A View From the Field








May, 2009

May 31

End of May. Amazing. This has seemed like a long month, for some reason.


I think I was in bed before 10:00 last night - certainly before 10:30 - but I was up every 2 hours or so. I got up around 9:00 this morning because it looked like I was done sleeping for a while. When I was up around 2:00 (twice), the little moon was hanging over Hunter's Point, and I was actually seeing two moons - one in the front windows and one reflected from the window seat onto the mirror over the dresser. It was a neat effect. Both of them were pale yellow, and there was a nice glitter path on the harbor. It had just about set when I went back to sleep.


The biggest problem with this getting up so often is that with what I have to do, I may be up 15 or 20 minutes, and sometimes I have to get up again shortly after I lie down, so I am more awake than usual and it takes longer to get back to sleep. So even though I've been down for a long time, I am not getting my quota of really quality sleep. I keep hoping it will stop soon.


However, I had an accident this afternoon. Maybe that means I am making progress, but it's a messy way to do it. Fortunately, I have on the oversized tee, so the only things that got messy were me, the underpants and the toilet. When I am over this, I am going to have to thoroughly disinfect those toilets, especially the one in the powder room. In the meantime, I am washing my hands a lot.


Other than that, I didn't do anything. I read a couple of the magazines and books that came yesterday - I think I'll keep the books - and played on the computer. A real blah day. The kitchen is a disaster, but that will have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest.


The weather started out cold but lovely. It may have frosted in the interior, but our temperature never got below 37, thanks to the big lake, and it never got over 43 all day long. There wasn't much wind. It was clear when I got up, but some clouds soon began to appear, and in the course of the afternoon, it clouded up and it has been drizzling for the past hour or so. They are saying there may be rain tonight. Promises...promises...


Buster was very loving this morning. I don't know if that means he is sick or he knows I am, but he even kept purring when I stopped petting, which doesn't happen often. Otherwise, they were both very somnambulant all day long, and they spent quite a while this afternoon curled up on the navy blue chair in the great room together. I've noticed that while they often go away by themselves in the morning, frequently they spend the afternoon not very far from me, which is a nice gesture.


What I don't understand is, when DC was alive, he would sleep the night on one side of the end of the bed and Buster would be on the other side. Since DC died, I don't think Buster has ever slept on the end of the bed. He will sometimes curl up somewhere up by my head, but never down by my feet. I don't know why; I know I never kicked him. But then, he is a weird little kitty anyway.


Well, that was a lost day, for sure, but I will be oft to the north end pretty soon tonight, and I hope to be in bed early again. Surely that is one thing that will help cure me. I have to take a pill at 9:00 or so, but then I will be able to crash. This thing is getting really old, and I want it to be over with!


It's a dark, cold and cloudy night in the field, and it's spitting rain. Yuck.


May 30

I was talking to the loons last night. Really. I went out on the deck to bring in the bird feeders, and I heard that o-EEE-o call that is usually my clue that they are around. It sounded rather close, and when I looked out on the water, there were three loons right in front of the house! They were talking, and except for the call (which I haven't tried), I found I could imitate them pretty well. So I did. It's nice to be a soprano.  They do trill a bit, and I can't do that, but it didn't seem to bother them. They stopped, right in front of me, probably 100 feet out in the water, and we had a conversation. By the way they were swimming around in circles, I could tell they were looking for that other loon - they never thought it was that loony old woman on the deck! Finally, I did my chore and came in, and they moved on. It was another enchanted moment in my life in the field.


I read for a little while and got to bed around 10:30, but I was up every two hours all night long again. A couple of times, especially right before it began to get light, I could see Polaris, so there were stars, and for a while, the not-quite-quarter moon was shining brightly in the windows.


I didn't get up until 9:30 this morning, and I had a bad day, with almost constant cramps and frequent moves to the bathroom. However, after I took my afternoon pill, I began to feel a little better, although I've had one more trip. I don't have the constant cramps anymore. I had one bout when I started to eat my dinner (mac & cheese, which I thought would be easy on the tummy), but I ignored it and it went away. Oh, how I hope the pills are working! I couldn't take much of this. I will be having another early night tonight. It's only 7:30 now, and as soon as I do my chores, I will be off to the north end. I am still not hungry, but my tummy started to growl, so I thought I'd better put something in it.


I was hampered in eating my dinner, which I did very slowly. by a black cat who almost crawled into my lap, because he wanted some! I finally grabbed him and set him firmly on the floor, where he stayed until I put down the dish. Geez, Buster! I'm having enough trouble already without you!


Otherwise, I didn't do much of anything. I went to the post office, where there was a lot of mail, most of it junk, and I stopped at the store and got milk and bananas, so I can have cereal for breakfast. Poached eggs worked pretty well, but I think cereal might be even easier. The last time I had cereal, I put my milk into the microwave to warm, as I usually do, and when I took it out, it had separated, which led me to believe my milk was turning. Not surprising, since I went back to JD or wine for dinner. Fortunately there isn't much left in the jug.


I did work on the bracelet for a while, and I am making slow progress. I am beginning to run out of blue beads, at least, and I have to check whether I bought lots of silver ones in my last order. After this, I want to make several snowflake bracelets, with the good silver beads (the ones I was using look more like aluminum, and they aren't so pretty).


The weather was, well, cold. The skies were nearly clear all day, but the temperature has only now gotten over 45, and there was a brisk (15-25 mph) wind from the north. I guess I felt it because I wasn't feeling so good, but it was cold out. There were nice waves breaking on the rocks over by the fort all day long, and there was a nice line of breakers out along the gull islands.  Tonight they are saying we could have patchy frost, even along the shoreline. And this is nearly June! Good - maybe it bodes well for a reasonable summer.


So that was a quiet and uncomfortable day, and since I almost fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon, I will be in bed early tonight, I hope. It's a clear, lovely night in the field and there may be some more stars  and a moon.


May 29

Ugh! What a night! I read for a while, but I was so tired that I should have stopped earlier. I got to bed around 11:30. However, I was up about every 2 hours all night long, and in the middle of the night, I didn't get fully back to sleep. I was up around 4:30, and when I got back into bed, all of a sudden, there was a heavy downpour of rain and hail - little hail, but hail nonetheless. There was one growl of thunder, and the rain apparently continued for about an hour. Now that wasn't supposed to happen!


I got up around 9:00, but I have not felt very robust all day, and I'm not hungry. I think that has something to do with the cramps, which have continued off and on all day, sometimes so bad that I felt them in the backs of my hands. I don't know about your body, but mine seems connected together in very interesting ways. I think my wakefulness last night had to do with having pushed water all day, since I'm sure I'm dehydrated.


However, I was bound and determined to get my meds, so around 12:30, I started for Houghton. I had a couple of things to get at Wal-Mart, but it isn't time to food shop yet, so I didn't have much to do. I toyed with the idea of stopping at Ming Bistro, but I just wasn't hungry, so I took my first pill and came home.


It was a pretty day for a ride, clear and sunny, with some high, wispy cirrus clouds, including some mare's tails. I took the camera, but there weren't many places where I could stop and get close enough to the things I would like to take pictures of. The early white bushes and trees are all out, and the lilacs in Hancock are starting to show color. Well...this morning, I couldn't even see any buds forming on mine. So we are more than a week behind them.


On the subject of pictures, on Wednesday night, when I went out to bring in the bird feeders, there was a rather nice sunset going on in the west, so I took a picture of it, then first I forgot to move it to the computer, then I forgot to post it last night. Sigh. I thought it was rather pretty, even though the sun is so far north, you can't really see it from my deck.


Today, I took a whole two pictures, of the same thing. I have mentioned the marsh marigolds along the roadside. Most of them are on the other side of rather deep ditches, where there is no way I can get to them, but I found some on my way back, along Cliff Drive, and here they are. I'm sorry I couldn't get up close to them, but I couldn't use the view screen to frame the picture anyway, since it was so bright. I wonder if new cameras have brighter LCD screens, so you can see what you're shooting at. Anyway, I think they are cheerful spring flowers, and there are a lot of them here. I might have stopped at the Gratiot river, except that there was another car ahead of me that stopped, and I didn't want to interfere with their picture taking. It's a pretty little stream, but I've taken pictures of it before.


The traffic is beginning to rise into summer proportions, and there are a few tourons around already, which I guess is a good thing. Gas is rising, too. Wal-Mart had it for $2.55, which was the low. I saw it as high as $2.75. You simply can't get me to believe that isn't the oil companies gouging the American public. I would have thought the winter would have taught them something. They are greedy, greedy people, and if it was my universe, they would be cast into the outer darkness and left to gnash their teeth, along with the bankers and the Wall Streeters and certain other big businesses that simply don't get it.


So I got home about 3:45. I just don't feel very good, so I sat and played "Bookworm" until I got a new high score. At least that was working well.


When I got my meds, they had gotten the whole amount, for which I am grateful. However, the fact sheet they included was an eyebrow raiser. It seems that they think the retail price of the prescription would have been $2111 and change. Can you imagine? That's over $37 a pill! Sheesh, no wonder health care is so expensive! I only had to pay $138, which is $2.47 a pill, and that's bad enough. If I didn't have that prescription coverage, I would have been up a creek. I can't afford that kind of money, even to cure my C. diff! I have one testimonial that vancomycin does work, so I am hoping. I will also admit that they gave me two more pills than I paid for, so I will take them, too. However, they were dispensed in an ordinary Ziploc sandwich bag, for heaven's sake! That made me laugh. They are individually wrapped, which, in general I hate, but at least I got that for my money.


The weather was nice, if cool, as I said. The temperature barely made it to 50 here, until just a while ago, but it was 55 in Houghton, and it's surprising how warm that felt. The sky was nearly clear all day, and the wind was under 15 mph from the north. I suppose it was better to get out, if only in the car, rather than sit here inside.


So that was my day, and I will be off to bed early again and try to sleep better tonight. I am hoping that the cramping will stop soon, and it does seem a little better tonight, although I had one episode about the time I was going to make my dinner. I am going to be taking the pills every 6 hours, as nearly spaced out as I can manage, so I will be carrying my baggie around with me for the next 14 days. Tonight I think I will forgo the reading and the bath and jump into bed and hope for the best. I need to take a pill at 2:00 am, but it isn't that vital to get it in just exactly on time.


It's a clear, cool night in the field, and there might be a star or two.


May 28

I read for a while, and it was about 11:30 when I finally got to bed. I didn't wake up until about 4:30, which was nice, except that I had such cramps that I had to get up twice before they went away. I was up around 6:30, with cramps again, but then it was 8:30 or so before I got up for good. I petted a cat and knitted and started a new square, so I am now almost at the neckline of the first side.


The cramps have been getting me down, and I am now taking Imodium, just to try to stop it. Finally, I got a reply from the doctor, and I will go down to Wal-Mart to get my vancomycin tomorrow. I know one reason he was reluctant to prescribe it: it is going to cost me $132, which is about 10% of the retail price of the whole prescription. Wow! No wonder health care costs so much! I just don't know what I would have done if I didn't have prescription coverage...probably just suffer. I haven't seen prices like that since the Neupogen when I was in chemo. However, if it works, it will be worth at least what I'm paying for it. 


So I didn't do much of anything today again, and I think I will be going to bed early. I just don't feel very robust, and I can't tell if I have picked up some other bug or it is just the C. diff taking hold again. 


I did start a twisted rope bracelet, the one with the copper and silver rope, but I didn't get very far. That pattern looks almost more complex than the rope and post, but somehow, it's easier to do. Weird.


The weather was OK. It started out cloudy, but it was clearing up by 10:00, and the afternoon was very pretty, if a bit windy. The temperature briefly got up to 55, although for most of the afternoon it was in the low 50s, with a 15 mph wind out of the north. It was chilly outside, and I think maybe it's time it warmed up just a bit, although I keep reminding myself the cold keeps the bugs down. The NWS keeps being hopeful, and they keep being wrong about the temperature.


So that was a nothing day, and I feel like I need some more sleep. It's a clear, cool night in the field, and there might be a star or two, although when I was up at 4:30, the sky was already beginning to turn light. Ah, the long, long days of early summer...


May 27

I read for too long last night, and it was 12:30 before I got to bed, then I got up around 8:00, so I'm tired tonight and I don't feel very good, but more about that later. While I was reading last night, Jasmine came in again and sat on the rug, out of reach, but with me. She napped for a while, and then she sat there and we blinked at each other. She is really a sweet kitty, and I hope someday to be able to pet her and hear her purr, which is very strong for such a little girl.


This morning, I petted a black cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. Today was my massage, so I had to keep moving. I am glad I went. My back feels much better than it did.


However, I am sorry to say that the elimination situation is right back where it was before I started taking the flagyl, and maybe worse, since I have been having fairly severe abdominal cramps all day and very watery elimination. I think the doctor is out of the office, but I emailed him again, to let him know the situation is not good. It's discouraging, but that's why they named it C. difficile...because it's very difficult. If I don't hear from him by Friday, I will call and see if he's not available, and if I don't hear from him early next week, I will call again. We need to do something about this.


Since a massage always leaves me tired anyway, I didn't do very much, and I am very tired now. I did - finally! - finish the second wrap and post bracelet, so now I can go on to other things. By the time I started the fourth repeat, I had the pattern down pretty well, and I know where the difficult parts are. My real problem today was that weird turn on the second side, but that's a problem with all odd-count peyote, and I just have to get used to it. The new way I'm doing the turn seems to work out fairly well, if I get the thread in the right place, but I am still having problems with it. I only hope it is strong enough. I will have to get used to it, because it seems like all the really good patterns have an odd number of beads.


I got hungry in the middle of the afternoon, and I ate too much, so I am forgoing dinner tonight, although I did have a JD. After over 3 weeks of not being able to drink, I am catching up on my JDs. The flagyl left me with a terrible taste in my mouth which changed the taste of everything I ate, including the JD. That is finally gone now, so my JD tastes yummy again.


It was a cool, cloudy and humid day today, which didn't do my aches and pains any good at all. The temperature got up to 50 a couple of times, but mostly it was in the upper 40s, with hardly any wind at all, and a relative humidity over 70% all day. This morning, it was over 90% and there was a cloud of fog over the mountain. There might have been a little wan sunshine this afternoon, but not much. This weather is very hard on the joints. And yet, all the rain has been south of us again. We really need some!


The serviceberries and chokecherries are coming out around here now, and it is getting really pretty. One variety of serviceberry has white flowers and the leaves, when they come out, are red, and that is such a pretty combination! I would like to take a picture or two, but I don't know how much walking I'm good for. The leaves on the red maples are about " wide, and they are very red, too, which is pretty, and the birches and the other trees are pale yellow-green. It is a lovely time of year, and I really enjoy seeing it.


So that is about all there is. It's a nearly calm, cloudy night in the field again, and I don't think there will be any stars tonight, so I will try to crash early and get caught up on my sleep.


May 26

I read for a while when I went up to the north end, and while I was reading, Buster went away, and Jasmine came in and laid down on the rug and went to sleep. Absolutely amazing. When I put the book down, she woke up, but she sat there looking at me and blinking, with absolutely no fear in her eyes (which I sometimes see when I walk toward her). Amazing. They both know to run off when I get up, because more than likely I am going to turn on water in the shower and they might get sprayed.


I got to bed around 12:15. When I woke up around 3:00, I think there were a few clouds, but by the time I got up the second time (7:00, maybe?) it was cloudy. I got up for good around 8:30, I think. However, I ran into a mess with the square of the sweater I am working on, and it was rather late before I got to get breakfast. I dropped a stitch right about the place where I had added in a new ball, and it took quite a bit of ripping and fooling around before I got it put together right.


The tasks of the day were to finish the wash, which I did, and put away the clean clothes, which I did. The towels are done but still in the dryer, and there is a rug in the washer to be dried. The throw rug in front of my bed was dirty anyway, but Buster barfed on it this morning, which is what prompted me to wash it. It is one of the ones woven out of the ends of sweat socks, and it takes forever to dry, so I will put it in the dryer when I go to bed and hope it is sort of dry by morning.


I cooked tonight, pork chops with Spanish rice, and it came out yummy, as usual, so I will eat well and low-sodium for the rest of the week. Buster thought so, too. Not only did he get a few pieces of meat, he licked the plate clean. I'm not sure tomatoes and onions are good for cats, but he sure likes it. Pork doesn't seem to bother his tummy like beef does. Now I have to put the rest away and put the pan to soak, and tonight I have to wash dishes. The dishwasher isn't full, but I'm out of cat dishes, so it's time.


Otherwise, I didn't do a thing, I'm afraid. My hands were stiff and sore, so I didn't do any beading. I was creaky all day, and I think it was the weather.


The weather was icky. It was dark and cloudy all day, and there was some fog or mist down the harbor, but it didn't rain - that was all over the northern lower and the eastern upper, darn it. We need rain. the temperature hovered in the upper 40s, and there was a brisk wind in the 15-25 mph from the southwest. Between 4:00 and 5:00 we had gusts up to 35 mph, but that didn't last long. Now it is nearly calm.


I got up to put out the bird feeders, and when I looked out on the deck, there was the red-breasted woodpecker on the deck, pecking around in the cracks. It found a sunflower seed and pounded on it to open it up, just like the jays do. I think this one was a female. I hope there is a male, too. It's interesting, because I have seen them at most times of year, I think, and they are not supposed to live this far north. Well, this one is, and it seems quite at home.


So that was another day, and at least I got some of the chores done. It's a cool, cloudy night in the field.


May 25 - Memorial Day

I read for a while when I got to the north end, and I got to bed around 11:30. I was awake around 3:00, and there were stars, bright enough that I could see the dim one where the handle of the Big Dipper meets the bowl - through the screen and without my glasses. I couldn't see any stars off to the west, but I'm not sure whether that meant there were clouds or just that there aren't any bright stars over there. I got up around 8:00, after Buster sat down on my hand with his hind end in my face.


I knitted and petted for a while and did my morning surfing, and I still got the first load of clothes washed and in the dryer before noon. It's nice to get up relatively early. However, the dryer works so slowly that I am just now drying the underwear, and I will wash the towels tomorrow. The other loads are all folded, though, and I can put them away tomorrow. So I guess I can say I did something today.


My friend Randi, of The World in Stitches in Massachusetts sent out an email today, and I replied, and the next thing I knew she called me. She is a nice person, and it's been a long time since we talked. She had a ruptured disc last fall, and she has finally had her surgery and she is doing very well, I was happy to hear. So we got to talk about the state of needlework and knitting, and it was a fun conversation. I will have to make sure I call her more often, and when I need some supplies, I will have to call her first. I like to support my friends if I can (I think I've said that before). We go way back, since I was a customer of TWIS when she bought the business back in the '90s, I think, and she still carries a lot of the odd threads that are hard to find. The yarn for both sweaters I made this winter came from her, and she has a knack for knowing what I would like without my ever seeing it. I sure wish she wasn't so far away, so that I could visit in person (probably a dangerous idea, knowing how I love fibers).


So that was a nice way to spend part of the afternoon. I worked on the bracelet and just completed the third repeat, and this time I am having a little easier time with the pattern, I'm happy to say. Of course, now I will go on to something else, and when I want to do another one, I'm sure it will be just as hard. While I have the blue, copper and silver beads out, I want to do at least one twisted rope. In that pattern, the copper and silver is the only combination that came out well. Then I can either go on to try some more new patterns or do a couple of snowflake bracelets, including one for me. Oh, I can keep at it for a long time.


However, I'm still thinking about my sewing, and I'm still thinking about the box project, and I'm thinking about bead embroidery. So I guess I'll be busy enough that I won't have to do any cleaning.


The weather wasn't as nice today as it was over the weekend. It was mostly cloudy all day, and the temperature got to 58 late in the afternoon. There was a rather brisk south wind, in the 10-25 mph range, and it was chilly enough that I closed the windows. 


Buster and Jasmine spent the afternoon curled up in the great room, one on top of the back cushion of each of the swivel rockers, until Jasmine moved over to the navy one and curled up on the seat with Buster. They know where to sleep! 


So that was another quiet day, although I did accomplish something, and it's off to the north end. It's a cloudy night in the field - no stars tonight!


May 24

I was going to try to get to bed early last night, but of course, I started reading when I got up to the north end, and so it was 1:00 when I turned out the light. I think there were stars, but I didn't stay up to see them. I think it was 6:00 or so when I got up the first time, and I was up briefly around 8:00, but it was 10:00 before I got up for good, and Buster was getting frantic. I petted him some and I knitted a bit, and I didn't get completely dressed, because I couldn't decide what I was going to wear to dinner. I have an oversized tee that is as long as a dress, and it's very comfortable. I will probably wear it some more, now that it's getting warmer.


It was a pretty day, but I didn't do anything with it. I worked on the bracelet a bit, but mostly I just fiddled around, and I kept losing track of time. Last night when I went to bed, I had a sore spot in the corner of one eye, which is a good indication that I had been looking at the computer too much, and I really intended not to do that today, but of course I did.


This evening, I took Ron, Aaron and Amanda to dinner at Harbor Haus. Everything was wonderful, and we had a nice time. Aaron and Amanda are nice young people. Aaron knows a lot about bicycles and kayaks, and I am thinking seriously about stopping at Keweenaw Adventures and trying a bike, and maybe trying to get out of a kayak while it is on land. I would love to do both of those things, and particularly the bike would be good to strengthen my legs. We'll see where that goes, but it would be nice to be able to get out and about. I would dearly love to kayak around the peninsula someday.


The weather was nice, cool and sunny again. The temperature was in the low 50s for most of the day, although it spiked briefly to 63 around 7:00. There were light breezes from the north. Nice.


So that is all I know, and tonight I do plan to get to bed earlier. It's a mostly clear, coolish night in the field, but I don't think there will be any stars tonight.


May 23

I read for a while and turned out the light about midnight. I woke up around 1:30 coughing. Evidently, my sinuses were draining, and the only way I could stop the coughing was to take a cough drop. That did seem to work.  I noticed, before I went back to sleep, that there seemed to be a lot of stars outside, but I didn't look very much. I was awake briefly around 6:00, and it had clouded up.


I was awakened at 8:00 by what I thought was somebody knocking at the front door, but if they did, they didn't stay long enough for me to get up. It could have been a cat. If it wasn't, I hope whoever did it will eventually let me know. I don't have a doorbell, and every so often that's a problem.


I knitted and petted a cat for a while, and I did my morning surfing and all, and that was about all I did for the day. I didn't feel like doing anything. I worked on the next bracelet for a while, and I am now starting the second repeat, and this evening I read a couple of the shorter stories I have in the computer.


The weather was lovely. It was cloudy at 6:00, but by the time I got up at 8:00 the clouds were almost all gone. It was coolish - the temperature got to 52 for a while this afternoon, and there was a rather brisk wind from the north, in the 15-20 mph range, for most of the day. It has died down now.


In spite of the wind, there was a boat or maybe two out in the harbor fishing all day, and every so often I could hear the roar of ATVs taking off down the road. Those guys drive too fast and make too much noise. But it's the start of the summer season, so I guess I'd just better cope.


I have the east window open a bit, and this evening, I was sitting with Buster on my lap and reading, and I smelled the first laker. I couldn't hear it, but the smell of badly-burnt fusil oil is unmistakable. I understand that some world body has decided that the smokestack emissions from ships has to be regulated, and I can certainly see why. We don't have enough ships up here for it to be a severe problem, but if you've ever watched one of the old guys out on the lake and seen the black, gunky stuff pouring out of their stacks, you know how it is. It smells terrible.


So that was a lost day, and I'm off to the north end to try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight and catch up on my sleep. It's a clear, lovely night in the field and there will be stars.


May 22

Well, that was a frustrating day.


I read for a while last night, and I finished the longest part, and I got to bed around 12:30. It was actually rather nice to sleep under the covers, and I did good, although there were some strange dreams, including a new morph of the potty dream. I got up around 8:30, and while that wasn't enough sleep, I didn't feel too bad.


I was able to do my morning surfing and all that stuff, and I took off for town at around 11:30, with the bent screen in the back. I also talked to the glass company about the screen on the patio door in the office, and they are going to send somebody out to look at it, since there is clearly something wrong with it.


Then it was off to the hospital, and oh, dear. Of course, the films hadn't arrived, so they decided they couldn't do the mammogram or anything else...drat! They did call the other place, and they were sent Wednesday afternoon, but by ordinary mail. So heaven knows when I will get my mammogram. I did get my blood test, so that was one thing down. 


People up here are so nice. The registration clerk turns out to be the mother of one of the women who works at Harbor Haus, so we had something in common right away. And the people in the diagnostic area were also very nice. They will call me when they get the films, so I will have to go down again, but probably I will food shop when I go.


Then I went off to the feed store, which has expanded into what used to be the fire hall next door, and I got my birdseed. They have a lot of stuff, but I didn't feel robust enough to walk around and see everything. I am glad to see that the price of birdseed has come down a bit.


I decided that the best thing I could do for myself was to have a nice lunch, so I went off to Ming Bistro, and I did. I spent my time watching my fellow diners, and I have to say they certainly make money on me. I only have one plate of appetizers and soup and one of entrees, and that seems to be unusual. A lot of the big, tall Tech guys come there for lunch - it's all you can eat for $7.50, and boy, do they eat! I bet there is a lot of waste, too. There were an older couple at the next table, and they didn't seem to eat much at all from their first plateful. I waste a lot too, but it's usually only rice and noodles. Anyway, I enjoyed my lunch and I was adequately full when I left.


I was going to stop for gas at Wal-Mart, but their lanes were full, so I went on to Econo's, where gas was only a penny more, and I slipped in before the rush. Gas is up again, of course, since it's a holiday weekend. I simply do not know how the oil companies can think people believe them when they say the prices are out of their control, when they so clearly go up around every holiday and during the summer driving season. The lowest price was $2.49 or $2.50 a gallon, which is 50 more a gallon than it was when I went to Detroit a month ago.


I have to say that it's been a long time since I've seen so much traffic all over. There were lots of cars on US-41, and the detour in Houghton was causing all sorts of traffic backups. I actually had to pass a few people coming north, and I followed a very slow guy all the way up the covered road. I'm glad to know people are coming to the harbor, but I want to stay out of the way if possible.


It was a lovely day for a drive, I must admit, and although I took the camera, I didn't see anything that tempted me to stop. I was able to take Cliff Drive for the first time this season - the "road closed" signs are down, and they must have been up only because they didn't plow. There are a few of the earliest white-flowered bushes blooming, and I think I saw a few marsh marigolds just coming out. The buds are swelling on the trees, but it's still sunny in the woods.


The sky was clear all day, until about 5:00, when it clouded up, and it might rain (although I think that's the old NWS thing: if there's a cloud in the sky, it might rain). The temperature here got up to 55, and maybe to 62 in Houghton, but it was breezy there. It was lovely, but for sure not quite warm enough for the shorts and sandals I saw on a couple of kids. There wasn't much wind here, and what there was came from the south. 


So I got home about 4:00, and I didn't do a blessed thing after I got here. I can't express how annoyed I am by this whole thing, especially since I am quite sure there isn't a problem.


Now I will go up to the north end and I think I will have to read a while to get my mind settled before I go to bed. It's a cloudy, cool night in the field, and it's Memorial Day weekend. Amazing.


May 21

It was still 78 at midnight, but between 12: 51 and 1:17, the temperature fell from 78 to 55. I went to bed around 11:30, and for the first time this season, I was able to sleep pretty much without covers, except for my feet. I awoke around 3:30 and noticed that it seemed a bit cool (it was probably about 50 outside), so I closed the porch door and lowered the window in the window seat to its usual place. I got up around 9:15, so I am catching up on my sleep. I knitted and petted a cat and put on a sweatshirt sweater for the day, which was a good choice.


I didn't do very much. I worked away on the bracelet, but it wasn't until around 7:00 tonight that I finished it, after much more ripping. To compound things, I decided that the best way to conquer that pattern is to make another one, so I have started that, but I have just about 4 rows done. Otherwise, I went to the post office, where my newest probiotic was finally there.


The weather was mixed. It was cloudy, and the temperature went up and down all night before it finally settled around 48 this morning, with winds from the north in the 15-25 mph range. It made it up to 62 at 6:00, when the winds died down, and the sky is clearing somewhat, although it doesn't look too transparent right now. It's hard to tell about the sky at sunrise and sunset. It was rather chilly during the afternoon, with temps in the mid 50s and a strong north wind, and I even closed the office window and the window in the hallway for a while.


There were a few birds at the feeders today, but not many in the wind. I did see a couple of hummingbirds, but they have turned too shy to stay and eat, so I will have to be patient. I'm sorry I am so late getting the feeders out in the morning, but I just don't dare leave them overnight anymore. Besides, I like to see the birds.


I won't be seeing many birds tomorrow, though. I have to go down to Hancock to get my mammogram and my blood test. I am thinking about leaving off the screen that got bent while I am there, and I will stop at the feed store for more birdseed. I thought about shopping for food, and I guess I will throw a cooler in the truck just in case the fit takes me, but I still have over two jugs of orange juice and plenty of stuff in the freezer, so it's not necessary yet.


So that was my quiet day, and I will bead a bit until it's time to haul in the feeders.


It's a quiet, clear evening in the field.


May 20

I'm hot. It's hot. I don't like this.


I didn't dawdle at the north end last night. I took my bath and went to bed around midnight. I had the radio on while I was doing the journal, but I thought I heard rumbling, and it became more pronounced when I got to the north end. When I turned out the light, I could see the lightning, and for about 15 minutes it was almost continuous. The thunder wasn't very loud, so I guess that the lightning bolts were way up in the sky. After a while of that, it began to rain very hard, and I went back to sleep.


Sometime about 2:30, something woke me up, but I just turned over and went back to sleep until around 3:30, when I noticed that the clock was blinking. Oh. The power was back on by that time, but no doubt what I heard was the thunk! that happens when it goes out. It didn't bother me, and after a walk, I went back to sleep again until 8:00, when I got up. That really isn't enough sleep, but maybe it might get me to bed earlier tonight...although I wonder.


The power failure is why the camera didn't broadcast until I got to the office this morning. When there is a power failure, the computer and the broadband receiver get out of sync, and it takes another boot of the computer to get them back together again. Sorry about that, but it wasn't that beautiful a morning anyway. It didn't clear up until about the time I rebooted.


Then I was off to my breakfast, and we had a great time for nearly two hours, with lots of laughter and lots of food. The breakfast was Peggy's birthday gift to Roxie, and she really liked my bracelet, so that was nice.


I was home in time to hear the generator self-test, and I worked on the wrap and post bracelet with great difficulty. I don't know why that pattern is so hard. I have just about finished the fourth repeat, and I have one more to go, with much ripping and redoing. 


About 2:30, I took off for the post office, where my package didn't come, and I went on to Liz's. She owns the Eagle Lodge, about 3 miles down M-26. She has a nice location, and she is setting up a nice gift shop in the lobby of the lodge. She was happy to get the stuff, and she bought one of the spotted necklaces right away, for herself, so I have sold my first piece of jewelry of the year.


I had to come home, because one of the pieces of mail I got was the letter I sent to the mammography place to get them to send my films to the hospital here. So I immediately got on the phone with them, and they are all totally confused and out of control. I had to tell the person who answered three times that the letter had been returned to me, then I discovered that they don't usually charge to send films for repeat tests, and I could fax them a note telling them what to do. Well, gee! So I did that (outgoing faxes still work), but the hospital won't have my films on Friday, darn it.


They are adamant that I had the right address, and they don't have a post office box, so what our wonderful postal service did, I do not know. What a screwed up thing! 


The weather was...well, like August. It was only in the upper 50s when I went to breakfast, but by the time we got out, it was 75 in Copper Harbor, although all day, what the temperature was depended upon how far from the lake you were. It was a bit cooler here for a while, and it was in the lower 60s at Liz's. However, as the afternoon wore on, I think it got hot everywhere, because there were strong winds from the southwest, in the 15-30 mph range. The temperature peaked at 88 around 6:00, which fractures the old record by 13. That is too hot for this time of year! Fortunately, it is supposed to end with thunderstorms tonight - I hope so! - and it will be in the middle 50s tomorrow, which is more like normal.


I have the sliding doors, the porch doors, and several windows open, and I am only thankful for the wind, although it is dying down some as the sun sets. It was partly cloudy all day, and there was too much sunshine.


I got the biggest kick out of Jasmine this afternoon after I opened everything up. She really wanted to be on the porch, which she loves, but there were birds on the deck and she wanted to watch the birds, too, so she kept dashing back and forth to see as much as she could see. I think Buster spent most of the day in the window seat, which is his favorite spot.


The restaurant had hummingbird feeders in its windows, and there were birds, so as soon as I got home, I filled up the feeder and put it out, and I saw at least one hummingbird, so they are definitely around. The rest of the birds were the usual suspects, including that white-crowned sparrow that's been hanging around.


It is so nice to see green buds on the trees and green grass and weeds on the roadsides. The daffodils are out, too, and quite a few people have some. I want some, too.


After I got through faxing my letter, I sat down with the bracelet again, but boy, is that a chore. After I do that one, I think I may make some helix bracelets. They are easier and they go faster, and I think they are pretty. That would be like this, or this, or this.


When I put out the bird feeders this morning, it was such a beautiful day, and it smelled just heavenly outside, and as I was standing there breathing, the loon called, I think from over in the Porter Island direction. It just called again. I do love to hear them, and I wish I could keep the house opened up to hear them, but it's too early yet for that.


The report is that the bugs are coming out, so I will have to beware. I saw some flying around me in Liz's parking lot, but I didn't get bit. They are a bit lazy at this early time of year. They don't get vicious until egg-laying time gets short.


Tonight, I decided to be brave and have a JD, since the flagyl should be out of my system by now, and it seems to have gone down just fine, although my sense of taste is still screwed up and it didn't taste as good as it should have. So that is over with. I haven't heard back from the doctor yet.


So that was my day, and I'm tired as well as hot. A nice tepid bath and drying off in the breeze will cool me off, though, and when the temperature drops into the 50s, I'll be fine again.


It's a hot, windy and partly cloudy night in the field, and spring has definitely sprung.


May 19

When I got to the north end, I read through the story, and it didn't inspire me, so I opened the blue binder, and well, it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Sigh. I got up around 9:00, because Buster had been bugging me for almost an hour and I was tired of it, but that wasn't enough sleep, as I discovered later.


I picked up the bracelet and discovered that I had made a mistake about an inch back, before I tied off a thread, so the only way to fix it was to cut it apart, rip back, and do it over. Well! I think I tried that three times before I said to hell with it and put it aside.


In the meantime, Peggy called me to tell me that Roxie's birthday is tomorrow, and she was getting together some people for breakfast. So I quick started another folded ribbon in colors she had admired and I finished that tonight. I had some trouble starting it (I had to do it twice), but after that, I got my mind about me and I didn't have any more problems.


Then I went back to the knot and post bracelet, and I tried and ripped another three times before I got it right, but I decided to lay it down before I got to where I was last night. I have to believe my problems were mostly that I didn't get enough sleep. I didn't have any trouble at all with the first repeat, but this second repeat is just awful. I have to get up early tomorrow, so I will try to get a good night's sleep tonight and hope everything goes better then. Geez!


I also stopped for a while and took pictures of the folded ribbon bracelets. It's a simple pattern, but I think it's rather effective in both colorways. I want to do one with the copper lined beads and green for the background, too. While I was adding that picture to the website, I went back and added the one from last year that I managed to miss. This is it. The one in front is the center part of Clyde's bandolier pattern, using silver for the third color, and the one on the right is the twisted herringbone the first way I did it. The one I laid aside is a bit different, which I discovered when I looked at the picture, and I want to do another the same way as the picture. The third one is just a piece of tubular netting in copper and silver, which I completely forgotten I did. It's all right, but I don't think it's very interesting.


I also printed up a card for Roxie, and given her interesting situation, I used the cloud picture, which is one of my favorites. When they reprinted it on the Pasty Cam pages, Charlie called it "Rays of Hope", which I think is a great caption. I've used it several times when I wrote people who were going through a bad time. 


I began to pack up the stuff for Liz, and I put tags on everything that didn't have them. Now all I have to do is print up a price list, which will take a while, since this one will be retail, and I will have to do some calculating.


So I guess I had a rather busy day.


The weather was, um, interesting. The temperature was just about steady at 39 and there were light winds from the east. Contrary to what Environment Canada thought, it was quite sunny this morning, but as the afternoon wore on it got steadily more cloudy and darker, and around 5:00 it started spitting rain. They are saying that tomorrow it could be in the middle 80s inland and in the 70s here, and then Thursday it will be cold again. This is the time of year when I have to have two or three sets of clothes going, depending on the temperature. I may get to open up the house for a while tomorrow, though, and that would be nice.


As you might expect, the cool dampness and all the beading has left me with a very sore pair of hands. I'm sorry I couldn't stand to go to bed with a pair of mittens on, to keep my hands very warm all night. It didn't help that I got a bad paper cut while putting Roxie's card in its envelope.


I took the last of the flagyl today, and I sent another email to the doctor. I don't see much improvement over the past week, so the question is, what do we do next? I haven't gotten my newest probiotic yet, and that is supposed to help some people. The other antibiotic, vancomycin, can cause kidney damage, which I don't need more of, although they say it is less likely when taken orally. So it's up to him to decide. I just want this problem fixed.


While I was beading, I got a chance to watch the bird feeders. My goldfinches have finally returned, and they are bright yellow and so pretty. I had several chickadees, nuthatches and at least one blue jay. There was a chipmunk besides the squirrels, who were chasing each other around...horny maybe? There were some white throated sparrows, who apparently summer around here, and the white crowned sparrows have finally arrived, on their way to the far north of Canada. They are both cool little birds.


I forgot to mention that while I was talking to Debbie last night, there was a loon fishing out in the harbor...just one. I hope there are at least two. It was so good to see one, for the first time this year.


I was looking out over the mountain this afternoon, and I thought it looked rather strange, then I realized that over the past couple of days, it has turned pale green! All the old brown of winter is gone, and the leaves are coming out. That is such a satisfying view!


Now it is time to drag in the bird feeders and totter up to the north end. It's late already, so no reading tonight! It's a cloudy, rainy night in the field, but the temperature is going up, finally, at least for a day.


May 18

I read through the story when I went up to the north end, and it didn't inspire me, so I cast on the sock and did three rows, then I turned to the story again, so it was 1:00 or later when I got to bed. I don't think it's actually a very good story, at least yet, but I'm putting down some ideas I have no other way to write. This journal isn't exactly the right place, and besides, I find that putting words in other people's mouths helps me to get the ideas out.


I got up around 8:30 or so this morning, I think, and I knitted and petted a cat, although he didn't stay long. He wanted my full attention, and he wasn't happy when I picked up the sweater. So I finished a square and started on the next one.


I worked on the bracelet a bit, not much yet, but I got eight sets of note cards printed and packed up, so that little chore is done. What the printer will do it still does well, and the cards look very good, although I discovered that one of my best pictures of the lake seems to have a water spot on the camera lens. I'm not surprised, since it was a wild day and the spray was flying, but I am surprised I never noticed it before. Maybe it's more noticeable in the small size of the note card. Another one, of a sunset with a lot of red in it, left red spots on the card, which annoyed me extremely, so I lost a whole page of cardstock. Grr. My printer isn't fast, so it takes a long time to print two copies of a picture, even at a small size. Then I had to separate and fold them, print and cut the thumbnails I put on the back, and the band I put around everything, sort them into packs, and put them in bags with the band around the outside. Not a fast job, but they don't look completely amateurish.


The weather was so-so. It was mostly cloudy, with only a few rays of sunshine, but the temperature got up to 66 for a while this afternoon, when the wind was from the west, pretty  much, in the 15-25 mph range. Then the wind dropped to nothing, and the temperature went down to 50 in the course of an hour. We had a short rain shower, nothing much, and it's cool and damp and my legs are as stiff as boards.


Late this afternoon Debbie called to tell me she had bad results from her spring medical tests, too, and we had a nice conversation, shorter than some, but about an hour and fifteen minutes, and we got caught up on all our news. She is still living her soap opera.


So that is about all I know, and it's a cool, damp night in the field, a good one to sleep in.


May 17

I picked up the story when I went up to the north end, and I wrote for quite a while, until my hands were getting very sore, and I got to bed around 11:30. I got up about 8:00, which was nice, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while, and when I went to take my morning pills, I remembered that the pill dispensers were all empty, so I had to do that, too. 


I did it backward today and I won't do that again. I put the pills I take only in the morning or evening in before I put in the ones I take twice a day, and I found it confusing. Usually I put in the twice-a-day pills first, then the other ones, and that makes more sense. Then I put the wrong lids on, so I had to change them around. When I poured out a handful of pills and there was no multivitamin in it, I realized I had made a mistake.


I really fooled around for most of the day, but I did finish the bracelet I was working on - folded ribbon in copper and copper lined - and I think it came out very nice. Roxie liked it yesterday, too, even before it was finished. I will have to take some pictures before I send it away. Then I started a rope and post bracelet, and I finished one repeat, but I was all thumbs there for a while, even tying knots between the tail end and the working end of the thread. It's coming along now, though. It is a little wider than the others, and the pattern is a bit more complex, so it takes longer to do. It has an odd number of beads, which makes turning a problem on one edge, so I am trying a new turn, and I guess it looks all right. It's easier to do, but I don't think it's quite as safe. I hope anybody who buys these things understands that they are somewhat fragile.


I also cast on a sock then ripped it all out. I think I twisted the cast on before I joined it, and that is one thing I can't get out of when I'm using the magic loop. So I will try again tomorrow. This one is a summer sock - Tofutsies - but it's really wild colors, which seem to attract me. It's pink red, orange, navy and pale blue all twisted with white, and the color changes are in very small increments, so I think it will work up spotted. I've gotten addicted to wild socks.


It was a beautiful day, but a bit coolish. The skies were clear and lovely, the temperature was in the middle 40s for most of the day. It got to 53 this evening, but only briefly. The wind was around 20 mph from the north until it dropped around 7:00 tonight, and it has now switched around to the southwest and we are supposed to have some warmer temperatures and rain tomorrow. We still haven't had enough rain.


I don't know quite why, but my knees were bothering me today, and of course my hands are sore. Writing, knitting and especially beading are hard on them, and the cool weather doesn't help at all. They are stiff and sore and sometimes they ache. But I have to keep on doing those things.


That was my quiet day, but I am getting a nice selection of stuff to take to Liz. I must stop beading and spend some time making note cards, since she said she would like those. Then I can go and visit her.


I am getting into my summer routine, where I bring in the bird feeders while the computer is rebooting. Then I will go up to the north end and probably write some more. It's a quiet, clear night in the field, but it's supposed to cloud up by midnight.


May 16

Something happened to the broadband just about the time I was going to upload this last night, and it took about 45 minutes to come back, so I wasn't as early getting to the north end as I'd planned. I read for a while, and I got to bed around 11:45. Along about 5:00 this morning, the wind started rising, but that didn't bother me very much. I was awake at around 7:00, and that seemed too early, so I went back to sleep and it was 10:00 before I got up. Oh, well.


I spent the afternoon having a nice conversation with Roxie (and I won't say any more), so I didn't do a whole lot else. I got the buttons covered and sewn on the tote bag and the bottom tacked in, so that bag is done. And I worked on the bracelet for a while, so it wasn't a completely lost day, craftswise.


The real story was the weather. As I said, the wind started rising around 5:00 this morning, and by noon, we had 30 mph sustained winds from the north with gusts to 47 mph. It was a very hairy day. About 1:00, we started having snow squalls, and they continued until about 6:00, with intervals of almost sunshine in between, and the sun was shining under the clouds at sunset. The wind is dying down, too, but there were big whitecaps on the harbor all day, and the breakers were beating on the shoreline, only the wind was too strong to hear it. The temperature was around 35 all day, and it wasn't a very nice day out at all. Thankfully, there was no snow accumulation, but I did rather feel for the people who were trying to go birding for the Birding Weekend. It seems this sort of thing happens every Birding Weekend. We sat inside and admired the snow blowing horizontal across the harbor.


Needless to say, I didn't put out the bird feeders, and while it is supposed to be sunny tomorrow, I guess it is supposed to be windy again, so they may not get out then, either. I feel for the birdies, but they wouldn't come anyway, with all that wind.


We went upstairs, and when I looked down at my beach, the lake has contributed a very nice, large log. It will just stay there. I don't have much beach this year, which means the lake level is up, and that's good.


This morning, I took a look at the black sock I had been knitting on all winter, and I decided I didn't like the gauge, so I raveled it out. I wanted the needle for a pair of summer socks anyway, and I will try the black one again in the fall. From the fit of some of my socks, I have the idea my gauge has tightened up in the past year or so, and I will have to try to attend to that. It's one reason the black sweater doesn't fit right, although that is more because the pattern isn't right. That will have to be unraveled, too, and right back to the top, since the original problem is that the neck is too big. I will try another sock, and maybe I can do this one right. It is discouraging when a project doesn't come out right.


So that was my day, and I am off to the north end to read a while again. I think I will do without a bath tonight, so I can read or maybe write as long as I want to.


It's a cold, windy night in the field, but it looks like it's clearing up.


May 15

I went up to the north end about 10:00 and I read for a while, so it was after 11:30 when I went to bed, but the first time I woke up was around 6:00...maybe I'm getting dehydrated again. I got up for good at around 8:15, and I petted a cat for a little while (until I sneezed) and I knitted a reasonable amount on the next square of the sweater.


When I got to the office, after I ate, I decided it was time to put the bird feeders out, and of course the pretty feeder tipped over. The camera caught me in the act, but I'm not going to show it to you. I did sort of sweep up the floor and throw the seeds out the door. I don't think I had many visitors to the feeders today, but it was still quite windy.


I know I said I was going to sew, but instead, I decided to bead. I put away the bracelet I had started (I'd only done about 1" of it and it was slow going), and I made a copper and blue zigzag and started a folded ribbon using copper for one side and copper lined clear beads for the other, on a blue background. I think it is coming out very nice. Those narrow peyote bracelets go quite quickly. When I take out some beads, I have been trying to do more than one thing with them before I go on to other colors.


I began to fill the dishwasher, but I didn't get rid of the trash in the kitchen yet. So I guess I can say I accomplished a few things today.


The weather started out beautiful, with clear skies and a rather strong south wind. The temperature briefly made it up to 61, which, I guess, is why I was hot enough to open the window a crack and the door in the great room a crack. The wind was from the south all day, and this afternoon, it was in the 15-30 mph range. The way the house is situated, I don't notice south winds so much, but I could hear the wind in the pines and see the branches moving.


What was neat, especially before it clouded up, was to watch the surface of the harbor, where there were little wind sprites chasing across the water all afternoon. I don't recall seeing that before, but south winds are unusual, and it's been some years since I spent so much time looking out. That's one of the nice things about beading at my desk. I'm facing the patio doors, and I can watch the scenery go by. Winds in that range would have kicked up some whitecaps if they had been from the west or north, but we are sheltered on the south enough that all I saw were the wind sprites and, when I looked at the water with my binoculars, some very little bits of white.


It clouded up late in the day, and the forecast for tonight and tomorrow has the "S" word in it again. It's supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow and quite cold tomorrow night, before the sun comes out on Sunday. We'll see about that.


So that was my quiet but productive day, and as soon as I haul in the feeders, I'm off to the north end to read some more. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field and there may be some rain.


May 14

When I went to the north end, I decided not to take a bath, so I read for quite a while and got to bed around 11:30. I did sleep well. I was up around 8:15, I think, and I petted a cat and finished the triangle I was working on and started the next square.


With the weather the way it was, I didn't intend to go out, so I got at my sewing project, and it is now finished except for the five covered buttons I have to make and sew on. It turned out pretty well, I would say. I did have to do some ripping while setting in the zipper. I couldn't use my even-feed foot on the zipper, and the fabric kept slipping, so I finally basted it in and then used the zipper foot. That meant not only ripping out the wrong stitching, but also ripping the basting. However, I located my #2 Xacto knife, and that made things easier. I guess nobody else uses that to rip, but I don't use anything else. It is wonderful. The blade is so thin and sharp that I can slip just the tip under a stitch, rotate the knife, and the stitch snaps right in half, then it's just a matter of pulling the thread on the other side and doing a little cleanup. Simple. There isn't a sewer alive who doesn't have to rip, so the easier it is, the better.


Anyway, I have found I can still sew a fairly straight seam, and I don't feel awkward at the machine or anything, so that's good. Tomorrow the plan is to start the other bag, which is much prettier, but maybe not so useful, since it only has pockets on the outside. It's a different shape, too. The first one is wider than it is high, and the other one appears to be narrower and taller. Each will have its use, and I think both will make good knitting bags. By the time I finish the piecing and quilting on the second bag, I think I should be ready to start something serious, like cushions, maybe. With those, I don't think it's the sewing that will be so hard, although they're large, as it will be the cutting. I keep thinking of that 75 yards or so of piping I have to make...


The weather was the kind I thought would be better if I didn't go out. It rained (0.25") overnight, with high winds, and the morning was cloudy and windy. The wind was in the 20-40 mph range from the northwest all day, and we had 41 mph gusts around noon. The temperature only got to 45, and Ron, who was out, said it was frigid in all that wind. So I stayed in. The skies cleared up this afternoon, and it was quite clear at sunset, so that was nice. It was really pretty with all the whitecaps on the harbor, which was DMC 924 (very dark teal blue) all afternoon.


Ron called because the broadband went down late this afternoon, and when I called in, Charlie said it was because there was a power failure down at Mt. Horace Greeley. It came back up a while ago. 


Ron was full of news. The lawsuit will probably be settled at the next pre-trial on June 2, at last. The owners of the house Amanda and Aaron are living in are planning to put it up for sale, but apparently they are going to ask an outrageous price for it. So since Steve Peters will be moving across the road to some of the old Norland Motel buildings, perhaps Amanda and Aaron will move into the house the Peters' have been renting...musical houses. Despite what some people think, Mike Musiel didn't order the road grading all on his own. He got the agreement of the whole board of directors of the Association first, which I had to believe he would. Mike is not wet behind the ears. Apparently the black flies have started, although in the cold weather, they shouldn't be too much of a problem. Anyway, I am warned. So that's everything that's going on in East Copper Harbor.


I went out into the Internet tonight and looked up C. diff again, since I had emailed the doctor that the antibiotic doesn't seem to be working, and this time I finally found the Mayo article on it. The only thing they said that I didn't know is that I may have been taking the wrong probiotics (not the L. acidophilus will hurt me). Evidently there is a yeast (whose name I couldn't spell even if I could remember it) that has been helpful in treating C. diff. So I hied me over to Amazon and ordered some. It won't come until sometime next week, but it won't hurt to take it. One way or another, I will lick this thing. I sent another email to the doctor telling him what I had learned, and I expect to hear back from him tomorrow. I frequently wonder what I would do without the Internet.


Now it's time to go up to the north end again and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a clear, cold, and windy night in the field, and there may be some stars.


May 13

I went up to the north end early, like I said I would, and I read for a while, and I got to bed around 11:00. I was awake around 7:00, but that was too early, so I went back to sleep and got up around 9:00. Not bad. I knitted and petted a cat, and I finished the first square of the second side of the sweater, and picked up the corner triangle, which is now almost finished.


I had breakfast and did my morning surfing and it was so early that I worked on my sewing project for an hour and a half. The pattern is done by somebody called "Lazy Girl Designs", but I'd hardly call it  that...three colors of thread, four feet for the sewing machine, and much sewing and pressing. I am so glad I have set up the pressing station beside me, because otherwise, I would have been up and down every two or three minutes. I think I will be able to finish the thing tomorrow. It is a good-sized bag and it has tons of pockets, so it will make a very nice knitting bag. I can't say I am doing the world's best job on it, but for my first sewing project in quite a while, it's not bad. I have another bag I want to make, then I can go on to useful things - cushions and nightgowns and boxes. I had another brainstorm for boxes the other night.


Then it was off to Carolyn's for the last ladies' meeting of the year, and there were a large number of people there, including a couple we hardly ever see. There were so many that I didn't get to talk to everybody, but oh, well. I got to talk to Connie about mammograms, and I got to talk to Roxie and to Nancy, so that was all very nice. What a great group of people they are!


So it was late when I left, and I didn't do much for the rest of the day. They are still working on the road, and I think they probably have some more work to do, because there are a few places where the new gravel isn't packed down very well, but it is so nice to be able to go at a decent speed down the road and not jiggle my teeth out!


The weather wasn't very good. It got warm enough - up to 58 for a while - but it was cloudy and very windy - in the 15-30 mph range from the south - and there was a rain shower while we were at Carolyn's and another a while ago.


Carolyn's goldfinches are all bright yellow - I wonder where mine are? - and her garden is beginning to bloom, including a whole row of primroses along the side of her garage. Two of the ladies wanted to see her garden, and I was curious, too, so we walked all the way around her house. She has a few daffodils and a few beautiful red tulips, and lots of grape hyacinths. I have been sorry there was no way I could dig up some of the grape hyacinths and star of Bethlehems from Champine. They are so pretty early in the spring. I know I can get grape hyacinths - probably Carolyn would give me a few if I asked her - but I don't know where to get the star of Bethlehems. 


I forgot to mention that I noticed a couple of days ago that the forsythia next door is in bloom. So spring is really here. The birches are budding out, and the maple flowers are out, and the willow catkins are out. We had some rain, and that has made things green up tremendously.


It was too windy to put out the bird feeders today, and I'm afraid it will be tomorrow, too. I hate to disappoint my birds, but they wouldn't come anyway, when the feeders are swinging around in the wind. It seems to me it should be time to start putting out the hummingbird feeder, too. That will be for Friday.


So that was a nice day, and now I am off to the north end again. There is an area of thunderstorms and heavy rain south of us, and it might just get to us, too. I like thunderstorms anytime, but I particularly like them at night.


It's a dark and rainy night in the field.


May 12

I was out of sorts enough that I needed to settle my mind before I went to bed, and since I went up to the north end late, it was almost 1:30 before I got to bed. I was still up around 8:15 anyway.


While I was petting a cat and reading, twice a road grader came by the house, which made Buster jump down, go over to the windows behind the bathtub and stare out the window. He wasn't coming in here, but Buster never knows that for sure, and it was a noise he wasn't used to.


I did my morning surfing, then I ran - or tried to run - off to the post office, because I had forgotten that the postage went up yesterday (see how many letters I mail these days!) and I didn't want that letter about my mammogram films to come back for insufficient postage. Clyde was in a jolly mood, and he gave me a yummy new dessert.


You take one of those giant strawberries that are around now, and carve out the center of the top with a small melon baller, then you pour in a little kalua (sorry, neither I nor MS know how it's spelled, and I'm not going looking for my bottle to find out) or something like it and spritz a little whipped cream on top...wow, is that a combination! Yum!


The reason I didn't get to run to the post office is that there were two huge dump trucks and the grader in the road up by Dr. V's, and we all had to back and fill a bit to let me out, and I had to back up into Dr. V's driveway coming back to get out of the way of the grader. Our road is being graded - I mean really graded, for the first time in a long time (if ever). I met Ron when he was going out and I was going in, and he said it's costing the Association $3000...but it's worth it. Once the snow melted, the road was really awful, and with summer coming and more traffic coming, it was only going to get worse. We owe Mike a big vote of thanks for getting it done.


Well, I fiddled around some, but eventually I moved some stuff around and set up my sewing and pressing station. It turns out that the cart with my jewelry in it, if I put a pad on it, is a pretty good pressing station, except that the iron comes out of the wall on the wrong side. And I did a little sewing. I am making a kind of cute tote bag, and I think I'm about half done. The problem is, the pattern suggested stipple quilting the bag fabric, and I've never done that before, and it was a long job. Not that I did a very good job of it, but maybe nobody will notice, since the thread is the same color as the background. Anyway, my lining is prepared, and the front pocket is attached. It has lots of pockets. I have to make the back pocket, then I can start sewing it together.


I was glad to see that I'm not having too much problem sewing, even though I haven't done any for a long time. It took a while to get my tools together, but now they are all at hand, and that helps. The only thing is, I can only sew by natural light when it's very light, so I had to stop about 7:00 or turn on the lights in the office, which you could see in the camera.


The weather was okay. It was sunny this morning, but it began to cloud up around noon, and it is now very cloudy. The temperature got up to  61, around noon and again around 4:00, and it was in the upper 50s otherwise. There was a very light breeze from the south for most  of the day. although over the past couple of hours it has risen into the 15-30 mph range. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow. That's all right - we need it, even though the new gravel on the road will make a mess. Maybe they'll have to regrade it after the rain.


So even though it's early, I am going to haul in the bird feeders and head up for the north end, since I didn't get my quota of sleep last night. The sewing felt good, so maybe I will soon be up for cushions or boxes or tote bags.


It's a cloudy, windy night in the field, and the rain is coming.


May 11

I had a bowl of cereal for dinner and went up to the north end, where I read for a while, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. And Buster wanted me to get up around 8:30, so I did. 


Not that I did anything with my day. I knitted a while, and determined that I am actually halfway through a square around row 24, which is interesting, since there are 68 rows in a square, but I am effectively decreasing a stitch every row, so pretty soon there aren't many stitches in a row. And I am over halfway through the first square of the second side. When my scientific background rises up to bite me. It's one reason I keep a calculator in the bathroom.


I called Dr. Lehman and I am now set up to get my repeat mammogram and ultrasound on the 22nd, and that was a trip, too. Of course, they want my old films, so I had to call the mammography place, then I had to quick write a letter, write a check (they charge $10 to send them) and toddle off to the post office. So I guess now I am going to be having my mammograms here, which isn't all bad. There was no way I was going back to that other place again, and if I can have them here, I won't have to fit that into my spring schedule in Detroit.


There was a box at the post office, which contained two catalogs, each over 1" thick, from another jewelry supply place, but they don't have much of what I am interested in, and their prices are, in general, very high compared to either of my favorite places. Anyway, it was fun to look at a new catalog. And I was able to stop at the store and get more milk. Since I have not been able to drink boos, I have been having milk with my dinner, and a half-gallon goes fast.


And that was about all I did. I read a magazine this morning, and I spent most of the late afternoon looking at the catalogs. I paid some bills, and the money situation is alarming, but what else is new? I have the dishwasher almost filled to run tonight.


It was a beautiful, if cold, day. The temperature got up to 46 briefly, and there was almost no wind. There wasn't a cloud in the sky all day. It was nice, if you were in the sun.


Oh, yes, the news of the day. When I came into the office and brought up my camera page, I immediately noticed that the tube feeder was missing. Oh, dear. So after I ate breakfast, I went out onto the deck to look for it, and I found it in pieces under the deck! I mean, really in pieces. Even the perches had been torn out of the tubes, and one of the perches had been snapped off (they are aluminum, for heaven's sake!). So the bear is around. I don't know why he attacked that one and not the others, because they were all empty. So my tube feeder is no more, and I will have to bring the feeders in every night from now on. That's why they didn't get put out today. I have to fill the pail with sunflower seeds, and I never got to it. Tomorrow. 


Now i have to decide if I want to invest in a new tube feeder (after all, it lasted about 7 years) or make do. I can't buy anything until after Wednesday anyway, so I have time to think about it. I really like that tube feeder. It held a lot, and it was very sturdy, all things considered. I can't count the number of times it got ripped off the branch and tossed around before it finally succumbed. I will have to look at the Duncraft website and see what I can find.


So that was my non-productive day, and it's a cold, clear night in the field.


May 10 - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers and grandmothers. I honored mine in thought.


I got to bed around 11:30 last night, I think, which was remarkable, but it didn't do any good. It took me a while to get to sleep. When I did, I had some strange and interesting dreams. Possibly that was a result of having eaten so late, but it was also probably because I didn't take the time to compose my mind for sleep by my usual staring at the floor or reading. I got up around 8:30, and petted a cat and knitted for a while.


I didn't do anything but my daily surfing, and I fiddled around after that until it was time for dinner.


Oh, my, what a dinner! It started out with a lovely quiche appetizer, followed by roasted cauliflower soup, and a salad of baby greens with a very nice dressing. Then there was duck breast, which is a dish I love, accompanied by a very interesting concoction of lentils, onions and tomatoes, and wild mushroom risotto, which is something else I love. And it was topped off by a chocolate mousse in a very flaky pastry crust. Oh, my! I haven't eaten like that since last year. The only thing missing was my JD and a nice glass of wine with my duck. Phooey.


When I walked into Harbor Haus, lo and behold they had rearranged the bar. Instead of having it in the little room with a wall, they had turned it around and opened up the wall. It looks much more spacious now, and Chris said it gives them much more flexibility. It was nice. Shortly after I sat down, I discovered that the Beveridges were at the next table - they are back - and then I realized that at the table behind me were Connie and Carol from the ladies' group, with their husbands, and with them were Nancy and Chip! It was so nice to see them. They haven't been here since last year. They won't be here too long, but I hope to at least talk to them before they go.


While we were finishing up, who should come in were Roxie, Peggy, Liz and another lady, Gerry, that we know. So it was really old home week, and I think most of the rest of the Copper Harborites were upstairs, except for the members of the Trails Club - Steve, Aaron, Amanda, and someone who introduced herself to me, Melanie, were bussing tables, and Amanda was bartending (which is one of her jobs). Half of the proceeds of the dinner will go to the Copper Harbor Trails Club, and everybody obviously gets into it.


Anyway, about the time I signed my check, Peggy came over and invited me to join them to talk, so I did that, and I didn't get home until after 6:00! They are a great group, and we had a good time, or I hope they did. I did.


The other thing that was going on today is that the Laughing Loon had a silversmith on site, so we all stopped, and he had some really beautiful things, mostly pendants set with local agates, datolite and greenstone. Unfortunately, they were all out of my price range, because I saw at least two I would like to own.


Two of the ladies were wearing pendants made by a local artist that I will be able to do, wire wrapped very nicely. Now I know what to do with mama's agate. The gold filled wire I got to wrap it is too heavy, so I will have to get some very fine wire. The ones the ladies were wearing are wrapped in copper, but mama's agate doesn't go with copper very well - it needs gold. How I wish I could walk the beaches again and find all those beautiful agates! Somewhere downstairs I have a bunch that my dad tumbled, and it would be fun to work with those, too.


The weather was beautiful but cold. It made it up to 42 in the afternoon, and there wasn't any wind to speak of. There weren't many clouds to speak of either, except for a glaze of very high, very thin cirrus, and it was sunny and the lake was very blue. Knowing how riled up it can get, it is amazing to see Mother Superior when the water isn't even lapping at the shore.


So that was my nice, social day. Buster wasn't too pleased when I came home so late, but too bad for him. I spent the evening reading two of the shorter stories I typed a while ago and never reread. There were a lot of typos, and in a couple of places, I managed to leave out whole sentences. In one place, I knew what should be there, but in the other, I just removed the next sentence. The handwritten copies are up in the north end, and I didn't feel like hauling them down here. Word's grammar checker is better than nothing, but it's not very good.


Now it's time to toddle up to the north end again. It's a cold, clear night in the field.


May 9

I read for a while, and I still managed to get into bed by 11:00, which was nice. I got up around 8:00, although I woke up with a headache and I didn't feel like getting up. I felt better after I was upright, though, and sometimes I think I feel worse when I get too much sleep. So I petted a very purry cat and started the second side of the sweater, although I have my doubts about it. It looks to be too big and too wide in the neck. We'll see. After the next failure, I'm going back to socks.


I didn't do a lot with my long day, I have to confess. I went to the post office, where the new perches for my feeder were there. Now I can see if I can fix it. I didn't feel like bringing it in today and fiddling. And there were a bunch of bills.


I finished reading the book on sewing techniques - very interesting - and I finally looked at a pattern magazine I had managed to miss, and saw three or four patterns I'd like to have, but they are so expensive I'll have to think about it.


And wonder of wonders, I dug out the sewing machine, made order around it, and oiled it up! Amazing. It was dusty (even though I keep it covered) and there was some stuff in side it, including a small cache of birdseed, of all things. That mouse must have been really busy before Jasmine found him. I didn't mind so much that there was birdseed under the machine, but there is a small area where the bottom cover doesn't fit, and there was some in there, too. I think I got it all out. When I was done, it hummed away like it wasn't 41 years old, so now I have even fewer excuses for not sewing.


I have two tote bag kits that I think I will start with - all straight sewing and pretty easy - then it's on to cushion covers and nightgowns. And I need to keep on with the jewelry, but I just didn't feel like it today.


Part of the reason for that was that I was doing my morning surfing when I looked out the window - and it was snowing, for heaven's sake! It snowed on and off all day long, and it was cold and miserable, and so was I. The temperature all day was around 33 and there was a north wind in the 10-20 mph range. It was not nice out.


Buster wanted to sit on my lap all day, and I let him for quite a while this afternoon. I don't know what his problem is now. Jasmine spent most of the day hunkered down someplace, and I only saw her briefly this morning and just now.


Somehow, what I was doing kept me occupied so much that I didn't eat dinner until after 9:00, so there will be no reading and no writing tonight. Tomorrow I have a reservation for the Mother's Day thing at Harbor Haus, and after seeing the menu in the paper (I really had to hunt for it), I am looking forward to it. Ron is playing again, and I know it will be wonderful.


Now it is a cold, dampish night in the field, and it's time to huddle under the comforter and get a good night's sleep again.


May 8

Well, this was a day that didn't turn out the way I expected.


I went up to the north end about 10:00 last night and started writing, so it was midnight before I got to bed, and it was 9:00 before I got up. Apparently 9 hours is now my required sleep, just as it always was before I got sick. So maybe if I got started earlier, I could get up earlier...we'll try it tonight, or try to try it tonight.


I did my morning thing, and Buster was particularly loving. When I got to the computer, there was a message from the doctor, saying, essentially, oops, and there would be another prescription for more Flagyl. Oh, drat. Another trip to Houghton. Then, just after I confirmed that, Bonnie invited me to lunch, which I had to turn down, but I suggested I stop by on my way home.


So I did my surfing, gathered the things I wanted to take to Bonnie and went off to Houghton. They are doing something to Shelden Avenue in Houghton, and US-41 south is detoured all around it in both directions, so things are kind of a mess there.


I got my prescription and immediately took one, since the directions now say take 3 a day, which was the oops. The fact sheet says to take it with food, but I didn't and I didn't have any adverse effects. I have only noticed a bad taste in my mouth lately, which is a known side effect. I also got a tube of toothpaste, so I shouldn't have to go back to Wal-Mart for a while.


I got gas, and I notice that the price is creeping back up - it was $2.20 at Wal-Mart, which is usually the very cheapest place in the area. That is up 20 from the last time I was there two weeks ago. Of course, it's getting to be summer, so what can we expect?


Then it was back north. I took the Eagle Harbor Cutoff to Eagle Harbor and came up M-26, which I think is the long way around, actually, but I haven't been on that road in ages, and it was clearing up a bit, so it was nice. In fact, it has to have been 30 years or more since I was over the Eagle Harbor Cutoff road, and I didn't remember it at all. I was surprised by how many people are living out there. I was also surprised and saddened by how many lakeshore properties, some with pretty nice houses, are for sale. Signs of the times, I guess.


Bonnie met me, and we had a nice conversation, mostly about our ailments. She is coming along really well, although she has to go to work at the fort in two weeks, which is a little sooner than I think either she or her doctor would really like, but it's either that or give up her summer job. When Rich came home, we had a lovely conversation about gardening. He is a huge vegetable gardener, and he has the most wonderful variety of seeds to plant for the summer. I promised them I will go back and see their garden when it's growing. 


I also finished the back of the sweater, and I don't know about it. Because of the way it's constructed, the neckline is very wide...not deep, just wide. I'm not sure that it won't slip over my shoulder when I wear it. We'll see. The instructions say to finish the neck before doing the sleeves, but I think I'm going to have to put the whole thing together before I see just how to finish it. I hope I don't end up with another unwearable sweater.


So that took up the afternoon, and I got home about 5:00. The doctor wants me to report back in a week, and if things aren't back to normal by then, we'll have to try another antibiotic. I have seen enough signs of improvement that I have some hope that it will be over by then, but if not, there is another (more expensive) antibiotic that will probably cure me. I'm looking forward to it.


That wasn't what I wanted to do today, but it turned out all right anyway.


The weather was OK. It was much cooler than the past few. The high temperature for the day was at midnight, 51, and it declined all day, but it was mostly about 45. It was cloudy until about 2:00. When I left Houghton, I had to put on my sunglasses, because it was clearing up, although it was a south to north flow, so it was cloudy when I got to Bonnie and Rich's house and didn't clear up until later. There are still a few clouds in the sky, and it is supposed to cloud up and rain or snow tomorrow. There was a chilly north wind, around 15 mph, for most of the day. Strange to see the wind from the north and the clouds going in the other direction, but that happens sometimes.


While I am not looking forward to temperatures around 40 and rain, we really need it. When I passed the "Smokey" sign in Allouez, the fire threat was high. So I guess no burning my boxes for a while. I have several brush piles left over from the tree cutting of last fall, but I'm not sure I want to burn them now. They have been there long enough that I'm sure the little critters have begun to take up residence, and I don't relish the idea of charred chipmunk - or even charred mouse.


Now I will trudge up to the north end and either write or read for a while and try to make it into bed a little earlier tonight. It's getting hard, though, because the sun isn't setting until nearly 9:15, and it's not dark until well after 10:00. It's not that I mind going to sleep when it's still light out, it's just that I forget about it.


It's a cool, party cloudy evening in the field.


May 7

When I went up to the north end last night, I read over what I had written the last time, then I wrote for a little while, but I think it was probably only 11:30 when I got to bed. My target time these days is 11:00, but 11:30 works, too. I got up about 8:45, and knitted and petted a cat for a while. I am now working on the last square on the back of the sweater.


I don't think I did much today. I packed up the coat of many colors for the time, and after that, I went through the barrel of publications in the powder room and threw most of them away. I moved books around and I am beginning to make a little room around the sewing machine. I put most of the books in the bookshelves, which are getting full. Unfortunately, I can't reach the top shelves. I did some picky things, like chopping up the jewelry tags I made yesterday. This time, I managed to make them all the same size. I have some more books to look through again, including one I just looked at that has some interesting ideas for bracelets, and some of the books on bead embroidery, which I hope to do more of. Sometimes I need to look at other people's work to get my creative juices going. I did work on the herringbone bracelet a little bit, but not much.


Since I hadn't heard from Dr. Lehman, I called again, and he had lost the note. Oh. Anyway, the mammography place wanted an ultrasound. That is exactly what they did to me in 1997, and I believe it doesn't mean anything except that they are trying to raise revenues, but the doctor says I should do it - here. So I called the hospital, and talked to a scheduler, and she sounded like this is something that happens to them a lot, so I will call Dr. Lehman back on Monday with their fax number. I will hold off on my blood testing until the ultrasound is scheduled and do everything on one day.


It was another beautiful day. It was mostly clear after 8:00 this morning, and there was almost no wind all day long. The high temperature (officially) was 64, just this evening, but that was on the shady side of the house. On the sunny side of the house, it got into the mid to upper 70s, and I had the windows and doors open for most of the afternoon. I shut them a while ago, because just enough of a breeze sprang up to cause the boiler to come on.


I understand that it is supposed to cloud up and rain, and they are even predicting the possibility of snow on Saturday. I doubt it will happen here, but one never knows. It's still early spring in Keweenaw, although the field is greening up more every day, and it looked like one of my birch bushes (the one where the picnic tree was) is beginning to show buds.


Speaking of that, it is so nice to have the porch open. There is much more light in the kitchen, and I can see out when look out the door from the bedroom. I looked out yesterday and discovered that one of the spruces in the clump in front of the house had broken off about 4' from the ground (I guess). I will have to have Adam remove it completely, because it is blocking my view. I have lost a lot of trees since I've lived here, but I think those spruces (black or white, I don't know which) must be very brittle, because they seem to break off frequently. I noticed that the top is gone from the one beside the broken one, too. In one respect, having them gone is good, because I can see the harbor better from the porch, but I do hate to lose another tree.


This evening before I shut the doors, Mr. Chickadee was singing his happy song, no doubt serenading Mrs. (or maybe Ms.) Chickadee, but otherwise I didn't hear many bird songs. I did see three of what I believe were hawks fly over late in the afternoon - they weren't shaped or colored like ravens, and they were too small for eagles - but they flew so fast, I didn't get a good look at them. That is why I will never make a dedicated birder: I simply can't react fast enough to really see anything that isn't sitting around.


I refilled the feeder on the deck, and when I went to get my dinner, there was the little chipmunk, sitting on the deck with his head over the side of the feeder, slurping up the little seeds. There were some sparrows eating the little seeds, too, although the squirrels don't. He is so cute, but so far I have only seen evidence of one chipmunk this year. Of course, it could be half a dozen and I only see one at a time, but with all that seed around, I don't think there are more than two or three at most.


So that was another nice, if quiet, day, and I'm off to do some more writing, I think. It's a lovely, nearly clear night in the field and there should be an almost full moon up there tonight.


May 6

I went up to the north end about 10:00, but I started writing, and so it was 12:15 before I got to bed. It was nice and cool in the bedroom and I slept well. I was awake around 7:30, and that was too early, so it was 9:00 or so before I got up. I petted a cat but I didn't knit, since I expected to do lots of that this afternoon.


I was eating my breakfast and preparing to visit Bonnie when she called and called it off. She tried to go a whole day without taking any pain meds, and it just didn't work, so she was very tired and her physical therapist hadn't come yet. Well, it was a disappointment, but I understand. So I took my knitting into the powder room and did a bit.


I was working on the folded ribbon bracelet, when I got a call from somebody at Lakeshore Mammography saying somebody (I still don't know who) had said there needed to be some more work done. Oh? So I said, not possible, I will call my doctor. Dr. Lehman isn't at the office where I see him on Wednesday, so they said they would fax him a note. Evidently it didn't get to him, because I never heard back from him. Of course, that upset me, but I am not going to obsess about it. They did that to me once before, and it turned out, when they did the follow-up work, there was nothing there. I think they are in CYA mode, and I won't think otherwise until I talk to Lehman - and maybe afterwards, too.


So I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and put some more pots and pans to soak before I went back to my bracelet. I finished it this evening, and I still like it. That particular color combination didn't work very well with the twisted rope pattern, but it I think it looks quite nice in the folded ribbon. I have been wanting to make another twisted herringbone bracelet, which it appears I never posted a picture of, ever since I made the first one. I am doing this one a little differently from the first on, it appears, so I will be interested to see how it comes out. I don't know why I never posted that picture. Well, I will take pictures of the the new one and the folded ribbon one and post them when I'm done. I have less than an inch of the herringbone one done, because I had to refer to my books to recall how to do it.


I also found with another different stitch that I want to try, probably in the same beads. This one is called "St. Petersburg braid" and it has some interesting possibilities. More on that when I get to it.


Oh, yes, and I swept the deck side of the office. I didn't do a perfect job, which will take the vacuum, but I got most of the birdseed off the floor and out onto the deck. Between my massage and the weather, my back isn't feeling too bad right now, although it does bother me when I have to bend half over.


The weather was delightful, but it was one of those days when the temperature depended on which side of the house you were on. On the deck, it was close to 70 all afternoon, and Jasmine was rolling around on the porch in the sun she was so happy. On the back side, however, it probably never got over 63, which was the official high for the day. The reason was partly the wind - there was almost none, and what there was came from the east. So I had a cool breeze coming in the window, which as served to cool down the house nicely. It was one of those partly cloudy days with puffy clouds above a general haze that left the sky either pale blue or light gray, but there was a lot of sunshine late in the day.


It was nice to have the sliding doors open, and to hear the outdoors, although there weren't very many bird songs. This evening, a chickadee was singing his song, as differentiated from his call. His song is very sweet. There were fewer birds than I might have expected, but the goldfinches are evidently still molting. I did have four or five pine siskins around this morning, so they have evidently made a comeback. And there was a grackle hanging around this afternoon. He wants small seeds or corn, though, so he doesn't bother the sunflower seeds. This morning there was a pair of mergansers fishing in front of the house.


After watching a chipmunk for a while, I have decided that at least some of them will shuck a sunflower and keep only the insides in their pouches, and they collect the little seeds, too. That makes sense, since that shuck would take up a lot of room in a little cheek.


I left the porch window open last night, and at least twice somebody (or bodies) went thundering down the hallway and, I think, into the office. I wonder what they were seeing? I half expected to see a feeder on the deck this morning, but evidently whatever it was, it wasn't a coon and it wasn't a bear. Even Buster was dashing around, so he evidently feels pretty good.


So that was my day, and I'm off to the north end again. I will probably read what I wrote last night, but I'm not sure I will write any more. 


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


May 5

Last night, I got to bed around 11:30. I didn't read and I didn't knit, but I did spend quite a while staring at the floor. Apparently I need that to quiet my mind before I go to sleep. I was up several times, and I didn't get up until almost 9:00...late by recent standards, but still early enough.


It was a quiet day. I finished the tan necklace and I worked almost 5" of a new pattern I am calling folded ribbon, which I think is coming out nicely. The ribbon is blue and green, and the background is copper. I would like to try some other combinations with it, but I want to do several other things with those blue and green beads before I put them away. I went to the post office and stopped at the store for milk. I am drinking milk instead of boos these days...oh, sigh.


The weather was lovely, even though it was mostly cloudy. The official temperature got up to 64, but I think that was low, and it was warmer both here and in town, with a wind that was mostly from the south. It was breezy, too, in the 15-30 mph range. 


I had the window in the office open about 12" for most of the day, and after I got home from the post office, I went outside and pulled up the shutters, so the porch is now open. I left the great room slider open for a while, and I had the door from the porch to the kitchen open for a while, too. I opened the hall window, so the kitties can come and go, and I will leave that one open, particularly since it's hard to tell where Jasmine is. I don't know if she spent much time out there, but when I went to make my dinner, I looked out and there was Buster ensconced on the two throw pillows that are piled on the end table, and he was looking very comfortable. They do like to hear and smell what is going on outside.


I saw my first warbler in many years today - unfortunately, dead on the deck. I can only assume it hit the window. It was the teeniest little thing, sort of olive with some yellow on it. I dropped it over the deck, and I hope something takes care of it in a hurry. So sad. I don't know what to do about it, though, since no way in hell could I get up to those upper story windows (at least 15' off the floor) to put decals or anything on them. 


There was also a white throated sparrow hanging around the deck this afternoon. I really should sit in the ugly chair and just watch, but that slows down production a lot. I bead at the desk, because that puts the beads at a convenient height so that I don't have to bend over or reach very far, and it is very comfortable.


I had my usual problem starting the bracelet, and my usual troubles with a new pattern (just before I stopped, I actually had to break a bead), but I am getting the hang of it.


In the middle of the afternoon, the equipment at the Mountain Lodge failed and we were without broadband for an hour or so, but the pictures you didn't see were just about like the ones you did. I called PastyNet, and they called back to say Mike was on his way up there, so it hit him, too. Ron must have been doing something else, and I bet he was taking down his shutters, too. Spring is here.


Spring is really here. There was a lot more green in the side and back yards than there was yesterday, and I can see the tansy over the drain field from the house. I will have to try to get out and blitz that before it goes crazy again.


There is evidently some rain on the way. It got very dark early in the afternoon, and I saw some virga in the clouds, but nothing hit the ground. There were some really interesting clouds out there. One of the things I like about beading or embroidering is that I can face the deck while I am doing it, and I look up frequently, which is good for my eyes and lets me keep track of what is going on outside.


Tonight I concocted a new way to cook chicken. I had an old recipe off a Campbell's soup can for chicken with Italian tomato soup, but they stopped making that a long time ago. So I hauled out a small can of Italian seasoned diced tomatoes (with basil, oregano and garlic), and the half-can of tomato paste I had in the freezer. I seasoned the flour for the chicken with Italian seasoning, and I had the whole thing over rotini (or I think it's rotini - anyway, its some kind of corkscrew pasta). It turned out very well, I would say, so I can change the recipe and I have another way to cook my chicken. I still need to put it away.


So that was my quiet day. The porch is opened up, and after I get some more jewelry done for Liz, I really must start sewing. I don't want to see those bolts of fabric around for another year!


It's a cloudy, warmish night in the field, and I'm off to the north end.


May 4

I think it was close to midnight when I got to bed last night. I didn't get up to the north end until 10:00, and I decided to write a bit...and you know where that leads. I was up several times, and I ended up throwing back the quilt, as long as I had it to my back. When I was on the other side, it was too cool. I got up around 8:30 anyway, so I had plenty of time to eat breakfast and do my morning surfing before it was off to my massage.


I used to think Buster had some idea what time it is, and that was why he would bug me in the morning, but now I think it's the change in my breathing when I begin to wake up. As soon as it starts to get light, or when I have been in bed a long time (and not petting him), and I begin to come to, he will jump up on the bed and try to wake me up and pet him. I am pretty sure cats have no sense of time at all. They know when it is light, and they know when it is dark, and they know when they are hungry, and that's about it. They remember things that have happened to them, but "when" isn't something they know about. What a nice way to live. I do that to some extent now, but since the rest of the world uses clocks, sometimes I have to, too.


For some time I have thought time is an invention of man and has no bearing on the rest of the universe whatever, and I have heard that at least one cosmologist thinks that, too.


Anyway, before my massage, I filled the bird feeders and had to endure two squirrels that were up in the tree chattering at each other. At least one of them was very hungry, because it was eating the seed that I dropped on the deck while I was coming and going with feeders.


It was a glorious day. It was completely clear for most of the day again, and today there was almost no wind. The temperature got up to 57 for a little while before it dropped back. I had the office window open all day, although I closed it a bit when the wind switched around to the east and the temperature was only about 50.


I didn't do a lot. I worked on the tan necklace, and it is ready for the findings, and I discovered a new way to anchor the ends when I am twisting them, which might work even better than the old way. I strung the last two strands by hand, and that was problematical, too, because I had to tie on the needle and the thread I was using didn't want to stay tied. I see why some books say to glue the knots, which is what I had to do. I'm still fiddling with the method. I do glue the knots where I tie the strands together, and I wanted them to dry thoroughly before I put the clasp on, so I will do that tomorrow.


Then I got fiddling with seed beads, to see if I could create a shaped piece. The 11 beads are so small, though, that I couldn't figure out the thread path, so I think I will have to work it out with bigger beads. I have to believe I can do it, it will just take time.


And that is all I did.


Mostly I enjoyed the weather, which is about to cloud up and rain. Yesterday and today were great, though.


It's a clear night in the field, if the state of the moon is any indication, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and not read or write tonight.


May 3

I was late again last night, and I skipped the bath and got into bed around 11:30 again. I was up several times during the night, and I didn't sleep well after about 6:00, when I started having some very weird and very vivid dreams. I finally got up around 8:45, then I petted a cat and knitted for a while.


I didn't do much today. I began to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight - cat dishes again - and I discovered that somebody or some bodies had eaten every scrap of dry food in all four bowls. It was probably gone last night and I just didn't notice. Jasmine was really hungry, but she simply would not eat when I was in the kitchen, so she had to wait until I finished making my breakfast. She will eat a little canned food every so often, but I think she eats mostly dry food. Buster eats both, although he has his favorite dry food.


I spent most of the rest of the day fiddling around with peyote graph paper and a pencil, and out of all that, I have a few new patterns to try. 


Then I decided to try my bead spinner. Well. They make it look so easy, but it's not. There is a very narrow angle where you have to hold the needle, and if you don't, you don't get any beads. I could have strung two strings by hand in the time it took me to get the first one done. The second one was better, or a little better. Now I am trying to decide whether to try doing the other two strings using it. They have some bugles and some small beads in them along with the "E" beads, and I'm not sure it will work. I'm not sure whether the bugles will go over the needle, which has a "J" shaped hook at the end. Well, it wasn't extremely expensive. I had hoped to use it for the necklaces with the spikes, which I want to do, and which have 18 strands of seed beads. Of course those beads are loose, and if the spinner worked well, it would make the process a lot easier.


The weather was glorious, and I even toyed with the idea of opening up the shutters on the porch. The temperature finally got to 57 at 7:00, and for most of the afternoon there was a rather strong northwest wind in the 15-30 mph range, although that has died down almost completely now. There were no clouds at all, and all that sunshine made it quite warm in here. I opened the window when the temperature in the office hit 78. It was a very pretty day.


So that was a very quiet day, and my elimination seems to have taken a step backward. I will see how tonight and tomorrow morning go before I start talking to the doctor. 


Now it's a quiet, clear night in the field, and I'm off to the north end.


May 2

I was late getting to the north end - and I will be later tonight - and I read over the last stuff I wrote before I took my bath and went to bed at about 11:30. I was up around 8:00, because both shoulders were sore, and I knitted a bit and petted a cat a bit, and I was still in the office with my breakfast before 9:30. Amazing.


Not that I did anything much with my long day. I washed up all the dirty pots, pans and lids, and they are now on the counter, dry and ready to put away. I finished the bracelet. I read through a whole pile of books I hadn't looked at in a long time and found some with graphed patterns I can probably convert to peyote stitch, and I fiddled around with graphing some of them and I now have two or three new patterns to try. I went to the post office to send back my yarn...and that was about it.


For the first one I did in a long time, the bracelet came out pretty good, I think. At least the sides are mostly straight. I don't have very many patterns that I have made in the past, and I am getting tired of them, thus the search for some new ones.


I was interested to find one of the patterns in the book I can't use because the author wants too much per pattern is repeated in a book I can use, so if anybody asks me about it, I got it from the other book. It is the counterchange pattern, which I rather like. The problem is, all those patterns are from the 16th and 17th centuries, and therefore in the public domain, so as far as I can see, the "copyright" on the books means nothing. I'm not going to pay somebody $15 for a pattern I have seen two or three other places, since it certainly doesn't belong to her.


The weather was lovely. It rained off and on for most of the night, and it was evidently still cloudy at sunrise, but by the time I got up, it was clear and sunny, and it stayed that way all day. The temperature finally got up to 50, but for most of the afternoon it was a little cooler than that, and it felt much cooler, because the wind was out of the northwest in the 15-30 mph range. There were even some whitecaps on the harbor, but otherwise it was very, very blue.


Sometime in the late afternoon, I went into the powder room and I saw something moving around the drain field, and there was one of my deer, grazing contentedly on the nice green grass that is growing there. That is about the only green there is around, though. Everything else is still all brown and dead. When they installed my drain field, they seeded it with grass, and in spite of all the tansy, there is still evidently a lot of it growing there. I hope to get rid of the tansy this year.


It was too windy for there to be many birds, although there were a couple of squirrels and a brave nuthatch every so often. One of the squirrels seems to prefer eating out of the cedar feeder, even when there is food on the deck, darn him (or her). The only way I will stop that is when I begin to bring in the feeders every night, and I hope not to have to do that for as long as possible.


I had some of my good cheese rather late in the afternoon, and as a result I wasn't hungry at dinner time, so I just finished eating (at 10:15). I should wait before I take my evening pills, but I think I will ignore that for tonight and go to bed anyway.


 Some people I know think May is second only to September for weather in Keweenaw. I don't know about that, but it is pretty nice out, if a little chilly.


It's a cool, clear night in the field, and the next couple of days are supposed to be just as nice.


May 1

So here it is May already.


I wrote for a while last night (and didn't quite get to the actual wedding), and I got to bed around 11:30 again, I think. I got up for good around 8:30, but I knitted for a long time, so I wasn't particularly early getting to the office.


I was having trouble with the broadband for a while this morning - for a while, it was less than half as fast as it is supposed to be, but eventually it recovered enough for me to do my morning surfing. In the meantime, I decided to start a bracelet.


Wow! Talk about being out of practice! Not only did I have a terrible time getting it started, when I was stretching the thread ("conditioning" is what they call it), it broke, leaving me with not very much to work with, and then I managed to put a knot in it. However, I worked on it off and on, and I have about 4" done. I have stopped for a while, because my left hand, which is where I hold the completed part, is beginning to go into cramps. I need to do a lot more beading, for sure.


I went to the post office, where just about everything I ordered last weekend came, and I discovered that I ordered the wrong colors of yarn, so I will be sending it back for exchange. The colors I need both had a light and a dark variety and I guessed wrong on both of them. Darn. My high-quality probiotics came, too, so now I am trying to fill my gut with three different kinds.


I think I see some improvement in my elimination, so I guess the antibiotic is working. The thing I have is called C. difficile, and I keep wondering if they named it because it is difficult to eradicate, or maybe because it causes difficulties when you get it. I can't say I am anywhere near normal yet, but I can see progress. Maybe all the probiotics will help, too. Boy, do I hope so!


I got the order to have my kidney function retested, so now I will have to decide when to go down to the hospital and get my blood drawn. Argh...another trip to Houghton! Oh, well, not until next week.


The weather was variable. When I got up, it was perfectly clear, but a while later, I looked up to see a few puffy clouds in the sky, heading south, and the next thing I knew, it was all clouded up. Sometime during the day, it even rained a few drops...and now it is just about clear again. The temperature was 40 until 2:00, when it went up to 44, which is still under our average maximum of 51, so the cool temperatures we have had since last year are continuing. It was windy all night, and there was some wind earlier in the afternoon as well, mostly in the 15-25 mph range from the north.


Even though I am working on a bracelet, I am thinking about other things, and I want to try my bead spinner and make a couple more of those beige necklaces, and maybe even another one with the spikes. However, there are a few findings and other things I need, so I guess I will have to put in an order to the bead store...not until next month, though. That trip to Detroit was a costly one, so I have to shut down the credit cards for a couple of weeks.


There is one finding I know I once bought in gold, but I simply cannot find it, and I can't make some of the necklaces until I do. I'd like to make another spiky necklace out of the gunmetal beads, but I can't do that without getting some more crystals...and while I'm at it, I will get enough for two of the other colors, too. When I got the seed beads for those things, I didn't know how many beads it would take, so I have gobs of them, and it would be nice to use them up. I keep thinking about some other things, too, so since it's been two years since I ordered any beads, I guess it's about time.


I opened the window in the office a bit, and the kitties were entranced. Jasmine had her head right against the screen and she was looking down like her eyes were bugging out. I think probably there was either a squirrel or a chipmunk down there, and she was really excited about it. Then she turned around and proceeded to thoroughly wash the top of his head and his back in front of his tail. While I have seen him give her a lick or two, I have never seen him wash her. It didn't seem to bother him to have her do it, though. He is still very clingy, and I hope it doesn't mean he doesn't feel good, although he has been active enough that I think he is all right. He will be 14 years old on May 18, and at that age, anything can happen.


So that is about all I know. It's a lovely clear night in the field tonight, and there may be some stars, at least for a while.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM