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July, 2010

July 31
First of all, I'm sorry the journal didn't get posted until noon today, but my internet connection went down and it was late enough that I didn't want to stay up until it came back. It was fine this morning.

 

I went up to the north end late, and I stared at the floor for a long time, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept so hard that twice I woke up feeling like I was paralyzed from the neck down. I didn't get up until 9:30 or so, and I knitted a few rows on the shawl, much to Buster's disgust, before I got dressed. Then I decided I'd better use some of those bilberries, so I had bilberry pancakes for breakfast. They are so good, so much better than blueberries! They are tarter than blueberries, and they have much more flavor. Yum!

 

I didn't do a lot, although I unloaded the dishwasher and began to reload it. I have a bunch of pots and pans to wash, but I didn't get to that. My back was bothering me.

 

I had a nice call from Arthur this morning, because the journal hadn't been published when he called. He is at his summer place in North Carolina, since it is excruciatingly hot in Virginia. I was glad to hear that. I was afraid he and Mary Ann were going to give up on that place, and I think they need it. That was cheering. And I got a lot of email birthday greetings, which I appreciate very much. I have a lot of wonderful e-friends.

 

The weather was OK but not great. The temperature only got up to 71, and the low overnight was only 64, so it was cool, and it was very humid, over 80% humidity for most of the day (over 90% overnight). It was cloudy in the morning, although it cleared up somewhat during the day, and now it seems to be nearly clear. There was almost no wind at all. Every time I tried to do something, I started to sweat.

 

So it's past 7:00 now, and I have officially completed 69 years of life. Wow. I am ambivalent about it. Ten years ago on this day, I really wasn't sure I would even make it through to my 60th birthday, so that has been good. On the other hand, based upon my family history, I don't expect to have more than another ten years on this earth. I know that then I will be going to a better place, but I really love where I am now. So I feel sort of bittersweet about another birthday.

 

It seems like I will be able to stay here, I hope until I die, so that is good. I have been depressed all this spring, to the extent that I haven't been able to do anything much creative. There are several reasons for that, but it's not easy to live with. On the other hand, my life is nice enough that I have been having a hard time writing fiction, since that was always my escape from a life I didn't like very well. I've felt sort of in limbo for the last six months or so. Before that I was sick, so I didn't feel like doing anything then, either. I can only hope that trying to get my finances together will leave me feeling better, although it's going to be hard to stay here on what little I have. And I'm sure that has depressed me, too. I had always hoped not to have to worry about money when I got older, but evidently that is not my lot.

 

So turning 69 has a bittersweet feel to it. It's nice to still be here, and my health is pretty good, although I wish I could get rid of the C. diff once and for all. I wish I could get some strength in my legs and take something for the pain in my back, but most everybody has problems when they get old, and certainly mine aren't that major. I don't have heart problems or diabetes or any other serious chronic disease except arthritis (and a little gout). On balance, I'm doing pretty well. I give thanks every day that I'm still here, and at least my cancer problems seem to be over.

 

I celebrated with one of the rib eye steaks I got the other day, and it was good, although I couldn't eat much of it. I had asparagus with it. Of the things that freeze, asparagus is one that tastes just like fresh. I got mine from Schwans (it's a seasonal thing), and it was worth the price. I have one more meal out of the first box, and I have another box. I am also on my second JD, just in honor of the occasion.

 

Buster wanted some steak juice, but he can't have beef. He should have been content, since he got a lot of smoked fish spread earlier in the afternoon. But no, he wants some of everything I eat, although he wasn't too interested in the pancakes and sausage this morning.

 

I went out to the kitchen sometime in the early afternoon, and Jasmine was in one of her favorite places, sort of half behind one of the pillars on the porch, so her front end is in the sunshine and her back end is in the shade, and she was in a deep sleep, with her chin on the floor between her legs. Later, I opened the door from the kitchen, and she was very interested in that.

 

I wrote for a while this afternoon, but I was having my usual problem going back and forth in the story. Maybe if I had software that would let me turn the monitor sideways, so I could see whole pages at one time, it would be better, but I don't know. I'll probably reread it tomorrow and see how I feel about it. What I'm writing is really just filler, but I don't want it to sound like that.

 

So that was another quiet day in the field, meditating on my birthday. Now it's a calm, nearly clear evening, and it's time to try to get to bed a bit earlier. July is gone and so is another year in my history.

 

July 30
I stared at the floor for a while and I think it was around midnight when I got to bed. I slept all right - not great. I had spent a great deal of time standing yesterday, which isn't good for my legs, and they bothered me all night, as well as my left hip. Oh, well. I got up around 9:00 and knitted a while. I petted a cat, but he wasn't too interested when I took up my shawl. I got the first increase row of "Grass" done, but it will take a couple of rows to see how it looks. Like I said, it's a clunky pattern, but maybe nobody but me will notice that.

 

As for the rest of it, I didn't do much. I talked to the closing agent for my mortgage, and I talked to the person who is coordinating it, and I faxed her the receipts for my taxes. That, and trying to fund my checking account, is about all I did. Well, I also talked to the bank about my checking account, and now I don't understand the problem I had a while ago when they charged me a fee. According to the person I was talking to, my account is flagged as an employee account and I shouldn't be charged fees. So I am still confused, but evidently everything is set up right. We'll see.

 

I finished reading the story, and I actually typed a few words into it. I am in a transition before the climax of the story, and writing it is hard. Besides, one of my problems with writing long things like that on the computer is that I am used to being able to scan back several pages and get an overview of what I've written, and I find I have a hard time doing that on the computer.

 

I spent some time outdoors last night, and I came home with several bites. At least one or two seem to have been mosquito bites, but I have one on my hand that, from the way it itches, I'm afraid is a black fly bite. They are mostly gone, but if there's one around, it will find me and bite me. So I itch.

My internet connection just disappeared, so I can't check the weather history and I'm not sure this will upload. However, upward and onward.

The weather was so-so. The temperature got into the lower 70s with light winds, but it was humid and got steadily more cloudy as the day went on. I sort of ignored all that.

 

So that was a quiet day, and it's my last day at 68 years. I'll try to enjoy it as best I can. It's now a cloudy, warmish and humid night in the field.

 

July 29
I think I didn't do anything much before I took my bath last night, and I was in bed around midnight - I think, I don't remember. I slept well, I'm happy to say, and I didn't get up until around 9:30 this morning.

 

It started out to be a quiet day. The last night gathering was tonight, and I had it all planned out. I went to the post office - where there was a a nice gift from one of my readers, for which I thank him - and I stopped at the fish market for smoked fish spread.

 

Well. I had heard from the people who are helping me refinance my mortgage, and it will be closing a week from tomorrow, but when she called me back to tell me the time was changed, she said, oh, yeah, what about the taxes? Huh? The taxes aren't due until September 14. Well, now they want them paid before closing or they will pay them and add that to what I owe. No way. So at 3:45, I had to track down the township treasurer at her shop, pay my taxes, and wait until she printed two official receipts. Grr. That wasn't supposed to happen. I hope she doesn't deposit the check tomorrow, is all I have to say.

 

Anyway, I had planned to get my offerings for dinner - appetizers - together, change my clothes a bit, and get off to Nancy and Chip's in a more or less leisurely manner. As it was, I had to scurry around to gather everything together, and I was only glad that I didn't forget anything. I was sweating when I finally got there.

 

It was a fun evening as usual. They are very nice people.

 

The weather was nice. The temperature only got up to 69, but there was hardly any wind and it wasn't excessively humid. It was partly cloudy all day, and while it clouded up a bit near sunset, it was a pretty day.

 

So that was a day that didn't turn out exactly the way I hoped it would - except for the last part - and I'm off to the north end. Now it's a partly cloudy, calm night in the field and it's time for bed.

 

July 28
When I got to the north end last night, I knitted for quite a while and started the first rows of the second pattern I don't like it very well - it's rather clunky - but I see why they did it the way they did, and I don't think I could change it for the better. Anyway, it was midnight when I got to bed.

 

I didn't sleep well. It was very humid and it felt cool, even though the temperature was in the low 70s all night. Then around 3:00 the wind picked up, and I had to shut the porch door. Eventually, I pulled up the comforter, and then I felt better, but in the meantime I had acquired a stiff neck. I think it was mostly the humidity, but I had a glass of rather strong iced tea yesterday afternoon, and it's possible the caffeine affected me, too.

 

I got up around 9:30, I think, and I knitted for a while before I got dressed. The task of the day was food, but with one thing and another it was 1:30 before I left, then I had to stop at the post office to mail a bill.

 

When I got to the blinker, they had US-41 barricaded. I knew what they are doing - they are replacing culverts and eventually they will be repairing all the bumps and ripples in the covered road - but it was annoying. So I went down M-26 for the first time in a long time. It was a beautiful day for a ride along the shore - nearly clear and sunny, with a lot of wind and quite a sea running, but it was slow going, even though all the traffic was coming in the other direction. They resurfaced M-26 between Copper Harbor and Eagle River, and while they have roughed up the center and placed the reflectors, they haven't striped it yet. They have repaved about half of the Eagle Harbor Cutoff road, but the other half, into town, is in really terrible condition. They are replacing water mains in Eagle Harbor, so I suppose they are waiting until that is over to complete the paving - or I hope they are.

 

I had to stop at Ace Hardware. When I went to plug in my food processor last night to slice onions, I discovered that the GRD receptacle would not reset, so all six plugs at that end of the kitchen were dead. So I had to get a new one. I believe I can replace it myself, even without turning off the circuit breaker, although I've never had to deal with one of these things before. You just move the wires one at a time to the same place on the new receptacle. Now I have another task.

 

Then it was off to Pat's, where I did the usual damage. I needed bread and I was getting low on OJ, so I figured I would just do my shopping for the month. At some point, I will have to go to Wal-Mart and Econo, because there are a few things I like that I can't get at Pat's, like my royal rice. There were several things they had listed in their sale flyers that I couldn't find, like raspberries and blackberries and flatiron steaks. I got some rib steaks at a very good price, however, so now the freezer will be stocked with beef. I suppose I forgot some things, but I usually do.

 

I stopped for gas - $2.82 - and had to use the restroom, and I started home around 3:45. There wasn't much traffic, although there was one guy who insisted on going 5 to 10 mph under the speed limit and speeding up and slowing down. I thought I would lose him at Cliff Drive, but wouldn't you know it, he turned that way, too. However, there is little enough traffic and enough straight stretches that I was able to pass him - and then I realized he must be really confused, because he pulled over onto the shoulder after I passed him, and there were no other cars around.

 

When I got to the Eagle Harbor Cutoff road, they had the orange sign covered, so I continued on US-41 - and discovered a barricade right at Lac Labelle Road, which is at least 15 miles north of the cutoff. Well, I wasn't going back, so I went around the barricade, and discovered that, at least at 4:00 in the afternoon, they had just barricaded the road to try to keep traffic down. They were finishing up their work, and there are any number of placed where they have replaced culverts, but when I passed a semi going in the opposite direction, I decided there wasn't anything to keep me from going on. A couple of people followed me, and except for one area around Mandan, there was no reason whatsoever that they should have had the barricades up. The problem is, if you don't turn onto the cutoff, you either take US-41 or you turn around and go back and add probably 40 miles to your trip to Copper Harbor. Grr. But that's typical of our Road Commission.

 

Anyway, I made it home by 4:30, and I unloaded the car right away, since while I had taken the coolers, I didn't take any ice packs, and I had some frozen stuff to put away. So now I have the important things that get used up - bread, OJ and boos - for the next month.

 

The weather was beautiful, and it was a lovely day to be out and about, although it was windy. the temperature only got up to 73, but there was a wind from the north in the 15-30 mph range, which made it feel rather cool out here in the field. There were a few clouds, but not many, and it was a really pretty day. The lake was so blue, and the whitecaps were so white!

 

I was heartened to see so much traffic on M-26, all going toward Copper Harbor, and so many people in the two roadside parks and stopped along the roads. There were four or five cars parked at the rock piles at the Cliff Mine, and I passed any number of cars parked along side the road for berry picking. There are a lot of people in Copper Harbor, too, and Pat's was a zoo. I guess that means it's a good summer.

 

Of course, I would far prefer it was quiet and there wasn't anybody around, but I keep reminding myself that all those people mean money coming into Keweenaw, and I resign myself to living in a tourist destination.

 

So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end and try to sleep better tonight. One of my problems last night was that I kept trying to think about continuing the story I'm reading, and I just couldn't come up with anything. I know how it climaxes, but I have several months of time to write about before that, and I really drew a blank. Maybe it will be easier tonight - or maybe I won't stay awake and thinking, which would be better.

 

Now it's a coolish, partly cloudy night in the field, and the moon should keep it bright again.

 

July 27
For some reason, I got to playing around with the computer, and it was 2:30 before I got to bed. Oh, well. I got up around 10:00, which was too early by far.

 

As a result of that, I didn't do anything. I think I should probably run the dishwasher tonight, but that is pretty well set up. And I cooked. I wasn't very hungry, but I had defrosted a package of pork chops, so I thought I'd better cook them. It tasted good, but I still have to put away the leftovers.

 

It was a warm, cloudy day in the field. The NWS station missed a couple of hours' worth of data, but it was around 75 when I got up. The high was 81 at 3:00, then it dropped back a bit, and between 4:00 and 5:00 we had a short, violent thunderstorm. Actually, all the thunder went either north or south of us, but we had 0.14" of rain in about 15 minutes. Needless to say, it has been extremely humid ever since. even though it didn't warm up all that much. Now there is a breeze and there is a huge area of rain south of us, with some very heavy rain on its following edge, although most of that is going due east. Oh, I think it's raining. I'd better get the doors closed, so I don't wet down the floor again.

 

I worked on the shawl again, and I only have about 10 rows left of the first part, then I can change to one strand of a new color and a slightly different pattern. I'm still in the small part. And this evening, after the talking was over, I read some more of the story I would like to write on.

 

Oh, that's right. I did do one thing: I got the fridge cleaned out. The veggie drawer had had a bunch of stuff die in it - really yucky - and I cleaned that up. Those veggie drawers are actually huge, much too big to fit in the sink. Fortunately, I have one of those fancy faucets that has a gooseneck on it, so I was able to get it washed out and rinsed. Things are much better in there already.

 

So that was a nearly nothing day, and now it's time to crash. It's a warm, humid, rainy evening in the field.

 

July 26
I don't remember what I did when I got up to the north end last night, but it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well except for the last couple of hours, when my hips were sore. I got up around 9:00.

 

Monday is one of the days when there is a lot to read - and I still haven't read a couple of articles from Science News last week - so I didn't anything. While the talking was going on this evening, I knitted on the shawl.

This shawl starts in the middle of the neck, and I'm still working on the small part. It will end up 72" wide and 36" long at the back, so there will be a lot of stitches. I have to say the yarn is one of the less soft I have gotten from that source (Knit Picks), but the colors are pretty, except for the orange. I am working with turquoise now. It is rather boring, all yarn over, knit two together. It gets more interesting later.

 

My replacement temperature sensor came today, but it's a fiddly thing to get it running, so I will wait until tomorrow to try it. I hope it works! I got the cheaper one, which doesn't have a display on it, but I will try to mount it outside on the deck railing. They suggest mounting them under the eaves, but not only can I not get up there, I don't want to put holes in my nice siding. We'll see. I think they should be waterproof, but then, the make I have is a piece of junk anyway, so it doesn't matter much.

 

The weather was gorgeous again. The temperature got up to 81 a couple of times, but for most of the day it was in the high 70s. There was a moderate north wind until about 5:00, when it went away. There were clouds and haze in the sky, but it didn't interfere with the sunshine very much.

 

This evening was church, and amazingly enough, there were 27 people, including the pastor. They didn't have enough hymnals, so I had to sit with one of the nice ladies and try to see hers. I'm not seeing all that well lately, but I did the best I could. Last week there were eight of us, so you never know. I imagine Pastor Fundum was thrilled to have such a group. And the young man who sings also brought goodies again, so that was nice.

 

Then I got to talking to Mary Ann again, and I didn't get home until 9:30. Oh, well. Sometimes I have to be social.

 

Now it is getting late, and I have to bring in the bird feeders. It's a warm, calm, and nearly clear evening in the field.

 

July 25
Well, I'm not sure this will upload, since i seem to have lost my connection. We'll see.

 

I stared at the floor for quite a while last night, and it was 11:30 when I got to bed again. I slept OK, although there were some dreams and some sore joints. I got up around 9:00, and I petted a cat and knitted on the Sockotta sock. It's coming along. I have about 25 more rows to do on the leg.

 

I was a little discombobulated by my Lutheran Hour sermon this morning. It was clearly written for the last Sunday of the calendar year, not the last Sunday of my personal year.

 

I didn't do much, but I did do three loads of wash, including a huge one. The last time I washed, most of the tops seemed to have grease stains on them, and since I didn't pre-treat them, they didn't come out. I have always had that trouble with Eddie Bauer knits. So not only did I have to wash all the tops I've worn in the past four weeks, I had to rewash all the ones from before that. I guess if I'd realized how many there were, I could have done a load in the meantime, but oh, well. Everything is sitting in the dryer, dry. I will fold tomorrow, maybe.

 

The weather was lovely. It was clear all day, although there was a haze in the sky. It was quite windy this morning, and for most of the afternoon, it was around 15 mph from the north. The temperature finally got up to 75 around 4:00 and it stayed there for the next four hours, with no wind at all. Nice.

Now the wireless is back, but there is something wrong with the camera driver. Oh, well. I will reboot and see how it is then.

 

This afternoon, I started the multicolored shawl. It will probably be very pretty, but it's going to be pretty boring for most of it - just yarn over, knit two together forever. Too complicated to knit while I read, but too boring to be interesting. I will persevere. This evening I finished reading the fantasy story and listing all the names in it, so now I have name lists for all the finished stuff and some of the unfinished stuff. I read through the backstory last night, and I guess I am going to try to write it on the computer after all. One of these days, I will end up taking the laptop up to the north end.

 

So now it is dark, and it is time to toddle up to the north end and try not to diddle around for very long. It's a clear, calm and quite warm evening in the field.

 

July 24
The trouble with summer is that the days are so long that I keep forgetting it's getting late. The trouble with winter is that the days are so short that it's dark all the time and I lose track of time. The only time I can do things when I should is in the spring and fall, and then I'm either used to it being light all the time or dark all the time. Well, it's a good excuse anyway. In this part of the world, it isn't possible to live on just sun time unless you don't need more than five or six hours of sleep a night and you hibernate in the winter. Wish I could, though.

 

I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night, but then I got working on my latest little black book. i am starting a little 3"x 5" book where I write down the particulars of every sock I make. I wish I'd started that a long time ago, but there's no time like now. I did make it into bed before 11:30, but I didn't feel like I slept very well. it was warm and humid all night.

 

I got up about 8:45, and I finished the Panda Cotton sock - finally! I didn't even look to see how well they match. Then I added master patterns for all needle sizes to the book, so it was late when I got to the studio.

 

All my good intentions went by the wayside today. It was coolish and dampish - we had 0.3" of rain between 8:00 and 1:00 - and my back wasn't good. So instead of doing the shouldas I did the wannas.

 

I wound balls of all ten skeins of lace weight yarn I got yesterday. It's not easy. The only place my swift will attach is to the door, which makes it vertical (and incidentally makes it impossible to get out the door when it's attached), and the only place I could find to attach the ball winder was to a drawer front, which makes that vertical, too. When I was doing the balls for the multicolor shawl, I wound them by hand, because I had to weigh them to make sure I was dividing the skein into two equal halves. I did OK - I was off a bit on several, but I don' t think it will matter much. I wound the other ones on the winder, which I don't think was a good idea, but oh, well. It went faster. The wooden swift has a lot of inertia and a lot of friction in one or two places, which means the yarn is under a lot of tension when it goes into the ball. They do compress when I take them off the winder, but not enough, I think. Anyway, that task is done. Now I can start knitting.

 

The weather was so-so. It rained in the morning, as I mentioned, although it was more like a drizzle. The temperature was in the middle 60s for most of that time, and it has just now risen to 69. There wasn't any wind, fortunately. Around 2:00 it started to clear up. and it is now very nice, although there is that high haze that makes the sky very pale blue. The humidity is still awful.

I hope the drizzle didn't keep the bikers at home. I did hear one of the bands a while ago, so loudly that I was very glad I wasn't there.

 

I have been able to have more of the house opened up this summer than I have in a long time, and I enjoy listening to the out-of-doors. Some little bird has a nest north of the house, I think in the birch bushes on my lot line, and it is so much fun to hear the nestlings setting up a fuss when mom or dad comes with something to eat. They're getting louder, so I guess they're getting older. There was something in the grove of trees behind the house, too, but I haven't heard them lately, so I guess they fledged. Tee-hee. At least four times today I heard a pileated woodpecker sounding off, and I heard one waling away at a tree this morning. The past two mornings there have also been some much quieter pecks, either a downy or a hairy. I'm not sure what trees they're going after, but there certainly are enough dead or dying ones around. The other morning, I heard the coyotes, too, much later than I would have thought.

 

I love to hear those pileated woodpeckers. They have a very loud "kie-kie-kie-kie" call that you can hear for a long way away. These guys were pretty close, though, and I'm glad to hear that.

 

I got to look at the feeders a bit, and I saw at least two female hummingbirds, although they were skittish and didn't stay long, if at all. At one point there was something peeping in the tree, so something has fledged and needs to be fed - something small, like a chickadee or a nuthatch.

 

The only thing that disappoints me a bit is that there isn't the huge chorus of birdsongs there was in Detroit. I don't have any robins or cardinals, who are usually the ones who greet the dawn (there are robins in the area, but not in the woods where I live), then there was a chorus of other birds a little later. It's really very quiet around here in the mornings, except for that peep-peep-peeping in the bushes.

 

So that was a quiet day, and it's time to totter up to the north end again. The sun is casting long golden fingers across the harbor, and the squirrels are trying to get a last few seeds into themselves before I take the feeders in. It's a clear, calm, coolish, damp evening in the field.

 

July 23
I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour again, but I didn't write, I only read off the end of the story, and I was in bed before 10:30. I didn't sleep well. I guess my activities of yesterday left my mind in a rather roiled up condition. It was also rather warm and very humid, which meant I was sore. However, I made up for it by not getting up until 9:00.

 

I knitted, both before Buster came and afterwards, and I am ready to start the toe of the sock. I had exactly enough yarn to finish the first sock in one ball, and I didn't have that much in this one, so I'm glad I got three balls, or I would have had one sock with a toe out of some other yarn. Buster came late and got his petting, but he went away when I started knitting again.

 

I was going to do something today. Really, I was. All that got done, however, was to go to the post office and get the kitty litter inside. There are now five jugs of kitty litter sitting in the hall in front of the basement door.

 

There are now kits for three knitted shawls, and ten skeins of lace-weight yarn to wind into balls. I want to get started on one of those. However, the easier one uses two threads together, which means I am going to have to figure out how to split each skein into about equal parts. I can do that with a scale - a little trick I read someplace - but that will mean I can't wind them using my ball winder. I will have to wind each ball by hand. So there is some gotcha in every good idea. Tomorrow. The other two shawls both have lots and lots of nupps (little bumps), but maybe that will get me used to them before I start back at my expensive alpaca yarn. I feel the need to knit something a little more difficult than socks or even sweaters, and I haven't actually finished anything in knitted lace for a long time.

 

Tonight, I had some of my frozen Chinese, which is pretty good, except that they put too many carrots in it. I didn't think carrots were a Sichuan vegetable. I think, though, that Buster is getting weird in his old age. He wanted to lick the dish when I was done, and Sichuan sauce (not spicy, unfortunately) isn't something he used to like. Weird.

 

The weather turned out to be lovely. It was cloudy when I got up this morning, and it didn't begin to clear up until after 3:00. Then the wind got gusty, with gusts up to 29 mph from the north, and the temperature went up to 75, and the clouds flew away to the south. It has been a beautiful, if windy afternoon. I did have to close the door from the bedroom to the porch, because the wind was cool, coming off the lake like it was. I have a new temperature sensor coming, but I don't know when it will get here. I miss it, since I don't think it got that warm here.

 

So that was another nearly lost day, and I will be a little later tonight. Maybe that will mean I'll sleep better. It's a nearly clear, warm, breezy evening in the field.

 

July 22
I went up to the north end early - or relatively early - last night, and I wrote until I was having a hard time seeing, and I got the rewrite done. I was in bed not long after 10:30 again, and I slept pretty well. I am still having trouble with my right shoulder, but I slept well enough that I didn't get up until 8:45. Having the door open all night seemed to help a lot, although it didn't get very cool last night.

 

I knitted quite a bit and petted a cat, so it wasn't very early that I got to the studio.

 

I had intended to do something today, but Thursday is the day there are a lot of things to read, some of which I haven't read yet, and I ended up not doing anything. Oh, well. I did spend a long time on the phone with the people who are helping me with my financial situation, and I had to do a lot of faxing. Eventually we may get that taken care of, but the government is involved, so it will take a while.

 

The weather was nice again. the temperature only got into the middle 60s overnight, and it got up to 75 for most of the afternoon. There was a light wind, mostly from the south, and it wasn't too humid, at least for summer. It was a nice day, and I had both patio doors open all afternoon. There were some clouds in the sky, but there was a lot of sunshine, too. A nice summer day. If it never got over 75 I wouldn't be unhappy.

 

Suzanne, Paul and Tyler stopped by this afternoon and left me with a whole bag of goodies, from freezer strawberry jam to banana bread. And two pints of pickled beets. Suzanne puts some spices in her beets, I think perhaps cloves, and they are so much better than store-bought. I guess they must be an acquired taste or something, but I am more than happy to take any excess off her hands! I like beets every way but Harvard (which I haven't heard about in many years, but they are done with orange juice, and they are much too sweet), and I will eat any I can get. I think you probably know that, after my forays to Hughes farm.

 

So it was another lost day, and I will be going up to the north end shortly. Maybe I will write a little, now that I am through with my rewrite, but maybe I will just read from where I left off to the end and try to write a little tomorrow.

 

I've gotten a birthday card and a birthday email from friends already, but hey, guys, I have another week before I have to roll over to a new year. I thank you all very much, but gee, do you need to be so previous? As I said to one friend, ten years ago I didn't know if I'd even make it through the next year, so any age is a good one. On the other hand, it keeps reminding me that I don't have very many years left. The oldest any of my immediate family lived to be was my one grandmother who died at, I think, 79. So I must try to make the most, after my own fashion, of the time I have left. More of that a week from Saturday when I have to admit my age again.

 

Now it's a lovely, nearly clear evening in the field and it's time to totter up to the north end.

 

July 21
This time I did. I went up to the north end early and wrote for a while. I got about half of the scene rewritten, and maybe. just maybe, I can finish it tonight. I got to bed around 10:30. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep very well. It was very humid, and that did a number on my joints, so I was uncomfortable, and the temperature was sort of in the middle, where I couldn't get the temperature inside my cocoon right. I guess, looking at the temperature history, that I should have opened the door and cooled it down some more. Maybe tonight.

 

I got up around 8:00, and I petted a cat and knitted for quite a while. I am getting tired of that Panda Cotton sock, and I will be really, really glad when it is done. Only now I want to finish it and get it over with.

 

I had intended to do something big today, like taking all the kitty litter (100 lbs, in five containers) downstairs and doing the litter trays, but other things intervened. I dropped all the orange bags on the floor in the studio, and when I bent to pick them up, there was something major wrong with my right shoulder, such that I could see that lifting and carrying weren't going to work very well. Then there were a couple of things I had to mail, so I went to the post office, and by the time I got through talking to Marty and looked through the mail, it was too late.

 

I did get the dishwasher unloaded and a lot of pots and pans put away, except for the ones I had to wash over. I should only wash up those pans when it's very light in the kitchen. I had shrimp and lobster ravioli for dinner. They are good, but the garlic butter sauce sort of overpowers the delicate seafood. At the price they want for them, I won't buy them again. I only did this time because I had a generous coupon. The chicken mushroom ones in Marsala wine sauce are better. Buster thought the sauce was yummy, but he is into anything with butter, including the plate from my scrambled eggs this morning. Funny little cat.

 

It was a glorious day in the field. The temperature got up to 73, and there was a north wind in the 15-25 mph range all day. It was perfectly clear all day, although now there are few wispy cirrus clouds over in the south. It was a really lovely day to be out.

 

My long, if not very deep, sleep left me feeling better today, and I took a little Imodium, which seems to have settled my gut for the time being. Really, I was planning to go downstairs, but I ran out of time, and there was that shoulder...

 

So now it's a lovely, warm, breezy evening in the field, and I will be going up to the north end early again and maybe I can finish my rewrite. Most of what I needed to change is done, but I need to copy the rest of it and add a few things. It amounted to about ten handwritten pages, which is a lot, but I wanted to get it right while I'm thinking about it. The next time I get into the basement, I really have to find my stash of narrow-ruled three-ring paper.

 

July 20
Well, I didn't. I felt the need to unwind a bit before I went to bed. It was warm enough in the bathroom that I was having trouble keeping my tension on the sock, so I ended up reading my bible. As a result, it was about 12:30 when I got to bed. I slept for a solid six hours, which is something like a record. I was up then and around 7:30, and then I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 10:00. So one way or another, I got my sleep. I petted a cat and knitted a while.

 

I ended up not doing anything again. Part of it was that the humidity is doing a number on my arthritis, particularly my back. I even forgot all about the bird feeders until it was too late to put them out. I did kind of clean up the kitchen a bit, and I will be running the dishwasher tonight. I've been only putting down one dish of cat food a day, since I think Buster is the only one who eats it, so it's when I run out of other stuff or the dishwasher gets full rather than when I run out of cat dishes.

 

I've been treating my cellulitis, and it is looking better, I think, so that is under control. On the other hand, I have diarrhea again. I'm afraid I must have reinfected myself. I will see how it goes for a few more days before I call the doctor in Marquette, and hope that I can eventually get the bathrooms cleaned...not that they don't need it.

 

The weather was so-so. It was cloudy for most of the early part of the day, and around 2:00 a moderate thunderstorm moved in. It rained off and on until about 5:00, and we got 0.1" of rain. Then it began to clear up, and now it's partly cloudy and pretty. The temperature reached 73 around noon, then it dropped back when it started to rain. There was almost no wind except during the rain.

 

So it was another nothing day, and it's a lovely, calm evening in the field.

 

July 19
I don't remember exactly what I did last night, but it was midnight before I got to bed. I got up around 8:00. I had been having an interesting dream for about an hour before that (which I've forgotten), so I wasn't sleeping soundly. I petted the cat a bit, but I didn't knit.

 

The reason was, there was a CHIA meeting at 10:00, and I have been trying to go to those. This one was a short one - everything is in motion, and there's not much to decide right now. One interesting thing came up. Apparently after the fireworks there was somebody trying to collect money, and when the people he accosted refused, he got belligerent. The suggestion was made to just report it to the sheriff and drop it. CHIA collects donations before the fireworks, but not afterwards, when everybody is trying to get out of town. The estimate was, there were 10,000 people in town. I was glad I was here. It must have been wall-to-wall people.

 

So I came home and did nothing for the rest of the afternoon. I did start weaving my bars, but I only got two done. I'm not quite sure how those picots are supposed to work, but I don't think I'm doing them right.

 

This evening was vespers again, and I feel so much at home with Pastor Fundum and the people who come. There are three or four ladies who come up from Calumet or Lake Linden! How nice of them. Anyway, a young man who does a lot - he even sang a solo - baked a cake, so we had a fellowship hour or more afterwards, and it was so nice. I feel quite at home with those people. Mary Ann and her husband were there - I had never met him before - and we had a nice chat. So I didn't get home until 9:30. Buster was not pleased, but I am so glad to be getting my churching.

 

The weather was so-so. There was some sunshine, and the temperature got up to 73 for a while, with light to no winds. While we were getting ready to eat, I looked out and for a moment I couldn't understand what I was seeing, then I realized that the fog had moved in, and it is thick now. Actually, after checking the camera, the fog moved in right around 7:00. So the humidity is 100%, and it's icky.

 

I ate before church, and I was glad I did, but I am finishing my wine. Then I will go up to the north end and try - again - to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a foggy, cool night in the field.

 

July 18
When I went out to bring in the bird feeders, there was a lovely sunset in the northwest, but it was too far north for me to get any pictures.

 

I read for a while when I got to the north end, and I didn't get to bed until around midnight or a little later. I slept relatively well, although I had some shoulder and hip problems. I got up around 9:00. I knitted through the heel of the sock and petted a cat before I got dressed.

 

And I did almost nothing else. I did get the pails filled with birdseed, and sometime in the next couple of weeks, I'm going to have to go and get birdseed. Probably it will be a good thing - I am getting a list of stuff I need at Wal-Mart, and I should stop at Econo for a few things they have that Pat's doesn't.

 

It was a coolish day. It got to 73 briefly, but for most of the day it was around 68. There was almost no wind for the entire afternoon, which was a nice change. It was cloudy until after 5:00, and it has now cleared almost completely.

 

So there is another lost day, and I started reading the fantasy again - to make a list of names, or that's my excuse - so maybe I won't have to read when I go up to the north end. It's a cool, calm and nearly clear evening in the field.

 

July 17
When I reboot the computer, I check several things, including my internet access and the camera. When I opened the camera app, I could see the moon, so I took a late picture, and it came out better than I thought it would. There is the crescent moon, and over on the left is Venus, shining brightly through the clouds. I think the clouds went away after a while.

I read for a while again, and it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept reasonably well, but I was wakeful for a while about the time it was getting light, so when I got up at 8:45, I hadn't really had enough sleep. And there went my big plans for the day. Sigh. There are a few things I really need to do around here.

 

I will say that even though I've been taking my increased dose of vitamin D for just a few days, I can feel the difference already. Now if I can get enough sleep...

 

So I did nothing much except my surfing and some embroidery. I have the cutting done on the yellow Hardanger, but I haven't started the bars - with picots - yet. I discovered that nobody has the soap (Phisoderm) I use in stock, so I asked the company if they are discontinuing it. I hope not. I'm not sure what I will do if it is. I have a supply of the old stuff to last a while, but not all that long. And tonight I made some changes to my Amazon subscriptions. I miscalculated when to send a couple of things. That is the neatest service they have, if they have something you use all the time, like toilet paper. And I've found it's really cheap. I suppose if you have a Costco around, it isn't so necessary, but up here in the Northwoods, it's really nice.

 

This evening, I went to dinner with the group who always spends two weeks up here every year, although Chip and Nancy aren't with us yet. They are such nice people! One couple and their grandson are from central Wisconsin, and the other couple live in Oakland, CA. They all met up here, and they all love it here. The men are fishermen and the women walk a lot. I wish I could go with them. So that was a nice evening.

 

The weather was pretty good, although it was cloudy for part of the day. The temperature only got to 69, and the winds got up to around 20 mph from the north, although they have died down almost completely now.

 

It was better weather to put out the bird feeders, and while I was doing that, I saw a movement in the tree, and when I looked carefully, there was a little red-breasted nuthatch waiting. I think he grabbed a seed out of the cedar feeder before I was through hanging the other feeders. They are so cute! Tomorrow I really must fill the seed pails, because the deck feeder is getting empty.

 

So that was my day, and I will be going up to the north end shortly and hope to get a little more sleep tonight. It's a calm, coolish evening in the field.

 

July 16
When I got to the north end last night, I read off the end of the story, noting the part - several pages, unfortunately - that I have to rewrite. This is when I wish I could compose on the computer. I got to bed around 11:30, I think. I slept well, even though it didn't get very cool overnight. I got up around 8:45. I think, and I petted a cat and knitted quite a bit. I placed my 50 row marker, and then I discovered that the leg of that sock is 72 rows, so I have about 20 more to go. It's not something I want to do while I'm reading, because I'm having to be very careful about my tension, so the two socks will match.

 

This was supposed to be my put-away day, but I didn't get much of it done. I did get the dishwasher unloaded, but when I did that, my back got really bad, so the rest of it will have to wait. At least some of it is done. However, I made more pots and pans, because I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

The weather was beautiful, but a little worm. The temperature got up to 81 for several hours this afternoon. However, the wind was so strong that not only didn't the bird feeders get put out again, the northwest wind, with gusts up to 31 mph, was strong enough across the water that it didn't feel that warm here - probably it wasn't. I must break down and get a new temperature sensor. Anyway, it was clear and lovely, with nice whitecaps on the harbor, until just a little while ago, when it clouded up.

 

Otherwise, I embroidered a bit, but I'm not done with the satin stitch on the yellow Hardanger thing.

 

The kitties were somnambulant enough that I wonder about the weather. At one point, I went through the great room on the way to the bathroom and Buster was curled up in a little ball on the kitty condo with his paw on his forehead, sound asleep. Looking at him this morning, I think possibly he has gained a couple of ounces. His sides don't dish in as much, I don't think. He has been eating well, for the time. His trouble is, he either gets nervous or has a hairball, and then he doesn't eat much and he loses weight. He is too skinny to do that. I wish I could give him a little of mine.

 

So that was another nothing day, and it's time to totter up to the north end again. It's a warm, cloudy night in the field, but fortunately, the wind is dropping.

 

July 15
So July is half over. Wow. Sixteen more days before I have to officially admit I'm a year older.

 

I read for quite a while last night, and it was just a bit before midnight when I got to bed. I slept pretty well, although I was up several times. I think the reason I wasn't sleeping very well a week or so ago was that I was cold. Since I've been pulling up the comforter, I've slept much better. That's just another reason I'm not a good traveler.

 

I was awakened around 8:45 by a phone call from the doctor. It seems that since I started taking vitamin D, they have revised what they think is the normal blood level of D3, and while by the old standard, my results would have been considered all right, now they are still considered quite low. So by that standard, my original tests would probably have meant I was actually deficient, not just insufficient. Anyway, now I am taking three times as much a day, and we'll test again in six weeks. There are things I like about the local doctor. He keeps after things.

 

So anyway, I got up and petted a cat and knitted for a while. I have finally gotten beyond the point where I ripped out the sock, so I am actually making progress at last.

 

And that was just about all I did. I went to the post office and stopped at the store to lay in enough lettuce for the weekend. Otherwise, not much. The bird feeders didn't get put out today because of the wind.

 

It was a beautiful day, but very windy. The gusts were up to 30 mph, and for a while we had sustained winds of 21 mph. There weren't any clouds. The temperature only got below 70 for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, and it rose steadily from 70 early in the morning to 76 now. The wind was from the northwest, and that meant that until just a while ago, it was rather cool around here. That's all right with me, when the sky and the harbor are so clear and blue and there are little whitecaps showing on the water. But then, I like it when it's perfectly calm, too.

 

This afternoon I had an annoying thing happen. I had set aside something I wanted to buy after my credit card rolled over, and I got an email saying "last chance", but when I went to check on it, it wasn't there at all! Apparently they more than sold out of it, and I didn't get the email until after it was gone. So I called and had a nice chat with a nice lady and expressed my displeasure. All I can hope is that they decide to bring back the kit, like they did with one other one I wanted. The least they could have done was send the email yesterday, when I might have been able to get one.

 

So that was my lost day, and now I will go up to the north end. I may write for a while. I am at the point where I have to rewrite some of what I had written, because I left out a couple of characters. Oops.

 

It's a breezy, warm and very pretty evening in the field.

 

July 14
I read for a while, then I stared at the floor for a while, so it was around midnight when I got to bed. It was humid, and while there were stars when I was up in the night, I was very creaky all night. Still am. I got up around 8:30, I think, and I petted a cat and knitted, as usual. I did forget to take my first pill until after I was dressed.

 

The Panda Cotton sock will look OK, I guess. The pattern isn't quite as nice as on the first sock, but it's not as bad as it looked on my other tries. There are at least some yellow blobs, and some of them even have pink on top and bottom, so that is good. Most times I don't care that the two socks aren't exact copies, but in this case I liked the way the first one looked so well that I wanted the second one to be the same. Oh, well. It will do.

 

It was so humid and I was so creaky that I didn't do much of anything that required standing up. I finished the first Hardanger piece and started the second one. The first one turned out very nice. Last night, I got to thinking about picots, so I went out to the Nordic Needle website, and they did have instructions for picots, so I downloaded them. In the course of searching for that, I discovered that Hardanger should always be capitalized, since it is actually the name of a region in Sweden. OK, I can do that. The first little thing was done in overdyed thread that shaded from medium blue to lavender. The second one is in a very pale thread that has shades of pale yellow, pale apricot and very pale green. Normally those aren't my colors, but I do like this thread. One of the real reasons I subscribed to this program was just to see some of the newer variegated threads that have come out since I stopped collecting threads.

 

I had to fax a bunch of stuff this afternoon, which was a real trip. I haven't had to fax anything in quite a while, and in between the dampness and the cat hair on the feed rollers of the printer, I had a horrible time. Eventually I got it all done, but it was hard, and I had to stand a lot to play with the printer. Since it is half-dead, when the feed would jam, the only way I could clear it was to turn it off, and that meant I lost the number I was faxing to. Well, that is done, and I think that is the last part of getting my finances straight. I hope so.

 

The weather wasn't very nice. It was cloudy when I got up, and it never really lightened up. The temperature hit 77 at noon, but then it got really dark and the temperature went down to around 70. The wind picked up, and starting around 2:00 it began to rain lightly. Now it is raining and very windy, from the southwest, and I may not even try to bring in the bird feeders tonight. We've had almost a quarter inch of rain. The wind has been i the 15-30 mph range from the southwest all afternoon. I understand it's supposed to clear up later tonight. Right now it's not nice at all outside, although the temperature is only about 68.

 

So that was just about a lost day, and I'm off to the north end. It's a dark, windy and rainy night in the field. Yuck.

 

July 13
I was late last night. I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour, but I read for a while, then I spent a long time staring at the floor, so it was 12:30 when I turned out the light. Oh, well. There were stars when I was awake in the night, and it was beautifully clear when I got up, around 9:00.

 

Both Johanna and I had noticed something strange on my right shin yesterday, and when I took a good look at it, I'm afraid I have cellulitis again. Oh, dear. I have an old tube of Bactraban, and I got it out and applied it, but I don't know if it will help. Just what I do not need!

 

Anyway, I petted a cat and knitted a while and started the leg of the Panda Cotton sock. It's still not coming out like the first one, but I am not going to try to start it over again. However it comes out this time, that is it.

 

I was doing my morning surfing when there was sort of a commotion behind me, and Buster jumped down and ran over to the patio door, and when I turned and looked, there was a squirrel up at the top of the screen. It jumped down, finally, leaving Buster with his eyes almost hanging out of their sockets, because it was right beside the door. I guess I wasn't fast enough getting the bird - ahem, squirrel - seed out this morning.

 

I actually did a few things today. I washed dishes, because I have been using a whole lot of bowls lately, for some reason, and I was running out. I also finally washed up the broiler pan and a couple of other pans I have used. So that is done. Then I attacked the 3' pile of catalogs that has been clogging up my seating area in the studio, and I threw almost all of them in the trash - two and a half small bags. I can't fill the bags full, because I can't lift them if I do, and I don't think they would bear the weight anyway. So now I can roll around between the desk and the computer, which is nice. I still have to go through a pile of magazines that I've never read, but that's for another day.

 

Pete came and weed whacked the garden area, and it looks much better, although he was going to leave some tansy until I asked him not to. He is another strange Copper Harbor person, but I really appreciate all the work he has already done around here. He never stays for more than a couple of hours, but he really works.

 

The weather was nice again, although it wasn't as clear as they were predicting. There were high clouds all day, sometimes quite thick. The temperature got up to 73 at 8:00 this evening, but for most of the day it was in the upper 60s. There was a little breeze, mostly from the east. That meant it was very warm down in the garden and on the deck.

 

I worked on the little Hardanger thingie for a while, and I am just about to start wrapping the bars on the second diamond. Cutting the threads is always difficult, even though I have a very fine-bladed, sharp pair of scissors I use only for that. I didn't cut any wrong threads in the fabric, but I did cut one of the satin stitches. That's actually easier to fix than if I cut the fabric (yes, I've certainly done that, too!). So maybe tomorrow I can finish it up and mount it in the greeting card. I think it will be pretty. The next one in the series is going to be harder. It has bars with picots, and I think I will have to hunt up my beginner's Hardanger book to figure out how to do them. I'm not sure how long I will stay at this, but it's nice to do some different techniques for a change.

 

I actually cooked something tonight. I did one of my chicken dishes, but I wanted to use brown rice for a change, and that takes a very long time to cook, so I was a bit late in eating. It was good, but I couldn't have a salad because the last of my salad greens had melted into a nasty mess. I guess I overbought this time, drat. I will have to go to the store tomorrow and get some lettuce. I've gotten used to having salad and I miss it when I don't. I even started making some salad dressing, which I will have to finish when I get to the kitchen to put my chicken away.

 

I'm not sure what is Buster's problem now, but he wanted to sit on me all day. I guess something is bothering him, but I have no idea what it is. He is eating well, but he was just very clingy. Strange little cat. He is meowing around me again.

 

I called the doctor's office about my tummy problem today. I will be taking the last vancomycin tomorrow, and I wanted to know how to proceed. I haven't heard back from them yet.

 

Now it's a coolish, partly cloudy evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and try to get to bed earlier tonight.

 

July 12
I read for a little while last night, and I think I got to bed around 11;00. I didn't sleep very well, so there were a lot of weird dreams, and I was up several times. By the first time I was up, the sky was clear, and there were nice stars. I got up around 9:00, but I only knitted and petted the cat a little bit before I got dressed, and I had time to do some of my morning surfing before it was off to see Johanna.

 

I needed that massage, and my body felt much better after it, but then I sat down in front of the computer, and now my back is all tensed up again. Oh, well. If I had all the money in the world, not only would I only wear new sweatshirts, I would have a massage therapist around to work on me every day. It's a nice dream.

 

This evening there was another Vespers service, and it is so nice to go to church again! Pastor Fundum is making some very good points in his sermons that I needed to hear.

 

I stayed afterwards to talk, and so I didn't get home until nearly 8:45, and I didn't finish eating until a little while ago. I am tired now, and I need to go to bed. Zzzzzzzz...

 

The weather was beautifully clear but not nearly as warm as they were predicting. The temperature finally made it up to 66, but for most of the day it was in the low 60s. There wasn't much wind, but it is still very humid.

 

This evening as I was doing my dinner, a convoy of geese came down the harbor with three or four little goslings in the middle of a circle of adults. I get the idea that young geese help out with the goslings for several years before they mate. The harbor was calm and glassy, and the geese made a nice vee in the water as they swam. I hope that one little one I saw several weeks ago made it. Maybe its parents hooked up with some other parents to help protect the little ones. I know geese lay a lot of eggs, and I've seen pictures of parents with a dozen or more goslings, but I don't think I've ever seen a pair with more than four or five around here. Living is hard in the harbor.

 

This afternoon during the talking, I embroidered a bit on a new project - a very small piece of Hardanger embroidery that fits into a greeting card. I have done Hardanger before, and while it isn't my favorite kind of embroidery, these things are so small that it is kind of fun. They aren't all openwork, either, and I do love counted satin stitch and some of the other stitches. They are a program I subscribed to, where you get some interesting threads and a greeting card and a new design every month, but I didn't start them when I got them. I should have, and I knew it. We'll see how many I do. I am mostly interested in the fibers, actually. Hardanger uses pearl cotton, and many of these use overdyed threads that are very pretty. It's a change from the cross stitch.

 

So now it's time to totter up to the north end and hope to sleep better tonight. It should be cool enough that I can cuddle under the comforter for a change, and that usually makes me sleep better. It's a cool, clear and nearly calm evening in the field.

 

July 11
I forgot to mention something that happened yesterday afternoon. It got hot late in the afternoon. When I went to the kitchen, either to start my dinner or to check on it, I happened to look at the kitty condo, and there was Buster. His body was on top of the kitty condo, his head and his upper paw were on the windowsill, and his under leg was dangling straight down. He was asleep. I wish I'd been able to get a picture of it, but he woke up as I came toward him. Boy, how relaxed can you get!

 

I went up to the north end early, and I read for a while, but I was in bed by 10:00, I think. Maybe 10:30. I woke up around 1:30 and had to move. There were nice stars overhead and in the west, but when I looked down toward the western horizon, there were clouds, and the clouds were just full of lightning. It was almost continuous, and every so often, I would see part of a flash from over toward the south. There wasn't any rumbling at all then. I woke up again around 3:00, and there was still flashing, and then the wind began to blow. Then the heavens opened for a little while. There still wasn't much in the way of thunder, except for some rumblings way off in the distance. I wonder how high that lightning was, that I couldn't hear any thunder. Eventually, it all passed away to the east and I went back to sleep.

 

I think I got up around 8:30. I knitted a while, and I just didn't like how the sock was turning out, so I ripped out the whole thing and started it at a different point in the color sequence - I hope where the first one was, although I'm not sure. I only knitted a couple of rows of ribbing, so I don't know yet. I certainly am having trouble with that sock! Anyway, I was knitting and petting a cat when the heavens opened again for a little while. Altogether, we had 0.33" of rain overnight.

 

Needless to say, it was a very humid day. The temperature only got down to 67 overnight, and it only got to 73 this afternoon. The humidity was around 90% all day, and it was cloudy and icky. there was a 15 mph wind in the afternoon, but it is now calm again. It is lightening up a bit now, and there was a ray of sunshine a while ago, but not much.

 

Pete came and weed whacked a bit this afternoon. I didn't do anything except read a magazine. I was awake enough during the night, watching the lightning, that I am tired today again.

 

Today, Buster mostly wanted what I was eating. He licked my breakfast plate - there was undoubtedly some butter on it, as well as some egg yolk. Then I had a snack of my fish spread, and he had to have some of that, and he licked the container, then he wanted the sauce from my TV dinner. Is he spoiled, or what?

 

So it was a nothing day, and I intend to go up to the north end soon and get to bed early tonight. I have a massage tomorrow, and maybe that will help. My aches and pains were really aching and paining today.

 

Now it's a coolish, cloudy and very humid evening in the field. Yuck.

 

July 10
I read a while and took my bath early, and then I remembered that I needed to pay a bill that is due today. I get really annoyed with these companies (mostly credit card companies) who let their bills become due on a weekend. I had another one, which was due last Monday, when they certainly weren't going to process, and when I paid it on Tuesday, the entire amount, last month's and this month's, was due. Boy, are they out to get us!

 

Anyway, after that it was 10:30 before I turned out the light. I didn't sleep very well, mostly because I was up five or six times during the night. I had forgotten that fish is a diuretic, at least for me. At least my feet are a little smaller today. I got up around 8:45 and petted a cat and knitted. I'm afraid that the second Panda Cotton sock is not going to come out looking anything like the first. Unfortunately, that's the risk one takes with these multicolored yarns. Oh, well.

 

Anyway, I was rather droopy all day, and I didn't do much of anything. I embroidered for a while, and that was nearly it. Last week I brought up a bag of yarn that I thought I might use, but part of it was the leftovers from a sweater I did several years ago, and the rest is a very pretty color of blue Lopi. I like the Lopi, but I haven't decided exactly what to do with it. It is very heavy - it knits on 10 needles - and while the color would be very pretty in that cable pattern I've been thinking about for so long, it just isn't the right weight. So I took it all back downstairs, but at least I separated it into two bags.

 

I needed to raid the fridge for bread and something to eat tomorrow, and I grabbed a pasty, which was very good. I spent some time looking through boxes, and there are several things I can't find, including a box full of the paper I write my longhand stories on. I know I saw that box when I was going through things a year or two ago, but can I find it now? Of course not. I am also still missing a big box of sock yarn and a small box of embroidery fabric. I have to believe those things got stuck in bigger boxes, and I can't really unpack all those big boxes, so I'm stuck. I do have a smaller box of sock yarn, which has enough yarn in it for socks for all of Copper Harbor, but it doesn't have some of the prettier yarns I've been stashing. So except for food, I came upstairs empty-handed. I will probably try it again.

 

It was another beautiful day. The skies were clear. For most of the day the temperature was around 75, and there was a rather strong - 20 mph - wind from the north, which made it a bit cooler here. The temperature peaked at 81 at 7:00 and it has now dropped back to 79. The wind is dropping, too, and sort of boxing the compass. There are a few high cirrus clouds in the sky now, and I guess they are predicting rain, maybe overnight, and almost for sure tomorrow afternoon.

 

While those summer days we had the last two years were beautiful, I am really glad to see so much rain, and regular rain. After our dry winter, we need all the moisture we can get. Hey, into each life some rain must fall. I remember vacations I took up here when it rained almost every day. At least we've had some beautiful weather in between.

 

So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end. My legs didn't want to work very well today, so I think I will make it another early night and hope to sleep better. It's a warm, clear, breezy evening in the field.

 

July 9
Well, I guess I'm going to do this early again. I read for a bit when I got up to the north end last night, but I was so sleepy that I really crashed: I was in bed by 9:45. And I didn't get up until nearly 8:30 this morning. I feel much better today. When I was up in the night, there were some nice stars, although not many in the west, because there aren't many bright stars in the northern spring sky. The Big Dipper was there and bright, and I could see Arcturus peeking in the top of the window. When I was up at 3:30 or so, it was just beginning to get light. I could still see the Big Dipper, but it was beginning to fade out.

 

Buster was really worried when I went to bed so early last night, and he sat with me for quite a while. I will say that I didn't go right to sleep, but I wasn't awake too long. And when I woke up around 8:00 he wanted me to get up right then. I didn't, but it had cooled off in the room to the extent that in order to be comfortable, I would have had to pull up the comforter, and I didn't want to bother with that.

 

I petted him for a while, then I started knitting, and when I laid the new sock against the first one, it was clear I was tightening up my tension again, so I had to rip out about 2" and start over. I'm being more careful this time. That is definitely one problem with not doing a whole pair before I go on to another one. I don't know why it happens, but it happened with the last Tofutsies pair, too. I hope I can keep an even, loose tension this time. I guess it never used to happen because I almost always made a whole pair before going on to another, or if I didn't I was working all on the same needles with the same sort of yarn. I will have to go back to that mode.

 

Otherwise, I didn't do a lot today. I finally washed the towels that have been soaking for a week or more. I hope I got most of the yellow out, but I haven't looked at them yet. I finished off the load with some other stuff from the bathroom - the cat towels and the cat rug - and a whole bunch of placemats I had managed to mess up pretty badly. They are all in the dryer. I will look at them tomorrow. I started loading the dishwasher, and I remembered that I had left a broiler pan in the oven the last time I used it, so I put that to soak.

 

A friend from town very generously came out with his weed whacker and his work gloves and spent an hour or two pulling and whacking around the driveway, and it looks much better now, although there is an awful lot left to do.

 

I discovered a couple of things: Tansy isn't too hard to pull up, and even spotted knapweed comes out pretty well if it's in stones and not in soil. I pulled a few weeds, but my back just won't let me do very much. Besides, I think Pete would rather work alone.

 

Otherwise, I diddled around a lot and embroidered a bit. I finished a poppy stem, which completes all the cross stitching on the upper right side of the picture. I still have backstitching to do, but that can wait. When it takes six or seven shades of green to do a poppy head, you know it's a detailed chart. Now I am back at the fairy's skirt, which is made from poppy petals. I'm finding it rather boring and I may go on to something else after a while, but for the time being, I'll keep at it, a little bit a day.

 

The weather was fabulous, although it was a bit chilly around here this morning. The official temperature never got below 66, but there was a north wind in the 10-20 mph range, which made it cooler out here. The official high has finally reached 75, and the wind is dropping. This is my idea of summer weather. The humidity was quite low, the highest being 61% at 10:00, after which it fell again. There was hardly a cloud in the sky all day long. It was wonderful. I'm afraid it's going to be a little warmer and more humid tomorrow, though.

 

The NWS station has only been in Copper Harbor since the mid 90s, so there aren't any statistics for the really hot year I remember - 1978 - but I have been interested to see that the high records for several days took place in 2001. I remember that. I was still recovering, and I was very sensitive to the heat, and I was frequently miserable - as miserable as I could be while living in my dream house in my dream location. Also still alive and recovering. We haven't had a summer like that since, although I think it was a year or two later that we had a hot spell in August that was so bad I broke out in hives.

 

I was thinking maybe that had happened again, but actually what happened is that when I walked down the deck a few nights ago to take some pictures of the sunset, I got two black fly bites on my right hand. I also got a bunch of mosquito bites on my right leg, right above the back of my knee. those must have been through my pants (I think I was wearing pants when I got them). Mosquito bites are annoying, but in me, they only itch for two or three days. It's the black fly bites that itch for a week or more, blister, and take forever to go away. These are very small, though, and I've been putting some Adolph's on them.

 

I went to the post office today to mail my license renewals, and I broke down and stopped at the fish market again. I really love that smoked fish spread. So while I was there, I got some more whitefish. This was more than I had the last time, but I was able to give Buster quite a good helping. I cooked it the same way as before, broiled, and it was so good! Maybe the next time I will try trout. I like whitefish better than trout, but trout was my first lake fish, and I like it, too. Buster was just delighted to get such a lovely dinner. I bet Jasmine would like it, too, but with Buster around, there is no way she will ever get any, unfortunately. It's like with DC and the butter - the top cat gets it all and the number two cat doesn't get any. That's the way the world is. Anyway, I managed to cook it just right again - I don't think it takes more than three or four minutes when it's that close to the broiler element. The next time, I will try the next notch down in the oven, which will enable me to use a bit bigger pan. It will take longer, but if I watch it carefully, I think I can manage. Now I will have the end of the berries for dessert. I'll miss them, but I suspect that strawberry season is just about over.

 

I was delighted that my favorite radio station came back on the air in the middle of ATC tonight. There is another station, from Marquette, where I can get most of ATC, although they truncate the news to read local and regional news, and I don't like it nearly as well. Besides, they don't broadcast Marketplace or Fresh Air, which I like. So whatever problem has ailed WGGL for the past two days, it seems to be over with, and that's good.

 

So that was my day, and since I can't find anything that interests me to do here, I think I will bring in the bird feeders and toddle up to the north end and read a while. It's a lovely, warm, clear night in the field.

 

July 8
It was around 12:15 when I got to bed last night, and I slept well, but i got up around 8:30, so I didn't get enough sleep, and I'm sleepy today. Buster was apparently still asleep when I went into the bathroom, so I got to knit a while before he appeared and I petted him.

 

The task of the day was supposed to be to go down to Mohawk to the Secretary of State office (which is only open on Thursdays) and renew my driver's license, so I curled my hair and put on some nice looking clothes to be photographed in. Well. Since I had a new photo taken when I changed my address, when I looked at the renewal form, I do not need to renew it in person this time. Far be it from me to take a 30 mile trip when I don't have to, or get my mug shot taken when it isn't required. So I packaged up the renewals in an envelope, and I went up to the north end to change into some more casual clothes before I went to the post office. Then my financial advisor called, so I didn't make it to the post office. Tomorrow.

 

Anyway, I was sleepy enough that I didn't do much. I don't have anything on the computer I want to read, so I knitted on various projects, and when that got boring, I embroidered a bit. What I really wanted to do was read all day, but my current reading material is all up at the north end. So I am doing this early tonight, and I will go north early and maybe, just maybe, get to bed early, too.

 

The weather turned out wonderful. When I got up, it was sort of cloudy and very humid, but shortly the skies cleared and the dew point stayed about the same while the temperature rose. It was in the middle 70s all afternoon, with a 15 mph wind from the north. I was actually a little chilly for a while. Looking at the graph of temperature and dew point, I see why it's been such a lovely day - after about 3:00, the temperature went from 73 to 80 (which I don't believe - it's not that hot here) and the dew point went from 64 to 53. Ah! Aaaahhhh! Relative humidity 39%! I can handle that. What a relief. I hope the wind blowing in the porch door has dried up my towels, finally. Anyway, it was a beautiful afternoon. The barometer is high but dropping a bit, so I don't know what that means for the next few days. The four-footed barometers seemed to be saying nothing good. They were sacked out in the great room all afternoon.

 

Buster did come and lick my TV dinner dish all across the desk behind the monitor. That dish looks almost like it went through the dishwasher. Now I think he has gone back to sleep.

 

I do so enjoy having the windows open. The east windows in the studio, the great room and the powder room have been open since it got warm, and I love to hear the outdoors. Today at least once I heard some high-pitched twitterings that sounded to me like something just fledged. I don't know what kind of bird it was, since I didn't see it, but this is the season. I think it's one reason I haven't had very many visitors to the feeders - they are all too busy now. Just wait.

 

So that was my quiet day, and the feeders will be coming in early tonight. It's a clear, breezy evening in the field, and I'm tired.

 

July 7
I think it was 1:30 or so before I got to bed last night. I read on the computer for a while, then I read some more when I got up to the north end, and then I had to take a bath. I got up around 10:00 this morning, I think, although I don't remember exactly. I petted a cat and knitted on the Panda Cotton sock. I did enough to see how the pattern is going to come out, and it's enough better that I unraveled the other one I started. Now I can go full speed ahead. It won't look exactly like the first sock, unfortunately, but it will be similar.

 

It was another day when I didn't do much. I went to the post office, where some more pills had come, as well as some bills. Oh, yes, I did some telephoning. The propane company still wants me to pay my monthly bill, even though I have a credit balance that is more than three months' payments, so I called and complained about that. I finally called the eye doctor and got an appointment, not with the doctor I've been seeing, who is apparently extremely popular. So I got one with a cornea specialist, which probably isn't a bad idea, after my interesting experience of a few weeks ago.

 

Otherwise, I read through the end of the fourth part from the blue binder, the last one that is finished and in the computer. I hadn't read that one since I transcribed it, so there were the usual typos. Interestingly, I could tell when I was getting tired while I was typing. And some of those things are things Word should have caught, and I don't know why it didn't. Maybe I should download Open Office now and try it. I can't code in C+. so I can't make any changes, but surely some of the things that bother me have bothered other people. Hmm...

 

I read partly because the broadband was down from about 1:00 until after 7:00. I'm not sure if it was the same general outage as we had yesterday, or if this was more local. One of the nice things about having the camera software is that I can go do other things, like read, and the camera will tell me when the broadband comes back up.

 

Another thing that went down was my radio station. It was OK when I went to the post office, but sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 its link to MPR went away. The transmitter is still on, but there is no sound. I hope it will be back up in the morning, or I will have to call them to make sure they know about it.

 

The weather was icky again. The morning was lovely, with clear blue skies and temperatures around 70 with no wind. Around 2:00 it started to cloud up, and the temperature finally peaked at 80 around 6:00. After that, I began to hear rumbling off in the distance, and there were some thunderstorms, but most of them went south of the peninsula or out in the lake. We did get a little rain - 0.09", but it came down quickly and I didn't have to close the windows. It was sticky and icky and the humidity was very high for most of the day. Well, at least it wasn't as hot as it's been to our south. I am getting tired of my towels and washcloths never getting dry, though.

 

So that was a quiet day, and now it's late again. It's a dark, dank, nearly calm night in the field.

 

July 6
I think it was around midnight when I went to bed last night. I read for a while when I got to the north end. I was awake at 8:00, but that just seemed too early, so I turned over, and it was almost 10:00 before I got up. I knitted and petted a cat for a while, and I think the new Panda Cotton sock will look more like the first one, although I haven't really done enough to be sure.

 

I didn't do much, because my back was bothering me. I did empty the dishwasher and begin to reload it. Gee, I guess that was all. It was nearly 3:00 before I finished my morning surfing, so it was a rather truncated day.

 

The weather was icky. The humidity was 100% all night long, and between 7:00 and 9:00 am, we had a little rain. The temperature eventually made it to 72 for a few hours, with horrible humidity. The wind was essentially calm all day. It was partly cloudy, with lots of strangely shaped cirrus clouds. I guess we are caught between two stalled cold fronts, so this could go on for some time. Ick.

 

The only saving grace of the weather was that with the windows open, every so often a little breeze would waft in the east windows and I would get a sniff of damp sweet grass and pine and cedar. I know the air is very pure here, but I never get used to breathing in the scents of living in a field at the edge of a forest. We seem to be between things I'm allergic to, so I can smell pretty well right now.

 

What I hate about this weather is that my washcloth and hand towel were still damp this morning, even though it had been 24 hours since I'd used them. In fact, the towels feel damp even when they haven't been used, just because the air is so humid. The only way I could prevent that would be to put them in the dryer before I use them, and I'm afraid that would set the yellow in the middle, where I dry myself. And of course, this kind of weather is just hell on my arthritis. I feel like I'm cast in concrete from the ribs down, and standing up for any time at all really bothers my back.

 

After the past two summers, which were cool and dry, I've gotten spoiled. However, at least this year I can have the house opened up, which is a bonus. And I can smell.

 

I forgot to mention last night that as it was getting dark, my neighbors to the south shot off their own fireworks display. As much of it as I could see was nice. They had more exploding rockets this year, and fewer of those screamers that I hate so much. I'm still not sure it's safe for ordinary people to set off fireworks - I wouldn't do it - but lots of people do. I guess they get them on the Indian reservation. That family has done fireworks since before I lived here, so I guess it's a tradition with them. At least this year, they waited until the night after the big display.

 

There was a nice sunset tonight, but I don't yet know if I got any good pictures of it. I spent some time looking out the south windows, where there were some funny-shaped clouds that started out apricot against the blue sky and slowly turned dark rosy red. I don't have a good view of sunsets at this time of year, but there were enough clouds in the sky that it was pretty.

Now it is dark and late, and it's another cool, damp night in the field.

 

July 5
The fireworks went off in fine style and they were very pretty, but I don't think they were quite as nice as last year. There wasn't quite as much variety, although there were a couple that looked like Saturn, with a thing in the center and a ring around it. There were only one or two of my favorites - that huge one with the golden sparkles and the little comets that come out of it. Anyway, it was about half an hour long, and it was very nice. I like fireworks.

I got to bed around midnight and I slept pretty well. I got up around 9:00, but I felt tired all day long, so it was another lost day. I will get the dishwasher ready to run before I go to bed tonight, but that's about all I did.

 

I forgot the socks again last night, so I started knitting on the black sweater again, and I discovered I had missed an increase back four rows or so. Since it was on the front, I had to rip back. I think I managed to get it back the way it was by the time the talking was over. I hate to have to rip, but I want it to look right, and even though it wouldn't be very noticeable in the black, I would know about it.

 

This evening, I had a rare pleasure. The pastor of the Missouri Synod church in Laurium came up and conducted vespers in the community building. It was wonderful, even though I didn't know any of the hymns or the liturgy. It still felt like home, and not just because I knew it was Missouri Synod. It was the most satisfying sermon I've heard since the last time I was at Christ the King. And for the new hymnal, the publishing house has recorded every hymn and every part of the liturgy. It was interesting, too, because Pastor Fundum chanted the liturgy, which I haven't heard very many times. He has a very nice voice. So it was a lovely hour. Maybe by fall I will feel that I can go down to church in Laurium on Sundays. I can't tell you how I have missed that, and how much more at home I feel in my own Synod.

 

The weather was not good. It cooled off dramatically overnight. The temperature only got up to 73, although the minimum was 66, so there wasn't much variation. There was hardly any wind. The problem was, the humidity was 80% or more for most of the day, and it is sticky and icky. There was only a little sunshine, although all the rain seems to have gone south of us so far.

 

I spent some time reading, and I am making good progress on the story. My goodness, there are a lot of names in it! It is a good episode, and I enjoy reading it.

 

Now It's time to prime the dishwasher and totter up to the north end and hope it's a little less humid tomorrow. It's a cool, cloudy and breezy evening in the field.

 

July 4 - Independence Day
I'm doing everything all backward tonight. I've already taken my bath, although I haven't brushed my teeth yet. And I'm doing this while I'm waiting for the fireworks to start.

 

I read for a while when I got to the north end last night, and I got to bed around midnight. I finally got up around 9:00. I had been awake about every half hour after 7:00, but I managed to doze and enjoy some interesting dreams. It was warm in the house, even though I opened the windows in the window seat and turned on the ceiling fan. It was comfortable without any covers except over my feet. My circulation is bad enough that I've always had to cover my feet when I sleep.

 

I petted a cat and did something I suppose is weird - I started a new Panda Cotton sock with the third ball of yarn. I could tell, after an inch or so of the leg, that the second sock wasn't going to look anything like the first, and since I really like the pattern of the first one, I decided to try the other ball and hope it comes out better. I didn't get very far, and I'm on the ribbing, so I don't know how it will come out.

 

While I was making my breakfast, the parade came through the fort, and I could hear the sirens and horns. Someday I will have to go and see it again.

 

And that was about all I did. I put some dishes in the dishwasher and I washed a few pans, but that was it. Mostly I read. I'm in the big episode from the blue binder, and it will take a while to read that one.

 

The weather was sort of like yesterday. The temperature peaked at 87 around 3:00, but then it plunged to 75 at 5:00, with west-southwest winds that were in the 15-30 mph range. Or at least that was what they were reporting at the NWS station. I think they were much stronger here, but we get the full sweep of west winds here, whereas the mountain shelters the NWS station on that side. Anyway, then there was a rain shower, and by 8:00 the temperature was 65 and the humidity was 100%. Ugh! The temperature has recovered a bit, to 70, and the wind has shifted to the north-northwest, but the humidity is still 90%. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day. Interesting weather, but not very comfortable.

 

I put on my camisole today, with my shorts, and since I didn't do much of anything, I was comfortable. I broiled my steak in the oven, so I could leave the doors open while I cooked. My back is still bad, and my shoulders are so stiff that I couldn't put up my hair. I ended up using a bandana as a headband, and that kept it out of my eyes and absorbed some of the sweat.

 

At sunset, the whole sky turned apricot, and it was very pretty, but not pretty enough to take pictures. It got very red in the northwest a bit later, but I just don't have a good view in that direction, since it's behind the point where the lighthouse sits.

 

Now I am having a second JD in honor of the day and waiting for the fireworks. Once that is over with, I will totter up to the north end and brush my teeth. It's a coolish, dampish cloudy night in the field.

 

July 3
After I uploaded this last night, I remembered that I needed to process last month's journal into Word, so I did that. I apologize for the typos and missing words - in a couple of cases, even I had a hard time figuring out what I meant to say. I keep trying, but clearly I either don't proofread an entry or I miss a lot. Word flags what it thinks are grammar errors, but FrontPage doesn't, so a lot of strange things can slip by.

 

It was around midnight when I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well. It was warm, and I'm not used to sleeping without covers. I got up around 8:00. I petted a cat a bit, but I think he felt my lap was too warm, so he spent quite a bit of time on the open windowsill beside me. I forgot to take the socks with me last night, so I knitted a couple of rows on the black sweater. It was cool enough - relatively - this morning that I could do that. Not this afternoon, though.

 

When I went to put out the bird feeders, I looked out in the harbor, and there, in front of my southern neighbor's yard, were three loons! I haven't heard any at all, and these were the first I've seen. They are such neat birds! They were fishing, I think in one of the deep places, and they seemed to be catching something. So cool!

 

The weather was not cool. It only got down to 70 last night, and our official high for the day was 88. Today the wind, which fortunately was in the 10-20 mph range for most of the day, was from the southwest except for a little while around 4:00, and it was probably as hot here as it was at the NWS station. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up later, except for that high haze, and now there are a few altocumulus clouds in the sky. Only the wind and the relatively low humidity saved me from melting away.

 

It was not a day to do anything, and I didn't, except to read for a while. I sat in the ugly chair and looked at one of my knitting UFOs, but it didn't seem interesting after I untangled the yarn. I did cook something for dinner, one of my frozen Chinese things, and that was a trip. I had to close both the patio door and the door to the porch in order to get the pan to heat. The wind was blowing the flame around so much that it wouldn't heat the pan! So I was hot when I finally had my dinner.

 

Today I have been wearing shorts, which look so charming with my compression hose! They are cooler, though. If it is as hot tomorrow as it was today, I may resort to a shelf-bra camisole.

 

I don't like it when it's this warm, but you know, it's been two or three years since we've had any weather this hot at all, and this is more like what summer should be. I would be happier if the wind would switch around to the north, but as long as I don't do much, it's tolerable.

 

I don't know where Jasmine was most of the day. She was around this morning, but Buster was complaining loudly, even though it wasn't that hot when I got up, and she had to see what his problem was. If I were her, I would be in the basement, where it has to be cooler. Buster spent the morning on the couch on the porch, until I had some lunch, when he had to come in and see if there was anything for him. There was: I finished a butter dish and put it on the floor for him to lick. Later, he was in the great room, trying to get the breeze and stay out of the sun. They like to be warm, but they don't like weather like this, even more than I don't.

 

By the way, there were bloodstains on the rug in the bathroom this morning, so I deduce that somebody caught a mouse last night. I know those stains weren't there yesterday.

 

The humidity hasn't been too high lately, so I don't know what has caused my arthritis to flare up the way it has. I woke up with my left shoulder so stiff and sore I could hardly get into my clothes - and I hadn't been sleeping on it for several hours. My knees are bad, too, as are my hands and wrists and we won't even talk about my back. Weird. I must say that my right index finger has gone pretty much back to normal, which is a relief. For a couple of days it was so sore and swollen I had a hard time doing most anything. Well, it's an excuse anyway.

 

So that was my day. The wind went completely calm in the last five minutes and then shifted a bit to the north, which is a relief. Except for all the noisy vehicles going up and down US-41 and the occasional firecracker, it's a quiet, very warm evening in the field.

 

July 2
I think I was in bed by 11:30 or so last night, but I didn't really notice. I got up around 8:30 this morning and knitted and petted a cat for a while. I've gone back to the Panda Cotton sock.

 

It seemed to me it was rather warm in the bathroom, so when I left it, I opened the porch door, and oh, my! Was it beautiful! It was clear and blue outside, and the temperature was around 70, with a strong west wind. It was so nice that I put on a short-sleeved shirt and for the first time this year, I wore my sandals. I still wear my compression hose, so it looks a bit weird, but I don't think many people look as closely at feet as I do - or I hope they don't.

I ended up not doing very much. The house is all opened up, and I will leave it open, except for the patio doors. The warm weather made me very sleepy, so I read for a while, but that was it.

 

I went to the post office, where the packages I was expecting hadn't come. Clyde gave me a taste of some stuff he'd gotten at the fish market - a smoked fish spread and a smoked fish sausage. The sausage was a little too spicy, but the spread was so delicious that I went right over there and got some. And I also got a nice filet of whitefish.

 

Now, I have never cooked fish before. Christine said she broils hers, and that's how I really like it (except for plank style), so I had a culinary adventure for dinner tonight. And it turned out so great, I will do it again. I brushed it with a little olive oil and sprinkled it with paprika, since I don't like pallid, white fish, and I put it within an inch or so of the heating element in the oven, and in five minutes or so, I had a lovely piece of very fresh whitefish. It needed just a little salt, and next time, I must be more careful about taking it out of the pan, because it came out in pieces, but it was wonderful.

 

Buster was delighted with the fish spread - in fact, he would have eaten it out of the container if I'd let him. And he was ecstatic over the fish. I left quite a few crumbs on the plate when I was through, and he ate them all and then he licked the plate. So I guess I did a good job.

 

I was thinking, when I managed to cook it just right the first time I'd ever done such a thing, that sometimes I have that problem, and I only hope I can do it as well again. Sometimes the second and later times I cook a new thing, I try to get fancy and wreck it. Whitefish is a very delicate fish (I think I've said this before) and not very juicy, and it isn't easy to cook it so that it isn't dry and overcooked. I hope I can do it again, because I do love fish, and since I stopped eating out so much, I haven't had nearly enough. Now maybe I can have my fill of fish this summer.

 

Whitefish is a bony fish, too, and for a long time it was hard to get any that didn't have some little bones in it. Harbor Haus's never did, but I've had it other places around here where there were an annoying number of bones. This piece tonight had no bones at all in it, just like I like it. Yum.

 

The weather turned out to be hotter than I thought, but it was still windy when we hit our high for the day, and I'm sure it didn't get to 84 out here, what with that west wind blowing over the water. The wind dropped to nothing later, and the temperature varied between 70 and 75. It wasn't very humid, and it was a really lovely summer day. It smelled good, too. The smell of hot sun on field grasses is one of my favorites. And hot sun on pine needles...

 

So that was my day, and my adventure turned out very well. Now it's a warm, partly cloudy and breezy evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end.

 

July 1
When I went to bring in the bird feeders last night, there was a little flying squirrel in the cedar feeder, and he was not about to move. I brought in everything else, and I actually had to touch his tail before he jumped out of the feeder. I didn't know they were so tame! They are so cute. They are more grayish than the little red squirrels, and they have much bigger eyes and maybe bigger heads, too. He was watching me out of his big black eye, but he was also eating sunflower seeds as fast as he could shuck them. I bet if I'd held some in my hand, he would have eaten them out of it. I don't want to do that with any of the wildlife, but it certainly is fun when I can go among them without them getting frightened.

 

Well, I did take a bath after all, and what with a little reading and a lot of staring at the floor, it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, although there was at least one dream that I don't remember anymore. I got up around 8:30 and I petted a cat. I wanted to knit, but somehow, I had tied the end of the yarn in knots around the center of the circular needle, and it took me quite a while to get that straightened out. It has something to do with the long needle - I'm using a 40" needle for these - which keeps flipping over the knitting. How I ever got a knot in it, I do not know. I must try to be more careful about how I put the piece back into the bag when I'm done with it.

 

I didn't do much, but there was an appraiser this afternoon, so I scuttled around in the kitchen, moved a couple of bags of trash out into the breezeway and tidied up the counters a bit. It still didn't look good when she came, but oh, well. It was the same person who did the appraisal two years ago when I refinanced, and I can only hope she will give me what I need.

I had a hard time doing anything. My arthritis was acting up so badly that I had a hard time moving, and my back was bad enough that I had to sit down about every ten minutes. I wish it would warm up a little. That would help a lot.

 

Sometime this morning the NWS finally realized that their forecast was way, way wrong, and it was not going to be a warm sunny day after all. The temperature did get up to 64 for a while before noon, but for most of the day it varied between 55 and 60. There was a southwest wind in the 15 mph range. It was cloudy until almost sunset, when it began to clear a little bit, but there are still clouds in the sky. There were some light rain showers south of us, including at Houghton, but I don't think it rained here. It was just cloudy and humid. What I found interesting was that while the wind was from the southwest, the showers came through from the northwest. Not a very settled atmosphere, for sure.

 

This evening I read most of another episode from the blue binder and took off the names. This is another one that isn't too long. The first three episodes could easily go in one book. The next one, though, is huge, and it will take some time to read through.

 

So that was another wasted day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end again. Half the year is over, and it's all downhill from here. It's a partly cloudy, cool and breezy night in the field.

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM