A View From the Field








June, 2008

June 30

Well, here we are at the end of June and the end of the first half of the year. I can't figure out where it went.


It was about midnight when I got to bed last night, and I slept well. I was awake at 8:00, and it was so beautiful outside, I almost got up, but that wasn't enough sleep, so I finally made it out of bed at 10:30. Oh, well.


And I didn't do a whole lot, although when I thought that, I forgot that I got the dishwasher ready to go, put away the clean pots and pans, washed some more, and cleaned up the stove and the microwave. So I guess I did something, at least.


It was a pretty day, although it didn't stay as clear as it was in the morning. There were some high cirrus clouds in the sky, but there was a lot of sunshine. It didn't do much for the temperature, though, which stayed around 60 until the wind dropped this evening. There was a north wind in the 15-25 mph for most of the day, which kept it cool.


I forgot to mention Saturday that my state income tax refund came - the one I had to send in the property tax bills for. I guess they didn't think there were any high-priced houses in Keweenaw County, even though most of what has been built in the last 10 years is comparable to my house. Sometimes government really annoys me. I packed the check right up in an envelope and sent it off to be deposited. It was a nice amount, and it will help the financials this year.


I have been fiddling with how to cut the bias strips for the piping on my cushions, which will be the first task. I don't want to cut too much, which will waste fabric I can use for other things, but I want to make sure I have enough, so I've been scratching my head, and scratching on a piece of paper, over that. There is a cool way of cutting and seaming a rectangle of fabric so the strip can be cut in one continuous piece, and I'm anxious to try it. The last time I made piping (in the early 70s), I don't think I did it that way, and it will be fun. Of course, I've calculated that I need between 40 and 50 yards of piping, which will be a mess to deal with, but it will work much better if I can make it in one piece and cut it to size as I make the cushions.


So that was my quiet day, and it's now tomorrow, so it's high time I toddled up to the north end and called it a day.


June 29

I couldn't sleep last night. I wasn't uncomfortable, and I wasn't thinking about anything, and I certainly was tired enough, but I couldn't sleep. Heaven knows why. I had even read for a while before I turned out the light. I did finally get a few hours' worth, and I'm tired now.


It turned out to be a nice day altogether. I got up around 10:30, I think, and took my time about putting out the bird feeders. I missed the fog early in the morning, but when I got up, it was cloudy and cold - in the middle 40s - and there was a brisk wind out of the north. Brr!


Finally, around 3:00, it started to clear up, and the temperature started to rise. It got up to 63 at 7:00, but after it hit the upper 50s that real bite went out of the air. The wind was strong out of the north, and it is now in the 25-35 mph range.


What was nice about the day was that the group of friends who vacation up here got together at Nancy and Chip's house, and Carolyn, Peggy and I were all invited, too. We had wonderful whitefish and trout, with all the fixings, and watermelon for dessert. It was lovely. I took appetizers - cheese, some American Spoon Foods stuff, and crackers. I've learned to keep stuff like that around the house.


It was nice to see everyone, and Nancy and Chip are wonderful hosts. 


It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon and evening, and there was a very nice sunset, although I didn't walk down to the lake to see it. That is not a good path, and even though I brought the family cane, I didn't feel steady enough on my feet to try it.


So that was nice. The fur faces didn't like it at all, of course, because I was gone for quite a while, but oh, well. I need to have some social life.


I spent the afternoon transcribing, and made some progress. This story is another one that is the beginning of a long thread, and it needs to be out there. Unfortunately, it isn't done, although I know how it ends. I decided to transcribe it, because after reading it, I decided I need to rewrite the last six pages, and it will be easier to do that if it's on the computer. I am editing as I go, too, which will be good.


So that was my nice day, and now I'm tired. It's a pain-behind-the eyes tired, and that means bed, and soon.


It's a rather windy night in the field, but a good one for sleeping.


June 28

No reading and very little knitting last night, so I was in bed shortly after midnight. I first woke up about 3:30, and just about then the storm gods cleared their throats, and later on there was a flash of lightning out over the end of the point, and according to the Weather Underground, it started raining around 1:00 and kept it up until almost 7:00, for a nice total of 0.84 inches. 


It was still cloudy this morning, but it cleared up, and the afternoon was beautiful, with temperatures in the upper 60s (high of 69), lots of sunshine, and a brisk north wind to keep the bugs away.


I stopped to see Carolyn, who was out in her herb bed, when I went to the post office, and she almost inspired me to get into the garden, but by the time I got home, it was really too late. Maybe tomorrow, if it doesn't rain all day. It was a beautiful day to be out talking to somebody outside, though.


I woke up around 8:30 and that was too early, and the next time I woke up was 11:30, so I have had a very truncated day. Maybe I caught up on my sleep, though.


I managed to scratch the tops off the bites on my arms, so I now have three black fly bites covered by Band Aids. They still itch. I haven't gotten any since, though, and Aaron told Carolyn they are on their way out. I certainly hope so!


I really didn't do much, but I didn't have a lot of time. I transcribed a little, but that gets boring after a while, even though I am editing and rewriting as I go. And I worked a little on the bracelet. And that's it.


The wind seems to have dropped to nothing all of a sudden, and I have kind of a sinus headache. I'm sure many of the sinus headaches I suffered when I was working were partly from stress, but when the barometer goes up or down relatively rapidly, it has always affected my sinuses. There is something wrong with the plumbing in my head, and it seems hard to equalize the pressure in my sinuses. So since I am yawning, I guess I will take the hint.


I had just put the feeders out when a hummingbird stopped by, and there have been some goldfinches lately, but I'm just not getting many birds. When I go out in the morning, there is a little female squirrel always in the tree waiting for me. I sort of wonder if she made her nest up at the top or something, since it looks like her teats are being used. She can barely wait until I get everything out before she starts to scarf down sunflower seeds. I think she rules the roost, too, because the other two pay attention when she chatters at them. 


The female of the species is more deadly than the male...


Now the sun is over in the west, although it will be an hour before it sets, and I am going up to the north end and try to get an early start tonight. I still feel sleepy.


It's a lovely clear night in the field tonight.


June 27

Last night I did not read or knit, and I think I was in bed before midnight. I got up around 9:30, but I finished the Tofutsies sock, and cast on the second one, so it was around 11:00 when I got to the office.


There was a little sunshine in the morning, but by 11:00 it was cloudy and warm. I opened up the house, and it was very pleasant, with the temperature in the low 70s and a light breeze. However, sometime between 2:00 and 3:00, for about 20 minutes, the wind shifted to the east, and the temperature plummeted. I closed up the house and put on a sweater, and then, before the NWS station made its next report, the temperature apparently recovered. I think this happened a couple of times, because the temperature graph shows it declining gradually after 2:00, and that's certainly not what happened here. It was cold for a while! Anyway, I had to close up most of the house to keep the boiler off. Drat. 


It was cloudy and threatening for most of the afternoon, and after 7:00, there was a light drizzle that didn't help anything.


The only thing I did was some transcribing, so I don't have much to report.


There were a few goldfinches around this afternoon, but my hummingbirds seem to have deserted me altogether. I haven't had to fill the feeder in several days. I suppose they are nesting. 


I did have chase away three contentious squirrels. The squirrels we had around Detroit, black and fox, could be noisy up in the trees, but they never made any noise around the feeders that I can remember. My little red squirrels chatter and squeak any time there is more than one of them, and it can get annoying real fast when the door is open.


I have almost a dozen really annoying black fly bites, including one on each arm that I managed to break the blisters on. They have scabbed over, but my experience has been that they don't heal as fast if the blisters break. And they're still horribly itchy. I have two on my backside that are really annoying.


Curiously enough, I haven't gotten any more over the past two days, so I don't know what happened on Wednesday. Most of them are on my left side, and it almost seems like when I stuck myself out the door to put the feeders out, they were all waiting for me. Strange.


I think I may have heard the loon this afternoon, and I think I saw the eagle flapping across the harbor.


So that was a quiet day, and I'm off to the north end - no reading tonight!


June 26

Oops. I thought I was through reading, but I wanted to read over the "zero episode" of the thread I had been reading, and when I got into the binder, I discovered three fragments, two of which I didn't remember writing. That was frustrating, because one of them starts out quite interesting, and I have no clue at all where I thought it might go - or maybe that was why I dropped it. Anyway, as a result, it was after 2:00 when I got to bed. Oops.


When my eyes adjusted, there were stars in the sky. I think, at that hour of the morning, I was seeing my summer star, Arcturus, but I didn't put on my glasses to check it out for sure. Saturn and Mars are still around Regulus, but I think Leo had set by 2:30 am.


I got up around 9:30, which was too early, so maybe I can get to bed a little earlier tonight? Hope so. 


It was cool enough last night that I had to close the porch door, but Jasmine likes the window just as well, it seems. It was a good night to sleep, except that it is so humid that I kept waking up with sore hips.


When I woke up this morning, we were socked in again. It was foggy at first light, and the fog didn't burn off until nearly 5:00 this afternoon. It was really neat to hear the foghorns out in the lake again, especially when I got to the office, where I have a window open.


There was a moderate wind, in the 10-15 mph range, out of the north all morning, but it has been dead calm all afternoon. The humidity has been atrocious - the lowest it was all day was 80% - and the highest temperature is now, at 59. For most of the morning, the humidity was nearly 100%. There were droplets condensing on the screens, it was so humid, and it almost felt like drizzle when I was out on the deck, although the deck wasn't wet. Not the best weather for the arthritis, for sure.


We had a short broadband outage in the late morning, so I started transcribing the zero episode. I know I have one other story in progress and one that needs an ending, but I like to jump around when I'm doing this. I really don't enjoy transcribing, and it's nice to have some different things to work on.


I did some more transcription during the afternoon, but I also washed up all the pots and pans in the kitchen. I still have to clean the stove, which I forgot about while I was typing. After ATC came on, I worked on the bracelet and watched the birds.


I am happy to say there were a few goldfinches around today, but the hummingbirds have deserted me now. I think maybe they are nesting, and I do think they feed insects to their hatchlings. As for the goldfinches, I wonder if maybe it's a territorial thing. I was looking out the window sometime when it wasn't too foggy and what I think was the eagle flapped over toward the lake.


Jasmine is in her glory on the porch, especially when the sun is out. She got nervous when I came into the kitchen, but she was sitting on the couch, looking at me and I waved at her. I keep hoping one day she will trust me, but it will be a long haul. She is more comfortable at low temperatures than Buster is. Buster really has a very thin coat, even when he has his winter fur, and of course he is getting old. I think Jasmine's coat is much thicker and more insulating.


When she first got out of her cage, she wasn't excessively clean, but I think that's one thing Buster has taught her, and now her white is so clean it sparkles. She is really a very pretty little kitty.


Late in the afternoon, I discovered that I got chewed alive when I was putting out the bird feeders this morning. I have three bites on my left thigh, one on my backside, and at least one at the bend in my left elbow - and all those were through jeans and a tee! I am itching like mad tonight.


I have noticed, I think, that when the black flies first come out, they are rather selective about where they will bite, but as they get near the end of their run, they get desperate or something and they will bite anywhere and burrow through thick clothing to find flesh. I am fairly certain they can't get through my compression hose, but they can certainly get through denim and cotton knits! 


These bites surprised me, since it was quite windy when I was on the deck this morning, and that usually blows away all the bugs. However, as I've said many times, if there is a black fly in Copper Harbor, she will find me and bite me and leave a big, nasty welt or a blister.


So now it is time to toddle up to the north end and maybe tonight I can make it into bed at a reasonable hour. The big white binder and the big blue binder are the only two stories up there, and maybe I can control myself and not start reading.


It's a cool, calm night in the field, and it looks like there may be some stars again tonight.


June 25

I read for a while last night and got to bed around 12:30. Up at 9:30, and now I'm feeling sleepy again, so maybe it will be an earlier night tonight, since I've finally finished the reading I was doing. 


The last three episodes are mostly talk and mostly boring, although I can see that what I was really doing was laying the groundwork for what I've written since. It took me 25 years to get the whole thing straight in my mind. It would be nice to rewrite those stories in light of what I've written since, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it. They do need to be rewritten: most everything about the background has changed, and as I mentioned before, the dialog is rather lame. There are some good tales in there, though. Well, maybe someday.


I was able to take my bath with the porch door open last night, although there wasn't any wind at all. One of the nice things about living out in the country is being able to dry off in the breeze coming in off the porch. Maybe sometime this summer, I'll be able to do that. 


Anyway, as I was combing out my hair, I notice that all of a sudden it seemed to get very cool. When I checked the weather history this morning, I discovered that the temperature had dropped from 74 at midnight to 51 at 1:00...yikes! So I closed the porch door and opened the window in the hallway. I don't think Buster went out, but I do believe I heard Jasmine come in, so that's working OK.


Anyway, the temperature rebounded, and when I got to the office, it was 73 already, so I opened things up and it was nice. There was hardly any breeze, and it was a nice quiet morning. At noon it was 75, but by 2:00, the wind had shifted to the north and it was 57 - a bit chilly, for sure! Then a rain cell passed mostly north of us, out in the lake. We didn't get much rain at all, and the thunder, such as it was, was far away to the north. After that, the temperature rebounded to 74 at 6:00, and it is now dropping off again, into the low 60s. I have already closed one window in the office, and I think I will have to close the porch door again tonight. That's OK, so long as I don't have to worry about shutting somebody up on the porch.


When it was in the 70s and sunny, Buster was out on the porch in the sunshine, but he likes it warmer than it is now.


While I was outside putting out the bird feeders this morning, I saw the eagle soaring over the harbor for a few seconds. We have vultures, too, but the eagle holds his wings straight out, so I know it was him (or her). And later this afternoon, either during or right after the rain, I heard a loon calling fairly close by. I didn't go out to try to find it, though.


I worked at the kitchen, and it is a little better, although there are still some pans to wash, and there will be more, because I cooked tonight - pork chops with Spanish rice. I had some thoughts of going to the trash compactor, but when it started to rain, I decided not.


Now that I am through reading those old stories, I can get on to other things, maybe, and maybe make some progress in the office. I am still tripping over all my fabric, and I really do want to get at that soon.


So that was my quiet day, and it's off to the north end again.


June 24

I didn't read last night. The episode I'm reading is actually pretty boring - too much talk about things that they shouldn't be talking about. So I was in bed at midnight, and I got up around 9:00 this morning. Since I didn't have the binder with me, I knitted, and I started the toe of the Tofutsies sock. There are a lot of stitches in a sock (especially in my size) on #1 needles, and it's nice to be seeing the end of it. Of course, there is another one to go...


I had intentions, I really did. When I finally got to the office, though, it was already 67, and by the time I finished my surfing and my breakfast, it was 76 and climbing, and, well...


I did get the books in the office put away, which is one good thing. For a while, though, I had more stuff on the floor than I did before I cleaned it up last. There is still too much on the floor, but things need to be moved around. Eventually I'll get to it.


It would have been a nice morning to work in the garden, and I almost did, because when I looked down into the bed, which is full of weeds, one of my iris was out - the deep garnety-bronze one. That one, and the white one, have an incredible number of buds on them this year. And there is a peony that never has bloomed before, which should be either red or pink. I will be interested to see what color it is. The one iris that never has bloomed isn't going to this year, either, and the beaitiful blue one I like so well doesn't look like it will, although I haven't been down to inspect it. Oh, but I need to weed! I'm not sure I can even use a shovel anymore, though. We shall see.


Anyway, summer came today. The temperature peaked at 78. This morning, there was quite a wind, which helped some, but this afternoon it died away, and it got quite warm in here, although the temperature was zigzagging between 73 and 78 all afternoon. The wind was from the southwest, which is why it got so warm. I opened the doors, including the porch, and I opened a window in the back of the great room and the "front" door, which is in the back of the house, and there was a nice cross-draft for most of the afternoon, even though there wasn't much wind. The sky was partly cloudy, but there was a lot of sunshine. Now, if it will just stay this way...


I did go to the post office, and I brought in and put away the cat food that I brought back at the end of April, which doesn't seem to have included any of the fur-faces' favorite dry food, for some reason not known to me. I was sure I'd gotten some. There was a new variety Buster seemed to like a lot, though, so that is nice.


I went up to the north end to put on a pair of sandals, because my feet were hot and sore, and when I walked back through the porch, I saw a tail under the footstool...Jasmine has appropriated the porch. There is a way I can leave her a way in, if it cools off enough that I have to close both doors. There is a window into the hallway from the porch, and if I were to leave that open a bit, she could get in and it wouldn't cool things off as much as leaving the door open.


I have been forgetting to mention that it's lilac time in Copper Harbor - has been for nearly a week. They are so pretty, and they bloom so profusely around here. The pin cherries are in bloom, too, and the daisies, buttercups and cow vetch are beginning to come out. This doesn't look like it's going to be a big year for daisies or buttercups. A good portion of US-41 between here and Copper Harbor has cow vetch growing long the side of the road, and that is always pretty, especially when there are daisies and buttercups to go along with it. There is a little forget-me-not blooming, although not a lot. The red-twig dogwoods are out, and just since Saturday, the thimbleberries are beginning to bloom. So late spring is turning into early summer around here - at last. I can't say we really had a spring at all, the way we sometimes do.


So now it's beginning to get a little bit dark, and I think I will toddle up to the north end and see if I can get another good night's sleep, and maybe tomorrow...


June 23

I read some more, and it was 2:30 before I got to bed, and the only reason I got up at 10:30 was that I had to. I read again, and it was after noon before I got to the office. Tonight, maybe better.


The fog rolled in around noon, and it rolled out around 5:00, although it was evidently foggy out in the lake all day, if the foghorns were any indication. I do love to hear those foghorns! I still wonder why they use them anymore, with radar and all, but maybe it's a rule.


The temperature was in the low 50s all day, and the humidity was nearly 90%. There was a light wind in the morning, but it was calm for most of the afternoon.


It would have been a good day to spray weeds, but by the time I finished my surfing, it was too late. Oh, well. I really need to do something, The flower heads are beginning to form on the spotted knapweed, and it would be good to spray before the flowers come out. With all the rain we've had, the vegetation is extremely lush this year, including the noxious weeds.


I actually did something! I can actually see most of the floor around the desk area, and I can get into all the bottom cupboards. There are still piles, and I haven't started on the desk yet, but I did make some progress. I have a pile of books that needs to be put away someplace and a bunch of stuff I really don't know what to do with, but any progress is good progress.


I have been nursing a bad black fly bite on my left wrist. That came after two mosquito bites, and they are all nearly under my watchband. This one is all blistered now, and the trick will be to keep the blisters from breaking. It isn't so itchy anymore, at least. I also got one on my upper arm, which must have happened through my shirt. They are insidious little buggers, for sure.


When I put out the hummingbird feeder, later than I thought, according to the camera archives, before I even moved away from it, there was a male hummingbird there to get a drink. They are amazingly tame little birds. There was also a raven on the deck later in the afternoon, that didn't seem to bother the squirrels at all. I didn't think ravens ate sunflower seeds, and I thought squirrels were a little bit shy of them, but I guess not.


There is no wind at all now, and this end of the harbor is like a mirror, and it's so pretty! It's so quiet, too, which is what I love. I do wish I could have the windows open! But lower 50s is just a bit too chilly. I use enough gas as it is! 


So that was my day, and it feels good to have a start on the office problem. It's a lovely, calm night in the field tonight.


June 22

Well, I'm still reading, so I was late last night, and I will be late tonight as well, and nothing got done today. So there. I guess I just need to work through this.


The story of the day was the weather. When I got up, around 10:00, it was beautiful, sunny and nearly clear. I was in the office doing my surfing when I looked up, about 11:30, and lo and behold, I couldn't see anything! The harbor was full of pea-soup fog. That wasn't forecast.


In fact, the weather forecast made me laugh. There was no mention of fog at all until the 4:30 (or so) update, then they mentioned fog around the lake. Duh. We'd only had it all afternoon!


Anyway, it was foggy until about 9:30. As it was going away, between 9:15 and 9:30, with the sun low in the northwest, it was really pretty, and the fog almost had a rosy color right before it went away.


The temperature was in the upper 50s all day, with a high of 61. The wind, such as it was, was out of the north, but it was less than 10 mph all day. It was really humid - the relative humidity was between 87% and 91% all day long.


That's my excuse, of course. This kind of weather is not good for my joints, my back particularly. I did work on the bracelet for a while, and my hands are sore, too.


So that was my day, and I will shuffle off to the north end and probably read until 2:00 again. It is a calm, lovely night in the field.


June 21

I read again last night, and it was 2:00 before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00, I think, after it became clear I wasn't going back to sleep. However, I read some more, and it was noon before I got to the office, so the feeders got put out late again.


It was late enough that I didn't do anything again. This really has to stop sometime.


However, about the time I was thinking about getting dressed, I got a call from Nancy, and not only are they here, but the other couples they meet every year arrived today, too, so we all went up to the Mountain Lodge for dinner. It was so nice to see everyone again! 


However, I'm afraid I have to report that I was most disappointed in the Mountain Lodge. Prices have gone up a lot, and I wasn't impressed by the quality. They want $25 for the buffet, and there isn't all that much on it. The salad bar is very small, and so is the buffet. The prime rib was good, but the turkey was overcooked. It's a real shame. They are going to have to do better.


Anyway, the couple that stays at the Fort hadn't unpacked their truck yet, so I was home by around 8:00. Such nice people!


Well! I was just about to talk about the weather, and when I went to the Weather Underground's weather history page, there wasn't anything on it. So this will be short and vague.


It was a beautiful day again today. It was mostly clear, and the temperature was mostly in the 50s, although late in the day it seems to have gone up to 66 or so. There was a north wind in the 15-20 mph range for most of the day, although it has calmed down now. There were a few clouds coming up in the west at sunset. 


So that is about all I have to report, and maybe I can be a little more productive tomorrow. It's a quiet night in the field tonight.


June 20 - Summer Solstice

As of 7:59 EDT, it is now officially summer. Sky & Telescope says this is the first time since 1896 that the solstice has fallen on the 20th. Time to hang up the summer banner! Now if the weather would kindly cooperate...


I didn't get to bed until midnight, but once I got into bed, I certainly did sleep...I woke up at 9:30, looked at Buster and the clock, and dozed for another hour before I got up. Now, another night like that, and I should be just fine again.


I actually did something today. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, put away the clean pots and pans and washed the dirty ones. The kitchen looks much better now, although the stove needs some attention. I have said before that I hate to do any tasks that have to be done over again, and I think that is why I keep neglecting the kitchen.


The weather was pretty nice, although our high temperature for the day occurred at 9:00 this morning - 66. It got windy after that, and the temperature dropped into the mid 50s, where it has been for most of the day. The wind has dropped off a bit now. I had the doors open for part of the afternoon, because it got very warm in here, but I had to close them to stop the cold breeze from the north on my back. It was mostly clear for most of the day, with some clouds of various sorts. Now there is a big, dark, amorphous cloud looming up in the west, and there is a cell of light rain to our southwest, but it seems to be moving due east, so it probably won't get here.


I had a second frustrating attempt to order something online. Yesterday it was Nancy's Notions, and today it was Eddie Bauer. I'm don't think all the trouble is on this end, although I have been having some interruptions of service. I'm not quite sure why. I wasn't able to complete either order, so maybe somebody is trying to tell me something. So I went and got some chocolate. So there.


When I went to get my dinner tonight, I looked over toward the patio doors, and there were Buster and Jasmine on the footstool in the sun, watching the passing show on the deck. Jasmine just wants to be where Buster is all the time, and I can understand why he gets annoyed. So would I, if somebody clung to me like that. The trouble is, she should be bonded to me, not him. Well, maybe that will come in time.


Now it is time to shift up to the north end. It's a quiet night in the field tonight.


June 19

Well, that was a night! I got to reading after I brought in the bird feeders, and it was getting light when I finally went to bed this morning. I got up at noon, more or less, but I didn't get a lot of sleep. Oops.


I was reading some of the older stuff I've written. The dialog is lame - and there's too much of it - but the stories are interesting. They could be turned into something.


Anyway, I didn't do anything today, because it was nearly 3:30 when I finished doing my morning surfing. Oh, well.


The weather was certainly an improvement over the past few days. The sun came out, and while there were some clouds, it was mostly sunny all day. The temperature has finally gotten up to 60. While there was a 10-15 mph wind for most of the day, it's been calm this evening. For while, I was looking out the south windows at a baby-blue sky with wispy baby-pink clouds in it. So pretty! Now it looks to be nearly clear.


I was reading in the office last night, and after a while I looked out the south windows, and there was the full moon, low in the sky, sort of pale yellow and a bit bigger than it looks when it is overhead. It was so pretty. When I finally went down the hall, it was leaving a wide glitter path on the harbor as it set over the Mountain Lodge. So while I didn't see it rise, I did get to see it.


Buster and Jasmine couldn't figure me out, but they finally went away and went to sleep, although they were up and Jasmine, at least, was very energetic when I went to bed. I turned over around 10:00, and Buster came and curled up behind my knees again, and when I got up, Jasmine jumped down - she had been sleeping with him.


Now, that is a queen-sized bed, and at the end is a heavy comforter all folded up. So why they can't just sleep at the foot of the bed, like normal cats, I just don't know. When DC was alive, he slept on one side of the foot and Buster slept on the other. Buster doesn't sleep with me often anymore, for some reason I don't know, and when he does, he wants to be right on top of me. Jasmine just wants to cuddle up to Buster wherever he is. Why they can't do it where they are out of my way, I don't know. Weird little cats.


So that was my upside-down day, and I'm off to the north end to try to get back on schedule. I would have made a great astronomer.


Anyway, it's a beautifully calm, clear night in the field, and I might even see a star or two.


June 18

Another yucky day, but at least it didn't rain.


I read for too long and it was after midnight when I got to  bed. I seem to sleep better when I go to bed later, and I was tired. I think it was about 9:30 or so when I got up, but I don't remember. I knitted a while and finished the story I was reading, so it was nearly noon when I got to the office, and I got the bird feeders out late. Poor birdies!


I spent the day thinking about all the things I should be doing but didn't, so I really did nothing at all...well, I did cook. It was about time I had some fowl, so I did some chicken breasts that I still need to put away.


It was another cold, cloudy day. The temperature was mostly in the low 50s, and there was a moderate (10-16 mph) wind out of the north. It was very humid. Not nice, and not good for my joints.


I should note that we are at the time of longest daylight, just 3 seconds less than 16 hours. That's nice, but it would be nicer if it was clear. We won't even get to see the Solstice Moon tonight. It is as far in the south as the sun is at the winter solstice, so it should look big and probably yellow, but it's cloudy enough that I doubt we'll see it at all. It may clear up later tomorrow, which will be good. I seem to have much more interest in things in general when it's sunny.


My portable photo studio came today, and when I can make room for it on my desk, I will try taking some pictures of jewelry and see if they come out better. It includes a couple of lights and a little tripod, which I think will hold my camera. I have another mini tripod that I used with my film cameras when I was taking close-ups, and it is much more sturdy. Anyway, if I am going into the jewelry thing in earnest, I want to take good pictures, and shooting with a pad on my lap by ambient light isn't the best way to do that. I've been surprised that some of those pictures came out at all.


I guess I haven't talked about Jasmine lately. I think we have turned another corner. At least twice she has curled up in the bathroom closer to me than ever before, and one night lately, when I came in, she was sleeping on the rug and she just stayed there. When she is sleeping in the great room, I can now walk right by her and while she will look at me, she doesn't move. Tonight, after I finished my dinner, I let Buster lick the plate, and after he had gone, Jasmine came up and she had a few licks, too. I wouldn't say she is completely trusting, but she's getting better. The only time she will certainly run is when she wants to eat and I am still in the kitchen. If I walk at all in her direction, she runs away, poor thing. I do hope that someday I can convince her I don't mean her any harm, but it's a long, slow road.


So that was my quiet day, and it's time to put the dinner away and toddle up to the north end. At least sleeping is good in this weather!


June 17

Golly, I thought yesterday was yucky!


I read for a while and got to bed around 11:00, I think, and I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. When I finally woke up for good, I discovered that Buster was curled up right in the bend of my knees. That does make it rather hard to move at all. If he hadn't been there, I probably would have rolled over, off my sore hip, and dozed for a while, but instead I got up...about 9:00. I knitted a little and finished reading the story I'd been reading, so it was 11:00 or so when I got to the office. 


I didn't put out the bird feeders until after noon, and it was really nasty outside, cold and damp and windy. It was like that all day long. The temperature was between 50 and 55, and for a while, there was a strong north wind, in the 15-25 mph range. A little after 2:00, it began raining, and it has been dribbling down ever since. It is dark and dank and nasty. Yuck. Double yuck.


I was so creaky and achy that I didn't do anything much. 


I was glad to see a few goldfinches back at the bird feeder, and the hummingbirds are still hitting the nectar feeder hard. In the middle of the afternoon, there was a bird whose silhouette I didn't recognize trying to eat sunflowers at the tube feeder and having a hard time of it. I tried to look at it through the binoculars, and there were so many raindrops on the window, I still couldn't see it. I hope it comes back when I can see it better.


So that is all I know, and I think I will dive into bed and pull the covers over my head. It is a dismal, rainy night in the field.


June 16

I was going to read out of the big blue binder last night, but I was so tired that I put it away and turned out the light around 10:30. I did sleep, but it was a restless night, and I was up every hour or two. The swelling in my feet has gone away, which is good. I haven't a clue what brought that on, though. I didn't think duck was a diuretic.

I was up around 9:30, I think, but I read for a while, much to Buster's disgust. He can't sit on my lap when there is a book on it, especially a three-ring binder.


The task of the day was the kitchen, and while it isn't completely done, all the pots and pans are washed and the dishwasher is filled to run tonight. Tomorrow maybe I can do the counters and unload the dishwasher. I didn't do that this time, and it annoyed me enough that I will try not to do it again.


Late in the afternoon, my new neighbor, Jean, whose house was built over the winter, came to introduce herself. She seems like a nice lady with good terminal facilities, so it was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so. She is about my age, but she is still working, so she won't be able to spend the entire summer in her new house.


The weather was blah. It was cloudy, windy, and cool all day long. The temperature was between 50 and 55 all day and the wind was between 15 and 25 mph out of the north. Around 6:00 it began to rain lightly. Yuck.


Buster seems to feel a bit better today, and he came out to greet Jean, which was very nice of him. I haven't seen Jasmine all day. She was dancing around the house early this morning, so I suppose she got tired out and went off to sleep. It was a good day to do that.


So now I will go up to the north end and do that. I think I can forego the bath tonight, so I will be able to read for a while.


It's a cool, moist night in the field tonight.


June 15

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there. Since my dad died 30 years ago this summer (!), I haven't had one in such a long time, I tend to forget.


I got to bed around 11:00 last night - reading again, since I located the binder that was missing - and I slept very well, thank you. I got up sometime between 9:30 and 10:00, but I petted a cat, knitted a few rows, and read some more, so it was late when I got to the office.


I felt better than yesterday, but not a lot, so I didn't do much again. I had sort of a sinus headache all day. I think,  besides the pollen, of which there is a lot, the barometer has been going up and down lately, and that tends to bother my sinuses.


Anyway, besides reading, I put the loop on the bracelet and started another one. I thought about putting the beads away for a while and trying to get the office shoveled out so I can make cushion covers and tote bags, but I decided I might as well keep one going. It's something I can pick up for a few minutes when I 

need something to keep my hands busy.


Maybe with another good night's sleep, I will feel up to doing something tomorrow. The kitchen is a disaster, and so is the office. 


However, the rolls of fabric are right in the middle, and they fall over every so often, just to remind me I need to get started on that. I don't think it will take long - maybe a week or two - but I need to grit my teeth, oil up the sewing machine, and get started. Very likely I will have to order some new foam inserts for the wicker rocker seats, and while I'm at it, I might as well order enough to redo the little bench in my closet, which is so old the foam has disintegrated and turned to dust. After seeing what I have done to the cover, I think if I have any left, using some of the outdoor fabric for the cover might be a good idea. We'll see. I sort of waved my hands hard when I estimated the amount of fabric I will need and I'm not sure how much, if any, will be left.


The hummingbirds were swarming again today, and the feeder is just about empty again, but I didn't see any birds at the other feeders. It was so windy, I'm sure that was the reason. The squirrels were around, of course. Pretty soon the hummingbirds will go off and start nesting, which will cut down on the numbers at the feeder. Slowly, I am learning the cycles of nature around here.


This morning, when I went into the closet to get dressed, Buster was sitting on the bench staring out like there was a parade going by, but I didn't notice anything at the time. A while later, when I went into the powder room, I saw what he must have been watching. There was a deer bedded down right behind the corner of the garage nearest the house! It was on alert, and its ears kept swiveling around, but it didn't seem upset at all, and while it may have heard me in the powder room, it didn't go away until after I left. I don't know if it was my big deer that I think is an antlerless buck, because all I could see was its head. Evidently, at least one deer has discovered it's quiet and safe in my backyard.


It is really neat to look out the window and see just the head of a deer poking above the grass.


I went to Harbor Haus tonight and used my gift certificate - thanks again to the generous ladies who gave it to me! I had duckling, but for some reason, I wasn't very hungry, so I brought most of it home. Buster will enjoy it, too. It was good, and it warms up good, too For the past few days, I've been eating everything in sight, so I'm glad to see whatever caused that is over with now. 


Several people from town were there, honoring dad, so that was nice. I got to have a short conversation with Peggy. And yes, the Mariner people eat at Harbor Haus, and the Harbor Haus people eat at Mariner, especially in spring and fall. And everybody else in town eats both places.


So far as the weather is concerned, today was a lot like yesterday. It was partly cloudy and quite windy. The temperature got up to 66 briefly around 5:00 pm, and there were wind gusts up to 30 mph. As I was driving home from dinner, there were a couple of raindrops.


I discovered this morning that I did get chewed up yesterday. The bite on my finger is small and isn't bothering me too much, but I have two huge welts on the back of my neck - so much for short hair! - and another little bug - er, bugger - crawled down the front of my tee and took a chunk out of my real side under my bra. I think there may be another bite on my shoulder blade, but I can't either feel or see back there. The ones on my neck are awful, but they didn't bother me very much until I put on a polo shirt to go to dinner, and the collar makes them itch. All of those are black fly bites. I don't think I've had a certifiable mosquito bite in several years. The mosquitoes are big and sluggish and I can usually either bat them away or squish them before they do any damage. Black flies, on the other hand, are sneaky critters, and most times I don't know I've been bit until they're gone. I guess it's DEET time.


I have been delighted to hear that scientists have now found 23 different compounds that repel insects better than DEET. I hope some of them get on the market real soon. DEET works, but it stinks, it is oily and nasty, and it dissolves plastic. I ruined the display on one of my old cordless phones because I talked on it after I sprayed my face with DEET. Now I use a headset, so all I have to do is keep it away from my ear, but still. I have to be really careful how I put it on so that I don't mess up my glasses, which are polyacrylic and no doubt would dissolve, too. MS doesn't know what polyacrylic is, either.


On that topic, I found a site that would let me download the OED, but I think they want around $300 for it, and while it would have "turd", I doubt it would have "polyacrylic". 


The English language still amazes me for its variety and number of available words. I've been in love with words since I was a little girl. I've even been known to sit down and read a dictionary...or a thesaurus.  Learning other languages never interested me very much, because I've always felt I am still learning to use my own. Latin was interesting because it has given us so many scientific words, and I know the way I write sentences was heavily influenced by German (and MS gets totally confused by it), but I really can't read or speak very much of either of those languages. I may even be better at Latin than German, because so much of my favorite sacred music either is in Latin or once was. Except, of course, J. S. Bach...


I was going to forego the bath tonight, except that a new neighbor called and wants to stop by and introduce herself tomorrow, so I'd better be sort of presentable.


Now the clouds have begun to go away again, and the wind is dropping, like it usually does late in the day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and read a little. It's another lovely early summer evening in the field.


June 14

I was in bed by 10:30 again, but I didn't sleep well. I think it was partly a temperature thing, but I really don't know why. I got up around 9:00, and Buster didn't come for his morning pet, which concerned me. I guess he was asleep in the great room or something.


He wasn't acting right all day, though. He didn't sleep very much, and he spent a long time sitting hunched up on the throw by the east windows. Jasmine didn't sleep, either. She was worried, and she wanted to be with Buster, but she didn't want to get too close to me. I hope all he has is a hairball. He has been shedding amazingly, and that could be it. Late this afternoon, he jumped on my lap, and I discovered a little turd stuck to the fur under his tail. You would have thought I was pulling his tail out when I went after it, but I did get it out, and he seemed grateful. He immediately sat down and washed his hind end.


By the way, I just discovered that turd is not in Microsoft's dictionary, nor in my soft-cover American Heritage Dictionary. I know it is a vulgarism (although I don't know what else you'd call it that isn't stuffy), but I really wonder about dictionary makers. Do they think that those words will cease to exist or cease to be used if they don't put them in their dictionaries? It's a good old Anglo-Saxon word, very descriptive.


It was cloudy early in the day, but it cleared up rather nicely later in the afternoon. The temperature hit its high - 65 - around noon. Then the wind shifted north and rose into the 15-25 mph range, and the temperature dropped to 54 before it rebounded as the wind dropped. It was very humid all day, and there was a haze over the harbor, so I'm glad it wasn't any warmer than it was.


I didn't feel very robust, and I was rather headachy, so I didn't do a lot. I did finish the copper and green zigzag bracelet, except for the loop. And I was up and down various stairs several times, letting Adam in and so forth. Everything he had to do went well, the pond is now refilled, although it's not completely clean, and there is water from the lake for the garden.


The garden is a mess, again. The weeds are horrible, and the spotted knapweed and hound's tongue are incredibly large and lush...we won't even talk about the tansy. However, the weeding we did last year has helped. At least three iris are going to bloom, and three peonies, including one that has never bloomed before, and the two remaining poppies are looking good, too. I really need to get down there and dig! However, my nice new seat is in incredibly many pieces, and it takes two screwdrivers and two wrenches (!) to put it together, and I just didn't feel up to that today. Besides, it weighs 35 lbs, and it will take some doing to get it down into the garden.


I was finishing my dinner when all of a sudden, Jasmine started trying to get under one of the rolling organizers, and when I moved some stuff out of the way, there was a little, skinny gray mouse! That is the first mouse since last fall, and it was so skinny I guess it was desperate. She hasn't caught it yet, but I have confidence that she will. Buster looked at it and just stood there, which leads me to think both that he doesn't feel very good, and that he has passed the mousing duties on to the younger generation. She isn't very patient, but if that mouse is still around here, she'll catch it. There is a lot of birdseed on the floor in the office, so I think if she just hangs around, she'll get it. If I had been able to catch it, I would put it out on the deck, but I'm not fast enough, even though it looked like it was getting tired the last time I saw it.


For most of the afternoon, while I was beading, I was watching the bird feeders. I don't know where the goldfinches have gotten to, although it was quite windy for them. The hummingbirds are courting, and they are swarming around the nectar feeder. There is one guy (I think it is the same one) who perches on the end of one of the dead branches, and when a lady hummingbird comes by, he goes after her. And there was one pair that flew up into the pine tree, and I saw him doing a small version of his u-shaped courting dance. The wind didn't seem to bother them at all.


There was one female squirrel that looks to me like she has given birth. She is pretty skinny and her teats look like they're being used. She was very hungry, too. It would worry me more, except that we never seem to have more than three or four squirrels around here. I suspect the mortality, especially in baby squirrels, is high.


Even though the wind was strong, it was awfully buggy around here. I've noticed that when bugs start flying around me, I get itchy, even if I don't get bit. I did get one bite, a black fly, I think, on my left index finger, right above the scar from my cut...I think I had one there last year, too. We have a remarkable crop of mosquitoes this year, I suppose because it has been so wet. Some I have seen on the screens and on me are a good quarter-inch long...and hungry. It's been cool enough, though, that they are sluggish, and I have managed to dodge them.


It's another nice summer evening now, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and try to get a better night's sleep. I haven't decided whether to eat out tomorrow or not, but I guess I'd better bathe, just in case.


All is well in the field tonight.


June 13

Last night, I was in bed by 10:30, so when I got up at 8:00, it wasn't such a jolt. I had my breakfast and did my surfing before two kids pulled up in a little van...not what I'd hoped.


They didn't get all the boxes in the van. There are still several in the garage, darn it. And while they moved most of the stuff around that I wanted moved, I forgot about the boxes in the hallway, so they are still there, darn it. However, things are much better around here. While there are still some boxes and stuff in the great room and the hall next to the stairs, it is a whole lot better than it was before. And they didn't mess up the basement too badly.


I had to make several trips up and down stairs, so after they left, I sat and didn't do much of anything for the rest of the day, and I'm tired now. 


I mitigated the sore feet by wearing my Crocs. I am getting hooked on those things. My feet sweat in them, but the bottoms are so cushy, and the toes are so big they give my feet room to wiggle, which is really nice.


One of the reasons I am so tired is that the morning was ugly. We reached our maximum temperature of 70 at 11:00, and for all the time they were here, the humidity was over 70% - more like 90% when they got here. There was a wind from the southwest, which helped a little, but not much with that humidity. Then, between 11:00 and noon, the wind shifted around to the north and the temperature plummeted to 57, or cooler here.


I have to say that it was incredibly buggy out behind the house. There were black flies, mosquitoes and who knows what other nasties flying around in droves. Even the kids packing the van remarked on it, and they're natives. I don't think I got bit, but it's amazing that I didn't.


I had opened up the house, and then I got frozen, to the extent that the fingers of my right hand got numb from my Reynaud's Syndrome, and I couldn't thaw them out. It is nearly impossible to type when my fingers are like that, because it hurts to press the keys.


It was clear or nearly clear all day long, although there are some clouds in the sky now, and the last temperature reading was 66, although it doesn't feel that warm to me, with that north wind coming over the cold water. The last time I checked, the water temperature in the big lake was about 37. Brr! Wear your life vest!


What is left here is sort of a mess, but there isn't much of it, so I think maybe I can get things straightened around without too much trouble. It is nice to have all that stuff out of the first floor, for sure. Now if I could get to hanging pictures, I could get rid of a whole lot more stuff. And there is a box of silver that needs shining and packing away. Oh, there's always something to do...


Tonight was the spaghetti dinner to benefit the fire department, so I went to that and just happened along as the three Kauppi girls came in - Sherry, Mary, and Cindy, so I sat with them and got caught up on what is going on with them, which was very nice. They are nice people, and they seem to feel, as I have, that their mother grafted me onto the Kauppi family.


Along with the dinner, they always have a bake sale, and I came home loaded down with stuff, of course, but no cookies this time. I got cheesecake and custard-stuffed cream puffs, a slice of almond torte, six blueberry muffins in a beautiful hand-made basket, and a loaf of Mary Ann's nisu (a Finnish sweet bread). Just what I don't need, but I was getting really hungry for some home-made baked goods, to the extent that I was wondering if I should attempt some muffins. Now I won't need to. I had the cheesecake for dessert, and it was yummy.


This year, they had a silent auction, too, but the only thing I saw that I liked was a lovely silver necklace where I would have been bidding against Peggy, and I don't need another necklace anyway, so I passed. They had some nice things, but not a lot. Maybe next year, I can contribute something. Support your local fire department. The house they save may be your own.


They had a very good turnout, which I am always glad to see. Even people down M-26, whom I'm not sure are served by the Grant Township fire department, came...of course, it was all-you-can-eat for $8. I like Peggy's spaghetti sauce, although I do have to say, I like my own better. It is good, though, and they had things like coleslaw and potato salad to go with it.


So now I am going to publish this and trundle up to the north end. Adam is coming tomorrow to rig the pump and drain the pond and put on the screen doors, so I can't dawdle, although he won't be early, since he knows me.


It's a breezy night in the field, and it was nice to see the sunshine today.


June 12

First, let me thank everyone who wrote me about the ads. The consensus seems to be to do it, so now I am waiting to hear from PastyNet. If showing them would turn my site into a commercial site in their eyes, I don't think I would do it.


Let me reiterate that these are not pop-up or pop-under ads, nor do they have flashing lights and animation. They are small squares with a possibly relevant blurb and a website, very small, and very tasteful. They are on the bottom of the Pasty Cam page, and I doubt many people notice them very much, which is too bad.


According to the guidelines Google puts out, if I put them on my website (that is, if they approve me), I am not permitted to click on the ads myself, nor am I permitted to urge my readers to click on them. OK, so since I haven't signed up yet, if you begin to see little ads someplace on these pages, please remember, I'm trying to fund keeping my house and keeping the webcam running. Heh-heh.


Anyway, I appreciate all your comments.


I ended up not getting to bed until 2:30 or so. A friend emailed me a site about an ocean-going ship full of cars that tipped over nearly horizontal in the middle of the north Pacific, and I got engrossed in as much of the story as I could read before IE locked up and I had to reboot. Sometimes the contrariness of inanimate objects is a good thing.


I finally got up around 10:00, but I didn't get enough sleep, my back was sore, and all the things I wanted to do today to prepare for the guys coming to get my boxes and move stuff around just didn't get done. Sigh.


With the weather as it was, I probably couldn't have done it anyway. When I got up, the temperature was in the low 50s, with a wind from the south in the 15-35 mph range, and it was raining steadily. It rained until around 1:00, when I finally put out the bird feeders. Then the temperature went up to 61, where it stayed for the rest of the afternoon, again with that strong south wind. It started raining again about 8:00, so I don't know if I'll be able to get the feeders in or not.


There was a power glitch about 6:30 this morning, and the camera didn't update again until after 11:00, when I reset everything. Everything comes up after a power failure, but for some reason the broadband receiver and the computer get out of sync and won't communicate. It wasn't a very good connection, so I suspect the storms way south of us were causing some connection problems. Then around 3:30, it went away altogether, because there was a power failure in southern Keweenaw and northern Houghton counties - where the PastyNet main office is located. It eventually came back up, and it seems all right now, but who knows? Sometimes I think I should have opted for satellite...but I like the service I get from PastyNet. Support your local ISP.


Anyway, the website will be missing a lot of pictures from today, not that there was much to see, except the squirrelly squirrels trying to get into the bird feeder. I really must get the birdseed transferred to the pails so I can put out the deck feeder. That keeps them out of the other feeders a lot.


So I did nothing except for a few rows on the sock and a few rows on the bracelet. I read at least part of the stuff about Google ads, and that was about it.


I've decided I hate reading verbiage online. They send you off in all directions, and it's hard to find your way back to where you started, and it's hard to refer back to earlier pages. I grew up reading from paper, and I guess I'll never really get over that.


Now I am tired, and it's a wet, windy night in the field. The only thing good about it is that it's still 60. It will be a good night to sleep.


June 11

It was actually only 12:30 when I got to bed last night, even though I did reread the end of the white binder again.  Amazing. So I got up around 9:00 this morning, which was amazingly early for me.


While I was sitting in the bathroom last night, Buster gave up a rather large hairball, and he clearly didn't feel good all night long. Most cats are fine after they get rid of a hairball, but it takes him a while. So he burrowed under the covers on the left side of the bed and went to sleep with his head sticking out. Jasmine was so worried about him that she actually got on the bed, walked all the way up to beside the pillow, kneaded the sheepskin pad for a few moments, and sat and purred very loudly for a long time. I don't know when she went away. That is about the longest time she has ever spent very close to me, but she is clearly bonded to Buster, not me. I think he felt better this morning, but sometimes it is hard to tell.


So along about noon, I started for town. It wasn't the nicest day, but it was a little better than yesterday. 


I realized that while I have taken pictures of the covered road in the winter and in the fall, I have never taken any in the spring, so on my way down, I stopped several places and took a few pictures. Here they are. That is a pretty drive at any time of year in any kind of weather. It would have been nicer if it had been sunny, but we can't have everything. You can see that some of the leaves still have a reddish tint to them. 


I had toyed with making a stop at Office Max to get some more note card stock, but I decided against it. The credit card has been hit too hard this month already, and I tend to go nuts in office supply stores. So my only stop was at Econo Foods, where I did considerable damage. I needed to stock up on TV dinners (I call Stouffer's entrees TV dinners - they might as well be), and they are expensive, and I got a lot of yogurt. They had a special on flatiron steaks, which I have had at Mariner but never seen in the store before. So I got some of those, as well as a couple of rib eye steaks and a package of pork chops for the freezer. My total bill was rather hair-raising, but that will probably last five weeks. I won't have all the fresh veggies and fruit I have now, or the lunchmeat, but with a couple of stops at the general store for milk and eggs, I will be all set until I run out of OJ and JD again.


What I didn't realize until I got my bill is that apparently on Wednesdays they give senior citizens a 5% discount on the total bill before taxes, and over and above their courtesy card prices. With food prices as high as they are, 5% is nothing to sneeze at. So I guess I will be going to town on Wednesdays preferably, at least until Hughes Farm opens for the season.


Then I stopped to top off my gas tank, and gas was a bit cheaper than the last time I was there - $4.16. That is outrageous, but better than I feared. I didn't need much gas, and it appears that my mileage has been pretty good lately, but I just habitually fill up when I am in town.


Then it was off for home, and while I got behind a line of very, very law-abiding people going out of Calumet, they all went away at Allouez, and the rest of the trip home was good. I got back right at 4:00.


I took Cliff Drive for the first time this year, but there wasn't much to see. The apple and cherry blossoms are out, and on Quincy Hill and in Hancock, the lilacs are in bloom. Our lilacs are just showing their buds.


I unloaded right away, because I discovered that the kid who packed my order had put stuff like deli meats and pasta salads in paper bags, so it never got put in the cooler...sometimes I wonder where they get those kids. Geez!


There was a real problem getting everything into the fridge, and it is bulging at the seams right now, because even before I got all the new stuff, it had two casseroles and a bunch of English muffins in it, as well as a lot of other stuff that sometimes makes me wonder. I still have not found a well-laid-out fridge, and the only thing that makes this one better than the disaster I had at Champine is that this one isn't as deep, and I can usually fish stuff out of the back of it without too much problem.


Tomorrow I will pack away my steaks in individual packages, and then I will be set for a long time.


The weather was only marginally better than yesterday, in that there wasn't any fog. The temperature was about 43 all night, then it went up to just under 50, where it stayed all day. There wasn't any wind here. It got a couple of degrees warmer in Houghton, and the top of that hill where Econo's gas pumps are is always windy. There wasn't more than a little gleam of sunshine. When I went out to bring in the bird feeders, a few little drops of rain were coming down, but the storms that were predicted may peter out before they get to us. I wish we'd get a good drenching rain, and we may before the end of the week, but maybe not tonight.


I have a question I would like to ask everyone who reads this site. It has been suggested to me that I might put some Google ads out on the site, to bring in a little money from it. Evidently, every time somebody clicks on an ad, the site would get $2, which is rather nice. However, I don't know if maybe doing that would compromise the personal nature of this thing. Most of the Google ads I have seen are very small and modest, and wouldn't intrude too much. But I don't know. Would having ads on the site turn you off? Amazon also apparently has a program where a site gets some consideration every time someone goes to Amazon from the site, and I might consider that, too. But it it would cause me to lose some of my modest readership, I wouldn't do it. Please let me know what you think.


So that was my day, and it wasn't too strenuous, so I don't feel too bad. Now I will try to get to bed before midnight and get up early again tomorrow. It's a quiet, moist night in the field.


June 10

Oh, it was late again. I read the last stuff I wrote in the white binder, because I thought I might have finished it, but now I don't think so. I left too many loose ends that could be tied up, and the last part ended rather abruptly. So I will have to write some more...aw, too bad!


Anyway, it was at least 1:30 when I got to bed (I didn't check), and the first time I woke up, it was light already. I woke up again around 9:30 and decided to get up, with the vague idea of making my monthly food run.


However, after petting a cat, knitting, doing my morning surfing and talking to Charlie Hopper...and looking out the windows...I decided to postpone it until tomorrow. It was very foggy and very cold out. Not a nice day at all!


I called Charlie to ask about a job, and had no luck. They are stuck in the situation of having to purchase and install a lot of equipment with no financial backing, and they are, after all, a non-profit. Anyway, he knows I am looking, and I made a couple of suggestions for jobs I might do.


By the way, if anybody in Marquette County reads this thing, please, please sign up with PastyNet for your broadband. Ignore anything AT&T or any other ISPs try to tell you. You'll be doing us all a favor. I don't know what I would do if PastyNet went under.


The weather was plain lousy for the middle of June. The temperature was 41 for the whole morning, with lots of fog and hardly any wind. It eventually cleared up a bit and the temperature eventually rose to 48, but that's not saying much. It was raw and nasty. I met Mary Ann at the post office, and she had on her winter jacket and gloves, since she was walking. I was able to drive her to the Community Center, where she does some work. Sometime after I got to the north end last night, it started raining, and it apparently rained for an hour or more before the fog rolled in. Yuck. Just lousy.


So since I wasn't going anywhere, I surfed a bit, and the current bracelet is about half done.  I went to the post office, more to mail some stuff than to get the mail, and there wasn't much of interest. There was a magazine (book?) on how to make vintage-look jewelry, which I have misplaced, of course.


I didn't put out the bird feeder on the deck, since my pails are empty and I didn't feel like filling them, so the squirrels got into the other feeders. I wasn't paying much attention to the feeders at all today, but it seems not so many birds come when it's cloudy. I don't know why.


So that was a quiet day. Now the wind is rising and the temperature is beginning to fall, and it's going to be a cold night in the field.


June 9

So last night I got to reading or something again, and it was 2:00 before I turned out the light. Buster wanted me to get up at 9:30, but I managed to put him off until 10:30. I hope it will be a little earlier tonight.


I knitted and read some more, so it was noon by the time I got to the office.


It was a cloudy and windy morning, but it eventually there was a little sunshine. Along about 7:30 this evening a neat thing happened. It began to get foggy, and just after 8:15, a very thick gray cloud came by right on the surface of the harbor, and it was very foggy for about 30 minutes...then it passed over to the south, and it was clear again. I wonder what caused that?


In the early afternoon, it was quite breezy, but later the wind died down, and now it is quite calm. The temperature was mostly between 55 and 60, except between 1:00 and 3:00 when it got up to 68 briefly. Then the temperature plummeted and it is now about 49. Very interesting microclimate we have around here.


I didn't do a lot. I finished the second red and gold bracelet, and here are the two of them. I think they came out pretty well. I did learn, and you can see, what a difference the teensy difference in the size of the beads can make. The gold beads are a little bigger than the red ones because they are coated, and it makes an amazing difference in the way the helix bracelets come out.


Then I started a new one - the pattern is the very first bracelet I made to sell, and I'm doing it in the original colors - copper, copper lined crystal, and dark green. After all this time, I still like that bracelet. I don't know if anybody else does, but I do. I will probably make several of them, some in the other colors, and I will try to get the picture of the three colorways into the website. Why I didn't before I don't know.


I was pleased to see that apparently I have solved whatever problem I had with the camera. As you can see, the red bracelets are pretty much in focus, and my manual settings seem to have taken hold. I hope it stays that way.


I decided to do my beef short ribs today, so I went down into the basement. It's not quite as nice down there as I'd hoped -there are still too many boxes in bad places - but it sure is better than it was before. I've mislaid a binder with a couple of stories in it, but it will probably turn up eventually. While I was there, I made one more valiant effort to find the archive box I have been missing...and I found it!! The problem was, it had been placed on a shelf with the current contents turned to the back, and then a bunch of stuff including three card tables had been put in front of it. I didn't go into it, because my back was beginning to go, but now I know where it is, and I can retrieve my Christmas cards and the binder for last year's planner pages any time I want to. Yea!


I stuffed the short ribs into a Dutch oven frozen, and about 4 hours later, I had a lovely mess of short ribs and a stuffed potato for dinner. Yum. The only thing I notice is that beef doesn't have as much flavor as it used to. I think it is because it isn't old enough when it is slaughtered. It could also be because my sense of taste isn't what it used to be, but I don't think so. It was a good dinner anyway.


When I went out to fetch in the bird feeders, there in the cedar feeder was a little flying squirrel. It didn't want to go away, and it was so tame that I actually touched its tail before it jumped into the tree. So that was the magical moment of the day.


The squirrels have found the feeders. Today I had three of them, all chattering away at each other while they scarfed down sunflower seeds. They provided no end of entertainment for both cats. I haven't opened up the porch yet, because I know once I do, it will be nearly impossible to get Jasmine out of it, and it's still too chilly at night to leave the doors open.


So that was my day, and it's already late. Maybe I can avoid staying up until 2:00, though.


There was a nice crescent moon up in the west when it got dark, even though it's partly cloudy. It is a calm, cool night in the field tonight.


June 8

I was in bed by 9:15 last night, and I got up at 9:00 this morning, and I did feel much better but not very energetic, so I spent the day reading. I just got through reading the story I transcribed earlier this year - the one that isn't finished. So it's late again. Sigh.


Other than that, and picking up the kitchen, I didn't do anything. I will have to do dishes tomorrow night, so I thought I would get a head start on it.


It was another day of zigzag temperatures, but this time they were mostly between 50 and 60, and there was almost no wind all day long, so I'm not sure why the temperature varied so much. It was a dull, cloudy day and not worth looking at very much, so I didn't. All the rain is still south of us, and looks to stay that way.


It disgusted Buster that I had my nose in a book all day - he likes it better when I'm on the computer - but he gave up a little hairball this morning and I think he still doesn't feel very good, so he wanted to sit on my lap. That is hard to do when I have a book.


So that's all I have to report, and tonight I need to take a bath. It's a quiet, cool night in the field again.


June 7

What a lousy night! I got to bed about midnight, and my toes were so sore that I couldn't sleep. I guess my feet swelled while I was working downstairs, and all of a sudden my shoed got too small. I was pretty creaky all over, too, and a bit dizzy at intervals. Anyway, I didn't sleep very much at all, so tonight will be a very early night.


I was interested to see, when I was up numerous times, that there were stars. Not very bright, but stars nonetheless. That wasn't the way the forecast was.


I got up at 9:00, because I had to walk again and I doubted I would go back to sleep. So I have been sleepy and groggy and a little dizzy all day. Bleah!


This is the first night of the summer that I have slept with only the sheet and sheet blanket over me. It only got down to 61 overnight, so it was warm in the bedroom.


It was a good day to sit and watch the weather. The temperature was 69 at 10:00, and so I opened the door. By noon it was 78 and hot. Then the wind died down, and the temperature plummeted to 61 at 1:00. At 3:00 it was 69 again, and at 5:00 it was 75, then at 6:00 it was 62, and now it is back to 77  (at 8:00). Every so often the wind would start howling and blowing in the 25-30 mph range (the NWS station never caught that), then a while later it would be calm or nearly calm. Sometimes the sky was nearly clear, and sometimes it was completely clouded over, like it is now. We had one very brief shower, which didn't wet the ground and just left a few drops on the window. I looked at the satellite picture, and there were waves of clouds coming over the lake from the northwest. All the really severe weather was south of us. But it was a fascinating day to weather-watch, so that is mostly what I did.


I checked the status of my fabric this morning, and discovered that it had gotten to the post office yesterday, so I trundled off (without the thing I had to mail, of course), and I now have my fabric, and I like it. The stripe has a little beige in it that isn't in the paisley, but I think it will go just fine. I love the paisley. I calculated my yardage assuming there was nothing that had to be centered, and I sure do hope I'm right!


Now to get the desk cleared off. I thought about trying to use the cutting table in the basement, but it would be at least as hard to get that cleared off and cleared out around it.


I met Mary Ann at the post office, and she was as stiff and sore as I am. It was a good day to not do very much.


In fact, I was so tired, that I wasn't very hungry for dinner, and that's unusual. So it will be off to bed very early tonight, for sure!


Speaking of days, we now have 15 hours, 50 minutes of daylight, but we are only advancing at a little over a minute a day, crawling up to the solstice. We're at the top of the hump now, and the days are wonderfully long.


I regret to say that the bugs are out. I haven't gotten bitten yet, but I can see them - black flies and mosquitoes both. The warm, humid weather has brought them out in force.


So that was a very quiet day, and it's off to bed. Right now it's quiet and cloudy, but who knows what the night will bring?


June 6

I got to bed at 10:15 last night and I got up at 10:30 this morning, so I guess I got caught up on my sleep. I didn't realize I was that tired, but I guess so. I  woke up around 1:30 in time to see a couple of nice flashes of lightning and a grumble of thunder or two, and we evidently had a quarter inch of rain or so between midnight and 3:00. There was another light shower between 6:00 and 7:00 this morning, but I can't say anything about that.


It was a foggy, coolish morning, and the temperature got down to 43 between 4:00 and 5:00, but it warmed up quickly, and the fog finally burned off around 2:00 this afternoon. It was a lovely afternoon, and the temperature got up (briefly) to 82, but that was at 7:00, and I was at dinner then.


I didn't get to enjoy most of the afternoon, either, because Mary Ann and I were in the bowels of the basement, and oh, it is so nice! She is a really hard worker, and we got an enormous amount done. All of my sewing supplies are unpacked and on shelves, although I will eventually want to reorganize them, of course. I found a lot of stuff I've been looking for, including the doll rocker and Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, the yellow flapper dress, and a lot of other stuff I don't remember now. 


After we did that, she moved all the boxes in the back room around, sorted them out by location, and stacked them along the wall. I couldn't help a lot there, because I was getting tired, although I did get a bunch of file boxes onto a shelving unit. Whew! So I took her out to dinner. She deserved at least that!


We had a nice conversation, and we found we have a lot in common, including that we both belong to the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, and she is a member of the church in Laurium that I have been looking longingly at since I've been here. She says she will go with me when I can get up early enough.


So I have very sore feet, and I feel we accomplished something great. There a whole lot of emptied and flattened boxes in the basement to add to the ones from upstairs.


Buster wasn't too happy, because he doesn't like people rustling around, and believe me, we rustled, and Jasmine probably wasn't too happy, because she had to hide all day - where I don't know. But they do like having the sliding door open, and they like the warm temperatures outside. 


It is cooling down now, but it was still 73 when I came  home and brought in the bird feeders, and there is a lovely breeze which felt so good when it was in the 70s.


Oh, yes, and I discovered that since the shipping company that shipped my fabric doesn't deliver here, they mailed it from Appleton, WI yesterday...and I have no clue where it is or when it might arrive. Besides, it is a 14 lb package, and I will have to schlep it back from the post office myself. I was not a happy camper when I discovered that, believe me. I have never been overly pleased with Jo-Ann stores, and now I am even less so, even though there wasn't anything much I could do about it. It is the right fabric at the right price, so I had to get it from them. Grr.


So that was my busy day, and I'm tired out and I do need a bath tonight.


It's a breezy night in the field, but it seems that it may finally be warming up.


June 5

After I uploaded the journal, instead of going to bed, I started reading the story I am transcribing, and since I had around 100 (handwritten) pages to read, it was 2:00 when I got to bed again, even without a bath. Tonight will be earlier, for sure! And the quality of the writing degraded badly toward the end of the story, so I have a lot of work to do.


I got up around 10:30, I think, because Buster was making a fuss, and he wanted to sit on me. He was not too pleased when I started knitting. I am doing the gusset of the Tofutsies sock. I don't know exactly why I went back to this one, but the other one was getting too boring. It would be nice to have the Tofutsies socks. They are wool, cotton, soy silk, and chitin, and they would be good for summer so long as the temperature isn't too high. But they are on #1 needles, so they will take time.


I didn't do a lot today. I paid a bunch of bills, and I discovered that finally my porch fabric has shipped...however, the shipper said it would be delivered today, and it wasn't, so that was another disappointment. I am sitting on an email asking me to rate Jo-Ann's, but not until I have my stuff. Oh, boy...is that going to be a rating! But darn it, their prices were the best (even with the shipping), and they had the colors I wanted. Now I hope it comes tomorrow.


I worked on the helix bracelet for a while, but it is only about half done. 


Oh, yes, and I washed. The last two loads are in the dryer now. I do have a bunch of bedding from the beds on Champine to wash, and I should do that and get it done, so maybe I will do it tomorrow.


I did not transcribe anything. My hands were sore from yesterday and the cool, damp weather, so I decided to take a day or so off.


The weather was blah again. It was very foggy until about 3:30, and it was dark and dreary all day long. It looked like it might rain, but it didn't. I guess we are in for rain and thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow, and it is supposed to get very warm tomorrow. We'll see about that. The temperature was under 50 until about 3:00, and it got up to a high of 55. There was almost no wind at all. I have had the sliding doors open for a while, just to cool it down in here.


The webcam and I caught the loons fishing in the harbor a couple of times, but I'm not going to publish the pictures. All you can see is a black dot or two in the water, and you'd have to take my word that it was loons. The camera also caught the Isle Royal Queen leaving for a sunset (!) cruise tonight. I wonder if that is the benefit for the fireworks? I didn't see anything about it in the post office. Maybe they are selective about their passengers for that one. Anyway, it will be a mite cool out in the lake this evening, but at least it's nice and calm.


So that was another quiet day, and I am going to bed early tonight!


June 4

With everything I had to do, it was 2:00 before I turned out the light. Somebody called me at about 8:45 this morning, and that woke me up enough that I got up at 9:00. So I should have gone to bed early tonight. Oh, well.


Not that I did anything much. I spent the day transcribing. I should have stopped after a couple of hours, because I have sore hands now, but it is such an interesting story that I just kept right on typing. I wonder, sometimes, if I should make a rule that I won't read any of my stories unless I am transcribing them into the computer. Sometimes I just want to read, though.


The phone call was from the electrician who installed the generator, and early in the afternoon a guy came out and changed the oil and checked everything over. The break-in oil needed changing out. Everything was all right. I sort of thought so, since it's been firing up every Wednesday at 12:35 since it was installed. However, we haven't had a power failure since I got it, so we'll see what happens in the crunch.


It was a good day to do nothing. It was cloudy and damp and that made me stiff and sore all over. The temperature was actually rather mild, in the lower 50s for most of the day, although when I went out to bring in the bird feeders, it had gone up to 57. What little wind there was came from the south, and it was quite calm this evening. We had a light shower this morning, then a bigger one between 3:00 and 7:00. 


That did cut down on the number of birds and critters, I think, although one time I looked and the flock of goldfinches were here. Again when I was getting my dinner, I looked out and the loons were out in front. This time, I managed to spy one of them with the binoculars, and yes, it is definitely a loon. I'd know that bill anywhere. They didn't stay around long, although I guess the fishing must be pretty good down here.


When I went out to get the bird feeders a while ago, there were spring peepers sounding off down by the culverts, the first time I have heard them this spring! Lovely sound!


That reminds me that I forgot to mention that several days ago when I went out in the evening, there was a sound like somebody clearing their throat coming from down in the direction of the pond. I even got the binoculars out and I couldn't see anything, but I presume that would be a bullfrog? I don't believe I've ever heard one before. It's time to drain the pond.


And it's fun to live in the woods sometimes.


Most of the early cherry and apple trees and bushes are in bloom, and it is just so pretty. My juneberries aren't out yet, but they are coming, and there are little spriggy bushes around that are full of flowers. Even in the rain it's pretty, and when it's damp like this, it smells so good!


So it's a misty-moisty night in the field tonight and it's time to go to bed.


June 3

Well, it's tomorrow already, but oh, well. I was in bed by 10:15, and I got up at 9:30 this morning, so I caught up on my sleep, which I will now lose again. After petting a cat, I finished the heel flap on the Tofutsies sock, which I've been knitting on for a couple of days. I didn't turn the heel, because I wanted to check on one of my other heel patterns, but it turns out I was doing it the conventional way all along, so I can do that tomorrow.


After I did my morning surfing, I decided to process last month's journal into Word. I was doing that when the guy from the glass company arrived.


I now have two intact screens and a window that sits properly in its frame. From what I saw, I'm not sure that window was ever properly seated. There is a piece of metal that runs in the track that serves as a stopper and guide for the pivot pin. The reason for the gap between the window and the frame was that the pin was resting on that piece of metal, instead of on top of it. Back when the house was new, I had some problems getting the upper panes to stay up because the pins weren't riding on those metal pieces, but this is the only one I've seen where the pin had gotten onto the metal piece. 


It didn't take much to fix it. I might have been able to do it myself, except that I have a terrible time getting the panes out of the frame. You have to push the weather stripping back into the frame to loosen the pane, and I'm not strong enough to do that.


Once that was fixed, he put the office patio door screen back together and put a new screen in the breezeway door insert, so now all my screens are intact, so far as I know.


Once I got through with the journal, which seems to have had fewer typos than usual, I'm glad to say, I went on to the story I am transcribing, and then, oh, boy! I had all sorts of problems with Word. I had set all sorts of tabs I didn't need, and I must have cleared them a dozen times before they would stay gone. Then I discovered that in at least half of what was typed, somehow it had changed the neat open quote-close quote pair (one set curves to the right and one to the left) to plain old double quotes, all the same. I don't have any clue how that happened, since I know they were right when I typed them quite a while ago. And the only way I could find to change them back was manually, each pair at a time. That is why I'm writing this so late. I wanted to get it done.


In the meantime, and for no apparent reason, the program started showing all the things it thought were grammar errors (they aren't - they're just my writing style) again, even though I have told it to ignore them at least three times in the past week, so I had to fix all that stuff as I went along. Geez...what a program! I finally got it the way I want it and saved it, but I'm almost afraid to open the file again, for fear it has undone something I spent so much time doing.


It was a nice day, not very warm, and a bit cloudy, but there was sunshine. The temperature got up to 53, although it was right around 50 for most of the day. There was almost no wind, and it was from the east, so I had the two patio doors open for most of the afternoon, which certainly made Jasmine happy!


When I put out the bird feeders, it takes the birds a while to come, but by late afternoon, I had a whole flock of goldfinches at all the hanging feeders. They like sunflower seeds, too. I haven't actually seen the hummingbirds, but the feeder keeps going down, so I know they must be there. I think finally the blue jays have begun to go away. I hope so. They scare away the little birds, which are the ones I really want to feed. For a while this afternoon, I had two squirrels chattering away at each other on the deck. They can be so noisy! And shouting at them doesn't do any good at all. 


While I was cooking my dinner tonight, I looked out and there was what I believe were a pair of loons fishing out in front of the house. At least they were diving, and by the time I got to the office for the binoculars, they had disappeared completely. Mergansers don't do that, and they are smaller, so I have to believe it was the loons. I love to see them! Maybe they'll come back when I can put the binoculars on them.


I did go to the post office, where there was nothing much but catalogs and pleas for money, and I talked to Mary Ann about attacking the basement. I still haven't gotten the birdseed out of the car. Maybe tomorrow.


So that was another quiet day, and I will be very late to bed tonight, for sure. It's a quiet, cool night in the field.


June 2

I was so late doing the journal last night that it was 1:00 before I got to bed, and I didn't wake up for the first time until about 6:30, I think, and it was 9:30 before I finally got up - not enough sleep, for sure, but even so I was almost late for my massage. That took up most of the morning and part of the afternoon, so it was a rather truncated day. 


When I got home and read my email, I started transcribing again. Thanks to everyone who reminded me of the really simple way to get an indent after a carriage return. Duh. Now I won't forget it, or I hope I won't! I think I probably did 5000 words before 4:00, which wasn't bad. I was only going to work for two hours, but I was in the middle of a section, and I like to end at a logical break - makes it easier to figure out where I am when I start again.


I worked on the new bracelet for a while, and I do like it. I'm waiting to take pictures of the other one, by the way, until they are both done, so I can put them in the same picture.


That gave me time to watch the bird feeders, and I was inundated by a flock of goldfinches. Every perch on the thistle feeder and every open spot on the big thistle sock was taken up by a finch, and there were others waiting in line. They hit the sunflower seed pretty hard, too. They will perch or cling, but they don't like the cedar feeder very well. There were quite a few jays, too, but I think they are pairing up to begin nesting. I keep hearing the females singing their mating song, so pretty soon they will go off to do their thing.


It was a pretty day, especially early. Like yesterday, it was clear and lovely early, and it clouded up later, However, the wind wasn't quite so strong, and unlike yesterday, the temperature stayed right around 50 until 6:00, when it only went up to 63. It was warm enough in the house, though, that I opened both sliding doors. The wind is calm right now. but I keep feeling hints that it has swung around to the east. I guess it's supposed to be cloudy tomorrow.


On my way back from town, I noticed that most of the early flowering bushes are either in flower or coming into flower, and it is so pretty! The cherry leaves are still red, so there are these white blossoms amid the reddish leaves. The serviceberries (or juneberries) are coming out, but more slowly, but they're coming, too.


And when I went toward the kitchen to get my dinner, I smelled the not-so-nice smell of burned fuel oil - some laker that needs engine work must be out in the lake. That's the downside of having the house opened up, but fortunately, it doesn't happen often. From some of the things I have heard and smelled, I get the idea that some lakers aren't maintained very well, and I've heard and smelled some I certainly wouldn't sail on!


So that was my quiet day, and I am planning to go up to the north end early tonight and catch up on my sleep. That is, after I load up the dishwasher.


It's a quiet, sort of cloudy night in the field.


June 1

I decided against a bath last night, but I read until midnight anyway. It was cool and breezy outside, and there may have been stars. I slept long enough that I didn't see them.


It was a gorgeous morning, and a really lovely day. There were some puffy clouds in the afternoon, and it was cloudy at sunset, but for most of the day it was clear and sunny.


It was an interesting weather day. For most of the time, the temperature was right around 57, the average and there was a north wind in the 10-20 mph range. Then around 7:00, the temperature jumped up to 72 for about an hour. Needless to say, I opened the patio doors, although I didn't open the porch doors, because I knew that once Jasmine got out there, I wouldn't get her in. It was so lovely, then all of a sudden, the wind began to blow hard and the temperature plummeted - down to 49 at 10:00, although it has now recovered to 64. The weather station reported a gust of 40 mph, and I would believe that. I mean, it was blowing hard! At 10:00 it was calm, and now there is a light breeze. Really, really weird. I guess, without being able to check, that a front went through.


That's what I like about weather here. You never know what might happen next.


I didn't do a lot. I found the papers the State of Michigan says I need to send them and got them ready to go, but there is a statement on the letter that says "If you have any questions..." so I think I will call them and ask them why they think they need my last year's tax bills in order to send me my refund. It made me feel good that I found the bills altogether, right where they should be. I hate to file, but when I do, I do good. Now the test will be to put them back where I got them.


Debbie's son graduated from high school today, and I wanted to print him a card, but when I opened the folder with the big cards in it, I discovered I had already printed an extra one. I printed another anyway, although getting the first one to print with  my printer is always a pain. I have to clean the cartridges and align them at least twice to get all the colors to register...and I just did that when I printed my note cards! Grr. Anyway, I have two big cards to show people who might be interested in selling them for me.


I finished the bracelet with the red background and gold spirals, and I started the one with gold background and red spirals. I'm not sure I don't like the second one better, but I only have about half an inch done.


I have been thinking, again, about trying to publish some of my stories, so I ended up on the internet for most of the afternoon, reading a site called "Writer Beware"...and after reading all the horror stories, I'm not sure I want to get into that. It's a jungle out there, and you have to be extraordinarily careful not to get scammed.


Anyway, that led to bringing up the story that is done but not all transcribed, and after I read what was transcribed, I did about 2000 words. I have forgotten again how to make Word indent on carriage return, and I can't find the email somebody sent me telling me what setting needs to be changed to do it. Please - if you read this, tell me again, and I promise I won't lose it this time! I'll write it in my little black book.


I do think that is a good story, but the hassles of trying to get it published are nearly insurmountable. However, I will try to transcribe a little a day, not enough to mess up my hands, like I did last time, and see what happens.


Otherwise, I enjoyed the weather and the birds. There weren't any unusual ones, but I like to watch the goldfinches at this time of year. A couple of times the camera caught a male goldfinch sitting in the sun, and they are so bright they really stand out.


I ate in last night and tonight. I just decided I had eaten out enough last week - twice at Harbor Haus and then Ming's Bistro - so I saved my gift certificate for another time. Not that I ate anything worth talking about, but I didn't have to get very dressed.


Now it's late, and it's a nice, calm night in the field. I've done my reading, so I can take my bath and go to bed. It will be later tonight, because I moved last month's journal to its archive spot, and I have to use FrontPage to upload it all. Oh, well.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM