A View From the Field

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February, 2011

February 28

Well, that was a fast month. Sometimes February seems to go very slowly for me, but this one has flown by. Good. March will be long, but that has something to do with the weather.

 

It was around 1:00 when I got to bed last night, I think, and I slept well, except that I kept waking up all hot, and I was achy. I got up around 10:00. Buster was waiting in the bathroom, and he sat on my lap for a long time while I knitted. I started the heel of the sock on #2 needles. Then I exercised and ate and did not much else, except that I had to wash my sweats. Sigh. 

 

I decanted my soup, and I now have five containers, plus two soup bowls, one of which I had tonight, so I have lots of yummy stuff to stash away. That's going to be a problem - the freezer is pretty full - but I will get it in one way or another. I still think it's pretty good soup, although I think the problem is that all those different beans don't cook at the same rate, so some of them are mushy and some are still a bit chewy. It all tastes good, though.

 

Tonight, I finished the first row of the first alphabet on the sampler, and as I suspected, there was a typo in the directions, so I did everything right after all. This particular chart has been out for a couple of months, so I'm surprised that nobody else had commented on it - surely I'm not the only person who has started it. Then I read for quite a while - too long. 

 

So now it is late, and I guess I won't be washing my hair tonight. Oh, well, I'll just look bad tomorrow. Too bad, but I wasn't planning to be seen anyway.

 

The weather was rather nice, actually. It got up to 23 during the afternoon, and the sky started clearing up while I was doing my exercises. It was almost completely clear all afternoon. There was a brisk north wind, in the 20-30 mph range, but that just blew all the clouds away. It was nice to see the sunshine again. I guess it's supposed to start snowing sometime soon and snow during the day, too. Oh, well. It's still winter, no matter what the calendar says.

 

So that was another quiet day, and I'm off to the north end. It's another dark night in the field.

 

February 27

Between loading the dishwasher and staring at the floor, it was 11:00 before I got to bed last night. I slept quite well, although I was up several times. I did wake up about 7:15, but I just didn't feel good enough to get up, so I missed church. I finally got up around 9:30.

 

When I went into the bathroom, there was Buster waiting for me, so what his problem was yesterday is beyond me. He sat on my lap for a long time, while I did the heel on the heavy sock. The second sock isn't coming out exactly like the first one. I made the unjustified assumption that both balls of yarn were printed exactly the same, and they aren't. There isn't much difference, but there is enough.

 

So I did my surfing and fiddled around, and around 3:00 I decided today was the day to make soup. It was a little late, and actually, I could have cooked it a little more, but it's good soup. I may boil it up tomorrow and let it boil down a bit. I used all the mixed beans I had around - a little over 2 lbs - and increased the water, which was probably a mistake. However, it is very tasty, and those were the meatiest ham hocks I have ever seen. So I had some comfort food for dinner. I will put the pot out in the breezeway overnight and hope it doesn't freeze. It has frozen out there, evidently, because a couple of my onions had obviously gotten frozen.

 

Then I spent some time working on the sampler, and I am now ready to start "G". After I redid everything I ripped out, I discovered that the instructions said to use two strands of one color, which I didn't, but I think that was a mistake and I emailed the designer about it. One strand looks just fine to me. While I was ripping, I discovered I had miscounted on the right side, too, but fortunately, I did it twice and it evened out and I didn't have to re-baste the right-hand side. This is a long, narrow thing, and it can be finished as a bellpull. I think it's going to be pretty, and it's certainly going to be an interesting thing to stitch.

 

The weather was nondescript. It apparently got very cold last night - down to 0 between 2:00 and 4:00. I wondered if it wouldn't, because I could see some stars, at least for a while, and that usually drains all the warmth out of the air. This afternoon it got up to 27 briefly. There was some wind from the southwest around noon, but that died down after a while, and it has now picked up from the northwest. There may have been a little snow here and there, and the NWS station reported water between 9:00 and 10:00 tonight. It was cloudy almost all day. 

 

I'm late because I was reading part 3 from the blue binder, which is one of my favorites, but it was a good thing. Johanna called around 11:15, and she postponed my massage until Friday. She has some kind of awful upper respiratory thing and went to the outpatient clinic with a 103 fever yesterday, so she is resting. That's just as well. I was thinking I might not want to go anyway, and I particularly don't want to if she's sick. So far, except for my headaches and some sneezing fits, whatever I have (if I have it yet) isn't so serious.

 

So that was my day, and after I put the soup outside, I will be off to the north end. It's a cold, windy night in the field.

 

February 26

I don't remember exactly what I was doing last night, but I was fiddling around, and it was nearly 1:30 before I got to bed. Bad me. I slept pretty well, with the usual wakeups, and I got up around 10:30.

 

Buster was waiting, and we had a good love-in before I knitted a bit on the sock I have on #2 needles. I was able to place the 50 row marker. This one is coming out at a slightly looser gauge than my other socks on #2 needles, so I will have to measure to see exactly how many rows to knit before the heel. I don't like the colors very well, but it's a nice soft sock and it has enough blue in it to be useful. Then, of course, I had to do my exercises, and even though I'm doing them faster lately, it was still noon before I got to the studio.

 

Buster ate his breakfast and didn't want mine, for some reason. He was acting weird again this morning. In fact, I haven't seen him all day. Hmm.

 

So I did my surfing and fiddled around some more. Late in the afternoon, i picked up the sampler and did the first four letters, then I found I had miscounted, and unfortunately, the way I did it means I will have to rip out everything I did. Darn. Double darn. However, if I don't rip, the entire rest of the piece will be off and won't look good at all. So I will rip, including the sanity line down the left-hand side.. Tomorrow.

 

I came up with a ferocious sinus headache today, and I was sneezing, and I just don't feel very good. Either I have a sinus infection, or I'm getting one, or I'm coming down with a cold, I'm not sure which. Anyway, I had hoped to go to church tomorrow, but now I'm not so sure. We'll see.

 

The weather was eh. It snowed very lightly off and on all day, The temperature was around 15, plus or minus a degree or so. There was almost no wind. I went out briefly, and it was OK.

 

I didn't fill the hanging feeders, because the pail was empty again, but I did put out a large amount of seed in the deck feeder, and there were lots of takers. Maybe tomorrow I can get myself up to fill the pail and get the other feeders filled.

 

I wasn't hungry tonight, which in itself tells me I'm not right, so I had noodles, and I read through the end of part two from the blue binder. While I was doing that, I decided I wanted some music, so I threw a CD in the player and listened to Schubert. The sound I get out of the computer speakers is really good. 

 

Then I brought in my CD carrying case. I can't play anything from it until tomorrow, because it was out in the breezeway and it's cold, but I looked at what I have in it. Not what I want to hear, mostly. I want Beethoven symphonies, and that will mean digging through six boxes of CDs in the basement. Ugh. I discovered that I have managed to acquire two CDs of Handel Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music, and both of them are in the case. Well, I do like them both, but gee. One would have been plenty. And I usually check my lists before I buy anything new. Well, I can listen to that tomorrow, as well as a lot of Mozart symphonies and other stuff. 

 

I like WGGL, which is run by Minnesota Public Radio, but a couple of things about them frustrate me. They almost never play any of the longer Beethoven works in total, and there are a lot of other things I like that they don't play when I'm listening. I hate it when they play one movement of any symphony, and I've told them so a couple of times, but they persist. The other thing that frustrates me is their weekend programming, which is heavy on talk, with very little music at all until late in the evening. So I guess I will have to dig out some more of my favorite stuff from the basement, so that when I want to hear music, I can. 

 

I prefer to listen to the radio, because then I don't have to fiddle with CDs and programming, but sometimes I just have to do it myself. Listening to some of my more soothing CDs will calm me down as I rip.

 

So that was my day, and now I have to finish loading the dishwasher and take a bath, then I can crash and hope to feel better tomorrow. It's a dark, cold, apparently snowy night in the field.

 

February 25

I think it was around 12:30 when I got to bed last night, and I slept right through until about 6:00, although I rolled over once. That's nice, from one point of view, but it means I didn't get rid of the fluid overnight and I was stiff when I did get up, around 10:00, I think. Buster wasn't around, so I knitted, then I did my exercises. 

 

Since there was no Buster, I took the opportunity to change his placemat and sweep up the stuff on the floor. He showed up around the time I put down his breakfast - tuna - and he lit into it. It's really strange how his tastes have changed as he's gotten older. He didn't used to think much of tuna at all. 

 

I was in the middle of making my breakfast when Mike called, so they gave me about an hour to eat before they arrived. If you looked at the camera this afternoon, there were some interesting pictures of a ladder right in front of the door, and one picture of a guy (John) looking up at the top of it. It took some time, but now I have a thingie attached to the corner of the house right under the second story eaves, I have a much better signal (which doesn't make a lot of difference except that  I should get better reception when the weather is bad), and maybe the people at the fort have broadband. I haven't heard about that.

 

After dinner, I started to read a bit, then I got at my sampler and got the sanity lines basted in and the first letter is done. This one is done with silk, and I love to work with silk, except for the silk pearl, which is so slippery it's hard to keep in the needle. Silk pearl is made like pearl cotton, except out of shiny silk, and it's not fun to work with. I've done it before, though, and I can do it again. The result is so pretty, it's worth it. It's so shiny that it makes lovely highlights. Anyway, in the course of doing that, I seem to have discovered that the cut of fabric that was in the kit isn't quite the right size. The sides will be skimpy, and the top and bottom have about twice as much fabric as is needed to finish it according to the directions. So I fired off an email to the designer, and we'll see what, if anything, she as to say about that. Anyway, it's going to be a fun project. It's mostly letters, in all different styles, but there are some other things in it as well, and the colors are nice.

 

So that is why I'm so late. I wanted to get that first letter done. 

 

The weather was not the best for people working outside. It snowed lightly for a lot of the day, and the temperature hung right around 9 for most of the day. There was a 15 mph wind out of the north for most of the afternoon (giving a windchill of -7 or so), although that has now died down. It was cold. I should have filled the bird feeders, but I didn't want to get messed up with the guys outside, so I will do it tomorrow.

 

While Mike was working at my computer, I was watching the feeders when a female hairy woodpecker came to the suet block on the other side of the cedar feeder and pecked at it for a long time. She was a big bird, and I guess I hadn't realized what a long, sharp bill hairys have. Downys have a rather short bill. Anyway, there were the usual chickadees and nuthatches, and I think I had both red-breasted and white-breasted nuthatches. The white-breasted nuthatches won't eat out of the hanging feeders at all, so I don't see them as much, but there weren't any squirrels this afternoon, and the nuthatches and the goldfinches were pecking around the deck. I will fill the feeders tomorrow, I promise.

 

Curiously enough, Buster didn't go away when the guys came inside. He sat on my lap for most of the time. I don't think he feels very good, although he is eating OK. I had to close the door on him when I had my dinner, because he can't have beef, and I decided I wanted steak for a change. I haven't seen him since, although I've heard him. I think he's getting senile.

 

So that was a quiet day, and I will be late tonight, too, but oh, well. It's a frigid, snowy night in the field.

 

February 24

I read for a while last night, and finished part one from the blue binder before I went up to the north end, and I ended up staring at the floor for a while before I took my bath, so it was about 11:30 before I got to bed. Around 11:00, I was thinking about bath when I was startled by the howling of a coyote, or maybe more than one, quite close by. It only went on for a minute or so, but it was a disconcerting sound. This morning, I looked around as best I could and I didn't see any tracks, so I guess they were on the other side of the lilacs, but they weren't farther away than that. Made me want to howl back - or play my wolf sounds.

 

My sneezing fit had left me with a very stuffed up head and a sinus headache in the cavities behind my cheeks, but that didn't keep me awake. I was up frequently, but I did sleep well. I was awake around 8:30, and I still had the headache, so I turned over and went back to sleep - and it was after 11:00 before I woke up again. The headache was gone, but I still feel like I've come down with something again. Now the headache is in my forehead, so it wasn't just something passing by.

 

I knitted. I have three socks on needles, and one of them, on #1s, interested me enough to finish the ribbing - after which I realized that it was crying out to be lace. Now I have to decide what kind of lace, then I have to rip out what I did. This yarn is called "Black Purl", and it is a very subdued hand-dyed combination of black, gray, dark purple and pale lavender. It is very fine yarn, and it really needs lace to show it off best. For a while I was thinking about trying to get some more in that colorway, although I've had it for years, and do a shawl, but instead, I think I will just rip out what I have and make a pair of lace socks.

 

So I went back to the heavy sock. I'm doing that one on double points - #4 - and it is going fast. This one is striped, with yellow, orange, light green, bright pink and royal blue alternating with a gray and white dot that sometimes comes out in vertical stripes and sometimes doesn't. It's not my favorite, but I wanted to get the ones I don't like so well done first. It will be a useful sock, since it goes with just about everything. I have had to put it back on the double points, because I just couldn't get the right tension with the metal needles. I don't like double points so well anymore, but I do like working with wooden needles, so it's a toss-up. Fortunately, the ones on the #4s go really fast, so I won't be at it for long.

 

That took quite a while, and I did some exercises - not a lot, because I don't feel all that good - and I was getting dressed when Buster finally appeared. He had been in the bathroom a couple of times when I was sort of awake, hollering at me. I don't know what his problem is or was. He's getting flakier all the time.

 

Since I was so late, I didn't do much at all. Just now, I marked the center of the fabric for the alphabet sampler, but I won't put in the sanity lines until tomorrow. One problem I have been having today is that I am not seeing very well at all. I think it has something to do with the pressure in my sinuses.

 

I did do a little surfing to my needlework sites, and I found a bunch of things I would like to have, unfortunately. I will just wait until after the 13th (my closing date) and look at it all again. One of the things, a really neat sampler from Drawn Thread, isn't kitted, and if I wanted to do it, I would have to dredge up some of my silk threads, which are in a box I have never found. That might be a good thing to do, since I might find some other things that are missing, but it will be a real chore. Maybe next month. Slowly, very slowly, I am beginning to relearn how to be on a limited budget, but it's really hard, after all the years when I could pretty much get whatever I wanted.s

 

The weather was nice to look at, at least. I didn't go out. The temperature was up to 30 or so overnight and it has fallen slowly all day. It spent most of the afternoon around 24. The wind has shifted around to the north, in the 15-30 mph range. It was mostly cloudy in the morning, but around 1:00 it started to clear up, and it was another beautiful, clear afternoon. It's so nice to see the sunshine - and it's so nice not to hear the boiler! It got almost hot enough in here to open the door, but I have a lighter weight top on today, and it's cooling off a bit now.

 

I think the ice is beginning to form up again in the harbor. It is supposed to be really cold tomorrow, and that will firm it up, and the north winds will keep it in here.

 

My friend Joe sent me some pictures the DNRE took of the breakup of the ice pack at the bottom of Keweenaw Bay last week - just like ours. It's amazing, with the temperatures we've had. but those strong south winds just blew everything away.

 

I've said it before, that's one of the things I love so much about living here. Every season is different, and you never know what will happen next. At least it looks to be cold enough that we won't lose all our snow this year, and there were quite a number of snowmobilers in town when I went to the post office yesterday. 

 

So that was a very slow day. Mike called, and maybe they will be able to install my new client tomorrow, depending on whether the other guy gets here. It will be cold, and it may snow, but at least so far, every place they need to get to is accessible. Not that I have any complaints, but they really want to get the fort manager on the broadband network. We'll see what happens.

 

Now Buster has jumped onto my lap for his evening pet - he was sleeping comfortably in the sewing chair, curled up against my nightie, but it seems like he had a snack, and now he wants a pet.

 

It's a clear night in the field so far, but I guess it's supposed to cloud up around midnight (according to Environment Canada) and get cold and windy and maybe snowy tomorrow.

 

February 23

For some reason, I felt bored last night, so I went up to the north end, and I was bored there, too, so I was in bed by 9:30. Unfortunately, I had a bad night. I was up every couple of hours, and I didn't sleep very well in between. I finally got up around 9:15 this morning, but I can't say I felt rested.

 

The first thing I discovered when I turned out the light is that the lighthouse has really lost its mind. Now it is revolving every second, except that I think it is a bit erratic. I can't prove that, because I can't keep my eyes open all the time, but there were some weird things going on over there. 

 

Then I realized it was a lovely clear night, and after I looked up and saw Polaris, around midnight, I looked over toward the west, and there was Orion in all his glory, balanced on Rigel, over the mountain. I could see the nebula with my glasses off. It was so pretty, even with no glasses. Eventually, it sort of clouded over, but for a while it was lovely.

 

Anyway, it was not a good night. Maybe tonight will be better. I hope so. I am wondering if maybe I'm fighting a bug again. I have been very creaky all day, and a while ago I had a sneezing fit. I was looking through some stuff on the floor, but surely it wasn't all that dusty! Anyway, I felt sort of blah. I had a big breakfast, but a small dinner. So we'll see what happens. I would have thought I spend enough time alone and I wash my hands enough that I wouldn't be getting those bugs, but one never knows.

 

The weather was OK, I guess. The temperature got up to 30 briefly, and it was in the upper 20s for most of the day. There was almost no wind at all. It was mostly cloudy, although there was a ray of sunshine just before sunset. It was rather blah.

 

I didn't do much at all, although I did try to make a little sense of the desk. I didn't get very far. There is a huge pile of magazines that need to be put someplace else, and a bunch of stuff that has been piled in piles since I had to do some fast moving when Buster peed on the fleece under the window. I need to spend more time at that.

 

I did go to the post office, where my pills and my fun stuff from Nancy's Notions had arrived. I am sad to say that the arthritis in my fingers has made it almost impossible for me to find thimbles that fit. I did get one today that will go on - but then it's almost impossible to get off! I can do some embroidery without a thimble, but I can't do regular hand sewing without one at all. Well, I will keep looking. I think I finally found the ultimate solution to keeping pins with me while I am sewing. This is a neat little tray with a strong magnet in the bottom that attaches to your wrist with a Velcro strap. Since it's meant for men, the strap is long enough. The only thing is, I will have to be very careful not to wear it when I'm wearing a watch, since the magnet would totally destroy any watch. However, it's a good thing.

 

Tonight I don't plan to go to bed so early, so I will read a while before I go up to the north end. Besides, there's a nice Haydn symphony playing. It's a dark, cloudy, calm night in the field.

 

February 22

Happy George Washington's real birthday.

 

I made it into bed around 11:00 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I was thinking about some stuff, but actually, I was warm. Finally I changed nighties, and I slept better after that. When I turned out the light, the Pleiades were shining brightly in the windows, and I could see Aldebaran, too, but they went away shortly, and it was partly cloudy for the rest of the night. The moon was casting bright shadows part of the time, so it wasn't completely cloudy.

 

I got up around 9:00 and I spent some time changing all the needles I was working the socks on. The thick ones are now back on four bamboo double points. I simply could not get a tension I liked with the circulars. Then Buster came, and I petted him a while before I did my exercises.

 

On my way to the kitchen, I put the fleece tops in the washer, so that job is now done. They are in the dryer waiting, with all the rest of the clothes, to be folded and put away. I've been bad about that lately.

 

It took me a while, but eventually I actually did something. I mended my one nightie again, and I mended about half a dozen pairs of underpants that had something wrong with them. That turned into straightening out and sweeping around the sewing chair. When I started to sew, I couldn't find my straight stitch presser foot. That bothered me, not for this task, but in general, it works better to use the right foot when I'm sewing. Well, after ransacking the place and straightening things out a lot, I finally found it. I remembered that several weeks ago, I found it at the edge of the counter and I was worried that it would fall on the floor, so I put it someplace - and I couldn't remember where. Well, I had put it in my ort basket, which wasn't exactly smart, but since I wanted to throw away all the ravelings I had cut off the nightie, I looked in the basket and there it was. Whew! If I ever get to making new nighties, I will really need that foot. Now it is safely stowed away in the foot box, which is where it should have been to begin with.

 

I still have some mending to do to get more than one wearable winter nightie, but for the time being, I have one that is OK. If I ever can get the desk cleared off, I really need to do some sewing. Even my lighter nighties are getting very thin, and while they don't wear as badly as the flannel ones, one of these days, they will go, too.

 

Buster was a bit frustrated. He wanted to sit on me, but when I started moving around, he went under the sewing chair, and then I sat down there. So he went to sleep on the pile of nighties - and I started working on those, too. He likes it better when I sit in front of the computer all day.

 

While I was at the sewing machine, I zigzagged the edges of the linen for the sampler I bought last month, so now I can start that. It is all alphabets, and it has some really interesting special stitches in it. Besides, it's done in silk, so I'm looking forward to it.

 

The weather was beautiful. It was rather cloudy this morning, but around noon the clouds went away, and it was beautifully clear this afternoon. With all the south and east winds we've had the past couple of days, we also lost most of the ice at this end of the harbor, too, so it was blue sky and blue water and blinding white snow all day. The temperature got up to 27 (now), and the wind was from the south but very light.

 

It got so hot in here - or I got so hot in here - that I opened the door, and not only was there a fresh, lovely smell coming in, I could hear the birdies twittering outside. It was a lovely day.

 

So now it's a clear evening in the field, and I will read a bit before I totter up to the north end again. 

 

February 21 - President's Day

Well, to those of you who had the day off, I hope you've enjoyed your long weekend.

 

I did it again last night - I got to reading a magazine, and it was after 1:00 before I got to bed. As a result, it was 11:00 before I got up. I was briefly awake around 9:00, and Buster yelled at me, but I went back to sleep. When I got up, I knitted on various things for a while, then I did my exercises, so it was after noon before we got breakfast.

 

Buster ate a couple of mouthfuls of his breakfast and went off, but I was pleased to see that he came back. I hoped he would. It was a combination of chicken and tuna, and those seem to be mostly what he wants to eat these days. He's done pretty well on it, unless Jasmine decided she wanted some, too.

 

I am very pleased to report that I have my trackball back. One of my readers (thank you, Dr. Don!) suggested something to me, and when I took a good look at the mouse, I discovered that there is a small groove in the cradle for the ball that seems to be how the motions get recorded. He suggested using a q-tip, but that didn't work, so I wetted it, and shortly I got a real wad of cat hair (probably some of mine, too) out of the edges of the groove. That wasn't all of it, so I had to use my fancy tweezers and poke around a bit to get most of the hairs out. I'm sure I didn't get all of them. Then I plugged it in - and it worked beautifully! Wow! 

 

I really appreciate the suggestions I get from you about my little problems around here. You've saved the day any  number of times. 

 

In this case, I had noticed that groove, but I had no idea what it was for, and I had sort of ignored it. Now I won't do that anymore. I bet the other one, that I thought had a wiring problem, has the same problem as this one, but I really only need one trackball. It's too big to carry with the laptop, unfortunately.

 

Other than that, I didn't do much of anything - I didn't have time. I did just now pack up the ceramic angels, which have been taking up room on my desk. I wish I could keep them out, because they are pretty, but I don't have a good place for them.

 

Hee-hee. I just discovered that the camera has gotten slewed around to the left again. A little four-footed friend of mine, no doubt, who likes to grub around in corners, just in case there's a mouse or a shrew there. I'm sure she can smell the scent of the ones I once had there: a long time ago, I had just returned to the field and sat down in the ugly chair to relax, when I suddenly saw a teensy mouse running back and forth in the door track, and at one point, it stood up on its hind legs and waved its paws at me - one of those magical moments that startled both Buster and me so much that we didn't even go after it.  I will try to remember to move the camera tomorrow, when I can see what I'm doing. I'm going to have to modify the shutdown time, I can see. With the days getting longer at almost 3 minutes a day, I will have to be modifying it almost every week from now on until June. It's nice to have to make the time later, even though it's a bit of a pain to have to eat in the dark.

 

The weather was so-so. There was some snow, and there was some sunshine. The wind was from the southeast in the 15-25 mph range until just lately, when it dropped to under 10 mph. The temperature got down to 14 overnight, then it has slowly risen until now it is about 20. A quiet day.

 

So now, even though I got quite a bit of sleep last night and this morning, I am tired again, so I will read another chapter, then I will toddle up to the north end and maybe, just maybe, get to bed a bit early. Hah.

 

It's a dark, cold night in the field.

 

February 20

I don't remember what I was doing last night, but it was nearly midnight when I got to bed. I was up several times, getting rid of the fluid buildup in my feet. When I got to the north end, the temperature was 73 in both the bathroom and the bedroom - nice, but a little warm for sleeping. I was able to leave the comforter off for most of the night. 

 

Part of the reason for that was that even though it was cold outside - around 17 - there was no wind at all. So it was a quiet night. I was awake around 7:30, but that wasn't nearly enough sleep, and besides, it was snowing. Around 9:00, the wind shifted around to the east and blew up into the 15-30 mph range, where it has stayed all day. It snowed hard enough that the NWS station recorded water.

 

Around 4:00 am, I awoke to what I thought at first was Buster howling, for a minute or so. However, when I thought about it, he has never howled like that, and I finally came to the conclusion that there was a coyote right outside my bedroom, howling at us. Humph. I can stand them hanging out on the shore of Lake Lily, but I do not want coyotes in my backyard - or anywhere on my property. When Buster finally made it to the bathroom, while I was doing my exercises, I apologized to him.

 

I got up around 10:00, I think. It had cooled off some in the north end, but it was still 67 in the bedroom, and that temperature was so nice that I reset the thermostat. I don't know if it will stay that warm, but it's quite comfortable, and I don't have to pull the covers over my head. I spent some time finishing the wild sock, so now I have another pair of heavy socks to wear. Then I did all my exercises, so it was late when I got dressed.

 

When Buster got to the bathroom, I wasn't there, and he complained loudly, but then he went away again, even though it was warmer there than in the studio. I fed him, but I don't think he ate. I had cereal for breakfast, and that didn't interest him, either, but he spent a good part of the day sitting or sleeping on my lap. I don't think he feels very good.

 

I had to refill the pill dispensers today, and I discovered I have run out of my multivitamins. So first thing, when I got to the studio, I hunted up the website where I get them (Walgreen's) and ordered as many as they would sell me. It annoys me that they see fit to limit the number of one item they will let you buy. I will have to order them again in six months or so, and that is a pain. They used to sell them in bottles of 360 or so, but now I can only get them in bottles of 130. I don't suppose they sell a lot of these, but I have taken them for 50 years or more, and I've never found another formula that is anything near the same. It works for me, and I don't want to try to change now.

 

I was also gratified to see that I have drawn down on my prescriptions almost completely. For a while, I had several refills stockpiled, and I'm not sure that was a good idea. Now I can order them as soon as the refills are available and know they are fresh.

 

Otherwise, I did not much at all, but I was so late that there wasn't much time after I got done with my surfing. Oh, yes, and before I could begin to surf, I had to swap out my trackball mouse. It simply wasn't working, much to my dismay. Like the other one, after a while, rolling the ball just doesn't make the cursor move. Something about the lights inside the ball cradle apparently get old and stop tracking. And they don't make anything like that one anymore. There are trackball mice, but none of them are like the one I had. I'm disappointed. I am using the laser mouse I got for the laptop. My other mouse is an old one with a rubber ball on the bottom, and my experience with it was that cat hair got all tangled up in the rollers inside it and it was very hard to clean. The laser mouse won't have that problem. It is working just fine, except that I still miss my two extra buttons. I will have to limit my game playing, probably, so that I don't get tendonitis in my wrist, like I did the first year I was here.

 

The weather was cold and snowy, as well as windy. The temperature peaked, briefly, at 23 at 9:00 am, and for most of the rest of the day it was around 19. The wind was in the 15-30 mph range from the east. I can't hear much of the wind, but I can hear the lake, even though its roar is rather muted, since there is ice extending out from shore. It was gray and dismal.

 

This evening, I finished rereading the story from the white binder and started - again - the one in the blue binder. I still like those things, and every time I read them, I tweak them a bit. I did most of that with a cat on my lap. 

 

We ate the rest of the chicken tonight, and Buster ate a huge helping (for a little cat). There was some juice, too, and it seemed to taste really good to him. I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but it appears that he has decided he doesn't like much turkey anymore, and some of the things with gravy that he really liked, he won't eat now. Heaven knows why. And no, I do not plan to feed him people chicken all the time. When I have it, he can have some, but only then. Even at his advanced age, I'm not going to coddle him that much.

 

So that was my quiet day, and now it's time to toddle up to the north end and crawl into my comfy bed. It's a dark, windy night in the field, and it may snow some more.

 

February 19

 I ended up reading the latest Sky & Telescope instead of going to bed right away so it was a little after midnight when I finally did.  The gale was still blowing, but the wind was in the 35-50 mph range, and since it was from the north, all I could hear was an occasional bang at the upstairs. It was cold in the house - 60 in the bathroom and 55 or so in the bedroom, and I was glad I didn't have to take a bath.

 

The wind got down to reasonable speeds by 8:00 this morning, and when I got up, around 9:15, it was 68 in the bathroom and 63 in the bedroom - it felt balmy. I wore my sweats to bed, mostly because my nightie hadn't gotten dry, but I was glad I did. Along with a pair of heavy sweat socks, and the heavy comforter, I was nice and cozy.

 

The temperature in the whole house was much more reasonable today, and it was nice. I do have a heavy sweater on, but I would do that anyway.

 

I didn't do a lot. In the middle of the afternoon, I took a walk outside. I put on my Yak Trax over my shoes and took my staff and my heavy gloves and went around the side of the house and picked up the bird feeders and put them on the deck. I managed to spill a lot of thistle seed, but maybe the birdies will find it on the ground. The chickadees were calling when they saw me, but I sat and rested for quite a while after I came in, and they were all in bed before I got everything out. They'll be happy in the morning. I hunted all around for the missing hook and couldn't find it, but when I went out on the deck, there it was caught in the tree, like it always is. I used my one remaining hook to get it down. I have to keep one hook available to use as a tool.

 

I also got the dishwasher almost ready to run tonight. I had finally gotten it unloaded yesterday, but today I had to put all the dirty dishes in it, and there were more than I'd thought. Now all I have to do is add tonight's and maybe I can hit the right button and have clean dishes tomorrow.

 

The weather was nice today, and besides my walk, there were fisherfolk out on the harbor all day long. Some of them showed up in some of the camera pictures, as well as a lovely picture of the screen door and me bent over to pick up a feeder. The temperature never got over 18, between 4:00 and 6:00 this afternoon, but the wind died down almost completely, and there was a lot of sunshine in the afternoon. So it was nice being out, provided you were dressed for it.

 

Tonight I had to close the door on Buster so that I could eat my dinner. I thought he wanted my chicken, even though he had his, but I think possibly he wanted to sit on me. That's hard when I have a tray on my lap. I opened the door when I was through, and he came and sat on me, and later he ate the rest of his chicken and cleaned my plate for me. I don't know exactly why he wants to sit on me all the time, and it makes me suspicious. He is acting all right otherwise, and he is eating, although he is getting pretty picky. So I don't know what his problem is.

 

Now it's late and it's time to totter up to the north end. I might go to church tomorrow, but I won't be getting enough sleep if I get up in time to go. So we'll see what it looks like when I get up in the morning. Now it's a calm dark night in the field, and our nice gale is only a memory.

 

February 18

Wow, what a wonderful blizzard!

 

I got to bed around 11:00 last night, and when I went to bed, it was 42 and calm. The first time I woke up was around 2:00 and what a difference! The wind was blowing so hard it sounded like it was trying to strip the siding off the house. It was really noisy, and I was surprised that it didn't keep me awake, at least then. 

 

It was still quite warm at that point, but the temperature dropped steadily all night long, as the wind picked up to gale force. Sometime before 4:00, the power failed. I woke up around 4:00 to see the clocks blinking and no lights down the harbor, so I called UPPCO and went back to sleep. The power came back sometime before 8:00, I'm not sure when, because I woke up around 8:15 when UPPCO called me back - twice. I tried to go back to sleep, but by that time it was so noisy I couldn't, so I got up.

 

It was really cold by then - 59 in the bedroom and 63 in the bathroom - and I messed my nightie, so I had to put on my robe over nothing. I knitted for a little while, but it was cold. It was too cold to exercise, too, although I put on my sweats before I did. It was even colder in the kitchen and the great room - later on I looked at the thermostat in the great room and it said 49. Brr! Part of the problem was that the wind was so strong it was blowing out the cardboard over the hall window.

 

The bird feeders were being blown around horribly. I didn't want to go out, but after the two white feeders and the deck feeder got blown away, I put on my parka over my heavy fleece jacket and went out onto the deck and fetched in the two remaining feeders. The hook the tube feeder hangs on seems to be gone, too, but I can hope it just got caught in the branches again. If it's a better day tomorrow, I will have to go out and retrieve the other feeders. The gusts were so strong I had to be careful not to lose my balance. 

 

In the meantime, we had another power failure that didn't get fixed until after 10:00, although I don't remember when. 

 

Then I decided that I just couldn't wait any longer to put in the new sash in the hallway. There was so much cold air coming in that window that it was defeating what little heat was coming up from the floors. Getting the sash into the house wasn't easy - even a relatively small one like that is heavy, with the double panes of glass and all. Now there is glue residue all over the upper glass and the window frame, from the duct tape, but getting the broken sash out and the new one in was easier than I thought it might be. I know I couldn't have done that last September, so my PT has shown rewards already. Now there isn't any wind coming in there anymore.

 

Besides taking the broken sash and the cardboard out, I had to sweep again, because when I started jiggling the broken one, more glass fell out of it. The new sash looks horrible, because the wood on the inside is just bare, but that will just have to wait until spring, when I can have that window open for a while. At least it's working.

 

Anyway, after I did that, I was tired, and the internet was back up, so I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon. I had a long day, but I actually accomplished some things.

 

Along about 3:00, the Schwan's guy showed up, in spite of the NWS putting out a blizzard warning - and it was blizzarding for a while there! So now I have all kinds of yummy stuff to eat, and I can hibernate until this is over.

 

The temperature dropped off to 14 for a couple of hours, between 1:00 and 3:00 this afternoon, before it began to rise slowly to 18. Now it's dropping back again. The wind - oh, the wind! Unfortunately, the NWS station didn't report when the power was off, so they probably missed the worst of it, but at 11:00 this morning, we had sustained winds of 41 mph with 60(!) mph gusts from the northwest. Since that time, the sustained winds have mostly been between 38 and 42 mph and the gusts between 50 and 60 mph. It was from the northwest for quite a while, but it has now turned due north. I mean to tell you, it's a real, honest-to-goodness gale, and the wind chills have been between 0 and -10. It sure felt like that when I was out in it!

 

There was a blizzard warning up for most of the afternoon, and it did snow, although any accumulation is someplace south and east of here. For most of the afternoon, the snow was being blown across the harbor horizontally, and it was swirling almost like a cyclone behind my house. They canceled the blizzard sometime when I wasn't looking, before 4:00, but the high wind warning is still in effect. It certainly has been fun, even though I've been cold, and I only wish we'd had more snow. It isn't over yet, though, and there is snow in the forecast for the next few days.

 

Besides the power outage, the Schwan's guy said it looked like there had been some trees down along our road, so I guess Aaron was out in it with his chain saw. I wasn't surprised. We have a lot of trees down every time we have a gale. In fact, when I woke up in the middle of the night and the power was off, I thought, "Why am I not surprised?".  It's one of the things one has to deal with when one lives in a place like this. It just reminds me that this really isn't paradise - it's just pretty close.

 

Buster spent all the time he could sitting on my lap today. I'm sure it's warmer for him than huddling under the sewing chair. They would really be better off in the basement, where it's fairly warm, but there aren't many places to sleep there, and besides, it's dark and too far from me.

 

Now it's getting late again. I don't think I am going to try to take a bath tonight, even though my hair will be horrible. I think I'll wait and hope the bathroom will be a little warmer tomorrow. I don't think I'll be up very long, however. Since the wind has shifted around to the north, it's not as noisy here, although I imagine it is still pretty bad up at the north end.

 

I just looked at the reports from the Stannard Rock station, which is out in the middle of the lake between the end of the Keweenaw and Marquette, and this morning it reported sustained winds of up to 72 mph and it looks like gusts of over 80 mph. Unfortunately, there are no buoys to report the wave heights, but they have to be over 20 feet. Stannard Rock is always extremely windy anyway, but wow! That's nearly hurricane force winds. Oh, it's a good one, all right!

 

Here, at 10:00, it's 17, with a windchill of -5. The wind is from the north at 41 mph, with gusts of 54 mph. Now it's a dark night in the field and the wind is still blowing a gale, so loudly that it's hard to hear the howl of the lake. I do love a good gale!

 

February 17

Instead of going up to the north end early, like a good girl, I started reading a Sky & Telescope, and it was after midnight before I got to bed. With the warm temperatures and sun and no wind, it was warm at the north end, but that didn't seem to bother me. It had cooled down by morning. I got up around 9:30, although I didn't want to, and since Buster was someplace else, I knitted for a while then I did a few exercises. He didn't appear until I was washing. That is an annoyance to me - he paces back and forth along the counter, right in front of where I am trying to do something. One of these days, I will either splash water on him or drip toothpaste on him, and maybe that will cure him.

 

He didn't come for breakfast, which worried me, but I hauled in a case of one of the varieties he used to like, and eventually, he ate quite a bit of it - or somebody did.

 

I had time to do some of my surfing, although Thursday is always hard, because there are a lot of things to read, most of which I haven't yet.

 

I was a little later leaving than I have been. I closed the garage door from the inside, but it appears that I might not have had to do that. It was all right, though, because the road was even nearly clear from here to Copper Harbor, and the rest of the way it was at most wet, so I made very good time, and I got to use the cruise control again. That does help!

 

I was glad I went. We did some exercises, but mostly Cindy and I talked, and she reorganized my exercises and got them in some kind of order, so I know what I'm supposed to be doing to help each part of my body. Thankfully, she is a very organized person, and when it comes to things like that, so am I. When it comes to my desk, I'm not.

 

Anyway, that was a good ending to my PT. Then it was off to Pat's, where I was surprisingly modest, considering that I got quite a lot of wine and some JD. Well, the Schwan's guy is coming tomorrow with a big order, and the freezers are still chock-full, so we can have blizzards for the next month and I can hibernate. All I might miss is lettuce, but they have that, as well as eggs and milk, at the store. 

 

I was hot and exhausted when I got out of the store, and I got someone to help me unload, which is a nice service they provide. I felt some better by  the time I got home, although for some reason, the toes on my right foot were sore today, so I had a little problem using the brake. Anyway, a nice 50 minute ride home, accompanied by a Beethoven piano sonata, made it better.

 

I got the stuff into the breezeway, and when I pushed the garage door button, it went all the way down by itself and stayed there. So I guess my feeling that the problem was that the hinges had frozen was probably right. I don't know that there's a fix for that. Then I brought the stuff into the house and got it all stashed in the fridge. That isn't such a problem, since I do it sitting down - a trick I discovered on Champine when I was dealing with that miserable fridge I had there. 

 

The weather was warm - maybe not as warm as yesterday, but warm. It got to 45 here, briefly, while I was gone, but for most of the day it was around 40. However, in Calumet, it got up to at least 46, by the SNB thermometer, although my car didn't say it was that warm. There was very little wind, and no sun. There was some fog, both here, and down by Lake Medora, when I was on my way down. 

 

The fishing klatch was in force again today. They were out there when I got to the kitchen, and they only left around 4:00. Apparently the ice is pretty thick, even though there appears to be some water on top of it. Amanda was out skating on the harbor yesterday, and she posted some nice pictures in her blog. Gee, that sounded like fun! I wish I could still skate - I loved it when I was a kid. Of course, since I  even have trouble walking, skating isn't in my near future. I thought, from what I can see, that the ice was smooth and clear, and it certainly was. She says she could see right through it. Wish I could see that, too! Even walking on the ice is a little beyond me right now, even with my Yak Traks.

 

Thankfully, it sounds like our thaw is at an end, either tonight or tomorrow, and we are going to have a windstorm, if not a blizzard. Well, I've enjoyed having a warm house for a few days, and it is only mid-February, after all. We still have a good six weeks of winter left to look forward to.

 

Well, so my twice-a-week trips to Laurium are over with. While seeing the people, who are wonderful, and having a taskmaster is something I'll miss, it will be really nice for both me and the car not to have to make that trip so often. Most of it is a pretty drive, and the more I do it, the shorter it seems, but still, it is 37 miles one way, and after a while that gets old. I will try to be a good girl and keep up with my exercises and hope for the best. If it doesn't work, I can always go back for more.

 

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

 

February 16

I don't remember what I was doing last night, but whatever it was, I didn't get to bed until after midnight. I did sleep, with only two wakeups. I think it was pretty clear all night, and the moon, which is nearly full, was very, very bright, so if there were stars, they were washed out. I got  up around 9:30 and petted a cat and knitted for quite a while, then I did my exercises.

 

This afternoon was the ladies' thing. I had a package at the post office, so I stopped there, and it was open, so evidently Clyde has seen reason, and what I got was a package from Godiva. So I had to at least see who it was from - and it was from my financial advisor. Gee, with what little I have with him now, I didn't think I rated even a little Valentine's gift. I appreciate it. He's a nice man. Lake Champlain chocolate is better, but I suppose they get a discount from Godiva, and I'll take any of that I get.

 

The ladies were cheerful, but nobody was doing anything. I showed them my bookmarks, but they weren't too interested, and Laurel got hung up in her shop (nice to know she had customers!) and never did see them. They went off to the Pines around 3:00, to visit Syd, who works there, so I came home.

 

The real story of the day was the weather. It was warm and sunny all day long, although the temperature varied a lot. It did get up to 47 for a while, which breaks the old record by 10. However, it got up to 57 at the airport! Wow. And by Friday, it's supposed to be back below freezing, with snow. Strange. The wind was almost calm all day, and there were very few, if any clouds. It was a lovely day - for late April.  It was good to see and feel the sunshine, I must say.

 

I think Aaron spent most of the day out on the ice, fishing. I don't blame him. I'd do the same, if I knew what to do with a fish after I caught it. One of the talents my grandfather had that didn't get passed down was the art of cleaning and filleting a fish.

 

So besides getting a good portion of the foot of the sock done, I didn't do anything today, except be social. 

 

When I got home, the temperature was nearly 78 in the office, which is entirely too warm for any time of year, and the computer was overheating, so I pulled the computer out from under the desk, then I opened the patio door a crack, and now it's getting back to a reasonable temperature in here. This is the first year in a while that I've had the screen on the patio door in the winter, and it is certainly nice to have it. It's much easier to open the door than to try to get to any of the windows right now, and the breeze, what there was, was from the southwest, so it has been coming in the office and cooling things off.

 

I thought Jasmine might stick her nose out the door, but she spent the late afternoon curled up on top of the kitty condo. A little of the sunshine hits that right now, and it was warm in the great room, too. Buster wanted to be with me. Earlier, Jasmine was in the office, watching the doings on the deck, but she ran away every time I started to come in. Geez! She still thinks I will shut the door and trap her.

 

So now I will read for a while and try to get to bed a little earlier tonight. It's a warm, moonlit night in the field.

 

February 15

I got out on the internet - frustratingly - last night, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I was up several times, as usual, and I finally got up around 9:30. Buster appeared after I started the heel of the sock, so he had to share me with the knitting, but I finished the heel. That's the reason I like those heavy socks on the big needles - they go fast. 

 

I had a fast breakfast and did most of my surfing before it was off to town. While the road was pretty yucky down to Delaware, after that it was clear and nearly dry. That was fine, and I made very good time. They don't do such a good job on the streets in Calumet and Laurium, but they weren't bad today.

 

They're turning me loose. The idea is, I know how to do all the exercises, and if I do them religiously, I should notice improvement in three to six months. I have one more appointment, on Thursday, then it's up to me. That's convenient, because I'm getting low on OJ, so it's time to do a little food shopping. 

 

I'm conflicted about not having regular appointments. It will be nice not to have a chunk taken out of two days a week, and it will certainly save wear-and-tear on the car and a lot of money in gas, but on the other hand, having somebody say "You have to do this" every so often has been useful. But that's all right. Now it's up to me - if I don't want to do it bad enough, I'll never do it. We'll see what happens.

 

On the trip home, I was able to use the cruise control for the first time since November, and it certainly makes things a lot easier. There was no traffic in either direction either way, except for one guy I passed going down, and it was nice. I almost took Cliff Drive, which is open this year, but it looked like US-41 from Copper Harbor to here, and I decided i had enough of that already. I may do it Thursday, coming home, just to see what it looks like.

 

The weather was warm. The temperature flirted with 40, although the highest it got here was 39. It was 42 or more in town. There was a rather strong wind - 15-30 mph - from the southwest. It was cloudy but very bright for most of the day, and along about sunset, it began to clear up. 

 

I guess it's time to reset the camera times again, since it wasn't nearly dark at 6:45. That's if it stays clear, of course. If it clouds up again, which it's supposed to, it won't matter. It was really nice to have the setting sun in my eyes and to see a clear, orange sky after it was gone.

 

I had to stop and get gas today, and it's time to grocery shop again, because I don't have any more coupons. At least this time, I got away for under $50. I definitely use less gas when I can put the car in 2WD. But after Thursday, it won't be so much of an issue.

 

On my way home, I stopped at the Laughing loon. I had asked Laurel about some more sweatpants, since i made one pair too short and the other pair has drops of FrayChek on the fronts. She found another pair of navy ones, so now I have two pair to shorten. This time I know better, though - I will wash them before I shorten them. That means washing them before I wear them, which I hate to do. I have always said that if I had all the money in the world I would never wear sweats that had been washed. Of course, I got more than that. I always do. She has some nice insulated car mugs or glasses, so I got one of those, and she had some really nice, large hobo-type bags that were made in Guatemala, and have nice embroidery on one side. I picked one out, then I found some more, and there was a lovely blue one with a pale blue damask front covered with royal blue embroidered flowers. 

 

I have been thinking I need something a little nicer than my denim tote bag, and something a little bigger, too, because I keep adding stuff to it. This one is actually big enough to put a laptop in, so I'm sure it will hold what I need. It even has a front pocket with a button and a zipper across the main compartment. Now I don't really need the kit I sent for, but oh, well. It will be something to sew.

 

I noticed, when I got home, that the birdies have been hitting the feeder pretty hard. That's good. I hope I can keep them filled from now on. Around this time of year, the natural sources of food must be getting depleted.

 

This evening, I finished the second bookmark. I will have to try to take a picture one of these days (if I can find the camera and the thing I use to lay stuff in). I don't really do the weaving of the open areas very well, but only practice will make it better. I wish there was another bookmark now, but I won't get the next one until March, so in the meantime I will have to make do with the card inserts I got last year, or maybe start the Drawn Thread kit I spent so much money on. It feels good to have a small needle in my hands again.

 

So that was my day. I am tired now, but I think maybe I will read a bit before I go up to the north end. It's a warm, clear night in the field, and there should be stars tonight.

 

February 14

i hope that everyone who celebrates Valentine's Day had a good one. I hugged a cat.

 

I got to bed around 10:00 again last night, and I slept well again. I woke up around 8:00 and decided that was too early, so it was 9:30 before I got up. That ought to be enough sleep, and I felt more with it today. I knitted to the point where I will start the heel, and I petted a cat. I did all my exercises, so it was late before I got dressed and had breakfast. 

 

I am happy to say Buster was eating today. I guess the fancy tuna I set out for him yesterday was just not what he was thinking about - although he may have given up a hairball I haven't found. 

 

I was so late that I didn't do anything much. However, the little birdies kept hitting the screen on the south side of the studio - I think there was a bug on the inside - so I finally, finally filled the pail and got the bird feeders filled. A lot of the snow melted yesterday, but then it froze again, so moving what was necessary wasn't easy. 

 

It was really cute. I went out and started shoveling, and the next thing I knew the chickadees were calling, and then I heard a kind of nasal "nyah - nyah" and I think that was the nuthatches. They were so excited! I didn't watch to see how many of them came to the feeders, but I imagine they did, even though it was late when I put them out.

 

When I opened the pail of mixed seed, there was a horrible net of webs on top of it. My mixed seed has moths in it. I knew it must, because I've been seeing moths around here for a while. It really needs to stay outside and freeze them all. And believe me, I will mention it to Erickson when I go back for more seed. They may not have any control over it, but they should know about it. I have had so much experience with meal moths, both in the bird seed and in my pantry, that it turns my stomach when I see it. Yuck. Double yuck. Fortunately, it won't bother the birds or squirrels - just some more protein.

 

Anyway, that is done, at least for a few days. It was icy outside the door, but I managed to totter around enough to do what I had to. It took long enough that there is one picture of my back, but I replaced it as quickly as I could, so I can hope nobody caught it.

 

The weather was nice, actually. It was cloudy this morning and I even saw a lazy flake or two drop down while I was doing my exercises - nothing at all, except that the weathermen can say, see, it snowed! Around noon it cleared up, and this afternoon was beautiful. It wasn't warm. The temperature was between 19 and 21 all day. The wind, which got up to the 25-35 mph range from the north overnight, died down around noon, too, and it was nearly calm all afternoon. While I should have remembered to put on my gloves when I was putting the feeders back out, otherwise, it was nice out, and I didn't feel the need for a hat. It began to cloud up again around sunset.

 

Speaking of the sun, it is setting between the thistle feeder and the tube feeder already! Whee! it's back in camera view again! It's been a while, and it's nice to see it again - if we do. It is so cloudy for most of the time in the winter, that any glimpse of sunshine and blue sky is likely to make us giddy. I keep forgetting that we are only a little over a month away from the equinox, because that really doesn't signal the end of winter around here. However cold and snowy it will be, at least it will be light outside and we're coming out of it. With any kind of luck, another two months and we'll be in the mud season.

 

So that was another quiet day, and I am going to try to get to bed early again tonight, but we'll see. Now it's a cloudy, calm night in the field.

 

February 13

Well, I actually did it. I got showered and into bed by 10:00 (or a few minutes later). I slept very well, thank you, although I was up several times. Unfortunately, keeping myself hydrated means it has to come out sometime, and my kidneys have always seemed to work better when I'm horizontal. Anyway, the last time I was up was about 6:30, unfortunately, so I didn't get my whole 9 hours. I got up, knitted a bit, and did a truncated set of exercises before I ate breakfast and checked the computer. I like eating before I get dressed, but from experience I know that if I did it most days, I'd never get dressed at all. However, when I have to leave at noon for my PT, maybe I can. Hmm...

 

I got off around 9:10. The drive wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared, even though the temperature was over freezing. The covered road is still snow covered, but the rest is either clear and wet or has a good set of open tracks on each side. I made it in 50 minutes, which means it was about normal. 

 

It was so good to be in church again! There was communion, and most of the hymns were OK. Pastor's sermon was a very good one. While he started out with the Old Testament lesson, the last ten minutes was all Gospel, and it was wonderful. I was very happy to learn that he has turned down the call he got, so he will be with us for the foreseeable future. His wife was happy, too. Her mother lives here, and she really wanted to stay, although I doubt that had very much to do with his decision. I was afraid, when I heard about the call - oh, no, just when I've found a great church! But it all turned out just fine.

 

The trip home was actually even better than the one down, since the snow had melted a bit more. There was a lot of traffic (for mid-February) apparently either going or coming from Bohemia. Most of the cars I passed going the other way had a carrier on top. Apparently just stowing your skis all bare-naked on top of your car is out these days, and most cars have these sort of flattened bullet-shaped carriers.  I imagine the snow is still OK on Bohemia, although it isn't powder anymore.

 

So I got home and changed clothes - and did nothing. In the middle of the afternoon, I got very, very sleepy, but I didn't nap, because I want to sleep tonight - and I will. I'm tired.

 

Buster isn't feeling well again, I fear. He didn't eat his breakfast, which he usually likes. and he spent the afternoon mostly on my lap. At one point this evening, he fell asleep and he was clearly having a bad dream, because his little feet were trembling. I hate to see that happen, so I petted him, and he relaxed. Poor Buster. I'm afraid when I get up early and go off, he's sure I won't ever come back, and he is so happy when I do.

 

The weather was yucky, frankly. The temperature never got below 28 all night long, and it varied around 35 all day. Most of the time there wasn't much wind, except while we were in church. Late this afternoon, there was something nasty coming down, and it still may be, but it's very light, whatever it is. I saw it on the radar map, and it was shown as "mixed", and when I looked out, I think I could see something coming down. I think it has stopped now, but yuck. Better 0 and blowing snow!

 

Now I will read for a little while and then I will go to bed early. Really, I plan on it. There are a few things I would like to do tomorrow. However, I can guarantee I won't be getting up at 7:00!

 

I was afraid that the heavy comforter would be too warm now that it's warmed up outside, but at least last night, it certainly wasn't. If it gets warm, I can put on a lighter nightie. I guess I'm finally getting to the point where either I don't generate as much heat, or I need to be warmer at night. I have been a whole lot more comfortable, both when I'm in bed and when I get up in the morning, since I've had the heavy comforter on the bed.

 

So it's a dark, yucky, not very cold night in the field, and it is supposed to snow overnight. With the waxing moon overhead, it's not really dark-dark, but it's still yucky.

 

February 12

I read too long last night, so it was after midnight again when I got to bed. While I was reading, with the radio on, except for something hitting the screen, I didn't realize that something was going on outside until I looked at the weather, and the wind had picked up from the north to 35-45 mph. Wow. It banged around the house, but it didn't keep me awake. I got up around 10:00, I think, and I knitted and petted the cat and did my exercises.

 

When I got to the studio, there was an email from Ron saying that when he went to pick up Trevor at work (he works at Mariner when there's work), he almost couldn't get through the drifts down by Lake Lily. Apparently he cleaned it up, because while there was quite a pile by the side of the road - about the height of my Yukon - the road was lovely.

 

Anyway, it blew all night long, then it started to die down around sunrise, and it is now calm. The temperature only got down to 18 overnight, and it went up to 25 for a couple of hours today. Evidently we are in for a thaw next week, and the forecasts do not sound at all good, even including rain.

 

I don't know what the sky looked like overnight, but it was almost clear when I got up, and it stayed nearly clear until about 3:30, after which it clouded up. 

 

The fishing klatch was in full swing when I got to the kitchen, and they stayed all day long, and left about 4:00. It was a nice day to be outside, with all the sunshine and the relatively mild temperatures and winds around 15 mph. I wonder if they caught any fish.

 

When I went by the east windows in the great room around 3:30, there was a half moon (or so) up in the pale blue sky, so pretty.

 

I didn't do anything. When I got to the kitchen, I discovered I must have hit the "lock" button instead of the "delay start" button on the dishwasher and the dishes were still dirty. Fortunately, I didn't need anything in there for breakfast, so I started it right away, when I figured out what the problem was. I see no reason for that "lock" button at all, although maybe in a household with little kids it's sort of useful, until the kids figure it out. This is the first time I've done that, and I will try to be more careful in the future.

 

I went to the post office, and while the mail was in the boxes, the window was closed before 3:00. Oh, dear. I will probably check back on Monday, because there was a package (which I can't remember what it is supposed to be). Clyde was nattering again the last time I saw him, and I keep fearing he won't play along until the post office gets its act together and agrees on a new postmaster. Then I don't know what we'll do. The nearest official post office is in Mohawk, but I doubt they have the resources to take our boxes, and that's about 20 miles away anyway. Well, we'll see.

 

I did get discombobulated by the time, though. I usually look at my analog clock, but I happened to glance at the atomic clock, and it looked to me like the time in the computer was off, so I reset it...then a while later, I looked at the analog clock, and I realized that the atomic clock had messed up its signal overnight, and it was about 40 minutes fast. So I reset the computer. I don't know what that did to the camera, although I had to reboot a number of times today, so it probably didn't do much harm.

 

I was playing a game this afternoon when I noticed that the computer was overheating. That game (Bookworm) usually doesn't cause any problems, so I suspect it's getting to be time to open up the case and dust the fans again. It's very dusty (and full of cat hair) in here, and after a while the dust gets onto the edges of the fan blades and slows down the fan. There is also usually dust between the heat sink and the cpu, which cuts down on the heat conduction. I'm not sure exactly what the problem was, because later I played a different game and didn't have any problem. Oh, the joys of computers...

 

So that was my day, and I am going up to the north end early tonight, with the idea that I will go to church tomorrow. We'll see.

 

Now it's a dark, calm night in the field.

 

February 11

Last night, I got to fooling around on the computer, so it was midnight before I got to bed anyway. I had another good night's sleep. Oh, being warm makes a real difference. The temperature had gone up to 66 in the bedroom, so I took the hold off, and it was down to 62 by morning, but as it turned out, there was a reason for that.

 

I petted the cat, knitted a while, and did my exercises, then I had a nice warm bowl of oatmeal with a banana and some maple syrup and warm milk. Funny, I didn't get cold all day, although I did get a bit hungry in the afternoon. Oatmeal just doesn't give me enough protein.

 

Otherwise, it was a quiet day. I got the dishwasher almost ready to run, and I finally washed the soup pot - now, as soon as I wash the lid, which I forgot, it will be ready for more soup. Yum. 

 

When I got to the kitchen and looked out the windows, it was clear that the Faassens' fishing klatch was in full swing. There were a bunch of guys, a couple of tents, and a dog out on the ice between me and Amanda and Aaron's place. They spent most of the day out there and only left around 4:00. I wonder if the fishing was good. Now I know why there were a couple of guys out yesterday (I think) - they were checking the depth of the ice. Obviously, it's thick enough to walk on, at least over there at the end of the harbor.

 

The weather was rather nice, actually. It seems the temperature went down to 0 at 7:00 this morning - a good reason why it was chilly in the bedroom - but it warmed up steadily to 19 at 5:00 this evening, before it dropped back, and it is now up to 22. There was a light wind from the west for most of the day. It has now switched to northwest, and it has been snowing steadily since 6:00 - enough to register 0.04" of water at the NWS station. 

 

When I went up to the north end last night, I discovered that the airport report was right - it was clear - and there was a nice crescent moon shining in the windows. It was clear all night long, and while the stars sort of went away by 6:00, it was nearly clear when I got up at 9:30. When I looked out the bathroom windows around 3:30, I could see all of Auriga's pentagon setting in the northwest. So it was really clear. Unfortunately, with the blinds pulled, I couldn't see what was setting in the west. It was partly sunny for most of the morning, and it only clouded up after noon. It was nice to see the stars and the sun for a change, more so since I knew it wouldn't last.

 

I forgot to mention last night that we have finally gotten over the hump of 10 hours of daylight. and the sun is now setting after 6:00. It took us 23 days to gain an hour, but now it will go faster. We'll gain the next hour in 19 days, on the last day of the month. So even though we have at least another six weeks of winter (probably two months), at least it isn't as dark as it was.

 

So that was another quiet day. I went downstairs to raid the freezer and get a couple of balls of knitting yarn I've been thinking about, but I didn't stay. Now it's time to read a bit before I finish off the dishwasher and put away the rest of my dinner (penne from Schwan's - I haven't decided what I want to cook next). 

 

It's a dark, snowy night in the field and the sleeping will be good.

 

February 10

After I uploaded this last night, I got to embroidering on the bookmark and it was so mesmerizing that I kept on, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well again, but I had to get up at 8:30, and I really didn't want to.

 

I did my morning stuff, and I got to do quite a bit of my surfing. I had a senior moment, though, and almost started off at 11:00 instead of noon - oops. I caught myself, though, and just left the car in the snowbank.

 

The LES advisory may have been over (they apparently canceled it sometime during the night), but it was still going today. There was a little sunshine about the time I left, at noon, but I looked out over the lake as I passed the fort, and I said to myself, there's some snow in those clouds - and the other side of the Fanny Hooe bridge, it was snowing like crazy. It was like that all the way to Laurium and back, although coming back, it was continuous snow. 

 

In spite of that, it wasn't too bad driving, because there wasn't much traffic. I did get behind somebody around Phoenix who seemed to be going all right, then we ran into a little snow shower around the Vansville Bar, and when I caught sight of her, she had slowed down so much that I had to jam on the brakes, and my rear end broke free a bit. After we got to the straight stretch between Phoenix and Mohawk, I passed her, and she was all hunched forward with her hands clutching the steering wheel like it might fall off. You know, there are times when you have to drive in adverse conditions, but either you should do it enough to get used to it or you should try to let somebody else do the driving. That woman, even though I felt sorry for her, was a menace on the road.

 

My only problem coming home was that I ran across a big semi going south as I was going north on the covered road. Since we all tend to drive down the middle of the road in this weather, it was a hairy moment, especially since he was throwing up such a wake I was essentially blind for several seconds. On the subject of seeing, it's a strange sensation to be wearing sunglasses (I find that even when the sun isn't exactly shining, I get better contrast when wearing them if it's bright) and have my headlights on. I finally found out how to turn on the headlights manually, and now I use them all the time when it's snowing and blowing. It makes me easier to see. And I was happy to discover that I get warning bells when I turn the car off and leave them on. The only disadvantage is that turning on the headlights turns down the clock lights, so that I can't see it. Well, I try to give myself enough time to get there.

 

We had a good therapy session, although there was one thing she wanted me to do that I can't - or I couldn't today. She wanted me to do a little squat, and my knees would just not bend. They have been bothering me lately anyway, and I couldn't do that at all. I did do the other ones, though. I'm tired.

 

The temperature was still frigid. It was 7 this morning, and it got up to 15 for a while this afternoon (gee, a heat wave!), although I think it was colder in Laurium. The wind blew all night long, in the 20-30 mph range from the north, but by 2:00 it had gone calm, and it has been very light from the west-southwest for the rest of the afternoon. That should make it a little warmer in here, I hope. It will be warming up steadily, if the forecasts are right, and it may get over freezing in the middle of next week. I hope not, because we have a really nice mat down now on the road, and I would hate to have that get chewed up again.

 

I stopped at the store for eggs and milk and got home before 3:30, so that was good. Buster has been sitting on me a lot, although he still acts weird. And when I began to cook my dinner (stuffed chicken breasts from Schwan's) he started hollering at me long before they were done. He is eating, which is a good sign. He just acts funny.

 

So that was my day, and I don't need to take a bath tonight, so I will be in bed shortly. It's a dark, cold night in the field, and it may still be snowing (although they are reporting clear in Houghton, which I doubt), but at least the wind has died down.

 

February 9

My, what a difference a good night's sleep can make! When I went up to the north end, I switched comforters and spread out the heavy weight one. I haven't used that one much. The lighter weight one is getting sort of thin in spots (it's 10 years old), but the heavy weight one is still nice and thick, sometimes too thick. I read the last couple of pages of the story I was reading, and then I stared at the floor for quite a while.

 

Actually, there was probably a reason for that. It was only 63 in the bathroom when I got there, but I turned on the heat lamps, and when I got out of the shower, it was 67. That's still cool, but it's acceptable. I got dried off and into my nightie in record time, I think.

 

Well, I was clearly right about being cold. I was just the right temperature last night, and I went to sleep right away, at about 12:30. I was up three times, but I went right back to sleep. The heavy comforter is a bit difficult to haul around when I'm changing sides, but I did figure out a way to get out of bed and keep most of it and the body pillow all warm, and it was so nice to crawl back into my warm nest when I got back into bed. I finally crawled out around 10:00.

 

I did almost all my exercises, and I discovered that by putting on my slipper socks, I could keep my feet warm while I exercised. I also petted the cat, who was very purry this morning, and I knitted on the wild sock.

 

I think it snowed almost all night, and it certainly snowed all day. The wind continued from the north, and although the maximum gust speed was 42 mph last night, it hit 39 mph a couple of times overnight. It died down a bit this afternoon, but it has now picked up again into the 25-35 mph range. It was so cold out that I didn't stick my nose outside. It was still 15 at midnight, but it dropped off, and it was between 6 and 7 until about 5:00 this evening. It has now risen to a whopping 10. Needless to say, with that wind, the windchill was in the -15 to -20 range.

 

Apparently Ron came around with the tractor before I got up, because I didn't hear him, but he had scraped off the driveway and opened a path to the breezeway door. 

 

Tomorrow, I will have to go out, in spite of the weather. I don't want to miss another PT appointment. I will just have to drive slowly and carefully. The LES advisory is now scheduled to expire around 1:00 pm - at least so far. We'll see. I'll believe it's over when I see it. 

 

I don't think we've gotten all that much snow, but it's been coming down steadily all day. There were only three or four pictures from the camera where you could see the other side of the harbor. A couple of times the airport reported heavy snow. The wind has battered around the house all night and all day, but the sound of the lake is muted, since the shoreline is all frozen over. I can still hear it a little, but not like I would expect at other times of year.

 

So I had a nice pasty for dinner, and I'm warm and comfy inside. The temperature in the studio has finally gotten up to 65, which seems warm after the 60 - 62 it's been for most of the day. I also worked on the second bookmark for a while, and I am now doing one of the openwork areas - and I just realized I'd forgotten about the rest of the design. Oops. Well, I will finish this one and then do the little boxes and arrowheads. 

 

Now, however, I think I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early for a change. It's a dark, windy night in the field and winter deepens.

 

February 8

Last night it was about 11:15 when I got to bed, and I didn't sleep very well. After thinking about it today, I decided my problem was that I was a little bit cool. Not cold, but not comfortable, either, So tonight I will switch comforters and wear my robe to bed. Anyway, the wind blew all night long, and I can tell that the ice has extended quite a ways out from the shore, because the sound of the lake was a long way away. When I was up, it was clear that it snowed all night long, too.

 

When I got up this morning, a bit before 8:30, because I had to walk, t felt a bit cool in the bedroom and in the bathroom, the wind was blowing hard, and it was snowing. When I checked, it was 60 in the bedroom and 65 in the bathroom - not my favorite temperatures.

 

I knitted a bit and petted the cat, and it became clear to me that I was going nowhere today. I just could not face that wind and all the blowing snow. So I put on my sweats and put on my big fleece robe over them, put on my wool sweat socks, and prepared to hunker down. Good thing, too. I didn't look at the temperature in the great room, but if it was 60 I'd be surprised. It was 61 or so in the studio, and it never got over 63 all day.

 

I managed to stay fairly comfortable by drinking a lot of hot stuff - coffee for breakfast, and herb tea in the afternoon - and having Sichuan style noodles for dinner. I had some trouble keeping my hands warm, but when don't I?

 

I spent a long time looking at recipes online - got some that sound yummy - and then I finished the first bookmark and started the second one. I spent some time looking at the empty bird feeders whipping around in the winds, but there was no way I could go out to bring them in, so they will either stay hung  or they won't.

 

Well, we got our connectivity back, so I can report on the weather. The temperature hit a low of 5 about 7:00 this morning, and it began to rise slowly after that. It has now gotten up to 21, although the wind chill must still be down around 0. For most of the day the wind was in the 15-35 mph range, mostly from the north, although it swung around toward the northwest for a while this afternoon. And then at the last report, at 8:00, there had been wind gusts up to 42 mph (!), and it is from the north again. The sustained wind is now 26 mph. No wonder it's frigid in here. It snowed some, for sure, but it wasn't possible to tell the difference between the snow coming down and the snow blowing around. It was a wild and hairy day, for sure, and it's going to be an even  hairier night.

 

I made my fleece robe back in 2002, and I made it from a coat pattern. The first one, which I made here, is much too big for a normal robe, but it is wonderful to wear as in indoor coat. I can get some thick fleece underneath it and still have room. It's a very cozy thing to have.

 

Unfortunately, I have to take a bath tonight, because I kept peeing my pants - I just didn't want to get up and bare my behind, I guess. Maybe with the heat lamps I can get the temperature in the bathroom up to a decent temperature. Then I will switch comforters and hope that keeps me warm, I did shut the blinds in the bedroom this morning and I cranked up the thermostat (which doesn't normally do very much), so we'll see. I am tired of not sleeping well.

 

I have been laughing at the NWS. First the LES event was supposed to end tomorrow morning, then tomorrow night, and now I think it's Thursday morning, or maybe Thursday evening. I hope it's Thursday morning, because I don't want to miss another PT. This has been a good one, though, and it's been fun to watch even though I've been freezing.

 

I might mention that Buster ate today, rather well, too, so I guess the temperature made him hungry, too. He is still acting strangely, and I really think he may be getting a bit senile. He still likes to sit on me, though, especially when it's cold. I think Jasmine spent the whole day under the pink chair. I suppose it's a little warmer there. If they really wanted to be warm, they'd go downstairs, I think, but there aren't a lot of comfortable places to sleep there.

 

So that was my quiet day. The wind is roaring and the snow is coming down, and it's a dark, cold, hairy night in the field.

 

February 7

I got to bed by 10:30 last night, but I didn't sleep at all well. I was achy all over, and I had a hard time finding a comfortable way to sleep. Since I had already taken Tylenol, I couldn't take anything stronger, so it was quite a while before I fell asleep and I woke up frequently after some very strange dreams. I woke up around 8:30, and I finally gave up and got up.

 

I petted the cat and did a few exercises before I looked at the weather and the picture sites and went off to my massage. Johanna has a houseful of friends and a boarder, which was interesting. Anyway, I felt much better after my massage, or at least not nearly so achy.

 

That was about all I did. Monday is a day when there is a lot to read on the internet, so the rest of my surfing took the rest of the afternoon.

 

Oh, yes, when I got home, my breakfast tray, which I had left on the cart, was upside down on the floor and there was another broken glass. Geez, Buster! There wasn't anything there. I know I can get another one of those glasses, fortunately, but I really want the blue one! But he won't eat his own food. I think he's getting a little senile.

 

It started snowing about the time it got dark last night, and it snowed all night long. When I went out this morning, it looked like about four inches had fallen. The temperature started at 15 at midnight and is now down to 9. The wind was out of the east all night and has now switched around to the north, in the 15-25 mph range. It's supposed to get stronger tomorrow, and we are under a lake effect snow warning until Wednesday morning. 

 

Of course, I have to go to town tomorrow.

 

This evening, I worked on the bellpull, and I am now at the point of cutting the threads for the openwork. I don't mind the cutting and I don't mind weaving the bars, but I don't like doing picots very well. I guess it will look OK, but it's not my favorite. Besides, I can't remember if you're supposed to keep the scissors to the left of the stitches when you cut or the stitches to the left of the scissors. I did it one way on the top of the initial, and I don't like it too well, so I guess I'll try it the other way. It has to do with the way the scissors close, but I can't remember the logic of it. These things are nice, but Hardanger really isn't my favorite technique. The new bellpull came, and fortunately, it only has three little areas of cutting and weaving, and the rest of it is stitches I like better. It is done with thread I like in a color I like (although Teak Wildflowers isn't nearly as pretty as Teak Waterlilies, which is silk),

 

So now maybe I'll cut a little more and then try to get to bed early again tonight. It's a cold, dark snowy night in the field.

 

February 6

Today was a lost day, so this will be short.

 

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and while it took me a little while to get to sleep, I slept pretty well. I didn't get up until 10:00, so no church. Buster and 

 

Jasmine spent the night in the bathroom on the clean pink rug, except that Buster barfed up a hairball on it early in the morning. So I petted him, finished the rose sock (finally!) and cast on the second of one of my wild stripy thick socks. This one is navy, dark lavender, hot pink, fern green, and bright orange. It wouldn't be bad except for the orange, but it might be useful, at least for shock value.  Wouldn't you know that this pair, of all of them, start almost at the same place in the very long pattern repeat, so they will look almost the same.

 

I have five socks in that weight yarn, all different colorways, and when I inspected them, I discovered that I did several of them different ways. One has 12 rows of ribbing rather than 10, and one, the Valentine sock, I knit from the toe up. Geez! I don't know if I'll do all of them, but I might. They only have 48 stitches a row, and they go really fast. It will be nice to finish something in a hurry for a change. 

 

I fiddled a bit with wooden needles, and I don't get a different gauge with them, and I find I like the nickel-plated brass ones better - I can knit faster with them. Well, live and learn. There are some things that need wooden needles, like lace, but not socks.

 

The weather was blah. It snowed lightly off and on all day. The temperature was 25 at midnight, then it fell slowly and was around 18 all afternoon. The wind was from the north in the 10-15 mph range for most of the day, although lately it has been gusting to 25 mph. It was dark and dismal.

 

I noticed that the drift that was between the patio door and the screen is gone now, so I guess I can get out on the porch and shovel, and get the bird feeders filled, after I fill the pail, of course. I'm sure the little birdies are finding it hard to get food, although those canny chickadees cache food in the bark of trees. 

 

Buster and I had the end of the chicken tonight, and he was in his glory, because there was a lot of juice in the bottom of the package and he loves juice. He has also begun to love chicken. It still freaks me out when he wants what I eat, since for the first 12 or 13 years of his life, he wasn't interested in people food at all. Now he wants - and eats - anything of mine I'll give him, from chicken and pork to the bottom of my cereal bowls. Weird.

 

So that was my day, and I will read a bit now and try to get to bed early again. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.

 

February 5

I hadn't intended to read so long, but I was getting near the end of the written part of the story, so I just read to the end. As a result, it was 11:00 before I got to bed. I woke up around 9:00 with a headache from my sinus thing, and I just didn't want to get up, even though Buster hollered at me. I finally did get up about 9:45. Then I discovered why the hollering. When Buster isn't quite happy with his water dish, he has been known to pull the washcloth off the towel bar into it, and he had done that this morning, the little snot.

 

He wasn't around when I got up, so I knitted a bit, and I have only about 8 more rows on the toe of the sock. Wow, it certainly has seemed to take a long time to do those! I will be glad to go on to something else. I was knitting when he turned up, so he didn't get his usual petting, which didn't please him either. I did a few exercises, not a lot, before I got dressed.

 

My intention was to do the wash today, because I am out of compression hose and underpants, but I dawdled around, of course, and didn't start it until around 4:00. I will get it done tonight, but it will be a while. The first load is in the dryer and the second load is rinsing (at 6:30). I would like to go to church tomorrow, but we'll see when I go to bed and when I wake up.

 

My feeling about the weather yesterday was true, according to Amanda's blog. It did ice up all the snow, and it wasn't fun driving. That blog post is really cute, by the way. She is helping at our one-room school, and she had a great old time with the kids at recess. Anyway, after reading about it, I was glad I stayed in.

 

Today, it was quieter. The temperature got up to 35 at 2:00 am, then it fell very slowly to 29 now. The wind was from the north but not very strong. It snowed or rained or something between 3:00 am and 5:00 am, and there was a little more between 1:00 and 2:00 this afternoon, when I know it was snow, because I saw it. I stayed in again. 

 

I really should have gone to the post office, but I have a massage on Monday, so I will stop by after that. There should be some pills and another bookmark and maybe something else, as well as some more bills. Fortunately, because of the economy, I'm not getting as many catalogs as I used to, although the pleas for money never stop.

 

Ron came by and did a quick job on the driveway, which, I hope, got rid of the ice, or I may have to break out my Yak Traks. The garage door still won't go down by itself, even when It's warm. When it warms up, I will have to investigate, carrying a can of WD-40 with me.

 

Except for the wash, I did nothing. I was tired and very creaky today. My back was bothering me - still is, when I stand for any length of time.

 

I did fill the dry cat food bowls, and now I find that not only does Jasmine like the one kind of food, so does Buster, apparently, because he sat right down and ate a whole helping of it. Well, the way things go, I guess I can stop buying at least two of the other three kinds. I didn't think he was eating any dry food at all, but I guess I was wrong. So probably Jasmine is eating the canned food, too. I'll never know, because she almost never eats when I'm around. They probably both ate the tuna yesterday, because I gave them four little cans, and most of it was gone this morning. I know they like it, but tuna isn't really good for them, so it's a treat we occasionally have on Friday.

 

So that was my day, and now I can start the next load of wash. If I can get both loads washed, I can put them in the dryer and let it go overnight.

 

Now it's a dark, yucky night in the field.

 

February 4

I was really tired last night. I read for a little while, and I was in bed by 10:00. I did sleep well, I must say. I was a bit perturbed while I was sitting in the bathroom, because I kept hearing what sounded like dripping on the windowsill. Then, the first time I got up in the night, when I came back into the bathroom the scene out the window looked like it was snowing down the harbor - until I sat down, when it cleared up completely. After the second time, I realized it must be something on the window itself, and I thought, oh, dear, don't tell me another window has lost its seal! 

 

Well, no. When I got up this morning, at about 8:20, amazingly enough, it was clear that the problem was that the upper sash of the window was covered by ice, as was the west window in the window seat. I was relieved, but I was not pleased that we had had that much freezing rain.

 

So I petted the cat and knitted a bit and did my exercises, and then I decided I wanted something for breakfast that was in the basement, so I went down and got it and cooked it. When I got to the studio, the window in front of the camera was almost completely covered with ice. I toyed with the idea of trying to scrape it off, but that would have meant going out on the deck, which still has 18" drifts on it, so I decided not. I'm sorry for the bad pictures.

 

I did my surfing, and I washed the towels, and eventually I started my soup. Well, now I have about a gallon of really yummy split pea with ham soup. The ham hock and ham shank I got from Pat's not only taste delicious, they had a lot of meat on them. My back was bothering me, of course, but I managed to chop my veggies, and a couple of hours later, I managed to get my ham off the bones and cut up. Oh, my, that soup is good! I will freeze most of it, but it's so good that I will keep some out to have on Sunday. Maybe next week I will do bean soup. I love to make soup because after you chop the veggies, you don't have anything to do. My stove is very good for things like that. I have a couple of burners that are labeled "controlled simmer" that don't get as hot as the regular ones. So I boil up the soup on my high-rated burner, then slide it back to the simmer burner and let it bubble away. And when it's done, I have something yummy and filling and good for days like today.

 

Speaking of chopping the onions. I have had my alligator chopper for a year or two, and my only problem with it has been that I have to bang the top with the heel of my hand in order to get it to chop. Not a problem normally, but I had a sore hand after I used it to chop the turkey for my turkey and noodles. Well, I've been reading a book called Cooking for Geeks. A lot of it is stuff I won't use (nor will I eat at a house where the cook only wipes his frying pans out with a paper towel - talk about unsanitary!), but there are a couple of tips I have gotten already that I will use. One suggestion was to use a rubber mallet on the top of the knife when cutting winter squash. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? However, I did realize I could use the mallet on the alligator chopper and save my hands. Well, that certainly worked well! The chopping went fast, and my hands didn't get sore. So now I have to find a place in the kitchen to store the mallet.

 

The weather wasn't worth talking about. It was very windy until midnight, but then the wind died down, although it was gusty during the afternoon. The temperature got up to 30. After 1:00, we had quite a bit of snow, enough that the NWS station recorded 0.16" of liquid precip. 

 

I was really afraid that the rain, or whatever it was, on top of the snow would make it really slippery, so I decided to hibernate today. We'll see how it is tomorrow. I want to go to the post office, because there are a few things I'm looking for.

 

I had a nasty accident this morning, so I had my sweatpants on, and that was the last reason I didn't go out.

 

So today was my cooking day, and now I have to pack up my soup and get the dishwasher ready to run. I was up early enough this morning that I think I can get to bed early tonight again. Now it's a dark, nasty night in the field.

 

February 3

I read for a while last night, and it was nearly 11:30 when I got to bed. I did sleep, but I was up about every two hours, and I had an accident. Not a really bad one, but still. Anyway. When I was up in the night, there were stars, at least for a while. By 3:00 they were all gone, so Environment Canada wasn't exactly right, either.

 

I was awake at 8:13, and when I looked out the window, there was a wide swath of red on the west horizon. By the time I looked again, it was gone. If I'd been up around 8:00, I might have seen that red more over me. I checked the camera, and it only hinted at what I saw.

 

I didn't get up until 10:00, and I petted the cat for a little while before I got dressed without doing any exercises. I didn't have a lot of time to do anything - I move slowly in the morning.

 

The drive to Laurium was mostly very good. The road was dry from Gratiot Lake Road south. However, there was a 25-35 mph wind from the west,  so from Mohawk south, there was a lot of blowing snow across the road. 

 

My PT turned out really good. I learned some new exercises, and Cindy did my soft tissue work with me sitting on a stool, which worked really well. I got to have a few words with Dave. He says that it typically takes 3 to 5 months to get the back things resolved, so (and he didn't say this) I guess I shouldn't be discouraged. I guess it's just because the other things responded so well. So I guess I'll be going down to Laurium for a long time to come.

 

I had to get gas, but the pump I was at was sheltered, so the wind didn't bother me very much. I seem to have to get gas every three trips. I guess I could get four, but in the winter, I like to keep my gas tank as full as possible. I used all my cents-off coupons today, so I'm using more gas than food. Probably that's good.

 

The trip home was good too, after I passed a really shaky driver going down the hill to Allouez. The wind seemed to have died down a bit and there wasn't as much drifting across the road. I got home around 3:30.

 

The weather was very dull and gray. The temperature here rose slowly all day, and is now 26. The wind here was mostly in the 15-25 mph range from the west, although it is now shifting northwest. I somehow got the history page for the airport, and they had gusts up to 41 mph early this afternoon - no wonder it was blowing across the road! It was a dark, dull day. 

 

So that was my day. I got a second (or maybe third?) email from some guy who keeps saying the birdies are hungry, and I know that. Tomorrow maybe I can take a picture of the drifts outside the patio door, send it to him, and ask him to come and shovel off the deck for me. Tomorrow is a day off, and while my main tasks are to make soup and wash towels, we'll see about the birdies. It depends upon how my back feels. Not only do I have to shovel the end of the deck, I have to haul in a new pail of sunflower seeds. All of that is bad for the back.

 

Now, while it's not very late, I'm tired, and it's cold in here. The temperature has finally gotten up to 65, after being 62 all day. So I think I will go up to the north end, put on my nightie (which is coming apart), and maybe read a little while before I snuggle under the covers. It's a dark, windy and pretty cold night in the field.

 

February 2

I was reading or something when I realized that Buster was trying to get at the chicken bones in a dish, and in the course of getting him out of there, I dropped a plate and a glass on the floor. The plate is OK, but the glass, one of my cobalt double old fashioneds, broke. Drat. I couldn't find it on the Vermont Country Store website, so I went up to the north end and read for a while. I admit, it was a while ago that I got those glasses, but I really don't want to see them start to dwindle. They are so pretty, they are a good size for me to hold, and they hold half a bottle of wine. Perfect. I tried to call tonight, but they are shut down for the weather. Several of us today wished we had gotten some of that weather here. Some of us, at least, love blizzards. 

 

Anyway, I got to bed around 11:30, and I did sleep well, although I was up five or six times during the night. That's what trying to hydrate myself does to me. My shoulder wasn't nearly as painful until this morning, and I should have gotten up at 9:00 rather than 10:00, but oh, well. 

 

I petted the cat, who is still sneezing, but he is eating again, and I put the weird colored sock on the wooden circular needle, then I did my exercises. So I didn't have time to do all my surfing before I was off to Carolyn's for the afternoon.

 

It was a good group, and Syd was there, so that was nice. I got home around 4:00, as usual, and I finished most of my surfing - minus the puzzles - when I got home.

 

Buster wanted to sit on me, which was fine, but I had to shoo him so that I could make our dinner. He is really into that chicken. So am I, actually. This is a really good one, and as I mentioned, since it was cold when I bought it, the white meat isn't overcooked. I am enjoying it. I guess, when I can get four meals for $4.64, it's not an extravagance. 

 

The weather was surprising. It began to clear up around the time I got up, and by the time I went to Carolyn's it was almost clear, and shortly all the clouds went away. It was so nice to see the sunshine! The temperature only got up to around 15, though, and there was a 15 mph wind from the west. I guess it's supposed to get very windy tomorrow (of course!). Anyway, it wasn't bad to be outside, if you were dressed for it. 

 

I should mention in passing that the Weather Underground rolled out its updated website pages today, and I don't like it at all. They've spread things out on the page so that I have to close my favorites column to see it, and they completely left out the text forecasts for days beyond tomorrow. Fortunately, their old site is still available, with a different address, and I wrote and told them I don't like the new one at all. I hope I'm not the only one. Sometimes I wonder when I see these so-called "updated and better" web pages that are not nearly as good as what they replace. They claim they passed it by a panel of users. Well, they didn't ask me, and I have the Copper Harbor page up most of the day.

 

So it was a nice afternoon, and we may actually see some stars tonight, which would be nice. It's a cold, clear and breezy night in the field.

 

February 1

Geez! February already! Where does the time go?

 

In bed, if you're me. I got to bed last night at about 10:30, but my right shoulder was so sore and I was so achy all over that I had a hard time getting to sleep. My PTA says that's partly because I'm dehydrated. So tonight I'm more hydrated, and we'll see. Anyway, the last time I looked at the clock was about 12:30, although I was up a couple of times after that and I had a hard time getting back to sleep. So it was 10:00 before I got up, and all I had time to do was a long love-in with Buster.

 

Now he's sneezing. Oh, woe. If it's not one damn thing, it's another.

 

Anyway, I had a fast breakfast and did some of my surfing - and had to change my underwear - before I was off to my appointment. One of the disadvantages of having the 1:00 appointment is that everybody has just gotten back from lunch and it takes them time to get acclimated, so I don't get my full hour. Besides, I wanted to talk to Dave about my shoulder, although that was useless. So we did abdominal bracing exercises and I got about 15 minutes of massage on my back, which was tight. Oh, well. I'm learning more and more about what they're trying to do.

 

Then I stopped at Pat's. I had forgotten several things I wanted to get the last time - like onions, potatoes and carrots - and I wanted something for dinner. My original idea was some chicken breasts for one of my chicken recipes, but when I went through the deli department, there were the rotisserie chickens. Wow, now that's delicious and a whole lot easier than making something! I was a good girl, though, and only bought three things I wasn't looking for - a cheese dip, which is yummy, some goat cheese, and a bag of huge oranges. So I got out for under $50. Very, very slowly I am learning to rein in my spending. Very slowly.

 

Anyway, I got home about 4:00, and I had some of my cheese dip, which Buster wanted. Then around 6:00 he started agitating for me to get my dinner. Geez, now he wants to run my life, too! He was a terrible pest while I ate, but he got his chicken, and he is now a very happy camper. The plate looks like it had been through the dishwasher. It was good, and I liked it, too. I know, DIY is cheaper (although I'm  not too sure about that), but most of the time, I'm more interested in fast. This time, I got a cold one, rather than a hot one, and I think I will do that from now on. The hot ones seem to get a bit overcooked by the time I reheat them...and since I have to reheat them anyway, why get a hot one?

 

I am eating an orange, and they are delicious. The way the weather has been, I wasn't sure whether we'd get many really large oranges this winter, but these are almost the size of a softball, and they're very sweet. What we don't get much of up here are Florida oranges, and I haven't seen a tangelo or a Florida navel since I've been here. Or any juice oranges, either. Well, we get a lot more good produce than I would have expected, so I guess I can't complain. About the cookbooks that call for it, yes, but not about the markets.

 

The weather was okay. The temperature was 16 here all day and a couple of degrees cooler in Calumet. There was a light north wind all day. There was an interesting mixture of sunshine and snow showers all over the peninsula. I had to wear my sunglasses while I was driving, because the sun kept coming out, and a mile or two later, it would be snowing. That's the way lake effect showers are, so I suppose that's what we were getting. There didn't seem to be much accumulation, but three or four inches seemed to have fallen on our road, and when I came home, my tire tracks on the east-west part of the driveway were covered. With our tractor out of commission, it's probably a good thing we're not getting what's going on to our south.

 

So now I'm tired again, and I don't think it will be long before I go up to the north end. It's a dark, snowy night in the field, as usual.

 

Last  updated 08/04/11 08:45 PM