A View From the Field








March, 2007

March 31

Wow, end of another month! Hard to believe...hard to believe what a problem I'm having typing, too.


First off, the camera is down again. The computer bit the dust around 11:30 this morning. It tried hard to stay up, and just couldn't make it. So there will be no more pictures for at least three days, if past performance is any indication. Unfortunately, based upon past performance, that also means it will probably be down when I am in Detroit, but that can't be helped. I will be bringing back the other one and I hope that will solve the problem.


So I am on the laptop again, and this is not my favorite keyboard.


I read until about 11:00 last night, but I didn't really sleep very well, so I am sleepy, and I will go to bed early tonight, too. I had some thoughts of going to church tomorrow, but we'll see. I'm not sure I am up to parading around with palm branches and singing "All Glory, Laud and Honor".  As I recall, either we didn't do that at all or just the kids paraded at Christ the King.


Anyway, today was a dull and dreary day. The temperature was around 38º all day long and the wind was from the southeast in the 15-20 mph range.


I had ideas, but all I really did was pay a couple of bills and go to the post office to get my body pillow. Tonight we shall see how it works. I got the one filled with feathers, and it seems to tend to clump in lumps, but then it was all folded up in a box. I hope it helps.


Oh, yes, I did wash. I wanted to do that anyway, but I had a nasty accident this morning, so I decided that while my jeans were dirty and wet, I would just begin the process. I have one load in the dryer and one load in the washer. The rest is for tomorrow. I have to wash every 4 weeks these days, because I only have 4 pairs of compression hose, and after wearing a pair for a week, they stretch out and get dirty and need to be washed. So tomorrow, when I'm not wearing any, I will wash them all.


The kitty did not appear that I saw, but she did jump out, use her tray, and jump back under the blankets. I heard her scratching around, and I smelled what she did. Her tray needs cleaning.


Tonight, there was a modest sized sorority group at Mariner, with all the girls in their mostly strapless gowns. Apparently this was the end of pledging or something. This was not one of the only-beautiful-people-need-apply groups, and there were some hefty ladies there...as well as some interesting cleavages. Not every girl had a date, either. They were actually very quiet, amazingly enough, and well behaved, at least while I was there. The only thing that puzzles me is how they got there, since there were no cars at all in the parking lot. Bus, maybe? I will have to try to find out.


So that is about all I know, and I will trundle up to the north end and read some more.


March 30

I was earlier getting to bed last night, but not a whole lot. Around 4:00 I woke up, and I could hear the lake speaking, although I couldn't hear any wind, which usually means it is from the north or east. I slept until I got a phone call this morning, and that plus two other rather long calls later sort of shot my day.


I want to thank everyone who has inquired about the kitty. I haven't said anything because there wasn't anything to say. However, this morning, when I fed her and changed her water, she was only partly covered by the blanket, and when I lifted the thing I have thrown over the cage, she got up and went into the back corner. She didn't seem very frightened, so I sat down and talked to her for quite a while, and she blinked at me. I take that to mean she knows I won't harm her. However, she is not about to let me get close to her or pet her. She actually sat, first on a blanket, and then in her tray, for about 4 hours, and toward the end I could tell she was getting very sleepy. I wasn't surprised when she dove under her blanket again and I think she's been asleep since.


This is going to be a long-term rehabilitation, I'm afraid, and I'm sorry I have to go to Detroit in a couple of weeks, because that will probably set back any progress she has made. She was only a tiny kitten when she was captured, but she was feral, and the place where she was fostered wasn't likely to get her used to being with people. So I will just have to have a lot of patience and hope that eventually she will learn that it's nice to sit on people's laps and be petted. Her sister, who was fostered by someone else, seems to be turning out just fine, so I will hope.


The weather was blah. It was cold, only in the middle 30s, with an east wind that was very strong this morning, although it died down in the late afternoon, and it wasn't bad outside. The lake was kicking up a fuss, and it still is a bit. It was nearly completely cloudy all day long, with only a few dim rays of sunshine. 


As the snow and ice melt, I have been marveling at how low the lake is, very close to its historical low. As a result, there is a lot of lake bottom showing that nobody has ever seen before. I have a whole lot more beach than I used to and the water off it is very shallow.


There were a few people in Mariner tonight, but it is the only place in town that is open at all right now. This time of year is even more dead than late fall. However, I had a nice piece of lake trout with Italian crumbs, and that was good.


I am pleased to report that the wind dried up the road a lot, and besides, the fort people came and filled in the pond up by the paved road, so while the car still gets dirty, it's not nearly as bad as it was yesterday. There are a lot of potholes, of course. I still don't know where all that gravel goes. They fill in those places two or three times a year, and yet a couple of months later, there are the holes again. Weird. It will be better, though, when they aren't full of muddy red water. Behind the wheels of my car is just as dirty now as it was before it was washed. If it rains tomorrow, like it's supposed to, the road will be a mess again.


Last night, I ended up having to copy the journal to the website by hand, so I will see what happens tonight.


I knitted some and otherwise did nothing today, and I think I will go up to the north end and read a while tonight and try to get another good night's sleep.


And that is all I know.


March 29

My web problems didn't end when I closed last night's entry. I was able to upload it without much problem - except that neither the gallery nor the webcam pages had the left side navigation bar. After fooling around for some time, I finally copied the two files by hand, and everything was fine. What I don't go through for this crazy website...


Anyway, after that, instead of going to bed, like I should have, I started reading one of the books I got yesterday, and that went on for a hour or so, so I was very late getting to bed. Partly because I was annoyed by FrontPage and partly because I knew I would have to get up at some reasonable hour this morning, I didn't sleep very well, and I certainly didn't get enough sleep! Tomorrow should be better.


Last evening, we had some strong winds, and we had several power glitches which caused the computer to reboot, and there was another one right after I got up to the north end...so I shrugged my shoulders and ignored it. Well, the computer came up like a champ, but the broadband didn't, as frequently happens. So we didn't get any pictures before 11:00 this morning. Not that we missed much. I also had to reset some of the digital clocks, but not all of them. And the answering machine didn't lose its mind. Weird. I would love to be able to tie all these things together to the atomic clock so that they would reset themselves. Maybe in another 100 years or so...


I was just thinking about getting up when the guy from Keweenaw Glass called, so I got up. Buster was nowhere to be found...I guess he heard the phone ring and decided we were in for convulsions. However, since I didn't have to pet a cat, I got up and dressed in record time.


Anyway, I was ready when the Keweenaw Glass guy came. In order to find the numbers on the windows, he had to take them out of the frames, but it was 40-ish with no wind, so that didn't cause a problem. He found numbers, but they didn't look right to him, but he did find the pane size, so I will be getting another new window. I also gave him the four I have, plus the finishing materials I bought last year. I just decided that with everything else I have to do and am not doing, the chances I would  get the windows finished are slim and none, so I will have to pay to have it done. So it is with a single woman living alone...especially one with back problems and procrastination problems.


Not long after he left, the plumber arrived. He showed me how to take the toilet mechanism apart, but the toilet has been working fine, and I adjusted the float a bit after he left. His main task was to bleed and recycle the fluid in the zones for the bedroom and bathroom. There was a little air in the bedroom zone, but in the bathroom, it appears that there was almost no fluid at all, and it took him nearly an hour to pump out all the air.


See? I am not a dotty old lady - I know what I'm talking about. And I guess I know more about hot water heat than I thought I did.


While it is too warm to really check out the system, I am certain my heat problems in the north end are fixed. At some cost to the management, of course, but mostly labor.


The weather was blah. It was cloudy and drab and gray all day long, and the temperature was mostly in the low 40s, although it did max out at 47º when the wind dropped. In the early part of the day, we had very strong winds from the south - 25-35 mph, but between 2:00 and 3:00 they dropped and became variable, and for a while they were nearly calm. Now they are light from the north-northwest.


I have never before been in a place where the passing of a high or low pressure system has been so obvious in the direction and speed of the winds. It is a never-ending source of wonder to me.


After everybody left, and Buster appeared and got his petting, I didn't do much. I got a new afghan the other day, and I started it, but I will have to wait a while to continue, because there are a few colors in it that I just don't like, and there is no blue. So I ordered some more yarn - with some difficulty, since they were having trouble with their website - and I will have to wait until it arrives. This afghan is round, and I think it will be neat. Now I can go back to the one I was working on before. The center of that one is pretty bad, but the overall color combinations are OK. I also sent a strongly worded message to Lion Brand Yarn, telling them that they need to do something about the terrible color combinations they are coming up with in their patterns. I mean, absolutely horrible. The other one has pale beige, two shades of pink and two shades of gray, which is fine, but the other two colors are brown and loden green...needless to say, I also ordered replacements for those colors. I mean horrible!


Anyway, that occupied me for the late afternoon, and I got to enjoy the view while I was knitting.


I think Buster remembers that a year ago tomorrow, we left for Detroit. I don't know how to tell him we're not going this year, except by not going. He is just the paradigm of the person who anticipates the worst on the basis of past experience, and I don't know how to teach him that you can't do that.


When I was straightening up in the office yesterday, I ran across pieces of my chocolate turkey from Thanksgiving, so I am having a treat of Lake Champlain Chocolate that I didn't think I'd get. Yum!


So that was my day, and I expect to be in bed earlier tonight, and I expect to sleep forever to try to catch up on my sleep. This weather is good for that.


March 28

Well, that was interesting! Somehow, the entire web got screwed up, and for a while, FrontPage couldn't find it at all, so after a bunch of GoBacks, file copies, and head scratching, I got it back, but without the top and left-side borders! Egad! I think I have it back together now, but I'm afraid it will try to copy the whole shebang, and it's nearly midnight.  What I don't go through with this crazy thing...


I couldn't tell you what the sky was like last night, because I wasn't paying attention. I started reading a book, and finally stopped at about 1:00 because I couldn't see anymore. It is called "Women of the Lakes", or something, and it was moderately interesting, if not very long. Anyway, I got up around 9:30 this morning in spite of going to bed very late.


It was a bright-cloudy day today. The temperature was around 40º all day, with a moderate wind from the southeast. There was some sunshine, but there were clouds in the sky all day.


I made it to bible class, and then to the ladies' handwork meeting, and that was fun. They are a good group. I was able to tell the other Sharon my tale of searching the web for my melon fork and the family silver. 


If I had something else I wanted to talk about, I've forgotten it while I was recovering the web, so I will end this and try to get it uploaded. What a pain! I want to go to bed!


March 27

I read for quite a while last night, and it was warm in the bedroom, so I didn't sleep all that well, but I was up around 9:30. It was foggy for a while, then cloudy for most of the night, but around 5:00 there were some anemic stars in the sky. Jupiter was setting, and I saw Polaris and part of the Big Dipper, briefly. The part of the sky in the west at that hour is very dim anyway - looking out of the galaxy toward Virgo and the hind end of Leo, toward all the other galaxies. They would have been hard to see this morning. Seeing wasn't very good.


But what a glorious day it was! When I left for Calumet, it was partly cloudy, but mostly sunny, and it just got better all day. The late afternoon, when I came back, was just lovely, and I got my usual thrill when I came down the hill into Copper Harbor and saw all that blue, blue water! Up at our end, where the waves came in from the channel, there is still a lot of ice around the shore, but almost all of it is gone from the west end.


There is still snow in the woods, and along the side of the roads, it is dirty and nasty. We still have quite a "glacier" down in the low spot by Lake Lily, but it gets smaller every day. The road is completely ice-free now, but it is really a mess, with puddles to small ponds the whole way to US-41.


I had a good trip both ways. The woods are very dreary now, as they were last November, with no touch of spring green in them. The evergreens are still their yellowish winter color, and it isn't the prettiest time of year. But all that sunshine made up for it. When I started home, the air conditioning wanted to come on, it was so hot in the truck. I was interested to see that Cliff Drive is barricaded. I'm not sure if it's because it's flooded during the thaw or for some other reason, but I thought it was rather strange.


The truck is now nicely spiffed up. All they did about my recall (which sounded very dire) was to check a few things and clean some things. They can't find anything wrong with the 4WD, so why I had all those warning lights last year is a mystery. I have new grease and oil - and it rides a lot better - and wonder of wonders, they actually washed my truck! It got dirty coming down our road, of course, but it certainly is nice to see out the back window again, and not get my jeans all covered with red mud every time I lean against the running boards. And the total wasn't much more than my independent mechanic in Detroit charges.


That dealership is a real blast from the past. There is no showroom at all, although there are floor to ceiling windows in it. They have one new vehicle out in front, but inside, with tile floors and the strangest steps up and down I ever saw, is the parts department, two stalls for salesmen, and a waiting area. I think if you buy a car from them, they either have to truck it in or order it special. But everybody is nice, and I heard a lot of Yooper accents. I think they make most of their money on parts and maintenance. I know two people shelled out almost $300 while I waited. And I'm sure mechanics don't make as much around here as they do in the big city.


I was tempted to go across the street to Copper World, but I decided I wasn't stable enough on my feet, so I knitted on my afghan for 3 hours, and completed another color (I'm getting to the big part now). It still amazes me that people who know they will have to wait someplace don't bring anything to keep them occupied.


From the dealership, I went over to Keweenaw Glass and picked up my two screens. Now, they have raised their prices! Those coons owe me. I also arranged for them to come and pick up the four window panes I have had around here for three years or so and finish them for me. It's not that I can't do it - Lord knows, I've done enough painting in my day! - but that I probably won't do it, because there are always enough other things to do. So, as is usual, since I won't or can't do it myself, I will have to pay to have it done for me. They also need to check on the serial number of the other window that has lost its seal. Somebody will come Thursday to do that.


Then it was a nice trip home, with nobody to bother me. With all the sunshine, it is really warm in the house, but it was so lovely! I was going to sit in the ugly chair and change colors on the afghan, but with the sun shining in the sliding door, I'm sure I would have come to a boil.


The temperature was in the low 40s all day long here, with a northwest wind that was moderate this morning and then died down completely late in the day. And oh, that sunshine!


So that was my day, and I diddled around enough when I got home that it is getting late now. I am ambivalent about the beautiful, warm weather. I love it, after the winter, but I'm afraid it bodes badly for the summer. I can't stand heat at all, and at least down in southeastern Michigan, when the spring has started this early and been this warm, the summer has usually been horrible. Well, I can hope that isn't the case this year. One of the fun things about being here is tracking the weather. Every year I have been here has been different. Now, a repeat of last summer (with a little more rain) would be just perfect...I could leave the whole house opened up all summer, just like I did last year, and yet we didn't have too much really hot weather, at least in Copper Harbor. I keep my fingers crossed.


And that is all there is.


March 26

I got interested in finishing the story I was reading and it was around 1:00 when I finally got to bed.


It was an interesting evening. I was brushing a cat when I began to hear thunder far off in the distance, so I jumped in the shower, just in case. The power held up, but about the time I got settled in bed with the binder (this is the 6" one) the wind began to blow incredibly hard, and I thought, wow, are we in for it! Then somebody turned off the switch, and it wasn't blowing anymore. Really weird. However, shortly thereafter it began raining really hard, and that continued for an hour or so, with a rumble of thunder or two. It had all stopped when I went to sleep, and a later when I woke up, I could see the moon shining through the clouds.


It was foggy on and off during the night, and it was extremely foggy all morning. Around noon, the fog started doing the thing I love most - it would come in and cover us up, then it would go out and it would get almost clear, and then it would come in again. Several times there was just that one streamer blowing in the channel between Porter Island and the Lighthouse. Really neat. A little while ago, it had cleared up completely, and about five minutes later, we were socked in again. Wonderful! I love to see the sun shining through the fog, too.


The temperature was in the 40s all day, and it got up to 46º, with moderate southwest winds. I was going to stick my nose out, but I didn't. It certainly got hot in here - up to 76º when the sun was almost out late this afternoon.


The computer was nice enough not to hang up until right before I got to the office this morning, so I doubt anybody noticed, unless you were carefully checking the timestamps on the camera pictures. Just a while ago, all of a sudden, I started having a lot of trouble connecting to any websites, including my own, so after I did all the usual things, I called, and learned that Charlie and Jonathan are upgrading the software in the relay stations. Oh. I hope that solves the problem. I was having trouble getting to secure sites.


I sort of diddled around, although I did unload the dishwasher and start to reload it, and I filled three more orange bags with old catalogs and magazines. All 10 bags are still outside the door of the office, in the great room. Sigh.


I finally made an appointment to get my car fixed. There is a recall out on it that GM has been dunning me about, and I want to get the 4WD serviced, like the warning messages were telling me all last year, and I need to do that before I head south. So I will be spending the afternoon in Calumet tomorrow.


I called the plumber, and he will be coming Thursday or Friday, although today the toilet was working again. I want him to look at it, and I don't know how to take it apart. He is also going to bring his pump and recycle (I hope!) the fluid in the heating system, to see if maybe that is causing the problem with my heat at the north end. 


Not that I've needed it lately. I think one reason I haven't been sleeping so well is that the bedroom has been warm, since the outside temperature is so moderate.


Anyway, somehow, before he comes, I do need to move a few things out of the house and into the garage. This is going to be a busy week anyway, with Bible class and Carolyn's on Wednesday. With my back acting up, I'm not guaranteeing anything.


Late in the afternoon, I sat in the ugly chair, much to Buster's delight, and knitted. He has been sleeping on the footstool lately, since I recalled it to his mind last week, and he loves it when the sun is shining on it. His only problem was that I was knitting, and he wanted me all to himself.


The new kitty is still under her blanket. She apparently comes out late at night or early in the morning and eats and uses the litter tray, then she dives under the covers again. Poor kitty! She doesn't know what she's missing, but I don't think forcing my attentions on her would help the situation at all.


So that was my day, and I will see if I can upload this. The last picture uploaded OK, so I'll try it.


March 25

Unfortunately, the computer locked up about the time I went to sleep last night, and since I was very late getting up, we didn't get any morning pictures - not that there was very much to see.


In the middle of the night, the moon was shining in on my pillow. It never ceases to amaze me how bright even a less-than-quarter moon is. However, as it began to set over the lighthouse, it went into a cloud bank. So I knew it was getting cloudy.


It apparently didn't begin to rain until around 9:00 this morning, but I was asleep then. When I finally made it out of bed, around 11:00, it was raining hard, and while I was petting a cat in the bathroom, there were a couple of rumbles of thunder that sounded like they were out over the lake. It rained until about 1:00 this afternoon, It partially cleared up later in the afternoon, although the sun went down into a cloud bank. It was very foggy. and it is really foggy and dreary now.


I might mention that the camera makes it look quite a bit lighter outside than it really is. The 8:27 picture looks fairly light, and believe me, it isn't.


The temperature was in the 40s all day, maxing out at about 48º. The wind was from the south-southwest in the 15-25 mph range. It was very humid.


I did nothing. For some reason, the dished didn't wash well, so I had to wash them over, and even just pulling a TV dinner out of the freezer and nuking it left my back hurting, so I vegged. Sunday, right? A day of rest. Just like all the other days.


So I guess I will trundle up to the north end and maybe read for a while again, although I do have to take a shower. I am still oily enough that I have to wash my hair every other night at least, and in the summer, every night. It's easiest to do it in the shower, and I have to wash myself anyway, to see that I don't get diaper rash. I apparently have extremely sensitive skin, and the only reason I didn't always know that is that I've always been very careful what I put on it. Having oily skin has meant that I have had to bathe frequently since I was a teenager, and getting to be a senior citizen hasn't changed that very much. I am drying out somewhat, but not like most of my contemporaries. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. I don't have very many wrinkles yet.


So that is all there is for today.


March 24

I was a little better last night, but tonight I will jump in bed early. It was cloudy all night and early in the morning, but by the time I got up, it was clearing up nicely.


My night was not uninterrupted. When I went through the kitchen last night, I could hear the septic tank alarm going off, so I had to go downstairs and turn it off, and when I was there, I could hear water running out the main sewer pipe. I discovered that I apparently have a broken toilet mechanism in the powder room, and the water won't turn off, even if I pull the little lever up as far as it will go. Oh, no...a call to the plumber! So I turned the water off at the shutoff and went to bed...and at 4:18, the alarm went off again! So I hauled myself out of bed, got my slippers and went down to turn it off again. I have to keep it turned off, because Buster's litter trays are right next to it, and he doesn't like loud noises...and believe me, that is loud!.


While I was down there, I pulled out some papers from behind the wiring and discovered all the installation and maintenance instructions for the alarms, etc. They were turned right to the place that says what the alarms mean, and the ones I got last night were a high water alarm. That's sort of weird, I think, because even though the water ran for about 5 hours, there wasn't that much. However, I haven't had another alarm today, so maybe it is OK.


I will call the plumber on Monday, because it turns out I probably use that toilet more than the other one, and I miss it.


I'm sorry we didn't get the early morning camera shots, but it hung up while doing its weekly virus scan last night. It takes me at least 45 minutes to get from the north end to the south end, what with petting a cat and feeding cats and getting dressed and all that, so it was 11:00 before we got any pictures. It certainly was beautiful then!


I looked out the kitchen windows as I was serving cat breakfast, and the mergansers are back! There was a flock of at least two males in their breeding plumage and three or four females. I wonder how they know the harbor is almost ice-free? I can remember years when it wasn't.


I actually did something today. I washed dishes and pans and I began to try to clean the counter between the sink and the fridge. I have a long way to go, but it's better. However, I started doing that when I went into the kitchen to make something to eat for brunch, and by the time I finished, my back was bothering me so much I never did get much to eat, just some cheese and crackers.


Good thing my dinner was so enormous that I brought home half for tomorrow. It was an interesting combination - steak and lasagna - and even though I had steak last night, it tasted good. I always wonder how they can get the steaks done just exactly the way they're ordered? Some kind of magic, no doubt. 


I left Peggy with a couple of bead catalogs that have a lot of nice display things and bags and boxes. She was  excited. They are going away next Friday for a week or so, because that is Lydia's spring break, her last one in high school. And the good news is that she has been accepted at Michigan State. On the way out, I met Mary and Nikki, who are up to help Cindy get King Copper ready for the summer. It's early, but there is a lot to do to get the place ready, especially since Mary and Sherry can only work on weekends.


I can report that spring is officially here: I saw two kids in shorts tonight. 


It wasn't all that warm, at least here, and the temperature was up and down all day. It hit 46º twice, but for most of the afternoon it was right around 40º. There wasn't much wind, and what there was came from all over. It was really nice outside, although I wasn't out much. It certainly was a beautiful day, with clear skies until right before sunset, and plenty of sunshine.


So that is all there is, and I will go up to the north end and maybe read a bit.


March 23

It was a horrible hour this morning before I got to bed. Blame it on the Bible. I got a new translation of the Bible the other day (the English Standard Version, an update of the RSV), and last night I opened it to Genesis and read through to the end of Exodus, then I read all the explanatory paragraphs at the beginning of each book. I think I like the New International Version better, except for the Psalms.


Anyway, I didn't get enough sleep, because about 10:00, not only was I sore, Buster was bugging me to be petted so I got up. So I didn't do much of any thing today.


The kitty didn't appear, either last night or this morning, but after I went to bed she ate and drank. Apparently looking at me the other day was more than her nerves could bear.


Chip and Nancy, who have only been here for a week and are leaving tomorrow, wanted to have dinner, so we met, and found that Mariner was closed tonight. So we went to Zik's (first time I've been in there - it's a cute place), and their kitchen was closed, too. So we had a drink and a nice conversation and came home for dinner. Now, that is the reason I wish I could keep my house in order: I have plenty of things to eat in the house, but the kitchen is such a disaster that I wouldn't serve anybody but me out of it. Maybe sometime I will learn that lesson?


So I had a steak and some frozen veggies, and managed to not overcook the steak too much, even though I set the timer for 5 hours! The timer on the microwave, as well as my two kitchen timers, all are in minutes and seconds, whereas the timer on the oven is in hours and minutes, and when I am distracted, I keep forgetting that. However, I've discovered that my internal minute timer works pretty well. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten up to walk into the kitchen and check the progress of my dinner and had the timer go off as I walked across the great room. 


While I was preparing my dinner, I gave in and started another orange bag, even though the full one is still there, and that cleaned off the counter by the sink pretty well. I really must try to do something around here. In about three weeks, I will be heading south, and I do not want to leave this house looking like it does now. There aren't many things more horrible than driving 11 hours and walking into a house that is a total disaster. Believe me, I've done it, and I promised myself I wouldn't do it again.


There was a nice sunset tonight, although I was facing the other way. The camera caught a couple of pictures that were good enough to save.


The weather was rather nice. The temperature got up to 46º, and the winds were light, and calm after about 4:30. It was partly sunny all day. I think it was warmer down toward Houghton. Already the big lake is moderating our temperatures!


The reason I liked the pictures, besides the color, is that this is the first time this year that the harbor has been like a mirror. There are little chunks of ice floating in the water and being blown back and forth by the wind. And I was looking out when I saw what has to be some fairly large fish darting around just under the surface way out in the water and leaving little wave paths or circles on the surface. I love the water whatever it looks like, but I particularly love it when it is so calm. There is nothing like the absolute silence of a Copper Harbor evening.


So tonight I am going to try to get to bed a little earlier and sleep a little longer. It's a calm, lovely night in the field, and spring is coming.


March 22

I got to bed late last night, mostly because I had trouble getting the journal to upload, so I was late getting up this morning. And there was something wrong with the broadband that didn't clear up until almost noon, so while I archived the morning's pictures, they didn't ever get uploaded to the website. Sorry about that.


Too bad, too, because it was a pretty morning. Wind was strong all night long, and it was from the northwest, so it was pounding on the corner of the bedroom, but it didn't keep me awake much. I am puzzled because the NWS reports seem to show not much wind at all until 4:00 this morning, and I know it was howling when I went to bed. It was in the 25-35 mph range until about 7:00, when they say it died down, but I thought I just heard it banging around again, so I'm not sure if maybe there's something wrong with the NWS station again.


The temperature actually went down after midnight, bottoming out at around 34º between 10:00 and 1:00 this afternoon before it started to rise again.


Except for the wind it wasn't a bad day. It was clear in the morning, but the clouds began to move in during the afternoon and it was rather cloudy at sunset.


I didn't do much except pay a few bills and run them to the post office, and stop by the Gaslite to get my package - my new hymnal, with 986 hymns. I wish I had my keyboard, since a lot of the tunes don't look familiar to me. Oh, well. There are also five settings of the divine service, from the one I think my grandfather used to the one in the last hymnal with the insipid words. I guess they tried to be inclusive this time.


The kitty stayed under her blanket today. I guess she thought she was much too brave yesterday. When I went to bed, she was sitting in the cage, and she didn't hiss at me. 


I had a nice chat with Dawn, who is another lady who fosters animals, and she encouraged me. She has one cat who was feral when she got him, and who now is the nicest cat  you'd ever want, but it took her months of working with him to bring him around. 


This won't be a fast and easy thing. First I have to get her to be not so timid and afraid of us, and then I have to get her used to being handled and petted and all that. I found out a bit more about the kitty's background, and I know it will take time and patience. We will persevere.


So another lost day, and it's time for bed.


March 21

Happy first day of Spring!


I did not have a good night last night. The cold dampness affected my arthritis, and I had a sore hip and a sore hand and I had a hard time finding a comfortable place to lie. And I dreamed about Mike and Gary, nothing specific, but really weird. However, I made it out of bed at 8:30.


When I came out with her food, the kitty was sitting in her litter tray, and she hissed at me. Then she moved out of the tray and hissed at me again. The terrified look is gone from her eyes. While I was gone today, she ate some of her canned food. So I guess we are making progress. Tomorrow I have to clean out the tray, and that will be interesting.


So I went off to Bible class, and that was very nice. Nancy was there, and we had some good discussions. I am getting my own copy of the book we are working from, so that I can meditate on it myself.


The weather is what I would call typical March weather. We apparently had some freezing rain, or something, overnight, and it was so dark when I got up that I had to turn on the lights in the closet to make sure I was matching (not that it helped much). While we were at Bible class, the sun came out briefly, then it got dark again and it has been quite foggy this evening.


The temperature started the day at about 28º, and it has slowly risen to 41º now. The winds have been from the southwest, not very strong, all day long. 


I was awake around 2:30 this morning, and while I was sitting next to the window, I heard a couple of rumbles of thunder, but they were far away, probably over the lake. We got very little rain, just enough to wet the deck, and apparently some of the rain was freezing, but that went away as the temperature rose.


I have been forgetting to mention the birds. Sunday and Monday there was a seagull, and yesterday there was a whole flock of them. I think they must go at least a bit south for the winter, but they're back. And Monday, I watched an eagle soaring over the fort for a couple of minutes. So they are here. He was mostly over land, so he must not be able to find any fish, but of course, this end of the harbor was frozen then. 


The strong west winds, followed by the strong southeast winds, have pushed all the ice up together and away from our end of the harbor, and there is just the bits right at the shore now. Some of that is pancake ice. Spring is coming early this year, it seems. All this happened in April last year, when I wasn't here. I wonder what that bodes about the summer?


I also forgot to mention that, with the help of the nice people at Christofle, I have determined what my forks are. They are melon forks, and they are silver plate. The pattern is Louis XV Chrysanthème dated 1889-1934. Now that I look at them, it makes some sense. The flat side would be just right to slice pieces out of a section of melon, then, when they were bite size, you could spear them with the fork. It also explains the vines on the fork part. An interesting artifact.


While I was researching that, I looked at the silver I inherited from my father's family, and I have identified that, too. The pattern is by Reed & Barton, and it is called La Touraine, dated 1895...genuine antiques. I could complete the teaspoons, of which I have only 5, for a relatively modest sum, considering, but they wouldn't be monogrammed. I am pondering that. I still think it is the most beautiful silver pattern I have ever seen, but what I need with a service for 12 (including soup spoons and a sugar tongs), I don't know. It's nice to look at.


This evening, I got a call from my accountant, and thankfully, I am in good shape tax-wise this year. So that is a relief. My taxes aren't nearly as complicated as they were for a while (when I had some money), but I find it is a great relief not to have to puzzle through the forms myself. I used to be a nervous wreck, trying to make sure I did everything right and never being sure, so I really appreciate her. Besides, if I get audited, she will be right there with me.


So that was my day. Buster didn't come for his morning sit, so he has been bugging me this evening, and he needs his brushing. It was a quiet day in the field.


March 20

I think it was a little after 8:00 this evening that the sun crossed the equator, heading north. So it is officially astronomical spring. Tomorrow I can hang the spring banner.


Not that it was obvious here. The wind died down to nothing overnight, but for most of the morning and early afternoon, little snowflakes were dropping lazily out of the sky and falling ever so slowly straight down.


After 1:00, the wind shifted to the south and began to pick up and it is now blowing hard in exactly the opposite direction from last night - and nearly as hard. The latest report says it is 25-40 mph, and the NWS station is somewhat sheltered from that direction. At the same time, the temperature started out at 15º, and after 9:00 this morning, it started rising ever so slowly, and it is now 30º.


So it was cloudy most of the day. There was a ray or two of sunshine in the afternoon, but it didn't last long. They are still predicting rain for tonight, but we'll see.


I didn't do much except sit in the ugly chair again, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I crocheted on the old tablecloth, but my left hand was sore, so that didn't last long. I dragged out the shrug I was working on last year, and I have finally gotten almost half of it done. I've said it before - people who say knitting with big needles is faster are wrong. At least I can't. The needles used for this thing are actually too big for all the threads, which makes the fabric very loose and not very even, so I'm not sure how well it will come out, if I ever finish it.


The kitty ate all her food and drank a lot of water last night, but I still haven't seen her. I filled everything up, and I hope that one of these days she will decide we're all right.


I went downstairs to get a pasty tonight, and I took a look around - ugh! - and found Buster on top of all the boxes. It is warmer down there, and I suppose that's what he likes. I always thought cats liked to sleep in soft places, but Buster certainly doesn't all the time. He picks places like the top of a cardboard box or a rug in the bathroom. Weird little kitty. I sure know how to pick'em.


The computer locked up once today, late in the afternoon. I had hoped to have a couple of weeks out of it, like I did last time, but we'll see.


So now it's bedtime. The lake won't be quite so noisy as it was last night, but neither should I hear the wind from up at the north end.


March 19

Well, another lost day.


It was cloudy all night and dark, dark, dark, since new moon was last night. During the night, I noticed that the lights of town faded out, and there was a short fall of heavy, wet snow, most of which melted by 10:00 this morning.


The day was interesting. Bands of clouds kept coming over with bands of clear skies in between. By 10:15 the wind was in the 30-40 mph range, from the north-northwest, and it was noisy around here! The harbor was a mass of whitecaps, and during the day the wind pushed all the ice down to our end of the harbor and piled it up. The temperature topped out at 35º around 10:00, then it began to plummet as the wind rose and shifted around to the north. The wind topped out at 37-46 mph around 2:00 (yup, we had a good strong gale going there!), and it has been dying back some ever since, although at 9:00 it was still 24-34 mph from the north. The temperature has now dropped to 18º and is still dropping. The lake is still making a great noise, and the waves should be in the 12-14 foot range.


I spent a good part of the afternoon sitting in the ugly chair watching the harbor and the sky. I did a little cross stitch, but my eyes started to bother me, so I picked up my knitting again. Buster was delighted, especially when the sun got around to shining in. He would like to have sat on me, but I had a lap full of afghan, so he went to sleep on the footstool in the sun.


The kitty didn't show herself today, but she ate quite a lot last night and drank water, so that is a good sign.


Tonight I called Chip and Nancy, who have finally made it up here, and they are very glad to be here. We had a nice conversation. They are relaxing, and after the winter they have had, they need it, even though they will only be here for a week.


So that was my quiet day. The lake is singing its storm song, and it will be a good night to sleep.


March 18

I thought I got enough sleep last night - certainly I was in bed long enough - but I was headachy and tired all day. I didn't do much, again.


The sky was clear most of the night, and while it wasn't very transparent, there were a lot of stars...how quickly I get jaded! If I saw that many stars in Detroit, I'd think it was a beautifully clear night. But this is Copper Harbor. It was clear enough that I could see the Pleiades without my glasses on, so I guess that's pretty good.


I saw the kitty for about a minute this morning. She was sleeping with her head peeking out of the blanket, near the edge of the cage, and I tried to reach in an pet her, which made her jump to the other side and look at me like I might strangle her at any moment. Poor kitty! She did eat a little old canned cat food overnight, which is a good sign, I think. I have been trying to talk to her every time I go by, and as for the rest of it, we go about our regular routine.


I finished the bracelet, although I didn't start anything else. I did take several pictures today.


First, here is a picture of the "fish fork". When I had it out, I took a look at the marks on it with my magnifier, and I discovered that it has "Christofle" on both the handle and the bowl, as well as a square mark with a scales on it, which I interpret as meaning sterling. So I went out into cyberspace, and the firm of Christofle, which is French, is still in business, and has been since 1830. They have very expensive stuff. They also have a museum. I sent them an email with the picture attached. I wonder if I'll get a reply?


The bowl has a design of vines and leaves and what looks like a pumpkin on it, so now I wonder if possibly it's a pie fork? Not that I've ever seen anything else like it. Any help from my audience would be appreciated. I really want to know what this thing is.


Then I took pictures of the latest jewelry. Here is the seed bead necklace. The little things on the ends of the side branches are Swarovski crystals. Since that's a close-up, you can't tell how big it is - it is about 18" long including the clasp. Not only would it look neat with a low neckline, I think it would look really neat inside something like an open shirt collar. I do think I might try to make a pair of coordinated earrings. I acquired a few plated pierced earwires at Wal-Mart, so I thought I'd try it. I don't have pierced ears, and my hair is long, so I don't have a lot of interest in earrings, but I know a lot of women do.


Here is the amethyst and copper helix bracelet. It's pretty dark, but I think you can tell it's not black. I even managed to find a couple of amethyst round beads the right color to make the clasp. Purple is one of my colors, but I've been disappointed that the amethyst seed beads are just very dark and it's hard to see their color, even in sunlight. I did get some lighter ones, but they look rather wimpy to me.


After I did that, I sat down in the ugly chair and watched the sky start to cloud up and the little birds getting their dinner. I tried a little cross stitch, but I was having trouble seeing the dark blue fabric even with my magnifier, so I knitted for a while instead.


I think the reason for my headache is that the barometer has plunged during the day, and that frequently causes me sinus problems. It was clear this morning, and while there were a few puffy clouds during the day, it was mostly sunny and nice. The temperature got up to 36º, briefly, and there was hardly any wind, although it is beginning to rise now. There is a forecast for snow overnight, but then I saw that by Wednesday it may be 40º with thunderstorms. The weather is so interesting around here! It really looks like winter may be over?


Oh, yes, the pretty new feeder is under the deck. I didn't go out to get it. Tomorrow. The other ones were all intact, although the mesh feeder had been pushed up against the tree trunk. Who did that, I don't know, but I fear perhaps my raccoons are back. We shall see. I did fill the ones that were still hanging.


So that is my quiet day, and it's bedtime again.


March 17 St. Patrick's Day

It was clear for most of the night last night, although the sky wasn't very transparent. I saw Orion and I saw Polaris, but the great nebula in Orion didn't look pink. It sort of clouded up early in the morning, but that only lasted for a while.


I did not see the kitty, again. She did use her litter tray overnight, but she is still a lump under the blanket, and I don't think she ate anything. Buster is still confused and upset, and he wants to sit on me all the time, but that was true before the new kitty.


Several people have asked me about her name. All of my cats have named themselves, by their actions or their looks: Dennis was Dennis the Menace; Silkie was named because her fur was so soft and silky. Buster was...well, after the sixth time I said, "All right, Buster, cut it out!", I realized he had named himself. So we will have to wait until she comes out of her shell and we find out what kind of a personality she has. You will also have to be patient about a picture. I can't take a picture of a cat I never see.


I came into the office this morning, pushed the button...and the computer booted. So the computer is now up and the camera has been running since 10:00 this morning. We'll see how long it lasts. I make no guarantees.


Good thing. It was a gorgeous day again. There were some clouds in the morning and a few in the west later in the afternoon, but most of the day was clear and sunny and beautiful...oh, all that blue, blue water! The temperature got down to 12º over night, then it rose up to 25º for most of the day. The wind, which had been from the southwest, is now from the north in the 10-15 mph range. It was nice out.


I worked on the bracelet, and have half of the clasp left to do, and after I got the files back into sync, I didn't do much else. I mostly enjoyed the weather and the computer. The only trouble with the camera is that it is running until almost 9:00 now, so I don't want to turn on any lights until after it shuts down, and that's late. So I will finish the bracelet tomorrow.


I met some more of my neighbors - not full-time residents - at Mariner tonight, and we had a most pleasant dinner. I had to tell them there is no answer to the fly problem, and the answer to the mouse problem is a cat (or a live trap). So that was nice, and I brought home half a rack of ribs for tomorrow. Yum. Double yum.


I just remembered that I was supposed to patch a nightgown today, but I didn't, so I guess I will have to wear another one. The one I was wearing wore through in the seat and my tush was hanging out for most of last night. I really do need to make some new winter nighties, but it's too late to do that now. It's on the list of to-dos.


And that is all there is.


March 16

Well, we have a new kitty, but it's hard to tell. Diane and her two students came with the kitty around 12:30, and it was clear she was absolutely terrified. So would I be, if I was stuffed in a carrier and kept there in some strange place for several hours. Anyway, Diane cuddled her, and I cuddled her, then we put her in the cage. She sat on her pan for a few minutes, but I don't think she did anything, then she huddled in a corner for a little while, and then she burrowed into the fleece throws and I haven't seen a whisker since. Poor kitty! She is a pretty little thing, sort of all ears and feet (like most 8-month old cats), but nicely marked so far as I could tell. She has pretty eyes, which were full of tears, she was so frightened. Poor kitty!


When I came home from dinner, Buster had apparently been sitting in front of the cage. Now if he would only sing to her, maybe that would help...only not at 3 am, please.


I think she will relax eventually, but it may take a while. She needs to get used to the sights and sounds of the house and Buster and me, and she needs to begin to understand that this will be her permanent home. Buster is the only cat I have brought into my home who wasn't scared, but then he was only 7 weeks old, and he was too young to know any better. It is a traumatic experience for an animal who doesn't like change at all.


So that was the big story of the day. Otherwise, I did not much, although I started a helix bracelet in dark amethyst and copper, and it is coming out pretty good, I think.


The weather was partly cloudy and chilly. The temperature got up to about 25º, with almost no wind, but it has now taken a dive down to 19º, and it was pretty clear when I got home from dinner. There were a few little snowflakes during the day, but no accumulation.


It is dead in Copper Harbor again, but I got to show the latest necklace to Peggy, and she loved it, so that's good. I will get at the other two.


Everything has sort of frozen up again. There is a thin film of ice on this end of the harbor, and this morning there was a thin film of snow over the ice. Most of the puddles have frozen. The notorious hill going up from Lake Lily is, um, interesting, but the ice is broken up enough that it isn't totally a luge run. Most of the rest of the road is clear except on the edges.


So I think that is about all I know, and I plan to make it another early night. I must not worry about the kitty. She will be OK. Poor kitty.


March 15

The computer is still down, and the kitty didn't come. And that's all the news.


The kitty didn't come because Diane wanted to call me before she brought the cat to the harbor, and she didn't get a chance to. She has terrible bronchitis, and since she called me during a break at school, I didn't ask her about the 80 pot-bellied pigs she is trying to find a home for.  I think she will be coming tomorrow after school. I hope so. Diane is the teacher in the Copper Harbor school.


Except to move a few things around and wash a couple of fleece throws for the cage, I didn't do anything today. I thought I slept pretty well last night, but I felt all day that I didn't get enough sleep, so it will be early to bed tonight.


The wind howled and the lake roared all night long. Between 6:00 and 12:00, the temperature dropped from 39º to 19º with winds from the northeast in the 25-40 mph range. It has been between 15º and 18º all day, although the wind has died down almost completely and shifted to the southeast. It was clear for a while last night - I saw Orion, but he was mostly behind the picnic tree - but by morning it had clouded up and there was a frosting of snow on the garage roof. It spit snowflakes all day long, but there wasn't any accumulation. I stepped outside this morning because the feeder on the deck had finally broken free of the deck and it almost went over the side. I guess I should chain it to a post or something. Anyway, it was rather chilly out there.


All the ice seems to have either gotten squished down or disappeared last night, but I noticed this evening that there is a film of new ice over this end of the harbor. That wind last night pushed it someplace, but I don't know where. There are some big pancakes right off my beach, but not very far, and that's about it.


I did acquire a body pillow. I've been thinking lately that having one to sleep on might be good for my upside arm and leg and my right hip. So the Company Store had one on sale and I had to get it today. Unfortunately, the email for free shipping is on the other computer, where I can't get at it, but this was the last day of the sale. And I ordered the new hymnal (and a couple of other things!), just because I want to see what they've done now. That was frustrating. I wanted it imprinted, but there was no place on the website where I could indicate that, so I ended up having to call. Oh, well. It's ordered.


There is something I forgot to write last night, which I remembered when I got up to the north end and have now forgotten again. It must not have been  too important.


So that is all there is, and I'm yawning already, so I will trundle up to the north end and take care of that.


March 14

The computer is still down. I tried it this morning, and it didn't come up. Sorry about that; it was a lovely day.


I am still on eastern standard time, so I just had time to do my morning thing, make my lunch, and gather my tote bags before I was off to bible class. I think this one will be a good one, and I will enjoy it. Of course, we talked so much that we were late for the ladies' handwork meeting, but that was all right.


That was a huge group today, and it was a good one. There was lots of laughter and good fun. There is going to be a community potluck tomorrow with an "Ides of March" theme, and it was hilarious to see Phoebe (who is going to recite "Friends, Romans and countrymen") and a couple other ladies having their togas draped...I didn't mention that togas were for men. Women wore the palla and stola, which was sort of a shift with a cape over it. No matter. I am not planning to go, by the way. For one, it is a potluck, and I don't know what I would take, and for another I should have a new cat whom I want to watch.


Anyway, it was an enjoyable day, even though Buster was not too pleased that I was away for so long.


The weather was nice, although it wasn't as warm as it has been for the past couple of days. The temperature got up to about 40º. The wind picked up from the northwest, and at last report, was in the 25-35 mph range. The lake is singing loudly again...and oh, how I love to hear that sound!


The snow has disappeared amazingly fast. Most flat areas are snow-free, and only the piles and drifts remain. The hill going up from Lake Lily on the south side is still covered with ice, which makes driving interesting, but the rest of the road is a mess of potholes and puddles. If my car wasn't a mess before, it certainly is now. The parking lot at the church is horrible. It was built on a swamp, and even though they poured tons of gravel into it, it is still sort of like jelly when the snow first melts. I stepped in a soft spot, and now I have to wash off my shoes. Yuck! What a mess!


At least most of our snow piles are still white. And there is still a lot of snow in the woods. I guess it is supposed to cool off and snow for the next couple of days, which will be all right.


This evening, about the time I was thinking about dinner, Debbie called, and it was certainly nice to hear from her. Unfortunately, she is learning that even though you get a divorce, you can never get completely away from your ex. However, she is strong, and she will cope. She has found a church, which is good, and she is going to try to get her kids to go, too, which is also good.


So that was my social day, and maybe tomorrow I can be ready for the new kitty before she arrives.


It will be a good night to sleep, with the wind and the lake singing me to sleep...


March 13

I'm sorry to say the computer is down again. It locked up about 6:30, and when I power failed it, it started to come up, then went into standby. I've been saying it would, but I've been hoping it wouldn't.  So I unplugged it (well...turned off the power supply), and before I got to bed, I will turn it back on and hope it comes up tomorrow morning.


Anyway, otherwise, it was a quiet day around here, but I did get some things done. The dishwasher is beginning to be reloaded, and the pots and pans from last night are clean, although the broiler from Sunday isn't. I took two loads of empty boxes out to the garage, and I brought in the cage.


The cage is for the new cat. It is a folding cage, so I folded it up and brought it in on the hand truck, and it is sitting in the dining area still folded up. Buster knows what it is, and he is not a happy camper. I wonder what he will think 

on Thursday?


I was sitting here as it began to get dark and I decided I was just tired of having all the lights out, so I have changed 5 light bulbs...I wonder how I did that? I thought there were only four out? Oh, well. Now there is light in the office again, and it's nice. After I do this, I will change the two in the kitchen and the one in the bathroom. These things seem to go bad in bunches.


I also emptied another file box for last years' files, but I haven't done anything about that.


For a while this afternoon, I sat in the ugly chair and knitted and looked at the scenery, but the sun was in my eyes, so I had to get up. 


The sun went down in clouds, but they seem to be all over in the west so far, and Venus was shining brightly when I went to the kitchen. I forgot to mention that the other night when I was sitting in bed reading, I discovered why I haven't seen Venus later in the evening when she was setting. She is setting way to the north, over Porter Island, and I can only see that from the bedroom. It was really clear that night (Sunday?) and I watched her all the way to the horizon. Now that's how I like my skies!


I also forgot to note that yesterday I got most of the new cat food put away in the pantry cupboard. When it's nicely sorted out, it's a lot easier to get than when it is all jumbled up in a bag.


So slowly, ever so slowly, things are getting a bit under control. It is still an awful mess, but it's a little better than it was last week.


The new cat is supposed to come Thursday afternoon, so I need to be ready for her, but tomorrow is bible class and the ladies' handwork meeting, so that will take most of the day. 


The weather was pretty nice again. It was partly sunny - very sunny sometimes, and quite cloudy other times, and the temperature briefly got up to 59º with very light winds before it began to fall back, when the wind shifted around to the north-northwest. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, in the middle 30s, and there is a slight chance of snow Thursday and Friday. I still say this was just a teaser, and we have more cold weather coming, but an amazing amount of snow has melted. My whole driveway is nearly clear, and the junipers are all visible. There is even a bare patch in the garden, although there are still some rather formidable drifts out there.


So I guess that was about all I had to say, and I will get this copied. I hope the computer will come up tomorrow morning, but I'm not promising anything.


March 12

I'm still clearly on standard time, so this is later than it has been lately. Oh, well.


It was a dull, gray day today. The temperature was still 45º at midnight, but it fell off , and it was about 36º for the entire day, with light or no winds. We really lost a lot of snow over the past couple of days, but I don't think we lost much more today. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, so maybe some more will go.


A year ago tomorrow, we had 22" of snow in 24 hours, so I won't believe winter is over until after Easter. Around here, one never knows.


The task of the day was to go through the 3' pile of papers and paid bills that have been accumulating since I got back here last spring. I procrastinated enough that I didn't get it all done, but it's better. I still have this year's file folders to set up and begin to fill, and there is a basket full of stuff from the financial advisors that I just don't want to look at. I need to come up with another cardboard file box to put last year's stuff in. There is one in the breezeway full of fabric, and I will try to fetch it in tomorrow.


My desk is a bit better organized, but it still has piles on it, mostly of small baskets full of beads. I really am going to have to figure out something to do with those. I have an idea, but it will cost me money, so I'm still thinking about it.


Tonight I cooked a little, broccoli-cheese chicken, and it tasted better than I thought it would when I started. I still have to put the rest of it away, of course (where, I don't know!) and then there will be dirty pots and pans again. I have never liked doing something that had to be done over and over again...washing dishes and cleaning top the list.


I have been forgetting to mention that over the past couple of days the computer has locked up a number of times, after going for nearly two weeks pretty well. It did make it through the night last night, so I'm not sure what the problem is, unless it is in fact a heat problem. It was cooler in here today, without the sun. At least it has been rebooting when I turn it off and on! So even though the camera has been up more than it has been down, the problem hasn't gone away. I haven't played any of the fancy games I've bought, either, and I do think that has something to do with it all. However, the camera is up, and I guess that's the most important thing.


I did finally scan in the enlarged picture of DC that I've had around and kept losing. It was taken when I returned from Copper Harbor in the spring of 1995. He had been all alone (with visits from his sitter) for over two weeks, and he spent 45 minutes telling me he did not like that at all. You can see that he doesn't look happy. He wasn't mad, though, and he was very glad to see me. This is the picture I ran across a few weeks after DC died and made the mistake of showing to Buster, who went bonkers when he saw it. I've been very careful not to do that again.


Anyone who thinks cats don't recognize what they see in pictures should have been there that day...or had one of the two of them sitting on my lap looking at the webcam picture on a snowy winter day. Anyway, it's the best picture I have of my sweet D.




So that is all I know, and it's time to toddle up to the north end again.


March 11

Well, the stupid daylight savings time may be on, but I'm still on standard time.


I read for a while, but I got to bed relatively early last night and went right to sleep. I keep forgetting that fish is a diuretic for me, so I was up any number of times. The first time, I put on my glasses, and there was Orion balancing on Rigel on top of the mountain. It was clear enough then that I could see that the sword looked pink, which is the color the great nebula actually is. I don't recall ever seeing it in color before, and I was sorry there was no telescope. Anyway, it was clear or nearly clear until around 3:00, and I could see the Pleiades without my glasses on, as well as Castor and Pollux in Gemini. It was nice to look up in the bathroom and see Polaris, too, but the rest of the Little Dipper is overhead, and from Polaris down to the northern horizon is very dim at this time of year.


It began to haze up later on, and besides, the moon was way down in the south. It put out enough light on the high clouds that there wasn't much to see.


Yesterday afternoon when it was so windy, we had a power hiccup, just enough to make the phones go "bleep" and the computer reboot. The clock/radio/telephone in my bedroom didn't even see it, but the clock in the bathroom did, and I didn't notice the blinking until the middle of the night. Oh, well, since I was going to have to set all the clocks today anyway. As it turned out, the microwave and the ovens saw it, too, but the fridge didn't...go figure.


Anyway, when I got up this morning, I had all the clocks to set. Stupid daylight savings time. The atomic clock captured the right time this time. I don't like where it is setting, but if I put it back where I like it, it misses some of the time updates. Has something to do with the hills being full of metal and the ionosphere. I know I had a terrible time with it at solar max. For once, when the time changed, the official US time clock for the eastern time zone was working properly, so I got to set the computers and my calculator clock correctly for once.


It was quite clear this morning, but the high cirrus clouds started coming in and they got thicker as the day went along, and between 4:30 and 5:00 EDT it got cloudy. It was very cloudy at sunset, and I guess it might rain overnight.


The big story of the day was the temperature. It maxed out at 56º, a good 10º warmer than last year. Between that and the sun, we lost a whole lot of snow today. The deck, except for the landing to the stairs, is now just about clean of snow, and there is no snow over the septic tank. Even the big drifts are going down a lot. I was going to go out, but I got a couple of long phone calls, so I didn't. The wind was very strong early in the day, but it has died down now, and I imagine it's pretty nice out.


I finished the necklace this morning, with difficulty. Getting all 18 strands together and all the same length was much more of a pain than I'd anticipated, and I'm not quite sure what to do to make it easier. A lot of the fancy strands turned out to be much longer than I thought, and I don't know why, and then getting them altogether and tightened up was a real chore. It didn't help that my left hand (the holding hand) started cramping up about halfway through the process. Eventually, I got it done and got the clasp attached, and I think it turned out pretty good. I didn't take a picture because with the sun shining right on the desk, it would have been too sparkly to look right. I will try tomorrow, when it is supposed to be cloudy and maybe rain.


Anyway, after I was done with that, I decided to do something else for a while. I had ideas, but I sat down in the ugly chair and knitted and read until my two long phone calls. Both people's excuse for hanging up was that their phone batteries were dying, but that was OK by me.


It seems I am going to get my kitten on Thursday. In the meantime, I have to get the cat cage into the house (won't that convulse Buster!) and, I hope, get some of the boxes and trash out. The lady who is fostering the kitten (she is about 8 months old), says she is very timid and recommended keeping her in a cage for a couple of weeks, but we'll see how that goes. It will be an interesting time.


At least I got to sit in the ugly chair and watch the world go by, and while I was listening to the news, Buster got to sit on my lap, which he wants to do most of the time. And I knitted on the afghan I started sometime last summer, which felt good for a change.


I have the horrible fear that FrontPage will try to copy the entire web to the server tonight - it usually does - so when I will get to bed, I don't know. Stupid daylight savings time.


March 10

A good night's sleep makes quite a difference, for sure. I was up several times, but in between, I apparently slept soundly, because the evidence showed that Buster got a mouse sometime, and I never heard him. He took it into the bathroom, which he frequently does, and there were blood spots on the rug and a tail. Yuck. However, that was better than the whole mouse, I guess. He also left me a little present to tell me his trays needed changing. Buster is so fastidious that I pay attention when he does something like that.


It was clearing up when I got up, and it turned into a gorgeous day, with clear skies and lots and lots of sunshine. The temperature actually went down after midnight, bottoming out at 30º at 10:00, then rising to 36º in the afternoon. There were very strong north winds, with gusts into the 40 mph range, but they have died down now.


I spent the morning with a cat sleeping on my lap, but finally he went off to sleep on the couch in the sun and I changed cat pans and ran the dishwasher, so I guess I can say I did something today.


I also finally finished the beading on the necklace and got one end tied off. I think I can finish it tomorrow, and I will be glad to be done with it. I have two more to do, but I think I will do something else for a while. It would have been nearly a no-brainer if the beads had been in hanks, but these were loose, so I had to pick up every single one, and it took a long time. That seems to be a problem I have: the beads I want to string are loose, and the ones I want to weave or embroider with are in hanks. Oh, well. I think this will turn out nicely, so I guess It's worth the work.


Last night, I had shrimp scampi (is that redundant? I think maybe), which were served on a bed of spaghetti and a very rich cream sauce. It was absolutely delicious, but I had to take Rolaids twice during the night, and I had my first gall bladder attack. It was a very mild one, fortunately, and it didn't last long, but I knew what it was. I am just not used to eating such rich food anymore. I think it was worth it.


Tonight, it was whitefish, which was also very good, and I indulged in an Irish coffee, which Gilly makes about as well as any I have ever had. It makes a nice dessert.


It didn't seem too busy last night, but it certainly was tonight, and there was one extremely loud group at the other end of the bar who I hope are staying the night. Otherwise, I wouldn't want to be on the trails going south! But it was nice to see so many people in town despite the warm weather.


The road is a mess. In the sun, it has melted enough that it is mushy and rutted. I don't know where all that snow came from, but at one point down by Lake Lily, I actually scraped my undercarriage a bit. It makes for some interesting driving, as the car tries to slide sideways into or out of the ruts. But that's the thaw.


It is supposed to be warm and sunny tomorrow again, so I will just have to enjoy.


While I was loading the dishwasher, I was looking out the kitchen windows, and the shoreline in front of my house looks rather strange. It almost looks like I have about 10' more beach than I ever have before. It might be, since the lake is nearly at an all-time low. Anyway, there was a mound of ice out there, and there was a crow standing on it. I don't know what he thought he would get out there, but he stayed there for quite a while.


If it's nice tomorrow, I might try to go out on the deck and get some pictures of what I'm seeing. The railing gets in the way of the camera, so you can't really see what I was seeing this afternoon.


So that was my quiet day. At least I accomplished something. I think I may read a while tonight. It's too early to sleep, and I don't feel like hassling the necklace anymore today.


March 9

I got to bed after midnight last night, for various reasons, and while I got nearly 9 hours' sleep, I really wasn't ready to get up, and I felt sleepy and achy all day. As a result I didn't do much at all. I did get the working bird feeders filled, and I did some beading, but that's about it. 


I am starting the last strand of the 18-strand necklace, and I've learned a few things about it that will make the next one easier to do. I discovered that I had made all the fancy strands too short, so I had to go back and add beads, with the result that there are some short threads at one end. I think they are long enough to tie, but it will be harder to do.  However, I think the result will be worth the effort. With any luck, I will finish it tomorrow.


The weather started out dark and threatening, but so far as I know, there was no precip. Good thing, since it would undoubtedly have been rain. The temperature was 30º all night and it rose to a high of 41º, briefly. There was some wind in the morning, but it died away in the afternoon. There was a little sunshine, but it was very foggy, as one would expect with high humidity and no wind. I guess we are going to thaw for the next few days before we get some more snow, but I was glad to see there was no rain.


It got hot enough in the office (74º) this afternoon that I got very sleepy for a while, so I think I will get this done in a hurry and toddle up to the north end. Between my exertions yesterday and the high humidity today, my back was really bothering me.


There were people in Mariner tonight, and I guess they were mostly snowmobilers, since there weren't very many cars at all. I imagine the trails were better than the slopes were today. I did see a party that didn't even have bibs on - just jeans, although I suspect they had longjohns under them. It isn't that warm!


However, It's warm enough that I think I will put on a cotton nightie tonight, just so I don't wake up stewing in my own juices in the middle of the night.


And that's about all there is.


March 8

I was actually up before 9:00 this morning, amazingly enough. It looked like it was going to be a nice day, and I needed to go to Houghton. However, I did my morning thing, including petting a cat and doing my morning surfing, as well as a rather large breakfast, so it was around 11:30 when I finally left.


By that time the sky had cleared up and was full of sunshine, and the lake was so blue! It certainly looks bluer when it is surrounded by blinding white snowbanks!


I wore my sunglasses all the way south and all the way back, and I was glad for them. The sun on the new snow was nearly blinding anyway. The covered road was still partly ice-covered and slow, but from Delaware south, it was clear and dry, and for the first time since last fall, I could set the cruise control and relax. Not much traffic, either.


There is more snow between Delaware and Hancock than there is here, and the banks are getting quite respectable. I hope to see them some year when we go right through from November to March with no thaws.


My first stop was Erickson Feed, and before I got again, I will call them. I need bee guards for my hummingbird feeders, all of which the coons trashed last year, but they hadn't come in yet. That didn't take much time, though.


Then it was Wal-Mart, for the first time since before Christmas, I think. I had a prescription to pick up, and cat food to get. They have rearranged the pet supplies area, and they were very low on bird feeders and things, but they had a pretty good supply of the canned food Buster has been eating, and their prices are much better than Econo's. Since I have two canister lights in the kitchen out now (a total of seven!) I needed more floodlights, I needed ink cartridges for the printer, and of course I had to get a few things to play with (not much, though).


I was hot by the time I got out of there, but I didn't feel too bad. So I headed for Econo. I thought I only needed a few things, but I didn't get away without spending a bundle. They had economy packs of strip steaks, so I stocked up on those (not all that economical!) and there was more cat food and lunch meat. There was other stuff. Oh, well.


I stopped to top off my gas tank. Gas is beginning to get expensive again. I got it for $2.55 a gallon, which was the cheapest I saw it - the highest was $2.70. Now they are blaming it on demand and refinery maintenance. Don't you think they could do their refinery maintenance (which they know they need to do) during the winter, rather than waiting until the weather is beginning to get better in a lot of parts of the country? Don't you think they could stockpile gas when demand is low, since they know it will increase as the weather improves. I don't believe any of it.


Short pause while I cleaned my glasses. This time the spots in front of my eyes were spots in front of my eyes - grease on the glasses. Oops.


Anyway, I left town at about 3:30, which is a bad time. Evidently something lets out around that time, and I had to wait for a couple of minutes at the interchange to get onto the bridge. A lot of people were coming down Sheldon Avenue and heading out onto M-26. However, once I crossed the bridge, there was almost no traffic at all the whole way home, which was really nice.


A lot of the ice on the covered road had melted or turned to slush over the afternoon - in the winter when the leaves are down, there are very few places that are so shaded that the sun doesn't shine on them, and the sun is now almost 38º up in the sky at noon, which does make a difference.


It was so nice to come down the hill into town and see the blue, blue lake! There were some icebergs out in the lake, and this end is still frozen over, but the northwest winds we had for a couple of days pushed all the ice down here and left open water down in front of King Copper, and it was the most satisfying, dark Superior blue.


It was warm and sunny when I got home, and I think Buster had been sleeping in the great room, probably on the couch. I would have been. The temperature peaked out at 31º, but the wind has been rising, gusting up to 35 mph from the south since around 4:00...actually, I think it started earlier. There was a brisk and chilly wind blowing while I was filling my gas tank.


All that sunshine was not anticipated by the weather forecasters, but it certainly was nice to see. There were high cirrus clouds for most of the afternoon, but they were so thin that the sun wasn't dimmed at all. Needless to say, there was no precip. We shall see what happens tonight and tomorrow, when they are predicting freezing drizzle - yuck!


I waited quite a while before I unloaded the car, and there are still bags in it for tomorrow, but all the perishable stuff is stuffed into the fridge...which also has a lot of stuff that needs to be thrown away. 


I have a long list of things I'd like to do tomorrow. We'll see how much I get done. However, at least today, all that sunshine and longer days have given me some energy for a change. I was tired and my legs were sore, but I wasn't totally exhausted when I got out of Econo, which I take to be a good sign.


However, I did sweat enough to need a bath, and it's bedtime again, so I will try to get this published and head off for the north end.


March 7

It was a much quieter night last night, although this morning when I got up, I could hear the lake singing softly in the background. The wind was in the 10-15 mph range and the temperature has been just about steady at 14º. It was cloudy overnight, but it partly cleared up this morning, and there was some glorious sunshine for most of the afternoon. I basked.


I slept pretty good last night, too, except for a while around 2:00 when Buster decided he was going to bug me, and around 4:00 when I got to thinking about the calico kitten. However, after I got back to sleep, I did good, with a very vivid dream about making a peyote stitch sleeve, of all things, to attach to a sleeveless garment. How weird. Much as I like beading, I would never attempt something that huge. When I woke up from that, Buster was sitting beside my head staring at me, telling me it was time to get up. I don't like my life run completely by a little black cat.


The event of the day is that the lady who was bringing the tapes of the rambling preacher has decided that she will listen to them on her own and won't come to our bible class. I was sorry she decided not to come, but glad not to have to sit through that stuff anymore. She says the guy speaks to her. He certainly didn't speak to me! So I will have to talk to Bonnie and see if the meeting will continue. I don't like it to be just she and I.


However, that same lady also knows the one who is fostering the calico cat, and she said she would call for me. So that seems to be in motion. I know I have thought for a long time that Buster needs a companion cat, and this one seems like it might be the right one. We shall see how that goes.


I didn't do a lot today. I bundled up a strand of rose quartz beads that were totally unlike the other four strands I got and sent them back for replacement, and I paid a couple of bills. Even though I was at the post office yesterday, my box was full today, so it was good that I went. When I got back, I had lots more new reading material.


So that was my quiet day, and by the time I get this published and my backups done, it will be time to toddle up to the north end.


March 6

The wind and the waves died down last night, and it was nice and quiet, but that didn't keep me awake. I'm not quite sure how I was sleeping, but when I got up this morning, my fingertips were all sore. I don't remember clutching the bed, but you never know...


The night was cloudy but bright from the moon, and the morning was cloudy, too, and very cold - it bottomed out at 5º at 8:00 - but shortly after we got to bible class it started snowing lightly, and it was still coming down in very fine flakes at sunset, but around 7:00, it started to clear up, and at dusk, it was clear, and I could see Venus through the upper windows of the great room when I went to get my dinner. It was cold all day, and it only got up to 13º, but there wasn't any wind at all, so it wasn't unpleasant to be out.


I got up at a reasonable hour this morning, and it was a good thing, because I had to fill the pill dispenser today, so that consumed a while, much to Buster's disgust. I don't usually pet him while or after I have done that chore, because I get pill dust on my hands, and I'm not sure any of that stuff would be good for him. 


Anyway, I eventually made it to the office, and we had made it through the night for a change. It did hang up later, while I wasn't doing anything, but it's been fine since. Just a little reminder, I guess, that all is not well inside the box. So far as I'm concerned, any night we make it through so we can get the first morning pictures is a good one.


I have reset the shutdown time again. We are gaining daylight in the afternoon faster than in the morning, and we have a full 11 hours and 20 minutes of daylight now. The sun isn't setting until 6:43 pm, which is really nice. I noticed that it was bright at 6:00, which is a novel change from a month ago.


So eventually I packed up and went to bible class, and it turned out all right, I guess. We didn't listen to the rambling preacher today. We spent our time discussing being saved and some other related subjects, and that was good. I was the only one who had gotten any real answers, and I think I made it clear that I believe what I was reading to them. They are nice ladies, and maybe we can endeavor to avoid the fine points of doctrine in the future.


Then it was off to the post office for a ton of reading material, and that was the day. Buster was not pleased that I went away, but he let me know he was happy that I came back. 


On that topic, I heard that there is a young calico being fostered locally, and I indicated that I might be interested in a companion cat for Buster. We'll see what comes of that. Calicos are about my favorite kind of cat (next to gray and white and gray American longhairs), and I still think it would do Buster good to have a young, frisky playmate who didn't necessarily want to be top cat. So we shall see.


And I guess that is about all I have to report today. It's early again, but after uploading the web, I have some backups to do, and that means I may not get up to the north end as soon as I hope to. It's a quiet late winter night in the field.


March 5

It was a good night to sleep. The lake was roaring full-blast and the wind was howling and banging at the house, and it was wonderful. I think it snowed lightly for most of the night. It certainly was snowing when I got up this morning, and it continued until about 3:00 this afternoon. There wasn't much accumulation, maybe a couple or three inches.


According to the NWS station, the wind peaked at about 4:00 this morning, with sustained winds of 34 mph and gusts to 46 mph out of the north. Whoosh! After that it abated a bit (not much), and the temperature bottomed out at 4º at noon. The wind has continued to die - it's in the 15-25 mph range now, and the temperature has risen to 9º. The lake, however, is still roaring pretty good, although not quite so loudly as it was last night and this morning.


It was a good day to hibernate, and I did. I finished the wash - three more loads, including a small one of stuff I forgot to collect yesterday - and I converted February to Word, so that exercise is over. And that seems to be about all I did. Now I have even more clothes to put away, but I have enough stuff to wear for another month. My washing is now determined by the compression hose - when I have worn the last pair, I need to wash them, so I might as well wash everything else. Since I have four pair, I am getting low on underwear and jeans at about the same time and it works out pretty well.


To think that for all the years I was working, I washed my clothes every weekend, hauled them back to the bedroom and put them all away! It's just another thing I decided I didn't need to do when I retired.


I spent most of the day looking at the computer with a cat on my lap, so I guess I did something, even if it was only to pet a cat.


Tomorrow is the bible class, and I am not looking forward to it, but I printed off Pastor's email and some stuff I found on the LCMS website about being "saved". I don't want to argue doctrine with the ladies, but I want to make clear that that is what we're discussing, and I am not wrong, at least from the Lutheran point of view. However, if we are going to continue to listen to rambling Pastor Knox, I won't go back again. We listened to perhaps half of his sermon (an hour's worth), and I still have no clue what his point is. In my experience, a good preacher should be able to make his point in half an hour, max, and if he doesn't he's hopelessly disorganized.


Of course, you must remember that the church of which I have been a member for the past 20 years is the only church of any denomination I have ever been in where there is a clock over the door at the end of the central aisle, on the front of the organ loft. I have been told it doesn't work anymore, but then, the members who insisted that church should not last more than one hour, and a sermon should not last more than 20 minutes are all gone. Sermons are still only about 20 minutes, but when there are baptisms, communion, and other things, church does sometimes go for more than an hour. When the postlude gets tangled up with the noon bells, we know we've reached our limit. I don't feel that way about it, but a sermon should have one and only one point, and it should be short enough and pithy enough that a confirmation student (12-14 years old) should be able to sit through it and get it.


So it will be interesting. I hope I don't get them mad at me.


And now I will toddle up to the north end and do my thing. Depending upon how long it takes to upload this thing, and how long I spend staring at the floor, I might even read a little bit before I settle down to the song of the lake and the wind.


March 4

Well, after that exercise, I'm not sure I can remember what happened today. I had been converting old journals to Word, and when I started working on tonight's journal and associated picture, a whole bunch of stuff disappeared...including the top and side bars of all the pages! Yiieeee! I think I have it back now, but wow!


The wind was strong and the lake roared all night long, but it was clear for most of the night, and the full moon was so bright I could have read the newspaper by it. Before it started shining in the windows, though, it did cloud up in the morning. By the time I got to the office and rebooted the computer, though, it was clearing up again, and it was clear until about 1:00, when the clouds started rolling in. It was very windy this afternoon, mostly in the 25-40 mph range, and the wind is still rising...we now (at 9:00) have sustained winds of 34 mph from the north, with gusts to 40 mph or more. Wow! Needless to say, the lake is roaring again.


The temperature was quite moderate: around 28º for most of the day, but oh, that wind! I had hoped it might carve down the drifts on the deck, but no such luck.


I was sitting at the desk right at sunset, and the sky right were the sun had set began to turn very red. I almost took a picture of that, but I decided to wait, and I'm glad I did. This is what I saw a few minutes later...and a few minutes after that, it was gone. If that picture isn't quite in focus, it's because I took it through the window. I couldn't get out the door if I'd wanted to, unless I was wearing wellies. My slippers just wouldn't have worked.


I don't remember doing much, but I had noticed last night that I hadn't processed the last four months' journals into Word, so I started doing that this afternoon. I thought everything was going fine...until I started working on tonight's entries. Then I discovered that all the navigation I had added since the first of the year was gone, and when I stopped FrontPage and restarted it again, the borders were all gone. Yieee!


So I did a GoBack, and at least I got a working website, but I had to fiddle around to recover the pictures I took and the two months of journals that I'd processed. I think I have everything back now...I hope. So every time I curse the length of time it takes Norton to scan that 2gb file that houses the GoBack files, I have to remember that without it, I would have lost my afternoon's work, plus a pretty nice picture.


No work on the necklace today, I'm afraid. I just didn't feel like it. Tomorrow.


Oh - I know what I did today! Duh! I washed...which reminds me, I have a load of clothes in the dryer which need to come out and a load in the washer which needs to go into the dryer. I'm not done - two more loads to go - but I did manage to get something done for a change!

And that is about all I can remember.


March 3

The lake roared and the wind must have howled, but it was from the northeast to north, and I'm quite sheltered from those directions. George Hite pointed out a neat page that NOAA is fiddling with that has a graphical depiction of weather predictions, including the marine forecast, and they said there should be 18-20 foot waves early this morning...it sure sounded like it! It still does, although they may have died down to 10-12 feet. The wind was in the 25-40 mph range, and it snowed fairly heavily until about 4:00 this morning, after which is just flurried until mid-morning. Now, that was a nice blizzard. I think we must have gotten at least a foot of snow, from the sizes of the drifts. The temperature hung at around 20º for much of the day, and it has now risen a tad, to 25º.


Late in the afternoon, the clouds began to break up, and after 5:00, it got clear and lovely. However. the wind, now from the north, is still blowing and the lake is still roaring. It didn't occur to me until this week that with the ice shelf as thin as it was, a strong wind in the right direction would blow it completely away. You can tell, though, that the wind has shifted, because this entire end of the harbor is now full of slush ice, which wasn't there at all yesterday.


I am sorry that I couldn't get out somewhere along the shore and take some pictures this morning before the waves died down, but most of the places I would have wanted to go, I would have had to snowshoe in. It must have been fun to watch, when you could see it.


Mac came just about the time I got up, and did the driveway again, and again the wind had blown snow into the garage under the door, and there was another drift in the right corner of the door, but my driveway is holding up well. Can't say the same for the drift points on the road, especially down by Lake Lily, where the big drift is.  Part of the drift had broken off and fallen onto the road, and there was a 3"-4" deposit of snow that had been blown off the top of the drift. The trees in the understory are just beautiful, all decked out in snow.


I went off to Mariner for dinner tonight a bit early, in the hopes that I might be able to see the eclipse, since it was clear. Well...just a few minutes ago, I spied the moon through the trees, about half-covered by the shadow. Copper Harbor is really too far west...moonrise was at 6:34, and totality ended at 6:38, so I would have to have been on top of Brockway to see it. By the time it gets above the trees, the whole show will be over. Oh, well. there will be other eclipses. I did try.


Venus was shining high in the west, though, and at least the first part of the night looks to be very clear.


Last night, it was quite obvious that the moon was up above the clouds, even when it was snowing hard. It was light outside, amazingly light. I always enjoy seeing that, even when it's cloudy...in fact, that's about all the full moon is good for. It washes out all the other stars when it's clear.


I worked on the necklace again, but it is slow going. I think it is going to turn out nice, though, so I will plod on.


And I guess that is about all there is. I think I will go up to the north end and read and listen to the lake tonight.


March 2

Oh, the lake roared and the wind howled and banged, and it was a hairy night. It also snowed. When I got up, I couldn't see much of anything outside, which I took to be heavy snow. Well, it was, but...


Right about 3:15, I woke up as the cordless phone said "beep", and when I turned over to look, there were no lights or clock. Power failure. Figures. First, I toddled down to the office and turned off the wall power to the computer. In its fragile state, I didn't want it subjected to power surges, too. Fortunately, when the power went off, it cut off cleanly.


Then I visited the bathroom and discovered the reason I couldn't see outside: all the windows were covered with a thin glaze of snow. With all that wind whipping around, it wasn't surprising.


So I cuddled down under the comforter. I did have a coughing fit, and for some reason I came up with an extremely sore right shoulder, but I managed pretty well despite that. I woke up a bit before 8:00, but the power was still off, and it was sooooo comfy in my warm bed, so I went back soundly to sleep, with dreams, as is usual at that hour of the morning, but they were more interesting than anything else.


It was after 10:00 when I woke up again, and from the time on the blinking clocks, it seems like the power came back on around 8:45. I was clearly sound asleep, because I never heard the beeps and clunks that accompany the power coming back. It was still cold in the house - 60º in the bedroom and 62º in the bathroom - but one of the disadvantages of this heating system is that it responds very, very slowly. Needless to say, I cut Buster's morning cuddle short and jumped into my clothes in a hurry.


It was still snowing and blowing and the lake was still howling, and all of that is still true 10 hours later. Nice blizzard! 


After I fed the cat, who had eaten up all his food, and was complaining loudly about it, I came down to the office, took a deep breath, and switched on the power...and everything came up! Wow! I am beginning to be convinced that whatever parts of the electronics are exercised by the games I was playing, that is where my problem is. And this time, it came up like clockwork, with no lock-ups.


We missed the early morning again, but we would have done that anyway, because there was no power then.


After I did my morning thing, I worked on the necklace again, and I am now doing the second strand with crystals. That, and watching the weather and the birds, occupied me for most of the day.


I did notice that there is an 18" drift in front of the office slider and another one in front of the great room slider, even though the deck down at this end is nearly clear. It isn't clear for most of its length, and there seems to be a lot of snow on it. I can't guess how much actually came down here, because there has been so much drifting.


Ron had done the road early, before he found out that school was canceled today, but he came back in the early afternoon to do the driveway. There was a massive drift in the right-hand corner of the garage door, and I discovered, when I opened the door, that a lot of snow had been forced through the cracks into the garage, including onto my car. Amazing! 


I went out to help Ron move the drift, but before I did, I wormed my way out onto the front porch and took a picture of the breezeway. Now, that's a respectable drift. I noticed later that there is about a 3' one at the back corner of the garage, too, but on the back of the breezeway, there is a drift about a foot from the wall, and it is almost bare right at the wall. This is the first time I've seen a blizzard from the east, and the drift patterns are all different from the one we had last year. You will notice a terrific icicle right where the garage and breezeway roofs come together. And you will notice that it was snowing and blowing rather briskly. If the wind seems to be blowing the snow from the west (left), it's because it was coming in from the east (right), hitting the house, and swirling around, even making little snow devils.


The temperature was steady at about 25º until about 3:00, and it has been dropping slightly ever since. The wind has been mostly in the 25-35 mph range, but it seems to be picking up again as it veers around toward the north. When I was out to help shovel, it didn't feel all that cold, but it did feel raw and nasty. I was glad to get into my house again, which by that time was getting nice and warm again. Besides, my fingers were numb and sore, even though I had heavy gloves on.


So even though the blizzard warning has been canceled, we are still having a good old Keweenaw blizzard, and it will be a wild and hairy night and probably about the same tomorrow.


I might not feel quite so positive about these things if I had to get out on the tractor and try to clear the roads, but I'm not sure about that. I like this. It's fun. The snow is so white and pretty and I love the way the wind sculpts the drifts. I particularly like it when the wind is from a direction that doesn't put my house into a deep freeze.


I must note that while the squirrels were around this morning, for the rest of the day mostly I had a flock of goldfinches. I presume the chickadees were around, and I did see a nuthatch or two, but I don't have a view of all the feeders from my desk. Frankly, those squirrels are fat enough that they could easily go more than one day without chowing down on my sunflower seeds. It's the little birds I worry about. They can't hold enough to last them for very long. I know they probably roost right up close to the trunks of the trees, which are a bit warmer, but still, they need their seeds.


So that was my day, and another thing this weather does for me is make me need a lot more sleep even than I usually get. The roar of the lake will put me to sleep tonight for sure, and I hope the shoulder thing was just a passing crick, and it won't bother me tonight.


March 1

Wow, March already! Totally amazing.


The snow finally got to us about 6:00 this evening. The whole night and most of the morning was clear, and that moon was so bright I could almost have read by it. It is still setting far to the north, and for quite a while, it was shining right on my pillow. It didn't keep me awake, for sure.


However, I did have a nose-running-and-coughing fit in the middle of the night, which always annoys me, since I just have to cough and blow until it passes. One sneeze this morning, but no more signs that I am getting anything worse.


It was a pretty day, and I'm sorry that the computer hung at 6:40 this morning and we missed dawn, but I can't complain much, since it's been solid for three days. I took a deep breath and punched the button and it rebooted. Whew! I've been treating it gently, not playing any fancy games, although I've used Publisher, Word, Excel and FrontPage with no ill effects so far. The only problems I've had are the old Windows ME ones, but I've figured out most of the keyboard combinations to get things shut down so I can reboot, and so far that has worked. I've also been unplugging the broadband receiver rather than power failing the entire corner. Strange computer. I do not believe my problem is gone, it's just hiding, and one of these days it will come back.


I had a good breakfast this morning - I've become addicted to Ore-Ida Potatoes O'Brien - and instead of fiddling with the computer, I got a few more strands of my newest necklace strung. There are 18 strands, and it seems to take about 20 minutes to do each one, although when I get to the fancy ones, with the crystals, it will take longer. If I charged minimum wage for it, nobody would buy it. However, it's coming along. I'm on the 8th strand. Since it appears I will be in hibernation for the next day or so, maybe I'll get it done.


I had to go to the post office again, because I had to mail some bills, and I did refill the bird feeders. The string on the big wooden one failed at a place I hadn't been checking. I have some chain and eyelets to put a solid hanger on it, but I am going to have to drill bigger holes in the roof to use that. After I finished filling the feeders, including the other white one, my back was killing me, so I didn't do any more on the feeder.


I took the feeders in quite a while before I filled them, and the first thing I saw was a very confused little nuthatch, looking all around for his seeds, then after I put out the filled feeders, and the wooden one wasn't there, there was an even more confused squirrel wondering where her dinner was. I have three squirrels, and I really need to have the wooden feeder out to accommodate them all. Well, after the blizzard...


The temperature hovered around 30º all day, but the wind was in the 15-30 mph range, from the east-southeast. You should have seen Buster's puzzled face at the sound of the wind hitting the corner of the office! One big difference between the little critters and the big ones is that the little ones want things to stay the same and they get confused and upset when they aren't...well, I know people like that, too. Don't you?


I finally remembered that I wanted to email Pastor Boelter about the discussion we had on Tuesday, and he wrote me back almost at once with exactly the answer I was looking for. I could almost hear him saying it to me. 


I guess I didn't say what we discussed. This is Christian doctrine, so if it doesn't interest you, skip it. The question came up because the preacher on the tape was implying that once a person is "saved", he stays "saved", no matter what he does afterwards. That's not how I understanffd it, but the other two ladies were convinced I was wrong, so I asked Pastor. Well...it turns out that the answer is a big difference between Lutherans (at least Missouri Synod Lutherans) and followers of John Wesley, like Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians. Lutherans say no, that's not so, and the others say yes, it is.


My take on that is, I will go Tuesday, but if we are going to be shouted at and we are going to end up having arguments about doctrine, I will bow out. I have always had a problem with the Baptist slant on a lot of things, from baptism to what we are getting in the Lord's Supper...not to mention the interpretation of Revelations! I don't feel I have to sit and listen to someone when every other sentence leaves me saying, "No...no, that's just not right!" Some of the differences that separate us aren't, in my opinion, worth worrying about, but some are. I guess when we get to heaven, we'll learn what's really right.


Anyway, Pastor also pointed me to the LCMS website, which has more information in it than I could possibly assimilate. Some of those pages, if I need them, I will have to print out and ponder over. I've bookmarked it. I don't like to argue about anything, especially politics and religion, but God put me here for some reason, and I guess if it's to teach Lutheran doctrine, I will have to do it.


So that's the first of March. The lake and the wind are howling, and it's snowing lightly, and it's supposed to get a lot worse overnight, so I will hunker down and watch the weather go by. 


Oops...we just had a power glitch! I guess I'd better get this published right now!



Last  updated 08/25/10 09:02 PM