A View From the Field








April, 2009


April 30

There goes April.


My plan didn't work quite as scheduled last night, because I started writing when I got up to the north end, and I didn't get to bed until 11:30. Oh, well.


Sometime around when I went to bed, it started raining, It rained all night, and it didn't stop until around 7:00 this morning, so it was a very dark night in the field last night.


I got up about 8:30, because Buster was bugging me and I couldn't sleep, but I didn't really feel like getting up. I finished the square I was knitting on and started a new one before I got dressed.


I guess I didn't do very much today except try to get things a bit organized around here, and I think maybe I did, although most of my "organization" consisted of moving piles from here to there. I looked at all my seed beads and sort of organized them. I discovered that I had put half the turquoise beads in with the blue ones and half in with the green ones (figures, eh?), so I moved them all in with the green beads because there is more room in that drawer. I cleaned off the desk again and I got out my peyote graph paper and fiddled around with it a bit, and I looked at all the patterns I had gathered together last year and didn't feel very motivated. I also found the list of patterns and combinations I want to try, and I still don't feel very motivated, but I will have to get at something.


I just had a sneezing fit, and I had another one about 12 hours ago, which leads me to believe that something is putting out pollen, although I can't imagine what it could be. I don't see any flowers or catkins or anything yet. I don't feel like I am coming down with anything, though, so I assume it must be allergies.


The weather was icky. Like I said, it rained all night, and then it started again about 2:00 this afternoon, and it has rained off and on ever since, sometimes very hard. Just before 8:00 we had a very heavy downpour, followed by fog, then by nearly clear skies, although the sun went down behind a big dark cloud in the west. It was neat when the sun was out, because I could see the fog rising from the patches of ice along the shoreline, which are still pretty thick. The temperature was around 50º all afternoon, and the humidity is 100%. It was rather windy between 9:00 and 2:00, but it has been just about calm ever since. I could tell it was raining by looking at the surface of the harbor before I ever saw the drops on the deck, which was neat.


Last night, after I published this, I was sitting here when I looked out the east windows into the backyard just as three deer dashed across the yard. It looked more like they were playing than anything. They ran through the yard, around the propane tanks (now I know how they got disconnected right after I moved in here), and across the road into the woods. There were two big ones and a little one - maybe pop, mom and the kid from last year? They are so graceful! I wish I could watch them more.


I proved again that it never hurts to ask. I mentioned that I had lost the second perch from the one tube of the tube feeder. It was made by Duncraft, and it wasn't cheap, although not nearly as expensive as they are now! So I thought I would just ask them if I could buy some replacement perches...and today I got an email back saying they will send me some. Amazing. Apparently they aren't supposed to come out, even though I told them it was squirrel damage. Now I hope I can get them well glued in so that they don't come out again. It would be nice to have three useful tubes. It will mean I don't have to fill things so often.


Even in the rain there were a few birds and a couple of squirrels eating today, although things haven't gone away as fast as sometimes. I have one goldfinch that is half dull green and half yellowish, sort of patchy. I think it is a female. I haven't seen any other goldfinches for a while. However, there was a pine siskin at the thistle feeder today. They sit and eat like the goldfinches do, unlike the chickadees and nuthatches, who snatch a seed and fly off with it. Pretty soon it will be time to put out the hummingbird feeders, and pretty soon I will have to be bringing in the feeders every night. That is a real pain, but while my tube feeder is evidently supposed to be squirrel-proof, I doubt they would say it is bear-proof!


It is getting to the time I used to be coming here for the summer when I had two homes. I certainly am glad I don't have that hassle anymore! I usually arrived the Friday before Mother's Day, and left around the 15th of November. It is so nice to be here all the time! I still remember all the rushing around and packing and trying to get stuff ready for UPS to ship it...most of which I then shipped back in the fall. I never did get to the point where I thought I could be without some of my stuff for a few months, so it is nice to have it all in one place, even though I can't always find it.


This afternoon, UPS delivered one of my probiotics, so now I can start trying to repopulate my gut. I can't decide if the antibiotics are doing any good or not yet, but I'm still hoping. At least there haven't been any accidents or near-accidents lately. If I can get enough of the good stuff in, maybe that will help drive the bad stuff out.


So that was my quiet day, and it's time to toddle off to the north end and maybe write a little more. I have a wedding to write about. The sunset was swallowed up by a big black cloud, and it looks as though it may well rain some more, so it's a cool, soggy night in the field.


April 29

Well, that worked. I went up to the north end around 9:30, read and knitted until 10:30 and was in bed by 11:00. I could have gotten up at 7:00, but I thought that was too early, but I didn't really get back to sleep. so I got up around 8:00. I knitted and petted a cat for an hour or so. I finished the triangle and started the next square last night, and I have just about finished the square. 


There was a ladies' meeting this afternoon, and it was really good group. Two of our regular members are still out of town, but to make up for it, Rox, Peggy and Peggy's sister Debbie were there, and they are a jolly group. So we had a lot of laughs and a good time was had by all. Besides, Liz coaxed Bonnie out. She looks good, and she is walking about as well as she was before her surgery, which I guess is pretty good, since it was only about three weeks ago.


So that was a nice afternoon. I came home and played games through the talking, then I made pork chops, and they were good. I have been eating too many TV dinners lately, and it shows in my ankles. Now I have a horrible stove again, dirty pans in the sink, and parts of a food processor on the counter, so I have something to do tomorrow. Tonight, even though I used a 3 quart pot, the rice still boiled over - twice, on two different burners, for heaven's sake! Geez!


The weather was nice. It was clear all night long and into the afternoon before it began to cloud up, and the temperature got into the low 50s for a little while, although it was beginning to drop off by the time I got home. There was no wind overnight or this morning - oh, but the harbor was pretty! - but a moderate breeze sprung up this afternoon from the south. Now it is supposed to cloud up and rain, but I don't think it will be too cold.


When I got up this morning, there were two small boats with fishermen anchored out in the harbor at this end, and the water was glassy calm. So pretty! I wonder if they caught anything, but they were out about where Aaron had been ice fishing, so there may be fish in there.


So that was a nice day, and I'm off to the north end again. I'm not sure I will do any more knitting, since my hands are feeling rather stiff, but I will read a while and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour.


It's a cloudy, cool night in the field, and the rains are coming.


April 28

Last night it was about 11:00, I think. When I went up to the north end, I really wanted to read, but I knew where that would lead, so I knitted a bit instead. 


When my eyes acclimated to the dark, there were stars, and there were stars all night long. It was nice to look up out of the bathroom window and see Polaris nice and bright, so I think the seeing was pretty good. I didn't stay to watch much; I slept. For the past couple of weeks, I have had a window in the window seat open about 4", which gets the temperature just about right.


I think I am not dehydrated anymore, either. At least, I've gone back to my old habit of getting up about every 3 hours. Fortunately, it doesn't keep me awake for very long.


I got up about 8:00 this morning, but i knitted for a very long time. I finished the little triangle in the corner of the neckline and started the large triangle in the corner of the bottom, and I made some progress on that. After that is done, I have three squares to do, and the back will be done. I've decided to call this part the back, because, among other things, the ball I knit the first two squares on the second side out of didn't have any turquoise in it at all, so it almost looks like it isn't the same dyelot. That is what you get when you deal with handpainted yarns, but I was a bit annoyed.


So I had my breakfast and did my morning surfing. When I put out the bird feeders, I discovered that the tube of the tube feeder that I lost one perch from many years ago now has lost the other one, too, so instead of a three-tube feeder, I have effectively a two-tube feeder. The perch went away a couple of days ago, I guess, and I suppose it was a squirrel. I wish I could find the perch, because I might be able to glue it into place so it would stay. Whatever happened to the other one over the years, I don't know; I did have it for a while. Grr.


Then I attacked PastyNet, and my broadband speed is now back to 256kb. I guess there was some confusion about what I was supposed to have, but after I emailed practically everybody and called the office, Mike set it back to what it is supposed to be. It's nice, and maybe now I can stream audio when the radio is playing Wagner on Saturday afternoons and I can't get the news.


They did Gotterdamerung last Saturday, and even though it started at 12:30, it didn't end until nearly 6:00, what with the intermissions and all. I don't like Wagner operas. So far as I'm concerned, he was a wonderful symphonic composer who had the misfortune (or we have the misfortune) to think he could write opera. I have no patience with singers screaming at the top of their lungs over a 100-piece orchestra. Take out the voices, and he wrote some wonderful tone poems. Rant of the day.


Anyway, it meant that I couldn't get weekend ATC on either of the radio stations I can pull in, so I tried to go out to the internet, and I couldn't get it there, either. WUOM, in Ann Arbor, has stopped providing a Real Player feed, and at the speed my broadband was, Windows Media player wouldn't even connect. Or I think that was the problem. I didn't have any problems with it on the laptop when I was in Detroit and was getting really high-speed wireless. Not that Weekend ATC is very good, but I do like to hear the news two or three times, just to make sure I've heard it all.


I unloaded the dishwasher and began to reload it again, and I took out the trash that had piled up on the counter. I don't like to put big things, like takeout containers and empty juice jugs, in the wastebaskets in the kitchen because they take up too much room, which means I leave them on the counter until I gather them all up and take them out to the breezeway, where I have an orange bag in a bag holder.


Then, after dinner, I got myself together and got the last stuff out of the car - two crates of cat food, mostly, but some other odds and ends, including the tote I put the boos and the glasses in. Now I can wash the glasses and put them away and when I look in the cupboards, I will know where all the glasses are.


Otherwise, I knitted some more. I sort of decided not to put the coat of many colors away-away, so that when I get tired of doing something else, I can work on at it, and I took it to the bathroom after breakfast this morning and started another big square. I can't say I'm seeing much, if any, effect from my antibiotics yet. 


Oh, yes, and I went to the post office, where there was a large amount of mail for a change. Beginning of month, I suppose. Now I have lots of reading material again, as well as lots of bills.


It was a gorgeous day. It was almost to completely clear all day long, and the sky and the harbor and the lake were so blue! The temperature only got up to 43º, and that was just a little while ago, but there was almost no wind, and it was nice outside. It still is. All that sunshine warmed it up to 77º in the office, so I opened the window a little while ago, and it smells so fresh and nice outside.


There ought to be a little moon in the sky, so I will have to look, as soon as the sun sets.


When I put out the bird feeders this morning, as soon as I hung up the cedar feeder, a little nuthatch flew in and grabbed a seed, then it clung to the tree trunk, upside down, of course, looking at me. They are such feisty little birds, and they are almost fearless. I suppose they think they are so small nobody would want them. Besides the usual squirrels, there was at least one tiny chipmunk on the deck, and I looked out once and there was one squirrel on the deck and one in the cedar feeder. They are fearless, too.


So that was another quiet day, and I am planning to go up to the north end early tonight and maybe read for a little while. 


It's a cool, clear night in the field, and there will be stars.


April 27

It was 11:30 last night again, but I hope it will be earlier tonight. With the days getting so long, I am losing track of time. I got up around 8:15 (in fact, 8:13 for the second day in a row) and knitted and petted a cat for a while, but I was still eating my breakfast around 9:30. Amazing.


I sorted, folded and put away all the wash from yesterday, and I washed the down parka and stashed it in the cedar closet. At least I won't need that again for a while! I guess that was about all I did, except to knit on the coat of many colors. I decided I would do that for one more day, then I will go on to other things tomorrow. Now, what to do first...


The weather was cloudy and windy for most of the day. There was a little more measured rain overnight and before 9:00 this morning. The temperature got up to 50º for a little while before it dropped back into the low 40s, and there was a wind in the 15-30 mph range (or so they say) from the north-northwest, which is why it stayed so cold. I think the wind was stronger here than at the NWS station, as it frequently is. There were nice whitecaps on the harbor for most of the day. Around sunset, it cleared up, but there is a dark cloud over in the west, so I'm not sure there will be stars.


It was so windy that around 4:00 I brought in the bird feeders, because I was afraid they would blow away. Especially the big cedar feeder was whipping around so much that it could easily have broken its hanger again. So the birdies will have to eat off the deck and wait until I get up tomorrow. It is supposed to be nicer - or at least sunnier and not so windy - tomorrow.


The weather forecasts I have heard on the radio are interesting. We are already at the time of year where the lake is making the nights warmer and the days colder than the interior, which is curious. Usually I don't think that happens until later in the spring and summer.


The days are getting really long already, 14¼ hours today. The sun isn't setting until just about 9:00 already. While I enjoy the long days, it disrupts my sleep-wake cycle, at least for a while. I guess that if I don't mind sleeping in the morning when it is light, I shouldn't mind going to bed when it is still light, but somehow I do.


So that is about all I know, and maybe I can make it into bed a little earlier tonight, not that I feel the need for that much more sleep. It is nice to be getting up so early (well - for me, at least) and to have so much time during the day. Now I must start using that time.


It's a partly cloudy, windy night in the field.


April 26

I was later last night. I didn't turn out the light until 11:30. When I did, there were stars, and after thinking about it for a few minutes, I realized I was looking at Castor and Pollux. The last of the winter stars were sinking behind Brockway, and it looked very clear.


I was up several times during the night, which leads me to believe I am getting rehydrated, and that's a good thing. Buster started bugging me about 8:00, and since I had to walk anyway, I got up around 8:30. That was nice, but it felt weird to have such a long day.


I did something. I did five loads of wash, the last two of which are in the dryer right now. I washed the heavy fleece jacket I wear most of the winter. It didn't look dirty - it is gray - but I had been wiping various floors with it for quite some time, and I am sure it needed washing. That is air drying. The dishwasher is nearly ready to run. It isn't nearly full, but I have run out of cat dishes, so it's time to wash. I refilled the bird feeders, and I tipped over the white feeder right after I had filled it to the brim, so there is now even more birdseed on the floor. That is for another day when it isn't quite so cold and damp.


While all of that was going on, I worked on the coat of many colors. Not only is it pretty, it is a really fun project to knit. I looked over both the part I am working on and the first half, and I marked with safety pins all the places I could find where there is moth damage. There's a lot on both pieces, and wouldn't you know, the most damage is right down the front! Of course! It is all repairable, although it's a job I don't like. When I put the first half in a new sealed plastic bag, I soaked a piece of cotton with cedar spray, in the hope I can keep any more moths at bay. I've also found some moth damage in some of the balls of yarn, all of which are in plastic bags. I guess I didn't completely seal all of them.


I must stop doing this fun stuff and get to work on either something to make some money or the porch furniture. I need to make some nightgowns, too. So I should be adequately busy.


The weather started out OK but cool, and it is now cold and miserable. There was almost a little sunshine this morning, but it was mostly cloudy, and around 2:00 it started raining lightly, and it has continued ever since. Before it got dark, it was getting foggy over the mountain. The temperature got up to 41º briefly around noon, but mostly it was in the upper 30s with a 10-25 mph wind out of the south. Not nice weather at all, and particularly not nice for arthritic knees and backs. I was creaky and achy all day.


While I was eating dinner, I called Debbie and we had a nice chat. She has a bad cold right now, but otherwise she has been fine, and she is dealing with her various problems. I still say her life would make a good soap opera. She is still plagued by her ex and dealing with two teenaged boys. It was good to talk to her, since there was no way we could have connected while I was in Detroit.


Buster is acting funny again. He wants to sit on me all the time and I don't know why. I put the suitcases away this morning. I guess it might have something to do with my having been away last week, plus the unscheduled trip to Houghton yesterday...I am not in my usual rut, and that bothers him. Poor Buster.


I finally looked up the antibiotic I am taking, and I now know why they say no alcohol. The combination can cause nasty effects, which is what I figured. Well, if it works, it will be worth two weeks without my JD, although it's hard. I have always drunk because I like the taste of the boos (or wine), and I miss my nice JD. Somehow, milk or lemonade don't do the trick. Oh, well. I will survive, and just maybe this treatment will work. I'm hoping for the best, and I don't want to do anything that might mess it up.


So that was a nice productive day, and maybe I can continue this trend for a while. I know I was in a funk about having to go away, and now that I am back, and I don't have to go anywhere for a long time (although Debbie was talking about meeting me halfway sometime), I can begin to do some of the things I've been thinking about and not doing. 


Spring will come eventually, and I guess I have to admit that the longer it holds off, the more I hope for a relatively cool summer. I noticed that there is a very little bit of green showing in the grass and weeds in some places, even though there is still quite a mound of snow beside my driveway, and the Lake Lily Glacier is still about 4' high. There are people who live around here who go away in April, and I guess I can see why. It tends to be dreary, cold, and miserable, punctuated occasionally by a blizzard or two. However, I can still look out on my view, and that is satisfying at any time of the year.


So it's a cold, rainy, miserable night in the field, and it's time to toddle off to the north end.


April 25

I turned out the light a little before 10:30 last night and immediately saw lightning, and shortly thereafter the heavens opened, and we had over ½" of rain in an hour...total of 1.18" from 8:00 through midnight. It didn't keep me awake much. I was up several times, because I had been drinking things, I'm sure. I was awake at 7:00, and that was too early, so I went back to sleep and it was 9:30 before I woke up again. I should be caught up on my sleep.


So I petted a cat and knitted a bit before I had my breakfast and did my daily surfing. When I tried to call the Wal-Mart pharmacy, they were closed...they close between 1:30 and 2:00 when there is only one pharmacist on duty, which is weekends. Oh. So I called right after 2:00, and yes, my prescription was there and ready.


I decided I didn't want to wait to start my treatment, so I took off for a fast trip to Houghton. It's a shame to go all that distance for only one thing, but try as I might, I couldn't think of anything else I needed. So I got my pills and gas and I was back home about 4:30. When I read the instructions about the pills, they say to take them with food, so they are now on the tray I eat off of, and - oh, horrors! - no alcohol while I am taking them! Well, I guess this is important enough to sacrifice my before-dinner drink for a couple of weeks. Now it better work. I took the first dose with dinner. We'll see what happens. I have hope.


Otherwise, I spent quite some time knitting on the coat of many colors, and I found another square that had been chewed on. I am making some progress, though. I also decided to take another look at the first side (which I discovered I finished in 2001). There is definitely some damage, but I think it is repairable, and it doesn't seem as bad as I remembered, and I looked at it pretty carefully. Then I put it away. I have decided that I am going to knit for a while. All the repair work and the working in of all the ends will just have to wait until I stop knitting. In looking over the yarn, I found two colors that I don't think I have enough yarn. One is different shades of red, from pink through brown, that really adds spice to the piece and is used a lot (which is why I don't have enough). So out on the Internet I went, and I found a place that carries all the colors and had it on sale for $2 less than the place I got the original kit from. That was nice, because it is expensive yarn everywhere.


Then I decided that if I am going to take all these antibiotics and sacrifice my drink, I had better make sure I am taking the best probiotics, so I went out to the place run by the author of one of the books I got and got some of theirs. I guess I will be taking three kinds for a while now, but that should populate my gut with the right stuff.


The weather was cold. It started out very cloudy and dreary this morning, but about the time I started for home - around 3:00 - it began to clear up, and sunset was lovely, mostly clear. The sun is setting way out of the camera range now. The temperature here was around 41º all day, although it got up to 45º in Houghton, and the wind was around 10 mph from the north. I guess we are in for another couple of days of rain, but there isn't any mention of snow in the forecasts anymore. Thanks for small favors.


While I was knitting this evening, there was a little chipmunk out on the deck, so they are alive and kicking. And one squirrel spent most of the afternoon hanging in the tube feeder. I still think it must take more energy to get into that thing than they can get by eating. I would have filled the feeders, except that there were a bunch of chickadees and nuthatches and I didn't want to chase them away. There haven't been any goldfinches lately, so I guess they are wherever they go to molt and the next time we see them, they will be bright yellow.


So that was a rather lost day, except that I am, I hope, starting the cure for my elimination problem. Tomorrow I have to wash.


It's currently a clear, cold night in the field, although it is supposed to cloud up and rain later.


April 24

I went up to the north end around 9:00 last night, and I was in bed by 10:30, even though I read through part of the story I had been writing. I doubt I'll be much later tonight. I crashed. I was awakened around 12:30 by thunder, and we had a nice thunderstorm, but mostly it was out over the lake, and it didn't rain much, I don't think. I woke up at 7:00, which is the longest uninterrupted sleep I have had in a very long time. I went back to sleep for a while, but I got up around 8:30, and that's the earliest I have gotten up normally in a long time. I feel much better today, although I am getting tired now.


I didn't do anything with my long day. In fact, it felt weird to have so much time. I was too creaky to get the stuff out of the car or completely unpack the suitcase. I did go to the post office, where there was hardly any mail at all. This must be an off time, or else the advertisers and charities are in such bad straits they can't afford to send out any snail mail. 


This evening, I got bored with games and dug out the coat of many colors, where I had to rip out the last two squares I knitted because of the moths, and I knitted on it through the talking. I would like to attempt to finish it sometime, even though there is going to have to be a lot of repair work on the other side. This side is in better shape, at least so far. I have been keeping it in sealed plastic bags, though, and I hope that will help. It is such a pretty thing. Most of the yarns are handpainted, and they are really pretty color combinations.


Around 6:00 (!) I got a call from Dr. Schade, and the reports are 50-50. The really good side is that they found an overgrowth of a kind of bacteria that shouldn't be in my gut at all and there are at least two antibiotics that should kill it off. YEAH!! So he sent a prescription to Wal-Mart, and as soon as I can get there to pick it up, I will hope to be on the road to recovery from my IBS. Oh, I hope so!!!!


The not-so-good news is that my levels that indicate kidney function (createnine and BUN) are up a bit...not a whole lot, but some. That might be because I was dehydrated when they did the tests, and we'll hope so. He wants to get it retested in a couple of weeks when I am thoroughly hydrated, so I will have to trundle down Portage Health when I get the order and get more blood drawn. I'm sure I was dehydrated all the time I was in Detroit, although I probably was the last times I was there, too. I'm not sure what can be done about it except watch it and hope it doesn't get worse anyway.


I went out to the internet and ordered some more of the probiotic I had stopped taking, so that I will have something to replace what gets killed off. That was a trip, too, when I discovered that the cheapest price was accompanied by over $5 in shipping charges per item, and it took a call to Amazon plus a lot of backing and forthing before I found a reasonable price with a reasonable shipping charge - and that seems to be only if it's UPS (or FedEx, I'm not sure). Since some of my candy was delivered yesterday, I'm assuming UPS knows it can get down the road now. I'm learning that you have to watch those shipping charges. Amazon is pretty good about theirs - if you ship standard and have over $25 in merchandise, shipping is usually free - but some of their associated merchants aren't so good and some of the shipping charges are simply outrageous. So are the prices. They were quoting prices from $13.50 to $22 for the same item from different sources! Geez!


The weather was interesting. It was mostly cloudy, and the temperature got up to 57º around noon before it dropped back into the 40s when the wind shifted around to the north. Then around 8:00, we had a rather violent thunderstorm with hail, the first I can recall since I've been here. It is over now, though, and it is supposed to be cold and the rain may be mixed with snow tomorrow. I think I'll stay home.


Now it's a dark, dank and cold night in the field, and I think I will go to bed.


April 23

I think it was around 11:30 when I finally fell into bed, and I don't know of anything that could have kept me awake. I was up several times, but that didn't matter. I woke up around 6:45 and decided that was just not enough sleep, even though it would have meant getting home much earlier. I finally got up about 8:00, I think.


I packed up the car and managed to get the wireless to work for about 5 minutes, which was long enough to send the three emails I couldn't get out last night and check the weather here before it crapped out. I had breakfast - of which I brought half home. The portion size in my favorite breakfast had gone back to what it was last spring. I don't know what happened last fall. Anyway, I will have a good breakfast tomorrow, too.


I had a chat with the management about the wireless before I took off, and I started out just before 9:30. I don't know quite how I managed to get moving so fast, but it was nice. 


They are apparently rebuilding the I-75 business loop through Grayling, so I took a detour and ended up not getting onto the freeway until several miles north of the Grayling exits. I saw some new territory, and there wasn't any traffic at all. In fact, there wasn't any traffic all the way home. There were times on the freeway and in the UP when I could have been alone in the universe. That made it a really easy drive - set the cruise, point, and relax.


I pulled into the garage a few minutes before 5:00, which I think is pretty good time. Buster came before I got the door open, and as soon as I sat down in the powder room, Jasmine turned up, too. I know Buster is happy to see me, since he's been bugging me ever since, and I think Jasmine was, too. I got the essentials unloaded, and the cold stuff into the fridge. I had only eaten half a sandwich and a bottle of lemonade during the day, so I warmed up my fried rice, and it was good.


The weather was mostly very good. It was sunny and 40-ish when I started north, and it stayed in the low 40s and sunny with some high cirrus clouds until I got to Munising, when there was a dark cloudbank over Marquette. That's happened to me before. There were even a few drops of rain. As I continued west, I ran through the clouds and by the time I got to L'Anse, it was sunny and in the low 50s. It was downright nice out when I got gas at Baraga. Here, I think it was sunny all day, and the temperature was 45º all afternoon, with a strong southwest wind. Earlier in the afternoon, there were gusts over 40 mph, although now it's in the 15-30 mph range.


It did snow while I was gone, but not very much in Copper Harbor. Marquette got hammered, especially in the more downtown areas. I would say they got at least a foot. All the bare spots along the road all the way to Mohawk are covered, and it continued all the way to the Mountain Lodge, where the golf course is all white again. So I only saw the beginning of it on Monday. Most of it happened overnight and Tuesday.


Then this morning, Marquette set a new record low for the day: 17º. I said a long time ago that I wouldn't want to live in Marquette. Their climate is much more extreme than it is in Keweenaw. I think it is because of the Huron Mountains to their north and west. Since they are the biggest town in the area, they have advantages we don't have, but I don't like their weather very well.


There wasn't much ice along the shoreline between Munising and Marquette, but Munising bay is still mostly ice-covered, as is the south entry and Portage Lake areas. Almost all the inland lakes still are iced in. Spring is coming very slowly this year.


So now I am home, and I have a cat on my lap, which does make it hard to type. He is staring at my hands, as if to say, hey, you're supposed to be on me, not the keyboard.


I will admit it was a successful trip - everybody thinks I am just fine. I forgot to mention that apparently I have lost 10 pounds since October. I don't know quite why or how, although I have been trying to limit my portions, mostly to keep the gall bladder under control. Evidently it is working, in spite of the chocolate. Now, if I can just keep it up, by the time I die I might be close to my ideal weight. Dr. Schade, the internist, suggested an exercise machine that I will be looking around for that might strengthen my legs without putting all the weight on my knees and ankles. And I got my fecal bacteria test. And I don't have to go anywhere until October.


It's a clear, happy night in the field, and I don't think I will be awake very late tonight. I'm home.


April 22

Well, let's see if I can get this thing updated. I'm having my usual problems with the wireless at the Ramada Inn in Grayling.


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, but I had trouble getting to sleep, and then about 3:00, somebody checked into the room next door and spent the next hour or so talking and laughing and apparently bouncing up and down on the bed. Sigh. It didn't help that I had to start taking Imodium in the middle of the night.


So when I got up, at 7:30, I really had not had enough sleep. But I got up anyway and I got myself together and went off to the dentist.


Wonder of wonders, they didn't find anything wrong. How amazing!


The next stop was Kroger's, where I laid in a nice selection of cheeses including the aged gouda my dentist was talking about. We'll see how it is Then it was the mammography place, where I found out that the woman who made my appointment didn't know what she was talking about, and I could have gotten an earlier appointment. Not that it mattered anyway, because they were servicing the machine when I got there and there were four of us waiting. Once they started doing them, it didn't take long, but I had to wait a while.


I still had plenty of time, so I went down to the Hill and had a very interesting lunch at Lucy's. I thought about going to the Hill (restaurant) again, but I haven't been to Lucy's in quite a while, and they usually have some very interesting items on their menu, and they did today. I had some kind of duck dish that was yummy but a bit more than I really needed to eat.


Then it was the internist, and we had quite a long and interesting discussion about vitamins, IBS, and some other things. He gave me an order for a fecal bacteria test and the blood test for the vitamins. Then I discovered that the fecal test had to be returned to them after I did it. Well, that posed some problems, so I went to the bathroom and proceeded to take the samples for the test. That is messier than I like, but I got it done and returned the bottles to the lab. I will be very interested in the results.


My appointment with the internist was at 2:40, and by the time I got through with everything, it was after 4:00. I was really afraid I was going to get horribly stuck in traffic. Well, there was a lot of traffic on I-94, and right after the I-696 to I-75 interchange, and that was it. I was shocked and amazed by how much less traffic there was than when I was there in October. What a good way to tell just how badly Michigan is hurting.  In spite of that, it was after 7:00 when I got here, and I had a light, late dinner.


Oh, yes, and memo to self: don't buy a drink in the dining room. They are small and expensive. After this I will drink in my room.


The weather was rather weird. It was in the upper 40s to low 50s and mostly sunny in Detroit, but about the time I started north, waves of black clouds started coming over and dropping rain on me. That continued almost all the way here, with periods of sunshine in between. I must have switched glasses a dozen times. Some of those clouds were remarkably black, and when I got out on I-75 and could see some distance around me, there were lots of clouds with heavy virga in them, too. It was kind of neat.


I haven't been able to check the day in Copper Harbor, but it was 36º the last time I was able to see it, and the sky seemed to be completely clear at sunset. However, Ron said that school was delayed for 2 hours this morning, so I guess they had some problems cleaning up after the snow yesterday.


Now I will have to fight the weird wireless in this place and try to get this updated. I am tired and sore and it will be very good to get home tomorrow.


April 21

Well, let's try this one more time. This is an old laptop, with a slow processor and not much memory, and I just can't run FrontPage and still stream audio. So I won't try that again.


I got to bed around 11:15, mostly because I sat around doing nothing for too long. I didn't sleep well, but that's normal for the night after I take a sleeping pill. I also did something to my left arm and shoulder, and I had a very hard time time finding a comfortable place for it. I had been sleeping on my left ear long enough that I couldn't sleep on it again, so I did a lot of thrashing. I woke up around 7:30, so I got to do my morning surfing, have something to eat, and get ready for the day in a more or less leisurely fashion.


The first stop was the oncologist. Dr. Lehman was in a jolly mood, and he had a resident with him, so I got to tell my tale to her myself. Then it was, get a mammogram and a chest x-ray, and come back in six months. Fortunately, I was able to get the chest x-ray right away, or I don't know what I would have done.


I went directly to the pet supply store, where I laid in enough cat food for several months, including some varieties I haven't found around home. The kitties will eat well, at least.


Then it was back to the motel, where I had the rest of my special wonton soup for lunch. That is so good!  Besides wontons, it has pork strips, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, pea pods, and mushrooms in it and maybe some other stuff as well. Yum! I dripped enough of my soup down my front that I had to change tees, which is why I always bring a couple of extra tops and bottoms (I overflowed my incontinence pad yesterday and had to wear a different pair of jeans today). I pee my pants and slobber down my front on a regular basis.


After that, it was off to the eye doctor, via Lakeshore Drive. The lake wasn't very pretty today, but at least I got my water fix. All was well at the eye doctor, too. My cataracts are developing very slowly, if at all, and otherwise, my eyes are healthy. There was another doctor there, too, but she is an emergency room physician at St. John's who is trying to learn enough ophthalmology that she can treat eye problems. I give her credit.


Getting back to the motel after that is always a trial, since I can barely see at all even with my sunglasses on, and the afternoon traffic was beginning, but I made it. I had an interesting conversation with the guy who cleaned my room, who is entirely too smart and too well-educated to be doing what he is doing, but at least he is doing an honest day's job. So I listened to streaming radio and knitted until dinnertime.


Dinner was at the Blue Pointe, which has become my regular stopping place when I'm in town. They have sautéed lake perch, which were very good. Yum. I have been going to that place for at least 40 years, and it's still good. I also like to go because I always come away feeling young again, since the average age of the other diners is close to that of my parents and many of those people are more decrepit than I am.


The weather...oh, the weather! Here, it was in the upper 40s all day with alternating rain showers and almost sunshine, and a brisk southwest wind. It wasn't very nice out. However, on the way back from dinner, it was raining and the sun came out, and there was a lovely rainbow out in the east, the first one I've seen in quite a while. Too bad most of it was hidden behind some building or another.


Copper Harbor was another story. It rained or snowed or something all day long, and there was enough snow that I could see it in the garden. The temperature hung at about 34º all day, and there was a northeast wind mostly in the 25-35 mph range. Ugly. The report is that Mohawk and Houghton got nearly a foot of snow since yesterday morning. No wonder they called school! Well, I still would rather have been there. If that's the case, the official snowfall for the season will be more like last year's.


So that was my day. Tomorrow, it's the dentist in the morning, then the mammogram, then the internist, then I can start home. I may be able to stick in a fast trip to Kroger (for cheese) and a nice lunch. After that, it's off to Grayling and I'm on my way home. Thank goodness.


I have to say that all the trauma of resurfacing Mack Avenue is over, and it was definitely worth it. I don't rattle my teeth out when I drive on it anymore. Spring has come here, after all. The grass is incredibly green, and the magnolias and weeping cherries are out, as well as the daffodils and crocuses, so it's very pretty. There are still just as many, if not more, houses for sale, and some of the ploys are getting very creative. At least one enormous pile had a sign on it saying "trade option", whatever that means. I'll be glad to get home.


April 20

I'm here.


I made it into bed by 10:15 last night, which must be something of a record. I slept well until about 5:00, by which time the sleeping pill had worn off and I started thinking, but I had set the alarm for 6:00 anyway, so I didn't have to lie around long. I didn't have a lot to do, and I didn't do all of my morning surfing - just the emails and the weather reports - so I left the house at 8:15. Amazing. It's been years since I started off so early.


It was a good thing. It was only raining lightly in Copper Harbor, but somewhere down there, it started snowing, and it snowed hard from L'Anse to Ishpeming, up in the highlands around Michigamme. It didn't help that I got behind some real idiots, and all the passing lanes, when I could see them at all, were in such bad shape that there was no passing anybody. What a mess! It took me over 3 hours to get to Marquette.


It rained all the rest of the way here, more or less hard, but the traffic was so light until I got to Troy that it didn't matter a lot. I didn't go my usual 77.5 mph, though. I kept to 75, just in case, and because it was sometimes really hard to see what was in front of me. There was a nasty crosswind for most of the trip, too, so it was not a fun trip.


At the bridge, they now have the southbound lanes closed off, which made things very slow, since it was windy enough that they were escorting the big rigs. The wind there seemed to be from the east, and there were breakers and big whitecaps on the east side of the bridge and nothing much at all on the west side. The water was an interesting color, too, very pale green where it wasn't gray. I have never seen it that color before.


The temperatures were just over freezing in the upper, and in the lower 40s in the lower, and it was a nasty day altogether. Not comfortable for arthritis, either. I am very creaky.


However, I am full of Chinese takeout now, and that is nice.


I think perhaps I have finally figured out the wireless thing, but I'm not sure. It somehow got installed permanently, and all I have to do is plug it in and it locates the nearest hot spot. Or at least that is what it did in Grayling last fall, and that is what it did here tonight. All the stuff that I deleted was superfluous, since it doesn't run under Windows ME anyway. I wish these hardware people would give you the option of just installing the minimum, like drivers, without all the rest of the junk they try to foist off on you...and they should know there was no reason to install all that other stuff, since it doesn't run under ME anyway. Dumb, dumb, dumb.


However, I have a running Internet connection, and that's all I really care about.


I haven't been around town enough to really tell, but it looks to me like spring is very late here. The forsythias are out, but I didn't see much of anything else in bloom. When I was here at this time last year, the early bulbs were out, as I recall. However, they are saying it might snow a little tomorrow night, so I suppose it's just as well.


So that is all I know, and I will start trying to get ready for bed so that I can be up and attem tomorrow at a reasonable hour.


It's a nasty, cold night and I'm not in the field.


April 19

Well, I think I'm ready to go. As usual, I keep wondering if I've forgotten something, but so far, everything seems on track.


I read over what I had been writing, but I got to bed around 11:30 last night, and I mostly slept well, except for a while early this morning when I began thinking about the trip and all. I got up around 9:30, and after I petted a cat for a few minutes, I filled the pill dispensers.


I did my morning surfing and began to pack up the stuff in the office that I want to take. I still have to take out my briefcase, and of course the laptop, but I made sandwiches and put the stuff in the cooler that needs to go and a lot of small stuff in the car - camera, boos, lunch, and so forth. I didn't forget my pillow.


I got awfully hot while I was doing all that, and my various aches and pains started acting up, but I think that was mostly because of the weather...more about that later.


I finally had to get out the luggage, so Buster now knows I'm going. When I sat down at the computer and he got on my lap, there was a tear in his eye. He just hates it when I leave, and I think Jasmine does, too.


The clothes are packed, I think. I'm not taking very much. I like to wear something with short sleeves when I go to the doctors, because it makes it easier to get my blood drawn, but it is going to be cool in Detroit, so I will wear a tee under a shirt. Nothing dressy - it's a denim shirt. I won't take the barrel bag and the train case to the car until morning, because there are always a few last-minute things to put in them.


The weather was nasty. The temperature was between 35º and 39º all day, with a gusty south wind, and around 5:00 or so it began to snow or rain or something. Nasty. It was dark and dismal all day. The forecast for the next two days is also nasty, and it seems I will be driving in rain or snow or mixed stuff all the way to Detroit. Nasty.


While I was working in the kitchen, I was watching a flock of mergansers out in front. There seem to be more males than females, and the males seemed to gather in a big flock, I think maybe around one female, and they were going after each other. There was another female all by herself away from the males - I don't know what her problem is - and there was one pair that were ignoring the whole thing. I don't know what the mating dynamics of mergansers are, but there were not only a lot more of them than I have ever seen before, there were a lot more males than females. I wish I could stay and watch them.


However, I am ready, and I am going. I am hoping to get away early tomorrow, because the driving isn't going to be the greatest, but we'll see. Now I will publish this and move it to the laptop, pack up the laptop, and put it and my briefcase in the truck, then I can take my bath and my sleeping pills and go to bed.


It's a rainy, nasty night in the field, and I can't express how sorry I am that I have to leave.


April 18

I don't remember what I did last night, but I think I wrote for a little bit and fell into bed around midnight. I got up around 9:30 this morning and petted a cat and knitted a bit before I got dressed.


And I didn't do very much at all. Tomorrow will be busier. I did get the kitchen pretty much cleaned up, or at least the stove side is OK, and there isn't much on the counter around the sink except for the pots and lids I washed, which I will put away in the morning.


I ended up spending most of the afternoon playing with computers. I wanted to get the anti-virus software updated on the laptop, and I wanted to back up everything to the TravelDisk and move the important stuff to the laptop. In the course of doing that, I discovered that I never converted the January and March journals to Word, so I spent most of the afternoon doing that, and of course I had to read them. I keep thinking I proofread these things before I publish them, but I sure keep finding a lot of mistakes, including missing words and strange punctuation. Sorry if that confuses you. I keep trying to do better.


I also finally put the CraftStors back in the closet and closed the closet door. Now Ron will be able to get in without tripping over something, I think. There is also a little more open floor in the office, but not much. I cleaned off the desk a little bit, although I will do more tomorrow. There were several things I thought about doing that won't get done.


Oh, yes, and I edited the registry on the laptop. Last fall when I was traveling, I got into a situation where I couldn't get rid of the entire wi-fi software and I couldn't reinstall it because the installation program said it was still there, even though all the files were gone. It finally dawned on me that it was because a registry entry had not been removed, so today I did that. I can't test it until I get to Detroit, unfortunately, but I think that was the problem.


I ate dinner late, because I got a new kind of stuffed chicken breasts yesterday - Stuffed Chicken Parmesan - and I decided to try it. They are good. It took a while to cook them, though. 


When I went out to the kitchen, I looked outside and there were some ducks swimming in the harbor. The ice has been pushed down to the other end, and there is quite a bit of open water at this end. They looked funny, so I got the binoculars, and the mergansers are back, and the males are in their breeding plumage, which is nearly all white. They are going around in pairs, too. I saw something else move - it was getting dark - and when I looked hard, there was a deer munching away at the grass and stuff in front of the pump house. It stayed for quite a while, and it seemed to be finding quite a bit to eat. Spring is here...spring is here...even though there is still ice on the harbor and snow in the woods.


It was a very dark, dismal day, but it didn't rain, unfortunately. The temperature was weird. It hit a high of 44º at 2;00 AM, then it dropped off quickly, and it was 36º for the rest of the day...it still is. The wind was absolutely calm for most of the day, except for the period between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM when it got up to at most 5 mph, from the north or east.


I was glad I was here and not down in Detroit, where it got up to 75º this afternoon. That is too hot too soon. Fortunately, I think it is supposed too cool off into the 50s before I get there. I hope so. I'm not ready for that yet. The only problem is, it is supposed to be even cooler here, and they are predicting snow for Monday. I hope not; I hate to drive in snow and rain.


So that was another day, and now I must go off to the north end and refill the pill dispensers. I still have another week to go, but I don't want to go away with just one week's worth of pills just in case the world comes to an end and I end up stuck there. Tomorrow will be busier.


It's a dark, cool night in the field, and I wish I didn't have to leave.


April 17

I wrote for a while again last night, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00, because Buster was beginning to really bug me, but I wasn't doing more than dozing anyway. I had the window open overnight, and that kept the bedroom cool enough that I was comfortable. I knitted a while - I forgot to mention that I started the second side of the back of the sweater yesterday - and I petted a cat. 


When I got to the office, the temperature at the NWS station was already 60º! I opened the window, but there wasn't any particular wind.


I really goofed off today, unfortunately. I still feel tired, and when I got my Schwan's order and took it downstairs, along with all the stuff I got yesterday, my back was bothering me a lot. So nothing got done, and a lot of things I thought I might do aren't going to get done at all before I leave. 


The weather was, as they say, unseasonably warm, except that it kept varying, and I wished that I had an accurate thermometer outside. For most of the afternoon, the temperature was in the low to middle 60s, although at 3:00 it dipped to 55º, then at 4:00 it was 68º. It dropped down a little, then between 7:00 and 8:00 it dropped from 64º to 45º, probably because the wind shifted around to the north. There really wasn't much wind at all except for a few minutes here and there. It was cloudy all day. Now it is going to get back to more normal temperatures for this time of year, and apparently I am going to have rain all next week.


I did do one thing. It was so warm in here when the temperature went up that I managed to get the screen repaired in the patio door screen...and then I can't get it into its track properly. I fiddled and fiddled, but there is just something wrong with the little wheels, and I can't get it into its track so it will stay. It is there now, and if I can keep it there, I will try to wait until Adam comes for his spring thing and get him to work on it. I don't know what the trouble is. One of the wheels won't retract and the other one doesn't want to stick out or move back and forth. I was quite frustrated by the time I stopped fiddling with it. The thing is, the way it is now it doesn't fit close enough to the right hand frame to completely close it or lock it. I hope it stays in place.


Actually fixing the screen wasn't too hard, although I had to do it twice. The next time it gets really messed up, I may just get a bunch of screen and the plastic stuff that keeps it in place and fix it myself, instead of paying to have it done for me.


I was sitting and doing my thing while I listened to the talk programs when the cats started bouncing around. The door wasn't open, because by that time it was cooling down a bit. When I got up to get my dinner, I looked out at the deck, and there was a huge flock of cowbirds! For heaven's sake! I hate cowbirds, and I certainly didn't know we had that many around here! 


Oh, yes, and when I got up to make my mad dash to the bathroom after breakfast, there on the deck and on the tree was my yellow-bellied woodpecker, the guy who isn't supposed to be here. He is a really pretty bird, with a brown and white ladder back and a large red spot on the back of his head. Of course, I had to move fast, so I just caught a glimpse of him. So the summer birds are beginning to come back. I haven't seen many goldfinches lately, so I think they are going wherever they go to molt, and when they come back they will be all bright yellow.


So that was my useless day, and I am still tired, so I think I will try to call it a night, maybe write a little bit and try to get to bed early.


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


April 16

I really meant to get to bed early last night, but there was something I wanted to write, so it was midnight before I turned out the light. I didn't sleep well, and I think it was because I was warm, which wasn't surprising, considering the temperature outside and all the sunshine.


Anyway, I got up at about 8:00 this morning and petted a cat and did my morning surfing, so I was a little late getting to the dealership. That didn't seem to bother them - the service department was all sitting outside enjoying the morning. It didn't take long to install my new fog light, so my car is now back in shape again. I was on my way to Houghton by 11:00.


That was a little early to eat again, so I shopped first. Econo had specials on chicken breasts and large packages of pork chops, so I got a few more things than I intended. I also completely stocked the wine rack, so my total was rather high. That is one reason I started shopping only every month: I discovered that if I shopped every two weeks, my total was nearly the same as if I shopped every month, and it was costing me too much. Anyway, now I have enough wine, boos and orange juice to last until the end of next month, I think. Schwan's will come tomorrow, and between that and what I got today, I will be able to eat well.


After I finished the shopping, I went to Ming Bistro, mostly because I had forgotten to visit the lady's room at Econo and I had to use it, but I had a nice lunch, and even so, I was back home before 2:30. Makes me wish I could get out as early every time I go to town, but that doesn't seem to be possible. I was so tired when I got home that I nearly fell asleep at the computer, but I did get everything out of the car and stashed away, including splitting up the pork chops into smaller portions and into the freezer.


When I sat down, I discovered that I had dripped Sichuan beef down my front. I got a nice, big pale blue long-sleeve polo shirt last summer, and it seems to have become a disaster shirt. The last two times I have worn it, I have dripped down myself the first day I wore it. I will wear it out washing it. It's a shame, since it's very comfortable and good-fitting. The tendency to dribble on my front is one thing that I find very annoying about getting old, but after talking to my friends, I guess it happens to all of us, and it annoys all of us just as much. I had debated washing before I go south, but I guess I will just have to do a few loads.


The weather was lovely. The temperature jumped from 37º to 46º between 8:00 and 9:00, and it continued up. It got all the way to 59º at 7:00 this evening, and it was so lovely that I opened two windows and the sliding door in the great room, which delighted Jasmine. There was almost no wind at all for most of the day. The temperature is dropping now, of course. It wasn't completely clear. By the time I got to Houghton, there were some high cirrus clouds in the sky, and they continued for the rest of the day, but they didn't interfere with the sunshine very much.


The snow is going slowly. The roads and the shoulders are all clear and dry, but there is still a lot of snow in the woods, and the inland lakes are still ice-covered. It just takes it a long time to melt, if the temperatures are as cool as they have been. Most of the snow is dirty now, and it isn't nearly as pretty as it was earlier. The Gratiot River was running when I passed it. I had hoped to use Cliff Drive, but they still have the "road closed" signs up, so I didn't. I wanted to look at Eagle River and see how it was. I didn't take the camera, because I figured there wouldn't be much to see, and I was right. This is a rather dull time of year.


So that is about all I know, and I really am tired tonight. I think I will open the side window in the window seat a little bit tonight and maybe get the bedroom cool enough to sleep...but I doubt I will have much problem tonight anyway.


It's a cool, partly cloudy night in the field.


April 15

I had something I wanted to write last night, and as a result, it was 2:00 or so when I finally turned out the light. Not what I intended, but oh, well. I got up around 9:30, which was not enough sleep, but oh, well.


I knitted a while and petted a cat, and after I did my morning surfing, I filled up the sunflower seed pail and refilled all the bird feeders. 


While I was doing my morning surfing, I noticed some motion outside the windows, and as I looked up, two deer walked across the backyard, followed by three more! A herd! Three of them apparently went on, but later, there were two of them finding something to eat between the garage and the propane tanks. They are still wearing their grayish winter coats, but I imagine they will turn red pretty soon.


Then it was off to the ladies meeting. There were only five of us, but they are a good crew. The other Sharon had two darling baby quilts, one with strips of views from the old-fashioned Dick and Jane books. It is going to be a raffle quilt for Aspirus Keweenaw (the old Keweenaw Memorial, in Laurium), and it is cute. She had also made a smaller flannel quilt in the "deck of cards" pattern, using pink, blue and aqua that was really pretty. I showed them the piece of the sweater that I'm working on, but otherwise, we just talked and watched the birds at Carolyn's feeders. I am jealous that she has more woodpeckers than I do out here in the woods!


The weather was beautiful. It was clear and sunny all day. The temperature dropped down to 27º at 5:00 this morning, but it rose to the upper 30s as soon as the sun rose, then around 2:00, it jumped to 54º - I think that's about the first day over 50º this year. It stayed over 50º until 8:00, then it plunged to 37º, on its way down, because of the clear skies. There was hardly any wind at all.


One of the reasons we left Carolyn's when we did is that she had a neighbor come over to burn the weeds along the west side of her property, and she wanted to be there while it was going on. She was not pleased that the fire was up at the corner, while the guy was raking at the back of the property!


When I got home, I worked on the angel for a bit, and slowly, ever so slowly I am making progress. I won't finish it before I got to Detroit, though. I did get some done on the sweater at Carolyn's - I was the only person who brought anything to do, but I do better when I have something to keep my hands busy.


So that was a nice day, and I need to get to bed early tonight, because I have to be in Calumet at 10:15 tomorrow - ugh! That means I will have to leave here at 9:30 at the latest, and that means I have to get up early. Ugh.


It's a cool, clear night in the field, and slowly, ever so slowly, the snow is melting and spring is coming.


April 14

I had read something in the big story that I wanted to check in one of the ones I am writing, so I had to read that when I got up to the north end, and as a result, it was after midnight when I turned out the light. I was only up twice. I woke up around 10:00, and Buster started bugging me, so I got up around 10:15. 


Not that I did anything except go to the post office, where the only interesting stuff was a couple of my favorite catalogs. I paid a few bills, and that was it.


I started looking at the sweater this morning, and I realized that if I made it as long as it was getting to be, it would be too long - down to my crotch - so I brought it to the office and tore out two and a half squares, plus the little triangle. I redid the triangle, and I have started what will be the last square on that side. That is the only problem with making something in squares: the length and width can't be completely adjusted. I think think the real problem is that the squares are 7" instead of 6¾". and that makes just enough of a difference that it would be too long. It will be a little wider than planned, but that's all right.


Otherwise, the only thing I did was to begin to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. I will finish that before I go up to the north end.


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy most of the day, although there was a little wan sunlight. The temperature got up to 45º briefly, but it was 39º for most of the afternoon. There was little to no wind at all. I noticed that we had the statewide low for the day - 31º early in the morning. Oh, that great big heat sink we live on the edge of! 


So that was a quiet day, and I'm off to the north end, with a stop at the dishwasher. It's a cool, calm night in the field tonight.


April 13

I can't remember exactly what I did last night, but it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, and I got up around 9:30, although I felt like I could have stayed in bed. Tomorrow, maybe. I petted a cat and knitted a little bit before I had a fast breakfast and went off to my massage. It was time. My middle back had tightened up enough that my mastectomy scar was pulling, and I felt much more comfortable afterwards.


That always leaves me feeling tired enough that I didn't do much for the rest of the day. I worked on the angel, and that was about it. I won't be leaving the house in very good shape when I leave next Monday, but oh, well. I still have time to do some things, too.


The weather turned cloudy, but there was no rain or anything. The temperature only got down to 28º overnight and it went up to 42º - our normal average - this afternoon. There was a very light south wind. 


When I came home after my massage, I looked over into the backyard, and there was mom deer and her fawn from last year looking at me. They just stood and watched while I drove into the garage before they ran off, but when I went into the powder room, mom deer was eating a few things from over the drain field before she went away. I am glad to know they made it through the winter, and they both look to be in pretty good shape. The fawn is still only about half the size of mom. I don't know how long it takes them to get to their full size, or maybe mom is several years old. They are such pretty creatures, and they move so gracefully. I didn't think there was much green stuff growing yet, but they were finding something...probably my wildflowers. I wish I could train them to eat tansy.


The car dealership called, and my fog light came in, so I will be going down to Calumet on Thursday morning (yikes - another early morning!) to get it installed. I figured I might as well do everything on one day, and if I'm in Calumet, it's not much further to go to Econo and get the things I need to eat on my trip. I could have gone tomorrow, but I want the lunchmeat to be as fresh as possible, and I don't want to make two trips down there this week.


So that was the excitement of the day. It's a cool, dark night in the field, and I'm off to the north end again for a long sleep.


April 12 - Easter Sunday - The Resurrection of Our Lord

I hope you all had a happy and blessed Easter. I did.


I got to bed shortly after 11:00 last night, a little later than I'd hoped, but I slept well, and I think the first time I woke up was 6:30. Of course, the alarm was set for 7:00, and I had just about fallen into a deep sleep again when it went off. Sigh. I never have liked getting up before the sun rises. I petted a cat for a few minutes before I got dressed in about the dressiest clothes I have these days: my good black flannel slacks and my hot pink boiled wool jacket. I had to dig into the box of jewelry boxes to find a pin to wear at the neck of my shirt, and I wore my rings and bracelets and my lapis watch. No earrings. I don't have pierced ears, and it would have taken too long to find something suitable in those boxes. I was gratified to find that my fingers weren't swollen and I had no trouble getting my rings on. That has been a problem for the past few years when I wasn't wearing them every day.


So I packed up my contribution to the brunch - a big bowl of fresh grapefruit sections - and trundled off to church.  I didn't count how many people were there, but I would guess at least 25, and it even surprised the regulars. It was a nice service and a good sermon, and then we had a very nice brunch. There were two frittatas, lots of sweet rolls, baked French toast (yum!!), and everybody liked my grapefruit. So I came home with a plate of goodies for the week.


Then at 2:00, I went over to Mariner and joined Peg and Don and three guys for a lovely turkey dinner - and they were serving enough for two meals. So I took the other half of my dinner home and warmed it up tonight. It was good. Afterwards, Peggy and I had time to have a nice long conversation, which we rarely do. I got home from there about 5:00.


So now I am sitting here in my robe and slippers and shortly I will trudge up to the north end for a long night's sleep. I am tired.


It was a beautiful day, sunny and warmer than lately, although there were some clouds in the sky at sunset. The temperature briefly got up to 44º and it was over 40º for most of the afternoon. There was a very light southwest wind. It seemed warm enough that I didn't wear anything over my boiled wool jacket when I went out this afternoon. Now, that is more like spring!


However, I have to report that the snowbanks down in the culverts are still up to the middle of the windows of my car, so there is a lot of snow left to melt. We got to talking about the guys who go ice fishing, especially at this time of year, even sitting on the edge of an ice floe with their lines in open water. We decided that was dumb, but that's where the phrase "crazy fisherman" comes from.


Buster was not pleased when I got up so early and then spent most of the day away from home. Jasmine doesn't seem to mind that so much. When I came home this afternoon, she was sitting on the ugly chair's footstool in the sun, all very comfortable, although she moved when I saw her there (of course!). They did like the window I had to open because it got so hot in here.


So that was my nice social day, and it's time to call it a night. It's a clear (I think) cool night in the field.


Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


April 11 - Holy Saturday

I jumped into bed around 11:30 last night, but it took me a while to get to sleep. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out which side I'm going to sleep on, and last night it was my right side, and not until I turned over onto that side did I fall asleep. I was only up once during the night, and I don't remember exactly when it was, but it was late. I got up around 9:30. I had to walk, and I didn't see any reason to go back to sleep because I had some very vivid, very weird dreams. I petted a cat for a while and knitted, but it was still early when I got to the office.


I have now managed to make cereal in the microwave twice without overflowing. I got several emails from people telling me how they do it, and I thank all of you, but it seems that you must be using instant oatmeal. I use the "quick" kind, and the multi-grain cereals I like so much all require cooking. I have discovered, however, that if I watch what's going on and stop the microwave and stir when it starts to foam up, and turn it on in small increments, it seems like I can avoid a mess. I have this same problem when I cook cereal on the stove, so it doesn't surprise me that it happens in the microwave. I don't use the single-serving packages of oatmeal, because they have too much salt in them. And even though I like oatmeal, I love the multi-grain (and sometimes organic) cereals. Today I had a 7-grain kind. It has something in it that can impart a bitter taste, but a little real maple syrup takes that away.


The only problem with eating cereal for breakfast is that I get hungry two or three hours later, so I had a can of soup around 3:00 this afternoon. I tried Campbell's "38% less sodium" chicken noodle soup, and it's not bad. It still has too much sodium, but nothing like the outrageous amount in their regular chicken soup, and it tastes pretty good. If I have something with more protein in it for breakfast, I usually don't eat lunch. I used to have an English muffin with peanut butter along with my cereal, but these days, that is much too much food. I decided to lay off the eggs (and associated butter) for a few days.


I feel much better today than I did yesterday, but I am watching what I put into my tummy, just in case...nothing spicy and nothing excessively greasy. Well...almost.


  • I went to the post office today because I knew that both my packages from Amazon would be there, and I was quite surprised to find three packages. The third one is three (!) pounds of See's Candy, from Arthur and Mary Ann. I am very glad to know they are still around. I haven't heard from them since Christmas. And I really appreciate the candy. I have been yearning for a little sweet after dinner lately, and I'm afraid to eat too much fruit. But three pounds...wow! See's is about my favorite reasonably-priced candy. It reminds me of the good old days in Detroit, when Sander's was still in business.


Otherwise, I didn't do much. I began loading the dishwasher, so that I could find the counters. I sat down in the ugly chair and picked up the angel for the first time in a long time. I was just getting into it when Peggy called and invited me to dinner tomorrow...turkey! There will be brunch after church, so I doubt I'll be very hungry, but that's turkey - yum!


Eventually, I sat back down at the desk, out of the sun, and I really did manage to get quite a bit done on the angel. I am doing metallics, and that is picky work. I found a spot where I had put in one too many stitches in white, so I had to rip that out and fix it. I hate to rip and repair, but I want it to be right, too. The whole bottom of the angel's robe is full of gold and silver swirls and dots, along with some beads, and getting everything in the right place isn't exactly easy. This angel has some places where the designer used big (4mm) "pebble beads". They are shaped like seed beads but they are huge. I haven't completely decided if I'm going to use them. They will make it hard to frame the angel with glass, and after all that work, I want glass over my angel. I can't really add them until after I wash and iron the piece anyway, so I have lots of time to think about it.


It was another glorious day, at least to look at. The temperature bottomed out at 24º at 8:00 this morning, then it went up quickly to 34º, where it stayed all afternoon. There was a light wind all day, from the north in the morning, then it switched around to the east later in the day. The weather station was reporting calm winds, but when I opened the window (which I did twice, it got so hot in here), there was quite a frigid breeze coming in. I really need to get the screen back on the sliding door. If the wind was from the north and east, having the slider open a crack would have been perfect, but with my furry friends, I don't dare do that without an intact screen. There was not a cloud in the sky for most of the say, and it was so pretty!


Our temperatures are running at least 5º below normal, and you can see that from the ice. Down by the public dock, though, there is no ice at all on the harbor - the winds have pushed it all down to our end.


While I was sitting in the ugly chair, I noticed a male red-wing blackbird sitting in the tree looking a bit confused. I think he is early anyway, and there certainly aren't any places for him to stake out his nesting territory yet. There was also one little redpoll eating the little seeds off the deck as fast as he could, and I think I saw more than one nuthatch in the feeders, as well as the usual flock of goldfinches. The goldfinches aren't even beginning to get their breeding plumage yet.


Syd wrote to tell me that Ron had seen bear tracks around their house, which is down at the other end of Lake Lily, so it might have been a bear that removed the feeder from the hanger. I'm still not sure of that, because last year, it just pulled everything down, including the branch. This seemed a little delicate for a bear. However, I guess I will just leave the feeders full when I go to Detroit and see what happens. I expect that when I get back, I will have to start bringing them in at night. What a pain, but I do love to see the migrating birds.


So that was another quiet day in the field. I am going to try to get to bed earlier tonight, so that I can get up around 7:00 and get to church with my offering for the brunch without being completely wiped out.


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


April 10 - Good Friday

I read for a while last night and got to bed about 11:30, and I slept pretty well until 9:30 or so, when I got up. 


Buster was not pleased with me, because I knitted for quite a while. I finished a square and a small triangle and started the last square on what will be either the right front or left back. This is going rather quickly.


I did my morning surfing, and about 12:30, I was about to get ready to go to church when the guys came to fix my cooktop...they thought somebody else had called me. Well...no, nobody called. They worked fast, and got everything back together in time, although I was the last person to come into church.


What was nice about the repairmen is, besides having my cooktop fixed, I found out how to take it apart. It has so-called "sealed burners", but the top is not all one piece - a really dumb design - and stuff, lots of yucky stuff, gets under the edges of the burner trays. If we'd had more time, I would have insisted upon cleaning it up before they put it back together, but I wanted to go to church. One of these days, Syd will want to help me with the kitchen again, and we can take it apart and get it all cleaned up. In fact, after seeing the thing in pieces, the entire cooktop is a really dumb design, clearly designed by a man who never cooked and never had to clean up the kitchen...and never listened to his wife, if he had one, either. I keep hoping that someday kitchen and laundry appliances will be designed by people who use them, but so far I've been disappointed.


Anyway, then it was off to church, although I almost didn't make it, because the guys were driving extraordinarily carefully on our road and extraordinarily law-abiding on US-41. They stopped at the general store, though, so I took off and got there just before 1:00. Whew! I know I tend to cut things fine, but I had intended to try to get to church a bit early. The best laid plans...


It was not a long service, but it was a nice one, and Pastor Lloyd had a good sermon. There were nine of us and three little kids, all of whom were very well-behaved, and I guess that's about the most that usually come to that service.


I did find out that Bonnie came through her knee surgery just fine, and although she is still having good and bad days, she is doing better than she did with her first knee. That was good to know. She may be released from the hospital today or tomorrow. We will miss her, especially on Sunday.


So I came home and didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon. I read a while tonight, while listening to Mozart's C-minor Mass, which is so gorgeous, especially the soprano solo part.


I am still having some trouble with my tummy, and I suspect it may have something to do with my gall bladder, so I am trying to talk my body out of that. And NO, I will not be having surgery of any kind, anywhere, in anything less than an absolute emergency, so don't anybody even suggest it. If you had been through all the medical stuff I have been through, you might understand better why I feel that way about it. It feels fine right now, but maybe no more fried egg sandwiches for breakfast for a while.


The weather was pretty again, although there were a few clouds in the sky during the middle of the day. The temperature hit a low of 21º at 7:00 this morning, then it rose quickly to about 34º, where it stayed until after sunset. The wind was around 10 mph from the north. It got so hot in here late in the afternoon that I opened the east window a bit, and I can report that it smells a bit springy outside, even though it's still cold. I didn't leave it open very long, but it did make it more comfortable in here.


Buster was a bit interested in the window, although he was more interested in what I was eating (a TV dinner). Jasmine wanted to smell the air, but for some reason she was more skittish than usual tonight and she ran away every time I looked at her. What a weird little kitty!


So that was my day, not exactly what I had planned, but it was good to go to church again, and the weather was nice. I just hope this doesn't mean it will be horrible when I have to drive to Detroit, but I'm going to enjoy it while it's here.


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


April 9

I went up to the north end early last night, with the idea of reading a while. As I usually do, I took a big mug of ice water. After I took a big drink, all of a sudden I started having stomach cramps. Not abdominal cramps, stomach cramps. I took some Rolaids, which only helped a little bit, so I was in bed before 11:30. It took me some time to get to sleep, with my tummy, but eventually I did. I was up several times during the night, mostly because I got hot, and I finally got up around 9:30. 


Liz called while I was still in the bathroom, so I got dressed and had my breakfast - cereal, which made my tummy feel much better. She stayed for a while, and we had a nice conversation, and she wants to put my stuff in her gift shop, which she is enlarging. She owns the Eagle Lodge, which is down M-26 a ways. She liked the necklaces with the white spotted beads, which Peggy didn't, so now I have a place to try to sell them. She also liked the beaded pins, so I can sell those. And she was enthusiastic about the note cards.


So I guess now I can start doing something. I washed the velour bead mat I use to hold my beads, so tomorrow it should be ready to go. What do do first...hmm...Liz said she would take anything I wanted to try selling. I'm not sure how much traffic she will get in her shop, but she wants to add "gift shop" to her sign in Copper Harbor, as well as putting it on her web site, so at least it's another outlet. Of course, it will be all on consignment, but I guess that's the way I'm going to have to go.


After she left, I made the mistake of having a glass of lemonade, and I spent a good portion of the next couple of hours in the bathroom, wondering if it was all going to come up. Some more Rolaids eventually settled things down, and I had a bland TV dinner and only one small glass of wine, and so far so good. I don't know what I have, but clearly it's a bug of some sort, and I certainly hope it will pass soon. I will try to get to bed early tonight and sleep long and hard, and maybe that will help, too. Right now, although my tummy is OK, I don't feel very good.


The weather was lovely. It wasn't too warm - about 34º all day, although it was one of those days when the temperature depended on which side of the house you were on. There was a north wind in the 10-15 mph range, and there was almost not a cloud in the sky all day. All that blue sky! The ice is still all down at this end of the harbor, so there wasn't any blue water, but it was still pretty out there. I do so like it when people come to visit on pretty days, so they can see what I love about the place.


I showed her the whole house, and we routed Buster out of his nest in the covers on my bed. He was very gracious, which I appreciate. Of course, we didn't see Jasmine at all, although a bit later in the afternoon, they were both asleep on the sofa, although not cuddled up together. Later, Jasmine moved into the pink chair, which is her favorite, and which wasn't completely in the sun. I guess she got hot. Buster will stay in the sun until you'd swear his blood was coming to a boil.


So that was my day, and the moon is rising in a clear sky, and it's a clear, cold night in the field.


April 8

I read a while when I got up to the north end, and I got to bed before midnight, but I didn't sleep very well again. I kept waking up with both hips sore, and all hot. There were some weird dreams, too, that upset me. Every time I got up, the moon was shining brightly outside, and for a long time it was shining right into the bedroom windows and making a wide glitter path on the ice. Pretty!


I got up around 10:30, and I petted a cat and knitted a little bit, but I had to get ready to go to Calumet, so I didn't do a lot but my morning surfing.


It was a beautiful sunny day for a ride, but it was chilly out. I made good time. There were more people going in the other direction than I would have thought, but not in my direction. I forgot to take the camera, but I didn't see anything to take pictures of anyway. The snowbanks are still high, at least on the north side of the hills, and there is a lot of snow in the woods. Where the sun has been shining, there is bare ground, though, and most of the snow along the sides of the roads is grimy and ugly.


I now have new oil, and my trip back was much more comfortable, with everything greased up. When they do that, they check everything about the car, so I am set to go south. However, they have to order the fog light, so I will have to take the car back, probably sometime next week. That is going to be a busy week.


I got home about 3:30, and I didn't do much but listen to the news.


However, I was drinking some red wine (Yellow Tail, and it's good), which always makes my face flush, and the temperature in the office got up to 75º, so I decided to take a walk out onto the deck, since the temperature out there was around 44º. I was standing there, looking things over - the birdbath has emerged from the snowbank - when I looked down, and there, at the base of the stairs, was my bird feeder! I know I looked over there the other day when I was searching for it, so I have no idea where it was then. So I went down the outside stairs and brought it back, and I have my feeder again. It is in the house right now, since I will have to refill my pail before I can fill it. I'd rather wait until the pretty feeder is empty anyway. Now, where it went, and how it got there is just beyond my understanding. It has nothing at all wrong with it, and I don't know how it ever got off that branch hook. Really, really weird.


It wasn't exactly balmy, since there was a rather brisk wind, and it doesn't smell springy yet, but it was good to be outside. I was walking back up the deck when I looked in the windows, and there was Jasmine, sitting on the scratching post, looking at me like I came from another planet. I guess I don't go outside very often, and it really startled her to see me there. She stared all the way to the door, and when I looked at her from inside, she was still staring at me. I suppose her problem is that she would like to get out there, too, and she wondered how I got out when she couldn't. I must go out more often.


The temperature started out around 33º and briefly got up to 43º, and there was a brisk northwest wind, in the 15-30 mph range, mostly. That has pushed the ice all down to our end of the harbor, although there is open water between the plates of ice. The sky was completely clear until around sunset, when there were a few clouds in the sky. Before I turned on a light, I could see the light of the moon shining on the cupboard in the office, so I think it will probably be mostly clear tonight, too. The sky is a bit hazy, and with the moon being just about full, it isn't possible to see any stars, but oh, my, that moon!


It is possible that one of these mornings, the camera will catch the setting moon over the mountain. I will have to remember to keep looking.


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


April 7

It was rather late when I started the journal last night, and of course, with the picture, I had to use FrontPage to publish it. For some reason beyond my understanding, FrontPage decided that something had changed about the borders and it needed to copy every page in the website that has borders...grrr! As a result of that, it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well, for some reason. I think it was warm in the bedroom, or something.


Anyway, I got up around 10:30, I think, and I finished another square, much to Buster's disgust. Two more whole squares and a little one, and I am finished with the first quarter of the sweater.


I decided to have oatmeal for breakfast today, and I decided to try it in the microwave. Well! I put it in a 4 cup measuring cup, and after a couple of minutes, I looked in the door to see the oatmeal crawling up the sides of the cup, down the outside and onto the turntable! Yuck! When it was done, there was more cereal on the outside of the cup than in the inside. Fortunately, I was able to rescue most of it, but it was a real mess. I am not sure what one has to do to cook something like cereal in the microwave, but clearly I haven't figured it out yet. Oatmeal cooks just as fast on the stovetop, but that 8-grain cereal I like so well is much faster in the microwave, if I can figure out how to keep it in the bowl.


I didn't do much else. I went to the post office, and I moved stuff around in the office, but since I haven't decided just what I want to do next, I didn't get anything moved out of the way. I got the dishwasher ready to run tonight, and that was about it.


The weather was cloudy and windy for most of the day. The temperature was 28º for most of the morning, then it rose to 35º, where it is now. The wind was in the 25-35 mph range for most of the day, although there were some gusts of nearly 40 mph early in the morning. The wind is dying down now and shifting a bit toward the west, although the lake is still kicking up a fuss. Late in the afternoon, there was some sunshine, and it was at least partly clear at sunset. Pretty soon, the sun will disappear out the right side of the camera frame. It's pretty close already.


The wind kept the birds mostly away from the feeders today, and I was happy to see that the pretty feeder is still there. I sure do wish I knew where the tube feeder went! That is really weird.


Tonight I read for a while, but not too long, and I plan to go up to the north end as soon as I get through with this, and maybe even get to bed at a reasonable hour for a change. Tomorrow I have an appointment in Calumet to get my oil changed and maybe get the fog light fixed, so I can't dawdle around.


It's a cool, breezy night in the field, and I hope the lake will sing me to sleep.


April 6

I did read for a while before I took my bath last night, so it was about 12:30 before I turned out the light. I didn't get up until about 11:00 this morning, and you would think that was enough sleep, but I am tired again...of course, it's almost 11:00 now.


I knitted a while and petted a cat, but I didn't accomplish a lot today. I made the reservations for my motel rooms, ugh. 


I was sitting at the computer, and for some reason I had to look at the last picture from the camera, and it suddenly hit me that the bird feeder was gone! I went out onto the deck, and it wasn't there, so I actually went downstairs and out under the deck and it isn't there, either, although I did find a wire feeder that was missing. I decided since I was up and outside, I would fill the feeders that were left, and I looked along side the house, and it isn't there, either. So my tube feeder has gone missing completely. I hope eventually it turns up. That was about the best feeder I've had, and I'd hate to lose it. I put out the pretty feeder instead, but it isn't as good, because it doesn't hold as much.


I wonder if a bear has awakened, although it seems like it might be a little early for that, since there is still a lot of snow in the woods. Anyway, it's a mystery.


One reason I sat and read so long last night is that the lake was singing loudly, and it has been doing the same all day. The north wind has been in the 25-35 mph range all day, and the ice has gone enough that the lake is beating against the shore with its usual ferocity. That's one of the weird things about winter around here - the wind can blow a gale, and yet we can't hear the lake. Now we can again, a sure sign that spring is coming. The temperature got down to about 26º for several hours this morning, and it has now risen to 34º. I'd expect it to go down at night, like it does in the summer, but that doesn't seem to be the way it works these days. The sky was partly cloudy early in the afternoon, but it clouded up late.


I noticed that the sun is setting in the gap between Porter Island and the lighthouse, and about 8:25, I saw a reflection of the sun in the south windows, and it seemed very red, so I checked it out, and it was. I can't get any good pictures of the sun even on the horizon, but I watched, and about five minutes after sunset this is what I saw. That is not a good picture. It was taken at about 1/30 second, and I am just not steady enough anymore to hand-hold the camera at that speed, even if it's braced on the deck railing. However, it's the first picture in a long time, so I thought I'd post it. I actually took three, and they all were just as fuzzy, although I think the fuzziness in the clouds was real.


They are saying we could have a little snow tonight or tomorrow, and those did look rather like lake effect clouds. April is not spring in Keweenaw!


I read the big story for a while tonight, but I am going to try not to start on the blue binder when I go up to the north end. I am starting the largest section of that one now, and it engrosses me so much I don't want to put it down.


So it's a cloudy, windy night in the field, and the lake will sing me to sleep.


April 5

So last night, first it was a magazine, then a catalog, and apparently I just didn't want to go to bed, so I almost didn't. I got up around 10:30, and discovered that Buster (I assume it was Buster) had barfed on the rug in the bathroom. So he sat on my lap and I knitted for quite a while, and it was 1:00 before I got to the office.


I mentioned the other day that I was going to try cooking my newest cereal in the microwave. Well...it overflowed all over everything, and I overcooked it, so it was kind of a mess. I will try it again, for less time, but I don't know about the overflow. I could do it in a big mixing bowl, but that would be sort of hard to eat out of.


Anyway, I cleaned up after that and put some stuff in the dishwasher, and that was about all I did for the day. I am tired.


I did my turkey tonight, because it is easy, and it turned out good, although turkey tenderloins cook much faster than boneless breasts, but the results are just as good. That is not quite such a healthful dish as I remembered - it has half a cup of butter in it. It is very tasty, though, and it is about as easy as anything.


The weather was cold and mostly cloudy, although it cleared up a bit around sunset. The temperature dropped down to 28° between 11:00 and 2:00, and it has now risen to 33º. The wind was from the northeast around 15 mph, although it is now getting gusty, with gusts up to 25 mph. They are predicting a possibility of snow for the next couple of days.


I read some on the big story tonight, and found even more typos. There are a lot of things Word misses that I can't understand, especially considering some of the things it does see. Back in the dark ages when I got my first computer (before the age of Windows) there was a stand-alone grammar checking program that was just wonderful. Microsoft bought it, and I always thought they had used it in Office, but that is clearly not the case, because it could catch things Word just doesn't. I guess I wouldn't feel quite so bad about Microsoft buying out all the competition if they didn't trash everything they buy.


So that was a truncated day, and I am going up to the north end shortly and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour.


It's a cold, breezy night in the field, and the lake is singing.


April 4

Last night it was looking at embroidery projects, and it was almost 2:30 when I turned out the light. Sigh. Tonight will be nearly as late. Sigh.


I got up around 10:30, and I finished another square on the sweater and started a new one, so I was late getting to the computer, and I didn't do much else but go to the post office. I am still looking at embroidery projects. I think I will probably do a couple of the little Just Nan things I have been collecting. They are less than 3" in diameter, so they work up fast, and they are kind of fun to do. Most of them have some kind of charm in the middle. 


The weather was charming, although it wasn't very warm. The temperature hung right around 32º all day, and there was a light wind from the north. There was hardly a cloud in the sky all day long, and there was plenty of sunshine and lovely blue skies. The harbor is beginning to get blue, too. There is still ice close to shore, but the center of the harbor is ice-free, and it was very blue today. Lovely.


Speaking of ice, I have the same strange open spot in front of the house that I had at this time last year. The other day, I saw something that looked like a rock in it, and I thought that was strange, especially when I looked later and there was no rock. Well, yesterday, I looked out, and I discovered that the "rock" was a goose with its head under water and its tail toward me, and there was another goose on the ice, standing guard. I think this is the pair that has nested on Porter Island for quite a few years, that I saw flying over town on Wednesday. I feel sorry for them. It must be hard to find food at this time of year, but I'm for sure not going to start feeding them! That way lies disaster.


I started reading the big story tonight, which is why I am so late. That is a story I really get involved with when I read it. I also am finding a goodly number of typos that Word just doesn't catch, so it's good to re-read it. When I finished transcribing it, I didn't want to look at it anymore, but that was a while ago. I really don't like reading on the computer (take that, Amazon!), but holding that humungous binder on my lap was painful, too, so I guess this is better. I would rather read white letters on a blue background, but then the underlines Word uses to indicate things it thinks are wrong don't show up at all, so I have to keep black letters on a white background, and that is hard on my eyes.


So that is all I know, and it is far past time when I should have gone up to the north end. As far as I know, it's still a clear, cold night in the field.


April 3

Well, I got to reading again, and it was 1:00 when I finally got to bed. Tonight, I've already done my reading, so I can dispense with that. I got up around 10:30, because I had been up at 9:30 and couldn't go  back to sleep.


I didn't do a lot, but I got the stuff out of the car and put away all the cat food - we are well-stocked in that department for some time to come. 


I spent a lot of time looking at cross stitch charts and kits, trying to decide what to do next. I suppose I should do some beading, but it doesn't turn me on right now. Once I get what I took out today put away, I think I will attack the sewing machine at last, and at least get it oiled up and ready to go.


The weather was blah again. It was cloudy, and the temperature stayed between 30º and 35º all day. There were light north winds. Blah.


So I guess I don't have much to say tonight, and I will trudge up to the north end after Schubert's "Trout" Quintet is over. Unfortunately, my radio station seems to play their best stuff after midnight.


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


April 2

I went up to the north end at a perfectly reasonable hour last night, but then I started reading, and it was almost 1:00 when I got to bed. Sigh. I was a bit wakeful during the night, but part of it was that eating my own cooking (sort of low sodium) began to get the fluid out. I was doing pretty good, though, when Ann called at 10:00 to say she wouldn't make it to lunch. She has an awful cold, and she didn't want to infect anybody. I need a nice alarm clock like that.


I got up, but I knitted a while, and started a new square on the sweater, and then I did my morning surfing, so I was really late getting away - about 1:00. Oh, well.


It certainly is nice to have clear, dry roads once more, so that I can go at a reasonable speed. It only took me an hour to get to Houghton, and it's been a long time since that happened. Not that there isn't still a ton of snow around, it's just that the roads are clear. I wondered a little about the road from Delaware to Mohawk, because it looked a bit white and there were tire tracks in it, but I think it was just salt and cars driving over the salt when it was damp. I certainly didn't feel anything that was the least bit slippery.


My first stop was Wal-Mart, where I laid in a lot of cat food and a spline tool. That's the thing you use to put new screening into screens. The way that patio door is, I have the feeling I may be using it a lot. There were a few other things, and I did get a few things to play with, but nothing sensational. They have changed who they're getting their jewelry supplies from, and there are no more seed beads like I made the blue and the tan twisted necklaces from. That's the thing that annoys me about big-box stores - all of them. You find something you like and want, and then they stop carrying it. Grr. I also picked up a couple of remnants of lining material and something like Wonder Under, which is the sticky stuff you iron two pieces of fabric together with. Wal-Mart doesn't have good remnants. I remember a couple of stores I used to visit (all gone now) back in the good old days that had incredible remnants, all marked down half off. I got a bunch of fantastic stuff, including some off-white UltraSuede (I wonder what happened to that? I could use it. It has to be around here.) for incredible prices.


Anyway, even though I couldn't meet Ann, I did go to Ming Bistro, but I was so late that I got in on the dinner prices, which start at 3:00. It didn't matter all that much, actually, since it's all you can eat for under $12. It's just that lunch is under $9. I wasn't all that hungry, but it was good. I've discovered that their food is better you don't go during regular lunch or dinner hours. They still have the best Crab Rangoon I have ever eaten, and their Sichuan dishes are good, too...as well as some other things. One thing they had, which I didn't have, was baked salmon, and it looked pretty good. They had a mixed seafood dish that was good, although there was at least one thing in it that I couldn't identify. And their cashew chicken has water chestnuts in it. Yum. Compared to what other people eat, I don't eat much at all, but at least I get my Chinese fix every so often.


Then it was off to Econo Foods, where I stocked the wine rack and the TV dinner shelf in the freezer. I did good. I thought long and hard about yogurt, but I didn't get any. I will be going back in a couple of weeks to get something to eat for breakfast while I am in Detroit, and I will get some then. I like yogurt, but it does have calories. I did good there, too, and I got away for under $300. That's for almost a month's stuff. It was in part because I didn't get much meat and no deli. Since I am now doing OK with eggs and cereal, I don't have the breakfast problem anymore. However, it did include wine and JD and some cat food I couldn't get at Wal-Mart.


I did get some turkey breast filets. I really love turkey, much more than chicken, and I have a neat recipe that cooks in the Dutch oven, sort of like a turkey pot roast, that was a mainstay while I was on chemo. This is the first time I have found the right cuts of turkey (although half a breast works, too). They don't carry Turkey Store products here, which is where the recipe came from. One thing I like about it is that it is cooked in liquid, which leaves the meat much moister than most turkey breasts. 


One of my aims is to try to keep my eating on the low-fat side until after I get to Detroit, to prove to the doctors that it's what I eat that gives me slightly elevated cholesterol most of the time. Not that I plan on long-term changes. I just want to try to prove something.


It was late when I got out of Econo, and then I had to fill my gas tank, so it was 5:00 before I started for home. There was a little traffic in Houghton and Hancock, but not much from there north, and I sat down before the computer at just about 6:00. The nice thing is, it was really much earlier by sun time, so I got to come home in daylight and see the sun set. 


Wow, I just looked at the last picture, at 9:01, and I am going to have to adjust the stop time, particularly if there is much more clear weather. It was perfectly clear and not nearly dark.


The weather didn't start out that way, and it wasn't that way for most of the day. The temperature stayed right around 35º all day, and there was a strong west wind, although just how strong, I can't say. The weather station says the gusts didn't get over about 25 mph, and I know that is wrong. The weather station is sheltered on that side. There were incredibly strong gusts battering my bedroom all night long, so I would say the gusts were well over 35 mph, at least during the night. It was cloudy for most of the day, although there was enough sunshine that I wore my sun glasses on the trip south, and I could have used them for a while on the trip north. It was clearing up when I got home, but it wasn't until about sunset that the clouds finally all went away.


There should be a moon up there someplace. I could just barely see it peeking in and out through the clouds after I went to bed last night. Maybe tonight, I will get a good look at it.


I sat for a while before I unloaded the car, and the stuff I got at Wal-Mart is all still in there, but I don't feel too bad. My feet hurt, but that is normal, and my knees don't feel so good when I stand up, but it's not bad. I think I got everything I needed. So that is done for a while. I ate enough late enough that I'm still not hungry, so I had my wine and that was it. I will have my sandwich tomorrow, maybe for breakfast.


I am going to try to cut down on the amount of Fancy Feast cat food I am giving the kitties. I have to give them two cans a day, which is much more expensive than Friskies. Friskies has come out with some chicken and turkey in gravy, which is what Buster, at least, likes...hang the meat - he wants gravy! He is a funny little cat. I have found that what he likes best is one can of FF with gravy mixed with one can of ground up...boy, is he spoiled! I don't know what Jasmine eats, except she likes dry food, but I don't think Buster is eating the whole two cans (or one can of Friskies) by himself. I wonder if she will ever let me watch her eat.


Buster has figured out how to tell me his water dish needs refilling, by the way. This morning, while I was brushing my teeth and so forth, he went over to the toilet and stuck his head in. Fortunately, he didn't drink, because it isn't that clean right now, but I looked at the water dish, and it was empty. Oh. Okay. He didn't drink when I filled it, but he did sniff it, as if to say, well, about time. 


I noticed yesterday that one of the screens in my breezeway windows had come out and gotten sort of bent out of shape, enough that I may have to have a new screen made. When Ron does the driveway, he clears a  small area close to the house so I can back out into my "Y" and drive out head-first, and the remains of that get thrown into the breezeway windows. It is still halfway up the windows, by the way. Anyway, whatever happens with the screen, it is clear that next winter, I'd better plan on taking the screens out for the season. I keep the windows at least partly open all summer, so that the breezeway doesn't get too hot, and I need those screens! When I can finally get to the one that is bent, I will see if I can straighten it out before I try to get a new one.


It's a clear, calm night in the field, and it's time to trudge up to the north end and probably repeat last night's hours.


April 1

I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night, and I read for a while, and I still turned out the light at 11:45, so that was good. Sometime during the night, I woke up and when I looked out, I couldn't see anything down the harbor, so something was coming down, but at the time I didn't know what. I got up around 10:45, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.


I had almost finished my breakfast when I realized I had waited a bit too long, and I didn't quite make it to the bathroom, so I had to change everything from the waist down...and I just remembered that there are two pairs of jeans in the washer that need their second rinse. Be back in a minute.


So I packed up what I wanted to show the ladies and picked up the other Sharon, and we were off to the ladies' meeting. There weren't very many of us today, but it is a good group, and we all had things to show everyone. I showed them the beginnings of the surprise jacket, and the consensus is that it won't do, but one of the ladies, Liz, offered to buy the yarn from me to make baby blankets from. So I ripped out what I had knitted, and I will give it all to her. Somehow pale blue, pale pink and white isn't the right combination for an adult surprise jacket. I also ran out of a ball of yarn about 10 (very short) rows from the end of a square on the summer sweater, darn it. That is the trouble with magic squares and yarn that only has just over 100 yards a ball. And I offered to teach one of the other ladies how to knit socks on a circular needle. We'll see what comes of that - she knits continental style (yarn in left hand), so I may just ask her to show me how she purls in exchange.


Phoebe came with Carly, who is doing well again. What she had was a stroke, in the part of the brain that controls balance, so she was in a state. She sleeps a lot now, and she has some limited motion on her right side, but she is doing rather well, all things considered. She is a nice friendly dog, but that is partly because she has a nice, friendly owner. 


We didn't stay very long, but it was a nice time. Two of the ladies I know are out of town, and Carolyn is leaving tomorrow. 'Tis the season. I think this year, my Detroit trip is on an off week, which is nice.


When I got up this morning, there was a little new snow on the ground, and the road was particularly slushy and nasty, but there was no more snow until after I got home, when a lot of big, fluffy snowflakes came down for about 5 minutes, then it turned into something else, which might have been light rain. The temperature got up to 39º, and the minimum was only 34º, so it was yucky. This morning, there was a rather strong south wind, but it died down late in the day. Of course, it was cloudy all day.


While we were sitting in Carolyn's great room a pair of geese were flying around, and she had a lovely hairy woodpecker at her feeders.  I wish I would have woodpeckers at my feeders, but she seems to get a greater variety of birds than I do.


Now it is time to trudge up to the north end and prepare for tomorrow, when I have to go to town and buy food, and I will have to go to Wal-Mart, because their prices on cat food are so much lower than anyplace else. However, I am meeting my friend Ann for lunch again, which will be nice.


So it's a cloudy, damp night in the field, and spring keeps trying to come.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM