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September,2008

September 30

My goodness! September is over already! How did that happen?

 

I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and I didn't get up until 9:30 this morning, so I should have had enough sleep. I was up any number of times, but I started taking Imodium, and that has seemed to settle things down a bit. I also made sure I took my midday pills today. I am going to have to move the probiotics to either morning or evening, so that I am sure to take them. I just can't get used to taking something in the middle of the day. If I don't take the Neurontin, all is not lost, unless I stop taking it altogether, but evidently the probiotics are vital to my continued ability to function.

 

Not that I did anything with my long day. I finished the first sleeve and did a couple of rows of the second one, just to get it onto the right needle. I got the dishwasher unloaded. I went to the post office and the general store. That's about it.

 

I noticed, when I was up in the night, that the lake was beginning to sing loudly, and when I finally remembered to look at the marine forecast, I discovered that we are having a gale. Not a huge gale, but respectable nonetheless. For most of the day we have had sustained winds of around 25 mph with gusts as high as 35 mph from the north, although it is now shifting toward the east. The temperature hung in around 50 all day, and it wasn't very nice out. There were a few spritzes of rain, but they didn't amount to anything.

 

I do love to hear the roar of the lake, and it is kicking up enough that every so often a rogue wave will hit the rocks with a whap! Since the wind is from the north, I haven't been too much aware of it at the south end of the house, but it was too windy to put out the bird feeders. Not that they would have blown away, but they are exposed to the wind enough that I doubt anybody would have come to them.

 

I think Buster has another hairball, which is causing him to cough a lot, but he doesn't seem to feel too bad, and he ate his breakfast with gusto. He does want to sit on me all the time, but that is becoming the normal state of affairs. He and Jasmine were playing tag in the hallway while I was getting dressed. That involves somebody flying down the hall and jumping behind the bedroom door so that when the other guy comes by, she doesn't know where he is, then he appears after she is gone. So I guess they feel all right. I haven't seen Jasmine all day, but I suppose she just sleeps in weather like this.

 

Me, too. I will be a little later tonight, but the song of the lake and the howl of the wind always makes me sleep well.

 

It's a sort of hairy night in the field tonight, and September is history. Sigh.

 

September 29

I forgot to mention that on my way home from dinner last night, I pulled in my driveway and a doe took off toward the south. She evidently had been grazing along the edge of the driveway.

 

I wrote for a while last night, and got another episode down, and I was in bed by 10:00. I didn't sleep all that well, though. It took me a while to get to sleep and I was up four or five times, for some reason...well, the reason is that I haven't taken my midday pills for several days, and evidently all those probiotics really do make a difference. I have a sore tush that needs a bath.

 

At least the dreams weren't as weird as the night before.

 

I knitted for quite a while this morning, which the fur faces liked. Buster sat on my lap for most of the time, and Jasmine curled up on the rug and went to sleep, so we were a cozy little family. I am starting the cuff on the first sleeve. That will go fast, and then I can go on to the other sleeve. I haven't knitted with #8 needles in so long I'd forgotten how fast things go on them. Of course, the next project after that (the other pattern I made) is on #4s, and that will take forever, but that's all right.

 

I actually accomplished something today. I finally got all the cat food put away, and I got all the grocery bags out of the breezeway. A lot of them were empty or had one thing in them, and they were cluttering up the place - not that it isn't cluttered anyway. So they are all neatly folded up in another bag and the stuff in them is put away, more or less.

 

Now I am trying to decide what to do tomorrow. It would be good to attack the filing, and the piles of something that have appeared at the end of the desk and behind the chair in the great room. And then there's boxes and trash and cat pans and next weekend is wash, and...it seems it never ends, doesn't it?

 

It was a good day to something inside and ignore the outside. It was raining lightly when I got up, but it stopped and it was damp and chilly. The temperature did get up to 57 for a while, but for most of the day it was around 55. The wind was light, starting out from the south and eventually switching around to the northwest. It wasn't very nice outside.

 

I had some thought of defrosting my pork chops and having them, until I went into the pantry and discovered I'm out of mushroom soup again. I use a lot of that stuff. I could make the Spanish rice one, but I don't feel like tomato sauce, since I'm eating the yellow cherry tomatoes I got at Hughes. I guess maybe tomorrow I will stop at the store on my way back from the post office. Like I've said many times, the store doesn't have everything, but it does seem to have everything you need.

 

Thursday, I am taking my car in for service. It needs its oil changed, and maybe they can find out what is wrong with my clock and radio. It doesn't come on when I start the car, but it does sometimes start later, anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 or 15 minutes. It might just be that my battery is going (it's more than 7 years old now), or it could be that there is a loose wire someplace behind the panel. We shall see. I am hoping to get away early enough to stop at Hughes before my appointment and maybe get my squash. We'll see about that, too.

 

So that was my day, and now I will toddle up to the north end and wash my tush and my hair, which is standing up on end it's so greasy. 

 

It's a quiet, cool night in the field, and it may rain some more.

 

September 28

Well, it was another nothing day, so I'll keep this short. I was in bed around 11:00 last night, I think, but I didn't sleep very well. I was warm, except in spots, and when I did sleep I had a bunch of very weird dreams. So I got up around 10:00 this morning.

 

I did make good progress on my sleeve. Of course, the closer I get to the bottom of it, the fewer stitches in a row and the faster it goes. I should finish it and start on the other one in another couple of days.

 

Buster was disgusted, because he wanted to sit on me, and I was doing something else. I think he had a hairball last night, but I think he must have gotten rid of it overnight, because he acted OK today.

 

I decided to go to Harbor Haus tonight, and it was a zoo there. There are a lot of people in town this weekend. Some nice anonymous person bought my drink and my dessert (which I brought home), and Chris said he absolutely didn't want to be identified. Well, I'd like to know who these nice people are, so I can thank them in person, but as it is, all I can do is thank them here. It seems strange to have a fan club.

 

It was busy enough that I was there an hour and a half, which is unusual, but I am glad to see it. After a not-very-good summer, everybody in town needs the business.

 

It was a cold day, even for late September. The temperature hovered around 52 all day, with a light breeze out of the southeast. Not a day to go romping on the beaches. There wasn't much sunshine, either, although every so often there would be a little patch of blue sky.

 

I realized, after hearing Chris say that they are closing in two weeks, that two weeks from tomorrow I will be heading south for my whirlwind visit to the doctors. I need to do something. There are a few things that absolutely have to be done before I go, and I'd best start doing them now.

 

For the time being, though, I am going up to the north end and I think I will write a bit tonight, forgo the bath, and try to sleep better. It's a cool, cloudy night in the field.

 

September 27

Oh, well. Instead of going to bed early like I planned, I ended up finishing my book. I got down to the last chapter, and it seemed a shame not to just read the rest and be done with it, so it was after 2:00 when I finally fell into bed. I got up around 10:00, I think, after some really strange dreams. So I still haven't had enough sleep. Maybe tonight.

 

That was a good book, by the way, although quite dense. It was organized in a rather strange way, and it assumed that you know the general history of Europe (which I don't have at my fingertips), so it glossed over some things I would like to have had recalled to my attention. There were a few words I don't know, but it is very well-written and very interesting, if you like history. I hope I can catch the rest of the books in the series as they come out (if they haven't yet).

 

I knitted on the sweater this morning, much to Buster's disgust. He wanted to sit on me, and he wanted to be petted, and he wanted my whole attention. Sorry, Bub.

 

Other than that, I don't think I did much of anything.

 

I looked out the door this afternoon and there was almost a flock of white-crowned sparrows around the feeder on the deck. They like the sunflower seeds, but they don't like to perch. It was interesting to watch them for a while. The adults kept chasing the juveniles. I don't know why, unless the young ones kept asking to be fed. After all, they all have to eat.

 

In the middle of the afternoon, one of my friends, who is in town for a week, called and asked if I wanted to do dinner, and of course I said yes, It's been a long time since I've seen her. She had both knees replaced in the spring, then she broke her ankle during the summer, so she is just now getting ambulatory. It was good to see her, and we had a lovely conversation, mostly about knitting and selling our crafts. 

 

It was really busy at Mariner tonight, I was happy to see, although I like it better when It's not. In fact, at one point, there were people waiting for tables. I am very glad to see that. Ever since 9/11 tourism has been down, and for the past few years, after Labor day, it was just dead.

 

It wasn't the nicest weather. It was cloudy and breezy, and between 4:00 and 6:00 this morning, we had a little rain. It was so humid that the deck was still damp and the sliders still had raindrops on them when I finally got up. The temperature slid down overnight and was about 55 all day, with a strong (15-25 mph) wind from the northeast. Not like yesterday at all. I only wish we'd had more rain.

 

Some of the leaves are beginning to turn around here, although the Harbor is always the last to go. I noticed that some of my birch bushes are beginning to go yellow, and here and there on the road there is a yellow or red maple. So it's coming along.

 

And that's about all there is, and it's time to toddle up to the north end. The lake is singing tonight, so it will be a good night to sleep.

 

September 26

I was going to go to bed early last night, but I got to reading my book - there was a little bit about music, mostly Bach and Beethoven, a little about Haydn and almost nothing about Mozart - and it ended up that I didn't turn out the light until 1:00. I had to walk at 9:00 this morning, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. Maybe tonight?

 

It was a pretty day. There were clouds in the sky, but there was lots of sunshine. The temperature got up to 77, briefly, around 3:00 or so, but until then it was very windy, with gusts almost to 30 mph, from the southwest. Then the wind died out completely and the temperature went down a bit - and now it's back to 64. Late in the day, I did open up the house, and the fur faces liked that. Before then, it was actually comfortably cool inside, and too much stuff would have gotten blown around if I had opened it up earlier. 

 

I guess this is the end of it, though. The forecast for the next few days isn't inspiring - cold and damp with rain and fog and all that stuff. Well, it's the end of September (I can't believe it), and since we mostly missed our equinoctial weather upset, I guess it's time.

 

I wrote a note to my friend in Grosse Pointe, and I wrote a check, but after I stamped the note, I couldn't find the check, so I went off to the post office anyway, where I met Mary Ann and one of her grandkids. Of course, almost as soon as I got home, I found my check, so I can go back tomorrow. Clyde wasn't through sorting the mail anyway. Apparently it came late.

 

I did start loading the dishwasher, and I cut up my melons, and I moved stuff around in the office, and that's about all I did. I was thinking about eating out, but I was just too tired.

 

It was nice to have one more warm day, and it's a nice evening in the field. And that is all there is.

 

September 25

I was late to bed last night - 12:30 - and I didn't sleep really well for some reason. Maybe it was everything I heard about the financial situation in the country and what that might mean for my personal situation. It was 9:30 before I got up this morning, so that wasn't too bad. Then I knitted for a while and got to the office around 11:00. It was nice to have things back to normal today, and the fur faces felt that way about it, too. Or at least Buster has been telling me all afternoon how happy he is to have his peace and quiet back.

 

I didn't do anything today...just took a day off, I guess. I read some catalogs, and threw out a few. I finally put my pork chops in the freezer, because it looks like it will be a few days before I feel like doing anything about them. I enjoyed having my peace and quiet back, too.

 

It cooled off today. The temperature got up to about 65 around noon, and dropped off a degree or so for the rest of the afternoon. There was a rather strong southwest wind, with gusts up to 25 mph. It was partly to mostly cloudy. There was some sunshine until mid-afternoon, then a cloudy period until close to sunset, when it began to clear up a bit, although there are still quite a few clouds in the sky. I guess it is supposed to warm up and rain tomorrow.

 

I filled the tube feeder yesterday, and I noticed this morning that the level had gone down a bit, so something is eating a few seeds, although I have no idea who. I haven't seen many birds. The chipmunks are working their little tails off, trying to get all the seeds I put out into their burrows. The squirrels are around, too, but they are putting the seeds into themselves, trying to bulk up before the cold weather comes. I think the last of the warblers are gone, which is too bad. There are plenty of flies for them to eat. The crows and blue jays have been around. I guess I don't mind feeding the jays, but I don't want to start feeding the crows if I can help it.

 

There are plenty of flies in the house for Jasmine to eat, too. Yuck. She was bombing up and down the hallway this morning, and she apparently felt really good. Buster feels good, too, I think, but he has become quite sedate in his old age. His eyes are bright, and he has been eating well and trotting around, so I guess those are good signs.

 

The other item of note is that Ron confirmed that Mac will probably not be here this winter, so it's just going to be he and I and the two young families. We both hope we can get Steve and Aaron to spell Ron on road duty for the weekends, but I am not going to get involved in that unless I have to. That's up to Ron to negotiate for himself, unless it looks like they aren't helping at all. Apparently Mac intends to keep his piece of the tractor and help out with the maintenance and fuel, so I don't know what his long-term plans are. Drat. We need somebody else out in his direction to decide to be a full-time resident.

 

I am happy to report that the leak from the shower seems to be fixed. It turns out to have been a problem with how the door was sitting in the frame, and I think Adam fixed that. At least there was not a drop of water in the rug when I took my bath last night, for the very first time since I have lived here. I'm only so sorry that it's taken me so long to get some of these things fixed.

 

So that was my quiet day. At least the early sunsets have gotten me writing the journal earlier lately, which means maybe I can get up to the north end earlier and get to bed. Maybe. I think I won't be up late tonight. I'm tired. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field.

 

September 24

The trouble with getting up early is that I get tired early...or maybe that's a good thing, and it will keep me getting up early? Maybe, and maybe not. It's 10:00 already, and I do get to take a bath tonight. I didn't bath last night, and in fact, I didn't get to even sit in the bathroom and stare at the floor, since the grout was still setting, and I was in bed by 10:30.

 

I was ready to get up at 8:30 this morning, so I did. And it was nice to enjoy a really lovely day. I did do some knitting this morning, and I got some of the sleeve done, but I guess I didn't do much for the rest of the day Oh, well.

 

Adam didn't arrive until nearly 5:00, and he had his girlfriend with him. He finished up the grouting, finished checking the drainfield, and cut down and stacked four trees, including one humungous birch. The bottom of the birch trunk is still in the garden, because they didn't finish up before it got dark, but that's all right. Those logs will hold for the winter, and they need to be split anyway.

 

Like I said, it was a beautiful day. It rained a little (0.05") between 6:00 and 8:00, but then it cleared up, and the rest of the day was lovely. The temperature got up to 68 around noon, and then it dropped back. The wind was out of the  northwest, and around 5:00, we were having 35 mph gusts, so it seemed a lot cooler. It did keep the bugs away. Now the wind has dropped to almost nothing.

 

There were a few clouds in the west at sunset, but it looks to be a clear night, although seeing may not be that good. It certainly was good all day.

 

I must mention that the sun is now rising at 7:41 and setting at 7:44. What is strange is that, two days after the equinox, we still have 12h02m of daylight. That isn't supposed to happen. We will slip below 12h tomorrow, though, because we are losing daylight at a rate of 3m24s a day. I don't know exactly why this is happening, but it may have something to do with our latitude.

 

I turned on most of the outdoor floodlights tonight, to give Adam and Nikki the most light I could, and I found out a few strange things about all my light switches. I now have two switches on the 10-switch panel marked, so I know which ones control the lights on the deck. There is a code requirement that every door have a light, so I suggested that we just put floodlights near the doors onto the deck, and that has worked out just fine. And when I built the garage, a couple of years after the house was finished, they just tapped into the line where the light by the former back door was, to run the breezeway and garage, so that screwed up the plan. There is still one light switch I'm not too sure about, but it's better. I very seldom turn on all the outdoor lights at once anyway. It also reminded me that one of the floods on the garage is burned out, and needs to be replaced (and I have the light for it). Must fix that.

 

So now I am poor but all my tile work is fixed, all my trees are down, and my fancy septic system has been maintained for the year. And I guess that is good. All houses require maintenance, even new ones.

 

And I'm tired, and it's time to trudge up to the north end and get cleaned up. It's a clear, quiet night in the field.

 

September 23

I got to reading my history book, and it was around 11:00 when I got to bed last night. I slept hard, but I decided I'd better get up when I woke up at 8:00. Well, I needn't have bothered. 

 

Adam didn't arrive until around noon, which is a real shame. I can't take a bath again tonight, and I really shouldn't step on the floor in front of the toilet until after 10:00 at the earliest. He will have to come back again, both to finish up a little more grouting and finish the septic tank. I also want him to take down all the dead trees, but I don't know if he will do that.

 

While he was doing his thing - and I don't know all of what he was doing back there - I finally got at all the magazines and catalogs. I now have 5 bags of catalogs and an archive box over half full of magazines, and while the current magazine file is still pretty full, there are only two baskets of catalogs. Of course, I haven't been to the post office in a while. Some of the catalogs I kept are long-keepers, like bead catalogs, and some are things I just want to read before I throw them out. I do hope I can keep it down. It's a shame to kill all those trees, but I enjoy reading catalogs. And, of course, once you get on one catalog list, you keep getting more and more.

 

That took most of the afternoon. Adam's new girlfriend stopped by, and I find I knew her by sight, and she me, because she was living in the Harbor. She is a nice girl, but I think Adam is getting too involved too fast...but then, he does that.

 

It was a pretty nice day today, especially for late September. The temperature peaked at 76, around 3:00, and it was in the low 70s for the entire afternoon, with a nice breeze (10-25 mph) from the southwest. There was a haze of clouds in the sky for most of the day, but there was enough sunshine. We had the house opened up for most of the time, and it was nice. 

 

It was pretty buggy outside, though, and I think Adam would rather work on the outside work when it's cooler. The bugs are mostly of the housefly type, and they have been getting inside, too, which isn't so nice, I'm getting a bit better at swatting them, but not very. They are very lively.

 

So that was my day, and I would like to go up to the north end and read a while again, but we shall see. It's a cloudy night in the field, and it might rain.

 

September 22 - Fall Equinox

Well, I guess it's over, or at least as over as it's going to be. I left the computer doing a surface scan last night and went up to the north end, where I got to reading my history book and didn't get to bed until 1:00. I slept well until about 8:30, which was too early to get up, so I dozed for a while. When I got to the office, I remembered that I forgot to bring in the bird feeders last night, but fortunately, the bear didn't find them, and I'm sure the birds and critters were happy about it.

 

When I got to the office, there was a question on the screen, but the disk was going crazy for some unknown reason, so I hunted around until I was able to stop everything but the most basic programs. After some time the disk stopped, so I started the copy right before I went off to my massage.

 

I needed that massage, and I feel much better for it. It really loosened up my back. 

 

When I got back, two hours later, the copy had completed successfully. Aaahhhh! So I changed the cables in the box, and when I booted, up it came. Whew! I removed the old disk and stored it carefully away, closed up the case, and then the next fun began. It turned out that the last time I used the small disk was at the end of January, 2007, and I've made a lot of changes since that time.

 

The first task was to get all my personal files back off the TravelDisk, and that took quite a while, because I've changed a lot in the intervening year and a half. Then I had to download updates to Internet Explorer, Java, Flash, and Shockwave, although I don't know if the Shockwave took. I had to fix up my desktop. I never got a chance to store off my favorites in Internet Explorer, and I expect that will be a continuing annoyance, because I had bookmarked a fair number of sites in the last year. I did get things reorganized somewhat, and I will have to try to pick up the bookmarks as I go along.  I discovered that I started using the big disk before I found all the old temporary files in the "restore" folder and deleted them, so I had to do that again, or the virus scan I will do tonight will run forever. Throughout it all, things have been running just fine, with no glitches. I always get nervous when a new IE installs, because it takes forever for Windows to start up after that, but I was patient with it this time and it worked just fine.

 

In fact, it worked so fine that I am beginning to believe I had some corrupted Windows files out there. We shall see how things go for the next few days, but so far everything seems to be fine. I will have to learn to be patient with the "close program" dialog, because sometimes it does complete, just slowly.

 

Whew! What a pain in a soft place! We didn't get many camera updates today, because I had it down so that it wouldn't interfere with all the downloading I had to do...and then I remembered that at the end of January the start and stop times were a lot different than they are now.

 

It turned out to be a rather nice day for the first day of astronomical fall. The temperature got up to 71, briefly, and was in the upper 60s for most of the afternoon, with a nice southwest breeze. There was some sunshine, but not a whole lot, as the sky got covered with a layer of high, nondescript clouds I can't remember the name of.

 

I opened the porch door, and I was interested to see Buster in grandpa's rocker. I think he would lie in the other one, too, except it has a plastic pad, and he likes cloth. Anyway, he seemed happy to be outdoors again. I guess tomorrow will be nice, too.

 

While I was reading last night, Buster went away someplace, and the next thing I knew, Jasmine came in and went to sleep on the bath rug! She even let me pet her a little before I got up to take my bath. And she seemed quite happy to be with me. So slowly, ever so slowly, she is coming around. I haven't seen her all day, but I think she spent most of the night watching the passing scene.

 

Buster was, too. I had settled down to sleep when he got up on the bed to sleep with me. Suddenly he went on full alert and jumped down and across to the window seat. I wonder what he was seeing outside? I didn't hear anything, but then I'm deaf compared to him.

 

I did get some knitting done, and I started the sleeve decreases. There were only 76 stitches to start out with, so the sleeve is going to go relatively fast - especially compared to the 320 stitches on the yoke. The more I knit this yarn, the better I like it. It's going to be a nice sweater.

 

So that was another busy day with the computer, but it seems to have come out all right. Now I have to go to bed early, because Adam wants to come around 9:00 tomorrow to finish up the septic system and the bathroom. It will be just as well. I'm tired tonight. I didn't get enough sleep last night. And maybe I can get back to what I was going to do when the computer crapped out.

 

It's a quiet, cloudy night in the field, and it's time to close up the house and toddle up to the north end and crash.

 

September 21

Ugh. Second lousy day in a row. I was in bed by 10:30, and I went right to sleep, but I was mostly awake between  3:00 and 5:00, then I slept until nearly 11:00. I wasn't particularly thinking about my computer problem, but I kept getting all hot and I couldn't find a comfortable temperature. It didn't help that Buster was evidently cold, and he kept burrowing under the covers. For a while he was lying on top of the body pillow with his feet on me. Oh, well. At least I got to see the little moon rise. It was relatively clear for most of the night.

 

I knitted for a long time this morning. I finished the other button band and got the yoke split into sleeves and body, and I started knitting the body. So it was late before I got to the office. Ugh.

 

I was relatively certain that my entire problem was a corruption of the disk, and boy, is it. I started by hunting up my system restoration disks, which I didn't put in the place I should have. Then I tried to do a DOS-level scandisk...which failed. The message was that there is an invalid long file name on the disk and I should use Windows scandisk to fix it...hey, like I hadn't done umpteen scandisks last night!! So I tried that again, and nothing worked.

 

So I finally resorted to my ace-in-the-hole. When I was fooling with the old computer last year, I carefully preserved the small disk I removed when I finally got the big disk going. So...the computer is now lying on its side with the access door off and two disks installed. It came up like gangbusters with the old disk installed, although of course it doesn't have the renewal of my Norton stuff. That's all right, since I'm not online, and I have to disable it anyway for all the next steps. And the Windows scandisk works fine. So at least there is no hardware program. All the hardware that should work is working.

 

The next step was to capture all the up-to-date data and copy it to the TravelDIsk for safekeeping. However, in my desire to get that done fast, I inadvertently threw out some stuff I was keeping there. Oops. I don't think it was anything crucial.  I threw away a couple of years' worth of pictures, but I believe they are safely on CD-ROM.  And I was saving a bunch of old Outlook Express files that are gone now. Anyway, the copy didn't go as smoothly as I could wish. Windows Explorer kept hanging up on the "close window" dialog, which is a severe problem with ME that I have all the time, and it took me a couple of hours to get it all right. Or I hope it is...read on

 

Then I started fooling with the old Drive2Drive program I used to build the big disk originally. Well! Since there is readable data on the big disk, Windows has a directory open on it, and Drive2Drive requires exclusive access to it. I fiddled with that for another two or three hours. including having to do a GoBack when it got totally screwed up.

 

By then, it was 7:00 or so, and I was hungry, so I stopped to have a TV dinner - and a big JD (and I may even have another one!) - before I took a deep breath and went to the next step. Windows cannot format that disk because of the open directory on it, either. And DOS can't see a D: disk, or I don't know enough about DOS to make it do so. It can see that there is a disk there, but it apparently can't put a drive name on it. So I plugged it in as C: and I am now doing a format of the big disk, which takes a while, since it's 128gb.

 

I certainly hope it works! As you can see, I want to keep that small disk as my backup-backup so I don't have to take my computer to a repair facility every time it gets screwed up. I think, by the way, that I did it myself last night, because I was in a hurry to get the reboot to work, and it was hung...on a "close window" dialog blue screen. I just picked the wrong time to hit the "off" button.

 

So I didn't pay much attention to the out-of-doors today. It was another cool day. It went down to just under 40 overnight, then while I was asleep, the temperature rose quickly to 59, where it stayed all afternoon. The wind started out from the west, switched around to the south, and then began to vary. It was very light, except for one 16 mph gust between 3:00 and 4:00. It was mostly clear this morning, I think (I miss the camera!) but it had clouded up by afternoon, and it was cloudy at sunset.

 

While all these long-running programs (ah! The format just finished!) were going, I knitted to the end of the ball on the body of the sweater and started the left sleeve. So at least I did something productive!

 

Now I can try the Drive2Drive again and see if maybe, just maybe, I can make it work.  This has been a monster problem, for sure. Thank heaven, I know enough that I didn't have to try to call somebody's tech support!

 

I didn't pay much attention to everything Adam was doing in the bathroom yesterday, and when I got down there last night, I discovered he had taken up all the tile on the floor in front of the shower. You can see where the leaks have been, because the sub-floor is all black in those spots. I mean, this is a real mess! Buster was funny - he really didn't want to step on that funny looking (and feeling) floor. Neither did I, really. I kept a rug down. The only thing is, before he takes the shop-vac downstairs again, maybe we can get up all the cat hair that's around. There are some incredible cat-bunnies in there, because that is where a lot of his petting and all of his brushing happens.


We can all cross our fingers that by tomorrow, everything will be back together. I don't make any promises. I'm getting tired and frustrated and I may just leave it for tonight and start fresh after my massage tomorrow.

 

So it's a cloudy, quiet night in the field, and I'm about fed up with this thing.

 

September 20

This turned out to be a lousy day.

 

It didn't start that way. I knitted for a while last night and was in bed by around 11:00. I had been drinking water, so I was up any number of times, but I did sleep well.

 

Adam called me at 10:00, which was just as well, since it was time to get up, so I did. I knitted some more and had my breakfast, and he arrived around 1:00. So that was OK. And he put the pump and the pond to bed and got the storm doors in place in about an hour.

 

He decided to attack the grouting in the shower before he got to the septic system. I can't blame him - that is nasty work. However, when he started removing grout, he discovered that there were two loose tiles at the base of the shower door, and they were beginning to rot out the wood in the frame. Then, after he got all that cleaned out, he discovered that the water had spread along the floor and most of the floor tiles in front of the shower were loose or coming up. He worked on that for about 3 hours, before he sort of got things so that I can use the shower. He will have to come back and finish that job. He got part of the septic system maintenance done, but it was getting late by that time, so he will have to do that, too.

 

As if that wasn't enough bad news for the day, I tried to reboot the desktop before I did the journal for tonight, and it will not come up. It goes into safe mode and gets hung doing a ScanDisk...and it can't see the mouse. There have been all sorts of weird messages about low memory, too, even though when I finally figured out how to look at the system configuration, it says all the memory is there. Without the mouse, I can't look at the configuration. And if I cancel the ScanDIsk, I get a message to input a user password, which is a message I have never gotten before. I can't imagine what happened, but it doesn't look good.

 

So I am on the laptop, and while I am letting the ScanDIsk try to run while I write this, I think I am going to shut the whole thing down and wait until tomorrow to investigate further. 

 

So besides having a large maintenance bill for the house, it looks like I might very well have to get a new computer. Gag. Not the least of the problems with that is that I haven't backed up my files to the TravelDisk recently, and there are several things I've done since, like some writing and updating my ledger. I hope I can at least get it running enough to get the files backed up.

 

It was a pretty day today, although the temperature plummeted overnight, and it was around 53 all day long. There was quite a wind this morning that decreased as the day went on. It was from the east, so it wasn't bad on the deck. Adam had his hat on when he was outside. It was mostly sunny, although there were some high cirrus clouds for most of the day. 

 

I did some things, actually. I boiled up a huge bunch of beets, and I washed beet greens until I hope I got all the sand off them. We shall see tomorrow. I had beets for dinner tonight, and they are wonderfully sweet.

 

While all that was going on, I knitted, and I finished the yoke and did one side of the button band. This sweater is going to be a pullover, but it will be sort of like a henley, with an opening and buttons at the top. The second button band won't be too hard to do, even with buttonholes, then I can start on the body and sleeves. That part is all in the round, and it won't be too hard, just long. When I am doing a sweater like this one, where I bought the yarn a long time before I decided what to do with it, I always want to start from the top. Then I can do the yoke (whatever shape it is) and the sleeves and knit the body until it's either long enough or I run out of yarn. Saves having to rip out an entire sweater because I don't have enough yarn to finish the yoke.

 

So that was my nasty day. The computer finally got through the ScanDIsk, but it keeps hanging, and I had to beat it up to get it to shut itself down. I think I will just leave it that way until morning before I attack it again. You understand that the camera will not come up tomorrow morning, at least until I figure out what the problem is with the desktop and, hopefully, get it running again.

 

Now it's a cold night in the field, and I am going up to the north end and try to get myself together.

 

September 19

Everything seemed to go a little slow last night, and it was after 1:00 when I finally got to bed. When I got to the bathroom the gibbous moon was way up in the northeast sky, shining in the east windows. I made up for my late night by not getting up until 11:00 or so, but I'm still tired, and my legs still hurt from mid-calf to toes, so I was moving slow today.

 

I got rid of most of the pain in my feet by wearing my sneakers for most of the day. I'm afraid my beloved Crocs just don't have enough support for when I'm on my feet a lot (well - a lot for me). Right now, I have on sandals with my socks, and my legs are sore, but my feet are OK now.

 

I knitted, and I am getting to the end of the yoke, but I have hit a place where there is too wide a band of purl on the right side, so I will have to rework the pattern a bit. I knitted for a while this afternoon, too. Those 320 stitches (about 80") are getting cumbersome.

 

I didn't do a lot, but I did get the sink cleaned out, at last, and the dishwasher will be ready to run before I go to bed tonight. I should have done it last night, but I was just too tired. 

 

For dinner, I had one of my "ball tip sirloin" steaks, and I must stay it is surprisingly tender. It isn't "sirloin" at all, but a part of the round or rump. It is a little chewy in spots, but I have had so-called sirloin strips and rib-eye steaks that were tougher. So I got a lot of nice steaks at a very reasonable price. They don't have quite the flavor of either of the other steaks, but hey, at that price, I can't complain. I also had my corn, and oh, boy! They certainly have improved sweet corn since the days when my dad used to grow it in the back forty. In the old days, ears that big and held for a day or two would have been tough and not very sweet. This was wonderful, and really, that's all I should have had for dinner. I am still picking away at the steak, and I will probably have to save part of it for tomorrow.

 

It was a lovely day, of a kind I wish we'd had more of over the summer. The temperature got up to 79 and it stayed in the mid 70s all afternoon, except for a short while right around 5:00 when the wind briefly shifted to the north. We have had rather strong winds, with gusts up into the upper 20s, that wavered between southwest and northwest. The sky was partly cloudy, with lots of sunshine, but with the doors open, it didn't get too warm inside.

 

I spent the later part of the afternoon sitting in the ugly chair and knitting, although I didn't get very much done. I was watching the squirrels and chipmunks in the feeder on the deck. The chipmunks really make me laugh at this time of year. It is clear they are beginning to gather their winter stores, and they look so funny when they get their cheek pouches full. One guy packed so much into his cheeks that every time he added a seed, he had to shake his head to pack them down, and they bobbled like jelly. When he finally decided he had enough, he looked like he had a large cherry in each cheek...this is in an animal that couldn't have been more than 4" long without his tail. It was a wonder to me that he didn't topple over when he tried to climb something.

 

Squirrels are higher on the pecking order than chipmunks...or at least my top squirrel, whom I think is mom-squirrel, is higher than the chippies, and they ran when she went after them. There were also a couple of little chippies, 3" or less, but they didn't stay long and their cheek pouches weren't so full. I wonder if they have a community burrow and everyone contributes, or if each one has his own burrow and his own stores. The little critters, like squirrels, chipmunks and sparrows, aren't considered interesting to be the subject of much study.

 

There were also some more white-crowned sparrows around, although the white was more tan on the ones today. I know that is a variation. There was one brave chipping sparrow, too, and it is amazing how much smaller they are. And there was one blue jay and a couple of goldfinches. I still want to know what has become of the chickadees and nuthatches.

 

I got some of the stuff out of the car, including my produce. My fruit is still in the breezeway, but it will be safe there, since it's supposed to get quite cool tonight. The heavy stuff - kitty litter, bird seed and canned cat food - is still in the car. I was just not up to that today. I also realized that, while I made a list before I went food shopping, I didn't get one thing on that list. My mind...

 

I just noticed that our days are now down to 12h 19m - and decreasing at a rate of 3m 23s a day. With the equinox on Monday, we'll just about make it to 12 hours. And the sun is setting in the second notch, which is due west. It is such a shock to have it almost dark at 8:30. I get used to the long, long days of May, June and July, and I'm just not ready for all the early nights, even though mostly it makes it easier for me to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

 

So I guess that was about all there was today, and maybe I can get to bed a little earlier tonight, and maybe my legs will feel better tomorrow. I can hope.

 

September 18

I knitted for quite a while last night, and I don't think I was in bed before 11:30. I took a Sucret, and that has seemed to fix my throat...or at least I could talk today. I woke up about 10:30, feeling much better, I'm glad to say. I'm still not 100%, but I'm much better.

 

Good thing, too, because the task of the day was to go to town. I wanted to go today rather than yesterday (not that I would have gone yesterday!) because I wanted to stop at Hughes Farm.

 

I did that, and I came home with lots of goodies, and there were lots of goodies I passed on. I got tomatoes, including a lot of the yellow cherry tomatoes that are so sweet, and cucumbers, and sweet corn, lots of beets, and a Savoy cabbage, which I have never eaten, but the sign said "best flavor". We'll see. So I will be eating a lot of veggies for a while. I'd best see that I take my probiotics every day, or I will be in a mess. I think I will be mostly eating in, too.

 

I passed on some beautiful carrots and four or five varieties of lettuce, and apples. Enough, already.

 

Then it was off to Wal-Mart, where I stocked up on kitty litter and cat food, as well as thistle food. This year I plan to leave the thistle feeder out over the winter, even though the goldfinches seem to like sunflower seed. You get a lot more out of a sunflower seed than a thistle seed, for about the same amount of work. 

 

I got a couple of toys, but nothing terribly exciting, except that they had the little bobbin winder that everybody has been selling, and it was $5 cheaper. I can't wind the bobbins for my sewing machine with it, but I have wanted to try some twin-needle stitching, and instead of having to buy two spools of thread, I will just wind a bobbin to get my second thread. I haven't tried it yet, but it is a really simple thingie, and I'm sure it will work just fine.

 

The next stop was Econo Foods, and I was getting tired by that time. I didn't do too badly there, considering that I bought meat and lots of frozen dinners. I like to keep the freezer well-stocked. I got something they call a "charcoal steak", which I do not know what cut of meat it might be. I suppose it will be tough, since it doesn't have much fat in it, but regular steaks are just out of sight. Anyway, I am looking forward to a steak with my corn and beets and so forth.

 

I got started so late that it was after 4:00 when I left Houghton, and there was the usual traffic jam around the bridge, but everybody seemed to be going off on M-203, so from Hancock north it was clear sailing.

 

I didn't take the camera, and there wasn't anything in particular to take pictures of. The early leaves are turning - some of the smaller and more stressed maples turn early, but there wasn't much. The only really startling thing I saw was behind the grave monument company north of Hancock. It was a tree that was half very dark green and half burgundy red. Wow! It looks to me like we may be in for a very colorful fall this year, with lots of reds and oranges. It's really too early to say, though, and the weather will have to cooperate and give us some sunshine.

 

So I got home about 5:00, and Buster and Jasmine were cuddled up together on the couch. Buster got up and went away, and he has only now come out to sit on me. I guess he wanted to tell me he was not pleased when I went away and left him, especially after he was so worried about me yesterday. Too bad about him.

 

It turned out to be a very nice day. It was cloudy when I left the Harbor, but the sun came out by the time I got to Delaware. The temperature was in the middle 50s when I started out, but it got into the upper 60s in Houghton, with a strong wind, and the skies cleared up rather nicely. It never got over 63 here, with a gusty south wind - gusts up to 27 mph. It was nice when I got home. It looked almost clear when the sun set.

 

Speaking of sunset, the camera hung up uploading the picture of sunset - it is setting over Chip and Nancy's house now - but after I cleared that up, I uploaded the missing picture, and I think I will save it. The last picture before darkness was pretty nice, too. This is beginning to be the time of year when we get the spectacular sunsets, as seen from here. I hope we have some.

 

After I got the cold stuff put away - for once the person who packed my order knew what she was doing! - I sat down, and now I am not so tired, although my ankles are sore. The car is still full of stuff, unfortunately, but I will just have to unload that tomorrow. I hope that this time I can actually get to eat some of my beet greens. Usually, I wait too long and they are all dried up. There is also 80 lbs of kitty litter, and birdseed to unload. Ugh. Well, I will just have to work away at it.

 

So it's a breezy night in the field, and it's past time for bed.

 

September 17

I knitted for a while last night - no reading - and I was in bed around 11:00. I slept, with one wake-up, until about 3:00. Then my nose started to run, and I was wide awake. Finally, sometime after 7:30, I did go back to sleep for a couple of hours, but I had already decided to cancel my massage. It was quite clear to me, from the way I felt, that I have come down with something.

 

I'm not sure what it is, but it's some kind of upper respiratory thing. It seems to be affecting my ability to speak, although I don't have a sore throat. I sneeze at intervals, my nose is runny, my sinuses are full and I have had a yucky sick-kind of headache all day. I never got dressed, and I could have taken a nap, except that I was in the middle of something. My theory about naps is that most of the time, if I don't take one, I will sleep better at night. I'm not sick enough to need to sleep all the time, but I'm not very well, either. I'm not hungry, and that is a sure sign. Drat.

 

That rather changed my plans for the day, and I didn't do anything at all except get a Schwan's order together. Oh, yes, and I called the doctor and got an appointment. Now I have to call the motels and get some reservations.

 

It was a beautiful day. It was perfectly clear in the morning, and although there was a cloud or two later in the afternoon, it was a sunny, pretty day. The temperature maxed out at 62, and there was a moderate north wind. IT has gotten really warm in here, although part of that may be because I just ate, and I have a hard time controlling my temperature when I am sick.

 

The crows were at the feeders this morning. When I was in the powder room, there was a yellow-rumped warbler hawking bugs behind the breezeway. The warblers are around a lot these days. I'm sure they are stoking up for their migration, and fortunately for them, the bugs seem to cluster around the house. One hit the screen on the south side, and there was one in the corner of the deck just outside the office. Sometime I would like to see those birds in the spring or summer, but they seem to keep to the woods then.

 

So that is all I have to report, and my intention is to go to bed early tonight and hope I can sleep.

 

It's a cool night in the field tonight.

 

September 16

When I went out to bring in the bird feeders, after dark last night, there were three flying squirrels, one in the big cedar feeder, and two on the deck. One little one was trying to pick up something out of the shucks the one in the cedar feeder was dropping on the deck. They are so cute. I also saw the moon peeking through the trees.

 

I knitted until my hands got sore, then I read until nearly 1:00. That is a really interesting book, and I like to finish a section before I put it down. So I didn't wake up for the first time until about 8:30, and I turned over and went right back to sleep, until about 11:15. Then I knitted (no reading in the morning) until 12:30 before I got dressed and came down to the office. 

 

I will have to be sure not to do that tonight. I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow at 11:00, and it would be nice to have breakfast before I go. I am tired enough, though, that maybe I can discipline myself a little.

 

It turned out to be a lovely day. It was in the lower 50s overnight, but it warmed up fast, and while there was some cloudiness in the middle of the day, it went away by 4:00 and it is a beautifully clear evening, although apparently not very transparent. With the moon up all night long, there won't be many stars to see. The temperature finally peaked at 71 at 7:00, and it is still 70, with a breeze from the northwest.

 

The only productive thing I did all day was to go to the post office, where I met Mary Ann, whom I haven't seen in quite a while, and we had a nice long conversation. I noticed, while we were standing by the cars, that it was rather nice out, so when I got home, I opened up the doors. 

 

Several days ago, the house got full of the smell of burnt diesel - or maybe it was kerosene - and I could still smell it in the bathroom last night, so maybe opening things up for a while will get the last of it out of the house. I am not sure where that smell comes from. I think most lakers burn fuel oil, and I know that smell - it gets into the house occasionally, too - and this was different. Last year I had that trouble when the builders were using a salamander at Jean's house before the furnace went in, but even though there is a house in progress on Lake Lily, it's been too warm - I think - to need heat. Anyway, it seems to be going away now.

 

I have always been sensitive to the smell of burning fuels, but ever since the stem cell transplant, my senses of taste and smell have been quite out of whack and I am even more sensitive to certain odors. Sometimes the smell of the campfires at the fort will give me an allergy attack, and other times it gets into my nose and drives me nuts. The kerosene smell is the same way. I am glad to be rid of it, and I hope it doesn't come back.

 

I am making good progress on the sweater yoke, although I realized this morning that I actually screwed up the knit-purl pattern from the book. That's all right - it will look OK - although there are a few more purl rows on the right side than I usually care for. I have never liked the purl side of stockinet stitch, even though some sweaters are all purl-side out. Anyway, I also realized that from doing so much knitting in the round, my knit and purl rows are a bit different in gauge, and I will have to loosen up my knitting a bit. Maybe I can do it before I get to the all-knit rows of the sleeves and body.

 

Anyway, that was a quiet and truncated day, and I would like to get to bed earlier tonight. There is a wind in the trees and there some breakers on the beach, so it's not a completely quiet night in the field, but it's clear and warm, and that's nice.

 

September 15

I knitted and read for a long time last night, too long, as it turned out, and it was after 2:00 before I turned out the light. By that time, my eyes weren't focusing very well. It was a good night to sleep, with the lake roaring in the background, although by the time I went to sleep, the wind had died down. I didn't wake up until 7:30 the first time, so I did good. 

 

I got up around 10:15, and I knitted some more, until I was halfway down the yoke. By that time, I had too many stitches on the 29" needle, and after I did the next increase row, I kept miscounting and I wasn't sure I had the right number of stitches. With only 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch, a miscount can make a difference. I am not halfway through with the yoke, because the bottom half has many more stitches than the upper half, but I've made good progress. I finally started putting a sticky note on the row of the pattern I was knitting, and that has helped a lot.

 

It was 11:30 before I got to the office, so I got a late start. I  was glad my massage was postponed, because I would have had a hard time getting there on time. It doesn't seem to matter much to Johanna, but I like to try to be on time for appointments, even in Keweenaw.

 

It was a gray day. The wind died down to almost nothing, except for a spurt between 1:00 and 2:00, but the temperature only got up to 57. It was a mite chilly out there, and it will be even more so when I bring in the bird feeders - it's only 50 now. It is supposed to warm up a bit tomorrow before it gets cold again.

 

I was sorry to hear that the southern Midwest had so much rain overnight, and I wish we had gotten some of it, but it all went south of us. I haven't checked the jetstream lately, but I think it's been south of us all summer - except for Labor Day weekend - and that tends to divert even the strongest storms. 

 

Later in the afternoon, I recounted the yoke, using markers, and I had done it right, thankfully. I also moved it to my longest needle - 47". I have gotten 800 or 900 stitches of an afghan on that needle, so I'm sure it will hold the rest of the yoke.

 

I did a little more in the kitchen, but I defrosted my spaghetti sauce and had it for dinner, so there are now more dirty pans to wash. I hate doing chores that have to be done over all the time.

 

I think there were a few birds at the feeders today. Just after I put them out, a couple of blue jays showed up, and one of the camera pictures showed what I guess was a goldfinch. So they're not all gone. I really should move to the ugly chair and keep better track of the feeders. I still wonder where all the chickadees and nuthatches from previous years have gone. Maybe they'll come back once winter sets in, and once I can leave the feeders out all night.

 

So it was a dull, gray day, and it may be a cloudy, dark night. The moon is full today, so it's not really totally dark at night, even when it's cloudy. This is the Harvest Moon. If we are really, really lucky in the cloud cover, the camera just might catch it setting tomorrow. I hope so.

 

Now it's off to the north end for some more knitting and maybe reading. I hope to get to bed a little earlier tonight, though.

 

September 14

I read and knitted for quite a while last night, although I put the knitting aside when I realized I had screwed up the pattern and had to rip out an entire row. I kept reading, though. The one that kept me going last night was about the plight of serfs, particularly in Russia. Anyway, it was nearly 1:00 when I finally turned out the light. I was only up once, and I got up around 9:30, although I really didn't want to. I had to walk, though, and I knew if I went back to sleep at that hour, I'd never get up.

 

I got the sweater figured out and did a couple more rows, but it has 192 stitches already, and it takes a while to do a row.

 

It was a good day to sleep, and the kitties certainly did and still are. It was actually a lot darker than the camera showed, and there was a very high wind (25-35 mph) from the east all day long. The temperature got up to 60 for a short while near noon, but then it plunged to about 53, where it stayed all day. It may  have rained in some places, but it didn't here.

 

It was actually not very windy at the house. All the trees to my east shelter me from high winds in that direction, but the lake has been fussing loudly all day, and there are predictions for 12' waves out in the lake before it all dies down. Days like this, I wish I lived where Jean or Ron do. Both their houses look east down the coastline, and it must be fun to watch. The only thing is, somebody forgot to tell Mother Superior that the equinox isn't until the 22nd, and it's a bit early for our equinoctial gales. Or maybe it will continue for the next week. When I was vacationing here, we had weeks like that. It didn't keep us in.

 

I didn't do very much. I began loading the dishwasher and washed a couple of pans, and that was about it. I was considering oiling the sewing machine, but I would have had to turn on the lights. I may have to do that if it stays dark like this. I don't like to interfere with the camera, but I really should start doing something...anything.

 

I put out the feeders late, and I don't think very many, or any, birds came to them. I may have to alter my morning routine and try to get them out earlier. It will be quite a while before I dare to leave them out overnight. 

 

So that is all there is, and it's a dark, noisy night in the field tonight. It will be a good night to sleep, with the song of the lake in my ears.

 

September 13

I took the sweater up to the north end and read my history book for a while and knitted, although after I while I just read. I think I was in bed by 11:00.

 

It was a relatively clear night, and the moon was shining brightly in the windows. I was up around 5:00, and it was an orange thing over the mountain. If I'd had the camera set right, we would have gotten pictures. If it clears up next week, there should be some good shots of the setting Harvest Moon, but don't hold your breath.

 

I knitted some more this morning, and started the pattern, but I couldn't do much on it, because I realized my notes were wrong. Before I left the bathroom, I put away the stuff in the wash basket, and I took almost all the sheets out of the linen closet. I am still looking for another king-size pillowcase. It appears that I only have two, one on the pillow I use and one on the travel pillow. That seems kind of weird, and I will have to try to track down the linens I brought up here last year. I know there were king-size pillowcases in there. 

 

When I started taking the sheets off the shelf, I discovered some old mouse doo in between them, which is not a happy discovery. There wasn't much, but still. That shelf is nearly 5' off the ground, and I don't know how in the world those mice got up there. That has to have been years ago, when they first got in while I was away. Yuck.

 

I didn't do a lot today. I unloaded the dishwasher and put away almost all the pots and pans that were on the draining board. There are still a few lids lying around, but it does look better. Tomorrow maybe I can start loading it while there isn't a whole lot to do.

 

Otherwise, I got the pattern figured out correctly, I think, and written down, and I knitted some more.

 

It started out to be a beautiful day when I got up at 9:30. By the time I got to the office, there were some cirrus clouds in the sky, and eventually, by about 2:30, it clouded over altogether, and it got quite dark. The temperature briefly got to 70, at about 1:00, but it dropped down into the middle 60s pretty fast. And about 6:00, it started to rain lightly. Now it's under 60 and raining steadily. I will have to bring in the bird feeders in the rain. Yuck. There wasn't much wind at all.

 

Speaking of feeders, I have declared the hummingbird season over. I haven't seen one in quite a while, so I think they are all gone. So the view from the camera will be a little different now. After I come back from Detroit, I am going to try to get my heated birdbath up and running. I know there is a lot of water around here, but I worry about the little birds in the wintertime. And this year, I hope to continue to feed them all winter. I don't think I will be able to leave the feeder on the deck, because I won't be able to find it, but I will try to give the squirrels and the birds that prefer not to perch someplace to eat. One of the catalogs has a contraption that will fit over one of the deck posts and hold a feeder, and I may try that.

 

When I put out the feeders, there were the remains of one of the white pine's cones on the deck, and as I was getting the feeders ready, I looked out and there was a white crowned sparrow pecking around. So the migration has begun. Whoever ate the pinecone didn't get a very good meal, because they aren't ripe yet, but they will try. And there wasn't anything for the little sparrow. I hope he came back after I put everything out. I wasn't looking much, but I did see a little goldfinch at the tube feeder in the rain late in the afternoon.

 

The clouds and the rain made it get dark so early tonight! I guess I'd better get used to it, because this is only the beginning. It was actually dark before the sun officially set.

 

It's a dark, dank night in the field and I think it will be a good night to sleep.

 

September 12

I went up to the north end early last night, and I wrote for a while, but I was in bed by 11:00. That was nice. When I went through the great room, the moon was shining through the clouds, but I think it was cloudy most of the night, because I was up several times and didn't see any stars and only a little wan moonlight once. 

 

I was awakened at about 7:30 by Johanna, saying she was going to Isle Royale and could we postpone my massage until Wednesday. Well, sure. I'm sure that only happened because I wrote the date in my planner in ink. So I went back to sleep and got up around 9:30.

 

I knitted 12 rows on the sock, in order to get back on track. The pattern repeat is 8 rows, and I had only done 4 rows on it yesterday. So now I can get back to 8 rows a day. Actually, I'd like to do more, but it seems to take quite a while to do 8 rows.

 

Last night I took the Band-Aids off the two black fly blisters that had broken, and this morning, they had healed over and are looking much better. The one on my thumb is still sensitive, but I don't think I will break the skin again. Maybe, just maybe, that is the end of that for the season!

 

Today I remembered to put out the bird feeders, but I don't know that anybody came to them. I also opened the window to the porch, but I it was quite a while before anybody discovered that.

 

I didn't do a lot. I finished making the pattern for the sweater on #8 needles - hereafter to be known as the Mosaic sweater, because that is the name of the yarn - and I cast on the neck edge. I can't say it's a completed pattern, because I am going to have to fiddle around with the increases on the yoke and the pattern, which has a lot of purl rows in it, and I figured it would take longer to figure it out exactly than it would to actually knit it. So I have started it. This yarn isn't very easy to knit with, but I think it will be a nice sweater to have. It is dark gray or black with various colored splotches in it - bright blue, purple, emerald and sage green or tan (depending on the light).

 

I went to the post office, and my ball of Maizy came, so now I can forge ahead with the second sock. It is a pleasure to deal with a company that is so prompt.

 

I can report that a bunch of small checks came, too. Ever since the fiasco over my assets in 2000-2002, American Express has been under fire from the government, and while the major settlement happened several years ago, apparently there was more to it, and I got a few more dollars today. Unfortunately, none of it is enough to help my long-term finances, but hey, all donations gratefully received. I will run the checks to the post office tomorrow to get them deposited as soon as possible.  I only wish they could squeeze out of the actual advisors involved a portion of what I lost.  Those people are no longer in business, by the way.

 

I thought about going out to dinner tonight, but I decided not to bother, so I had the rest of last night's flank steak, and it was good, although the mushrooms aren't crisp when they get reheated. They taste good, though. Buster thought he wanted some, and of course that is beef, and he can't have any, so he said "thump!" on the floor and went off.

 

It was a pretty day. It was apparently cloudy early this morning, but by the time I got up, it was all clear, and except for a very few puffy clouds, it was clear all day. The temperature didn't get as high as they predicted - only up to 65 - and there was a stiff wind out of the north, but it was nice. There were a very few clouds in the west at sunset, and I guess we are in for another day or two of rain, but that's OK. We need it.

 

Sunset was at 8:08 tonight - so early! - and the sun went down behind Hunter's Point, so it is quickly moving south, and the days are getting shorter at 3m23s a day. Wow! We are sliding swiftly into the dark days of winter! I reset the start and stop times for the camera tonight. No use wasting all those frames.

 

So that was my quiet day, and shortly I will be off to the north end again.  It's a clear, cool night in the field.

 

September 11

I took the afghan up the hall with me last night and worked it off the 47" needle before I took my bath and went to bed. I think I was in bed shortly after midnight, and I had only two wakeups overnight. The last one was at around 8:00, and I suppose I should stay up when I wake up at that hour, but I went back to bed and got up for good at about 10:30.

 

That was OK, I guess, but I didn't do much of anything. I did fold the clothes and get them out of the laundry, and I also got the stuff that still needs to be washed out of there. That was because I got my hair cut this afternoon. And when I opened the door to let Nancy-the-hair-cutter in, the UPS guy had just left my 20 lbs of cat food on the porch. Grr. I was here - the least he could have done was knocked. Fortunately, he had put it in two plastic bags, so it didn't get wet.

 

Because it was a dark, dank, and dreary day. It actually didn't start raining until right before Nancy got here, but it has rained or drizzled ever since. The temperature was nearly steady at around 64, and the winds were under 10 mph from the southwest, although every so often there would be some gusts. It wasn't a nice day at all.

 

I was sitting and listening to ATC when who should call but Chip, of Chip-and-Nancy (the other Nancy), and they are in town, and would I like to go to dinner. Duh. So we met at Harbor Haus, had a nice dinner, and a nice conversation, and I came home with half of my order, so I will eat well.

 

Nancy had a brand-new procedure for her breast cancer, which I was so glad to hear, and so far as they know now, it is gone. That was a worry to me - when she had her heart attack, she still had the breast cancer, and of course, they couldn't do anything about it then. We all have our fingers crossed.

 

So that was a lovely end to a shortened day, and I think I will try to go up to the north end early tonight. I discovered that I never put out the bird feeders this morning, but I worked on the sock for quite a while, and I  just forgot about it. Poor birdies!

 

And that is about all I know. It's still dark and dank, and besides that, it's a foggy night in the field tonight. Good for sleeping.

 

September 10

That wasn't real smart of me. There were a couple of things that had been bugging me that I wanted to check in some old journals, so after I uploaded this, I got to reading them, and I just kept on reading until a totally outrageous time this morning before I finally gave up - I was having trouble focusing my eyes - and went to bed. Oh, well.

 

I was reading 2005, and I was forcibly struck by how much better a mood I was in then. That was before I realized how dire my financial situation is. Anyway, 2005 was also the last cancer scare, when I knew I would be moving up here for good, and I hadn't been able to leave Detroit until after the first of June, so I guess I had reason to be happy when I finally got here.

 

Anyway, I was able to find when my Jewish aunt died and write it in my little book of family events, which was in Detroit at that time. And in 2005 we were still having lots of northern lights, especially in August, so that was fun to read. I still can't really adequately describe what I'm seeing when the sky goes crazy.

 

I apologize to everyone who reads this thing for my really down mood lately. It's not fair to burden you all with my financial problems. I am going to have to try diligently to be more positive, for my own mental health. Things will work out.

 

I actually got up around 10:30 - not nearly enough sleep - but I was getting restless and warm, and it was a beautiful morning. Much to Buster's disgust, I started the second Maizy sock, which involved referring to a sheet of paper a lot. Now that it's started, I won't need to read quite so much and he can sit on me while I knit. I stop every row or so and give him a pet. This morning, he jumped down with a thud and went away.

 

I was referring to the new directions for starting a toe-up sock, which ends up looking like just another row of knitting and is really neat. It's likely to make me do more socks toe-up. That, and the picot bind off, which is the stretchiest I have so far found, solves the two problems I had with toe-up socks. And this one, while I won't do the heel exactly the same way again, has given me ideas for some new ways to do heels toe-up. 

 

I made another attempt at doing the pattern for the sweater, and I got as far as "cast on 86 stitches and rib for 1inch", and then my mind fuzzed over again, this time from lack of sleep. I have started working the bull's eye afghan onto a shorter needle, so I will have my 47" needle for the sweater. When I do a top-down sweater, there are places where I have to leave off what I am doing and just work on part of the stitches, like the sleeves, and I just use the needles as stitch holders for the rest. I need the big needle for the yoke, which will have 320 stitches on it before I split it into sleeves and body, and for the body, which  is going to be 54" or so around. This yarn has been cluttering up the place for a number of years, so I might as well knit it into a sweater I will wear.

 

I also got the dishes into the dishwasher and ready to wash tonight - funny, but I wasn't doing that in 2005 - and I washed up all the pots, pans, and lids that were lying around. The pots and pans are all on the draining board, of course, but maybe I can make myself put them away tomorrow.

 

It was a beautiful morning, with almost no clouds in the sky and not much wind. There was a little wind, in the 10-20 mph range, around noon, but then it died down again. The temperature got up to 66 for several hours, which was really nice. With the sun, it got hot in here, so I opened the porch door and one window in the office. It's much more comfortable now. Around 4:30 it began to cloud up seriously, and it is now cloudy and dreary, and darkness came early. We are in for some rain for a couple of days, or I hope we get some rain. We need it.

 

I went to the post office, where my box was stuffed full of catalogs and pleas for money again, and when I stopped at the store, I discovered that I had taken my wallet out of my pocket and left it here on the desk. Oops. Fortunately, it is possible to run a tab there, so I was able to get what I needed, and I will pay them later. I don't like to do that, but I really didn't want to have to get my wallet and go back. There are some nice things about living in a small town.

 

I think Buster feels much better. He was pretty perky today, although he was frustrated when I had the afghan on my lap and wouldn't let him sit there. He ate some of his dinner overnight and some of his breakfast this morning. So whatever ailed him seems to have passed. 

 

Jasmine was absolutely overjoyed. I was sitting in the powder room when she came through the cat door from the basement and saw that the porch door was open, and she went directly outside and started stalking the critters out on the deck. She has also spent some time in the open window in the office. She just doesn't understand why, when it is so pretty outside, I don't have the porch open, and she misses it. I guess I should have opened the window and let her see just how chilly it was out there. She has a very thick coat (which badly needs brushing), and the cold doesn't bother her as much as it does Buster. Well, I will try to accommodate her as best I can, but I'm not going to waste precious propane just to leave the window open for her!

 

So that was another day, and I am determined to get to bed at a sort of reasonable hour tonight and sleep long and hard. As those of you who read this thing regularly know, every so often I stay up all night reading something or other, and last night was one of those nights. 

 

It probably was a good thing, just to show me I need some attitude adjustment. One night last week, when it was clear at night, there was a definite glow in the north, but I'm afraid it will be a couple of years before we have much of a chance to see any really good light shows again. I find I really miss them, and I hope to be here to see them again.

 

It also showed me that Buster hasn't been acting all that weird. Fall is here, and he knows, in his fuzzy little mind, that sometime in the fall I go away for a few days. He gets so clingy in a sweet attempt to convince me not to go. Hey, Bub, you don't need to convince me. I wouldn't ever go away if I didn't have to. And there isn't anything you can do about it.

 

In 2005, I had to go back in August, and that was the year that my October appointment got totally screwed up, and I didn't have to go at all, until I went back for the month of December...and that was the last time I spent any time in Detroit. My goodness, that seems like a long time ago! I still remember when I came back right after Christmas, and the little sparkly flakes of snow were drifting down as I came down the hill, and I was so, so glad to be back.

 

So I'm going on again about nothing, and it's time to prime the dishwasher and toddle up to the north end. It's a calm, cloudy night in the field.

 

September 9

Well, it's tomorrow already, so I guess no writing tonight. I had better luck with my thumb last night with a bigger pen, so I wrote a few pages and made it into bed by 12:30. I was awake around 2:30 and I realized it was raining, so I turned over and went back to sleep. I got up around 9:30, I think. Somehow, that seems to be more like my usual schedule these days. I keep hoping as the days get shorter I will be impelled to go to bed earlier, but it hasn't happened yet.

 

I petted a cat and did a little knitting this morning, and I decided that the wool socks I have on the needles are so boring I will just do the other Maizy sock anyway, even though I won't be wearing it this year.

 

I spent part of the day making a pattern for a sweater. I wanted to do another one, but my brain started to get all fuzzy, so I will have to do that tomorrow. The original patterns are from the bottom up and I want to knit them from the top down. I think I have it right, but I will only know for sure when I try it. The one I made is for some interesting black yarn that has a fuzzy multicolor thread wound with it. Trouble is, it is thin yarn and works up on #4 needles, which means lots of stitches. When the raglan yoke is done, before the arms split off, there are 408 stitches on the needle. That's nearly what one of the round afghans has, and believe me, it's a lot.

 

The sweater I haven't done the pattern for yet is another interesting one, two strands of variegated thin chenille bound together with a very thin strand of black wool. It works on #8 needles, which is more reasonable, but I want to make this one with a round yoke, and from the top down, not the bottom up, and like I say, my brain was getting fuzzy after I got the other pattern done.

 

The lady who just completed her house out here, Jean, invited me over to see it and have dinner with her tonight, and that is why I am so late. We had a lovely visit, and a lovely, if simple dinner, and she has a very nice house, more nearly the size I should have had, with a very nice view looking east over the beach at Pebbly Beach and on down the coast. We even saw a laker, and a small boat that was out in the lake. 

 

The weather was about the same. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up as the day went on, and tonight is very clear. When I came home, the more-than-quarter moon was hanging over the Mountain Lodge, leaving a very wide glitter path on the harbor, and I could see a few stars even without my eyes adjusting. The temperature got up to 61, and there was about a 15 mph wind from the north for most of the day, although now it is nearly calm and about 50. They say tomorrow will be warmer, then on Thursday it is supposed to rain. I still say this is too early for it to be so cold.

 

So that was my quiet day, and now it is bedtime. It's a clear, cool night in the field.

 

September 8

I wrote last night until my thumb joint was so sore I couldn't put any pressure on my thumb, then I changed pens and wrote some more. I jumped into bed a little after midnight, without a bath. I slept well, although I had to get firm with Buster a couple of times. He just wants to cling to me. I woke up around 8:30 and decided that was too early, but the next time I woke up was around 10:45, and that was too late. Oh, well.

 

I finished the ribbing on the sock and started the bind off, which is a new one on me. It leaves little bumps along the top (picots) and it is very stretchy. Since I'd never done it before and the instructions are wrong (again!), it took me some time to get the hang of it. I didn't get very far, so that will be for tomorrow. I have decided not to do the other sock now. It's time for wool.

 

Buster more or less confirmed my suspicion by having a barfing session this morning, although all he got up was water. I think  (or I hope) he has another hairball. I hope he can get rid of it. He is a little snot, though. He sat and looked at what he threw up until I went to wipe it up, then he watched me to make sure I did a good job. Geez! I should be so persnickety! And he has been much happier since I washed the fleece throws in the window seat.

 

I was so late getting up that I never got the bird feeders out. I decided this was the morning I was going to use up my blueberries, so I had blueberry pancakes, and by the time I got through making and eating them, it was after 2:00. Sigh.

 

So I didn't do anything. It was too late to start the wash I have to do, and I just didn't feel like doing anything else.

 

The weather was - eh. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day, although we didn't have any rain. There was a strong wind from the north (15-25 mph) early, then it died down to not much and began to switch around to the northeast. Late in the day it cleared up almost completely, and the quarter moon is shining in the windows now, along with Jupiter. Sunset was clear, but not very interesting, and it is amazing how far south the sun has come in just a few days. The high temperature was 57, but that was at midnight, and the highest temperature after that was 55 for a while this afternoon. These temperatures are hovering around our average minimum for this time of year. I don't like this. It shouldn't be this cold this early.

 

However, I do remember more than once back in the 70s walking on the Hunter's Point beach in my winter jacket, hat and gloves. In fact, in the picture of that beach, which was taken in September 1981, my mother and dad both have on their winter jackets.

 

It just hit me that in September 1981, my dad was doing well enough to walk through the swamp and out to Hunter's Point (it's a lot easier now), and in August 1983, he died. Congestive heart failure can progress really quickly. I have always wished he had lived long enough to know I had bought this property. It would have delighted him as much as it did my mother.

 

The other thing that I've been thinking about is my handwriting. I used to have beautiful handwriting, very clear, legible and graceful. Ever since the first chemo, in 1998, I have been having a hard time, and frequently it is all jagged and not very legible. It's been getting a little better since I've been writing, but not much. Now it looks like the worst of my old writing. It hasn't interfered with my ability to embroider, except that I poke myself with needles more than I used to, or to bead, but the very fine motions necessary to write well just aren't there anymore. And I will be going along just fine, and all of a sudden, it will fall apart.

 

That problem is the result of the same drug that left me with neuropathy in my toes, and I only wish I had said something about it earlier in my treatment, because they could have stopped it. Oh, well. I do the best I can. The arthritis in the second joint of my thumb (the bottom one) isn't helping at all.

 

So that was a very quiet, nothing day, and I'm off to the north end. It's a clear, quiet night in the field.

 

September 7

I wrote for a while last night, and I was in bed before midnight. I slept well, mostly, although there were some weird dreams. And about 7:30, I knew even in my dreams, that I needed to get up, but I just lay there, so I almost didn't make it, and I have some bedding that will need to be washed. Oops. Why I didn't get up when I knew I had to, I just don't know. I guess it's the same problem I have when I'm in the office. Other things are more interesting.

 

I got up around 10:30, and I knitted for a while...quite a while, because I found one of my old notes about the sock on #2 needles, and I ended up tearing out the last 10 rows or so that I had knit and knitting them up again. I am now doing the top ribbing. I am still not going to have enough yarn, but I ordered some more last night, and if I recall correctly, the place I got it from was quite prompt. It's all right if they aren't, because I have another sock to go before I run out completely, and at 8 rows a day, it will be a while before I need another ball. If I work on #3 needles, I have enough yarn, but the light colors I am using now are too loose on #3s. Soooo...And I will have most of a ball left when I'm done.

 

It appears that these yarns with corn fiber and bamboo in them are heavy for their yardage, so there isn't so many yards in a 50 gram ball as there is in wool. I am thinking it's time to lay aside the summer yarns anyway and work on some wool again. I think I had two pairs of wool socks in progress when I started working on summer socks. I will have to check that out.

 

I knitted so long that it was after noon before I got to the office, then I got engrossed in whatever it was I was doing and it was nearly 2:00 when I put out the bird feeders. Before that, I had my back to the front windows and I began to hear tapping out in that direction. When I looked out, there were four crows or ravens pecking around in all the cracks and tapping on the deck trying to find something to eat. I would have thought there was a lot to eat at this time of year, since they will eat anything. And the little splotches they left on the deck were sort of purplish, so they've been eating blueberries. Maybe since there aren't so many campers anymore, they aren't finding so much over at the fort.

 

Crows (or ravens) are big and noisy, but they do have a place in the ecosystem, and I don't bear them any ill-will, but my feeders aren't for big birds like them. So maybe it was good that I was so late putting them out.

 

I didn't do a lot today, but I more or less cleaned out the sink and began to load the dishwasher. I have a couple of dishes soaking, but except for the pots and pans that need to be put away, it's a little neater out there. Maybe now I can begin to work on the stove.

 

I didn't do any wash today, because I was so late. I need to wash my sheepskin pad, and I need to start early with that, because it takes a very long time to dry. Maybe tomorrow.

 

It was a so-so day today. Between 7:00 and 8:00 we had a teensy bit of rain, then it cleared up until about 11:00, and after that it there were a lot of clouds for the rest of the day. There was a teensy bit more rain right around 6:00, but not enough to register at the NWS station. It did wash off my windshield, though. The temperature got down to 50 overnight - a bit early for that, I'd say - and it got up to 64 briefly this afternoon. The wind was from the north and quite light except for between 3:00 and 6:00 this afternoon, when it was in the 20-30 mph range for a while. It has now died down again, and I don't know what that was all about. There were some pretty clouds around.

 

I went to Harbor Haus tonight. I have been thinking about duck for a couple of weeks now, so I thought I'd better do something about it. It was good. I had duck breast, and there isn't enough of that to bring home...sorry Buster. I enjoyed it, though. 

 

There was a couple at the next table who were very nice people from the Traverse City area, and we had a nice conversation. The man retired from the DNR and he had a lot of questions about how things have changed since I first saw the area. A lot, I'm afraid, and not all for the good. Anyway, that was pleasant. The woman is a photographer, so we had a pleasant chat about that, too.

 

Buster has been worrying me lately. He wants to spend all his time with me. I think he slept with me all night last night. I hope there isn't something wrong with him and he is only anticipating my going away in October. It's really hard to tell with a cat. I am watching him, and so is Jasmine. She has been willing to get a lot closer to me lately because she wants to be close to Buster and he wants to be close to me. I even got to pet her briefly yesterday. I wish I could brush her. She is shedding like crazy, and of course, she eats most of that. I don't think I could get her to sit still long enough for me to get out a brush, though, even if she would tolerate getting brushed.

 

So that was my quiet day, and now it's dark, so I can bring in the bird feeders. Usually I do that while the computer is rebooting after I upload the journal. It takes about the same length of time.

 

Now there is an almost-quarter moon shining in the south, and it looks like it might be a partly cloudy night in the field.

 

September 6

Today turned out to be a better day than yesterday. Of course, almost anything would.

 

I wrote for a while before I went to bed last night, like I said I would, and I turned out the light around midnight. I did sleep well, with only two wake-ups. I was awake at 7:30, and I noticed how dark it was, even though the sun should have been up by that time. The reason seems to be that it was raining lightly.

 

I finally got up at 10:00, and I did some more knitting. I am afraid I am going to have to try to get another ball of yarn. For some reason, this sock is taking an amazing amount of yarn. I'm not sure if it's the knitted in pattern or the heel, but I'm not going to be able to finish it with one ball. Of course, I only need another 10 or 20 yards, but oh, well. I didn't do any writing, but I read over what I wrote last night. So we'll do it again tonight.

 

I didn't do much today, unfortunately, except go to the post office, where there was another package, this one full of new toys, so that was fun.

 

And I went to dinner tonight, where I had some very nice salmon and came home with a check for the stuff I took with me - note cards and a little jewelry. I was hoping for a check for the last batch, but I can't complain about it. I got some money. They had noticed I haven't been around much, but I was able to explain that away.

 

It wasn't a very nice day. The temperature got into the low 50s overnight, and it rained from about 4:00 until 8:00, and when I got up at 10:00 it was so humid everything was still all wet. It eventually got up to 62, and there wasn't any wind, but it was cool and dampish and mostly cloudy. Yuck.

 

So now I will toddle up to the north end and write some more. Maybe I can be more productive tomorrow.

 

September 5

This turned out to be a bad day.

 

I think it was about midnight when I turned out the light, and I slept fairly well, although it was still warm in the bedroom from the sun. I got up around 9:30. Buster didn't come for his pet, so I knitted, although I had to rip out half a row when I forgot where the beginning was. I didn't write; by the time I looked at what I read last night, it was too late to do anything. I was at a place where I didn't know quite how to proceed anyway.

 

I had the rest of the nice potato/sausage/egg breakfast I cooked up yesterday, and I forgot, until I had eaten a lot of it, that I had portioned it for three portions, not two. So I ate it all.

 

I was doing my morning surfing when I had the worst accident I have so far had. I had to clean the powder room and part of the floor in the laundry, wash everything I had on below the waist, and get in the shower to clean myself up. What an awful mess!

 

Since I had to wash my compression hose, I decided I might as well wash the wash that was there, so I did that. The last load is in the dryer. Tomorrow I will do the towels, which are looking rather yellow.

 

Anyway, my accident and cleaning up after it were exhausting and depressing enough that I didn't do a whole lot more. I had some things I was going to do - including work on  my checkbook, which seems to have gotten out of balance - but I ended up not doing anything besides the wash.

 

It was clear this morning that all the things on my hands are indeed black fly bites. I don't know how I got them. A black fly must have gotten in the house somehow, because I didn't go out the day I got them. The one at the base of my thumb must have been 6mm wide and 3mm high by morning. All my rustling around and using spray bottles to do my cleanup resulted in breaking the one at the base of my thumb and a newer one on the lower part of my middle finger, so I now have two band aids on my right hand. Once they break, they need to be covered, because they weep, and besides, I am afraid they might get infected. And they still itch.

 

I had intended to go out to dinner tonight, but around 5:00, I had a gall bladder attack, and a relatively severe one for me. It lasted until after 7:00. I'm all right now, although I don't feel so good,  but I didn't go out, and it was after 9:00 before I decided I'd better put something in my stomach and get on with it. It was from eating too much breakfast, which is rather greasy, of course.

 

Then when I ate my TV dinner, I dropped a dollop of sauce on a nice clean tee.

 

Bah! Grr. I will go up to the north end and write, and hang the time and the bath.

 

It was a so-so day. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day, and the temperature barely got to 62 for a little while, with north winds that were quite strong around 2:00 then died off. It has now gone down to 51. Needless to say, I didn't have the porch window open today for Jasmine.

 

I don't mind the temperature being a bit lower than it was last weekend, but I really don't think it had to get quite so cold. The average high temperature for this time of year is 67. I hope this isn't a harbinger of a frigid winter.

 

So anyway, that was my not-so-nice day, and I will hope it's better tomorrow.

 

September 4

I think it was about midnight when I went to bed, after writing for a long time. I did sleep well, and I finally got up around 10:30. Buster was exceptionally clingy this morning, but I got a few rows on the sock done, and I wrote some more, so it was after noon when I got to the office.

 

It was a cold, cloudy day. The temperature barely got to 60, and it was in the upper 50s for most of the day, with a very light wind mostly from the east. The clouds seem to have been from Gustav, although the rain went east and south of us. It seems to have rained around Mackinaw all day. We could have used some of that.

 

I didn't do a lot again. I did finally get the dishwasher completely unloaded. This afternoon, I moved stuff around the sewing machine, but I only have to move a few things now to have some space to sew. Slowly I am edging into my sewing. I located the empty bobbins, so I will have something to use. I need to clean and oil the machine before I use it, though. It's been sitting around for quite a while, and even though it has been covered, I imagine it is quite dusty.

 

I woke up this morning with three things on my hands that I think are hives, although they look and act like black fly bites. I suspect hives because one is on the palm of my hand and black flies don't usually bite there. But who knows? I got a couple of really little ones when it was hot, further up on my arms. The biggest, which is only a couple of millimeters across, has a blister nearly as high as it is wide, and it is at the base of my thumb, right where I hold my pen. I managed to write with it this morning, but I don't know if I can continue to. They are all horribly itchy, and besides that, they hurt.

 

I don't know why I would get hives. I haven't eaten I know has ever caused that. However, we'll see how long they last and how they behave.

 

So that was my quiet day, and I am off to the north end to write some more, I hope, and take a bath. It looks to be another good night to sleep.

 

September 3

It was late when I went to bed, but I did manage to sleep fairly well, at least until morning. It was a windy night, and every so often a gust would hit the side of the house and it would creak. It was almost from the north, though.

 

When the sun set last night, in the clouds, it turned the whole landscape orangey for a little while, and I was awake this morning when the sun rose, and it was orangey then too, for a couple of minutes. There were clouds this morning, and they didn't go away until after 4:00 this afternoon, when the wind began to die down. It was so windy all day that I didn't put out the bird feeders. I don't think there would have been many birds anyway, and with the wind hits the hummingbird feeder and tips it, it dumps out all the nectar. The highest winds were around 11:00 this morning, at a sustained 27 mph. I know, it's not a hurricane, or even a gale, but it's strong. They began to die down after that, and they are now around 12 mph. It was all from the north, although it's actually a little east of north, as that low pressure system moves away. The temperature was right around 60 all day long...quite a change from the past four days!

 

I like the cooler weather, but it means, inevitably, that autumn is here or almost here. The sun is setting in camera range now, and that means it is hurrying south, and that means winter. I like everything about winter except the short, dark days. I got some vitamin D, and I'm hoping that will help keep me out of my winter funk.

 

I didn't even do my eight rows of knitting this morning. Instead, I wrote. Buster didn't come to be petted, for some reason, so I had time to write quite a bit, but that meant I was late getting to the office, and I was late doing my surfing. I went to the post office, where there was a whole bunch of junk - no bills, though - and some more reading material. I read another magazine, and then after the afternoon news and stuff, I opened up the story I was reading yesterday and wrote on that for a while. So I guess I'm in a writing mood. It's a little late to do any more tonight, but we'll see how I feel when I get up to the north end. I think I can forego the bath tonight, since I didn't sweat today and I'm not planning to go anywhere tomorrow.

 

I guess I am in sort of a funk now, anyway. The thing with the Google ads has really disappointed me. They denied my appeal, and I appealed again, because I really think they are wrong, but I doubt it will do any good. My friends were just too diligent in trying to help me out, I guess. So I am left trying to scrabble around and find another source of income. We'll see what happens. I'm sure that's why I'm not sleeping well, and why I am taking solace in my writing.

 

So that was a quiet day, and it's a cool, clear night in the field.

 

September 2

I turned out the light before 11:00 last night, but I didn't sleep well at all. The outdoor temperature never got below 70, and one of my problems was that it was too warm in the bedroom for covers, but my arms got chilly without them. One of these days, I will have to make some cotton nighties with long sleeves, and maybe that will solve my problem. Then, of course, I got to thinking about things I shouldn't.

 

I was awake shortly after 6:00 when Ron went down the road to take Trevor to the school bus - summer vacation is over - and I was awake again around 7:30 and almost didn't think I would go back to sleep at all. I finally gave up and got up around 8:45, so now I'm tired.

 

I knitted and petted a cat and did some reading, but I had to go back over what I've written lately and find and change a word - when the computer would be great - so I didn't write anything new.

 

It was a sort of weird morning. There were clouds or something in the sky and it was very humid, then around 8:30 it began to sort of clear up, but it was hazy and yucky. Fortunately, there was a good wind, in the 10-25 mph range, blowing, but still, by 4:00 the temperature had reached 87, and it was hot.

 

Then, around 4:15, it started to get very dark over in the west, and I started hearing thunder, and by 4:45, we were having a nice thunderstorm, with wind gusts to 33 mph, and the temperature was 77. What a relief - it felt almost cold. That squall didn't last long, though, and there was only about 0.1" of rain. When the wind dropped and the sun came out, it began to feel warm again. Around 7:00, it got all dark and windy again, so I brought in the bird feeders. There was another squall, and this one dropped 0.44" of rain in about half an hour, accompanied by winds that were even higher than the first one, but I don't know how high, because it had gone nearly calm by the time of the next report from the NWS. Now, the wind has picked up into the 15-30 mph range, at least, and the temperature has plummeted to 64. It's time to close up the house.

 

Anyway, it was an interesting weather day. I didn't do a lot, because I was tired and it was too hot to do much. Before it warmed up, I did mostly load the dishwasher, which I will finish before I go to bed, and I washed a couple of pots and pans. When it got hot, I started reading one of the storied I transcribed onto the computer, with some thought of trying to write a little on it, but I screwed up something and had to read through it and unflag all the supposed grammar errors Word found. I also found a few more typos that Word should have found and didn't. I just finished that, so I didn't write anything new. I am still grappling with how to get from where I am now to where the story ends.

 

The front that came through this evening should mark pretty much the end of our hot weather, something which I can remember happening several times in the past, but usually a week or so later. Several times I have driven to the UP in temperatures in the upper 80s, only to have a front come through the first night and drop the temperature to autumnal levels. That always made it hard to pack for the trip: I had to bring warm-weather and cold-weather clothes and everything in between. When  my mother and I were coming together, the truck was always really packed.

 

Labor Day is as early as it can be this year, but we always arrived in Copper Harbor the weekend after, usually stopping in Grand Marais (MI) for a couple of days on our way. This year it seems there is no question but that the highs will be in the middle 60s at best and the lows in the 50s for the next week or so. I hope so. Enough with this hot stuff!

 

Now it is a rather hairy night in the field, and I think it will be a good one to sleep, and maybe tonight I will. It's cloudy and windy.

 

September 1 - Labor Day

I went up to the north end early last night and I wrote for a while and got to bed about 11:00. It turned out to be a good night to sleep. It didn't get very cool - down to 66 at 8:00 - so having things opened up made it quite comfortable. So I got up and did almost my whole eight rows on the sock before Buster wandered in and got his pet. I don't know if he does that because he wants to or because he thinks I expect it. He wasn't purring very loud this morning.

 

He does feel OK, though. It's just a little hotter than he likes. When I got to the closet to get dresses, he was laid out in the open window, quite comfortable. Jasmine was curled up on grandpa's chair on the porch, which she seems to have appropriated. This afternoon, they both went away. The sun beating on the front of the house makes it really hot, even on the porch, unless there is a strong wind blowing.

 

I wrote for a while this morning, and I suppose I will do it again tonight. The ideas keep coming.

 

I found an ideal way to dress to keep cool, as long as nobody sees me. I got a couple of camisoles this spring, with the idea of wearing them under shirts. I like the look, and hopefully, if I have a shirt on, nobody will see my bra straps. So today I put one on with nothing underneath. It doesn't look so great, with one flat side and one droopy side, but nobody saw me but the cats, and it was nice to feel the breeze on my bare shoulders. I wish I could take off the compression hose - they are hot - but I don't dare, in this weather. So I was mostly pretty comfortable, until the elastic around the bottom of the shelf bra got on top of my scar, which hurt. At least I was relatively cool until the temperature peaked.

 

It did get hot again. The temperature got up to 85, around 5:00. The only good thing about the shorter days is that it is starting to cool down a little again, although it isn't supposed to get quite as cool tonight. There wasn't much wind at all today, and it was variable, but mostly from the southwest, which left it relatively cool in the office and hot elsewhere.

 

This weather makes me feel blah, though, so I didn't do much. I processed last month's journal and got ready for tonight, and looked through a few things in the office on the off-chance I might have put some jewelry stuff there. No luck. And that was about it.

 

So tonight I will, I hope, get up to the north end relatively early again and write some more, although it feels like I could go right to sleep. I will bathe. Nothing feels much better than a nice tepid shower when I am hot and sweaty, and 75 breezes on my wet bod feel almost cold...nice.

 

Marquette has set two record highs on the past two days, and I think maybe Houghton has, too. These have certainly been the hottest days of this summer by far. We are apparently in for another tomorrow, although when the storms come through, it will cool down dramatically, enough to close up the house again.

 

It seems to me that this frequently happened when I was a kid in Detroit. We would have a cool spell in August, then it would get hot again when it was time to go back to school. At least we haven't had an entire summer of it, like they have in Detroit and Chicago.

 

This morning, before I got out of the bathroom, I could hear motors outside, and later, there were two jet-skis roaming up and down the harbor, the first of the summer. I have to admit, it was a nice day for that. I think the camera caught one of them. Late this afternoon, there were some mergansers out in the harbor fishing. It's been quite a while since I've seen any waterfowl. I don't know why, unless the currents keep the fish out of this end. We certainly haven't had enough people down here to bother them.

 

So that was my quiet day, and as soon as I get this uploaded, it will be off to the north end.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM