A View From the Field








October, 2008


October 31 - Halloween

Well, here we are at the end of another month. Sigh.


I wrote for quite a while last night, and after some fiddling around, I'm finally getting back into it. I didn't sleep at all well. Part of the problem was that it was still 65 outside at midnight, and it was warm in the bedroom, but since I knew it would be getting quite cool overnight, I didn't want to open a window. Another part of it was that it was very windy - gusts over 30 mph, and since it was from the northwest, it was very noisy.


Another problem was the flies. The flies are really beginning to pop out now, and right after I turned out the light, I felt something crawling down the back of my leg. When I grabbed at it, I killed a very large fly. Yuck. It had crawled under some of the covers, even.


But that wasn't all of it. I was sneezing yesterday afternoon, and my nose was stuffy all night. I turned out the light around 11:30, but I didn't start sleeping until after 3:30, and I was up a lot, in part due to the water I drank last night, most likely.


Anyway, I finally did get some good deep sleep, and I woke up around 10:00 to another beautiful day. It was a lot cooler than yesterday - around 45 all afternoon - and there was a brisk northeast breeze, but there were almost no clouds in the sky all day, and there was lots of blue sky and blue water. When I got up, the surf was rolling in the channel at a great rate...and I might mention that the night before last, it was quiet enough that I could hear the bell buoy. The weather never fails to be interesting.


I knitted for a while this morning and put the sweater on a 29" needle, which I think will work much better. I have been using a 47" needle because I like the tips, but since the sweater is only about 54" around, that meant I spent a lot of time working the stitches around the needle to the other end. The 29" needle is a bit short, but it should work out better. The points of this needle are just as nice as the other one, I found, but I like nickel plated brass better than aluminum. I still have most of my needles from back in the 60s and 70s, and since new ones are expensive, I don't see getting too many new ones, except when I need the very flexible cables the new ones have (like for my socks).


I sat in the sun and soaked up the rays for most of the afternoon and got some bead sorting done. I like it when the temperature is this low but the boiler doesn't come on. That means my very passive solar heat is working just fine, thank you.


I still feel like I have my cold - or maybe I have reinfected myself - so I didn't feel very robust, and I had another sneezing fit this afternoon, so it's not gone yet. So instead of going to dinner or the post office or the compactor, I just stayed in.


I found about a dozen of the most beautiful beads I have gotten out of this batch - and there are lots of pretty ones in it. They are aqua matte iris, and oh, how I wish I could get lots of them. They are a shade of greenish aqua I have not been able to find in seed beads, and besides, they have this beautiful finish. So I started going through the rest of the kilo I have in a box, but so far I haven't found any more. Drat. I will press on and see if I can find at least enough to use in a bead embroidered piece...or maybe I will just keep them in their bag and admire them. 


Buster has been rather shy of me today, even though I told him last night and this morning that I've forgiven him. He knows he did something really bad, and he's afraid I won't love him anymore. Poor Buster.


Now Jasmine...I was sitting in the powder room with a magazine when I started hearing noises from, it seems under the vanity in there. Jasmine came by, and she clearly heard it, too, and she thought it sounded like the same thing I did...but she wouldn't come in there with me there, even after I moved the box that was on the floor. Poor Jasmine.


When I finally went to find something to eat - a TV dinner - I looked out over the hill that is across from Lake Fanny Hooe, and there was Venus twinkling right over the top of it, even brighter than Jupiter. So pretty! She should be around for the next 9 months or so, I think. It was clear last night, too, but not very transparent, which means about as clear as the very clearest night in the big city. I did see Altair setting in the west, about the time I went to bed, and the bowl of the Little Dipper is hanging straight down now. If I had a clear southeastern horizon, I could have seen Orion rising. The moon is pretty, but I prefer these very dark (and it was very dark) moonless nights, when who knows what you might see?


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


October 30

I wrote for a while last night and turned out the light around 11:30. It was a bit windy, but I saw stars when I was up during the night, and I got up around 10:00. I knitted for quite a while. I think the sweater is going to be long enough. I must have been using some of the short balls when I started the body.


I sort of diddled around, although I did get the dishwasher unloaded and started loading it again. This afternoon I hauled out the seed beads and started sorting again. I wasn't seeing too well, and I had to wear my Mag-Eyes, but I made good progress. I wanted to sort out all the black ones before the sun went around behind the tree, because it is sometimes very hard to tell the black from the navy blue beads, and I got that done. 


Well, the desk is now cleaned off and Buster is persona non grata. For some reason, he decided to jump up on the desk right in front of me, which is something he almost never does. Not only did he mess up all the bead trays, he knocked over the full glass of lemonade I had just poured for myself, and most of it went onto the desk, all over everything I had lying there. Lemonade is sticky, so I had to take a whole lot of stuff into the kitchen and wash it off. I hope I got the stickiness off. It got on a new pair of scissors I got last week that I've never used and four new spools of thread...among other things. It took quite a lot of napkins to sop up all that lemonade, and then I had to clean that part of the desk and rinse off everything that had gotten wet. Yuck.


He finally crawled out around the time I was eating the rest of my chicken, but when all I gave him was the empty dish, he went away again. Mama is not pleased.


It was an absolutely glorious day, all unlooked for. It was clear and sunny all day long, with blue, blue skies and blue, blue waters, and the temperature got all the way up to 66 for a while around 4:00. That is a new record temp for this date. It was breezy this morning, with a southwest wind in the 15-25 mph range, but the wind died down a bit this afternoon, and I had the patio door open for quite a while.


I did make an oops, though. I opened the door partway - just enough that the camera got two lovely pictures of the doorframe before I realized what I had done. Jasmine was delighted but skittish - I don't know why she thinks I might not like her to look out the open door - and I got to chase away a number of those greedy jays, who are still making off with most of the seed I put down on the deck.


The sun went behind the mountain about 6:30, and that made me realize that when we go back on standard time on Sunday, it will be setting at 5:30 already! The days are only 10 hours long now, and I guess I will have to start taking my vitamin D pretty soon. I sat in the sun and soaked up the rays as long as I could today, and I hope that will help. I got a little warm, but it was worth it.


So that was my day, and its off to the north end again and some more writing.


It's a clear, lovely night in the field tonight, at the end of a day it was wonderful to savor.


October 29

Everything was late last night for some reason, so it was almost 12:30 before I turned out the light. I did sleep well, except that I had been drinking a lot of water (a good thing), and I was so full of gas that it was pulling on my appendectomy scar (a bad thing), so I was up several times during the night. Adam called right before 9:00, so I got up, and he came just about the time I finished my breakfast.


Anyway, except for the gas, my elimination problem seems to be doing well, which is a real relief. I did have to make a fast trip to the bathroom while Adam was changing light bulbs, but that always happens after breakfast. So I will just have to bite the bullet and keep buying the expensive probiotic. It really does work for me.


Adam discovered that not only was the one pipe, a heating pipe, completely disconnected for about 40 feet, several others had broken brackets, too. We theorize it has something to do with the brackets being plastic and the pipe getting really hot, which stresses it. Now, my question is, if that happens, why are they using that kind of bracket for heating pipes? Inquiring minds want to know. I would have been in serious trouble if that pipe had ruptured, and I guess I will just have to start looking at the pipes when I go downstairs.


He also changed the two light bulbs in the kitchen that had burned out, and he had to reconstruct one of the canisters, which wasn't put together right. That wasn't easy, working over his head like that. So now I know how those things are put together, although I doubt I'll ever be able to fix one.


Other than to go to the post office, I didn't do anything much else. I still do not feel quite well, and I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I vegged.


I did finally fill the bird feeder on the deck, late in the afternoon, and then I discovered that the big feeder was almost empty, too, so I filled that. Those jays are really raiding the feeders and caching all the seeds in them, darn them.


It was cold today. The temperature hung at about 37 all day, and with the strong winds for most of the day, it wasn't too nice to be out. It was cloudy in the morning, but it started to clear up around noon. There were some clouds in the sky all day, and they increased again before sunset, but the wind has died down. It's supposed to be a cold night tonight, and then get up to nearly 60 tomorrow. I guess that will be what Shirley always used to call "Indian Summer".


I finally cooked tonight. I have a recipe called "Butter Herb Chicken" which I haven't made for a very long time. It has a sauce of butter, wine and a lot of herbs, onion and garlic, and then a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and then it is baked. I cooked it in the toaster oven, and it came out very nice. Every time I make it, it tastes a bit different, depending upon the kind of wine and exactly how I measure the herbs, but it's always good. Instead of putting it on noodles, which I usually do, I put it on the frozen pasta-veggie mix I got from Schwan's, and that was good, too.


In fact, it's a wonder that I didn't choke on it. All the time I was eating, Buster was staring at me, and every time I stopped eating, he almost moved forward. He did lick the dish, but evidently it smelled better than it tasted.


The more I use that toaster oven, the happier I am that I got it, and when it dies, which it will eventually, I think I may try to get a more expensive one. I would like one with digital controls, especially a digital thermostat. However, I just got what I could get. Even though the larger size takes up a lot of room on the counter, it makes it all that much more versatile. I could have roasted my last chicken in it, easily.


It was nice to see the sun again, even though it interfered with what I was doing. It is only 28 above the horizon at noon, so it shines in the south windows from about 11:00 until about 2:00, then again in the patio doors around sunset. This is the time of year when I should sort beads, but there are so many other things I should be doing...


So that was my quiet day, and now I will toddle up to the north end and write some more. It's a cold, quiet night in the field tonight.


October 28

I wrote a while last night, and it was about 11:00, I think, when I got to bed. It was windy and the lake was singing a bit for most of the night, although both the wind and the lake died down a bit overnight. I can still hear the lake singing softly in the background, but then, the wind is rising again. Since it is about new moon, and the clouds were thick, it was so dark I couldn't even see the windows in the window seat.


I was awakened at 9:00 by Adam, returning my call of yesterday, so I got up. I could have gone back to sleep, but I had to walk, so I didn't. 


The elimination problem is sort of under control again, as much as it ever is, so that is nice. However, Buster was sitting on my lap this afternoon when he started to barf, and he got it all over my pant leg. If it's not one guy it's the other...


I don't believe I did anything today, so I have nothing to report. I didn't even fill the feeder on the deck, although I got screeched at this afternoon. I still can't believe the jays are eating all that seed right away.


So I didn't even go outside. It was another cold, cloudy day, with a temperature that hovered around 40 with north winds in the 15-25 mph range. The wind has risen now, to the 20-30 mph range, so it should be another good night to sleep.


I was going to cook tonight, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my chicken breasts, and my back is bothering me, so I didn't Tomorrow.


Oh, yes, and somebody from the bank called and my loan is being sent to underwriting. Let's hope for the best.


So that is all I know, and I will have to be up at a reasonable hour, because while Adam said he will be here tomorrow, he didn't say when.


It's another dark, noisy night in the field.


October 27

It was midnight before I turned out the light, and I didn't wake up until around 5:00. Late hours plus old Mother Superior make me sleep really well. She was roaring last night, in the alto-tenor range, and the blasts of wind were hitting the house at the north end. It was a good night to sleep. I got up around 9:30, I think, and I petted a cat and knitted a while before I got dressed.


While I was knitting, I noticed that there was white stuff in the valley between the roofs of the breezeway and the garage, and a squall came through with more white stuff, but there was no accumulation and actually not much precip of any kind. It was very windy all day, but there wasn't much more snow or rain or anything like that. The temperature did drop off, to a low of 35 at 10:00, but then it went up to about 37, where it has stayed most of the day, and is rising very slowly now, as the wind drops off. Our peak winds were in the 30-45 mph range around midnight, and they have been in the 20-35 mph range all day. It was dark and gray all day long, with lots of lake noise and breakers on the beach, but with the north winds, there weren't many whitecaps on the harbor.


Even though I have been leaving the bird feeders out all night, I was out twice today to fill them. Something bigger than a squirrel is coming to the feeder on the deck at night, because it has been pushed toward the front railing for the past two days, so I had to retrieve it and fill it, and the big feeder was getting empty, too. I think the blue jays are caching sunflower seeds. They are filling their crops and flying away, and I know they can't eat that much seed. The chipmunks are storing away seeds, too, but the squirrels don't do that. The highest in the pecking order are the squirrels, then the jays, then the chipmunks. I think I put out enough that they should all get their share. I didn't see any chickadees today, but I'm sure they were around. They fly down to one of the perching feeders, grab a seed, and fly off, so if I'm not looking, I miss them. I tried to get the big feeder oriented so I could see both sides, but I didn't. I hope the nuthatches are coming, too.


I didn't do much again today. The appraiser came and looked around, and informed me that one of my water pipes has broken free of all its brackets. I went downstairs to look and to raid the freezer down there, and it is most alarming. I have a call in to Adam, but he hasn't called me back, so I guess he is out of town, so I guess I will have to call the plumber (shudder!). All the brackets for at least 30' have broken. He uses plastic brackets. I think they should be wire, like they were at Champine. So I guess i will call tomorrow. I don't want that pipe to break.


I do have to run the dishwasher tonight - I'm out of cat dishes - and I think I will probably read tonight. I still do not feel very well, but I started taking Imodium last night, as well as one of my favorite probiotics, and that part of my routine has been much better today. Thank heaven for small favors!


Jasmine felt great this morning, and was dancing up and down the hallway, but I haven't seen her all day. Buster is trying to give up a hairball, and as a result, I had to wash one of the fleece throws I keep on the cabinets in the office...which reminds me, it needs to go in the dryer. I assume he has a hairball again. He did bug me for a while, but after he barfed, he went off someplace and I haven't seen him for a while. The barometer is pretty high now, so they ought to feel good.


So that is all I know, and I will trudge up to the north end and read for a while. It's beginning to calm down in the field, but they say it may snow a little more tomorrow.


October 26

I was so tired last night that I was in bed by 9:00, but I didn't sleep at all well. I was up any number of times, and I should have been taking Imodium. Along about midnight, we had about 45 minutes of high winds. The NWS station said the gusts were up to 33 mph, although the sustained winds over there were only about 12 mph. It was stronger here. I guess there was some rain, too, although I didn't see it. Then it quieted down, and later in the night, I saw stars when I got up. Most of my problem, though was a combination of dribbling off and having night sweats. What ever I have, I still have it.


So I didn't feel very good today, and I didn't do anything. I sat at the desk and read. If I pull out the desk drawer and stop it with the handle of the first drawer in the cabinet, I have a perfect easel for my notebook or any other book with a hard back. That gave me a chance to watch the birds and the weather, both of which were fun.


All afternoon long, we kept having rain squalls come through the harbor, and in between there was even some sunshine...then I would see that black cloud over the mountain or sneaking in from the lake and next thing we would get a little rain. It is so much fun to watch that happen!


About 5:00, the wind started to rise and howl and the lake started to sing. The wind is now (at 10:00) at 34 mph sustained with gusts up to 43 mph. I can hear the breakers on my beach, and the lake is really loud. At least at this end of the house, I am not hearing the wind very much, because it is now out of the north-northeast and I am sheltered on that side. It's a very hairy night in the field. It isn't very cold, though. The temperature has been hanging right around 45 for the past 24 hours. I guess it's supposed to cool down, but the lake is still at 50 or more, so that will keep the temperature up around here. 


I must report that the winter storm watch had been canceled by this morning, as I thought it would be, but there are still gale warnings on the lake, and we don't have far to go to have a gale here, too.


I got a call this afternoon, and an appraiser is planning to come out in the late morning tomorrow to look at the house. So things are coming along.


When Buster got up this afternoon, he was totally frustrated because I was reading and he couldn't sit on my lap, and he has been bugging me all evening. Jasmine got into something, too, but I don't know what. I heard a rumbling in the great room (which was dark), and when I looked in there, she came over the buffet into the seating area. I have no idea what she pushed over, but there are a lot of boxes in there. The barometer has been rising, so the fur faces feel frisky, no matter what the weather is like.


So that was my quiet day, and I feel the need for a long sleep tonight. I hope the song of the lake will sing me to sleep. It's a hairy night in the field, and I love it.


October 25

I set some kind of a record last night. I turned out the light about 11:15 last night, and the first time I woke up this morning was about 6:30, I think. Actually, that probably means I am dehydrated and I need to start drinking water again. However, it was nice. I think I did sort of come to once, to turn over (no way I can sleep on the same side for 7 hours!), but wow, did I sleep. Then I went back to sleep and didn't get up until nearly 10:00. It didn't do much good, though, and I still don't feel very good.


So I did not much again. I went to the post office, where my probiotics came, and I cleaned out the veggie drawers in the fridge, in which some things had died. And that was about it. Some toys came, too, and I played with those for a while. 


Which leads me to mention that for a very long time I have been wanting to do some pin weaving. That is where you take ribbons or braids and weave them together, then make something out of the resulting fabric. I have a huge selection of Christmassy ribbons (well, they call them wide braids) which would be fun to work with. Of course, except for the few I got today and last summer, I would have to find all those braids before I could start, but it might be a fun project. I have thought about using them for boxes, or for the fronts of a vest. Someday...


Anyway, it was a yucky day. It was raining when I got up, an putting out the bird feeders wasn't pleasant, because not only was it cold (43), there was a wind gusting up to 20 mph from the west. Yuck. And now I have to bring them in again. Double yuck. I'm tempted to just leave them out and hope for the best.


The temperature got up to about 47, where it is now, and there was a wind from the west, although it died down to almost nothing for most of the afternoon. In spite of what the NWS station is reporting, it was drizzling or misting for most of the day. Not good for the arthritis, and Clyde was complaining, too, when I went to the post office.


They still insist that something is going to happen between tomorrow and Tuesday, with high winds and probably snow. There are gale warnings for the lake from tomorrow morning through Monday afternoon, although the expected waves have decreased to 11-15 feet (from 17). Whatever, it will be fun.


I haven't seen the camera case lately, but it might be fun, if it really does begin to blow tomorrow, to find it and go down M-26 and see if I can take a picture or two. We'll see how I feel. Usually I just want to hibernate in weather like that.


I was thinking about going to dinner tonight, until I discovered that there is a fund raiser at Mariner tonight, and even though I support the cause (or would like to), I just didn't feel good enough to attack a big crowd, so I stayed home. When I finish this, I am going to find one of the binders in the crate and go up to the north end and read a little while and try to get to bed early tonight. That is the only way I know to lick whatever it is I have.


So that is all there is, and I am getting tired already. It's a damp, raw, breezy night in the field tonight.


October 24

Well, I seem to be back to my old habits. I read on the computer until nearly midnight, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I had a terrible night. I kept having night sweats, and my right knee ached so bad I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie. Considering the weather today, I know why I ached, but it wasn't pleasant. I finally got out of bed around 9:30, but I didn't get enough sleep.


And I didn't feel very good, so I didn't do anything except put some stuff in the dishwasher.


I read some more today, and I finally finished all the stories that are on the computer and got the chapters laid out in the one that is finished.


The weather was (is) yucky. It has been very dark and cloudy all day, and while the temperature got up to 50 for a while, and there wasn't any wind, it was dampish, and around 3:00 it started dribbling rain. I got rather wet when I brought in the bird feeders tonight. It is still raining lightly, with no wind.


However, we are under a winter storm watch for Sunday and Monday, and it's likely to be messy, if it happens, with mixed rain and snow here and very high winds (up to 50 mph, they are saying). Winter seems to be starting a bit early in the Keweenaw this year. Down here by the big lake, it sounds like it may be more rain than snow, but they are predicting up to 6".


I guess I am as prepared as I can be. The car works, the freezer is full, and the generator works. I have enough cat food for quite a while. I trust there is enough propane in the tanks.


The flock of blue jays is eating like there was no tomorrow, and I was watching this afternoon when there was the littlest chipmunk (about the size of a mouse) running around trying to pick up as many seeds as it could. I always put out a full feeder in the morning, and somebody or something immediately digs into it and scatters seed all over the deck. It was a mess tonight, but by the time I put the feeders back out tomorrow, it will all be cleaned up. I don't think it is a bear - I think it is a combination of the flying squirrels and the early birds.


So that is all there is. I have been having miscellaneous pains all day long. This weather is not good for arthritis, and mine is letting me know that.


It's a dark, dank, rainy night in the field tonight.


October 23

I wrote for a little while last night, and I turned out the light at about 10:15. It was cloudy when I was awake during the night, so there were no moons or stars. I didn't sleep very well, for some reason, but perhaps it was too warm in the bedroom. I have had the window shut since it cooled off outside, and the sun yesterday warmed it up inside. It was also probably because whatever little infection I am harboring was giving me night sweats - not severe ones, just enough to make me uncomfortable. I did have to walk at 8:00, but I went back to bed and got up about 9:15. So now I'm tired again.


It was clearing up when I got up, and it turned out to be a very pretty day, mostly clear and sunny. The temperature got up to 51, with a strong (15-25 mph) south wind.


In case anyone wondered, PastyNet had a severe problem with their connection to their email server overnight, and it was late this afternoon before all the messages got delivered where they were supposed to be...or I think they all have been. So while I got the emails a couple of people sent me, I didn't want to gum things up further by replying to them.


I guess I didn't do much today except clear off the desk around the computer a bit and read some catalogs. In the middle of the afternoon, I started reading some of the stories I've typed into the computer, and that was about it.


Since I've been putting out the bird feeders again, the one on the deck has been nearly empty every night, and I'm still not quite sure why. I suspect it is because I have had a flock of blue jays around to add to the squirrels and chipmunks, but I haven't been watching it too carefully. At least that leaves the hanging feeders free for the little birds. I know the chickadees are back, and I hope the nuthatches are, too. Every so often a goldfinch turns up. It is a pain to have to put the feeders out every morning and bring them in every night, and I hope that pretty soon I can stop doing that. It's getting to be time to set up my heated birdbath, too. That will be fun.


So that's all there is, and I'm tired again. I don't feel really bad, just not very good, and I seem to get sleepy really early.


It's a breezy night in the field tonight.


October 22

Last night, the writing called, so I wasn't so early to bed, but I did make it by 10:15. I guess I am getting caught up or better or something, because when I woke up at 8:30, it felt all right to get up, so I had a long day.


It was clear and starry when I was up during the night, but it had clouded up when I got up this morning, and it was partly to mostly cloudy all day. The temperature was right around 45 all day, and a rather strong (15-25 mph) wind from the south has picked up this afternoon.


I locked in my mortgage rate, after waiting quite a while to hear from the guy. 


Otherwise, I got part of the trash collection into the car and went off to the post office, the general store (for eggs and milk so I can have a proper breakfast), and the trash compactor. 


The only problem I had with that is that when I turned on the car, Beethoven's Seventh was playing, and I kept having to get out and miss parts of it. Now I want to hear the whole thing, but I don't think it's in my travel case, which means going through six boxes of CDs in the basement. If I do that, I should really put them in the cabinet, but I think that is one of the cabinets where the pegs for the shelves are missing. I want to hear it!!! It has always been one of my favorites of the Beethoven symphonies, especially the second movement, and it's been a very long time since I've heard it. Hmm...


Anyway, I also filled the dry cat food bowls and  unloaded and began to reload the dishwasher. So I guess I had a productive day. 


The mail was almost completely catalogs and pleas for money - no bills, for a change - but it had filled my mailbox. It's that time of year.


I'm not sure if I'm just more attuned to it this year, but it seems to me that the "buy" messages are starting earlier and are more strident than usual. I've been getting more advertising emails lately, I think...or maybe not. It's hard to tell, since I delete most of them right away. I just have the feeling that the retail industry may be panicking in the face of the economic situation. Fortunately, I don't have many things to buy, and I have Deb's gift already.


One catalog I got, which I've never gotten before, and I have no idea how I got on their list, is for American Girl dolls. I've been interested in them, since they came out after I got over dolls. My doll wish-list was always for Madame Alexander dolls (I have three). Anyway, the prices for them are enough to raise the hair on your head. Madame Alexanders are even more, of course, but $90 for a doll that a child might actually play with seems a little high to me. And that's not even including all the accessories and furniture. It's certainly more than I have in disposable income, so I guess I'll just have to make do with the $19.95 imitations. A girl never gets over dolls.


Somewhere around here is the box of Barbie clothes I knitted when I was in my late teens, more for the fun of knitting cute little things than anything else (Barbie came out after my doll days, too, and I was never very interested in her). After I did them, I decided I didn't need them, so I gave them to my mother to sell at the church bazaar. She said something about not being able to give them away, which I didn't really believe, but when we were going through her house after she died, up in the highest shelf of the linen closet, there was the box with my Barbie clothes. They are cute, and I'm glad she saved them, although she gave away some other things I wish she hadn't. A girl never gets over dolls.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end again, and I may write some more. It's a partly cloudy, cool night in the field.


October 21

I think I have a little cold. I had a scratchy throat last night, as well as a runny nose, so I took a Sucret and went to bed at around 9:00...and I finally got up at 9:00 this morning because I was getting sore on all sides. Now I feel like it would be good to do it again. It doesn't surprise me. I was running around with people last week, and I'm sure I wasn't washing my hands enough. It does annoy me, though. I hate these things.


I knitted a while this morning, much to Buster's disgust, but for most of the day I was paying attention to my mortgage banker. I think it will pay off, though, in about a $300 decrease in my mortgage payment. Not a lot, but enough to help, I think. So I was on the phone with him for a good part of the day, off and on, and I had to fax him the 27 pages of my IRA statement, but I have been approved for at least one kind of mortgage.


By the way, if it interests you, rates have dropped drastically since last week.


Anyway, between phone calls, I finally got the pails filled with birdseed and the feeders out. I don't think any critters came, but the chickadees and blue jays did, so now all I have to do is put the feeders out every day. It will be a while before I feel safe leaving them out all night.


I saw stars and a moon when I was up in the night, but in between times, we had some light rain overnight, and it was very dark and cloudy this morning. The temperature was around 42 all day long, but there was hardly any wind this afternoon. Around 3:00 it started to clear up, and it was almost clear at sunset. The sun is setting over the Mountain Lodge now, and it won't be long before it disappears out the right side of the camera picture. The days are now 10 hours long. Sigh.


However, while "snow" kept creeping into the forecasts last night and early this morning, it is now gone at least until the weekend, and we are in for a slight warming trend for the next few days. We should get some sunshine for a couple of days, too, so that will be nice.


Now I am feeling headachy again, so I think I will try to get another long sleep in and maybe I will feel better tomorrow.


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


October 20

I fiddled around last night before I went up to the north end, and I didn't get to bed until after midnight. Apparently I hurt Buster's feelings because he didn't try to sleep with me, but he was around when I got up around 9:00. 


I had time to do my morning surfing and have something for breakfast before it was off to my massage, which was quite late. Some woman drove off the road between Lac LaBelle and US-41, and since Johanna is a first responder, she went to the call...along with four other first responders and the small fire engine. It may take them a while to get to you, but you get good response when you have a problem in Keweenaw County.


So I talked to her mother Judy and eventually I got my massage, which felt really good. And then I came home, forgetting I wanted to stop at the store and get eggs and milk, and I didn't do much else for the rest of the day except fill the dishwasher. It isn't full, but all the cat dishes are dirty, so it's time to wash.


It was a cold, breezy day, but there was some sunshine. The temperature got up to 48 briefly, and there was a strong - 15-25 mph - wind from the northeast which made the lake sit up and sing. There were clouds, but there was quite a bit of sunshine, too, although there wasn't much in the way of a sunset.


When I went to my massage I got well smelled by Johanna's dog, Eos, and so when I got back and Buster got on my lap, I got well smelled again. It wouldn't surprise me that if Eos and Buster ever were to meet, they would recognize each other by their smells.


So that is about all I have to report, and tonight I hope to be in bed a bit earlier. I like getting up fairly early, but that means it's to bed at an early hour. Now that it is getting dark early, that isn't such a problem. I do think I might either read or write for a while tonight, though.


It's a cool, breezy night in the field.


October 19

I wrote for a while last night and got into bed at about 11:30. I slept so hard, it was around 5:00 before I finally woke up, and then I went back to sleep until about 9:00. When I threw back the covers to get up, I  bopped Buster in the nose...he was sleeping behind my legs. He complained, loudly. Poor Buster.


When he got on my lap, still complaining, I assured him I didn't mean to hit him, and that if he slept at the end of the bed like a proper cat, not only wouldn't I bop him, I wouldn't kick him either. It's a big bed. Would you believe, later in the morning (when I had to change all my bottom clothes again), he was curled up on the other comforter at the end of the bed. Now if I can only get him to do that at night, too...After I hit him, he got up and jumped over my head. I guess he was pretty upset. I don't know why he wants to lie beside me. When DC was alive, they both slept at the foot of the bed and we never had any problems. A queen-sized bed is so long that my feet don't come anywhere near the end. Maybe I can retrain him.


Anyway, he sat on my lap all the time I was knitting, so there were evidently no hard feelings.


Jasmine was feeling pretty good again today, and she had to bounce down the hall at least once. When she woke up this afternoon, she came into the great room talking. She can shout, but most of the time she sort of mutters in the littlest, squeaky voice it's hard to be sure it's really coming out of her. She also spent some time chasing flies over by the camera. Sometimes when she does that she moves the tripod, but I guess she's getting better at leaving it alone.


It was a dark and dismal day, so dark that if I had done anything, I would have needed light to do it, so I didn't do much except order a few things I need from Amazon. As I need more of my supplements, I think I am going to put them on a subscription basis, so they will come automatically when I need them. It's wonderful how the internet is finally getting really user-friendly, and it's amazing to me sometimes how long it's taken to get that way.


It would have been not a bad day to be outside, except for the dark. The temperature got up to 56 for a while. It was quite windy this morning (15-30 mph from the southwest), but eventually the wind died down and switched mostly to the north. Those clouds were really thick, though. It did rain along the Lake Michigan shore, but it didn't here.


I can also report that the "S" word is gone from the forecast for the week. I thought they were overreacting again. It may finally get down into the lower 30s at night here, although I'll believe that when I see it, too, and the high temperatures look to be in the lower 40s, but it isn't going to get cold enough to snow. I'm with John Dee - let's wait until after Veteran's Day, and then it can snow all it wants until next April. I like it when there isn't any snow in October.


So that was my quiet day. I thought about cooking, but my stove is so nice and clean I decided against it and had Schwan's stuffed chicken breasts for dinner. They also have a veggie mixture - corn, peas and carrots with mini bow-tie pasta - that I wanted to try. It's OK, but the next time I have it, I may throw in a couple of chunks of either cheese sauce or Alfredo sauce. It was pretty bland. I do like those chicken breasts, though.


So that was another quiet and useless day, and maybe tomorrow will be better. It's a dark night in the field tonight.


October 18

Last night, I read through what I had been writing, but the next episode is going to be a long one, so I just took my bath and went to bed. I turned out the light around 10:30, I think, and I slept - with several short interruptions - until 9:00 this morning. I certainly am catching up on my sleep!


In one of the dreams, Jasmine came and sat on my lap and let me pet her and she purred. Like I've said, in my dreams. The chances of that happening soon are not good.


I didn't do anything today, so I don't have much to report. I am trying (again) to keep the kitchen neat, so I had a few things to do there, but other than reading a few catalogs, I just didn't do a thing.


I should have gone outside. It was a nice day. The temperature got up to 53, with light breezes from the west, and the sky was partly cloudy, so there was sunshine. When I saw the sky before sunset, I was hoping we might have a nice one, but no such luck. It went down with almost no color change at all.


I thought, briefly, about going out for dinner, but I have eaten out a lot this week, so I stayed in. I had one of my little steaks and a Yukon gold potato from Hughes Farm, which was really good. 


Buster sat and stared at my dinner all the time I was eating it, but he doesn't get steak or steak juice. He sat on my lap a lot today again, like he can hardly believe I have really come back. 


I guess I should report that the indoor fly season has finally begun. There were a few before I left, but now they are all around. There don't seem (so far) to be as many of them as in past years, but you will see flies on the window in front of the camera and I am practicing my aim with the fly swatter. Jasmine is good at that, too, but she eats them. Yuck.


Speaking of Jasmine, she is feeling really good these days. Maybe she is happy I came back, and the only way she can show it is by bouncing up and down the hallway. She is a funny little cat.


Anyway, back to the flies. They are a phenomenon of this part of the country that I didn't know about until I built the house. Nobody knows where they come from, but every autumn when it gets cool, every house in the UP gets full of flies. It is very annoying, but there isn't anything that can be done about it. I doubt even fumigating would work: wherever they come from, they would come back as soon as the house was habitable again. We just cope, and sweep up the dead ones. By January or so, they will all be gone for the year.


When I got up to get my dinner and looked out to the southwest, I finally saw Venus twinkling over the Mountain Lodge. It is still quite low in the sky, and I realized that the only way I could have seen Mercury in August was from the top of Brockway. One day I will see Mercury again, but I haven't yet. Anyway, Venus was between the mountain and a very large dark cloud, so I doubt I will see Jupiter or the moon.


When I woke up the past two mornings, the moon was high in the sky behind the thin cloud layer and I could see it clearly. It is also lighting the landscape wonderfully, and for most of the night. The full moons in September and October stay up longer and stay nearly full longer than any other time of year, and they are really bright.


So that is all I know, and I now I will toddle up to the north end and see what happens tonight. What a strange entry.


October 17

I was so tired last night that I was in bed by 9:45, and I didn't get up this morning until 9:00. I felt much better when I got up.


I felt even better after I talked to a mortgage banker - before breakfast - even though what he proposed might not get approved by his management. If it does, it may go a long way toward solving my problem. We can hope.


Anyway, I knitted for a while this morning, with a cat jumping on and off my lap, and eventually I got my morning surfing done. The one thing that isn't done yet is to get the bird feeders out. I need to fill my pails with birdseed, and I just didn't get that done. I did get the car unloaded, and I got to the post office, where there was a ton of catalogs and pleas for money and one more teensy check. It is small enough that I think I will wait a few days before sending it off, to see if any more come in. Too bad the SEC can't do anything about the real money I lost in 2000 - 2002.


It was not a bad day. The temperature briefly got up to 50, although it spent most of the day right around 48, and there was some sunshine and no wind. Late in the day it cleared up, which is nice, although it didn't do anything for the sunset. The only thing that concerns me is that the "S" word has appeared in the forecast for the first time - maybe on Monday, although I doubt it would snow here. Winter is coming fast.


In between getting stuff out of the car, I sat on the bumper and it was really rather nice out. I looked up across the driveway, and there was a small deer grazing around the back of the parking lot. I don't know what it was finding, but evidently it was quite tasty. Every time I made any noise, it looked up at me, but it didn't make any move to run away, even when I drove off to go to the post office. I'm sure it left shortly thereafter because I met some people walking two small dogs on the road (I have no clue who they are), and of course the dogs would go bonkers when they smelled the deer. Fortunately, they were both on leashes, so they couldn't chase it.


I have the feeling this may be the fawn I saw earlier in the summer, although it had no spots, and in fact, had its winter grayish coloring already. It wasn't nearly as large as the other deer I've seen around here.


So that was a nice welcome home to my peaceful place. I worry when deer are so tame, but clearly this one knew I mean it no harm.


Buster sat on my lap all the time I was listening to the radio this evening. In fact, he just doesn't want to leave me alone. I know he is glad to see me back, but really! Enough already. I finally had to chase him away so I can write this.


I did not get any trash to the compactor. That will have to start next week. I will get it done, it's just going to take a while. At least the car is empty, so I can begin loading orange bags.


There really wasn't all that much in the car. Slowly I am learning what I need to have along when I go away for just a few days, and it isn't much.


I thought about going to dinner tonight, but I had a couple of programs I wanted to hear, so I didn't. I may go tomorrow.


I mentioned that most of the trees have lost their leaves,. and they have, but the oaks around here are turning the prettiest shades of red and orange. After looking at them, I think there are two varieties of oak: pin oaks, which are what I have in my yard, and some other variety that I will have to try to identify, that have more lobed leaves.


I have had the thought for some time that it would be fun to make bead embroidered pins in the shape of leaves, particularly oaks and maples. I even got a good selection of small quantities of various shades of green beads, as a start, although the reds and oranges of fall also entice me. I will have to work on that over the winter.


I think just getting my trip out of the way, and having everything come out all right, has put me in a better mood, and maybe I can begin to do something again. One problem is, though, that while I would like to tear into some of the craft projects I have in the queue, there is also cleaning and things like that which I should do, and there isn't enough time to do both. I think that was one thing that kept me doing not much for the past several months. Cleaning is boring. Crafting is fun. However...


Oh, well. We'll see what occurs to me next. I do have to do some filing, since I now have an entire file box full of stuff. It's disgusting how that paper piles up. And I still have to clean off the desk and oil the sewing machine before I can do any sewing.


So now it's dark again - days are only 10 hours long now - and I think tonight I will write for a while. It feels like a good night to do that before I settle down for another long sleep.


It's a clear, calm night in the field.


October 16

I finally got the journal uploaded last night by sitting in the bathroom with the laptop on my lap, but the wireless still kept going up and down. So it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well until about 4:30 this morning, then I just dozed...don't know why, except that I don't believe the temperature was quite right. Anyway, about 7:45, it was either turn over and try again or get up, and I knew if I did sleep it would be forever before I got up, so I got up.


The wireless was so awful that all I got to do was see that the camera was working and check the weather, and then I couldn't get a connection. It's even more frustrating because the management doesn't seem to see it as a problem.


By the way, someone pointed out to me that the links on the journal page are screwed up. One way or another, I will fix them tonight. I believe it had something to do with my having lost all the borders when I moved files to the laptop. I will have to be more careful the next time I do that.


When I had my much-anticipated breakfast, I discovered that since last April they have cut the portion size about in half, although they haven't changed the price. It was still good, and since I didn't want to eat enough to get a gall bladder attack, I have some for tomorrow morning, too.


I left the motel at about 10:00. It was cold - middle 40s - and cloudy, but that made for good driving. I would have said that there was hardly any traffic, but when we got to the place where they are rebuilding the road (I don't remember exactly where, but I think it was someplace north of Gaylord), when we all bunched together, there was quite a bit.


Speaking of Gaylord, they are doing something in the medians there (I don't know what) that has caused them to remove every single bit of vegetation for about two miles, including around the "45th Parallel" sign. It is absolutely the ugliest thing - it could hardly be uglier if they had paved it over. I suppose they will put down grass seed, but that will only get overpowered by spotted knapweed, and all the trees and bushes are just gone and it will be years, if ever, before they grow back. I really, really wonder about the people who work for MDOT, and I may even send them a protesting email. That part of I-75 used to be a very pretty drive. No more.


Anyway, I made good time, and there wasn't a lot of traffic on the bridge, which was nice.


It was cold when I stopped for gas at Newberry, around 48 with a strong northerly wind. The temperature stayed about there all across the UP. It was mostly cloudy, although the sun would peek through every so often. The breakers were coming in nicely along the shoreline between Munising and Marquette, and sometimes the lake was more steel-blue than steel-gray.


I guess I forgot to mention (well, it slipped my mind) that they are in the middle of repaving M-28 at Christmas, around the casino. It's actually about time. That stretch has been really horrible for some time. They are widening it there, too, so that people turning into the casino don't interfere with the through traffic. Right now, it's a mess, of course, but it will be nice when it's done.


Which reminds me, I though they couldn't pour asphalt when the temperature was under 50? It was today, and they were.


As I neared Marquette, I began to see clearing skies off toward the west, and it was nearly clear when I got home, about 5:30. That's not a bad drive at all. It's the 3 or so hours I did yesterday that make the trip down so brutal.


I was interested to see that the price of gas in Newberry was about the same as in Detroit (it had risen to about $3.29 by the time I left). In Munising, it was $3.15, it was $3.19 in Marquette, and about $3.04 in Houghton...of course, it was $2.76 at the Indian reservation, so even though I had to sit in line, I topped off my tank. It puzzles me why it would be cheaper in Houghton than in Detroit, but I suppose it has something to do with supply lines.


The color was pretty around West Branch and around Indian River (I think that's where it was), but past peak other places north of West Branch. The trees are nearly bare, except for the underbrush, in the UP, and the tamaracks along M-28 are beginning to turn. It seems to me that at this time last year, they had already turned. There were a few pretty views today when the sun peeked through, but nothing like it must have been a week or so ago.


Buster appeared immediately when I arrived and proceeded to rub his chops on everything he could get to, and when I came into the office to call Ron, he immediately sat down on my lap. He wanted some of my steak, too, but of course, he can't have any. Jasmine came out to see me, too, and she looked like she might even have come to me, except that Buster was with me and she knows he's jealous.


I partly unloaded the car, and I discovered that my basket of food had slipped off the bag of ice into the water and ruined my fried wontons, but I shouldn't have put them in there anyway. Everything else was all right. I haven't completely unloaded the car, but I got out the important stuff. My suitcase and vanity case are still out in the breezeway, but getting them in won't be a problem.


So I'm home, and I'm very happy about it. I can bathe in my lovely shower - and finally do a good job on my tush - and sleep in my very comfy bed and look out on my lovely view. All the appointments seem to have come out all right, so I'm good until April.


It's a cold (41) quiet night in the field, and we are a happy household.


October 15

Aaahhh! I'm on my way home. Now if I can just get this uploaded...


I actually got up around 7:15 this morning, because both wrists were so sore I couldn't sleep. I've said before, cool dampness really does me in. So I had plenty of time to do my morning surfing, eat something, and get the car loaded.


Then it was off to the dentist, who didn't find anything wrong, thank goodness! 


I got out of there before 11:00, so I stopped by the bank again (I sold some note cards to the ladies last night) and went off to Staples, although I was walking with such difficulty that it wasn't a long shopping trip. I did get some more note card stock, however, and I noticed that nobody seems to be making interesting pens or pencils these days.


The "K" key on the laptop is having some difficulty.


In fact, I spent so little time in Staples that I parked behind the store and knitted for nearly 45 minutes before it was off to the internist. That wasn't bad either. We had a nice conversation, during which I found out what really happened to my cardiologist, and I got my prescriptions.


I debated stopping for lunch, but I decided just to eat a sandwich and be on my way, and boy, was I glad I did! I left the doctor's office about 2:20.


I-75 north was the most horrible mess from 14 Mile Road all the way to Flint, with the road down to 2 lanes and bumper-to-bumper traffic mostly going under 30 mph. Gack! When that was finally over with, it began to rain hard, and it rained hard almost to Saginaw.


I hate to drive in hard rain, especially at freeway speeds, because it just is not possible to see anything much with all the spray flying around. However, I reminded myself that this is the first time in a long time that I have had to do it, so overall, I can't complain a lot.


Eventually the rain mostly stopped. The Zilwaukee bridge is still closed on the northbound side (I thought they were supposed to complete that during the summer and close the southbound side, but obviously something happened), but the detour isn't too bad, even though it is only two lanes in each direction. Evidently everybody was going to Bay City, because after I got back on I-75, there was hardly any traffic the whole rest of the way to Grayling.


However, it had taken me a couple of hours, I think, to get to Birch Run, so it was nearly 6:00 when I got to the motel, having stopped for gas.


I am in my favorite room, which is nice. It is as close to the restaurant as I can get and still pull the car up to the outside door. That isn't too close, as I discovered, but I am incredibly stiff and sore today.


Then the real fun began. Normally, I uninstall and reinstall the wireless adapter software when I get here, and that is all there is. Well! I discovered, much to my dismay, that the idiots who wrote that software placed the license file in Window TEMP folder, of all stupid places...like nobody ever purges their TEMP folders! And in order to uninstall the software, it wanted that file.


I won't go into everything I tried, but suffice it to say I managed to destroy all my system restore points and I must have rebooted a couple dozen times over a period of 3 hours, with time out for dinner. Finally, I restored to the only point available and decided to just try plugging in the adapter and seeing what happened...and lo and behold, it came up like a champ! This was at nearly 10:00. However, that isn't the whole story. The connection to the internet keeps coming and going, so I am not even sure I will get to upload this tonight. I've had that problem here before, and I don't know why they can't fix it.


The weather wasn't all the best. It was in the middle 60s in Detroit, but whenever it started to rain on the way north, it got into the lower 50s, and when I got here, it was about 50 and very damp and unpleasant. See, I knew there was a reason I brought that fleece jacket! Needless to say, it was totally cloudy all day, which I do like for driving, but it wasn't nice weather at all.


So now I will try to get this to upload and finish my second JD (I figured I deserved it!) and crash. Tomorrow I will be home again. Aaahhhh....


October 14

One day is over.


I didn't sleep well last night, as is usual the night after I take sleeping pills. I will say that I had lots of very pleasant dreams, so that was nice, but I didn't get any deep sleep. Besides that, the alarm didn't go off, although my natural alarm clock worked fairly well. 


Among the things I discovered last night is that the battery in the laptop is dead. This is the second one, and I didn't have it very long. Grr. I mostly use it plugged in, of course, but now I have to plug it in. It was a very expensive thing, and I'm debating whether to bother to get another one. Most places I want to use the computer have plugs. Only I stubbornly believe that things that ought to work should work. So we'll see.


I managed to get gas (expensive, but full service) and get to the doctor's office more or less on time, but they were way backed up at the blood draw station, so it was late when I saw Dr. Lehman. He is in fine fettle, and I will see him again in six months, more or less. So that was done. Then it was off to the bank, which solved nothing, since I didn't get to talk to the mortgage banker beforehand. They are nice people, and I enjoy being treated like a valued customer.


By that time I was exhausted and hungry, so I came back to my room and discovered that the dishes I had planned to use to warm things up aren't microwavable, so I warmed up my lo mien in its container. It was good, and it made a nice pad in my tummy, so I felt some better.


I went off again, and stopped at Kroger, which was a nearly useless trip. They are in the middle of renovating the store (finally), and it is a terrible mess, and they didn't have much I was looking for - cheese, mostly. I got some microwavable bowls, so now I am prepared. I wanted to see if I could get a bottle of lemonade, and I couldn't. Darn.


The next stop was the pet food store, and I think I got enough canned food to last several months. It won't last until I get back here, but for a while, anyway, the fur faces will eat well.


Then it was back to the room, and I was so exhausted that I laid down and took an hour or so sort of nap, although I didn't actually sleep, again. It did refresh me, though.


And finally I met my friends at the Blue Pointe, and we had a very nice dinner together. They are such nice people - and tough, too. Carol looks like nothing ever happened to her. She has a wonderful wig that looks just like her natural hair. Ruth is also looking well and they are both so upbeat and full of fun that we laughed a lot, which was good for me.


They both also offered to put me up when I come into town, so I will have to contemplate that. I have very rarely been a houseguest, and I'm not sure I can handle that. It would be a good way to see them again, though. They are both 80-ish, and who knows how much longer we all have?


Oh, yes, I forgot to mention the streets. Ack! I thought I-75 was bad! They are repaving Mack Avenue from 7 Mile to 8 Mile, and it is a terrible mess with barricades and barrels all over the place, which slows traffic tremendously. Not that it wasn't needed. If I recall, that stretch of Mack was bone-rattling the last time I was in town. And the traffic is just awful, which is always true, but the road work just makes it worse.


The weather wasn't bad. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up later in the day, and the temperature eventually got up to 68 for a while. It felt humid to me, even though it wasn't. In Copper Harbor, it was cold and windy. The highest wind gusts, 43 mph, happened overnight, from the north. It must have been noisy around there last night. The temperature hung at around 48 for most of the day. There was some sunshine, however, and the harbor was nicely riled up.


The first picture from the camera this morning (after Ron thought something was still wrong with it) caught the moon setting over on the right edge of the picture.


Oh, yes, the moon. When we came out of the restaurant tonight, the full moon had risen in a clear sky and it was just beautiful. I wish I was home to see it there.


Now I am tired, so I am doing this early, and then I will attack the shower and try to get a good night's sleep. I have to be up and attem quite early tomorrow, so I can load the car and get to the dentist by 9:45. Ugh. But tomorrow afternoon I'll be on my way home. What a relief.


October 13

Well, here I am in the big city. I had to install the wireless software twice, then the borders for this page got screwed up and that took some doing...but in order.


I didn't get to bed until midnight last night, which was too bad, but two double Jacks and a sleeping pill put me out. I got up around 7:30 this morning, which was before it was light, and that is against my principles, but oh, well. I petted an unhappy cat, and eventually got everything together and got down to the kitchen, and then the fun began.


I discovered that the dishes had not washed overnight last night, and in fact, the dishwasher wouldn't work at all! So I trundled down to the basement and reset the circuit breaker a couple of times. It used to be that when a breaker tripped, there was a visible alert on it, but apparently not anymore - or maybe those are the expensive kind. I had to count several times to figure out which breaker was the one for the dishwasher. The list is posted at the top of the panel, and it is just the right height for somebody 6'5" or so. Since I have had to wear bifocals seeing something over eye-height has been really difficult. Anyway, when I got the right breaker and reset it, the dishwasher took off...but then I had to wait for it to do its thing. I had planned a fast breakfast, and I did my morning surfing, but I had to open the dishwasher before it was done drying and unload it while the dishes were hot. I just didn't want to come back to a dishwasher full of dishes, clean or dirty. 


Then I had to move all the last odds and ends to the car. I think there was something else in there, but I can't remember what it was.


Anyway, amidst all of that it was 10:15 before I got away. The last sad thing was that Buster was walking down toward the back door beside me, and when I reached down to pet him, he thought I was going to grab him to stuff him in a cage, and he ran away. Poor Buster. He didn't even get his last pet.


I don't know how early I would have to get up to get away at a reasonable hour.


It was a cloudy morning, and from the pictures, it was a cloudy day all day in Copper Harbor. However, the clouds were all over the lakes, because once I got south of Houghton, it cleared up and was sunny until I got close to the Mackinaw Bridge. The temperature all day hovered between 71 and 79, except that it was over 80 in Marquette. I have always said I would never want to live in Marquette, despite all its advantages. It gets hotter, colder, wetter, dryer and generally yuckier there than in any other part of the UP.


 There wasn't much traffic in the UP, which was a little surprising, since some businesses have today as a holiday (or maybe it's only some banks). I guess, from my observations, that the color peaked on Friday, and we are now past peak. A lot of the leaves have fallen in the Keweenaw just since Friday, and that was clearly true all across the UP. The northern lower is at peak today, and if it had been clear, it would have been a spectacular ride. It was pretty as it was, but with cloudy skies from the bridge south to Saginaw, it was just OK.


From Saginaw south, traffic was the pits, even though I was late. It doesn't help that more than of I-75 from the bridge south is under construction. That was particularly difficult after it got dark. Since almost everybody was either going 60 mph or 80 mph it was a wild ride. At least, thank God, the I-75 to I-696 interchange is open. I might never have made it here if it was as screwed up as it was in April.


Gas has dropped precipitously most places. The cheapest place in the UP was on the Indian reservation at Baraga - $2.96. Unfortunately, I had to pay $3.36 at Newberry, but I didn't need a lot there. It is a lot cheaper at some stations around here - $2.88 to $2.90, but I always treat myself to a fill-up at a full service station, and I'm sure it will be high there. It is just so nice to see it below $3 anywhere!


I had an interesting thought on my way south, so around Troy, I called in a take-out order at my favorite Chinese place, and I stopped there on the way to the motel. If I hadn't stopped, I probably would have gotten here about 8:40. As it was, it was closer to 9:00.


However, the idea of special wonton soup and lo mien just overcame me, even though I had eaten both of my sandwiches. I was particularly hungry and thirsty today, for some reason. So while I have been writing this, I have been dipping into my lo mien, Most of it will go in the fridge and home with me, I'm afraid, but it sure did taste good. I have only eaten Chinese once this summer. It had never occurred to me before to call in an order on my way to the east side, but I sure will do it again, and the next time I won't eat so much of my not-very-good lunches. 


I will have to rethink the lunch thing, though. I have some really good 8-grain rolls that make wonderful sandwiches, but canned corned beef and ham are too salty for a long trip. And deli beef and turkey don't keep. It's a difficult problem. I won't stop anywhere to eat - that takes too long.


When I got here, I had the usual problems with the wireless adapter and I had to install the software twice to get it to run. I have also discovered that apparently the wireless works better close to a wall. That seems to be true both here and in Grayling. Weird, but then I don't know a lot about it.


It also seems that the last picture of the evening crapped out in the middle, so we will have an "x" screen until tomorrow morning at the earliest.


Now I am yawning, but I have to attack the shower. Not only is it hot here - in the 70s - I was sweating like a block of ice while I was unloading the car, so it is humid as well. And I am seeing a doctor tomorrow, so I have to get up relatively early. 


I am here, and I am not happy about it, but it's only for two days, and Wednesday afternoon I can start back for home. Sigh.


October 12

Happy Columbus Day for real.


I wrote for a while last night, and I think I was in bed around 11:30, but I don't remember for sure. I slept well, and got up around 10:00 or so. I petted a very upset cat and knitted for a while before I got sort of dressed (sweat pants and Crocs) and came down to the office.


It occurred to me while I was filling my pill boxes last night that I think I know why I have been having such a problem with my elimination for the past week. Veggies have something to do with it, but the real reason is that the last probiotic I got says it is for "constipation", which is the last thing I need. So I didn't take one this morning, and things are better already. The combination that did the best job includes one pill that runs about 60 a piece, but hey, if it works, I guess it's worth the money. Amazon sells it in bulk.


Anyway, I fiddled around for some time before I started doing the things that need to be done, and the only thing left on my list is the suitcase and the vanity case...I think. I need to remember my pillow, but it is on the list I have started making here, to add to the one in the bathroom. I hate this. I am just not a good traveler, and it doesn't matter where I'm going.


The cooler is in the car, as is my lunch bucket, all the files except this one are moved to the laptop, I managed to get a couple of sets of note cards made, and I managed to rustle up enough envelopes for them. The camera is in the car, the purse and the briefcase are packed, pretty much, and I think everything is under control.


It was a rather strange day, weather-wise. It was cloudy all day, and there was a light wind from the southwest. The temperature got up to 69, so I opened the office door for a while, which delighted Jasmine, since there was a regular parade of critters to the feeders. It was very humid, which wasn't good for  my back at all, but my rolling stool worked very well while I was making sandwiches and working at the kitchen counters. It was the carrying out to the car that nearly did me in.


I happened to look out the door in the middle of the afternoon, and there was a teensy bird upside down on the deck, and I thought, oh, no! So I got the broom and dustpan, and when I turned it over, it was the same bird as yesterday, I think, and she fluttered her wings and sat up. So I didn't pitch her over the deck, and a while later, she was gone. I'm sure she keeps hitting the window while chasing bugs. She may even think the spots on the window are bugs. However, I do think she is a rather dumb little bird to knock herself out twice in the same way. If she does it again, she will just have to recover by herself.


Apparently there is something wrong with my printer. I always clean and align the cartridges before I print pictures, like note cards, and every time I tried it, it said there was the wrong kind of paper in the tray. Everything else worked fine, including the pictures, but I couldn't print the test pages. I have no clue what the problem is, and I punched every button I could find. When I get back, I guess I will look at HP's website and see if I can find out what has gone wrong. I sold the other one, darn it. I thought at the time I should have kept it for a backup. Oh, well. Multifunction devices with flatbed scanners are still not very cheap, but they are cheaper than the were when I got this one, and they scan and print at higher DPI.


I think that is about all I have to report, and the next entry will be from the Parkcrest Motel in Detroit. I'm going. I don't like it, but I'm going.


It's a moist, cloudy night in the field, and I have to leave it.


October 11

Before I went up to the north end last night, I gave in and made that sunset picture my wallpaper. It really looks neat. When I move the files to the laptop, I will use it there, too. I like the Andromeda Galaxy, but I've had it for a long time, and that sunset is, I think, one of the most gorgeous pictures I've ever taken, if I do say so myself. I keep reminding myself that it was just luck - I was in the right place at the right time. I may bite the bullet and waste the ink to print an 8" x 10" of it.


I wrote for a while last night and got to bed around 11;15, and I slept well for a change, but then I was tired from getting up so early yesterday morning. I think I got up around 9:45. I knitted, and while Buster went away when I started - that is a very bulky sweater I'm knitting on now - eventually he came back and stayed until I got up.


I had just finished my breakfast when my innards started gurgling and I had a small accident, enough to make me change my underwear. I wish I could get that to stop! So, since Buster had urped on the towel in the bathroom, I washed it and my underpants.


When I finally got around to putting out the bird feeders, there was a teensy little bird huddled on the deck. I think it must have hit the windows. It was smaller than a chickadee, with a greenish gray back, a bright yellow mark on the top of its head, and a white stripe through its eye. I looked through all the warblers and didn't see it, so then I hunted up the kinglets, and low and behold, that is what it was: a female golden-crowned kinglet. Something else to add to my life list. I am happy to say that eventually it recovered and flew off. It was probably chasing bugs, since it eats insects exclusively, even in the wintertime. I feared for it when I first saw it, since it just sat there all the time I was walking back and forth within a foot of it, but after I came in, it began to move around, and eventually it disappeared. It was the cutest little bird.


I swept part of the office. And so far, that is all I did. I intend to sweep in the kitchen before I go off to bed, but I really wasted the day. I did go to the post office, and a couple more small checks came. I wonder when that will end? They keep getting smaller and smaller, though, so I expect this is just about all. Too bad it couldn't continue.


It was a nice day, partly cloudy with not much wind to speak of. The temperature got briefly to 63. Once again there wasn't much of a sunset, because there was a dark cloud over the mountain, but I notice that the sun is setting directly behind the bird feeder from the camera. Pretty soon it will be gone out of the picture. As I was coming back from dinner, the gibbous moon was hanging in the southeastern sky. This one is the Hunter's Moon, I think. Too bad I won't be here to enjoy most of it. There is a slight chance, though, that the camera may catch it setting next week.


I went to Harbor Haus to help close down the place. This is their last night for the season, and it was wonderfully busy. I had the last fish last week, so I came home with half of my flank steak and a piece of Grandma Dysen's pie for tomorrow. That will make it easier.


So now I will go sweep up the kitchen (ugh!) and toddle up to the north end. No need to take a bath tonight, because I will be in tomorrow and I will be busy, so I can write a bit before I call it a night.


It seems to be a nice clear night in the field, with a llittle southwest breeze.


October 10

I wrote for a while last night, and I got into bed around 11:00. I set the alarm, because who knows when I might have gotten up if I hadn't. As is frequently the case when I know I have to get up, I didn't sleep very well. There were some strange, but generally pleasant, dreams, but not a whole lot of deep sleep.


I got up at 7:30, which is before sunrise and is against my principles. I petted a cat, but I didn't knit, since I expected to have lots of time to do that while I waited. I got all my surfing done and left the house about 9:30. I think I made it on time, more or less, although I didn't check. 


I went into the main part of the dealership to wait, and as was the case the other day, they had CNBC on the TV. There were four old guys - well, I guess about my age - who apparently hang out there most of the time, and I think it includes the boss. They were waiting to hear the President's speech, and they didn't seem very impressed by it. Neither was I. The one good thing is, I found where the volume control on the TV is, so the next time I'm there, if I'm the only person around, I will be able to turn it down. What I could hear over the past couple of times I've been there is the most outrageous drivel I've been subjected to in a long time. Makes me really glad I don't have TV here.


Anyway, they were done with the car before 11:30, at great cost to me, and I got home not long after noon. We'll see how it works tomorrow.


It was a dark, dull day on my way down, and besides, I didn't have any time to take pictures, and it drizzled all the way home, so I didn't take any then either. Too bad, too, because parts of Cliff Drive and all of the covered road are just spectacular. The color is really peaking now, and as I hoped, the wind yesterday didn't take down too many leaves. The only real way to have documented it would have been with a video camera, and besides not having one, I can't shoot video and drive at the same time.


So I got home before 12:30. I had hoped to get the trash to the compactor, but there was more of it than I thought, and my back was really bothering me, in the cool dampness, so while I got most of it into the garage, I just didn't get it taken away. I will see how things go tomorrow, and I might call Mary Ann. She has a key to the compactor. 


At least I got most of it out of the house...oh, yeah. I just looked down, and there is still a bag in the office that needs to go out, and there is a very full bag in the breezeway that I didn't get tied up, but that's not much.


The trash includes the kitty litter. I did cat pans today, and the kitties should be happy about that, since they were awful, as usual. While I was in the basement, I looked through my stash of buttons and found some that will work for the sweater, if it turns out long enough. I really wanted some nice dark gray pearl buttons, but I decided under the circumstances to check my stash first. These aren't so pretty, but they will do, I think.


I discovered something I had suspected. The light in the basement isn't right for checking colors at all, since it's a bare-bulb incandescent. I will have to investigate whether I can get a daylight fluorescent that gives out the equivalent of at least 100 watts, maybe 150. Failing that, I may try to get a shop light or two to hang in that area. Of course, it was so dark and dull that I couldn't really tell the colors even over by the windows. I think the buttons are dark gray.


After a night which was mostly clear, and the littlest hint of a sunrise, it was very cloudy and dreary all day, and it was spitting rain when I came home. The temperature was right around 51 all day, and there wasn't any wind at all. It was damp and unpleasant. Tomorrow should be better.


By the way, I saw gas for as low as $3.22 in Calumet. It's one bright spot in the current financial mess. Somebody I heard tonight seemed to think it might get down below $3 over the winter. We can hope. I wish propane would go down, too!


So that was my day, and I think I accomplished something. I want to write a bit more tonight, and I want to sleep for a long time to make up for last night. It's a cool, moist night in the field.


October 9

It was a noisy night in the field last night. I wrote for a while, and I was pleased to see that my handwriting is slowly improving. The wind was already rising when I finally got to bed - before midnight, but I don't remember quite when. The first time I woke up was about 4:00 and the wind was banging against the house so loudly I couldn't hear the lake. It was quite clear, though, which was nice. When I looked up, I could see Cassiopeia high in the northwest, and the three brightest stars in the Little Dipper were quite plain.


I was awake again about 8:00, and the sun hadn't quite risen yet. It was pretty, with the belt of Venus over in the west behind the mountain. I didn't look much at the harbor, but the wind was beating up the house again. I finally got up around 10:00, and I knitted for a while, completing the sleeve. I am beginning to think I may have to tear the entire thing out, however. I only have a little over 7 balls of yarn left, and they don't go very far. I may have to make something that is a little more sparing of yarn. I will knit on, however, and hope it comes out long enough. That's the problem with buying the yarn and deciding on the project later.


Buster sat on my lap for a while, but he didn't like the sweater in my lap, so he moved over to the far end of the bathtub, where I keep a towel for him. Jasmine curled up on the rug almost at my feet, however, and when I got up and she ran away, she just barely ran under the bed, so I could still see her. Slowly, ever so slowly, she is coming around.


I did do something today, I guess. I got most of the trash that was bagged up out into the breezeway, and I cleaned the counter on the sink side of the kitchen. Of course, the left end of both counters is full of stuff, but that's always the case. It does look better now. There are some bags of stuff - trash, bags and soda bottles - that need to be moved, and then I can do something about the floor, I'm not sure what. It needs to be washed, but I'm not sure I'm up to that.


I also talked to the man about reverse mortgages, and even with the changed situation, I probably still don't qualify. Well, it was a thought.


The wind blew hard all day long from the northwest. We had gusts up to 40 mph. The sustained winds at the NWS station were under 20 mph, but I am sure they are sheltered on that side, and they were stronger here. The temperature was steady at about 54. I didn't think there was any sense in trying to put out the bird feeders; they would just have blown away anyway, the way the tree branches were whipping around. It was clear to partly cloudy all day, which made the whitecaps on the dark blue harbor very pretty. However, there was a big dark cloud over in the west at sunset, so we didn't see any pretty colors.


I checked on the Detroit weather, and while it is a reasonable temperature now, they are predicting very warm weather for next week - it may get up to 80. Not what I was hoping at all, so I will have to pack accordingly. Maybe I will get to wear the pretty blouses with tanks underneath that I got last spring and never wore. Hmm...


I have to be up and rustling around early tomorrow, so I will try to get to bed early tonight. The wind is still blowing, although slowly it is dying down. I hope it didn't blow away all the leaves.


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


October 8

I ended up not getting to bed until quite late last night - close to 2:00, I think. I had a hard time getting to sleep, and I woke up around 8:30 and just decided that wasn't enough sleep, so I went back to bed for a couple more hours. 


When I was up the first time, there was fog down the harbor, and when I got up, we were socked in. I discovered later that it had rained lightly all night long, and it didn't stop until about 10:00.


I knitted, and started the ribbing on the second sleeve, and I petted a cat before I came down to the office. The fog didn't lift until about 2:30, by which time it was raining again. 


I started trying to get the trash together, but when it started raining again, I just gave up. Even though it had stopped raining by the time I went out, it was nasty out, and besides, lack of sleep, high humidity and cool temperatures had left me feeling nasty - back pains and knee pains and a headache and all the rest of it. I will try to take some trash to the compactor on Friday, but a lot of it is probably going to end up in the garage, with the promise that after I get back, every time I go to the post office on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, I will take some of it.


The temperature wavered around 52 all day, and there wasn't any wind. Along about 4:30 it started to clear up, and it was nearly clear at sunset. It's supposed to be a nice night, and then tomorrow, while it is supposed to be fairly clear, we will probably be having a gale, which won't do the leaves any good...however, that kind of wind tends to be less inland than it is around the shore. Well, that's the kind of thing that happens at this time of year.


I did a bit of picking up in the office, and I started on the other side of the kitchen counters, although I have quite a bit to do still. I was thinking about doing something tonight, but I just started sneezing, so I think I will just call it a night.


I returned a couple of books I just got, and I discovered that Amazon pays postage on returns. Amazing company. Unfortunately, I also discovered that they have a 30 day return policy, and so I will have to keep the weed whacker that doesn't work right. Oh, well. I didn't find out that it was defective until after that anyway.


The mail was the usual, except that the number of pleas for money are beginning to balloon. I am keeping them all: after the end of the year, I will count them up and report. I'm afraid my charitable giving is going to be way down this year. I got two things of interest - a couple more small checks, and a letter from the place I had inquired of in the spring about reverse mortgages. It seems HUD finally has changed the rules on how much they will permit to be lent, so that is something I am going to have to look into. I'm not totally sure it's what I want to do, but I have to look into it.


While I was listening to the radio this afternoon, Buster came and sat down on me and he wouldn't leave me alone. I think he knows something is up, and as usual, he hopes that if he is real, real nice to me, whatever bad thing is going to happen, won't. Poor little Buster. Even more than most cats I have known and loved, he wants everything to be always the same: mama never goes anywhere, and the food bowls are always filled. You'd think by his age he would have learned better, but it seems he never does.


He also wanted some of my dinner again. He loves that chicken juice. There wasn't much juice tonight, but he ate some of the scraps I left on my plate, and he licked the plate clean. 


So that was my quiet and not very productive day, but I really didn't feel very well today. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


It's a calm, clear night in the field, and the quarter moon is shining in the south windows.


October 7

It turned out not to be a very good day. I got to bed around 10:30 last night, and I did sleep well, until about 9:15 this morning. I don't know when the power came back on, but everything was OK this morning, except for the clocks I had to reset. Of course, the broadband receiver was screwed up, as I knew it would be, so there were no pictures until I got to the office this morning, and of course, I had to upload the journal this morning. Sorry for being late.


I knitted back through where I had to rip out yesterday, and I petted a cat and watched over another cat, who curled up on the rug and went to sleep, just out of reach of being petted.


I had finished my breakfast when I had one of those urges, and I waited too long and made a real mess, so I had to change everything from the waist down. I washed the jeans and underwear I had to take off right away...which reminds me, it needs to get put in the dryer. I also ended up cleaning both toilets, which were more gross than I thought they were.


Anyway, because of that, I was a little later leaving than I intended to be, but I wasn't more than 5 minutes late at the car dealership. After a lot of fiddling around, they decided that the real problem is in the radio-clock unit, which, of course, is ridiculously expensive. But I don't intend to get a new car very soon (if ever), and having this thing would annoy me extremely, so I decided to get it replaced. I go back on Friday morning - I have to be there at 10:15, which will be, um, interesting.


It's a good thing I don't have a lot of stuff I'd planned to do this week.


I was in too much of a rush to take any pictures on the way down, but to get the real flavor of the color this year, I would have to take a movie of all the way down the covered road anyway. It is really pretty. On the way home, it was cloudy enough that nothing would have really shown well. I did stop at the Burma road - my favorite color spot - and take one picture. You can see that it was cloudy. I had to lighten it up considerably to get anything like the flavor. Right now, Friday is supposed to be sunny, and if it is, I will try hard to take lots of pictures on my way home. It is really beautiful out there, and it still will be next weekend.


They fiddled around so much that I didn't get home until nearly 5:00, so I didn't do much around here today, unfortunately. Tomorrow will have to be busier.


The weather was so-so. It got up to 58 here, and a little warmer in Calumet, Here, there was a strong southwest wind all day, in the 20-35 mph range, from the south. There was a very little sunshine here, and none at all down the peninsula, but again, all the rain was south of us, or at least so far it was.


I took the sweater with me, and while I was sitting there for 2 hours, I almost finished the sleeve decreases. I also got to (unfortunately) listen to CNBC for the entire time, including complete speeches by the head of the Federal Reserve and the President. It's no wonder people are panicking, if they listen to all that stuff all the time. Aack - the sky is falling! It may be. I just don't want to think about where my teensy little nest egg is going, but I still have faith that the Lord will provide. I still believe I'm supposed to be here, and if that's so, I'll be able to make do. I don't know how, but I will.


I went down to the kitchen to get my dinner and discovered that somehow the door to the breezeway had gotten open again, and I never know where the fur faces are, so before I closed it, I called Jasmine, and since nobody appeared, I shut the door before I went into the powder room. And just after I sat down, who should stick her nose out of the cat hole to the basement but Jasmine...I think she knows her name, and she will respond to it! Amazing! Of course, Buster showed up, too, but that has to just have been the sound of my voice - and the thought that maybe Jasmine was getting something he wasn't. He knows his name, too.


I have to report that both the stove and the range hood are back to normal. There have been no clicks since I blew out the switch with compressed air, and the lights and fan haven't come on since the night before last. Gremlins...or as one correspondent suggested, my father's ghost. I don't think that, since he died two years before I bought the property. However, it is weird that it all started on his birthday...


So that was my rather frustrating and expensive day, and it's high time I toddled up to the north end and got to bed. It's a cloudy, windy night in the field.


October 6

Well! How rude! I was several paragraphs into tonight's entry when the power cut out, bounced three times, and went down. So this probably won't be posted until tomorrow, but I'll write it anyway.


I didn't bathe last night (a mistake) and I read until about 11:00 before I turned out the light. While I was reading, I got cold, so I closed the window in the bedroom (another mistake), so about 2:00 I woke up all hot.


I also noticed that the light in the range hood had come on, so while I was up, I tottered down the hall and turned it off. I also got my midday pills, which I had forgotten to take. I was warm enough that I didn't sleep well for the next few hours. I woke up at about 3:15 and the fan in the range hood had come on, but I ignored it. I woke up again around 4:15 and the fan was still on, so I toddled down the hall and turned it off. After that, I slept until about 9:30. Geez. I have gremlins in my range hood.


I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while this morning. However, I did something - I don't know what - and the count on the sleeve got messed up. so I had to rip out most of what I did and do it over, so while I knitted a lot of stitches, I didn't make much progress.


I made the breakfast I had been meaning to have yesterday, which takes a while, and I was so late eating and doing my morning surfing that I didn't ever get the bird feeders out. That's a shame, but it was pretty windy out and I doubt I would have had many birds. The only thing is, they like consistency, and I'm not very consistent.


The plan for the day was trash, but I was late getting to the office and my back was bothering me, so I didn't do it. However, I decided I'd better do something, so late this afternoon, I cleaned the stove side of the kitchen counters. It was a horrible mess, and it took some scrubbing to get everything relatively clean, but right now it is so sparkling it doesn't look right. My back was bad enough that I had to sit down several times. I couldn't use my rolling stool because I was moving around too much, and it doesn't roll all that well with all my weight on it.


Anyway, that's done, and once the pots and pans I washed are all dry, I can get at the sink side, and then there's the floor...


So at least I accomplished something.


I can't report the weather in detail, since I don't have internet access right now. The temperature apparently got down to around 40 overnight, but it got up to 57 for a couple of hours this afternoon, the first time in a while we've been over the average temps for this time of year. There was a strong south wind, with gusts up to 33 mph, for most of the afternoon. It was partly to mostly cloudy, with a little sunshine, but not a whole lot. They are saying it might rain, but any rain there was went far south of us.


Probably, even if the power comes back on, the camera won't upload until I reboot tomorrow.


So that was my relatively productive day, and it's time to start for the north end, with a pause to finish filling the dishwasher. It's a cloudy, warmish night in the field.


October 5

Today would have been my dad's 96th birthday. Unfortunately, he died young - not quite 71 - so he never even got to know I had bought this property. He would have been as happy about it as my mother was.


I hate electrical problems. Last night, when I was dismembering my chicken, I splashed greasy juice around and into one of the burner knobs. When I sopped it up, I got a little shock, and ever since, it has been clicking like it does when I turn it on, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes not at all. As if that wasn't enough, when I started up for the north end, I noticed that the light in the range hood was on, so I turned it off. I had decided not to take a bath, so I sat down in bed to read some more, and the next thing I knew, the range fan was on - on high. So I crawled out of bed, trudged down the hall, and turned it off. A while later, it came on again, on low. So I turned it off again. At one point, I decided to let it run, which it did for about 20 minutes, then it turned itself off. By that time, I was all hot and bothered, so I took a bath anyway, and then I turned off the fan again. That time it stayed off.


However, when I came home from dinner tonight, the light was on, and twice now, the fan has turned itself on. I have no clue what might cause that. I hate electrical problems.


I read until about 11:30, and I slept well until about 10:00 this morning. I knitted for a while and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed and got breakfast. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment, because instead of bringing up a bag of breakfast stuff, I grabbed a bag of vegetables. That's the only trouble with the way Schwan's packages things. So I had something else.


I washed a load of stuff I'd forgotten yesterday, and then I rewashed the stuff that hadn't gotten clean before I washed the towels and stuff. I folded all the clothes I left in the dryer when I went to bed last night. When I got home tonight, I discovered that my sweater and several tees still weren't clean, so I put those in to wash while I put the towels in the dryer. I don't know if the towels will be done before I go to bed or not. 


Newer Eddie Bauer tees - that don't fit as well and cost more - don't seem to have the issues with grease stains that the older ones did, but most of my tees and sweaters are the old ones, and it is extremely difficult to get greasy stains out of them. I don't know what the problem is, but I would be inclined to say the material isn't very good. Besides that, I discovered that I had leaned up against some Clorox Cleanup in one of my favorite pink tees, and it now has a nice white spot on the side front. Grr. I try not to use Clorox Cleanup except in the toilets for just that reason, but I had some stuff on the top of the dryer that wouldn't come off otherwise. Grr.


Tonight I went to Harbor Haus for dinner, and while it was busy, it wasn't quite as busy as last week. Somebody pointed out to me that there were planned activities going on around the area last weekend, which undoubtedly was the reason for the crowds. Anyway, besides a good dinner, I finally met the person who has been buying me drinks and dessert for the past few years, and I was able to thank him in person. I wish everyone who does that would introduce themselves.


Tonight there wasn't much of a sunset at all. The sky overhead was clear, but there was a line of quite dark clouds in the west and they just blotted out the sun without any color. Several people commented on last night's sunset. I won't say it was the very best I've seen since I've been here, but it has to be in the top five. With a couple of exceptions, all the good ones have been around this time of year, too, so there may be more to come. I hope so.


The weather was about the same, except that there was more sunshine today, and in the late afternoon, it cleared up almost completely. The temperature got down to 42 at 8:00 this morning, and it was 51 for most of the afternoon, with light winds out of the southeast. Jacket weather, for sure.


Ron came this afternoon and took the tractor away to have its maintenance done, so now my garage is empty again. I think he will probably put it in his garage when it comes back, which will be nice. I figure it's the least I can do to give it a summer home, but it is a nuisance to have there.


So that is about all I know, and I will be toddling up to the north end early tonight. I am having abdominal cramps from gas, and I'd like to get rid of that before I sleep. 


The little crescent moon is shining brightly in the south and it's a cool, calm night in the field.


October 4

Last night, I sat in bed and read the blue binder, which I am trying to separate into chapters, and it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00 and knitted for quite a while, much to Buster's disgust. He insisted upon sitting on me anyway.


We had a little sunshine today, for a change. There were more or less clouds in the sky all day, but it was late in the afternoon before it clouded over completely. It was cool, though. The temperature peaked at 50 around 2:00 and then fell back. It did get down to just under 40 at 8:00 this morning, so the sun warmed up nicely. It helped that there was hardly any wind - under 10 mph - all day, so it wasn't bad outside.


I went to the post office, where there were more checks from Ameriprise. This was a substantial amount, but as I said the last time, all donations gratefully received. So I immediately packed them up to be deposited, but there were so many people in town, I decided to chicken out on dinner. I will have to go to the mailbox tomorrow to make sure it goes out on Monday. That was a nice surprise, because I also got the bill for my long-term care insurance, which I keep forgetting comes due in October. October is not a good month, finance-wise.


Actually, I "chickened on" for dinner. I bought a little whole chicken when I was in town the other day, and I roasted it tonight. It tasted good, although I guess I like roast turkey better than roast chicken. Chicken seems a lot greasier. Anyway, I was eating my chicken and my beets when Buster came up and nearly stuck his nose into my plate, just as I turned around and realized I had to go running outside again.


I thought yesterday's sunset was pretty, and it was, but look at this. It doesn't get much better than that. I took three pictures, and I had a hard time deciding which one to post. It was cool but calm and nice, and I could hear the bell buoy chiming slowly. 


Anyway, I kept Buster out of my dinner until I finished, then I gave him the plate with a few scraps and some juice. He apparently only ate the juice. He has a thing for meat gravy of all kinds. 


While I was doing all that, I was washing. I didn't have many pairs of jeans, but I had numerous tops. I have been splotching myself regularly for the past few weeks. I did it again tonight, on the front of one of my favorite sweatshirt sweaters, darn it. I guess that's an old lady thing, but it really annoys me. So I will have to wash my sweater tomorrow. The last loads are in the dryer now, and tomorrow I will also do the towels and some other things like placemats and potholders. So at least one thing is done.


So now I will toddle up to the north end and either read or write for a while. It's a calm, cool night in the field.


October 3

I wrote for a while when I went up to the north end, but my hand was getting sore and I was running out of things to say right then. I think it was around midnight when I got to bed, but I'm not sure. I finally got up around 10:00, when Buster jumped up on the bed and stared at me. He wanted to sit on me this morning, whether or not I was petting him, and I got some knitting done and started the decreases on the sleeve.


And that was nearly all I did. Late this afternoon, I got the stuff out of the car, because I wanted to have my corn for dinner. I washed up a few things and put some things in the dishwasher, and otherwise, I just vegged.


It was a cloudy, cold day. The temperature flat-lined at 44, and there was a 15-20 mph wind out of the north, so it was a good day to stay in. It felt pretty cool when I took the bird feeders out, but I was out late in the afternoon, and it didn't feel all that bad, at least for a few minutes, but the wind is dying down now.


The reason I was outside is that after a very cloudy day, we had a pretty nice sunset tonight. I was eating my corn - yum! yum-yum! - when it began, and after watching for a few moments, I had to grab the camera and go outside. You can see a little bit of the clear spot over toward the northwest. Evidently, our frequent problem, where it's clear out over the lake and cloudy over the land, was happening tonight. Anyway, it kept getting redder and redder, but it was so striated that I didn't think I could get any decent pictures of it. This is the time of year when we are more likely to have the good sunsets. I hope so - it's been a while since there have been a lot.


My corn was fantastic, almost too sweet. While we haven't had any really warm weather, we haven't had any really cold weather, either, and since Hughes' Farm is on top of a ridge, they haven't had any frost yet...I'm not sure anybody has. So things have been growing outdoors. It is a bit unusual to have corn on the first of October, but everything has been late this year.


So that was my nothing day, and I am going up to the north end and write some more, I think...or maybe, if I'm early enough, I might read for a change.


It's cloudy and cold in the field tonight, but the wind and the lake are dying down at long last.


October 2

Well, that didn't work very well. I forgot, when I was writing last night, that when I tried to use FrontPage to do the uploads, it would copy the entire website, since I had rebuilt the disk since the last time I used it for that purpose. It took two tries, which means it was after 11:00 when it finally completed. Then for some reason, I decided to process September's journal into Word right then - don't ask me why. I didn't do a thorough job, just setting up the headings and getting the page size right, but that took time, too. And on top of that, when I got up to the north end I wrote for a while. Fortunately, my hand was too sore to write very much - using those small circular needles, 16" and 11", is taking its toll. However, it was 2:00 before I got to bed.


I finally made it out of bed around 10:00, which wasn't enough sleep, but I managed to do my morning surfing and pack up what I wanted to take along - some reading and knitting and the camera - and I got out of here by 11:30. So I can move at a reasonable pace when I want to, I guess.


My first stop was at Hughes Farm, where I got a ton of squash, most of it Delicata, some corn, and some more beets, since I seem to have eaten most of what I got the last time. I also got a few Yukon Gold potatoes. Yum. Of course, I will eat the corn soon, and cook the beets, but the rest of the stuff should be quite all right until I get back from Detroit.


Then it was back to the car dealership, and that was rather frustrating. There did seem to be something wrong with my battery (I should think so, after nearly 8 years!), and they replaced it. Battery prices have gone up astronomically since the last time I had to buy one. And it looked like that might have solved the problem with the clock and the radio.


Since it was only 2:30 and I was so close by, I went on to Econo Foods, where I picked up a number of things I forgot the last time and a bit more - more JD and more OJ - which might even last me until the first of next month. Of course, I stopped at the gas pumps, where gas was down to $3.50, which was nice.


However, when I started the car after having it sit for an hour or so, the clock had reset itself to 1:00 and the radio was off - again. Grr. So while I pumped gas, I called the dealership and told them so, and I have to go back on Tuesday, and they will probably have to pull the radio out of the dashboard. Grr. In the meantime, I should be able to determine if it stays off for a while after I start the car, as it has been doing lately. I hate electrical problems.


However, it was a real plus to be in cell phone range for a while. Otherwise, I would have had to wait until tomorrow, since they only work until 5:00 and it was about then that I made it home. I guess these days cell phones and computers are about the same - we don't know what we ever did without them. It also showed me just how annoying it is not to have any (or very little) cell service in Copper Harbor. I hope someday they will get around to fixing that.


It was a curious day, weather wise. There were very light showers coming through in waves, with periods of sunshine in between, all afternoon. I took the camera, but it was hard to take any pictures. I also missed a few by going by them too fast. However, I did take a couple. Please excuse the artifacts and the other cars. As you can see, we are having a very colorful color season. I think there are more reds than I've seen since I've been here, and when the sun shines on them they are almost fluorescent. I would say the color is about 50% most places, and less in other places. There isn't very much at all here yet. I will try to take a few more shots on Tuesday and hope for better weather.


Otherwise, the weather was cold. The temperature hung at about 45 here all day, although it got up to 51 or so in Houghton. There was a strong north wind - 18-33 mph - all day, which is now moving northeast and rising (22-32 mph) again. The wind is bringing down some of the leaves, but it's not like the gales we have had a couple of times. It was quite open and shut, with some nice sunshine and puffy clouds followed rather quickly by a dark band of clouds and some rain. 


When I got home, I unpacked the cold stuff - of course, I didn't take the coolers - but the rest is still in the car. Buster was apparently put out that I left him, and it was quite a while before he came and sat on my lap. Too bad for him.


Now it's a little earlier than it was last night, and maybe I can write a bit and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. I didn't do any knitting today, either. 


The lake is still singing its autumn song, and it's a cloudy, noisy night in the field.


October 1

I did a little writing last night, so it was after midnight when I got to bed...and I think I'm seeing a pattern here. I don't quite know how to get back to an earlier bedtime and still sleep well. I got up around 9:30 and knitted on the sweater for a while before I started my day.


Speaking of writing, it seems to be having a good effect on my handwriting. I still wouldn't say it is as nice as it used to be, but at least isn't all messy and angular and spastic looking anymore. Practice...Somehow, my creative thoughts seem to flow at the pace of my handwriting, so while I've found I can write fiction on the computer, it is easier on paper. Besides, I write while I am sitting in the bathroom, and I don't think I want a computer there, even if there was room for one.


It was a hairy night, with the lake singing alto and the winds from the north. Actually, by midnight the winds were dying down, but it always takes the lake a while to settle down, and besides, we were still seeing winds in the 20-30 mph range for most of the day. They died down a bit (15-20 mph) late in the afternoon but have now picked up again. The temperature hung at about 47 for most of the day before it started rising, and it is now 51. That's 8 or so below average for this time of year. When I put the bird feeders out this afternoon, it was a bit nippy.


So I did nothing again. Whatever I intended to do, I forgot, and I just sat, mostly. I did a little in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher and tying up another bag of trash. I paid a few bills (online) and looked sadly at the shambles of my checkbook, and that was about it.


Debbie called this evening, and her son Daniel is now playing junior-A hockey in, of all places, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. That is where my dad was born, and where my grandfather (whom I never knew) was the president of the precursor of University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, back in the '30s. There is a residence hall named after him, and we attended the dedication. So we had a good conversation. All is well with her, although she is still digging her way through a mountain of debts she racked up before she found a job. It was good to hear from her. If she hadn't had her ex with her, she would likely have ended up here. I'll get her up here yet.


Buster clearly has another hairball, which he hasn't managed to get rid of yet, but he seems to feel all right in between coughing fits. He wanted some of my dinner, but he didn't get any. 


I finally ate the last of the filet mignons I got as a gift. That is not on his diet. That was aged beef, and it was more tender and more tasty than anything you can get in the supermarket. I enjoyed every bite, and I had a potato baked in the microwave with it. I prefer my potatoes baked in the oven, but it's hard to argue with a done potato in about 6 minutes. So I had a nice dinner for a change. 


That was my quiet unproductive day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end again. I might write some more, but maybe not. I want to get an early enough start tomorrow to stop at Hughes Farm before I take the car in.


I was on the telephone with somebody I forget this morning, when I looked out and the south side of Brockway is beginning to change color, and off to the east of the Mountain Lodge I could just see the top of a hill that is all golden yellow. I plan to take my camera tomorrow, and maybe I will be able to get a picture or two. It sounds, from all accounts, like it's going to be a very red, very pretty color season this year.


It's another windy, noisy night in the field, although not quite as windy and noisy as last night.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM