A View From the Field

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March, 2010

March 31

Gosh, March is over with! Unbelievable.

 

I started reading ahead in the story I am transcribing, and it was a little after 3:00 when I went to bed. Sigh. I didn't sleep very well, and I got up around 9:30 - not nearly enough sleep - because my sinuses were draining and I was coughing. I don't like to take cough drops when I'm sleeping, but I think I will have to tonight.

 

I petted a cat and knitted, and I got my morning surfing done and the bird feeders out before it was off to Carolyn's for the ladies' group. It was a good group today, with some new people, including one young woman who is a knitter. It was a big enough group that we split up into smaller chat groups, but it was fun.

 

When I got home, it was so warm I decided it was time to put the screen back on the patio door. Well. It's sort of in place, but I think it took me over half an hour and I was cussing before I finally got it in place. It's not right yet, because I can't lock it, but it does roll fairly well. I may work on it again tomorrow. 

 

The story of the day was the weather. It was in the upper 40s overnight, and it hit a high of 68 at 3:00. Amazing! At that time, there was a rather brisk wind from the west-southwest, but between 4:00 and 5:00, the wind dropped and shifted around to the north - over that cold, cold water - and the temperature dropped off to 52. Brr. I closed the windows. Then the wind dropped to nothing and it went back up over 60 for a couple of hours around sunset. It was cloudy or partly cloudy for most of the day, and we didn't see Venus again tonight. I just checked, and we set a new record high temperature, by 9. What weird weather it is.

 

Tonight after the talking was over, I transcribed another chapter of the story. I should have stopped a while ago - it's late - but I didn't want to stop in the middle of a conversation.

 

We have one pair of geese who are hanging around this end of the harbor. I saw them flying in the other day, and they have been swimming around out in front of my beach. I wonder if they are planning to nest down by the culverts. Not a good idea with Duce around. I also noticed that when a goose has its head under water, it looks just like a big rock. I didn't know they dabbled, but there isn't much vegetation growing on the land yet, and they have to eat something. Too many geese are a problem, but I enjoy watching one pair. I think they are courting.

 

So that was a rather nice day, and now it's off to bed. I think I will open a window in the window seat a crack tonight, and maybe it will be more comfortable. And I will take a cough drop if I start to cough. I think I may have acquired a little cold - my throat is scratchy - but not getting enough sleep isn't helping.

 

So it's a quiet, cloudy night in the field. No stars tonight.

 

March 30

I think it was about 12:30 when I got to bed last night. It wasn't clear - I did see the moon early in the morning when it was setting, but there were some clouds in front of it and it wasn't all that bright. 

 

I woke up around 8:30 and decided that was too early, so I went back to sleep, sort of, and got up around 10:30. I had done the first half of the heel of the rose sock last night - oh, that was what kept me up - and I finished it this morning, much to Buster's disgust.

 

Otherwise, it was a rather lost day. There was a lot of reading in my morning emails, so it was quite late when I finished my surfing. I did some knitting while the talking was on, and after it was over, I typed until my fingers got sore, then I read for a while.

 

Part of my problem was that I finally looked over my taxes and happened to see how much money is left in my IRA. I need a job.

 

The weather was not entirely what they were predicting yesterday. It was very windy and mostly cloudy. The temperature got up to 51 at about 3:00, but it fell back into the upper 40s. The wind peaked at 5:00. It was from the southwest, and the sustained winds were only 23 mph, but it was gusting to 43 mph. The wind was so strong that they were reporting wind chills, and it was chilly outside. The wind has died down a bit now, 12-25 mph, and the temperature is still in the middle 40s. Strange weather for March.

 

About the time it got dark, I was walking back from the kitchen and I saw the moon peeking through the trees in the southeast. I could tell there were some clouds around it. I saw Venus when I brought in the bird feeders, but the camera didn't, so it is still partly to mostly cloudy. 

 

So that is all I have to report, and it's past time to totter up to the north end and sleep. It's a windy night in the field, but since it's from the southwest, the lake isn't making as much of a fuss as it would normally be.

 

March 29

It was another one of those nights. I don't remember quite why, but it was 3:30 before I turned out the light. Sigh. I got up around 10:30, so I'm yawning now. When I got up to go up to the north end, the full moon was shining in the upper windows of the great room and there was a rainbow halo around it. Very pretty. So it wasn't completely clear. I think it clouded up more later, because there wasn't as much light as I'd expected out there.

 

When I got up, it was mostly sunny. I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while. I got to set my 50-row marker. There are 72 rows in a sock for me on #2 needles (probably a little long for some people, but I like them that way), and I've gotten into such a habit of placing a marker after 50 rows that I can just about tell how far that is. It makes it easier to count the rest of the leg. I really do like that rose sock!

 

I didn't do much else today, but I guess I did a bit. The dishwasher is just about ready to run tonight and I got all the trash off the counters. I was going to put the screen back on the patio door in the studio, but I understand it's going to be even warmer tomorrow, so I will do it then. When it gets so hot in here, it would be good to be able to crack that door a bit.

 

When the talking started, I sat down in the ugly chair and embroidered until the sun got around there. I am making progress, but boy, is it slow. I've said it before and I say it again - I hate to work in a frame! I think I will take it out to put the beads on, and then I have a lot of nasty looking stitches to repair, as well as a few I missed. But there isn't a lot more metallic to stitch in, thank goodness! That has been a terribly long project, and I will be very glad to get it done so that I can go on to other embroidery. It feels good to take up my needle, but I'm awfully tired of that angel!

 

After that, and after dinner, I started transcribing again. I wanted to read and knit, but what I wanted to read is the story I'm transcribing, so...

 

The weather was OK. It was clear in the early morning, then it clouded up, and it didn't clear up again until late afternoon. There are still some clouds in the sky, but we did see Venus. The temperature got down to 23 overnight, then it rose quickly to 38 or 39, where it stood for the whole afternoon. There was a little wind, in the 10-15 mph range, mostly from the southwest. It wasn't bad at all when I went out to do the bird feeders.

 

I'm sorry to have to take in the feeders at night, because the little birds want to eat early in the morning, but I'd rather have my feeders intact, and I don't fancy the idea of feeding bears and raccoons. So they'll just have to get used to it.

 

So that was my day, and it's time to totter up to the north end now. I think it will be clear enough tonight to see the full Paschal moon.

 

March 28

I'm sorry about last night's journal. It was a combination of system and broadband problems, and then I forgot to upload it until one of my efriends prompted me.

 

When I was ready to upload the journal last night, the broadband had gone away, and since it was midnight, I just decided to forget it. The system was acting kind of funny anyway, and it was too late to get into that.

 

When I got up to the north end, I finished off the blue sock and cast on the purple one, so it was 1:30 or so before I got to bed. It will be later tonight. I got up around 10:00 and did my usual morning things.

 

When I got to the studio, the broadband was down again, and besides that, the computer was acting really funny. After several reboots didn't clear things up, I decided the only thing I could do was to roll back to Saturday morning. Before I did that, though, I wanted to copy my inbox, which had some emails I wanted to read, the journal file, and the story I had been reading and proofreading when things got messy. That was weird - I had a hard time getting the copies to complete at all, and Explorer kept hanging up. However, finally I got that fixed. In the meantime I had some conversation with PastyNet about the broadband.

 

The rollback went well, for once, and I was able to find most of the files I needed to update, except for my inbox, which I had managed to copy, which preserved it. Doing all that took hours, so it was 2:00 this afternoon before I was ready to do my surfing, and by that time they had determined that the broadband problems were their problems and fixed them. What a mess!

 

In the meantime, I had been doing some knitting on the purple sock. It will be  useful, but it's rather dull, mostly dark purple, so I dug out some other yarn I've had for a while, which is mostly rose colored with dark purple and violet in it, and I cast on that sock, after moving another one to double pointed needles, and the purple sock to another circular needle (the long one). 

 

The rose sock is extremely pretty, and I like it so much that I have done about 5" of it, although I had to rip out 1" or so because I dropped something. I was reading the story that came from the white binder, and I was sitting mostly in the dark, so it wasn't surprising that I dropped a couple of stitches. I finished the story and I got back to where I was when I realized I had made a mistake in the sock, so that is taken care of. If I hadn't had to rip, I would have most of the leg done.

 

I finally got the bird feeders filled and out, but it was after noon when I put them out, so there wasn't much activity. Unfortunately, before I put them out, while I was on the phone, there was a pair of hairy woodpeckers sitting on the deck railing looking for something to eat. Darn. I don't think they came back after I put out the feeders. However, I am glad to know they know about them. I found the cage for the woodpecker blocks (like the one the raccoon ate), so I put one of those out, and maybe the hairys will come back. 

 

Then, sometime during the afternoon, Phil emailed me to ask if something was wrong, since there was no journal for yesterday, and I remembered I hadn't uploaded it. Oops. I put it right out there, but it was much later than I'd intended.

 

The weather was so-so. It was cloudy until close to sunset, an the temperature was around 32 all day, with a rather brisk north wind, in the 10-20 mph range. After 9:00 the temperature dropped off rather abruptly to around 25 and the wind shifted around to the west.

 

It was clear at sunset, and around 8:30, I went out to bring in the bird feeders, and there was Venus shining brightly in the west and the nearly-full Paschal moon rising in the east, so bright and clear.  While moving the feeders in and out is a pain, it does give me the chance to look up in the sky and see what's going on up there. and to sniff the fresh air.

 

Now it is much later than I realized, and it's time to trudge up to the north end and take a bath before I crash. It's a cold, clear night in the field.

 

March 27

I wrote for a while when I got up to the north end, but I made it into bed by 10:45. I got up around 9:00. I didn't want to, but I had to walk, so I decided, oh, well. Tonight is another night. I knitted and petted a cat for a while, but he went away when I started moving the sweater to a longer needle. Now that is done, and I should be set for almost the entire rest of the yoke.

 

I didn't do anything much. I went to the post office, where my beautiful purple sock yarn came, as well as my taxes, and I filled the pail of sunflower seed.

 

That was interesting. When I went out to bring in the feeders, I discovered that the new gazebo feeder was missing, and I located it under the deck, so I went out to fetch it in. I noticed a couple of pieces of clear plastic under the tree, which I thought at the time were probably left over from the tube feeder last summer. Well...wrong. I was going to fill the gazebo in the breezeway, but when I looked at it, half of one side had been broken out, and there were cracks in another side, so it isn't useable anymore. Fortunately, it was cheap.

 

I am not sure what kind of critter it was, but I suspect bear, since the raccoons don't usually destroy things like that. George Hite reported today that he has heard that the bears are stirring. What a pain. it's been so nice not to have to bring the feeders in every night and hang them out every morning, but I might as well get used to it. I need to bring in the thistle feeder and the one on the deck, but everything else is in already, since they were all empty. The thing that annoys me about the gazebo is that it was empty, too. It was emptied before dark last night, and I know there was nothing in it. I suspect something other than birds and squirrels has been raiding the feeders at night, but I think that was the coon, since there was no damage, just no seed left. Bears are very destructive critters.

 

Times like this when I wish I had a large and noisy dog.

 

The weather was sort of blah. It was cloudy all day, and the temperature was in the upper 40s for most of the afternoon, with not much wind at all. I was outside without a jacket, and I wasn't particularly uncomfortable in just a cotton sweater and tee. Blah.

 

In the middle of the afternoon, I started reading and knitting. I read almost 200 pages, and the blue sock is ready to have its toe sewn up. That's nice, because I just have to cast on the purple to see what it's going to look at. It's actually purple, violet and lavender, and I don't know what kind of pattern it will give. I guess I'm picky, in that I like to have my socks at least go with my tops, and I seem to have been wearing a lot of purple lately. Besides, this is more of the really soft yarn like what I've been working on. It's not only nice to knit up, it is very comfortable to wear.

 

It has surprised me a little that even wearing the compression hose, I can feel the texture of my socks, and the softer yarns are much more comfortable. I guess I just have sensitive feet, or something.

 

Now it's time to totter up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but not all that dark, because the moon is moving toward full, and it will light up the clouds.

 

March 26

I did it again last night. I got to fooling around, an it was 4:00 before I got to bed. I got up at 10:30, so I'm tired, and I will be crashing early tonight.

 

I did get to see the hazy moon dropping into the northwest before I went to sleep.

 

I petted a very purry cat and knitted four rows...but I forgot one increase on the first row I knit, so I had to fiddle around with a crochet hook to get that taken care of.

 

I don't know quite why Buster was so purry this morning, except that he has barfed a little early in the morning for the past two days. I suppose he has a hairball, since I think he's beginning to shed. He always has a hard time with them, and after thinking he liked the hairball medicine, he's decided he doesn't, so I can't get him to take it.

 

I didn't do much except pay a few bills.

 

The temperature spent the night in the middle teens, but after it reached a low of 14 at 8:00 am, it rose steadily all day long and is now 34. The wind had died down before midnight, although it was in the 10-20 mph range, from the south, for part of the afternoon. It was partly sunny. There was a reasonable amount of sunshine, but there were high clouds all day. I'm not sure we'll see Venus tonight, and the sunset looked sort of strange. Nope, the camera just took its last picture, and there is a big dark cloud covering up the stars.

 

So that is about all I have to report, and I am going to crash tonight, early, although I will have to take a bath. It's a relatively warm, cloudy night in the field.

 

March 25

Well, this is late, but I've been reading.

 

I went up to the north end around 10:00 last night, and the wind was blowing hard and the lake was roaring. I wrote for a while, so it was 11:30 by the time I got to bed. It was a good night to sleep, with all the singing outside, and I even saw the moon occasionally. I got up around 9:00, and I petted a cat and knitted on the sweater for a while before I got dressed.

 

I met Bonnie for lunch, and we had a nice afternoon together. She still has a lot of health issues, but she is hanging in there. I haven't seen her for quite a while, between her working in the summer and my being sick, so it was a very pleasant time. Rich came by to pick her up, and we got to talking about gardens, which got me all excited again. He is quite a vegetable gardener, and he had some good suggestions for how I might start slowly, with container gardening. That would be fun, but we'll see.

 

The real story of the day was the weather. At midnight it was still 33, but the temperature was on its way down. The wind peaked around 5:00 am, with sustained winds around 30 mph and gusts to 44 mph out of the north. The minimum temperature was at 10:00 am, at 14. Quite a change from the past week, for sure. It was really frigid out there. I was glad I hadn't put away the heavy fleece jacket, and if I'd been going to be outside long, I would have had to wear my down parka. Now I know why I didn't wash it. It was cloudy in the morning, and between 12:00 and 1:00 we had a little snow squall at this end of the harbor, which left just a trace of snow, enough to whiten the road. It was weird, because the snow was covering US-41 about to the waste treatment plant, and then from there all the way through town there was nothing at all. A real microclimate event, for sure. Anyway, by the time I got home, the new snow was all gone. The temperature has been rising very slowly since 10:00 am, and is now up to about 22. The clouds began to break up during the afternoon, and there was quite a bit of sun around sunset.

 

I have to apologize for the black pictures this afternoon. When I got home, one of those things happened where I had two non-responding IEs still running, so I had to reboot, and I neglected to check the camera software when the system came back up, until it began to get dark and I wanted to see if we shot Venus. I had to reboot again to clear that up, so we got only one picture. However, it was a good one, so I saved it, and here it is. It was not only a good shot of Venus (that white dot in the sky), it was a pretty good shot of a nice sunset.

 

It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, but that today was a warning that it's not over yet. I still hope we don't have March weather in April. If winter is over, it should stay over.

 

Tonight I got to reading again - the story that used to be in the white binder - and I like it so well that I kept reading, over 100 pages. I do like that story. And I'm still finding typos. I suppose I never will get all of them.

 

So that was another day, and now I can totter up to the north end and maybe crash, although I should bathe. It's a cold night in the field, but the wind has died down and it may be clear enough to see a star or two or the quarter moon.

 

March 24

I made it into bed by 11:00 last night, and I slept well enough that it wasn't too hard to get up at 8:30. I petted a cat, but I didn't knit.

 

When I got to the studio, I discovered that the broadband had gone down, and after I did the usual things, I gave up on it. Then I had to change my underpants for the first time in a while, so I didn't have much time to do anything anyway.

 

I had an easy trip. There was essentially no traffic until Mohawk, when I guy pulled out in front of me who was driving a little oddly, but I made it to the dealership on time with no problem. They did their thing, and after a trip to their bathroom - which is about the size of my stall shower, with the smallest toilet seat I have ever seen - I went on down to Erickson Feed and got my birdseed. They gave me a little bag of some kind of seed for free. I'm not too sure about it because some of the seeds have been dyed, but it may give me an idea what the birds and critters are eating.

 

I stopped at Wal-Mart for gas - it's getting more expensive again, darn it. I still think that's the big oil companies trying to gouge us. I would like to look those CEOs in the eye and say "I don't believe you" when they claim there are reasons for the price.

 

I thought about stopping for lunch, or stopping to shop someplace, but in the end I just came right back and had a sandwich when I got here. I was back home by 2:00.

 

Poor Buster. He had just awakened and sat down on my lap when the generator came on for its weekly self-test, and that spooked him. I would have thought he was used to it by now, but I guess he's not usually here when it goes off. Jasmine was puzzled. She wasn't sure whether to be alarmed or not, since the noise was outside. Well, Buster still spooks easily.

 

When I got back, the broadband was back up. It had been down for about 3 hours, between 9:00 and noon. I called PastyNet, but if they called back, they didn't leave a message, so I don't know what the problem was.

 

Speaking of messages...people who give other people their cellphone numbers really need to be more careful about giving the right number, and people who dial telephones need to be more careful about who they're talking to when they leave messages. I got three messages from two people who obviously had absolutely the wrong number. I'm tempted to put a message on my cell phone's voice mail that says. "This is Sharon Smith and no one else. If you aren't sure that I'm the person you want to talk to, do not leave a message." I suppose that would be considered impolite. Since I'm out of cell phone range most of the time, I don't check my messages frequently - the first one was from last October - I suppose the people who left them wondered. At least these weren't for some inner city drug dealer, which have been mostly what I got in the past.

 

The weather was nice, if a little cool. I guess it warmed up in town, but here it was under 40 until about 3:00 when it rose rapidly to 48, which is about where it still is. There wasn't much wind until around 6:00, when it began to rise into the 10-20 mph range. There was a lot of sunshine, especially here, although it looked like it might be clouding up around sunset...the camera did catch Venus again. The wind was mostly from the north, although it's veering sort of westerly now.

 

There is still some snow in the woods and on the south sides of the roads, but our spring thaw is well advanced, and the load limits are in effect on the roads. Wherever the sun shines, it's bare, but it's still all brown and gray and drab.

 

So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end again. It's a breezy and probably cloudy night in the field, and the temperature is supposed to plummet tomorrow.

 

March 23

I wrote for quite a while - six or eight pages - before I took my bath, so it was 12:45 before I got to bed. I did not sleep good. My sinuses were draining and my left hip and right knee left me with no good places to lie. i hope I do better tonight. I got up around 9:00, I think, and I did the heel on the blue sock and petted a cat before I got dressed. The cat went away after a while, because i wasn't paying enough attention to him, and besides, the sock kept dropping on his back.

 

I didn't feel very good today, so I didn't do anything. I am sorry to say that my long soak of the towels didn't get out the yellow, so I will have to hunt up the stuff somebody recommended to me. I got an email about something for yellow, but they want $20 for it. They don't charge anything they call "shipping" so they roll it all into the price of the item. Like they think we wouldn't notice. Anyway, I gathered up all the really grungy washcloths and I'm soaking them. They aren't yellow - they are rusty red. There was one I was using that was all rusty except for the places where I put my soap when I wash my face, so I know it will come out, it's only a matter of figuring out what to use.

 

My water has been rusty looking from the time I moved in. I've noticed that it sort of clears up when I've used a lot, like when I wash four loads of clothes, but it never lasts very long, and sometimes when I think it should be clear, it's not. When I first got the humidifier, that cleared up the water a lot in the winter when I was using it, but even that doesn't work anymore. Whatever is in the water, it's not toxic or anything, and the water tastes fine, it just doesn't look very good.

 

After I did my daily surfing, I moved over to the ugly chair and wrote some more. I'm still not through with that episode, but I don't know if I will write anymore tonight. Even though I've been using an ergonomic pen, my hand gets sore if I write too much.

 

The weather was nice again. It was cloudy when I got up, and it was mostly cloudy all day, until after 5:00, when it began to clear up. At sunset, it was clearing. The temperature spiked to 50 around 3:00, but for most of the day it was in the middle 40s. There was no wind at all. We've had a stretch of remarkably calm winds.

 

The camera did something weird tonight. It took pictures at 8:34 and 8:49, like it should, but then it took another one at 8:56. I have no idea why. I certainly didn't ask it to. The last two pictures were dark enough that Venus showed clearly, shining beautifully in the west. Toward the end of next week, we should begin to have a chance to see Mercury, if it's clear. I'll be looking. It might even be bright enough for the camera to see it, too, which would be neat. Or I might put the camera on a tripod, at last, and try to get a picture myself. Actually, I should be practicing that, but of course I won't. I've never had too much patience with practice, except for singing. I like to practice singing because it's a chance to sing. Other things, I'd rather do the real thing.

 

Anyway, when the talking began, I picked up the angel and embroidered three or four strands of the gold metallic. I'm making progress, although it is so awkward to try to do anything in that big frame. There is a lot more to do. It really felt good to dig into some embroidery again. I will have to do some more.

 

I forgot to mention that last evening, just about the time it was getting dark, there were three deer in the backyard, and the big one started chasing the middle-sized one...so I suspect there will be a fawn in a while. I don't know much about the life cycle of deer, but it seemed pretty clear to me what he was doing. And yes, I think it was a he, even though he didn't have any antlers. I think I saw that line of long hair down the middle of his chest that bucks have. The little one was the fawn from two years ago, I think. It was hiding in the trees, staying away from the other two. The deer still have their gray winter coats, but they have been around looking for grass in my backyard. There may be a little there, but it's still too early.

 

Today, I watched three downy woodpeckers around the feeders. I have wondered why they peck at the deck railing, but after watching one of them, I think there are little bugs on wood (not in it), which it was picking off. They also hop along the railing, looking for seeds, which looks really strange, since their legs stay very close to their bodies. There was a female pecking at some stuff on the deck, and a male came up and got too close to her, and she pecked at him and chased him away. Horny downy. I seem to have two males and one female. I had hoped that another female would move in to take the one that was killed, but that hasn't happened yet.

 

Somebody on the Pasty Cam mentioned that down south the goldfinches are turning yellow. Well, they aren't up here. They are still brown and dull, but there certainly are a lot of them. They eat an amazing amount. I filled the tube feeder about 2:00, and by sundown, it was almost half empty. Geez! I will get some more seed tomorrow. I like goldfinches, but they are pushing out the other little birds.

 

So that was a quiet day, and it's time to try to get to bed early. I have to be in Calumet by 11:00 tomorrow. Now it's a calm, cool, and partly clear night in the field, and there may be stars.

 

March 22

I guess it was about 11:30 when I got to bed last night, and the crescent moon was shining right on my pillow. It was a nice, clear night. I got up around 10:00, I think, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while. The cat went away because I was knitting, and the rounds are so short that I was able to do several. That will change soon.

 

Let's see...I soaked the towels for several hours before I washed them, and they are in the dryer now, along with a couple of things I forgot yesterday. I got the dishwasher almost ready to run tonight, and I started a new orange bag for the stuff on the counters. For some reason I seem to accumulate very bulky trash.

 

I went to the post office, and I stopped at the store for eggs. I finally made the reservations for my motel rooms in Detroit and Grayling, and I will be taking the car in on Wednesday for its oil change. While I am down there, I will have to get some more birdseed. So I do a few things every day, and eventually most of what I want to do will get done.

 

The weather was partly cloudy, with all those high, nondescript clouds that cut the sunshine a lot. The temperature peaked at 43 early in the afternoon, but there was a brisk wind, in the 10-20 mph range, from the south. When I stopped to give the dog his treats, it was chilly. It was quite cloudy at sunset, so there was no pretty sky.

 

This evening, I finished the leg of the blue sock, but I didn't want to start the heel in the dark, so I will do that tomorrow. I read for a while, listening to Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, which I like, and some other good stuff. Now I will totter up to the north end and maybe write a bit. I know what I want to say next, so I'd better do it before I forget.

 

Now it's a dark, calm night in the field, and I don't think there will be any stars tonight.

 

March 21

Today is the first full day of spring, and it is the 325th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach. 

 

I tried again, when I got up to the north end, to cast on the neck of the sweater, but somehow, I only gave myself about an 18" tail, so that didn't work, and I crashed. 

 

It was nice to see the moon setting in the clear sky, and there were stars all night. I got up around 10:30, I think, but I did the neck ribbing and started the yoke of the sweater, then I had to fill the pill dispensers, so it was noon before I got to the studio. 

 

The sweater is OK now, I think, and I have done the neck shaping and started down the yoke. I started it a little differently this time, and I think it will come out better. I had to stop before the talking started, because my left thumb was too sore, although knitting on the sock, on smaller needles, didn't bother me much. 

 

The main task of the day, besides the pill dispensers, was to wash, and I got four loads done. I need to wash towels, but I want to soak them in Oxy-Clean first, because there is a yellow spot in the middle of both of them, which is where I dry myself off. I think it has something to do with the water, but I just can't seem to find the right combination of soap and bleach to get them clean. The fourth load was fleece, which I can now put away for the season. I will be wearing fleece jackets, but the overshirts are over.

 

It was another pretty day. The temperature got up to 44 early in the afternoon, with northwest winds in the 15-30 mph range. That has all died down now, and the temperature has dropped to 30 with calm winds. There were a few clouds when the wind picked up, but they are all gone now, and it was nearly clear at sunset. There was another picture of Venus shining above the haze in the west. So pretty!

 

So that was a quiet day, and as soon as the lovely organ music ends, I will be off to the north end. It's a clear, quiet night in the field, and there will be stars.

 

March 20

I guess I need to go to bed, but more about that later.

 

Last night, I started writing when I got to the north end, and as a result, I didn't get to bed until 1:30. That's the trouble with writing.

 

I got up around 11:00, and I petted a cat and knitted for a while. i was knitting on the black sweater, and I was about halfway down the yoke, so I held it up to look at it, and it was quite clear that the neck was much too big...again. Damn. So I brought it with me to the studio, and I ripped it out again.

 

I tried to start the neck ribbing, and I was going to try to knit while I read a while, but I kept messing up the pattern, and then when I looked it, I had twisted the first row, so I ripped all that out, too. That was after I started using the tail end of the yarn to knit with...twice. Time to let it go, I guess.

 

I spent most of the afternoon redoing the pattern. It's going to be quite big - I hope I have enough yarn - but this time I think it will be all right. Doing a knitting pattern from scratch gives me a much better feel for what a professional designer has to go through when making a pattern. I didn't have any trouble with the drop shoulder top-down pattern, which I've knitted in several gauges, but a raglan is different. You have to get it started right, or nothing will work. If I this one works out right, it will be a template for any others I make. Now I know what the problems are.

 

The weather turned out beautiful, if cold. Last night was mostly clear, and I saw Mars chasing Castor and Pollux down in toward the northwest. It is really interesting to see how far to the east Mars has moved since I first saw it a couple of months ago. I guess it is getting dimmer, too, but I haven't noticed that very much. When I first saw it, it was about the same distance from Pollux as Pollux is from Castor. Now it is half again as far away. From my bed, without my glasses on, I can make astronomical observations.

 

It was partly cloudy when I got up, but the clouds soon went away and the afternoon was beautifully clear and sunny. The temperature peaked at 32, after the brisk 20 mph wind died down, but it was chilly outside when I filled the bird feeders. Since it was so cold outside, it didn't get too warm inside.

 

But it was soooo pretty! My accountant called, and we had a nice conversation, while I watched the whitecaps on the dark blue harbor. I never get tired of my view. My accountant said that she has crocus and daffodils out, and that they got a little dusting of snow, after a very warm day yesterday. That's in the Detroit suburbs.

 

I was very happy to hear that the sun is starting to erupt again, if only a little bit and at high latitudes. At least the minimum is over with. We probably won't get to see much in the way of auroras until the sunspots start to get closer to the solar equator, but at least it's starting. I love auroras.

 

So that was my day, and my left hand is sore from all the knitting, and my attempts to restart the sweater weren't very satisfactory. I think it's time to totter up to the north end and put myself to bed. It's a clear, cold and nearly calm night in the field.

 

March 19

I wrote for a while when I got up to the north end last night, and I got to bed about 11:30. I didn't sleep as well as I thought I would. I started out all right, but after about 3:00, I was up a lot and hot a lot, so it was a restless night. I did see stars every time I was up, until early in the morning.

 

I got up around 10:00, I think, and petted a cat and knitted a while before I got dressed. 

 

I didn't do a lot today (no surprise), but I did something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I seem to have acquired a lot of yarn that came in hanks rather than balls, and it needed winding. I've had the yarn swift and the ball winder upstairs for a long time, but I hadn't done anything about it. So today I set everything up and started winding. I was able to get the swift attached to the end of the desk, but the clamp on the ball winder (it must be almost 40 years old) isn't big enough to fit on the desk, so I ended up clamping it to the edge of the door. Not exactly the best place, but it worked. I must have wound 20 balls of yarn or more, but now it is all done. As I was winding, I was thinking how pretty all that yarn is and what I want to make out of it.

 

There are four different colorways that I bought thinking I would make socks, but it turns out that the yarn has alpaca in it and may not machine wash very well, so I was thinking...lace scarf, maybe? I don't know. There was also a lot of lace weight yarn that I've had for quite a while, and I know what I want to do with most of that. There is one colorway that would go very well with my down parka...although I'm not sure if a lace scarf and a down parka is the best combination. We shall see. Not very long ago, I got a lot of a worsted-weight yarn that is various shades of turquoise, from very pale to very dark. It was a real deal, and it turned out to be very nice yarn. As I was winding it, I was thinking, that would make a nice cardigan for cool days in spring, summer and fall, so after I finished winding, I knitted up a swatch, and now all I have to do is measure it for the gauge. I have an idea what I'd like to do with it, but we'll see.

 

Oh, yes, and I finally got the dishwasher unloaded. Tomorrow maybe I can start reloading it, since I'm running out of cat dishes.

 

The weather suddenly turned a bit wintry again. At midnight, the temperature was 53, but it went down slowly all day, until about 5:00, when it was 29, where it still is now. I could hear the wind rising overnight, and it was strong from the north all day today - in the 20-35 mph range. The lake has been singing rather loudly. The wind seems to be dying down now, but we'll see. It was cloudy all day, until right before sunset, when it began to clear up a bit. Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, I looked outside, and there were little snowflakes coming down. It snowed very lightly - no accumulation at all - for an hour or so.

 

when I went out to the kitchen a few minutes ago, I looked up and the crescent moon was shining in the upper windows of the great room, very bright and clear. We had a nice sunset, and I took some pictures, but the camera batteries were dying, so I don't know how much I actually got, and by the time I was taking my pictures, it was dark enough that I probably moved while I was holding the shutter. I'll look at them tomorrow and see.

 

It looked very autumnal out on the harbor for most of the day, with the steel gray water and the whitecaps. I figured it wasn't all over yet, even though most of the snow is gone.

 

Late this afternoon, I remembered I had to pay a bill - which will be late - and I can't find my checkbook, which I took out of my purse yesterday when I got home. Then I was trying to plug in the battery charger and dropped something on the floor which apparently strewed things like pins and snaps all over the floor under the sewing chair. Clearly I am tired and cranky again.

 

Oh, yes, and Dr. Limback herself called to discuss the report on my non-biopsy, and she opined that I live on Lucky Street. I guess. I'd more likely say some people are too worried. However, it was so nice of her to call me herself. I do like that lady, even though I hope not to need her professional services again...except to order the ultrasounds or whatever.

 

So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end. Clearly I am still on standard time, but that always happens. It's a cold, windy, but clear night in the field, and the lake will sing me to sleep.

 

March 18

Not a productive day. However, it had its good moments.

 

I got to bed around 9:30 last night, but I simply did not sleep well, and I had any number of strange dreams. I did watch the teensy crescent moon setting over Porter Island, which was lovely. After it was gone, I think it was a little hazy, because I didn't see a lot of stars, although the field in that direction is rather sparse. I had to get up around 6:45, so of course I didn't go back to sleep, and I was up before the alarm, which I set for 7:30.

 

I did get to do most of my morning surfing before I left. I had to haul three bags of kitty litter out of the car and put the cooler in, because I planned to stop at Pat's (three things on my list) after I was through at the hospital.

 

Well. Three ultrasound technicians tried, and a radiologist tried, and they simply could not find the thing that seemed to be there when I had my last ultrasound, so there was no biopsy. Very good news indeed, I think, but annoying, to say the least. So I stopped up at the doctor's office and signed a release to get the report sent to the oncologist, and then I was on my way. The radiologist is going to recommend a follow-up in six months. Sign.

 

Unfortunately, after having eaten a small, early breakfast, I was ravenous by the time I got to Pat's, so I did a lot of damage, but now I won't have to shop again until I run out of orange juice, and I seem to have a lot of that. Among the things I got was a rotisserie chicken, just to make eating easy, and I had part of it just now, and it is very good, although too salty. It's amazing how salty things taste when you've been on a restricted sodium diet for as long as I have (like 35 years). However, it is very tender, and even though I had to reheat it, the breast meat isn't very dry. Yum. Buster thought so, too, after I waved it under his nose, and Jasmine wanted some, too, but he wouldn't let her have any. I got a bunch of stuff I didn't need, and I got into the wrong end of the soup aisle, and found some things I didn't know about, so I will be going on some soup adventures in the coming weeks. I love soup, and I have decided to ease up on the sodium restrictions a bit, now that I'm wearing my compression hose.

 

I was home by 1:00. Among the things I got were two half sandwiches on small Italian breads, and they tasted so good I ate both of them. So at dinner time, I wasn't hungry.

 

I did nothing for the rest of the afternoon, even though the new gazebo feeder had somehow gotten emptied by the time I got back here. 

 

Tonight was supposed to be an Advertising committee meeting about Thunder in the Harbor (the motorcycle event), but when I got there, a tad late, there was Mac and another guy trying to sell us on an advertising package on the radio stations he works for now. Mac is a good salesman, for sure. I sort of figured that was his strong suit. It actually sounds like a good deal, and the committee agreed - as I was walking out the door - that we should probably accept it, but CHIA regular should pay for part of it (don't ask - I won't explain the dynamic, which I am still figuring out myself). He did say he will be spending more time in the Harbor this summer. Anyway, after that, we got to Thunder, and that was interesting, too. Most of the conversation was how to advertise and promote it, and that is coming along. So it was a good, if long, meeting. I got home at 9:00.

 

If you know any bikers, tell them about the Keweenaw Ride-In and Thunder in the Harbor, which will be July 23 and 24. They should be good fun, for those who are into those things.

 

I was hungry when I got home, so I carved up my chicken and just finished eating it, along with my fresh salad greens.

 

The weather was nice, if not as pretty as past days. The temperature peaked at 51 at 7:00, and for most of the day there was a north wind that got up to 31 mph gusts around 2:00. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day. This is April weather. I just hope we don't have March weather in April, when I have to travel.

 

This evening, when I pulled into the driveway, there was a thin crescent moon high in the sky, sort of hazy, so those high clouds are still there. They are promising that the temperature is going to get down closer to normal levels in a day or so, and it might even snow a bit, although they keep pushing that further into next week.

 

Traffic was minimal going both ways this morning, which was nice, and it was an easy drive. I am now completely in 2WD. While there is still some ice coming down the hill to the culverts, there are two bare tracks, and with a little care, I can keep out of Lake Lily. That lake and Lake Medora are still ice-covered, but the ice is thinning and looks very spongy.

 

Oh, I almost forgot. When I drove down into the culverts this morning, I startled a deer that was in the open area where people launch their boats in the summer. It ran ahead of me before it jumped into the snow and the woods. It reminded me to notice that the deer are still in their gray winter coats - they haven't started shedding yet (neither has Buster, actually). 

 

There is still a lot of snow in the woods, especially from the Mountain Lodge to Calumet, but almost all the snow is ugly, ugly, ugly. There was a pile in front of the schools at Calumet that reminded me of Enceladus, the moon of Saturn that is all black and white. Most of the piles, except far back in the woods, are covered with black stuff. This is an ugly time of year.

 

When I came down the hill into the Harbor (I never tire of doing that), there were whitecaps on a very blue harbor and lake, and it was so pretty! This really is home...but I felt that way long before I actually lived here.

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired. I am tempted to jump into bed without a bath, even though I sweated quite a lot today when I was in Pat's - the back of my hair was sopping when I started back north. It's hard to get the right clothing at this time of year. I have broken out my unlined windbreaker, and I think that will be my jacket of choice unless it gets really cold. It isn't lined, but it's nearly windproof, so it keeps heat in.

 

Oh, darn, and I nearly forgot. Roxie got her results back today, and all her samples were benign, so we are both in good shape at least until the next ultrasounds.

 

Clearly, it's time to go to bed. All is well, and now it's a partly cloudy, calm night in the field, and I'm off to the north end as soon as I finish my JD.

 

March 17

This is early tonight, but I have to get to bed early.

 

I read for a while when I got up to the north end, and I got to bed shortly after midnight, I think. I was awake around 7:30, but that was too early, and it was 10:30 before I got up. I knitted a while and petted a cat before I got dressed.

 

I had time to do most of my morning surfing before I took off for the afternoon. My accountant called back around noon, so she is looking for my taxes.

 

I had things to mail, including my tax information, but I still got to Carolyn's first. It was a little different group today, with some people I haven't seen in a long while. I got to meet Aster, who is the daughter of Art Davis (Johanna's brother) and Miranda nee Kilpela (Captain Don's granddaughter, Ben's daughter, I think). She is a cutie, for sure, just about to walk and saying individual words. So that was fun. Some of the winter regulars are away, but today's group was a good one. Syd came, and she had a very nice quilt top she had put together. It was brown, which isn't my choice, but the fabrics were very interesting and she did a lovely job of piecing it.

 

So I got home around 4:00, and that was about all I did.

 

The weather was, as the weather forecast said, unseasonably warm.  It was actually 45 or under until about 3:00, when it abruptly went up to 50. and it topped out at 56 around 5;00. The wind has either been on or off, but it has been rather gusty and stronger than it's been for quite a few days, so I guess there is a change coming on. The skies weren't as clear as they have been lately. There were high clouds in the sky all day, but they only occasionally interfered with the sunshine.  Now it is clear in spots, but there is a rather large gray and mauve cloud almost over the house, which is rather pretty. I think I may be able to see Venus and the moon again tonight, even though there are some clouds in the west.

 

I quite forgot, yesterday, to mention that I was doing something on the computer when I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye, and two deer walked across the backyard. They were looking for something to eat, and they found a few things, but except for over the septic tank, not much has started growing yet. they looked quite healthy, but thin. I think it was the doe and the fawn she had a couple of years ago, who is much smaller than her mom. I don't think the big one was a buck. They are such pretty creatures, and they move so gracefully.

 

So I think that is about all I have to report. I think I will fill the bird feeders while the computer is rebooting, then I'm off to the north end. I have to be in Laurium before 10:00 tomorrow, so I need to get started early.

 

It's a partly cloudy, breezy night in the field, but it's warm.

 

March 16

I read a bit before I crashed last night, so it was 1:30 or later (I don't remember) when I got to bed, and I didn't get up until about 10:30. When I was awake in the night there were nice stars out, and it was another beautifully clear, blue morning. I petted a cat and knitted a while, and I finished the ribbing and started the leg of the second blue sock.

 

I didn't do a lot today, but I got all the figures out of the computer and printed for my taxes (or I hope I got all of them), and I packed up the paper to send to my accountant. I was going to go to the post office, but I didn't have the taxes ready in time, so I will go tomorrow on the way to Carolyn's.

 

I also spent some more time working on ledgers. I have one file that has the summaries for every year from 2000 on, and I discovered that I hadn't put 2008 into it, as well as 2009, so I did that. I was very moderate last year, and I hope I can do even better this year. Now I hope that is the end of everything 2009. If I can keep the ledger up to date and the filing up to date, I will be happy.

 

The weather was lovely, but a little cooler than yesterday. The temperature went from 29 to 39 between 9:00 and 10:00 this morning, then it hung right around 39 all day long, with very little wind and no clouds. The temperature in the studio got up to 81 while I was eating dinner, which means I almost melted away, so I have the window open now and that is cooling things down.

 

This evening, I was looking to see if I could spot Venus, and I did, quite soon after sunset. Then there was another test. The moon is only 1% illuminated, and according to S&T, it was to the north and a little below Venus. So as soon as I spotted her, I started looking...and I saw it! I saw it first with my binoculars, then I could see it with my naked eye, and then I lost it for a while. When it got a little darker, I could see it more clearly, even though it was far down in the haze by that time, and with my binoculars,  besides the teensy crescent that is illuminated, I could see a very faint ring of light almost all the way around!  That was mostly the sun shining on the backside, with a little earthshine thrown in. It was soooo pretty! I am pretty sure I've never seen the moon when it was quite that small before, so score another one.

 

There is quite a bit of haze on the western horizon - why I don' t know - but otherwise it seems pretty clear out there, and I could see something over in the south, probably Sirius, about the same time I was seeing Venus. She is gone now, but I expect to see stars tonight.

 

So that was my day, and I hope I can get to bed a little earlier tonight and get up a little earlier tomorrow, but we'll see. The radio isn't helping. It's a clear, coolish, calm night in the field.

 

March 15

I don't remember what I did last night, except that I read for a while after I got up to the north end, and it was 12:30 when I got to bed. I slept really well, and I didn't get up until 11:00. That should get me back together, except that I'll be later tonight. I petted a cat, but he went away when I started knitting on the sweater, since I'd forgotten to bring the socks with me.

 

That meant I didn't do much at all today. By the time I finished my surfing, it was nearly time to go off to the CHIA meeting. There were quite a few people there today, because planning is starting for the summer, and there are a lot of activities. The meeting was over by 5:00.

 

Then I went up to the compactor to try to get rid of the three bags of kitty litter in the back of my car. Well. First, I couldn't get the door open on one side of it, and when I went around to the other side, it was so full that I couldn't possibly have put anything in it - and besides, the door was right beside the mechanism that runs it, so it would have been very hard to get anything in. So I came home with the three bags. I may try again tomorrow, but if I can't get rid of them then, I'll have to take them out of the car. What a pain. I may try to call Rich tomorrow and see what he says.

 

The weather was beautiful again. The temperature was in the low 40s all day, peaking at 43 at 7:00 this evening, before it began to plunge. There was no wind to speak of and no clouds, so it was sunny and pretty all day.

 

Tonight, after the talking got over, I started reading the first story that I transcribed - the one that's finished - and I just kept on reading, which is why this is so late. It's a good story and I still like it.

 

So that was my truncated day, and now it's off to the north end. It's a quiet night in the field.

 

March 14

I've noticed lately that back in 2007, we set a lot of high temperature records here, so after I finished this thing last night, I went back to March, 2007 and started reading. That was an interesting month, with temperatures from under 10 to 62...and then in April we had that monumental Holy Week blizzard, which I estimated at about 30" in five days here. Up in the highlands around Phoenix, they got 57" in the same time. Of course, it melted pretty fast, but still. 

 

Anyway, that kept me up, and then I read some when I got to the north end, which meant it was about 12:30 EDT when I got to bed. I slept well, however, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I petted a cat and knitted on the second blue sock for a while, but I still had a relatively early morning.

 

When I was up in the night, there were stars, so it was clear all night. I got a bit discombobulated, because S&T was saying that Gemini and Cancer were in the south...well along about 3:00 in the morning, it is actually in the northwest, and it sets behind the lighthouse. Mars is in Cancer, just a bit east of Castor and Pollux, and the three of them make just about a straight line. It's neat to look out and see them. I saw Capella setting behind my neighbors' house, and I could see Polaris pretty clearly. Nice. It's particularly nice when I can see so much with my glasses off.

 

It was a beautiful morning, and it was a beautiful day. The temperature got down to 32 between 7:00 and 9:00, but it bounced up fast and it was in the low 40s for most of the afternoon. There was no wind to speak of, and no clouds in the sky.

 

Well...there were no clouds in the sky until sunset, when there were a few in the west. It's amazing what a few clouds can do for a sunset...look here. Sort of close to the horizon, but pretty. I think it will be pretty clear for the next 24 hours or more.

 

The only problem I had was that the sun heated up the house so much that I was sweating. I finally bit the bullet and got at the filing. As I think I said, it doesn't take all that much time when I do it, but wow, do I hate to do it! Now 2009 is all sorted, filed and in a file box, and 2010 is all set up and the first 2 months are filed. I had two windows and the patio door in the great room open, and for a while I had the ceiling fan on in the office. It's cooling down now, so I can begin to close up. 

 

I think I have my tax stuff mostly together, except what I have to print off from the ledger. First it was too sunny to see what I was doing, and now it's too dark, so it will have to wait until tomorrow, but that's all right, since I like to call my accountant before I send the stuff off to her, and I have a few other things to do tomorrow. It's not very hard to do my taxes anymore, but it still makes me so much more comfortable to have somebody who really knows what they're doing do them for me that I'll continue to let Nancy do it. Besides, she has all my history, and there are a few gotchas in my IRA that she knows about.

 

My back hurts, up between my shoulders, which means I've been hunched over too long.

 

This daylight savings time is irking me already. I can't shut down the camera until about 9:00, which means I am in the dark until then. That's a little late for me. I just reset the start and stop times, and we'll see how that is tomorrow. We've gained enough daylight that it wasn't catching the beginning and end of twilight, which I like to see.

 

Roxie is gone. She packed up today and is spending tonight with Peggy (there is a potluck tonight), and she will be off early tomorrow. She will be back in May, I think, but for now it's just me and the fur faces.

 

They were feeling good today, because the barometer is high. When I got up, Jasmine was sitting in the window seat staring out at the cedar. There is a regular run between from the lilacs to the cedar to the end of the deck, which I discovered when it was snowy, and I'm sure she can see a lot I can't when she is looking out there. This afternoon, I had to laugh at her, though Twice she put her front paws up on the kitty condo, like she was going to jump up, and twice she sat back down before she walked off...like she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do. 

 

Buster was around, but first I was busy and then I had something for dinner that he can't have, so he finally went off. He hasn't been up under the open window today, but a couple of days ago when I had it open, he got up and went to sleep there. There wasn't any wind, so he could listen to the outdoors without getting cold. When I decided it was time to close the window, he got up, said "mriar!" in a most annoyed tone of voice, and went off. He lets me know what he thinks.

 

I just took a walk to the kitchen, and on the way back, I could see Venus shining above the clouds, which don't look like they're coming in our direction. So pretty! Around the end of the month and the first week of April, I may be able to see Mercury, too, if the sky is clear at sunset. My desire for more moisture for the woods is at war with my desire for clear skies so I can see stars...

 

So that was my day, and I actually accomplished something rather large - amazing! It's a clear night in the field, and there should be stars.

 

March 13

I read for a while and I took a bath, and I was in bed by 11:15. I went right to sleep, but around  2:30, I woke up hot and my sinuses were draining badly. That continued until close to 6:00 before I got back to sleep. I woke up again about 8:30, and although I fought it for a while, I got up around 8:45. That left me groggy and feeling bad, although my sinuses were better after I sneezed a couple of times. Ugh! I hate nights like that.

 

I was groggy enough that I couldn't remember how to cast on the second sock. I finished the first one, and I like it, but I had to wait until I could get a book to remember how to do the Old Norwegian cast-on, which I have been using for three or four years. Geez! It's not all that hard, and it gives a more elastic edge than a regular cast on. However, later on, I cast on the sock and did a couple of rows. I thought about working on the other sock, but I like the blue one well enough to want to finish the pair, and the other one, while interesting (two shades of blue, light and dark, magenta and yellow) isn't going to be that pretty. Sometimes I like to wear pretty socks.

 

I sat in the ugly chair for quite a while this afternoon, first casting on the sock and then reading a couple of Sky & Telescope issues I hadn't gotten to. One is this month's, which I will refer to, and the other is April's, about which I lied yesterday and said I'd read. I was right about the things I said I was interested in, though. That is one of the magazines I read cover to cover.

 

Roxie went off at 6:00 this morning, but she was back in the middle of the afternoon because there wasn't anything to do. She is staying with Peggy tonight because they don't know what they may be doing tomorrow. The CopperDog Sled Dog race did go off as scheduled, but they had to truck in snow at Mohawk. It was not well coordinated, and they had people not doing anything at all. Well, it's the first year. At least we got ours. Apparently there was one scheduled in Ely, MN that was canceled due to lack of snow. What a year!

 

The weather was blah again. It apparently rained a little bit between 8:00 and 9:00, because the deck was wet, but it wasn't much. The temperature hung in the low 40s for most of the afternoon, with no wind. Toward sunset, it began to clear up, and it was partly cloudy at sunset - too many clouds to see Venus, but nice to see the sun. Blah.

 

The snow is gone in the garden and most of it is gone in the backyard, too. It is all brown and ugly now. There is a hint that we may get some wintry weather at the end of next week, but it's not for sure yet. We can hope.

 

The only thing that's interesting is that according to the weather history, we had even warmer weather in 2007 - 62 on this date. I don't remember that, so I'm going to have to check back and see what happened. I think that was the year we had the blizzard Holy Week. Oh, well, The weather makes it interesting.

 

After I do that, I will totter up to the north end - I am very stiff and sore - and read for a while and try to get to bed early tonight...and hope I don't cough all night. It's a dark night in the field, but there might be a star or two.

 

March 12

I read for a while, both before I went up to the north end and after I got there, but I was so tired that I crashed about 11:30. I had some really weird dreams last night, but I think I got enough sleep, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I am working on the toe of the blue sock, and that disgusted Buster enough that he went away, so I'm almost done with it.

 

I did my morning surfing, and I think I've finally gotten the checkbook balanced. Geez! Obviously, I wasn't altogether there the last couple of weeks of December, because that was where almost all the problems were. I think they are fixed now, and I have all the correct figures in the ledgers. Wow, what a mess! I must try to be a lot more careful from here on out. It seems to me that every few years something like this happens, and I pay more attention, at least for a while.

 

The other task of the day was to do something about the desk and the computer desk in the studio, and I accomplished that. They aren't pristine, but they are a whole lot better than they were when I started, so tomorrow I can get started on the filing. I don't expect it to take that long to do, except that I also have to set up all my 2010 file folders, so I expect it will take most of the weekend...and then I can get the taxes ready for my accountant. By this time I should know better than to let everything slide so long. I could have done the filing while I was recovering in January, but oh, well. Filing is one of my least favorite tasks.

 

Tonight Roxie and I went to Mariner for a light dinner, and that was pleasant. She is helping with the dog sled race tomorrow, and she has to be in Copper Harbor by 6:00 am, so she is off to bed. I don't think I'll be up too late tonight, either, and maybe I can have a more restful night tonight.

 

The weather was blah again, but it didn't rain. The temperature was actually at its highest at midnight, and it was in the low 40s all day long, with almost no wind and almost no sun, except for a ray or two around 10:30 or 11:00 this morning. Very dull and gray.

 

I noticed that Woodland Road is nearly ice-free except going up the hill on the other side of the culverts - and the entry to my driveway. I skittered sideways again coming in tonight, but I didn't get stuck. I don't think that auto-4WD setting puts full power on the front wheels, so I may have to shift into 4HI for a while, until the sun melts the snow there. That part of the driveway is in the trees, and it only gets sun (if any) late in the afternoon at this time of year, and besides, it was rather deep there. I didn't have any trouble getting up the hill.

 

So that was another quiet day, but I do feel good that I accomplished something, and maybe I'll have more to report tomorrow. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it isn't cold and it isn't rainy or windy.

 

March 11

This checkbook thing is driving me crazy. After I uploaded the journal last night, I decided I should check the bank's balance to see whether we agreed. Well! First I had trouble logging in, and when I got that fixed, I discovered that the bank was showing a whole lot less than I was. So I paged through the transactions and discovered that way back before Christmas I had neglected to enter a rather large check - the one I wrote to Econo Foods when I bought my standing rib roast. Arrgh! So instead of just dropping it there, I rebalanced everything. There is still a problem: now they show more than I do. However, that's safer than the reverse. So while I was logged in, I paid a couple of bills that come due in the next few days.

 

After that, I went up to the north end, and I read for a while, just to settle my mind. I had to wash my hair and my bottom, so it was a bit after 1:00 when I finally got to bed. I made up for it by not getting up until nearly 11:00, which nearly killed the day. It was 3:30 before I finished my daily surfing.

 

Tonight, I started reading the story I call "First" which is the backstory for almost everything I've written. I hunted up the binder with the handwritten copy, and I printed off the seven or eight pages I've written since I put it on the computer, so that I can take that up to the north end and maybe do some useful writing. If I were ever to try to publish anything, that is the story I would want to publish first. Then I started reading it, but I only got to page 34. Reading the handwritten copy isn't the best thing, because I made changes as I transcribed it, but I still write better with a pen than with a keyboard.

 

It's early, but I am going to try to haul myself back onto a more reasonable schedule. I was reminded that daylight savings time starts Sunday, so my schedule will be all messed up anyway. I have to be at the hospital at 10:00 EDT on Thursday, and that will be hard. My body never really goes onto DST.

 

Roxie replaced the two burned out lights in the studio, and it's nice to have light again - now I can either transcribe or do crafts again.

 

The weather was nondescript. The temperature was nearly steady, between 39 and 43, and there were light breezes (under 10mph) from the south. It was cloudy and blah all day. It's amazing how much snow we've  lost, although we never had too much to begin with.

 

A while ago, I was sitting and reading with Buster nearly asleep on my lap when all of a sudden there was a thud on the deck, so we got up and I turned out the light - and there was a rather large and very pudgy raccoon sitting on the deck railing eating the woodpecker block. The thud was when part of it came down on the deck. I have wondered for some time where those woodpecker blocks were going to. The hairy woodpeckers like them, but they don't eat enough to have them disappear so quickly. Now I know. So I guess I'll have to stop putting them out. I really don't want to start feeding the raccoons any more than I can help.

 

So that was a quiet and mostly useless day. I was going to do trash today, but i was very creaky and sort of groggy, so I didn't. Now it's a cloudy, quiet night in the field, and it's time to try to get to bed a bit earlier than usual.

 

March 10

When I got up to the north end, I read for a while, but I was still in bed shortly after midnight. I think I got up around 9:30. I slept fairly well, although I was up several times because I had sore hips again. When I was up just before sunrise, it was foggy down the harbor, but by the time I got up for good, the fog was gone. I petted a cat and knitted on the blue sock - I'm nearly ready to do the toe, and I'd like to finish it.

 

The task of the day was the ledgers and the checkbook. I had some hope of starting the filing, but no such luck. Most of my problem was that it took me three tries to get my checkbook balance right, and hopefully, it will bear some resemblance to what the bank says I have. I also got the 2009 ledger completed and all the numbers I will need to send my accountant, so that chore is done. 2010 is up to date, too, and that's good.

 

Having to rebalance the checkbook took most of the time - geez, I don't know what my problem is, except that I do have fast fingers, and it appears I haven't been checking the numbers I punch into the calculator carefully enough. I also had a nice chat with Ron. We haven't had much need to talk this winter, so we haven't. I almost think he is sorry not to have had more plowing to do, although he says he is happy for the respite. Neither of us think the winter is over yet. We still have the rest of March and all of April to go, and all six weeks of that can be nasty.

 

The weather today was pretty much the same, although it was mostly cloudy all day. The temperature got up to 50 briefly, then settled in the middle 40s for the rest of the afternoon. The wind was under 10 mph again, from the south. There wasn't much, if any, sunshine, but it wasn't really dark, either. 

 

So that was my day, and shortly I will totter up to the north end and read a bit. It's a cloudy, quiet night in the field, and it's still warm.

 

March 9

I read for a while after I got up to the north end, and I dropped into bed around 2:30. I didn't sleep as well as I'd hoped. After about 6:00 (when I saw Ron driving down the road to take Trevor to the bus), I was awake about every hour because my hips were sore. This cool, damp weather isn't good for my joints. I got up around 10:30, I think, and I knitted and petted a cat a bit before I got dressed. 

 

Before I got my breakfast, the doctor's office called, and they wanted to schedule my biopsy for the 17th, but that is the ladies' meeting, so they rescheduled it for the 18th. I think it's going to be the same sort of procedure as the last one, but this time a radiologist is going to do it.

 

I was going to work on my ledgers this afternoon, but Sandi called and wanted to come over to get some pointers about cross stitch, so I said sure, and she stayed the afternoon. She is such a nice person, and we had a nice conversation, and I showed her a few things that were puzzling her, since it's been years since she did any cross stitch. 

 

The weather was nice again, although it was much cloudier. There was still enough sunshine to heat up the house, and I had a window in the studio and the patio door in the great room open for a while to cool it off in here. I was sorry to waste all that free heat, but we didn't need it all at once. It got up to at least 76 in here, and it was hot. The outdoor temperature peaked at 53, briefly, at 3:00, then it dropped to 41 the next hour, then up to 50 at 5:00, after which it began to drop off slowly in a more reasonable manner. I don't know what caused the see-saw, because the wind was under 10 mph all afternoon, mostly from the southwest, and it didn't change direction. This is just all wrong for March, and nobody can believe it.

 

The ice that was in front of the house yesterday was all up at the north side of the harbor this morning, and I think most if it is gone altogether now. Of course there is still a lot of ice on the shore and the rocks, but still, this is all at least a month early. There have been years when it still looked like this in May.

 

Buster was so happy to have a window open that he sat down under it and just breathed for quite a while, and he complained loudly when I shut it. Too bad about him. Jasmine was wandering around, so I hope she got to breathe the fresh air, too.

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired. It's a partly cloudy, warmish night in the field.

 

March 8

It was 1:00 before I got to bed again. Oh, well. It will be later tonight, but I was keyed up enough from my meeting tonight that I wanted to read a while - and eat - before I went to bed. I got up around  9:45, I think, and since my massage got postponed until noon, I had time to have some breakfast and do a little of my surfing before I went.

 

I feel much better for my massage. My upper back had tightened up a lot, and that is all taken care of. It is a problem - I have a lot of places on my arms and legs where she can't press hard, so she can't really massage those very well. She does work on my hands, though, as well as my back, and that helps a lot. She is also a Reiki practitioner, and I have found that most helpful as well.

 

On my way home, I stopped at the post office and talked to Clyde and Phoebe, and then I stopped at the store and talked to Stacie, so I was late getting home. 

 

This morning, before I was dressed, I got a call from the doctor's office, and they had faxed the ultrasound results to the oncologist and he had already called them and said I need a biopsy. I don't know what kind it will be, but I hope it isn't an open biopsy. I don't need that. Anyway, they were going to call me back and didn't, so I don't know what or when yet.

 

I had my first Advertising Committee meeting tonight, and it will take me a while to get up to speed on that. Everything is in the works, and I will just have to try to catch up. They are doing a good job at trying to promote Copper Harbor, not just with a brochure and a map, but with a video and radio and TV advertising, and they are trying to get connected to the state and the region as well. One of these days, there will be short videos out on the Copper Harbor website. I will tell you when they're there, if you can view videos. I can't, but people with real broadband can.

 

After the meeting some of us stayed and had a nice conversation, so it was late when I got home. I still find it amusing that the entire board of CHIA and the entire Advertising Committee is all women. Not a man in sight. Maybe we can get things organized and get something done.

 

The weather was nice again, although it was cooler than yesterday. The high temperature - 45 - was actually at midnight. It was around 38 or 39 all day. There was plenty of sunshine, but it was very humid, and there was a lot of haze down the harbor. There was a brisk wind - in the 15mph range - from the north. It was still a nice day, though, and this is supposed to continue, although there will be come clouds moving in.

 

I have been following the MODIS imagery of Lake Superior and it is interesting to see that there are clouds over in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, southwest of the lake, that don't seem to want to get here. MODIS is a camera on one of the satellites, and it takes about two pictures a day of all of Lake Superior, although sometimes one will be truncated on one side or the other. I'm glad to have the link, since next winter I will be able to watch the ice build up on the lake. There isn't much this year. While Copper Harbor is very small, even if you look at the enlarged image, you can see whether there is ice on it or not. Over the past three or four days, all the ice at the bottom of Keweenaw Bay has melted, too. There is still a little over in Bete Gris, but not a lot. Spring is coming early.

 

All the birds are singing. Roxie wanted to sit in the sun on the deck for a while this afternoon, although it was a little bit chilly out there, so I walked up to the north end of the deck and looked around up there, and I could hear the chickadees making quite a racket in the pines on my neighbor's property. I still think it's early for that kind of activity, but clearly they are influenced by the temperature. There is still a little broken up ice in front of the house, but it's too thin to walk on, and some of it is pancake ice. It's going fast.

 

So that was my day, and now it's very late...late enough that I may just not take a bath tonight, even though my hair will be a mess tomorrow. I'm tired, and it's past time to totter up to the north end and call it a night. It's clear and calm in the field tonight.

 

March 7

The star I saw in the picture last night was Venus. She was up there tonight, quite high while it was too light to capture in the camera, and there was some haze on the horizon that kept the camera from catching her again. Even when she was quite high in the sky, she was twinkling badly, so the atmosphere is pretty roiled up.

 

I as I was going up to the north end, around 11:00, I looked up and the sheriff was up quite high on the mountain with his flashers on. They have snowmobiles with police lights on them, and one was stopped close to the last place I can see things up there. They must have been chasing somebody - probably a drunk - and caught up with them right before the top. Tsk, tsk. It is interesting, because I don't think I've ever seen them patrolling US-41 or M-26 in cars, so I guess somebody must have called them.

 

I went up to the north end at a relatively reasonable hour, but I started reading, and it was 1:00 before I got to bed again. I got up around 10:00 and petted a cat and knitted a while. I cast on a new sock, just because it's another one of those multicolored yarns and I want to see what it looks like. I don't know yet, because I'm only doing the ribbing, but it looks like it might be blotchy. I hope so, because if it looks like the picture on the label, I'm not going to like it.

 

This afternoon, I took myself in hand and began to get my ledgers in order. I finished 2009 and set up 2010, but I didn't get anything entered in 2010 before it got dark. There is a point between the time when the sun starts shining right on the screen and the camera stops taking pictures when it's hard to do anything at all on the computer, and especially hard to do anything that requires seeing things like check registers and credit card bills. I will get it finished tomorrow, and then I have to go back to 2009 and contemplate the shambles of my so-called budget.

 

However, I had a lovely surprise. It seems that in the middle of December I managed to totally screw up the balance in my check register, leaving me thinking I had just over $500 less than I actually had in my bank balance. How nice! Gives me a chance to take a deep breath. I have no idea how I managed to do that, though - the amount I was off bears no resemblance to what I was trying to debit, so I don't know what I did. It was just nice to find it, and I was sorry I didn't do this exercise a couple of months ago like I should have.

 

Roxie went off to the Oscar party looking lovely in a black dress and pearls, and while I ate a TV dinner, I read some more. It never ceases to amaze me the typos I can produce and the things Word doesn't catch, so I am proofreading as I read. 

 

It was another beautiful spring day, a little cooler than yesterday. The temperature briefly reached 44 at 10:00 this morning, but for most of the day it was around 39. There was a wind from the north in the 15 mph range early in the day, but it died down at mid-afternoon, and has been calm for most of the evening. There were no clouds in the sky, but as I mentioned, there was some haze in the west around sunset. The atmosphere is very unsteady. Venus was twinkling in the west, and I was just looking at Sirius, which was twinkling like mad off in the southwest, but quite high in the sky. I guess it is supposed to be clear tomorrow, too, but that unsteady atmosphere means to me that the weather may be changing.

 

So now it's time to toddle up to the north end and try not to start reading again. It's a clear, calm and quite warm night in the field.

 

March 6

I did it again last night, and it was 1:00 when I got to bed. I got up at 9:15, and I was so tired by the middle of the afternoon that I nearly took a nap. Sigh. This has got to stop.

 

I petted a cat and knitted on the sweater before I got dressed, and since I decided to try a breakfast pasty, it was a while before I ate. It was good, but it takes 45 minutes to cook from a thawed state, plus the time to preheat the oven, so this is a really slow breakfast. I have five more, and I will save them for special occasions.

 

I was so tired that I didn't do very much at all. Roxie went off to learn about the sled dog races, and I sat in the ugly chair and sewed up my baby things. I still have to find some buttons for the jacket, but otherwise that digression is over. After the news, I started reading the beginning of the episode I am currently transcribing. 

 

While I was sitting in the ugly chair, I got up and went outside three times to fill the tube feeder, the square white feeder, and the feeder on the deck. There is a large flock of goldfinches, and they are hitting the feeders hard, although some of them also like the mixed seed I got that I don't like. I didn't see as many chickadees as I hoped, and I only saw a couple of woodpeckers.

 

I finally had to move, because the sun was beginning to shine through the tree, and it was getting awfully hot in here. The indoor temperature in the studio got up to 76, and even though I was wearing a tee, it was warm. That's too warm for the middle of summer. However, I don't like to complain about free heat.

 

It was another beautiful day, a little more windy than yesterday. The temperature got up to 48 after the wind dropped. In the middle of the afternoon, there was a north wind in the 14-20 mph range, which meant it didn't feel as warm as it was. The wind died down later, and it was a beautiful evening. 

 

I think the camera caught a star over the top of the mountain, and I am going to have to check out what it was...maybe Venus? It's too much to ask that it was Mercury. I won't post the picture, because the star was only a couple of pixels wide, but it was definitely there.

 

So Roxie and i ate dinner and talked for a while, and I read some more. Now it is definitely time to totter up to the north end and try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's another clear, nearly calm and warm night in the field.

 

March 5

I read for a while before I left the studio, and I read some more when I got up to the north end, so it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I got up around 10:00, just about the time Buster was settling down beside me. I knitted on the sweater for a while and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.

 

I decided I was going to get some pasties today, no matter what, so I called and discovered that they were only going to be there until 3:00, so I started off around noon and picked up my pasties before I did the rest of my stuff. I signed my releases, then I went off to Pat's and did more damage than I'd intended to do...but they had some things I wanted. I got back here about 3:45.

 

The trip was an easy one, and I drove the whole way in 2WD - the first time since November. That was nice, and it certainly cut down on the length of the trip. I did run across a couple of slow drivers, but fortunately they were in places where I could pass them.

 

It was a beautiful day to be out and about, clear and sunny. While it only got up to 39 here, it was at least 45 in Calumet, with hardly any wind. It was lovely when I got home, with the calm harbor and the little mini-icebergs floating on it. The only disadvantage to all the sun is that the temperature got up to 76 in the studio and not much cooler in the great room. Oh, well. I'll take all the free heat I can get.

 

Tonight I had a lovely pasty for dinner, while Roxie had some of our Copper Harbor soup, which she enjoyed. My Pasty Central pasty certainly tasted good. We sat and talked - we are both having breast problems - until she got tired. Both kitties were wandering around us, which is getting more usual. Even Jasmine wants to be around us, if not with us. 

 

While my pasty was cooking, I finally got the cat food out of the car and packed away in the pantry, so that chore is done. There is still kitty litter in the car, but otherwise, it's empty and I can take the trash to the dump whenever I feel like it. Besides, the kitties have more variety to eat now. It was cold when I put it away, but it will be room temperature when they eat it.

 

So now I can totter up to the north end and try not to be up too late, although it's already too late. It's a partly cloudy, quiet night in the field.

 

March 4

For some reason I just didn't want to go to bed last night. I played games for a while, then I went up to the north end and read for a while, and it was 3:00 before I turned out the light. I got up about 10:00, but that wasn't enough sleep by far. I forgot the baby stuff when I left the studio last night, so I knitted on the black sweater and petted a cat.

 

As a result of my lack of sleep, I didn't get nearly as much done today as I'd hoped. I got the stove and the counter around it cleaned up, and I packed up three big bags of trash, but I didn't take them to the dump. I did fill a couple of the bird feeders. The goldfinches are eating me out of house and home! However, the camera has caught some neat pictures of birds flying around the tube feeder. I suppose by this time of year, it's getting hard to find natural sources of seed.

 

The weather was very nice. It was cloudy this morning, but by afternoon it was clearing up, and it was quite clear at sunset...and perfectly calm. The harbor was like a mirror. The temperature only got up to 33. where it sat until 5:00, and it is now plunging, with the clear skies. There was no wind all day long. When I went out for the bird feeders, it was nice out.

 

Roxie didn't get here until around 9:00, but she made it safe and sound. She is only going to be here for a couple of weeks, unfortunately, but it's nice to see  her. We exchanged knitting projects, but otherwise we haven't had a chance to talk much, because she was even more tired than I am.

 

I read for a while tonight, and I am ready to sew up the second bootee. Then I can go back to the sweater and the socks, I think. This has been a fun digression.

 

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

 

March 3

I made it into bed by a little after midnight, and I slept well, until about 9:30 this morning. I knitted a bit and petted a cat a bit before I got dressed , and I did most of my daily surfing.

 

The activity of the day was Carolyn's, and there was just a small group of us, but a good one. We have a new member, Sherry, who is an Episcopal priest who, with her husband, is retiring in the area. She is a very nice person. I took the surprise jacket, and the most surprising thing about it was that most of the ladies were able to figure out how it goes together. They also thought the bootee was cute, especially after I finished it and sewed it together. It is cute. Eventually, it will have a tie, which I will have to weave through the knitting (although the directions don't say to do that). They thought the biscornu was nicer than I do, but I guess I'm getting pretty picky about those things.

 

So we had a nice time. On the way home, I passed Dawn walking Hattie, and I backed the car up and we had a nice conversation. She is the lady who is the guiding light of KSNAG (Keweenaw Spay and Neuter), and she also fosters a lot of cats and a few dogs.  I heard about Jasmine from her. I haven't seen her in a long while, since she's been down at their house in Lake Linden. Her husband is the manager of Fort Wilkins, and when he retires, they will live at their own property near Lake Linden. She feels it is easier to foster and rescue if she is there, so she hasn't been here in a couple of years. She is a nice person, and I was glad to see her...and tell her about Jasmine. She has a rescue cat she can't touch either, who is even harder to handle, since she is very possessive about her food. At least Jasmine doesn't have that problem. Hattie is a really cute medium-size, very fuzzy dog that Dawn rescued four or five years ago, and who has turned out very well. I gave her a dog treat.

 

It was a nice day, but it didn't do anything about the mess in the house. Oh, well. Roxie won't be here until afternoon.

 

The weather was nice early spring - weather I wouldn't expect until April. The temperature bottomed out at 16 around 8:00 this morning, then it jumped right up to 34 and settled at 36 for most of the afternoon. There were some high cirrus clouds in the sky, but they didn't interfere with the sunshine, and there wasn't any wind. I could take a lot of this, but it does worry me that it's so warm so early. Please, let's not have a hot summer...

 

This evening, I saw a glow reflected in the wall behind the monitor, and when I turned around to look, I grabbed the camera and went out onto the porch to take a picture. As usual, the webcam washed out all the color, so it didn't get as good a view. I thought the color was very nice, and besides, I like the reflection on the ice river in the harbor...or I think it's ice. It's hard to tell from here, and believe me, I won't be going out on the ice to see!

 

When I unloaded the camera, I discovered that I took some other pictures about a month ago, so I posted one of them, too. It's a good view of a blue winter sunset. I don't know how cold it was then, but it looks cold. Those are some of my favorite colors.

 

I hope you enjoy sunsets as much as I do. It seems a lot of my pictures, especially the ones I've posted on the web, have been sunsets. It's been a while since we've had any good ones, so I'm happy to see the ones we've had so far this year. 

 

Oh, yes, one more thing. I seem to have flying rabbits. There are usually a lot of critter tracks up at the north end. They make a regular path from the lilacs to my cedar and then to the end of the deck. But this morning, I noticed that there were two sets of bunny tracks that start at the cedar, go out ten or twelve feet - and stop. No turning around, no digging, no indication of anything grabbing them and flying away - they just stop. I am at a loss to explain what happened, unless the snow is so hard in that direction that no tracks show, which seems hard to believe, since five or six feet away is the path the squirrels have made. So, flying rabbits? Now I know why Jasmine spends so much time looking out the window seat windows. I'm sure the tracks were made overnight, and I wish I'd seen what really happened. So that is the mystery of the day.

 

Now it's a partly cloudy night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and try to get to bed before midnight.

 

March 2

Well, I might have been early last night, except that I tried to use FrontPage to upload the web again, and again it crapped out, so I called PastyNet and I ended up having a nice long conversation with Jon. I met him when he was still in school, and he was just a kid then. He is a really nice young man, and he's a pleasure to talk with. So with all that, it was probably close to 1:00 when I turned out the light, and then I couldn't sleep...all night.  It may have been warm in the bedroom from all the sunshine, and that was probably part of it, but that wasn't the whole story. I don't know what it was. I did sleep a little between 6:00 and 9:00, and then I got up.

 

When I was up at 6:00 and I saw the bright moonlight, I thought we might shoot the moon again this month, and we did! Not quite such a pretty picture as last month, but not bad, either. If I'd known it was going to happen, I'd have taken down the bird feeder. Much as I wish we were having more snow, I have to admit it has been lovely to have so much sunshine this winter. It probably won't ever happen again. You'll notice that the moon is a lot south of where it was setting the last lunation. That's the trouble - the more northerly the sun sets, the more southerly the moon sets. No more moons setting over the lighthouse for us! Actually the moonset and the sunset aren't too far apart right now, which is what you'd expect in the spring and the fall. The sun is still quite a bit (about 10)  south of where it will set on the equinox, but it's getting there. Daylight is just over 11 hours, too, which is always nice.

 

It got cold overnight, as you'd expect. It was 10 at 6:00 am, then between 9:00 and 10:00, the temperature went from 14 to 31 before it settled down at 33 for the middle of the day. There wasn't any wind to speak of. It was partly cloudy all day, and there was a lot of sunshine.

 

I finally got all the bird feeders filled and out, and it was rather nice outside when I was there. I hung up the new gazebo feeder when I brought the others in, and before I got in the door a couple of chickadees had lit on it. I spent some time rearranging things out there, and while I did that, chickadees were coming in shifts to the tube feeder. I would have kept the white feeder in, except that they like it so well. While I was out there, I saw a white breasted nuthatch gleaning on the ground under the tree, where the seed falls. Unfortunately, the goldfinches hog the tube feeder and the squirrels hog the feeder on the deck. However, when I went out to bring in the big cedar feeder, it looked strange to me, and I discovered that there was a very happy squirrel inside it, and I had to rap on the bottom several times before I could chase him out of it. I just do not want a squirrel in my house!

 

A little while later, there were two squirrels chasing each other around on the ground between the two trees, and it was really funny, because the chasee popped into a hole in the snow that someone had dug, and the chaser couldn't figure out what had happened to it. How to flummox a squirrel (not hard - they aren't the smartest critters I know). I got a chuckle out of it.

 

That was about all I did for the day. I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I just didn't feel like doing much of anything, so the house is going to be a mess when Roxie gets here. Sigh.

 

I started working on a cap to go with the surprise jacket, and then I decided I know how to make that, and I didn't want to bother, so I tore it out and started a bootee, with which I am about half done. I also stuffed the biscornu and finished it, and I'm not totally pleased with it. It is much bigger than I hoped, and it's sort of clunky. The beads that pull it together don't work quite right, and I couldn't get the pieces together as well as I would like to have. But it's done. Now I can decide what to do next on the embroidery front.

 

I got a call from the doctor's office about my ultrasound. There was some sort of shadow on it (which I saw), and it's up to me whether I wait another six months or get it biopsied now. I want the oncologist to help decide that, so I have to go down to Laurium sometime this week and sign a release. Sigh. I can't believe it's anything serious, but we'll see. Then I called the eye doctor's office, and I can't get to see her when I'm in Detroit...or I probably can't. The only time she could see me was while I was at one of the other appointments I have already scheduled. They suggested I call before I go to Detroit and see if there have been any cancellations, but probably I will have to wait until October to get my eyes examined. I kept forgetting to call, and they didn't flag my account to send me a reminder. Oh, well. Just because I'm not seeing very well...I can't afford any new glasses right now anyway.

 

So it was a sort of frustrating day, and I spent a while reading another episode out of the blue binder and knitting on a sock tonight. I am tired, and I hope I'll be getting to bed at a reasonable hour tonight...and that I will sleep.

 

Now it's a clear, calm night in the field, and there should be moonlight.

 

March 1

Today is the 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin's birth, so there has been some really nice music tonight - not my favorites of his, but nice.

 

I don't remember what I was doing last night, but it was midnight, as usual, before I got to bed. Or maybe it was later, I don't remember much. I got up around 10:00 and petted a cat a little, not as much as he wanted, because I wanted to finish the knitting on the surprise jacket. I'm not going to sew it up for a few days, because I want to take to Carolyn's on Wednesday and let Roxie see it on Thursday. Then I can finish it off. Then I cast on a little bonnet in the same yarn, but I haven't done very much on that yet.

 

I was late enough getting to the studio that I ended up not doing very much today. I have some work to do before Roxie gets here. I partly unloaded the dishwasher, but not enough to begin to reload it. I filled the birdseed pails, but I didn't fill the feeders. Tomorrow. I indulged in a new feeder on Friday, and that is full, but I didn't put it out.

 

This afternoon, I worked on the biscornu, and I am almost ready to start stuffing it. I am not completely satisfied with it. Not only did I pull a lot of the backstitches too tight, it appears that I skipped stitches in a number of places, so I sort of had to fudge the sewing. I don't like the fabric (I should have done it on Belfast linen like I was thinking about), and trying to find those backstitches up against the cross stitches is nearly impossible sometimes. There are several places where four or five patches come together where there is a hole, and I think I will probably try to sew those together before I stuff it. Anyway, I'm getting done with it, then I can go on to other things.

 

The weather was a little cooler than it has been the past couple of days. The temperature was right around 26 all day long, and the wind has died down to mostly under 10 mph, from the north to northeast. It was cloudy all morning, but it started clearing up later in the afternoon, and by sunset there were just a few little clouds in the sky. When I came back from the bathroom just now, I could see the moon rising through the trees. 

 

So that was my quiet day, and I'm going to try - again - to get to bed at some reasonable hour, but we'll see. It's a clear, quiet night in the field, and it's March.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM