A View From the Field








May, 2005

May 31

Well, May is history, and I'm still in Detroit. Not exactly what I had in mind, for sure.


I called the doctor this morning, but he didn't call back, which leads me to think the pathology report isn't back yet. So I wait.


I was most delighted when I looked at the Pastycam today, to find they had chosen one of my favorite pictures from last summer as the month-end shot - this one. Someday I'd like to blow that one up to about 16 x 20 and frame it. Would make good wallpaper, too, if I ever get tired of the View.


I ended up doing not much. I did finish my bedspread square and sewed it into the center, and I started the first strip. That's going to take a while to do, since it's 272 rows long, and my fingers are getting sore from poking myself with the ends of those #0 needles. I guess I have an odd way of knitting, but I use my index fingers to push the ends of the needles back through the stitches. It works, and I can knit fast, but it does cause wear and tear on the fingertips.


I got to have the slow breakfast this morning - or rather, this afternoon - which was nice.


The weather in Michigan was glorious today. It was sunny all day, with not a cloud in the sky either here or in Copper Harbor. Here, the temperature got up to 75, which is nice when the humidity is low. In Copper Harbor, it was around 50 for most of the day, but just in the past hour or so it has warmed up to around 60. Soo beautiful!


Short hiatus there while I rebooted the computer to recover some memory. What a pain!


Anyway, I am getting really anxious and really down again because I'm still here and I want to be there. This has gone on long enough.


My shoulder was painful today, probably because I had to sleep on it for most of the night last night, but the incision is very itchy, which is a good sign, and a bit of the steri-strip started to peel away on the front. So I guess that is progressing.


I am in the process of washing the very last load of stuff that was in the basement, a sheet, and when that is done, all the wash has been cleaned up. I just washed my one cardigan sweater and my one fleece jacket, which I have worn almost to death, so all that is done, and I really must see to some cleaning and try to get started on packing the crates of food tomorrow. I think they're going to have to incarcerate me to keep me here after Friday.


May 30

It tuned out to be a rather nicer day than I'd anticipated. My friend form church, Carol, invited me for a picnic lunch, along with two other ladies I know and like, and a friend of hers I'd never met before. So we had grilled brots and hot dogs, beans, German potato salad, and everything one could want in a picnic. And they are very nice ladies and I enjoy being with them.


I did some knitting - or rather some ripping - before I went. I was down to the last few rows of the bedspread square when I realized that somewhere I had picked up an extra stitch, and I couldn't rip it out without leaving a hole, so I had to pull out about four rows and redo them. It's all right now, but if I hadn't had to do that, I would have finished the square. Rats.


I came down to the computer when I got home, and I am now doing the second load of clothes, so I actually did get something done.


I promised pictures of the columbines when they were both out, so I checked out the camera (of course both sets of batteries had gone dead over the winter!) and got a couple of pictures that aren't too bad, for the first pictures of the year. Here they are. 


Columbines are one of my favorite flowers, and these are finally getting enough fertilizer and water that they are doing fine. They are rather short this year, but the flowers are nice and big. They are such graceful flowers! I hope that this year I can maybe get some planted in Copper Harbor, since they usually take several years to get established.


The weather here was about the same as it's been for the past few days - some sunshine, when it got hot, and some clouds, when it got cool, and the threat of rain off and on, which didn't materialize. The temperature did get into the low 70s for a while late in the afternoon.


In Copper Harbor, the morning started out with thick fog, which burned off pretty quickly, but it was cloudy until late morning, when the clouds went away toward the south, and the afternoon and evening have been perfectly clear and quite calm. Gorgeous! 


Maybe by this time next week I'll be there?


May 29

It was another quiet day, but I was able to raise my arm a bit higher, at least when I got up this morning.


I got up before I wanted to, because I was coughing. Either I have a little cold, or my allergies are acting up. I think it's probably the latter. It's been four years since I was here at this time, and I've forgotten.


However, I made it to church on time. There weren't many people there, as one might expect, and we got out quite early, in spite of communion. I was glad to go one more time.


I hope.


The weather started out sunny this morning, but by the time I got out of church, it had clouded up, although it didn't rain or anything. The temperature was about 70.


In Copper Harbor, it started out partly cloudy this morning, but it cleared up later in the day, and sunset was pristine again. The temperature there was in the upper 40s, with not much wind. Gorgeous.


About all I did was knit until my fingers got sore, although I did rustle around the kitchen a bit and tidy up some, and I cooked. It was a new recipe, which I will make again and hope I don't overcook it again. I keep my timers in a drawer, and I have the habit of setting the timer then closing the drawer, which makes it almost impossible to hear the beep when I'm downstairs. Oh, well, it wasn't ruined, just a bit brown on the bottom, and it used up the last of the potatoes and another onion.


Tomorrow I really must do some wash, and it would be nice if I could do a bit of vacuuming on the porch and in the kitchen. We'll see. I think that only by using it will I get my arm back into shape.


So I'm still waiting.


May 28

Well, I progress, I guess. My shoulder and arm are still stiff and sore. There isn't much pain at the incision, curiously enough, which tells me the doctor must have done some digging around in my shoulder and upset some things. If it doesn't get better in a couple of days, I will have to start doing my wall-crawling exercises again. All of you who have had mastectomies know what I mean...the standard exercise is to stand facing the wall and use your fingers to crawl up the wall and extend your arm over your head as fully as possible. I remember how that hurt when I first started doing it, but until this episode, I've had complete mobility in my arm.


Today I dug out a project I started many years ago...a knitted bedspread. I had one small square to go to finish the center (about 2' square) before going on to the next sections, which are straight. It's done on #0 (2 mm) needles with crochet cotton, and it isn't easy to do, because the stitches are very small and not only doesn't the cotton stretch, it doesn't slide through the stitches very well. To top that off, my short #0 needles seem to have gotten some kind of sticky coating on them, and the thread wasn't sliding over them very well. I worked on it until my hands got too sore, but now I have to hunt through the stash in the basement to see if I have any more of the brand of cotton I'm using.


Then I got thinking about my crochet doilies, so I hunted up some of those I was working on. Somehow, all those white crochet things not only have turned yellow over the years, a couple of balls of #30 crochet cotton got something on them that seems to have eaten away the thread. It doesn't look or smell like cat pee, but I can't think of anything else that would do it. And the bedspread and finished doilies all have brown and yellow spots on them. Fortunately, cotton does bleach out pretty well.


I know my masterpiece crochet tablecloth (the one I made between the time my eyes went haywire and I got my bifocals) got turkey gravy on it one Christmas, and I got that out and whitened it up completely by hanging it to dry in the sun...just like our ancestors did.


Where all these spots and things come from, i don't know, but I must confess to leaving all those things sort of lying around, and when one does that, things happen. They are also just pretty dirty. If I thought I could keep it clean, I'd wash the part of the bedspread that is done, but undoubtedly it would get dirty again, so it's not worth it.


The weather here was rather weird. It didn't get over 70 today, and we had sunshine, partly cloudy, a couple of rain showers and, I think, a rumble of thunder. Very strange. And I guess the rest of the weekend is going to be about the same.


In Copper Harbor, the morning was rather cloudy, but it cleared up in the afternoon, and sunset was lovely, although the temperature was only in the upper 40s. This is the kind of weather when the house gets heated mostly by solar heat, even though I don't have any solar panels. On a sunny afternoon like today, it can get really warm inside, especially in the office. How I wish I were there!


Well, maybe soon.


May 27

I must say I slept well last night. I took one of the pain pills the doctor prescribed, but I don't think I'll take another one in less than an emergency. It is hydrocodone, which I'd heard about, since it's an abused substance, but when I looked it up on the internet, not only can it be addictive, it can also have a number of nasty side effects, including kidney damage. With the rather fragile state of my kidneys, I think I'll try to get along without. My shoulder and arm are still stiff and sore, but that only bothers me when I try to lift them, and only exercise will work out the soreness. Tonight I get to remove the bandage, and that should help a lot. My head was rather bent when the tape was put on, and it pulls.


I think she did a lot of digging around looking for what wasn't there.


So I arose at a more or less reasonable hour this morning, did some knitting and some cat petting before I went downstairs, then except for paying some bills and taking them to the mailbox, I did not much else.


I gather that about 2:30 am is the witching hour, however. Buster caught a mouse last night. I'm not surprised, because there are sunflower seeds on the kitchen floor and mixed birdseed on the floor of the porch. He brought it up to the landing on the stairway, which is a confined place, and he played with it for quite a while. I gather that either it escaped down the stairs or he carried it there, because there was a very dead little mouse at the foot of the stairs this morning. He broke it, and then it wasn't fun anymore.


Much as I don't like him playing with living things, I really don't want mice in my house - in either of my houses, so I guess I have to put up with it. 


He apparently got some rest afterwards, because he was pretty active this morning, but he spent the entire afternoon curled up on a pillow on one of the chairs on the porch. Since he was confined there for the first few months he lived with us - I had to confine him at night, or else he would have walked over my head all night - he still thinks the porch is his place. 


It pains me to have to keep him off of it during the winter, but if I don't, he chews the ponytails down to nubs. What I will do with them when we are totally in Copper Harbor, I don't know. One of them is my mother's, and its foot is at least 12" in diameter, and it's too pretty to just give up (until it's gotten chewed, of course). By keeping Buster away from it for several years, and putting it outdoors in the summer, I've gotten it really looking nice. It has about outgrown its pot, however, and one fall I expect to see its pot split down the side.


The plants are one facet of moving that I haven't resolved yet. There are a few that I really want to take with me, and how I will do that, I don't know. Well, sufficient unto the day...


The weather here was pretty this morning, although it was variable this afternoon, with even a couple of light rain showers, and a temperature that hung in the low 70s.


In Copper Harbor, the morning was cloudy and rainy...the camera caught some very good shots of rain squalls over the mountain...but around 1:00 it began to clear up, and the afternoon and evening were beautiful. The temperature, however, never got out of the high 40s. Oh, that we were there...


Even though I love to look at the camera, sometimes I think I shouldn't, especially when I so want to be there and I can't be. It is a disappointment that I wasn't able to watch spring come this year, and I'm sure I missed all the migrating birds at the feeders, but I don't think the lilacs are out yet, so I may be able to see the trilliums in the eastern UP and the juneberries and choke and pin cherries.


I'm trying to control myself, because until I talk to the doctors, I won't really know when I can leave, and it's wearing.


On the other hand, I got to see the lilacs here this year, and my lovely columbines behind the kitchen are coming into bloom. Columbines are another of my favorite flowers. One is a beautiful white one, which is out, and the other is maroon with a cream center. I will take some pictures when they are both out. The wild columbines have been out for a week or more, and I will try to get a picture of one of them, too. All I have are the deep blue-purple ones, but they bloom prolifically and they are pretty, even though they aren't as graceful as the cultivated varieties.


So that is all there is, and I'm hanging.


May 26

Well, the biopsy is over, and my frustration level is only moderately less. I'm glad it's over, but they didn't find anything...the node that showed up on the scans wasn't there. Now, that isn't bad news - on the contrary - but I'm left thinking, "Now what the hell good was all  the convulsions I've endured over the past three weeks?" I know it will always be with me - I don't have to be reminded periodically.


They did take a few normal nodes, so I must still wait for the report, and I won't see the surgeon until next Friday, but unless somebody says otherwise, I'm free to go after that. That will mean I will be off either the 4th or 5th.


Now I am left wondering whether to put in a new forwarding order from Copper Harbor, or just let my mail sit. I guess that will have to wait until my chat with Dr. Lehman on Monday.


I didn't sleep very well last night, of course, and I really upset Buster when I got up at 5:00 this morning. Mommy just doesn't ever get up before the crack of dawn!


So we got there at 6:00, and sat for half an hour, but at least I was in the queue. Then they got me undressed and started the IV...and we waited another 45 minutes until the surgeon arrived. Of course, I saw numerous doctors and nurses in the meantime, all of whom asked the same questions. Maybe they do that just to make sure your answers are consistent.


It was a general anesthetic, so all I remember is that I was having a nice, but rather confused, dream as I came out of it.


Apparently she did probe around in there a bit, because while the incision is apparently fairly small, I hurt from my last incision (the Jack the Ripper one) all the way down to my chest, and my arm and shoulder are stiff. That didn't keep me from sleeping, after having a nice chicken salad sub and sacrificing my penne pasta with feta cheese to Debbie. I figure she rated something for her efforts. If tomorrow wasn't Friday, I'd go get some more, but the food emporium is a zoo on Fridays, and I probably shouldn't drive before noon.


So I slept for more than three hours - enough to make my hip hurt - before I came down to see what it was like in Copper Harbor.


The weather here was sunny in the morning, with a temperature of 45 in my backyard at 6:00 am and a just-slightly-past full moon hanging in the southwest as we drove down Lakeshore Drive. It was still pretty clear when we left, but by 4:00 it had clouded up and the temperature was around 75 - higher in my backyard, because the wind was from the southwest and it was blocked by the house. It's still in the 70s, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow.


In Copper Harbor, it was partly to mostly cloudy all day, but the clouds in the afternoon l0oked like mostly fair-weather ones to me. The temperature topped out just over 60, and there were a couple of whitecaps on the harbor early in the afternoon. I noticed in one picture, where the sun was full out, that it is now at the angle from which you can see the bottom, even in the camera. That's when the water close to shore looks brown instead of blue, and where it turns blue is where it drops off into the deep part.


So it's getting later than I wanted to be up, although I'll get to bed fast tonight, since I can't take a bath with a dressing on my neck (well...I could, but it's a real hassle), so off I go. I won't be entirely at ease until I talk to Dr. Lehman and get his take on what they found (or didn't find), but it does sound hopeful.


May 25

I guess I took my nervous energy out on the house today. I did go to the food emporium, and now they are finally carrying Brownberry bread, so I have almost no need at all to go to Kroger. Good. I also stocked up on sandwiches and deli salads, which I wish I'd tried sooner. I love pasta salads, and they have some good ones.


Before I left, I loaded the dishwasher, and when I got back, I actually unpacked all the bags (a lot - the mentally challenged people they employ to pack bags have the habit of putting one item in a bag) and put all the stuff away as best I could.


Yesterday I finally got all the plants watered, and today I took the two ponytail palms and a tub of geraniums outside, so the porch is now open and Buster can sit out there to his heart's content.


However, little snot that he is, he remembers that frequently I've put him out there when I was going to take him somewhere and I wanted him where I could get at him (well - sort of). So now he won't go out there when I am there, and when I go out, he comes back into the house.  Cats have great memories and they remember every single bad thing that ever happened to them.


We also played with his favorite toy for a while, and one reason I decided to open up the porch is that he was clearly bored to tears.


Late in the day, my surgeon called and I discovered that she really wanted me to take the CT scan films to her office so she could look at them. That was not what the scheduler told me. I hope it doesn't cause a problem.


It was a gorgeous day here, clear and sunny all day, and the temperature got up to just over 70, which was nice, and I got to leave the slider open.


In Copper Harbor it was partly to mostly cloudy all day, but the temperature got into the upper 60s for sure, and maybe to 70. 


And when I logged on this evening, somebody had sent me the 12:33 picture, which had a grinning Charlie Hopper standing on my deck with his laptop in hand, waving at the camera!  When I finally made my way to the PastyNet "What's Up" page, I discovered that not only had he been there, but he tested the wireless broadband and it worked! Hooray! So if I ever get up there, I can get hooked up and get some decent speed. Thanks a lot, Charlie.


I did save the picture, but I won't post it because Charlie posted it on What's Up.


There were also all sorts of good wishes for my surgery tomorrow, for which I thank everyone. It never ceases to amaze me how many people read my little meanderings and like them.


So as soon as I get this uploaded, it's off to bed to try to sleep. Since I couldn't have a nice JD, I'm not too sure how well I will sleep, but I'll have to try. Tomorrow will be an early day.


May 24

The task of the day was to fetch the CT and PET scan films, which I did accomplish. St. John Hospital is as much a rabbit warren as any other big hospital, and I hate them all. It didn't help that it started drizzling while I was in there.


It was cloudy all day, but except for that one drip, it didn't rain, and it was warmer than yesterday, around 60 for most of the day.


It was pretty clear in Copper Harbor, with some fog and haze, but it was a pretty day. The temperature was about 50 all day.


And yes, those temps are low for this time of year in both places. I hope it bodes well for the rest of the summer.


I also rustled around the kitchen a bit and cleaned up the pots and pans that were left over from yesterday and filled the dishwasher.  That, plus some knitting and reading, is about the sum total of my activities for the day. Needless to say, I am still stressed out, not so much about the surgery itself - I've been through too much of that - as what they'll find. And having to get there at 6:00 am, of course.


So another quiet day.


May 23

Today was a really yucky day here. It rained or drizzled for most of the day and the temperature was around 55. Nasty.


In Copper Harbor, it started out foggy, then cleared up in the middle of the day, was cloudy for a short while in the afternoon and cleared up around sunset. The temperature was about 50.


Shirley called me briefly this morning to tell me that there were five pelicans in the harbor and wondering if maybe the camera caught them. Unfortunately, it didn't. Pelicans are most unusual in Lake Superior, but after looking in the bird book and seeing where they winter and where they summer, it makes some sense that if there was bad weather they could end up in Superior and then fly due west. I wish I had seen them, I wish I was there.


I remembered to make most of my phone calls this morning, then it was off to the doctor, who said there was no reason why I shouldn't be able to have surgery. And the person who said she was going to fax something to them didn't, and Dr. Schade didn't think I need a chest X-ray, so if I do, I'll be having it at 6 am on Thursday.


Tonight I actually cooked a bit, some pork chops, and in doing it, I discovered that I was mistaken in thinking I had some brown rice. Well, keeping track of what is stocked in two houses is hard. So now the stove is all messed up again, so I will have to do something about that.


And otherwise, I didn't do much except wish I wasn't here.


May 22

Well, I didn't get to bed early last night after all, but I did get up in time to go to church. That was nice, although it was a rather long service. There were two baptisms and communion, so it was after noon when we got out.


When we went into church, it was sunny, but by the time we got out, it had clouded up and the temperature was dropping. although it evened out in the upper 50s once it started to rain. It didn't rain hard, just dribbled all day long. Yuck.


In Copper Harbor, it rained off and on all day, and heavily, too, if the window was any indication, and it was cloudy and foggy with not much wind. The temperature was almost steady in the low 50s. Yuck there, too!


When I got home, I finished the second sleeve of the sweater and started on the body. Buster isn't going to like that. He liked to sit on the finished part of the yoke while I was doing the sleeve, and now I need to be able to turn the entire piece as I knit it. However, now I 'm on my 47" Turbo needle, and that should mean that I will be knitting fast. The directions I wrote read "knit 110 rows or until yarn runs out" so I'll be at it a while. That is the kind of knitting I like to do while I read, only I brought the other book downstairs to read in the kitchen, so I'm not so sure what I'll read.


The other book is only around 1200 hand-written pages long, and it stops just before the final episode. I thought I knew how it was going to end, but the more I think about it, the less certain I am, so I've never finished it. We'll see, I guess.


Then I read a while, and had a nice chat with my friend Carol from church. She was surprised to see me there and wanted to know all about it. Since she's a nurse, I laid it all on her. What a lovely lady! If I had to pick another mother, she would certainly be one.


I hesitate to even mention it, but all the computer problems I had last week seem to have evaporated for the time being. It's nice to be able to log on to the DSL at the first try and bring up the camera and find it working.


So now I will try again to get to bed early, because tomorrow I have to spring into action. There are a bunch of phone calls I have to make, and I have the doctor's appointment in the afternoon. I will be running around some for the next three days, trying to get everything set up for the biopsy.


Maybe, by the end of this week, I will know where I'm at.


May 21

The phone line finally dropped today, although I didn't reset the computer until late, and strangely enough, the first picture from this afternoon looked almost exactly like the last one from the 18th - cloudy and dull and calm. I hope we didn't miss anything spectacular in the meantime, but at least the picture is updating again.


I did get to bed a tad earlier last night - not much - but I slept just as late, then I finished my book. This is my book - one of the two I was working on when I stopped writing fiction. It isn't done, and it sort of stops at the beginning of an episode, but it's something like 2000 hand-written pages. I think it's pretty good stuff, although it won't ever get published. It would have to be transcribed, since it's written out longhand, and although I've tried that a couple of times with others of my stories, I never get very far. That just isn't as interesting as writing new. I've theorized for some time that I only can write when I'm not very happy, and although right now I certainly could do something, for the past few years I've been too happy to write. I hope that state returns soon.


I did manage to begin to clean up the kitchen a bit and put away some of the stuff I bought the other day, but there were some magazines and a couple of catalogs to read, so I didn't accomplish much.


It was another beautiful day here. It was clear and sunny until about 2:00, then it sort of clouded over, but the temperature got into the 70s again - 80 at the airport - with a nice light breeze and very low humidity. My kind of weather, for sure. 


In Copper Harbor, according to the NWS, it was around 50 until 2:00, then it shot up to 70, where it stayed until 6:00, and now it's dropping a bit. I think it was probably cloudy for most of the day, although I can't be sure.


Buster hung around me most of the morning. He kept moving around, dozing in the sun until he got too hot, then moving into the shade. He seemed happiest close to the doors, where there was sort of partial shade. He does love to soak up the rays, but since he's black, at this time of year, even he gets too hot.


And speaking of that, in the middle of the night, it got really warm in my bedroom so I had to open the door. That helped cool it down somewhat, thankfully.


When I was working, I really enjoyed the weekends, but curiously enough, now sometimes I find them annoying. When I have things to do and phone calls to make that can't be done on the weekend, I wish it would go away. Strange how one's outlook changes.


So that is all there is, and I will try to get to bed at a more reasonable hour tonight...I keep saying that, don't I?


May 20

The camera is still hung up, but the rest of my frustrations have apparently been resolved, more or less.


I was awakened this morning by a phone call with the information that my surgery has been rescheduled for Thursday, but still at 7:30, and later today, I discovered that I have to be at the hospital at 6:00. I still do not know why they need me there that early, since almost everything will be taken care of beforehand. It's dumb, and if I end up sitting around forever, I will tell them so.


So that seems to be taken care of. I will have to explore with the doctor on Monday the idea that maybe I can hand-carry the stuff they need the surgeon to have and the hospital to have. And I have to get my PET scan films for the doctor. I will be doing some running next week.


So I got to have the long breakfast this morning, having laid in some milk yesterday, and that was nice.


I read for most of the day again, although I did write a few checks and mail them.


And when I came down to the computer, it was all right for a change, and when I tried to log on to the DSL, that worked, too. What was wrong here for a couple of days, I do not know, but clearly SBC was having DSL problems last evening.


When I went to bed last night, it was raining, but when I got up this morning, it was beautiful, clear and sunny,  and it was a nice day. The temperature got up to about 72, which is the average for this time of year here. I had the door open for a while, but I noticed, since I ate upstairs, that it cooled off really fast once the sun went down. It's also five degrees or more cooler here in my backyard than it is at the airport, which makes sense. The sun warms up all that concrete and it takes a while to cool it down.


In Copper Harbor, I think it was fairly clear today, too, but the temperature was in the upper 40s for most of the day, although it's warmed up now. I noticed that the Houghton County airport was a good 15 warmer than it was along the shore. Good old Mother Superior!


So things have settled down some, and I've decided to go to bed early tonight, just for a change. I need to start cycling back a bit, so that I can have some hope of making it Thursday. Debbie is going to take me, and I feel for her, since it's close to an hour's drive from her house to here.


And that's all I know.


May 19

First off, the phone line is still hung. I will call Pastynet tomorrow and see if they can disconnect me so we can get this thing back on track. Sorry.


That is, after I call Ameritech and find out why, all of a sudden my password has gotten hosed and I can't log on to my DSL. So I am on dial backup - thanks, Pastynet!


And to top it all off, something weird happened to Outlook Express again and I had to revert the drive again. There were a couple of email messages that got lost again. Laura will think I don't want to talk to her...but that really isn't it, Laura, I just keep losing your mail.


This is getting ludicrous.


So is the medical situation. After calling and complaining this morning, I finally got hold of the scheduler, and the story is that at took 3 days to get the dictation transcribed and onto her desk. Yeah, right. Then the next story is that the only time they can do the biopsy is at 7:30 am on May 31. And she was going to send me the information that my primary care physician has to fill out, but when I called them, the only appointment I could get was on Monday, because they said it takes a week to get the information together. And that's not with my doctor (at least not officially), but with a resident.  For heaven's sake, already!


So I put in a complaint to Dr. Lehman, then I went out to the ENT office to pick up the forms for the internist. Lehman is siding with me on this, and he talked to the doctor who is going to do the biopsy, and they are trying to get it moved up, but I am getting really fed up with this whole thing.


Like, I have no schedule, and all I have to do is sit around and accommodate the very busy doctors. The thing that I have  deal with now is that my forwarding from Copper Harbor to here expires on June 1, and some of my addresses have already been changed. Most of my magazines have changed over automatically. I haven't figured out exactly what to do about that yet. I may have to try to call Clyde and ask him what he wants to do about it. If someone is trying to totally frustrate me, they are certainly doing a good job of it!


The weather here was yucky, cloudy all day with an occasional sprinkle, just enough to slow traffic on the freeway when I went to the doctor's office. The temperature was nearly steady in the upper 50s.


I guess it was clear most of the day in Copper Harbor, but with the camera hung, I can't tell. The temperature there was steady around 55 all day.


So that is all I know, and I spent most of the day when I was here and not on the phone with my nose in a book. I did stop at the food emporium on the way home and laid in some food and other necessities, and I had a nice sandwich for dinner, as a change from my Chinese. But that's about it.


My frustration level is rising by the day.


May 18

Nothing to report. The scheduler didn't call, and when I called her, she was gone for the day.


By the way, I acquired a corrupted version of Outlook Express sometime last evening, so if anybody sent me an email message yesterday or today, it's gotten lost. Sorry. I know there were a few, and they were very nice, for which I thank you all, but I won't be able to reply.


The weather here was partly cloudy and mostly pretty, and the temperature got into the upper 60s for a change.


In Copper Harbor, it started out fairly sunny this morning but it clouded up late in the day. The camera hung - the phone line is still on, but the camera stopped updating around 7:00 pm - sorry. It clouded up later in the day, and the temperature there got just over 60.


So I read for most of the day again.




May 17

Nothing new to report. My surgery didn't get scheduled today. Hopefully, tomorrow.


The weather here was partly cloudy, and the temperature go up to about 60 for a while, at least. Buster and I sat around in the kitchen for most of the afternoon, except when he got upset because I was reading and he couldn't sit on my lap. 


In Copper Harbor, it was clear and beautiful - and calm - in the morning, then some high clouds came in around 2:30. The camera got sort of shaky about that time, and later in the evening, I had to bounce it. By the time it shut down for the night, there were some clouds, and it was calm again. Shirley said there were whitecaps on the harbor during the day. The temperature was around 45.


Shirley called tonight, and as I thought, she had spent most of the past couple of weeks in California with her daughter. She sounds really good, and she is overseeing quite a renovation of the motel - new beds, all queen-sized, and new doors on the rooms in the annex, and who knows what else. It was good to talk to her. I wanted her to know why I'm not there. As one might expect from a mother of seven, she takes these things pretty well.


I ended up eating my dinner upstairs tonight, and I've just come down and started a small load of clothes. I thought I had gotten all the stains out of one of my few long-sleeved tees, but that all-cotton stuff is sometimes hard to get clean, and besides, then this morning, I managed to dribble blueberry preserves down the front of it. I had also left several pairs of underpants upstairs, so I decided to wash them, too, although I won't wait until they are dry to go to bed.


So the waiting continues, and I don't like it at all.


May 16

Well, I must say I'm getting a lesson in patience.


The doctor's office said they sent me some papers to fill out (the usual), but they never came. Then around noon, they called to say the doctor was held up in surgery and could I come at 4:00 instead of 2:00. When I got there, I had to wait about 45 minutes...and then the doctor informed me that he is going out of town so he can't do the surgery and turns me over to a young woman whom I've never seen before.  Geez!


However, apparently Dr. Lehman had talked to them, because they seem to understand that I don't want to wait around for several weeks to get the thing done. Hopefully, somebody will call tomorrow and get it scheduled.


Since I was out in that direction, I took the surface streets back and stopped at the Chinese takeout for a large bags of goodies on which I have been munching all evening. One needs some compensation.


Buster was more clingy than ever, and he was very unhappy that I spent most of the morning reading and couldn't have him on my lap. He is sitting there now, and making it very difficult to type. I wish I knew what his problem is.


The weather here was partly cloudy and in the low 50s. There was some nice sunshine, and it is pouring through the kitchen skylight in the morning now. I partly cleared off one of the chairs and Buster slept with his head pillowed on my stuffed snowman for most of the time I was reading. He looked so cute.


In Copper Harbor, most of the day was cloudy, although it cleared up some late in the afternoon, then began to get cloudy again around sunset. We didn't get the 10:00 picture tonight, probably because of the phone line. The temperature was in the low 40s all day long. I noticed that Marquette set another low high yesterday - 38 - so in spite of a few warm days, it's been a cold spring all over MIchigan.


When I started to eat my egg  rolls tonight, I managed to slobber plum sauce all over my clean polo shirt, so I got together a small load of wash which is now in the dryer. I've never quite been able to figure out what it is, but I can go for weeks and not drip down my front, then for a while I can't seem to eat without dripping. Strange.


So another day, but at least I made a bit of progress. Maybe tomorrow, too.


May 15

I slept late again this morning, but that was partly because I was awake for a couple of hours during the night, thinking about stuff. I worked on the sweater this morning, and started the decreasing. All the time I was knitting, Buster was sitting on my lap, and then when I came downstairs to have breakfast, he was most put out that I had a book on my lap and he couldn't sit some more. I guess that is his way of trying to comfort me, or let me know he is worried.


I read for most of the afternoon, so it was another wasted day.


The weather here was dark and threatening, but there were only a few sprinkles. I think I may actually have to do some watering under the pear tree. The temperature was nearly steady in the low 50s.


In Copper Harbor, it was a yucky day, frankly. It rained hard off and on, and there was a pretty strong north wind for most of the day. The temperature never got over 40. Yuck. However, I can just smell what it smelled like with that rain coming down and the cold temps. Mmmmm...


So that is all there is.


May 14

I got to sleep a long time this morning, and even Buster wasn't after me, although he wanted to sit on me after I got up. I finished the first sleeve of the sweater and started the second one, although that made me late getting downstairs, and Buster did sound off then - breakfast was late.


After that, I went back upstairs and got to looking at the two afghans I had started a long time ago. Both of them use magic squares, and one of them is a rather high-priced bunch of hand painted yarns, including three beautiful shades of mohair. So I got out the #11 needles and made another square. My hands were getting sore by the time I got through. I can knit for a very long time on small needles (like socks), but anything bigger than a #8 makes my hands cramp up after a while. The throw is going to be a very pretty one, though, and it's fun to work on.


The weather here was certainly nothing to write about, cloudy and very humid. Just after Marty finished cutting the grass, it began to rain, which it did for a while this afternoon. The NWS says it's clear now, but I'm not sure that's true. The temperature was in the upper 60s for most of the afternoon, but it's dropping off now.


It was even lousier in Copper Harbor. It started off with thick fog in the morning, and about 10:30 it started to rain, and i think it still is. The temperature hung at about 40 almost all day, although now it's dropped off to the upper 30s. Not nice at all. 


I still wish I was there.


And there's not much else to write about. Sorry.


May 13

I am still amazed by how many people read this thing. Surely it can't be very interesting lately. Anyway, thanks again to everyone who has emailed me with your kind thoughts and prayers.


As for me, I'm in wait mode, and I don't like it. There seems to be a continuum of depressive states that I can get into, and this one is the "sleep a lot and don't eat very much" level. I didn't get to bed very early last night, but I slept until I think poor Buster wondered if I was going to get up at all.


Poor little fellow, he knows something isn't right, but he just doesn't have the same intelligence and intuitive feel as DC had (but then, DC was an incredible animal altogether). He has been very clingy and loving, which is sometimes nice and sometimes he gets in my way. It's hard to type when he is asleep on my lap, resting his head on my left hand.


I knitted for a while this morning, and I am nearly finished with the first sleeve of the sweater. Buster isn't too happy when I knit, so he goes away, then he comes back and sits on me for a while before he goes away again. This morning, I think he was also hungry, because he ate most of his canned food.


Breakfast was lunch, then I remembered that I never balanced my checkbook for April, and it was good that I did it now. I discovered that for two months in a row I had reversed the tens and cents in my insurance payment (from 28.31 to 31.28) and my balance was way off. It's OK now, I think, but it took a while to redo it. That is the reason I always enter everything in my check register in pencil: I can just erase when I screw something up. And no, I don't use duplicate checks and I don't want to. I like to see that list of checks and deposits in front of me. Occasionally I miss entering something, but since I have online access to my bank accounts, when I realize I've missed a check, usually within a few days I can see it online. Just my way to sanity, I guess.


The weather here was cloudy and rumbly, although we didn't have any rain by the time I came downstairs to the computer. There was some good thunder a while ago, and it may be raining now, I don't know. The temperature got into the mid 50s. but it was dark and gloomy.


It was dark and gloomy in Copper Harbor today, too, with rain in the morning, and smoke from the fort for most of the afternoon. I don't particularly know why they would choose to burn their winter debris in the rain, although it would cut down on the chance that the fire would go out of control. It's been really dry up there this spring. It was hazy to foggy all day, too, and the temperature was almost steady  at 40 and almost no wind.


So it was another quiet day. All the boxes are still in the kitchen, and I just don't relish taking them back upstairs again, even though I can't get into the cupboards at the far end of the kitchen.  I'm going to have to have a better idea of what I'm going to be doing before I undo all the hard work I did a week ago Thursday. But things are packed up that I would like to get at, and that isn't convenient either. Oh, well. I'll cope.


May 12

I'm sorry to say I won't be going anywhere for a while. There is definitely something there. It's small - 1.5 x .9 cm - but definite. The only way to determine what it is is to biopsy it, hopefully soon.


So my next stop was a general surgeon, Dr. Day, who, when he saw where the node is and determined that he couldn't feel it, referred me to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, the same one who did my last biopsy. Dr. Day will do it if Dr. Megler won't, but he doesn't want to. The node is above my collar bone on the right side, and it's too close to the neck and all those nerves and blood vessels for Dr. Day to feel comfortable.


I see Dr. Megler on Monday afternoon. I may call Dr. Lehman tomorrow to see if he can put any pressure on Dr. Megler to get it done soon, not so much that I want to get away as that I want to know what I'm facing.


The weather here was cool today, but sunny. The temperature got into the low 50s, with a breeze, but it was a pretty day.


In Copper Harbor, the day started out clear and pretty, but by 1;00 it was clouding up, and the rest of the afternoon was dull, except for a few rays of sunshine in the north around sunset. It was even colder there, and the temperature only got just over 40.


I noticed in the early morning pictures and John Dee's Trail Cam that there is a faint haze of green in the hills and trees. That's a good three weeks earlier than the last two years. How I wish I were there to see it! I love early spring in Keweenaw.


However, at this point, all I hope is that I'll be able to spend some time there this year. It will be a while before I know.


And if I reply "no" to "Do you want to save changes?" again, I quit.




May 11

Well, I had the house dream last night. It seems like every year before I go north I have a crazy dream that somebody has completely reworked my lovely  house into something pretty awful. This time, they were also building a guest house where the grove of trees behind the house is. So I guess I'm thinking about it, even if I try not to.


It was still over 70 outside when I went to bed last night, so I left the porch door (from my bedroom) open. I woke up around 4:00, and while I was lying there, I was struck again by how noisy it is around here. Even at that hour of the morning, I could hear traffic on the freeway, which is at least a mile west of my house. And as it got later in the morning, it got even more noisy. Copper Harbor has spoiled me.


The temperature was on its way up again, when all of a sudden we had a short rain shower, and the temperature has been dropping off ever since. till now it's just over 50. It was dribbly for the rest of the day.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy until the middle of the afternoon, when the clouds went away, and sunset is pristinely clear and it looks nearly calm. Of course, the temperature has been in the upper 30s all day long. Spring usually comes in fits and starts in the northwoods.


I started the day slowly, by finishing Debbie's scarf, then I came downstairs and read for a while before I paid a bill. I decided it needed to be mailed, so I went out briefly, with a stop at the bank.


I tackled the floors in the bathroom and upstairs hallway, and that is now done and the vacuum is stashed away. I do have to put some stuff back where it was in the bathroom, but the floor is clean. I found that vacuuming carpeting with a canister vacuum is a lot harder than using a regular one, and my back was killing me by the time I was done.


I had just come downstairs to discover that Windows didn't load properly last night when Debbie called, just to say hi, I guess, but she was at her dentist's who is across from church, so when she heard that the scarf was done, she turned around and stopped by for a short visit. She liked the scarf. So we exchanged tales of woe, but she didn't stay long, because she likes to be home when her kids get home from school.


So we wait, and I want to thank everybody again for their kind thoughts and prayers. By noon I should know the verdict and be acting accordingly. Whatever it is, I have a lot of phone calls to make when I get home, which is one of several reasons I would not try to leave Friday. I've half killed myself before now trying to get packed up to go, and I just don't feel like doing that.


So I wait, and now it's off to bed, because I have to be up and attem tomorrow early. 




May 10

Well, there, that's over with. And I found out what a PET scan is, and why one has to be as quiet as possible when one is having one.  


It seems the radioactive marker is in glucose, and the scan looks to see how much glucose is in the tissues after 45 minutes. Since the more active you are, the more glucose the the tissues take up, being too active, especially in the hours before the test, could screw up the results. Oh.


So I didn't do much today. I ate a sort of weird breakfast (no juice, and no bread), and I worked on Debbie's scarf for a while. There has been a grocery bag in the front bedroom for a long time, which was making it hard to stack things in the corner. I knew there were papers in it, but I didn't know which papers, so I decided this would be a good opportunity to go through it. Everything else I could think of to do - vacuuming and changing the bed - were too active. So I threw out most of what was in the bag and sorted out the papers from 2002 (!) that needed to be saved, and the corner is much neater now.


I went off to my test, and didn't realize that I could go right to the scan department, so I was a tad late, but that didn't seem to bother anybody, and I got a ride in a wheelchair to the area. I had been told it was in a mobile unit, but it is attached to the building, and the waiting rooms are in the building. Weird.


So they injected the radioactive glucose, then I had to rest completely quietly for 45 minutes. That wasn't as difficult as I'd thought, and I nearly went to sleep. The PET machine is a combination PET/CT scan machine, and it must be really new, because whatever it was that I drank wasn't barium, and the CT part took all of a minute or two. However, the PET part took 25 minutes - five sections of five minutes a piece, and all that time I had to lie still with my arms over my head. Ouch. But it's done.


Please, God, they don't find anything.


I came home, drank my orange juice, and had a nice pizza, to get my carbs back into balance. Now I am tired, and I will shortly be going upstairs, and to bed after I change it.


The reason for changing the bed is that the temperature here got into the low 80s today, and I still have the winter quilt on the bed. It was clear out, and the humidity must have been really low, because it didn't feel bad at all, and it was actually cooler in the house than outside. However, the winter quilt is a bit too heavy for that kind of weather.


In Copper Harbor, it was 55 until about 7:00 am, when it dropped off 10, and the fog rolled in. It was foggy and rainy until about 1:30, when it stopped raining and the fog went away, although it stayed cloudy. The temperature stayed steady all day. That was a neat fog, with thick clouds coming and going, and it rained pretty hard during the middle part of the morning.


So if I do get away this weekend, it looks like I will encounter some rain, at least in the Lower Peninsula, and it could interfere with my packing the car, too. However, if I can go, I don't care what the weather is.


Now I have to sit and wait until Thursday morning, and I do hate that.




May 9

The PET scan people called me this morning with a list of things not to do and not to eat (really weird), but it was a good excuse not to do much, since I was told not to do anything.


I finished half of Debbie's scarf, petted a cat, and read.  And that was about it.


The weather in Copper Harbor was cloudy with some rain, I think, but the camera went down at 6:45 this morning, so we missed most of it. It's just the usual, partly phone line and partly data leaks in Windows ME. It came right up when I bounced it, but that wasn't until about 4:30. Around 7, there was a short rain shower. The temperature was all over the map, but it got up to 70 for a couple of hours late in the day.


Here, it was warm, but by the time it hit 80 I was in the basement, which is still cold. It was mostly sunny for most of the day.


I used to think this house got a lot of natural light inside, but after living in Copper Harbor, it seems dark around here for most of the day. Strange how one's perspectives change.


Oh, yes, and after twisting a few arms, I will see Dr. Lehman at 9:30 Thursday. I certainly hope they have the scan results by then. He is still trying to get me out of here by the weekend. 


If everything is all right, I don't think I can make it by Friday...well, I could, maybe, but it would be a rush. So I guess I will plan on Saturday and hope they haven't closed all the roads. That will give me time to get the wash done and the car loaded up without killing myself.


IF everything is all right.


Now, tonight, I really do intend to get to bed before midnight.


It's a slow time in the field in exile.


May 8

I hope all the mothers and grandmothers out there had a lovely mother's day.


It was a beautiful day here in Detroit, sunny with temperatures that got to about 70 for a while. 


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy and I think it probably rained, although the temperature got to about 60 for a while.


I stayed up far too late last night and slept for a long time, so the day was pretty much a lost one. I started Debbie's scarf over a few more times before I finally got it the way I like it, and tidied up the kitchen a bit.


This waiting around puts me in a real funk, and I hate it, and with my scan so late on Tuesday, it will be Thursday afternoon at the latest before I know the verdict. I hate waiting around and wondering.


So that's about all I have to say, and I will try to get to bed a tad earlier tonight.


May 7

I spent a quiet day today, but I guess I did accomplish something.


I was up relatively early, but I knitted for a while before I went downstairs, and I read for a while before I had the slow breakfast. Fortunately, my milk had just barely started to turn, so I could use it. While I ate, I watched two white-crowned sparrows pecking around on the ground and a goldfinch in the feeder. How I wish I was in Copper Harbor, where the goldfinches come in flocks, as do the hummingbirds!


The white-crowned sparrows are just passing through on their way north, but they are a definite harbinger of spring. So is the red-wing blackbird that has been hanging around and whistling loudly. The snowbirds are gone, of course. Finally, the pear blossoms are beginning to open, and a few lilacs on the old bush are opening. When I went out to fill the bird feeder this morning, it smelled delicious around here, with the lilacs and the gooseberry, and probably the daffodils and hyacinths all in bloom. It's one of the few times of year when I feel safe taking a deep breath around here.


The early flowering trees are beginning to go, but the cold weather we've had for the past few weeks has definitely made this a prettier spring even than usual.


After breakfast, I started working on a scarf for Debbie. She bought the yarn, because apparently I offered to knit her a scarf if she got the yarn. I don't remember that, but it could be. Anyway, the first ball that I started is defective. The yarn is a narrow railroad yarn wound with a long eyelash yarn, and the eyelash had breaks in it every two yards or so. After starting the scarf three times, I decided to re-roll the ball and knot all the open ends, and to rewind the other ball, too. The other ball is fine, but I wound it the wrong way so I will have to do it again. There are only 43 yards in each ball, so it doesn't take long, but I was just not in scarf mood this afternoon.


I dug out a couple of things from the back of the sewing room closet, then I put away most of the clothes I am leaving here, so the front bedroom looks much better now.  


I was in the sewing room when the phone rang, and much to my delight, it was the scheduler for the PET scan. My scan will be at 4:30 on Tuesday. Not that that's such a good time, but it's definitely better than 8:00 am. Even though I'm sure the people at the doctor's office faxed all my insurance information, they asked me for it again, so checking with the insurance company was not the reason they didn't call me sooner. I was most surprised to find that the schedulers work on the weekend, but I was gratified that they do.


I didn't feel like doing much else so I read for a while before I came down to the computer. And there were some more lovely messages, for which I thank everyone. Evidently my modest and rather boring life resonates with a lot of people. With all of your prayers and good wishes, I have hope that in a week or so I'll be reporting on our trip north and the conditions in Copper Harbor.


Speaking of that, I finally found the recording I made of our trip here last fall, and I did do it in record time - 9 hours, 51 minutes. Talk about a lead foot...I don't expect to do that again. It was also amusing to hear the tape, because almost every time I recorded, there was loud howling in the background. And Buster was in the kitchen while I was playing it, and he heard the meowing, too, and it really got him going. I don't know if he realized it was his own voice or not, but I know he recognized my voice. It was so bad that at one point, I noted "Buster is upset". I got a good chuckle out of it.


The weather here was clear for most of the day, and the temperature got up to 66, which was warm enough for me to have the slider open. The door in my bedroom is still open (oops!), so it should be quite comfortable upstairs tonight.


In Copper Harbor, there were high clouds but sunshine for most of the day, and the temperature got into the low 50s. It was clouding up as night fell, and the phone line crapped out before the last picture. I must remember to reset it early tomorrow.


So that was my quiet day in exile. At least I have an appointment!


May 6

First of all, I want to thank everyone who emailed me and posted on the Pasty Cam "What's Up" page. Your prayers and good feelings mean very much to me. I knew I had an audience, but I didn't know how many of you there are.


I have to say I was not a happy camper today, even after twelve hours' sleep. When the time came that I should have been turning down Woodland road, I got really teary. Still am.


It was especially bad because no one called me to schedule the PET scan. I called the doctor's office, and they gave me some song-and-dance about insurance and so on, which I don't believe, and said they will call. We'll see. If they haven't called by 11:00 Monday, I am going to begin raising hell. I have been through too much to be a patient patient anymore. It outrages me that these people think patients have nothing better to do than sit around twiddling their thumbs until the institutions get around to them. Well, I do. I want to get out of here in the worst way.


The honest fact is, however, that if I had managed to go today, I would have left the house in a shambles and a lot of stuff undone that needs doing. I also would have trailed silver-lined green beads all the way from here to Copper Harbor.


I decided on a different way to pack the boxes of beads in the car, which entailed changing one box to a bigger one, and that meant that I could dispense with a little box I had been using. However, when I turned the little box upside down into the bigger box, a container of silver-lined green beads opened up and poured all over the place.  What a mess!


I was late anyway, and cousin Arthur called and told me about the What's Up postings, so I came right down to the computer to read them, which made me really too late to do much.


So I got at the box of beads. Wow! That container held 40 grams of #11 beads, which are about a millimeter in diameter. That's a lot of beads! I had managed to recover about half of them yesterday, but the other half had spilled into the box of bags, all over the place. It seems the box they were in wasn't taped together very well, either, so in the process of dumping the beads on the table, a lot went on the floor. Now, these are dark green beads on a dark blue tweed carpet. Wow!  I think I recovered most of them, but for a while, every time I looked in a different place, there were a few more beads on the floor. The best light in this house is in the kitchen under the skylight, which is where the table is, and it was a clear, sunny day here, so I think I got most of what dropped on the floor. And the container is now securely taped shut.


I also took the opportunity to sort the beads a bit better, so maybe I'll be able to find things more easily. I set aside the colors I was working on when I stopped crafting, but I'm not sure I will do anything with them this week. It seems like a good opportunity to do some serious knitting on the sweater and maybe some embroidery for a change.


What I really want to do is crawl in a hole and pull the lid on over me. My usual reaction to a nasty situation.


I will have a chance to vacuum in the upstairs, put away some of the clothes I'm leaving here, and maybe do a bit of ironing and finally finish the rose bellpull that I embroidered two years ago. Some of those things will mean rummaging through the blue boxes, which are all downstairs, but I guess I can do that.


There is also the pall from church that someone used shoe polish on to try to cover up the candle soot. I managed to get most of it out, but I have one more solvent - paint thinner - that I want to try on it, and then I have to sew it back together. 


So there is definitely enough to keep me occupied. Only I don't want to be here. I want to be there!


It was a pretty day here, sunny all day, and the temperature got up to nearly 70 late in the day. I didn't go out except to get the mail.


In Copper Harbor, it started out cloudy this morning, but it began to clear up around noon, and the afternoon and evening were gorgeous. The temperature was steady around 50 all day.


So that is how it is in the field in exile, and I will now go upstairs and sleep some more.  Sigh.


May 5

Well, I'm not leaving tomorrow.


There was something on the CT scan that needs to be followed up by further tests. So, I hope, I will be having a PET scan Monday or Tuesday - the schedulers haven't called me yet - see Dr. Lehman on Thursday or Friday, and travel on the weekend. I hope. Dr. Lehman thinks (or at least he says he thinks) that the spots have been there all along, but the latest in CT technology is showing up things that weren't there before. I know he poked in one spot that could very well be just scar tissue.


I would very much appreciate your prayers. If the lymphoma has in fact returned, there isn't much they can do for me. And, of course, I have known that all along, and it was one reason I was determined to do what I want to do for as long as I can do it.


At least I am nearly ready to go within a day. This morning I got everything downstairs except for my suitcases (how fortuitous!) and some tote bags. Frankly, I was exhausted by the time I got to the doctor's office, and I still had to load the car. I would have done it, of course, but it would have taken me days to recover. The worst of the job is hauling everything downstairs, and since most everything is in the kitchen, now all I have to do is move it across the floor and out the door. So I am that much ahead.


As soon as I finish this, I am going upstairs, take a nice, refreshing bath (I was wet all over by the time I finished my exertions) and crash. I am really tired. And sad. And upset. And I want to curl up in my cocoon and block out the world.


The weather reversed itself again today. In Copper Harbor, while it was partly cloudy all day and there may have been a sprinkle or two, the temperature got up to nearly 70. Here, while it was clear and sunny all day, the temperature didn't quite make it to 60. Quite weird, and not what one would expect. I guess it's supposed to warm up here tomorrow.


Oh, how I wish I were there!


Oh, well. I will cope. To bed now.


May 4

I'm behind, but I guess I'll make it. It will just mean that much more hard work tomorrow. Oh, well. 


I did sleep better last night, probably because I was so exhausted when I finally got to bed. I was up at a decent hour this morning, and I got to bible class, after which I stopped at the food emporium and got all the items on my list...plus a few more. It seems I'm going to be taking a lot of food with me, but most of it is stuff I can't get there.


When I got home, I ate lunch at the computer before I sorted out all the clothes and packed up the last box. Then it was back upstairs to get everything else packed up properly. I guess it is, except for the suitcase with my jeans and tops in it. I didn't want to pack that one until after I did the wash. The second load is just about rinsed and ready to put in the dryer.


Anyway, the packing of the blue boxes took more time than I'd thought it would...and I know, I really should have completed that last week. Sigh.


So tomorrow, I will really have to work. With any kind of luck, I can at least get everything downstairs before I have to go to the doctor's, then load the car afterwards.


Poor Buster. He went away and hid, because he thought today was the day to leave. And I suppose he'll do the same tomorrow. How I will find him Friday, I don't know. We'll see when the time comes.


Please remember that the only reason there might be a journal tomorrow night is if I'm not leaving Friday. No news is good news. And Friday, if I do go, I won't want to move the files, update Norton, and try to get out a journal unless I feel a lot better than I expect to. So, if everything goes as expected, the next time you will hear from me is Saturday, May 7. Keep your fingers crossed. I don't know what I'll do if I can't go.


Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


So that was the day, and as soon as this is updated and Norton is finished updating on the laptop, I will move files. Then, unfortunately, I do need to get that suitcase packed and write a bunch of checks, and then I can crash. I hope nobody reading this wonders why I hate this move so much.


Oh - by the way, a number of people have e-mailed me in the past couple of days with various good wishes and other things. I hope you understand that there just isn't time to answer all of you yet. I am taking your e-mails with me, and I will reply once I get the files up to date in Copper Harbor. Thanks to your all.


Ah, yes, and the weather. It was just about the same all over Michigan today...clear with highs in the low 50s. However, it got colder overnight here (into the mid-30s), and Right now, Copper Harbor is a couple of degrees warmer than it is here. Bless you, Mother Superior! Very beautiful weather indeed, even though it's a tad cooler than it ought to be here at this time of year. It's keeping the magnolias and daffodils wonderfully well.


Again they are predicting a hard freeze for tonight here, but I rather doubt it will happen here in the big city. And it still looks like pretty good traveling weather on Friday.


And the day after tomorrow, I will be home again! Aaahhh!


May 3

Well, it was a day of furious action, followed by several hours of diddling, followed by another couple of hours of furious action.


I have not been sleeping well. Along about 5am or so, I wake up and start thinking about all the stuff I have to do in the next two days, and I never really get back to sleep, so I've been getting up really early for me.  I figure I can recuperate next week. It would be better if I were going to bed earlier, but when I'm tired I tend to sit around playing games or staring at the floor or some such useless thing. Oh, well.


After breakfast, I finally got the floor in the kitchen vacuumed. After looking at it, I am simply going to have to bite the bullet and have the carpet cleaners in when I get back here next winter. It is really gross. Sometimes it's possible to spot clean carpeting, but not this. Besides, it was a pretty dark blue, and it's faded horribly, much worse than the red my mother originally had in the kitchen. I hate kitchen carpeting. I hate kitchen carpeting!


I don't know whatever possessed my mother to like it. I don't know why she preferred vacuuming to sweeping, either. But, of course, back when she did the kitchen (1968) they didn't have the wonderful acrylic wood finishes they have now, and that would have made a wood floor impossible. Tile and even linoleum do tend to be hard to stand on for long periods, and my mother was a wonderful and frequent cook. Every Christmas, she would make a dozen different kinds of cookies, which she would give away to all her friends, and she did all her cookie-making standing up.


Anyway, I finished in time to go to lunch with Debbie, which took more time than it might have, because she got hung up on the telephone and was half an hour late - a long time even for her. However, we had a really yummy lunch at Fishbones, which I think is a chain of sort of New Orleans food, plus Sushi.  but they do have good, if expensive food. Yum. I ate so much, including dessert, that I'm still not hungry. 


My appetite has declined of late, which is probably a good thing. I hate it when I'm so ravenous that I can eat everything in the house. The result is usually that I grow out of my jeans, which I did last summer. I've lost enough weight that I do have jeans that are comfortable again, thank goodness.


Anyway, she had misplace her key to my house, so she came back to the house for a few minutes, and then there was the mail to read, and by then it was time to listen to ATC and check my email and the pictures from the camera.


I finally got back to work after that, and now three boxes are packed. The only one remaining is the one with my clothes in it, and I just decided to postpone that one till tomorrow. I have three wash baskets and a full single bed upstairs that need to be sorted out before I can pack the last box, and I'm tired. I didn't get everything in the boxes that I'd hoped to, but I don't want to send any more, and I think I can get the remaining stuff in the car. I hope.


The weather here was miserable, frankly, cloudy and cold. I don't think the temperature got to 45. However, after a freeze warning for tonight, it's supposed to warm up for the rest of the week. This is really weird weather for May in Detroit.


It was actually a much nicer day in Copper Harbor, sunny and beautiful, as well as a tad warmer. The temperature maxed out at just over 45. I notice that at the last picture, which is at 9:50 tonight, it isn't dark yet. Well, in a couple of days, I'll fix that. I know I'm not the only one who likes to see the last vestiges of twilight over Copper Harbor.


So it looks now like I'll have a fairly good day to travel on Friday, although there is a slight possibility of a shower here or there. John Dee has started his summer forecasts a tad earlier this year, and I'm really grateful. He is still a lot more accurate than the NWS in his forecasts for Michigan.


Well, we progress, and at this time in three days, I will be home again.


By the way, I want to warn everyone now (although I'll repeat it tomorrow) that tomorrow's journal will be the last one until Saturday, unless the world crashes down upon me and the doctor says I have to have more tests. I plan to do tomorrow's journal while I wash the last of the clothes, then back up the desktop to the laptop and shut down here. I'll be too busy and/or too tired Thursday to do all that. And from sad experience, I know better than to try to get the Copper Harbor computer updated in time to write something Friday. After driving for 11 hours, I will be in no shape whatever to do any technical stuff, although I may try to get Norton updated.


Also, I have the final word on the phone line in Copper Harbor. From March 26 to April 25, even though the computer was up all the time and the phone line should have been online all the time, it redialed 152 times. Now, is that a phone line problem, or what? SBC will be hearing from me.


So will Charlie Hopper. I can't get that wireless broadband installed soon enough!


So that is all I know for tonight, and while I must wait until Beethoven's third piano concerto finishes, it's time to haul myself upstairs one more time, to bed.


Three days...


May 2

Slowly, we progress.


I was up rather early (for me) this morning, because in the middle of the night, I happened to think that I needed to have the car greased and oiled, and when I woke up around 8:00, it was clear that I wasn't going back to sleep, even though I was still tired. Still am.


While the car was being taken care of, I ate breakfast and nearly finished another book. Then it was off to the pet supply store and the drug store.  Buster now has a new collar, and I have lots and lots of JD. Buster will also eat for a while after we get home. So that is taken care of.


I went upstairs and hauled another load down to the living room - it is now in the middle of the floor, and I think with a little more work, I can probably vacuum the kitchen tonight, even though I'd rather go to bed right now. I have committed to having the boxes ready to pick up by Wednesday afternoon, and I have committed to having lunch with Debbie tomorrow, so I will have to squeeze things in between.


Oh, yes, and I did clean the bathroom, at least on the surface. The floor needs vacuuming, so as soon as I have finished in the kitchen, I will have to get the vacuum upstairs. I guess that's one reason I'm ready to give up this house, which means so much to me - I just cannot hack the stairs anymore. Everything I want is always on some other floor, and I can only go up and down so many times before my legs give out completely.


It was a good day to be busy with other things. The temperature probably didn't get to 50 and it was cloudy and blustery. This morning, there were a few sprinkles of rain and, according to the guy who drove me back to the garage, a bit of snow. Debbie said it did snow up in northern Macomb county.


It was a good day  not to be in Copper Harbor, too. The temperature was in the mid 30s all day long, and it snowed rather steadily from about 10:30 to about noon, leaving inch on the deck, but it had melted away by 2:30, and there was a ray of sunshine around sunset. It looked like it might be clearing up.


The good news on the weather front is that, according to the NWS, the temperature will be rising for the rest of the week, and while I may see a bit of rain in the UP on my way, most of Friday will be a reasonable temperature. I've said before that I prefer to drive when it's cloudy, but I wouldn't mind seeing the Straits of Mackinaw in the sunshine, like I did last spring. That was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.


So now there are four days, and I might just make it.


I hope.....


May 1

Mayday! Mayday!


I'm not sure this will upload tonight, because it looks like PastyNet is having some kind of server or phone line problem. I can get to pasty.net but not pasty.com, and while I can get to my website, sometimes, the camera stopped updating at about 4:30, and I don't seem to be able to get to the archives. It looks like some long line problems they've had before with their servers on Sequoia Net. Probably an SBC T-1 problem. Sorry. Ah!!! It  seems to have just cleared at 8:30, so we're all right again, even though we missed some pictures.


Well, not Mayday yet, maybe. I did accomplish something today, I guess.


I didn't go to church, because the kids were supposed to sing, and anyway, communion was at 8:15, and I couldn't have made that. I wasn't too late getting up, and I didn't get hung up knitting, either.


I would say that the kitchen is about 80% done. I am in the process of trying to bleach out some of the stains on the white Formica before I move everything back from the other side of the kitchen. The stove is as clean as it's going to get. There is still a lot of stuff on the floor that needs to be moved around before I can sweep, and the table is still pretty bad, but I didn't do badly.


I did have to sit down a lot, because sometimes my back behaved and sometimes it just wouldn't. I'm not through yet, though, because I got hungry and had to eat, so I sat down here and washed a load of towels while I ate and tried to see as many of my daily websites as possible.


I also moved a bunch of file boxes and packed away some clothes that had been sitting in the laundry room for several years. I may make a few more trips up and down before I to to bed tonight.


The weather here was sunny this morning, cloudy this afternoon, and about 50 with a stiff breeze at times.


In Copper Harbor, it looked like it started out cloudy this morning, but it cleared by noon and the afternoon was sunny, although there were both low cumulous clouds and high cirrus clouds, making for a very interesting sky. By the time the camera uploaded again, it looked like it was clouding up again, at least in the west. The temperature was steady around 40.


Gracious, this looks like it's going to end up being as cool a spring as last year was, even though we had some warmer weather earlier. That's all right by me.


So things are coming along, if a bit more slowly than I could wish. I guess it will all get done.


Five days...


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM