A View From the Field







April 2011


April 30

So April is history. Wow. 


I made it into bed by 11:00 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. It was warm at the north end, and I think that was part of it, but it seemed like I was creaky, too. I got up around 9:00 and did the morning stuff.


When I was awake in the night, there were stars, and it seemed to me that the northern horizon was very bright, up to around 30 or more in the sky, but there wasn't any activity that I could see. That's exciting, because it's been several years since we've seen anything like that, even.


The morning started out quite clear and sunny, but the clouds soon began to move in, and the late afternoon was cloudy and dull, although so far we haven't had any rain. The temperature got up to 54, briefly, and between 5:00 and 6:00 there were wind gusts up to 40 mph from the south. I didn't stick my nose outside.


In fact, I didn't do much of anything. I spent a very long time looking at cross stitch graphs, and then I closed that window. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get a few things I need for my summer wardrobe. Would you believe that Lands End doesn't have any u-necked tees in XL already? I was really annoyed. So I went out to Eddie Bauer, and that didn't work.


It is clear to me that these big online sites have done something to their websites that is not compatible with my old browser. They load exceptionally slowly, then they peg the CPU usage and hang there for minutes at a time. Occasionally I can get a click in (not on Eddie, though), but every page has the same problem. I finally gave up. I really would like a navy blue u-neck tee, but it seems clear I'm not going to get it online, and since I don't shop, I guess that means I'm not going to get it unless I'm lucky enough to find one when I get my new hardware.


In case anybody wonders, NO, there is not another browser available that will work with Windows ME. I looked hard and long, about a month ago. I am just too out of date. So my only recourse is new hardware, and I'm inching into that slowly. I know what I would like, but I have a few things to do before I can get it. April has been a very bad month for my finances.


I spent so long trying to buy something that I suddenly realized that I was hungry, and when I found a clock I could read, I realized it was 7:00 already, so no wonder I was hungry. I decided to try Schwan's pizza, and they have something they call "pizza by the slice". I had two slices tonight, and it wasn't half bad. I can eat that, when my yen for pizza overcomes me. I also got a big one with everything on it, but I'm going to have to figure out how to cook that. When I once got big DiGiorno, I cooked half of it at a time, but some of the Schwan's stuff comes in a self-cooking tray, so that won't work. I may have to bake the whole thing and freeze the slices. I don't know how that will work. Anyway, now it seems I have a new source for pizza.


Now it is a dull, windy night in the field. I will read a little bit, but i have to get to bed early tonight, because I intend to go to church tomorrow.


April 29

I made it into bed by 11:00 last night, and I slept so hard I had the potty dream in the middle of the night (and a really interesting variation, too). I got up around 9:00 and did the morning stuff. 


It was a beautiful day, clear and sunny with not much wind. The temperature got up to 55 briefly, and it was over 50 for about five hours. There wasn't much wind at all, and it was nice to get out.


I had a couple of bills to pay, so I went to the post office, where my May bookmark had come - an I'm not too impressed by it, although the thread is pretty. I stopped at the store because I had forgotten to get lettuce, and when I came out, my Schwan's man came toward me with a new catalog - thanks, Shane! - and so I got some of the things I wanted after all. I'd forgotten to put in an order yesterday. 


I never cease to be amazed by how the electronics have changed the way companies like Schwan's do business. Shane has a thing about the size of a thick book that not only has all his customers' names in it, but what they've been buying lately. That made it easier, although I wanted a few new things, too. So now I don't have to cook. His gizmo will also read my credit card and print receipts. Wonderful! It probably isn't connected to the company, because we have no cell phone tower here (yet), but I imagine eventually it will be.


I finally called the doctor's office about my mammogram, and it seems they can't order it without a hands-on exam, so I will go to town next Wednesday. That's good, because I am running out of OJ, JD and wine, so it's time to shop, and that will be a convenient way to do more than one thing in a trip. I think I have enough OJ to last through then. Besides, it's after the first of the month and I will have some money.


I decided to call (finally) because when I had my accident this morning, among the things that came out was yesterday's potassium pill, nearly intact. That isn't right, and I'm afraid I'm not getting my full dose of potassium, which i need. So they are going to change the pill to a capsule, and maybe that will work.


I also had a conversation with the electric company, and I am now on the budget plan. I think that will work out better for me. I will be paying more in the summer, but I will pay a lot less in the winter, and I won't have to worry about their estimated use, which is always high.


So that was my day (sort of busy for a change), and I'm tired again. I will read a little more then I will toddle up to the north end and try to crash a bit earlier. It's a lovely, nearly clear, rather warm evening in the field.


April 28

It was after 1:00 again before I got to bed, but I finished the story, and I hope that I won't read as long tonight. I got up around 10:00 and did all the morning stuff...and that was about it. I realized last night that I had  missed an increase row on the bonnet I'm knitting, so I had to rip, and then I had knitted all that back up, but it was only a few rows, so It wasn't a disaster.


It took me most of the day to do my surfing, because the broadband went down right as I was starting, and it was up and down all afternoon. By the time it came back up the first time, I had realized there were a couple of bills I had to pay today, and I was in the middle of that when it went down again. Evidently there is a problem with my firmware, as well as with my cabling. So when it went down a third time, I power failed it and nearly panicked because it didn't come back up. Evidently it takes much longer than I would have thought - longer than it takes to reboot my computer - to get rebooted and find out where it is in the network. It's been fine ever since, but I'm very suspicious.


So that was about all I did. While the talking was going on, I finally finished the April bookmark - good thing, since the May one should be here any day. It is a pretty thing, with a pale green overdyed thread and lots of drawn thread needleweaving (not Hardanger). I like it about as well as any so far.


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy until mid-afternoon, and the temperature was around 35 until the skies began to clear, when it went up to 44, briefly. The wind is finally dying down a bit, and it's from the north now. The skies are partly cloudy now, with lots of cirrus clouds, and some neat cloud waves. When the last MODIS image  was taken, it was nearly clear over the end of the Keweenaw and points west, but it has clouded up a bit since then. Tomorrow it's supposed to be really warm. I hope so. We need that.


So that is all I know. I will do a little more reading tonight, and I expect to sleep for a very long time. It's a partly cloudy evening in the field.


April 27

I did it again, and I think it was after 1:00 before I got to bed. I read for too long, and when I got up to the north end, I wanted to do the buttonhole rows, so I had two long rows of knitting to do. Don't ask me why.


I got up around 9:00, though, because I had awakened and Buster started yelling at me. I finished the baby jacket except for sewing it up and working in the ends, which I wanted to do. I petted the cat a lot, but it was too late to exercise.


This afternoon was Carolyn's, and there was a big group there. Several people who were away for the winter have returned, including Red Twarzik, whom I haven't seen in quite a while. The jackets and booties went over well, and I left Syd with a copy of the instructions. I was glad that Red was there, because she asked what has been going on, and I learned a lot I didn't know. 


They are going to extend the non-motorized trail that goes from the Fort to the edge of town around behind the buildings and over to join up with the Hunter's Point trails, so someone can walk from the Fort to Hunter's Point without going on the roads. That's great. And we are getting our ambulance. It is a used one, but there is evidently a group down in the Grayling area that turns over their ambulances every five years and gives the old ones to worthy causes. One of the principals in that group happens to bear hunt up here and heard about our efforts to get an ambulance and so they gave us one of theirs. It is still being outfitted, and there is still some question about where it will be housed (I am not going to talk about that), but we will have emergency services in Copper Harbor fairly soon. Staci is going to have her miniature golf course, and the Ye Olde Cottage Shop has been sold to two ladies who retired here, and they are planning to open it as a lending library and something else that I can't remember. The old Copper Harbor Mercantile has evidently been sold to my neighbors Amanda and Aaron, and they are going to rent the commercial building to another local who is going to microbrew beer. So it's been a busy, productive winter.


They are planning to outdo themselves with the fireworks this July Fourth, and they are selling a couple of souvenir type things to help raise the extra money they need.


I had to stop at the store - I am running out of eggs and wine - and I got home around 4:00. So it was a fun afternoon.


The weather was good for that kind of a gathering. It was horribly foggy all day, and the fog was rather dense, like drizzle. It finally lifted around 7:30. The temperature was between 35 and 37 all day, and there was a strong east wind, in the 15-25 mph range. It was a good day to be inside with a bunch of nice ladies.


The broadband has been a trial for the past 24 hours. It didn't come up until around noon today (I uploaded the journal on the dialup last night), and then it went back down just after 5:00. When they said everything was all right, I called in, and I ended up having some useful conversation with Charlie. It appears that there may be a wiring problem in  my Ethernet cables, because even after I power failed the client, it didn't come back for a long time - and then suddenly it was there. It's the same problem I had a couple of times a month or so ago, so sometime (who knows when?) Charlie will stop by with his tester and probably redo the connectors.  


It also appears that I have been getting almost unlimited speed, which means that when I download something, I take over the network. Oops. I've been known to do things like that, but this time, I had nothing to do with it. There should be some throttling on my connection which wasn't being done. Since I'm not paying for it (and I really don't want to hog the network) I can't complain. I also found out a few things about the pricing, and I discovered that I'd gotten some bad information. My cost is not going to go up, which is a relief. That's partly because I am hosting the unit that serves the Fort manager, which costs electricity. I hope Charlie will take care of it before my bill comes due in September. I like to talk to Charlie himself every so often, to try to get the real information.


So that was my day, and I'm really tired, but I'm going to read a while anyway before I totter up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, cloudy, windy and sort of foggy night in the field.


April 26

Well, it was another almost zero day. I didn't get to bed until around 11:30 again, and I didn't sleep very well. It was very warm in the bedroom, so I slept under the sheet and sheet blanket all night, and I was up several times. I got up around 8:45, and I knitted for quite a while and petted the cat, then I did all my bed exercises. 


It was cloudy when I got up, and around noon, I think, it began to rain. Then the broadband went down, and then it started to snow. Yuck! Later the snow turned back to rain, but it was a nasty day outside. I don't think the temperature got out of the lower 40s, and there was a strong and gusty wind from the east or southeast, but I don't really know, because I can't check. Nasty.


When the talking started, I moved over to the ugly chair and I only have three (long) rows left on the jacket. Knitting continental was an interesting exercise, and I can do it (although I I don't know about purling), but I've found it's much harder on my hands, particularly  on my left hand, than American, so I will go back to American as soon as I finish the jacket. I don't want to switch back now, because I don't think my tension is the same when I hold the yarn in my right hand.


There were a few little seeds on the deck where I took up the deck feeder, and there were a couple of chipping sparrows, a junco and a song sparrow picking around. I don't feel all that bad about having the feeders in - with this wind, they need to be - since there is a lot of seed underneath the deck if anybody wants to root around for it. The birds, like the rest of us, will go to the easy places first, but it's not like they have no food.


It's supposed to get very windy tonight, and I wouldn't want to have had to go out in the rain to get the feeders. Besides, both pails need filling. Maybe tomorrow, if it calms down.


While my dinner was cooking, I got the dishwasher unloaded, which I always want to do, because it makes it easier to keep the clutter down.


And that was all I did. I felt sleepy and creaky all day. However, my mind was in full gear, and I solved six games of Taipei, two of which I had been puzzling over for days. The curious thing I've found almost since I retired is that my mind seems sharper when I haven't had enough sleep. When I get up feeling fully rested, my mind just isn't all there. Strange, but of course all the time I was working I was running a terrific sleep deficit, so I guess my brain got used to working when I was tired. By the way, after six or seven games of Taipei, I have to stop, because all of a sudden, I'll be unable to solve any more. 


Oh, goodie. The rain has turned back to snow again, although it is clearly very wet and probably partly rain. Yuck.


So it's a dark, soggy, chilly and very windy night in the field, and the lake is singing loudly, so it will be a good one to sleep long and hard. Zzzzzzzz...


April 25

Talk about a zero day. I managed not to get to bed until about 11:30 last night, and while I slept well, I didn't get up until after 9:30. I knitted for a very long time, with a cat on  my lap, and it was 12:30 before I finally got to the studio. That killed the day.


The weather was nice, but not quite as nice as yesterday. it was clear, but it was rather windy. The maximum temperature was actually at 9:00 this morning, 55, but then it dropped off and it was around 47 and breezy for most of the afternoon. Now the wind is calm. I guess it's supposed to be a nasty day tomorrow, windy and rainy.


So now I will read for a little while before I toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. Right now, it's an almost clear, calm evening in the field.


April 24 - Easter Sunday

I made it into bed around 10:30 last night and I slept well. There were stars, but not exceptionally bright ones. I woke up a few minutes before 7:00, so the alarm didn't go off. My old habit, coming back. When I was working, the alarm never went off before I woke up.


Buster wasn't around, so I got an early start, but I did my surfing, and that made me a little later than I'd planned, but the road was clear and dry and there was no traffic at all, so I got to church shortly after 10:00 anyway. 


That was nice. I got to visit the bathroom, and I got to talk to Jan about the organ. It seems it is so old that a lot of the wiring is wrapped in cotton, which is rotting away, and there is a real risk of fire. So it would work, but it would be dangerous, and I suppose there are some shorts where the insulation has worn away. Unfortunately, it will mean essentially rebuilding the whole organ, which will be expensive - far more expensive than that little congregation can afford. We'll see when the organ man presents his proposal in May. It's a real shame, too, because it is a very nice little organ, with that neat trumpet stop in the front of the church.


Anyway, then there was church, and it was wonderful. I was teary, but I managed to sing. The singing opened up my sinuses, and I was dripping like a sieve throughout the service. I don't envy pastor, though. Ours was the second time he had done that service, and he was going to a nursing home this afternoon. He must be exhausted now.


I got home around noon, and I was too tired to do anything much at all, except that I finally watered the houseplants. It will take a couple of days to see what good it does. One of the weird ones, a cross between a haworthia and something else, is beginning to put out a flower stalk. This is a long thing like a stiff string, 18" or so, with a bunch of little white flowers on the end of it. It is a weird plant altogether, but I have had it for years, and it's another one of those things that it just doesn't seem possible to kill, so I like it. It loves the light in the front windows, and getting dried out doesn't seem to bother it a lot.


The weather was wonderful for Easter. It was nearly clear all day long, and the temperature got up to 57 for a couple of hours this afternoon. There was a little wind, from the southwest. We have over 14 hours of daylight now, and that's nice, although it looks like I have to reset the camera again. I'm spending the evening in the dark.


I've been listening to Pipedreams for a change, and it's keeping me up, since it's all music on Easter themes. Some of it is very nice, and some of it is very weird. I'm not much for modern music anyway, and there is an awful lot of modern organ music I just don't like. However, I do like the sound of organs.


Soon I'll be tottering up to the north end. It's a clear, warmish night in the field.


April 23

Well, I read here and I read some more when i got to the north end, and it ended up that I didn't get to bed until 1:00. I slept well. When I woke up around 4:00, it was white outside, and when I got up there was something nasty coming down. It looked like snow, but it came down more like sleet or  rain. Yuck.


Eventually, the snow turned to rain and melted the snow on the deck, at least, and around 5:00 it cleared up and it is now nearly completely clear. There is a high haze in the sky, but there are no clouds and the sun is shining brightly.


I knitted a bit, petted the cat a bit, and did some exercises, and it was noon before I got to the kitchen. So it was a very truncated day. It didn't help that in the middle of the afternoon, something happened to PastyNet and everything started moving very, very slowly, like slower than dialup. I did something else, and when I came back to the Internet, it was working fine. All I can figure is that one of the downstream relays was having a problem.


That was all I did.


The weather was mixed. It snowed this morning, then it rained, then it cleared up. The temperature was down around 34 while it was snowing, then rose slowly, and since it cleared up, it's been around 42. There was a little wind from the north. Over half an inch of water fell in one form or another after 1:00 am. Now it seems to be mostly all melted, which is nice.


I need to go to bed early tonight, because I am going to church tomorrow no matter what. So I will read a little more, then I will toddle up to the north end, take a nice bath and go to bed. It's a clear night in the field.


April 22 - Good Friday

It was a bit after 11:00 before I made it into bed last night, but I slept well. I woke up a little after 8:30, and while I could have slept longer, I needed to get up. I did the morning stuff, minus most of the knitting, and I got to have breakfast without dressing for a change. I did most of my morning surfing before I got dressed.


The service was at 1:00, so I needed to leave before 12:00, which I did. Traffic was so light that I think I made it to church in 45 minutes, which is very good timing. So I had plenty of time to sit and reflect.


It was a lovely service, with portions of  Tenebrae and some of the things Bonnie has done in her services. It was a long service - an hour and a quarter, but it was very satisfying. The only thing was that the Elder who did part of the reading was sort of quiet and not easy to hear. There are a few things I want to reread tonight. It was a combined service with St. John's, so we had a choir, and that was nice, because they not only had an anthem, they sing loud on the hymns. We all walked out without saying a word.


I got home around 3:00, and after I took off my clothes, I just sat and did the rest of my surfing. I was disappointed that there was no sacred music on my radio station. The big deal they make about Christmas, I would have thought they'd at least play a few things, but not when I was listening.


The weather was not bad. It was cloudy, but the temperature got up to 46 for a while. The wind shifted around to the south, and it began to gust over 20 mph in the afternoon, but that wasn't a problem.  Now there is a rather hazy sun setting over the lighthouse. We have just about reached the milestone of 14 hours of daylight, and that's nice. The sun is setting at 8:50 EDT, so we're getting to the long summer evenings, and that's nice, too. However, there is snow in the forecast for overnight, so winter isn't really gone yet. If it's snow, it will be wet and sloppy, and it should all be gone by Sunday, although that doesn't matter, since I'm going no matter what.


I noticed on the drive that the gas station in Alouez now has its gas at $4.06. They are usually the highest around, but I'm still glad I got it when I did. "They" are saying this is a passing peak, and it should be a little lower over the summer, and I certainly hope so, for the sake of our local economy. At any rate, the current prices are outrageous, and they make me angry.


Oh, and I forgot to mention that yesterday I finally caught the people who were robo-calling me, and I told them to stop it without even finding out who they are. The guy who answered had an Indian accent, and he was absolutely flustered when I unloaded on him. However, there have been no calls since, and that is all I care about. I wonder who they are, but I wasn't interested enough to listen to his spiel. I do really feel sorry for the folks who man those call centers, because they are only trying to make a living, and the people I am really angry with are the ones who set up those things. But I'm not going to listen to their garbage.


Now I will read a bit and try to get to bed early. I don't have to take a bath tonight, and that will help. It's a cloudy, rather warm evening in the field.


April 21 - Maundy Thursday

Well, I confirmed my suspicion about what was keeping me awake. I realized when I started for bed that I hadn't taken my neurontin, and I got some out and ready, but I'm not supposed to take that within two hours of my magnesium, so I went to bed. And I twitched, and my feet hurt, and no way was I going to sleep, so I took the pills as soon as I could - I shaded the two hours a bit - and then I had to wait for them to start to work. As soon as they kicked in, I was off to dreamland, and I slept well for the rest of the night. Of course, it was around 1:00 when I got to sleep, so it was nearly 10:00 before I got up. I must be a lot more careful to take those pills around dinnertime, which is enough before the magnesium that they won't interfere with each other. 


That wasn't how it was when I started taking them, but then, I know my neuropathy has gotten worse over the years, and now I really need those pills. Too bad, but that's how it goes.


Anyway, I did the morning stuff, including a nice love-in with Buster, during which he got a thorough brushing. He is shedding, which is the best indication I know that spring is indeed on the way. I sure wish I could brush Jasmine, who has a very thick coat, but no way could I ever get that close to her.


I was so late that I didn't do much else. I actually didn't start my morning surfing until I got back from the store, around 2:30. There is a lot of stuff to read on Thursday, so I spent most of the morning reading. I went to the store and got my boxes.


I have to say, I was surprised and gratified by how well I was moving today. I guess it was because the barometer was fairly high and the humidity was fairly low. I needed that. I was thinking last night that all my exercising didn't seem to be doing any good at all - my back was bad yesterday - but I guess maybe it is. I have always been extremely sensitive to the weather, and that has gotten worse as I've gotten older. Anyway, it was nice to be able to move around without much pain in my back and knees.


The weather was OK. It was mostly sunny this morning, but it clouded up as the day went along. The temperature was around 41 for most of the day, before it rose to 45 for a couple of hours between 6:00 and 8:00. There was a little wind in the middle of the day - around 18 mph - from the north, but it wasn't bad at all outside and the wind has now dropped to nothing..


I put out the rest of the pail of seed, because the deck feeder was clean, and I discovered that someone had pulled down the hanger and the new mesh feeder, and it is upside down on the ground. I don't know if it has been damaged, because I didn't go down to get it. I guess I'm going to have to start bringing in the feeders at night when they're full. This is a little earlier than I usually have to worry about that. 


So that was my day, and now it's a warmish, cloudy night in the field.


April 20

It was 10:30 again, and it was another good night's sleep, although I had some strange dreams, and I was up several times. I was awake around 8:15, and I just didn't feel like getting up, so it was 9:30 when I finally did. Actually, I was jolted by a robo-call I've been getting regularly lately. The phone rings and rings, but when I answer it, there's nobody there. The number displays on  my caller ID, and I've been tempted to call them back and unload on them, whoever they are. It's so annoying. I did the morning stuff, and I was just about to get dressed when the dentist's office called and asked if I could come in an hour earlier. That was no problem, and I was glad I did.


I got to do most of my morning surfing before I left, a bit early so that I could stop at the post office on my way. There were a couple of packages that I wanted to get.


I still got to the dentist's office early, and I had to wait, for some reason I don't know. And then my appointment took the better part of two hours (for which I paid). They wanted x-rays, and they wanted to do a "new patient evaluation". The hygienist, Holly, is very gentle, which I appreciate. They are also using some kind of ultrasonic gizmo to clean teeth, and that was interesting. My next appointment shouldn't be nearly as expensive (actually less than the dentist in Detroit). Anyway, it was 4:15 or later before I got out of there, with very clean teeth and no sore gums.


Then I had to get gas. I decided to go to Wal-Mart, because they are generally cheaper than everyone else, and boy, were they! The going rate at the rest of the stations i passed were between $3.98 and $4.00, and I got it for $3.94. Now, that's worth driving all the way to Houghton to for. It's still a shock to put a little over 17 gallons in the tank and see a bill for $70, and it makes me as angry as it did the last time this happened, because there is no reason for it except greed.


I was going to stop at the store and get my packages, all of which should be there now, but I went by at about 5:20 and they were closed. I suppose they might as well be, since things are very dead in town right now, but I was annoyed. It means I'll have to go out tomorrow. 


I will be out on Friday, but I don't want to wait until then.


So I got home much later than I thought I would, and I was very glad I hadn't left the appointment at 3:00. 


The weather was blah. It was mostly cloudy all day. The temperature, at least here, was right around 35 all day, and there wasn't much wind. Blah.


So that was my day, and I'm tired again, so I will go up to the north end. I may try to figure out where I am on the row of the jacket. Of course I had to stop right in the middle of an increase row, and I'm not sure where. Now it's a calm, cloudy night in the field.


April 19

I got to bed around 10:30, and thankfully, I slept well. I took a Tylenol 3, but I'm not sure that was the reason. I was tired. I got up around 8:45, and I did the morning stuff. I finished the sleeves of the jacket and started on the skirt, which is increased. It's coming along.


I didn't do much else, except that in the middle of the afternoon, I shut down the computer, cleaned the fans and blew out the dust in the heat sink. It's been working much cooler ever since. Not only does the dust on the fan slow it down, the dust in the heat sink prevents it from dissipating the heat from the CPU. I think it's something everyone should do for their desktop every so often, but I don't know how easy it is to open them up. The Gateway was made to be opened. I hope the new one is, too, when I get it.


Fiddling with the desktop is always frustrating. The power supply is at the top end of the case, which makes it top heavy and very hard to lift and set sideways.  The power supply weighs several pounds, because there is a big iron magnet in it. Then there are all the wires coming out of the back. Believe me, I do not unplug all that stuff when I'm working inside! When I was shoving it back under the desk, the router fell into the nest of wires, and when I finally got it picked up, it was twined around the keyboard and mouse wires about three times. I don't know how that possibly could have happened.


Anyway, it was really dusty inside, and I used a whole cartridge of canned air to blow it out. I'm hoping that will end my overheating problem for a while. I am sure that is what caused the other one to die, since I didn't have the Intel monitor until afterwards. I hope this one will last for at least several more months, to allow me to get the new one and get it configured right. We'll see.


The weather was so-so. It was nearly clear and sunny this morning, but it clouded up as the day went along. The temperature went down to 17 between 5:00 and 7:00 this morning, then it warmed up quickly when the sun came out, and it was 35 for most of the afternoon. There was very little wind.


The NWS has changed its mind about snow for sure tomorrow, and the chances don't look good now. Good. I have to go down to Houghton to get my teeth cleaned in the afternoon, and I would just as soon not deal with snow.


I looked out the powder room window this afternoon to see a deer trying to find something green in the part of the backyard that is clear of snow, and just now another one (or the same one?) bounded across from the driveway toward the drain field. I certainly hope the one the wolf got on Lake Fanny Hooe wasn't one of my little herd. I like those deer.


So now it is a dull, quiet evening in the field, and I'm tired again, so I will read a little then go up to the north end and hope to sleep well again.


April 18

It was another bad night, and I don't know why. I had trouble getting to sleep, and I slept for a couple of hours before I woke up, and then I made numerous trips to the bathroom and I didn't do more than doze in between. I am really tired now, and I hope tonight will be better.


I got up when I intended and I didn't do much but pet the cat. I ate my breakfast, and I actually hit the PastyCam page before it was updated - then I got back in and got the early bird. My first one. It was an awfully quiet day there, though, and the next post wasn't until after noon. Where was everybody?


Then it was off to Calumet. My drive down wasn't very good. The roads were all snow-covered, and since it was about 27, it was probably slippery. I drove slowly. No cruise control today. I mailed my taxes at the post office there before I went to the dealership.


Now the car rides a lot nicer, but it was real downer. I had been hearing some strange noises from the front end for a while, and it seems that my problem is that the left front wheel bearing is going. Oh, dear. When I thought about it, though, the price is less than when I had the radio replaced, and good wheel bearings are more important than radios. However, I'll have to wait until next month, to regroup after paying my taxes.


I talked to the salesman, and the price of Yukons hasn't gone up very much in the ten years since I got the last one, so if I get to the point where I need to replace it, perhaps I can. Of course, this one was almost free, but that's another long story. Part of it is in the journals for January and February 2001.


When I left the dealership, it was nice and sunny, and I was completely surprised to find that most of the roads were clear and almost dry. Not in Calumet, but they don't do a good job of snow removal. US-41 was nearly clear all the way to Delaware, with just a few slushy places where the sun hadn't hit. The covered road was actually worse than when I went down, because the sun had softened up the snow pack and melted a lot of it, and I never knew when I would be hitting a patch of slush. I drove slowly there, too, with both hands on the steering wheel.


I got home around 12:45, and I didn't do very much after that. I made my spare ribs, and they turned out very good. With baked potatoes, of course, to sop up some of the juice and onions. Yum. I couldn't eat very much, so I will have something good to eat all week. Tonight I have to wash dishes, but I don't have to take a bath.


The weather was cold and sunny. The temperature varied between 27 and 30, but it was sunny and there was hardly any wind.


The birds have uncovered most of the seed I threw out on Saturday, and there was the usual flock of juncos and sparrows. I looked out at one point, and a female hairy woodpecker was clinging to one of the suet blocks. The juncos will get into the cedar feeder, and they apparently will eat sunflower, which I didn't know. I guess they will eat any seeds.


I was up shortly after 6:00 this morning, and I looked out to see a lovely orange moon setting over the Mountain Lodge. It was too early for the camera, and it was too far south anyway. I changed the start time of the camera, and it is supposed to be clear well into the morning, so we might just shoot the moon. I hope so. It was too cloudy in March, and after this month, it will be too far south to see until September.


Now I am tired, and it's time to go and do my chore and go to bed. I think I will take a Tylenol 3 tonight and see if that helps. It's a cold, clear night in the field, and you'd never know it was April except for the sunshine.


April 17 - Palm Sunday

Well, I didn't make it to church, and it didn't have a lot to do with the weather, although that helped. It turned into one of those nights. I just could not get to sleep, and it was after 4:00 am before I did more than doze. I was achy and uncomfortable, my legs were twitchy and my toes hurt. I think it has something to do with not taking my neurontin in the afternoon. I thought I had, but now I think not. When I don't take it, my feet are very sore when I lie down, and it seems that makes my legs twitchy.  I was late getting to bed anyway, because I had to fill the pill dispensers and take a bath. But then sleep just would not come. My mind was going in all directions, and I couldn't get settled down. So around 1:30 I decided not to go to church.


Well, the weather would have decided that for me anyway. It snowed all night long and most of the day, and there are several inches on the ground. The wind was from the north, and it peaked at 44 mph gusts at 8:00 this morning, but it's been in the 25-35 mph range all day. The wind is roaring and the lake is roaring and especially this morning there were whirlwinds behind the breezeway and around the bird feeders on the deck. I have drifts as high as the footstool outside the door, and there is a great drift inside the screen that goes up almost 4 feet. 


I did take some pictures, but they are still in the camera. It seems like I never turned the camera off the last time I used it, so I spent some time fiddling with batteries. What I do not understand is, why do the rechargeable batteries lose their charge when they sit around, whereas regular alkaline batteries don't? It doesn't make any sense to me, but I had to charge a set for over an hour before I could put them in the camera. Weird.


Anyway, it was cold outside. The temperature for most of the day was around 25, and with that strong wind, it put the windchill down to single digits. Brr! 


I didn't go out, but I did do something, even though I am very tired and I didn't feel like doing anything at all. I am supposed to take the car down for an oil change tomorrow (and I need to mail my tax check), and I just was not going to go down to the dealership with all that stuff in the car, so I finally, finally got everything unloaded. I need the bird seed, too. The little birdies were thick on the deck and around the feeders all day long. While I was out in the breezeway, I took the time to fold up a bunch of paper bags and sort of tried to organize things a bit.  i need to do some serious organization. I have two small shelving units out there where I could keep some of the food I don't have room for in the house, if I could get everything organized better. That's a future.


Ron told me that apparently a tree leaned over the road up by US-41 last night, and he wasn't sure I could get under it, if our resident loggers haven't taken care of it. I'll hope they have. My appointment is at 10:15, which means up early and no dawdling in the morning.


Now I am really tired. The snow seems to be letting up. When I checked this morning, they had extended the advisory to 8:00 pm, but around 4:00 they canceled it, and probably that's right. It doesn't seem to be snowing very much now, although the wind is still blowing and the lake is roaring big time.


Yesterday I got out a rack of spare ribs, with the idea of cooking them today, but I just didn't feel like fiddling around with that, so I had stuffed chicken - or I should say we had stuffed chicken. Buster really loves that, as well as the rice pilaf I had with it, so the plate looks like it had been washed already.


Oh, yes, and this morning, I had to rip out at least eight rows on the jacket. For some reason I don't understand, my tension loosened up extremely yesterday when I was knitting, and it just didn't look right. While I'm sure whatever baby wears this thing (if any) wouldn't mind, I wasn't happy with it, so I ripped. I did redo part of it, but I'm not back to where I was last night. Well, I should have some time to knit while I'm waiting for my car.


So that was a quiet day in the field. Well, as far as the ears are concerned, it isn't quiet. The lake is really roaring, and so is the wind when it whips around the house. But that's a lovely sound, and if my feet are comfortable, I should sleep very well tonight, and hopefully, very long.


April 16

It just occurred to me that we're in the second half of April already. Sigh.


I think I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept well. I woke up a bit before 8:00 and decided that was too early, so I sort of dozed until 9:00. Then I knitted some more on the surprise jacket (we used to call those things "saques", but I guess that's old-fashioned) and did my exercises.


I didn't do a lot today, but I did make a dent in the kitchen mess. Not a lot, but some. I went to the post office, where there wasn't anything except a couple of bills, and I stopped at the store for the usual - eggs and lettuce.


The story of the day was the weather. It started snowing sometime during the night, possibly after 4:00 am, and it snowed continuously all day. It was quite light until after 3:00 this afternoon, then it started coming down hard. It's supposed to continue overnight, although they have backed off their forecast of very high winds. They have extended the winter weather advisory till 11:00 tomorrow morning, so I guess I won't be going to church. The Calumet cam is back up, so I will get up (or try to) and see what it looks like here and there, but it looked nasty there this afternoon.


The temperature fell all night, down to 30, and it got up to 33 for part of the afternoon. The wind was from the southeast until around noon, after which is swung around rather quickly to the north, where it is now, in the 25-35  mph range. The barometer is still falling.


I wouldn't mind this in March, but it's too late for it now. Yuck.


After dinner, I sat down in the ugly chair and knitted a while and watched the birds. Mostly, I had a large flock of juncos. They looked like they were having such a hard time finding anything that I refilled the deck feeder and scattered some seed on the deck. Well. In not very long, it was all covered with snow, so I scattered some more, and there were so many birds out there that I thought they had eaten it all, so I scattered even more. I think most of it is just covered with snow, so they will have a nice feast when this melts. They were still out there at almost 9:00.


I also began to hear geese, and when I looked out, there were my two geese in the front yard, and it sounded like they were complaining. A while ago, I went downstairs to shop in the freezer, and it looked like they had walked up underneath the deck, but evidently that was too close to the house for them. It's a shame - that would have been a good, sheltered spot and a little warmer because of the house. I don't know where they went, but I saw their footprints all over the yard.


After it was getting to dark to see, I remembered that I intended to back up my files to the TravelDisk, so I just finished doing that. Not that I expect trouble, understand, but I've made a lot of changes to my writings since I backed up everything before I went to Detroit. I'd hate to lose all those edits.


I also had a little scare this morning, when some of the keys on the keyboard stopped working. Oh, dear. I think the plug was just loose in the back of the CPU, or I hope so. I wiggled it around, and everything has seemed OK since. I'm working up to new hardware, but after my tax debacle, it won't be quite as soon as I'd hoped.


So now it's a dark, snowy, windy night in the field, and it's high time to go to bed.


April 15

I don't remember what I was doing last night, but it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept pretty well, with the lake singing in the background. I got up around 9:15, although I didn't want to. 


On Wednesday, I was talking to Syd. She knits baby hats which she gives away to charity, and she admitted she was getting sort of tired of them, so I suggested the "Baby Surprise Jacket", which is all knitting (no purling) and looks a lot more complicated than it is. She hadn't seen it, so I will take it to the next meeting. I got out the directions, and then I got thinking about the yarn I have to knit them with. This morning, I cast on one. I had several aims: I discovered I had made some cryptic notes in the pattern that I don't recall, and there are a couple of weird places in the instructions that I don't recall how to do. And I thought it would be a good project to practice knitting continental - yarn in my left hand. I probably did 1" during the day. I sat in the ugly chair during the talking and knitted and watched the birds. After dinner, I moved back to it and sat with a cat on my lap and watched the birds.


On the bird front, the juncos, chipping sparrows and song sparrows are back. I filled the deck feeder with mixed seeds, and those birds love the little seeds, so there were a lot of them and not, thankfully, very many squirrels. Those chipping sparrows are feisty little guys. For the first time, I saw little birds going after ones of different species. The chipping sparrows and juncos apparently don't like each other very well. And it seemed like one sparrow was always sitting right in the middle of the feeder, keeping the others out. One time, another bird came up behind the one in the feeder and pecked his tail. Um, I thought only geese did that. There were several song sparrows, including one that seemed very light in color. I think the nuthatches and chickadees were at the hanging feeders, and I just caught a glimpse of a white-breasted nuthatch who hopped right up under the door. 


So the birds think spring is coming. They'll be surprised tomorrow. We are under a winter storm warning from 2:00 am until 8:00 pm tomorrow, for 3" of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice - yuck. Snow I can take, but not sleet and freezing rain. I should have gone to the store today. Tomorrow, we could have as much as 7" of mostly snow. Gee, I really wanted to go to church on Sunday, but besides the snow showers, there are gale warnings out, for gusts as high as 55 mph. Well, we'll see about that. I'll have to bring in the feeders.


The weather was so-so. The temperature sat at 35 all day. The wind was gusty, 15-25 mph, from the southeast. It was sort of clear this morning, but as the afternoon wore on, the haze thickened and by sunset it was very cloudy. The barometer has dropped off, and I can tell - my sinuses have been hurting all day.


So that was my day. I didn't do a lot. Now it's a cloudy, windy night in the field, and the rain is about 100 miles south of us, headed our way.


April 14

I guess it was nearly 11:00 when I got to bed last night. I slept well, thank you, and I got up around 8:30. I did the morning stuff before I got dressed.


I had some trouble with my surfing, since my connectivity beyond PastyNet seemed to come and go for a while. Apparently they are having enough trouble with AT&T that they are switching to another fiber carrier (I'm glad to know there are some). Anyway, eventually it came back.


I refilled the bird feeders with as much sunflower seed as I had here, and when I went out there were birds twittering in the tree, waiting for me, including one I don't recall having head before. I think it might be nuthatches, but I will have to check my bird song CDs to be sure. It was a strange little sound.


That was about all I did. I did do some buying, I'm sorry to say. I have (or had) a neat little tool from Patternworks called "the knitter's dental tool" that has a crochet hook on one end and a thin probe on the other, which is a wonderful thing for working in ends and undoing knots and things like that. There is one under the porch that I dropped in 2001 while I was knitting out there, and I had another one in my box of knitting stuff, but when I looked for it the other day, it seemed to have disappeared. I have no idea where it went, and I use it regularly. So I wanted to replace it, and while I was there, I looked at the sock yarn, and well...Actually I wasn't too crazy, and some of the yarn, at least, is summer type and some was on sale.


Anyway, after dinner, I started looking through this site I've been visiting lately called MyRecipes.com. It has mostly recipes from Time, Inc.'s homemaker magazines, and a whole lot of them are either things I wouldn't ever eat or I certainly wouldn't ever cook myself - have I mentioned that I don't do meat with fruit? And I don't have sesame oil, hoisin and oyster sauce and a whole lot of other strange condiments lying around my pantry - or fresh herbs. However, every so often I see one that sounds good, so I like to look at them. Unfortunately, the web pages were built for later versions of IE than I have, and something they are doing causes my IE to hang up while using 100% of the CPU, and they load extremely slowly. Eventually they cause the system to overheat, too. I got through the spaghetti recipes (anything with pasta, right?) but I didn't make it through the Passover ones. So that was fun, when I could see the pages.


The weather was cold. Brr, cold. It was cold and windy overnight, with east winds in the 30 mph range and temperatures down to 24. It warmed up a bit, to about 31, after the wind dropped and the skies cleared, but it was cold out.


They have changed the temperatures a bit for the weekend - warmer than they thought - but they are still predicting snow starting tomorrow night and going through Sunday. Rats. I haven't been at church on Palm Sunday for several years, and I wanted to go and sing all those good hymns. We'll see how it looks. And every time I think it's too late for snow, I remember 2007. That was the year of the Holy Week blizzard, I think. You never know around here. Never.


So that was a quiet day. Buster sat on me as much as he could, which was a real pain, and at one point he had gone away and came back with a very left hind foot. I guess he slipped again. He drives me nutty, but he is so old and funny I guess I have to indulge him.


Now it's a clear, calm, cold night in the field, and I'm off to the north end.


April 13

Last night was a much better night. I was in bed around 10:30, and I got up around 8:30 this morning, with not very many wakeups. I'm still thinking about the story, but I'm not obsessing about it anymore. The first time I was up, the gibbous moon was shining brightly in the windows, but after that, it clouded up. 


I knitted and petted the cat and all that, and I was much less creaky today. I did my surfing, and then I was off to Carolyn's for the afternoon. It was a small group. Connie is gone and Carol is back, and Laurel brought a really yummy springy cake. So that was nice.


The weather was interesting. The temperature peaked at 53 at 7:00 this morning, then it fell off to 41 and there was just a little bit of rain. Then about 12:30, it cleared up rather suddenly and the temperature recovered to 48. It was nice when I was out, but after 5:00, the wind picked up and the temperature plummeted. It is now 33, with northeast winds in the 25-35 mph range. The lake is singing.


It appears we are in for some cold weather for the next several days, and we may even see a little snow. Gee, I thought we were over that. There is still snow in the woods on the north sides of things, but our road is finally clear and I don' t think there is any snow at all on my property.


Tonight, I wrote for a while, but I still don't see where this thing is going, so it's not fun to push the words out in the hopes that I will see it. 


So now it is a cold, clear night in the field and the lake will sing me to sleep.


April 12

So last night, I took a binder with three or four interesting fragments in it up to the north end, and not only was it 11:00 or so before I got to bed, I was so overstimulated that I didn't sleep well at all. I was up any number of times. The bright half moon was shining right on the bed for most of the night. I got up at 8:30, because I had to walk and I was creaky and achy, and that lasted all day, even though the humidity did go way down this afternoon. I knitted and petted the cat and reread some of what I was reading last night, and I exercised.


And that was all I did. I just felt tired and achy, and so I did nothing, except to type one of the fragments into the computer and add a bit to it. I don't think it will come to anything, but it's kind of a fun story.


The weather was remarkable. It was clear all day, until this evening, and the temperature got up to 59 at 4:00. There was hardly any wind. With the sky being clear, it's been getting cold at night, although not below freezing. Lovely.


So that was my day. I still don't trust Buster not to pee on the desk, so the studio is totally torn up, with everything all over the place, and it bugs me. I like to try to keep at least part of my mess straight.


Now I think I'd better go up to the north end and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, even though I'd like to write a bit more. It's a nearly clear, warmish night in the field.


April 11

Well, that was a good night's sleep. I was in bed by 9:00, and I got up around 8:00 this morning. I felt much better today. However, i knitted for quite a while (with a cat on my lap, of course). I finished the heel and started the gusset on the sock, so it is coming along quite well. Then I exercised before I had breakfast, and that made me quite late. 


I was beginning my morning surfing - Monday is a day when there's lots of stuff to read - when all of a sudden there was no internet beyond PastyNet, and when I tried to call them, I got that strange message from the phone company saying there is a "facility problem", whatever that means...usually it means there are wires down someplace. It came back within an hour or so and I was able to resume my morning stuff, but I was late at it.


Late in the afternoon, I finally got down to the basement and did cat pans. They were awful, but now I'm wondering where Jasmine has been doing her thing, since they seemed to be dry. Anyway, that is done. Now if I can only get them to use them...


My excuse was that I had to raid the freezer for something to eat for dinner, and since I was down there, I decided it was time to do my chore. I didn't have any problem down there, but going down and up the stairs was difficult.


The reason for the phone problem (and probably my good sleep) was the weather. It started to blow before midnight, and it blew hard all night long, although since the wind was from the west during the night, the NWS station was reporting spurious numbers. It was very windy out here on the east end, believe me. The wind shifted to the north around 6:00, and we hit the high wind at 10:00 - 33 mph sustained, with 44 mph gusts. It blew the feeder off the deck, so now there are two of them underneath. Tomorrow. Anyway, the temperature was still 54 at midnight, but it dropped off to around 40 by 6:00, and it didn't start to rise until 2:00 this afternoon, when the wind started to drop and the skies began to clear. It's nice now - perfectly clear skies, 48, with almost no wind. Nice.


I am typing over the cat, who has been sitting on my lap all day, when he could. While I was doing my dinner, I finally cycled the dishwasher, and I will run it tonight. The rest of the stuff I need to do will just have to wait.


Anyway, now it's a beautiful spring evening in the field, and there should be stars tonight. My early rising has made me very sleepy, so I think I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early again.


April 10

Even though I finished reading the written part of the story, and I took a bath, I was in bed by 9:30. I slept well. Although there weren't any stars, the moon was out there, and I saw it set. I woke up around 6:30, and that was just too early, so I went back to sleep, and it was nearly 7:30 before I got up. That meant I didn't do any exercises and I didn't knit, but oh, well. 


My only problem with getting ready for church was deciding what to wear. After looking at the weather, I decided on a sweater and my slicker, and that was wrong. There was a little rain on the way down, and none on the way back. The difficulty was fog. There was some fog here, but from the Mountain Lodge all the way to Calumet it was anything from patchy to pea-soup, and it was even hard to see where to make my turns to get to the church. 


However, it was worth the trip. Pastor preached on the 11th chapter of John - about raising Lazarus from the dead - and it was a wonderfully inspiring sermon. Among other things, he pointed out that it is perfectly fine and reasonable for people, even Christian people to grieve when a loved one dies. Even Jesus did that. What we rejoice in is not the life of the loved one, but Jesus' life and death and resurrection, which promises that we, too, will rise and see our loved ones again. Anyway, it was great.


Pastor Fundum has an altogether different style and point from Pastor Boelter and the other ministers I have heard, but it is interesting and there is a whole lot of Gospel in his sermons. We need to hear that.


The other news from there is that the organ seems to be really dead, and it won't be working for Easter. Sometime in May the organ tuner will be around to explain the problems and propose a remedy. When I wish I had all the money in the world and I could just give it to them. It's a really nice sounding organ, and it's quite old and lovely, and it would be a shame to lose it.


So then I started home. I had to drive around Calumet for a while to find the post office, but I got my form mailed. The fog was a bit less in Calumet and Kearsarge, but north of there it was, if anything, worse, and driving was interesting. The only thing that made it safe was that I was the only person on the road going down and on the way back, I came up behind a guy in a step van with two kayaks on the top who was going very slowly, but he immediately pulled over when he saw me, and let me go around. If only all the tourists were that mannerly! 


So I got home around 1:00 and I didn't do anything much else, except to clean up after the cat. He peed on the desk twice more, and now there is almost nothing on that part of it. I think I will leave it like that overnight, and see what happens tomorrow.


I don't think he feels very good, although he is eating and his ears and his ears and nose are cold. He spent most of the afternoon on my lap, and he is there now, event though I'm typing.


The temperature here got  up to 53 briefly, and it was in the upper 40s for most of the afternoon. There was a little southwest wind. It was very humid, and the wind did nothing to blow the fog away.  It appears that we had 0.15" of rain before 11:00 this morning. Needless to say, it was cloudy, and sometimes very dark, but there was almost a little sunshine during the afternoon. The barometer is dropping, and there are more rain and thunder showers on the way.


There was apparently some thunder during the night, too, because when I was up I could see the lightning flashes, but they were so far away to the south that I couldn't hear anything, and I don't think it rained hard here. It's really neat, on a very dark night, to see those flashes of lightning so far away. I don't think I could ever go back to living in a place where there wasn't a whole lot of sky.


So now it's getting to be time to totter up to the north end again and try to get to bed early. I find that drive to Calumet and back - 75 miles round trip - is very tiring, so I tend to not do much when I get home. I do have to try to fill the dry cat food bowls tonight, though.


It's a cloudy, foggy evening in the field, and there will be rain.


April 9

I read again last night, for quite a while, although I didn't finish the story, and it was 11:45 before I got to bed. I slept well, for a change. I was up several times, but nothing nasty happened. I got up around 9:00, and I petted the cat and got a little over half the heel done. I had to truncate my exercises, because I couldn't get out of the bathroom. 


Today was washday, and I started the first load before I went to the kitchen. The last loads are in the dryer now. I guess I had planned to do something about all the clean clothes, but I was late doing my surfing, and Ron called (bless him!) to tell me that my taxes came.


It's still a lot of money, but Nancy did a great job getting the very lowest number she could. So now I have to sign the release and get it back into the mail, and then I can wait until the 18th to send in my money.


As I was getting ready to go to the post office, I looked at the desk and realized that Buster had peed on it again, so when I got back, I took everything off and cleaned everything up (I hope). I haven't put everything back, because it turns out that it's nice not to have all that stuff around. I guess he knows he did something he shouldn't, or I hope he does. Apparently I didn't clean up well enough the last time he did this, and of course, if he can smell it, he will go back. I hope I did a good enough job this time.


The weather was rather nice, although the sunshine went away around noon. It was cloudy and warm in the afternoon. The temperature got up to 53 for most of the afternoon, and there was hardly any wind again. There is rain on the way.


When I came into the kitchen this morning, there was a flock of male mergansers in their breeding plumage fishing out in front of the house, and there were also two geese dabbling right at the shore. The mergansers went off after a while, but the geese stayed around.


So now I think I will go up to the north end early, with the idea of getting up in time to go to church tomorrow. If it rains, it may be a good thing, and wash off the car a bit.


Now it's a calm, cloudy, and rather warm evening in the field.


April 8

I got to reading last night, so it was 10:45 before I got to bed. I slept rather well, as far as I can remember. There were a few stars in the sky, but there was that high haze of aerosols that kept it from being a really clear night. When I went to bed, the crescent moon was beginning its descent over the lighthouse, and it was very pretty. 


I got up around 9:00, I think. I did the morning stuff, and everything seemed fine until I decided it was time to go to the bathroom, and I didn't quite make it. This is getting really old. The Imodium doesn't seem to have done anything, so I guess I'll have to try rice.


I started the heel on the sock, so I was late getting to the office, and then I had to stop everything and clean up, so it took me a long time to do my morning surfing. 


I have another reason for getting new hardware. There is one website I like to visit occasionally (Science News Online), and for the past few days, at least one page I look at has caused the computer to go crazy. When I close the browser, it starts cloning browsers...heaven knows how many...and this morning, I couldn't even reboot the normal ways. I had to hit the "off" button on the CPU. After my past experiences, I really hate to do that, but so far, anyway, it doesn't seem to have done any harm. Reminds me, tomorrow I must do a backup. Just in case...


There are also several pages that cause the CPU to go to 100% usage, and it overheated. Stopping that and rebooting solved the problem, but I suppose it's time to open up the case and do some dusting. There is some process that is supposed to take data for something called PCHealth, which I don't know anything about, and it does its thing every 6 hours, usually right when I'm doing something else. 


The weather was remarkably nice. It was already 49 when i got to the studio, and it got up to 51. It was mostly clear and there was hardly any wind. I had the door open most of the day, but after the wind dropped to nothing, around noon, it didn't do much to cool things off.


When I was awake around  7:30 this morning, I heard a whole lot of geese, I guess flying over, and during the day, I heard more out in front but I didn't look for them. So the geese are moving. At least they think spring is coming. If they're going north of the lake, though, they'll be disappointed. The MODIS displays snow there is still a lot of snow and ice up there.


I went to the post office this afternoon, where my taxes hadn't come yet, so I'll have to go back tomorrow. I never did get the stuff out of the car. I did bring in some TP, and I even emptied the box and put the extra rolls where they belong. Tomorrow, I have to wash, since I am down to one pair of underpants - the ones I am washing right now.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end and take a bath. I'm tired again. It's a clear but hazy night in the field.


April 7

I think I got to bed around 10:15, and I think I went right to sleep. I was up a couple of times, and there were stars, but not  very bright ones. Around 3:30, I got up and ended up staying that way for half an hour, while I took Imodium. When I got back to bed, I was wakeful enough that I didn't get back to sleep for an hour or more, so it makes some sense that I didn't get up until 9:30. The Imodium seems to have quieted things down a bit, at least. 


Anyway, I did the morning stuff and my morning surfing. I got the bird feeders together and filled, finally. I really intended to get the car unloaded, but after I put out the bird feeders, I frankly forgot about it. Tomorrow. I've already had to root through the bags in the back for some stuff I needed. 


The weather was nice. It started out nearly clear, and there was lots of sunshine all day. It began to cloud up a bit later on, though...not what they had forecast. The temperature got up to 51 - over 50 for the first time this year! It felt and smelled really springy when I was outside. There was a southwest wind in the 10-20 mph range.


I had to open the patio door fairly early this afternoon, because it got up to 77 in here, and that is much too warm! The wind coming in was a bit cool, but I found a place where the door let just enough of it in. 


Buster spent the entire afternoon asleep on the desk, as usual, and for a good part of the time, Jasmine was right there with him. She loves having the door open, even if only a little bit, and she spends a lot of time looking out onto the deck, even when there aren't any birds or beasts. I don't know what she sees. She has also been sitting on the kitty condo, looking out onto the driveway. I suppose there are things out there, too. At least a couple of the squirrels live in that direction. I think we are all happy that spring is coming. It wasn't a particularly long winter, but it was a very boring one.


I had quite a bit of trouble with the computer today, and I had to reboot any number of times. There was quite a hiatus in the pictures this afternoon, since I decided to do a SpyBot check and it found something to remove, then it appeared to hang when it started checking again after it rebooted. It still annoys me extremely that people think they should be able to put things on my computer without my permission, especially things that may be tracking what I do and what I key in.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm getting tired again, so after I publish this and reboot (again!) I will be off to the north end. It's a party cloudy, quite warm evening in the field.


April 6

Last night, I was in bed before 9:30, and although it took me some time to get to sleep, I started out OK. I woke up around 12:30, and before 1:00 I had had an accident that turned out to be even messier than I thought. After that, I slept, with a number of wakeups. I have been trying to stay hydrated, and everything that goes in must come out, usually during the night.


I got up around 8:30, I think, and I did the usual morning things. During the night, when I was up, I could see a star or two, not very bright, but it was nearly clear by the time I got up, and all the clouds eventually went away. I do love to look north out of the bathroom window and see that clear, blue sky! The harbor was blue, too.


I ended up not doing very much, because I had another accident this morning. I guess it's time to get out the Imodium and the rice.


Late this afternoon, my accountant called with the bad news, but I knew I was going to have to pay this year. It's a lot, but maybe I can swing it. I know she did the very best she could.  I like to talk to her, because she apparently sees the political things the same way I do. Anyway, now I know the extent of the damage, and this year should be better.


The weather was nice but not too warm. It was clear or nearly so all day, and the temperature got up to 38 this afternoon. There was almost no wind. This morning, it was extremely humid, to the extent that there was some fog early in the morning, but the humidity went down drastically this afternoon, which is a good thing. The temperature in the studio got up to 77 before I finally opened the door. Thanks, I'll take the sunshine. It was nice to hear the boiler not running, too.


The sunset was pretty, but it was the kind that doesn't photograph well - the sun was brilliant red, and there was a lovely red glitter trail on the harbor. The sun is now setting around the east end of Porter Island, way out of camera range.  Hmm, we ought to be able to see a teensy crescent moon soon. There should be lots of stars tonight, too. 


So that was a rather wasted day, and I think I will be off to the north end rather soon. It's a clear, calm night in the field, and it's a very pretty evening.


April 5

I was in bed by 9:45 last night, and it was not a good night. I had a horrible time getting to sleep, and I never did get deeply asleep, and I was up every hour or so, partly because I was uncomfortable. In fact, I even wondered if I'd taken my nighttime pills (I had) I was so uncomfortable. Oh - I need to run and take my afternoon pills, because I didn't yesterday, and my feet were very bothersome. 


The problem is that the stuff I take for my feet interacts with the magnesium I have to take for other reasons, so I shouldn't take the magnesium within two hours of the other stuff. Well, it will be tonight, but it will be better than not taking it at all.


Anyway, I did not have a good night. I got up around 8:30, because it was clear I wasn't going back to sleep with Buster yelling at me. So I was tired and didn't feel very good all day, so I did nothing much.


During the night, when I was up, there was a star or two, but not very bright, and it was cloudy this morning. During the afternoon, we had some snow showers, then a bit of sunshine, and now it's cloudy again. The high temperature was 34. but that was at midnight. It was around 30 or so all day, with an occasional 33 just to keep things interesting. It was rather windy all night, but the wind dropped to nothing today. It wasn't bad out, but I didn't go, except to open the door to cool it off.


I had hoped to work on the stuff in the car today, but the barometer is still low and the humidity is still high, so my back was bothering me, and I didn't. I did mend four pairs of underpants, so I have something to wear this week. I've used so many extra pairs this month that the underpants and the compression hose got out of sync. This evening, I worked on the bookmark for a while, and I will read a bit before I go and crash.


Buster spent almost the entire day curled up on the desk, sound asleep. I think he's OK, just getting old. Apparently  my dinner didn't smell too good to him - it wasn't that bad - but that might be because I fed him before I started cooking it. I had another of the new things I got from Schwan's, none of which I'll get again. This one was OK - but just OK.


It has annoyed me that Buster won't come and ask for dinner, but I've realized that he never really asks for any food. He comes and yells, but not until he hears me open the cans. So unlike all my other cats! I guess what I'll have to do is look at the dishes, and if they are empty, just give him more, because then he comes, and he does eat. I guess he was used to having another cat do the asking for him, and certainly Jasmine won't do that, even more than he doesn't.


I noticed in passing that  we very quietly passed over 13 hours of daylight yesterday. Isn't that nice? We're still gaining about 23 minutes a week, but pretty soon that will slow down some. We have only three more hours to gain, and until late June to do it. Now it's nice to see the sun.


When I got up this morning, the eastern sky was gray, but there was a cloud bank in the west that was a lovely shade of grayish mauve, sort of an extended Girdle of Venus. It was very pretty.


So now I will read for a while, until the Mozart finishes, then I will go up to the north end and crash, and hope to have a better night tonight. Now it's a calm, cloudy and cool evening in the field, and there clearly won't be a sunset tonight.


April 4

I made it into bed around 9:45 last night, and I slept fairly well. I could tell, when I looked down the harbor, that something was coming down, and even the lighthouse seemed dimmed, but it wasn't until I got up that I saw that we'd had an inch or two of wet snow. It wasn't snowing then, although it was hazy down the harbor, so something was coming down. I got up around 8:15 or so because I really had to pee. So I had plenty of time to do the morning stuff and part of my morning surfing before it was off to see Johanna. That was nice, and I felt pretty good when I left her. 


I had to stop at the post office to mail my taxes, and of course I had to talk to Ron, so it was after 1:00 when I got home. And I didn't do anything else for the afternoon. It has just occurred to me that I need to load the dishwasher. Ugh. Now I am feeling really tired and not very good, so it will be another early night.


While I was with Johanna, the lights blinked a couple of times, and sure enough, when I got home, the clocks in the kitchen needed setting and the fridge said "PF". The computer came back up without a hitch, which was nice, although I know it rebooted because the programs I left running weren't. The laptop was running, too. I don't quite get that thing - sometimes it automatically boots when the power comes back on, and sometimes it doesn't. It annoys me, and I suppose I should just unplug it. I can tell it's running, even with the lid closed, because I can hear the hard disk. Fortunately, the power glitch didn't seem to cause any other problems.


The weather wasn't nice. It snowed off and on all day, and the wind switched around to the north east and has risen all afternoon. The highest gusts we had were a bit over 47 mph at 7:00, with sustained winds in the 30-35 mph range. It may have died down a bit, but I'm not counting on it. However, the sun, which should set in less than half an hour, has just broken through the clouds, so that's nice. It was warm - the high was 35 and it has been above freezing all day - and very humid. It was slushy and messy when I was out. At least we seem only to have gotten two or three inches of snow, although it's hard to tell, because it was raining sometimes and some of the snow melted. The ground was all white again when I got up this morning.


After Buster got all wet a few days ago, I started thinking about the episode a month or so ago when I thought he peed on the bed, and I'm pretty sure the bed got wet because he fell in the toilet then, too. I wondered at the time, because there was much too much moisture for the amount he usually pees. Poor Buster. As he gets older, he is getting more awkward, and since he was always very good on his feet, he just doesn't understand. I don't think he feels very good, and he has been sleeping on my lap as much as I'll let him. 


So that's all I have to report. Now it's a very windy night in the field, but the skies are supposed to be clearing, and that will be nice.


April 3

So last night, I was a good girl and I got to bed a bit after 9:30, but then it took me over an hour to get to sleep. Oh, well. Once I was asleep, I did good. When I was up around 11:00, it was extremely clear toward the north, with all kinds of stars visible right through the screens. However, when I went back to bed, and I looked at Orion, Rigel was almost too dim to see, so there were clouds in the west. They didn't move in until around 3:00, I don't think. 


I woke up around 6:30, but that was too early, so I went back to sleep and didn't get up until 7:20 or so, and I was just in time to see the morning sky turn orange, a most beautiful color, right as the sun was rising. It was cloudy, though, so there was no sun after it came up. 


I did everything as though I was going to church, but when I checked the weather radar, there was a huge patch of red that ended right about Calumet. I watched it while I did some of my morning surfing and ate a small breakfast, and the red kept creeping northward, so around 8:30, I decided to bail. As it turned out, I was probably wrong, but since the Main Street Calumet camera is down, and the one at the airport is always off on weekends, I had no way of knowing how it was down there.


So I did my thing, and I didn't do much else. I did manage to get the paperwork for my taxes together. Now all I have to do in the morning is get it into an envelope so I can stop at the post office on my way back from seeing Johanna.


Eventually, the weather got here. They were right that it was mixed. Sometimes it was raining, sometimes it was snowing, and sometimes - most of the time - it was doing both. It still is. The temperature got up to 39 around 10:00, then it dropped off to 33 and it is now 34. The wind picked up around noon, into the 15-25 mph range from the south. We have had enough snow to cover the ground but not the deck. We've had a third of an inch of water, but probably more, since the rain gauge at the NWS station can't detect the mists. Anyway, it was a nasty day.


Probably I could have gotten home before it started here, but I don't know about Laurium.


I have been tired all day, so I think I will be going to bed early again tonight. Now it's a dull, dark nasty evening in the field and I'm tired.


April 2

I got to fooling around last night, so it was 11:00 before I got to bed. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. Around 5:00, the people next door to the north had all the floodlights on, so perhaps they were leaving. They've been here for about a week. I didn't get up until nearly 10:00, then I did the morning stuff, so it was noon before I got to the office.


Buster has completely forgotten that I closed the door on him, and he is becoming a real pest again when he wants something I'm eating. He was disappointed today, because I sort of overcooked my eggs, and there was no runny yolk for him to eat. He did get some of my dinner, although it was hard to eat with his head in the dish. I don't mind if he licks the dish when I'm done, but I don't like him trying to lick it when I'm eating it.


I did not much. Late in the day, I started getting the figures together for my taxes, and that was a trip. I accidentally hit "close" on Excel instead of the file I was looking at, and when it asked me if I wanted to save changes, I said, "no", because I didn't want to change the file I was looking at - and threw away over an hour's work on the ledger file. Aarrggh! So I did it over again, and I think it's right. Tomorrow I will have to get the rest of the papers together so that I can send them off on Monday.


The weather turned out nice. When I was up around 7:00, it was foggy or hazy down the harbor, and I couldn't tell if it was fog or snow. By the time I got up for good, it was clear and sunny, and that's the way it stayed for the rest of the day. It never got under freezing overnight, and it got up to around 43 for most of the afternoon. There was about a 15 mph wind from the north all day. The temperature in here got up to 77, so I finally opened the door and that has cooled it down some.


So now I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early. I have a suspicion I won't be going to church tomorrow, though. There is a really nasty Winter Weather Advisory out for tomorrow, starting at 8:00 am, and with wet snow and rain in the forecast, I'm not sure I want to drive all that distance. However, I will go to bed early and see how it is when I get up. Looking at the national weather map, I'm not sure that can get from where it is now to us in such a short time. We'll see.


Now it's a lovely clear and rather warm evening in the field, and today it feels like spring is coming.


April 1

I don't believe in April Fool's Day, so we'll skip all that.


I embroidered for a while after I uploaded last night, so it was 10:45 before I got to bed. I mostly slept well, although I was up any number of times. I got up around 8:15, because I had to, and I felt all right. I did the morning things and I got to the studio at a very reasonable hour, but I didn't do anything with it.


Only one thing of interest happened during the day. Buster had gone away after he ate the end of  my egg yolk, and a while later he was back while I was immersed in my morning surfing. Evidently he sat on the desk for quite a while before he moved onto my lap - and then I discovered that he was soaking wet. All his feet and his hind end were just sopping. I dried him off as well as I could with napkins and Kleenex (which he did not like very well), and then I discovered the problem on the desk. The desk pad, a bunch of papers I had there, and a catalog were also just soaked. In fact, I kept finding wet paper all afternoon. I can't imagine where all that water came from! I am interested to find that apparently after it has sat for a while, the ink in my printer does become more or less waterproof, so I won't have to reprint all my sun and moon data, if I can get it to dry off.


All I can figure is that he slipped and fell into the toilet in the master bath. He uses it to get onto the counter, and he also occasionally drinks out of it, even though I've been trying to keep his water fresh. The last six months or so he has begun to lose his ability to keep his balance, and he occasionally does something really awkward, which embarrasses him and worries Jasmine and me. Anyway, I have never seen a wetter cat, at least on the bottom, and I really should have dried him off with a towel. Even after I sopped up some of the water on his feet and bottom, he sat on me and my sweats were wet when he left. It's curious that he came right to me and he seemed to know that somehow I would fix him up.


It was humid enough that everything is drying off slowly, even though the temperature got up to 74 before I opened the door.


We have been having rather cold nights lately, although it only got down to 25 last night. It was clear all night, and I saw lots of stars. I have been watching Capella, Castor and Pollux setting in the northwest (although Capella never really sets up here - I've seen it glimmering on the horizon in the middle of summer), and Regulus is beginning to show in the windows later in the night. 


Anyway, the temperature here got up to 39 from around 11:00 until around 4:00 pm. There was a lot of sun until late in the day, but it's cloudy now. There was no wind at all for most of the day. It has gotten very humid lately, and they are predicting some kind of precip overnight and tomorrow. We'll see.


This afternoon I finally called my accountant, which will get me motivated to get my taxes together. Evidently I'm not the only one who has been procrastinating this year, and she has a bundle of returns to file already, and a number of people who haven't called her yet. Fortunately, my return isn't too difficult anymore. I just have to get it together. I wanted to check on whether I could claim all the mileage I put on my car while I was going to PT, and the answer is yes. I'm afraid, with everything I had to take out of my IRA last year, that I will have to pay this year, but getting the mortgage thing settled was worth it. So that is what I'll be doing over the weekend.


Otherwise, I did nothing, even though all the games are beginning to bore me. I should have embroidered instead, but I just didn't feel like it.


Now it's a cool, cloudy night in the field, and I think that after Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata finishes, I will toddle up to the north end and read for a bit and try to get to bed early again. Now that the sun is rising at a reasonable hour (7:30), I like getting up fairly early. Spring is coming, if slowly.


Last  updated 05/01/11 08:55 PM