A View From the Field

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April, 2007

 

April 30

And that's the end of April.

 

It was clear for most of the night last night. I watched Venus drop down over lighthouse point, but the moon was too bright to see any stars. I actually got to bed around 10:00, after reading for an hour, and I slept well, with only two wakeups, until 9:00 this morning, and I did feel better today. I didn't need any cough drops at all last night, and while there was some glop in my throat this morning, it wasn't nearly as bad as before. So I am getting better, slowly.

 

Around 5:00 this morning, I woke up to see the moon setting behind the mountain and leaving a golden track across the harbor...so pretty...but by the time I got back into bed, it had dropped into a cloud bank. It was still nearly clear when I got up, but the clouds kept coming in and getting thicker, and it was quite cloudy by sunset.

 

I guess our rain has fizzled out again, darn it, but it really did cool off overnight. It got down to 35║ just after sunrise, and while it got to 54║ late in the afternoon, it didn't stay there long, and it is now dropping off. There wasn't much wind for most of the day, although I just had to close the slider, because a chilly wind was coming in.

 

I didn't do anything, so I have nothing else to report. 

 

April 29

The moon was bright almost all night again, but it had clouded up by morning again. It was cloudy until about 11:00, when the wind began to shift westerly and increase. The afternoon was beautiful - windy and warm and sunny. We reached a high of 73║ - a record - between 1:00 and 3:00, with winds from the northwest in the 25-35 mph range, and then the temperature began to take a dive. It was really pretty.

 

And I had a nice visitor to enjoy it. Roxanne came to visit and brought her knitting and we had a lovely afternoon, enjoying the view and talking. The only thing was, Buster hid out until after she left. I don't know why, except that he doesn't like the wind, and it was certainly windy.

 

And that was about the extent of my day. I unloaded the dishwasher and I had the rest of last night's dinner tonight...and that's all there was.

 

While I was in the bathroom this morning, I saw two crows overhead chasing a larger bird I think was an osprey, although they went by so fast I'm not sure. It certainly wasn't an eagle. The crows are probably nesting, and I suspect the osprey might have decided to have eggs - or nestling - for breakfast. I think the crows can hold their own, but it was an interesting sight to see.

 

Now the wind is dropping, as is the temperature, but it is still a beautiful evening, so I am going to go sit in bed and read for a while and enjoy basking in the sunshine.

 

April 28

The moon was bright for quite a while last night, but around 4:30 this morning, it disappeared into a thick cloudbank, and it was cloudy this morning. It cleared up in the afternoon, and it was a lovely, sunny, and rather warm afternoon. As the wind began to drop, it actually got up to 63║, briefly, around 8:00. The wind was mostly from the northwest.

 

When I came home from dinner tonight, there was the moon again, rising above the trees in the east. It is nearly full, and it is neat to see it rising in the blue sky, when all you can see are the bright parts, and even the maria look just about the same color as the sky.

 

I slept in this morning again, but when I got up, at Buster's insistence, I didn't feel like I'd slept very much and I didn't feel very good all day. A slight relapse, I guess. So I did nothing except pay a couple of bills and read some of the magazines and catalogs that have been coming in.

 

I had a nice conversation with Roxanne, who is here scrapbooking with her friend Peggy (no, a different Peggy) and a bunch of other people, and that was nice. We won't get to hook up for dinner, but she may come out to see the house tomorrow...my disaster of a house. Oh, well. I warned her it was dirty.

 

When I got home from dinner, I sat down in the ugly chair and read magazines until I couldn't see anymore, most of the time with a cat on my lap. Buster would like to sit on my lap all the time unless he is sleeping, but that makes it hard to do much of anything.

 

I haven't mentioned lately that the days are getting very long - over 14 hours. The sun is setting at about 9:00 now, which is nice from one point of view, but it means that I can't use the lights in the office...well, I suppose I could, but I don't really think you are any more interested in seeing what I'm doing than I am in showing you.

 

On the subject of sunset, I really do not know what that picture from last night showed. There definitely was a sundog, but the sun is actually setting north of the lighthouse, so what that circle in the picture is, I don't know. Serves me right for not looking, I guess. Anyway, it was an interesting picture.

 

After thinking about it for a long time, I have decided that the new kitty's name is going to have to be Jasmine, just so she will have a name. Probably not what I would have chosen, but oh, well. Just a few minutes ago, she was sitting at the front of the cage hissing and yowling at Buster. When I went to turn on the light and see what her problem was, she went under the blankets again, but I told her she is not going to get out of that cage until she gets used to Buster, and that's all there is to it. I think he probably sits and stares at her, but that's normal, too, and she is going to have to get over it. He hasn't made a sound that I can tell. I think she has him flummoxed. Not that he has known many cats, but he has never known one like that!

 

So that is all there is. I hope to get to bed earlier, sleep more, and feel a lot better tomorrow.

 

April 27

It was cloudy last night, with not much wind, and a good night to sleep. I was up a number of times, and had the problem that something on both sides hurt, but I was able to sleep almost on my back for a while, amazingly enough. I was up early in the morning when the moon was setting over Porter Island, but it was behind the clouds and not very bright.

 

It occurred to me last night that the camera hasn't shot the moon yet this year. The last two full moons it was cloudy or the computer was down, or both. Maybe this month? This is the last chance until next fall. Full moon is next Wednesday, so just maybe.

 

I had just gotten to the office when Ron called, and we made arrangements for him to stop over early in the afternoon. I didn't count on having another long conversation, so I had just collected some breakfast when he arrived.

 

However, getting the monstera out of the car wasn't all that big a deal, if you are fairly strong in the arms and shoulders, like he is. I think it had dried out considerably since last week, too, and that helped. Anyway, it is now sitting in the breezeway, taking up a lot of room, but I don't know what else to do with it for the time being.

 

After he left, and I had my food, I pulled up the hurricane shutters over the porch screens. It is so nice to have light in the kitchen and the hallway again! 

 

And that was about all I did. I started out feeling a bit better today, and there was definitely less coughing and very few explosions, so I guess I am making progress.

 

And I got to go to dinner tonight, which was nice. There were a surprising number of people in Mariner, and the Waaras stopped by. They are getting Harbor Haus ready for the summer season. They tell me the sale was planned. Ron said he has planned all along to stop doing the restaurant thing when he is 50, and since they know it will take a long time to find the right buyer, they decided to start now. Anyway, they will be open this summer. It was nice to see them. They are nice folks.

 

The weather was partly cloudy and in the lower 40s all day long, with not much wind mostly from the north, which made it very pleasant out in front of the garage. It also meant that when I came in and sat down and did nothing, the wind was coming in the slider (which I forgot to shut last night) and it was cold. I may have to shut the window in the bedroom, too. I did reopen the slider later, when the temperature got up to 75║ in here. 

 

With all the sunshine, it was one of those days, of which we have a lot in the spring, when you could be roasting on one side and freezing on the other.

 

I did save one camera picture from tonight, because it was so interesting. I wasn't looking so I don't know what it really looked like, but here it is. That white spot in the tree is the sun behind the clouds on the horizon, and there was a modest sundog right over the mountain. As you can see, the wind was nearly calm. Oh how lovely is the evening...

 

So that is all I know, and I'm tired again, so I will go off to the north end and try to get a relatively early start.

 

April 26

I skipped the bath last night and got to bed at a reasonable hour, but that didn't help a whole lot. I have been eating cough drops like mad lately, so I thought I would try not to, and it didn't work. I kept waking up coughing and having to go to the bathroom so I didn't wet the bed. I finally gave up and took a cough drop, and that solved my problem, so when it dissolved I took another one. However, I didn't get my full quota of sleep.

 

I did feel some better today, I think, at least after I got my head blown out. I decided no matter how I felt, I wasn't going to leave the car full of stuff any longer, so I got at that and now everything but the monstera is in the breezeway. I hope I can get the monstera out tomorrow. 

 

I plan to leave the plants for a while. They need repotting, and I have to decide just what to do with the ponytail palms. If I can leave them in the breezeway for a month, I should be able to put them outside for the summer and face what to do with them in the fall. The geranium will go out for the summer, too, but it's too early for that. As for the others - who knows? The ficus looks to be in wonderful shape (it's amazing what enough water will do for that thing), but the schefflera doesn't look so good.

 

The ficus is mine. I started it from three little 2" pots, and it is now over 4' tall, and when it gets enough water and light, it really is a pretty tree. Many years ago, I repotted the three plants together, and I think now the trunks are growing into one. I didn't get to braid them, but oh, well. 

 

The schefflera is my mother's. I believe it is something she got in a planter when she was in the hospital in 1958, and by the time she got out and got it replanted, it had a permanent s-curve in its trunk. However, it doesn't look nearly as good as it did last year before all the convulsions on Champine - I think it didn't like the place they put it. I do rather hope to save it, just for historical reasons. I just checked Google, and I think I was right - it hasn't been getting enough light. Well, it will here.

 

The monstera, which is still in the car, is a real monster, more than I'd thought. I had to take its stake out in order to get it into the car, and I will need to stake it up again and clip off all the aerial roots. However, if it gets enough water and particularly enough light, its leaves are 15" across and beautifully split. It badly needs to be repotted and root pruned, so if I leave it in the breezeway until after I do that, it will be easier. 

 

I need potting soil, and I have to find my vermiculite (a.k.a. block fill) or see if I can get some more.

 

And I have been forgetting to mention that when I got back here, the little, anemic hibiscus had started blooming - I think it had about 6 flowers. It has hardly any leaves, because I keep forgetting to water it, but it had all these beautiful flowers, all facing the windows. I knew the great room would be a wonderful place for plants.

 

Besides the plants, I brought back all the watering cans this time, so now I have the tools to keep everything watered. We'll see how good I am at it.

 

Anyway, I made it to the post office before my box quite filled up. 

 

I seem to be having more interest in food, so I had a steak tonight, with the asparagus I bought last week. The asparagus wasn't as good as it would have been earlier, but it sure tasted good to me - my sense of taste is returning, I think.

 

When I was a kid and my dad farmed the back of the lot, he had a row of asparagus along the fence, and while one year I actually got too much, most of the time it was the most heavenly first sign of spring and good things to come. It still is, and that's why I couldn't resist it when I saw it in the store. For many years, there were two things my mom and I had in the early spring - fresh asparagus and a rhubarb pie she had frozen from last summer's rhubarb. What a spring tonic!

 

The couple of years I lived in South Jersey, there were truck farms between where I lived and where I worked, and I actually ate so much fresh produce I messed up my colon (stress didn't help, either). However, I would stop on the way home from work and buy asparagus that had just been cut in the field, take it home, and pig out. Later, it was tomatoes and sweet corn that I sometimes had to wait for while they brought it in from the field. I often wonder if those farms - they sold tomatoes to Campbell's and the other veggies at roadside stands - are still there?

 

Anyway, it was a good dinner.

 

The weather was OK. All the forecasts were about 12 hours behind the actual conditions. It was rather cloudy last night. I did see Venus setting, and occasionally the moon would peek through the clouds, but there weren't any stars. It was cloudy but not excessively so all day, so there was some filtered sunshine. The temperature got up to 53║ briefly, but for most of the day it was in the high 40s, with light winds from the south or east or calm. There are some dramatic clouds in the west tonight.

 

Unfortunately, the chances we'll get any rain are practically nil. The storm system that came through Southern Michigan is now over the central and eastern UP and probably won't reach us at all. This pattern is quite similar to the snow patterns over the winter, and it's disappointing. We really need some rain.

 

On another subject, I can report that the Lake Lily glacier is now down to about 2' or less in depth. It has lost about half its depth since Saturday, what with all the sunshine. I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures...I will have to do better next year.

 

So that is all there is, and I need to try to get some better sleep tonight. I promise to take my cough drops.

 

April 25

I was really late getting to bed last night, and it was my own fault - of course. I got to looking at DiskPie, which is a neat free utility that will tell you how your hard disk is being used, and I discovered 20gb (yup - giga) or more of crap in the _RESTORE folder. I don't use that because I have GoBack, but something keeps putting files out there. One was about 16 gb, and there were thousands with nothing in them at all...the total was over 65,000 files! So I decided to delete them. That would take a long time in any case, but of course Explorer will prompt when it finds odd files, like read-only or system. So I started it, clicked "yes to all" a couple of times and watched for a while before I went off to take my bath. I checked again before I went to bed, and it was still deleting, so I left it. Unfortunately, during the night, it found something I had not said "yes" to, so when I got to the office this morning, it was waiting for me to reply, and it went on for about 20 minutes longer. However, now I have a much cleaner, meaner disk than I did. 

 

One reason I wanted to get rid of that junk (besides it being totally useless) is that it takes about an hour (or more? I haven't actually timed it) for Norton virus scan to get beyond that folder, and about 2 hours to do the whole thing. That is a strong disincentive to do virus scans, and as I found out when I was creating this disk for the first time, that is not a good thing. I'm hoping it goes faster now.

 

I know most people just let all the temp files and IE files and the rest of it pile up on their disks until they get full, but remember, I was trained in the old school of systems management, when system disks were small and in any case, the system ran better when it wasn't cluttered up with all that useless junk. Disks aren't small anymore, thank goodness, but it is still true that the system will run better with less stuff. I suppose the next order of business should be to defrag, but after the horror that happened when I tried to do that on the laptop (I ended up with a system that wouldn't work), I am a tad shy about doing it. On a 128gb drive, that would take some time anyway.

 

Everybody was wrong about our clear skies overnight and today. When I woke up around 4 am, there was a cloud in front of the setting moon, and while it went away after a few minutes, it wasn't clear, and it wasn't very starry after the moon set. And this morning, when I got up because I was coughing, there was a high haze of cirro-stratus clouds all over everything. The clouds increased in thickness during the day, and there wasn't much of a sunset. There was still a good amount of sunshine during the day, and it got quite warm in here. The temperature got up to around 51║ and there was almost no wind at all, from the east.

 

I saved a picture from the camera this morning. I happened to be awake around this time, and it was just beautiful. While I love the lake in all her moods, when she is absolutely calm like that, it is something special. The sun had risen about 15 minutes before, but it takes a little while to get above the trees, so those were the first rays shining on the mountain.

 

I am still coughing and blowing, and it came to me that what I really need is some good cough medicine. I don't have any here, because I haven't had a real cold here before, and I don't know if the general store has any. I have to go to the post office tomorrow, so I guess I will stop and see. Cough drops help, but not a lot.

 

So I didn't do anything again today, and I hope I feel better tomorrow. Now, if I can get this to upload, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour, maybe.

 

April 24

I was later getting to bed last night, because I couldn't get FrontPage to work right, but that didn't make much difference. I did sleep, although I woke up every couple of hours coughing up glop and blowing out glop. And I had some very weird dreams. However, I slept in this morning, so that was all right.

 

When I got to the office, the broadband was down, and it stayed down until after noon. Then around 7:00 it went down again, for a shorter time. So the camera didn't update very often today, for which I'm sorry. I just get my own problems solved (or I think they are) and I have trouble with that! It seems like the people who are constructing the Mountain Lodge and the Road Commission, which oversees it (go figure) just do not understand the importance of that tower on top of the building. Charlie said they originally told him it would be down until the end of the week, and I think he had to do some arm twisting to make them understand that just would not do. It's good that he is an even-tempered sort. I would have been frothing at the mouth...although it never does to let the people you're talking to know that.

 

So my morning surfing turned into my afternoon surfing, and nothing else got done.

 

When I got up, my head was so full of stuff that I really didn't feel very good at all, and it has taken most of the day for my head to not feel like it was full of cotton. At intervals, I have a coughing fit, then I get rid of some more glop and it's better. I do feel better today. My sense of taste is till gone, though, and I don't feel very robust. I got dressed, which was nice, although I ended up coughing so hard I wet my pants, which was not nice. I suppose I should just wear a diaper and be done with it.

 

It was a beautiful night last night, although it wasn't exceptionally clear. The moon was about at first quarter, and it is setting far north of the lighthouse, so it was shining in the window onto my pillow for several hours, and the last I saw of it was a slice of orange right above the trees about 3:45.

 

There were some high clouds in the sky for most of the day today, but they didn't interfere with the sun very much, and tonight and tomorrow are supposed to be very clear. The temperature got up to 46║ briefly, late in the day. For most of the day it was in the low 40s with light winds. It was a lovely day, and I'm sorry you couldn't see more of it online.

 

When I put the new kitty's food in her cage this morning, her back was sort of hanging out from under the blanket, so I rubbed it briefly. She didn't jump or anything, but it did get her up. I think Buster went and looked in the cage, because she hissed and yowled at him. I think he is just curious about her, although, being a cat, I wouldn't put it past him to stare at her because he knows it bugs her. She was up for a while before she disappeared again. I sort of suspected she might have been about during the day last week when I wasn't here.

 

So that was my quiet day, and I do hope I can make FrontPage work properly tonight. It is a pain to have to copy the changes to the web manually.

 

All is quiet and serene in the field tonight.

 

April 23

Last night was better, and even though I was up a lot, I slept in between. I woke up feeling lousy, because my head was full of glop, and I still have a sore throat, but a lot of blowing, and a big cup of licorice herb tea, cleared out my head, and I don't feel too bad right now, except that I ate some of my pasta salads and got indigestion. When the ole' bod gets sick, the whole bod gets sick, I guess. Ginger ale took care of that, and now I am having the last of my chicken and noodles. Unfortunately, I still can't taste anything. Maybe tomorrow I will feel good enough to get dressed.

 

I really wanted to go to town this week, because I am flat out of TV dinners, but I guess that isn't going to happen, so I will just have to scrounge around, and I will probably eat sandwiches unless I feel up to cooking something.

 

The predicted rain hardly came off at all, but it was foggy until about 1:00, and then the clouds and fog rolled away and the sun came out and the afternoon was another perfect day in paradise. The temperature got up to about 47║ and for most of the day the wind was in the 10-20 mph range from the north-northwest.

 

I diddled around for most of the day, but that was expected, right? I did sit in the ugly chair and knit for a while, but I started coughing and had to make a fast trip to the bathroom (another disadvantage of coughing).

 

I can tell that Buster is really worried about me, and very glad I'm home. Both things mean he wants to sit on me all the time, and that is difficult. He got really put out when I wouldn't let him on my lap while I was knitting, so after I got out of the chair he got in it, thinking, I suppose, that I would have to lift him up and onto my lap when I came back, but then I didn't. Poor Buster. He wants things to be exactly the same all the time, and life doesn't work like that.

 

This chicken stuff is so good, I'm going to have to get another chicken to roast, so I have the basic ingredients for some more. It freezes just great, and it is so nice to have my own homemade TV dinners in the fridge!

 

Anyway, I enjoyed the lovely evening, and as soon as I finish my dinner, I will be going up to the north end and after I take another bath, which always makes me feel better and more relaxed. I will see if I can get another good night's sleep and maybe tomorrow will be even better than today.

 

Our temperatures are back into their normal range for this time of year, and it seems they will be for the next week. There doesn't seem to be enough rain, which concerns me, but I'll take evenings like this one anytime I can get them. The only trouble is, it wasn't warm enough to open the slider.

 

It did get warm in here, and it was really warm in the bedroom last night. I love this free passive solar heat I have, but it is difficult to control. I am going to have to experiment with a window cracked here and there and see if I can keep the temperatures down to reasonable levels - 77║ in the office is just too warm, even when all I have on is a nightie!

 

If I feel better tomorrow, besides beginning to unload the car, I think I am going to open up the porch. I am really getting tired of it being so dark in the kitchen and hallway, and we aren't likely to get any amount of snow that would hurt anything that's out there now. Actually, that is less work than unloading the car.

 

So I am on the road to recovery, although it may be a slow one. I haven't had two days like the last two since long before I retired...in fact, before  1991. I remember vividly going into the office in downtown Detroit at 2:00 am, having had no sleep because of the cold I was coming down with. What I don't remember at all is installing the new operating system - that was on autopilot. I do remember bailing out around 9:00, going home, and sleeping for about 24 hours, after which I was beginning to function again. Thank God all that is over with!

 

So that was my quiet day, and I hope to feel better tomorrow.

 

April 22

Wow, another lousy night! This time, besides the cold thing, I drank so many fluids yesterday that I was up every 45 minutes all night long. Besides, at 4:30 this morning the computer started beeping loudly. I didn't know what it was at first, and I thought it might be the septic tank, but it wasn't loud enough, it was a different pattern of "beep-beep-beep", and it was definitely not coming from the basement. So I trundled down to the office, and the hardware monitor was saying that one of the voltages had dropped off, but by the time I got here, everything was normal again. I need to find out if that means the power supply is going south, or if it's just a weird thing that won't happen again.

 

Anyway, I got up around 9:00, feeling terrible, frankly, and by the time I finished my morning surfing, I couldn't keep my eyes open, so I took a nice three-hour nap, and I do believe I slept for most of it. I still felt bad when I got up, but I finally had something - pasta salads - to eat, and I feel better now. In fact, just in the past hour or two, I have been having less trouble with my eyes watering. And at least once, I blew out a whole bunch of yellow glop instead of watery stuff. So I guess I am finally progressing to the next stage. Eating is hard, because I can't taste anything, and I really am not hungry, but I felt so much better after a little food that I will have to make sure I take some nourishment over the next couple of days.

 

Needless to say, the plants are still in the car. I didn't get dressed. I did open the garage door and the back door of the truck, so they got a little light. Maybe tomorrow?

 

It was a mostly cloudy night and a variably cloudy day, and it is now clouding up nicely. We are supposed to have rain tonight, which would be a good thing. The temperature maxed out at 72║, at 1:00, with a strong (15-25 mph) wind from the southwest, but shortly thereafter the wind shifted around to the north-northwest, and the temperature plummeted to 55║, where it still is, although the wind has dropped to nothing.

 

In spite of the partial cloudiness, the sun warmed the house up a lot, and it has been around 75║ in the office all afternoon. I didn't mind earlier, because when I went back to bed, I was cold, but now I am rather warmish.

 

All morning long, there was a boat with three guys in it in front of the house across the bay. I wonder if they caught any fish? They were there for a long time, but I think part of the reason was that they were sheltered from the wind there.

 

So that was my lost day. I must say I feel better than I have in a couple of days, but that isn't saying much, and I will be back in bed early tonight. That's about all I can do for this thing. I am still drippy, I cough occasionally, and I just had a sneezing fit, so it isn't over yet. It's been at least ten years since I've had a cold like this one! I wonder where I picked it up?

 

I do have to report that the grass is greening up, and there are some really green things in the garden bed, but I don't know if they are something I want there or noxious  weeds. There isn't a hint of a leaf on any trees, though. This year I will get to see the greening and the early flowers...and I do love that!

 

I also wrote an email of complaint to MDOT. When I stopped at the rest stop at West Branch, at least two of the toilets (besides the one that was out of order) were full of stuff, including the handicap stall. Because I have such problems standing up from sitting, I use the handicap stall unless there is someone there in worse shape than I am. This time I had to use a regular stall, and getting up was - um - interesting. Anyway, one of the nice things about traveling in Michigan is usually that the rest stops are clean and tidy, and I was really disappointed in that one, which is usually one of the best.

 

While I was surfing the Michigan website, I looked at the pages put together by the "First Gentleman"...Governor Granholm's husband. He uses her name as his middle name. I think it's cool. He doesn't want to be governor, but he is all for her doing it, and he has been a tireless volunteer. Someday...not in my lifetime...maybe sexism will disappear, too.

 

Oh, yes, and the Pasty Cam picture of the day is a repeat of one they had several years ago, of the Pilot House that used to be behind the King Copper Annex. I printed it and gave it to Shirley the first time, and she seemed to think the owner of the good-looking pair of legs in peddle pushers was her. I know, they call them "Capris" now, but when that picture was taken they were pedal pushers. I hated them then and I hate them now. However, she and all her daughters have great legs.

 

So I guess that is all I know, and it's time to trundle up to the north end and try to get some sleep. I really thing that is mostly what I need now.

 

April 21

Oh, my! What a cold I have! And what a night I had! About the time I started uploading this thing, I started sneezing, and by the time I got into bed, I had a full-blown head cold, with coughing and blowing and runny eyes and a sore throat. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

 

I got up relatively early this morning, because all the coughing and blowing had made my back muscles too sore to lie on, but it's been more of the same all day. I haven't been hungry at all, although I did eat, and I'm eating now, and I have been drinking everything I can get my hands on.

 

Frankly, I feel really, really lousy. I haven't had a cold like this in years.

 

However, in spite of all that, I got the computer swapped out, and the new one is just fine, I think. I noticed two things: it runs a lot cooler than the other one did, and there is a fan speed dial on the hardware monitor page. Possibly that's because the fan is plugged into the power socket that wasn't working on the other board.

 

The only thing I don't have is the full gigabyte of memory. When I plugged it in, the computer hung before it even displayed the Gateway screen (I almost typed "Hateway" - hmm.) I checked both sets of 256mb sticks, and they are both fine...so long as there are two 128 mb sticks in the lower two slots. I don't know what that is about, and I may call my friends in Houghton on Monday and see what they think. It's a shame to have 512 mb of perfectly good memory sitting around not being used.

 

Anyway, the camera came up this afternoon, and it's been working fine, except that there seemed to be a slowdown in the broadband for a while. I didn't call about it. That seemed to be more effort than I wanted to expend.

 

I spent the rest of the afternoon with the slider open, and I balanced my checkbook against itself. I had screwed up a while ago - actually when I wrote the donation for the new kitty - and among other things, I had overdrawn. So I had to go back into March and redo a lot of stuff before I finally got a balance that I think is right. Probably I shouldn't have done that today, but I hate it when my checkbook is out of balance and I don't know how much money I really have.

 

It was a nice day to have the slider open, although it wasn't very sunny. The temperature got up to 66║ here at the shore, with a light southwest wind, and it was very quiet and relaxing with the breeze sighing in the pine tree. I have been hearing a few birds, including a song sparrow, but not even much of that. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day long, after a night that was as clear as I've seen in a long time...and I had plenty of time to look at it, even though I didn't put on my glasses.

 

While I was in the powder room (with all those liquids, I was back and forth a whole lot of times), I saw a little chipping sparrow who evidently found a really good cache of last fall's weed seeds, and he ate and ate and ate. On another trip, I found a little chipmunk digging holes not too far from the septic tank access cover. I have no idea what it was doing, and it tried two holes, but its hind end (except for its tail) was covered with red earth. At one point, it sat down and groomed its whiskers, but it made no attempt to get the mud off its rear.

 

I paid a bunch of big bills I couldn't pay until I went to the bank, and I went to the post office. There was less mail than I thought there would be, but of course, the big influx is the first 10 days of the month. I did start another orange bag in the office.

 

In spite of how I feel, it sure is nice to be back home in my field. The shower was wonderful, and my bed is much softer than the one on Champine, and it is so nice to be able to see my view again.

 

When I got to the kitchen this morning, there were two small boats of fishermen down at our end, but I didn't watch them to see if they caught anything. And this evening, there was somebody in a canoe (I think) with his dog on point in the bow. It was a nice day to do that, too. However, it never ceases to amaze me that these guys never wear life preservers, in spite of the fact that the water is not much above freezing. I guess if you've lived on or near it all your life you get rather blasÚ about things like that.

 

So that was my day, and I am off to the north end to jump into bed and try to get a better night's sleep tonight. I hate colds, and the worse they are the more I hate them. There isn't a thing you can do about them except drink fluids and try to get as much sleep as possible. Yuck!

 

At least I'm home in the field, rather than stuck in the big city!

April 20

Let's try this again. I had just completed my entry (a long one) when the computer hung up on the "close program dialog", a frequent ME problem, and I hit the wrong button...rats!

 

I'm home! I made it safe and sound.

 

I gave up on the dialup after I uploaded the journal last night, and I crashed. I even forgot to take my sleeping pills, although I did take them when I woke up later. I rolled out of bed at 7:30, and while I would love to have gone back to sleep, I decided not to. With all the last minute odds and ends to leave the house looking good, it was just after 9:00 when I pulled out of the driveway.

 

That was a good thing, since I missed the worst of the morning rush hour. There was a lot of traffic north to Bay City, but after that there was almost none.  I did hit the rush hour from Marquette to Ishpeming, and that slowed me down some, but otherwise there was so little traffic, I did good.

 

It was clear and in the low 50s when I left Grosse Pointe, and while some light high cirrus clouds developed later, it was sunny all the way. The temperature in the interior got into the low 70s, but around the lakes it was in the low 50s...a real difference in temperature! 

 

There is still some snow in patches from Newberry west, and there is still a lot of snow in Keweenaw. There is some ice on the lake between Munising and Marquette and at the bottom of Keweenaw Bay, and all the lakes except for Deer Lake (weird!) are still ice-covered, but there is a lot less of both snow an ice than there was on Monday.

 

I had less trouble than usual with strange driving, and I pulled into the garage here at 7:20...10 hours and 15 minutes. I'll take that. Buster was almost as glad to see me as I was to be back.

 

When I left Grosse Pointe this morning, there was a woodpecker (downy or hairy, I didn't see him) drumming on a tree, and the cardinals and song sparrows were singing. The forsythia and early daffodils in my garden were starting to bloom. Spring in Grosse Pointe is really pretty.

 

I forgot to mention on Monday that I saw any number of hawks, and I saw some today, too. Every field, especially in the northern lower, seems to have its hawk.

 

There wasn't any green along my route north, except for a very few patches where the grass has just started to green up. Some of the birches whose twigs were red all winter are now yellow, and I saw a couple of yellow willows.

 

When I went out to start unloading the car here, I heard a pileated woodpecker drumming (they have a distinctive drum), and something I think must be the loon...nothing else sounds quite like that. Our local flock of geese are here, and have been for a month, I think, but the little birds haven't gotten here yet. And this year I will be here to see the budding of the trees, which I just love.

 

It was in the low 50s and calm when I got here tonight, and it is now cooling off. It was so hot in the house that I opened the slider in the office and a window in the window seat. It is so nice to hear the nothing of a calm night!

 

I unloaded the essentials, including the computer. I hope I can get that set up tomorrow.

 

The only sad thing is that I had to stop suddenly this morning and my barrel bag slid into the geranium, so it isn't as pretty as it was last night. The three crates of cat food tipped a little bit, too, but they hit the back of a seat, so they didn't crush the monstera. It was my own fault that I put the barrel bag on top of the cooler, where it was free to slide. Dumb.

 

And by sitting in doctors' offices, I seem to have caught cold. I had a scratchy throat all afternoon, which drinking coke only helped a little bit, and I have been sneezing and my head feels like it is full of cotton. Rats.

 

So as soon as I get this uploaded (if I can get it saved before the computer hangs again!), I will haul myself up to the north end and my lovely shower, and crash. I didn't say anything about how hard it was to get into and out of the bathtub on Champine, or how small it is inside. It's much better here...in all ways.

 

So that is an approximation of what I wrote the first time, and I will call it a day. I'm home. I am very glad to be here, and so is Buster, who is sitting on my lap purring.

 

April 19

Well, it's over. The doctor says I'm fine, come back in a year, Debbie is fine and she liked her present, the car is packed, and I am sitting in bed trying to do my daily surfing at 52kb while Norton is updating the world. So I decided I'd update this and maybe Norton will finish sometime before midnight?

 

I still didn't sleep well. In the middle of the night I woke up and both hips and both shoulders were so sore I couldn't find a comfortable position to lie. My bed in Copper Harbor has a built-in soft pad on top, and that makes all the difference. Anyway, finally I got back to sleep, and woke up at 8:00, but I didn't see any reason to get up then, so I went back to sleep eventually, had a really weird dream, and woke up at 10:30. Yikes!

 

It actually turned out all right. I had to wrap the present, and I wanted to get my un-refrigerated purchases from yesterday into crates. But since all I had to do was have my OJ, and Debbie is usually late, I managed to get done what I needed to do. (Oh, goodie! Norton has finished using the net!).

 

Anyway, we had a nice 2 hour lunch, with lots of laughter. She is doing really well now, and I'm so glad to see it, having the time of her life being single again.

 

So the doctor, who is a really nice person, says everything looks fine, clearly I can control my cholesterol with diet (I think I told her that), and she doesn't need to see me for a year, since the internist will see me in October.

 

Then it was home, via the gas station (which I almost forgot) and I went down into the basement and disconnected the computer and gathered up a barrel full of stuff, mostly related to it, that I wanted to take  back. I am taking my MIDI keyboard, and I will have to bite the bullet and get the software for it. I want to play through some of the hymns in the new hymnal, for starters. I'm also taking the film scanner I don't think works, just to try it. The software for it was on this computer, although it turned out that I deleted it just before I came back. Oops! At least I have the disk. Then I discovered that in one of the desk drawers were all of the rest of my collection of bookmarks, including a tooled leather one I made in 7th grade, and some other useful stuff.

 

Then Cynthia came, and between us, we got the plants into the car. That monstera is bigger than I thought, and there are leaves poking around all over the place, but everything fit. I am even taking back a couple of boxes of kitty litter. I packed the cooler and we got that and the suitcase in, then after she left, I put the rest of the stuff into the other front seat, packed my lunch bag, had a sandwich, and came upstairs. Dialup is excruciating.

 

I will try to get an early start tomorrow, but there is some spiffing up I need to do around the house, and a few more things to put in the car, so we'll see how it goes.

 

The weather was nice. It was sunny and the temperature got into the lower 60s. It's supposed to be 68║ tomorrow, so I'm glad I'm leaving in the morning. I'm not ready for that yet. It was in the low 40s in Copper Harbor, with not much wind, and clear. The forecast says it is supposed to be warm inland but only in the low 50s at the shore tomorrow. Our lovely lake.

 

So I am really ready to get out of here. Too many people going too many places in too many cars. I did what I had to do, and now it's time to go home. I can't wait!

 

Tomorrow by this time, I will be back in the field.

 

April 18

So day two is over.

 

I got to reading last night, and I didn't get to bed as early as I'd hoped, but I was earlier than the nights before. I am still having trouble getting to sleep, for no apparent reason, except that I don't want to be here. I woke up around 8:00 and decided that was just too early, so I slept until 9:15 and had to shake my booty to get out of the house with some breakfast, but I managed.

 

I was early at the dentist's, and I should know better, because my hygienist is always late, so I got to do some knitting. She is a nice woman, who is actually studying for the Presbyterian ministry. She has a soap-opera life, and I have known her so long that we always catch up on each others' lives while she cleans my teeth. The bad news is that I have a shaky filling in a top tooth which should have an inlay (crown), so when I am back here to break up the house, I will have that to do, too. After the second crown last year, I told the dentist we would be starting on the top teeth, and I was right. The dental insurance offered by my former employer allows for one inlay every five years! Obviously, that policy was written by people under the age of 40.

 

Then I rushed off to the car wash, the bank, the pet supply store, and the food emporium. Whew! I was actually back here by 1:30, but that was kind of weird. I think they must have hit a button while they were cleaning my car, and when I got out of the pet food store, the clock said after 2:00. I couldn't figure out why that was, and my watch said an hour earlier, which I found rather disorienting. Obviously, my watch was right.

 

Getting to and from the pet food store was a trip, too, because they are tearing up Mack Avenue from Vernier (8 Mile Road) to the end of Grosse Pointe Woods to resurface, and the road was down to 1 lane in either direction. With the way people drive around here, that was excruciating as well as bumpy.

 

However, Buster and the new kitty now have lots of yummy things to eat, and so do I. I got sandwiches and deli salads and onion rolls and some crackers and cheese I can't get in Houghton, as well as some staples like milk and eggs and orange juice. So I may not have to go to Houghton until the week after next.

 

Since I got here at a reasonable hour, I was able to get the cold stuff stashed in the fridge and have a nice lunch...boy, those deli salads are good!...before the realtor came. She is a very nice person and very conscientious, and she gave me all sorts of surveys and things to read and ponder over. I am clearly going to have to lower the asking price on the house, darn it, but I will wait to see what she comes up with before I decide how much. However, the sad fact is, there are 66 houses in my price range for sale in just Grosse Pointe Farms, and only 38 in my price range sold in all five Grosse Pointes all last year. I mean, the housing market around here is grim, and it has been for a couple of years now. I can feel no sympathy for people on the east and west coasts where the "housing bubble" has really burst. They should be trying to sell a median-priced house around here if they think they have it bad.

 

Anyway, we had a very nice long conversation, and I think she will really work for me. I'm not looking forward to telling the other realtor that I am taking the house off the market, but that's the way things are these days.

 

Anyway, any time you hear that the economy is doing OK and everything is all right in the country, don't believe them. Things are really, really grim in Michigan, and it doesn't look like it's going to get better any time soon. However, I have said for many years that we are this mitten sticking up above the New York - Chicago corridor, waving like mad, and nobody can see that we're here. It's always been like that. I restarted re-reading my book on Michigan history that I started several years ago, and it turns out the same thing happened in the early 1800s, when it took forever to even get the state platted so the land could be sold. Somehow, the 9 million or so Michiganians just don't seem to count very much. I'm glad I'm living way up in the Northwoods where that is the way it's always been anyway. The  Detroit metro area is really hurting.

 

Gosh, I nearly forgot the weather! It was cloudy all over Michigan today, and cooler, but not a lot. It got up to around 42║ in Copper Harbor, with no wind. Here it was in the upper 40s and a bit breezy, but we didn't get the rain they were predicting. Not much to talk about.

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired again. Tomorrow is Debbie, the cardiologist and packing, and that will be hard, too. So I am doing this early and then I will go upstairs and have another sandwich and get to bed early for a change.

 

It's almost over. Friday I can go back home to the field.

 

April 17

Well, I made it through day one.

 

For a while I wondered, because I didn't get to bed until 1:30 again, and I had a bit of difficulty in getting to sleep...coughing and blowing my nose, mostly. I definitely am more allergic to this place. Then, after I woke up the first time at about 6:30, I had the same trouble. I was up so late because I had a terrible time getting Norton to update. While this disk will shortly be put to rest, I didn't want to be on the internet for very long with no security protection. In the past I have had both virus attacks and trojans from Ameritech. Finally, I gave up and just left it, and by this afternoon it had updated itself.

 

I can report that the body pillow is really working. For the first time since I got it, I had some tingling in one arm. I have arthritis in my neck, which is pinching the nerves to my arms...in fact, the back side of my right hand has been numb for 15 years or so. Over the past couple of years, I have had problems awaking in the night with tingling in one arm or the other, depending on the angle I was sleeping at. The body pillow is helping that.

 

Anyway, I got up around 9:15, though I certainly didn't feel like it, and I managed to haul myself around and even have a small breakfast before it was off to the gas station and the doctor. As it turned out, I couldn't have really slept in much longer anyway, because one of my neighbors' lawn service arrived...about the noisiest one around, and they always come early...and they were apparently doing the spring cleanup, because there were still motors running at 10:30 when I left. It's noisy, as well as smelly, around here.

 

Everything was running slowly at the doctor's office today, especially the computers, so it was a long visit. I did get to see a couple of the lovely people who helped me through my bouts of cancer, and that was nice. Dr. Lehman says I look fine, come  back in 6 months. So that is OK.

 

I stopped at my favorite drug store - an independent one my family has patronized for 40 or more years. I needed wrapping for Debbie's birthday present, and I got JD for here and some to take back with me, as well as a couple of cans of pop...there is nothing in this house to drink except water and boos and the OJ I brought with me, and sometimes I want something besides that.

 

Then it was off to the eye doctor, and I had to wait there, too, until I almost wondered if they had forgotten me. They couldn't find anything wrong with my eyes that I didn't know about, but I did get some good information. I have had a floater in my right eye for a couple of months, but it looks all normal to them. My cataracts are the kind that develop very slowly, so there is even a chance I may never need to have them removed. While it would be nice to see more clearly, if I never see the inside of a hospital again, it will be just fine with me. And I learned that  my doctor has accepted a position at the University of Minnesota, so I have seen him for the last time. That's too bad. I like him, and he is a very empathetic person, but he will make a wonderful teacher. I'm sure there is another doctor there who will be just fine. However, Dr. Kaufman was the one who treated me when the shingles got into my eyelids, and I appreciate him.

 

So I came home more than half blind, of course. My visual acuity just goes to pot when my eyes are completely dilated. Fortunately, I got home before the height of the rush hour, so I didn't have much trouble. I had to use the magnifier to do my daily surfing, and I didn't read most of the messages on PastyNet, though. Fortunately, there weren't any emails except advertisements until later.

 

After the way I feel today, and after Jackie said she had watered all the plants I want to take back, I called Cynthia to help me get the car packed on Thursday. Then I set up lunch with Debbie on Thursday, which is her birthday. We will go to a place that is very close to where my last appointment is, so we can spend some time together, for once.

 

The weather here was lovely, sunny with temperatures in the high 50s...felt really warm to me. In Copper Harbor, it was apparently cloudy all day, with temperature around 40║ and not much wind.

 

As I was leaving the drug store, a big van pulled into a parking place, and it was Mark the window washer. I had toyed with the idea of calling him, but when I thought about my schedule, I decided there was no place for him. So the windows won't get washed. Too bad, but oh, well. Hopefully, I won't have to worry about that for very much longer.

 

So that was my day, and I will now haul myself upstairs and crash. Tomorrow is the dentist in the morning, shopping (me food and cat food) and the realtor. And I do want to try to get the DSL software loaded on the laptop.

 

So another day away from the field and three left to go.

 

April 16

First off, I made it safe and sound, in  a little over 10 hours...have I mentioned that I have a lead foot?

 

For various reasons, I didn't get to bed until about 1:30 this morning, so I already knew I wouldn't get an early start. I did wake up around 6:30, for the first time, but that was clearly too early...I don't drive for 10 hours on 5 hours' sleep - so I went back to sleep and got up around 8:30. Still not enough sleep, but better. 

 

With all the last minute things, it was 10:15 before I rolled out, and that was pretty good, I thought.  I hate to drive south, especially south of Houghton.  I didn't have a lot of gas, so I stopped in Baraga, where the gas was $2.87, which, while it isn't good, was the cheapest I saw it the whole way south.

 

At this time of year, it isn't a pretty trip. There was still snow on the ground, and the lower end of Keweenaw Bay was iced over, amazingly enough. There was also a wide area of bare sand where there is usually water, just to illustrate how low the water is. The inland lakes are all still frozen, of course. The greatest amount of snow that I saw was between Marquette and Munising. They got a lot, but I think it has been colder over there than in Keweenaw, so less has melted. I did notice birches and willows with their twigs turning yellow in a few places, but mostly it was all brown and gray and dreary.

 

There was no traffic at all, which was really nice, but from Marquette east and south, there was quite a wind, and it was blowing across I-75, so I was fighting that all the way south It was clear until I got to about Flint. The temperature in most of the upper was in the low 50s and in the high 50s in the lower. I got really warm in the truck.

 

By the time I came through northern Oakland County, there wasn't any traffic there, either, which was a real relief, and most of the rush hour was over in the city. I encountered the usual weird driving around here.  Maybe those people are all on drugs?

 

So the house is still here, and it looks just like it did when I left it. Not happy to be here. Can't wait to get home.

 

I am writing this on the desktop, and I will fake out the website to get it uploaded. I wanted to make sure this computer still works. Everything is fine, except that I can't get Norton to update. Hopefully, that won't cause me problems. I am going to try to install the DSL software on the laptop, and if that works, I will be able to do my surfing upstairs where it is warm, instead of down here in the frigid basement.

 

So that is all there is, I guess. I didn't get a call from the oncologist's office, so I guess I will call them in the morning just to make sure I really have an appointment.

 

Oh, yes, and speaking of calling, I thought I had a bad battery in one of the cordless phones here(the one in the base), so last fall I brought back a battery from a handset that was broken. So now I find that it probably isn't the battery at all...it's the handset that is draining the battery. VTech is not a good brand. I guess that seals my plan to get a new  cordless answering machine for Copper Harbor and either trash or sell the ones I have now. Of the five handsets I originally had, I now have three that work. And the one in the north end at Copper Harbor doesn't work very well, because 3.2gh phones don't travel through walls very well. Live and learn.

 

So now I will fake out the website and haul my bod and my luggage upstairs (I do hate stairs!). I'm tired. I'm here. I wish I wasn't.

 

April 15

I slept late this morning, and I had the house dream this morning. In this one, I had been away, and when I came back, somebody had totally trashed the back part of the house. It was a morphing house, of course, but it was really bad. I think they were building a retail bakery on the back. When I finally confronted the builder (not the one who built this house, for once), it turned out he had the wrong house...but that was where I woke up. Anyway, in case you didn't think my heart and soul are tied up in this house, think again. I've only had the house dream once about the house in Grosse Pointe, and I grew up there.

 

So I got a very late start on my work, and I still have a lot to do. However, I did accomplish a lot. I still have to unload the dishwasher, pack the cooler and the suitcases, and pack the car. Oh, yes, and put away the last loads of wash. I ended up having to wash, because I will be wearing my last pair of compression hose this week, and I didn't want to have to wash when I get back. However, I forgot to wash the pair I was wearing this week...oh dear.

 

All the clothes that were in the laundry room are now put away, the fridge is cleaned out, the cat pans are cleaned out...and that's a story...and the breezeway is under control, for the first time since last October. 

 

As usual, I had to sit down frequently, because my back is horrible, and besides, I was tired and hot and sweaty. It didn't help at all that it was so beautiful and sunny that the temperature got up to 75║ in the house. Not the temperature I like to be rushing around in, for sure.

 

The last big push was to clean the cat pans. The new kitty still has very smelly stools, and besides, I had waited too long to do it. So I sat down in front of the cage, and when I went to pull out the pan, she went into the back corner of the cage, and sat upright, like she wanted to melt into the bars, all the while staring at me. It was quite a job, because she had scratched litter and other stuff out of the pan, so I had to shake out and refold two of the blankets and remove a lot of stuff on the bottom of the cage. In the course of that, I got litter in all her bowls, including the canned food she hadn't touched yet. So she got a whole can of food for herself. I'll be interested to see how much she eats.

 

She's growing, and she is keeping herself very clean. However, she is still completely suspicious of me. It's going to be a long road.

 

It was too beautiful a day to be hung up inside. The temperature just got to 40║, but there was no wind and no clouds, either. It was gorgeous. I was outside for a minute or so, because when I got downstairs, I could see the mesh feeder, so I fetched it in. I wouldn't say it was warm, but it would have been a great day to take a walk. Maybe someday...

 

By the way, the computer is now in the mode where it comes up in standby, so it will be down until I get back with the other one. I will raid it for parts and retire it. For a while, I had some hope that I might be able to use it, maybe in the basement, for things like games and cataloging my library, but now I don't think so. RIP.

 

It does give me an idea of how long I can expect a PC to last when it's in use  24 x 7...about 5 years.

 

Buster is most unhappy. Right now, he is sitting on the counter staring at my lap, but he knows I can't type with him on me...or at least it isn't comfortable for me when he sits on me. So he is alternately staring at  my lap and my pot pie. 

 

I thought about having a pasty, but I didn't want that much food. This trip is always a traumatic event for me. Given a perfect world, I would never leave this place, except maybe to take a foray out to the end of Keweenaw Point.

 

There may or may not be a journal tomorrow, depending upon when I get to Champine and how long it takes me to get the car unloaded. So if there isn't one, don't panic. I will catch up on Tuesday.

 

So this is my last night in the field for a week, and I don't like it one bit. Neither does Buster.

 

April 14

Well, I think the computer is finally dead. After locking up several times this morning, on the next reboot, it couldn't see the PS2 mouse. So I plugged the mouse into a USB port (lucky I have a USB mouse!), and that worked for a short while. Now it won't come up at all. It doesn't go into standby - the green light is on - but it never gets beyond the point where the lights on the keyboard and mouse blink. So I am afraid the camera will be down until next Saturday at the earliest. I have the power off now, and I will try it tomorrow, but I don't have much hope.

 

At least the last picture was a pretty one. It was another beautiful day, with just a few clouds in the sky, and lots of sunshine and blue water. The temperature got up to 40║, with not much wind. Something was passing us by on the south, because the wind came from every compass point during the day, when it wasn't calm. So nice!

 

I didn't get an early start, but I did accomplish something, with Ron's help. The trash and the boxes are all in the garage, except for the boxes he loaded into his truck. He is moving boxes out of the school (they got all new computers) and taking the transfer station, so he offered to take mine, too. Such a nice man! 

 

I got most of the food out of bags and put away, as well as cleaning supplies. I have a lot of toilet paper to stash away...it might look like I overbought, but I do use a lot of toilet paper, and I was afraid of running out in the middle of a blizzard. It's not like it's something I won't use.

 

This afternoon, I finally boxed up last year's papers and magazines and labeled this year's file jackets, although I didn't file. However, the office is in a little bit better order.

 

I went to the post office, and I tried to go to dinner, but Mariner was having another frat party, and this one looked like a big one, so I came home and had a frozen pizza. I am definitely going to need to go to town the week after I get back, because I am flat out of frozen dinners and stuff like that.

 

Tomorrow will be a busy day anyway, because there are several things I really have to do, including some wash (I think - I'll have to consider that), filling another trash bag with garbage, and cleaning cat pans. The little kitty's pan is pretty bad, but of course, it is really small. And pack food and clothes, of course.

 

Buster was a happy camper, all things considered. he got to sleep in the window seat, which is one of his favorite places. It should be, since I have several old bed pillows there, covered with fleece throws. He came out when Ron and I sat down, and he got petted by all, then he went to sleep on the ugly chair's footstool. He knows something is up, but it was so nice and warm that he wasn't too worried. Wait till tomorrow.

 

Almost all the snow is melted off the deck, and the rest of it is going fast, although there is a lot to go. There were three snowmobiles in Mariner's parking lot tonight, but I don't imagine they had a really good ride. And next week is supposed to be quite warm and sunny, so I think it's probably really over now.

 

On the other hand, there is snow in Detroit and the temperature in Grayling got up to a whopping 14║ today. That system is moving off to the east, and everything should be pretty good by Monday. What a strange winter and early spring this has been! Makes me wonder about summer.

 

It was nice out today. We had a pretty sunset tonight, with a very red sun setting behind lighthouse point. I thought I might take a picture, but I had put the camera away in its case, and by the time I got it out, the sun was gone. It is setting right about at the edge of the camera picture now, and by the time we have a new picture, it will be gone for the summer. Somehow it seemed to move awfully fast this year, but this is the first year I have been here in April at all.

 

So now I will hop into bed and try to get ready for the big push tomorrow. My back was bothering me today, and I hope it doesn't tomorrow. 

 

I have to leave the field! Sigh.

 

April 13

There were stars in the sky all night and it was a gorgeous, clear, sunny day today...the computer locked up during the night, but it did get this afternoon's pictures. The temperature got up to the upper 30s, and there was a moderate wind from the northwest, until around sunset, when it went calm then picked up from the southwest. Lovely!

 

I did a few things, but I managed to waste most of the day. I have two turtlenecks that each have a yellow spot right in the middle of the front, and I wanted to check the others on that shelf to see if they had it, too. They didn't, but I still think possibly it was the work of some very small four-footed critter.

 

When I went to feed the new kitty, there was a nose and an ear poking out from under the blanket, and when she saw me, she immediately went into the back of the cage and sat all huddled up, looking at me and blinking. She is just not about to trust anything that walks on two feet. I went to refill her water bowl, and when I came back, she was gone again. Poor kitty!

 

I collected some more trash, and put some bags in the garage, and I brought in most of the grocery bags that were in the breezeway. They aren't unloaded yet, but I have a start on it.

 

 The other thing I did was to get out my can of WD-40 and spray the wheels of the garage door, and now it closes like it should again. I figured that was the problem, but why it should suddenly quit, instead of getting worse and worse, I don't know. However, that little problem is solved.

 

Chip and Nancy blew into town this morning, and we met at Mariner for dinner tonight, which was very nice, although I could tell they are tired from their trip. 

 

On the way to dinner, I picked up two packages, and one of them was a very lovely cut crystal footed bowl from my cousins. It is really pretty, and it will look so nice sparkling in the sunshine!

 

The other package was my copy of the new hymnal, and that is the reason this is so late tonight. I got to looking through it and reading, and time just passed. The last time the LCMS published a hymnal, it was such a fiasco that this time they went for inclusiveness...five versions of the Sunday service, and more than 600 hymns. I was disappointed to see that they still kept some of the revised wording that had been trashed in the 1982 version, most of which is very awkward and unpoetical, but there are also a lot of hymns they lifted directly from the old 1941 hymnal that is still in use at my home church, and which I grew up on.

 

It interests me that there is no "Holy Ghost" anymore - it's "Holy Spirit" throughout, and almost all references to "men" has been replaced by some other wording, some of it pretty awful, and where "men" occurs in a hymn, there is a footnote that explains that it means all people. So much for political correctness (this from a church body that doesn't ordain women!). I was also interested to discover that there is in existence a revised and updated version of the Lord's Prayer that doesn't roll nearly so easily off the tongue, but oh, well. They give the option of using either it or the old version.

 

This is actually going to be a very useful book for me, although I would advise the church not to bother to incur the expense of buying it. There are neat things, like all of Luther's Small Catechism, tables of all the lessons to be read at services, and table of Bible readings for every day of the year. I have a feeling I will end up using it a lot.

 

So that was my day, and I'm going to be late tonight.

 

April 12

Our snowstorm fizzled out, although I understand it is still snowing in the northern lower. There was about an inch, maybe, on the roofs this morning, and there were a few flurries, but by afternoon that had all melted away. So I could have gone to town after all, but I didn't.

 

I didn't do much, but I do have a relatively clean and relatively neat kitchen. I'm not through there, but the counters are clean and almost bare, at least. My back was bothering me, and I had to sit down frequently, but I got that done. Whew!

 

It was a gray Superior day, with a wind from the  northeast in the 20-30 mph range. The temperature got up to 36║, where it stayed for most of the day. 

 

The computer didn't hang up until 7:45 this morning, so we got a couple of dawn pictures. It locked up a couple of times during the day, but I was using it, so it wasn't down long enough to notice. It does take longer to do a ScanDisk on the big disk drive, but I just have to live with that.

 

By the way, I heard from a couple of people about the new kitty. I haven't said anything, because I have nothing to say. She is still under her blankets. I'm hoping to have some more time to work with her after I get back, but until then, she's the little cat who wasn't there. Poor kitty! If only she knew!

 

Buster, I'm pretty sure, knows something is up, even though I haven't been doing a lot to prepare to leave. How they know I have no clue, but all my cats have always known when I was going away, even before I started packing or anything. I sometimes think they have ESP. Anyway, all he wants to do is sit on me, as though he could prevent me from leaving by keeping me from doing anything. Thanks, Bub, I do a good enough job on that myself.

 

So it was a quiet day in the field, but I did accomplish something. There is more on the list for tomorrow.

 

April 11

The computer is limping along. It locked up around 4:00 this morning, then again about 1:00 this afternoon, when I wasn't here, and a couple of times this evening, but we did get a few pictures.

 

Not that it was such a wonderful day. It was mostly bright cloudy, with southeast winds, which have now shifted to east-northeast, in the 15 mph range. The temperature was 35║ or so. That's warm enough to cause the mud to reemerge, and it's pretty yucky. Places where everything is paved over don't have to worry about the mud season, but around here, there is still a lot of gravel, and it gets to the consistency of stiff jelly around this time of year, and it's really wonderful to walk around in.

 

I went off to Bible class this morning, for the last time. Bonnie is tied up for a few weeks and then she will be working for the summer. She works at the Fort, partly as a secretary, but she also arranges for all of the evening programs they have during July and August.

 

Then it was over to Carolyn's, and there was a good group there today, with the usual amount of laughter. The ladies got to talking about feeding teenagers, and that was hilarious. Red Twarzik was there, which was great. She is a wonderful person. However, she was there for a reason, and I signed up as a possible volunteer in the visitor center over the summer. I'm sure I'll hear about it. Hey, why not? I may get some more stories for the touron files. I also have an interest in promoting my adopted home, so I might as well help out. That's one job where I probably can sit down most of the time.

 

Not much got done on the house, although I did wash up the broiler pan tonight. Tomorrow, I will do the kitchen, I promise.

 

I was going to go to town tomorrow, for some things I 'm running out of (orange juice, boos and gas, mainly), but they are promising snow for tomorrow, so I probably won't go. I'll see how it is in the morning. I might be able to go Friday, or I can forget it and bring back what I need from Detroit.

 

Buster was not  pleased that I went away, and he was waiting at the door when I came home, but when he saw me, he turned away, as if to say "Well, finally!". He doesn't have the oral vocabulary that DC had, but he has wonderful body language.

 

The ladies reported that there are cardinals in Copper Harbor, and I am so glad to hear it. I hope that someday they will get out here, but I've only had an occasional one. Someone had seen a shrike, and two people saw a fisher (a mammal) along M-26. We all agreed that we love the pileated woodpeckers. And I learned that the hawk migration in the spring is around Mother's Day, so this year I may be able to get up on the mountain to see it. Hope so. Like I said, they are a good group, and we share a great love for the land and the creatures that inhabit it.

 

Speaking of that, I forgot to mention that for a couple of weeks I have heard the geese out in the harbor (when it isn't frozen), and we saw several today, so they are back. There was a robin in a tree behind Carolyn's house. So slowly but surely the spring migration is beginning. I saw a crow fly over the house with a twig in its beak the other day. I haven't been able to get out onto the deck because of the snow, but when I get back from Detroit, I should be early enough to catch most of the spring migration. The warm March confused some of the birds, I think, but the majority of them don't get here until May anyway.

 

On the bird note, I have had two juncos visiting the thistle feeder, which was the only feeder with anything in it. It still surprises me, because around Detroit, juncos won't eat out of the feeders. I always thought they were little birds, but they look huge beside the chickadees and nuthatches.

 

Before the blizzard, someone had been kind enough to put the mesh feeder on the deck for me, along with its hanger, but somebody pushed it off the deck again, so it is now buried in the snow under the deck again. Well, maybe by the time I get back, I'll be able to recover it.

 

So that is all I know, and it's bedtime again. Don't count on the camera. I have decided to just let it go while I am away. If it works, fine, but if it doesn't, it will just stay down.

 

April 10

Weirder and weirder! We didn't get any pictures of a lovely day because the computer hung at around midnight last night. I had a terrible time getting it to come up this morning, and I had just captured the first picture when it hung again (for the fourth time). When I pushed the power button, it came up orange. So I turned off the power supply and did my surfing and other stuff on the laptop. I turned the power back on late in the afternoon, and when I finally decided it was time to do the journal, I pushed the button. It came up orange, so I pushed it again...and instead of shutting down, it came up green and loaded, although ScanDisk seemed to go into a loop. Well! So I overcame that, and started the journal, and it hung again. So it's getting sicker by the moment, but maybe I'll be lucky enough to get this done. I make no guarantees for tomorrow, however.

 

Also, there were a couple of emails I didn't reply to, and for 3 legit messages and 12 advertisements, I decided not to bother to move the email files. So if there's something you really want an answer to, you'll have to email me again.

 

It was a beautiful day, and I'm sorry there were no pictures, although it was nearly a repeat of yesterday. It was sunny all day, and while the temperature was down in the teens overnight, it got up over freezing this afternoon (only 8 or 9║ below normal). The wind swung around through south and was from the east before it went calm. Oh how lovely is the evening...

 

There is a film of ice on the harbor, but the roofs and the driveway where it was cleared are now down to the gravel again, and the outside edge of the deck is clear, too, so the snow is melting. There is enough of it, though, that it will take a while.

 

I did feel better today, but I still have a lightheaded feeling, not when I sit up, but when I move my head sideways too fast. So it's either potassium or ears. Usually I move slowly enough that it's not too much of a problem.

 

And I did a bit. Not a lot, but a bit. I cleared out the trash bags that were in the kitchen, out to the breezeway, anyway, and I began cleaning off the counters, preparatory to washing them. 

 

Tonight I cooked my beef tenderloin, and it was good. It doesn't take long to cook at all, even though it was still frozen when I put it in the oven. And it is very tasty and very tender. I will have some good things to eat, at least.

 

Of course, there is now a broiler pan in the sink, but maybe I can get that taken care of tomorrow.

 

There are a lot of things I thought about doing that aren't going to get done, but that's the way it goes.

 

And that's about all I have to report. Maybe I can get this published before it locks up again?

 

April 9

I really crashed last night, and I slept for nearly 11 hours, and I do feel somewhat better today, although still sort of light-headed. I think I will try to do something similar tonight and hope I feel like doing something more tomorrow.

 

When I was awake during the night, there were stars, including a bunch I didn't recognize, but I'm not too familiar with the spring stars. And when I woke up this morning, the sun was shining in a blue sky with not very many clouds, and it stayed clear and beautiful all day long. Unfortunately, the camera hung at about 4:30 this morning, and we didn't get to see sunrise.

 

It got cold overnight - in the low teens - and the harbor is filling up with patchy, slushy ice again. However, the sun is melting the snow wherever it hits, including the roofs. This is the kind of weather that makes me understand eave troughs, even though I'm glad I don't have them here.

 

The NWS station reported that the temperature was 10║ at 8:00 and at 9:00 it was 28║. I find that hard to believe, frankly. I know the clear skies made it colder overnight and the rising sun should warm things up, but not that fast. Anyway, it was around 28║ for the rest of the day, with light north winds, and it was nice out.

 

I paid a bill and went to the post office, and mailed off my tax returns (even on one and a refund on the other), and I partially unloaded the dishwasher, and that was about it, although I did have a steak for dinner and I fetched the beef tenderloin upstairs to have for the rest of the week...it should make good sandwiches, too.

 

My breakfast was nearly all from the stuff I brought home from the brunch, too, which was nice. 

 

I do need to got to town sometime this week, because I need gas and orange juice - the two things I can't get in Copper Harbor right now. I need something to wrap Debbie's birthday present in, and a couple of cards, although I did unearth my card box last week, and I may just see what's in there.

 

Clearly, not everything I want to do will get done before I leave, but when I feel like I did yesterday and today, I just can't do much. Hopefully tomorrow, I won't get lightheaded every time I turn my head quickly and I can begin to do a few of the million things that need to be done. This could be either a potassium problem or an ear problem, and eventually it will go away, one way or another.

 

So it was a beautiful day in the field, and it is supposed to be a beautiful night, too. It's been a long time since I've looked at the Clear Sky Clock and seen dark blue for over 24 hours...blue meaning clear skies. Environment Canada still does a better job than the NWS in predicting that sort of thing, and I rely on them, and Atilla Danko's distillation of their data, for sky conditions.

 

And now to bed...

 

April 8

Ugh! What a day! I got to bed very late last night (well - this morning), and it didn't feel like I slept well, although I must have done better than I thought, because Buster got another mouse. This one he dispatched in the bathroom, and the bathmat he sits on now really needs to be washed. Besides, there was stuff - entrails, I guess - on the bathroom floor this morning. Yuck! I do wonder how he can eat fur and bones and yet not eat a kidney, which is about the size of a small pea (or I think that's what it was).

 

Anyway, I did get up at 7:00, and I was sleeping when the alarm went off...it's so much nicer to wake up to classical music than to that horrible buzz. I had time to curl my hair, look at my funnies, and drink my orange juice before I was off to church.

 

That was another really lovely service. It's easy to tell that Bonnie works really hard to make her services meaningful. There were about 15 of us, including two little kids (both of whom were very good). 

 

Afterward there was a brunch with much too much food. Bonnie had baked (she originally was the second baker), and someone else had baked, and there were three or four egg and sausage or ham casseroles. Much too much food, although I didn't eat all that much. And there was good fellowship.

 

When I got home, about 11:00, I took off all my clothes and went back to bed.  I didn't sleep much, if at all, because Buster was sure something was seriously wrong, and he felt he had to lie right beside my head and stare at me. Now, DC wanted to be with me when I did that, but he didn't stick his nose into my face and stare at me. Buster is a weird little cat.

 

Anyway, I guess I was almost out when the phones went "bleep", and I called UPPCO before I checked the clock and determined that it wasn't an outage, just a glitch. It hit the kitchen clocks and the computer, and the clock in the bathroom, although the clock in the bedroom was fine. I guess the battery in the bathroom clock must be dead.

 

Anyway, when I got up, I was really shaky and dizzy, but I got dressed again and came down to the office, and proceeded to have a ferocious attack of indigestion, which I finally fixed with Rolaids and ginger ale. For a while there, I wondered what was going on! I didn't really eat that much for brunch, but I think that on top of my short night was what caused it. So I have felt really yucky and shaky for the rest of the afternoon.

 

The weather was much better than it has been. When I turned out the light around 1:30 this morning, Gemini was shining in my windows, and I could see Polaris when I got up, and the shadows of the waning moon later. There was a lovely sunrise, which the other Copper Harbor cam caught (sorry - I don't publish other people's pictures), and some sunshine on the way to church. It clouded up during church, and it was cloudy until around 4:00 this afternoon, when it cleared up almost completely, and sunset is very nice.  The temperature peaked at 26║, but the wind has dropped to about 10 mph, still from the north. It was a lovely afternoon, although somewhat drippy, as the snow on the roofs and trees begins to melt. 

 

So our April blizzard is history, but not soon to be forgotten. Apparently Painesdale and Phoenix Farms have a competition going for the most snow, but the final total went to Painesdale with 59" for the week, and Phoenix Farms had 57". I'd have to see that for myself - I don't think so. Mohawk got 47", and I'll stick to my 30" - 33" for Copper Harbor (without having measured it, of course). Anyway, however you measure it, a whole lot of snow came down in a very short time. One of these years, the entire winter will be like that, then we'll have another 300" winter. Maybe next year?

 

Needless to say, I didn't do anything today except knit on my glove. There was just no way I could do more, and as soon as I upload this, I am off to the north end to jump into bed.

 

So it was a nice, if quiet, Easter in the Northwoods.

 

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

 

 

April 7

Well, the wind howled and banged on the house, the lake roared and the snow snowed all night long and into the afternoon before I could finally see the mountain again. There are still lake effect snow squalls, but not so continuous, and the wind has abated to the 20-30 mph range, but the lake is still roaring big time.

 

The last report is that Phoenix (not Phoenix Farms) had 52". We didn't get that much, but the junipers are completely buried, and there was a 3' drift in front of my garage door this morning. I would estimate, without getting out there with my yard stick, that we might have gotten 30". And it's still snowing!

 

Surely this is one for the history books. I know that the Marquette NWS station reported a record amount of liquid precip (that is, snow melted down) on Wednesday and Thursday. And there have been other humdingers of April blizzards.

 

I am going to try to find out how to measure the snow, so that maybe in years to come I can be a snow-spotter for the NWS. John Dee says you have to take a lot of measurements (of course - I know scientific method that well), and you have to take them in places where the wind isn't a factor. That could be a problem around here, but I'd sure like to try. The pages wouldn't load tonight, but it's too late to go into that now anyway.

 

I fiddled around all day again. The only thing I accomplished was to get the dishes washed. It's getting down to crunch time, though, so I have to start doing something every day.

 

I keep telling myself that.

 

Buster got a mouse this morning, but it took him forever. He brought it into the bedroom, and the poor thing was smart enough to go under the nightstand and it stayed there for nearly two hours. However, eventually it ventured out, and there was a short scuffle. No remains, and no cat at breakfast time, either. I guess he wasn't hungry.

 

The computer was behaving strangely today, but I did finally find out how to get the displays on the monitor back to English. Just before it went down the other day, I hit the wrong button in the dark, and the menus suddenly started coming up in Japanese! Egad! Then it went down, and I misplaced the manual. Finally, today, I recovered the manual and with some difficulty, I found out how to change the language. Sheesh! I like this monitor a lot, but sometimes I yearn for the old, simple days when every little part of your PC didn't have its own computer in it. Besides, when I turn it on, it plays music, would you believe?

 

Anyway, last night it overheated, and it was hung this morning when I got to the office. I think the reason is that when the blizzard began, the temperature in the office got down to about 63║ and I bumped up the thermostat and forgot to reset it. I pushed the CPU back into its original position, with the fan and the exhaust holes facing the wall. When Norton did its weekly virus scan, it had some serious work to do and it got hot. But that stopped at midnight, and the hang happened at about 9:30 this morning. I don't understand this thing, and I will be very happy when I get the other one up here.

 

That is about the only positive thing I can say about my trip to Detroit. It is apparently weighing on my mind already, since I haven't even been hungry for the past couple of days. How I hate that trip! And how I don't want to go back there! Oh, well.

 

Anyway, late in the afternoon it hung up again, and it hung while it was doing its ScanDisk, and I had to kick it hard to get it into Safe Mode and complete the ScanDisk. Windows ScanDisk (at least in ME) has a serious flaw - it marks the ScanDisk done at the beginning, not at the end, so if it hangs and you have to reboot, Windows thinks everything is OK. It certainly was not OK - there were two files and the boot sector that got corrupted, but it took me 45 minutes, and a lot of power downs (with associated breath holding) before I finally got it back together. It still isn't working quite right, but I will have to reboot again to get this thing to load, I think, and then again to clear memory from this stupid program, so that should straighten things out. And you wonder why it takes me so long to get the journal published every night!

 

For some reason last night, FrontPage decided to reload a good portion of the web, but fortunately it worked. I still haven't figured out how and why it decides something has changed, when nothing at all has changed. Stupid program.

 

So that is all I know, and I guess I will have to set the alarm clock to make sure I get up in time for church tomorrow.

 

April 6 - Good Friday

I was sitting in the bathroom, having just finished brushing the cat, and I was getting ready to step into the shower (which I really needed!) when the lights flickered and went out. Oh, nuts! So I went to bed all yucky and dirty and went right to sleep. I was up once while the power was still out, and I was more or less awake when it came back on at 3:00. At least that made it easy to set the clocks!

 

However, I seem to have misplaced the little calculator-clock that I usually use for that task, so I had to use my watch.

 

I had some trouble getting back to sleep after that. Nothing to do with the power - I just couldn't find a comfortable place to lie for a while. So I slept long and hard this morning. I was dreaming about Shirley when I heard Buster, and he ended up in my dream, too...but he actually thought I was awake (or thought I should be) and hollered at me. 

 

That was just as well, because I had to take my bath and wash my hair this morning. My hair was really bad. When it gets that oily, it feels like sticks when it's wet. Yuck. Well, at least I got clean.

 

When I got to the office, I pushed the button, and it turned orange, then green, and the computer is back up! So at least you got to see the lake effect snows. Believe me, there wasn't anything to see during the blizzard - just a wall of white right out beyond the deck railing.

 

The wind has continued in the 30-40 mph range from the north, and the temperature has been between 15║ and 20║ all day. It snowed all day, too, although I don't think there has been a lot of additional accumulation.

 

There wasn't a drift in front of the garage door, but I couldn't get the door to go down when I left, so the garage was full of snow when I got back.

 

I went to church, and there were three of us - Bonnie, her husband and me. It seems to me that people around here should be used to this kind of weather. It wasn't that bad, at least around town. Anyway, Bonnie had planned a really lovely service, and she had found a wonderful sermon. The Gospel for the day in that church was the entire passion story from Gethsemane through Joseph's Garden, and we took turns reading it, which was very nice. I'm so sorry nobody else was there. Sigh.

 

Anyway, on the way home, I stopped and got my Easter candy, which had been delivered to the Gaslite (when I ordered it, I thought the UPS driver would be able to get down the road - wrong!).

 

The road is rather dicey. There is a nice drift at the beginning of my driveway, and by the time I got back, around Lake Lily the drifting was so bad I was brushing bushes on the right side and going through probably 10"-12" of snow on the road. Ron has been caretaking about four houses this week, so he didn't get out on the tractor today. I didn't have any trouble getting through, but I wouldn't have wanted anything but a 4WD vehicle.

 

Just for the record, Phoenix Farms claims they got 40" of snow. I have noticed that that weather spotter seems rather generous with his precip reports, but I wouldn't doubt there was 36" of snow up in the higher elevations, from the Mountain Lodge to Calumet. And it's still snowing!

 

When I got home, I shoveled out what had blown into the garage, and a patch I didn't get to yesterday which prevented the door from going down all the way, so I am well battened down again. I think the door needs some WD-40, which I will apply when it is warm enough, because I have been having some trouble getting it to go down.

 

For the rest of the day, I did nothing and enjoyed my big screen and my running computer. 

 

Well, that isn't quite true. I did get the pictures I took yesterday out of the camera, and picked one nice one to add to the website. That was an interesting sunset. 

 

We didn't have a sunset tonight - there was too much snow coming down.

 

The wind is still howling and banging around the house, and the lake is still roaring, and it looks like another good night to sleep. I have been through a lot of Good Fridays, with a lot of interesting weather, from snow to spring flowers, but I can't remember anything quite like this. Welcome to the Northwoods!

 

It was a good day to meditate on the Passion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Peace.

 

April 5

Well, it's over, except for the wind and the lake effect showers, but what a hairy 48 hours it's been! The snow came down and the wind howled and banged and the lake roared all night long, and we got a few more inches of snow. By about 1:30 or so this afternoon they had canceled the blizzard warning, and all we have now is a snow and blowing snow and lake effect warning in effect.

The wind, however, hasn't abated at all. It is still in the 30-40 mph range out of the north, and the lake is roaring big-time. They haven't put out the buoys yet, but the forecast was for 16 foot waves here, and up to 22 foot waves between Marquette and Munising. There are gale warnings, with freezing spray, out until tomorrow night. 

 

The temperature actually got up to 23║ for a while before it started back down again, but it's cold out there!

 

It was the middle of the afternoon before I could finally see down the harbor again, although it has been very foggy or hazy or snow-filled. We had a very interesting sunset tonight, and I did take pictures, but I keep hoping the other computer will return to life so I can use it to process them. I do have to report that the sun is setting over Porter Island already - it has really moved fast and far since the equinox.

 

I didn't do much, for some reason. I seem to have one day on and one day off. I continued to move magazines and catalogs around. I went to the post office this afternoon, although I had to smooth off an 18" drift in front of the garage door in order to get out. I guess it didn't look very high to Ron - he was wrong. However, I just put it in 4WD and backed straight out, and it was fine. The road wasn't too bad, although there was some drifting down by Lake Lily, and there was a tree hanging over the road, which I guess came down shortly after I got back.

 

I had packages, although I don't think UPS got to the Harbor today, so my Easter basket didn't come. Now I can work on the round afghan (which had horrible colors in the original kit). And my Harmony Kingdom boxes came.

 

I haven't talked about my collection of Harmony Kingdom boxes, I guess. I was introduced to them back in the 80s by the woman who now owns the Gaslite Store, and I have been a selective collector ever since. These are little figurines, mostly 3" to 4" tall, that are actually boxes. Most of my collection are cats, and almost all of them are by one carver. Today there was one with cats, and the other one is of two Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, which is just fabulous. Go Google "Harmony Kingdom" and see what you find. I love them. Of course, I have a thing about boxes anyway.

 

There were also a lot of magazines and catalogs and bills, of course. I just get the magazines and catalogs under control (well - sort of) and they start piling up again.

 

So I guess that is all I have to report. The wind and the sea will sing me to sleep again tonight.

 

April 4

Hey! It's a real blizzard! And it's still going on!

 

My intention last night was to take my bath then sit in bed for a while and read. Well...along about 9:30 or so, the lights brightened a couple of times, then the power went off. I was glad all the computers were down, because those power surges aren't good for them. Boy, was it dark! The moon hadn't risen yet, and the clouds were thick and full of snow. According to the NWS station, it wasn't blowing hard then, but it was snowing like crazy.

 

So instead of reading, I just went to sleep. I have discovered one disadvantage of my body pillow: it's warm. Waking up warm is one way I know it's time to take a walk, and I woke up warmer than usual any number of times during the night. 

 

The power came back on at 1:30, and I discovered that I hadn't turned off the bedside lamp, so that came on and confused Buster no end. However, it didn't bother me a lot. I set the clocks and went back to sleep.

 

I could hear the lake, but the wind didn't start rising until midnight. It has been in the 25-40 mph range from the north-northeast ever since. The temperature, which was still above freezing when I went to bed, plummeted to 21║, where it has been all day long. It has been snowing like mad.

 

I must say that I was less stiff because of the body pillow, but around 9:00 I felt like I had slept enough. When I came down to the south end, there was a little drift in front of the garage, nothing too big, except that it was right where I back out the car. There was probably 8" of snow on the deck. However, it was still snowing and blowing a gale.

 

I decided to cancel bible class today, and when I called Bonnie, she said that her husband (who is part of the maintenance crew in Copper Harbor) had called her to tell her not to go out - it was a mess in town. I had also talked to Ron, who decided to wait some more before he got onto the tractor.

 

Well! By the time he got here, in the middle of the afternoon, the drift in front of the garage went the whole way across, and it was 4' high. There was easily 12" of snow on the deck, and there are some amazingly carved drifts in front of the office slider. Ron's big problem with the snow is that it is so wet and heavy that it doesn't want to go through the chute of the snowblower, so he ended up having to use the blade to cut down the drift. When I opened the garage door, a whole bunch of snow fell in, even though the highest part of the drift was about a foot from the door. I grabbed the shovel, and Ron plowed, and we managed to get it cleaned out enough that I could close the door.

 

I have to say that not much more has drifted since he left, although it is still blowing as hard as it ever was. I think the snow is slowly abating, but it's still coming down pretty good. There is a report from Phoenix that says 18" fell by 9:00 this morning, with 20.5" in Lake Linden and 22" in Laurium by 6:00 tonight. Wow! And I just noticed that they have extended the blizzard warning until 8:00 tomorrow morning...another 12 hours.

 

Buster has been clingy all day, and I would attribute that to the noise of the wind, except that he's been acting that way lately. He gets very put out when I have to do something and can't have him on my lap.

 

I think the wind has shifted around to true north now, and it has banged hard into the house a couple of times lately. 

 

There have been a couple of power glitches, too, which is annoying. Every time that happens, even if it's not enough to bother the clocks or the phones, the broadband gets screwed up and I have to power fail it and reboot the PC. On the other hand, since the laptop has a battery, I haven't lost anything I was writing, which I would have on the desktop (which is still down). I really must consider getting a battery backup for the desktop.

 

So it has been a wild and hairy 32 hours, and it ain't over yet, in fact the wind seems stronger than it was.

 

It was still warm enough outside when the power went down last night that it didn't cool off much in the north end, and it was fine by morning, so I guess my heating problems are finally solved. I haven't been up there today, however, to see how it is now. The office was cold for most of the day, but it is a little room with lots of windows. I cranked up the heat, and it is now comfortable, so I think I will just leave it the way it is.

 

I actually did a few things today. I finally sorted out the magazines and got a big pile ready to file away and throw away. I spent the afternoon looking at roses on the internet. I still want a rose garden. I think I ordered some a few days ago, although I just realized that I don't think I ever got a confirmation of my order. Maybe it's on the other computer.

 

So I will try to do some reading tonight and hope the power holds up at least until I go to sleep. It's been fun to watch the snow pouring down and the wind whipping up clouds of snow all over the place, even though this is April, and it's what should have been happening in January. Spring in the Northwoods is so much fun!

April 3

Last  night, I was wakeful, because I was hot, except that early in the morning, I dreamed that I was cold, and when I woke up, my arm was outside the covers, and it was cold! Tonight should be better.

 

I had toyed with the idea of going to town today, but I was stiff and my back hurt this morning, and i didn't like the look of the weather forecast, so I didn't and it was just as well. About 1:30 it started snowing, big flakes floating lazily down on not much wind, but lots of flakes. For a while, around 6:30, it looked more like sleet, but now it is snow again. I would say that probably a couple of inches of wet, heavy snow have fallen this afternoon. The trees are beautiful, but they are being weighed down by the snow.

 

The temperature got up to 35║ around noon, and it has now dropped off to 33║. The wind was under 15 mph all day, and it has been under 10 mph for the afternoon...well, maybe. It is from the east-northeast, and the NWS station is somewhat sheltered on that side. I didn't notice much wind in the office, where it should have been apparent, although the temperature in here was around 66║ all day. 

 

They are claiming that the wind will shift around to the north and we may see 50 mph gusts overnight...we'll see. I can hear the lake, so it thinks something is happening.  This may test my repaired heating system, although the temperature isn't likely to get too low.

 

The computer didn't come up and the kitty didn't come out and I didn't do anything. Same old same old.

 

Actually, that's not quite true. I washed up the pots and pans from last night (and when is the last time I did that the day after cooking!?) and put some more stuff in the dishwasher. This morning, before I got dressed, I filled the pill dispensers and folded all the underwear. 

 

And I started the replacement gloves for the pair that got chewed by the moths last summer. The yarn I am using also got chewed by the moths, but only on the outside of the balls, so I there is enough for a pair of gloves. This pair will actually be more practical, since they are dark, a combination of dark red, browns, and olive greens (called "Geranium"). I do have enough of the other yarn to make a pair just like the destroyed pair, so I can do that, too. Unfortunately, I have to start with 28 rows of ribbing, which I hate to do, but the rest of the exercise of making gloves is kind of fun. I found my annotated directions, so I know how I made the last pair, which fit pretty well. Knitting on #1 needles is a two-edged sword: it takes a lot of rows to get anywhere, but it makes a good waiting room project. And gloves need a lot of markers and stitch holders and things like that, so I have to take my knitting tool box with me. It will be a nice change from socks and afghans.

 

I am distressed by the moths. The coat of many colors will need to be repaired, because I didn't have the completed half in a plastic bag. For all the years I have lived in northern climes, I have never had clothes moths before, and I don't know quite how to act. I do have two cedar closets, and I guess that is where I will have to  stash all my wool things.  Even the Yooper Bunny's hat, leg warmers and mittens have moth holes in them. I guess the answer is plastic bags and cedar, since I don't dare have mothballs around the cats.

 

Buster still wants to spend all his time sitting on me, for some reason I don't understand, so that happened, too.

 

Ron called to see if I needed to get out early tomorrow (HA!), but I think things are pretty quiet around here. Trevor is on his spring break, so they are "sleeping in"...getting up at 5:00 instead of 3:00, probably. Ron keeps as funny hours as I do, but a lot earlier.

 

Last night, even though it was very cloudy, was so bright I could almost see shadows. The Paschal Moon was full last night, and it was nice to see the light...in fact, I couldn't tell when twilight actually came. It did come early - we have just about 13 hours of daylight now, which is nice.

 

So I guess that is about all there is, and I can go up to the north end and read again tonight. Winter is back in the Northwoods tonight.

 

April 2

I slept better last night and felt better today, not that it mattered much. I didn't do much of anything again.  I read for quite a while, and the body pillow did its thing again. I felt rather good when I got up, although after sitting long enough to do my morning surfing I was stiff again. It seems lately the worst part is my ankles, which is sort of a new spot. However, I am pretty sure I have arthritis in almost every joint (except for maybe my elbows and knees), so something is usually hurting.

 

It was mostly an unprepossessing day again, cloudy and dark enough that I had to turn on the light in the closet to get dressed. However, in mid-afternoon, the sky cleared for a little while and we had some lovely sunshine. It didn't last long. The temperature got up to about 43║, and for a while this afternoon, the wind was in the 15-25 mph range, from the northwest

 

They are still saying we are going to have a winter storm tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday, but they keep changing the forecast, so we'll see. Sometimes they are right, but sometimes they are completely wrong.

 

I did dig around in the basement this afternoon for a while, but it was very discouraging. I didn't find most of what I was looking for, although I did find the pattern for my under-mitten gloves, so I can work on that. I was really looking for some yarn I would like to make a sweater out of , which I didn't find, and a little notebook where I have written the scripture passages that mean a lot to me. I only found three boxes marked "Sharon's bedroom", and the notebook wasn't in any of them. I know there was more than three boxes full of stuff in there, so I will have to dig some more. It seems like most of the boxes were stacked with the labels facing inward, and there is so much stuff in front of the plastic boxes I packed here that I can't get to all of them. I was hot and tired and discouraged before I took my glove pattern and my pork chops and hauled myself up the stairs again.

 

I did cook tonight, pork chops with onion and mushroom soup, and that tasted good, although I still have to put it away. 

 

I didn't see the new kitty at all today, and Buster wanted to sit on me all day long, so I don't know what is going on.

 

And that is all I know.

 

April 1

The body pillow is a success, I would say, although it is a pain to horse it around when I turn over in the middle of the night. For one thing, I can put it under my knees when I sit in bed to read, and it solves the problem of my knees and back getting so sore I have to get up. The way my knees went, they don't unbend completely, so I can't really sit with them out straight in front of me. At the same time, I have always had problems with my hips - even when I was a kid, if I sat the wrong way, one or the other would come out of joint, which is painful - and now it's getting even worse. So I was able to sit in bed and read for quite a while last night, and that was nice. My right hip did get a little bit uncomfortable when I was lying on it, but having the pillow to keep my right leg straight from the hip when I was lying on my left side made it much more comfortable altogether. I was awake and thrashing for a while during the night, but that wasn't the pillow's fault.

 

Buster doesn't like it, because it takes up a lot of the space he wants to lie in, but oh, well. He never stays with me long, and if he really wanted to sleep with me, he could have the whole end of the bed, like he used to when DC was around.

 

Apparently it started raining shortly before 2:00, and when I woke up around 3:30 it was coming down pretty good. So I went back to sleep. I actually was awake briefly around 7:15, but I didn't feel like I'd have enough sleep, so I went back to bed. No church today.

 

When I woke up around 9:30, there was no power! However, by that time, I had definitely been in bed long enough, so I got up and sat in the ugly chair and read until the power came back on at about 10:40.

 

By that time, it had stopped raining, but it was gray and dreary and foggy. There was a little bit of sunshine and almost blue skies in the middle of the afternoon - and the temperature briefly got up to 48║ - but it quickly went away, and now it is raining and 40-ish again. The wind was from the south, mostly in the 15-25 mph range.

 

There are dire predictions of a winter storm for Tuesday and Wednesday, so we'll see what happens to that. It could happen, or it could fizzle completely.

 

I didn't do much. The damp weather makes me extremely stiff and creaky, so I vegged, thinking about all the things I should be doing. Oh, well.

 

So I think I will go sit in bed again tonight and read some more.

 

It's April, and in a couple of weeks, I have to go to Detroit. Darn.

 

Last  updated 08/25/10 09:02 PM