A View From the Field








January, 2010

January 31

Oh, my, another month is over.


I hoped to have some activities to report tonight, but no such luck.


After I uploaded this last night, I started reading my new book about trees, and that took a while. There are 688 trees listed in that book, but I think only about 20 of them grow in this area. It is a good book, though, and it has enough information about leaves, bark, twigs, flowers and seeds that it should be possible to identify any tree I might see. 


Then when I went up to the north end, I started the gusset on the sock, so it was midnight when I got to bed. I noticed when I was up in the night that it was snowing lightly all night. I finally got up about 10:30, when Buster was getting worried. He would like it much better if I got up at the same time every morning...but I went back to sleep about 6:00 and never woke up until 10:30, so that would have been hard. Then I knitted the whole gusset on the sock - 24 rows. That may not sound like a lot, but on #1 needles, it's a lot of stitches, and it takes a while. So now I am on the foot, and that will take a few days. When I look at the fabric up close I don't like it very well, but from a distance it's bright but not too bad. It will make another good pair of spring and fall socks - and summer when it's cool.


That meant it was late when I got to the studio, and there was my morning surfing to do. I have begun doing some online crossword puzzles lately, and on Sunday there are three of those, all rather difficult. So I didn't do much else. Late in the afternoon, I started embroidering again, and I am making good progress. I still hate to do things with a stitch here and a stitch there, but oh, well. It's going to be an interesting thing when it's done.


The weather wasn't exactly what was predicted. The temperature at midnight was 22, but by noon it was 12, and the wind had risen into the 15-30 mph range, from the north. That resulted in windchills of below zero for most of the afternoon, which is why the bird feeders didn't get filled. It snowed very lightly overnight and off and on for most of the day.


I noticed a downy woodpecker hammering away at the suet block, and the little birds were picking around on the deck. There is still a lot of seed on the deck, but it is mostly covered by snow. If they're hungry, the birds will find it. Maybe tomorrow I can get the feeders filled.


So that was my quiet and useless day, and it's a cold and windy night in the field again. And January is over.


January 30

When I got up to the north end last night, I knitted, and I started the heel of the sock. Between that and staring at the floor, it was midnight before I got to bed. Everything was well-behaved, and I was up at 3:00, 6:00 and I got up at 9:00. I would like to have gone back to bed, but I decided that wasn't a good idea. I knitted for a long time again, and I finished turning the heel on the sock. Now I have to pick up on the sides of the flap and do the gusset. I don't know why I am so diligent about this sock, since I don't really like it very well, but it's a comfortable thing to do.


I didn't do much else, unfortunately. I was late getting to the studio and I just fiddled around for most of the day.


The weather is moderating a bit. There was snow this morning, but this afternoon there was even a little sunshine for a while, and the temperature peaked at 23, oddly enough when the wind picked up into the 20-30 mph range. Now the temperature has gone down and the wind has died away, too, and it's just cloudy and cold, although it's snowing at the airport.


And that is about all I have to report. It's another dark night in the field, although it won't be too dark, since the full moon is tonight.


January 29

Last night, I went up to the north end and wrote for a while - nothing very good, I'm afraid - and I got to bed around midnight. I was up several times, of course, and I noticed that it was snowing, but the wind was dying down and the lake wasn't making nearly as much noise. I didn't get up until about 10:00, and I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. I am very close to the end of the leg of the current sock, and soon I will be starting the heel.


I had to make breakfast twice. Since I was so late, I decided to have a sandwich, but the turkey had been open for a while, and while it didn't taste bad, it had a very unpleasant consistency, so I ended up throwing it away and having something else. I hate to throw away good food, but it was pretty yucky.


I didn't do much else but got to the post office, where there were a few bills, a few more magazines (one of these days, I'm going to have to spend a week or so catching up on my magazines), and some more 1099s. Before I catch up on my reading, I'm going to have to do some work on my ledger and a lot of filing, so I can get everything together for my accountant. Oh, yes, it's that time of year again. Sigh.


The weather was cold again, but not quite as bad as yesterday. The temperature has gotten up to about 14 finally, with very light winds. It snowed off and on all day long, but I don't think there was much accumulation. It wasn't too bad to be out, actually, with enough clothes on.


I don't have much to report tonight, I guess. It's another cold, snowy night in the field.


January 28

Instead of doing what I should have last night, I embroidered for a while and nearly finished two more squares, then when I got up to the north end, I started writing. I tried to put it down several times and kept thinking of things I wanted to include, so before I knew it, it was 2:30 and I was finally ready to turn out the light.


It was a hairy night. The lake roared and the wind kept banging against the house and it snowed all night long. The wind gusts got up to 43 mph around 5:00. 


I finally got up around 10:30, and apparently it was too cold for Buster to sit on my lap. He really doesn't like to sit on my robe, for some reason, so he went away. I knitted for a while before I got dressed.  


I puttered around, mostly. I got some more stuff in the dishwasher, and I washed up the pots and pans that were around. I washed the robe, which I had apparently dribbled down the front of several times when I was wearing it while eating. Ron came and cleaned up the driveway of what looked like another 4" of snow or so, and I went out and shoveled the stuff away from the door to make it easier for him.


Tonight I decided I was going to have my Christmas dinner, and I finally did, but I had a terrible time. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but clearly there was something, because I would  set the temperature and the probe temperature on the oven, and a few minutes later it would go off. So instead of eating at 6:00 like I'd intended, it was more like 8:00 before everything was ready. It was a good piece of beef, and I enjoyed it, along with a twice-baked potato  and asparagus, with a little ice cream for dessert.


Buster wanted some so badly, but he can't eat beef or beef juice, so I frustrated him completely. And the ice cream was peppermint, and he didn't like that. Poor Buster.


In the meantime, I did some more embroidery, and I am working on the last four squares. Instead of doing all the colors on one square, I am now doing one color on all four squares. I think it might go faster and I won't have to have so many needles threaded. I have decided I don't really like bright pink and bright green together very much, but it will be a pretty thing anyway. I am anxious to finish the embroidery, because putting the biscornu together will be fun.


The weather was even more frigid than yesterday. I was going to go to the post office, but I didn't. The temperature started at 10 at midnight, went down to 5 from 9:00 until 2:00, and now has risen back to 10. The wind has been from the north, in the 20-35 mph range, and the windchill is unspeakable. In the lee of the garage it wasn't too bad for the few minutes I was out, but I would not have wanted to be out in that wind.


There were a few hardy birds and a couple of squirrels in the feeders, but not very many. However, I had a snow bunting on the deck for a few moments. They are a bigger bird than I thought, and this was the first time I'd seen one close up. They are sort of brown and white in the winter, and they are very pretty. I felt sorry for the littler birds. The wind kept blowing them away from the feeders. In fact, even a downy woodpecker got blown around so much that she finally gave up trying to get into the suet feeder.


I was going to go to town and get my blood test tomorrow, but I decided to postpone it until Monday, when it is supposed to be a little warmer and less windy. I will have to go to the post office tomorrow, but I guess I can stand that.


So that was my quiet day, although I did do a few things. It's another frigid, windy and snowy night in the field, and it will be another good one to sleep.


January 27

With one thing and another, including staring at the floor, it was about midnight before I got to bed. I had a hard time getting to sleep, this time because my toes were cold, and I just didn't feel like getting up and trying to find a pair of socks I wasn't sure I could find. Eventually they warmed up, and I fell asleep. I really need that time reading or writing before I go to bed.


I woke up around 9:30 and just dozed for half an hour or so before I got up. I petted a cat and knitted a while, but I should have put on my robe because there was a little cold draft coming from the window. It's not loose or anything, it just radiates cold when it's really cold outside.


It was really cold outside, and it was windy. For most of the day it was around 10, with northwest to north winds in the 20-35 mph range. The winds did die down a bit this afternoon, but they have risen again. It snowed more or less hard all night and all day, too, hard enough to register in the rain gauge at the NWS station. With the temperature as cold as it is, the flakes are small enough that the accumulation doesn't look to be too much, but we probably have 4" or so of new snow. 


I had been planning to go to the post office today, but it was cold enough that I just decided to stay in. It's supposed to be a little better tomorrow, so I will go then.


I had an accident this morning, so I ended up washing the fleece while I was in the laundry room. This one was my own fault - I ignored the signs for just too long - but it still annoyed me. I still can't tell how much of my elimination problem is left over from the C. diff and how much is because of what I'm eating. This episode was probably a little bit of both.


Ron had an almost-accident on his way to town. His power steering gave out and he lost control and did a 360 on his way by the Mountain Lodge. Fortunately, neither he and Trevor nor the car were damaged, but instead of going to Marquette to see Trevor's orthodontist, they spent the afternoon at the repair shop. I was just glad they were safe! That's only one of the interesting things that can happen in the winter. Talk about an adrenaline rush...


I didn't do much of anything except to get some of the dishes into the dishwasher. I checked the rib roast, and it was still as hard as a rock, so I set it on the counter, and I think it will be OK tomorrow. In fact, I intend to take it out and see to it that it's defrosted. If it's room temperature when I cook it, that will be OK too, it will cook faster. I did a little more embroidery, and that was about it.


So now it's a frigid night in the field again, and the wind is blowing, the lake should be roaring, and the snow is coming thick and fast. It's a good night to sleep, and I hope to be in bed a bit earlier tonight. Maybe I will hunt up my slipper socks, just in case I need them.


January 26

I went up to the north end early last night, and I wrote for a while before I went to bed, so it was about 11:30 when I turned out the light. By that time the lake was roaring and the wind was beating on the house and it was snowing. It was a stormy night, but it wasn't dark. There was a half-moon up there, so it was light out, which was neat. I could look out and see that wall of snow in front of the house. I missed the height of the wind, when we had 40 mph gusts, and by morning it was all dying down, although there were still some snow showers when I got up at 9:00. It cooled down enough so that it was a very comfortable night to sleep.


I petted a cat and knitted a while, but I was still quite early, which was a shock when I finished my surfing and it was only about 11:00 this morning. Not that I did anything with my time, although I did do some embroidery this afternoon.


I had just gone out into the kitchen to get some dinner, with a detour to the bathroom, when Chip called, and he and Nancy are here and would I like to go to dinner? Of course! So we ate and talked and watched the end of the Michigan-Michigan State basketball game (State won), and it was a very pleasant evening.


The weather has become wintry again, thank goodness. The temperature dropped to about 15 overnight, and it is now 19. The wind was from the north until about 5:00 this evening, and while it died down some from the middle of the night, it was still in the 15-25 mph range for most of the afternoon. It is now shifting a bit toward the west and dying down to almost nothing, but it was snowing again when I came home. We probably had about 3" of snow overnight. Ron did the road and cleared the drift in front of my garage this morning, and it looked like about that much.


There was one curious thing. My garage door is acting up again, as it frequently does when it's cold, so I couldn't close it when I went to dinner. When I came home, the lights were on...which can only mean something was walking through the garage and tripped the motion sensors. I wonder what it was? There wasn't anything around when I came in, but it must have happened shortly before I got here, since the lights only stay on for about five minutes. Very strange. Too bad I don't have a camera out there.


So that was a nice end to a quiet day, and I won't be able to write as much tonight. It's a snowy night in the field and it's winter again.


January 25

Surf's up! But more about that later.


I had to shut down the computer and reboot from scratch to get the copy to work - there was something screwed up with Explorer. Then I had to reboot a couple of times to get a clean boot with no blue screens of death. I'm beginning to really wish I could finance a new computer! This is getting me down.


I read off the end of one of the stories when I got up to the north end, with the idea of writing a bit, but it was too late, so I took my bath and went to bed. I had some trouble getting to sleep again. This time I think it was my telephone conversation. I slept the whole night just under the sheet and the sheet blanket, and it never did cool down in the bedroom. I was up any number of times, trying to get rid of the fluid, but I'm used to that. I woke up around 8:30 and just dozed until 9:00. When I went into the bathroom, there was no cat, so I knitted until he appeared. I guess he isn't used to me getting up so early. 


I had only time to do part of my morning surfing before it was off to my massage, and I feel much better for it. There were a lot of muscles, especially in my back and my hands, that had tightened up. 


When I got home, I finished my surfing, and I finally got the bird feeders refilled. To do that, I had to move a bunch of stuff back where it belonged, from where I'd put it when Ron came to change the light bulb, so that is done, and I can almost walk around in the studio again. I was a bit annoyed. The squirrels had scattered a whole lot of seed around on the deck, and then it got covered by snow, and it's a real mess out there. I will have to try to get them to dig a bit and clean it up.


The weather has finally begun to change. but for all night and until 5:00 this afternoon, it was warm - around 36 - with very little wind from the south. There was a light flurry or two of snow mixed with rain, but not much at all. Then, at 5:49, the NWS station made an off-hour report that the wind had shifted to the north at 21mph. It is now blowing in the 20-35 mph range, and the lake has already begun roaring. It's snowing, too, rather heavily. Wow! I thought it would never come! Tonight will be a much better night to sleep.


I brought the standing rib roast upstairs tonight, with the idea of defrosting it. It will take a couple of days, I'm sure. Tonight I had another one of Schwan's new things, which was OK but not as good as I'd hoped. I have another meal of it - it's pasta with mushrooms (not many) and spinach and cheese, but it's not that flavorful. They tend to use American-type cheese or mild cheddar, and I like more highly flavored cheeses. Their mac and cheese is good, and so was that penne with parmesan, so I don't know why they did this one the way they did. Well, I'll try anything once, and it's not that bad. Maybe Wednesday I can feast on rib roast.


Johanna was as interested in my stones as I was, and as amazed as I was that they are so big...I mean, I had gravel in my gallbladder. And they appeared pretty fast, too. Anyway, now I can transfer them to a bag and file them.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm off to the north end. Maybe tonight I can write a bit. It's a snowy, windy night in the field and the temperature is on its way down. Winter is back!


January 24

I fiddled around and read a couple of catalogs before I went up to the north end, and then I read a bit, rereading one of the stories I was working on, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well again, and I think I know why. Not only was it warm in the bedroom, every time I woke up, all my joints ached, which makes it really hard to sleep comfortably. I was awake at 9:00, and I just sort of rolled around and went back to sleep for another hour. Oh, well. Better not do that tomorrow.


Today was washday,  but as usual, I kept forgetting, so the last load is in the washer now, except for the fleece. It can dry overnight. I got the dishwasher unloaded and started to reload it. I took a few stitches in the biscornu, but it was so dark it was hard to embroider, even with the task light on. 


Mostly, I fiddled with the computer. I was doing my morning surfing a bit belatedly when suddenly my connection went away. I did all the usual stuff before I called PastyNet, and  Jon ended up having to reboot the access point at the Mountain Lodge. That solved my problem, but then he got fancy and rebooted everything downstream, so I was offline for a while longer. Finally, I just waited, and eventually it came back and has been working much faster than it was around noon. I've learned that when the red and yellow lights are off on my client, I don't have any connectivity. Sometimes that's my fault, and sometimes it isn't. If I do all the usual things and it still doesn't come back, it's not my fault.


The weather was really ugly. The temperature was steady at 36 all day, and we had 3/8" of rain. The wind is still from the south, and for a while it was gusting in the 15-25 mph range. The storm system that I've been watching is now over the Appalachians, but they are still saying it is going to snow all week, and by Tuesday, the temperatures will be down in the middle teens. I certainly hope so, but I hope we get some new snow before it freezes or we will have a real skating rink out on Woodland road. Anyway, it was very dark and dreary, and with the rain, I didn't go out to get the bird feeders. I'd rather do that in the snow than in the rain.


I had just finished making my dinner when Debbie called, and we had a nice long conversation. Her soap opera continues. I wish I could give her more than just moral support, but most of the things she is facing I never did. Anyway, it makes me feel good that she feels she can unload on me. I could write a book, if I was into that kind of story...


So that was my quiet day, and I'm sleepy again, so I think I will toddle up to the north end and as soon as the wash is in the dryer, I will be off to dreamland. It's a dark, windy, rainy night in the field.


January 23

Today is my parents' 70th wedding anniversary. I always like to remember it, since if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here.


I read a bit when I got up to the north end - I'm running out of reading material - and I got to bed about 11:00. When I turned out the light, I was surprised to see the moon shining brightly in my windows. I know why the moon is so bright here - it's the clear skies with no pollution - but it still surprises me when I see it. That fat crescent moon is brighter than the full moon used to be in Detroit. It was so pretty!


When I woke up in the night, though, it had clouded over, and it was cloudy all day and very windy. The temperature was steady at right about 35. The wind was from the south at 15-30  mph. I can tell there is a change coming. My right index finger is all swollen and sore. The arthritis knows!


I didn't do much except go to the post office, where some more packages came and the tax forms are beginning to appear. I shall have to get my mail more frequently for the next week - it's that time of year.


I didn't fill the bird feeders, so I will have to do that tomorrow in the snow/sleet/freezing rain. Somehow I always manage to ignore the nice days and work outside when it's nasty. 


Now it's late, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, windy night in the field and the weather is changing. Think snow!


January 22

When i got to the north end last night, I read for a while, and I made it into bed by 11:00. When I turned out the light, there was a bright patch in the clouds which was the moon. So I was surprised when I got up a little after 2:00 am to discover stars in the sky. When I looked north, I could see Cassiopeia setting, and I think Perseus to her west, and rather high up, Capella was shining brightly. So when I got back to bed, I looked out the front windows. There was a bank of clouds over to the west, but right above it, balancing on Rigel, was Orion, so bright and clear, and I think I glimpsed Taurus to its north. So nice.


It had clouded up when I was up at 6:30. I sort of woke up around 9:30, and Buster came up on the bed, but I seem to have gone back to sleep, with interesting dreams, until 10:30. Sometime during the later part of the night, I had the stolen car dream again. This is one of my recurring dreams, but while this time it was the blue Yukon, I don't remember much else about it. No doubt it happens because I once had a car stolen and I always think about that when I can't quite remember where I left my car in a parking lot.


Anyway, I got up at 10:30 because Buster was yelling at me. I petted him and knitted for a while. I am doing the sock I started last fall and decided I didn't like, but I did start it over on smaller needles, and it will be all right. It is another one of those really wild ones, which I find fun to wear. The yarn is Tofutsies, which is a nice one for spring, summer and fall.


I read a bit, too, but not much. When I got to the studio, there was a nasty message on the computer saying it couldn't find the camera driver. Huh? It was certainly there when I checked it last night! Oh, my, what a kludge ME is! It apparently happened between 9:41 and 9:56, just spontaneously. To make sure I got a clean boot, I shut down the computer, and since I rebooted it, it's been fine. Oh, my, what a kludge ME is! Anyway, when the camera quit, it was cloudy, and when it came back on, it was sunny, so that was nice.


And just now I was looking at the camera archives, and there was one thumbnail that didn't look right, although when I looked at the actual picture, it was fine. I had to delete the "thumbs" file and rebuild it before it displayed right. I wish I knew when that thumbnail was from. Oh, my, what a kludge ME is!


I was late enough that I didn't do much else today. I spent some time embroidering, which felt good, but Buster wanted to sit on me, which made it hard. He was hungry, too, so when I went to get my dinner, he came into the kitchen and  looked at his dish then looked sadly at me, so I gave him some more to eat. I wish he'd vocalize a little more in the afternoon - and a little less in the morning.


The weather turned out nice, provided you don't want snow. The temperature got up to 35 for a while around noon, and it was partly sunny all day. The sun was bright, but there were high cirrus clouds in the sky. There wasn't much wind, from the south.


The birds have eaten up all the seeds in the feeders, so I will have to fill them tomorrow, I guess. There is still a lot of seed on the deck, but it's wet. They are amazingly hungry, but I suppose they are stoking up for what is to come.


Some nasty weather is coming our way over the weekend - rain, sleet, ice, snow, and heaven knows what else. I certainly hope it's all snow! Then about Tuesday or Wednesday it's supposed to get very cold again, with more snow. Maybe that will be all there is of the warm, dry weather! So far we have only had 21" of snow for all of January, and that's not enough!


So that was a quiet day, and I'm off to the north end to read some more and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour again. It's another dark and probably cloudy night in the field.


January 21

Last night, when I went up to the north end, the crescent moon was hanging over Hunter's Point, so pretty! I wasn't a good girl. I started reading the story that follows the one I've been transcribing, and it was after midnight when I got to bed. I got up around 10:00 with only one wakeup. I didn't feel like I wanted to get up, but I had to. I petted a cat for a while, but he was disgusted when I started finishing off the sock. Now I have a nice pair of black socks with primary color spots in them.


I didn't do a whole lot, but since Ron was planning to come to change the light bulb, I had to make some room on the other side of the desk so he could get the stool over there. I also nearly got the dishwasher ready to run. That was about it.


In my reading last night, I realized I was going to have to make some changes to the story I was reading yesterday afternoon - not much, just a few things. I think I did that just now, although I'll have to read it over when I'm not distracted by radio that I want to hear, just to make sure. I'm trying to fit things together so that there aren't any inconsistencies between the various stories, and it's hard.


The weather was blah again. It may have been clear overnight - I wasn't awake long enough to notice - but it was cloudy when I got up and it stayed cloudy all day. The temperature got up to 33, where it is now, and there was very little wind from the south. The NWS station was offline for a couple of hours this afternoon, but I don't think anything much happened. It was a quiet day.


There was enough snowmelt that all the seed on the deck is now uncovered, so even though the square white feeder is nearly empty, there is enough around the platform feeder and under the cedar feeder that I don't have to worry much about it. Those little birdies sure are hungry, though.  The feeders empty out real fast these days. I have to get a blood test at the end of next week, and I think I will have to go on down to Erickson Feed and get some more sunflower seeds. I'm well into the last 50 lbs.


So that was another day, and I am going up to the north end almost immediately and see if I can't get to bed a little earlier tonight. It's another cloudy, cool night in the field. Think snow!


January 20

I was a good girl - and I finished the story - last night, so I was in bed by 10:30. I had a little trouble getting to sleep, mostly because I started out on the wrong side, and I got up at 8:30 this morning. That was nice. I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. Funny, though, I didn't feel like I got enough sleep.


After I did my morning surfing, I gathered up what I wanted to take to the ladies' meeting, and went off. I wasn't completely sure it was today, so I waited until someone else came. there were only about 10 of us, but it was a good group. I took the jewelry I made last summer, and everybody seemed to like it...however nobody offered to buy any.


Laurel came with my sweats, so after I left Carolyn's I stopped at the Laughing Loon and paid my bill. Those aren't cheap sweats, but they are cheaper than Lands End's, so I think I got a good deal. And they are nice and thick and have a nice soft waistband. Since they're men's, they may fit a bit funny, but I think I can stand that.


The weather was OK. The temperature got up to 27 for a while this aftenroon, with very light south winds, and around sunset, the skies cleared. When I went to get some dinner, there was a little crescent moon shining brightly in the upper windows of the great room.


I was hungry when I got home, so I had a snack. When we stopped at Pat's last week, they had pickled herring, which I bought with some suspicion, but it turned out to be delicious. I finished it up today, with some nice water crackers. Of course, then I was too full for a real meal, so I had some of the soup I got from Schwan's. It was good, too, although not as good as the stuff they are selling at the community center. Anyway, I have a nice, if sort of weird, pad in my tummy. Sometimes I have to eat weird combinations like that.


Then I read through the first story of the chronicle I've been reading, which is on the computer and not finished yet. It's sort of like a prolog to the rest, but it establishes some background for everything else.


Now I can totter up to the north end without doing any more reading, and while I will be a little later tonight, it won't be too much. It's apparently a clear night in the field, and there may be some stars.


January 19

I made it into bed by 12:30 last night, but that wasn't early enough, so I'll try again tonight. I'm coming to the end of the last story, so maybe that will help. I don't remember quite when I got up, probably around 10:00, but I knitted and petted a cat and did a little more reading. That was about all I did. It was late when I got dressed, so there didn't seem to be much time left after I did my morning surfing.


I did pack up the reports from my heart tests, and I went to the post office, where there were a lot of packages but no mail in the box. I like packages better anyway. Now I have some more fun stuff to play with.


The weather was blah again, but it cooled off. The temperature was around 22 all day, with a light wind from the north. It was snowing very lightly when I got up, and that continued until early afternoon. Then it was just dull and gray for the rest of the day.


There is some hint that we might have a blizzard or at least a good snow event next weekend. I hope so. The little snow we got - maybe an inch - has covered all the ugly piles, but we really need a lot more to get things back to what they should be at this time of year. Well, every year is different, for sure.


The birds had really hit the tube feeder hard - the goldfinches were around today - so I filled that feeder late this afternoon, and added to the feeder on the deck for the squirrels. It didn't feel too bad outside, at least for a short while.


Roxie had gotten me a pair of sweatpants at the Laughing Loon, and I wanted another pair, so I had some thought of stopping on my way back from the post office, but I forgot my cane, and their steps are steep. I ran into Laurel in the post office, and she said she would bring another pair to Carolyn's tomorrow. Yes, the ladies' handiwork group is beginning to meet again. That will be nice - I enjoy those ladies. So now that I don't desperately need nice looking sweats, I will have some. These are much thicker than the rest of mine, which will be cozy when the temperature plunges again.


So that was my quiet day, and I will shortly be off to the north end to read a while - hopefully not too long - before I go to bed. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field and there may be some more snow overnight.


January 18

Well, I did a little better last night, but it was about 12:30 when I got to bed. I was awake at around 8:00, when Roxie started her coffee, but there was no way I could get up then. So it was 10:45 before I made it out of bed. I got to see her and thank her before she took off, and she left around 11:30. So she's gone. I'll miss her.


I was still groggy and tired all day, so I didn't do anything.  I had some ideas, but I was so late that I ended up not doing anything. And I do plan to try to get to bed earlier tonight...but tomorrow, I can sleep all day if I want to.


The weather has turned a bit wintry. The temperature dropped all night, and it stabilized at around 28 for the afternoon. About the time I got up, it began to snow lightly, and that kept on until early afternoon. There was a north wind that started out in the 15-20 mph range and has now died down. Sort of blah.


Sorry this is so short, but I am really tired, and I will most certainly read for a while when I get up to the north end. Roxie is gone, and we are alone now. The kitties looked sad after she left, except that I didn't go with her. They both like her. Buster is sitting on my lap, and he was a real pest while I was eating my dinner. He likes my turkey pot roast almost as much as I do.


It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, and there may be some more snow showers. Winter is still here.


January 17

I was late getting up to the north end, and I read for quite a while, so it was 2:00 again before I went to bed. Sigh. I was awake around 8:30, but that just seemed too early, so I slept (more or less) until around 10:45. I petted a cat and knitted a bit, then I read a bit more before I got dressed.


I still don't know if the story I'm reading will end up being part of the chronicle, but it is interesting. There are some things that I need to decide in earlier episodes before I decide what to do about this one.


I didn't do very much, because I was so late. I did begin loading the dishwasher, and that was about it. Roxie spent most of the afternoon vacuuming the great room with the shop-vac, which is extremely noisy. I don't know exactly what she was doing that took so long, but I think it's a lot cleaner in there than it's been in some time.


Tonight, Roxie went to the potluck, and I made my turkey breast pot roast, which turned out very good. The delights of really fresh garlic are becoming more obvious to me. I got elephant garlic, and I don't think I will again, because the cloves are too big, about the size of two regular cloves. It was grown last summer, though, and it is very fresh and tasty. I still have to put it away, but I enjoyed my dinner. So did Buster.


 The weather was warm again. The temperature got up to 37 for a while around noon, before it fell back a few degrees. There was a little wind in the afternoon, from the northwest. The sky was clear all night, but it clouded up this morning and it was mostly cloudy all day, with only a few rays of sunshine occasionally. They are predicting the possibility of snow tomorrow, but it's not completely certain.


Roxie has to leave tomorrow, unfortunately, so I will be alone with the kitties again. Jasmine has been really blossoming lately. She is not nearly so skittish, and she comes out when we are sitting down, and sits and looks at us. I guess she figures Roxie is as innocuous as I am.  Of course, neither of us can get close enough to her to touch her, but she wants to be someplace around us. I take that as a good sign.


So that was another quiet day, and I think I am going up to the north end early tonight and try - try - try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's another cloudy, dark night in the field.


January 16

I started reading when I got up to the north end, and I read through the end of a story, so it was around 2:00 or later when I got to bed. Needless to say, I slept well, with only one wakeup. I got up around 10:30, I think. I really didn't want to, but I hoped that if I did, I might be tired enough to go to bed early tonight. Well, it aint' gonna happen. 


I knitted and petted a cat, and I finished the gusset on the sock, so I am now working on the foot. Fifty rows, and then the toe. It's getting done.


I only did a few things today. I got the dishwasher unloaded and started loading it again, and I made some order in the breezeway. There were a bunch of grocery bags, each with just a few things in them, and i needed to put the wine and JD away. I don't need to buy JD for a while, I guess. I am well-stocked. I also have enough wine to last a while. So that is nice. If I get snowed in, at least I will have enough to drink.


This evening, while I was eating a late dinner, I started reading again, and I will probably read some more when I get up to the north end. The last story was a good one - it is amazing to me how much my writing improved between 1972 and 1974 - but the one I am reading now, which is a continuation of the last one, is something I'm not sure I will use when I rewrite everything. It has a premise I may just change from the beginning. However, it's a fun story to read, and I'm still wrestling with whether to use it.


When I moved in here, I got Buster a toy which is a round thing with a groove in it with some balls, and a scratcher in the middle. Jasmine used it, but she got tired of it and pushed it under the sofa. Roxie pulled it out today, and Jasmine was at it this evening, unfortunately in the dark, so I could only hear her. And that's the problem with the thing - they love it, but pushing those balls around in the track is noisy, and they usually decide to play at 2AM or so.


The weather was disappointing, but nice. The temperature got up to 39 in the afternoon, with very light breezes from the west, so we lost some snow. It was mostly sunny all day long, too, although there was a haze of high clouds, so there weren't any blue skies. It certainly was nice to see the sun, although it's still only about 22 above the horizon at noon - think two fists held at arm's length. Very low.


The sunshine did give us another pretty sunset. I hope you don't get tired of seeing sunsets. I never do. Tonight the clouds seemed to be mostly over in the west, and the sky overhead was clear dark blue. Very pretty.


Roxie went to some sort of thing at the Mountain Lodge tonight, and she only got back around 10:00. It didn't sound interesting to me, though. 


So that was my quiet day, and I'm off to the north end to probably read a while again. I think it's a rather clear night in the field.


January 15

It was midnight before I got to bed again. I read for quite a while, and my excuse was that I was so full of gas that I doubt I could have slept anyway. It's a wonder I didn't float up to the ceiling, and I kept gurgling loud enough to make Jasmine wake up and look at me. Curiously, the gas coming out didn't bother her. None of it bothered Buster.


i got up around 9:30 and knitted for a while, and I had just about enough time to do my morning surfing before we started off on our afternoon's adventures. We wanted to stop at the Laughing Loon, but it was closed, so we went on down to Calumet and stopped at Pat's, where I did more damage than I intended. They had some frozen stuff that I wanted, although one or two things I got the last time weren't there, unfortunately. Pat's has a much better selection of frozen vegetables than Econo does. And I had discovered that when I last shopped, I over-bought red wine and didn't get enough white and pink wine, so I wanted to rectify that.


Anyway, then it was off to the hospital, where Roxie left me while she got gas. I was early enough that I got to stop at a restroom, and then the doctor took me early. She removed my steri-strips and said everything looked very good (I do heal fast), and she gave me my gallstones. There were a lot of them for as little a bag as that was, and some of them had very sharp edges. Otherwise, they look like very small, sharp pea-gravel, mostly brown or reddish. Seeing them, my suspicions were confirmed about why it hurt when one of them got into the bile duct. We talked about the pictures, and she showed me where the adhesions were, and explained why she repaired them. All the biopsies were negative for cancer, which was nice to know. There was no question in her mind that my gallbladder needed to come out.

I will be having another blood test at the end of January for my potassium, and a repeat breast ultrasound at the end of February, just for follow-up.


Then we went on to Wal-Mart, where I didn't do quite as much damage as usual. I got some kitty litter, some more suet blocks (Erickson's were cheaper!!), a few things I needed in the pharmacy area, and only a couple of things to play with. 


By that time I was tired and my feet hurt. We went to Ming Bistro for dinner, and it was good, although I couldn't eat all I took, again. I had my first chicken curry, and I liked it, although I wouldn't want an entire meal of it.


Then we started home, and we ran into more traffic than I've seen in a while. They were backed up by the bridge, and we ran into a caravan on the covered road, lead by somebody who obviously was unused to that road - they turned in at the Mountain Lodge - and two other people. The second car ahead of us went straight down toward the harbor when we got to the blinker, and we wondered what he was thinking to find there, since neither Bella Vista nor King Copper is open now. Anyway, we got home and unloaded our purchases, and went our separate ways to check our email.


I am tired. I did a lot of walking today (for me), on not a lot of sleep, and my feet and ankles hurt. However, my tummy is full of good stuff, and I had a nice JD when we got here, and I think I will sleep well tonight.


It was a good day to do what we did. The temperature here got up to 36, but not until shortly before we got home, and the skies were partly cloudy all afternoon - there was enough sun that if I'd been driving I would have to have used my sunglasses. There was almost no wind at all. I think we lost some snow, and the roads except for the covered road are clear and dry. We need snow. While it was sunny down the peninsula, it didn't start to clear up here until about 4:00.


So that was our day, I am cut free from the doctor, and all is well. It's at least partly clear tonight - Jupiter was shining in the west when we turned into the driveway - and it's a nice night in the field, if you like the January thaw.


January 14

I went up to the north end rather early last night, but I started reading again, and I didn't get to be until around midnight. I was awake around 8:00, and that seemed too early, so it was 10:30 before I got up. I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.


I can't remember if I did anything much today. Roxie and I refilled the bird feeders, because the cedar feeder was empty and one of the suet cakes was empty, and I got the dishwasher ready to run tonight. Roxie cooked ribs tonight, and I like the way she did them. They turned out very good. I will have to try that.


We watched the birds for a while, and there is a white-crowned sparrow, rather dirty, who has been hanging around. I thought they went way south in the winter, but this guy is still here. The downys were at the suet cake again, but that's why it's there. And the usual flock of chickadees. They are all fun to watch. I seem to have only two or three squirrels, and they don't come as much as they did earlier, so that is good.


The weather was so-so. The temperature went up to 33 and stayed there, and the wind switched from west-southwest to north, in the 20-30 mph range. It was cloudy, of course, but there was no snow.


We started talking about gardens at dinner, and it made me want to rush out and order a bunch of stuff and plant this spring. It's a disease that frequently affects me at this time of year, and I am trying hard to keep my wishes modest. I would like to start gardening again, but I know I have some physical limitations, so I guess I will get a few things to plant and see how it goes. I dearly want some columbine in my garden, among other things. And roses. There have to be roses.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end again, and I will read for a while again. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field.


January 13

Last night I tried three times to upload the website, and it wouldn't, and then I read a seed catalog, so that made me late going up to the north end. Then I started reading, and, well, it was around 3:00 when I finally got to bed. I got up at 9:30, because I had to pee, and I figured that if I got up, maybe I would be forced to go to bed earlier tonight. We'll see. I'm going to forgo the attempts to upload tonight.


I actually did a few things today. The task of the day was to fold and put away all the wash that was lying around - four washbaskets full, as well as some other stuff. I accomplished that, but that was about it. I was planning to cook tonight, but the turkey breast was still frozen solid, so I didn't.


It was a lovely day. It was cloudy in the morning, with some fog or haze down the harbor, but around 3:30 it began to clear up. The sun was out for the rest of the afternoon, and it was clear at sunset. It's supposed to cloud up overnight, though. It was really nice to see blue sky and sunshine for a while. The temperature, while it was around 30 at midnight, dropped a little and was about 28 all day, with no wind at all.


I decided today was the day to try jeans again, and since my jeans are loose, they felt just fine, thank you. My tummy hardly bothers me at all. I have felt half-dressed for the past week, and I was tired of it. Sweatpants are comfortable, but they are not beautiful, at least on someone as big and lumpy as I am. While I am not hung up on how I look, I do like to look OK, and I don't feel I look OK in sweats.


We watched the birdies for a while this afternoon. The downy woodpeckers were hitting the feeders hard, and there were some goldfinches for a change, along with chickadees and nuthatches. Roxie said she thought she saw a brownish woodpecker, and I did, too, the other day, but they move so fast it's hard to see them. I think it's the red-bellied woodpecker that has been hanging around here for the past year or two. He isn't supposed to be here, but most birds are extending their ranges northward. There are even cardinals in Copper Harbor (the town), although I don't usually have them out here. Anyway, the feeders are emptying fast.


I finished the heel on the black sock this morning and started the gusset, so that is coming along nicely. I like the yarn and I'm going to like the socks, but knitting is hard with black yarn when it's so dark outside. The next project (other than the sweater) is going to be on lighter colored yarn.


So that was my quiet day. Roxie is off at bingo, so I will toddle up to the north end and read for a while and try, try, try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It should be a rather clear evening in the field, and there might even be a star or two.


January 12

I read when I went up to the north end, and I finished a story, which meant it was around midnight when I got to bed, but I did do well. i was up around 3:00 for half an hour, then I didn't wake up again until 8:00. Gee, a whole 4 hours of solid sleep! Will wonders never cease!


I petted a cat and worked on the sock for a while before I got dressed.


While I was reading last night, I worked a swatch of the sweater on the needle size I want to use, and I think it will be better. It will be much thinner than the original, but it will drape better. It is such nice soft yarn, I'm anxious to get going on it. 


I didn't do much, but I was down into the basement twice with no ill effects. My tummy is not nearly as sore as it was a couple of days ago, so I am healing fast. I went down to the basement the first time with Roxie to check the freezer and see what was there, and we each brought up some stuff, so we will be eating well for the rest of the week. She has country ribs, and I have a half of a turkey breast. 


I looked around in the area where the craft stuff is, but I didn't do much. There are still some things missing that I need, so sometime I will have to start digging into boxes. It seems like a lot of boxes got left under the great room that should have been in the back under the bedroom, so one of these days I should take the hand truck downstairs and move that stuff out. It will help the situation, I'm sure.


The second time I went down, I was looking for the attachments to the shop vac, because Roxie was vacuuming the stairs without them, and it was a pain. I found them more easily than I would have thought, but that box was marked.


Roxie was on the stairs when I looked out the window, and I went over and turned the shop vac off, and I said, you have to stop that and come and look outside. This is what we saw. It was actually a little prettier than that, because it took me a couple of minutes to get the camera and decide which window had the best view. That shot was from the great room patio door. The areas that look like they might be calm water are, I think, actually covered by a thin film of ice. It would have been even nicer if I'd been able to get out to the deck railings, but there is too much snow, and I would have had to put on a jacket, and by that time it would probably have been over. So I did the best I could.


Roxie walked over to Pebbly Beach, and she said it was nice outside. I think it was. The temperature when she went out was around 23 and there wasn't much wind. The temperature, at least at the NWS station rose to 28 at 9:00 before it dropped back, but for most of the day it was in the low 20s. There were very light breezes from the west-southwest. It was cloudy for most of the day, but it was bright cloudy for a change.


So it was a nice day, and we had the second lovely sunset of the year. Maybe this will be a year of sunsets? Now it's a dark night in the field, and there is the possibility of a star or two.


January 11

The website still won't copy completely. I tried it twice last night and once just now, and it times out. I will try to remember to try it tomorrow morning, and if it doesn't then, I will have to consult with PastyNet. This is weird.


Anyway, I read for a while when I went up to the north end last night, so it was 11:30 or a little later when I got to bed. For some reason, I am having some trouble falling asleep these days. Once I get asleep, I'm fine, but it takes a while. I wasn't coughing so much last night, so that couldn't be it, so I don't know what my trouble is.


I got up around 9:30, and I petted a cat, who wasn't in a purring mood this morning. When I took a good look at the sock, I realized I was doing the heel on only 31 stitches, so I picked out the six rows I had done, then I realized that somewhere I had dropped a stitch. I found it, as well as one I had slipped rather than knit, and I managed to work them in with a crochet hook. Both goofs were 25 or more rows back, and I wasn't going to rip all that out unless there was no possible alternative. Some of the stitches look quite tight now, but I think by working with them, I can get them loosened up. It's not like the Noro yarn - this one will slip a bit. I strongly suspect that I made both goofs either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning...oh. Clearly my head was a little fuzzy right about then.


It was 11:30 before I got dressed, so I had lunch instead of breakfast. While I was fiddling with the sock, Amanda called to tell me that UPPCO was on the road and would be all day, so we couldn't get out until late. That didn't bother either Roxie or me very much, since we had no plans to go anywhere. She did her thing in the loft and I did my thing in the office.


My thing in the office was to finally rip out the black sweater. I hated to do it, but I tried it on again and it just wouldn't do. It fit better than it did when I finished it, at least without a turtleneck underneath, but it was skimpy and the sleeves were too short. Sooo...I now have a bagful of balls of yarn. I also hunted up the pattern and ripped out the swatch to do that over, too, since I'm planning to use bigger needles this time. Then I will have to recalculate the entire pattern before I can start knitting again. What a pain. If I didn't like the yarn so well, I would just forget it, but it's really lovely yarn and it would be a useful sweater to have. I still want to make it with raglan sleeves, from the top down, but it will take come calculation to get the proportions right.


The weather was good for that sort of thing. The temperature was around 22 all day, with a northeast wind in the 20-30 mph range. The lake is singing loudly, and I could hear it picking up steam all night. It snowed lightly all day, too, but I doubt there was an inch of accumulation...just enough to cover the ugly spots. Of course, it was cloudy and dark enough that I had to turn on the task light to see when I was ripping the black yarn. A typical winter day in the field.


Oh, yes, and the sunset picture got second place in viewer voting for the best picture of 2009. I'd say that was pretty good, all things considered. I think the website administrator likes my picture better than the one that got first place, and I'll bet the votes were close. So clearly, I'm not the only one who likes that shot.


I keep thinking there are some things I've been forgetting to say here. I'll have to start keeping notes!


Now it is a typical winter night in the field, and I think I won't even try the upload again, and just copy this one file before I go up to the north end and read some more.


January 10

Well, let's try this again. For one of its inexplicable reasons FrontPage decided to copy the entire website last night. I tried it three times, and it kept hanging up. The version I have has a truly terrible FTP module, and the only way to properly update the internal tables is to let it do the copy. After the third try, and the fourth reboot, I gave up, and I think I got all the relevant pages copied manually. By that time it was nearly 11:00, so I went up to the north end. Of course, I read for a while, and the story I am reading now is a very interesting one, although I cringe when I see how poorly written it was. That was, again, back in the early '70s, and I'm very glad I had decided by that time not to try to publish anything. It's bad enough to reread the stuff myself. The ideas are good, and some of the writing is OK -that was when I started the final push toward what I've written since the mid-80s, and I can see it getting better in the later stories.


Anyway, it was after 1:00 before I got to bed. Sigh. I rummaged through my drawers and came up with a couple of other cough drops, one of which is sugar free, and I took one of each, and I didn't have any coughing spells until around the time I decided to get up. I have to believe that I came down with a slight cold about Thursday, and that is what has been causing my coughing fits.


I really wasn't ready to get up at 10:00, but not only did I have to pee, but a certain multicolored cat of my acquaintance was rushing up and down the hallway from the basement door to the window seat, pounding her feet on the floor, with her tail all bushed out. She felt good. Buster didn't. He had a couple of coughing fits, and he acted rather subdued all day, although he ate well. I've said before that every house with cats should have a long central hallway, or at least a place where they can get on a racecourse. This house has both, so they can either run up and down the hall, or circle around the stairway, through the kitchen and the great room.  I thought maybe the barometer was up, but it wasn't, so she was just feeling frisky.


So I petted Buster - and finally got a reasonably loud purr from him. He hasn't purred up to par since Monday. I knitted a bit, and I started the heel of the second black sock.


Roxie got up early and went to church, then she went to see Peggy, so she was gone all day, and I didn't do much of anything again. Now I am tired, so I hope this stupid thing will work tonight.


The weather wasn't much to write about. When I got up, it looked rather bright, like there might be some sunshine off in the southeast, but it never materialized, and it was dark and gloomy all day. Just before sunset, it started snowing lightly. The temperature got up to 26 for a while this afternoon, and there were very light southwest winds for most of the day, although now the wind had shifted to the north and risen to 18mph, so some kind of change is in the works.


So that was another day, and I have to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. It's another dark, snowy night in the field.


January 9

I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night, but I read for too long (it's not well written, but it's an interesting story), and I think it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I started coughing when I lay down, but this time I was a bit wiser and immediately took a cough drop, and I took two more during the night, so I had a much better night last night. I was awake at 8:30, when Roxie dropped something (I wasn't sure if it was her or a cat), but it was 10:30 before I got up. I petted a cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed.


I didn't do much of anything again today, but it was a truncated day. I am managing to keep the kitchen a little bit cleaner, and I helped Roxie change a couple of light bulbs and water the indoor plants. 


Mrs. Westphal is blooming, but not with her usual vigor, probably because she hasn't been watered as well as she should have been, and she needs fertilizer. She is a pretty thing, though. Mrs. Westphal is actually the name of the original owner of the plant, which is a real old-fashioned Christmas cactus that must be close to 100 years old now. I got her back in the '70s, when Mrs. Westphal (the lady), who was an invalid, decided she couldn't take care of her anymore and donated her to the church Christmas bazaar. She has been a wonderful plant, and I can't tell you how many of her children are spread around among my friends. Actually, she needs more than fertilizer. She needs to be taken out of her pot, root pruned, packed with new dirt, and put back in, but I'm not sure I'm up to doing that. Anyway, she is doing rather well for how much she has been neglected. I let Roxie handle the watering can, because I'm not sure I should be lifting yet.


The weather was nothing to write home about. The temperature briefly got up to 24, and the wind was 5 mph or less, mostly from the west. It was mostly cloudy for most of the day, except right around sunset, when it cleared a bit, and we had the first nice sunset of the year. Then, a while later, the camera caught the end of the sunset, and it was nice, too. So I got to set up all the 2010 picture pages - and correct a few errors in last year's files while I was at it. The years don't change themselves automatically, after all, and I keep forgetting that.


On the subject of dates, I have been having a terrible time lately. After last weekend, and three Sundays in a row, I lost most of a day on Tuesday, and I have been having a horrible time remembering what day it is. I think I have it straight now, and since tomorrow is Sunday, and next week is a normal one, I hope not to get so confused again. It's an easy thing to do here, where it really doesn't matter a whole lot.


So that was another very quiet day. My belly was a little sore and has a nice big bruise around my belly button, so I used the ice pack today. Otherwise, everything else is fine. It will just take time, I'm sure.


It's a partly cloudy, cool night in the field, and we might just see a star or two tonight.


January 8

Well, last night wasn't such a good one. I went up to the north end late, and I read for a while, and it was 1:00 before I got to bed, and then my sinuses started draining and making me cough. It wasn't until around 3:30 or so that it occurred to me to eat a cough drop, and that solved my problem, but even though I didn't get up until 10:30, I didn't get enough sleep. So I was rather groggy today.


When I got up, I petted a cat and knitted for a while, and today I did remember to put on my robe before I sat down, so I was nice and warm.


I accomplished a few things - not a lot, but a few. Roxie fetched the bird feeders in for me - and back out - and they got filled, and I unloaded the dishwasher, so that is done. I paid a few bills, and Roxie fetched back the mail when she went to visit Peggy. Not much, but a few things.


Tonight we went to Mariner for dinner. I had a real yen for some fish, which I had, and it was good, and I splurged on an Irish coffee for dessert - yum! I was sorry to see there weren't many people there. One would think there might be, but there is snow south of us, and it has been pretty cold up here.


The weather was the usual. The temperature was between 17 and 19 all day, and the wind was from the east, mostly in the 20-35 mph range, although it is dying down now. There were a few snowflakes this morning and some more tonight, but not a lot. This morning, there were even a few patches of blue sky and a couple of rays of sunshine, but that went away in the afternoon and it was cloudy and gray.


Unfortunately, my coughing made my belly very sore, and while I tried to use the ice pack, it was too cold, so I didn't use it very much. All my incisions are getting less and less pink every day, and I can't correlate the place where I am sore with the incisions at all.


We met Johanna at Mariner - fortunately after we ate - and we talked about what she saw and what the people had said to her. Evidently there was no doubt in anybody's mind that I needed to be rid of that thing...not only was it a sort of funny color, it had a lot of scar tissue, which I don't understand. I have lots of questions for the doctor when I see her. Johanna and I both agreed that seeing the inside of a body was really neat - I still wish I'd been there, but I did see pictures. So we had some good laughs, which is also good for the body as well as the soul.


Now it is time for me to totter up to the north end and read a bit before I try to get to bed a lot earlier than last night. It's another cold, dark night in the field.


January 7

I went up to the north end early last night and read for a little while before I took a nice shower, and I was in bed by 10:00. While I was reading, both cats came in and went to sleep on the bath rug. When I started rustling around, Buster left, because he knows what that means, but Jasmine just laid there and blinked at me until I stood up. Even she was happy to see me back home all safe and sound.


I was up several times, of course, but I didn't get up for good until 10:30. I think I more or less got caught up on my sleep. I petted a cat, but I didn't knit until later.


It wasn't a totally wonderful day. My tummy has been swelling where the surgeon did the repair work, and it hurt, so I have been using the ice pack, and occasionally I would get a little twinge in my back where my gallbladder used to be. I got very tired in the early afternoon, and I should have taken a nap, but I recovered later. I was going to read some of my magazines, but I wanted to knit and I couldn't figure out how to do that and read, too, so instead, I knitted and caught up on one of the magazines I can look at online. Apparently there was an American Astronomical Society meeting (that's the professional society) over the weekend, and there were some interesting papers to read about. Roxie made us some nice comfort food with ground beef tonight, and it was good. So it was a quiet day.


The weather was cold and dark, but it didn't snow until after dark. The temperature got up to 24 early in the afternoon, then it dropped off a little bit. The wind was from the east or northeast in the 15-35 mph range, and it is now rising. The lake is singing loudly, and every so often I hear the crash of a rogue wave. Since the wind is from the east, we can't hear that so much.


We started talking at dinner, and it went on, and you know where that leads. It's late now, and it's time to totter up to the north end and crash again. It's a dark, rather noisy night in the field, and I think it's snowing again.


January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

Well, I'm home, and I'm fine. The surgery was a no brainer, and I have not had much pain at all. It was laproscopic, and the surgeon said it was a textbook case. She also said that my gall bladder was inflamed and it needed to come out, so my gut feeling was right. Nobody at the hospital believes that I have had so little pain, but really, I haven't. The surgeon had to do a little repair work below my belly button, and there is some pain there, and I had some gas pains last night, but mostly I have been fine. Now I am just extremely tired, and I will be going to bed shortly.


The only thing that wasn't so nice is that it took me longer to come out of the anesthesia than it ever has before, and I was quite groggy for a while. I don't know why that was, and I may ask the surgeon about it. Aspirus Keweenaw is not a bad hospital, as hospitals go. It was new to be tended completely by RNs, but I guess that is the way things are going now. The LPNs are serving as physicians' assistants.  Everybody was very nice, which is usual up here, and they were very helpful. Even they are now using pumps on their IVs, so gravity fed IVs are a thing of the past.


I didn't like having to eat the liquid diet, but I was doing so well last evening that I had graham crackers and yogurt for dinner. I had a full breakfast this morning, and I have eaten two more meals today. I am hungry, which is good and not so good.


We had no problem getting down to the hospital yesterday, although it was dark and there was some snow, and we had no trouble at all (except for other drivers) getting back. There were several cars going down toward Mt. Bohemia, apparently to ski.


The big problem, which Roxie anticipated, was that when we got to Woodland Road, there were six UPPCO trucks parked in the road, blocking it completely. So Roxie went down to them (they were all standing around jawing, of course) and said hey, I'm bringing someone back from the hospital and we need to get down the road. They moved all six trucks and we sailed through. I was impressed. I don't know how competent they are, but they were all Yooper-nice. It's one of the things I love about living up here. We got home around noon, and we had lunch and a nice talk.


I spent some time in the studio, catching up on my email and my funnies, and around the time ATC came on, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. I didn't sleep well either Sunday or Monday - I didn't get to bed until midnight on Monday, and I had to get up at 6:00 - and of course I didn't sleep well last night, since they were waking me up every two hours to take my vitals or give me pills or something. A hospital is no place to rest, for sure! 


So I will be going to bed very shortly.


Buster came and squeaked at me when I went into the studio, and he has sat on my lap as much as he could. While we were eating lunch, Jasmine kept circling around from the back of the kitchen and through the great room, always behind our backs. So I guess everybody is glad I'm back home.


The weather  both yesterday and today was about the same. The temperature was around 22 both days, with northeast winds in the 15-30 mph range. Of course it was cloudy, and there wasn't much in the way of snow, at least here.


So it is another dark, cold night in the field, but I'm home, and I'm OK and I don't have to worry about getting stabbed in the back anymore. It's a happy night in the field tonight.


January 4

First, please be aware that THERE WILL BE NO JOURNAL TOMORROW NIGHT!! For one night in the hospital, I'm not going to take the laptop. So you'll just have to wait until Wednesday to find out what happened.


I went to bed shortly after I uploaded the journal last night, but for some reason - probably that I was overstimulated - I didn't sleep very well. I was cold, and I don't know the reason for that, either, and I had a hard time sleeping. Evidently I did sleep some, because Roxie said the cats got rather rambunctious, and I didn't hear that.


So I got up around 10:00 again, and I petted a cat for a while, but he was distracted, and he wasn't purring very loudly. I knitted for a while, too, before I got dressed.


And except to putter around a bit I didn't do much else. I still have to pack and take a bath. Oh, well. I can sleep tomorrow. I did get the trash collected up and Roxie, bless her heart, took the rest of the orange bags to the compactor, so that is done.


The weather was the same monotonous stuff it's been: cloudy, windy and snowy. The temperature was around 21 all day, and the wind was from the north in the 20-30 mph range. The lake is still roaring nicely.


The temperature has been so low that we finally have ice on the harbor again, although I don't think it's solid. It's certainly time for it to come and stay, and if it stays this cold (which it's supposed to) we will have a nice ice pack pretty soon...and then we won't be able to hear the lake anymore.


The doctor's office called to say that my heart tests came out just fine, which I knew they would, but they only came back from Marquette this afternoon, so we cut it pretty fine. So I am set to go off and give up my gall bladder tomorrow.


Now it's a cold, windy and snowy night in the field, and I have to do something. Remember, no journal tomorrow.


January 3

Well, last night, after I uploaded the journal, I decided to convert December to Word, even though it was a little late. That involves not only the basic conversion but putting in headings and sub-headings and cleaning up the typos and things (sorry for them), and that, of course, means I have to read the whole thing. If that wasn't bad enough, I remembered that I needed to pay a few bills. So it turned out it was 1:45 before I got to bed. Sigh. I got up around 10:30, and petted a cat and knitted a while before I got dressed, but Buster didn't stay long, because I was knitting, and besides, he kept thinking he was hearing Roxie and he isn't used to her being here yet.


Anyway, I was tired enough that I ended up not doing anything very much for most of the day.


This evening, we and a bunch of other people were invited to Syd and Marty's house for appetizers and soup, and it was a very nice evening altogether. They are all such nice people, and we had a good time, although we split up into groups, as usual. She was kind enough to have some things I could eat, which I appreciated. 


So we got home around 10:00, I think, and then Roxie and I got talking again, so it is late again, but not quite after midnight. I need to sleep!


The weather was still wintry but not quite as cold as it was yesterday. The temperature for most of the day was 16, and there was a northeast wind in the 15-30 mph range. The lake is still speaking quite loudly. It was cloudy all day, and there were snow flurries all day, too, but there wasn't much accumulation. There is kind of a drift in front of the garage again, but that's mostly because of the wind, not because of any new snow.


So now I am tired, and I am going up to the north end and go right to bed. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field.


January 2

After I uploaded this last night, I started looking at the old journals, and I ended up reading all there is of 2000 and January 2001 - and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Oops. I got up around 9:30, because Buster was sitting on the bed with his butt in my face, and I had to anyway. I petted him and knitted a bit before I got dressed.


Well, having Roxie around got me moving, I must say. While there is still too much stuff in the studio by half, it is much better than it was. She swept the entire floor, and I moved a bunch of stuff out that shouldn't have been there. I had been breaking down medium-sized boxes, and I did a few more, so I now have a bag full. That's nice  - they take up much less room that way. I've discovered that if you open up the side corner that is glued, you can fold most boxes into a very nice, small package.


I tried to do something about the desk, and I made a little progress, but it's still horrible. There is a basket overfull of all the papers from the second half of the year - paid bills and other stuff. It's the time of year when I have to file. I hate to file. It's also the time of year when I have to do maintenance on my planner and bring the ledger up to date. None of those things are things I really want to do.  In the middle of the afternoon, I filled the bird feeders, and they were getting hit hard by a flock of chickadees before it got dark.


It was a cold day - well, that's an understatement. The temperature was 6 until about 2:00, when it started to rise slowly, and it is now 12. The wind was in the 15-25 mph range. It started out from the north and has now switched around to the east. We had waves of snow squalls all day long, with some intermittent wan sunlight in between. It would be clear and almost sunny, then a couple of minutes later, the snow would be swirling around the house and we couldn't see down the harbor. At one point I looked out the east windows and there was a patch of very blue sky up there. The Clear Sky Clock says that it is supposed to be nearly clear tonight. We'll see about that.


Anyway, it was cold enough that we didn't want to go out much at all. I managed the feeders, but I was very glad to get back inside. The snow was grinding under my feet and my jeans felt like they were made of ice. I discovered that there is a nice drift up in the corner between the studio and the great room, and there was a smaller drift across in front of the doors, but I managed to knock down some of that.


So it was a nice, productive day. I've said before that I need a goad to get me going, and having a cheerful and energetic housemate is a good way to do it. Maybe tomorrow I can do some of the other things that need doing.


So that was my day, and it's a cold, wintry night in the field, but we might just see the moon.


January 1, 2010 - New Year's Day

Happy New Year! 


I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night and I read for a while. I didn't notice the time when I took my bath, and I was sitting and combing out my hair when I heard a number of strange pops and bangs and I wondered what that was - until I realized it had to be the fireworks! I jumped up (as best I could) and went into the bedroom, and I managed to see the last three rockets they set off, which were very nice. I'm really sorry I missed the whole show. I hear it was lovely. Because of the wind they set them off at the Sixth Street Park, which is on the harbor. My mind...


So I got to bed shortly after midnight, and I slept well until around 9:00, although I didn't get up for a few minutes. I petted a cat and knitted on the black sock for a while before I got dressed.


I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I did get the garage cleaned up enough that Roxie could get her car into it, and I worked on the counters on the sink side of the kitchen. The bird feeders still aren't full. Tomorrow. I didn't do a great job on the kitchen, but it's better than it was.


Roxie arrived around 4:00, and she is now well settled in. We had a nice conversation over dinner, and she is off to bed, since she was up at 4:00 this morning and it snowed all the way up the peninsula.


The weather was wintry and frigid. We had numerous, sometimes heavy, snow showers. The temperature was 19 at midnight, and it fell steadily all day, and now it is 8 and on its way down. With the wind in the 15-30 mph range from the north, the windchill was well below 0 all day. Even in the garage, it was cold.


I have misplaced a bunch of winter gloves and mittens, and I have no idea where they might have gone, which is an annoyance. I have a pair of insulated gloves I like to wear when I'm working around outside in this weather, and I can't find them, so I had to wear my mittens. They are warm, but it's hard to do anything with them on. Oh, well, eventually they will surface, I'm sure.


So that was a very quiet New Year's Day, and I'll be off to the north end as soon as I get this uploaded. Tonight I have to use FrontPage to do the upload, and that's always a pain.


Here we are in a new year and a new decade. Amazing. When I did the stuff I need to do to move the journal to the archives, I said to myself, didn't I just do this? And I truly didn't really believe I would ever live to see 2010. Amazing.


It's a frigid, snowy night in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM