A View From the Field








November, 2009

November 30

After I published this last night, I typed for a while, then I went up to the north end and read for a while, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I got up around 9:30, and I petted a cat and knitted for a little while before I got dressed. 


I only had time to do part of my morning surfing before I was off to my massage, but I was glad I went. My back has been bothering me a lot, and it feels much better now. When I got home, I did the rest of my surfing, and that's all I did. Massage always makes me sleepy, and I don't think I had quite enough sleep last night.


The weather was more wintry than it's been lately. Evidently there was a snow shower before I got up this morning, and it has been snowing since before 6:00. At least the last picture doesn't show any lights of town, which is a pretty good indication that something is coming down. The temperature went up and down between 34 and 38. The wind was from the west, and it was light except for between noon and 6:00, when there were gusts up to about 17 mph. It wasn't very nice out.


For some reason, that didn't bother Buster at all. Late this afternoon, after the talking came on the radio, I heard something that sounded like something fell down, and when I looked out into the great room, there was Buster walking along the railing in the loft! Evidently he pushed off the box he likes to sit on (or in), rushed up the stairs and jumped up on the railing and walked its entire length. I think it's been four or five years since he's done that at all, and I was so glad to see it. So I talked to him, and he came rushing down the stairs, pushed off the box again, and ran across the great room, but he stopped, like he wasn't sure I wanted him to come, then he got all coy and I had to coax him onto my lap. Funny little cat. He did seem to feel good. He got quite a bit of turkey gravy this evening, so I suppose his tummy is feeling nice and warm now. I don't know where Jasmine was when he was rushing around. She didn't turn up until later. I always figured he stopped walking on the railing because he wasn't sure of his footing as he got older, but he certainly looked confident this afternoon, even turning his head upside down to look at me while he was up there...and it's about a 12 foot drop to the floor. I don't know what turned him on, but it was good to see. I guess he's all right, as long as the hairballs are under control.


So that was a very quiet day, and I'm yawning, so I think maybe I won't type any tonight, even though the next episode is one I like, and I'll go up to the north end, read a bit, and try to get to bed early. It's a dark, snowy night in the field, and November is over.


November 29

I went up to the north end early and read off the end of the story, and I was in bed by 10:30. It took me a little while to get to sleep, since I hadn't been up that long, but once I got to sleep, I did well, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I knitted and petted a cat for a while.


I ate breakfast late, because I decided I wanted pancakes this morning, and that means waiting until the sausages are defrosted and the coffee is done. It was good, though. Unfortunately, I seemed to be hungry all day. Darn. Not that I want to be sick, but I don't want to gain that weight back!


I am still tired and sore, but I accomplished quite a bit today. I washed three loads of clothes, and the last one is in the dryer now. I have two more to do, but that's for tomorrow. And I washed up the pots and pans that were in the sink and put the rest of the stuff in the dishwasher. There are still pots and pans to do, because I didn't do my pans from this morning, and there was one pot on the stove that I forgot about, but things do look a bit better in the kitchen. Not a lot, because the stuff is still on the counter, but better.


It was a dark and cloudy day. Between 12:00 and 1:30, we had a snow shower that left some snow on the ground, but the temperature went up a bit afterwards, and it is all gone now. The temperature hit a low of 35 during the snow, but it has gone back up to 38 now. It was rather windy, in the 15-25 mph range from the north to northeast. It was a very dark and gloomy day.


I guess I haven't been reporting it lately, but our days are down to 8 hours now. The sun is setting at just after 5:00, which means it's getting gloomy by 4:30, and it doesn't rise until about 8:15. The days are still getting shorter, but at a much slower rate as we approach the solstice. For the next two months it is going to be really dark.


I was glad to see the snow, and they are forecasting some for every day this week, I think. I hope so. It's past time when we should have snow on the ground, and it's time it cooled off, too. This has certainly been a weird year, weatherwise.


So that was a quiet day, and it was nice to know I accomplished a few things. Now I will toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed early again. It's a dark night in the field.


November 28

I didn't think I worked that hard, but I'm still tired and sore. My back is really bad.


I went up to the north end early last night, and I read for quite a while and got to bed right around 11:15. I slept well, thank you. I woke up around 9:00 to pee (I'd been up before), and I just decided to go back to sleep, so it was 10:45 before I got up for good. I knitted and petted a cat and wrote down the instructions for the sock on #1 needles.


While I was still in the bathroom, the motel called and I explained what I think happened, and the owner immediately agreed to refund the charge on my credit card. I thought those people were pretty honest, and that seems to be the case. It's a relief - I need to be able to stay there when I go to Detroit.


The only other thing I did was to fill the bird feeders. Those greedy squirrels had eaten absolutely everything, including all the suet cakes, so I filled the feeders and took the pail out to the breezeway, but I didn't fill it yet. One reason I knew I had to fill the feeders was that there were blue jays out there screaming at me and going "thump!" on the deck, just to let me know there wasn't much to eat. When I took the feeders in, the chickadees started calling, and as soon as I put them back out, the relays were coming to the tube feeder.


So it was a truncated day.


The weather was nondescript again. It was cloudy for most of the day, with a couple of rays of sunshine early in the morning and late in the afternoon. When I was hanging up the feeders, there was almost a little blue sky and a ray of sunshine, but it was cloudy again by sunset. The temperature got almost up to 40 for a while this afternoon, and there was almost no wind. Not bad, but sort of boring. Overnight, while it was cloudy, the clouds weren't as thick as they were the night before, and with the waxing gibbous moon in the sky, it was nice and light.


So that's all I have to report, and I think I will repeat last night and read some more and try to get another good night's sleep. It's a cloudy, calm night in the field.


November 27

I'm still tired and sore.


I think I got to bed about 1:00, and I slept well, although I had to hide my head to keep my nose warm. I let the temperature get quite cool in the bedroom at night, and sometimes that means my nose gets cold. I was up a couple of times, and I have to report that unfortunately all the antibiotics didn't work. I'm not sick, but the diarrhea is back. Damn.


I got up around 9:30, I think, and I petted a very purry cat and knitted for a while. I was so creaky all day that I didn't do anything at all. Maybe tomorrow will be better. The kitchen is a disaster, as you might expect.


I had leftovers for dinner tonight, and as usual, I enjoyed everything a lot more than I did yesterday. Buster enjoyed them, too. However, as I was munching on my turkey, I felt something hard, and after I spit it out, I discovered that I have cracked another tooth. This is an outside face of the upper one just behind the incisor. So far it doesn't feel sore, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it, since my next appointment with the dentist isn't until April. It does mean two trips to Detroit, which is a pain and a half, but I'd rather that dentist did the crown. So we'll see. Damn. If it's not one thing, it's another.


The weather was nothing to pay attention to. It was dark and cloudy, but the wind has died down completely. The temperature was 34 until 3:00 this afternoon, when it went down to 33. It's supposed to get rather cool tonight, but we'll see about that, too. No snow yet, at least not here.


So that was my nothing day, and I am going up to the north end soon and try to sleep long and hard. It's a dark, cold night in the field.


November 26 - Thanksgiving Day

Well, that turned out all right.


I was in bed before 11:00, and I slept well. I got up around 9:30, I think, and I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. I took my time about my surfing and all.


Eventually, I got at the tasks at hand. Before I did anything else, I had to scrub out the sink, so that it would be clean and sanitary when I put the turkey in it. Then I did the stuffing, which didn't turn out as good as usual, unfortunately. When I opened up the turkey, I discovered that there were two necks. What that means, I now realize, is that instead of a 14 lb turkey, I had about a 12 lb turkey. Grr. Anyway, I got it rinsed out, stuffed and in the oven by 1:00, so that task was done. 


When I raided the freezer, there wasn't any turkey stock, which I thought was the case, so I took my two necks and put them in a large pot of water, brought it to a boil, and let it simmer all afternoon. There was nearly a disaster, too, because I wasn't in the kitchen when the pot boiled, and it put out the burner. Fortunately, it apparently hadn't happened too long before I came in, because it didn't explode. Anyway, the result was almost two quarts of pretty tasty gravy. I will probably do that again.


The other tasks were to empty the wastebaskets, which were overflowing. When I took the bag in the breezeway out of its bag holder, the bags of sunflower seeds fell over, so I have to fix that tomorrow. 


There is still stuff in the car from Monday, and when I went out to find the stuffing and the cranberry sauce, I got to looking through all the bags that were out there, and I discovered two TV dinners that had gotten stuffed in a bag with some dishwasher soap. So I have to throw away two frozen dinners. I was extremely annoyed, because I requested that all the frozen stuff be put together. Grr.


Anyway, as soon as I get the stuff out of the car - it's mostly wine and JD now - I can take the trash to the dumpster. At this time of year, the dumpster is open all the time, so I can go whenever it's convenient, which is nice.


The turkey got done early, about 4:30, which would make sense if it is only a 12 lb bird, but it was annoying, since I knew Ron wouldn't be here until 6:00 or later. So what I did was to make the potatoes and the gravy and put the potatoes and stuffing in the oven with the squash to keep them warm. The turkey wasn't very warm, but it was good anyway.


Ron showed up around 6:00 and we ate around 6:30, just because it took me that long to get everything on the table. I didn't fuss. I used the regular china and the stainless flatware, but I'm sure it wouldn't make any difference to him. He liked the turkey and the squash and the salad. He is on a strange diet where he can't eat meat and starches at the same time, so he didn't have any potatoes or stuffing. And he brought apple crisp for dessert, and it was very good. 


So we had a good dinner, and then we talked for several hours, as we usually do. He is a nice man. He is beginning to have the usual teenage problems with his son Trevor, but Trevor is beginning to show small signs of turning out all right, too. He wants a job at Mariner (which he will get), which I was most interested to hear. 


After he left, I stuffed everything in the fridge, which is bulging at the seams now.


So I guess it was a pretty good Thanksgiving.


The weather was interesting. The temperature dropped down to about 35, where it stayed all afternoon, and the wind was from the north. When I got to the studio this morning, it was 26 mph with gusts to 37 mph. It stayed that strong until about 2:00, when it began dropping a little, and is now 17 mph with gusts to 27 mph. It apparently drizzled a little overnight, not enough to register in the rain gauge, and about the time I got to the studio, there were some snowflakes. There was a little snow on the deck when Ron got here, too, but only a few little snowballs. Down in Calumet, though, it looked like they got a couple of inches, and Ron said that up by the Mountain Lodge, there was snow on the ground. The lake was beginning to fuss when I went to bed last night, and it has been roaring all day long. It was dark and dull and yucky.


It was also not good for the arthritis. My back was bothering me all day, from all the standing, as were my ankles, and several times I had some serious twinges in my right knee. That surprised me, because my knees have been pretty good lately, but this is the weather for it.


So that was my day, and I'm tired. I think I will bravely forgo the bath tonight, even though I did a lot of sweating, and hope nobody sees me tomorrow. It's a cold, noisy night in the field.


November 25

When I got up to the north end, I started reading, and I read through the end of the story and almost began the one I am working on, so it was around 1:00 when I got to bed. I slept very well, and I got up around 9:45, then I finished the gusset on the sock and started the rest of the foot, as well as petting a cat.


I did gather up all the trash from the north end and I went to the post office, where a pile of catalogs and pleas for money had arrived, along with another kind of probiotic. Except to put away all the clean pots and pans, that was about all I did. I may do a few things before I call it a night, but basically it was a lost day again. Tomorrow will be busier.


The weather was yucky. It was foggy and drizzling when I got up, and that continued for most of the day. Sometimes the rain was light enough that it didn't register on the rain gauge, but if you were out in it, you knew. The temperature was steady at 44 again, and the winds were under 10 mph. Not nice. They keep saying it's going to snow tonight and tomorrow. We'll see about that.


I did pay a couple of bills. The other day, when I looked at my credit card on the bank's site, there was a charge for a night at the motel in Detroit for November 13. Of course, I wasn't there then, so I called the credit card company, and they said I should call the motel. So I did today, and the person said he would look at his records and call me back, but he never did. Right after I hung up with him, it occurred to me what happened. I made a reservation for (I thought) October 13, but when I got there, they had no record of it. It seems clear that they misunderstood and recorded it for November, and then when I didn't show up, they charged me. Well, I don't think I should pay for their misunderstanding. I'm sure I told them October. There's no use calling anybody now, with the holiday tomorrow, but I guess, unless I hear from them, I will be calling the credit card company. I hate to get into these things, but that's $70 I don't think I should have to pay. What a pain.


So that was my day, and now it's time to go get the dishwasher ready to run and maybe clean the stove a bit. It's another dark, dank but fairly warm night in the field.


November 24

I went up to the north end rather early last night, and I read for quite a while, so I got to bed about 11:00. I slept well. I think the first time I got up was almost 5 hours after I went to sleep, which is nearly unheard of. I got up around 9:30, because I had to take a pill and pee, and I could have gone back to sleep, but I decided not. 


I petted a cat and knitted, and I am nearly done with the gusset. I would be done with it, except that I screwed up the decreases and had to fiddle around. It still isn't right, but I wasn't going to fiddle anymore. At least they will end together, and I doubt anybody will look closely enough at it to see. I'm not submitting it to a juried show, after all. In the black it's hard to see anything, which is good, but it's part of my problem.


I didn't do very much, but I finally got the fridge sort of cleaned out. The veggie drawer was really gross, and a lot of stuff went down the disposer. Yuck. However, it's clean, and I have more room in my fridge than I did. I didn't get the trash out, but maybe tomorrow I can at least get it into the garage. Maybe.


My feet and ankles were still sore today, and I'm sure that is arthritis, since it's not the bottoms of my feet that are sore, so sitting was good.


It was another dull, gray day. The temperature was steady right around 45, and there was hardly any wind.


So that's all I have to report, and it's time for bed. I'm tired again. It's a dark, dank night in the field.


November 23

I am tired tonight.


I think it must have been about 11:30 when I got to bed. I did something instead of going up to the north end after I uploaded this, but I don't remember what it was. I slept well, but I woke up around 8:00 and only dozed until I got up at 9:00, so I didn't get my quota. 


I knitted and petted a cat for a while, then I did my morning surfing and sort of fiddled around. I had to go to town today, and before I left I had to get the birdseed out of the car, so it was probably 1:00 when I started out.


Thankfully, I took my knitting, because there was a real lineup at the hospital. So I gave my blood sample and went on to Houghton. Sometime after I got back from Detroit, they finally finished the work they were doing on Shelden Avenue over the summer, so all the detours are gone, and it's nice.


I did a lot of damage at Econo, as I knew I would, and I still forgot to get angel hair pasta. I think (I hope) I have enough for tetrazini, but I haven't checked yet. I got a nice 14 pound fresh turkey and the stuff to go with it, and they had beef short ribs, so I got those, too. I will freeze them, of course, but one of these days I will have a yummy dinner - one of my favorites. At least it looked like I got a lot of stuff for my money. I did have to stock up on TP, because the last couple of times I've shopped, they only had one package. There were a couple other things. I was surprised to find that they are only carrying Sunlight dishwasher detergent in a liquid form, which I'm not sure my dishwasher will use. So I had to get another kind, which we used to use, and which I hope will work. Anyway, I had a real carload when I was done.


I had to get gas, and I started for home right about 4:00. When I got here, I unloaded the cold stuff almost at once. The fridge is a disaster, because it needs cleaning out and I haven't done that yet. Tomorrow for sure, I have to do that and get the trash out of here.


Anyway, I will eat well for a while. I am hoping this time to put the tetrazini in two pans, and maybe freeze one without cooking it. That should make it more manageable, and maybe, just maybe, it won't run all over the oven. I was going to do that the last time I made it, and I just didn't. Of course, getting the pan down to the freezer in the basement will be, um, interesting, but maybe I can cope.


It was a nondescript day. The temperature was about 46 with not much wind from the southwest until the middle of the afternoon, when it picked up to the 10-20 mph range for a while before it dropped off. It was cloudy all day, although there was a little weak sunshine for a while this afternoon. It apparently cleared up after sunset, because the crescent moon was shining in the window very nicely for a while.


I must report that the dead bird was gone this morning. Some critter got an easy dinner last night, for which I thank it, that I didn't have to dispose of the body. I wonder if it was the same something that has been pushing the deck feeder across the deck during the night? I bet Jasmine knows, if only she could speak to me.


The drive down US-41 is very dull these days, although the carpet of leaves in the woods is copper colored. Mostly it's dark green and gray and dull, though. The tamaracks are all bare, and only a few oaks still have some leaves still attached. It will be much prettier when it snows.


One nice thing, except for at the hospital, it was really dead around here. There was an amazing lack of traffic all over. There was a burst of people at Econo, all of whom checked out before I did. 


There was one Amish lady (you can tell - they wear calico dresses and they wear little organdy caps over their hair) who had the most amazingly full cart I think I have ever seen, and it all seemed to be food. And she wasn't done shopping. I'm sorry I didn't get to see what her total was...it has to have been at least $500. I didn't stare much, but it seemed like most of the stuff needed to be cooked, although there were half a dozen frozen pizzas. I'm not quite sure where our Amish community is, except that it's south of Houghton someplace, but clearly even they eat frozen pizza. And she was getting something at the hot food counter in the deli. These must not be old-school Amish. I'd like to know more about them, just to satisfy my curiosity.


So that was my day, and I can't just sit around tomorrow and Wednesday, so I think I will go up to the north end early tonight and maybe read a bit before I go to bed early. It's a quiet, apparently clear night in the field.


November 22

I don't remember exactly what I did last night, but I got to bed shortly after 10:00, which was good. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. The sky was fairly clear all night long, and about 6 am, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of bright stars over in the west, so I put on my glasses, and there was Orion, hanging over the Mountain Lodge in all his glory. Every time I see it like that, I am surprised by what a huge constellation it is. I could also see Taurus, with the Hyades and Aldebaran. It was really clear right then.


By the time I got up, around 9:00, it had clouded up, and it was cloudy all day. I petted a cat for a bit and knitted. I finished turning the heel on the black sock and started the gusset.


I decided I wanted bacon for breakfast. It has been forever since I've had any, and I like bacon. I had to wait a while for my bacon to thaw a bit before I could hack off three pieces, but it was worth the wait. I am glad to find that bacon freezes better for long periods than pork sausage does. It actually tasted quite fresh, only a little saltier than I remember. Probably if I'd rinsed it, it would have been better, and when I want some more, I will have to try that. I can't tell you how old that bacon is, but it's very old. It is West Virginia Thick Cut bacon, and it's been a very long time since I've seen it anywhere. I don't know if the West Virginia company has been swallowed up by a bigger company or it went out of business. Whatever, it's too bad, because both their bacon and their hams are about the best I've ever eaten. Not that I eat much ham anymore, either...in fact I never did. I don't normally eat ham for dinner...although when I was a kid we use to have ham and scalloped potatoes occasionally, and that was yummy.


I ended up not doing anything, because about the time I was going to do something about the fridge, my neighbor Sandi called to say they won't be here for Thanksgiving, and we had a nice, and very long, conversation. She is such a nice person! I didn't see her over the summer, because they came late, left early, and were overrun by visitors for the time they were here...and of course, I was sick.


While I was talking to her, the female downy woodpecker hit the upper window of the great room and killed herself. I feel just sick about it. I've enjoyed those downys a lot, and now there will only be one. A while later, the male was eating out of the suet cake, not far from where the dead one was on the deck, like there was nothing wrong. I don't guess the woodpeckers have quite such strong mate bonding as some of the other birds do. The body is still on the deck. I decided that instead of going out after it tonight, I will wait until tomorrow and see if it is still there. When she hit the deck, there was a squirrel in the feeder, and it ran over and ran around her, as though it knew what had happened. Nature is hard. I'm sorry it was my window, but there isn't a lot I can do about it. I know there are decals you can get that are supposed to help, but that window is at least 10 feet off the floor at the sill, and there is no way I could get up to it, even if I had an extension ladder. So every so often there is a casualty.


I got a Schwan's delivery today. My delivery man decided he wanted next weekend off, for which I don't blame him. I ended up with a huge order, between things I needed and things I wanted to try. So I had a very nice dinner tonight - beef short ribs and mashed potatoes. The short ribs are very nice, if not quite like the ones I cook myself (note to self - look for them tomorrow). They are not over-seasoned, like a couple other beef things were. The mashed potatoes come in nuggets, which is neat, and they cook in about 4 minutes for one serving. They are really good, although they are too salty. The flavor is really yummy. So that turned out well. Poor Buster wanted some, but he can't have beef, so he finally went away with a thud.


The weather was amazing again. It was mostly cloudy all day, but the temperature got up to 51, with a south wind in the 10-20 mph range. There was a very short shower in the middle of the afternoon, not enough to register in the rain gauge. There was a little ray of sunshine right before sunset, not much, and when it got dark, the clouds parted for a few minutes and the crescent moon was shining down on us. We are supposed to start cooling down about Tuesday, and they are calling for snow on Wednesday and Thursday. It's not nice to have it on the holiday, but it certainly is about time. After all, a week from tomorrow is the end of November, for heaven's sake! It would be truly amazing  if we got through November with no snow at all. By the way, our average high temperature at this time of year is 35, so we are setting new records almost every day.


So that was a lost day, if a nice one, and in a while I will be going up to the north end, where I will probably read a while. It's a warm, cloudy night in the field.


November 21

After I uploaded this, I started reading the Language Log, which I haven't done for quite a while, and it interested me so much that it was a bit after midnight before I got to bed. One warning, if you look at the site: some of the discussions get pretty technical and hard to understand. I am a fan of Geoff Nunberg, who does commentary on language for Fresh Air and has written several very readable books on language usage, and he contributes to Language Log, too. There were several interesting discussions lately, so I had to read all of them, as well as all the comments. The site is probably really for linguists and philosophers, but some of the insights are interesting, at least to me. It tickles me that they frequently post comics that I read and comment on the issues they raise.


Anyway, I got to bed late, but I got up around 9:00, in time to take my morning pill. I knitted and petted a cat for a while. I am working on the heel of the black sock, but it's not done yet.


Otherwise I didn't do much at all again. Even though I slept pretty well, I didn't feel very energetic. I went to the post office, where there was a boatload of pleas for money, and I stopped at the store for eggs and milk, and they had dry ginger ale in cans. Now I can soothe my tummy when It's upset.


 Once a year I indulge in a little real homogenized milk for my mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, and then I use the rest for my French toast and cereal. Mostly I drink skim milk, and the homogenized always tastes more like cream to me, but it's good. Then I got to thinking that I grew up in the days before homogenized milk, when the milkman delivered the milk to the milk chute in glass bottles, with the cream all at the top, and you had to shake it hard to get it all mixed up. Oh, how times have changed! But in those days, if you left the milk out overnight, it soured, and it made wonderful pancakes...or at least my dad made wonderful pancakes with it. It all came in quarts, too, and delivery was at least three times a week, so there was always fresh milk around, although in the summer, my mother had to grab it out of the chute and stick it in the fridge immediately so it would stay fresh. My goodness, how times have changed!


It was another warm, calm day. When I got up this morning, there was frost all over everything and some fog on the surface of the lake. The temperature got down to 30 at 8 am. All that went away fast, because by noon, it was 46 and it topped out at 47. There was almost no wind. 


The skies were clear last night, but it didn't seem to me that the stars were very bright - I only saw them a couple of times - but it was very humid, and that affects seeing. It was mostly clear today, but it seemed like there was a faint haze over the sky all day, so it wasn't as blue as it has been, and there were some clouds in the west at sunset. However, it was clear enough that the little crescent moon was shining in the south windows for a couple of hours, very bright and clear.


I filled the bird feeders this afternoon, and when I put the tube feeder back out, I could hear the chickadees spreading the word all the way over to my neighbor's yard - chick-a-dee-dee-dee. Geez, guys, you don't have to tell the whole world about it!


So that was another quiet, lost day, and I'll be off to the north end shortly, in time to take my pill at the right time. It's a calm, warm night in the field.


November 20

I read for a while last night, and I got to bed around 9:45. Again, I slept well for about 3 hours, and the rest of the night wasn't very good. I was up any number of times, and that left me with a sore bottom. It was warm in the bedroom, and I had a problem getting the temperature right. I had to get up around 7:30, and that was much too early, but I couldn't get back to sleep, and about 8:15, I realized I had to walk, so I got up. That made for a very long day, with which I did nothing at all.


My bottom was too sore to knit, and the cat was on the bathmat and didn't seem like he wanted to sit on me, so I got dressed and got breakfast.


It was a very dark, dank day, and I really should have turned on lights in the kitchen while I was making my breakfast, but I didn't. I have gotten so used to not using lights in the morning that when I should, I don't.


Eventually, it got lighter, but not a lot. It was a warm, damp day. It rained from about 8:00 last night until midnight, and the humidity was so high that the deck and the inside of the porch were still wet this morning. The temperature was 45 when I got to the office - it was about that all night - and it eventually got up to 49, briefly, around noon. It lightened up for a very weak ray of sunshine, but most of the day was cloudy and dull. There was almost no wind all day. Not exactly what you'd expect for the third week of November.


It looks like around Thanksgiving we may be finally getting more seasonal weather, with lower temperatures that may mean snow rather than rain.  Much as I've enjoyed this, it's time for winter to come. Do you hear me Heikki Lunta?


And that is all I have to report. It's a dark, damp and calm night in the field.


November 19

I went up to the north end early, and I read for a little while, but my bottom wasn't comfortable, so I was in bed by 9:45. I slept for about 3 hours, but after that, it wasn't a very good night. I didn't really get back into a deep sleep until after 5:00 this morning. 


Then the electrician called at 8:30 to say they will be here sometime next week to service my generator. There isn't anything wrong with it, that I know about, but it has been acting a bit strange lately, and besides it's supposed to be checked over and have its oil changed every year.


I tried to go back to sleep after that, but there was a black cat almost sitting on my head, and my right hip and knee hurt, so I got up around 9:00.


There were stars overnight, although not as bright as on the previous two nights, but by the time I got up, it was cloudy, and it turned into a very dull, cloudy day. It was warm again - it got up to 46 for a couple of hours around noon - and there was no wind at all. It was so dark it was hard to do anything much, and it drizzled for a good part of the afternoon. Well, I guess it was more than a drizzle - we got 0.14" of rain after 1:00. Anyway, it wasn't nice out. We have been setting record highs all this week. The average high for this time of year is 36, and it's been in the middle 40s for quite a while.  I keep thinking we're going to pay for this...or I hope we do. The livelihood of the town depends upon snow.


I filled the pail with sunflower seeds, but I didn't go out on the deck. And I spent about 45 minutes with somebody at Schwan's, telling him all my troubles with their website. I do need a few things, so I had to create an order and place it by phone, but the person I talked to showed me a way I could get it in online. He also said they are going to be doing another change in the next week or so, and maybe that will solve my problems. It got so bad that IE hung the entire system and I had to reboot.


That took most of the afternoon. I was going to put the pots and pans away while my dinner was in the microwave, but I discovered that I had done a terrible job of trying to wash them, so I had to do it over again, and most of them are still on the counter. I did put the dishes that were in the sink in the dishwasher, so maybe, if I feel OK tomorrow, I can get at the veggie drawer, which I am not looking forward to.


I started on my last seven days of the vancomycin this morning, and I hope to feel better by tomorrow. I actually don't feel all that bad today, although I do feel like maybe I didn't get enough sleep.


I don't know what the problem was last night, but my mind was spinning. I suppose it has something to do with the talk I had with my financial advisor. Maybe I can stay up later tonight. I have been trying to sleep for a very long time lately, and I imagine that is partly my problem, too. And of course, there was so much sun yesterday that the bedroom was warmer than I like it (and I am not going to open a window in the middle of November - I use enough propane as it is!). I had a little upset in my lower abdomen that left me with a sort of crampy feeling, not too bad, but enough to keep me awake. I guess I've said before that unless I am extremely tired, everything has to be just so before I can sleep. Add to that the arthritis pain in my shoulders, hips and knees - the humidity was quite high - and I guess I can see why I didn't have a good night. Maybe better tonight.


Now it's a dark, dank night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end again.


November 18

Last night wasn't quite so good, although I did get enough sleep. I typed for a short while before I went up to the north end, but I couldn't read for long because my bottom was getting sore again, so I was in bed by 9:45. It took me a while to get to sleep, and after the first time I got up, shortly before 1:00, I had a hard time getting back to sleep. I think the problem was, besides that I had too much sleep the night before, that it was warm in the bedroom, so I had a hard time getting the temperature right. I did get to look at the stars a lot, and they were nice. It was a very clear night. I watched Vega and Deneb setting, and I think I saw Arcturus rising in the northeast, through the trees. I got up a bit before 9:00, and I petted a cat and started the heel on the black sock. 


It was a beautifully clear, calm morning, and while there was a lot of frost, even though the official temperature never got below 34 , it went away fast. The skies were clear and lovely all day, and the temperature briefly got up to 48 around 2:00. There was almost no wind. Really, really nice. I can't help but think we're going to pay. It apparently has clouded over, and it may rain a bit tomorrow, before it clears up again.


I was delighted to find that my very favorite photo - the one of the red sunset - finally made it as an EPOD (the Earth Sciences Picture of the Day). I submitted it shortly after I took it, on 10/4/08, but they revamped their website earlier this year and they lost it. The editor seems to really like it, and we had quite a long e-conversation, during which he suggested they would like to print one of my snow pictures...so I sent them one. I don't think it's one of my better shots, since I took it out the window of the car, but after seeing some of the other pictures they've published, I think it will do. They have instituted a rating system, and the sunset has gotten a rating of 4.54 out of 5, which is the highest rating I've seen, so it seems clear that some other people like it, too. I have had that one as my wallpaper almost since I took it, with a short hiatus when I had another of my favorites - the clouds one - but I keep going back to my sunset. As I think I said at the time, I have never, ever seen color like that - it was a unique experience in my life. I'm only so glad I was able to capture it in pixels.


Then I got a call from my financial advisor - such a nice man! - and we had a long conversation. He wants to do a projection of how my little IRA will last, so I had to give him the figures so far this year. I seem to have done rather well at reining in the spending, better than I'd thought. And he told me that what's left of the IRA has done quite well in the stock market run-up, which was a relief. I wouldn't let him tell me what the bottom line is. I just don't want to know that. 


While my dinner was preparing, I unloaded the dishwasher (wonder of wonders), but I didn't get the pots and pans put away, so I still have to do that. Things are better in the kitchen, though, and if I can put the dishes in the dishwasher soon after I use them, it will be much better. There are still a lot of outstanding things to do, but I can only do so much in a day. 


I feel OK, not as good as I did yesterday (I think that was just reaction), but I start the antibiotics again tomorrow, and that may help. 


So now I will toddle up to the north end and see how my bottom feels. If it's OK, I may read or knit for a while, but I expect to be in bed early again. It is still warm in the house, but maybe I can adjust the covers better than I did last night.


I might have been able to see the very thin crescent moon tonight, but it only set an hour after sunset, and it would have been a very thin sliver anyway. Tomorrow it's supposed to be cloudy, so it will be Friday at the earliest before I can see it. It's an overcast evening in the field, and I don't think there will be any stars tonight.


November 17

What a refreshing night! And what a much better day! I think I was in bed not long after 9:00. The first time I woke up was around 12:45, and i was up only two more times all night. That meant I got a lot of quality sleep time. I did wake up with fairly fierce night sweats, but that only means that all is not well in my insides, and I knew that. Anyway, I got up around 8:45, and I felt much refreshed. My temperature was normal, too. Whew! Of course, I had an accident before breakfast, but all that means is that all is not well in my insides, and I knew that. It is back to pre-antibiotic normal, though, and my bottom has healed up a bit.


I petted a cat and knitted on the black sock, although I didn't quite get to the heel. I have only a couple more rows to do, though.


It was a truly beautiful morning, clear and calm, with a little fog on the surface of the water at the far end of the harbor. There was frost on the roof of the breezeway, in the shade, and the frost on the access covers of the septic tank lasted for several hours. That was because the temperature was about 31 for a couple of hours right before sunrise. The temperature shot up to 43 in two hours, and it topped out at 46 for a couple of hours around noon. There was almost no wind, from the southwest. Just lovely! I went to the post office, because I had to mail a bill, and it wasn't exactly balmy outside, but it was nice, and it was sooo pretty!


Even though I felt much better than I have lately, I didn't do a whole lot. I washed two pairs of jeans. While my dinner was cooking, I got rid of all the trash in the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, and washed up all the dirty pots and pans. So things look much better in the kitchen, or they will when I get the pots and pans put away. Then I can start on the counters. Things can get disastrous very quickly when I'm not feeling well. I still have a lot to do, including dealing with the stuff that died in my veggie drawer in the fridge, but at least I've been able to make a start!


I called the doctor today, and they duly noted that I'm not taking my potassium anymore, but I can wait until Monday to get my blood checked. I will be out of OJ by then anyway, and it will be time to lay in my supplies for Thanksgiving, so it will work out well.


Now I am going up to the north end early again, and maybe I will read and start my heel. I may not go to bed quite as early tonight, but I will take any quality sleep time I can get. Isn't it amazing how much better my mood is when I've had enough sleep!


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


November 16

I went up to the north end right after I uploaded this last night, and even though my temperature had come down to almost reasonable levels, I didn't feel good, so I took a nice shower and went to bed. I think I was in bed not long after 9:00. It was another one of those nights, up every two hours or so, and I have a very sore bottom, but I did sleep in between.


Buster is worried about me, and he spent a good part of the night curled up on the side of the bed toward the front of the house.


It was a pretty clear night. There were stars, and when I looked out - without any glasses, of course - the sky looked very high and far away, so it wasn't exceptionally clear. On the few exceptional nights, it seems like the stars are right over the house. But it was nice to see them, and it must have been pretty clear, because a couple of times I noticed stars skimming just below the top of the bedroom windows, and considering what was in the sky at that time, they couldn't have been brighter than second magnitude.


I got up, rather unwillingly, around 9:00, and I couldn't pet the cat or knit because of my bottom. I guess all I did was fill a couple of bird feeders. I should have gotten the dishwasher ready to run, but I didn't. My excuse is that my bottom is too sore.  I'm OK when I'm sitting down in the right place, but getting up, standing and walking are all difficult. Literally, what a pain.


The weather was nice for this time of year. John Dee says the jet stream is way north of us, and I figured that, or we wouldn't be having temps in the 40s and clear skies. The temperature was in the lower 40s all day, and there wasn't much wind. It was cloudy when I got up this morning, but eventually the clouds went away, and the afternoon was clear and lovely. It was nice when I went out to get the feeders.


That was funny. I am having trouble bending over because of the pain, and while I was trying to get the feeder off the deck, there were three or four chickadees in the tube feeder. When I put it back out, there was a guy in the tree who gave his call - chick-a-dee-dee-dee - and by the time I got back into the house, they were back in the feeder. You can't tell me they don't know what is the source of all good things!


I did finish my book on 18th century embroidery, which was very interesting. In those days, there were professional embroiders, many of them men, and the moneyed classes had the most elaborately embroidered clothes, including the men.  Some of the things are very beautiful, but some of them must have been awfully garish when they were new. They used a lot of gold thread and sequins, and most court costumes were silk, embroidered with silk and gold or silver. Women's clothes were put together in pieces - a bodice, a petticoat, an over-robe, and so on, and everything was either pinned together or connected by hooks and eyes or tapes. I can imagine how easy it was to get stuck by all those pins, since safety pins weren't invented until sometime in the late 19th century.


in the late 18th century, very light dresses came into fashion, made of thin muslin, and I've read from other sources that in places like England, where it does get cold in the winter, ladies froze and they often got serious or terminal colds, flu (before they knew what flu was) and pneumonia. While I still subscribe to Vogue Pattern Magazine, I am so happy I don't have to worry about the vagaries of fashion anymore! Most of that stuff is so ridiculous, and I always thought so.


Then I read part of another magazine - I am really behind in my magazine reading. 


So that was my useless day, and I'll be off to the north end right after I upload this. My temperature is still down, I think, but I still don't feel very well, and the best thing I know to do about that is go to bed. It's a clear, nearly calm night in the field, and there will be stars.


November 15

Last night, I went up to the north end not long after I uploaded this thing, with the idea of doing some reading. Well, my bottom was too sore to sit in the bathroom, so I got in bed, and my  bottom was too sore to sit there for very long, so I turned out the light by 9:30. Well.


I went to sleep pretty fast, but I woke up around midnight, with a need to visit the bathroom, and that was the beginning. There were several hours when I just couldn't sleep, so I actually got up and read a bit, except that I was yawning too much. When I did finally get to sleep, I was up every 2 hours or so. I finally got up around 9:00, although I didn't want to, and I couldn't sit long enough to knit. 


I took my temperature and it was 99.5. That may not be very high for some people, but my rest temperature is at most 97.6, and it used to be 96.8, so for me that's a fever, especially first thing in the morning. It's not as bad as it was the last time, at least not yet, but still, I don't feel good. I couldn't eat much breakfast. I did get hungry this afternoon, but I couldn't figure anything to eat. I finally had a TV dinner, and that has helped, but I don't feel good. I will be going up to the north end soon. I didn't get dressed today, but I need a bath.


This is getting old, fast. The ironic thing is, before I found out what ails me, although I had diarrhea and an occasional accident, I didn't have the problems I've been having since we started trying to cure it. Sometimes the treatment is worse than the disease. Don't get me wrong, I want to get over it, it's just that doing it is hard.


The weather was interesting. About the time i went up to the north end last night, the wind started to blow out of the north, and it blew hard all night long. We had 44 mph gusts around 9:00 this morning. The temperature hung right around 40. It was cloudy until about 12:30, when it started to clear up.


The real problem of the day was the power failure we had just after 9:30 that lasted until noon. So I read a book. I now know all about wool yarn. The generator did its thing, but of course we had no connectivity, since the Mountain Lodge was down. I don't know how far down the peninsula the failure went. I finally turned off the wall switch for the computer, when the power started bouncing up and down. That's not good for any electronics.  I didn't turn it back on until the generator kicked in (it takes 60 to 90 seconds), and everything seems to be OK.


The evening was lovely, with not a cloud in the sky and almost no wind. I didn't go out, needless to say.


So it's a nearly calm, clear night in the field, with no moon (it's new tomorrow), and it's time to totter up to the north end again and hope to sleep a little better tonight.


November 14

More typing and I did it for so long that I didn't read when I got up to the north end, and I got to bed about 11:45. I was up several times during the night, and i got up around 8:45, because I had to walk again. I noticed when I was awake during the night that it seemed foggy down the harbor, and it was still that way this morning. It was another dull, gray day, so I petted a cat and knitted.


It was a calm, gray, warmish day, with no wind, and a temperature that stayed between 45 and 48 all day. It was very dark and cloudy and foggy all day long. Overnight, we had some rain, but not a whole lot.


It was so gray that I really couldn't do much without turning on lights, so I didn't do much. I sat in the ugly chair for a while and mostly watched the birds, of which there were a lot. I am happy to say that I now have a pair of white-breasted nuthatches coming to the feeding station. They don't like the feeders (at least not yet), but they do like the seeds on the deck. They are even more skittish than the red-breasted nuthatches. They are pretty birds, and I am so glad they are coming! I had the usual flock of chickadees, and at least one pair of red-breasted nuthatches. Mrs. Downy came to eat the suet cake, and there were any number of jays, as well as a couple of very chubby squirrels. One of them sat itself down in the middle of the feeder on the deck and chowed down as fast as it could pick up the seeds. Its little arms were so fat they blended in with its body. I know they have grown their winter coats - very nice ones, at that - but this guy was fat. I guess I'm feeding them well.


I also saw, for the first time, a squirrel chasing jays. Mostly they just look at the jays and they fly off, but this guy, who wasn't quite as fat, kept running after them and chasing them off the deck. All I can figure is he had a bad experience with jays over the summer and he really doesn't like them.


This morning, I didn't take the potassium pill, and my tummy was fine all day. I may break down and take one tomorrow and try some antacids to see if that works (although I don't think it does), but I guess I'm going to have to call the doctor on Monday and consult. I don't see taking something that leaves me sick to my stomach all the time. It may be good for the weight, but it isn't good for me.


So that was another quiet day, and it's a dark, dank but relatively warm night in the field. It got dark earlier than usual tonight.


November 13

Again I typed, but I only did about 3,000 words before I went up to the north end, and I read for a while. I got to bed around 11:30, I think. I did sleep well, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 9:00. I petted a cat and knitted, and I started the leg of the second lace sock (only two rows, though). I felt much better this morning, and in thinking about it, I'm afraid my potassium supplement is upsetting my stomach. 


In the middle of the afternoon today, I started feeling bad again, so I had a bottle of ginger beer (good stuff - nonalcoholic, with a strong ginger taste), and that helped a lot. I think ginger beer because one of the old-time remedies for an upset stomach was always ginger ale, which is surprisingly hard to find these days. I can get Vernors, my old standby from Detroit (you have to be a Michigander or you think it's gross), but dry ginger ale always worked better, and that's hard to find around here. I would want it in cans or small bottles, because I don't need a lot, and I don't need it often, and that's hard. I will have to check it out when I go shopping next. I'm almost out of Vernors, too.


By the way, Vernors was the basis for the original ginger ale float, which is ginger ale and ice cream, and it is a wonderful combination. My grandmother was addicted to it for a long time in the late '40s and early '50s. Yum.


I went to the post office, where my last probiotic finally came, as well as a ton of catalogs and pleas for money, two bills and two magazines.


The weather wasn't very nice. It was warm - around 50 for most of the day - with a breeze from the southwest that finally went away completely by 3:00. It was very dark and cloudy, and around 2;00 the sky threw a handful of big droplets of rain at us, but that was all. However, it was so dark that my headlights came on while I was driving to and from the post office, and when I got home, it got so dark, it looked like the sun had already set, and it was only about 3:30 at the time. There may have been a little rain after sunset, but I didn't check.


I finally got the pail filled and refilled the bird feeders, after a jay sat in the feeder tree and yelled at me. The chickadees and the squirrels were back almost at once, as well as the jays, but not in large numbers. The chickadees come one at a time. There is a dead branch about two feet from the tube feeder (the one the bear broke off a year or so ago), and they first light on the end of that, then they fly into the feeder, grab their seed and fly off, while the next one is waiting on the branch to do the same thing. They are such cute little birds!


So that was a quiet day, and I will type again for a while before I go up to the north end and read. It's a dark, dank, cloudy night in the field.


November 12

I typed for a while again, but I didn't get back to where I was when I lost everything. I got to bed just before midnight, and while I slept well for a while, I had a wakeful period in the middle of the night, when I just could not get comfortable. I got up around 9:00, and petted a cat and knitted a while.


I just do not feel good, and I am not hungry. I ate a little breakfast this morning, but I couldn't finish it all, and I did nothing for the rest of the day. My tummy is unsettled and I'm sort of headachy and blah. I'm afraid I'm getting dehydrated again, so I will have to try to attend to that.


The weather was nothing great, although it was rather warm. The temperature got up to 50 for most of the afternoon, with a rather strong wind - 10-35 mph from the south. I still think there should be a better way to report the wind when the minimum hardly ever happens. It was dark and cloudy all day.


Now I will type some more. I cut my fingernails last night, and typing is easier, although not more accurate. I am eating dinner, slowly, and Buster is quite frustrated, because I'm having a stuffed chicken breast and he wants some. I am just having to fill the tummy very, very slowly.


Now it's a cloudy, warm night in the field, and maybe I can get to bed a little earlier tonight.


November 11 - Remember

I typed for quite a while after I uploaded this last night, and I just discovered that I've lost everything I typed. And no, there isn't a backup file. Apparently I clicked "NO" again. I am going to have to train myself to use the enter key rather than the mouse for both Word and FrontPage. I liked the episode, but I really didn't want to type it over.


Anyway, I was rather late going up to the north end, and I think I got to bed about midnight. For some reason I had indigestion and some reflux overnight. While I was sitting there, I realized that I probably goofed again. I have been taking a probiotic that says it is for constipation. Oops. Not what I need, for sure! Anyway, I slept fairly well, and I got up around 9:30. There were stars overnight, and the moon isn't very bright anymore, but by the time I got up, it was cloudy.


I petted a cat, finished the first lace sock, and cast on the second one. That was it for the day. I didn't feel very robust, so I sat. I have been trying to place a Schwan's order again, and their website is still totally screwed up. Now it causes IE to abend every time I try to load any page except for the homepage or the login page. So I had some conversation with them about that. I have eaten the things from them that I eat most often - TV dinners and breakfast food - and I need some more.


The weather wasn't much to talk about. The temperature did get up to 50 for a few hours this afternoon, and there was a wind in the 10=20 mph range from the southwest. IT was bright cloudy all day, although it is getting dark so early that sometimes it seemed like it was dark cloudy.


We have only 9 hours of sunlight these days, and the sun set about 5:20 this evening - earlier here because of the hills. That's not a lot. It is setting way south of the camera picture, although I did aim the camera a little more to the north a few days ago, just for a change. I really should move it back so that we can watch the thistle feeder, but I haven't yet.


I should have filled the feeders today, but I didn't. I didn't do anything else, either, although I do think I'll retype what I lost from last night.


It's a warmish (for November), cloudy, not very breezy night in the field.


November 10

I typed for a while before I went up to the north end, then i read for a while - the next episode out of the blue binder - and it was 11:30 before I was in bed. I slept fairly well, with a wakeful period in the middle of the night, and I didn't get up until about 10:00.  Then I petted a cat and started the toe of the lace sock, so it was nearly noon when I finally got to the studio.


I didn't get the bird feeders filled...in fact, I didn't do much except get the trash off the kitchen counters.


Amanda came around 4:00 and my hair is now much better, thank you. She evened off the bottom a bit and took a lot off the back, and it looks more like a hairdo now. She didn't do a lot,  but it looks much better now. Going from one hairstyle to another is always difficult. Now I have to wait until the rest of it grows out, then I can get it back to the way I wont it.


The weather was lovely again. It was clear all night and all day, and so blue and pretty. The temperature only got to about 46, not as warm as they were predicting, but the wind was around 10 mph from the north, and the little I  was out, it was nice.


Now I am tired again, but I think I will type a bit before I to up to the north end. It's a clear, cool night in the field.


November 9

After I uploaded this last night, I typed for a while, and I was still in bed by 11. I didn't sleep very well. It was raining when I went to bed, and while the NWS station didn't report very much rain, it was coming down hard when I turned out the light. I think it was a combination of the temperature in the bedroom and the humidity. My hips and shoulders hurt, and there was quite a while when I was warm and I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie.


I got up around 9, I think, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while. I had to check the sock by trying it on, and it looks like a couple more rows before I start the toe. Somehow, my socks have gotten rather long lately, so this pair will be a better length and won't bunch up so much in my shoes. It probably has something to do with my feet not being so swollen.


I did my morning surfing, then it was off to my massage. I hope that makes me feel better. It did right after I had it.


On the way home, I parked the car in the driveway and retrieved my bird feeder, but I didn't do anything about the others. They are nearly empty, but it was so windy that it wasn't worth the effort to fill the pail and refill them. Tomorrow.


I didn't do anything else for the rest of the day, except that I did a few rows on the bracelet during the talking on the radio, until the sun started shining in my eyes.


It was another lovely day. It was cloudy early this morning, but the clouds went away by about 10:00, and the rest of the day was wonderful, if windy. The temperature got up to 55 for several hours this afternoon, but there was a northwest wind with gusts up to nearly 30 mph. It was very gusty, and the NWS station was reporting sustained winds below 12 mph. I think there should be a better way to report the kind of winds we're having, where it gusting more than it is at the minimum wind speed. It was beautifully clear and blue, and it's supposed to be clear tonight, too. Before I turned on the lights, I looked out the south window and there was Jupiter shining brightly above the trees.


This is what Indian Summer is really all about, I think, and I'm enjoying every minute. It could be a little less windy, but I'm not about to complain. We are in for a couple more days of this clear, warm weather before it clouds up and starts raining Wednesday night. Lovely.


I felt for the little birds this afternoon. It was so windy that try as they  might, they couldn't get to the tube feeder. They would get close, and a gust of wind would blow them away. I had to chase the squirrels away. In fact, I had to go out onto the deck and bang on the tube feeder before the one in it would leave, then it sat on a branch in the tree and looked at me most accusingly. They eat too much.


This evening, I was listening to the radio and playing with the computer, and when I got up to turn on the lights, Jasmine jumped off the hearth. So now she is sitting there even when Buster isn't around. Of course, she doesn't want me to know she's there, but she seems to want to be around me. Slowly, slowly...


The doctor's office called this afternoon, and while my potassium was up a little (amazing, considering what I was doing last week), it is still low, so he wants more blood work in two weeks. I'm OK with that. After reading all the warnings and contraindications that came with the potassium supplement, I am willing to have my levels monitored closely...very closely. Too much potassium is asymptomatic, and it can cause cardiac arrest. Oh. I know it's coming up, because I didn't have the cramps in my hands that I had last week when I was trying to bead. Hand cramps and leg cramps are the two signs I know that my potassium is low.


On that front, everything has stabilized nicely, now that I am on the antibiotic again, and I'm not having such a problem remembering to take my pills that I was during the last cycle. All I hope is that I don't have quite such a violent reaction next week.


So now I will type a while, and I will be in bed early. I'm sleepy tonight. It's a clear, warmish evening in the field.


November 8

Oh, it's so nice to get three hours' uninterrupted sleep! I crawled into bed just after 8:30 last night, and it was at least three hours later that I woke up for the first time. I did have a wakeful period in the middle of the night, but then I got to sleeping again, and it was after 9:30 this morning when I got up. I feel much better today. Of course, I was up several times, but it was the normal kind of wakeups that I am used to...I have to pee and I have to move, since my shoulders and hips get pretty sore after a while, especially when I spend as much time in bed as I have lately. That I can handle.


I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed, and I had a slow breakfast, more like brunch, but I actually did a few things. I began to do something about the kitchen, and I unloaded and began to reload the dishwasher. I still have a lot of trash to get rid of, but it looks much better already.  I have a bunch of pots and pans soaking now, and I will do some more tomorrow.


It was a cooler day than yesterday, and there wasn't any sun, but it was OK. The temperature briefly got to 55, around noon, before it dropped back into the upper 40s. There was almost no wind today. I should have hunted up the bird feeder, but I didn't. I guess this is what you'd call our real Indian Summer, and it is supposed to be rather warm for the next few days. I won't mind. 


It was clear all night, but the moon rose around 11:00, so there weren't many stars. It didn't start to cloud up until around 10:00 this morning, but it got really dark in the middle of the afternoon. I guess there were some showers out in the lake, but it didn't rain here.


I have a pair of downy woodpeckers visiting the feeders regularly now, I'm glad to see. They love the suet cakes, but they were also getting seeds out of the tube feeder. The cedar feeder has been taken over by the squirrels, unfortunately, but the little birds managed anyway. I think when the goldfinches mob the tube feeder, the chickadees use the small white feeder that is so far back in the tree the camera can't see it. I haven't seen the nuthatches lately, but I hope they are using the white feeder, too. There has been what I think is a female evening grosbeak around, too, but she is a bit large to get into the tube feeder. And it's a real laugh to watch the jays. They manage, but they have to be contortionists to get the seeds out of the tube feeder. I need to fill the pail again, and I need to get that feeder that blew off the deck. I have another one, but I like to hold it for emergencies. I haven't worried about it yet, because the sunflower pail needs to be refilled.


So that was a quiet day, and while I don't think I will be as early as I was last night, I don't expect to be up very late tonight. It's a cloudy, warmish night in the field, and there isn't any wind. 


November 7

I read for a while last night, and I was in bed by 10:15. I didn't sleep well. I was up about every 2 hours, and I finally got up around 9:00 because i had the left-ear right-hip thing, and besides, Buster was practically sitting on my head. I knitted a while and petted him before I got dressed.


And that was all I did. My excuse is that I am finding that when I am very tired, as I am, I have a hard time seeing very much. Uh-huh.


The weather was astonishing, and I should at least have stuck my nose outside just to experience it, but I didn't even do that. We set a new record high by a long way. The temperature was 59 for most of the afternoon, under  beautifully clear skies. The only thing was, there were northwest winds in the 20-35 mph range all afternoon. There were lovely whitecaps on the harbor, and I'm sure it didn't feel as warm as it was outside.


It blew so hard that the deck feeder is now for sure someplace on the ground. The other day when I thought it had blown away, I found it upside down in the corner between the studio and the great room, but it isn't there now. There were only a few hardy and hungry little birds, and some very hungry squirrels in the cedar feeder. The goldfinches are still back, but only a few of them and a couple of very hungry chickadees came to the feeders. It was just too windy.


So that was my nothing day. It's a gloriously clear night in the field, but the moon is still too bright for there to be many stars.


November 6

I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and while there were numerous wakeups, I did manage to sleep better. I got up around 9:00, partly because Buster was bugging me, but my hips and shoulders were getting sore enough that I couldn't find a comfortable place to lie. I knitted and petted him for a while, and I folded the underwear and put it away...I had to do that, because the drawer was empty.


I took my time about doing my morning surfing, and I only ate the rest of my dinner, because I still wasn't very hungry, but eventually, about 12:30, I started off for town. I stopped at the post office, where I said hi to Phoebe and to Syd, whom I haven't seen for quite a while. They have been overwhelmed by company, which is now all gone, so I hope to see more of her. There was also a ton of mail, mostly catalogs, and my potassium and three of my probiotics. 


It turns out that the hospital has a blood draw station right beside the admitting area, so it didn't take me any time at all to get my blood drawn and the supplies for my next C. diff tests.


Then I went down to the feed store in Houghton, and laid in supplies for the birds, who have been eating me out of house and home. I took the occasion to really scope out Erickson Feed's new store, which I hadn't before, and it is really nice. They don't carry the mas-market brands of cat food, but they have a remarkable number of bird feeders and other pet supplies, as well as all kinds of birdseed and things like that. I not only got seed, I got suet cakes and a couple more woodpecker blocks. I should be good for quite a while now, I think, since not all the birds eat the suet.


I got home by 3:30. The birdseed is still in the car, of course, but my excuse is that the last time I filled the bucket, I spilled quite a bit on the floor in the breezeway, and I want to sweep before I bring in the bags. Uh-huh.


It was a lovely day to be out and about. It got partly cloudy by late morning. The temperature here got up to 48 briefly, and it was in the upper 40s for the entire afternoon - several degrees above normal for this time of year - with lots of sunshine. The only thing was, there was an extremely strong southwest wind, in the 25-40 mph range, and we had at least one gust of 43 mph. That is strong enough that I could feel it in the truck, and it's not a peasant feeling, on clear and dry roads, that you may be skidding off to the side. But it was warm enough that I wore the wrong jacket, and I got hot.


I am feeling much better, although right now I'm tired again. I was hungry for dinner, which is a good sign.  Certainly I've recovered faster than the last time I had a rebound of the C. diff. Maybe now I can begin to clean up some of the things that didn't get done this week.


So that was my day, and I can still hear the wind blowing, although it's really weird to have it from the southwest. Tomorrow is supposed to be really warm - upper 50s. We'll see. Now, it's another partly cloudy warmish evening in the field.


November 5

Well, slowly I think I'm coming out of it. I was in bed shortly after 9:00, but I was up every two hours or less again, so I didn't really get as much sleep as it sounds. I got up around 9:00, and my bottom was sore, so I only petted the cat a little bit and I didn't knit. I didn't get dressed, either. 


I finally made myself eat some cereal around 11:30, and around 2:00, I went back to bed. Again, I don't know that I slept much, but I didn't get up until 5:30. All the time I was in bed, Buster was sleeping on my robe, which had thrown on the end of the bed, and Jasmine was curled up on the other side. You can't tell me they don't know when I'm sick, and it worries them.


Buster seems to be OK. He ate overnight, and he ate a lot today, so whatever ailed him, if anything, is gone.


I am feeling some better, and I don't think I will have to get up as many times tonight. I started my vancomycin this morning, and I also took a small amount of Imodium. I know they say you shouldn't take Imodium when you have C. diff, but things were going through me so fast, I was afraid the vancomycin would, too. It seems to be working.


My tummy is still very rocky, and while I was hungry, I could only eat half of my TV dinner, much to Buster's disgust. He likes that one, and he likes to lick the dish, but there is enough for another small meal, so I didn't want to give it to him. I let him lick dishes I'm through with, but I don't let him lick things I am still eating. I actually think he probably has fewer nasty bacteria than I do, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I was also trying to push fluids, but it was hard with my tummy.


I got lots of time to observe the weather last night. We had a nice blow, that started with some rain between 7:00 and 9:00 PM, but it never turned in to the snow they were predicting, even down in Calumet. I can't tell you how strong the winds were, because the NWS station was still broken. They were strong, and northerly, and the lake was singing its song. They fixed the weather station this afternoon, and it seems to be operating normally again...now that we have no wind at all. It was still gusting to 20 mph at 3;00, which was the first reading. It blew so hard it blew the deck feeder off the deck. Rats. Now I have to go out and retrieve that, if I can find it. The temperature dropped down to about 35, where it stayed all afternoon, and it is now 31, one of the few times so far it's been below freezing. However, it cleared up rather nicely this afternoon, and there was some nice sunshine while I was asleep.


When I walked into the studio this morning, there was a female downy pecking away at the woodpecker block I put out. I was glad to see it. I think mostly the jays and squirrels were eating it before. It has things like peanuts in it, besides the sunflowers. Whatever she was finding, she stayed quite a while. I wasn't going to get another one, but if they're going to eat it, I will. I want to try to encourage the woodpeckers, in the hope that someday I might get a pileated to come to the feeders.


So that was another nothing day, and I'm off to try to get a good night's sleep for a change. It's a cold, calm, partly cloudy night in the field.


November 4

This will be short and early.


I think I was in bed by 9:00 last night, and while I slept better, I was still up about every two hours. I got up around 9:30, and I did not feel good. I petted a cat and knitted a while, and before I could even put the cat food down, I had to wash a pair of jeans. Yuck.


Around 2:00, I got to feeling so bad that I took a nap. I don't think I slept deeply, but I think I did sleep. When I got up, just before 4:00, I decided to take my temperature - and it was 100.2. Oh. No wonder I don't feel very good. I was freezing cold for most of the day, although that has gone away for now. I will be going to bed early again, although I do have to take a bath.


I will go back on the Vancomycin tomorrow, and that will clear things up.  However, I was supposed to get a blood test tomorrow, and if I still have a fever, I think I will postpone that.


I am a bit concerned about Buster, who didn't eat his breakfast this morning. I don't know whether he is sick or just worrying because I am. Jasmine is worried about him, too, so when he was sleeping in his box this morning, she was standing guard in front, and when he got on  my lap, she got on her place on the hearth and stayed there until I turned around.


The weather was a typical dull autumn day. The temperature stayed at about 45 all afternoon. There wasn't much wind, but I don't know about that. Our weather station needs attention, and it isn't reporting wind speed and direction right now...that's too bad. That's mostly what I use it for.


I noticed, when I looked outside, that the goldfinches seem to be back, although now they are all dull and brownish. There was a flock of them around for a while, and they were keeping the little chickadees from getting their seeds. Anyway, the seed is going away awfully fast in the feeders. Whenever I do go to town, I need to lay in some more. Everybody is scarfing down seed as fast as they can. They know what's coming.


So that was a nothing day. Except that I feel bad, the only other real symptom I have is a headache, but that usually happens when I run a fever. I see why they say "starve a fever" - I am not hungry, and the few things I have eaten have given me indigestion. I am really surprised that the C. diff rebounded so violently, but then I only took it for seven days. 


So it's a cool, cloudy night in the field, and I'm gone up to the north end.


November 3

I  was in bed by 10:00 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I was up any number of times - getting rid of fluid - and I didn't sleep very well in between. It was neat. The full moon was above the clouds and all night long it looked like it was about 45 minutes before sunrise...and then it was 45 minutes before sunrise.  I think I got up around 9:00, and I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed.


And that was nearly all I did. I thought I had to go to town tomorrow, but it's actually Thursday, for a blood test, so I still have time. I did sort of straighten up the desk a little, and I got out the snowflake bracelet. I had to end off the thread I had been working on, because it was shredded down to nothing, then I discovered that the first time I ended it off, I didn't do it right, so I had to pull out the thread and do it over. I did a little bit after I attached the new thread, but not much. I hate to admit it, but it's boring.


But then, everything I've been doing is boring. I get these episodes every so often, and I just have to work through it. I hope it doesn't last long. I need to do some things.


I didn't feel very good today. I was tired and I had sort of a sinus headache for some reason.  I don't get those very often anymore. So I did not much, and I will be on my way to the north end soon.


the weather was blah. The temperature stayed between 37 and 39 all day, as far as I know, and the winds died down this afternoon. It was cloudy and yucky, but it didn't precipitate. It's a llttle hard to be absolutely sure what happened, because the NWS station glitched this afternoon. For a couple of hours, all it was reporting was the barometric pressure. After that, it started reporting temperature again, but there still is no wind information. 


I got a giggle out of the reports from the Weather Underground. When the station wasn't reporting temperature data, the WU was reporting that the wind chill was 1000 F. Global warming, perhaps? I hope they get everything straightened out by tomorrow.


I had a couple little worrisome things happen to the computer today. This morning, when I was trying to play Taipei, suddenly seven or eight keys on the number pad didn't work. I rebooted and it was fine, but then when I started this thing tonight, a through g and v (at least) didn't work. Again, rebooting cleared everything up, but I don't like that. I checked the connection on the back of the computer, and it didn't seem loose or anything. I do hope the computer isn't about to die on me. We shall see.


So now, when I'm about to go up to the north end, they are playing Beethoven, so I guess I have to stay for that. It's another dark, cool night in the field, and I need to sleep.


November 2

I'm going to try not to do that again. After I uploaded the website last night, I converted October to Word, then I typed for a while, I think. Anyway, it was nearly 2:00 before I got to bed, and that's too late. I had some trouble sleeping, for some reason, and I got up around 9:30, which means I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I knitted and petted a cat before I got dressed.


Otherwise, I didn't do a lot. I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, and I got the dishwasher almost ready to run. I went to the post office, where there was a boatload of mail, mostly catalogs and magazines, as well as a package from another e-friend, for which I thank him. I now have enough Carr's Water Crackers to last a long time, and I will have to start hunting up some more cheese to go with them. I still don't understand why I've had such a hard time finding them, since everybody else seems to be able to.


There was a huge catalog from the place I get most of my seed beads, which will take some perusal.


I stopped at the store for eggs, and Staci tells me they are having a doing ("Winterfest" or something, I don't remember), which will include crafts tables. They are planning to do it a good way: all the money will apparently be handled by the organizers, so the crafts people won't be bothered by that. I may just get a table, if I can scare up enough stuff by December 12. Time to get to work.


The weather was not what they were predicting. They were talking cloudy with possible snow. Well...it was clear to partly cloudy all day, with lots of lovely sunshine. The temperature was only around 43, and it was quite windy this afternoon. In fact, I just brought in the feeders, because there were gusts up to 29 mph from the north, and the feeder on the deck was in danger of blowing off. It looked like there might have been a drop or two of rain right around sunset, but it's party clear again, and the full moon is riding high in the east with a nice rainbow halo almost around it.


There were some nice whitecaps and breakers in the harbor and on the lake today, and it was that dark blue-green (DMC 924) that is only gets when it's riled up and there are some clouds in the sky. For a while, it was deep, clear blue, when the clouds went away, and that's even prettier.


I've been meaning to mention that we have less than 10 hours of daylight now, and it's sad to have it get dark so early - the sun set at about 5:30 today. The sun is only about 28 above the south horizon at noon, so it shines right on me for several hours, when there is sun. I'm soaking up all the rays I can get.


The winds we've had lately have stripped nearly all the leaves from the trees, except down near the ground in the woods, and it's bare and sad again. I had some pretty trees, not only the two bushes in front of the house, but there is a young maple back by the road that was a pretty orange for quite a few weeks (autumn leaves and oranges are just about the only things I like to see orange on). That is all gone now, and the oaks, which were quite red for a while, are now brown and dull, although their leaves are still hanging on. Our oaks, mostly pin oaks, I think, do drop all their leaves. unlike some of the ones that grow further south, but it takes them quite a while. So we are sliding swiftly into winter, and we are losing daylight at about 3 minutes a day. Soon the sun will be setting out of camera range on the left, if it isn't already. One of these mornings, I will wake up and the ground will be all white.


So I'm going up to the north end now. I may read or knit a while, but I'm not going to get caught at the computer again. I need sleep. It's a cool, windy and partly cloudy night in the field, and the moon will keep it bright all night long.


November 1

Well, I got to bed just after 1:00, EDT, and I got up at 11:30 EDT, so I should have gotten enough sleep! I think I was only up twice. I started resetting the clocks, and i knitted and petted a cat for a while, so it was late when I got to the studio.


I started the day by setting the computer clocks wrong, and when I fixed that, I forgot that when you change a time from AM to PM, Windows adds one day, so for a while this afternoon, the camera was saying it was tomorrow. Sorry for any confusion. There are some missing pictures, too, because I was changing the time right around noon, and Windows thought it was midnight. When I changed my calculator that I use to set most other clocks, I made sure to put in "13:52".  Sometimes I wish we could all go on military time. It was nice when I was working with the computers, and they did.


Otherwise, i washed three loads of clothes, the last of which are now in the dryer. That was about it. I did a little typing, not much. And I put out the bird feeders.


The weather was blah again. It got cold - middle 30s - overnight, but the temperature hung at about 43 all afternoon. The winds were very light, from the south, until around 5:00 this afternoon (EST) when they began to gust up to around 20 mph. Sometime after 7:00 it started raining. Yuck. it's supposed to rain all night. Tomorrow it might snow. Yuck.


So now it is November, and there are only 60 or so days left in the year.  Sigh.


It's a dark, rainy night in the field, and a good one for sleeping.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM