A View From the Field








February, 2010

February 28

I must say this is one of the few Februarys that hasn't been exceptionally long. That's good - it means my mind is getting back to normal.


It was midnight before I got to bed. I started reading the books that my surprise jacket are from, and that got long. Elizabeth Zimmermann was an interesting character.


It was snowing when I went to bed, and I think it snowed for most of the night. I was up around 7:30, and then I went back to sleep...and it was 11:00 before I got up! I guess I got caught up on my sleep, but it severely truncated the day. Then I had an accident after breakfast, and when I got up to the north end, I sat and folded all the wash. So it was after 4:00 before I finished my surfing. Geez.


I washed my sweatpants and a top that hadn't gotten clean the last time - and it still isn't. I think I've mentioned before that I have a lot of problems with my Eddie Bauer clothes not getting clean in the wash. For some reason their fabrics just will not give up grease stains. There is another one that I will have to rewash as well. It's a real annoyance. I don't have that kind of problem with Lands End stuff. I seem to go through cycles when I drop stuff on my front, especially when I'm eating with a tray on my lap and surfing the net.


I read a little tonight - one of the episodes out of the blue binder that I've transcribed - and I am now within about six rows of the end of the surprise jacket. I guess I'll have to find some buttons for it.


The weather was blah. There was a little snow off and on, and the temperature was steady at right around 32º again. While it was windy overnight, the wind was in the 15-20 mph range from the northeast all day. It was cloudy and blah. Blah.


So that was a truncated day, but I don't think I will be up very late tonight. It's another dark, cloudy night in the field, in spite of the full moon, and the lake is still singing rather loudly.


February 27

I spent quite a bit of time staring at the floor last night, for some reason, so it was shortly after midnight when I got to bed. Apparently I slept well enough that I was ready to get up around 9:15, so I had a nice long day...with which I did nothing. My feet and legs were so sore that standing and walking were a problem, so I sat, finished reading the story I was on, and knitted. I'm quite close to the end of the baby surprise jacket. Since it's all knitted, it's very easy knitting, even though the shaping is a bit strange. I think it will be cute. Unfortunately, I also have a very sore left wrist and thumb, but oh, well. It will be better by morning.


The weather was gray and nondescript but windy until about 5:30 this afternoon, when it started snowing lightly. The wind had been in the 15-20 mph range all afternoon, and it has now risen to the 20-30 mph range, from the northeast. I wonder if it will ever come from anyplace else? The temperature was around 32º, plus or minus a degree or two, all day. I've noticed that with the lake not having much ice this year, except when the sky is clear, our big heat sink is keeping it warmer than inland and the temperatures nearly constant.


I noticed that some of the ice had come back to our end of the harbor today, but it certainly isn't thick enough to even consider walking on. What a strange winter.


So that was my quiet day. I need to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight - it is overfull - so I won't be early to bed, but I might make it before midnight. It's a windy, snowy night in the field, and the lake is roaring nicely.


February 26

I didn't fiddle around much last night, except to stare at the floor, but it was still almost midnight before I got to bed. I set the alarm, and I was having a really, really weird dream when it went off. In the meantime, when I was up, there was a gorgeous. almost full, moon shining in my windows so bright I had to turn my back to it. I also saw it when it was setting behind the lighthouse.


It was clear when I got up, and it didn't start to cloud up until around 1:00. It was a beautiful morning. I set off shortly after 10:00, and I made my appointment with a couple of minutes to spare. 


That was rather interesting. They were training a student ultrasound tech, and about halfway through, she gave up and let the expert do the rest of the pictures. I have always had very fibrous breasts, and apparently the remaining one hasn't gotten any less so as I've gotten older. They took a lot of pictures, but there were no little black blobs like there were on the one last summer, so I'm not sure what they were seeing. The radiologist and the surgeon will tell me. Anyway, that took about an hour.


Then I was off to Wal-Mart, where I did quite a bit of damage, but I think I got what I went for. I did acquire a new (and rather inexpensive) birdfeeder to replace the square white one you can't see in the camera. That one doesn't hold very much, and since the goldfinches have taken over the tube feeder, the chickadees have been eating mostly out of the square one. I was shocked to see that the feeders were almost empty when I got home. Geez, guys! But I suppose that at this time of year, other sources of food are getting scarce. I have to fill the pails tomorrow.


I stopped at Ming Bistro for lunch - and Donny was there with his two kids, Danny and Kirsten. Not so surprising, considering how few people there really are in this area. Besides, both Donny and Danny are big guys, and the buffet is all-you-can-eat for $8.00. They make out on me - I like all the appetizers and soup, and by the time I've eaten all that, I'm too full to eat much else. However, I was full enough that I didn't eat any dinner.


Then it was off to Econo. I had a hard time deciding whether to go there or to Pat's, but I haven't been to Econo in a while, and they do have a bigger and more diverse produce department. I got one of their veggie trays, which I love, and several packages of salad greens in varieties that Pat's doesn't carry. Econo has begun to carry some of the bread I've been eating lately - it's called Ecce Panis, and I recommend it, even though you have to slice it yourself. It comes in several flavors, and I have liked every one I've tried. Mostly, I needed more cat food. I got some more TV dinners, and they have completely rearranged their frozen food area since the last time I was there - geez! I found what I was looking for, but I had to go around in circles a lot. It didn't help that there was at least one rather elderly couple who was standing in the middle of most of the aisles I wanted to  go down, discussing at length every little  purchase they made. I think they spent five minutes with the iceberg lettuce. Part of it may have been money, but I don't think that was the whole problem. I feel for people like that.


I actually didn't do as much damage as usual - probably because I have so much JD still, that I didn't need to buy any more, but also, the only meat I got was chicken breasts. I still have some, but they had a special, and they freeze well. Besides, I think it was only a couple of weeks ago that I shopped at Pat's.


There wasn't much traffic either coming or going, so I had an easy time of it. I did get behind a guy going out of Calumet who was driving rather strangely, but he turned off at Allouez, and then I had the road to myself. Nice.


I do have to confess that I was not totally with it today. I had several mental lapses that I don't like to see, but everybody has a day like that now and then. Pay attention, Smith!


I got home around 5:00, but it was after 8:00 before I unloaded the car. I get really lax about that in the cold weather, since everything is perfectly safe in the car (the frozen stuff was in a cooler). I still have to unload the cat food, the bird feeder and the washbasin, but that won't be hard.


My feet and legs were, and still are, terminally sore. I had a hard time with my toes today - they did not want to fit into my shoes, and I had sore feet even before I started walking. And for some reason, I was extremely stiff. It must be the weather, since I've been OK for the past several days. It would have to be today.


The weather was actually rather nice. The temperature was around 25º all day, and it was clear until around 1:00, before It started clouding up. There was a rather brisk wind (15-30 mph) from the northeast, but it only seemed chilly when I was pumping gas. And even when it clouded up, it didn't get really dark. There were a few more rays of sunshine around 6:00, which was nice.


The wind means that the lake is singing loudly, and they are saying we might have some more snow tonight. I hope so. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it won't be really dark, since the moon is almost full. And I'm tired.


February 25

I fooled around again last night and didn't get to bed until 12:30. I got up around 10:00. When I did, I was most surprised to see that all the ice had been pushed down to the other end of the harbor, and we have open water down here. I hope Aaron and the other guy got their fishing shelters off the ice last night...and I really don't think it was very safe out there, if the wind, could blow the ice away. This has been a weird winter.


I didn't do much of anything but fill the bird feeders and add some more stuff to the dishwasher. I did some knitting, and the surprise jacket is coming along. 


I got the other side of the biscornu put together, so the next time I have to craft, I can begin sewing the side pieces into place. This has been very hard to put together, partly because I pulled my backstitches too tight, and partly because there are cross stitches right at the edge of each piece, and I have to try to catch the backstitch without catching any of the cross stitch. I will have to bear that in mind for anymore I do, but I don't think any other designers I will use have done it that way. This is not the first time I have noticed that this designer has made something unnecessarily difficult. It's just the way she is.


The weather was cold, but it began to clear up after noon, and it was quite clear at sunset. The temperature was around 20º until around 4:00, when it began to rise and it is now 25º. The wind has been from the northeast, and it was in the 10-20 mph range until 4:00, when it began to rise and is now in the 20-30 mph range. The lake has been speaking nicely.


So now I will try hard to get to bed at a little bit earlier hour tonight, since I have to be in Laurium at 11:00 tomorrow...oh, rats, and I have to get the birdseed out of the car before I go. Grr. Best set the alarm, I guess.


It's a windy but clear (I think) night in the field.


February 24

I would have been earlier last night, except that I decided to try using FrontPage to upload the web, and after sitting and doing nothing for about 20 minutes, it said it couldn't find the server - huh? It had already copied half the web pages, for heaven's sake! Anyway, I made it into bed by about 12:30, and I slept well to the roaring of the lake and the howling of the wind. 


I got up around 10:00, I think, and I finished the heel on the blue sock. The way I did the short rows worked OK, but it didn't give the results I'm looking for, so I will have to try another way - on another pair of socks, in a light enough color that I can see what I'm doing. So now I am working on the foot, and I can take it along as a waiting room project. 


I didn't do a lot except go to the post office and the store. I worked on the surprise jacket and the biscornu. I'm afraid I picked the wrong stuff to use to seal the edges of the seams. It dried sticky, and while it won't stick to anything clean, it sticks to itself and to me. The seams are a bit too wide anyway, so I guess when I'm ready to sew everything together, I will just cut off the sealant...and I won't use that one again. I have two or three others, one of which I've never tried, so I will see about that for the next one.


The weather was wintry. The temperature hung between 19º and 21º all day, and the wind, which was strong and gusty all night, settled down to between 15 and 20 mph from the northeast all day. It snowed all day, too, more or less heavily. There wasn't a lot of accumulation, but I had a drift in front of the garage, of course. I would say maybe we got 4" of snow here, without the drifting.


When I went out to the post office, I could see that Ron had been down the road, going out, and I met him near US-41 coming back, and he cleared out the driveway. I didn't have a really hard time getting out of the garage, but I was plowing through 8" or 10" of snow, so he could see it needed clearing.


I decided my sweatpants are so comfortable that I would just wear them, and I found they were quite warm enough, even in the cold wind. Now I'm sorry I never invested in any good ones before. These are just great. When I go to town Friday, I'll have to wear jeans, and I'll be sorry to take off my comfy, cuddly sweats. One thing I like about these, which are men's, is that they don't have cuffs at the bottom, so they hang like pants, and they don't ride up like the cuffed or elastic ones do.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm off to the north end much earlier tonight, so maybe I'll get to bed at a reasonable hour for a change. I was reading, but I stopped at a good place, so I don't have to go back to that. It's another dark snowy night, but not as dark as it was, since the moon is gibbous, and even above the clouds it gives a lot of light.


February 23

Well, I did it again, but not tonight. It's earlier now, anyway, and I'm really tired. I got up around 10:30, and that just was not enough sleep. I watched the moon set, and there were stars for part of the night, although it was cloudy when I got up.


I cast on the surprise jacket and worked several rows. I think it will go relatively fast, even though there are a lot of stitches, because it's all knit. I'm not making it for anybody, by the way - I just want to see how the pattern works, and doing it in baby size is a lot easier than doing it in a size to fit me. Buster was disgusted, of course, since I was knitting instead of paying attention to him.


I didn't do very much except wash up a few pots and pans and put some stuff in the dishwasher. It's nice to have that stuff off the counters and out of the sink.


This afternoon, I finally washed and pressed the pieces of the biscornu. I wanted to put some fray stop stuff on the edges of the pieces, since linen frays very easily, and I had my usual problem with glue-type stuff. When I was finally done, I had glue all over my hands, and I had to wash them several times and rub them hard to get it off. I have just never learned how to use glue or anything like it! I didn't do anything more with the biscornu, because the stuff has to dry thoroughly, but I will get at it tomorrow, and I don't think it will take that much time to sew it together. I don't know about stuffing it - I'm not very good at that, either.


I also got the sock to the point of starting the heel, started it, and ripped it all out. I'm doing the short rows a bit differently on this one (which is why I wanted to work it), and I apparently don't have it down right yet. I will take it up to the north end and try to figure it out tomorrow morning.


I was doing my surfing around 1:30 and when I looked at the weather forecast that said snow after 1:00, I wondered where it was - and there it was. It started down in Houghton before it started here, and it snowed off and on all afternoon. There was no wind when it started, by about 3:00 it was beginning to rise. It is now in the 20-35 mph range, and the lake is roaring. It's a northeast wind, and it seems to me we've had a lot of wind from that direction this winter. I think it is still snowing off and on, and it will be continuing for the next 12 to 18 hours at least. I wish it would go on longer, but oh, well.


So that was another quiet day. Now that I have my lovely sweatpants, I don't want to take them off, but I think I got some fray stop on them, too. I will hope it comes out, or I will have to try to dig out the solvents. I think regular cleaning fluid will work, but I hope I don't have to try.


It's now a dark, noisy and snowy night in the field. It's snowing! It's snowing! Yay!


February 22

So last night it was 2:30. There was a knitting pattern I wanted to look up, and that took time. I think I may have read some more, too, I don't remember. I got up around 10:30. Buster had been bugging me, and my left hip was sore, and I had to pee too badly to just turn over. I petted him and knitted my two rows before I got dressed - no pants again.


And I did a few things, despite the amount of time it took to do my surfing. I got one pair of pants hemmed, and then I immediately filled the bird feeders before I hemmed the other pair of pants. I had to stop a while, because it was getting dark and I couldn't see to thread the machine needle, but after I could turn on the lights, I mended a pair of underpants. Every now and then I get a pair of those that tears down one of the seams, but otherwise they are in good shape, so I just sew up the seam.


I had to go down to the basement, because I needed some very dark navy thread, and I didn't have any up here - amazing, considering how much thread I have here! As it turned out, I had just enough to hem the pants the way I wanted them. I am going to have to see if I can get another spool of that color, since it's very handy. In the course of doing that, I discovered that I seem to have even more black thread than I have white - and I don't know why, since I don't use black thread very much. I can say that I have more thread than Wal-Mart has in their display, but then I've been collecting it for 40 years, and then I got all my mother's. Cotton thread may deteriorate, so I only use the old stuff for basting, but polyester doesn't. 


I took the opportunity to look at my stuff, so I would remember where some of it is, and that was my activity for the afternoon. After the talking stopped, I read some more and knitted on the sock. I'm not too far from starting the heel, so I gave up on that for the time. I certainly have a lot of projects going, and if I start the baby surprise jacket, there will be even more. There is also a new sock yarn I want to see knitted up. That's why I seem to have a lot of single socks around. I want to see how they all knit up. Eventually, I will get around to knitting the mates, but I seem to have enough socks for winter anyway, so it's not vital. When i started the sock project, back around 1996 or 1997, I knitted fast and furious (although I knitted one of each of the colorways of the striped socks), because I needed socks. Now I have a nice collection, from quite heavy to quite thin, for all kinds of winter weather.


The weather was about the same, except that it was mostly cloudy for most of the day. except for a little while between 1:00 and 2:00. The temperature peaked at 36º, although it dropped back quickly to 25º after sunset. There wasn't any wind again. When I went out for the bird feeders, it was nice out.


The fisherman was out for a while in the afternoon, but not for long, I don't think. I think there is a limit of 3 splake a day, and if fishing is good, it shouldn't take long to get them. I think it was probably Aaron. Makes me wish I could fish, but then, I don't know how to clean a fish, either, so that wouldn't be helpful.


So that was my day, and now I will totter up to the north end and just maybe get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I don't want to start reading again, because I am about to start a new episode which I know is very exciting and pretty long, and if I start it, I will want to read the whole thing. I am editing as I read, too, since it's clear that this is the first time I've re-read this story since I finished typing it. It never ceases to amaze me what typos and grammar errors Word doesn't catch - even things like no punctuation at the end of a sentence. At least so far I haven't left out part of a paragraph, like I did in one of the other stories I transcribed, and I had to go back to the handwritten version and try to find what I'd left out. This story is the one that was in the white binder. I've read it any number of times, but I never get tired of it.


It's a dark night in the field. There probably won't be any stars, and snow is coming, goodie, goodie!


February 21

After I uploaded this, I started reading again, and it was interesting - I do like that story - so it was 3:00 before I got to bed, and by that time my eyes were about crossed. I got up around 11:00, I think, and I knitted my two rows on the sweater and filled the pill dispensers, besides petting the cat.


i did do a few things today, although I had two phone calls. I got the dishwasher unloaded, and I did most of the wash. I still have a couple more loads to do. Roxie had washed her sheets and towels before she left. Buster found them in the wash basket and made himself comfortable, and it appears he gave up a hairball while he was there, so I need to rewash everything.


I wanted to hem my new sweatpants today, so much that I never put on anything over my underpants, but I didn't get it done. I have gotten them fitted and one leg turned up, but that's all. They fit wonderfully well, except that they are made for a man a lot taller than I am, so I have to turn up 4" on the bottom. They are such nice pants that I want to do it right, and not just cut them off. I did find the sewing machine, and I did get the measuring done, so I can work on that tomorrow. Anyway, I was walking around all day in a fleece top and my underpants, which is why the bird feeders didn't get filled. That's for tomorrow, too.


And I cooked tonight, just chicken breasts in mushroom soup and rice, but I tried a little different flavoring and it turned out good.


The weather was nice again, but there weren't any fishermen, for some reason. The temperature got up to 35º briefly, and it was over freezing for a good part of the afternoon. It was mostly clear, although there were some clouds in the sky, especially this morning. There was hardly any wind at all again. Perhaps the warm temperatures and the sun have softened up the ice, which I don't think was ever very thick.


I started reading again tonight, but I will try hard not to do it too long. I need to get back on schedule, and I didn't get enough sleep last night. So now It's a dark, calm night in the field, and there may be stars.


February 20

Here we go again.


Last night, instead of going up to the north end after I finished the journal, I started fiddling around with some of the needlework charts I've gotten lately, and as a result it was 2:00 before I got to bed again. Tonight will be a little earlier, but not much. Oh, dear. This has got to stop.


I got up around 9:30 and I petted the cat and knitted for quite a while before I got dressed. It was a beautiful morning, and the fishermen were out on the ice when I got to the studio. I didn't do a lot, but I did more or less collect the trash that was on the counters, and it looks quite a bit better now. Otherwise, I was content to sit in the sun and soak up the rays.


The only problem with that is that it got hot in here. The temperature got up to 75º in the studio, and I'm dressed for winter. I have been sweating.


I really started sweating about 3:00. Suddenly my internet connection went away, and I couldn't get it back. I have noticed lately that any time I did anything heavy, like playing games, the system was overheating a bit. That is always a good sign that it's time to dust inside the CPU case, so while I was offline, I decided to do that. It involves turning the case over onto its side and opening it up, and the way things are in here, it's a bit tight when I do that, since I don't want to disconnect all those cables. I was right that it was time to dust. The edges of the CPU and  power supply fan blades were covered with dust, and there was a lot down in the heat sink for the CPU, too. I think I did a thorough job - as thorough as I could without using a vacuum - and not only is everything running about 30º cooler, the fan speed is higher than it's been lately. It may not look like a lot of dust, but those fans are so delicately balanced that it doesn't take a lot to slow them down...and then we overheat.


When I hadn't heard back from PastyNet by 6:30, I called again, and Jon got me straightened out. They were doing a major upgrade on part of the network today and pulled the wrong cable, causing a general outage. Oops. Label your cables, guys. Anyway, at least I got a task done that I knew needed doing.


I don't know how heavy newer computers are, but mine weighs a ton, and since the power supply - where all the iron is - is at the top of the case, not only is it hard to lift, it's top heavy and hard to wrestle around. I try not to move it any more than I have to.


The weather was lovely again. The temperature got up to 35º for a couple of hours this afternoon, with almost calm winds. There were a few high clouds in the sky, and they are reporting overcast at Houghton now, although when I went through the great room just now, the crescent moon was shining brightly over the lighthouse. Now that it is dark, the temperature is plummeting again, like it did last night (it was about 15º until 9:00 this morning).


I am not going to complain about all the free solar heat. The boiler didn't run all day today, and that's just great. However, it's a shame I can't control it a little better. It does get warm in here, and I don't like to take off all my clothes, since I might want to go outside - to fill bird feeders, for example. Only I keep thinking about all the propane I'm saving for tomorrow, when I have to wash.


This evening, I started reading the longest story that is in the computer. I had a cat on my lap for a while, and then I knitted until I got a cramp in my left thumb joint. I am making good progress on redoing the sock, and I think I am back to nearly where I was when I went off to Carolyn's on Wednesday. 


So that was another quiet day, and now I am off to the north end. Maybe I will see the setting moon and maybe even a star or two. It's a dark, calm night in the field.


February 19

Well, I hope I don't do that again. It was after 2:00 before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00, I think. It was another clear night, and when I was up, I watched Mars chase Castor and Pollux across the sky toward the northwest. It was a bit cloudy when I got up, but the clouds went away quickly, and it was another beautifully sunny afternoon.


I didn't do much except go to the post office and the store. I had to drive all around town to get to the post office. The antique snowmobile event started either yesterday or today, and they had blocked off Barnard Street, which is the middle one parallel to the harbor, for about three blocks. There were a lot more people and sleds in town than I would have thought, and there were several wandering around on US-41 like they thought it was a sidewalk. I nearly nudged one guy who was meandering across the street from Mariner to the Community Center. Hey, guy, this is a road. Those antique machines are neat, though.


A couple of the things I had sent for came, so now I have more stuff to play with. There were three really neat cross stitch charts of cats, all around 9" x 12" on 18 count fabric, fully stitched. One has part of a white cat and part of a black cat, and they look so much like DC and Buster, except that DC had some gray on his face...hmm. Maybe I can figure out how to put that in? I'm going to have to do that one! And there is another interesting biscornu to add to my collection.


Otherwise, I finally have the dishwasher almost ready to run. That was about all I had time for in my truncated day. I have to get rid of the trash, too, but that can wait till tomorrow.


The weather was, as I've said, gorgeous, unless you wanted snow and cold. It was perfectly clear, and the temperature was 30º all day, until about 8:00, when it plummeted to 16º, which is it now. There was almost no wind (under 10 mph), which switched around to the west-southwest after around 7:00.


There were two huts out on the ice today, and I think one of them may have been Aaron, because there was a dog. I think it would get awfully hot inside those little shelters in the sunshine. However, if they're there, I guess they're still catching fish. The ice is all down at our end of the harbor - it's open water around town. I hope it freezes up before the splake tournament on March 6.


March 6 is going to be quite a weekend. There is the splake tournament, and there is also a cross country ski race on our trails that day and the 7th. I think we all hope it will get people into town and induce them to come back at other times, too.


Tonight I read another unfinished story - shorter - that is on the computer. So it is late now, although I probably would have been up anyway, because there was a nice concert that ended with Beethoven's Seventh, which was my favorite when I was a kid, and I still like it a lot.  Buster loves it when I start reading on the computer, because he can sit on my lap, although I was knitting tonight. I'd like to get that sock back to where it was the other day. He is awfully cllingy lately, but he seems to feel OK.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end. It's another clear, cold night in the field, and there will be stars again.


February 18

Well, it's tomorrow already, but oh, well.


I got to bed around 11:30 last night, I think, and I slept well. There were stars, and around 4:00 I looked out to see three quite bright stars in a horizontal row going off toward the north. After checking today, I discovered that they were Mars, Castor and Pollux. It was very pretty. When I was up at 7:00, and it was beginning to get light, there was a snowmobile coming down the mountain, which I thought was a bit weird. Maybe it was just the sheriff on patrol. I don't know why anybody else would be up there at that hour and not stay for sunrise.


I got up around 9:30, and I knitted and petted a cat, although he went away when I started knitting. I have devised a way to tell what row - increase or plain - I'm knitting on, and that will be a help when I get further down the yoke. The last rows of the yoke have about 480 stitches, and I may not be able to get all the way around in one sitting.


It turned out to be a beautiful day. It was cloudy when I got up, but it was clearing by the time I got to the studio, and the afternoon was just gorgeous. The temperature was just about constant at 31º, and the wind was from the northeast in the 15-25  mph range. This isn't the kind of weather we need, but I'll take all the sunshine I can get.


The reason I'm so late is that after dinner, I started reading one of the stories that is in the computer, and I just kept on until I finished it - 164 pages typed. It isn't done by any means, but I was curious to see where I left off. Now I know.


So that was another nothing day, and I need to fill the dishwasher before I totter up to the north end, and tonight I have to take a bath, so I will be very, very late getting to bed. It's a dark, clear night in the field and there will be stars.


February 17 - Ash Wednesday

I got interested in the end of John and the beginning of Acts last night, and it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well, with only two wakeups, to the singing of the lake and the occasional howling of the wind. I got up around 10:00, I think. Evidently I need 10 hours' sleep, no matter when I get it. I petted a very purry cat and knitted a while, much to his disgust. I must mention that I broke out the curling iron this morning. I have gotten tired of my hair looking like an old witch. In the dry air of houses in the winter, it just will not behave itself. It turned out looking much better for having been curled a little.


I had time to do most of my surfing before it was time to go off to Carolyn's. It was a nice group, very small, because several people are out of town, but Laurel brought a very good cake and we had a good time, with the ladies who travel a lot to see their kids telling all sorts of funny story about traveling.


I took a sock I've been working on, hereafter known as the blue sock, and I was pretty nearly done with the leg when I discovered that I had slipped some stitches right near where I started working on it (after having put it aside for a year or more). Well, that's just not right, so I ended up ripping it out back to the ribbing. Grr. It will be better, though, because you could see the row where it had been sitting for all that time, and that won't happen now. I hate to rip, but I hate to have such nice socks (two shades of blue with a purple line running through it, and very soft yarn) not turn out right. It's the knitting, though, since I really don't need any more socks.


Before I left, I shoveled part of the deck in front of the patio doors and filled the bird feeders with the seed I had in the buckets. I could hear the chickadees calling "She's here! She's here!" when I went out, although they didn't eat as much as I thought they would. Wait till tomorrow.


By the time we left Carolyn's, the skies were clearing, and we had a really beautiful evening. Ron came around 5:00 and cleared out the driveway, which was kind of messy from all my comings and goings, but he pushed a big pile of snow into the garage, so before I could close the door, I had to shovel the pile out of the garage. I looked up, and there in the clear, dark blue sky was the little crescent moon, so pretty! If it stays clear like this, I will have to adjust the stop time on the camera. It didn't get nearly to the end of twilight tonight.


The weather was rather nice, unless you want snow and cold. The temperature got  up to 33º. and there was a rather brisk wind, which has now risen again into the 20-30 mph range, from the north to northeast. It was cloudy this morning, and there was even a little mist coming down when I went to Carolyn's, but all that blew away later, and I think it is still clear, although it is supposed to cloud up again later.


So that was a nice social afternoon, and now Buster is telling me it's past time to go to bed. It's a dark, noisy night in the field and it will be a good night to sleep.


February 16

I read for a while last night and I was in bed not long after 11:00, I think. I got up about 9:30 and I petted a cat and knitted for a while. There was a little snow overnight, but not a lot, and I don't think it snowed today, darn it.


I can't remember that I did anything much at all today, but oh, well. That's pretty normal, I guess. I put in an order for some plants for my garden. I'm not sure what will come of that, but they are things I really want to grow there...and I had to take out a few others. No roses yet, but I have to think about that a little more.


The weather was blah. The temperature was in the upper 20s all day, and there was a strong north to northeast wind. At 5:00 am, we had some 41 mph gusts, although it has died down since, into the 20-30 mph range. It was cloudy and dull all day. Blah.


So that was a wasted day, and it's time to go up to the north end. The cat is sitting on my lap now, and I think he wants more to eat, so I will do that on my way. It's a dark, windy night in the field, and they say it's going to snow some more. I hope so.


February 15

Instead of going up to the north end when I should have, I started reading one of my magazines, and I read for quite a while, so it was after 11:00 when I turned out the light. It was a good night to sleep. I could see the lighthouse light, but I couldn't see anything down the harbor, and it was like that all night. I had some problem getting to sleep, but once I did, I did good. I got up around 9:30, and I petted a cat but I didn't do any knitting.


Then it was off to my massage, and I felt much better for it. Getting out was interesting. There was 4" or more of  new snow overnight, and there was the usual drift in front of my garage door and in the long part of the driveway. Ron did the road and the people across US-41, but he didn't do the driveway again. I will have to see if he will do it tomorrow. I think he was away during the day, because I came home around 6:00 and he was doing Mike's driveway.


I got myself into something. CHIA (the Copper Harbor Improvement Association) put out a call for a volunteer to be the secretary for the Advertising Committee, and I thought, gee, at last there's something I can do. So I told Johanna, whom I think is sort of the chairman, and I am now on the Advertising Committee. I'm not sure where it will all end, but it will be interesting.


So I guess that slowly I am feeling better. I know a year ago I wouldn't have done that, so something has changed. I have had the idea that I'd like to get a little more involved in local life, with the understanding that I don't like crowds and I can't stand or walk around very much. This is a small contribution I feel I can make to my adopted hometown. It means that you may hear more about the activities that are going on in town, even if I don't go to all of them myself. There is something going on next weekend, but I'm not sure quite what.


There is going to be a splake ice fishing contest, a vintage snowmobile race, and the Copper Dog 150 dogsled race coming up in the next few weeks, into March. March may be getting into spring in some parts of the country, but up here it's usually when we have our peak snow on the ground, and normally spring doesn't even consider coming until sometime in April. As I get into these things, I will report more. Roxie is coming up for a couple of weeks in March. She volunteered for the dogsled race, which is on March 13. I'd like to see the dogs, too.


We had a nice snowfall over the past two days, and there is supposed to be more to come this week. I would say we had 8" or more, light and fluffy. Unfortunately, the temperature has now risen to 33º, so that will pack it down a bit before it cools off again. It was in the 20s for most of the day. The wind is rising, too, and it is now in the 25-35 mph range from the northeast. I don't know where that warm temperature came from. The lake is singing nicely, and I hope that wind over the lake will bring us some more snow.


The last picture from the camera tonight caught someone coming down from Brockway on a snowmobile. I didn't save it, because all you can see is another point of light above and to the left of town. You may be able to catch it in the webcam archives. It's more fun to watch them come all the way down the road than to see a still picture. There have been a lot of snowmobilers in town, in large packs, so I think it may still be a pretty good winter for the town.


So now I am tired, and I will totter up to the north end and read a bit  - I'm reading John now - and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a dark, noisy night in the field.


February 14

Happy Valentine's Day! It's snowing! It's snowing! Whoopee!


I turned out the light about 10:30 last night, but I didn't sleep very well at all. I'm not quite sure why, although I was sore and a bit warm. I was wakeful until around 3:00 or later, and then I did sleep, although I was up a number of times. I got up around 10:00 because I was sore, and wonder to behold, it was snowing rather hard! Whoopee! I petted a cat and knitted for a while, and it was clear that the snow was the lake effect variety, because it was waxing and waning. It never really stopped, though, and it kept right on all day. Whoopee!


In an attempt to find something slightly different to eat, I discovered a lot of stuff that has died in my fridge, so I need to get at that. I also have a bunch of full wastebaskets, so I need to get at that, too.


Just about all I did was to cycle the dishwasher, although it's not ready to run again. I put away some pots and pans and washed some more, so it is a little nicer looking in the kitchen now.


Last week sometime, I noticed that I had left the lid off the butter dish and somebody had helped him or herself to quite a bit. I thought it must be Jasmine, because Buster never seemed to like butter. Well...I finished a stick of butter today, so I put the dish on the floor, like I used to do for DC. Well...a while later, I caught Buster licking it so clean it looked like it had already been washed. So sometime in the past few years, he decided he likes butter. I think it's probably good for him, since he's so skinny, and the fat is good for his coat. However, I wonder when he decided that? Now I will have to figure out something to do with the knife, because I'm sure he will lick that, too. Most cats seem to like butter, and it wouldn't surprise me if Jasmine does, too, but she may not get a chance to have any. Not that she needs any more calories. She is a square little thing, and she is by no means skinny. However, I believe every cat needs a little treat now and then, and neither of them seem to like cat treats at all.


I have used covered butter dishes for nearly 40 years, after I noticed my first cat had taken a chunk out of the butter I left on the counter. They're canny, these guys. They never, ever get up on the counters when I'm around, because they know I will screech at them. But when I'm not around or sleeping or something...well, all bets are off. I remember when I realized DC was getting onto the counters at Champine. My cleaning woman had just cleaned the kitchen, and when I came home that afternoon, there were little footprints on the stainless steel in front of the cooktop. Uh-huh. But never when I'm around to see it. 


I knew somebody had been on the counter when he ate the butter, because i heard something drop and found a tool on the floor the next morning. He must have pushed it off on purpose, because he can walk around so carefully nothing ever gets moved. He probably thought, oh, what the hey, she'll know I've been here anyway, so I might as well tell her. Buster is a funny little cat. Our biggest difference of opinion is about whose house this is, mine or his. You can guess what he thinks.


It was a snowy, windy day. The temperature was in the low 20s all day, and the wind was in the 15-30 mph range. It was from the northeast, so I didn't hear or feel much of it. It snowed more or less steadily from sometime before dawn, and at a guess, we got between 4" and 6", although with the wind as strong as it is, it's not easy to tell. It was clearly lake effect snow, because sometimes it would snow harder than others, but it never really stopped.


Ron came around 4:00 and blew out Woodland Road and my driveway. As usual, there was a drift in front of the garage, and some drifting along the long part of the driveway (the east-west part).  It's supposed to keep snowing until sometime late tomorrow. I hope so. We really need some new snow. 


So that was another quiet day in the field, and I will be going up to the north end soon. It's a dark, snowy and windy night, and it should be a good one to sleep.


February 13

I think I was in bed by midnight, and I slept well for a change. I was awake sometime in night and there were stars, but by the time I got up at 10:00, it had snowed a little bit. Oh, goody! I knitted and petted a cat before I got dressed, and I had a no-no brunch - a sandwich of ham and salami. Boy, did it taste good! 


The fishermen were out on the harbor when I got to the studio, but most of them didn't stay long. I guess, from Amanda's email, that Marty Faassen is having his fish weekend this weekend, and most of the guys were his friends. I will have to check with Syd.


I was so late that I didn't do much of anything again except my daily surfing.


The weather was encouraging. We had several snow showers, and we picked up maybe an inch or two of snow. The temperature hung right about 25º, and the wind was from the northeast, at a maximum of about 15 mph. It was cloudy all day.


The good news is that there is a winter weather advisory up for Sunday and Monday, and we may even get a reasonable amount of snow. That would be just great. This dribble here and drabble there is just not what we need!


So I have not much to report, and it's a dark night in the field because it's new moon. C'mon, snow!


February 12

Today is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I've been confused ever since they decreed "President's Day," which is Monday, apparently.


I got the dishwasher ready to run and read for a while before I went to bed, and I turned out the light around midnight, I think. I slept well for about four hours, then I was wakeful for several hours. I'm not quite sure why, but It was probably 5:00 before I got back to sleep.


One time when I was up, I looked out the window as I was getting ready to leave the bathroom, and there was Capella setting behind the trees, and there were stars. Well, Capella never really sets here - I've seen it right over the horizon in the middle of summer - but it was going down behind the trees. It wasn't completely clear, and they kept fading in and out, but there were definitely stars. Around 6:15, I was up again, and there were stars setting in the west, and I just now discovered that what I was seeing was Leo, heading down into the northwest, with Regulus very bright, and Arcturus above and to the south of it.


I woke up around 8:00 and went back to bed and didn't get up until about 10:00. It was partly cloudy then, too, with an occasional ray of sunshine. I petted a cat and knitted. The sweater already has so many stitches that I can only do a couple of rows in a reasonable length of time. I also finally folded the laundry and got it put away...so next weekend I can wash again. It never ends.


Anyway, it was around 11:00 when I got my breakfast, and when I got to the studio, I was most surprised to see that there was evidently an ice fishing klatch out on the harbor between my house and Amanda and Aaron's. There were as many as eleven guys out there, mostly standing around and talking or playing with the two dogs that were there. There was one guy who was a really serious fisherman, though. He spent most of his time lying flat on his belly with his head almost in his hole, and he stayed after all the rest of the guys left. I wonder if they caught anything? All but the one guy left by 4:00. They are all seasoned ice fishermen, though, and each one had his little sled with all his stuff on it, and one guy had a collapsible tent, which I don't think he needed today.


The weather was pretty good for that sort of thing. It was partly cloudy all day. The temperature was in the low 20s again, and there were very light breezes from the north. Late in the afternoon, there was some kind of haze down the harbor that looked like snow, but I don't think it was, since it never snowed here. There were a few minutes of very pretty skies, with mauve and peach clouds, right after sunset, but they went away so fast I never got to grab the camera.


While I was awake in the middle of the night, I realized I was not through with the stitching on the biscornu. There were four corner stitches on each square, and I had to do the backstitching around each square. So I did that this afternoon. Now I am done with the stitching. I was also thinking about how, or if, I am going to wash the pieces. I've been soaking messed up underpants in my washbasin, and I'm not sure I want to wash embroidery in it unless I clean it thoroughly with bleach. I guess I need another washbasin. There should be one or more around here someplace, but I'm not sure where. I know I brought a couple from the other house.


Anyway, none of those things are things I should have been thinking about in the middle of the night. I hope I can do better tonight.


Now it's another cold, dark night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end. It's quiet, too. Where is the snow?


February 11

I know I did something last night, but I can't remember what. Possibly I knitted. I got to bed before 1:00, but that's all I can say. I woke up around 9:30, I think, and I decided to get up to stay, so that I can make some attempt to haul my schedule back to human times. Not gonna happen tonight, though.


I knitted and petted a cat this morning, and I finished the neck shaping on the sweater and started on the yoke. Now the problem is to keep track of whether I am doing an increase round or a regular round. I need something I can attach to my knitting or my needle and just turn over to keep track of that, and I haven't figured out what to use yet. It needs to attach to the knitting, and it needs to be simple and obvious. Hmm...


As usual, I didn't do a lot, although I will have to load the dishwasher before I go to bed, and that will be a job, since it's completely empty and everything is in the sink. I got some of the clean pots and pans put away, but there are a lot of those that need to be washed, too.


This afternoon, while the talking was on, I finished the embroidery on the biscornu. Now it's a matter of putting it together, but the pieces are rather wrinkled and I think I will have to wash and iron them before I start, or at least press them. At least the embroidery is done.


I filled the two bird feeders that were empty. The little birds have apparently been hitting the feeders hard, and both the tube feeder and the square white feeder were empty.


And I went to the post office, where somebody (thanks, Terry, if you read this) sent me a Valentine - a nice little box of Godiva chocolate. Apparently people know my weakness. There were also a lot of catalogs and pleas for money, most of which went in the trash.


I stopped at the store for eggs, and asked Kelly if she can get in one of my more favorite wines - it's called Firehose (!), and they make a Riesling and a Gewürztraminer (try spelling that right!), both of which I like a lot. Her mom was there and pointed out a red that I will have to try when I have a little more money, and they also have three different real German Rieslings that come in beautiful blue bottles...well, pretty soon I won't have to be buying my wine in town anymore. As I've said many times, they may not have everything you want, but they have everything you need. I count wine as one of those things. Unfortunately, the only salad greens they have is iceberg lettuce, which I don't like very well, although I may have to start eating it. I know why they don't stock any other greens - they just don't keep. I have that trouble myself. I'm on the last bag I bought when I was in Calumet, and it's not at its best. I sure do enjoy having a salad with dinner, though.


The weather was nondescript again. The temperature was nearly constant around 22º, and the wind was from the north but very light. It was mostly cloudy, although there was a little sunshine late in the day. There were a few magenta clouds after sunset, too, but they went away before I could even think about taking a picture. What I did notice is that the sun is now setting well within the camera's view. It's about halfway between the thistle feeder and the tube feeder. And I haven't moved the camera, either. We have more than 10 hours of daylight now, too, so things are moving upward.


When I was out, it wasn't really very nice. The wind, while light, was rather cutting while I was feeding the dog. Clyde has a dog, Shadow, who should have been called "Mooch". He has a number of friends who feed him dog biscuits when they come to the post office (I wonder sometimes if Clyde has to feed him at all). Several months ago, he followed me to my car, and when I didn't have a biscuit to give him, he gave me that real hang-dog look that made me feel guilty. So when I was at the feed store, I got a big bag of dog biscuits (supposedly good for him), and when I see him, I give him some. Now he recognizes me and waits for me, and I have to feed him on the way in. He'd like it if I'd feed him on the way out, too, but enough already. Curiously, he isn't fat. Clyde claims he is a black, short-haired golden retriever, which makes me raise my eyebrows, but he clearly isn't a lab. He's a nice looking dog, although he is getting very gray around the muzzle and eyebrows. He is a nice dog, and that is about as close to having a dog as I care to come. It's not that I don't like dogs, which I do, but there is no way I can take on a dog. They are high-maintenance pets. So I feed Shadow and pet other people's dogs.


As a matter of fact, dogs seem to think I'm wonderful, which is strange, because I'm not really a dog person and I'm a little suspicious around them. I have had dogs suck my fingers and lie on my feet and Eos, who is Johanna's dog, wants to play with me when I see her. I'm sure I could become attached to a dog very easily. However, I don't like small dogs, and large dogs are too much for me to take care of. They require training and walking and licenses and regular shots and all that sort of thing. Cats are easier.


Anyway, that was my day, and now I have to get the dishwasher packed and ready to run. It's another cloudy, cold night in the field, but where is the snow?


February 10

I went up to the north end around 10:00 last night, but I took the sweater yarn and the beginnings of the pattern, and it was nearly 1:00 before I got to bed, but the pattern was done. I was going to cast on the neck ribbing, but I was having trouble seeing by that time, so I didn't. I didn't get up until nearly 11:00, and I cast on the ribbing and did three rows, so I was very late getting to the studio again. Oh, well.


When I got to the office and opened the display, the blue box saying "VGA" stayed in the middle of the screen and wouldn't go away. So I turned off the monitor and turned it back on, then the Gateway logo stayed in the middle of the screen. I had to power fail it to make it work right. Geez!


As usual, I didn't do very much. I did finally get the dishwasher unloaded, but I haven't started loading it yet. I need to wash dishes tomorrow night. I cooked - pork chops in mushroom soup with rice - and that came out well, although it still needs to be put away. I did some embroidery, and I am a little more than half done with the purple flowers. Then I decided to work on the sweater, and I have started working off the neck stitches and doing the yoke increases. For a while, that will be rather ungainly, with two double pointed needles in use. I started by using the wrong needle to work the second row, but I caught it pretty fast. This time, the sweater may be a bit large, but it will be comfy and I can wear a turtleneck underneath it. I hardly ever wear a sweater or fleece top or sweatshirt without either a turtleneck or a polo shirt under it.


The weather was blah again. I couldn't see that we got any snow at all. The wind was strong, in the 25-35 mph range overnight (maximum gusts 34.5 mph), and 15-30 mph during the day, from the northeast. You would have thought it would pick up some moisture from the lake, which isn't frozen, but it didn't. The temperature was in the lower 20s all day. The lake is still singing loudly, which makes it nice to sleep.


Buster is feeling and acting better today, and his meow is more normal, so I'm, not sure what his problem was. He licked my plate tonight. He does like pork, and I will have to remember to give him a piece or two, but what he really likes is any kind of gravy or soup. This is not a new thing, he's always liked that. I haven't seen much of Jasmine today, so I don't know what her problem is. If it's not one it's the other...


We had a very short, pretty sunset tonight, with a little sun pillar after the sun had dropped below the Mountain Lodge. I took pictures, but they are still in the camera, and I don't think they came out very well. I discovered after the color was all gone that I didn't have the camera set on "landscape", which may well be why I sometimes have trouble with the focus, but I'm not sure about that. Every so often I have to reread the user's manual, and it may be time to do that. It ought to autofocus anyway, but sometimes it doesn't.


So that was another quiet, truncated day, and I'm off to the north end. It's another dark, noisy night in the field, but where is the snow?


February 9

I worked for quite a while on an online order that I ended up not placing, so it was late when I got up to the north end, and it was after 1:00 when I got to bed. Then I started thinking about the sweater pattern, so it was a while before I got to sleep.  I didn't get up until after 10:30 this morning, then I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while. I finished the ribbing on the second sock and started the leg, so it was noon again before I got to the studio.


That truncated my day so much that I didn't do most of what I thought I might. I did get the trash off the counter, and it's nice to be able to work around there. There's a lot more to do in the kitchen, but not today.


I did some embroidery, but not much else. I finished the pink flower squares and started on the purple squares. There are two of each, and the fifth square is completely different.


The weather was blah again. The temperature was in the low 20s all day, slowly rising, and by 5:00 the wind was rising, and it is now in the 25-35 mph range. I can't hear the wind itself very much, because it's from the east, but I have been listening to the lake as it starts to roar louder and louder. It was cloudy all day, but not particularly dark. I think it may be snowing, but if so, it didn't start until after dark.


I put on the first pair of my new compression hose yesterday, with difficulty. They are a size smaller than the last ones, and my left foot was quite swollen yesterday. Today they went on much better, and they certainly feel good, at least until they start to break at my ankles, and then after a while that gets sore. There isn't anything I can do about that, though, so I endure. They are keeping the fluid out of my ankles and feet, and that's what's important. I did take a chance on ordering the smaller size, but I measured my ankles and calves when there was no fluid, and the size I ordered is the right one. They are supposed to be tight, and that's been the problem with the old ones - not only were they a larger size, they have stretched out in the two years I have worn them. The new ones may stretch faster, but I'll just have to deal with that.


It's strange how I have gotten used to wearing the hose, and my legs don't feel comfortable without them anymore. They can be hot in the summer, of course, but maybe I will continue to be lucky and it won't get that hot. When it's hot is when I particularly need to wear them, because I swell all over when it's hot. I put off getting new hose as long as possible, because they're expensive, but I've known for several months that I needed new ones.


Buster is worrying me. Something was wrong with his voice this morning, and he sounded very hoarse when he asked for his breakfast. I felt around his throat, and I can't feel anything that shouldn't be there, so I will just have to watch  him. At his age (over 14½), anything might happen. He is still eating, although he is very thin, so that's a good sign, and yesterday he was running down the hall. When I called him this morning, he trotted across the great room to me, so I guess he feels all right. That's the problem with pets. We get so attached to them but they don't live very long and we have to say good-bye to them. Sigh.


So that was another quiet day in the field, and maybe tonight I can get myself enough under control to get to bed at a reasonable hour? It's dark and noisy in the field tonight, and I think it may be snowing.


February 8

I was doing something - I forget what - after I uploaded this last night, and Buster came and sat on my lap and purred at me, so I guess he forgave me.

I managed to get into bed by 11:30, but I was up any number of times. Buster was staring at me around 10:00, but I turned over, and I didn't get up until 11:00. There were some interesting dreams, none of which I remember. i petted him and started the other sock, but I got into a mess by dropping some stitches in the first couple of rows, so that took me some time to repair, and it was noon before I left the north end.


That severely truncated my day, and since it was Monday, the day when there are a good number of things to read, I didn't finish my surfing until nearly 4:00, and that didn't include doing the jigsaw puzzle. I would have, because it was a round one, which I usually do work, but it was all green and there were too many pictures, so I gave up on it.


I started reworking the pattern for the black sweater, and I gave up on that, too. I can see what the problems were, but I don't know how to get the body and the sleeves both the right width without making the neck too big. I will have to think about it. Then I embroidered for a while, and at least that went all right.


The weather was nondescript. There was snow after dark last night, and it covered all the tracks, but I don't think there was an inch of new. It didn't now today, that I saw. The temperature was about 21º all day, although it has risen a couple of degrees lately. The wind was solidly from the east, in the 10-20 mph range. The lake is muttering to itself but not too loudly.


So that was my truncated day, and it's a dark, cold night in the field.


February 7

Well, every night a little earlier, or I hope so. I embroidered for quite a while last night, and I finished the dark green on the green fabric. When I went up to the north end, I read a bit, and I got to bed around 12:30. I was up any number of times, and I finally got up around 10:00.


After my eyes adjusted to the dark, I realized that there were stars - lots of stars. At that time of night, all the winter stars are over in the west. It was clear enough that I could see that the Pleiades were fuzzy without my glasses on, and I could see them clearly, through the screen, with my glasses on. Orion was still quite high in the sky, but I could see most of him without too much trouble. It was really pretty. By about 4:00, though, it had clouded over.


I finished the first sock this morning, and I petted a cat, but not as much as he wanted. 


This has been a bad day for Buster. I didn't pet him enough, then he barfed a bit, and then tonight, while bringing my dinner into the studio (in the dark) I stepped on him. I thought he knew he has to keep out of the way of my feet, but he's apparently forgotten. So now he is mad, and i hope he isn't injured, and he won't come to see me. He screeched like I had broken every bone in his body, but he jumped up on the box and ran up to the loft, so I hope it was only his pride that got hurt. Of course, I screeched, too, so I imagine Jasmine is cowering someplace wondering what all the shouting is about.


When I came down the hall this morning, Jasmine was lying in front of the door to the basement, and she let me walk right past her without moving, and when I went toward the studio with my breakfast, she was lying on top of the kitty condo, and she just stayed where she was. Last night, when I looked around, she had been lying on her afghan behind me. I don't know what brought this on, but all of a sudden she is pretty relaxed again. I wonder how long it will last?


The weather was blah again, cloudy and cool, with not much wind. The temperature got down to 9º overnight, but it warmed up to 27º for most of the afternoon. The winds were very light, but they switched around from the west to the east in the course of the day. Along about 5:00, I looked out the window, and it was snowing lightly. It continued for about an hour, and then it quit. So we had our snow for the day, although I'm sure there wasn't any accumulation...well, that may not be true, because between 6:00 and 7:00 the NWS station recorded something in the rain gauge, so I guess it snowed a little more after it got dark. I don't think it's snowing now.


Ron came this afternoon and brought my boxes (chocolate), and that was about all that happened. I was going to embroider a bit, but I'm tired, so I think maybe, just maybe, I will go to bed.


Last night, I read a bit more and looked through the Old Testament a bit, and I decided I am going to switch gears and read the New Testament for a while. I don't recall ever having read the whole four Gospels, so I will start with Matthew and see how it goes. Sometime I would like to read some more of the OT, but from Isaiah on, the history, which is what I want to read, is all intermingled with prophecy, and it can be confusing to try to separate the two. Daniel interests me, because it deals with the time right after the exile, but not only was Daniel a prophet, he spoke in a sort of code language which can be very hard to understand. So I will read Matthew. That isn't hard to understand at all. I still find reading a bit of something relaxes me before I go to bed.


So that was a nearly useless day, and it's another dark, cold night in the field.


February 6

Last night, I just stared at the computer until I couldn't see very much at all, and I dropped into bed about 1:30. I was up about 4:00, and I was surprised to see Capella setting out the bathroom window, but it kept going in and out, so my guess is that it was mostly cloudy, since I couldn't see any other stars. I was up again around 7:15, and I was most surprised to see that it wasn't completely dark anymore. So our days are getting longer. I finally rolled out around 9:45, I guess, and petted a cat and knitted on the toe of the sock for a while.


As usual, I didn't do very much. I went to the post office and the store, where they had given my packages to Ron, but they had finally gotten some soup that benefits CHIA, so I got a lot of that. I like the chicken soups, although they are entirely too salty. They are tasty and warming, so when it gets cold and snowy again, I can have my soup and hibernate.


I finally filled the bird feeders, and that was fun. The chickadees and goldfinches were all in the tree peeping, and as soon as I hung out the white feeder (which you can't see in the camera), there were chickadees grabbing seeds, even though I was standing about two feet away. Those little guys have no fear at all. I also replenished the seed on the deck, since the squirrels had done a pretty good job of cleaning it up, along with an occasional white-crowned sparrow and junco (I know, I know, neither of them is supposed to be here now, but I know what I see). When the feeders were empty, the chickadees were pecking on the deck, too, but they prefer sunflower seed.


It was rather nice out when I was outside. Mostly that was because there wasn't any wind, and what little breeze there might have been was from the east. The birds appreciated that, too. When I was going to the post office and filling the feeders, the temperature was around 26º, so it really was quite warm (everything is relative). The temperature has now plummeted to 14º, though. That's because the afternoon was almost completely clear, and the atmosphere loses heat rapidly when there are no clouds. It was so nice to see sunshine again!


Our days are 9h50m long now, and I think morning and evening twilight are getting longer, too, so the worst of the darkness is over for this season. Even though my vitamin D has kept me from the worst of the SAD, it is still better to have enough natural light. I can't imagine what people who live in northern Europe do, where there's hardly any daylight at all from November through February. I like the north, but this is far enough.


After I filled the feeders, my plan was to sit in the ugly chair and begin to read some of my magazines and knit on the old worsted-weight afghan. I was able to read for a while - with difficulty - but when the sun started shining right on me, I had to stop. That was all right, because I got to look out at my view and watch the sunset. So of course, even though it went down behind some clouds, there wasn't any color in it at all. Of course. Anyway, I knitted until it was too dark to see, and I got the afghan back onto the 47" needle. I took it off a year or so ago when I made the gray chenille sweater, and I haven't picked it up since. I discovered that when I moved it to the shorter needle, my tension had tightened up so that it was hard to get the stitches onto the points, so now I know when I started pulling. I think it's OK now, though, and I started a new color of yarn.


Unfortunately, knitting with the #8 needles made my left hand very sore, I think from holding up the whole afghan with it, so when it got too dark, I quit. I thought i might do a few stitches on the biscornu before I go up to the north end.


I did read Ezra last night, but that wasn't much to read, since nearly half of it (and it is a small book) is a census of the people who returned to Jerusalem after the exile. It seems rather confused, too, and seems to be written by several people, but I did get the story of the return and the rebuilding of the temple (only who was king in Persia wasn't exactly clear). I see why these books aren't used in church services, although they do have some interesting prayers in them.


So that was a rather quiet day, and I think I will be off to the north end rather early, or I hope so. It's apparently a clear, cold night in the field, and If I'm lucky, I might see a star or two.


February 5

I was a little better last night - it was only 1:30 when I got to bed. This time it was all the kings between Solomon and the exile. Kings and Chronicles cover a lot of the same ground, but they were clearly written by different people with different points of view. A lot of it is confusing, and one would have to make a far more detailed study than I am to figure out what was really going on. They fought almost continuously with somebody or other, and a lot of them were pretty stupid. Tonight there is Ezra, whom I have never read nor heard excerpts from, so that will be interesting.


I was up at 9:00, because I got a call from the doctor's office saying my potassium was fine, up a little but not a lot. I decided that was too early to get up, although I was up three times to visit the bathroom. I woke up, sort of, around 10:30, when Buster tried to get me up. I thought I was just dozing, but the next thing I knew it was 11:30, and I decided I'd better get up.


I petted a cat and knitted to the point where I am ready to start the toe. In the meantime, Jasmine started rushing up and down the hallway, and when we finally got to the kitchen, she came dancing in from the great room with her tail high and all bushed out. She has an even skinnier tail than Buster does, but when she bushes it all out, it looks really huge. She felt good.


Sometime later, Buster started howling somewhere in the great room - I guess he was up in the loft, and he may even have gotten up on the railings. I didn't look for quite a while, and when I did, he came running down the stairs and toward me at full speed. He felt good, too. I don't know why they felt so good, but the barometer was quite high.


I was so late that I didn't do anything except my surfing and finish the green frames around the five squares on the green fabric. I had other thoughts, but I had an accident, and by the time I cleaned up from that, it was too late to do what I had in mind.


The weather was nondescript. It was cloudy all day, but not dark-cloudy, and the temperature was steady at 25º, which is our average high for this time of year, until about 4:00 when it started to drop slightly. There was a very light east wind. Blah.


The one trouble with reading so late and not getting enough sleep is that I'm having a little trouble seeing. As I get older, my eyes get tired when I don't get enough sleep, and I can't even see very well with my glasses off, up close. I will have to try to take myself in hand, but it's hard. I have always had the tendency to get lost in what I'm reading and keep on no matter what the hour. I read The Count of Monte Cristo in one setting while I was in college...and that is about 1000 pages, I think. I think I have a copy of it someplace around here, and someday, I'd like to read it again, only a little slower.


So now it is time to toddle up to the north end again and read some more. It's a cloudy, cold, and quiet night in the field.


February 4

Well, I didn't. I read through first and second Samuel - all about David - and it was 2:30 before I got to bed. I must try to do better tonight. Oh, well. I didn't get up until around 11:00, but I'd never know it from the way I feel now.


I was so late, and Thursday is a day when I get a lot of email I have to read, that it was after I went to the post office before I finished my daily surfing. I am happy to say that my new, smaller compression hose came, and I am looking forward to wearing them. The old ones, which are about 2 years old, have stretched out to the extent that they aren't very comfortable and I don't think they are doing a very good job. There were also a couple of other packages of pills. I only take about 5 prescriptions meds, but I am taking handfuls of supplements, and I was running out of a lot of them.


On the way home, I stopped and picked up a nice check from Peggy, and now we are straight with each other. She was cooking, so I didn't get to show her my stuff. I will try for that next week sometime, although I don't know if I'll leave anything with her. She assures me she doesn't like to do consignment, and neither do I, so if she takes anything else, she will probably pay me for it. I don't know if she'll want anything, though. We'll see.


I counted rows on the sock, and I can apparently gauge 50 rows, no matter what the size needles. So I have about 16 rows left to do before the toe of the first Tofutsies sock. That didn't take as long as I thought it would. 


The weather was blah, in spite of what Environment Canada thought. They had it as clear for most of the day. Well, it wasn't. It was dull and gray, but the temperature was 28º all day, and there was very little wind at all. Blah. When the NWS station reports exactly the same temperature for 8 or 12 hours, I begin to get suspicious, but I guess it was probably right.


So that was a truncated day, and I'm off to the north end. I would like to read a little, but I'm almost afraid to start, because I really need to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.


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


February 3

I actually went up to the north end rather early last night, but it was nearly 3:00 am before I turned out the light. I started reading a good book - or I should say, The Good Book - and I kept right on reading. I wanted to read Genesis to answer a couple of questions, and I should have stopped there, but I made the mistake of leafing ahead, and I realized I'd never read Judges, so I started in on that and finished it. Things certainly were primitive and bloody in Palestine in those days. It's a wonder anybody survived at all. I finally had to stop at Ruth, because it was after 2:00 and I had to take a bath.


I certainly did sleep well, though. I finally got up around 10:30, by which time Buster was beginning to settle down. I petted him and knitted a bit before I got dressed, and I had time to do my morning surfing, minus the crosswords, before it was time to go off to the ladies' meeting. We had a good group today, including a new person, who seems very nice. Sandi brought a quiz with questions about "have you ever..." a whole bunch of things we've all done, like locked ourselves out of the car or the house and a bunch of other things. We tallied up our scores (I was neutral), and then people with a particularly good story about one of the questions told it. It generated a lot of good laughs. I won't tell any stories, because, as they say, what goes on at Carolyn's stays at Carolyn's.  So it was a fun afternoon, and I think I got most of the foot of the Tofutsies sock done.


The weather was lovely, unless you wanted more snow. It was cloudy overnight, and I guess there was some snow then, but by the time I got up, the sky was clear and blue and there were copious quantities of sunshine, which lasted until just about the time I got home at 4:00. Then it clouded up again, and I think it is still. The temperature got up to 21º for a while, but for most of the day it was about 19º, so except for what the sun did, we didn't lose any snow. There was a light wind from the north for most of the day, although that has now switched around to the west.


I do love that sunshine! I had to wear my sunglasses to drive, and I enjoy that. Carolyn's great room has windows facing south, and the sun was so warm a lot of the ladies had to move into the shade. I got warm, but I enjoyed it.


When I got home, I was a good girl and I embroidered while the talking was on, and I have finished the white part of the biscornu and I started the green part. I am doing the boring stuff now - the frame around each square. There are only five green squares, and I think they will go pretty fast if I keep at them. I don't like that shade of green very well, but it does seem to be just about DMC 268, which looks better than what the designer apparently used. These squares have one big flower in the middle of them, and there isn't quite so much jumping around and doing one stitch here and one stitch there, which will help.


I could keep on, but I do want to try, at least, to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I didn't get enough sleep last night. Now it's another cloudy, cold night in the field and I'm off to the north end.


February 2

I tried three times to upload the website last night and finally gave in and did it manually, so it was late when I went up to the north end, and I threw myself into bed around midnight. I had trouble getting to sleep again. I think I will have to arrange to do some pleasant reading, just to get my mind wound down. Anyway, I was up a couple of times in the night, and the moon wasn't very bright. Around 5:00 or so, it was shining in my bedroom windows, and I could tell there were high clouds in front of it. It was sort of sunny this morning, when I got up around 10:30, but the clouds soon rolled in and it was cloudy for the afternoon. 


I petted a very purry cat and knitted a while this morning, so I was late starting, then I had a sort-of accident which meant I had to change everything from the waist down, so that slowed me down.


I decided to try the upload again. Well, after four tries, I gave up on that idea. Then I realized that after the number of times I'd aborted a copy before it timed out (it takes 5 minutes to time out, and I know long before then that it's dead), I left several trashed files on the website, so I decided to copy those using Explorer. Well. I rebooted at least six times, I had nasty security messages, blue screens, hang-ups, and the whole thing. What a mess! I finally got a clean boot and copied the last two files, but by that time it was nearly 3:00. Geez! So I didn't do much else today.


I wanted to try to get FrontPage to do the upload, because I have another picture tonight, and copying everything manually is a pain. Well, no such luck.


The picture was one I took yesterday morning and forgot about last night. I turned around to go toward the bathroom when I saw both cats together in Buster's little house, so I grabbed the camera. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get as close as possible, I took one step too many and Jasmine moved, but not too far, so this is what I got. Buster was OK with the camera, but you can see that Jasmine was eyeing me with great suspicion. I mean, you never know what I might do next, especially if I got too close!


That box is Buster's chosen spot. He tipped the box over a couple of years ago, and he sleeps in it almost every morning in the winter. I suppose the box concentrates the heat of the floor and makes it cozy in there. Jasmine has been known to use it when he isn't. I had meant to use that box to pack away some of the stuff in the box next to it, but obviously, it will be a permanent fixture of the great room. I think part of it is that Buster can wake up, look into the studio and  see me. 


I've noticed lately that Jasmine has gotten really pudgy. That is a problem with having two cats, one of whom is extremely thin and is used to having food down all the time. I'm sure Jasmine doesn't have nearly enough to do to keep her busy, but being the way she is, I can't play with her, and I'm not about to stock the house with mice so she has something to chase!


Anyway, I did get those pictures out of the camera, and I did quite a bit of embroidery. I am now doing the backstitch around the last four squares on white, and all I have left after that is the beads, and the white part is done. Then there are five squares on green, and I can sew the thing together and stuff it. While I'm not crazy about bright pink and bright green, there are roses in some of the squares, and they are pretty. It will be an interesting conversation piece.


The weather was sort of blah. As I mentioned, there was some sunshine this morning, but it went away by noon, and it was cloudy all afternoon. The temperature got up to 24º around noon, then it dropped back, and a bit after 2:00 it started snowing lightly. Well - not real lightly. since it registered in the rain gauge at the NWS station. I think that is partly because there was no wind at all at that time. I think when the wind is blowing, the snow doesn't get into the rain gauge, so it can be snowing quite heavily and it won't register. Anyway, it's been snowing off and on ever since, very fine flakes coming straight down. There is a little wind from the north now, but not a lot. Any snow is welcome.


So that was another quiet and nearly lost day, and I'm off to the north end to try to find something nice to read. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


February 1

Last night, I embroidered, and I got all the flower colors done on the last four squares (on white - there are five more to do on green) except yellow. So it was late when I went up to the north end, and then I stared at the floor for too long. It was nearly 1:00 when I turned out the light, and then I had a hard time getting to sleep. I think it was that I was trying to start out on the wrong side again. I do that periodically. Finally I gave in and turned over, and along about 1:30, I think, I finally got to sleep. I can't quite remember when I got up, but I think it was around 9:30 or so. I could have kept on sleeping, but this was a day when I had something to do.


I did my morning surfing and began to get myself together, and I misplaced my cellphone. Not that I use it much, but I like to have it when I am in cellphone range. After tearing up a lot of things, I finally found it under a bunch of stuff on the desk - oh. I remember now. I took it to the hospital in my knitting bag, and I took it out of the bag before I took the bag up to the north end.  In the meantime, I remembered that this is the first of February, and my mortgage payment was due today, so I had to do that. I also wanted to fill the bird feeders, although I didn't have enough seed in the pail to completely fill them. And...well, all things considered, it was 1:15 before I left the house.


The drive down to Laurium was an easy one. The road is hard-packed snow down to Phoenix, where M-26 turns off, and from there south they had salted it and it was nearly dry and clear. It was probably a good thing I was later, because the blood drawer came back from lunch as I was getting signed in. There wasn't anybody else there, so it was a quick in and out. I debated in what order I should do my chores, but then I forgot to throw a cooler in the truck, so I went to Erickson Feed first and got my birdseed. They had a real buy on suet cakes, so I got a dozen more, even though I bought some (at $1 more each) at Wal-Mart. My woodpeckers will eat well, at least.


Then it was back to Pat's Foods. I made a mistake, though. There is an independent gas station on the way to the feed store that had gas for $2.58 a gallon, and I went by it. Bad me. I ended up buying the high-priced stuff. Oh, well. After I started gathering things at Pats, I decided that this would be my monthly shopping trip. I did forget a few things - I wanted a few more varieties of cat food, for one - but I laid in enough stuff so that, with my overstuffed freezers, I won't need to shop for quite a while. Only I will run out of salad greens, and I'm not quite sure what to do about that. I didn't buy any boos, and I only bought one piece of meat - they had spare ribs at a good price. And they still had pickled herring. I didn't have my pickled herring for New Year's Eve, but I've eaten enough since. They apparently make their own, and it is really good.


I was late starting back, and i got home about 5:30. Since nothing was in a cooler, I had to unload almost at once, and I had to take most of the frozen stuff downstairs. There's not that much in the fridge, but the freezers are packed. Then I sat down and ate herring and a pasta salad until I was too full to have roast beef, so I had a TV dinner that wasn't at all bad, despite being of the low-everything variety.


Ron came with a big box with all the dry cat food I ordered. Once a year I get three 8 lb bags of the three kinds of dry food the guys eat most frequently. There is one I have to lay in more often, but sometimes Wal-Mart has that. So we had a nice chat, standing in the rather frigid garage.


The weather was nice. Really nice. When I was wandering around in the dark last night, I saw the moon rising behind some clouds, and from the look of the snow after I turned out the light, the clouds mostly went away. I saw her setting early this morning, and there were high hazy clouds in front of her, but they didn't cut down on her light much. It was clear and sunny this morning, and while the hazy clouds came by, they didn't cut off the sunshine until late in the afternoon. The temperature got up to 19º here, and I don't think it got that warm down the peninsula. Early on there was a strong north wind, but it died down after about 4:00 pm. It was a nice day out. I had to wear my sun glasses, and any day I have to do that is a nice one.


I was just looking at the camera pictures to see how the sky was when I wasn't here, and I discovered that we shot the moon this morning! In the first picture, it looks so big, I have to believe it was the clouds in front of it, since in the second picture it looks normal. I think that first picture is kind of cool. It's amazing what my modest little webcam can sometimes do. I sure am glad I looked at the pictures, since nobody mentioned it to me. I know sometimes we catch the moon in March and April, but I guess this must be the first time it's been clear enough in January or February to see it. In almost nine years!


Anyway, with not enough sleep and a tour around a large store, I am tired, and I think I won't be up that late tonight. Or I hope not. Since i have pictures to post, and the month to turn over, I have to try to use FrontPage to upload the website. It occurs to me now that at the beginning of January, I didn't have any problem at all with that, it was only later that I started not being able to make it complete. I hope it will go tonight, but we'll see.


So that was my day, I did my duty and I stocked the freezer, and now I can return to my hibernation. It's a cloudy, quiet night in the field tonight, and I don't think there will be any moon to see.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM