A View From the Field








July, 2007


July 31

So now I am 66. Truly amazing. Sometimes I never thought I'd make it, and I certainly don't feel that old...until I try to get up out of my chair. For my grandmother's generation, 66 was old, but my mother and her friends certainly weren't old at that age, and I certainly don't feel old. I always said "old" was ten years older than my father, but he would be 94, so that doesn't work anymore. The more I experience it, the more I think old is how you act, at least until your body and/or mind gives out. And maybe I have a few years left.


It was a good night to sleep last night, with all the windows open, but I didn't do very well. Fish is a diuretic for me, and I had the rest of my Sunday fish last night, so I was up 6 times or more. As a result, I slept until nearly 10:30, by which time it was warming up some and getting very windy, so windy that I had to close the window nearest the head of my bed.


Thank goodness for that wind! It was from the north and in the 15-20 mph range all day long, and that saved us. The temperature was in the upper 70s, and it was hazy-clear. It was more humid than yesterday, but the breeze made a big difference. It was a lot warmer in town than out here, as is frequently the case. West to north winds come in over the water, and that keeps things cooler here.


I got a lot of the crates out of the car this afternoon. There are still four more crates and a lot of odds and ends to get out, but I will have to do it tomorrow, since I want to go to Houghton on Thursday for supplies. The kitties are running out of food, too, and I need to get what I brought back put away. The breezeway is getting really full of stuff, but I'm not sure where I want to put a lot of the stuff I brought back. I need to wrestle with the shelves in the laundry room, finally, but I will probably have to get the ladder upstairs to do that.


Otherwise, I sat quietly and did not much. It was a good day for that, and I was sleepy - it was a good day for that, too.


Tonight, I went back to Harbor Haus for a very quiet celebration, and I had a piece of Grandma Dysen's pecan pie as a treat. It was good, as usual, although things were moving a lot slower tonight than they were on Sunday. That was OK, since it was a nice night to look at the lake. The tourists are here in great numbers, too, and that isn't so nice, with the usual loudmouths and know-it-alls. I wonder if those people actually realize how their voices carry? Anyway, for the sake of my friends, I hope they are dropping a lot of money in and around town. I brought home half of my flank steak, so I will be eating Harbor Haus food for four nights in a row. Not bad every now and then.


Buster has been spending most of the day sleeping on the task chair at the sewing machine, but about every hour or so he comes and sits on my lap for a few minutes and gets petted, then he goes back to his chair. He is sleeping most of the time, it seems, but that could be the weather. Otherwise, he does not like the noises from the basement, and in the middle of the night, I think he peed in the washbasin in the bathroom. Smart kitty, he is. Now if I could only get him to use the toilet...


I think Jasmine spent the entire night on the porch, watching the parade outside. At least she was there every time I woke up. She also climbs the screens occasionally, which I don't like, but she is so light weight that I don't think she has done much damage. Around sunrise, she has a good romp around the house for 15 minutes or so. For such a little kitty, she can certainly thump hard on the floors!


I usually look back somewhat on my birthday, just to put the year in context. It was a rather upsetting one, apparently, with the house and all that, and I can't say I feel like I accomplished very much. However, all that is behind me now, which is a good feeling, and I don't have the worry and expense of a house nobody is using anymore. Every time I think about the basement, I get tired, but eventually all that will get taken care of, too. 


Bad as the job of packing was, there were some good things about it: I got all my framed embroidery back; I found a number of items that had gotten lost; and I divested myself of some things for which I had no use, other than the house itself. Soon the rest of it will be here, and all I have to do is figure out what to do with it.


And I didn't have any health problems other than the normal age-related ones...well, and the gall bladder. My general health is good, even though I can't walk very well. All that is good.


I am hoping this next year will be a little more productive, both in crafts and in housekeeping, and I can look forward to another year in my favorite place. And that is very good.


So now I will toddle up to the north end and try to get a better night's sleep tonight. Another year is behind me.


July 30

Well, one more day in the 49-65 demographic group. I can feel what little influence my opinion and buying practices have had slipping away from me. Oh, well, it's better than the alternative.


It was a lovely night to sleep with all the windows open and no covers. From the time I went up to the north end, I kept hearing very distant rumblings...very distant. I was interested because the weather forecasts didn't say anything about that, and because a lot of the house was opened up. When I got up at 1:30 and was sitting in the bathroom, I almost saw a couple of flashes of lightning out over the lake, too far away to hear any thunder, and then I started to feel a little mist coming through the screen. So I hustled around and closed the north and west windows. Fortunately, with the ceiling fan on and the porch door open, it wasn't appreciably warmer. There wasn't any rain, really, except for those few drops, darn it.


The temperature never got below 70 all night (at least at the NWS station), and it was rising by the time I got up this morning, but there was a lovely northwest to north wind blowing for most of the day which kept it a lot cooler here than the NWS station was reporting - or at least I think so. I sure wish my thermometers worked! It didn't feel anywhere near 80 until the wind dropped around 6:00. It went briefly up into the 80s, but it is now cooling off a bit again. I hope we have that lovely breeze again tonight.  


It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up after a while and the afternoon has been clear. I went to the post office to mail my package back to Staples, and it was really warm in town, especially at the general store (98 on their thermometer), but that was a combination of cement and blacktop and the sun beating on the front of the building.


Let's see. I did do a few things today, besides pack up my package. I unloaded the dishwasher, and after I got back from town I took a few more things out of the car, like the condiments and stuff that I had taken from the other fridge which didn't need constant cold. The wash basket with the bedding I was using, and my other pillow, and the bags with my dirty laundry in them are now in the laundry room, and the bag with all the miscellaneous stuff from the bathroom is in the bathroom ready to be stored away someplace. My little basket is in, too, but I'm not sure what's in it and what I'm going to do with it.  So slowly, ever so slowly, I am making progress. I need to get the stuff out of the car, though, because I plan to go to Houghton for supplies on Thursday, when it is supposed to cool off a bit.


I am already having to deal with the paper problem, because there were some dishes in one of the crates. In clearing out some room in the breezeway, I discovered some food I brought back the last time that should have been stored away in the pantry, so I will do that tomorrow. 


The package at the general store was a lovely basket with jam, a candle, and a cute mug in it, from the friends I didn't get to see this year. Such lovely people! 


Oh, yes, the new cordless phone, while I like it a lot for its features, doesn't work much better in the bathroom than the other one did. It's just to far and too many walls, I guess, but I am disappointed.


I've forgotten to mention that the days have gotten noticeably shorter than when I left at the end of June. We are down to 15 hours of daylight now. It was disappointing not to be here to enjoy the late evenings...although sunset is still around 9:30. We are on the downward leg now, and we are losing daylight at the rate of 2 minutes a day - nearly 18 minutes a week. So I have reset the camera timers a bit. While I don't like the hot weather, I really love the long days and late sunsets, even more since I've been through a couple of winters.


So now I'm getting warm, especially on the bottom, from my compression hose, jeans and sneakers and the heat from the computer, and it's time to toddle up to the north end again. The wind seems to be picking up a bit, and it's nice and cool off the lake, so it should be another good sleeping night.


July 29

The broadband came back just about the time I was finishing up last night, so it did get published. However, my "detect and repair" didn't do diddly for the memory problem, and I am puzzled. The version of FrontPage on the laptop is six months or so older than the one on this computer, so it may be that some "fix" in the meantime screwed things up. I will continue to dig into it.


It was another good night to sleep last night, and I did. Good old Mother Superior kept the temperature in the middle 60s, which was just fine for sleeping under the comforter. I did have a little problem in that for the first time in a long time, Buster decided to sleep with me. His first favorite place to sleep - on my stomach - was taken by the body pillow, so he curled up behind my knees. That was fine until I had to turn over, but we managed.


Little Jasmine is spending more and more of her time upstairs, I am glad to report. She hung around into the afternoon, and she reappeared when I got back from dinner. She seems to want to be with us, but not too close to me. So I guess we're making slow but sure progress.


It was a pretty nice day, actually. The official temperature got up to about 76, except that it crept over 80 after about 7:00. I don't think it was that warm here, because there was a nice northeast or east breeze blowing in the office windows which kept it quite comfortable so long as I didn't do anything. It was a bit cloudy this morning, and it is a bit cloudy now, but in between it was clear and sunny and not quite so humid as the past few days. I can pretty much handle weather like this.


So I didn't do much. However, I decided it was time to unpack the suitcases right before dinner, and I got a little warm while I was doing that. Lately the breeze has shifted around to mostly from the west or northwest, which bodes well for the night.


Harbor Haus was a zoo, with a couple of related huge parties and people waiting all over, but the food was up to its usual standard, and service was fast. It appears that while I was away, they got the production into high gear and everything was working smoothly tonight. I had plank-style whitefish, which I didn't have right before I left because they had baby back ribs that night. I suspect they have more interesting specials on Friday and Saturday, but I also suspect it's even busier then. No chatting with Chris tonight! She was flying around, as was everybody else.


I woke up this morning with two little lumps, one on each hand, that are either some strange kind of bug bite or hives, and I am inclined to think they're hives. Now, what brought that on, I do not know, unless it's a delayed reaction to all the heat and humidity. Anyway, they itch and hurt. The only thing I know of that is worse than black fly bites is hives. I haven't eaten anything out of the ordinary, except for a few strawberries on Tuesday, but if that had caused a reaction, it would have happened faster. Very strange.


So I read over the story I was writing when I first got back to Detroit, and it's pretty good, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end and try this sleep thing again. No comforter tonight, I don't think, and all the windows are open. It's almost like living out of doors, except no bugs, and I love that.


July 28

Well, I will write this, but I don't know if it will get uploaded tonight or not. The broadband has been giving me problems for most of the day, and it now seems to be down completely. It's not local, so it must be something downstream a ways.


Anyway, as I suspected, it was a lovely night to sleep last night, and I did pretty well. Along about 6:00 I was awake briefly, and a certain little kitty was bombing up and down the hallways like she was crazy, although she wasn't mewing. She sure was making a lot of noise, just from the sheer joy of being alive on a beautiful morning, I guess.


It was a lovely day. It was cool until just a while ago, in the 60s mostly (I can't give details, because I can't get online), with a light breeze from the north. The sky was blue and the lake was blue, and while it was hazy, it was a pretty day altogether.


So I did not much. I brought in my new phones yesterday and charged them up, and I installed them after dinner. I think they work, although for some reason they seemed to be recording every call I tried to make. I hope they are more reliable than the old ones.


I tried the "detect and repair" function of FrontPage, but I won't know until I try to upload if it did anything good. I don't have any of the memory problems on the laptop that I have on this computer, and so far as I know the versions of the program are supposed to be the same. So we'll see.


I had a lot of checks to write, so I went off to the post office and returned the barrel, and I stopped by the general store and had a chat with Kelly about the tax bill I didn't get. I need to call somebody who has just moved, so I will have to get the right phone number next week.


My license plate came today, finally, so I will have to install that tomorrow. After at least 30 years, the state finally decided to issue new plates, not just stickers. They have been trying to get people to buy new ones by putting special stuff on them, like school logos and loons and things, but they wanted $5 more for the fancy ones, and I, along with a lot of other people, just wasn't going to pay extra when I had a perfectly good plate with a number I could remember. So finally they bit the bullet and are retiring the old blue plates. Darn. Now not only do I have to try to get the old plate off and the new one on, I have to try to remember a new number. However, the old plate was getting pretty scuzzy looking, I have to admit.


I went to Mariner for dinner tonight, and got to wish Lydia a happy birthday (her 18th) in person. They were going to Harbor Haus, I'm guessing. At least they weren't eating in. I had prime rib, and it was good. It was nice to have a real dinner for a change. I will have to try to cook something this week.


There were a ton of people at Mariner around 3:00, but not so many when I went to dinner, although that was early. People kept coming in, so that was good. There are a lot of people in town, for sure, with cars and walkers everywhere, and for the sake of my friends, I am glad to see that.


I would like to sit in the ugly chair, but it is right in the sun, which would be hot, so I guess I'm stuck at the desk, which is already getting to look like it usually does when I'm home. It was so nice and neat when I came back!


And that was my quiet day, and my quiet evening. I will try later to get this to upload. It isn't going now, for sure.


July 27

I got to bed a little earlier last night, and it was a wonderful night to sleep. I closed the front windows before I turned out the light, and after a while I pulled up the comforter, and then I was comfortable. There was a light wind out of the north and the temperature went down in to the lower 60s. It was still very humid, but it felt great. In fact, it felt so great that I didn't get up until around 10:00.


I was awakened around seven this morning by a strange tapping sound that seemed to be coming from the area of the porch, and then I heard the very loud call of the pileated woodpecker. So I got up and got on my glasses. The guy who was doing the squawking flew off as I got to the door, but there was another one - a guy - sitting on top of a tall stump in the grove in front of the porch. I think it is an old cedar stump, from the way the grain is twisted, and it is just now beginning to break down enough to have bugs. The woodpecker was sort of on the other side, but I could see it clearly enough to know it was a pileated, and I could see from the amount of red in its crest that it was a male. 


When I climbed back into bed, there was a loon fishing out in front of the bedroom.


It's enough to make me wish I could get up that early every day. The sun was just beginning to hit the top of the highest trees, and it was a lovely morning indeed. So I went back to sleep for another 3 hours. It did make me feel some better today.


Not that I did very much. I had bunches of phone calls, and I managed to dig out my files and my brief case from the car. My planner was in the brief case, and people kept asking me for phone numbers I have stashed away in it. My payables file was in the blue box, and I need that, because I have a number of bills due around the first of the month.


Wow, the next thing I was going to say just absolutely disappeared from my mind! Time for bed again, I think.


Oh. One of the phone calls that I had to return was from the moving company. Apparently they are getting really backed up, so my stuff won't be delivered until the 6th. I guess that is OK, since it will give me a little more time to see if I can make some space in the basement. There isn't much in that load that is critical.


Right before I left for Detroit, I saw a glass front cabinet in a Pottery Barn catalog that would be perfect for the cut crystal and fits in the space I have for a cabinet in the great room, so I decided to research the Pottery Barn site and see if I could find a matching buffet and maybe some bedroom furniture, too. Well...it will be all right, but I couldn't get the color I wanted. The buffet that matched the cabinet has a huge wine rack in the middle, which would be so much wasted space for me, and the buffet with the kind of space I want only comes in mahogany. I guess it will go with the walnut table all right.


The bedroom furniture was more frustrating. I had picked out some I liked in a color that would go with the bed, and when I went back to get the item number of the tall, narrow chest, it had disappeared, for heaven's sake! So I called them, and yes, it has been discontinued...I've had that problem before with Pottery Barn. So I picked something else, also mahogany. It will be OK.


So I placed a rather large order, and a few minutes later, I got a call from them saying that my credit card wouldn't authorize. Huh?? Now what?


So I called the credit card company, and discovered that apparently my friendly personal banker screwed me up. There was something about my accounts that hadn't had the address changed, and apparently when he changed it, it triggered a fraud alert on the credit card. So I had to answer a lot of weird questions and assure them that I am me and yes, I did intend to charge that much money, before I could get them to release the card. It's nice that they watch it so carefully, I guess, but it can be frustrating when I'm trying to shop.


The furniture won't be delivered until the end of August, so my great room will be full of boxes for quite a while, I'm afraid.


It was a much nicer day today than yesterday. It is still humid, but the temperature topped out at about 73, and there was a nice north wind all day, which actually made it rather cool in here for a while. At least the computer didn't overheat. It was mostly clear, with a thick haze and a few little clouds, for most of the day.


Jasmine is getting used to having me around, I think, although she still doesn't trust me, and I have to be careful how I move when she is around. She has appropriated the kitty condo, and she likes to scratch on carpeting. 


So that was my quiet day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end again. I will close a few windows, I think because it's supposed to get cooler tonight than it was last night, and the heat actually came on this morning for a while, which wasn't necessary. It is nice to have it cool for a change, and I suspect it will be another good sleeping night.


July 26

I was late getting to bed last night, for various reasons, mostly because I wanted to relax after my long drive, but when I finally made it, I absolutely crashed. I came to about 2 hours later, so stiff and sore it was clear I hadn't moved a muscle once I fell asleep. The rest of the night, I was awake a bit, but not much. All the windows and the porch door were open, and the ceiling fan was on, which made it comfortable to sleep, but it was so humid, I was achy and creaky when I got up. It sure was nice to have my body pillow again, but both my hips got sore.


So I got up around 9:00 anyway, even though I really didn't get enough sleep. It is so quiet around here, it's easy to sleep.


Well...not really. There seems to be something wrong with my septic tank that I can't figure out. The alarm goes off frequently, but usually only for a second or two, at most 5 seconds. It seems to have something to do with running water, but it isn't the overflow alarm I had last spring. So I am baffled. I haven't been down to read the directions yet, but I think I might have to have somebody look at it.


And when I was awake during the night, especially early this morning, there was a lot of thumping around in the hallway and on the porch. In her own weird way, I think Jasmine really is glad to see me.


She was wandering around in plain sight last night and during the morning, although she ran through the cat door when I put the food down this morning and when I got my orange juice. She was around until almost noon, then she went downstairs to sleep. She kept jumping up on the counter to look out the office windows, although she didn't want me to look at her. So she is clearly conflicted. She wants to join the family, but she is having a hard time really trusting me. It will come, I'm sure.


Buster has been ecstatic. except that he wants to sit on me all the time. I finally shooed him off so I could eat my dinner, but he has been sitting on my lap for most of the day.


I really didn't do much, but I am still tired. I did go to the post office and get half a crate of mail that has come since last Wednesday, and I sorted through it and threw a lot of it out. There were all the usual bills, of course, including one for the mortgage that has now been paid off...wow, are those people stupid, as well as unprofessional!


The weather was marginally better than yesterday, in that it didn't get as warm, or it didn't for very long. It was around 70 all night, and while it did get up to 80 briefly, it was around 75 at the NWS station for most of the afternoon. I think it was cooler here, and there was a light breeze mostly from the north when the NWS was reporting calm winds. Well, it wasn't quite calm.


Late in the afternoon it began to get very foggy, and as I have been sitting here, I have been hearing the foghorns of the lakers as they pass by. Not the deep bass steam horns, of course, but I still love to hear them. Otherwise, it was wonderfully quiet, except for the distant sounds of some kids whom I suppose were swimming in the harbor. Sometimes I think I treasure the blessed quiet most of all.


It is cloudy, and there were some pretty strong thunderstorms around the Wisconsin border earlier in the afternoon, but they look like they have petered out and all the action is down in central Wisconsin right now. Of course, anything can happen, but I guess we're not going to get any rain again.


The humidity was ferocious all the time. The water I splashed on the counter last night was still there this morning, and my bra and compression hose hadn't dried out either. So it will be damp towels for my bath tonight...yuck.


I didn't get dressed until nearly 2:00 this afternoon. My excuse was that my underwear was still in the car, but it turned out that wasn't true - my newest panties, which I had put aside, are still in the drawer. It was nice, however, to have bare feet and legs, although my feet were pretty swollen when I finally got dressed. It was a lazy day altogether.


I stopped on my way home and got an ice cream cone as a special treat. Buster had quite a bit of it, but he barfed up some, too. He just loves ice cream and yogurt, but the last few times he's eaten it, some has bounced. I don't know if it was because he was nervous or if he has finally (at his advanced age) developed a  milk allergy. He never had it before, but who knows? Anyway, Jilbert's ice cream is just as good as it ever was.


And for dinner, I dug out the last piece of my own tetrazini that I found in the freezer yesterday morning. Even though it was old, it tasted wonderful. I must do that again, even though it gets every pot in the kitchen dirty.


This evening I dug a few more things out of the car, but most of it is still there and I'm not looking forward to getting it out. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe I can be a little earlier tonight? We'll see.


Oh, I just heard what sounded like a very distant thud so we might be lucky enough to have a shower tonight after all.


Oh, yes, amongst the things that came in the mail was my copy of Harry Potter, and I read enough of it in a couple of hours to know how it turns out, so I don't have to read the rest of it. Neat series. Some people were speculating that it isn't all that good, and it is all hype, but I don't think so. The writing is uniformly excellent, and it's a rip-roaring good story, especially the ending. I've always loved The Lord of the Rings, which I read as it came out 40 years or more ago, but I was always a little dissatisfied with the way it ended. Nobody can accuse Ms. Rowling of avoiding the final battles. And of course, the good guys win in the end, just like we all knew they would, but how they did it is fun to read.


So now it's off to the north end and, I hope, another good night's sleep. The gibbous moon is trying to peek through the clouds low in the south, but I keep hearing those distant thuds, so maybe I'll get to watch a nice thunderstorm tonight.


July 25

I'm home at last!!!


I didn't sleep as well as I'd hoped last night, but I made it out of bed in time to have finished breakfast when Cynthia arrived, and one way or another, we gathered up all the odds and ends and stuffed them into the car. I didn't have to take two coolers, which was just as well, although I did leave some food behind, mostly old stuff which might as well be pitched anyway.

After she left, I took one last turn around the basement, picked up a couple more pieces of fabric (of course), and left the house around 9:40. However, I totally forgot to get gas yesterday, and I had to swing by the gas station, so I didn't get on the road until nearly 10:00. That's just as well, since I missed the morning rush hour.


Not that you would notice very much. I think I-75 is solid traffic in both directions all day from downtown Detroit all the way to Bay City. At least it was moving.


I ran into a serious shower in northern Oakland County and some more rain around Indian River, but it looked to me like the rain clouds were coming in waves, and in between it was hazy-clear. Made for some fast switching of the eyeglasses.


It was hazy-clear and pretty at the Mackinaw Bridge, with the water deep teal and aqua in the shallow parts. There was an enormous freighter moving toward the bridge when I crossed. I suspect it was a cement boat, because that is the color it was, but since I was driving, I couldn't get a good view of its name. It had the strangest stern I have ever seen - an area that looked like a back porch that was almost at water level, but now that I think about it, if it had been fully loaded to where the water line was on its bow, that stern part would have been under water. I have no idea what it's for, but I nearly went over the median trying to get a look at it.


There is more color along the roadsides than there was when I went south. The Queen Anne's lace and the spotted knapweed are both in full bloom, and in parts of the UP, the early goldenrod is starting to come out.


Thank goodness for air conditioning! It was only in the upper 70s when I started out, but in the interior, it was in the upper 80s, and when I got to Marquette, about 5:00, it was 91, and it was very humid all over. What is interesting is that it was much hotter in the UP than in the southern lower today...talk about a temperature inversion!


Every place there was a beach there were dozens of people in the water, all along M-28 from Munising to Marquette, and again along Keweenaw Bay. They looked like the water was pretty warm, too, although with southwest winds, I rather wonder.


Traffic was spotty. After Bay City, it was pretty good on I-75, but I ran into a bunch of slow drivers as I got off it onto M-123, including a guy who hollered at me when I passed him...I gave him a razzberry, since I don't use the finger. After I got around those people, there wasn't much traffic, except between Marquette and Negaunee, which I hit during the rush hour, and I got behind somebody who refused to go more than 50 mph all the way to Champion. 


And then there was the road construction...ugh! On I-75 it wasn't too bad, although the road was down to one lane for a while. It was also down to one lane between Negaunee and Champion, with a flagman, which meant a long wait. They are resurfacing that part of US-41, which certainly needed it, and they are putting in some more passing lanes. I have said before (and I will say it again), eventually US-41 will be 4 lanes all the way from Marquette to Houghton. It will be welcome.


Once I got beyond that, there was hardly any traffic at all, all the way home.


The other curious thing I noticed is that gas is cheaper up here than it was in Detroit. The further west I got, the cheaper. Really interesting. I think I paid about $3.20 at Newberry, and I stopped at the Indian station in Baraga, because it was $2.79, but even in Houghton, it was only $3.14. Of course, you have to pick your spot.


Once I crossed the lift bridge, I realized there was a little smile on my face. I pulled into the garage about 8:20. When I got to the back door, Jasmine was there, and she stared at me while I was unlocking the door, as if to say "Oh! YOU? Darn! My nice house has humans in it again!" and she beat it down the basement. I noticed that she is losing her adolescent shape, and all of her parts are beginning to match again. I think she is going to be a little cat.


Buster, however, was more than happy to see me, and he has spent a lot of the evening sitting on my lap and purring loudly. He'd like to get back on it now, but both of us know I can't type with him there.


It was about 76 when I got here, but it is really, really humid. If I sit quietly and do nothing, there is a light southwest breeze that is quite comfortable. But the moment I start doing anything - like bringing in the cooler and my stuff - I start dripping profusely. I don't like this weather, but Peg says it's better than it was yesterday.


It is so good to be home again! I can't express how glad I am to be back here. I know that I made my commitment to this place totally two or three years ago, and that is why I could sell Champine without any real trauma. I will always have fond memories, but my heart is here in the field, and it has been for some time now.


I have a lot to do over the next few days, especially getting the car unloaded, but for tonight, I have just brought in what I really need...and what I really need now is a nice tepid bath in my lovely stall shower and a good night's sleep in my comfy bed. Maybe a little snack before I go, too. I've already had my JD.


I'm home, Champine is off my mind, and I am quite content. All is well in the field tonight.


July 24

I decided to do a journal tonight, because, thanks to Cynthia, everything else seems to be nearly under control.


I had my usual wakeful time last night, off and on between 1:00 and 6:00, but I did get up in time to do some things and get some things together before I was off to lunch.


Well! It seems I've been missing a pretty good place to eat. They didn't mind my jeans, and we had a lovely lunch...too much food, but it ended with fresh berries and whipped cream. Yum. And good company, besides. Karen, the realtor, is a gardener, too, so we had a lovely conversation. Her garden is so nice it was on the garden tour.


Then it was off to the closing, and that went just fine. The woman who had been working on it unfortunately was sick, so I never did get a reason why they couldn't find my mother's death certificate, and they are going to record it again...so she died twice? Who knows. I still think they just screwed  up. Anyway, there were no glitches. All the buyers are nice people, and we parted friends.


Then it was off to the bank, and I brought the rest of the stuff downstairs, except what I need tonight. Cynthia called around 5:00 when I was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor trying to figure out how I was going to get all that stuff into the car, so she came over, and in about half an hour, she had everything that could be put in there tonight, in there.  Bless her heart!


In fact, we loaded so much that while I was waiting for my pizza to bake, I didn't have anything to do. So I went out to the car and got the camera and took pictures of the front and back outside. I didn't find any good pictures of the front after the bay window went on, and the sun came out for a while. They are still in the camera for now, but as soon as I get home and get oriented, I will get them out and publish them. Then I brought my bible into the house and copied a couple of passages into the little binder I keep of my favorite verses...that's getting pretty big by now, since I've been keeping it since 1983.


It isn't very late, but after I get this published and finish my second JD, I will pack everything up and be off to bed, hopefully early, so I can get up at an early hour tomorrow and do the final stuff. That is mostly packing the cooler, but I also need to check to make sure I'm not leaving anything behind. Getting too early a start is self-defeating, because then I run into rush hour traffic, but now I am just anxious to get home.


The computer did crap out last night, as I suspected, but one bounce got it going again this morning...sort of. We missed a lot of pictures. The first ones showed sunshine and blue skies with some cirrus clouds, but when I looked in around 10:30, we had pea-soup fog, for heaven's sake. That continued for most of the afternoon. It is burning off somewhat now, but there is still a thick haze around the far end of the harbor. The temperature got up to just over 70, with almost no wind, and very high humidity. Environment Canada said that would happen...boy, were they right!


It was pretty bad here, too. There was a very little rain this morning, hardly enough to wet the sidewalks, but it was really humid outside. The temperature only got up to 79, but it wasn't very nice out. Not my kind of weather. Time to go home.


While I was eating, Peg called, and the septic system is evidently alarming again...probably low water, since not much has been used for the past month. Stupid thing. And poor kitties! The control panel is right across from their litter trays, and if I know Buster, he won't go near that place with all the noise going on. Maybe I can contrive to run enough water tomorrow night to stop it all.


So that was my day, and this is my last night in the old homestead. I find that at least so far, I am not teary over that. I have done what I had to do, and I have moved on to a place I like even better. I still have all the wonderful memories, and all of the sad ones too, from the time I first looked at my bedroom until my mother died in the bed in the dining room.  My 14 years here showed me enough that I was able to build a house in Copper Harbor that fits my lifestyle and physical abilities much better than this one does, and I feel I am turning it over to people who will enjoy it here as much as we did. I think my mom and dad are probably quite approving of what I've done, except that I probably should have done it sooner. Wise financial decisions don't seem to be part of my makeup.


So now it's off to bed here for the final time, and tomorrow night I will be home again, with my kitties and my view. Finally.


July 23

I was late getting to bed last night. It was a matter of sitting in the bathroom contemplating the floor for entirely too long. That seems to be a habit of mine, and I think that's how I unwind after the day. It does cut down on sleep time, though.


I slept through until about 4:00, then I was awake until 6:00, and back to sleep for 3 hours or so. I was up around 9:00, and it is amazing how long that makes the day.


I really didn't do a lot. After I did my morning surfing and diddled around a while, and had something to eat, I started filling my pill dispenser. Frankly, I've been gone too long when I have to refill it - it holds 28 days' worth of pills, and it was full when I got here. I also worked on the suitcases, and began filling crates with stuff. 


Karen came around 2:00 with the closing documents, and we had a nice long conversation. She is a nice person. After she left, I continued with the above though ATC, then I went downstairs for dinner. While making and eating my dinner (another steak - I will be on the chicken diet when I get home, for sure!), I looked at the closing documents again and nearly panicked, because they said I need my Social Security card. I only think I know where that is. I think it is in the safe deposit box, but if I needed it I would have to go to the bank on the way to closing. What a pain!


So I called her, and she assured me that they don't ask for that. I certainly hope not, but I'll take her word for it. And she invited me to lunch tomorrow at a very nice restaurant indeed. I really shouldn't take the time, but hey, I'm never one to turn down an invitation to eat out. So I will try to get some things done before 11:30, and then hope I can get everything else packed and not get to bed after midnight. We shall see.


The weather here was warmer than I like, but it wasn't too humid. It was around 80 all day. I had the air on, and it was nicer in here, and besides, I didn't need the extra allergy pill.


In Copper Harbor, it was cloudy and gloomy all day, and the temperature was around 60, with not much wind. I like it better when the sun shines. If it's going to be cloudy, the least it can do is rain.


So that was my quiet day. Tomorrow I will have to spring into action, or something, and hope that anything I don't get into the car can go in on Wednesday morning without too much trouble. The problem is, this is like packing up for the summer except moreso - I need to take everything because I won't have a chance to get it later.


I said goodbye to the lawn cutter this morning. He says he has been cutting my lawn, at both houses, for 18 years...I guess. I would have said it was longer than that. However, I guess I had somebody else before then, because I haven't cut grass in 25 years or more. It was just something I decided I didn't need to take time for.


It's certainly time to get out of here, if I'm going. I keep thinking about all the old memories, and that tends to make me teary. I know this is the right thing to do, and I know I have to do it, and getting all sentimental about it isn't helping anything. I still have all those wonderful old memories, and they aren't going to get sold or get lost until I get dementia. But there is so much of me wrapped up in this house that it's hard not to think about it all.


I think the beds in the front bedroom got switched, but the one I'm sleeping in, while it seems soft, is pretty comfortable. The only problem is, the last time I slept in a single bed it was a hospital bed, and I keep having to check where I am with respect to the sides, so I don't fall out one side or the other. I tend to stretch out my arms and legs, and sometimes they seemed to be hanging over the side. Didn't keep me awake more than usual, though. That wasn't why I was wakeful this morning. I don't know why that was.


The only other problem is, there are no lamps, so I have to turn off the light at the switch and use a flashlight to find my way to bed. And the clock in that room used to have a back-lighted dial, but it doesn't anymore.  However, only two more nights and I will be home again.


So I will trundle off and take my bath and hope to get a good night's sleep so I can plunge right in tomorrow morning. Two more days and I will be home again...wow!


July 22

Well, it's all over but signing my name.


I did sleep last night. It was nice in the bedroom with the door open, and I was able to pull the comforter over me.  I did get up in the middle of the night and take an allergy pill, and I think that helped a lot.


So I was up in time and got to church at a reasonable time, and that was good. The opening hymn was one of "my" hymns - "The Lord has helped me hitherto", and the others were favorites, too. I got to see some of the people I like, and say goodbye to Pastor, and I got to go to communion.


Cynthia was not only here when I got home, she had cleaned up the kitchen, bless her. She had also packed up the crates of cleaning products so that all but one of them could be underneath another one. We toured the house and got together a bunch of things that had been overlooked and got them boxed up. We got seven crates into the car, so I won't have to do that on Tuesday. 


The movers arrived around 1:30, and they worked hard. The left at 6:00, after all the paperwork and everything else. The driver thinks it's around 7,000 pounds, which sounds good to me.


So the house is now half-empty, and it's kind of weird. There is still a mess in the front bedroom, where I will be staying, and in the kitchen, where most of my stuff is, but I will be working on that tomorrow and Tuesday, and I think I can get it together. Cynthia will be here Wednesday morning early to help me get the final packing of the car done.


I am sitting in the empty back bedroom with the laptop on my lap board on my lap. It's easier to type this way, but otherwise not very comfortable. It will do for a couple of days, though. After I finish this, I will move a few things to the travel disk so that will be done. 


I may decide not to do a journal Tuesday night, so that I can pack the laptop into the car then, instead of waiting until Wednesday morning. There will be enough to do on Wednesday. We shall see how it goes.


The weather was beautiful and just about the same here and in Copper Harbor. It was around 72 when I went to church, and it got up to 80 or so in the afternoon, but there was a nice breeze. That was good, because since the doors were all open, I shut off the air conditioning. Any hotter and we would have roasted. I remember the day in August when I moved in here and it was in the middle 90s. Going into the basement was delightful.


It got to 79 in Copper Harbor, and there was a breeze for most of the afternoon. It started out clear, but some clouds came in during the day, and it is fairly cloudy now.


Now the forecast for Wednesday is saying it will be hotter in the UP than in Detroit, which is pretty weird, but we'll see what happens. At any rate, it is supposed to be warm. Of course, I missed all the nice cool weather there over the  past couple of weeks.


Sitting here reminds me strongly of when I first saw this bedroom, when I was not quite 8 years old. There is a lot about that move that I don't remember, of course. We moved in the day before Easter, and I remember hunting for my Easter basket in the new living room. I don't remember what my room looked like then. I think it was pink, then sometime later it became aqua, and then finally blue. The bed went in several places over the years before it finally ended up along the front wall with my desk for a headboard. It didn't matter much, because I spent all those years sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed with a drawing board on my lap and a gray and white cat beside me. It isn't a big room, but it was my space. I put the long side of the bed against the wall to have as much open floor space as possible, and the window was at my feet, which was very good, because we didn't have air conditioning.


I don't think I was back for the few months my grandmother lived in this room, and after she died, my mother slept here, with the furniture I moved out today (except for the single beds, which are already in Copper Harbor). She lent it to me when I moved back into town, but that was only for about three months before I bought my house. And when I moved  back in, after she died, I put my antique four-poster in it and I was back in my space again, although the bed was in the middle of the room and space was really tight. Now it is empty again and in a couple of days, the house will belong to someone else. 58 years of my life have been associated with this house and this room, but it's time to move on. I'm sure my mother and dad, if they are watching, are relieved to know I have finally been able to let it go.


So now I can mop up the odds and ends and get ready to leave and not have to worry whether we'll make it or not. The stuff is all gone. I'm tired. I want to go home. Well, in three days, I'll be there.


July 21

Just about the time I was going to take my bath, Debbie called, and we talked for our usual long time, so I was late getting to bed. I did sleep, however. I woke up once, and while I was up I took another allergy pill, and that lasted just about until I realized I wasn't going back to sleep after the second get-up. So that worked.


I took the day off today, really. I did my morning surfing and stuff and diddled around until mid-afternoon before I went downstairs to find something to eat. Then I repacked my suitcases, with the stuff I had washed, so they will be easy to close up when the time comes. I moved the barrel bag into the other room, because depending on when the movers want to move the bedroom furniture, there will be enough to do without that. There is some other stuff to move, but I want to talk to the movers before I move it. I will have to get the computer and stuff out of here when they are ready to move the vanity, and I will have to get the wires out of the way so they don't roll over them.


It is going to be interesting to use the computer when there isn't any furniture in this room.


It was a truly gorgeous day here today. The temperature got up to about 77, but there was a light northeast breeze coming in the bedroom door, and since I hadn't eaten anything, I actually got cold. It was apparently clear all day, although as I've mentioned, there are so many trees around this house (a good thing when it's hot) that it's sometimes hard to tell if the sun is out or not.

It was beautiful in Copper Harbor, too. The temperature got up to 73, briefly, and it was clear until late in the afternoon, with a southwest breeze. For most of the day, it was just gorgeous.


I need to mention that the camera didn't come up until I bounced it this morning, so there are no early-morning pictures. It came right up after that, though, so we did see most of the day.


Now I need some more sleep, and tomorrow I will go to church one last time before the last push starts. The closing has been rescheduled for 1:00, which I guess is OK. I will just have to do some stuff before I go to it. I was going to go looking nice, but under the circumstances, I may just wear my jeans. I will see the paperwork Monday morning, and I hope the movers are gone before I do. 


So in four days it will all be over with and I will be home again. I have enough to do that I expect to be exhausted when I get there. But it will be over with.


July 20

Sorry for the funny-looking stuff on the page last night. Sometimes I simply cannot find the keys, and I start typing randomly (or at least the results look like that).


I didn't sleep well last night again. I woke up around 4:00 and started thinking about everything I have to do when I get home. I wish I wouldn't do that, but I don't see any way to avoid it. Besides that, around 4:30 or 5:00 I started having an allergy attack.


I have been using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants since sometime last fall. During the winter, they worked OK, and they were working fine until now. The thing is, the antihistamine is only good for 4 to 6 hours. I am used to time-release Chlortrimaton, and they don't make it in the OTC pills, so during the allergy season, I guess I will have to take them between my usual morning and evening doses. I had another attack this afternoon, and I dug out the bottle and took one, and it began to work almost immediately. So I will have to leave the bottle in the bathroom so I can take one in the middle of the night. What a pain.


However, I don't think Chlortrimaton in any form is in my prescription coverage's formulary, and getting prescriptions that aren't is extremely expensive. So I will make do.


I am anxious to get back home (for any number of reasons, of course) to see if I have the same allergy problems there. I have had pollen allergies since I was a little girl, but a lot of the things I am most allergic to (like ragweed) don't grow much in the UP, so I am hoping my experience in past years will still hold. I have seen a ragweed plant or two up there, but nothing like it grows down here.


Anyway, only 5 more days and I will be home.


I made it out of bed in time to have part of my orange juice before the packers came, and they dug right in and packed up everything that was left in about 4 hours. They were nice people. The guy is actually more familiar with the byways of the UP than I am, and besides he is a gardener and cook, so he was fun to listen to. And his helper was a young girl who was very cheerful and just as fast a packer as he was.


So everything that the movers are taking, pretty much, is packed. That means there are no lamps in the bedrooms, but that is just a problem I will have to deal with. I do have lights in the ceiling fans, so that is what I'll have to use.


The weather here was much too nice to be inside. The temperature got up to a whopping 75,  briefly, with light winds and mostly clear skies until late in the day. It was lovely, just my kind of weather. It is supposed to cool off into the 50s tonight...great sleeping weather. I hope I can.


In Copper Harbor, it was about the same, except cooler. The temperature got to 63, with light winds, and there were some high cirrus clouds in the sky on and off for most of the day.


Except to direct the packers, I didn't do much. I signed the mortgage application and took it to the bank, and got the survey map of this property out of the safe deposit box - I forgot it the last time. I guess everything is on track, although the home equity line may or may not settle before I leave.


That is especially true, since they are trying to reschedule the closing on this house for later on Tuesday, because the bride needs to be there, and she can't get off work earlier. Some employers are nicer to work for than others. I think they want to have it at 1:00, and I told the realtor that any later would totally blow my schedule. I haven't heard back from her, so I don't know how it came out.


I guess I sounded a bit peevish, but I'm tired, and I tend to be that way when I am. 


Anyway, I get a day off tomorrow, then Sunday after church, the movers will be here, and there will be lots to do. I think I am going to start packing the car then, just to make it easier on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Gathering up the odds and ends will be hard, but it will be almost impossible until after the boxes, which are filling the house now, are gone.


So now to bed, and maybe I can get some sleep for a change? I discovered yesterday that I really have to wash my hair every night, so I am off to bathe, and I've been thinking how much I miss my lovely stall shower. And my lovely views. And my kitties. I've been away too long.


Only five days, and I'll be home again. I hope I make it.


July 19

I just did not sleep well last night. I was in bed early - no bath - but in the middle of the night, I woke up and I was uncomfortable and I was thinking about everything I have to do when I get home, and it wasn't until about 6:00 that I got any real sleep at all. I meant to sleep in, but somebody let the phone ring once about 8:45, then around 10:00, I started coughing and blowing - allergy time - so I got up. I diddled around at the computer for quite a while before I went downstairs for breakfast, and I was just about to start looking into the fridge when Cynthia came.


The trash all got out, and I selected the stuff in the garage that I want to take with me, incidentally finding where all my large zipper plastic bags were. I also found tons of packing tape left over from last year. I thought I had all those things, but somehow they got taken out to the garage (where they should not have been) and so I bought more. Oh, well. 


So that is taken care of. The packer is coming between 8:00 and 9:00 tomorrow morning - a bit earlier than I would like, but oh, well - and the movers will be coming late enough that I can go to church on Sunday.


My mortgage documents came, as well as the paper I had to sign to terminate the insurance, so I had to go to the post office. They screwed up my mailing address on the mortgage documents, so I have a call in to the bank about that.


This evening the woman next door came and got the little glass corner shelf that was in the bathroom, and we had a nice chat. They have been good neighbors to both my mother and me. She wanted the shelf, and I certainly have no real need for it. I told her to consider it a gift from my mother.


The weather here was yucky until about 4:30 this afternoon. It rained more or less hard from about 3:00 until 7:00 this morning, and it was horribly humid and very uncomfortable out, especially after the temperature topped out at 83, but then the breeze suddenly turned cool and it went down to 70 and it's now pretty nice out. 


In Copper Harbor, there was just a little rain overnight, but it was cloudy until late in the afternoon, when it cleared up and it is now pristine. The temperature, though, was around 55 for the last 24 hours, with a moderate north wind. Oh, but that would feel good, although if I was there, I would probably close the windows.


I see that I didn't mention the weather yesterday. In Copper Harbor, it was in the low 60s with not much wind. It was clear until early evening, when it clouded up. Here, it got up to a humid 85 with clouds in the afternoon, although we didn't get the rain that fell all around here.


It appears, if the forecasts for next week hold up, that I will go home in the same kind of weather I left in - hot and humid. Figures. However, in Copper Harbor, I know it will cool off eventually.


So that was my day. The big push is over with, and now mostly what I have to do is sit around and direct traffic. I think when Cynthia is here on Sunday we will begin loading the car with the stuff I know I have to take, partly so I see how much room I will have. There are five crates of cleaning supplies, plus one of office supplies and magazines (they've been sending me all of my mail - for $10.95 a shipment, I should think so! But it's been coming on Thursday), and another with my new telephone equipment. Then there is the blue file box I brought with me and three black ones I found in the fruit cellar. Plus suitcases, at least one and maybe two coolers, the bedding off the bed I'll be sleeping in, some tote barrels, and heaven knows what else is left over. And that, friends, is why I drive a Yukon. I have the storage space of a compact pickup in back when I have the seats down. It will be full, but I think I can do it. When I think of all the trips I made two and from in the past, which included that huge cage, I think we'll make it.


So that was my day, and I'm going to try this early-to-bed thing again. Only 6 days...and one of those will be a travel day. I'm getting there!


July 18

Even though I think I was in bed by 10:30 last night (because I stared at the floor for too long), and I didn't get up until 9:00 this morning, I'm still tired, so I will make it a relatively early night tonight, too, and tomorrow I can sleep just as long as I want to! Or at least until the phone wakes me up...


I actually didn't have much to do today. The ladies did the packing, and everything in the house is packed, except for the fragile breakables which will be done by the movers on Friday. There is still the garage, but Cynthia will be back tomorrow afternoon, and we will do that as well as get all the trash out to the curb (and there is a lot of trash to get out to the curb...). So all is well with the move.


In the middle of the morning, the last missing item turned up, in the fruit cellar again (having a room like that is not a good idea!). I had inherited a '20s evening dress from my great-grandmother. It is black silk chiffon with beautiful black art deco beading on it, and to add to its interest, she added sleeves to what was a sleeveless dress. The fabric she used for the sleeves was clearly not silk, because over the years, the color has faded to almost dark brown. But I can see where she set the sleeves into the armholes. She also had to turn the hem of the dress up several inches, since I believe she was about 4'9" tall. The story was from her through me, every woman in the line was 4" taller than her mother. I just barely made it to 5'9", though, and as soon as gravity and arthritis started in, I shrunk about 2"...but so did my mother.


Anyway, great-grandma was not only very short, she was heavy, and as you may know, when you are fat and you begin to get old, your upper arms get really ugly looking. Since she came from a family that was very conscious about how they looked, it stands to reason she would add sleeves to a dress that she otherwise liked. Of course, I am only guessing at this, from the evidence, but it's a plausible story.


So I am really happy to have located the dress again. As Debbie said when she saw it, it's a dress we would wear. If I can find it again when it gets to its new home, I will try to take a picture of it, as well as one of the mustard yellow gown with the 13" fringe around the bottom, over some really beautiful beading. I really enjoy having these two things in the family (although the yellow one is an ugly color by any standards), and I enjoy looking at them.


So all of the items that had gone missing over the past years of upheavals have turned up safe and sound, and that in itself is a good thing. In past years, when it was all my stuff and I was managing it all myself, I knew pretty well where everything was. After merging my household with my mother's and having to have help packing and unpacking and moving, I am still not comfortable I know. I do believe now I know what I have, but since I didn't pack it, I'm not at all sure where it is. This time, we did label the boxes carefully and in detail, and that will surely help. 


I suppose people who simplify their lives by getting rid of everything they aren't using do have a point. However, not only do they lose contact with their ancestry, I maintain they end up spending a lot of money when they need something they got rid of. I know just living in Copper Harbor when most of my stuff was still here, I ended up spending on even simple things like thread, when I probably have enough to sew to the moon and back. Not to mention the two of everything like favorite cooking utensils that I ended up getting. From having done it, I conclude that only people who aren't crafters and aren't collectors can successfully keep two households. I'm not one of those people.


So most of the effort is over with, and maybe I really will have time to do some of the knitting or embroidery I brought here with me. Friday will be a busy day, with the packers, and Sunday and maybe Monday will be busy with the movers. Then it's the last push, and I can leave this house forever and go home again. I will be leaving it with people who like it a lot, and that's nice, and I will be going to a place I like even better, and that's nice, too.


So that was my day, and I am really tired again. Only 7 more days...I miss my kitties...


July 17

Wow, am I tired tonight! It's mostly my own fault, too. I just stayed up too late last night, and although I did sleep pretty well, it was just not long enough, and I really, really didn't want to get up this morning. 


However, I did, and we made really good progress. The kitchen is mostly packed, and a lot of the basement is packed. The only things we have to go through are in the garage, and the odds and ends around the house that need to go somewhere. What a job!


Cynthia brought the vase upstairs and put it on the kitchen counter, where I can look at it. It is soooo beautiful! I am so glad my mother decided to buy it from the cousin's estate, and I am so grateful we found it! 


So that took all day. Then I trotted off to church to get my envelopes, and to the new Krogers across the parking lot. They opened it with just about the same layout as Farmer Jack had, just to get it open, although they haven't gotten their liquor license yet. I did get enough food to last through next week, I think, and enough juice and things to take back with me, I think. On the way home, I stopped and got more JD. Not that I have been hitting it hard, but a 1.75 liter bottle only lasts so long.


When I got home, I was tired and hungry, so ate my dinner early. The pasta salads are pretty good, but different from Farmer Jack's, but the sandwich was so bad I only ate about half of it. So I guess I will have to make my own sandwiches for the trip home.


The weather has turned into the kind I really don't like. It was in the mid 70s and so humid it was drizzling occasionally, all day long. No wonder my joints were creaky! And thank goodness for the air! I remember a number of birthdays like this, before we had air. Yuck.


I guess I am going to refinance my mortgage. The rate is a tad higher, but the payment isn't very much more, and Chase doesn't sell their mortgages. After I looked at the company that bought my mortgage (Community Home Loans) and saw that they are a sub-prime lender who boasts that 4 out of 5 mortgages are approved, I got nervous about them, too, so when Chase came in with a better offer than the last one, I decided that for my peace of mind, I will go for it. The closing won't be until after I go home, but that's all right. I did get the entire thing underway. I do want to go back to the bank one last time, to get one more page out of the safe deposit box, but I think I can do that when I take the check there next week. I also need cash, so I might as well do the whole thing then.


In Copper Harbor, it was just about the same as it has been, with temperatures in the mid-60s, some humidity (dew points in the upper 40s to low 50s, though, which is quite tolerable), and almost no wind. I think it was clear all day long. Another beautiful day that I wasn't there to enjoy.


However, we are making progress, and I think we'll make it. And, boy, will I be glad when it's all over! I want to go home and sleep for a week or two...


July 16

Well, we're progressing.


I didn't get to bed early last night, and I won't tonight, either, because I was talking to Debbie until her phone battery died. I slept all right, with some strange dreams, and I was up fairly early this morning.


The linens and the non-breakable stuff from the credenza are all packed. There is a lot of the basement stuff that is packed, and everything is sorted to be packed tomorrow, so we can start on the kitchen.


The best news of the day, though, is that the lost has been found. Down in a box in the basement that I do not remember putting there, is the beautiful crystal vase that I thought was lost or stolen. I was amazed, and I still am, because I don't remember doing that and I must have done it myself. Shows my mind was going even in 1995. Anyway, beside that was my father's Black Forest gnome with the lovely music box in its base, a really beautiful piece of carving that I had honestly forgotten about, and a couple of other things of less value.


I can't tell you how sorry I am that Shirley never saw the vase. She was very knowledgeable about antiques, and she love cut crystal. Once it is in its new home and I have decided where to put it, I will take a picture of it. It is really spectacular.


However, I may end up not putting some of the more valuable things right out on top of furniture, at least until Jasmine is a little older and more settled. I think I mentioned that sometime in early June, maybe, I came out of the bedroom and found one of the lamps in the great room tipped off the table. Even though Jasmine was 10 months or so old then, she was still pretty rambunctious, and I expect she will be for another couple of years. However, if I get the piece of furniture I have my eye on, there will be a safe place behind glass to put the vase and everything else that is so fragile.


We also recovered the Barbie clothes I knitted when I was in my late teens. At some point, I gave them to my mother to give to the church bazaar, but she just couldn't give them away. I didn't know, until we were going through the house after she died, that she had kept them, but now I'm glad she did. They are really cute. I probably should get a Barbie to dress, but I probably won't.


I think that was about my first foray into knitting on really small needles, and it was not too much later that I started knitting lace with size 0 to 000 needles and #30 crochet cotton. I still do that occasionally, but it needs my undivided attention, and I seem to have too many other things to do most of the time.


Now the only thing unaccounted for is the black beaded dress, and Cynthia seems to think it got packed up last year. I do hope so.


So it turned out to be a rather happy day, and I actually worked harder when I was by myself. It is amazing how much stuff, and good stuff, can accumulate in a house in 58 years.


The weather in Copper Harbor was nice, again. The temperature got up to about 66 with moderate winds, and while there were a few puffy clouds, it was mostly clear. The last picture of the day was gorgeous. Venus is getting very low in the sky - I hope she isn't gone before I get home - and I could see the very small crescent moon hiding behind the tree, all in a cloudless sky. How I wish I was there! I could have taken a picture from the bedroom that would have shown both of them hanging in there, and I've been wanting to try using the camera on the tripod.


Here, it was nice, too, although it clouded up late in the day. The temperature got up to 81, and there wasn't much wind. I did close up the house, but it was cool as usual in the basement.


Tomorrow we will start on the kitchen, and we'll see how far we get. There is stuff in some of the cabinets that I haven't looked at very much, so I will have to do some sorting.


We are making progress, and I think we may even make it.


I hope so. I am getting anxious to get home.


July 15

I ended up getting to bed late last night, and it was a simple case of not wanting to go. I did sleep pretty well, though, and I got up around 9:00, which gave me nearly enough time to get to church.


My only problem was with dressing. I wanted to wear flesh-colored hose, because I was wearing a pair of navy blue shoes which are more comfortable than my white ones (or I thought they were), and it turned out that all my natural colored hose were seconds from the same batch - the panty part was too small, and the elastic had deteriorated to the extent I had a hard time keeping my pants up.


And that was partly why I didn't go shopping. Church was Matins, which rarely takes more than 45 minutes, but I was tired and uncomfortable in panty hose that didn't fit, so I came home instead. The other reason I didn't go shopping was that the parking lot was jammed, which meant too many people in the store. For whatever reason A&P closed the Farmer Jacks stores, it wasn't lack of traffic in that store! So I will have to try go go tomorrow, maybe.


When I got home, I did my daily surfing and diddled around for quite a while, but eventually I got down into the basement again and accomplished a few things, I guess. I got all the wash done, although the clothes I had to wash over are still in the dryer. I sorted out the rag cabinet and pulled a lot more stuff out of the fruit cellar. I also sorted through the cleaning stuff and garden chemicals and I have about 3 crates that I will be taking. The rest is stuff I don't need and don't want. So I was down there about 4 hours.


Unfortunately, I wet my pants for the second time in 24 hours, but that turned out all right, because I got to wash everything right away and put on the clean clothes that I washed yesterday. This isn't Copper Harbor, and I was a little shy about walking around with nothing on from the waist down, but it was only down into the basement, so that was all right. I guess when I am sitting down, I just can't tell how badly I need to pee, and when I'm doing something engrossing (not necessarily interesting, just engrossing) I sometimes wait too long. Last night, I was asleep, and that was engrossing, too. Oh, it's hell to get old!


It was a pretty nice day in Copper Harbor, as much as I saw of it. There was some fog up by Mt. Horace Greeley, but it was nice and clear down in the harbor, with mostly clear skies, I think. The temperature got up to about 65 just now after the wind dropped, but it was in the lower 60s for most of the day, with lots of sunshine and about a 15 mph wind.


Here, it did get up to 80 around 5:00, but the morning was in the low 70s and sunny and really nice.


By the way, I deduced that the sounds I thought were thunder yesterday were in fact jets. I heard them again early this afternoon. I guess Selfridge ANG was having its annual air show this weekend. I didn't hear anything about it on WDET, but then I suppose they think that nobody who listens to that station would be interested in air shows. Those jets make an awful lot of noise, especially when they're low (I once was out in Belleville on a Saturday when the Blue Angels were practicing from Willow Run, and WOW! Pretty neat to see, though). Your tax dollars at work (or play)...


So I guess that sums up the day. The next two or three will be really, really busy, but I actually think they can get everything packed. I will be mostly sorting and throwing out, I guess.


I want to go home.


July 14

I did a bit better last night, although while I was getting ready for bed, I wondered. One of my neighbors was having a party, and they were running the music a bit louder than it needed to be, but they broke up around 11:00...not young kids anymore, I guess. It is still noisy around here, though, even without that.


I had a wakeful hour or so, but I made up for it by not getting up until 10:00. For the next few days, I sure won't be able to do that!


Eventually I trundled down to the basement and began doing some wash while I looked for the death certificate. Fortunately, I had my mind about me enough to file it and not put it in the shred box, so it was relatively easy to find. However, it doesn't have an impressed seal on it, so I don't know if it is legit or not. The lawyer next door, who did my mother's estate, came home today, so I asked him to look in his files to see what he can find about death certificates and quit-claim deeds, since all I have to go on is what he told me, and he is the kind who presumes you know everything he does. If I did, why would I hire a lawyer?


I also decided to go through some of the shredable stuff and keep all the death certificates I could find, just in case. I certainly never thought I would need my mother's after 14 years, but I guess you never know, especially in Wayne County.


After that, I continued in the fruit cellar, and got a bunch of stuff out that needs to go with me. I think I have all the Christmas stuff together now, including two boxes of lights that work. There are some nice white outdoor lights there, and from this vantage point in the middle of the summer, I am considering the possibility of using some of those this year. One of my neighbors, who doesn't have many people come to their house, decorated all the deck railings and fences and bushes around their driveway and house, and it sure looked pretty. I have enough lights, and almost enough ornaments, to decorate a 10' tree easily, provided I could get up that high to decorate it.


I love Christmas decorations, including trees, but for the number of people who would see them and the effort to put everything up, and even worse, take it all down, for just a few weeks of pretty things, has just seemed more than I wanted to undertake. We'll see. With an artificial tree, I could put it up at Thanksgiving, which would give me about five weeks of pleasure. Maybe. And again, maybe not.


Anyway, that part of the packing is done, and I left two small loads of wash in the dryer. I changed jeans today, but of course I forgot to throw the dirty ones down the chute, and I was not about to climb two flights of stairs for one pair of jeans, so I will do those tomorrow, after I finish the load of towels that I put into the washer so I would remember what I was supposed to do next.


What else I will actually do tomorrow is debatable. I decided to do some food shopping after church, and I need to try to get all the non-fragile stuff out of the china cabinet and the good china cupboard in the kitchen - the metal stuff, mostly. It is all mixed together, so I have to try to remove stuff we can pack. Then, there is a whole steel shelving unit of cleaning supplies in the laundry room. Most of the stuff I won't be taking, but there are several crates there that I want, so I need to go through it.  I did notice that somebody put my big bottle of dish detergent down there...you would think that after working with me so long, they would realize that I am not about to go all the way into the basement when my little bottle of dish detergent, which I keep on the sink, gets empty, but somehow they forget. Duh.


The weather here was pretty nice. It was cloudier than it has been, and a bit windier for a while, but the temperature only got up to 78, so I had the kitchen slider open as well as the door in my bedroom, which blew shut sometime during the day. It seemed to be a little more humid today.


Around noon, I think, I kept hearing things that sounded like either thunder or jets streaking by, but there was so much noise that I'm pretty sure it was thunder, and there was a report of an inch of rain up north of Algonac (Deckerville, which is where my great uncle used to moor his boats). I guess that was what I was hearing, but it sure didn't sound anything like the distant thunder in Copper Harbor!


In Copper Harbor, the high only got to 64. There were little rain showers around midnight, between 8:00 and 10:00, and a very small one around 7:30. So it was very humid all day. There was even a little sunshine in between showers, but not much.


The camera is still working just fine, thank you.


Well, I miscounted, and it will be 11 days from today that I will be home again (July 25). Maybe I can last through until then. I hate this, I don't want to be here, and I want to go home and cuddle a black cat.


July 13

It was a lousy night last night, but today was much better. The problems with the title company really annoyed me, and that kept me awake most of the night, actually. I probably dozed, but I didn't really sleep until after 6:00, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep.


I did have another talk with the realtor this morning, and we've decided the problem is with the Wayne County recorder of deeds, or whatever they call it. There should have been 7 changes in the title since 1987, and there are only 2 that the title company could find. I find that very hard to believe, but I'm not going to argue. Anyway, my realtor said that I shouldn't worry about it, that's what I'm paying them for. That's true, but it still bothers me. What did I sign all those documents for and pay all that money for? Why did I get confirmations of changes that were never recorded? Any more questions about why I'm moving out of here?


I have no doubt, things being the way they are in Wayne County, that even those clerk-type jobs are politically filled, and it seems that being qualified isn't part of the job description.  Grrrr...


The latest is, there may be a copy of the death certificate at the local city offices, but they need to know my mother's date of death. I actually had it one day off, so I'm glad I looked at the calendar for May, 1993.


I diddled around here for most of the day, doing not much, but I had promised myself I would run some errands, and I had to mail another check, so about 3:00 I took off.


The local motel isn't great, but I think it will do. It is now being run by East Indians...and that set me off on another rant. What is wrong with the American public today, that they don't want to do any jobs that may be a bit lower on the status scale and involve some physical effort, but are vitally necessary to do? Motels, grocery stores, farm work, lower-wage industrial labor, and even house construction jobs are going begging until emigrants, legal and not, come in to do them. More power to those people! We'd be in a pretty pickle without them.


Then I went on to the Verizon store and I now own a new and much smaller cell phone with a contract that is cheaper than my old one. Since I don't use my cell phone much, since I'm home most of the time, I didn't need anything fancy, but this is a cute thing, and besides it's blue, at least on the outside.


I had considered moving my cell phone service to the UP, which would have needed a new number, but I decided there are some advantages to having a 313 area code number...or I think they are. I got voice mail on this one, so we shall see how many weird wrong numbers I get. If it's too many, I will have to change service...or change my number. I'll give it a year.


From there - and that took a while - I went to the pet supply store and bought a very large amount of cat food. They have the best selection of the stuff the kitties are eating, so every time I come down here, I load up. I still had a lot from the April trip, but after all, I will have been gone a month.


I decided to forego the grocery store, since it was almost 5:00 and the place looked like a zoo. That will have to happen next week, although I may try stopping after church on Sunday, if I remember to take some comfortable shoes. I may have to go next week anyway, to have something for sandwiches on the trip north...or maybe not, if I get enough stuff on Sunday.


I was sitting and playing with my new phone when I got a call from myself, which always causes a weird feeling. It was Peggy, and she was sitting at the computer with a black cat on her lap. So we cycled the broadband receiver, and it came right up, and we now are logging pictures again! All I can figure is that Lydia and I tried it while the fish house was still down on Wednesday.


And we had a nice conversation. She loves how quiet it is at my place, and that's what I love about it, too. There is absolutely nothing like a calm evening in the field, when the only thing I can hear is my tinnitus, and maybe a loon call. Oh, to be there again! Twelve days...


Buster is being his clingy self, and Peg commented on what a good cat he is. He is good, so good that I take him for granted sometimes. I will have to make that up to him. He is a lover boy, for sure, and it's so nice to know the people taking care of him like him nearly as much as I do.


I was reading a catalog when I began to smell the most delicious smell of something marinated being barbecued, so I got my dinner. I forgot to mention that I cooked yesterday. There was a package of chicken breasts in the downstairs freezer, so I cooked them up with mushroom soup and rice, and it tastes good...a lot better than the TV dinners I've been eating. It also has a lot less sodium, I think, and one of the reasons I didn't sleep much last night was that I was up about every hour.


So my little list of things to do is getting done. The only phone call I haven't made is to the people who fertilize the lawn and trees, and that is only because they don't work on Friday afternoon. Nice, if you can do it. Now, for the next two days, I simply have to get back down into the basement and get to work there, so it looks like I've done something when Cynthia gets here on Monday. 


The weather here was really nice, again. The temperature got up to 75, with not much humidity and not much wind. Just my kind of weather! There were more clouds in the sky, but there was plenty of sunshine.


In Copper Harbor, I think it was cloudy for most of the day, and when I looked at the 7:45 picture, the deck railing was wet. There wasn't much rain, but some moisture fell. The temperature got up to 64. There was a little north wind early in the afternoon, but it's now calm again, and dull and drizzly. I can almost smell it.


Oh, to be home again...

July 12

From one point of view, this was another lost day. But I think I needed that, and I was tired.


I did manage to get all the trash collected, I think, and with the help of my buyer, out to the curb. And that was a big thing. The garage looks much better now, and we can start making more bags of stuff.


Otherwise, I surfed and read and relaxed a bit.


I needed it after my realtor called to say that the title company was claiming that my mother's name is still on the title. I simply cannot believe that, since I've made mortgages several times over the past few years and had no problems whatever. She was going to track it down, but she was apparently tied up today and hasn't gotten back to me. That, plus they want some information about the trust and they wanted my social security number (to differentiate me from other Sharon Smiths who have outstanding judgments against them, they say. Who are these people, and why are they digging up things that nobody else thought about?), left me upset and angry this morning, which is part of the reason I goofed off.


Along about 5:00, my buyer showed up with the most beautiful bouquet of roses - I wish I knew what variety they are. It seems he had asked his girl friend to meet him here, and he proposed to her in my rose garden! It was cute. I wasn't watching the whole thing, but when he asked her, she started jumping up and down before she threw her arms around his neck and I looked elsewhere. She has a beautiful ring, and she was just ecstatic. She is a nice young thing, petite and blond and pretty. Also nice.


What a nice, romantic ending to my life in this house.


The weather in Copper Harbor was pretty good, I think, although I think it was cloudy. The temperature got up to 60, with a moderate wind.


It was rather nice here. It got up to 80, but the humidity was low and there was a breeze. There were puffy white clouds in the blue sky, what I could see of them.


I ran into Jackie as the buyers were leaving, and we had a nice chat. She had been planning to ask me if I needed help with the trash, which of course I did, but the strong young legs of the buyers worked better. It is an impressive pile, considering. Wait till next week!


The camera is still down, and I have another call into PastyNet. I don't know quite what the trouble is.


So that was my quiet day. I had a wakeful period last night, about 2 hours' worth, so I'm tired again, and I think I will just go to bed and process the bills I brought upstairs tomorrow.


July 11

Another day, another box. Or two.


I didn't sleep as well as I would have liked last night, but that's becoming normal these days. I think maybe it has something to do with being cooped up in air conditioning, besides my mind mulling over what I'm doing. Tonight, I hope, will be better, because it's cooled off enough that I can leave the door open and maybe turn off the ceiling fan.


My day started in an interesting way. I was downstairs getting my orange juice, when a man I had never seen before, driving a car I had never seen before, took the hose out into the backyard and turned it on the rose bed. Now who in the world was that, and what was he doing in my backyard?


I had gotten downstairs a couple of hours later when he came back to stop the hose, and when he saw me, he introduced himself - he is the buyer! Of all things! It was all right with me that he set out the hose, because it has been dry around here, but gee, at least he could have asked first. He moved the hose to the front lawn, which was beginning to go dormant, and after we had a nice conversation, he went on his way.


And I went on mine, to the bank, to pay my safe deposit bill and get the abstract of title out. That is an extremely interesting document, which goes back to 1796 and ends when my parents took out a mortgage with my dad's employer in, I think, 1962. I thought the new owners might find it fun, and I certainly will have no more use for it.


While I was at the bank, I applied for a home equity loan on Copper Harbor, which was surprisingly easy, and on which I will get a nice rate reduction, since I am a retiree. I found it really interesting that Chase has adopted a number of the policies NBD had. NBD was a wonderful bank and a good employer (notwithstanding some of the turkeys I worked directly for), and it makes me feel quite comfortable that such a huge institution has adopted at least some of the more humanitarian policies from them. I also inquired about refinancing my mortgage, since I am totally fed up with NetBank, but I don't know if that will work out, since rates are higher now.


So finally I got home, and descended into the basement, and the Christmas ornaments are packed up to the extent I can do it. I have one more box to look at, marked "old Christmas balls", but I don't think I will be taking any of those, since they came through a flood. I was pleased to see that to a great extent I had moved all my good ornaments to plastic boxes, which are much sturdier than cardboard. Not that it wasn't a pain to wrap all those little thingies and put them back in the boxes, but now I have more hope that they will survive the move. Once I finish that, I can go on to all the cleaning products that are in the basement, and I just have the feeling I won't be taking many of those.


I also looked over the stuff in the fruit cellar, and I think I will be taking most of it. It is all old stuff, but things that tie me to my family.


So we progress, I guess. Getting further along doesn't make this any more fun. But time passes, and two weeks from now I should be home again with my kitties.


The camera has been down all day. Apparently there was a large thunderstorm last evening, right after the last picture, and there have been problems with the broadband ever since. I came upstairs too late to call tonight, but I will have to do it tomorrow and maybe get Peggy to reset the receiver again. The NWS station was down for three hours this evening, so maybe there was another glitch.


Today, I caught Lydia sitting in my chair with a black cat on her lap, but resetting it didn't do any good. I want a black cat sitting on my lap!


The temperature in Copper Harbor got up to 66, a couple of times, and it was quite windy until the NWS station went down, although now the wind has died down. From what I can tell, it was partly cloudy there.


Here, it was a considerably nicer day than we've been having lately. The high for the period was at midnight - 80 - and it only got up to 77 today, with a nice breeze, and now the temperature is falling off, and it isn't very humid. There were some clouds in the sky, but it was mostly sunny...not that I can see the sky around here.


So that was another interesting day, and maybe I can get to bed before midnight tonight? I'm tired and depressed. This needs to get over with.


July 10

Well, about 3:00 this morning the ghosts I raised yesterday all came back to haunt me, and it was after 5:00 when I got back to sleep, so I was late getting up, and I was actually awakened by the realtor. I hope that doesn't happen tonight.


I had to make a fast trip to the mailbox, and when I backed out of the driveway, I saw my box of mail up against the side door. I never go out that door, so it may even have come yesterday. However, now I have plenty of things to read again, and that's nice.


I ended up spending a good portion of the rest of the afternoon on the phone, and I think I may have gotten AT&T straightened around, but considering the number of people I had to talk to, I'm not totally sure. I had some billing problems, so I thought I might as well put in the disconnect order at the same time. When I think how long these two  numbers have been in the family - 58 and 34 years - I really hate to give them up, but oh, well.


I did get back into the file drawers, and the bottom ones are all organized and the top ones are all empty. I threw out a lot of old, dried up markers, and one that leaked red ink all over my hands. I thought Crayola markers were supposed to be water soluble, but I don't seem to be able to wash off the ink. After seeing how little I actually kept, I am thinking I won't take the 4-drawer file at all. It was very cheap and it isn't in good shape, so I think maybe I will just forget it. My two, two-drawer files, with some more Pendaflex rails, will hold what I need to have in them.


So that part is pretty much done, except to get all the stuff neatly packed. It is going to take more than one small box, and the drawer insert is just a tad too big for a small box, so I think I might let Cynthia handle that.


The weather in Copper Harbor was dampish, with .4 inch of rain this morning, a gorgeous afternoon, and a little more rain late. The camera stopped just before 8:00, and I don't know if it's because there was a power failure or some other kind of failure. The temperature got up to 72, and the wind has now risen into the 15-40 mph range, which should blow something away. Come to think about it, it may also have blown away the broadband.


Here, it was another horrible hot day, although it wasn't quite as bad as yesterday. The temperature topped out at 91, but it's now down to 83, and the wind is rising here, too.


So that was another day in exile, and I keep plugging along. Maybe I'll make it.


July 9

I don't seem to be able to get to bed before 11:00 no matter how early I start. It has to do with sitting in the bathroom staring at the floor. I guess that's my way of unwinding at the end of the day, except that sometimes it takes me a long time to unwind.


I was up before 9:00 this morning, but it didn't do any good. I diddled around at the computer and at the brunch table until after 2:00 before I trundled down to the cold basement. It was a good place to be on a very hot day.


I actually accomplished a lot. Five file drawers are cleaned out (one is refilled), and there is a bag of trash and two archive boxes that need to be shredded. There are a few other things I haven't decided what to do with yet, but I feel that I actually did something useful.


It wasn't any fun. Four of the file drawers were my mother's, and I had to go through every item, particularly after I found eight $2 bills, a $1 silver certificate, and my grandfather's silver dollar. I didn't find any more money, but I did find a certificate saying that my father had paid up a $1000 life insurance policy on me...once I get home, I am going to have to follow up on that. The policy was paid up in 1962, so it should be worth something, if the company still has it on its books. I have no clue where the original certificate is - I've now been through everything of my parents, and I've never seen it.


Some of the stuff was interesting, and some of it was sad. I have about six signature books from various funerals - everyone but my mother's. I am having to assume that got sent up north last year and I will find it eventually. Anyway, I looked through a lot of old family history. Fortunately, most of the stuff was either junk or can be safely shredded, so I was able to get what remained into one file drawer with what was left of my stuff. Before I moved here, I kept my current stuff in a file drawer under the computer desk, but that got put down in the basement when I moved in, so afterwards, I kept everything upstairs, and all of that has been periodically gone through and thrown out. So there was old stuff in the drawer that went out.


My mother, I discovered when I moved here, had kept all the greeting cards I sent her - and today I discovered a lot I had sent my dad - but she advised me not to do the same. Well, I did. And I still am. Particularly seeing all those beautiful cards signed "mama and daddy" gives me a link to the family I don't have anymore.


I have tried to be a bit better about not saving old stuff. My mother had tax information back to when she was widowed in 1983, I think, but I have tried hard not to save much more than the three-year minimum. One day I will get the basement in order and shred or throw away everything before 2004. My shredder isn't an industrial-strength one, but I don't feel as unsafe throwing away stuff up in Copper Harbor, since it is all compacted almost immediately after I put it in the machine. Nobody is going through the trash to glean social security numbers or credit card numbers. It is really nice to at last live in a place where pretty much everyone is dead honest.


My mother had kept all the bills from when she redid the kitchen and when she put on the bay window in front, which would have been useful to her if she had sold the house, but it isn't necessary any more. I was tempted to save it all, but I don't really see any reason for it. I have all the bills for the Copper Harbor house (although unlike mama, I have never added them all up - I really don't want to know how much that house cost me!), and that's all that matters. As it turned out, I am getting little enough for this house that there won't be any capital gains on it since 1993. There are pictures, and I will try to save those.


Anyway, I put in a solid 6 hours, and I am tired and depressed. This is definitely not my idea of fun.


The weather here was ideal for such a task, though. The temperature got up to 95, and even though it wasn't at all humid, amazingly enough, it was still much too hot to be outside. It was probably in the middle 60s in the basement, so I was comfortable.


In Copper Harbor, it was much nicer. The high for the 24 hour period, 66, actually happened about 3:00 this morning, and for the rest of the day, the temperature was in the low 60s with almost no wind. It was a little bit cloudy this morning, but it cleared up for most of the day, at least until late afternoon. The humidity was rather high, but as John Dee has always said, a dew point of under 60 is usually comfortable, and it was under 55 all day. 


How I wish I was there, and all this agony was over with! Besides, I miss my kitties.


Anyway, I will keep at it. I have one more file drawer of papers and two of office supplies to go through, and that task will be done and I can move on. I had already gone through the papers in the in-boxes on the desk, and I think I can clean up most of the stuff quickly. It just occurred to me that I won't be able to leave the office supplies in the file drawers, because they will undoubtedly go all over the place, so I will try to get that packed up. There are a large number of computer-related books down there, but I think almost all of them can be pitched, too, since they are old and out-of-date. I will extract the useful ones and Cynthia can deal with the rest. Likewise, the office supplies. I still want to keep my fountain pens, if only as relics, and there are a number of other interesting things in those drawers. One small box should do it.


So there we are. Even though I was sitting down for most of the day and not moving my arms around all that much, I find this an extremely tiring exercise. I hate it, and I don't see any reason to say otherwise. But there are only two more weeks to go, so I will press on regardless.


July 8

I got up at 8:00 this morning, which gave me time to eat and read leisurely and still get to church early. It was nice to see all my friends, and it was nice to be there again, and go to communion.


However, it was already over 80 when I got there, and between the warmth in the lobby and having to stand for a while, I was really dripping before I sat down, and I hadn't brought enough Kleenex with me. Sitting quietly, even while singing, helped a lot, and the church itself is air conditioned.


It was 88 by the time church was over, and the car was like an oven, so I scuttled home and into the cool house in a hurry. I did go back out, to cut a couple of roses that had come out, but I wasn't out long. The temperature topped out at 95, and that is just too hot!!


I did manage to accomplish a little bit more today than yesterday. I sorted and packed everything under the kitchen sink, and I went through three of the junk drawers and determined what I want to take with me. There is one more junk drawer and a cabinet to go through, but I think I may just start in the basement tomorrow, since it's supposed to be just as hot as today. The basement is cold, which means it's a great place to be when it's so hot outside.


I must mention that I also read two books (short ones).


In Copper Harbor, it was cool and foggy. There were some rain showers north and south of it, and a big line of thunderstorms across the middle of the UP tonight, but there was no rain in the harbor. The temperature purportedly got up to 75 early this morning, but that was a spike, and around 4:00 it was actually around 50 for a couple of hours.  It has recovered now, and it's around 60, but it was a cool and apparently mostly cloudy day in the Copper Country.


The camera was acting up all day. It never came up this morning, so I reset it from here around 1:00, but Lydia did the same thing around 3:30, and it came up black. I am trying to reset it now, and we'll see what happens next. I don't guess it was a very inspiring view anyway.


This weather, plus my early rising, makes me really sleepy, as well as thirsty. I drank a lot of Fruit2O today. I suppose that's actually good for me.


So now I will take a nice (and badly needed) tepid shower, and drown my sorrows in sleep. I want to go home!


July 7

So it was another lost day, and I don't have anything to report, except that I finished the book on Michigan history.


The weather here was the kind to stay in for. While it wasn't humid, the temperature topped out at 88, which is entirely too hot. So I stayed in, except for sticking my nose out the back door when Jackie stopped by to leave off the key. Yuck.


It was cooler in Copper Harbor, although the temperature at midnight was 75, after which it slid down into the upper 60s and only got to 73 during the day. However, it was pretty humid, and there wasn't a lot of wind. I sure am glad I left a lot of windows open. My unintentional passive solar heat would make it horrible inside otherwise.


This is a short one, but that's about all I have to say.


July 6

I did sleep a bit better last night, with no long wakeful periods, but I started late, so I was up late this morning. My sore back was all gone, too, so that was good.


I was late enough that I only had my orange juice and a little macaroni salad before I met Debbie. She was going to come here and get her stuff before lunch, but she was later than she thought, so we went to lunch first. The restaurant is Fishbone's , and I like it. They have sort of Louisiana cooking, but not as spicy as most, I think...and what sushi is doing on a New Orleans restaurant menu, I do not know...


I had the same thing I always end up with - shrimp and noodles with a tomato cream sauce with mushrooms. I don't think it quite agreed with my gall bladder, but I feel fine now, and it was really yummy.


We had a nice talk and she gave me my birthday present - a lovely bracelet that she made herself from pearls,  square Swarovski crystals and sterling silver that represents the twelve bases of the new Jerusalem, as described in Revelations. It is really pretty, and I put it right on. Then we came back to the house and I showed her the embroidery, and we looked at all the stuff that isn't there. We ended up going through the jewelry I had set aside to get rid of, which Cynthia hadn't taken, and I was glad I did, because I found three pins, two of which are antiques, that I really didn't intend to let go. So that was nice.


Of course, all that meant that nothing got done on the task at hand, but oh, well. It was in a good cause.


The weather was nice in Copper Harbor, mostly clear except right at sunset, when the temperature rose to 75, with either no wind or a light breeze from the north. It wasn't quite as humid, either.


Here, it was not so nice. The temperature got up to about 84 about the time we were coming back from lunch, with not a lot of wind. At least it was much less humid than yesterday, but that is just too warm for me. And this weekend is predicted to be horrible, with temperatures as high as the upper 90s on Sunday. Yuck. Sounds like a good day to descend into the cold basement and wrap Christmas ornaments.


We shall see. Tomorrow it's back to the task. Two days off is too many.


How I wish it was all over!


July 5

I remember when I was working how much I hated midweek holidays. So I can commiserate.


I started out sleeping pretty well last night, but about 3:00 I woke up, and I didn't get back to sleep until around 6:00. I really hate that. Fortunately, nobody was coming today, so I could sleep in to my heart's content, and I did. It was nearly 11:00 when I finally rolled out of bed...with a backache. I don't know quite what I did overnight, but my back was bothering me all day.


The tasks of the day were to get a new telephone headset, take in the vacuum, and get food. All accomplished. 


Unfortunately for my credit card, I also acquired a new cordless answering machine and an extra handset. I have been thinking about that for some time, because I have been having considerable problems with the ones I have, and I have never gotten good reception up at the north end of the house. If you've never put a telephone in your bathroom, I recommend it. Only it has to work to be useful. I hope the new one will do that.


Then it was off to Kroger via the vacuum store. I was delighted to see that Kroger has not reorganized its store, even though it's been well over a year since I was last there. Only they don't have much of a deli, and they don't make veggie trays. However, I got enough lunch meat for a few days and enough TV dinners to keep me fed for the rest of my stay. I think I have a package of chicken breasts and a pasty or two in the freezer in the basement, too, so I am set. I will have to go back right before I leave to get something to eat on the way and some OJ and maybe a few other things for when I get home, but otherwise I can draw down on what I have. There were a lot of people there for 2:00 on a Thursday, but come to think about it, this is social security day for the older folks, which no doubt accounts for all the very elderly ladies I saw in the store.


I came home via Lakeshore Drive, and Lake St. Clair wasn't very pretty, sort of greenish and cloudy. There was some sun on it, which was nice, but it wasn't a very nice color, not like Mother Superior.


I was pretty tired and very creaky when I got back here, but I ended up having to rustle around a bit. I finally called the gardeners to complain that nobody had been here for quite a while - since May 8, in fact - and they showed up around 4:00 this afternoon. They will be back tomorrow, I think, to finish up. When I went out to show them what I wanted, I was appalled. There were as many wild morning glories in the back of the rose bed as there were when I originally hired them. It was awful. And all of the roses needed deadheading. There is one rose that is growing blind shoots like crazy, and those will be cut down. The climber had fallen over into the rose bed...well, you get the idea.


However, I rescued two lovely blooms to bring in the house. One is almost certainly Chrysler Imperial, one of my favorite red roses, and the other, I am fairly certain, is Abbaye de Cluny, a pale peachy-pink with a fantastic fragrance. So they are now sitting on the kitchen table. Oh, I do need to have roses in the field! Hopefully, next year! I was particularly interested in Abbaye de Cluny, because what I read claimed it isn't hardy north of zone 7, but it is doing just fine in my zone 5 yard...of course, it gets covered in the winter, and I will do that in the field, too. Growing roses isn't the easiest thing to do, but the rewards are so great!


The weather here was lousy. It was sunny until late afternoon, when some thunderstorms came through, but the temperature got up to 80, and the humidity was in the 70-80% range. Just the kind of weather I hate. I was dripping wet, both when I got back from the grocery, and when I came in from talking to the gardeners.


It was nicer in Copper Harbor, although it is still humid there, too. The temperature was mostly around 60, with a little wind, and it was mostly clear. It was so nice tonight that I saved the last picture. See the little white dot up in the upper right? That isn't a defect - it's Venus. I saved last night's, too, although I didn't publish it, and it is astonishing how much lower Venus is tonight than it was last night. No wonder the ancients called them "wanderers".


Speaking of last night, I realized shortly after I went to bed that I haven't been here on the Fourth of July since about 1985. Wow, have things changed! From about 9:30 until nearly midnight, there were so many firecrackers and things going off that it sounded like a war zone...continuous noise. It was amazing. I like Copper Harbor better.


So that is nearly all I know, because I've been talking to Debbie for several hours, as usual. She finally called me, since I hadn't called her, and of course we always talk forever. We're going to lunch tomorrow.


Nothing got done on the packing front today, except that my wardrobes got delivered. Maybe I will get something done tomorrow. I have a course of action mapped out, only putting it into action will take some willpower. However, We have two more weeks, and two more floors, so if we can manage a floor a week we'll make it. Well...we won't be able to do it quite in that structured a fashion, because there is a lot of packing I will leave to Cynthia. However, I will do what I can, and maybe we'll make it.


Only a little more than two weeks...


July 4 - Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July! I hope everybody enjoyed the day in the way you like best.


I spent too long staring at the floor last night and got to bed late, but I did seem to sleep well. I guess it was just as well that I didn't try to go to bed early, because somebody else had a fireworks display last night. The trees in my neighborhood have grown so high that I can't see any of them, unlike when I was a kid, but that's all right. I wish I could be there to see the Copper Harbor display tonight, which is supposed to be really special.  Oh, well.


So I got up late and did my morning surfing before breakfast, which is the way I like it. And I confess I didn't do much today. However, I remembered that we didn't clean out the medicine chest in the bathroom, so I did that, and now all I have to do is throw away a large number of old pills, dating from the SCT in 2001. I am tempted to keep a few of them, like the prilosec and ativan, but there are a whole bunch I have no idea why they were prescribed. So I guess I will dump them all down the toilet (even people who are environment-savvy admit that's the best thing to do), and throw out the bottles. There are a few things to add to my little basket of things to take, but not many.


It was hard to look at the bottles of Aleve and Nuprin and aspirin, which would make my aches and pains so much better, but I'm not supposed to take them anymore because of my kidneys.


And that was about it. I spent some time reading my book about Michigan, and there are now even more pages with food stains on them. I have a hard time finding my mouth sometimes when I'm reading.


The weather in Copper Harbor was interesting. It was relatively cool, and it would have been sunny, except that the humidity was so high that for a good part of the day it was pea-soup fog. It went away in the early afternoon, then it came back for a while, and apparently between 5:00 and 5:15 there was a short rain shower. Now there is just a little cloud of fog over the central part of the harbor. I do hope we don't have a repeat of last year, when they set off the fireworks in the fog and nobody could see them. The temperature finally got up to 60 this evening, and there was hardly any wind.


Here, it was nasty. Between 4:00 and 8:00 there was a little rain, and it was very humid all day long. The temperature got up to about 80. I closed up the house around noon, and I didn't stick my nose outside. I don't like that humid weather at all.


I tried to pay my mortgages online today, and now I have another beef against NetBank. It seems that if you pay your mortgage online before the due date, there is no service charge, but if you pay it on or after the due date (even though if it's paid by check it wouldn't get there any sooner), there is a sliding scale of service charges. For heaven's sake, already... What they are saying is, if I pay by check, I have a 15 day grace period, but if I pay online, which should be easier for everybody, I have no grace period at all. What a weird company.


I had a little steak for dinner, and the differences in the meat between here and Keweenaw really came home. It was the same cut that I've been eating up there - a sirloin strip with a bone - but this one was really tough. Since I don't have a working self-cleaning oven, I pan broiled it, and it turned out just fine, thank you. Using the range hood kept the smoke out of the smoke detector, and it took about the same time to cook as if I'd broiled it. I shall have to remember that when I have these thin little steaks. My large cast iron pan will be coming with me, and it is ideal for pan broiling. Propane doesn't have as many BTUs as natural gas, so it will take a little longer there than here, but that's all right.


So I guess that's about all there is, and maybe tonight I can get to bed a little earlier? Undoubtedly I am so tired because this is a depressing job, but I do need a lot of sleep under the best of circumstances.


July 3

I certainly didn't want to get up this morning, but at least I will be able to sleep in tomorrow. I was groggy but ambulatory, and Cynthia was late, which gave me time to eat my breakfast before she came. The toaster oven from the basement actually works, although it doesn't brown very well, so I was able to have a toasted muffin for breakfast. 


We actually accomplished a lot today. All that is left of the upstairs is the bedding currently on the beds and the clothes that need to be put in wardrobes. We cleared out the coat closet and the broom closet on the first floor, except for the coats that need to be put in a wardrobe. The wardrobes should be delivered on Thursday evening, I hope.


So now comes the fun stuff. I don't know quite where I will start, but I'm hoping to get a lot of packing done in the next week.


Thursday, I need to go and get some food someplace. The Oreck vacuum won't turn on, so I have to take it to the repair shop to find out if it's just the switch or if somebody managed to burn out the motor. And the headset that I use on my cordless phone broke during the day (I can hear, but I can't talk), so I would like to see if I can replace that. Not much packing is likely to get done that day.


The weather here was tolerable but warmer. It was sunny all day, at least until evening, when it began to cloud over, and the temperature topped out at 80, with a light south wind. It felt humid, even though the weather report didn't say it was.


It was definitely humid in Copper Harbor. The temperature was in the lower 60s until about 10:00, when it abruptly dropped to the lower 50s, and the fog began to roll in. I didn't login until 4:00, and it was pea soup. It began to clear a while later, and now it is all gone again, although it is still cloudy. There was no wind at all for most of the afternoon.  I love to watch the fog come and go. I wish I were there!


So that was my day, and I need to go to bed again. Tomorrow is supposed to be hot and stormy, and it might be a good day to spend in the basement?

We shall see. I still don't know quite where to start...or end...


July 2

I left the door open last night, so it was nice and cool in the bedroom, and I slept pretty well, all things considered.  In fact, I didn't want to get up at 9:00, but oh, well.


Cynthia arrived, and we tore into things, and except for some odds and ends, the only real problem left upstairs is the bathroom. She also pulled some stuff out of the fruit cellar so that I can begin to work on the Christmas ornaments. That will occupy me for some time to come, I'm afraid. I have to wrap them all in tissue, and maybe the larger ones in bubble wrap, so that they will ship well. The only problem upstairs now is that I have not yet gotten all my wardrobes. Oh, well, they will come, and everything is sorted out so that they only need to be loaded. I will keep nattering at people until they do come.


And that is about all I have to report for the day. We worked.


It finally rained a bit in Copper Harbor, and it was cloudy and dark all day long. The temperature briefly got up to 64, and there wasn't much wind. We needed the rain, but we need more of it. Maybe tonight and tomorrow?


Here, it was another beautiful day, clear and sunny. The temperature got up to 72, and there wasn't much wind here, either. The clouds should be arriving tomorrow.


I'm afraid the Fourth isn't going to be very good weather either place, which is a shame for those people who want to have outdoor activities.


On the subject of the black beaded dress, Cynthia thinks it was packed and is now in Copper Harbor. I will keep my fingers crossed until I have it in hand.  If they found it, it was while I was someplace else.  The only thing missing now (besides the vase, of course) is a box of Barbie clothes I knitted back in the 60s, which my mother couldn't give away. I thought it was in the linen closet, but we didn't find it there. I will have to check the top shelf more carefully. I know it was there in 2000, and it wasn't put anyplace anyone could go off with it.


I am still admiring my framed embroidery. It simply amazes me what a frame and sometimes a mat can do for a piece. Of course, I have always loved the angels anyway, but now I can display them.


And that is all there is. It appears we might even make the deadline, which is now July 22. The packers will be here on the 20th to do the china and crystal, and the movers will come July 22 and, if necessary, July 23.


So now I can try to get to bed a bit earlier than I did yesterday.


July 1

Let's try this again. The computer hung when I was nearly done.


The day ended in an entirely better way than it started out, for sure.


I had a horrible night. I was mostly awake from about 3:00 until 6:00. I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie, and I couldn't find a comfortable temperature, and I was completely miserable. Finally I got to sleep, after 6:00, but when I woke up at 8:15, it was clear that I hadn't had enough sleep, so I tried again, and didn't get up until almost 11:00. That means I missed church. Oh, dear.


So I did my morning surfing, and went downstairs to eat something, and I was engrossed in a book ("Michigan" again) when I had a nasty accident, which meant I had to change all my clothes from the waist down and clean myself and the old clothes up. That put me in a completely bad mood, so I diddled around for the rest of the afternoon.


Then, around 6:30, who should call but the woman who has been doing my framing, whom I thought was lost forever! It seems she has spent the past year out west someplace taking care of her mother, who broke both hips in a fall. Well, OK, she was always straight with me before, so I'll believe her.


And she told me that not only did she have my stuff, it was all framed, and she had the frames for the stuff I had ordered but never given her the embroidery. Wow! I was beginning to think all that stuff (some of my favorites) was lost and gone forever.


So I met her at her storage facility, and even though I had to write a fairly hefty check, everything was there, and she did her usual fantastic job. Everything is wrapped up now, but once I get home, I will take some pictures. I am particularly happy with the biggest piece, an angel, which is matted in an oval mat in navy suede and gold. I liked the piece just plain, but the mats really set it off.


So not only did I get my stuff back, I got out of the house for the first time in three days, and it's pretty nice out. In fact, it is so nice, that after I had something to eat, I came upstairs and put the screen in the back door. Of course, it's noisy as all get out, but it is nice to have some fresh, cool air coming in for a change. I think I may sleep better tonight...or I sure hope so!


It was a nice day for most of the day in Copper Harbor. The temperature got just over 60, with not a lot of wind. There were some puffy clouds this morning, and by afternoon the mare's tails were moving in in front of the rain clouds. Eventually, it clouded up altogether, but I do wish I'd been there to watch the sky.


It was nice here, too, and actually much cooler than lately. The maximum temperature was 71, with moderate winds out of the north, mostly. There was a period of clouds in the early afternoon, but they say it has cleared up again. I don't know if I trust that. There were high cirrus-type clouds when I went out, even though the sun was shining. It is now down in the low 60s, and it feels good to have the outside air coming in.


It is still noisy. Last night the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club had their fireworks, and tonight it sounds like the ones at Parcells are going on. Since the downtown Detroit fireworks were last Wednesday (what an awful night for them!) It appears that if you wanted to, you could see fireworks every night for a week around here. I guess that's what happens when the Fourth is on a Wednesday.


So even though I didn't do any packing today, I am going to bed in a considerably more cheerful mood. All the pieces that Carey had were my favorites - for some reason she did the rest first. It is really good to have them back. I will have to keep taking them out of the boxes and looking at them until they get packed up, just to admire my handiwork.  And at last I have the three big angels back in my possession. Thank goodness! Now I will feel free to attack the one I'm working on with gusto, and not keep thinking about where my other angels are.


So that was my rocky day, and it's bedtime again. I wish I was back in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM