A View From the Field

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July, 2005

July 31

Well, I have completed 64 years of living. How strange. It hardly seems like it could be so long, but that's what the calendar says.

 

Overall, I have to put the past year into the plus column. There were a few glitches, but I also had some great times, and I made an important decision about my future. So on the whole, it was a pretty good year.

 

It was a pretty good day, too. While it started out cloudy, it soon mostly cleared up, and while there were clouds in the sky all day, it was mostly sunny, the temperature stayed in the mid 60s and the winds were very light to calm. Nice day.  I was able to have the doors open, even with the low temperatures, so I could hear the out-of-doors.

 

This evening, Shirley took me and two of her daughters, their significant others and a grandson to dinner, which was very nice indeed. They are nice people and  I like them.

 

When I came home, I got mostly undressed and sat in the ugly chair to watch the sunset. It was a pretty one, and I became fascinated by a couple of clouds I was seeing over the mountain. They looked mighty like anvil clouds to me. They were so interesting, I actually took a picture of them. It's been so long since I've seen a real cumulonimbus anvil cloud that I wasn't sure. However, as it began to get darker, I began seeing flashes of light coming from the bottoms of them. Yep, honest-to-goodness thunderheads. What may be even more interesting is that when I came back to the computer and looked at the radar map, those clouds were nearly 100 miles away, down the other side of Ontonagon. No wonder I couldn't hear any thunder. They are moving very, very slowly toward us, but most of the line of storms is across the UP from Ontonagon to Newberry, so we may not get any more rain.

 

Most of our sky was clear as it got dark, and the last camera shot of the day got a pretty good picture of Venus. It is very close to the right-hand edge of the picture, just below a tree branch. You can also vaguely see the storm clouds.

 

If those clouds are really that far away, that is the furthest I've ever seen them, and you might get some idea of how high they go into the stratosphere. And that is one of the things I love so much about this place. I don't think there are many places east of the Mississippi where the sky is so big and you can see so far. Anyway, I'm a city girl, and I still love to look at the big sky.

 

I mentioned yesterday that I've always felt the summer was pretty much over after today, even though we do still get hot weather in August. We're supposed to this week, too. I was planning to go to town, since I'm getting a list of stuff I need, but I'll have to pick my day and I may just wait another week. The temperature is supposed to be pretty tolerable here, but not so in Houghton, so I'd just as soon stay out of there. We'll see.

 

So that ends July, and begins a new year for me. This next one should be interesting in many ways, but maybe by this time next year, when I have to renew my driver's license, i will have a new permanent address. We'll see.

 

July 30

We had a little rain today - under half an inch - but at least it was something. It was a dull and cloudy day all day long, and it was windy enough and rainy enough that I didn't even put out the bird feeders. I must get used to putting them out in the bad weather, though, for the future. Between showers a hummingbird came humming around to see if there was anything there, and I was sorry to disappoint him, but I was on the phone just then. The temperature hung in the low 60s all day, with sometimes pretty strong winds from the southwest.

 

I actually spent most of the day looking at online catalogs again, until my eyes are about crossed. I saw a few things to tempt me but nothing to make me buy just yet.

 

It interests me how e-commerce has come along. There are all sorts of sites selling all sorts of craft things, and all sorts of electronic things (of course), but not so much of the things we buy every day from the drug store and the grocery store. Someday I think that will probably change, but for the time being it can be a bit inconvenient if, like me, you're living out in the boondocks where the nearest supermarket is 45 miles away and the nearest chain drug store is probably 100 or more miles away. However, I take what I can get, and I've done most of my shopping, other than for food and paper goods, by catalog for years.

 

When I was working, shopping by catalog saved time, and after my mother, who was my shopping partner, died, I just never had the urge to shop  much in person. Now, of course, even when I'm in the big city, I have enough trouble walking that major shopping trips are really out of the question. Besides, not much of the stuff they sell in malls interests me anymore.

 

I didn't even go out to dinner. It was yucky when I should have gone, and I just didn't feel like it, and I'd eaten breakfast (billberry pancakes) so late that I wasn't hungry enough to eat until 10:30 or so.

 

So I'm keeping strange hours, and I didn't accomplish much, except to complete unloading and start reloading the dishwasher. 

 

It's a dark and stormy night in the field.

 

July 29

Gad, I think we're being moused to death! 

 

After the one last night before I left the office, around 3:30 this morning, there was another one. I didn't want to get up, since I hadn't been in bed very long, but after the second time Buster brought it into the bedroom, he started making it squeak, and that was more than I could take. So I got up, and found the mouse right at the edge of my bedside rug, rather groggy, so that it was easy to pick up. I was going to put it out the great room slider, but when I got to the kitchen I saw that I had forgotten to turn off the floodlight outside the office, so I went there, put the mouse out, and turned off the light. The mouse was still moving, and rather confused, which is their usual state when I put them out on the deck. It wasn't there this morning, so I gather it escaped.

 

Buster was rather somnambulant all day, and he had an upset stomach for some reason. I was groggy, too, because I only got around  7 hours' sleep, but it was such a beautiful morning I just had to get up.

 

Then just a couple of minutes ago, I heard the sounds that seem to indicate he got another mouse! If this keeps up, I'll have to get him at least one companion cat just to keep the mice down. I hate it when he makes them squeak.

 

It was a perfect morning, clear and sunny with a slight northerly breeze, and  a temperature of about 60, which is about where it stayed all day. I opened the slider and one window, but I eventually had to close the window, when the breeze picked up and it was at bit cool. Late in the afternoon, it clouded up, and Environment Canada, which is frequently more accurate about those things, says it's going to be cloudy all night and all day tomorrow. The NWS is predicting clear skies, but that's already wrong. Let's hope they're wrong about the temperatures next week, too.

 

I didn't do a lot today, but I did get the bracelets packed up and sent off, finally. Otherwise, I sort of diddled around as usual. I had dinner with Shirley for a change, and that was nice. When I got home, I sat in the ugly chair, with a cat on my lap, and knitted until it got too dark to see. It was a bit cool for the hummingbirds, so I was able to get the feeders in before it got completely dark.

 

On that topic, we're down to 15 hours of daylight already. It really makes a difference. Twilight is shorter, too, once we start to head down toward autumn, so it's nearly completely dark at 10:30. Maybe that will get me to bed earlier? However, I always hate to see that happening. I love the long days of May, June and early July. 

 

Besides, ever since I was a little girl, I've always had the feeling that summer really ended on my birthday, and my birthday is Sunday. August just passes, and then it's September, and that is autumn. The summer  seems to be going particularly fast this year, because I got here so late.

 

Anyway, since I'm doing this at a more reasonable hour tonight, maybe I can get to bed before midnight, and maybe there won't be more than one mouse. Buster needs to sleep, too.

 

Time is flying by in the field.

 

July 28

My goodness, I did sleep! I think it was more than 11 hours, although I'm not quite sure when I went to bed. Anyway, it was 11:30 when I got up. Maybe earlier tomorrow?

 

As a result, my day was rather truncated. When I got up, it was cloudy and windy, so I didn't put the bird feeders out right away. However, I did put them out immediately after a goldfinch flew up to the screen, clung to it, and seemed to be looking in. Just a hint, I guess.

 

I've sort of decided to put the huge feeder away for the time being and go with the smaller one, except that then the poor little chipmunks won't have so much to eat. The big one and the medium-sized one get into the feeder pretty easily, but there is a teensy little one who hasn't figured it out yet. I think it could probably jump from the end of the branch to the deck railing, but It doesn't seem to understand that's the way to get in, so it sits on the branch looking longingly at the seeds.

 

I actually did something today, amazingly enough. I realized it was time to pay some more bills, so I did that, and I balanced my checkbook and tentatively closed out July. So that is taken care of. 

 

That meant going to the post office, and it was amusing. I pulled out of the driveway in front of Ron and behind David, and we drove all the way to US-41 in a convoy. Ron and I thought David was going to the post office, too, but he turned the other way. I do have to say it seems like a waste of gas for us to go in three trucks. Maybe we should start a carpool to town. That might be an idea for winter, anyway.

 

By afternoon the skies had pretty much cleared up, although there were some puffy clouds, and the temperature got to about 68 for a while, before a thick cloudbank came over and it dropped to around 60. For a while it really looked like it was going to rain, but the clouds passed over and by sunset it was clearing again. There were some showers south of us, in the west central UP, but nothing even nearby. So we stay dry.

 

Late in the afternoon, I was sitting in the ugly chair knitting for a change when a male hummingbird flew up to the window and hovered there, like he was looking in. I don't know quite why, because his feeder is full, but maybe he was trying to tell me I was getting pretty late at putting things out in the morning, which is true.

 

I had moved back to the computer, and it was dark, when Buster started skittering around behind me, and he had caught another mouse. He had it out in the great room and the hallway, and we cornered it for a moment, but I'm not nearly as fast as Buster and mice are, so he snatched it and ran downstairs with it...or at least through the basement door. I think it either got away from him there or he killed it, because a while later he came upstairs and meowed. It was a really little mouse, and I'm sorry I couldn't rescue it. I'm just not that fast.

 

So it looks like Buster will have a permanent job, so long as he cares to do it. With us here, there won't be quite so many as there were when we first got here in June, but there seems to be a steady stream of little critters who try to get at all the goodies in the house. Having a mighty mouser is a comfort, because I don't know how I would handle them otherwise.

 

So that was our day, and all is quiet again, and the skies seem to be clear in the field tonight.

 

July 27

I got up this morning when I began to get sore, and I felt like I'd made up for all my lack of sleep, but it was such a beautiful morning, it was hard not to feel good. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was blue, blue, blue, which made the lake just as blue. A few puffy clouds appeared occasionally, and there was a light breeze from the north, with the temperature in the upper 60s. It was so pretty!

 

I diddled around as usual, and just about the time I was feeling hungry enough for a late breakfast, one of my e-friends, who is in town, called to invite me for lunch, so instead of billberry pancakes, I had potato pancakes at Harbor Haus! They aren't quite as good as my mama's were, but they'll do just fine, since mama isn't here to make the real thing. The difference, I think, is that they don't put onion in theirs, and they put more flour in them, so they are thicker than mama's. Hers were never more than a  quarter-inch thick, and the edges were always lacy and crisp. Mmmm! But Harbor Haus's will do just fine as a  pretty good substitute.

 

These people are very  nice, and I enjoy being with them. Sandy has had a real siege of medical problems over the winter, and it was good to see her walking around again, even if it is with a walker. She is determined to teach again, and I'm sure she will.

 

So it was a pleasant afternoon. As usual, we both talked ourselves hoarse, but that's fine. Of course, Buster made himself scarce until after they had gone, then he seemed to appear from under the computer corner, which confused me. I find it hard to believe he was there the whole time, but he may have been. Rat-fink cat! Sandy is a nice, soft-spoken person, and so is her husband, and they like cats. But oh, no, he couldn't come and even say hello!

 

Around the time they left, there were some pretty heavy clouds building in the west and there was a line of heavy showers from Duluth out into the middle of the lake. I hoped they might reach us, but they seem to have dissipated before they got here. There are a few showers south of Houghton, but unless the area that is now far west of Duluth gets over here, it looks like the rain may miss us again. And we really need it! It has been so dry! Good for the tourists, but not good for the growing things.

 

I was so full after lunch that I didn't do my pork chops, which have been defrosted and now need to be cooked, so I'll have to do that tomorrow. And now it's high time I trundled up to the north end again. I think Buster went to sleep after I fed him. Rat-fink cat.

 

So it's cloudy and cool in the field tonight.

 

July 26

I got to bed late last night, I mean this morning, and while I slept pretty good, I didn't sleep long enough. The best I can say for it is that I had some really pleasant dreams this morning.  Some were about food, although I wasn't really hungry, and some were about Buster and a much larger black cat who suddenly appeared full grown. Interesting, that. Buster is my first black cat, and I've never known one as big as this guy - more the size Dennis was in his prime (16 pounds). Strange how one's mind puts things together!

 

As a result of my late nights, I didn't do a single thing today, unless you count a new high for Bookworm as something. Of course, I screwed it up at the end, or I'd still be playing that same game.

 

The weather was considerably cooler than it has been for some time now - the temperature got stuck around 60, with a 15 mile wind out of the north, and it just stayed there. A nice relief, but I discovered that I've gotten used to having the house opened up, and I miss it. This house is pretty well sound-conditioned, and I have to listen really closely to hear anything when all the windows are closed. I  stepped out into the porch late this evening, and the harbor was speaking nicely, but I couldn't hear any of that from inside.

 

The sky was mostly clear, with some clouds, although as usual, most of them had gone away by sunset.

 

I wasn't even hungry, which is a good sign I'm overtired and I need to try to get to bed earlier and get up later (if that's possible). 

 

So it was a lost day in the field, and I hope I can find tomorrow.

 

July 25

It was a bad night. It was really noisy, because of the wind, and I couldn't shut the porch door because the temperature was in the upper 70s for most of the night. So I was awake every 45 minutes between 2:30 and 7:30. And one of those times, I heard Buster thumping, and the next time I went in the bathroom, i nearly stepped on a dead mouse in the middle of the floor. I picked it up, but I didn't realize until later that there were still some parts on the floor. He did not do a very neat job on that one. But at least he caught it.

 

So as a result, it was rather late when I got up...and it will be rather later when I go to bed tonight, since I'm actually writing this after midnight.

 

It was a cloudy day, mostly, although a few rays of sunshine peeked through at intervals. The wind died down some around 8:00 am, but it wasn't until nearly 3:00 that it died completely, and for the rest of the day, it's been nearly calm. The temperature was steady at around 70 all day. Along about 9:30, we had an all too brief, all too light, shower, but at least it did rain a bit.

 

I worked on the current bracelet for a bit, and hunted up tags and string to get the two I've sold ready for shipment. I also spent some time hunting for another catalog, which I finally found in one of the shipping boxes. That is probably how I managed to throw away one sneaker last fall. Things fall into the bottom of boxes that I think I've emptied, and I pitch them without checking. Oh, well.

 

Anyway, that was my quiet day. I disposed of the whole mouse this morning, and Buster was rather sleepy all day, partly because of the weather, but partly because he spent most of the night roaming the house meowing. Maybe he was trying to call the mice out of the woodwork. Who knows what goes on in his little furry head?

 

Tonight he has been trying to get me to go to bed for a couple of hours. I don't know why he does that. He can very well go to sleep without me being in bed, since he doesn't sleep with me unless it's cold. But no, he has to mutter around to try to get me to go first. Strange little cat.

 

And now I guess it's time to do that. It's cool and cloudy in the field tonight.

 

July 24

I did it again last night, and it was nearly 2:00 am before I got into bed. So it was late when I got up this morning, and I didn't eat my brunch until around noon - the rest of my pheasant.

 

Buster had some, too, and the way he acted, he'd never had anything so good in his life. Hmm. He got a taste, but I had no intention of giving him a helping. So he has been muttering around all day long, and wanting to sit on me. 

 

I have a feeling part of it is that around 11:00 the wind veered to the WNW and picked up into the 15-25 mph range, and he doesn't like wind. The clouds blew away around then, too, and the dew point, which had been atrocious, began to drop off. It was around 70 all night long, and the dew point was in the middle 60s, which left it feeling awfully damp. It was also chilly, and I kept the doors closed, and I had a sweat jacket on.

 

After about 1:00, the temperature started to rise and the dew point to fall. The temperature got briefly into the middle 80s. but by that time the dew point was under 50, which, with the wind, actually made it quite comfortable, at least here. It didn't get quite that warm here, and with the wind and the low humidity, it was more than tolerable.

 

I diddled around on the computer all day, looking at online catalogs, but when I went back to get the beads I mentioned last night, they weren't even listed, so I guess some people were busy overnight. Oh, well, it's probably for the best. I do have some things to get from that catalog - my source for gemstone beads and findings - but it will be better if I sit down with the printed catalog and make a list.

 

After I got back from dinner - at Harbor Haus again - I moved over into the ugly chair and knitted until it got dark. When I sat down, there was a line of clouds in the west that were being blown into curls by the wind, but they dissipated fairly quickly, and except for one little red cloud in the west, the sky is now clear. The temperature is still in the upper 70s, but that wind is still blowing, and it's a wonderful evening. A bit noisy, but wonderful.

 

As usual, the camera washed out the sunset, which was quite orange. The sun is still behind Lighthouse Point, but it's moving south now. Our daylight is down to 15 hours already, and the sun is sliding down toward the equinox at an ever increasing rate. It's sad. I like the long days and long twilights. I can still notice that the sky is lightening when I get up at 4:30 or 5:00, but not so light as it was at the beginning of the month. However, there are still a couple of weeks of long days to enjoy. By the time I get back from Detroit in late August, however, nightfall will be getting really early.

 

So it was a nice quiet day, and I don't have much to mull over tonight, so I should be able to get to bed at a reasonable hour? Maybe.

 

It's noisy in the field tonight.

 

July 23

I don't know what this sitting around looking at the floor is about, but I did it again last night, so I was late to bed and late to rise. Nancy called just as I was waking up for the last time, and I got up, but it was around 2:00 before I ate anything but orange juice. I sort of sat around and did not much.

 

However, I had invited them to dinner for tomorrow, and since they're leaving on Monday, they decided they couldn't do Sunday night, so we went tonight.

 

It turned out to be a  nice day, although it did cloud up some. It was bright clouds, and the temperature got into the upper 70s, but there was a nice breeze from the south, at least here, so it was quite pleasant. Nancy and Chip live right at the base of Brockway, so I can imagine that it gets warm there when the wind is from the south.

 

Anyway, I did put away some jackets and things, and I loaded the dishwasher, but of course, the place is a mess.

 

We had a memorable dinner - baby pheasant with mushroom risotto - and a very pleasant time altogether.

 

Nancy is into alternative medicine and she had said something last night that didn't sound right to me, so I spent the afternoon online reading - and being lectured about - the mechanism of glucose uptake by the cells of the body. There was one very technical discussion, which I didn't completely understand, since I've never been exposed to biochemistry at all, but it occasionally lapsed into English enough for me to get a good understanding of what's going on. I now know more about what the liver is for. It seems the liver serves as the repository of the glucose that we've ingested that we don't need yet. And it seems that too much ethanol (e.g., JD) interferes with the storing of the glucose. Oh. You never know what you'll learn on the way to finding out something else.

 

There was also a really neat site that actually was a lecture - which I was hearing - about the mechanism in the cells for using glucose. It was animated, and a guy was talking over my speakers. It apparently is part of some course in biochemistry, as there was a pre-quiz and a post-quiz, which I skipped. According to the first article I read, it was somewhat simplified, but correct. That site is nothing you would want to try to view without a broadband connection, however.

 

Anyway, I satisfied myself that what Nancy had heard was wrong, but in the meantime, I learned something more about the wonderful body I inhabit, and I exercised the broadband pretty well. It was nice that all the downloading I did didn't interfere with the camera at all. So nice!

 

If you're curious, put "glucose metabolism" into Google and see where it takes you. I only got about 530,000 pages for that one, whereas there were over 5 million for just "glucose". I only went down about four pages of listings before I decided I'd had all I could take. I think the lecture was on the fourth page.

 

There are some things that aren't out on the web, but if you want to learn about almost any subject taught at any university, you can certainly find an awesome amount of stuff. The web is a wonderful thing.

 

One of my jewelry suppliers is having a rummage sale, so I had to check that out, and I will probably have to place an order, but I want to sleep on it. The little lapis beads I used for the lapis and pearl necklace are on sale, and the price, for top-grade lapis, is very reasonable. Since lapis is my very favorite semi-precious stone, it's hard not to succumb. And it's so nice to have those pages, with all their pictures, load so quickly.

 

So it was an interesting day. I was glad when Chip and Nancy arrived, because I had had about enough deep thinking for one sitting. It's been 40 years or so since i was in college, and I'm out of the habit. So now it's time to try to put my fuzzy brain to sleep before 2:00am.

 

There is supposed to be some rain over the next couple of days, and there were some showers to the southwest of us when the Weather Underground went down. I'm not sure what their problem was, but until just now, for about an hour I couldn't contact their site. There are light showers all around us, but so far, nothing here. We desperately need the rain, so I'm hoping something develops.

 

So it's a dark and cloudy night in the field. 

 

July 22

Well, this was an interesting day.

 

I ended up sitting in the bathroom staring at the floor for a very long time last night - not quite sure why - so I was late getting to bed. When I went to sleep, the moon was shining in the windows. When I awoke several hours later, I could tell that it was cloudy, but that didn't bother me much. I was off-timing enough that I woke up at 9:30 (there was one other wakeful period in there) and even though I hadn't had my full 10 hours, I had to get up, and I knew if I went back to bed then, it would probably be noon before I got up. It was clear and sunny and beautiful again by then.

 

In due time, I ambled down to the office, and the first thing I discovered was that I was  unable to connect to the internet. That seemed weird, since it had been fine when I left it last night after rebooting. So I rebooted two or three times, and that did nothing. I usually try several times, since every so often some part of the operating system doesn't load right. So I power failed the entire setup via the wall switch. Power to the wireless receiver and antenna is on that same circuit. That didn't help, either even after I did it twice. So I tried to dial PastyNet, and when I did, I got a rather scratchy message saying that my call could not be completed, "due to a facility failure", and try again later.

 

So not only did I not have any internet, I didn't have any telephone service (or, as it turned out, much telephone service). Anyone wondering what happened to PastyNet, the Pasty Cam, and my camera, that was it. And it lasted all day.

 

Of course, everything I thought of to do involved the computer. So I ate the slow breakfast, did a little beading (not much), and looked through my newest bead catalog. It then occurred to me that since I had no internet connection, Norton could abend to its heart's content and it wouldn't put the system in danger, so I fired up Zuma and played happily for the rest of the afternoon.

 

I had to leave off around 6:00, because the farewell dinner was tonight, and it was lovely indeed. Those are such nice people! Also very generous, I might add. Anyway, we had a good time. We were upstairs, and when we came down, Chris told me that the phones were back up - and that was around 9:00. I don't know when they went down, but it was before 5:00 this morning, because the camera never updated until 7:40 this evening. Thankfully, it came up just fine without me being here. Another plus for the wireless.

 

It seems like local service in my exchange worked, but that was all. So I could have called Harbor Haus or Shirley or Nancy, but I couldn't call PastyNet or my other house. Also, 911 wasn't working. They had an emergency number in our exchange for 911 calls, fortunately. Talk about being isolated! And except for not being able to do my usual stuff on the computer, it really wasn't bad at all. That's the beauty of being here.

 

It was a truly gorgeous day. Oh, yes, the NWS station wasn't reporting either. However, it was sunny and clear and blue, blue, blue all day long, with a rather stiff westerly breeze for a while that raised a whitecap or two on the harbor. The temperature might have made it into the low 70s. Perfect weather!

 

So now I have to fetch in the bird feeders and then I can go catch up on my sleep. I'm sorry I can't upload the day's pictures for you to see, but I'm not quite sure how to do that, and anyway, they'd be gone by tomorrow. 

 

Our beautiful weather is evidently at an end for a few days, but we may actually get some rain over the weekend and next week. We really need it. Things are beginning to look rather dry around here, and I'm sure they are drier than they look. Well, into each life some rain must fall...

 

The stars are still shining on the field tonight.

 

July 21

I thought I slept well last night, except for about an hour between 3:00 and 4:00, but it certainly didn't inspire me to do anything today, so I didn't. Played games. Spent money. Oh, yes, I did get another couple of storage boxes packed, but now I have a problem: the closet won't hold two of them side-by-side with the sewing machine case in there. I guess I'll have to move the case someplace else.

 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, so I should have been in the ugly chair looking at it, but I didn't even do that. The temperature stayed in the middle 60s all day, with a nice breeze out of the north, and the sky was clear and blue and the harbor was clear and blue and it was gorgeous.

 

Tonight was the fish fry. The men of the nice people who have been here for two weeks are fishermen, and they caught a wonderful mess of perch this year, so tonight we gathered at Nancy and Chip's house to eat them. I contributed my American Spoon relishes, and everyone else brought something, and it was wonderful. I don't get enough perch, especially freshly caught perch from unpolluted waters. I like most fish, but perch is one of my favorites.

 

After dinner, we walked down to their rocky shoreline and watched the sunset and had a nice bonfire. I should say I walked with help. The trail down to the shore is rather primitive, and even though I had my walking stick, my legs seemed particularly rubbery tonight for some reason. It was worth it, though, because the sunset was lovely, there was a laker 'way, 'way out in the west, and Venus was shining brightly. Of course, there was no way it could have been that clear when the three planets were close together! Before we went back to the house, Vega was shining up at zenith, and Jupiter was shining in the southwest. It looks to be a very clear night tonight. The moon should have risen about the time we broke up, but it is far to the southeast, so we didn't see it.

 

So it was a nice, if unproductive, day, and the stars are shining on the field tonight.

 

July 20

I didn't sleep so well last night. It had something to do with keeping my temperature right, I think. I made up for it by sleeping long. 

 

It was cloudy when I got up, and for most of the day, although there were some rays of sunshine, and late in the afternoon the clouds started to go away, and now, after sunset, it's clear and pretty. The temperature tended to go up and down depending upon the wind direction, and it got quite warm between 12:00 and 2:00, but then the wind shifted around to the northwest and it's been nice ever since. As is usual when the wind is from the west, the NWS station wasn't reporting what I was seeing here...for example, they say it's 77, but here it's a balmy and lovely 73. The wind is supposed to shift around to the north tonight, which will bring the temperature down nicely.

 

Any rain that was predicted certainly didn't materialize, although when I got to the office this morning, there was a dark cloud right over the harbor that looked very threatening, but nothing came of it.

 

I sort of fooled around for most of the day. I worked on the next bracelet a bit, and I got two storage boxes packed, and now both shipping boxes of craft stuff are empty. Now I can get at the clothes. I think there are some books in with the clothes that I need to get out of there, although I could probably do without the clothes for a while, since most of them are for cold weather. There are a few pairs of jeans, and I need to take a look at the shorts I packed, since I seem to be missing one pair that I like very much.

 

When it got too dark to bead, I sat - or rather, lay - in the ugly chair and did a few rows  on the afghan. I haven't really seen it in the light for a few days, but I finished the cranberry stripe and started the dark rose heather stripe, which means I am about halfway through the colors. Of course, now it is beginning to have a huge number of stitches, and it takes quite a while to do one row.

 

As I was thinking about breakfast this morning, Suzanne, the lady who is camping with her family, came with a nice bowl of bilberries and thimbleberries, so tomorrow I will have to have bilberry pancakes - yum! My sense of taste is enough better this year that I think I will be able to get their full flavor, and I'm looking forward to it. 

 

Tomorrow is the group's annual fish fry, and Friday is their going away party at Harbor Haus, so I'll get to see them all a couple of more times. They are all nice people.

 

So now it is time to try bed again.

 

It's clear and breezy in the field tonight.

 

July 19

It was a good night to sleep, and I did, for a long time. It was cool enough to pull up the comforter, and cool enough that Buster wanted to sleep under it, too. Lovely. The wind blew for a while, I think, but it backed off before morning. I think I've mentioned before that I sleep best when the wind and the lake are noisy.

 

The thing I love about Michigan weather is that while Sunday the temperature topped out in the mid 90s, today it never got out of the low 60s. It was a tad cool to be just sitting around, but it was sunny and pretty all day long. Tonight looks like mid 50s, so it will be another good night to sleep. They are predicting quite warm and possibly rainy for tomorrow, but we'll see about that.

 

I finished the bracelet, and here it is. I'll be referring to it as the "Snowflake bracelet". I think it turned out rather well. In view of my orders, I started another from the first bunch - the dark blue with silver and copper - and I had an absolutely terrible time with the first three rows, before I finally got the pattern back into my head, and now it's going rather fast.

 

Oh, yes, in the middle of the afternoon, I decided to start unpacking the boxes I shipped. I didn't get far, but I found a lot of the books I've been looking for. Last year, I bought several 58 quart covered plastic boxes (why in heaven's name do they size them that way? Why not just use inches?), and after I determined that they will indeed fit in the closet, I started packing away some fabric into one. I will have to repack it tomorrow, so I left it open with a nice piece of Polar fleece on top, and a while later I looked up to find Buster very comfortable in the box on top of the fleece. Snot cat.

 

When it got too dark to bead, I sat in the ugly chair to knit, and he immediately came and sat on me. Apparently I am even better than fleece. And when I went out to the kitchen, he acted hungry, so I fed him. I'll see, tomorrow, how much he ate. By the way the dry food has been disappearing, I sort of got the idea that he could stand to get more than one small can of canned food a day, but we eat so late in the morning, that he evidently wasn't hungry until nearly 10:00 tonight. I don't want him to get fat (hardly likely, actually), but I do want him to get enough to eat.

 

So that was a quiet day in the field, but I think I did accomplish something, and tomorrow maybe I can get the books put away and some more stuff unpacked. Putting the books away should be a good way to exercise my stiff shoulder. Probably all the beading hasn't been very good for it.

 

It's a cool, breezy and fairly clear night in the field tonight.

 

July 18

Wow! Now it's blowing half a gale! How interesting Michigan weather is!

 

I didn't sleep very well last night, as is usual when it's warm enough that I can't cover up, and I had some really weird dreams, which I can't remember now. It was supposed to cool off to under 70 but I don't think it did. I was awake around 4:00 when I started hearing distant thunder, so I went around and shut windows, although a while later I got up again and did some more. The thunder never amounted to anything, but around 4:30 it began to rain, and we had a heavy downpour that cooled things off pretty well. When I was finally able to cover up, I went back to sleep, with one walk, until after 10:00.

 

When I got up, it wasn't raining, but it was still cloudy and it was so humid that the deck and the windows were still all wet. After I put out the bird feeders and opened up the house, I squeegeed off the slider so the camera could see out. It began to clear up around 11:00, and it stayed pretty clear until almost 9:00, when some bands of clouds showed up.

 

The real weather story is the wind. It began to pick up after 10:30, when it switched around to the west-northwest, and it's been gusting up into the 35 mph range ever since. I had to close up the west side of the house, because while the temperature did get into the mid 70s, and the humidity was quite low, the wind was chilly and annoying. There are breakers on my beach, and all the nectar poured out of the hummingbird feeder, much to the dismay of the poor little birds who were clinging to the perches trying to get a bit to eat.

 

I would have brought in the feeders, but the intrepid birds were actually trying to eat out of them all afternoon. When I finally brought them in, I nearly got blown away.

 

It will be a good night to sleep.

 

It certainly was nice to have a reasonable temperature for a change. Out of the wind, it was really quite comfortable, and I had the house open long enough to cool it off.

 

I was diddling around when I got a call from someone who saw the bracelets and wanted two, so that impelled me to get to work on the current one. I'm not done yet, but I think it's pretty, even though it's rather different from the others, light blue with silver snowflakes. Of course, it's blue, and anything blue is pretty...I particularly like this color, which is called light sapphire in the bead world. I'll take a picture when it's finished. So I guess I'll be making bracelets for a while.

 

When it got too dark to bead, I sat in the ugly chair and knitted, with a cat on my lap.

 

I also had a nice long talk with my neighbor who is trying to get the snow removal thing organized, and it seems there may be someone who is willing to blow out the road for us. So that is coming along most satisfactorily.

 

I will also note briefly that I had a messy accident this morning, which resulted in my having to change all my clothes. And that's all I'll say about it. Yuck. Evidently my innards are still rather sensitive, and I guess I ate too much salad over the weekend. Yuck.

 

So now the moon is trying to shine through the boughs of the red pine, and the cloud strip over the mountain hasn't moved in two hours, so I will get this published and go off for a good night's sleep.

 

It's windy and noisy in the field tonight.

 

July 17

Wow, is it hot! WOW!

 

I got up before I felt like it this morning, because I could tell it was getting warm, and I was right - it was already over 80, and it just kept on climbing from there. There was a wind from the south, which was good, but it was humid (still is) and hazy, and depending on where you were, the temperature topped out at someplace between 89 and 94. Not my idea of wonderful summer weather. It was hazy but sunny all day, and that didn't help either.

 

I did some work on the bracelet, but I still felt so sleepy that eventually I settled in the ugly chair with my knitting, and I spent some time with my eyes closed, although I didn't sleep.

 

I spent most of my time watching a little squirrel and a big chipmunk - they're almost the same size. The chipmunk kept jumping into the big feeder and filling his cheek pouches to overflowing with seeds, then he would run down the tree, and a little while later he would be back, doing it all over again. Either he is beginning to store up for the winter, he has a big family, or he eats awfully fast. Or maybe all three. Actually, what he can get doesn't amount to much from that big feeder.

 

The little squirrel is a mama...or more likely appears to be about to be a mama. I could see one of her nipples, and she had quite a bulge between her hind legs, so I suspect she is about to give birth. She doesn't eat much either, and she eats out of the platform feeder.

 

There were the usual goldfinches and hummingbirds who seemed to appreciate that I refilled their feeder this morning. There is one little chipping sparrow who roots around occasionally, but I don't think he likes sunflower seeds.

 

Curiously enough, I didn't see the squirrel with the docked tail. I hope he is all right.

 

When I went up to the north end to change my clothes for dinner, there was a very skinny song sparrow sitting on one of last year's tansy stalks cheeping. Maybe he is a fledgling. I know I have heard song sparrows singing early in the morning. In fact, early in the morning, there is a regular chorus of birds, although most of them are too far away for me to identify any. This is before and just about at sunrise. Curiously, they don't do any singing in the evening.

 

Dinner was good, of course, and it was nice to sit in air conditioning for a while and cool down a bit. It wasn't busy in town. I'm guessing anybody who could left for someplace with more air conditioning. Anyway, I was able to enjoy a leisurely dinner without feeling I was holding somebody up, and I brought home enough fish for tomorrow. I thought about having something else, but fish doesn't feel heavy in my tummy, and that is a consideration these days. Besides, fish is good for me (they say). Fish is good.

 

It had cooled down just a tad when I got home, but not long after, the wind sprang up, and it shifted a bit more toward the west, and the temperature is dropping, so that it is 79 at 10:00. That feels nicely cool after the 94 it was here when I left for dinner.

 

I guess I am going to leave the windows open, although there is a prediction of thunderstorms after midnight. If that happens, I'll just have to get up and shut windows. I want to get all the cool air inside that I can. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler and windy and maybe rain, all of which would be welcome. This is TOO HOT!!!

 

Now the gibbous moon is shining in the south windows, all peachy because of the hazy skies, and I am going to trundle up to the north end, take a welcome tepid shower, and hope it cools off further.

 

It's steamy in the field tonight.

 

July 16

Hard to believe July is half over already. 

 

It was an interesting day, temperature-wise. Early this morning, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep until I realized I was cold and pulled up the comforter. Well, I doubt I'll need it tonight. It was a really lovely morning, and in fact it was lovely until around 3:00, when the temperature suddenly jumped up into the 80s, and it was not lovely. Now it's dropping off again. There is a line of thunderstorms down in the middle of the western UP, and the wind is picking up here. It was hazy to cloudy all day long, but the sun was shining and it was strong and hot. A while ago, I went into the kitchen to get my second drink, and the sun was hanging over Lighthouse Point, looking like a big orange. Unfortunately, it was behind that one big tree, and I couldn't get a good picture of it.

 

i didn't do much, of course. I started a new bracelet, but after I began pulling out every other row, I decided that was counterproductive and I might as well give up on that for the day. So I knitted on the afghan, and there are now enough stitches that I'm debating freeing up my 36" needle, using two 29" needles, or going to the 47" and be done with it. Of course, if I use the 47", that pretty much means I have to finish it, because I have other things to use that needle for. In the meantime, there are more and more stitches. I'm using the fifth color, called "Chestnut Heather", and that will pretty much end the browns and yellows, and the rest is in colors I like a lot. So maybe I'll finish it. It's nice to have something I can knit mindlessly on, so I can watch the birds and the harbor while I do it. Right now, it's smaller than the blue sweater, but I'm not so sure I'll want it in  my lap if it stays hot and it gets big. We shall see.

 

I also emptied the dishwasher. I always procrastinate on that, and it actually never takes more than five minutes to do. Strange.

 

Now there is a beautiful pink cloud right overhead. The reason there are so many pictures of twilight in the gallery is that this is my favorite time of day, no question.

 

I ate dinner with Shirley tonight, and that was nice, although it was rather warm in Mariner. There seem to be lots of people in town, but there weren't a lot in Mariner tonight. It could be because it's not air conditioned, or it could just be because we were early.

 

The camera just kicked off, and as usual, it didn't get any of the pink in the sky at all. I don't know what kind of camera I would need to be able to capture that from the webcam. Probably a regular digital camera, but I'm not in a position to make that kind of investment right now.

 

A dragonfly went by this evening while I was sitting in the ugly chair, and that reminded me I never reported on the interesting happening of a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting in the ugly chair, and I heard something hit the side of the house, beside the slider, and then it hit the deck. It looked to be a dragonfly, although there were a lot of waving legs, and it just sat there, and I thought it had knocked itself out, at least. After a while, all the legs seemed to go away, and the dragonfly moved a bit, then sat there for a while, and finally, quite a while later, it flew off. I guess what I saw was a dragonfly capturing and eating some kind of rather large bug. It must have hit the house when it made the capture, and it fell onto the deck to subdue and eat. Very interesting phenomenon. I am in favor of dragonflies. They eat large quantities of the bugs that bug me. However, I'd never seen one in action before.

 

I am also happy to report that when I went to the post office yesterday, there were several barn swallows flying around. Years ago, there were hundreds of swallows of several varieties in Copper Harbor. They used to line up on the telephone wires and fill the wires. Then for some reason no one can explain, they all disappeared. This is the first year I can remember in the last 15 or so where there have been any at all.

 

I know that some Copper Harbor residents don't appreciate swallows, because they make their nests under eaves and drop whitewash down the sides of houses. To my mind that's a small price to pay for the numbers of bugs they eat. Besides, I love to watch them fly, they are so very agile.

 

Well, the thunderstorms are now in a line from Ontonagon to Rhinelander, way south and west of here, so I guess I don't have to worry about the windows tonight. And since my sleep was rather interrupted this morning, I guess I will go try it again. I doubt I'll need the comforter tonight.

 

It's a warm, humid night in the field.

 

July 15

Early to bed, early to rise? Well, maybe. I did get to bed around 10:30 last evening, and finally, after Mercury is long gone, I saw Venus shining in the west. I'd been looking in about the right place all along, so all I can figure is that the haze was so thick down there by the horizon that it was invisible. I mean, you couldn't miss it last night. So on that note, I went peacefully to sleep.

 

I awoke around 8:30, and it looked like too nice a morning to waste, so I got up. It was a good thing, because the ladies came to walk on my beach, and I was able to greet them, much to their surprise. They walked, and they sat on the deck for a while, and it was nice to see them.

 

Nancy was kind enough to help me get my bed changed...that bloody sheet was getting to me...and when I showed her the first of this year's bracelets, she wanted one. So I have another commission.

 

After they left, I finished the third bracelet, with some time outs to hunt up another needle to thread the elastic with. So I took a picture of the three of them. The one in the middle is the one I finally finished today. I think the one on the right, which is the one Nancy wants, is the most successful of the three. The idea behind them was to do something that looked like a twisted rope, and I think I succeeded fairly well.

 

Then I started playing around with my pale blue and silver beads and another pattern I made around the same time as the one I've been working with. Well... Unfortunately, that one isn't working out. I wanted something that looked like waves, and it did on paper, but when I do it in the actual beads, it just looks like straight lines again. So back to the drawing board... I do like the color of the beads, and the silver goes really well with it, and I really want to make something using those colors. Back to the drawing board...

 

I washed the sheets and towels, although they are still in the dryer, and I washed dishes, with the exception of the pots and pans. I also fetched in the five blue boxes that were still in the breezeway, mostly by necessity. I needed needles, as I mentioned, and I ran out of checks, so I had to root around and find some more.

 

I called St. John's hospital, and I discovered that for some inexplicable reason, they had not submitted the entire amount for my PET scan to the insurance, so all I needed to pay was the amount the insurance statement said, so I did that on my credit card. Might as well.

 

Last evening, I received a phone call from some survey company that was doing a survey about preparedness for terrorist attacks. The person I spoke to was obviously new, and he couldn't type, which was an annoyance, since I had to wait while he tried to enter my answers. However, when we got to the second part of the questionnaire, there were some "why" type questions, and I discovered that only three answers were permitted, and none of them fit the situation. We went around long enough that he turned me over to his supervisor, who, when I told him the questions weren't written correctly, hung up on me. So this morning, I fired off an angry (and, I must say, very carefully written) complaint to the company, and my word, they responded. I don't know if I will hear further from them, but I at least got them looking at what happened last night. It seemed to me, when I thought about it, that the survey was being conducted on behalf of some organization with an agenda, and the questions and answers were worded in such a way as to skew the results in the direction of the agenda. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to put up with that.

 

I'm not sure how I got on their call list anyway, since my number is in the National Do Not Call Registry. Anyway, that was an interesting exchange of emails.

 

The weather...oh. It was a glorious morning, cool and sunny and lovely indeed. However, it began to warm up around noon, and while the temperature depended upon where you were, here it got into the middle 80s and it was warm. The breeze was fitful, and what there was was from the southwest, which is where my warmest temperatures come from. It is cooling down now, and there is a breeze, so I think tonight will be tolerable, but summer is still with us. It began to cloud up a bit this afternoon, too, the first clouds there have been for a long time. The Mining Gazette reports that there hasn't been any rain for six weeks, which is about what I thought. That's too long...we need some moisture.

 

So tonight I ate in, and now I will be going to bed with a nice soft breeze sighing through the evergreens...aahhhh...

 

July 14

Another wonderful sleeping night, and boy, did I! Over 10 hours. Sometime early in the morning, I felt a bit cool, so I pulled up the comforter, and then I was quite cozy until 10:30 or so. Puts a much brighter aspect on things.

 

It was a beautiful morning, too. Most of the haze had gone away, and it was clear and bright and lovely. There was a light breeze, mostly from the north, that kept the temperature down around 70 or maybe lower, and at times I actually felt almost chilly. What a nice feeling! Of course, the house is still mostly opened up, although I have turned off the fans. I will probably leave it open until it rains, if it does, just because it smells so good outside.

 

My task of the day was to file.  I got a bill from St. John Hospital yesterday that has to be a mistake, but I wanted to find the insurance statements and prior bills before I call them. So I took a file box full of paper and compressed it down to about 3" plus a trash bag, and sorted by date all the bills, insurance statements and financial statements. Gag! How I hate to file! But things are in much better order around here, and that's nice, so I guess it's worth it. I also have everything I need to do my ledger at last, so I'll have to tackle that tomorrow, after I attack the hospital. Surely one of the things that is broken about our health system is the chaos of hospital accounting. The only one I've ever dealt with that seemed to have it together is the University of Michigan Hospital. Every other one keeps screwing things up.

 

I also did some knitting, and I have finally almost finished the bracelet I've been working on. I figured it was time I did that. Oh, yes, and I rewashed the five tops that the spots didn't come out of yesterday. They're all right now. And I put away the underwear, mostly because the drawer was empty, and I had to move the washbasket into the bathroom just to get dressed this morning.

 

So I guess it was a productive day. It was also a lovely day to sit in the sun and watch the harbor float by, so I did some of that, too. The sun shines on the ugly chair for a while in the afternoon, and I was cool enough that it felt good to soak up the rays. It wasn't long enough to cause sunburn or anything like that, but it did warm me - and Buster - up nicely.

 

It looks to be a beautiful night tonight, too. I am enjoying every minute, but it's been a while since we have had any rain (more than two weeks, I think) and that means it's high time for a few rainy days. I hope so.

 

It's nice to report that the hummingbirds have finally found the feeder. I guess the old nectar must have been too old, but since I washed out the bottle and refilled it, they have been coming around regularly, and it is now half empty. I still love to watch hummingbirds. At least one has been perching on top of the holder, too, and it's a wonder to me his tiny feet can hang on to the wrought iron. They are so incredibly small and graceful, and they can fly amazingly fast, as well as hover in one place. They are feisty little things, too, and they will frequently chase each other away from the feeder.

 

Now the harbor is nearly calm again and the sunset is nice and red, and it's time for bed. Another lovely, quiet day in the field.

 

July 13

It was a wonderful night to sleep, and I did, until around 8:00 this morning, when a little north wind sprang up and I got cold. I could either get up and shut some windows or just get up, so I got up. That means I'm now tired and ready for some more sleep. However...

 

I had petted a cat and just drawn the water to wash my face when the phones went "bleep!" and the clocks went off...our first power failure of the summer. It lasted about an hour, and it didn't interfere with me too much. Instead of sitting at the computer, I sat in the ugly chair, drank my orange juice, knitted, and enjoyed the lovely morning. Power came back on before I was ready to eat, and the worst problem was setting all the clocks. The computer and the wireless receiver didn't come up right, so I had to power fail all that again, but it's been fine since. Next time it happens, I'll just flip the power switch while the house power is off, so maybe I can restart things in an orderly fashion.

 

It was a very hazy, almost foggy day, but there was a lot of sunshine, and with the northerly breezes, the temperature never got out of the low 70s, which is just fine by me. It was humid, but that wasn't quite so noticeable with a reasonable temperature.

 

The cool this morning rather invigorated me, I guess, and this afternoon I put away all the non-perishable food that had been out in the breezeway for quite a while, and I washed clothes. I also cooked, another recipe from a tomato can, and this one is good, too. But most things that include ground beef, onions, tomatoes and pasta are good. This one also has lots of mozzarella cheese. I will probably make it again, although it does make a washboiler full. I can always freeze what I don't eat by the end of the week.

 

Otherwise, I knitted and just enjoyed the weather. Sunset tonight wasn't spectacular, but it was pretty, with lots of mauves and pinks. It is still hazy and humid, and it's supposed to be a tad warmer tomorrow, maybe, but there is no rain predicted. We could use some rain. It's been quite a while since we last had any. However, it appears that most of the moisture is south of us, at least for a while.

 

I had a chat with a new attorney today, and maybe I will be able to go to arbitration after all. However, I will have to dig up all my monthly statements from 1997 through 2004. I still have them, but they are in various boxes all over, I think, and it will take some doing to find them. I'll have to do that when I'm back in Detroit in August.

 

So now I will get this published and look forward to another good night's sleep.

 

July 12

It should have been a good night to sleep, but I woke up around 3:00 am and didn't do really well after that. I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie, mostly. Sometime during the early hours of the morning, I heard a deep throbbing along with a higher-pitched squeal, and from the lack of wind and the humid conditions, I guess I was hearing a passing freighter...who sounded like he had a severe problem with his mechanical system. Maybe he was trying to make Duluth to get it fixed.

 

Anyway, it cooled down nicely, although it's been days since there has been any wind at all. Really strange. 

 

I got up around 8:30 this morning, although I didn't really want to. The Queen woke me up, sounding her horn, and then leaving. It must be pretty noisy on board that boat. And I learned later today that after some time and trouble, the Kilpelas installed the very loud horn from the Isle Royal Queen III on the new boat, and it just started working. I wondered, because the first time I heard the old horn at Harbor Haus, it was rather high pitched and weak, more like what you'd expect on a cabin cruiser (if they make such things anymore). Not at all fitting for a rather large boat! Anyway, now she can really sound off, and when it's calm and humid, like it was this morning, everybody in the vicinity of Copper Harbor (the body of water) can hear it.

 

So I got an early start, but I did my thing on the computer and gathered up the stuff I needed to take with me before I left, and it was 11:00 before I started for town.

 

The temperature was either in the 60s or low 70s, depending on whether you believed the NWS station or my thermometer, but it was a nice morning here. However, the temperature rose steadily as I headed south, and it was in the low 80s by the time I reached Houghton. 

 

By the time I got out of Wal-Mart (with out doing too much damage), it was in the high 80s and humid and horrible. One reason I didn't do much damage in Wal-Mart is that they are still moving things around and there was a lot I couldn't find. Probably just as well.

 

On the way into Ming Bistro, I met one of my neighbors, and while we were talking, another couple from Copper Harbor  came in, and they invited me to share their table, and ended up buying my lunch, which I truly appreciated. They are nice people, and Tom and I share lymphoma, although he has only had it once, and he had a lot of trouble with the chemo, including some severe heart damage. So that was very pleasant.

 

Then it was off to Econo Foods, and I guess spending $200 every three weeks is better than $150 every two weeks. I did need to replenish my selection of TV dinners, which are actually pretty expensive for what you get. I had so much stuff that should have been kept cold that I couldn't get it all in two coolers.

 

I was exhausted and dripping wet by the time I finished getting gas ($2.33 a gallon - erk!) but I had a relatively painless ride home. Most of the cars were going north when I went south, and vice versa. The temperature was 91 when I left the parking lot at Econo Foods, and while it was a tad cooler on top of Quincy Hill (87), it was in the middle 80s most of the way back, so I used the air until I got to Copper Harbor. I also had two bottles of pop. Did you know that Squirt - at least red Squirt - has caffeine in it? I didn't either, until I read the label. I was really disappointed, although I've drunk it for years in the evening and it didn't seem to keep me awake.

 

I still had to unload the car and pack the fridge. Before I did that, I changed clothes into my shorts and tank, and that helped somewhat, although it was nice here. The temperature was in the middle 70s, probably, which felt downright cool after Houghton. It was quite comfortable in the house, so long as I wasn't moving and shaking much.

 

There still isn't much wind, although they are promising light winds from the north tonight, but it is cooling down nicely, and I have the ceiling fans.

 

I've forgotten to mention that while the daisies are still out in my field, I have a very nice crop of tickseed coreopsis and sweet william. It was hard to tell about the daisies on the way south, because Keweenaw County has been doing their midsummer cutting of the roadsides. I think they are still out, at least north of Calumet. The roadsides are getting yellow, with St. John's wort and black-eyed susans. So high summer is coming on. I don't think I saw any goldenrod, though.

 

While I was cooling off and listening to the news, and drank a big glass of iced herbal tea, I ripped out the entire color band of the afghan and began it again, this time with markers at each quarter, and with much better success. Now I don't have to count to get the increases in place. Every time I hit a marker, I just increase before it.

 

There wasn't much sunset tonight. It is too hazy and humid. The moon is shining brightly, and it is almost calm, although now there is a little north breeze pushing the scent of sweet grass and evergreens in the window. I can live with that, very nicely.

 

So now it is certainly time to wash off today's sweat and collapse into bed again. Hot weather always makes me feel tired, and I really did quite a lot today, for me anyway. I had so much liquid this afternoon that i probably will be up a lot, but I'm used to that, and it feels like the temperature will be good for sleeping, so I will.

 

July 11

I don't seem to be able to get to bed before 11:00, but that was all right. I slept very well indeed. It was a nice temperature in the bedroom, so that I was quite comfortable with just the sheet over me. OF course, my feet were up against the comforters, but I need for my feet to be warm at night anyway.

 

The sky was technically clear all night, but most of the haze that has been around for almost a week now was still there, so the stars weren't very bright. I did see the thin crescent moon setting over Porter Island just before i closed my eyes.

 

Anyway, I was awake  briefly at 8:00, to hear the Isle Royal Queen go out (they have been having to sound their horn in order to get everybody aboard), then I went back to sleep for another two hours. So I feel much refreshed today. The only problem I have is that evidently while I was sitting in the ugly chair yesterday evening, something bit me on the bottom of my foot, in the arch area. It itches like crazy, but it will take a day or two before I know whether it was a late black fly or just a mosquito. What a place for a bite!

 

It was another very warm day, but how warm it was depended upon where you were. There was very little wind, and what there was seemed to be from the south or southeast, so it was pretty bad  here until around 7:00 pm, when it cooled off nicely, at least compared to what it was earlier. My thermometer got up to 91, although over at the NWS station it was in the upper 70s. 

 

It was actually not too bad in the office, with the windows and the fan, but I decided I had to get the CraftStor boxes in to see if I could find my sewing machine feet, and just that slight exercise left me all drippy. I found the feet, by the way. I actually had packed that box, but it was back at the end of April, and I'd forgotten. Oh, well.

 

When I got back from the post office, I put on my shorts and tank again and took off my shoes, which helped a lot, except that now my feet are so swollen I'm sure I couldn't get shoes on if I tried. And there is a rather nice coolness coming in the windows.

 

I finished the hat, except to weave in all the thread ends, this morning, and it has turned out well. It's a bit bigger than my old one, but it's also a better shape, so I think it will be a nice cozy hat for the winter, and I know that pattern works. I shall have to write it down, or I'll surely forget what I did. I thought it was a tad too warm to fiddle with yarn ends, but later on, I started fiddling with an afghan for which I've had the yarn for a couple of years (at least). Once I got it started (from the center) and washed my hands, it hasn't been hard to knit. I don't think I'll do much on it, just enough to get it onto a 29" needle, but I wanted to see how it really looks. It's sort of neat. It starts at the middle and the way it is increased, every color is skewed with respect to the center, so it sort of swirls out. It uses 15 colors of yarn, and I  pretty much like the colors. So I worked on that until I couldn't see  what I was doing, and I think I may have missed an increase or two. I'll check that tomorrow (maybe) and put in some more markers so I know where I'm supposed to increase.

 

Tomorrow I really have to go to town, even though it's supposed to be really hot there. I'm running out of orange juice, and I have no TV dinners in the freezer at all. So with the cupboard pretty bare, I guess it's time to restock. I should go to Keweenaw Glass and get my window pane, which means I should also go to the paint store and get stain and varnish. I may have to make two trips, although I hate to with the price of gas the way it is. We'll see.

 

This morning, by the way, the broadband was down, and I had to power fail it to reset it. I see what happens tomorrow. It may just have been a glitch that won't happen again. I've learned, over my years of dealing with hardware, that sometimes you have to "train" a new device to behave properly, and until you do, all sorts of strange things may happen. This may be more of same. And don't ask me why. It just works that way. Murphy's laws, and all that.

 

So now it's time to trundle up to the north end again, and I think it may be cool enough to sleep.

July 10

Well, my new game kept me up till an hour of the morning I won't mention, so I'm for bed early tonight. It turns out that it has an unhealthy effect on Norton, however, so I probably won't be playing it so much as I'd like to, or I'll have to transfer it to the laptop and just let Norton got away there.

 

Otherwise the broadband is wonderful. I can visit my daily sites in about the same time I can with the DSL. It  did have a glitch or two, but Charlie says there is something wrong with the antenna on the fish house, so that may have caused it. Mostly it has been just as solid a rock. And fast. Mostly fast.

 

Other than sleep, I didn't do much today. It was warm and humid in Copper Harbor today. The official temperature didn't get out of the low 80s, I don't think, but it was quite a bit warmer than that here. There wasn't much breeze, and what there was shifted around to the south, and I suppose that's the reason. 

 

I was fine so long as I didn't do much - which I didn't intend to anyway - but I sat around in my nightie all day long. Then I had to get dressed in a hurry, because just as I was starting that, Debbie called, hunting for my sewing machine feet - which aren't there, so I guess they must be here - and I was a tad late for my reservation. 

 

It was nice to sit in the air conditioned comfort of Harbor Haus and look out at the blue harbor. There was even a freighter. And one of Chris and Ron's sons (I think) and his girlfriend were swimming from the end of the dock. I'd think it was a little cool, but they didn't seem to, even though the girl was wearing a bikini. She is  the only kind of girl who should do that, and I suspect there were a lot of really interested men in the restaurant.

 

I ate fish, which is a nice light dinner for a hot day. This time I had Copper Harbor Marinated Trout, which I don't have too often, but it is nearly as good as Plank Style Whitefish. It's prepared and cooked the same way, but without the bacon, and trout has a little bit different taste and consistency from whitefish, but I like it nearly as well. And of course, I now have dinner for tomorrow, too.

 

I had an awful time getting into my clothes, particularly my bra, because I was sweating so much, so I came home and took off nearly all my clothes. I have a couple of tank tops and a pair of cotton knit shorts, and that was about as comfortable as I'm going to get. My nightie was dripping, too, so I may have to change it tonight. 

 

However, I sat down in the ugly chair and finished reading one of the books, and in the meantime the breeze picked up nicely and the temperature dropped into the high 70s, and it's quite nice right now. It's beautiful on the deck, as I discovered when I brought in the bird feeders, but I'm a little shy of mosquitoes, which I'm sure haven't gone away.

 

It seems I brought the feeders in a tad too early, too, and I had a couple of hummingbirds buzzing around me as I brought things in. Sorry, guys. You should be in bed with the goldfinches.

 

It's so nice to know I won't spend an hour writing and uploading this thing anymore! It sometimes takes me a while to write and check it (and sometimes I don't check it, as you no doubt observe), but it was taking forever to upload. It's nice not to have to endure that.

 

I think it will be a pretty good night to sleep, too, so I will go do.

 

July 9

The bad news is that they didn't fix my phone line. The good news - and it is good - is that the broadband is installed (with temporary wiring through a window - where have I heard that before?) and it works beautifully.

 

So the first thing I did was to play a couple of online games, and I bought one of them - Zuma. It's a little different from any other one I have, and it's a challenge. So I have something new to play with.

 

I was up fairly early this morning, and it was not a nice day in Copper Harbor. When I got up. it was 78 and calm, but it soon dropped off to 72 when the wind shifted to the northwest. The temperature never got over about 78, but it was very humid - dew point in the mid 60s, and that meant uncomfortable, since there was almost no wind all day long. Very sticky and icky.

 

Charlie said he would be here around noon, but as usual he was late, and he finally came around 2:00. We spent too much time trying to run an ethernet cable into the same hole with the telephone cable, but evidently somewhere inside the wall, there is a narrow space that is only big enough for the one cable that was going through it. So I am now hooked up by means of a cable running through one of the south windows. That can't be permanent, of course, but we have to wait until one of the other installers, who has a long drill bit, is available, and then we will run it through the wall, probably right behind the computer.

 

Anyway, it took him some time to configure the whole thing, and get the antenna pointing in the right direction, so it was after 7:00 when he finished.

 

In the meantime, both Nancy (by phone) and Suzanne (in person) had talked to me to make sure I could get to their dinner at the Mountain Lodge at 6:30. Well, I went anyway (Charlie drove me up), and it was so nice to see all those people again. I expect to see more of them over the next two weeks. It was also a good dinner, and I was good and ready for it, believe me.

 

They, or some of them, went back to the campground for a bonfire, but I was hot and sticky and tired, so I came home, and found a new game.

 

It was actually not too uncomfortable in the office if you weren't doing anything, but it was so humid that any time I, at least, and Charlie did anything, we started to drip. 

 

While he was working on various parts of the installation, I completed all but one string of the hat. I will still have to weave in all the ends (and there are lots of ends), but I think it will be a nice thing, rather thicker than my other hat. I had never made an I-cord before, but that all turned out to be a really easy thing to do. When it isn't attached to anything, it looks just like it was made by a spool knitter - one of those things we used as kids with four nails pounded into a spool - but this is made with needles, and it has the advantage that it can be knitted right onto the edge of something else. It's kind of boring to do, but the result is good.

 

So that was my day, and now I can experiment with the delight of uploading this on a connection that is fast and stable. Then I can go off and enjoy a nice tepid bath and a nice soft bed. Aaahhh....

 

July 8

Well. as usual, I got sidetracked and didn't get to bed early, but I made up for it by getting up late this morning. I started knitting on my hat, and it was interesting enough that I just kept on. With what I did today, I'm starting on the back, so in a day or two it should be done. It's a bit gaudy, I think (black and white always is), but it doesn't look bad at all. Now if it fits...

 

So that occupied me for quite a while.

 

I also called both Charlie and SBC, and it appears that both my problems may be solved tomorrow.  SBC finally admitted that I have a chronic problem and passed me on to "Resolution", whatever that is, but the guy I talked to seemed to know not only about phone lines but about computer access, and he informed me that it appears there is a cross on that line - the wires are crossed with another phone line. They can't tell what one, but they can tell that it's there. 

 

Charlie is going to be up here tomorrow, but his secretary or whatever told me he has called a couple of times and the phone just rang and rang. Either he actually had the wrong number, or there is something wrong with both lines, because the regular phone line has an answering machine on it, so it should never just ring. Anyway, if all goes well, I should be on broadband tomorrow afternoon. I hope.

 

Then my friend Mike from SBC called late in the day to say that he couldn't get to me until tomorrow, but that he had had another line, in Eagle Harbor, that he had solved by changing out all the electronics in the central office, and he wondered about my line, too. I informed him about the cross, which nobody had bothered to pass on to him, and that interested him, but it also confused him. So tomorrow morning I will be without any phones at all for about an hour, and maybe, just maybe that will solve the problem. Even with the broadband, I may be using the dialup on the laptop, so I may be able to check it out.

 

Needless to say, the camera will be down, from around 8:30 for an hour or so, but since it didn't come up this morning until I clicked in the gray box, that shouldn't be a problem. I only hope we get at least one picture before it goes down, so there isn't a black screen. I do think almost everyone who checks either the camera page or the Bridge Cam page knows that I have phone problems, so maybe they'll be generous.

 

Anyway, I have my fingers crossed.

 

Besides working on my hat, I washed dishes and actually cleaned the stove and the counters, at least somewhat. I didn't get into all the corners, but it looks a lot better in the kitchen. It seems that my steak and potatoes boiled over and burned onto the drip pan under the burner, and it was really hard to get off. That's a feature of black glass I hadn't thought about - I may  never know something has burned on because I can't see it. Anyway, that is all clean now, and only the floor is gross. I have a hard time getting myself to consider doing something about that. I figure it will have to be re-washed at least three times to get it really clean, and that is a real job.

 

The weather was just gorgeous again. The temperature got into the upper 70s, but the dew point was nice and low, and there was a nice southwest breeze for most of the day that kept it very comfortable. It was sunny for most of the day, although it began to cloud up some at sunset. It was a tad warm in the house for heavy work, but it was wonderful to sit around in. I guess it's going to be warming up again, but maybe it won't be too humid. I hope.

 

Dinner was with Shirley, which was nice as usual. I've found that I can handle the fish buffet so long as I stay strictly away from the fried stuff. They fry shrimp and clam strips, and I love them, but my tummy doesn't. It's been 30 years, at least, since I could eat fried food, maybe because I so rarely do. However, they did have deep fried perch, of which I had one piece, and it was yummy. Of course, mostly I ate salad bar. Anyway, we had a nice chat, and the dining room was busy, which made her happy.

 

So now I will try again to get to bed earlier than midnight, but I'm not counting on it.

 

Peace and quiet and balmy breezes in the field tonight.

 

July 7

They're back! They're back!

 

I got to bed much too late last night, and  I should have stayed a while longer this morning, but I didn't. I got to knitting on my hat - which I'm not going to be able to finish because I don't have enough yarn - so it was rather late when I got to the office.

 

The first thing I noticed was that the big new feeder was on its side on the deck, then I saw that the finch feeders had disappeared, and so had the hooks they all were hanging on. The platform feeder and the little sunflower feeder were untouched. Weird. I found the hook the big feeder had been hanging on, but whatever had pulled it down had pulled the bend out of the top of the hook. That took some weight, I'd say.  

 

I was able to bend the hook back into shape and hang the big feeder, then I went looking for the finch feeders. They were both under the tree on the ground, and fortunately, so were their hooks, but while the socks were intact, the other finch feeder was nearly empty. 

 

So I filled what was empty and hung everything back up. However, I am going to have to start bringing everything in at night. Even though whatever pulled everything down didn't find what it was looking for (there was a pile of sunflower seed on the deck), it wouldn't surprise me if it came back, and it could trash the feeders very easily. I have no idea what it was, but I don't think a raccoon is quite strong enough to have pulled down the big feeder, soo...

 

I worked enough of the hat to determine that I don't have enough yarn to finish it. I have only one ball (and maybe a little more somewhere from the first hat) and since it's done in garter stitch, it will take at least two balls to make. It's a disappointment, but that's how it goes. A very very long time ago, when there still was an S.S. Kresge, the store (also long gone) in downtown Detroit acquired a lot of odd balls of interesting yarn which they sold for practically nothing. I bought a few skeins, not having much idea what I might do with them. it just hit me that I might be able to use some of the other yarns, which are black, gray and white prints, and a  fuzzy white, to eke out a hat  with my black. Hmm. I had been fiddling with a scarf in the other three yarns, but I don't think I have enough for that, either. So I guess I will rip a while and fool around with stripes. 

 

The hat is shaped like a baby bonnet, which is good for me, since I don't have a bump on the back of my head to hold a watch cap, and it has ties. In fact, the one I am fiddling with now is adapted from a baby bonnet in one of the Elizabeth Zimmerman books, and she did put a narrow stripe in hers Mine will be wider, but I think maybe it will work. I actually like the old black one, which is pretty pilly from use, because it goes with my red down parka, and doesn't clash with my other coats, and it is actually almost invisible when I'm wearing it. I need something to cover my head in the winter.

 

So I have some ripping and fiddling to do. Hmmm...

 

The weather was awesome. There were a few clouds this morning, but they went away around noon, I think. There was a haze in the sky which shows in the camera, but the sun was shining brightly. The temperature got up to around 72, with a low dew point, so it was really lovely. The house got quite warm inside, because there wasn't any breeze to speak of, but it's cooling down now and I have the fan on in the office, and it's nice. 

 

I'd like to sit in the ugly chair and just enjoy, but I think I need to go to bed early tonight and catch up on my sleep. It's close enough to sunset that the birdies have gone away, so I can bring in the feeders (which will be quite a chore with all I have out there) when I am through with this.

 

I need to report that the bug situation is much better than it was a week or so ago. I do think something crawled down my neck and bit me on my mastectomy scar this morning, but then I was blundering around in high brush, so what can I expect? That, however, was the only apparent bite, and a couple of weeks ago I would have been one huge bite all over if I'd done what I did this morning. So that is one thing the warm weather is good for. Last year it was so cool we had black flies in September, and that isn't nice.

 

So now my ripping is almost complete, and a nice little breeze is stirring, which will cool off the north end very nicely, thank you, and I need to go to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzzz...

 

July 6

It was another lovely night to sleep, and I did. It was clear all night, and I got to watch Arcturus set and the Big Dipper almost disappear behind the trees. Not that any of that kept me awake, of course.

 

It was a beautiful day, too, with not a cloud in the sky and a light wind from the north, when it was blowing. The temperature did get into the 60s, but only for a while late in the day. It was in the upper 50s for most of the day. Nice.

 

I actually did a little. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and cleaned up some pots and pans, which has helped the kitchen a bit, although the counters and the stove still need work. I have been thinking about a particular hat ever since I packed things away, but I couldn't work on it before I got here because I had sent both the book and the materials, so I opened a couple of the shipping boxes - the right two, as it turned out - and got out my black wool and started the hat. I think it will work out. Then I decided it was time to actually do something, so I brought in the sewing machine and the box of gemstone beads. The sewing machine is now set up and ready to go, although I did determine that all the useful feet are still at Champine.

 

On that note, i called Debbie, and we had a nice three hour conversation, but she will be more or less in my neighborhood and will see if she can't pack up the feet and a box with two nice baskets in it and ship them off to me. That would be nice. I am such a contrary person that since I can't sew, I will probably want to.

 

I've been wanting to call her anyway, because her kids are in Colorado with her soon-to-be ex, and I wanted to know how she was getting along. That took some telling.

 

Oh, yes, and some very generous people stopped by this morning with goodies to thank me for the website and the camera. How nice of them, but I don't expect anything for what I do with the site. It's payment enough that people enjoy it.

 

So it was a beautiful day in the field, and it is a calm, starlit night, and it's now tomorrow, so I need to go to bed.

 

July 5

Well, that turned out to be a dud. At about 10:25, I walked back to the bathroom to use it, and I was there only for five minutes or so, and when I came out, a thick fog bank had rolled in, and not only could I not see Copper Harbor, I couldn't even see the lighthouse! So I went to bed.

 

The fireworks did go off on schedule, but I could only hear them, although on toward the end, I could see colored light in the sky. How disappointing. It sounded like it was a nice show.

 

I went to sleep for a while, and of course, when I woke up the fog was gone. That's how it goes.

 

The rest of the night wasn't so good. It was warm in the bedroom, but there was a cool breeze from the window and I couldn't get my temperature right until almost daylight, when it cooled off enough to pull up the comforter. For a while, I ached all over and where I didn't ache, I itched. I nearly tore the skin off a spot on the inside of my elbow, and this morning, there was nothing there at all. Anyway, I did get some sleep between about 5:00 and 10:00, but I got up feeling rather groggy and I still do. Early night tonight, I think.

 

When I got up this morning, it was cloudy and cool - around 50 - and it stayed cool all day, although in the afternoon the sky cleared up rather well, and it's really pretty now, although there are those high, hazy clouds that we seem to get a lot of.

 

I ended up not doing anything but a bit of reading, and I'm going to have to stop that, because I do have things that need to be done.

 

So I have not much more to report, and I'm off to catch up on my sleep.

 

July 4 - Independence Day

While I wait for darkness and the fireworks, I will write this.

 

What a lovely day for a holiday! This more than makes up for the terrible day last year, when it rained all day and never got over 45. Today, it was beautifully clear in the morning, and while there were clouds for most of the day, they didn't interfere much with the sunshine. The temperature was in the low 60s all day, and while there was a stiff breeze for a while, for most of the afternoon, it was nearly calm.

 

It was a wonderful day for the droves of people in town, and there were certainly droves! It was hard to drive a car around, and everyone in cars was going about 5 mph, partly to look around, and partly so as not to run anybody down.

 

I spent a quiet day, and did some beading, although in the middle of the afternoon Buster had a tummy upset (probably from all the ham he ate this morning), and I had to wash several fleece throws and towels. They are all dry and back in place now, and he has curled up on one I threw into one of the Ny chairs. I don't think he still feels very good.

 

I actually changed my clothes to white pants and my Fourth-of-July sweater, which has a large flag on the front, to go to dinner. Might as well make a celebration out of it. Shirley had a nice, quiet dinner and a nice chat while we watched the Queen come in, a flotilla of geese float by and some kayakers. The calm winds made it a good day for kayaking.

 

Then I came home, put all my clothes in the wash, and sat down to read until it began to get too dark to see well. I think I can read some more, but since the ugly chair faces the window, the light isn't too good.

 

The fireworks won't start until about 10:45, which is just after the end of civil twilight. With the sun still setting at 9:51 EDT (right at this moment), it takes a while for it to get dark enough to show the fireworks at their best.

 

I was just as glad to return to my splendid isolation, although one of my neighbors across the bay is having a party and setting off firecrackers. As for the rest, it's perfectly quiet and almost calm and very nice, although the temperature is down to about 60 now. Makes me wonder how all those teenage girls I saw in their short-shorts and flip-flops are going to manage. Between the temperature and the bugs, they are probably going to be frozen.

 

I am going to try to reset the camera timing to take some pictures of the fireworks, and this year, I hope I can do it reasonably correctly. I don't think I can update much more than every five minutes, though, so what we get will be debatable. The thing is, I can't control it manually, because if I'm at the computer, I can't see the fireworks...and I don't think, with the slow phone line, it will update properly any more frequently than about 5 minutes. We'll see what we get.

 

So it's been a lovely holiday in the field, and the icing on the cake is yet to come.

 

July 3

Let's see, where was I? I've just spent several hours re-reading May and June, and now I can't remember what happened this morning.

 

I didn't get up early, and after spending some time petting a cat and all, it was after 11:00 when I got to the office and discovered that we had a green screen. When I rebooted last night, the camera didn't come up right. Sorry about that.

 

It was a partly sunny morning, but it was mostly cloudy for most of the day. The temperature got up to around 75, but there was a nice southwest wind and the dew point was in the low 50s, which means it was very comfortable.. I did open up the house, because it smells good outside, although I left the north end closed.

 

Buster spent most of the day asleep in the window seat. He likes it there, because it's quiet and I don't usually have the windows open, and in the afternoon the sun shines on him and keeps him nice and warm. I really wanted to do something about cushions for that window seat this year, but I'm not sure I'll be able to.

 

I started out not doing much, just a couple of rows of beading, but then I remembered that I noticed yesterday that I hadn't processed any journals for a while. When I looked at it, it seems I stopped with February, a but earlier than I remembered,  so I had four months to do. I just finished with that, although I have to put the pictures in.

 

Again I was frustrated by the grammar and spelling errors that Word catches that FrontPage doesn't. I fail to see why all the parts of office can't use the same grammar and spelling checkers. Of course, the one in Word is incredibly bad, even telling me in a couple of places that I had used "its" in place of "It's" where "it's" is clearly wrong. I guess I don't always write what they consider is standard English. Too bad. When I phrase something a certain way, it's almost always for emphasis, not because I don't know better.

 

Anyway, that is over. Now I have to attack the ledger, and that will  probably mean I will have to do some filing first (at last), because I will have to hunt up my credit card bills. I really don't want to let the ledger go for more than a quarter at a time, because it gets really hard if I do. And since we have just passed half a year, I need to see where I stand. I'm sure I will be appalled.

 

Harbor Haus wasn't busy when I got there tonight, but I've been eating at 6:00 rather than later. It was beginning to fill up when I left. I did get to see the Isle Royal Queen IV come in tonight. She was early for a change. That is almost as big a boat as the Ranger IV. and I'm sure it sails more smoothly than the older boat did.

 

Anyway, I was wrong about the Harbor Haus dance. They are indeed doing it this year, but it isn't so obvious from this end of the harbor, since the Queen's horn isn't so loud or deep as the old boat's was. There weren't many on board tonight, of course. Tomorrow is when it will be packed.

 

There do seem to be quite a few people in town, however, which is hopeful. With gas prices as high as they are, I think everybody is a little worried about the summer. When there are only three months to really make a year, it's worrisome when anything might interfere with the tourist traffic.

 

Somebody around here, including some people at the Fort, have some really big, noisy firecrackers this year. In fact, there have been a couple that made me wonder if they were firing the cannon (I don't think so). And this is only the 3rd. We don't like those loud noises, although they bother Buster even less than they did DC. 

 

I had one cat (Dennis) who was absolutely terrified of any loud noises whatever. He went and hid during thunderstorms. And I guess one year when we were here for the Fourth, they set off fireworks on my street in Grosse Pointe, and he nearly had a convulsion he was so scared. But he had clearly been abused before he walked in on me, and I think loud noises were probably part of it. My other cats haven't been so upset, although firecrackers and thunder would make DC's ears twitch. Buster is asleep.

 

I moved the bird feeders around again today, and I've been fiddling with the aim of the camera. I'm still not quite satisfied with the view, but I will work on it tomorrow again. The new feeder is much bigger than the old one, and it should need to be filled up less often. It is a larger version of two I had in 2002, that the bear crunched down to nothing, and I really like them. When the hungry flocks come through, it will be good to have such a big feeder. This winter, though I will probably use both it and the old one, once I don't put out the finch feeders anymore. And in the winter, I hope to have some woodpecker cakes, too. 

 

I'm moving the camera aim around to try to get the pictures to be a bit brighter, and I think maybe I can. The exposure of the camera is an aggregate of the entire frame, and the sky, and sometimes the water, is so bright that everything on the deck is under exposed. By aiming the camera a bit further down, the sky will be a bit more overexposed, but the deck will show up better. Or I hope so. I'll be doing a bit of experimenting, and right now it's aimed too far to the left. You'll be able to see the finch feeder really well tomorrow morning.  I was just looking at pictures from the past four years, and I still need to work on the aim a bit, but we'll see.

 

So now it's dark and fragrant in the field, and it's time to close up for the night.

 

July 2

Last night was one of those nights when for some reason I spent a long time in the bathroom staring at the floor. As a result, I didn't get a lot of sleep, so I will try to go earlier tonight.

 

Also, the phone line hung up the camera at 5:00 this morning and didn't upload a picture until I clicked in the gray box. This one was "unable to connect"...so the line was really hosed this morning. It's been pretty good for most of the day, though, although it did redial any number of times. I figured there was no point in bugging Charlie last week, because Pasty Fest in Calumet was today, and I know he was busy. However, next week...

 

It was a clear night last night, so far as I saw it. I did follow Arcturus down to the horizon, but I wasn't in the bathroom until after dawn, so I don't know how the Little Dipper looked. There were some clouds this morning, but lots of sunshine, but it clouded over for a while, and there  was a stiff breeze out of the northwest in the morning. A lot of the afternoon was almost calm, and the wind has now turned almost 180, to the south-southwest. It cleared up beautifully this afternoon, and i had a few hopes that sunset might be clear, too, but no such luck. It's clouded up again, and there could even be some rain, although it's not that cloudy right now. The temperature hit 70 early and again late, but for most of the day it was in the low 60s. Nice weather, by my standards.

 

I went to dinner at just after 6:00 this evening, and Shirley misunderstood, so we didn't get to eat together, which was too bad. However, shortly after I got there, droves of people started coming in, so I was glad to eat and get out.

 

I did not much except to fill the bird feeders, including my new one, which you can't see yet, and I rearranged things a bit, but I don't like it that way, so tomorrow I will hunt up another hook and rearrange again. This time, I filled all the regular feeders with just sunflowers. Nobody was eating the other seed at all, so there was no point in leaving it. I poured it on the deck, and the chipmunks seem to like it, anyway. I have two chipmunks, who don't seem to be of the same tribe. At least while the bigger one was foraging and filling his cheeks with seeds, the little one was peeking around the edge of the house, but he wouldn't come any closer. He is a little fellow, and he apparently lives over someplace under the deck stairs. He is probably the remaining one of the three I had several years ago. The bigger one is not the huge one I had for several years, so I gather that one is no more. 

 

They are fun to watch, and I sat for a while knitting and watching them poke around. Buster was sitting, and thinking of sleeping, on my lap, but he was watching the chippies very closely. Even the smaller one is bigger than a mouse, and I'm not sure he could handle it.

 

In the course of doing the feeders, I finally discovered why I have had so many black flies and mosquitoes in the house this year. It seems the screen has come out of one side of the doorframe for about three feet on one side, leaving a gap a horse fly could get through.  I may tape it up for a while, but it needs to be fixed.

 

That's all right, because I will be going to Keweenaw Glass one of these days. I called about the window that they ordered for me last fall, and it seems like it is the entire pane, including the frame, and the inside is raw wood. So before it is installed it needs to be stained and varnished. I said I would do it, just to keep the cost down, but that means I have to go and get it. I do have some stain left over from the house, I think, but I'm not sure there is any varnish left, and besides, I don't have any brushes or stuff like that here. When I get my materials list together, I will go and get the window and the stuff, and when I get the window, I will leave off the screen. I hope I can convince them to bring it with them when they come to put in the window, but I'll talk to them. If it's not one damn thing...

 

There are a lot of people in town. as I would expect for the holiday, and I find I don't like it. There was someone wandering down US-41 at about 25 mph this afternoon when I was on my way to the post office. Fortunately, I was the second car behind him, and the first guy was even more impatient than I was, and nearly crawled up the tourist's back. He finally pulled over, but not until after we were almost in town, even though there are lots of places to turn off before then. Even after all this time, I still don't understand drivers who apparently think they are the only people on the planet.

 

Anyway, this is the first big holiday of the summer, and it's always culture shock to those of us who are here off-season. Between September and May, most times you could shoot a cannon down US-41 in town and not hit anything, and it's a rare thing to encounter another car going from here to the post office until you get to the General Store. These days, I have to observe the stop sign at US-41, and peer carefully down the road, lest I pull out into a speeding pickup or ATV (which has nearly happened a couple of times).

 

I like it better quiet.

 

However, it's really quiet tonight, so I think I will go and sleep in it.

 

July 1

Well, June slipped by, and I've been here four weeks already. Hardly seems possible.

 

Last night was a dark and stormy night in the field, with the wind blowing upward of 30 mph and the lake speaking loudly. I guess there was rain at intervals, too, but you couldn't prove it by me. I got to bed late, but I slept like a baby. It sounds strange, I know, but all that noise seems to be like a lullaby to me, and it never fails to put me right to sleep.

 

Since I got to bed so late, I was late getting up this morning, but I had the slow breakfast, and that was nice. When I got up, there were waves of clouds and clear sky racing in from the north, but it did cloud up after that and it was after 4:00 when it finally cleared up. The evening was beautiful. The temperature was in the middle 50s all day long and the wind was in the 20 mph range until the middle of the afternoon. It is now calm.

 

I did wash dishes, but otherwise I got hung up trying to do another online order. While the phone line was solid all day yesterday, today it was taking errors and redialing all afternoon. I could tell it was taking errors just because everything was moving a lot more slowly than it should have, even when it didn't redial. At the slow speed of this line, it's painfully obvious when it's not working right. And  I do mean painfully.

 

Anyway, Shirley called to go to dinner, and it was so slow that I had to leave in the middle of trying to log in to the website, and when I got back, the order had timed out and I had to do it over - after I rebooted, of course. It's too bad the do that. They lost over $20 in sales because of it, because I reconsidered part of what I had ordered and decided to do that some other time.

 

So I went off to Mariner and ate fish...or rather, I ate salad, with a little bit of fish just for my protein. I do love their salad bar. After that, I went up to the gift shop to check out what was new, and ended having a nice chat with Peggy. She is such a nice person, but usually she is flying low. Tonight it was pretty slow for a holiday weekend, so she had time to chat. I hope it picks up, but tomorrow will be busy, because I suspect they will have live music, and more people should be in town by then. Ah, the joys of the tourist season...

 

Buster was rather put out that I was so late getting back, but too bad. Peggy said that our school teacher, who is very involved with the humane society, knows about a bunch of kittens who will be ready for adoption in a few weeks, and I am wondering again if I should get Buster some companions... Well, what will be will be. If Peggy tells Diane I might be interested, I might be interested.

 

I rather hesitate to bring in little kittens, because Buster might treat them like mice, and he occasionally damages mice. I know kittens are bigger than mice, but I do remember how little he was when I brought him home at about 7 weeks...small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of my hand (with bad hair and a very skinny neck). 

 

Well, we'll see.

 

So now it is a nice quiet night in the field, and it's past my bedtime.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM