A View From the Field








March, 2008

March 31

Now March is over with, and in two weeks I will be sitting in a motel in Detroit. Bleah!


After I got the web uploaded - I had to use FrontPage to do it, and it took two tries - instead of going up to the north end like a good girl, I started reading one of my magazines, and as a result it was nearly 1:00 when I finally got to bed. I didn't read at the north end, but I did spend quite a while staring at the floor.


It was clear for most of the night, I think, and it was still clear and sunny at 10:00 this morning, but then it clouded up and it was a dreary day. However, the storm is coming a lot slower than the NWS thought. It may be here now, and it is snowing in Houghton, but I can't tell for sure. I do know that the wind has risen into the 25-35 mph range, from the east, even though the storm is coming up from the southwest. Looking at the weather maps, I can see why that is, and maybe when it switches around to the north, we will begin to see some significant snowfall. 'Tisn't over yet.


It was a quiet day weather-wise, though. The temperature was around 35º all day, and until after 7:00 there wasn't any wind to speak of. 


This looks to be an ugly storm. We are getting - or will be getting - snow, but over in the eastern UP, it's mixed, which means ice, and it's pretty heavy. Yuck.


I did manage to get the magazines put into the archive box, although it was hard, and I really should have taken them all out and restacked them. And I have another orange bag about half full. So that is coming along. I didn't do anything about the rest of the stuff. Tomorrow, maybe.


And that is about all I have to report. The furry people were sleepy all day, which is a good indication that weather is coming. I started the toe of the pink sock this morning, so that is almost done.


I'm sleepy, too, so I think I will go up to the north end and try hard to get to bed at a more reasonable hour tonight. Since there are no pictures, I can upload the journal the easy way, and that should help.


The wind is rising in the field tonight.


March 30

I got into bed last night and read for a while, but I turned out the light by 10:30 again. I did sleep better. The lighter comforter really made a difference, and I only got hot when I needed to take a walk. I think I got up around 9:00 this morning, and I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while before I got dressed.


I have to say I really like my Crocs. I am glad I got them so big, though. When my feet are swollen and I am wearing socks, they fit pretty good, and even though my big toe doesn't come anywhere near the end of the toe, my little toes do. It's the same problem I have with Birkenstocks - the toe area is shaped for an average foot and there is quite an angle between where the big toe is and where the little toe is. My toes are nearly straight across, if you discount the ravages of bunions and a hammertoe. Anyway, my toes don't hit the toes of the shoe, which is very comfortable for me. I do think the Crocs will be too warm for summer, since my feet sweat so much, but we'll have to see. they certainly are comfortable.


I fiddled around for a while, but eventually I got back to my task. I got the last of the catalogs sorted and stashed away under the desk. It's still three baskets, but that's mostly because of the number of different catalogs I get. Except for the jewelry catalogs, I don't think I kept more than one or two of any others. I found a couple of things I had meant to buy, so I took care of that.


Then I attacked the magazines. I still get a lot of those, too, although not so many as I used to get. I got them sorted out, threw away the ones I don't keep, and set aside the ones I haven't read or I don't think I've read. I have been really lax in my reading lately, and there are even two Sky & Telescopes I haven't read yet. Tsk, tsk, tsk. I must attend to that.


Tomorrow, I will have to move all the orange bags and get the archive box out of the corner and finish filling it. I may need another one, too. 


That took most of the afternoon, but it was a good day to be occupied. It was cloudy and dreary for most of the day, although we did have half an hour of sunshine sometime or other. The temperature only got down to 30º overnight, and it hit a maximum of 43º late in the afternoon. There was a brisk wind, in the 15-20 mph range, from the southwest, although it is backing westerly now.


According to the NWS, it is going to snow tomorrow, absolutely, no question. OK. Winter isn't over yet.


The warm temperatures have begun melting the ice on the harbor. There was open water this side of the lighthouse this afternoon, although it still isn't too close to the house.


I actually went out the office door this evening. I happened to look at the camera picture, and when I checked the sky, I ran for the camera. This is what I saw, although I am very disappointed that I seem to be having the old problem of evening pictures being horribly out of focus. It also isn't straight, although I thought that tree was straight up, and that was what I was looking at. Clearly, it's not. Sorry about that. I fiddled around with rotating it, but I couldn't find an angle that looked right to me so I left it. It's still a pretty picture.


While I was out on the deck, I happened to look down and I saw what Adam was muttering about yesterday. There is a small patch of water amidst the ice and snow off my beach. This is what it looks like, and you can also see the open water in the distance. I have no idea what would cause that little open puddle. That picture isn't straight, either. Clearly, I had a slant on tonight.


There is so much snow in the garden that the birdbath is nowhere to be seen, nor is the pond. It will be a while before they appear, I think.


So that was my day, and it looks like I will be a little later tonight, so I will probably not read very much. Tomorrow maybe I can continue with the office. There are a ton of books to be put away, and I have a lot of yarn that needs to go in a plastic barrel, but slowly I seem to be making a little progress.


It's a cloudy night in the field tonight, and we're waiting for the next storm.


March 29

So last night, I did it backward. I took my bath early, then sat in bed and read. However, I was so tired that I turned out the light about 10:45. And I slept fine until about 3:30, after which I had three or four hours of wakefulness. I think I was hot. That heavy comforter is just too warm for this time of year. I did sleep for a while, and I could have gotten up at 8:00, but I dozed for another hour.


I was knitting with a cat on my lap when Adam called, so I got going and did my morning thing, but he is on Keweenaw time, so it was after 11:00 when he got here. We looked at the ceiling and decided all it needs is a little paint, he put the reflector back on the laundry room light and changed out the light bulb in the bathroom, but I forgot all about the surge suppressor. Oh, well. We had a conversation about the heating system, and another about the damp spot and cracked floor in the corner of the basement under the bathroom, and we had a conversation about the several cracks that have appeared since he grouted the bathroom floor and the several places where the drywall has cracked at the joints. Later this afternoon, he sent me an estimate for the painting, but I can't read it. Anybody know how to read a file with an extension of .let?


After he left, I got feeling energized, so I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to do something about the catalogs. I thought I had it under control, and then I found some newer ones. I already have six small orange bags full (20 gallon, I think), and I haven't gone through the magazines yet. I do have piles of magazines, some of which can get stored away, and I found a bunch that I haven't read yet...some of my favorites, too. Tomorrow I will try to make some sense out of them and get the bags out of the office, and then I can start on the counters. What a mess this has turned into! 


The weather was beautiful. It was clear all night long, but the sky wasn't very transparent. I could see Polaris, but not much else in the north, and mostly first-magnitude stars out the front window. It was a beautiful day, too, with almost no clouds until just a while ago. The temperature got down to about 20º overnight, and up to 38º for a while this afternoon, and it was breezy, with a 10-20 mph wind out of the south. I do love all that sunshine! All that free solar heat! It got really hot in the office.


I knew it was going to be warm today, so I switched over to a cotton sweatshirt sweater, and I was much more comfortable than I was yesterday. The only thing is, about this time of year I get really tired of turtlenecks, and it isn't quite warm enough to go to polos. Oh, well.


The road is really getting horrible where the sun shines on it all day. It is heavily rutted and there are puddles of water all over. While I was at dinner, somebody ran the blade over the low spot, which smoothed that out nicely, but they made a mess at the top of the hill on our side, and I'm sure by tomorrow afternoon it will be just as much of a mess. That's what happens when the thaw just begins. There is a lot of open water in the harbor, down at the west end, and the ice across from the fort looks like it is all slushy. Down at our end, it still looks frozen, but I don't think I'd be brave enough to try it.


Dinner was fun. There was a small frat party, and I remember this group from last year, because a lot of the girls are chunky, to say the least, and there was one beauty in a short striped dress who was sort of falling out of the top. She stopped to say something to Danny, and his eyeballs almost fell into her cleavage. I wish I'd had my camera, for the look on his face. Anyway, that was fun. Then other people started coming in...in droves. I haven't seen that many people in Mariner in quite a while. There was one group of 9 guys from the Chicago area who had ridden up from Twin Lakes (they say the trails are still great, by the way), and there was only room for six of them at a table, so I invited them to take my table, and we had a nice conversation. It is nice to be old enough to have a conversation with a strange man without feeling he's trying to hit on me.


When I got home, the sun was still shining brightly in the windows, and when I came into the great room, I saw a sight I just had to capture with the camera, so here it is. When I walked in, they were both asleep, but of course Jasmine woke up and glared at me before she decided it was OK for me to point a camera at her. Buster is so black all you can see is a lump, but his head was pointed toward me. He was dead to the world - I don't think he even knew I came in. It's great to get old. And it's great to see them sleeping together. I suppose Buster went to sleep and Jasmine joined him, but so long as I'm not around, he likes having her.


Oh, yes, and the first thing I did this morning, before I even fed the kitties, was to put the lighter weight comforter in the washer, and when it was dry, I put it on the bed. I hope that will give me a more comfortable sleep tonight. I do love the solar heat, but it makes it hard to control the temperature, and when I am asleep, the temperature needs to be controlled.


So I had a busy, productive day - if you count production in orange garbage bags - and it's time to head up to the north end again. Tonight I can forgo the bath, so I will sit and read a while and hope I can get a better night's sleep tonight.


It looks like our sunny days may be over for a while, but it's a nice evening in the field anyway.


March 28

It occurred to me that I've gotten into the very bad habit of sitting in the bathroom reading before I take my bath, instead of taking my bath and sitting in bed, which is much more comfortable. My seat still gets sore, but it really would be better for it...maybe warmer, too.


I got to bed sometime after midnight again, and I had some trouble going to sleep, for some reason I don't know. Eventually I made it, though, and while I was awake around 8:30, I didn't get up until 10:30, so that was good.


Then I petted a cat, although not as much as he wanted, and knitted for quite a while, and I didn't get to the office until after noon.


The task of the day was to go to the post office, and I took a crate with me, which was a good thing. Not only was there a week's worth of catalogs, there were three rather large packages: a couple of books, my surge protector, and my Crocs.


I am hoping somebody comes tomorrow, because if he doesn't, I will have to crawl under the computer desk myself, and I don't know if I can really do that. Getting down there is no particular problem, but getting up is another matter. I do want to get the surge protector attached, because my old one isn't protecting me from surges, and that is worrisome, considering what I have plugged into it.


I didn't try on my Crocs until I got home from dinner, and I think I'm going to like them a lot. They are a little large - I got size XL - but they won't fall off, and they give me some extra for when my feet swell. I think I am going to like them, although as usual, I will have to wear some kind of socks with them. My feet sweat and are damp all the time, and I simply cannot stand to have the bare skin rubbing on any kind of plastic or leather. I have had this trouble all my life, and the only kind of shoes I could ever wear with bare feet were cheap rubber flip-flops, which are almost no shoe at all. So I will go about wearing my Crocs with my compression hose...not really stylish, but comfortable.


It was another beautiful day. There were some clouds in the morning, but it cleared up almost completely this afternoon, and it was another lovely late winter day. The temperature was nearly steady, rising from 27º overnight to 30º this afternoon with moderate winds (up to 15 mph or so) from the north. Beautiful.


It is interesting to observe that even though the temperature has been under freezing, there is a bare spot on my driveway, and not up against the garage door, and there were puddles of water in the ruts on the road. So that sun is getting higher and stronger all the time and it will slowly begin to melt the snow even if it doesn't get over freezing. The Lake Lily glacier cornices all have icicles hanging from them, which is kind of neat to see. We still have an enormous amount of snow to get rid of, though, and it wouldn't surprise me if some of it lasts through the end of April. The high part of the glacier, while it is settling some, is still a couple of feet over the top of my car.


I actually did a little bit in the office today, although it isn't very obvious. I moved the piles around a bit and made a bigger path from the chair to the door. I got a bunch of the stuff cleared away from in front of the monitor, and changed the piles on the desk a bit. One of these days, I will have to start clearing out the catalogs, of which there are several 2' piles. All those trees...


Oh, yes, and I finally got an order into Eddie Bauer - by telephone. They don't know what is wrong with their website, but I still couldn't check out this morning so I called them. I also learned that they don't have all the colors of everything on their website, which does annoy me. They annoy me altogether, but occasionally they have something I want, and when it is on sale, the prices are more reasonable.


Otherwise, I knitted and fiddled around. I still feel bored with everything I have to do, but maybe that will give me the incentive to do some of the things I need to do.


So now I am going to toddle up to the north end and take my bath first, then sit and read in bed for a while.


It's another lovely, clear evening in the field.


March 27

Instead of going to bed like a good girl, I read until my seat got sore, and it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I did sleep fairly well, but after I had to get up around 8:30, I couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up around 9:00. 


And then...


I worked almost all the gusset on the pink sock, and while I was doing it, I got to thinking about the Maizy sock, and I decided I didn't like it, it was too thick for a summer sock. So I tore out the whole thing, even though I had already done about 3" of the foot. I also cut the yarn accidentally when the reinforcement thread got all tangled around the yarn, but that's all right. I got out a #3 needle and cast on, and then I got to thinking about the book I got not long ago that explains how to knit two socks at a time on one circular needle. By that time, it was after 11:00 anyway, so I got dressed, and when I got to the office, I dug out the book and cast on the other sock. Starting out is confusing and everything gets tangled up, and it isn't as easy to do as doing one sock on a circular, but I have finished the ribbing now, and it's coming along.


In the meantime, I finished the gusset on the pink sock, so I am on target with that one, too. And I have a #2 needle to use for the second cotton sock of a pair I finished sometime last year. And I knitted pretty much all day. Oops.


It was an absolutely gorgeous day to do nothing but knit and look outside. There were a couple of little clouds in the morning, but most of the day was completely clear and sunny and beautiful. The temperature graph looks really funny, though. Between 5:00 and 10:00 the temperature dropped off to a minimum of 11º at 8:00, then it bounced right back up where it was at 5:00, and it was right about 27º all day long. Very weird. The wind was under 10 mph all day, although during the time it cooled off, it switched around to the west, then back to the north northeast. 


I didn't stick my nose outside, but it looked like it was really nice out.


I did buy some clothes that I have been looking at for a while, and I tried to buy some more, from Eddie Bauer, but not only have they completely trashed their website (no information about fabric content, washing instructions, length, or anything else you might want to know while shopping for clothing online), they don't have any way to contact them via email, and at least three times I tried to check out and got hung forever trying to get to the login page. Geez, don't they want anybody to buy their poor-quality, over-priced clothing? Warning: if you do shop at Eddie Bauer, never, ever buy something at full price. Just be a little patient, and it will be marked down at least 20% and probably more. And to think that 10 years ago, I was buying most of my clothes from them, because they were stylish, very good quality, and competitively priced. Oh, yes, and at that time, they had a size that fit me perfectly. They changed their sizing, too, making everything smaller. What a difference a few years makes.


Not that I need any clothes, except for a pair of jeans occasionally, but I get tired of the same old stuff. One of this year's colors seems to be aqua, which is one of my most favorite colors, and it isn't fashionable very often. So if spring ever comes, I will have some nice aqua things to wear.


Now I'm off to the north end again, to try to see if maybe I can get to bed earlier tonight, but I rather doubt it. I still have some reading to do. 


It's a lovely clear night in the field, and there should be stars and maybe a bit of moonlight late.


March 26

Well, it served me right. I fooled around on the computer until it was late, then I read for a while, and even though I didn't take a bath, it was somewhere around 1:00 or 2:00 (I don't remember) when I got to bed. I did sleep, but with the wind from the north it was cooler in the bedroom. I really am getting over-sensitive to the temperature. 


However, I think I will wash the lighter weight comforter tomorrow, and then I can switch them off. The heavy one is really too warm for this time of year.


Anyway, I had sort of come to, with the idea of taking a walk to the bathroom, about 8:20 this morning, when the electrician called to tell me there was a crew on its way to install the generator. Oops. So like it or not, I got up (and I didn't like it), and they arrived before 10:00.


The electrician interrupted a very nice dream that I don't remember much of, except that I recall seeing yards of banding made with silk finish seed beads, which look like teensy bugle beads with a sort of whipped appearance. I have some of those, and they are very pretty, but what I was dreaming about isn't possible, since I was seeing them shading from white through gray, and they don't come in that many colors. Amazing what I sometimes dream about.


The electricians were somewhat interesting. It had snowed several inches overnight, and Ron had been through with the blower, but he left some piles in the middle of the driveway, so not only did they dig out the drift (not more than a foot or so) to get down to the pallet, they cleaned up the edge of the garage door and the piles. Getting the generator down to the pallet didn't look like it was much of a problem at all, so I guess their new piece of equipment came.


Fortunately, the boss turned up, because I guess I had not been clear enough that I want this one wired in so that it will cut over automatically when the power goes out. Oh. So they did all the wiring they could, but they need to come back when they get the "transfer panel", since the one I have is set up for manual operation. It's not a problem, but no doubt it will add to the cost. 


Anyway, they had just barely gotten the thing down to the pallet when it started to snow, and it snowed rather hard all the time they were working...and then when they were through, about 1:45, it stopped. Actually, for a while before that, it looked more like it might be sleet or snow and rain mixed or something. Anyway, they didn't have the best conditions for their work, which was mostly outside.


So that was the excitement of the day. I was reminded of something I have noticed since I have lived up here, though. The natives around here have the really stupid habit of not turning off their cars when they leave them, or in this case, when they got in to rest a while. So they leave their cars idling for long periods of time. It can get really bad at the post office or the Gas Lite (sorry, I discovered the real name in the phone book today), when they get into a long conversation inside. Apparently they don't know that leaving a car idling for a long time is very bad for the engine and uses more gas than starting it up again, and besides, with gas around $3.50 a gallon, it's horribly wasteful. But they all do it. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I guess the idea that you can leave your car running with the keys in it and still find it there when you get back to it is just too appealing.


Anyway, except for having to go downstairs to talk to them, I did my usual thing. I did begin a new bag of trash in the office, but I didn't get very far. I finished the leg and the heel of the second pink sock, and I am now working on the gusset. I figured I might as well do something. I do like those socks. However, there is a knit/purl pattern on the legs that makes them feel rough. When I do the others in all knitting, I am really going to like how very soft Panda Cotton is. I recommend it, except that the yarn splits, so if splitting yarn drives you nutty, be aware.


I ended up having  to go back downstairs, because I wanted something good for dinner, and all my Schwan's stuff was down in the freezer. I brought some upstairs, so I will have something to eat for a while. So I had a nice dinner of chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheese, and it was good.


Tonight, I plan to go to bed early, or I think I will. At least I plan to go up to the north end early. 


The weather was snowy, at least in the middle of the day. The temperature got up to 33º briefly, then it dropped off to 28º so fast the ASOS station actually made an interim report. The wind had gotten up to the 25-35 mph range from the northwest, but it abruptly switched to the north-northeast and started dropping, and there was even a ray of sunshine around sunset. It is partly cloudy now. Love the weather. You just never know.


So that was my day, and it just proves that I should never assume nobody will come when I don't have to go out someplace. I was really glad Bonnie called off Bible class, or I would have had a problem today! 


It's a cool, almost clear night in the field (although it isn't night yet!) and I am tired. It's off to the north end for me and, I hope, early to bed.


March 25

It was before midnight when I got to bed, and it was snowing already, and the wind was blowing. I can't say I slept well. I kept waking up all hot, and I was awake for a couple of hours between 3:00 and 5:00. I don't know why. It was snowing and the wind was blowing with gusts up to 32 mph, but it was from the southwest, so it sounded strange.


I got up around 9:00, I think (don't remember), and it was still snowing, although I think the snow soon turned to rain or something equally nasty as the temperature rose. The temperature got up to about 36º and the wind died down for a while, although it has picked up again and the temperature has dropped. The temperature is now down to 30º and the wind is from the north in the 25-35 mph range. It sounds like a good night to sleep, maybe.


I didn't do anything except unroll my porch furniture fabric and decide I don't like any of it, and I decided to try some more samples. Making the cushion covers, a slipcover for the footstool and some throw pillows is going to be a major undertaking. I expect the covers to last longer than I will, and I just can't see putting all that effort into something I don't like and then having to live with it forever. 


I even called the company I got the fabric from, and yes, it may come in other colors, but I would have to buy a whole bolt - 20 to 40 yards - in order to get it. I do need quite a bit - how much I don't yet know - but I don't think I need a whole bolt! So I will look at a few more samples, and if I can't find anything, I will just have to give up on it for this year.


At any rate, I will have enough samples to make some nice tote bags and possibly some smaller bags, maybe to sell. I'm not a perfect sewer, but I do pretty well, and somebody might like a water-resistant tote bag.


I don't have to go to Bible class tomorrow, since Bonnie an Rich have decided to leave tomorrow instead of Thursday, so I can sleep as long as I want to.


So that was the day, and I was in that bored mood where nothing I have to do interests me. Maybe a good night's sleep will help. I think it's a rather hairy night in the field tonight.


March 24

I did read for a few minutes last night, but then I jumped into bed, I think before 10:30, and I slept very well. I thought I got up around 9:00, but it seems lake it must have been more like 8:00. I think my bedroom clock may have gotten off. The buttons to change the time are right on top, and they will change just by touching them. I think perhaps I did that. I will have to check. Not that it matters, but if I am going to have a clock, I want it to be correct.


Anyway, I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while, and while I was knitting with Buster sitting on the rug, Jasmine came and sat down with him, and she purred so loud she rattled. I think she is a happy cat, and she is slowly coming around to the idea that I'm all right.


So then it was off to my massage, and that felt good and I feel much better for it.


It was a beautiful day until late in the afternoon. It was clear and sunny, and the temperature was around 36º all afternoon, with not much wind for most of the day. It did cloud up late, and we are supposed to get snow overnight and maybe some rain (ugh!!) tomorrow, but today was nice.


I was actually out twice, because my Easter present came and I wanted to get it. It is a nice large box of my favorite chocolates. Arthur is contributing to my delinquency...but it sure tastes good!


I also got a nice call from a friend, Sandi, late in the day, and another from my accountant. It was very nice to hear from Sandi, and the news from the accountant wasn't too bad, so that was good.


And that was my day. I definitely need to bathe tonight, so I doubt I will be so early to bed, although it feels like I could go that early. We'll see. Tomorrow I would like to begin to attack the office, which is a disaster second only to the kitchen. Fortunately, I can do most of what needs to be done while sitting down.


It's a quiet night in the field and winter isn't over yet, no matter what it looks like.


March 23 - Easter Sunday

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


It was 11:30 before I got to bed last night, but I took a sleeping pill and I think I slept for 6 hours straight. That is not such a good idea. Not only did I just make it to the bathroom. I was so stiff I could hardly move. I've been convinced for some time that having to pee is not the only reason I wake up so much in the night. A good part of the reason is that, since I sleep so quietly, after three or four hours, I just have to move and change position. Since I can't turn over in my sleep, I wake up, then I get up and take a walk, and then I can find a new position to sleep.


Anyway, I was up at 7:00, and I had time to have my orange juice and some yogurt and check the weather before it was off to church. It was snowing when I got up, and it snowed lightly, on and off, for most of the morning.


Church was wonderful, even though we only had 11 people show up. I think since the weather is so bad south of here, Syd and Marty decided to start home early, but I was certainly sorry not to see them. Several regulars are out of town, and several people who occasionally come didn't.


We had a lovely brunch, mostly provided by Bonnie. She just loves to cook, and she is a wonderful cook. I brought a big plate - more than I ate today - home with me. Yum. I must say that  my humble bowl of grapefruit sections went over so well that the bowl was empty when I brought it home. Apparently I'm not the only person who likes red grapefruit. If I do the same thing next year, I will have to take a quart and a half, rather than just a quart. I have been really shy about potlucks, but sometimes the simplest thing evidently turns out to be the best.


I was home by 10:30, and I finished my morning surfing, and I got so sleepy I almost went and took a nap, but since I didn't get undressed, I knew I would have been uncomfortable, so I didn't. I puttered around, not doing anything important, and it passed.


I had decided to eat out today, and to eat early, so around 4:30 I rolled down to Mariner, and I was the only customer in the place when I got there. Several groups came in about the time I left, though. They had turkey and ham with dressing, mashed potatoes, and glazed carrots and it tasted so good I ate almost all of it...so now I have indigestion. But it tasted really good to me. Of course, I love turkey.


Then it was home, and some more fiddling around, and then Arthur called. It was really good to hear from him, even though he called to tell me my package should come tomorrow. Oh, dear. I didn't send them anything. Anyway, we had a nice conversation. I like to talk to him. I found out how old he is, and from looking at him and talking to him, one would never know.


Anyway, after we hung up, I wanted to listen to a radio program I missed on Friday, and now I am really, really tired...so tired that I think I am going to skip the bath tonight. I go to my massage tomorrow, but I am certainly not dirty, and my hair usually gets lotion in it, so I think I will go and crash.


Oh...the weather. As I mentioned, it snowed lightly all morning. I think maybe at most two inches fell. It may have snowed some this afternoon, too, although I wasn't looking. Then around 4:00 it began to clear up, and sunset was perfectly clear and beautiful.  The temperature plummeted all night, from 30º at 1:00 am, to 16º when I went to church. It continued down to about 13º, where it stayed all day, and it is now down to 9º. There was a brisk east wind in the 15-30 mph range this morning, but it died down to nothing around noon. It's a cold Easter in Keweenaw.


And that is all I know. It was a lovely day and it's time to call an end to it. It's a cold, calm, clear Easter evening in the field.


March 22 - Holy Saturday

I read for a little while last night and got to bed around 11:30, I think. I slept fairly well, except that for a while I had a black cat plastered on my back, and in the morning, he settled down by my head and stared at me. I don't know what's in his little furry head now. Otherwise, he wanted to sit on me and be petted. Strange little cat.


I got up around 9:00, I think, so that worked out all right.


The first thing I did was check the camera archive. It was a beautifully clear night last night. When I was sitting in the bathroom, the moon had risen over the garage and it was shining right on me for a while, big and beautiful. It was clear all night, and very bright outside, so I thought the camera might have caught the moon as it set. Well, it did. I don't know why it looks so distorted in the first picture, but the camera isn't built to take really low-light pictures anyway. The second picture is one of the better ones I've captured.


So my friend Syd came over this afternoon and we (mostly she) cleaned the kitchen, thoroughly. We didn't get to the floor, but with everything else sparkling, I can do that. It is really nice to have a clean kitchen for a change, and we got some stuff out of there or put away that should have been put away a long time ago. She is such a nice person, and I really appreciate her help. I need a goad to get me going on some of these tasks, and fortunately, I seem to have friends who are willing to play that part.


I should have gone to dinner earlier tonight. The spring frat and sorority formals are beginning, and they took up most of Mariner. Actually, it's fun to people watch kids who could easily be my grandkids and see what the current fashions are. Most of these were very bare on top - how I envy those kids who don't have to wear bras! - and short skirts. No nylons, but 3" to 4" heels, and that made me laugh, since none of them know how to walk in high heels and the gaits are amusing. There was one girl who couldn't go braless, and she was wearing a garment that had clear elastic straps. Now that is something that might interest me, and I wonder where she got it. They are fun kids, they eat like horses, especially the guys, and they seem to know how to behave themselves, although somebody evidently dropped a glass of something on somebody's plate and everything else and made a real mess. So it was more fun than I might have expected.


For the next three weeks, though, I will be going to dinner earlier on Saturdays, just because the kitchen and the servers are so busy with the frats at the usual time I go. Too bad, because it's fun to watch. One huge guy who looked like a linebacker got up and gave a toast "To the future" which touched me, then the entire fraternity replied with what must be their frat cheer. The roof almost fell in. Young guys like that have incredibly loud voices.


The weather was beautiful again, although it was clouding up at sunset. It was cold overnight - down to 12º - but it warmed up quickly with the sun out. It got to 33º briefly, then settled down to a steady 30º with very light winds that started out from the west and switched around to the north late in the day. It was nice out. The paved roads are all clear, and my road is icy, but the snow piles haven't gone down very much. We have an awful lot of snow to get rid of, and it is going to take some time to do it.


It's nice to see all that frozen water, though. It should make a difference in the lake levels, which I understand are already up from last year.


So now I will trundle up to the north end and try to get to bed early. I plan to take a sleeping pill tonight, because I know I won't sleep if I don't, and be up by 7:00 tomorrow morning. I did want to go upstairs and get the jacket I want to wear, and I may do that before I go and rest my weary legs.


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


March 21 - Good Friday

I was in bed by 11:30 last night, and I did sleep well. The moon was shining beautifully all night long, which meant I didn't even look for any stars, although I was only up twice, and it was light the second time.


I was up at 10:00 or so, and with the morning love-in, knitting, and surfing, I didn't do much before I left for church. It was a lovely and affecting service, and my neighbor Syd came, too, and that was nice. There were only the four of us, but Bonnie does such a nice job with these things. My ears were bothering me, and we didn't sing enough to really get my sinuses reamed out, but that was all right.


Syd came back to the house, and we spent most of the time looking at my completed embroideries, although she did see some of the problems I face. She is a very nice person, too. While she was here, my Schwan's order came, and the guy got his truck off the driveway and stuck. Even though the temperature was well under freezing, all the sunshine is melting the snow and icing up the road and the driveway.


So that was nice, and I met them for dinner, too, which was lovely.


The weather was beautiful, much too beautiful for Good Friday. It was sunny, and there wasn't any wind to speak of . The temperature got down to 5º at 8:00 am, and by 10:00 it was 24º. It stayed right around 26º for the rest of the day, and it was nice out.


On the way home from dinner, I had a glimpse of the full moon rising, and it looked like a huge orange coming up through the trees. It's gotten a bit cloudy, and that has to be the reason the moon was so orange. I wish I could have seen the whole thing, but the only place for a good view is on the mountain, and you can't drive up there yet.


So I had a nice day and didn't do much of anything I usually do, but that was all right, too.


Now it's time to toddle up to the north end and read a while and sleep. It was an emotional enough afternoon that I am tired tonight.


March 20 - Maundy Thursday and Spring Equinox

At least astronomically, this is an almost unique day. It will be in the 23rd century before Easter is this early again, and I don't know if the equinox will come on Maundy Thursday then or not. 


I was in bed by 11:15 and I really slept. I was up twice, and I got up around 9:00, I think. 


After the usual morning stuff, I took myself in hand and started through the archive box of last year's papers folder by folder. I must have gone right by it at least twice, maybe more, but there it was - the folder with the documents about the sale of the house on Champine, including a printed copy of the settlement statement and the CD with everything on it. I must have been trying to put the whole thing out of my mind to have missed it before. So I quick got a Priority envelope and stuck the papers in along with the other stuff I'd forgotten and trotted off to the post office to send it on its way. I got the week's mail, including a few bills, the usual catalogs and a couple of magazines.


Oh, yes, even before I started looking for the papers, I started the wash, and the underwear is in the dryer right now. I do have another load or two, maybe, but at least by morning I will have clean underwear.


And after I finish this, I have to load up the dishwasher to run overnight.


So it was a busy day, and I can feel I accomplished something. The kitchen is still a disaster, but maybe I can work on that tomorrow before or after church.


The weather started out cloudy and blah, and cold, but around 1:30 the sky began to clear up, and by sunset, it was lovely and clear again. The temperature got up to 25º at 6:00, but for most of the day it was around 20º, with a brisk north wind in the 20-30 mph range. 


The moon isn't full until tomorrow, but it's pretty near, and when I came back from the laundry room, I could just spy it coming up a little south of east, in the trees. It will be a light night tonight, whether or not it's clear.


I noticed in the other Copper Harbor camera that there is open water down by King Copper and the public dock, at least in the harbor. The big ice mountains are still out in the lake beyond the gap between Hunter Point and Porter Island. Down at this end, it is still all ice, and with the wind, it will be getting pushed in this direction.


So that was my day, and its time to trundle up to the north end again for some reading, maybe, and some knitting, maybe. It's a cold, clear night in the field, and good for sleeping.


March 19

It was another one of those nights. I think I finished the story in the white binder, although I'll want to read through it before I'm sure. I was in bed before 11:30...and I just could not sleep. I was uncomfortable and I was hot, and I kept thrashing around, and I was up about every hour for the whole night. Blah!


I did get up around 9:00, but I petted a very purry cat and knitted on the sock until 9:30, so I had to move to get out of the house before 10:30, and since I stopped at the post office on my way, I was a little late for Bible class, as usual.


We didn't get much Bible study done, but we did get a lot of talking done. Then it was off to Carolyn's, where there was the usual good group, including my two neighbors, both of whom are twenty-something. They are both nice girls, and one of them brought dessert, which was yummy.


So it was a nice afternoon, and I got home about 4:30. 


It was a beautiful day. It was clear and sunny all day long. The temperature was 36º at 4:00 am, but it dropped down and sat right about 30º for most of the day. There was a 20 mph or so wind out of the north, which was a bit chilly, but the sunshine was so welcome. Even when it's below freezing, all that sun does melt the snow on the darker surfaces, like the paved roads and my deck.


So tonight it's to bed early, please, and I hope I can sleep. I suppose one reason I was hot is that it's time to change comforters on the bed, but I need to wash the light weight one before I put it back on. So I hope I will be so tired tonight that it won't matter so much what my temperature is. The other reason I was hot could have been that I had a little diarrhea all night, and some of the heat may have been coming from inside.


And now it's the end of a pretty day, and there will be some stars tonight, and bed sounds pretty good to me.


March 18

Tonight will be earlier, I promise. I have to be up and attem tomorrow morning, so it had better be.


I went up to the north end late last night, with the idea of just reading what I had written on Sunday, and after I read it, I picked up my pen and went right on...so it was 2:45 before I finally made it into bed. Whew! I slept until about 5:30, then all the water I drank to re-hydrate myself began to come out, so I was up every hour for the next three hours. Then I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until after 11:00. I don't feel like I got my full quota of sleep, but I did get some.


I petted a cat for a while and worked on the second pink sock, but I didn't finish the ribbing, and I didn't get to the office until almost 1:00. Needless to say, I didn't do anything much.


I got a call from my accountant, and now I have to somehow dig up the papers from the sale of my house. I looked a bit in the breezeway and couldn't find the CD they put the settlement papers on, so I will have to dig more deeply when I have more time. It's such a mess out there, they could be anywhere.


The weather was blah again. It apparently snowed lightly all night and most of the day, but I doubt there was 2" of accumulation, and late in the afternoon, it looked like what was coming down was a little sleety. The temperature was right around 32° all day, with almost no wind. The wind did finally switch around to the northwest, so our east and south winds are over. It was dull and gray and not worth looking at or talking about.


So that is about all I know, and it will be off to the north end early tonight and, hopefully, early to bed, so I can make it to Bible class tomorrow.


It's a dull, gray evening in the field tonight.


March 17

St. Patrick's Day is a holiday I don't observe, since what little of me that is Irish is northern Irish - Orangemen - and I don't like orange.


I was in bed by 11:30 last night. I wrote for quite a while, but it was hard because my wrist was sore. I will read it over tonight, but I'm not sure what I wrote is any good.


About 4:30 I woke up and when I got to the bathroom, I had about a 45 minute bout of diarrhea that left me with cramps. By the time I got back to bed, it didn't keep me awake, but I wasn't ready to get up when Buster thought I should. I think it was around 10:30 when I finally got up, and that was only because I had to pee.


So I didn't feel very robust today and I didn't do much. I did finish the pink sock and I cast on the other one. Those are going to be nice socks. The bamboo and cotton is very soft  and cushy, and I'm glad I got some more. Besides, they are pretty - two shades of pink and white - and it will be fun to wear them.


Last night before I went down the hall, I ordered some new compression hose. I have the feeling that the ones I have are getting stretched out after a year of continuous wear and frequent washings. I know the fold-over tops are beginning to come loose. I wish I didn't have to wear them, but it sure is nice to be able to get into my shoes, at least most of the time. I also splurged and ordered a pair of Crocs. They look so comfortable, I just have to try them. I hope they fit.


The weather today was nondescript. When I went to bed, there were  nice stars outside the windows, but by the time I woke up for the first time, it had clouded up. I sort of saw the moon setting over the lighthouse, but the clouds had thickened up before it was gone. It was cloudy and gray all day. The temperature was 25º or so all night, but it warmed up to 36º for a couple of hours this afternoon. There was not much wind from the southwest.


However, when I finally went toward the kitchen to get something to eat (I haven't been hungry today - a good sign something isn't right), it didn't seem that the lights on the public dock were very bright, and sure enough, when I turned on the floodlight, it was snowing. It's strange to see the snow blowing from the south to the north end of the house, but oh, well. The wind has turned gusty, too.


So that was a nothing day, and it's past time to go up to the north end. I doubt I will do much of anything tonight except maybe read what I wrote last night.


It's a snowy night in the field tonight, and spring isn't here yet.


March 16 - Palm Sunday

I went to bed and woke up this morning with "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" to a tune we sang many times while I was in the choir.


That's as close as I got to church, though.


I wrote for quite a while last night, and got maybe 3000 words done, although I was fighting through a very sore thumb joint. It was 12:30 when I got to bed and I slept hard. I was awake at 6:45, but that just wasn't enough sleep, so I turned over. I woke up at about 8:45, and it became clear I wasn't going back to sleep, so I got up and petted a black cat while a parti-color cat slept very happily on the rug. She didn't want to be petted, but she wanted to be with us.


I knitted with Buster on my lap, and the pink sock is coming along nicely. When I saw the bottom of the foot, I was almost sorry I knitted it in a pattern, but it will be a nice sock, and it's a little different, so that is fun.


They said it was supposed to be clear today, but when I got up it certainly wasn't, and it was 11:00 before it began to clear up. The afternoon was glorious, though, with mostly sunshine, and the sun set into a completely clear sky. The temperature was around 24º all day, with not much wind that went from the east to the south at under 5 mph. Just lovely!


I didn't do much, except go downstairs to get my pork chops and some Easter cards. I don't generally send Easter cards, but I have a couple of people that I want to send to. So I dug around in the stuff from my bedroom on Champine and found the box of cards. 


I did make my pork chops with Spanish rice, and it is good, as always. Before Christmas, I indulged in an alligator chopper, and I am really glad I did. It is so easy to just pound down half an onion and get dice that are all the same size. It also does a better job on green pepper than the food processor. I have been using it a lot. Now all I have to do is put them away.


And Johanna, my massage therapist, just called to cancel my appointment tomorrow, since she is coming down with something that has given her a fever. Even if she felt like doing my massage, which I'm sure she doesn't, I would not like to be exposed to whatever she has. So that frees up tomorrow, and that's nice.


When I walked through the great room this afternoon, Buster was in the dark blue chair and Jasmine was in the pink chair, both in the sun. A while later, Buster was in the light blue chair, which is out of the sun, and a while after that, he was gone and she was in the pale blue chair! I suspect she wanted to cuddle with him, and he is just not the cuddly type, at least when I'm around. He wants to cuddle with me, not another cat!


Anyway, Jasmine has claimed the pink chair and she has the blanket I keep on it stirred up right to her satisfaction. What I like is that while she watches me as I walk by, she doesn't run away anymore. Slowly she is learning that I can walk by her and even look at her and not grab her.


I found the mouse I gave her yesterday in the dining area, and the tail is gone, so I guess I will have to remove the tails of any more I give her. I'm not sure what swallowing a strip of undefined fur will do to her innards. Most times, those things go right through, but one never knows. She played with it for a while, and it is gone again, so there are now three mice hidden away someplace. I wish she would remember where she puts them!


So that is all I know, and I am on my way up to the north end to write some more. I can see the end of the story in the white binder now, and I'd like to get it done. As I mentioned, it's not nearly so exciting as my first idea, and there is less action, but the way I'm doing it makes much more sense and it will be easier to write.


It's a glorious, clear night in the field this evening, and I want to enjoy it.


March 15

Oh! The Ides of March!


I was so late going up to the north end last night that I just knitted for a while, and got into bed by 11:45 again. I slept until 4:45 this morning, and when I got up, I noticed that I couldn't see the lights of town very well, so it had started snowing lightly sometime before then. I was awake at 8:45, but it just didn't feel right, so I slept for another two hours. I woke up with my head all stuffy and my ears not working very well, and it took some time for my sinuses to drain out.


It snowed lightly for most of the day, although by 4:30 this afternoon, or so, it had pretty much stopped, and now the clouds are breaking up a bit. I don't think there was more than an inch or two of accumulation. The temperature was around 19º all day, with a brisk north wind in the 20-30 mph range, although it has died down some now.


I knitted some more this morning - the pink sock is coming along nicely - and it was after noon by the time I got to the office. So I ended up not doing anything except go to the post office and the Gaslite. I want to make pork chops with Spanish rice, and I needed a green pepper. However, Mariner had barbecued pork loin tonight, so I may not make the chops until Monday. We'll see.


There were a few people in Mariner tonight, but not very many. The newspaper reported that the Tourist bureau says tourism  for December and January was down 20%, and I'm sure February was just as bad, if not worse. They are blaming it all on the gas situation, and they may be right in part. Since gas prices are still going up, that does not bode well for the summer season, either.


Ron says when he was in town, gas was around $3.40 a gallon. Ouch. That's $80 to fill my tank when it's nearly empty, like it gets when I go to Detroit. Ouch.


This morning, while I was in the bathroom, Jasmine came in to cuddle Buster, and he walked off, and I actually got to pet her! She hunkered down when I did it, like she expected me to grab her, and I was happy to show her I didn't intend to do that. So slowly we make progress.


And when I was on the phone with Ron, I looked through the door, and there she was on the loft railing, standing there and waving her gracious tail! Then she got down, via the couch, and peered through the railing like she was going to jump onto the glass cabinet. She did think better of it, but boy, is she feeling at home! She is not wired or a high-wire acrobat like Buster was when he was young, but she clearly feels good, and I think she is celebrating the end of winter (which isn't over yet, of course). The barometer is rising, and it's over 30 inches now, so that undoubtedly has something to do with it. She is an independent little thing, not like Buster at all, and when she goes off, like she's been doing lately, he looks at her like he just can't understand her at all.


It was really strange to come home from dinner and have it still light out, and just now the sun peeked through under the clouds, and it is almost in its Equinox position, to the north of the top of the mountain. It is rushing north at a great rate, and days are getting longer by 3¼ minutes a day, so spring will come eventually. Not for another month, at least, but it will come.


I am conflicted about that. I do like winter, and I really do feel better in cold weather, but at the same time, I love the beautiful late nights of summer when the harbor is like a mirror and there isn't a sound to be heard except for maybe a loon. Do you get the idea I love it here? I understand that April isn't usually very nice - muddy and raw and cold - but I won't be here for half of that month anyway. I will be back for the budding of the trees, which I love to see, and I won't have to go anywhere again until mid-October. So that is nice to contemplate.


How I love it here! How I never want to go anyplace else!


So now I will toddle up to the north end and maybe tonight I can write a bit. All is well in the field.


March 14

Last night, I got into bed around 11:45, and I slept much better, with only about three wakeups and no diarrhea. When I turned out the light, the crescent moon was in the upper left-hand corner of the front windows, playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. It was cloudy for most of the night, but the clouds weren't very thick.


I got up around 10:00, I think, and I spent quite a while in the bathroom, but much to Buster's disgust, I spent almost the whole time doing the heel on the blue Maizy sock. He wanted to sit on me, and he wanted me to pay attention.


Actually, we were both watching Jasmine. When I put away some toilet paper last night, I found her fuchsia mouse in the linen closet, where she had pushed it under the door, so I threw it down the hall. This morning, she retrieved it and brought it into the bathroom and had a wonderful time playing with it for close to half an hour, I think. Buster has been old for so long I'd forgotten how much stamina a young cat can have. Finally, she went behind the door with it, and I thought she had put it back where I found it, but I looked, and it wasn't there, so I don't know where it is now. 


She has been with us for almost a year now, and I am most encouraged by the progress she has made. I think she is really comfortable here now, and slowly she is beginning to trust me a little. I know she likes me. Someday maybe she will sit on my lap, although there are cats who aren't lap cats.


Anyway, Buster didn't get all his loving, so when I got to the office with my breakfast, he sat on me again and went to sleep in my arms for a while. He loves that, but it's really hard for me to do much on the computer with a cat using my right arm for a pillow.


This afternoon, I got my hair cut, finally. It is now actually very short, but after trying it both ways, I think I would rather have it a little too short than not quite short enough. It will grow, but if it's a little long to start with, it gets too long too fast and it is annoying. So that is done, and it is good.


I was just about to leave for dinner when Debbie called, so I never got out of the house. I was glad to hear from her, and she had great news - she got the job she interviewed for! She doesn't start for a month, but at least she can look forward to having a little money for a change and that is just great. The only bad thing is that it is on the other side of town, so she is going to have a horrible commute - we didn't even talk about gas prices - but it is certainly better than not having any job at all. So we had our usual two-hour conversation, and that was nice.


So I didn't get out for dinner and I threw a pizza in the oven instead. It's a good way to save some money.


The weather was rather spring-like for most of the day. The temperature was around 36º until late in the afternoon, and there was a northwest wind in the 15-25 mph range all day. There was a little sunshine, but most of the time it was cloudy and gray, and late in the day there was a snow shower, although some of the stuff that came down looked a little damp to be snow.


I didn't intend to add a picture today, but while I had my back to the deck, there was a rather spectacular sunset, which the camera caught about as well as I could have, so here is is. I'm sorry I missed it, but then I would have been fiddling with the Nikon while I was talking on the phone. The website is packed with pictures I missed because I was doing something else and the webcam caught something wonderful. That sky looks almost like a painting.


And that is just about all I know. I was planning to go up to the north end and write for a while, but I feel very tired, so I'm not sure what I will do.


March 13

I did do better last night. I was in bed around 11:30, and mostly I slept. I noticed that it was snowing when I turned out the light, and it mostly snowed until about 4:30 this afternoon, which was a whole lot later than was predicted.


I had a period where I was sore, and I had a period where I had some diarrhea, but I got over all that and didn't get up until about 10:30, I think. Then there was a purry cat and a pink sock, so it was 11:30 before I got to the office.


I got the gusset done on the pink sock and changed where I think the row starts again, so it is all set up for the toe, although I have 50 rows or so to knit before I get there. I do like that sock, and it is going to be a wonderful summer sock. I am nearly finished with the leg on the blue Maizy sock, too, and I like that one as well, although it is really a little dark for summer. I transferred the Tofutsies sock (this one is green, turquoise, gray and white, mostly) to the circular needle, so I will be working on that, too. Tofutsies is a weird blend of cotton, wool, soy, and chitin, and it will make good summer socks, too, although it works on #1 needles, so I'm not so interested in it. I am tired of wearing men's white sweat socks in the summer, so I will be knitting up a storm for the next few months. The cotton yarn will knit in the summer, too.


It snowed all day, and the temperature was around 30º until 2:00, when it began to rise, and it is now 39º - warmer than I would like. There was a brisk southwest wind, in the 10-25 mph range, for most of the morning, and then it dropped to nothing. I was curious to see where the ASOS station was reporting the wind, because from here, at least while I was in the bathroom, it looked more like it was from the east. I do think it comes in, hits the trees, and hills, and changes direction.


Mostly I did nothing. I feel sort of blah, for some reason, so I played games and knitted for most of the day. However, I used the last cat dishes this morning, so it's time to run the dishwasher, and in the course of loading that, I washed up all the pots and pans that were in the sink. I still haven't touched the stove side of the kitchen, which is truly gross, but things are a bit better on the sink side, and after I put my plate and utensils from dinner in the dishwasher, it is ready to go.


Tonight I made some of the frozen chicken cordon bleu from Schwan's, and in the course of doing so, I discovered that the thermostat on the new toaster oven seems to be way, way off. I put the oven thermometer in it, and I will continue to do that until I figure out how much off it is, but it looks like at least 50º low. I am disappointed in that, because that was the one thing about the old piece of junk that actually worked. I will continue to monitor it.


Anyway, the cordon bleu was good. They make a couple other stuffed chicken things that are stuffed with cheese and broccoli, that I think I like better, but this is just fine, and it takes about half an hour to fix. Time to put together another order, I think.


My elimination is driving me nuts again. I wet my pants yesterday and twice today, and I have bad enough diarrhea that I have diaper rash. I will need to wash pretty soon.


Buster is harboring a hairball again, so he doesn't feel very good either. He came and sat on my lap while I was doing my morning surfing, and the next thing I knew, Jasmine was scratching on the back of the desk chair, which is imitation leather! Boy, is she getting shirty! I think she almost tipped the lap desk with the beads on it onto the floor...I heard something go down, but I'm not sure exactly what it was. One of these days, I will, I really will, get her onto my lap!


So that was a very quiet day, and shortly I will toddle off to the north end, after a stop to set up the dishwasher, and see if I can get a good night's sleep.


March 12

Last night was an off night. I went to bed later than I'd intended - reading again - and the first time I woke up was about 5:30...and then I couldn't go back to sleep. I had just about made it back to sleep at 9:00 when I really had to get up. As it was, I was quite late for Bible class. Fortunately, Bonnie always has something to do around church, so it was OK.


The interesting thing was that sometime between 5:30 and 9:00 I figured out a way to end the story in the white binder that, while not as exciting and violent as my original idea, is much more congenial and easy to write. I haven't gotten to that point yet, but maybe I can spend some evenings writing rather than reading and at least finish up something. We'll see. This one is going to be easily 500,000 words, and unfortunately, the state of my hands just won't ever allow me to get it typed into the computer. I keep hoping that somebody will come up with a program that will scan and interpret pages of longhand. My handwriting, while it is quite variable (particularly since I started this story 20 years ago) is usually relatively legible.


On that topic, thanks to everyone who solved my problem with Excel. The selection is under "Window", and it is called "freeze pane". None of that is at all intuitive to me, but then Excel never has been very intuitive to me, and I also heard that Excel 2007 is all different from previous versions. I wonder why in the world they do things like that? Rewrite the entire program, if necessary, and add anything you want, but for heaven's sake, leave the interface alone!


So it was off to Bible class, and that was nice, as always. I dropped off the taxes on my way home, and when I got back, I discovered that I had forgotten to enclose something. I will have to call Nancy tomorrow and ask her if I should send it on to her. That's my usual state. I always forget something.


Otherwise, I did nothing. 


The weather was almost spring-like, although it was in the upper 20s for most of the day and has only now gotten to freezing. There was a little wind, and while it was rather sunny until around 2:00, it was cloudy for the rest of the day. We are supposed to get some new snow tonight, but the temperature is supposed to stay fairly warm. I prefer it cold, thank you. I get very creaky when it's like this, and my ankles were bothering me today.


But like it or not, spring is coming.


So is Easter. I was shocked to realize that Palm Sunday is next Sunday, and Easter is only a little over a week away. Lent has really gone fast, but then, it usually does.


Christ the King, my home congregation, is going to do Halleluiah this year, for the first time in many years. They don't do the full version, but then, they don't have a lot of singers, the first Lutheran congregation I've ever belonged to that doesn't. My teensy congregations on the east coast had bigger choirs than CtK. I've never been able to figure out why, except that so many people (including me, when I worked) have so many other obligations that getting to practice is next to impossible. Anyway, I'll be thinking about them.


I do hope we get a good snowcover overnight, because my driveway and the road are getting quite slippery from all the sunshine. Not a complaint, mind you, just an observation.


So that is all there is, and it's time to toddle off to the north end.


March 11

I'm happy to say I slept much better last night, with only two wake-ups. I was actually awake around 9:00 this morning, but I sort of dozed until 10:00 before I got up, by which time Buster was getting anxious again. Dumb time means nothing to him. However, there was a ray of sunshine in my eyes and on his back while he was getting his morning pet.


I read and worked on the Maizy sock last night, and this morning, I finished the leg of the pink Panda Cotton sock. 


It was cloudy all night long, I think, but there was a certain amount of sunshine today - more than they predicted, actually.


The task of the day was the taxes, and I took myself in hand and forced myself to do them. They are now  nicely sealed in a Priority Mail envelope and will go off to my accountant tomorrow after Bible Class. I thought I had some Priority stamps around here, but I guess Peggy has all of them. While I found plenty of envelopes, I didn't find the stamps. I wonder what I did with them? I know there were some at Champine. However, so much of the stuff I threw in the truck when I left is scattered all over the breezeway and other places, it's not surprising that I can't find them. Someday I will, and it will be like Christmas.


I always hate getting the taxes ready, and I think it's because I hate paperwork of any kind. Since I have had a CPA doing my taxes, I don't have the horrible headaches I used to have when I was doing them myself. Nancy is expensive, but to me the peace of mind is worth it.


Then I attacked the Panda sock again, and I finished the heel and I am now doing the gusset. I think this pattern would have been easier to do in 5 double-pointed needles, but I need the practice moving the loop points around on a sock, and I really think I prefer using the circular needle. I can work half the sock without having to change needles, and I do think that makes it go faster. It's also nice not to get poked by those odd needles sticking out from things, and it seems less likely that I will move a needle too far and drop a bunch of stitches. That's a consideration with both these yarns, because they split like crazy, especially when I'm trying to pick up dropped stitches. So that is done. In spite of the splitting, I like both yarns a lot (good thing - I have 3 more colorways of both), and they will make wonderful summer socks.


In the course of doing the taxes, I also did some work on the ledgers ('07 and '08) and the '08 ledger is now nicely spiffed up and ready for the year. I wish I could remember how Excel locks columns in place so they act like titles, but I do it so seldom I keep forgetting. I keep remembering how Lotus did it, and Excel calls it something completely different, which I just cannot remember.


I am pleased to report that all the time I was working at the desk and at the computer this afternoon, Jasmine was curled up on the throw in the south window. For a while, when it was sunny, I'm sure that was why she was there, but even after it clouded up, she stayed where she was and went to sleep for quite a while. When she was awake and I looked at her, she blinked at me very sweetly. Finally, when I got up to get my dinner, she got up and went away, but she clearly wanted to be with me. Buster was off someplace else, and Jasmine chose to stay with me in the office. I am touched and gratified. Slowly, slowly, we make progress.


The weather was OK. We had quite a bit of sunshine early in the day, but it clouded up later. The temperature hung in at about 35º all afternoon, and there was some wind, in the 15-25 mph range, at the same time, from the north mostly. I didn't stick my nose out. I don't expect winter is over yet, but there are some signs of spring, in the sunshine and warmer temperatures. I expect the road is icy, but we'll just have to deal with that.


So that was a quiet day, and at least I accomplished something. Now after I read the Bible class lesson for last week, I can toddle up to the north end and read a while before I try the sleep thing again. I do need to get up at a reasonable hour tomorrow, for Bible class.


March 10

Last night was a night of a different sort. I went up to the north end early, with the idea of reading a while and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I had been sitting for a little while when I started to have severe gas pains. This happens occasionally, and eventually the gas all comes out. But last night, the gas wouldn't come out, and I was in severe pain. So I sat and read for longer than I intended, then I took my bath, and I sat and read some more. Eventually, around 1:30, I decided that pain or not, I had to go to bed. Lying down seemed to help, and once I got to sleep, I slept for 5 hours straight.


So I missed anything much that was going on outside, but there weren't any more light shows. It was clear all night long, and there were some nice stars, and that was nice to see.


I finally got up around 10:00, because Buster was staring at me. He is clearly still on Eastern Standard Time, and he was getting worried.


I knitted this morning, but otherwise, I didn't do a blessed thing all day. I had a few more pains after I drank a bottle of Fruit-2O, and I wonder if there is something in this flavor that doesn't agree with me? I think tonight if I want some more water I will try another flavor. I can't imagine what happened.


I really didn't get enough sleep last night, so I hope to get to bed early tonight and make up for it.


The weather was nice, although I didn't go outside. It was mostly sunny all day long, and the temperature got up to 32º for a while. The wind was rather gusty, up to about 20 mph for most of the afternoon, mostly from the west. It was so nice to see all that lovely sunshine again, and it warmed up the house very nicely. I don't think it the sun is far enough north to warm the bedroom, but that's all right. I like it cool when I sleep. I do know that the boiler didn't run much at all today, which means I am conserving propane.


I guess we are in for some precipitation for the next couple of days, and some of it may be rain, which is a shame, but at this time of year almost anything might happen. We all expect our usual St. Patrick's Day blizzard...it seems like there is almost always one more blizzard around the middle of March, and John Dee (who is back home) seems to think we may have it next week.


So I felt rather puny today, and I have just started sneezing again, so I think it's time to call it a night.


It's another quiet, clear night in the field.


March 9

Oh, my! What a night! I found I was quite tired, so I made it into bed by around 10:30, but then I couldn't get comfortable. So at about 10:45, I opened my eyes...and there, right in the front window, was a faintly luminous, fuzzy cloud, along with some stars! I sat up, and I could see that the whole northern horizon, behind the trees, was very, very bright! Not only was it clear, we were having northern lights! It's the first time in a couple of years that I've seen them, I think. Oh, wow!


I watched for a while, but they were not moving very much, so I went back to sleep. I had fish last night for the second night in a row, and it is always a diuretic for me, so I was up about every two hours all night long, and every time I got up, the whole northern sky, up beyond Polaris, was white and bright enough that it brightened up the landscape. It looked like very early dawn or the quarter moon above the clouds, but there was no moon - I saw that set last evening - and there were no clouds, either. It was wonderful. A couple of times I saw some brighter spikes or shafts, and the spot that originally called my attention to it didn't last long. About 3:45, it all went away and it was dark and starry for the rest of the night. It was a really good show for solar minimum, though, and I was so glad to see it!


As you know, I love to watch the sky. I love the clouds and the sunshine and the moon and stars, and the faint fuzzies I wish I had a telescope to see, but I still think a good northern lights display is still the most wonderful sky show of all. I was so fortunate to be here during the last solar max, and I have some small hope that I might still be here for the next one. At least this solar cycle seems to be starting out very nicely, thank you.


I got up at about 10:00 dumb time, and I petted a very purry cat and knitted for over an hour. The pink sock is coming along nicely, as is the blue Maizy sock, although I have just started the leg of the Maizy sock. I knitted on that last night, too, but after a while my hands, especially my left hand, get very painful, so it's best to stop.


By the time I got up - in fact, by the time the camera woke up - it had clouded up, and while I was in the bathroom we had our mandatory snow shower, big flakes coming straight down. It was pretty, but it didn't last long, and then it cleared up. The temperature got down to 3º at 8:00, then it rose to 23º for a while this afternoon. There has been almost no wind for the past 24 hours, and except for over behind the mountain, it's clear now that the sun has set.


We have a bit over 11½ hours of daylight now, and we are still gaining at 3¼ minutes a day,  or 24 minutes a week. The sun is setting nearly at the top of the mountain now, and moving north at a great pace.


I will be looking for little moons, stars, and northern lights tonight, although it would be nice if I could sleep a little bit better. I can handle getting up every 3 hours with no problem, but every two hours means I never really get into a deep sleep for very long and it's annoying, to say the least.


The change of time discombobulated me enough that I didn't do much of any thing today, except that I finally made spaghetti sauce...and no, not with the stuff I bought over a month ago! That went in the garbage, I'm sad to say. I am going to have to start being a lot more careful to eat the stuff I buy. Anyway, I had a pound of ground beef in the freezer and I always have onions and garlic around. I stocked up on canned tomatoes and tomato sauce and paste, so all I had to do was put it together. It did involve some standing, but I managed that all right. It tastes pretty good to me, although not quite the same as last time. And I have enough for a couple of meals already mixed with spaghetti, as well as a quart or more to freeze. Yum. Start with ground beef, onions, garlic and tomatoes, and you just can't go wrong. Yum.


Only now there are more pots and pans to soak and wash and the kitchen gets grungier and grungier all the time. Oh, woe.


Anyway, it's early (by my time), but I have to put the spaghetti away, and I want to spend some time reading and maybe knitting. It was a quiet day, which is just how I like it.


It looks to be a clear, quiet night in the field tonight, and maybe I can see something again!


March 8

Last night was more reasonable. I think it was 12:30 when I got to bed. I read, and I decided it wasn't a good idea to be working on a wool sock when I have so many summer socks to make, so I took the black sock off the circular needle and cast on the blue Maizy sock. Maizy is made out of mostly corn fiber, and it is nice, soft stuff which should be good for summer. This morning, I got the ribbing done before I went back to the pink Panda Cotton sock, which is coming along nicely, thank you.


I got up around 9:30, and I petted a cat and knitted the sock for over an hour. Buster was hungry, and I discovered that I managed to grab a bunch of cat food I didn't think he liked...so he lit into the Salmon Feast like it was the best thing going. I don't know if it was just that it's something different, or this is something he is going to like. I probably have enough for a couple more meals, so we'll see how he likes it the next time. I don't give them fish very often, so maybe it's just that it's something different. Who knows? 


Anyway, he was waiting at the door when I came home...a little late, because I was talking to Peggy...and now he is sitting on my lap, purring, which makes it a bit difficult to type. Oh, well.


I spent the afternoon working on ledgers and a projection of my expenses for the year. That is not good news. This house is very expensive to live in, and regardless of what "they" say about inflation, there has been terrific inflation in the things I use most of, like food and fuel. The cost of propane has about doubled in the past two years, and it's not because I wasn't here. 2005 was my first winter here. Anyway, I shipped it off to my financial advisor, and we'll see what happens. Under any circumstances, it's good not to be saddled with all the expenses of the house on Champine.


I hope to do the taxes tomorrow. While I'm doing the things I hate, I might as well get them all over with.


The weather was rather interesting. It was actually sunny for most of the day, or partly cloudy, as they say, but between noon and 1:30 we had quite a snow squall, that left half an inch of fluffy stuff on everything. The snow was falling straight down in big flakes and it was pretty. It got cold here this morning - about 2º at 8:00 - but it was warm compared to Houghton, where it was briefly -17º around 7:00 this morning. Even when it's partly frozen, the big lake keeps our temperatures warmer. The temperature here was about 16º all afternoon. There wasn't any wind to speak of, and it wasn't bad to be outside at all, not that I was out much. At least today my fingers didn't freeze like they did yesterday.


This evening when I came out of the restaurant, I looked over into the west, and there was the tiny sliver of moon hanging over the mountain, so pretty. I could actually see the whole moon, and that must mean most of the western hemisphere is cloudy, because it was very obvious even in the twilight. The camera caught it, a few minutes earlier, too, and while I saved the picture, I don't intend to publish it. Shooting something like the crescent moon is when the inadequacies of 640x480 pixels become extremely obvious. By the time I got to the house, it had either set or was behind the clouds. It looks like it's time to reset the camera, but I will do that after I adjust for daylight savings time tomorrow.


How I hate that thing. It is so stupid. And yesterday, there was somebody who has done a study which shows that we actually use more energy during daylight savings time than we do without it. Unfortunately, that isn't likely to influence our legislators, who only listen to the mall owners and golf course owners who contribute to their reelection campaigns.


So now I will toddle up to the north end and read some more, probably until my seat gets sore, since I don't have to take a bath tonight.


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


March 7

It was 2:00 or later when I got to bed last night...reading an interesting part of the white binder again. I also worked on the black sock for a while.


I don't remember when I got up this morning, but I think it was ten-ish. Buster got his pet, then he and Jasmine curled up on the rug, which is really too small for both of them. Jasmine is getting fat, I'm afraid. But since Buster is so thin and so disinterested in food, I can't do much about Jasmine.


Anyway, I worked on the pink sock (the Panda Cotton sock) for a while before I went down the hall.


I am still sick, I think. At least I don't have very much appetite, and I still have serious diarrhea. And when I got up this morning, after having been lying on my right side for several hours, my right Eustachian tube was so clogged up I couldn't hear, and it took an hour or so of draining before I could. My dad had problems with his ears as he got older, but I thought that had more to do with some childhood illnesses he'd had...I guess not. My suspicion is that the entire right side of my head, nose, sinuses and Eustachian, are not put together right and that is what causes these things. I know that my right nasal passages are 85% blocked. No wonder I have upper respiratory problems.


Anyway, I didn't do much. I went to the post office with a crate, and it was good that I did, because there were several packages as well as a week's worth of mail, most of it junk. I do have a few more magazines to read, and a couple of new catalogs to look at.  The summer sock yarn came, and it is really beautiful. I will be knitting up a storm for some time to come. Some of it is Panda Cotton in pretty pastels, and some of it is called Maizy, and is corn fiber, also in pretty pastels, except for one that is pale pink with red and blue flecks in it. It's really too bad I can't wear Birkenstocks, so everybody can see and admire my beautiful socks.


I worked on the baby mitten for a while, and I had to un-knit back to the  ribbing, because I had done something strange and left some huge stitches at the base of the thumb gusset. It's better now. I did get it knitted back to where I was and a couple more rows beyond.


It dawned on me that I have huge amounts of knitting worsted yarn left over from the bull's eye afghan, since Lion Brand puts full skeins in their kits. I'm not sure I really like all the colors, but I could knit adult Norwegian mittens out of it, and they would be warm. I have a pattern for a really cute Norwegian pattern hat (the prototype of the baby caps I wear) that would be really nice in cranberry and black, and I would have something that goes with my parka. Mittens in those colors would be nice, too, but I don't think I have enough yarn for them. So I can be knitting like mad for months or years or decades and never make anything else but socks and mittens. I do like those small projects to take places where I have to wait or have to talk, and I haven't found a sweater that inspires me to want to start working on one.


I remembered that I didn't convert February's journal to Word, so I did that, too. 


It was a good day to be inside. The temperature was 7º all day long. During the middle of the day, there was a 15-20 mph wind out of the north, so it was a mite chilly outside. The wind has now dropped, but there was a little snow shower while I was in Mariner. I think there was some snow early in the morning but not much during the day. There was a little sunshine, too, but not much. A typical late winter day.


Altogether it was a quiet day, and it's a cold, quiet night in the field.


March 6

Last night it was 12:30, but I did sleep until after 10:00 this morning, by which time Buster was curled up against my back and really didn't want to get up. Then, while I was getting dressed, my hairdresser called to cancel the hair appointment, since she was about to leave for Detroit. Oh, dear. I really need a haircut! She will be back next week, by which time I will really, really need a haircut!


So I didn't have to do anything about the laundry room, where there are a lot of clean clothes piled up, and that was all right.


I was planning to go to the post office, because I should have a couple of packages, as well as a lot of other mail, but I got into something on the Internet and when I looked up it was too late. So tomorrow for that.


I began to do something about the kitchen. It's not done yet, but it's better, and the dishwasher is just about ready to run tonight. All the pots and pans are washed, but they are piled up on the draining board. So it's better, but not good. Tomorrow I will try to do a little more.


Otherwise, besides surfing, I worked on the Fair Isle sweater for a while and made a goof I don't know quite how to fix (I am not going to un-knit it!). We'll see the next time I get around to that part.


Yesterday one of the ladies made a suggestion to those of us who knit, that we take our odds and ends of yarn and make mittens and/or hats to give to the sheriff for the indigent of Keweenaw County. Our sheriff, Ron Lahti, is a wonderful person, and he had done remarkable work (besides his regular work) collecting and distributing clothing, toys and other things for the poor in the county. Even though there are only about 2400 of us, there are apparently quite a few who are extremely poor. For a long time he has collected toys for Christmas, and no doubt those kids could also use some warm clothes. 


I think that's a wonderful idea. Some of the ladies have been involved in charity projects with other groups, but the Copper Harbor group has never done anything but get together and talk. A modest project like this one is something we should surely be able to do. We do support K-SNAG (the Keweenaw Spay and Neuter Group) with donations of stuff for their rummage sales, and we save our Econo Foods receipts for them, too, but this is something we can make, which will be useful and clear out some of our clutter.


So today I got out the leftovers from some of my socks. I have some which seem to be rather large amounts of yarn, enough for little kids' mittens. I mean little - I cast on 44 stitches on #1 needles, which looks like it will come out about 4"-5" in circumference. It's pretty small and not real easy to work on, but I think it will be cute. I always did like little things...remember the Barbie clothes. The crazy yarn that came out so weird in my big socks is all blotchy in the little mitten, and I think it will be cute. The colors are such that little boys might wear them. I'm not altogether sure how warm they will be, although I'm making them on smaller needles than the socks. I suppose they will be warmer than no mittens.


I am also working on the Panda Cotton sock in the morning and the black sock in the evening, so I am knitting until my hands hurt. Oh, well.


The weather was wintry. John Dee mentioned, before he left town, that with the ice on the lake we were likely to see fewer lake effect showers for the next little while...well, wrong. We had them for part of the night and all day, coming in waves and interspersed with sunshine, sometimes sunshine during the showers. Some of the showers were very heavy, and we did have some accumulation. The temperature settled down at about 16º for the day, and during the afternoon, we had winds in the 15-25 mph from the north. It didn't look to be very nice out, and I was glad to stay inside and watch those waves of snow come over us.


I think maybe I'm slowly getting over whatever ailed me, although I still don't feel very robust. And now I will toddle up to the north end again and read a while and knit a while and pet a cat for a while.


Speaking of cats, Buster was getting his morning pet on my lap this morning when Jasmine came in and sat down on the rug for a few minutes, then she got up and walked off...and Buster never knew she was there. She really wants to get close to me, I can tell, but I think she is afraid of what Buster might do to her, since he is so jealous. I keep hoping that one of these days it will dawn on her that when Buster is off someplace sleeping, she has me to herself. I do so want to get her to sit on my lap...or even beside me...and get petted and rubbed. Maybe someday.


And that is all there is. It's a wintry night in the field tonight.


March 5

I got to bed around 11:30 last night, and slept well for the most part, although it was a little difficult this morning when Buster sat down on the body pillow right where my arm was supposed to go. That didn't keep me awake for long, though, and I didn't get up until around 10:15.


I had to get up in a hurry because Ron came with the package they gave him at the Gaslite on Monday, but that was all right. I only had my orange juice, because the ladies were meeting at The Pines at noon for lunch, and that was good. It was a good lunch, with good company, and I was pleased to see that they have a much more extensive menu than they used to, although their prices have gone up, too. Then it was off to Carolyn's for the regular meeting, and that was nice, too. They are a good bunch and we had a lot of laughs. 


It was a good day to do something like that. It was cloudy and the temperature was around 26º all day, with not much wind. There was some snow, too, but not more than an inch or so, and about the time we left the restaurant, it looked like what was coming down was a bit wetter than snow...at least there were drops instead of flakes on my windshield.


When I got home, I worked on the Fair Isle sweater for a while, and I still don't like green and orange, but it's going faster than I thought it would. I've figured out a way to hold the two strands of yarn that doesn't slow me down too much and doesn't tangle the yarns, at least if I remember what I'm doing. My left hand does get sore after a while, from holding the fabric and from manipulating the needles. 


So that was a nice day. Tomorrow I am going to get my hair cut, thank goodness, and I really must do something about the kitchen, which is an incredible disaster. Besides, I am running out of cat dishes, so I need to cycle the dishwasher, and while I am there, I really must take care of some of the other stuff that's there. It's worse than usual.


And now I will toddle up to the north end again and read for a while. I still feel pretty blah, but only time and rest will cure me.


March 4

I got to bed around 10:30, and I slept fairly well until about 3:30, then I was wakeful for about three hours. I couldn't get comfortable, and for some reason the big toe on my left foot was so sore on the end that I couldn't stand any pressure on it. I've been trying to take my pills as regularly as possible, but sometimes the neuropathy in my feet causes that. Besides, I still have some diarrhea, so I was up any number of times.


When I was up, I could see a few stars off and on through the clouds - Castor and Pollux, Capella, and Polaris, and I think I probably saw Regulus for a moment, too. It has been too cloudy in the west to see Orion setting, unfortunately. I love to see him balancing on Rigel on top of the mountain.


The wind died down shortly after midnight, and while it was a cold night, it wasn't cold in the house. The other night I discovered that the back of my second-to-last nightgown has gotten shredded, so I am wearing a year-round cotton one. Besides some new flannel nigties, I really need to make a couple of cotton ones with long sleeves. If I do that, there won't be many times when I need a flannel gown, especially with the heavy comforter on the bed. I guess I could switch back now, but I want to wash the lighter weight one before I put it back on the bed.


The list of things I want to do and need to do is getting pretty long. You should see the disaster in the kitchen! But I still don't feel very good, and I am sort of taking it easy. I did put the beads away and got the tax folder out, but then I spent the later part of the afternoon knitting on the Fair Isle sweater. You know, I really don't like orange and green together, even when the orange is peach and the greens are all rather nice shades. Of course, there are very few circumstances when I can tolerate orange anyway - on oranges, on pumpkins, and on leaves in the autumn, and that's about it. I just do not like orange.


Anyway, I also started on the leg of the Panda Cotton sock, and I do like it. There are a lot of purl stitches, but it has a nice texture to it, and it actually is a very easy pattern.


I was listening to ATC and knitting when Jasmine appeared with her fuchsia mouse in her mouth. She carried it around, batted it around, jumped around it, and generally was extremely cute for about half an hour or more before she got tired and put it away and went off to sleep. At least she felt good! Buster wasn't too interested in the mouse, but he was interested that I was watching Jasmine and telling her how cute she is, so he came and sat on my lap. Buster is a very jealous little cat, unfortunately.


The weather started out clear this morning, but as the day wore on it got more cloudy. The temperature got up to just under 20º with not much wind at all. It was nice while the sun was out, but there wasn't anything like a sunset, and there were some pretty thick black clouds over in the west at sunset.


So now my head aches and it's time to toddle up to the north end, being very careful not to look around the kitchen.


It's a quiet night in the field tonight.


March 3

I was late getting to bed again - more reading - but once I got there, I did pretty good. I was awake for a while early in the morning, when my left ankle ached so badly I couldn't go to sleep. I was pretty sure I had developed arthritis in my ankles, and there's no better way to prove it. Eventually, I turned over, so that the ankle was flat on the bed, and then I went back to sleep, and finally got up around 10:00. 


The wind was strong all night long, and I could tell, from the way it was hitting the second story, that it had shifted around to the north. It was still warm around 6:00 (around 30º) and then the temperature plummeted into the upper teens, where it stayed all day. The wind was in the 25-35 mph range all day, with a peak gust at about 42 mph at 11:00. It was a good day to stay indoors, and I did.


I still don't feel very robust, so I just did nothing. I finished the silk and wool sock this morning, and then instead of starting the mate, I cast on a new sock - this one is a summer blend of bamboo and cotton in two shades of pale pink and white, and I am going to use the pattern that came with the yarn, which will be the first time I have knit a sock in anything but either plain knitting or ribbing. I thought it might be fun. for a change. I'm still working on the ribbing. This isn't going to be easy yarn to work in, since it splits very easily, but I think it will make really nice summer socks. I have all kinds and weights of handmade winter socks, but not very many summer socks at all, and one of my aims is to remedy that.


I did determine to make my chicken a la king tonight, and I made it easier by using canned mushrooms. It turned out very nicely, thank you. I baked my patty shells in the new oven, and they turned out OK. They would have turned out better, I think, if I'd turned the function to "bake" instead of "toast", but mostly they were the end of an old package and they had probably been in the freezer too long. Anyway, it turned out to be good stuff, with more broth than milk in the sauce and more hard stuff than sauce, the way I like it. Now all I have to do is put it away. Ugh.


I was working in the kitchen when I looked out the front windows and said, "Oh, wow!" and scuttled off to get the camera for one of the nicest sunsets we've had in a very long time...complete with sun pillar. Here it is. The sky reflected on the harbor is actually on clear ice. The winds yesterday and today have cleared off a lot of the snow that had covered the ice on the harbor. I thought that was a pretty picture.


So that was my quiet day, and I need to try to get to bed a little earlier tonight. I still don't feel very good, and as usual, I get feeling less well as the day goes on. I still think it is a cold, but since I am still sneezing at intervals, I don't yet know what it might turn into.


It's a cold blustery night in the field tonight.


March 2

Not a good 24 hours.


I went up to the north end early last night and I was so tired, I was in bed by 9:30. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep well at all. My nose was running and I had some muscle aches and I was just not comfortable. Finally I did get to sleep, and managed to stay in bed until 10:00, but I was - and am - still achy and not feeling too well at all. Blah.


So eventually I got up, and I guess Buster, at least, likes Chicken Tuscany. Fancy Feast comes up with the strangest combinations of things in their high-priced cat food. He will eat it, so long as it has gravy and doesn't have a "soufflé", whatever that is. I wouldn't eat canned soufflés either. This stuff is really high priced, and they only get it on Sundays.


I was diddling around when all of a sudden the power bounced. Oops. It came back up, so I didn't think much of it, then around 2:00 it went down again, and this time it stayed down. Around 3:30, UPPCO called to see if it was up again, but it wasn't, and it was nearly 5:00 before it came up to stay (I hope). Oops. And with my generator still in the garage. I finally managed to get my daily surfing done, but it was really late when I was through.


While there was no power, I moved to the ugly chair and started working on the toe of the silk sock. I didn't get it done, but I did get quite a ways into it. I also went through the needlework charts I have in the office and selected a pile to give to Dawn for her K-SNAG garage sales. Dawn is the one who told me about Jasmine, and she is the guiding light of a small organization that rescues cats and places them in good homes, much more pro-actively than the Humane Society. They also provide funds to people who can't afford to get their cats spayed or neutered. She is a very dedicated person, and I want to support her as much as I can. I know there is more stuff in the basement I could give her, but I don't know if I can possibly get it together this spring.


Anyway, by the time the power came back, it was apparent to me that I have come down with something. I don't know what it is yet, and I hope it is only a cold, but my head is stuffy and feels full of fluff, and I am achy, I seem to have more diarrhea than usual, and altogether don't feel good. So I will try to get to bed early again tonight and hope to sleep better and get over it in a hurry.


The weather was interesting, and is the reason for the power failures. It was warm - the temperature topped out at 37º - and there has been a very strong south wind all day long. Before the power went down, we had gusts up to 40 mph reported at the ASOS station, and it is somewhat sheltered on that side. I think the gusts were stronger out here. We don't very often get south winds, especially in the winter, and no doubt that is what caused the power outage.


For most of the morning and even after the power went out, we had sunshine, and that was nice, but late in the afternoon it got very cloudy, and they are predicting some sort of precipitation for the next 36 or more hours.


I tried the new toaster oven this morning, and it toasts, but it will take me a while to figure out where to set it to toast the way I like it. Now I need to try the other functions and see how they work.


I forgot to mention that I got a package of cat toys last week. They are teensy little mice, sort of furry, and not more than 1" tall. Jasmine likes really small things...in fact, her favorite toy seems to be the plastic seal off a bottle of JD, which has been down in the bedroom for quite a while, and keeps moving around. Anyway, I threw one of the new mice on the floor in the kitchen (it was fuchsia), and it has now disappeared. So apparently she found it, played with it, and stashed it someplace when she was done. Funny little cat. She does play, but not much, and I think she is more interested in live mice than stuffed mice. She likes to be where Buster and I are, at least in the evening, but she still won't get very close to me when I might try to touch her. She will be happier in the spring when the little outdoor critters start moving around again.


So that is all I know, and my head is telling me it needs to lie down and, hopefully, sleep.


It's a rather rambunctious night in the field tonight.


March 1

Well, here it is March already. Pretty soon I'll be heading for Detroit. Time flies when you're getting old.


I was late getting to bed again last night - reading again - and it was sometime after 1:30 when I turned out the light. I woke up around 9:30 and decided I might as well get up, so I'm tired tonight, and I hope it won't be quite such a late night, but I never know when I start reading where it will all end.


I actually did something today! I got all the cat food put away in the cupboard, finally. When I put it away, I usually sort it by type, so I can grab turkey or chicken and two of the same kind. So that is all done and the bags are all consolidated. I gathered up a bunch of cans and a bag of stuff Buster shouldn't eat (including a bag I bought Thursday that I didn't look at carefully enough) and took it to Cindy after I went to the post office. She has multiple cats, five, I think, and she can use anything I can't.


There was reading material in the mail - two of the magazines I read cover to cover - but instead, I sorted beads again. From the look of it, I only went through that kilo to look for the pretty pink ones and the pretty gold ones, and not much else, so while I am still finding a few of those, mostly it's red. Later there will be lots of blue and green and some black.


The weather was blah. It was cloudy, and the temperature was around 22º all day, with a light wind from the north. There wasn't any snow or any sun or any anything. Blah.


Mariner was passably busy tonight, and it appeared there were a lot of skiers. Its manager to the contrary notwithstanding, it appears that Mt. Bohemia is getting a reputation in the Midwest. There were several large groups, of seven to twelve guys...and at least one group of young women. I love to see it.


This is the second week they have had pork tenderloin for a special, and I noticed when I was at Econo Foods that they had them on sale too. Apparently there is a glut of pork tenderloin on the market right now. It is very good, and they know how to to cook it to keep it moist and flavorful. While I would (and did) by a beef tenderloin, I wouldn't ever buy a pork tenderloin, because I don't like pork that well, although it is nice to have occasionally, so it's nice to eat it out. I brought home enough for another meal.


And that is all I know, and since I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow, I can forego the bath tonight, which should make it easier to get to bed at a reasonable hour.


It's a quiet night in the field tonight.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM