A View From the Field








December, 2008

December 31 - New Year's Eve

Well, 2008 is history. It hardly seems possible, but time flies faster, the older I get.


It was a rather sobering year for me, what with the state of my finances even before the events of October. Maybe things will get better next year, and I will be able to get everything straightened out. I had a few unforeseen bills, like the heating system bills at the first of the year and the tile bill in the fall, but both of those things seem to be in good shape now, so it was worth it. It certainly is nice to have a warm bedroom and bathroom, and it is nice not to have water all over the floor when I take a bath.


It was a good year for my health, all things considered. Except for the two crowns, which I knew about, there were no medical problems. I think I am slowly getting used to being a well person, or at least as well as I will ever get.


It was a cold year, weather-wise. We had that amazing blizzard in February (I think) with the 12' drifts down by Lake Lily. The summer was cool enough that I couldn't really open up the house. That was a disappointment, but I really prefer the cooler weather. It was a lovely autumn, with wonderful color, and even though we've probably had at least 100" of snow already, it didn't start until late, for which I am thankful.


Both kitties have been well, even though Buster is 13 now. Jasmine is making progress a millimeter at a time, but it is nice to see her hold her ground when I walk by her. I wouldn't know if she is well or not, since I can't get close enough to her to feel her, but she seems to be full of energy and her eyes are bright. She dances up and down the hallway almost every night, and she is death to mice. I'm sure if she wasn't here, Buster would still be the mouser, but he seems glad to turn over his duties to someone younger.


So altogether, I can't complain a lot. I hope the worst of the financial meltdown is over and things will begin to recover next year. Otherwise, we will make do.


I went up to the north end rather early last night, but I got to reading the rest of the episode from the blue binder that I am writing on, and I just kept reading off the end, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed. Too late, for sure. I got up around 11:00 this morning, which was also too late.


Syd called while I was still sitting in the bathroom with a cat on my lap and knitting on the silk and wool sock. I don't like the colors in them very well, but they will be comfortable socks, and I hate having one sock lying around. Knitting on #1 needles goes slowly, but I will keep at it.


I didn't do a lot more. I went to the post office, and I stopped and got trash bags at the store. I finally got all the cat food put away that I bought when I was in Detroit in October. I had used just about everything else, so it was time. I finally emptied out the dishwasher, so any time I can make myself do it, I can start reloading it. I started a trash bag, but I didn't do much about the trash. Syd offered to come tomorrow and help, so maybe we can get things under control.


My problem was that when I came back from the post office, I ate the second half of my sandwich and my yogurt, and I got a stomach cramp that took a long time to go away. I don't know what that was all about - I've been eating that stuff all along, and my tummy felt fine this morning.


It was a cold day. The temperature hung at right about 15 until just a couple of hours ago, when it briefly dropped to about 10 before it recovered. It was windy until about noon, in the 20-30 mph range, from the north. After that the wind died down. It snowed off and on until about 2:00, and then a bit later, we had a little bit of sunshine. The wind has now shifted around to the west, and I don't know what that bodes. It is supposed to be a very cold night tonight. Good to hunker down under the comforter.


When I came back to the office with my dinner, I looked out the upper windows in the great room, and there was the thin crescent moon right above Venus, and both were shining like silvery beacons in the sky. It was a beautiful sight.


I only typed about a page from the story in the white binder, and now I think I will go up to the north end and maybe write a while. I don't feel like I got enough sleep last night.


So that was my quiet day, and it's a good night to sleep.


December 30

I was in bed around 11:15 last night, and I got up at 9:30 this morning, which is more like it. I did have few wakeful times during the night, but nothing serious, and Buster wasn't quite such a pest. I talked to him last night, and I think he got the gist.


As usual, I didn't do anything much with my long day, at least so far as the disastrous house is concerned. I really must get at that. It's awful. I think I need bags, so I will try to stop at the store tomorrow and get some. 


What I did do is bring my ledger up to date. I always dread doing that - it's the next worst thing to filing - but it wasn't too bad, because I had almost completed September the last time I worked on it. If I could get in the habit of doing it every quarter (every month would be better), it wouldn't be so bad. Seeing how much money I spent wasn't fun, but I knew that. Well, next year, I will have to be very, very careful. So that task is done, and the 2009 ledger is set up, I think.


I still have to do the filing, and maybe I can get myself to do that tomorrow. Maybe.


I wanted to do the ledger just to see how my charitable contributions looked - pretty bad, I fear - and I wrote a few checks, which I will get out tomorrow. But, you know, it wouldn't do me a lot of good if I bankrupted myself by giving everything to charity. I hate not doing it, but I just have to.


After that, I typed in about 6,000 words on the story, and now I will go to bed. I am feeling much better, but I want to see if I can keep to sort of reasonable hours.


The weather was about the usual. The temperature was around 15 all day, with a wind that was mostly around 15 mph, although there were some gusts up to 25 mph, from the north. There was some snow, but not much accumulation.


Ron wrote to say that the parts for the tractor are here and will be installed on Thursday, and that Bill and Sandi are here and their tractor is all ready to blow, so slowly, we are getting back to normal. Just after I got up this morning, Ron was here on Marty's tractor, cleaning out my driveway, so now I'm not snowed in anymore.


I want to mention that so far the heating system is holding up wonderfully well. It is so nice to have a warm north end! And south end, and everything in between. I'm sure when the blizzards come with temps down around zero it will get chilly in here, but maybe not like past years.


It's a typical winter night, and it will be a good one for sleep.


December 29

I was a good girl, and I got to bed around 10:30, I think. Then I could have strangled a black cat. It has been over 13 years since I threw him out the door of the bedroom, but I sure was tempted to do it last night. He walked over my head, and he walked over my legs, and he sat beside my head and tried to burrow under the covers, and he purred, and he wanted to be petted, and he was a general nuisance...until about 2:00. Finally, he went away and I got to sleep. It was probably partly because I was having a hard time getting to sleep, but that's happened before and he didn't bug me to death. Geez!


When I got up at 2:00, I looked outside, and the stars were bright overhead. I didn't stop to try to identify them, but I'm sure Cassiopeia was up there, and Cepheus, too, and Polaris. I wish I could have seen to the south, because Orion was over there.


I slept after that, and when I woke up, around 9:30, it was snowing hard. So much for the clear skies! So I went off to my massage, which felt good, and relaxed me enough that my sore muscles are getting better. All the time I was there, it snowed hard, and about noon, it started to blow hard, from the north. I stopped at the post office, and I was surprised by how much snow had fallen - a lot more than the 1" the NWS was predicting.


Marty did a wonderful job on the road yesterday afternoon, so I got home just fine...and then I got stuck in my own driveway! I had a double whammy. The south winds with the last snow drifted over the straight part of the driveway, and the north winds we had today did the same. I got a bit more than halfway down the straight part, and I got stuck. I ended up in 4-wheel LO, in reverse, rocking until I finally backed up enough to get a little traction. Then I put it in low gear and sort of slithered to the part that didn't have much snow on it. 4WD is wonderful, but you still have to have patience - and traction on  at least two wheels.


I have been trying to think whether I could have avoided my stuck, but I don't think so. I had to try to follow my tracks, and somewhere in there, I must have hit a patch of ice and started drifting off to the left. I was pretty close to a tree, and I was also pretty close to where the driveway drops off. It was warm enough that the snow was very slippery. For a while I was thinking I was going to have to call Ron and ask him to come out in the tractor and pull me out.


If he was home. I met Syd and Marty at the post office, on their way to town, and Ron wrote me that he was going to town, too. I hope they all got back safely.


I think it stopped snowing around 3:00, and then it got almost clear! When I went to get my dinner, there was the tiniest sliver of silvery moon hanging over the Mountain Lodge, so pretty!


There was no wind overnight, but between 11:00 and noon it got into the 35-50 mph range, where it has been all afternoon. It didn't actually get to 50 mph, at least at the NWS station, but it did get over 48 mph. That was when we had sustained winds of 39 mph. That's a gale, folks. It has backed off a bit now, but it's still right up there, from the north. The temperature was about 25 for most of the day, but it is falling off now, and it is supposed to get cold tonight and stay cold for the rest of the week.


So I came home feeling pretty good, but I didn't do anything except type for the rest of the afternoon. I am up to 82,000 words, so I am making a little progress. My tummy was a little rocky this morning, but it has been fine ever since, and I'm hoping I'm getting over whatever it was I've had for the past few weeks. Maybe it came to a head Friday night, and I'll be OK now. At least I got to eat a decent dinner tonight. I'm not well yet, though. I've had about 5 lbs of good chocolate around for over a week, and I've only eaten a few pieces, one at a time. I guess that's good, but it indicates that my innards are still not right. I'm keeping most of it in the breezeway.


With all that wind, I decided it was a good day to just hunker down and hibernate, and that is what I intend to do. Get to bed early again and continue my recovery.


So it's a noisy, windy night in the field, and it will be a good night to sleep to the song of the lake.


December 28

I went to bed around 8:00, and I got up around 9:30 this morning, and I feel better. I was up any number of times, of course, but I didn't have any trouble getting back to sleep. I still don't feel really good, and my muscles are still awfully sore, especially if I cough or sneeze, and even if I take a deep breath. I mean, those episodes were really violent. But I do feel better than I did yesterday, and I'm eating a bit better, although I'm still not really hungry.


So in spite of my nice early morning, I didn't do anything. I typed on the story in the white binder, and I now have 70,000 words in the computer. That was a good thing to do when I didn't feel like thinking much.


Late in the afternoon, Ron came with an envelope that had been left at the Gaslite, probably yesterday? It was sent out last Monday, UPS next day air...so it only took a week. People in the big city just don't understand. Anyway, I can fax the papers back to them, which I will do in the morning.


And later, he called me to say that when he was walking home from my house, he saw fresh tractor prints, and when he got to his house, there was Marty, clearing his driveway. What friends those people are! The tractor works, although it doesn't have the right parts yet. Bill and Sandi didn't make it - they had a power failure at their house and couldn't leave it with the generator running, so they are coming tomorrow. Anyway, Ron can get out tomorrow, and I guess either he or Marty will clear my driveway then. It really isn't bad, and the nice part about it is, there is almost no snow up at the garage, so they will only have to do the straight part of it. Bill is bringing the right parts for Marty's blower, and Ron will order the parts for ours tomorrow, so by the time we have much more snow, we should be OK with tractors. That was nice.


Besides, Ron replaced the burned-out light bulb in my back hallway, so now I can see when I go to the bathroom and when I come back after having been out at night.


Tomorrow I am supposed to have a massage, and I will have to see if Johanna can do something about my sore muscles. Most of them are in places she usually doesn't touch. Maybe they will feel better by then, but I don't know - I just started sneezing, and boy, does that hurt!


The weather was - blah. The temperature did get down below freezing, and the wind peaked at 35-43 mph from the north at about 8:00 this morning. It died down later, and it is now almost calm again, and the temperature has fallen to 25.  I don't think we got any snow. We had the slightest amount of sunshine in the afternoon, but it wasn't much and it didn't last five minutes, before it got all dark and cloudy again.


So that was my day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end. I need a bath tonight, and I want to get to bed early again and see if I can shake whatever it is that I have.


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


December 27

I don't know what it is about December 26, but I seem to have an awful time with it. It started last night, when I had an accident right after I took off my pants, and I dripped all the way into the bathroom, so I had that to clean up, with a black cat smelling the drips to tell me they were there. Yuck! He gave up a hairball this morning, and he had to tell me about that, too. He is certainly a finicky cat...I just wrote "finky", and that's true, too.


I got into bed around 10:30, and just about the time I laid down, I had a severe gall bladder attack. My back was so sore, I couldn't sleep. Finally, I went into the bathroom and got out the barf bucket, just as everything started coming up with great force. I had two or three more episodes, and by that time, my entire lower body was so sore I couldn't sleep when I finally got into bed, even though my back was OK by then. At last, around 4:00, I slept for a couple of hours, and when I woke up, the pain had localized itself in my lower colon, and I had a horrible time getting back to sleep, because I couldn't sleep on my left side any longer - my ear - and it took me a long time to find a position that would minimize the pain.


I was up a couple of times more, with nothing coming out, and I finally got up around 11:00. By that time, I was in considerably less pain, but still, taking a deep breath, coughing or blowing my nose is painful. My colon seems to be settling down, but everything was so violent that my abs are still sore.


Needless to say, I didn't do anything much today. I almost took a nap, but that was at around 1:30, and I knew if I laid down, I wouldn't get up in time to go to the post office. It is going to be a very early night tonight, believe me.


I didn't eat much, either, because my tummy is still rocky. I did make a twice-baked potato and a slice of my roast, but I've only eaten half of it. I don't want to overload.


I was glad I went to the post office. I didn't get much mail, and I didn't get what I was looking for, but my financial advisor sent me a check without my having signed a withdrawal form, so that part of it is done. I hope I get the withdrawal form on Monday, but I think I am going to fax it back to him, just to make sure everything is legal. After I call him, of course.


It was a yucky day. The temperature outside was 39 when I got up, and it got up to about 40, with 93% humidity and no wind at all. The temperature is falling off now, thank goodness, and the wind is picking up a little bit. The snow is coming, and I hope the temperature goes down before it does. 


Ron had Marty's tractor break on him, too, so we are essentially tractor-less until Marty and Bill get here tomorrow. Getting out to the highway isn't bad, considering, but Ron is pretty much snowed in until somebody with a tractor clears the drifts in front of his house. The winds when we had the last snow were from the southwest, and that drifts over the road at his house.


When I got to the office this morning, almost all the seed was gone out of the tube feeder, and before the day was gone, I discovered that most of it seems to be on the deck under the feeder. I can't imagine who did that, but there are a lot of little birds that prefer to feed on the ground anyway, so it worked out. Tomorrow I will be filling the feeders again, but now I know where all that seed is going. I just don't know who is doing it.


So that was my shortened day, and I am so tired that I won't be up for very long tonight, believe me. It's a warmish, misty-moisty night in the field, and the snow is on its way.


December 26

I was in bed by 9:30 last night, and  I was up any number of times, so I didn't sleep really well. I got up around 10:00, because Buster said so. I knitted a bit and cast on the second silk and wool sock. It is another one I gave up on last year when I started the summer socks. I don't enjoy knitting socks on #1 needles very much, but this yarn is nice and soft, and that helps.


I went to the post office again, and my papers still haven't come, and besides, the people who sent them to me had the day off. So I guess I will be on the phone Monday, if it doesn't come tomorrow. Thursday holidays always bollix things up.


It was very windy last night, with a wind from the southwest that got up to the 30-40 mph range for a while, and we had what looked like 6" to 8" of new snow, which drifted quite a bit. I had about 8" in the garage, that blew under the garage door. Driving through it was a bit interesting, but not too hard. Ron doesn't want to keep borrowing Marty's tractor, but I think he will have to, since our tractor is still sick. The wind died down today, but the temperature was around 33 all day. It felt warm. I guess we have another 24 hours of this stuff, before it gets to be winter again.


Late in the afternoon, I did some more typing on the white binder. I began to get the dishwasher filled. All the cat dishes are dirty, so I have to wash dishes tonight. However, the kitchen is still a terrible mess. I must really do something about it soon.


I still don't feel very good. I was OK (not great) this morning, but as the day wore on my tummy started acting up again, and now I am tired again. It almost feels like I am fighting the flu, and I wonder if my flu shot didn't take or wasn't the right kind. Maybe with enough rest and fluids, I can fight it off.


So it's a warmish, quiet night in the field, and I'm off to the north end, via the dishwasher.


December 25 - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to everyone!


I didn't write, but everything was a little late yesterday, and it was midnight when I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well. I think it was warm in the bedroom, and whatever I am trying to fight off is causing me to have night sweats, so I was awake any number of times, with some strange dreams in between. I finally got up around 10:00.


I petted a cat and knitted a bit. When I got up and flushed the toilet, Buster got up and drank out of it - yuck! I think that's the first time I've ever seen him do that, but when I looked at his water bowl, it was empty. Oh. Sorry, Bub. When he got out of the toilet, I got a nasty look. I'm supposed to keep track of things like that.


I was late enough getting up and getting dressed that I put on my black wool slacks - which still fit, amazingly enough, even though not as well as they did when I made them - and my new sweater. And all I had to eat was my OJ and some yogurt, because dinner was at 2:00, or a little later because Cindy was late.


Not all the Kauppis were there, which was too bad, but we had a good group. One of the guests made Beef Wellington, and it was amazing. She said it was easy, but I'm not so sure. We had some good conversation, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I'm only sorry that my tummy is rocky again today, and I didn't get to eat as much as I wanted to. There was turkey and ham, too, and green bean casserole, which I haven't had in years, and it was really good. There were turnips, which I don't think I have ever eaten before. I like them. I'll have to bear that in mind. We never had turnips at home. Somebody in the family - maybe more than one person - didn't like them. They remind me of rutabaga, which I also like.


The weather was amazing, too. Early this morning, it was evidently still cloudy, but it cleared up by the time I got up, and the afternoon and evening were perfectly clear. All that lovely sunshine! The sun is so far south (only 19 above the horizon at noon) that it didn't warm up the house as much as I'd hoped, but I'm sure it helped keep the boiler off. When I went out into the kitchen a while ago, Venus was shining like a beacon over the Mountain Lodge. The temperature for most of the day was about 19, and it has now risen to 25. There was a west-southwest wind at about 10 mph for most of the day, but that is rising, too. It was a glorious day.


I think it's over, though. There is snow forecast for tonight, and snow, sleet and maybe rain for tomorrow, before the temperature drops and we get more snow.  I sure hope it doesn't get warm enough to rain.


So even though I have only had one real meal today, I am not hungry, and I am going up to the north end early, forgo the bath, and try hard to shake this thing. I hate bugs that mess up my tummy.


It's a beautifully clear Christmas Night in the field, and it was a lovely Christmas altogether.


December 24 - Christmas Eve

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone!


I wrote for a while last night, but I had a problem finding a pen that was comfortable. I was tired, too, and I got to bed around 11:00. I got up around 10:00, so I should have had enough sleep. I'm afraid I'm fighting something, although my tummy felt better today.


So I didn't do much again today. I went to the post office and the thing I was looking for didn't come. So, oh, well. I roasted my standing rib, and it turned out very nice. I convection roasted it with the probe, which is a ridiculously easy way to cook. When it's done, the buzzer beeps and the oven turns off...and it's done. Cool.


Poor Buster was smelling it while it was cooking, and he wanted some...and he can't have beef. Poor Buster. Jasmine was around, too, but she doesn't even want me to look at her. Poor Jasmine. Poor me.


I refilled the tube feeder and the platform feeder, and the tube feeder started to go down within 15 minutes of when I put it out. The cedar feeder was still full, and I don't quite know why, except that the sides of the bin seemed to have gotten too low and there wasn't much in the tray. I spilled some seed on the snow, and I imagine that will be gone by morning, too. So the birdies will have their Christmas, too.


It was a snowy day. I think it snowed almost all day long. The temperature got up to a balmy 25, but by the time it did, the wind had shifted around to the north and started to blow, in the 20 - 35 mph range, so it didn't feel quite as warm as it should have.


When I went to the post office I discovered that my radio station was playing Vivaldi's Gloria, some of which I have sung, but it was over by the time I got home. I did turn on the radio after that. They have been playing a lot more Christmas music this year than I remember from past years, but it's nice. 


That's one reason I'm so late tonight. Another reason is that I was reading one of the stories that I have in the computer, and I just finished it. Reading, I mean. It still needs to be finished. I know where it is going now, but I need some intermediate stuff in order to get it done. And I've been writing something else, although I don't think I'll write tonight.


Oh, yes, and my Christmas present came, Arthur, and thank you and Mary Ann very much! I will have a lovely red sweater with embroidery of pine cones and birds to wear tomorrow...if I ever find out when dinner is.


So that was my quiet Christmas Eve, and after I figure out where to put my roast, I will be off to the north end and a long winter's nap.


It's a snowy Christmas Eve in the field.


December 23

I wrote until my hand got sore, and I got to bed around midnight. I got up around 10:00, and I turned the heel of the sock and started the gusset, and that was about all I did.


There was no snow overnight, but when I got up it was snowing rather hard, and it snowed for most of the day. There was a light southwest wind, and the temperature got up to 19 for a while. I just looked at the history, and since 6:00 enough snow has fallen to give .66" of water - that's a lot. So it's snowy.


And that is about all I have to report. I have had a sort of rocky tummy for the past few days, and I don't know what that means. I hope it doesn't mean anything serious, but I had a sneezing fit this evening, and I feel like I want to go to bed early tonight. Well, when I was a kid I was sick at Christmas every year.


So it's a snowy, wintry night in the field, and I'm off to the north end.


December 22

I wrote for a while and got to bed around 11:30. I had some trouble sleeping after the first time I woke up, but I was asleep at 10:00 when Ann called to say that she wouldn't be able to make lunch today. It was just as well. I would have had a hard time getting there by 12:30.


So I was able to do my morning surfing and take my time, and wait until Ron blew out the driveway, which was quite snowy. I was also still here when Peggy called and invited me to Christmas dinner with the Kauppi family. I appreciate that. I left the house about 12:30, I think. I had to stop at the post office to mail my Christmas cards, all of which will be late, and of course I got one from someone I didn't send to. Oh, well.


The drive to town was not fun. The temperature was about 14, there was a strong (15-30 mph) wind out of the north, and it was snowing, sometimes heavily. Any car that passed blew up a huge cloud of snow. The worst part, though, was that I had to follow a semi all the way to the passing lanes south of Calumet. He was throwing up so much snow that I had a very hard time seeing where he was. It was ugly. There was some sunshine above the clouds, and I wore my sunglasses all the way to town.


I got to the Superette (yup, that's its name) in Mohawk just after there was a fairly serious accident. It looked like a little car had run head-first into a pickup. The front end of the little car was pretty much mashed, and the pickup was sitting crosswise in the middle of the road. Both the semi and I got around it, and a while later, I passed two State Police cars and an ambulance going the other direction, so evidently somebody at least needed looking after. By the time I got back, everything was cleaned up, of course. I hope nobody was seriously injured.


It was slippery. There is still that inch or so of ice under the blowing snow over most of the road, and while it's cold enough that it's not super-slippery, it would still be easy to slide.


I'm not sure whether I got everything I needed at Econo. I was too focused on my standing rib and my pickled herring in sour cream (a family tradition for New Year's), and I probably forgot some things. Oh, well. Maybe I'll be all right until next month. It was a zoo. I have never seen so many cars in the parking lot or so many people in the store. They had all the checkout lines open, and they needed them. I knew it would be bad, but I was surprised. I suppose all those people had the same thought I did - get it done today, because tomorrow and Wednesday will be worse.


It was about 14 in Houghton, and there was a very stiff northwest wind in the parking lot, which made getting gas not very pleasant at all. I was thankful that my parka has a hood. So now my tank is full again. The price was $1.80, which seemed to be the number of choice.


The trip back was better than the trip down. It did snow, and there was some blowing along the stretch from Hancock to Calumet, but north of Calumet, not only weren't there many cars, the snow wasn't blowing so much. I had a couple of cars in front of me that stopped at the Superette, and three behind me, all of whom turned in at the White House restaurant, for some holiday cheer, no doubt.


It was so beautiful on the covered road. I took the chance on the way down and didn't take any pictures, but I did get a few on the way back. Here they are. That is US-41 north of Medora, going north. The wind had cleaned off the tops of the trees, but the lower branches were all frosted.


There are several things about driving in this kind of weather. You need to get used to it. You need to know your vehicle and have a feel for what your wheels are doing. And you need to slow down. No 65 mph on the two-lane road. I have usually been able to feel in my fanny how the wheels are doing, and when they start to slip a bit, I know it's time to slow down and take it easy. Oh, yes, and try not to use your brakes very much. I had to use them going down Quincy Hill, and I had to use them going down from the Mountain Lodge to the Harbor. I used them to stop when I took the pictures, and one time, the antilock system took control, and I think I was sliding forward for a moment. I've driven in these conditions for so many years that while it's not my favorite kind of driving, it doesn't bother me much. On the way down, I kept reminding myself that I've driven to Detroit in conditions like these. Needless to say, I was in auto 4WD the whole time.


I had just finished my dinner when Debbie called, and that was nice. She got the candy today, so that worked. I told her to hide it, because both her kids are at home. And her latest romance is off. Nobody can figure the guy out.


So that was my day, and I'm tired. I won't try to claim that driving in this weather isn't stressful. I'm only glad it isn't Detroit, with all that traffic. I know what I'm doing, but I don't know what that other idiot might do.


It's another cold, snowy night in the field, and the fridge is full of good things.


December 21 - Winter Solstice

I read off the end of the blue binder, but I got to bed shortly after 10:00, and I didn't get up until after 11:00 this morning, although I was awake for a while in the middle of the night, sitting in the bathroom. My poor old bod got altogether out of whack yesterday, and I had to try to get it back together. It was wonderful how quiet and dark it was at that hour.


I petted a cat, who is still purry, and I knitted on the sock, although I goofed and had to rip out everything I had done on the heel. I have about half of it done now. I also reread what I read last night. I have to go back further, though, because I need a transition, and I don't remember what was supposed to happen.


I actually did something today, which was amazing. I found my Christmas cards, got them all together, and wrote out the ones for this year, although most of them will be late. Oh, well. Now if I can remember to take them on my way out tomorrow... Some time ago I started writing a Christmas letter, just to prevent having to write a note in so many cards. Now I am down to just seven cards to send the letter with, so I may stop doing that next year, although I did send along the picture of the drift after the blizzard last February. It seemed like I had to write something else in a lot of other cards, so maybe it isn't necessary anymore.


I unloaded the dishwasher while I was making my dinner, so that is done, although not much is put away. The kitchen is a true disaster again.


The weather was not as bad as they had forecast, at least here. We did have snow, and we did have wind, but the wind started out in the east and is now in the northeast, so I have been sheltered from it. Good thing, too, because it has been in the 25-40 mph range all day. The lake is kicking up quite a fuss. The temperature has been around 18 or so all day. 


The little birdies are eating up all the seed, and I hope I have time to refill the feeders before I leave for town tomorrow.


Tomorrow is town day, for a couple of reasons: my usual monthly trip to the grocery store, and I have a lunch date with Ann. It is supposed to snow, but when doesn't it?


So I had another quiet day, but I did accomplish something. which is nice. Today is the Winter Solstice, but since we've had winter here for more than a month, it doesn't mean as much to me as it used to, except that starting tomorrow, the days will get ever so slowly longer - a whole 5 seconds tomorrow. We've hit bottom, and it's all uphill from here.


Now I am going up to the north end and possibly write a bit, and hope to get into bed early. I have to get a rather early start tomorrow. It's a snowy, noisy night in the field.


December 20

Not only didn't I go to bed early, I almost didn't go to bed at all. I kept reading and reading, and it was 5:00 before I fell into bed, then I had trouble getting to sleep, because my back hurt (not the usual spot). I got up at 11:00, and I petted a purry cat, whom I think has a hairball again, and I read some more. And that was all I did, besides looking up three words I have a hard time spelling.


The weather was interesting. There were periods of snow, mostly before noon, punctuated by periods of blue sky and sunshine the last one at 1:30. The afternoon was cloudy, mostly very cloudy, but I don't think there was much more snow. The temperature was 0 at 9:00 and 18 at 10:00 this morning, and it finally got up to 20 for most of the day.


There is a big flock of goldfinches eating at the feeders, and I saw one blue jay today. I am going to have to be more diligent about keeping the feeders full. They must have a hard time when the snow gets as deep as it is now.


And the snow is deep in back of the house. No deer bounding through now, I think. The junipers are covered, which has to mean it's 18" or more in spots. 


So that was my truncated day, and I really am going to bed early tonight. We are under a winter storm watch (so what else is new?) for tonight and tomorrow, so it should be a good night to sleep.


December 19

Well, I didn't. I picked up the blue binder when I got up to the north end, and I read off the end of the episode and into the next one, and it was 2:30 before I got to bed. Oh, well. I'd like to get to bed earlier tonight, but I will probably get to reading some more, so I can't tell. I got up around 11:00, by which time Buster was wondering about me again.


I knitted on the black sock. This one has a black background with small spots of red, yellow, blue and green in it. I think it's cute. I started it last spring before I began on the summer socks, and I only had about 20 rows left on the leg, so I am now ready to start the heel. 


Then I picked up the binder again and read the last part I had read last night (or this morning), and a little more. I was too tired when I stopped last night to take in what I was reading. I am reading because the episode after this is the next thing I want to write on by hand, but I have to reread up to that point in order to remember where to go next, if I can. A few days ago. I read the last stuff I wrote, and I couldn't make sense of it, so it's back to the blue binder.


I guess I didn't do a lot today. I did go to the post office, and I happened along just as the UPS guy was sitting in front of the Gaslite, so I got my candy. Yum. Most of it is out in the breezeway (my winter alternate fridge), and maybe I can stretch it out for a couple of months. I did get a few little boxes in case I get invited out, although right now that doesn't look like it's going to happen.


My other task of the day was to consult with my accountant and my financial advisor, to make sure everything is OK for the end of the year and the tax season. That turned out all right, and I had a couple of nice conversations with people I like.


It didn't snow more than a few flakes for most of the day, and in fact, while I was out this afternoon, we had a few rays of sunshine, but while I was talking to Nancy and Terry, there were two lake effect squalls that came through. There wasn't much accumulation. We are under a winter storm watch for Saturday and Sunday, though, so it's not going to let up. There were even a few snowmobiles at Mariner tonight. The temperature has been around 19 for the past 24 hours, and there has been an east wind in the 10-20 mph range all day, although it has died down now. East winds are good for me, since I am as sheltered on that side as can be. It was strong enough to make the lake sing, but not strong enough to be bothersome. It did push all the ice down to the west end of the harbor, and all the snow that was on the cedar at the north end and the tops of the pines is gone now.


I decided to go to Mariner one last time this year, so off I went, and I had a hard time getting in, because of where the plow truck and the snowmobiles were parked, but I made it. And I got to talk to a couple of the newer people in town, and I discovered that the younger women in town have taken over CHIA (Copper Harbor Improvement Association) and have all kinds of big plans to get more people involved in it. That's great - the older people have given up, and it's been sort of floating for the past few years. It needs an infusion of new blood, and I'm glad to hear it's happened. I more or less agreed to go to the next meeting, after the first of the year. They are even planning a soup supper beforehand. Might be fun. I might have gone to a meeting before now, but one thing that has always been neglected is posting the dates and times of meetings. I was assured that isn't going to happen anymore.


The little birds seem grateful for the birdseed. Something ate a lot out of the cedar feeder overnight, but otherwise, I have had a big flock of goldfinches, which aren't very gold anymore. They eat out of all the feeders, including the thistle feeder, and out of the snow under the tube feeder. I think the thistle feeder needs refilling, so I will have to get to it. Late in the day, the chickadees came back, and they seemed to be happiest with the seed that had fallen on the deck railing. Whatever. Someday maybe I'll be able to get that thing that fits over the deck post and a nice feeder to put on top of it. I still wonder about the nuthatches, but they may have been eating out of the cedar feeder where I can't see them. I hope so.


Speaking of the cedar feeder, when I took it down to fill it yesterday, I discovered that the wind has started to break the wires in the vinyl-covered wire clothesline I am using for a hanger. I was watching it swing around in the wind the other day, and I'm not surprised, but I will have to watch it and try to replace it before it breaks.


Today, a couple of little birds were bouncing off the screens on the east side of the office. I suspect, from what I've read, that they are my kinglets (remember the one that knocked herself out two days in a row last fall?). They eat bugs exclusively, even in the winter, and they must have seen some kind of bugs on the screens. Of course, the screens are bouncy enough that they don't hurt themselves when they bounce off. I hope they found something. If I were a kinglet, I think I'd be gleaning in the branches of the firs, though. There's likely to be more bugs there.


So that was my quiet day, and I guess I'd better plan on writing Christmas cards tomorrow, if I'm going to send any. If it weren't that this is the only time most people on my list hear from me, I'd stop doing it. It's a real pain. They'll all be late anyway.


It's another cold, wintry night in the field, the lake is singing softly, and it's time to toddle up to the north end.


December 18

It was late when I went up to the north end, and it was so nice and warm in the bathroom that I started reading, and it was 2:30 or later before I jumped into bed. I got up around 11:00. I am going to have to stop this.


I had two tasks for the day. I finally got the bird feeders all filled and out, but not until after dark. I still have to finish filling the dishwasher and get it ready to run tonight, but I have made some progress on that. When I finish this I will go and do that.


I also finished the episode out of the blue binder that I was typing. So that is over. I could go on to the next episode, but I think I will either work on the white binder some more or I will try to work on the one unfinished story that is already in the computer. This is the one that forms the background for all the rest of the stuff I have been writing lately, and I would really like to get it done. I have an idea of the direction I want to go now, so maybe I will be able to do it.


I had planned to go to the post office today, but I forgot until it was too late. And I was going to call my accountant, and I never did get to that. I only feel good that I will complete two tasks before I go to bed, hopefully a little earlier than yesterday.


When I got up this morning, there were big flakes of snow coming straight down. This had apparently been going on all night, and there was a remarkable amount of snow down. There was no wind all day, and every twig and branch has lots of snow on it. It is really pretty around here. Ron came and blew out the driveway this afternoon, with half an auger (a pin fell out of one side, and he doesn't have that kind of pin), and there must have been 8" on the driveway.


The temperature was right about 19 all day, and it felt warm when I went outside. Amazing what one can get used to! There was not much wind for most of the day, although now it has increased into the 15-25 mph range, from the east. Must be another low passing through.


There is a lot of snow, although it was so fluffy today that it will pack down. The junipers are gone. Now I can keep watch on the birdbath in the garden. When that disappears, I know there is at least 3' down there. It is still snowing.


So that was my quiet day, but before I go up to the north end, I will have accomplished something, anyway.


It's another snowy night in the field, but not quite as cold as it has been.


December 17

Much to my delight, it was warm up at the north end when I got there last night. The bathroom was actually right at the temperature on the thermostat. So it really is the wind, as I thought. 


I read for too long, and I didn't get to bed until about 2:30. I didn't get up until 11:30, by which time Buster had settled down for his midday siesta, curled up behind me with his back against me. He was not pleased when I started stirring around, and he told me all about it. He is getting really grumbly in his old age.


I petted him and knitted for a while, so it was very late when I got to the computer, and then - oh my! There was a nasty gray box in the middle of the screen that said it couldn't find the driver for the webcam - huh? It was there when I left last night, so where did it go? I tried several GoBacks, and it never appeared, so I have no clue what happened.


I finally ended up reinstalling the driver, and the install program said it was there, so I gather the registry got zapped. Anyway when I got that fixed, I discovered that I had lost the sound. That usually means there was a power failure, but the only other appliance in the house that may have seen such a thing was the microwave. The clock by my bed didn't even see it, so far as I know. Anyway, the way to fix that  problem is usually to shut everything off at the wall switch, which I did, and finally, about 2:00, everything was back the way it was supposed to be. Good grief, what next?


Something weird was going on, because the last picture on the website was at 9:42 this morning. I have now lost everything between last night and when I finally got things back together, at 1:51, (how did I manage that, for heaven's sake?) so I lost all the pictures of the heavy snow we had early this morning. There must have been some kind of a power hiccup, even though Ron said he didn't see anything. Really weird.


Anyway, the next order of business was to hunt up a copy of my trust and fax 16 pages to the title company, and I accomplished that. I had another nice conversation with Ann at the title company, and she told me the taxes had finally come through and I will get a nice check back from them. What an added incentive to meet her for lunch on Monday! Because of that, I will get back most of what I had to give her. 


I spent the rest of the day typing. The music tonight was so nice, I just kept right on, and it is now tomorrow, and I have only one more short chapter to go before I am through with this episode. Then I have to decide whether to go back to the white binder or get the next episode out of the blue binder. Decisions...decisions.


The weather was a little better than yesterday, although it was still cold and we did have enough new snow that the tracks I made yesterday were almost gone. The junipers in the side yard are almost gone, too, but the snow drifts up against them. Anyway, the temperature was around 12 except for a short period around 11:00 when it got up to 19 briefly. The wind was strong around then, in the 25-35 mph range, but it died down to almost nothing for the rest of the afternoon, with snow showers. The ice is creeping out into the harbor, but I'm not sure it's solid yet. It may still be slushy.


Ron came around and cleared the driveway this afternoon, with our tractor, and it seems to be doing just fine, so I guess Aaron is a good welder. I did have to go out briefly and dig out one of the garage door tracks, but I am happy to say the door went down on its own, at least with the switch in the garage. Yesterday, when it was so cold, the only way I could get it to go down was to hold the switch down, so when I went to town, I had to leave the garage open. I hate to do that, because the trash is still in the garage, and I'm afraid some critter will try to get into it, but these days, the garage is the only way I have to get out of the house these days. Both the front door and the breezeway door are snowed in.


So that was another quiet day, and I hope to go to bed without doing any reason. It will probably be 2:00 before I do anyway. It's a cold, snowy night in the field again.


December 16

Happy Beethoven's Birthday!


I read for a while last night, but I was in bed by midnight. I dug out one of my shredded flannel nighties, and even though it was cold in the bedroom, I got right to sleep, and I was nice and cozy. In fact, I was so cozy that when I woke up around 5:00, I switched back the cotton one, and I went right back to sleep. So I guess I'll have to keep a couple of nighties going. By the time I get to bed, my metabolism is usually on the night shift, and I'm cold, but it picks up early in the morning. I don't think the temperature in the room has too much to do with it, although I think it did warm up a bit. I got up around 10:00, and I didn't knit and I didn't pet the cat very long,  so I had time to eat and at least check the weather, the PastyCam and my other webcams.


The title company lady called at 11:00 to say everything was on, and then the mortgage guy called. His excuse was that his wife thought she was going into labor and he had to rush home. Well, okay, but...


Anyway, I got away around 11:30 or a little afterwards. I am very sorry I couldn't take the camera with me, but when I checked it, the batteries were shot, and I didn't have time to change them. Too bad, because there was some sunshine on the way down, and the last snow we got, late yesterday or overnight, happened when there wasn't much wind, and every twig and branch had its coating of white. It was really pretty. The roads weren't so good, though. The rain we got Sunday night had frozen and then it had snowed several inches on top, and it wasn't safe to go very fast, although I had a guy pass me. I was doing fine until I found myself headed straight for a tree down by Lake Medora, and I slid halfway across the road on the other side before I regained control. It wasn't dangerous, since there was no traffic, but it did increase my heart rate a bit. 


I got to my appointment on time, but then I had a couple of bad moments. First, I had to parallel park on the left side of the street (Shelden Avenue is one way, and the title company is on the left side). I touched the car behind me, trying to get into the parking place, apparently just as the driver came by, and would you believe they inspected the front of their car, like they thought I had bashed it? Now, really! Anyway, when they moved, I had a much easier time getting into the spot. And then...there was about a twelve-inch snow bank between the street and the sidewalk. Well, you know I can't step up anything without hanging on to something, and I wasn't sure how I was going to get over the bank. Finally, I hung onto the light pole I had parked beside, and I was able to get over it. The title company has two grab bars, just like the ones I have in my shower, by the steps to their doorway, so they have had people like me before. I must try to remember to take the cane in this weather.


The title company lady was very nice, and we took care of our business. The payment is a few dollars more than I was told, but I wasn't going to argue. The amount I had to give them was less than I'd been told, so that was nice. The lady is a cross stitcher, and she does very nice work, so I gave her the names of my favorite online sources of books and things, since it's impossible to get cross stitch supplies and books around here anymore, now that the cross stitch craze is over.


Then I came home. I forgot that I was going to stop for gas, but I have over half a tank, which will get me down there again next week (for my Christmas dinner), even in auto-4WD. I left Houghton about 2;30, just in time to hear part of the last movement of Beethoven's Fifth, and in the 3:00 hour, I got to hear most of the Sixth...nice! They celebrated Beethoven's birthday this afternoon, and I haven't heard one note of him tonight. Strange...


I fishtailed a bit going up Quincy hill, but that was because I was in 2WD and I tried to accelerate too fast. The rest of the trip home was easy...no traffic and no slips.


The weather...oh, the weather! Brr! It was 3 when I left, and it was about that all the time I was in Houghton. Here, the temperature was in single digits all day, although it did briefly get up to 9 while I was gone. There wasn't much wind, except during the night, and it was from the west. It was partly sunny for a while, which was nice, although there was a high haze of clouds in the sky, so it wasn't really blue. 


When I got to the title company, my hands were absolutely frozen, and we had to talk for a while before I thawed out enough to sign my name. I had put on my mittens over my gloves, and I guess that wasn't the best idea. I took off the mittens, but I should have left them on while I was crawling over the snow bank. I was fine coming home, though.


So that was my day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end again and see what the temperature up there is tonight. I got it up to 68 in the bathroom before I took my bath last night, which was tolerable, but I don't think it's been more than 62 in the bedroom. It has to do with the wind chill and the direction of the wind. The next time I go downstairs, I will turn up the thermostat there and hope that a little of the heat in the basement will rise into the first floor. Once I get into bed and get the covers over me, it doesn't bother me that the room is so cold, except when I have to get up. At least the floor is warm, and it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow.


It's a frigid night in the field, I have a new mortgage, and it's time to go to bed.


December 15

Wow! Half over already! Where does the time go?


I was listening to the Sunday night music last night, so I didn't go up to the north end until around midnight, then I picked up the blue binder, and read for long enough that it was 2:00 or later when I went to bed. The wind had shifted to the north - finally! - and the temperature was starting to drop. As I was sitting and reading, I could hear the lake start to speak and the wind start to blow, and it was a bit chilly when I went to bed.


I was awakened by the title company lady at 8:30. She was trying to get hold of somebody at my bank and she couldn't. She wanted to go home, because she didn't discover that the office was closed for the day until she got there. I learned a few things from her, and I have to say that this is the most chaotic mortgage closing I have had. Anyway, so far the closing is still on track for tomorrow. Later, I had a long talk with the banker, during which I voiced some of my displeasure. He was supposed to call me back, but he didn't, which has been a problem I've had with him all along. Anyway, the title company lady is very nice, so I will call her tomorrow morning before I leave and try to get things straight.


I tried to go back to sleep, but it was cold in the house and I didn't sleep deeply. I finally got up around 10:45 because I had developed an itchy spot on one foot that wouldn't go away, and anyway my toes were cold.


I typed in another chapter from the blue binder, and that was about all I did, except that I finally cooked, and the tetrazini is yummy as usual. This time it didn't run over in the oven, probably because I have been waiting to clean it until after I cooked. Of course, it gets three pans, two bowls, two measuring cups and various utensils (not to mention the stove) dirty, so I have some washing up to do. But it's good.


The reason the title company office was closed is that sometime during the night, the NWS posted a blizzard warning, and it did blizzard for most of the day, although the snow was letting up some late in the afternoon. The wind was from the north in the 25-40 mph range. It peaked between 11:00 and noon, with gusts up to 45 mph and sustained winds of 33 mph. The temperature had dropped from 32 at midnight to 9 at 8:00 this morning. It stayed at or below 10 all day, which put the wind chill down in the -10 to -15. There is still a winter storm warning out until 1am, so it's not quite over yet.


The wind was from the north-northwest for most of the time, and that is the bad direction for my house. It bangs against the corner of the bedroom and the front windows and it gets very cold in here. Now it seems to be more northerly and the temperature has gone up a degree or two, so I hope it won't be too cold tonight. I will have to wear some kind of a warmer nightie, but I will wait to see just how cold it is before I decide which one.


Buster didn't even come and sit on my lap this morning, so I finished the second Maizy sock, except to darn in the ends, and I read for a while. Even with my fleece robe on, it was cold in the bathroom, so I didn't read as long as I might have.


I slept because I was tired last night, but after I was awakened, one of the reason I didn't really go back to sleep was that it was so noisy, with the wind banging against the house and the lake roaring in the background.


It's still cold, around 10, but the wind has died down into the 20-30 mph range, so maybe it will be warmer tonight. I don't like to have to change the comforters, because that heavy one is just too warm for most weather, and it's a pain to switch them around. I didn't realize, when I got a queen-sized bed, just how much bigger all the bedding would be. I did close the blinds in the bedroom this morning, and I suppose I will leave them shut tonight, even though I like to be able to see out. They do make it warmer in the bedroom. I should put some kind of window treatment in the window seat, too, but I hate to. Oh, well.


So it's a cold, windy night in the field, and I am going to bed - really - tonight. I have a fatigue headache, and there's only one cure for that.


December 14

After I published this last night, I finally remembered how to make Word do a grammar and spelling check of an entire document and show me the readability statistics (answer: very), so I put all but one of the files I've created lately through it (I forgot one until just now). That took a while, especially the one completed story, so it was late when I went up to the north end, and then I read for a while. I was going to take my bath when I pulled out the part of the story I am still writing and I read the end of that, too. So it was about 2:30 when I finally turned out the light.


I got up around 11:00, I think, although I don't really remember. I did my morning surfing, and I did my Christmas shopping...two whole gifts. That took most of the afternoon, though. Telephoning is really easier, but neither of these places is open on Sundays. When I could turn on the lights, I started typing again, and I finished the first chapter of the first part of the story in the blue binder. 


It was a good day to do something like that, except that it was awfully dark all day long. It snowed, relatively hard, all night and all day, although it has warmed up so much now that I'm not sure what is coming down. The NWS is reporting almost " of water has come down since midnight last night. The history is really interesting. The wind was calm until almost 4:00 am, then in about 20 minutes, it went from 0 mph to 23 mph with 32 mph gusts! It was nearly that windy for most of the rest of the day, and the wind was from the east. It has now shifted around to the south, and it is almost calm again. When that shift came, the temperature, which had been around 30 all day, suddenly started rising, and it was 38 at 10:00.


According to the forecast, the wind is supposed to swing around to the north during the night and the temperature is supposed to plummet to below 10. That will be fun, if it happens. Quite a bit of snow came down before it got warm, so I imagine that when the temperature drops, there will be quite a crust to break through.


I thought about cooking today, but my knees and my back were so sore, I thought better of it. I had to go downstairs to get something to eat, and I just barely made it back up. Warmish, humid weather just does me in. My whole back is sore, and so are my fingers.


While I was typing, Word did another one on me. Not only does it want "You is", it also wants "I are". Clearly any kind of dialog just totally confuses it. It just has a hard time with quotation marks...and a bunch of other things, too. I keep using it, because it does catch some things, and occasionally it makes me think about what I've written and change it, but it sure is annoying. I are annoyed.


So that was my quiet day. I enjoy watching the interesting weather, and I enjoy hearing the lake roaring in the background. I wonder when the wind will shift?


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


December 13

When I got up to the north end, I started reading the blue binder, and I didn't get to bed until around 1:30. I got up around 10:30, so I'm tired, and I didn't do anything much.


I took the first two sections out of the blue binder and got the first one typed into the computer. I had to laugh at MS Word's so-called grammar checker again. In one place I had written "You're" as part of a conversation, and Word flagged it and wanted me to change it to "You is." Geez! You is wrong. 


The weather was nondescript. The temperature rose from 15 to 30 now, with no wind to speak of. That's as close to the normal high as we've been in weeks. There wasn't any snow, although it may be snowing now a bit. There was snow south of us, but not in Keweenaw. It was a dark and dreary day again.


One of the problems I am having with this transcribing is that when it's so dark, especially after 4:00, it is hard for me to read the paper I'm transcribing from. I do turn on my task light, as you can see from the last camera picture, but that is over on the desk and too far away. I don't want to turn on the lights in the office until after the camera stops at 6:00. The inside of the office isn't all that interesting.


We're getting down to the shortest days of the year. The sun rose this morning (I think) at 8:31, and it set at 5:00, for a grand total of 8h29m of daylight. For the next three weeks it will be about like this, then days will begin to get noticeably longer.


In case you wondered where the ice went during the day, what little wind there was was from the south, and it pushed the ice up into the northern part of the harbor, out of camera range to the right. I'm sure it will move back in the next day or so.


The weather forecast is still saying snow mixed with rain for tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night (100% probability), so it will be ugly. Then the temperature will plummet on Monday, back to where it's been, and we'll just have the daily frigid temperatures and snow showers. We'll see how right they are. Of course, if one flake falls, they can say it snowed.


So that was another quiet day, doing what I want to instead of what I should be doing. Now my fingers are sore, so I will toddle up to the north end again and read some more.


It's a quiet, warmish (comparatively) night in the field, and it's the calm before the next storm again. I hope we don't get any rain.


December 12

So I got to bed around 11:00 last night, and it didn't make any difference: I didn't sleep well at all. I finally did sleep, but not for a long time, and I got up around 10:15. I petted a cat and knitted a sock, and I am ready to start the ribbing tomorrow. I finished a ball of yarn, too. It annoys me when I have to buy a whole new ball just for a few yards like that. but I really wouldn't have been happy if I'd made the legs any shorter, and if I didn't make the feet long enough, I couldn't wear them. Oh, well.


I didn't do very much, again. I went to the post office, and stopped at the store for eggs, and after I came home, I started typing again, and I think I did a couple more chapters. I'm getting into the meat of the first part of the story now.


I went to Mariner for dinner tonight, and I was the only person there. Tomorrow should be busier. There is some kind of event going on in town, combining bird watching, a bake sale and who knows what else, and a very expensive fund raising dinner for the trail system. I thought it would be better to avoid all that.


I had a nice huge piece of pan-fried whitefish, which was excellent, but I brought more than half of it home with me, so I don't have to cook tomorrow.


The weather was about as usual...today was the mostly calm type, at least after about 10:00, but it was cold - the temperature was around 11, plus or minus a degree, all day long. Good thing there wasn't any wind! It snowed all night and up to about noon, then it cleared up just a bit, and there was even a little wan sunshine, and a ray or two right before sunset. When I looked out the windows after I got home tonight, there was the gorgeous full moon beaming through the clouds.


This full moon is just about as big as it can get, since it is happening about five hours after perigee (closest point to earth). That doesn't happen very often, and if you can see the moon tonight you will see that it is noticeably bigger than normal - and that isn't a mirage. It is big and blue and cold. It was really pretty. I've noticed that the nights have been very light lately, even with the heavy clouds and snow, because of the moon overhead. This full moon rises as high overhead as it ever does, too, so it shines almost straight down on us all night long.


I remember, a number of years ago, there was an eclipse at this time of year, and I sat in a lawn chair in the driveway at Champine, staring straight up, until I was about frozen and the clouds covered up the moon. Maybe it's a good thing it's so cloudy here at this time of year so I don't freeze to death outside.


I also saw Venus in the southwest when I turned in the driveway, but I could tell that there were clouds above it, so it isn't going to be a really clear night.


The forecast for the next couple of days is miserable, too. It is supposed to warm up, maybe enough to turn the precip into sleet or rain, and it could get really ugly. I hope not. Next week it will cool down again, and it is supposed to just keep on snowing. People in other parts of the country just don't understand what it's like.


Ron borrowed the Faassens' tractor and blew out my driveway this afternoon, but really, when I went to the post office, I didn't have any trouble getting out, except that it wasn't entirely clear where the driveway is. That can be dicey, since it drops off on both sides and it would be possible to get stuck, like the Schwan's guy did last year. I haven't put in a Schwan's order yet - I'm getting ready - and I only hope he will come to the door.


It seems Aaron knows how to weld, so he is going to see if he can weld the blade back on the auger. When they took it off, they discovered that there is a strut that is supposed to brace it which had never been welded to the blade, so it was defective from the first. Otherwise, Ron will have a big bill on his hands. I hope not, and it's worth a try to repair it.


I forgot to mention yesterday that I was sitting at the computer and a movement outside made me look as mom deer and her fawn bounded across the backyard. Mom is a very large deer, and her fawn is still only about half her size. I was worried, when I saw the fawn in the yard in the late summer, that mom had abandoned it, and I am very glad to see she is sort of taking care of it. It needs to learn how to make it through the winter. There was part of the yard between the house and the drain field where the wind had almost cleaned off the ground, and perhaps they found something to eat there. I would love to feed them, except that they need a rather sheltered place, and most of my backyard is open to the north winds, or it's too close to the house. I'd love to have a deer yard in my backyard... Both deer look fairly healthy now, so we can hope they'll make it through the winter.


So that was my day, and I'm off to the north end again. I'll be a little later tonight, but I hope to make it into bed before midnight. It's a cold, cold night in the field, but I don't think it's snowing yet.


December 11

Well, I did the same thing last night as the night before, and it was around 1:30 when I got to bed. Sigh. I did sleep well, though, and I didn't get up until around 11:30. When I woke up the first time, I could hear that the wind had shifted and picked up, and when I was in the bathroom, there was a regular whirlwind of snow around the area between the house and the garage. The back windows of the bathroom were all covered with snow.


I did my morning thing, and I have only eight more rows on the leg of the sock before I start the ribbing, so that is getting done.


When I got to the computer, I discovered that the wind had shifted to the north and was in the 25-35 mph, and it had evidently snowed for most of the night, more or less hard. It snowed all day, too.


Slowly but surely the ice is beginning to build at the end of the harbor, although the wind keeps pushing it down there. It's not melting, that's for sure. It snowed off and on all afternoon, and it's supposed to just keep on...probably until next March.


The only bad news is that when Ron was out on the tractor this morning, he clipped a rock and broke the blade on one side of the snow blower (evidently it comes in two parts), so we have a damaged snow mover. He is planning to fund the repairs himself, but it may be a while before it is fully functional.


The weather, otherwise, was wintry. The wind died down, into the 20-30 mph range, and the temperature was nearly steady at about 17...that would put the wind chill down around 0.


I spent most of the afternoon typing, and now my hands are swollen and hot and sore, so it's time to stop for a while. I am making progress, but I'm only getting about 1 pages written to one page typed, so the whole thing will still be over 700 pages long, and it will be a long-term project. Eventually I imagine I will lose interest, but I really do like this story, so it's nice to be reading it over again. I only wish I could type as fast as I can read.


I didn't see the fur faces all day. Evidently they were holed up someplace warm. However, the tablecloth was almost off the table when I came out this morning, so I moved the dishes that were still on it and gathered it up. Somebody was having a high old time last night, and I don't think it was Buster.


Around 3:30 this afternoon, I started making phone calls, and my mortgage closing is now next Tuesday. Evidently Chase has been trying to install a new mortgage closing system, and it just isn't working. Boy, do I know enough about that! If it compiles, it must work, right? Oh - and testing isn't part of the programmer's job description. That's all right with me, although it is still supposed to be snowing on Tuesday. Maybe I can get my schedule straightened out by then.


So now it's a frigid, windy, snowy winter night in the field, and tonight I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour.


December 10

After I published this last night, I typed another chapter, and it ended up that it was 2:00 or so when I got to bed. I got up around 10:30, I think. I'm tired tonight.


I didn't do a lot today. I did a lot of transcribing, and I have the dishwasher almost ready to run tonight, and that was it.


I think it snowed almost all night, and the lake was fussing, but it calmed down by the time I got up, and it was calm for the middle part of the day. Then the wind switched around to the southwest and started to blow again. That doesn't affect the lake on this side, of course, so it's quiet around here tonight. It snowed off and on for most of the day, too. There was a tiny bit of sunshine and blue sky around 11:00, but you can see the billowy gray clouds in the camera picture, and the sun soon went away. It started to snow again later in the afternoon, and it was snowing at sunset.


The temperature was around 17 for most of the afternoon, until the wind shifted, and it has now gone up to about 22, with southwest winds in the 10-20 mph range, although a couple of hours ago we did have a 35 mph gust. It is still snowing hard enough to register in the precipitation gauge at the NWS station. This is about as heavy a snow as we've gotten. I'm afraid Ron will have to get on the tractor tomorrow.


At one point I turned away from the computer this afternoon and Jasmine jumped out from under the other chair, where I think she was asleep on the fleece throw that's on the floor there. Poor kitty! It seems clear at least part of her would like to make up to me, but between her distrust of people in general and knowing that Buster is so jealous, she's afraid to try. One of these days...


So that was my quiet day, and I have to decide whether to transcribe some more tonight or bag it and go to bed.


It's a snowy night in the field.


December 9

I was reading when I had a little stomach upset that took a while to get over, then I got into the parts of the story that I just finished writing, and I ended up not getting to bed until around 3:00. Oops. I think it was about 11:00 when I got up, although I had just been dozing before that. Buster wanted something, and he was a pest. So I got up, and petted him, and knitted my eight rows, then I finished reading the story.


I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it. I left a lot of loose ends dangling, even though I finished off the biggest of them. I could just go on writing, but I think I will declare this one done, and maybe start a new story using the same characters. Anyway, I brought the binder down to the office, and late in the afternoon, I started transcribing it into the computer. I got almost 30 pages (typed) done - two chapters  - but it's going to take forever to transcribe. At the point where I am now, it needs to be online, and I am making some major editing changes to it as I go along. I did about all I could do, though, before my hands got sore and my fingers got out of sync.


It was a good day to ignore the out-of-doors. While I was reading last night, I started hearing the lake set up a fuss. I guess that was about midnight. It got louder as the night progressed, and it is still fussing. The wind is out of the northeast, and early in the day it was in the 25-35 mph range, although it has died down quite a bit now. The temperature got into the middle 20s in the middle of the night, then it dropped off, and it has been nearly steady all afternoon, starting at 19 and dropping to 17. It snowed off and on all day long, but I don't think there was a lot of accumulation.


The wind pushed the ice into a pile at the end of the harbor, which is across the road from Lake Lily. Eventually, it will build out from there, and with the temperatures as low as they have been, that may happen before Christmas.


So it was another quiet day, and considering how little sleep I had last night, I should be in bed now, so I will totter up to the north end and try to be a good girl.


It's a cold, snowy, and somewhat noisy night in the field.


December 8

Instead of being a good girl, I read for a long time and I didn't turn out the light until 1:30. I woke up at 8:00 for the first time, and I didn't go back to sleep, because I had set the alarm for 9:00. So I got up at 9:00, had breakfast and did some of my surfing and I was late anyway. Oh, well. Johanna runs late, too.


I stopped at the post office on my way home and had a nice long conversation with Clyde (he gets bored), but eventually I got home, and I didn't do much at all after that but finish my surfing and pay a couple of bills.


I did get a couple of calls from my mortgage banker, and I will be closing on my mortgage on Friday. So I didn't need to pay that last payment anyway. Oh, well. it's too late to call it back. I will get most of it back, one way or another, anyway.


At 9:00 this morning, the temperature hit a low of 9, but by the time I got out of my massage, it was up to 20, and it stayed at about 19 for the rest of the day, with very light west winds. It's still pretty cold out there. When I went to bed last night, the quarter moon was shining in my windows, and it was sunny for a while early in the morning, although it clouded up by the time I got home. There were even a few flakes of snow, just to keep our record intact. As I expected would happen, there was a film of ice on this end of the harbor this morning, which is now more visible since the snow.


We all agree that it's a little early for it to be quite so cold and for the ice to be forming on the harbor, but then, this has been a very cool year altogether, so I guess it's just running true to form.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm off to the north end again to read some more. It's a cold, calm night in the field tonight.


December 7

I've said this before, but this is the anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, which happened when I was about 4 months old and strongly affected my first five or six years, and maybe my whole life. I have come to believe that my father came back from the Pacific with PTSD, and although he managed to function, he was damaged for the rest of his life. Of course, nobody knew anything about PTSD then, or even at the time he died, in 1983.  I wish I had been able to get to know him better.


I went up to the north end early last night, and I finally ended up reading in bed until about 12:30. Bed is much more comfortable than reading in the bathroom...I had a little trouble getting to sleep, because part of me was hot and part of me was cold, but eventually the temperature in the bedroom went down, and I did good. I got up around 10:30 and only worked a couple of rows on the sock, because I had to fill my pill dispensers today...which reminds me, I have to check my list, because I forgot whether I take vitamin B6 only at night or twice a day...oh. It's twice a day. So I will have to fix that tonight. I take such handfuls of pills that it's hard to remember when I take which kinds.


I was doing my morning surfing when I ignored a gurgle and ended up having the worst accident to date. So I had to clean up myself in the shower, all the clothes I was wearing from the waist down, and parts of the bathroom and laundry. What an awful mess! The clothes are in the dryer now.


That sort of ended my day. I got up feeling not too bad, but after that I just sort of fiddled around. I did get the roaster washed, one of the pots rewashed where I missed a few things, and several frying pans cleaned, so I guess I did something. I had intended to make tetrazini today, but I just didn't feel up to it. Tomorrow, maybe.


The weather was the calm after the storm. The wind blew until about 8:00 this morning, although it was dying down, then it got nearly and then completely calm. The temperature, though, was about 16 all day long, so it was cold outside. I forgot to look at the harbor before it got dark. With temperatures that low and no wind at all (it was calm after 3:00), there should be a film of ice on the harbor. I did see a bit of blue sky this morning, but the day was cloudy.


The wind was ferocious while I was reading last night, although it doesn't show on the NWS reports. There were a couple of blasts that made Buster, who was sleeping beside me with his head on the body pillow, wake up and open his eyes wide. It was really noisy when I went to bed, although the first time I woke up, around 5:00, I think, it was clearly calming down, and the lake wasn't nearly so loud. It never ceases to amaze me that we can go from 12' waves to dead calm in such a few hours.


I have been rejoicing in the nice warm bedroom and bathroom I have had since it got cold. It may get cooler when the wind chill is lower, later in the winter (and don't lecture me about wind chill - it is going to make an impact on the amount of heat the house loses, no matter what anybody else thinks) but for now, it is sometimes too warm in the bedroom. I have lowered the nighttime temperature, but I may have to lower the daytime temperature in the bedroom at least, just so I won't have so much trouble getting to sleep. Now if I could only get things settled in the office, I would be totally comfortable. I don't think the boiler has been running quite so much as it did last year, either, so maybe, just maybe, after 6 years my heating problems are fixed. I have my fingers crossed. I hardly dare hope I will use an appreciable amount less of propane. I cranked up the humidifier a little too high, so that I have a little condensation on the windows in the bedroom and bathroom, so I will have to back it off a bit, although the humidity in the office is better now. That definitely makes a difference in how warm it feels.


So that was my day, and I expect to go up to the north end early again tonight and read some more. I do like that story, and I sometimes wonder if anybody else would like it, too.


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


December 6

I read for a while last night - up to where I stopped writing that story in 1990 - but it was still only about 12:30 when I got to bed. However, I didn't sleep well. With the wind from the west or southwest, it was warm in the bedroom, and I was hot, so I didn't sleep deeply and I was up any number of times. Tonight, however... I got up around 10:30 this morning, and that was nice. It made the day considerably longer than it has been lately, although I didn't do much with it.


All night long, when I looked down toward the west end of the harbor, I could tell that it was snowing, sometimes hard enough that I couldn't see the lights, but it was quiet. Along about 8:00, though, I started hearing the lake, and oh, my, have we been having a nice gale! The temperature actually rose to about 26 before the wind picked up, but then it plummeted back where it was over night ( around 17), and the wind has been in the 25-50 mph range from the north all day. The peak that the NWS station reported was a 47 mph gust between 10:00 and 11:00 this morning, but the gusts have been in the upper 30s to lower 40s all day. The temperature has been below 20 and dropping slowly, and it is now 16, with a wind chill of -4. It's cold outside, and I didn't go out. It also snowed more or less hard for more or less the entire day.


The lake is roaring in the tenor to baritone range, and occasionally I will hear a thunk! when a rogue wave hits the rocks. The wind is out of the north, which means it's been much warmer around here today, but I can hear it beating on the house up at the north end. It's frigid and windy and noisy around here. It will be a good night to sleep, I hope.


I didn't do very much. I finally folded almost all the wash I did last weekend, and I will put things away when I go up to the north end tonight. I had to rewash one of my sweatshirt sweaters (my favorite color, of course), and I need to get that into the dryer. Otherwise, I sort of fiddled around in the office. Since I put all the beads away last night, I couldn't do that. It has been much easier on my eyes. I didn't realize just how much that sorting was bothering my eyes, but even with my Mag-Eyes, those beads are awfully small and awfully glittery, and they are hard to see.


This evening, I was going to read and maybe write on one of the stories in the computer, but I remembered that while I turned last month's journal into a Word file, I never edited it, so I just finished doing that. It was interesting to me that around the first of November, we had a couple of days of temperatures in the upper 60s, and by the end of the month, they had fallen to 20 or under. How quickly things change!


The fur faces evidently thought this was a great day to hibernate. They were running around this morning when I got up, but I haven't seen anybody since.


So now I think I will make my way up to the north end, via the laundry and the closet, and read for a while. I'm at another exciting episode, and I want to read it. 


It's a frigid, windy, snowy, and very noisy night in the field, and the lullaby of the lake should send me right to sleep.


December 5

I managed to get to bed before midnight last night, and I slept fairly well, with a little time when Buster wanted to sleep on top of me and the body pillow and I finally had to chase him away. However, I didn't get up until 11:30 anyway, and tonight I'm tired already.


It was probably partly because the wind shifted around toward the west, and it was cold in the office for most of the day, although it's warmed up to 58 now. 


I did a few things. I washed the pots that were soaking in the sink, unloaded and began to reload the dishwasher, and put the roasting pan to soak. I couldn't do a lot more because my back was bothersome. Otherwise, I sorted beads. I took a look at the other half-kilo, which also has some very pretty beads in it, but just finished putting everything away, carefully, so I know what is what. With that batch, I got down to the place where, at least in one place, all that was left were purple, brown, gray and whatsits, and I was having a hard time telling them apart. Time to do something else for a change.


I thought about going out to dinner, but the weather wasn't conducive.


It snowed all night long and didn't stop until about noon, although we didn't get a lot of accumulation, maybe 4". The wind started out from the north, but it shifted around to the west, where it was all day long, in the 15-30 mph. It was cold. The temperature hit its low between 3:00 and 5:00 this afternoon, at 13, but it was in the middle teens all day long, with wind chills around zero. We had a couple of beams of sunshine around noon today, but they didn't last long, and it got really dark later in the afternoon when it started snowing over the mountain while it wasn't snowing here. Who would think two miles would make such a difference?


I didn't fill the bird feeders: it was just too cold. I really must do it tomorrow, regardless. The poor little birdies are hungry.


Ron came around this afternoon and cleared the driveway, although I'm not so sure it needed it. I guess it's better to keep ahead of it. He freaked out Buster - the second time in three days he's been freaked out. I don't know what he thinks the tractor is going to do to him, since it's out there and he's in here. He'll get used to it, I'm sure, but today he didn't like it at all.


There is a blizzard warning out for tomorrow, not from the amount of snow, but the winds are expected to get into the 30 mph range, and it will be cold enough that there will be a lot of blowing. How exciting! I love to sit inside and watch the snow blow by. However, since the harbor isn't frozen over yet, it won't be as exciting as it will be later.


We don't even have any slush around the edges yet, because the winds have been too strong. It takes a day or so of low temps and no wind to set up the ice and get it started, and that hasn't happened yet. 


So I will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight and hunker down and enjoy winter in Keweenaw. It's a cold and windy night in the field tonight.


December 4

Not last night, for sure. I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour, but I got to reading, and it was nearly 2:00 when I turned out the light again. I was awake around 10:00, but I went back to sleep and didn't get up until 11:30. Well, maybe tonight. That is a good story, though, or at least I like it.


I woke up this morning with a very sore middle finger on my right hand, which makes writing or using a fork or spoon rather difficult. It's just arthritis, but it hurts.


It has been snowing almost continuously since before sunset last night, and while it's the little flakes that pack down a lot, it is beginning to cover things up. The wind has been out of the north, and the lake has been fussing quietly. The temperature has been right around 20 and the wind has been mostly in the 15-30 mph range, although at the last reading, it was 29 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Nasty wind chills. We are under a lake effect snow warning, with a winter storm watch for tomorrow night and Sunday. I didn't go out.


The bird feeders do need filling, so maybe tomorrow I can do that. There was a hungry little squirrel clinging to the tube feeder for quite a while this afternoon, although it was swinging around so much it was amazing the poor thing could stay attached and still get anything to eat. I don't think it will swing so much when it's full.


I partly unloaded the dishwasher, but that was all I did except sort beads. I'm thinking of giving up on those beads. While there are a lot I really like, most of them are so small, even in the kilo batch, that it will take forever to sort them. I had been used to sorting Czech beads, which are mostly bigger, except for the really teensy ones (about 1mm) that I just keep altogether. There are so many 14 beads in the Japanese assortments that I really have to separate them. There are a lot of exceptionally pretty beads in these assortments, but getting at them in a useful quantity will be hard. So I guess it's time to haul out the quart and half-gallon bags and just to on to something else. Darn.  Besides, it does get boring after a while. I'll see how I feel tomorrow, but I started out with around 50 grams in the sorting tray, and I still have a lot left, and well over half a kilo to go.


Tonight I had something besides turkey for dinner. Wow! Not that there isn't turkey left, and not that I'm tired of it, but I think most of it will go into the tetrazini, and besides, I am out of squash and mashed potatoes. After the tetrazini, I can boil up the bones and make stock. I'm not too fond of turkey soup, but the stock does help make good gravy. Besides, I still like to feel I'm making something out of nothing.


I also had one of my grapefruit, which was good. I find I really love grapefruit, even though it's hard to get into. These aren't the most beautiful fruits I've ever seen - they're rather small - but if the oranges are as good as the grapefruit, it was worth the rather modest price, and besides it was a fundraiser for something at Calumet High. I'm keeping them in the breezeway, where they should last for a long time.


So that was another quiet day, and maybe tonight I can aim for bed around midnight.


It's a windy, snowy, and very cold night in the field tonight.


December 3

Maybe tonight? I sorted beads, and I didn't get to bed until nearly 2:00 am again.  I got up around 11:00, but I knitted a couple more rows than usual, so that I started the leg of the sock. So I was late, and I didn't do anything much.


I did go to the post office, and I discovered who my mystery visitor was yesterday. Clyde tried to deliver my box of oranges and grapefruit, which was certainly nice of him. So he put it in my car today, but I had to take it out. It's heavy, but it looks like pretty nice fruit - navel oranges, which I love, and grapefruit, which I also love but hardly ever buy because it's hard to prepare them. So I will be getting my fruit.


I also brought home a ton of catalogs and pleas for money, and a bill or two.


The weather was colder than ever. When Ron produced his road report, which he does every morning around 3:00 am, it was 30. By the time I got to the south end, it was about 20, where it stayed all day long. There was a brisk (15-25 mph) wind out of the north, and it snowed lightly pretty much all day. I didn't notice any accumulation, but every flake helps. The wind chill was in the single digits, which made it coolish out in the wind. When I got into the house, my hands were two blocks of ice.


I did have a brainwave, so when I came back to the house, I parked the car briefly right beside the house, and from there it wasn't hard to get out under the deck and retrieve my bird feeders. I was interested to see that the cage with the woodpecker feed in it had been moved under the deck, but nothing seemed to have been eaten out of it. So I wonder who might have done all that? It's another mystery, because both the cedar feeder and the tube feeder were left alone, and any critter I know who would go after the other two certainly would have gone after them, too. So I just put everything up on the deck, but I'm thinking I'd better fetch them in before go north tonight, just in case something should decide to throw them on the ground again.


I really need to wash dishes tonight, although now I'm not sure I'll be able to get everything in. Then I plan to go up to the north end relatively early and read for, I hope, only a little while. I really need to get myself back onto a human schedule again. I have the feeling I'm not getting enough sleep, either.


I pretty much finished sorting the little beads, although I poured a bunch of brown and black ones back into the mixture (I had used all my sorting trays), and then I went back to the kilo. At least some of those beads are bigger, although I've found a ton of 14 there, too. There are some very pretty ones in that mixture too. I am going to have to dig out my plastic sorting trays, because I just don't have enough of the little triangular aluminum ones. When I find something really interesting, I want to sort it separately, but since I have to leave trays for everything I thought I sorted out before, there just aren't enough. I don't like the plastic trays. They have enough static electricity in them that dealing with seed beads can be difficult...but whatever. I may try spraying them with the anti-static EnDust I use on the computer.


So that was a quiet day. I watched the snowflakes fly by and the bird feeder whip around and the pretty little beads in my sorting tray.


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


December 2

I got to reading again, and it was 1:30 before I went to bed. Sigh. I was dozing when somebody knocked at the door, probably Ron, at 11:00 this morning, so I got up, but by the time I got robe and slippers, he was gone. It was just as well. I might still be asleep.


I washed the towels, and that was it. I should have loaded the dishwasher, but I didn't.


Otherwise, I sorted beads. When I went through that last half-kilo, I think I remarked that it didn't look very interesting, but it was rather pink. Well...I started looking harder at it, and what a treasure trove! Most of the beads are 14 - the little 1.7mm ones - and 11, which is what I use for my bracelets, and there are some absolutely beautiful beads there. There are two different ones that are a sort of grayed purple - I would call it grape - which is a color I have never seen in beads before. There are a lot of pale pink ones, several different styles, but most of the batch I am working on seem to be dark green and black. There are also a lot of pale sky blue. There is one kind of pink and one kind of pale blue that look more like ceramic than glass. They are 14, very regular, and very beautiful for opaque beads. Sigh. Even with magnification, sorting all those teensy beads is wearing on the eyes, and I'm not sure how much longer I can do it. But I want those beads!


The knock at the door really upset Buster. He sat on my lap for a while, but his eyes were wide open and he was nervous. That doesn't usually happen when I am in bed, and he didn't know what to make of it.


The weather was the same. The temperature was in the low 20s overnight and about 30 all day, except that it has gone up to 34 now. The wind has been from the west, and during the middle of the day it was very strong - in the 25-35 mph range. It died down almost completely around sunset, and now is picking up again. We had one short snow shower during the afternoon, for about 5 minutes, and that was all.


I have a curious problem with the heat in the office. I know I'm fat, but I didn't think I was big enough to heat a room, but it seems so. I have had the thermostat set at 72 constantly, which gives me a reading of between 70 and 71 late in the day. However, when I come into the office in the morning, the temperature has dropped to about 66. The only difference is that I'm not there overnight. I haven't figured it out yet, but it seems rather weird. The thermostat is in a pocket behind the door, so I understand why it doesn't reflect the true temperature in the room. But why, if it is set to a constant 72 all the time, does the temperature go down overnight? It's not that much colder at night than during the day, and if the thermostat is always at 72, the temperature in the room should be constant, right? So I guess I'm heating the room. Weird.


So that was another quiet, truncated day, and I'm off to the north end. It's a dark, windy night in the field, but with the wind from the west, the lake isn't singing very much.


December 1

Bad, bad me. I sorted beads until midnight, because I wanted to hear Schubert's "Unfinished Symphony", then when I got up to the north end, I read for a long time, so it was 2:00 before I got to bed...and 12:30 before I got up. Tsk. So much for getting back on a human schedule. I hope to do a little better tonight.


I didn't do anything today, just because I didn't have much time. I sorted beads, and that was about it.


The weather was just about the same as it has been. The temperature was about 26 for most of the day, although it has risen a couple of degrees in the past hour or so. There was a very strong northeast wind, in the 25-35 mph range for most of the day, although now it has died down to a steady 20 mph and shifted to the north.  It was dark and cloudy, but I don't think we got any snow. The lake has been singing loudly since last night.


So that was a nondescript way to start a new month, and I will really try to get to bed earlier and get up earlier tomorrow.


We are sliding toward the solstice, and the days are only 8h 43m long, although we're only losing 1m17s a day now, and thankfully, we only have about 15 minutes more to lose. The sun doesn't rise until 8:19 am. I was awake about 8:00 this morning, and it still seemed dark out...but it was awfully cloudy. And sunset is at 5:02. I believe I've said it before, but it still amazes me what a difference 5 of latitude can make. Days are short in Detroit at this time of year, but not like here.


I will say that I think my vitamin D is making a difference in how I feel overall, provided I can ever get enough sleep and get back on a decent schedule. At least I don't feel nearly so down as I did last year, and I'm not just sitting and staring at the computer all day long. Beads, yes, but not the computer.


It's a dark, noisy night in the field, and it's almost the end of 2008.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM