A View From the Field








January, 2011

January 31

By golly, it's the end of January already! Time goes so fast.


I ended up embroidering for a while before I went up to the north end last night, so it was about 10:45 when I got to bed. I had trouble going to sleep because my right shoulder was extremely painful. I finally did, but when I turned over later in the night, I couldn't get back to sleep. So by morning my left ear was so sore I could hardly lie on it. I did do my exercises, somewhat truncated, and my shoulder has felt better, so far. We'll see what happens. My knees were sore, too, but my back was all right. And when I did some knitting, my left hand got sore. Oh, the ravages of old age...


Anyway, I was about to do my exercises when Ron showed up and did a really good job on the driveway. That was before two bolts sheared off on the blower, so now they have to figure out how to drill out the bolts and apparently where to get some new bolts, since the John Deere place in Marquette doesn't have any. Come to think of it, I don't think they've ever had what we need when we need it, and besides they are very expensive.


And I was about to get dressed and Amanda called and could she come over. I wasn't sure why,  but it turned out that I had mentioned that I needed my hair trimmed. She came about 6:00, and didn't take much off, but she evened it out. Such a nice girl. As to the hair, it seems to be down below my shoulder blades, which means it's as long as it's ever been in my life. She seems to think it's grown about 6" since the last time she trimmed it, so it's nice to know it grows, maybe not as fast as it used to, but enough. I wonder how long it will get before I get tired of it?


So now at least it's evened out, and we'll see if that makes a difference. The top is still a lot shorter than the back, but it's beginning to catch up, and one day it will be all the same length. I really didn't think it was all that long, and it doesn't seem to be much harder to take care of than when it was shoulder length. I would never want to be bald, but it sure was nice when I was sick. Wash my head with a washcloth. Nice, but a little cool in the wintertime.


I thought, when I saw Amanda, that she had cut hers, too, and she did - she had a foot cut off (it was really long last summer) and donated it to the organization that makes hairpieces for people with no hair. I thought that was really nice of her.


Before Amanda got here, I did a quick job on the kitchen - for which I thanked her. I took two bags of trash out to the pile, and I washed all the pots and pans that had been sitting around for so long. I cleaned the stove side of the kitchen, and sort of tidied up the sink counters, but not a lot. It does look better out there, and I have empty bags in the trash barrels. So I did something today. It didn't bother my back very much, either, which was really nice.


Oh, yes, and I went to the post office, where the last of my tax forms came, as well as my wooden circular needles. No bills for a change, though, which was nice.


When I came into the studio this morning, Buster had pushed onto the floor the whole box of pins (about 100) that I had been using to center the design on the bookmark, and of course they went all over, mostly under the desk. So I got out one of my pin magnets and spent some time picking them all up. I think I got almost all of them, although I'm not going to count them. Buster has gotten a little rocky on his feet lately, but I'm quite sure that frequently he pushes things off the desk on purpose, just to let me know he's here and he's not quite pleased with me.


The weather was cold. It was about 14 all day, with very light north winds. There wasn't any sunshine, but it was a light day. If there was any snow, I didn't notice it. 


So that was a day, and thanks to Amanda, I did some of the chores I have been putting off. Now it's time to trudge up to the north end and try to get to bed earlier. My appointment tomorrow is at 1:00, so I can't dawdle around. Now it's a dark night in the field, and it's supposed to snow some more.


January 30

I worked on the story for a while after I uploaded this, and I read for a while when I got to the north end, so it was a bit after 11:00 when I got to bed. The first time I woke up was sometime between 5:00 and 6:00, I think, so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get up in time to go to church, and I was right. I woke up around 8:00, but it takes me more than an hour to get ready, even when I don't exercise, so I went back to bed and didn't wake up again until 10:30. 


I have to say I've been feeling sort of puny and blah lately. I really don't feel like doing anything, so, of course, I haven't been. I did get one bag of trash out of the kitchen, but that was about all I did. 


Except that I started my Hardanger bookmark, and I got the initial done, but then I miscounted on the rest of the design and had to rip. I'm not so sure I like the colors - ecru, purple and green - but it's an interesting thing  to do and I like doing counted satin stitch - provided I count right! 


I have never been able to figure out why, but I don't like green with the colors the color wheel say should go with it - purple and pink. Pink and green reminds me too much of the "preppie" era, which peaked while I was growing up. I'm not sure what the problem with purple and green is, but it's not my favorite combination. Too bad, too, because I like purple, and I like most shades of green. Just not together. Anyway, this will be a fun project, and it's not so large I will get tired of it. I have a lot of stitching to do before I start cutting threads and weaving bars, which is also nice.


The weather was cold and there was some light snow. The temperature dropped from 17 at midnight to 10 now. The wind was from the north or northeast, mostly in the 15 mph range, although there were times when it gusted up to 25 mph. There were also a few peeks of sunshine, sometimes at the same time it was snowing. There wasn't enough sun to bask in, and it went away round noon, but for a little while this morning, there were some patches of blue in the gray skies.


I think Buster feels some better, although he is still clingy. He ate well, and he really enjoyed my breakfast - scrambled eggs with cheese that has a little bacon flavor in it, and some cream cheese. This afternoon, though, he was acting weird. First he tried to walk into the trash bag I have on the floor, then he tried to jump from behind the sewing machine chair up onto the counter, and he missed. He was evidently embarrassed by that, so he sat under the chair for most of the afternoon. He wanted to sit on me while I was embroidering, but that doesn't work too well. And he was hopeful about my dinner until he smelled it.


It was a single-person-living-alone dinner - salad and Sichuan noodles out of a box. I guess they are Ramen noodles, but I'm not sure exactly what a Ramen noodle is. The Sichuan flavor is quite hot, which is surprising for a boxed product, and it has baby corn and straw noodles in it. Not bad at all, although I like something cooling, either lemonade or JD on the rocks, to cool off the heat. I think I've mentioned that I like Sichuan flavorings, and I don't mind if it's hot, as long as I don't eat too much of it. Anything that cooks in two minutes is fine with me.


So that was another day, and I plan to totter up to the north end early tonight and see if I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a cold, dark night in the field, and there will probably be some more snow.


January 29

I read until midnight again. I read some more after I got up this morning, and this afternoon, I finished the last episode in that story line. Contemplating having to rewrite what appears to be over half a million words (all written between 1971 and 1975) makes me tired, but maybe I'll do it. At least I've made a start on it, and the page or two I've written looks pretty good.


So I didn't do much else except pet a cat. Buster is really clingy, and Jasmine wants to be with him, so she's been around, too. I wish I could tell whether Buster is sick or just nervous.


The weather wasn't as bad as they had predicted. In fact, they canceled the advisory sometime around noon. We did get some snow, and apparently there was about 6" around here, but it wasn't nearly as bad as they said. It is supposed to keep snowing some, which is good. The temperature was steady at 19 all day, and the winds were light, mostly from the east. It was a little lighter than yesterday, which was nice, but it was still a dark, cloudy day.


So I don't have much else to report. I am still tired, for some reason, so I think I will totter up to the north end and attempt to get to bed early tonight. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but it isn't snowing right now.


January 28

Last night I read until midnight. I slept well, but I had to get up at 9:00, and that really wasn't enough sleep, but I knew if I went back to bed, I wouldn't get up until  noon, so I stayed up. Buster was still asleep, so I knitted a bit, read a bit, and did almost all my exercises. 


And that was it. I was tired all day. My back was a bit stiff when I first got up, but my exercises took care of that. I'm still not convinced it's fixed, but it is better, and that's a relief.


The weather was the usual. It was cold. The temperature was about 13 all day, and there was a brisk wind from the east until about 10:00. Since then, it's been light and variable. It snowed on and off all day, and there was a little accumulation. I'm still waiting for the junipers and the birdbath to get covered completely.


I was going to do some embroidery, but when the talking started, I forgot about it. I have a nice little hardanger bookmark I'd like to do. I sort of collect bookmarks (like I collect books), and now I will get a new one to embroider every month. It should be fun, and bookmarks (they can be used as mini bellpulls, too) are more useful than inserts for greeting cards. I know it's just a way Nordic Needle has to generate revenue, but they are very high quality and they have given me a sneaky way to collect some more threads. Maybe I'll get at it tomorrow.


We are under a winter weather advisory. It is supposed to start snowing soon and continue all day tomorrow. Good. I was thinking yesterday that we need some new snow.


So that was a very quiet day, and since they are playing Prokofiev, I don't think I need to listen to it. I will go up to the north end and read for a while again before I jump in bed. By tomorrow, I will look like an oil pot got dumped on my head, but oh, well. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


January 27

Instead of going right up to the north end, I looked through a couple of catalogs, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well, though, and I got up around 10:00. I decided to forgo the exercise this morning, and Buster didn't show up, so I read a bit before I got dressed. 


I didn't have time to read my funnies before I left, because Thursday is a day when there is lots of email to read, and I didn't do all of that, either.


My appointment was at 2:00 today, so I left about 1:00, and it was good that I did. Before I got to Delaware, there was stuff freezing to my windshield - freezing drizzle - and it continued all the way to Laurium. Yuck. My most unfavorite stuff. 


My PT session went well, and my back wasn't nearly as knotted up today, so maybe all the massage is working. We did several exercises that involve tummy bracing, including a new one that I will have to practice. Probably that is having an effect, too. So that was good.


Then I went off to Pat's, where I wouldn't have done quite as much damage as I did if I hadn't needed wine and boos. I did forget a couple of things, but I got some really nice ham hocks, so I think I will throw out that nasty looking one I had in the freezer. I like Pat's better, because they come in sealed packages, which means they should last forever. I think tomorrow is the pea soup day. I have navy beans as well as two gift containers of mixed beans, but I really have a yen for pea soup. Maybe next week I'll do bean. It freezes so well, it would be nice to have a freezer well-stocked with comfort food.


When I got out of Pat's, the frizzle had frozen to all the windows of the car, but the deicers got rid of it on the windshield pretty fast. Unfortunately, it was all over both my outside rear-view mirrors and the back window, and my rear window deicers don't seem to work. I did finally manage to get most of the ice off of that window, but not for 15 miles or so, and I don't know if it was the deicers or that the car warmed up. The drive was good, with no cars in my direction after Kearsarge. Around Phoenix, the frizzle turned to snow, and it was snowing quite hard by the time I got home. It was a slow ride both ways, though - a good hour, since I wasn't sure how slippery all that stuff on the road was, and I wasn't going to find out in a final way.


Then, of course, I had to bring everything in and put it all away. That's the worst chore of all. Now I have lots of lettuce and lots of OJ, so I'm set for some time. I may have to stop next week and get onions and carrots, which I forgot about until I was at the other end of the store, but I won't need anything more. Oh, I think I will have to get some laundry supplies, too, but I'll have to check that.


The weather was so dark that the car turned on the headlights for the whole trip. It's really dark when it does that during the daytime. The temperature here got up to 27 briefly, but it has now gone back down to 23. I don't think it got over 24 in Calumet. The wind started to rise around 3:00, and it is now in the 20-35 mph range from the north. It actually wasn't bad to be outside, except for that nasty stuff that was coming down. I think it has turned to snow all the way to Houghton now, though.


This is the first winter that I can remember where we've had freezing drizzle several times. I hate that stuff. I guess it must be because there is a temperature inversion not very far up in the sky, and it's not cold enough to freeze before it hits the ground. That's why the weather always interests me. No season is ever the same as the other ones. I was glad to see it snowing again. I think about two inches had fallen by the time I got home, the fluffy stuff. 


I was annoyed to find that ATC didn't come on at 4:00, but there must have been some kind of problem, because it came on at 5:00. They were playing a Beethoven symphony I would like to have heard, except that I got in on the middle of it, so I turned to the NMU station, which I don't like as well. Besides, I want news at 4:00. Oh, I'm certainly in a rut...


Buster was very glad to see me, and he has sat on my lap as much as he could since I got here. I don't think he feels too good, but he seems to be eating - he certainly wants what I eat! His teeth are bothering him again, but it doesn't interfere with his eating when he wants to eat.


So that was my day, and I'm tired tonight. I don't have to be beautiful tomorrow, so I think I will forgo the bath tonight, and maybe I can get to bed a little earlier. It's a very dark, windy, snowy night in the field, a good time to hibernate.


January 26

So last night, when I should have bee a good girl, I read so long that it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept, of course, with two wakeups, and I got up around 10:00. I didn't want to, but I had to walk, so I got up. Buster and Jasmine had been around at 9:00 or so, but he had evidently gone back to sleep, so I read for a while before I did my exercises.


It never ceases to surprise me how much difference a day can make in how I feel when I exercise. Today a lot of it was hard. My shoulders and my knees didn't feel very good. However, I made do.


There were some things I thought I might do today, but after doing my surfing and going to the post office, there wasn't much time left. There was an advertising committee meeting at 5:00, and I went to that. It lasted until 7:00, so I ate late. 


Buster came around when I was eating, because he likes the chicken thing as well as I do, and he just got off my lap after a nice love-in. He didn't get his petting this morning, so he got it now.


The weather was dull again. It snowed lightly all day, but I doubt there was much accumulation - an inch, maybe. For some reason, the temperature started rising right after I posted this last night, and it got into the upper 20s before it started to drop off. It dropped slowly and steadily all day, from 26 at midnight to 19 now. There was a little wind overnight, but it has been nearly calm all day...the flakes were dropping lazily straight down. It was very dark, of course.


I have been forgetting to mention that the days are very slowly getting longer. We had 9h18m of daylight today, and we are gaining at the rate of over 2 minutes a day. Most of the gains seem to be in the afternoon. The sun isn't setting (if we could see it) until 5:43, but it is still rising at 8:25. That does bother me, I have to confess. Since the sun is still so low in the sky (about 24 at noon), If I get up at 9:00, it's still rather gloomy out. I have always said, I don't mind going to bed when it's still light out, but I mind terribly having to get up in the dark. I guess maybe I should have moved to Maine or something. Anyway, we are on the upward side, and that's a good thing.


The other thing I've forgotten to mention is that for the past two days, the light in the lighthouse has gone nutty. It is whirling around every 2 seconds, instead of the 6 second period it is supposed to have. I should call the Coast Guard, I suppose, but I keep forgetting when I'm in the studio during the day. It's not that it's important at this time of year, because nobody is out on the lake, but I fear it could break completely (like the old one did), or at the least, it would confuse the lakers in the spring. 


So now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end again.


January 25
Well, I managed pretty well. I got to be about 10:45 and I slept well. With the temperature outside a little warmer and no wind, it was a bit warmer in the bedroom and bathroom, and probably that helped. I did have some wakeful time around 3:30, thinking about something I've forgotten, but it didn't last long.


Buster was nowhere to be found when I woke up, so I knitted a couple of rounds, then I did most of my exercises. He finally appeared, but it was too late for him.


I didn't have time to do all my surfing before I had to leave,  but I wanted to make sure I wasn't late. It was a good thing, too. Most of the trip was good. The roads were just wet from Phoenix south, so I could go at a reasonable speed. However, Houghton County was cutting back the banks in Centennial (between Kearsarge and Calumet) and they had the road down to one lane, with the usual  backup. I did make it on time, though.


One thing I don't understand. Last Thursday, when it was so bad, I had cars in front of me going in both directions, which made it really hard. Today, I had nobody going south and only one guy, whom I passed around New Allouez, going north. How come it always works that way? Not fair. The guy I passed was a teensy Ford Focus with a carrier on top that looked like it had four people in it (how could they do that??), and I think they were probably on their way to Mt. Bohemia. If so, I wonder if they got there before dark. I mean, they weren't even going 40 mph, and the road was nearly dry at that point. I wonder what happened north of Phoenix, when the road was covered with hard packed snow. However, I wasn't going to stay behind them to find out!


My PT session was another good one. I got another targeted massage, of the muscles in my lower back (L3 to T5, I think), and my right side was really tight. I knew that, or at least I knew there was some pain there when I was making my breakfast. Unfortunately, it's all tight again. By the time I got through making my dinner, my back was all sore again. Oh, well, eventually maybe it will work itself out.


I got home a little before 4:00, since i had to stop for gas. It's only $3.23 at the station I have the coupons for. I only had 19 in coupons (on the first 12 gallons), but it sure did help. I need to shop some more. Actually, I probably will do that on Thursday, because I have a few really nice coupons that are expiring at the end of the month, for things I would eventually buy anyway.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature here was right around 22 all day here, although it was a bit cooler in town. There was some north wind overnight, but almost no wind at all during the day. I don't think it snowed. It was a very dark, dull day, though. 


I saw Ann again at the Fitness Center - I was going when she was coming - and we agreed that we should try to get together for lunch sometime. She is a nice lady.


I actually cooked tonight. I defrosted a package of chicken breasts, and I did them the old usual way, with thyme, sage and mushroom soup. Only I finally got to try the rice blend I bought before Christmas - my favorite Royal Blend plus red beans. I really like it, but it occurred to me that I could certainly add a can of kidney beans to the rice after it cooks. I'm sure they expect you to add hot sauce and other stuff to it, but I like it with a mild sauce like the mushroom soup. I've always loved kidney beans.


Don't get me wrong - I enjoy spicy things occasionally, either Mexican or Sichuan, but not all the time. That is one problem I have with the recipes I've been getting by email lately. About 70% of them are with Tex-Mex seasoning (they even had something they called Shepherd's Pie that was actually Tex-Mex - yuck!), and I'm not all that hung up on it. There are other reasons I'm annoyed by those recipes, although I have kept about half a dozen I would like to try. Trouble is, a lot of them assume you have a fully-stocked super-duper market next door to your house. How many of YOU have access to fresh rosemary or thyme or pappardelle (whatever that is - some kind of flat pasta, I think, but I've never heard of it before). Or even fresh parsley (the flat variety, of course!). Or a lot of other things. Totally impractical for somebody 40 miles from the nearest supermarket. There is a recipe for pot roast that I want to try (it's been a long time since I've had a pot roast), but I'm trying to lay off the beef for a few weeks so my gout doesn't come back. I was hoping to get some good ideas for some new chicken recipes, but every one I've seen is sort of weird and contrived. 


Anyway, both Buster and I enjoyed our chicken tonight, and we'll enjoy it again for the next two days. 


When I raided the freezer for the chicken, I noticed that I have a package of beef country ribs and about three pounds of beef short ribs (yum - my next favorite to standing rib!). Either would be good in the pot roast recipe, and I may just do it that way, instead of buying more. I really need to begin to draw down on the stuff in the freezer before it gets too, too old. There's a rack of spare ribs in there, too, but my spare rib recipe is quite rich, so I'll have to wait on that. 


I still want to make pea soup or bean soup, but I might wait until Friday. I need to use that ham hock.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end, after I put the rest of the chicken in the fridge. It's a cold, dark night in the field, and they say the snow is going to start again soon. It was a nice respite, but we need more.


January 24

Oh, I did it again. I got into one of the best written of all the stories in this group, and I just didn't want to stop. It amazes me how much my writing improved between the middle of 1971 and the end of 1974. Of course, I was writing a lot then. It also coincides with the debacle of my last job in the east, which was terribly traumatic, and my move back to Detroit, buying my first house, and the appendix thing. i always said that I wrote to get away from a reality that I hated, and while I liked what I did, I hated all my jobs, if that makes any sense. I knew from the time I started working that I was working to retire. I only hoped that I would be able to set up my finances so that I could retire comfortably. Hah. I am certainly comfortable and happy in my house and my location, but the finances are a continual, serious problem.


Anyway, back to the writing. Of course, the quality continued to improve, but the stories I am reading now are the first ones where I can see the beginnings of the style that ended up in the blue binder and the white binder.


So it was after 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept, of course. When I went to bed, I was so tired I had a headache, so it wasn't hard to get to sleep. I woke up for the second time at around 9:00, and I could have gotten up then, but why? Well, I should have, because tomorrow I have to get up at a reasonable hour, but I went back to bed anyway, and it was 10:30 or later when I finally got up. I read until Buster appeared, and finished the story I was reading, then I petted him and did nearly a full set of exercises. I was interested to see that taking a day off made a lot of them feel more comfortable. I'm not going to skip every other day, but it shows that I can take a day off now and then and it may be good for me.


Anyway, by the time that was over, I realized that there was no way I was going to go out today, so I put on my sweats, had a small, fast breakfast and went to the studio. It took most of the rest of the afternoon to do my surfing - there's lots of stuff to read on Mondays. I'm doing this early, because I'm still tired, and I want to read a bit before I go to bed at a reasonable hour. I have to be up apace tomorrow. My appointment is at 1:00.


The weather was the usual. A strong southwest wind (15-30 mph) sprang up around the time I went up to the north end, and it continued overnight, but it died down by 8:00 this morning. The temperature was steady at 20 almost all day. It was cloudy and it snowed some. 


Ron came around 2:00 and cleared out the driveway, or most of it. He left a pile in front of the breezeway door, so I had to do some shoveling, but not enough to be bothersome. Now my driveway is nice and clear again. There is a hump right outside the garage door, because I pack it down when I drive over it, but that's not a problem. Ron doesn't feel too good, since he picked up a cold from Trevor, so I appreciated it that he would do the driveway, but he said that both his drive and Jean's were pretty bad. I would think so, with the wind.


Buster was clingy today. He sat on my lap for most of the afternoon, and he is sitting there now. I had a breakfast pasty for dinner (it's too big for breakfast), and he wanted some, since it has eggs, cheese and ham in it. He thought that was good, and while it was cooking, he started yelling at me, so I guess he could smell it better than I could. I thought it was good, too, and it makes me wonder if maybe I should get the smaller pasties the next time I order them...but I'm afraid there would be too much crust. Cooking a whole one and dividing it in half is probably a better idea. They warm up pretty good. I'm fortunate that he can smell the chocolate and doesn't want any, since it's very bad for him. What a strange little cat.


So that was my day, and I will be going up to the north end soon. I was going to read on the computer, but I think instead I will read at the north end for a while. I apparently didn't get enough sleep last night, and I'm tired. 


It's a cold, dark and snowy night in the field, but there isn't any wind.


January 23

Today is my parents' 71st wedding anniversary. I have always noted it, because without it, I wouldn't be. 


I might also note that 37 years ago today, I was too sick to celebrate it with them, and the next day, I had my ruptured appendix removed. I remember it took my mother some time to realize how sick I was, and on the 24th, I drove myself home from work (about 12 miles) before I started to fade out. Please, if you have appendicitis, don't fool around with it! I was in the hospital for 10 or 11 days with peritonitis, and I was out of work for about 8 weeks, recovering. Not nice.


I read for a long time last night - too long - and didn't get to bed until after 1:00. Part of the problem was that I had to refill the pill dispensers. I slept well, with two wakeups. I was awake around 7:00, but I didn't wash my hair last night, so I couldn't revisit my decision not to go to church. I woke up around 10:00, and I really didn't want to get up, but I had to walk, so I did. I read some more and petted a cat and I finally folded my underwear. I was a bad girl and didn't do my exercises. Tomorrow, a complete set.


As usual, I didn't do anything. I had to rush away in the middle of reading my sermon, and I had an accident anyway, darn it. I had finally put the towels to soak, which I will leave for four or five days, they are so bad, so I couldn't wash my sweats. And I did get the dishwasher completely unloaded and started to reload it. There is still a lot of stuff to do in the kitchen, but I didn't feel so robust.


The weather was possibly a little nicer today. There was a little snow between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning and a little more between 1:00 and 2:00 - all of which I missed. There was no wind. The temperature was about 5 all night, then around 10:00 it started to rise slowly, and it is now 15. There was a very little bit of sunshine between 9:00 and 10:00 this morning, but otherwise it was dull and gray. We have had quite a bit of snow in the last week or two. I will have to try to remember to take a picture through the patio doors of the studio, so you can see why I haven't filled the bird feeders. If it warms up a bit this week (which it's supposed to), I will have to get at the drifts.


So that was my day, and I just finished eating. Now it is time to totter up to the north end and probably read some more before I take my bath. It's a quiet, cold night in the field.


January 22

Well, I read too long again, and it was nearly 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept well, however, with two wakeups. There was one bad dream that woke me up feeling rather upset, but that was in the morning. I laid around in bed for a while, because it was just so comfy an cozy there, so it was 10:30  before I got up. I read until Buster appeared, then I petted him and knitted a while. I did a truncated set of my exercises, but it was still 12:30 before I got to the studio. It takes me longer and longer to get going in the mornings.


I wanted to go to the post office today, in the hope that my pills had come, and they had. I have been out of potassium for a couple of weeks, and I wanted to get started on that as soon as possible. They were there, so I am back on the potassium and I have enough of the other things to last a long time. The rest of the stuff was the usual - catalogs and pleas for money, most of which got pitched.


I was so late that I didn't do anything except partly unload the dishwasher this morning. When I was working, I always unloaded the dishwasher while my coffee was brewing, so that it would drain back through the percolator basket while I was making the rest of my breakfast. Yes, I still use the Farberware percolator that my parents gave me 40 years ago. Now that I don't drink coffee very often - I really should in this weather - I have gotten out of the habit, but it's a good way to make sure the dishwasher is empty for the new stuff. When I was working, I was a lot more disciplined than I have been since, but it was a necessity. I unloaded the dishwasher the morning after it ran, I washed every week, and I always put my clean clothes away at once. I also always got undressed as soon as I got home and carefully hung up my work clothes in the closet so that they would be unwrinkled when I wanted to wear them again. Well...that was then. I also was up by 6:30 every morning, more like 6:00. How things have changed in the past 15 years!


The weather was the usual. It snowed all night long and all day long. The temperature all night was about 5, but around 8:00 this morning, the wind shifted to the east (from the north) and picked up, and the temperature went from 5 to 15 in about 45 minutes. The wind got up into the 25-35 mph range from the east, where it still is. The lake is singing nicely, thank you. The temperature stayed steady for several hours, but it has been slowly dropping off since 2:00, and it is now 8. They put out a LES warning on Thursday and it seems every time they update the forecast, they extend it. Now it is supposed to expire at 1:00 am tomorrow. We'll see. Anyway, it has been a good event. 


When I backed out of the garage, I backed through an 18" drift, but the rest of the driveway and the road were OK. Curiously enough, while there is this big drift in front of the garage door, there is not more than 3" or 4" of snow in front of the breezeway door. I don't think Ron went out at all today, or at least there were no tire tracks beyond my house. I don't blame him. While it was a little warmer than yesterday, it was still frigid out there, especially with the wind.


I don't plan to go to church tomorrow. Pastor Fundum will be in Washington for that Right to Life thing (oh, dear), and I don't know his replacement. I have one more chance to go to communion this month, so I think I will wait until next week. I keep telling myself that if I can go to therapy, I can go to church, but somehow, I keep chickening out. I will have to take myself in hand.


So now I think I will toddle up to the north end and read some more. I don't need to bathe, since I'm not going out tomorrow.  Maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed before midnight? We'll see. It's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field.


January 21

I finished the binder I was reading last night, and I think I was in bed around 11:00 but I forgot to look. I slept well, with, I think, three wakeups, and I got up around 10:30. Buster was waiting for me, and we had a nice love-in. I had forgotten to take the rose socks up to the north end, but there was another pair there, that I was doing on double-pointed needles, so I knitted for a while, then I did my exercises - all of them. About 45 minutes into them, Buster got agitated, and started walking around the bed yowling. So I petted him while I was exercising. He wasn't happy, because I did my standing-up exercises for the first time in a long time. I'm not sure what he wanted, because he didn't come down to the kitchen with me, although he did come and eat later. He still isn't eating well. I had cereal for a change, and he licked the dish. He likes milk.


Anyway, all that meant it was 1:00 before I was through eating, and then I had all my surfing to do, so it was a lost day. It was only 62 in the studio when I got here (it's only 66 now), so I ended up with a fleece throw over my shoulders for most of the afternoon. Ron came with my TP, so now I have that. 


It was an exceptionally cold day. The wind was very strong overnight - in the 25-35 mph range from the north - so the windchill must have been down around -20.  The temperature has been right around 5 all day. Lately, the wind has switched around to the west-southwest but very light. It snowed until around noon, but there was even a ray of sunshine for a bit this afternoon, then it started snowing again. Oh, my, it certainly is winter.


When I was knitting with the double-pointed needles, which are bamboo, I realized that I get a looser gauge when I'm using them than when I'm using my beloved nickel plated ones, and since I like that tension better, I ordered a couple of pairs of wooden circulars. I wouldn't have thought it would make that much difference, but it clearly does. I had been going to put that sock on circulars, but after I noticed that, I didn't, so I'll hope my new circulars come soon. I've gotten to the point where I find double-points are ungainly to use. I really don't like that sock very well. It has three shades of blue, from pale blue to navy, magenta and a weird shade of greenish-yellow and the colors get all messed up with each other. However, I started it, so I'll finish it, and it might be a useful pair to have. While I was ordering my needles, I looked at sock yarn, but I couldn't find any aqua. Lots of turquoise, but no aqua. I kind of like my socks to go with what I'm wearing on top, but aqua apparently isn't a very popular color - even when it was popular in tops, they never came out with any yarn in those shades. 


So that was my day, and I'll be going up to the north end soon, after I get the dishwasher ready. I'm not sure whether to start the third binder, or read something else.


I've been saying it's dark out, but the moon was full the other night, and even with all the thick clouds, it really isn't all that dark. However, it is a frigid and snowy night in the field.


January 20

I read again and got to bed around midnight again. However, I slept well and got up around 10:00. Buster wasn't around, so I finished the heel on the sock, not very neatly, and started the foot before he turned up. He purred a lot, but I couldn't let him stay long. I did some exercises. Thursday is one of the days where there are a lot of emails to read and follow up on, so I didn't get to do all my surfing before I had to to get ready to go.


I left early, hoping I could get my box, but they had given it to Ron. Fortunately, it's something I don't need right away. I think he'll bring it tomorrow. I did get some orange bags and some lemonade, then it was off to town.


Ugh. I had two people in front of me all the way to Phoenix, and it was snowing so much and there was so much snow on the road that it was really hard to see.  I finally gave up trying to see very far ahead, and I figured if I couldn't see the guy in front of me, I was probably far enough behind him. Well, I picked up some more slow drivers at Kearsarge, but I did make it to the Fitness Center in time to hit the ladies' room.


This was an interesting encounter. My PTA is a massage therapist as well, and she spent most of the time working on my back one side at a time. It felt wonderful. Then we worked on some "belly bracing" exercises, which aren't the same as what I was doing before, but will strengthen my core muscles. And there was stepping up 2" and back down with each leg. I don't think I can do that one at home.


The trip home was much better than the one down. It had nearly stopped snowing in Laurium, although it started again around Kearsarge, but there was nobody in front of me for most of the way and not much traffic in the other direction. I got home around 5:00, and i was hungry, so I ate early.


Did I say it was snowing? It was snowing hard when I got up, and it continued all day here. There was at least 3" of new powder when I left, and my tracks were nearly obliterated when I got home. It was frigid, too. It hit 17 at noon and dropped off after that. It was only about 10 when I got home. There was almost no wind at all until noon, when it switched around to the north and started rising. This evening, it's been in the 25-35 mph range. As far as I know, it's still snowing. Ah, winter!


So that was my day. Buster is sitting on my lap now, but I think I will go up to the north end and maybe crash tonight. I don't need to take a bath, which will help. Now it's a very cold, dark, snowy night in the field, and the lake is singing.


January 19

I read for too long again, and it was after midnight when I got to bed. It was a textbook night, though - up every 3 hours almost to the minute. I got up at 9:00, although I didn't want to. I petted the cat and knitted a bit, but that was a problem. I did the first half of the heel and started the second half, then I realized I had screwed up the first half...so I tore out what I thought was the right amount. By that time it was getting late, so I did my exercises and ate breakfast, although I was so late that I didn't get to do my surfing, since I wanted to stop at the post office, to see if it was open, get my mail, and make sure the ladies were meeting this afternoon.


They were, so that is where I spent the afternoon. It was a good group - lots of ladies who weren't there last time - may not have been in town then. Nancy was there, and it was so good to see her. She is extremely thin, but otherwise, she looks good. Apparently her weird diet is working for her.


While I was there, I screwed up the heel again, tore it out again, and I think now I am maybe doing it right. I don't have the slightest idea what I did. I hope to get it done tomorrow morning.


The weather was good for being indoors. the temperature peaked, briefly, at 18, although it was more like 15 for most of the afternoon. There was no wind at all. There were a few flakes of snow, but not much. So of course, I have to drive tomorrow when it is supposed to snow again. Of course.


Oh, and just about the time I was going to leave the house, Ron showed up on the tractor. Jake did get it welded yesterday, and they put it back together this morning. Aaron had done such a good job last night that there wasn't much for him to do here, but it was really good to know the tractor is back in business.


When I got home there was a lot of mail to read. A lot of my tax information came over the weekend, which is probably good. There were some magazines, a lot of catalogs, and the usual pleas for money. Then I did most of my surfing while the talking was on. It's hard to read my funnies when the talking is going on - I used to be better at that than I am anymore - but I did most of it.


Buster sat on my lap for a while, and he seemed happy, but he started walking back and forth on the desk and pushing things on the floor, so when I got my dinner, I shooed him out and closed the door. I know he doesn't like it when I go away for the afternoon, but that's just too bad. He also got really mad at Jasmine, so I guess he's not feeling so good - or my absence is making him nervous.


So that was my day. It seemed to be gone before it started, but that's how it is. I go back to PT tomorrow, and I think it's at 3:00. That's a bit late, but I wanted to get started right away. Now I'm tired again, so I will totter up to the north end and probably read too long again. It's another dark, cold night in the field and there may be snow.


January 18

I read for too long last night, and it was 11:15 before I got to bed. I had a funny feeling in my tummy, and I took some Imodium before I went to bed. As it turned out, I was up about every two hours for most of the night. I can't imagine what the problem was, but I was pretty empty by this morning. I was able to sleep for a while in the morning, and I got up around 10:00, I think. I petted a cat who didn't want to purr this morning, and I did my exercises, a bit truncated because I wasn't sure what I was in for. 


I got to do most of my surfing before I went out to do some snow shoveling. There was an 18" drift in front of the garage and the breezeway, and I needed to clear it away from the breezeway door, because the garage door still isn't going down right. So I was a little later leaving than I had hoped to be. I have always had a hard time estimating how long it will take me to do something. The snow was very fluffy, but there was so much of it that it was heavy. However, I moved enough of it that I could get out the door, with the help of my hiking staff.


The driving was, um, interesting. It wasn't particularly slippery, but any time there was another car, it was kicking up enough snow that visibility would go to zero for a while. I followed a couple of cars from Phoenix, and it didn't help at all that the first guy decided to stop at the Vansville Bar and I came out of the snow cloud to find the second guy almost stopped on the road. Fortunately, I could see well enough to stop in time, but geez! People do the dumbest things in bad weather! There was another guy leading the pack from Mohawk south, but he turned off and I had a clear shot into town. I got there just in time.


I like my new therapist a lot. He gave me the most complete examination of any of them, including looking at my spine and checking my reflexes (huh? What reflexes?). He says he thinks I am making good progress on my legs and that my hip motion is pretty good, except from the back, but he does think there are things they can do to help with my sore back. We will start Thursday.


When I was checking in, who should turn up but my e-friend Ann, who lives at Sedar Bay. It was nice to see her. 


The trip home was a long one. First I got behind a guy driving a very old car, whom I think I've gotten behind before, and he was driving very cautiously. Well, if I drove an old Dodge like that, so would I be. Fortunately, he turned off at Ahmeek. However, not far north of Phoenix, I got behind a plow truck that was plowing and sanding, and wow! He was throwing up such a cloud of snow, I even had trouble seeing where he was, and he wasn't going faster than about 35 mph. Fortunately, he realized I was behind him, and he pulled over around Delaware. I honked at him - I hope he understood what I meant. I wonder what "TX" is in Morse code? The rest of the trip was all right. 


I had to stop at the store for eggs, so I'm not sure when I got home, but it was sometime between 4:00 and 4:30. At the store, I learned that the guy who was going to fix our tractor had to take his wife to the hospital today, so it may be a while before he gets to us.


I was listening to the talking, and it was dark, when I heard something outside, and there was Aaron on his ATV, with treads and a plow, and he did a very nice job of plowing out my driveway. I really appreciate that. Getting out of the garage, both in the car and on foot, was interesting.


Buster seems very happy to see me, although he still isn't purring. I was glad to get home, and I had enough of a disrupted night, and an interesting enough drive that I am tired. I think, instead of trying to write much tonight, I will go up to the north end and read a while.


Oh, the weather. When I went up to the north end last night, it was quiet and nearly calm, but while I was sitting there, I could hear the lake start to sing. In fact, the wind went from 9 mph to 21 mph in about 20 minutes shortly after 9:00.  It peaked around 3:00 am in the 20-35 mph range, but it has been in the 20-30 mph range from the northeast all day. It snowed all night long and pretty much all day long, too, but not enough to show on the NWS rain gauge. The temperature all day was between 12 and 15. While I was driving, I kept going through snow squalls. 


When I was outside, and when I drove down the driveway, I was really surprised by how much snow has fallen. I would say there is about 15-20" in places where it hasn't drifted. That's just in the past five days or so, since the last time Ron plowed. I'm not satisfied yet, because the junipers aren't covered, but if the forecasts pan out, they will be. And I'm still waiting for a good blizzard.


After seeing Aaron's ATV, I want one of those! I wouldn't have any trouble at all getting on one, and then I could clear my driveway the way I want it. I love all these guys for keeping me dug out, but none of them do it the way I would. Unfortunately, I doubt I could rustle up the money to get one, but I may try to talk to him about where he got his and how much it cost. That is something that would be really useful. And, if I could change the treads for a set of wheels, I could go ATVing in the summertime, which has always been one of my dreams. Dream on...


So that was my day. I am going to get help for my back, and my driveway is clear enough that it should last for quite a while. Now I am really tired, so when the Mozart ends (Symphonia Concertante for violin & viola, one of my favorites), I will totter up to the north end and read for a while. It's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field.


January 17

I read for a little longer than I intended, so it was 11:00 when I got to bed. I didn't have a lot of trouble getting to sleep for a change. When I woke up around 1:00, the moon was shining brightly on everything. I woke up again sometime later (I don't remember quite when, but it was at least three hours), and it seemed clear it had started snowing. I woke up around 8:00 and I really didn't want to get up, but after fighting it for half an hour or so, I had to. Buster came and got petted, and I did a somewhat truncated version of my exercises. I was able to do at least part of my morning surfing before it was off to see Johanna.


She worked on my back, and it feels much better. I am going to have to discuss with Dave tomorrow why it gets so tight and what I can do with it. I went by the post office, completely forgetting that it's a holiday, but I did put my letter in the collection box. Then I came home and did nothing for the rest of the afternoon. Massages always leave me tired.


The weather was snowy. It has actually snowed hard enough to register a tenth of an inch or two an hour. There is some accumulation, but not a lot. The temperature rose steadily overnight, like they said it would, and it was about 22 all afternoon. There was some wind this morning, but it died down in the afternoon - all from the southwest, so I gather most of this snow is system snow, not LES. 


I had less trouble getting out of my garage than I might have thought, except that the door wouldn't go down. There is quite a drift in front of the breezeway door, so I guess I will have to move a little snow tomorrow. I think the hinges freeze up. When I go off to town for the afternoon tomorrow, I don't want to leave the door open.


So that was my day, and the music on the radio isn't my favorite - Shostakovich - so I think I will go up to the north end, read a bit more, and try to get to bed a little earlier tonight. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


January 16

I read for a while, then I took a bath, and I got to bed about 10:30. I had a hard time getting to sleep. I think one of the reasons is that I'm reading stuff that is already written. When I'm writing new stuff, I can make myself go to sleep considering which way the story should go next, but when I'm reading the old stuff, especially old stuff that isn't written very well, I have to wait to see what is going to happen. Another reason was that my bunion was very sore. I'm pleased to say that right now, it isn't sore anymore, so maybe I'm over all that. I haven't been able to figure it out, but even with something like that, which ought to be sore all the time, sometimes the soreness goes away and I can sleep. I finally did that, although I was up three or more times during the night.


I was awake around 8:00, but that seemed a bit early, considering how poorly I'd slept, so I went back to sleep. I woke up around 10:00 with not only a very sore bunion, but a very sore left hip. After trying to will it all away for a while, I finally got up around 10:30. Buster was late, so I read for a while, and when he got there, we had a nice love-in, with lots of purrs, and then he gave himself a bath while I knitted.


I did my exercises, so it was noon before I got to the studio, and I didn't do much. I had an accident, so I had to wash what I had on, and I hunted up two more nightgowns, both of which need some repair work. One of them has a split from the yoke right down to my knees in back. I think I have enough of that fabric left that I can patch it. The other one will have to be patched with some other pattern, but that's all right. I really need new nighties. However, I can't see paying $50 or more for a nightgown that I know won't be long enough and won't have long enough sleeves (and I'd have to take out the elastic in the cuffs, too). My nightgowns, at least the flannel ones, are 56" long and have sleeves that are at least 34" long from the center back. I'm not all that tall anymore, but I still have exceptionally long arms...boardinghouse reach, my mother used to call it. it's come in handy more than once. Anyway, one of these days, I need to bite the bullet and do something about the desk, which is so full I can't use it at all right now.


By the way, on the nightgown vs. PJ question. From one point of view, I should probably wear PJs, but the last time I did, which was, I admit, 40 years ago, I had two problems. The pants kept riding up during the night until they cut me in the crotch and the legs were above my knees, and the tops would ride up under my arms, leaving my back all bare and cold. At least if I wear a nightgown that's long enough, it seldom gets much above my knees. 


I remember waking up one weekend morning with the window open and realizing that the top of my babydolls was under my armpits, and my whole backside was visible through the window, if anybody should have happened to notice. That was when I was living in the house where the bedroom looked out on my neighbor's driveway, and the houses were not more than 15' apart. I planted a tamarisk out there, in the hope that it would screen my bedroom window, but who knows what they might have seen? I still love that little house and the little yard that I landscaped so nicely, but it wasn't fun living so close to my neighbors. That's one reason I love it here so much.


Anyway, I still don't feel all that great, although there were no night sweats last night, and no sneezing spells today, so I think I'm beginning to get over it. Lots of glop drains out of my sinuses, especially at night after I take my bath, but that's probably a good thing. So I didn't do much.


After I finished my daily surfing, I read the end of the "0" episode of the old stories in four binders, and I hauled up the first binder and started rewriting the "1" episode. It's a real rewrite. Not only wasn't the original very well written, so much has changed in my thinking that the details won't be too close to the original story. But that's all right. It's part of the canon, and I want to get it right. Actually, all of the stories will be rewrites.  As I mentioned last night, I was formulating my thoughts in the direction they have now gone, and there is a lot of superfluous and boring talk, as well as too much openness about certain things. At least I have the feeling I'm possibly doing something creative.


I think I have decided to get that kit I saw before Christmas. It is from one of my favorite needlework designers (Drawn Thread) and I think it would be fun to do, since it's all alphabets. I could get just the chart, but she uses silk, and if I have those colors of Needlepoint Silk, they are buried in the basement and it's highly unlikely I could find them. So I will have something to embroider. I have the itch to pick up a needle.


Oh, it's nice to have an itch to do anything!


I am also thinking about a pair of little bags for my toilet seat covers. I lost the last little one sometime last fall, and they need to be in something. I looked the other day, and I have enough fabrics left over from the two tote bags I made last year to make one for my pocket and one for my purse. When I spent time at Nancy's Notions a week or so ago (that's where the cat fleece came from), I was happy to see that there weren't any kits I couldn't do without. I still need a nice looking tote that I can use as a large purse, which will hold everything in my purse plus my planner and my knitting, but I haven't seen any patterns that would do. So I suppose I will have to try to do something of my own. So far, I've been using a small denim tote, which isn't very interesting and doesn't have pockets, etc., and won't hold everything anyway. So when I go someplace where I need both my planner and my checkbook, I have to take both the tote and my purse, which I hate.


Actually, I hate purses. Ever since I retired, when I am wearing jeans, my wallet and my keys are in my jeans pockets, so there are a lot of places I can go with no purse at all. It's really nice, and I feel my wallet is a lot safer in my pants pocket. But now I keep going places where I need my knitting, my planner, my cell phone (which I won't do without, after the blowout), and my checkbook, and I can't keep all those things in my pockets or even in my largest purse. I hate to be so encumbered, but that's the way things are. Men carry briefcases or some kind of purse. My briefcase is too heavy and doesn't hold enough.


Oh, it's nice to have an itch to do something!


The weather was not conducive to doing anything. It was cold. The temperature was right around 11 all day. I guess it did snow a bit, but not much. The wind died down to nothing this afternoon, and the lake is quiet. Late this afternoon, there were even a few rays of sunshine, sort of weird, but a nice change from the clouds. It was partly clear at sunset. However, with the clearer skies, the temperature has dropped some more, and it is now 2 (at 8:00 pm). Now, that's pretty cold. It was a good day to stay inside and hibernate.


So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end. I have a busy week - Johanna on Monday, PT on Tuesday, and Carolyn's on Wednesday - and I need my beauty rest. It's a partly clear, cold, cold night in the field.


January 15

Good grief, it's the middle of January already! Eek!


I still don't have it right. I went up to the north end early last night, and I read for a while, but I found what I was reading seemed boring - I was formulating my current thinking, and there was a lot of useless and boring talk - so I was in bed by 9:30. I thought that would mean I would get up early. Hah. I did wake up around 6:30, I think, but that was too early, so I went back to bed, and the next time I woke up was 10:15. Wow. 


When I went into the bathroom, Buster was sitting by the cabinet, waiting for me, so we had a good love-in and I knitted for a while. I now have 10 rows left before the heel. Then I did my exercises, and that meant it was noon before I got to the office. In the meantime, Buster had barfed on my pill dispensers, and I learned again that they aren't waterproof, so I have some pretty yucky pills to take next week. He was barfing hair, so that has to be part of his problem. The other night, he threw up a bunch of the twine that had been used to bind the rib roast together. I hope none of it stayed in him. That probably didn't do his tummy any good, either. He has been sitting on my lap purring, and he didn't want any of my dinner.


I didn't do much today, but there was one task, and I completed it. The flannel nightie I have been wearing is so old that the fabric was beginning to split, so I did some fast and dirty mending today. I really need to make some new nightgowns, but the prospect of having to clear off the desk to cut them out has deterred me. One thing I just never thought about when I specified this room was that I should have made a place for my wonderful cutting table. Well, it's too late now for that, so I will just have to make do. The table is in the basement, but it has stuff on it and around it, and I doubt I could clear it off enough to use, and besides, I'd have to take all my tools downstairs. Anyway, there were three pairs of underpants that were losing their elastic (after about two wearings - things aren't made like they used to be!), so I stitched them up, too. I looked at the other nightie, but it seems to be intact, so far. I patched it up a couple of years ago, and the patches seem to be OK.


The weather was kind of fun, if you weren't going anywhere. It apparently snowed all night, and when the wind shifted around to the northeast (between 3:00 and 4:00 am), it began to rise into the 25-40 mph range, and the lake began to speak. It has been roaring pretty good all day long, and the wind has stayed nearly as strong. It snowed quite a lot, and there are drifts up against the garage door and out in front of the studio. it was a rather dark, dismal day. However, the barometer has risen quite a lot. The temperature has really bottomed out. It was 21 or so at midnight, but it fell all night long, and it has been around 11 all day - with a wind chill of -10 or colder. It was a good day to stay in.


The barometer seems to have a lot to do with how creaky I am. Yesterday it was low and I was very creaky. Today it was higher, and I felt much better. Doing my shoulder exercises wasn't nearly as painful. After my long sleep, I do feel better than I did yesterday, but I'm still not up to par, and I'm still not hungry. Besides, I have the horrible feeling I am having a gout attack in my right bunion. I was just reading about the one I had in 2001 in the hospital, and this feels pretty nearly the same although not as painful, at least yet. Probably it is because of all the beef, and I will have to bear that in mind. Maybe it's just a passing thing and it will go away in a day or so.


This evening I read off the end of the story I'd been reading (from the blue binder) and petted the cat. Now I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early again. I am going to pass on church tomorrow. I'm afraid they had a lot more snow down the peninsula, and getting out of my driveway could be a problem, too. It's a very cold, windy, snowy night in the field.


January 14

The best laid plans, and all that. I read for a while when I got up to the north end, and I actually got to bed by 10:30. However, I had one of those nights, and as usual, I don't know why. Actually, I think I have some kind of mild upper respiratory thing, because, among other things, sitting up or lying down too fast makes me dizzy. Since it happens when I lie down sometimes, it's not vascular. I've had this before. Besides, my sinuses are running a whole lot more than they usually do, and I have at least one sneezing fit a day. Also, I'm not very hungry, which is a good sign all is not well.


Anyway, I was up frequently all night long, and I didn't get very much deep sleep. By about 8:15, I was beginning to feel like I'd been in bed too long, so I got up - before sunrise, for heaven's sake! I had to turn on the lights in the bathroom, and I say again, I hate compact fluorescents. I like a light that comes all the way on when you flip the switch. Buster was still asleep, so I read until he appeared, then I petted him and knitted a bit, and then I did 45 minutes of exercises, so it was still 10:30 before I got to the studio.


Unfortunately, because I didn't feel very well, I didn't do anything with my long day. I began to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight, and I hunted up the receipt for my taxes to send to the mortgage company (this mortgage runs by HUD rules, which are typically full of red tape).


Mostly, I sat in the sunshine. Yes, we had some sunshine today. It actually cleared up before dawn. While I didn't see the moon set, I woke up around 7:00 to see a bright star over the lighthouse. I thought it was Jupiter, but not according to my charts, so I guess it was Capella. It kept getting covered by clouds, but it was definitely there. The sun rose, and it was very pretty shining on the harbor, which seems to have a lot of ice on it again. And while I was doing my surfing, the sun was shining in the windows and it felt really good. Buster thought so, too, except that a while ago, he peed under the south windows, so I kept an eye on him.


The weather was the usual, except for the sun. Since it was clear this morning, the temperature got down to 10 at about 8:00, but it rose quickly and it was 24 for most of the afternoon. There was essentially no wind. However, the barometer is plummeting, and it is going to snow tomorrow.


Our tractor is out for repairs, so I guess I'll be home for the weekend. Actually, if the forecast pans out, there's no way I want to try to go to church anyway. Gee, now that I can go sometimes, I really miss it.


So now I will totter up to the north end, after I ready the dishwasher, and try to get to bed early again tonight. I would really like to get back on this schedule, provided I can sleep at night. It's nice to have a long day, should I want to do anything.


It clouded up late in the afternoon, so it's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but the wind is still calm. Oh, it's coming...


January 13

Well, I looked at a catalog, then when I got up to the north end, I read for quite a while, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I've decided I am going to aim for 10:00 tonight, and see if I can't get back onto a human schedule. I seem to need at least 10 hours' sleep, so that means I should be up by 9:00 at most. We'll see how it works.


Anyway, I didn't get up until 11:00 or so, and since the cat wasn't around right then, I read off the end of the first volume of the stories I had been reading - the really old ones. I wanted to finish that volume, because the first story in it follows one of the ones I recently finished, and I would like to start rewriting it. If I can't do any crafting, at least I might be able to write, if I ever have any time to do it. Then Buster appeared, so I petted him and knitted a few rounds, then I did my exercises, and it was after noon before I got to the studio. Sigh.


All I did was my surfing. I was going to read a while after the talking stopped, but I decided to do this and then see. If I start for the north end by 9:00, maybe I can reach my goal. We'll see.


The weather was the usual. We did have some snow off and on today, I think it snowed all night, from what I couldn't see down the harbor, but around 1:00, I woke up to see the quarter moon shining through the clouds. It was there a while later when I got up, but when I came back to bed, it was gone behind the snow. The temperature today was right around 22 all day long, although it has now dropped to 15. There wasn't much wind and it came from all over the map. It was dark and cloudy and snowy. but I don't think there was much accumulation. It looked like maybe an inch over my tracks from yesterday.


I was a bit embarrassed by someone who quoted me on the PastyCam about George. Hey - I don't know any more than anybody else does, I only read his Facebook page, and I know what he's been through in the past. Please, please don't take me for an authority on these things! I don't have any contacts in Eagle Harbor who might be able to tell me more, and as a rule I don't spend a lot of time on other people's business. But I know several people have asked me about George, and I was concerned about him myself - for the reasons I explained last night. I've never met him in person, although we've talked via email.


So that was another quiet day, and I'll be off to the north end soon. It's another snowy, wintry night in the field.


January 12

I forgot to mention last night that PastyNet was having a problem with one of their nodes all day yesterday, and we had several outages while something rebooted itself. Whatever it was, they seem to have it back under control today, and everything has been working fine.


Well, I started reading when I got to the north end, and it ended up that I didn't get to bed until after 1:00, I think (I looked, but I don't remember). I slept well, and I got up around 10:30 or so. I was awake about an hour earlier and Buster was complaining at me, but I ignored him. It was so comfy in my nice warm bed! So I petted him and knitted until I placed the 50 row marker on the sock, then I did my exercises. That takes a long time, so it was after noon when I got to the studio.


My main task for the day was to go to the post office, so I didn't get much of my surfing done before I left, because I had a slight accident and had to change my clothes. Which reminds me, the jeans are still in the washer. I made it before the daily pickup, and I  came home from the post office with a bale of mail - mostly catalogs and pleas for money, as usual - and two large boxes, one of which didn't need to be nearly as large as it was.


Williams-Sonoma had marked down their stollen, which is made in Germany, and I love stollen, so I got one. I had a little for dessert, and it is very good, although the dough is much dryer and more crumbly than most stollen I've had. The instructions say to heat it or toast it, and I will try that. I will also probably have to freeze some of it, because it's a big thing.


So looking at my mail took quite a while, then I finished my surfing and listened to the talking. I read while I ate my dinner, and I had to throw Buster out of the office. Apparently he doesn't like it at all when I grab him under the forearms and throw him out, so when I started to do that, he beat it on his own. Not that he was happy about it, but I get very tired of his hovering over my food, especially when he can't have any. 


I had a sweet potato tonight, and I enjoyed that, too. I keep forgetting to check whether I got a French fry cutter with my food processor. I have heard about a way to make sweet potato French fries in the oven, and I'd like to try it, but cutting up even one potato by hand would bore me.


The weather was blah again, although it did snow, especially this morning. I don't think there was much accumulation, but there were lots of flakes coming down. The temperature dropped all night and it was about 24 all afternoon. There was a strong northeast wind, in the 15-35 mph range. I felt it when I was at the post office, but I'm sheltered on that side, so it didn't do much here.


One short note, for those who don't follow Facebook or the PastyCam - George Hite is in California with his family, and while whoever posted on the EagleHarborWeb wall didn't say much, it sounds like he had another episode in the hospital, which I was sorry to hear. At least this time he was in San Diego, where they have very good medical facilities. He is apparently too weak to try to update the website, for which I and a lot of other people are very sorry. I did so enjoy his writing! We can only hope he'll recover again. The man is a medical miracle. He had been having serious problems before I had my stem cell transplant, and he was a real inspiration to me. Lately it's seemed he has had to have open hear surgery every winter.


So now it is time to toddle up to the north (after I get rid of my beef bone) and probably read some more. It's another dark, cold, windy and snowy night in the field.


January 11

Hey! Today is 1/11/11 - another magic number day! Actually, yesterday was 1/10/2011, which was another magic number. Neat.


I got to reading again last night, and I read until I could hardly keep my eyes open, so I didn't get to bed until midnight. I had a wakeful hour or so between 7:00 and 8:00, but then I zonked out again, and it was almost noon when I woke up. I will try to be a bit earlier tonight. 


Buster had gone off, so I read and did a little knitting until he turned up, then I petted him a bit before I did my exercises. I am going to have to consult Dave about my shoulders. They hurt, so I'm not doing something right, or maybe I've done everything I can.


Other than that, I was so late that I didn't do anything. I was going to go to the post office, but I was so late that I couldn't. I needed to find the form and the envelope for my prescriptions, and I finally did that, so I will go tomorrow, a little early so the envelope will go out tomorrow. And that was it.


The weather was dark and dull and a bit windy, but the wind was from the east (15-25 mph), and the only way I noticed it was that the ice all got pushed out of our end of the harbor, and I noticed the wind making little eddies in the water. The temperature was right around 26 all day long. It evidently snowed some between noon and 1:00, but it was very fine snow and I was otherwise engaged at that point. I did notice that the lake was speaking.


After the talking was over, I read some more while I had my dinner, and I shut the door on Buster to get some peace. Even though he barfed the other night, he still thinks he wants beef, and I don't think I can convince him he doesn't, except by keeping him away from me.


So it's another dark, cloudy, windy and rather noisy night in the field.


January 10

Tonight is the night to crash.


It is also the tenth anniversary of my "re-birthday", as they called it in the hospital. Ten years ago tonight, I had my stem cells back, and the first step was over. Next, they had to implant themselves, then I had to try to recover from all the chemo, and then I had to pray that it had worked. While they do bone marrow transplants for other reasons (in leukemia, for example, it's because it's the marrow that is cancerous), for my condition, the reason was that they had to give me enough chemo that it killed off all my bone marrow. So there were several milestones - the stem cells had to implant themselves in my long bones and my hip bones, then we just had to wait and see if they had given me enough chemo to kill off every last cancer cell. That I am sitting here, ten years later, writing this, indicates that it did. There is no guarantee that I won't have some other form of cancer eventually (soft tissue cancers do happen fairly frequently in lymphoma survivors), and it is even possible that the lymphoma could recur, but if it does, it won't be because there are still cancer cells left from the last occurrences. Hey, you gotta die of something, right? I figure that the third kind and I'm out. Of course, I could die of something totally unrelated. In the meantime, I'm enjoying being here, and being in the place I love best.


I read for far too long last night - I do like the episode I'm reading, so I just kept on. Then I had to take a bath, so it was 2:45 before I got to bed. I had some trouble staying asleep. My left leg and both shoulders were sore, and I was up twice before 6:00, and the last time, I think I sat and dozed in the bathroom for nearly half an hour. Then I zonked out for nearly four hours. I woke up at 10:00. I had to pee, and I didn't want to get up, but I figured, oh, well.


One reason I was so late getting to bed was that when I got to the north end, I discovered that Buster had barfed all over the floor in the bathroom. I strongly suspect he got into the juice from the beef, and he really is allergic to it. No wonder he didn't want any ice cream last night. So I had to wipe that off the floor and the counter - and my pill dispensers - before I did anything else.


I didn't do a thing today, except wash the last load of clothes, which are waiting in the dryer now. Tomorrow. I made an appointment for my next round of PT, and this time I got the therapist I want, or at least I hope I do. Everybody else I've talked to about that place has had Dave for their therapist, and I was feeling left out. I hear he is really wonderful. We'll see what happens. Anyway, because he's so popular, I won't get to see him until next Tuesday, but that's all right. I can continue to do the exercises I know about.


The weather was really blah today. It didn't even snow more than a few flakes. The temperature was around 26 all day, and there was hardly any wind. It was dark and dismal.


Tonight I started reading again, and I have only 50 pages to go (that's typed pages), so I will read them before I crash. I really had to wash my hair last night, but I don't think I need to do that tonight, and I don't think I'm going to. It's a dark, calm night in the field, but there doesn't look like there will be any more snow for a while.


January 9

Well, I'm doing it again, and this has got to stop. I read for a while on the computer, and I read for a long while in the bathroom, and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. It will be later tonight. 


I got up around 10:00, and petted a cat and knitted a sock and did my exercises. I have started doing my arm exercises with the cane again. After using the pulley, I found myself with some pains that felt like rotator cuff problems, so I think I was being too vigorous. That's harder to do with the cane, and besides, then I can do them with the rest of my morning stuff.


I didn't do much, but I did get three loads of clothes washed. I have lots more clothes to wash in the winter. I still have the load of underwear to do, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.


Tonight I cooked my rib roast. I use the convection roast and probe so seldom that it took me a while to figure out how to set it up - press "start" only once, please. Oh. Anyway, it took a while to cook, but less than it would have in a regular oven, and it came out just perfect. I was very pleased to find that it is one of the more tender rib roasts I have had lately (although I certainly don't have them often!). I've had some tough steaks from Pat's, but this was very tender and quite tasty. I have to say that there is nothing quite as delicious as the aroma of standing rib roasting in the oven. The tenderloin I had a couple of weeks ago didn't smell nearly as much.


Buster was all over me while it was cooking, but when I brought my dinner into the studio and said "NO!", he got up and went away. I guess throwing him out the door has had an effect. So I got to eat my dinner in peace. I offered him some ice cream, but that wasn't what he wanted. Too bad about him.


The weather was blah. The temperature was between 20 and 25 all day, and the wind had dropped to nothing. It was very dark and cloudy, but there were only a few flakes of snow. Blah.


Ron came around 5:00 to clean out the driveway, so I went out and helped cut down the drift in front of the garage, and I shoveled out the breezeway door. I really need at least one door (other than the garage door) leading to the outside, and it's too hard to keep the front door cleared. He had a piece of the impeller from the blower in his hand. It's the same one that came apart a couple of years ago and Aaron welded it, and the weld broke. Hopefully, he can weld it again. Neither of us can afford a new impeller right now. The blower works, but not as efficiently as it should, so I'll be interested to see what Ron does. It is quite a production to do any work on the tractor, especially something like that, when they have to take almost the entire blower apart.


So that was my day, and I read and read with Buster on my lap, and now I must totter up to the north end. It's a cold, dark night in the field, but I don't think it's snowing.


January 8
This will be short, I think.


I read on the computer and when I got to the north end, I read some more, and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I slept, of course, but I woke up around 9:15 and decided I might as well get up. I thought I might go to bed early tonight and try to go to church tomorrow, but there is enough snow in my driveway, and enough drifting, that I decided not. So it's late again. Oh, well.


I didn't do much at all. I had French toast for breakfast, which means it was late, and I had tortellini for dinner, and I washed at least one pan. I did all my exercises, but my back was bothering me today and I was very creaky. It probably has something to do do with all my exertions for the past two days.


The weather was about the same. It continued to snow lightly, on and off, all day, but not hard enough to register at the NWS station.  It was very windy overnight, but the wind has died down to around 15 mph and moved around a bit to almost the north. The temperature hovered right around 24 all day long, and it has so far only dropped off a little. It was dark and dull. The wind pushed all the ice away from our shoreline and down toward the fort, which was interesting. Probably it will blow back in a day or two.


I read for most of the afternoon, on the computer rather than the magazine I was going to read, but that's all right. Buster spent a long time on my lap, and a long time walking around. I gave him more food around 4:00, and he may have eaten all that. Jasmine is happy, because the feeders are out, and she can watch the critters on the deck. The feeder on the deck is buried, but the birds and the squirrels both know it is there, and they dig through the snow to find it. The bird I couldn't identify the other day seems to be a chipping sparrow, although with his feathers all fluffed out, he looks bigger than usual. It has to get much colder before the chickadees and nuthatches fluff up, and I don't recall ever having seen a junco do that.


I think it was this morning that I re-read my January 2001 journal. Monday is the 10th anniversary of the day they infused my stem cells. Oh, I was sick that month! However, the whole thing worked, and I started making cells in 8 days, which is near the minimum time, and I am still cancer-free, so it was worth it. I guess I can have a JD to celebrate the occasion. More on Monday.


Now I really must totter up to the north end and take a bath, even if I'm not going out tomorrow. It's a cold, snowy night in the field.


January 7

I finished reading my Piecework magazine before I went up to the north end and read some more, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, with no night sweats and only two wakeups. I think I was awake around 8:00, but that was too early, so it was 10:00 before I got up. Buster was nowhere to be found, so I got up and did my exercises before I got dressed.


I wanted to leave fairly early, so I didn't get to do all my morning surfing before I left, around 12:45. I'll get to the roads in a minute. I stopped at the glass company and the sash is now in the back of my car. Then I went off to the clinic, where I met one of the ladies from church who was filling in at a reception desk. They have moved the labs up to the first floor of the clinic part, which I like, since I won't have to use the elevator and walk all over the place. I saw the doctor, and I have all my prescriptions, including one for more PT. I had to stop and get some blood work done - the oncologist doesn't check a few important things about me. 


Then I went off to Pat's for, I thought, a few things. Hah. I should know better. I went for salad dressing, but I wanted to replenish my Chinese stuff, and I looked at the beef because I found a pot roast recipe that I want to try. Well. They had a nice little standing rib roast, and I think it was on special - the holidays are over and they wanted to get rid of them. This one is a bit big for me, but it is square, which the other, smaller one wasn't. My mama instructed me a very long time ago that standing rib cooks best if the roast is square. I also got some fresh tortellini and some marinara sauce, so I guess the pea soup is postponed until next week.


After  that, I had to get gas. In weather like we're having, I like to keep my tank as nearly full as I can. So it was 4:00 before I left Calumet.


It took me an hour to get home, although it didn't take me that long to get to Calumet. It snowed, sometimes quite hard, all the time I was out, and there were times when the visibility dropped to nearly zero. Fortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of traffic, although I had to pass a plow in Mohawk. Needless to say, the roads were all snow-covered, although it was cold enough that it wasn't that slippery. Coming home, where they hadn't plowed yet, I ran into a few slippery spots, but not many.


Otherwise the weather was, well, wintry. It snowed all day, sometimes harder than others, but pretty constantly, and the winds were very strong. The temperature here got up to 20 this afternoon, but it was considerably colder - like 10 or so - in Calumet. Pumping gas in the snow with a very brisk wind, in the 25-35 mph range from the east-northeast - wasn't very comfortable at all, although I did wear my parka, fortunately. The wind hit a max of 40 mph here around 7:00 pm, and it hasn't died down much, if any, since. Even here, there has been quite a bit of snow, although my tracks were still sort of visible when I turned into the driveway.


So now I'm tired. One always has to be alert while driving in this weather, and I have a tendency to grip the steering wheel rather hard - with both hands. I will say that I could walk around in the snow with no trouble, although my steps were a little shorter than on dry ground. I didn't feel wobbly or like I might slip. That was good, because I just decided to leave the cane at home.


So I accomplished my tasks for the day, and that was good. Now I have to try to get the window sash installed. I'm not sure whether I can lift it or not, but if I can, I think I should be able to put it in. We'll see. 


When I got home, after the talking stopped, I read for quite a while with a happy cat dozing on my lap. He didn't like it that he didn't get his morning pet, I closed the studio door on him so I could eat my breakfast in peace, and then I went off for the whole afternoon. Now he is happy again, because his mama is home. Poor Buster. 


Now it is time to totter up to the north end and crash. I have had two rather active days, and my legs feel like they've been walked on, and I'm tired. It's a snowy, windy, wintry night in the field, and it's time to hibernate.


January 6 - The Epiphany of our Lord

Now the Christmas season is officially over with. It sure does go by fast.


I got to bed around 11:00 last night, I think, but I didn't sleep well for some reason not known to me. I think I'm fighting some kind of bug, so I was hot and my nose ran a bit. I finally did get to sleep, but not until after 3:00. I was just about to get up at 10:00 when the plumber called, so I got up, petted the cat, did some exercises and got dressed, and I was just finishing my breakfast when he arrived. 


It turned out to be a frustrating and useless day. The plumber has no idea what is going on with my heating system. He did a few things, and drained some sludge out of the pipes under the bathroom, and he just can't find out what is going wrong. He did change the water filter, and boy, did it need it! Now I hope my water will be a little less cruddy and the pressure will be a little higher.


Then around 3:00, Mike came and fiddled and fiddled for three hours and finally replaced my client and went home. It seems like they will have to reposition the new gizmo higher in the air - probably on the corner of the great room - in order to get it to work properly, and in the dark and the cold that wasn't an option tonight. So that was frustrating, too.


Obviously, I didn't do much else, although while Mike was fiddling, I did get some trash gathered up and out of the studio. I was proud of myself this morning, though. I was able to do the basement stairs twice and I stood and talked to the plumber for the better part of an hour. I was getting tired by the time we came upstairs and sat down, but nothing like I would have been last summer. It's so great to be able to behave sort of like a normal human again!


I was going to make pea soup today, but after the plumber left, I was just too tired. Saturday will do. I had chicken and spinach cannelloni with Alfredo sauce for dinner, and that was yummy. Buster thought so, too.


After the talking, I read for a while, and I will probably read a little more before I take my bath. I also printed some note cards, with some difficulty, and not very nicely. For some reason the right-hand eighth of an inch of each picture (there are two on every sheet) is coming out smeared and lacking one color, usually black. I had to change the black cartridge, even though it was saying it was only half used, in order to get my list of meds to print at all. I'm not sure what's wrong with the thing now, but of course, I don't use it much, and it is partly broken. What a pain. I will get a new one when I get my new hardware, but I didn't want to do that for at least a couple of months.


The weather was very wintry. It snowed more or less hard all day long, and it looked like we got at least 6 inches. There was a strong wind, in the 20-35 mph range, from the north-northeast, which is good for me, since I am sheltered from that side. The temperature was about 24 at midnight, and it dropped slowly all day, until now it is around 15. It was dark and dreary. The ice is extending out into the harbor more every day, and someday soon it will be possible to walk on it. This is supposed to last through Saturday, at least. It is nice, light, fluffy snow, though, so it isn't so bad. Sometime soon I will have to clear out in front of the breezeway door, since that's how we're coming and going this year. It was cold out.


While Mike was fooling with the broadband client, I refilled the bird feeders, and I was happy to see the little birds at them almost at once. In fact, the first bird I saw was a chickadee pecking at the suet cake on the other side of the cedar feeder. There were juncos on the deck, as well as a sparrow of some kind, although it was fluffed up enough and it was dark enough that I'm not quite sure what kind it was. Juncos? I thought they had all gone south, but I guess not. The squirrels weren't here yet, although I bet they will be tomorrow. I like squirrels, but I do wish they wouldn't raid my bird feeders.


So now it is time to toddle up to the north end, if I can get Buster off my arms. It's a dark, snowy, windy night in the field.


January 5

I finished reading the first story I need to rewrite and started the second one last night, so it was after midnight when I got to bed, I think. I had some problems falling asleep, but I think I was warm. Finally I did, and I slept well after that. I got up around 9:45, and Buster was hanging around, so he got a good pet, and I finished the ribbing on the rose sock. Then I did some exercising, so it was late when I got to the studio. I didn't get all my surfing done before it was time to go off to Carolyn's.


It was a nice group today - all the regulars, but there were only 8 of us, which was nice. It was still not possible to keep track of all the conversations, but I tried. They liked the angel a lot and they were a little bemused by the shawl with the nupps. I don't want to take the triangular one until I block it, and I haven't gotten around to that. So we had a nice afternoon. Carolyn's birthday is tomorrow, and we all wished her a good one. She isn't shy about saying how old she is, but I won't tell anyway. She is remarkable. She has more energy than I ever did. I took along a pound of See's candy, and she seemed pleased by that. She didn't put it out, since she had a bunch of other stuff, and I hope she'll eat it all herself.


So that took up the afternoon. When I got home, I called the plumber, and he just called back to say he won't be here right at the crack of dawn, so that's good. I don't think he wants to come at all, because I don't think he knows what to do about my problem. However, we'll see tomorrow.


The weather wasn't quite what they had predicted, I don't think. We didn't get more than a dusting of snow, and there was hardly any wind. The temperature got up to 22 for a while this afternoon, and it was wasn't bad outside.


So that was a nice, social day, and I think I will go up to the north end early anyway. Buster was not pleased that I went away, and he was going to pee under the computer desk to show me so, until I screeched at him. I want to hang up the angel again. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, and they are saying it is going to snow. We'll see.


January 4

Now I can't remember exactly what I did last night, but I did read a bit when I got to the north end, and I went to bed around 12:30. I was up around 2:30 to change my nightie, but after that I slept well. I got up around 9:30, and since Buster was still asleep somewhere, I knitted, and got a good part of the ribbing on the rose sock done. Then I did my exercises and all that.


I managed to get my phone calls made today, for a change. I had a long conversation with the plumber, and he will be coming Thursday, if I call him tomorrow. And I will be going down to Laurium on Friday to get my prescriptions and talk to the doctor about more physical therapy. I know, there's a lake effect snow warning out, and 100% probability of snow on Friday, but I keep thinking, if I could take my computer to Houghton in a blizzard, I should be able to take myself to the doctor.


Mike and I kept missing each other all day, but he will probably be here on Thursday, too, to swap out my client. He says my signal is marginal, even though I haven't had any problems lately, so maybe it will be even better afterwards. And there was that one time that the client lost its mind...


I missed Mike because I went to the post office, where all my favorite magazines came, as well as one of my favorite catalogs, so now I have lots more reading material. I stopped at the store for eggs and lettuce and forgot milk. My mind... Anyway, they had carrots, so now I can make pea and/or bean soup if I want to. Yum. This is good weather for that.


The weather was about the same. The temperature was around 20 until 7:00 this evening, when it took a dip. There wasn't much wind except around noon, when it got into the 15-25 mph range from the north for a while, but then it sort of wavered around and died down. There was a little snow over night,  maybe a few snowflakes early in the day, a short squall around 1:30, and another one around 4:00, and it has apparently been snowing steadily since 6:00 or 7:00. There is a lake effect watch in effect from tomorrow night through Saturday morning, although as we know, that is subject to change. 


This evening, I read a little on the computer and looked through the catalog. It's the Nordic Needle catalog, and they have so much nice stuff! However, I was pleased to see there wasn't a lot on my list when I was done going through it. They continue to have new and lovely embroidery scissors that I'd like to add to my collection, and there were a few charts. This is their major catalog for the year, and I like having it, because it has complete lists of all the threads they carry. It is interesting to me that, while the cross stitch fad died down some years ago, new threads have continued to appear on the market. Some of them I've never seen, and it's tempting to get a skein of each just to see what they're like. Well, maybe sometime...I keep thinking about all the computer hardware I need. 


So that was my day, and I guess I didn't get enough sleep last night, because I'm tired now, so it's time to trudge up to the north end and try to get to bed early. I was delighted to see that the first meeting of the Ladies' Handwork group is tomorrow, and I want to go to that, so it would be good to get up at a reasonable hour. Now it's a cold, dark, snowy night in the field.


January 3

So last night, I started reading another new book, Cooking for Geeks, so it was about midnight when I got to bed. It's not exactly a cookbook, at least not so far, it seems to be more about philosophy. It also seems aimed mostly at guys, although since the author uses analogies from computer programming, I'm relatively comfortable with it. Whether it will teach me anything new about cooking is another question.


It was windy, but the wind had shifted to the north, which I could tell by the way it was hitting the upstairs. It was comfortable in the bedroom and the bathroom, although not as warm as it should be.


I got up around 10:45, because I got a phone call from the guy who is going to replace my wireless client. I think he wanted to come over then, but he wouldn't do it when I had just gotten up. So we missed another opportunity. Oh, well. Eventually he'll do it, because it has a node in it to give the people at the Fort wireless broadband. There had been one ring of the phone at 10:30, which didn't register on my caller ID, so I don't know what that was about, and I just didn't feel like getting up then.


So I knitted a bit, petted a cat a bit, and did a few exercises. That was about all. I had some ideas of things I wanted to do, but my surfing took a long time, so they didn't get done. I did get the dishwasher completely unloaded, and that was good. 


The weather was sort of blah. The wind had died down by the time I got up, but it snowed lightly off and on all day. I don't think there was any accumulation, just flakes coming down lazily. The temperature was just about steady around 20. The winds were calm (at least at the NWS station) for a good part of the afternoon, and I don't trust where they say they're coming from now, still very light. It was dark and dreary. At least it's cold, and it's snowing.


After dinner tonight, I read on one of the episodes in the computer and did a little surfing at a website from a company I simply can not get to send me either emails or catalogs anymore. I don't know why, and if what I did tonight doesn't work, I am going to call them and tell them to delete both my accounts(!) and I will start over from scratch. They have wonderful sewing stuff, but their online presence stinks, and it always has.


So now it's time to toddle up to the north end again. It has finally gotten warm in the studio. It was 66 when I got here this morning, and it is now 70 (with the thermostat set at 80). I had several phone calls I was going to make today, and I just didn't. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day. Now it's a dark, cold and probably snowy night in the field.


January 2

Last night, I took the last three months of Sky & Telescope up to the north end with me and read two of them before I got into my flannel nightie and got to bed around 11:30, maybe. It was 66 in the bedroom and 69  in the bathroom, which, while not right, was at least tolerable. I slept well, although I hate having the blinds closed. I like to look out. I have the feeling there wasn't much to see, though. It started snowing before I went up to the north end, and it may still be snowing now, although I can see the lights of town for a change. Anyway, I slept pretty well with the covers almost over my head. Even with long hair, my ear gets cold.


I got up around 9:00 because I had to, and since Buster was nowhere to be found, I finished the purple sock! Whew! I know those socks will be useful, but they aren't the prettiest ones I've ever knit. Now I can go on to the second rose sock, which may not be very useful but is certainly very pretty. I may cast that on tonight.


I knew it would be cold in the great room, and it was about 56 when I checked the thermostat, which is by the patio doors. However, when I came into the studio, it was only 62, even though I had the door almost closed. For heaven's sake! There isn't any excuse for that. So I put on my fleece jacket over my heavy sweatshirt, and I was mostly comfortable, but not very happy. Finally, it has gotten up to 65 in here, which feels warm by comparison, but still. I have the thermostat set at 80. I guess I'll be calling the plumber tomorrow. When I went downstairs to get my pasty, I checked in the mechanical room, and I can't see or feel anything wrong, but it sure is. None of the floors are very warm, and none of the rooms are anywhere near as warm as they should be. I am not pleased.


Anyway, when I got up, it was snowing and it continued to snow all day long, as anybody looking at the camera could see. It was blowing, too. The NWS station reported 10-25 mph winds, but they were from the west mostly, and the station is quite sheltered in that direction. I'm sure they were much stronger out here. The temperature was around 16 for most of the day, but it finally rose to 21, briefly.


Around 2:00, I think, Ron came by in the tractor and cleared my driveway, and I shoveled around the breezeway door, although the garage door is behaving itself right now. I still think the hinges were frozen, and the thaw got the water out of them. It wasn't bad on that side of the house, sheltered from the wind. It looked like we had had 3" or 4" of snow, and I think another inch or two fell afterwards. They had more in the higher elevations. It is so cold out that the snow is that very fine variety that looks like a lot when you see it coming down, but it doesn't accumulate very much.


When I was knitting, I heard something whiz by on the road a couple of times, and I thought it was the tractor, but according to Ron, it was probably Aaron out plowing with his ATV. That's really nice of him, and it leaves Ron free to do driveways and things. He was going to check for drifting down in the culverts, but I don't think we have that much snow on the ground yet. 


It sure is nice to see all that bare ground covered up, though. One of the worst things I remember about gardening in Grosse Pointe was when the temperature would get down into the teens and there was no snow on the ground. That was sure to freeze some of the more tender plants, like the roses. I don't have to worry about that here, at least yet, but I still like to see a good covering of snow to insulate everything. And I don't like that yellowish color the weeds in back get at this time of year. Now, if we can only get the junipers covered...


Since George Hite seems to be out of commission (nobody has heard from him since he posted to Facebook around the end of October, and I'm afraid for him), I am going to call the Road Commission tomorrow and see if I can get caught up on the snowfall for this season so far. I will try to post it on the camera page, right above the picture. I don't want to bother them every day, but I'll try to keep up with any snow events. Snow is forecast for every day this week, though, so it looks like we're getting into it at last.


I read a couple more magazines today, and I realized that I had put Piecework in the unread pile, while I had actually read it. I do like that magazine. I also read the January S&T, so now I know everything I won't be seeing this month.


Now it's time to toddle up to the north end. Tonight I have to take a bath, so I hope I can get the temperature in the bathroom up a bit more with the heat lamp. It's another dark, cold, windy night in the field, and there is supposed to be more snow. Ah, winter...


January 1, 2011 - New Year's Day

Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Today is 1/1/11, and we have a few more magic number days this year.


I went up to the north end around 11:30 last night, and I dawdled around long enough that I almost missed the display. I sat in my bed and combed out my hair and watched a very nice, very concentrated 5-minute fireworks display, with all my favorite kinds of rockets. It wasn't quite as nice as the last one we had (although it was a better display) because there was a very low-hanging cloud between here and the park and sometimes I couldn't see all of them...sometimes I couldn't see anything except for the color in the clouds. However, it was nice, and the New Year was rung in properly.


I have said this before, but when I watch the nice fireworks, I can't help but remember the small war that gets fought around Detroit between about 11:45 pm and 12:30 am on New Year's Eve. I wonder how many people were wounded or killed by stray bullets this year. It's even occasionally sounded like somebody was lobbing mortars. This is much nicer. Actually, since the wind was from the south about then, it was blowing the sound away from me, and I couldn't hear much at all.


So I got to bed about 12:30, and I slept pretty well, although there was a little wakefulness in the middle of the night. I got up around 9:30, I think, and I petted a cat, started the toe of the purple sock at last, and did my exercises.


That was about all I did. I partly unloaded the dishwasher, and rewashed part of one broiler pan that I didn't completely clean up. That was all. There was a reason for that, and it was the weather.


After being cold all day long yesterday, the temperature started to rise, and by 6:00 am, it was 37. Then the wind shifted to the north, and the temperature dropped steadily all day long.  By noon it was 16 and the wind was from the west and gusting up to 32 mph. Now it is 8 and the gusts are up to 33 mph (wind chill -9, and I don't think that's in the gusts). There was some snow this morning, but none after noon. They are predicting quite a bit overnight and tomorrow, of the lake effect variety, and I certainly hope so. I hate seeing bare ground at this time of year. It's snowing in Houghton now, so I hope we get some, too.


West is the absolute worst wind direction for keeping the house warm, because of all the windows, and it was frigid in here all day long, so cold that Buster kept coming around and complaining. Jasmine is smarter: she just goes down into the basement where it's warm. I tried to set the thermostat in the studio up to 74 or so, but I still don't have the order of things quite right, and I ended up letting it go back to 68, which means it is 63 in most of the office. That's cold. When I went to get my dinner, I put on my heavy fleece jacket, and that plus a large amount of Kung Pao chicken has left me feeling warmer than I have all day. I checked the north end, and while it isn't balmy up there, it's 66 in the bedroom and 69 in the bathroom, which is quite acceptable under the circumstances. I think I will have to close the blinds tonight, much as I hate to do that. Buster has spent a good portion of the day sitting on my lap, which is the warmest place around here. Then he will go away, eat a little, and come back and complain some more. Well, if there was anything I could do about it, I sure would. Twist the wind around a bit to the north, please. 


I don't think I will even try to get to church tomorrow, since the lake effect snow warning doesn't expire until 7:00 pm. Not that I expect anything bad would happen, but after my blowout, I am a bit shy of starting merrily off to town in this weather.


Probably I will toddle up to the north end, get into my flannel nightie, and read a bit. This weather isn't much good for anything else, although my hands have finally warmed up after I ate.


That's the worst thing about it being so cold in the studio. I can dress warmly enough for the rest of me, but there isn't any way to keep my hands warm and still do anything. I used to have the same problem in the basement on Champine, and I've even tried wearing gloves, but I can't do any really fine work - even knitting or typing - with gloves on.


So now it is the new year, and off we go on a new adventure. And it's a very cold, very windy, dark night in the field.


Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM