A View From the Field








July, 2009

July 31

First, thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. I appreciate it very much. It turned out to be a nice birthday after all.


I got to bed about 11:00 last night, but I was up several times during the night, and I got up at 8:00 this morning. There weren't any stars during the night, but when I got up this morning, it was clear. I petted a cat for a while, but he left, and I finished the little triangle at the corner of the neck and started the shoulder square.


I figured since it was my birthday and I didn't think I'd be going out, I would have the last of my bilberry pancakes, and I did and they were very good.


I actually didn't do anything much but play with the computer. However, I discovered when changing my pants last evening, that my house and post office box keys were missing. After thinking it over, I decided that I must have left them at the post office, so I called Clyde, and sure enough, I had. So I headed off at the usual time, and there was a parking problem at the post office. Between the tourists and the locals (end of month and Friday, you know), it was hard to find a place to put my car. So besides getting my keys and a little bit of mail, I got to see and talk to my neighbors for a change, which was nice.


Before that, around noon, Nancy called and invited me to join the remainder of the group for a late lunch at Harbor Haus. They wanted to do lunch instead of dinner because they have an Ahi tuna salad that they all liked. So of course, I said sure. so I went into town at 2:30 and again at 4:00, but that's all right. I don't usually do it, so once or twice won't hurt.


We had a lovely lunch/dinner/whatever. I had whitefish, since even though I had fish last night, I haven't had my quota this year, and frankly, the portion was just about the same as the last time I had it for dinner. No salad, but that was fine and I was able to eat the whole thing. It was good, very good, and the company was lovely. They ordered me a slice of black forest cherry torte for dessert (with a candle), and we all shared a little of it, just for a little sweet after dinner.


So I had  a lovely birthday after all. All that was missing was my JD, but even though today was an "off" day, I was a bit afraid to try it. They were all drinking wine, and it looked soooo good! Oh, well. Only two more weeks.


Between the post office and dinner, I started another bronze medallion bracelet, but I was all thumbs, my fingernails were getting in the way, and i kept tangling the thread, so I didn't get very far, and I decided not to try it again when I got home.


The weather was the kind of interesting day so many of my birthdays have been. It was gloriously clear and lovely when I got up, but by 10:30 there were some clouds in the west, and around 11:30 we had some fog that lasted for an hour and a half or so, then it clouded up, and when I was at the post office, there were even a few teensy drops of rain out of a dark cloud overhead, then it cleared up partially and the evening was quite nice. The temperature didn't get over 65º, but there was almost no wind out of the west, so it was nice out.


I find that the older I get the more ambivalent I am about birthdays. It's nice to know I'm still here after another year, but the time is ticking away, and I don't really like to be reminded of how old I am...I certainly don't feel it, except when I try to move. And the alternative to more birthdays is worse. I know my mother felt that way, too, and I think most older people do. I can celebrate having made it through another year without any catastrophes, and that is a good thing. I am certainly not having quite the kind of retirement I had hoped for, but in most ways it's not all that bad. At least I'm still living in the place I love. I wish I didn't have to try to make money, but at least so far I'm trying to do it by doing something I like to do.


Now another month is over. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always felt that my birthday was the end of the summer, even though we still had August to go, and my mother's birthday, which was August 13, was absolutely the end. I still feel that way, to a great extent. The days are getting markedly shorter, under 15 hours of daylight now, and if we are going to have any hot weather this summer, it will be from now through Labor Day. It's all a little depressing.


So that was a nice day, and now I absolutely have to get the dishwasher ready to run. I should have done it last night and didn't, but now I am completely out of cat food dishes. Then I think I will toddle up to the north end and jump right into bed. It's a coolish night in the field, and the moon has gone behind a cloud.


July 30

Thanks to all the people who pointed out to me that my dates had gotten screwed up. Shows you how much time means in Copper Harbor.


I got to bed about 11:00 last night, but I had a little trouble getting to sleep, for some reason. Once I got started I was fine, with only two wakeups - will wonders never cease! I got up around 8:30, and petted a very purry cat and finished a square of the sweater. 


I didn't start a new square, because I wanted to hold the piece up to me and see where it ended, and I more or less decided to start the neck. With the width I am making it, if it is too long, it won't hang properly over my hips. I have always been pear shaped, although when I was young, I had a very small waistline for my size. That has gone away as I've gotten older, and now I am just an elongated pear. That makes it hard to fit clothes that are straight up and down. If they drape nicely over my hips, they are too big on top, and if they fit on top, they pull across my hips. So I guess I will be going with the shorter version and hope it won't be too short, or I will have to rip it out again.


I finished the bronze medallion bracelet, and it came out nicely, but I didn't have time to take pictures of it.


The party started early, and we had a lovely time. They are all such nice people! I wish I could see more of them. One of the ladies glommed onto the bronze bracelet, and bought it on the spot, after she put it on and wouldn't take it off. How nice!


So now I have to make another one, so I can take pictures of it. It turned out much better than I thought, and it looked very nice on her somewhat tanned arm. I guess I was doubtful about it because I am not much of a brown person, and it is basically a brown bracelet. I will start a new one tomorrow.


The spring torsade set also went over very well, although nobody offered to buy it. I thought, when I finished it, that the necklace would be too small for it to lie right on my neck, but it turns out that it is exactly the right size, so that the big center bead nestles right between my collar bones. I think it looked nice, too. Now that I don't have any more places to wear it, I will post it on etsy and we'll see.


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy until mid-afternoon, when it began to clear up some, and it was lovely at Chip and Nancy's house, with a very blue lake and a very blue sky. There were a few whitecaps on the lake. There were a few clouds, and it looked like there would be a rather nice sunset. The temperature went up and down around 65º all day, and the wind got up to about 18 mph from the north for a while before it began to die down at sunset.


We saw two lakers while we were there, including one that must be a 1000-footer. I guess I should look at boatnerd to see what it was. Every time I go to Chip and Nancy's house, I am sorry I don't live on the big lake, but I keep consoling myself that the view is actually more interesting here most of the time.


Dinner was wonderful, the first time since I've been part of that group that we have actually had fresh-caught perch and bass, although it had to be supplemented with a little lake trout. It was wonderful, along with cole slaw, mixed veggies, some wonderful bread, and ice cream with toppings for dessert. Yum.


So that was nice. Some of the group stayed to see the sunset, but I came home, and Buster is now sitting on me like I had been gone for weeks. The moon, a little beyond first quarter, is shining in the south windows, and it is a lovely, calm night in the field.


July 29

I beaded for a while and got one repeat of the bronze medallion bracelet done. I like it, although it's more conventional colors than the other ones. I got to bed before 11:00, and I was up at 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00. What a drag! Mostly just pee, though. I finally got up around 8:00 when Buster stuck his butt in my face, but I had to pee again anyway. When I got up there were water drops on the window, and apparently between 7:00 and 8:00 we had a little shower.


I knitted and petted a cat, and I'm getting to the point where I am going to have to decide how long I want the sweater. Trouble is, if I make it a tunic, like I'd like to, I may not have enough yarn. I suppose I can tear it out again if that happens.


It was a dreary, cloudy and very windy morning, which is why the bird feeders didn't get put out today. I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat, so I finally had a TV dinner - not what I wanted.


I packed up the beads I needed to send back and went off to the post office, with a stop at the store on the way home. I'm drinking lots of milk these days.


Otherwise, besides fiddling around a bit, I beaded, and I am now about 2/3 of the way done with the bracelet.


I want to finish it, because the people staying at the fort have decided to leave on Friday instead of Saturday, since they have a 10 hour drive, and Paul has to go to work on Monday. So the traditional fish dinner is going to be tomorrow, and Nancy called. It was nice to talk to her. They have been here for nearly two weeks, but they had guests for most of the first week, so they have been relaxing since the visitors left. We traded medical stories, so as not to bore the guests tomorrow evening. I want to show everyone what I've been up to lately. That's always fun. 


Unfortunately, I don't have any American Spoon Foods relishes anymore, but I can bring some spreadable cheese and crackers. Otherwise, I don't have anything in the house to take.


Buster and I had the last of the chicken tonight, and we both thought it was good. Now I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do on Friday. I had hoped the people could help me celebrate my birthday, but I don't know what they will want to do, and I don't know if I want to go to Harbor Haus all alone. I've done that before on my birthday, and it's not the most fun. We will talk about it tomorrow and see what they want to do.


The weather started out cloudy and windy, like I said, with whitecaps on a very gray harbor, but by noon the wind was blowing the clouds away, and while there were a few clouds later in the afternoon, most of the day was lovely, sunny and in the upper 60s. It got to 68º, which is a lovely temperature for anything but sitting around in the wind, which was in the 15-30 mph range from the north for most of the afternoon. The wind finally died down, but by then it was too late for the bird feeders.


So I guess I will bead a little more, then haul myself up to the north end and try to get to bed by a reasonable hour again. There is a hazy almost-quarter moon over in the south, and it's a lovely night in the field.


July 28

I was in bed around 11:00 again. When I was up in the night, there were stars, but they seemed to be going in and out, like there were some high clouds up there. I did notice that it isn't quite as light at 4:00 am as it had been in the past, so the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, around 3 minutes at a time. I got up about 8:00 and Buster came and sat on my lap this time, at least until I started knitting.


Since I don't want my lovely bilberries to go to waste, I had some more pancakes this morning, and oh, they are so good! This time, I remembered to make coffee, so I had a lovely breakfast, which kept me adequately full until dinnertime, when Buster and I had chicken again. Those plates are scoured so clean they almost look like they have been through the dishwasher. 


I didn't do a lot again. However, I finished the Delica bracelet, and in the middle of the afternoon, my big order of beads came - a day early. That was really nice, and I was able to completely finish both bracelets. Now I have to decide what to do next, but I think I will make a bronze medallion bracelet, just to try out the mixture of beads I have chosen. 


Now I have a wonderful assortment of stuff, and I can have at it with spiky necklaces and Delica medallion bracelets and things like that. Oh, yes, and I am going to try my lapis necklace again. The original ones I made had more pearls than lapis, and I like lapis better. I will take a picture - and post it - when I am done. I do love to work with gemstone beads! I only wish they weren't so expensive.


The weather was interesting, although there is some kind of downstream problem with my internet access, so I won't be too precise. When I got up this morning, it was completely clear and in the 50s, but before long the clouds began to roll in and it got very cloudy for a while, before those clouds blew away and it cleared up again. Then while I was eating dinner, it clouded up again and just now there were a few sprinkles. The wind was rather strong from the northwest, mostly, and it really kicked up late this afternoon. I brought in the bird feeders early because they were getting blown around and only the squirrels were coming. The temperature got up to around 68º for a while this afternoon, so the lee side windows are open.


Around 5:00, Debbie called, and we had a nice conversation, but not too long this time - about an hour. She was thinking about me because the son of a friend of hers has just been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but his must be a different kind than mine, because he has a rather large tumor in his chest that is wrapping itself around his aorta. Egad!  Anyway, her soap opera continues, although it has settled down a bit. That was a nice end of the day.


Now it is still early, so I think I will start the bronze bracelet before I toddle up to the north end for the night. It's a mostly cloudy, very windy night in the field.


July 27

I was in bed before 11:00, but I was somewhat wakeful between 4:00 and 6:00. I think it was warm in the bedroom. When I was up, there were pretty nice stars, although I still couldn't see that elusive one in the Big Dipper. I got up around 8:30, which was good. 


Buster didn't appear, so I knitted, and when he did come, he jumped up on my lap and jumped right off and proceeded to barf...but no hairball, and he swallowed part of it back down. He clearly had a tummy ache afterward. When I went off to my massage, he was sitting under the east windows, all hunched up in a little ball (a sure thing that his tummy is bothering him) with his eyes very slitty...geez, first I have a tummy ache, then you go away and leave me!


When I got back, after a quick trip to the post office to mail my checks to the bank, he was asleep somewhere, and since he got up, he has seemed to feel much better. Of course, he got roast chicken for dinner, and that has to have helped.


I didn't do much after I got home, as is usual when I get a massage. My back feels much better, though. I did work on the bracelet, and I have less than two inches to go.


My new beads are in St. Paul, MN, so they should be here on Wednesday, as promised. I hope so. I'm waiting for those beads to put the clasps on the two bracelets I've made.


I also looked through a few books for more inspiration, to no avail, and I decided how I am going to make the medallion bracelet in bronze iris beads, or at least I'm going to try it. A new color combination, and slightly different textures.


The weather was nicer than forecast. It was partly cloudy all day, and there was quite a bit of sunshine. The temperature made it to 69º, although it sort of went up and down before settling around 65º late in the afternoon. There wasn't very much wind, and it came from everywhere. I had to close the east window for part of the afternoon because the breeze coming in was so cool, but I opened it when the temperature started to go up in here. They are still predicting the possibility of rain tonight, and there is some south of us, but it didn't look like rain when it got dark. It was very damp all day long.


During the day, there was enough of a breeze that the water was talking, but this evening, after the squirrels went to bed, it was completely quiet...I can't even hear the bell buoy. That is such an amazing sound...of absolutely nothing but the high-pitched buzzing in my ears.


I noticed that the hummingbirds are fighting again, and all I can figure is that they are getting ready for their second brood. They are also back at the feeder. When they are nesting and feeding their chicks, they don't come so much, I think because they feed the babies insects. 


So that was another quiet day in the field, and it's a very quiet, dampish night in the field.


July 26

I beaded for a while before I went up to the north end, and it was about 11:30, I think, when I got to bed. One of the times I was up while it was still dark (we still only have about 8½ hours of no sun), I could tell it was very foggy, and it was even damp in the house. I got up around 8:30, I guess, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.


I don't have much else to report about the day. I beaded a little bit, but my head seemed rather foggy today, so I didn't do a lot.


The weather wasn't good, but it improved markedly this evening. We had a small amount of rain between  8:00 and 11:00 this morning, and it was cool and cloudy for most of the day. Along about 4:30 the skies started to clear, and there is some blue sky, with little clouds in it, now. The temperature got up to almost 67º for a while, although it has dropped back now. There was a moderate wind from the north for most of the day. It is still very humid, but it is nearly calm right now.


This evening, I convection roasted the little chicken I have had in the freezer, and it turned out well, possibly a little underdone, but both Buster and I thought it tasted pretty good. This time, I took my very sharp kitchen scissors and cut the whole chicken up into four pieces after it was done, which will be much better for future meals. Those little chickens are so young their bones are hardly formed, and my scissors, which I keep for food only, made short work of them. I didn't even have to use much force.


Those scissors are one of several pairs of Gingher scissors I bought when I had money that I am very glad I invested in. They are all sharp, and they stay sharp, although I remember one pair that I had to sharpen because I tried to cut through a pin and nicked the edge a bit. I have had other brands of kitchen scissors, and eventually they got dull, mostly from cutting things other than food, I think. I have several pairs of cheap scissors that do quite nicely for opening plastic bags and things like that, and they keep my good scissors sharp and ready to use to dismember a turkey or cut up a chicken...or chop slices of ham into little pieces. Now I have a slot in one drawer where all the scissors reside, and I try to keep them there when I'm not using them.


Now all I have to do is put the rest of the chicken away, and I will eat well for another three days. 


So that was a very quiet day, and since my head felt rather fuzzy, I think I will totter up to the north end and call it a day. It's a rather clear, cool and damp night in the field, but there may be a star or two.


July 25

When I went out to bring in the bird feeders last night, there was a little crescent moon over the mountain, just over the cloudbank. So I checked the camera, and lo and behold, we shot the moon. It was about to go behind the clouds when I went up to the north end, and it looked like a thin slice of orange. After it set, the clouds came up and it was a dark, starless night. 


I made the mistake of taking a book with me to the north end, and even though it wasn't a good book, it was interesting enough that it was 1:00 before I got to bed. Oh, well. And now I have another book that is in a style I don't like. I should investigate whether I could sell some of those things to a used book dealer. They've only been opened once.


I got up at 8:00 anyway, because I had to walk, and I knew what would happen if I went back to bed, but I didn't get enough sleep, and I will be trying to make up for that tonight. I knitted and started a new square, and I petted a very purry cat. 


I had my bilberry pancakes for breakfast, and oh, my, were they good! I also had some new pork sausage, and it tasted much better. Volwerth's sausage is some of the best I have ever eaten. They are based in Hancock, and I don't think they distribute outside the UP. It was a great temptation, when I shopped, to get hot dogs and summer sausage and even ring bologna, but I resisted.


Ring bologna is a blast out of my past. We would have it occasionally on Saturday night, with German fried potatoes and Campbell's baked beans...what a load of cholesterol that was! But oh, was it good! German fries are something I've never found outside my family, but they are one of my favorite ways to make potatoes. You slice potatoes and onions as thin as possible and fry them in a little hot fat, turning them occasionally so that they get cooked but not mushy and crispy in spots. Yum! In the real old days, my mother cooked them in lard, just like her grandmother did, but after she took her nutrition courses, she started using vegetable oil. It's too bad lard is so bad for you. It adds something in flavor to everything you cook in it. My mother never did stop making her pie crust with lard, and I don't think it was any worse for us than making it with real butter, like some chefs do today. Anyway, so much for the nostalgia.


I didn't do a lot. There is a new online game that I had to try, and it is OK, but it reminds me of my favorite game, the antique Block-Out, which is a sort of three-dimensional Tetris, only Block-Out, for all its age, is a better game. 


I started the Delica® bracelet, and this time my tension is much looser, and the bracelet feels like a strip of silk ribbon, like it should. Delicas are so uniform that they fit together like jigsaw pieces, and the resulting fabric is smooth and lovely. I have the first third done, and it was going well when I decided it was time to quit and do this.


I went to the post office, and wonder of wonders, my income tax refund arrived. Whew! That will make it a whole lot easier to pay my first-of-month bills, for sure! And there was a nice card from my cousins in Virginia, with a check, which was unnecessary but very much appreciated. Now maybe I can catch up with the bills and I won't have to take more money out of the IRA so soon. It also means that for whatever reason the computers kicked my return out to be inspected manually, they were all wet. That is one reason I pay a good, honest accountant to do my tax returns. I do not want to have to worry that one of the governments may decide to audit me (again).


Today was the Copper Harbor "HOG" Fest and Keweenaw Ride-In, and there must have been 200 or 300 beautiful, shiny motorcycles lined up along US-41 by the Community Center and the next block west. I got out of there as fast as I could, because there seemed to be a lot of people in town. There was music in the band shell, and it was not to my taste. There are a lot of semi-professional musicians around the UP.


I stopped at the Gaslite, though. In the summer they stock potato salad and cole slaw, and I am addicted. That is frequently what I have for "lunch" when I can get it.


The weather was, well, pretty miserable. It was cool and cloudy and very humid all day, but it didn't start to rain until after 6:00, when it poured, and the north wind started to rise a bit, with some 20 mph gusts. The temperature did go up to 60º about the time it started to rain, but for most of the day it was in the middle 50s. Not nice at all. I put on a fleece jacket when I went out, and the office window is shut.


I debated bringing in the bird feeders, but it wasn't raining much and it was blowing when it began to get dark, so I thought I might as well save wear and tear on the hangers. It was only dripping when I went out, but the wind was strong - stronger than the NWS was reporting - and it wasn't nice out there. Yuck. Now it sounds like it is pouring again and maybe blowing, too.


This kind of weather is not good for my back, so it felt good to sit all day. Tonight, Buster actually spent some time curled up on the throw under the south windows, which is at the end of the desk, watching me bead. I don't know why he was so interested in what I was doing. Then he napped a bit, and then he went away. I think he really wanted to sit on my lap. It's hard to bead with a cat on my lap.


So that was another quiet day, and it's time to totter up to the north end. It was nice to get some extra money, and the bracelet is coming well, so my mood is upbeat.


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


July 24

I was in bed by 11:00 last night, after I got the dishwasher ready to run. I was up a couple of times during the night, and I finally got out of bed around 9:00. I knitted and petted a cat, although I had to rip out a few rows when I dropped something. Well, that happens now and then, and it's the reason I count every fourth row, because with those squares, the count has to be right.


When I got up, it was pouring rain, although it stopped shortly after I got up, and it was coolish and humid and dark. I feel for my friends who are here on vacation, but it's nice to have a sufficiently wet summer for a change.


I didn't do a lot. I unloaded the dishwasher while my eggs were poaching, so that task is done. And just now I finished the gunmetal medallion bracelet, except for the clasp. My beads should be here next week, so I will just wait until they come so I can use them on the bracelet. Tomorrow I will start the Delica blue iris one. I guess, to be politically correct, I should write that Delica®. I figured out how to type the ® sign, so I can use it when I do the write-ups for etsy. I can call the seed beads "Japanese cylinder beads", which is the generic, but when it comes to the crystals I use for the spiky necklaces, it has to be Swarovski®. Lawyers...


The weather was stormy all day. It rained between 8:00 and 10:00 this morning, and again between 1:00 and 6:00 this afternoon, and we had a modest thunderstorm between 1:00 and 2:00. There was a respectable amount of thunder and lightning, but no high winds, and after that, there were any number of heavy showers. The NWS station reported 0.57" of rain, although we think it might have been more. The temperature was between 60º and 64º all day, with almost no wind from the southwest. The humidity was over 90%. Just not my favorite kind of weather at all.


My friends who are staying at the fort dropped over for a few minutes to make sure I got my cran-raspberry jam and give me a nice bag of fresh bilberries (yum!), and they said there was a good inch of rain in their canoe, before the later showers. I was wondering what they were up to, but the men have been fishing, except for today, and they have been catching things, although not many perch. They mostly catch and release, but Paul promised that if they catch a keeper bass, he will filet it for me. We'll see.


Buster is feeling better, but he is still clingy, and I think I know why. Once, a long time ago (2005), I went away in July for three weeks. That was the year I spent three weeks in the hospital with a clogged vein. That was the last time I was in the hospital, and I keep hoping it will be the last time. But poor Buster remembers that once upon a time, I wasn't here in July, and he keeps worrying that I will leave again. My social life hasn't helped at all, because every time I go out, I think he worries that I won't come back. Poor Buster.


Of course they hid when my friends were here, but both kitties reappeared after the people left. Suzanne would love to have seen Jasmine...but then, so would everybody. She is just the little cat who isn't there for anybody but me.


So that was my very quiet day, and it's time to totter up to the north end again. It's a cool, damp,  yucky night in the field.


July 23

I went up to the north end late. I had to bring in the feeders in the dark, and when I turned on the floodlight, there was a little squirrel in the cedar feeder. It scrammed as soon as I opened the door, but it was one of the flying squirrels, taking advantage of me. The little red squirrels are cute, but the flying squirrels are cuter. I think I made it into bed around 11:00. When I was up in the night, there were some stars, but not very bright.


When I got up, around 8:30, after another strange dream, we were fogged in, and we have been all day. Sometime it went out a little way, but mostly all the camera saw was white. It was so thick when I got up that it was even in the trees behind the house, which is a neat thing. And at least once, I heard a foghorn out on the lake, sort of anemic, but there.


I didn't do a lot again. I started the gunmetal medallion bracelet and got two repeats done. My tension is so loose with the Czech beads, I don't know why it was so tight with the Delicas...and I guess I won't know until I make another one.


Part of the reason I didn't get too much beading done is that I spent some time taking close-up pictures of all the bracelets, and I had my usual problems with the camera and close-ups. I did manage to get one pretty good one of every bracelet, then I posted them on etsy. A good number of people have looked at the bracelets, and one person flagged the twisted rope as a favorite, but then my question is, why didn't she buy it if she likes it so much? I don't think it's that expensive. Oh, the frustrations of the retailer!


Besides the fog, the weather was cool. The temperature made it to 59º, but most of the time it was between 55º and 57º. There wasn't much of any wind, but occasionally a cold draft would come in the window, so I finally closed it for a while, then the wind went calm again. Above the fog, it was partly cloudy, I guess, and it was actually very bright in the house for most of the day. I took most of my pictures by natural light.


Buster did something this evening he's never done before. He was meowing around me in the office, so I got up, and he headed toward the door and looked back, then he meowed all the way into the kitchen, rubbing on every piece of furniture all the way there...then he went away. I don't know if he was hungry, although he has dry food, or he thought it was time I ate, but it was really weird. I wish I could read his fuzzy little mind.


I didn't see Jasmine all day, but I think she spent the day on the porch. Cool temperatures don't bother her very much, and I suppose there was a parade going by all day long.


So now it is foggy and getting dark early, although sunset still isn't until 9:36, and it's time to end the day. This was an "off" day with the pills, and I am a bit encouraged. I was able to go to the bathroom twice this afternoon and only pee, and that is a step forward. I drank water all afternoon, and that makes me feel better.


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


July 22

I guess it was about 11:00 when I got to bed, and I slept well. There weren't any stars. I was up around 7:00, and that was too early, so I went back to bed, had a very weird dream...sort of a variation on the morphing house dream, and I got up around 8:45. I petted a cat and knitted a bit before I got dressed. I am happy to report that my backside seems all healed up, as far as I can tell. That's a relief.


I decided to be brave and have the breakfast I had the last time I had a gall bladder attack, and it didn't do a thing, so I guess my gall bladder has a mind of its own. I took my time, and I was out on the deck putting out the bird feeders when the generator did its weekly test, and it startled me. That is actually a very noisy machine, and I am only grateful that it is at this end of the house and I can't hear it at all from my bedroom. There are advantages to living in a railroad car.


I spent most of the day completing my list for my order to the jewelry supply company, and then going through the four pages and highlighting the things I really, really need. In the end, I had to postpone a few things, like the wire-wrapped beads, because the total was getting out of hand. I will be able to make several spiky necklaces and medallion bracelets in various colors. The necklaces will be gunmetal, bronze and blue iris, and so will the wider medallion bracelets. The Delica bracelets will be in blue iris (which is the one I've already done), gunmetal and steel. The other beads in the bracelets may change a bit from color to color, but I like all the combinations I've tried. That will keep me busy, I think. Now tomorrow I can start another gunmetal medallion bracelet.


I went to the post office because I had a bill to pay, and I came home with another 1" catalog from another jewelry supply company. I could spend all my time reading catalogs...


The weather was so-so. Our rain, if any, has been postponed. It was very cloudy this morning, but it cleared up quite a bit in the afternoon. It was very humid and there was a lot of water in the air, as well as a few clouds. The temperature got up to 71º for a while, and there was a very light breeze from the southwest.


When I finally got my list together, I started doing an order online, and that only took me about four hours, I think. They have improved their ordering process a lot since the last time I did one, and they have favorites lists, so I can let them keep the things I order periodically and the things I couldn't order today, which is convenient. Sometime I should enter everything on my written list, just to have it out there. I would still like to do some more with semiprecious gemstones sometime. That was where I started. The seed beads came later, when I realized the cost of the gemstones. And I must also say that everything had gone up in price from the prices in the catalog. Poo.


So that was my day, and that is over with. It's a pretty big hit on the credit card, but most of the things are things I need, with just a few things to play with.


Now it's a partly clear, calm night in the field, and it's past my bedtime.


July 21

I read for a while and got to bed about 11:00. When I was up around 3:00, there were stars, but not very bright ones, and my summer star, Arcturus, was barely twinkling over the lighthouse on its way down. I got up about 8:00, much to Buster's delight, but he went away when I started knitting.


It was a beautiful, warmish morning, with no clouds and lots of sunshine, so I could have done something, but oh, well.


I actually spent most of the day going through the catalog from my favorite bead supplier, but I am only about halfway through, and I have finally gotten to some of the things I need, rather than the things I want, but I have to check my supplies, and it is too dark now. I will finish tomorrow.


I guess I can mark the two medallion bracelets "sold", but I won't do that until I meet the woman who says she wants them. She is going to stay in Copper Harbor for a week in August, and I can give them to her directly...and get paid directly with no cut for anybody. I was afraid that those bracelets would appeal to more people. For myself, I still like the copper ones. I put the close-up pictures in my etsy listings, and I guess I'd better do that for the other ones, too, so people can actually see what they are getting. Oh, dear. More fooling with the camera.


It was a warm day, at least for this summer. The temperature got up to 73º for most of the afternoon, and it is still 70º. There was a light south wind. It clouded up by 1:00, and the afternoon was rather dreary. It's likely it will rain tomorrow.


Buster doesn't feel so good again, and he barfed, but he didn't get any hairballs up, so his tummy is bothering him. He wanted to sit on me all day, and that just doesn't work when I am trying to do something. Jasmine was sleeping on top of the back of the navy blue chair in the great room this evening, and she let me walk right past her a couple of times. She looked at me rather suspiciously, but she didn't move. She seems to slowly be getting the idea.


So that was another day. I had ideas of doing something else, but I do need those beading supplies. Tomorrow I will try to finish up the catalog, put in an order, and maybe start on another medallion bracelet, although I don't think I can finish any more until I get some more beads for clasps.


It's a cloudy, dull evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end.


July 20

I was a little more with it last night, but my backside was too sore to read for long, so I was in bed by 10:30 again. When I was up during the night, there were some nice stars out there. I could almost see the dimmest one in the Big Dipper, where the handle and the bowl come together. I got up around 8:30, I think, and I petted a cat and finished a square on the sweater.


I was about ready to get dressed when somebody from the oncologist's office called, and had I ever gotten the biopsy? What biopsy? The doctor never called me. So I told her that, and she said she would tell the doctor and he would call me back, but he didn't. I figured all along that was what he would want, but since I don't, he's going to have to call me and tell me so.


However, on the way back from the post office, I met the woman who was having similar problems last spring, and I am going to get the name of her surgeon, whom she says is very well thought of around here. I certainly don't want to go to Detroit to have it!  Maybe I can convince her to take out my gall bladder at the same time - sort of a twofer. Anyway, I am not obsessing about it.


I spent most of the day making a necklace and matching bracelet that I like quite a lot. I am calling it the "Summer Torsade" set. The necklace has twelve strands of beads and the bracelet, six. They are a bit bigger than the ones I use for peyote stitch, size 8º, and they are matte transparent in every imaginable pastel shade from clear to amethyst. Eventually I will list them on etsy, but I think I want to wear them, although the necklace is just a bit short for my thick neck and double chin. 


I think I finally figured out a way to string so many strands as easily as possible. This was easier because the beads were already strung in a hank, so mostly it was a matter of transferring them from one string to another. Then undo the string, fish the other string through the big bead, and tie on the hank again...it worked well until I started dropping beads off the hank, but I was using a large-eye needle that I could use to string beads directly. However, twelve strands, 18" long took quite a while to do, and then I had my usual problems getting things tied off. The first side isn't too hard, but getting the second side tied can be difficult. The bracelet was a bit easier. 


Now I should really do a few more, just to make sure I have it down. I have been wanting to do some more of the blue twisted necklaces I did several years ago and seem to have lost any pictures I may have taken. They are 8º and 11º beads in matte or AB finish shades of blue, and I made them four strands, but I might just try a few more. Trouble is, I twisted them on my cord twister, and it only has four hooks. We'll see.


I did learn some tricks that will make doing the spiky necklaces a lot easier. One trick is, only cut and add in one strand at a time, instead of cutting all the threads at once and have to try to keep them untangled. I have some little gizmos now that look like miniature screen door springs that make doing multi-strand necklaces much easier. I would make some more spiky necklaces, except that one needs gold findings and I don't have the right ones, and for the other I seem to have lost (or I never ordered) the right number of Swarovski crystals. So until I can get an order to my favorite supplier of those things, I'm stuck. We'll see where I go next.


I wish somebody would buy something. I also wish I was sure the people I sent the last bracelets to actually got them. I paid for "delivery confirmation", but apparently that doesn't mean the same thing to the USPS as it does to me. Or maybe they never got them? Or maybe they didn't like them? Who knows?


It was a beautiful day today. The temperature got up to 73º for a while, with a light south wind, and the sky was mostly clear, although there was that high haze and a few clouds now and then. I opened the patio doors all afternoon.


I also washed some more. When I got to the office this morning, Buster had barfed up a hairball on the towels and throws I keep on my desk chair (it raises me up just enough to write comfortably), so I had to wash them. They were probably due for a washing anyway. And I think he feels better, but I wish he would pick another place.


Last evening after dinner, I had an accident, not a bad one, but yucky, so I washed what I had on. No wonder I needed laundry detergent! Today, though, at least so far, things seemed to be a bit better under control. I'm back on the flagyl again.


Now it's a lovely and still quite warm evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and get my beauty sleep (ahem!).


July 19

I was really out of it last night. Not only did I forget to bring in the bird feeders, I actually stepped into the shower with my glasses on. Sheesh! You would have thought I'd been at Zik's Bar for hours! So I went to bed about 10:30, and I slept well. When I was up, I was delighted to see stars, although there were clearly some clouds, too. I got up around 8:15, and I confused the cat because I was so early. So he sat on me and I knitted for a while, but my backside was still sore.


I wasn't sure whether I might have visitors today, so I got dressed, but nobody came. If I hadn't taken a bath and I had put on my oversized tee, somebody would surely have come.


My task for the day was to wash, and that is done. There were only three loads, but the underwear situation was getting serious, so I decided it was time. I need to take the last load out of the dryer and fold everything, but it's not vital. Now that I have power in the laundry, if something is really wrinkled, I can iron it.


That came up because I washed a pair of white slacks that had been hanging in the closet for several years and had started to look yellow - too yellow to wear last night. I'm not sure I got them really white, but they did seem to look better when I took them out of the washer. Between the natural yellowing of white cotton (or blends), the sun that shines into my closet, and the brownish cast to my water most of the time, it doesn't surprise me that things get yellow. I think those pants will fit, since I've lost a few pounds, but I haven't been able to wear them for some time. So we'll see about that. They fit funny anyway, but there are occasions where I'd rather not wear jeans, even white jeans. Maybe I will have to undertake some alterations.


I finished my snowflake bracelet, and I have a hunch I will wear it a lot. It goes better with my summer things than the other ones.


I took pictures of the medallion bracelets and posted them on etsy. This is the one made with gunmetal beads, and this is the one made with Delica beads. Notice that I've added a close-up picture of the center of each bracelet. I like them, although they are a little more glitzy than I usually like. I do like those Delicas! I wish I had had enough gunmetal to make the bracelet in them. I will get them, and then I will have a horrible time deciding what to use for the little centers. The current bracelet uses blue iris beads, which are among my favorite (blue, of course!), and the little center beads are copper lined rose opal - absolutely gorgeous beads. They almost seem to glow.


I think I am going to make a necklace next. I got some bigger beads in matte pastel colors, and I want to make a necklace that has about twelve strands of them. Among the beads I got to play with is one that is about ¾" in diameter and pale yellow translucent, which would make a good centerpiece. We'll see how it goes. I seem to get into these things that look simple and sound simple, and when I start making them, they aren't simple at all.


The weather was nice but cool. The temperature stood at just about 57º all day long. There was a little north wind until noon, when it died down to almost nothing. It was partly to mostly sunny, with a high haze and a few clouds now and then. Now it is calm and nearly clear. It didn't get nearly as warm as they were predicting, although it was warmer down in Houghton.


So that was my day, and after I bring in the bird feeders, I will be off to the north end, and maybe I can sit and read for a while longer tonight. This is my "off" day, and it was nice not to have that nasty taste in my mouth. I almost tried a little JD tonight - it would have gone very well with my ribs - but I chickened out. My gut and my gall bladder seem to be behaving themselves, and I don't want to rock the boat. My behind feels better, too, so maybe it will begin to heal. I'm not expecting miracles, but I have some hope that this regime will solve my problem at last. I still don't have my usual appetite, and I am taking advantage of the situation.


It's a cool, calm evening in the field, and it's so pretty!


July 18

Last night, I was in bed before 11:00, and I slept well, with the usual interruptions, until about 8:30. Buster wasn't ready for me to get up, although he appeared a while later, so I knitted a while, but my backside was too sore to sit for too long.


I decided to make a snowflake bracelet for me, so I was working away on that when I had a gall bladder attack. It wasn't too bad a one, but it made me very uncomfortable for a couple of hours. I have no idea why a scrambled egg and a piece of toast should bring that on - I went easy on the butter. Very strange. It ended with stomach cramps for a while, and eventually it all went away. Sigh. I did get most of the bracelet done. I only have one more repeat to go, then the finishing.


This evening was dinner at Harbor Haus with some of the people in the group that meets here every summer. It was so nice to see them! Unfortunately, Nancy and Chip won't get here until tomorrow night, and we missed them, but we had a good time and a good dinner (of course). I debated long and hard, but I finally broke down and had baby back ribs. I will probably be sorry, but they were sooo good! And I think I have enough for two meals that I  brought home.


The weather was blah again. The temperature got up to 57º or so for most of the afternoon, with north winds around 15 mph. It was very windy overnight, but that died down by morning. It was mostly cloudy, although it was bright cloudy, and there was a little sunshine occasionally.


I have a mystery in the breezeway. There is a very strong smell that I first took to be gasoline, but may also be paint thinner or something like that. It just occurred to me that I have a couple of crates of cleaning supplies and things, so I guess I'm going to have to get out there and start heaving crates around. Something is clearly leaking, and it smells like something you wouldn't want to leak. Yuck. I don't remember packing anything that should smell like that. For tomorrow, although I may bring in the bread tonight.


So that was my up and down day, and I'm off to the north end early again, and I will hope that the twinges in my back don't mean I will be having another attack.


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


July 17

I got to bed around 11:00, and I slept well until about 2:30, I think, before I had to get up. When I got back in bed, it felt like somebody was stabbing me repeatedly in the left knee, so I didn't really get back to sleep until 6-ish. I got up around 9:00 and petted a cat and knitted for a while.


Last night, I gathered up all the pill dispensers I wasn't using and put my flagyl in them, and I'm certainly glad I did. I forgot to take my pill at 2:00, but then I did take it later, and then I forgot whether I had, so the empty space in the dispenser was very useful.


I already have a terrible taste in my mouth from the flagyl, and it is changing the taste of my food. Not that I'm hungry. In the middle of the afternoon, I got very sleepy and acquired a headache, all of which went away when I ate my dinner. Oh. And I had an accident this morning, fortunately not an excessively messy one, but I had to change everything. Sometimes, those accidents are my fault, but this one wasn't. It came upon me so suddenly, I couldn't help it. Oh, my, I hope this round of flagyl works!


Needless to say, with not very much sleep, I didn't feel very good, so I didn't do anything but finish the Delica bracelet. I think it came out nicely, although if I am going to use Delicas, I am going to have to work on my tension to try to get the beaded fabric as smooth as possible. The question is, do I want to invest in all those expensive beads? I would love to, but should I?


Anyway, I finished it too late to take pictures, so that is for another day.


The weather was blah. It was cool - the temperature was in the low 50s in the morning, and it finally made it up to 60º for a few hours this afternoon. There was a 10-15 mph wind from the north. It was cloudy for most of the day, with a little sunshine in the mid-afternoon. Not the kind of weather we expect in mid-July! If it's going to cloud up, the least it could do is rain!. There was some fog between 11:00 and 1:00, which was called to my attention by the foghorns out on the lake. It was very humid all day long again.


So that was a quiet day, and there is still stuff in the car, but oh, well. I will toddle off to the north end and try to get to bed earlier tonight. My tush isn't nearly as sore as it was yesterday, so maybe I'm getting over that for this time. I hope so. Buster doesn't like it when I start wiggling around to try to find a comfortable position when he's sitting on me...neither do I.


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


July 16

I got a new pen I wanted to try, so I wrote for a while last night, and it was midnight before I got to bed. I was tired enough that I slept well, and I got up around 9:15 or so, I think. This morning, Buster was cuddly and wanted to be petted, so he sat on my lap for quite a while, even while I was knitting.


I didn't do a lot. My feet were still sore this morning, and I didn't feel very robust. I got the dishwasher almost ready to run, and otherwise I worked on the Delica medallion bracelet.


I should have known when I charted that bracelet and it came out with the exact number of repeats, that it was too good to be true. It was. It turns out that the graph paper was drawn for a bead that is 2mm wide, and all my Delicas are 1.8mm wide, so I will be coming out about an inch short of a reasonable sized bracelet. I have a couple of friends who could wear it, but it will be too small for most people. So I am going to have to add a sort of shrunken medallion at each end. If I added another medallion like the ones before it, the thing would come out too big even for me. Oh, well. The alternative would be to do half an inch of the background at each end, but I think the small medallion will look better. I am about 5" into it now. The beads are so small that it takes more to make a bracelet, and correspondingly longer to make it. Considering the price of the beads and the number of hours it is taking me to make it, it will be quite a bit more expensive than the other ones. 


It is coming out very pretty, I think. I ended up using a copper lined pale pink opal bead for the center accent, and that adds something to the design. I've said before that Delicas are some of the most beautiful beads there are. Too bad they are so expensive. I would like to work with them more. And even though they have something like 1600 colors (or finishes), there are some colors the Czech beads come in that the Delicas don't.


The weather was good for that sort of thing. It was sunny when I got up, but it clouded up pretty fast. The temperature was around 60º until about 3:00, when it dropped into the upper 50s. There was a strong northwest wind. It peaked around 2:00, with gusts the NWS station said were 33 mph, but they are quite sheltered from northwest winds. It was windier here than the 15-30 mph they were reporting. We had a little light rain, but not enough to register. 


It wasn't a very nice day, so I stayed in, and it was too windy to put out the bird feeders. That disappointed a hummingbird and at least one squirrel, but that was too bad. Maybe it won't be so windy tomorrow.


I started my flagyl this morning, and I am trying to space it out to 8 hours between doses as much as I can. I certainly hope it helps. My hemorrhoids are still bothering me extremely, and the only way to make that stop is to stop what is irritating them and give them a chance to heal. However, based upon experience, I don't expect any quick results.


I had the rest of my fish for dinner tonight, and Buster had his helping, and besides, he licked the dish so clean it hardly needs washing. Not only does he like marinated whitefish, he likes au gratin potatoes...and I suspect, anything else that comes from Harbor Haus. So do I.


Oh, yes, the other thing. I never received my income tax refund from the state, so I went out to their website to find out why, and it turns out that my return was kicked out by the computer for manual review, which was supposed to be done by Tuesday. There hasn't been another update. I certainly hope that doesn't mean I'm going to get audited. And I need that money! I may have to call my accountant and see what she thinks. I don't know why the State of Michigan keeps plaguing me.


So that was my day, and it's time to totter up to the north end and get some more sleep. It's a dark, dank, cloudy night in the field.


July 15

I got to bed about 11:00, and I got up about 9:00, I think, but I don't think I slept very well. It was mostly the temperature in the room, plus being overstimulated by my dinner out. I even wrote for a few minutes before I took my bath, but that didn't help. Buster was nowhere to be found this morning, so I knitted a few rows on the sweater.


I was going along just fine when the broadband glitched, so I didn't get to do some of my surfing this morning (I just remembered that). And I was all ready to leave, even started the car, when I remembered that I had to pay a bill that was due today, so I had to come back inside and do that.


When I got to the blinker, there were three pickup trucks, one towing a camper, parked going up the hill. I turned, and they pulled out right behind me. Gee, I was glad they waited for me to go by! Things can get crazy on the roads at this time of year.


There wasn't much traffic on the way down, although I did get behind one slow guy, whom I lapped by taking Cliff Drive. However, when I got near the bridge in Hancock, it looked like the bridge must have been up, because traffic was backed up  several blocks. And of course, when we finally got started, there was one guy who was going much slower than everybody else and leaving half a block or more between himself and the guy in front of him. I can appreciate that some cars have bad brakes, but I think they never look behind them. A bunch of us lapped him going up the hill to Wal-Mart.


At Wal-Mart, I did more damage than usual, from kitty litter and Roundup to paper and mailing supplies. Of course, I had to get a few things to play with, too. It was hot in the store, and since I had to walk around more than usual, by the time I got out I was dripping and my feet hurt.


My next stop was Ming Bistro, and it was good, although they have more of what I would call normal American dishes in the buffet. I actually mostly filled up on appetizers, so that was all right.


At Econo, I was amazingly modest...mostly due to no booze and no frozen dinners. I guess I will be eating my own cooking or Schwan's for the next few weeks.


Gas has come down - $2.40 a gallon, so that was good. However, it was a bit after 4:00 before I started north, and there was a huge backup at the approach to the bridge, where there is a temporary stoplight. There seemed to be something slowing things down there, but after I crossed the bridge, while there was traffic, it was all moving. I followed two guys all the way up the covered road, but they clearly knew the road, and they didn't slow down much. One turned into the Mountain Lodge and the other one turned down to Harbor Haus. Oh.


When I got home, my feet and ankles hurt halfway up my calves, so I sat for quite a while before I changed my shoes and hauled in what needed to be put away.  I am tired. There is still stuff in the car, but it will have to wait.


It is wonderful to see how lush and green everything is. It's amazing what some rain will do to the woods. There were some wildflowers out along the roads - daisies, buttercups, bladderworts, and early meadowrue in the damp places, but I didn't see much that would make me stop to take pictures.


Buster finally came to see me after I'd been home nearly an hour, and now he doesn't want to let me alone. He is a funny little cat. 


The weather wasn't very nice, actually. It was mostly cloudy, with only a little sunshine here and there, and the temperature was around 70º, plus or minus a couple of degrees depending where I was. We had a very hard rain, 0.67", between 2:00 and 6:00 this morning, and it was very humid and yucky all day. This afternoon, the wind started rising and shifting around toward the north, and it has been in the 15-30 mph range for several hours now. The high temperature here was 75º, around 4:00. I get so drippy when I have to do anything in humid weather.


I noticed that the wind emptied the hummingbird feeder, which frequently happens, but it had been full for quite some time and undoubtedly needed refilling anyway. The feeders were blowing around quite a bit when I got home. I almost bought a new hummingbird feeder, that holds 28 oz. and has 8 feeding spots, but I didn't like how the feeders were set up, so I passed on that one. For the time being, my little one will be just fine, and if the hummers start ganging up, as they do in the late summer, I will just put out another one, since I have two.


So that was my day, and I am very tired, very sticky, and I have very sore feet and ankles, so I think I will fetch in the feeders and totter up to the north end and hope to sleep better tonight. It's a cloudy, windy night in the field, but it's not cold.


July 14

It was 11:15 when I got to bed last night, and I don't remember when I got up, but I think it was probably around 9:00. Buster got mad when I picked up the knitting and he went off, so I got to finish a square and start the next one.


I guess I had plans for the day, but nothing happened, and I just fiddled around for most of the day. I did finish the  bracelet, which I am calling the "medallion" bracelet, but I didn't get to take a picture of it. What I did do was chart it for Delica beads, and I will start on that next, but not tomorrow. Delica beads are so beautiful (and so small), that I really want to try working with them. They are very uniform, and they work wonderfully well for peyote stitch. I don't have many patterns that would work well in the smaller beads, though, but I do want to try this one.


This evening my friend Joe and his two kids came up and we went for dinner at Harbor Haus, and it was, of course, very good, and besides I brought enough home for another meal. Joe is a really nice guy, and his kids are great, polite and nice and fun. So it was a lovely evening, and they just left a few minutes ago.


The weather started out lovely, a bit warmer than they had predicted, and sunny with almost no wind. A lovely morning indeed. However, there were some clouds in the sky in the morning, and they thickened as the day wore on, and when we parted this evening, it was starting to sprinkle. There wasn't much wind all day. The temperature made it up to 73º, briefly, before it dropped back. It was nice to have the door open for a while.


So that was my almost-nothing day, and I will be off to the north end soon, to get ready for my trip to town tomorrow. It's a dark, dank, cloudy night in the field.


July 13

I made it into bed by 10:15, and I was up at 8:30, but I knitted for quite a while (the cat didn't stay long, for some reason). Making those squares 8 stitches smaller makes a big difference in how much yarn they use, which is good, because I didn't have enough the first way.


I really didn't want to do anything, and I fiddled around for most of the day, but while my dinner was cooking, I washed up all the pots, pans and lids that were cluttering up the counters. They still are, since they're air drying, but at least they're all in one place. Now I can put them all away and start taking them all out again. And I can start on the counters.


After the news, I decided I must do something on the bracelet, so I just finished it except for the clasp, which I will do tomorrow. I think it came out rather nice, all things considered. I promise there will be a picture when I'm done.


I was working on the bracelet when I got an email from my friend in Dallas, who comes to Houghton every summer. This year he's here for three weeks with both his kids. So we will be going to dinner tomorrow. As I wrote somewhere, my summer social life is starting. On Saturday I will be back at Harbor Haus with the group that spends two weeks here every summer, although we don't yet know if Chip and Nancy will make it.


The weather was nice. The wind has finally gone calm, at 10:00 pm. It was clear and breezy today, and the wind got into the 15-25 mph range in the early afternoon, but then it started to die down. It was a pretty day, although those aerosols are still high up in the atmosphere, turning the sky milky in spots. The temperature got up to 68º for a couple of hours between 3:00 and 5:00 before it started dropping back, and it is now below 60º again.


So that was my day, and I believe I can say I accomplished something, at least. It's a lovely calm, clear night in the field.


July 12

I beaded again, I think, and I got to bed about 11:15. I got up around 9:00, and I slept well, although I was up numerous times during the night. I noticed that there was a moon shining in the south, but the sky was icky, and there weren't any stars. It's the same high haze we've had all day...those high aerosols that turn the sky whitish.


I petted a cat and knitted a while and filled the pill dispensers, then I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and I finally realized that all my pork sausages are so old that they don't taste good anymore. Not that I'm surprised - they are really old. However, the pancakes were good, and more than I wanted for breakfast. I am still not very hungry, a combination of the C. diff  and the gall bladder. I'm not complaining, mind you. I've lost a few more pounds, and that can only be good. I'm sure I'm dehydrated, so I've been trying to drink water all the time.


I got the bird feeders out, and they were well attended, although it did get quite windy again this afternoon. Not like yesterday, though.


I fiddled around for most of the day, but I did manage to finish the first side of the new bracelet. Now the problem is, what to use for the clasp. I just took a quick look at my stash, and I believe I found something that would do...and I have a couple of other ideas.


The weather was pretty. The temperature only got down to 57º overnight, and it warmed up to 69º briefly around 6:00 this evening. The wind started out reasonable, but it got quite windy, in the 15-30 mph range, later this afternoon, from the north. There weren't any clouds, but like I said, there is that high haze that makes it hard to see stars.


So that was my day, and I will try to get another good night's sleep and maybe begin working on the kitchen tomorrow? I felt a little better today, but I am still rather rocky on my feet.


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


July 11

I beaded for quite a while as I drank my second JD (which was a mistake I won't repeat), and I got to bed around 11:00. I didn't feel like I slept very well, and I was up any number of times. I got up around 9:00 and petted a cat for a little while and started the second tier of the sweater. I hope this one comes out all right, or I will swear off sweaters for good!


I was sort of fiddling around when Aaron called and said he could come this afternoon and take down my trees. It was so windy I wondered, but he didn't have any problems. I am not asking where he dumped them. He doesn't burn soft woods, like pine, for fear of another chimney fire. It looks very bare in back. I lost a big white pine by the garage, and the tree I almost ran into last winter is gone, too. I hate to lose trees, especially the big ones like these were, but I guess it's bound to happen.


While all that was going on, I finished the snowflake bracelet. I want to make another one, for myself, but I had another idea, completely different, that I wanted to try, so I put away the blue and silver beads and took out the new ones. I like it, although I'm not sure anybody else will. This pattern, at least the way I'm doing it, really needs Delica (Japanese cylinder) beads, because they are so uniform, but it's coming out all right. I will take a picture when I'm through. It was nice to work on a new pattern for a while. It's completely different, too, in that I am starting the bracelet almost in the center and I will be working outward in both directions. That is because I didn't know how many repeats of the pattern I would need. So it will be interesting to work.


The weather was windy. It was a pretty day, almost clear and sunny, but the wind was in the 25-35 mph range all afternoon, and Aaron and I agreed that out here those gusts were more like 40-45 mph. I mean, it was windy. The temperature eventually got up to about 68º, but it felt much cooler with the wind. I had the lake side all closed up all day, and when I went out to see what Aaron was doing, I found it chilly and the gusts were strong enough that I had to hang onto my staff to stay upright.


There were lovely whitecaps on the harbor until just a little while ago. It was clearly too windy to put out the bird feeders. I may have disappointed a squirrel or chipmunk, but I doubt very many critters or birds would have been on that side of the house.


Oh, yes, the flagyl. I called Wal-Mart this morning, before breakfast even, and they could only give me 7 days' worth of pills, and the rest won't be in until Tuesday evening. I made an executive decision that I was not going to make two trips to Houghton in five days, so I will go to town Wednesday and do all my shopping. That means it will be longer before I start the new regime, but I've been coping so far. 


I will start the pills on Thursday. Since it's three a day, three days on and one day off, I want to start in the morning, just to make things less confusing. I even printed out a calendar so I can write down where I am. Knowing me, about 10 days into the regime, I will forget whether I'm on or off and screw the whole thing up.


It seems my birthday is an "off" day, but I haven't decided whether to take a chance and have a JD that day or not. Even when I was on chemo, I had a JD on my birthday.


So that was another quiet day (well - it wasn't quiet outside!) and I am off to the north end again. It's a clear, breezy night in the field.


July 10

I was in bed by 9:30 and I didn't get up until 9:30 this morning, which should have been enough sleep, but I didn't feel all that robust today, and besides, I had a couple of twinges in the gall bladder, but they went away quickly. I knitted and petted a cat, but he was more interested in what Jasmine was doing on the porch, which I never did figure out, but I can't see most of what interests her.


I was doing my morning surfing when all of a sudden, I couldn't get beyond PastyNet. I could get to my web page, and to the Pasty Cam page, but no further. Evidently something failed downstream, and within an hour or so it came back. 


Otherwise, I did nothing except for about two rows on the bracelet. I did go to the post office, where I met Syd, but the order for my stool test didn't come.


When I got home, however, there was a message from the doctor, and he thinks probably I need a gastroenterologist, but when I looked at the phone books, I discovered that the nearest one is in Marquette, and I don't know how good they are. So I told him I would rather see one in Detroit that he thinks is good, and he decided that we will give it one more try. Evidently sometimes "pulsing" the antibiotics will work - three days on, one day off. Since the vancomycin is so expensive, he decided to go with the flagyl, unfortunately. 


So I am going to have two JDs tonight, before I take another unscheduled trip to Houghton tomorrow to get my prescription. That's OK - maybe I will just do the whole thing tomorrow. We'll see. I am a bit reluctant to go food shopping on Saturday, but it would save a trip next week. Hmm... I haven't prepared myself to attack the stores.


The weather was almost as nice as yesterday. It got warmer, at least at the NWS station, up to 81º, but there was a strong wind which ended up from the northwest, and around 5:00, was in the 25-35 mph range. That meant it wasn't nearly as warm here, with the strong wind blowing over the cold water, but it was in the low 70s, and I had the doors open, although the porch doors blew shut, which they often do. It was partly cloudy for most of the day, but it has sort of clouded up now, and there are rain storms across the middle of the UP. I doubt they will get here, with the wind in that direction.


Buster does not like the wind, and he was complaining and wanting to sit on my lap all day. The wind didn't seem to bother Jasmine this morning, but she went away, and I haven't seen her lately. She could be on the porch again, someplace I can't see.


Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, unfortunately, so I won't be able to open up the house. It is so nice to hear the birds and the breeze. I opened the bathroom window this morning, and among the songs I couldn't identify was a very happy chickadee singing his song, punctuated by cheeping. Probably it was one parent singing to the brood while the other one went for more food.


There weren't many birds at the feeders, although there were a few hardy goldfinches clinging to the perches. The wind didn't bother the squirrels much.


So that was a wasted day, and I will be off to the north end early again tonight. I still don't feel all that robust, and I feel I need my sleep. It's a sort of cloudy, warm and breezy night in the field.


July 9

Well, it's over. I was in bed by 9:00, but I was so sore it was 2:00 before I got any sleep at all. I was up any number of times, because it seemed like I was more comfortable sitting up. Along about 1:00, the pain started to ease a bit, and after 3:00 I slept, and when I woke up at about 5:30 it was gone. Whew! That was a bad one! I went back to sleep, and I didn't get up until 10:00, although even that wasn't enough sleep, so I have been groggy and felt blah for the whole day. Tonight will be another early one.


I knitted, and finished the first square, and I petted a cat. Last night, until I started to sleep, Buster was right beside me, on the side where my face was, probably all the better to tell if I was still breathing. When I started to doze off, he left, probably thinking things were better. So he does know when I'm sick, and he is concerned. I've never been quite sure. He was around today, but not like yesterday.


I didn't do anything today, because I didn't feel like doing anything, and I will be going up to the north end early tonight.


When I put out the bird feeders, late, of course, there was a little squirrel who was so hungry it probably would have walked in the door if I'd left it open.


The weather was, well, glorious. Now this is what summer is supposed to be all about! The temperature was already 70º when I got to the office, and it was about 71º for the whole afternoon, with a moderate (15-25 mph) wind from the south. The sky was nearly clear, with high, wispy cirrus clouds. It was lovely. I opened up all the doors on the lake side and let the wind blow in, and we all enjoyed it, I think.


For the past few days, I have been hearing high-pitched peeping from various trees around the house, which leads me to believe that something has hatched. Of course, I can't see it, or find it. I forgot to mention that a week or more ago, I started hearing something that was neither high-pitched nor peeping, but higher pitched than most ravens, which leads me to believe there was a raven's nest someplace in the high trees in the back of the lot. That is gone now, but for a while they were making quite a racket.


This evening, I looked out into the back and saw something moving, and there was a deer, I think the little one, behind the trees. I know the grass (quack grass, of course) is pretty high back there, but only this guy's head was sticking out until he lowered it to munch. The back is quite lush this year, with all the rain. My lupines are beginning to go, unfortunately, but they don't last very long.


So that was my short and useless day. I have to run the dishwasher tonight, but as soon as that is set up, I will be off to the north end and hopefully sleep hard and long. It is a lovely, warm evening in the field.


July 8

Ugh! Not a good day.


I wrote for a while last night, so it was midnight before I got to bed, and I had a little trouble getting to sleep. I got up around 8:45 and petted a cat and knitted for a while.


I was finishing my daily surfing when I had a gall bladder attack, which I still have, although it wasn't clear at first that was what it was. Anyway, after spending some time in the bathroom, where nothing happened, I decided to take a nap, and I laid down for about an hour, which did a little good, not a lot.


While I was listening to the news, to take my mind off my pain, I looked at the bead assortments I got yesterday and got rid of all the clam shells. It was just too hard to keep them properly closed. I had gotten a mixture of pressed glass, which had some bigger beads than I care to use, but among other things, there were five blue beads the exact color of the snowflake bracelet, so that problem is taken care of. There were also a large number of pale green matte finished leaves, which are very pretty. I am putting that down in the unconscious to work. I would like to use them for something, just because they are so pretty. They are rather large, however, so It may well mean getting some other beads to go with them. Hmm.


Then I emptied all the seed beads that were in clam shells into bags. While I was doing that, I took out all the biggest beads, the ones that the little beads get caught inside. I don't know if the small beads are anything special, but I could tell there are some interesting things in that mixture.


The weather was nice, and I wish I could have done something with it. It was cool again. While it is now 62º, for most of the day it was in the low 50s again, cool enough that I shut the window in the office a bit. The sky was mostly clear, with just some high cirrus clouds, so it was sunny and blue all day. There was hardly any wind all day, but what there was came from the east. It was humid again, which did not do my back any good at all.


I noticed that for most of the afternoon, I had quite a flock of pine siskins around the feeders, for the first time in a while. Maybe they have finished nesting for a while.


Now I am going to disappoint the birds and critters, who think it is still the middle of the afternoon, and then I am going right to bed and hope to get over this thing by morning. I do not feel good.


It's a pretty, sunny and nearly clear evening in the field.


July 7

I read for a while last night, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed, and I had a hard time getting to sleep. My feet were cold, and that was probably the reason. And I didn't sleep very well after about 5:00 this morning, but I don't know why that was. I finally got up about 8:45. I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. Making the squares so much smaller is going to make them go much faster, I think, although I'm still working on the first square.


I didn't do a whole lot. I went to the post office, where there were a lot of bills but no order for the test, so I don't have to go to town tomorrow.


When I got home, my beads had come, and that was a trip, too. When I picked up the  package, I could hear loose seed beads, and when I opened the package, oh, boy, were they! One of the mixtures I bought came in those clear plastic boxes that snap together, and two of them had come open and spilled beads all over everything. The tops of the boxes have a groove in them, and there were beads stuck in the grooves of all the other boxes. What a mess. I think I recovered all my beads, but it was a mess. Then I took out the 500 gram bag of loose dark green beads and after I put it down on the desk, I realized that beads were spilling all over everything. The bag wasn't sealed properly, and there were dark green beads all over the desk, all over the chair, all over the floor and all over the box I took them out of. Yie! I finally got that together, too, but I was rather frustrated before I was done. I am sure they are using machine sealed bags and clam-shell boxes because they are cheaper than ziploc bags, but they sure don't work as well.


After dinner, I called them and complained. At least they should know that things didn't ship very well.


Anyway, I now have 16 lbs of new beads. I have plenty of cobalt blue and plenty of dark green for more bracelets. The treasure of the whole lot, though, are what they call "sol gel teal", which are exactly the color of aqua I have been looking for for years. Unfortunately, they were produced in limited quantity, and I may or may not be able to get more of them. They certainly are pretty. There are also some matte finish ones about the same color, although they aren't transparent, so I could make snowflake bracelets with aqua beads, if I wanted. I may save those and dole them out slowly in bead embroidered things.


I worked on the blue snowflake bracelet a bit, but not a lot. My head felt kind of fuzzy today, so I had a problem keeping my concentration.


The weather turned out ok. It was cloudy this morning, but eventually it cleared up almost completely and it was a pretty afternoon. Unfortunately, it was cool. The temperature eventually got up to 57º, but for most of the day it was in the lower 50s, with a 10-15 mph wind from the north. It was cool enough that I closed the window to the porch. 


Tonight I will try to get to bed a little earlier, although it's hard when it's 9:45 already and I haven't brought in the bird feeders.


It's a cool, clear night in the field, and the sleeping should be good.


July 6

I wrote for a while last night, but I still made it into bed by 10:30, and I slept. I finally got up at about 9:30, which meant there were some things I didn't do before I went to my massage. I knitted a very little bit and petted a cat a little bit, and I looked at the email and the weather...and that was it.


I did feel much better after my massage. When I got home I went right down into the basement to look for a box. I found one, but that is absolutely the last small box in this place, except for candy boxes, which I don't think look professional enough to use to ship. So either I have to hope nobody buys anything (which is counterproductive), or I can find some boxes or envelopes pretty soon.


I packed up the bracelet, but I was having problems with my Internet connectivity, so I didn't get to the post office until about 2:45...fifteen minutes before it closed. Fortunately, the delivery guy didn't get there until after I did, so the bracelet is on its way. I could tell there was a lot of mail, too, so I will have to go back tomorrow.


I remembered that I had four bags of used kitty litter in the back of the car, so I decided to go to the compactor, but it didn't open until 3:00, so I killed time by going to the ice cream stand. I will have to watch that - it could get habitual. Today's ice cream was Zanzibar dark chocolate, and I've never tasted anything quite like it. It was like eating a frozen truffle. Wow! Was that good! Yum. Double yum!


When I got to the compactor, Rich was kind enough to get the bags for me, so I didn't have to struggle. I think they must have weighed close to 25 lbs a piece.


Then it was home. I filled the pail with sunflower seed, but the feeders never got put out...no time. I beaded for a while, long enough to start a new thread, when Roxanne called, and I am going to have a boarder from about the middle of August through October. I made her an offer - I'll only charge her $375 a month if she does the cat pans. That seemed to go over well. I suspect she will be doing some other things around here, too. We'll see how it works out. I'm willing to give it a try.


This evening I sent another message to the doctor, saying that my elimination is right back where it was when I saw him in April. It's very discouraging. By being very careful, I have made it to the bathroom for the past couple of days, but I seem to dribble off most of the time, and I am sure I'm dehydrated again. I really want to get over this thing.


Buster was clingy all day, and I don't know why, but that's how he has been lately. He went away after I let him lick the dish after dinner. I made pork chops with onions and mushroom soup, and he thought that was just delicious. So did I. All those pork chops I bought several months ago have turned out to be very tender and tasty. I will have to look for more, although I still have one package left.


I forgot to mention that the other day when I went down to get the pork chops out of the freezer, I looked around at what else I have in there and I found a package of flat iron steaks that must have been there for at least 4 years. They are a bit dried out in spots, but I had one the other night and it was delicious. I think I bought it when I didn't know what a flat iron steak was, then I forgot about them. There are also a couple of lamb shanks and a smoked ham hock (for soup), as well as the stuff I knew about. So I'm not out of food yet, if I want to cook.


I was thinking about going to town Wednesday, but unless I get the order for my stool test, I don't absolutely need to go until next week. I still have one jug of orange juice left, which is about 8 days' worth, and there are still some grapefruit sections too, so the case isn't vital...unless I sell another bracelet. I just really don't like to shop anymore, and since I know I have to go to Wal-Mart, I know I will spend money again.


The weather is back to what it was last week. It was cloudy and cool all day, and about the time I got to the ice cream stand, it started to drizzle, not enough to register at the weather station, but enough to dampen the car. The temperature was between 50º and 55º all day, and there was a north wind in the 10-15 mph range. It is very humid, which is not good for my arthritis, although my back did feel better after Johanna worked on it for a while.


So now I think I will totter up to the north end and maybe read or write for a while before I try to get another good night's sleep. It's a dark, dank night in the field, a good one to sleep.


July 5

I am tired. I got to bed about 12:30, but I had the feeling that I didn't sleep very well. I think it was warm in the bedroom or something. I got up around 8:30, and besides petting a cat, I raveled out the cotton sweater and started the first square over again (barely). This time, I'm making it a lot smaller, so either it will be too small or it will be a nice summer top. Probably I won't finish it before it gets cold again, though. The good thing is that I was able to take out and mark the ball of yarn that had no turquoise in it, which I will use for the edgings and for an emergency, if I run out of all the rest of the yarn.


That took a while, but I made up for it by having a nice "Shari omelet" - Ham, cheese and Potatoes O'Brien. That is a good combination, and it's been a long time since I've had one.


I finished the bracelet that is sold and got it ready to package up. Now the only problem will be a box. I don't want to have to ship priority, but I may end up having to just to get boxes. However, everybody assures me that padded envelopes are safe, so when I go to town next week, I will investigate that. In the meantime, I want to get this one in the mail tomorrow, if possible.


I started another snowflake bracelet, and this one is going much better. I got about halfway done before I started losing my concentration, and I didn't have to rip out very much at all. I like that bracelet. I may make one for myself, but I have an idea for a completely different set of colors, which I want to try. Well...it does have a little copper in it, but otherwise, it's all new. We'll see.


The weather was pretty. It was nearly clear all day long (after being cloudy for most of the night). The temperature briefly hit 70º before it dropped back. For most of the afternoon it was in the middle 60s, which would have been fine, except for the wind. It started rising around 11:00, and by 5:00, it was 25 mph with 34 mph gusts, from the north. I brought in the cedar feeder in the middle of the afternoon because it was flying around and I knew there wouldn't be anybody using it anyway. The wind is dropping now, as it almost always does in the evening in the summer, but there were some nice whitecaps on the harbor all afternoon.


I closed the window to the porch because the wind was so strong and rather cool, and I think I must have closed Jasmine up out there again, although I didn't see her at the time. Now she is bugging Buster, who doesn't feel good and has been sleeping in the ugly chair in the sun all afternoon. He really would have liked to spend the afternoon on my lap, but I was busy, and after he tried four or five times and I said no, he took the next best place and got real comfortable.


There were a few birds in spite of the wind. At one point, I noticed a little chipping sparrow, who was trying to hop down the deck to the feeder, and as he hopped, the wind picked him up and turned him head over heels, then it blew him off the deck. Poor hungry little birdie! There were a few goldfinches clinging to the tube feeder and the thistle sock, but they were really having to clutch to keep from being blown away.


I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I am really tired, so I am doing this early, and I will disappoint the birds by bringing in the feeders so that I can toddle up to the north end early. I need to take a bath tonight, so I don't want to dawdle.


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


July 4 - Independence Day

I hope you enjoyed your holiday.


I read off the end of the story again, so it was after midnight, I think, when I got to bed. I woke up around 8:30 and just dozed for an hour before I got up. Then I petted a cat and finished working in the yarn ends on the afghan. 


I celebrated the day by having blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I was so surprised to see blueberries at the Gaslite that I bought some, and they were good. So that took up most of the morning.


I didn't feel like doing much today, so I didn't. The Copper Harbor parade was while I was in the bathroom. They start down at the west end of town someplace and go through town then through the Fort, so it took a while. I could hear the fire engines and the police cars for at least 45 minutes. It's been a long time since I watched the parade, but it's usually cute. All the businesses in town come up with some way to decorate a truck or a trailer, and they usually have their kids, the smaller the better, on them. They throw candy to the spectators and everybody has a good time.


I spent the later part of the afternoon sitting in the ugly chair and knitting. I am back to the other afghan, the star shaped one, although if it will ever get done is debatable. It's more or less manageable now, but when I get to the end of it, it will have something like 720 stitches - wow!


I ate dinner a bit late, then I sat down again to knit and enjoy the evening and the chipmunks. I think the reason I like chipmunks is that they are so industrious. They act like little vacuum cleaners, and I feel better about them than the squirrels (who are pigs) or the jays, because I know the chippies take their seeds home and stash them away where they know they are,


It was a lovely day for the Fourth, although it could have been a little warmer. I guess with the weather we've been having lately, this was pretty good. The temperature spiked to 70º around 9:00 when the wind dropped, but actually it was about  64º all afternoon, with a moderate north wind in the 10-20 mph range. It was still pretty humid until late this afternoon, when the dew point abruptly dropped to about 45º - nice. It was completely clear all day long, with blue skies and blue waters, although there were a few clouds in the west at sunset.


My neighbors to the south did their usual thing with fireworks before it got completely dark, and I guess some of them were rather nice, although all of them were too noisy for us. I think fireworks are dangerous, but evidently they don't.


The official fireworks got underway at 11:00. It wasn't dark enough earlier. It was a nice display with some new things that I liked a lot, but I thought there were a few more duds than usual this year. It went on for about 25 minutes. Some of them were enormous and went very high in the sky, but most of them were rather low this year. The finale was nice, though, two or three minutes of continuous things going off, which is always neat. The crowd in town liked it. I could hear the cheering out here.


There is always sort of a disconnect to watching fireworks from this distance (about 2 miles). The "bangs" and the sights are completely out of sync. The first four rockets went off before there was even one bang, and that is sort of weird. Once it gets going, there is enough noise that it doesn't matter so much, but it's amazing how used one is to attaching the sound to the light. Even though they are out of sync, I enjoy listening to the big booms echoing off the hills. That is a phenomenon that I have only heard here.


Altogether, it was a very nice display, and I must say that the crew that set them off was very well coordinated. There were very few awkward pauses between shots, and that was nice.


I was sitting in the ugly chair and wondering why my neighbor had his lights on during the display when I realized it was the almost-full moon, way off in the south. It isn't full until Tuesday, but it certainly is bright, even though it's so low in the sky.


When the crowd started cheering, I thought again how glad I am to be here, where I don't have to join the multitudes driving down those dark, twisty roads in the middle of the night, never knowing if the guy behind me has been drinking all day. It's a great show, and I can see why people come, but I wouldn't.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm off to the north end to crash. It's a warmish, partly cloudy night in the field - the moon just went behind a cloud.


July 3

Well, let's try this again. Evidently I had a non-responding IE, and after I had to turn the CPU off to get it to respond, it took me four reboots to get things up and running right. Sigh.


I read for a while last night, and I got to bed about 11:30. I got up about 9:30, and I petted a cat for a while, but when I started working on the afghan and dropped a needle, he left.


I tried a new way to bind off (well, new to me, anyway), and it worked out very well. Now I have a new way to bind off when I make socks from the toe up. I started weaving in all the little ends, but that is going to take quite a while, because there are a lot of them.


I got the bird feeders out at a reasonable hour, but there weren't many birds. This is the nesting season for most of them, and they have other things on their minds. So do the squirrels, I think, although somebody I couldn't see did eat out of the feeder on the deck.


I was doing my morning thing when I felt a rumble in my gut and I had another accident, this one very messy. So I cleaned up the powder room and me and washed everything I had on except my bra and my socks. That put me in a bad mood, so I played games for most of the day.


I went to the post office, where there wasn't any mail, and I certainly am going to hibernate for the rest of the weekend! There were people and motorcycles wandering around in the middle of roads like they owned them, and everyplace seemed very busy. Tomorrow should be wall-to-wall people. I'm glad to see it, but I'm very glad I have a place to go that's away from it, although I do have a lot of neighbors right now.


I was diddling around and listening to the news when I got notification that I sold another bracelet on etsy! Woo-hoo! Also oh dear. She bought the snowflake bracelet that I have been slowly working on for several days. So I turned around and began to bead, and I'm glad to say I had a somewhat easier time today. I finished all the peyote stitch and started looking for a bead for the closure, and I discovered that my bag of pale blue big beads has gone missing. Oh, sigh. I found a bead that will do for this bracelet, but I will be scrambling until I can put in an order at the place I get those things. I will start another one, and try to find some more beads that are the right size for the clasp.


The message she included got me thinking. If you see something you like among my pictures here (jewelry) please let me know. If you want one yourself, we can talk, because there are a few I can't do right now. I'll have to run it through etsy, of course. However, suggestions for what other people might like are welcome.


The weather finally turned into something. It was still cool - it only got up to 62º for a short while this afternoon - but it was almost perfectly clear for most lf the day. There was a wind in the 10-20 mph range from the north until about sunset, but it was a very pretty day. It was so nice to see the sun and the blue sky and blue water for a change!


Buster had a little elimination problem, too. He sat down on my lap while I was trying to type (that IE was screwing things up before the computer froze), and when I chased him away, there were some little brown marks on my brand clean jeans. So I got him to come back - he will come when I call, amazingly enough - and I cleaned a - ahem - turd out of the fur on his behind. He didn't like it, but it will be much easier for him to finish the job now.


Now it is getting too late to do anything else, and it's time to toddle up to the north end. There is a pale yellow gibbous moon low in the south, and the sky is at least partly clear. It's a lovely summer night in the field.


July 2

Last night, I couldn't get FrontPage to upload the web, so I ended up having to do it by hand, one file at a time. Then I got to playing games, and it was 2:00 before I got to bed. Oops. I got up around 10:45, and I petted a cat and unknitted the bound off row of the afghan. I will try another way tomorrow and see what that does.


I was so late getting up that I didn't do much of anything except get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. I used the last cat dishes this morning. This time it's not quite as full, so it should wash better.


I worked on the snowflake bracelet some more, but I had ripped it out so many times that finally I had to end off that thread and start another one. Somehow I always have that problem with patterns when I start doing them - the only one I don't is the zigzag pattern, but that is so simple it would be hard to screw it up. On the snowflake bracelet, it's a combination of having to put the snowflakes in the right place and having to make the wavy background work right...and there are six vertical beads in each snowflake. I'll get it down, but I will be making two of them.


The weather wasn't anything to boast about. It rained hard from 1:00 to 6:00  am last night, and we got almost a quarter inch of rain. It was pouring when I went to sleep, a good lullaby. It was cloudy and blah all day, but the temperature got up to 56º for a while this afternoon. The wind was in the 10-20 mph range. I was perturbed, because Environment Canada, which is usually pretty accurate, predicted clearing skies this afternoon and clear skies for the night and tomorrow. Well...they were wrong. Really wrong. At least it was a little warmer, but it was just as humid as it's been lately, over 90% all day. My back was telling me so.


I forgot to mention that yesterday I finally got all the cat food I brought back from Detroit put in the pantry cupboard, and this morning we had something new for breakfast that seemed to go over rather well. Buster likes gravy, and anything that has gravy. Yesterday we had an old variety that we haven't had much of, and boy did that go over well! Buster sat down and really chowed down, which is not a normal thing for him, and the dishes were just about empty this morning. Some cats want the same thing every day, but at least Buster wants something different every day, and if he gets the same thing too much, he gets tired of it. Talk about spoiled...


This afternoon after I ate, I had an accident. It was partly my own fault, but it shouldn't be happening. The doctor wants me to have another fecal bacteria test, but I can pretty much tell him what it's going to find - we didn't kill off the C. diff. My problem was compounded by some very sore hemorrhoids, so I was uncomfortable for most of the afternoon, and I washed two pairs of jeans and a couple of pairs of underpants, which are now in the dryer. Oh, if this will ever end!


My friend Syd called me - by accident - this afternoon, and they are doing well, and are very happy to be here fulltime.  Like most Harborites who have lots of friends and family, they are overrun with guests, but it didn't sound like she minds that a lot. It gets quieter after Labor Day.


Now I am going to bed. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I am tired. It's a dull, dank, cool night in the field, and a good one for sleep.


July 1

So here it is July, and we are into the second half of the year. Where, oh where has the time gone? Sigh.


I don't know where the time goes in a day, either. I went up to the north end at a fairly reasonable hour last night, but I started reading the last episode in the blue binder (the one I am still writing) and it was midnight before I got to bed. I got up around 9:30, I think, and I petted a cat for a while.


I bound off the afghan again...and this time it was too loose, so that it ruffled. Sigh. I began pulling it out again, which is a real problem with mohair, but I decided to leave that until tomorrow. The first way is too tight, the second way is too loose, so I will try a combination of the two and see what that does. Buster got disgusted by the time I was at the end of the row and he went off in a huff. I think I will take the rest of the #11 needles with me tonight. I think I have a set of double points, which will work better, since I only have two stitches on the right hand needle at a time.


Then I came down to the office, where it took me quite a while to do my morning surfing, since something seemed to be wrong with the broadband, and I kept losing communication. In the middle of the afternoon, it got so bad that I called, and yes, they were having trouble. I think a piece of equipment must have failed. I could get to Pastynet and my website just fine, but I couldn't get out into cyberspace very well at all. I am still trying to sign up for Mechanical Turk.


I think they solved most of the problem late in the afternoon, because I was able to order my vitamin B6 and do a few other things I hadn't been able to do before. However, it took so long to do anything that I am not going to get the Amazon ads on the site tonight. I want to do that right, and it will take too long.


I finished the twisted rope bracelet, and it came out quite well. I gauge how well I'm doing on those things by how straight the sides are, and this one came out pretty well. Then I tried to start a snowflake bracelet. Well! As I recall, I have only made two of those, and it showed. I had a horrible time getting the pattern started, and while I finally did it, I had to do an awful lot of ripping. I will eventually get the hang of it. Like the rope and post thing, I think I will do two, just to get the pattern burned into my head and my fingers. This one is a bit tricky because there is a wavy line of matte finish beads down the middle, behind the snowflakes, and since those beads are exactly the same color as the shiny ones, sometimes I can't see them too well. It's coming along now, though, and I will continue tomorrow. Not tonight.


The weather was yucky again, although not as bad as yesterday, in that it didn't rain. It was dark and cloudy and cold. The temperature hung right around 50º all day, and there was a relatively strong north wind, in the 15-20 mph range. It wasn't very nice out. Even though it didn't rain, the humidity has been over 90% (closer to 100%) all day, and my back has been telling me so.


In the middle of the afternoon, my neighbor Jean called to ask if I had a spool of white thread. Well, of course, I do, since I could probably start my own fabric store, but the question was, is it upstairs, or do I have to go down to the basement? Fortunately, the answer was, it was here, so I sent her off with it. She is a nice lady.


So that was my quiet day, and after I process the June journal into Word, I will be off to the north end to read a while, I'm sure.


It's a dark, dank, and cold night in the field. Yuck.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM