A View From the Field








October, 2006


October 31

Happy Halloween, everybody.


Halloween is about my least favorite holiday, and it has been since I was a little, bitty girl and my parents tried to take me trick or treating at the businesses along Jefferson Avenue, and I cried all the way. I just don't get it, and I never have. I do not like to dress up in some ridiculous costume, never have, never will. Sorry to all of you who love the day. I don't.


My day started early, probably around 7:00, when the phones went "bleep!" and the power died. Oh, well. I wasn't planning to get up then anyway. It came back at exactly 9:00, which facilitated setting the digital clocks, and I went back to bed.


At 9:15 the cardiologist called me, to say that as best they could tell, I am fine, and I can exercise to the limit of my ability. I tried to go back to sleep, but around 9:30 it became clear that I wasn't going to, because it was cold and noisy.


To back up to last night, I ended up not getting to bed till 1:00am because yes, indeed, FrontPage decided to copy the entire website to the server. At 12:30, I realized that it still had at least an hour left (at 26.4kb, 47 mb will take about 4 hours), so I left it. Miraculously, the phone line held up. In fact, it was still connected when I got to the office this morning, although it wasn't responding. And the copy had completed, which is more than I can say for the wireless.


I was in the bathroom at 4:00 or so this morning when somebody flipped the switch on the wind machine. It never ceases to amaze me that the wind doesn't start out slow and speed up, all of a sudden, it will be blowing at 20 mph (16-27mph, according to the NWS). It had switched around to the west, and later it turned more to the northwest, and it rose to the 30-40 mph range. It was sort of fun, if you ignored the power.


I think it was around 10:30 or 11:00 when the power went down again for another couple of hours. It didn't inconvenience me a lot, since I can use the stove top by lighting it manually, and the laptop works just fine on battery power, at least for that long. I could even continue my surfing. 


The only problem seemed to be that it was cold in here. It was warmest in the bathroom, and that was around 65º. After the power returned, I checked the machine room, which was a trip, since it was completely blocked by two lighted planters and two chairs. Everything seemed OK there, except that not much heat seemed to be getting to the bathroom. So I called the plumber, just to ask about it. He called back and assured me that everything was probably normal, but it would take a while to get the house warmed up. That's the only thing I don't like about the radiant heat under the floor. It takes forever to warm up.


In the meantime, several very kind readers had offered me advice and hardware to solve my power supply problem, and I opened up the computer case. It seems that the maker of the last power supply that I got is still making them and also makes a slightly more powerful one that is the same size. So I ordered it, although it is rather pricey and the shipping charges are outrageous. They seem to think it will be here in a couple of days. I hope so. 


Needless to say, I have not heard from Gateway. Probably they haven't even gotten to my request. If I hear from them, they will hear my opinion about their service, and if I don't hear from them, they will hear from me. I wouldn't pursue the question except that all the time I was on hold I was hearing commercials about how Gateway knows there are a lot of older systems out there and they support them. Yeah, right.


Last night while the web was uploading, I cut the bracelet apart and restarted it, and I have now about 3" done...much more than I would have if I had continue hassling the monofilament. Besides, with nylon thread, it is much less stiff and the beads lie closer together. I don't like seeing the white thread, but oh, well. The overall effect is much better. I didn't work on it today. For one reason, surfing at 26.4kb takes forever. For another reason, I had a cat on my lap most of the day, and I didn't move him unless I had to get up, because he needs to be warm and I was the warmest thing around here.


It is finally warming up. It's 67º in the office now, and I have hopes that I will have a nice warm bathroom to take my bath in.


The wind is still roaring and the waves are still high, although the wind may have died down just a bit...I don't trust that NWS station very much. The temperature has been dropping all day, and is now just above freezing. There were even a few rays of sunshine during the day, but there were also a few brief periods of snow or sleet or something. I guess we may be in for some snow over the next few days, as well as continued high winds. We'll hope the power holds up.


So that was a rather busy day, all things considered, and since I am short on sleep I will go early tonight. Our November gales are starting early this year, as did our cold weather, and I think we are all wondering what that means for our winter to come.


It's hairy and noisy in the field tonight, but it will be a good sleeping night.


October 30

Once more. I just had the laptop hang up for the second time, after I'd written about a page. Oh, dear. Not a good day in computerland.


I had a nasty shock when I came into the office this morning. The screen was blank (I had left it on last night), and the CPU was in standby. Besides, there was no way to get it out of standby. If I turned off the wall power, it went off, but when I tried to turn it back on, it went right into standby. And the power supply fan was clearly not running.


So I called Gateway right away and got another nasty shock...they are not stocking replacement power supplies that fit in my CPU case anymore. After some fiddling around (and about an hour on hold), they put in a request to search for a replacement, but the guy I was talking to didn't know how long that might take.


So the computer is dead and the camera is down until I can somehow rustle up a power supply. If I haven't heard from them by tomorrow, I will dig into the case and get what specifics I can and try to find one myself, but it may take a while.


I've known for a long time that the laptop has heat issues, and it has been hanging up regularly all day long, the last time a few minutes ago when I was trying to look at a message in Outlook Express. So I've left that down until I finish this again and have saved it all on disk.


So other than sit on the phone, I didn't do a lot today.


I slept fairly well last night, although I got to bed rather later than I'd hoped. And it doesn't feel like I got enough sleep. There weren't any northern lights last night, and it was mostly cloudy until about 4:30 this morning. Then there were a few stars, and the wind dropped to nothing. The harbor was like a sheet of glass, and the street lights on the public dock left a long streak of light on the harbor. Buster came to sleep with me around 7:00. I got up around 9:30, by which time he was pretty sure I wasn't going anywhere, so he sat on my lap and got petted for a long time.


It was a pretty day, partly sunny and about 45º. The wind started out very light, but it has been rising all day long and is now around 15 mph with gusts into the low 20s. I don't believe the NWS station very much, because the wind has been from the southeast all day, and it is quite sheltered on that side. It has been strange to hear the wind beating on the office, and several times it has caused Buster to jump up and peer out the back window to see what the noise was.


I guess we are in for another blow tomorrow and Wednesday. There are high wind warnings out, and since the wind is supposed to switch around to the west sometime overnight, they are talking about 13 to 17 foot waves on the shore between Ontonagon and the end of Keweenaw Point. I guess I'd better amble down the road tomorrow and see what I can see. I would still like to see 17 foot waves, although maybe I did in 1991 and just didn't know it. I do know the water was washing over M-26 where it is near the shoreline, and that was pretty neat. Somewhere in my stuff are the pictures I took, as well as the pictures of the seven freighters anchored over in Bete Gris.


Anyway, I didn't do much except sit on the phone. I did work on the new bracelet, and I may end up tearing it apart. It is a snowflake bracelet using clear and opaque white beads, and I am using monofilament for thread. Not only is that very hard to work with, since it's hard to see, and it tangles and twists, it makes a very stiff fabric. I will work a bit more before I decide what to do with it.


Because there were no camera pictures today, I ran outside after sunset tonight and got a pretty good shot. It might have been better a few minutes later, but I was in the bathroom, and by the time I got out, it was over with. There is a sort of hazy moon in the south, but it looks to be clouding over.


I did go to the post office today, to send a couple of bills and return a misdirected piece of mail. Somehow, someone got my address on Champine for the other Smith on Champine, so the post office dutifully forwarded it to me. I hope it was nothing she was waiting anxiously for.


Another book on bead embroidery came, and I must say it disappointed me. It is by a well-known designer of women's clothing, and I had expected more, especially some classier designs. There are a lot of motifs, and the choice of beads, sequins and color is really tacky. However, there are a couple of stitches I haven't seen elsewhere, so it is an interesting addition to my library. I've seen a lot of this designer's stuff in Threads magazine, and I was really surprised by the quality (not good) of the motifs in the book.


So that is about all I know, and I will now bite the bullet and try to get this uploaded. FrontPage wanted to copy most of the web last night (its usual date and time problem with the time change), and never made it, so I'm not sure what will happen tonight. There is no way I can copy 50 mb on a 26.4kb phone line, even if I wanted to. Stay tuned...


I'm really sorry about the camera, but there is no way I can run it off the laptop, so there will be no new pictures until the situation with the power supply is resolved. And by the way, while I am open to the suggestion of a new computer, I still need to get this one running, because there is stuff on it that isn't backed up on the TravelDisk (oops!). Besides, I really had planned to wait until the Vista operating system is available and shaken out. So we will just have to wait and hope a new power supply arrives soon.


October 29

Well, the wind is over, and we didn't get any precipitation out of it. It was blowing at a sustained 30 mph with gusts to 36 mph (at least) out of the northwest until about 11:00 this morning, when it began to die down, and it is now nearly calm. The temperature has been around 40º.


It was a good night to sleep, and I didn't do badly. I even slept on my left side for a couple of hours, which helped a lot to take the pressure off my right hip and shoulder. The wind was hitting the north side of the house hard and the lake was roaring, and that sang me to sleep.


Because of the time change, I got up at what was about 8:30 this morning. I have said for a very long time that my body never really acclimates to the time change. I am on Eastern Standard Time, and that's it. So in the summer I get up later and go to bed later. Somehow, it makes the day seem longer when I get up that early.


I was still groggy and creaky all day, so I didn't do a lot. I did start another bracelet, this one in peyote, but I made so many mistakes in the first five rows that I gave up on it. I have had sort of a sinus headache. I think it's partly because the humidity is going down in the house, but the humidifier hasn't come on yet. I will have to recheck where I set it and see if I can get it to start. If not, there's another call to the expensive plumber...


Anyway, the sky was mostly cloudy all day, although there was some sunshine every so often. The harbor was full of whitecaps for most of the day, and it was that dark gray-green (about DMC 926) that it only gets during a blow. It was rather pretty, though, especially with the sun on the whitecaps.


Well, it's always pretty.


Every so often the sun would shine on the hills, and there are still leaves on the birch trees, so there is still a lot of gold on the hillsides. This has been a really strange color season, sort of spotty and drawn out, and it looks like it will be a while longer before everything turns gray-brown. 


We didn't have much of a sunset tonight, but the quarter moon has been shining pretty consistently in the window since it got dark. It's over almost behind the tree now, but it doesn't have any clouds in front of it.


Of course, since it looks to be clearer tonight than it was last night, there won't be the same light show there was last night...I woke up around 12:30 (old time) and noticed that the northern half of the sky was very bright. I peered out the windows for a while, but there were clouds passing by, and there didn't seem to be any structure to it, just a pale glow, and not as bright as the last time I saw the northern lights. It pretty much lasted all night, and it seemed like it might be brightening early in the morning, except by that time it was almost completely cloudy...very frustrating. Anyway, the glow was about 30º up in the northern sky.


I think I read recently that astronomers think the actual cycle minimum was last year, and a new sunspot cycle is starting. I'm not sure how they can tell for sure until it's all over, but that would be nice. I might even get to see another sunspot maximum after all. 2001 to 2003 were fun nights to be awake and watching.


One thing I have noticed since the sun quieted down some is that my atomic clock usually sets itself correctly...except for last night, when it didn't pick up the time change. That is the first time that has happened, and I wonder if it had anything to do with the aurora I saw. I know that the stuff the sun belches out that causes the aurora also plays havoc with the ionosphere, and the time signal, which is sent out from Colorado, is definitely bouncing off the ionosphere to get here. In some parts of the country, the clock will reset itself at any time of the day or night, but here, it only resets at night. When the sun is active, it frequently misreads the signal and gets about 40 minutes off...and that must have something to do with the bits in the digital signal. However, this is the first time in 6 years that it hasn't picked up the time change properly. The whole gizmo is a piece of junk (if you want a weather station of any kind, don't get a La Crosse Technologies one - they are all junk), and I wonder if the clock is losing its mind. We'll see what happens tomorrow. When that clock is on, it's more accurate than all the others, and I use it a lot. It annoys me when it isn't right.


Well, that is about all I have to complain about, and I think I will go put my achy head to bed and see if I can't do better tomorrow.


It is nice to be at home in the field.


October 28

I didn't have a very good night last night, which is the usual case the night after I take a sleeping pill. The question is, do I want to be awake all night before I drive or after? I've pretty much opted for after.


My problem was compounded by every time I moved around, I had a cat in bed, who mostly wanted to be petted. Not conducive to a good night's sleep. I finally did sleep for a while, with very strange dreams, and I got up around 10:30.


When I drove past the area between Scott Falls and Marquette yesterday, where the road is right beside the lake, and at the bottom of Keweenaw Bay, the lake was nearly calm. There was a little ripple on it, because the wind was from the south, such as it was, but there were no waves and no breakers, not even a little lapping at the shore.


Well, about 2:30, I was up, and the wind had shifted - actually between 11:00 and midnight - and it was blowing hard from the north and the lake was singing its gale song. It has continued all day, with sustained winds in the 25-35 mph range, with some gusts to 40 mph or so. It hasn't been enough to really get the waves high, but there has been a nice white line between Porter Island and the lighthouse all day long, with whitecaps on the harbor and some breakers on my beach. The wind has been from the north, which may be why the mid-Superior buoy is only reporting waves of less than 7 feet. The NWS did say that they my be higher on the shore of Keweenaw, but unfortunately, we don't have any measuring devices here.


The temperature hung right around 43º, and while it was mostly cloudy, for most of the day there was some occasional sunshine, with puffy clouds that are probably lake effect clouds. Apparently there was a little rain overnight, but nothing came down today that I know about, except for a few little snowballs as I was coming back from dinner. But when I came down to the office after taking off my clothes, there was a crescent moon low in the southern sky, so it is still partly cloudy.


It wasn't very nice out. It wasn't very nice even in the garage with the door shut, and when I was out there, I could hear the wind pounding on the back of the garage and the breezeway. It will be a good night to sleep, and maybe I can do better?


I didn't do much today, although I did get the boos and the silverware out of the car. I guess I didn't mention all of what I brought back with me. I unloaded most of the boos cabinet on Champine, except for some bottles with at most 4 ounces of liquid in them (and one bottle of vermouth with a little liquid and a humungous mother - that I threw out!). It turned out that I had plenty of room in the car, so I decided to bring back all of the silver flatware, just because the boxes were lying around in plain sight in the fruit cellar, and after losing the vase, I'm a bit paranoid about the people who come into the house when I'm not there. I do need to take the boxes down to the basement and stash them away, but they are at least not in the car. 


The rest of the stuff, except for one box of Christmas stuff, is still in the car. Maybe I can get it out tomorrow...that isn't interesting stuff at all, just Christmas decorations, cat dishes and tea. I had grossly over-bought herb tea at the other house, so I brought a lot of it back with me. I am more likely to use it here. In fact, I had some for brunch today. 


Hot things still bother my tooth, but I'm hoping that will go away. That temporary crown was so high that I really think I bruised the nerves of several teeth on both the top and bottom, and they still hurt at intervals, and it is still so sore back there that I can't sleep on my left side. I will give it another week to heal, and if it doesn't I'll be talking to the dentist.


I got to the post office and retrieved my week's worth of mail...two bills and a lot of junk...and one letter that is actually for the other Smith on Champine, but got addressed to 422 instead of 413...I'm not sure how. I will try to send it on its way, but since the stamp was canceled, I may have to pay to send it to the right address. I will talk to Clyde about that on Monday.


Buster spent as much time as I would let him on my lap. He is just incredibly happy to have me back home again. And now, after I had to chase him away so I could type, he has curled up behind the sewing machine on the nightgowns that need mending and smell of me. Ron tells me he spent a couple of hours with Buster on Friday, but that still wasn't like mom. And of course, I keep going away, if only for an hour or two.


Things were pretty dead in Mariner tonight, although there were a number of tables full. I guess there is a Halloween party at Zik's later tonight, so the locals will be there. I had some nice barbecued ribs, and brought another meal home with me, so I won't have to cook until Monday.


One thing came up at the post office today that I guess I've never mentioned. One of the oddities of locals around here is that if they stop their cars for just a few minutes, like at the post office, they leave them running. I know that it is a luxury to be able to leave your car running and know that nobody would ever think of touching it, let alone driving off with it. With the price of gas what it is, and the fact that idling a car for long periods isn't good for it, for several years I've thought that was a simply foolish thing to do. However, a good number of the old-timers (and not so old-timers) still do it. So frequently I pull up to the post office and find one or more cars running while their owners are getting their mail. Today it was Sam Raymond, who isn't exactly an old-timer, although he's been here for quite a while. I still think it's dumb. Oh, well. If they want to burn gas and shorten the life of their cars, who am I to natter at them?


So that is about all I know. The lake is howling and the wind is blowing, and I don't think I'll be up for very long tonight. Oh, but it's good to be back in the field!


October 27

I'm home! I'm home! I'm home!


The portal-to-portal time was 10h 15m, which I didn't think was too bad for having to navigate the covered road in the dark.


My best-laid plans to leave about 9:00 didn't quite happen, because I didn't wake up until 7:50. I think I did very well to be out of the house by 9:30. There were just a lot of last-minute things to do. I had to pack the barrel bag and make the bed...and hassle the bedspread, which looks square but isn't. Then I had to make and eat breakfast and load and start the dishwasher, and put the last few things (fortunately, very few) in the car...bring in the trash barrel, lock up the house and the garage...well, you see.


There was more traffic on the freeways than I'd hoped, and a lot more than there was three weeks ago. I don't know why. but it made for some interesting driving south of West Branch. The other night when I was going south, traffic on I-696 seemed to mostly want to go over 75 mph...well, even though it was late for the rush hour, this morning they all wanted to go 65, Part of that was, I'm sure, because it was raining or drizzling at the east end. Yes, it was drizzling when I left Champine. There goes my nice clean car. On I-75, the popular speeds seemed to be either 70 mph or 80 mph, and the state police were patrolling, but curiously, they didn't catch any of the guys who passed me doing 85.


The rain was only on the east side of the Metro area, although it was cloudy all the way to Indian River. Then it started to clear up, and there was partial sunshine until not long before sunset. The sun went down into a nasty looking cloudbank, and about the time I got to Calumet, it started to drizzle again. It was messy, but it did serve to eventually clean the bugs off my windshield. Yup, there are still bugs!


The whole trip was sort of a chore. There isn't much to see at this time of year. I followed a guy all the way from Newberry to Negaunee, though, and that helped. I'm sure he wondered what I was doing, but it was nice to have a pace car.


I stopped for gas in Baraga, although it isn't that much cheaper than off the reservation anymore. The dynamics of gas prices totally elude me.


I ran across the usual strange driving between Baraga and Houghton, including the car that pulled out in front of me in Chassell then proceeded to drive very slowly to the local funeral home. There was no one behind me, so why he had to pull out in front, I don't know. And there are always those people driving between Chassell and Houghton who don't know what the speed limit is, and where it changes...


There was a surprising amount of traffic coming and going between Houghton and Copper Harbor, and I am sorry to report that even up here, there are a lot of people who don't know (or don't care) that you are supposed to turn off your bright lights when there is oncoming traffic. That may have bothered me more than usual because I am really very tired and I have a slight but persistent headache.


Buster met me at the door, and he hasn't wanted to leave me alone since I got here. Now, because I am eating and typing, he can't sit on my lap, and he is complaining, even though I let him sit all the time I was reading my mail.


Speaking of mail, Kathy, our problems continue. I tried to send you the messages you requested at the new email address, and it bounced. Sorry to use this means of communication, but I think it's important, and I'd like to get charter.net working on the problem. I did send you a test message tonight, and if it goes through, I will forward the other messages tomorrow.


Now I am exhausted. The camera hung up before 9:00 this morning, and apparently Ron stopped by and restarted it just after 5:00, and it took two pictures and went down again. Sorry about that. Next week I really will be on the phone with Gateway. Really.


Oh - the weather. It was cloudy all day here, I think, but the temperature was about the same as I had crossing the UP. The temperature got up to just over 50º for a while and now has dropped back. They are predicting a blow for the weekend, which makes me really glad I didn't decide to come back tomorrow. It will be fun to watch.


I have to say that the TravelDisk is wonderful. Except that Windows Explorer can't calculate the amount of time it will take to do the copy, and it is so buggy that it hung up the computer on me last night, it is quite painless. Say "copy" and it copies, and that is that. What a relief! Thanks again, Dennis.


That is about all I know. I need sleep, lots of sleep, so I will try to get this uploaded and go do. Don't expect any early pictures tomorrow.


Anyway, I'm home, all in one piece, and I'm very glad to be here...at home in the field.


October 26

I am pleased to report I made it through the day. The dermatologist seems to think that while I probably did have cellulitis, what I have now is caused by the swelling of my legs. She wants me to wear thigh-high compression stockings and use a steroid cream on the red spots. We'll see. I'm not sure there is a medical supply company that fits stockings in the entire UP.


Then it was off to the stress test, and I got through that OK, although I couldn't go long enough to get my heart rate really high. I hope it was good enough.


So I was home by 2:15, and I was tired enough that it was tempting to go upstairs and take a nap. The operative word was "upstairs", however, so I ate the rest of my sandwich and went downstairs to the computer, to discover that the Copper Harbor computer  had hung up almost right after Ron rebooted it. Well, I fixed that, and it held up until 5:15. I'm trying to reset it again, but if it doesn't work, I'll just drop it. It's getting too late to worry about. (Note at 7:05: it did work).


I must say that this is the earliest I've been all ready to go in a long time, and a good thing, too. I am exhausted. I had the trash out and the garage door closed at 6:30. So now I can do this thing and back up the files to the TravelDIsk, and then I can go upstairs. Whew!


It was a partly sunny day here, with a temperature that got into the upper 40s. In Copper Harbor, it was mostly cloudy, so far as I could tell, with not much wind at all. The temperature got down to 30º overnight, but it got up to 45º today. 


I am happy to say that the rain and/or snow is supposed to hold off until tomorrow night, so I may have a relatively easy trip home. Sure hope so.


The only other thing of note I can think of is that Buster actually let Ron pet him this morning, for about 5 minutes. Maybe he will see that Ron is really a nice guy after all and he can be trusted not to kick, grab, or yell. Of course, tomorrow morning will be the last time he'll see Ron for a while...maybe I'll have to invite him over frequently so Buster can stay used to him? Or maybe this will show him for sure that it's OK. I know that after a while, he got used to Shirley.


So that is all there is, and after I get this uploaded, I have some system stuff to do. I'm going home! I'm going home! I'm going home!


October 25

Well, another day, another test. It gets confusing after a while. I woke up at 9:30, after a pretty good night's sleep - I was wakeful for a while, I think - that wasn't interrupted by a sore jaw, and when I opened my eyes, I thought I was supposed to be someplace at 10:30. So I jumped out of bed, feeling very groggy, and it wasn't until I'd been up for a few minutes that I remembered that today's appointment was at 11:15. The 10:30 is tomorrow with the dermatologist.  Good thing, too, because that one is five or six miles away, and I don't think I would have made it. Hopefully, I will wake up a bit earlier tomorrow.


Today was the mammogram, and it was trivial. I am pleased to report that they didn't squish me as much as they sometimes have. I was out in half an hour.


Then it was off to the supermarket, and I came home with a large amount of stuff to eat, and stuff to drink, but all that means is that I won't have to go to Houghton for a while after I get home, which was my plan. I got some nice sandwiches, and some nice deli salads. I do have to report, however, that the lavash wrap trays that I get for the trip have been severely downsized, from a 12" tray to about a 9" tray, at, I think, no decrease in price. That amounts to a decrease from about 15 pieces to 11 or 12. I wasn't very pleased, but they are so handy I got them anyway. And the big veggie trays are now little veggie trays. Oh, well, prices rarely go down.


I think it was partly reaction and partly from getting up so quickly this morning, but I was tired and a bit groggy for most of the day. However, I got myself upstairs with the suitcases and packed away all the stuff I had laid out before I went downstairs this morning...winter sweaters mostly, and some darker sweatshirt-sweater-turtleneck combos, as well as a few odd turtlenecks and a couple of sweatshirts. I also took two of my nice vests and I dug around in a box and found all my Christmas jewelry, so I will have something festive to wear if necessary. I doubt that anybody really dresses up even for the holidays in Copper Harbor.


With that done, I started packing some of the kitchen stuff I want to take back, and when Cynthia came, we got the car as well packed as it can be until tomorrow. I keep forgetting just how much room there is in that vehicle when there isn't a large dog cage in it, and I could take a lot more stuff, if there was a lot more stuff I wanted to take. That's good, because I bet there will be just as much every time I come back. If I have time tomorrow, I may try to pack up some of the cleaning supplies that nobody will need around here anymore. We'll see.


When I came down to the computer, I found that the Copper Harbor computer had hung up around 10:00 this morning, but it took me a couple of tries to get it running again, why I don't know. That was OK, since it was a dull gray day there, and we did get to see sunset.


I also got an email message from a nice person in St. Louis, and when I tried to reply to her, my message got routed to someone with the same email address who lives in northern Nevada. I'm not quite sure how charter.net could have allowed that to happen, but Kathy, if you read this, you will probably want to talk to charter.net and try to get the situation resolved. Sorry, I can't reply to your nice long message. I also said the same thing to the other people.


Then it occurred to me that with my lovely new TravelDisk, I don't have to keep the laptop set up any longer, so I packed it up for the trip north. I will copy the files to it when I get home. I do like to bring it with me, all set up, because then I can (usually!) do my first night's journal without coming down to this computer and copying files right then. When I get home, I will delete the copy of the website on the laptop completely, and copy what is on the TravelDisk, and I think that should solve the problem I had the other night...as much as it can be. FrontPage is a really stupid program. It has some nice features that make creating web pages really easy, but its file handling capabilities are the pits.


Of course, it seems I am always trying to do things with programs that their authors never thought about, but that is no excuse. They should have thought about them.


Anyway, that was my day, and although I have to try to find a couple of bills that need paying, I expect to be in bed fairly early tonight and, I do hope, up early enough tomorrow that I don't have to fly out to 10 Mile Road and Kelly.


Oh, yes, the weather. Not much to report. It was cloudy and dull in Copper Harbor, so far as I saw it, and the temperature was about 40º with not much wind. Here, it was sunny in the morning and then it clouded up, and the temperature here was about 45º all day. That's near the average low for here, but about halfway between the average high and low for Copper Harbor...in other words, it's been cooler than normal all over Michigan this October.


The only good thing to report on the weather front is that the forecast for Friday is now a lot better than it was yesterday, and I may not have to drive in the rain all day, like it seemed I would. That won't bother me at all.


And that is all there is. One more hectic day and I can go home. 


October 24

I'm really sorry that last night's journal, and its accompanying webcam pictures didn't get published until this afternoon. I wrote it late last night, but when I tried to publish it, FrontPage wanted to copy the entire 47mb, and every time I said "no" over 3900 times, it maxed out the buffers and abended, so after trying about five times (with a reboot in between each try), and it got to be 12:30, I finally gave up.


Besides that, I still can't send email from that computer, and I don't know why, so those of you who emailed me yesterday, I didn't get to reply until today.


As a result of all that fiddling around, it was after 1:00 before I turned out the light (since I really needed a bath after unloading the car), and I didn't sleep very well. The bed here doesn't have the nice cushy pad on it that the one in Copper Harbor, so around 6:00 this morning, my right hip got so sore I couldn't sleep on lt comfortably, and I ended up dozing until 9:00. I really didn't want to get up then, and I looked tired even to me, but I really wanted to get my tooth fixed, and I ate breakfast after the CT scan instructions said I shouldn't anyway.


I now have another nice little piece of 18k gold in my mouth, and my tooth is better, if not cured. The dentist seems to think that my entire problem was that the temporary crown was so high that the pounding of my other teeth on it caused my entire problem. I think he is probably right, although the new crown is still quite sensitive to heat.  We'll see how it goes for the next couple of days, but it is far less painful than it was.


So after that, I came back via the gas station, and began drinking my barium. Yuck! Howe I hate that stuff!


I came down to the basement and began to try to get the files I made yesterday moved to the travel disk. I didn't want to move the whole web, because of the problems I had last night, so I ended having to remember what I did and move them in small chunks. Then I had to try to move the whole thing to this computer, and I kept running into the weirdness of Windows Explorer, so it took me quite a while to get both the web and Outlook Express the way I wanted them. I think they're OK now, but we'll see when I try to upload this entry.


In the middle of moving files, Explorer hung up (ME really is a piece of junk - I wish I could afford three copies of XP, three Office Professionals and three FrontPages, but I can't) and then when I tried to start typing this entry, the whole computer hung and I lost what I was doing...I bet I lost the new cam page I made, too. Let me check that.


Yup, sure did. The reason I made a new camera page is that the sun came out right before sunset tonight, and I wanted to show you how far south the sun is setting these days. Pretty soon it will be out of camera range altogether.


The weather was about the same in Copper Harbor and here, just a few degrees warmer here. It was cloudy all day in Copper Harbor, with a temperature of 40º and a brisk north wind. Here it was about 45º,


Oh, yes, also on the way back from the dentist, I stopped and actually got my car washed. I was amused, because I was in line with a bunch of other cars, all of which looked quite clean to me, and then there was mine, which was just awful. It looks much better now, although I expect it will be just as bad by the time I get back home, since It's supposed to rain and snow all day Friday.


Then I presented myself at the cancer center and got my CT scans done, and then I went upstairs to get my flu shot. Dr. Lehman came out and saw me and was really puzzled until I explained to him why I was there. So I am now all protected.


By the time I got back here, I was tired and hungry. I have now solved the hungry thing, but I need to go take care of the tired thing. Tomorrow I have a mammogram in the morning, after which I will get something decent to eat besides TV dinners, and in the afternoon I have to collect everything I want to take back with me. I've asked Cynthia to help me pack (and pack the car; I will be too tired Thursday to do that whole thing). There is also supposed to be an AT&T guy coming to try to complete the repairs on my phone. They couldn't do it when I originally called it in, they said, because they couldn't get into the house. What that has to do with my not being able to get caller ID on call waiting, I don't know, but what do I know? This is why I'm paying for linebacker service.


So that is about all I know, and I need to go to bed.


October 23

Well, I made it safe and sound, and in 9 hours, 50 minutes, which is about the minimum time.


I wasn't anticipating that, since I didn't leave until 10:00. 


I didn't get to bed until nearly 1:00 am, but I got up at about 7:15. It took a while to do everything I needed and wanted to do. Buster came and sat on my lap when I was in the bathroom, then he disappeared. He doesn't like to be around when I leave him alone, and besides, I think he always wonders, in the back of his fuzzy little mind, if maybe I'm planning to take him along.


The weather in Copper Harbor was OK, around 40º and partly cloudy, with a strong wind from the north. It looked like it might have rained overnight. Well...I got to the top of the hill, by the Mountain lodge, and it had clearly snowed there, and further down the peninsula, there was a couple of inches on the ground. The weather forecast for my whole trip wasn't the best, and it turned out to be all too correct.


Traffic was amazingly light, and for a good portion of the trip through the UP, I might as well have been the only person on the road. 


However, I ran into serious lake-effect snow in the same place that I had so much trouble last year - between Scott Falls and Christmas, where the road leaves the lake and climbs into the hills for a while. In fact, it was downright ugly there, with a couple of inches of wet snow on the road and more coming down. And, of course, at that point, I was behind an idiot. This guy in a white van had been going 65 mph, so I was happy to stay behind him, but when we hit the snow, not only did he slow down (not a bad thing), he slowed down to 40 mph, and he refused to go faster. I usually say, people know their own cars and they know their tires, but there was no conceivable reason he should have gone so slow. The only thing that saved me was the passing lanes, and I was able to pass him and two other timid drivers. Not that I was going so fast - I think I was going 50 or so - but I didn't see any reason to crawl along.


I ran out of snow before Christmas, and it was actually bright in Munising, and from there to the bridge there was no more precip, although the road was wet in spots. My car is a disaster on the outside, and I do hope I can get it washed while I'm here.


It was rather neat driving down I-75 and over the bridge, because to the west of I-75 and south of the straits there was an enormous, very dark cloud with stuff coming out of it. Unfortunately, it was moving toward the east and I was moving south, and we intersected somewhere south of Mackinaw, and it was snow, mostly. I got through it, but that was the pattern all the way to West Branch. There were these dark clouds full of snow/rain/sleet passing to the east, and I kept running through them. There wasn't enough snow to do more than wet the road, and I doubt it would have stuck, because the temperature was in the upper 30s. It didn't slow me down, obviously.


That was partly because there was very light traffic all the way here. I missed the rush hours from Saginaw south, and while there was the usual lots of traffic, particularly in northern Oakland County, it was moving well.


The color season is over pretty much everywhere. Parts of M-28 and M-123 that are usually monotonous were unusually pretty today because the tamaracks have all turned golden, and the contrast with the very dark evergreens was very pretty. Other places, it was dull and gray. There was one spot along I-75, I think around Grayling, where the trees hadn't shed their leaves yet, and that was pretty, but the rest of the way, before it got too dark to see colors, was dull. I didn't see any wildlife, except for one large bird sitting on a branch. It was clearly a hawk with a white breast, and I suspect it was a peregrine falcon, but at 75 mph it was hard to be sure.


So I am here, and I hate it already. It stinks in this town, and I hate the stairs, and I don't want to be here, except that I really want to get my tooth fixed. It hurt off and on all day, and right now my ear hurts, so I need to get that resolved. The rest of it, I'd rather skip, if I could.


A couple of other notes. The computer hung up around noon, and by the time I found that out, it wouldn't matter if I reset it or not, so it probably won't come up tomorrow until Ron arrives to feed the kitty. However, before it stopped updating, it captured three really nice pictures of the late autumn color on the hills. I was there to see the first one, and I'm really sorry I wasn't there to see the other two. 


The other note is that there is still something wrong with my email definitions on this computer, and while I can receive it just fine, I can't send anything out, so please excuse me if you don't get responses from me to your emails until sometime tomorrow. I'm not quite sure what the problem is, and it won't do any good to call PastyNet until tomorrow anyway, by which time I will probably be using the desktop in the basement, which works just fine. I've checked the account definitions a couple of times, and they seem to be right, but they just don't work, so I need to ask somebody who knows what a error 554 is and what to do about it. The problem with the MSN account is probably the password, which I'm not sure I know anymore. I will try that after I upload this.


I don't have to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, but I can't sleep forever, either, because I have to get gas before I go to the dentist. And since it's now 11:30 and I need a bath, I guess I will just end this now.


I'm not in the field and I hate that.


October 22

This will be a short one, because it's 10:00 and I haven't eaten yet, and I still have to copy the files. It's my own fault. Except to pack things in the office, I didn't do anything at all until after 6:00, and then I kept stopping. I guess the idea that I wasn't taking much just lulled me into thinking I didn't have to start early. So I will probably get a late start tomorrow. Oh, well.


I had a long talk with Ron, who is still mixed up in that stupid lawsuit. I hope I made him feel a little better. If Buster would just make up with him, it would probably make him feel a lot better.


It was a dull, gray day, with occasional snow or sleet showers, although I didn't pay much attention. There wasn't any measurable precip until after 8:00, when it was dark.


I am taking five crates and a barrel and an empty suitcase, so I think I will have enough stuff to pack in if I need it. I have a long list...from Christmas decorations to Corning casseroles and cat dishes. I am also going to go through my winter sweaters and bring some of those back. There are a few times this winter when I might want to look a little nicer than usual. I might (I haven't decided) even bring back my good black wool pants and my three fancy vests...but then I might have to bring back the box with the rest of my jewelry in it, so that I will have some Christmas jewels to wear. We'll see. Since the only time I really have to gather anything together is Wednesday afternoon, I hope I can get everything I want. If I have some room left, I may begin to remove the bottles from the boos cabinet. It might be nice to have something around here besides JD.


So that is all there is. The computer behaved itself for most of the day, and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I have another bad power supply fan and the problem is heat related. We'll see when I get back.


Buster wanted to sit on me for most of the day, and I tried to be nice to him. I also told him he needs to be nice to Ron, but we'll see how that works out.


Oh, yes. Last night, instead of going to bed early, I finished the blue and silver netted bracelet, so I can start on the next one on the list (white background snowflake) when I get back.


Oh, I can't tell you how I wish I didn't have to go, but it certainly will be nice to get my toothache fixed. It's beginning to bother me again, so I guess the Advil has worn off.


And that's all there is. It's time to start backing up the files and then to bed...


October 21

I did sleep last night, with only about three interruptions, from 11:00 until 10:00 this morning, but I still feel tired. I believe I have an infection in or around that tooth, and that is what is keeping me feeling sort of blah. So as a result, I didn't do much, and I don't have much to report.


Tomorrow will be a busy day.


I brought in Mrs. Westphal's daughter, and I finally filled out the forms to change over my homestead property tax exemption to this house...and I think that's it. I have had the forms for the homestead property tax thing for a while, but I had to dig through the stuff that needs to be filed and find the last tax bills, which have the property number on them, so I finally did that today. I have a lot of filing to do. I guess I've just been holding off until all these trips are over (or something like that).


It wasn't the nicest day around here. The temperature was about 40º all day, and it was mostly cloudy, except for a couple of hours in the afternoon, when the sun came out briefly. When I went to dinner tonight, I stopped at the post office to mail my letters, and that which was coming down was not rain...it was more like little snowballs. It was still doing that when I came out. The forecast for Monday is for possible accumulations of snow, so I hope I can get south of the bridge before that begins to happen. This is a little early for so much cool weather, I think, and it's almost as cool in Detroit. Could be the beginning of a long winter. Well, between my beading and the stuff in the basement, I'm sure I won't be bored.


When I went to the post office the first time, it was a real zoo in town. The rally was having a pit stop in Copper Harbor, and there were step vans, tents, cars and people all over the place. I had a hard time even getting to the post office, but I was glad I did, since I had a ton of mail. This should be the last gasp for big crowds in town, though, and pretty soon Copper Harbor will go to sleep until Christmas.


So that is all there is, and I plan to go to bed early tonight, as soon as I finish my drink. 


It was dark at 7:30 tonight. There is only 10½ hours of daylight now, and it's getting shorter by about 23 minutes a week. And getting off DST won't help at all, it's just the dark time of the year. You will have to get used to seeing the reflection of my desk lamp in the camera pictures from late in the day.


So that is all I know, and I will be off to the north end as soon as I finish my drink.


October 20

I am glad to say that I slept better last night, although having to sleep all on my right side meant I spent some time awake, giving it a rest. I took two Advil before I went to bed, and they really worked. It wasn't until after I laid on my left side for a while this morning that I had any pain at all. So I took one this morning, and except when I ate something, I was pain-free for most of the day, too. So I will continue, although I'll try just one tonight and see if that works.


I actually did some things today. The last load of wash is in the dryer now, what is clean is all folded neatly and ready to put away, and I got the trash to the compactor. So I'm making progress.


It was a dull, gray October day, with a temperature that hung at about 40º with almost no wind. When I went to dinner tonight, there was a little drizzle coming down. But all night long, I could hear the bell buoy tolling quietly. I know they have to take them up for the winter, but it's a shame. I like to hear that buoy, just like I like to see the lighthouse light.


Late in the afternoon, I hauled some tray tables upstairs and brought in all the plants except for Mrs. Westphal and her daughter, the two humungous old-fashioned Christmas cactuses. I brought Mrs. Westphal here in a washbasket. Her daughter is smaller. Either I started her from a cutting or my mother did. Mrs. Westphal must be at least 60 years old, and she is still going strong, although she would do better if I hauled her out of her pot, root pruned her, and gave her some new dirt. In the spring, when I can do all that outdoors, I expect to do a lot of repotting. Starting sometime in December, probably, they will start to bloom, and they really put on a show. They are a mass of rose-pink blossoms, and they are so huge that it's really impressive. I hope they will bloom for Christmas this year. 


By the way, she is named Mrs. Westphal after the lady who owned her before me. She was a shut-in at my first church, and when she couldn't take care of the plant anymore, she donated it to the Christmas bazaar. I happened to be there with my mother the night before the sale, and I came away with Mrs. Westphal, for a very small amount of money. I have been her caretaker for close to 30 years now, I would guess.


The old-fashioned Christmas cactuses are more picky than the new "Holiday cactus" plants they sell these days, and their flowers are smaller, but they are much hardier and they grow much bigger. I have several of the newer variety, which, I'm afraid, are all white or pink. One of them was setting buds when I moved it, but I didn't look closely tonight to see if they are still there.


I hope I can get back into houseplants, both because I really do enjoy having them around, and because they will get me up for outdoor gardening. I used to have a lot of African violets, but they require a lot of care. Now I have Christmas cactuses, a humungous hoya or wax plant that started a baby in a pot that happened to be beside it, two crown-of-thorns, and some little haworthias. There wasn't much more, but a couple of things died, because someone put them all in the garage for two weeks last spring...oh, well. Now I can start over.


The hoya really should be a hanging plant, but I don't have anyplace to hang it. When I was living in my first house, I had it hanging in front of a window, and it bloomed regularly. I could tell when a flower cluster opened, because I would come in after dark and smell the scent. I also had a rope plant, which is a hoya with curly, green-and-white leaves, and it bloomed, too, but it died sometime after I moved to Champine, I don't know why. Probably it either got no water or too much water. Now, the hibiscus (which was my mother's) needs to be constantly moist, but all the rest the plants I have here now should dry out before they are watered. Jackie, bless her heart, watered everything equally. She managed to drown my mother-in-law's tongue, which I had had for almost 40 years. I didn't think you could kill those things. It wasn't so beautiful, but I kept it for sentimental reasons, since it had once bloomed. However, I bet I can acquire a new one if I want.


There are still five or six really big plants at Champine, including the philodendron monstera I started from seed and is now in a 24" or bigger pot, and the two pony-tail palms, both of which are going to split their pots one of these days. Those palms are Buster's favorite green, so when I bring them here, I will have to put them someplace he can't go, so I guess they will go in one of the upstairs bedrooms and I will just have to hope I remember to water them. The palms, the ficus, and the umbrella plant I can probably wrap in bags and lay on their sides, but I have no clue how I'm going to get the monstera up here. That is for a future trip anyway, maybe next April.


Hmm...maybe I could hang the hoya in the office? Hmm...


Well, anyway, tomorrow I will continue with the things that need to be done around here, although I won't be leaving the house in quite such good condition as it was last time. Adam called the day I came back, but I haven't heard from him since, so I don't know when, or if, I will get any more cleaning help. Probably he'll call next Friday when I'm on my way home...if he does, I will just call him back whenever I get home. I need some help again.


The computer was really acting up today, including not wanting to reboot right before I went to dinner. First it stopped in the middle of the disk scan, then it came up in safe mode and hung, and then, wonder of wonders, it came up like nothing at all had happened. I hope it makes it through the week, and then I can pay more attention to it.


The dining room at Mariner was open tonight, and they had a small but nice smorgasbord, so I did get the salad bar again. Apparently part of the fee for the women's conference was dinner, and there were lots of large middle aged ladies chowing down (of which I was one). Maybe they will have the dining room open again tomorrow. I hope so.


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


October 19

Talk about an awful night! Wow! I slept until about 1:30, and then my tooth and my neck were so sore, and my mind was going in such tight circles that it was 7:30 before I even dozed. I got up around 11:00, just because it felt like I was going to start the same cycle all over again, but I've been exhausted all day, and I didn't do a thing except pay some bills.


The mind started going because I had a nasty dream about the person who has my embroidery that hasn't been framed, which is weird, because I haven't really thought about her in some time, and then I started thinking about her and how she screwed me, and it just went on from there. My neck and my tooth were throbbing, and I while I was comfortable otherwise, that kept me awake, and then I started thrashing around. I must have gotten up and sat in the bathroom six or seven times.


Anyway, the tooth and the neck are still throbbing. A reader, who is a dentist, suggested that I'd better tell my dentist about this, so I did, but this is his day off, so that didn't do much good. However, I have decided to hang the kidneys and take some Advil tonight, in the hope that a little stronger pain medicine will help. I still have some vicodon at the other house, and I wish it was here, because if it was, I'd take it. I will try to remember to bring it back, just in case.


So I don't have much to report, except the weather. The camera was down until noon, when I rebooted it, but the view out the window looked the same all day - gray and dull. Only the shades of the clouds changed a bit to let me know it wasn't reproducing the same picture. The temperature was around 40º all day long, and the wind for most of the day was in the 15-25 mph range from the north or northwest. Not very nice, frankly.


It seems pretty busy in town, actually. There is an off-road rally this weekend, and a women's health conference, and there seemed to be a good number of cars in town for this time of year. I even saw an Alaska license plate at the post office today! We'll see tomorrow night.


So I can scarcely keep my eyes open, after half a bottle of wine, and I'm off to the north end to crash. Let's hope tomorrow is better.


October 18

I was awake just before 9:00 and decided not to get up, so it was almost noon when I did...how to lose a day! Not that it was much to write home about. I was in the bathroom just before 4:00 when suddenly the wind began to blow hard, and it was cloudy and windy and cool -around 43º - all day long. There were several little intervals of rain that were so small they didn't even register at the NWS station. Altogether not very nice. 


I had some plans for the day, but it was gone before I could do anything, so oh, well. I did work on the blue bracelet a bit, but that was about all. The one peek at the sun we got was gone so fast I didn't have time to take a picture of the pink bracelet, so maybe tomorrow.


I am going to have to get something going tomorrow, or I won't be ready to leave on  Monday. I have a list of the usual things - clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, wash, straighten up the office (if that's possible), and I do need to get the plants out of the breezeway, although they don't seem to mind the cool very much. They are used to the porch on Champine, which is cool all winter. However, I do want to get them settled in their new home. I have to dig some tables and stands out of the basement, and I have just been avoiding going down there. 


Buster caught a mouse sometime during the night last night, and sometime later, he barfed it up. Maybe he knows I'm leaving again. I wish I knew how much he understands of what I say and write, but the way he acts, it's more than I wish. I think cats are much smarter than scientists think, because the scientists don't know how to relate to cats and try to test them by the same methods they use with dogs.


I brought three old bed pillows back with me, and yesterday I piled them on the window seat and put one of the throws over them, so last night about the time I was going to bed, Buster climbed under the throws on the pillows and settled down for a nice nap. That is probably one of the warmer places around here in the winter, although this morning he was in his cat bed in the closet. The floor in the closet is always quite warm, and I think that is why he stays in there in the winter. He seems to like the cat bed a lot, especially since it is pushed back into a corner of the closet and it's hard to tell he's in it.


So this is fairly early tonight, and I don't have anything much to report except that I have had a stiff neck and a toothache (both on the same side) for most of the day. And I am going to try to get to bed earlier tonight and get up earlier tomorrow. It's a dark, damp, chilly night in the field tonight.


October 17

I did sleep last night, although I was up any number of times, and I had a very dry mouth. I still can't sleep on my left side at all (that's the one with the tooth), but I think it is probably because I had been sleeping exclusively on that side for a while, and the side of my head just got too sore. We'll see about tonight.


I was up at a reasonable hour, which was good, because the computer hung up overnight again, so there were no pictures of sunrise. Not that there was much to see. It was a moist, foggy morning and it turned into a moist, foggy day. It rained for most of the night, and it has  started again. The temperature has been steady at 50º, and while there was some wind out of the south this morning, it has been calm for most of the afternoon. All the camera pictures we got were uniformly dull and gray. There was a pretty good picture of a fly, but that was about all there was.


I didn't do much, but I did a few things. I got Buster's canned food all put away and I got the liqueurs put away in the cellaret. I also consolidated the three crates in the great room, so I now have three empty crates to take south with me, just in case.


I finally finished the pink and gold bracelet, but too late to take a picture. Tomorrow, maybe.  Then I started the blue and silver netting bracelet, which is the other one Nancy bought. I have about an inch done.


I'm not ready for bed yet, but I thought I'd get this out of the way now.


One of the things I thought about when I was awake last night is that it would be nice to at least get the pillow and seat covers of the couch cleaned. They are very gray. So today I looked up "Cleaners" in the phone book, and discovered that there is exactly one dry cleaning establishment in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties. Ah, the joys of living in the northwoods! Don't buy anything that says "dry clean only"! Anyway, there is one, and it is in Houghton, so one of these days, when I get back from Detroit, I will take my pillow and seat covers (they zip off) down to them and maybe they will come back cleaner than they are now.


And that is all there is in the damp, dull field.


October 16

It was one of those nights...I woke up around 4:00, I think, and after that I couldn't find a comfortable place to lay, my tooth ached, My ear ached from lying on it, and I was a general mess. As a result I got up fairly early this morning, although I didn't do much with it.


I did some work in the kitchen, although there are still two pots soaking in the sink and the stove is still a mess. The rest of it is a little better, so that was good.


I sorted out some more catalogs and got rid of a lot of them, but then I started reading the newer ones, and that took most of the rest of the day.


There was a bunch of mail at the post office, and a nice gift. One of my readers has given me a USB-connected external disk drive, and it came today and it works. So now I can move files between the various computers easily and I won't have to hassle with LapLink anymore. When I think of all the sweat and tears I've shed over that program,.. It will be really nice to be done with it. I will have to think just how I'm going to do the transfers, but I have a few days to devise a strategy.


Anyway, it was a most generous gift, and I am very grateful for it. So, I suspect, will everyone who reads this be, since you won't have to read me ranting about that stupid program anymore.


Then tonight, I finally called Debbie, and we had a nice conversation, fairly long as usual (about 3 hours this time). She is well, and her oldest son is driving, which will be a bigger help to her than she knows yet.


The weather was - eh. It was partly sunny this morning, but by noon the clouds had moved in and it was cloudy all afternoon. Sometime between 4:00 and 5:00 it started raining lightly, and it has been raining ever since, but not hard. The temperature was steady at around 50º all day, and the wind was fairly light out of the south. I guess it's supposed to rain all night.


So that was the day, and I got little enough sleep last night that I'm tired. Maybe I can do better tonight. Now they are predicting snow showers for Monday. I hope not.


October 15

Well, I didn't get to bed early last night, and my tooth bothered me some, but I slept relatively well, and I slept for a long time.


When I went to bed, the lake was still singing and the wind was still quite strong, When I was up at around 6:30, the lake was silent, and in fact it was so quiet that I could hear the bell buoy ringing slowly, so it must have been almost calm.


Since it was such a beautiful day, of course the computer hung up and we didn't get any pictures until I rebooted around noon. Poo.


It was beautiful. While there were some clouds, in general it was clear and sunny, and the temperature got up to 48º for most of the afternoon, with a wind that was around 15  mph at 1:00 then died down again. So for a while there were some whitecaps on the harbor, but for most of the afternoon the wind was light and it was nice out.


I ended up not doing much again, although I did wash dishes and cleaned out the sink. Of course, then I cooked, so the sink is full of stuff again, or it will be shortly.


That didn't happen until after sunset (which is at about 7:00 these days - oh, the days are getting short!). I was fiddling around looking at catalogs and playing games about 6:45 when I looked outside and saw a really interesting sight in the sky. So I grabbed the camera and went out on the deck, and this is what I saw. The sun is actually the bottom of the three blobs, so I guess that qualifies as a sun pillar, although the meteorologists may have another name for this particular phenomenon. I thought it was pretty neat. It's one thing I haven't ever seen before. It didn't last long, of course, and I think I actually missed the best view, but at least I caught it. The camera shot at about the same time shows a hint of it, but it was too bright and it was washed out. The Nikon did better, although I had my usual trouble getting it to turn on and turn off. At least this time actually taking the picture worked properly.


Then I attacked dinner. I wanted to use my little summer squashes and the last of my tomatoes, so I decided to make a rice dish I haven't made since before my mother died, and that's a long time. Well, I made a mess. The recipe says to put the rice and garlic in hot oil until the rice browns, but I overheated the pan and ended up scorching everything and leaving a nasty black ring around the edges of my newest pot. So I threw that out and started over, being much more careful about the heat. That worked much better, and the result was yummy, except that I need to put a note in the recipe not to leave out the salt. 


For years people were telling me to eat a salt-restricted diet to keep my ankles from swelling, but it never did very much good. Only I got in the habit of not using salt in cooking at all. You can get away with that for some things, but this had fresh tomatoes and summer squash, and it needs salt. It works better if the salt is cooked in with the rice, but adding it afterward will do. These days I have to try to remember that while things cooked with canned vegetables, which are mostly salted, don't need extra salt, things like fresh tomatoes, potatoes and gravy do. Not as much as some cookbooks would have you use, but some. I will never, ever put a tablespoon of salt in the water I cook potatoes or pasta in!


Anyway, then I made my pork chops with onions and mushroom soup, which I really like, and it turned out very good. Browning the chops with sliced onion makes a mess out of the sauté pan, but soaking will take care of that, and the result is caramelized onions and very tender chops. Yum.


So now I have to put everything away and get the pans soaking, and tomorrow I have to put away what I washed today and the dishes in the dishwasher so that I can clean up what is now in the sink. It never ends. The only alternative is to eat out all the time, and I find that just as boring as eating in all the time.


Oh, yes, and when the sun came out, I discovered that the fly season is upon me in earnest. There were dozens of flies on the window facing the sun, and some were flying around me. I also discovered that a plate of pancake syrup is almost as good as flypaper. Fortunately, I had finished eating before they alit, because it was gross. I bear flies no love, but I do not like seeing them in their death throes, especially when they have gotten into something really sticky. The rest of them have dispersed now, but there are a few flying around, and when they light on the CRT or me, I try to swat them. Yuck.


I was playing one of my new solitaire games today and the computer hung up several times, but since it also hung up overnight when it wasn't doing anything, I don't know what is to blame. I guess I am going to have to chat with Gateway tech support. Only I just won't ever do that on a weekend, after several bad experiences.


So that is about all I know, and it's getting late again and time to go to bed. It is a very quiet night in the field tonight.


October 14

I actually got to bed around 11:00 last night, amazingly enough. I slept pretty well, although I did have a wakeful period around 2:30. Ever since the dentist prepped me for my crown, I have had a toothache, and it was particularly bothersome last night. Well, only a little over a week to go until I get it completed, and I'm hoping he can do something to make it feel better. Besides, that, he kind of messed up the gums, I think, and they got swollen up and I keep biting my cheek. It is particularly sore when I try to eat anything hot, so I think it's just that the tooth itself is pretty sound and the nerve was just exposed. Or I hope so.


Anyway, I didn't get up until after 11:00 this morning, but I still feel like I need sleep and I didn't do anything today. Another good night and I think I'll be better.


The wind blew and the lake roared all night long, although it died down a bit overnight. Around the time I got up, there was a brief rain shower that turned into a snow shower, but that was the last of the precip for the day, I think. The temperature was around 39º all night and 43º all day. The wind was in the 25-38 mph range from the northwest.


All day long I could hear something pounding someplace on the front of the house, although it has stopped now. I am afraid something might have broken loose. However, I was outside briefly at sunset tonight, and I couldn't see anything missing, so what the noise was, I don't know.


I was outside because the sunny late afternoon turned into a rather nice sunset. However, first I had to go get the camera, which was by the back door, then I had to try to make the stupid thing work, and by the time I did, the best part was over with. However, it wasn't bad.


When I unloaded the camera, I discovered a picture I evidently took on October 1, although I don't remember doing it and I didn't mention it in the journal for that day. I think I probably thought I had missed the best part of the sunset again, but I didn't


The sun has moved a lot in two weeks: it is now setting over the Mountain Lodge, and it will soon be out of the camera picture. However, this is the time of year when we frequently get really good sunsets. And I keep hoping that this winter I will be able to catch a sun pillar in a shot that is good enough to submit to one of the "Picture of the Day" sites.


This time I did something I haven't done before. I just copied the raw pictures directly into "My Pictures" and renamed them. I had been running them through PhotoShop, even when they didn't need any tweaking, and I don't know why I did that, since the raw pictures are JPEG format and there is no reason to reprocess them. I will have to remember to do that in the future when the raw picture is a good one.


Tonight was the last night at Harbor Haus, and I wasn't the only local who went to bid good-by to Chris and Ron. I saw several townspeople while I was there, and a couple more were coming in as I left. I had the last fish, and brought half of it home, and it was just as good as the first fish was. I sure am sorry they close in the winter, but it just wouldn't pay them, and I know they'd have an awful time getting staff. Well, that will make it all the better when they reopen in May.


So that is all I know, and I will try to get this done so I can go to bed.


October 13

Happy Friday the 13th! 


It was another wild  and hairy night and day, although much of the night had gone before I got to bed, and it was 11:00 before I got up. Tonight, I'm going to try for a more reasonable hour. Besides, I'm tired. I haven't been getting my quota of sleep.


The NWS maintained that the wind dropped off between midnight and 6:00, and I think they're nuts. It certainly didn't here. But it was mostly from the west, and the station is very sheltered from that direction. It was certainly howling around my bedroom all night long. IT veered to the north after 6:00, and then their readings were more reasonable - it was in the 25-45 mph range all day long. The temperature hung in around 40º all day, too, so even though there was a little rain at times, it wasn't bad out. The buoys were all reporting 13-15 foot waves over night, although they have decreased in height since, except that the east Superior buoy hasn't been reporting much of anything since this morning. I think maybe it got swamped. It's a real pity that Stannard Rock doesn't report wave heights, because all the buoys are close enough to the north shore that the full effects of a north wind wouldn't affect them. The PastyCam reported that there were four ships taking refuge in Bete Gris this morning, and there may be more there now. I was just too tired to go find out.


So I didn't do much today at all except download some more games - a bunch of solitaire games. I keep going back to the card games, but it's nice to have some new ones to play occasionally.


As I mentioned, it was absolutely dead in Mariner tonight, and it appears I may have had my last salad bar last weekend. There were only three tables when I came in, and nobody came while I was thee. I guess the weather forecasts scared everybody away. Well, they missed the waves on the rocks and he ships in the bay, so that's their loss. Apparently a lot of people who come up here don't realize what a Lake Superior gale means and canceled out. Unfortunately, that meant a lot of cancelled reservations in the motels, and that's a shame, but this has been a good fall until now. I don't remember when Mariner had their dining room open so late in the season. Now comes the quiet time, which is my favorite part of the season.


The weather will improve, and there should be some nice days between now and hunting season. Probably while I'm in Detroit, of course, but that can't be helped.


After seeing Lydia and some other girls tonight, I guess I'm going to have to bring back some of my hand-knit scarves. Apparently the fashion this year, at least in the UP, is to wear a very long scarf wrapped around your neck once with the ends hanging down the front. Since I was making scarves years ago when knitting was out, I have a number of them, some with matching hats and mittens. I will have to see if I have time to pick out a few and bring them with me. I may bring my pea coat, too, just to have something mid-weight and nice looking up here...not that anybody dresses around here.


So that is all there is for tonight. The lake is still howling and the wind is still blowing and there are still breakers on my beach. A great night for a long sleep.


October 12

It's tomorrow already again, but oh, well.


I only slept until 10:30 this morning, which isn't enough sleep, but I wasn't planning to go anywhere anyway, so it was all right. The wind blew and the lake howled all night long, but that is music to me, and it didn't keep me awake. I could tell that the wind was dying down, though, and by the time I got up, it was in the 15-25 mph range and was beginning to switch around toward the west. When I got up, there was a dusting of snow on the ground, on the deck and on the roof of the garage, but some of it was melting before I got out of the bathroom.


For a couple of hours, there was even a bit of sunshine, but that didn't last long, and after 12:30, there was almost continuous snow, thick enough that for the rest of the afternoon, I couldn't see beyond the shoreline. The wind was still in the 15-25 mph range, but it shifted around to the southwest and the temperature dropped to 29º in mid-afternoon, and it has been slowly climbing ever since, and is now back up to 36º, and the wind has shifted back to the northwest. Since sunset, every so often, it sounded like somebody was throwing handfuls of sand at the front windows. I think it is sleety snow, but I haven't turned on the light to see. 


It was a good day to hunker down and ignore the outside. I gave up on the notion of going out to take pictures, because with the snow, I couldn't have seen anything anyway, and while I don't mind snow in general, I don't like it being thrown into my face by the wind. It was snowing hard enough that it would have been difficult to see the waves anyway.


I caught up on my magazines a bit, and otherwise didn't do much.  The broadband was down for a while this morning. Evidently the wind last night blew an antenna on Still Waters' roof out of alignment, and "they", by which I assume Daryl meant Charlie, had to climb up onto the roof in the wind and snow and fix it. I thought they had moved all that to the Hut, but evidently not. It wasn't down long anyway.


However, it was horribly slow for most of the afternoon. At one point, Charlie told me the slowdowns were due to somebody's equipment taking errors. but I don't know if that is still the case. If it continues, I will complain. I am paying for 256kb service, and when it's as slow as the dial-up, I don't think I'm getting my money's worth. Part of the problem was probably the site I was working with, which does have problems, but this was worse than usual.


So that was another quiet day doing not much, and it will be a late night again tonight, but I really need a bath. Fortunately, there is nothing on the calendar, which is just the way I like it. This dashing around to appointments isn't my idea of fun.


It is still pretty hairy outside, especially for mid-October. We usually have a cold period sometime in October, and maybe a little snow, but this is rather extreme, I'd say. The mid-Superior buoy is reporting wind speeds that have now increased to 31 mph and wave heights of over 11 feet, so it's not over yet. It appears we are getting a double whammy, and tonight and tomorrow will be the second wave. We don't expect this kind of weather until November. I hope it gets it all out of its system before the 23rd.


I just looked out the windows, and what is hitting them is mostly wind-driven rain, apparently with some hard stuff in it. All the snow is gone off the deck, and it's nasty out there. Time to go hide under the comforter.


October 11

It was a quiet, cloudy night of weird dreams, once I finally got to bed. The clouds were so thick that it was hard to tell that the moon was really up there. It stayed calm until about 2:00, although we had a little rain early in the morning. Then the wind shifted around to the north and began to blow, the temperature started to drop, and it began to rain. 


By the way, by this morning, the Winter Storm Watch had turned into a warning and it has been extended until 8:00 Friday night. So we are really in for it.


The wind has been in the 25-35 mph range, with gusts in the 38-42 mph range. The temperature dropped to around 36º and it has stayed steady right there, so any snow that might fall won't stick. We did have a snow squall around 5:00, but it didn't last long and it has been mostly rain ever since. 


The lake is howling, and pretty large breakers are washing up on my beach, which is rather unusual. The mid Superior buoy has reported waves of 7-10 ft, but if this keeps on, it should get even higher.


If it is still going on tomorrow and the roads are passable, I really intend to go out with the camera and try to get some pictures. Pebble beach, maybe, and then the Sestok's place, and then down by the Devil's washtub. Even 10 foot waves should break really nicely on the rocks. It's been a while since I've been out in a gale, and it's usually a lot of fun, except that I need windshield wipers on my glasses. 


I still doubt that we will see the snow accumulations the NWS is suggesting. They are frequently over-optimistic when it comes to snowfall. John Dee is more realistic, and he is only predicting 12" or so for the two days. Then it will warm up and the snow will all melt. This will do it for the leaves, though. But don't hesitate to come - gales are such fun to watch and listen to.


It has been awfully noisy around here since the wind rose, and Buster doesn't like it at all. He has been coming around complaining and wanting to sit on me all afternoon. He likes it quiet. I have the idea that I might sleep very well, thank you, especially since it is tomorrow already and it looks like it might be after 3:00 when I get to bed.


Not that I Did much constructive. I played a game for most of the evening, after I read through the two new books. They are on bead knitting and making tiny boxes all of beads, and both things appeal to me. I don't much care for the projects in either book, but the techniques are well-described, and I should be able to do my own thing. The boxes use Japanese cylinder beads,  of which I have a pretty good selection, and I've been wanting to do something with them. Besides, they are boxes...


So that is how it was. The wind apparently zapped a PastyNet relay, so I am on dial backup right now, and I don't know whether the camera will come up in the morning. Hope so, although it isn't easy to see through the raindrops on the window.


October 10

A couple of e-friends have emailed me, so I'll start out with the weather forecast. Here are the watches and warnings that are in effect right now:

Winter Storm Watch 

Expires 1:00 AM EDT on October 11, 2006

Statement as of 4:46 PM EDT on October 10, 2006

... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 4 PM Wednesday to 8 am EDT Friday...

The National Weather Service in Marquette has issued a Winter Storm Warning... which is in effect from 4 PM Wednesday to 8 am EDT Friday. The Winter Storm Watch is no longer in effect.

Look for rain to mix with snow late Wednesday afternoon... then change over to all snow Wednesday evening. By sunset on Wednesday... 1 to 3 inches of snow is possible. Snow showers will persist Wednesday night through Thursday night with storm total accumulations of 1 to 2 feet expected by Friday morning. The heaviest snow will occur along the higher terrain from Painesdale to Mohawk. In addition to the snow... winds will increase to 25 to 35 mph Wednesday evening with gusts near 50 mph... resulting in very low visibilities in the snow.

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow are expected or occurring. Strong winds are also possible. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.

There is also this one, which is interesting:

Lakeshore Flood Statement 

Expires 1:15 AM EDT on October 11, 2006

Statement as of 4:07 PM CDT on October 10, 2006

... Strong winds and high waves may result in minor beach erosion from near Silver City to Eagle Harbor...

An intense low pressure system will develop over the northern Great Lakes by Wednesday afternoon and remain nearly stationary just north of Lake Superior through Thursday night. Strong westerly winds in excess of 35 mph... with gusts to 50 mph... will develop over Western Lake Superior by Wednesday afternoon and persist into Thursday night. These winds will produce waves in excess of 15 feet over Western Lake Superior... which will batter the Lake Superior shoreline from near Silver City north to Eagle Harbor. Although Current Lake Superior water levels are 15 inches below normal for October and only 2 inches higher than the all time low for this time of year... the long duration of strong westerly winds and significant waves may result in minor beach erosion and coastal flooding.

Be careful when traveling near the Lake Superior shoreline from late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday night. Do not venture near breakwalls or other structures along the shoreline... and do not drive into areas where water covers the roadway. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or your favorite media outlet for later statements on this significant Fall storm system.

And to round things out, here is the marine forecast:


S wind 10 to 20 kt with some W gale force gusts to 35 kt by late morning becoming NW gales to 35 kt in the afternoon. Rain likely...then snow showers in the afternoon. Waves 2 to 4 ft. 


Wed Night 

NW gales to 35 kt. Snow showers. Waves building to 12 to 17 ft. Thu W gales to 35 kt. Snow showers. Waves 12 to 17 ft.



W gales to 35 kt. Snow showers. Waves 12 to 17 ft.

Now, assuming the power holds up and I can get out of my garage, do I hunker down, or grab the camera and the down parka and go hunting pictures? Decisions, decisions, decisions...

By the way, at 9:00, the temperature was 50º and there wasn't any wind to speak of...just wait!


Well, that's for tomorrow, and the NWS has been known to get rather excited about these things, so we'll see what actually transpires. If it does pan out, I'm really sorry that Chip and Nancy aren't here, because they just love the autumnal gales. So do I, really. I know there are weather phenomena that are more violent, like hurricanes and tornados, but there is something really exhilarating about those north winds howling down over the lake, and the waves roaring and breaking. I really feel energized this year, and I do hope the power holds up so that I can get out and see it all. I would dearly love to see 17 foot waves.


Last night was quiet and partly cloudy, and the temperature briefly dipped to 34º before it settled around 40º. Mrs. Hughes said they had their first killing frost last night. More about that later. When the sun came up, it warmed up rather quickly, and for the rest of the day it was between 45º and 50º. The wind was under 10 mph, mostly from the southwest.


It was a really glorious day, and it reinforced my plan to run down to Hughes and see if I could get my Delicata squash, and then continue to Wal-Mart to get my prescription filled. The internist gave me a prescription for Neurontin, in the hope that it would make my toes feel better. We shall see.


Somehow I lost an hour, though. I looked at the clock and it was 10:30, and the next thing I knew it was 11:30 and I hadn't left yet. I collected my stuff and started off, then had to come back, because I had forgotten the prescription. Grr.


It didn't matter much, actually. Hughes had plenty of squash, although they are small, and I think I got between 10 and 15 pounds. Now remember, that is raw, and they cook down a lot. However, that should give me enough squash to freeze, take to the potluck, and serve for Thanksgiving. I do love that stuff! I have a container that turned up in the freezer on Champine, but I will just eat that myself.


There wasn't much else there, actually, and they are closing on Saturday, and  not planning to be open Thursday because of the weather. However, they had picked the end of the cabbage and the summer squash, and I got some teensy heads of cabbage that are about the size (but not the shape) of a baseball, and some mini-zucchini and yellow squash that are only about 6" long and ¾" in diameter. I have plans for those things...


Then it was on to Wal-Mart, and while they were filling my prescription, I picked up a few things, of course. I got four 73 gallon storage boxes, which will help with the fabric. 


I haven't mentioned my hair, because it is beneath mentioning. It hasn't been cut since May, and it's nearly shoulder length. I haven't cut the top, and the bangs are almost down to the tip of my nose, which is driving me crazy. I haven't decided whether to cut them or gut it out until they get longer, but I gave in and got a curling brush and some decorated bobby pins. One card has bobby pins that have beads just attached with either fine wire or monofilament and I think I can redo them with something in a better color (like blue). Evidently decorated bobby pins and small barrettes are in now, and they had quite a selection. At least they may keep my hair out of my face. When I got back from Detroit, I just used a clip right on top of my head, but strands kept falling out, and besides, having that big thing right on top of my head didn't look very good. So we'll see. I have more or less gone native since I've been here, but especially in dry or cold weather, my hair sort of frizzes up instead of hanging neatly, and it drives me nutty. So maybe I have the equipment to fix that. I do have a curling brush at Champine, but it is old, and the last time I tried to use it, it didn't work very well.


I did have to stop for gas, but I didn't go into a grocery store. I think I have enough stuff around here to last until I get back from Detroit the next time. Gas at the Econo Shell station was $2.35, which was the lowest price I saw, including Wal-Mart's. That's about the only good thing I found about being in the big city.


The drive to and from was nice. All of the tall maples on the covered road are bare, but the underbrush, as well as the oaks and birches, are completely turned, with the rare exception of one or two very confused trees. The hills are gray-brown all over. However, parts of Cliff Drive were just beautiful, and there are other spots where there is still a lot of color. This has been a really colorful year, even though trees turned in a rather spotty fashion rather than all at once. It was also nice that there was hardly any traffic at all.


It was partly cloudy all day, with puffy fair-weather cumulous clouds and lots of sunshine, and it was really nice to be out and about.


I got home before 4:00 and unloaded, but I didn't start dinner until after 8:00, and then I feasted. I had a steak that was so big I didn't eat all of it, and some of my mini-cabbage just steamed in the microwave, and a lovely Yukon Gold potato I bought the last time I was at Hughes. Yum! I'm not sure it has anything to do with the organic thing, but fresh, locally-grown produce does taste a whole lot better than supermarket stuff.


So that was my day. I got the bracelet ready for the clasp last night, but I didn't touch it today.  Now that I have my desk lamp, I can wait until it's dark and dreary to work on that.


Now, what has gotten me so energized? And will it last?


Anyway, I'm looking forward to the gale, if we have it. And now it's time to wander up to the north end.


October 9

Just as I was checking the camera archive to see when the sky cleared, the computer froze and I lost everything I'd written, so let's see if I can remember at least part of it.


The wind blew and the lake roared all last night, but it didn't keep me awake, and since the wind was from the north-northeast, and the window in the window seat was open a bit, it was nice and cool in the room. I did have to get up numerous times, but that seems to be one of those cyclical things.


The moon, although it was very bright still, was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds all night long, so sometimes it was very bright outside and sometimes not so. It is at its highest point in the sky, pretty much, and it set behind the lighthouse, and it was neat to see hardly any shadows of the house when it was at its highest point. It went down into a cloud bank, so I didn't see it at all after about 6:00.


I worked on the checkbook for a while this morning, since the bank says I have more money than I say, but I balance with myself, and it wasn't until I was writing this the first time that I realized what check is still outstanding. Hmm...maybe an email is in order. It's my Norland dues, and I wrote the check back in early August. I wonder where it went?


Then I got at the bracelet, and while I was working on it, I realized that I have a limited amount of the rose-pink beads, and when they are gone, I will probably never be able to find any more like them. So I extended the bracelet a bit, and I'm keeping it for myself. I started another one, and I have about 2" to go on it. The more I work that pattern, the faster it goes. I also realized that I never took a picture of the last one in that color way, so I will be sure to do it when I finish this one.


Buster caught a mouse last night, but it didn't last long, and evidently he ate it, but he was still hungry this morning, and he still would like to sit on my lap all the time. It is really hard to type with a lap full of cat, but he doesn't care.


The weather for most of the day was cloudy and dreary. The temperature dropped from 55º to 45º during the night, and it hung in right there all day long. The wind had dropped off by about 10:00, and it was a fairly calm, dull day. The sun did come out late in the afternoon, and it was almost clear at sunset. When I went out to the kitchen just now, the moon was rising behind the trees, and it looked clear in the east, too.


Tomorrow is supposed to be a rather nice day, I think, but then everything goes to pot, and according to John Dee, we might be in for a real November gale from Wednesday through Friday. Stay tuned. At least everyone is in agreement that there will be rain and possibly snow and the temperature will be in the 30s. It seems to me that this is a usual weather pattern for this part of the world. It didn't happen last year, I think, but it certainly did for several of the years I've been here. Then it usually warms up a bit again, and that was the time Shirley always said was "Indian Summer", in late October and early November. I do hope I have decent weather to go south on the 23rd.


So that is about all I know, and it's bedtime again.


October 8

What a nasty surprise. I think I fiddled around for a while before I went down the hall, and I was just getting undressed when the lights dimmed half a dozen or more times and then went out. I was rather worried about the computer, so I padded back down here and flipped the wall switch, finding as I did so that the batteries in my big flashlight were dying. Anyway, I managed to brush my teeth and I jumped into bed.


It actually wasn't dark out. The moon was so bright that all night long, I could see the water and the mountain at the other end of the harbor. It was weird not to see any lights from town, though. And the lighthouse did stay on. I guess I didn't notice it before because it is so much lower than the old one that it is partly hidden behind the trees.


I didn't sleep very well, however. It was warm in the bedroom and it was noisy, and I kept hoping the power would come back on.


Well, it didn't. At 6:30 this morning, it tried, and there was a series of surges and waves that were really alarming, and I was awfully glad the power to the computer was off, but it ended up down again, and it was another hour before it finally came back on for good. So I turned out the lights and finally got about three hours' good sleep.


The wind was strong all night long, from the southwest, and it kept rising all day today. The NWS station reports gusts up to 30 mph (just an hour ago), but it was a very gusty wind, and I think it was stronger than that. It has slowly shifted around, to the west for most of the afternoon, and now to the northwest. There are gale warnings out on the lake until 10:00 tonight, although that didn't keep the ships off the lake. The latest report from the mid-Superior buoy says there are 9 foot waves out there. The surf isn't up here very much yet because the wind has only been off-shore for a couple of hours. Just wait...


The curious thing is, it was warm. The temperature was 62º when I got up, and it peaked out at 72º at noon. It has been falling slowly ever since, but it is still only 57º. Much cooler tomorrow, though, and there is the "S" word - snow - in the forecast for the end of the week. We probably won't get any here at the shore, but at the higher elevations...well...it's starting early this year. Last year, I don't think we had any snow in October.


The computer came up like a champ, although it did hang once this afternoon. I'm not really sure if that was my hardware problem or not, because I was playing an online game at the time which could have caused the problem, and it hung with the speakers on.


I'm sorry there weren't any pictures early in the morning, but by the time the power came back on, the west was rather cloudy anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered.


I spent some time getting the beads organized last night and making a list, which is getting very long, of bracelets I want to make, so today I started on the first one - the pink and gold helix. That is one that Nancy bought, so I wanted to make another one. There are only a couple of inches left to go on it, and I just started a new thread, so that is coming nicely.


I didn't put out the bird feeders today because of the wind. Not many of the little birds would have come anyway, and I was afraid they would blow away in the wind. Tomorrow I will get them out, because with the temperatures going down, the birds and critters will be hungry.


Dinner was at Harbor Haus tonight, and while it wasn't dead, it wasn't quite as busy as last week. However, there wasn't as much help, so Chris was doing tables, and my waiter was Sam Raymond, of the Keweenaw Adventure Company and president of CHIA. He is a nice guy, so that was pleasant, and dinner was just as good as ever. I already have my reservation for next Saturday, and I'm toying with the idea of stopping by for lunch once this week, since that's the only way I will ever get a piece of chocolate pecan pie. I am just too full after dinner to have much of a dessert, especially one as rich as that.


Buster spent a long time sitting on my lap while I beaded today, even though he got beads dropped on him at least once, and he kept getting his whiskers tangled up in the thread. That seemed to make him happy.


I brought him back a new scratching pad, which is on an angle, and in the angle there are a couple of holes, and inside there is a mouse hanging. He is not much interested in the scratching pad, but he really does like that mouse. He as scooted the thing all across the floor trying to get at the mouse. So you never do know. He actually needs something harder than cardboard to scratch on. His claws are getting long enough that they are getting caught in things. However, I don't think I can clip his claws by myself, and until he gets used to Ron, I don't have anybody to help me. I think he would be happier and I know I would be, if his claws didn't keep getting caught in my jeans.


So that was my quiet day. I am still tired, and I hope a nice bath and an early start will mean a better night's sleep tonight. The wind and the surf should help a lot.


October 7

Buster made an absolute pest of himself last night, so even if I hadn't been hot and creaky, I wouldn't have slept any better. He was just so happy to have me home again that he couldn't stay away from me...breaking the rule that you don't bother mommy when she's in bed. As soon as he heard me stirring, he was right there and he wanted to be petted...as if I could make up for a whole week's worth of no petting. It's his own fault. If he would just try Ron and Trevor, I'm sure they pet very nicely.


Anyway, I was awake between 7:00 and 8:00, amongst other times, and thankfully, the camera was, too, and this is what we saw. It had been cloudy for most of the night, but very light with that big old moon up there, but it kindly cleared up right at moonset. I saw one it when it was right over Porter Island, but then it was behind the tree from the camera's perspective. I hope you don't get tired of seeing these pictures of moonset. I certainly don't.


I finally got up, I guess around 10:00, although I really don't remember, and I had to put up with Buster all morning, even though he got to sit on my lap as long as he wanted to. He finally went off to sleep, and I went on to other things, although he bugged me a couple of times. He was asleep on his perch when I left for dinner, but since I got back, he has been bugging me to death. For heaven's sake, enough already! I'm not going away again for a while.


I did get the car unloaded, although everything, including the plants, is still out in the breezeway. I need to rustle around and find some racks and tables to put stuff on. One folding table is upstairs, but the rest of the stuff is in the basement somewhere, and I just didn't feel like getting into that today. There is enough light in the breezeway, and it is warm enough, that I don't think the plants will be hurt being out there for a few days if necessary.


I went off to the post office early and brought back a good-sized pile of mail, including the mid-month bills, and two nice packages of beads, which occupied me for the rest of the afternoon.


Much as I would like to continue with the bead embroidery, I do need to do some bracelets, to replace the ones Nancy bought and a few others I've been thinking about. I got the beads to make a snowflake bracelet with a clear and matte white background, and I am planning to make another helix bracelet using those same beads. I want to make one with turquoise and silver, too, but the turquoise ("aqua" to them) beads I got today aren't exactly the same color as the ones I was using, and I like the old ones better...but they were out of a mixture, and chances of matching them are slim and none, although I have one more source. We'll see. The difference isn't great, and I don't have very many of the old ones.


There were a ton of people in town this afternoon, and Mariner was pleasantly busy tonight, too. I didn't have prime rib for a change...they had lake trout with an almandine sauce, which was very nice, and a big enough piece that I will have another meal of it. Buster will like that.


It wasn't as clear today as was predicted, and there was a high layer of clouds that sort of dimmed the sun all day long, but there was some sunshine. The temperature didn't get as high as was predicted, either, even down in Houghton. It got to 66º here and 73º at the airport, but that felt nice and warm after the low 50s we'd been having before I left. We haven't had a killing frost here in the harbor, but they have further inland, so this must be our Indian Summer. I guess it is going to stay around one or possibly two more days. There has been a very strong southwest wind for the past 24 hours or so, mostly in the 15-25 mph range. It was rather cloudy at sunset, but when I went out to bring in the bird feeders, the moon was shining brightly and there didn't seem to be many clouds.


I don't think many birds came to the feeders today, except for the blue jays, who are fearless, and were there right away. However, the seed I spilled on the deck had been all cleaned up tonight, so they'll be back soon.


The color in the harbor is reaching its peak. The oaks have all turned, and most of the birches and aspens are turning. It is quite pretty between here and town. There is one little maple up by the top of the hill between the culverts and US-41 that is actually rosy colored. I must stop and pick a leaf or two and press them. That is a very unusual color. I have forgotten to look at my own maples, but I did get a peek at one this afternoon, and it looks very pretty. My oaks are mostly maroon, except for one brownish one. It puzzles me why three trees in the same vicinity, of the same species, should each turn a different shade, but I've seen that in the maples, too. Anyway, it is a very pretty season right now.


That is about all I know, and maybe I can get some sleep tonight.


October 6

I made it. I'm home.


It was 11:30 before I got to bed last night, what with everything that was going on, and after two JDs and a sleeping pill, I think it was 5 hours before I woke up. That must be a new record. Anyway, by that time the sleeping pill had worn off, and I dozed a lot afterwards. I came to about 7:00, and I really didn't want to get up, but I did anyway, and it was just as well.


In order to try to leave the house in some kind of order, I had to make the bed (including bedspread and pillow shams), so I did all that before I went downstairs. And after I had my OJ, I hauled everything of interest out of the freezer in the basement and packed  the big cooler. There are a few things, like pork sausage and ham steaks, that aren't of much interest to me anymore, but there was also bean soup, turkey a la king, squash, two lamb shanks and a package of beef country ribs. All stuff that would horrify the cardiologist, but good stuff none-the-less.


All that, breakfast, and putting the last stuff in the car took longer than I'd hoped, and it was 9:50 before I pulled out of the driveway. I had to stop for gas, so it was after 10:00 before I got underway.


It was a beautiful, clear morning, with a temperature in the low 50s, and by leaving so late, I completely missed the rush hour. That isn't to say there wasn't a lot of traffic. It was heavy almost to Grayling, but most cars were moving rather well. There is only a little construction on I-75 right now, and the worst of it was going in the other direction.


With the sun out, I could observe the color better than on my trip down. The color is at its peak from Grayling to about Waters (north of Gaylord), but curiously, around Indian River, it was really dull, and mostly green. In the UP, it apparently peaked early in the week, and most of the maples are nearly bare.  It is still pretty around Munising, but further west, even the birches are beginning to get bare. I can't speak about how the covered road looks, because the sun set before I got there.


The only change in my plans was that I didn't stop at Baraga for gas. Well...I did pull into The Pines, but cars were waiting three and four deep to get to a pump, and I didn't want to wait. Their gas was about $2.16, I think, whereas in Houghton the lowest price was $2.35. I will add that this morning, my full-service station (which is usually high) had lowered their price to $2.10. Too bad I filled up the other day. Gas is higher in Newberry ($2.43) and in Marquette (around $2.50). 


There were the usual strange drivers between Marquette and home, but the one I got behind on the covered road apparently got nervous with me behind him, even though I kept my distance, and he pulled over at the Mandan Loop Road, which was very nice of him. Even in the dark, I can take that road at faster than 35-40 mph. The only deer I saw was south of Mohawk, and the guy in front of me then saw it first and slowed down, but it ran off into the bushes instead of crossing the road. After coming back along US-41 at dusk, I can certainly see how there are so many car-deer collisions. It's almost impossible to see anything, let alone a gray-brown deer.


Anyway, I pulled into the driveway about 8:10. Ron had turned off the power to the garage (that is one of the 10-switch master panel switches, and I really must get a cover for that switch), so I had to go into the breezeway and fumble around in the dark to get in. Buster was (and still is) ecstatic. Now all he wants to do is sit on me.


As I was leaving the garage after bringing in the trash barrel this morning, I noticed a nice catnip plant underneath the clematis, so I picked it. It was a little limp by the time I got here, but that didn't seem to bother Buster at all, and he has already nearly destroyed one of the stems. I really must try to get some catnip growing here. It won't be hard: all I'll have to do is plant seeds once, and we'll have catnip forever, but first I must get rid of all the noxious weeds in my yard.


The weather coming north was  mostly clear in the lower, but there were clouds in the upper, most of which went away around sunset. And as dusk fell, the full harvest moon, huge and bright, came out of the clouds in the east and guided me home (Copper Harbor is actually northeast of Houghton). It was really beautiful as it rose, and it was still gorgeous the last time I saw it, up in the southeastern sky. I set back the camera wakeup a bit, just in case the computer doesn't hang up tomorrow morning (it was fine today), and we may catch moonset. I hope so.


The temperature was mostly in the upper 50s, although it got into the lower 60s around Marquette, which, as I've said before, is down in a hole. It was around 60º when I got here, with quite a wind blowing out of the southwest, but it felt balmy and lovely. The same temperatures which seem cold and damp in Detroit feel just fine up here. I haven't ever been able to decide what the difference is.


Anyway, eventually I got both coolers into the house, as well as my suitcases and the computer. The rest, especially the heavy crates of boos and the plants, will just have to wait until tomorrow. I'm not quite sure what I will do with the plants anyway. I guess they'll just sit on the floor for a while.


The only problem I had was that my eyes were sore and felt dry all day long, even though I did use some artificial tears. I guess that is the result of too little sleep. And tomorrow my eyelids will be all puffy.


The file transfer worked, amazingly enough, although there wasn't much to transfer. Tomorrow I will have to play with Outlook Express and try to recover all the messages I meant to save over the past years and didn't.


So now I am really tired, and I need to take a bath before I go to bed, so I will try to get this published and see if that works.


I'm home. I wish I didn't have to go back in two weeks, but oh, well.


October 5

Well, this one isn't over with yet.


This morning before I ate anything, I got myself down to the clinic and got my blood drawn, then I came home, had my OJ and went off to see Dr. Lehman and had more blood drawn. When I got back from that, the window washers were here, so I now have clean windows. 


I began trying to make some sense of the stuff I had left in the car, and in the course of that, I discovered that I had bought the wrong flavor of dry cat food. Then, just as I was leaving to go to the cardiologist, Marty the lawn cutter arrived, and I had to talk to him about the back of the lot, which is bare earth, and the snowplowing, so I was a bit late at the cardiologist, but that was OK since I was double booked.


After that, I ran out to the pet food store and exchanged my cat food. The only good thing about that was that I got to drive along Lakeshore Drive. I should have taken it back, too, because I got caught up in the middle school being let out, and it took me about six tries to get across Vernier Road. Too much traffic in this place!


The results of my day are that I will be here for the whole week of the 23rd. Lehman wants cat scans and mammograms, and the cardiologist thinks I should have a stress test, not because there is a problem, but just to make sure I am OK since I am living alone out in the woods, she said. And besides, by the time I called the dermatologist, I was already booked for Tuesday, and she doesn't work on Wednesday. So that means three tests, a dentist and a doctor in three days. Whee!


When I got back here, I was already tired, so I called upon Cynthia, who apparently either likes me or feels sorry for me, and somehow we got most of the stuff into the car. I still have to move the cooler of non-frozen stuff into it, and all the little bags I brought with me, but I did get all but the big plants in. When we took out one of the planters, one of the small Christmas cactuses (a white one) has buds on it. So I will have flowers. If I can keep the hibiscus watered, it will have flowers, too, because it loves the light. 


Exactly what I am going to do with them, I'm not sure, especially my hoya, which is lush and green. If I can keep it in the windows, it will bloom, too, and it has some of the most interesting flowers I have ever seen. We'll hope. I will take a picture. However, the disposition of those plants is somewhat of a problem. Somewhere in the stuff in the basement are two plant stands, if I can find them. We shall see.


I came downstairs to finish my surfing for the day and get the files ready to copy, and then Jackie called and we had a nice long conversation, so now I am doing this. When I tried to start LapLink, it wouldn't, so after I upload this, I have to reboot the computer and try again. This copy won't be quite so much of a problem as the last one was, since all that needs to be moved is the web and some mail files.


The weather both here and in Copper Harbor was beautifully sunny and clear and in the middle 50s, which is normal for there and very cool for here. 


Ron rebooted the camera this morning and again at 5:00 or so, so we got a few pictures but not many. The sun is setting south of the top of Brockway.


Next week, among other things, I am going to have to get Gateway on the phone and ask them how one troubleshoots a problem that causes the keyboard and mouse (as well as the rest of the system) to lock up. I checked back, and all this started after the thunderstorms of September 8, so clearly the power fluctuations did something to the computer, but finding out what is not going to be easy, I fear.


Oh, yes. The furnace is running, and while I was sitting down here, it started making a very nasty noise as the blower is about to turn off, so tomorrow before I leave, I have to call Albert D. Thomas and have them get the furnace man out here. If it's not one damn thing, it's another. I will be glad to get rid of this house, and I never thought I'd be saying that.


So that is my last day in the big city, and now I have to get that cooler into the car and have something to eat and drink. I'm tired and I'm ready to go.


October 4

Well, another busy day over.


I got into bed about 8:30 last night, and Ron woke me up at 9:30 this morning. I guess I should have caught up on my sleep, even though I did have a couple of short wakeful periods during the night.


I was glad he woke me up, even though I was having an extremely vivid dream which included Adam (the builder), and a house that was in the same area as a vivid and recurring dream I have had for years. That is a location that exists only in my dreams, and it is so vivid that I can almost map it out, although it morphs a bit on occasion. I'd almost forgotten it, but I'll have to add it to my list of recurring dreams.


Anyway, I was all set to leave the house around 10:30 when the heavens opened and growled and we had a 45 minute downpour. So instead of going out in that, I had a muffin with peanut butter for breakfast and read a bit. Then it was off to the bank, the pet supply store, the grocery store, and the drug store. Whew! I was hot and sweaty and tired by the time I got home with enough money to keep me happy for a couple of months, enough cat food to keep Buster happy probably till the first of the year, and lots of goodies from the deli.


I sat down and cooled off for a while, and sampled some of the new deli salads and dropped them down my front, so I had to go downstairs and wash my shirt, which didn't get dry before I had to leave for the doctor's, so I had to go upstairs and get a new shirt. See why I don't like this house anymore?


The doctor was late, but I got most of my business taken care of, except that I have to go back to get my blood work done tomorrow morning on an empty stomach, right before I go to the oncologist and get more blood work done. Too bad they are each associated with different hospitals. And I am getting conned into a fasting cholesterol test. I don't believe in cholesterol, but since I've never actually had one, I suppose it's a good idea.


And it looks like I will be here more than one day when I come back for my crown. The internist has referred me to a dermatologist for my cellulitis, and I really need to get that taken care of.  He also gave me a prescription for the neuropathy in my toes, which I am anxious to start, but I will have to get it filled at home so I can get refills when I need them.


So that was a good visit.


When I got home, Ron called, and right now the camera is working, and he knows what to do to reset it and how it acts when it is hung, so it should be up a bit more while I am away.


It was a perfectly horrible day here, the kind I hate most. It was quite warm this morning - around 74º, with nearly 100% humidity - and it was very, very uncomfortable to be out. I put on a light jacket over my shirt, because it is waterproof, but I was sweating like a horse by the time I walked around the pet store and the grocery store. By the time I went to the doctor's at 3:00, though, it had cooled down to the low 60s and it was even cooler when I came out. It rained off and on until about 4:00 and it was dark and dismal as well as hot and muggy. Blah!


In Copper Harbor, it was a perfect fall day. It was sunny all day, and it was quite windy in the morning. Ron said there were some lovely waves this morning (they got up to 6½ feet at the mid-Superior buoy), but it died down this afternoon and the wind, what there is, shifted to the northwest. There were a few clouds around sunset, but it is clearing up again now. Darn! I wish I was there!


One error I need to clear up. In my reading, I discovered that I was mistaken when I said that the full moon in early September was the Harvest Moon. Wrong. It is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox, which is the one that will be full on Friday. Sorry about that. Actually the September moon, the October moon and the early November moon all seem to stay around full for several days, so the farmers are in luck, and so are we. At least I will be home to see it.


So that is all I know, and I am headed upstairs to get an early start so I can get an early start tomorrow morning for my first blood draw. Tomorrow will be a very hairy day, but then I will be headed home.


October 3

First off, the camera is hung, and I can't fix it, because the phone line is busy...why I don't know. I thought I left it set up properly...but then again, who knows?


As you may have discovered, I did get last night's entry uploaded. The phone line got back up around 11:15, although for some reason I don't understand, I can't do email from the laptop. I will have to track that down one of these days.


Anyway, with all that and getting into and out of the bathtub, it was 1:00 or so before I got into bed. Then I couldn't sleep. It was an altogether horrible night, and I am tired. So it will be really early to bed tonight.


However, I did make it to the dentist's and I was only a couple of minutes late. I now have a temporary inlay and I have to come back here to get my crown on the 24th. My teeth are nice and clean and I got caught up on Penny's life over the summer. She will find out if she has passed her ordination exams the day before I get my crown. And her first husband passed away, at the age of 51, I think she said. I knew his mother, who at one time was a member of my church. It is truly a small world.


Then I went to get gas, and discovered that getting my car serviced would not be a problem, so that chore is taken care of. I have had a very slow leak in the tire they put on in April, and they didn't get the spare positioned correctly under the car. The tire rim apparently was rough, so they sanded it down and reseated the tire. I hope that takes care of that problem. and they got the spare where it belongs. It was hanging down so far under the body that I was afraid it would be a problem in the snow. So that is taken care of until I come back in April.


Since I have most of tomorrow free, until a doctor at 3:20, I decided not to go rushing about today, and I came downstairs to the computer and moved files for most of the afternoon. I didn't have a lot of problems - only two reboots - but it takes a long time. Even the USB isn't that fast. A very nice correspondent suggested a USB disk drive, and I like that solution. It should be faster than burning a CD. We'll see where that goes.


I'm not sure what the problem is that I'm having with email through PastyNet, but now that all the files are safely on this computer, it's not such a problem. I only couldn't reply to two emails I got yesterday, and I had to use a different account to do it.


While the files were moving, I selected some fabric I changed my mind about and looked around the fruit cellar. I want to take a few Christmas decorations with me, but with the plants, I'm not sure I'll be able to do that. At least I have one more trip. And I looked at the freezer, which has some things in it that I want to bring home, but not quite so much as I'd thought. Maybe I can do that. In rooting around, I remembered that I had a couple of pasties left, so I had a nice pasty tonight. Yum. Maybe the Hut's drive-through will be open when I get back and I can lay in some pasties for the winter. Yum. Maybe even some of Toivo & Eino's pasty sauce, too.


It started raining before I went to bed this morning, and I think it rained pretty much all night. It was so dark this morning it looked like night, and it rained until about 10:00, when it began to clear up. That scuttled my window washer, who was in his basement and didn't realize it had cleared up. So now I have an appointment for Thursday, which will be an interesting juggling act. However, maybe I can get him to help me put some stuff in the car.


The temperature here got into the low 70s, but it was so humid and icky that it felt much warmer than that. It was around 57º all day in Copper Harbor, but I don't know anything about the sky conditions. When I looked at radar, there was a big mass of rain heading right toward Keweenaw, so it should rain tonight.


So I guess that takes care of today. I am so tired that I am going upstairs as soon as I get this uploaded, and while I may read for a bit, I can assure you it won't be long. I need to be out and about fairly early tomorrow to get to the pet food store, at least one grocery store, and the drug store before I go to the doctor. If it isn't raining, I would like to get the car washed, too. 


So that is all there is, and my first day here is over.


October 2

I'm  going to write this, even though PastyNet is down and I won't be able to upload it until tomorrow. Actually, it isn't PastyNet. It's AT&T again. They had a cable cut in Wisconsin that disabled all cell service, DSL service, and internet service...and boy, is the keyboard on the laptop ever flaky tonight! Everything is flaky tonight!


I arose at the ungodly hour of 6 am this morning, to discover that the broadband had gone down again overnight. I called about it at 7:30, and Charlie called me back (while I was still talking) to say that they were replacing the relay on Horace Greeley (finally) and they had been working on it all night long and expected it to be up within an hour. Well...I finally gave up around 8:30 and figured that if need be, I can bounce the computer from Champine. Besides, I had hoped to be on the road by that time.


Because I hadn't put the ice packs in the freezer early enough, they weren't frozen when I wanted to start packing the cooler, so I couldn't do that last night, and I had to do it this morning. They really weren't still frozen solid, although they kept the cooler OK for the trip here (no frozen stuff). The one I put in my lunch pack, however, was actually warm when I took it out tonight.


Buster knew exactly what was going on, and he was a very sad kitty. He stayed as close to me as he could until the final minute. Poor Buster!


I finally got everything together and pulled out of the garage just after 9:00. 


It was much too nice a day to be going away, perfectly clear and sunny and in the low 50s. The covered road was really beautiful, although the maples that turned early are nearly bare and the birches and aspens are still somewhat greenish. 


My exit from the harbor was somewhat hampered by someone in front of me who just wanted to putter along and enjoy the color and was completely oblivious of the car behind him who was chomping at the bit. You know, I don't mind if you want to drive slowly and enjoy the view, but the least you could do is remain aware of the people behind you and remember that they may be in more of a hurry than you are. And get the hell out of my way!!!


It was clear and sunny all the way across the UP, although as I got toward the east, there was a high haze in the sky. The color this year is really spotty. From L'Anse to Marquette, it is clearly past its prime, and from US-141 to Michigamme, the tamaracks were golden. Then, around Munising, it was gorgeous, with all the maples turned orange and red. US-28 can be really uninspiring, and most of it was today. There are a lot of evergreens and tamaracks, and they are all green. Between Newberry and where M-123 turns south, in the Hiawatha National Forest, where it can be incredibly beautiful in the spring and at the heigisht of the autumn, it was sort of blah, past its prime again.


One good thing, there wasn't any traffic to speak of, and I got to the bridge around 3:00 (I think - the tape recorder is downstairs). When I turned down US-123, there were very dark, ominous clouds ahead of me, and I guess I had outrun the front that passed through Copper Harbor yesterday. There was a brief rain squall somewhere in there, which served nicely to clean off my windshield. There are surprisingly many bugs around for this time of year.


South of the bridge, it was just a matter of getting there. There is some construction and some traffic, and it's pretty boring. I-75 is a pretty road, at least down to West Branch. The color was just as spotty there as it was in the UP, and south of about Indian River, it will be at least two weeks before it peaks.


I remember one trip south where I chased thunderstorms all the way to Detroit. Well, this time, they chased me. There was a line of them across mid-Michigan, and fortunately, I was behind them this time. I did see some nice lightening bolts, but except for a brief, heavy rainfall south of Grayling (I think) that served to wash off the windshield again, I managed to miss the worst of it.


I also managed to miss the rush hours. Memo to self: 9:00 is a good time to leave Copper Harbor. I think I knew that.


I pulled into the driveway at about 7:15. That's 10 hours, 10 minutes, and it includes a very long stop at The Pines in Baraga, where there was a huge lineup for the ladies' bathroom, which is a single pot. I did make time. How`ever, traffic was very light, and I only saw two patrol cars the entire trip. There are some construction zones, but they are winding up work on all of them, and there weren't any workers. 


Anyway, then the fun began. I actually managed to get up the step at the grade door, although I'm not sure how I did that. That step is at least 14" high, and one time, I had to sit down on it and scooch in to the basement stairs in order to get into the house. So maybe, just maybe, my legs are a tad stronger than they used to be.


Then I couldn't find the boards I use as a bridge between the car and the kitchen slider, so I called Cynthia. She is so nice. She came over, and not onkly found the boards and some other things, she carried my suitcase upstairs and generally was a great help getting me unloaded.


There were two messages from my dentist on the answering machine, and as a result, it appears that I will get my teeth cleaned right after I get my crown prepped. Yeah! That frees up almost all day Wednesday to get the car greased and oiled and visit the pet supply store and various grocery stores. I was hoping that would happen, and it did!


After Cynthia left, I had a JD and a TV dinner, then I came upstairs to try to log on to PastyNet and do my nightly thing. First, I discovered that one of the lamps in the bedroom had been unplugged from the double extension cord and plugged into the wall. So I fixed that, so that I could plug in the computer (I don't use the laptop on battery power in anything less than an emergency). In the course of fixing that, everything got unplugged and I had to reset the clock. Then I discovered that the phone beside my bed had been unplugged from the extension cord it had been plugged into and plugged directly into the jack for my alternate phone line, which is the computer line. So I finally got that straightened out, and then I found that PastyNet has been down all day, and when I began writing this entry, I discovered that something totally crazy has happened to the keyboard of the laptop...oh, my. And in cleaning things up, someone had put away all my pens and pencils and there wasn't a pen or pencil in the bedroom at all...Talk about a comedy of errors! I guess things are getting straightened around now, but wow!


So that is about all I have to report. It is hot and smelly and yucky in this place. In fact, the moment I got on I-75 in the UP, I could smell the exhaust, and it only got worse as I came south. I've lived in paradise. I hate it here now. It is smelly and noisy and there are too many people driving too many cars and doing too many stupid things. I will be very glad to get home.


Now it is much too late for someone who has to be at the dentist at 8:30 tomorrow morning and who still has to take a bath (I sweated like a horse while unloading the car - it's hot and muggy around here), and I'm sure PastyNet is still offline, so I will end this and try again tomorrow. What has happened to the keyboard of this computer is beyond me, but it is almost unbearable. I will try the other one tomorrow.


So I am at Champine, and I am not happy about it, and I can't wait to get home.


October 1

Well, it's October.


I didn't sleep at all well last night. I kept having to walk, and getting hot, and getting sore. So I was up about 6 times overnight, and I didn't really sleep deeply except right after I went to bed. Not a good night.


Besides the weird dream I had before the first wake-up, every time I got up, there was a glow in the north, all covered up by clouds. It was frustrating...but then, the whole night was frustrating. Tonight, I will take a sleeping pill, and that should solve my problems.


I got up around 9:00, and I did my packing and my chores slowly with other things in between. I actually ate a breakfast-type breakfast for once, and I read a magazine. But eventually I got together the to-do stuff I want to take and after that I started packing the car. There are a few things not in it yet, and I had to go and get the camera, because we had a nice sunset tonight, but there isn't much left. After I get this uploaded and start the backups, I will begin to pack the cooler. Curiously enough, I kept forgetting to put the stuff in the fridge that I need to take, like the ice packs and something for lunch tomorrow. Get the idea that I really don't want to go? It's true.


There was a broadband outage during the day, and there is another one going on right now (at 7:45), so I may have to do a month-end upload via the dialup. Ugh.


It was a beautiful day, however. There were some clouds, but not enough to spoil a lot of nice sunshine, and the temperature got up to around 54º. with moderate north winds. 


When I went downstairs to do the cat pans, I went outside to try to salvage as much as possible of the stuff that the coons pulled down, and I sat on the retaining wall around the feeder tree for a while. It was maybe a bit cool to be sitting around, but it felt good to me, and it was a really pretty day. Besides, I had some magical moments. There are two little chipmunks and one even smaller one, all of which apparently live in the thicket behind the house. They kept coming down the waterfall or down the steps and over to the tree, first under it, and then up the tree and onto the deck. I was sitting there, and they would come to about 3 feet of me and look, and when I didn't move, they would continue on. At least two of them were so close I could have touched them...not a foot away. I have a nice piece of driftwood which is the roots of some tree, and two of them climbed up on top of that and sat and ate what they had in their cheek pouches. they are so cute! One of them sat up on its hind feet and looked at me, with its paws clasped across its chest, and I could see its heart beating, and it beat very, very fast. It was wonderful.


Eventually I did my chore and came back upstairs. I had put quite a pile of seeds in the platform feeder on the deck, and left seed on the deck from filling the big feeder, and all of it was gone by mid-afternoon. They know winter is coming, and they are stashing away as much as they can for the lean times. The squirrels, of course, aren't stashing anything, but they are eating like there's no tomorrow.


I got most of the stuff into the car, and before I go to bed there will be more. Then I was free to sit around and play a game. I do need to do a quick job  on the kitchen, as well as pack the cooler, but this is not the usual last-minute panic. It's nice to have a relatively clean house.


I am still hoping to get an early start tomorrow, so there will most likely be a journal, but I think I will just take the laptop upstairs with me and do it there, and worry about offloading the files some other time. 


So now it's time to hook up the dialup connection and start uploading, and hope it and the file copy go well.


I don't want to go. Buster doesn't want me to go. Rats.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM