A View From the Field







September 2010

September 30

Well, September is history, and three quarters of the year is gone already. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes.


I crashed again last night, and I think it was before 11:00 that I got to bed. I slept well, although it appears I was lying funny, because I had a very sore muscle in the side of my back this morning. I was up around 7:00, and Jupiter was shining like a beacon low in the west. I got up around 9:30, and I finished the gusset on the sock before I did my exercises and got dressed.


I had time to do most of my surfing before I had to leave. I didn't put the bird feeders out, because it was very windy.


It was a lovely day for a ride, and the covered road is just beautiful, as well as parts of Cliff Drive. I'm sorry to say I forgot the camera. I left early, because I needed to stop at the hospital to pick up the stuff for my tests, and I got to the Fitness Center early, of course. In fact, my PTA was on her way back from a walk as I was getting out of the car.


I did good. She was impressed especially by how far apart I could spread my legs this time. Even though it's not on my list, I've been doing the leg spreads, and it's working. In fact, I can already see some improvement, at least when I'm doing my exercises. Otherwise, well, not so much, but I'm sure that will come, too. My hip was sore enough that we didn't do the Nu-Step today, and I think that helped. One of the things the exercises are doing is to try to free up my shoulder and hip joints, which seem to have gotten cemented into place. Sometimes it hurts, but I can tell that it's beginning to work. So that was good.


In fact, I wasn't very stiff when I got home, but I had to go back to the car for something I forgot, and I had to go down to the basement for some stuff out of the freezer, and that wasn't so good, but I was tired by that time.


It was a beautiful day. It was cloudy when I got up, but the clouds all went away by the time I got dressed, and it was clear or nearly clear all day. There was a brisk - up to 30 mph - wind from the north. The temperature got up to about 57, and it was nice out.


On the way home, I ended up the seventh car behind a guy who was so timid about the covered road that he was going 30 mph a lot of the time. I think almost everybody was frustrated with him, but he wouldn't pull over (grr), and there is no place to pass on the covered road. Unfortunately, I had to watch where I was going, so I didn't have time to really enjoy how pretty it is there.


I would say that the colors are about 80% on the covered road, and the hills around Lake Medora are about the same. The lake side of Brockway and around here are barely turned at all, but they always turn last. I did download the MODIS image from Sunday, but I want to crop it, and I haven't gotten time to do that yet.


When I got home, I did not much, and after the talking was over, I read for a while with a cat asleep on my lap, using my hand or my arm for a pillow. Now it's time to crash again, although I do have to bathe, because I have friends coming in tomorrow for a short visit.


Now it's a nearly clear, calm night in the field, and there will be stars.


September 29

So tonight I'll do this first and read later. When I tried to call PastyNet, I kept getting a message that said there is a "telephone facility problem". Apparently there was a serious cable cut north of Calumet yesterday evening. The plumber said he couldn't get any service until early this morning. Fortunately, it didn't affect the broadband or my access to my website, although getting anything else was practically impossible. Perhaps things like that should happen every so often, when I get to thinking the wireless is slow and cranky. Not like that, it isn't. It was fine this morning.


I got to bed before 10:45 last night. I figured I didn't need to exercise anymore, and I was too tired to take a bath. It was a problem, though, because my left knee was so sore I couldn't even put a pillow on it, so I ended up sleeping on my right side for most of the night. I was up several times, of course, and I was very creaky. Fortunately, the way my bedroom and bathroom are, there are only a couple of steps where there isn't anything to steady me. 


I was awakened at 9:30 by the plumber, which was probably good. Heaven knows when I would have gotten up otherwise. I knitted a bit, petted a cat a bit, and began to do my exercises...in only my underpants. I was starting the last one (the knee presses) when there was a knock at the door, so I grabbed a robe and got down the hall as fast as I could and let him in.


I am now poor but my heating system should be OK for the winter. He changed the mediums in the humidifier, and he bled the entire heating system, and he admitted there was a lot of air in it. See? I know when it isn't working right. He thinks the reason is that the expansion tank failed and all the air in it went into the system. He might well be right, but I still think there's something else wrong. Probably I will have to wait until he retires and somebody else looks at the system to find out what's wrong. That's the way those things usually work.


It was interesting to me to find that, while my back was horribly tight and sore when I got up, doing my exercises, even though they don't explicitly do anything for my back, loosened up my back completely, and it wasn't until I sat for a long time that it got tight again. Of course, the rain probably helped that, too. I will do them with interest tonight, probably before I take my bath. My knee is much better.


I didn't do much except go to the post office, where there were a few boxes and a lot of catalogs, as well as a rather large bill from the hospital - I guess they finally got around to billing me for my gall bladder. Let's see...that's almost ten months. Geez! No wonder our health system is broken! Anyway, I was going to call them and ask about it until I did a few calculations and realized that the amount is about 4% of the total. My simple, "by the book" gall bladder operation was a rather expensive one. So October is going to be a very expensive month.


When I got back, I called the doctor's office and somebody finally called me back and agreed that it would be good to take some more tests, so I will stop at the hospital tomorrow on my way to my therapy and get the supplies. I know I still have C. diff, but I guess I am going to have to beat the doctor in Marquette over the head with it before he'll believe it. He would probably want to do a colonoscopy...which would just prove I still have C. diff. Maybe I can do the tests over the weekend and take them in on Tuesday when I go to therapy.


The weather wasn't very nice. It was warm enough - the temperature got up to 63 for a couple of hours this afternoon - but it was mostly cloudy and quite windy. There were no reports from the NWS station before 10:00, which means the telephones were down until just before Bill called me. The wind was from the west-southwest then, with gusts up to 27 mph, but then they went variable and picked up from the northwest, again very gusty. Now they have gone to almost nothing again. There was a little sunshine early in the day, but it clouded up again, and there was a little rain after 2:00. Not a lot, but enough that I began to get creaky again. 


The thing with the doctor got me thinking how much things have changed since I was a young girl. Then the Doctor was the final authority, and all you ever did was go to him and wait for his word. That began to change about the time i diagnosed my own burst appendix, but it was changing slowly. Now it seems that not only should you be involved in your own treatment, you have to diagnose it yourself and tell the doctor what to do about it. I really feel for people who are old or confused or simply not knowledgeable about medicine. I keep thinking about the lady who owned the house next to King Copper, who was in a nursing home, and finally died of gangrene because there was nobody to beat the doctor's head against the wall and tell him that was what she had and insist that she needed treatment. 


I still want to get run over by a truck.


So that was my day, and I think I will read a bit before I totter up to the north end and do my exercises again and hope that will unfreeze my back enough that I can sleep tonight. It's a dark, dank night in the field.


September 28

I don't remember exactly when I got to bed last night, but it was late. I slept well, and I really didn't want to get up when I did, but oh, well. I knitted a bit and petted a cat. Jasmine came and sat down in front of the drawer beside the toilet and seemed quite comfortable there, although she let me know she didn't want me to try to touch her. Strange little kitty.


I guess I got up around 9:30, and I had time to do most of my surfing, although I was a little later getting away than I wanted to be. That was difficult. I got behind a guy on the covered road who was doing about 35, and then a logging truck pulled out in front of me, although he turned down a side road. The tree killers are still working on Cliff Drive, and they have the road down to one lane, so that was a slow-up. I must really must try to leave a little earlier.


It didn't matter much. I was a few minutes late, but they were even later, so it was all right. I liked my PTA today very much, and she was nice enough to explain a little of what the exercises are supposed to do. The only problem I have is my left leg, from the hip on down. The Nu-Step is doing a job on my left hip, and my knee was bad today, too. When I got up off the table, I was having such a hard time walking that the PTA let me lean on her all the way out to the car. Nice girl.


Coming home was faster, and I got back by about 3:00. Buster is not happy with all of this, and he wants to sit on me all the time when I'm here - or else crawl all over me and the desk. Poor Buster.


Then we had an advertising committee meeting tonight. Only Vicky and Johanna were there, but we accomplished something for a change, instead of just talking.


The weather wasn't very nice. It was dark and cloudy almost until sunset, and the temperature actually fell from 53 at 8:00 am to 48 at 1:00, where it stayed for the rest of the afternoon. There was enough of a wind from the northeast to set the lake to singing, but it has died down over the afternoon. I actually don't know what the conditions are now. There is some kind of a telephone problem, and the NWS station hasn't updated since 7:00. 


I'm not totally sure this will update, although I didn't have any problem getting to my website. Getting any further than that, however, is worse than dial-up. 


So I read for a while this evening and now it's time to totter up to the north end and crash. It's a cloudy, cool night in the field.


September 27

So last night, I was in bed by 10:30, and I slept well. I was up around 6:30, in time to see Jupiter in the west, and I figured I'd be up in another couple of hours. Ha! It was 9:30 before I woke up again. Well, I've made up for it tonight.


I ended up getting an even later start, because I knitted the heel flap and turned the heel on the Sockotta sock before I got dressed.


I didn't do much else except empty the dishwasher. I was sore and achy all day, so I did nothing. Sigh. I even forgot about the birdfeeders, although the ravens kept trying to remind me.


The weather was all right. The temperature got up to 62 between 1:00 and 3:00, and while there was a little wind before noon, the afternoon was fairly calm. It started out sunny in the morning, but it clouded up late in the day. 


The reason I'm so late is that I was reading another story, and I just kept on until I finished it. It's one of my best.


So that was my nothing day, and now I have to take a bath and do my exercises. It's a cool, dark and cloudy night in the field.


September 26

Well, with everything, it was 10:45 before I got to bed, and I was up any number of times during the night. The last time was about 6:45, and I was just about to lapse back into a deep sleep when I realized I should get up - a bit after 7:30. It wasn't too much of a problem, though, because I knew what I wanted to wear and eat, and except to put out the bird feeders, I didn't have much else to do.


I left about 9:15, and I still got to church around 10:00, so I can leave a lot later, as long as the weather is good. It was another nice service, with only one new-fangled hymn. While Pastor uses the same service every week, he doesn't do it the same way every week, so I have some studying to do when my hymnal arrives. There was communion today, and it was good to go. Mary Ann to the contrary, every church does it a little different, so I was happy that the people on the other side went first, and I could observe what they did. In this church, Pastor serves the bread, and the deacon serves the wine (in individual cups only), but nobody drinks until everyone has been served and Pastor says the "this is my body...". And then everybody leaves their cups on the altar rail and the deacon collects them. Oh. Okay. That's different from anywhere else I've gone, but it makes as much sense as any.


After church, I took a couple of pictures. The one of the altar didn't come out good at all - out of focus for some reason - but the one of the stained glass windows did. Here they are. Unfortunately, the first one is so out of focus you can't see all the lovely detailed carving on the altar and the pulpit. I will try again next week, and see if I can do better. I may have to resort to the tripod. The shutter speed was 1/3 second, which may be why they blurred. That's pretty slow for hand-held. We'll see how I do next time. Anyway, you can see the lid over the pulpit, like there is in European churches, and the stairs up to it. There is also a chair like a throne inside the chancel, which I haven't seen Pastor Fundum sit in yet.


I stopped for gas, and getting home was interesting. It was such a beautiful day, it was clear that there were a lot of people who were out for a nice Sunday drive - on the windy, twisty roads where there aren't many places to pass. Aarrgggh! I did manage to get past most of them, but I had to follow three cars into Copper Harbor. Aarrgghh!


I decided that I would stop for turkey at the Pines, and I did. It was good. Not as good as Red's, but that was exceptional. I enjoyed it, and except for a couple of chocolates, I haven't eaten anything for the rest of the day. Their servings are still huge. I was interested that Donny, Peggy, Lydia and her boyfriend came in to eat at the same time I did. They own Mariner...but they were having turkey at the Pines. Turkey at the Pines on Sunday is a tradition of extremely long standing, which I doubt will ever end.


That got me thinking that there isn't any reason why I can't go to Harbor Haus next Sunday and at least have one more meal there before they close. Lunch is cheaper than dinner there. And after they close, I can go to Mariner, too. Hmmm. This church going has side effects I hadn't considered.


The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was only 41 when I left this morning, and it was very humid - half of the patio door in the great room was fogged up. And there was a lot of real fog around Medora and on Cliff Drive. I also passed a patch of frost on some grass on Cliff Drive. However, it warmed up really fast in the sun, and by the time I got home, it was 53 or so, which is where it spent the afternoon. It got quite a lot less humid, too. There were a few cirrus clouds in the sky when I got home, but they went away, and it was crystal clear at sunset. The moon is still rising early in the evening, so there won't be many stars to see, but it should be bright all night. There was hardly any wind all day, and it was nice out.


When I put out the bird feeders this morning, the moon was high in the northwest, pretty even in daylight. The Harvest Moon waxes and wanes slowly and it gets pretty high in the sky.


I didn't do much at all for the rest of the afternoon. I did my exercises when I got home, and after the first couple of leg lifts, I guess I got the hang of it and my left knee didn't bother me much and I was able to get a good lift. The secret seems to be to lean my thigh into the pillow so the muscles on the fronts of my thighs (sorry, I don't know what they're called yet) do all the work. I'll get the hang of it eventually, I guess.


Now I am tired again, so I will totter up to the north end and exercise some more. I'm toying with the idea of not taking a bath tonight, although I did sweat some when the sun warmed it up to 76 in here. It's a clear, nearly calm night in the field.


September 25

When I did my exercises last night, I had a hard time with the bridge, and the leg lifts made my left knee very sore. I slept well for a while, but after about 6:00, I only dozed. Maybe it was because the wind and the lake had died down...or maybe it was because I was sore, I'm not sure. 


I got up around 9:00 and I knitted four more rows. I petted the cat, but he didn't feel like purring, so he went away after a while. I don't know what his problem was this time. I did my exercises again. This time, I pulled up the covers and smoothed them out, and it was much easier without the bunches in the way. There is one shoulder exercise that I have to turn around with my head toward the foot of the bed, because it involves swinging my arms over my head as far as they will go. That hurts, but I'm trying to be gentle with it. 


I didn't do much, as usual. I didn't feel very good. I think it was partly lack of sleep, and partly that I'm afraid I was dehydrated again. I had an accident. I wanted to get the clothes out of the dryer that have been there for a week, and whatever I used to spot the grease on some of the tops didn't work at all, so I tried something else and washed them over, along with what I soiled. Everything else is now folded and the underwear is in the bathroom ready to put away.


I have a sore left hip. I had hoped that would go away by now, but instead it got worse. Probably the cool humidity yesterday didn't do much good. I hope it doesn't become a problem.


The bird feeders never got put out because I forgot them until it was too late.


The weather calmed down a lot. It turns out that the peak of the storm was between 6:00 and 8:00 yesterday evening, and while it blew until about 6:00 this morning, it wasn't as strong as yesterday, and there was no rain. There was a 15 mph wind from the north all day, but that was a gentle breeze compared to yesterday. The temperature hung in the upper 40s all day - high about 49. It was cloudy until around 3:00, when it began to clear up, and the last of the clouds went away around 6:00. The sun is setting just north of the top of Brockway now, and it is still moving south at a great rate. I'm sorry I didn't get to keep the equinox picture this year, but I have others, and it sets at the same place every year. It should be a pretty night tonight.


I've decided to put the shawl aside for a bit and try to finish the Sockotta sock that I stopped working on a month or so ago. I would like to wear it to Detroit. I am almost at the heel, so it shouldn't take long to finish, then I can work on the pretty striped wool socks I was working on in the spring. The shawl is going to be a long-term project, although I have completed 7 out of the 30 repeats. It seems to take me close to half an hour to do two rows, so it is slow.


Now, even though it's early, I am going to bed, and I will try to go to church again tomorrow. There should be communion, and I'm anxious to take it. That will mean getting out of here shortly after 9:00, so I will have to get up early. I hope I can sleep better tonight.


Now it's a clear, cool night in the field, and there should be a bright Harvest Moon and some stars. If we're lucky, we may even shoot the moon tomorrow morning.


September 24

I did my exercises again before I went to bed, but I was too tired to do the bridge (that's where you lift your butt off the surface with your legs). It was about midnight when I got to bed. I slept fairly well, although I only dozed for the last hour or so, and I got up around 9:45. I knitted and petted a cat, while another cat went back to sleep on the rug. There was a spam phone call around 10:00, and then I did my exercises again. I'm trying to be good. 


One thing they are trying to do is get more motion in my shoulders, and I found, when I did those exercises, that both my shoulders and my upper arms were sore. I managed to do the bridge, but the leg lifts, especially of my left leg, were really hard. That knee is just not cooperating. And my hips were sore all day, from the Nu-Step, I suppose.


Otherwise, I did not much. I went to the post office, where there was a lot of stuff, most of which I threw out, and I stopped at the store for eggs and lettuce. I read for a while, and tonight after the talking was over, I wrote a little bit. I'm not very happy with it, but at least I'm getting closer to the episode that ends the thing.


The weather was not nice. It rained all night and off and on all day. The wind actually went nearly calm for about 7 hours before it picked up from the north. so far the highest it's been is 34.5 mph with 45 mph gusts, and it may be abating a bit. They have backed off on their dire predictions of earlier today, when they had a storm warning out on the lake (storm is stronger than gale). The waves are only about 12 feet at the mid-Superior buoy, although if it keeps blowing they may get higher. Needless to say, it was a dark, cloudy day, and it was very humid. The temperature actually hit a high of 57 before it started down, and it is now 48 or so.


It's a fun storm. Several times, gusts have really hammered the house, even at the south end. I imagine it was even more fun up at the north end. However, it hasn't been nearly as bad as the dire predictions they were making earlier. The sky is falling...the sky is falling...


The trouble is, they are wrong so often that we get to thinking they will always be wrong, and then we come up with something that is actually worse than the predictions. I wouldn't ever want to be a meteorologist. Up here, you have to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.


So far, since midnight, we've had almost an inch of rain today (0.98") to add to the 0.93" we had yesterday. That's nearly two inches in less than 48 hours, which is respectable. However, they had over 2" yesterday in Marquette, so we were lucky. I saw the huge yellow area over most of the UP yesterday, and I knew we were missing the worst of it. 


There is something about the big lake that causes the worst of these summer and fall storms to tend to go south of us. Since the Keweenaw sticks out into the middle of the lake, we get weather that is more like the lake's weather than it is like the land's weather. Now, in the winter, when the storms tend to come in from the northwest, we may get the worst of it. It's fun to watch.


So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end and do my exercises again. It's a dark, cool, windy and noisy night in the field.


September 23

Welcome to the first full day of autumn. We are having our usual equinoctial storm.


I read a bit when I got up to the north end last night, and it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept quite well, and I didn't get up until 9:45. I petted the cat and knitted about 4 rows on the shawl before I got dressed.


I got most of my daily surfing done before I had to leave. Thursday is one of the bad days because there is a lot to read, and the Pepsi thing is taking quite a while to do, since their website is horribly slow and I'm voting three email addresses. I didn't do my jigsaw puzzle or my three crosswords, but that's all right. I can stand not to do them occasionally.


My therapy session turned out quite all right, and in fact, maybe they were a little too gentle. I got to warm up with the Nu-Step, which I certainly wish I had in my house! I understand, however, that it is horribly expensive. It's a device where you sit down and walk and move your arms. It keeps the weight off the legs and hips but it exercises them. Then we did shoulder and hip exercises, and they sent me home with instructions for all of those. I actually felt better and was walking better after I did them than I was before, so I have hope that this will work. I should probably do them tonight, too. We'll see.


The weather was ugly. It wasn't very cold - the temperature was around 55, but then, so was the dew point. It started raining about 4:00 this morning, and it rained or drizzled all day - we've had about " of rain here. It was foggy and soggy and nasty. There was an east wind gusting up to 25 mph. Ugly.


I notice that they have canceled the flood warning for tomorrow, but we are still supposed to have rain and very high winds. That would be fun, but we'll see. 


I've noticed over the years that I've been here at this time that more often than not there are several days of really nasty weather right around the equinox. Twice I've been snowed on on September 22. Then it usually gets nice again.  One thing about having our storm now is that the leaves are still well enough attached to the trees that they aren't likely to all be blown away, as has happened a couple of times in the past.


Buster is not happy about me going away so much. He's forgotten that when he was a kitten, I went away all day almost every day, but I always came back. Poor Buster. Jasmine seems to be taking it better, but I'm sure it's confusing her, too.


It was so nasty out that I didn't put out the bird feeders, and I won't tomorrow, either. I feel for the birdies - except for the ravens who have been raiding the feeder on the deck - but I doubt they'd come in the bad weather anyway.


Driving was pretty good in both directions, but the color is peaking fast. It is really beautiful in spots along the covered road and along Cliff Drive. There are lots of reds and oranges this year (remember, I don't mind orange in leaves), and even though it was dark enough that my headlights were on, the trees just seemed to glow. The weekend is supposed to be pretty good, and I will probably try to take the camera to church on Sunday and take some pictures on my way home. 


And yes, I plan to go to church again, and every Sunday the weather allows.


I got in the car in time to hear the talking start, and I got home before 5:00. So I played games through the talking and then I read and listened to some music for a while. Now it's time to toddle up to the north end and call it a day. It's a dark, dank, windy night in the field.


September 22

Well, in another hour or so it will be officially autumn. This year, John Dee's contention that autumn begins on September 1 has been true. It would have been nice to have a little more warm weather.


It was almost exactly midnight when I got to bed, and I did sleep well, although I had a small accident in the middle of the night. Not anything too bad, but annoying all the same. I got up around 9:00 and I petted a cat and knitted a few more rows on the shawl. I keep bringing it to the studio every day, but so far I haven't worked on it here.


Lace knitting is something I have to do with no distractions, except maybe a cat on my lap. There is a lot of counting, and I have to pay attention. I do find that now that I've done some, my attention span is longer and I don't goof quite as much as I did when I started. That's good. I used to have the ability to concentrate deeply for long periods of time, and I don't want to lose that completely.


Today was an interesting day. I didn't do much. In the morning, the guy from the health department came and went off with three bottles of stuff from the drain field. Eric stopped by to get paid, and he had his daughter with him. She is a cute little kid, and she is apparently very interested in nature.  I made my motel reservations. 


I called the doctor in Marquette and they said to call the doctor here and get him to order the C. diff tests, so I tried, but they didn't call me back. I hope they do tomorrow, because I'd like to pick up the supplies when I am down there.


I read some. And that was all I did. Sigh.


The weather was nice, if cool. The temperature got up to 55 around noon before it dropped off a bit. There was almost no wind at all. It was nearly clear until about 2:00, when it clouded up, but it began to clear up again around the time it got dark. When I went out to bring in the bird feeders, the beautiful, full Harvest Moon was shining in the southeast, but there were some clouds around it. 


I guess tomorrow night and Friday, we are going to get dumped on. They have a flood watch out from tomorrow night through Friday night. Since I live on a pebble pile, I don't have to worry too much about flooding, although it would be nasty if the culverts flooded. However, there are any number of places around here where the streams have washed out roads in the past and could very well do it again. That's the trouble when you want to build a road over small streams and you put in a culvert - sometimes it isn't sized right. French Annie Creek closed US-41 for several weeks a number of years ago, and I remember coming up on vacation after a big storm when Jacob's Creek had overflowed all over everything and started to wash out M-26. We'll see how it comes out. At least it isn't supposed to start raining hard until after I get home.


The camera caught Jupiter again this morning, and while I saved the picture, I won't post it - you've seen that.


Buster peed all over the stuff on my desk this morning after breakfast, and I don't know if he was just mad at me or he has a problem. He has wanted to sit on my lap almost all day, so I'm suspicious. However, I know he gets upset around this time of year because he knows I'll be going away for a few days, and of course, both Monday and yesterday, I spent a considerable amount of time away from home. I am watching him and trying to be nice to him. Sometime it is nice to have a cat that is so cuddly, but sometimes it causes problems, too. He almost makes himself sick when he starts worrying that I am going away.


So that was my day, and it's time to totter off to the north end and do my thing. It's a partly cloudy, cool, calm night in the field.


September 21

I guess it was because I read for a while then I spent a while staring at the floor, but it was midnight before I got to bed. I woke up around 3:30, and the clocks were flashing. When I checked, there were no lights down the harbor and the generator was on. So I called the power company, set the clocks and went back to sleep. I woke up around 6:00, I guess, and I could still hear the generator. When I finally got up, around 10:00, I couldn't tell if the generator was running or not, so I put in a call which I thought I aborted, although it turned out I didn't. When I checked, the generator was off.


So I petted the cat and knitted two rows on the shawl before I got dressed. It was already clear to me that I wasn't going to put out the bird feeders today, since the wind was blowing hard and there were whitecaps on the harbor. So I ate and did at least part of my morning surfing and paid a bill I forgot was due yesterday. By then it was time to start for Laurium.


In the meantime, a truck from UPPCO turned up, and I had to apologize for calling them, but they didn't mind, since they had been out on Horizon Drive anyway. They seemed happy to know my wires are all underground.


I was actually a bit later starting out than I planned, but I got there on time and of course I had to wait. I had an hour conversation and evaluation by a physical therapist, who is a nice young man, and I will start my physical therapy on Thursday. He said his aim is to give me some more mobility, which is my aim, too. There is clearly something wrong with just about every joint in my body. So that took about an hour, and then I came home.


Buster was not pleased, but too bad for him. I hope this will work. They can only do 10 sessions, but then if I show some improvement, maybe they can do more. Of course, there will be a hiatus while I am in Detroit, but he said they will probably give me some exercises to do at home that I will be able to do while I'm gone. So I think that went well. They have one terrific piece of equipment that I wish I could have - it's a thing where you sit down and pedal with your feet and your arms go back and forth, too. I think that would be ideal for me, but we'll see what they come up with.


The weather was interesting. It was windy all night, and between 6:00 and 9:00 we had 0.15" of rain. The high temperature, 67 took place while the power was off, and it didn't start to fall back until after 7:00. For the rest of the day, the high of 62 was between 1:00 and 5:00. The wind shifted around to the northwest and for most of the afternoon it was in the 15-35 mph range. I know that going down I could really feel it. It was cloudy until around 3:30, when it cleared up nicely. It was a pretty evening.


Speaking of pretty things, I didn't look at yesterday's pictures until after I uploaded this last night, and as a result, I missed the camera shooting Jupiter yesterday morning. That's that white dot just about in the middle of the picture. It's almost as bright as Venus was. I saw it from my bedroom, too. So pretty!


The driving was interesting. On the way down, first I got behind a guy who was doing 35 mph or less on the covered road, then I got behind a fully loaded double-bottom logging truck. Aarrggh!! I did manage to pass both of them, but still. Particularly the guy on the covered road - there are plenty of places he could have pulled over and let me by. Most people just never seem to consider that. Coming back there wasn't much traffic at all in my direction, which was nice.


The color is coming fast, I have to say. In spots, I would say the trees are about half turned, and this looks like it is going to be a very nice red and orange season. I know there is one tree down on Cliff Drive that I really should have stopped to take a picture of, since it was all bright read.  This is a pretty time of year, even though I know pretty soon it will be cold and dark and snowy.


So I got home before the talking started, and I did the rest of my surfing and had a snack. After the talking was over, I had some dinner and read for a while, and now I am going up to the north end and try to get an early start to my sleeping.


It's a clear, breezy,  moonlit night in the field.


September 20

Well, let's try this again. We just had a power glitch, not enough to bring on the generator, but enough that I lost everything I'd typed.


I had a terrible time uploading this last night. First, I forgot I needed to copy more than one file, then I had a hard time getting everything else right. I think it was about 11:30 or so when I got to bed. I was up during the night, and the bright moon was shining in the windows, and I was up around 6:45, and there was Jupiter shining over the mountain again. So pretty.


This was my CHIA day. The general meeting was this morning - and I was the only rep from the advertising committee who was there, and the ad meeting was this evening. Both turned long, because there was a sales rep from some of the local radio stations at both, and she was interesting to talk to. There was a lot of business to discuss at the general meeting, most of which I don't remember. We didn't do much at the ad meeting, both because of the sales rep and because there was some long discussion about the town map and the visitor center, most of which was not necessary.


On my way home this evening, I came up the hill not far from US-41 and found a large dead tree trunk across the road. I looked at it, but it was much too heavy to move, and it was much too big to drive over. Fortunately, there was a small opening along the side of the road, but I probably didn't do my finish any good. When I got here, I called Aaron, and he said he would take care of it. Amanda has to get home, and Ron has to get out tomorrow morning.


The reason the trunk came down was the weather. It was clear all night and it was cool this morning, but during the day the clouds moved in and the temperature rose from 39 at 8:00 to 51 at 10:00, and it went on up to 58, where it was for the rest of the afternoon. The wind went calm for a couple of hours between 9:00 and 11:00, then it swung around to the south-southwest and has been rising steadily, until now it's 20 mph with 40 mph gusts. It was nice to have it so warm (!), but the wind gave us the tree and the power outage.


I have had several strange things happen to the computer today. This morning, it froze and when I rebooted it, I had no Norton. Huh? So I rebooted again, and everything was all right. This evening, when the power glitch happened, it took me about three reboots to get everything right. I have the horrible feeling that the motherboard in this computer may be going, just like the other one did. I really didn't want to lay out the money for new computers, even though I know I really need them. So I will limp along until it dies, I guess. I do know that I've found several websites that have code in them that is not compatible with my antique version of Internet Explorer, and they can cause the entire system to freeze. However, none of that was going on today.


I am tired. I spent a lot of time standing today, and I couldn't do that years before I couldn't do other things. When I stand for any length of time my legs lock up completely, and after five minutes or so I almost can't move. My date with the physical therapist is tomorrow, and that will be interesting. At least it's not until 2:00, so I should be able to get my sleep tonight.


Buster has been upset. Yesterday I went away early in the morning and didn't come back until after noon, and today I was only here for about four hours. He is sitting on me and he won't move. Poor Buster.


Not long after I got home, the wind blew the breezeway door open, since I have a window open out there. I was still in the kitchen, and I closed it as soon as I could get to the door, but for a while I was afraid Jasmine had gotten out there. I heard her a while later, but she won't always answer me, and I wasn't sure where she was until I saw her. Now, Buster will come when I call him, and that is a big advantage. I must be more careful to see that that door latches.


So that was my day. Second day in a row with no knitting, but I expect to make up some of that tomorrow. I don't want to be isolated, but I'm not sure I was wise to get involved in local affairs. There are too many issues in small towns, because too many people are too touchy and too independent. It has been a heartwarming thing to see how much we have come together, but it's a fragile balance. While they were saving for the community center and the fire house, they had built some real community spirit, but after all those things were done, and the movers and shakers got older and tired, it all fell apart. I hope we can keep things together in the future, but I'm not totally hopeful. We'll see.


Now it's certainly time for bed, and it's a cloudy, windy, but rather warm night in the field.


September 19

What a nice Sunday I had!


I went up to the north end early last night, and while I read for a while, I was in bed by about 10:00. I slept well until about 6:00, when I had a backache, but evidently I did go back to sleep, because I woke up again at 715 and got up. When I was up at 6:00, it was apparent that it had clouded up and there were no stars. I was disappointed. I enjoyed seeing Jupiter.


I do not enjoy getting up before sunrise for any reason, ever, even though there were some nice red clouds for a few minutes, and there was a short period of time when the rising sun was shining on the mountain. I know we've seen that before, but it's still pretty. Then the clouds moved in, and it was dull and gray.


Anyway, I got dressed in something besides jeans, although my slacks just don't fit well. I may sometime have to try to make some, just to get the fit the way I want them. It puzzles me, because my jeans fit well. But the slacks stink...hips tight enough that they cup under my butt and calves too tight. But if I get the next size up, the waist is so huge I can't keep them up. Time for the sewing machine, I guess, although I don't think I have any fabric of the type and color I want for spring-summer-fall slacks. Sigh. Someplace I do have the good slacks pattern and the measurements I need, though. I want them to fit like my good black flannel ones do. I got to wear my gold jewelry, too.


I left the house about 9:10. Buster was really freaked out, both when I got up so early, and then when I got dressed up. He didn't even come into the studio, and he hid until late in the afternoon. Well, this one he's going to have to get used to.


I found the church with no problems, and I was very early, so I don't have to leave so early next week. It was nice to see the people I know, and everyone was very pleasant. Now I know where the restroom is and where the elevator is.


St. Paul's Lutheran Church is a very pretty little church. I think it is 130 years old, according to their banner. The altar is very lovely, and they have the real old-fashioned pulpit, with stairs up to it and a lid over it, like the old churches in Germany have. They have a nice pipe organ and an adequate organist, although she plays too loud. I hope to take some pictures inside one of these days. The woodwork is lovely, and they have some lovely stained glass windows, in the style of the late 19th century. 


I felt right at home there, even though they use the hymnal I don't like very well. They picked the least offensive order of service, and it didn't bother me at all. I like to hear Pastor Fundum preach. After some of the hymns he chose for our Monday night vespers, I was a bit afraid of what he would choose for a Sunday service, but he chose some of my very favorite hymns, and some that they didn't trash in that 1978 hymnal.


So I have had a little smile on my face all day. I've found a church that I feel very much at home in, and I will be going back. Frequently.


The service lasted exactly an hour, and after it, I had to go down to the Holiday gas station to get gas, although I didn't need as much as I thought. Gas here has gone up to about $2.94 a gallon, why I do not know, but I have a bunch of cents off coupons from Pat's Foods, so I got it for 20 a gallon cheaper, which is less than I could have gotten it at Econo or Wal-Mart. Of course, those coupons are only good for 12 gallons, but that is exactly what I needed. I was lucky to get there when I did: when I was pulling out of the station, there were cars lined up waiting to get in. 


By the time we got out of church, the clouds were beginning to break up, and there was sunshine all the way home. Evidently all the churches get out between 11:30 and 12:30, because I kept running across lines of cars going in various directions. Fortunately, this time, I wasn't the last guy in line. I did have to follow a guy up the covered road, but until we got to Lake Medora, he was doing pretty good. I don't know what came over him then, but we had a slow trip the rest of the way, and he pulled over across from the Gaslite, like he wasn't quite sure what he was doing.


The weather was cool. The high temperature for the day was 54, and for most of the afternoon, there was a 15 mph wind out of the north. The clouds finally went away, but late in the day some high cirrus came over, so it isn't completely clear. That wasn't supposed to happen.


So I did my daily surfing and not much else, and now I'm tired again. There was something else that went through my mind, but it's gone now. Maybe I'll remember it tomorrow. It's a cool, nearly clear night in the field, and the moon is getting bigger and brighter every night.


September 18

When I got up to the north end, I looked at some things in my hymnal and I knitted on the sock (remember the sock?) for a little while, and it was 12:45 before I got to bed. I slept well, thank you. 


When I was awake in the middle of the night, there were no stars, but when I woke up around 6:30, there was Jupiter, shining like a beacon over the mountain. So pretty! It reaches opposition sometime this week, I think, and it's as close as it's been in 40 years. Opposition is when it's closest to earth. It rises at sunset and sets at sunrise, so if it's clear, I should be able to see it shining in the west early in the morning. It turns out that Uranus is very close to it, and I might have to break out the binoculars one of these nights and see if I can see it. I've never seen Uranus. You can't see it with your naked eye, but it's bright enough that it should be an easy binocular target, at least in our clear skies. Sooo pretty!


I got up around 9:00 and I petted the cat and knitted on the raspberry shawl for a while before I got dressed.


The task of the day was to wash clothes, and the last two loads are in the dryer now. I keep forgetting that if I keep after it, it doesn't take all that long to do my wash. Actually, the only reason I needed to do it was that all my compression hose were dirty. We are in a transition time now, and there were some things for hot summer weather and some things for cool fall weather in the wash this time. Since September looks to be a cool to cold month, I don't really need all those short-sleeved tops, and I certainly don't need the shorts! However, compression hose and bras and underpants are necessities. 


When I opened the drawer in the bathroom to get my underpants this morning, I heard something go clunk! in the back, and the drawer wouldn't close. When I looked behind the drawer, there was a box of Band-Aids, as well as a pair of underpants and the empty box from some kind of ointment for my shins that I don't remember having used. I guess it was supposed to be for the stasis dermatitis, but it didn't do much good. So I had to get my long reach tool and take the drawer out, and while I was at it, I went through the drawer that most of the stuff had dropped out of. It's amazing what you will find when you look at a drawer from a different angle. I have lots of Bactraban, I discovered, and I really didn't need to open that new tube. I also have lots of Calmoseptine, which is probably a good thing, as long as I have diarrhea. And I removed a large wad of cotton batting that had been in various pill bottles. It sometimes surprises me that some manufacturers are still using that in their bottles. Surely it adds to the cost.


So now I have a nice, neat second drawer, which is where I keep things like hand and face lotion, and stuff like that that I usually use while sitting in the bathroom. 


The weather was pretty but windy and cool. There was a north wind in the 15-30 mph range until about 6:00, when it went to nothing. The temperature was around 52 for most of the afternoon. There were few to no clouds for most of the day, and the sun set in a clear sky.


The sun is setting before 8:00 now, and it isn't very far from due west. I keep forgetting that we are almost at the equinox. Sigh. It's interesting that the full moon is on the equinox, at least according to my notes. That's Wednesday. Sigh.


One of my e-friends gave me a good lecture about physical therapy that I will try to bear in mind. Ya gotta wanna. And you can't expect to just work when you have therapy sessions. You have to work at home, too. Ya gotta wanna. I hope I wanna enough.


So that was my day, and I would like to get to bed early tonight, because I hope to go to church tomorrow. It's a clear, cool, calm evening in the field and the gibbous moon is shining brightly in the south windows.


September 17

I read for a while, but not long, and I think it was around 10:30 when I went to bed. I didn't sleep well - again - and part of it was that it was quite warm in the bedroom. However, I realized about the third time I woke up that I am beginning to obsess about my physical therapy appointment on Tuesday. In order for PT to do me any good, I'm going to have to work hard, and I will be sore, and I just haven't been feeling that good. Anyway, around 6:00 I managed to get rid of that and I slept well until around 9:00.


I petted the cat for a while and knitted about four rows on the raspberry stole, although I misread where I was in the pattern and had to rip out almost all of the first two rows I did.


And that was about it. I went to the post office, and while I was around there, I stopped at the fish market and got a nice piece of lake trout, which Buster and I enjoyed. In fact, I gave Buster so much of it that he only finished it off and licked the plate a few minutes ago. This one was a bit difficult, because there were a few little bones in it. That's the first time I've had that happen, and I think it should have been possible to get those bones out. Actually, I think I felt them when I laid out the fillet, and I should have taken them out myself. I'll have to remember that the next time.


I also talked to Christine about the camera in the fish house, and I now know who is supposed to be maintaining it. I know I heard the other day that several people in CHIA have been getting nasty emails from people who are upset that it has been down so long. It is supposed to be maintained by PastyNet, but they have been busy. I will email Charlie and maybe they can get it cleaned up and running again. If I could get up to where it is, I'd gladly do it, but it's on top of the building and it needs ladders and things to get to, and I don't do ladders.


I also stopped at the store to get some eggs, and I saw the menu for the CHIA dinner, which I am trying hard not to go to. The Mountain Lodge has a new manager, and he is a trained chef, and it was an impressive menu. He is going to try to upgrade the food, which will be good. I know people who won't eat there anymore.


This evening, I started reading, and I finished part 3 from the blue binder and started part 4. It never ceases to amaze me how many typos are still there every time I read through one of those things. 


The weather was OK, I guess. It was very cloudy and dark for most of the day, and between 9:00 and 10:00 this morning there was a little bit of rain. The temperature got up to 62 briefly, around 6:00 this evening, but for most of the afternoon it was in the upper 50s. There was very little wind. 


When I hung up the bird feeders this morning, I heard some strange little nasal twittering, and there was a pair of nuthatches, one of whom flew out of the tree right at me before it landed on the tube feeder and got its seed, even though I was about a foot away. They have been hitting the square feeder I hang in the tree out of sight from the camera, and I had to fill it this morning. They are so tame and so funny.


When it got dark, the gibbous moon was shining in the south windows for a while, but it has gone away, so I think there are some clouds up there. Now it's a cool, calm night in the field, and it's time to go.


September 16

I read for too long last night, and it was about 11:30 when I got to bed. I didn't sleep well. Apparently I was hot or something, and I was up several times. There were some nice stars. I woke up around 8:30 and I got up, because I didn't want to get up too late, but then I did another square on the white shawl, so it was after 10:30 when I got dressed.


The first time I got up during the night, when I got back into bed, I realized that the clock was flashing - we had had a power glitch. So the next time I got up, I turned on the light and brought the calculator/clock with me to set the clock. The appliances in the kitchen had seen it, but evidently either the computer didn't or it recovered all right. At least the camera came up this morning.


I didn't do very much. I partly unloaded the dishwasher, which had worked all right in spite of the power, and that was about it. I spent some time this afternoon working on the white shawl and I started the second row of squares, but after I did the first one, I put it away. It's kind of fun to do, but I want to work on the raspberry one, at least for a while. Both of them are so huge it will take a long time to knit them.


The weather was cool and pretty. It was cloudy when I got up, but when I looked up from my knitting, most of the clouds had gone away and there was lots of blue sky and sunshine for the rest of the day. The temperature got up to about 55 for the afternoon, and except right around noon there wasn't much wind. What there was, was from the east. With all the sunshine and not much wind, it's really warm in the house today.


I got the bird feeders out today, finally, and the little chickadees and nuthatches were just delighted. While I was knitting, I was looking outside, too, and it seems like I have quite a little flock of nuthatches, as well as any number of chickadees. I sometimes think they are both so skittish that they won't come to the feeders if there are a lot of other birds. They are so cute. I do wonder what has become of the goldfinches, but I think I always wonder that at this time of year, and eventually they show up again. all drab in their winter plumage.


I decided to do this first tonight, then I will read for a while. Now the half moon is shining in the south windows, partly behind the dead tree, and it's a cool, calm evening in the field.


September 15

Wow, it's the middle of September already. Sigh.


I was going to try to go to bed early last night, but I wanted to look at the white shawl before I did, and somehow I managed to pull both working needles out of the fabric when I took it out of the bag. This one is done in small chunks, 20 stitches by 40 rows, and I'm using a pair of double-pointed needles. Well, of course that made a mess. Alpaca is very slippery and wiry, and all the yarn-overs fell out, so I ended up ripping back about eight rows, and then I wanted to knit at least back to where I was when I goofed. So it was about midnight when I got to bed. 


I slept hard. I was only up once while it was dark, and there were some nice stars out there but no northern lights. I got up around 9:00, I think, and I finished the section I was working on - with some difficulty, since I kept dropping things - and started on the next one, which is a much easier pattern. Each little section has one of three patterns in it, and only the lily-of-the-valley pattern, which has nupps, is really hard. However, I knitted long enough that it was 11:30 before I got dressed, so I didn't do much else.


I do have the dishwasher almost ready to run, and I will finish that before I go to bed. This time, I'm not going to knit. Period.


The weather started out nice, clear and sunny, but I notice that the temperature overnight got down to 39, the first time in several months that it's been that cold. It got up to 58 or so, but about mid afternoon it clouded up and started to rain, and the temperature went down to 52, and it has now dropped another degree or so. There wasn't much wind, and what there was came from the south or southwest, where most of our rain seems to come from. It was an icky late afternoon, with some fog down the harbor as well as the rain.


I didn't get the bird feeders out for pure laziness, but I was just as glad when it started to rain. I did finally get the pails back into the studio, so I should be able to put things out tomorrow.


Oh, yes, late this afternoon, Dr. Limback called to report that my ultrasound showed no changes from April, so I don't have to worry about that for another six months. That was nice.


Now it's late again, and it's a cool, dark and damp night in the field.


September 14

I took the white alpaca up to the north end last night, and I started to work on it. Now that I know how to make nupps, it went so well that I worked one repeat of the pattern. Then, of course, I had to take a bath, so it was almost 2:00 when I got to bed. Not what I had in mind, really. I got up before 9:00 this morning, because my left leg and hip were so sore I couldn't sleep and I knew I had to get up. I worked another repeat of the pattern (there are three), and I had time to eat and check the weather before I was off to my massage. I feel much better for that, but it always makes me sleepy, so I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon. 


When I got home, there was a truck from the electric company. I had forgotten that when they serviced my generator, they noticed that the gravel under the  cement pad was eroding away, and they were afraid that it would tilt away from the house and pull all the wiring out. So today they came back and did something (I haven't looked yet) with Kwikcrete and shovels, and hopefully everything is stabilized.


At one point, there was a chipmunk living under the pad, and I hope it isn't anymore, but enough of the gravel had washed out that I doubt it is now. So that is taken care of.


On my way home from seeing Johanna, I stopped at the post office, where there was a large amount of mail, including the end-of-month bills. The huge credit balance I have with the propane company has resulted in very low monthly bills this year. That's nice, but I'm afraid it won't last.


The weather was nice but cool and windy. The temperature only got up to 55. and the wind was in the 15-25 mph range from the north. Whitecaps on the harbor meant no birdfeeders again. The skies were almost completely clear. When it got dark, there was a lovely crescent moon shining in the south windows, 


I have been amused by how different the NWS forecast is from Environment Canada's for the past two days. The NWS would have it clouding up and raining tonight, while Environment Canada says it won't cloud up until tomorrow afternoon. So far they have been much  more accurate than the NWS, so we'll see who's right for tomorrow.


I heard that there were some northern lights last night, about the time I went to sleep. Unfortunately, I didn't see them, and they were gone by the time I got up for the first time around 5:00. However, the sun is beginning to get active again, finally, so there may be some good displays in the coming months. I hope to see some of them and report on them. There may be some activity on Thursday, but of course it's supposed to be cloudy then.


So that was my day, and I since I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, I'm off to the north end. It's a clear (I think) cool night in the field.


September 13

I didn't take a bath last night, and that was a mistake, but it was after midnight before I got to bed anyway. I slept fairly well, and I got up around 9:00. I knitted a couple of rows, and I was getting ready to get up and get dressed when I got a phone call, from Pastor Fundum, and could he and his wife come to visit?


Well, sure, I suppose so. House is a disaster and so am I, but whatever.


I didn't do much else, They arrived before 3:00 and we had a nice conversation, although it was mostly about me. He wanted to know my background. They are both very nice people. So now I have to go to church. I printed out a map, so I think I can find the place.


The weather was windy again, from the north, with gusts up to 31 mph. It was cool, too. The temperature got up to 62 for several hours this afternoon. It was clear overnight and this morning, then it clouded up for several hours after noon before all the clouds flew away, and it was completely clear at sunset. When I went to get my dinner, there was a nice crescent moon over in the southwest. We may get to shoot the moon again this month.


Then I started to read, and I got to a good part of the third episode from the blue binder, so it is late again, and tonight I have to take a bath.


Oh, yes, and I called and I will go to physical therapy a week from tomorrow, for evaluation and a schedule. I certainly hope they can help me. I did feel better today, and I'm beginning to believe I was dehydrated again, which was why I felt so lousy. My back is still bad, though, and that's because of the cool dampness. The temperature has been running several degrees below normal for some time now.


The bird feeders didn't get put out again because of the wind. While I was saying goodbye to Pastor, a large flock of geese flew over, coming down from Canada. So it's beginning. We are losing daylight at almost 3 minutes a day, and the sun is scurrying south at a great rate. It now seems to be setting over Hunter's Point. It's not that I dislike winter so much, but that it's so dark. I miss the long days of early summer.


Now it's a cool, clear night in the field, and it's time for bed.


September 12

Well, I crashed for the third night in a row. Tonight will be a little later, but I won't have to get up tomorrow morning, since my massage is postponed until Tuesday. I got to bed around 10:30, but I actually didn't get to sleep until after 11:30, so the length of time I spent in bed was more than the amount of sleep I got. I got up around 10:00, and I knitted another few rows on the stole. I'm starting repeat 5 out of 30, so I have a way to go.


Since I didn't get dressed until nearly noon, I decided to have pancakes and sausage for breakfast. They were good, although my sense of taste still isn't back to normal by any means. Greasy things and creamy things still don't taste right, and delicately flavored things don't taste like anything. However, it is coming back, and eventually I'll get over it.


Otherwise I didn't do anything. It took me a while to do my daily surfing because there was a major telecom outage (not PastyNet's fault) affecting the UP, so I couldn't reach about half of my usual sites for a while. When it finally came back, it was wonderful: everybody else had gone to do something else, and I was the only guy online, and it was amazingly fast. It was wonderful, but now I know how it should be.


We had an advertising committee meeting at 5:00, and even though we were there for two hours, we only talked about Thunder in the Harbor. We may have lost a little money on it this year, but that was probably because of the weather. The morning of that day was rainy, and even though it cleared up and the afternoon was beautiful, they think a lot of people stayed away. At that, there were over 250 bikes parked from the community center to the agate shop, and that's nearly the same as last year. Anyway, we didn't talk about the art show, or several other things we need to be working on, so we will meet again next week.


I ate dinner late, and then I got to reading, so I will be later tonight, but I doubt I will be awake long after my head hits the pillow.


The weather was beautiful but very windy (the forecast said "breezy" - breezy my foot!). At noon, the NWS station was reporting 40 mph gusts from the northwest. It wasn't that bad for the rest of the afternoon, but it was very breezy. The high temperature, briefly, was 66, but for most of the afternoon it was around 65. There weren't any clouds until after sunset, and it was a beautiful day.


Because of the wind, I didn't put out the bird feeders. When there are whitecaps on the harbor, it's too windy for them. I need to bring the pails in from the breezeway anyway.


Buster and Jasmine have been entertaining me. I forgot to mention yesterday that late in the afternoon, Buster took a running leap off his box, up the stairs, across the back of the sofa and down the loft railing. He was clearly feeling really good. My little four-footed barometer. And when I got up this morning, Jasmine had unfolded the rug in the bathroom and made herself a little nest. She went away when I came in, so I refolded the rug, and after I sat down, she came back and curled up on the rug not a foot from me and went back to sleep. She didn't get up until I got up and started to wash, and she wasn't nervous about my rustling around. Slowly, slowly... Now Buster is curled up on the sewing machine chair, quite comfortable.


So that was my quiet day, and now it's time to crash again. It's a coolish, windy night in the field, but there may be a star or two.


September 11 - Remember

I crashed again last night, and I slept well. I was up around 6:30 or so, in time to see the rising sun turn the atmosphere apricot, but I went back to bed, and it was 10:00 before I got up. Wow. Almost 12 hours of sleep! 


I knitted and finished another repeat on the stole, and I petted a cat, although he got upset and went away when I started knitting. 


So it was noon before I got to the studio, and I didn't do anything except my daily surfing all afternoon. I need another good night's sleep. 


Part of the problem was the weather and what it does to my poor old bod. The temperature was steady at right about 60, but it was extremely humid. The first picture after sunrise showed that it was foggy, and around 8:00 it started raining lightly, and it rained all day - a total of just over ". There was a ray of sunshine before 8:00 and there was another ray or two right before sunset, but for the rest of the day it was dark and dismal. Blah. There was quite a wind, too, until about 3:00, from the southwest, with gusts up to 25 mph. Blah.


Please remember to vote for our ambulance barn:




We are moving steadily up in the standings, but we have a way to go. I have discovered that if you have more than one email address, you can vote more than once a day (as well as via cell phone, Facebook and Twitter). So now I can vote twice. You just have to set up a separate account for each address.


I read for a while, and I finished part two from the blue binder. And that was it. Now it's time to hobble up to the north end and get an early start tonight. It's a dark, dank, cool night in the field.


September 10

I sort of crashed last night. I was really tired, but as usual, I spent some time staring at the floor, and so it was about 10:45 before I got to bed. I think it wasn't until about 4:00 that I woke up for the first time. When I looked out, there were stars, and Vega was almost behind the trees to the north. At that time, there aren't any bright stars in the west, but I could see a few twinkles.


I finally got up around 9:00. I petted the cat and knitted two more rows on the stole, but I was late getting to the studio. I mentioned last night that I didn't want to leave everything in the car, so the task of the day was to get as much out of the car as I could. The kitty litter and the bird seed are still there, but everything else is out, and I sorted through the bags in the breezeway and at least stowed away the wine. I really wish I could get a few more shelving units for the breezeway, where I could store the overflow from the pantry. Living as far away from town as I do, and being as paranoid as I am, I tend to stock up on things, just in case there should be a long time when I can't get to a supermarket. As it is, except for orange juice, it should be a long time before I have to shop again. I also swept up most of the birdseed I had spilled on the floor, so the place I keep the bags is all ready when I feel like hauling the new ones out of the car.


About 1:30, the electrician showed up, and he serviced my generator and he said it looked really good. He was still here when I left, shortly after 2:00. With the slow drivers around, it takes me almost exactly 50 minutes to get to Laurium and into the hospital. So I should really be leaving a little earlier than I have been lately. However, I wasn't late.


The doctor agreed that he can be my only primary care physician, so that was good, and he even offered to give me the vancomycin, even though the single stool tested negative for C. diff. I just don't believe that was accurate, and if the guy in Marquette ever calls, I will tell them so. It acts like C. diff and it smells like C. diff, so I think it is C. diff.


The other thing I asked about, and he was glad to do, was to give me a referral for some physical therapy. I am so stiff, and I am getting stiffer, and I really don't want to end up in a wheelchair. He seemed to think there are things they can do for me. So I will call them and get evaluated, and we'll see where that leads. I still don't feel very robust - another reason I think I still have the C. diff - but I really thing the vitamin D has made a difference, and I want to take advantage. I'm also tired of shuffling around and not being able to put up my hair. Usually in the summer, I am much less creaky, but it has been so humid - it still is - that I am just in agony. So we'll see what happens.


I mentioned my problems with my eyes, and he is willing to give me a referral to the local eye doctor if I need it. We'll see what the guy in Detroit says. I noticed, the last time I was out at night, that I am getting more glare than before, which means that one of these days I will probably have to have the cataracts done. Rats. I'd hoped not to have to do that. So we'll see. If I do have to have them done, I think it will have to be here, just for logistical reasons, like it was with the gall bladder.


Then I went off to Pat's to get a few things. I like their produce better than Econo's, for one thing, so I got some nectarines and plums, as well as a few new pasta salads, all of which tasted good. I got some of the cat food neither Walmart or Econo had, but it was 81 a can, as compared to 54 at Walmart and 69 at Econo, so I don't think I'll be getting very much there. However, Walmart's selection is variable, and they didn't have very much turkey when I was there. Now we have enough varieties of turkey to almost match the varieties of chicken. We had tuna today, and we were happy.


I mentioned slow drivers, and there were lots people putzing down the covered road like they had nothing in the world to do - which I suppose they didn't. That's fine, but there are a lot of places where they could have pulled over and let me by, and I still don't understand why they never do, except that I'm sure in some cases, they don't even know I'm behind them. On the way home, not only was there a slow driver, we came up behind a guy towing a huge camper, so that slowed us down even more. I was glad to get home.


It was a pretty day, if not very warm. There were clouds, but there was a lot of sunshine, too, and it was nearly clear when I got home. The temperature got up to 60 for a while, and it wasn't much, if any, warmer in town. There was a rather strong south wind for most of the afternoon.


So now I am tired again, and it's time to trudge up to the north end. I would like not to take a bath, but I sweat some today, so I guess I have to. Now it's a partly cloudy, breezy night in the field and it's bedtime.


September 9

Right about the time I was getting ready to take my bath, Jon called and said that the broadband was up again, so I put on my robe and slippers and came down to the office to publish the journal. Then, silly me, I got to looking at my book on Estonian lace. As a result, it was 12:45 before I got to bed.


When I was up around 3:00, there were stars. I woke up around 7:00 with very sore hips, and I dozed until 8:00 or so, but that certainly wasn't enough sleep! I knitted a couple of rows on the stole before I got dressed, but I didn't have time to do most of my morning surfing, especially since Thursday is the day when there's lots of stuff to read.


I did get my vote in for the Pepsi grant, and I posted the link on the PastyCam. Here it is for you again. Please vote! We're making steady progress, but we have a ways to go.





So right before I was going to leave, I had to spend some time in the bathroom, and as a result I was almost late. It didn't matter much - so are they at the hospital. So I had my ultrasound, and there were some things the technician wanted the doctor to look at, but he was in Ontonagon, so I was on my way before noon. 


I stopped at Hughes Farm, and they had cherry tomatoes today, especially the yellow ones I love so much. They had some beautiful cabbages, and some beets that were small enough to pickle, so I did a lot of damage again. 


My next stop was Econo Foods, and while I spent a lot of money, a lot of it was for wine, since they have some brands I like that Pat's doesn't carry. There was also rice, and they are now making a variety of my royal rice that has red beans in it. I can't wait to try that. I got the shampoo and conditioner that Walmart didn't have, and some other things. It was more than I thought, but not more than I expected.


I forgot to mention that I cooked last night, a new recipe for pork chops that uses tomato rice soup, and it was pretty good. I was tired of the pork chop recipes I'd been using, and I went through my recipe box and my mom's and found several I want to try, most of which use cream of celery soup. So we'll see what happens with that.


I got gas at Econo's Shell station, and it was $2.75 a gallon, which is 5 a gallon less than it's been in Calumet, and today, that station had gone up to $2.84, so even with my coupons from Pat's, I would have paid more than I did at Econo. I hear the price of gas is going down, which would be nice, but it sure has been nice to have it pretty stable for the summer.


I started back around 2:00. There was a backup at the interchange to the bridge again, but I think the reason for that is that newcomers in town don't understand the dynamics of that thing, and they sit at the stop sign at Shelden when there is no traffic coming in that direction. It was a little better today than the last time I was in town.


I got back before 3:00, and ate the chef's salad I bought, with some new dressing I bought, and it tasted good. I splurged and bought some potato chips. I haven't had any potato chips in several years. Even with my iffy sense of taste, they were good.


Between losing my taste and my intestinal problem, I've lost a few more pounds, so I figured I can splurge a bit, so long as I don't take it to extremes. That's why I'm conflicted about things. I certainly hope my sense of taste returns - it's getting better, but it's not there yet - and I would like to get rid of the C. diff because it makes me feel bad, but it's nice to lose the weight.


Anyway, my legs were extremely stiff today, and by the time I got home, I could hardly move, so just about everything is still in the car. I must get it out tomorrow, because I don't want to drive it down to Laurium again, but I was too tired this afternoon.


The weather wasn't too bad. It was cloudy this morning and partly cloudy all day, although it was interesting, since the clouds had a sharp boundary on them, and by the time I got home, it was clear here. The temperature here was right around 55 all day, although it was a couple of degrees warmer in town. There was a light wind from the northeast.


I was behind some tourists leaving Copper Harbor this morning, and I was behind some more coming this afternoon. Things have settled down a lot, but there are still people wandering around on the streets. One guy this morning actually pulled over for me, but I had to pass the rest, and I had to follow two guys all the way to Copper Harbor this afternoon. I can understand that people who don't know the road drive it slowly, but I wish they would realize that some of us do know it and don't drive slowly. The guy in the lead this afternoon was acting like he never looked in his rearview mirrors.


Buster was pathetically glad to see me when I got home, and he sat on me for most of the time I wasn't eating, although every so often he would get up and go away, then come right back. He thought he wanted some of what I was eating, even though there wasn't anything there for him.


So that was my day, and even though it's fairly early, I am going up to the north end as soon as I've published this and rebooted the computer. It's a partly cloudy, coolish night in the field, and it's time to go to bed.


September 8

I didn't do anything when I got up to the north end last night, so it was about 11:15, maybe earlier, when I got to bed. I was up several times in the night, for some reason, but I did get some quality sleep early this morning. It was apparently about 8:30 when I got up, and I discovered that somehow the clocks in the bedroom and the bathroom had gotten set about 25 minutes fast, and I hadn't been looking at my calculator/clock, which was correct. Not that it mattered a lot over the past few days, but it could have been disastrous tomorrow, when I have to be in Laurium at 11:00.


I knitted a while this morning and started the fourth repeat on the stole. It's shaping up rather nicely, and I like it. It will be a pretty thing.


That was about all I did, except to call the company and complain about the pattern. I had several nice conversations, and the last lady I talked to is going to research my problems and get back with me.


I knitted on the black sweater while the talking was going on, and then I read for a while - I've started the blue binder again, and of course I've found a bunch of typos and stuff to change. I guess that will never end.


I can't talk too much about the weather in detail, because I don't have an internet connection (I know, I know, I could dial in, but ugh!). It was windy. There was a 20 mph wind or more from the north all day long. It was cloudy and ugly in the morning, but eventually it cleared up, and it was a lovely afternoon. Lots of good solar heat. The temperature got up to about 58. I think, or at least that's what it was the last time I could check it.


This evening, I was reading when I started hearing a grinding noise, and I had to go downstairs and turn on the water line into the heating system, which Bill had turned off. There was still no heat going to the bathroom, which I suspected all along. So I called him, and we had an indeterminate conversation. He wants to watch it for a few days and see how it goes. Fine, but I know how it will go. His problem with me is that it was working right for a year or more, so now I know how it's supposed to work. It's not. It may be the zone valve to the bathroom, or there may be air in those lines. I know he hates to bleed the lines, but the last time he did that one, it took him something like 45 minutes to get all the air out of it. I know he has no clue why I have so much trouble with this heating system. When it's working right, I love it. When it isn't, I would like to tear it out and replace it. It's very frustrating.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end and sleep hard. I will need to leave shortly after 10:00 tomorrow morning, so I will have to be up fairly early.


Now it's a partly cloudy, cool and breezy night in the field.


September 7

I don't remember why I was so late last night, but it was after midnight when I got to bed, even though I didn't take a bath. I woke up around 7:45, and I really, really didn't want to get up, but I didn't know when the plumber would get here, so I got up. Turns out, I could have slept. He didn't get here until nearly noon.


He seemed more concerned with his van, which was overheating, and he ultimately decided it was a leak in the heater line. In the meantime, he replaced the master zone valve and called his wife to bring him a new overflow tank, because mine had failed...again. I think this is my fourth tank. I was a little alarmed when he started waling away with a hacksaw and a hammer, but apparently he moved the tank farther away from the hot pipes.  I don't know how much he will charge me, because he is going to mail me the bill, but it's not going to be a cheap visit. At least I have heat again.


I didn't do very much, although I did sweep up all the birdseed I had spilled on the floor in the studio. That was about it. I think it's time to wash dishes again, so I will finish loading the dishwasher on my way up to the north end.


The weather wasn't very nice. The high temperature for the day was 63, and that took place at 8:00 this morning. It fell off for the rest of the day, and it is now 52. It rained almost all night, then it rained some more between 1:00 and 5:00 this afternoon. Altogether we got 0.32", so most of it was drizzle. Around 5:00 the north wind started rising again, and at 7:00 it was a sustained 35 mph with 43 mph  gusts. The lake is howling again, but it's in the alto to tenor range, and the wind is banging against the house.


Oh, I am glad I have heat...or I hope I do. I haven't been up to the north end yet. It is supposed to blow all night long, and they have gale warnings out on the big lake. This is really unusual for September, but then, this has been a strange year altogether.


When I went out to the kitchen to get my dinner, I startled Jasmine, who was sitting under the open door of the dishwasher. How weird. But she is a strange little kitty sometimes. 


I forgot to mention that Saturday when I didn't have any phone service, I went upstairs for the first time in months, and I checked everything out. I had wondered if maybe the kitties were going up there, because the last appraiser left the door to the upstairs suite open. However, it didn't look like it. I shouldn't have worried, because the thermostat up there is set at 50 and they like it warm. I know for the past two days, when it was sunny, Jasmine has been taking her morning siesta in the south windows of the studio, with the sun beating down on her. Even though I was close by, she's pretty much stayed. She would run away when I walked into the studio, but as soon as I settled down, she would come back. I'm sure they will be as happy as I am that we have heat again.


I put out the bird feeders this morning, and as soon as I came out the door, a little nuthatch, all fluffed up like a ball, came flying around and grabbed his seed, even though I was standing there. And he didn't take the first one he grabbed, either. He tried several before he found the best one and flew off. They are such cute little birds! I don't think I had many other birds, but when the wind started to act up, I brought everything in, and I disturbed a chipmunk whose cheek pouches were so full it was amazing that he could move at all.


 I went to the post office, where it had been too long since I'd been there, and got a great pile of mail, including a bunch more magazines and catalogs. It's that time of year when the catalogs start to come thick and fast. Two more books came, one of which I will have to read cover to cover, since it has a lot of information on historical knitting. 


So that was my quiet day, and now it's a cold, dark and windy night in the field. The singing of Mother Superior will put me to sleep.


September 6 - Labor Day

I guess it was midnight before I got to bed again, but I made up for it by not getting up until around 10:00. And I really slept, too. I was up at 6:30, and I went right back to sleep and didn't wake up until a little while before Buster came to see what my problem was. I was dreaming about an interesting sweater that I was going to have to alter because it was too long. It was off-white with black, gray and white with a red pattern bands on the bottom and the top, and somehow it had gotten so long it came down to my knees. It's nothing I would ever actually make, but it was an interesting dream. By the time I woke up, I had taken the sleeves out and opened up the shoulders, and I was trying to decide whether to cut sleeve holes or rip back and reknit it. I haven't had such a vivid dream in a long time.


I was so late that I didn't do much of anything. I did knit four rows on the shawl, and I am now beyond where the goofs were, so I am making actual progress again, and I am getting better with the nupps. I'm also paying closer attention to the pattern, so I can hope I won't goof it up again. 


The weather was pretty until late in the afternoon, clear or almost clear, with an east wind. The temperature only got up to 62, but it was rather nice on the front side of the house when I put out the bird feeders. There wasn't much wind.


The consensus seems to be that the reason the microwave didn't work the other night was that even though power had been restored, it wasn't full voltage. Since it's a 1500 watt oven, I suppose it wouldn't work if the line voltages were low.


So I spent some time reading and I finished the story in the white binder (again). There are still typos in it, and it seems Word loses track of a few things I've told it to ignore every time I go through it. Since it's 400,000 words long, I suppose that's possible. Microsoft did seem to have some odd ideas about how big the projects would be that used their software - as witness FrontPage. I wonder if they've cleaned up those things in the newer versions?


Now it's late, and I guess the plumber is coming tomorrow - I don't know when - so I guess I'd better get to bed. It's a cool, cloudy night in the field, and we're in for some rain.


September 5

I guess it was about midnight when I got to bed, and I slept well, with the usual wakeups. Sometime during the night, I decided that I would have to go to Kirkish Furniture today, so as not to be without a microwave, but more about that later. I got up at 9:30 because I got a call from ATT (the second one) checking that my phone lines were in operation. I could have slept longer.


I took another look at the shawl and realized I had ripped beyond where the errors were (or most of them), so I reknit the row I was in the middle of and four more rows, and now I have only two more to be back where I was when I goofed. It all went well today. I think it has something to do with how fuzzy my mind is. Unfortunately, I usually end up knitting with my glasses off. The dark yarn is hard to see anyway, and I'm not focusing up close very well lately.


However, before I could get dressed and eat, I remembered that I had to fill the pill dispensers today, so I did that. And that was all I did.


When I got to the kitchen, I decided to try the microwave again, just in case, and it worked just fine, for heaven's sake! I have no clue what the problem was, except that the light inside and the display both seemed a little dim to me last night. It heated up my TV dinner just fine, too. Really, really weird. Anyway, that meant I didn't have to go to Houghton, which was a relief. I use my microwave much too much to be without it, ever.


It also got me thinking about modern appliances. The microwave I had at the house on Champine was at least 30 years old, and it still worked just fine, although it was really primitive, with dials rather than a keypad and no programmed settings. Things aren't like that now, and my appliances are all coming up on 10 years old, which is apparently supposed to be their lifetime. I certainly hope I don't lose any of them very soon, but they have all been used very gently, so I can hope.


It was a pretty day, sunny and windy, which is why the bird feeders didn't get put out. There were whitecaps on the harbor, which means the feeders would have been swinging around too much for anybody to eat. I have the feeling the hummingbirds are gone, although I'll hang out their feeder for a few more days. Hopefully, I can get everything out tomorrow.


It was cool. The high temperature was only 59, and that was late in the afternoon. And it was breezy - 20 mph winds for most of the day. We had a nice sunset tonight, but not as nice as last night's. I noticed that the sun is setting right outside the camera view. In the next day or so, it will come into sight, and it will stay there until early November, I think, before it disappears to the south. Oh, winter is on its way.


So that was my day, and I'm tired tonight, so I think I will go up to the north end rather early and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. The sunshine should have warmed things up - it certainly did in the studio - but I don't know how much it did for the bathroom. You know, 64 is not very warm when you don't have any clothes on or you are wet from your bath.


Please remember to vote for our Pepsi challenge grant:




I am posting it on the Pasty Cam, too, and I hope it will help, although we seem to be stuck between 131st and 134th place. If we could only get those 600,000 visitors to vote every day, we could do it.


Now it's a dark, clear and quite cold night in the field.


September 4

Well, it's over. It's been quite a 36 hours.


When I went up to the north end last night, it was 64 in the bathroom - a bit cool for bathing. So I hauled myself down to the basement to check things out. The boiler was running, and the pressure in the lines seems good, so it wasn't that. However, almost all the pipes were cold, except for one, which I believe goes to the hot water maker. I do have hot water. So clearly, I have a heating problem - again. 


I managed to take my bath without freezing to death, and it was good sleeping. I like it cool in the bedroom (I've said this before), because then I can make my own climate under the covers. So I slept rather well. The times I was up, there were no lights at all in Copper Harbor, but someplace around US-41, I could see flashing lights.


I got to bed around 11:00 and got up around 9:00, I think. I put on my robe to sit and knit and pet a cat, and I am in the middle of ripping out at least 8 or 10 rows, because I screwed up the pattern, then when I started ripping, I kept dropping stitches. I hope I don't have to rip back to the garter stitch and start over! I gave up in the middle of a row, and I will look at it again tomorrow.


When I got dressed, rather warmly, I decided to call the plumber right away, and to call UPPCO to see what they said. Well...I had no phone service. Both lines were dead, with no dial tone. Hummmm...


So I ate my breakfast and read for a while. Then I gathered my cell phone, a bunch of phone numbers, and the camera and took off for the top of Brockway. I can report that cell phone service, at least if you have Verizon, is excellent from Brockway, better than I frequently get in the city.


ATT said that they knew there was a phone problem and the estimated repair time was...Tuesday. What? Hey, guys, that means we can't even dial 911 if we have a heart attack!


The nice man I got at UPPCO explained that a very high wind gust (estimated 80 to 100 mph!) had hit a main power pole and exploded it, and it was taking some time and a lot of checking to get it repaired. They estimated the repair would be done this afternoon. Well, OK. If that's the best you can do.


Then I called the plumber and got his answering machine at both numbers. That was hard, because at the time, my land line was dead, and there is no cell service in Copper Harbor.


While I was doing this, I was watching the lake, and the solid line of breakers across Agate Harbor. While I was there, a rain squall came off the lake, but it was just drizzle and mist. The wind up on Brockway is always strong, and it was so strong that it was rocking the car. I can imagine what it was like last night!


When I finished my phone calls, I took the long way home, going west off Brockway and down to M-26. I haven't been that way in a while, and there are some lovely woods along there, as well as a Michigan Nature Association preserve and some of what I guess are houses for sale. There's a lot for sale on M-26, too. It's a shame. There were some nice  breakers along M-26, where you could see the lake, but it was dull and gray and I didn't see any pictures worth taking. 


I had noticed, when I started for Brockway, that the Berry Patch had an open sign on it. I haven't had an ice cream cone all summer, and I haven't seen George and Brenda, either. So on my way home I stopped. There were a couple of very noisy generators going when I stopped, and three extension cords snaking through the doorway, and they had covered all their freezers with quilted moving blankets, but the generators were keeping the ice cream very cold. So we had a nice conversation about the weather. They have a cottage right near the store, and a tree had fallen across the road and landed on their deck and apparently just about destroyed it. George had had to go down to Calumet last night to get gas for the generators. Two other couples came in while I was there, just to talk.


I got a nice Zanzibar Dark Chocolate cone, which I enjoyed immensely. I'm still having a bit of trouble with creamy things, but this is almost pure chocolate, and I don't have any trouble with that. Yum!


When I started out, there were at least 20 people outside the Gaslite Store when I went by, and I think the reason is that there were no restaurants open. Without power, it would be hard to serve breakfast - no coffee or tea, and only things that could be made on the grill - so the Pines and the Tamarack didn't open. When I came back, at least Mariner was open. They will cook some things when there is no power. Harbor Haus was closed.


Brenda told me that their phones were working, and when I got home, so was mine, so I called the plumber again and left my phone number, then I went back to my reading. A while later, Ron called and we had a nice conversation. He said that late yesterday afternoon, the waves were so high they were washing right over the huge rock in front of his house. I wish I'd seen it. I know things are pretty hairy when the lake roars in baritone. I also know that while I was sitting here last night, the wind gusts sounded like they were trying to take the roof off my house.


Around 5:30, I gat an automated callback that said my power had been restored. Huh? Not here, guys. The generator was still whining away. So I called them back and re-reported my condition.  Right about 6:00, I was doing something when I thought I heard the "clunk" of the switch, and when I checked, the generator was off. Whew! From about 8:00 yesterday morning, with about 2 hours off, until 6:00 this afternoon...32 hours on generator power. Wow! Am I glad I have that thing!


Then I started to make my dinner, and I wanted to defrost a steak. Well...my microwave is dead. The turntable runs, the fan runs, and the timer runs, but the microwave thingie doesn't. Ack! I can't be without a microwave, at least not for long! I guess I know what I'll be doing Thursday after my ultrasound. I certainly hope they haven't changed the size of microwaves in the last 9 years! I wonder if it can be repaired, but I suppose not, these things are just throw-aways. I will probably call them Tuesday and ask. 


The temperature was about 55 all day, except that when I was up on Brockway, it was 49 up there. I was just looking at the data for the mid-Superior buoy, which is the closest one to us. The peak of the storm apparently was between 4:00 and 6:00 last night, when the wind was blowing at a steady 44.7mph (they don't report gusts), and at 6:00 the waves were 15 feet high. 


Oh, Mother Superior can get very angry.


But now she's settling down again, and I can't hear her at all. The wind is now down to 9 mph, and she gave us a wonderful sunset. I had inadvertently left the camera in the car, so I had to run and get it, then rush out onto the deck to grab that picture. I'm sorry it didn't come out quite as pretty when I resized it, but I don't think you'd enjoy it at its full size.


September 3

When I got up to the north end last night, I realized that it was pouring rain, I read for a while and I got to bed about midnight. When I was up around 4:00 am, it was clear outside, and there was moonlight shining in the bathroom, but when I got up this morning, it was mostly cloudy again. 


I woke up around 8:45, and the clock was flashing. Evidently there had been a power outage around 8:00. So I set the clock and went back to bed, but I couldn't get back to sleep, and when I got up shortly after 9:00, there had been another power failure, even though it didn't sound like the wind was that strong. So I petted a cat and knitted a few rows, with difficulty, and got dressed.


When I got to the kitchen, I realized that the house was running on the generator. So I called it in and they said it should come back around 1:30...which it did. Then around 2:00, I think, it went down again and I have been on generator power ever since. That is why there have been no updates of the camera and no answers to any emails anybody sent me. I finally broke down and dialed in, so that I can upload the journal, but I didn't get to do any of my surfing.


I did a few things besides read. I called several doctors, and I will be having an ultrasound on Thursday and see the family doctor on Friday. I want to talk to him about my nail fungus and about becoming my sole primary care physician. And I tried to make some sense out of the mess in the breezeway. I didn't move all the trash bags, but I did get rid of all the empty grocery bags and consolidate the full ones, so it is a little neater. I finally unpacked my last carton of toilet paper, because I needed one package for the bathroom, so that is done.


Mostly I read on the story from the white binder, which I have been reading on for several days, and I discovered that I have apparently read through some sections and totally forgot them. Oh, well. It passes the time.


The weather - oh, the weather! I can't give current conditions, because the station has been down since 4:00, but at that time, the temperature was 54, and the wind was from the north-northeast at a sustained 39 mph, with 53 mph gusts. That, friends, is a gale. It was also raining hard. I was watching over toward the south, where there are trees, and I could see the rain being blown horizontal in waves, just like the snow is in the winter. In fact, it looked like snow over there, although it wasn't. I'm quite sure that the wind is at least as strong as it was then. Every so often a gust will come by that sounds like it is trying to tear all the shingles off  the roof. The wind is thundering around the house (more at the north end), the lake is thundering in baritone, and the generator is whining under the deck. It's noisy around here.


This is by far the longest power outage we've had since I had the generator installed - over 12 hours now - and I must say it's comforting to have it. I couldn't have flushed the toilet or even run any water without it, and it would have been cold around here by this time. I knew at the time that, even though it was very expensive, it was something I really had to have, and now it has proven itself.


So that was a quiet day, and now it's a noisy night in the field, but it will be a good one to sleep, with the lake roaring and the wind roaring and banging around the house. 


September 2

Somehow, I got to reading my hymnal, and it was 2:00 before I got to bed. I slept well until around 8:00, when Buster decided I should get up. I didn't get up then, but I did get up around 9:00. Not nearly enough sleep.


I knitted a couple of rounds, and petted a cat. I got into a mess with the pattern on the shawl, so it was 10:30 before I got dressed.


I didn't do anything. Debbie called and we had a short (for us) conversation this evening. She is finally in the process of moving out of her ex's house, and it is a real chore, but it will be a relief, too.


The weather was icky. The temperature finally got up to 69, but it was cloudy and dreary. The humidity was high, but we only had a little rain around noon. The big areas of rain were going south of us. It is raining lightly now, and there may be some more overnight. The big excitement is that we are forecast to have another gale tomorrow and Saturday, with even higher winds than the last one, and this one will hit us the hardest. Can't wait, even though it's supposed to be cold.


There was something I got in the email that I forgot to mention last night. Here is the email:


Copper Harbor is in the running for a $250K grant from Pepsi Refresh.  This is a voting grant.  The 2 projects with the most votes September 30th will receive $250,000.  Our project is to build an ambulance barn to house an ambulance available to us to help cut down emergency transport times.  Currently the closest ambulance is 45 minutes away.  Please help us build a barn for our ambulance!  Click on the link below:


I think you can cast additional votes by texting 102689 to Pepsi (73774) and by clicking on the Facebook and Twitter sites also shown on the voting page!

Vote everyday for the month of September!  Please also consider sharing this site with your network of friends and family.  We could sure use the votes!!

We are really excited!!!

Thanks for your help!!! 

You have to sign up and login, and I have not been able to do that, but it may have something to do with my antiquated browser. We in Copper Harbor would really appreciate your help. 


So that was my day, and it's time to toddle up to the north end again and try to get to bed a little earlier. My feet and legs are still sore from yesterday, and I guess it was because of the humidity. It's a dark, soggy night in the field.


September 1

Well, it's September. Sigh.


I got to bed around midnight last night, and I slept pretty well until around 7:00 this morning. I think I was probably cold, and I just didn't pull up the comforter. I finally got up around 8:45. 


I knitted a couple of rows on the shawl, but I wanted to get a fairly early start. As it was, I didn't get to do all my morning surfing, and I quite forgot to put out the bird feeders.


I did get out of the house by 11:30, with everything I wanted to take with me. It didn't take long to leave off my sample at the hospital, then I was off for Houghton.


Well. They are doing something in the intersection of Sharon Avenue and Military Road, which I thought they would be done with by last Friday. They weren't. They still have to pave over the hole. So Military Road is closed, and I had to go cross-country to get back to M-26, then go around that way to Sharon, and Sharon is down to one lane for several blocks around Military. Traffic was amazing. I don't think I've ever seen so many cars around.


I got my birdseed, then I had to make a left turn back onto Sharon Avenue. Fortunately, I was behind a semi, and when they held up traffic so it could turn, I snuck in behind it, but there was quite a wait.


Then it was the dentist. He is a very nice man, although he thinks my crown will be more of a big deal than the other ones were. I don't, but we'll see. The big problem is, they can't do it until November. So I will go to Detroit and my appointment with the other dentist with a cracked tooth. We will have to talk about that, but I'm sure it's too late to get an appointment with that dentist while I'm there, and besides, I don't want to have to go back two weeks later, which would be the end of October, and besides just about doubles the cost of a crown. So I made an appointment with the dentist here to have it done, and we'll see what happens. I was a bit disappointed, but evidently he is a good, popular and very successful dentist. He has quite an installation.


My next stop was Wal-Mart, and I did a lot of damage. I needed cat food, and they had a couple of new varieties, so I got a lot. I walked by some houseplants and came away with two, as well as the curling iron of my dreams (a 1" barrel), and they had the school supplies out, although they were running out of some things. Sooo...


By that time, I was too exhausted to do Econo, and besides, I had forgotten that I had all my watches with me to get the batteries changed. So I went up to the jeweler at the mall, who is moving in a couple of weeks, by the way. The mall is almost dead. Besides Penny's, there probably aren't more than three or four other stores there anymore. It's a really sad place, and there were hardly any cars around it. So I sat and knitted (on the sock) while they changed my batteries.


By that time, it was 4:00, and traffic to get into the bridge interchange was backed up a couple of blocks, so I went around and down on Shelden Avenue. I don't know where all those people were going, because traffic on the other side wasn't bad at all, and I got home before 5:00. Most of the stuff, especially the birdseed, is still in the truck, although I took out the interesting stuff.


I was captivated by the plants I bought. They call them "Angel Wings", but that made me chuckle. They are mother-in-law's tongue - sansevieria - which is a houseplant my great grandmother had. It will suit my lifestyle, since it doesn't need much water. I had one for years, until my house sitter watered it too much and it rotted out. That was the one that bloomed. There are two varieties of leaves in one pot, and one that grows more like an upright rosette in the other. I think they are too potbound, but I will try to watch them. There is a small plant of a very nice looking leaf, that I don't want to die. The only thing they say is that it is a low-light plant, and I don't have any low light locations. In fact, I had to hide my aloe because I had it on the kitchen windowsill and it sunburned. I'm not sure where I will put the new ones yet.


I was also amused that they have renamed them. I admit mother-in-law's tongue isn't a very romantic name, but angel wings? Geez. What I've always liked about them is that they are tough. The only thing I know of that will kill them is watering them too much, and I don't seem to have much of a problem with that these days.


I used to have quite a houseplant collection, including a lot of African violets, which I enjoyed, but they require a lot of care, and it was many years ago that I got tired of it. My mother watered the plants for me while she was still alive, and after she died, so did most of the plants. I have even had a hard time keeping the Christmas cactuses, which I love, alive. 


One plant they had, that I didn't even consider, was an enormous crown-of-thorns, with stems as big as my little finger. I have two little ones that don't grow much, but they have ferocious thorns, that are small enough that they get into your skin really easily and they're extremely hard to get out. I used to have a big one of those, too, as well as another kind of cactus with a huge stem. When I lived on Hillcrest, I kept them in front of a first-floor window, because they would be a big deterrent to anybody trying to get in. They also had some other interesting succulents.


I was just so happy to find sansevieria. I'd been thinking about trying to find one, just because they are so easy to grow. Now I have two (well - really three, although only two pots).


I also picked up a calculator for $1. Unfortunately, I didn't try it before I bought it, and the "1" key doesn't work very well, but maybe it will do for the kitchen. My microwave is a 1500 watt one, and the directions for most frozen stuff are written for 1100 watt ovens. So it would be helpful if I had a calculator to find out what 0.733333... of the times is. Even 0.75 of the times would be helpful. I hope this thing works. It doesn't seem to have a replaceable battery, so when it dies, I guess you just throw it out. Gosh, I remember when calculators cost what you can get a fairly powerful PC for these days.


The weather was nice. The temperature got up to 72 here about the time I got home, although it was probably that in town. The wind was around 15 mph from the north. It was fairly humid, but with temperatures in the mid 60s, it wasn't too uncomfortable. The sky was mostly clear, with just some interesting cirrus clouds up in the sky occasionally.


I caught Venus up in the sky shortly after sunset (8:31 tonight - sob!), and the camera saw it right over the Mountain Lodge when it was nearly dark. So pretty, but it will be gone soon. One night this week, when I went out to bring in the bird feeders, I caught Jupiter shining through the trees in the southeast, even brighter than Venus is now. Mars should be someplace up there near Venus right now, but it is dim enough that I haven't seen it for sure.


So that was my day, and my legs feel like they've been walked on. Now it is time to totter up to the north end, wash off the sweat, and crash. It is supposed to be a cool night tonight, so I will be able to pull up the comforter and sleep well. It's a clear, coolish and nearly calm night in the field and it's September. Sigh.


Last  updated 10/01/10 05:18 PM