A View From the Field










September 30

Well, it's the last day of September, and fall has fell, for sure. The sun is setting just east of the top of Brockway. Sigh.


I was in bed about 10:00, but I didn't sleep very well until after 2:30, when I was able to take the pills I forgot to take in the afternoon. I take neurontin for the neuropathy in my feet, but I can't take it within two hours of when I take my morning and evening pills (including magnesium), and in spite of having the bottle right out in front in the kitchen, when I'm not drinking JD, I tend to forget it. I did take it this afternoon, while I was cooking. It makes a big difference in my feet, and they were very sore last night, and besides, they felt cold. They weren't cold, maybe just a little cool, but they felt like my toes were cold, and besides, rubbing on them on the sheets bothered them. This has been part of my problem several nights lately. I hope tonight will be better.


I think it was around 9:15 when I got up. I petted a cat and knitted, but he got upset when I started knitting and he went away. I turned the heel on the sock and started the gusset, in spite of pulling out four or five rows of the heel because it looked like I messed up the pattern. I am now doing the gusset, so that is coming along well.


I had some vague plans for the day, but nothing materialized. I knitted on the sock, and I made my reservations for the Detroit trip, and that was about it. I did not hear back from the doctor, so I am assuming I will go on Monday, October 12, and start back on the 14th, arriving home on the 15th. The way it sounded, things are quiet enough that I can change my plans without problem. Both places I stay have lowered their prices quite a bit since April. They both quoted me $69.50 a night, which is a good $20 lower than the last time. I forgot to tell the place in Grayling that I have AARP and AAA, so that one should be even lower. That's nice. The April trip ended up costing nearly $1000, and i can't stand much of that.


The weather was so pretty, as it frequently is right after a blow. It was clear all day, with light north winds, and the temperature was about 45º all afternoon. The office got so hot (or I did) that I opened the window, but I will have to close it tonight. There were still some waves early this morning, but now the lake is all quiet again, and it was so lovely and blue!


I can't remember all the times I have been coming here when there was either a gale or a huge thunderstorm and fall came right behind it. It has been one of the nicer Septembers I can remember, though, with some of the warmest temperatures of the summer, and lovely clear skies and light winds. We will probably have a few more days in the upper 60s, but this is autumn for real.


Tonight, I cooked my beef country ribs, and they came out especially yummy. Maybe it was the nice white onion Roxie got for me, or the lovely garlic I got at Hughes Farm, but it seemed especially tasty. I do have to mix up some Bouquet Garni with no tarragon in it, though. I don't care for tarragon anyway, and it doesn't go with beef very well. This is a recipe I cobbled together myself, from a recipe for lamb shanks, and it's another one I like a lot.


Of course there are leftovers, so we will eat well for a day or two. I nuked a potato, since I didn't feel like coping with mashed potatoes. I like them, but they are a pain to make.


One thing happened again, and I have no explanation for it. I put the Dutch oven in the oven and set the timer for 1½ hours, then I went back to the office and listened to the radio and played solitaire. A while later, I decided to go and check on my dinner - just as the timer went off. Somehow, unconsciously, I seem to know just when the timer will go off, and this is anything from about 20 minutes to 2 hours. I did miss it when I did the pork chops, but actually, the extra cooking time made them more tender, even though it dried out the liquid a bit. How do I know that? I've never figured it out, but it happens more often than not.


So that was a quiet day, and I will be off to the north end after I put everything away and put the Dutch oven to soak.


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


September 29

I was in bed around 9:30 last night, and the singing of the lake and roaring of the wind put me right to sleep. However, I had a wakeful period around 3:00, so when I went back to sleep, I slept, with only a couple of short wakeups, until 10:00 this morning. I must have been more tired than I thought.


I knitted and petted a cat for a while, and the heel of the sock is coming along nicely. I was just about ready to put on my clothes when Adam called, and we had a nice long conversation, with me lying on the bed petting a very happy cat. Only he was not so happy when I put down the phone and wanted to get up. He thought maybe we were going to sleep there all day.


He squeaked at me when I gave him his breakfast. Usually, he hollers at me, but this morning (well, it was about noon), it was just a squeak. Maybe that was a sign the he was really hungry or something.


I brought up some beef country ribs to defrost, but they weren't defrosted enough, and when I was ready to eat, it was too late to have them. So I will do them tomorrow.


I actually did something today, and it was rather surprising. The piles of magazines and catalogs were getting alarmingly high, and last night when Mike came, I had to move some of them because I had to get into the laptop bag to get my wireless receiver, so I had kind of a mess around here already. So this afternoon, I went through everything, threw away almost four orange bags of stuff, filed all the magazines I keep in a box, and piled up the current stuff. There are now only three baskets of catalogs, two of which I keep all the time, and about a 2" pile of current magazines. Whew! Of course, all those orange bags have to go to the compactor. It's going to take more than one trip - probably more like three.


I also finally got through to the doctor's office, but I only talked to his assistant. She was going to get back to me either tonight or tomorrow, and I didn't hear back, so I hope I get an answer from her tomorrow. I really need to make my reservations now!


The weather is still windy, but not like yesterday. It was in the 20-35 mph range  from the northeast all afternoon, which means that the lake is still roaring, but it is more like a tenor roar. The temperature was around 45º all day. Late this afternoon, there actually was a little sunshine, but it didn't last long.


Interestingly enough, I could tell when I was up during the night when the wind gusts got down below 40 mph, because the roar of the lake went from baritone to tenor. I could still hear the wind pounding against the house. It's not as obvious when it's from the north, because it doesn't hit the first floor so hard, but I could hear it banging away at the roof and the second story.


So that was a quiet day, but I did accomplish something that needed doing. Now it's another cloudy, windy night and it will be good sleeping again tonight.


September 28

Oh my,  but it's noisy around here!


The wind was rising when I got to bed, around midnight, and it continued to rise all night long. I didn't sleep very well. I kept getting hot and waking up, and my bottom was sore. By the time I got up, around 9:00, the wind was from the north and in the 30-35 mph range. By 10:00, it was from the north-northeast and in the 37-47 mph range, and that is about where it stayed for the rest of the day. We did have reported 51 mph gusts, and around 7:00, the sustained winds were 41.4 mph and the gusts were 50.6 mph. The lake has been roaring away in a good, deep baritone all day. It wasn't particularly cold - in the low 50s, but then, the water temperature at the Mid Superior buoy is still 55º, so I wouldn't expect it to be too cold. It rained off and on all day, and it was generally a good day to stay in and listen to the singing of the lake and the howling of the wind.


So of course, I went out to my massage, and Roxie left for Bayfield. It wasn't all that bad outside, although I did wear my slicker. Every time I stepped outside, the wind took my hair and stood it right on end.


I felt better after my massage, although my back was bothering me tonight. Not surprising, considering the rain.


If the forecast 15-22 foot waves are going to happen, it will have to be tonight. The Mid Superior buoy, which is what I count on for my wave height reports, was only reporting about 12 ft. a while ago. However, it is supposed to be 2:00 am before this begins to die down, so it's possible. Not likely, but possible. I think the NWS overstates things in their forecasts just so they won't be accused of understating. They are also forecasting flooding along the lakeshore in Marquette and Alger counties (read: between Marquette and Munising), and they are cautioning people to stay away from the shore, which is probably a good idea in any case.


I didn't do anything after I got home, which is usual. I had a couple of ideas, but my bottom was still sore, so I did nothing. Late this afternoon, Mike came with a wireless router, and we now have wireless in the house, I think. We won't know until Roxie gets back and tries her laptop upstairs whether it will work that far away or not. It works fine on my laptop. Cool. This isn't the final solution, but it will do for the time being, until PastyNet comes up with something better.


Of course the bird feeders didn't get put out today. If I had put them out, there wouldn't have been any birds, and they probably would have blown away.


I'm not sure whether it will get that bad, but the NWS marine forecast has been for storm warnings - that being the stage above gale warnings - for the lake. Again, I think that's more than likely just overkill, although at the Stannard Rock CMan station, the wind is that strong. That station is sort of between Keweenaw Point and the Huron Mountains, and it always has higher winds than any other station on the lake. 


I was concerned about the Isle Royal Queen, but it turns out Friday was her last trip over and today was supposed to be her last trip back, so they are on the island and they (obviously) didn't come back today. In fact, they might not even come back tomorrow, unless things calm down a lot. I wouldn't. So when the Queen makes her last trips, we really know most of the season is over.


Buster has been agitated all day. I think he has forgotten how noisy it can get around here, and he doesn't like it. Poor Buster. Jasmine seems to be somewhat agitated, too, but her response is to dive into the basement. She is, unfortunately, much happier now that Roxie is gone again. She will just have to get used to this. Buster's way has been to want to sit on me all the time, which is a problem, too. So we will go up to the north end, and I suppose he will sleep with me, like he did for most of last night. Geez, Buster, they aren't coming after us!


At any rate, it's a wild and stormy night, and it will be another good one to sleep.  By tomorrow, it will still be windy but the gale will be over. Such fun!


September 27

It was another good night. I think I was in bed before 10:00, and I got up around 9:00 this morning. The forecasters were wrong about when the clouds would move in - there were stars when I was up at 2:00, although they weren't very bright. However, it had clouded up by 5:00. I petted a cat and knitted a while, but my bottom was uncomfortable, so I didn't do much.


In fact, I didn't do much at all. I rustled around and got ready for Roxanne, sort of, and that was about it. I did type off and on, and after she went up to bed, I finished the story. It was weird to be typing things I knew I had typed before, but I got through it. It's about 69,000 words. I will let it sit for a while.


I am thinking about starting the next episode, but that is a very long one, and I don't know if I want to keep on typing that much. I am reading it, up at the north end, but I haven't been able to sit down and really get into it.


The weather was anticipatory. That's about the best way I can describe it. It was mostly cloudy, but there were a few rays of sunshine, and there was only one small rain shower here. There wasn't much wind until around 9:00 when it started rising, when it switched around to the north. It's in the 15-25 mph range now, or maybe a little stronger out here, but they are saying we are in for a real gale, and they are forecasting 17-22 foot waves out on the lake. That I'll believe when I see it. Anyway, it looks like we will have a nice blow.


Roxanne is doing well, although her last month or so has been so chaotic that she isn't quite sure which end is up yet. She will have fun with her friends for the next four days, then she can come back here for a week or so and crash. She may come back in November again, then again in January. That's not settled yet. Buster and I like having her around. Jasmine isn't so sure. She went away for her morning siesta and didn't turn up until a few minutes ago.


So that was my day, and the sound of the wind and the lake will sing me to sleep tonight. It's a noisy night in the field tonight.


September 26

Well, I was in bed before 10:00, and I slept well, except for a while around 3:00. I got up around 9:00, I think, and petted a cat and knitted on the heel of the sock.


I was doing well, around noon, when I got a stomach cramp that turned into a full-fledged gall bladder attack. It was over by 3:00, but I had a bad three hours, and I spent a good portion of it in the ugly chair doing nothing but petting a cat and watching the chipmunks. The angle that I sit in that chair seems to be about the best place to be when I'm having an attack.


That always leaves me feeling tired and blah, though, so I will be going to bed early again tonight. At least it wasn't a really bad one, and it didn't last very long.


As a result of all that, I didn't do much of anything. I washed up the pans in the sink and put some more stuff in the dishwasher. When I opened the dishwasher this morning, it was so stinky inside, I could hardly stand it. I wonder what I could use to deodorize it?


I also typed a lot, and I got almost to the end of the story...and then I clicked "no" instead of "cancel" and lost everything I had typed in today. That's more than grr...that's an aw, shit. So I will have to type it over again, and hope I can remember the changes I made as I typed. Aw, shit.


The weather was blah. The temperature was nearly steady around 60º, although it did get up to 64º for a brief moment. The little breeze was from the southwest. It was cloudy until just about sunset, then a clear spot came over, and now the quarter moon is shining in the south windows. However, it is supposed to cloud up again soon, and tomorrow the storm is supposed to start, with lots of rain and very high winds. Goody!


Roxanne called this morning, and she will be coming tomorrow, but for only one day, since on Monday, she and Peggy and Liz are taking off for Bayfield, WI for four days, then she will be back for another week. I need a planner to keep up with her schedule. It will be good to have her back. As soon as she left, I reverted to all my old messy habits, and that's bad. Besides, we have lots to talk about, and that's nice.


I only wish Jasmine would get used to her. When I went to put out the birdfeeders this morning, Jasmine was curled up in the ugly chair, but of course she left when I opened the patio door. Then, after Buster got tired of her and went off to sleep in the window seat, she curled up under the east windows and stayed there until I got out of my chair. She is really trying, bless her little heart. She would really like to trust me, but her reactions are so ingrained that every time I start to move around, she is afraid I will shut the door and she runs. She sat and blinked at me and seemed quite content as long as I was sitting down. Millimeter by millimeter, we make progress.


I forgot to mention the strange thing that happened to my finger. When I was making the spiky necklaces, the middle finger of my right hand got so swollen and sore from arthritis that I could hardly even type. After not using the bead spinner for some days, and not typing a whole lot, the swelling and soreness have gone down, and it is much more comfortable again. However, a night or two ago, when I got out of the shower, all the very top layer of skin where it had been swollen peeled off, almost like a huge blister. I know there was no blister-like thing there, so it's very strange. As much trouble as I've had with my fingers, this is the first time that has happened. Very strange. It's nice not to have sore fingers for a change.


So that was my not very nice day, and I will be off to the north end shortly. It's clear right now, but it is going to be a cloudy night in the field, and the storm is coming...or so they say.


September 25

I think it was around midnight when I got to bed, and I didn't do well after about 3:00. I was up any number of times, and my bottom hurt. I got up around 9:00, but it was a lost day, and I'm tired again now.


I didn't do anything except transcribe a few pages of the story and clean up after myself. My bottom was sore all day, too.


The weather was OK. It wasn't as clear as they said it was going to be - there were clouds all day long, but there was sunshine, too. The temperature got up to 69º for a few hours, and there was quite a wind from the southwest at times...and at other times, like when it warmed up, there was hardly any wind at all.


The forecasts say that the next four days or so are going to be wet, and by Monday, it's going to be cold. Our equinoctial storm, I guess. 


The sun is now setting in the notch just to the right of the top of Brockway, and it is still fleeing south at a great rate. The sun set at 7:42 tonight, and by 8:15, it was dark. No late evenings and long twilights anymore, that's for sure. However, the young moon was shining in the south windows for a while before it went behind the clouds. I was disappointed to have missed the very small crescent in the twilight for the past few days, but the west has been cloudy at sunset.


So that was a nothing day, and I'll be off to the north end soon, and I hope to do better tonight. It's a partly cloudy, warmish night in the field.


September 24

I didn't get to bed until about 12:15 last night, but I did sleep well, until after 9:00 this morning. It was a clear night but not very transparent. I did get to see Vega setting behind the trees, but I was only up twice all night, so I didn't see much of anything. I petted a cat and knitted, and I started the heel of the sock. This one seems to be going fast, for the amount of time I've spent knitting on it.


It was another almost lost day. I did rustle around the kitchen a bit. I emptied the dishwasher and started loading it again, and I put away some of the pots and pans, washed a few, and put some more to soak. And this evening, I typed for a while. I only have about 55 handwritten pages to go, so I am making progress on that.


The weather was OK, but not as nice as had been forecast. There were some clouds in the sky for most of the day, not enough to completely cover the sun, but it wasn't perfectly clear. The temperature got up to 66º for a while. The wind was light, but it went from west overnight, to north for most of the day, and now it is from the east.


I got sidetracked, so the bird feeders didn't get out until late, and I had chickadees flying around even before I had everything hung up. An e-friend sent me a link to some information about chickadees, and they do cache seeds. They tuck them in the scales in the bark of their trees, and apparently they know where they put them. That makes me feel better when there's a blizzard and I have to bring in all the feeders for a day or two. They are certainly busy enough now, so I guess they are gathering their winter stores. They are the sweetest little birds. I wonder if maybe the nuthatches do the same thing. I hope so.


So now it's a cool, partly cloudy night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and hope to get another good night's sleep.


September 23

Wow, last night was quite a night. I turned out the light about 11:00, but for some reason I couldn't sleep. My mind was going around in circles. I have to admit my experience with the doctor really has been bothering me. And I was up every hour, at least, sometimes just because I was uncomfortable and I needed to move. I suppose I did doze, but it was after 4:00 that I finally really slept, and i was up twice more before I finally got up around 9:00. So I didn't feel very good and I didn't do anything. 


I did pet a cat, but I had forgotten the sock again, and my bottom was sore, so I didn't do much.


I didn't do much at all all day long. I paid a couple of bills - today was Social Security day - and I worked for a little while on the bracelet, but that was all. I had plans, but I just wasn't up to it.


I guess I forgot to mention that I complained to the propane company, and I heard back from them, and they adjusted my budget payment down again. It's not as low as it should be, but it's nearly $200 less than it was last year, so I'm not complaining too much. By my calculations, it should have been another $100 lower, but I know they don't want me to run a big balance. I think getting the boiler running right has made a substantial difference in my propane usage, but I wasn't going down into the basement to get all the bills for the last few years to prove that. If I end up with a large credit balance in the spring, like I did this year, maybe I can get them to lower it some more.


There was a wonderful cartoon this morning - Frank & Earnest. The caption said, "Line one is my fixed income. Line two is my fixed expenses, and the difference is the fix I'm in."  Amen, brother. Any reductions are gratefully received.


The weather was lovely. It was cloudy all night, but when I was up around 4:30, I noticed that there were stars. Nice, I thought, and went back to bed. It was a clear, lovely day. The temperature briefly reached 64º, and it was around 62º all day. There was a wind from the north that got up to 15 mph for a little while before it died down. There were a few clouds in the sky late in the afternoon, but mostly it was sunny and pretty.


Something happened to the camera that hasn't happened in years, and I still don't know why it does. While the date and time updated every 15 minutes, the picture got stuck at around 10:00 this morning, until I realized what was going on and rebooted. It's been a really long time since that has happened, and it's still a mystery. It was a very pretty picture, I have to admit, but the sun does move and the vista changes during the day.


The bird of the day was a raven who thought he might get something to eat out of the feeder on the deck, but they are very skittish, and that feeder apparently looked too much like a trap. I suppose they act that way because they have been chased and trapped for so many years. I have no especial dislike of crows and ravens, except that they are very noisy. They perform a great service. My mother always called them the cleanup squad when we would see them around a road kill. We don't have much road kill around here, and they have to share the dead fish with the eagles, so they have a more varied diet, and I suppose the seeds in the feeder looked good to them. They are such huge birds. The door wasn't open, and the cats were asleep when they came. I think Jasmine knows better, but Buster has always been attracted to the really big birds.


I sat down to eat my breakfast and do my morning surfing, and Buster sat under the east windows, and when I looked around, there was Jasmine, curled up in the sun under the south windows. Of course, she ran as soon as I realized she was there, but she is trying to join the family, and I think that's nice. Buster started bugging me a while ago - I wasn't hungry, so I didn't eat until around 10:00 - and when I went out into the kitchen, the bowls were empty and he set up a real fuss. I don't know why all of a sudden he is so hungry, except for food he doesn't like very well, but I hope that if I feed him a bit more, he will gain a little weight. He is extremely thin. So I put down more food, and he immediately lit into it. The dry food bowls were empty, too, so I refilled those, and he had to sniff each one and take a few pieces of his favorite. I am glad to see that he is learning that if he is hungry, he has to tell me so. Unfortunately, I can't read his furry little mind.


Oh yes, and I heard back from the gastroenterologist. She won't treat me without seeing me and the first appointment they have is in November. So much for that. Now I have to decide what else I might do. I really don't want to go back to Detroit in November; I have had too many bad trips, even in the early part of the month. Once I get back in October, the furthest I want to drive is Houghton until the end of March. One of my friends has given me the name of a couple of doctors, and I guess I will start canvassing everybody I know. I will talk to the internist when I see him. It almost seems like I'm not supposed to get rid of this thing.


This afternoon, my bottom was so sore I finally tried the donut Roxanne lent me, and oh, my does it make a difference! I'm not going to say I'm entirely comfortable, but it certainly is much better.


So now it is late, and it's a cool, clear night in the field, and it's time to try this sleep thing again.


September 22

Well, now it is officially, astronomically, autumn. Sigh.


I was in bed by 9:30 last night, and I slept well. There were stars all night, which wasn't forecast, but it was nice, not that I was up very much. It had clouded over by the time I got up, at about 8:45. I knitted and petted a cat, and I still can't figure out why I can't count patterns on the sock. I did manage to count rows, so I know I am almost done with the leg.


I decided to have pancakes for breakfast this morning. I found some locally grown wild blueberries at Econo last week, and I wanted to try them in pancakes. Well, I still like bilberries better. However, they were good.


It doesn't seem like I did anything much today. I worked on the bracelet for a bit, but not a lot. I made two phone calls. My hair cutter is moving to Florida (well - I should say, back to Florida), so I won't be getting my hair cut very soon. Too bad - it needs shaping up. Maybe I can figure out how to get it done when I'm in Detroit. And I called the gastroenterologist in Detroit, but they didn't call back. I went to the post office, and that was about it.


I had put in a little order for beads, so I could get my dark sapphire beads, and when I got it, I discovered I had ordered more of the big bead mixture, rather than the seed bead mixture I thought I was getting. That's all right - there were more of the ones I like. So I sorted them out. There were lots of cute little flower bud beads, and I wonder why I can't get large amounts of them. I have had an idea for using them in a bracelet - or more probably, in some bead embroidery - and I don't have all that many, especially the really little ones. I will have to look over the catalog again.


There were a lot more of the pretty pale green leaves, and I really must try to figure out something to do with them. 


The weather wasn't very good. It was cloudy and humid all day, and a couple of times it got dark enough that it looked like it might rain, although it didn't. The temperature hit 69º at noon, but it was around 65º for most of the afternoon. There wasn't any wind.


The squirrels were setting up a racket for most of the afternoon, and I could hear them because I had the door open. Jasmine was enchanted, but she keeps trying to get at them through the screen. Grr, Jasmine. I looked out one time, and the female downy woodpecker was around, but she didn't seem to find anything much she wanted to eat. Thistle seed didn't turn her on, and apparently sunflower seeds were too big.


This evening Buster was sort of meowing around me, and when I went into the kitchen, I noticed that the dishes were empty, and he actually came out and meowed at me while I refilled them. So I will have to pay more attention, or maybe I can train him to be clearer on what he wants. He didn't want more yesterday, but he didn't like what he got very well. This should keep him happy until morning. Back in the DC days, they got something different morning and night, but I'm not going to start that again. We'll get something different every day, but only one variety a day.


Now it is time to toddle up to the north end again, as soon as Vaughn-Williams' "Fantasy on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" finishes. One of my little favorites. It's a dark,  cloudy, humid night in the field.


September 21

I went up to the north end early last night, and I even thought I might read a bit, but I was too tired and my bottom hurt, so I was in bed by 9:15. I didn't get up until 10:15 this morning, and I only had three wakeups in between. That should have caught me up on my sleep, but I'm getting tired again.


I petted a cat and I knitted a bit, and for some reason I am having a terrible time counting pattern repeats vertically on the sock. I think I have one more repeat to go, but I will have to scratch my head over it for a while...or maybe break down and try to count rows.


I was so late that I didn't do a whole lot today. I began to unload the dishwasher, but I didn't get far. I worked a little on the new bracelet (the Copper Harbor bracelet), and I sat for a while in the ugly chair and worked on the afghan, but I had trouble counting that, too. Maybe I was just having trouble counting today.


I took some pictures of various jewelry today, and when I loaded the stuff from the camera onto the computer, I discovered that the last pictures I took of sunsets, a week or more ago, were all totally out of focus. I have no idea why, but I don't know how I had the camera set. It wasn't because the shutter speed was too slow, so it must have been because I was trying to do something with my manual settings and it didn't work. I was disappointed, because they were interesting pictures otherwise. Oh well, I win some and I lose some. The jewelry pictures turned out all right, and I posted the three necklaces on etsy, even though I don't have pictures of them on a model yet. One of these days, I'll get energized and post them here. That is quite a job, and I just haven't felt like tackling it.


When I was investigating my broadband speeds, I discovered that my upload speed is over 1 megabit, and I asked Jon about it when I talked to him. Apparently they are using a beta-version of the software in the relays, and it can't throttle upload speeds, so I guess I ought to do as much with the website as I can while it's so fast. The camera uploads in a second or two, and even now that the journal is getting long, it uploads almost immediately, too. Nice. I wish they could reverse the download and upload speeds, but that's a future.


I had gotten some individual-sized pizzas from Schwan's, so I decided to have one tonight. Well. The first one I microwaved was so overcooked, the crust was like a piece of rock and all the cheese had run out, so I cooked another one, for far less time. It wasn't too overcooked, but the cheese all ran out of it, too...and there wasn't much else but cheese, even though it was called a "Supreme" pizza. So after I ate it, I called Schwan's and complained, and they will give me a refund. apparently it's not supposed to cook like that. So much for the latest experiment.


Even though it was clear when I went to bed last night, and I could see Arcturus setting over the lighthouse, it clouded up overnight, and it was cloudy until about 4:00 this afternoon, when it finally started to clear up a bit. The temperature varied between 61º and 64º all afternoon, with light southwest winds. It was nearly clear at sunset. It is still quite humid.


Every summer I have been here has been different, and I think this has been the most consistently humid one I can remember. I don't like that very well, and I can attest that my arthritis doesn't like it at all. But it certainly is fun to see how the seasons differ from year to year.


The fingers on my right hand are a little less sore today, probably because I didn't type yesterday and I've been sort of resting them. My bottom was sore all day, and that's all I'll say about it.


So that was another quiet and rather truncated day, and I'll be off to the north end shortly. It's a cool, clear night in the field.


September 20

Oops. After I uploaded the journal last night, I started reading ahead in the story, and I read to the end, so it was nearly 2:00 when I got to bed. I didn't wake up for the first time until 6:30 or so, so I missed any stars there might have been, and by that time I needed to turn over. I went back to sleep and woke up again around 8:30, and I just did not want to get up, but I had to, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep, and I felt it all day. I petted a cat, but my bottom wasn't quite comfortable, so I didn't knit.


I partly filled the birdseed pails (I got that new seed just in time) and hauled them back to the office, but I didn't do much else.


In the early afternoon, I got so sleepy that I laid down for a while, but in spite of feeling like I should be able to sleep, I didn't, so I got up. I sat down in the ugly chair to enjoy the day and the critters, and I picked up the star afghan. I quickly discovered that I had goofed five or six rows back, and after trying to fix it unsuccessfully three times, I ripped back to where I knew the count was right. I haven't quite gotten back to where I was, but at least it's right. I'm not sure what I did, but it had to do with one of the increase points, and if one of those is off, the whole thing will be off.


I also rustled around the kitchen a bit and the dishwasher is almost ready to run tonight, and I cleaned up part of the counter. There is still too much stuff on that counter, but that's for another day.


I decided not to continue working on the bracelet, so I took out what I had started to do and declared it finished. It's a pretty little thing, very narrow.  That stitch would be a very good one to use for a necklace, and I will bear that in mind. I was going to start a "Copper Harbor" bracelet, and I have all the beads poured out, but that was when I got so sleepy, and besides my bottom hurt.


The weather was nice but not as clear as it has been for the past few days. There were quite a few cirrus clouds in the sky for most of the afternoon, but there was lots of sunshine, too. I was surprised, when I got to the office, to see that the temperature was already 65º. It warmed up overnight. It got up to about 70º and stayed there for most of the afternoon. There was a light southwest wind, and it was a really lovely afternoon to sit and do nothing.


While I was sitting and watching the critters, I got feeling sorry for the little chipmunks. The squirrels had staked out the feeder on the deck and they weren't letting anybody share. They even chattered at the little sparrows, who only eat little seeds. So I put a little bit of seed in the other platform feeder and put it right under the patio door. The chipmunks, or at least one of them, found it pretty quick, because he was skirting the wall so as to give the squirrel as wide a berth as possible. The only trouble with that was that Jasmine discovered it, too, and she kept lunging at them and bouncing off the screen. After the trouble I had getting that screen fixed right, I don't want her to break it! The chickadees and nuthatches were really hitting the feeders hard. All I can figure is that they are bulking up for winter. They don't hoard seeds, as far as I know. Even though it's nice out now, they seem to know what's coming.


So that was my very quiet day, and it's going to be an early night tonight, for sure. It's a partly cloudy, coolish night in the field.


September 19

I typed for a while after I uploaded the journal, and then I read ahead for a chapter, so it was after midnight when I got to bed. I slept well, with only two wakeups all night. The second was around 8:00, and I really wanted to go back to bed, but my gut wouldn't let me, so I got up and petted a cat and knitted on the sock for a while.


Since I was up only once, I only saw the stars once, but it was remarkably clear looking out the bathroom window, where Vega was almost behind the trees and Cygnus was plunging toward the horizon. I didn't look long, though, because I was in a hurry to get back to sleep.


It was a beautiful morning and a beautiful day. The temperature was about 48º all night, but it rose rapidly when the sun rose, and about 5:00 this afternoon it got up to 70º, very briefly. It was in the upper 60s for most of the day, with a light southwest wind. There were almost no clouds in the sky all day, and it was beautiful.


I celebrated by doing nothing again. I did do a lot of typing, and I now have 47,000 words transcribed. This episode is a bit longer than the last one, but not nearly as long as the one that follows it. I'm not sure when I will go on to that one. I kept on typing tonight because I was reading as I did, and I wanted to finish the episode.


So that is all I have to report, and it's late again. Tonight I have to bathe, so it will be at least 1:00 before I get to bed. It's another beautiful, clear, cool night in the field.


September 18

I think it was around 11:30 when I got to bed last night, but I really don't remember. I slept well, with a slight break around 1:30. When I was up then, there were some beautiful stars, but later on it clouded up and the clouds didn't go away until around 9:00. That was about when I got up. I petted a cat for a bit, but I had forgotten the sock, and the sweater doesn't interest me very much.


I had another non-day. My bottom was sore, which didn't help. I typed for a while, and I added a few beads to the bracelet, but I'm not too happy with the tension I'm getting, so I didn't do much. Otherwise, I did nothing much except unload everything except the birdseed from the car and take another couple of orange bags out to the garage.


I had some thoughts of going to the compactor, but I wanted to wait for the Schwan's guy. Jean called to say she was going to return my spool of thread, which was unnecessary but nice of her. I wanted to see her, but it turned out I was in the basement stashing my Schwan's stuff in the freezer when she came. So she called and we had a nice conversation.


She has had a houseful of guests all summer, too, like a lot of the people in town. There is an old saying in my family, "For them that likes it, it's what they likes." I'm just as glad to be mostly left alone.


The weather turned out beautiful but cold. The skies cleared completely after 9:00 this morning, and it was a beautiful blue day, but the temperature hung right about 55º all day, until the sun set, and now it has plunged to 46º. I think that's the first time it's been under 50º in several months. There wasn't much wind, and what there was came from the east, so the window was closed all day. I did open the patio door, because it was getting pretty hot in here with the sunshine, and it is now cooling down nicely. It was still very humid, and my back and knees were telling me so.


The tube feeder was getting empty, so after I put it out, I thought I would get it and fill it, but when I got up, there was Jasmine curled up on the rug, leaning against the footstool, with her back to the glass. She looked so comfortable and content that I decided not to bother her. I will fill the feeder tomorrow. Buster wanted to sit on me, of course, but he was also content to lay on the blotter right in the middle of the desk. This is the time of year when the sun shines right on the middle of the desk in the morning, and he was enjoying the heat. His black coat gets so hot, it's a wonder he can stand it. Sometimes he does have to get up and go away.


Buster looks black when you see him, and his overcoat is black, but his soft, fuzzy undercoat is actually brown, or brown with black stripes. It's always interested me. Last night, he had eaten all the canned food, so I put down another can, and that was gone this morning, too. I guess it must have been something they both like a lot, because today's offering didn't go as well.


It's really hard for me to determine when they want more to eat. DC wanted two meals a day, and he was very vocal about telling me when it was suppertime. Buster just won't. He makes a real fuss at breakfast time, but that's all. I don't know why. So I have to guess when they need more to eat for overnight. I  guess I will just have to assume that if both dishes are empty, it's time for more.


So that was my nothing day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and hope to sleep well tonight again. It's a lovely, clear and cold night in the field.


September 17

My bottom was sore last night, so I didn't read, and I was in bed by 11:30. I slept well until about 3:30, then I was up any number of times and I didn't do much more than doze until around 6:30. It was 8:45 when I got up, and I didn't feel like I had enough sleep at all.


Eric finally got here, and he has done about all he can do, and the yard all looks very nice. It sure is nice not to have all that tansy and knapweed around. Of course, it's still there, and I can see at least the tansy coming up from the roots, but for the year, it's under control.


Then Roxanne called, and we had a nice conversation. She is adamant that she won't stay here with her cousin, who is sort of a wild man, but she will be back before the end of the month, probably, and after she, Peggy and Liz go off to Bayfield, WI for a couple of days, she'll be here for another week or so. She is holding up very well, under the circumstances. I think it will eventually hit her hard, as it always does, but for the time being, she is doing fine. I am a very weepy person, but evidently she is not, and that's a good thing.


Then I remembered I had to pay a bill, so it was between 12:30 and 1:00 when I set off for town. I wasn't too worried, since I had a very small list of things to do. I stopped at Hughes Farm, where I sort of went crazy. There was sweet corn and cucumbers and tomatoes, including those yellow cherry tomatoes I love. I got beets, potatoes and garlic, too. Yum. The last time I got garlic from them, it lasted a good two years before it started to go, not like the stuff in the supermarkets. Yum.


Then it was off to the feed store, where I was delighted to discover that the price of sunflower seed has gone down to almost half what it was the last time I got it. So I got 100 lbs for only about $33. The birdies - and the piggy squirrels - will eat well, and I won't break the bank.


I stopped at Ming Bistro for a light lunch, which was all I wanted. I did eat most of my rice. It seems rice is good for my gut, so I expect to eat a lot of it.


Then it was off to Econo Foods, where I did the usual damage, but that was mostly because I bought lots of JD and six bottles of wine - the wine cellar was getting a bit depleted. They had beef country ribs and large packages of pork chops. I also needed laundry supplies, which aren't exactly cheap. I was disappointed that I could only get one package of TP, I never did find the vinegar, and they didn't have my shampoo. I got parcel pickup, but this time I had to load my car myself. Oh well, at least I got everything in the right place.


Now that the summer tourist season is over, the price of gas has come down, of course. It was $2.50 a gallon at Econo. You're never going to get me to believe they aren't fixing the prices.


I was late enough that I got caught in the 4:00 rush hour. I was worried, because I got behind an empty double bottomed log hauler while crossing the bridge, but he went off on M-203. There was also a semi, but I passed him going up the hill. There was a convoy going toward Mohawk, but I took Cliff Drive and lapped them. I did have to pass one guy up by Delaware, but mostly it was an easy trip in both directions. I am sorry to see that they aren't through with whatever they are doing on Shelden Avenue, and the detours are still in place. I hope they get over that soon.


 I got home about 5:00, and I just sat until 8:00, when I got the cold stuff out of the car and put away. The produce and the rest of the stuff will just have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest.


There is more color than there was the last time I was down that way. I can't tell yet what kind of a color season it will be, but there were some very vivid red branches, so maybe it will be nice. It's too early to tell for sure, and we could have a big blow and there wouldn't be any leaves at all. That's happened. The trees are only about 5% changed, though, so we have a way to go.


The weather was on the cool side. The temperature got up to 68º early here (around noon), and while I was in Houghton, but there was a strong breeze, in the 15 mph range from the north. It was mostly cloudy to partly cloudy for most of the afternoon, although it cleared up around 4:00 here, and didn't begin to cloud up until around 6:00. It was so nice to come down the hill and see the blue lake!


I bought a sandwich, but I wasn't hungry when I got home, so it is in the fridge for tomorrow. It won't be as good, but I don't feel like eating it now. I'm sure all the produce will mess up my elimination, but I don't care. It is so good! 


So that was my day, and I'm tired now, and it's time to go to bed, as soon as the Haydn symphony ends. It's a cloudy night in the field, and maybe I will sleep tonight.


September 16

I forgot to mention yesterday that Roxanne's mother passed away early yesterday morning. So sad. She fought hard.


I got to bed about 10:15 last night. I had some thought about reading, but my bottom wasn't comfortable, so I didn't. I didn't get up until 9:45 this morning, so I should have caught up on my sleep! I petted a cat for a long time and knitted a while, too...and that was just about everything useful that I did. Sometimes I think I have more energy if I don't get enough sleep.


When I first went to bed last night, I could see bright stars out the west windows, but they went away fast, and it was cloudy for the rest of the night.


In fact, it was cloudy until after 2:00 this afternoon, when it finally began to clear up, and the late afternoon was clear and lovely. However, it was cold: the high just made it up to 62º, and only for a little while. It was in the upper 50s for most of the day. What little wind there was came from the south. I didn't open the window until the sun warmed it up to almost 80º in the office.


After completely blowing the forecast yesterday, my sources got it a bit better today. I've observed for some time that John Dee's reports of the weather where he lives are so different from what goes on here that it's hard to believe we only live about 25 miles apart. In case you wondered, while his weather has been hot and not very humid, mine has been not so warm and extremely humid. Sometimes it's even more different. I think it's because I live on the shore of the big lake and it makes a real difference in the local microclimate.


I worked on the bracelet for a while, but when I got to another row (or column, depending upon how you're looking at it), it seemed like too much trouble to figure out how to start it. I typed for a while, but all the typing has been making my fingers sore, so I didn't do much. My excuse was that I was so late getting to the office that my day was quite truncated, but that's not all.


So that is all there is and it's time to toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed before midnight. It's a cool, clear night in the field, and there should be stars.


September 15

Gosh, it's the middle of September already! Where does the time go? In a month I'll be in Detroit - ugh!


I think it was about 11:30 when I got to bed again, and I did sleep well. There were a couple of curious dreams, but nothing outstanding. I got up around 8:30 because I had to walk and Eric said he would be here at 9:00, which he wasn't. I petted a cat and knitted a couple of rows on the sweater, since I forgot to bring the sock with me last night, but I wasn't comfortable, so I didn't knit long.


Let's see. I got the dishwasher unloaded and began reloading it. I talked to Eric. I typed the story. And I worked on the new stitch I am learning. It's an interesting one, but it would look better in bigger beads than I work with. I'm not sure what I will do with the bracelet I am working on, because it's a little too small for me, I'm glad to learn the stitch, though, because it might have possibilities. I will take a picture when I'm done.


The weather was not what was forecast. It was cloudy for most of the day, and when the sun went down a few minutes ago, it looked more like November than September...dark clouds and yellow rays. The temperature wasn't very warm. It hit 64º early this morning and declined for the rest of the day, and now it is 57º. There was an east wind around 10 mph all day, and it was humid, which made it feel chilly. That wasn't what was supposed to happen at all - the NWS, Environment Canada and John Dee were all wrong.


Almost all my tansy is now cut down, which is a good thing, but there is still a little work for Eric to do. He will be back Thursday.


I had thought about going to town to shop for food today, but I chickened out. I will go Thursday. I am running out of OJ and birdseed.


I was standing on the front porch talking to Eric this morning when a little squirrel hopped across the driveway and actually started to climb the steps, like I had seeds in my hand. Boy, do they know the source of all good things! I said no, he had to go around the house, and off he went to the deck. I can't help but like those little squirrels. They are so cute, and they certainly are getting tame!


There were the usual nuthatches and chickadees at the feeders today. 


When Eric first got here, he was running the lawn mower over the back for some reason, and Buster sat and looked out the window at him with great interest, at least until he got too close to the house. Buster seems to have mostly gotten over being timid, which is a good thing. He likes people, and I guess he has finally decided that anybody I like must be OK. 


So it was another quiet day, and I think I will be off to the north end earlier tonight, although I do intend to type a bit. It's a cloudy, cool night in the field, and it will be a good one to sleep.


September 14

When I got up to the north end last night, it was so foggy I couldn't even see the lighthouse light, but I think there may have been a star or two overhead. I didn't get to bed until 11:30, but I did sleep well. I woke up around 8:00, having had a really weird version of the potty dream that included the house on Champine (the first time I have dreamt about it since I sold it), but I turned over and dozed until almost 9:00 before I got up. It was a pretty morning.


There were some things I was going to do today, but not much got done. I had to wash two pairs of jeans, and I had to rewash two tees that had grease spots on the fronts. Otherwise, I typed for a while this morning and for a while this evening, and I got about 6,000 more words done. 


I was going to play with the new bead stitch, but then I remembered that my dark sapphire beads were supposed to come in this month. Well, they had, so I put in an order. 


I went to the post office and sent off the shirt I had to exchange, and there was mail in my box, as well as another book. When I looked at the mail, there was one catalog I kept, and the rest of it went in the trash. It's amazing what garbage I get in the mail.


It was a lovely day, mostly sunny, although there were some high cirrus clouds for part of the afternoon. The temperature got up to 70º for most of the afternoon, and there was a north wind in the 10-15 mph range. It is still humid, though.


Tonight was the first night since way last March that I have turned on the lights in the office in the evening. The sun set at 8:05, and it got dark very quickly. Sigh. I won't turn on the lights until after the camera stops updating, but after that, if I am in the office, I will have them on. I get so used to using natural light!


While I was folding and putting away the clothes I washed yesterday, I realized I have lost a pair of jeans. I guess I am going to have to take all the jeans off the shelf and look very carefully at them, because one pair that I wear a lot (they are big) seems to have disappeared. It's really weird. However, that's for tomorrow.


So that was a quiet day, and it feels like it's time to crawl up to the north end and go to bed. It's a partly clear, warm night in the field.


September 13

I went up to the north end very early last night, with the idea of knitting or something, but my bottom hurt, so I was in bed shortly after 8:00. I had some trouble getting to sleep, and I don't think I slept well. At least I was up any number of times. I got up around 8:00, and since there was no cat until after I started washing my face, I knitted on the tan sock and got back to where I was Friday when I discovered the mistake.


I had some more blueberry pancakes for breakfast, so it was late when I ate and even later when I put out the bird feeders. When I went out with them, there was a little nuthatch flying around almost in a panic. In fact, he was so hungry that he flew down and took a seed out of the feeder when it was on the deck right beside that door. Those little guys are fearless and feisty.


There were lots of chickadees and nuthatches today, but I don't think there were any goldfinches at all. 


The task of the day was to wash, and I did that, except for the towels. It was a big wash for some reason. I guess I'm in the mode where I am dropping lots of things down my front again, so there were lots of tops.


While that was going on, I finished the necklace, so that is done. I'm debating what to do next. There is a new stitch I want to try, so I may do that before I go back to more bracelets.


I felt like reading, so I read the story from the blue binder that I had typed in, and then I started transcribing the next episode. I don't know how much of it I will end up doing, but I did 10,000 words this afternoon. My hands don't feel too bad, but if I do much more typing, I'm going to have to cut my fingernails shorter.


The weather was interesting. It was very cloudy when I got up this morning, but around noon the sky cleared and it was beautiful until around 4:00 when the fog started coming in. It was still foggy at sunset. The temperature hung right around 66º all day, and there was almost no wind, except for a short while around 4:00.


For almost two hours there was a little boat anchored out in front...actually quite a way out in the harbor...and there were two people scuba diving off it. I am sure there are some good rocks down there, including agates, but this is the first time I've ever seen anybody diving out there. It was a nice day for it. I have always thought scuba diving would be so much fun. When I was a kid and swam a lot, I always preferred to be under the water. However, the gear is expensive and there is some danger in it, so I've never tried it. I'm sure Jake Anderson would be happy to teach me, but that's another dream.


Last night when I went out to bring in the feeders, there was a little flying squirrel in the cedar feeder, and it won't surprise me if he's there tonight, too. They are so cute, with their big black eyes.


Today, there was a jay who was trying to get into the cedar feeder, and it was so funny to watch him clinging to the edge and scarfing down seeds. I think that is the juvenile, and I don't know if he knows how to eat a sunflower seed. He really wanted to get into the feeder on the deck, but there was a squirrel there, and while adult jays will chase squirrels, the squirrel wasn't about to get chased away by this guy. There was also a little chipmunk running up and down the branch that leads to the deck, but every time he got close, the squirrel just turned and looked at him.  In the meantime, of course, the little birds were flying around grabbing seeds out of the tube feeder and the white feeder.


So that was my day, and I will be late tonight, which will, I hope, mean I'll sleep better. It's a damp, foggy night in the field.


September 12

After I uploaded this and brought in the bird feeders - I'm still not used to fetching them in the dark - I decided to run a speed test on my new internet connection. I discovered that I was only getting 128kb, which is half of what I'm paying for, so I put in a call to PastyNet and went up to the north end. I had gotten into bed to read my evening devotions when Jon Hopper called.


Yes, my speed was set to 128kb, so I assured him I was paying for 256kb, and he changed it on the spot...and then it seemed like he was at loose ends, so we had a nice conversation that continued until his phone started to die. That is the most wonderful way of ending a long conversation that I have ever heard, and I wish I could do it myself. However, my cordless phone doesn't work up at the north end, so I'm constrained to either come down to the office or talk on a corded phone, and I didn't feel like coming down to the office.


It was an interesting and enlightening conversation, and it may even lead to something, although I won't say any more yet, since it may be another vain hope.


Between my interesting day and the late conversation, I had a hard time getting to sleep. I was a bit jazzed up. I finally did, and I didn't get up until almost 9:30, so that should make up for my wakefulness.


While I was trying to get to sleep, I decided that I will stop talking about the C. diff and my problems with it. I have a private journal on the computer where I can put the details of that, and I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about it. I know I am. You all know I still have it, and when or if I get rid of it, I will certainly tell you, but otherwise it's the same old same old, and it's boring, to say the least.


I knitted a bit this morning and of course I petted a cat, but not for too long, because Jasmine saw something out on the porch and Buster had to go and investigate.


When I got to the office, I discovered that something drastic had happened to the computer overnight that looked suspiciously like a crash, so there weren't any pictures until after 11:00.  It had crashed either before or during the weekly anti-virus scan, so I had to do that, but ever since I rebooted, everything has been working just fine, and my speed is what it should be.


I wasn't too hungry, so I didn't eat breakfast until nearly noon - a nice bowl of oatmeal. That meant I got hungry in the middle of the afternoon, so I had some more of my nice deli salads.


I went to the post office, because I was sure some more packages must have come, and they had. I have now got all the thread for the fifteen-sided biscornu, and lots of underpants and another sock book. I also got a very nice plaid shirt, in lots of fall-ish colors, but it is skimpy, so I have to exchange it. That was a disappointment, but I haven't ordered clothing from this store before, so I didn't know. Now I do. It was inexpensive enough that I should have known it would be skimpy.


There were also a bunch of new catalogs - the fall catalog season is turning into an avalanche. There was one magazine, which I read, but the rest went into the piles, which are getting alarmingly high. It's time to spend some time weeding out again.


When I got home, I got at the necklace, and I have now tied off both ends in preparation for putting on the findings. Of course, I dropped one strand and a bunch of beads came off, but I more or less expect that. Otherwise, I think I had less trouble getting the ends tied off than I have in the past, but maybe it's because I didn't try to be absolutely accurate about it.


The weather was nice, but cooler than it has been. It was around 69º for most of the day, with a 10-15 mph wind from the north, which made it feel downright cool around here. I think I will be shutting the porch door tonight. It is still very humid, but the cooler temperatures made that feel like less of a problem. It was partly cloudy all day.


When I went to the post office, I was happy to see people in town. Usually, this weekend is totally dead. Of course, it's a lot quieter than it was last weekend, but still, it's nice to see a few tourists. When I was vacationing here, I always got here on this weekend, because I liked it quiet. All the people with kids are staying home, and it's quiet and more civilized than the summer.


The chickadees and nuthatches have been hitting the feeders hard, and the squirrels and chipmunks have been, too. There were several very loud jays around this afternoon, including the one with the squeaky voice that i think is a juvenile. 


I also have several ravens that hang around, mostly under the deck, where I suppose they pick up the seed that has fallen under there. They are very noisy, too, but evidently they know people don't like them very well, because if I say anything, they fly away.


So that was another quiet day, but I did almost finish the necklace, and I will have the dishwasher ready to run tonight. I could do the findings tonight, but I think I will wait until tomorrow when I am fresh. 


So now it's a partly cloudy, breezy night in the field, and it's time to go up to the north end early and see if I can get to sleep earlier.


September 11 - Remember

I think it was about 10:15 when I got to bed, and except for several walks, I slept well until early this morning, when I had a few problems, so much so that I got up around 8:00. I don't know why.


We had two power glitches overnight, one around 2:45 and one about 7:30, so of course the camera didn't come up. In fact, it turns out the receiver was dead, or dying. After some confusion and a couple of phone calls, they said somebody would be out to swap it out for a newer, better one...this afternoon. Oops. So I left the door unlocked when I left.


I had plenty of time to work on the necklace, but I still have two strands of spikes left to do, and when I got home, I didn't feel like working on it. My bottom was sore this morning, but that has finally worked itself out.


Then there was my short interview with the doctor. After repeating a few things I had said to the nurse and to the surgeon, and listening to a few things I said, she informed me that she could not be my doctor. I have conveniently forgotten the word she used, but essentially she said I was intimidating and negative. So that was that. I don't have a doctor here. When she came in and said "I'm the doctor," I knew there was something weird going on. I had taken strong exception to having to bring all my meds with me (although they only looked at the prescriptions), and she took strong exception to that, so the interview started out on the wrong foot. Besides, she came across as being very wimpy and unsure of herself. So it was probably a good thing that she cut it off at the beginning.


I may come across a bit strongly at times, but I don't think I am intimidating. I come across strongly on health problems because I feel so strongly about them, and I want doctors who will help me. 


So that was that. I went off to Pat's Foods and got a nice selection of deli salads and bread, and I was home by 3;30. I'm pondering my options. I still have the C. diff, and I should try to get rid of it. I'm not sure a gastroenterologist in Detroit will want to treat me long distance. So it's something else to think about.


By the time I got home, my receiver had been changed out, and I was assured that I had a very strong signal. It's been working pretty well ever since. I haven't checked the speed yet, but it seems as fast as ever. We'll see how it works, especially over the winter when the snow gets deep. I don't have a status screen anymore, which is a shame, but all that means is that when it doesn't work after I have reset it, I will be calling PastyNet.


So I'm sorry the camera didn't update until after noon, but it should be better now.


I have no idea why we had the power glitches. They weren't long enough to cause the generator to come on, just long enough to zap the clocks and the computer. According to the NWS, the wind was under 10 mph all night long, although I could swear I heard wind at some point when I woke up. The temperature was between 65º and 70º all night long, which no doubt didn't contribute to my sleeping well. Today, it was cloudy off and on, and the temperature got up to 77º about 4:00 before it fell back a bit. There wasn't much wind today either, and it was very humid again. As I was coming home, I passed under a black cloud around Phoenix, and there were a few drops of rain on the windshield, but by the time I got here, it was sunny again.


It's relatively clear now, and I missed the sunset. It was at 8:11, and that is too early. I'm just not used to it.


I can really tell the difference in the number of cars around, since the last time I was down US-41. I did get behind a guy who was ambling down the covered road at 30 mph (speed limit 45), but he was nice enough to pull over and let me pass. Otherwise, I encountered very few cars in either direction. 


When the nurse took my temperature, I had a slight fever, which is no doubt why I didn't feel very good today. I have no clue what might have brought that on...it could be either of my problems or something else. I think I will be in bed early tonight. She also measured me, and I have now lost another inch of height...I'm 5'6½". Of course, I can't completely straighten out my neck anymore. When I was in my prime, before the arthritis took over, I was 5'9" or so. And my arms and legs are still as long as they ever were. I know everybody shrinks as they get older, but I seem to have done so more than most people who don't have osteoporosis (which I don't).


My fingers were very sore today, especially the middle finger on my right hand, and I think I have figured out why. When I was using the bead spinner, I had to hold the needle in my right hand quite strongly, and I think it took me about 6 hours to string all 18 strands of beads. I was holding the needle between my thumb and the first two fingers, and both of them hurt so badly last night I couldn't lean them on the bed. That middle finger has been flaring up for a while now, so I think this will be the last spiky necklace for a while, and maybe it will subside. The other things I do aren't quite so hard on my hands.


Speaking of the other things I do, I got to the doctor's office early, but I didn't have to fill out any forms, so I sat down to knit, and I discovered that I had screwed up the lace pattern (well - it's not quite lace, it's more like an eyelet pattern) about ½" below where I was. Since it was really screwed up, I just had to rip, and I'm still checking to make sure I have the start and end of the rows and the pattern right. I hate to rip, but in this case, it was either rip or have a bad goof right at the top of the sock, which I wouldn't want to do either. So I ripped. It's actually going to be a rather nice looking sock, if I ever finish it. The colors (this is the tan, gray and yellow one) are subdued enough that the lace pattern stands out very nicely...and so do the mistakes.


So now it's time to call it a night and haul my pills back up to the north end. It's a partly clear, warm and humid night in the field.


September 10

I think it was about 10:15 when I got to bed last night, and I slept well until about 2:30. Then I was up three times in half an hour, and by the time that was over, I was wide awake enough that it took me a couple of hours to go back to sleep. Grr. I got up around 8:15, mostly because I had to walk. I petted the cat a bit, but my bottom didn't feel really comfortable, so I got up, and then I had to revisit the bathroom two or three times.


I wasn't hungry, and I couldn't decide on anything to eat, so I had my OJ and didn't eat anything until around 11:00, I think. Weird body.


While I was awake and thinking last night, I decided on several projects to bead, so I attacked a blue iris spiky necklace. It was hard, because there were a lot of round beads that wouldn't fit over the eye of the long needle the bead spinner uses, so it took me quite a while to string all the strands. I have the first spiky strand done, but there are five more to do. I'm thinking about asking $50 instead of $40 for them - they take a long time to do, and of course the Swarovski® crystals are expensive, about 7¢ a piece. Hmm.


I forgot to mention that yesterday when I got up, both cats were dancing around on the porch and up and down the hallway. Of course, Jasmine was more active, because she is so young, but even old Buster was dancing around. It was good to see. They didn't feel quite so energized today, although they liked having the house opened up.


The weather was about the same. The temperature was about 73º for most of the afternoon, with very light winds from the southwest, but mostly it was calm. It was hazy, and there were clouds in the sky which got quite thick before sunset. It was humid again, of course.


While I was beading, I got to watch the birds. There are a few goldfinches around, now in their dull winter feathers, but I think most of them are still molting. There were lots of chickadees and nuthatches. I have finally figured out what the nuthatches do. They take their seed to the trunk of the tree and set it either in a crotch or in a spot where the bark has lifted up, then they hang upside down and bang away on it until they get the insides out. It seems like a lot of work for what they get. The chickadees put their seeds on a horizontal branch in a crotch and open it there. They are so much fun to watch.


I am happy to say that at one point one of the littlest chipmunks got to have the feeder on the deck all to himself. I hope he got a lot of stuff. The chipmunks clean up the little seeds that the squirrels ignore, which is probably a good thing. Of course, they all like sunflower seeds, but the chipmunks open them before they stash them away.


Working with the bead spinner did a number on my hands, and all my fingers are sore and red tonight. Beading with a needle and taking the afternoon off will help that, or I hope it will.


I had gotten a letter from the Health Department about having my septic system inspected, and when I called to make the appointment, I happened to mention that I thought I only needed to have it done every two years. So I got a call this morning, quite early, that said yes, if I had gotten a letter about that, it didn't need to be inspected this year. That's good, because the cost has gone up to around $200, and I don't need that.


So tomorrow I get to go and spend the afternoon with the new doctor. I hope that goes well. I really need to get rid of the C. diff. I think Eric is coming tomorrow morning to work on the rest of the tansy, too, so it will be a busy day.


Now it's a warm, humid and cloudy night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and hope to get a good night's sleep.


September 9 - 09/09/09

Today is one of those magic number days and it was an altogether better day. It's about time.


I was in bed around 9:15 again, and I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I was up a couple of times between 1:00 and 1:30, but nothing much happened. Around 5:00 (I think), I was up again, and when I got back to bed, the entire left half of my colon was sore. If I laid on my left side, it didn't hurt, but by that time, I had used up that side and my ear hurt, so I had to curl up a whole lot more than I usually do, and that helped. It was still a bit sore this morning, but mostly when I was lying on my right side. Very strange. I have no idea what that was all about.


Anyway, I got up around 8:45, and I felt good enough to not only pet a cat a lot but knit for a while. That was refreshing. I had to visit the  bathroom several times, but for once, my bottom felt good.


In fact, I felt so good that I rustled around the kitchen a bit and began loading the dishwasher, and I filled the pail with sunflower seeds, so the critters got their fill today. It's amazing. Whatever my problem Monday and yesterday was, it's over with now. A bug, perhaps, although I don't know where I might have gotten it.


My bottom is a little bit sore now, but I've been visiting the bathroom regularly today.


I went to the post office, where there was a lot of mail and a couple of the things I bought, including a very lovely biscornu from one of my favorite designers. I stopped at the store for eggs and milk, too.


Otherwise, I didn't do much, I'm afraid. I was going to start another spiky necklace, but I never got around to that. One of my favorite catalogs came, so I had to go through it and make a list of things I'd like to have - yeah, right.


I paid the summer taxes today, so I am feeling particularly poor. It irks me that while my state equalized value went down quite a bit, my taxable value went up quite a bit. That just doesn't seem fair, but they'll get you one way or another.


It was another beautiful day, warm and humid. The temperature was 75º for a good part of the afternoon, with light winds from the southwest. It was mostly to partly clear all day, and while the humidity is still high, it was a nice day.


So that's about all I have to report. I won't be quite so early to bed tonight, but that's all right. I think I'm about caught up on my sleep.


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


September 8

Well, it was another interesting day.


I was in bed by 9:15 last night, and I slept well for most of the night. I was up a couple of times around midnight, but otherwise, it was every three hours, which is normal. I was up around 7:00, and when I got back into bed, I had a little cramp in my stomach which kept me from more than dozing for the rest of the night. I got up around 8:30.


Even some Rolaids didn't help my tummy, so I got myself a breakfast that I thought would be easy on it. Well! I drank a little of my juice, ate a little egg and a bite of toast, when I realized that something not very pleasant was going on in my middle, so I got myself up to the north end as fast as I could and fetched the barf bucket out of the closet just in time. My stomach felt better after that was over, but I certainly wasn't hungry. 


Over the course of the next six hours or so, I drank my juice and ate a couple of pieces of very lightly buttered toast, but I didn't - and I still don't - feel very robust. My stomach and my bottom are both OK now, but I'm tired, so it will be another early evening. What in the world I got into, I have no clue. It didn't feel like my gall bladder was involved. Weird.


So mostly I did nothing, although I did get out the embroidery again and I finished the second square of the biscornu.


The weather was much too nice to be sick. It was mostly clear, and the temperature got up to 77º for a couple of hours this afternoon. There was hardly any wind, under 10 mph, mostly from the southwest. It was just a lovely late summer day.


I just went out to take a couple of pictures of another very red sunset, this one with a few clouds over in the west, and it is amazing how far south the sun has moved in just a few days. It is now over the west end of Porter Island, or Hunter's Point.


I don't feel like fiddling with FrontPage tonight, so the pictures will have to wait.


The days are under 13 hours long now, and they are getting shorter at 3¼ minutes a day. I'm not sure how that translates into where the sun sets, but it means it's moving south at a high rate. I hate to see that happen. I love the long days of summer (I know, I've said that before).


When I got out of the bathroom this morning, Jasmine was curled up in a tight ball on top of two cushions that are piled up on a table right beside the door, and she was so sound asleep she didn't even twitch when I walked by. I don't know where she went after that, but she was a happy kitty this morning. Buster spent some time with me, but eventually he needed quiet, so he curled up in the window seat. I walked back there for some reason a while later, and he opened his eyes just to slits without moving, just to see what I was up to. I know he knows when I'm sick, but after my episode this morning, he apparently knew I felt better.


So that was a rather lost day, and I hope to make up for lost time tonight. 


It's a lovely, warm, clear night in the field.


September 7

I went up to the north end very early last night, and by bottom was so sore that I was in bed by 9:00. Well! I never did get completely to sleep, and I was up every hour all night long, at least until about 7:00. I was up four times between 11:30 and 12:30, after which my bottom felt better, but I just could not get to sleep. I have no idea what the problem was. I finally got up around 8:45, and I petted a cat, and I had to hit the bathroom four or five times before I went off to my massage.


That was nice, and I felt much better, until I took a sip of cold water after it, and my stomach went into spasms, and I broke out in a cold sweat. I was afraid that it was going to turn into a gall bladder attack, but oddly enough, it didn't. I felt better in a couple of hours, but I was afraid to put anything in it, even water, until about 3:00. Then I had a sandwich and a glass of juice, and that went down OK, and my TV dinner and my JD went down fine. Heaven knows what that was all about, but I'm sure part of it was that I am so tired.


As a result of all that, I didn't do much of anything. I looked through the stuff on the desk and sort of organized it, and I looked through my colored beading thread, just to see what I have.


I took the jewelry with me to Johanna, and both she and the woman who was after me liked the spiky necklaces a lot. I still hope to get Johanna to model the necklaces for me. She has a nice long neck and good posture, and they will look good on her. However, she was too busy today. Maybe sometime during the week?


I took pictures of the bronze necklace, and I got all the pictures out of the camera, but I don't want to fiddle with that tonight. There are some rather nice sunsets, and I finally got the close-up pictures to come out right, so I have some pictures to post to etsy, but I'd like to wait until I have the ones on the model.


So now I am really tired, I just had to run out and take another picture of a very red ball of sun right on the horizon. Unfortunately, I just can't get that color in the pictures, but we'll see how these come out. There was one from last week with the sun right on the horizon which shows the little bit of the big lake I can see from here. Tomorrow.


The weather was nice again. It was cloudy all night and this morning, but it was clearing up before I went to see Johanna, and the afternoon was nearly clear and very nice, although the sky was very hazy and it's very humid. The temperature was around 66º for most of the day, and today there was a 10-20 mph wind from the north for most of the day, although it has gone calm now, like it frequently does in late summer.


It was nice out, but I was so tired and sickish that I got cold enough to put on a sweater for most of the afternoon. Everything is better now.


So that was a rather lost day, and I'm off to the north end for another early night, and I hope this one will be better. My backside has felt fine all day, strangely enough. I think part of my problem yesterday was that there was a lot of gas there that was pressing on a sore spot. Once I got rid of that (by 12:30 this morning) everything was fine.


It's a calm, clear, but hazy evening in the field.


September 6

I went up to the north end fairly early last night, and I was in bed by 10:30, I think. I couldn't read or knit, because my bottom was sore, so I put it to bed. I didn't sleep as well as I  hoped I would, and I'm not sure why. I was comfortable, and the temperature was OK, but I was wakeful. I was up around 7:00, and I wanted to sleep some more, but I couldn't, so dozed until about 8:45, with Buster trying to climb up on the body pillow so he could be next to me. I petted a cat, but my bottom was sore again, so I didn't knit.


I did decide to have a big breakfast, so I made blueberry pancakes and sausage, and that tasted good, even though it was rather late.


I did my morning surfing, somewhat truncated because one of my comics sites has been down all weekend, and I did a very little bit on the biscornu. 


I decided it would be a good thing to make sure I had a complete chronology of my C. diff woes, so I had to re-read the journals from June and July, and I realized I had never converted August to Word, so I did that. I apologize for all the periods where there should have been commas and sentences that began with lower case letters. Sometimes I can proofread and sometimes I preafrood. At least there didn't seem to be any totally garbled sentences.


I guess I am sensitive to those things because one summer while I was in college, I had a job as a professional proofreader, and if my boss was any indication, I did a better job than the woman whose place I substituted for. The English language and my use of it have always been very dear to my heart, going way back to when I first started writing fiction, which is when I was 12 or so.


Anyway, I got my chronology together, so I won't have to guess when I'm talking to the doctor on Friday.


I spent the rest the afternoon in the ugly chair, reading another one of the magazines that came the other day. By that time I had visited the bathroom enough that my bottom was a little less sore, so it was fun to sit and read and watch the critters.


In reading the journals, I discovered that I had mentioned the teensy chipmunk back then. The first time I saw it, I mentioned its strange tail, then the next day, it seemed to be OK. Well, today I discovered that I have two teensy chipmunks (and three big ones). One has a perfectly normal tail, but the other one has some kind of bump on its, and from the way he holds it, I am not too sure he doesn't have a double tail. He holds his tail straight from his body, and that ends in this strange bump, and then the longer tail (which is very long) sort of juts out at an angle. It doesn't seem to bother him or anybody else - he gets chased just as much as the one with the normal tail does.


I wish I could catch him and take a good, close look at that tail to find out what is the matter with it, but chances of that are nearly zero. They move too fast. I have gloves I could wear that I don't think they can bite through, but they move so fast, especially the little ones, that I'm sure I could never nab him.


Squirrels have precedence over chipmunks, but they have to chase to get it, and it was funny to watch them. The feeder on the deck was nearly empty, so there was somebody in the cedar feeder most of the afternoon.


In the meantime there were chickadees and nuthatches and some chipping sparrows, but not many goldfinches. I think they are off someplace molting. There weren't any hummingbirds again. There were a couple of jays, but I think they are new ones, because they were very spooky.


So I read my magazine and I was entertained by the critters. Buster sat on my lap for quite a while, and then he moved to the footstool and went to sleep and was so comfortable.


It was a great day to be comfortable in. The temperature was about 60º all night (which is no doubt why I wasn't very comfortable in bed), and it rose rapidly to about 74º, where it stood for the afternoon. The wind was around 5 mph or less all day. It was mostly clear, although occasionally there were a few clouds in the sky. It is now clear again, although it isn't very transparent, and the sun is over Hunter's Point now, and it is very red. I turned on the fan in the office because it was getting hot in here, and it was nice in here.


I guess I was hungry today, because I had a nice steak, a baked potato and some asparagus for dinner, and it all went down just fine. Sometimes I am and sometimes I am not, so when I am, I take advantage. I didn't feel hungry, but everything went right down.


Poor Buster really wanted some of that steak juice, but the last time he got into it, he barfed, and that's not good for him. I have gotten used to him sitting and staring at my plate, so it doesn't bother me. If it's something he can eat, he gets his when I'm done.


In checking back, I discovered that we did shoot the moon this morning, but it was after it was light, and while I saved the pictures, they're not good enough to publish. There will be another chance in a month, and I hope we'll get a better look then. It all depends upon when the camera wakes up and takes its first pictures, and I don't have a lot of control over that. I also discovered that the camera took nearly as good a picture of the sun on the horizon as I did with the Nikon, and there was one just before that which was really interesting. So for a change, I am saving a six pictures from one day!


So that was another quiet day, and I will be tottering up to the north end soon. I need to bathe, and I hope to get to bed early and sleep long and hard. I have a massage tomorrow morning, so I need to be up and about.


It's a lovely, calm, nearly clear late summer evening in the field.


September 5

I was going to read (or something) last night, but I was tired, so I was in bed before 10:30, and it was a lovely night. I was up the usual number of times, but nothing happened, and my backside wasn't sore, so I slept well until 9:00 this morning. It was lovely to see the full moon shining in the various windows when I was up.


The camera almost shot the moon this morning (stay tuned - tomorrow is another day!), but it was half out of the picture on the top, and there was a bright spot on the water under it. Here it is.


Anyway, I got to pet a cat and knit a while this morning with no pain, which was lovely, but then all hell broke loose. I had to visit the powder room a couple of times while my breakfast was cooking, and I had finished it when I started gurgling, and I had one of the worst accidents I've ever had. I had to wash everything from the waist down, including my compression hose and socks, and it was such a mess that I had to shower off the lower half of myself. Not to mention what got all over the floor. Oh, dear.


Of course, by the time I got through with that, my backside was sore again, so I wasn't comfortable for most of the day. It was fine for a while, and now it is sore again. Friday can't come soon enough. I will even cheerfully pay for the vancomycin, if that will solve my problem.


Later on, when I visited the powder room, the chipmunk was sitting on his burrow, with his front paws off the ground, surveying his domain, before he got down and started gleaning. I must see to it that nobody disturbs his burrow. He is one of the larger guys, but he is really cute none-the-less. 


I spent some time in the ugly chair, reading a magazine (that wasn't comfortable, either), and watching the critters. The squirrels have gotten into the habit of coming late, so the chipmunks have taken over the early parts of the day. There were two big ones and a teensy, skinny one who kept getting chased. I wish I could chase away the big guys without spooking the little one. He is so cute, and I think he is probably this year's brood. He is very spooky, and the big guys keep chasing him, so I'm not sure how much of the goodies he is getting. He is too shy to jump into the feeder, so he gleans what has spilled over.


There was another downy woodpecker, either a female or a juvenile, who didn't quite know how to get into the feeders, and didn't know what it was pecking at in the thistle feeders. And as I was getting up, a flicker flew into the tree for a moment. I think that's the first time I've seen a flicker that wasn't hunting ants on the ground. There were a number of chickadees and nuthatches - I think the goldfinches are beginning to molt, or else they are eating their natural foods, because there weren't many here today. There weren't any hummingbirds while I was watching, and the level in the feeder didn't go down at all, so I think they are gone. I will continue to put the feeder out, like they say you should, just in case there are a few stragglers, but I think they've gone. I will miss them.


I was sitting in the ugly chair and Buster was crouched by the door, which was open, when something started flitting around in a most uncharacteristic way, and it finally fetched up right above the door. It was hard to see, but I think it was a bat. I didn't know bats were about during the day, even though at this time of year, there are lots of bugs around now. It certainly didn't look like or fly like any bird I have ever seen. So I think it was a bat. Buster was so funny - his eyes were trying to stick out on stalks and turn up so he could see what it was - he knew it was above the door. I was delighted to see a bat, but I was also delighted to see Buster so interested in the critters. I guess he is OK, if not good.


I worked on the biscornu, and I finished the first square and started the second one. I also read a couple of the magazines that came yesterday.


The weather was about the same, except that it was clear all day. It was a beautiful, calm morning. The temperature was in the low 60s, mostly around 64º, and there was almost no wind at all, except for a short time during the afternoon which caused me to close the door. There were no clouds, but it was hazy both in the sky and down the harbor. The humidity was over 80% all day. I do love to watch the harbor when there isn't any wind. It is so pretty!


I just notice that the sun set within camera range, over Porter Island, tonight. It did last night, too, but it was behind the haze. Sigh. It is getting dark a lot sooner after sunset than it was during the summer, too. So here in Copper Harbor, I would say that fall is upon us. We will have a lot more lovely weather, but it is the bittersweet kind, because we know that all too soon it will be over with.


So that is about all I know, and it is time to toddle up to the north end and crash. Since I had to wash my backside this morning, I may just skip the bath tonight...we'll see how things feel.


I just went out to bring in the bird feeders while the computer was rebooting, and what to my wondering ears should appear but several coyotes, baying at the moon over in the direction of Lake Lily. They have been elsewhere all summer, but clearly they are back. I have no bad feelings about coyotes, except that they eat house pets, but I do not like their baying one little bit. It seems to have stopped now, but I'm sure we'll hear it again.


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


September 4

Again my backside was too sore to sit for long, so I was in bed before 9:30, although it was 10:30 before I went to sleep. I was up at 12:30, and I had an accident, fortunately, not too bad. I cleaned that - and me - up and slept well until around 9:00, with only two more wakeups. I dawdled in bed until almost 9:30 before I got up, and I petted a cat, but my backside got sore again, so I didn't knit. Getting monotonous, isn't it?


In fact, my bottom was sore all day, so I didn't do a lot except that I finished all the frames on the white part of the biscornu and I have only one more color of thread and the beads on the first square. I discovered that I had pulled one wrong color of thread, so I had to go downstairs, and I got a TV dinner while I was there, so I ate something besides salad tonight.


All the weathermen were wrong about the sky. When I was up at 12:30, I noticed that it was cloudy, and it stayed that way until after noon today - that wasn't supposed to happen. It finally did clear up, and there was a rather nice sunset, very red again. The temperature was around 66º all day, with almost no wind at all, and the humidity is high. I had the patio door open all afternoon, and Jasmine was just delighted, except that every time I moved, she ran away. Sigh.


Not only was my bottom sore, I was bleeding copiously. I hope that a few hours of no irritation will cause that to stop. It doesn't worry me, but it is messy. I've dealt with these things for 40 years, only I've never had such a long problem with them...but then, I've never had such a long problem with my elimination, either. I glopped myself up with Calmoseptine last night, and I may do it tonight, too, and that solved the problem of the outside being sore. Well, by a week from today, I should know if there's some more treatment we can try.


One time when I went into the powder room, I noticed a pile of freshly turned dirt about 18" from the septic tank access, and when I watched, there was a chipmunk, not a very little one, digging for all he was worth and throwing up piles of fresh dirt. I forgot to look at what he had done later, but I don't think he picked the best place to dig a burrow. About 6" under that dirt is solid pebbles, and I don't think he can dig through that. Of course, he might get down around the septic tank and make his home there. It would certainly be warmer in the winter. I will have to try to remember to look tomorrow. I like chipmunks. They are so industrious, and they actually collect and save their seeds so they can eat in the cold months...not like the squirrels who just assume there will always be seeds and nuts.


There was also an apparently young blue jay around for a while this afternoon. He was trying to call, but he had a sort of rusty-sounding voice. I didn't see any hummingbirds, but I think the nectar level is down a bit more. They will be gone any day now. When I put out the feeders this morning, there were birds in the trees who greeted me, including a couple of chickadees and a couple of nuthatches. It certainly is a shame I can't leave the feeders out so they can eat early in the morning like they'd prefer.


It is house fly season. They come into the house every time a door gets opened, even when I come in through the breezeway, and they drive us nutty. Tonight, right after sunset, there must have been a dozen of them on the patio door screen, trying to get in where it's warmer. Jasmine finds flies most annoying, and she tries to bat at them and catch them whenever they fly near her - and sometimes she succeeds, too.


Buster still wants to sit on me all the time he is awake, and he has a hard time understanding that I might want to do something else sometimes. Even getting crumbs and threads and needles dropped on him doesn't seem to bother him a lot. I wish I knew if it's normal, or he's sick, or he thinks I am.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end and put my little head on my little pillow. It's a clear, calm night in the field and the full moon will be lighting the sky.


September 3

I was going to read for a while, or something, but I didn't and I was in bed shortly after 10:00. Well, that was probably not a good idea. I simply couldn't get comfortable. I couldn't get the temperature right, and my backside, my ears and my legs weren't comfortable. As a result, it was sometime after 4:00 before I did more than doze a bit. It wasn't anything I was thinking about - in fact, part of Mozart's "Alleluia" kept going through my mind. 


I finally did get to sleep, and when I next woke up, around 7:30, that was clearly too early, so it was 10:00 before I finally got out of bed. That wasn't enough sleep, so I will try it again tonight.


My backside was comfortable until after breakfast, then it was sore for the rest of the day, but it mostly felt like there was stuff in there that wouldn't come out, which may be true. I just have to go with the flow (ahem!) and sometimes it doesn't. It feels better now, though.


I finally made it to the post office, where there were a bunch of my favorite magazines - this time I hope to finish reading them before the new ones are due - and a lot of other stuff, including some bills. September is going to be a really, really bad month financially. I stopped at the store and got eggs and orange bags.


I read one of the magazines I already had and I worked on the biscornu, but I didn't make a lot of progress. My floss shipped today, so hopefully I will have the missing color by next week.


The weather was pretty again. It was clear all night and all day, but the humidity is rising and there was sort of a haze in the sky. I'm sure some of that is because of the fires, but more of it is because of the humidity. There is that big red sun again. The temperature was 64º for most of the day, and there was a little wind from the north, which raised a few whitecaps on the harbor for a while, but that has died down now.


I was embroidering when I looked up, and that little downy woodpecker was sitting at the tube feeder again, throwing away the seeds he didn't like, just like the nuthatches do. I didn't see any hummingbirds - I wasn't really looking - but the level in the feeder is still going down, so there must still be some of them here.


I was surfing today to a blog by one of the needlework designers I like, and when I closed the browser window, something went totally crazy and started spawning new Internet Explorers...there must have been 20 of them when I finally pulled the plug. The blog was hosted by "blogspot.com", and I don't know if that had anything to do with it or not, but I don't appreciate it when things like that happen. So I had to spend quite a bit of time running Spybot, to make sure I don't have a virus or something, and it will be a while before I check that blog again...or if I do, I will navigate someplace else (if I can) before I close the browser window. Sometimes I wonder about the Internet.


Although I did run out of black ink today, and I found some that is much cheaper than Wal-Mart, so maybe it's all worth it anyway.


So that was my day, and I am planning to go up to the north end soon and try to get a better night's sleep tonight. It's a lovely, clear night in the field.


September 2

I read for a while, but I was in bed before 10:30, and I did good until about 4:00, after which I was up three or four times in half an hour, which ended up with making my backside sore again. I got up around 9:00 and petted a cat and knitted a little bit, but my backside was still sore, and it was all day.


That culminated this evening while I was making my dinner and I had an accident. It wasn't a bad one - mostly contained by my underpants, but still. And my backside is still sore.


So I didn't do much at all. I have had a pattern and fabric for a 15-sided biscornu for some time now, and it has been gnawing at my mind, so I decided to start it today. I have to do it in cotton floss, because no way am I going to buy all that 100/3 silk, which I don't like anyway. The pattern says to leave 2" between each square, which is horribly wasteful, since when I put it together I will cut off all but about ½" all around, so I counted and basted until I have 10 white squares and 5 (well, 6) green ones and a lot of my fat eighths of fabric left. Then it was the floss. Several of the colors are not ones that I have in my floss boxes upstairs, so down I went to the basement and uncovered the cabinet where I keep my floss...or most of it. Then I discovered that there are a number of colors, the last ones DMC added, I think, that have gotten lost. According to my master list, I have two skeins of each, but I have no clue where they might be. So I got what I could and came back upstairs and put in a small order to Herrschner's. That was annoying, too, since the order came to less than $10, and the shipping was $5.90. So instead of the floss being 39¢ a skein, like they advertise, it actually is 64¢ a skein. But now that Wal-Mart isn't selling floss anymore, that's as cheap as I can get it. Grr.


I started with the floss I have, doing the frames around the squares on white fabric, and I have almost 5 of them done. It feels good to cross stitch again.


The weather was nice again. It was mostly clear, although there were a few clouds and hazy skies for a while this afternoon. The temperature was in the low 60s again, and while there was a 15 mph wind from the north for a while, it didn't come in the house, so I had the patio door open all afternoon. There was another very red sunset tonight, which I attempted to capture, but the pictures are still in the camera.


When I was up around 4:00 this morning, the gibbous moon was setting over the Mountain Lodge, very bright and pretty. The last time I saw it, about 4:30, it was very orange and just above the hill. Nice.


Buster was very clingy again today, and I'm still not sure if it's because he doesn't feel good or he knows I don't. He was sitting on my cross stitch pattern this afternoon when he said "ma" very quietly, and there on the deck post was a big raven. I think they may glean under the deck sometimes, and I know they would like to eat out of the feeder on the deck, but they know better. They seem to know when I am in the office, whether the door is open or not. I assured Buster that that raven could pick him up and carry him off (well, maybe not quite), and he shouldn't even think about them, but the big birds still interest him more than the little ones do.


I like to have the door open, because I enjoy hearing the goldfinches singing their twittering song. There are still hummingbirds around, but they seemed to be chasing each other more than they were eating today. I saw nuthatches several times, and I think I saw the chickadees, too.


So it was another lovely late-summer day, and it should be a fairly clear night tonight, and it's time to totter up to the north end and wash off my seat and put it to bed.


September 1

I can't believe I just wrote that. How could it be September already?


My backside turned out to be a bit sore last night, so I didn't read for very long, and I was in bed before 10:30. I really did sleep well, although I had a hard time getting the temperature right. I was up the usual number of times, and around 3:30 I had to get back up because I had forgotten to take my midday pills and I had to take them then. Actually, they aren't midday pills, just not within 2 hours or so of the magnesium, which interferes with its absorption. What a pain.


Anyway, I was awake around 7:00, and that was too early, even though it was a beautiful morning, so I went back to sleep until around 9:00.


I am most relieved to say that the hemorrhoids seem to be back almost under control, at least for now. I had a bit of discomfort this morning, but I was able to pet a cat and do some knitting, and I haven't been sore all day. Not that the results of the C. diff have gone away, but they are back to more like they were before I started taking antibiotics. Now all I have to do is pay attention, and I should be all right until I see the doctor.


I have to admit I didn't do anything much with the beautiful day. I am still sort of betwixt and between, and I can't decide what to do next. So I got my ledger caught up, and I discovered that sometime back in June I screwed up the balance in my checkbook, so I had to do a lot of erasing. That is the reason I never enter anything in my checkbook in pen. I didn't check totals, but it looks like I've spent a lot of money on pills this year...a lot of which didn't do any good at all. Otherwise, it looks like I've been quite modest, except for the maintenance of the house and grounds, and I have to do that.


I did do a little shopping, although I called about one item I wanted and ended up not buying it. I am learning to call and ask about the sleeve length when I see an item in a catalog I've never bought from before. It was disappointing, because it was really a neat jacket, but I don't want three-quarter sleeves on a cool-weather jacket. I did get some more underwear and a big shirt. My oldest underwear is finally wearing out, and the place I get it had a $10 off coupon. The big shirt may have sleeves that are too short, too, but I can just turn back the cuffs and nobody but me will ever be the wiser. It is a nice large plaid, and I need something new.


I can see reflected in the south windows a great big orange sun right over the end of lighthouse point. So pretty! There is a lot of haze right at the horizon these days, no doubt the result of the fires in California. Makes for nice sunsets.


It was another beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 60s all day, with light winds from the north, in the 10-15 mph range, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky all day long. It was so pretty. Now it is almost calm, although there is a little action in the water, with waves lapping quietly on the beach. While we need rain every so often, I love weather like this. Only the sun is setting so early! Sigh.


This morning, Jasmine went to sleep under the south windows again, although I startled her when I moved, because I didn't know she was there. Now the next step is to get her to stay there when I move around or get up. I think she was a happy cat, because I had the porch window and the east window in the office open all day, and she could hear the critters as well as see them. Buster is now asleep on the sewing chair. 


So now I will have to upload this thing using FrontPage, and then I will toddle up to the north end and try to do a little reading again, and this time I may be able to do it. It's a lovely, clear night in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM