A View From the Field









December 2010


December 31 - New Year's Eve

I read the story I was looking at, then I dug out the first volume of the stories that follow the one unfinished one in the computer before I went up to the north end. I only read a little of that, though, and I was in bed by 11:30. I slept well and long, and about 10:00, I got up. I petted the cat, for a change, and knitted a row or two before I did my bed exercises. 


These days, I have some exercises I do lying down or sitting on the edge of the bed, some I do standing up, and some I do sitting in a chair by the pulleys. Sometimes the standing and sitting ones don't get done, although I did do the sitting ones today. I don't want to lose what motion I've gotten in my shoulders.


I did my surfing, and I did a few things about the kitchen, at least getting the dishwasher loaded and I washed the two broiler pans. I was listening to the talking and thinking about dinner when Debbie called, and we had a nice conversation. She seems really happy, although her kids still worry her. She is working part-time in a clothing store and she seems to enjoy it. That's how I got my robe. She felt like I do, that she never wanted to stop petting it.


After I ate my dinner, I dug out that unfinished story, and I finished it. Whew! It's another one I will put away for a while before I reread it to see if it sounds all right, but I can go on to the one I am reading now. That one is so old that a whole lot of things have changed in my thinking since I wrote it, but I like the basic idea, so I will rewrite it into the computer and we'll go on from there. It sure is nice to be doing something creative again.


The weather was nasty, although not as nasty as they said it was going to be. They canceled the winter storm warning, although they did say we will have sleet and freezing rain overnight. Yuck. It had snowed just a bit overnight, enough to whiten the deck a bit, and I think there was probably something coming down all day. The temperature graph is interesting. The temperature was 41 all night, until about 8:00 this morning, when it plummeted to 27  in about three hours before it settled down at 25. The reason for that was that the wind, which had been out of the west, suddenly switched around to the north at about 8:00, and it picked up into the 10-20 mph range as it slowly moved around to the east. It was dark and cloudy and foggy. Not nice.


Well, I've survived another year. and perhaps I have solved a few of my problems. I got rid of my gall bladder, and I got rid of my C. diff, and I am beginning to get back into shape. It was nice to stop feeling sick all the time. I  hope my finances are beginning to get straightened around, although I will have to finish out the ledger and see how things look before I'm sure of that. 


The weather was weird, and I think I will remember this as the windy year. Also the year of no snow. Spring came early, summer was warm, and autumn was not very nice, although it was very pretty.


I am thankful that I can still live in the field, and physically, anyway, it looks like I'll be able to continue to do that. Buster is still perking along, and Jasmine thinks I'm OK - from a distance of four feet or more. 


Overall, it was a positive year, and I can look forward to 2011 with hope. Maybe my writing is the start of something good, and I can begin to do some of my other crafts again.


There is going to be a fireworks display in the park shortly after midnight, so I think I will go up to the north end, take my bath, and read until it starts. It's a dark, nasty night in the field, and 2010 is almost history.


December 30

It took me a while to find the story I wanted to read, and then I went up to the north end and not only read it, but another one as well, so it was 2:00 before I got to bed. I was up a couple of times, and I had every intention of sleeping a long time, but then the glass company called  at 9:00 to say that my window had arrived. I tried to go back to sleep, but I had to walk, so I ended up getting up. Buster was nowhere to be found, so I knitted a row, then I opened the binder again and started reading another story. When Buster showed up, he got on my lap, and after I petted him for a while, I went back to reading. It isn't very easy to hold a full 3" binder while reading it. 


I did some exercises and got dressed, and of course he had to have some of my breakfast. He likes egg yolk these days. There is so much email on Thursdays that I just had to stop around 1:30 and go to the post office, since I wanted my mail to go out today. There were some more Christmas cards, including a couple more I will have to send notes to, and about 3:00, Ron came by with a package they gave him at the store.


I think that package is from Debbie, but there wasn't anything in the boxes to say so. It is the most beautiful ice blue long robe, made from that yummy, soft double velour they are selling these days. The last time I was at Walmart, I got some yardage that I thought was the softest stuff, but this robe is even softer, and the prettiest color, too. Yum!


It was a yucky day. When I woke up at 8:00, there was thick fog down the harbor. It had gone away when I got up, but it was gray and dark and there was a little bit of rain. The temperature got up to 39 for a while. When I was out, it looked like our snow mat was holding pretty well, but around 6:00 it started to rain, and it is now raining rather hard. The wind has been rising, too, into the 15-30 mph range from the southwest. Nasty. I can only hope that that storm that's out west will get here and give us some measurable snow over the weekend.


I had to close the door on Buster tonight again to eat my dinner. I'm not sure what his problem is, but he peed on some stuff I had under the south windows. That's the second time he's done it. The first time, I washed the throws I had there, but I haven't put them back yet. He knows he can go pee in the bathroom sink, so I'm not sure what he was trying to tell me.


So that is all there is. I will finish reading the story I started this morning, then I will go up to the north end and crash. It's New Year's Eve eve, and it's a dark, rainy, nasty night in the field.


December 29

I went up to the north end early last night, and I read for a while, but I was in bed by about 10:00, I think from boredom. I didn't sleep very well. It took me a long time to get to sleep, and I was up every hour or so for most of the night. I finally slept between 8:00 and 11:00, so it was late when I got up. Buster has apparently deserted me, so I knitted until I placed the 50-row marker on the sock (whew! I'm getting done!) and I some of my exercises.


I didn't do a lot more, though. I brought all the cat food into the house, but it is just sitting there, waiting for me to put it away.


I finally buckled down and wrote checks for my charities, but I was late enough that it was clear I wasn't going to make it to the post office, and then before I was through, one of my two close relatives, a second cousin who is nine months older than I am, called. I was glad to hear from him and we had a nice conversation. He gave me the lowdown on his older brother, who is not in good shape, and his mind is beginning to go (an inherited thing from their mother). Bob, though, is doing just fine.  As he said, there are so few of us that we need to keep in touch, but it's hard. He summers around Alpena and winters in Florida, and all of that is a long way away. But maybe we can talk occasionally, and if I ever get any new hardware, I can get Skype and we can see each other. I'd wonder, except that Roxie didn't have any problem using Skype when she was here. Well, that's for next year...


I shut the door to the studio when I was eating tonight, because I was tired of Buster staring at my dinner like a vulture. Evidently I hurt his feelings, because he hasn't come back. He has gotten really bold about doing what he wants to lately, and it's time he learned that I make the rules around here. Or at least I try.


The weather was warm...much too warm. The temperature peaked at 43 at 2:00, although it dropped off rapidly to 32, now it's gone back up to 39. Not what we need! It was very windy overnight and until about 1:00 this afternoon, with southwest winds in the 15-25 mph range. Now it has gone completely calm. There was some sunshine early in the afternoon, but some high clouds came in later in the day, and it was cloudy at sunset (in spite of the report of "clear" from Houghton). I'm afraid we lost a lot of our snow. At least it was melting pretty good on the deck.


The birdies seem to have found the feeders. While I was talking to Bob, there was a regular parade of nuthatches to the tube feeder, as well as some chickadees and a jay or two. I'm hoping the squirrels are sleeping, although if it stays warm very long, I suppose they will wake up. 


So that was my day, and I slept long enough this morning that I don't feel too much like going to bed early tonight. I was reading on the computer, but I may hunt up one of the old stories I liked when I read it, and take that binder up to the north end. It's a calm, cloudy, and mild night in the field.


December 28

I ended up looking at another book for a while last night, then I read for a little bit when I got up to the north end, so it was about midnight when I got to bed. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups, and I got up around 10:00. Buster was nowhere to be found, again, so I knitted a bit and did my exercises before he finally turned up, in time for breakfast. I guess he was asleep somewhere again. 


It was another lost day. I did my surfing, and that was about it. There were some things I should have done, but oh, well. Tomorrow is another day.


The weather was so-so. Overnight, I kept hearing some strange wind noises that I have never heard before, and it seemed to me that the wind was blowing quite hard, although the NWS station didn't see it, although the lake did. It was quite cloudy until around noon, when the sun came out, and the afternoon was completely clear  - really nice. However, even our overnight lows were above the normal highs for today, and the high was 34 for a while this afternoon. It has dropped off since. There wasn't very much wind at all during the day, and it was a pretty afternoon. It still shocks me to look up at 5:00 pm and discover that the sun has dropped behind the hills. That's too early. There is some ice at our end of the harbor, but it is slushy and moves if there are any waves. I enjoy seeing the sun, but we shouldn't have any at this time of year, and it worries me for the snow cover.


I think a few birds have found the feeders, although I only saw a couple. Probably the squirrels have found the feeder on the deck, but I wasn't looking much.


Buster got tired of me moving around in here and finally went to sleep on the sewing chair, which tells me it's nice and warm in here. And he wanted some of my dinner, which he can't have, so he was frustrated. The tenderloin tasted better tonight. It just isn't very tender. If that's the tenderest part of the cow, that was one tough beastie. But they slaughter them so young these days that they aren't very tender, and then they don't age them at all. Maybe I should have hung it out in the breezeway for a week or so...but it was dripping, and that would have been a mess. Anyway, it tastes pretty good. It actually wasn't a whole tenderloin, but half of one, so it wasn't such a big piece of meat.


Now I think I will go up to the north end and read some more, after the Mozart gets done. It's a clear, cool, calm night in the field.


December 27

Well, back to normal, almost. I had the feeling of three Sundays in a row this weekend.


I really crashed last night. I was in bed by 9:00 and I slept, with only two wakeups, until nearly 9:00 this morning. I would have slept longer, except that I had to walk, and I had a massage this morning. Buster was asleep somewhere when I got up, so I knitted a bit, then I did some exercises, and I made it to Johanna's almost on time. 


She has a dog, Eos, who is some fancy breed, but a very nice large dog. I started giving her some of the treats I was giving Clyde's dog, and now she recognizes me and starts hunting for her treats as soon as I come in. She is good about taking them, and very gentle, too. I don't give her six, like I did Shadow, but she got an extra one today in honor of Christmas.


So I got my massage, and Jo has been working with me on my shoulders, too, which I appreciate. The one thing about the PT concentrating on my legs that I regretted is that they weren't manipulating my shoulders, which feels so good. So now at least every three weeks, I'll get some of that.


I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, except that finally I got the bird feeders back out. I didn't see any birds at the feeders myself, but it seems to me that the tube feeder had gone down a bit, so I guess somebody was there. I feel for the little birdies, but I needed to fill the pail, and I just never got around to it. I actually filled it Friday, I think, but it took me until today to get it into the studio and in place. So now it is half empty again, unfortunately, but oh, well.


I also discovered that the pail of mixed seed is full of webs, which I hate to see, but the rest of that bag is out in the breezeway, where it is cold enough to kill off any bugs. There was an infestation of meal moths in the house on Champine between the time my mother died and the time I moved in, and it was horrible, and I never did completely get rid of them. They got into all the flour things and breakfast cereals, too, and I had to throw away an incredible amount of food, especially after I started summering up here. Yuck. So I nearly panic whenever I see a little tan moth flying around. There are some traps I can get that do work, but they are rather expensive.


The weather was OK, I guess. The temperature got up to 31 briefly, but for most of the day it was in the upper 20s. There were very light west-ish winds, or at least that is what they said at the NWS station. When I was putting out the feeders, it seemed to me that the winds were rather strong, but I keep reminding myself that the NWS station is quite sheltered on the west. Anyway, sometime during my massage, the skies cleared up and it was clear all afternoon, with the exception of a few wispy cirrus clouds. That was nice. It's supposed to cloud up overnight, but the forecast is for warm temps for the rest of the week, and maybe some rain, which is just what we do not need!


I cooked the tenderloin this evening. While it was fairly tasty (it's not the tastiest cut of beef), it definitely wasn't tender. However, it was nice, and I had my last twice-baked potato with it, so that was good. The only problem was that Buster wanted some, and he can't have beef, so eating it was difficult. Now I have lots of beef to eat. I cooked it rather rare, because reheating it will cook it some more, and I got some nice juice with it.


When I opened the oven to check it out before I turned it on (I always do that) I found the broiler pan I left in there the last time I had a steak, darn it. Not only had it been in there a long time, I wanted to use that pan. So now I have two broiler pans to clean. They are soaking in the sink. My mind...


Now it's time to totter up to the north end and bathe and hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. It's a clear (or it was at sunset) cold night in the field.


December 26 - The Martyrdom of Stephen

Maybe tonight I can at least get the date right. Sorry about that. I fixed it as soon as I could, after an email from a reader (thanks, Marsha). Sometimes I'm more confused than other times.


After I uploaded this last night, I got to fiddling around with Facebook, and I now have two accounts out there. I think perhaps they are private enough, although I do entertain Friend requests, which at least one of my friends doesn't. I don't expect to use it much, and much of what I wanted to see, I can't. Most of the people I know seem to have made their Wall available only to friends, which is fine, but there is at least one person I simply will not Friend.


Anyway, that took some time, and then I read what I had been writing when I got up to the north end. So it was midnight when I finally got to bed, and I sort of had one of those nights. I just dozed for quite a while before I finally got into a deep sleep, and then I had to get up at 7:00. That is not enough sleep at all, so I am doing this quite early, and I expect to crash quite soon. 


I did some exercises and ate my breakfast, and only the fact that I had to sit down on the pot twice before I left, then I had to close the door from inside, as usual, meant that I left after 9:15. It was not a particularly nice day to be outside, even in a car. I had to slow down for two deer just this side of the Fort, and three more just as I started up the hill to the Mountain Lodge. After my near disaster a month or so ago, when I see a deer, I have been slowing down a lot, since where there is one, there is almost always at least one more. All the way to Laurium and all the way back, I kept running through little patches of very fine freezing drizzle, which attached itself to my windshield and froze, and it wasn't until I got to church that I could really investigate how to turn on just the defrosters. I like to be able to see out my windshield, so I kept having to use the wipers, and when I did, the water that got smeared across the glass froze at once. It was a slow drive in both directions, but I have been doing it so much lately that I think it took me about 50 minutes in both directions. The road wasn't particularly icy, but it was at least partly snow-covered all the way, and one never knows.  For the first time all winter I hit the curve at the south end of Medora at the right speed coming home, and I didn't have to worry that I would spin out into the barriers. It looked like they had gotten several inches of snow overnight in Calumet, although we only got half an inch or so.


I was really tired when I got home, so I didn't do very much at all except try to gather up some of the trash in the kitchen and sort of get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. After a look I got from Jasmine a week or so ago, I've been putting down two dishes again, and I suspect she's been using one, so I will have to wash dishes more often. That's probably a good thing, so it won't be quite as full as it's been getting lately.


It was not a nice day. The temperature seems to have been 26 all day long, with no variation, which always makes me a bit suspicious, but oh well. While there was a little wind overnight, there was almost none today, under 10 mph from the northeast. They kept predicting snow, but as far as I could tell, all we got was that patchy freezing drizzle. It was a dark, dull day.


Church was nice, though, and I was so glad I got to see it decorated for Christmas. One of the elders is the person who did my surveys when I got ready to build the house, although we had never met in person, and he scouts out good Christmas trees when he is doing his work. This one is beautiful, and looks to be almost 30' high, extremely well shaped but not too huge on the bottom. It is decorated with Chrismons in white, silver bead garland, and white lights. I would like to have seen them decorate it - it must have been a real engineering feat. They have fresh balsam wreaths with red bows, a number of red poinsettias, and some pretty hurricane lamps with candles on the window sills. It was very nice. We celebrated St. Stephen's Day today, since it is the 26th, and that was a bit different but very interesting. As Pastor pointed out, the manger comes with the cross, and Stephen's martyrdom reminds us of that. I got to talk to and meet several ladies, and I got to go to communion. Very worth going.


So that was my day. Mr. Hein didn't speak very loudly, so I think I will go up to the north end and read the 6th and 7th chapters of Acts before I crash. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but the wind is calm.


December 25 - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you had a wonderful day, spent just the way you wanted to. Since there weren't any Christmas cards this year, this will have to do.


I wrote for a while, and I tracked down and looked at all the carols they sang in church last night, and then I put up my hair after I washed it, so it was about midnight when I got to bed. I slept well, and I got up about 10:30, I think. Buster was nowhere to be found, so I knitted on the purple sock until he came running in. He must have been asleep someplace else. I did my exercises, or at least some of them, and I had a light breakfast.


I got to do most of my surfing, and just about the time I was going to get dressed, Amanda and Aaron came to the door. So they saw me with my hair pinned up and wearing my robe. Oh, well. We all look like that sometimes. We had a nice, if short, conversation.


So I was a little late getting to Mariner, but we didn't sit down for a few minutes more, so I wasn't actually late. One other guest was later. Dinner was good, and the company was good, and we had a lot of laughs, which was good. I got home about 5:00. A little while ago, I ate the rest of my dinner, and it was still good. Buster thought so, too.


The weather wasn't very nice. The temperature was about steady at 28, and there was quite a strong wind from the northeast, in the 25-30 mph range for part of the afternoon. It has backed off a bit now, but it's still strong and the lake is singing. Something was coming down off and on all day, sometimes snow, but when I left Mariner, there was something stuck to my windshield that wasn't snow, more like freezing drizzle. Yuck. We all agreed that we hope there is more snow.


So that was a nice Christmas Day. When I got home, I wrote a bit more, and I think I may have finished one of the stories that was on the computer - the one that is the basis for everything else. I spiffed it up with a grammar and spelling check, then I put it away. One of these days I will reread it and see what I think. There are some places in what I have written over the past few days that may need to be expanded, but it's almost 102,000 words, so I guess it's long enough.


Now it's time to totter up to the north end and do my hair again. I really do intend to go to church tomorrow, no matter what (unless it's a full-blown blizzard), so I will have to be up early. Now it's a dark, cold, windy night in the field, a good time for a long winter's nap.


December 24 - Christmas Eve

Well, I chickened out. I just could not bring myself to drive all that way in the dark. I can still drive in the dark, but I don't like it, especially if there's any glare. So I stayed home. I have a list of all the hymns they are singing, and I will look them over when I go up to the north end. I'm sorry not to be there, but I'm just chicken.


I wrote when I got up to the north end last night, and I got to bed around midnight, I think. I slept pretty well, with only a couple of wakeups. There was a phone call, which didn't register on my caller ID, about 9:45, and while I tried to go back to sleep, I didn't, so I got up around 10:15. I petted the cat, knitted a bit, and did my exercises before I got dressed. I actually got dressed to go out, but then I chickened out on that, too.


I did get the dishwasher unloaded, but that was about the extent of my activities for the day.


The weather was blah again. It was snowing when I got up, little flakes coming straight down, but that passed, and I don't think it snowed for the rest of the day. The temperature got up to 32 for a while, and there was little or no wind. It was cloudy and dull all day. Blah. I went out when my Schwan's order came, and it didn't seem too bad at all out there, at least in the garage.


I got two invitations for tomorrow, one for dinner which I will go to. I'm debating the other one, especially when the hostess said, "We expect a lot of people." I'm not into lots of people. We'll see how it goes.


Buster continually cracks me up. He wants some of everything I eat. Yesterday it was brie and goat cheese. Tonight it was salmon teriyaki, of which he ate all the salmon, all the rice, and licked up the sauce. He would have eaten all the Spanish rice I left if I'd let him. He likes one of the salad dressings I've been using. And I had cute little cheesecake cubes for dessert, and he wanted some of that, too. Geez! In between, he has been going back to his own dish and eating tuna with egg. I had to put down a second big can, because he had eaten all of the first one. I hope Jasmine is getting some of that, but I can't find out because she won't eat when I'm in the kitchen. I can't believe even a hungry Buster could eat that much. They don't get much tuna, because I'm not sure it's good for them, but these days they love it. Buster didn't used to. What a strange little kitty!


Now I am going up to the north end and write some more. They are playing Berlioz on the radio (L'Infance du Christ, if I've spelled that right). and it doesn't turn me on. So it's a dark, cold night in the field, and it's Christmas Eve. I still have my memories.


December 23

Happy Christmas Eve Eve. 


I went up to the north end fairly early last night, and I wrote through the next episode of that story. I got to bed about 11;00, I think, but I was somewhat wakeful during the night. I did sleep rather well between about 6:00 and 10:30, when I got up. I petted the cat and knitted, then I did more of my exercises than I have been doing lately, including the ones with the pulleys. However, I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't do much besides my surfing.


I thought I might do a few cards, or maybe write a few checks for charity, but I didn't.


The weather was blah again. The temperature was just about steady at 28, and the wind was out of the north, starting around 15 mph and dropping as the day went on. There was something coming down at intervals all day, but it wasn't obviously snow, so I'm not sure what it was. It was a good day to stay in. There was one ray of sunshine around noon, but for most of the day it was cloudy and dull. Blah.


Now I'm listening to the St. Olaf Christmas concert, so I guess it will be a bit late when I go up to the north end. I want to put up my hair tonight, just in case. I would like to go to church tomorrow night, but I keep thinking about that 75 mile drive in the pitch dark, and I'm not sure I'm brave enough for that. We'll see how I feel tomorrow. I keep having hints that I may be fighting off a cold or something, so we'll see about that.


So I will listen to the lovely music and words and maybe write a bit here at the computer. It's another dark, cloudy night in the field.


December 22

I was going to go up to the north end and maybe write for a while last night, but after I uploaded the journal, I started reading a book I got a couple of weeks ago, about cancer, and the history of cancer research and treatments. I read about 100 pages - it's very well-written, and one section leads to another. So it ended up about 1:30 before I got to bed.


Needless to say, I slept well, and it was around 10:30 when I woke up, although I laid around for about another 15 minutes. That seemed to be enough sleep, so I seem to have caught up. I'm tired now, but that's to be expected. I petted the cat and knitted a bit and did some of my exercises before I got dressed.


I heard Ron go by on the tractor while I was exercising, and just about the time I was getting dressed, he came back to do my driveway. So I ran out to the hallway in my underwear and opened the garage door, then I got dressed in a hurry, and before any of us had our breakfast, I went out to help getting the snow away from the garage door, and of course Ron and I talked for a while. Clearing the snow from the bottom of the rails didn't help at all with closing the door, so I suspect the problem is that the hinges are freezing. However, we sort of cleared out in front of the breezeway door, so it should be easier for me to get out that way when I have to shut the door from inside the garage.


Except to pay a few bills - taxes, and the propane bill - I didn't do very much. It appears there aren't going to be any Christmas cards this year, since it's already the 22nd. Well, there are a few notes I'll have to write after the New Year.


I went to the post office, where there were more cards, and I found one I knew I'd gotten the other day and misplaced. That one was a downer. One of my second cousins, who must be in his 80s now, is in a nursing home in Traverse City with broken ribs, legs he can hardly walk on and a mind that is definitely going (I suspected that 20 years ago, but oh, well). It's sad, but I've wondered for some time how long he would last. I wonder what his brother, who is my age, is doing? Bob, if you read this, shoot me an email.


Anyway, at least there weren't any catalogs or bills. Pleas for money, of course, and I will attack that problem tomorrow. I just don't have any extra money right now. This has turned out to be a very expensive year. I hope next year will be better.


The weather was blah again, only maybe more blah then ever. There wasn't any snow. The high temperature, 32, was at 7:00 this morning, then it settled down around 29. For most of the day there was a north wind in the 20-30 mph range. I thought so when I got up this morning, because I could hear the lake singing. The waves coming in broke up our nice, flat ice and scrunched it up into pieces around the shore, but I actually don't think we lost very much, if any.


So that was my day. Buster and I ate the last of my pork chops tonight. I finally had to take the dish away from him, or he would have eaten most of the Spanish rice, and onions really aren't good for him.


Now it's time to toddle up to the north end, and maybe tonight I can write a little more on that story. I looked at the one on the computer, and I just decided I didn't want to get into that tonight.


So it's a cold, dark night in the field again.


December 21

I was so tired that I couldn't do much except read what I'd written, and I crashed about 10:30. It might have taken me half an hour to get to sleep, but then I did sleep. I missed totality of the eclipse, but I saw it when it was half covered and half uncovered. There were enough clouds that it just looked black and white, and I have a suspicion I couldn't have seen much if I'd been awake when it was total. Frankly, I wasn't dedicated enough to try to stay awake to see it.


I didn't get up until about 10:30 this morning, so maybe I caught up on my sleep. It was snowing when I got up. I petted the cat and worked a few rows on the purple sock and did some of my exercises, but not as many as I should have. I am going to have to take myself in hand.


And I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't do anything much at all.


It was a snowy day. The temperature got up to 32, and there was hardly any wind, mostly out of the south. The snow was coming down in very fine flakes, so I don't think we got more than an inch or two all day. However, for most of the day, the camera couldn't see the mountain.


What I thought was ice yesterday certainly is, and it is now covered with a layer of snow, so you can see it. I'm sure it isn't more than half an inch thick, and there are a few open spots near shore, but it is definitely ice, so we can say that the harbor started to ice over on December 20. Of course, a strong wind from the north might well break it up, but that doesn't look likely to happen soon, so we'll get a good start.


Today is theoretically the Winter Solstice, but our shortest day was evidently yesterday, and today is one second longer. So we've hit bottom and we're starting up. It will be quite a while before the days get much longer, but at least we know it's coming.


so that was my day, and I'm tired again, so it's time to toddle up to the north end and crawl back into my nest. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


December 20

Oops. My apologies to everyone. I wrote the entry for last night, then I was in such a hurry to get up to the north end that I forgot to upload it. PE and Arthur brought it to my attention this morning, and I uploaded it then. Sorry. There's nothing wrong with me except for my head.


I did write when I got to the  north end, and I think it was about 11:00 when I turned out the light. It was one of those nights. I was up almost every hour, and I never did get into a deep sleep until after 7:00 this morning, and then I didn't get enough. The only nice thing was that I got to watch the lovely, nearly full moon shining in my bedroom windows all night. There were some high clouds, but they didn't hide the moon much at all. It was so bright! Then I saw it setting behind my neighbor's house around 7:30 this morning.  Of course, that couldn't be tonight, when the eclipse is.


Anyway, I got up around 10:00, petted the cat and finished the heel on the purple sock. Whew! Now all I have to do is the foot. I got really bored with socks a while ago, so this one has taken forever. At least it's the second one. I didn't do many of my exercises, and I should have.


Today was my reevaluation at PT, and she discharged me. I really think I need more, but I wasn't going to argue with her. I will continue to do my exercises and I will have to talk to the doctor soon anyway, because it's time to renew my prescriptions. We didn't do very much exercising, although I did get in some bridging and some of the thing with  my tummy that I can never remember the name of.


I was just as glad. I was - and still am - really tired. So I got home around 4:00, after a stop for gas. 


Tonight I got a call from Ron, who had picked up a package for me, and we had a nice conversation. With any kind of luck, he is going to be our next postmaster, and he will hire me part-time eventually. I hope it all works out.


Then I wrote for a while, but that story didn't seem to be going quite right, so I will try the one up at the north end, but I don't expect to be up really late tonight. I know, I've said that before, but oh, well.


It was nearly clear at sunset, and the moon rose bright and clear in the east windows, but I don't know if the clear skies will hold up until the eclipse, Totality doesn't start until 2:41 am tomorrow, and anything could happen by then. I think I read that the last time an eclipse occurred on the winter solstice was 438 years ago. So I'd like to see it.


The weather during the day was glorious. There was hardly a cloud in the sky all day long, and there was lots of sunshine, even though the sun was only 19 above the horizon at noon and the day was 8h26m long. With the clear skies, the temperature hit a low of 14 at 9:00 this morning, but it climbed quickly to 30 between 1:00 and 3:00 this afternoon, before it fell back. It wasn't that warm in Laurium. There was almost no wind, from the southwest, all day.


The pancake ice had gone away when I got up this morning, but I think there was a thin sheet of absolutely clear ice over this whole end of the harbor. With no snow, it's not possible to prove that, but it looked frozen to me.


So that was my day, and I'm so tired I have a headache, so it's time to totter up to the north end and lay it on my little pillow...and hope that I wake up in time to see the eclipse. It's a clear (I hope), calm night in the field.


December 19

I actually wrote for quite a while last night, and it felt so good. I would never have thought I'd start writing again with that story, but it just seemed right, and I had to hold myself back to do some more on it today. I don't know exactly where it's going, but that's part of the fun. I will write some more tonight, but part of the problem is that after seven or eight pages (narrow ruled, 3-ring paper), my hand cramps up. When I see how much I used to be able to write, it amazes me.


So it was around 11:30 when I went to bed last night. I was up a couple of times, but it was almost 11:00 this morning when I finally got up. I petted the cat and finished the leg and started the heel of the purple sock. Whew! I thought I'd never get there. I did some of my exercises, but I keep forgetting the clam shells, darn it. I need those, too.


Otherwise, I did not much. I washed a pan and put some more stuff in the dishwasher and the trash. I didn't really want to  cook tonight, but I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to eat, so I made pork chops with Spanish rice, and it tasted good. Buster thought so, too. I haven't had that in a long time, because for some reason tomato sauce didn't sound too good, but after I enjoyed Stouffer's stuffed peppers, I decided it was time to try Spanish rice again. I'm not sure what I'll think after three more meals, but that's the problem I have.


The weather was blah again. I don't think it snowed.  The temperature maxed out at 26, and there was a little west wind, under 10 mph. It was cloudy and blah. You can see from the camera that the ice is making progress, but it was all pancake ice, not frozen solid. The more cold weather and low winds we have, the faster it will begin to freeze.


This evening, I began reading one of the finished stories, and I decided to try to write something on one of the unfinished ones - and I did, and it felt good. This is one where I know where it's going but getting there was hard. I'm almost there. Oh, it's so good to be able to write again! Oh, it's so good to be able to do anything creative again! Now let's see about the embroidery and beading - once I have time.


So that was my day, and now I will totter up to the north end and write longhand for a while. It's another dark, cold, calm night in the field, only the nearly full moon overhead makes it quite light at night.


December 18

Well, that was an interesting night. I read off the end of the story I was reading, and it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I didn't wake up for the first time until about 6:30, which is a long time for me. After I walked, I turned over and didn't wake up again until noon! Wow! I guess I must have needed it. By the time I was coming to, Buster was beginning to worry, but when I didn't show any signs of getting up, he burrowed under the comforter and made himself comfortable. Unfortunately, I had to move him, because by that time I had to get up.


So I petted him and decided to cheat on my exercises today, although I did do the pulley exercises and some of the standing leg ones. I would have done more standing ones except that the pot with my poached eggs in it boiled over. I discovered that if I put the pot to boil and do my arm exercises, it is almost boiling when I'm through. That's nice. I haven't had poached eggs in a while, and I enjoy them every so often.


I was so late that I didn't do much of anything. This evening I inadvertently cleaned up the pile of catalogs (it was 2' high!) because I was looking for one in particular, which I didn't find. However, the pile is much smaller now, and i have a full orange bag. 


I did go to the post office, where there were a couple of packages. I really must do something about Christmas cards, although I will be cutting back even more this year, and I don't expect to write a Christmas letter. I don't have much to say, for one thing. I will put short notes in the cards I have to.


The weather was blah again, but a little warmer and quieter than lately. The temperature topped out at 28 for most of the afternoon, and there was very little wind. It was cloudy and dark. I have been forgetting to mention that starting about three days ago, there is a little slush ice in the bay at this end of the harbor, and every day the area it covers gets a little bigger. You can see it in the camera now, and I hope it will be growing. It's not solid yet, but it is definitely ice.


So that was my day, and I was astonished to find that I have an idea to continue the story I was reading last night, which I haven't written on since 1988, so I think I will go up to the north end and write a bit. I am not going to church tomorrow (although it would be a good day weather-wise), because the Sunday School program is going to be during the service, and I can't stand those things any more as a watcher than I could as a participant (which I never did, for that reason). I hate them so much that it totally disrupts my reason for being in church, so I don't go.


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


December 17

I read for a while last night and I got to bed around 11:00. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting to sleep, so I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted. I'm not quite sure what the problem was. Anyway, I got up around 10:00, petted the cat, knitted a bit, and then I did my exercises. Today I finally got my pulley set up, in the door to the basement, and I did my exercises with it.


That was about all I did, unfortunately, but I was tired all day. 


The weather was blah again. The temperature actually dropped slowly all day, from 27 at midnight to 22 now. The wind was in the 15-20 mph range, and it started out from the north and has been sliding a bit westward lately. It was cloudy all day. Blah.


Tonight was the "illumination" at the community center. I didn't go, but shortly after 6:00 I had a very good view of a very nice, if short, fireworks display. I should go down sometime and look at the decorations.


So I have nothing else to talk about today. It's another cold, dark night in the field.


December 16

Happy Beethoven's Birthday. I didn't listen to the radio all day of course, but I've been a bit disappointed that they didn't play more Beethoven. There are so many good things to listen to!


I read before I went up to the north end and I read some more when I got there, so it was nearly 1:00 when I got to bed. I slept fairly well, and it was about 10:00 before I got up. I did a few exercises and most of my surfing before I left...or I should say, before I tried to leave.


I backed out of the garage, and the garage door would not close. In fact, it wouldn't even start down. So after fiddling with it for a bit, I went inside and closed it from inside the garage. Then I had to move bags around in the breezeway in order to get the door open, push aside the drift with the storm door and wade through the drift. I thought I was going to be late. Fortunately, while the covered road was still icy (but well-sanded), from Delaware south it was just wet, so I made very good time, and in fact, I was a little early. 


They worked me hard again, but not as hard as last time, which was good. I wasn't quite as strong today and I was sort of creaky. Then I was off to Pat's, where I didn't do as much damage as I have at times in the past, although I did get what I needed, I think. I had to get somebody to push my cart to my car, because by the time I was done, I was getting pretty tired. And I was really tired by the time I got the stuff all into the house. Fortunately, I can mostly pack the fridge while sitting down. And the freezer is packed. If I don't want to cook much, I won't have to.


Pat's didn't have any standing rib roasts, so now I have to decide whether to go to Econo on Monday or have the tenderloin I've had in the freezer for quite a while for my holiday meal. Decisions, decisions...I should eat that tenderloin, but I do so love standing rib. They did have a shrimp ring - or half a ring - with beautiful, big shrimp in it. I hope they taste as good as they look. I am thawing it now. Yum.


I didn't get home until nearly 5:30, and I'm tired. Buster was evidently sleeping in my chair, but when I came into the studio in the dark, he moved, and he was kind enough to say "hi", so I knew where he was. He has developed a taste for the salad dressing I've been using lately. What a weird little kitty! He also wanted some of my soup (chicken-wild rice soup from our local soup makers), and it was funny to see him with his head all the way down into the bottom of the cup. It was good. I thought so, too.


The weather was nondescript. It was cloudy, and the temperature rose slowly from 20 this morning to 28 now. The wind was around 15 mph from the north. There were some very light snow showers from about the time I left the Fitness Center and all the way home.


Driving was good, except for one poor person I encountered leaving Mohawk who evidently thought they were driving on glare ice. Fortunately, there are enough straight sections there that I was able to pass them. And they were driving some kind of small SUV, too, so I have to assume it was just that they don't know how to drive in winter. It was not slippery, even though there was a little snow on the road coming home. I followed someone about halfway up the covered road, but they were going at a reasonable speed, if a little slower than I would have.


So that was my day, and I'm really tired tonight, both from lack of sleep and from my exertions, so I think I will go up to the north end now and read a while before I crash without a bath. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it's not too cold and it's not too windy.


December 15

I read for a while last night, and I think I went to bed around 10:30, but it was 11:30 before I went to sleep. I was up around 1:00 or so, I think, and I wondered why it seemed to light in the room, and then I realized that it had cleared up, and the nearly half moon was shining down on the snow. I was up again around 2:30, and the little orange was hanging right over Porter Island. There were lots of stars, although there was a cloud over in the west. Out the bathroom window, I could see Cassiopeia setting and just catch one of the pointer stars of the Big Dipper in the east. It was almost bright enough to tempt me to put on my glasses, but, nah. 


I was up around 7:30, which seemed to me to be too early, since it was still nearly dark, so I went back to bed and it was almost 11:00 when I woke up again. Oops. Short day again. By the time I got out of bed, Buster was staring into my face like he didn't think I would ever get up. Well, almost.


I petted him, knitted a few rows, and did some of my exercises before I got dressed. The sky was completely clear when I got up, and that is how it was for most of the day. There were a few clouds around sunset, but not many. It was lovely to see the sun again after all the clouds.


That was about all I did. I puttered around the kitchen a bit, and I finished unloading the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in it.  I did my surfing and that was about all. 


The weather was lovely. The temperature rose from 21 overnight to 25 now. The wind was from the north, but it was around 15 mph all day. There were almost no clouds, and the sunshine, even as low in the sky as the sun is now (only 19 above the horizon at noon), warmed the house very nicely.


Oh, yes, and after Jasmine went around complaining for most of the day, after I came back from the post office, I filled all her dishes of dry food, and I haven't heard anything from her since, although it didn't look like she ate anything. Buster even ate a piece or two of his favorite dry stuff, which I thought was a good sign.


I think, in looking at him, that all his eating is having a good effect, and he is not quite as skinny as he was a few weeks ago. He is still skinny and bony, but that is partly the way he always was and partly because he is so old. He is still having trouble with his teeth, but it's not keeping him from eating.


So that was my day, and I hope to maybe see a star or two and maybe a moon tonight. They are broadcasting a Christmas concert right now, and even though it's mostly modern music, I love choral music and I keep hoping they'll sing something I like, so It will be a while before I go up to the north end. 


It's a cold, mostly clear night in the field.


December 14

I read last night, and so it was 1:00, I think, before I got to bed. Needless to say, I slept well. The first time I woke up was 6:30, and the second time was about 10:00. I'd rather be up more often - it means I'm getting rid of the fluid - but I didn't complain. I petted the cat and did my arm exercises and some of the others I knew we wouldn't do. 


I didn't have time to do all my morning surfing, because I am leaving the house around 1:00 these days. It's a slow ride down to Delaware. It was an interesting one, too, and I ended up wearing my sunglasses, because all the way down, one minute the sun would be out and the next it was snowing hard. 


I worked hard, and I got a bit more than an hour out of this appointment, which was good. Everybody seems to think I have made great progress, so I guess I have, although I wish it could have been more. 


I had to stop at the store for eggs on the way home, and I talked to Stacie about the post office. Evidently there is some question of whether the various governments will allow the post office to be in a building owned by the township, but otherwise, it looks like moving it to the community center is a go. And I also heard, from another source, that if we don't find a place for it, we will have to go to Mohawk (which is about 20 miles away) to get our mail. Surely that will spur our government to find a viable solution.


So it was around 4:30 when I got home, and Buster was sitting in my chair when I got here.


The weather was cold. The temperature rose slowly from 16 at 8:00 this morning to 20 now. The wind was mostly in the 15-25 mph range, from the north (finally!), although it is dying down some now. It was colder (below 15) down the peninsula. Our lovely heat sink again. it snowed on and off all day, but there wasn't a lot of accumulation.


Speaking of snow, there is a 15" drift in front of the garage door that I had to blast through, even though most of the driveway is still nearly snow-free. That they have had lots more snow in Calumet than we have was brought home to me when I got there: they were cutting back the banks already. The piles at people's driveways are already nearly to the top of my car. That means people have to inch out into the street before they can see if any cars are coming. And this is only mid-December. Of course, last December started out like this, too, and we know where that ended.


So that was another day, and maybe I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a dark, very cold, snowy night in the field.


December 13

I think it was about 10:30 when I got to bed last night, because I read for a while. I slept better than I have been lately, I must say, although there was one strange dream. I got up around 10:00, so I'm still sleeping half the day. I petted the cat and did my exercises and all that.


I didn't do much today, but I washed up the  pots in the sink and began to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. I washed the stuff I was wearing when I had an accident. And that was about it. 


The weather is still unsettled and the lake is still fussing, but not as much. The wind is still from the northeast (I wonder if the NWS has checked that wind gauge to see if it is reading right?) but it is down in the 15-30 mph range now. The temperature rose very slowly from 11 at 7:00 this morning to 18 now. It snowed lightly off and on all day, with not very much accumulation. The wind shifted just enough to deposit a small mound in front of my garage. Anyway, it was a good day to stay home and veg.


This evening, Arthur called, and it was good to hear from him. They are all right, which is nice to know. He thinks I spend too much time on the computer, and he's right. I need to take myself in hand and do something else.


Of course, tomorrow I have to go to Laurium, so that is three or four hours when I am away from the screen.


And that is about all I know. It's another dark, windy, snowy night in the field.


December 12

Ooh, what a wonderful gale! Unfortunately, there hasn't been much snow in the Copper Country, especially here, but otherwise, wow!


I made it into bed by not long after 9:30 last night, and I went right to sleep, with the lake roaring in my ears. Unfortunately, after I woke up the first time, I didn't do as well. I had a very weird dream at one point. Also unfortunately, it looked like I was about to enter a period of deep sleep when the alarm went off at 7:00.


So I got up, petted the cat, and did my exercises before I got our breakfast and wandered down to the studio. One check of the weather conditions showed me it was probably not a good idea to try to drive to Laurium. There was a little more snow in Calumet, but the wind was in the 30-45 mph range from the northeast, and the drifting was likely to be serious. So I called Mary Ann - and she answered on the second try - and we decided we just weren't that hardy.


So my early rising and my nice hairdo were all for nothing. I did up my hair in big pin curls while it was wet last night, and the result was all I could have hoped, once I brushed it out. So now I know for sure the best way to look like I have a head of hair and not a pile of straw.


Anyway, I finished the wash, including the two cotton sweaters that had grease spots on them and needed washing twice.  Tomorrow, I will set the towels to soak. I washed up the pans that were dirty and continued loading the dishwasher. Otherwise, I didn't do a thing.


I should have looked for an embroidery project to work on, but it was dark and I didn't. Maybe tomorrow.


The weather has been such fun. The temperature dropped overnight to about 16, where it stayed until just recently. The wind may be dropping a little - gusts up to 38 mph - but not a whole lot, and the lake is really in a fit. The wind has been wavering between east-northeast and northeast, and the peak seemed to be around 7:00 this morning, when it was a sustained 33 mph with 45 mph gusts. I haven't felt or heard it very much, since I'm sheltered on that side, but all that means is that the lake has been louder than ever. The wind has scoured my driveway in front of the house until it's nearly bare. it did snow off and on all day, but only light lake effect squalls., so there wasn't very much accumulation.


Now, south of us is another story. The middle of the UP, over to Marquette, got hit hard, as well as the northern lower and Minnesota and Wisconsin. Darn it, we need that snow up here, too! They keep saying the wind is going to shift around to the north, and that may get the LES machine going.


So that was my day. It's been cold around here, so I guess I'll be calling the plumber tomorrow. It just isn't working right, no matter what he thinks. Buster was very hungry today, for some reason, maybe the cold, and at one point, I dropped a bunch of clean clothes on top of a washbasket in which he was lying - I never saw him there. Jasmine has been wandering around talking again, and I still don't know why. She certainly has an expressive little voice! Actually, it's not little, just high-pitched. She can make quite a noise when she wants to.


I was hungry all day, too, unfortunately, and I have just learned that eating mac and cheese isn't a very good idea. I will take some Rolaids and hope that helps. I thought it would be a nice dish for a cold evening, and it was until the bile started flowing. Too bad, I have another meal to eat. I tried hard not to gobble down everything in the house, since I like what is happening to my weight, but it was hard. I drank Wild Sweet Orange herbal tea all afternoon, and that helped, at least for a while.


Now it's a very cold, very windy, very noisy night in the field, and I will try to get to bed at an early hour again tonight.


December 11

I just looked at the clock and realized that today is 12/11/10 - one of the magic number days.


I read for a while when I got up to the north end last night, and I had to take a bath, so I think it was after 11:00 when I got to bed - maybe 11:30. I think I can say that all the probiotics I have been taking really do something, and I had a better night last night, although I was wakeful for a while. I woke up around 10:00, but it was nearly 10:30 before I could haul myself out of bed. I knitted enough to place the 50-row marker on the sock, and I petted a cat before I did all (I think) my exercises. That meant I didn't eat until nearly noon. 


I was going to have French toast for breakfast, before my whole milk goes bad, but I only had one piece of Brownberry bread left, so I didn't. Buster was just as glad. He likes scrambled eggs with cheese - funny little cat.


The task of the day was wash, and the two loads are now in the dryer. I didn't need to wash jeans, because I've been doing those as I soiled them. I have more to do - there is a full load of fleece, and it's time to soak the towels - but I can do that tomorrow. And that was about it.


Everything I was reading and everything I was playing were boring today, so I am going to have to figure out something new to do. I was thinking last night when I was wakeful that I have been almost completely without inspiration for the past year, ever since I finished the angel. I'm not sure what to do about that. Knitting is getting boring, even lace knitting, but I don't have an interesting embroidery project to do. Well - I do. I got a new chart yesterday called "Sharon's Garden", which I thought was appropriate, but it uses all kinds of specialty threads that I don't have, so until I can get them, I can't work on that. Plain cross stitch doesn't entice me very much right now, although now I have three really lovely cat pictures and one with loons (all huge). Beading doesn't entice me either, although there is still half a snowflake bracelet that has been sitting in the beading tray since last year. I really should finish that, just to get it done.


Maybe what I will do is what I usually end up doing when I want to do something different and nothing interests me: I take out the old Spanish Sampler that I have been working away on since 1984 or so. It is an enormous thing, probably 60" x 72" or so, on my favorite Glenshee linen, but when I stopped it, I either had to do a rather boring pattern that runs the width of it or start the center, which is all backstitch and the instructions for the colors are poor. Sorry to say that, but Kay is dead, and she won't get mad at me. Or I could dig through the project cases and see what there is there. Drawn Thread has a new sampler kit I want, but it is $82, so that is likely to be my Christmas present to myself, and I'm waiting until after tomorrow to hit the credit cards again. Closing dates, you know.


So I'm bored, and the creative juices just are not flowing.


One nice thing has apparently happened: all my exercises have caused me to lose a couple more pounds. It's nothing amazing, but it is a loss, and at least I'm not gaining again. I've said for years that one of the reasons I was gaining weight was that I wasn't doing anything, and I seem to have proved that. Of course, I got a leg up on it last year when I was so sick, and it's a real relief to see that I haven't gained that weight back again. Now all I have to do is do my exercises like a good girl and not eat everything in sight (which doesn't seem to be a problem right now), and just maybe I can continue to drop a  pound or two every month or so. Fingers crossed. I've given up ever being thin, but I really, really would love to be able to fit into size 18 jeans, since then I could buy talls and get the length I need. It's a long-term goal, but if I can be ready to do a little walking when spring comes, maybe I can work toward it.


Another nice thing that has happened is that now that I have made such good progress with my PT, I feel far more positive about the possibility of getting back to something like the shape I was in before 2000. We'll see.


So far our winter storm warning has been a dud. The winds are strong out of the east, in the 25-35 mph range, and the lake is kicking up quite a fuss. The temperature has been between 20 and 24 all day. It has snowed a bit, but most of the activity has been far south of us, in the central UP. It still may get to us, because the low is down around the Illinois-Iowa-Wisconsin border and it is apparently moving northeast. Sometimes we get a real humdinger out of that, although right now it looks like it may be going in the other direction. Darn. 


While I wanted to go to church tomorrow, there isn't communion, so it won't be a disaster if I don't make it. We'll see. I told Mary Ann I would call her around 8:00, so we can consult and see how we feel about it. 


Now, while it's early, I want to go up to the north end and read a bit and try to get to bed early. I still seem to have sleeping sickness, but maybe I can overcome it for at least one day.


Now it's a dark, windy, noisy  night in the field and it will probably be snowing.


December 10

When I said I have sleeping sickness, I wasn't kidding. I read for a while when I got to the north end, and it was around 11:00 when I got to bed. I was wakeful for a while in the middle of the night, but after I got up for the last time at around 7:00, I think, I went back to sleep and didn't wake up until nearly 11:00! Wow!


When I got up, the wind was from the north and it was pretty strong, so it was 63 in the bedroom and 67 in the bathroom (where the thermostat is set at 80). So Mr. plumber to the contrary, it isn't working. I was so late that I didn't call him, but if the weather pans out like the forecast, you can believe I will be calling him on Monday!


I petted the cat and knitted on the purple sock for a change, then I did my exercises. By the time I was through in the bedroom, Buster was complaining loudly that I was entirely too slow. So I fed him, and he sat down and scarfed down more than half the can of food. By the time I went to the post office, he had eaten it all, and when I got back, he started walking over me, so I gave him another can, which he proceeded to eat more than half of. I think he is trying to make up for all the time he wasn't eating much at all. He didn't get any of my dinner because I had a steak, but I had lima beans (which I love), and he licked all the butter off the bottom of the dish.


The weather was about the same. The high temperature was around 7:00 this morning (28), and then it dropped back and was around 24 for the rest of the day. We had some serious snow squalls around the time I got up, but not so much for the rest of the day. The wind switched around to the north and it was in the 20-35 mph range for most of the day. My parka felt good when I was out.


I met Mary Ann at the post office as she was measuring the window apparatus and the boxes. I forgot to mention the last time I was there that Clyde has abruptly decided not to be postmaster anymore, as of January 13, giving the rest of the town about six weeks to come up with a postal delivery solution. I know he has been muttering about that for several years, and he finally did it. Not only that, but he has already signed a lease for somebody to live in what is now our post office. It seems that the solution is going to be to move the post office to the community center, which I've thought for some time would be a good place for it. But now they have to try to get it moved in six weeks, right over the holidays. Geez, Clyde. How about a little community spirit here? I didn't ask Mary Ann who will be the actual postmaster, but there are several people who were interested. Clyde has a real grumpy side which occasionally manifests itself, and I guess he is in one of those moods.


Anyway, I got to talk to Mary Ann a bit, and I offered to drive to church, if the weather isn't too bad on Sunday. I really would like to go at least once before Christmas, although the weather doesn't look too hopeful. There is a winter storm warning out from 7:00 tomorrow morning to 7:00 Monday morning. So we'll see. Now that I've started to go to church, I really miss it when I can't go...but that's one of the troubles with living out in the middle of nowhere.


I was so late that I didn't do much of anything else again. Maybe I can get up a tad earlier tomorrow? That would help, since there are any number of things I need to do.


Now it's a dark, cloudy and probably snowy night in the field.


December 9

Well, it was 10:30 before I got to bed last night. I didn't sleep very well, and in the middle of the night, I had an accident, which meant I had to change my nightie and wash a rug this morning. I should also have done some mopping, but I was so tired when I got home that I didn't. Tomorrow. I don't know what the trouble with the sleep was, since I seemed to be quite comfortable, but I was wakeful. Strange.


I got up around 9:30, or maybe later, I think, and I petted the cat before I did my exercises, the truncated series, since I was going to PT. I did most of my morning surfing before I had to leave, and I partly unloaded the dishwasher while my breakfast was cooking. 


PT was good, but I discovered I am losing both my PTA and my intern, so that wasn't very nice. I'm sorry to lose Wendy. She was really good, and really nice, but that's the way things go. It's another place where people come and go, and she is being moved to the Houghton location. Oh, well. Cory is good, too, but he's a guy, after all. Anyway, they worked me hard, and I was tired when I left.


Then I had to get gas, and it was snowing when I left. I am glad to say I was pretty good on my feet, even in the snow, so I could brush off my car and walk around the gas station pretty well, except for going down the ramp. Gas has gone up to $3.06 or higher, at least north of Houghton, which really annoys me.


The trip wasn't bad, but slow. It was snowing between Phoenix and Mohawk on the trip down, and all over on the trip back, but not heavily, and there wasn't any traffic. I got in front of the school bus, so I didn't have to worry about that. I guess I'd drive slower, too, if I had a cargo of little kids. 


Anyway, I got home about 4:30, and even while I was getting a drink, Buster was yelling that he was hungry and I should feed him. Good - both that he was hungry, and he would holler at me about it. His worst problem about getting fed is that he wouldn't say anything.


The snow didn't start until around 1:30, but it has snowed lightly ever since. Not much accumulation, but our road is getting a nice mat laid down to serve as the base for the blower. They changed their mind about the high temperature, and it was in the low 20s for most of the day, and it has only now rising to 28. The wind was minimal until noon, when it started to rise and it got up into the 15-35 mph range before it backed off for a while. It's from the southwest for the time being. There was enough snow late in the afternoon to register in the NWS station rain gauge. Winter, for sure.


Ron tells me that the tractor is running again and Marty and Mike are helping him with the maintenance on it, so it should be ready to go when the time comes. Marty has become president of the association (I wish him luck) and he is trying to organize some things for the first time ever. If he can succeed, that will be good for all of us, especially those of us who are full-time residents.


So that was my day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end again and crash. No bath tonight. It's another dark, windy, snowy night in the field.


December 8

I seem to have sleeping sickness, but as I recall, I have this problem every year when it first gets cold. I was in bed by 9:40 last night, and while I woke up occasionally to move, I slept until 10:00 this morning with only two wakeups. I think it was about 7 hours between the two times I got up. And I'm tired again tonight, although I didn't do much.


I petted the cat, who seems to feel pretty good, and I did my exercises - all of them I could remember. I didn't do much else until the talking started, then I went out to the kitchen and cleaned up the sink and packed away the rest of the turkey and noodles into containers and took them downstairs to the freezer. I like that dish, but I'd eaten enough of it. When I went back to the kitchen to get something to eat - really, to get Buster something to eat - I put away most of the pots and pans I'd washed. So the kitchen doesn't look too bad, except that the stove is messy. Tonight I will run the dishwasher. 


Getting something to eat was hard, since i really didn't want fowl for a while. So I had one of the Stouffers' things I still like - stuffed peppers. Buster wanted some, but he can't have beef, so he went away mad. 


I was reading, but I want to get to bed early again tonight. 


The weather was about the same. There were little snow squalls all day, at least until late in the afternoon. The temperature for most of the afternoon was around18, although now it is rising slowly, and tomorrow is supposed to be much warmer. The wind is still from the north, although it died down some overnight to the 15-30 mph range. The lake isn't nearly as noisy. It was mostly cloudy all day, with a peek of sunshine around noon. 


So that was another day, and I'll be off to the north end soon. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but not as windy and not as cold as it has been lately.


December 7 - Pearl Harbor Day

Even though I was only four months old when it happened, Pearl Harbor Day had a major influence on my life and probably formed the person I still am, so I always try to remember it. I hope that these days people who worry about our military people and what wars do to them won't forget the effects they have on their families, too. And I pray God we never get into anything as serious as World War II was.


I crashed last night. I was in bed by 9:30, and while I was a bit wakeful in the middle of the night, I slept until nearly 10:00. I guess it would be better if I could get my 10 hours every night, but somehow that doesn't seem possible, so every now and then I have to catch up. I will try to do the same tonight.


I did a few exercises - the arm ones - and most of my morning surfing, and I left around 1:00. It was a slow ride, especially north of Phoenix, where the road was snow and ice covered. However, it was so cold it wasn't very slippery. l did the entire trip in AUTO, though. No need to be concerned about switching on the fly, and at least once lately I've gone from 4WD to 2WD when I must have been in 4WD, and I didn't like the sensations one bit.


They worked me pretty hard again, but I managed to do most of my exercises all right. There wasn't anything new today.


Since I got into a discussion of my appointments and I had to get my outer clothes on, and the ride home was slow, I didn't get back until about 4:15. 


When I left, the sun was out, and it was so sunny all the way to Laurium that I had to wear my sunglasses. However, the temperature only got up to 22, and there was a very strong north wind all day long, in the 20-35 mph range. It wasn't as windy as it was yesterday, and the lake isn't roaring quite as loudly, but it's strong enough and it blew me across the parking lot to my car when I left the Fitness Center.


I was really tired when I got home, so I didn't do anything else, and now I'm off to bed again. It's another dark, cold and windy night in the field, and a good one for sleep.


December 6

Even though I read for a bit when I got to the north end, it was still only 11:00 when I got to bed, and I slept well. I was up several times, but that's usual. I got up around 9:00, and I petted the cat, although not as long as he wanted, and I did most of my exercises before I was off to see Johanna. She worked on my back a lot, and it seems to have helped a lot, thank goodness. I was getting quite stiff.


Otherwise, I did nothing. I started to edit November's journal (although I haven't done October's yet), but that seemed pretty boring, so I guess i will do this and go up to the north end and maybe get to bed early tonight. We'll see. I seem to have the habit of getting sidetracked.


The weather was cold! And snowy!  The high for the day, which actually occurred between 5:00 and 7:00 this morning, was 23, and for most of the afternoon it has been about 20, but with a north wind blowing in the 25-40 mph range, the windchill was down around 0. Brr! I was not warmly enough dressed when I was out, and tomorrow I am going to have to dig out the down parka and the mittens. It snowed off and on all day - mostly on - but there doesn't seem to have been a lot of accumulation, since it was LES and very dry.


There was about an 8" drift in front of the garage door, but parts of the driveway were almost clear. 


So that's it, and I'm off to the north end. It's a dark, cold and windy night and the lake is roaring.


December 5

Well, it was one of those nights. I diddled around enough that it was 12:30 before I got to bed, and I just could not go to sleep. Part of it was that my leg was sore, but sleep would not come. I did doze, but I was up every 2 hours and I never did get into a deep sleep. About 3:30, I decided I wouldn't be going to church. I could have tried, because I woke up at 7:30 anyway, but I went back to bed and I did get a little quality sleep before I got up around 10:00. When I looked outside, I decided it was just as well that I had decided not to go. So I did my exercises and petted the cat and knitted a couple more rows on the sweater before I got dressed.


I didn't do anything else. I didn't feel very robust, so I just sat. I had another accident (the second one in a week), so I washed my sweats (which need to be dried), but that was about it.


The weather was not conducive to going anyplace. When I looked out the windows when I got up, the snow was swirling around the house and I couldn't see down the harbor. When I started doing my exercises, the snow had almost stopped, but it started up again, and like all lake-effect snow, it came in waves all day long. i don't think there was very much accumulation. The temperature was steady at around 24, and the wind was from the north in the 25-35 mph range. The lake is setting up quite a fuss.


Buster is still wanting to sit on me all the time, and Jasmine has been going around talking all the time. I still don't know what her problem is, but it's kind of cute to hear her peeping little voice. She has a lot of tones, and if I could get to know her better, I'm sure I could figure out what she's saying.


So that's about all I have to report, and maybe, just maybe I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight. I have a massage tomorrow. Now it's a dark, noisy, wintry night in the field.


December 4

Somehow, it was after midnight when I went to bed, and I slept so hard that the first time I woke up, my upper arm was so sore I could hardly move it. I should know better by now than to leave that arm stretched straight out, but I keep forgetting. It got better fast, though, and I was able to sleep on it when I turned over. I got up around 10:00, I think, and today the cat was in the bathroom, so I petted him and knitted a couple of rows on the sweater while he was on my lap. Then it was my exercises, which take a long time these days. 


I ended up not doing very much, although the dishwasher got emptied and refilled, and the pans that were in the sink are drying, but there is a whole new batch there now, because I made my turkey and noodles tonight. I left out the green (or red) pepper, and instead put the last of my peas in it, and I like it a lot better, although it makes a huge amount, enough for at least eight hungry people. I will have to freeze some of it, but I like that, because then I can grab something fast and know it will be good.


Mostly it was a dull, gray day, and there were a few light snow showers, but there was also a ray or two of sunshine. The temperature was just about steady at 28 or 29, and there was a brisk wind, in the 15-25 mph range, that started out from the east and has now swung around to almost the north. The lake is speaking, but I haven't felt or heard much of the wind. 


So that was a quiet day, and I'm off to the north end now, to try to get to bed a  bit earlier tonight, so I can try to go to church tomorrow. It's a dark, windy night in the field.


December 3

I read for a while after I uploaded this, because they were playing Haydn's #88, one of my favorites, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, maybe because I had my flannel nightgown on. When I finally woke up, I was getting stiff enough that I thought it would be a good idea to get up - and it was 10:30. 


For once, the cat was nowhere to be found, oddly enough, so I knitted a bit and then I did my exercises, or most of them. The new leg exercises wear me out. Anyway, it was nearly noon when I got to the studio, so it was a truncated day.


I didn't go to the post office, but a package had come to the store, so I went and got it and got what I need for my turkey and noodles, although I didn't make them tonight. I really need to get the stuff out of the dishwasher and out of the sink before I do any more cooking.


While I was listening to the talking, Buster was driving me nuts, walking over me and sitting in front of the screen and generally making an nuisance of himself. When I went out to the kitchen, I noticed that his dish was empty, and that was what he wanted. He really likes what he got today, so he has chowed down. Then he came running into the studio and almost slid across the desk, like he was a kitten again, so I guess he feels OK. He wanted what I had, too - I had a breakfast pasty for dinner, and he seems to like eggs as much as he likes ham and bacon. Then he went to sleep on my lap.


Jasmine spent a good part of the morning running around and talking. I don't know what her problem was, but she was talking her head off. If I imitate her noises, she talks back, so we had quite a conversation. She was running up and down the stairs to the loft and around in the loft, too. The barometer is quite high, but I didn't know it was that high!


The weather was blah. The temperature for most of the day was about 27, although it has warmed up a couple of degrees lately, and the winds were very light out of the east. It was cloudy, although there was about one ray of sunshine late in the afternoon. There wasn't any snow.


So that was a quiet and wasted day, and now it's time to go to bed again. It's a cold, calm night in the field.


December 2

I hit the wrong button - or FrontPage went berserk - last night, and I had to reboot and recover the story I was writing as well as the web pages I had been working on. It always annoys me to have to do that, and I consider myself lucky that I didn't lose anything serious. What a bunch of junk!


Anyway, partly because of that and partly because I sat looking at the floor for a long time, it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I did sleep well, though. I woke up around 10:00, I think. The temperature had dropped, and the wind was from the north, and it was not warm in the north end. Grr. I will have to call the plumber next week and explain that whatever he thinks, it's not working right.


Anyway, I petted the cat, and I did the exercises I didn't think they'd do at the Fitness Center, and except for one or two, I was right. 


I left a bit early because I had a letter to mail and I wanted to return the barrel, but I still got to the Fitness Center in time to use the restroom. Boy, did they work me! I'm finally getting to the point where we can start the serious stuff, and I was getting sweaty by the time we were through. They're trying to get me to get up from a seat without using my arms, and that was something else. I simply can't do it - haven't been able to for 30 years, if ever. However, they got me sitting on the edge of the table and explained what I should do, and I was able to do it a few times, although I really wasn't sitting. It was up about the height of my bed, so I'll be able to try it here. Whew!


Then it was off to the tire store, where it didn't take long for them to install my new tire and put the spare back where it belongs, although I had to ask them to put the spare tire lock back in. They pro-rated the tire, and I got a nice allowance on it, so even with installation, the road hazard warranty, and all the other little extras, it cost me less than $90. I was relieved.  A new tire like that one is $135.


I completely forgot that I was going to stop at Pat's until I was too far north to turn around, but oh, well. I think I can get what I need at the Gaslite, and if I'd gone to Pat's I would undoubtedly have bought a lot of stuff I didn't really need.


The roads were not good, at least down to Phoenix, after which they were just wet, so it was a slow ride both ways. Fortunately, on the way down, there was very little traffic, except for the double-bottomed log hauler I had to pass around Phoenix. Coming home, there was some traffic - much of it unaccountably slow - but it all went away by the time I got to Mohawk. I did encounter a very slow driver on the covered road - 30 mph, mostly - but from where he turned off in Copper Harbor, I think he is a new resident and doesn't know the roads yet. He may not have learned how to drive in snow, either. At least it looked that way.


I got home at 5:00, and when I went into the studio (and it was pretty dark), I didn't see Buster in my chair. Fortunately, I've almost sat on him too many times, so he got out before I sat down. He as been sitting on me ever since. He actually seems to feel pretty good today, though, running around when it isn't necessary. What a strange little kitty.


The weather was quite wintry. The high temperature for the daylight hours was only about 27 and there was a brisk north wind - 20-30 mph. There was a small amount of snow overnight and I went through a little bit on the way down, but not much.


So that was my day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, cold and windy night in the field.


December 1

Gee, it seems impossible to be writing that date! How time flies!


I had a quiet day today. Not that I didn't need it. It felt good.


I got to bed around 11:45 last night, and I don't remember quite why, since I didn't read when I got to the north end, and I didn't take a bath. However, I slept rather well. In fact, I didn't wake up for the last time until around 10:00 this morning, to find a black nose almost touching mine. I was so comfy I didn't want to get up, so he reached out his patty-paw to try to pat my nose. Eventually I got up, and I petted him for quite a while and knitted a couple of rows on the sweater before I did my exercises.


With all the exercises they've given me, if I do the right amount of all of them, it takes me almost an hour. I will have to see what I can do to cut that down a bit. Buster was walking around the bed wondering just what the heck I was doing, and a couple of times he got tangled up in my feet.


Anyway, there was nothing on the agenda, so I dawdled around and did all my surfing. I went to the post office, where there was so much mail, I got a bin full of it. Most of it was catalogs and pleas for money, but there were a couple of magazines, a couple of bills, and - wonder of wonders  - a small check for something I know nothing about. Hey, small donations gratefully received, especially the way my finances are right now. I will send it off to deposit tomorrow.


I had finished looking through that when my summer neighbor Sandi called, and we had a nice conversation. She is so nice. After she read about my weekend, she felt she had to call. They weren't here for very long over the summer, and they had company the whole time, so I haven't seen her in quite a while. They may come up after Christmas for a few days. I hope they can.


The weather was so-so. It snowed a little bit overnight, and there was some snow down the harbor when I got up, but not much. It did cool off to more normal temperatures. It was about a steady 30 all days, and it was windy - in the 25-35 mph range, from the north-northeast, so I didn't feel it very much. It wasn't very nice when I went to the post office. Oh, apparently it's been snowing lately, since there is some moisture being reported by the NWS station, and the wind is north, 22-29 mph. Winter.


I might mention that my right hand, where I whacked it, is still swollen and nicely bruised, although thankfully, most of it is just vaguely bluish, not black. Where I hit the hardest, on the tendon to my middle finger, there is a nice lump that is sore to the touch. I know I should ice it some more, but I keep forgetting. At least it isn't interfering with anything I want to do, it just doesn't look very nice.


So I had a nice, quiet day, and I will be trying to get to bed a bit earlier tonight, since I have a lot planned for tomorrow. Now it's a dark, snowy, windy night in the field and it's December. Wow.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM