A View From the Field








October, 2009

October 31

It just occurred to me that this is the end of the month. Time flies, and having fun has nothing to do with it.


I think it was around 1:30 when I got to bed last night, and I slept very well, with only two wakeups, until about 10:30 this morning. That means I had a rather truncated day, since I knitted for quite a while.


And I didn't do anything except type a lot. My hands aren't particularly stiff, but my coordination between the two is a little off, and it was getting to be slow going. I'd like to keep on, but I'm getting tired.


The big story was the weather. It blew hard all night and all day, from the north. For most of the night and morning, the sustained winds were over 30 mph, and we hit our maximum gusts, just over 41 mph, around noon. The wind is dying down a little now, but it's still windy. The temperature hung right around 43 all day long. It was quite humid, but the only rain was a little bit between 4:00 and 5:00 this morning. It may have drizzled a bit around the time I got up, because there was some spray on the windows, but it wasn't enough to register. It was dark and gloomy almost all day, except for a very short time when there was almost a ray of sunshine and I think I saw a small patch of blue sky. That didn't last very long, though.


The water was fun. There were whitecaps on the harbor and 3' breakers on my beach. The gull rocks and the beaches in front of the fort had nice breakers on them. The report from the buoys was that the waves were between 8 and 10 feet out in the middle of the lake. It was roaring, but the wind was so noisy it was hard to hear the lake.


I was sorry to keep the bird feeders in, but I doubt there would have been many birds anyway. One squirrel finished off everything in the deck feeder, which I forgot to bring in. And I saw one little chickadee sitting on the end  of a branch. I hope he found a seed on the deck, but it's dangerous there when the wind is strong from the north. I've seen birds blown off by gusts.


Well, they are still predicting a little snow for tonight and tomorrow, nothing to stick, and it may be mixed with rain. Most likely it will be rain here. The biggest part of the blow is over, but it will still be windy. It won't be quite like it was when I brought the bird feeders in last night, though, and a gust of wind almost blew me over.


So it's a dark and gloomy night in the field, and it's time to go to bed.


October 30

I'm sorry for the short and late entry for yesterday. I was typing when the broadband went away very abruptly, and at just about the same time, I began to get a pain in my back, so after I called in to PastyNet, I went up to the north end. I thought I'd better take a bath, just in case I ended up in the emergency room (a holdover from my mother, who always made sure her underwear was in good condition when she went out, just in case she was in an accident). I had a few things to do, including a toenail that had begun to tear, and as I stepped into the shower, the pain went away. That was only an hour. I was gratified.


The weather yesterday was not bad. The temperature was around 50 for most of the day, with light south winds until about 5:00. By the time the broadband went down, the wind had risen to 32 mph gusts, and it was raining. It started to rain about 8:00, and it rained until about 4:00 this morning, mostly lightly. 


The wind blew until about 1:00 this afternoon, then it was calm  until about 9:00, when it picked up again from the west.  It was warm today - the temperature got up to 57 briefly, and it was about 55 all day. It's surprising how warm that feels after the low 40s we have had lately. About 11:00 tonight, I brought in the bird feeders, because the wind was gusting up to 34 mph, and it may go even higher. They may  not get put out tomorrow, because it's supposed to be very windy all day.


Anyway, both days it was dark and cloudy, and a couple of times today it got so dark it looked like it might rain, but it didn't. It was gray and blah.


 I didn't do much either yesterday or today, except some transcribing. I am making some good progress, but it's a long story.


The broadband finally came back up this afternoon. Apparently there was some antenna damage up on Brockway, and I don't imagine they wanted to climb the tower in the dark and rain last night. Since the wind was from the south, I didn't realize it was gusting that hard, and it is always windy on Brockway. We also had about a 30 second power glitch around midnight last night. We don't get many south winds, and when we do, things that are normally all right can get messed up, including trees that may come down. At least it wasn't a long outage.


I did use the dial backup for a while, just to get a few pictures from the camera  and the journal update out onto the web, but I didn't do any surfing until I had the broadband back. It's amazing how used to that one can get.


I didn't get to bed until about 1:30 last night, and it looks like it will be just as late tonight. Arthur called this morning about 9:30 to make sure I was all right, so I didn't get my full quota of sleep. Maybe tomorrow.


So now it's a dark, cloudy, windy night in the field, and it's time to call it a day.


October 29

I'm OK. 


The broadband went down while I was still transcribing, and then I had a short (1 hour) gall bladder attack, so I didn't feel like fiddling with dial backup.


The broadband is still down - there's something wrong with the wind generator on Brockway - but I'm all right. More tonight.


October 28

I typed to the end of a chapter, and I got to bed a little after midnight. I got up around 9:00, because Buster was staring at me, and besides, I had to. When I was up during the night, there were stars. It must have been quite clear, because I could see stars in the west, where Pegasus was setting. I'm sorry I didn't come down to the south end, where the winter stars should have been blazing in the sky.  I was very disappointed to see that the weather services had been wrong in their forecast for today, and it was cloudy when I got up, although the clouds were all high ones. I petted a cat and knitted until I was ready to start the toe. That's for tomorrow.


I didn't do anything much before I left for town, except for a little embroidery. The first two squares of the biscornu are now completely done, with all the colors and the backstitch around the edge. 


I was almost late for my appointment, because I ran into Phoebe at the post office and of course we talked. She's a good one to talk to, because she has been around these parts long enough that she knows something about the doctors. She knew about the crazy doctor, and she seemed to think the new guy had a good rep.


So I flew down to Laurium and I made it on time...just. I think the new doctor will be fine. He certainly has had a lot of experience treating C. diff, including one poor lady that it took 9 months to clear up. He agrees that what I am doing is the right thing, and he is going to keep track of my progress. He is concerned that by taking the potassium my other doctor ordered, I might get too much - which is just as bad as too little. Besides, if my diarrhea goes away, the potassium may come back up. And he agreed with me that the surgeon's not wanting to do my gall bladder while I have the C. diff is just an excuse. After all, if I ended up in the emergency room, they'd have to do it no matter what. So we'll get it taken care of. He agrees that it needs to come out, but one thing at a time.


We had a long talk, because he wanted to know all my family history as well as mine. He is a nice young man, and I think he will do. That's a relief.


I got out of there around 4:30, and I discovered that between 4:30 and 5:30 is not when you want to go to Pat's Foods. Everybody stops on their way home to pick up a few things, including me. I found again that I shouldn't food shop when I'm hungry. I got a lot of bread, which I can put in the freezer, and a lot of nice deli salads - yum! I had to control myself not to get a pasty or a rotisserie chicken.


However, I felt good enough that I cased the joint for things I usually get at Econo. I won't be able to stop shopping at Econo, because, for one important thing, the toilet tissue I use is about $3 more expensive a package. I think other things are, too. Pat's has an impressive array of frozen food, including about 30' of just ice cream. They have an interesting selection of wines, too.  So I will have to keep shopping at two stores, darn it. 


I got home around 6:00, and I had my deli stuff for dinner, and it was good. 


Then I tried to place an order with Schwan's, and they have practically trashed their website. It was incredibly slow, and after I looked at a couple of pages, it would hang up and not go any further. I will try it again tomorrow. I also went out to Amazon and ordered a whole boatload of probiotics. The doctor thinks I should be taking them now, so I will start as they come in.


The weather was rather nice, if not as sunny as I'd hoped.  There were clouds in the sky all day, although there was enough sunshine that it was very warm in the house when I got home. The temperature here got up to about 50, with very light south winds. I guess this is our Indian summer...a whole three days, since it's supposed to be in the 50s tomorrow, too.


Early this afternoon, I looked out at the bird feeders, and I had three or four evening grosbeaks in and around. They are such pretty birds! And all along US-41 south of Delaware, I kept flushing little flocks of snow buntings...so they are here. Oh, winter is coming! 


I took the camera, but I didn't take any pictures. The peak of the color along the covered road must have been last week when I went down to Houghton, and while things were nice in spots, they weren't spectacular. All the tamaracks have turned dark gold and they are pretty. A lot of the maples and other trees are bare. Of course, on this side of the hills, things are just peaking, but we're always late.


So that was my day, and I am satisfied that perhaps I have found an acceptable doctor. It's a cloudy night in the field - no stars tonight - and I will be off to the north end as soon as the Beethoven finishes.


October 27

Tonight, I'm  going to do this first, then transcribe for a while. Last night, I read ahead for a while, but I was still in bed by 11:00. I think the first time I was up was at 4:00 when I took my overnight pill. I've been having some trouble getting the pills in me at the right time, and I think I missed one when I confused the overnight pill with the morning pill. Oh, well, so far, they seem to have made a difference.


I knitted and petted a cat for a while. It was such a beautiful, clear  morning that I was thinking of all the things I could do, but of course, I did nothing.


I got out the biscornu and took a few stitches in it, but not much, because at this time of year the setting sun makes it nearly impossible to anything.


Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It was a totally gorgeous day, mostly clear and blue. The temperature got up to almost 47 for a while, with hardly any wind. 


The birds and critters were hitting the feeders hard. They know what's coming, and they are bulking up for winter and stashing their stores, if they do that. The littlest chipmunk was around, and he was brave enough to grab some seeds while there was a jay in the feeder on the deck. I had to fill that, and while I was out there, I turned the cedar feeder around so that the woodpeckers' favorite suet cake was where I can see it, and as soon as I went in, a female downy was pecking away, at least for a while, before somebody was at the one on the other side. I have a whole flock of chipmunks - at least six - and they were coming around all at once. I like those little birds! 


After I post this, I will transcribe for a while before I go to bed. Tomorrow is my appointment with the new doctor, and I am keeping my fingers crossed.


It's a beautiful, clear night in the field, and the quarter moon is shining in the windows, a little bit east of good old Jupiter. Sooo pretty!


October 26

When I decided to start transcribing the story, I was reading it, and I was ahead of where I stopped typing, so after I uploaded the journal, I started reading and it was 1:00 by the time I got to bed again. This morning, it was nearly 11:00 when I got up, and I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while, so it was a truncated day. I don't like that, but I did catch up on my sleep a bit.


I began to pick up the kitchen, and I began to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight, and I typed, but that was about all I did. Another quiet and nearly wasted day.


The weather was pretty yucky. The temperature got up to about 45 for a while, and the winds were calm, but it was either drizzling or foggy or something all day long. It was nearly impossible to see the mountain all afternoon.


The birds and squirrels had emptied all the feeders, so I filled them this afternoon. The woodpeckers are really going after one of the suet cakes. When I put the feeders back out, the chickadees were calling, I think telling all their friends the feeders were full.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm off to the north end, via the kitchen. It's a dark, soggy night in the field.


October 25

After I finished the journal, I typed for a while longer, and after a while the broadband came back up, so I was able to do the upload after all. I got to bed around 1:00 or a little after, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I did the usual, petting the cat and knitting. I am making good progress on the sock. While I start slowly when I first start knitting in the morning, after a few minutes, I get my speed, and even on #1 needles, it goes fast.


I mostly typed again today, although I did a little - not a lot - work in the kitchen, but then I used a lot of pans, so it is still a mess out there. I actually ate something other than leftovers or takeout tonight, and it was good. I haven't had a steak in a long time. Oh, yes, and I did two loads of wash - jeans and underwear. It's a little early, but there were lots of both of them in the laundry baskets, so I decided not to wait. I will do the rest of the stuff - tops and socks - next week.


The weather was so-so again. The temperature was just about 40 all day, with very little wind that swung around from northeast to southeast in the course of the day. It was very dark and cloudy, and there was a very little rain between 6:00 and 7:00 this evening. Not very nice.


I went out, briefly, to refill the feeder on the deck. The squirrels and the blue jays are pigging out on my nice seeds, and the little birds have to jump in where they can. The downy woodpecker was around this afternoon, and he has found the suet cakes, so I imagine I will see him often, as long as I can keep them out. I can't seem to get the cedar feeder oriented so that I can see both ends, so sometimes all I see are a few tail feathers. Woodpeckers have such weird tails that I usually know when he is there.


So another quiet day is gone, and it's time to totter up to the north end. Unlike yesterday, I am very stiff and sore today, so it will feel good to nestle down in bed. It's a dark, gloomy night in the field.


October 24

This may not get uploaded tonight, because I seem to have lost my internet connection. PastyNet has been having power problems up on Brockway - the wind generator failed - and that may be the problem this time.


I was late getting to bed, and I was up several times during the night. I got up around 9:30, and petted a cat and knitted for quite a while before I got dressed. The usual morning thing.


I didn't do very much today, although I did transcribe quite a lot of the story. I had a terrible time getting Word to recognize that I wanted a style called "body text indent" in my list of styles. Eventually it showed up, and I don't know how it got there. I also discovered that somehow the new story had gotten set up with the grammar checker set to "standard" rather than "custom", and I don't know how that happened, either. I guess I have just never gotten the rationale behind Microsoft Office programs...or I should say rationaleS, because every program is a little different. It seems like sometimes things work the way I think they should, and sometimes they don't and I can't tell when a given program will change its mind.


I did a lot of typing, but I am only about 10% done. This episode is apparently about 230,000 words long, which means I will be at it for quite a while. It's a good story, though, so I enjoy typing it. So far, my hands are holding up quite well.


I can't be precise about the weather because I can't get to the internet, but it was cold and windy, and there was a lot of rain overnight. The rain stopped around 11:00 this morning, I think, after the clouds threw about three snowflakes at us. Further down the peninsula, they had a lot of snow, maybe as much as 6" in Calumet. Here, it was all just cold rain. As best I can remember, the temperature might have gotten to 40 or so, and there was a north wind in the 20-30 mph range all day, so there were even some whitecaps on the harbor.


I went to the post office, where there was a rather large, mysterious box, and when I opened it, a reader had sent me half a dozen boxes of Carr's Water Biscuits. I am most grateful, and it was a very nice thought. I will dole them out slowly.


This afternoon, the birds were hitting the feeders hard, in spite of the wind. I think the white-crowned and white-throated sparrows are gone, and the house finches I had the other day were evidently just passing through, but the juncos are still here. I suspect they are bulking up for their trip down to Detroit for the winter. When they are gone, I will know winter is really here. They are supposed to summer around here, but evidently they only visit the feeders when they are migrating, since I rarely see them in the summer. The wind was strong enough that the littlest birds, the chickadees and nuthatches, were having to hold on for dear life so as not to get blown away. 


I got a goodbye call from my neighbor Jean, who is on her way to the Chicago area for the winter. While I was talking to her, a few rays of sunshine punched through the clouds, and it was so interesting. It looked like it was raining or foggy in front of the hills. Unfortunately, the camera didn't catch any of that, and I was tethered to the phone, so I didn't get the Nikon, which is still out in the breezeway, but it was fun to watch. We did have a few little showers after that.


After sunset, it cleared up some, and for a while a very bright thick crescent moon was shining in the south windows. It is gone now, but I don't know if it has set or gone behind a cloud. At this time of year, sunshine and moonshine are very welcome.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm off to the north end for a long winter's nap. It might be a partly clear night in the field tonight, before the clouds and rain move back in tomorrow.


October 23

As best I can recall, I was in bed at about 11:30 last night, and I slept well, although I was up quite a number of times. I got up around 9:00, and I petted a cat and knitted for a while, as usual.


I had some thoughts of doing something, but the only thing I did was to empty the dishwasher and begin reloading it. The trash will have to wait until Monday.


When I was buying stuff in Wal-Mart, I got a nice 2" binder that is big enough for the big story from the blue binder, so I brought it to the studio this morning and this afternoon I began to transcribe it. I got about 20 typed pages done (44 handwritten), and I got through the scene that always keeps me up nights. It's a long one and rather interesting. There was some nice  music on the radio to keep me company, as well as a cat on the sewing chair.


The weather was nothing to talk about. It was very dark and dreary all day. Around 4:00 it started raining, and we've had 0.66" of rain since. I don't think it's snowing yet, although it is at the airport. The wind is from the east, and it has been in the 15-25 mph range since it started to rain. The lake is singing nicely. So we may be in for our first measurable snow in the harbor, when the wind shifts around to the north.


So now I will toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed. It's a nasty, rainy night in the field.


October 22

I did it again. I ended up playing games until it was time (or past time) to take my first pill before I dropped into bed. I got up in time to take my next pill, so I didn't get much sleep. I will be earlier tonight, because all the morning and evening pills are up at the north end and I need to try to keep on some kind of schedule.


I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed, and I had the rest of my Chinese for breakfast. It tasted much better today than it did yesterday, even though the veggies were rather limp.


I guess I did a couple of things. I filled both birdseed pails and filled the feeders and put them back out. I think there were a goodly number of birds, although the cedar feeder seemed to be full of squirrels for most of the day. I wasn't looking very much, but whatever was going on out there entertained Jasmine extremely.


I think it was less humid today, because I wasn't nearly as creaky as I was yesterday.


The weather did not clear up as it was supposed to. It was dreary and gray all day long, and the temperature was steady at about 38. I didn't go out except to put out the bird feeders. There was a little wind, in the 15-20 mph range, but since it was from the east, it didn't bother us at all. The lake was singing softly the last time I checked. Another blah day.


So that is all there is, and I will try not to take my evening pill too late, and once I'm up at the north end, going to bed is much easier. It's a dark, cool night in the field.


October 21

Oh, well. Instead of going to bed like I said I would, I played with the computer and it was 1:00 before I turned out the light. I got up around 10:00 and petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed.


It was such a nasty day, I really didn't want to go anywhere, but I decided it would be better to go today so I can start my antibiotic tomorrow, so shortly after noon, I left. I had to stop at the post office, and since Clyde was just sitting around, we had a nice conversation, so it was a while before I actually got on the road.


Nasty as it was, the trip down and back was really beautiful. The covered road is finally fully colored, and while it is a very dark yellow to brown year, it seemed to glow even in the rain. I didn't take the camera, of course, because I didn't think I would see anything to see. Ha. Never leave the house without the camera!

One of the things I got in the mail was an envelope from my doctor in Detroit, with the report on my blood work. It seems my potassium is quite low, so he sent me a prescription for a timed release version of that, which is not over-the-counter. 


I turned in my prescription at WalMart and they said it would be an hour, so I wandered around and gathered up a bunch of small stuff I'd been thinking about - much too much, as it turned out. I broke down and got the battery powered bead spinner, and I am glad I did, if only because it has much smaller needles, which will make it easier to string the small beads. It may also help my hands, because I should be able to switch off which hand I hold the needle in. Besides, it has three bowls, so I can alternate beads without pouring them out. Sort of a neat thing. Makes me sorry I got the other bead spinner, but I've already used that one quite a lot.


Anyway, when I was very hot and tired and I'm sure an hour had passed, I went back to the pharmacy and no, my order wasn't ready. So I had to sit around for a while, and then I discovered that even when they know you are sitting there, they don't let you know when your order is ready. Just another instance of WalMart getting it almost right...but not quite.


I'm not quite sure why, unless I have exceeded my out-of-pocket prescription amount for the year, but this batch of 84 pills cost less than the last one of 56 pills. They quoted the whole retail price as over $3200, though. I still say that is outrageous. However, I'm not complaining too much about the amount I paid, even though it was too much, because it was about half of what I thought it would be.


Then I went off to Ming Bistro, where I got in on the dinner menu, I was so late, and I was hungry enough that I took far too much food. Usually they don't let you take a doggy bag, but they were nice enough to do it for me, I think because they know I usually don't eat that much. So I have another meal in the fridge. It's not nearly as good as my take-out from last week, but it will do.


It was so late when I got out of there that I came right home without stopping at Pat's. I will be down there next week, and I will stop then, maybe before my appointment.


The weather was horrible. It was raining and under 40 the whole time, and on the way back, it snowed from Calumet to Phoenix before it turned back to rain. The temperature slid downward all day long, and around the time I got home, the east wind started rising and is now in the 20-30 mph range. The lake is singing tonight.


I was going to bring in the bird feeders tonight, because they are all empty, but it is just too nasty out there. I will bring them in tomorrow and fill them up. It's supposed to be nicer tomorrow. I hope so. The birdies are really hungry.


I understand that the bear is still around, but he is hanging around in town rather than out here. Twice they have seen him swimming across the harbor to Porter Island. Obviously, he isn't too smart, since he could probably wade across from the end of Hunter's Point. What is so interesting over on the island, I have no clue. Just as long as he doesn't get back out this way.


I forgot to mention a couple of wildlife things that have happened lately. Either Monday or yesterday, I saw a deer dash out of my backyard, so they are around, and apparently they like the grass better now that it's short. And yesterday I had several hungry house finches at the feeders. I had the downy woodpeckers around yesterday and today, too. Yesterday, the male was eating out of the tube feeder, but today he finally found the suet cake I put in the side of the cedar feeder, and he seemed quite happy with that.  There were lots of birds around when I got home, and I'm sorry the feeders were empty. You can thank the squirrels for that, darn them.


As I came down the road into the harbor, there was a deer standing right in the middle of the road about at the entrance to the cemetery, and it stood there and looked at me for several seconds before it moved. There was another one in the bushes, too. So they are moving around.


So that was my day, and now I really am off to the north end and bed. It's a cold, wet night in the field, and the lake will sing me to sleep.


October 20

Instead of going up to the north end like a good girl, i read a magazine, and it was after midnight before I got to bed. I did sleep rather well, however, and I got up about 9:00. I petted a cat - who seems to have a hairball again, even though he seemed rather frisky last night - and I finished the heel on the silk and wool sock, so now I am beginning the foot - 86 rows on #1 needles. It will take a while, but just about the time I finish, I should be ready to start wearing them.


That was about all I did today. I worked on the bracelet a bit, but after I had to rip out almost an inch, I didn't do much more. I brought needles down to the studio with the idea of doing a swatch out of the black yarn and redoing the pattern for the sweater that didn't fit right before I rip it out and start over, but in the end, I didn't.


It was a dark, moist day. The temperature stayed at just about 44 all day, with very light east winds. Between 11:00 and 1:00 we had a little light rain. Yuck.


Oh, but something did happen. I got a call from the doctor, and he will accept me as a patient, and my appointment is a week from tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. And I called Wal-Mart and they should be prepared to fill my prescription tomorrow, so I will have to take a flying trip to Houghton. Actually, there are a couple of things I forgot to get when I was there last, and maybe I can have lunch and stop at Pat's Foods on the way home for some deli delights and bread.


I toyed with the idea of not starting the vancomycin until I see the doctor, but then I decided not to wait. I will be taking it the way he suggested anyway, and it will take five weeks for the whole thing, so time's awastin'.


So that was another quiet day in the field, and tonight I'll be going up to the north end shortly.


October 19

After I took my bath, I sat in bed and read until midnight. I was up any number of times during the night - I think I was working off the salt from my Chinese dinner, and my feet were still somewhat swelled up this morning.  MSG has always done that to me, but oh, it's so good.


I got up around 9:00, petted a cat, and finished the decreases for the heel of the sock before I got dressed and came down to the studio to do my surfing. I was a little late at Johanna's because I had to change my underpants, but apparently I was the only client she had today, so it was all right.


When I got home, I did nothing, as usual, except get the dishwasher ready to run tonight and take out the trash that had been cluttering up the counters.


The weather was so-so again. The temperature got up to about 55 around noon, but it was windy, in the 15-25 mph range. In the morning, it was from the west, then around noon it went calm and switched around to the north. The skies were partly cloudy between about 9:00 and 3:00, and there was some nice sunshine, but then it clouded up and it got dark early. 


The sun is only 32 above the horizon at noon, so it shines in the south windows right on the desk and into my eyes, but I'll take all I can get. It was pretty this afternoon, with whitecaps on the dark blue harbor. There are a couple of bushes down at the top of the cliff above the beach that have turned a very pretty orangey-red. One Is a pin cherry, I think, and the other is a viburnum. I suppose I could see the water better without them, but they have pretty flowers in the spring, fruit that the birds eat, and colorful leaves in the fall, so I will leave them.


I was playing with the computer when I realized that the middle finger of my right hand had flared up again, and this time it's the middle joint, which makes the whole finger stiff and sore. That is the first middle joint I've had trouble with, and I suppose it's a taste of things to come. I am managing to type, although getting that finger down to the bottom row isn't easy (think commas). Maybe if I keep using it a bit I can keep it mobile. It really needs to be iced, but I have a hard time icing my fingers. I guess I will just have to stop using the mouse so much and do something else.


So that was a quiet and rather lost day, and I will be off to the north end shortly. It's a cloudy, windy night in the field and the lake is singing.


October 18

I sat in bed and read for a couple of hours, until my tail got so uncomfortable I was twitchy (this is a problem I always have, and is only made worse by my elimination problem), and I turned out the light about 11:30. I was awake about 8:30, but I dozed until nearly 9:00 before it was clear I had to get up.


It was clear all night long - I was up three times, I think - and there were nice stars, but it was cloudy when I got up. I knitted for quite a while. I picked up a sock on #1 needles that I've been working on for a long time, and I finally got to the heel. This is a second sock on a wool and silk yarn, and it would be very handy to have the pair, so now that I am back home, I decided to make that the project of choice. Since I made the first sock, I've been thinking about certain lace patterns in self-striping yarn, but no way am I going to unravel one and a half whole socks on #1 needles. Someplace I'm sure I have some similar yarns that I can use to try my ideas. Not silk, but certainly self-striping.


I didn't do a lot. I got the stuff in the sink into the dishwasher and washed up some pots and pans - I had the last of the blueberry pancakes this morning. I finished the "Copper Harbor" bracelet and started the snowflake one, but I only did four or five rows.


I talked to the surgeon. She works strange hours, but she was on call this weekend, so in between calls, she called me. She won't do my surgery without a local internist on call, and she won't do it until the C. diff is cured, but she did give me the name of another family doctor and she said she would leave a message for them to call me.


On that subject, I listened to two episodes of "This American Life" on health care, and they made me decide that I am going to get an opinion from the new family doctor, if he will take me, before I go ahead with the gall bladder thing. One of the reasons the cost of health care is so high in the US is that too many patients are demanding too many procedures from their physicians, and I don't want to be one of those. On the flip side, I know my gall bladder is diseased, and eventually, if I do nothing, it will either get really bad or rupture, which might well be more costly than having it out now, as well as more dangerous. It's something to think about, since I can't do anything about it until I have a doctor here and the C. diff is gone, but it's worth pondering.


I also got a call from Arthur, the first time in a long time I've gotten to talk to him, and that was nice. It seems he had turned his calendar back to September and thought I hadn't posted the journal for a couple of days. That's all right, Arthur, we're all slipping. I lose track of the day and date frequently, as well as the time and a lot of other things I should remember. Let's see, how are we related? My great-grandfather and his grandmother were siblings, which does mean we're related, but distantly. Such nice people, and I do enjoy hearing from them occasionally. Now that I know relatively early Sunday afternoon is a good time, I may be calling them, too.


The weather was OK. It was a little warmer than lately. The temperature actually got to 52 for a little while this afternoon, although it was breezy - in the 15-25 mph range from the southwest. It was cloudy when I got up, and again the clouds went away after a short shower that did register on the rain gauge at the NWS station. Then the skies cleared until just about sunset, and we had some lovely sunshine and blue skies for a while. It was nice.


While I was looking at the bird feeders, the nuthatches were very busy grabbing seeds and flying off with them, although I think there were some chickadees, too. I can't see the deck from the desk, so I don't know how many critters I had, but I saw one or two squirrels on the railings. I hope to be able to get the feeders out earlier this week, and eventually, I will get brave and leave them. I just don't want some nasty bear to crunch my nice new tube feeder. It's open season on bear (well, you need a permit), but I don't know if anybody has bagged the guy who has been bothering Copper Harbor all summer.


So that was my day, and now all I have to do is decide whether to go up to the north end and read again or stay here and listen to "Pipedreams". Decisions, decisions...


It's going to be a cloudy, breezy night in the field.


October 17

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept well enough that I was up around 8:30, with only a couple of wakeups.


Not that I did a lot with my day. I got the dishwasher unloaded, but I didn't start to reload it, and I didn't unload the car. So there.


I beaded a bit, and I'm working on the ends of the bracelet, but I started adding the clasp bead and decided to call it a day. I had to rip out over an inch because something was wrong with a bead on the edge, and it turned out that I had managed to tangle up the threads. It would never have looked good if I'd left it, but that meant I had to do the last couple of inches twice. Grr.


Then I sat in the ugly chair for a while and knitted on the afghan, but that was boring, too. I need to get my head together and make a decision about what to do next. I do have to finish the bracelet and make another snowflake bracelet, so I will work away on that.


I had more Chinese leftovers tonight, and they are holding up well. This was shrimp fried rice and chicken with peapods and mushrooms, and it was good. I am enjoying my good Chinese, because I won't be getting any more until next spring.


The weather was so-so. It was dark and cloudy this morning, especially since I got up only about 10 minutes after sunrise, and it stayed cloudy until mid-afternoon, after which there was some nice sunshine with puffy white clouds. However, just as the sun began to come out, one of those puffy clouds threw a handful of raindrops at us, enough to wet the window, so you never can tell. the temperature was in the lower 40s all day, and it reached a high of 44. The wind was from the west or north and it was very light.


I put out the bird feeders rather late, but they did get out today, and it wasn't bad outside. There weren't a lot of birds or critters, but there were a few. I suppose they fly by and check whether there's anything there, and if there is, they tell their friends.


I did a little shopping today. Gardener's Supply, one of the best gardening sites, has something they call "Cluster Buster", which is a trap designed especially for cluster flies, and most of the reviews seemed to say it works, so since the fly season has started here in earnest, I sent for two. If they work, I will get one for my bedroom and one for upstairs, too. Jasmine may find the flies entertaining - she was chasing them over by the patio door this morning - but I don't, and I hate having dead flies all over the floors. Besides, when they get old, they bomb around like they are drunk, and they may land on my head or, as one just did, on my mouth. They aren't filthy like houseflies or horse flies, but they aren't clean, either. Stay tuned. It will take over a week to get the traps.


As evening drew on, there were clouds building in the west, so it probably be a cloudy night. It's supposed to be a lot warmer tomorrow - in the low 50s - and there might be a little sun, but maybe not, too. Since I know what's coming, I am treasuring every little ray of sun I get.


I just reset the start and stop times on the camera. I like to set it so there are as few black pictures as possible - one in the morning and one in the evening, if I can. Since we are down to 10:45 hours of daylight now, and shortening up at more than 3 minutes a day, it was time to reset again. Sigh. I will have to start taking more vitamin D soon.


So that was my quiet and mostly lost day, and even though it's early, it's time to toddle up to the north end and maybe I will read a bit.


October 16

Well, I was in bed by 10:15, but it was one of those nights. I just dozed, with a lot of walks, until nearly 4:00 before finally went to sleep, and I didn't get up until 10:00.


I didn't do much around the house - the stuff I didn't get out yesterday is still in the car - but I spent some time on the phone. I decided to look at my checking account online, and there was a $20 service charge! Since I am a legacy retiree from that bank, there shouldn't be any service charges! So I called them and got somebody who didn't know much and couldn't speak clearly enough for me to hear him, so I got a supervisor who understood my problem and apparently got my accounts straightened around, but I wanted to know what had happened and why. So this evening, I got a callback from the research department, who didn't really answer my questions, except that apparently a couple of years ago when a personal banker changed my account, he didn't set it up right. Hopefully, that is fixed now. I don't need any service charges, especially when I shouldn't be getting them. I think this was a leftover from all the mergers and acquisitions.


Then I called the surgeon, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. So we'll see about that.


I went to the post office, where there was a pile of mail too big to fit in my box. Most of it was catalogs, of course, although there were three magazines. Of the things in envelopes, there were about six that were important, including bills, and almost a dozen pleas for money, and a bunch of stuff I threw out. I am beginning to stash the pleas for money, just to see how many I get before the end of the year. Some of them I wish I could answer, but that's just not possible anymore.


The weather was eh again. It was cloudy and gray, and the temperature sat right around 40 all day, with no wind at all. Around 7:00 it started raining lightly. Yuck.


Marquette set another record yesterday, this one for the lowest high temperature, 37. I thought it was pretty cold. They don't keep official records for Houghton and Copper Harbor, and the Weather Underground only keeps record highs, not lowest high temperatures. Anyway, it was an unusually cold day for this time of year. It is supposed to warm up a bit in the next few days, at least to the normal highs, but I don't know about any sun.


Sometime during the afternoon, I looked out on the completely calm harbor and there was a boat of fishermen out there. The camera didn't catch them.


What the camera did catch was about 45 minutes of the rising sun shining on the hills, which was very pretty. See the birdie in the first picture? Of course, soon the clouds took over and they were very thick for most of the day.


So that was my day, and I didn't do much else at all. Now it's a dark, rainy night in the field, and I hope to sleep better tonight.


October 15

I'm home safe and sound, or at least as sound as I was when I left. 


First, I'm sorry the journal didn't get updated last night. I wrote it, and it follows this entry, but the ridiculous so-called security at the Ramada wouldn't let me FTP it. I kept getting a weird error saying "LPRT not found" or something like that. When I got home, I immediately uploaded it from the laptop with no problems at all. So it certainly wasn't me!


I did something last night it's been years since I've done - I didn't take a bath when I knew I would be out in public. My hair has looked OK until the evening of the second day, my bottom seemed OK, and I didn't feel like coping with a bathtub shower and a shower curtain. Besides, I was really tired. I turned out the light shortly after 10:00, and while I was up several times during the night, I slept well, and I didn't get up until about 7:45. I felt much better today.


I did some of my morning surfing and I packed up everything and put it in the car before I went to breakfast, so with checking out and all, it was 9:45 before I got on the road. They are still working on the road through downtown Grayling, so I took the long way to the freeway and saw a bit of the countryside I don't recall having seen before. 


It was in the middle 30s but bright cloudy when I left, and the sun came out shortly, although it was only partly sunny all day. Traffic was very light, and I got to Newberry by noon. That meant I hit Marquette before the rush hour, but I was still held up. They are repaving the intersection of M-28 and US-41, and whatever they were doing, they kept letting all the eastbound traffic through while I waited in a very long line of cars for at least 20 minutes, maybe longer. I was, ahem, not pleased, nor was anybody else in that line. At least I was only the third car, so I finally got through before they stopped traffic again.


I am sure the problem is that they still have most of the asphalt to lay on M-28, and since Marquette had another record low this morning (20), no doubt they are rushing to get finished. I was always told they can't lay asphalt when the temperature is under 50, but they were doing it all over today, and the temperatures I saw never got over about 41. They must have some newer techniques.


There was another tie-up at MIchigamme. There used to be a really hairy set of curves right at the roadside park at Lake Michigamme, and I can imagine there have been a lot of accidents there, so they are rerouting the road to remove the worst of the curves. It has been quite a job, since they have had to go over a hill and incidentally redo the park. They're not through with that, either, but it looks like they are further along than they are on M-28.


In case anybody wonders, Michigan has put its stimulus money to good use. Almost all the bad stretches of road I noticed in April have been repaved, and it's really nice. Every so often, there will be a big sign with print so small I couldn't read it as I passed by, topped by an orange sign saying "putting America to work". Whatever, Michigan is in such bad shape (and so is the legislature) that there would have been no way any of that could have been done without the stimulus. Of course, the truth of the matter is that for the past 10 years or so, money for infrastructure repairs has been cut repeatedly, so it's no wonder our roads have been falling apart. Now there's less chance my poor old car will fall apart driving on them.


There were two places, one around Indian River on I-75 and one on US-41 west of Marquette, where I went by after a small shower had hit, leaving the road wet, but I didn't go through any rain, and in fact, there was a little sunshine for most of the trip, although there were clouds over Marquette, as seems to happen frequently. Of all the places along Lake Superior one could live, I would choose Marquette last. Their climate is much more extreme than anyplace either east or west.


When I got to the gas station in Baraga, it was swarming, so I went to the bathroom, and most of the cars had cleared out by the time I got back to my car. Gas had gone up 9 a gallon since Monday morning, probably in response to the price of crude, but it is still 10 a gallon less than anyplace else.


I attempted to lap a tanker truck and four cars by taking Cliff Drive, but they must have been speeding through Mohawk, and I ran into some really slow drivers, so that didn't work, but they apparently went someplace else, because I had a clear shot into Copper Harbor.


I pulled into the garage about 5:15 - 7 hours, which is pretty darn good time. When I came through the breezeway, both cats were standing there, although Jasmine was a little doubtful and looked at me as if to say "Oh,  no - you again", and Buster yawned at me, but he  is very glad to see me and has sat on me every chance he has had.


The weather here was partly cloudy and about 36 all day, with light east winds. It certainly was good to look out at my view again.


I unloaded the important things, clothes and food and the computer, of course, and I had Chinese for dinner, and I am happy to say it survived the trip just fine, except that the peapods aren't as crisp when they are reheated. I have enough leftovers to eat well for several days. What I am going to do with that pint of plain rice, I don't know yet, but maybe I'll have to make something with chicken so I can use it.


So that was my fast trip south, and I am very glad to be home. I will be going up to the north end shortly and get to bed early. I'm tired again. This morning when I got up, my eyelids were swelled almost closed, and I am sure they will be tomorrow, too. It's a phenomenon I've noticed when I drive all day. I am not used to having to really use my eyes every second of the day. 


While I was gone and now, I have noticed that the cluster fly season has begun in earnest. I thought it had, after what Roxie said before she left, but they are downstairs now, too, and driving us all nutty. I guess we'll cope.


Now it's a cloudy, cold night in the field, and oh, will my comfy bed feel good!


October 14

I think I was in bed by 10:30 last night, but I'm not sure. Debbie called just as I was about to call it a night, but we only had a short conversation because a situation developed with one of her sons - I don't know what. I slept fairly well, and I got up about 8:00. I took my time about my morning surfing and my packing and I started off on my day's adventures at about 10:45. 


It's somewhat inconvenient to be without a pit stop, but I managed. I got lots of interesting cheese at Kroger, but I'm beginning to believe that Carr's Water Biscuits have gone defunct. I haven't seen them anywhere in over a year now. That would be a pity; in my opinion, they were still the best thing to eat with cheese.


Then it was off to the pet food store, where I did a lot of damage, but we will eat well for a good part of the winter. I broke down and got cases of two of Buster's favorites, which I can't get anyplace else anytime.


By that time it was noon and my next stop was Fishbone's. I do love that place, although I always get the same thing, and I was unhungry enough that I brought most of it with me. They are clearly set up for the lunchtime crowd, so it didn't take me very long to eat, since I had no one to talk to.


Since I was still too early for my appointment, I parked in the back of the parking lot and knitted for almost an hour before it was off to the dentist. Thankfully, the hygienist didn't find anything suspicious, so I'm off the hook for another six months, and I have lots of toothbrushes and toothpaste. My hygienist is trying to become a Presbyterian minister, but she's had her resume out for a year and has had no takers yet. Good for me, but not so good for her. We'll see how things are in the spring.


I started north at about 3:30. There is a real mess on northbound I-75 in Oakland County, where the freeway goes from four lanes to two, so that was a slow spot, and there was quite a bit of traffic until about Saginaw, after which it all went away and there were stretches where I was the only car I could see. I got to Grayling around 6:30, I think - that's actually pretty good time, but I credit that to there being a whole lot less traffic around Detroit than there used to be.


I got gas, then I discovered that the motel had put me in a room that could not be further from the dining room, so the desk clerk, who had taken my reservation, switched me with somebody who wasn't here yet. I don't know what happened. I was hungry and thirsty, and the ice machine didn't work, so I went to dinner. I'm sorry to say that the quality of the dining room seems to have declined a lot since spring, and it wasn't all that great then. I was sorry I didn't have a microwave to reheat some of my good leftovers, but oh, well. I did manage to get some ice, so i can have a nice JD after all.


Then there was the wireless access, but I seem to have solved that one by rebooting. Just when I think I have this wi-fi gizmo figured out, it does something different. At least it seems to be working better than it did in the spring, although I'm not in the same room I was then. It has always worked fine in Detroit, and it works fine at home, now that I have my loaner router. Memo: I need to figure out how to share disks between the laptop and the desktop when I get home.


I got out the family cane,  because there is a very high curb outside my room, and when I went to dinner, I broke down and took it, and it really does make a difference, especially when I'm tired. I only hate to use it, because I don't want to be part of the over-aged over-weight crowd, but it's better than reeling down the hall hanging onto walls. I will have to pick my times and places. This is an old wooden cane that I inherited from somewhere, so it probably isn't medically sound. If I leaned my full weight on it, it would probably break. It is rather interesting, though. I think the price sticker is still on it. It turned up among my mother's effects, and I'm not quite sure where it came from. It does work to help keep me balanced. I wish I'd tried it yesterday, when I was so tired.


Oh, the weather. Eh. It was cloudy and cool to cold. Where I was, it was in the lower to middle 40s. In Copper Harbor, it was cold - the temperature never got over 39. There wasn't much wind, though. On my way north, it almost rained north of the Zilwaukee bridge - there was lots of virga and a few tiny drops hit the windshield - and then it almost cleared up for a while. There were some interesting cloud formations I wish I could have studied, but it looked like the atmosphere was rather roiled up. I may run into some rain in the UP tomorrow.


I am a bit perplexed by the weather. I heard part of something on the radio that said there is an El Nino brewing, and the winter won't be as cold as last and could be quite a bit warmer, but it is starting out to be a real humdinger. Marquette set another record low this morning - the third or fourth in the past few weeks. And this is only October. I am beginning to believe the weather forecasters might as well be using crystal balls, especially for anything further away than two days. John Dee says there is really no way to predict the weather long-term, and I tend to believe him. The radio piece was about the cost of heating this winter, and I wonder if maybe it wasn't just to make people feel better. But that's why I always find the weather infinitely interesting - you just never know what might happen next.


So I am on my way home, and my fall chore is done. It's a relief. I am not looking forward to the gall bladder thing, but overall, it was a successful trip, I guess. I will be happy to get home to my field and my sweet kitties.


October 13

Well, maybe the third time will be the charm. Twice I have been in the middle of an entry and I've come unplugged, losing everything. Oh, the joys of FrontPage and an old laptop!


I didn't get to bed until midnight, and I got up at 7:00, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I was interested to discover that my old habit of waking up about 10 minutes before the alarm goes off hasn't deserted me. When I was working I did that every day. I always thought it was to keep from being startled out of sleep by the alarm, but I was startled awake this morning, because I thought I heard someone say one word (that I don't remember). I was lying there calming my heartbeat when the alarm went off. Oh. No alarm tonight.


Both my doctors were in a mood to talk today, although Dr. Lehman is getting over a terrible cold (he has young kids). I had to agree with him that having the biopsy was the right thing to do, even though it was negative. He was impressed by the surgeon, which is good.  He thinks I should be able to find somebody in Keweenaw to treat my C. diff, and I agree. More about that later. Otherwise, everything was well there.


I had about three hours between appointments, and I could have done my shopping, but I was so shaky on my feet today that all I did was go to the bank. Then I parked in the sun in the parking lot behind my first house and knitted.


The internist was in a mood to talk, too, which was good. He agreed that the idea of pulsing the vancomycin seemed reasonable, so I came away with a prescription for 21 days' worth. Ouch on the pocketbook, but I'm willing to try it. 


We talked about my gall bladder, and he thinks that having four attacks over the summer means it's time to be rid of it. I guess I agree, although I had hoped never to darken the door of a hospital again. So he did some pre-op tests, and I will call the surgeon as soon as I get home. He thinks I should do it before the end of the year. I have to admit that the one attack I had, that lasted 14 hours, made me nervous. I don't want to end up in the emergency room with a ruptured gall bladder.


I came back to the motel and played games and listened to my favorite radio station on the net for the rest of the afternoon. 


Then it was off to the Blue Pointe. I was a little early, and there weren't many people there. They didn't have lake perch, darn it, but they did have bluefish, which is about my favorite ocean fish, and it was very good. They have raised their prices again, and it is certainly not the cheap neighborhood place to eat that it was when my parents and I used to go there on a Friday night. It is still good, though, and I enjoyed my dinner.


There was one thing I noticed again that I've never remarked on before. While they have finally gotten a waiter, besides the waitresses they have had forever, all the wait staff is white, and all the bus people are black. It's been that way for a long time, and I've never seen a black wait person. There was one black person eating dinner tonight, which is a first for me, but there is definitely a racial divide in who can do what. I think that's a shame. Certainly some of those people who are bussing tables and helping the wait staff could do the other job as well.


Now I am very tired, but Debbie said she would call me tonight, so I can't go and take my bath until after that. Tomorrow I will do my shopping - cheese for me and cat food - and after I smile sweetly at the dentist, I will be on my way north.


I have to say that being here again makes me even happier that I'm not anymore. There is too much traffic, and tonight there were too many really weird drivers. 


And driving around in Detroit, even on the far east side which abuts Grosse Pointe, is so sad. On Warren Avenue, all the businesses have either bricked their windows or put in glass block. Where one of my favorite garden stores used to be is now a tax preparer, and most of the other businesses seem to be auto supply stores. There is one grocery store that looks more like a fortress. It was getting dark when I came back here, and in the residential areas, more than half the streetlights don't work. Maybe that is an advantage, and there were too many streetlights, but still. It looks dirty and tired and sad. I will be glad to get home.


So that was my day, and I'm yawning. I think I will call Debbie's voice mail and tell her I'm too tired to talk and call it a night. Tomorrow I'll be on my way home.


October 12

I arrived safe and sound.


I made it into bed by 10:30, and with two JDs and a sleeping pill in me, I slept until about 6:30 with only a couple of brief wakeups. I had set the alarm for 7:00, just in case, but when I woke up it seemed like I should get up. I hate to get up when it's dark! It was just as well that I got up when I did, because it was still 9:00 before I started off. I don't know why - I really didn't have that much to do - but I guess I just move slowly these days. I had to run by the post office, and then I was off.


There wasn't much traffic and I made good time. From about Christmas to about Newberry, it snowed or sleeted, but not enough to slow me down. And there were numerous light rain showers from there until I got here. I got to 10 Mile Road and I-94 by 7:06. i stopped for gas there, then I got my Chinese takeout, and I was at the motel by 7:45.


It's nice to have some really good Chinese food for a change, even though I have to come to Detroit to do it. The motel is OK. They have installed a snazzy flat-screen TV (which I don't use) and new towels in the bathroom, which is nice. And the guy who checked me in assured me that he would try not to put anybody noisy next to me. Of course, they had lost my reservation, but that didn't seem to matter.


The weather was cold, as well as wet. It was only about 34 when I left Copper Harbor this morning, and the warmest temperature I saw was the 47 it is now. Nasty weather all around. In Copper Harbor, it was dark and cloudy all day, but it didn't start to rain until around 5:00, when the camera showed some fog as well as rain. That's not surprising, since the lake is still over 50, I think.


I'm having my usual problems getting used to this keyboard, and the computer froze a couple of times right after I booted it up. It's getting old. I got this in the fall of 2000.


Ron stopped by before I left, so I got to see him, at least. Buster didn't really get his morning pet, because he wouldn't get on my lap, and after he ate, he went away. He knew last night what was going on, and if you think cats can't cry, think again. I told him I won't be gone long, but since cats have no sense of time, he doesn't really believe me. All he knows is that I'm not there, and that's terrible. Well, I think so, too.


So I am here, and I'd better think about getting to bed, since I have to be at the doctor's office at about 9:45 tomorrow. I'm away from my beloved field, and that's bad.


October 11

Well, time's a'wastin. It seems like every time I do this trip, I take less stuff and it takes less time to get ready. Or...we'll see about that.


I was in bed by 11:30 last night, and I did all right for most of the night, although I did have some wakeful time. I got up around 8:45, because I had to walk, not because I wanted to get up.


About everything I wanted to do is done, except to pack my clothes and train case. The kitchen is as clean as it's going to get - no sweeping - and the food is in the car, as well as most of the miscellaneous items. After I do this, I will copy it to the laptop, pack that up, and then I will be off to the north end to pack clothes and other stuff.


My back was bothering me extremely, so I spent a lot of time sitting and resting it, but I've been doing this long enough now that it's sort of routine. 


I discovered that after I got the TravelDisk, I stopped copying everything to the laptop, which is probably just as well, since it only has a 10gb disk. So updating the files I do copy wasn't much of a problem...or I hope so. That poor little old laptop just keep chugging along, as long as I have an outlet to plug it into. And it's been bounced around some, too.


The weather was not nice. The temperature varied between 39 and 41, and the wind was still strong from the north, with gusts up to about 30 mph - nothing like yesterday, but strong enough that I didn't put out the bird feeders. Poor birdies. It was dark and cloudy for most of the day, with only a couple of peeks of sunshine. Yuck.


It was nice to have warm floors and warm temperatures in the house, I must say. At least that seems to be working all right.


So I have not much more to report, except that things are moving right along, and shortly I will trundle up to the north end and devastate Buster by hauling out the suitcase. I think he knows what's going to happen, but he really hates that suitcase. 


It's a dark, dank night in the field, and I have to go tomorrow. Poo.


October 10

I fiddled around last night, and it was after 12:30 when I turned out the light.  After I uploaded the journal, I decided that it was time to back up my files to the TravelDisk, and it certainly was. I thought I had done that during the summer, but no, the last time I did it was before I went to Detroit in April. My bad. So it took a while, and in the meantime, I fired up the laptop and updated the virus definitions. Then, since it was Friday at 11:00 by that time, it started a virus scan. That laptop is so old and slow that it takes forever. I was trying to play Bejeweled on it, and I had to laugh at how slowly things moved. Oh, yes, the reason I decided to stay here was that after the Schubert I was listening to, there was Mozart and more Haydn, and it was all so nice, I wanted to listen. I finally had to leave the laptop running and go to bed, I was so tired.


I had a good night, with only two wake-ups, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I petted a cat, but my bottom hurt, so I didn't knit very much.


I noticed, when I got up that the floor in the bathroom was icy cold, which I thought was rather strange, and when I got to the middle and south end of the house, it was 62 in the great room and only 65 in the studio (I have been forgetting to mention it - I've decided to rename the room where I spend most of my time. "Office" is the wrong word, so henceforth it is the "studio". Sorry for the confusion). I trundled down to the mechanical room, and I couldn't see anything wrong, so I called the plumber. Sigh. He had me go down again and feel the pipes, which were barely warm. He had some work to do, so he instructed me to turn up the heat in the basement, which did turn the boiler on, and about 1:30 he called back. The boiler was running, I think, but the upstairs was still cool to cold.


In the meantime, about 1:00 we had a power failure, so I was on generator power. Thank goodness for that generator!


Bill got here about 2:30, and he only worked for about 15 minutes, but it seems like there is a master zone valve that controls all the upstairs (another dumb thing) and it had failed. He replaced it, and now it is actually 70 in here. Nice. 


Anyway, I had to listen to his tale of woe, but I guess I am a good listener. He had prostate surgery over the summer, and he isn't bouncing back like he thought he would. I think it's a matter of his just expecting too much and doing too much, but he is grumpy about it, so his wife and kids (he has 13, although not all of them are at home anymore) are bugging him.


I guess I actually did something today, although I spent a lot of time playing games. The sink side of the kitchen is nice and clean, and I started on the stove, but I didn't get far. My back was bothering me, so when it started to hurt, I just came back into the studio and sat down. I don't think it will take too long to get the stove side spiffed up, because it really isn't too bad.


The other story of the day was the weather. The wind was starting to rise about the time I got to the studio, and it has been in the 15-30 mph range ever since, or at least that's what the NWS says. I think it's been stronger here. It has been varying between west and northwest, but I think now it is settling down from the northwest. The temperature was in the middle 30s, except for a short while when it dipped to 32. And the precip is SNOW, or sleet or ice pellets, coming in waves. Now they are calling it lake effect snow, and yup, it sure is. Yuck.


I'm not complaining too much, though, because when I looked at PastyNet's pictures from Calumet and the airport, there looked to be a good 2" down this morning. We had a little ice on the decks for a while, but that is gone now, so I can't complain. Bill clearly just loved looking out the windows at the whitecaps on the harbor and the waves hitting the rocks. Me, too.


The thing that was strange is that between waves of snow and/or rain and ice pellets, we had a few minutes of nearly clear skies and sunshine, at least early in the day.


The camera was spotty, because the power was out between 1:00 and about 3:30, I think, so while I was taking pictures most of the time, they didn't get posted. I have to say, though, that once the power came back on, all I had to do was reboot and the broadband came right back up. That's nice to know.


So the day wasn't entirely wasted, but I have a lot to do tomorrow. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the post office, because Bill was here, but oh, well. Tomorrow I will have to work steadily or I won't make it. The usual - I don't want to go, so I just ignore everything until the last minute. Sigh.


Now it is late and the wind is roaring around the house, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and crash. It's a cold, wild night in the field, and it will be good sleeping weather.


October 9

I really crashed last night. I was in bed by 9:15, and I didn't get up until after 10:00 this morning. I felt much better today. I cast on the black sock - again - and petted a cat before I got dressed, and that was all I did. I am in procrastination mode again.


The weather was about the same as yesterday, except that there wasn't much wind. The temperature was around 45, with light winds from the north. It was partly cloudy all day, and there was quite a bit of sunshine, which was nice.


However, it is down to 35 at 10:00 and on its way down, and it is supposed to be very windy and snow tomorrow. Oh, sigh. I always hope we won't have any snow until after the first of November, but no such luck. I doubt there will be much here, actually, but up at Delaware, where they measure the Keweenaw snow, there will probably be some. They are being a little more moderate in their wind forecasts this time - gusts up to 45 mph. We'll see. I'm glad most of what I have to do is inside tomorrow, although I do have to make one last trip to the post office.


Tonight, I decided to splurge and go to Harbor Haus before they close. I always thought they closed on or about the 15th, but Chris says no, it's the second weekend in October. It just happens to be a little earlier than usual this year. Well, I will miss them, even though I didn't get to go very much this year. I decided I had the last fish on Monday (and Wednesday), so I had lamb chops tonight. I love them, and I hadn't had them this year. They were good. I really splurged and brought home a slice of amaretto chocolate torte, but I didn't eat it. That's for tomorrow.


It wasn't too busy when I got there (at 5:30) but it filled up rapidly. I was almost finished eating when a group of young people came in, and when I got up, I discovered they were Aaron and Amanda and some friends of theirs. They are almost moved from the gray house into the old Ruonovar house, where Steve and Andrea were living until this summer. I don't suppose they are very happy about having to move, although it's only a few hundred feet, because it's a much older house and probably not as nice, although they will get a better view of the big lake. The rumor is that the gray house will be for sale, at a price I doubt anybody will pay. We'll see about that, too.


Well, as soon as Schubert's 9th (the Great) finishes, I will fill the dishwasher and toddle up to the north end for a long winter's nap and hope not to see white on the ground when I wake up tomorrow. It's a frosty, cloudy night in the field.


October 8

Roxie came back from bingo, and we sat and talked until 2:30, so it was 3:00 before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00, I think, but I certainly didn't get enough sleep. Tonight will be an early night.


We were sitting in at the dining table, and there was some clear sky for a while, through which I could see the gibbous moon in one window and Capella, I think, shining brightly in the next. It was very pretty, even though it didn't last long, and after that the moon played hide and seek with the clouds until it got too high to show in the windows. It was mostly cloudy after that, but it was very bright out. I was disappointed that we didn't get to see much of the Harvest Moon, but that's the chance we take.


Roxie left shortly after noon, and Buster wasn't too pleased about that. I haven't seen Jasmine all day. I hope that doesn't mean she got shut in upstairs, but probably she just hasn't realized that we are alone again.


I was too tired to do much of anything today. The bird feeders didn't get put out because of the wind, and I just sort of fiddled around. I did a few rows on the bracelet, not very much, and I updated and printed the two medical things I created earlier in the year. I went to the post office.


The weather was very autumnal. Sometimes it was nearly clear and sometimes it was cloudy, and the wind was mostly in the 15-30 mph range from the northwest. There were whitecaps on the harbor for  most of the day. The temperature was about 48.


All of the socks are up at the north end, so I knitted a few stitches on the star afghan, but mostly I fiddled around.


I'm not sure if Buster knows I'm going away on Monday, but I do, and as usual it has depressed me. 


The NWS has pulled back on its initial forecasts, as they frequently do, and while there may be some snow this weekend, and maybe some on Monday, it doesn't sound as dire as it did yesterday. 


It is going to be cool to cold, so I will have to plan my wardrobe on that basis. That's too bad, really, because both the motels where I stay have those horrible heating units in the walls, which are so noisy I can't sleep with them on, so it's better if it's a little warmer. What I do is try to warm up the room before I go to bed, then turn the unit off and hope I don't freeze before morning. I don't think I'd want to try to stay in one of those places in the winter.


So now I am yawning widely, and I think I will toddle up to the north end early and sleep long and hard. The singing of the lake will send me off to sleep.


October 7

It seemed like I just didn't want to move last night, so I stayed in the office and played games, and it was 2:30 before I got to bed, no bath. Tonight will be earlier. I got up around 10:00, but I really didn't want to. 


I sort of diddled around today. I pulled out the black sock - again - and I updated my ledger and I paid a couple of bills. The money situation is getting critical, so I called my accountant and we had a nice conversation, and I will call the financial guy tomorrow.  I beaded for a while, but I didn't finish the bracelet. I'd like to get that done, the picture taken, and have it posted on etsy before I leave. We'll see. My ankles are still sore, so I didn't do much.


Roxie finished weeding the garden bed, bless her heart, so that will go into the winter in good shape. 


The weather turned out to be rather nice. The temperature got up to 51 briefly, and it was in the upper 40s for most of the day, with a 15 mph wind out of the north. There was some sunshine during the afternoon, which was much appreciated. It got so hot in here that now I have the door open for a bit. 


The only worrisome thing is that the "S" word is appearing in the forecast for the first time this season, and I think that's a little early. In fact, there could be snow showers from Friday through Monday. I hope not, but nothing would surprise me after the year we've had. At least it didn't snow on September 22, which it has twice in my years of being in the UP. But we could be in for an early, snowy winter. I just hope I can get to Detroit and back without trouble. Then, as far as I care, it can snow continuously until the end of March. That would be fun, in fact, because it would probably result in a record winter. But not until after the 15th.


So now, even though it's pretty early, and Roxie is at bingo, I'm going to bed. I'm tired. She is supposed to be leaving tomorrow, but I'm not sure she has even begun to get ready. When you only live 8 hours away, you have a lot of leeway on when you leave. I heard her tell her husband she might leave early tomorrow (or I think it was tomorrow), but I don't know exactly what she means by "early". I will miss her.


It seems to be a partly to mostly cloudy night in the field, and I need to sleep.


October 6

I think it was around 10:45 when I got to bed, and I got up around 8:00. I really didn't want to, but I had to walk, and I wanted to have time to do something leisurely before I left. I petted a cat and knitted a very little bit, and I did my morning surfing once I got to the office.


It was not the nicest day to be wandering around the countryside. It dripped rain all day, sometimes rather hard, and the temperature was in the upper 40s. There wasn't any wind until after sunset this evening, when it began to pick up. There is an area of heavy rain south and east of us, and now that the wind is out of the east or southeast, we may see some of that. Yuck.


I made it to the dealership on time, and it took a little less than an hour to change the oil, check everything, rotate the tires, and check the brakes. The good news is that I am set for the winter. The bad news is that the rotors in my brakes are rusting and will need to be replaced next spring at the latest. I don't understand why they are rusting. I don't think I had that problem with my other cars with disc brakes. But oh, well. If it's not one thing, it's another. Probably I will be OK for the winter, especially with how little I drive then. We shall see. At least I have warning about this thing, so it won't come out of the blue.


Then I stopped at Pat's Foods for deli salads and bread. On my way to Houghton, I stopped at Hughes Farm, but they didn't have much. They had a hard freeze last week, so there's not much left. They picked all the delicata squash green, and Mrs. Hughes said it may never ripen, depending. That's a shame, but at least I have some in the freezer.


The next stop was Wal-Mart, where I did the usual damage. They didn't have a very good selection of cat food, unfortunately. I got a couple of varieties of suet cakes, and I hope I can entice those downy woodpeckers to come and eat it before the squirrels get it. I think the chickadees will eat it, too.


One notion I had, which I didn't do, was to look at an iPod Nano. I understand they have an FM radio in them, which just might make it useful to me. I also understand that you can copy CDs to them, as well as downloading music from the Internet. Downloading doesn't interest me much, both because of my rather slow connection and because there isn't much classical music out there, I don't think. However, I decided to wait and look online and try to find out more about it...especially the price. Knowing me, it's probably expensive.


So it was off to Ming Bistro, where I didn't eat a lot, as usual. The egg rolls were better today, but I had egg drop soup, since there weren't any wontons in the wonton soup. They have put a lot of American-style dishes on their buffet, which is disappointing, but I suppose they have to sell what most people want. What I had was good.


Finally, it was Econo, where I discovered that I should have gotten my OJ at Pat's, where it was on special for about $1 cheaper. Oops. So now I will have to start reading Pat's weekly flyer, too. I didn't get much to eat except TV dinners and some deli meat for next week. I hope it's OK then. 


By the time I got out of Econo, I was dragging, and my back was bothering me, not to mention my ankles and feet. I had almost of a tank of gas, so I didn't stop, although usually I would. On Monday, I will be going by the Indian reservation, where I will have to stop and use the facility anyway, and their gas is so much cheaper that I will just fill my tank there.


The rain made for some interesting driving. There were a few people who were acting like it was glare ice already. I usually cut those people a little slack, because I don't know what their tires are like, but some of it was ridiculous. The worst one I lapped by taking Cliff Drive, although that was a bit treacherous because of the puddles, and I couldn't go as fast as I usually do.


I got home around 4:30 or so, I think, and I just sat and did nothing until Roxie got home. The fridge is bulging at the seams, but I have enough OJ that it will be over a month before I have to shop again, by which time I will be running out of other things anyway. I managed to get enough cat food that Ron won't have to deal with the big cans. So I guess I accomplished what I set out to do.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end and put my poor feet to bed. It's not the bottoms that are sore, it's the ankles and insteps, and I think that is probably arthritis. My mother always said it's hell to get old, and boy, was she right.


So it's a nasty, dark, rainy night in the field, and a good one to sleep long and hard.


October 5

It was probably 11:30 when I got to bed last night, but I didn't check. It wasn't a very good night. I was up any number of times for no very good reason. I got up around 9:00, I think, but I finished the gusset of the sock and petted a cat before I got dressed.


The task of the day was to get all the clean clothes put away, and that happened. While doing it, I determined that I do seem to have lost a pair of jeans...one of the newest, darkest pairs. Those jeans have gotten too big (goody!) but I will still wear them, and now I will want the darker color. I haven't looked in my suitcase yet, but I thought I had them after I got back from Detroit. Really weird.


Otherwise, I worked on the bracelet a bit, but I'm not through with it yet. Roxie went out in the garden and got half the bed weeded, bless her. It looks great.


I had dinner tonight with an e-friend of long standing and his wife, and it was very pleasant - and very good, too. They are more nice people I've met through this website.


The weather was yucky again, but it didn't rain. There were even a few rays of sunshine, but not many. The temperature was between 45 and 48, with a wind in the 10-15 mph range from the north. As usual, the humidity was over 85% all day, and my back told me so.


So tomorrow I have to go to town. I get the car serviced in the morning, then I will go on and do my shopping. It's a little early for that, but I need some things to eat for breakfast and lunch while I'm gone, so I might as well do the whole thing now. The cat food situation is rather weird, so I need to lay in some of that so the kitties will eat while I'm gone. It will be a long day, especially since, according to the NWS it is going to rain - no maybe. It will.


So it was another quiet day in the field, and I'm off to the north end earlier tonight to see if I can do better.


October 4

I was late getting to bed last night. After I uploaded the journal, I started reading the paper, and that turned into something else, so it was midnight or so before I jumped in bed. My bottom felt good enough that I didn't feel I needed to take a bath.


I was up around 9:00 this morning, which was too early, but I had to walk, so oh, well. I petted a cat, but he went away with a thud when I picked up the knitting, and I am making progress on the gusset.  I find I like that sock better than I thought I would - when I discovered it has lavender in it, that made it better.


The task of the day was wash, and the towels are in the dryer, so that is pretty much done. I did forget one thing I wanted to wash, but it may not be all that dirty, and anyway, it's navy blue, so probably nobody would notice. I have lots of things to fold and put away, but at least the washing is done.


The weather was nasty. The temperature made it up to 50 for a short while, but mostly it was in the upper 40s, with a 10-15 mph wind out of the north, and while there wasn't enough rain to register in the rain gauges, it drizzled several times, and the humidity was over 90% all day.


Mostly I sat, because that weather, the humidity particularly, does a number on my arthritis. I even had occasional pains in my knees and my fingers. Ouch.


Roxie was gone all day, and she spent most of it on the beach down by Esrey Park, picking up little pieces of what are probably agate. That's always fun. I used to love to do it, too.


I worked on the "Copper Harbor" bracelet a bit, because I have to finish it before I can do another Snowflake bracelet to replace the one I sold yesterday. On the one hand, I wish I could sell more stuff, but on the other hand, then I would have to spend a lot more time beading.


So that was a quiet Sunday, and it's a dark, dank night in the field. We won't see the Harvest Moon tonight, for sure.


October 3

I read for a while before I went to bed, and I was up several times in the night, but I slept well. The singing of the lake helped a lot. I got up around 9:00, I think, and petted a cat, but he went away when I started knitting. The gusset is coming slowly, but it's coming.


Buster was upset all morning, wandering around and meowing and getting on and off my lap, and I have to believe it's because Jasmine was nowhere to be found. He doesn't want me to know he likes her, but he likes having her around. 


So Roxie went off to her afternoon, and I went off to my luncheon date. We stayed at Harbor Haus until Chris asked us to leave, then we came back here and talked some more. They are very nice people, and I hope to keep in touch with them. I have to say, I've met more nice people through this website than I think I ever knew before.


When Roxie came back, Buster was finally out, and shortly after she got here, there was Jasmine, out in the great room. She stayed there, not far away from us, until we went toward the kitchen. She will come around, I'm sure, although it may take a while. Buster was much happier when she was close by.


The weather was not good. The temperature hung in around 46. and for most of the day there was a 15-20 mph wind from the east. It finally switched around to the north around 7:00, but it is very light. I do mean switched - one hour it was from the east, the next hour it was calm, and the hour after that it was from the north. I doubt there was much in between. The lake is finally calming down. It was cloudy and drizzly all day. Yuck.


So this was a very social day, and I didn't do anything else. I guess I need these every so often. I get tomorrow off - I need to do some wash - and then Monday I meet another e-friend at Harbor Haus for dinner. My social life overflows.


The moon is nearly full, which means that, as cloudy as it is, it's not dark out. But it's a cloudy, yucky night in the field, and it's time to crash.


October 2

I read for a little while, but my bottom was still sore, and it was so sore when I went to bed that I couldn't sleep until I finally lathered it up with Calmoseptine, then I slept well. Oh. Sometimes it's hard to tell what hurts. I think I was in bed by 10:30, but it was after midnight when I went to sleep, and I didn't get up until 9:30. I petted a cat for a while, but I didn't sit long.


I guess I did a few things today, but mostly they weren't creative. Roxie was kind enough to make two trips to the compactor, so all the trash is now out of the garage, and I emptied wastebaskets and all that sort of thing. We did cat pans together. The weather was the kind that makes my back ache, and besides, I don't think I had enough sleep last night. I converted last month's journal to Word, but that was about all I did.


The weather wasn't the best, although it hasn't rained here since early morning. There is a lot of rain south of us, but the wind is mostly from the east, so we haven't gotten it yet. Tee temperature was around 45, plus or minus a couple of degrees, and while the sustained winds were only around 10 mph, it was gusting up to 25 mph, so the lake is singing nicely. The east wind meant that we are quite sheltered, but it wasn't very nice. When I went out to bring in the bird feeders just now, it had finally begun to rain. Yuck.


This weather is just not good for my arthritis, and I felt it, and I was tired, too. I have a luncheon date tomorrow, so I have to make sure I'm sort of with it then.


The Schwan's delivery man came this afternoon and took away my bad pizzas, so that is taken care of, and I have things I know are good to eat and will cook right.


So that was another quiet day in the field, and I'm off to the north end and I hope the singing of the lake will put me to sleep. It's a cloudy, rainy, nasty night in the field.


October 1

Well, I read for a while last night, although I had to lie in bed to do it, since my bottom didn't feel very good in the bathroom. I got to bed around midnight, and I slept rather well until nearly 10:30 this morning.  I petted a cat for a little while, but he went away in a huff when I started rustling around, so I knitted on the sock.


I decided to have pancakes this morning, so it was after noon before I ate. I didn't do a lot, although I did wash up most of the pots and pans, and I cast on the black sock, which I had finished last year and decided I had done it on too small needles. Since winter is coming, I figured it's time to start working on wool again. And I did some web surfing.


The weather was pretty but cold. It was mostly clear overnight, and the temperature got down to 33. It was clear all day, although there seemed to be some clouds over in the west. The temperature got up to 48 around noon before it dropped back into the middle 40s. Really autumnal. The winds were light from the southwest or southeast for most of the day. Baby, it's cold outside. We're not used to this.


Adam came late this afternoon, and everything is now battened down for the winter. He also put back up the heating pipes that were falling down in the basement, so I'm good there for the winter. 


Roxie is back in town, but she isn't here yet.


Since I have to upload the web using FrontPage tonight, I finally got all the pictures added in. Here is the bronze necklace. This is the new stitch I tried, and here is the blue iris necklace. Around Labor Day we had some really nice sunsets. Here they are: Sept. 2, Sept. 3 (I like that one - you can see as much as I can see of the lake), and Sept 6. None of them are really good pictures - they seem all to be slightly out of focus - but I like them. You can see how much the sun has moved between the third and the sixth. It is still fleeing south at a great rate. Sorry for laying all those pictures on you at once. I'll try not to do it again.


So that was another quiet day, and it's apparently supposed to cloud up and start raining after midnight. It's a very cool night in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM