A View From the Field







June, 2007

June 30

Well, June and the first half of the year are history. They went fast, although I don't feel like I did anything much.


I didn't get to bed early last night. I re-read the part of the story I didn't like, and concluded, on second reading, that there is only one small place that isn't very good, and I haven't decided what to do about that yet. It was right after I started writing again, and I suppose that is the reason. So I decided to try to write some more, and I did several pages. It felt good to do, and I will have to try it again. 


Probably not tonight, though, since it's getting late, and I do want to go to church tomorrow. That will be a real production...finding clothes and especially shoes,  protecting my hammer toe, putting on pantyhose over the compression hose, and all that stuff I haven't had to do for over a year. There are a lot of reasons why Copper Harbor is a congenial place for me to live.


I diddled around for quite a while today, but I did accomplish something. I have another file box partly packed, two large boxes packed and sealed, and another almost full. There was more stuff in the dressers than I'd thought.


And I have pretty much determined that the black beaded 20s dress that I thought was gone is in fact gone, probably the same way the vase went. It really depresses me to lose things like that. So few people have been in this house that is really hard for me to imagine who, of the people I thought were trustworthy, is in fact a thief. And everything probably disappeared so long ago that there is no hope of ever getting it back. And no, there is no chance I might have thrown it away.


Do you wonder why my first thought was to become the next hermit of Copper Harbor?


Anyway, I have started the packing in earnest, and that is good.


The weather in Copper Harbor was too good to be away, again. The temperature was in the upper 50s for most of the day, with no wind and not a cloud in the sky until late in the afternoon. Now it is cloudy, even though it wasn't supposed to do that.


Here, it was a nice day, too, although again, I stayed in my air conditioning. The temperature got up to the high 70s, and there was a light wind. It was clear for most of the day, although you couldn't prove it by me. There are enough trees around this house that I have to peer out to see any sky at all. I miss my big skies.


So that was another day in exile, and it isn't getting any better.


June 29

Well, I lost a day.


I didn't get to bed too early last night after all, because I was reading the end of the story, the part I wrote last year, and I do have to say I was disappointed. It seemed to be very disjointed and hard to follow. I certainly hope I haven't lost my ability to write fiction. I know I did it in the past as an escape from the unpleasant things in my life, and since I've been living in Copper Harbor there hasn't been too much of that, but still I ought to be able to do it after having written for over 50 years.


Anyway, in the middle of the night, I had one of those episodes where I ached all over , I couldn't find a comfortable way to lie, and I couldn't get the temperature right. The temperature was probably because I had the ceiling fan on, and the outside temps went down into the 50s. I will turn the fan off tonight. Eventually I got back to sleep, and I slept, with interruptions, until 10:00. So that started the day late.


I got my OJ and did my surfing, and I just never left the computer...in fact, I only ate one real meal today. I do that occasionally.


And that is another story. I decided to have a frozen pizza, so I turned on the upper oven (the bigger, self-cleaning one), and while the fan came on, the light and the heating element didn't. Oh, dear. Another thing gone wrong. So I did my pizza in the lower oven (it wasn't very good - the crust didn't fully cook, even though the toppings were overcooked), and called the realtor to ask what I should do about it. She is going to consult with the buyer's realtor. I guess if they are planning to redo the kitchen, it doesn't matter much. And besides, if the problem isn't repairable, I don't plan on replacing the ovens.


All that means is that I won't be able to broil a steak while I am here. The lower oven isn't self-cleaning, and I don't want to leave it that messy. 


The weather in Copper Harbor was too nice not to be there. The temperature hung in at about 60 all day, with a 15 mph wind from the north, and not a cloud in the sky. Oh, how I wish I was there!


It was actually rather nice here, I think, although I didn't stick my nose outside. The temperature got up to about 76, with a light wind from the east, and it was sunny. Much better than the first part of the week!


It is noisy around here. Every day somebody gets their lawn cut, sometimes at ridiculously early hours of the morning or around dinner time. On Friday morning around 7:30, the trash collectors come around, and around 9:00 the recyclers come around, and all the trucks are noisy. There are car noises and truck noises and ambulances going to St. John, and when the wind is in the right directions, airplanes landing at City Airport. I will probably keep the house closed up, although I do like to get some fresh air in here. I would have to put the screen on the door in the bedroom to get any, though. The ivy has grown up over the window again.


So I guess I will call it an early night, and try to do better tomorrow. This is a depressing task.


June 28

I just didn't get enough sleep last night, so I was tired and blah all day long. Instead of going to bed like I should have after I did the journal, I started reading the part of my book that I brought home with me, and that went on too long. So tonight I took my bath before I started this, and I can either read for a while or collapse.


Weather-wise, it was a much nicer day today. The temperature here topped out at 79, and it was much less humid. Still to hot for me. It just barely got to 57 in Copper Harbor, and while it evidently was cloudy all night, the clouds sped away around sunrise, and it was a glorious, clear day with not much wind. Oh, how I wish I were there!


I had plans for today, but I was so tired I really didn't do much.


However, I did do one thing I haven't mentioned. After coming here into the heat and wearing my hair (which was very long) twisted up on the back of my head for three days, I just got too tired of it. So I called my long-time hairdresser and now my hair is not more than 4" long anywhere, and shorter on the bottom. I wore it like that between chemos (1998-2000), but I decided to let it grow to chin length after the SCT, and since I haven't seen very many (if any) good haircuts in the Copper Country, I was just letting it grow. The ends got dry and frizzy (not split yet), and it was always getting into my face or into my mouth, and I just decided that now that I am an old lady, I'd better go to an old lady's haircut...well, at least an old lady who refuses to have a perm or a weekly set. It's going to be great. Now, I hope I can find somebody who can help me keep it like this. My hair has some natural wave to it, so if it is cut right, it is very well behaved. We shall see.


I paid some more bills, and after the haircut, I went back to Staples, returned the labels and got the stuff I had forgotten yesterday. 


When I got back, I went through the dresser in my bedroom and straightened out all the pantyhose, and got rid of a lot that don't fit, and I straightened out the other drawers, too, so that is pretty much ready to go.


I went through some things in one of the closets and got rid of a lot more pantyhose that were never worn and don't fit because they were made for a shorter, wider person with short legs. Too bad, too, because they come in colors I really liked. I have enough pantyhose to last until I croak, at the rate I wear them now.


So that is done. Maybe tomorrow I can do more. I don't think packing up the stuff in the dressers in the front bedroom will be too much of a chore. Those boxes are the size I used to ship to myself, and as I know well, they can be packed up in a real hurry. it's the sorting, and the odds and ends, that will be a problem. 


I do have to mention that the stairs are really doing me in. I am incredibly creaky and sore, and I have to use both hands on the railings to go up and down. So I go up and down with my little basket full of stuff I need with me, and the last trip of the day, I barely make it. It's a good reminder that even if I didn't have a house in paradise, I would have had to sell this house anyway and go to a place with only one floor.


So that was my quiet day, and I wish I was in the clear, cold field tonight.


June 27

So I'm still hot and tired, but maybe not so discouraged.


By the time I was ready to update the journal last night, all my access problems had cleared up. That's what comes of talking to the boss. And we at least got the last few pictures from the webcam. So that made me feel a little better.


I was up at 8:30 this morning, which I think is how I did it the last time I was packing. I just can't fend off the thoughts anymore. Actually, I had a wakeful period in the middle of the night, when I thought something had gone missing, but if it has, I won't know about it until I get home.


I did have to wait for the garage door repairman, but the news on that front was all good. The connecting lever had just come loose from the chain, when the door was about halfway down, and he couldn't find any reason why it had. So he reconnected it (and incidentally showed me how to do it, although I'd need a stool to get to it), and he oiled the rollers, the track and the springs, and it's working fine now. I'm afraid it will be an expensive repair call, but at least I didn't need a new operator!


So then I was free to go to Staples, and I got everything I thought I needed, and immediately on getting back, I remembered some other things I wanted to lay in while I have a bricks-and-mortar store to go to. I have to go back anyway, because I got some address labels and discovered they were for laser printers. So I can get my file jackets. They are nice people at that store, amazingly enough.


When I left the house, the temperature was 88 and the dew point was 68, which means it was miserable outside, and by the time I got everything back into the house, I was dripping.


Before I went upstairs to begin the day's work, I went downstairs to see if I could find the rest of the DSL software, and I did...I had seen it yesterday and thought it was something else. When I came upstairs again, it was as dark as twilight, and shortly after I got to the second story, the rain and thunder moved in. It has rained off and on all afternoon, and I guess there were some pretty violent storms down in the southwest part of the metro area. Nothing that severe here, though.


I put the disk in the computer and low and behold, when I plugged in the modem, put in my userid and password and said "connect", I am now using DSL! Is it ever nice! I think I need to go on dialup, even fast dialup, every so often just to remember how awful it is. When I think of all the problems I had loading it onto the desktop originally, I just can't figure out what happened. This install went like clockwork...maybe it was because I didn't have any written directions to confuse me. DSL is even faster than the wireless broadband, and I am certainly going to take advantage of it just as long as I can. The camera blinks right on, and my comics load completely in no time at all. Nice.


Then it was at something useful. We had put all my costume jewelry and all my mother's jewelry in boxes, and I decided that in the absence of packing boxes, I would go through that today. So I did. I got the four boxes down to three, and there are a few things for Cynthia to try to sell. I love jewelry  (in case you hadn't noticed), even though I don't wear much anymore, and I have quite a collection of things I really like. There were dozens of pairs of clip-on earrings from both my mother and me, that I will never wear, and a bunch of other stuff that either I know I won't wear or I can't wear (like 15" necklaces). So that job is done.


I was just contemplating dinner when the local movers called and said, hey, can we bring some boxes tonight? I wasn't about to say no! So I have lots of boxes, although they didn't bring all the wardrobes. So tomorrow I can attack the dressers in both bedrooms. Since I can leave the drawers full in the dresser, it would surprise me if it takes much more than one large box to pack everything else I'm taking, but we shall see.


Do you notice I am avoiding the bathroom? That is not going to be a fun task at all, but most of the stuff will just be thrown away. There is a closet in this bathroom that is almost big enough to be a stall shower, and it is truly amazing how much stuff has gotten stuffed into that closet...not to mention the drawers in the sink cabinet.  Lots of it will be thrown out, some of it will be packed, and some of it I will take with me. But I'm not looking forward to the sorting at all.


At least I have made a start! It would be great if I could get the upstairs done before Cynthia comes on Monday, although I'm not sure I can do that, since there are top shelves I can't get at very well. Anyway, I am planning to do just everything I can, so that when she is here, we can get at the hard stuff.


Oh, it was a nicer day altogether in Copper Harbor today. The temperature hung in at about 68 with a nice northwest wind, in the 15-35 mph range, that raised pretty whitecaps on the harbor. The temperature is now dropping off and it's getting cloudy, but it looks like it will be a good night to sleep up there tonight. I wonder how the kitties endured the thunder last night with no mommy?


And that is about all I know. It isn't very late, but I am still exhausted, so I think I will make it an early night tonight again. How I wish this was over with!


June 26

So I slept better than I thought I would, although not really well, and got up around 9:00. I hope tonight will be earlier. Even with the air conditioning and the ceiling fan, it was a night to just barely have a sheet partly over me - feet and arms mostly. I really must try to make some cotton nighties with long sleeves.


I don't know if I will be able to upload this. Jonathan has been moving things around, and the camera hasn't been able to update all day, and I couldn't even see the website files after about 10:30 this morning. Grr.


I went downstairs, got my OJ and came back upstairs to do my morning surfing, which was when I discovered the problem with the website. I fiddled around and had to rush a bit to get dressed and eat something by noon, when the moving person came.


In the meantime, I discovered that my toaster oven has died...or at least the on/off switch doesn't work anymore. When we were surveying the house, I discovered an old one in the basement (which I don't remember what the problem was). I think I also have a regular toaster down there, so maybe I won't have to buy another toaster oven. If it's not one damn thing, it's another...


After the surveyor left, I was going to go out, but I wanted to bring up the DSL modem from the basement, and in the course of doing that, I got to looking at the huge pile of paper on the computer desk. That meant it was late, and the hottest part of the day, when I finally left.


I had to go around through the back door to open the garage door. There are no handles on the outside, and I couldn't get enough purchase to open it from the front. The repairman will be here tomorrow.


It was horribly hot - about 93 - when I went out and I nearly melted away. I now have a full tank of gas ($75 at my friendly full-service gas station - yikes!). Then it was off to the post office, and it was the wrong time to go, for sure.


First, I discovered that they don't have any open post office boxes, and they could only suggest I go to another post office. The only one I would consider is the one in St. Clair Shores, and I bet they don't have any either. After a lot of talking and standing around, I finally ended up buying a premium service that Clyde didn't know anything about, where he will collect the mail and send it here every Wednesday. That is not what I wanted to do, but it is the only alternative they could offer - and it isn't cheap.


By that time I had been standing for so long I could hardly walk, and I was hot and thirsty and annoyed. So instead of going to Staples, like I wanted to, I came home, got a couple of bottles of water and came back upstairs to play with the computer.


I did discover that if I'm around at the right time, I can get at least some of the programs I like to listen to on WDET.


I loaded what I thought was all the DSL software, and the modem now works, but I seem to have lost the disk with the  controlling software on it...so whether I will be able to use the DSL is still up in the air. I will search my disk files again, but I sure didn't see anything that looked like it.


So it was a tiring and frustrating day. If Cynthia wasn't about to arrive, I would get into the shower right now and crash.


I discovered yesterday afternoon that I had been chewed alive while I was packing the car yesterday morning. I have several black fly bites on my arms, and one that happened right through my jeans on my thigh. That has been annoying me, too.


So that was how it was. It was hot and humid here, and it apparently was in Copper Harbor, too, where it got up to 81. It looks like the thunderstorms are moving in there, though, so that will cool it off a bit.


Cynthia came and went, and I guess we have a plan, more or less. It's going to be a lot of work.


And I'm tired and hot and discouraged.


June 25

Well, I made it, safe and sound. Ten hours, 20 minutes.


I did sleep well last night, thanks to two JDs and a sleeping pill. I woke up around 7:30, which was later than I might have liked, but the previous wakeup was around 4:00 and I certainly wasn't going to get up then!


I didn't waste much time, although I did do my morning surfing. There were just a lot of last minute things to do...and I can't remember much of what it was. Packing the cooler was part of it, and instead of one sandwich, I had to make three. I had to write a note, because there were a few things I forgot to tell Peg and Lydia yesterday. Load up the last stuff into the car, shut windows...well, there was a lot to do, and I don't move very fast any more.


So it was 10:40 before I finally left. That meant I didn't get here until 9:00, which was OK, at least at this time of year, when my entire trip was in daylight. Sunset is 45 minutes earlier here, though.


There wasn't much traffic the entire way, but it sure is that other season...you know, winter and road work.  They are resurfacing parts of US-41, and they are having their usual problem with the one lane roads...they wait until there are 30-50 cars in a line before they change direction. So I was held up quite a bit in the UP. At Newberry, however, while I had a pit stop, they removed all the barrels, and there is nice new pavement there now.


They are working on I-75, too, but the worst tie-ups seem to be in the other direction. Traffic was very light, but then, of course, I missed all the rush hours.


It was hot. I used the A/C the whole way, except right at the Mackinaw Bridge, where it was about 68, so i was able to let some fresh air into the car for a few miles. Once I got south of about Gaylord, the temperature went up to about 88 and stayed there.


The only live wildlife I saw (and I can't remember exactly where it was) was a doe standing beside the road looking alertly for cars...and when I passed her, there by her side was a little fawn, all spotted on its back. So cute! I think the doe wanted to cross the road, but it looked like she knew about cars and she waited until it was all clear to cross. There was the usual amount of road kill, although I didn't see any dead deer this time.


When I got here, the garage door wouldn't open with the opener, which Jackie reported yesterday. It was also in the middle 80s and extremely humid, so any move I made resulted in copious quantities of sweat, mostly dripping into my eyes and onto my glasses. I am cooling off now, but my hair is almost as wet as if I had washed it, and my glasses are so smudged up I can barely see through them.


I was able to get into the garage and ascertain that the door had become uncoupled from the opener...a call to my friends at ADT is in order tomorrow, for sure...but that means it can be opened manually, which is good.


it took me a while to get everything unloaded, even though I really didn't bring a lot with me this time. Just a few things to wear and a few things to do after the movers are gone, and some empty crates.


Then I had my last half sandwich and the end of my pasta salads, and I am sipping on my second JD as I write.


I have set up the computer upstairs on the vanity, but it turns out that the only 3-prong plug (I think) is across the room behind the bureau, so I can't plug in the surge protector or the Travel Disk. I will have to figure out something else to do . The vanity is a little high to type comfortably, too. I will have to cast around and see what I can find to use for a temporary desk. They removed my desk from the bedroom, so I can't use that. Hmm.


Tomorrow, once I have done all the other tasks I need to do, I will see if I can get the DSL going on the laptop. Dial-up, even at 52kb, just doesn't cut it.


So I am here, and it is late, and I really, really need a bath. Tomorrow I can begin to spring into action, although until the boxes arrive, there isn't a whole lot I can do except start throwing out.


I wish I was still in the field. I wish this task would just do itself. Oh, well.


June 24

I was going to just hop into bed last night, but when I got up to the north end, I felt so hot and sweaty that I took a bath anyway, and I felt much better for it. That was probably partly why I slept so well. I did get to bed rather late, but that was all right.


About 1:30, I was up, and there was a lot of lightening out over the lake, but I only heard one rumble of thunder, and the sky overhead was clear and starry.


However, around 8:00 this morning, there was a nice thunderstorm, with high winds and quite a bit of rain. I sort of dozed after that, but around 9:00, I had to walk anyway, so I got up. It was still raining. A couple of those a week is what we - and the lake - really need.


Unfortunately, the rain left it cool, but horribly humid - more than 85% humidity all day. I hate this kind of weather, and I sweat even more than usual in it.


So I diddled around, and Peg and Lydia came out to get briefed, and around 3:00 Adam showed up. He had a little trouble, but the pump now works. I hope it does when I get back.


I actually had been doing some things. I got the blue box packed with the papers and things I need with me. By the way, I now know why those blue boxes aren't being made anymore. Almost all of mine are now cracked somewhere, some of them seriously. It's good that I don't need them much anymore, or I would have to replace all of them with something more sturdy.


I also gathered things to do. When I went to pack up the embroidery, I discovered that the carrier I put my magnet board and my current project in had gotten barfed on, so I had to wash it, and I had a terrible time getting it dry, because it kept turning right side out, and the inside just wouldn't dry. Probably partly the humidity. Finally, I half-zipped it inside out, so I could get it to dry. And I couldn't understand why I was having so much trouble with the bag I keep my sock knitting in...until I looked at it and found four balls of crochet cotton. Oh. I'm not taking any crochet.


I fired up the laptop, got its security updated, and moved everything from the Travel Disk to it, then I packed it up, too.


In the meantime, I had a near disaster with this computer....arrgghh!! Again!!  I got an email message that looked like it might be legit, about an e-postcard. Well! If you get a message from a place called cilite.hk for heavens sake, don't open any of the links!!! First, Norton told me it had fixed a virus problem. Then, just to be sure, I decided to try to reboot...and the reboot looked like it was going to hang. So I tried a GoBack, and that hung, too. Oh, dear, shades of last January! Anyway, some of my correspondents like to send me e-cards, and I may decide not to open any of them after that.


This time had a happier ending, however. I finally disabled GoBack, and while I had to reboot three or four times more, I got everything back the way it was, so far as I can tell. Whew! Just what I didn't need today. I will have to do a virus scan, which I will do after I get this to upload and copy it to the Travel Disk, but so far everything seems to be OK.


Then I finished cleaning the kitchen. The sink was gross, but the rest of that side of the kitchen was remarkably clean, and just needed to be gone over lightly. I actually swept the floor! 


Sometime around 7:00, I started packing. I guess my sleepless nights paid off, because it didn't take me long to pack two suitcases. One wasn't big enough, so the two aren't very full. Maybe I will bring a few things back? Anyway, the one thing about hot weather, is that I don't have to pack any of the heavy, bulky things I do when it's cooler.


Then I moved all that stuff to the car, brought in the cooler and my lunch pack, and heated up the rest of my baby back ribs, which I am eating right now. With the weather as it is, I think I will wait to pack the cooler until tomorrow, try to get to bed at some reasonable hour tonight, and get up early tomorrow. Well. we'll see about that.


In the middle of all this, I forgot to go to the bathroom a couple of times, so I had to change my clothes and wash my jeans, since that is the pair I want to wear tomorrow. So the washer and dryer have gotten a workout the last two days. I also am wearing my sandals with my compression hose, because it got hot (or I got hot) this afternoon.


I think everything is pretty much under control, unless I've forgotten something vital, and I might even make it to bed before 11:00 tonight. I will be taking a sleeping pill, because I am always keyed up the night before I have to drive 600 miles, and I really like to get a good night's sleep.


The weather was ugly. The temperature actually peaked before the rain, at 73. It dropped off to the low 60s after that, and late in the afternoon it began to rise again, up to 72. The big thing was the dew point, which was giving us relative humidity in the 80% to 95% range. I mean, ugly. The winds, after the storm, have been  very light to calm. I mean, ugly.


So that was my day, and I still have a few things to do tonight, but not a lot. Tomorrow will be different. Ugh.


After the rain this morning, both Buster and Jasmine were racing around at a great rate, but Jasmine went away and I haven't seen her yet tonight. Buster, on the other hand, has wanted to sit on me every chance he got. He doesn't know the details, but he knows I'm leaving, and it just makes him very, very sad. When he couldn't sit on me, he has been sleeping near me, although he did sleep on the porch for a while this afternoon, while I was packing clothes. Poor kitties! However, taking them with me would be even worse, so they will just have to make do with Peg and Lydia and hope I will come back.


Oh, while I was gathering things to take - including my portable CD player - I ran across a little notebook that I have been looking for since last spring. It wasn't in the binder I thought it was in, and I had forgotten I'd brought it back last year. That is part of the problem with having so much stuff. However, I'm confident that everything will turn up eventually.


This morning, after the rain, the temperature was in the low 60s and the dew point was, too. While it was still raining, I heard the loon and the pileated woodpecker. While I was doing my morning surfing, every so often a little puff of breeze would come in the office windows, and it was full of that heavenly scent of summer woods...pines and cedar and sweet grass... I don't need drugs. I can get high just by breathing up here. How I hate to miss even a day of this!


On the other hand, it's supposed to get warm here this week, too, so at least I will be in air conditioning during the hot weather.


And I guess that's about all I have to say tonight. So I will get this published and copied, take the Travel Disk out to the car, shut it up, and shut the garage. It's time for the second JD and a nice tepid shower...


June 23

I suppose I should say what a night again, but this was a good one. I was in bed before 10:00 and I slept soundly, with only three wake-ups, until 9:30 this morning. I feel much better.


I have realized, finally, that those wake-ups are only partly because I have to visit the bathroom. I don't move when I'm sleeping (really!), and after about 3 hours, max, I really need to change position. Getting up and walking a few feet, then sitting upright, settles the joints back into position again, then I can try the other side when I get back into bed. This has been going on for over 30 years, so I'm used to it, and the only time it's bothersome is when for some reason I either can't find a comfortable position, or the mind is going in circles. Last night, I was tired enough that it didn't matter much.


Anyway, I did feel much better today, and I accomplished something. Most of the wash, except for the three tees I have to wash over, is done. The fleece throws that were in the cage are in the dryer now, there are three rugs in the washer, and I will do the tees after they come out. It's hard, because it takes so much longer to dry a load than to wash one, and things are getting backed up, but I guess I can muddle through.


While that was going on, I got most of the grocery stuff out of the breezeway and put away. I guess all there is now is toilet paper, and there is some stuff on the kitchen counter that needs to be put someplace. I still need to clean the sink side counters and the sink, which really needs scouring, but I don't think that will take long.


Tonight I met the Sestoks for dinner at Harbor Haus, and it was lovely. I brought home half of my dinner - baby back ribs - so I will have something good to have tomorrow night. We had a lovely time. They are such nice people.


It also seems like everybody in Copper Harbor was there tonight...at least four parties, and maybe five, of Copper Harbor people. Since I usually go on Sunday, I miss all that. It's less busy on Sunday, though, which I prefer.


So I had a good meal with good company before I start south.


The piece in the paper turned out OK. I got more words than John Dee did, I think, but there weren't any pictures of me. Of course, he is younger and prettier than I am, but I think they could have put in at least my mug shot. I'm not sure whether the piece will be in the online version or not. It wasn't today, but I'll keep checking.


When I came home tonight, Jasmine was sitting in front of the door, looking at me. She scooted, of course, but she clearly was wondering where I was. I wonder how she will react when I come back from Detroit?


I have to say that when you look at her face-on, she looks sort of funny. Her eyes are so much the same color as her face, which is mostly tan, that sometimes it's hard to see that she has eyes at all. I'm used to Buster, whose eyes are jade green and a great contrast to his black fur, or DC, whose eyes were sort of old gold, too, and contrasted strongly with his gray and white face. Maybe when she grows up, it will be easier to see her eyes.


The weather was nice. The temperature was mostly in the middle 60s, with not much wind. It was clear for most of the day, but it clouded up while we were eating.


So that is about all there is. I am still washing, but I do have to jump into bed pretty soon, so I can get the rest of the stuff done tomorrow.


Egad! I had just gone back to the laundry room, while the computer rebooted, and when I came back through the kitchen, Jasmine was in the middle of the dining area floor...playing with a snake! Egad! I am not afraid of snakes, and I think this was probably a garter snake, about 8" long, but I do not want snakes in my house any more than I want mice or chipmunks or squirrels!


So I put my foot on its tail and picked it up with my long-reach tool and put it out on the deck. Jasmine is most disappointed, but that's just too bad. No live snakes in the house, even if they do make interesting toys!


And I would say I don't have to worry too much about the autumn influx of mice and shrews. I suspect she will become as good a mouser as Buster is. He can teach her anything she doesn't know. I bet she knows something, because she was weaned before she was caught, and her mother was feeding her something.


I think this is the first time I have ever seen a snake moving across a slick surface, though, and it was interesting to see how it moved. I've seen pictures of snake trails in the desert...that's how this one was moving. But like I say, I wasn't going to leave in loose in the house just so I could observe its motions and Jasmine could play with it.


I think I need to go to bed.


June 22

Wow, what a night! This is really early, but I'm for bed as soon as I can make it.


I started out fine, but after about 3:30, I was wakeful, thinking about all the stuff I have to do in Detroit. Then about 5:30, I had to take a walk, and when I got back into bed, I had a spot in my middle back that was so sore it almost felt like somebody stabbed me. I couldn't find a comfortable way to lie, and I couldn't sleep. I even tried lying on the heating pad. Finally, around 8:00, I gave up and got up. I got dressed (big mistake) and had my orange juice while I did my morning surfing, and the pain finally went away. About 10:00, I was having such trouble keeping my eyes open that I got mostly undressed and went back to bed. I was cold, so I wasn't completely comfortable, but I do seem to have slept for an hour and a half, more or less. Buster was getting really concerned for me when I finally got up. 


I more or less suspect gall bladder, although most people have pain in front, which I didn't. So I may end up having to visit the doctor after all. What I had for dinner tonight won't help the cause at all, but it sure was good.


And today was trash day. I procrastinated as long as I could, but finally I had to get at it. I did cat pans, and I folded up the cage. I don't know what Jasmine will make of that. She has been using the pan in the cage - it was gross - but I put it downstairs. I really don't like the idea of having a cat pan in what is nominally my dining room. She spends enough time down there that she knows where the facilities are by this time.


My back (the usual spot) was bothering me, and I had to sit down between each phase, but I got the pans changed and gathered the rest of the trash, including a bunch of stuff from the fridge. I don't know what the answer is - I buy veggies like celery and green peppers because I have in mind to make something with them, and I never get around to it. It will be easier in the summer, since the general store is carrying those things now, but in the off-season they don't. And when I want to make some dish, I remember that I don't have any veggies. It's the one disadvantage to living in the wilderness.


So I carted off two big bags and three small bags to the compactor, and I think I got most of the stuff. The rest will just have to stay here.


It was a pretty day. It started out cloudy, but eventually most of the clouds, except for those pesky high cirrus ones, went away. The temperature maxed out at 64 and the winds were very light and mostly from the south. Lovely!


The other day, I tried to get a couple of pictures of Jasmine while she was sitting on the back of the couch cleaning up after breakfast. One didn't come out at all, and the other one isn't good, but here is her debut. I had to crop it heavily, since I was a good 20 feet away from her, and there was a whole lot of other stuff in the original. Her other side is more blotchy. Her chin is black or dark gray, and so is her nose, but her whiskers and the fur around them are tan, so she has a rather cute face. She also has a nice pink tongue.


This morning, she was lying full length on the bathroom floor while I was petting Buster, and a couple of times she has let me walk into the bedroom without running away, so when I get back, maybe I will be able to get some good pictures of her. However, a lot of people seem to be curious about what she looks like, so there she is.


And that is all I know, so now I can dive into bed.


June 21

Well, it's now officially summer. I will have to hang the summer banner. You couldn't have asked for a nicer day, either.


I am doing this now, then I have to work on the kitchen some more. I got kind of behind today, and I have to catch up.


Not that I have much to report. Buster has been sleeping with me in the morning, and we slept until about 9:30. When we got up, Jasmine came down to the bathroom and with much squeaking, laid down and rolled over, then looked at us, as if to say, "Am I cute, or what?" Yup, she sure is. She still won't come close to me, although she did come out and eat some breakfast when I served it up. So slowly, ever so slowly, we make progress.


I diddled around, I have to confess. I have had an Outlook Express file called "Save This" for a long time, but I had kept saving bits and pieces of it until I had about seven separate files, and I couldn't find some of the things it seemed so important to save. So I decided to put them all together, and then I had to go through it and throw out the duplicates and those things that weren't important anymore. Before I created the folder called "Orders", I put some online order receipts in "Save This", and those had to be deleted. All that took a while, but I think I now have one file which is in fact the most up-to-date one. I need to copy it to the Travel Disk, but that will come.


Then I decided to try to track down the problem I have been having with Norton, and I got myself into a bigger problem, had to do a couple of GoBacks to get things straightened out and up to date. I now have some instructions on how to fix the problem, but it will take more time than I care to put into it right now.


Then I started on the kitchen. The stove side is sparkling, and the oven should be done cleaning by now. The sink side still needs some work, but mostly putting away and sorting out, I think. I still have bags of stuff to put away, but that may have to wait until tomorrow.


The weather was gorgeous. It was clear all day, although for most of the day, there was that high haze that is very thin cirrus clouds and which makes the sky pale blue rather than the dark blue I love. The temperature was around 55 all day, with a north wind in the 10-15 mph range. Now the wind has dropped to nothing and the temperature is over 60. A really lovely first day of summer.


Summer actually happened at 2:06 this afternoon, so we really had only a partial day. Nancy was going to get up to see the sunrise this morning (at 5:54 EDT). I wonder if she did? Too early for me, for sure!  Sunset is at 9:52, so we have just a tad under 16 hours of daylight. This has been happening for a few days, and it will go on for a few more, before we start on the downhill leg. I do love the long days. However, it's bad for star observing, so I wish it would rain between midnight and 3:00 am and begin to fill up the lake.


I spent some time on the telephone today, because there were some glitches in the arrangements I thought I made for the movers. The survey will be done at noon on Tuesday, and the boxes will be delivered on Thursday. I am taking a few boxes back with me (small ones), and I'm sure I can begin the sorting and throwing out. Tuesday, after the survey, I have to go to the post office and get a post office box, and I want to go to Staples and get a lot of packing tape and a lot of black markers. They never give you enough packing tape, and markers seem to get up and walk off while you are packing, so I want to have enough of them.


I also talked to the glass company, and they are not willing to alter my bill, so I am mulling over my options. I just do not think I should have to pay for them finishing the windows twice, since it was their screw-up. They won't admit that, by the way. Trouble is, I need those people, since all my windows and doors came from them. So I don't know.


So that was my day, and after I get this to load, I will do some more in the kitchen.


June 20

I got to bed at a reasonable hour last night, and I started out fine, but I had a couple of hours between 3:00 and 5:00 when my mind was going in circles. Even my usual strategies didn't work. I did finally get back to sleep, and got up around 9:30, but I didn't get enough sleep, and I'm tired again.


I was lying there, around 9:15, trying to decide whether to get up or not, with Buster behind me, when I felt a light bump on the bed, and somebody peeked around the comforter and peered at my face. That is as close as Jasmine has ever been to me! I laid quiet - I don't think she saw my eyes - and she jumped down. But when I got up and put my feet over the side of the bed, she came up and almost sniffed my ankle. I almost got to pet her, but Buster yowled at her and she went under the bed. He is jealous, without any reason to be - yet. I think we're making progress! How sad that I have to go away. It will probably take weeks to get back to this point after I get back.


Then, to top it off, when I put down food, I had to put down two bowls, because she wanted to eat! And she did, more than Buster did, although it was something with gravy, so he did eat some of it. So just when I have to go away, she is beginning to come around. Oh, my.


I did a few things today - wrote a couple of bills, got envelopes and stamps for priority envelopes, and - wonder of wonders - I did some work in the bathroom. It isn't perfect, and there is still a lot of dust and hair on the floor, but the counter and the bathtub are clean again. So that is done.


When I went to the post office, who should I run into but Nancy! They arrived on Monday and are going back on next Tuesday, but at least they have a week. She looks good, but she is still having problems and she is still not going to have the usual treatment. I pray for her a lot.


Anyway, that was nice, and we will meet for dinner sometime this week. Such nice people!


The weather started out kind of iffy, but it turned into a lovely afternoon. It started out in the lower 50s and we had a very light shower around 9:00, not enough to register at the NWS station, but enough to wet the deck except under the tree. Then the temperature started to rise, and it got up to about 73 with a moderate northwest wind. It is lovely now. There are some high clouds, but it is mostly sunny and balmy. Now, this is my kind of weather! It is going to cool off tonight, so I didn't open up the house, but I will tomorrow.


So I am still on schedule, pretty much. Tomorrow is the kitchen, Friday is the trash, including the cat pans, and Saturday is laundry. Sunday is packing. I can put some stuff in the car early, like empty crates and boxes, but most of the stuff will have to be done on Sunday. That is always a hairy day. And Monday, I am off to the big city.


How I wish I could go to sleep and wake up on July 26! I hate it there, and I hate to pack, and I don't want to leave here. Oh, well. One more time.


So now I will try to get an early start on the night again, and maybe I can sleep better tonight. Hope so. I think I can forego the bath, too, so I may just read for a while and savor my last few days in the field.


June 19

I did write a journal last night, even though it didn't get uploaded. So if you're bound to read everything I write, you might want to read that one first.


I read for longer than I should have last night, but that, plus getting things underway, meant I got a much better night's sleep last night. I could have gotten up at 7:30, but that seemed just too early, so it was 9:30 before I finally made it out of bed.


I made an attempt to do my morning surfing, but while the dial-up was answering again - the broadband was still down - it wasn't working well at all, so I finally gave up on it. However, it was after noon when I finally started for town.


By that time it was getting very windy. with gusts in the 35 mph range, and the harbor was a sea of whitecaps. It was partly cloudy, but the combination of clouds and sun and wind made the water the beautiful dark teal blue it only gets when it's stormy.


I passed some road crews working on the covered road, but they were mostly stopped for lunch. They are patching the road...and frankly, to me it seems the patches are making things worse rather than better.


There wasn't any traffic going down, so I made good time. I got my stain and other stuff, and informed the glass company that I wasn't happy with their bill. But more about that later. Then it was off to the tire company, via the hardware store, where I got a few more keys made, and finally found a scratch awl to replace the one that got ripped off back in the middle 90s. It's not quite the same, but it will do.


It took about an hour to get the new tires, and they are another very nice crew to deal with. Not that they should have been otherwise, when I dropped over $600 on tires, balancing, etc. I was amazed and gratified when I drove off, by how smooth the ride is. Those rear tires really had gotten oval, so the tread was indeed separating, and I made a good decision. The new ones are a little noisier on the road, but they assured me that they work really well on snow, so I guess I am set for about 50,000 miles now...and by that time I will probably need a new vehicle anyway.


My next stop was the paint store. We opened the can of stain and stuck a stirring stick in it...and there was about an inch of thick sludge in the bottom of the can. So there. They never stirred or shook up the can enough to mix all the pigment in with the stain, and I am not liable for them having had to do the job twice. I will call the glass company tomorrow and inform them.


I then went off to Econo Foods and laid in a few things. Cynthia informed me the other day that Farmer Jack is out of business, which was a real blow to me. I have been eating mostly from their deli when I was on Champine, so I guess I will be clearing out the freezer and making do with what I can get at Kroger, which isn't nearly as good. So I stocked up on lunchmeat and veggies and a few deli salads, which should tide me over for a while. I also restocked the freezer with TV dinners. I spent a lot, but I got a lot of JD - they have a special fifth with a collectible shot glass - and they had some steaks and some beef country ribs that I wanted to lay in. I think I got everything I was thinking about, but the non-perishables are all in the car, so I'm not sure.


I topped off my gas tank, just from habit, I think, and gas is down to $3.00 a gallon ...well, $2.999, but I normally round off that last tenth of a cent. That, I think, is about 30 cheaper than the last time I got it. I will be stopping at the Indian reservation on Monday (a convenient place to pee), but I'd rather have the gas to start off. By the time I got my gas, the wind was really roaring, in the 30-40 mph range. It kept blowing my car door shut...fortunately, not with my legs in it.


So then it was time to head for home. I didn't encounter much traffic, but it was there. I had just gotten onto the covered road (where the speed limit drops to 45 mph) when there was a stoppage in front of me. It seems a rather large birch had toppled down a bank and all over the road. There were 7 cars going north and a double-bottom log hauler and another car going south, waiting while the county cut up the tree and cleared the road. Fortunately, they were just about through when I got there, but I turned off the motor and sat and listened to ATC while they worked.


That log hauler was interesting. The front part was full of huge logs with "V" marks on them - I would say they were from 18" to 24" in diameter. I don't believe they were paper mill fodder. I didn't think the trees around here had been growing long enough to get that big. The back trailer was full of little stuff, which is clearly meant for paper. I haven't seen many logs that big around here.


So finally we got through. The first guy in line took off like his tail was on fire, but the two cars in front of me were evidently not very familiar with the road, and the guy right in front of me kept riding his brakes, which, if you've read this thing for a while, you know drives me crazy. However, there isn't anyplace to pass once you get on the covered road, so I laid back and took it easy. Both cars were going to the Mountain Lodge, so evidently they are getting some business, even on Tuesday.


And when I turned down Woodland Road, only a few hundred yards from the paved road, there was a sizeable tree down right across it. I took a look at it, though, and decided that if I chose the smaller side, I could drive over it, which I did. One of the nice things about driving an SUV. I met one of my neighbors, and warned her, and when I got home, Mac had called about bringing the tractor over, so I told him, too. He was going out, so he packed his chain saw, and I imagine he got rid of it. There was a lot of dead stuff down in the woods all the way south. 


We have had some pretty hairy winds lately. The NWS station didn't catch the winds in that storm last night, but I would guess that the gusts were at least in the 50 mph range.


The wind is dying down a bit now, but it's still windy. It was cool, too. The temperature hung in right around 60 all day, which made it rather chilly with the wind. That wind peaked in the 25-45 mph range a couple of hours ago. It was mostly cloudy during the afternoon, but the clouds are beginning to break up now, and there is some nice sunshine.


When I got home, the broadband was fixed, although I had to reboot and power cycle the receiver before I could use it. It sure is nice to have it back. How quickly we get spoiled...although I do believe I wouldn't be doing (or trying to do) the kind of surfing I do every morning if I didn't have broadband. I look at a lot of pictures, and they take some speed to download. I do have to exonerate PastyNet, at least about the dial-up last night. There was a message on the support line this morning that all the rain had drowned a number of telephone lines in Houghton and Keweenaw counties, and AT&T was working on them.


Then I had a sandwich and my nice pasta salads and veggies, and now I am really, really tired, so I think I will make it an early night.


So that was my day, and I think I got all the tasks done that needed doing in town. Tomorrow I can start to work around here. With the lake roaring and the wind howling and banging, it's going to be a good night to cuddle under the comforter and sleep long and hard.


June 18

I'm going to write this, even though it won't get uploaded tonight. It has been quite a hairy time.


I didn't sleep well last night, because the thunderstorms moved in while I was reading, and they continued after I turned out the light. At the same time, it was warm and humid in the house, and I had a terrible time finding the right temperature.


I also had a terrible time getting my mind off what I need to do, too. It should be better tonight.  I made all my phone calls, and everything is in motion. It appears that the moving truck will be coming on July 20, so we'd better be ready. Cynthia is going to be out of town for a week, which will be hard, but really, I can do a lot of the packing of this load myself. She assures me we will get it done somehow. 


I will be going down to Calumet and Houghton tomorrow to get more keys, get my tires, and hassle the glass company. After that, it's a matter of getting done the things around here that need to be done. I do not need to get more cat food, although there are a couple of varieties that I don't have much of that I might try to lay in.


So things are in motion, and that's good.


While I was reading, the lights kept blinking, so finally I came down to the office to turn off the computer completely - and had to wait while the power bounced again. Then I called UPPCO and complained, and we haven't had a glitch since. Strange, eh? Heh-heh.


However, there was a really violent storm while I was sitting in bed, before it got dark. There wasn't all that much wind, but there was lots of lightening and thunder. Several bolts of lightening seemed to hit down at the other end of the harbor, or up on the mountain, I couldn't be sure. 


That passed over, giving us about 3/4 inch of rain - how lovely! - and while it kept on raining, the thunder went out to the lake. And then a little calico kitty came into the bedroom and told me all about it, how she did not like all that noise and she wanted peace and quiet! I mean, I really heard about it. She almost thought about jumping up on the bed, even, but she thought better of it. Darn it, now I have to leave! Anyway, it was funny.


So I turned out the light, and about 3:00 we had another storm, not so much rain, but lots of thunder, and there was one that kicked up out around the end of Keweenaw Point that was almost continuous lightening for about 15 minutes, but it was far enough away that I didn't hear any thunder at all.


It was warm and humid this morning when I finally made it out of bed, and when I got to the office, the broadband transciever at the fish house was down. They have tried several times to power cycle it, but it is still down. Finally, I used to the dial-up to upload a couple of pictures, but then we had another really violent thunderstorm, and now not only can't I see the fish house, the dial-up is busied out and so is the support line. This is the first really severe weather we've had since PastyNet became a major player, and I'm afraid they are having some problems.


That thunderstorm was wonderful. The wind was blowing so hard it was blowing sheets of water off the harbor, and it rained hard for half an hour. Almost all the porch was wet. 


I can't give many figures for the weather today, because I can't get connected to the Weather Underground. While I was on dial-up, a while ago, Norton decided to do some kind of humungous auto-update that saturated the line and I couldn't even get to my home page. I am getting tired of these people who assume everybody has broadband of some kind.


The storm was strong enough that I didn't get to hear most of my afternoon news programs today. WGGL was having serious problems with their satellite reception for almost two hours. And with no broadband, I couldn't get to another source. WNMU doesn't broadcast all the programs I want to hear.


Anyway, after the storm sort of passed by, I decided to cook. I decided not to make what I'd been thinking about - shrimp Creole - so I hauled out a package of chicken breasts. I wanted to do the broccoli-cheese dish, because I have a lot of broccoli around, but I discovered I don't have any broccoli-cheese soup, so I did the one with mushroom soup and just added the broccoli to it. It turned out pretty good, I must say. So now I have a couple more meals to tide me over.


Anyway, I am now isolated with no internet at all, and I really don't like it, but that's what happens occasionally. I hope nobody panics when there is no update tonight. I will upload this whenever I can.


And now I think I will go and put away my chicken, then I'll trundle up to the north end. It was warm and humid enough today that I sweat a lot, and I need a nice soothing shower. If it's early enough after that, I will read a while. Tomorrow, I have to try to get an early start...of course, if the internet is still down, it will be easier to do that.


And that's summer in the field.


June 17

Well, it was a little better night last night, but I still spent quite a while sitting in the bathroom staring at the floor and thinking about all the stuff that needs to be packed. So I am still tired, and I think tonight I might just go sit in bed and read for a while. Maybe that will help.


The day started out with a bit of sunshine and quite cool, but it clouded up early. The NWS station claims it got into the upper 60s for a few hours around noon, but it didn't feel like it to me. Then between 2:00 and 3:00 it started to rain, lightly at first, then a nice soft rain. It has stopped now, and I don't see any more rain on radar right now, although they are predicting the possibility. We got about .25 inch, which isn't nearly what we need, but anything will help.


I actually enjoyed the day, because even though the breeze (what there was) was cool, it smelled that heavenly smell of summer woods, and I love to breathe that, especially since I will soon be back in the stinky city. And with the windows open there was that bird I don't recognize singing for most of the afternoon and the shriek of the pileated woodpecker, which always makes me laugh. When I went to dinner, there was a loon fishing out in front of Harbor Haus.


I really intended to do something - either the bathroom or the kitchen - today, but I just didn't feel like it. The cool dampness (and it was cool and damp, even when it wasn't raining) isn't good for my back particularly.


I will try to get a good night's sleep tonight, because tomorrow I have to spring into action, mostly on the telephone, and start getting this operation organized. Thank goodness for my headset!


It's started raining again, so it's a coolish, dampish evening in the field.


June 16

I just got back from dinner, but I'm going to do this so I can go to bed.


I talked to Debbie until after midnight, then I sat in the bathroom staring on the floor for a long time, so I think it was about 2:30 before I got to bed, but I was up any number of times closing windows. It wasn't until I shut both back windows in the window seat that I was actually comfortable enough to sleep soundly, and that was around 6:00.


I had just come out of the bathroom and sat down in the bed when I looked up to see the hind end of a black cat in one of the side windows of the window seat. I knew immediately that more cat was hanging out the window than should have been possible with the screen on, and sure enough, when I checked, there was no screen! I grabbed the cat and pushed him out of the way and slammed the window shut. Egad! On top of everything else, just what I needed was to have to try to find an indoor cat who had gotten out! This afternoon, I went outside and found that the screen had either come out, been pushed out, or was never put back in last summer when the windows got washed. I got it back in place, but it's upside down...but by that time I decided to just leave it.


Something was going on out there, because after I closed that window, Buster was glued to the back windows for a long time, until I finally shooed him away.


It could have been most anything. While I was sitting in the dark talking to Debbie, I saw more fireflies outside the office windows than I have ever seen in my life. One year, I saw a couple, but none since then. And it's early, too. They are fun to watch, and they were so bright that at first I thought I was seeing a satellite go over. They were blinking very slowly, if at all, because it was so cold, but they sure were bright.


Then while I was sitting in the bathroom, first I saw a little moth that looked like it had a lot of orange on it - it's hard sometimes, when looking from the bottom, to see the real markings. Then something started fluttering around that was so huge I thought at first it was a bat, which turned out to be an enormous brown moth, at least 4" across, with eye markings on its wings. Its body was almost the thickness of my little finger. It finally lit and let me get a good look at it, from the bottom of course, and it was still there when I turned out the light.


All that got me wondering, where do moths go in the daylight? The one time I saw a luna moth, over at the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, it was inside the ladies' outhouse (I think, someplace in my huge stash of pictures, there are some shots of it). But I don't think I've ever seen another moth in the daylight. I wonder where they go?


Anyway, I spent a lousy night. I was cold, for sure, with the windows and door open, but I also had too much on my mind, thinking of everything I have to do in Detroit and everything I have to do between now and the time I get there. So I am pretty groggy, and it will for sure be an early night tonight.


When the wind blew last night and today it was from the north, over that cold, cold water, and the temperature got down to about 55 overnight, but it was very variable, according to the NWS station. It briefly got up to 60 when the wind died in the morning, but for most of the day, it was between 55 and 60 with 5-15 mph winds out of the north. A very welcome change from yesterday, believe me. It was a lot warmer down in Houghton.


When I woke up this morning, it was to thick fog, which came and went until about noon, when the sky cleared up completely. There are some clouds again now, but the afternoon was gorgeous.


It was a pretty good day for the fishermen, I would think, although because of the fog there weren't many on the harbor that I could see.


And Mariner was a zoo, even at 6:00 when I got there, and it only got more so. The awards will be given out there around 8:00, so everybody was gravitating there, and by the time I left, it was getting pretty noisy. They had at least 8 wait people, and they were all running, and Peggy was washing glassware, amongst other things. They had the upper floor open for the first time, and it looked like every table was taken. However, I had a terrific steak, called a flatiron steak, with a sort of southwest concoction of veggies on top and sour cream laced with chipotle. Yum. Microsoft doesn't recognize chipotle, and I'm not quite sure if it's because I misspelled it or because it's not in the dictionary. Anyway, I ate more than I should have, but it was good.


And it was nice to get home to my quiet, with the bell buoy and the birds. I can tolerate noisy drunks better when I'm not exhausted.


And I do say, I was glad to see it so busy. After the winter we had, they need the business.


So that was it. I have the cat sitters and the mail stuff settled, and the rest I have to wait until Monday for, when I will spend the day on the phone. Tuesday is tires, paint, cat food and a few things for me (for once, I'd like to take some good sandwiches to eat on the way south). Then I can begin to work on whipping the house into shape.


And as soon as I can get this thing to upload, I'm off to the north end.


June 15

Well, how fast things happen. At about 5:30 my realtor called me to say there was an offer on my house, after talking to her for a while, I counter-offered, they counter-offered, and at 9:30 I faxed back the sale agreement. Whew! It isn't anywhere near what I'd hoped to get, but it is about all I could expect under current market conditions in the area. So a week from Monday, I will be going down to Detroit to pack and move the rest of the stuff. Not where I want to be, and not when I want to be there, but it has to be done. It will close on July 24.


I think I'm going to cry.


But I keep telling myself, I have to do this, it's the right thing to do, and best I get it done as soon as possible. Sob.


Anyway, it was a good ending to another hot day in the field. It was a good night to sleep, with the wind blowing around me, and I got up at a fairly reasonable hour this morning. However, it eventually got up to 85, with not much breeze, and it was hot! The computer overheated a couple of times.


After my first talk with the realtor, I went to dinner, and I was horrified by the number of cars in front of Mariner. It turned out, though that everybody was across the street in the park, getting ready for the fishing tournament, which is tomorrow. I thought it was rather nervy of them to park in front of Mariner, but I suppose they'll all end up there eventually. There seemed to be a lot of people there.


I did get to talk to Lydia, and she agreed to come and feed the kitties, since Ron is away, and I certainly can't take them with me. So that was good.


I was having my second conversation with the realtor, when I accepted the final offer, when quite suddenly, the wind shifted to the north and picked up, and the temperature dropped at least 10, and it is now rather nice, even in here.  And while I was talking to Cynthia, whom I really will need, two loons floated by out in front, in the shallow water.


So I am rather out of sorts, I guess. Next week, I will be running. I need new tires, and I had hoped to wait until October to get them, but I don't feel safe driving 600 miles on the ones on the car now...too bad, because I might get them cheaper in Detroit, but oh, well. I think probably the tread is separating on the two rear ones, and I don't know how long they might hold out in that condition. 


I need to get my stain from Keweenaw Glass and take it to the paint store to inspect, because they billed me for the entire labor of staining everything twice, and I think the first stain was their fault, and I shouldn't pay for the whole thing.


I need to get some more keys to the house.


I need to inventory the cat food and lay in enough for two cats for 6 weeks, just in case...although I will pick up some while I am in Detroit.


I need to do something about the kitchen, and I will need to wash clothes.


I need to get my mind around this thing. I am finally going to be cutting my ties to the house I grew up in, and except for my doctors and church, I have nothing there at all. I will have to stay in a motel when I go in October. My, my, my.


After I finished talking to the realtor, I poured myself another JD, although I don't usually have another one when I eat out. It's tempting to have another one, except that I am already getting a headache.


So that was the exciting end to a quiet day. I did some embroidery, and that was about it.


So that was it, and as soon as I finish talking to Debbie, I'm going to bed.


June 14

It was a good night to sleep, and an even better morning, as it turned out. I was up briefly at about 7:00 and went back to bed...and I didn't roll out until almost 10:30. Zzzzzz...


It was another lovely day in the field. There weren't any clouds, and there was almost no wind, but even better, to my mind, the temperature never got above 70. What wind there was (under 3 mph for most of the day), was from the east, over that cold, cold water. It was lovely, and neither the computer nor I overheated.


On the subject of the water, I checked a couple of the buoys this afternoon, and the water temperature seems to be about 38. Now, that's cold! You could freeze pretty quick in that water.


I was late enough getting up that I finally finished eating just before the nice young thing from the Mining Gazette got here. She had a list of pretty innocuous questions, and we had a nice chat. I will be very interested to see how her article comes out. It is supposed to run a week from Saturday in the "Living" section.


I not only heard the loon today, I saw it. It was fishing out in front of the house all day. Mostly, I saw where it had been, because it was fishing in earnest, but when the reporter and I went out to take some pictures on the deck, it was floating right out beyond the garden. I like loons. They have the most interesting vocalizations, and they are stupendous divers. Besides, they are neat looking birds.


Of course, neither cat came out to see us, even though the reporter likes cats and would love to have met them. Buster showed up as soon as she left, rat fink that he is. I think he was waiting someplace, either at the north end or on the basement stairs. Jasmine showed up briefly, too, but she ran away when I started walking around.


However, this morning, when I was sitting in the bathroom with Buster on my lap, she actually walked up to within about two feet of us. She has the strangest little peeping voice, and she talks most of the time.  Tonight, I moved her food dish into the kitchen beside Buster's. We'll see how that works. If it does, I'll move the dry food dish, too, and then I can get the cage out of the great room, which will no doubt make all of us happy.


It is a really beautiful evening, and the harbor is like a mirror, and I think it will be another good night to sleep.


June 13

I didn't sleep well last night, and I think it was because I was too warm. I was going to open another window in the window seat, and I didn't, and I was sorry. Oh, well. The temperature was in the upper 60s all night, but around 8:00 it dropped to 60, and that was nice, but I had to get up about 9:15, so I stayed up. Early tonight, I hope.


The task of the day was to whip the office into shape, and I did get most of it done. The two file boxes and the trash need to go out, and it doesn't look very good over by the slider, because there are bird feeders lying around, but it certainly is much better than it was. I hadn't swept for a long time, and the floor was gross, and I must have recovered 5 grams or so of beads...apparently when I was spilling beads on the floor, there was enough other stuff that I didn't get them all. There are baskets galore under both the sewing machine and the desk, but the stuff under the desk is stuff that I use when I'm beading, and besides, I didn't know what else to do with it. The cupboard is full, the blue box is full...and I'm running out of room, which is my usual state.


I didn't sort catalogs, so there are four baskets of them under the computer desk. That's for another time.


It was actually a terrible day to do a task like that, and I was dripping for most of the afternoon. The temperature at the NWS station only got up to 84, but it lasted for most of the afternoon and there was no wind to speak of, so it was a lot hotter than that in here, despite having most of the windows open and the fan on medium setting.


The problem with the heat was that the computer kept overheating, and I'm sure that was part of the reason the other one died. I pulled it out into the open, but without air conditioning (except for the nice breeze that is now blowing in the windows occasionally), there isn't a lot I can do except shut it down. I did that for a while, and I will warn you now that the camera updates may be spotty for the summer, because I don't want to fry my computer. I certainly hope it isn't this hot all summer!


I thought about moving it up onto the desk, which I could do now that I have my new monitor, but it would still be over in a corner, where it wouldn't get much more air than it does on the floor. I may have to deal with it being out in the middle of the area between the desk and the computer desk, but I think I can move it around enough to keep it out of my way.


I was admiring my handiwork and thinking about dinner when Jasmine came upstairs and sniffed her food dish, which was from last night. Boy, is she getting snotty! She is going to have to learn that if you are snotty with me, you have to make up for it by being really nice...like sitting on my lap and purring. I was walking around, though, so she went back downstairs.


Buster, by the way, slept for the entire afternoon on his chair on the porch. It was hot out there - I walked through when I took off my sneakers and put on a pair of thong sandals - but he likes it hot, so I suppose he was happy, smelling the fresh air and hearing the birdies.


I took off my sneakers and socks and put on a pair of thong sandals with my compression hose, which don't have toes. It looks really weird, but it was much more comfortable. I don't know quite what I'm going to do about those compression hose. They are definitely hot, but in the summer I tend to swell more than ever, so I really need them. Somehow, compression knee-highs with shorts just don't make it.


This morning, I was awake around 6:00 and there was a very happy bird I have never heard before singing in the bushes. I would probably have to go through all the songs of little birds on both my CDs to identify it, but he sure was happy! There was also a chickdee, one of the little woodpeckers drumming and I heard the loon call softly a few times. That's three days in a row. They are definitely here. I think when I heard it this morning, if I'd gone running outside, I might have seen it...but of course, I couldn't run if my life depended on it.


I guess that is about all there is for tonight. I will leave the house opened up, and I will open more windows in the bedroom, and I will fold back the comforter, since clearly I don't need it.


I really don't like hot weather. I never did. And now, with it having been mostly cool, I am just not accustomed to it at all. When the temperature drops to 60 because there is a breeze off the lake, it feels good to me. However, I keep remembering that this is the time of year when the days are 16 hours long, and the birds are singing, and when it is calm I can hear the bell buoy and the ships out on the lake (and smell their diesel fumes), and sometimes there are no sounds at all. And all winter, I was thinking about having the house opened up. Well, now it is.


I do have to reverse the ceiling fans in the great room, and then it will be cooler in there, too.


So it's a lovely clear night in the field, and I will go to sleep looking for my summer star - Arcturus setting in the northwest.


June 12

I guess I must have sat around for a while, because it was 11:00 before I got into bed last night. It wasn't a bad night. I had the door open, and there was a nice breeze, so it was pretty comfortable in the bedroom. However, I woke up around 6:30, to find that my little wild cat was tearing around the bedroom, burying under the throw on the window seat, meowing and generally making a lot of noise. That continued for quite a while, until she said "mew" and Buster said "meow" in answer, and she quit. I like to see her playing, and I like to see her getting brave, but geez...


I went back to sleep, and it was nearly 11:00 when I finally got up, and by that time it was hot in the bedroom, and outside as well. I opened the bathroom window while I was sitting there, and I was nearly overpowered by the combination scents of sweet grass and wild roses. Heavenly!


I am trying to get the office sort of in shape for the interview, and I made a little progress on that, but then I went to the post office and came back with another 3" pile of catalogs. I was able to pitch a lot of it, including at least a dozen pleas for money, but still, the catalog problem is getting out of hand again, as well as the magazine pile. And there are enough beads that they won't all fit in the cupboard anymore, so I really don't know what I'm going to do about that.


It was one of those days when I really don't know whether to believe the NWS station or not. It had the temperature going up and down like a sawtooth, depending on the wind or lack thereof, and while I did notice some temperature changes, I'm not at all sure they were that dramatic. When I got up, the report was 77, then it went down to about 64 in mid-afternoon. It went up to 80 at 6:00 (well...it was a tad warm then), and is now down to a nice 75 or so and a little breeze has picked up. There wasn't much wind all day long, really. For most of the day, it was really lovely, with most of the house opened up. So I don't know what was really going on. My outdoor thermometer is totally useless, partly because it is in the sun, and partly because it goes haywire any time there is any moisture.


The only other report is that a hummingbird knocked on the screen this afternoon - he could probably smell the feeder, which was right inside the door. So I hung it outside, and there were a few visitors. I do need to work on the bird feeders one of these days.


I met Jasmine on my way to the bathroom tonight, and she stood her ground and meowed at me until I got about 8 feet from her, and once I was sitting down, she ran down the hall and up the stairs to the loft.


I had to reboot twice last night to get the upload to work, but maybe if I'm lucky tonight, it will go faster. The sun hasn't set yet, but it is getting a bit dark to read, so maybe I can get to bed at some reasonable hour tonight. 


It is another lovely night in the field, but we need rain.


June 11

So I embroidered until 11:00 and jumped into bed, leaving the porch door open a way, and for once, I slept very well, thank you. It's nights like that which make me so mad when I can't sleep. And my cycle was such that the last time I had to get up was too early, and the next time I woke up was almost 10:30. So it was a severely truncated day. My hip didn't bother me for once, although when I woke up the first time, my right foot was so sore I could hardly walk on it. I think it was a cramp in a different muscle, because I finally almost got rid of it by flexing my ankle severely. Please, I don't need any more aches and pains!


If I had my druthers, which usually I don't, I would sleep from 10:00 until about 8:00, which would make the day long enough to do something. Of course, getting to bed by 10:00 is difficult when the sun doesn't set until 9:45 or later, especially when I have the journal to do.


While I was sitting and stitching, a loon started calling more than I have heard in a long time. It didn't sound like a distress call, like the time the eagle was going after it, so I don't know what the problem was. Finally, I heard an answer from the other end of the harbor - loon calls are very penetrating - and it shut up. It was so calm last night that I could hear the bell buoy. That absolute calm and silence is my favorite part of summer. It gets that way at other times of year - it was in March - but only in the summer can I have the doors open so I can really hear it.


Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, it wasn't completely silent. There were the usual number of motorcycles going up and down the highway. That was better than Saturday night, when several of those humungous RVs with diesel engines apparently left the campground in the early evening. They are incredibly noisy. As I get older and my hearing gets worse, I cherish all the more those totally quiet times with only the loon or the buoy (and my tinnitus) to break the silence.


So I didn't do much today, I'm afraid. I did balance my checkbook before I put away the bank statements. I discovered that one statement (the one with all sorts of changes to the terms, conditions and fees, of course) is missing. Fortunately, I could download it from the website. It seems I had entered a different amount for one check than I wrote the check for - .83 instead of .05. Now, where I got that number is totally beyond me, but it would have driven me crazy. It almost did anyway, because I had to recalculate the itemized balance between the middle of February and now. Sometimes I wonder about my mental processes, except that I have periodically done things like that for as long as I have had a checkbook. One more reason to balance the checkbook every month, and holler soon when I don't receive the statement.


It was another beautiful day, but we do need rain again. The temperature got up to 79 for several hours in the afternoon, with not much breeze, then between 5:00 and 6:00, it dropped from 78 to 56 when what breeze there was shifted around to the north briefly before it dropped off again. Now the breeze is from the southwest or something and the temperature is back up a bit. It's sometimes just fun to watch the thermometer (if you have a good one in a good place) and the wind direction. 


I like the 56 a lot better than the 79.


And I don't completely trust all the readings from the NWS station. But for the time being, it's all I have.


When it was warm, I opened a couple of windows in the back of the great room, and I will try leaving them open tonight and see how it goes. I don't want to have to wear a sweater, but I do like the fresh air inside.


I don't think there will be any embroidery tonight, since it's later than lately, and I need to bathe.


Jasmine has been bouncing around off and on, although she does go down to the basement and probably sleeps during the day. She not only doesn't like me walking toward her, she doesn't like me looking at her. Heaven knows what she thinks I might do to her, although I guess in her past life when people started looking at her it usually ended up that they grabbed her and did something nasty to her. People need to remember that cats remember, especially the bad things, and they have to be very careful what they do, especially when they are trying to tame a feral cat. Well, by leaving her alone, we have gotten this far, so I guess I will just continue.


Oh, yes, and I got a call from Red this morning, and I am going to man the Community Center next Tuesday afternoon. Another new adventure!


So that is all there is, and it's a lovely night in the field.


June 10

For once, the upload worked, so I was left with trying to decide whether to read in bed or embroider in the ugly chair, and the ugly chair won. I embroidered for a couple of hours, and made some progress. 


For part of the time I was sitting there, with the slider open, Jasmine was running around peering out all the open doors. She is still awfully shy of me, but she keeps looking at me like she can't quite decide if I will go after her or not.


Anyway, I got to bed at a reasonable hour, but I was wakeful in the night, as usual. This time, I just couldn't find a comfortable position to lie in, with my sore left ear (from sleeping on it) and my sore right hip. Eventually I did get back to sleep, though.


All night long, there were stars in the sky...not really spectacular stars, but stars. I couldn't see the star where the handle of the Big Dipper meets the bowl, so it wasn't a pristinely clear night. However, it was clear.


It was a beautiful morning and day, too, with not many clouds and lots of sunshine. The temperature got up to 75 at 5:00, with not much wind, but then it dropped almost 20 in two hours, but with calm winds, it is still a lovely evening, and I think I will sit in the ugly chair again.


I did begin to get the dishwasher loaded again, and I am still trying to make some sense out of the kitchen, but there is a lot of standing when I do that, and it bothers my back.


I finally decided it was time to sort my 2007 papers (now that it is June) and organize my 2007 file folders, so that is what I did this afternoon. The folders are together, with a few things left over, but I haven't put them in the blue box yet. In the course of sorting, I found a paper I was supposed to sign and a utility bill for Champine that got lost and never got paid. Oops. That didn't cause me any problem, actually, because I was running a credit balance at the time, and the next bill was the yearly settlement bill, but still, it scares me a little when I do something like that.


While I was sitting with my lap full of stuff, Jasmine came running in. She looked out the open slider, and I think she jumped up on the counter to look out the window, then she went off. So she is getting really brave. I don't know how long I will have to sit and do nothing before she decides I'm OK.


Dinner was at Harbor Haus, excellent, of course, and the view was lovely, but I was sad to discover that the tourons are beginning to arrive. There was a real loud-mouthed jerk seated behind me, with another one. The second one couldn't sit still. Almost between every course, he was up out of his chair and wandering around looking at the pictures. However, soon there were enough people that I didn't have to listen to them too much.


The eagle just flew over my house, headed purposefully toward the big lake. What a big, beautiful bird!


When I opened the slider this afternoon, there was a song sparrow singing somewhere out in front, and when I opened the slider in the great room, with the sun pouring in, all I could smell was wild roses. Aaahhhh!!! What a scent! Sometime I would like to pick some and see if I could get that lovely odor inside, but they are so thorny, I would need welder's gloves to handle them. The lilacs are full-blown, and some of the ones that opened first (on a teensy bush that isn't more than 2' tall) are going. The butterflies are still flying around in bunches. There were a few little buttercups open this morning, but the butterflies don't seem to like them for some reason.


Oh, yes, and when I got to the north end last night, I discovered I had gotten a black fly bite right above where my watchband sits. I have been putting Adolph's on it, but it's in a bad spot. It's forming a blister now. I will treat it again tonight and hope for the best. The one on my finger didn't last nearly as long as usual, and I credit that to the Adolph's.


So that is about all there is, and I will go sit in the ugly chair and make little cross stitches for a while.


June 9

Even though I got to bed relatively early last night and I slept fairly well - only one short wakeful period - I have felt all day like I didn't get enough sleep, so of course I didn't do anything. I was really sleepy.


Buster took about two mouthfuls of his breakfast this morning and walked away, and the next thing I knew, Jasmine came out of the cat hole (the hole in the basement door) and made like she was going to eat it, and she was talking her head off. I don't think she was quite brave enough to actually eat anything with both of us watching her, but I do think she came back later and ate a bit, after we were safely in the office. I suspected she was a talkative little thing, and it seems I was right. Reminds me of Grandma Dodie's (bless her soul) cat, whom she had named "Motor Mouth". That doesn't seem like a nice name for a nice cat, but it is descriptive. So it appears I have my own motor mouth, even more talkative than either Buster or DC.


If she's been eating out of Buster's dish during the day, and I suspect she has, that is the reason she has not been eating all of her own dinner at night. She is awfully skinny, but I was just looking at a picture of Silkie at about the same age, and Jasmine looks quite similar - all feet and ears and skinny as a rail. I guess all adolescent cats look about like that. Silkie was not a talker, though.


I spent some time watching the butterflies around the lilacs this morning, and there are a huge number. There are lots of monarchs and yellow swallowtails, but there are also some smaller orange and yellow kinds that I don't recognize. I have a book on watching butterflies with binoculars, but they move so fast I doubt I could catch them (same trouble I have with birds), and besides, looking through the screens isn't very helpful.


It was a beautiful morning, quite clear and warm and breezy. The temperature got up to 77 around 1:00, but then it dropped back a bit and the wind has all but disappeared now. There were some clouds in the middle of the day, but they seem to be mostly gone now, too. I partially opened up the house, and it certainly is nice.


On the way to dinner, I noticed that both the red-twig dogwoods and the thimbleberries are in full bloom. The dogwoods have been coming out for a number of days, but the thimbleberries just popped out overnight, it seems. I am so glad to see them. Several years ago we had an infestation of some kind of blight, and there were fears (there are always fears) that it might kill off all the thimbleberries, but not only didn't it, the blight is gone. We might get a decent crop this year, if it keeps raining. Last year was so dry, it was a bad year for all the berries. The wild roses are also beginning to come out. I can't wait to smell them on a warm, still morning.


I finally got the pictures out of the camera, and I'm sorry it has taken me so long. The first one is of my beach, which I took on May 23. That seems to have been about the lowest water point. Normally, the beach would have stopped about were the little pebbles and the two little bushes are, and all the big rocks, which are like the ones in my fireplace, would have been under water. I do think the water is up a bit now, with the rain, so I'm glad I took that picture to show just how much real estate I gained. Since legally my property goes to the water line, for a brief period, I actually owned more than an acre. You can also see the steps down to the beach, which are just about covered with wild roses.


The second is a picture I got Thursday night, before the rain got here. You can see rain falling on (or maybe behind?) the hills. That eventually got here. The picture was taken about 8:45, which is about an hour before sunset, but it certainly was dark! One of the many things I love about this place is that I have such a good view of the sky.  There isn't much sky in the big city, and very rarely could I see a storm coming like that.


Sunrise is before 6:00 now, and sunset is creeping toward 10:00 - 9:47 tonight. so we have 15 hours and 52 minutes of daylight. I love all the light, even though I'm sleeping through a lot of it. It spoils me, for sure, because there is so much time to do things that require light. Only I keep reminding myself that there are only about 2 hours of real darkness (although on toward the end of astronomical twilight, it's pretty dark), so this is not a good time for the astronomers and northern lights watchers. And I am thankful that there is not a complete reversal in the winter. At least then, we still have 8 hours of daylight...although with the sun so low, probably 6 hours of useful light is more like it.


The thing that amazes me is, most of Europe is actually quite a lot more northerly than we are, so they have more daylight in the summer and less in the winter even than here. And people get along quite all right there.


I do enjoy not having to use the lights most of the time in the summer. The sun at noon is nearly 66 high in the sky, so not much sun shines directly in the office. DC used to like to sleep in it, but Buster apparently either doesn't, or there is too much noise going on in here. He has always wanted it perfectly quiet when he sleeps - picky, picky, picky.


So that is all there is for tonight, and I will have to see how long it takes me to get this uploaded. I might embroider for a while, or I might sit in bed and read. Either way, I will get to enjoy a pretty night in the field.


June 8

About the time I dropped into bed last night, the wind picked up and began to batter the house, and it went on all night long. The NWS station only saw 15-25 mph, from the west, but I know it was stronger - a lot stronger - out here. The station is particularly sheltered on that side. 


Anyway, as a result, after my first three hours or so, I had a very wakeful night. It wasn't only the noise. I was achy and twitchy and generally uncomfortable. Finally, I deduced that I was cold, since I had only been sleeping under the sheet blanket, and after I pulled up the comforter, I had a much better rest. I still got up shortly after 9:00, so it will be an early night tonight.


It was mostly clear, and it was nice to see stars. At one point, I also caught a glimpse of the rising moon in the corner of the big windows in the bathroom, and there were some clouds in the sky. By morning, it had clouded up, but the clouds started to go away about noon, and it was a lovely afternoon, with lots of sunshine, blue sky and whitecaps on the harbor. The temperature maxed out at 65, and the wind, which shifted to the northwest has been in the 15-35 mph range all day.


So I mostly just enjoyed the weather.


Tonight, I went to the Fire Department spaghetti dinner, at Mariner, and it was good. I like spaghetti, and I don't eat it often, so it was a treat. There was also some garlic bread to die for, and I got to eat with Cindy and Jo Topol (who runs the Northport Motel with her husband, who was motel sitting), and that was very nice.


There is also a bake sale along with the dinner, and I brought home a nice selection of home baked goodies, including some nisu, which is a Finnish bread. I've never knowingly had any, and I want to try it. Since I ran out of lunchmeat today, I have a good excuse tomorrow.  I don't bake on purpose, because if I did, I'd eat what I baked, and I don't need that, but every so often I get a real craving for home-made baked goods. I think I got enough stuff to satisfy my craving for a while.


Jasmine's playtime seems to be between 5:00 and 7:00 in the morning, and there was much rushing up and down the hall and stomping of feet and peeping this morning, which ended just after I got up when she chased Buster into the bathroom. He didn't seem to mind.


So it was another quiet day. About all I did was to empty the dishwasher (for a change), and dry the rug I washed last night. I am going to have to do something, because I will have my interview with the Mining Gazette next week, and it would be nice if the house didn't look completely like a pigpen.


So even though it is early, and the afternoon sun is shining beautifully into the house, I will get this published, and if I am early enough, I will sit in bed and read for a while and hope to get a better night's sleep tonight.


June 7

Well, I got my wish last night - sort of. Around 1:30 a thunderstorm came right over the harbor. It wasn't a very violent one, but there was some nice lightening and some thunder. Besides, that, it actually rained more or less hard from about 7:00 until about 3:00 this morning, and we got probably .6 inch of rain, which is very good for us.


It cleared up in the morning, and stayed relatively clear until just a while ago, when the clouds started to move in again. It did get warm - the hourly temperature reading zigzagged around 70 all afternoon. The wind, which was quite brisk this morning, was almost non-existent all afternoon. This is in spite of there being a high wind warning and a severe weather warning for most of the day.


"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"


I'm not saying we won't get it. There is rain falling to the southwest right now, hard enough that I can see it against the sky, but I just think they are overstating again.  We are probably in for some more thunderstorms tonight and maybe tomorrow, but I think the NWS is just overstating again, in case something happens.


Anyway, it was a nice day.


Last night, the web published with no problem at all. Now what the devil the difference between then and the past two nights was, I just do not know. Experiments should be repeatable...they should fail in the same way.


So today I did the usual. I did get the dishwasher unloaded and I washed the heavy fleece jacket I wore outdoors most of the winter. And I had a fax conversation with the realtor, so my house should be back on the market soon.


The news on the Jasmine front is that I finally realized that she has been sleeping in the bedroom, in the window seat. She runs away when I wake up, and this morning she was lying there wiggling around in the fleece throw and making noise and watching me to see if I noticed. But she still runs away when I get up. She evidently cased the joint and tried a few places, like the closet, then chose the cushiest place in the house. The throw is on top of three old king-sized bed pillows and Buster likes it there, too.


Ah! The rain has reached us. No thunder, but a nice rain. Oops - I spoke too soon. We've now had a couple of nice cracks of thunder, but this is a fast moving cell and it's out by Horseshoe Harbor already.


I have been neglecting the natural history reports. The lilacs came out around the end of last week, I think, and the butterflies, especially the yellow swallowtails, have been feasting. So pretty! And Tuesday morning, I had been paying attention to Buster and not much else, and when I looked out the window, there almost in front of me - not more than 20 feet from the house - was a doe, nicely bedded down and looking quite comfortable. She was on alert, with her ears going like semaphores, but she didn't look upset or anything. She saw me when I stood up, and stared at the window, but since I didn't move toward her, she didn't spook. Another magical moment in the field...


Now you see that I am treating Jasmine just about like I do that doe...except, of course, that I am feeding Jasmine.


Well, that seems to be the end of the rain for a while, so I'd best get this published and head off for the north end. It's an unsettled night in the field tonight...


June 6

I ran down the hall and jumped into bed and stayed there for nearly 12 hours, and I did feel better today, I must admit.


It was nice to see the stars for a change. I wouldn't say they were spectacular, but considering all our clouds lately, they were pretty good. The moon is rising late enough that I was able to see quite a lot, in the brief times I was awake.


It was a pretty morning, too, mostly clear, with lots of sunshine and all that blue, blue sky. It was mostly clear until about 3:00, then it began to cloud up, and sometime around 6:00 it began to rain. It is still sort of misty, but the main rain is now over the east end of the lake, so we had a nice little shower, but nothing to write home about.


That got me thinking. It is certainly nice to get some rain for a change - this time last year was the beginning of our summer drought, and I was hoping that wouldn't happen again. However, for all the storms that have passed south and north of us, we have yet to have a real thunderstorm over the harbor this summer. I love those, especially when they come at night, with the sky alive with lightening and the thunder echoing off the hills. I'm sure we'll get some, but it's been a couple of years since we've had a good one.


Now it is just misty and foggy. The temperature got up to about 66, and there was a moderate southwest wind until the rain moved in, and now it is down in the middle 50s and calm again, just like last week.


The guy came to install the windows, and while he was here, I washed a couple that were dirty. He also sprayed silicone on the slides of all the windows he put in. So now my window problems should be solved, I hope. I also washed part of the slider in front of the camera, and I think the spots are gone...or I hope they are. I have thought for a long time that a lot of my problems opening the windows and the guck that got on the outsides during the winter happened because when the original staining was done, they stained and varnished them in place, without taking the sashes out. We pretty much verified that, because there was varnish and/or stain on a lot of the slides and between the upper and lower sashes. I shall have to point out to Adam that that is not a good way to finish windows. I think it is pretty much resolved now, but it has taken 6 years.


I was going to work on the kitchen today, but I didn't get a lot done. I did get the dishwasher unloaded and reloaded, and I will run it overnight. I also did a couple more loads of wash.


There was a lot of pattering of little feet last night, and the ping-pong ball has disappeared, but I'm afraid poor little Jasmine doesn't really know what a toy is. She tried to come upstairs twice this afternoon, and both times she met me and disappeared again. Poor Jasmine. Patience.


So that was my day, and it is time to trundle up to the north end and try this sleep thing again.


June 5

It was so late last night when I finished writing that I only tried once to get FrontPage to copy the file, then after I rebooted, I did it manually. It was still 1:00 before I got to bed - much too late. Tonight will be different.


I woke up around 4:00, but when I got back into bed, I developed some abdominal cramps that were severe enough to keep me awake, unless I laid on my left side - colon down, you know. Finally, around 6:00, I sat in the bathroom for nearly an hour, and that seemed to help, at least so I could get back to sleep, and it was at least 10:30 when I woke up again. That still wasn't enough sleep, so it will be an early night tonight. The only thing I can think that might have caused it was if I ate too many veggies for dinner last night. I finished off one veggie tray and one pasta salad that was mostly veggies. Otherwise, who knows?


So I got up late and I didn't feel very robust today, but I did begin the wash. The second load is in the dryer and the third load is done in the washer. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow.


It was cloudy when I woke up this morning, but there wasn't any fog, and around 1:00 it began to clear up, and now it is perfectly clear and gorgeous outside. The temperature was in the upper 40s for most of the day, with only a light wind from the east, mostly, but now it is calm, and the harbor down at the little bay at this end is just like a mirror...soooo pretty!


Jasmine was curious about what I was doing both last night and during the night, and while I was awake, I could hear her pattering around peeping. She didn't go down the basement until I went to get dressed, so she had a good long time of daylight. I noticed that while her right side is nicely patchy, tan and dark gray and white, her left side is mostly dark gray, and she has a tan patch on one front leg. I am finally getting to see just what sort of cat I got. Her eyes seem to be a sort of antique gold, and I am really interested to see what they look like close up.


She had so much fun just running around last night that I fetched the bag of cat toys I brought from Detroit and put two little toys, a ping-pong ball, and a catnip bag in front of the cage. Buster thought he wanted the catnip bag, but he just took it away and hid it, so I got it out. That's Jasmine's. I also put out a goodly amount of catnip on a paper, but Buster wasn't too interested, for some reason. Strange, usually he loves it. Anyway, we'll see what happens tonight. I'm not going to stay awake listening, but I am up enough in the night that I should be able to tell if something is going on, and we'll see where the toys are tomorrow. She is a kitten, after all, and kittens, no matter how wild, love to play. I'll be interested to see what she likes.


When she sees me she stares at me, and she seems to be looking puzzled, so I have hope that eventually she will decide to see what happens if she gets within hand reach. I am known in the animal world as a really good petter. And I think, from the way she was looking at me this morning, that she may have been more aware that I was in some distress than Buster was. 


I'd say, that's a man for you, except that DC wasn't that way at all. He was the most empathetic cat I have ever known. He was the most unusual, and one of the most intelligent, cats I have ever known, too. Sweet D. Four years and I still haven't gotten over him. I probably never will. It was like losing a brother.


However, I learned a long time ago not to make judgmental comparisons between either people or animals. Everyone is unique and wonderful in their own right. And yes, that attitude has gotten me in trouble before now, with people who didn't like me for some reason. I yam what I yam. And so are you.


Anyway, at one point there was a confrontation in the hall, and some hissing and yowling, but I think perhaps I can see Buster beginning to waver a little. He seems mostly curious about what Jasmine is doing and frustrated, like I am, that she hasn't made up with us.


Patience, Buster. Remember that mouse that hid under the nightstand, and you sat and waited for at least two hours before it came out.


So that was my truncated day, and as soon as I can switch loads in the dryer, I will be off to the north end and hope to get a good, long night's sleep. Oh...it isn't going to be all that long, because they are supposed to install my windows tomorrow.


And it's a lovely, clear spring evening in the field, and I guess I haven't said lately how happy I am to be here.


June 4

So last night, I copied the file manually, after three tries. I do not know why sometimes it works just fine and sometimes it doesn't work at all.


I was late getting to bed, of course, but I did sleep, although I did have a hard time finding a comfortable position sometimes.


After about 5:00 this morning, every time I woke up, I heard the patter of little feet and peeping from this end of the house. Jasmine was apparently having a good time, although I don't quite know at what. I finally got up when Buster decided it was time, and while I was sitting with him on my lap, getting his morning pet, Jasmine actually came into the bathroom and walked all around the bathtub. She looked out the windows, and she stared at me. She is really marked very prettily, patchy and not stripy, with mostly white underneath. Her chin is dark gray, which makes her look a bit odd in some lights.


When I got up to get dressed, she disappeared, but this evening, I was sitting in the powder room when she stuck her head through the cat hole. When she saw me, she sat down with her tail (which is mostly dark gray) neatly wrapped around her front paws, and she watched me until I got up, then she went back downstairs. 


So she is getting bolder all the time, and she is clearly interested in me and what I do for Buster, but she is still not quite sure...




The task of the day was the trash. Ron offered to help transport it, and between his small pickup and my truck, we got everything to the dump in one load...but it was quite a load. And Rich had to cycle the compactor a couple of times to make room for it all.


I promise faithfully that I will not ever do that again unless I am desperately ill, and then I may put upon my neighbors to take a few bags at a time for me. I hadn't gone to the compactor since before Thanksgiving, and needless to say, I had quite a load. It just fit in our two vehicles.


When I got back home, I was exhausted, so I sat in the sunshine in the ugly chair and embroidered for a while. I finally finished the little circles and started on the underskirt, which shades from pale blue to white and will eventually have white metallic highlights and is edged with metallic gold. It's going to be quite a while before I get to the metallics, though.


The fog disappeared around 3:00 this morning, as best I could tell, and it was nice to wake up and be able to see the mountain for a change. It was pretty when I woke up, with mostly blue sky, but there was a cloudbank over in the northwest that eventually clouded up our skies for most of the day. The clouds mostly rolled away by 5:00, so I could sit in the sunshine. The temperature was mostly in the upper 40s, although it reached 56 briefly around 5:00. The wind was light from the north...and it was strange to have wind again, too. It was a rather nice day, all things considered, but buggy.


The bite on my finger began to blister this morning and it was quite painful for most of the day. Now it is just itchy again, but I have a nice blister almost " in diameter on my finger, with an indentation in the middle of it. If past experience is any indicator, it will take at least two weeks to go away, and breaking it is not an option - that causes even more problems. I think one reason it is so painful is that it is just about on top of the scar from my cut, which is rather new to be stretched like that. I don't think, though, that I got any new bites today.


The other item of note is that I got an email from a reporter for the Mining Gazette who wants to interview me about my blog. I am a bit hesitant to do it, but I suppose I might as well take my 15 minutes of fame when I can get them. Apparently blogs are few and far between in the Copper Country, not surprisingly. I told her I would consider it.


So that was my productive day. Of course, the minute all the trash was gone, I began making more, but oh, well. And now it is late again, but I have the delight of hearing Mozart (Symphony #38) while I try to get this to upload, and then I can trundle up to the north end.


June 3

I had to try three times again to get this uploaded, but oh, well. You understand that after every try there is a reboot. However, I got to bed at a reasonable hour and slept long and hard, with a few strange dreams...really strange.


I was briefly awake after dawn, and when I looked out the back windows of the bathroom, the pines at the back of the lot were wreathed in fog. Now that's fog!


And it was like that all day...cold and foggy and icky. The temperature was mostly in the upper 40s, and the relative humidity was over 90% all day long. There was no wind at all. The camera might as well have been down, for all the changes in the picture. For most of the day, I couldn't see beyond the drop off at the front of the yard, although one time a bit of the southern shore of the harbor came clear. I mean, it was foggy. And yucky.


I didn't do much, but I did have a lovely evening. Ron invited me to dinner, and he is a very good cook, and he does things I wouldn't attempt. However, it turns out he was a chef for a while when he was young, and he learned some things. He and Trevor live in a very nice house, very small compared to mine, but nice and light and embarrassingly neat. I would love to see his view, because his front windows face east, and the side windows face north, but there was no view today. So we had a nice dinner and a nice conversation...he is nearly a professional photographer, and he has some fantastic equipment. And we both love food and this place. So it was a very nice evening indeed.


This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours embroidering, but I didn't get through with the little circles, because there are a lot of them and that is picky work.


Oh, yes, and I woke up this morning with a black fly bite on my left index finger almost on top of the scar from my cut. I put some Adolph's on it at once, and that kept it pretty comfortable all day, although it is itching again now. I was sure some bugs would get into the house when Adam was working on the screen door latch, and I was right. The only interesting thing is that I only got one bite...unless the itches on the top of my head are more, but I don't think so. There aren't any lumps.


So that is all I know, and it's time to jump into bed.


June 2

It only took me four tries to get the files uploaded last night. I didn't want to do it manually, because I had rolled over the month, so I had to keep trying. What a program!


I didn't sleep all that well last night, for some unknown reason. I was stiff and achy, and that probably had a lot to do with it. And I wasn't looking forward to Adam (which was silly; Adam is a nice kid), and that probably had something to do with it, too.


I was sitting on the edge of the bed last night, reading my devotions, when Jasmine came in and looked at me, then she ran away. I guess she just can't figure out whether I really am as nice as I appear. Poor kitty.


I woke up at about 8:15 this morning, to hear the patter of little feet in the great room and a little singing going on, followed by somebody howling and hissing. It must have been Jasmine hissing, because Buster spits, but it sounded like it might have been him howling.  Never a dull moment.


I dozed for a while, but I had to go to the bathroom, so I got up around 8:30...9 hours' sleep should be enough. About the time I got to the office, a couple more freighters came by on the big lake, sounding their fog horns.


It turned out to be a lousy day. It started out in the low 50s, then around noon it got up to 61, after which it dropped back to about 50. The humidity was around 90% all day, and there was some intermittent drizzle and no wind. Just the kind of weather that is worst on my aches.


So I chickened out after all, and I didn't go to Lydia's party. I was sorry to miss it, but I just couldn't bring myself to go to anything out in the cold drizzle and bugs.


This was after I cleared a monumental paper jam in the printer, by going to the HP website and reading the instructions there. Next time, I will know I have to do that from the back. I printed a very nice card, so now I will have to send it to her.


Adam and a helper arrived at around 10:30, and most of the tasks are done. The pump into the lake isn't working, because a fitting got cracked (maybe it froze in either the spring or the fall?). So we filled the pond from the well. All the grouting and caulking of my tile is done. The cupboard door in the laundry, the screen latch in the office and the cutting table top are all in place. I guess the cart is half put together. The screen doors are on, except for one that turned out to have holes in it, which Adam took with him to give to Keweenaw glass to re-screen. It is the door to the breezeway, and I forgot to look at it when I found that the coons had torn up the window screens. Those little guys owe me. I wonder if there is a market for raccoon pelts?


While Adam was fixing the screen latch, he let in a lot of bugs, which I am still batting. It was really buggy out there today, even though it was cool. I think it was partly because what breeze there was came from the east and it tended to blow the bugs out of the woods, although with no wind to speak of and such high humidity, I expected it would be buggy.


I was creaky and achy, as well as sore from having to do a few things like clear off the stove side counters so Adam could caulk, so I didn't do much after I got the printer fixed and the card printed. Of course, Adam and I did a lot of talking. Like I said, he is a nice kid, and we have known each other for quite a while now.


So that was my day, and I'm tired again, so I will try to get this thing to upload and toddle off to the north end.


June 1

It's June already! Time just seems to slip by.


I was in bed early last night and I did sleep pretty well, although my right hip was more bothersome than it has been lately. 


I didn't see or hear much from the spook cat, because it had cooled off so much that I didn't have the porch open. I presume she got her fresh air in the office window. However, around 6:00 or so seems to be her playtime, and there was some rushing around for a while. I think she was still around when I got up around 9:00, but when she realized I was awake, she went away as usual. It's nice to hear the patter of little feet on the bare floors. I haven't heard that since DC got sick.


I did nothing. I felt all right, although I wasn't walking too well, and when I did stand up, my back was very bothersome. So I vegged.


This was a day of the sounds of summer. While I was trying to get back to sleep, early, I heard the bell buoy for the first time, chiming softly. And at 8:00, the Isle Royal Queen IV puttered down the harbor and out into the big lake. That boat needs a muffler. It must be deafening on board. Then, to top it off, around 11:00 or so, two ships passed by quite close to shore, it seems, blowing their foghorns at each other the whole way. One of them had a horn that was almost as deep as the ones I remember from my childhood.


It was calm all night and all day, quite cool, and very foggy. Even when there was no fog in the harbor, it was foggy out on the big lake. The temperature hung right below 50 until just a little while ago. The camera shows the fog coming and going all day long, and it is still very hazy down the harbor. The relative humidity was over 90% all day, which no doubt was part of the reason for my sore back. Cool dampness is the pits.


I dined at Harbor Haus tonight - lamb chops - and it was just as good as ever. They have a new feature. Instead of serving butter with their rolls, they are serving a very nicely seasoned dipping oil in a nice little square dish. It will no doubt get people eating more rolls, and I have to say the seasoning went perfectly with a nice JD. I have confirmed that their prices are up - $2 to $3 on most dishes. Well, it's not going to keep me away. It's still cheap by big city standards, and it's still some of the best food I've ever eaten. However, I may have to rethink my resolve to pay cash for my dinners out.


The other interesting observation is that the water is so low that there are rocks visible at the end of the dock, which I suppose is the caisson Chris mentioned. It's really amazing. Much as I hate to see it rain on people's vacations, I hope this is a wet summer. At least the last week or so has been far wetter than it was last summer, and that may continue.


It was cloudy when I went to bed, but it cleared up some later, enough so that I could see the moonlight shining in the windows. The second full moon of May was very low in the south, so I couldn't see it at all from the bedroom.


Now, besides all the high clouds in the sky, there is one out the south windows that looks just like a cotton all, except that it has little streaks jutting out from it in several directions. Neat.


So that is about all I know, and I have a couple of other things to do before I retire. Lydia's graduation party is tomorrow, and I have to print her a card. I got one yesterday, but it's sort of tacky, like a lot of things are at Wal-Mart. So I will make her one of my own.


It's a calm night in the field tonight.


Last  updated 08/25/10 09:02 PM