A View From the Field

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May, 2007

 

May 31

So today was the day. I got up around 9:00, but after doing everything I usually do in the morning, and cleaning out the car, it was after noon when I finally left, via the post office.

 

It was another horrible, hot, humid morning, and the temperature was in the 70s for most of the day, and it got up to 78 when I got to Wal-Mart. Yuck.

 

Of course, I had to walk all around the store and around several shelves a couple of times before I got everything I needed, including both some wire or some rope to fix the bird feeders without drilling holes. I will probably use the rope on the big wooden feeder, and I need the wire to try to put the mesh feeder back together. I got lots of kitty litter (which I really needed) and some more regular birdseed, although I'm not sure how many birds there are around that really eat that now.

 

I didn't sit and recover long enough before I went to Econo, so halfway around the store, I had to sit down a while. I met Bonnie and her husband, and from what she said, I was really red in the face. I never used to get like that until the chemo, and I still hate it. It wasn't surprising that I looked hot, because I felt like I was about to come to a boil.

 

I laid in a goodly supply of TV dinners and veggies, and the first nectarines of the season, which I haven't tried yet. They also had apricots, but I'm not sure how good they will be, since they didn't seem too ripe. I didn't buy any meat, except for lunchmeat, because I have plenty of that stuff in the freezer. I must have been really thirsty by the time I got to the beverage aisle, because I came home with a whole lot of those flavored waters that are out now. I find I am more likely to drink that than plain water, and I do need fluid.

 

When I got out of Econo, it had rained lightly, and the temperature had dropped into the 60s, which only made it more humid than ever, but the cool breeze was most welcome while I got gas - $3.46. Fortunately, I only needed about half a tank. With prices that high, I really fear for the summer here. They were saying on one of my radio programs tonight that they think Wal-Mart has suffered because of the high gas prices. Not that I care about them, but it does indicate that there are effects which may impact Copper Harbor.

 

There was a huge lineup at the bridge, but it moved fast, and there was quite a bit of traffic up to Mohawk. I took Cliff Drive and got around all of that, and I didn't have another car going my way all the way to Copper Harbor. It was kind of interesting - the temperature was about 73 up by the Mountain Lodge, but it dropped to 55 at the bottom of the hill. Blessed lake!

 

Of course the humidity hasn't gone away, and as the temperature has dropped off, that has meant pea soup fog in the harbor. Anybody looking for a nice view tonight won't find it here. At 9:00, the temperature was 49 and the dew point was 48. Really drippy. I think, though, that I can close the porch doors tonight and sleep under the comforter.

 

That reminds me, it was an active night in the field. Jasmine was wandering around for most of the night, apparently, and Buster kept chasing her, but for a while, I could hear her running up and down the halls mewing. She has a strange, squeaky little mew and it really sounded funny.

 

About 6:30, I woke up to take a walk, and she was right by the nightstand - I wonder where she was going? I put my legs over the side of the bed (it is high enough that I can't get my feet on the floor when I am sitting on it), and she almost got close enough to smell my foot. Then she ran off mewing. What a strange little kitty!

 

Oh, yes, and I took a sample of the wood stain to the glass company. One side of one window (there are 5) was the right color, and all the others were lighter. I do not know what they did (or didn't do) to that stain, but at least they now have a sample of what it should look like. They were going to try to excuse it because of the wood, until I said, hey, all the other windows in the house were stained with the same stain and they all came out the right color. Don't try to give me that garbage. Well, I didn't say exactly that, because I was trying to be polite, but I think the guy got the idea.

 

So that was my day, and I am sticky and yucky and tired and sore. I didn't get any leg cramps, but I got a ferocious cramp in my hand after I brought in the first load of stuff. This is not my favorite kind of weather, for sure. So I will close up the porch and take a nice soothing shower and crash.

 

It's a misty, moisty, foggy night in the field tonight.

 

May 30

Well, I didn't make it to town. I got to bed by 11:30, but I didn't get up until almost 10:00, and by the time I finished doing my thing, it was much too late. Tomorrow, for sure.

 

However, I am having my usual problem with the late sunsets of early summer. It is 9:50 and still relatively light (civil twilight doesn't end until 10:15), and I should be going to bed. Oh, well.

 

Tomorrow, for sure. I am running out of important things, like JD.

 

Besides all that, it was the kind of weather I really hate - warm and humid. However, it was a really strange day. The temperature rose steadily from 63 at 4:00 am to 78 at noon (with a dew point of 62), then it abruptly dropped off to 61, and it stayed around 60 for the rest of the afternoon, while it got more and more humid. Around 1:00, when I thought about leaving, it started to thunder, but there was no rain or anything. There was a rather violent thunderstorm that tracked from Houghton toward Calumet and knocked the broadband off the air for a while, but it petered out before it got here. Right now, it is 55 with a dew point of 50, which is 80% humidity, and that's too wet. Bah!

 

So I did nothing at all, because that was what I felt like doing. 

 

It is supposed to be a bit cooler tomorrow, although rainy, and maybe I can get up a bit earlier so I can get out of here at a reasonable time.

 

And that is all I have to report. Now, if I can get this thing to upload for a change...

 

May 29

It was after 1:00 when I got to bed this morning, due in part to when I left the office and that I spent some time staring at the floor in the bathroom. I think sometimes I do that to clear the junk of the day out of my mind, but sometimes it takes a while. 

 

It didn't help that I was just ready to take my bath when I remembered that I forgot to bring in the bird feeders. So I got on a robe and slippers and came down to the office, and when I turned on the light...there, wound around the tube feeder, was my big raccoon! It had already chewed off two of the bee guards from the hummingbird feeder and drunk all the nectar. So I chased it away and brought everything in. 

 

So I finally got to bed, but I had some of my usual troubles sleeping. I had really intended to go to town today, but even though I got up relatively early, I just didn't feel like it, so I didn't go. Tomorrow, for sure. I have lists of lists of stuff I need to get, at Wal-Mart and Econo, and I do need to check in with Keweenaw Glass.

 

Nothing but the hummingbird feeder got put out today, because all the other feeders are empty and so are my pails of seed, and I just didn't feel like getting into that, either.

 

A real blah day.

 

Part of the trouble was that it was quite warm and very humid - the kind of weather I hate most of all. The temperature was already 68 when I got to the office, and it topped out at 76 late in the afternoon, with not much wind from the southwest. Between 11:00 and 1:00 we had some rain, but no thunder, and between 8:00 and 9:00, a fast-moving rain cell came up from Houghton (where it zapped one of the broadband relays for a while) and gave us another bit of rain. That is now out over the lake, but there may be more on the way. We do need the rain, but how I hate this kind of weather!

 

So I was groggy and tired and didn't do a single thing. So there.

 

Now the wind is picking up again, and there are some storm cells south of the peninsula, but if radar is right, there isn't anything around here. So I don't know what the wind is from. If it's going to be like this, the least it can do is rain.

 

It is supposed to be a warm night tonight, so I will leave the porch door open, which I am sure will delight Jasmine.

 

She seems to appear around 8:00 to have dinner (which I must remember), and I inadvertently chased her again tonight. We are in a holding pattern on that front.

 

So that is about all I know, and I will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight so I can do what I need to do tomorrow.

 

May 28

Well, I certainly will be later tonight than I was last night, but oh, well. I slept fairly well, although I did have a wakeful period in the middle of the night when everything hurt. It didn't last too long, though.

 

It was cloudy for most of the night, but about 3:45 I saw the moon wedged between the Mountain Lodge and the clouds. It was so strange looking that I even put on my glasses for a moment to see it, but there wasn't a lot to see, just a chunk of yellow moon. Tonight, it was peeking through the clouds out the south window for a while.

 

When I got up this morning, it was perfectly clear, and it was beautiful. It was a nice day, with not too much wind and a few clouds, which got more so by sunset. The temperature got up to around 60 for a while, and there was a light breeze mostly from the southwest. Nice. So at least we had one good day for our holiday weekend.

 

I didn't do much, but I did put the rest of my chicken and noodles in the freezer and I loaded the dishwasher to run tonight, after I put my dinner dishes in it. I toyed with the idea of cooking, but decided on a steak instead. Oh, yes, and I stored away all the cat food I brought back from Detroit. That should last us a while, although with two mouths to feed, one of them growing, it won't last as long as it used to.

 

Unfortunately, I had to disturb Jasmine as she was having some dinner tonight, but she appeared around 9:00, and I was getting hungry myself. She came back later for a while. She seems to have appropriated the kitty condo as her scratching post, which is just fine with me. I suppose eventually there will be an argument about who gets to sit on top of it, but so far she is too skittish for that. Although tonight she was running away with straight legs rather than crouched down, which is a good sign.

 

So that was my day, and I do need to bathe tonight, so I will be late to bed. Oh, well.

 

May 27

I had a lousy night last night. When I woke up the first time, I was having a gall bladder attack, mild, but painful enough that I couldn't get back to sleep for a while. Eventually I discovered that if I sat up or laid on my right side, I was fine, but if I laid on my back or my left side, I was in pain. So apparently my gallstone was sloshing around inside. I did finally get back to sleep, and by morning, I could lie on my left side again, but I was wakeful for long enough that I slept in.

 

When I left the office last night, Jasmine ran up the stairs to the loft, and while I was putting out her dinner, she was crouching between the rails looking down at me, and she blinked at me, which I take to be a good sign. She was in and out of the bedroom all night, too, because every time I woke up, I could hear her jump off the window seat. One time, she woke Buster up, too, and he chased her, but she hissed at him. Eventually, she apparently ended up in the closet on one of the bottom shelves, where I suppose she slept. When she got up, she pushed one of the sweatshirts on the floor. Uh-huh. All my cats have liked those shelves. At least she will be smelling my scent and she'll get used to it.

 

When I came in just now, she was coming out of the cat hole into the basement, and she turned around and went back down. I figured that by now she had cased the whole joint, and I was right. Now I wonder why she is still using the tray in the cage, except that it is cleaner than the ones downstairs. It also means, of course, that if I had to find her, I couldn't. There are a lot of hidey-holes downstairs.

 

Anyway, she is getting around a bit, and getting used to us. If Buster will only come around, things will be better. Patience.

 

It was a lousy day for a holiday weekend. The temperature got up to about 53, with a 15-25 mph wind mostly from the northwest, and it was cloudy and damp. Yuck. Not good for the arthritis at all. When I went out to dinner, there was a very little drizzle coming down. Yuck.

 

Dinner was very nice. I had invited Mac and his wife and Ron and Trevor to Harbor Haus, to thank them for all their efforts over the winter, and we had a good time. They are nice people. Trevor was kind of bored, but then, he wasn't about to turn down a good meal. And I can report that Harbor Haus is as good as ever, although I do think their prices have gone up a bit. Not surprising, with the cost of food and fuel going up.

 

I turned the heel on my sock today, and I am now starting on the foot. I couldn't do much last night while I was reading because my left hand kept cramping up, but it was fine today. I also dug out my notebook of knitting patterns and checked the length of the foot, so now I can get at that.

 

Wow! I just noticed something move out the south windows, and when I looked, an eagle circled around the open spot between me and my neighbor to the south...that's about as close as I've ever seen him (or her). So our eagles are in residence, and that's good to know.

 

So that was my day, and I'm off to the north end to knit and read again. That's about all a day like today is good for.

 

May 26

I read for a while and watched Venus before I went to sleep, but I was wakeful achy in the middle of the night, so I really didn't get enough sleep. I did get up at a reasonable hour this morning, but Adam didn't come. Sometimes I wonder...

 

I didn't do a lot except to put away the pots and pans I washed yesterday, and tonight I brought in the crate of cat food I got when I was in Detroit. I felt pretty blah again, so I just sat, wrote a bunch of checks, and went to the post office, where there were more bills, of course, but some magazines and catalogs, too.

 

The weather was so-so. It started out partly cloudy this morning, but it clouded up later in the day. The temperature was mostly in the high 50s, with a moderate wind from the south or southwest. There are some showers around us, but they look like they are going to slide under the peninsula this time, darn it.

 

Just now, as I was sitting here, and Buster was on the counter under the east windows, Jasmine came in and jumped up to look out the window and smell the fresh air. She looked at me with what I think was a rather longing expression, and Buster got up and chased her away. I have had some suspicions that part of his problem is that he is afraid that the new kitty will usurp his position, since the last time there was another cat, he was second cat. I don't know how to assure him that isn't so, and it really makes me mad, now that Jasmine is beginning to come out a bit, that he will go after her. I guess we will just have to wait it out and hope she comes around and he gets used to it. I would dearly love to pet her and hear her purr. One of these days...

 

So even though it is early, I am going to fetch in the bird feeders and toddle up to the north end. I need to bathe, and then I think I will sit and read again for a while. That seems to be a good way to end another lost day.

 

May 25

Treating Jasmine like a wild animal may just be working. I was sitting in the dark last night, having just (manually) updated the journal, when I looked out into the great room and there she was, walking toward the office. I said something and she stopped and crouched for a few seconds, then she sat up and sort of stretched her neck and went over to the kitty condo and made as to scratch on it, or jump up on it. I didn't want to stay there all night, and when I got up, she ran down the hall - not under the couch. Well!

 

I decided I had to cut my bangs, and unfortunately, I cut them a little bit short and a little bit uneven, so they don't look all that good, but I guess they'll grow. They were certainly too long, but I will have to be a little more careful the next time.

 

The wind howled and banged all night long, and I think the NWS station was completely wrong on the wind speed. I would put it in the 25-40 mph range all night and most of the day. The lake was setting up a good roar, too, but the wind was so noisy I had to be sitting right by the window to hear it.

 

Maybe that was part of the reason I didn't sleep very well, but mostly it was that after I woke up for the first time, I hurt enough that I couldn't find a comfortable way to lie, so I was wakeful for several hours. It didn't help that Buster bedded down right beside my head. I am a bit concerned about him. He is even more clingy than usual lately.

 

Anyway, finally I did get back to sleep. I woke up about 8:15 and had to walk, but I was sitting on the side of the bed when I looked up, and there was Jasmine, in the hall between the closet and the porch doors. She had stopped, and she was staring at something, heaven knows what, in the other direction, and it was a few seconds before she realized I was looking at her. She looked back. I don't know what might have happened then, because Buster came out of the bathroom to see why I wasn't going in, and when he saw her, she ran off. This time, it was daylight.

 

So I guess she is beginning to feel a little more comfortable in this place, because she is prowling around. I will just have to remember to sit quietly and not say anything or make any moves until she feels comfortable around me...just like if I was trying to tame a raccoon or a deer. I didn't know I was getting a wild animal when I took her in.

 

Even though I got up late, I didn't do anything except wash up the pots and pans and clean Jasmine's tray. I just felt rather puny today.

 

It was a beautiful day, in spite of the wind. I saw the moon set this morning, but evidently there were some high cirrus clouds, because I didn't see any stars. It was a gorgeous morning, and I'm sorry the camera didn't upload any of it. Right before I went to bed last night, there was a power glitch...nothing saw it but the microwave and the broadband (well...I don't know if the computer rebooted). So while the camera was taking pictures all morning, it couldn't upload them until I power failed the broadband receiver.

 

Anyway, the skies were clear this morning, and while there were some clouds later in the day, there was plenty of sunshine. With the high winds from the northwest, the temperature was in the low 50s for most of the day. It has gotten up to 58 now, but the wind has died down.

 

There weren't many people in town tonight, I'm sorry to say, and all I can hope is that tomorrow is better. Lydia is graduating tonight, so all the Kauppis are down in Calumet at her exercises.

 

The only amusing thing about the evening was that while I was waiting for my dinner, Chris Waara and someone else dashed out of Mariner with several boxes of takeout...they are getting Harbor Haus ready to open tomorrow, but they got their dinner from Mariner. For all his training and the way he runs his own kitchen, Ron is in no way a food snob, and I suppose it was a lot easier just to get takeout than to try to cook something there. I got a good chuckle out of it.

 

So now after I see if I can get this thing to upload properly tonight, I think I will go and sit in bed and read for a while. I have to be up fairly early tomorrow, because I think Adam is coming to do the spring chores.

 

May 24

I was going to sit in bed and read last night, but I was so sticky and icky - and it was so warm and muggy - that I ended up taking a bath anyway. It was hard to get dry, but at least it was clean water and not dirty water.

 

It rained nicely between midnight and 4:00, not a lot, according to the NWS station (that I don't completely trust), but a nice steady rain.

 

I had the porch door open all night, and Jasmine went out there again, although she beat it when Buster heard her and went to see what she was doing. For most of the night, I slept under just the sheet blanket, although it did get below 60 early in the morning, so I pulled up the quilt - or I tried to. By that time Buster had made himself a nice little nest down by my feet, and he was in no mood to move.

 

It was a very humid day, but not quite so warm as yesterday. The NWS station reported it got up to 74 briefly, but since the next hours' readings were 62, 71, and 65, I really don't believe it. Let's say, upper 60s, with a dew point around 60, so it was very humid all day. It was cloudy, too. For most of the day, there was no wind to speak of.

 

About 5:30 the rain moved in, with high winds, but no thunder, and we got nearly a quarter inch of rain before it dissipated. Now it isn't raining, but there are fairly high winds and it's cooling down nicely. I think I will be able to close the door tonight. It is still very humid, but it is supposed to be better tomorrow.

 

I did nothing. I felt groggy and sleepy all day. I think I brought at least one black fly into the bedroom with me. Around 6:00 this morning, I discovered I had a bite on my chin, which I treated, and by the time I made it to the office, I had another one below it on my neck and two on the front of my chest. I have been horribly itchy all day. Tonight I will treat everything with Adolph's and hope they don't keep me awake. And I am not going to wear bug dope to bed!

 

Kirk came to get paid this afternoon, and we had a nice conversation while watching the storms move in. He is addicted to hiking around the Keweenaw, and we had some observations to share, so that was nice. I think his mother may be the lady who had the Copper Harbor Mercantile last year, which got foreclosed on (but I'm not sure, because I didn't pursue that conversation). 

 

So now I will take my itches up to the north end and maybe read for a while again. Jasmine will be disappointed that the door is closed tonight, but I don't think she would like the wind very well. It would probably blow her away.

 

May 23

It was brought to my attention that today is the anniversary both of my mother's death and my move into this house. And that's only one of the interesting things that happened in an interesting day.

 

It was warm in the house last night, so I left the porch door to my bedroom open a bit, and that helped a lot. At around 3:00, I woke up and took a walk, and when I looked out the window, although I couldn't see any stars, there was a sort of glow behind the trees to the north. It wasn't there an hour later, so I guess there was a little light show.

 

While I was sitting there, Buster, who had taken up his summer sleeping spot in the bathroom, suddenly got up and went off...and then there was the patter of little feet on the porch, a large "Hiss!" and more patter of feet through the kitchen. Jasmine had been out on the porch, and not very near the door. I sort of figured she would be, since she seemed to like the open door in the office pretty well. Then Buster said "Mrow!" loudly, as if to say "what the &*$# &% is she about?" Poor Buster. She has him completely flummoxed.

 

When I got to the office this morning, I discovered that I had forgotten to turn off the lights last night, so the first couple of pictures this morning show the inside of the office pretty well. Oh, well.

 

I was sitting around about 11:30 when Kirk showed up, and he finished off the rose bed and apparently took down the tree. I think I will see him again, because I didn't pay him.

 

He reported that he saw two piles of bear scat on the road, which I also saw later. So I guess I have been blaming the wrong critter for my bird feeder woes. Figures. The damage they did to the mesh feeder and its hanger really needed something stronger than a coon. And we have a bear. Much as they are a nuisance, I am really glad to hear that. It wouldn't be nearly such a fun place without any bears.

 

It was a warm, humid morning and a warm, humid day. I went out to take a picture of the beach (which is still in the camera), and since I elected not to use my bug dope, of course I got a bite, right over my left eyebrow. Kirk had his bug shirt on. He has some kind of electronic device which is supposed to ward off the bugs, but it doesn't seem to work. If I were him, I'd send it back and get my money back.

 

Anyway, then it was off to Carolyn's for the last meeting of the spring. There were only a handful of us, although a few ladies came and went. It was nice, because we got to have some more in depth conversations than usual, and everybody could usually listen to whoever was talking. 

 

When I got home, the official temperature was 81. That is just too hot for any time of year, and especially for late May! It was horrible in the house, so I opened things up. In fact, it was so horrible that the computer overheated a bit. It cooled down when I turned on the ceiling fan and opened one of the east windows. There was a breeze, however, and that helped some.

 

By 5:00 the official temperature was 66 with a light breeze from the northeast, but then it went  calm. And then, about 9:00, a small line of thunderstorms came by. We are getting some rain, thankfully, and the thunder has moved off to Keweenaw Point, but now it is yucky humid. 

 

Thank heaven for small favors - we are getting some rain!

 

After thinking about Jasmine's behavior, I have realized that she isn't a timid little kitty - she is a wild cat. She just doesn't trust anybody, human or cat. At least she is getting a little more comfortable with the house, and when the porch is open I expect she will be there at night. I hope she doesn't realize she could tear the screens. Feral cats can be tamed, especially when they are as young as she is, but it is going to be a long haul.

 

Well, the thunder is gone, and I see that I brought in a nice big mosquito when I fetched in the bird feeders. So that was my day, and although it's early, I think I will toddle up to the north end and maybe read a while. I think it is still raining, and there is a chance that the big area of storms to our southwest may get here, too.

 

May 22

What a beautiful summer day it was! Unfortunately, it's too early for this kind of weather, but oh, well. I enjoyed it just the same.

 

I was late getting to bed last  night, but I guess I have to say I slept just about as well as I have been lately. I had some interesting dreams, including one I have had before. I still marvel at the paths my mind takes when I'm asleep. There were a few stars during the night, but most of the time it was apparently cloudy. It was cloudy at sunrise, apparently, but it cleared up as the morning went along, and there was a lot of sunshine during the day.

 

The temperature topped out at 75, with a nice southwest breeze, and it was just lovely, until I started cooking. I opened up the sliders and the porch doors, so we got some nice fresh air in the house. 

 

I didn't go out. I had some ideas, but I really didn't feel all that good, so I did the usual nothing. I did spend some time surfing some rose sellers, and I have a list of over 50 roses I would like to have in my garden - many too many for the size of the bed. I will have to peruse the lists and decide what I really want this year. Stacy suggested anchoring my bank with thyme, which I think is a lovely idea, so I will have to research that, too. And maybe I can get a few more perennials for that bed. In the summer, when they begin to put the bulbs on sale, I really do intend to get a fairly large number of daffodils, plus maybe a few crocuses and hyacinths, to plant for next year. I really do love daffodils. Yes, there are a few flowers I don't care too much for, but not many.

 

Tonight was the night to make my chicken and noodles, and it turned out just as good as ever. This is the first time I used a red pepper rather than a green one, and it does taste good, as well as turning the sauce a nice pinkish shade. I had the usual problems with cooking when the house is open. When the great room slider is open and there is a breeze, I have a terrible time getting water to boil, even on my high-output burner. Finally, I closed the slider and turned on the exhaust fan, and that worked, except that when I brought it back to a boil with the noodles in it, it boiled over and put out the flame, which I didn't discover for a while. So I cooked the noodles by taste rather than time. I know that my big glass baking dish is the size they call for, but the mixture fills it up to the very top, so of course it ran over in the oven. My oven needs cleaning anyway, but I will have to wipe up the bottom before I clean it. It is a real mess, and that stuff doesn't ever completely come off during the cleaning.

 

So now I have several dirty pots and pans and a mess on the stove (I think I've mentioned that I am a very messy cook), but I have enough good stuff to eat for the week and put away in the freezer for the future. When I had my cold, it sure was nice to be able to pull out a container of chicken and noodles. Comfort food, for sure.

 

While I'm doing comfort food, I should make another batch of chili stew. Apparently I cooked the macaroni right this time, and when I reheated the container I froze, it wasn't mushy at all. So I need to try that again. There are so many times when I don't feel like cooking anything new. I have a lot of broccoli in the fridge, too, so I should do some broccoli cheese chicken - if I have any broccoli cheese soup.

 

I have pretty much decided not to go to town this week, although I could go Thursday, but in any case, I will have to go next week. I have orange juice, but I am really running out of other things to eat, especially for breakfast, and there are some vital things I forgot the last time that I really need to get.

 

For the time, I enjoyed the lovely weather and vegged. And now I'm tired again, and I need to go to bed, after I bring in the bird feeders and put my good food away.

 

May 21

After 11 hours or more of sleep, I did feel better, but I am still stiff and achy all over.

 

Between my late arising and my aches and pains, I didn't do anything today except go to the post office. I was going to cook, but I just didn't feel up to it.

 

It was a sort of blah day. It was clear last night, at least until the moon got over the lighthouse, when it looked kind of fuzzy (without my glasses, of course). By morning, it was cloudy (I just noticed that it is time to reset the timeframe for the camera), and sometime during the morning, somebody threw a handful of raindrops at the window. South of us, there were some nice thunderstorms, it looked like. Drat. We need rain too!

 

The temperature bottomed out at around midnight, at 33, and it rose steadily to about 50 at 3:00 before it dropped back into the mid-40s. There was a strong wind, in the 15-30 mph range from the southwest, for most of the afternoon. It calmed down about sunset, but it has now picked up again. It didn't get nearly as warm as all the forecasts said. Sometimes I wonder about those guys.

 

I discovered this morning that my suspicions were confirmed, and I have a nicely sunburned face. Not enough to peel, but I look even a bit more red in the face than usual. I figured that would happen, because I never even thought about sunscreen until I had been outside for four hours or more, and by then it was too late. When I was young and oilier, I would do that on purpose, to dry out my skin, but I don't need it anymore. I will have to try to be more careful next time.

 

So that sums up my day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

 

May 20

I am going to write this while I finish my chili stew, and then I'm off to bed, even though I will have to bring in the bird feeders really early.

 

I was sitting around this morning, wondering what to do today when Kirk (I think that's the spelling), whom Stacy got to help me with the garden, called to say he wanted to work this afternoon. So of course, I said, fine.

 

Well. The perennial bed is now in beautiful shape, no weeds and nicely bordered with rocks from my extended beach, and about half of the rose bed is cleared. I did everything I could: I did a lot of the actual weed pulling in the perennial bed, while he broke up the weeds and dirt with the shovel. The grass seed they sowed is the kind that builds deep, hard mats, and since everything they sowed on the slope down to the bed ended up in it, there was a lot of shoveling to do. I was surprised that, even though it rained yesterday, the soil was essentially dry, even more so as the afternoon wore on.

 

Anyway, when I got down to the juniper at the end of the bed, I realized I wasn't good for much more, and after trying a couple of ways to get back on my feet (I was sitting on the ground - my little scooter is worth nothing), I ended up having to scooch all the way back to the deck stairs on my seat. That must have taken me nearly an hour, since it isn't the easiest method of locomotion. Anyway, I finally made it, and got up...part of my problem was that every time I exerted any force, I wet my pants, so I was a mess by the time I finally could get onto my feet.

 

Kirk kept on, and after I showed him where to dig, he did a good portion of the rose bed. I actually have two teensy little roses, of all the ones I planted. This time, when I plant them, I will lay the drip hose and make sure they get their inch of water a week...if I can get the hose into the lake set up. I have not heard from Adam.

 

I am so stiff and sore I can hardly move at all, so I think it will be an early night, after a nice hot shower, tonight.

 

It was actually a wonderful day to do that kind of heavy labor. While the official temperature didn't get much above 40, and if you sat in it, the breeze was chilly, the wind was light and from the east, mostly, so the garden was sheltered as usual, and I think it probably got over 50 there. It was warm enough that I just had on a sweatshirt, but it was cool enough that I didn't sweat a lot. The skies were blue, there weren't any bugs, and it was wonderful.

 

I actually haven't spent a lot of time really out of doors since I've been living here, I'm ashamed to say. I really must do more. Even having all the doors and windows open isn't like being out in it.

 

Eventually I had to come in and change my wet pants and just sit for a while - I read a few of the magazines that are piling up - but I did enjoy my day.

 

A highlight of the afternoon was the little chipmunks, who kept running back and forth between the junipers and the deck. They weren't much bigger than mice, and they were extremely tame. One even managed to hang down and take a drink out of the pond, which isn't completely full. We both watched that, just in case it fell in.

 

There was as much activity under the deck as on it, I think. When I spread seed on the deck, quite a bit of it falls through the cracks onto the ground underneath, and the more timid critters tend to eat there, apparently. Although I must say, when I came in, almost all the seed I had put on the deck was gone. Good. The coons won't get much tonight.

 

I was happy to see the perennials that have survived - three poppies, three peonies, and some undefined number of iris (between 3 and 5 - I can't tell) - are all doing well. I checked how deeply the iris and peonies were buried, and there is no apparent reason why they all shouldn't be blooming, since their depths are right. I guess I will dig out the fertilizer and give them all a shot and see if that helps. The poppies look to be in great shape, even though they were pretty buried in quack grass. However, when everything was cleared out, I began to realize that that is a bigger bed than I thought, and I really need to get on the stick and get some more stuff planted. My little phlox and columbines won't do much. Tomorrow...

 

So that was my physical day. My back, my arms and my hands are stiff and sore and my legs are so weak I can hardly stand up. It's time to put the ole' bod into bed, for sure!

 

The feeders will have to come in before sunset, although I do have to load and start the dishwasher. Then I can go. But I do feel I accomplished something today, thanks to Kirk.

 

May 19

It turned out to be a very late night last night. FrontPage decided that was the night to copy all the image files up to the website - don't ask me why - at the same time the weekly virus scan started, so I had to wait until the copy completed so that I could resume the virus scan. Bah!

 

Anyway, when I went to bed, the temperature was still over 60 with light winds. Between 5:00 and 7:00 this morning (not that I noticed), the temperature dropped from 60 to 40, and the wind shifted around to the north and began to rise. The lake was roaring pretty good when I got up, finally, and it has set up a howl all day long. The wind is almost out of the east, in the 15-30 mph range, and the temperature bottomed out at 34 before it rose a couple of degrees. We also had intermittent drizzle and light rain. Not a nice day at all.

 

I did sleep pretty well, which I usually do when I am that tired.

 

When I got to the office this morning, the feeder on the deck was nowhere to be seen, and I finally located it under the deck. Every last seed was gone from the deck. Damn coons. I talked to Cindy tonight, and she has a live trap, but I'm not sure I want to get into that. I know if I consult the DNR, they will just say, stop feeding the birds.

 

Well, I won't do that, so I guess I will have to cope. I wish there was some way to discourage them. I may try to find my pepper spray and try that on the seed, although it will also discourage the squirrels and probably the chipmunks, whom I don't mind feeding.

 

Ah, the joys of living in the northwoods!

 

As it turns out, until maybe five to seven years ago, there weren't any coons north of the lift bridge, but I suppose they either walked across the bridge or swam the Portage canal about that time, and they have moved in with a vengeance.  At least they seem to hibernate in the winter.

 

Anyway, with such a late start this morning, I didn't do much of anything but a little web surfing - trying to see what there is out there in bookcases. I guess I am stuck with bricks and boards for my bookshelves, because anything pre-made would cost a couple thousand dollars at least. Remember, I need something like 300 board feet of bookshelves. This is the collection of a lifetime, after all.

 

I ate at Mariner tonight, and had a nice long conversation with Peggy, who is such a nice person, and Cindy and Mary came in, along with Nikki and Lydia, too. So it was a nice social evening. The new is that Mary is quitting her job in town and is going to help Cindy with King Copper. I am so glad to hear that. It really is too big a job for one person (unless your name is Shirley). 

 

And Lydia is graduating from high school next week. I am invited to her party, which will be the week after, and I suppose I shall have to go, at least for a while. It still seems strange that I have gotten grafted onto the Kauppi family.

 

So now it is time to fetch in the bird feeders, and I might just try to sit in bed and knit and read for a while tonight. It seems like a good night to do that, with the lake roaring and the wind banging around.

 

May 18

I spent too much time staring at the floor in the bathroom, so I got to bed late, and it wasn't a very good night. It occurred to me this morning that maybe the cure for my left arm is the heating pad, so I will try that tonight.

 

I was up and attem before 9:00, because the glass company said somebody would be here at 9:30. Well...along about 11:30 he ambled in.

 

And when he took the first window out of the truck, I discovered that evidently the stain I got for them is the wrong thing, because the windows were all so light it was hard to tell they had been stained at all. Arrggghhh!!! So I sent him off with an empty bucket of the right stain, the wrong stain and all the windows, and I called both the glass company and Sherwin-Williams. Sherwin-Williams maintains they only make one kind of "Pecan" stain, and that is what I got. So I guess I will have to wait until the guy from the glass company goes to the paint store to find out what the real story is. It did occur to me to wonder if maybe they didn't stir the stain? I don't know. Anyway, the varnish has to be stripped off all five windows, they have to be restained and revarnished, and it is going to cost me, I'm sure. What a pain.

 

It was interesting to me that the people at Sherwin-Williams had my receipt online so they could refer to it, even though it was October 2005 when I bought the stuff. It makes sense, because people might frequently want more of something they got a while ago, but it is a little eerie.

 

So after that, I did not much. I worked on the bracelet for a little while, but mostly I diddled.

 

When I went to look at the sky last night, it was cloudy, but by the time I got to bed and Venus was setting, it was completely clear...of course. Why should I expect anything else?

 

It was a beautifully clear morning, but it began to cloud somewhat pretty soon, and the afternoon was cloudy and warm. The temperature briefly got to 66 around 11:00, then it fell back into the upper 50s, but there was no wind, so it was really very nice, if a little humid and very buggy.

 

Buster and I were in the bathroom when I heard something go crash at the south end, and I blamed it on Jasmine. Poor kitty, it wasn't her. It seems the coons were back, and they threw the shepherd's crook I use for the hummingbird feeder onto the deck and pushed the deck feeder almost around the corner, while they ate nearly every seed in sight. Damn coons. So tonight, I took in the shepherd's crook, although I did leave the feeder on the deck. That is too messy to bring in.

 

I can report that I saw the first hummingbird, although I don't think he was the first one here. It was a male, and he is soooo pretty. I'm sure he is the vanguard of many more to come.

 

While I was waiting for the glass man, I glanced out the window to see a pair of blue jays copulating in the spruce tree. I have to say that looks like a very ungainly way to do it.

 

This evening after dinner, I sat in the ugly chair and did some more embroidery and watched the birds. There were at least a half dozen blue jays monopolizing the deck, with all the little birds and the squirrels sort of hanging around the edges. Blue jays seem rather greedy. 

 

There were the usual chipping sparrows, and I have noticed that in the spring, when they are mating, the chestnut patch on top of their heads stands up almost like a little crest. I think maybe that's only the males, but if you can tell the sex of chipping sparrows, you're better at it than I am.

 

Anyway, there was also a white crowned sparrow, and what turned out to be a female rose-breasted grosbeak. I have seen her before, but in the platform feeder, and I hadn't gotten a good look at her head-on before. I have to believe that where she is, so is he, but he is so spectacular that he is a bit shy around the feeders. I really ought to try to get that hanger out of the tree and put back together so that I can hang the platform feeder. Of course, there are a few other things I really ought to do, too...

 

I was sitting in the dark, embroidering by the light of my daylight floor lamp, when there was a real breakthrough on the kitty front. I looked up as Jasmine came into the room and stuck her head out the crack in the slider! I spoke to her and she turned around and stared at me and ran off, but she actually came around while I was here. Amazing, but I guess it means my instinct in handling her is right. She still doesn't trust me, of course, but she does seem to be getting used to being here.

 

I am happy to report that she looks pretty good. She did not get fat while she was in the cage. In fact, she looks slim and fit, amazingly enough, although she still has her adolescent big ears and big feet. She won't ever be a big cat, I think, but she isn't going to be teensy, either. Probably about Buster's size (10 lb), unless she grows a lot in the next couple of years. My experience has been that cats don't get to their full size until they're about 3 years old.

 

Now, she may go back under the couch for the next two weeks, but maybe not. As she starts to roam around the house, maybe I can begin to coax her closer to me and start to try to pet her. I said this was going to be a long-term thing.

 

When I went out to fetch in the feeders, I could see Venus through a break in the clouds, and for a moment or two, I saw the thin crescent moon below her. Of course, Mercury was behind a cloud bank. However, this apparition of Mercury will last until early June, so I can keep looking any time the northwestern sky is clear...it was just that the conjunction last night should have been really pretty, and it was also a very easy way to make sure I knew what I was seeing. Oh, well. I will continue to try.

 

The conjunction of Venus and the moon tomorrow night should be very pretty as well, but it is supposed to be cloudy and possibly rainy tomorrow. We shall see.

 

So that was my day, and it's time to toddle off to the north end.

 

May 17

It was not a good night. I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie and it was warm in the bedroom, but not warm enough to throw off all the covers. A couple of times Buster came by and made a nuisance of himself. So even though it is early, I will do this, then sit in the ugly chair until half an hour after sunset and see if I can see Mercury from here. I don't feel like going up to the top of Brockway and having to come back down in the dark. If I'm going to see these conjunctions, between the moon and Mercury and Venus, it's going to have to be tonight. We are in for some more cloudy skies and maybe rain. Not that I begrudge the rain, but did it have to be now? It seems like it always happens: when sky things are scheduled to happen, it will be cloudy around here. Poo.

 

Anyway, I got up at a reasonable hour this morning, and did my usual things. This afternoon Stacy came by with a nice young man who is willing to help me with the garden, and he may come by tomorrow to start. I will try to work with him, but I don't know how long I'll be able to do that.

 

When we were talking about what needs to be done, it was quite windy down in the garden, but when we walked back up the hill, the house blocked the wind, and it was buggy. I broke out the Off! this morning, and that seems to have prevented any further bites. I hate that stuff, but it does work, so I guess I will be wearing some nasty smelling "perfume" for the next six weeks or so. However, when I get down to the weeding and planting, believe me, I will be wearing my bug shirt, too. For starters, I sweat enough that the bug dope will wear off, and there are places, like the top of my head and the back of my neck, where I can't put it.

 

So that was most of the afternoon.

 

I did start a bracelet, but I didn't even get an inch done. I would work on it, but I want to embroider for a while.

 

It was a pretty day, sunny and cloudless, although there is a little high haze in the sky now. The temperature topped out at 59, although not until 5:00, when the wind dropped. It was in the upper 40s when we were out in the garden.

 

When I got to the office this morning, there must have been a dozen blue jays on the deck, trying to get at the feeder. They were around all day, but the females are beginning to sing their mating call, so I don't imagine that will last much longer. Once they have mated and are nesting, they get their food someplace else, or maybe they switch from seeds to bugs or something. They are really pretty birds, but they eat a lot and they scare my little birds away. I also had at least a dozen mixed goldfinches at times, too. No hummingbirds yet, though.

 

I got into a pickle last night with the website. I discovered that I had been inconsistent with the layout of the webcam archive pages, and I hadn't colored the navigation panel of the 2007 gallery page properly, so I began to try to fix that, and ole' fast fingers here deleted the sidebar from the entire web....aaarrggghhh!! So I copied the web over from the TravelDisk, copied the newer stuff back from the server, and I think it is OK now, although I certainly hope I don't try to upload the entire web tonight...who knows what FrontPage might do next?

 

The value of doing backups on a web that is now about 52mb in size is clear. I did get things up to date last night, and I am going to have to try to discipline myself to do backups regularly.

 

Then this morning, my email wouldn't work. So I did a GoBack to Tuesday night and had to recover everything that changed since. That didn't do a thing, so I called PastyNet, and discovered that the thunderstorms we didn't have the other night apparently hit hard from Calumet south and they had to modify their email setup to get around a T1 that is still down. I got it working, with Charlie's help, but the camera was down for probably two hours this morning.

 

Poor Charlie. Believe me, I would not want his job. I had enough of that stuff when I was working, and it is a major stressor.

 

So that was my day, and it is a lovely night to sit in the ugly chair and watch the end of the day.

 

May 16

About 4:30 this morning, I was up, and I was surprised to see the sky turning gray. Sunrise wasn't until around 6:15, but already the stars were fading out. I knew it cleared up overnight, and summer twilight is a lot longer than it is in winter. Pretty soon we'll only have a couple of hours of true, astronomical darkness. We have more than 15 hours of daylight now, and we are coming into the longest days of the year.

 

It was a pretty morning, but rather chilly. I don't know exactly how chilly, because the NWS station is still not reporting the temperature, but I guess around 40, and it didn't get out of the 40s all day. During the middle of the day it clouded up for a while, but that went away by 5:30, and it has been a pristinely clear evening. Gorgeous!  The winds were very light from the north.

 

I only slept so-so, mostly because of shoulders and hips, although my hip was better, and I got up around 9:00, mostly because Buster thought I should. The only time I can discourage him is if I go right back to sleep, and that clearly wasn't going to happen this morning.

 

Anyway, I was sitting in the bathroom with him on my lap when a bird flew right up to the window. I thought at the time that it was a hummingbird, but it was much too big for that, and I guess it was one of the bug eaters. There are bugs, and not just black flies.

 

So I hustled the hummingbird feeder out, but nobody was there today. My friend in Eagle River reported that she has hummingbirds at her feeder, so I guess it's only a matter of time. I also had to refill the feeder on the deck. Evidently my coons were here last night, because all the seed on the deck and in the feeder last night was gone this morning.

 

Also while I was sitting, I saw a flock of blue jays fly by, and the camera caught them trying to find a few things to eat. Damn coons. Bringing everything in every night is a real pain, and besides, the birds like to eat early. Damn coons.

 

I didn't do a lot today, but I did redo the two bracelets and necklace that I did on Sunday, and I am much happier with them now. Strange how a couple of beads in each repeat can really make a difference in how something looks. I also got the length of the bracelets better. So that is done. I set out the beads to do a pale pink and pearl helix bracelet next.

 

I won't get any embroidery done today, because I want to get to bed, but maybe tomorrow.

 

I didn't see my deer. I think it was too wet in the woods around here for her. I could see dew in the grass, and there was water pouring off the roof onto the deck. The humidity went down later, but it must have been really damp early this morning.

 

So that was my day, and it's time for bed again.

 

May 15

It was a lousy night and a lost day. Blah!

 

It was humid and cool, which does a job on my arthritis, and I had a hard time finding a comfortable place to lie. I take Tylenol when I go to bed, and that lasts 4 or 5 hours, then it takes an hour or so for my natural brain chemicals (are those the endorphins?) to kick in, and in the meantime, I am miserable. So I got up when Buster told me to, but if I hadn't been so sore, I wouldn't have.

 

It was a  foggy, misty night, and there was some good rain during the morning, which the NWS station completely missed. Or maybe it only rained at my end of the harbor. Hard to say, because the NWS station wasn't reporting any temperatures for most of the day, either. Wind, yes, but no temps.

 

I think the temperature hung in the low 40s, and even though it didn't rain, it was sort of misty all day. Really miserable. There was quite a wind until just lately, and the lake was singing softly all day.

 

I went to the post office, but otherwise, I didn't do anything at all. Buster came and went to sleep on my lap a couple of times. He was feeling like the weather, too, because sometime between 4:00 and 9:30, he caught a mouse and left some pieces on the rug he lies on in the bathroom. Yuck. I think I've mentioned that I don't enjoy cleaning up pieces of mouse before breakfast. However, the Mighty Mouser is earning his keep, which is good. 

 

I wonder if Jasmine was at all interested. I haven't seen her, but she is eating and using her tray, so I am pretty sure she is still under the couch.

 

In my haste to report the bugs yesterday, I forgot the other sighting of the day. When I got up, I was peering out the window and I thought I saw something in the trees behind the drain field, and shortly the resident doe ambled out and across the backyard. She wasn't there this morning, but evidently she is taking up her springtime sleeping place again. She looks like she weathered the winter pretty well.

 

Or, I am assuming it is a she. It doesn't have any antlers, which would be right at this time of year, and I haven't had a chance to study it at length. I have noticed that bucks seem to have a fringe of hair down their chests that does don't, even when they don't have antlers. I would probably have to look at it with binoculars to make sure, so in the meantime, it's "she".

 

So that was my lost day, and I'll soon be off to the north end to try it again.

 

May 14

The bugs are here! The bugs are here! Aaaaahhhhh!

 

Clyde warned me last week, but I hadn't been out enough to know for sure. Now I know.

 

I made it into bed before 11:00 last night, for once. I had a restless night. It was warm in the bedroom, and my hip was bothering me, not to mention a cat occasionally. At one point, when I was up, I heard thunder way off in the distance, and there was some pretty good lightening, but it was out over the lake. It did rain, in two showers, about 0.17 inch, which isn't a lot, but we'll take all we can get.

 

It was humid and icky, and it still is. The temperature got up to 64, briefly, before it fell back nearly 10. There wasn't much wind after 10:00, which was part of the bug problem.

 

Stacy came just after noon, and we went down into the garden to see just what I need done. There is a lot of weeding to do, for sure, as well as a lot of weed killing. She is going to see if she can get someone to help me, since she is tied up. Nice girl.

 

Anyway, while we were standing in the parking lot talking, we were bedeviled by black flies. Since it is early in the season, they weren't biting much, although I may have gotten a bite or two on my head. However, they were swarming around us and when I came in, I felt itchy all over just because. It was really warm and unpleasant out there.

 

I am not sure how accurate my thermometer is (the plastic bag seems to skew the readings), but I think it was at least 10 warmer here than at the NWS station during that part of the day. Later on, it began to agree with the NWS a little more. My garden is so sheltered that it is usually much warmer there than even up on the deck, and it was really nasty down there today. When I get down there, besides the bug shirt, I will need a sweat band and probably a towel, as well as a bottle of water, and I can expect to sweat buckets.

 

I am happy to see that the poppies and the peonies are coming nicely. The iris are coming up, but soil has washed down from the bank behind the bed and buried them too deeply, and they need to be uncovered. I suspected as much. Stacy has a degree in horticulture, and she is a very handy reference. She suggested planting the bank with thyme, and I think I will act on that, as well as building a little barricade of rocks from the beach. I really feel the desire to get my hands into the dirt.

 

Anyway, I was glad to get inside and away from the bugs.

 

There were thunderstorms south of us around noon, but all we got were the gray skies and some distant thunder. Then it partly cleared up, as much as it could with the high humidity, and there was some sunshine. Now it is cloudy again, and radar shows there are more storms headed our way. I hope they reach us. Even  with the last few showers, we are having a real drought.

 

I spent some time sitting in the ugly chair and embroidering. I decided I am going to rip out the jewelry I did yesterday and do it over, but I didn't act on that. I want it to be right. I don't like to sell anything I don't feel is up to my standards.

 

So that was my day, and I will spend some more time embroidering before I toddle up to the north end again. I don't like this weather, even though it isn't really warm yet.

 

May 13

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. I hope you all had a lovely day.

 

I actually made it into bed before midnight last night, but I was up for a while in the early morning, and I was stiff and sore. I finally gave up around 9:30, I think, because my shoulder and my hip were both bothering me enough that I couldn't get back to sleep. I'm doing this at the normal time tonight, so I should get back on schedule.

 

There is nothing to report on the Jasmine front. She didn't eat much, but she did use the tray, so I guess she's still here. Buster is doing his best, but she is a stubborn little thing. We didn't see her.

 

I actually did some jewelry this afternoon, although after it was made, I discovered that I didn't do it right. I made two bracelets (one very small) and another necklace out of the brown beads, but I miscounted the number of black beads between each set of brown, so the second necklace is longer than the others. Oh, well. I have it written down now, so I won't forget again. It looks OK, just a little different from the other ones.

 

Then after I had the rest of my pork from last night, I sat in the ugly chair and did a little on the angel. And that was my day.

 

When I came into the office this morning, there were three neon yellow goldfinches eating on the deck, so I guess they will forage on the ground when that is all there is to eat. There were just a few birds today again, but they are coming, and so are the squirrels and chipmunks. The chipmunks don't hibernate, I think, but they store away enough food in their burrows that they don't have to go out in the winter. The squirrels should be so wise.

 

It was another beautiful day. It started out quite clear, with increasing clouds as the day went on. the temperature got up to about 63, and there was a moderate wind from the southeast to southwest. Lovely. I had the doors open. They are insisting we will have rain and maybe thunderstorms for the next couple of days, and there is some rain to our west. I can only hope it makes it up here.

 

So that is about all there is, and I will get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

 

May 12

I did it again. This time it was a new book, a biography of Johann Sebastian Bach. I will have to start it over again, though. It's been some time since I've read anything aimed at a college graduate, and besides it was translated from German, and you can tell: lots of long sentences and long words. Anyway, it is interesting, even though there really isn't very much known about the private life of Bach.

 

So I fell into bed at 3:00 again and fell out at about 10:30. Tonight will be different, although I was embroidering for quite a while.

 

The news of the day is that Jasmine is loose. Not that it was on purpose. I had to clean out the cage, which was really gross, and I wanted to at least shake out the blankets, and more likely wash them. When I picked up the blanket she was hiding under, instead of heading for the back of the cage, she headed out the door, faster than I can move. I think she is under the couch now. That seems to be the hiding place of choice.

 

I washed the blankets and swept out the bottom of the cage, changed the tray, and put everything back the way it was, except that the door is open. We shall see what happens next. I can't blame her for not wanting to be shut up in that cage anymore, but I really would rather know where she is.

 

Buster knows she is out, but he isn't going after her or anything. He was happy, because I put a new pad in his favorite scratcher, and he has already made some nice grooves in it. But he kept coming up to me and meowing, like he is confused or something. Jasmine would confuse anybody.

 

After dinner, I finally went down under the tree and retrieved the mesh feeder, which the coons managed to trash completely. They broke off the hanging wire, among other things. I think I can wire it back together, but now I have another broken bird feeder. Oh, woe.

 

When I got to the tree and was looking around, there was absolutely the littlest chipmunk I have ever seen rustling around in the shucks. Its body couldn't have been more than an inch long - about the size of a mouse. It definitely was a chippy, though, because I saw the stripes on its back. Cutest little thing.

 

There was a little larger chipmunk in the seed I finally got put out on the deck, as well as at least one squirrel and some chipping sparrows. I am having to start all over with the birds, since I left the feeders empty for so long. I need to get the broken feeders fixed and I need to get a hummingbird feeder out.  I'm sure they will all come back, but it will take a while.

 

When I turned on the light to bring in the feeders tonight, there was a little flying squirrel in the pretty feeder. For some reason, it would rather eat up in the air than on the deck. It scrambled off, of course, but it didn't fly anywhere. I think it ran up onto the roof of the office.

 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day again. There was not a cloud in the sky until right before sunset, when a cloudbank appeared on the western horizon. The temperature bottomed out at 38 early this morning and got up to 55 for a while in the afternoon, with light breezes from the south, more or less. So pretty! They maintain that we are going to have rain for the next few days. I sure hope they are right.

 

I did manage to do some embroidery, and I am nearly done with the section I have been working on. I almost kept on, because there is only one color left to go, except for the design, but I decided I would just wait until tomorrow for that.

 

Dinner at Mariner was good, and there were a modest number of people there. I don't know what it will be like during the summer - I may not be able to go. Anyway, I had grilled stuffed pork loin. I don't often order pork, and I don't often eat it, either. That has to be because I remember all too well when I was a kid, when pork was greasy and strong flavored, and even then roast pork and corn on the cob made me sick. Pork isn't like that anymore, though, and in fact, it doesn't seem to have much flavor at all, except that I can tell it isn't beef. However, this was quite good, with a nice stuffing, and grilled with a good rub on it. I brought half of it home for tomorrow.

 

So I guess that was my day, and now I will go and jump into bed, because I don't need to bath tonight, and besides, I'm really tired and creaky.

 

May 11

I finally did get to bed, at nearly 3:00, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep. The one good thing about going to bed so late is that I was out the moment my head hit the pillow. The bad thing is, when I'm that tired, I really don't move at all when I'm asleep, so I was stiff as a board when I woke up. Then my right hip began to ache, and it took some thrashing around to get that settled down. And I'm going to be fairly late tonight, too. I must start my embroidery earlier.

 

So I was late getting up this morning, and I didn't do much except pay another couple of bills and run them to the post office. Of course, I did some more embroidery.

 

I forgot to mention that while I was sitting in the ugly chair yesterday, there were a couple of white crowned sparrows on the deck. They are coming through on their way north. Today there was a little sparrow-like thing with the same kind of striping on its head, except in tan and brown. It might have been a pine siskin. I haven't looked at the bird books yet. I don't have many birds, but they are beginning to come back. I spilled the thistle seed on the deck while I was putting the feeders out this morning, and that went over well, both outside and inside. Buster spent some time on point staring out the door. He knows he can't get them, but he has to stalk them anyway.

 

On the way to the post office I noticed that some of the juneberries and pin cherries along the road are in bloom. I think it is warmer there, because the trees shield it from the lake. There are only buds in other places. My neighbor to the south threw some daffodils across the road many years ago, and they have spread, so there is a nice patch of sunny yellow beside the road. I do like daffodils, even though they are yellow.

 

It was a much cooler, much cloudier day today. After bottoming out at 40 at noon, the temperature struggled up to 45 later in the afternoon. There was a little wind this morning, but it died down almost completely during the afternoon. I noticed, when I went to bed, that the lake was fussing a bit, and there were some breakers coming in  through the channel this morning, but all is quiet now.

 

So that's about all there is, and it's late again. Oh, well. One of these days I'll get back on schedule.

 

May 10

It's tomorrow already. I got to embroidering, and it was so pleasant, I just kept on until my head started to ache. Oh, well.

 

I didn't sleep very well last night. It was warm in the bedroom, and I had a hard time getting comfortable. There were stars, at least for part of the night. I think I glimpsed Spica setting in the southwest. As I've mentioned, that part of the sky is pretty dull, so there wasn't much to see.

 

It was partly cloudy all day long, with not much wind and warm temperatures. The NWS says it got up to 74 this evening, but the graph was jagged again, so I don't know if I really believe it. I do know it was warm. However, once the sun set, the temperature fell off dramatically, and it was only 47 at midnight. The winds were light and variable.

 

When I came into the office this morning, the first thing I noticed was that the pretty feeder was half empty, and the tube feeder had two empty tubes...then I saw (or didn't see) that the mesh feeder wasn't there anymore. Oh dear. I guess the resident coons are here. So I brought in the feeders tonight, and I will have to crawl under the tree to get the mesh feeder. I think I saw it tonight, but I didn't see its hanger. Damn coons.

 

I spent the later part of the afternoon in the ugly chair, embroidering, and watching a very curious cloud overhead. It was sort of amorphous and fuzzy, which I guess means it was a stratus cloud (I will have to check my cloudspotter's guide). However, it wasn't thick enough to completely blot out the sun, so for most of the late afternoon, there was a red sun poking through the cloud. The sun was high enough in the sky that I would not have thought the cloud would turn it red, so I wonder what that cloud was made of. Very strange. Eventually it went away, but there were enough clouds in the sky that there wasn't much of a sunset.

 

I didn't feel very robust today, so I didn't do much. I did call the first realtor to end the contract, and I finally called the person who has all my embroidery to frame. Of course, I got an answering machine. I have decided to keep at it, though. I think one reason I haven't wanted to do much embroidery is that every time I do, I think about all those pictures (some of my very favorites) that I don't know if I'll ever get back. She went out of business a year ago, without finishing the framing, but now all I want is to get my stuff back. We'll see what happens. I would hate to have to take her to small claims court just go get back what is mine.

 

So that is all there is, and tonight I have to bath, so I'll be really, really late. Oh, well.

 

May 9

I got into bed at a reasonable hour last night, but I was awake any number of times, having to do with the left shoulder and ear and right hip. Until this hip thing came up, I was sleeping on my right side a lot, at last, but I just can't do it for more than a couple of hours without my hip getting really sore. And since I can't turn over when I'm asleep, that means I was up a lot.

 

I was up around 4:00, and when I looked out the bathroom window, I could see Polaris, but while I was sitting there, I kept seeing flashes of light way off toward the south. It didn't rain here at all, but I guess they had some serious rain south of us, and radar looked really ugly around Detroit this morning. Come on, guys, we need some rain, too!

 

I was awake again around 6:45, and I was just in time to see some gorgeous orange clouds right after sunrise. I had lost track - sunrise is around 6:25 these days. And when I turned out the light last night, I could see a gray glow in the northwest, right along the horizon...the last of twilight. Sunset is around 9:15 now, and we have nearly 15 hours of daylight already, with another hour to go. Amazing.

 

This afternoon was the ladies' meeting, and while there weren't a lot of us there, it was a nice group, and we celebrated Peggy Erickson's birthday. She is a nice person. It was a surprise to her, and I must say she thanked everyone about as gracefully as I have ever heard.

 

That took most of the afternoon, and I intercepted the UPS guy at the general store and brought my packages home myself. My columbines and phlox came, too, so I stopped at the store to see if Stacy, who has a degree in gardening, could help me get the garden whipped into shape and everything planted. The plants are bare root and sealed in plastic, so they won't croak if they sit for a few days.

 

I was planning to do the planting myself, as you know, but I am so stiff and creaky that it's clear I won't be able to do the whole thing alone. I have had something like a cramp down the front of my right leg for the past couple of days that is most uncomfortable and makes it hard to move when I first get up, although I noticed, when I brought in all my mail and packages from the car, that if I move a bit, it works itself out for a while. I'm sure it has something to do with the weather.

 

Which was really lovely, if humid. The temperature briefly hit 69, according to the NWS station, although I distrust it because the temperature graph is a real zigzag today. I think the temperature they were reporting had more to do with the wind than the actual air temperature. It was around 60 for most of the afternoon. The wind was variable, too, and for much of the afternoon it was nearly calm. There were clouds in the sky, and those high, hazy cirrus clouds that drive me crazy, but there was a lot of sunshine, enough to get the temperature in the house up into the upper 70s. I have the doors open now, and it's cooling off nicely now.

 

I understand, however, that the black flies are beginning to appear. Well, I'll just have to break out the bug suit and the OFF!.

 

I see from the camera shots that the squirrels have discovered the birdseed. I don't know if the chickadees and nuthatches have begun to come back yet, but there have been some goldfinches. At Carolyn's today, there was a brown thrasher in the bushes, so I can add that to my life list. A number of the ladies are interested in the birds, and Laurel Rooks is trying to take up where Jim left off in coordinating and reporting our sightings. I really must try to get the rest of the feeders out.

 

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

 

May 8

I got to bed at a much more reasonable hour last night, and I did sleep, although I seem to have developed a sore left shoulder and right hip, which means I do some thrashing. The body pillow does help, but it doesn't help the side I'm sleeping on.

 

It was cloudy when I went to bed, but around 4:00 I was awake, and there were some stars...but even after looking at the planisphere, I still don't know everything I was seeing. Arcturus was there, but there seemed to be some other stuff, too.

 

Buster was a pest for most of the night. I do not know what his problem is now, but he is awfully clingy. He doesn't like the body pillow, because he really likes to sleep in the curl of my body, and of course, the pillow is there now. But he made a nuisance of himself for most of the night.

 

When I got up this morning, it was sunny, but there was a streamer of thick fog in the harbor, and it came and went periodically until after noon. I was surprised to see it, because there was a 15 mph wind from the northwest, but I guess it was just so humid that the fog formed anyway. I love to watch it coming and going. It was a pretty afternoon, with high cirrus clouds and lots of sunshine. The temperature got up to 61 late in the day when the wind died down.

 

I did finally get some of the bird feeders out this afternoon. There weren't many birds, though. The first ones were a pair of very skinny goldfinches, and a few more came later, as well as some chipping sparrows. The chipping sparrows like the little seeds, and they don't eat sunflower seeds. I filled one tube of the three-tube feeder with mixed seed, so that went over well. I still have some more to do, but that is a start.

 

I spent some time sitting in the ugly chair and knitting. I decided to put the glove aside for a while and work on a pair of summer cotton socks, so I got those started. While I was sitting there, I noticed that one piece of the jointed hanger that I hung the platform feeder on is still in the tree. I thought the whole thing had come down and blown away. I'm not sure how I'm going to get that out of the tree, since it's about 8' up in the air, but I do want to put out the platform feeder, and that is the perfect place to hang it.

 

The leaves on the birches are coming out extremely fast, and I can see buds swelling on the oaks, too, and on the juneberries. I finally got around to peering into my neighbor's yard, and the forsythia is in full bloom. So it's beginning to look a lot like spring around here. If the wind will die down, I am going to have to begin my weed killing.

 

So that is about all I know, and I think I will try to make it another early night tonight. I am mostly over my cold, except for some glop that I cough up and blow out in the morning, but I still don't feel very robust. The best thing for that is sleep.

 

May 7

I was very late getting to bed last night. I got to reading while I was trying to upload this (I finally did it manually), and it was interesting enough that I just kept right on reading, in spite of Buster telling me it was time for his nightly brushing. 

 

That was Sky & Telescope, which is one of the magazines I read cover to cover every month. It was the June issue, but it reminded me of some events that are supposed to occur this month, including conjunctions of the moon with Mercury and Venus. All I can hope is that the end of next week is clear. I think I saw Mercury once, but I would like to see it again just to be certain.

 

Anyway, I didn't sleep as long as I might have expected, and I got up around 9:30. It was cloudy all night long, and rather windy (15-25 mph range), but there was no rain.

 

It was a cloudy, dreary day, and I had just about given up on the rain when it started, and in a couple of showers we had a respectable 0.19" - the first precip since the blizzard. 

 

I had just finished filling a couple of bird feeders (and I remember now that I missed one), and I was sitting down to rest when Dawn called, and when I looked outside, it was raining rather briskly, so the feeders didn't get put out today. Tomorrow, for sure. I need to fill the one I missed, and the ones that are outside, and I may hang out a hummingbird feeder just to see if they're here yet. I did see one very small something go flying by in the rain.

 

Except to roast my chicken, that's about all I did. I was achy and creaky again, and doing the feeders just about did in my back.

 

The temperature was relatively reasonable, in the upper 50s, and the wind died down for a while, although it has picked up again somewhat. I can't say I really like this weather, but we really needed the rain. Evidently there was a rather serious fire down south of Baraga last week, and Dawn said that the other day a burn pile the fort people had made during the winter rekindled and they had to call out the fire department. I mean, it is dry around here!

 

It is also getting green. When I looked out the window yesterday morning, there were little green buds on all the birch bushes, and the trees are getting hazy green. It appears that the picnic tree has bitten the dust, which disappoints me, but it has lots of growth around the roots. Since it won't hit the house when it falls, I will just leave it. I have one other birch that wasn't looking so good last year - its crown had died out - but I haven't gotten a look at it yet this spring. Birches are really touchy trees. I wish I knew what causes their large trunks to die, when there are all kinds of shoots coming out from the roots. That is the only disappointing thing about the big birch that grew over the pond. I think its roots were smothered, and it never had any side shoots. Of course, the pond will stay cleaner, but I loved that tree.

 

I was eating my dinner and minding my own business when we had a power glitch, and it was a weird one. The computer, the radio, and the garage door saw it, but the phones didn't. I haven't checked the  clocks yet. When it rebooted, of course the broadband was screwed up - it always needs to be power failed independently when the power hiccups - but this time, I didn't have any sound, either, so after several reboots, I finally turned off the wall switch, and everything came up again. However, pictures were rather spotty for a while this evening.

 

So that is all there is tonight, and I will be earlier to bed, after I upload this and put the chicken away.

 

May 6

The wind blew all night and it blew all day, first from the southeast then from the south, mostly in the 25-35 mph range, although we have had some gusts up to 40 mph. It was mostly sunny, with high cirrus clouds, for most of the day, but it was cloudy enough at sunset that we didn't see the sun set. After dark, though, I saw Venus high up in the sky, so it hasn't completely clouded up yet. The temperature got to 61 briefly, but it was in the upper 50s most of the day.

 

They are predicting the possibility of thunderstorms overnight, which would not be very good. We had high wind warnings and fire red flag alerts all day long, so we don't need any lightening strikes.

 

I was in bed early last night, so I was up fairly early this morning, but I guess I should have gone back to bed. I was creaky and achy all day long, and now I'm tired again. 

 

I did get the wash done, except for the towels and the winter stuff I need to wash before I pack it away. The underwear is in the dryer now. I will need to rewash four Eddie Bauer tops that have grease stains on them. I don't know what it is about their cotton knits, but it is almost impossible to get the grease out of them. And since I go through these phases when I can't find my mouth, I end up dropping all sorts of stuff down my front. So I will have to spot the spots again and wash over again. Bummer.

 

I mostly didn't do much else, although I did sit in the ugly chair and embroidered - about two needlefulls - this afternoon. Buster was most happy, although he would have been happier sitting on my lap, like he spent the morning. He slept on the footstool until I got up, then he moved over into the chair. I still think he expects me to come back and lift him up onto my lap when I sit down. I haven't done that yet.

 

So that is about all there is, and it's time for bed again.

 

May 5

I think there were high clouds in the sky last night, although I did see some moonshine. There were high cirrus clouds in the sky this morning, and they increased in thickness through the day. There wasn't much of a sunset.

 

What I did notice was that around 3:00 this morning, the wind picked up into the 15-30 mph range, from the southeast, which is a weird direction. I could tell it was from a direction I don't hear very often, and also that it was pretty strong. That persisted all day, and it hasn't died down at sunset like the wind sometimes does. It was cooler than yesterday, maxing out at 57 just a little while ago. It was cool enough this morning that I closed the slider, but I opened it later, as well as the porch door to the kitchen, because there was enough sunshine that it got rather warm in here.

 

I actually got to bed about the same time as the night before, and I did sleep pretty well, with some more and different weird dreams, until Buster decided it was time for me to get up. I still do not like having a cat run my life, but I was ready to get up.

 

However, I was stiff and creaky all day, so I ended up doing nothing. I have noticed for many years that when I am sick with some bug or other my usual aches and pains go away. So since they have come back, I guess that means I am getting well again. Maybe tomorrow.

 

For sure tomorrow I have to do something, because all the compression hose are dirty and that means I have to wash. And maybe, just maybe, I can take care of the bird feeders. I was talking with the Marzkes tonight at Mariner, and it suddenly hit me that I don't have to use chain on the big wooden feeder, I can just as well use wire, which would mean I don't have to enlarge the holes in the roof. I don't think I have any wire that is strong enough, but I can probably arrange to come by some. I like that big wooden feeder - so do the squirrels - because it holds enough that it doesn't have to be filled very often, and that's a plus.

 

When I got home from dinner, I sat in the ugly chair and read some magazines with a very happy cat on my lap until it got too dark to see. It is so nice to hear the wind sighing in the pine tree. I must do that more often. I feel like doing a little embroidery, too. I think when I do something like that or knit and read, I feel guilty because I'm not working on jewelry. I will have to try to get over that. I like making jewelry sometimes, and I do like selling it, but it isn't a must-do job, after all. I can do anything i feel like doing, and even after having been retired for almost 11 years, I keep having to remind myself of that.

 

I noticed this morning that some of the little maples at the back of the yard are flowering, and buds are swelling on the serviceberries. So I do need to cut back the branches that are growing across the driveway and I need to get at my weed killing, as soon as the wind dies down. Spring is coming on, and it won't wait for me to get a notion.

 

So that is all I know, and I will now toddle up to the north end. Since I don't have to bathe tonight, I may read for a while. Or not.

 

May 4

It was mostly clear last night, but the moon is way off in the south, so there was no moonset, and we'll have to wait until fall to catch it again.

 

I had another wakeful period in the middle of the night when I couldn't get comfortable, after I woke up from an extremely weird dream. Where that came from, I do not know. I think this problem with getting comfortable is a cyclic thing. Maybe it will be better tonight, because I'm a bit later than I have been lately.

 

I woke up at 8:30, almost unheard of for me, but I didn't feel like sleeping anymore. It was another beautiful morning, and it was a beautiful day. The sky was almost perfectly clear, although there was a very slight haze of cirrus clouds for most of the day, so it wasn't as blue as it was yesterday. The temperature got up to 61, with moderate winds from the south or southeast. It was really nice out.

 

I have been puzzling about the weather forecasts for the  past few days. Every day, the NWS says it will be in the low 50s at the shore, and the temperature has been getting into the low 60s. I can see how the temperature would stay low if the wind was strong off the lake, but it hasn't been. I won't complain, though.

 

I didn't do as much as I'd hoped, again. I just didn't feel like it. I got the car unloaded, with some difficulty, since there were a lot of very heavy bags of stuff, and my back was bothering me when I was through, but at least that is done. I paid a few bills and sent back the defective spoons, and that was about it. Mostly I enjoyed the lovely weather.

 

They keep pushing back the rain. Now it is supposed to happen on Monday, and it is supposed to get quite warm on Sunday. They have a fire hazard warning out for Sunday, although I don't know why it should be any worse then than other times lately, since it has been windy and dry. I keep remembering at least two and maybe more early Mays when we were absolutely inundated with 2" or more of rain...like a couple of years ago, when French Annie Creek washed out a good part of US-41. So it is possible. It would be nicer if we got our rain in small amounts, but that seems hard to arrange.

 

There are tourists in town already. Not by any means like it is in July and August, but a respectable number for early May. I heard ATVs accelerating toward the end of the road this morning, and I saw some in town. Mariner was reasonably busy tonight, which is good to see. And I think I saw a band unloading at Zik's. So the season is underway, like it or not. This is the time of year when I am more glad than usual that I don't live in town.

 

So that is all there is, and I will toddle up to the north end and try to sleep better tonight.

 

May 3

It was a nice night last night, but we didn't get to see the moon set. It may be south of the camera - I'm not sure. It certainly set after the pictures started. Maybe tonight.

 

I did sleep well, although I was wakeful for a while in the middle of the night, and this morning I had another weird dream. I actually got up rather early, for me, but I took my time about getting up and about.

 

I finally left the house at noon, and it was a gorgeous day to be out anywhere, so I didn't mind the trip to Houghton very much. I can report that the grass is greening up, and there are patches where the tree twigs are turning brown and the maple flowers are coming out, but the only wildflowers I saw were some dandelions and willow catkins. In Hancock, the early daffodils and the forsythia are out. I really must try to plant some daffodils this fall, and I must check my neighbor's forsythia.

 

There was almost no traffic until I got to Calumet, but between there and Hancock, I ran into a few strange drivers, as well as a wicked cross-wind. It had been calm when I left the harbor, so I was rather surprised at the wind, which was brisk all the time I was in town.

 

My first stop was Erickson Feed, and I now have lots of sunflower seeds, a new hummingbird feeder (just like the old ones, except that I don't have to assemble this one myself), lots of bee guards, several bags of potting soil and a big bag of vermiculite. That stuff is still all in the car, and it really took up a lot of room.

 

Then it was on to Econo Foods, and I got quite a bit of good things to eat, although it turns out I forgot a few things...nothing I can't get at the general store, I don't think. Now I can have nice sandwiches for breakfast again. I got a large chicken, which I plan to have Sunday, and there will be enough meat left on the breast that I can make my chicken and noodles. I got lots of juices, and veggie trays, too, so I will be able to eat the way I've gotten used to.

 

It was only about 2:30 when I got out of there, but I had to get gas - $3.20 a gallon - yikes! - so I finally got home around 3:30, which I thought was pretty good. 

 

I didn't unload the car until about 7:00, though, because there was more surfing to do and a cat to pet. I put on my sandals for the first time since last year, and I am happy to say they fit better with socks on than they did with bare feet last year, so my compression hose are having the desired effect.

 

There were a few cirrus clouds when I came home, including one that I think was a contrail that was spreading out and had an area of crosswise ripples at one end...unfortunately it had gone away by the time I got here. It was an interesting cloud, though.

 

It certainly is nice to go away and know that the camera is doing its thing. It had some problems this morning, but that is because there was something wrong with the broadband for a while, and I couldn't get a good upload for about 45 minutes, and everything else was very slow. That cleared up after I called PastyNet, and everything has been fine for the rest of the day.

 

When I got home, it was so warm in here that I opened the porch door into the kitchen, for the second time, and I had one very happy cat, who went out for a breath of fresh air. Buster is a bit conflicted at this time of year - he loves the fresh outdoors air, but he doesn't like to be cold. I think he sort of runs in and out.

 

And that is about all I have to report. I felt pretty good this morning, and my legs were working all right, but I am tired now. Not stiff, thankfully, just tired.

 

The weather statistics are: the temperature got up to 63, which was about 10 warmer than they predicted, and here in the harbor anyway, there was hardly any wind at all for most of the day. It didn't get quite that warm in town, but there was a 15-25 mph wind from the east while I was outside. Sort of strange, but it isn't often that what is going on here is exactly the same as what is going on there.

 

So now the lovely evening is darkening, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and retire. It is supposed to be another clear night tonight, and a clear day tomorrow. I wonder when it will rain?

 

May 2

The broadband was down until sometime this afternoon - sorry about that. Using the dial backup is such a pain I just decided not to. However, it's been fine for quite a while. I think it had something to do with the construction at the Mountain Lodge again.

 

It was mostly cloudy all night last night, although a couple of times I saw moonshine briefly. It was cloudy this morning, too, but it cleared up by 11:00 and it was mostly clear all afternoon, with a few high clouds between 4:00 and 6:00 this afternoon. The temperature was between 40 and 45 all day, with almost no wind at all. A lovely spring day.

 

I didn't sleep well again. I had a sore left shoulder and a sore right hip, and I had a hard time finding a comfortable way to lie. And this morning, Buster compounded the problem by settling down in the curve of my tummy on the body pillow and proceeding to give himself a bath. I do feel better than last week, but I'm still not 100%.

 

I celebrated the weather by doing nothing, again. I had some thoughts about doing the bird feeders, but when I got back from the post office, I had to use the bathroom and I had a lot of interesting mail, so that never got done.

 

Among the things I found while surfing replacements.com were pieces of my stainless pattern, which I like. I seem to have lost two forks last summer, and over the years I have either lost or ground up four teaspoons. Since the prices were reasonable, I ordered them, and I got them today. Well.  The forks are fine, so they are in the dishwasher. However, three of the four teaspoons were clearly seconds, with strange shapes, and strange placements and sizes of the pattern. So I had to call them and tell them I am sending them back. They are going to send me a shipping label, which means they are a reputable firm in general, but I would warn you to be careful if you order something from them. These particular pieces should clearly have been marked as seconds, and they weren't. Their excuse was that they couldn't be responsible for how the manufacturer made the pieces, but I think they could have inspected a bit more carefully.

 

Not that this is a fantastic pattern, or anything like that, but I like it. My mother got it for me from somewhere, probably Betty Crocker, I think about the time I moved back from Philadelphia. I really would like a service for 12, but after this experience, I think I will wait and troll EBay for a while. 

 

So I have just about packed up the teaspoons to return them, with a note in each bag saying what is wrong with it, and a letter of complaint.

 

However, if you have flatware or china that you need replacement pieces for, I think they have just about everything there is. It's fun to look at the site. That is where I found out what my sterling patterns are, and one of these days I will try to track down grandma's plate and mama's china, just for documentation purposes. And maybe even the odd bits and pieces of great grandma's plate and the odd teaspoons and serving pieces I've inherited.

 

It's too bad silver doesn't do well in the dishwasher, or I think I would start using some of it. Dishwasher detergent does tend to tarnish silver, so it isn't good to wash it regularly. I do know my mother put it in occasionally, when she used the silver. She stopped using her pattern when all the knife blades came out of the handles. I have all those things, but I don't know if I could just glue them back together with E-600 or they need special treatment.

 

The kitties just reminded me. Jasmine came out from her blankets for over an hour this morning, ate some, and sat watching me from the front of the cage for a long time before I had to walk by her and she dove under the covers again. She is apparently out now, because I just heard yowling and hissing again. I regard that as a step forward. I did manage to approach her once, carefully, and while she watched me, she just sat there. The second time I was on my way to the bathroom and I think I was walking too purposefully for her.

 

I am going to have to see if I can find a toy or something to hang from the cage to try to get her interested. Buster, I think, really wants to make friends, because he goes over to the cage and looks at her, but she misunderstands him. We will get that sorted out eventually. The next step is for her to let me touch her.

 

So that was my day, and it's time to head north again. I do hope we might see moonset tomorrow morning.

 

May 1

Mayday! Mayday!

 

The broadband has been down essentially all day. I finally bit the bullet and fired up the dial backup, but I won't use it any more than I have to. Anyway, camera pictures have been spotty at best.

 

I got to bed at a reasonable hour last night, but in the middle of the night I was wakeful and restless, so I wasn't ready to get up at 8:00 when I woke up, so I didn't. I had had some thought of going to town today, but when I finally got up it was late enough that I decided to wait.

 

It was cloudy all night, but the moon, which is full tomorrow, was so bright that it looked like early dawn all night long. Those of you in the big cities are used to that, because that's how it looks all the time, but when it's cloudy and the moon is down around here, it's really, really dark, so the moon makes a big difference.

 

The temperature was mostly around 45 all day, although it did get up to 50 or so when the wind dropped between 11:00 and 1:00. Then the wind shifted around to the northwest and the temperature dropped back and has now recovered to 48. It was dull and cloudy all day long, and several times it looked dark enough to rain, although it didn't. It was just dark and humid.

 

Since I couldn't do any surfing, I did a couple of things I have been meaning to do for a while. I converted March and April to Word files (and got this file ready for now). That isn't much of a job if I do one or two months at a time. I regret to say I found some rather interesting typos in the web files, but I didn't change them, so I don't have to load them tonight. It's going to take enough time anyway.

 

Then I decided to get at my ledger. I set it up at the beginning of the year, but I never put any data in it, and the longer I wait, the worse the job is. So I entered January through April, and actually did it without too much trouble. Sometimes getting it to balance with my checkbook is a real chore, but I guess I was on top of my figures today and I only had a couple of minor problems. So that is up to date. I need to back up a lot of stuff to the TravelDisk now, so maybe I will do that if I can get the web to upload.

 

I did feel somewhat better today, with not nearly so much cotton in my head, and I didn't have to eat any cough drops last night, so slowly, ever so slowly, I am getting over this thing. I still don't feel really robust, frankly.

 

Sometime this week I do have to get food, since I am really scrounging around. I had a sandwich for breakfast and an omelet for dinner. I do have things in the freezer to cook, but I don't have any onions or potatoes, and I didn't feel that robust anyway.

 

So that was my quiet day, and I will try to get this uploaded before I toddle off to the north end.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM