A View From the Field








June, 2006






June 30

So June is history. My, but time flies! I suppose the day after tomorrow, it will be October already...


I think I'm back on schedule, finally. I didn't get to bed until after midnight, but I slept really well and got up at 8:30. Probably it was because I left the porch door open, and it was cooler in the bedroom. I seem to sleep better when the room temperature is cool enough that I can pull up the quilt and make my own environment under it, or when it's warm enough that I can sleep without any covers. Picky, picky, picky! 


I was sitting in the bathroom thinking, gee, maybe the septic tank alarm won't go off for a change, when it did, but that was after 9:00. Tonight, it's 10:30 and it hasn't gone off yet, I don't think. Eventually I'll get enough water in the thing to shut it up, but it certainly has been annoying.


The task of the day was to collect the trash, and I had two 20 gallon bags of catalogs, as well as 2 30 gallon bags of general trash. Of course, I forgot a few things, like the wastebasket in the office, but oh, well. The kitchen does look a bit neater with all the junk gone, although still have some work to do there.


I crocheted on the afghan, and I was hoping to get to the first strand of green, but I didn't quite make it, partly because a lot of yarn came off the outside of the skein and got very tangled, so I spent a lot of time untangling, rather than crocheting. It certainly is going to be a pretty thing, and it's fun to watch the color changes take place.


Dinner was with Shirley, of course, and she is doing quite well. She was particularly cheerful because, instead of having to go to the hospital for another transfusion on Monday, she is going to meet with the new staff oncologist on Wednesday, and they have already said they expect to put her on a different course of treatment. I do hope so. My understanding of myelodisplasia (which is limited, of course), is that they try other treatments, like Procrit and Neupogen, until they stop working, before they begin to rely entirely on transfusions. At least it sounds hopeful. I still think she should just go to Mayo and be done with it, but she is another stubborn female. There are a lot of us, aren't there?


Anyway, there has been some good news in the past couple of days, and that has put me in a cheerful mood, too.


Last night when I went into the bedroom, the crescent moon was hanging over Porter Island, all orange and pretty. Tonight, it's further up in the air, and there is a cloud out over the lake, so I doubt I'll see it set even if I'm up. From the 26th to the 28th, the moon was very close to Mars, Saturn and Mercury in the northwest, and of course, it was cloudy in that direction all three days. So I won't see Mercury again. Someday, I will see it again! I guess that's not so unusual, and there are professional observational astronomers who have never seen it.


The weather was nice today. The temperature hung in around 66º for most of the day, with a moderate northwest wind, and I was able to leave the doors open, although for some reason it cooled down a bit between 2:00 and 4:00. It did cloud up a bit in the afternoon, but it didn't really get dark. When I got home from dinner, it was absolutely calm and lovely. They say it is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow, which would explain that cloud in the northwest. It has been rather hazy for the past couple of days, and that means the humidity is quite high. I still don't understand why it doesn't feel as humid here as it does down in the big city, but it doesn't. Really.


When I went out with the bird feeders this morning, the squirrel mom was waiting in the tree for me, and she chased the other guys away. She has deflated a lot, and her teats are sticking out rather prominently, so I gather she has given birth. I wish her well. I don't need any more squirrels, but she has tried the past couple of years and apparently either none or only one (I think one of the guys is her son) of her offspring has made it. Life is tough in the northwoods, especially for little critters like squirrels and chipmunks.


So that was another pleasant day in the field and the end of another pleasant month. And tomorrow, I officially start on Medicare. That is not a cheerful thought!

June 29

I don't seem to be able to get to bed much before 11:30, and that is what I did last night. I was up a couple of times, and I was wakeful between 4;00 and 6:00 because I expected the alarm to go off. It didn't, so I finally went back to sleep...and it went off about 7:15. Well, that's better, but it shouldn't be doing it at all, and I can't get hold of Adam. Grr. 


I stopped the alarm and went back to sleep, and woke up about 8:30, and decided I didn't need to get up then, so I slept for another two hours. So I guess, all told, I got my normal sleep requirement.


One of the times I woke up (and I don't remember which one now), I had the most interesting variation of the potty dream. I was with a group of people in some kind of fun house or something, and at one point, I left the group, found some of the people who were making the fun, and started yelling "Where's the bathroom?! Where's the bathroom?!" They finally decided that to shut me up, they'd better show me to the facility (which was a typically weird one), and at that point, I began to come to, and thought, "If I need to go that bad, I'd better wake up!". So I did, and I did. The transmogrification of thoughts by my sleeping brain will never cease to amaze me. And believe me, it was a near thing that I didn't wet the bed. I  do need to wash the bed pad one of these days, but not, please, in the middle of the night! It was all so weird it left me chuckling, and  I believe I went right back to sleep.


So eventually, I made it out of bed. Buster and I had our love-in, and then he barfed in the middle of the hallway, and he retreated to the window seat, like he thought I might be mad at him. Not really. It's so much easier to  clean up the bare floors than it is carpeting, that my first concern is him and his delicate tummy. What brought that on, I do not know, but he wasn't feeling his best all day long. He did finally eat some of his breakfast, but he slept a lot - near me, mostly - and he wanted to sit on me a lot. Poor Buster.


I  actually did do something today, I think. I began to clean up the kitchen. There were so many pots and pans in the sink I couldn't get last night's in it, so I washed up what was there and put the rest in to soak. I moved some of the stuff on the counters. My intention is to attack the trash tomorrow.


I was sitting around doing nothing (read: Free Cell), when the UPS guy showed up, the first time this spring that I've been here when he came. And what he brought me was the yarn to finish my afghan. That was fast! So now I can finish my afghan. Goodie!


The weather was nice today. The temperature got up to about 70º, with a wind that got up to 15 mph around noon and dropped off after that, and it is now calm. There were clouds and haze in the sky all day, but it was nice outside and I left the door open all day. 


So now I'm talking to Debbie, who is now divorced (yay!!!).  So that is all there is.


June 28

I didn't go to bed early, and I didn't sleep at all well. It was a combination of waiting for the septic tank alarm to go off and not being able to get my temperature right, I think. So instead of going off at 2:20, it was after 4:00 before it went. After that, I couldn't get my temperature right until after 6:00, and once I got to sleep I just kept on sleeping, so it was after 11:00 before I got up. Talk about a truncated day...


It was cloudy all night, I think, and cloudy in the morning, but by the time I got up, the clouds were going away, and it was a very nice afternoon, with a temperature that got up to 65º and a 10-15 mph wind out of the northwest. Very nice.


It got very hot in here, and I just about melted, because I decided to cook tonight. I try not to open the doors while I am using the stove, because the wind blows the flames around and they don't heat very well. When I got my dinner, it was over 80º in the office, and I was sweating. So I opened the office door, and that was nice.


After dinner, I sat in the ugly chair for a while and knitted, and enjoyed the sound of the wind in the tree and the water swishing against itself. There was one bird call I don't recognize, but it was gone before I could even think about getting up to see if I could see it (probably not anyway).


My other task of the day was to pay the month end bills, which I did, and went off to the post office. So that chore is out of the way  until next week.


Now I am going to try to get this published. I have been having some trouble doing the upload again...last night, among other things, I had a totally blank page instead of a journal for a while. And since the camera just missed a shot, I may have the same problems again. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the amount of traffic on the line? Charlie did say, a couple of weeks ago, that someone around here evidently has a problem with their receiver that starts streaming retries and sometimes brings down a link. Maybe that's it. So we shall see, and then I'm off to crash! I expect to have to crawl down to the basement sometime tomorrow morning, so I need to sleep hard before then.


June 27

Well, I guess I caught up on my sleep last night. I woke up about 8:00 and thought about going to town, but instead I turned over and slept for another 2½ hours. Felt much better for it, even though it really truncated the day.


It was clear all night long, and beautiful. There were lots of stars. When I got up at 6:00, it was still clear, but there was a cloud in the west over the lake, and by the time I was ambulatory, it was cloudy, and it has stayed mostly cloudy all day long. The temperature stayed mostly in the low 60s, and in the afternoon, the wind started to pick up, although it's beginning to die off a bit now.


I had just gotten my glasses on, and I was sitting in bed looking around, when a flock of 6 geese appeared over the cliff and came up toward the house. They were clipping the seed heads off the grasses that are going to seed, and it looked like they were doing quite well. I don't mind if they do that, but I will have to try to remember to be very careful if I go walking around out there. Buster was most interested, but they're rather large for a little kitty, and besides, when I got into the bathroom, that was his time for his morning pet.


My day was pretty short, and the broadband was bouncing, so I didn't do anything much but play with the computer. I did go to the post office, and finally got the mortgage bills that are due Saturday. Those people are going to drive me crazy... There was also some reading material, including a couple of my favorite magazines, so I guess I will be adequately entertained.


The septic tank alarm went off at 2:20 this morning and again at 2:20 this afternoon, but for some reason I can't get hold of Adam to ask him about it. I hate people who say "call my cell phone", and then not only do they not answer, their voice mail isn't working. I'm not sure how much water there needs to be in the septic tank to stop the alarm, but I'm sure there isn't enough yet, and it does annoy me to have to get up in the middle of the night and crawl down into the basement to turn off the audible alarm (which would drive me crazy if I didn't). The more I think about it, the more I wonder if somehow the alarm was connected backward. It should alarm when the water level is too high, not too low. Weird.


So that is about all I know, and I will sit in the ugly chair for a while and watch the sunset and try to get to bed at a decent hour and get back on schedule.

June 26

I didn't get enough sleep, but I have a clean septic tank. I stayed up much too late playing games, with the idea that I would just sleep today. At around 9:30 the septic tank cleaner called to say he was going to be in the area, so of course I said fine. He wasn't planning to get here until after noon, but he had awakened me enough that I got up anyway. So I have had sort of a headache all day, exacerbated by the Off! I sprayed on myself, since I knew I'd be outside. So I will write a while and maybe bring in the bird feeders early.


After I did last night's journal, and the camera stopped for the night, I turned on the lights in the office for a change...it was nice to be able to see! When I brought in the bird feeders, I brought several mosquitoes in with me, and there was a regular swarm flying around the screen door. When I turned on the lights, that attracted the moths, and I had a bunch. There was one that must have had a wingspan of over 3", sort of long triangular wings. It was brown with wide black stripes, so far as I could see. I wish I had been able to see it better. I think it was the kind with bushy antennae, and I would love to see those. But when I turned on the floodlight, if flew away, so I could only see it from the bottom. I always see lots of little moths, but this was the biggest one I've seen. Ron, lucky guy, had a luna moth the other day, so I'll keep looking. I've only seen one of those, and I'd really like to see another.


It was clear and starry overnight, but since I got to bed not long before it started getting light, I didn't see much of it. It was a beautiful day, clear and sunny (until just now there are a few clouds coming up from the south), with a temperature that hung at about 70º all day, and very little wind. Just lovely.


I did walk around outside a bit with the septic guy, but otherwise, I just enjoyed. That septic guy has a huge, nearly new, bright red truck, and he is a very good driver. He backed into the driveway and around the bend to the garage without coming close to anything. Cleaning a septic tank isn't very interesting to watch, so I didn't do much. You take off the cover, stick a hose down into the tank and turn on the pump, then you run water into it to rinse out the rest of it. He said there was over a foot of stuff on top of the water, so it was definitely time to have it pumped, and I won't wait five years to do it again. I do not need septic tank problems! And they would probably come in the middle of winter, when no big truck like that could get down here.


I did confirm that one of the alarms in the system is for low water, which both he and I think is a little weird. This is the alarm that used to go on every 12 hours when I'd first get here in the spring, until I did a couple of loads of wash or something. I suspect there's been enough stuff floating on the top lately to keep that from happening. It did happen when he pumped out the tank today, and I do hope it doesn't keep happening. He told me a few things about that system that make it rather strange, so sometime I will have to have a conversation with Adam or Philippe. It is a 1500 gallon tank, however, so it should be big enough for me. If I didn't use so much toilet paper, it would probably work better, but I can't help that.


After he left, I sat in the ugly chair and knitted - I now have over 200 stitches on the needle, which, seeing that I started with 8, is pretty good progress. After the evening's talk shows, I have been reading and watching the view. There have been quite a few hummingbirds. The males came during the day, and now the females are coming. I hope they left the males sitting on the eggs! Along with the squirrels, I think I've seen most of the chipmunks today. I particularly like the littlest one, who is really cute...and hungry. The bigger chippies scarf up the seeds and pack them in their cheek pouches to take away and eat someplace safer. This little guy is so hungry, he just grabs seeds and eats them right away. Or maybe nobody's explained that it's dangerous out in the open, and he should take his stash away to his burrow. Both Buster and I like to watch him, but after a while, Buster went away and the last I checked, he was sleeping in his chair on the porch. He really loves to have the house opened up, and he particularly loves the porch. Only when the temperature gets down to 50º or so at night, I'm not going to leave the doors open!


So that was a rather truncated day, and I really do need to go to bed!


June 25

Well, it's late, but the glitch in the broadband connection was from my end, so I will write something or other.


I slept late and still got up before I wanted to. it was partly cloudy this morning, but a nice temperature when I put out the bird feeders - middle 60s. For some reason it dropped off to under 60º for a while this afternoon. There wasn't any wind to speak of, so I don't know quite why the temperature dropped, but it went back up in the late afternoon and only now is it under 60º again. It cleared up completely in the afternoon, and sunset was lovely, with a perfectly calm harbor.


I spent some time in the ugly chair this afternoon. Since I can't finish the crocheted afghan until I get more yarn, I started the second twisted square knitted afghan - the companion to the one I made last year. The colors in this one are different and not quite so pretty, but it's a nice project to work on when I read. I got it to the point where I can knit and read, although I did miss a couple of increases and had to fix those. I know how it's made well enough now that I can just rip out the individual stitches and knit them back up, instead of having to pull out whole rows. That is one advantage of knitting over crochet - sometimes you can just rip out three or four stitches back several rows and knit them up again with the help of a crochet hook. With crochet, you always have to pull out whole rows.


Anyway, I was knitting and reading and enjoying the evening and the critters. I did see a hummingbird or two today, so now I know they're still around. I think both the ones who came were males, and I guess the females are nesting now. In a few weeks, there will be another flock, with all the nestlings. Around 9:00, the harbor was like a mirror, and I just happened to look up as a loon floated by. It was fishing, and it dove after a couple of seconds, but that was long enough for me to identify it. I don't see them nearly as frequently as I used to back in the '80s and early '90s, probably because of the increase in activity around here. I suspect they nest over around Porter Island these days, and they fish more down at the west end of the harbor.


I do love to see the harbor when it is so calm. It was really pretty tonight, but unfortunately the webcam washed out most of the colors. The night should be full of stars, too, and today is the New Moon, so it will be nice and dark. I could take a lot of weather like this! 


So it was another peaceful day in the field, and it's bedtime.


June 24

I got to bed so late last night that while I got up at a reasonable hour this morning, I didn't do very much today. It was a good day to sit and watch the view anyway.


It was fairly cloudy all day long, but what was fun to watch was the fog coming and going in the harbor. When I got to the office, it was clear, so after I put out the  bird feeders, I sat down to do my morning thing, and when I turned around, the harbor was full of fog! It lasted until late in the afternoon, and we had a rather nice sunset, but so far north I couldn't really see much of it. The barometer must have been rising, because Buster was full of energy this morning, running from door to door as the squirrels ran down the deck, and stalking (from inside the screen, of course) every critter that came onto the deck to eat. At one point I looked at him, and he stared back at me with his eyes wide open. All that didn't last too long, of course, and he slept for the rest of the day, but he certainly felt good this morning!


The temperature dropped to around 55º near noon and stayed right there until 4:00 or so, rose briefly to the low 60s and is now dropping off again. The temperatures these days don't seem to have much to do with where the sun is - it's more where the wind is from. There actually was almost no wind all day long today, so our temperatures were governed most by the very cold lake. 


I spent most of the day working on the afghan, but I have now had to stop, because I ran out of one color of yarn. Tomorrow I will hunt up the shipper and write a nasty email to Mary Maxim and see if they will provide the yarn. If not, I can get it from Herrschners, but I'd rather not pay for it. What a pain! I know I am following the pattern, and I know I'm not using an extraordinary amount of yarn, so either they miscalculated or I got a defective skein. Darn. I wanted to finish that thing! Now I will have to wait.


Anyway, I left the slider open when I fed the birds, which was a bit cool, but it was nice to hear the outdoors. At one point, I heard a song I didn't recognize, and a couple of minutes later, there were a pair of evening grosbeaks sitting on the platform feeder munching sunflower seeds. They do have large beaks, obviously meant for opening seeds, and they are quite efficient at getting the meat out of a sunflower and spitting out the hulls. I watched them with the binoculars for a while, and I think they use their tongues. Anyway, that was nice to see.


I didn't actually see any hummingbirds, but the level in the feeder has gone down some, so I guess I do still have a visitor or two. There were a few goldfinches and, of course, the squirrels. I think the nuthatches and chickadees are mostly using the big feeder these days, so I don't see them very much. I do hear them occasionally, so I know they're there. However, at this time of year, nature is providing for both the seed eaters and the nectar sippers, and besides, they are busy raising families, so there aren't as many birds as there were earlier or there will be later.


So another quiet day in the field, and it looks like I will be just as late going to bed tonight.


June 23

I got to bed around 11:30, and I slept well until about 4:00, but after that, blah! I was hot, and I was uncomfortable, and my mind was going around in circles about nothing at all, and it was disgusting.


I will say that it was another lovely, clear night, full of stars. However, when I was up around 6:00, I noticed that there was a cloud in the west over the lake, and wouldn't you know, by the time I got up (around 8:45?) it had covered everything. That wasn't supposed to happen, but it was mostly cloudy all day long. There was a little sunshine, not a lot, and the temperature briefly got up to 75º before it dropped back into the low 60s. There was a 10-15 mph wind all day, too, until after sunset. Right now, it is around 64º and perfectly calm. There is a rain cell around Ontonagon, which they were predicting would be here by now, but not only hasn't it moved, it looks like it's weakening. However, there may be some other rain overnight.


I have to keep reminding myself that the weather forecasts are really for most of the northwestern UP, and things happen down around and south of Houghton that never make it up here in the middle of the lake. And sometimes they do...


The wrap-up of the storm Wednesday is that some trees fell on some transmission lines down in southern Houghton or Baraga county, and that zapped power to almost all of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. They didn't say, but I think they turned it off themselves, until they could find where the trees were (they used a helicopter) and determine that the lines were OK. Sounds to me like they need to turn the tree butchers loose on the areas around their transmission lines. It was a violent storm, but I thought they tried to keep their main lines clear of trees that might possibly fall on them. Obviously not.


I finished the wash today - the last load has just finished drying, but it was towels and they take forever - but that was about the extent of my activity. I missed enough sleep last night that my mind was a little fuzzy.


My game-playing has some purpose, by the way. If I can win a few Taipei games and a few Free Cell games, that's a sign my mind is fairly sharp. It's been a couple of days since I won any Taipei, although I did finally get past the Free Cell game that was giving me fits. 


So I wasn't very sharp today, and I worked on my afghan. I am starting the second row of all lavender, and it is beginning to get big enough that it takes a long time to do one row. I can sometimes work up a fair speed with the crochet hook, except that when I am using two strands of the same color, one comes from the center and the other from the outside and they tend to get stuck, so every so often I have to stop and pull out several yards. Anyway, I have only two more colors to go - about nine rows, I think - so it will be done pretty quick. Now I see why there are more baby patterns to crochet than to knit, and more afghans to crochet than to knit. 


I don't dislike crochet - witness all the doilies and tablecloths - except that I really don't like the look of all single or double crochet very well. This afghan is just all double crochet, with increases and decreases to make it have points, and if it weren't for the luscious colors, I would never have gotten it. In the stuff in storage there are a couple of afghan kits with motifs that I started and never did much with. If I ever get the stuff out of storage, I'll have to try them and see if my thumbs hold up, or if it's just that this is a really big hook.


I have not much to report in the flora and fauna department, except that the little Sweet Williams next to the driveway are in bloom. The thimbleberry blossoms are beginning to go, and I noticed today that the big maple leaf viburnum down by the cliff is in full bloom and blooming very nicely this year. Shirley calls it wild spirea, and I can see why. The viburnum smells better. When I was a little kid and we lived in the flat, there were some enormous spirea bushes in front, and frankly, they stink. The flowers are pretty, but I don't like the smell at all.


Oh - the cliff. Starting at about the south side of my garden, the terrain raises up from lake level and falls off rather rapidly to the beach (such as it is). I have stairs from the garden to the beach, which are covered with wild roses now. The cliff is probably 6' high there, and it gets higher and steeper toward my northern lot line. The birch tree you can see in the camera (the one that's still alive) grows out of the cliff. Not only are there wild roses, there used to be a few raspberry bushes there, but it's so steep, I have to leave them to the critters. There are several bushes - the viburnum, a pin cherry, and some serviceberries - that grow along the top of the cliff. i suppose we might get a better view of the water if they were cut down, but the deck railing interferes with them enough that it probably wouldn't matter, and they protect the garden beds (if there are any left).


When I put out the bird feeders this morning, there was a little squirrel in the tree, but it took off down the deck without eating anything then. And that's about all the wildlife I saw all day. 


So it was another quiet day in the field, and at least I got the wash done. Now I can go to bed and try that again.


June 22

Well, it wasn't too much after midnight that I made it into bed, but I slept for a long time, which rather truncated the day. 


It was a beautifully clear night, and when I got up, I could see the Big Dipper hanging by its handle west of the pole, and the stars at the end of the Little Dipper just coming into view in the window. Arcturus was blazing in the west windows, and it was very nice to see stars. However, when I got up at 3:45, it was beginning to get light enough that all but the brightest stars were fading out...and so far as I'm concerned, that's the middle of the night!


It apparently clouded up around sunrise, and it was cloudy when I got up, very late, but eventually, the clouds rolled away and the afternoon was nice and sunny.


With all the wind yesterday the temperatures plummeted, down to 50º overnight, and it never got over 60º during the day. That's all right with me, since sometime when it was warmer, a nasty bug climbed up my leg and bit me, either through my sock or right above it. Good thing I don't have the cellulitis right now, or I'd really be in trouble!


The task of the day was wash, but it was late when I started, and I still have two or maybe three loads left to do. I washed the underwear first this time, since that was the critical issue, and it doesn't look to me like the brown water did anything to my white stuff. I would have been further ahead, except that I forgot all the tops hanging on the clothes tree, so I had to wash them separately. 


I also finally unloaded the dishwasher and put all the clean dishes and pots and pans away, then I started filling it with dirty dishes. I never have liked tasks that have to be done over and over.


I worked on the new afghan for a while, and it is going to be a pretty thing although I'm not doing the world's best job on it. I messed up the first four or five rows a bit, although I managed to recover without pulling out more than one row. I am not the best crocheter, at least in yarn, and I've never used such a big hook before. Besides, the yarn has a shiny strand wound with it that tends to get caught in the hook and fuzz up. I think it will turn out all right anyway, and it's pretty. It starts out white in the center and shades through all the pastel shades of the rainbow - yellow, peach, pink, lavender, blue and green. Since it's done with two strands held together, it really does shade. The pattern is an adaptation of the old ripple pattern to a round piece, so it has twelve points around. I knew when I saw the picture that I wanted to make it. I'm trying not to hold my hook or my fabric too tightly, and my thumbs feel pretty good so far. I had thought this might be the summer's project, but it's going fast, even though it will take longer when I get toward the end. Unless I drop it, I should have it done in a couple of weeks.


The little birds were upset that the feeders came out so late again, but I was amused. When the chickadees saw me outside, they immediately started calling 'chick-a-dee-dee-dee!" and I think they were probably in the big feeder as soon as I got into the house. Only the hummingbirds have deserted me, and I think they are probably nesting. They like my nectar, but I recently read that there are proteins in flower nectar that wouldn't be in my stuff, and besides, I believe I've read that they feed insects to their young. They'll be back when the young ones fledge.


So that was my day, and as soon as the load now in the washer gets into the dryer, I will be off for (I hope) an earlier to bed tonight.


June 21 - Summer Solstice

Well! What an interesting day! I almost forgot to change the seasonal banner!


It started all right, with skies that cleared up after sunrise, and it was warm enough that I opened up the house.


Then, I had an unfortunate accident that meant I had to change some of my clothes. Oops. I should know better by this time.


All was well, and I spent some time printing some new tags for the jewelry and some calling cards...the calling cards now have both my email address and the website address on them, and in an easily readable font.


Then, about 4:15, the wind started to blow. The NWS station says it was 28 mph with gusts to 46 mph, but I think it was higher. I went out and brought in some of the bird feeders. I was afraid the big one  would break its cord and crash down to the ground, and when the wind blows like that, I am always afraid that when the platform feeder starts whirling around, it might hit the window. I had been watching radar, because we were under a severe thunderstorm warning (no kidding!), but the storms seemed to be sliding up the water north and west of the peninsula. However, it was soon clear they would come ashore here.


I wish I had had time to take a picture of the harbor, because I have never seen it look like that before. Instead of big whitecaps, it was covered with little whitecaps, in every ripple. I suppose it was that way because the wind hadn't been blowing long enough to really rile up the lake, but it was really weird. And then it began to rain. And blow. There wasn't any thunder, just those high winds and almost .1 inch of rain in half an hour. And then it stopped.


However, in the meantime, first the radio station went off-air (which it has been doing every time there's a storm lately), and then we all went off-air, with a bleep! I can't tell exactly when that was, because the last picture from the camera was at 4:32, but the last NWS report was at 5:51. I think they were on after we were off. It was apparently a widespread outage, because UPPCO's emergency line was busy and their regular line wasn't taking calls. I tried dialing in on the laptop, and PastyNet had busied out all their lines, too, so they must have been down as well.


So that was interesting. I remembered to change the seasonal banner to summer, I read all my new magazines, and I enjoyed the quiet, especially since after the storm passed, for a while it was perfectly calm again...and then, around 7:00 (I think), it started to blow again. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but the wind was up in the 20-40 mph range, and it still is.


The temperature had gotten into the middle 70s, briefly, both before the storm and after it, but now it's down in the low 60s again.


When it started to blow again, I fetched in all the bird feeders, thinking that nobody would try to brave the wind. I was wrong...there were some goldfinches sitting on the branches looking up at where the feeders usually are as though they were puzzled about where they had gone. Oh, well. Sorry, little fellows.


After I read all my magazines and tried to make some sense of the piles on the floor, I got hungry, so I made myself a tuna salad sandwich, which tasted really good. It's been a long time since I've had one of those. I also had a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon...apparently I have now developed a taste for red wines, none of which I used to like at all. And then, because the power was still off, I decided to start a crocheted afghan I got last spring. I crocheted until after 10:30, when it got too dark to see, and the power was still off, so I decided to go to bed, grumbling, because I really need to take a bath. My tush is sore and my hands smell fishy.


I had just laid down when the power returned, so I got  up, set almost all the clocks (forgot the one in the bathroom, but I'm going back there), and turned on the computer. After my bad experiences in the past, if I'm here when the power fails, I always turn the wall switch off to protect the whole installation from power surges and things like that. It's been my experience that even if there aren't any power spikes, I have to power fail everything anyway to reset my broadband receiver, so I might as well leave it off until I know we're back to normal. Which I guess we are.


Buster has been a real pain this afternoon. He does not like the high winds, and while I'm sure he doesn't understand power failures, he knew something was wrong and it worried him (still does, actually), and all he wanted to do was sit on me. I let him sit for quite a while when I was reading, but even that wasn't enough. He would have liked some of my tuna, too, even though he had cat tuna for breakfast. Poor little fellow! He is a real worry-wort.


They are saying we may have some more rain, but the regional radar doesn't show anything. That storm that hit us is over the Soo right now, and Detroit, Windsor and southwestern Ontario are getting hammered, it looks like (they are under a tornado watch). When it got dark, it was completely clear here, so we'll see.


So now it's late again, and I really, really need to take a bath. I hope this high wind doesn't do us any more damage, and tomorrow I will be calling the electrician to try to get the generator fixed at last. If you've been reading this for any length of time, you know I tried to get them to come last fall, but it was right before hunting season and nobody could come right away, and then it started to snow. Now is the time, if only so I can flush the toilets.


And that was my not-very-nice day. Maybe tomorrow will be better. The afghan is coming OK, though, and the hook is big enough that it didn't bother my hands very much.


June 20

I was awake just before 8:00, but I went back to sleep for a couple of hours, so it was another truncated day. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and clear and nearly calm with the temperature in the low 50s. It got partly cloudy later in the day, and it is now clouding up almost completely, but the temperature has risen into the low 60s, still with not much wind. Nice.


I read my new magazine and otherwise didn't do much, although I finally figured out how to do a bracelet I've been working on, and that is progressing. I am going to have to be careful what I use the garnet beads on, because their holes are so small I couldn't work this pattern with them, so I am using copper and blue. Sometime I hope to get some aqua or turquoise beads to go with the copper, but that will have to be the next order, and as things are, that may be a while in the future.


I am doing this early tonight, so that I can sit in the ugly chair and watch the sunset and go to bed right after I take in the feeders. What a pain. Darn bear. My little birds were more in evidence today, and the squirrels were back, but they like to eat early in the morning, and I'm sorry, but I just can't get up and dressed before 6 am. Been there, done that, and don't ever want to do it again. Eventually they'll get used to the new regime, I'm sure, but in the meantime, they are rather confused.


So that is a dull day in the field, and I don't have much to report.


June 19

I knew there was a reason I was in no hurry to go to bed last night. I had uploaded this and I was doing my thing after dark when I heard some thumping noises on the deck, so I went over to the door and turned on the floodlights, and lo and behold, there was a bear standing on the deck railing! He is bigger than a cub, but not a lot. I guess he is a yearling, and he looks very well fed. So I hammered on the window until he climbed down off the deck, then I went out and hauled in all the bird feeders. What a pain!


I was sorry for the little birdies and the squirrels, because I was very late getting up this morning, and even though I filled the feeders not very many came today. They'll just have to get used to the new regime. I would like not to lose any more feeders to bears, and I don't think I want to start feeding him anyway. I forgot and threw some seed on the deck, but that will have to stop, too. Back to bear mode, I guess.


I didn't sleep very well until after 5:00, so I missed the  rain shower we had early in the morning. It was apparently quite humid, because there was still water on the windows when I got up. I guess it is still humid, but the temperature has been in the mid 50s all day so the humidity isn't quite so obvious as when it's warmer. The wind has died down somewhat and it's now out of the northwest. The lake isn't quite calm, so that I can hear the water moving, but it's actually rather nice out, and the sun did come out.


So I did not much, since I got up so late.


This evening Shirley called with her diagnosis, so I got on the computer and did a Google search to try to get her some information on it, and I took it to her when I got it. She has myelodisplasia (what a mouthful!). Basically, it means that there have been changes (not cancerous, at least not yet) in her bone marrow that prevent the formation of blood cells. They don't know why it happens, but age and carcinogens can cause it, and it can't be cured. Treatment is mostly "supportive", as they say, with blood transfusions, and sometimes they give growth stimulants (Neupogen, which I took, and Procrit). Unless she contracts a serious infection, which is possible, she probably has several years left. They don't do bone marrow transplants in people over 50, but both that and chemo only seem to work for a while before the condition recurs. It can turn into acute Myeloid Leukemia, but that is less likely in the type she probably has. This is a very rare condition, by the way. Curiously, it's what Carl Sagan, the astronomer, died of, but he was a lot younger, and I think it is more serious in younger people.


I still think she should go to Mayo, because the doctor here is essentially doing nothing and there are things that might be done to help.


I'm really sorry to hear that she has come down with something like this. I hoped she would have a good many years left, and that may not be the case now.


So that is the news of the day, and I intend to sit and read a bit longer before I toddle down the hall to bed.


June 18

A very happy Father's Day to all of you who are fathers and grandfathers.


It was a good night to sleep, even though it was damp. It cooled off pretty well. However, when I got up this morning, my towels and my jeans were damp, as though they had been taken out of the dryer too soon. I had used the towels, but my jeans were damp just from the wind blowing on them. Eventually, the wind got all confused for a couple of hours, then it switched around to the northwest and picked up into the 15 - 25 mph range, and while the temperature did get up to 80º,  the dew point dropped into the 40s and with the wind it didn't feel warm at all. The wind chased almost all the clouds away and it was a pretty afternoon, with whitecaps on the harbor. It feels good to get rid of that humidity, for sure, and it is supposed to get down into the 50s tonight...great sleeping weather.


I spent a long time working on a beading pattern for a Celtic knot bracelet, then decided I didn't want to work it. I tried a couple of other things that didn't work out, and after dinner I unknitted and reknitted several rows on the shrug (remember that - it's been lying around since March). 


I noticed when I sat down that one of the bird feeders is missing, so I will have to scrounge around in the weeds tomorrow and see if I can find it. I was quite surprised that it fell off, since it is on a small hook. Maybe I can figure out what really happened to it. It is the small white seed feeder, and it has had some problems. I didn't have any bug dope on and I didn't want to open the office door with that wind - everything inside would have gone flying if I had.


So that is all there was today, except that Buster really doesn't like the wind, and since it got dark he has been bugging me to go to bed. I expected to see some stars tonight, but I don't seem to be able to find Jupiter, so maybe it is a bit cloudy. So I guess I will just crash and be done with it.


It's good to have those northwest winds in the field again.


June 17

I'm not quite sure why, although my feet were quite swollen last night, but I was up at 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 before I gave up and got up for good at 8:30. It wasn't that I was uncomfortable with the porch door and the window seat all open. In fact, that made it quite nice. The temperature outside and inside was around 73° almost all night, which was fine for sleeping just under the sheet and sheet blanket. Around 7:00 the temperature dropped abruptly to 60º (there was a big gust of wind for a few minutes, I think), but I just pulled up the quilt and I was fine.


It was very humid all night and all day today. There was a little hazy sunshine for most of the day, and for a while the temperature got up to about 81º, which was a little warm, except that there was a nice breeze coming in the front. Then around 3:30 or so, I started hearing those distant rumbles, and I watched the local radar until the broadband (and the radio station) went down at about 5:20, when the second wave of storms came through. The first ones followed a pattern I've seen a lot of up here - they were south of the peninsula and north of the peninsula but not over the peninsula. Strange. The second wave, however, was stronger, and while it was centered south of us (I heard Lac LaBelle lost power), it made some nice lightening hitting the hills in the interior south of Lake Fanny Hooe, some nice thunder, and a short but torrential downpour. 


That stopped about the time I got to dinner, and while we were eating it almost seemed like the sun might come out. The radio station was back on the air when I came home (of course, I missed a feature on ATC that I really wanted to hear), and the broadband recovered just before 8:30. 


A little while ago there were some more rumbles out over the lake, and the bucket turned upside down again, briefly. I suspect this will go on all night. The rain did cool things off nicely, however, and now the temperature is down in the middle 60s, although the dew point is 64º - nearly 100% humidity. Yuck.


However, it did make for some interesting phenomena. I captured an off-schedule picture, because there was a little surface fog on the harbor for a minute or two. Here. You can also see the reflection of some pink clouds in the sky out of camera range. The fog didn't last long - it wasn't there in the scheduled picture, and in five minutes it was mostly gone.


Now I am sitting and breathing. The east window is open, and the air coming in has all the fragrance of cool summer pine woods. It's enough to give me a high. I wish I could bottle it and let everybody smell it. The air is a bit coolish, but that's all right. We'll sleep better tonight.


I tried to do some beading today, but when I got home from dinner, I cut apart what I had been doing and started something else. I have given up completely using the black beads with the garnet beads in any pattern. It just doesn't give enough contrast. So I am going to try two patterns with garnet and gold. The first one, which has a gold background and garnet pattern, seems to look all right. Then I will try the one I originally did in garnet and black, only with gold for the pattern.


It was a frustrating session, however. I am having a terrible time with the stitch, and I kept making mistakes and having to rip out rows. I did find the right thread to use for this stitch, which makes the ripping marginally easier, but it still isn't fun. The other stitches I've used, I can sort of let my mind wander while I'm working them. With this one, I have to pay attention.


I did fill the bird feeders this morning, after a blue jay came and screeched at me, but otherwise it was a quiet day and I can already see I won't be really early to bed tonight, either. It's just so hard to remember to go when it's light out!


We are sailing on top of the analemma right now, and the days are just a couple of minutes shy of 16 hours long. Twilight is longer at this time of year, too, and I've noticed it's getting light before 4:00 in the morning, even though sunrise isn't until nearly 6:00. That makes the days wonderfully long, but I need more sleep than that.


They are predicting more thunder and rain overnight, and while I can do without the thunder, but we really need the rain, so it would be nice to have a lot of it.


By the way, at 5:30, the Keweenaw County Sheriff reported that there were power lines and large trees down around Gratiot Lake, which is south of here, and close to the broadband transceiver on Mt. Horace Greeley that has been giving Charlie so much trouble. It certainly sounded like it was severe down there.


Thunder is more fun when it's either over the harbor or to the north, because then it echoes and amplifies on the hills south of here, but it's always fun to watch the lightening, especially when it's hitting the ground. I enjoyed it.


So that is all there is, and it's time to go.


June 16

Oh, my, summer is upon us. When I got up this morning, the temperature was already 70º and the dew point was 61º - read: very humid. It stayed that way all day, ultimately getting up to 80º or so with a dew point of 64º - read: hot and humid. There wasn't much breeze until recently, when I began to hear distant "boom" to the northeast - there are thunder squalls out over the lake, there is a rather nice breeze now, and the temperature has dropped into the low 70s, although it feels much warmer than that. Well, we frequently have a few days like this in June. I do hope it isn't the harbinger of a nasty summer. It was cloudy and hazy all day, although there was an occasional ray of sunshine, and for about 30 seconds right before sunset, the entire far end of the harbor turned apricot. It was gone too fast to take a picture, unfortunately.


So I didn't do much again today. It was too humid to rustle around much. I did finally wash dishes, and I finished the bracelet I was working on. Here it is. It doesn't show too well that the light colored beads are metallic silver. The pattern is one I adapted from a medieval pattern book, and I tried another way to make the ball for the catch. 


That took most of the afternoon, but then I took out one of the other bracelets I started earlier in the spring, and oh, dear. First, I discovered that I had made a mistake in the pattern three rows back, and then a bead broke four rows back. This is a needle-woven stitch that looks like loom work, and every bead has five or six threads through it. I had just ended off an old  thread and started a new one, and I have no idea how I did that, and I have no idea how to undo what I did. I'm not sure what I will do about it. I'd hate to take it all apart and start over, but I might have to. I might just leave it, too, because it is garnet and black beads and there really isn't enough contrast to show the pattern I was trying to work. Lighter red with black, or garnet with gold or copper would probably work better, so I may just abandon this piece and keep it as a cautionary tale and go on to something else. Live and learn. Not every experiment I try works out well. I do love those garnet beads, though. They are a really rich color.


Dinner was with Shirley, who seems to be doing pretty well. The dining room at Mariner was open tonight, although apparently there won't be buffets on Fridays, at least for a while. That's OK - they did have a good fish dish, and the salad bar was open. I really should just get salad bar and be done with it, because I was so full after it that I brought half my dinner home with me.


Buster was feeling the effects of the dropping barometer. I think he slept the entire day on the porch in "his" chair, which has a towel on it. I think he will be happy when I get the wicker rockers here, because I think they are a bit softer.


Oh, yes on that subject, I had just finished (after the fourth try) getting last night's journal uploaded when I heard some strange noises over by the door and Buster said "meow" in a particular way that tells me he as something. I turned on the floodlight, and there was a teensy little squirrel climbing around at the top of the screen door. Buster was fascinated. I can't tell if it was a flying squirrel, although they are the only nocturnal species I know about. Anyway, I couldn't get him to go away. I guess he smelled something inside that smelled like food, and he was trying to get in to get it. I guess I am going to have to invest in a squirt gun for such problems. 


So I left Buster staring up at the squirrel and went off to the north end, and a while later, he came running into the bathroom to make sure he got his evening brushing. This has become a ritual since DC died. Buster comes in every night when I go into the bathroom and I give him as thorough a brushing as I can, even though he wiggles a lot. He is shedding a lot these days, and I credit the brushings for him not throwing up any hairballs lately. He really loves it. He and DC are the first cats of mine who really seemed to enjoy being brushed. If (or maybe I should say when) I get more cats, they are going to be brushed from kittenhood so they get to like it.


Buster is a strange little cat. He will usually come when I call him, which is most unusual for a cat, and if I speak to him, he will come running toward me. Sometimes, when he has been asleep, he will come running to where I am, and he needs to be petted two or three times a day. I keep forgetting to pick him up sometimes. He doesn't mind it, but DC did not like to be picked up, so I got out of the habit, and I forget.


So that was a quiet and sticky day. It was really quiet around here. There were a few bird songs and some squirrel quarrels, but it was so profoundly quiet that twice I heard humming that must have been from ships out on the lake, and when I was in the north end of the house (taking off my jeans and shoes after dinner), I could hear the bell buoy clearly. It made me almost wish I could turn off the computer and the furnace, which, with the fridge, are the only sounds that are usually coming from inside the house.


Now maybe I can get this thing to upload and get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I had a number of problems last night, and I ended up rebooting twice and retrying the load four times or so before I got it to work right. It just occurred to me that I had been using Photoshop yesterday to process yesterday's pictures, and I did it again tonight. If I have troubles tonight, I will know that Photoshop and FrontPage don't work well together. (Note later: yup, that seems to be the problem. I rebooted and made a couple more changes here, so we'll see if it goes this time.) I also got some neat pictures from someone this morning, which I saved to disk, and in the course of doing that, Outlook Express abended...good grief! Maybe all these neat programs we depend upon are just too complicated to ever get right. 


I also discovered, by the way, that while I took pictures of all the jewelry, I never apparently posted most of them. I do have a "jewelry" page now, which is accessed from the gallery, so whenever I figure out what is really going on, I will update it with all the pictures I took. There are around 4000 files altogether in this site now, and sometimes keeping track of things, especially the pictures, is nearly impossible. However, I don't want to stop posting pictures, so I'll have to figure something out. Stay tuned.


I'm not planning to do much more than the upload tonight, because it's getting late.


June 15

Well, the middle of June already! Amazing.


I was in bed fairly early last night, slept well, and got up early to a gorgeous morning. There were some clouds overnight, but they all cleared up by morning, and it was sunny and calm. Just on a whim, I walked down the porch instead of the hallway to the kitchen, and it was a lovely, quite warm morning, too. 


In fact, it was so nice that I got the camera and went down into the garden...and the batteries died just as I was about to take a picture. Rats. The other batteries were charging, so that was the end of my foray into the garden.


Good thing, too, because I went out unprotected again (I wonder why I do that?) and I now have a new bite on top of my head, despite having a hat on, and a couple on my shoulder. The bugs are still with us. The camera is now all charged up, so I will go out (protected, I hope) tomorrow or whenever light conditions are appropriate.


I promised myself no games today, and even though I cheated a little, I actually did a few things. I moved some boxes around in the office, and slowly I am clearing the floor again. I did quite a bit of beading, and i have only about an inch plus the finishing on another bracelet. So I accomplished something, I think.


I did use the camera. I will be taking the bracelets to Peggy on Monday, and I wanted pictures before I did, so here are this spring's new designs. The first one is the one with the pale pink and pearl beads, which I made for myself, and I won't use those beads for any more jewelry. The pink is so pale I have to do something like this one, where the pink beads are clustered together. The second picture is of the three new designs to sell. Clockwise from upper left, they are: copper and silver netting, spiral herringbone (which I really like), and Clyde's Bandolier pattern.


I knew the spiral herringbone would come out nicely, but since the copper beads are marginally bigger than the blue and green ones (which normally causes me all sorts of problems), not only is it spiral, it has a depth to it that I like. Too bad the stitch takes so long to do, but I will probably make more. I'd like one of those for myself.


The peyote stitch one is the center pattern from Clyde's bandolier, converted from loom weaving, and using my colors. I like it better than the wider one I made for myself, because I used silver rather than copper lined beads, and the pattern shows much better.


I had the doors open all day long, and while it is cooling off now, most of the day was just the kind of weather I enjoy most: the temperature topped out around 75º, and there was a light wind from the south. Balmy and wonderful. A summer like that would be heavenly.


I turned the radio off when they started playing some rather modern stuff IA Debussy string quartet, maybe?) and the song sparrow started singing, and I am so glad I did, because the loon was calling for several minutes, and I would much rather hear that. Otherwise, the only sounds all day long, besides the birds, was the wind sighing in the pines. Aaahhhh..... During the day there were some crows or ravens (I can't quite tell the difference, but these guys were pretty big) making a big racket for a while, and the squirrels had an altercation around dinner time, but mostly it was totally quiet. And for most of the day, the wind was wafting in the heavenly fragrance of wile roses, which are out in abundance. Couldn't ask for much more of a day than that.


I just realized that there are some jewelry pictures that have no links in the gallery, so one of these days I'll have to fix that, I think by making a separate jewelry index page...but first I have to find all the pictures, so I won't be doing that tonight.


Now it is dark and cloudy and they are predicting rain after midnight, which would be good. It was just the kind of day I like - I did a few things, but not too much, and the weather was lovely. Summer in the field.


June 14 - Flag Day

Again I forgot something from yesterday. I was driving to the post office, and down in the low spot by Lake Lily, I spotted something in the middle of the road that looked like a rock. I always approach things like that cautiously, and when I got closer, I found it was a huge turtle, at least 8" across. It heard me coming and it was making for the bushes, and I waited until I could carefully go around it. When I looked into the rear-view mirror, it was gone, having moved even faster than I thought. I guess it was a big snapping turtle, although I am no expert on amphibians. I suppose it was in the road to sun itself, but I hope it learned its lesson. I'm not so sure some of my occasional neighbors would be so careful. 


I slept pretty well last night, and it was cloudy all night long, but as usual I got to bed late and I was sleeping when the stupid bank called me this morning, to say that they had never noticed receiving the letter about the change of address. Of course. I knew they would say that. So I got a personal fax number and faxed it all off to her again. Since she didn't leave me a phone number and caller ID said "out of area" I have no way to check to make sure she received it. Her excuse is that 360 people work in the building...like that should matter. I've said it before - those people are completely out of their depth.


Anyway, that was a nasty start to the morning. However, the sky was clearing when I got up, and it was another beautiful day in the field. The temperature eventually made it up to 60º, and there was hardly any wind, and it was clear and lovely. 


I celebrated by doing nothing, as usual, although I did move to the ugly chair and read for a while after dinner, and I filled the bird feeders.


The hummingbirds seem to have deserted me. I think they are probably nesting, and in a couple of weeks, they'll be back with their offspring, but for now, only a very few are coming to the feeder. How fickle!


The goldfinches are still coming, however, and I've seen the nuthatch a couple of times, so they and the chickadees are still around. Between the goldfinches and the squirrels, the feeders are being emptied frequently. Good thing I laid in a lot of seed before I went south.


I also heard a song sparrow a couple of times, singing what I think is either his courting song or his serenade to his nesting mate. However, when I turned off the radio, it was absolutely, completely silent. There is no wind and no sound at all. This is when I wish I didn't have the tinnitus, so I could really hear the quiet. When I went back to the kitchen, I could hear the bell buoy chiming softly and slowly. Ah, peace!


The deer were down in the garden today, or at least one ran away south when I went out to fill the bird feeders. I can see why some people thing they are pests.


So now night is falling, and it's time for another long sleep. Peace in the field.


June 13

In my haste to get this thing done last night, I forgot to mention that I now have hard (ahem!) evidence that Buster does eat mice. Sunday night he evidently caught a mouse, ate it, ate some dry cat food and probably had a drink of water, then the entire thing came up. Yuck. Anyhow, there were definite mouse (house mouse) parts in what I cleaned off the stairs yesterday morning. How he ever learned that mice are good to eat, I don't know. He was too young when he left his mama, and his Uncle D didn't hunt. So I guess the lack of remains is now explained, and I hope he doesn't have a bad reaction to any in the future. He has a very delicate stomach, but I wouldn't think being allergic to beef and pork (except smoked) would extend to mouse.


It also explains why he was rather somnambulant yesterday, besides the dropping barometer.


Oh, yes, I found out what (or at least when) FrontPage is grabbing chunks of memory it never gives up. I was watching last night, and everything was fine until I have to answer "no" a couple hundred times to all the files on the server it wants to purge that are legitimate parts of the website, but aren't managed by it...like all the usage statistics and all the camera archives. Every time I said "no", it grabbed another 2% or so of real memory, and when it was done and I closed it, the memory was still marked in use. Just another instance of slovenly programming, but it drives me nuts, and it means I have to reboot frequently.


I stayed up late, doing more nothing, and since all my flashlights are at the other end of the house, I was walking around in the dark when I left the office. First I noticed that the moon was peeking through the clouds, and then I saw a strange light in a crack of the door to the guest suite upstairs, which I keep closed. So I turned on some lights and hauled myself upstairs, and discovered that the lights in the upstairs hall were on...and they must have been on since whenever it was that the appraiser was here. Humph! As if electric rates weren't high enough around here. People should turn off what they turn on.


When I got back downstairs, the moon was just peeking in the transom over the window beside the fireplace at the south end of the great room, huge and sort of pale golden. It was hard to see, because I had to raise my head enough that I was looking through the bifocal part of my glasses, so I didn't get a very clear view. It must have been less than a day past full, because it was still pretty round. The sky looked relatively clear, but I did see a few pufffy clouds.


The clouds took over, and the rest of the night was bright because of the moon on them. It was cloudy this morning, too, and early in the afternoon, there were a few sprinkles of rain...enough to dissuade me from going into the garden today. Any excuse, right?


After the rain, the clouds went away, and it is now beautiful again. There was quite a wind this morning, but that has now died down again and it is nearly clear. The temperature was mostly in the upper 50s, although it did get to 66º at 6:00, before it dropped back. I have the doors to the porch open, and I had the office door open for a while, but it is now below 60º again and that's a bit too cool to be sitting in the wind.


Considering when I went to bed last night, I was up at a reasonable hour this morning. I didn't sleep very well, because for some reason my feet were cold for most of the night, and every time I moved, they went into cramps, which made me have to stand up. I don't know what brought that on. When I went in the bathroom, I looked out the window. There is kind of a bower just the other side of my lot line, and it's nice to look at. Then I was occupied with giving Buster his morning love-in. When I looked outside again, there was a deer sitting down at the north end of the drain field, looking quite content. It seemed to be chewing its cud, although I didn't know deer did that, and it was still there when I went down the hall. It was looking around and listening, but it wasn't on full alert, and its ears were folded back, and it looked quite comfortable.


Later, I just caught two deer running from the direction of the drain field toward the driveway.


So the saga of the deer continues. Sometime I would like to get out there and see what they are browsing on.


The only other thing I have to report is that NetBank has screwed up the insurance on this house for the third year in a row, so I spent some time on the telephone with them and with my insurance agent. I know why they do it - they want to charge me $6000 for fire insurance! I also talked to the Customer Service department about why they have not changed the street address of this property, even though I sent them the documentation in the middle of February. This time, they got it, but they don't seem to like what they got. Egads. Please, everybody: don't ever try to do business with those turkeys!


Then I checked in with the benefits department of my bank and got signed up for my supplemental health insurance. I am still sort of in denial about going on Medicare. There really is no possible way I could be that old.


Late in the afternoon, I decided it was time to do my yearly cleaning of the keyboard on this computer. It was getting rather sticky. This entails removing every key and washing it, and removing all the cat hair and assorted crumbs from underneath. It isn't possible to get the cat hair out without removing the keys, even though I use compressed air, and besides, the keys were dirty. I really should have gotten some Q-Tips and cleaned under the keys, but I didn't. However, now it is much cleaner, and it is easier to type, although I still have my old problem of my right and left hands getting out of sync. I do a lot of "backspace and erase". 


So I actually did a bit today, which is good. Now I will sit in the ugly chair and read or embroider or something until it gets too dark to see. Another quiet day in the field, and another pretty one, too.


June 12

Well, they were all wrong. Those little clouds in the west at sunset soon covered everything, and we didn't see the full moon at all. Poo. Shortly after sunrise, the clouds went away, and it turned out to be a beautiful day again. The temperature was around 55º all day with no wind. Nice.


So I did nothing, as usual, and I don't have much to report, except that I enjoyed the weather.


I have noticed that the lupines are out, the daisies will be out in a few days, and the first of the wild roses have bloomed, so spring is progressing into summer. The lilacs are going, but they did last longer here than they did on Champine.


So I will try to do better tomorrow.


June 11

This is going to go down as the year of the deer, for sure. When I got up this morning, there was one deer browsing in the drain field, and tonight when I came home from dinner, there were two a little further over in the back field. I don't know what there is in my weed field that they like so well, and I certainly know I have never seen so many deer - and this is only June!


I didn't sleep very well last night, for some reason or other, and there were some weird dreams again, so I slept in, and I didn't do much of anything except play with the computer and watch the birds.


It was a beautiful day, a bit chilly, but clear and sunny with not much wind. The temperature hung in at about 50º all day before it finally rose to 55º after the wind dropped to nothing. 


It was really pretty at Harbor Haus tonight. The harbor and the lake at this time of year sometimes turn the most beautiful shade of sliver blue when there isn't any wind. And to make things perfect, a rather large laker passed by while I was eating.


Now the setting sun is shining on the trees across the bay with a really golden light, and I think it will be clear for the full moon tonight. The harbor is almost like a millpond.


I did spend some time reading and watching the critters after I refilled the bird feeders tonight. One of my squirrels is a mom squirrel, and she is getting really broad at the bottom. She also looks like she is eating for several, and she is the one who chases all the other squirrels away sometimes, although she tolerated the guy with the docked tail. I've thought for a few days that she was getting rather bulgy, and watching her on the deck tonight confirmed it. I've seen her pregnant before, but I don't think many of her offspring survive, unless the guy she keeps chasing away is one of them. Times are hard for little critters in the field.


I always love it here, but one of my favorite times of all is late in the evening when the winds die down and it is calm and quiet and beautiful. I can take a whole summer of this.


And that is all there is from the field tonight.


June 10

I'm glad to say today was a better day than yesterday. I got up at a reasonable hour, unloaded the dishwasher, finally, and sorted through the pile of catalogs. So I accomplished something. I opened the box with the lawn mower in it, and I looked through the directions, but I didn't do anything with it. In looking around, I have a lot to do with it, so I'll have to get at it soon.


When I was up in the middle of the night, I just caught a glimpse of the moon setting over the mountain lodge and casting a bright stream on the water. That's one trouble with summer: the moon sets so far south that neither I nor the camera can usually see it.


The other item of note for the night was that I had a dream I've had once before, but unlike most of my recurring dreams, this one is complicated and detailed and so far as I can remember, it was identical to the first time I had it. It's also one of those things my mind just won't let go of. I actually had to wake up completely and take a walk to make it stop. It isn't a bad dream, just rather weird. The only thing different this time was that about halfway through, I began thinking, "I've been here before", but I still couldn't shake it. Very strange.


The weather started out clear and cool, in the upper 40s, and it was mostly clear and in the low 50s for most of the day, although it warmed up to 57º between 7:00 and 8:00. There was a light wind, just over 10 mph, out of the north for most of the day. I think it's picking up now, though, and there are some cirrus clouds covering most of the sky. All that sunshine makes for a cheerful day.


Dinner was with Shirley, and it was nice, and I'm sorrier than ever that I didn't make it to the fund raiser last night. Everybody, and I do mean everybody, was there. Darn.


When I got home tonight, I sat in the ugly chair, with Buster asleep on the footstool, and embroidered. I've now redone everything I had to pull out the last time, and I've started a new color. This time, I think it's right.


The moon is supposed to have risen, but it's behind the trees, and there is sort of a mauvey-gray glow in the sky, and I think it's time for bed again.


June 9

Well, another nearly lost day. This time I have an excuse, though.


About 4:00 this morning, I woke up with a very rocky stomach, and after trying to go back to bed a couple of times, I ended up sitting in the bathroom for over an hour. For a while it felt like I would need the barf bucket, but that didn't happen, thankfully, and eventually, after some Rolaids and some Imodium, things settled down enough for me to sleep for a few more hours, but I had missed enough sleep that I woke up feeling blah.


I don't know if Buster was worried, or what, but he barfed twice after I got up, but before he had eaten anything. He is such a sensitive little beastie that first the packing of the boxes, then mama sitting in the bathroom for a long time could just have upset him, too. He's OK now, too, and he eventually did eat, just like I eventually did eat.


I coddled my stomach, and actually didn't put much in it until dinner, and now I feel mostly just tired. However, I did miss the Fire Department spaghetti dinner. I just felt it would not be a good idea to fill it with spaghetti sauce, and besides, I feel yucky enough that I would rather not have to contend with crowds. They always have a crowd there. I really think that one of the "things" in the Copper Country is that a lot of the natives go around and attend every fund raising dinner in the area. Of course, it's cheap food, but I do think it's a nice, neighborly practice. I'm sorry to miss it, for the second year in a row (last year, it was held the day I finally got here).


When I got up this morning, the sky was pristinely blue and it was sunny and lovely, but some clouds moved in later. Eventually they went away and the late afternoon was pretty again, with the sunshine sparkling on the harbor. It was cool - 45º until about 1:00, then it gradually warmed to about 55º before it dropped back again. The wind was around 10 mph from the north for most of the day.


I did manage to get the boxes packed, but that wasn't too much of a chore. I had hoped to get them better organized, like the trims in the stuff from Champine, but no such luck. Maybe after I get all that stuff here I can add this to it in some kind of order. There is stuff in those assortments I really wonder what anybody would do with. It's a test of creativity for sure.


I was getting anxious about my lawn mower, when about 4:30, the same person who delivers my papers arrived with it in her trunk. Now I remember that the last time I got a FedEx delivery, a person (not the same one) delivered it. So the box is now sitting in the garage. I just was not about to attack that today. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully, I will feel more robust then.


So that was a rather blah day, and I expect to go to bed soon and sleep for a very long time. The moon is rising 'way in the south, and Jupiter is shining far above it, and it's a lovely, if breezy night in the field.


June 8

I have been meaning to mention that we are now in the part of the year when there is almost no complete darkness. We have almost 16 hours of daylight, and when I was up at about 3:45 this morning, the sky was beginning to turn slightly gray. I guess all I'm thankful for is that the days never get as short in December as the nights are now.


So I noted that and went back to sleep, and Buster had to rout me out of bed at 9:45. I should have been up earlier - it was a gorgeous morning, clear and sunny with not much wind, but I still seem to do some of my best sleeping between 6:00 and 10:00 in the morning.


I was sitting in the bathroom, having just removed the cat with the idea of getting up, when two deer walked out of my neighbor's thicket and strolled across the drain field. One was bigger than the other, and they both looked quite healthy. So I guess this is becoming the year of the deer. The winter was so mild it's not surprising they made it, but I don't know where all these deer were last year. They all look older than that.


I was sitting at the computer around 12:00 when I realized that the sky had clouded over. That wasn't in the forecasts! However, it didn't look like rain, just clouds.


My task for the day was one I have been postponing for a long time. For quite a few years there has been an 18" cube box with a smaller box on top of it sitting in the great room. Buster likes it - it's one of his perches. However it is sitting right where I intend to put the étagère. Buster will have a cat post in the window. The boxes were full of trims and braids that I had collected from one of my mail order sources. Every now and then I've gone into it to get something I needed, but ever since I started filling the 58 gallon storage boxes I have been meaning to clean out those boxes and get rid of them. So today was the day.


It was interesting. In the bottom of the big box, I found half a dozen books that I had put there. I guess none of them were vital, because I didn't actually miss them very much. 


But then I got the idea of sorting the trims as I packed them away. That was a bad idea, and I won't continue it,  because I worked until 7:00 and still wasn't through two-thirds of the stuff. It is strewn all over the floor in little bags and the whole thing is a real mess. Tomorrow I will just start packing everything away. It's going to take nearly three storage boxes to hold it all. 


I like to look through everything, because every time I do, I come up with some interesting ideas for what to do with it all. I have lots of woven ribbons that would be wonderful for pin weaving. A lot are Christmas themed , and little boxes with pin-woven lids would be neat. I was also wondering if I could sew them together to make larger fabric. And there was the pale gray rayon lace that goes really well with some pale gray satin ribbon...And all the home dec trims that would go so nicely on boxes...But it takes too long to go through all that stuff piece by piece. 


Of course, there is also the mega-rick-rack that is day-glo orange, and a few other things in color combinations that really make me wonder.


However, tomorrow, I will just have to stuff it all in boxes and get everything piled up neatly. One can spend too long on these things. Besides, I was sitting in one of the folding chairs and bent forward, and my neck is stiff.


Toward the end of the afternoon it cleared up for a short while before it clouded up again at sunset. Now the moon is playing hide-and-seek with the clouds, which is a disappointment. It should be very close to Jupiter tonight, and that would be fun to see.


The temperature was in the upper 50s with about a 10-15 mph wind out of the north, so it wasn't bad outside.  I should have gone down into the garden with the camera, because one coral poppy and a very dark maroon iris popped out overnight, but they will still be there tomorrow when, hopefully, my lawn mower arrives. Then I can put on my hat and my bug shirt and my gloves and attack the weed field that my garden has become.


Buster was craving attention today, for some reason, and he made a nuisance of himself by walking all over what I was sorting. The barometer is high, which does energize him, but he hasn't been like this before. Maybe he remembers what I was doing all of April and half of May at the other house and he wonders if the same horrible things are going to happen here...and then where will we go? Poor Buster. I wish I could explain.


So that was my day, and now it is late again, and I think it will be a good night to sleep.


June 7

I really was tired last night, I guess, and it was after 10:00 before I got up. Not that there was much to cause me to get up early. We had thick fog all night long and until around 4:00 this afternoon. The temperature hung in the low 50s with no wind until after the fog lifted, then it rose slowly to almost 60º, and now the wind has picked up a bit. The dew  point was just about equal to the temperature all day long - 100% humidity.


So I got up late and did not much except start the dishwasher. I got out the beading, but I didn't work on it much. Sort of a recovery day, I guess.


I do have a couple of pictures to share. I wasn't looking outside last night, but this is what the camera caught right before full darkness. I thought it was rather dramatic. And this morning when I opened my browser, this was the picture that greeted me...caught in the act!


There is a little branch not far from the tube feeder that isn't going to last long, but both the blue jays and the squirrels use it to get to the feeder. Each squirrel has his own best method of getting to the seeds, and this little guy sticks his head into a hole, pulls out a seed, and eats it, then he gets another. Every so often, the branch will move and he'll lose his balance, but it doesn't seem to deter him. I think he's learned to hang on to the feeder and crawl along to the hole while anchoring himself with his hind feet on the branch. If he'll go to those lengths to eat, I can't begrudge him much.


You can also see, in that second shot, just how foggy it was. No good views today for most of the day.


Now that darkness is coming, the sky has cleared up, although it is still hazy, and the very bright gibbous moon is shining right in on me. It is closing up on Jupiter, which it should meet sometime in the next couple of days.


I keep forgetting to put on my bug dope, so when I went to the post office this afternoon, I got another bite, on my temple. The other ones are healing up very nicely and don't bother me much anymore, so I will treat this one with Adolf's as well and hope for the best.


The birdies weren't too hungry today, for some reason. Maybe it was the problem of flying in the fog? Anyway, the feeders are still full. It is supposed to be nicer tomorrow, so we'll see how it is then.


And now it's time for me to finish catching up on my sleep. According to Buster, the barometer is rising, which is a good sign.


June 6

Interesting numerology today - 6/6/06. 


I got to bed a bit earlier last night, but I woke up in the middle of the night very warm, so I opened the porch door. That helped, but it was very humid outside and there wasn't much wind at all. As a result, I slept later than I wanted to, and I took my time about getting up and about.


The task of the day was to go to town, so go to town I did, although I didn't leave until after 12:30. It was sprinkling as I left, and it continued down to about Ahmeek, when it started to rain. OF course, I had forgotten to throw my slicker in the car. It was sprinkling when I got to Wal-Mart, and I made the mistake of not bothering to look for my umbrella. Oops!

I think I got most of what I went for, and I was standing in line to check out when there was a crack of thunder overhead. When I was ready to leave, the heavens had opened and it was raining torrents. There were a lot of people standing around waiting for it to abate, and I found a seat on a convenient bench. I probably waited fifteen or twenty minutes before it looked like it was letting up a bit. I was still soaked, especially my head, by the time I got to the car. One nice thing about having a lift gate in back is that it does block the rain, but I decided I'd better find that umbrella, which was on the right side, of course, so I was really drenched by the time I got into the car.


Oh, yes, and when I opened the left back door to look for the umbrella, there on the floor was my car key. So one lost is found. Now if I can only find the house key...


It was late and I wasn't hungry, so I didn't stop to eat, but went right over to Econo Foods. I was tired when I went through the checkout line at Wal-Mart, but after sitting and getting into the car, I felt fine again. So I have gained something in stamina.


However, Econo is a huge store, as I've said before, and I had to go all over it to get what I needed, so by the time I checked out of there - at great cost to the checkbook -- I was tired again, and besides, it was still raining, so I got package pickup. That was hard, because the person who packed my bags did a terrible job, and we had to go through every bag to find the stuff that needed to be in the coolers. Even though I had both coolers, not everything fit. Oh, well. It wasn't that hot.


Then it was gas, and I was pleased to get it for $2.90 a gallon. I guess prices have eased just a bit. One place had it for a penny less, but the station in Allouez had $2.96, so it pays to shop around. It's still an outrageous price.


Anyway, it rained all the way home, which didn't bother me much since there wasn't much traffic. I did get behind someone going to the mountain lodge who was being very cautious on the covered road, but that was OK. Apparently my tolerance level was quite high today.


I was tired when I got here, and my feet hurt, but I wasn't so tired that I couldn't unload the car. Besides, my dinner was in there. I did do it in two stages, with a sit in between. But after I ate, I refilled the hummingbird feeders and the sunflower feeders, all of which were looking quite empty. So are the thistle socks, but I got some new ones today, so I need to let the old ones empty out. And my hummingbirds buzzed me to thank me...or maybe they were chewing me out for going off and letting the feeders get empty.


Buster was so happy to see me you would have thought I'd been gone four days, rather than four hours, and he slept on my lap while I listened to the radio. 


So that is done. I have a few things to put in the freezer, and I have lots of good things to eat. I also have some chains and "S' hooks to repair the other platform feeder, and I think I'm going to use that to replace the hanger on the big wooden feeder. It shouldn't break. I have some more storage boxes and another 100' of outdoor extension cord for my new lawn mower, if it ever comes.


There was one casualty. When I was opening a new bag of sunflower seed. my hand slipped and I took a big slice out of the third finger on my left hand. Ouch. It bled copiously, so I had to put a Band-Aid on it, and it hurts, but I will treat it carefully before I go to bed, and it will be all right. Fortunately, I got some more advanced protection Band-Aids today, because it looks like I'll need them.


My beige shoes got wet, which is a good thing, since it will stretch them out a bit. My black ones fit a lot more comfortably since I splashed around in the basement on Champine.


The scenery on the trip was rather dull, since we are "between" to a great extent. The red-twig dogwoods, the mountain ashes and the lilacs are in bloom, and there is a little park on the way up Quincy hill that had some beautiful irises out. The roadsides are just green, however. The buttercups and daisies will be out soon, but not yet.


In my backyard, there are a few buttercups, the daisies are beginning to show a little color, and there was a rather anemic-looking lupine coming out, so we are coming to the next stage in the spring flowering. The pin cherries are out around Copper Harbor, but they are done further south.


Green is a restful color, I find, and I particularly like driving the covered road when it gets green.


We needed the rain, and here we had about .3", which is a reasonable amount. I bet there was more in Houghton. I'm glad I wasn't on the road when it was pouring like that.


So that was my day, and it's good to have that chore done for a couple of weeks or more. I was sitting here relaxing a while ago when I realized that it was getting late, so I will be late to bed, and probably late to rise tomorrow. Oh, well. It's moist and foggy in the field and I think it's supposed to stay that way tomorrow, too, so it will be a good time to sleep.


June 5

My bites didn't keep me awake last night, but I stared at the floor long enough that I didn't get to bed very early.  I've been more bothered today, because it seems there were a few that I didn't catch with the Adolf's. That really does take the itch out of bites, but the sooner you get it on the better. I will dope myself up tonight and hope for the best.


It was an absolutely gorgeous morning, sunny and about 60º with not much wind. About noon, however, it started to cloud up, and the afternoon was rather dull. For a while there was a wind, but that died down to nothing, and the temperature stayed around 63º all afternoon. It felt warmer, because the dew point was rising, and it was calm.


My task for the day was to collect the trash and go to the dump, which I actually managed to do, and I went to the post office and got a ton of mail and left off a bunch of bills.


I also stopped at the General Store, because when I came out of the post office, my right front tire looked very soft, and amongst other things, they have air. It was soft, almost flat, in fact. That is the wheel they put the spare on when I was in Detroit, and so far as I know that was the first time that wheel had ever been used. I will have to watch it, and probably get somebody to check it out. What I don't need right now is to buy tires!


I also promised myself that I would do something besides play games, so I got out the beading and continued on the copper and silver bracelet I was making when I was so rudely interrupted. I didn't make much progress, but it's about half done.


After dinner, I sat down with the embroidery again, and after doing a bit, I discovered I had screwed up, and I ended up ripping out just about everything I'd done for the past two days. I had moved everything over one whole square, which would have meant compensating on every color in the lower right corner of the angel's skirt. It was actually easier to rip, so I did. I think I have it corrected now, but I didn't try to do very much that I'd ripped out.


Oh, yes. I went into the powder room, and when I looked out the window, there was a very large deer browsing in the drain field. I rather wonder if it wasn't a buck with no antlers, since it was rather hefty for a doe. It apparently heard me flush, and by the time I got to the bathroom windows, it had gone on north. I don't have much problem with the deer grazing in back of the house, but I do want to try to keep them out of the garden. They apparently like phlox, and I want my phlox to bloom again sometime.


So that was the wildlife story of the day. I filled one of the hummingbird feeders and the big wooden feeder, but I need to refill my bucket before I can put any more seed in the platform feeder.


Tomorrow, I think I am going to town. I'm running low on orange juice, and there are a few other things I want to pick up. I've been hitting the TV dinners pretty hard and I need to replenish my supply, and my stock of sandwich materials is pretty low, too.


So that was a nice day in the field, and I probably won't be any earlier tonight than I was last night.


June 4

It was later than I thought when I got to bed last night, and I didn't sleep very well, but, oh, well. I got up at a reasonable hour anyway and didn't do much for most of the day.


It was a calm, lovely night, and a calm lovely morning. The temperature eventually got into the 70s late this afternoon, and it was so warm in the house that I left the doors open when I went to dinner. About the time I got back, the wind picked up, and the temperature is now taking a dive. It will be a good night to sleep, and I hope to start earlier.


That's the thing about the weather around here that makes it bearable. It can - and it does - get pretty hot during the day, but more than 90% of the time, at or before sunset, the temperature drops, and most nights are cool enough for comfortable sleep.


I didn't do much until late in the afternoon, and when I got back from dinner, I decided it would be a good idea to fill at least some of the bird feeders. Wrong. Very wrong. There wasn't much wind, and it was incredibly buggy outside the office door, and I think I brought some in with me. I had some thought of forgoing a bath tonight, but I will have to take one, just to wash the blood out of my hair. I got chewed alive, and I now have several nasty bites on the top of my head, and several more around and in front of my right earlobe. Why they didn't get the left side, I don't know, but I guess I should be grateful for small favors.


By this time, I should know not to to that at this time of year. If the black flies don't get me, when it's that warm the mosquitoes will Well, it was a dumb thing to do, and I will pay.


Otherwise, I watched the birds, squirrels and chipmunks and worked on the angel. I finally got all the way over to the bottom right of her skirt, so now I can work right to left in my normal fashion. Oh - that sounds funny. I make my cross stitches left to right, in the normal American way, but when there are strips of shading like there are on this piece, I start with the very rightmost strip and work toward the left. Since I work in hand, doing it that way means I don't crumple up the stitched part quite as much. In this case, I'm rolling the fabric up from the bottom mostly, but doing it in that order does cut down on the wear of the stitched parts.


I forgot, last night, to mention that as I was driving back from dinner, I almost ran into a doe that was just standing in the middle of the road around the fort. She looked to be in good condition, but what she was doing there in broad daylight, I don't know.


I threw some seed on the deck and after watching the chipmunks for a while, I would say there is one large one, one medium one and two little ones, one of which is smaller than the other. The smallest one takes off down the deck, so I guess he is from the northern burrow, and he may have a medium-sized companion. The others run out onto the pine branch and down the tree, and I think their burrow is under the boat anchor - er, generator. I'm pretty confident that the biggest guy lives there, and he as for several years, because I've seen him right outside it. They are all cute, and they fascinate Buster. The very smallest one was actually eating seeds on the deck, he was so hungry, but most of the time, they just pack their cheek pouches so full of unshelled seeds it's a wonder they aren't top-heavy, then they run off to a safe place to chow down. That makes sense, since there are any number of predators who might swoop down on them if they sat around in the open.


The squirrels just eat in place most of the time, and that is no doubt how the fellow with the docked tail got into trouble. Not on my deck, because he was that way when I got here last year, but someplace around here. It stands to reason that I had quite a few squirrels even before I started feeding them, since there are mostly pines on my property, and a couple of oaks as well. Squirrels will also eat maple seeds, and from what I can see of the maples, they are going to have a ton of seeds.


Speaking of squirrels, after dark last night, Buster and I heard a thud on the roof and the pitter-patter of little feet, followed by some more thuds, so I tiptoed (as much as I can) over to the door and turned on the floodlight. There in the light was a little brown squirrel with very big eyes grazing contentedly in the platform feeder. The light didn't seem to worry him at all. I guess, from the time of day and the size of his eyes, he is a flying squirrel, although since he wasn't stretched out, I can't say for sure. He was a cutie. So now I've actually seen one.


And that is about all I know. I promise not to go outside anymore without my bug spray, my hat, and maybe even my bug shirt, at least until the middle of July! You'd think I'd know that by now.


So that is all there is in the buggy field.  It's going to be a pretty night to sleep, I think.


June 3

Even though I got to bed late last night, I was up at a reasonable hour this morning, because it was such a beautiful day. It was sunny and mostly clear, except between 9:00 and noon when we had fog. Once it went away, the sun shone brightly and there was almost no wind at all for most of the day. The temperature hovered around 50º, except between about 7:00 and 9:00 pm when it was 55º.


Sunset wasn't spectacular, but there were some pretty mauves in the west after it went down. The last picture from the camera was a nice one...except that it didn't need to be archived 6 times. I don't know what weirdness causes that to happen, but for well over an hour, the same picture was all the camera could see, so we missed the later parts of sunset. I just rebooted, and it seems all right now, but one never knows. Kabcam is usually pretty stable, so I have to believe it's some strange thing with the camera driver. Weird. I will check it tomorrow.


In the course of diagnosing that problem, I discovered that sunrise is now so early that we're missing it, so I set back the wakeup time by half an hour or so. Sometimes there are really interesting effects as it gets light, and I like to capture them.


I didn't do much again. I did get a storage box packed, but I still have two blue boxes sitting around the office, full of things I want to keep here. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. I do like to be able to walk across the floor of my office, please.


Late in the afternoon, I got out the big angel I was working on last year (or was it the year before? I can't remember), and after dinner, I sat down and began embroidering on it again.  I had a rough start, misreading where I had left off in one section and ripping out half an inch that was actually correct. Well, it's been a while. I did make some progress, but I am now working on the angel's skirt, and that is big and will take time to do. Also, this is 32 count rather dark blue linen, and I ended up having to turn on the daylight light long before sunset just to be able to see where I was. I'm also using a magnifier, of course. I don't even try to work on 32 count fabric without my Mageyes. So that was nice.


Dinner was with Shirley, and she is feeling good, after four units of whole blood and a six-pack of platelets. They did a bone marrow biopsy, but that was the only test they did, besides blood work, which is weird. It seems to me they missed a few things. However, several people warned her not to get tangled up with the oncology group here, so I'm hoping she will get down to Mayo as soon as she has the results of the biopsy.


She agrees with me, by the way - that is a nasty test. I say again (as I have before) if you are lying your side on a gurney and the doctor is behind you, something nasty is going to happen to you.


From her description, that hospital is totally out of control, even letting people come wandering in to visit at all hours. And they have apparently had to call on some retired physicians just to have bodies on hand, which is not a good thing. 


I wish there was some way to get her to my oncologist, but I do know that Mayo is noted for their oncology unit, so maybe she'll be all right. I'm not saying it's cancer. It's actually hematology-oncology and patients with non-cancerous blood conditions see them, too. I know my friend in Grosse Pointe with the liver problem has the same oncologist I do, and she doesn't and never did have cancer.


It was cool and calm when I got home, and the hummingbird feeders were empty, so I filled them up and sat in the ugly chair to embroider and watch the little critters and the sunset. It was so quiet and lovely that I left the door open. With no wind, it took quite a while to get cool in here. The birds were singing their evening songs, and I heard the loon once. I heard a song sparrow for the first time this summer, and a chickadee sang is song (as different from his call). The goldfinches have a sort of twittering song with no apparent pattern, and a lot of them were singing while they chowed down in the tree. 


There were a lot of pine siskins here today. They prefer the thistle socks to the feeder, and one of the socks is more than half empty already. I've fed the birds every year I've been here, and I don't remember them ever being so hungry. Of course, I enticed them over the winter, so they know where the food is, and I made it back at just the right time, I guess. I am interested that the siskins are back. I guess they are an eruptive species, and it's been a good four years since they've been here.


So that was a most pleasant day, and maybe I can do it again tomorrow?


June 2

It was an interesting day today. I slept well and got up around 9:00, and when I got up it was sunny and clear and really beautiful. According to the camera, it was cloudy at sunrise, then the clouds went away. A little after 10:30, the first fog bank crept in, then it crept out and it was beautiful for a while, then for the rest of the afternoon, it was more or less foggy, sometimes more, sometimes less. The temperature hung in around 50º, although it dropped off into the middle 40s after 7:00, and there wasn't much wind at all. It was cool to watch, when you could see anything. There were one or two pictures from the camera where the fog was right up in the front yard and you couldn't see anything at all, and then a while later, there was just a cloud in the middle of the harbor. Later in the evening, Copper Harbor was clear, but there was a cloud right over Lake Fanny Hooe. Neat.


As I suspected, by the time I got up, the hummingbirds had drained one feeder and half-emptied the other one, so when the second one began to get empty, I took both of them in and filled them. When I went out the door with the two feeders, a couple of hummingbirds almost flew in the house, and one of them thought he was going to drink out of the feeder in my hand. That wouldn't have worked, because I carry them upside down to prevent dribbling red sugar water all over the house. Anyway, they were anxious and hungry all day. 


So were the goldfinches, and I really have a flock of them...well over a dozen. There are the bright yellow and black males, the adult females, which are quite yellow now but have no black patches on their heads, and then a lot of yellow-greenish ones which I guess are the juveniles. There are more juveniles than adults, so I wonder if they've had a brood already? I thought goldfinches only bred in the late summer when the thistles are going to seed, but maybe not.


Anyway, somebody...probably everybody...had gone after the tube feeder, and by this evening, it was nearly empty, so after the finches went away, I went out to fill it up...and I got buzzed by a hummingbird. They really do know where their dinner comes from, and it seems when I go out, they want to know what goodies I have now! I had just exchanged the half-full feeder for and the full one, since they seem to prefer the one that's furthest from the house, and I had to wait while he took a long drink. Neat little birds. I have close to a dozen of them, too, but they seem to be equally split between males and females.


There were only two squirrels. The chipmunks seem to come in three flavors this year - big, almost the size of a squirrel, medium, and small, not much bigger than a mouse. I saw the small one yesterday, but only the large and medium ones today. Probably the big one is the oldest, and the biggest a chipmunk can get, and I guess the little one is from last year. It is a bit bigger then the two I had one year that were clearly nearly new. Both Buster and I like to watch them. 


Buster isn't too interested in the birds in the feeders, although he did notice that there were a lot of them tonight. However, any time anything starts running around on the deck, he gets really interested. There was a lot of that tonight, including a couple of blue jays and chipping sparrows. He missed the flock of goldfinches coming down to see if they'd missed anything.


I didn't do very much but watch the birds today. I did get in the last three file boxes and emptied one of them. The other two will have to go into a 58 gallon box tomorrow. I certainly brought a strange collection of stuff back with me.


Dinner was at Mariner, but I was alone. I discovered that Shirley was spending a couple of days in the hospital, since she apparently came up with very low blood counts. She was going to the doctor yesterday, and I'm, not clear if that was when she went in, or if it was earlier and more of an emergency. Anyway, they probably gave her a transfusion and did every test known to man, and she was due home tonight. Unfortunately, it will take 10 days or so to find out what the results of the tests show, but sudden anemia in a person of her age doesn't bode well. I certainly hope for the best.


So I wasn't gone long, and I sat down in the ugly chair to work on the rose, and I realized that with a little effort I could finish it, so I did. I'm a little later than I wanted to be as a result, but at least that project is done. They are very pretty, and once I get my finances straightened around, I will probably make them my trial pieces to be framed here.


When I went out to fill the feeder, the fog had gone away and a thick crescent moon was hanging overhead. There was a little red in the west, and the loon was calling from over in the direction of the lighthouse. I couldn't tell if it was by Porter Island or east of the lighthouse, but it was definitely in that direction. It was a beautiful, nearly calm night and  I could hear the bell buoy. Peace.


It was cool enough today that the bugs weren't so much of a problem (although I did dutifully swab myself with Off! this morning). The only trouble with that is, when it's calm and lovely like it was today, I like to have the house open so I can hear the great out of doors. Yesterday when I was filling all the feeders, the goldfinches were singing to me, and there was a very cheerful robin nearby. Occasionally when I'm right by a window, I can hear the bell buoy, but mostly the house is soundproof enough that I can only hear very loud noises from outside when it is closed up. I do prefer it open, but I don't want to freeze, either. No making me happy, I guess.


So now it's dark and quiet and time to head up to the north end.


June 1

Goodness, the first day of June already! Pretty soon it will be December.


I got to bed a bit earlier last night, but I got up at a reasonable time this morning anyway, which was good.


I kept thinking about all those little hummingbirds flying around so hungry. And the feeder was empty when I retrieved it. There are now two feeders out, although as usual, they prefer the one furthest from the house.


I also got several black flies in the few seconds I was outside, so before I undertook to refill the seed feeders, I sprayed myself with Off! and put on my hat. That did help, but I certainly do hate the smell of that stuff. It has gotten into my nose and it gives me a headache. I guess I'll be smelling it a lot for a while, since I don't intend to go out without it from now on.


Once I was well sprayed, I went out and filled all the feeders again, although everybody seems really hungry.


It was nice on the deck (if you ignore the bugs), and while I was standing there, contemplating nature, I had another magical moment. I was standing not 6" from the nearer hummingbird feeder, when two hummingbirds came right up and sat down to drink out of it. If I hadn't been afraid to move, I could have reached out and stroked them. They knew I was there, no doubt, but so long as I stood still, they weren't afraid of me at all. And then a nuthatch flew down to cling to the tree trunk (upside down, of course), then he flew into the wooden feeder and got his seed.  I know I've seen pictures of people and birds, but I never thought I would be so lucky as to have it happen to me. Pure magic!


To top it off, I was sitting at the computer when I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and when I looked up, the eagle was soaring right over my house. I only saw him for a second or two, but he wasn't very high...in fact, if he had kept on at the same height, he would have landed on the great room roof.


So it was a very birdy day.


That sort of makes up for the mystery of the spring. A couple of weeks ago, my house keys (and my post office box key) disappeared, possibly out of my pocket. Now, between Tuesday and today, my car key disappeared. I simply cannot imagine what could have happened to either of them. I have looked in all the normal spots, and I can't find them. Arrggghhh!!!!


It is rather early now, but I do want to do a little embroidery tonight, and it seems to take at least an hour to write this and get it uploaded...and that's if the upload behaves itself. 


Oh...the weather. Right before I got up this morning, there was a little rain shower, and it was rather cloudy this morning, but it cleared up eventually. The temperature was in the middle 50s all day and there was almost no wind at all. That made it nice out, but it also made it nice for the bugs.


So that is all I know. It's a buggy field these days.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM