A View From the Field








June, 2010

June 30

Wow, June is gone! It seems like it was just a few days ago that I was saying May was over. And half the year is gone, too. I wonder where it went?


I think it was about 10:30 when I got to bed last night. When I turned out the light, there was Venus shining in my window in a clear sky. I forgot to look out when I was up in the dark. It was a night of weird, vivid dreams, including one that I swear was a story I wrote fifty years ago or more. Really, really weird. Makes me wonder, again, if we ever truly forget anything, or we just bury it deep in our unconscious minds and it may come back at any moment.


Anyway, I got up around 8:30 or so, I think. I'm guessing at both times, because I didn't really notice. I petted a cat a little and knitted a bit, but mostly I folded all the underpants and put them away. So that part of the job is done.


I had an accident after breakfast, and I wonder (or maybe I hope) it had something to do with what I've been eating. I've had bacon for breakfast a couple of days in a row, and sometimes after gall bladder surgery, certain foods will cause a problem. Anyway, today is the last day of every-other-day, and then I go on twice a week. I am supposed to call the doctor, too, but I might wait until next week, when I see what not taking pills for three or four days does.


The task of the day was to go down to the hospital and get some blood drawn. I am taking something for the nail fungus I have on the middle finger of my right hand and it can cause liver problems in some people, so I needed to get that checked, and I was happy to see that he also had them check my vitamin D. I think it's all right, but we don't know that, because nobody has checked it for a couple of years. I left about 1:00 and I was back about 3:30, with a stop at Pat's. My wine rack had gotten depleted, and there were a few other things I couldn't find the other day that I wanted to get. 


It was a beautiful day to be out and about, but it was cool. It was clear and sunny, but the temperature here only got up to 63. I think it was about 67 in Calumet. There was a north wind, but it didn't get over 15 mph. 


There was a lot of traffic, some of it clearly tourists, and there were more people in Pat's than I have ever seen before. They had all their checkout lanes open. I only ran into a few really slow drivers, and one dump truck on its way to Laurium. Of course, the holiday is coming up, and apparently that is a reason for lots of families to gather.


Ron called to give me the name of some dentists suggested by a cousin of his who does work for them, and his favorite is the same one Johanna suggested, so I guess that is where I will go. Next week.


So that was my day. Buster was sleeping in my chair when I got home, and he was glad to see me, I think. He hates it when I go away, and I've done that frequently lately. Now it is a lovely, clear, cool, calm night in the field, and I think I can dispense with the bath tonight. And half the year is gone. Geez!


June 29

It was about 12:30 when I finally got to bed last night, and I slept fairly well, although I had some aches. It was cloudy when I went to bed, but when I was up around 3:30, there was a lot of moonlight casting shadows. Full moon was last weekend, but it's waning slowly. I got up around 8:30, I think, and I petted a cat and finished the ribbing on the Sockotta sock.


I think Buster is feeling better, or at least he's eating better. But both cats were a lot more somnambulant than I would have thought for a beautiful day. Jasmine slept all day on the navy chair in the great room, and Buster slept all day on top of all the stuff on the sewing machine chair.


It was a beautiful day, completely clear until around 5:00, when a cloud deck came over that is now gone again. It was cool - it barely made it to 60 at 5:00. There was a strong wind, in the 15 - 25 mph range, from the north. I didn't put the bird feeders out because the wind was so strong. When there are whitecaps on the harbor, the feeders will be blown around too much to get any traffic, and all the nectar will drain out of the hummingbird feeder.


I didn't do anything much. I finally put the towels to soak in a new put-up of Oxy-Clean I got the other day, and I folded some of the wash, but not all of it. It was a blah day.


Tomorrow, I have to go and get my blood drawn, so that will take care of that.


Now it's time to totter up to the north end and try to get to bed early. My right eye has been bothering me again. It's not blurry, but something flaked off into the inside corner, and it hurt. It's a lovely clear, cool, windy night in the field.


June 28

Well, I did it again. After I uploaded this, instead of going up to the north end right away, like I should have, I started looking at a couple of books I got, and because I had to take a bath, it was 3:00 before I got to bed. Oops. I got up around 10:00, I think, but that wasn't enough sleep, and I'm tired. I didn't knit or pet the cat much because I thought I heard tires on the driveway - it wasn't - and I got dressed fast.


It turned out to be a nice day. There were periods of clouds, but there were also some times when the sky was almost completely clear. It was cool - the high was 57, but for most of the day it was around 55. For the second time in about a week, Copper Harbor had the low temperature for the state - 50 at 8:00 am. There was a wind out of the north up to 15 mph.


I got a mosquito bite on my forehead when I put the bird feeders out. They are really swarming this year. Of course, it's all the standing water because of the rain, but wow, it's hard to go out at all. I guess it's time to break out the Off! I shouldn't complain. I'm not nearly as allergic to mosquitoes as I am to black flies, and for the past two years, it's been the black flies that were bad. I think it's three or four years since I've gotten any mosquito bites, but this year, I've already gotten several, including a couple right through my shirt. Well, I never said it was paradise.


I didn't do much. I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, and they were good, even though my back was killing me by the time I was ready to sit down and eat. I got the dishwasher ready to run, except for the stuff I used at dinner. My habits are clearly changing a bit, and it interests me. I think I have 14 cat dishes, so I only have to wash dishes every 7 days. I may have to rethink that, because I seem to be using more plates and forks than I used to. I can't figure out exactly why, though. It's strange.


Rick and Teri stopped by this evening, and they told me what they'd been up to. They have pretty much covered the sights of the area, although I don't think they went to the Estivant Pines or Hunter's Point. They will be on their way tomorrow, but they may come back for a few days in the fall. It was so nice to see them. 


While they were here, I was sitting where I could watch the bird feeders, and I was happy to see a chickadee as well as some goldfinches at the feeder. Of course, the greedy squirrels were there, and a chipmunk almost as big as the squirrels. It's fun to watch them.


This evening, i read for a while, but I'm not through with the story yet. Now it's past time to go to bed. It's a partly to mostly cloudy evening in the field.


June 27

Oops. Late again. I think I was in bed around midnight last night, and I slept, although I was up once or twice more than the last night, which is good. I got up around 8:30 or so, I think. I petted a cat and knitted and I've finished the cuff and started the leg of the Panda Cotton sock, so it's time to start the Sockotta one.


I had a light breakfast and I did my surfing before it was time to go to lunch. We ate at Harbor Haus, of course, and it was very good, topped off by a slice of chocolate cake filled with chocolate Bavarian cream. Yum!


It rained while we were in the restaurant, but it had stopped by the time we left. Rick was delighted by the fog rolling in, and it was really foggy when I got home. However, a couple of hours later, the skies had almost cleared and there was nice sunshine late in thee afternoon. The temperature got up around 65 in the middle of the afternoon, when there was a breeze from the southwest, but about the time it cleared up, the wind shifted around to the north and it cooled off. We had a total of about 0.07" of rain. It is still extremely humid, and my joints are telling me all about it.


I washed the first load of clothes before I left for lunch, and I washed two more after I got home, so that chore is done, which is good, since I was completely out of clean underpants. I still have to do the towels, but I want to soak them, so I will do that tomorrow.


It still amazes me that for all the years I worked, I washed every weekend and changed the towels and sheets every other week. I also folded everything and put it all away as soon as it was all washed. Now I wash every four weeks - when I run out of compression hose and underpants - and sometimes I don't change the towels and sheets for quite a while. Sometimes it takes me a while to get everything folded and stashed away. Well, habits change.


When I got home, I started reading again, and I finished the story from the white binder. I think I have all the names, but in a story of that length, it's hard to be sure. I also found more typos. I wonder if I'll ever find them all. Proofreading is a thankless task. Besides, every time I read through one of those things, I make some changes in phrasing. There is a lot of dialog in all my stories, and I try to make it sound as natural as possible, so I keep making changes to try to get it better. Then I started reading the back story, partly to get the names and  because I want to start writing on it again and I need to read it to get into it. I've made some changes in phrasing in it, too.


For a good part of the time I was reading, especially after it got dark, Buster was sitting on my lap, trying to sleep with my right arm for a pillow. Of course, when I had to move my arm to type, he started whipping his tail around. I was disturbing him. I don't think he feels very good. He hasn't been eating very well, and I think he probably has a hairball. Well, that happens. Even though he is a very short haired cat, and he is black, he is very clean, so I'm sure he eats a lot of fur. Considering that there isn't a dust bunny in this house that isn't more than half cat hair, I suppose a lot of it gets into him, too, and he has always had a hard time tolerating that, especially since he has gotten older. I thought I might have solved the problem with the hairball medication, but he won't eat it. So he has a tummy ache until he can get rid of his problem, which will happen sooner or later.


While I was putting out the bird feeders this morning, there was a little squirrel right under my feet. I think this is the same one every day. It is very hungry and very tame, and if I wanted to, I think I could get it to eat out of my hand. It is a cute little thing, and when I put the feeders out late, it scolds me. It is a little skittish, of course, but every day it is less so. One of these days, it may just run up my leg!


So that was a nice day - I like Rick and Teri - and now it is very late. The one disadvantage of having guests is that I have to wash my hair every night so it looks nice, so I need to do that tonight. It's a damp, dark night in the field and as soon as I bring in the bird feeders, I'm off to the north end.


June 26

It was around midnight again when I got to bed, and when I turned out the light, it was so foggy I couldn't even see the lighthouse light. I didn't get up for the first time until around 5:00. That's nice, but it's annoying, since my feet are quite swollen, and if I don't get up several times, that means I'm not getting rid of the fluid. Well, this too shall pass. I got up around 8:15. I knitted a bit before I got dressed, and I took my time. Around 10:00, my friends Rick and Teri showed up, and we had a nice long conversation. They are such nice people!


Before they arrived, I finally filled the sunflower seed pail, and after they left I finally got the feeders out. I was sitting in a place where I could watch the tree, and several squirrels and goldfinches, as well as a chickadee and a hummingbird came, as though they couldn't believe nothing was out. They made up for it.


I didn't finish my surfing until late, and I read through dinner. I am getting to the end of the story, but I still have 100 pages to go. I would like to get my list of names completed.


The weather was interesting. The fog kept coming and going in the harbor all day, and I think it was out in the lake all day long. The temperature was around 55 until noon, then it went up to around 60, where it sat, plus or minus a degree, all afternoon. There was hardly any wind at all, and what there was came from the east. Rick and Teri were delighted because there was some sunshine and hazy blue skies, at least for a while.


According to the weather maps, we are kind of in between two stationary fronts, and there is some rain to our southwest, but whether it will get here or not is debatable. It looked to me like it might miss us. For their sake, I hope it does, although they have a trailer, not a tent, so it isn't quite as bad as I'd feared.


I forgot to notice that our days have started to get shorter, but only by about 30 seconds a day. We still have nearly 16 hours of daylight, and that's nice.


So that was my social day, and now it's time, or past time, to toddle up to the north end. It's a dampish, cloudy and foggy night in the field.


June 25

I made it into bed around midnight, I think, and I slept well. I was up around 7:30 and I just decided that was too early, so I went back to sleep and got up around 10:00. I feel much better. I petted a cat, who then went off and barfed a bit, so that may be one reason he's been so clingy. I finished the Sockotta sock and cast on the second Panda Cotton sock. 


I was getting dressed when the glass company called and said that somebody would be out to work on my screen today, so I got myself together. I didn't do much, but I wanted to get the empty boxes out of the vestibule. I really wracked up my back doing it. The big box was full of smaller boxes with cold packs in them, and it was heavy, and pulling it across the gravel driveway was harder than I'd thought it would be. However, I couldn't get it through the house, so outside was the only way to go. It's now in the garage. I missed the general trash collection this year - it was a week early, and I didn't feel good that weekend. So next year I will have a real mess.


Anyway, that was done when the guy got here. I now have an intact screen, at least for a while, and all the rollers are fixed and it is in the proper groove, so it slides pretty good and it locks. Then he worked on the latches of the two patio doors, neither of which closed right. He fixed both of them, although now the lever on the one in the studio is loose. I had that happen once before, and it means something is broken inside. He was honest enough to admit he didn't know how they worked, so he was going to report back. We'll see what happens. I think a year or two after I got here, that latch broke off completely. I'm not quite sure why that keeps happening. You would think they would make the latches strong enough to be used frequently. That took up the early part of the afternoon. 


I started reading the story out of the white binder again - one that is in the computer - and listing off all the names of people and places. I still have a couple hundred pages to go, though.


The weather turned nasty. It was in the lower 60s this morning, but about 11:00 the fog rolled in, and around 1:30 it started to drizzle. It dripped rain for the entire afternoon - 0.12" so far - and the temperature went down to around 54. There was a wind this morning, but it was calm almost all afternoon. Now it is getting a little warmer again - up to 60 - and there was a gleam of sunshine a while ago. The fog seems pretty much gone, although the humidity is still over 90%.


Some friends are coming in today, and they are planning to spend the weekend in a tent. I certainly hope all the rain is over with, for their sakes.


The guy who did the doors had never been here before, and he said "Is this the house with the camera? We look at it all the time in the winter, to see how good the ice fishing is going to be." Well, I guess I have fans all over.


Now I'm getting tired again, and it's time to totter up to the north end. It's a cloudy, damp evening in the field.


June 24

I went up to the north end early, and I read for quite a while, so it was around midnight when I got to bed. I was up around 7:30, and I really wanted to go back to sleep, but I didn't, so I got up at 8:00. I petted a cat and worked on the toe of the Sockotta sock, then I read a little before I got dressed.


I didn't do all my morning surfing before I left, but I did have enough to do that it was around 11:30 before I left, then I had to stop at the store to leave off my package and the post office to mail my letters.


Ever since he looked at me so sadly last fall, I have been giving Shadow a handful of dog biscuits when he asks for them, which he hasn't been doing lately, but today, he appeared from nowhere - hence the name, I suppose - and I had to feed him. Shadow has it really good, and I doubt Clyde has to feed him very much at all, because he has a number of friends who have treats for him, although I think I'm the only one who gives him a handful. And he would like to have had more, but one handful is enough.


Then it was off to town. I ran into a camper with another car following it on the way down the covered road, but after I passed the car and came right up behind the camper, amazingly enough, he pulled over! That's almost unheard of, and we were talking about it tonight. None of us can understand the mindset of those guys who drive those things, under the speed limit, and feel no need at all to make way for people who want to go faster than they do. Since all of us have a lead foot, it frustrates us all.


Anyway, other than that, it was a good trip. I have to say this is a good year for daisies. They were all over the roadsides, along with some buttercups and occasionally some mallows, although I think those are garden escapes. There was one yard in front of an old house, possibly in Kearsarge or Centennial Heights, that was solid lupines in white, rose and blue. I have quite a stand of lupines in my backyard, too, but they are all blue. I may have to break down and pay $6.95 postage and get some multicolored ones. I do love them, and if I ever get the tansy out of the backyard, something will need to be planted there.


I had to stop in Mohawk because I needed cash, then it was on to Pat's Foods, where I did a whole lot of damage, even though I didn't load up on frozen food that much. I did decide to try their steaks. We'll see how they are. I got a Rotisserie chicken, though, so it will be a few days before I have beef. What they had that excited me were blueberries at a very reasonable price, and locally grown strawberries at a not so reasonable price. I figured what the hay, I won't get them again. And oh, are they good! So ripe and so red all the way through - yum! I could eat a whole quart. I have been dipping into them all evening.


I got home by 3:00, and I ate one of the sandwiches I bought, so I wasn't hungry at normal dinnertime. 


There was a committee meeting tonight about the Thunder in the Harbor thing. That is part of the Keweenaw Ride In which is a motorcycle event. It's coming up on July 24, so planning is in full swing, mostly done by Johanna. Everything seems to be under control, but there are a million little details. I think mostly they will be around the park and the Community Center, but anybody who doesn't have motel reservations for that weekend is going to be mostly out of luck.


Anyway, as usual, that took a couple of hours, then I came home and had some of my chicken and fresh salad greens and - yum! - strawberries. Yum. And I have blueberry pancakes to look forward to - yum!


I was reading while I ate and afterward, and I'm now through. I finished the last little thing that was tucked in the back of the binder. The last story that was bound into the binder turned out to be a real gem - from the late '70s, and about halfway through the thinking that led to what is in the blue binder and the white binder and the unfinished stories I have transcribed. It is pretty well written, although there is a lot of talking, since it is mostly about the ideas that I've built on since.


The weather was a lot nicer than they were saying when I went to bed last night. It turned out to be sunny and not nearly as humid as it has been lately, although the sky was full of very faint cirrus clouds. The temperature got up to 66 very briefly here, and for most of the day it was in the low 60s all over. There was a wind from the north in the 10-15 mph range for most of the day. It was lovely. I would rather have stayed here, but if I had to go, it was a good day for it.


So that was my day. When I got home, my feet were sore - on the tops of my insteps, which I take to be arthritis. I am tired, and maybe if I'm lucky, I can sleep in a little tomorrow. Now it's a warmish, breezy night in the field, and there may be some rain on the way.


June 23

I actually got to bed before 11:00 last night, amazingly enough, and I slept well. I got up around 9:00 and until just lately, I felt much better. I petted a cat and knitted, but when he got off, I read for a while before I got dressed.


I feared I wouldn't get to shop today, and I was right. I had quite a bit of paperwork to do, and that took most of the afternoon. Now that is over with, and I will send it off tomorrow. It's a relief.


The weather was about what it has been lately. The Queen didn't leave until about 9:30 this morning because of the fog, and I don't think she's back yet. While in the harbor it's been coming and going - mostly coming - I think the lake has been foggy all day. As somebody pointed out the other day, this is pretty typical for this time of year. Sometimes it's warmer, though. The high for the day was 64, between 8:00 and 10:00 this morning, and for the rest of the day it was between 55 and 60. Again there was almost no wind at all. There were times when the fog was amazingly thick - and then it would go away for a little while.


About all I did was my paperwork, although I did pay a couple of bills. 


Oh, yes. I was eating my toast this morning, which wasn't all that crunchy, when I felt a chunk of something very hard, and when I looked at it, I have cracked another tooth. Oh, dear. This is a lower molar, and from the way it felt when I chewed hot things on it tonight, I may not be able to wait until October to get my crown. I am seriously thinking about trying to find an adequate dentist here, at least for emergencies like this one. Talk about crumbling infrastructure...


There were blue jays and at least one nuthatch around the feeder today, but not very many birds at all. I now have one squirrel who seems to prefer eating out of the tube feeder, even though he has a terrible time hanging on while he eats. At one point, I looked outside, and there were two chipmunks on the deck with a squirrel. That's something that doesn't happen very often. The squirrels are so greedy they don't want anybody around.


So that was my day, and I'm tired again. It's a cool, cloudy and very foggy evening in the field.


June 22

It was another late night, and I'm really tired now. Maybe tonight.


I read for a long time before I took my bath, and I ended up only getting about 5 hours' sleep. I got up around 9:00, and petted a cat and finished reading another binder.


I didn't do a lot today, but I did do something besides read. I started trying to do something to organize the trash, and I unloaded the dishwasher. Either tomorrow or Thursday, I have to go to Calumet and shop for food. I'm running out of OJ and JD as well as TV dinners. But I don't want to go unless I'm rested, so we'll see.


I forgot to mention that on my way home last night, mom deer and her new fawn ran in front of the car down by the culverts. So she was pregnant, like I thought, and she has a cute little fawn. It isn't newborn, but it's not very old, so when I saw her in the backyard and she looked bulgy, she probably delivered shortly after I saw her.


The weather was uninspiring. It was foggy or hazy and cloudy all day. The temperature went up and down from 56 to 64 in a zigzag pattern with no reason to it. The wind was absolutely calm until just a little while ago. Watching the fog over the mountain was kind of neat, though.


I went to the post office and the thing I was waiting for came, so now I can proceed with my financial stuff.


I am almost finished reading the last binder, and then I can get back on a more human schedule. This has been fun, even though I haven't been getting enough sleep.


So now it's a cloudy, hazy evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end.


June 21 - Summer Solstice

Well, it's late again. I'm still reading. However, I had a busy day, and I needed to relax when I got home.


I got to bed around 11:00, and during the night, there were stars. I got up around 8:00 and petted a cat a bit, but there was a CHIA meeting at 10:00. Things are going on as the summer season gets underway, so there was a lot to talk about. While we were meeting, there was a tour taking place, with some employees of tourist-related businesses as far down as Houghton, just to show them what is available in beautiful Copper Harbor. They got to see the Delaware Mine and the Estivant Pines, and they were able to kayak or mountain bike or hike. It was a nice idea, and it may generate more business. We hope so.


I forgot to mention (bad me!) that a couple of weeks ago, there was a ceremony at the Mountain Lodge to dedicate our local biking/hiking trail system as one of the Epic Trails systems. This is sponsored by a US-wide organization, and it takes something to be so named. That should bring people to the area, too, to hike and mountain bike and ski in the winter. Sam Raymond and Aaron Rogers (my neighbor Aaron) are the guiding lights behind that.


After CHIA, I got my massage, and as I suspected, my whole back was tight. It feels much better now. However, that always makes me feel sleepy, and I still haven't caught up on my sleep from yesterday. 


Anyway, then this evening there was an Advertising Committee meeting, and that went on for a couple of hours. I wasn't hungry before I went, so I had to eat when I got home. 


Then I had to read one of the stories I was really looking forward to, so it is turning into a late day.


It was a nice day, at least until late afternoon. The temperature got up to 73 officially, although it was warmer than that in town. There was some breeze from the south, but not a lot. It was sunny in the morning, and it was really beautiful. It clouded up later in the day, and when we got out of the Advertising Committee meeting, it was drizzling. I think we may be in for a little rain tonight.


I can report that the old-fashioned roses around the Community Building and in Johanna's garden are out, and they are so wonderfully fragrant. The wild daisies are out, too, as well as the vetch.


So it's now summer, officially, and the Harbor will get steadily busier. Of course, the next really big thing is the Fourth of July, with the fireworks. This is the time of year that I stay out of town as much as I can. However, I'm waiting for something in the mail, so I will have to go to the post office frequently. 


Now it is very late, and it's a dark, dank night in the field, probably foggy, and it's time to go to bed.


June 20

Well, that was an adventure. - something I do every so often. I was reading a binder full of my oldest finished stories, and it was so interesting I totally lost track of time, to the extent that when the camera took its first picture this morning, I couldn't figure out why it had awakened. I hadn't read any of those things in so long that I had really forgotten that I'd written them. The seeds of the ideas that became solidified in the things I have transcribed into the computer go back to those days, and some of the stories - even some that I wrote two or three different ways - are pretty interesting. Obviously. I went to bed around 6:15 this morning.


I wanted to stay asleep, but I woke up around 11:00 and was having a hard time of it, so I got up. Tonight is going to be very early. I am more than just tired.


The weather yesterday was partly cloudy, but the temperature hit its max - 73 at midnight, and it was in the lower 60s all day, with a 15 mph wind out of the north. 


When the camera went off this morning, and I realized it was getting light, I looked out into pea soup fog, and there is still fog in the harbor. The temperature has finally gone up to 61. but it was in the lower 50s all day, with no wind at all and very high humidity. 


Now it is a lovely, if cool and humid, evening in the field, and I will be going to bed shortly.


June 19

Well, I managed to stay up all night, so this is all there will be until Sunday.



I read for a while when I got to the north end, and I got to bed around 10:30. I must have slept, although it didn't seem like it. All the time I was getting ready for bed, I heard an occasional rumble way off in the distance, one of the many reasons I like the house opened up. I woke up around 11:30 to see lots of lightning all over the sky, although it must have been far enough away that there was very little thunder. There was one crack right over the house, and about midnight it began to rain. I went back to sleep, and when I woke up around 3:30, there were a few wan stars out. 


I woke up around 7:30 and had to walk, and I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't so I got up around 8:00. Still not enough sleep. I knitted and petted a cat, but he was annoyed that I was knitting, so when he got off my lap, I finished the story I was reading, although it isn't a finished story yet, if ever. That really annoyed him, because when I have a binder on my lap, he can't sit there.


It was already 70 when I got dressed, and there was a strong (15-25 mph) wind more or less from the west. It was clear and beautiful, and there were a few whitecaps on the harbor. The wind was so strong that even though the temperature was 78 by noon, I was cold, so I put on a fleece jacket for a while. It wasn't until it got up to 81 and the wind started to die down that I got hot. I don't think it was that warm here anyway, since the wind was coming right in over the water, and that water is still awfully cold. It clouded up a bit as the day wore on, and now there are quite a few clouds in the sky, some of them the kind of cumulus clouds that might turn rainy. 


We had 0.43" of rain between midnight and 2:00 am, so it was quite humid overnight, but the humidity dropped precipitously between 8:00 and 11:00 this morning, and it was a truly beautiful afternoon. It was a bit warmer than I think is quite perfect, but with the low humidity and the wind, it was just lovely. I could take a lot of weather like this - let it rain at night, then let the humidity drop and the sun come out during the day.


I did not much again. I still feel like I haven't had enough sleep, and I will try to remedy that again tonight. I spent most of the afternoon reading one of the binders of very old stories that I brought upstairs the last time I raided the freezer. I didn't realize how old they were until I started counting - we're talking middle '60s, which, much to my amazement, is 40 years ago. Egad! Where does the time go? It is interesting to see how my ideas have developed in that time. The writing isn't as bad as I feared, but I've rethought my main character's attitude a lot since then. The writing is good enough that I probably could have published, but I'm glad not to have those things recorded for posterity.


I did get to watch the birds a bit, although not much, and at least the nuthatches are still coming to the feeder. There were goldfinches and hummingbirds, I was glad to see, but I got the feeders out a little earlier than has been usual lately. The goldfinches always startle me a little - they are so yellow, and they are so small. I also heard what might be a fledgling raven for a while this afternoon, although apparently the ones that were nesting in the back of my neighbor to the north's yard last year didn't go there this year. I don't know why - there are some big trees there. And I might have heard a loon this afternoon, although the radio was on, and I wasn't sure.


I got to check out my new headset, and it works just fine, so it was the plug and not the socket, as I thought. This one is actually much nicer than the old one, and the headband is stiff enough that it won't fall off my head like the old one tended to do. So that was a good purchase.


I have an email into LaCrosse Technologies, to see if one of their remote sensors will work with my base unit. If it does I will probably attach it to the deck railing permanently. I never did that with the other ones, and I had hung it from the doorknob, where it sort of banged on the frame when the wind blew. No doubt that is part of the reason it failed. The whole unit is sort of junky, and I won't buy another of that brand, but I hope not to have to buy a new one until I can afford a real weather station, with a wind gauge and a rain gauge and a connection to my computer. Right now, until my finances get sorted out, I'm trying hard not to buy anything I don't really need.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm tired again. From the sound of things, the squirrels have finally gone off to bed, and so will I. It's a warm, partly cloudy night in the field, and it feels like summer is really here.



Tonight, I have to go to bed early. Really.


I read for a while when I got to the north end, and it was after midnight when I turned out the light. I was able to watch the crescent moon set over Hunter's Point, and it was so beautiful, like a thin slice of lemon with a lovely glitter trail on the water. There were stars, too. My summer star, Arcturus, was setting when I got up while it was dark and the Big Dipper is beginning to dip up Lake Superior water.


I got up at 8:00, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep, and I felt it. I knitted and petted a cat for a while, but he was disgusted that I wasn't paying enough attention. When I went out into the hallway to go into the closet to get dressed, Jasmine was sitting below the hall window, and she looked at me as if to say, "Well?" She knew it was nice out, because the bedroom window is still open, and she was dancing up and down the hall in delight. She was a little skittish when I went to open the window, but when I did, she went right out and sat on the back of the couch looking at me through the kitchen door. Have I mentioned that all my exterior doors are full light doors?


Now, this is my idea of weather. It could be like this all summer and I'd be perfectly happy. It was mostly completely clear all day, with light winds from the south, and the temperature went over 70 around noon and it's been there all day. It peaked at 75 at 6:00, and it's dropped off a little, but not much. The wind is a little stronger, too. Unfortunately, the barometer is dropping, and they are predicting rain and maybe thunder tomorrow, but today was just a wonderful day. I have the house all opened up, and it was so nice to hear the outdoors. 


Jasmine liked that, too. For some reason, she isn't nearly as interested in the critters when she can't hear them. I don't know where Buster was, but when I opened the kitchen door to the porch and walked through to open the door to the bedroom, he was curled up in grandpa's rocker, very comfortable. I wouldn't be surprised if he slept the entire day there. I would have.


I could have done that, too. I didn't want to go back to bed at 8:00, because I don't want to get into that syndrome again, but I am really tired tonight. I'm afraid that the little birdies won't get their evening meal here, because I intend to bring the feeders in as soon as this is posted.


I can report that I am a little more hopeful about the C. diff. I wouldn't say I'm normal yet, but things are better. I ended the two weeks of vancomycin every day yesterday, and now it's two weeks of every other day. I wish I felt better, but that's partly because I haven't been getting enough sleep. We'll see how I feel when I'm rested.


I have forgotten to mention an unfortunate thing that happened last weekend. When I got to the studio in the morning, the temperature sensor wasn't registering on the base unit, so I brought it in with the idea of changing all the batteries - I think it was about time. I don't know whether it was because I put the batteries in the sensor backward at first, or it was just about to die, but it is now dead, and the other one doesn't sense right - it said the temperature was 23 when it was actually in the upper 50s. So now I am without a way to tell what the temperature is here, and what it is when the Internet is down, and my base unit is essentially just an atomic clock. Drat. I did not want to have to buy a new weather station. 


My new telephone headset came today, but I don't know if it works. I did get a phone call, but I think they hung up or something. I may have to switch handsets with the one in the bathroom, which I can't use anyway, because it's too far away through too many walls. I will try tomorrow and see what the situation is.


Anyway, it has been a fantastic day in the field, and it's a lovely, warm evening, and I need sleep.



Well, another lost day. I read for quite a while at the computer, then I read some more at the north end and it was at least midnight when I got to bed. Sigh. I got up around 8:30, I think, and I knitted and petted a cat for a while before I got dressed. Needless to say, none of the things I thought I m ight do got done. Sigh.


The weather started out cloudy and there was a lot of fog in the middle of the morning. After about 2;30, it cleared up, and the late afternoon was very nice, with clear skies. However, it's still very humid. The temperature bottomed out between 9:00 and 11:00, at 48, then it began rising, and for a short while around 6:00 it was 60. There was a wind overnight, then it went calm during the middle of the day, then between 5:00 and 7:00 it got up to 14 mph. Now it appears that it has gone calm again So you never know. It sure is nice to see the sun and a completely clear sky, even though there is still a lot of haze. It is still very humid - relative humidity around 86%. 


I did nothing much, except to open one of the pieces of mail I got yesterday, and I discovered that the woman I was talking to wrote my address wrong. Since it's something I have to attest to, I called her, and I can't just change it - she has to reissue it. So that will hold up my financial stuff even more. At least it means I didn't have to read through the 40 page package again. Many, many years ago I learned an old adage: "There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over." How true that is.


I had the door open a crack for a good part of the afternoon, and at one point, I heard a strange tapping outside, and when I looked, I finally saw some tail feathers on the other side of the cedar feeder - what must have been a downy woodpecker was pecking away at the suet block, or maybe the tray that the suet block is in. I'm glad to know they're still around. That's one reason I like to have the door open, so I can hear what's going on outside, if anything. Right now, it's completely silent.


The Queen just took off for the fireworks benefit cruise. Sometime  I'd like to go on it, but I won't go to things like that all by myself, so I waved.


The solstice is next week, and we now have nearly 16 hours of daylight. It's really easy to get used to this, but it tends to keep me up later than I otherwise would be (well - that's a good excuse, anyway). 


Now it's a lovely, clear evening in the field, and it's nice to see sunshine and blue skies for a change. Maybe I'll even get to see Venus tonight.



Geez. June is half over already! 


I read too long on the computer last night, and then when I went up to the north end, I read some more, so it was nearly 2:00 when I got to sleep. I got up around 8:30, because I had to, and Buster expected to. So I am pretty groggy. I finished the Panda Cotton sock, and it is very nice. Now I can work on the Sockotta one for a while. However, that made me late getting dressed, and I didn't do much.


I did get the dishwasher unloaded and began to reload it, and I went to the post office, where there were some bills and something else I was waiting for.


The weather was so-so. It was a little warmer - the temperature got up to 63 for part of the afternoon, and during that time there was a gusty wind from the south - 15-25 mph mostly. It was cloudy and dull all day, though, although it wasn't as humid as it has been lately. 


I forgot to mention that a day or so ago, I looked out the south windows into the harbor and there were four adult geese there - and one teensy little gosling between two of the adults. I felt for mom and pop. One hatchling isn't a very good score, with all the other dangers there are around here. I hope it survives. It must just about have hatched, since it would have fit neatly in my hand. Mom and pop were watching it very carefully. Whatever else you can say about Canada geese - and they are a nuisance - they are very good parents.


So that was a short, dull day, and I'm really tired tonight. Maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. 


It's a cloudy, breezy evening in the field, and they say the rains are coming back.


I read again last night, and it was 12:45 before I went to bed, without a bath. It takes me about half an hour to get ready for bed if I bathe, but about five minutes if I don't, so I've been skipping it every other day lately. I am finally drying out enough that my hair is passable if I don't wash it every night. It's not the way I like it, but it doesn't look like an oil pot got dumped on my head.


I got up around 8;45 and petted a cat and knitted for a while. I finally have 50 rows on the foot of the Panda cotton sock, and it looks like ten more will do it. A lot of the socks I have made lately are too long, and I think the reason is that my feet don't swell as much as they used to. Knitting will stretch in both directions, so the wider I need them to be, the shorter they are. So I'm rechecking my lengths as I knit. 


By the way, people who prefer to knit socks from the toe up will cite as one of the reasons, that you can try on the sock as you knit. Huh? Why can't you try on a sock knitted from the top down? I did it this morning and noticed where 50 rows came. As far as that's concerned, I find it easier to get the foot length right when I knit from the top down. I have a pair I knit last year (the fruit salad socks) that are much too long, and since they have a pattern in them, and they were knit from the toe up, I can't just undo the toe and make them shorter. Every so often I do a pair from the toe up, just to add a little interest to my knitting, but don't let anybody con you with spurious reasons for doing so.


Otherwise it was another lost day. I read the documents I got on Friday and had a short conversation with the person who is helping me, but otherwise, I did nothing. I am tired, and I just haven't felt that good lately. I was hopeful when I got up, but I had another accident after breakfast, so things still aren't that good. It smelled like C. diff, too.


The weather started out just like the past two days, with heavy fog. Last night when I went to bed, I couldn't even see the lighthouse light - or I sort of saw it for a couple of seconds, then it went away. In fact, on one revolution, I saw its glow on the trees to the east when I couldn't see it at ail, but then even that went away. It was really dark, but since I didn't wake up the first time until 4:30, it didn't bother me. I could tell, though, that above the fog, the skies were clearing, and it was much brighter. Around 1:00, it began to go away, except for a few fingers going up the mountain, and eventually it all went away, although it's still  very humid. The high temperature was 59, at about 4:00. There wasn't any wind for most of the day. 


It's still not the best weather for joints, and the second joint of my left index finger started to flare up this afternoon. I don't know why, but then who can tell? Sometimes it has something to do with what I've been doing, and sometimes it doesn't seem to.


The other night I must have had some kind of bug in the bedroom, because I got a couple more bites up on my left thigh, near where the first ones were, and I also got a couple under where the band of my compression hose hits. Maybe something could have bit my thigh through my pants, but there is no way they could have gotten through that elastic band. I'm not sure, but I don't think some of them were black flies. I think I've gotten several mosquito bites, too. With all the humidity, I'm not surprised that the mosquitoes are bad. If it warms up eventually, they will be really horrible when I bring in the bird feeders.


This evening, I was eating when I glanced out the south window at the tree that died, and there was a hairy woodpecker pecking at it. I haven't seen any woodpeckers since the sap began running, but of course, I haven't been watching the feeders every moment. One of my blue jays loves that woodpecker block, but I know they love peanuts anyway.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm doing this before I begin my evening reading, rather than after, so it will be done. Now it's a partly to mostly cloudy evening in the field, but there was some sunshine and it's much brighter than it has been for a few days.



I started reading again when I got to the north end, so it was 12:45 before I turned out the light. With the new moon and all the thick clouds and fog, it is incredibly dark around here at night, but even at that, by 4:30 when I was up, it was beginning to get light. I got up around 8;30 and knitted and petted a cat for a while before I remembered that I had to fill the pill dispensers today.


That was about all I accomplished. I went shopping in the basement and brought up some food and four binders of very old stories that I have been wanting to read.


The weather was yucky again. The temperature was nearly steady around 55, and so was the dew point - the humidity was nearly 100% all day long. There was a little wind - around 15 mph - for a while in the early afternoon, but it soon went calm again. After 5:00 it started drizzling, and it's still doing that. It was very foggy all day long, and for much of the afternoon, you couldn't see anything down the harbor. Yuck. At least it's 55 and not 45.


I just didn't feel very robust again, so I read and knitted on the afghan. I finished a color (rose heather) and started a new one (cranberry). I love that rose heather. I have a pattern for a very interesting cabled sweater, and it would look very nice in that color. The yarn is Lion Brand, which some people sneer at, but their quality has always been good, and this yarn has a nice feel to it. Of course, I have two other sweaters on the needles, which I should finish first. I don't know about that cotton one, though. I like the yarn, but the more I fiddle with the pattern, the more I think I should just abandon it and do something else with the yarn. Perhaps it works well with a 32" chest, but not so much with a 48" chest. Hmm.


So that was a very quiet day, and it's time to totter up to the north end again. It's a cool, moist and very dark night in the field.


June 12

I read for a while when I got to the north end, and it was about 11:30 when I went to bed. I got up around 9:30. Evidently, I'm going to get my ten hours no matter when I start. I petted a cat and knitted for a while before i got dressed.


I forgot to mention my eye last night. It was much better yesterday morning, and it is getting better still. However, last night, when I went up to the north end, I got a hint of what happened. I have very dry eyes, and I also have a condition of my corneas that causes little pieces to flake off, especially when my eyes are dry. It's not a dangerous condition, mostly just painful, when the pieces get under my eyelids. I'm pretty sure that what happened is that my eyes got really dry in the night. By using lots of artificial tears, it's getting better. When my eye got blurry again last night, I used some tears, and it was fine again. I will discuss it with my eye doctor when I go to Detroit in October, but I don't think it's serious.


Anyway, I didn't do much today. I had been knitting on the cotton sweater yesterday, and I realized that the square I was knitting was going to be bigger than the other ones, so today I tore it out. Then I realized that I had been using a 4 mm needle, when I had used a 4 mm needle for the other ones. You wouldn't think a quarter of a millimeter in diameter would make such a difference, but with knitting, it all adds up. So, since I'm using the 4 mm circular on the black sweater, I found a pair of straight ones, and knitted a bit, but unfortunately, that sweater is too boring to just knit and too complicated to do anything else while I knit, so I stopped. I did knit on the afghan while I was reading tonight.


I started reading the story that was originally in the white binder again, and this time, I'm trying to make a list of character names as I go along. It helps that Word lets you have more than one file open at a time. I haven't gotten very far, because I had read a bit when I decided to do it, and I had to go back and at least scan what I had already read. I definitely have the tendency to reuse names, and sometimes I will create names that are very like ones I have already used. One shouldn't do that, in order to keep confusion to the minimum. There are already two names of major characters in this one whose last names are somewhat similar in that they both begin with "B", but I think they sound different enough that they'll be all right. Since those are those people's names, I can't change either one anyway.


Tonight I will run the dishwasher, but it is mostly loaded already.


The weather was icky. There was some more rain overnight, bringing the grand total for the past two days to 1.27". A tidy amount. It was calm and extremely humid all day, and even though the temperature was in the lower 50s all day, the water is enough colder that it was foggy and dark and gray. There was no wind at all - it was a dead calm. Several times I heard foghorns out in the lake.


So that was another day, and I'm sleepy again, so I will totter up to the north end and read a bit before I take my bath. It's a moist, foggy night in the field.


June 11

I read for a while last night, and I think it was 10:30 or so when I got to bed - don't remember, really. I got up around 8:00 and petted a cat and knitted for a while. It used to be that Buster wouldn't get up on the bed until 10:00 or so. Now he gets up around 8:00 or earlier. I might have finally taught him to keep his tail out of my face, but I don't really trust him. He sometimes gets whipping it around and I think he forgets where it is.


I did my surfing, and I was fooling around when I got an email from my friend from Dallas. Would I like to go to dinner at Harbor Haus and meet his wife? Would I! The volunteer firemen's benefit dinner was tonight, but I would much rather eat at Harbor Haus with people I don't see much than eat spaghetti alone.


I went off to the post office to mail some stuff - my friend's younger son graduates from high school this  month, and my attorney's husband died. So there was one happy note and one sad note. I stopped at the store for lettuce and got Staci to take my donation to the dinner, so I contributed, even if i wasn't there.


The weather was blah and then it deteriorated, Until about 1:00 it was cloudy and dark and in the lower 50s. Then it started to rain, and between 1:00 and 10:00, we had 1.2" of rain. It rained particularly hard about the time we went to dinner, of course. Now it's just dribbling a little. The wind was from the southeast mostly, and the NWS station reported it as being quite light, but the flags at Harbor Haus were whipping around like it was a lot stronger there. I think that weather station is in a place where the only direction it reports accurate wind speeds is from the north. There was a lot of fog on the harbor.


So that was a very nice evening, they are very nice people, and I had a lovely dinner, which was a nice way to spend a nasty, wet evening.


Which it is, and it's late, so I will toddle up to the north end and ignore the out of doors.


June 10

I was in bed about 10:00 last night, and I slept well. When I was up around 1:30, there were stars, but they had gone away the next time I was up. I got up around 8:00 and knitted and petted a cat, I finished the gusset on the Sockotta sock and went back to the Panda cotton sock. 


I must mention something just to document it, but please, please don't start sending me alarmed emails. I am aware of the possible implications of what happened to me, and I know what I am doing by ignoring it. I woke up this morning with the feeling that there was something in my right eye, and I have had blurred vision in it all day. It is still tearing and it is still blurred. I will see how it looks tomorrow.


Lets see, did I do anything today? Not a whole lot, but I moved dished from the sink to the dishwasher and I put all the pots and pans to soak. I paid some bills. I dragged out the cotton sweater I was doing over last summer and knitted a few rows. I guess that was about it.


The weather was - eh. The temperature sat between 50 and 55 all day, and while there was some wind this morning, it was calm all afternoon. It was cloudy all day, but not really dark-cloudy. Eh.


I guess I can stop praying for rain. Not only did we have a lot a day or so ago, it is supposed to rain again tomorrow again. I am torn by rain. I want it to keep the woods green and the lake full of water (and we had a very dry winter and spring), but it isn't my favorite kind of weather. On the other hand, if it's clear and 70 all summer, like it was a couple of years ago, it's wonderful to be in, but not good for the woods. I'm sure that's why I've lost so many trees, and there is another dead one right outside the south windows. Much as I hate to look at that tree, I may leave it, at least for a while, since it's where the birds go when they fly out of the feeder tree. When it's gone, there won't be any cover for quite a way.


Buster has been telling me that his litter trays are bad, so I guess I will have to try to get myself together to clean them tomorrow.


And that's about all I have to report. It's a cloudy, calm night in the field.


June 9

I told  you I would crash one of these nights. I was in bed by 10:00, and while I wouldn't say I slept wonderfully well, I did pretty good. I got up around 8:30 and I finished the heel on the Sockotta sock and started the gusset.


Buster has me worried. He slept all last night with me, and he wanted to sit on my lap or at least be very close to me all day. It' s nice that he loves me so, but he shouldn't be that clingy.


I spent a good portion of the day on the phone again, but it wasn't all related to my finances. And my headset is dead, by the way. What a nuisance! I was minding my business and noticing that the internet seemed rather slow when it went away altogether. That hasn't happened in a while. I did the usual things with the power, and when I plugged in the client, there were no lights on it. So I wanted to call PastyNet, and when I tried, I got an open line. I thought that was weird - when I finally figured out what I had.


So the next thing was to check the corded phones, and when I went into the kitchen, the phone there was not only off-hook, the handset was hanging from the wires. How that happened, I can't say, and while I suspect someone who goes on four feet, I have a hard time figuring out how they could have done it - there is a lot of stuff at that end of the counter. And I have no idea why, except that Jasmine likes to chase flies. Anyway, that solved that problem.


That led me to the headset, and after Jon hung up on me twice because he couldn't hear me, I finally unplugged it completely. I wish I could find my other one, which was a nice one, only I have no clue where it might be, except that it must be in the basement someplace. Oh, dear.


In the meantime, I had another conversation with the person who is helping me with my finances, and that is under way. 


By the time that was over, I still had no lights on the client, so I actually went outside and looked at the wires under the deck, which look just fine. I called PastyNet again, and then I unplugged the client again...and five or ten minutes later, the camera updated. Huh? I hadn't done anything except unplug and replug. It's been OK ever since, and Jon thinks I have a loose wire, but they won't do anything about it until it fails again. But Jon, it failed without my having touched anything anywhere near it. Oh well.


The weather was so blustery, I never put the bird feeders out. There were northwest winds in the 15-35 mph range all day. The temperature got up to 62 briefly. The good news is that over the past two days, we have had more than 1" of rain! It rained hard from about 10:00 last night until 3:00 in the morning - wonderful sleeping weather - and we had another small shower between 11:00 and noon today. Oh, my, are the weeds growing!


I forgot to mention that I have two coral poppy flowers out and two flowers on the bronzy-purple iris. The peonies aren't out yet. I really need to do some weeding in that bed and lay down some fertilizer. The poppy isn't nearly as floriferous this year as it has been in the past, and it will die out completely if it isn't kept free of weeds. So will the peonies. Well, maybe I can stay off the phone tomorrow.


I began to get the dishwasher loaded, but I have a lot of pots and pans to wash, and I didn't get to that.


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


June 8

I did a little better last night. It was around 11:30 when I got to bed. I was up several times - my kidneys seem to be working very well lately. There were stars when I was up while it was dark. I got up around 8:30, and I petted a cat, but he wasn't interested in sitting still very much. Besides, I did the heel on the Panda Cotton sock (short row heels go fast) and started the heel on the Sockotta sock, so I knitted quite a bit. 


I didn't do much of anything to speak of. I spent most of the afternoon on the telephone and I think I may be getting my financial condition under a little better control. I won't say more about it, because it's not something I wanted to do. And no, I'm not putting the house up for sale. I think it would kill me to do that. 


I started having trouble with the connection of my headset to the phone, so I guess I will have to go down to Houghton the next time I shop and get a new one. I can't stand to be without my headset anymore. I thought there was another one around here somewhere, because I had a pretty new one at the other house, but it has gotten up and walked off and I can't find it at all, and I don't even have any idea where to look for it. When I left the other house, I threw a lot of things with wires in a basket, I think, and I haven't been able to find any of that stuff except for the basket. Shows I have too much stuff, but I knew that.


The weather started out all right, a bit cloudy, but not bad. but about 6:00 it started to rain, and we've had about an eighth of an inch. The temperature got up to 65 for a while, and there has been a wind in the 10-25 mph range mostly from the south. I think I can probably bring in the bird feeders.


When I finally put them out, there was a little, skinny squirrel with her tits showing who almost walked right up to me she was so hungry. She almost did jump into the cedar feeder, but she was just a little shy. I think if I'd held out a handful of sunflower seeds, she might very well have taken them, but I'm a little wary of those sharp teeth. When I looked out a bit later, all I saw were a couple of chipping sparrows in the deck feeder. I do have three ravens who mostly glean under the deck, although occasionally they come up onto the deck. Evidently they can see me when I move, because they fly away when I turn around. I guess I can't complain too much if they clean up the ground under the tree.


So that was another quiet day, and I'll be off to the north end soon. I am tired, and I haven't gotten enough sleep in several days, so this dank, soggy night looks like a good one to catch up.


June 7

I was late last night, but not quite so much. It was about 12:45 when I went to bed, I think. It was a beautifully clear night, and the one time I was up when it was dark, I could see most of the Big Dipper and the two end stars of the Little Dipper. The Big Dipper was beginning to curve toward the horizon, since it was around 3:00 am. There isn't much darkness these days. I got up around 8:15, as usual, and I'm really tired now. If this keeps up, I'll have to crash one of these nights.


I knitted a bit on both socks, and they are both ready to start the heel. The Panda Cotton one is curious - I had to knit more rows on #3 needles than on the Sockotta sock on #2 needles to get the length of leg I wanted. After several larger than necessary socks, I am rechecking the lengths of every first sock I knit. I am wearing the Tofutsies socks this week, and I am sorry to say, I goofed on them, and one came out bigger than the other - a matter of my tension changing. I didn't realize it until they were both done, and I have no intention of ripping one out. I wouldn't know which one to rip anyway.


It was a beautiful day, and I did nothing with it except go to the post office to return a letter that had been misfiled. The temperature got up to 57 at noon, but for most of the day, it was about 55. with very light winds all over the compass until they went calm around 5:00. It was a lovely evening, with the harbor mostly glassy and reflecting the colors of the sunset.


I am relieved to report that my hand feels much better today, and I can form a fist as well as I could before, although my finger is still stiff. The soreness is gone, anyway. My index finder doesn't bend very well, but that's been true for quite a while. Now I don't have to grasp my mug handle with my thumb anymore. The reason it got better is that the humidity was much lower today, I'm sure. It was cool enough that my back was still bothersome this morning, when I unloaded the dishwasher and made my breakfast, but I just have to endure that.


This morning (I think it was this morning) when I went into the powder room after breakfast, there was a large deer out in the back, nibbling on the stuff in the drain field. For a minute I thought it was actually going to eat some tansy, but no such luck. I would be tempted to import a goat (maybe an angora goat, to spin mohair yarn?) except that the deeds and restrictions say no farm animals. I don't know anything else that might eat tansy and spotted knapweed.


Oh, yes, and I got three bites on my right wrist last night or this morning. I'm not sure yet if they're black fly bites or mosquito bites, but I'm afraid they're black fly bites. I guess it doesn't surprise me a lot, although most of them are certainly gone. Remember, if there is a black fly in Copper Harbor, it will find me and bite me, probably more than once.


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


June 6

Oh, here we go again.


It was 1:00 before I got to bed last night, and I got up around 8:30, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep, but I thought I would go to bed early tonight. Ha. I got to reading again, and that was that.


I petted a cat and knitted a while, and slowly but surely my finger is feeling a little better. It is still sore, and I can't make a fist with it, which makes it difficult to grasp things like mug handles, but it's not as sore as it was, and it does bend a little better.


A lot of that was because the humidity has gone down a lot. It turned into a lovely day. When I went to bed last night, the fog was so thick I couldn't even see the lighthouse light, and it rained a bit overnight. When I got up, the fog was gone, but it was still cloudy, but the clouds blew away before I got dressed and it was a very nice afternoon. The temperature got up to 55 with light north breezes.


When I went out to bring in the bird feeders, the coyote pack was howling over on the south shore of Lake Lily. Apparently they do that when they wake up or something. I forgot to mention that there was a very sad, single goose hanging around in front of my house for several days last week, and I'm afraid it's one of the pair that nested over on Lake Lily last year. The coyotes have only moved in within the past two or three years, and they are displacing some of the other wildlife I would rather have. I haven't heard or seen a loon yet this year.


I was reminded that this is D-Day, the day the invasion of Europe started in 1944. I know there have been several wars since then, but I don't think there has been one that affected the rest of the country quite like World War II did. I know it was a pivotal event in my early life.


So it was a very quiet day, and I really need to go to bed. It's a cool, calm and clear night in the field.


June 5

Well, it's Saturday night, so I can stay up late, right?


I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept fairly well, although I was up several times. I got up about 8:30, and Buster had been sitting beside me for some time. The earlier I get up the earlier he wants me to get up. I petted him and knitted for a while, although my finger is still so sore it was hard. 


And that was about all I did except forget to take all my pills. Oh, well. Sometime in the past two days I missed one, so I ended up writing on the little packets they come in. Hopefully, I won't totally miss any more. And I'll get back on schedule tomorrow. I think I've mentioned before that I learned when I was in the hospital that it's possible to fudge those things.


The weather was enough to make me want to stay in bed. It rained a bit overnight, but there wasn't any more during the day. It was just foggy and quite cool and damp. The temperature got up to 53 in the morning, but then it dropped off to the upper 40s, and the humidity was over 96% all day. There wasn't any wind.  Not good for the joints, for sure.


So I did not much at all. Late in the afternoon, I started reading one of the shorter stories, the fantasy, and that's why I'm so late. I wanted to finish it. I still think it's a pretty good story. I also did a little embroidery, although my finger made that difficult.


There were a few foghorns out on the lake, although with the windows shut they were hard to hear. One of them, last night, was about the highest  pitched one I've heard. But I got to thinking how hard it must be to sleep when they're sounding the horn every minute or so. I know when we used to stay in Grand Marais (MI) there were one or two times when it was foggy, and since they have a pier that sticks out into the lake, they have a foghorn on it, and it nearly drove us all nutty at night.  Possibly if it went off all the time, I could get used to it, but since it doesn't, it can be very annoying.


Tonight when I brought in the bird feeders, while it was calm, the bell buoy was sounding and there was a quiet shushing sound of the water out in the lake. They apparently snuck the buoy into the water about three weeks ago on a Sunday when I wasn't looking, and I'm glad to have it back. Now, that is a sound that has never bothered me, and in fact, it's rather peaceful and I miss it when they pull it out in the fall. 


It was also impossible to see any lights in town, so it's still foggy out there. and it's a cool, damp night in the field and it's past my bedtime.


June 4

I think it was about 10:30 again last night when i got to bed, and I slept very well. I did get up in time to take my middle of the night pill, but I didn't stay up long. I got up for good around 8:30 and I petted a very purry cat and knitted for a while before I got dressed. 


I don't have much to report because my life seems to be revolving around taking meds right now. I didn't do anything.


The weather was a good part of the reason I didn't do anything. It started raining lightly around 11:00, and it's still dribbling. We had about a quarter inch of rain. The temperature got up to 61 before the rain started, but it has dropped off a lot, and it is now in the lower 50s with very high humidity. The wind picked up around 2:00 into the 10-25 mph range from the south, so it's not a very nice evening. 


I can report that after bothering me all night, my hand did feel better today, but this kind of cool, damp weather does a job on all my joints. My middle finger is still tender and stiff and swollen.


Because of the rain, the bird feeders never got put out this morning. Sorry, birdies.


I don't like to get my hopes up, but I think I can see some results of the stuff I am drinking already. I had a much quieter day than I have for some time. I have my fingers crossed.


So that was another dull day in the field, and I will be off to the north end shortly. It's a dark, moist, chilly night in the field.


June 3

I was in bed by 10:30 or so last night. Instead of turning onto my left side, which is where I usually start,  I laid flat on my back with my head not on the pillow, and I said my prayers that way. Apparently that freaked Buster out, because he climbed onto the bed, walked across me and up beside my head and stared at me until I turned over. I laid on my back because I could tell that my back muscles were in knots, and I hoped lying that way would relax them. It helped a bit, but not a lot. I slept well anyway, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 8:30. We had our morning love in and I knitted for a little while.


I still had time to do my morning surfing and get the bird feeders out before I was off to my massage. I really needed that. The muscles in my back were so tense that it took some doing for Johanna to loosen them up. I felt much better afterward. 


That always leaves me tired, but I hadn't planned to do anything much anyway, and I didn't. I started loading the dishwasher for the next run, and that was about it.


For some reason, the middle finger on my right hand is giving me trouble again, and it is so stiff and sore, I'm even having trouble typing. Probably the typing I've been doing for the past couple of weeks had something to do with it. I can embroider and knit all right, so that's good.


I started taking my pills and my glop today. The doctor said the glop didn't taste very good, but I've drunk worse stuff in my career. It has some orange flavoring in it, and the worst part of it is that it has a sort of gritty consistency, since the active ingredient doesn't dissolve. It won't be hard to take, except that I have to take it either an hour or more after other meds or four to six hours before other meds, and scheduling will sometimes be a problem. As for the antibiotic, I think I am going to print out a calendar. When I'm taking it every day, the only problem will be trying to keep the doses about six hours apart, but when I go on every other day, or twice a week, it will be hard to remember what I did last. Of course, it's much to early to notice any effects, but I will be interested to see what happens. I hold out some hope for the glop I'm drinking, since it's supposed to bind the toxins, and the toxins are what cause my diarrhea.


The only thing I can say is, if you or anybody you know well begins to have a problem with constant diarrhea or symptoms of IBS-D (Google it), for heaven's sake get to a doctor soon and make him order fecal bacteria tests! I believe that the sooner it's diagnosed the easier it is to cure. Don't fiddle around for eight years like I did. I can't remember which of you suggested I  might have IBS, but I can't thank you enough. That sent me on an information search that finally resulted in getting a true diagnosis. Now that I have the right specialist, I believe we'll cure it one way or another. I hate to diagnose my own ailments, but it seems these days one has to.


It was a nice day. It was mostly sunny, with some high clouds, and except for a few hours right around noon, the winds were calm. The temperature only got up to 61, but it was nice out.


We all agree that the black flies are either all gone or mostly gone. I got a bite the night before last on the pinkie knuckle of my right hand, and I managed to break the blister, but after I take my bath tonight, I will put one of those advanced care bandages on it, and it will be all right. It's in a place where I pretty much expected to have it break, since I can't avoid hitting it. It itches, of course, but it will be all right. We think the hot weather we had a week or so ago probably did them in, and we're all glad of it. Even people who have lived here all their lives and aren't allergic to them like I am hate them. Well, I never said it was paradise. Close, but not quite.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end and call it a night. It's a nearly calm, partly cloudy evening in the field.


June 2

I went up to the north end at an early hour last night, but I spent too long staring at the floor, and it was 10:45 before I got to bed. I slept relatively well, although it was very humid. This is the time of year when the towels always feel wet.


I got up at 8:00, and only petted the cat for a little while, and I didn't knit at all. I managed to get myself together enough to get to my meeting at 9:30, although everybody else, including the one who said it should be as early as possible, was late, and we didn't get started until at least 10:00. We didn't get finished until noon, but we did get some business done. The brochures, which are the things that will be sent out to the world at large, have come in, and they are very pretty. Things are in motion for the summer events.  Some issues that have been plaguing CHIA seem to have come to a head.


I stopped at the store on my way home and got some eggs, which I had run out of and I had a long chat with Staci, who is the president of CHIA. I finished my surfing, and it was 2:30 before I started for Houghton. I called before I left to make sure my prescriptions were ready. I still haven't figured out how they price the vancomycin, since it's been a different price every time I've gotten it, but I now have my pills. I will start taking them tomorrow. I also picked up a few other things I needed at Wal-Mart. I didn't do badly, considering that I got kitty litter and more Roundup, because I couldn't find anything to play with. All I got was a package of 18 cotton washcloths, because at $4 I thought it was a real deal, and a package of kitchen dishrags. I needed those because one of my dishrags seems to have disappeared, and I prefer a cloth for cleaning. For one thing, I think they are more sanitary than sponges, because they can be laundered.


I toyed with the idea of stopping for dinner at Ming Bistro, but when I got out of Wal-Mart, I wasn't hungry, and I just wanted to get home. I made it by about 5:00.


The weather was lovely. It got into the middle 60s in Houghton, but it was in the middle 50s here. There was no wind. It was very humid all day, though. I guess you'd call it partly cloudy. There was a lot of sunshine but there were a lot of cirrus clouds, and down toward Houghton, there were some cumulus under them. 


Driving was good, too. Going down, all the traffic was in the opposite direction, and there wasn't any at all coming back, except for one slow guy I passed between Phoenix and the Eagle Harbor Cutoff Road. I still haven't yet seen a camper.


So that was another day of running around. Tomorrow, I will get my massage, which I need, and then I can veg for a while. One reason I moved here was so that I didn't have to run around all the time.


Now it's a partly cloudy, cool and humid evening in the field, and I will be off to the north end very soon.


June 1

My goodness, it's June already! Time sure does fly, and having fun has nothing to do with it.


I went up to the north end early last night and I was in bed by 10:30. I surprised myself. I half expected to have some trouble sleeping because of my trip today, but I didn't have any at all. I slept rather well. I did get up at 8:00, but that was all right, it meant I had time to do my morning stuff before I left.


I left a little before 12:00, and it was clear by the time I got to the junction of US-141 that I was going to be very early, so I slowed down and enjoyed the scenery. It helped that the only tourist I ran into was on the covered road. I don't think I saw even one RV or camper the whole trip. Amazing, although it is still a little cool for camping. I know there were campers at the Fort over the weekend, because I was smelling the smoke of the really nasty wood they sell.


Anyway, it's about 150 miles - I forgot to check the final figure  when I got home - and I did it in about 2h45m. If I'd had to I'm sure I could have done it in 2 hours. But then, there was almost no traffic.


I was able to get a very good handicap parking place, and it was a good thing I got there early because I wandered around the place for at least 15 minutes. This is one of those large medical center places, full of offices of individual practices. Everybody kept saying the office was on the third floor, but it wasn't, it was on the second floor and off in a corner - although I have to say it's one of the worst rabbit warrens I've been in lately.


Anyway, I got lots of time to knit because not only was I there early, the doctor was late. However, I think perhaps it was a useful trip. I will go back on vancomycin as soon as I get it, but this time, it will be for two weeks, followed by two more weeks every other day, then two more weeks of twice a week. The doctor seems to think I should be seeing results in a month. I'll keep my fingers crossed. If I don't get rid of the diarrhea and I get some more negative C. diff tests, then we have to look for another cause...and you know what that means. However, when I told him about my very unhappy experience with my one colonoscopy, he just shook his head. It's not supposed to be that way, and I knew that. He said he could do it in the hospital under general anesthetic, which sounded much better to me. However, I'm still hoping it doesn't come to that. Oh, yes, and he also prescribed some kind of unpleasant glop that's mixed with water that binds the toxin and should ease the diarrhea. That would be really nice.


Anyway, I started back about 4:30, which isn't the best time in Marquette. Besides, it had gotten very dark and cloudy outside, and while I was driving through the Marquette-Negaunee-Ishpeming corridor, I saw some really nice cloud-to-cloud lightning off in the west, and about the time I got out of town, it started raining, but in fits and starts. There was some very heavy rain and sometimes it would stop altogether. About the time I turned north, at the US-141 junction, it cleared up almost completely, and the rest of the trip home was in sunshine.


It was 69 and beautiful when I left here, and by the time I got to Marquette, it was about 83. I am pleased to report that my car's air conditioning works fine, thank you, although I could tell I was flushed and I was hot by the time I got to the doctor's office - my blood pressure was sky high (for me) and my temperature was 99.7. Geez, that's a respectable fever for me. I did cool down later, and by the time I left the Medical Center, it was in the mid 60s outside.


Once I got west of Ishpeming, traffic was minimal, although I did run into a few slow drivers, but not enough to slow me down. i stopped at Baraga for gas, and it was $2.64 a gallon, which is 15 a gallon cheaper than anywhere else I saw. I am rather surprised that the price of gas has actually gone down quite a bit in the last six weeks. I would have expected the reverse now that the tourist season has begun.


I took a detour on the way home and stopped at Wal-Mart to leave off my prescriptions, although I will have to go back tomorrow to pick them up. I wanted to drop them off tonight, because they don't keep enough vancomycin in stock. They should have it by tomorrow.


Then it was home, and I got here about 7:45. I am tired but hopeful. At least I am now dealing with the right specialist, so whatever my problem really is, have hope that eventually we'll cure it.


The doctor also ordered me to disinfect my bathrooms, so I will be working on that. It's possible that I reinfected myself, just because the spores are so hard to kill and they get all over the place, especially when I have one of my accidents.


When I called Johanna this morning to check on a  new massage appointment, she told me there is a committee meeting at 9:30 tomorrow morning, so I think I'd best go to bed soon. I can do that. I'm tired.


I didn't take the camera because I knew I'd be traveling too fast to stop to take pictures. The lilacs around Houghton are going already, and the daisies are beginning to come out beside the road. The thimbleberries are in bloom along our road and all over in Keweenaw, and the mountain ashes are in bloom. There are some other white flowering bushes that I can't identify. It's a much nicer trip now that the woods and roadsides are green. Between Chassell and Baraga, the lupines are coming out - and I forgot to mention that my lupines are out. Mine are all blue, though, and the ones that grow along the roadsides are all colors. So pretty! They're just coming into bloom, though.


One interesting thing I encountered on the way home is something I haven't seen for a number of years. There was an area on US-41 I ran through where it had  hot, then the temperature had dropped into the lower 60s and the humidity must have been close to 100%, and there was wispy fog over the road for probably five or six miles. It made it hard to see, but it was interesting.


So now it's a cloudy, calm evening in the field, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and call it a day.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM