist and the cardiologist out of the way, and I have all but one load of the wash done. So I guess I can say I accomplished something.


The dentist didn't find anything wrong this time, thank goodness. And the cardiologist said that everything seemed fine, that probably I have high blood pressure which is being kept in check by all the stuff I take for my fluid, and that if the PACs got really annoying they could give me a beta blocker, but otherwise it wasn't harmful and it would be better if I didn't take anything else. Also, I can have caffeine if I realize that it will probably cause PACs. I do like that lady. And  it would be a good thing if I got some exercise and lost some weight. Like, duh. Sorry, I don't mean to blow her off. It's just that I know that.


Between the dentist and the doctor, I washed a couple of loads of clothes, and when I got home, I did two more loads, plus two little ones of things that didn't get the stains out the first time. There was one day a week or two ago when I simply could not find my mouth and changed my top three or four times. I think the spots were probably greasy, and I really had to work on them to get them out. I like wearing pure cotton tops, but they aren't the easiest things to maintain.


It would have been nice to be upstairs on a day like today, but I decided the wash came first.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy this morning, and along about 2:30, it started to rain, and it was still raining when night fell. The temperature was in the mid 30s for most of of the day - not very nice at all - and for the next few days it may rain or snow or something nasty like that.


It's probably going to rain here, too, but this is April, after all, and we haven't had a lot of precip of any kind this month. Ah, the joys of spring in Michigan. The snow yesterday set a new record for the date - about 3.1 inches, although a lot of it melted as it hit the ground, and of course, it's all gone now. I had the pleasure of watching some total idiot using a leaf blower to blow the snow off his grass and onto his driveway this morning. The things some people do just make me shake my head in wonder.


So slowly but surely I'm working away at the tasks that need to be done before I leave. Eleven days. Aaahhh......


April 24

Would you believe it snowed lightly all day long??


Enough, already!


I didn't sleep very well after about 4:00 am, so I got up before 8:00 and actually got to church early. This is probably the last time I will take communion for quite a while, so I guess I was anxious to get there. It certainly wasn't because I went to bed so early - quite the opposite, in fact. So when I got home, I took a nap, which helped a bit.


There weren't very many people in church, because of the snow, I'm sure, and they missed out. There was a short presentation after the service by our trustees, and it seems when it came to crunch time, out embezzler pleaded no contest, and sentencing will be on June 23. Her slimy lawyer is sending some kind of letter to the entire congregation, which I haven't gotten yet. Since the civil suit goes on, the congregation's lawyer wants all the letters and their envelopes. What an ugly interlude!


I was glad that there wasn't a criminal trial. It would have meant that a lot of people, including Pastor Boelter, would have had to testify, and he has better things to do than sit around in court.


I got one wash basket full of the stuff that will be shipped down into the living room, so that I could bring the baskets to the basement to fill full of wash, but that, I'm afraid, is all I accomplished today. 


It's late now, because I talked to Debbie for a couple of hours - our conversations are never short - and I had to cook my pork chops tonight, since I'd had them since Wednesday. I made them with Spanish rice, which is actually an easy way to do it - provided you have a food processor to chop the onions and green pepper - and it was a very satisfactory dinner. I don't know why I have been so disinterested in cooking, but it's just a phase, I'm sure. When I get back to my state-of-the-art kitchen, I suspect I'll be doing more. Or maybe not, with restaurants within two miles of my house.


Like I said, it snowed lightly all day long here, although the temperature was over freezing for most of the day, and there was accumulation only on the grass and roofs. The roads were wet but not slippery, at least here in the depths of the city. It was dark and gray and yucky. Blah.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy in the morning - no moon - but it cleared up after noon, and the afternoon and evening were glorious. The temperature got a tad over 40. I would much rather have been there.


What a strange excuse for spring this has been!


So now it's time to trundle upstairs, because I have to be at the dentist's at 10:00 tomorrow, and the doctor thing begins.


Twelve days...


April 23

After a bad start, I did rather redeem myself today. I got to bed too late again last night and slept too long this morning, and after I got up, I finished the front yoke of the sweater and started one sleeve, so I'm almost back where I was when I realized the gauge was wrong. However, that took quite a bit of time, and then when I came downstairs, I read for a long time. The new cooking science book is even better than the first one was.


Eventually, I got down to the computer, and I've done four loads of cloths, although two of those loads were one garment each. That doesn't matter, really, since each load takes the same amount of time to wash, although small loads dry faster. I'm now waiting for the last load to dry, and I really have to do that, since it's a load of turtlenecks and polos, along with one shirt, and if I leave them in the dryer overnight, the wrinkles will never come out. I did that the last time I washed, and I have one white turtle that looks like an old rag, so I'll have to wear it under a sweater. I didn't realize exactly how much had gotten down the chute - out of sight, out of mind, I guess. I do want to get as much washed as possible now, so that the last loads before I leave will be small ones.


It was a good day to be down in the basement. When I woke up in the night, I could hear the rain on the roof, and when I got up, what was coming down wasn't exactly rain. Before I got to the kitchen, it had turned to mostly snow, although it didn't begin to stick to the grass until nearly 5 pm. What a lousy thing to have happen at the end of April! The temperature has been over freezing all day, but it was windy and really nasty outdoors, so much so that I didn't even fill the bird feeder. Yuck. They claim it will continue to snow until Monday, and there may be appreciable accumulation. Double yuck. I'm quite ready for that to be over with.


Now, in Copper Harbor, on the other hand, while it was too cloudy to show anything of the moon this morning, by the time the sun rose, the clouds were beginning to break up, and most of the day was sunny, with puffy white clouds in the sky, and pretty. I think the temperature got into the high 30s. They may get another round of rain or something, but it was a lot nicer up there than it was here. Very strange indeed.


Sometime during the day, a neighbor left a note on my door, wondering if I had taken in their black cat, who has been missing since Wednesday. I have seen that cat, and the first time I saw him, I wondered if Buster had gotten out. The other cat is a bit bigger than Buster, though. I saw him go over the fence at the beginning of the week. It just makes me sick when I hear about things like that, but stuff happens when you let your cats out. I wish people would keep them indoors.


Buster has been outside three times, I think, in his entire life, and he didn't like it one bit when he went. That ceiling is awfully high and awfully big. On the whole, he is quite content to be an indoor cat, even though it may be because he hasn't ever been outside. However, he is so innocent and knows so little that I could never let him out. Knowing him, he'd get into big trouble within five minutes. Oh, dear.


So I guess I can say I accomplished something today in spite of myself, and it's a good thing.


Thirteen days...


April 22

Well, I did it again. Except to write a couple of checks and retrieve my dry cleaning, I did zilch. Oh, I did some beading, and I packed up the embroidery, since it looks like I won't get to that. Otherwise, nothing.


I was awakened at 10:00 by the dentist's office calling me for the second time to be sure I would be there Monday, and I wasn't ready to get up, but I did, and then I beaded for two hours. In the meantime, UPS had delivered a book, and I had to look through that, which brought me to after 1:00 before I ever made it downstairs.


Oh, well.


The weather here was good for hibernating. It was cloudy and quite cool all day, and just about the time I went out, it started to sprinkle, and that has continued for the rest of the afternoon. The temperature was steady around 45. They maintain that we are going to have an appreciable snowfall over the next couple of days. I hope not. I'm ready for that to be over with. It isn't supposed to be that cold, so I question the forecast. We'll see.


In Copper Harbor, it was clear enough overnight that we shot the moon again. There would have been a third shot, except that there was a cloudbank there. Now, that looks more like it. I really don't know why it looked so small yesterday. By sunrise, it had clouded up, however, and it was dull and gray and in the mid 30s with northeast winds in the 25-35 mph range...a true nor'easter. No snow, at least not yet. I doubt there will be any at the shore, although it may snow inland. 


What a lovely late April weekend.


So now it's time to go to bed, but they are playing Brahms' Fourth, which I haven't heard in a long time, so I guess I'll have to stay and listen. I have a few pieces of paper to print out, having to do with my move, so I'll just do that.


Fourteen days...Wow!


April 21

I find I'm having a severe problem remembering what day of the week it is when I get up in the morning. I had to look at the clock calculator again to make sure it was Thursday and not Friday. Oh, well.


I didn't sleep very well Tuesday night, for some reason. I was wakeful after 3:30, and about 6:00 we had a nice thunderstorm, although it only dropped a little bit of rain. When it was time to get up to go to bible class, I could have kept right on snoozing. When I got outside, the temperature was in the upper 60s and it was sprinkling showers. It cleared up a bit later, and while the temperature got up to 70 (according to the NWS), by the time I went to choir, it had plummeted into the low 50s and it was quite windy. Brr. In the early hours of the morning this morning, it got down into the upper 30s, and it didn't hit 60 this afternoon, although it cleared up nicely.


I had toyed with the idea of taking a nap yesterday afternoon, but I spent too much time at the computer, so when I got up stairs, I cleaned out all the old catalogs from one of the other blue boxes before I ate an early dinner (actually, a snack) and went off to sing. That was my last choir rehearsal for the season, since the choir doesn't sing on May 1, and there won't be a rehearsal next week. While I'll be glad for the extra time, I will miss singing and the people I sing with.


When I got home, I sat in bed and read, and Buster came and curled up with me. He was under the weather yesterday, as is usual the day after his shots, and his nose was rather out of joint, but by last night, he had forgiven me, and he was pretty much himself today, although he wouldn't go into the sewing room while I was there this afternoon.


I slept pretty well last night, with a minor wakeful period when I was sore, and Buster spent the early morning in bed with me. See? I'm forgiven...only he doesn't trust me. Poor Buster.


I was waiting for a couple of phone calls today (which I didn't get...hmm, what were they?), so I didn't do much. I did sew up the bad seam in the fleece jacket I've nearly worn to death this winter, and I sorted through the stuff in the sewing room and checked out and repacked the CraftStors. The sewing machine is ready to pack, although I didn't do that. And that was about it. 


The plan is to only ship four boxes this year, and whatever I can get into them, and, I hope, leave most of the craft stuff there when I come back, since I only plan to be here for six weeks or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The car will be packed to the gills going north, but that's normal.


The weather in Copper Harbor yesterday was really rather nasty - cloudy with a few sprinkles and temperature in the high 30s. It cleared up overnight, however, and most of today was beautifully clear, with temperature around 40. There were a few clouds in the afternoon, and it looked like it might be clouding up at sunset.


Yesterday, when I looked at the day's pictures, there was one before dawn yesterday morning that puzzled me extremely - a bright light over in the west in one shot. I shook my head and shrugged my shoulders. However, it was there again this morning - we shot the moon again! And it's completely different every time! Here are this morning's pictures. It will be full in a couple of days, but it's amazing how small it looks. However, nothing else could be that bright, and it's in the right position at the right time, so it must be the moon...


I also saved tonight's sunset shot. The sun has moved to the other side of the railing post in the past 4 days, and if it's as cloudy and nasty as they're predicting for the next few days, that may be the last we see of it till late August.


So now it's trash time, and I need to go to bed.


Fifteen days...


April 19

Well, that's over with.


I got up at a respectable hour this morning, but then I sat and finished the back yoke and the left front shoulder of the sweater, so I was a while getting downstairs. Then there were a bunch of new magazines in the mail, and I took my time about that. Buster was in his glory, because the temperature was already near 80 when I got downstairs, so I had both the front and back doors open. He couldn't decide where to look out, so he kept running between.


Eventually, I got back upstairs and finished moving papers around in the bedroom. I think things are in a bit better order now, and except when I have the blue box on the floor, I can actually get into my dresser again. There is a file box in the doorway to the basement that I have to bring down here, but I don't want to do that until I have moved stuff around down here to make room for it. Tomorrow, maybe?


When the time came for Buster's doctor appointment, I caught him completely by surprise. He was taking a siesta in the front window upstairs, and he didn't know what I was doing when I hauled him downstairs until I shoved him in the carrier. Then he started to howl. I think he was howling so loudly that the kids at the middle school, who were having class outdoors, could hear him as we passed. Clearly, he doesn't have a lung problem. What a loudmouth he is!


His checkup seemed to be good, except that he has lost half a pound since last year, so we took a blood test, which he didn't like at all. He was a bit quieter on the way home, except that as we turned in the driveway, he let out a yowl, just so I would know he was still there, and he still didn't like it.


However, when I came downstairs to the computer, he came and wound around me and stood on my lap to be petted, just to let me know he didn't hold it against me, I think. When I went upstairs to get some dinner, he was looking out the back door, but I expect he is asleep now. His shots always leave him under the weather for a couple of days. Poor Buster.


It was hot here today. The temperature got up to around 80 in the afternoon, which is too hot too soon for my taste, and there was a hazy sun in the sky. It's supposed to cool off and rain tomorrow. I hope so. I don't like it hot. The only thing was, I was able to leave the bedroom door open, which meant I slept well, and I heard the cardinal at 4:45 this morning, and the robin at 6:00, both well before morning twilight began.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature touched 70 briefly before it fell off to around 50 in the afternoon. It was hazy and cloudy all day, but it didn't rain. There is rain south of Keweenaw now, but it almost looks like it will miss us. It is supposed to cool down over the next couple of days. With those temperatures, the last of the snow won't be around long.


Seventeen days.


April 18

At 9:00 this morning, there was a discrete knock at my door, and when I came downstairs to check it out, my slider screen was back in place. So I went back upstairs and slept for another two hours.  While I did have a weird dream, I think I got caught up on my sleep.


As a result of that, my day was rather truncated. I read a bit and beaded a bit before I got myself together and went out. My stops were the dry cleaners, the shipping store, and Staples. 


My black wool slacks and my pea jacket were in dire need of cleaning - more than I knew, as I discovered when I looked at the jacket. There was stuff, probably salt, all over the lower back, as well as a liberal dose of fur. I also broke down and took eight cotton shirts. I bought those when I first retired, not realizing what it meant to have a shirt that needed to be ironed wet, and over the years, I just wore them, washed them and never ironed them. I am simply not up to standing up to iron eight shirts. I have a few that iron easily, and I didn't take them. I won't need them now, but next winter it will be nice to have some clean shirts to wear.


I picked up a couple more shipping boxes, then went down to Staples for file jackets in various sizes. In my sorting and filing, I have pretty much used up all my file jackets. I've often suspected that paper breeds more paper, and that seems to be the case here. I was actually a good girl, and I only splurged on one thing: I finally found a CD carrying case that takes jewel cases. So I will at least be able to take 30 CDs with me without another little box. I think I mentioned last spring that Staples had rearranged the store, and it isn't nearly so much fun as it used to be. It's harder to find things, but there aren't nearly so many neat little things lying around. So I mostly bought only what I needed. How odd.


Oh, yes, and this morning, I made Buster's appointment at the vet for tomorrow afternoon at 3:-00. Stay tuned.


I was grateful that I got my screen back today, because the temperature got into the low 70s, and it was a good day to have the house opened up. In fact, I had both the front door and the slider open, and Buster was beside himself, trying to decide which door to look out. He was really wired all day long, especially when I brought in the packing boxes. Then he sat and looked at me under his eyebrows. He knows something is up for sure now, and he does not like it.


In Copper Harbor it was a hazy and warm day, and the temperature got up to 70 there late this afternoon, too. However, the clouds are thickening up there, and it may rain soon. And it was even warmer at the airport.


I do not like what all this warm weather so early bodes for the summer. However, I guess I can't expect it to be as cool and lovely as it was last year. There was a reason I put all those windows and ceiling fans in that house, right?


So now I am going to try to get to bed a tad earlier tonight and gear up for Buster's trip tomorrow.


Eighteen days.


April 17

Morning came too soon today, so it turned out to be a rather lost one. I made it to  church, and we sang well, although there was only one song since it was Matins.


When I got home, I sat down and finished the bracelet and started another one with the same pattern but different colors. I set out to see if I could approximate curved lines, and it hasn't turned out badly.


That took a while, and then I was hungry, so I started reading while I ate, and that was that. The new book is "What Einstein Told His Cook - 2", and it's entertaining and interesting. It comes in little one or two page bites, so I can stop anyplace I want to, but it is interesting enough that I don't want to.


I did get the trash barrels into the garage and the fleece throws in and around Buster's cage out, and I did wash my down parka, so it wasn't a completely lost day. Just almost.


It was a warm one, too. The temperature got up to 70 for a while this afternoon, although you couldn't prove it by me. Without a screen on the kitchen slider, I have a tendency to keep the house closed up. I certainly hope I get that back soon. It was only partly sunny, however.


It was an interesting day in Copper Harbor. Early this morning, the temperature was over 50 and it was sunny, then aroound 9:00 the fog rolled in and the temperature plummeted to around 40. That burned off by about 2:00, and the rest of the afternoon was nearly clear and beautiful, although somewhat hazy. The sun is high enough in the sky now that the reflections on the water in the afternoon look like diamonds - or bad spots in the camera. I only saved one picture, which demonstrates exactly how far north the sun is really setting - far over Lighthouse Point. Since we are still gaining 3 minutes a day, in only a few days, it will be gone out of the picture until sometime August. The wind was nearly calm for most of the day, too. Sooo pretty. I do wish I was there already. Oh, well...


I've noticed, and forgot to mention, that the spring flowers are beginning to bloom. My forsythia is out today, as well as some yellow and white (Ice Follies) daffodils, and about Wednesday the magnolias popped, although until today it was cool enough that they aren't full-blown yet. The red maple in front of my house has been blooming for well over a week, and buds are swelling on all the other trees. This is such a pretty time of year. One of the little advantages of spending winter here and going north when I do is that I get to see spring come twice. And I would really like to plant some daffodils and hyacinths in the garden at Copper Harbor. Maybe this fall.


Now there are 19 days left before I go, and I need to get cracking. Maybe tonight I can catch up on my sleep, and that will help.


April 16

I didn't write last night because I had nothing to report except that it was another beautiful day here, with temperatures around 60, I think. In Copper Harbor, the morning started out beautiful, then the camera went down, and by the time I got it back up late in the day, it had clouded over. Temperature got into the mid 50s. I didn't do anything much and I went to bed too late.


I wanted to sleep this morning, but around 9:00 I was awakened by a leaf blower, and I realized that the gardeners had come back. They took the hay off the roses yesterday afternoon, but that was all they did. I wanted to make sure they knew I want the ivy out of the beds, so I got up and took care of that. Even though I had the long breakfast, I still got back upstairs by noon and spent some time working on the latest bracelet.


Since I was upstairs, I finally got at the papers, and I have things pretty much under control. I have a file box packed with last year's papers, the blue box is pretty much weeded out, and I have a bag full of trash. I went through four or five file jackets full of "miscellaneous" or "to be filed" and got them down to one not very full one. There just seems to be a lot of stuff I get that I don't feel comfortable throwing out, but I don't know what to do with it. Going back over it much later sometimes convinces me I should have thrown it away the first time. But there's still a lot of stuff I have to keep. Every time I get to the point where I think I might be able to get rid of some stuff, something like the financial thing last year comes up and I need the stuff I've saved. There are a lot of tree killers out there.


While I was filing, I was listening to about the last two-thirds of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" from the Met. It's not my favorite Mozart opera, but I like it, and there are especially a couple of bass arias that I love, so that kept me from giving up on my task.


Maybe tomorrow, I can finish up and work on the other blue box of papers. Since my warehouse is still here, I always come back here with a lot more than I go with, and it's time to weed out and start over.


It was another beautiful day here, and the temperature got into the mid 60s, which would have been nice if I'd been out in it. Buster was happily asleep in the front window in the sun for most of the day.


In Copper Harbor, it was raining when it got light, and it seems to have kept up until the middle of the morning. The rest of the day was cloudy and humid and hazy over the harbor, until right before sunset, when there was some sunshine. The last picture before the sun went down was a good one. You can see that the sun is over the end of Lighthouse Point now, and pretty soon it will be out of the picture altogether. You can also see how hazy it was. I am still surprised by how often there are clouds over the land and clear skies over the lake.


So that is all I know. At least I accomplished something today for a change. Now I can go and finish up on the sleep I missed this morning.


Twenty days...


April 14

It seems I managed to waste two more days. Oh, well.


Yesterday, there was bible class in the morning, and I came down to the computer to eat my lunch...and that was about all there was. After choir, I went upstairs and read for a long time.


This morning, I started out by finishing the ribbing on the cotton sock, and then I got looking at the pale blue sweater I've been working on since last year, and I realized that I wasn't getting the right gauge, and it was going to come out small and stiff, sooo...I ripped it out back up to the neck and restarted it on bigger needles. In the course of the ripping, I discovered that the moths did more damage than I'd thought, or something, and I ended up with a lot of little balls, so there will be even more joins than there would have been. 


Categorically, I hate 50 gram balls. It takes two even to make a pair of socks, and with thick yarn like the blue is, there are less than 100 yards per ball, which means lots and lots of balls and lots and lots of joins. I really think the manufacturers do that so that the cost of the yarn will seem reasonable...as if anybody wouldn't do the math to find out what it costs to make a sweater.


Anyway, by the time I had that all under control, it was late, and after I had brunch, I came downstairs with the idea of changing cat pans and beginning to do some wash. However, I didn't start that till after dinner, and it is now very late.


I sure am the procrastination kid.


I did get all the fleece tops washed, and they are now line drying so they will be ready to go. I have a lot of wash to do, and I guess I'd better get started on it. I wore my down parka enough this winter, and wiped my butt on the dirty car enough, that it needs washing, and there is the stuff I have been wearing. I try to clean up all the wash before I leave either place, so I won't have any to do when I get to the other place, or when I get back.


Now I have to get the trash out, and the recyclables.


The weather for the past two days has been beautiful all over Michigan, clear with not too much wind. In Copper Harbor, the temperature was only around 40, but it was really pretty. It was cool yesterday - in the upper 50s, but it got over 60 today, and that was nicer, although it's cooling off now. With no clouds, the temperature drops off fast after sunset.


A curiosity - while it was still dark twilight this morning, the camera caught a headlight up on the Copper Harbor overlook. I didn't know Brockway Mountain Drive opened so early, but almost all the snow must be gone by now, and there was some kind of vehicle up there around 630 this morning, waiting for sunrise, I guess. I wonder who it was.


Oh, yes, last evening, I had a call from Shirley, and I am happy to say she seems to be doing quite well. Actually, it made me chuckle. She is sprucing up the motel, with some new furniture and queen-sized beds, and probably larger mirrors in the bathrooms of the annex, all things Sully refused to let her do. She seems to be having a good time for herself, which I'm glad to see.


Well, now there are 22 days, and I have one more week to get as much done as possible before the crunch - doctors and tests - comes.


April 12

I read and knitted for quite a while last night, and I got up at a fairly early hour anyway. But then I finished the sock, and when I got downstairs I read for a while. I was back upstairs and contemplating what I was going to do when Debbie called, and that was that. So I wasted a lovely day.


The sock was the second of the pair that is white, pale blue, tan, dark purple and orange, not the world's best color combination, and when I started the second one, I realized that somehow I had gotten two dye lots and the pale blues are different shades in the two socks. I've never had any trouble with that before, so I just never thought to check the dye lots when I got the yarn a couple of years ago. Believe me, I checked everything I've gotten lately, especially from that source (Herrschners). It doesn't matter much, because most of the time the socks are hidden by my jeans and sneakers anyway, but it shouldn't happen. And I can't even complain, because not only don't I have the invoice anymore, I lost one of the ball bands. Oh, well. I knew I was saving all those ball bands for something.


I broke down and started the cotton sock on #1 needles, but I don't know how much I'll get done. It goes very slowly on those little needles.


Buster was disgusted, because I worked on my sock rather than petting him, but that's too bad. He sat beside me while I was reading last night, so he got his.


I also refilled my pill dispensers, and I just remembered that I misplaced two bottles of magnesium which I will have to find right away, since I used all I had. I know I bought it, and it was in a grocery bag, but what I did with it is a mystery. Oh, dear...


The weather was very pretty here today, but it didn't get much above 50. It was sunny, and while it was rather windy this morning, it calmed down this afternoon. I know it was windy this morning because somehow one of my downspout extenders had fallen off (again!) and the wind blew it out to the garage.


In Copper Harbor it was gorgeous, mostly sunny all day, with just a few little cirrus clouds at times, and temperature that got up to around 45. I can taste and feel and smell and hear it...


While I was sitting in the kitchen, Mr. Cardinal came to the feeder, which is rather unusual for him in the middle of the day. A few moments later Mrs. Cardinal showed up, although she didn't go to the feeder, but perched on the other plant hanger. And then Mr. Cardinal flew over to her and gave her a seed, beak to beak. I know that is their normal mating behavior, but it still enchants me every time I see it.


The mating is beginning. A while after the cardinals left, there was a house sparrow bouncing up and down on the grass back by the garage, but the female he was dancing around pecked at him and chased him away. It would be handy to have a beak when you're trying to get rid of an unwelcome suitor. And of course, the doves are starting to chase each other around. The female doves peck at the males, too. In both cases, I don't doubt that will end in a few days and the mating will start. 


So that was my quiet and unproductive day.


Twenty five days...


April 11

So I went to the meeting at church, and I was glad I did, although the church was at least as full as it was on Easter Sunday. It wasn't that we learned very much, but we did get to see the people who are representing us in court, and the police who are investigating. They should have been impressed by the turnout, and the response. It must have been clear that the pastors and the officers really are reflecting the views of the rest of the congregation. While they couldn't say much, they appeared to feel they have a good case, and the investigation isn't completely done yet. What I found interesting is that if the woman is found guilty, no doubt the sentence will include restitution of the funds, and she can't get out of that by filing for  bankruptcy.


When I got home, I had a big JD. So ugly, and so sad.


I didn't do a whole lot for the rest of the day, but I did get the clothes sorted out and I finally emptied the two boxes of crafts stuff that have been sitting in the front room since I got here. So I made a bit of progress, although it isn't any easier to walk around in there.


It was a pretty, sunny day here, with a temperature that topped out in the upper 50s. It was a nice time to be able to work upstairs, and Buster has taken up residence in the front window of the sewing room, where I have put a towel, and he sleeps and basks in the sun for most of the afternoon.


In Copper Harbor, it started out sunny this morning, but it began clouding over in the afternoon, and sunset was a no-show. The temperature got up to about 50.


While the sunny weather is nice, we really need rain in April if the spring and summer are to get a good start.


So that is about all I know, and while I'm glad I went to the meeting, I find it depressing, so I will go upstairs and sit and read a while before I go do bed.


Twenty five days...


April 10

I did get to bed fairly early last night, but it was a wakeful night and full of strange dreams...another house dream, but this one was about the wrong house. Weird. However, it got me up at reasonable hour, although when I woke up I couldn't remember what day it was and I had to look at my time-date calculator to be sure.


So it was off to church, and we did so-so at the singing. A couple of altos started singing during the introduction to the repeat of a section of the anthem, and they weren't looking at Bruce enough to see what he was telling them. However, we nailed the Purcell, for the third time. Bruce made a few errors, too, in his pieces, so I guess it was just one of those days where we weren't all there.


It turned out that it was a rather long service, because afterwards, our president, and Pastor Boelter, gave reports on the state of our actions against the embezzler. And tomorrow there is a meeting at 6:00 with the Prosecuting Attorney. Of course, I will go, and I hope there is a big turnout. The gist of it is that the embezzler and her attorney are trying to dictate the terms of a settlement to us, and nobody feels very good about that. It will be an interesting meeting.


I will try to get out a journal when I get back, but if I don't you will understand why.


When I got home, I decided it was time to mend the underpants that had torn at the elastic, and some of them seem to have walked away. However, I did get the ones I found mended. I've gotten my underpants from the same source for 30 years or more, and most of the time they are very satisfactory, but I did get one batch that wasn't quite the right size and the elastic wasn't firmly stitched together at the waist, so it came apart and tore part of the seam. I fixed that, but it's a pain. I wonder where those other pants went? It is such a disaster in the hallway and front bedroom that i'm not terribly surprised that they disappeared.


Then I wound my lace yarn for scarves, so that is ready to go. I don't want to haul my Barbara Walker books up north just yet, so I've found a few others with lace patterns, and I will take those. 


Since I got home late, that took most of the afternoon.


Now I have had a nice pasty for dinner, and as soon as this is uploaded, I will climb up to the upper story for another long sleep, I hope with fewer weird dreams. It has to have something to do with the change of seasons and the temperature in the bedroom.


So now there are 26 days...


April 9

FrontPage decided to copy all the images to the website, after hanging up twice, so I didn't get upstairs as early as I'd hoped to. However, now it should be OK until I get home. What an awful program! I think, if I'd known what I know now about web publishing, I would have gritted my teeth and gotten something else. Now there are almost 3300 files in the web, and I'm too chicken to start over from scratch. Oh, well.


However, I did get to bed at a very reasonable hour, and I really crashed. I had a couple of wakeful hours in the middle of the night, but otherwise, I slept hard and long - until after 11:00. I guess I needed that.


As a result, however, I didn't do very much today. I started the cotton sock again, and tonight I will tear it out and go back to the #1 needles. The #2s are just too big for that yarn, and they make a really mushy fabric that I won't like at all. Sock fabric should be firm unless it's lace. It's tempting to drop the entire thing, and I'll have to consider that, although I could use some more fancy cotton socks.


Otherwise, I spent time looking for a book I didn't find and trying to rearrange some of the stuff in the front bedroom that stays here. I wasn't very successful, and I found a couple of things I want to take along. My vaguely formed plan was to do a little something every day, but I sure didn't today. Oh, well.


The weather here was clear and pretty, and the temperature got to just over 60, which is much more reasonable for April.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature was just about the same as it was here, but after a clear and beautiful start to the morning, some clouds started rolling in, so the afternoon was rather dull. The sun is setting nearly half an hour later there than here, which is partly due to it being so much farther west, but also because it's so much farther north.  Keweenaw is one place where Daylight Savings Time really doesn't make much sense...or else it should be on Central time.


So now I will try to get another good night's sleep and maybe get something more tomorrow.


Twenty seven days and counting...


April 8

For some reason not known to me, FrontPage decided to copy the entire web, minus the pictures, last night, and since it was late when I started, and I stopped it three times to make sure I hadn't done anything wrong, it was very late before I got to bed. So of course, at 9:30 this morning, a large truck with a humungous shredder showed up across the street to either trim or take down a tree. This is the time of year when it gets intolerably noisy here in the big city. I still remember vividly the summer I was in chemo, when two of my neighbors' lawn services were arriving at 8:00 am with excruciatingly noisy equipment. After a while it was all I could do to resist going out and screaming at them.


As a result of all that, I did not much all day long. I restarted the cotton sock for the fourth time (long story), I unloaded the dishwasher, and I fetched in some more JD, and otherwise I spent the day reading. And I expect to get into bed early (or earlier) tonight.


I did most of the reading in the kitchen, so I had half an eye on the birds, but it seems like mostly it was squirrels in the feeder. I should be upstairs now, since the cardinals typically come before sunup and after sundown, especially now when they are in their breeding plumage. I suppose it's an instinctive thing, because Mr. Cardinal is so bright he would attract predators.


The temperature here got into the low 50s, but it was sunny and pretty all day and not bad to be outside with a sweater on.


It was actually warmer in Copper Harbor by a tad - it topped out around 55, and it was sunny all day there, too, with some high cirrus clouds. In the last pictures of the afternoon before the sun got into the camera, it appears that all of the snow is gone from my front yard. My goodness, it's going fast! Of course, that area is in the sun after about 10:00, and as I've found out when I go down there, it's sheltered and much warmer than the rest of my field. It was probably one of those days when you would roast on one side and freeze on the other, depending upon where you were standing.


So that is all I know, and 28 days from right now, I should have just arrived in the field. Aahhh....home!


April 7

Yesterday it was summer. I started out with a sweater over my tee, and before I got back from bible class, I didn't need it anymore. By afternoon, I had the slider open, and the temperature was in the upper 70s - much too hot for this time of year. However...


Bruce had scheduled choir early, so I came down to the basement, which is still cold enough that I need a sweater, and I ate early. When I came home, after stopping at the food emporium, of course I put away all the perishables, but I left a bag full of crackers and English muffins on the floor near the door. I was downstairs when I heard something harping on the screen. I wondered, "What has Buster done now?", and I went up to make sure he had not managed to open the slider. Ha! When I walked into the kitchen, there was a black squirrel upside down halfway up the screen - on the inside! Right in the lower right-hand corner of the screen was about a 4" hole where she had just torn the screen apart and gotten in, but being a squirrel, when she wanted to get out, she forgot how she got in. Now, the last thing I want in my house is a squirrel, especially a panicky squirrel, so I tried to place myself right in front of her as I crossed the room. She did panic, but she still could not find the hole, so I opened the screen, but instead of going out the opening, she bolted back out the hole she had made!


Then I assessed the damage. She had opened a package of Carr's Water Biscuits very neatly and eaten two or three of those, then she tore a hole in the top of a package of English muffins and removed one. Apparently it was too big or too dry for her, so she dropped it into Buster's water dish. Yuck! Buster, by the way, was nowhere to be seen until after the squirrel went out. Some watchcat he is!


I sort of taped up the door so I could leave it open, but this morning someone came and took it away to re-screen it - in aluminum, I hope. This squirrel is not particularly large, but she had actually managed to tear the screen apart with her claws, so clearly the nylon isn't strong enough for that application.


So that was the excitement of yesterday.


It did cool off overnight, to around 50, and with the bedroom door (to an upper story porch) and a summer nightgown on, I was quite comfortable and slept well. Sometime early in the morning there was a little rain, but most of the day was just cloudy and 50-ish. I guess it's supposed to begin warming up again by Saturday. I nope not. This is too early and too fast for it to be that warm.


In Copper Harbor, yesterday was nondescript, with clouds and some light rain most of the day and temperature that hung around 40. The temperature was about the same today, but it was mostly sunny and pretty. There isn't very much snow left in the part of my front yard that I can see, so it is going fast. I did save one picture, so that you can see how far the sun has moved north in just a few days. To get a feel for it, you need to look at the 2005 Webcam page, which has thumbnails of all the pictures I've posted this year. Pretty soon, the sunset will be out of view to the north.


The birds and squirrels are doing pretty well on my birdfeeder, and some of the summer birds, like the grackles, are here. They are such ungainly birds, but they have pretty iridescent heads, and they are funny to watch when they are courting. The males go strutting around with their beaks pointed straight up in the air, and sometimes they swell up their necks, and then this rusty-door-hinge squeak comes out of them. One day I expect to see one strut around and trip over something and fall right on his nose. I can tell their feathers are newly molted, because they are so very shiny.


However, the snowbirds - the juncos - are still here, and I haven't seen anything that looks like a white-crowned or white-throated sparrow, or a song sparrow, yet. And while the grass is greening up pretty well, the trees and bushes are still bare, even the forsythia. So we have a ways to go here before spring is in full force.


This afternoon I had a nice long talk with my financial advisor, who is still working to try to gain me as much money as is prudently possible. It seems my plan to move to Copper Harbor permanently is financially sound, too. Keeping two houses is expensive, especially with all the yard maintenance I have to have done here in order to keep the property looking decent. It would be a good thing not to have all that expense.


Before Terry got here this morning, I did manage to tidy up a bit, and I even ran the vacuum. There is still an awful lot of stuff in the kitchen, but at least fo the time being I can pretty much walk across the floor, which is nice for a change. And now I have to take out the trash.


So that is all I know, and in 29 days, I will be home...


April 5

Buster wanted me to get up long before I was ready this morning, and he was full of ginger for a good part of the morning and early afternoon. I like to see him feeling so good, but he really does bug me to distraction sometimes. Eventually I got downstairs, and when I saw that the temperature was over 60 already, I opened the slider. There wasn't much wind, and it was good to have the  fresh air inside. Buster was delighted, and he sat in front of the door for a long time. At one point, he had gone into the living room, and he came dashing into the kitchen, meowing, and shortly thereafter one of our neighborhood cats - this one orange and white - strolled along the fence line. He heard Buster, too, and looked over his shoulder, but he didn't stop.


Buster is lonely.


Except for some knitting, and some bill writing, I really didn't accomplish much today, I guess. I did get the cat food put away and all the pots and pans I washed yesterday, but the sink is full of the pans I used yesterday, so we're sort of back toward square one. I need to soak those pans, because among other things, I left heat on under the mashed potatoes, and now the pan I cooked them in has a nice brown crust all over it, which will wash off much easier if I soak it a while.


The camera was down from about 12:40 till 5:30 or so, as I suspected it would be, because it apparently rained most of the afternoon. It isn't raining now, or at least not much. The temperature was between 40 and 45 all day long, and it was cloudy and dull. However, enough of the snow has melted in front of the house that some branches of the juniper are beginning to show. Sometimes it seems the snow goes as fast as it comes.


Here, it was mostly sunny all day, and the temperature got up to at least 72 before the weather station at the airport went down. That is too warm too soon. It's supposed to be nearly as warm tomorrow, then it will rain and cool off. The grass is greening up nicely, and the bulbs are just springing out of the ground. I noticed that the willows are turning yellow, but none of the other trees looks like their buds are swelling yet.


Anyway, it was nice to have some air in the house today, and I will do the same tomorrow. I may even crack the door in the bedroom a tad tonight. At the very least, I should hear some birds early in the morning.


Tomorrow I have to get back on schedule to go to bible class, so I'm off to the upper story now.


Thirty days...


April 4

I am definitely on Eastern Standard Time, and it's only fortunate that it doesn't matter. I was tired when I went to bed last night, and I slept for a long time, then I worked on the new sock until I got beyond the ribbing, which I hate. Buster wasn't unhappy, because he was either on my lap or sitting in the sun on the stairs, but eventually we got downstairs, but then the mail came, and  by the time I finished reading my Science News and a couple of catalogs, it was too late for breakfast, so I had lunch instead.


Then it was back upstairs to try one of the beading patterns I was graphing when I should have been working on bracelets. I like this one, even though I only have about an inch done and I'm not really comfortable with the pattern yet. It looks like a copper and silver twisted rope on a blue background, and it's coming out actually looking like it should.


Some lace weight yarn came today, too, so I spent some time looking for a pattern to make it in. I have a very beautiful dark brown suede jacket that was my last splurge before I started the house, and I thought it would be nice to have a pretty lace scarf to wear with it, and one of my mail order sources has gone into their own line of yarn that includes lace weight hand painted alpaca and silk. Soooo... The problem is what pattern to use, but I have some ideas. Back to the graph paper.


The weather here was just beautiful, clear all day long, and the temperature got into the mid 60s with not much wind. I did go out around 7 to get the recycling barrel and fill the bird feeder, and wile my thermometer said it was only 52, it certainly felt a lot warmer than that. Tomorrow it's supposed to get to almost 70...and that's what I've always hated about "spring" in Michigan. Either it's cold and rainy or it's summer. Not much in between.


In Copper Harbor, the temperature got up to 50 and stayed there, and it was clear until around 4:00, when a cloud bank rolled in, and sunset was gray and dull. It's supposed to be fairly warm tomorrow, but there may be rain or thunderstorms in the afternoon, so we may see a show...or we may see nothing, if the lightening zaps the phone line, which it has been known to do, or the power, which it also has been known to do.


Oh, yes, and I got the stuff out of the sink today and I cooked tonight. The lamb shanks are really nice, and I now have to go upstairs and decant everything into storage containers. Buster has just come down to tell me it's time to go to bed, so...


Thirty two days.


April 3

Well, I didn't sleep at all well last night, probably because I knew that there had been a time change and I had to get up at some ungodly hour this morning. I even had the stolen car dream, which is one of my recurring dreams. Many years ago my first Corvette was stolen, but it's only been in the past few years that I've had the dream. The circumstances vary in a fascinating manner, but basically I go to where I parked my car (or in this case, I couldn't remember where I had parked it) and it just isn't there. There were some other interesting details about this one, most of which I can't remember now, but the basic premise was about the same. I think it also involved the morphing house dream (I walk through a house which changes as I go and I can never get back to where I started), so my mind was really roiled up, I guess.;


I did manage to make it to church, albeit a tad late, but that didn't matter, since there was a bible class in the choir room and we had to wait for it to end. We sang well, and not only was there a baptism, this is the tenth anniversary of Pastor Holzerland coming to our church, so there was a ceremony about that.


I came home with a notion of taking a nap, but I started a new sock instead - this is a rainbow sock in cotton - and after that, I came down to the computer, both to see if the camera was up - it was - and to bring my ledger up to date. The first quarter ended last week, and I had only entered the first three items from January in the ledger. Fortunately, I had minimal problems balancing it. Curiously enough, I've noticed that sometimes my mind is sharper when I haven't had enough sleep.


Anyway, that pretty much did it for the day. I am still on Eastern Standard Time, and as a result, I just finished eating at 11:30 pm clock time. Of course I didn't cook. Tomorrow.


It was a beautiful day in all of Michigan, clear and sunny. In Copper Harbor, not only was it sunny this morning, with a temperature that got up to around 40, until almost noon, the winds were calm, which resulted in another keeper from the webcam. I've seen it that calm occasionally, but it's usually early in the morning when I'm not ambulatory. How I wish I had been there to take that picture with the Nikon! How I wish I was there!


Here, it got up to around 50, but it was still windy. However, the sunshine was nice, and I wish I had been able to sit in the sewing room. However, I don't like to let the ledger go for such a long time, because the longer i let it go, the harder it is to get caught up.


Actually, today in Copper Harbor was one of those days I wish I could keep all the pictures from the day. The phone line did go down around 2:00, but it came up in the next half hour, and I screwed things up by being impatient (of course). There are several reasons why I didn't leave the computer up all the time in the past, including that PastyNet didn't have enough phone lines when I started and they asked me to disconnect after the camera stopped running. Now that they are going to wireless broadband in Keweenaw, they have plenty of local lines, and Charlie said that their worst problem is with their nationwide dial-up network.


I remember when PastyNet started up. Some of the other local ISPs said they would never do it, that it took too much tending. Well...I don't know how much time Charlie actually spends on it, but he has a good support group that gets more knowledgeable all the time, and they are doing pretty well, so far as I can determine. When I need dial-up access here in southeastern Michigan, I use them now, and while I don't get a full 56kb, I get acceptable speed, and I've never had a problem getting connected.


I was happy to know that if the time changes when the computer is running, while it puts a gray box on the screen, that gray box doesn't inhibit other programs from running like it does when you reboot right after a time change. The sad fact is that Windows was never meant to run unattended, and making it do so is sometimes difficult. I'm sorry that it took such a convulsion to discover an easy way to do so. When I have broadband up there and VNC running, it will be even easier. For now, I will have to reboot every 4 or 5 days, but otherwise, it seems to be stabilized again, and I am relieved.


So that is all I know, except that Buster has been meowy and unsettled all day long for some reason I don't understand. I wonder if he realizes the time is coming for his annual visit to the doctor, followed by that perfectly horrible car ride? I wouldn't put it past him. Cats seem to remember the bad things even more than people do.


So now, since it's after midnight, there are 32 days left before my exile has ended. Aaaahhh.......


April 2

It was so nice and warm in the house last night that I slept for a very long time, until my ears and hips were sore.


When I got up, and Buster jumped on my lap, I discovered something interesting. When I went to bed last night, he was wearing his collar, but this morning it was gone. Apparently he caught it on something during the night, but what and where I do not know, and he's not talking, except that he seems to feel much more comfortable. I prefer him to wear his collar and tag when we're traveling, but I guess I'm not going to push it. I will look around and try to find it, but if I can't - oh, well.


I actually did accomplish something today, despite getting up late and finishing my book. The dishwasher got unloaded the day after it ran, for once in a long time, and I finished the gray socks and I finished Phoebe's bracelet. So now I can go on to other socks and other bracelets.


I wasn't very much aware of the weather outside during the night, but as it was getting light this morning, I noticed a lot of rain on my nice clean windows, and there was quite a wind blowing. In fact, it was pouring rain, and the temperature was only in the mid 30s. A really ugly day, and a good one to stay indoors and ignore everything outside.


It was another pretty day in Copper Harbor, although the temperature only got into the upper 30s. There was a lot of sunshine all day long. While I don't intend to save a picture from every day, there was one today that was notable enough to capture and post. Late in the afternoon, the camera caught a very bright sundog. That's the bright patch with the sort of rainbow effect to the left of the sun, and you can see it was so bright that it was reflecting in the water. That's caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere, and it's been several years since I've seen one. It was not a camera artifact. That's why I love to spend my time looking at the sky. And you never know what the camera's going to see.


So now the rain has moved off to the east, and tomorrow should be a nicer day, and it's time to go off to bed and get ready for church.


Thirty four days...


April 1

I got to bed really late last night, so I took my time about getting up this morning. Around 10:00 last night, i thought it was getting rather cool around here, but I figured that was just because I was tired. it was cold upstairs, too, but I was too tired to do much but dive under the covers and forget it. During the night, Buster arrived and dove under the quilt and made himself comfortable. I thought it was still pretty cold, but I do keep the temperature down at night. It didn't keep me awake.


However, when I finally woke up at around 10:00, and the temperature in the bedroom was a chilly 62, and I realized I hadn't heard the furnace come on, I knew I had a problem...another problem. So I put in a fast call to my friend the contractor, and around noon someone arrived. It seems some part of the firing mechanism had burned out, and it had to be replaced. He left around 2:30, and it is now nice and warm around here again.


In the meantime, I warmed myself up with a nice hot cup of chai, and the slow breakfast.


I have also been reading the book I got the other day, called "Wild  Moments", which is a bunch of vignettes about all the interesting things one can see out in the wilds at all seasons of the year. It has given me a great longing to get enough in shape that I can begin to do some hiking around my favorite part of the world, and see what I can see. Not that I didn't know all those things were there. Of course, some of them you can only see early in the morning, and that will probably never happen, given my habits. But even in the middle of the day there is so much to be seen almost anywhere I go in Keweenaw, so long as I go slowly and look all around me. 


I know I still remember so many sights I saw when I used to go hiking with my mom and dad. Like the time sat down on a log to pee and ended up spending many minutes studying the fruiting mosses that were growing on it. For some reason, I don't think I took any pictures, but I do think that was before I had put the macro lens permanently on the Minolta. Now, with the digital camera, I would have no trouble getting right down on top of those interesting things. I still love that 90mm macro, but it's also true that the automatic features of the Nikon make it so much easier to capture what I see.


I guess it would be nice to be strong enough to sit down on a log and get up from it once again.


And I remember walking in the Estivant Pines in September and seeing the astonishing variety of mushrooms that spring up after there has been some wet weather. Not to mention just the smell of the moist woods, at almost any time of year. Well, maybe.


Anyway, the bird feeder has been well visited. I should get out the camera and see if I can capture the antics of the black squirrels. They are a bit bigger than the red squirrels in Copper Harbor, and they can hang by their toes from the hanger on top of the feeder - and they do - and eat the seeds. They can't do it for long, though. I think their feet get tired, fortunately. 


I forgot to mention that yesterday there was a white-breasted nuthatch who came around a couple of times and peered at the feeder, but he is a little bit shy - not at all like his red-breasted cousin - and there were other more rowdy birds in the feeder who frightened him away. I hope he gets braver. He is smaller than the red-breast, but otherwise marked similarly. I've known they are around, because several years ago one decided to try to peck at the aluminum trim on my bedroom window, much to Buster's delight.


Otherwise, when I went to fill the feeder today, there were any number of chickadees and other visitors in the tree, whistling at me to thank me. The birds do know who supplies dinner, just like they do in Copper Harbor.


The weather here was overcast most of the day. The temperature briefly got over 55, but for most of the day it was around 50, calm and rather humid.


In Copper Harbor, morning was clear, then high clouds - cirrus and cirro-cumulous - moved in for most of the day. By sunset it had mostly cleared up again and sunset was pretty. Notice how far north the sun is. I also have noticed that the camera isn't perfectly level, not that I'm surprised by that. Getting it perfectly aligned is difficult, especially on the rather weird ball-joint tripod I use. When I get there I will have to try to true it up a bit. Oh, and the temperature hovered between 35 and 40 all day.


That tripod is an old one of my dad's, and I will never know why he thought he wanted such a gizmo, except that it also will extend above the tripod table by about 18", and maybe he thought that would be useful. However, the coupling to the tripod is a ball joint with a couple of wing nuts to tighten it, and getting it level, even with the very light webcam, is a lesson in frustration. Sorry if it bothers anybody.


So tonight I intend to go to bed early and sleep long in my nice warm house. And in 5 weeks I will be about to climb into the rose bed for a long, peaceful sleep...aaahhh! Thirty five days. My exile is almost over.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM