A View From the Field








May, 2010

May 31 - Memorial Day

Well, it's the end of May, and the beginning of the summer season. White shoes tomorrow.


I got to bed a little after 10:30 last night. There was some more rain and it was very humid, and I slept only so-so. I got up around 8:30, and I petted a cat and knitted a while. I looked at what I had done on the Panda Cotton sock and decided it needs larger needles, so I ripped out what I had done and started over on #3 needles. I have only done about three rows, but I think it will come out better. The yarn is thicker than the Sockotta, so I think it needs a bigger needle. We'll see how it goes. Of course, now there are only 56 stitches, and there will be fewer rows, too, so it will go much faster.


Otherwise, I spent most of the afternoon working on my questionnaire and updating my page of vital information. Those questionnaires never have enough room for everything that has happened to me, so there are five or six places where I said "See attached sheet" and attached my information sheet. I am taking so many pills these days that I had to rework the list into two columns so that I could add the gall bladder thing. I also updated the other thing I did last year that had the chronicle of all my problems with the C. diff (and other things) during the year. I hope that gives them enough information. I hope they can do something.


Then I started typing again, and I finished transcribing the story. So that is all the transcribing I can do. There are other stories, but they all have to be rewritten before I can put them into the computer. 


I didn't put out the bird feeders today, much to the disappointment of the hummingbirds, but it was so windy that I doubt many birds would have come anyway. When there are whitecaps on the harbor, it's too windy.  It cooled down drastically overnight, into the middle 50s and it was a cool, windy day, but a pretty one. There were high clouds in the sky, which have now thickened. The temperature only got to 60 for a brief time around 1:00, before it dropped back. It was cool enough that I had to shut up the house, unfortunately.


I didn't feel all that well. I think I may be dehydrated again. I have a headache, and only sleep will cure that. The humidity did a thing to my back, although as it went down, that part of me felt better. It will be an early night tonight, I think. Trouble is, I want to knit and I want to write, and I can't do both of those things at once.


Now it's a cloudy, calm evening in the field, and it's time to call it a day. I don't have to leave until about noon tomorrow, so there will be time to do some things in the morning.


May 30

I got to bed a little after 10:30 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. It was a night of weird dreams. I think partly I couldn't get the temperature right, but it was humid and I ached, too. I got up around 8:30, and I knitted for quite a while before I got dressed.


I cast on another sock last night. This one is Panda Cotton, which is rayon from bamboo, cotton and elastic. The colors are pretty - lavender, pale yellow, pale sky blue and a sort of salmony pink. The lavender and yellow seem to be the dominant colors, but it's nice and summery. Now, do I have a tee or polo that's lavender? Hmm... I finished the ribbing this morning. It's not that I don't like the Sockotta sock, because I do, but it's darker and not as summery.


I didn't do a lot with my time, but I did get the wash folded and put away, and that's a good job done. That was quite a wash. I had everything from sweats to shorts and a tank top, all weights and warmths. I find those new sweatpants so comfortable, I tend to wear them when it's warmer than necessary.


This evening, I took Ron and Trevor to dinner. This is the first time in ages Trevor has been willing to join us, and while he was rather bored, the thought of good fish overcame him. He's 15 or so now (amazing!!), and he has a nice hollow leg. The food at Harbor Haus is just as good as ever, I'm happy to report, and the service is just as good. They have made a change or two - they have some bar tables and chairs in front of the bar now instead of dining tables. I wondered if maybe they found last summer when it was busy that people around the bar were interfering with people trying to eat, but it means there aren't nearly as many tables on the first floor as there used to be. It was nice to go there, and I wish I could go more often.


We were standing by my car talking when a few drops of rain started to come down, and by the time I got to the wastewater plant, it was pouring rain. That only lasted about 25 minutes, but I had left the patio door in the great room open, so the floor is all wet. Oh, well. I thought it was humid before - it really is now!


The weather otherwise was nice. It was partly cloudy all day, and it was in the upper 50s until after 3:00,when it suddenly jumped to 70. It peaked at 75 around 7:00. There was almost no wind at all. It was humid, though.


So that was another day, and it's now a cloudy, very moist evening in the field and I plan to get to bed early again.


May 29

I crashed last night. I went up to the north end right after I posted the journal, and while I read a little bit, I was in bed by 9:00. I was up several times during the night, of course, and I got up at about 8:30. I could have gotten up earlier, but I kept trying to go back to sleep. 


In the middle of the night, I opened the door to the porch a bit, because it was very warm in the bedroom, and a while later I closed it because it got cool - and of course I shut Jasmine out there. It's a measure of how far she has come, though, that while I was putting down Buster's breakfast, she actually came to the door to the kitchen, stood up against it, and meowed (even though I couldn't hear her). So I opened the window in the hallway and a bit later the door to the bedroom. She came in, but I don't know where she went. It was a while before I saw her. Then in the middle of the afternoon, I walked through the great room and she was laid out on one of the footstools, sound asleep. Later, she moved onto the chair. I guess the sun got too hot.


It is really amazing. She is still skittish in some situations, but she is so much more relaxed, and she certainly feels like she is part of the household. Frequently, I can even walk right by her and she doesn't move, although she always watches me.


It was another lost day, mostly. I typed a lot, and I went to the post office, where there was a three-page questionnaire from the doctor I will see Tuesday - another complete medical history. Ugh. I will attack that tomorrow or Monday.


I washed two loads of clothes, and the second one should be ready to come out of the dryer now. I decided that since I am taking Ron and Trevor to Harbor Haus tomorrow, I would wash today and get it over with. I still have to do the towels, but I want to soak them like I did the other set. It didn't get rid of all the yellow, but it helped.


The weather was nice, but it wasn't nearly as clear as they predicted. The temperature was around 60 until 4:00 or so, then it went up to 73 for a couple of hours, and it is now dropping off a bit. There was hardly any wind at all. It clouded up some in the afternoon, but not enough to keep the studio from getting up to 79 before I opened the door completely. When the temperature was lower, I had to keep the door open only a crack, and I got a stiff neck anyway.


Tonight I have to run the dishwasher, but I think I will be getting to bed fairly early again, but not as early as last night, since it's almost 9:00 already.


On the bird scene, now that I have gotten rid of the bear (or I hope I have), my current problems are ants in the hummingbird feeder and three ravens on the deck. I got some Vaseline at the store today, and I think that should help with the ants, if I put it on the hook. I'm not sure what to do about the ravens. They are so big, they eat an awful lot. They do fly away when I move inside the house, but sometimes I'm not here or I'm busy.


So that was another quiet day, and it's a nearly calm, cloudy night in the field.


May 28

I am tired. After I did the journal, I think I typed some more, and then I started reading forward in the story, and it ended up being 3:30 before I got to bed. I got up around 9:30, because I had to, and because I knew if I went back to bed, it would be noon before I got up, and I didn't want to get into that cycle again. So I'm tired, and this is early, and I think (or maybe I hope) I will be going to bed early tonight.


The other thing that happened was that I had an accident this morning, so I ended up washing jeans. This weekend is wash time anyway, so I just started early. That's the reason I'm going to Marquette on Tuesday. I am very discouraged about this whole thing, and i only hope that a specialist will be able to help.


I typed some more, and I embroidered a little bit, but otherwise, I didn't do anything.


The weather was nice but cool. The temperature was around 55 for most of the day, until 6:00, when it went up to 62, but it has now dropped back. The wind was calm all day long. It was beautifully clear this morning, but it has now sort of clouded up.


It would have been a good day to go outside, but I had my usual excuses for not doing it. There is no question that this infection makes me feel like not doing anything. So I didn't.


I am happy to report that the bite on my thumb is finally starting to deflate, as my body absorbs the gunk in the blister. And most of the other bites have mostly stopped itching, although I got one the other day on my belly that still bothers me at times. Now I am just covered with red spots of varying sizes. It could be that the bites are another reason why I don't feel so good, since I clearly have an allergic reaction to them. 


It is always interests me where the flies bite. Some years, it's been on my arms, hands and neck. This year it's been all on my belly and thighs, except for the one on my hand. I still don't think it's fair when they crawl up under your tee, down into your jeans and bite you on the belly, which has to have been what happened with the last one I got there. That's not fair.


I wasn't watching the bird feeders much today, but at one point I started hearing pecking or something on the deck, and when I looked out, two big ravens flew away. There was a birdseed mixture I got that had little seeds and corn in it. I think that may have been what brought the ravens, but they probably like the sunflower seeds, too. At one point there was at least one goldfinch hanging upside down on the thistle sock. Since I put the feeders out so late, I don't get nearly as many birds as I did earlier, and I haven't been able to decide how to handle that. I am not going out in my nightie, with the bugs, to hang them up early in the morning!


So that was my day, and even though it's not nearly sunset yet, I think I am going up to the north end and crash. It's a mostly cloudy, calm evening in the field.


May 27

Oops. It's after midnight. My excuse is that I was typing a rather long and interesting episode in the current story and I wanted to finish it. I didn't quite, but all that's left is the wrap-up, so I felt I could leave it.


I got to bed about 11:30 last night, and I slept fairly well, although I was up several times. I woke up around 9:00 with a headache, and got up around 9:30. I knitted and petted a cat for quite a while before I got dressed.


I was about to leave the bathroom, when I looked in the mirror and saw something in the backyard, and when I turned around to look, it was a deer, browsing in the grass. I think it was the smallest of the three there have been around here, and it looked rather skinny, but that might be because it's only a couple of years old. If its mom gave birth this year, she might have kicked it out. It didn't know I was watching it, but either it wasn't very hungry or it was very picky about what it would eat, and it went off toward the north.


That was a nice start to the day. I actually accomplished a few things. My headache was probably because my sinuses fill up overnight, and once I was vertical for a while and blew my nose, it went away. I began filling the dishwasher, mostly to get the dishes out of the sink, and I unpacked most of the cat food I brought back from Detroit. The cupboard was getting very bare, so it was time. Now it is very full, and it will be a while before I have to buy any more cat food.


Otherwise, I typed, and I made quite a bit of progress, although I was having a terrible time mistyping. Between that and the non-errors Word flags, it was sort of frustrating. My right and left hands were just not in sync - still aren't.


The weather was beautiful, mostly clear all day long, with a brisk wind from the north. The temperature only got up to 63 outside, but it got very warm in here. It works much better if I can open up the house when it's so sunny.


I was late bringing in the bird feeders tonight, and when I turned on the light, there were the two little flying squirrels. One was sitting beside the deck feeder, picking seeds out of it, and when I went outside, it moved away and took its seeds out of a crack between the boards of the deck. It was so tame, it didn't jump onto the tree until I was within a foot of it. They are such cute little things, with their big dark eyes. All the skin between their front and hind legs sort of folds down when they are sitting and makes them look round and chubby, and they move so fast I haven't actually seen one soaring through the air. One moment, it's on the deck and the next moment it's on the tree. Obviously they aren't like the red squirrels, which are noisy and jealous of each other. These two don't make any noise that I've heard, and they seem quite content to be around each other.


So that was my quiet day. Late this afternoon I got an automated message from the doctor in Marquette confirming my appointment on Tuesday afternoon. That's why I don't like Marquette - it's too much big city, although even in Detroit they don't use an automated system to confirm appointments. To me, that's sort of tacky. Anyway, I'm going.


Now it's a cool, partly cloudy night in the field, although Venus was shining brilliantly in the northwest when I went out, and the full moon should be up there someplace, too, but it's far down in the south these days. It's time to go to bed.


May 26

I had a little bit of writing I wanted to do last night - about eight pages' worth. I had left out a couple of characters in one episode and I wanted to rewrite it to put them in. So it was probably after midnight when I got to bed - I didn't notice. Unfortunately, it was a long time before I got to sleep. I wasn't comfortable. I itched, and it had cooled down enough that my feet were cold. It hadn't cooled down enough in the bathroom that the heat came on, and the floor was cold, which froze my feet. It was probably 2:00 or later before I got to sleep. 


So it was probably 9:30 when I got up this morning. It was very foggy out, so I took my time, petting a cat and knitting, before I got dressed. There was a strong north wind blowing, so I had to close the house up, although the east windows in the studio are still open. I just love to have the windows open, to hear the outside and every so often smell the fresh air.


The fog came and went until about 10:15, and it was very humid all day. The temperature had gotten down to about 50 overnight - a nice change from the previous few days - and it got up to 69 briefly, around 5:00. It was in the 60s for most of the day, but it went up and down, and i don't know why, since the wind was steady from the north, in the 10-20 mph range.  It clouded up after the fog went away, and it didn't clear up until almost 5:00 this evening. It's not completely clear now, but there is some sunshine.


i did very little again, although I paid a bunch of bills and went to the post office. I did some typing, and a little embroidery, and that was about it.


I've been forgetting to mention a few observations I've made. When I woke up yesterday morning, I noticed that the lilacs along my north lot line are opening up. I really should go out and smell them. They seem to have popped out rather suddenly. The hot weather did a number on the juneberries and the chokecherries. I noticed when I was out today that the pin cherries are in bloom and the red-twig dogwood blossoms are coming out. So this is now late spring. I was sorry the flowers went so fast. There are three bushes down by the cliff that you can just barely see in the camera, and they all seem to be cherries, and at the end of last week, they were really pretty. Now all the flowers are gone. I am glad to have them. The birds don't seem to care for the juneberries very much, but I'm sure they eat cherries.


Last evening, when it was very humid, I was smelling hot metal and burned fusil oil from boats out on the lake. This morning, when it was still foggy out there, there was a laker sounding its horn, and it is about the lowest pitched foghorn I've heard. None of them are as low as the old steam horns they used to have when I was a little girl, but I still love to hear them, although I often wonder why they bother these days, with radar and all that. And this morning, while I was in the bathroom, I know I smelled bear. I don't know where it was, but there isn't another smell quite like it.


And last evening, when I went out into the kitchen, I found the tail end of a garter snake in front of the door to the basement. It had to be Jasmine's, and I wondered where in the world she found it - and then she ate half of it. Yuck. I keep remembering that she was a feral kitten, and she wasn't trapped until she was about three months old, so her mother probably caught anything she could get to feed her kittens...including snakes. Also, very early yesterday morning, I heard signs that they did catch the mouse that had gotten into the house. I don't find remains of those anymore, which is fine with me. If we lived in the city, I would worry, but these are country mice and not diseased or poisoned.


I only got one new black fly bite yesterday, but it was on my earlobe, and it hurts. There isn't much flesh to swell up on my ears, so when they bite there, it hurts. All the others, especially the ones on my belly, have been bothering me extremely. And the one on my thumb, the oldest one, isn't showing any signs of decreasing in size. Fortunately, I've avoided breaking the blister, but at intervals, it hurts, too. I think this is the most bites I've ever gotten, and I know I never had so many on parts of my body that are usually covered. I keep hoping that if they came out early, and it is dry, they will go away early.


Now it is time to totter up to the north end and read a bit. There is another place where I need to do some rewriting, because I left out some more characters, but I have some reading to do first.


I saw the moon set in the southwest through the fog around 4:00 this morning, looking like a slice of orange. It was pretty. There might even be a star or two tonight, although the moon is almost full now, so it will be bright outside.


It's a cool, partly clear night in the field.


May 25

Last night, I didn't get any bites when I was outside, but there must have been at least one black fly in my bedroom, and this morning I woke up with a bunch of new bites on my belly and my backside. They itch like crazy, although they haven't blistered. The new ones were all in places where I couldn't have gotten them outside - they were covered and there wasn't any way even a black fly could have crawled inside to bite. Yuck.


I got to bed about 11:15, and I slept all right, although I was up a lot, because of all the water I drank yesterday. Somehow my kidneys seem to work better when I'm horizontal. I was awake about 7:30, but that was too early, so I went back to sleep, and it was 10:00, I think, before I got up. 


I knitted and I finished the ribbing on the new sock. It was too warm for Buster to sit on my lap very long, but the window beside me was open, and he loves that. In fact, he was trying to be cute and rub the top of his head on the frame, and he lost his balance and had to jump off rather ungracefully. Cats get embarrassed when they do something ungraceful.


It was another one of those days, and I did the usual with it. The temperature didn't get all that high, at least officially, but it was very humid, but there was a nice south to southwest wind for most of the day, and that made it fairly comfortable. The temperature got up to 83 for most of the afternoon, except right around noon, when for a little while, the wind shifted around to the north and the temperature dropped to 63. It shifted right back to the south, though, and that made the temperature go right back up. It is getting a bit cool now, down to 67, which is nice for a change.


I got a chuckle out of seeing Amanda and a friend of hers lying on their dock sunbathing for most of the afternoon. I guess they figure they don't need to worry about messing up their skins. As for me, I've never been able to lie in the sun like that. My head comes to a boil and I start getting spots in front of my eyes. And besides, I have to start with 15 minutes on a side and work up slowly, because I am fair skinned enough that I burn otherwise. It was a good day for it, though, if you could stand the heat. They tried, a couple of times, to try the water, but it was just too cold - this is only May, after all. Duce thought it was just fine, though (he's the black lab).


Several times over the past couple of days I've heard pileated woodpeckers calling in the woods across the road. They have a remarkably loud, distinctive call. I wish I'd see them. And the hummingbirds have found the feeder. I watched several of them today, although I will have to check the bee guards on a couple of the spigots, because nobody was using them. 


I would like to have sat in the ugly chair, but it was just too hot there. The hot weather gave me a headache again, and I am very tired again. I have always said I don't do well in hot weather, and that's true. I don't.


I knitted a little and embroidered a very little and typed, and that was about all I did. I think I will have to pay some bills tomorrow and go to the post office, but it may be a little cooler tomorrow - or maybe not. There were some thunderstorms south and west of us this afternoon, over by Ontonagon, but they never even got to Houghton. We may get some rain tomorrow, if we're lucky.


So now it's a partly cloudy, humid night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and sleep some more.


May 24

I goofed last night. I probably will tonight, too, but at least I Know what I'm doing. Since I wasn't going anywhere yesterday, I put on one of my very oversized tees, that is as big as a dress. It's very comfortable. However, when I went out to get the bird feeders, I got a huge bunch of black fly bites - on my thigh near my crotch, on my belly, and on my backside. They itch and they also hurt. Oops.


It was midnight before I got to bed again, and while I slept all right, I got up at 8:00. I really didn't want to, but I knew if I went back to bed, I'd waste the whole day. Well, I did that anyway, actually, but I had an excuse.


The excuse was the weather. It was 70 all night long, then it dropped down to the upper 50s between 6:00 and 10:00, and then...oh, then. Between 10:00 and 11:00, it went from about 53 to 79. I'm sort of guessing because the WU history page is screwed up and it isn't printing the numbers at all. Anyway, the temperature went up to 83 with a dew point of 70 (read: horribly humid) with calm winds, and it stayed that way until  about 7:00 pm, when the wind finally picked up a little (under 10 mph, but that's all right) and the temperature started to drop. I mean, it was ugly. It was also the second day in a row we set a temperature record.


When I got dressed this morning, I dressed for the bugs - long pants, long sleeved tee, socks, etc. I opened up the house, and I turned on the fan in the studio, but about 3:00 I gave up and changed to shorts, a tank top, and sandals. I know I will be chewed alive when I bring in the feeders, but I was a little more comfortable, although the back of my shorts is wet. I did not, by the way, take off my compression hose. They are very hot, but this is the kind of weather I really need them, since hot, humid weather makes me swell up. I also have drunk almost two quarts of ice water.


It's much more comfortable now, and I hope it will be all right in the bedroom. I didn't want to open the front windows in the bedroom, because for most of the afternoon, any breeze that was coming in there was probably heated to 100 by the sun. I am going to leave the windows open tonight and hope it stays fairly warm outside.


This weather gives me a headache and makes me very tired, so I didn't do much but type. I knitted a little on the Sockotta sock, but even that thread felt sticky and icky. It's going to be a very pretty sock, by the way, but it isn't suitable for a knit-in pattern. I can tell that even though I've only done about five rows.


It is supposed to be almost as warm tomorrow, so I don't suppose I will do much then, either, although perhaps I will go to the post office.


I went out into the breezeway to get a bottle of wine for dinner, and when I opened the door to come in, a mouse came in with me! It ran under some of the stuff I have piled along the bottom of the stairway - a good reason to get that stuff out of there, which I hope to do this summer. So I have a known mouse in the house.


I think there was one this morning, too, because there was a lot of scuffling around in the bedroom. That was interesting, though. Jasmine apparently chased it under my nightstand, which is very close to the floor, and she was sitting on the rug looking for it. So I hung my head over the side of the bed to ask her what she was doing, and she put her paws up on the bed railing and sniffed my hair! Apparently everything is quite all right as long as there aren't any hands in the picture. Anyway, I have confidence that sometime somebody will catch the mouse. It was so hot this afternoon that I don't even know where everybody was, but they'll be prowling around during the night.


So that was a hot, lost day. It's getting much more comfortable now. And maybe tonight, I can indulge in one of the things I love about living out in the middle of nowhere. I can stand in the porch door in the buff and let the wind dry me off! It's the next best thing to skinny-dipping. I suppose that someone with a real desire and a pair of binoculars might be able to see me, but on that score, I say what I've always said - what you see is your  problem, not mine. I am not exactly beautiful, especially with no clothes on.


It was mostly clear all day, I guess you'd say, but the sky was full of the same sort of haze that you could see down the harbor. Oh, yes, and I forgot - I did get the pails filled with birdseed and back to the studio, so the birdies and the squirrels will eat for the next week or so.


Now it's a hazy, warmish night in the field, and it's time to take a nice tepid shower and hope to sleep.


May 23

Same as the night before - I read, and it was 12;30 before I got to bed. However this time, it was 10:00, I think, before I got up. 


I knitted, much to Buster's disgust, and I cast on the Sockotta sock, although I got to thinking about toe-up socks. I'm not sure what I will do about it. It's a very pretty colorway, and I may just knit it plain to show off the colors. I'm not far enough into it to see how it works up, but the others I've made from that yarn seem to blotch, which would be good. I think it is too busy to put a knitted pattern into. I also have only a few rows left before I do the toe of the toe of the Tofutsies sock, so that one will be getting done. I'm not sure if I will start another one on #1needles. Need to think about that.


Otherwise, I did nothing much. I woke up with a headache, and I felt blah all day long, so I played with the computer for a while and then I typed for a while. I did finally get the hummingbird feeder out, but I'm not sure whether I had any visitors to it. Mostly I had a lot of noisy squirrels or chipmunks or both. The two seed pails are out in the breezeway, and maybe tomorrow I can get them filled.


The weather was amazing. It was mostly cloudy all day, so the harbor wasn't very pretty, but the temperature got up into the 70s, topping out at 79 at 5:00 - and then by 6:00 it was 55, even though the wind had gone calm. Or maybe because it went calm. It was very humid all day, and there was quite a wind this morning. I keep forgetting it's possible to have fog with wind if the dew point is high enough. The wind was from the southwest, which is usually where our hot winds come from. However, I know that at one point before it cooled off, I was wondering why, if the NWS station thought the wind was from the southwest, it was coming in my east windows, which actually face southeast. 


When it got over 70, I opened three windows in the studio, two windows on the east side of the great room, and both doors to the porch. I also was running the ceiling fan in the studio for a while - and then the temperature went down to 55. It has now risen to 62, all with calm winds, so I really don't understand why that happens.


I have neighbors to the south, although they have either been gone or inside for most of the day. I wondered if I did, because I was smelling cigarette and/or pipe smoke last evening. They will have fine weather, although it's really buggy.


It's so buggy that one black fly bit my arm above the elbow through my tee last evening, and another one flew down the neck of my tee and bit my boob. I don't think that's fair. Both of them are insanely itchy, but they aren't anything like the thing on my thumb, which is one of the uglier bites I've ever gotten. The blister is getting higher, but the edges look like they're beginning to contract. I will have that one for at least two weeks. I hope I can keep it from breaking, although it will cut down on what I do.


That's all right. I don't feel like doing anything anyway.


So now it's a calm, cloudy night in the field, and it would be fun to have one of the thunderstorms they are predicting we might get - only 20% probability, though, so we most likely won't. I'm off to the north end to sleep some more.


May 22

I read again, and it was 12:30 before I got to bed. It was a cloudy night, so there were no stars. I got up around 9:00 because I had to, not that I wanted to, so I was tired and achy all day and I didn't do anything except clean up the kitchen a bit. The dishwasher has to run tonight, so I have some work to do.


The weather was lovely, even though it was cloudy for most of the day. The temperature got up to 66 at noon, went down to 52 at 1:00, stayed about there for a while, then it jumped up to 64 between 6:00 and 7:00, and it has now dropped off again. There was hardly any wind all day. It was very humid, which my joints were telling me all day long. There was some sunshine, not a lot, and it is now as clear as it has been all day, although there are some interesting clouds in the sky.


I spent most of the afternoon first reading what I had typed of Part 4 from the blue binder, and then typing. All I really wanted to do was read it, but I figured I'd better type.


I did finish the cotton sock this morning, so now I have another pair of summer socks. For my next pair on #2 needles, I am going to be working with something called Sockotta, which is half cotton and half wool. This one is mostly medium teal with some blue in it. I will start it just plain knitting and see how the colors go. If they are modest, I might rip it out and put a lace pattern in, although plain knitting is more useful, since I can frequently do something else while I'm doing it. I am a little more than halfway down the foot of the Tofutsies sock, too, so I have that to work on.


I keep forgetting. I got my first black fly bite the night before last, and I now have a quarter-inch blister on my left thumb near that flap of skin between the thumb and hand. It itches like mad all around and the blister gets very sore every so often. It is in a place where it will break if I do anything like put gardening gloves on, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it. So the season is on, even though it's been cool. I keep hoping that since it's starting early, it will end early.


Now it is getting dark and I need to bring in the bird feeders and fill the dishwasher. It's a coolish - and now breezy - evening in the field.


May 21

I read for a while when I got to the north end last night, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I was interested to notice, when it was dark, that it was cloudy outside, and I could just see the glow of the moon. They lied again. That wasn't supposed to happen.


I got up at 8:30. I didn't want to, but I had to walk, and I knew that if I went back to bed, I'd never get up. I'll be late again tonight, but I'm tired, so I should sleep well.


I petted a cat and knitted, and I think I have about two rows left on the toe of the sock before I close it up, so that pair will be done.


It was cloudy again today, and quite humid, and the temperature went up and down a lot for no apparent reason. The high was 73 for a couple of hours between 2:00 and 3:00 this afternoon. There was very little wind, from the south. So even though there wasn't much sun, it was a rather nice day.


About all I did was go to the post office and stop at the store for eggs. I embroidered a little bit while the talking was going on, but I got into a mess that I don't think I've cleared up, so I didn't do much. I was having a problem counting, for some reason. This evening, I read through the end of episode three from the blue binder. That means I need to go back to typing.


I was able to have the doors open all day, and it was lovely, even though I had my back to them most of the time. The goldfinches were back, and I enjoy their twittery song. Tonight, after I brought in the feeders, Buster was sitting on my lap and we heard something outside. When I turned on the light to see what it was, two little flying squirrels were on the deck devouring the seed that had spilled from the deck feeder. They are so cute! They are also very hard to see. They spooked while I was looking at them and climbed up the tree. 


So that was another nothing day, and I will be late again tonight. It's a cloudy, rather warm night in the field.


May 20

I turned out the light at about 10:15 last night, but I didn't sleep very well again, so it was 9:30 before I got up. When I walked into the bathroom, Jasmine was curled up in the bathtub, down by the drain, and she looked sleepy. That was such a weird place for her to be that I was worried about her, but she seems to be all right. I knitted and petted the other cat for some time before I got dressed.


I was awake around 3:00 am when I heard a large dog barking, then I thought I might have heard a coyote howl. I don't know who was leaving their dog outside, but that's not real smart, considering all the wildlife there is around here. Mostly it was the dog, though, so I think it was all right.


The weather was strange. It was cloudy all night, which was not what was predicted. The temperature was 66 between 1:00 and 2:00 am, then it dropped off to the mid 40s. where it was for most of the day, then it went up to 59 between 8:00 and 9:00 pm, and it has now dropped off a bit. There wasn't much wind. The clouds lasted until around noon, and there was a fog cloud over the mountain until about 11:30. It was a pretty afternoon, with lots of sunshine.


Well, I finally found out why I have been sleeping so much lately and why I haven't felt all that robust. The C. diff is back. Oh, dear. And the doctor has passed me on to a gastroenterologist - not exactly what I was hoping for. He is in Marquette (there was another one in Wausau, but that' s even further away), and the first appointment I could get with him is on June 1. I hate to get into that, but I don't want to try to go on living with such an infection, either. So we'll see what happens, and in the meantime, I will be sleeping a lot. If he wants to do a colonoscopy, that will be a problem, since I don't have anyone to ferry me around, and while I guess I would ask someone in town to drive me to Calumet, I wouldn't ask anyone to take me all the way to Marquette. So that will be interesting. Anyway, now I know why I still have diarrhea.


While the talking was going on, I finished the fairy's wing, except for the backstitching, and I got out the colors for her skirt, which looks like the petals of a poppy.


So that was another quiet, nothing day, and I'm off to the north end, where I will be a little later tonight. It's a quiet and, I think, clear night in the field.


May 19

I went up to the north end early last night, and I read for a little while, but I was in bed shortly after 10:00. When the lights were out, I could see the moon up in the sky and Venus over in the northwest. It was another clear night. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep very well. It was partly because of the length of time I slept then night before, probably, but also for a rather strange reason - the end of my big toe kept feeling like somebody was sticking a skewer into it. It wasn't a joint, it was on the outside near the end. It would go off, then it would stop, and just about the time I was dozing off, it would kick up again. 


I must have slept some, though. I got up around 1:15, and the nightlight was out in the bathroom, which I thought was strange, until I discovered that all the things with lights were off - the GRD had tripped for some reason not known to me. I know the theory behind GRDs, but as far as I've been able to see, they are mostly just annoyances. They trip for no reason at all, and it's not always apparent that they have tripped. The one in the bathroom goes periodically, and I've also lost the one in the laundry and the one in the kitchen that my toaster oven is plugged into, and there wasn't any reason at all for any of them to go. Anyway, I reset it and I reset the clock (I guess the battery in the clock must be dead) and everything has been fine ever since. 


I was up several more times, although I wasn't able to do anything about my toe. I got up around 8:00, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.


Did I do anything? No. I felt tired and blah all day long, so I did nothing much. I read for most of the afternoon, and I embroidered through the talking. I am working on the fairy's wings now. Fortunately, that isn't such a pain as it might be, since most of the detail will be put in by the backstitching. There are some large areas of a single color, which is much easier to stitch. Of course, the two colors are so close together that it's hard to tell exactly where I am, but then, I guess it doesn't matter much.


The weather was pretty again, but again, it was quite cool here. It did finally get up to 59 briefly, but for most of the day the temperature was in the mid 50s. Today there was quite a north wind, in the 10-20 mph range, although it has gone calm now. That meant it was quite cool out, and until it got hot in the studio, I couldn't open the doors. As seems to happen, there are a few high clouds in the sky, but maybe they will go away after dark like they have for the past couple of nights. It was nice to see some little whitecaps on the harbor for a change.


This afternoon, my neighbor Jean came by briefly to return my sewing machine needles. She is here with her daughter just for a week. I am glad they are having such nice weather.


Today I called the maker of the ravioli to tell them about the hole in the sauce package, and I guess I am going to get some coupons. That would be nice, because I will buy them again, and they are quite expensive. Anyway, it was one of those customer service people who repeat verbatim exactly what I said, which annoys me very much. I don't think they should have to do that. However, they did say that wasn't up to their standards. I thought not.


I also called my insurance agent, because my house insurance went up a lot this year, but she didn't get back to me. Maybe tomorrow.


I had my back to the door most of the day, so I have nothing to report on the bird front, except that the goldfinches are back for sure, and they are eating sunflower seeds, not thistle.


So it was another quiet day, and I'll be off to the north end soon. It's another calm, almost clear night in the field.


May 18

Before I went out to bring in the feeders last night, the coyotes were howling, and it sounds like it's a good-sized pack. I don't think the pair of geese that wanted to nest here will do it this year, and I hope they are still around. I don't like coyotes. And when I went out to get the feeders, there was a pileated woodpecker someplace over in that same direction - south of Lake Lily and between our road and Syd and Marty's house - drumming on a hollow tree so loudly it echoed. I love to hear them!


When I went up to the north end, before it was completely dark, the crescent moon and Venus were shining very brightly in the clear sky. The moon was much further south than it was the night before, but it certainly was a pretty sight.


I was really tired, as I said, and so I was in bed by 10:00. I may have come to enough to turn over, but the first time I got up was around 3:00. There were some nice stars out, but I went back to sleep. I was up at 6:00, but that was much too early, so I slept until 9:00, when I figured it would be a good idea to get up. I felt much better today, and I plan to try to get to bed early again.


I had to take my last samples this morning, much to Buster's disgust, but he got to sit on me once I was through, and he got a good petting, although it wasn't as much as he wanted. I knitted a while, too. 


It was another very lovely morning, but I took my time about doing my surfing, and it was after 1:00 when I finally started for Laurium. What a pain that was. There were three samples with no preservatives. Two had to be frozen, and this morning's had to be refrigerated, so I put all of them in a cooler with an ice pack, and I know they were still cold when I turned them in. That didn't take long, although I hit the parking lot at a bad time and had to park quite a ways away. On my way in I met the other Sharon and her husband on their way out - it's a small world up here. 


By the time I came out, the parking lot was half empty, so my timing was terrible. Fortunately, with the lower humidity and all my sleep, I was really walking very well today, standing almost upright and everything, with very little pain. Now, if it would only be like that all the time. I find I am much less depressed when I am not achy and unable to walk.


I decided to stop at Pat's, just for a few things, and in fact, I didn't get far from the deli section. I got some nice strawberries, and I had some for dinner, and I decided to get a little rotisserie chicken, and that was good, too. I know they look a bit expensive, but when I get four meals for $7.00, that's not too bad. Most of the rest was deli salads and pickled herring, to which I have gotten addicted. Now I will eat well for quite some time.


Pat's has a nice thing going with the Holiday gas station in Calumet - you get a penny per gallon off for every $10 you spend, up to 10, and up to 12 gallons. That was very nice, and besides, their gas was only $2.86 a gallon, as compared to the $2.93 at the two BP stations. I would just as soon avoid BP anyway. So since I needed gas anyway, I went down there and got my discount. I forgot to take all the other coupons I've gotten in the past, but you can only turn in four at a time anyway. I will have to stick that envelope in my purse (which I take when I have to take my checkbook with me) so I can use some of the old ones, even though they don't expire.


I got home a bit before 4:00. There was very little traffic, as usual at this time of year, so I made very good time. It was pretty - more flowering trees and bushes were out, and the marsh marigolds are mostly out along Cliff Drive. I would like to get a good picture of them, but I know there is no way I could get to them, on the other side of the ditches in the swampy areas. I doubt I could have when I could walk.


The weather was glorious. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and while the temperature was in the upper 50s here, it got into the middle 70s down in Calumet, and oh, it felt sooo good! There was a little wind down there, although there wasn't much here. It's amazing what a difference 40 miles can make, but Calumet and Houghton are far enough inland that they don't get much relief from the lake, whereas we are kept much cooler in the summer and much warmer in the winter by that wonderful heat sink.


I noticed that the goldfinches are coming back in greater numbers now. Even though you can't see their colors in the camera pictures, you can tell what they are because they sit on all the perches. The chickadees and nuthatches grab their seed and fly away with it to someplace where they can use the tree to hold it, but the finches can crack the seeds in their bills, so they just sit and eat. There was a loud altercation between a couple of squirrels after I got home and opened the doors, but I didn't see what it was all about. There was one squirrel who was so hungry it probably would have eaten out of my hand while I was putting out the feeders this morning, and it was so anxious it kept going round and round a rung in the deck railing until I finally went away and left it alone. They are funny little things.


The coyotes just howled again. I am interested that the noise doesn't seem to bother either the cats or any of the dogs around here. I guess they figure it's far away and not likely to come closer. I wish they would go away. We didn't used to have coyotes.


So that was my day, I did my duty, and I am tired again, so I will read a bit and try to get to bed early again. It's a lovely, clear, calm evening in the field again. I could take lots of this.


May 17

I am tired.


The clouds that were in the sky at sunset went away after it got dark, and when I started for the north end, there was Venus in the northwest, and the crescent moon, a little bigger than the night before, shining brightly way above and to the south of her. It was another pretty sight.


It was about midnight when I got to bed. I read for a while when I got to the north end before I took my bath. Bad me. Like I hadn't read enough during the day. When I was up in the night, there were nice stars, but the nights are so short now that I only get one peek at them. I got up around 9:00, but I did the second half of the heel of the sock, much to Buster's disgust. So now I can go full speed on the foot and finish the second cotton sock. 


I actually did something today, which surprised me, because my aches and pains were pretty bad. I decided that this was the day I was going to get the birdseed off the floor in the studio. So I put the pails outside, and I dumped out the rug, then I started sweeping. I also wanted to do something about the mess on the hearth, which had pieces of hangers and broken bird feeders and who knows what else all over, with lots of birdseed in between the rocks of the hearth. I couldn't find my whisk broom - I know I used to have two, but where they went I don't know - so I used the broom. I brushed and brushed and I think I got most of it up. I really should vacuum, but if I do, that's for another day. Between what was on the floor under the pails and what was on the hearth, I poured out enough to fill the deck feeder. The squirrels were delighted. 


I also wanted to throw away the unusable parts of the old tube feeder, but there were a couple of perches still attached that could be useful, so I got at them with a screw driver, and of course I slipped and gouged myself. It wasn't a big hole, but it bled like mad. Finally I had to put a Band Aid on it, just to keep from getting blood all over everything. Anyway. all the odd pieces of bird feeders and hangers are now in a nice box (see why I like to keep those boxes?), and everything else on the hearth is neatened up a lot. Of course, none of it, and nothing in front of it, should be there at all, but oh, well. Just too much stuff.


Then I went off to the CHIA meeting, which was a long one. There is a lot going on. I still have a hard time hearing in that room, especially when people are mumbling. There weren't very many people there, though. The next one is going to be at 10:00 in the morning, and I only hope I can make it. But at least two people on the board of directors work in the summer, and earlier is better for them.


It was a beautiful day again. Boy, when we have them, they are wonderful. It's only about a month early to be having weather like this. The temperature got to 60 at 9:00 this morning before it plunged again, but it was around 58 with calm winds for most of the afternoon. There was not a cloud in the sky all day, though, and it was beautiful.


I was sitting in the ugly chair putting things in the box when I looked up, and an eagle soared right overhead. So pretty! And just now, for the first time in a long time, there is a blue jay making a racket in the tree. I don't know where they've been, but at least one is back. Oh, yes, and there was a rather skinny, very bright yellow goldfinch at the tube feeder early in the afternoon, so wherever they went to molt, they are beginning to get over that, too.


So now it is a calm, coolish evening in the field, and I am tired. I will read a bit and then I will crash. Tomorrow I have to take my last samples and run them down to the hospital, so that will be my task of the day.


May 16

When I went out to get the bird feeders last night, rather late, I looked up toward the northwest, where the sun is setting now, and there was Venus, so bright, and under and to the right of her was the small crescent moon. It was so pretty! I could see it better from my bedroom, and it was just a lovely sight. The sun and Venus are setting way to the right of the lighthouse now, almost behind my neighbor's house. It never ceases to amaze me how far apart sunset at the solstices is - way to the south in the winter and way to the north in the summer. 


I think I made it to bed a little after 11, but I had the feeling I didn't sleep very well. It was warm in the bedroom, and I am not used to that yet. When I was up in the night, there were stars, but not as bright as they were the night before. I got up around 9:00, and when I looked up, there was a deck of altocumulus clouds overhead.


I had several tasks to do, much to Buster's disgust. I had to fill another set of bottles, and I had to fill the pill dispensers. Then I started knitting and he came and sat on me and purred. I did half of the heel of the cotton sock, so I am making progress. I have another sock I want to do on #2 needles, so I want to finish that one. By the time I finished all that, the sky had cleared up.


Otherwise, I didn't do much at all. I was creaky and achy and tired all day. I knitted on the Tofutsies sock and read for a while, and I embroidered for some time, and I have finished the fairy's head and neck (except for the backstitching) and I am starting her wings. I hate it when a figure doesn't have a head, so I am happier with the whole thing now. Also, I'm pretty much done with the really picky parts now, and I will be mostly doing large areas of one color or another. It is starting to shape up nicely although I am not even half done with it.


I was sorry I was so achy. It would have been a beautiful day to plant. The temperature was weird, though. It rose steadily to 68 at 3:00, so I had both sliders open, but then it dropped back to 53 at 4:00, then went up to 66 at 7:00 and has dropped off slowly ever since. I have no clue what caused the swift fall. There was no wind to speak of, and it didn't change direction or anything. Strange. It was clear for most of the day, with some wispy cirrus clouds in the early evening. Oh, well, the whole week is supposed to be beautiful.


We had some excitement around here in the early evening. I was reading, with my back to the door, when all of a sudden, I heard a loud commotion around the screen. When I turned around, Jasmine ran away, of course, but she didn't go far, and I saw a squirrel about halfway up the screen. I clapped my hands at it to scare it away, and then I realized it was inside the screen! Eek! I got up, which I do slowly, and that scared it enough that it ran down the screen and out through the hole at the bottom of it. 


Well. I do not want squirrels in my house! They are a little large for my mighty mousers, and they have nasty claws and teeth - and Jasmine hasn't had any shots since she was a kitten. So I got out the trusty roll of duck tape and I hope I covered the hole well enough that nobody can get in.


The problem is, there is birdseed that has spilled all over the doormat in front of that door. I will have to break down and clean it up, I guess, or I will have hungry squirrels tearing holes in the screens all the time. It's hard to fill the feeders without spilling seed, and every so often one will tip over and spill, so there is quite a mess at that end of the studio.


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


May 15

It was a little after midnight when I got to bed, and I don't remember quite why. When I was awake in the middle of the night, there were stars, and it looked like they were rather bright stars. That wasn't supposed to happen, but it was nice to see. I got up around 9:00 and I knitted for quite a while. I was ending one ball of yarn, and I wanted to do that, and then I was so close to my 50 row marker that I wanted to get there. 


Otherwise, I didn't do a lot. I put away some of the pans I washed yesterday and put some more stuff in the dishwasher - it will have to run tonight - and not much else. I went to the post office, where my check had come, so I signed it and mailed it out again. It won't go out until Monday, of course, but I wanted to get it on its way.


The other thing that came were the plants I ordered way back in February. One of the columbines looks dead, but I have all of them on my windowsill now and we'll see how they do. The rest - two bleeding hearts, a poppy, a peony, and lots of Siberian iris - are bare root, and they need to be planted as soon as possible. I thought about doing that today, but it was chilly outside. Tomorrow ought to be a little warmer, and then we'll see.


The weather was beautiful but chilly. It was clear or nearly clear all day, but the temperature was right around 46 until 9:00 when it suddenly jumped up to 53 for some reason. There was almost no wind, from the north, and it was calm for several hours after 4:00. Very pretty, but chilly. It got so hot in here that I have had the door open a crack, much to Jasmine's delight, and there is a little breeze blowing now, from the southwest, but it's variable and very light.


I typed for a while and I read for a while, but I didn't do any more knitting. It is still very humid, and my hands didn't feel very good. I might have planted this afternoon, but my knees and feet didn't feel very good, either. Tomorrow, maybe.


So now I'm tired - not enough sleep - and it is almost time to bring in the bird feeders, although there was a teensy chipmunk in the deck feeder. I got the feeders out late, and while there were chickadees flying around in the tree peeping at me, and I saw a nuthatch at the tube feeder, I don't know how many visitors I had.


Sunset wasn't until 9:21, and it rose at 6:14, so we have just over 15 hours of daylight now. It's really amazing to get up at 6:00 and find it's light outside. I'm not used to that, but I'll take it.


Now it's a lovely, clear, cool night in the field, and it's time to try to get to bed.


May 14

I read for a while when I got to the north end, so it was 12:30 when I got to bed. I slept well, with only two wakeups and short trips to the bathroom. I think I got up around 8:30 or so, but I don't really remember. My hips were getting sore. I took my first set of samples this morning, and that upset the normal routine enough that Buster didn't sit on my lap very much, even though I sat and knitted for quite a while. All the time I was there, Jasmine was seated comfortably on the mat. She sits down and tucks everything, including her tail, under her, and she looks like a little loaf of bread with a head. She finally put her head down and napped for a while until I got up. She, at least, has decided I'm back for good.


I didn't do much except eat today. My feet and knees were still sore from yesterday. The damp, cool weather really does me in. I got the stuff out of the sink and into the dishwasher and I washed several pans and lids. I embroidered for quite a while, and I finished the fairy's hair and started on her face and neck. There isn't much face, since her back is to us, but her dress is cut away from her neck, so there is a lot to do there, and her wings are flesh colored, too. It doesn't look like much now, because most of the detail is in the backstitching, but I am making progress.


I read some, but after the talking was over, I got out the episode I was transcribing and I typed for quite a while.


I had my raviolis for dinner tonight, and they were wonderful, except that there was a hole in the bottom of the sauce packet, so I only got about half of my sauce. The company has a comment line, and I plan to call them and tell them about it. Cooking the dish is interesting. You put the sauce package in the pot of water when you start to heat it, and once the water is boiling, you drop the raviolis in for a few minutes. except that there shouldn't be a hole in the sauce packet. Oh, well, I have another meal of them, which i will enjoy.


The weather was windy enough that I didn't put out the bird feeders, but it wasn't nearly as windy as was forecast. They actually had a wind advisory out, and they said there might be 40 mph gusts. Hah. It was windy, and it was gusty, but the highest gusts here, anyway, were only 28 mph. They also said the wind would be from the west, but here, it was from the northwest all day. It was very cloudy until right before sunset, when it began to clear up. The temperature got up to 50 between 7:00 and 8:00 this evening. For most of the day, it was in the middle 40s. In the middle of the afternoon, we had a short rain squall that didn't register in the rain gauge. 


I had some thought of going to the post office, but it was too nasty outside, and besides, I had to look up the form to send my prescription off, which I didn't do until later. I will go tomorrow. I'm expecting a big check from my financial advisor.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm off to the north end, and I hope I will be a little earlier to bed tonight. It's a partly clear, windy night in the field.


May 13

Well, I was a little later last night, and I got to bed about 11:30. I woke up at 7:00, and that was too early, but I only dozed after that, and I got up around 8:30. I knitted a while, and that didn't leave me much time to do my morning surfing. 


Besides, I had a klutzy morning. I dropped my breakfast sandwich on the floor in pieces, and when I rose up after retrieving it and the plate, I hit my head on the corner of the microwave door. Ouch. Then, as I was going through the breezeway on my way to leave, I brushed a wine bottle that had gotten left on top of the garbage bag and it fell on the floor and broke into a million pieces. I wasn't going to leave it there, so I swept it up before i left.


I cannily timed my leaving to just about when it started to rain, and it rained or drizzled all the way to Laurium. It didn't slow me down, though, because there was no traffic in my direction until I got to Ahmeek, and then there was only one car. Since i had such a klutzy start to my day, I tried to be a bit careful, and I didn't have any problems. I guess I got my three things out of the way before I left. I also grabbed my slicker to wear, and I was glad I had, both because of the rain and because it is windproof.


The doctor said, well, the first thing we have to do is more fecal tests, so I have lots of bottles to fill. He gave me a prescription for the medication that should cure the nail fungus I have on my middle finger and on three toes, but I will have to go back in a month to get my liver function tested, since it can cause liver damage. And he says that the big lump on my index finger is actually a gouty thing. There's a medication for that, too, but it wouldn't cure anything, and it wouldn't get rid of the whole lump anyway. So I decided to pass on that, at least for the time being. It isn't particularly sore anyway.


I had to wait a bit at the outpatient lab for them to get all the bottles together, so I knitted while I waited. I never go to any appointments without my knitting.


Then it was off to Pat's Foods. By that time, the temperature was down to about 40, the wind was blowing, and it was raining quite hard. Yuck. I ended up doing quite a bit of damage at Pat's - more than I intended, but once I got there, I realized it had been about six weeks since I'd shopped. I stocked up on those low-everything dinners I've been eating, as well as a few other things, including something new - chicken and mushroom ravioli in a marsala wine sauce. It sounds yummy. I will have to eat it rather soon, since it may have gotten partly defrosted. The nice lady who checked me out just could not recognize all the things that were frozen, and she didn't pack them with the rest of the frozen stuff. And there was wine and JD. And bread. I've gotten hooked on some artisanal bread they carry - it's called Ecce Panis - and so I got a lot of it in several flavors.


I had so much stuff that I had to have help getting my stuff to my car, and the kid who helped had a thing like a big hand truck with two shelves. That was full as well as my cart. Well, it's been six weeks, after all, and for most of that time I was eating here.


It rained all the way home, too, but there was even less traffic in that direction, and I was home by 2:45. I ate some of my sandwich and some of my deli salads and did the rest of my surfing and listened to a lot of the talking before I unloaded the car. It is all packed away, although I had to take some stuff down to the freezer downstairs. I will eat well for quite a while, thank you.


The weather was bad. It rained from about 10:30 on, and so far we have had 0.52" of rain. The temperature dropped slowly from 48 when I left to about 43 now. The wind was from the south with gusts up to 28 mph, at least here. Down in Calumet it seemed to be coming more from the east, and it was colder. I notice from the camera archive that it was foggy off and on after about noon, and it still is. Anyway, it was the kind of day I would far rather have been hibernating.


I have to say it was nice to see things turning green, although the woods seemed mostly sort of rusty red, since most of the trees are maples that have red flowers and red young leaves. Every so often - but not as often as I would have thought - there was a wild cherry, and there were trees that may have been apples in flower at the south end of Cliff Drive. I did see one pin cherry on the way home, so they are coming out, too. I think the cherries were chokecherries. Up here, the juneberries (a.k.a. sesrviceberries) are coming out, so there are a lot of things in flower. It is a pretty time in the woods.


So now I have to go get my bottles, which I forgot out in the car, and I I will toddle up to the north end and try to get to sleep at a reasonable hour, but I can sleep in tomorrow if I want to. It's a dark, dank, nasty night in the field, and a good one to huddle under the covers and sleep long and hard.


May 12

I still don't know how it can take me half an hour to get from the studio to the bathroom, but frequently it does, even when I'm not held up by something like filling the dishwasher. It was a little after 11:00 when I got to bed, but I had trouble getting to sleep, thinking about my financial situation. Eventually I did sleep, though, and I got up around 8:30. I knitted a while before I got dressed.


It turned out to be another lost day. I thought I would be going to Carolyn's this afternoon, but she wasn't feeling well, so she called it off. I was disappointed - I had hoped to see all the ladies, and maybe share the angel with them. They are a good group and I enjoy spending time with them. 


So I knitted and read, and when the talking started, I embroidered. I finished the fairy's cap and started her hair. This is a particularly picky part of the chart. And of course, after I get all the cross stitches and half cross stitches done, everything is backstitched. I can see why I abandoned it, way back around 2000 or before. However, I will work on it, either until it's done or until something more interesting occurs to me.


I spent some time cleaning my keyboard this afternoon. Since I do most of my eating in front of the computer, the keyboard had gotten to be a real mess. Besides, since Buster frequently sits on my lap, there was an incredible amount of cat hair - a good hairball's worth - underneath the keys. Between that and all the crumbs, and a couple of places where something evidently got spilled around the keys, I was noticing a few problems with the touch when I was typing. It's much better now. I don't say I did a really thorough job, since I didn't remove every key, but it's much better. Now I can start over again, and for the time being everything is pretty clean.


It was cloudy when I got up this morning, but it mostly cleared up before noon, and the afternoon was lovely, mostly sunny and quite warm. The temperature peaked at 55, and there was a light but gusty wind, in the 10-20 mph range. 


About the time I went to get some dinner, there was a flock of mergansers out in the harbor. Most of them looked like males, at least without my binoculars. Perhaps the females are off nesting or something, but there always seem to be more males than females. Or at least it looks that way until late in the summer, when they all look the same. Anyway, they were all fishing out in front of my house, but with the lake level so low, it's very shallow there - that's why sometimes the water looks brown in the middle of the day: the sun is shining right through the water onto the rocks below. I doubt it's more than a couple of feet deep out there.


So that was another quiet day. Tomorrow I have to go down to see the doctor, and I will stop at Pat's and lay in a few things I'm getting low on - bread, wine and JD come to mind, as well as a few other things.


Now it's a pretty evening in the field, even though they say it is going to cloud up and rain overnight.


May 11

It was about 11:00 when I got to bed last night. I woke up around 7:45 and decided that was just too early on a day when I didn't have to do anything, so I tried to go back to sleep. I guess I did sleep for a while, but I was achy, so I didn't sleep well. I got up around 8:45.


I finished the heel of the Tofutsies sock and started the gusset before I got dressed. That was about all I did all day, although I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and started loading the dishwasher. I finished reading the story from the white binder and started the ones in the blue binder, and I knitted, mostly on the afghan. Tonight, while I was reading, I finished the ribbing on the cotton sock and started the leg. That's a good thing. Doing the gusset is something I need to pay some attention to, and I like to have some straight knitting to do. It's one reason I've been knitting on the afghan. 


The weather was blah. It was cloudy all day, but there was no rain. The temperature got up to 52 briefly, but it was around 48 for most of the day. It was rather breezy, at least until about 5:00, with gusts up to 25 mph from the south, shifting a bit to the east later. Blah.


Oh, yes, I did do a couple of things. I made an appointment to see the doctor on Thursday to talk about diarrhea, and I paid a bill online. After I looked at my balances, I called my financial advisor and had a nice conversation with him and he is going to send me some money. I've waited as long as I can. I have the credit card bill from my trip, my house insurance, and the bill for my crown coming up, and, well, I don't have enough money to cover them. Sigh. It's not a good situation.


Last night when I went up to the north end, Buster and Jasmine were bouncing around like they were both kittens. I was so glad to see that of Buster. He even came rushing down the hall and scooted behind the bedroom door, so that when Jasmine ran by, he was behind her. So evidently he feels just fine, thank you, even though he will be 15 years old in a week or so. Of course, he wants to sit on me a lot, but I don't think that means he is sick or anything.


I didn't spend much time watching the birds today, but I do seem to have quite a flock of chipping sparrows, which sometimes happens at this time of year. And tonight when I went out to get the feeders, there was some kind of little bird in the tree that I could only see in silhouette, that wasn't like anything I recognized. It had a very round head and a rather long bill that stuck out of it like a needle out of an orange. It flew away before I could get a really good look at it. I will have to peruse the bird book and see if I can find a silhouette like that.


Even though it wasn't that humid today, my joints have been telling me some bad weather is coming. I've often wondered how that works, but it seems to be pretty accurate.


So that was a quiet day, and I will be off to the north end and try to get another good night's sleep. It's a cloudy, dark night in the field tonight.


May 10

I made it to bed by 10:45 last night, amazingly enough. I got up around 8:00. I wasn't ready to, but I had to, and I knew if I went back to bed, I'd never get up in time for my massage. I think I actually need more than nine hours' sleep a night, but how to get it is a problem. I left the window in the window seat open a crack, and it was nice and cool in the bedroom, but I am having my usual change-of-season aches and pains, so it was a somewhat restless night.


I got to do some of my morning surfing before it was off to see Johanna, and I felt much better for that. Most of my body was very tight, and she got rid of all that. I stopped at the post office on my way home, but there wasn't much mail since the last time I was there, and I stopped at the store, where Jeff was sealing his parking lot, a nasty job that he does every year.


Other than that, I didn't do very much at all. I read until the talking started, and I embroidered until dinner time. I had to stop knitting. I was knitting on the afghan and my left thumb joint (the lower one) got so sore I had to stop. The embroidery is progressing slowly. It's another one of those picky things I seem to get into where there are a lot of different colors in just one area - I'm working on the fairy's hat right now. I know I complain about the color changes, but the fact is, I don't like designs with large blocks of one color. They just don't look natural. I do have a couple of interesting geometric designs that use only one color, though, and one of these days I may start one of those. Anyway, it feels good to be embroidering for a change.


There was no sign of the bear again, I'm glad to say, except that something had cleaned all the leftover seed off the deck by this morning.


I didn't watch the birds a lot, but late in the afternoon, there was a white-breasted nuthatch pecking at the woodpecker block, so they are back, I'm glad to see. They don't eat out of the tube feeder like the red-breasted ones do, so I was happy to find someplace they will eat.


It was a lovely day until quite late. The temperature got up to 55, with light southwest winds, and it was mostly to nearly clear for most of the day. It started clouding up before sunset, though. Most of the day was very pretty. I guess we are in for some cold temperatures and rain (and that pesky "S" word again) over the next day or so, but today was lovely.


So now it's a cloudy night in the field, and it's time to go.


May 9 - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other caregivers of children. This is one of the days when I think fondly of my mother, and I remember sadly the last Mother's Day I spent with her, when she was in the hospital waiting to die. I still miss her, and I'm sure if she had still been around, I would not be in the fix I'm in today. She was a wise woman.


I got to bed about 11:15 again, but this morning, I got up around 8:15. It's been a long time since I felt like getting up that early. 


I thought I might do something today - it was a lovely day - but I didn't. After I did my daily surfing, I spent most of the day reading and knitting, and I finished the leg of the Tofutsies sock. Tomorrow, probably, I will start the heel flap. It amazes me how quickly those socks go when I knit on them a lot.


The bear cub came back last evening after I brought in the bird feeders, and he cleaned up the deck very neatly. He didn't come back today, so I hope he found his mama again. However, I will be watching when I'm around, and if I see the signs, I will bring in the feeders. He knows how to rip them down, and one of these days he's going to find out how to crunch them to pieces. The white feeders are quite sturdy, but I don't know if they're bearproof. I know the rest aren't.


The weather was cold but pretty. It was relatively clear all night and very clear all day, but the temperature was around 41 all day, and it only rose to 49 at 7:00, after which it fell off again. The wind was under 10 mph all day, and from all over. Very nice, but a bit cool to be outside.


I didn't watch the birds very much, but there was a grackle this morning, so they are back. I haven't seen the chickadees very much lately, but there are a lot of red breasted nuthatches. They are such funny little birds! There was one waling away at the woodpecker block, and it seemed he was getting something. I suppose it's a treat for them to be able to crack a sunflower seed without having to find a piece of loose bark to wedge it into.


At one point, the tiniest little chipmunk I have seen in a long time - not much bigger than a mouse - came running down the deck, ate a few seeds, and ran away. So I still have chipmunks in three sizes - large, medium and small.  Most of them  are medium-sized. 


So it was a quiet day in the field, and I enjoyed looking at the nearly calm, blue harbor and the lovely blue skies. Now it's a calm, cold night in the field, and there will be stars.


May 8

Earlier and earlier...


I did a little better last night, and I was in bed shortly after 11:00. I got up earlier, too, around 8:30, I think (maybe 9:00, but no later). The wind blew and the lake sang all night long, and between midnight and 2:00 am, we had a little rain, but no snow. Hah. It snowed over at Marquette, and set a new record for the date, but it didn't snow here.


I knitted and petted a cat - more the former than the latter - for a while before I got dressed, and I decided that today I could wear my sweats and my slippers and maybe my bunion would feel better. Not that it's very sore, it's just swollen enough to feel funny when I walk around with bare feet.


Well. Sometime early in the afternoon I noticed some large smudges on the window below where the camera points, and I wondered what caused them. Then, around 2:45, I heard some thumping on the deck, and when I looked, well, look what I have! I know it's not a very good picture, but I was too busy chasing him away to try to take anything better. It was through the window, which now really needs to be washed.


Well, I pounded on the window, and I pounded on the deck railing and I pounded on the siding, but he is a very persistent little fellow. I thought he had gone away, and then he climbed the tree and pulled down the square feeder, and he pulled the hanger off. I went down and got the pieces (walking on the stones in my slippers was fun), and the hanger was still attached to the hook, so I have gotten it back together, but I didn't put it back out. Then my new neighbor (or neighbor-to-be) Jack, and Pete, who is helping him, came by with Jack's dog and Hannah's dog, who were very interested in what they could smell, even rolling in it, and we stood and chatted for quite a while, and I hoped that had discouraged the bear. Well, not. I just noticed that half the seed in the deck feeder is gone, just like it was last night. And sometime, either last night or early this morning, he put his paws up on the window underneath the camera, to see if he could see anything inside. Oh dear.


He is quite small, as you can see, but I think he is probably a yearling who either lost his mother over the winter or was driven away. I thought bear cubs stayed with their mom for two years, but I'm not sure. There is also a big bear around these parts, which Amanda has seen, who might be mom, and she might just be letting him forage for himself a bit. I hope. Most bears don't come around during the daytime.


Of course, all the seed spilled out of the square feeder when it fell down, and much as I didn't want it, he was back (before the guys came over) to eat most of it. It was amusing, because one of my younger squirrels, who has a very narrow tail, was hungry and wanted to eat on the deck, but it was very nervous about that bear on the ground under the tree. So it would take a seed, eat it quickly, then look over the edge of the deck to see what the bear was doing before It took another seed. The bear didn't seem to bother the little birds very much.


There was  a white-throated sparrow out on the deck today, and what I think was a song sparrow, who actually was eating sunflower seed out of the cedar feeder and the tube feeder. I've never seen that before. Also the red-breasted nuthatches were coming in relays, and there were the usual chickadees, chipping sparrows and juncos. 


The weather wasn't as bad as had been predicted - in fact, it has cleared up quite nicely - but it was cold outside. The high temperature was 41. and with a 20-25 mph wind out of the north, that put the wind chill down below freezing. I got quite chilled while I was standing outside talking to the guys, since I forgot to put on my jacket before I went out. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up this afternoon, although there are still a lot of cirrus clouds in the sky.


Otherwise, I spent the later part of the afternoon reading and knitting. I did a little embroidery, but I wanted to read, and I can't read while I'm embroidering. 


So that was my exciting day, and I am writing this even earlier tonight than last night. I will forgo the bath tonight, so maybe I can get to bed really early and get up early, too. That would be nice. With summer coming on, I would like to be able to get up early enough to enjoy the lovely mornings.


Now it's a cold, windy, partly clear evening in the field. And while I had my back turned, the bear was back and ate most of the rest of the seed in the deck feeder. Oh dear.


May 7

Well, it didn't work again. I was reading an interesting part of the story, so I just kept on, and it was nearly  midnight before I got to bed - earlier than the night before, but not much. Oh, well.


I got up around 9:30. I didn't want to, but I had to. I finished the first cotton sock and cast on the second one, so it would be on the needles. Buster was disgusted, because I was doing something besides petting him. Poo on him.


I went to the post office and the store, and that was about it. I spent some time embroidering this afternoon, and it felt good, although I didn't start off very well - I had to rip out the first six stitches or so about four times before I got them sort of right. I blame it on the linen. There was a thread right where I was stitching that was so thin I couldn't keep track of it. It's all right now, though, and I made some progress. One of my little "things" is that when I am stitching a picture with a person in it, I like to get the head and the face done first. I didn't do that with this one, but I'm working on the head now, so I won't have a headless fairy anymore. 


The weather wasn't good. There might have been a little sunshine early this morning, but it soon went away, and the afternoon was dull and gray - and cold. The temperature hung at about 38 all day, with a light east wind. They keep promising snow for tonight and tomorrow morning, but we'll see about that. There may be some inland, but I'm not so sure about around here.


Last night when I took off my shoes, the bunion on my right foot felt sore and really funny, and when I poked at it, it appears that there is arthritis in it, and it has gotten inflamed. Geez, as though I don't have enough trouble walking! It feels better with my Crocs on, so maybe it will subside.


So that was another quiet day, and it's a dull, cold evening in the field. I will read a bit, and hopefully not be so late tonight, but we'll see.


May 6

I was full of good intentions last night, but it didn't work. I went up to the north end at a sort of reasonable hour, but it was after midnight before I got to bed. I got up before 10:00, but I knitted for quite a while - I'm nearly done with the cotton sock - so it was another truncated day, and I didn't do anything much.


I did get out a UFO and pulled the floss to work on it. This is one I must have started over 10 years ago, and I got into doing part of it I don't like, so I just went on to other things. It is one of Cecily Barker's Flower Fairies - the Shirley Poppy Fairy. I wanted to do it partly in memory of my mother, who was Shirley, but it is a very pretty thing, if you ignore those pesky half stitches in the background. I had been doing some of them before I stopped working, and I suppose I'll have to do some more, but not for a while. The other reason I stopped, I suspect, is that I don't like the linen. Some even-weave linen is thick and chunky and the threads don't move around, but there are some other brands where the threads are very thin and while it's a bit easier to get your needle through the holes, tension is very important, or you pull the linen threads together almost like pulled work, and it's sometimes frustrating. This is 32 count, though, and it looks like I was doing all right with it. So we'll see how it goes.


The weather was cold. The temperature was constant at 38, plus or minus a degree, and there was a brisk north wind until this afternoon, when it has gradually died down. The lake was singing this morning, and there were some breakers on my beach. It was mostly cloudy until just a little while ago, when the clouds opened up a little, although there are still a lot of cirrus clouds in the sky. There is some sunshine now, but the sun will set in another hour. I put the bird feeders out, but I didn't care to stay, and I have gone back to wearing my fleece outside.


There was a chickadee sitting on a branch when I put out the bird feeders, and they were calling, but it wouldn't get into a feeder until I went inside again. And sometime in the afternoon, there was a raven (yes, I'm sure about that one - it had those shaggy feathers at its throat) on the deck, swishing its beak through the deck feeder. There are some peanuts in that seed mixture nobody likes, and I think that's what it was after. Actually, I think the sparrows thing it's an OK mixture, but I don't have many of those. The white-crowned sparrow was back today, acting a little more perky. Otherwise, I wasn't looking very much.


I moved the camera a bit to the south yesterday, and it's a bit too far in that direction, so I will have to try to move it back. I still haven't figured out exactly how to use its viewfinder.


So that was another nothing day, and I will read until it's time to bring in the feeders, then I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'm tired tonight, so it shouldn't be hard. It's a partly sunny, cold night in the field.


May 5

Well, I finally got up to the north end, but there was something I wanted to knit on (it escapes me now), and it was nearly 2:00 when I got to bed. Oh, sigh. I got up around 9:30, I think (I thought it was 9:00, but from the events, I doubt it was that early). I knitted for quite a while and I finished the Tofutsies sock and started the second one, just to have it on the needles. That took a while, so I was late getting dressed.


And I didn't do anything much. I noticed, again, one very good reason for me to make sure I get enough sleep: when I am tired, I'm hungry all the time and I eat a lot, which I did today.


I spent part of the afternoon reading and knitting on the cotton sock, and after the talking started, I sat in the ugly chair and did the heel. So that sock is coming along well, although partly it's because I have been making my socks overly long. Apparently my tension has changed again, and now things are much looser, which means fewer rows. That's all right, I'll just have to measure the first one, and try it on, and write down what I do (which is something I think I forgot to do on one of the pairs I've completed lately).


I am really tired, but I will read some more, at least until it's dark enough to bring in the bird feeders.


Sitting in the ugly chair meant I could sort of see what was going on our on the deck. There were a few chickadees, a few nuthatches, one junco, and one rather logy-looking white crowned sparrow that just sat on the deck for a long time. There were the usual squirrels, including one that looks very fat in the belly - and I think I know what that means. Then one of the medium-size chipmunks came by. 


I just had an allergy explosion. Spring is here.


The weather wasn't very nice. The temperature finally made it up to 51, but for most of the day it was in the high 40s with moderate north winds -up to about 15 mph. We had 0.39" of rain from midnight to 4:00 am, and another 0.09" between 2:00 and 4:00 this afternoon. It was clear and sunny when I got up, but by noon it had clouded up, and it was cloudy for most of the afternoon, until around 5:00, when it started to clear again. It was very damp, which wasn't very good for my back. The kitties were quiet somnambulant, too.


Tonight, Fresh Air had a short piece about people who hoard stuff, and I was glad to hear I don't quite fit the pattern, although I can certainly see that I have tendencies in that direction. As I feel better, I hope to sort of get a handle on some of my stuff, although I have to confess that the idea of going down into the basement and spending days down there doesn't appeal to me much.


So I will get this posted early, then I can read until it's time to bring in the bird feeders, and then I can go to bed early - or at least earlier. Right now, it's a partly cloudy, rather breezy evening in the field.


May 4

I know this is late, but I've been reading all evening with a cat on my lap.


I was late last night, too, but  not this late. I think it was shortly after midnight when I got to bed, and I slept fairly well, although I had the sore hip problem again. I didn't get up until about 10:00, and then I knitted for quite a while. I'm making good progress on the foot of the Tofutsies sock.


I can't remember doing anything of note, but then I was late enough that it was a rather truncated day. 


The weather was so-so again. It was cooler than yesterday - it only got to 51 - with light winds that started out from the west and ended up from the east. It was mostly cloudy, except for a few hours in the afternoon, when it cleared up for a while. Then it clouded over again, and I think it is probably raining lightly now. Not very nice.


This evening, I got to reading and knitting again, and Buster spent most of the evening on my lap. I got the foot of the Tofutsies sock to a place where I need to count rows, so I worked on the cotton sock for a while, and the leg of that is well along. Probably what I will do when I finish the Tofutsies sock is do one cotton sock before I go back to the other one. It keeps things more interesting that way. I really had in mind doing some other things, but I haven't yet.


So that was a nothing day, and now it's very late and time to crash. It's a dark, dank, chilly night in the field.


May 3

I think I spent some time knitting and some more time staring at the floor last night, so it was after midnight when I got to bed. I had managed to yank the cable of the circular needle and pull it almost completely out of one side of the sock, so I had to fix that. I slept pretty well, but I had a hard time after about 7:00 - my hips hurt - but I didn't get up until after 9:30. I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed.


I never did get the bird feeders out, partly because it was getting very windy before I made it to the office. Oh, well.


Let's see. I washed the fleece, and the other jacket and one top that didn't get clean, and I folded and put away all the wash from yesterday. I unloaded the dishwasher and began to load it again, although it will be a few days before I have to run it again. And this evening, I took all the silverware out of the drawer and washed the drawer insert. I guess I knew that sometime ago a mouse had walked all over that drawer, but I didn't realize until recently just what a mess it had made, and it finally got to me. Yuck. All is well now, though, and with my mighty mousers on guard, I won't have to worry about that again. Oh, yes, and I broke down and folded up a bunch of smaller boxes that were cluttering up the office. There are still a lot of bigger boxes that need to be taken out to the garage, but at least it's better. So I guess I did a few things besides play with the computer today.


And I just remembered one thing I didn't do that I will have to take care of before I go to bed - it's time to pay my mortgage. Oops.


The weather was variable. The temperature got up to 55 early in the afternoon, but then the wind shifted to the north and it dropped into the low 50s. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day. While I was folding clothes, Buster got up on the box beside the porch window and fussed at me until I opened it, and then he got a blast of cold air that made him cringe, so at least he found out why I shut the window. The camera took some pretty pictures, and right before sunset, the sun shone in the windows for a few moments, although there wasn't much of a sunset.


Buster bugged me all day long, and I don't know why. All he wanted to do was sit on me, or something. I think he thought it was nice outside and he wanted the window open, but I'm not sure what his other problems were. Of course, since he was with me, Jasmine was somewhere around, too, although she was more interested in looking out the windows.


Speaking of sunsets, when I checked the camera archives last night, I discovered that the last picture of the evening was a rather dramatic one. It looks like a painting. Since my back was to it, I don't know what it really looked like, but it was an interesting picture.


So that is about all I know, and it's time to wend my way up to the north end again. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field.


May 2

I think I knitted a while last night, and it was a little after midnight when I got to bed. I mostly slept well, except for a while when my hips were sore. Buster wasn't sure when I was going to get up, so every time I came to, he got up on the bed and looked at me then turned his back and waved his tail in my face. He was pushing it - that's one thing I won't stand for, and he gets pushed on the floor if his tail hits me. If he was younger, I'd pick him up and heave him.


I got up around 10:00, I think, and I finished the gusset on the sock, while petting the cat and watching the other one. Jasmine, at least, has decided I'm back, and she is calming down rather well, even to the extent of being in a room with me by herself.


I didn't do a lot. I washed a pair of jeans and two loads of other clothes, mostly tops. I have been in slobberhahnus mode (please excuse the spelling - it was my grandpa's word, from either German or Yiddish, and I've never seen it printed), and I had a whole load of tops I had only worn once before I slobbered down my front. They are in the dryer now, and I hope I got the grease out. There was also one shirt. I wanted to wear it in Detroit, because it's springy. It's denim, but it has a big design of pansies on the upper front. However, when I was folding it, I found a large brown spot on one tail, so I couldn't take it. I hope that came out, too, but I will have to inspect it closely before I know for sure. I also have three jackets and a bunch of placemats to do, but that's for tomorrow, maybe. Usually, I only wash once a month, but the bag with the tops in it was full.


So there was a lot of walking back and forth to the laundry room, and I find I'm tired. I guess I didn't get enough sleep last night or something. Maybe i will be earlier tonight.  While I was doing the wash I read two issues of Sky & Telescope, so I am caught up on that.


The weather was OK. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day, and the temperature went up and down a lot. It got to 63 at noon, fell back to 55, then up to 60 at 3:00, down to 53, up to 58 at 7:00, and it is now back down to 53. I have no idea why. The wind was under 10 mph all day and from all over, so what caused the variations, I don't know. 


I keep forgetting to mention something about Wednesday. When I was at Lower Taquamanon, I was looking at the falls when I heard the "kee-kee-kee-kee" call of the pileated woodpecker. It wasn't close by enough that I could have seen it. Then at Upper Taquamanon, all the time i was walking toward the falls, I was hearing two pileateds drumming, one off to my left and the other to my right. They seemed to be answering each other, although they may have been competing for Ms. pileated. I only heard a few other birdsongs, mostly twitterings, but it's early.


It was quiet around here today, too. I think there were a few birds at the feeders, but not many. Something must have been there, because a lot of the seed mixture my winter birds don't like was gone, and I caught a couple of courting chipping sparrows eating it, after they tumbled down head over heels from the tree branch. Hmm, I know what that means. The feeders were in so much that I will have to retrain the birds. Very soon I will have to put out the hummingbird feeder, too. When I summered here, I always got here right before Mother's Day, and I put the hummingbird feeder out then, and usually they were here shortly thereafter.


This evening there were a couple of small boats with outboards out on the harbor. In one of them, there was a guy standing up in the stern, and I know he wasn't wearing a life vest. I know it was calm and all that, but things happen, and that water has to be just over freezing. 


I guess that's about all I have to say tonight. Our days are about 14 hours long now, although they are increasing at a little slower rate . One of the reasons I get to bed so late these days is that I'm not used to it still being light at 9:30, and I get in a rut. It would be nice to get to bed earlier and get up earlier.


Now it's a cloudy, calm night in the field.


May 1

I took my two new sock books up to the north end with me last night, and I read until I couldn't see anymore, so it was after 1:00 before I got to bed. I got up around 9:30, and I knitted for quite a while, much to Buster's disgust. I finished the leg of the Tofutsies sock, and I thought I almost finished the heel flap, until I discovered I had messed up the edge stitch, so I had to rip out, then I put it aside.


I didn't do very much, I'm sorry to say, but it was a nice day to do that. I went to the post office to mail a couple of bills, and Peggy was manning the office. I guess Clyde's daughter is graduating from Tech today, so he was otherwise engaged. Then I realized that Roxie was there, too, so we had a nice conversation, until it was time to close the office for the day. I stopped at the store to get eggs and lettuce, and had a nice conversation with Kelly and Mary Ann, whom I don't see very much anymore. So that was nice.


When I got home, I sat down in the ugly chair with the sock, and I discovered that I had screwed up the pattern in the heel flap way back at the beginning, so I had to rip the whole thing out and do it over. However, I had plenty of time, so I have now finished the heel and started the gusset. I am making progress, although I hate to have to rip out so much.


Last night or this morning, I got to thinking about all the people who have been writing books about socks and getting them published. I got one yesterday that is full of different ways to do heels and toes, but I think it was translated from German, and it lost a lot in translation. It has a lot of close-up pictures of the steps in the instructions, and I tend to think they confuse things more than they help. However, I will persevere with it, because there is a lot of good information there if I can interpret it.


Anyway, I started thinking about possibly writing a little book of my own, mostly with tips and observations that I've noticed and never seen anywhere else. We'll see what comes of that.


It was a lovely day. It started out completely clear, but as the day wore on the sky filled up with puffy fair-weather cumulous clouds, so the afternoon was partly cloudy. the temperature went up to 70. with winds that rose into the 10-25 mph range just about the time the temperature hit its peak at 3:00. Then the wind shifted to the north and bam! The temperature dropped to 55 by 3:00. and it's been dropping ever since. It's now 50, but there isn't any wind. I opened the patio doors when I got home, because it was hot in here, but by the time I moved to the ugly chair, I had to shut them because it was too cool. It was pretty, though.


It rained a little bit overnight, and the final total of our rainfall was nearly 1". That's not a whole lot, but it's the first measurable rain we've had since the first week of April (according to my journal), and we need lots more. Well, we can hope.


Tonight, I set up the web for May and actually converted the April journal to Word. It certainly finds a lot of errors FrontPage doesn't. So if there is anything in these journals that don't make sense, please forgive me. I try my best to proofread them (or as I always say to myself, preafrood), but sometimes I miss the obvious, and sometimes I am tired and I just skip it. 


So that was my day, and now it's time to bring in the bird feeders, and go and prep the dishwasher to run overnight, then I can totter up to the north end and maybe knit a bit before I got to bed. It's a cloudy night in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM