A View From the Field







August, 2010

August 31

So August is over. Amazing.


I'm not sure what kept me up last night - I read a little, but I was too tired - but it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept OK, not great, and I had to contend with a black cat who wanted me to get up at 8:00. Not today, Bub.


I did four rows on the shawl. I got a needle with wooden ends yesterday, and I wanted to try it. I think it will be much easier. The yarn is alpaca, and it is very slippery and wiry and the wooden needle doesn't slip as much. Buster was disgusted, but he got a claw caught in my nightie and sort of fell off my lap, which embarrassed him enough that he went away and left me alone.


I decided to try cereal for breakfast today, and it went down well. Slowly my sense of taste is returning - very slowly. However, after breakfast, I had an accident, and later today, whole bilberries came out the other end, so I guess it's Imodium time again. I like some kind of fruit in my cereal, but I don't seem to be able to keep bananas - they go bad before I eat them - so I decided to try bilberries. It was a good selection. The only problem with cereal is that I get hungry real fast, so I had to eat three meals today.


I was so late getting to the studio that I did nothing, except another couple of rows of the shawl while the talking was going on. 


The weather turned out much nicer than they were predicting. While it was mostly cloudy all day, the temperature only got up to 83º, and it sort of see-sawed, then after 5:00, the wind, which had been strong, went totally calm and the temperature settled down at 75º. It was a real relief. It has been humid again, but with the cooler temperatures, it hasn't felt too bad. They keep saying we are going to have some thunderstorms, but I still don't see any evidence of that. I am so glad we didn't have to endure another day like yesterday!


So that is about all I have to report. By the time I stopped knitting this morning, I was thinking the shawl was a fun project. I'm not so sure after tonight, but I think It will be. I still have to fumble with the nupps, but I'm slowly getting the hang of them. There are only 7 on any row, and it takes me several for my fingers to remember what they should be doing, so if I can do more than two rows, it helps a lot.


Now it's a partly cloudy, warmish, calm evening in the field and it's time to go load up the dishwasher, as soon as I finish my JD. Tomorrow is September.


August 30

I just sat for a while when I got to the north end last night, and I read through the instructions for the lace. It was about 11:45 when I got to bed. I guess I slept all right. It was warm enough that I didn't have to use any covers for most of the night, and that always bothers me a bit. I got up around 8:45, so I got my 9 hours (10 is better). I petted the cat a bit and finished the first repeat of the shawl pattern. Only 29 to go. I'm getting the hang of the nupps, but I still have a problem with the "p 5 tog". I want to purl in the stitch following the nupp, and I don't usually find out that I did it until I get to the next one. I'll get it down.


I didn't do anything again - it was too hot. I went to the post office, where some magazines and a lot of bills had come, as well as the rest of my blocking boards and some wooden knitting needles, which I'm anxious to try. I think they may make the lace easier to do.


The weather - ah, the weather! It only got down to 74º overnight, although there was a good breeze. By 1:00 it was 85º, and it went up to 89º and stayed there until 7:00. There was a good wind - 10-25 mph - from the southwest until late in the afternoon. It was HOT, There were cumulous clouds in the sky for most of the day, although it seems to have cleared up since it got dark. It's now 81º with a 10-18 mph wind.


I know it was hotter, even in Houghton, and downstate it was awful, but you have to remember there is no air conditioning in most places in Keweenaw. Besides, 90º is hot no matter where you are.


It was particularly hot because the last Monday vespers was tonight. I took a bandana, and I needed it. The sweat was dripping down the back of my neck, and everything I have on is wet. However, it was lovely as usual, and I am so sorry it's over with. I really must get down to St. Paul's. I knew I missed church, but I didn't realize how much I missed it until I started going again. And I haven't had communion since Easter. That is one thing Lutherans insist upon - as Jesus said, "Do this as oft as you eat and drink", and I've really missed it. I read a couple of things daily, and I guess I would say I have an active prayer life, but every Christian needs the community of believers. Now that I know Pastor Fundum and some of the members of St. Paul's, I think I can be brave enough to go, even by myself.


So that was very nice, and even though I'm still all wet, I'm so glad I went. Between my infection and the weather, I have not been hungry at all, and I had half a sandwich for breakfast and half of a half for dinner, and I don't feel like I need any more. I'm having a JD with lots of ice. While I know boos tends to make you hotter, the ice is nice.


When I was reading the instructions for the other shawl in the kit, I realized that there is something really wrong with them, so I will have to communicate with the company. I like KnitPicks yarn very much - it is all very soft and it is very good quality for the cheap prices - but I have not been at all impressed by the instructions in their kits.


I took both shawls with me and showed them to Mary Ann, and we had a nice conversation about knitting and crochet. Now I have enough blocking pads that I think I can block the first shawl. I will probably do it on the dining room table.


When I got home, I read for a while, so I don't need to do that when I go up to the north end, after I finish my JD. Now it's a very warm, breezy night in the field, and I'm tired.


August 29

I read some more last night, and I think it was midnight before I got to bed. It's amazing how cold those warm breezes can be when I'm wet, but that cooled me down nicely. I slept fairly well, although Buster wanted me to get up a long time before I did. I think it was about 9:30. I petted him and knitted two more rows on the shawl.


Today, the nupps went pretty well. I think I am getting the hang of how to make them loose enough. I'm still not real happy about the needle size, but I'll keep on with it, since I think a smaller needle would make it too small.


It was nice this morning, but it got hot this afternoon. The high temperature was 85º, but by the time it got there, the wind, which had been strong in the morning, had died down almost completely, and it felt a lot hotter than it did yesterday. The computer thought so, too, and I couldn't play any games without it overheating. The skies were clear until late in the day, and it was a pretty day.


I was overheating, too, so I sat and read a book, before I remembered I was reading something on the computer, which I did until just now. I am glad I have that chicken (so is Buster), because I can eat it cold. 


I guess tomorrow is supposed to be about the same, then it should cloud up and rain and the temperature should drop into the 70s for the next couple of days. I certainly hope so. I've had quite enough of this.


So that was a nothing day, and I'm off to the north end. Since I was reading here, I won't read (or write) up there, I don't think, and I might even be a little earlier getting to bed. It's a partly cloudy, warm and nearly calm night in the field.


August 28

I read some when I got up to the north end, and before I could go to bed, I had to finish making it. It was nice to sleep in a nice, clean bed for a change, but I didn't sleep all that well. I was up several times, and I think part of my problem was that I had the ceiling fan on. It would have been hot without it, at least until early this morning, but I'm not used to having air moving over me. I used to have the same problem in Detroit in the summer.


I got up around 8:00, because I had to, and if I had gone back to sleep, heaven knows when I would have gotten up, so now I'm tired. Buster was nowhere to be seen, so I knitted, and I got another two rows done, although I had my usual problems with the nupps and some other things. I had dropped a stitch, and I seem to have lost one altogether, at the end of the row, which I can't find. Eventually I'll get the hang of it, but it is going to take practice. Buster finally came and got some petting, but I was in the middle of things when he arrived, so he didn't get everything he wanted.


He has gotten really bold about my food. Now he wants to step right in and eat out of my dishes while I'm still eating. What a cat! This evening I actually picked him up and dropped him on the floor, which only helped a little bit. He did get a lot of my chicken, because I'm just not hungry. I think possibly my sense of taste is returning a bit, although oily things and creamy things aren't going down very well yet. At least I have a little less bad taste in my mouth.


The weather was hot. It was sunny all day, and about 5:00 the official temperature got up to 88º, although almost immediately the wind shifted and it dropped to 75º before it recovered. Fortunately, during the afternoon when the temperature was in the upper 80s, there was a gusty west-southwest wind, which made it tolerable. That has started up again, and it's going to feel very good to get out of the shower and stand in the breeze to dry off. The other saving grace was that the humidity was very low, for once.


It was too hot to do anything, so after I finished my surfing, I moved into the ugly chair and read one of the magazines I read cover to cover. With my eyes as they seem to be now, that isn't the best place to read, since the light is in front of me, but I managed.


I decided to see if I could get FrontPage on track last night, so I left it uploading the whole web, but Norton fired up around 11:00 and between the two of them, it didn't work. I think I will try it again tonight. I would just like to get it to remember where the web is, so that I can add pictures automatically again. What an awful program it is! There really isn't any excuse for that. And curiously enough, the version on the laptop doesn't seem to have most of those problems at all. Really, really weird.


I have been keeping the pictures of Venus that the camera is taking, but I doubt I will post any more of them. She is very low in the sky, and very far south, over the Mountain Lodge from the vantage point of the camera. Mars is over there with her, too, but he is too dim for the camera, and in fact, I've only seen him with averted vision. 


The days are getting so short, only 13½ hours now, and sunrise is shortly after 7:00. sunset is close to 8:45. I really hate to see the long days go. I guess I've said that before.


Now it's time to toddle up to the north end again and try to sleep better tonight. It should be comfortable enough without the fan, and besides I'm tired. It's a clear, warm, breezy night in the field.


August 27

Of course, I read when I got to the north end last night, so it was 11:30 or later when I got to bed. I slept hard until about 3:00, when I missed the signals and dripped on the bedding and my gown a bit before I made it to the bathroom. So I cleaned myself up as well as I could and got a new gown and went back to sleep. After about 7:00 I didn't sleep very well, and I got up around 9:00.


I petted a cat and knitted another row on the shawl. Slowly, I am getting the hang of the nupps. Creating the five stitches out of one isn't hard, but on the return row, I have to knit the five together, making sure I have all five and I don't have anything either before or after. It's quite a challenge, and I'll just have to hope nobody ever looks too carefully at the beginning of the center pattern. Besides, even on #3 needles, the bumps aren't as obvious as I would have thought.


The task of the day, obviously, was to wash bedding. I did the sheepskin pad first, because it takes a long time to dry, and it certainly did - it's still quite humid. However, I wanted it really dry, because one time it wasn't when I put it on the bed, and the sensations were - um - interesting when I laid down on it. The rest of the wash is in the dryer now, and the pad and the top sheet are on the bed. I have to wait until the sheet blanket dries before I finish making it up. 


I did several other things while I was stripping the bed and remaking it. I have had a two-ended extension cord for several years, so I pulled everything out from the wall and got the lamps and the clock/radio/phone plugged in behind the bed. I ignored the ferocious dust bunnies under the bed, although I did find a ChapStick I had lost. I dusted some, however. Everything in the bedroom had a rather thick layer of nice white dust all over it. Things do get quite dusty here, but the dust is clean and white, not black and gritty like it was in Detroit. I put away several things that were on the dresser, and rearranged my writing tools in the bathroom. 


I love my queen sized bed. It gives me even more room than the double and I particularly like that I can sleep in the middle from top to bottom and not hit either my head or my feet. However, it is a bear to make up. All the bedding is so big and heavy, and the mattress itself weighs a ton. It's really hard to get the fitted sheet and the straps on the sheepskin underneath. Part of it is that the sheets are normal ones, and this mattress is deeper than normal. I didn't know that when I bought my bedding, although those deep fitted sheets are expensive. I had money then. And of course I have to walk all around the bed for each piece. Buster didn't help by sitting down on the top sheet as I was trying to arrange it. He is trying to make up to me.


So I guess I can say I did something today, although it wasn't what I thought I would be doing. I took some Imodium, too, and possibly that will help a bit. I have been running off at an alarming rate for the past week or so, although this is the first accident I've had in a while. However, I've been thinking for some time that it was time to wash the sheepskin and fluff it up, as well as the top sheet and the pillowcases.


The pillowcases were interesting. For a couple of years, I have been hunting for king sized pillowcases. I knew I had some around here, and I thought I had several I bought for this house, but I couldn't find them. So today, I looked under all the bed linens in the closet, and there, lo and behold, was a new, unopened package with two cases in it. Duh. It was there all along. As my mama used to say, if it was a horse it would have bit me. Things like that seem to happen to me regularly these days. So now not only do I have a new cotton case on my pillow, I have a new satin one over it. I would have used one I'd used before, but when I grabbed, this new one came up. I think I recall writing, back in 2001 or so, about the 12 satin pillowcases I made, remarking that I had enough to last the rest of my life. Only six are in the linen closet, though. The rest are somewhere - probably upstairs - with the rest of the linens I brought from Champine. There should be some other king sized cotton ones there, too, if I can ever find them. I had even considered buying some more, but they seem to be hard to find and expensive, especially when I know I have some.


During the talking, I spent some time sitting in the ugly chair knitting on one of the afghans. i didn't feel up to the shawl. I was watching some small and medium chipmunks and a lot of hummingbirds. They are coming, but they are not hitting the feeder like they will in a week or two, when they stoke up before they start south. There was one nuthatch, but I don't know where the gold finches have gone.


It was a beautiful day. It got down below 60º overnight, but it warmed up nicely, and it was 79º briefly around 6:00. There was not a cloud in the sky until late in the day, and the winds were mostly light from the southwest. Sure, it was a bit warm, but it was so beautiful that made up for it. I opened up the house. It's not supposed to get that cool tonight.


Tonight I had some of my corn and some of my rotisserie chicken for dinner. The corn went down very well, I must say. I only ate a little of the chicken, and I actually had to boot Buster out of the room, he was so anxious to have some. And after I finished and I still had most of the breast left, he was sniffing like he was going to try to get it. He has gotten really forward about what I eat, and it doesn't seem to bother him at all that it bugs me. I may have to start picking him up and moving him. Of course, I still can't taste most things very well, and that apparently causes my tummy to close up quickly. That may be a good thing, but I'd rather be able to taste. 


So that was my day, Now it's time to totter up to the north end and finish making the bed before I lie in it. I need to bathe - I was sweaty today - but maybe I can get to bed earlier tonight. It's a lovely clear night in the field.


August 26

FrontPage lost its mind completely last night, and it looks like I will be creating every file, especially every picture file, manually from now on. The way it is acting, I exceeded some counter - there are over 4700 files in the web now - and I can't use the navigation view, because every time I do, it goes into a loop. I can't save image files, because it has lost track of where the web is supposed to be published. So it is pretty broken now, and I guess I will just have to limp along and hope for the best. I may try a few things, but I doubt they will work. I guess, when they created this version, they never expected anyone to use it for a moderate sized website. Oh, dear.


So I read for a while when I got to the north end, just to calm my mind, and it was 11:30 when I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well, probably because I had to do something different today. I got up around 8:00, which should have meant I would leave at a good time, but things conspired to prevent that. I had to pay a couple of bills, and I got a phone call that turned long, so it was after 12:00 when left the house, then I had to stop at the post office.


It didn't take long to get my blood drawn, and I only need to take one stool sample, so I decided not to do it until next Wednesday, just to save me a trip.


I went to Hughes Farm, where they had a nice selection of good things to eat. I tried to be modest, but I did succumb to some lettuce after all, as well as some beets and sweet corn. I'm really looking forward to that.


Then it was off to Pat's. I drove right by the gas station coming back, dumb me. I did the usual damage at Pat's, because I had depleted my TV dinner stash, and they had strip steaks. I will be eating steak for a long time. They also had a very good deal on pork chops, so I got some of those, too. Tomorrow I will take a lot of that stuff, as well as the bread, down to the basement. I was very happy to see that they are now carrying Thomas's English Muffins, which are the only ones I really like.


Jack Daniels has some special deals going, so I ended up with a pitcher. I don't really need another pitcher, but it was free, so I followed my saying, "For free, take". I mean, I had to pay for the big bottle of JD, of course, but I would do that anyway. They also have fifths with glasses of some sort, but they look rather small. I may try for those the next time. They may be the size of large shot glasses, which would be good for sipping neat. I haven't done that in a long time, but I used to do it occasionally. It's a good sleeping potion.


Driving was OK. They are still working on the culverts on the covered road, and I'm beginning to wonder if they are planning to pave them. The road was down to one lane going down but they were gone by the time I got back. I did have an adrenaline moments, though. A car went right through the intersection of US-41 and M-203 without stopping or even slowing down, so I had to really lean on the brakes. I also leaned on the horn. It looked like it might have been some kids, and evidently they missed all the stop signs or they were spaced out. There was some other sort of strange driving, but I attribute most of that to tourists. Although there was the guy waiting across the street when I got to US-41 after leaving the hospital, who just sat there through several clear times, then he waved me to turn when there was traffic coming in both directions. Thank you, but I'll wait. He was still sitting there when I turned. I don't know what he was doing. I also saw a couple of people driving with their handicap tags hanging from their rear view mirrors, which is at least frowned upon in Michigan and may be illegal. I always say those people's handicap is in their heads.


The weather was nice, but not too warm. It got up to 66º here, and just a degree or two warmer in Calumet. There wasn't much wind. It was sunny, although there were a lot of puffy, white fair-weather cumulus clouds. It was a pretty day.


I was a bit surprised to see some color in the maples, particularly on the covered road. But now that I think about it, that usually happens at this time of year. There isn't much, and it won't change much for the next month, except in the little trees that are very stressed. And there were some birches that looked stressed, too, and were turning sort of brownish. Well, it's coming. we have some more warm weather coming, too, but fall is on its way.


I got home a little before 4:00, and I had to bring everything in almost at once, because while I had the coolers, I hadn't frozen any ice packs. However, after I changed my shoes, I felt good enough to do it. I have noticed that when I come home with sore feet, just putting on a different pair of shoes -especially like my sandals - helps a whole lot.


When I came into the house the first time, with my arms full of my purse, my tote and my mail, I left the door from the garage to the breezeway open. When I came back, after changing my shoes and stopping in the powder room, there was a little chipmunk in the breezeway, gathering up the sunflower seeds that had fallen on the floor. Gutsy little guy! He didn't want to leave, either, and he sat in the grove and chirped at me, then he ran across the driveway, right around the edge of the house, and while I was sitting on the fender resting my back, he tried to come in again. I put a handful of seeds on the other side of the garage platform, but he didn't see them, so I put some outside the door where he had been peeking in. I figured he had earned something. I like chipmunks.


I had bought a sandwich and some deli salads, and I find that my sense of taste is still screwed up. I can taste some things (chocolate tastes pretty good), but I can't taste some other things, like creamy or oily things, at all. And I still have a bad taste in my mouth. It's discouraging, but I seem to have lost the few pounds I gained back last spring. So there's another nasty way to lose weight. I haven't found a good one yet.


So that was my day, and it's time to trundle off to the north end and crash. It's a pretty clear, coolish night in the field.


August 25

Oh, it was midnight again before I got to bed. I started reading when I got to the north end. Oh, well. I slept well, and it was 10:00 before I got up. However, I was up shortly after 6:00, and there was the lovely moon shining in my windows. The camera got another good picture. Sooo pretty!


However, the wind started blowing before I went up to the north end last night, and it blew all night long and all day. The peak winds were around 11:00 this morning, with 30 mph sustained winds and 39 mph gusts. There were lovely whitecaps on the harbor when I got up. This time, the NWS station was reporting correctly, because the wind was from the north. They started dying down after that, and they went calm at 8:00, although they are blowing again now. I got a nice reply from the Marquette weather station explaining that the wind gauge is shielded on one side by high trees...but I knew that. When I wish I had my own weather station.


By the way, on that subject, even if I could afford one, I couldn't use it properly until I get some new computer hardware. So one thing leads to another and pretty soon we're looking at a serious outlay of money that I don't have.


Anyway, the wind was the reason I didn't put out the bird feeders.


I didn't do much today, but I did do something. i washed the towels and throws that Buster barfed on, although I just now put them in the dryer. After I did that, I sat down and folded all the clothes, although I didn't put them away. I now have two very full washbaskets of things that need to be put in the closet. I will have to take the chair in there one of these days. I continued to try to get the dishwasher unloaded. And I wove in the yarn ends on the first shawl. Maybe Friday I can block it. I'm anxious to see how it comes out when it's well stretched.


The weather, besides being windy, was cold. For most of the day the temperature was right around 60º, although it went up to 66º from 5:00 to 7:00 before it dropped off again. It's too bad they don't report wind chills, because it was cold. The sky was clear sometimes and cloudy sometimes, although it has cleared up nicely now. So there should be another nice bright moon tonight. I don't think we'll catch it on the camera again, because it will be setting after it gets light, but you never know.


Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer, which is nice, since I have to trudge off to Calumet to get my blood drawn and do some shopping. I plan to go on down to Hughes Farm and see what they have. I know they will have leaf lettuce, but I'm a bit reluctant to get any, since cleaning lettuce can be a drag. However, we'll see. Maybe a cucumber or two and a tomato, and who knows what else? Then I need to go to Pat's and lay in some stuff. I will wait till next week to do the Houghton stuff.


I knitted a few more rows on the new shawl, but I haven't gotten to the center pattern yet, with all its nupps. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about that, although I have read some suggestions about how to do them. The yarn is all alpaca, and it is nearly as soft as cashmere, and it's nice to work with. It is rather wiry and it doesn't stretch, but that's about like the crochet cotton I used to use.


So that was my day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a clear, breezy night in the field.


August 24

It was around midnight or something when I got to bed, and I slept hard again. When I was up in the night, the moon was so bright, and I saw it setting around 6:00. It was shining in my windows so bright and clear. In fact, the camera caught a really good picture of it. Quite a glitter path, wasn't there? And quite bright, wasn't it? 


I didn't get up until around 9:30, by which time Buster was getting anxious, to the extent of almost sitting on my head. I petted him and knitted some, although he got upset and left when I pulled out the knitting. I finished the bottom edge pattern on the shawl, and I started ten rows of garter stitch. After that, the pattern has lots of nupps in it, and we'll see about that.


Otherwise, I didn't do much of anything. I started unloading the dishwasher, and I got the last load of clothes out of the dryer and left them in the bathroom - which reminds me, I have to fold underwear tonight.


The doctor's office called me, and I have to do the stool sample thing again. I will pick up the stuff on Thursday when I go down to have my blood drawn. Sigh. 


However, since I have to go to Houghton a week from tomorrow, that solves one problem I had. I need to shop, and I wanted to shop at Pat's (with a stop at Hughes Farm, if they're open), but I also need to go to Erickson Feed,  Wal-Mart and Econo. I didn't think I could possibly manage all those places in one trip without collapsing. So now I can go to Pat's and Hughes on Thursday and the rest when I go to see the dentist. Possibly I can take my stool samples to the hospital that day, too. When you are 50 miles from everywhere, you try to plan ahead and do as much as possible in one trip. With me, "possible" isn't very much, so it's good that I have two trips to take.


The weather was so-so. After it being so clear at 6:30, it clouded up, and it didn't clear up again until about 6:00 this evening. The temperature got up to 71º briefly, but it has been right around 68º for the past 24 hours. There was a wind, and it has become quite gusty, from either the north or the northwest, but I believe something is wrong with the NWS station, and it is having a very hard time sensing both the wind speed and direction. I have an email into the Marquette office. 


Today is the official full moon, although it was nearly as full last night. The sun set about 8:45, so it is getting dark so early now. The moon should light things up again tonight, since it is supposed to be clear.


That's about all I know. My sense of taste is returning slowly, but it is definitely returning. Thank goodness. I don't know how much more of that I could have taken.


Now it's a nearly clear, breezy evening in the field, and I need to go up to the north end and fold my underwear.


August 23

It was around 12:45 when I turned out the light last night. When I came out of the bathroom, I couldn't see anything down the harbor, and I could hardly even see the lighthouse light, so it got very foggy after dark. It was so humid, I wasn't surprised.


I slept well, and I got up around 9:00, maybe? I petted a cat and knitted a bit. When I got up, Jasmine was sound asleep at the end of the bathtub, where I keep a couple of folded towels, and she didn't get up until after I left the bathroom. Slowly, slowly... She went to sleep in the south windows of the studio, too, although she fled when I moved. Slowly, slowly...


Even before I got dressed, I started the last load of wash, and I found the last compression stocking. It had gotten dried in the dryer, even though I went through the wet clothes twice and shook them all out. I figured it would turn up. I don't usually dry my compression hose in the dryer, although they say you can, because it seemed to me with the first set that they stretched out and didn't last as long as when they were allowed to air dry. It was so humid, though, that I ended up putting my socks in the dryer with the white stuff. They were still damp from overnight. This is going to be the humid summer, for sure.


I didn't do much of anything again. I discovered, a day or so ago, when I went looking for my Estonian lace book, that a book I got recently is one I'd bought a couple of years ago. So much for Amazon knowing everything I've bought from them. So I packed up the latest copy and sent it back today. At least they seem to be pretty good at accepting returns, and hey will even pay for part of the shipping. 


My latest yarn project had come. It's a sweater with a Fair Isle yoke, and it looks like it will be a really fun project. Unfortunately, the extra balls of yarn I ordered aren't the same dye lot as the main color in the kit, but I think I can work around that. However, I think I will try to do the black sweater first. I've been thinking about that again lately. I will work on the shawl a bit, too, but maybe not all the time. Lace demands my full attention, whereas the kind of knitting in the sweater is something I can do when I'm distracted - but not too distracted, or I'll miss the increases, which I've already done on this try.


Then I stopped at the store for lettuce and something to eat tonight. I think my sense of taste is a little better already, but it will be a while before it comes back completely, and in the meantime, I'm sort of just eating to fill my stomach. The other problem now is that the pollen count is astronomical - and yes, we do have ragweed here - and when my nose is stuffy, I don't taste very well anyway. I also tend to make uncouth noises every so often.


This evening was church, and there were about 15 of us, I think. That was nice. There were goodies and some nice fellowship afterwards. I had met Mary Ann at the post office, and she brought a couple of her crocheted shawls to show me. She is an excellent crocheter and knitter, and they are very nice. I should have brought my shawl, too, but I was almost late anyway. The last church is next Monday, and I guess I'm going to have to try to go to church on Sundays. This summer has shown me just how much I miss it. Of course, during the winter, it will be iffy, but I do want to try to go.


The weather was lovely, if still humid. The temperature got up to 76º briefly, but for most of the afternoon it was in the mid 70s, and there was only a light southwest wind. The sky was clear, if hazy, all day. Nice.


I talked to Mary Ann for a while outside the Community Center, and when I started for home, there was the almost-full moon rising in the southeast, huge and pale off-white. It isn't full until tomorrow, but it's not far from it, and it was just beautiful. They say that the bigness of the moon when it's near the horizon is a mirage, but whatever, it's just beautiful to see. Oh, yes, and while we were talking, a heron flew over toward Lake Fanny Hooe. I think he probably fishes in Clyde's pond, and maybe he roosts on the south shore of Fanny Hooe.


What were we saying this afternoon? Every day in Copper Harbor is a day in paradise. Almost everybody I know here feels just the same way I do about it. Even when the weather isn't exactly perfect, it's still the only place to be.


Oh, I'm almost forgetting. When I got home from the post office, I finally called both the doctor in Marquette and a dentist. Of course, I didn't talk to the doctor, but the nice woman I did talk to kept saying, "that's bad" when I told her I thought I was reinfected and I have constant diarrhea. I will hear back from them in the next day or so. Then I talked to the dentist's office that had been recommended to me by a couple of people, and they were very nice, too. I will go in for an evaluation a week from Wednesday. I'm sure he will agree that I need a crown, but I can understand them wanting to make sure before they commit to it.


That got me thinking again, people are so nice up here. Everyone I run into is nice. I can't remember when (or if) I've run across someone who wasn't. I mean, every so often I run across someone in a parking lot who is clearly totally wrapped up in their own thing, but everyone who deals with the public is nice, even more so than I would expect. They don't ever even act like they're bored. I try to be nice in return.


So that was my day, and I'm tired. It's a clear, warm night in the field and it's time to totter up to the north end and crash again.


August 22

I think I turned out the light around midnight last night, and I didn't get up until about 10:00. I slept hard, so hard that when I woke up I had to just lie there for a few minutes to come totally to. Buster was getting anxious by the time I got up, but when I pulled out the knitting, he went away.


I think I'm just going to go with the #3 needles. I like the way it looks so far, and I'm tired of ripping. Of course, I do make mistakes on almost every pattern row, but so far they've been easy to correct.


I was doing some surfing when I remembered I wanted to wash today, but since i kept forgetting, I haven't gotten the white load done. That will have to be for tomorrow...and it will have to be, since I'm very low on underpants. When I took the last load out of the washer, I discovered that I seem to have lost one compression stocking. I've looked all over, and I can't find it. Tomorrow I will have to look in the closet. The last time I thought that, I found two of them hung together, but I checked that very carefully, and no such luck this time. My mind...


The weather was nice but humid. It was clear all day, and there was almost no wind. The temperature got up to 69º for most of the afternoon. I had the patio door open and the door from the kitchen to the porch, but I didn't open everything up, because I'm not sure what the temperature will be tonight. It only got down to 63º overnight, and with almost no wind, I could have left the windows open.


I spent a lot of time out on Amazon, looking through my recommendations and editing them. Sometimes, their guesses are uncanny, but sometimes they baffle me. Why, just because I bought one particular style of vacuum bag, would they think I might want any other styles - which don't fit my vacuum? And I've only told them a dozen times that I don't buy DVDs and I don't want any. And because I bought a temperature sensor, they listed all the other LaCrosse weather stations they sell. Or because I've been getting my ink cartridges from them, now they want to list all the HP ink cartridges they sell, very few of which fit my printer. Geez, guys. I never did get completely through the list. Their site loads extremely slowly on  my computer and occasionally hangs it up - old software again - so I finally gave up. When you look at the recommendations, you have to start at the beginning and page through every page, even if you really want to start six or seven pages down. I'd like to see what's at the end of the list.


As somebody pointed out the other day, the trouble with these sites like Amazon that recommend things based on what you've bought before is, you may be looking for something completely different and you might not know exactly what it is. After I bought one book on Michigan history from them, for a while I was getting a lot of those, but they haven't turned up lately. I might want to go back to them, although I'd rather get them from Grandpa's Barn (Clyde & Lloyd's bookstore in Copper Harbor), if they have them.


Sometime in the afternoon, there was a little speedboat down at this end of the harbor honking its horn. It would have been a nice day to be out on the water. And I imagine the people who came and went to Isle Royal appreciated the calm seas. I understand there were some idiots wandering around town last week complaining that the Queen didn't go out for three days - like anybody in their right mind would go out in a boat that small in 12 foot waves! Wednesday, when things calmed down, she made two trips. Sometimes I really wonder about people. If they had gone, and they had gotten sick, as I'm sure they would have, I'm sure they would have complained about that, too. However, the Kilpelas are too careful to ever go out in weather like that. We've had enough shipwrecks on Mother Superior.


It was a nice, quiet day and it's a nice quiet night. The moon is shining brightly in the windows as it rises, so it's clear again.


August 21

I did it again last night, and I don't quite know how, but it was 1:00 before I turned out the light. I was up a couple of times, and I got up around 9:30. 


I petted the cat, and after knitting a bit more on the shawl, I ripped it all out. I just did not like the way it looked on those big needles. I cast on again with #3s, and I like it better, but I may try #4s before I decide how to proceed. With the #3s you can actually see the pattern and tell the yarn overs from the knitted parts. Of course, it will come out smaller than the pattern says, but that's all right, I think. I may have to do more repeats of the center pattern in order to get it long enough, but we'll see about that when the time comes.


I decided to change needles because of the look, but this shawl is supposed to be in the style of Estonian lace, and after looking through my book on that (which is referenced in the pattern), I couldn't find one project with lace weight yarn that was on such big needles. Almost all the lace weight yarn works with #3 or #4 needles, so I don't know what the rationale was. The yarn is so fine, the project comes out very lacy even on smaller needles, and I found that with the big ones, the pattern, which is a pretty one, almost disappeared in a forest of holes. Only I might not have enough yarn for the other project. I'll have to see.


I actually did something else today! The kitchen is a horrible disaster, and the dishwasher was getting almost too full to put anything in it, so I washed up all the dirty pots and pans and got the dishwasher ready to run tonight. The counters are gross, but I'll just have to do them another time. I will run the dishwasher tonight, and maybe tomorrow I can get all the stuff put away. My back bothered me some, but not as badly as it was. Tomorrow I have to wash clothes.


The weather was all right, I guess. When I was up around 4:00, I noticed that I couldn't see the lights of town, so it was foggy, and according to the NWS station the humidity was 100% all night. It was cloudy for most of the day, unlike what they were predicting, but it was bright-cloudy, and there was no sign of any rain or anything. The temperature got up to 66º briefly, around 2:00, but it was 64º for most of the afternoon. There was a light wind from the north, enough to make the lake hum softly. Late in the afternoon it cleared up, finally.


Since they had predicted it would clear up around noon, I took a look at the satellite picture, and it seemed like there was a big cloud right over the Keweenaw, and the whole rest of the lake was clear...really weird. Since the wind was from the north and it wasn't too warm or too humid, it seems strange that the cloud would just be there. Well, actually, from the MODIS picture, it wasn't just here, but all over the UP, while the lake was clear. That happens frequently, and I can't tell you how many times I've stood on the shore of the lake in cloudy weather and seen clear skies out over the lake. It's strange, and I don't understand it, but it's common.


Anyway, Art in the Park was today and tomorrow, and at least they had decent weather, and it should be better tomorrow.


Yesterday, the length of daylight was exactly 14 hours, and today it's three minutes shorter. Oh, dear. The days are getting short, and in the next month, we'll lose another two hours. I hate to see the long evenings go.


So that was my day, and it's a clear, cool and breezy evening in the field.


August 20

Last night, it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I'm not quite sure why, except that I spent some time looking through the hymnal for a tune that had been going through my mind in the morning. Since I'd forgotten what it was, it took a while and I never did find it. I slept well, with only two wakeups, but for the last hour, I was restless and wakeful, because my shoulders were so sore. I got up around 9:00.


I was sitting in the bathroom when there were a couple of growls of thunder, and the rain began. Between 9:00 and noon, we had 0.38" of rain, which meant it was raining when I went for my massage.


I feel much better for that, even though Johanna was rushed and I didn't get my usual attention. She did work on my back a lot, and that helped.. It isn't bothering me nearly so much. I just remembered that I stopped at the post office, but I forgot to bring the mail into the house. Oops.


I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, as usual. I started reading one of the episodes from the blue binder tonight, which is why this is so late. I started to knit when I got up, but I got into a terrible mess on one repeat of the pattern, and I just put it all away and didn't take it up again. It was too dark to see well anyway.


The weather was showery and cool, although it did eventually get up to 67º. where it still is. The humidity was over 90% all day, and occasionally there was some wind, up to 24 mph, during the rain showers, although it has dropped to almost nothing now. The wind was from the south. We ended up with 0.59" of rain. Sort of an icky day, but not especially cool.


Johanna's house backs up to a pine and cedar woods, and when I got out of my car there, the scent of wet pine just about overpowered me. I get that here occasionally, too, but since I don't live with many trees close by, it isn't as strong.


So that was my day, and it's time to go and crash. It's a warmish, cloudy and very damp night in the field.


August 19

I forgot to look at the clock when I went to bed, but I don't think it was very late. I went up to the north end early and cast on the shawl and knitted four rows. After the 500+ rows in the first shawl, the 101 stitches in this one go pretty fast.


I slept hard, with two wakeups, and I got up around 8:45. I knitted another row, but I have a problem with the needle size. Size 6 needles are really too big for lace weight yarn, and as a result, it's hard to tell the yarn overs from the plain knitting. It's also hard to see what happened when I goof, which I have a couple of times. It seems rather easy to drop stitches. I will do the bottom border, then make a decision on whether to go on or rip it out and start on a smaller needle. The Suri Alpaca shawl is done on a #3 needle, and that seems to me to be about the right size. So we'll see.


Eric didn't come until after 1:00, so he only did a little bit, but he has a start on mowing the back field. I don't mind if the grass and things gets tall - in fact I rather like it - but that tansy has to go. Some of what Pete did around the garage and the breezeway is beginning to grow back, too, so Eric whacked that down. He will probably be back on Saturday, but we'll see.


He does several things, including running the North Port Motel and cooking at the Pines, but he is also trying to start a small business taking people out into the remote parts of the peninsula. He hasn't done much this year, but it will take a while to get his name out. He is a nice young man.


I actually did one chore today, and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. The last two regular floodlights in the bathroom both burned out, and it was pretty dim in there with only two lights on. So I got out my tool and managed to change them with very little trouble, not as much as I remember when I was using it before. I only have to remember which way is out and which way is in - in is clockwise? I never remember. Anyway, I should have more light in there tonight. However, there are a couple of things about those compact fluorescents that I don't like. For one, they are about half an inch longer than the regular lights, so they stick out of the canisters. In a couple of places in the house, that means I can't open the cupboard doors completely. They don't look as neat, either. I suppose eventually they'll start making the canisters a bit deeper, but all mine are for regular incandescent lights. I'm hoping the fluorescents will have longer lives. The other thing I don't like is that when they are first turned on, they are very dim, and it takes a while for them to come up to their full light. That means that it can be rather dark when I first turn on the lights. However, I will be a good girl and try to conserve energy, especially in places like the studio, the kitchen and the bathroom, where the lights can be on for quite a while, especially in the winter.


Otherwise, I did nothing. I knitted another row on the shawl, but that was it. I cooked tonight - sort of. I had my shrimp lo mein. I am getting down how to cook it, in spite of the directions. However, my sense of taste is shot - I could sort of taste the shrimp and nothing of the sauce on the noodles, not even the little heat in the sauce. 


This taste thing is making it really hard to eat. I get hungry, but nothing tastes like anything, so nothing seems good to me. I only have three more pills to take, however, and I'm hoping once I stop, I will be able to taste again. The other thing about the pills is that they don't seem to be working. I have developed a rather large black spot in the middle of my fingernail, which is something I never had before. Well, I've been wanting to talk to the doctor, so I guess I'll have to tell him the treatment didn't work.


The weather was nice. It was sunny all day, and while it started out quite cool, around 55º, it got up to 68º for several hours this afternoon. When the sun set, however, the temperature plummeted back to 57º, so I had to shut the windows again. There wasn't much wind, and what there was went all the way around the compass, starting in the north, and swinging around through east to south. Then it went calm, and when it started up again, it was from the west-southwest. But it was so light, it hardly made a difference.  It is still clear, and when I brought in the bird feeders, the gibbous moon was casting a lovely, wide glitter path on this end of the harbor. It is still very low in the south when it's full, but it is shining brightly in the south windows right now.


At one point this afternoon, I was sitting in the powder room when Jasmine came upstairs, and she started talking, and the more I talked back, the more she talked. Unlike Buster, she has a very expressive voice, and she seems to have a lot of different words. It is very high-pitched, though, and she can peep and grunt (without opening her mouth). She was running up and down the stairs and talking for quite a while. She seems to want to have a conversation with me, and if I imitate her words, she will respond. Not when I can see her, of course. Buster just yells or grunts, without much expression.


So that was my day, and it's time to crash again. It's a lovely, clear, cool, moonlit night in the field.


August 18

I stared at the floor even longer last night, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed, even though I was very tired. I slept hard, even though my hips and shoulders bothered me. I was awake around 7:30, and just decided no way, so it was at least 9:30 before i got up. Buster had been staring at me for some time before that, but I just kept dozing.


I wanted to start the raspberry shawl, and I cast it on, but on the last repeat of the first row, I did something (I don't know what) that caused me to lose a bunch of stitches, so I tore the whole thing out, and I will start it over again. I can see why people tend to use wooden needles. One of my problems is that this yarn is alpaca, and it is very slippery. Once I get started, I know the metal needles will make working easier, but the first couple of rows will be a trial. 


When I got to the office, Buster had barfed all over the throws I keep on the desk chair (more about that some other time), and, as it turned out, all over the floor, too, but he had given up a massive hairball,, so he felt a lot better today and he wasn't clinging to me quite as much. Buster's hairballs don't come up in long strings like most cats' do, but in masses. He is a strange little cat in many ways. I need to wash the fleece throw and the towels, but I didn't get to that today. I am still very creaky.


Other than go to the post office and the store, I didn't do anything.


It was a dark, cloudy day, although we only got a little rain between 8:00 and 9:00 and a little more between 10:00 and 11:00. The reported high temperature was 66º, but that happened between 7:00 and 8:00, and it was just a spike. For the rest of the day, it was right around 61º. There was a little wind during the rain, but for most of the afternoon, it was nearly calm. A gray Superior day, as my mother used to say.


Eric called, and he had some excuse for not coming, so he is supposed to come tomorrow. I hope he does. The knapweed has gone to seed, and the tansy will be following it soon.


I was getting dressed when I heard a racket on the road, and when I looked out the tree-killers were going along the road - Asplundh, which is the firm all the utilities uses to cut back around the wires. However, they are very selective, I noticed. They would cut back from the electric wires, but they left trees growing into the telephone wires. It would be nice if all the utilities could ever work together. Anyway, while they did a real job on some trees in Copper Harbor, I didn't notice much damage along our road.


So that was another nothing day. I did feel a little better today. Yesterday, not only was I tired, I think I was probably dehydrated as well. I need to be more careful about replacing my fluids. I hope to be a little earlier tonight, and a good night's sleep plus a lot of water and I should feel a bit  better.


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


August 17

I stared at the floor again last night, so it was around midnight when I got to bed, I think. I don't remember. I slept, but it was cold, and I was up several times. When I got up this morning, it was frigid in the bathroom. I petted the cat a bit, but it was even too cold for him, and I tried to knit, but it was too cold, so I got dressed.


Eric didn't come. I am disappointed. It would have been a good day to mow. I didn't do anything, except late this afternoon, while the talking was going on, I sat in the ugly chair in the sun to warm up and I finished the shawl. I thought I'd never get it bound off - 534 stitches. Ugh! So now I can start one of the Baltic shawls, the raspberry one, I think, but I have to put stoppers on the black sweater, because it is  supposed to use #6 needles. That's the problem with interchangeable needles: there are plenty of cables but not enough needle tips. 


And I'm running into my #6 needle problem again: some time ago, some manufacturers started making #6 needles 4mm in diameter, rather than 4¼mm like American needles had always been. It seems strange that a quarter of a millimeter could make that much difference, but I think I mentioned my problem when I tried to use the bigger ones for that cotton sweater (which may never get finished). Knitting gauge is more sensitive to exact needle size (and probably needle material) than seems reasonable.


Actually, I think #6 needles are probably too big for lace weight yarn, but I'm willing to try them. This is one of the patterns with lots of nupps in it, and I am looking forward to it with some trepidation. However, since I last tried them, I have read several discussions of them, and I'm willing to try them again. Nupps are little bumps that are increased in one row and decreased on the next row, and the way they are made makes it very difficult to do the decrease. I may have to hunt up my book on Estonian lace, from which this pattern seems to have been taken. 


However, I do like lace. The shawl looks really funny now, with eight little tags hanging off it and several places where there are humps in the fabric. But it needs to be stretched extremely, and that should take care of the problems. Now that it's finished, it feels much softer than it did while I was working on it. And the colors are much too garish. But it was a fun project, and I want to block it to finish it off.


Now I can go on to real lace, with very fine yarn.


The wind advisory may have ended last evening, but I keep forgetting that, when it comes to gales, we are more like out in the middle of the lake than further down the peninsula. It blew a near gale all night long, with peak winds at 5:00 this morning, gusting to 38 mph from the north-northwest. And it blew all day long. Then sometime between 6:00 and 7:00, the wind went calm. I mean, totally calm. Oh, the weather around here is so much fun! The temperature got down to 58º between 8:00 and 10:00, and they should have been reporting wind chills. It was cold around here. I closed up the entire house and took the hold off the temperature in the bathroom, and I was still cold. It was clear overnight - I could see Vega and Deneb setting when I was up around 4;00 - but it clouded up later and it was cloudy until around 9:00, when the clouds started go go away, and the afternoon was just beautiful, if cold. Then around 6:00 it started to cloud up again. For a while I could see the crescent moon shining in the south windows, but now it's playing peek-a-boo with the clouds. The temperature finally got up to 67º between 5:00 and 7:00, but it's dropping off again. 


It was a fun gale, but I'm glad for the calm winds again. Enough, already. And it's amazing that temperatures that felt quite comfortable in the spring now feel frigid - but of course, a lot of that was the wind.


It seems to me that things like this have happened before in mid-August. We will get some more hot weather, no doubt, but this is the first taste of autumn, just a reminder that we're going downhill all the way. The rest of the week is likely to be cooler - in the low 70s - but it may be warm enough for me to open up the house again. That's the only thing I miss. I'd gotten used to living almost in the outdoors, and I hated to shut the windows, but it was chilly in here.


I had a hint that all might not be well with my heating system, although I still seem to have hot water. We'll see how the bathroom is when I get there.


So that was my nothing day. I had hoped I might do something today, but my back was particularly bad, and in fact, all my arthritis was acting up today - it's the cool weather. Besides, I had a nasty accident this morning, which I blamed partly on Buster, who was sitting on my lap and didn't want to leave. So I had to wash a small load of jeans, compression hose and socks. I mean, nasty. That always puts me in a bad mood. I did write down the doctor's telephone number, as well as that of a dentist, but I didn't do anything about it.


So it's a cool, calm and partly to mostly cloudy evening in the field, and it's time for bed.


August 16

I did it again. I went up to the north end late, and while I didn't knit, I stared at the floor for quite a while, so it was about 1:00 when I got to bed. The roaring of the wind and the lake lulled me to sleep, as well as being cuddled under my comforter. I woke up for the second time about 7:15, and that was clearly too early, so I went back to sleep. I woke up again about 8:45, and I hustled around and made it to the CHIA meeting, which wasn't really necessary.


Actually, they had the new kiosk on show, and that was nice to see, since I had no idea what they were talking about. This is a bunch of pieces, two large banners and a central portion with the CHIA logo on it and two small tables, that people will take when they go to expos, to get the word out about Copper Harbor. It was very nicely done, and they decided to get two more banners showing winter. They now have two tag lines. One is "Copper Harbor - it's worth the trip", which I frankly thought was a bit lame. The other one is (I think) "Copper Harbor - how life was meant to be" and that one I agree with most heartily.


Otherwise, there was a lot of talk about not much, which is how those things tend to be.                                                                                                                                          


I didn't do anything after I got home. There was church tonight, and fellowship afterward, and that was very nice, as always. Mary Ann had her granddaughters with her, and they were very good for being 3 and 5.


The weather continued to act up. There was no rain, and some sunshine, but the wind was strong and gusting all day long. The peak so far was at 7:00 (an hour before the wind advisory was supposed to end) at 39 mph. It's really weird that while the wind out in the middle of the lake is from the southwest, here it's from the north-northwest which means it's been beating on the front of my house. The temperature got up to 68º for several hours this afternoon, but it still felt cold. I went to the CHIA meeting in a short-sleeved shirt, but as soon as I came home, I changed to a light-weight sweatshirt, and I was much more comfortable, although I wasn't really warm until after I ate. It doesn't look to me like the wind is dying down much, even though the advisory is supposed to have expired. 


It was partly to mostly cloudy all day, until the evening, and it was clear in the west and south and cloudy in the north and east when I came home.


So that was my day. Tomorrow Eric is supposed to come and mow the back field, so I can't lie around in bed then, either.


Now it's a cool, windy night in the field, and I'll be off to the north end as soon as I finish  my JD.


August 15

Obviously, I was up too late last night. I forgot to upload the journal after I wrote it, so it didn't get posted until sometime this morning. Sorry about that, and thanks to Phil, who pointed it out to me.


I think it was before midnight when I got to bed, and I slept hard again. I was up several times, closing doors and pulling up  more covers. The temperature dropped from 73º at midnight to 63º at 7:00, so it was a bit brisk to have all that wind coming in. I got up around 9:00 again and  I knitted a couple of rows on the shawl. Now I only have two more rows to go, plus the bind off. It has been a fun project, and I'm sorry to see it end, except for the blocking. I'm not sure whether I will try to use my blocking board or just pin it out on the double bed upstairs. Now I'm anxious to see how it looks when it's off the needles. When there are over 500 stitches on a 29" needle, it's hard to see much of anything except the next stitch.


The news of the day was the wind. Before I got dressed, it was gusting to 27 mph, and it was pretty much like that all day. The maximum gusts were reported at 32 mph, but I keep remembering that the NWS station is sort of shielded on the west side, and I'm sure the wind was stronger here. One gust I heard as I was making my breakfast made the front wall of the house and all the windows creak. The temperature only made it to 70º - hardly "warm" like they were predicting. So it was cool around here, and I spent the day closing doors and windows, until now only the east side of the great room and the studio are open. It will be a good night to sleep. It was mostly cloudy all day long, and between 8:00 and 10:00, there was a little rain, although I didn't particularly notice anything except some very dark clouds. There was a partly clear time sometime during the day, but it didn't last long. It is still humid, but with the cool temperatures, it isn't as noticeable except on my towels.  I guess this is our August gale.


I forgot to check on the rain. On Friday, before it was over, we had 1.25" of rain. There was a little bit yesterday and a little bit today. So I guess we are doing pretty good in the moisture area. That's good. We need all we can get.


I left the bird feeders out last night, and they were all right, except that it was a bad day to have them out at all. All the nectar drained out of the hummingbird feeder, and I saw one poor little hummer trying to get a drink and not being able to hang around the feeder in the wind. I felt sorry for it. I wish there was a place I could put the feeders where they were a little more sheltered and I could still see them and get to them, but there isn't. There was an intrepid squirrel or two, but I doubt there were any birds.


So that was a useless day, and it's late now, and I should get up and go to the CHIA meeting tomorrow. It's a dark, cloudy, cool and very windy night in the field.


August 14

I was reading some of my magazines, finally, so I was late going up to the north end, but I didn't knit, so I got to bed before midnight. And I crashed. I had a hard time finishing my prayers before I was asleep, and in fact, I think I kept dozing off and having to backtrack. I don't do that often. I was only up a couple of times during the night, and I slept hard. The result was that by about 9:30 both hips and both shoulders were so sore I had to get up. There was a nice wind blowing in the porch door when I got up.


I knitted a while and I have started the rose, and the row with the big holes in it, and I discovered that the chart miscounted. I'm not sure what that will do for the next six rows, but the miscount was on the left-hand side of the repeat, which isn't as important, at least in this part of the pattern.


Buster was disgusted. He wanted to sit on me, and he wanted me to pay exclusive attention to him. I think he was hungry, too. Well, he has dry food, and I know he eats it, because I saw him.


I ended up not doing anything except to read another magazine. Now I'm caught up on Sky & Telescope and Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly. Eventually, I'll get through them all. The thing is, even with the knitting magazines, the patterns are the least part, except for techniques. It's all the other information that really interests me, and that means reading.


My eyes seem to have lost almost all their accommodation. My glasses have to be in exactly the right spot or I can't see, and of course they slip, particularly in this weather.


The wind coming in the door felt so good that I was most surprised to discover it was 76º when I got to the studio. The temperature peaked at 84º at 6:00 this evening, but the breeze was strong except for the early afternoon, and when it was blowing, it was mostly from the west. It was very humid again. The dew point hung around 70º except for a short while when the temperature peaked. The skies were mostly clear until sunset, when a big cloudbank came over, the sky turned pink, and we got a handful of rain. No moon and no Venus tonight, because there was a big cloudbank over in the west as it got dark.


I've been forgetting to mention how short the days are getting. Today we had 14h18m of daylight, and we are losing it at more than 3 minutes a day, so by the end of next week, it will be down under 14 hours. Sunset is at 9:05, about an hour earlier than it was in early July, and sunrise is around 6:45. Well, it was nice while it lasted.


I've also forgotten to mention that when the appraiser went upstairs, she didn't shut the door to the bedrooms completely, and somebody has pushed it open. That is Jasmine's new hang-out spot. I've seen her go through the crack in the doorway several times. I need to go up there and see what she's doing. I had hoped to keep at least the one bedroom nice and more or less cat-hair free, but I doubt it is now. 


Buster was extraordinarily clingy today, and I don't know why. He seems to be eating OK and he was washing himself tonight, but he wants to be with me, or preferably on me. It always makes me wonder, especially in this warm weather.


So now it's a warm, humid, dark night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end. In this weather I have to shower every night, just to wash off the sticky sweat. And it's been weeks since my towels have dried overnight. Oh well, it's the middle of August, and eventually this will come to an end. I can take the heat, at least what we've had here on the shores of the big lake, but the humidity really drags me down.


August 13

Today would have been my mother's 93rd birthday. She has been gone 17 years now, and I still miss her.


I knitted a little bit when I got to the north end last night, but I was hot, so I took my bath and was in bed by 11:00. I didn't sleep too well. I was up any number of times, and I had a hard time getting comfortable. Part of the reason for that may have been that it was so humid. 


When I went to bed, it was relatively clear out. Before I went up to the north end, there were clouds in the west. I saw the moon and I saw Venus, but not together. They were peeking in and out of the clouds. However, when I turned out the light, Arcturus was shining in the windows. I think it clouded up later.


I got up around 8:00, because I knew if I went back to sleep, I'd never get up, but that wasn't enough sleep. I knitted several rows, and I am almost through with the blue/rose mix, which means that I'm coming to the end of the shawl. Only 10 or 12 rows left to do. This has been a fun project to knit, even though I don't like the colors very well. It is awfully garish. The yarn is very nice, but it is beyond me why they decided to dye it in such bright, garish colors. 


Anyway, I didn't do very much, but I spent most of the afternoon bringing my ledger up to date. I hoped that might show me how things will be now, but this has been such a weird year - two trips to Detroit, a crown, and lots of medical bills - that it's hard to get a picture.


One of the reasons I didn't get much done was that shortly after 10:00, I started hearing distant thunder, and it rained a little, then around 11:00, the heavens opened, and I had to go rushing around closing windows, since the storm started out blowing from the south then switched around to the east. A lot of things in the house got wet before I got all the windows shut, and I forgot the one in the powder room. It continued to rain lightly until nearly noon, and we got 0.93" of rain, 0.85" in about half an hour. We haven't had a downpour like that in quite a while. Of course, there was thunder and wind with it.


Then it calmed down again, and for a while this afternoon, the skies were nearly clear. Just a little while ago, another storm blew through, with lots of thunder and some rain, but I don't yet know how much. I much prefer the nighttime storms, because it's easier to see the lightning.


The NWS station started reporting temperature again at 10:00, and it was around 70º for most of the afternoon, but it rose to 82º at 7:00. I thought it was sort of hot around here. The problem is, the dew point was about 70º for the whole day, which is much too humid. There was hardly any wind except in the storms. Ick. Between 9:00 and 10:00, when the last storm was coming up, we had 33 mph gusts from the southwest. Ick.


There is a huge area of heavy rain south of Houghton, so we may be in for periodic storms all night long.


When I would have put out the bird feeders, it was pouring rain, then I got busy and I just plain forgot about them. I'm just as glad, since I would probably have had to bring them in either in a windstorm or in the rain.


Jasmine has been nowhere to be seen since this morning, but Buster has been wanting to sit on me, and when the rain started coming in on the kitty condo this morning, he came and complained about it. He was particularly cuddly when this last cell blew through, since there was a lot of thunder. I guess I should be happy that he comes to me for support rather than running away to hide in the basement like most of the cats I've known.


Now I'm tired, and it's a dark, stormy night in the field.


August 12

Well, tonight I'll do this first.  I went up to the north end around 10:00 with the idea of maybe knitting a couple of rows. I finished the blue and tied in one strand of rose, but when I got to the last repeat (52 stitches each), I discovered that I'd screwed up the pattern several rows before, so I ripped. Just that repeat, but it took me a long time to get back to a place I knew was right, then I had to knit it up again. Whew! I finally got it done and started back, but it was 1:30 before I got to bed.


While I was sitting and ripping, I began to hear a soft shushing sound outside, and it wasn't until I began to feel a little spray on my shoulder that I realized it was raining softly. It continued for about an hour, but it was such light rain that only 0.02" registered at the NWS station.


I slept well, in spite of how humid it was, but I didn't get up until 10:00, and then I decided that I'd better just rip out the other place where I knew I'd goofed, so it was noon before I got to the office. Not that it was quite such a problem, since I only had to rip out four or five rows and half a repeat, since the goof was all at one end. And by the way, this afternoon when I was knitting again, I had to rip out a third repeat, but only about three rows. Geez! I was really knitting fast last night, and that was a mistake I will try not to repeat. This part of the pattern is mostly stockinette stitch with a hole here and there, and counting accurately is imperative. I think I have down where the holes should be with respect to the rows before, and that should help some. Also, now the wrong side rows are straight purling, so no counting there, provide I count right on the right side. As I said before, you shouldn't attempt lace unless you are prepared to count every stitch and you are prepared to rip, sometimes a lot. I've also relearned that very open patterns are sometimes easier to knit than less open ones. While I don't like the blue/rose combination very well, I do like both colors a lot, and that helps. I don't know what I would have done if I'd had these problems when I was knitting with the pale green or the orange.


The weather was humid and warm, but I can't say just how warm or how humid, because the NWS station has not been reporting the temperature since about 11:00 this morning. I would guess the temperature got into the lower 80s and the humidity was in the 80s all day. There was a nice wind from the north, in the 15 mph range, until just a while ago. Now it is calm, as frequently happens in the late afternoon in the summertime. It's very pretty, but not very comfortable. The skies were partly to mostly cloudy all day, and it doesn't look to be clear enough to see either Venus and the moon or the meteors tonight.


I was so late that I didn't finish my surfing until shortly before the talking started, so what I'd planned to do today didn't get done. I washed dishes last night, and I should put them away, as well as the pots and pans that are around, but it's hot in the kitchen, especially after I cooked tonight. I did chicken a way I haven't had it in a long time, baked with a butter-herb sauce that I eat over noodles, and even with  my messed up sense of taste, it tasted pretty good. Buster thought so, too, but mostly he wanted butter. I baked the chicken in the toaster oven, where it got done much faster than usual, I suppose because it's a convection oven, but that throws off heat and I had to boil noodles, so it's rather warm in the kitchen now.


So that was my truncated day, and maybe I can get to bed a little earlier tonight. Now it's a warm, calm, partly cloudy evening in the field.


August 11

I knitted for a while last night, but I had had enough for a while, and I would have gotten to bed rather early except that I spent a lot of time staring at the floor, as I frequently do. So it was about 10:45 when I turned out the light. I left the ceiling fan on, and with a sheet over me, I was comfortable until early in the morning, when I pulled up the sheet blanket, too. I got up about 8:45. 


I petted the cat a bit, but he left when I started knitting. A while later, he was back, sitting in the open window, and when I petted him, he turned his head upside down, like he was about to try a summersault. I wish he wouldn't do that. In the past, he has done that and actually fallen off the window sill. With me and all the stuff under that window, that wouldn't be good, especially for someone as old as he is.


I had plans again, and again nothing got done. I did knit almost through the talking and through Beethoven's "Pathetique" sonata, and I have three rows of all blue left to go. Of course, there are well over 400 stitches on the needle now, and even the purl rows take a long time to do. I was going to try to finish the blue, but I had an accident, so I decided to wait until I get up to the north end and see if I feel like doing any more knitting tonight.


The weather was icky. It didn't get nearly as warm as they were predicting, thankfully. The temperature was right around 75º (plus or minus a degree or two) all day long, but until just a while ago, there was almost no wind and it was very humid. It was also  cloudy for most of the day. Now the wind has picked up from the south, and it could even rain. Well - I guess from the meteorologists' point of view, it did rain. There were a few drops between 2:30 and 3:00 when I went to the post office, but not even enough to completely wet the ground.


Of course it will be cloudy for the next two or three days, because the peak of the Perseid meteor shower is sometime between tonight and Friday. It never fails. I'd have a hard time seeing most of it anyway, because of all the trees to my east, but if there were lots of meteors and it was clear, I might be able to see some. I haven't seen a Perseid shower since I was 12 or 13, and we all stood out on the deck and watched them.  Meteors are neat, and maybe someday I will see some more.


So that was about all of my day, and it's a cloudy, sticky, breezy night in the field. A tepid bath will help a lot.


August 10

I knitted a while when I got to the north end last night, and it was close to midnight when I got to bed. I opened the windows in the window seat, and for a while I had the fan on, but I really don't like sleeping with air moving over me (boy, am I picky!), so I turned it off. I was quite comfortable with just the sheet over me. I got up around 9:00, I think, and I knitted some more, although I did take time to pet a cat.


I had some plans for today, but the weather and some other things changed that. Yesterday when I got to the office, the bag I had put the yarn for the other shawls in had tipped and two balls were missing. I found one under the computer trolley, but the other one went missing until this morning, when I found it attached to one of the casters of the desk chair. So after I ate my breakfast, I turned the chair over and commenced to untangle the yarn. I got the ball of lace yarn free quite soon, although I think I probably lost two or three yards, but when I saw the condition of the casters, I knew what I was going to be doing. So I got my Xacto knife, a pair of needle-nose pliers and a flashlight (I couldn't get the casters in the right position to use outdoor light), and began work on the casters. I don't think I have ever cleaned them out before, so there was about 9 years of stuff wound around those casters. It's a wonder they rolled at all. There was a lot of beading thread, including one caster that must have had three yards of black Nymo wound around it. There were a couple that had knitting yarn wound up in them, most of which I didn't recognize. On a couple, balls of fluff had been pulled into something that looked like yarn. There was one that I couldn't clean out. A thread of Fireline (fishing line) had gotten wedged into the axle and no amount of tugging or wiggling could get it out. The only way to fix it would be to take the caster apart, and those modern plastic casters don't come apart. I used to think the old-fashioned casters on the chairs I had at Champine got full of thread, but I've never seen anything quite like this.


Anyway, when I finally had the chair back together and I washed my hands, much to my surprise, it was 3:30 - much too late for any of the other tasks I had been contemplating. So I knitted, and I finished the blue/green part and I've started on the blue part, so I only have about 40 rows to go...40 long rows. They call the yarns in this kit "tonal", and what that means is that there may be several shades of the base color in the ball. I like the dark green - it goes from kelly to forest, with a little loden and a little teal. The blue goes from an intense royal to navy, and of course I like it a lot. I think I have a couple of balls of sock yarn in that combination. This pattern has a lot of plain stockinette sections, and I think the yarn would have looked better in more open patterns, but oh, well. This has been a fun project. When I get to the other ones, with all the nupps, I'm not so sure I'll be so interested. However, I do like to knit lace.


The weather was summery again. The temperature did get down to 66º for a while between 6:00 and 8:00 this morning, but by the time I got up, it was 73º already. The temperature peaked at 82º, but there was almost no wind and it was extremely humid all day. It was also partly to mostly cloudy. 


All my neighbors to the south were in the water this afternoon, and I envied them, although since I had on shorts and a tank top, I wasn't too uncomfortable. I have the fan on medium in the studio, and it's pretty comfortable, all things considered. I managed to get my hair up with a French clip this morning, but it was hard, since I can't really move my shoulders enough. Not a "do" I would have wanted anybody to see, but it was more comfortable than hair on the neck. Since what I was doing wasn't really strenuous, I didn't get too warm.


They keep pushing back the time when the temperature will abate, and they keep waffling on whether and when we will get some rain. Now they are saying it might rain tomorrow and again on Friday, but the cooler air isn't supposed to get here until Sunday. We'll see about all of that.


Well, this is summer the way it's supposed to be in Copper Harbor, I guess. I'm just glad I live here by the big heat sink rather than further down the peninsula, where it's bee brutal. The thing I've been watching cautiously is the new feature from the Weather Underground - the pollen forecast. It's been rising to medium-high lately, but apparently I'm not especially allergic to most of the things in it...yet. Rain should lay it anyway. All it seems to do is cause my sinuses to drain when I lie down, so I lie and make uncouth noises for a while until I have things cleared out and my allergy pill takes effect. Since I have an almost-new bottle of 1000 of them, I should be safe, as long as I realize when I need some extra ones.


Oh, yes, I filled the kitty bowls with dry food and swept up what had gotten on the floor. A while ago, I dropped a glass on the dishes, and there was more food on the floor than in the bowls. Buster does still eat a little dry food, and he does still prefer one kind, which I thought he'd abandoned. I will be interested to see which variety Jasmine picks first. She picks one kind - not always the same one - and eats the whole bowl (over several days, of course) before she goes on to the next one. I can't ever tell which one she will choose.


Both kitties were rather somnambulant today, which I attribute to the heat and humidity. If I had a fur coat, I don't think I'd be doing much either. I don't, and I didn't.


So that was my day, and now, after I break up the squirrelly altercation outside, it is time to toddle up to the north end, take a nice tepid shower, and call it a day. It's a warm, humid, cloudy  night in the field.


August 9

Today is a numerology day - 8/9/10. Being a numerical person, things like that intrigue me. They only happen at the beginning of a century. There are several this year - 10/9/8 (the way my calculator displays dates), 10/10/10, 10/11/12 and 12/11/10. It always makes me chuckle.


I went up to the north end fairly early last night and knitted until I got tired of it, and I was in bed around 11:00, I think. I slept fairly well, except that my right shoulder got very painful around 7:00 and I couldn't turn over because my left ear hurt from sleeping on it so much. The  one time I was up in the dark, there were stars in the north, at least.


I stayed in bed and dozed until around 8:45 when my neighbor to the north had a workman who started hammering, sawing and throwing boards around. I don't have a clue what they were doing, but it was very noisy. Then somebody started using a chain saw, and big dump trucks started going down the road. I think someone out at the end of Horizon Drive (along the big lake) is preparing to build. I can't tell if they are hauling in dirt or hauling it away. I've always thought I was lucky that the pebbles from my basement could go to fill up the gully between the house and the road, even though it resulted in my weed problem. At least they didn't have to haul it all away!


I knitted some more and petted a cat before I got dressed. I really had in mind doing something today, but my back said otherwise, so all I did was go to the post office and thank Mary Ann for the eggs. Might as well feather my nest...


When the talking started, I knitted some more and I finished the all-green section and started the green-dark blue mix. I didn't get as far as I might have, because on the very last repeat I screwed up a prior row and had to rip and redo. One nice thing about this pattern is that the repeats are well-defined, so all I had to do was rip out the repeat that was wrong. It took quite a while to figure out what I had done, but it's OK now. I'm glad I didn't have to rip out two whole rows, since there are now 310 stitches on the needle and I hate to rip anyway. Only I hate to totally screw up a pattern, too, especially one that is already screwy. So we progress. I have the blue/green section to do, an all blue section, a blue/rose section and a small rose section that ends up with some neat dangles in it. It's about 50 rows, I think, but once I get to the all-blue section, it increases rapidly, and I end up with something like 600 stitches. It will take a while to get through one of those rows.


The weather was - well, summery. At least, summery for Copper Harbor. The temperature briefly got to 77º, but for most of the afternoon it was in the middle 70s, with a 15 mph wind out of the north. I shudder to think what would have happened without that wind. The only trouble was, the dew point was around 70º all afternoon, too, so it was very humid. That would put the relative humidity at over 80%, and that's not good. I could tell, even this morning, that it was humid - there was a haze down the harbor all day. Not a good day to go rushing around doing anything.


The camera shot Venus again last night at 9:53, but it didn't at 10;08, so I guess there was cloud someplace around there. It's always a pretty sight. Iit got it tonight, too.


My neighbor to the south's kids were out in the harbor in inner tubes this afternoon. Lucky them. Maybe someday before I pass on, I'll get into the water again. Today would have been a good day for it.


So that's about all I have to report. It's a warm, very humid (over 90% now) summer evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and crash.


August 8

I knitted some more last night, and  I stopped in the middle of a green row because I was tired. I got to bed around 11:30, I think, and I slept rather well, with some strange dreams in the morning again. I got up around 9:00 and knitted some more. I have really gotten into this shawl thing.


Besides the knitting, the task of the day was cat pans, and I accomplished it, although there are three very heavy orange bags in the basement. When I wish my cart was put together. I don't think Buster has been downstairs yet, but he will be relieved when he goes. So am I. Now I can attack the bathroom without fearing he will pee in the sink some more - or I hope he won't.


After that, I was tired, so I sat in the ugly chair and knitted. During the day I finished the orange yarn, finally, and began the green. That is a problem. I can either follow the pattern as it is charted or as it looks when charted. While this is an interesting project, I am not at all impressed by the design, which looks to me like it was hashed together at the last moment. However, I persevere. One interesting thing about the bottom of the shawl - green, blue and rose - is that there is shaping on both the right and wrong sides. No straight purling back like it was in the beginning. However, I have always wanted either projects that were straight knitting, no-brainers so that I can read at the same time, or engrossing projects, like this one, where I have to pay attention and count every stitch. Long ago - back in the '60s - I started knitting doilies with size 30 crochet cotton and size 0 or smaller needles (that's 2mm or smaller diameter). That was fun, and someday I hope to do some more. It's totally engrossing, and one has to be very accurate or the whole thing is a mess. Oh, and one shouldn't try lace knitting unless one is prepared to rip. I did that several times today.


The weatherman changed his mind overnight, because the weather wasn't cooperating. it was supposed to rain today, but instead, it was a lovely, nearly clear day with a light breeze from the southeast. The temperature got up to 76º a couple of times this afternoon, and it was lovely - warm enough to have the doors open, but not so warm that I sweated when sitting still.


While I was sitting in the ugly chair, I got to observe several contentious squirrels and the littlest chipmunk I've seen in quite a while. Also, it looks like the hummingbirds may be starting to pair off for the second brood. There were several around this afternoon, including two males who seemed not to like having each other around. I never cease to enjoy the hummingbirds. They fly like little helicopters, and when the hover, they look like little ballerinas, standing upright and keeping their position by wiggling their tails. They are awfully feisty for such little bits.


Buster wanted to be around me all day, and Jasmine is getting very brave. Several times when I was facing the desk and Buster was sitting or lying on it with me, she jumped up and actually stayed for a few seconds. She got nervous when I looked at her, but she didn't run as much as usual. Both cats were sort of sleepy today, like maybe the weather is going to change. Buster was sleeping either on the footstool or on the desk, so Jasmine had the kitty condo to herself, which seemed to please her. When I went down the hall this morning, she was on the porch, curled up in grandpa's rocker, sound asleep, and even when I opened the doors, it didn't seem to bother her much. Slowly, slowly we make progress.


So that was a quiet day, but I did accomplish something. Now it's a partly cloudy, nearly calm summer evening in the field.


August 7

I knitted last night, and it was around midnight when I got to bed, I think. It takes a long time to knit across 246 stitches, even if it's straight knitting. I slept pretty well, and I got up around 10:00. I petted a cat and knitted some more, and I finished the first green stripe. 


Something about that part of the pattern has been bugging me since I started it, and I finally figured out what it is. It doesn't fit in with the pattern before it at all, leaving some very ugly looking parts of the last six green rows, which, since the shawl hasn't been blocked, looked like little humps in the fabric. Sooo...I tore out 12 rows that I had knitted and started the pattern over again from the middle of the repeat. So my shawl won't look exactly like the model. There is one hump when I changed from "rain" to "grass", but there isn't anything I could do about that one. All those little humps, which get scrudged down badly when the shawl is blocked, just bugged me. Besides, the orange pattern zigged when the patterns on each side of it zagged. I've done about six rows the new way, and I'm much happier with it.


Anyway, it was nearly noon when I got to the studio, so that truncated my day severely. Besides knitting, I took a run at the kitchen. it still isn't good, but it does look better. The dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, and I washed one set of pots and pans and put another set to soak. 


The weather was nice. It was beautifully clear but rather cool when I got up, but it warmed up nicely, and for most of the afternoon, the temperature was around 72º. The wind got strong - 15 mph - around noon, then dropped off and started shifting around to the south. Uh-oh. More rain. Good, we need it. I'm sorry it will be tomorrow. It started clouding up around noon, and for part of the afternoon it was quite cloudy before it cleared up a bit at sunset.


I was busily knitting when the camera took its last picture last night, but it got a very nice shot of Venus, which has moved quite a bit to the south without getting much lower in the sky.


So that was my day. I'm still a bit disoriented by how clear the floor and the desk in the studio are, and I hope I can keep it sort of that way. Ha.


Now it's a partly cloudy, calm evening in the field and it's time to totter up to the north end again.


August 6

 I was a little later going up to the north end last night, and I knitted for a while, so it was about 11:00 when I went to bed. There were clouds in the sky at that hour that still looked light, which was an interesting phenomenon, but I didn't watch it long. When I was up in the night, the floodlight at Harbor Haus was back on, so I wonder what was going on there. It seemed to be mostly cloudy overnight.


I got up around 9:00, and petted a cat for a while, then I took up my knitting, and I realized that I had totally screwed up the pattern in the orange section, so I ended up ripping out back to the first row, and once I had that corrected, I knitted one more row, so it was 10:30 before I got dressed. The problem was retraining my fingers after doing so many rows of "k2tog, yo", to a pattern where the decreases and increases were separated. I think perhaps I have it straight now, but I will be paying special attention and counting the stitches in every repeat.


Since I was so late, It seemed like a good morning to have some more bilberry pancakes, and they are so yummy, even though I can't really taste them fully with my funny sense of taste. I enjoyed them anyway.


I was trying to decide what to do first when the closing agent called me and asked if we could close earlier. There have been some problems with the lift bridge over the past couple of days, and she was afraid she would get stuck either coming or going. Since I'd done everything I needed to do, I said sure, so she got here about 3:30, I think. She was a very nice person, and she knew exactly what she was doing, but there was a 5/8" package of papers and I had to sign my name on most of them, so she didn't leave until 4:30.


Before she got here, I sort of cleaned the powder room, just in case she needed it, and I threw six small bags of trash out into the breezeway. I really must try to start taking that stuff to the compactor, or my garage will be stuffed with orange bags. So when she got here, it wasn't beautiful, but it was a little better than before.


So that's over with, and I have some hope that it will ease my financial situation a bit. I have three business days to back out, but I won't.


While the talking was going on, I knitted, and I am now back where I was when I realized I'd goofed, although this time it seemed to take more yarn than last time, so I may actually have miscounted rows the last time, too. Anyway, it's coming along. I don't like that orange yarn any better as I keep using it. I just don't like orange on anything but oranges, pumpkins and autumn leaves, and I doubt I'll ever change my mind. At least it's not a big section.


The weather was gloriously beautiful but not very warm. The high temperature was 69º, at 7:00, but for most of the day it was at or below 65º. There was a breeze in the 10-15 mph range, from just a tad east of north - just enough east to blow in the east windows. There wasn't a cloud in the sky for most of the day, although there were some over in the west late in the afternoon. 


This morning, it was tempting to go out on the deck and take another "view" shot, although it wouldn't have been much different from the last one except that the dead tree is gone, and the one down by the water is now dead. I guess I'll have to take a new one.


So that was my day, and it's high time to totter up to the north end and relax a while with my knitting. It's a clear, calm and rather cool evening in the field, and it's very pretty out there.


August 5

I went up to the north end early last night and I knitted until it was too dark to see - two rows - so I was in bed not long after 10:00. I slept relatively well, I think. For at least part of the night, I could see my summer star, Arcturus, arcing across the window. It was very windy, so I had to close the porch door and the bathroom window, and this morning I had to pull up the comforter, even though the temperature officially never got under 66º. I got up around 8:00, since it didn't seem like I was going to be sleeping much more.


I knitted some more, much to Buster's disgust, but only two more rows. It takes a while to knit 230 stitches.


I forgot to mention that last week Mary Ann gave me some eggs that her husband gets from range-fed hens. They are all brown and green shells, and the yolks are bigger than any I have ever seen, but they are so fresh and so delicious. This morning, I poached a couple, and I really enjoyed them, although something - I'm not quite sure what, but I think it's the stuff I'm taking for my nail fungus - is doing a job on my sense of taste. I can't taste much and what I can doesn't taste quite right. I only have a couple of weeks of that left to go, so maybe I can endure, but it's frustrating. No wonder I'm not too interested in food.


Anyway, Thursday is a day when there's lots of stuff to read, so it was quite late when I finished my morning surfing. I debated whether to drive down to the bank and get my cashier's check today or wait until tomorrow, especially after I talked to the person at the mortgage company, but finally I decided to do it today and get it done. Then I can do other things tomorrow, like move trash and maybe clean up the kitchen a bit. So around 1:45, I took off.


It was a nice day to be out - more about that later - but there was an awful lot of traffic, much of it moving rather slowly. Anyway, I was back before 3:30, and most of that time was on the road. My local bankers are very nice people, and very helpful.


The weather was a mixture. It was cloudy when I got up, but it cleared up for a while, then it got partly cloudy again. I thought the wind was strong yesterday and overnight, but for a while this afternoon, there were sustained winds of 30 mph with 34 mph gusts, from the north. That meant no bird feeders again. The wind is dying down now, to about 15 mph, and there aren't any whitecaps on the harbor anymore. There were even serious whitecaps on Lake Medora. But the skies were mostly blue when I was out, and it was a pretty day. The temperature stayed right around 70º all day long, so even without the wind, I wouldn't have had the front doors open.


When I got home, while the talking was going on, I knitted. I finished the pale green, but I had to fudge a bit to do it, since I ran out of thread in one ball. So I dug into the center of the other ball and pulled it out, and for the last couple of rows I was knitting from the outside and inside of the same ball. If I'd thought about it, I could have done that with all the colors, and I wouldn't have worried so much about running out of one ball. Oh, well, live and learn. Anyway, I am now knitting with orange, which is not my choice of colors, although this is what they call "tonal", so the colors vary, and some of them aren't bad. But I'm now knitting on 246 stitches, and that's a lot. I changed to a larger needle when I started the orange, and it's 47" long, which I will shortly need. It's kind of a fun project, and in the orange pattern, only one row has a pattern, and the rest are straight knitting, so that makes it go faster. I'm not counting the number of stitches I will have when I get through, but it's a lot.


One of the nice things about knitting is that I get to look around a little more, and just a little while ago, I was looking out the south windows when a mature bald eagle soared over the end of the harbor, with its head shining in the light of the setting sun. It's enough to break my heart. It had to flap a little when it got over the land, which makes it look not quite so majestic, but oh, what a beautiful bird it is!


While I was knitting and listening to the talking, I thought I heard somebody drive into the driveway, and when I peered out the window, there was a car - a car I had followed into Copper Harbor, I think, and I'm sorry I didn't get the license number  - sitting in the parking lot facing south. While I watched, it backed up and drove out. I don't think I can adequately explain what that does to me. Please, people. If you want to come out and see my view for yourselves, that's fine, but don't do it without knocking on my door and saying hello. I am a big city girl, and strange cars driving into my driveway then driving away freaks me out. If you had your windows open, you could have heard the radio, so you must have known I was here. That is a breach of polite conduct that I just simply do not understand. It happened  several times when I first moved in here, and I'm really sorry that it has happened again. So if you enjoy this journal or you enjoy my webcam, just don't do it! Oh, and by the way, did you notice the umpteen "Private" and "No Trespassing" signs as you turned into the road?  Can you read English?


So that was my day, and I guess I'm ready for my closing tomorrow. Now I think I will do what I did last night - go up to the north end and knit a while. It's a partly cloudy, breezy evening in the field.


August 4

I was hot when I got to the north end, but I knitted a couple of rows anyway, and then I took a nice tepid shower, which cooled me down very nicely, thank you. I think I was in bed around 11:00. I turned on the ceiling fan, and I slept pretty well.


When I was up around 3:00 there was a fairly bright glow in the northern sky, but nothing terribly interesting, except that now I can say I've seen the first northern lights of the next solar cycle. It will only get better, although every year the trees are a little higher and it gets harder to see things down toward the horizon. The next time I was up, not only was it getting light, the moon was shining brightly in the glass block window of my shower.


I knitted this morning, too, and I have only four rows left before the next increase. I petted a cat, but he wasn't very pleased when I got out the knitting, and besides, he likes to sit in the open window.


I was surprised, when I got up, around 8:30, that the sky was cloudy. It was like that all day, until around 4:30, when it began to clear up. There was a very strong wind all day, too, in the 20-30 mph range, which meant whitecaps on the harbor and no bird feeders, except that I had to put out the squirrel feeder late this afternoon to keep one determined little bugger from tearing a hole in the screen again. The temperature officially got up to 80º, just a while ago, but with the wind it didn't seem that hot around here. It was nice.


I actually did something today, amazingly enough. I needed to do something about the studio before Friday so that the closing agent has a place to sit and spread out papers. I began by going through the magazines and sorting them out, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't read almost all of them since the first of the year. I have two baskets full of stuff I want to read. That helped, but I also needed to clean up some stuff around the sewing machine - it turns out that Buster has been peeing on some old flannel nightgowns of mine that were piled up behind the sewing machine, and incidentally doing a number on some of my sewing rulers. So I got that cleaned up and the nightgowns are in the washer - I need to do something about that. 


Then I attacked the area around the desk. I had to start between the desk and the ugly chair, to get that straightened out enough to put some more stuff there. In doing that, I reviewed all the yarn I have up here - lots of sock yarn and lots of lace-weight yarn, so I guess I know what I'll be doing. Then I moved all the baskets of beads to the back of the desk and cleaned up the rest. It's not perfect, but it's a start, and by moving the stuff off the back of the desk, I could actually use it as a cutting board. Anyway, now there is a rather large area to work at. In the meantime, I moved the three bags of trash that were sitting in the studio out into the great room - one stage at a time - and filled almost another bag with stuff to throw out. I wouldn't say it's beautiful in here, since it's still terribly cluttered, but at least the piles are a little neater. Not a lot, just a little. I also swept the floor, which needed it badly. I didn't get to all the birdseed over by the patio doors, but oh, well


That took most of my afternoon, but at least I could do most of it sitting down. When I had to stand up, I quickly noticed that I wasn't going to want to do a lot of that. It was still very humid today, and my back was bad.


I checked my account, and the money I need is there, although there is a problem with how they report it, and they have me with an available balance of about twice what it really is. If only. So tomorrow or Friday I can trundle down to Mohawk and get my cashier's check.


As you know, I really love living here. However, there are some severe disadvantages, like when I need a supermarket or a hospital or a bank. At least I don't have to go all the way to Hancock!


So that was my day, and it's nice to feel I accomplished something. Now I can totter up to the north end and get to bed at a reasonable hour again. It's a partly cloudy, windy night in the field.


August 3

I was dripping wet when I got back from church, and even sitting still for a while didn't help, so I went up to the north end rather early, but it was too hot even up there to do much, so I was in bed not long after 10:30. Surprisingly enough, I slept very well. It was warm, but it was about the temperature I would like to have it, so I zonked out. I was awake several times, because it turned out that I took the wrong pills, but that was all right. I got up around 9:00 or maybe 9:30, and it had cooled off enough that I could knit rather comfortably, so I did about five rows.


I had one sock on when the lady from the mortgage company called with the payoff figure, which was, of course, a lot more than the estimate. So as soon as I could, I called my financial advisor, and they are supposed to wire the money to my local account. In order to do that, I had to fax them a couple of things, so it turned into a busy morning. The thing is, I can't close on Friday unless I can get a cashier's check for the money. Well, it will be tight, but maybe we can make it.


Then I finished my surfing and packed up the book that I bought in error, and went off to the post office and the community center to vote. They are still trying to get the money that was voted down last year - it wasn't an increase, just a continuance, but the wording is confusing, and the majority voted it down. They're still trying. I hope they get it this time. If not, they'll have to keep trying. There wasn't much to vote on, actually, but that's all right. I did my civic duty. At least I didn't come to a place where I had to choose one of several candidates none of whom I know anything about.


By the time I got through talking to the ladies, I was dripping again, and when I got home I just sat in the wind.


It turned out to be a very warm day, and only the strong winds this afternoon kept it from being totally intolerable. The temperature went up to 88º for a couple of hours this afternoon, when the wind shifted to the northwest. That's a new record for the day. Fortunately, that wind was around 15 mph. A bit later, it started to gust up to 25 mph, and just in the last few minutes, the gusts have gotten even stronger.


That is the reason I brought in the bird feeders around 7:00. It was windy enough I knew there wouldn't be any more birds.


The sky was interesting, and the MODIS displays are interesting. For almost all day, there were clouds from just south of zenith south, and north of that it was clear. I have noticed that a lot this summer - there will be a line of puffy clouds right up the center of the peninsula, but it stops south of Copper Harbor, and the lake will be mostly clear. I suppose it happens because of the ground vapors rising over the land as the sun warms it, but it's interesting to see. I look at that display every day, and it's been fun to watch.


It was curious that Copper Harbor was warmer than Houghton for once. I'm not sure why, unless it was an artifact of where the temperature sensors are. It was also very humid for most of the day, although the temperature is dropping now and the humidity has abated some what. Anyway, it was hot, much hotter than I like it.


Now the sun has just set and it's a warm, windy night in the field, and I am going up to the north end, via the dishwasher, and see if I can get another good night's sleep.


August 2

I went up to the north end rather early last night, but then I started knitting, and it was 12:15 before I got to bed. I finished the tweedy part and started on the pale green part, although I only did the increase row. I got up around 9:00 this morning and knitted a bit more, much to Buster's disgust, but I didn't do much, because I had a massage this morning and  I wanted to do at least some of my surfing beforehand. I could have been later, because Johanna was working with a lady who had had an accident, so I had to wait a while. 


I got my massage, and I felt much better. My back was all tightened up again, and now it's back to more like it should be. However, that always tires me out, so I didn't do anything after I stopped at the post office.


This evening there was church, very satisfying as usual, and now I am having my wine before I totter up to the north end and maybe get to bed early.


The weather wasn't very nice. We had about 0.05" of rain between 3:00 and 5:00 this morning, and it was extremely humid all day long. The temperature got up to 79º, briefly around 5:00 when the breeze dropped, but it was in the middle 70s for most of the day, and the humidity was horrible. There were very light breezes from various points. There were some clouds, but there was also a lot of sunshine.


I am dripping wet, so it will feel good to take off all my clothes. I don't like humidity. It's a rather pretty, if damp, evening in the field.


August 1

Well, that was nasty.  I went to copy the July journal to the archive file and to Word, and I managed to lose it before I copied it to the archive file. Oops. So I had to copy it from Word, where it is unformatted, and do all the formatting over again. Oops.


I think it was about 11:30 when I went to bed last night, after knitting a couple of rows on the shawl, and I slept well until about 5:45. Then I started having stomach cramps, and I spent the next hour in the bathroom running off at the bottom. When I thought that was finally under control - I mean, how much is there in there?  - I went back to bed and immediately had to get up again and fetch the barf bucket out of the closet. After that was over, I felt better, and I slept, with one wakeup, until 10:00. I guess it was something I ate yesterday, but there were any number of things that could have caused it, so I guess I'll have to cautiously try what is left of what I had. That happens every now and then.


Anyway, as a result, I didn't feel very robust today, and I certainly wasn't hungry. My surfing took quite a while, and there were some more birthday greetings, for which I thank everybody. Otherwise, I just played with the computer. I subscribe to a cross stitch e-magazine, so I downloaded that. Otherwise, nothing. I did about four rows on the shawl this morning, and that's all. I think I think I have four left with two colors, then I can work with just grass green for a while. It's coming along, but every time I do an increase row, that's 32 more stitches, so a row takes longer and longer.


The weather was warm. When I got ready to get dressed, I opened the porch door and warm air blew in - it was already 77º. So I put on shorts and a tank top and my sandals, but the high for the day was only 80º. but it was quite humid. There wasn't much wind, from the southwest. It was foggy this morning, and it was partly cloudy this afternoon, although it has almost completely clouded up now. It would have been hot if I had done anything, but it was quite tolerable to just sit around.


I have been getting chewed alive lately, and with one exception, I think they are all mosquito bites. In fact, I was sitting at the computer last night after I brought the bird feeders in, and I noticed something on the back of my hand that I thought was a crumb of food, so I brushed it off, but just before I put it in my mouth, I noticed blood, so I did something else with it - I had killed a mosquito in the act of taking a bite out of me. It is a little bite, and it's quite itchy, but mosquito bites only itch me for a day or two. It takes a while for the lumps to go away, but they don't bother me. I also have one under my chin and two on my right hand that I must have gotten at Chip and Nancy's the other night. I don't like to say I draw bugs, but it certainly seems so.


With all the humidity we've had this summer, and the rain, I'm not at all surprised that the mosquitoes are worse than they have been for several years. Or maybe they are all just biting me.


So that was my quiet day, and I will be off to the north end early tonight and hope for a better night. It's a cloudy, warm and humid night in the field.


Last  updated 09/01/10 10:55 PM