A View From the Field

Home

journal

gallery

livecam

mission

links

Help

January, 2008

 

 

January 31

Well, it's over, both the blizzard and January. And what a day this has been!

 

I went to bed before 11:00 last night, under the heavy comforter and wrapped in my fleece robe over my flannel nightie, with the slipper socks I made back in the late '60s on my feet (navy blue with neon green soles...how '60s can you get?). Before I could get to sleep, a very purry cat arrived and dived under the covers with me. The only thing I don't know about Buster is why he doesn't understand that he can do that when I'm not there.

 

He started out between me and the body pillow, but that didn't work so well, and I had to get up and to to the bathroom to get him away from me. Then I turned over to my left side, and he got between the body pillow and the edge of the bed and that was where he slept for the rest of the night. I guess he doesn't understand that just by being under that comforter, he will warm up the place where he is.

 

That comforter is heavy, down or no, and it was really hard to move around with the socks and the robe, but when I found a comfortable position, I was nice and cozy. So was the Buster.

 

Well! About 6:30 this morning, I awoke to hear dripping. At first I thought it might be the heat pipes, but they have never done that before, so I got up and got my glasses on. The dripping seemed to be coming from the closet, and when I looked in, water was more or less pouring out from around the canister lights in the ceiling, which, fortunately, are the sealed kind they use in showers and unheated areas. What a mess! I put buckets under the drips and assessed the situation.

 

The water had to be coming from the upstairs bathroom, so I took a deep breath and tottered down the hall and up the stairs. When I opened the door to the upstairs suite, there was water coming out from under the closed bathroom door! When I opened the door, I could see that the water was coming from the cabinet under the sink, and it was really pouring out.

 

I only had my slipper socks on, but I took a deep breath and waded into the bathroom. When I opened the door under the sink, I got sprayed with water. It was pouring out of both water lines and there was a small waterfall from the moveable shelf onto the floor. Clearly I had to turn off the valves under the sink.

 

Fortunately, I have my old shower seat up there, so I sat on that and I could reach the valves, but by the time I got them turned off, I was totally soaked with water. Even though there was water on the floor and on the shelf, I decided to leave it and go back to bed.

 

I made it to the last step before the landing of the stairs. There is a lot of stuff on that landing, because I rarely go upstairs and it's a convenient place to stash boxes and chairs and whatever, but it makes coming and going a bit difficult. 

 

I reached out to steady myself on the chair and stepped on the last step, and my wet sock slipped, and down I went. My tail hit the edge of a stair and I slid down to the next step. I haven't hit my tail on anything for a long time, and it is always a stunner, and it hurt like sin. After I recovered a bit, I slid down to the landing and eventually, with difficulty, I was able to get back onto my feet.

 

I took off all my wet stuff in the laundry room and fortunately I had a clean flannel nightie, because it was still cold around here. Then I went back to bed. I was up around 8:30, but I decided after my exertions I needed more sleep. I finally got up around 10:30.

 

It was still cold, so I turned on the heat lamps in the bathroom and dressed in there, really fast. The nice warm overshirt I had on yesterday got wet, of course, so I had to get another one, and I had peed my pants, so I had to gather up all new clothes. 

 

I got my orange juice and came to the office, and after I checked the weather, I started calling people. The only time to get the plumber at home is between 6:30 and 7:30, so I should have called him when I got back downstairs, except that he couldn't have gotten to the house then anyway. I left a message for the insurance agent and for Adam.

 

By the time I got something to eat, after 1:00, I was starving. I have noticed that being cold makes me need more sleep and more food.

 

Ron and Mac got the drift sort of cleaned out in time for Mac to get Trevor to the bus, while Ron worked on the rest of the road. With his car still stuck at Lake Lily road, Ron wasn't going anywhere until he got help. Eventually our new neighbor, Marty, came over with his tractor, and they dug out the car, cleaned up Ron's driveway and Lake Lily Road, then he came over to my house, and did the best job on the driveway that anybody has done. 

 

Marty's tractor is bigger than ours, but it doesn't have a blade, and he clearly knows more about using it than Ron and Mac do. They need to take lessons. He brought his two sons over to help get Ron's car out, and I doubt they would have otherwise, since he doesn't have tow hooks on the back.

 

The weather has moderated almost completely. there has been almost no wind since about 8:00 this morning, and the temperature got up nearly to 12 before it started dropping back. After what we've been through, 12 with no wind felt balmy. I was out in the garage without a coat, and although I was a bit chilly when I came in, I wasn't really cold.

 

Slowly but surely the temperature is coming up in the house. I am practically sure that the basement is heating the entire house, though, and I know that the zone valve for the second floor is shut and has been for a couple of weeks. I am also fairly sure that almost all the first floor zones are full of air and not working properly. Bill the plumber is going to have quite a job draining heat lines tomorrow.

 

He isn't going to be able to fix the sink. The insurance agent instructed me not to do anything until the adjuster sees the scene. She put the report in with priority, and I hope that means I will hear from the adjuster tomorrow.

 

While I was doing the wash today, I noticed that part of the ceiling in the laundry room is soaked right through, so I assume the same is true in the closet. It will probably dry out (according to Adam), but right now it looks pretty awful.

 

So that was my eventful day. I am getting really tired of all the problems I have had with the heat. Bill has one more chance to get it working properly, and then I am going to try somebody else.

 

I am going to try to get to bed early tonight, because Bill should be here before 10:00 tomorrow. I didn't do much else. My tail is beginning to feel slightly better, but so far I am only pain-free when I am lying in bed on my side...or sitting in the bathroom. One doesn't realize, until one has an injury like this, how much one sits on one's tail. I know my desk chair, which is usually pretty comfortable, puts most of my weight there.

 

It's a quiet, chilly night in the field, and I'm glad today is over.

 

January 30

I guess it's a matter of being careful what you wish for. What a blizzard this has been!

 

When I went up to the north end last night, the wind was howling and beating on the house, and the lake was roaring, but it wasn't all that cold, so I sat and read for a while, down to the last 25 pages or so of that story (which I never finished writing), then I took my bath and went to bed. It was cooler in the bedroom than in the bathroom, and at some point I discovered it was more comfortable to have the covers over my head, although I really hate to do that.

 

When I got up, rather early, actually, I found out why: it was only about 56 in the bedroom this morning, although it was still tolerable in the bathroom. I got completely dressed in the closet, but it was cold in there, too. It was frigid (about 54) in the great room and the kitchen, and about 61 in the office, although dumb me, I didn't close the door when I left last night.

 

When I got on the internet, I discovered the reason it was so cold in here. The outdoor temperature had plummeted to -2 at 8:00 this morning, and it stayed there until 2:00 this afternoon, and the wind was from the north in the 35-50 mph range, which left us with wind chills of close to -30! Sometime during the night, and again around 9:00, we had a gust of 53 mph! It has warmed up (!) to 7 now, but the wind is still just as strong.

 

A while ago, I went up to the north end to check it out, and it is now 49 in my bedroom. I left the heat lamps on in the bathroom, although I have no intention of taking a bath tonight, and I switched comforters to the one that is so heavy I can rarely sleep under it. My plan is to go to bed with my fleece robe and slipper socks on.

 

Needless to say, I was cold all day long, and so, I think, were Buster and Jasmine, because they kept coming in and wandering around me. It is warmer in the basement, and I think they spent most of the rest of their time down there. It is hot in the machine room, but I keep that door closed, because there is stuff on the floor I don't want them to walk in. I went down to check and be sure the boiler is still functioning (it is), and Buster wanted to come in, too. I'm sorry he couldn't.

 

While I was down there, I dug out a frozen pizza, and now that i have eaten it, my hands are warm for the first time today.

 

I sort of think there is something wrong with the bedroom zone again, because it was warmer in the bathroom, but at the present time, the plumber couldn't get here if I called him.

 

Ron called me around noon to say that his truck was stuck by Lake Lily Road and there is about a 7' to 8' drift down in the low spot between Lake Lily and the harbor...and that has to have built up just overnight, since it was fine when he got home last night. 

 

Poor Ron was cross-country skiing around to check on the new log home, which kept reporting that the power was off and the furnace wasn't running - neither of which was true. Fortunately, he prevailed upon another neighbor, who at least drove him back to Woodland Road on his way home. And one of the other guys took the tractor to try to begin to make a dent in the drift.

 

My counsel was just to wait until tomorrow. The wind is supposed to die down, and the temperature is supposed to get up into the middle teens, so everything should be a bit more comfortable. Even here, most of us don't have the proper clothing to go mucking around in -30 wind chills!

 

I actually did something, in spite of the cold. I unloaded the rest of the dishwasher, so I can begin to fill it tomorrow, because I'm running out of cat dishes. And I got some of the filing done. What a mess that is! With the exception of the junk mail, I had just been throwing everything I got into a basket from the time I got back here last July, and I had just thrown everything I got while I was in Detroit into a file folder...wow! What a bunch of junk! Then there were the three different mortgage companies, and a whole bunch of stuff I had completely forgotten, including a couple of credits for stuff I didn't get. I'm still not done, but it was getting to dark to see. Maybe I can finish it up tomorrow.

 

I have this problem a lot. I start out with all good intentions the first of the year, and after the end of June, I sort of ignore the whole thing. I hate to file. Now I have to put last year's stuff in an archive box, which won't be full, and set up this year's file jackets (well...in the reverse order, so I know what I need), gather together the tax stuff, then maybe, just maybe, I can start on the beads. One step at a time.

 

I think I forgot to mention that the fabric sample for the porch furniture came Monday, and I don't like it. So I am saved from the $18 a yard fabric. I don't like the yellow one very well, either, but it's the best of the lot, and it's only $12. However, now it's just entirely too cold to go out on the screened porch and measure the cushions, so that will have to hold. It's a shame, too, because the place I expect to get the zippers and things had a 15% off coupon that expires tomorrow, but oh, well. It's dark out there anyway, with the shutters pulled down. The next time it warms up at all, I will have to do my measuring.

 

I had decided during the night that I wasn't going to try to get to bible class today, and Bonnie called while I was still up at the north end to agree with me that there was no point in trying. Not that I could have anyway, with that drift down in the culverts. So we will do the next lesson on our own and pick up from there next week.

 

It was cold in her house, too, so I didn't feel so bad.

 

The other piece of business I need to report is that we got word that my old neighbor to the north, Dr. Walter Hassig, died this morning. He was such a nice man, but he has been suffering from Parkinson's Disease for several years, and he was 90 years old. He had a long and useful life, but I will miss him. He was a dear, sweet man. 

 

So that was my day, and I guess it is time to toddle up to the north end and see if I can stay warm enough to sleep tonight.

 

Tomorrow should be better, but for tonight, it's a hairy, frigid night in the field and it's cold in here.

 

January 29

The binder I brought upstairs yesterday turned out to be my undoing. It is one of my wildest stories, and I hadn't read it in a while, so I read until nearly 2:00, then after I took my bath, I read some more...and it was 2:45 before I turned out the light. So even though I didn't get up until after 11:00 this morning, I still didn't get enough sleep.

 

And I read the rest of it this afternoon, so I didn't do anything and I don't have much to report except the weather.

 

It was a cloudy, rainy morning, and the temperature got up to 39 at 8:00 before it started down. For most of the day it was just dark and yucky, but between 5:30 and 6:00 the wind went from 10 mph to 28 mph with gusts to 34 mph and we were off to the races. That was from the northwest, but it has since turned northerly and risen to 35-45 mph, while the temperature is now down to 15 and still dropping. It started snowing right about 5:30, too, and it is still doing that, too, so far as I can tell.

 

So now we are having an honest-to-goodness blizzard, and it is a noisy, hairy night in the field, with the wind howling and the lake roaring. Love it!

 

I am reading the other binder, but just in case, I need to go to bed soon, so if necessary, I can go to bible class tomorrow.

 

That is all I know, and the wind and the lake will sing me to sleep tonight.

 

January 28

Again I read last night, and I think it was about 1:30 when I got to bed. It was nice to have the blinds open, so I could see out, although there wasn't anything much to see. That cloudbank that was over in the west at sunset covered everything up by the time I got to bed.

 

I was up a number of times. For some reason I was thirsty yesterday, so I drank a lot of water, and what goes in comes out eventually. I got a phone call from UPS around 8:30, but I just turned over and went back to sleep until Buster stared me awake around 11:00.

 

After he got his morning pet, I finished the ribbing on the red sock, so it was late when I got to the office. As I came in, I could hear something that sounded like grinding from someplace. At first I thought it was the computer, since it sounded sort of like a failing power supply or a crashed disk, but by pulling out the CPU and listening carefully, determined that it wasn't that. Then I thought it might be one of the ceiling fans in the great room, which run continuously, but it wasn't that, either.

 

I had to take a fast trip to the post office to mail a bill, and my sample of fabric came today, so I had to look at that. 

 

By then, I was sure the sound was coming from downstairs, and besides, I had decided to freeze my chicken and have spaghetti this week, so I took the chicken downstairs and went into the mechanical room. The grinding was certainly coming from the water pump, and the water pressure was zero again. So I opened the water valves, and as soon as the boiler went on, the pressure went up to normal and the grinding stopped. Well! There is clearly something wrong down there.  I looked around and I can't see or smell any wet spots that would show where the water is going, so I put in a call to the plumber. We just talked, and he doesn't know any more than I do about why this is happening, so we will just have to keep watching it. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but oh, well. 

 

While I was down there, I hunted up the two boxes that said "full binders" and picked out a couple, so I have some new reading material. I also tried to find some of the yarn I've been thinking about , with no success, and some of the other things I know are down there. I did find one plastic container with some fat quarters (fabric) in it, for the yo-yos, and also the patterns for my fleece tops. But there is a lot of stuff I just can't find at all, like the box of papers I packed up last year. I think that box has the binder for last year's planner in it, and I really need that. I also brought up an archive box for last year's papers. So I found a few things. 

 

I just didn't feel robust enough to start tossing boxes around, which is what I need to do to begin to find anything. There is also another burned out light bulb that will have to be replaced, and I will have to remember that for the next time I go downstairs.

 

I completely forgot I was going to finish the wash. Well, tomorrow is another day.

 

The weather was yucky, and not good for arthritis. The temperature got up to 41 briefly, and sometimes there were some very strong winds and sometimes it was calm. It was cloudy and dull all day long. They are still promising us a blizzard, but now it won't start until late tomorrow afternoon. I certainly hope they are right. My friend who was coming up has aborted her trip because of the weather, and if it is a dud, she will be more than bummed.

 

According to radar, there is some rain around us and mixed precip to our south (ugh - I'd rather have rain, thanks!), some of it very strong. So something is coming in our direction. It's about time we had a good blizzard. For all the snow we've had, I've missed the really hairy weather.  Blizzards are fun, so long as you can sit inside and watch them go by.

 

So that's all there was today, and I will trundle up to the north end early and see if I can get back onto my human schedule again. It's a calm night in the field, again, and we're just waiting for what will befall us.

 

January 27

I read until about midnight and finished the white binder...now I don't have anything to read except the blue binder again, unless I go down into the basement and root around. I did see one box marked "full and empty binders" that must have at least part of my oeuvre in it. I wonder which part it is?

 

Anyway, even though I got to bed early, by my standards, I didn't get up until after 11:00 this morning! When I opened my eyes, Buster was sitting beside me staring at my face, like he wondered if I was going to get up at all. So I did.

 

After his morning pet, I cast on the second red sock, although I only did a couple of rows of the ribbing.

 

The task of the day was to get at least some of the wash done. I did the jeans, just to get the water cleared up, then I did the underwear, which is in the dryer now. So at least I will have compression hose for tomorrow. I will finish up tomorrow.

 

Otherwise, I did not much. I had hoped to maybe start sorting the overflowing basket of paperwork left over from, I think, when I got back here last summer. Its time to get that all organized and start collecting the tax stuff. I also need to set up this year's file folders, and with January coming to an end, there is 2008 stuff to file, too. I totally despise filing, and I only do it under duress, but a couple of times a year, I just have to settle down and do it.

 

I think one of my new organizers will be very helpful, since it has a flat top that I can put stuff on.

 

That's for tomorrow, which sounds like a good day to hibernate.

 

Today was a lovely day, even though I didn't go out. The temperature got up to 30 (heat wave!) and there was a lot of sunshine. The wind was under 10 mph all day long. Lovely! I sat and basked in the sun in the south windows for a long time.

 

Tomorrow will be worse. It may even rain, and the temperature will get into the upper 30s probably. Then all hell breaks loose - high winds, snow, and the whole bit. It's still winter, for sure. It sounds like it could even be  our first blizzard. I hope not, because a friend is supposed to be driving up here on Tuesday, and that isn't going to be good driving weather.

 

So that was my quiet day, and I'm still tired, and my legs still hurt. I wonder if that's the old arthritis weather-prediction thing? I have been feeling like I was walking in wet concrete up to my waist all day. 

 

It's the calm before the storm in the field again.

 

January 26

That wasn't exactly what I had planned. I went up to the north end relatively early, but I decided to read for a while, and when I checked the time it was about 1:45...a little later than I'd intended, since I had to bathe. So it was 2:15 or so by the time I got to bed, and about 12:30 this afternoon when I got up. Oops! That shortened the day quite a bit, and I hope I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight. No bath tonight, so maybe that will help.

 

When I did get up, I had to pet a cat for a long time, then I wove the toe of the first sock. I really should have tried it on before I cut off the last pieces of yarn, but it looks about right. In total, I had about two feet of yarn left, which means I just made it, or I would have been calling the store to see if they had another ball of the same dye lot, which is always an iffy proposition. Actually, it doesn't matter too much about the dye lot with a sock, since the new ball would be used on the toe of the second sock, where it isn't likely to show very much, but still, it would have been a pain.

 

So it was 1:30 before I got to the office, and I had about an hour to do some surfing and eat my yummy roast beef-on-a-croissant sandwich before it was off to the post office, where my caster was waiting for me, as well as my pretty aqua tees and a lot of junk mail. For the time being, the pleas for money are exceeding the catalogs. That's OK - they are easier to throw out. Besides the usual stuff, there was a lovely bead catalog and a new Sky & Telescope, so I have some good reading material again.

 

I finished putting the last rolling organizer together, but that is about all I did.

 

The weather was nice: there was a lot of sunshine, and the temperature got up to 25, with very light breezes from the southwest. It felt warm outside. I notice that since there is some ice around the shoreline, the temperature is varying more, down to 10 this morning, and it is plunging again tonight.

 

There were a respectable number of people in Mariner tonight, but I talked to Peggy, and except for a couple of days, it hasn't been a good January. What a shame! Anyway, they had another of their good steaks with burgundy-mushroom sauce, of which I brought half home, of course, and it was yummy. As I pulled out of the parking place, I looked up (as I always do) and Sirius was sparkling over the trees in the southwest. It was sparkly enough to show that the atmosphere is quite turbulent, but it certainly was nice to see a star for a change. The moon is still quite bright, which means it is light even when it's cloudy, but clear is better.

 

When I went to the post office this afternoon, I could see the blue, blue lake out beyond the white ice in the harbor, and that was pretty, too. Blue is better.

 

So that was my day. In checking around the closet, I discovered that I am wearing my last clean pair of compression hose, which means I have to wash tomorrow, and I have a chicken that needs to be roasted, so that will take up some time. I would really like to clear the floor in the office so I can get to the cupboard and begin to move my beads to the organizers, but I don't know if I'll get to that.

 

It's a quiet night in the field, and I do plan to go up to the north end soon, even if I don't go to bed right away.

 

January 25

I don't know why I was so late going up to the north end last night, but when I got there I wanted to knit a while, so it was nearly 1:30 when I got to bed (I think). I was really tired, too. I was up at 6:30 then not again until 10:00.

 

So I probably should have gone to town yesterday, but really, today was a much better day weather-wise.

 

Of course, I diddled around and did part of my morning surfing and collected up everything I wanted to take along, and it was 12:30 before I left the house.

 

Part of the problem was that I realized that the Shwan's guy would be here while I was gone (in fact, I passed him as I was going south and he was going north), and I wanted to see if I could get my credit card on the order...and I didn't understand why I hadn't been asked for it when I placed the order. Oh. Now I know, so I won't make that mistake again. At first, I was just going to abort the whole thing, but then I decided it wouldn't be very nice to make him come all the way out here, then take the order back. So I left a check with no amount on it. I hate to do that, but this is, after all, the Keweenaw, and besides it was made out to the company, not the driver.

 

So it was off to the big city. The covered road is snow-covered, but it has been well-plowed and sanded and it wasn't slippery at all. From Delaware south, they had used enough salt to kill a cow, and while the road was wet, it was good driving with hardly any traffic at all. I didn't take any more pictures, because the road looked just about like it did the last time I was there.

 

My first stop was the jewelry store in the mall, and I had a very nice chat with the owner, and I now have 6 working watches. I got the battery changed in the gold watch, because I noticed the second hand was beginning to stutter, and I knew it was going.

 

By the way, have you noticed that almost all (if not all) battery-operated watches, even the really cheap ones, have a second hand these days? Heaven forbid we time ourselves down to the second! It is sort of interesting, though.

 

That didn't take long, then it was off to Econo Foods. Since it was Friday after a bad-weather week, and it was after 2:30 when I got there, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, although I didn't see all that many people inside. I really stocked up...there were a lot of things I had on my list, including cat food and the makings for a double batch of spaghetti sauce. I noticed that I was getting low on canned tomatoes. So my basket was overflowing when I got to the checkout...$400 worth! Yie! Don't tell me there isn't any inflation in the price of food!

 

Of course, I hadn't shopped since before Christmas, and I won't for another month, probably. I do believe that when I was in Detroit and Farmer Jack was right across from the church, I was spending a whole lot more a month, without the cat food. I know I should have gone to Wal-Mart for cat food, but I just couldn't. I had a hard enough time anyway.

 

By the time I got the car loaded and gassed up ($3.06 - I saw it for less at one station in Hancock, but I wasn't going to hassle that), it was 4:00. That seems to be the rush hour in Houghton-Hancock, and it took me a long time to get across the bridge, but that was partly because I was behind a car that had a license plate that said "World War II Veteran" on it. Even the youngest WWII vet has to be getting on in years by this time! I think he probably forgot the new rules about the interchange on the Houghton side of the bridge until his wife prompted him.

 

So then it was off to home. There were a few more cars on the way back than on the way down, including a guy in front of me on the covered road who was being very cautious, but it looked like he was going to King Copper, so no doubt he didn't know the road or its condition. He did OK, and I didn't lose any time from being behind him.

 

I passed Mariner right about 5:00 and toyed with the idea of stopping for dinner, but I had to pee and I had a huge load in the back of the car, including enough frozen stuff in the big cooler that I couldn't shut it, so I went on home. There is still stuff in the car, but all the critical stuff is packed away properly. I did have to clean some old stuff out of the fridge to get the new stuff in, though.

 

And when I got here, there was a nice bag in front of the garage door, and all my Schwan's stuff (except one thing, I think) was right there. I haven't found a receipt yet, but I didn't look in the bag very hard. I'm sure the check will clear in a few days anyway.

 

Of course, that meant I had to go down into the basement, and my legs really didn't want to do that - especially they didn't want to come back up. So besides breakfast stuff, I have shrimp scampi and cheese stuffed shells and tortellini and marinara sauce cubes...yum! Not to mention the big roasting chicken, ground beef and pork chops I got at Econo! Yum. I will eat well. The chicken is big enough to make chicken and noodles with. 

 

The only thing about the day that bothered me is that when I put on my clothes this morning, I discovered that somehow a stitch in one sleeve had gotten clipped, and I now have a hole in the nice pale blue sweater I finished last year and have never worn before. Grr. Someplace (probably in the basement!) I have a little bit of that yarn left, so I can patch it, but it annoys me. I have no recollection of having caught the sweater on anything  yesterday, so I don't know how this happened. I really like this sweater: it is my favorite color, and it is very nice and warm. Somehow it seems like the things you like best are the things that get broken.

 

The weather was good for a 100-mile drive (yup - when I go to Houghton and back, I put about 100 miles on the truck. Any more questions about why I don't go more often?). The weather here was about 20 all day, and it was cloudy. While it was windy this morning, there was no wind at all this afternoon. In Houghton, it was sunny off and on for a couple of hours, including when I got out of Econo, and I was kicking myself for forgetting my sunglasses, but by the time I got up the hill in Hancock, it was cloudy again. There wasn't any snow in those clouds for once, though.

 

So that was my strenuous day, and I'm tired. It's time to trundle up to the north end, wash off all the sweat from my tour around Econo, and fall into bed. I finished the sock this morning, except for weaving the toe, and I think I will do that...I have just enough yarn to do it, too. A flap heel and gusset takes a lot more yarn than a short-row heel, especially in this very stretchy yarn. And I want to read a while, just to relax a bit. With the warmer temps and no wind, it's warm in the house again.

 

So it's a very quiet night in the field tonight, and it's time for a long winter's nap.

 

January 24

Darn! I forgot to mention that yesterday was my parents' 68th wedding anniversary. I always commemorate it, since without it, I wouldn't be here.

 

And 34 years ago today, I was not long out of emergency surgery for a perforated appendix. That is still the most excruciating pain I have ever endured in my life. I guess that's why most of my other pains are tolerable: I compare them to the pain of an appendix attack.

 

Last night, first I read a catalog, then when I got to the north end, I read my story for a while, so it was 12:30 by the time I got to bed. I did sleep, and very well, with only two wakeups, until 9:00. I felt like I could have gone back to sleep, but I decided it would be better for me to get up. And at that time, I hadn't decided whether or not to go to town today.

 

So I did my surfing, and had a breakfast pizza, which cooks in the toaster oven and takes 20 minutes or so. I was just ready to read my funnies when the internet disappeared. After power failing and rebooting and all that, I discovered that while I could get to my own website and Pastynet, I couldn't get to any site that was further away. So I put a call into Pastynet and fooled around for a while.

 

I was just deciding that well, I really should go, when Ron called, and that ended that. He was just checking on whether it was his setup or the net, and I assured him that it was the net, but we had a nice conversation, as usual. His finger is just a sprain and some bruises, but it will be a while before it doesn't bother him. His trouble is the same one I had when I sprained my thumb - it gets to feeling OK so he does something he shouldn't, and then it gets sore again.

 

It turns out that Mac cleaned the road yesterday afternoon, which he just thought was nice (Ron always thinks the absolute best of everyone, which is a wonderful way to live) and I thought was no more than he should have, especially since I found out that the night before, Ron had been out clearing the road in the middle of the night so Mac could get home with his sick dog. Ron ends up doing most of the road clearing, because he has to get out with Trevor in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon. Mac ends up only doing it on the weekends, if it needs it then. I don't think it's fair, but that is really between the two of them.

 

So anyway, I didn't go anywhere. I decided to haul the floor stand and accessories out of the coat closet, and while I was in there, I changed the banner from Christmas to winter. I do love that winter banner. It is mostly white, of course, because it is cheater Hardanger, but the accent color is pale blue, and besides a lovely silvery snowflake, it has a blue heart charm and a blue carnation in one of the letters. There is also a vine of green and blue between each letter. I made those banners during the first chemo, in 1998, and I do love them. This house became a lot more home when I finally brought them up here.

 

While I was in the closet, I hauled out the yarn for the Fair Isle sweater I got last year sometime, so instead of fooling around with the floor frame, I decided to cast on the sweater. Well!

 

The directions start out "cast on 426 stitches onto a #3 needle..." That was OK, because I've done things like that enough to know to put a marker every 25 stitches. But then, except for the middle 10 stitches (the steek), the rest is 2x2 ribbing...I guess my mind just wasn't in gear today. I had one hell of a time getting that ribbing right, and I finally had to rip back the last 60-70 stitches to the cast-on row and redo it, because I just could not reliably keep track of where I was. I finally finished the third round, although there is now a huge gap between the first and last stitch in the first two rounds, but then I decided it would be wise to just put it away until another time. I think part of the problem was that the cast on and first two rows are black, and I couldn't see what I was doing until I finally turned on the task light, but that wasn't all of it. When I was younger, I could keep my concentration for hours at a time (witness: all the lace doilies I knit), but I just don't seem to be able to do that anymore. I guess I need to do this sweater and finish the angel, just to practice concentration.

 

This sweater will be interesting. I think I've only knitted a sweater with a steek once before. That is a Scottish (or some other Celtic language) term for stitches that are added to enable one to knit with many colors in the round - no purling. But then, to finish the sweater, if it is a cardigan, like this one is, you have to cut the knitting down the middle of the steek and sew it down to the knitting. For all the knitting I have done, including Aran sweaters and lace on #30 crochet cotton, I have done very little color pattern knitting. That was one reason I got this sweater. When I read the pattern, I don't much like it, but it will be good practice. Somewhere in the basement is an authentic Fair Isle kit (and the book is someplace else!) and before I attempt that, I want to practice on something else.

 

On the other hand I love colors, and this one has 28 colors! I think I could come up with better combinations, if I wanted to put my mind to it, but since this is a practice piece, it's not worth the bother. There are three colors each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, plus four shades of gray and black and six browns. The sweater is done in bands, and no band is a repeat of the colors of any other, although the patterns repeat. I may never finish it, but when I want a knitting project to keep me occupied, this is certainly it.

 

In the middle of trying to get the ribbing right, I got a call from my friend Nancy! She sent me a note a while ago, and I had heard that her father died, but I hadn't talked to her since before I sold the house. It was great to hear from her, although the reason she called was that she wanted the name of one of the doctors in my oncologist's group. Now that her family's situation is more under control, she is finally going to pay attention to herself, and I am so grateful! She is such a wonderful person, and we need her. I pray for her a lot.

 

So even though it was a hard conversation, it was great to hear from her.

 

I think that's three friends whose fathers died last year, which has to be some sort of record. Since I've been through that with both my parents, I am flattered that these people think I can help them work through it. I guess one of my modest talents is that I listen well, and I am able to empathize with my friends. Losing a parent is hard, and I know that as well as anybody does.

 

Tomorrow, no matter what, I have to go to town. So I will toddle up to the north end and try not to read for too long and get up and out at a reasonable hour. 

 

OH! The weather! The temperature got up to about 15. There was some wind this morning, but it was calm (I just wrote "clam"...my daddy was a punster, and one of his favorite puns was to refer to it as "a dead clam". I never look out and see no wind without thinking about him) for most of the afternoon, and then quite abruptly, the wind shifted to the west and picked up and it got very chilly in the office. We had some sunshine and we had some snow, but not much of either. Most of the day was just cloudy and gray, although when the wind was blowing, it was raising clouds of snow on the ice, and there may have been some snow coming down then, too.

 

There was enough snow this afternoon that I was glad I didn't go to town, because I would have had to come back through it. Although at one point, I looked at the Bridge Cam page, and it was nearly clear in Houghton and at the airport, while it was snowing so hard here that I couldn't see the harbor. Fifty miles makes a big difference when it's lake effect snow.

 

Tomorrow is supposed to be better, warmer and maybe no snow at all, so that seemed to be a better day to go...I have the fear that a lot of people will think that. I hope not.

 

So that was my quiet day, and it's time to go. It's a blustery night in the field tonight.

 

January 23

Even though I read for a while, I was in bed before 11:00. It took me a little while to get to sleep, since I'm not used to going to bed so early, and I was up several times in the night. Around 2:30 or so I had an hour or so of near wakefulness, but overall, I did pretty well, and I got up around 9:00. So I guess I can do it. I will try it again tonight.

 

The only problem I had was that every time I woke up during the night and started walking, when I put any weight on my left leg, my knee popped, and popped loudly. I've never had that happen before, with either knee, but I guess the arthritis is starting a new phase. It didn't hurt, at least when it popped, although it did ache for a while. It was still doing it today for a while, although it seems better now. Good grief, what next?

 

Even though I got up at 9:00, I was a little late for bible study, but it looked like Bonnie had just gotten there when I arrived, so that was OK. Bible study was very nice, and I am going to enjoy this one very much. It is called "Experiencing the Heart of Jesus", and it is a great affirmation of everything I believe.

 

Then it was off to Carolyn's for the ladies' handwork meeting, and that was fun, too. There weren't a lot of ladies there, maybe 10 at its peak, but they are a good group. I got to show off my socks and talk about heels, and I took one of the yo-yo templates, and only one lady knew what it is, and they are all quilters. So that was fun. There were a lot of nice things to see, including some quilting by the other Sharon's daughter that was so incredibly tiny and even none of us could figure out how she did it. Sharon is a wonderful quilter, and she has a real gift for color and pattern, but her daughter's quilt stitch is just phenomenal.

 

The kitties didn't seem to mind that I was gone most of the day, although Buster did come and sit on my lap for a while, just to let me know he missed me, and Jasmine came in to say "hi". I guess it was still cold enough in the house that they were hibernating in the warm rooms anyway, and so they didn't get upset.

 

The weather has sort of moderated. The temperature is still low - it is now 12, which is the high for the day, and it was about 10 all afternoon. The wind was strong all night, but it died down this afternoon, and we even had a couple of short periods of sunshine - with lake effect snow showers on both sides, of course. It is supposed to be sort of calm for the next couple of days, and actually go almost to freezing by Sunday. What an interesting winter!

 

I hope we get a little reprieve on the snow. I need to go to town, since I'm running out of orange juice, and Ron definitely needs a respite from the plowing. He had done the road when I came home, and it is as smooth as a paved road right now. What a treat!

 

I have to say that the snowbanks are getting most impressive. According to George Hite, we have had over 54" in January, as of Monday, and 165-plus for the winter. That is giving us a good start, and we haven't had any real blizzards yet. That will come, I'm sure. Anyway, the snowbanks in Copper Harbor proper are up to what I guess is about 7' or 8'. I guess Clyde (the postmaster) has a small end loader, and he does most of the driveways and parking lots around town. He piles the piles up at the corners, though, and in the case of Carolyn's house, right in front of her kitchen window. Bonnie's husband, Rich, came by while we were at bible study, and he was muttering that it's getting hard to find a place for the snow - and this is only January! It could be a very good year.

 

So that is all I have to report, and I think I will go and try this earlier-to-bed routine again. It worked pretty good last night.

 

It's a quiet, cold night in the field tonight.

 

January 22

So instead of going up to the north end, I got to looking at some catalogs or something (I don't remember now), and since I wanted to read when I did get up there, it was later than ever when I finally turned out the light. Sigh.

 

It wasn't snowing much when I went to bed, but the sky was light from the moon, which is full tonight. I did sleep well, because by the time I finally got to bed, I was really tired. Sigh.

 

I got up at about 11:00 this morning, and it was sunny and not snowing! Amazing. The sunshine was beautiful. So I petted a cat, and I worked on the sock, and along about noon, Buster jumped up on the tub enclosure and stared out the window, because he heard something. There certainly wasn't anything out there, and the noise continued, so after I got on my undies, I went down to the back windows, and there was Ron, trying to clear out the chute of the snow blower. So I opened the garage door for him, and he did clear it out.

 

Then I guess he went off to Mac's house, stuck his hand in the blower before it was quite stopped, and probably sprained a finger, so he was off to the doctor this afternoon. I keep telling him, don't do that! I haven't heard how he came out, but it could have been much, much worse. He and Mac are on the tractor so much that they begin to forget that is a big, powerful and dangerous piece of equipment and they need to be careful of it.

 

I enjoyed the morning sunshine, but about 1:15, I was replying to an email from a friend when all of a sudden the sun went away behind those puffy, billowy clouds, and the next thing I knew we were in the middle of a lake effect blizzard...like in about 5 minutes! Love it! 

 

That was some of the heaviest snow we've had around here, and by the time I went to the post office at 2:30, there was a good 4" or more down, it was blowing and drifting like crazy, and most of Ron's hard work was obliterated. Only it would have been a lot worse if he hadn't done what he did.

 

The temperature did get up higher than it's been since last week, to 15 or so, but that, I think, was the result of the southwest winds we had for the morning. The winds have now switched back to the north, in the 25-35 mph range, so it's not over yet. The lake effect warning is, so far, just until 1:00 am, but it could easily get extended...then, while it may warm up a little more, there are a couple of storm systems headed our way. Now, this is a real Keweenaw January, for sure!

 

When that wind picked up, it got so cold in here that I was almost thinking about starting a fire, but I did some other things instead, and it has warmed up now. It may be chilly at the north end tonight, though.

 

There were some books at the post office, including my copy of the one we are using for bible study, so that is good. I have some things to collect up for tomorrow, so I think I will be going up to the north end early tonight and hope to get up early tomorrow.

 

I finally remembered my other phone call this afternoon. When I was putting the rolling organizers together, I mistakenly thought the casters had to be pounded into their sockets and I broke one, so today I called Nancy's Notions about it. Apparently that is a common problem, because they immediately said they would send me a new one, as well as the screw that fell into the hole in the floor. Now, there is the second place in two days who believes in customer service. Amazing. I would be willing to pay for the caster, since I broke it.

 

Late this afternoon, suddenly the monitor went off and back on again, and then the computer hung (I don't remember exactly what it did), and when it came back up, Kabcam couldn't find the diver for the camera...several times. So I decided to shut everything down and turn the power off. Well, while I was doing that, I kicked the surge suppressor, and apparently that dislodged the cord for the CPU, which is plugged into an X-10 module...but I didn't know that at the time. All I knew was that after I turned the wall switch off and on again, the computer wouldn't power up...oh, no! Shades of last year!

 

So I hauled everything out from under the desk. How do those cords get so tangled up when I really don't do much with them at all??? Anyway, while I had the CPU out, I noticed that there was a catalog and a lot of combined fur and dust bunnies under there, so I swept all that stuff out. Then I found the unplugged end of the CPU cord, and for a couple of moments, I couldn't remember where it plugged in. Finally, I figured that out, and sort of untangled things, and everything, including Kabcam, came up just fine. What the heck that was all about, I just don't know.

 

My playtime with my yo-yo makers yesterday left my hands feeling horrible today, so I didn't try any more, even though I want to practice with them. I looked through my new books, and that was about it. These books are sort of interesting, but I am seeing more and more books, especially about beading and quilting that are really thinly disguised excuses for lots of pictures of what the author has been doing. They are supposed to be how-to books, but boy, if you don't know what you are doing already, there is no way you could do the "projects" in those books! Anyway, some of the pictures are interesting and inspiring, so they aren't a total waste of time and money.

 

So that was my day, and it has to be an early night tonight. I am tired, for one thing, and I have to get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow, to go to bible study and the ladies' handwork meeting.

 

I might mention that I didn't see much of Buster today, and the only time I saw Jasmine was when I woke up and she ran out of the bathroom, where she had apparently been sleeping with Buster. I think they probably spent the whole day there, since it's been warmer there.

 

So it's another cold snowy night in the field and it looks to keep right on.

 

January 21

I was late getting to bed last night, mostly because of FrontPage. After the first screw-up, part of what I wanted to upload was there, and part of it wasn't, so I had to go back and recreate the picture page and a couple of other things, and then, after all that, I discovered I had forgotten to resample one of the pictures. I resample them when I downsize them because the extra pixels don't show on a computer monitor and they take too long to download when they are over a megabyte large. Sooo...I had to do that part of it over again! Grr.

 

I knitted for a while, I think, and it was 2:30 before I got into bed. Not what I had planned, but oh, well.

 

I don't think it snowed so heavily during the night, and while I didn't actually see the moon, it was so bright outside I knew it was up there, nearly full.

 

When I finally rolled out of bed this morning, around 11:30, it was snowing and blowing hard, and that kept up all day long. In fact, today was the most constant snow we've had. There were very few times when I could even see the other side of the little bay down here, let alone the mountain. Most of the time, I couldn't see beyond the deck railing. The wind has shifted around to the west, and now it has dropped to below 10 mph, but it is still snowing. The temperature was about 10 or a little less all day long. And this is supposed to go on for at least another couple of days. The weather forecast is sort of amusing. Every 12 hours, they extend the lake effect snow warning for another 12 hours. Right now it's on until 7:00 tomorrow morning, but I'll bet by tomorrow it will be 7:00 in the evening. I read the "Scientific forecaster discussion" from the NWS in Marquette, and they really don't know what's going to happen, except that it looks to keep on snowing. Once that lake effect machine gets in motion, it can be really hard to stop, especially since we seem to be getting wave after wave of arctic air coming through. This is winter in Keweenaw as we all know and love it.

 

Since I was so late today, I didn't do much. However, late this afternoon, I grabbed some cloth and played around with my yo-yo templates. That is really not something for a person with arthritic hands to do, but I am learning how to make them work. The biggest thing is to learn where to cut, and I haven't got that down yet, but I made a couple of flowers and a heart, and they don't look too bad for first efforts. The templates are rather ingenious devices, and the only thing that makes me feel better is that the pictures on the packages didn't look much better than mine. I want to use them to decorate my jeans with the tear in them, and they don't need to be perfect for that.

 

While I was in the bathroom last night I heard something metallic hit the floor someplace, and I couldn't figure out what it was, so it was with some trepidation that I came into the kitchen this morning. It turned out that Jasmine had batted the scoop I use in the dry cat food onto the floor. I don't know if she did it on purpose or not, but I think so, since it wasn't in a place where she would necessarily trip over it. She was flying around and pounding her feet on the floor, too. I think I remember her coming into the bathroom and sitting down pretty close to me last night, even after Buster went away. So I guess she is comfortable and happy here...now if only she would let me pet her reliably...

 

I had thought of two telephone calls I wanted to make today, but until just now I could only remember one of them, which I made this afternoon. I mentioned that one of the fabric samples I got didn't look right, and so I called about it, and the person I talked to (probably the owner) sounded like that happens a lot, and is going to send me the right one today. She didn't want me to send the wrong one back, so that was nice, although I don't know quite what I will do with it. Maybe make tote bags? Hmm... Anyway, that means I will actually have to decide which fabric I want to make the covers from, darn it. And so far, I can report that outdoorfabrics.com seems like a good outfit to deal with. I will keep reporting. They certainly have a greater selection of indoor-outdoor fabrics than anyplace else I have ever seen.

 

Oh, yes, I did do one other thing today. I hauled the monstera into the great room. I'm afraid it's too late for it. It is sort of wilty and a lot of the leaves are turning black, but maybe I can save some of it. The schefflera is dead, but that happened way last year, after somebody left it in the garage on Champine for a couple of weeks. I'm sorry to see it go, because my mother had it since 1959 or so when she was in the hospital, but it was a very picky plant, and I don't do well with really picky plants. I'm not sure about the ficus yet.  A lot of the leaves are yellow and it is still pretty wilted, but I can't yet tell if it will recover. I know, I should have brought them in before it got cold, but oh, well. The geranium and the two pony tail palms are still outside, and they look OK. It isn't below freezing in the breezeway, and they are tough.

 

I finished the gusset of the sock and have started on the foot, so that is coming along. It wasn't so cold in the bathroom this morning, and I think it will probably be about the same tonight. I have a heat lamp in there, and while it doesn't work all that well, it did bring the temperature up to 68 by the time I took my bath last night, and that is tolerable. I have been leaving the door almost closed, which keeps it warmer. I think that is where Buster and Jasmine probably spent most of the day.

 

I had just started this when Sandy called, and we had a nice conversation. Such a nice person! She was wishing she was here, in spite of the cold and snow. Not that I blame her. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

 

So it's another cold, snowy night in the field, and another good night to snuggle under the comforter and sleep long and hard.

 

January 20

Now, let's try this again. I'm not sure what happened, but FrontPage hung while trying to save my stuff, and among other things, I lost the journal. Grr.

 

I didn't read for very long last night, since it was rather chilly in the bathroom, and I was in bed before 11:30, I think. I had a rather restless night. My hands and feet were cold when I got into bed, and a while later, after I turned onto my right side, Buster came and burrowed under the covers, curling up half on the body pillow and half on me. That was a bit warm for him, though, and he didn't last long. Later on, after my first walk, when I turned over, he got between the body pillow and the edge of the bed and stayed there for quite a while. The next time I got up, he was laying there with just his head outside the covers. I know he was cold, but it was a bit too warm for him under the comforter. I was mostly OK after my hands warmed up, and for some reason it warmed up a bit in the bedroom during the night.

 

It certainly wasn't because of the temperature, which was about 3 all night long. I think the wind died down to between 15 and 25 mph for most of the night, although it picked right up into the 25-35 mph range today. The temperature eventually got up to 10 (wow, a heat wave!), but the wind chill has still been down in the teens below zero for about three days now. It snowed, sometimes harder than yesterday, although with the wind blowing so hard, it was difficult to tell what was new snow and what was just blowing. At times it was roaring over the frozen harbor in huge billows, over into Lake Lily. I imagine there was some drifting on the road, too. While it brightened up a lot several times, there wasn't any sunshine today.

 

I think we are lucky: Marquette tied a record low this morning, of -20. Now, that's cold! The temperature varies over there a lot more than it does here, though.

 

I took a couple of pictures to show why I'm not feeding the birds this year. That is the patio door from the office, next to where the camera is, and the window is a window into the great room.  I couldn't get a picture of the very corner between the office and the great room, where there is a triangular drift nearly 5' high. That free-standing drift has a knife-edged top. The north wind comes roaring down the deck, hits the pine tree and the railing, turns into a whirlwind, and drops all its snow right there. The things you don't think about when building a house!

 

I got up around 10:00, and it was a bit warmer in the bathroom this morning, so I successfully turned the heel of the red sock and started the gusset. I don't know what my problem was yesterday, but a number of things didn't work then.

 

Otherwise, I didn't do anything but read a couple of magazines and surf some. 

 

There is going to be a lunar eclipse on February 20 - what do you bet we have a blizzard? I hope not, but it doesn't look hopeful at this time of year. I would like to see it; it's the last lunar eclipse visible here for about three years, and it's been several years since I've seen one. If it's clear, I think I can sit in the garage and see it, so it doesn't matter a lot how cold it is. But that's a big "if". For all it's pristine air, Copper Harbor is not a good place for astronomy.

 

Tonight, Buster and I had the rest of my fish from Friday, and we both enjoyed it. I'm sure Buster wonders why sometimes he gets some of what I eat and sometimes he doesn't, even though it all smells good to him. He just hasn't had enough people food to know what will upset his tummy and what won't. He is getting a little more careful of yogurt since it began to bother him a year or so ago...and that's a shame, because it's one of the few things he really loves. I guess his tummy is getting more delicate as he gets older.

 

For most of the rest of the day, he slept on a paper bag on the floor of the office. I have had the door almost closed and the thermostat cranked up, and it is the warmest place in the house - about 69 now, although it cools down at night for some reason. I have my sweatpants and heavy top on and my slipper booties, but every so often I get a draft, especially around my feet, for some reason.

 

So that was my quiet day, and I don't think I will be doing any reading tonight. It's too late, and I have to bathe. I hope it's reasonably warm up there tonight!

 

And that is another wild, hairy night in the field.

 

January 19

Wow, is it cold!!

 

I put on my polar fleece robe, so I was comfortable reading and knitting last night, and I think it was around 1:30 when I got to bed. The temperature had plummeted in the evening, and it got down to about 6 by the time I went to bed.

 

It kept on going down, although not as quickly, and it hit bottom, about 2, at 11:00 this morning, then it started slowly up. It got up to a whopping 7 by the time I went to dinner, and it is now slowly declining. However, with the wind in the 25-35 mph range all day long, and snow coming down thick and fast, the wind chill was between -15 and -20...it's been a lot colder, but not since I've been living here in the winter. 

 

Actually, we are lucky to be living on the shores of that big heat sink. It was well below zero all day to the south and west of us, in the interior. There are many, many reasons why I Love the big lake so much.

 

It was chilly in the house all day, although I did manage to keep the temperature fairly comfortable in the office by closing the door. Tonight I will have to close the blinds in the bedroom...but that's all right, since there won't be much to see anyway. That, as I've said before, is the only disadvantage to having so many windows. They do conduct the cold a lot more than 6" walls full of insulation do. I guess I can live with it, though, since I love my view.

 

In spite of all that, I got my hair cut this afternoon, and I think it is going to be a good cut. It takes any new hairdresser some time to find out just how a new customer likes to wear her hair, and I think either this is it, or one more cut will do it. And it is so nice to have my hairdresser come to me for a change.

 

Before she got here, I hauled the ficus indoors. It was looking pretty bad, and there was a little film of ice on top of the dirt in the pot. I don't know whether it will make it or not. The monstera really should be inside, too, but I don't know what to do with it. I don't know what to do with the ficus, either, since I discovered when I got it inside that it doesn't have a saucer under the pot. Now where did that thing go? And where are all my saucers? Arrgghh...

 

I also hauled the three organizers into the office, and after Nancy left, I put one together. Unfortunately, I dropped a screw I can't find, and I broke one caster...like a dummy, I thought they had to be pounded into their sockets. Wrong. So now I will probably have to stop at Ace hardware the next time I go to town and see if I can match my caster and the screw.

 

I have all three of them together, as much as I can, and I think they are going to be really nice, although I'm not sure yet if I have enough room in them for everything I want to put in them. That is another problem. After a few days of relative neatness, the office is a disaster again, and I have to do something about that before I can even get to most of the beads, and certainly before I can put the organizer units where I want them. However, I did determine that some of my small baskets will fit in the drawers, so I can use baskets to divide up the drawers if I want to.

 

After I wrote last night, I got to looking at my fabric samples again, and I realized that the yard of black background fabric I got doesn't look anything like the picture on the website, and I don't like it as well. So Monday I will have to call the place and find out about that. Actually I hope there isn't anything they can do about it, because then I will have to get the $12 a yard fabric, which is much better for my finances. I'm pretty sure I need a lot of it - 10 yards or more - so that $6 will make a big difference in the final cost.

 

This wasn't a very good day for doing things right, I guess. I tried to turn the heel on the red sock, and somehow screwed up the counting big-time, so I had to rip it all out. I didn't get a chance to try it over again, so that is for tomorrow.

 

Tonight I did go out to dinner again, and my dinner had just been served when Cindy and Mary came in, and they sat with me. We had a nice conversation, as always. They are very nice people. Mary's daughter is graduating this spring, and she is trying to get Nikki into a college, which is always a hassle. So that was nice, and I brought back half of my blackened sirloin (with burgundy mushroom sauce) home for another meal. It was really good. On account of the weather, I had an Irish coffee, and that left me feeling very nice and warm inside. Yum.

 

All the snow today was lake effect, and there was even about 2 minutes of sunshine right before noon...and the next time I looked up, it was snowing hard! Do love those lake effect bands coming through. Most of the day, though, it was light snow or heavy snow. It isn't possible to tell how much actually came down, because it has been drifting so much, but I would say probably 2 or 3 inches. This is that very fine snow that comes down with very cold temperatures, and crunches under your feet when you walk on it, so it would have been a lot more if it had been warmer.

 

The harbor was frozen at this end this morning (it would have shocked me if it hadn't been) and partially frozen at the other end, and it seemed to me that the sound of the waves on the rocks was muted, which means it's even freezing around the edges of the big lake. The Eagle Harbor cam seems to indicate that. Pretty soon I'll be able to hear the wind roar by, because the waves will be too far away to hear.

 

So now it's time to toddle up to the north end and get into my flannel nightie and see if it's warm enough in the bathroom to sit there, or if I have to huddle under the comforter to read...actually, that's a good excuse to go to bed early. It will be warm under the covers.

 

It's a cold January night in the field tonight!

 

January 18

Buster was OK with my reading last night, so I read forever, I think, and didn't get to bed until 2:30 or later. Oh, well. When I went to bed, it had stopped snowing for a while, and I could even see the gibbous moon shining over the lighthouse, sort of fuzzy.

 

I woke up once, I think, while it was still dark, then again at about 10:30. I was going to just pee and go back to bed, but I thought better of it and got up. It was snowing hard.

 

I didn't do much, I'm afraid, although I did finally get all the clothes put away and the towels are in the dryer now. So I guess that was something.

 

I made the potato-egg-sausage mixture from Schwan's for brunch, and it is good. I have two more meals of it. I made it better by putting some cheese on it. That is a very tasty breakfast that leaves a nice warm pad in the tummy, and there is enough of everything - protein, carbs, and fat - that it is very sustaining. I hate breakfasts that leave me feeling hungry a couple of hours later.

 

Last night, I knitted on the red sock for a while, until I started the heel. The heel isn't something I can do while I read, so I put it aside and worked on another sock for a while. This morning, I got a bit over an inch of the heel flap done. This is a little different heel than I have ever done before, and I like it. The stitch is called "eye of partridge", but it is just a variation on the regular slip-stitch heel flap. It will take me a while to get it done and turned, though.

 

I want to start the sock out of the yarn I wound yesterday, just to see how it is going to knit up. I may do that tonight.

 

I went to the post office, and everything I ordered last week was there! I was amazed, since usually Nancy's Notions is very slow, but my organizers came. They are still in the truck, until I have time to put them together.  

 

My one-yard sample of fabric for the porch furniture came, and would you believe, they had rolled it, so I got these two 60" tubes! Well, the problem is, I like the $18 fabric better than the $12 fabric. The $18 fabric has a black background, which would go very nicely with the pale gray siding on the porch and the black trim on the windows. The $12 fabric has blue and yellow roses on a pale yellow background - not completely my favorite colors. However, I will unroll them and look at both of them for a while, and in the meantime, I need to measure the cushions and try to figure out how much fabric I am going to need. I also got samples of a couple of wavy striped fabrics which I think I will use to cover the footstool and the throw pillows. Whichever I get, it will look better than what is on the  cushions now. That is old and gold, and two cushions don't have covers anymore. Those two cushions are the impetus to undertake this project. Making pillows (in fact, any home dec project) is not my favorite kind of sewing. No matter what I do, I end up working on a tent and it's a real struggle. However, I will do, because I want the porch to look nice.

 

All that was offset by some new toys I got, too, although the reason I put in that order to Nancy's Notions turned out to be backordered. Oh, well. I got some new gizmos to make fabric yo-yos, and I am planning, at long last, to cover the tear in one of my most comfortable pair of jeans, which Buster made when he was just a kid. It started out small, but it has gotten bigger over the years, so I guess I am going to have one pair of decorated jeans. What I want to do, though, is going to send me into the bowels of the basement to try to hunt up some of my stash of cords and things, because I'm not going to just put one yo-yo over the rip. I will decorate the entire right leg, and maybe put a couple of things on the left leg, too, so it looks planned. I also need to find my stash of quilting fabrics to make the yo-yos out of. When I finish that, I will take a picture. The pair of jeans I am wearing now has a couple of little rips in it, too, so I may just end up with two pairs of decorated jeans...who knows?

 

Tomorrow, I will haul the organizers out of the truck and put at least one of them together and see how it is going to work. Boy, it will be nice to be able to get my legs under the desk again!

 

I am sorry to report that Mariner was dead tonight, and I talked to Peggy, and she said it has been dead for weeks. I'm really sorry to hear that. Right as I left a whole bunch of people came in, but at this time of year, on a Friday of a three-day weekend, it should be jumping. 

 

However, she discovered the answer to a question I've been wondering about: it seems snowmobiles only get around 10 miles per gallon, would you believe! Stupid! An engine that small should go forever on a gallon of gas! So we have to think it's the price of gas, as well as the snow further south, that is keeping people away. At $3 a gallon, coming to Copper Harbor on a snow machine would be expensive.

 

I did get to have fish on Friday for a change, and it was very tasty. I brought half of it home to enjoy later, too. I have been missing my fish lately, although the alternative has been steak. I like fish, and I enjoy eating it once a week or so.

 

The weather...oh, the weather! The temperature was 20 at midnight, and it fell steadily all day long, until now it is 11, and it is supposed to drop further. The wind has been in the 20-30 mph range from the north all day long, and it has snowed steadily. Ron hadn't plowed the driveway when I went to the post office, and it looked to me like there was 6" or more in my tracks. All the drifting points are drifting. The ice got pushed right into the end of the harbor by the wind. With that wind, the wind chill has been around -8 all afternoon, and poor Ron was out on the tractor and nearly froze to death. However, the road and my driveway are beautifully clear and clean.

 

So I guess I will go and read some more tonight and maybe start the black and magenta sock, just to see what it looks like. It is another one that goes on #2 needles, so it will go fast.

 

And that is how it is in the snowy, blowy field tonight, with the lake singing its winter song and the snow coming thick and fast.

 

January 17

I got to reading last night, which upset Buster a lot. He wanted to be petted. I don't know what his problem was, but he wandered around muttering for most of the time I was reading. As a result, it was 2:00 before I got to bed, again. I only woke up once between then and 10:30, so I guess I slept all right.

 

When I got up, it was snowing nicely, and it has been snowing lightly all day long. I would say we have 2" - 3" of new down, and it is still snowing. So that was nice.

 

I knitted on a sock this morning, although not on the red one. I want to do a conventional heel on the red one, and I needed a pattern, and the pattern was in the office. Nuts. Now I have the pattern, so I can do that tonight or tomorrow morning.

 

I don't think I did much today. The computer or the wireless was acting strangely, and I think I rebooted four or five times before it cleared up. Don't know what that was either, but parts of Norton were going not responding. That happens occasionally. ME is such a cruddy operating system that almost anything might happen to it.

 

Late in the afternoon, I moved over to the ugly chair, and despite being annoyed by the radio, which was cutting out again today, and two very lively flies, I finished the last of the floss on the angel. So now I can dig out my stand and my roller frame and see how that is going to work.

 

There are so many metallics to stitch, not to mention the beads, that I still have a lot of work to do. She is going to be a very pretty angel.

 

I was going to go to the post office, because I think I have a package there (the postal service's tracking information isn't nearly as detailed and explicit as UPS's is), but I decided not to. It was snowing and blowing and the road and my driveway hasn't been cleared yet. I think Ron will be on the tractor tomorrow morning.

 

Besides, I was in the middle of winding a 4 oz. skein of yarn into a ball, without benefit of yarn swift. That skein has been sitting on my desk since it arrived, and I want to try it and see how it knits. It is gray, black, and two or three shades of dark magenta or purple or something, and it should make interesting socks. Or I hope so - it is hand dyed, and I have no clue how it might work up. Winding a ball without a yarn swift is the pits, but all three of my swifts are someplace unknown in the basement, and I was tired of looking at that skein and wondering how it will knit.

 

The weather, besides the snow, wasn't bad. The temperature peaked at 28 early and it has been falling slowly ever since. The wind is out of the north and it has been rising as the barometer fell. Right now, the temperature is about 22 and the wind is in the 25-35 mph range. It will be a good night to sleep! We are under a snow advisory until tomorrow evening.

 

The film of ice on the harbor was a little more obvious today, although it has split up into pancakes. We are supposed to get really cold over the weekend, so maybe it will finally freeze over for good.

 

So another quiet day. I need to get the dishwasher ready to run, and then it's off to the north end, the heel of a sock, and probably some more reading.

 

It's a windy, snowy night in the field.

 

January 16

I don't remember much of what kept me up last night. I did knit and read for a while, and that helped. Anyway, it was a little after 1:00 when I finally turned out the light.

 

I actually set the alarm for 9:00, and when I woke up at 9:20 or so, it hadn't gone off, and then I realized that the last time I set the clock, I set it 12 hours off. The little light is for AM, not PM, and it wasn't on. Oh, well. I had to move a little faster than I like to, but I wasn't too late to Bible study. 

 

We had a nice study, even though it's only Bonnie and me. I am going to like this one. In fact, I like it so much that I went out to Amazon and ordered the book (or I hope it's the book). They just informed me that they shipped it tonight, so I might even get it before next Wednesday. I'm sorry more people aren't involved.

 

So that shot the morning, and I completed my daily surfing when I got home.

 

Late in the afternoon, I moved over to the ugly chair and got another small section done on the angel. I was dropping things again, but this time I found them all - a needle threader caught in my sweater and a needle on the seat of the chair. I'm trying to be a little more careful with those #28 needles, because the other day I twitched and stuck one into my thumb. Ouch. A #28 tapestry needle might not be filed to a sharp point, but it's plenty sharp enough to go well into soft flesh.

 

I had decided to have the rest of my spaghetti for dinner, and I actually took it out of the freezer when I got my breakfast this morning. So while the spaghetti water was coming to a boil, I washed pots and pans, completed unloading the dishwasher and reloaded it (tomorrow I have to do dishes), and put all the trash in a bag. Whew! That actually didn't take very long, and I will never understand why I postpone doing those chores until the kitchen looks like a bomb hit it. It's not perfect now, but it is better. At least I can find the counters, sort of.

 

That spaghetti is so good I am going to get the makings when I shop next. I am running out of canned tomatoes anyway, so while I am in those aisles, I might as well get everything I need. It really surprises me how good it turned out. I think my mother would have liked it, and she stopped making her own because she didn't like what she made. And it's really simple...I got the recipe off a can of tomato sauce and modified it a bit. Spaghetti is comfort food for me, and I like to have lots of comfort food recipes around. Besides, it freezes about as well as anything I know, and the pasta cooks in about 10 minutes. Yum. Yum-yum.

 

So I really accomplished something today. Amazing.

 

Part of my reasoning is that I finally got a call from my hairdresser. Her father did pass away, shortly after she got to Detroit, and she stayed to help her mother, then she had to pick up the pieces here. She is going back south, but she is trying to catch up with her clients before she does. She seemed really surprised that I hadn't had my hair cut, but hey, she'll learn. So I should get my hair cut on Saturday afternoon. It is long enough now that we can really work with it, and I have a better idea of what I want. Any new hairdo is a learning process, and I really can't remember how it was cut the last time I wore it short.

 

Tomorrow, I have to get the clean clothes out of the laundry room and put away, since that's the place we cut hair. That is a really good excuse...I've been postponing it for two washdays, and there is a ton of stuff in there. I may also wash the towels while I'm folding and stashing away.

 

When I was working, I washed every Saturday or Sunday, and I immediately took the clothes upstairs and put them away, except for the things that drip dried, which went upstairs the next week. Since I retired, I have gotten really lazy about wash, even though I don't especially dislike doing it. And here, there is no excuse at all, since the next door down the hall from the laundry is the closet, but this time I guess my back was so bad I just sort of dropped the ball. Too bad, too, because I do like my clothes to be neat and neatly put away.

 

I guess I am sort of weird in that respect. My house can look like a total disaster, but the cupboards and closets have to be neat and orderly. The idea of stuffing things in closets to get them out of sight just doesn't fly with me.

 

The weather was nice. We even had a little sunshine this morning (of course, I had taken my sunglasses into the house and didn't have them for the drive to church). The temperature got up to about 29 and there wasn't any wind. Most of the day was cloudy, though, and with the lack of wind, there was a very thin film of ice over a good part of the harbor for most of the day. That is hard to see and very deceptive, but if you look very closely at it, you can tell the difference. When it starts to snow, it's obvious, of course.

 

They are saying it will start snowing again tomorrow, and I hope so. The groomer went by the church while we were there. That's the first time I've seen it doing its thing, and it's fun to watch. And a few snowmobiles went by later, so they are coming, even if not in the numbers of previous winters.

 

I think that not long after I went to bed this morning, I saw the quarter moon setting over the lighthouse behind the clouds. It was just a slightly lighter area, but it was there. Pretty soon it won't be so dark at night.

 

So that was my day, and maybe if I start up to the north end soon, I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I am still trying hard to get back on a human schedule.

 

It's another quiet night in the field

 

January 15

My frustrations weren't over after I wrote last night's entry. When I tried to make Internet Explorer FTP to my website, it wouldn't go...apparently it had lost the user and password or something.  I couldn't remember the syntax of an FTP, so after some fruitless searching on the Internet, I hauled all the books off the laptop and fired it up to see what was there. So I tried adding in the missing stuff, and that didn't work, then all of a sudden, it was working again. Weird.

 

I think I may have rebooted in there someplace, and when I tried to get Windows Explorer to open the folder where the journal is stored, it hung. So I tried another Explorer, and another folder, and that hung! For heaven's sake...Another reboot cleared everything up, but reboots take time, especially when I have to power fail the CPU to do it, and I have to do a disk scan.

 

While that was going on, I tried to shut down the laptop just as Norton informed me my antivirus definitions needed to be updated, and that hung, too.

 

By this time, it was after 11:00, and I was getting tired of the whole thing.

 

I eventually got the laptop shut down and the journal copied and this computer booted up correctly, but I think it was nearly midnight.

 

I needed to read and knit for a while to get in the mood to sleep, so it was 2:00 or later before I finally fell into bed. As a result of that, I was late getting up, of course.

 

Buster had curled up between the body pillow and my head, and he was sleeping peacefully when I wanted to get out of bed, and he was not too pleased by being awakened. Of course, I made up for that, at least a bit, by giving him a good pet before I knitted some more.

 

I had some more of my Schwan's breakfast stuff, and I did my morning surfing, but that was about it. I went to the post office - bills and pleas for money, but not much more - and then I went and voted. It was nice to see the ladies, and we had a good chat. 

 

The Carolyn whom George Hite mentioned as having lost her house is our Carolyn, who is part of the management of the Mountain Lodge. With as few people as there are in Keweenaw, I was afraid of that all along. She is doing OK, but she is having a problem with a very slow insurance adjuster. Maybe I can eventually get rid of a few things that I never should have brought up here?

 

Several guys came in to vote while I was there, and I was glad to see it. The confusion over the Democratic primary meant there were more Republican votes than Democratic, but that's all right, I guess. Personally, I was torn. I really wanted to vote both ballots...against some people and for some others. That's all I'll say about it, since as you know, I will not discuss politics in this thing.

 

I switched to the ugly chair and did some embroidery, not as much as I'd hoped, since this is the picky part, but I'm making a little progress. I am also dropping things on the floor all the time, and that's frustrating. I have a little plastic box with a piece of foam and some strips of heavy paper in it, which I use to keep my needles of blended floss. The other day, I had my tool to pull threads through on the back in the open lid, and when I dropped it, the tool disappeared completely. I know it's on the floor, but it is a fine wire thing with a clear bead on top, and it's going to take a brighter day and more hunting than I have cared to do to find it. I also lost a thimble, which I think fell into the box of yarn beside the chair, and I can't find that either. Geez...a black hole in the floor of the office!

 

It was another cloudy, boring day. No snow, no wind, no sun, no nothing. The temperature was around 20 at noon, and it eventually got up to 25. There was a little wind overnight and in the morning, but all afternoon it was calm. There is the thinnest film of ice over part of the harbor, but any wind will blow it around so you can't see it in the camera. I think this may be the calm before the next storm. They are predicting snow for the rest of the week and lower temperatures. Hope so.

 

The little snow we had here, not more than 3" or 4", I think, did help our road a lot. It's not nearly so slippery, although there is a bare patch in my driveway that is. Bless the 4WD! Up in the higher elevations they got a lot more than we did, like 8" to 12" and maybe more. It's like my garage. There was the usual drift right at the door, because the wind hits the garage and dumps on the lee side, and it does that in the hills, too.

 

The snow has increased the number of snowmobiles. There were dozens parked around Mariner when I went by, and I was talking to Mary Ann by the car when eight went by, heading for the trails. My goodness, they are loud! I guess that's the first time I've been that close to any. If I rode one, I'd have to use earplugs to protect what's left of my delicate hearing! It still looks like loads of fun.

 

Speaking of Mary Ann, I think I may have found somebody to help me with the basement. She claims she is good at organizing, so I will have to try her out and see how it goes. I need somebody to come with the expressed idea of unpacking in order to get anything done.

 

And speaking of ears, my post-nasal drip, or whatever my winter sinus problem is, is doing a number on my ears. When I laid on my side last night, I couldn't hear the lake until I yawned two or three times to get the glop out of my Eustachian tubes, then I coughed for ten minutes to get it out of my throat. Yuck. It is also causing me some dizziness, which really bugs me. Oh, well. That is a non-fatal problem which I suppose a lot of people have.

 

So that was my day, and tomorrow I have to get up and attem for our first bible study, which is at 10:30. I hope I can make it!

 

It's a dark, quiet night in the field tonight, and I need to go to bed.

 

January 14

I knitted and read for a while last night, and I think it was close to midnight when I got into bed. The song of the lake was a wonderful lullaby, and I did sleep. When I woke up, I would look down the harbor, and I could see the lights on the public dock all night, so I don't think it snowed much if at all.

 

I finally rolled out around 10:00, and it was snowing then, very lightly, and it continued to snow all day long, mostly quite lightly. The temperature was right around 25 all day, and there was a strong (20-35 mph) wind out of the east. It's still rather noisy out there, and the lights on the public dock keep fading in and out.

 

When I walked into the office and awakened the monitor, there was a new icon in my system tray and two new programs running. After determining what they are (Shockwave), the next problem was how to get rid of them. I simply hate it when people assume I want something to run on my computer...wrong!

 

By doing a GoBack, I got rid of the thing, but then I had to recover the files I changed yesterday. Then I looked at my jigsaw puzzle...and the damn thing came back! Grr! So I took a deep breath and ran Regedit. I hate to do that, because of the potential for disaster, but I did find several flags under Shockwave set to "y" which I changed to "n"...including two called something like "collect statistics"...now wait just a minute here! Not only are they running something I don't want to run all the time, they are going to collect statistics? And presumably send those statistics to somebody? Oh, no they don't! I will uninstall Shockwave first! So I guess I won't be doing my jigsaw puzzle anymore.

 

That was a most annoying start to the day, and I didn't do much else but my usual surfing...and I broke down and ordered three rolling organizers for the beads and other stuff that is cluttering up the office. It will be nice to be able to get my knees under the desk again. I hope they will hold all the beads...

 

Then I moved over to the ugly chair and embroidered until I had all the shades of blue in the left-hand corner done. This is picky little stitching, with lots of color changes and lots of counting. I'm glad to get it done. The rest looks like it will be larger areas. I'm not really satisfied with my stitching on this thing, but I suppose it will look better after it's washed and blocked, and it was never meant to be seen close up anyway.

 

I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped, because I kept having to get up and fiddle with the radio. I think something is finally happening to the radio in my venerable boom box. When I first turn it on, it keeps losing the station, or fading out or something. Turning it on and off, or from "stereo" to "mono", or sometimes fiddling with the tuning will get it back, but it keeps fading out, and it is most annoying. For various reasons, I missed hearing two or three segments of the evening programs that sounded very interesting. I know the boom box is old, and it has been bounced around a lot, but still. It first started when it was hot, and I thought it was a heat problem, and it may be, since after having it on for several hours, it's fine now.

 

So I guess it was a rather frustrating day. I would have had to stop embroidering anyway, because I was getting pains in both hands (no, not carpal tunnel - arthritis). So after dinner, I read my book on yarn, which I found very interesting but not organized quite the way I would have done it. I do love yarn, but I'm not quite so over-the-top about it. However, the book not only has a lot of information in it, it has the names of a lot of small sellers of yarn, and their yarn tends to be much more interesting (and expensive) than the major manufacturers'. Anyway, it was a fun read and got me thinking about some of the yarn I know is somewhere in the basement...like the hand dyed mohair...I do love mohair...

 

Anyway, that was it. The lake will sing me to sleep again, and tomorrow is another day.

 

January 13

I started the toe of the sock last night, and I was reading, but I still got into bed quite early, and I actually got up at 9:00 this morning! Amazing! Now I'm tired, though. Not enough sleep last night.

 

I finished the last of the weird socks this morning, so now I can go on to more interesting things. I still have two socks on #2 needles and two on #1 needles, so it's not like I'm out of socks...

 

When I got up this morning, it looked foggy down the harbor, but when I stared hard at the trees, I could tell that it was snowing very lightly. It got steadily harder, and for a while it was coming down at a good clip, although I don't think we had more than 2" for the entire day. It has stopped now, but the wind is up in the 15-25 mph range, from the east, and the lake is sitting up and taking notice. It is supposed to snow all night and all day tomorrow, so we'll see. Sometimes the NWS overstates. The temperature has been right around 31 all day.

 

Other than finishing the sock, I didn't do anything. I was tired all day long, so I moved over to the ugly chair and embroidered for quite a while. I got the lower right corner done and started on the lower left corner. Unfortunately, I am tired enough that I was having trouble counting, so I did a lot of ripping, only to discover I had been right (or almost right) the first time. I also discovered that I actually hadn't finished all of the skirt I thought I had, but then I really began to have trouble, so I just set it down until another time. Much as I would like to press on, it is just fruitless to even try when I can't count anything. I left my needle in the fabric and my line minder in the right place on the chart, so I will be able to start out easily the next time.

 

The nice thing is, I am working on the very last area of floss now, and it really isn't too big, compared to what I have done. Pretty soon I will have to haul out the floor stand and either the big Q-Snaps or the roller frame and begin on the metallics and the beads. That will be interesting. It's been an extremely long time since I've done anything in a frame, and even though I have had this floor stand since the early '90s, I don't recall ever having used it for real. It is about the best floor stand there is, and it will hold any kind of frame, but the question is going to be if I can get the fabric close enough to my eyes...and what I will do with my chart, which I usually hold on my lap. 

 

My goodness, I've been working on this this thing for a long time! It was published in 2004, and I think I started it that year, although I did put it aside after I had done the top half. I think after this, I will be working on something small and fast for a while!

 

So there goes another quiet day and another weekend. I will try to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight and particularly get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow. I hope to wake up and see lots of new snow! At least I think the lake will sing me to sleep.

 

January 12

Would you believe, I had just completed a nice long entry, and when I went to close FrontPage, I somehow got my cursor on "NO" rather than "YES" and deleted the whole thing? My mind, my mind...

 

So here goes. It won't be the same, but maybe it will be similar.

 

I ended up reading for a long time again last night, so it was 2:00 when I got into bed. I woke up at 9:30 and decided that was too early to get up, but after half an hour of lying there thinking, I could see I wasn't going to get back to sleep, so I got up. Not enough sleep, but maybe that will mean an earlier night tonight.

 

Not that I did anything with my extra time. I don't remember doing anything, which usually means I didn't. I thought of some things to do but never got to them. I did realize, when I was talking about being bored yesterday, that I could certainly do some of the housework I have to do around here, or unpack boxes, or something like that, but that's even more boring than the other things I don't feel like doing. Winter blahs, I guess.

 

I did go to the post office, and Clyde had to give me a grocery bag to bring home my mail. I should have gone yesterday, I guess, but that would have conflicted with the Schwan's guy. Most of the mail was junk, but some acknowledgements came in, and some more reading material as well as a few sale catalogs.

 

When I went by Mariner this afternoon, a large group of snowmobilers, or maybe several groups, had a brilliant solution to the problem of parking their machines while they are in the restaurant: they left them across the road in the park! What a good idea!

 

The Green Bay-Seattle football game was on TV when I got to Mariner tonight, and there were several groups of guys there watching it. Better be a GB fan, though, or you might get attacked! It was snowing hard in GB. I wish they would send some of that snow in this direction.

 

I also thought (as I have for a long time) that the NFL should require all teams, especially the northerly ones, to have enclosed stadiums. They were shoveling off the yard lines between each play by the time I left, and that gives GB an unfair advantage, although in this case it didn't matter much: they were creaming Seattle. But then, as an old Detroit fan, I never liked GB very much.

 

The guys who were watching didn't look very much like snowmobilers, so I wondered what woodwork they crawled out of. Whatever, I like to see people in there.

 

When I came home from the post office, I stepped outside the garage and sniffed. I smelled the smell that has been bothering me in the garage: the smell of burnt gas from a well-warmed-up gas engine. I don't think I smelled it outside. Then it occurred to me: they are building a house out by Ron this winter, and they may be using a generator, since they probably will want to bury the electrical lines. I wonder if that could be my problem? I sent an email to Ron, to see if he knows. I'm not sure if what I smell coincides with the times they are working out there, but they might just leave the generator running at night, maybe to keep it a bit warmer inside. If that is what it is, I guess I will just have to put up with it for the winter, since I doubt I could get them to do anything about it.

 

The weather was about the same. The temperature was about 28 all day long, with light winds from the east. It was cloudy, of course, but I did see a teensy bit of blue sky peeking through the clouds when I got up this morning. We are under a lake effect snow watch from tomorrow afternoon through Monday, and I certainly hope we get a considerable dumping. We need to cover up all the ice on the road.

 

I've been forgetting to mention that with the harbor ice-free, I have been seeing a pair of little ducks out in front of the house, diving. I don't know what kind of duck they are, because I haven't put the binoculars on them. They look like little black duck-shaped dots from inside. 

 

So that was my extremely quiet and lost day. I will go up to the north end early tonight, read some more and hope I get to bed at a reasonable hour...and sleep. It's a quiet night in the field...the calm before the storm, I hope.

 

Now, click on "yes", Shari!

 

January 11

Apparently I am going to have to adjust my hours in stages. I got to bed the first time by about 10:30, but by 11:30 it was clear I wasn't going to sleep, so I got up and read for an hour and a half...the white binder this time. After that, I didn't do badly, although I was up a lot, and it was still nearly 11:00 when I got up. I will try again tonight.

 

I was tired, or I thought I was, so I'm not sure what the problem was. It's very frustrating, but my sense is that nearly everyone my age, especially women, have sleep problems. I was looking at the TV in the restaurant tonight (without any sound), and they were advertising a product I will have to check out the next time I am in Walmart. It is called SleepFast, I think. With all the stuff I take and all the stuff I can't take, I will have to check out what's in it. I do have some ambien, but that is only for the night before long car trips. Besides, it is the kind of stuff that the next night after I take it, I can't sleep at all, so I try to avoid it.

 

Anyway, it didn't matter when I got up. I didn't do anything much, although I ended up going downstairs twice.

 

I can report that whatever fumes there are in the office and the north end, they aren't in the mechanical room or the rest of the basement. However, when I got down there, the pressure gauge on the water lines was reading zero...where does that stuff go? So I opened the two valves the plumber showed me, and the pressure went back up where it belongs. I think there is something wrong there, but what it is, is beyond me. It is conceivable that the fumes I am smelling come from outside, but I haven't tried running out when I smell them...well, I don't run anywhere, actually, but you know what I mean. Having pressure in the water lines may help the situation. I will have to keep checking it, I guess, since the boiler seems to be running a lot this evening, and I may still have to call the plumber. Since he is the quintessential male chauvinist, I hate to call him, because I always have to beat on him.

 

The reason I wonder about outside is that what I am smelling resembles more the stench from the lakers that I sometimes smell in the summer, or the smell of the exhaust of a warmed up car engine or diesel engine. Very strange.

 

Speaking of lakers, somebody on the PastyCam page the other day was talking about the lakers passing Drummond Island silently. That surprised me, because in the summer, with the windows open, not only can I smell them, I can hear them distinctly (and my hearing is really beginning to go) when it is calm or the breeze is from the north. In fact, from the sound of some of those engines, I wouldn't sail in them! They are much closer to land at Drummond Island than they are here, so I would expect to hear them if the wind was right. Strange.

 

We got a very light coating of strange looking snow overnight, big and little flakes together. The roof of the garage was covered at noon, but by late this afternoon it had all sublimed. I don't think it melted, because the temperature was 30 all day, with a 10-20 mph wind out of the northeast. It was cloudy, of course, but it wasn't too bad outside. 

 

We really need a good dumping of snow. The driveway and the road are like a skating rink, and it was interesting to see some of the tire tracks on the road. Somebody was doing a slalom down by the culverts during the day. Apparently something made him jam on the brakes, and the result was, um, interesting. And there are several sets of tire tracks heading into the snowbanks. I didn't have any particular problem, although I did take one of the curves a bit fast coming home and sort of slithered around it. My new tires and the 4WD are working well.

 

I was heartened to see that Mariner was relatively busy tonight. Not jumping, by any means, but there were a nice number of people there, all snowmobilers. I'm not sure whether Mt. Bohemia is still open, although Sam seemed to indicate that it is. They tend to shut down when it gets icy, just to save the crazies from destruction. 

 

They had another wonderful steak with the mushroom burgundy sauce, and it was great. I brought half of it home. This was a flat iron steak, and it isn't as tender as sirloin, but it is very tasty. I indulged in an Irish coffee, in the hope that it would help me sleep. It makes a great dessert.

 

I had to go back downstairs because I got an order of frozen food from Schwan's this afternoon. I haven't ordered from them for over a year, because I was mad at them for discontinuing my favorite breakfast, but I am having such problems with breakfast (or brunch, by the time I have it) that I decided to get some of their other stuff. They also have some good stuffed chicken things and stuffed potatoes. Since I seem to be having trouble cooking lately, it's nice to have a supply of fairly easy things to eat. And it's probably good for me to go downstairs occasionally.

 

While I was in the basement the first time, I tried again to find some of the stuff I think is down there, but I simply can't get at anything enough to locate what I'm looking for. It is very frustrating. I may just have to hire somebody to help me get some of those boxes unpacked and stored away on shelves, since clearly I'm not going to do it myself.

 

I wrote a few checks and mailed them on the way to dinner tonight. I hate to admit it, but I have so few bills to pay these days that I keep forgetting about them. It just seems strange not to have all those bills from the other house coming in all the time...strange and nice. I must really try not to forget the credit card bills, though. The late charges and interest are atrocious.

 

So that was a quiet day. I am feeling bored, but I can't decide what I want to do to get un-bored. I have been thinking about boxes (again) and bead embroidery, not necessarily on the same pieces, but I have to finish a helix bracelet and wash my bead mat before I can do anything else with beads, and I fear that for all the beads I bought last year, I would still need more to do what I want to do. 

 

I was looking at the JoAnn's website yesterday (with difficulty), and I saw a really nice rolling storage unit that might hold all or most of my beads in some kind of order, but they didn't have the dimensions of the individual drawers, so I just emailed them to complain and hope they respond. My beads are sort of all over the place, some in the cabinet, some in various boxes, and some in baskets under the desk, so it is really hard to get them together to do a project. It would be so nice to have them sorted by color so I could look at all of them together.

 

I did think I might do some seed bead sorting, just to get into the swing of things. You may see the task light reflected in the camera over the next few days.

 

Now I think I will toddle up to the north end and maybe knit or read for a while and try to get up earlier tomorrow. Hah.

 

January 10

The best laid plans, and all that. I knitted for a while, and finished the heel of the sock before I took my bath and got to bed around 11:30. Well! For some reason I don't understand, I just couldn't get to sleep. I dozed until after 3:00 this morning, and I was up any number of times during the night. When I finally woke up around 10:45, I really didn't want to get up, but I didn't want to sleep all day, either, so I did. I need to get to sleep early tonight, for sure!

 

So as a result, I didn't do much today. I got over to the sewing machine and located the oil, but I was moving things around, so I didn't oil it. I definitely collect sewing notions, and I love to just look at them and think what I might do with them, so I did that. I have some neat stuff. I located my pinking shears, which I will need when I begin to make the rag doll, and I determined that I don't have any of the really little lace  or elastic it uses, so I will have to get down into the basement and really do some digging. Ugh!

 

When I couldn't sleep, I was thinking about boxes again last night, and that morphed into thinking about bead embroidery. I even thought of some uses for all those ugly beads I separated out of the bead mixes. So I guess it wasn't a completely wasted night.

 

Well, it was. I should have just gotten up and read and knitted, and had done with it. I kept hoping I would fall asleep.

 

The weather was really blah. The temperature went up to 33 and stayed there, and there was very light wind from the south. It was dark and cloudy all day long. Blah.

 

I nudged the cut-off time for the camera forward a few minutes. The sun is still rising at nearly its latest time, but sunset (such as it is) is now at 5:20, so we have theoretically gained a few minutes of daylight over the past couple of weeks. It's not particularly noticeable except to the camera, which has been going to sleep before it is completely dark. I'm afraid you will be seeing various lights from in the office, though, because it is getting really boring to only be able to play games from 4:00 till 6:30.

 

Actually, I take that as a good sign. Games are boring and socks are boring, but I haven't yet figured out what to do otherwise.

 

I did a little to try to clean up the kitchen this evening, and I will get a load of dishes ready to wash before I go up to the north end.

 

And that was about it. It was a slow day in the field today (except for the several websites that totally exasperated me today), and it's time to go up to the north end and try something else.

 

January 9

Today didn't turn out quite as planned, but it was nice anyway. 

 

I got to bed by 11:30, but I just didn't make it out of bed at the time I'd planned, so it was close to 11:30 when I got to Bonnie's house. They have a nice little house with a terrific view down M-26 a ways. They are across the road from the lake, but they look right out on it, and it is really beautiful.

 

So we had a nice lunch and some nice talk, and some more talk, and some more talk...and around about 2:30, one of the ladies who were at the handwork meeting called, and we admitted we just weren't going to make it. Oops. Then we talked some more, and Bonnie's husband came home, and we talked some more...and I finally left around 5:15. Oops. 

 

I also left with a big plate of cookies and some slices of her homemade bread. I guess I didn't mention that Bonnie was the last owner of the bakery who made a going business of it, and only because she got sick did she stop doing it. She is a terrific cook, and especially a terrific baker. I have just had some of the cookies, and they are the first I have eaten that are as good as my mother made. Yum!

 

I didn't know I was going to get these, and I had pretty much resigned myself to having to make them myself to get any good ones. Now I can postpone that for a while. Of course, she uses only butter, like we did, and that makes all the difference. Yum.

 

It was even nicer because their house was still decorated for Christmas, and Bonnie has a remarkable collection of Christmas decorations of every kind, and some lovely tree decorations, too. I feel much better about my collections after seeing hers. But since I didn't do any decorating to speak of, it was so nice to spend an afternoon in a Christmassy house.

 

She also is beginning to collect Polish stoneware, because she is of Polish descent, and I love that stuff, too, but more stuff of that kind I just do not need. It was so nice to be able to use it, though, and she has a big teapot that is really remarkable. It has an auxiliary handle right beside the spout, to help pour. How I would like one of those to add to my teapot collection...but I will resist.

 

So I got home late, and there were two very sour looking cats in the hallway, but hey, I can have a life, too, and it doesn't revolve completely around two cats!

 

The weather cooled off overnight, I am happy to say, but the result of that was that there were a lot of slippery spots on the roads and driveways. There was quite a wind this morning, too, and I kicked myself that I didn't remember to take the camera, but I was out of here so fast it was a wonder I remembered anything. There was a little sunshine this morning, too, which made the trip down M-26 very pretty. We even saw a ship out in the lake, quite close to shore, and going up to Duluth.

 

The temperature all day was around 28, and the wind was from the north in the 15-25 mph range until it began to die down late in the day. Much better weather for this time of year. Now if it will only snow...

 

So that was my lovely day, and I am going to try to get to bed much earlier tonight, and try to get back onto a human schedule once more. The winter social season is starting up, and most of the people I know here get up early in the morning.

 

January 8

Last night it was embroidery. I wanted to get the front underskirt done, so I was done with the big areas and I could start on the picky places on the bottom, which meant folding the chart differently. I didn't quite make it, but I only had one swath of white to do this afternoon.

 

Anyway, it was after 2:30 when I got to bed, and the first time I woke up was around 9:30 this morning. Almost 7 hours straight! That's almost unheard of! I didn't think I was sleeping well after that, but I must have, because it was 12:45 by the time I woke up again, having had a dream about my parents moving out of the house I sold last summer and into the house here.

 

It was a good day to sleep, although Jasmine didn't seem to think so. Even after Buster went off to wherever Buster goes to sleep, Jasmine was playing around with an empty paper grocery bag that has been in the back all and making all sorts of noise. Buster does feel better, I think, and he ate well this morning and snacked this afternoon, so that eases my mind a little. I might say, there is always dry food down, so my late mornings aren't really putting upon them, except that Buster wants canned food in the morning, and today he complained a lot before I got it down. Too bad about him. Cats that start out as strays are more grateful usually.

 

I got to the post office and gave away a bunch of catalogs, but there were a bunch of pleas for money and other junk. From now through April, I will have to open all those things to cull out the acknowledgements. There were a few bills and a couple of magazines, too, so it wasn't all junk.

 

I embroidered more this afternoon. I am working on the very bottom of the piece now, where the dress is all sort of curled up in balls and the cotton is mixed in with the metallics. That means doing things in small areas and a lot of counting, so this isn't going fast, but I think I did finish the white. I do all the cotton first, then the metallics, then the beads. On this one, I will have to do the metallics and beads in a frame, which I really don't enjoy very much, but it's the only way. Anyway, I made some progress.

 

I finally made my shrimp creole or jambalaya or whatever it is (it's a '50s recipe, so it's an Americanized version). It came out pretty good, although I guess I didn't cook the sauce long enough. That's OK - it will be better when I warm it up. There is a lot of rice and tomatoes in it, and some shrimp, so it is sort of comfort food.

 

I guess I should finally mention a problem I have been having for the last few days. I have had fumes in the house from the boiler. It doesn't smell like what comes out of the exhaust stack, and it's more like the smell of burned gas from a well-warmed-up car or a snowmobile. I haven't been down to the mechanical room to see if I can see anything wrong, but it is bothering my nose, it smells terrible, and I'm not sure it's good for the cats. Putting in a call to the plumber could be expensive, and I want to see if I can see anything first. It is annoying, and it even gets up to the north end. I didn't think I could get through a winter without some kind of problem with the heating system.

 

Anyway, I am planning to go to bed early tonight - or at least earlier. I won't embroider, and I won't read, and I won't write. I might knit a bit, since I'm almost at the heel of the sock, but if I do, I don't plan to do it for long. I have a date tomorrow morning at a very early hour for me (10:30), so I have to start early and get up at a reasonable time. Maybe this will get me back onto a human schedule again.

 

The weather wasn't worth mentioning much. It was foggy all day, and the temperature hung in at about 35. There wasn't any wind until around 1:00, although it is rising a bit now, from the north. They are predicting cooler temperatures and snow for the next few days. I sure do hope they're right. I don't like this warmish, humid, sloppy stuff.

 

So that was my quiet, truncated day, and I do hope I can sleep tonight. Maybe if it gets "blustery" like the NWS is predicting, it will be better.

 

January 7

Last night I wasn't reading, I was writing, for the first time in a long time. Writing by hand is slow work, and I wanted to get the scenes I had in mind down on paper...so with the bath and all it was 2:30 before I got to bed. I also had a very stiff and sore hand, which has always plagued me when I was writing. Oh, well.

 

It was noon before got up. Buster was just about to settle down on the body pillow or maybe on my leg when I decided it would be better to get up. I think he felt better for most of the day, although this evening, I found him all hunched up on my jacket in the powder room, so I don't know. Jasmine apparently thought he felt better and she left him alone, so I am going to have to watch both of them to see how he's doing. He did eat this morning, which was good, although part of the problem yesterday is that he didn't like his canned food. And to think what I paid for that stuff...I think I will give it to Cindy, who has five cats or so now.

 

I spent most of the late afternoon embroidering, and I did make some progress, although I seem to have lost a color of thread, which would be a disaster. I must hunt around and see if it got misfiled or dropped or something. That would stop me from working on the angel for a while, until I can get some more thread, but the way DMC thread is these days, the new skeins might not match what I had. Grr.

 

The weather was good for doing something like that. It was foggy and yucky all day. The temperature got up to 40 at midnight, then it dropped off to 28 from 10:00 to noon, after which is rose again to 37 or so. Strange. Usually one expects the lows to happen during the night. There was a couple of hours of wind last night, before midnight, then it dropped off to nothing, and there was no wind all day long. Strange, strange weather.

 

So that is about all I have to report, and it's a warm, quiet night in the field.

 

January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

Today is what my family always thought of as the end of the Christmas season. When I was a very little kid, my parents, bless their hearts, always put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve after I went to bed, so it would look like Santa Claus brought the tree as well as the gifts. About the time I realized Santa was a myth, we had a serious talk, and we began to put up the tree the weekend or so before Christmas. We usually took it down on New Year's Day, until my dad pointed out that it should really stay up until Epiphany (and at that point, he wasn't a believer!). It isn't very safe to leave a real tree for much longer than three weeks, because it gets too dry, but obviously even my dad always loved Christmas trees. I know my mother and I did, too.

 

So did all the various cats we've had around. I have a picture somewhere of Dennis settled down quite comfortably under the tree, looking quite content. Of course, when Silkie was a kitten, he would chase her under it, and she would run around with her tail straight up, and he was always looking to see what would fall off the tree...

 

I may not be able to remember what happened this morning, but I can remember quite clearly what happened when I was eight or younger...my mind, my mind!

 

I got to bed earlier last night, 1:30 or so, and I got up a little earlier, too, around 11:00. However, I knitted a bit, read a bit, and filled the pill dispensers, so it was late before I got down to the south end, and I didn't do much.

 

Buster is trying to give up a hairball, or I hope that is his problem. He doesn't feel good, and he wanted to sit on me all day, and he had the hiccups for a while. I hope that is all his problem. When a cat gets to be over 12 years old, one can never tell.

 

I haven't said much about Jasmine lately because she hasn't done anything very remarkable lately. She spent most of the day with us today, and she clearly knows Buster doesn't feel good, too. However, I dug out a ping-pong ball I had left for her, and we actually played catch for a couple of minutes, before she batted the ball behind some boxes where I couldn't get it without getting up. And of course, when I get up she runs. She feels fine, and unfortunately, her attempts to cuddle with Buster make him grumpy.

 

The weather was the kind I had hoped we wouldn't get. It was dull and gray and yucky. The temperature got up to 40 around noon and stayed there for a couple of hours before it dropped back. There was almost no wind all day long and it was foggy, but mostly just very dark.

 

I finished the story I have been reading, and I began writing a little bit. I don't know how long that will last, but I am making a little progress, I think. I am also about two-thirds down the leg of the sock. Otherwise, I didn't do much at all.

 

So maybe I can get to bed at a more reasonable hour tonight and begin to get back onto a human schedule. Bonnie wants to start Bible study again, and that means getting up and out at a reasonable hour of the morning. We'll see.

 

So it is a dark, dank night in the field tonight.

 

January 5

First off, somebody finally pointed out to me that the year on the January 1 entry was wrong. Sorry about that. How long before you stop writing "2007" on things? I am certainly not wishing 2007 would go around again. Once is enough for that.

 

I did it again last night, and I suppose I will tonight, too, but last night I read in the bathroom, which Buster didn't like. If I was going to sit there that long, he wanted to sit on me, and of course I had the big, heavy book on my lap.

 

So it was noon when I finally got up, and he had been sleeping back-to-back with me for about three hours. I know he thinks it weird, but every so often I get on these reading jags and by this time he should know it. Eventually I will get back on human hours, but I'm not finished reading yet.

 

So it was a lost day. I did shift to the ugly chair and embroider for a while late in the afternoon, and I sorted and threw out a bunch more catalogs, but that was about it.

 

I got out to dinner tonight, and that was nice then I had a nice conversation with Jess in the Gaslite when I stopped to get some eggs and milk and pick up my package. She is the girl who is studying to be a nurse, and she is a nice person. It is dead in town. There were a few snowmobilers and maybe one table of skiers in Mariner, but that was about it.

 

The weather was blah, but everybody, including Environment Canada, was wrong about the forecast. It did not clear up this afternoon, and it did not get into the upper 30s, either. It was dull and gray and the highest the temperature got was 33. There wasn't any wind at all. It is down to 27 already, even though they say the "low" overnight is supposed to be 34, and they are predicting up to 40 tomorrow. I certainly hope they continue to be wrong.

 

So now I will go and read some more and try not to be quite so late tonight, although I'm not counting on it. I get interested, and that's that.

 

January 4

I was later than ever last night. I finished reading what was in the binder, which made it late already, then I knitted for a while, and I sat staring at the floor, apparently for quite a while, since it was 3:00 before got into bed. This has got to stop.

 

The first time I woke up was about 8:15, and the second time was around 11:30, although I dozed until noon. So it was late by the time I got to the office, and I didn't do a lot. I did attack the catalogs, and I filled three more orange bags and started on a fourth before went to the post office for a whole new 4" pile of stuff.

 

Sandy came over late, and we put the Harmony Kingdom stuff in the curio, cleaned and stored away the silverware, and began to reorganize the buffet cupboard, which I will have do to over, since everything won't fit the way we did it. It was nice to see her, and we had our usual long conversation. Buster started out by butting her with his head as we were doing the curio, and he hung around all the time we were working and sitting. He likes my lady friends a lot, and he just loves to have everybody pet him and scratch his neck, so he was a happy camper.

 

She left so late that I didn't go out to dinner tonight, but that's all right. It will save me money.

 

The weather was rather nice. There was a little sunshine and some blue skies. The temperature was in the middle 20s for most of the afternoon, although it did get up to 32 late. There wasn't much wind for most of the day, although it has risen this evening, into the 10-20 mph range, from the southwest. 

 

Amongst the mail today was, finally, a desk calendar. I used to get several of those, but this year, hadn't gotten one until today. I like to have a calendar around to look at, but I don't have a place to hang one up, and desk calendars seem to be few and far between. Actually, even most of the charities that used to send out wall calendars didn't this year. With the cost of paper and color printing (and postage) getting higher all the time, I guess they just can't afford it.

 

So that was another quiet day, and I am going up to the north end early tonight. Whether I will get to bed early is another question, but at least I will get started at a reasonable hour. I really must haul myself back onto a human schedule!

 

January 3

I was late, as usual. I finished the sock and cast on the next one, and that took a while. So it was noon before I got up. I really must try to stop this.

 

It didn't get as cold as they predicted last night - down around 15, which is the average low for this time of year - and the wind didn't start to rise until around 7:00. It was very windy for most of the morning, with gusts up to 37 mph, but around 2:00 the wind died down and the temperature began to rise. It has been around 28 all afternoon, and the little I was out it was nice.

 

I met some new neighbors this afternoon. The people who bought the house beside Mac's came to visit. They are very nice people, too, and they love it here just as much as we all do. They have two kids, and they unfortunately can't spend even the entire summer here, but they come whenever they can, and since they live in the Chicago area, it isn't quite such a horrible drive as it was for me. Nice people.

 

So that was the afternoon. I did finally put the pots and pans away and get the dishwasher loaded before they came, and this evening, I washed the last pans. The kitchen is looking almost reasonable again, but the counters need cleaning.

 

Otherwise, I knitted on the sock (the dark one with the yellow stripe), and this one is going to be just as different from the first one as all the other so-called pairs, I fear. I can't find any marks on the ball bands, but it almost looks like they deliberately sent me one ball where the repeat is consistent and one ball where it isn't, so the two socks don't look anything like each other. However, they're socks, and they're warm. They are lighter weight than my sweat socks and the crazy stripe socks, so I will have socks for all weathers. I have a couple more pairs of woolies started, then I will concentrate on summer socks, of which I don't have enough and I have to wear store-bought ones (which is absolutely terrible, of course!).

 

And I read a couple of my stories that I found lying around the office. Neither are finished, but they are interesting.

 

So that was another day, and it's getting late. I would still like to get to bed before 2:00 sometime!

 

It was a quiet day in the field, and the ice seems to be holding up out in front of the house.

 

January 2

I was late going up to the north end, I think, and I knitted for a while, so it was 1:30 before I got to bed. However, it was 11:30 before I finally rolled out of bed. Buster was getting nervous, and when I looked up at him, he sneezed into my face. Thanks a lot, Bub.

 

So it was a rather truncated day, and I didn't do much of anything. I knitted the sock down to the toe, which happens to be a short-row toe on this sock, and I read a couple of magazines, and that was it.

 

I had a little accident this morning which resulted in having to wash a pair of jeans and some underpants. I wish I didn't have that problem, although this one was partly my own doing. I keep forgetting that it's a long way from the office to the potty, and I'd better not ignore the signs when they start. I keep forgetting that I evidently do have irritable bowel syndrome, and when I've had a virus and some diarrhea, I'd better be careful. Oh, it's hell to get old, as my mother always said, and it's not always the big things that make it so.

 

It snowed lightly pretty much all night and off and on all day. Ron came by early and cleaned out the driveway, and he came back later with a package I didn't know had been delivered to the Gaslite, and he cleaned out the place I back into when I do my "Y" out of the garage. It seems to have stopped now, but we got a respectable accumulation. Fortunately, we haven't had very much wind, so except for the place between me and Mac, right along the big lake, there hasn't been much drifting. The construction guys have been lowering their blades when they come through the road and that has been a big help, although Ron has to clean up after them and widen the road. And winter is just starting...

 

It was cold, too. It was about 20 all night and it dropped down to 17 for most of the day. There was a 15-30 mph wind out of the north until about 2:00, when it began to die down in to the 10-20 mph range, not so gusty. The ice was all down in the very end of the harbor, not in front of my house, for most of the day, but it certainly isn't going away. It's supposed to get very cold tonight, before it begins to warm up above freezing.

 

By the way, Arthur, thanks for the peanuts. They're yummy.

 

So that was a very unproductive and short day, and I think it's time to go back up to the north end. Maybe I can finish the sock tonight? I'd like to read, too, but I can't do that and knit a short-row toe.

 

It's a quiet and cold night in the field tonight, and it's bedtime.

 

January 1, 2008 - New Year's Day

Happy New Year from the field!

 

I didn't read and I didn't knit and I didn't take a bath, so I got to bed around 12:30. Just after midnight somebody set off a bunch of fireworks, but since I was sitting in the bathroom at the time, I don't know exactly where. Much nicer than the war that typically goes on around Detroit at midnight on New Year's. For myself, I've never seen the need to chase away the evil spirits from the new year, so what all the shooting is about baffles me.

 

By the time I got to bed, the wind was rising and the lake was speaking, and it was snowing. I think it probably snowed for most of the night, although it had quit by the time of the first light picture this morning. It started again around 9:00, I think, and it has snowed all day long, sometimes pretty hard. The weird thing was the wind, which even prompted an off-hour report from the ASOS station at the holding ponds. Overnight and until around 1:00, the wind was from the north, and it got pretty high, up to the 30-45 mph range for a while. Then very abruptly, at 1:20, it switched around to the east! Whoa! The temperature had gotten up to 30 at that time, but it has been falling ever since, and the wind has been mostly in the 25-35 mph range from the east-northeast. The temperature is now down to 23. All very strange, but it didn't interfere with the snow coming down. We have had a respectable accumulation.

 

I was late getting up, of course, and I did some knitting this morning, so it was after noon before I made it to the south end.

 

While I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, I have promised myself to try to lay off the games, so I did. I did some surfing and ordered some samples of possible material for my porch furniture. I can sort of get to the sewing machine, but I still need to move (or REmove) a lot of stuff around it before I can start on my mending. I looked through the year's accumulation of cross stitch charts and I straightened up some over in the corner and on the desk. I spent some time converting the November and December journals to Word and reading through them, so the website should be ready to upload when I am through with this. I hope it goes. It's been quite a while since I used FrontPage to upload it.

 

So that was my quiet day, and maybe I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight and begin to get back on a more human schedule. I'm tired tonight.

 

Both Buster and I are still sneezing. I am concerned about Buster's sneezing, since it's something he normally never does, but I am watching him, and otherwise he seems OK, I think.

 

Oh, and that reminds me. Sandy and I had left all the Harmony Kingdom boxes on the dining room table when we finished unpacking them, and when I went through the area on my way north, Jasmine jumped off the table, which got me thinking about "Liz" and the little round things that don't stand up right. "Liz" is the one I lost the lid of on Champine until it was discovered by Buster several years later. So before I went up to the north end, I put all the boxes into another box with a lid, just in case. If she were to push one of them onto the hardwood floor, it would undoubtedly break, just like the paperweight Buster pushed off the deck earlier this year. Those boxes are expensive, and it would annoy me to have one break.

 

So that was my quiet New Year's Day, and it's time to head north again.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM