A View From the Field








August, 2007

August 31

So August is over. Amazing how little I managed to get done. Oh, well.


 I was late getting to bed, and I don't remember quite why, but it was a good night to sleep and I did. I had a cat in bed with me a lot of the time, and just before I got up this morning, the other cat came and walked on me, then she settled down at the far end of the bed. If I hadn't gotten up, she might even have gone to sleep there.


And once or twice today, she almost forgot herself and walked toward me rather than away...but she remembered and ran off.


So I didn't do a thing except get the mail.


It was a lovely day, mostly clear, with a light east wind, but during the day the temperature didn't get over 62º. The high for the day, 66º, was actually between 6 and 7 this morning, weirdly enough.


This afternoon one of the moving guys returned one of my side tables, which had a leg broken off. They seemed to do a pretty good job of putting it back together. I must try to find out who did it. I have some other furniture that could use some repairs.


I haven't posted a picture in a long time, but the camera caught sunset tonight. It was such a pretty picture, and the sun is now within camera range, so I saved it. Sigh. Days are really getting shorter - by 3¼ minutes a day, and that adds up over a week.


As you can see, it cleared up completely by sunset, so there should be stars tonight, and the moon is still very bright, so there should be shadows. I think I will go and watch them.


August 30

Changing sides in bed last night was made more difficult by the black cat who took up residence in the middle of the bed and didn't move all night. I hope he is all right. However, I didn't do badly anyway. 


I sat in bed and read the rest of the stuff I had been writing in June, and again I got the impression I had the first time I read it then - that what I wrote before then was choppy and confused...or at least confusing. When I re-read it, it seemed OK, but now that I have had the same impression again, I guess I will have to see what I can do about it.


Anyway, I was late going to sleep, so I was late getting up, but I actually did something today. I promised myself that if I didn't go to Houghton today (which I was contemplating), I would do something, so at least I kept my promise.


The last two boxes that had "food" marked on them are now empty. I had to rearrange the cupboard where I keep my teas and stuff I use at the stove (like olive oil and Pam), and that took quite a while. I got on the two-step stool without much problem, so I guess I am making progress. I also fiddled with the cupboard where I keep things like strainers and canisters, so that I could get everything in there. I did have to pack a box with extra, unopened boxes of tea and the four pounds of Yuban coffee I don't know what to do with. There are also two unopened bottles of Worstershire sauce. I used the last of it at Champine and bought a new bottle, without knowing that back in the back of the cabinet was another bottle...and of course, I had one here. So I am set for that condiment for the next 20 years, probably.


In the meantime, there were some more pots and pans and things that had gotten put away dirty, so I washed those.


So now we are down to crunch time, with the kitchen dishes and glassware. I know what to do with the dishes, I think, but the glassware is going to be a real problem, since I already had quite a bit here. I guess what I will have to do is just unpack and see what there is and where I can put it. That two-step stool is going to get quite a workout, and I expect to be on the ladder, too.


It was a lovely day, clear and sunny most of the time, although there were a few clouds before noon. The temperature got up to 68º but there was a 15 mph wind out of the north at that time, so it was comfortable to be working. The temperature is dropping off now and the wind is moving around to the southwest, so it will be a good night to sleep again.


Now Buster is bugging me because he wants me to go to bed, so I guess I will. I spent most of the evening on Amazon.com, writing reviews of some of the books I've gotten lately, some of which have been very disappointing, and that was interesting.


Oh, yes, and I need to mention that I have had a new recurring dream lately that makes me laugh. Besides the potty dream, which I've been having, too, I've also been dreaming about food, like being in a cafeteria and not being able to find something, like utensils, or any food I wanted to eat. I guess I must be hungry or something. Of course, there is also the dream where I have the food, but I have to go to the bathroom first...


I have been trying to moderate my portions this week, with the beef, to avoid any more gall bladder attacks, and that has worked pretty well. If the way my jeans and my bras are fitting lately is any indication, I have lost some weight since last spring. I have had the same pair of jeans on for three days now, and they were falling down to my bellybutton this afternoon. I guess I will have to break out the belt again. Of course, they do stretch out with wear, but it's been a while since they were that loose. I expected I would shed a few pounds while I was packing, and I guess I will shed a few more while I am unpacking. I can't tell for sure, because I didn't weigh myself when I got to Champine, and now I'm not exactly sure where the scale got packed. I gained a bit last summer when I went on a chocolate jag, and of course, I did so little over the winter that I didn't take it off. I'm talking 10 pounds or less here, but anything that makes my clothes (especially my bras, which were pinching horribly) fit better is good.


Today I made some tuna salad, and that tasted good. It is a pain to cut up the celery, but I don't like tuna salad without it. Since I won't be going to town until next week, I have been having to scrounge around in the pantry to find things to eat. And that's a good thing, too, because the pantry is overflowing.


While I was putting things away, I found a recipe for spaghetti sauce on a can, and I seem to have a very large amount of spaghetti, so if I can hunt up an onion and a pound of ground beef, I might try it. I had a lot of tomato sauce and tomato paste at the other house, and I'd best use it or it will eat through the cans.


So that was my day, and I can hear that the little natives are getting restless, and it's time to go to bed. Slowly but surely the boxes are getting emptied...


August 29

I was very late getting to bed last night, but I did sleep. I was wakeful for a little while around 6:00, but then I went back to sleep, with a brief wakeup at 8:00, until 10:00. I really don't like to get up that late. By the time I do all my morning things, it is really late.


It was a good night to sleep, but it was cloudy all night. The moon over the clouds made it light, but there were no shadows.


The clouds stayed around longer than they were supposed to, and it didn't clear up until afternoon. Now it is perfectly clear and lovely. The temperature for the past 24 hours has been between 60º and 65º, with a moderate north wind. The wind is kicking up a little white right along the shore, but it's not a lot.


I was just thinking it is getting pretty dark, and when I checked, I discovered that sunset is at 8:38 this evening - right now. That's awfully early. The last time it set that early was April 13. Pretty soon the camera will be seeing sunset. Sigh.


I did a few things. I washed the pots from last night, so that is done. I did partly unpack one box, with canned goods and other food in it, but I am running into more and more problems with what to do with all that stuff. I keep looking in cabinets and scratching my head. 


So that was about it, and I am tired already, so maybe I will try to make this an earlier night tonight. It should be a good sleeping night again. It has been cool enough that I closed the porch door. I'm sure Jasmine won't be happy, but even though she likes to go out there, I notice she doesn't stay when it's cool. If it stays this cool, I will have to close the windows, darn it.


August 28

I read until 11:30 and went right to sleep. When I woke up, around 2:30, I think, it was raining hard! Will wonders never cease! It continued until around 4:30, but I went back to sleep. I was awake when it stopped, and I was most disappointed, but at least we had several hours of hard rain. When I checked this morning, the official number was 0.51", which is more than we've had since something like April (and that was snow).


From the weather forecast, I had hopes that we would have some more today, but no such luck. The only thing good about that is that the eastern UP, around Newberry, where that fire is still burning, got dumped on this morning and again tonight. That should help them a lot.


It wasn't a very nice day, cool and very humid (like over 90% humidity all day), and around 2:00 the fog rolled in. One of the things I love about having the windows open in this weather is that I can easily hear the fog horns out on the lake. The other thing I love is when a little breeze wafts a bit of outside air into the house, and it smells just heavenly, of sweet grass and cedar and pine...I wish I could bottle it for the winter.


The temperature was in the low to middle 60s all day, and there wasn't any wind to speak of. Now why it just can't haul off and rain some more, I do not know. The cold front is right over the Keweenaw tonight, and that should have done something!


I didn't do a lot, of course. I got to the post office, finally, to mail my bills, and in two days my box was overflowing. Of course, a lot of that was my very favorite catalog of all, which is 1¼" thick this time. Last year, they split it into two, and apparently nobody (including me) liked that, so this year they put it back together. I haven't done more than open it and read the letter from the owners, because I know when I do, I will be hooked for hours. It's a bead catalog.


This evening, I cooked. There has been a package of beef country ribs taking up too much room in the freezer, so I thawed it yesterday. However, that dish requires either mashed potatoes or noodles, and I didn't have either, so I waited until today to cook it. I determined that the unmarked spice bottle is indeed bouquet garni, although I had to open the box marked "spices" to do it. It turned out tastier than usual, I think, although that may be because I haven't had it in quite a while. 


I used noodles as the starch for the first time, and I like them. They are a little less rich than mashed potatoes. I didn't have either, but the general store only has plain old Idaho baking potatoes, which are pretty blah in my opinion, so I got noodles instead. Of course, I love noodles or pasta of any variety, but they do go well with the meat. It was a very good dinner, thank you.


Of course, the stove is now a total disaster, from browning the meat, and I still have to put everything away, but it was a successful dinner. I do get tired of my own cooking, but frankly, I also get tired of eating out all the time. So it was nice to make something I like a lot.


Among the stuff I brought up here is a huge pile of recipes I cut out of the Detroit papers (and my mother cut out of various sources). Sometime when everything else is under control, I am going to sit down with all of that and read recipes for several days. I need some new ideas, I think. I would like to attempt beef stroganoff. My mother had a fantastic recipe for it, but it was a fussy thing, and I've never tried it. I will have to do that. But there have to be other things, either in her recipe box or in that huge pile, that would be fun to try.


The only thing is, I will have to try to coordinate trying new recipes with my trips to town, because it always seems there is something in every recipe that I don't have on hand and the general store doesn't carry either...like sour cream for the stroganoff.


The only thing was, since I wanted to read my mail when I got home (two more refund checks came), I was later than I wanted to be in starting my dinner, so it is late now, and it will be even later when I get to bed.


That's not all bad, but it can cause problems. The lady who is going to cut my hair woke me up at 9:00 this morning, for example, to tell me she was on the road going someplace for the week, and would a week from tomorrow be OK to cut my hair? Hey, any time. It will just be all that much longer. I should have called her at least a week ago, but I just didn't. 


My hair doesn't grow nearly as fast as it did before I lost it the second time, and it's not as thick, either. However, I think in the long run, if I want to keep it short, I will have to have it cut every eight weeks maximum, and it will be nine or ten before I get it cut this time. Maybe that's a good thing, because there are several things that didn't turn out quite right the last time, and maybe we can rectify them. But I will be peeking out from behind my bangs.


So that was my day. The kitties were sound asleep for most of the day. They are still the best barometers, and when the barometer is low, they sort of hibernate.


Oh, yes, about 5:00 this morning, I was briefly awake, and Jasmine was having her morning romp. She jumped up on the bed and walked around and sat down right on my hip (I was lying on my side), and she sat there for a few seconds. One of these nights, she'll be sitting on my head! She is quite at home now, I think, but she still won't let me get near enough to touch her. She is letting me get closer to her all the time, but eventually she gets scared and runs off. I get the idea that somebody once grabbed her when she started to eat, because that is one time she simply won't let me near her. One of these days...but it's going to be a long haul, for sure.


So that is all there is, and after I put the food away, I will be off to dreamland...


August 27

Well, so much for my theories. I didn't get to bed until 11:30, slept till 2:30, then was wakeful until about 6:00. I awoke around 8:00, and that was clearly too early for the amount of sleep I'd gotten, and the next time I woke up it was 10:45. So I don't know what the answer was. The temperature in the room was good, and I wasn't sore or achy or uncomfortable, I just didn't sleep. 


The temperature here didn't get below 66º all night, and the wind was pretty strong all night and this morning. It briefly got to 79º around 7:00, but for most of the day the temperature was around 70º with moderating winds this afternoon. It was cloudy most of the time, and it has gotten more so lately. There is rain over west of Duluth, which may eventually get here, but it looked almost like it was headed northeast, which would mean it will miss us. We can hope.


My intentions never panned out, either. I had a couple of phone calls I wanted to make which consumed most of the afternoon. I wrote some checks, but I didn't get to the post office, and I didn't do anything else, either.


One of the calls was from cousin Arthur, who is fine, and who had some good advice for what I should and should not write in this journal. So that was nice.


Another call was to my friend who owns the needlework shop in Massachusetts, and the word on the craft front is not good. The cross stitch thing is dead, and the knitting thing is dying, so she is being very careful about what she carries. We had a nice conversation, but I am really sorry to hear things are not good. I sort of thought so, when I heard that all the needlework shops in the Detroit area have closed, but apparently it isn't just a Michigan thing. It's all over. I keep wondering where is that good economy they talk about. It sure isn't where I hang out.


The broadband had some problems during the middle of the day, but they seem to have gone away finally.


So that was a quiet day, and maybe I can do better tomorrow. I really had intended to do something today, but I never made it. Now I am tired, so I will trundle up to the north end and maybe read for a while and hope to sleep better tonight.


August 26

I guess I can get too much sleep. At least, last night I didn't get to bed until after midnight, and I slept just fine, thank you. Along about 9:30 I was starting to get stiff and twitchy, so I got up. I will have to experiment.


I do know that when I get less sleep, I seem to be more interested in doing something. So today I washed the dishes and began to put the shelves in the glass cabinet. I discovered, however, that they had put a sticker on the glass part of the shelves that had gotten baked on. I had to scrape it off with a razor blade, and it still left lots of goo on the glass. So I came in to the office to get the Goo Gone and sit for a minute or two, and that was the end of that. However, I did do something.


And apparently Buster peed on the paper in one of the boxes that was open. He loves to get into the boxes and rustle around in the paper, but evidently he was doing something else, too. Even though he isn't walking on the loft railings anymore, he got into a dish pack (no, this one was from last year) and managed to get out with not much trouble, so he is still pretty spry for an old man.


Jasmine is a snot. Around noon, she was running around to all the windows and looking out and meowing, until I finally figured out that what she wanted was for me to open the porch doors. When I did, she went off and didn't bother us again.


It was a perfectly lovely day altogether. There might have been a cloud or two, but not many, and the temperature settled in the low 70s for most of the day, with a light southwest breeze. It got to 75º around 5:00, and it has fallen back into the 60s now, but it  was just lovely to have the doors open and feel the breeze. Unfortunately, we probably won't have very more of this kind of weather, so I am enjoying it while I can.


It's hard to believe this is the last week of August, and next weekend is Labor Day. The summer just disappeared, although part of that is the month I lost in Detroit. The light is disappearing fast, too, and the sun set before 8:45 tonight. Sigh.


I had returned from dinner and was sitting around when the phone rang and it was Mark the window washer, and did I want my windows washed? I am not likely to turn down that offer, if he wants to come all this way to do it. So they will be here the week after Labor Day sometime, and I will go into the winter with clean windows. I always thought things would be cleaner here, but I was mistaken. The windows still get junk all over them, and there is lots of dust. The only thing is, the dust is white, not gray or black like it is in Detroit.


So that is about all I know, and it's time to toddle up to the north end. I might try getting up earlier tomorrow and see how that works. Ten hours of sleep should be more than enough for me these days.


August 25

It was another one of those nights. I was wakeful from about 2:00 until 6:00. So I got up late and didn't do anything. I'm staying up later tonight, and maybe that will help.


The weather was nice, with some clouds early, but they had all floated away by 3:00 and the evening is lovely. The temperature all day was between 55º and 60º, and there was a light north wind.


The only thing I did was to take the card table downstairs and bring up the ladder. So I am that far ahead. Otherwise, I sat around and did nothing.


I think the squirrels are beginning to knock on the doors to find out why I am not feeding them. I keep hearing bumps against the glass. They hang out in the little grove of evergreens behind the house, and it sounds like they are staking out their territories for the fall. There is lots of cheeping and chirring going on back there. I don't know if they chase away their offspring, but they do seem to be somewhat territorial.


I don't know what brought it on, but my nose has been bothering me for the past few days. It feels like it does when I have been in a room full of cigarette smoke, and I keep thinking I'm smelling cigarette smoke. It is really bothersome, and I wish I knew why it happens. 


I ended up copying the journal to the website manually last night, after I had to reboot four times and still couldn't make FrontPage behave. I wish I knew what causes that. It had been behaving just fine all week. We shall see what happens tonight.


Otherwise, I have nothing much to report, and it's time for bed.


August 24

I did sleep a bit better last night, thankfully. However, it was cool and breezy and in the course of opening and closing the door, I managed to close out both cats at one time or another. I had to leave the door open a bit, because Jasmine was outside and wouldn't come in. Another time, I closed the door and shortly heard some very loud howling...Buster knows how to make himself heard! And when I let him in, he said "morw!" very loudly and stalked off down the hall. The door has been closed all day, so I don't think I'll have that problem tonight.


And along about midnight, I heard some howling of another sort coming from some distance and echoing over the water. I believe it was a coyote, so far as I could tell. I tried to find some recordings of coyotes on the internet, but what I could find and play didn't sound exactly like what I heard. I know it wasn't a dog, and I know it wasn't a wolf, so process of elimination says coyote. Anyway, it wasn't a very pleasant sound to hear in the middle of the night.


It was cool last night. The temperature was in the low 60s all night, before dropping to 57º at 9:00 this morning, and while it was calm for most of the night, a nice north wind sprang up about 6:00. The high temperature for the day was actually 64º at midnight. It never did get that warm today, hanging in the low 60s.


It was mostly clear all night and for most of the day, but lately some clouds have been coming through, including what looks to me like almost a roll cloud at around 8:15.  I think if I just keep looking at the sky, I can probably see almost every kind of cloud there is, right from my windows.


I didn't do much today, but I did take trash to the compactor, get mail, and get a few things at the general store. Having unearthed the hand grinder, I have been thinking about ham salad. I have the ham, but I didn't have any pickle relish (without which ham salad isn't much), so I got some of that. We shall see what I can do. Just for a change. At this time of year, they have lots of stuff at the store, but the only thing they have for sandwiches that I like is braunschweiger. They even had yogurt - but only peach. Fortunately, that's one of my favorites.


The rest of the afternoon was reading the mail. Several magazines came, so that was nice. And there was another refund check, this one from NetBank, from the sale of the other house. So slowly but surely all my high finance is getting straightened out.


I pulled the masking tape off the buffet doors, and I will have to get at them with Goo-Gone. I guess people use masking tape on glass because it is supposed to come off easily, but I could tell them from experience that if the glass gets hot (like in a sunlit window or in a shipping truck) the masking tape melts and leaves a horrible mess, if it comes off at all. Times like this when I wonder what I did without Goo-Gone. Well...I know what I did. I scraped with a razor blade and washed a lot, but it's possible to scratch the glass with a razor blade. So that's another task.


Now I think I will make it another early night and see if maybe I can put two nights of sleep together for a change. I know this is cyclic, and eventually I will begin to sleep well again, but it certainly does get old fast. And that is all there is.


August 23

This is getting monotonous. It was another warm, humid night, and I didn't sleep very well at all.  I got up around 9:30, I guess, but mostly because I had to walk.


The only thing I can say that was good about it is that right before I got up, I had a weird and wonderful dream, and I now have a scenario for the next episode in one of the stories I have been writing. I'm not finished with the current episode by far, but I know where it is going, so I might try to do some writing.


It would be nice if I tried to do something.


I can blame the weather. It was moist and calm, and the temperature got up to 72º about 4:00 in the morning, before it fell back to around 68º. It did the same thing - to 73º - around 10:00, then it stayed steady until 4:00 this afternoon, when it fell off into the upper 50s. I think that was about the time it began to get really foggy, and radar showed showers that we weren't getting. It finally did dribble a little rain, enough to wet the deck, but now that has all gone off to the east and it is just cool and foggy. Very bad for arthritis.


So I did nothing. I was tired and achy all day, and I just didn't feel like it. Early to bed for me tonight, for sure.


If it is going to rain, I wish it would rain and get it over with. I do not like humid weather, even when it isn't very warm.


So I don't have anything much to report, and I'm yawning already.


August 22

It was another lousy night. My mind was going in circles, I was warm, and I ached. I had shut the porch door because there was a rather cool, dampish breeze coming in when I hopped in bed to read, but around 3:00 I opened it bit, and I was more comfortable after that, but I think it was 4:00 before I got to sleep. Then I woke up at 6:00, 8:00 and finally got up at 10:00.


Our rain turned into a lot of fog and a light drizzle for a little while last evening (thus closing the door), and that was it. It was cloudy all night and most of today. Now, about 15 minutes after sunset, the sky is full of pink and mauve clouds and there is a half moon shining far in the south. Prettiest thing I've seen all day.


It was between 60º and 65º all night, with 93% humidity - no wonder I ached! - and we actually had our minimum temperature, 58º, at 2:00 this afternoon. Winds have been calm all day, and there was a lot of fog for most of the day. It is still very humid and cool. The cool helps, but the humidity is just too high for my poor joints.


By the way, I forgot to check the camera when I rebooted last night, and so of course we had a black screen until I fixed it this morning. Sorry about that.


I was tired when I got up and I am still tired, and as a result, I didn't do much of anything except unload and begin to reload the dishwasher. I discovered that a lot of the kitchen stuff was either dirty or got yucky from being on the top shelves (or got marked by the mice), so I have been washing some of that. I discovered one muffin tin that my mother had never washed after the last time she made muffins, and I've been soaking that for a couple of days. It seems to be clean now.


I got to thinking about muffins. I will have to dig through mom's recipe file and see if I have enough stuff to make blueberry muffins. That would be a nice diversion, and besides, I like them.


When I went toward the north end last night, I discovered that a piece of the weather-stripping on the cabinet doors had come loose. I have been working on it at intervals ever since, and I think I may have gotten it back into place. This gives me some hope that the cabinet is air tight, which would let me put some of the silver in it. Boy, would that be nice!


The big china cabinet I didn't bring wasn't air tight, so my mother resorted to wrapping all the silver (and she loved silver hollowware) in plastic. She would never have spent the money to get even the silver cloth fabric to make covers from them. The plastic worked OK, but there are spots on some of the things where the bag broke or something. I would like to get all that stuff shined up and either packed away in plastic ziploc bags (which are air tight) or stored in the cabinet. Silver is so pretty!


Have I said that I have always loved all the pretty things? China, crystal, and silver are some of the things that were around our house, and my mother's table for big dinners was always just beautiful. I don't know how much of it I will actually use, but every time I look at it, I will remember those lovely dinners...and the food was always the best.


Anyway, what I will do is put one or two pieces of silver in the cabinet and see how they hold up. I wanted that cabinet mostly for the cut glass, but putting some of the silver in it will only make it prettier. I will have to dig through the stuff in the basement to get what I want, because things like the silver pitcher were stashed in the fruit cellar...if it wasn't on display, mom didn't use that very much.


Otherwise, I didn't do much. I do have to get some boxes out of here, and the card table I was eating on is now in front of the ovens in the kitchen, but then I think I will need to get the ladder upstairs before I can put any more stuff away. This is going to be a long job.


A friend is coming in next week and has offered to help, and that will be wonderful, but it's still going to be a long job.


I actually did unpack a few things, although they don't have anything to do with the big job. I had a few Harmony Kingdom boxes, and a cute turtle box Shirley brought me from her cruise, and I unpacked those today. They will go in the curio cabinet, which now has its shelves, but is still empty. I think a couple are duplicates, but that's all right.


One of them in particular makes me laugh when I think about it. It is round, and is a puffy bird, called "Liz". I had bought one when they first came out, but in fooling around in the curio (on Champine) I managed to lose the lid, and no way could I find it. So I eventually bought another one. And one day, I saw something odd on the floor, and when I looked at it, it was the top of my box! I don't know where it was, but Buster had managed to ferret it out and was playing with it. So now I have two "Liz"s.


Anyway, I had the movers bring all the boxes of stuff from the curio upstairs, but I will be thinking about what I want to put in it, and I suppose a lot of the stuff that was in it won't get put back. I have been collecting trinket boxes (mostly) for 35 or 40 years, and I have quite a collection, much more than the curio will hold. I also have a small collection of snow globes. If I can get the snow globes, the Harmony Kingdom boxes and my cloisonné boxes on display, that will probably be enough. Oh, yes, and there is a cinnabar heart and a Wedgwood heart that my mom bought me.


I have always been a container freak, and the nice thing about trinket boxes is that they are so small I can have a lot of them. The only time I have been able to display most of my collection was when I was living in my first house, and I had an 8' wall of shelves where I stored my vinyl record collection. The shelves had lots of empty spaces where I could put boxes, so I did. Since I moved to Champine, most of them have been packed away. During the unpacking here, I hope to look into those boxes and see what's there, since I think I've forgotten most of it.


So now the hazy moon is shining in the windows, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and hope I can sleep better tonight. There is a little southwest wind sighing in the pines, and that should make it a bit more comfortable.


August 21

I am tired. I had a lousy night last night...I was uncomfortable and hot and thinking about things, and I was wakeful for most of the night. Bah! I finally got up around 10:00.


It was clear for part of the night, but it was cloudy when I got up and it stayed mostly cloudy all day, although there hasn't been any rain yet. I keep hoping. It is now foggy down the harbor, and there are some showers to our southwest. Hope, hope, hope!


The temperature got down to 60º overnight and briefly to 68º this afternoon, with a rather strong southwest wind. It has been pretty humid, which I don't like.


I didn't hear back from the shipping company, but around 2:00 Jake Anderson called to ask if I was expecting a truck. I hadn't done much of what I intended to do, so I moved the dining room chairs out of the way (I can't get into the living area at all now). And then a truck appeared, and I now have some really nice furniture. Even though it is mahogany color, it isn't at all formal. The finish is "distressed", which means there are knots and places where it isn't smooth. Everything fits where I wanted it, and the back of the buffet doesn't look too bad where it is over the back of the sofa. 


The cabinet that started the whole thing is wonderful, with three glass shelves that have wood frames, and lights in the top. The lights are neat. All I have to do is touch a hinge and they go on. The buffet is smaller than I thought, but that is because I was looking at it on this monitor, which stretches things laterally. It will do. There are cupboards on each side, with two shelves each, and drawers in the center. I think I can get everything I need into it. The cabinet, on the other hand, is bigger than I thought, and it will have lots of room for crystal and maybe some other things.


In the bedroom, I have a double dresser and "tower" which is a high, narrow chest of drawers, so now I have lots of room to store things away.


Everything smells like new paint inside, so I think I am going to leave things open for a while and let them air out before I start filling them. However, I am quite satisfied with my purchase. I was a little hesitant to spend so much money on furniture I'd never seen, but it has turned out just fine. 


By the time I finished showing the men where everything went and moving boxes around, I was tired and sweaty, so that was all I did today, except to admire things. Tomorrow I can get back at the unpacking.


Now, even though it's really early, I am going up to the north end and maybe read for a while and go to bed really early. Maybe I can get more sleep tonight. I certainly hope so.


August 20

I sat in bed and read for about an hour last night before I turned out the light. It was a so-so night. I woke up every 2½ hours or so all hot and sweaty, and around 3:30 I had a small gall bladder attack. Turning onto my right side made it go away, but I was awake for some time. I woke up before 8:00, and turned over, and it was 10:30 before I woke up again. That made for a short day, for sure. There were some interesting dreams, including one I had twice, which I think is a first. I wish I knew where these things come from...


So I didn't do most of what I had planned. I wrote some checks and took them to the post office, where the mail hadn't come in yet at 3:30. When I came back, I moved the boxes out of the middle of the floor of the garage, and in so doing, I discovered that the movers had left a box of antique linens out there. I don't know why they would do that - it was plainly marked. That's about the only thing I've found in a bad place, though. 


And that was about all I did.


The temperature last night only got down to 60º, which was probably partly why I was warm, and it got briefly to 68º this afternoon, with a gusty south wind. It was clear for most of last night and this morning, and it has now clouded up. Of course, we didn't get any of the rain that has inundated the southern lower. The forecast says we might get some in the next 48 hours, but I don't know. John Dee doesn't seem to think it's very likely. Oh, but we need rain!


The kitties were rather subdued today, so maybe we are in for some weather. They tend to be good barometers.


So I have to do something tomorrow, although I didn't hear back from the people about delivering the furniture. I do need to make an attempt to clear out some room in the great room for it when it comes.


For today, I was tired and my back hurt, so I will try this early-to-bed thing again and see if it will be better tomorrow.


August 19

I was in bed rather early last night, but I had a bad night. I hurt in various places at various times, so I thrashed around a lot.


I do think that I woke up one time and Jasmine was curled up in the crook of my knees. I touched her and she ran off. Her fur, so far as I've felt it, is a different consistency from Buster's so if I can feel them, I can tell them apart. And around 5:30 this morning we were running around and playing with something around the bed. When I woke up at 9:00, Jasmine was playing with a tiny piece of fluff, chasing it under the rug, and Buster was sitting in the bathroom doorway watching her. Now I know how the other rug got under the bed. It's still there - I haven't gotten around to fishing it out.


It was a rather clear night last night, not as bright as the night before, but there were stars. I doubt there will be any tonight. It was cloudy at sunrise, but it cleared up for a while before the clouds rolled in again. The temperature did get down to 50º between 3:00 and 5:00 AM, but there wasn't any wind, and it got up to 62º around noon. What wind there was came out of the east or southeast.


I understand parts of Wisconsin and Minnesota got inundated overnight. It would have been nice if all that rain had gotten spread around a bit more...like up here. They are playing the same games with the weather forecast that they were last week...now the rain may come on Tuesday. What do you bet it keeps getting postponed until it goes away again? 


I didn't get an early start, but I did accomplish quite a lot today. I rearranged the two lower cupboards I had been thinking about, and I unpacked either four or five boxes, with various utensils and pots and pans, and all the baking pans are now nicely stashed away, as well as a lot of the miscellaneous utensils. I also now have two boxes of stuff I don't know what to do with, like cake lids and manual grinders and a bunch of odds and ends. I don't need that stuff upstairs, but occasionally I do need it, so I guess eventually it will get down to the basement, and maybe I can get it packed away neatly, so I can find it when I want it.


All the cookie cutters are consolidated, too, but somewhere downstairs is a box with my mother's cookie cutters in it, and I suppose the thing to do is gather them all together. I have some really neat ones that I got here - a loon, a butterfly, a dragonfly, two nice leaves, and some other stuff - that came with spice packets and cookie recipes that I'd like to try. Any cookie recipe that starts with two sticks of butter is one I'll probably like, and there is one that has real maple syrup in it. Someday maybe everything will be organized around here and I can think about making cookies...


Anyway, there are five medium boxes and several dish packs that are also supposed to go into the kitchen, but I think I will have to get the ladder upstairs in order to get all that stuff put away. I really do have a lot of empty space in the kitchen, but it is all overhead, some of it way overhead, and that will be a good place for stuff I rarely use but need to have around. I guess I will just have to start unpacking and see what's there before I decide what to do with it.


Before I do that, though, I need to move the stuff the movers left in the garage so that I have room for all the empty boxes and boxes full of paper. As I suspected, there isn't a lot of stuff in any one box; most of it is paper. The moving company said they will take the paper with the boxes, but until I have enough empties to get them out here, I have to store it somewhere. I certainly was glad to hear that they would take the paper, especially now, when there is a statewide ban on burning, even in burn barrels. There is even no smoking in the woods. And boy, do I have paper...


I have been trying to flatten out the paper, and when I have emptied a box, I roll it all up into a roll and stuff it, end up, in a box. I now have three or four medium boxes of paper, and I mean full of paper. That means there isn't so much stuff as it looks like, but there is all that paper...


I need to drop the empties and the boxes of paper over the side of the front stoop and drag it into the garage, but first I have to move what's there. That's for tomorrow. Then I will move the dining room chairs into the living area and hope that the new furniture will fit into place amidst the boxes. It's sort of like musical chairs. Eventually it will all come together, but in the meantime, it's an awful mess.


So that was what I did today. I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I will be going early tonight, although I really should bring a cat tray upstairs. The alarm is still going off at odd times, and Buster just does not want to go down there with all that noise. He is just a super-sensitive little kitty. So he has been peeing in my bathroom sink, and I hate to think where he has been doing the other stuff.


Dinner was at Harbor Haus, and while it was busy, it wasn't a complete zoo. I had baby back ribs, and they are so huge, I brought home at least two meals, so I won't have to think about cooking for a while. They were good, too. 


The Isle Royal Queen didn't come in while I was there, but I don't know if that means she was early or late. Probably early, but who knows? The east winds would have been headwinds on her trip home, and they were making the lake a bit choppy. I was tempted to drive down to the dock and see if she was there, but I decided not.


So that was my day, and it left me with a sore back and achy shoulder. It has been a bit humid today, and I suppose that is what caused it, and I hope that a good night's sleep will cure it and I can have at it again tomorrow. I do find that I am walking a bit better and I can stand up a bit longer than before I went south, so my exertions apparently did me some good, and I bet before I am through with all this stuff, I will be in better shape than I have been in several years. I hope so.


August 18

I seem to be losing days right and left.


It was a clear night last night, and the temperature got down to 46º at 7:00 this morning, but there was hardly any wind at all, so the house didn't get too cold, and it was a good night to sleep.


I got up at 9:00 for a change, because I didn't know when the mortgage closer was going to call. As it turned out, it was after 11:00 when he called, and I had finished my morning surf and was about to get some breakfast. It took about 45 minutes to sign everything. This guy was about the worst of the closers I have dealt with lately, but he was just filling in for somebody else anyway, and he was at his office with his daughter and a bunch of his co-workers for the car parade on Woodward Avenue, so he really wasn't much interested. I do think I know what I was signing, though, since it was about the same as everything else I've signed.


And that was about all I did. I went to the post office and got a bale of mail, so I now have a 2" pile of catalogs to read again, as well as a new beading book. I also have some phone calls to make, since amongst other things, DTE (electric and gas in Detroit) shows me with a credit balance, and I don't think they will send a check unless I call them. There was also a refund from the settlement of my old home equity loan, so I am getting a little bit back for all I laid out, which is nice.


Otherwise, I did nothing much at all again. 


The temperature got up to 64º briefly this afternoon, and there wasn't much wind at all. There are some high, hazy clouds in the sky - cirrostratus, I think - so it won't be quite so clear tonight as it was last night. It is almost calm now, and the bay at this end of the harbor is like a mirror.


Just before I got into bed last night, I peered out the window, and then I realized why I hadn't been seeing the moon set - I was looking in the wrong direction. There was this nice yellow crescent hanging over the Mountain Lodge, so pretty. It went behind the mountain shortly thereafter, but it was there.


Not only was Jasmine bombing around this morning again, she has noticed that Buster gets something when I eat, and she wanted some, too! She smelled the yogurt container and didn't think much of that, but she was really interested in my fish (left over from last night). I informed her that I don't give tidbits to cats I can't pet, and she ran off. Buster thought it was good fish. So ever so slowly she is beginning to come around. Good thing I seem to be pretty patient with her. 


There weren't any mice last night again, so I guess they scared them off for the time being. In past years, we would get a new crop about every three weeks between August and November. I guess that is their gestation period. With two good mousers around, I don't think I have a lot to worry about.


I don't know if I mentioned that when we were packing the other house, I saw what unchecked mice can do. They had gotten into one of the cupboards where there was a five pound bag of flour and a box of pancake mix, both in plastic bags, and they had chewed holes in both of them, so there was flour and mouse doo all over the shelf. It was gross. They had also wandered around in one of the flatware drawers and there was - um - stuff on several knives and other utensils. That was gross, too. I really can do without that, thank you. And thanks to Buster and Jasmine, I won't have to cope with it here, I think.


Oh, yes, and both yesterday and today, I almost had grouse for dinner - probably ruffed grouse. Last night, four of them ran across the road in front of my car, and this afternoon, one came out of the bushes down by Lake Lily and almost got run over. They are really tame, really dumb birds.


This morning, I think I saw a robin in one of the juneberry bushes in the side yard. I am going to have to take a pair of binoculars up to the bathroom so I can try to see better. If it was a robin, it's the first one I have seen out here. There aren't enough worms in our rocky soil to keep them around, although they will come when the berries are ripe. And a hummingbird flew in front of the office windows this afternoon. I should at least get their feeder out, to help prepare them for their trip south.


There are a lot of things I should do.


So now I will toddle off to the north end and sleep some more. Maybe I can do something tomorrow.


August 17

It was another lost day. Not even one box.


I was wakeful at intervals in the night, either too hot or too cold or too achy. Around 6:00 or so, a certain young kitty of my acquaintance was romping up and down the halls and over the bed and meowing loudly hand having a high old time. There weren't any mice last night, and she was just letting off steam, but I had to wait until she stopped before I could get back to sleep.


She was around for quite a while today, too. I was late getting up, and she wanted her canned food, but then she spent several hours looking out all the windows. She tipped over a box in the great room, but I don't think there was a mouse in it. She wants to make up with Buster, but a week or so ago she caught him on the chin with a claw and raised an abscess, so when she tries to make up with him, he just meows loudly. So she lies down and rolls over, to try to tell him she doesn't mean anything bad, and he either doesn't believe her or doesn't know what that gesture means.


She was up on the bed this morning, and she actually walked around on it, but when she saw that I was looking at her, she went away. Strange little kitty!


It was a beautifully clear night last night, although it was somewhat windy. There were lots of stars. It clouded up before sunrise, though, and there were clouds of more or less thickness in the sky for most of the day. The temperature bottomed out at 56º at 1:00 this afternoon, and all morning the wind was in the 25-35 mph range from the north.


The house is still partly opened up, although I had to close one of the windows in the office, and I had a sweat jacket on all day. I love it. I would far rather put on a sweater than not have any more I can take off!


So I did nothing. My mortgage closing documents finally came around 3:30 (an hour after the closing was supposed to be), so the closer is going to call me tomorrow morning, and I will send them back on Monday. 


The next task is going to have to be to rearrange some cupboards in the kitchen, and I just didn't feel like doing that today. So I didn't. Eventually everything will get packed away or stashed someplace, but I just don't feel like hurrying it. Maybe tomorrow.


Tonight I went to Mariner, which was jumping, because Art in the Park is this weekend, and everybody was setting up their booths. I doubt I'll go; I would probably see something I couldn't live without, and not only do I have to recoup from my expenditures of this month, I already have too much stuff. Really, I do. It's just that I'm not going to get rid of any of it.


Anyway, I finally saw Peggy, and Donny is coming along, going to rehab once a week. He isn't a good patient, but he is trying hard to do what he's told. And as I suspected, when they went down to Marshfield, they had no idea that he was going to have a quadruple bypass. They knew he had a problem, but they were thinking in terms of angioplasty. So the whole thing came as quite a shock. However, he is doing well now, and it's just a matter of time.


So I ran back to my splendid isolation. I did say I might bring the jewelry I have done on Sunday, if I can get it tagged and priced. Tagging it isn't too much of a problem - just tedious - but pricing is going to be a task. We'll see. I would like to get rid of what I have, so I can start on a new batch.


And that is about all I know. Sunset is at 9:00 tonight, and we have just over 14 hours of daylight - we're losing it at more than 3 minutes a day now, and in the next month, we'll lose two hours more. I do hate to see that happen. Long days are so nice!


But it's a cool, clear, and beautiful night in the field tonight, and that's good. There ought to be a little moon over there in the northwest, too. I must go and see.


August 16

About 11:30, as I was getting ready to turn out the light, there was a short rain shower and one rumble of thunder. The rain actually continued for about half an hour, but we only got .08 inch. I guess there was more rain in Lac LaBelle, and more thunder in Eagle River, so we missed out on all counts. After that, the wind began rising, and it got up into the 25-35 mph range, about 5:00 this morning, from the north, with clearing skies.


Mother Superior did her thing again, and the temperature only got down to 60º overnight. It was quite clear around 4:00 when I was up, and it isn't getting light then anymore, either. There were some nice stars for a while. It was a beautifully clear morning, windy and cool...my favorite kind of weather. The temperature finally got to 68º at 5:00, and the wind is dying down a bit. There are now a few clouds in our sky, but not many. What a beautiful day!!!


So I enjoyed it by doing nothing much. I did unpack one more box of pots and pans, and I am starting a box of stuff I don't know what to do with. I suppose eventually I will get it all straightened out, but right now, I have a problem.


Late this morning, I went up to the powder room, and while I was there, I heard something scrunch a piece of paper, and then Jasmine came running through the kitchen and through the cat hole. She evidently thought better of it (or Buster has been giving her lessons) because she came back out and turned to me, and she had a little gray mouse in her mouth. Then she went back through the cat hole with it. I presume she ate it. I hope so. The idea of cats eating mice bothers me less than having to clean up the remains myself.


So it hasn't taken Jasmine long to learn what mice are about. I didn't think it would; she clearly had the basic idea from the first.


I did sleep pretty well last night, I thought, but I am tired again, so I think I will try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I was late last night, because I had to reboot the computer three times to get the journal to load. I think there was a glitch in the broadband in the middle of that, too. So better luck tonight.


It was a lovely, fallish day in the field today.


August 15

This is great weather for sleeping, but if it gets much cooler, I'm going to have to close up the house. I do love having the windows open!


I was sort of wakeful during the night, because my right ear and left hip were both sore, but eventually the ache in my right hip went away and I made up for it. I was awake right about sunrise, to see the first rays on the mountain, and that was pretty.


And I do believe Buster got another mouse last night. If so, he ate the whole thing. Now the next task is to get him to teach Jasmine what to do with a mouse. She has all the talents, but that's something mother cats don't teach their kittens until they're around three months old, I think, so her mother never taught her. I'm sure after watching Buster (which I'm sure she's doing) she'll get the idea pretty quick.


I know she knew about the mouse, because she was hanging around the bathroom, and I chased her out. I wish she would understand that she can be close to me and I'm not going to do anything bad to her. Maybe eventually.


It was somewhat clear last night and for a while this morning, but the clouds began to roll in pretty soon and it was cloudy or almost cloudy for most of the day. For a while, it looked like it might rain again, but of course it didn't. It might rain overnight, but at this point, I'll believe it when it happens.


I spent most of the day waiting for FedEx. They finally appeared around 2:30 this afternoon (so much for their guarantee of before-noon delivery), but I immediately called to get a pickup tomorrow, even before I called my loan officer, and in about an hour we got my home equity loan all signed and ready to send back. We determined that I can transfer money from it to my checking account online, which will be a great help. I hope I don't have to use it very much, but between the furniture, the move and a few other things I need to get done, I will have to tap it. I said this was going to be an expensive month.


Then I actually unpacked several boxes and put away some of the pots and pans, although I haven't gotten all of them. The unpacking of the kitchen stuff is going to be difficult, because I've realized that in order to get it all put away, I am going to have to rearrange my cupboards. However, I will keep at it, and maybe I can make room for the furniture before it arrives. What to do with the empty boxes full of paper is a problem, too, but I guess I can stash them in the garage for the time being.


I am also going to have to get the ladder upstairs, because those top shelves are very high, and I am going to need them for some of the stuff. There are some very deep cupboards up there, too, which are not going to be very convenient, but they will be a place for stuff I don't use very much...if I can only remember it's there.


So that was another quiet day, and I guess I can say I accomplished something. Not much, but something.


August 14

I didn't sleep quite so well last night. I think it was because I had a hard time getting the temperature right. However, it wasn't all that bad. It was about 64º all night, with some wind until about 5:00 this morning, when it went all calm for a while. Later in the morning, the wind picked up into the 15-25 mph range from the north-northwest, so even when the temperature got up to 73º, it felt cool.


I shut the porch door, because I made a big breakfast this morning. I got some blueberries last week, so I had blueberry pancakes and sausage for breakfast. They tasted good, but I almost had a sugar low afterwards. I am just not used to eating that many carbs for breakfast anymore. I probably will do it again, because they are good berries.


I had all kinds of good intentions today, but between the telephone calls and having to run to the post office with two bills I forgot yesterday, I didn't get anything done.


However, I got a good message about why I'd better try to get the unpacking done. Sometime during the night, when I was asleep, Buster got a mouse, and left its innards and its tail on the bathroom floor. Yuck. Just what I don't like to do is clean up messes like that right after I wake up!


Then, around 11:00 this morning, both cats got really interested in the knee hole under the sewing machine, and there was another mouse! They chased it into the great room, and then they apparently lost it behind or between the boxes. So the fall infestation of mice has begun, and there are too many hidey-holes for them where the cats can't get them. Jasmine seemed quite interested in the mouse, but I don't think she knows what to do with it yet. Buster will teach her.


The telephone calls were my undoing. I got three calls from my friendly personal banker, and the closing documents for the home equity loan are going to be here tomorrow, he says. We'll see. Evidently FedEx assured him they will deliver tomorrow morning, and they will pick up if I call them. We'll see.


Then, I got a call from somebody in Appleton, Wisconsin...my furniture!!! They are going to deliver it next Tuesday! Yie! I had hoped to get all the boxes unpacked except the ones that go in the cabinet and buffet...I have a ways to go, for sure. However, I'm happy that it is coming so soon. The original estimate was not until the end of the month, which led me to wonder if they were sending it by stagecoach. 


I won't be able to spend all my time unpacking, though, because I have to do the paperwork for the home equity loan tomorrow and on Friday, the mortgage. And I have a little cleaning up and moving around so the house isn't a perfect disaster when the person comes on Friday to help with the closing...


The alarm for the septic system is still going off at random moments for random times, so I called Adam today. I also need some weed whacking done. Well! His son brought home some kind of bug that got into his ears and caused bronchitis, and he had just been to the emergency clinic for some strong drugs. He sounded horrible, and apparently feels just as bad as he sounds, so he won't be here this weekend. For that I am just as glad, since I would probably catch it from him if he came.


We had some clouds today that looked hopeful, especially in the morning, but not a drop of rain fell. The weather forecasts have been making me laugh. Every day, they say it is going to rain tomorrow night...on Sunday, it was Monday night, yesterday, it was tonight, and now it's tomorrow night. Like Alice...every other day. I do hope it rains eventually, hard and long.


So that is all there is, and it's time to trundle up to the north end again.


August 13

Today would have been my mother's 90th birthday. She has been gone 14 years, and I still miss her.


It was a good night to sleep last night, and I did really well. I closed the porch door, because it was cool and rather breezy when I went to bed, but the wind died down after a while and about 5:00 I opened it again, which Jasmine thought was great.


It was another beautiful morning, and most of the day was lovely, although as the afternoon wore on more and more clouds started to gather, and they are teasing us with promises of rain again tonight. We'll see about that. Right now the rain seems to be stuck over around Duluth and it seems to be petering out. The temperature got up to 71º, and the breezes were light and variable. Nice weather, for sure!


The task of the day was trash, and all that that implies. I changed litter trays, which really needed it, and toted off four bags of catalogs as well as two bags of general trash. When I got to the compactor, it was full of stuff that didn't want to go down, so I ended up just leaving my bags there, and Rich put them in for me. Nice man.


Anyway, that took so long and tired me out so much that I didn't do much else.


This morning, Jasmine wasn't quite so jumpsome, but she was around for quite a while, and at one point, she walked right in front of the computer monitor. Last night, sometime, she and Buster came into the bathroom together, and after I petted Buster, I actually got to put a hand on Jasmine...on her rump and her tail! She skittered off, but I actually touched her. Her fur isn't nearly as soft as Buster's is, but then, she still hasn't become a fully adult cat yet. I take that as a good sign, and one of these days, I will get to show her how nice it is to be petted.


I am happy to report that the web is now publishing properly again, although I did have to reboot before it would go last night. That is a real relief. I hate fooling around with it.


So that is about all there is. My replacement credit card came today, so I am not cardless anymore. It will either be a good night to sleep or we'll have some rain, or maybe both. I certainly hope so! It is so dry!


August 12

The web finally published last night, but it took long enough that I was late getting to bed again. It was a very good night to sleep, as it turned out. The temperature actually rose to 76º around 4:00 this morning, but by that time the wind was picking up, so it wasn't warm at all. Apparently I slept so well that I was ready to get up at 9:00.


It was clear all night, but not very transparent, and it was clear this morning, although there were some cirrus clouds in the sky during the afternoon. The temperature minimum for the 24 hours actually occurred between noon and 1:00, at 65º, and then it went up to 71º for the afternoon. There was a north wind in the 15-25 mph range for most of the day, which made it a little cool at times.  


All that just shows that something besides the sun is acting on the weather. Sort of weird.


I really did a few things today. I washed dishes and the sauté pan, and tried to clean off the counters a bit. And I opened and unpacked the first two boxes, full of Pyrex baking dishes and Corning ware. I put most of it away, too, and there were some lids and things that had gotten gross from being up near the kitchen ceiling, and I washed those. There are still three lids in the sink to be washed. As i strongly suspected, those boxes were mostly full of paper, and there weren't a lot of dishes in them. I'm hoping the rest are the same.


The plan, I think, is to unpack each box and put its contents away before going on to the next box. Maybe that will keep the disarray down to a minimum. Now I've started, and it really wasn't so bad, so I maybe that will encourage me to do more tomorrow.


For dinner, an e-friend who was in town invited me to dinner at Harbor Haus, and that was very pleasant. She is a nice person, who loves Lake Superior like we all do, so we had a nice conversation. Fortunately, it wasn't exceptionally busy tonight, because we took up a table for three hours.


Apparently the barometer was high this morning, because Jasmine was bouncing around like a rubber ball. She had fun jumping onto and under a piece of packing paper that was on the floor, and she got into the kitty condo and wiggled around onto her back...and wiggled and wiggled. Then she kept jumping up on the counter to look out the windows, then jumping down and running away. Buster thought she was nuts, but he forgets how he was when he was her age...he was swinging from the chandeliers...


Jasmine still won't let me near her, but she does seem to have forgiven me for the other night, so we can go back to things as they were. 


I might have to disappoint her tonight, because I think I may have to close the porch door. It may be a bit cool with it open, but it should be another good night to sleep.


The sky has cleared, although it still isn't very transparent, and it's tempting to stay up to see the meteors, but I think I will opt for bed instead, and try to get at the unpacking tomorrow.


August 11

While I was waiting for FrontPage to crap out last night, I got to reading a magazine, so it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Oh, well. I'll just have to try to haul myself back onto a human schedule again. So I was late getting up this morning, and the day was somewhat truncated.


I did manage to do a few things, though. I unpacked two crates that have been in the great room since last year, and the blue box I took with me this year. That sort of cleared out the worst of the office, and things look a bit better in here now. Not great, but better.


Otherwise, I diddled around as usual.


When I woke up this morning, it was cloudy, and it looked almost like we might have some rain - there was rain down southwest of Houghton, and they got a little at the airport - but no such luck. Darn.


It was very humid, but not very warm until late in the afternoon, when the temperature peaked briefly at 79º and it was uncomfortable. For most of the afternoon, it was just over 70º, with a light southwest breeze. Now it is perfectly calm again. It looked like it might be clear at sunset, but I can't tell for sure with the lights on.


Speaking of sunset, it was at 9:10 this evening, and by next week, it will be before 9:00. Summer is getting on, for sure. While I don't like the warm, humid weather, I certainly do like the long days, and I certainly do miss them when late August and September roll around.


It actually was rather noisy around here today. It sounded like there was a convention of motorcycles at the fort, and there was roaring going on up and down the road all day long. Now it is not only perfectly calm, it is perfectly quiet, and I like that.


So now it's getting late again, and it's time to call it a day. Maybe tomorrow I can open a box? I wonder.


August 10

When I went into the kitchen last night, I realized that not only had I left the door to the breezeway open, I had also left the door from the breezeway to the garage open! Oh, dear! So I went out and called cats, and then I said, "I'm going to shut the door!" and Jasmine erupted from, I think, the wood pile. Unfortunately, I had closed the door to the house, and she panicked and started bouncing around amongst the plants. Then she hunkered down near the garage, so I had to herd her around. She beat it down to the basement, and I don't think she came out until early this morning. At least the doors to the outside were closed, or I might well have lost a cat.


The thing that interested me was that she didn't come when I called, until I said I was going to shut the door. I frequently wonder just how much human speech cats really do understand...and I think it's probably a lot more than researchers think.


So when I got up to the north end, I was all hot and sweaty, but a nice tepid bath took care of that. I did sleep well, but I was sore all over by 9:00, so I got up.


It was a relatively clear night, and it was a lovely day, just the kind I love. It was clear all day, and the temperature got up all the way to 73º, with a nice northerly breeze. Lovely!


So I celebrated by doing nothing. I was still tired from yesterday, and for some reason, I was hungry all day. I fixed that by having fish at Mariner, but when I got home, I had a tummy ache. That will fix me! It's going away now, though.


Actually, I did do something. I figured out how to get myself registered at the website for the company that has my mortgage now, and I paid it. I still do not understand these people who charge you to do an online payment, which surely must be easier and cheaper for them than processing a check. Oh, well. I didn't really want to make that last payment, but since my new mortgage won't close until the 17th, I thought I'd better, just to avoid late charges. That took quite some time, since their system, while it may be more secure than some others, is complicated and hard to get into. And I wonder about the security.


I began to try to clear out the office, but there is a bunch of stuff in here right now that I'm not sure what to do with. I did not get to the trash compactor. The trash isn't going away, however, and maybe I can get myself together by Monday.


The weather forecasters keep promising it will get very warm and it will rain, but they've been wrong on both counts so far, and it looks to be another good night to sleep, so maybe I can catch up?


I am still trying to get the web to upload. Last night, I copied the journal manually, then went back to try the whole web, just as the broadband crapped out briefly, so I left the whole thing. I will try again. One of these days, it will work, so I have to keep trying.


And it's another lovely, quiet evening in the field.


August 9

The downside of getting as much sleep as I did the last two nights was that I didn't do so well last night. Both ears and both hips were sore at one time or another, and of course I did my best between 6:00 and 9:00.


However, I was bound and determined to go to Houghton today, and I did get to go, although I was somewhat later leaving than I'd hoped.


I ended up spending more time on the phone, this time with various mortgage people. It did turn out all right, though, because my closing is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. Now all I have to do is make enough room someplace - probably the office - for a couple of people. 


So it was after noon when I started off. I had to stop at the post office, to mail Cynthia's payment, and to mail a couple of refund checks I had gotten. I had prepaid the gardeners for fertilizing the grass and trees, and the refund for that came the other day.


There are a lot of people in town, I'm glad to say, but there wasn't a whole lot of traffic on US-41...more going north when I was going south, and vice versa, so that was good. I did have to follow a guy down the covered road, but he really wasn't going so slowly, just slower than I wanted to go, and I passed him as soon as the speed limit went up.


I had toyed with the idea of stopping for lunch, but I was so late getting away that I had to eat something before I left, so I wasn't hungry.


I stopped at Hughes Farm, and spent a bundle. Their prices have gone up a lot. But I have good tomatoes (including a lot of grape tomatoes), peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, and beautiful beets.  Everything looked lovely, but the owner was moaning about the lack of rain. She said they may have to drain one of their ponds to provide irrigation water. What a pity!


I did good in Econo Foods, and I don't think I got much more than I intended to get. It was mostly stuff that needed to be kept cold, which means I didn't impulse buy very much.


One thing I did not find was oven cleaner. Not for my ovens - they are self-cleaning - but I recently heard a household hint that suggested that cold oven cleaner works very nicely to get the crud off broiler pans and roasting pans...and I really need that. I thought I looked thoroughly in that aisle, and I didn't see any, but I have to believe I just didn't know what I was looking for. Next time I will have to ask.


The price of gas has really come down. The most frequent price was $3.00 (well...$2.999), although the Holiday station in Calumet had it for $2.97 (which I found out after I filled my tank). Now, that is still a lot by my antiquated standards, but it's much better than it was when I came back from Detroit. It's a relief.


So I got home around 4:00.


It turned out to be a pretty nice day after all...but no rain again. It got nice and cool overnight, although it was mostly cloudy, and here it got up to 78º for a short while in the afternoon. It was about 80º in town, with a nice breeze. That is tolerable, if not my favorite temperature. I did sweat, from walking around in Econo, and I sweat some more while I was bringing in the food from the car, but there is a nice breeze.


I was just looking at some stuff from the NWS, and Houghton is reporting 3.34 inches of precip less than average for May through July, but the real telling statistic is that for the period 6/1/2006 - 7/31/2007, they report 10.87 inches less than average. That has to be contributing to the low lake levels, and they say so. What they don't say is whether this is going to continue. I sure hope not!


Now for the housekeeping. Jonathan moved my domain to a new server between 6:00 and 6:30 last night, so not only didn't we get any pictures until this morning, I couldn't upload the website. I talked to him after I was up at the north end last night, and got the right server name to put into the FTP, and as soon as I found the place to enter it this morning, we started logging pictures again. I tried to let FrontPage upload the journal, but it wants to copy the entire website again, and I guess there was enough traffic this morning that it wouldn't complete, so I copied the journal manually. I will try FrontPage again tonight, but it may be a while before I get it to work. Now that I know where my domain is, I will keep the journal up to date, but it may take some fooling around to get the whole website copied correctly. Lest they think they can do these things and nobody will notice...


So I guess I am pretty much caught up. The fridge is bulging at the seams with good things to eat, and I don't have to worry about that for a while. The mortgage thing is on track. Now I can worry about boxes and maybe sleep better tonight.


August 8

Twelve hours of sleep did help a lot. I was awake for a while during the night, but not long. This is good sleeping weather.


This is good weather.  The temperature got up to 70º today, with light winds mostly from the southeast, and lots of sunshine, although there were clouds in the sky all day, too, mostly cirrus, but some puffy white ones. It was lovely.


So did I tear into things? Nope. I did bag up three bags of catalogs to take to the compactor, but there were some other things I wanted to do, like the cat pans, and I ran out of time. I did go to the post office, finally, and got the mail.


I had been toying with the notion of going to town today, but tomorrow isn't supposed to be all that much different, although it might rain, so I decided not. If you get the idea that I really don't like to go to town, you're right. I only do it because I have to, to get the kinds of food I like to have, like fresh orange juice and veggies.


I did go upstairs to check out things and close the doors. Apparently the kitties are so used to the door being closed that they didn't get up there much.


I had forgotten to mention that the people with the barky dog and the screechy kid have been next door for a week or so. The kid is getting too old to screech like that, and if I were her mother, I would put an end to it. The dog...well, probably nothing can be done about it. It got over into my yard a couple of times today and stood there barking at the house. I presume it smelled the cats, but I know it didn't see any. It isn't a totally stupid dog, since when I told it to go home, it went. The second time it came, the owners called it home, and eventually it went then, too. At least the kid is screeching less than in other years, and mostly what I have heard is the giggling of three children, which is quite tolerable.


While I was eating dinner, and Buster was sitting on the desk looking at my plate, Jasmine jumped up on the desk, too, and sniffed around before she left. Evidently tomatoes, onions and green peppers smell good to all cats. I did get a finger on Jasmine early this morning, but it was only a finger, when she came running into the bathroom with Buster. She ran off when I touched her, but she is settling down more all the time, and one of these days, I will be able to pet her, I'm sure.


I still haven't heard about the mortgage. When I logged into my bank last night, the offending credit card was gone, but apparently my payment got directed to the right place...or I hope so.


I noticed that around 6:00 this afternoon, something happened to PastyNet and no pictures have uploaded since then. I'm not sure I will be able to upload this, but I will try. They are fiddling with stuff all the time there and sometimes they fiddle a bit too much. I haven't heard back about it, and no new pictures have uploaded.


So that was another day, and tomorrow I'm off to town no matter when. I'm down to the end of the OJ, and I need more. Now it is quiet and nearly calm and another good night to sleep.


August 7

Gack! What a day!


I got to bed by 10:30 last night, and didn't get up until 9:30 this morning, and I was all set for my trip to town when other things intervened.


Yesterday, I had called the bank about my mortgage application, and they never called back. I called because I got an endorsement on my insurance policy saying Chase is now the mortgagor, which interested me, since I haven't signed anything.


So first off this morning I got a call from my loan officer saying that the reason I hadn't heard about my mortgage application was that they were waiting (and had been for a week) for a complete copy of my trust, and my lawyer wouldn't send it to them. Don't you think they might have called me so I could authorize the lawyer to send it? She has a valid point, that the details of my trust are no business of anyone but she and I, but all banks (especially nation-wide banks) have some strange rules, and I want that mortgage. So I think we got that straightened out.


Then, I had to pay my credit card bill today, which I do online. When I finished that transaction, I decided to check the current account activity...and boy, am I glad I did! Right at the top were listed a sale and a return from PayPal, on 8/4. Well! I certainly haven't done anything with PayPal for months, and besides, they should not know anything about that account at all! Oh, dear.


So first I called the credit card company to report the charges, then I got transferred to PayPal...and sat on hold. Finally, I talked to a person, and explained (I thought) the problem, and got left on hold for at least 30 minutes, after which I got bounced back to the automated phone system (which is another one of those voice-activated monstrosities). When I finally got to talk to another person, he had a hard time understanding what I was talking about, and he couldn't understand that I needed to know exactly what they were planning to do about this problem. So I asked for his supervisor, and ended up on  hold for another 20 minutes or so...total something like 85 minutes (the new phone times calls, so I know). 


It seems like somebody opened a Paypal account recently with my credit card, my name, and my phone number, but with a different email address and postal address...oh, dear! They have stopped the account, and I do hope they are pursuing the person who opened it. They wouldn't tell me what the email account is, but I have a horrible suspicion it is somebody local.


Then it was back to the credit card company fraud department, to report the fraud and get the account closed at once. And it seems after validating the PayPal account with the sale and return, whoever it is charged some ITunes to my credit card on Sunday or Monday...and I have never used ITunes.


So the credit card account is now closed, and I should get a new card in the next week or so. Then I started thinking about all the places I have visited online where I left that credit card number...it has been my main card for six or seven years now.  What a pain. Oh dear!


By the time I had that taken care of, it was nearly 1:00 and I hadn't eaten anything yet, and besides, I was really upset, so I aborted my trip to town again. Too bad, because it would probably have been a good day, weather-wise, to go. Oh, dear.


So I did nothing and tried to regroup for the rest of the afternoon. I think the thing that bothers me the most is that my suspicions fall mostly on someone at one of the restaurants in town, where my name is known, and my phone number is in the local book. I have used my credit card for dinner a number of times lately. Things like this really upset me.


It was a so-so day, weather-wise. It was mostly cloudy, with temperatures mostly in the lower 70s and 15-25 mph winds from the southwest, until about 3:00, when the wind dropped and the temperature went briefly to 76º. Then the wind shifted around to the north, in the 15-20 mph range, and the temperature began to drop slowly. It is still mostly cloudy, and the clouds look like they could thicken up and rain, but there isn't any rain in the forecast, unfortunately.


The wind was strong enough to impact my cooking, even though only the porch door to the bedroom was open. I decided the least I could do today was cook, so I made pork chops with Spanish rice, and it tasted good. The wind blows the gas flame and things don't heat as well, but it turned out all right. So at least I will have some good things to eat for the next couple of days.


So that was my lousy and upsetting day, and I think I am going to go up to the north end and read for a while and try to regroup.


August 6

Well, I now have a house full of boxes, and a terrible mess.


I did sleep well last night, but it was a good night to sleep. The temperature was around 70º with wind gusting into the 20 mph range. It was a little bit humid, and I had some problems getting the amount of covers right, but overall it was a good night. I got up around 8:30, I think, but I diddled around, and when the truck arrived at 10:00, I hadn't done much.


So I was upstairs and downstairs more than I have been since I left Detroit, and I am glad to say that my knees held up all right. My feet didn't, and my back was bothering me for a while, but I managed to do what was necessary. After that, I mostly directed traffic. 


The things that needed to get unpacked are, like the downstairs lamps, the marble top of the table, and the stereo, and I think I have most of the pictures. The angel is sitting on the cellaret, and she looks lovely.


I am sorry to say that Buster's depredations of the furniture at the other house are painfully obvious in their new setting, but there's nothing I can do about that now. Eventually I may decide to get everything recovered, but in the meantime, my furniture looks well-worn.


The other couch and chairs look really nice in the loft, and there is now a nice, comfy upstairs sitting room there. The upstairs bedrooms are too full of furniture, but they will do until I have a chance to worry about them.


I think the dining room table and chairs will go very nicely, thank you, and if they don't match the buffet and china cabinet, they don't match the cellaret either. I won't know how everything looks and fits until after the new furniture is delivered and I get all the boxes unpacked.


It looks like I have tons of kitchen stuff to unpack, but I think (I hope) that there is a lot of paper there and not so much stuff as it looks like now.


I have lots of work to do.


The weather was perfect, although it was cloudy at times. The temperature during the day didn't get over 68º, and there was a northwest breeze, so it wasn't too uncomfortable.


One dangle got broken off one of the Japanese lanterns, and a leg got broken off a little occasional table (one of two I gave my parents years ago with a stained glass top). I think I may be able to glue the dangle back together, and the movers will get the table fixed - they did it. I was interested to note that the broken leg is on the table with a cracked piece of glass - how fortuitous.


So I have lots of work to do.


The cats beat it at the first sign of the truck, and about an hour after they left, Buster came skulking upstairs to check things out. He is OK now, and I think he is busy investigating everything. I haven't seen Jasmine yet.


I think they were happy to be hidden away, actually, because they both spent most of the night galloping up and down the hallways and the porch. The porch isn't such a good place to gallop anymore, with all the furniture there, but I think they will be liking it once they get used to it and I get the cushions arranged. So I think they probably spent most of the day asleep. There are too many interesting things going on outside at night for them to adopt my schedule.


So now I am tired, and I really think I need to go to town tomorrow, since Thursday is forecast to be even warmer. I want to go either Tuesday or Thursday because Hughes farm should be open, and I want to see what goodies they have in the fresh veggie department. So I intend to go to bed early...


During the night I managed to break the blister on my black fly bite, so now it is covered by a BandAid, but it leaked all over all night long. It is in a place where it would have been hard not to break it, but I'm sorry I did. They heal much better when they aren't broken.


And that is all there is. Everything is here now, and all I have to do is unpack...and unpack...and unpack...and figure out where to put all that stuff. I won't lack for something to do for the foreseeable future.


August 5

It was another good night to sleep, and I did, mostly, although I only dozed for a few hours in the middle. So I slept until 10:30, and woke up having had a dream that I was helping my mother pack for a trip to this house...but I don't know where she was living, since our house is sold. It was another one of those confused things that I occasionally have.


I don't think it was very clear last night, and there were some high clouds when I got up this morning. They pretty much stayed around all day, starting out as cirrus, then cirrostratus (high but nondescript), and now it looks like they have come down to maybe altostratus? I don't know for sure, and none of my cloud books are within reaching distance. Anyway, it was bright for most of the day until after I got back from dinner, and then it began to get dull very early. 


Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any rain in those clouds. Well...maybe it's better, if my movers come tomorrow. The temperature was nice. It did get up to about 76º briefly, but for most of the day it was in the lower 70s with a little breeze, mostly from the southwest, although it switched around to the north before it dropped. It was a little bit humid today, even though the dew point wasn't too high.


I discovered that what I thought was a mosquito bite on my arm is another black fly bite, which has now raised a nice quarter-inch blister. There is another small one on my knuckle, but it isn't itching so much anymore. So they are still around. I thought it was too hot and dry for them, but apparently not. However, you have to remember that if there is a black fly in Copper Harbor, she will find me and bite me. I doubt that most people are bothered too much.


I started out the day well, by washing the last load of clothes, which are still in the dryer, but then I sort of fizzled. Eventually I got at least some of the things done that I wanted to do. I washed dishes. I took the bedclothes I had washed upstairs, both to put them away and to reconnoiter for the furniture. It will fit, as it turns out, except that I will have to remove one single bed from the smaller bedroom. So I took the bedding off that so it will be ready. The bed will have to be stored in the basement, which will be a problem.


I didn't get down to the basement, unfortunately. I will have to do that tomorrow. I did get the dresser in my bedroom unloaded so that it can be moved upstairs. I am getting a new one, and it seems to me having the movers here will be a good time to get it out.


There are still a few things I want to move around, but I think I can do that in the morning. I do wish I knew for sure that they are coming.


Dinner was at Harbor Haus, good as usual, and it wasn't quite so crazy there tonight.


So that was my quiet day, and I guess I am as prepared for the movers as I am going to be. Early to bed and a good night's sleep will be the best preparation I can do, and what gets done tomorrow gets done.


I sure hope they are coming.


August 4

I thought it would be a good night to sleep, and it was, and I did. The temperature bottomed out at 55º at 7:00, but by the time I got up, at 9:45 again, it was around 70º.


It briefly got up to 78º around 4:00, but it has dropped back again. Most of the day was in the low 70s. There wasn't much wind all day long. In the morning it was clear and beautiful. Later, there were a few high cirrus clouds, but not much. So our beautiful and dry weather continues. The dew point never got over 60°. and it was another lovely day to just enjoy.


So I did.


I did do a few things, though. I washed a couple of loads of clothes, although as usual I forgot them and the first load is drying now, while the second load is in the washer. That was all right, because I wet my pants again, so I was able to wash my jeans right away. I never learn to pay attention to the warning signs...


I also unpacked three of the four crates I brought into the house. The cat food is all put away, and the dishes are all put away. I have some crackers and things to put in the pantry cupboard, but that's about all. I had left a bag of onions and a bag of potatoes in the bottom of the pantry, and of course both of them were totally gross. I don't know how to store potatoes and onions in the warm weather. You aren't supposed to put them in the fridge, but I don't have a cool place for them when there aren't any cool places. I suppose one thing I should do is take them out of their plastic bags, but I don't have anything else to put them in, really. It's a problem. Fortunately, I can get onions and ordinary potatoes at the general store...but the ones that went bad had red skins and yellow flesh, and I was looking forward to trying them. Just one of the other problems of living alone.


I was going to put the shelves in the curio, finally, but that was when I wet my pants, so I didn't get that done. It won't take long. I want the movers to bring up the boxes with the content of the curio in them, and I have a few other things, including the lovely ivory-billed woodpecker and a big eagle (well...about 4"...no Harmony Kingdom boxes are very large) to put in it. I am going to try not to pack it so full this time, but there are so many of my little boxes that I like, not to mention my small collection of snow globes, that somehow it always gets too full. That will keep me occupied until the new furniture gets here.


Oh, yes, I also put a piece of packing tape along the place where the screening is coming out of the doorframe, so I can open it without letting a lot of bugs in.


I did manage to get another mosquito in the bedroom last night. The first time I had one, I got bit twice on my leg, and this time, I got bit on my forearm. I don't guess it's possible to keep them all out, since they seem to get in my hair. The two things on my hand that I didn't know what they were are definitely black fly bites, but they aren't bothering me a lot, and I think that was the last of them. But now we have mosquitoes, and in a while we will have flies.


I keep saying, if it wasn't for the bugs, it would be paradise, and that isn't possible on earth.


I didn't go out to eat tonight. I had a little steak, pan broiled, and it was good. It never ceases to amaze me how tender the steaks are that I get from Econo Foods. And they aren't any more expensive than the ones I got in Detroit. Of course, that was Farmer Jack, and Kroger always had better meat, but not usually that tender. These little strip steaks that are only ½" thick pan broil much better than they broil. I defrosted this one, but I won't do that the next time and it will be more nearly rare in the middle. However, it was tender and tasty. That is one of the things I use my cast iron frying pans for.


This morning, when I was up briefly at 8:00, Jasmine almost got touched. She came into the bathroom with Buster, and she actually ran under my legs, but I was too groggy to be fast enough to catch her. Later, when I got up for good, and I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my legs dangling over, she came and sniffed my foot. So slowly she is getting braver. One of these days, I will show her that it's nice to get petted.


So that was my day, and now it's time to trundle up to the north end again. Tomorrow will be busier. I have a few things to do in anticipation of the movers on Monday, although I never did get confirmation that they are really coming. Things are rather loose in the Keweenaw.


August 3

Gosh, I was cold this morning! How delightful!


I didn't sleep very well last night. I think it had something to do with getting the temperature right, but it was also windy and noisy with the door open. When I finally did get to sleep, I slept until 9:45 again, and when I got to the office, the temperature was in the low 60s with that brisk wind from the north. I finally closed the porch door, which helped. I didn't want to close up the whole house, though, because it is so nice to be living almost outdoors. I should have put on a sweater.


The temperature topped out at 72º, which is just fine with me, and the wind has dropped, too, so it is really lovely right now. And the forecast is for lows in the 50s overnight, so maybe I will sleep better.


The other reason I was wakeful is that I was thinking about the movers coming on Monday and what I want them to do. I  must make a list. There are quite a few boxes in the basement that I would like them to bring upstairs because I can't do it. I have some scurrying around to do this weekend.


Because today I managed to do not much at all except sit and enjoy another perfect day in the field. There are a few little clouds in the west now, but it was clear and beautiful all day. Last night, too, and I saw stars for the first time in a while.


Well...I did do something. I brought my ledger up to date through the end of July, and that consumed a couple of hours. I had to start with April, because when I looked at the ledger and compared it to the checkbook, it didn't balance, so I had to find that mistake before I could go on. August is going to be a very expensive month, but then things should settle down and I can begin to see exactly what not having two houses is going to do for my finances.


Around 8:00 this morning, both Buster and Jasmine has a wonderful romp around the house, back and forth on the porch and up and down the hall. It's a wonder no lamps were knocked over. Jasmine isn't quite so talkative as she was earlier, but she is learning how to meow properly now. She still has a very little, high-pitched and somewhat squeaky voice which is cute.


And Buster would like to sit on my lap all the time still. He was worrying me, but the way he was romping around this morning, I guess he is OK physically.


Tonight I went to dinner at Mariner, and I found out that the reason Peg and Don went to Marshfield turned out to be that he had triple or quadruple bypass surgery. I sort of suspect he was only supposed to have an angiogram, but they found a lot of blocked arteries. It doesn't surprise me much, really. He is such a huge man that he has been used to eating a lot, and as he has gotten older and less active, he has gotten bigger. I hope they put him on some sort of rehabilitation regime.


So that is about all I know. The wind has finally died completely, and it is perfectly quiet right now and really lovely. Maybe I can go up to the north end early tonight and enjoy the view from there for a change. I hope we are over our hot weather!


August 2

I was just finishing up my nightly routine when the wind started to blow hard...really hard. It blew the bedroom door shut in spite of having the porch door and a rock in front of it. So I decided I'd best close it, and I had a terrible time getting it shut. I would put the gusts at 50 mph, easily, although that isn't what the NWS station reported.


It blew and it blew, and I was about to turn off the light when another door slammed...it had to be the powder room door, because the laundry room door was closed already. I don't know why I decided I should go and open it, but when I did, Jasmine was sitting on the wash stand, and she jumped down and ran away. I sure am glad I opened that door. She could have torn the screen and gotten out.


Anyway, I turned out the light, and besides the wind, I was treated to a really wonderful lightning display. All this went on for over 20 minutes, then the rains came, and it was like somebody turned over a bucket on the front windows. I think I fell asleep before it was over, but we got about .4 inch of rain, which was very welcome. The temperature fell into the middle 70s, which was also very welcome.


After the rain stopped, I opened the porch door again, and that cooled off the bedroom. The temperature actually got below 70º early this morning, with light winds, and that felt good...I was able to pull up the comforter.


I was awake before 8:00, but that was too early, so I went back to sleep and didn't wake up again until nearly 9:45. By that time the wind was rising, but it was a gorgeous, pristinely clear day, with blue, blue skies and blue, blue water and not a hint of haze. It was so beautiful that I decided to abort my trip to town and just stay here and enjoy it all. Which I did. I still am.


The wind has been gusting into the mid-30 mph range all day long, so there were some nice whitecaps on the harbor, and while the temperature at the NWS station got up to 78º, I'm sure it wasn't that warm here. The wind started out from the north, and has now moved northwest, but it is still coming in over all that cold water, and that keeps it nice and cool here. I think as usual the wind is dropping as sunset approaches, but it is still pretty strong. It will be a good night to sleep, although I might have to shut the door.


So I just enjoyed the weather and didn't do much at all...my usual state, I guess. I did wash a load of towels, and I thought all the water had solved the alarm problem, but then it went off again tonight, so I really don't know what the problem is. And I began loading the dishwasher.


I did go to the post office, and I stopped at the township offices to inquire about my tax bill, which they will try to track down for me. And I got some celery, so I can have tuna salad for breakfast.


And that was it.


It just seemed too nice to do much but enjoy the weather.


I did peer out the door and discovered that the temperature sensor I had hung on a tree limb isn't there anymore...so I will have to track that down. And I discovered that the screen is coming off the slider...again. I  don't know what the problem with that door is, but I don't seem to be able to keep a screen in the screen door. A little duct tape is in order, I think, although I did nearly as well the last time with some clear packing tape. And I will probably have to deal with the glass company again, darn it.


So that was all there was, and I think another good night's sleep is in order. It is so nice to have the temperature down to a reasonable level! Not to mention all the beautiful clear skies. It's a pretty evening in the field.


August 1

It's too hot!!!!


I just told Buster that, because he wanted to sit on my lap again, and I am already sweating.


Before I go further, last night I completely forgot to mention my birthday present. About noon yesterday, a FedEx truck pulled up and presented me with a large, long box. The box contained a huge bouquet of mini-carnations, in every color they come in. I had to put them in two vases, there were so many. They are just beautiful. They are from my cousins in Virginia, and I want them to know they came, on time, and I am really enjoying them.


It was in the upper 70s all last night, but with the ceiling fan and what little breeze there was, I wasn't uncomfortable. Tonight may be a different story, but there is a nice north wind that has just picked up. I was awake around 8:30 and just decided to go back to sleep for another hour or so.


I had my first dream about the other house this morning. I dreamed that the new owners invited me to see what they were doing, and not only had they torn out the kitchen, they had discovered the morphing attic, opened up the ceiling of the master bedroom, and they had put a balcony against the front wall, where the ceiling is now.


These morphing buildings never fail to fascinate me. The outside stays the same, but the inside can assume palace-like proportions, and frequently as I walk through them, I find features I can never get back to. I know the morphing attic (which I have dreamt about many times before) opens up either in the clothes chute or in the back of the linen closet - that part morphs, too. Anyway, the old homestead still isn't out of my mind, I guess.


So on to today.


The temperature quickly moved into the upper 80s, although for quite a while it wasn't too bad, because there was a 15-25 mph wind out of the west, but eventually it got to 91º, and wind or no, that's the kind of weather when I sweat even when sitting still. About then, I took off my jeans, sweat socks and sneakers and put on a pair of shorts and sandals, with my compression hose. It must look really charming, but I really don't care. In this kind of weather, I don't dare take off the compression hose or my feet and ankles will swell until they get very painful.


Just a little while ago, I went into the powder room to feel a nice, slightly cooler north wind coming in the window, so we may have had the worst of it...and the temperature is down to 84º. The dew point was over 60º, but the relative humidity wasn't all that high - it didn't matter much, although I was grateful it wasn't higher. This was bad enough.


I did do a few things, though, although I really should have started earlier than 3:30 this afternoon. The car is cleaned out, and I have four crates of stuff which needs to be put away in the kitchen. And in an apparently vain attempt to stop the septic alarm, I washed a couple of loads of stuff. The second load is washing now, and the first load is in the dryer. I decided to wash the bedding from the single bed, because I had slept in it. So that is under way.


I also went downstairs with some Christmas stuff, fiddled with the septic alarm, and brought up a litter tray for Buster. He has been telling me - ahem! - that he isn't going down in the basement until that shrieking alarm stops. Not that I blame him much. The alarm is right across the hall from his trays, and it is loud enough to hurt my ears, so I can imagine what it does to his. Apparently it doesn't bother Jasmine as much, but Buster is super-sensitive anyway.


Whatever is wrong with the septic system, I can't divine it from the rather cryptic explanations of the alarm conditions. I will have to call somebody.


Otherwise, I did not much but sit quietly. It certainly was too hot to knit or anything like that. It was hard to get to the desk, because I had to leave the computer out and hope it wouldn't overheat too much. It did overheat, but that is because when stupid Symantec downloads its updates (which it does as many as two or three times a day), it takes over the computer completely and drives the CPU at 100% for up to half an hour. I discovered what it was doing while I was using the laptop, which is slower and got so hung up I sometimes couldn't get a web page to load. Anyway, that will heat up the CPU anytime, and when it is running so close to overheating already, it overheats at once. Stupid.


So now it is cooling off a bit, and I hear thunder. Radar shows a small bunch of thunderstorms from down by Houghton to just south of us, so I have some hope that it might cool off a bit. I guess it's too much to hope for that we might get meaningful rain.


This weather makes me feel tired and headachy. It didn't help that I had a small gall bladder attack last night - only lasted half an hour or so - and I was awake for a while. So I think I will check on the wash and take a nice tepid shower and dive into bed. One of the nice things about living out in the middle of nowhere like I do is that I can stand in the breeze with nothing on and let it cool me off.


And I have to say, it was hotter almost everyplace else in Michigan than it was here. Our lovely, cold lake is helping again.


Well, the shower came through a bit faster than I thought it would, so I now have a very wet bed, bedroom floor, and window seat. And I think it's gone again. It is a bit cooler, though, and that is good. It also blew over one of the lamps in the living room. Those lamps aren't weighted on the bottom, so I hope when I get the marble lamps in here that won't happen again.


So I will try to get this published again.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM