A View From the Field







May, 2011

May 31

Gee, May is gone. Amazing.


I got to bed early last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I was uncomfortable, and I think I couldn't get the temperature right. After about 4:00 am I did better, and I got up around 9:30. I still didn't feel very well, for some reason. I petted the cat, knitted a little bit, and did a few exercises. However, I felt unsettled enough inside that I drank my orange juice and it was nearly noon when I ate anything. I think perhaps part of my problem is all the glop I'm swallowing. I am still blowing and coughing the stuff out of my sinuses. I'm happy to report that my ears have finally opened up a bit. Yesterday was bad.


So I didn't do anything except I finished the May bookmark. I still don't like it (it says READ in Hardanger letters), although the thread is kind of nice. I started the June bookmark, which is more to my liking, but I just started it. The thread is linen, and it isn't going to be easy to work in.


The story of the day was the weather. It was sort of blah in the morning, but it was already 75 and breezy when I got to the studio. There were a few rumbles of thunder, but only a few raindrops, and the temperature maxed out at 82, It didn't seem that warm because by that time the wind had shifted around to the northwest and risen into the 20-30 mph range.


The NWS station says the maximum gusts have only been around 33 mph, but that's crazy, at least out here at the east end. I decided, a while ago, that since we have high wind warnings coming up, I'd better fetch in the bird feeders, and when I was out there, I was being blown around enough that I had a hard time keeping my balance. That's got to be more than 33 mph. The NWS station is sort of sheltered on the northwest, and that's the only explanation I can see. 


I am pleased to report that the tube feeder is intact. Somebody really did twist the hanger and unhook the tubes from the lid. That's a relief. The wind had already opened up the mesh feeder, though, and the cedar feeder was whipping around so much that I had a hard time catching it. The wind had blown all the thistle seed out of the thistle socks. I think that's the first time I've seen that happen.


Anyway, the temperature is dropping now, and it's supposed to get rather cool and very windy overnight.  It was nice to have the doors open today, even though the wind blew a lot of stuff around, even blowing the angel away from where I had it hanging. 


I had planned to open the shutters today, but when I saw the weather forecast, I decided to wait until after this storm is over. I'm getting tired of the dark, but the wind and any rain we might have wouldn't be good for the furniture.


We had the rest of my good dinner tonight, and Buster sat and howled at me until I finished my part and gave him his, and he ate quite a helping. He just loves whitefish, especially plank style whitefish. I love it too, and it sure did taste good. I have felt better since i ate. I may give in and take some Rolaids tonight. I was really uncomfortable overnight.


We had another power failure around noon that was apparently quite local, since it didn't bother the Mountain Lodge, so as soon as the generator came on and the computer rebooted, I was back in business. This one only lasted an hour or two. The one last night was longer. That generator is soooo nice!


So that was another quiet day. I coughed and blew a lot today, but I have hope that slowly I am getting a little better. Now it's time to totter up to the north end and let the wind and the lake sing me to sleep. It's a warmish, very windy night in the field, and it's going to get windier.


May 30

Well, let's try this again. I had just about finished a rather short entry when the power failed and of course I lost it. Now I'm on generator power, and whatever happened, it didn't affect the Mountain Lodge, so I'm good.


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, after I finished reading the story. I slept all right, but I wasn't very comfortable and I coughed a little more than usual. I guess I will have to take a cough drop if I do that tonight, even though they leave such a bad taste in my mouth that I hate to do it. 


I got up around 10:30, when it started to thunder. I wrote for a while (it felt good, although I don't think it was very interesting), and I did a few exercises before I got dressed. My back felt better for most of the day, so I will have to get back into the habit.


I didn't do anything. I don't really feel all that good, so I just fiddled around.


The weather was stormy, although I can't give a complete report, since the NWS station has been down since about 4:00. Before that time, we'd had 0.58" of rain, lots of thunder, and some very high winds. There were a couple of power glitches that didn't amount to anything. Between 3:00 and 4:00, there was a wind gust of 45 mph from the southwest. I didn't notice it raining, but it apparently did, and there was another shower while we were at dinner, or at least there were raindrops on the car.


Dinner was lovely. They are all nice people, and the food was up to Harbor Haus's standards. It was very quiet there tonight, which is a shame, but of course, it's early. They are only serving dinner this year. We talked to Chris about it, and they have just not been able to get enough kitchen staff to do lunch. I was a little disappointed, but I can understand their problems. They are going to open at 3:00 for appetizers and 4:30 for dinner, and they are going to expand their appetizer menu. It was good to go there again.


While we were eating, those who can see saw a little bear out at the end of Porter Island. He apparently took a little dip in the lake before he went back into the interior of the island. Unfortunately, I couldn't see well enough to see him, but it was a fun time.


Now it's time to totter up to the north end and put myself to bed. I may write a bit, and then again I might not. It's a cool, damp rather yucky evening in the field.


May 29

I made it into bed by 10:00 last night, but I didn't feel like I slept very well. I coughed a lot, and there was a lot of glop to get rid of. I got up around 8:30, and I petted the cat and read for a couple of hours. I really should be transcribing that story instead of the one I'm working on, but oh, well.


I decided last night not to try to go to church this morning, and it was a good decision. I am still coughing and blowing too much, and I would have disrupted church. I hope that by next Sunday, I'll be well enough to go.


I did nothing, again. I don't feel all that good today, so after I did my surfing, I worked on the story I am rewriting. I'm not sure whether it's coming out very well, but all I can do is get it into the computer and then start to edit...and edit...and edit...


The weather was so-so again. It was clear or almost so this morning, but it clouded up as the day went along. The temperature here was weird. It went up to 57 at 8:00 this morning, then it dropped off to 45 at 10:00, then up to 53, then back down to the upper 40s. There was a 15 mph wind from the north for most of the middle of the day, but that has now died down to nothing.


It was sunny enough that the temperature in the studio got up to 78 or so, but there was enough of a breeze for a while that opening the door a crack took care of that.


I made our reservations for tomorrow evening, and it was a really good thing I talked to Amanda. I sent her an email as soon as she suggested tomorrow, but she apparently never got it, so there was nearly a disaster. I'm hoping Chris will give her a couple of hours off so she can join us for dinner, but we'll see how that goes. Goes to show you, if you have something that really matters, don't rely on email.


I have neighbors on both sides, it seems, and there are a lot of people here for the holiday. I am still amused by watching some of my neighbors go...and come...and go...and come...four or five (or more) times a day. My habit has always, even 40 years ago, been to go, do all my errands, and then come home once and stay. I mean, really, why keep using all that gas? Plan what you need to do, go and do it all, and then come home and stay.


Buster and I had chicken cordon bleu and Kiev for dinner. Boy, he sure does love that stuff! I like it, too, and even though my breakfast gave me indigestion, my dinner didn't and it tasted good. What a weird little cat he is turning into in his old age!


Jasmine spent quite a lot of time sitting on top of the scratching post in the front windows, watching the world go by outside. She seems very happy that spring is finally here, and there are always things running or flying around outside, even when there isn't any bird seed. I keep hoping I'll feel good enough to fill the feeders, including the hummingbird feeder, and get the shutters up. I'm getting really tired of the dark in the hallway and the kitchen.


So now it's a cool, cloudy evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end, take a bath, and get to bed early again. I was afraid it was going to take me a while to get over this thing, and it certainly is.


May 28

I was in bed early last night, and I slept for a very long time. That's what I need to recover. I was up a number of times, of course, but it was the normal stuff I deal with all the time. I didn't get up until nearly 11:00. 


I read for a while with Buster sitting on my lap. He is shedding like crazy, and as much as I brushed out of him I'm sure if I'd kept on, I would have gotten more. I don't want him to get tired of it, though, and it will be there tomorrow. So far (fingers crossed) it hasn't caused him any hairball problems, which is a relief. He's been eating well.


It was another quiet day. I went to the post office, where there was nothing much except my June bookmark (gee, now I guess I'd better finish May), but I went because I had to stop at the store for eggs. The town is beginning to get busy on the weekends. This weekend was the Trails Club summit and Ride the Keweenaw, as well as a lot of Michigan Nature Association sanctuary cleanups. And of course, Monday morning, there is a Memorial Day program at the Fort.


The weather was so-so. It evidently rained a bit between 7:00 and 10:00 this morning  (and we are having a nice little sun shower right now). The temperature got up to 55 briefly, around 4:00. For most of the afternoon it was in the high 40s and low 50s. There was no wind. There was a little sunshine and a lot of clouds. Very spring-like.


I didn't feel too bad today, although I am still coughing and blowing, and there is still a lot of glop in my head. My temperature is definitely normal, which is a good thing. I guess I've gone back to getting hot when I need to pee. I certainly still don't feel totally up to par, but I doubt I will until I get rid of the stuff in my head.


This evening, I wrote for a while, and I'm making a little progress on the story. It's not the easiest thing to write. I want to use some of what was in the original, but there is a lot of stuff that I either need to rewrite or add to it. I only got about three pages done. I could go on, but instead, I will go up to the north end, read a bit, take a bath, and try to be in bed early again. Only that will cure me.


Now it's a damp, coolish evening in the field.


May 27

I was late to bed last night - 11:00 - and while I didn't get up until late this morning, I didn't have quite such a good day. I had a headache for most of the afternoon, which was probably partly because there is still a lot of glop in my sinuses and partly because I was tired.


However, I had two normal meals (although I seriously overcooked my breakfast).  I decided I wanted real food for dinner tonight, so I had shrimp lo mein. I couldn't eat a lot of it, but it tasted good and it went down well. I also had a JD. Can you imagine - the last time I had any alcohol at all was a week ago Thursday, and that was wine. See? I'm not addicted, I just like it. I can feel the JD, but I expected that, and I won't be out of bed too long tonight. That tasted good, too.


I finally have the dishwasher about ready to run tonight, but that was all I did.  I used about the last cat dishes this morning, so I couldn't put it off anymore. I am still weak, and when I do anything I get all sweaty, and my back bothered me a little, but not nearly as badly as I feared.


The weather was not too bad. It was only partly sunny, but the temperature got up to 57 for a couple of hours, which was nice. There was hardly any wind at all again. Now it is quite cloudy, and there might be a little wind.


Tonight I did a little reading and editing, but the next thing is to continue the rewrite of the old stories that I started a while ago, and I didn't feel quite up to that, even though I sort of know where we're going, at least for a while.


Now, while it's not very late, I think I will  be in bed early tonight. It's a calm, cloudy evening in the field.


May 26

I'm happy to say that I had a nearly normal night last night and my temperature was about normal this morning. I feel much better. The only things remaining are, all the glop that I am blowing out and coughing up, and I'm still not hungry. I will be a little later to bed tonight, too.


I got dressed for the first time in a week, and it didn't feel so bad. Actually, wearing compression hose again felt rather good. 


I went to the post office, where there was a lot of stuff but not the one thing I was looking for. Funny how those insurance companies will send three invoices then none when the premium gets adjusted down. So I may have to go tomorrow, too, and hope it comes then, or I will have to pay based upon the premium I know is wrong. I think that payment will be about half of the actual total, which I guess is OK in the long run, but I'd hoped to spread it out over three months. Greedy people. In my world, people with that attitude won't get any jobs at all.


The weather was clear and cold. It was sunny all day, but the temperature was right around 40. Still is. There was enough east wind overnight that the lake kicked up a little fuss, but that dropped off this afternoon, and when it switched around to the north, it went to nothing. It was pretty, though. By the way, at this time of year, the average high is 56. So it's really cold.


Actually, I wish we'd get some of the rain that has been plaguing the lower peninsula. We need it. I've noticed the same weather paths we seemed to have for the last year, where most of the precip goes south of us. I wish that would change.


The tourons are beginning to gather for the weekend, so it will be a good time to stay home...except on Monday, which is my thank-you dinner to those who have kept the roads open for the winter.


Speaking of roads, the grader has done a really nice job on the road. It is nice and smooth. I suppose the first rain will wash out some of it, but for now, it's nice. Even the speed bump up by US-41 has been smoothed out quite a bit, which will no doubt annoy the person who put it there.


The leaves are coming out, and the early bushes are coming into flower. It's such a pretty time of year. I think I've mentioned it before, but there is one variety of serviceberry whose leaves come out dark reddish, and the clusters of white flowers just jump out from them. The chokecherries are coming out, too, although the pin cherries are later. The maple flowers and the birch catkins are gone, but the flowers on the oaks are out - yes, oaks have flowers, too. Even pines have flowers, although those come later. Everything is growing like crazy, and already the tansy and knapweed are beginning to get away from me.


However, I was pretty rocky when I went to the post office, so there isn't much I can do about it yet.


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


May 25

It was not a very good night, but I have several things to try tonight. First, I made the mistake of not taking my cough medicine. I'm not sure it works very well, but it's worth a try. So every couple of hours, I woke up having to cough and blow and get up and go to the bathroom. If I have that problem tonight, I will have to try lying on my reading wedge, which I hate to do because it twists my back (since I sleep on my side). However, if it helps with the coughing, I'll do it. 


I don't want any more coughing than I can help. This morning, after I got here, I had a coughing fit that lasted at least half an hour, probably more, and I just toughed it out, rather than going up to the north end for medicine. Bad choice. Now all my chest and back muscles are so sore it's hard to cough at all.


My temperature was under 99 this morning, which is still high for me, but I felt a little better when I wasn't coughing. I still don't feel good. It is amazing what a violent spasm coughing can be. When I finally stopped this morning, among other things, I couldn't focus my eyes for a while.


Buster came and sat on me about the time I was going to get up and wash my face, and he got brushed for the first time in a few days. That was nice. 


I ate my breakfast in shifts, and I'm still not hungry. I had eggs for the first time in a week, and he wanted some of those, and he really wanted some of my mac and cheese tonight, but I only ate about half of that, so he couldn't have any. Now he's sitting on me. All of that is getting back to normal, which is good. 


Oh, every day in every way, I'm getting better and better. It's just going to take a while to get well.


It was another pretty day, but cold. It wasn't as clear last night as they said it would be. I could see stars in the west, but I couldn't see Polaris. It was around 35 overnight, but after the sun rose, it got warmer, and it spent most of the day in the upper 40s, with a peak of 51. There wasn't much wind again. It was partly cloudy for most of the day.


I was in the kitchen one time, and when I looked out a small flock of male mergansers were fishing out in front of the house. I suspect they have already mated, since I haven't seen any females, but the males haven't molted yet, and they are so strikingly white. They are fun to watch. If I were a female, I wouldn't want anybody that visible sitting on my eggs, where an eagle might see them, but I wonder when the females eat.


I checked my bank accounts today, since it was Social Security day (for me), and I had some bills to pay, and lo and behold, there was my income tax refund! So whatever was the problem that caused it to get kicked out for manual review, it wasn't what we thought, and it couldn't have been serious. I think the State of Michigan hates me and just wants to plague me. Anyway, now I feel a little more financially comfortable. 


So now my back is beginning to bother me again, and I'm getting tired, so I will totter up to the north end again and hope to sleep a little better tonight. I will keep the cough medicine and cough drops at hand and hope that helps.


It's a cold, partly cloudy evening in the field.


May 24

I forgot to take my temperature before I went to bed last night, and I think it was just as well. I had another bad night, and when I did take my temperature this morning, I was very discouraged, because it was 101.7 again.  So I went back to bed, and when I finally did get up, around 10:30, it was down to about 100.5, but I still didn't feel very good. So it was another morning of OJ for breakfast, and I did my surfing. About 3:00, I went back to bed, and I actually slept for a solid hour, and I woke up all hot, turned over and slept some more. It's hard, because the stuff in my nose and throat makes kind of squeaking noises when I breathe and it's hard to ignore it. Anyway, I felt better when I got up around 5:30, and my temperature had come down to 99.2. Not normal, but much better.


I had managed to get down the basement stairs to fetch my soup, so I defrosted it and heated it up, and it went down very nicely, although not a lot of it. Unfortunately, all the CHIA soups have too much sodium in them, but since I've been eating so little, that's probably good for me. I don't feel too bad now, which is good, since I have to take a bath tonight. My hair is horrible and my bottom hurts.


It was a cold day today. The temperature rose slowly from 39 overnight and this morning, to 44 now. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up during the day, and it is quite clear now. There wasn't a lot of wind again  I guess it's supposed to get very cold tonight, and there may be frost in the interior. And this is almost the end of May!


I took the last pill this morning, so now we'll see what happens next. I certainly hope I'm finally going to lick this thing. Being quite this sick is getting really old.


When I got to the studio, I heard machinery outside, and pretty soon a fairly large road grader trundled by. It made several more passes, so I guess someone (Marty, for sure) has made sure the road is in reasonable shape before the Memorial weekend crowds get here. I'm glad to see that. One of the reasons the road had gotten into such bad shape several years ago was (besides that it had never been graded, as far as I know) that nobody ever did any work on it until it was nearly impassable. It makes much more sense to me to do some work every year. That's why those of us who live on the road pay an assessment every year.


So now it's a clear, calm, cold evening in the field, really pretty, and It's time to totter up to the north end again. Boy, do I hope my problem is at an end!


May 23

I guess the worst is over, although I still feel pretty bad. I had a better night than the last few, but every hour and a half or so, I woke up coughing, and every time I had a coughing fit, I peed, and got  my nightie all wet. It didn't occur to me to put on a pair of underpants and an incontinence pad, so around 9:30 I did that, and ever since, I have been dribbling through the other hole. Sigh. I went back to bed then and didn't get up until after 11:00. When I got up I thought I  might feel a bit better, but when I took my temperature, it was still 101.7. I was discouraged.


So I got up, changed my nightie, put the soiled one in the wash, and got Buster's breakfast and mine. I had just gotten to the studio when I got extremely hot, and that lasted probably 45 minutes. When I finally began to cool down, I felt much better, so I took my temperature and it was down to 98.1. Well! Finally! Then I leaked into my pants, for the second time, and I had to change both my nightie and my pants, so I washed those things, and just lately, I had to change everything again and wash that. So while my temperature has come down, I am still coughing, and now that I am tired again, I have a headache again.


When I got to the studio, the first thing I noticed was that the top of the tube feeder without its bottom. Oh, dear. The bottom is on the deck, and it looks like it might be all right. I wasn't going out to see - it was foggy and rainy and not very warm. So it will have to wait until at least tomorrow. If the parts are really all right, I'm sure the culprit was a coon, because he would have to have twisted the eyelet to loose it from the bottom. Bears don't care, but coons are smart enough to know how to do things like that.


It was a lousy day, weather-wise. The temperature actually 59 around 10:00, but then it started to rain and it plummeted to 46 at 11:00, recovered a bit and started back down. It's now 42 and it's supposed to get cold overnight. The wind was from the north, and it was mostly in the 15-25 mph range in the afternoon. It was dark and dreary and yucky.


Now I am going up to the north end. I haven't been doing my exercises, for the obvious reason, and my back gets really sore by the end of the day, but in the middle, which is interesting. I told Johanna that I didn't think it would be a good idea to go for my massage tomorrow, so I can stay at home and try to recover some more. I should take a bath tonight, but I doubt I will. I am really tired - that hasn't changed yet.


So at least I've gotten over the first hurdle, and now I can work on the rest of it. It's a dark, cold and yucky night in the field.


May 22

It was a little better night last night, although I kept waking up and coughing, and that wasn't nice. However I did get some sleep - about an hour and a half each time. I forgot to mention that for the past couple of days, I've had an earache on the same side as the worst of my headache. Also, I am having a problem seeing. Probably it's partly because of the pressure in my sinuses, but it's not fun. I'm not hungry, and all I could eat was a glass of orange juice, a couple of glasses of lemonade, a little cheese and a few mouthfuls of a Stouffer's thing. Very good for my weight, but not so good for my recovery. Ever since the stem cell transplant, I've been almost unable to get anything down when I'm sick. I have been trying hard to stay hydrated, which means I have to pee frequently.


So it was a quiet day. I've decided I'll have to stop playing Bookworm. Everything I look at looks like a Bookworm board, and that's not good. So I closed it down and I've been reading a bit. Otherwise, I haven't gotten dressed and I haven't filled the bird feeders.


The weather was blah. The temperature got up to 70 briefly, around 3:00, dropped to 53 then went back up to 68. Mostly it was nearly calm Sometimes it was cloudy and sometimes it was nearly clear, and two lines of showers went though, and now I am hearing thunder, so there are another couple going through. I didn't hear any thunder from the earlier ones, so I guess this one is going to hit us.


Buster has been avoiding me, and I think it was because I was coughing and blowing so much. I told him he was hurting my feelings by staying away, so he spent some time on my lap, until he needed to sleep. He's back now, but he wants my dinner, and he can't have any, because I will be having it tomorrow, so he's not happy. On the other hand, Jasmine actually came in to the powder room a couple of times when I was there - not too close to me, of course - and she seems concerned. Buster is the only one of my cats who doesn't seem very concerned when I'm sick, and it's a disappointment. Certainly he had the best teacher of what to do when mama is sick. I'm afraid he is so self-centered that all he can see is that I might not be here. Well, hopefully that won't happen for a while.


The cough was nice and loose this morning, but now it's tight and hard to control. I will take some of my cough medicine when I go to bed and hope that helps. My morning temperature was 100.5, which us good to see, I hope it continues to go down.


So that was my nothing day, and as soon as I do my maintenance here, I'll be off to the north end. It's a warmish, thundery evening in the field.


May 21

Well, another bad night and another bad day. I think I did get some sleep, but I kept coming to and having to cough, and every time I coughed, something came out of the other end, which meant I had to get up and go into the bathroom. When I took my temperature this morning, it was back up to 101.7. I got up for a while and did my surfing, and then I went back to bed. At one point, I had an accident that messed my nightie, but I didn't change that until I got up again, took my temperature (101.8), changed my nightie and put the other two in the washer. They are in the dryer now. I have a feeling I'll be changing them a lot. Especially when I'm lying down, coughing just causes all sorts of problems from the top of my head to my tush.


I actually ate a little. I had a glass of OJ and a while later some cold cereal. Both of those things seemed to go down all right. And just a while ago, I dug out a can of chicken noodle soup, and I am eating that, and it seems to be OK, too. I would really like to get the Copper Harbor soup I have in the freezer downstairs, but I'm not too sure about getting down the steps and back up. Maybe tomorrow. I still feel weak and horrible, but most of the sinus headache is gone, which is a relief. The top of my head hurts, which is a combination of fever and coughing.


What a nasty bug this is! I keep hoping I will feel a bit better and my temperature will go down, but I keep reminding myself that this is only day 2 of the Z-PAK. I have three more days to go, and they say it stays in the system for 7 to 10 days afterwards. However, if my temperature hasn't come down by Wednesday, I will be calling them again.


It was a dreary day, cloudy and dark. However, the temperature got up to 69 for a couple of hours. I should have at least stuck my nose outside. That's warm enough that I don't have to worry about being in my nightie. It was calm all night long, then the wind picked up around 3:00 into the 10-20 mph range. The temperature started to drop, and it started to rain. It's not a heavy rain, just yucky.


I was fixing my dinner and taking my afternoon pills when I had a rather nasty accident. Didn't soil the nightie, just the floor and my legs. I need to take a bath, even if I hadn't intended to anyway. You would think that since I haven't put much in, not much would come out, but I've been trying to stay hydrated, so there's water.


The bird feeders need topping off, but I just didn't feel that good. Every time I try to do something, I get all sweaty and hot, so I've been avoiding that. It was funny to see the jays trying to get seeds out of the tube feeder and the cedar feeder. They are so big, and those feeders were made for the little birds. 


So now it's a dreary, rainy evening in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end and go back to bed. I figure that's the only other thing I can do.


May 20

It was another terrible night. My head was so sore that I went right to bed, around 9:30. Two Tylenol and an antihistamine helped my head a bit, but I was coughing and blowing. Then I started having chills, and I finally realized I have a bad sinus infection. Around 1:30, I took a Tylenol 3, and that helped for a while, but I kept having to get up, and it was almost impossible to go back to sleep. I got up around 10:00 and took my temperature and it was 101.9. A little higher than I like it. No wonder I felt so terrible.


So before I did anything much except feed the cat, I called the hospital, and got an appointment with a nurse-practitioner for 4:00 this afternoon, then I took a bath and went back to bed. I got up around 2:30 and was on my way shortly after 3:00.


I now have four prescriptions, including a Z-PAK. There's an inhaler, a nasal spray (which I won't use unless it's necessary - nasal sprays and I don't do very well). and some cough medicine with codeine in it. So I will be doctoring for the next few days.


I filled the prescriptions at the pharmacy at the medical center, and I think they were a little expensive, but I just didn't want to drive all the way to Houghton. Then I could start home.


There was more traffic than I'm used to, but not a lot in my direction. However, there was a white car in front of me that was going awfully slowly, and then it pulled off the road - and it was a sheriff's car! Yie! Evidently he didn't see how fast I came up behind him, because he turned around and went after I guy in the other direction (I think) and I was certainly glad I didn't try to pass him. I got home around 5:30, I think.


I have just taken my first pills, and I won't be out of bed very long. I couldn't eat my breakfast - a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit - so I just ate most of it now. I am not hungry. They say starve a fever, but I think the reason they say that is that you don't want to eat when you have one. I have been trying to stay hydrated, which isn't easy. And I am still coughing.


The weather turned out nice, at least in town. The temperature there got into the mid 70s, and there was some sunshine. There was some sunshine here, too, but the temperature only got up to 63, briefly, and by the time I got home, it was back in the mid 50s. There was hardly any wind, and for quite a while it was calm.


So that was my day, and as soon as I upload this and reboot, I will be off to the north end to crash again. It's a relatively clear, calm evening in the field.


May 19

Wow, what a bad night! I got to bed a little after 10:30, and I couldn't get to sleep. I think I hadn't taken  my afternoon pills, but that wasn't the whole story, because after I got up and took the neurontin, I still had a hard time getting to sleep. I woke up around 8:30, and I decided that was too early, but I couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up around 9:15. 


I knitted on the shawl for a while, so it was probably 11:00 before I got to the studio. I didn't do much except partly unload the dishwasher (wow, what a change!) and go to the post office, where there was lots of stuff.


I talked to my insurance agent and my house insurance bill will be coming down by nearly 40%. Neither of us can figure out how the replacement value got so high so fast, but I think it's more reasonable now. Then I called AT&T and possibly brought my telephone bill down to a more reasonable amount. I hate those people. If you don't keep after them, they will change the pricing on older plans to gouge you. We'll see how it works out - it will be a couple of months before I find out - but it looks hopeful. Finally, I called the credit card company to see if my interest rate could be lowered. It turns out that one of the little gotchas in the credit card bill that came out a year or so ago is that literally, all cards have to be treated exactly alike. So they can't just lower my rate. The rates are reviewed electronically every six months, but in the meantime, there's nothing they can do. However, they told me about a special deal that will most likely solve my problem. So now I can start making my hardware and software list.


As the day wore on, I started getting a ferocious headache, and my nose is running like a sieve, so as soon as I upload this and reboot, I will be off to the north end. Unfortunately, I have to take a bath tonight, but I won't be out of bed any longer than I absolutely have to.


The weather was so-so again. It was cloudy for most of the day, although it was mostly a bright-cloudy, and there was no rain. The temperature peaked at 9:00 this morning at 57, and then it dropped back slowly, and now it's 46. Again, there was no wind to speak of. Now it's partly cloudy, and there may be a sunset.


There was a bunch of junk in the mail, but several bills, too. Now, why the insurance company would send me two invoices, I do not know, and I don't think the agent did either. Besides, I should be getting a revised policy sometime early next week.


While I was talking to the credit card guy, a hummingbird came by and investigated the seed feeders, so tomorrow I simply must get the hummingbird feeder filled and out! I wasn't sure they were here yet, but Mary Ann said so, and then I saw one. Otherwise, the jays were eating everything in sight, although there were lots of little birds around, too. I threw some small seeds on the deck itself, so the little birds could get something to eat while the big birds were in the feeder, and it has all been cleaned up. They're here, and they're hungry! This morning, when I went out to fill the deck feeder, there was a squirrel in it who just was not going to move. I practically had to pour seeds on its head to get it out of the feeder. They are fun little guys, even though they eat a lot.


So now I will go soak my head and then lay it on my little pillow. It's a partly cloudy, calm evening in the field 

May 18

I got to bed at 11:00 again, and I slept fairly well. It was rather warm in the bedroom, so I had a little trouble getting the temperature right, but then I was fine. I didn't get up until 10:00 this morning, so I should have gotten enough sleep, but I'm tired again now.


I finished the baby bonnet I was working on, except for the tie, and I petted the birthday boy before I did my exercises. 


When I got to the studio, I couldn't log in to PastyNet on dialup, so I called and they were having a problem - it seems somebody caused a power failure. And Charlie said he would be here this afternoon.


Well, he did get here, but not until after 3:00, but I'm back on the broadband again, thank goodness. It seems John didn't configure the new unit right, and besides, something had zapped the Ethernet port on Charlie's laptop last night, so it took some doing, but thanks to the router, he was finally able to talk to the client and get it configured correctly. It took a while. What had happened was that Jonathan had dried to update the firmware on the old unit the same way he did when the first one got zapped, because he forgot what had happened the first time. Then the replacement unit (which is the same thing I had before they moved it) didn't get configured right. Eventually, they will replace it with a newer one, but the newer units are on backorder. I suggested to Charlie that maybe they were backordered because the manufacturer found something was wrong with them. 


It certainly is nice to be able to do my surfing again. I had given up on a lot of it, just because it was taking so long, and there were any number of pages I couldn't load at all.


The weather was so-so. The temperature got up to 50 for a while, but mostly it was in the upper 40s. There was hardly any wind. It was cloudy all day. Not very inspiring.


There were some ravens around the deck this morning, and when I looked out, I discovered that they had eaten one whole suet block and thrown the other one on the deck. That didn't make me very pleased. And besides, they ate a lot of the seed out of the deck feeder. After I chased them all away, several times, the little birds started to come, starting with the goldfinches - which have turned gold in the past couple of weeks - and the chipping sparrows. Then I saw a strange shaped bird in the tree, and when I looked at it, it was a white-crowned sparrow. There were a couple of those on the deck, too. So they are passing through. Finally the chickadees and nuthatches started coming back, although they are mostly going to the mesh feeder, which is far back in the tree. There were a couple of squirrels and a couple of chipmunks, too. One of the chipmunks had its stripes farther apart on its back than any other I have ever seen, enough that I may be able to identify it again. Both of the ones that came onto the deck were little guys, but it was amazing to see how big their cheek pouches got when they were full. They must have really strong neck muscles to hold up their heads and run when their cheeks are so full.


The birthday boy spent most of the day asleep, although he came out around 6:00 to tell me it was dinnertime, and he got some chicken and gravy, which he enjoyed. Then he spent a long time on my lap while I read. Otherwise, we would never known it was a special day. He seems to be doing fairly well lately.


I noticed this morning that the lighthouse seems to have settled into its old 6-second period again, so I'm glad that's taken care of. I wonder what happened to it.


One other small note. I seem to be in slobberhanus mode lately. I dripped down one tee every day last week, and I'm starting the same thing this week. I don't know what causes it. Sometimes I can eat quite neatly, and other times I drop everything on my front. I will have a big wash next time, and it's a good thing I have lots of tees.


And I'm having sneezing fits as the spring flowers come out. The pollen forecast says ash, birch and oak, but the maples are out, too. I may have to start taking more antihistamines just to keep my sneezing down. Ah, spring! But it's so nice to see green that I'll just have to cope.


So that was my day, and I'm tired again. It's a calm, cloudy night in the field.


May 17

It was 11:00 when I got to bed again. When I looked at the lighthouse light, it had suddenly started revolving at a 7 second period, which is better than the 2 seconds it has been for the past few months, but it's still wrong. This morning, I couldn't see it at all, but it was daylight, and that may have been the reason. I'll be interested to see what it's doing tonight. And I may still call the Coast Guard and ask them about it. Anyway, it's a relief to have it not going around every 2 seconds, which got annoying when I was awake in the night.


Amanda noticed that the bell buoy is in place, and I think I've heard it several times lately. So now everything is ready for summer.


I read some last night, and I read some this morning, after I finished petting and brushing the cat. He really loves to be brushed, and he really needs it at this time of year. He has such a thin coat all the time that it's hard to remember that he sheds in the spring just like every other animal. The only trouble I had was that he didn't want to get off my lap so I could read.


I didn't do much of anything today. I managed to make a little sense out of the kitchen and get the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, which has helped a lot. I cooked tonight - chicken with mushroom soup - and this time I used chicken thighs. I really prefer dark meat, and I'd had this big package of thighs around for a long time. I had to split it in two, which I did last night, with difficulty, but half of them are in the freezer and half are now cooked. Now I know to skin them before I cook them. They are very tasty, but one of the ones I had was incredibly tough. The other one was all right. Buster thought it was wonderful, too.


I had toyed with the idea of getting a rotisserie chicken for Buster (and me, of course), because he loves that, but he likes this dish, too. So do I, as long as I don't have it every week. Buster's 16th birthday is tomorrow, so I wanted to get him something he likes. And to think, when he was a young cat, food didn't mean much to him at all! Now it sure does.


He is sitting on my lap now with his chin hanging over my right wrist. Not the easiest way to type.


The weather was beautiful again. The temperature got up to 51 around 1:00, then it dropped back to 46 for a while - why, I don't know - before it went back up. There was hardly any wind, and it was calm for a good part of the afternoon. It was clear until just a while ago, when some cirrus clouds came in, although not enough to completely hide the sun. I guess that it will be cloudier over the next few days, although they have backed off on their rain predictions.


I got the bird feeders filled and out, finally. It was hard, since my back was bothering me today, but I did it. Then I had ravens - lots of ravens - and no other birds that I could see. Ravens are interesting birds, but I don't want to start feeding them. They are too big and they eat too much. My feeders are for the little birds. Maybe tomorrow I can put out the hummingbird feeder, since it's that time of year.


So now I will read a bit more and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour again. It's a partly cloudy, calm evening in the field.


May 16

It must have been around 11:00 when I got to bed last night, and I slept pretty well. I was awake around 7:30 and I decided that was too early, so it was 9:30 before I got up. Then I petted the cat and  knitted so long it was too late to exercise. I got to do some of my surfing before I was off to town.


People in this area aren't generally too concerned about appointment times, I'm finding. And the first appointment after lunch isn't a good time. It didn't take very much time at all to do the mammogram, and they are a lot less violent about compressing my breast than they were in Detroit, which is a good thing, because it has always been very tender.


I toyed with several things I might do while I was down there, from going to Pat's to going to Wal-Mart. I did go to Wal-Mart for gas, although it turned out that there is a Holiday station in Hancock that was cheaper. When I went down, most of the stations had their gas at $4.259, and Wal-Mart's was $3.999. I was interested and amused to see that the BP station in Allouez had lowered their price to $4.199 by the time I passed it going north. So maybe, just maybe, the price is going down, albeit slowly.


I got back home shortly after 3:00. I had a bit to eat and did my surfing. 


I was doing some surfing and minding my own business around 5:00 when all of a sudden, I lost contact with my broadband client. I tried rebooting and power failing it, and nothing worked, so I called PastyNet, and not very long afterwards, John from PastyNet showed up. He had the same problems with the client that Charlie had, and he had the same problem when he replaced it with one he had taken from another site. He was here until nearly 7:30, and he left without resolving the situation.


So the broadband is down. I will use the dialup while I am here, but updating the camera is likely to be spotty for the next day or two (I hope it's no longer than that). It's really annoying. They may have to run new wiring to the client, and I definitely need a new client. 


The weather was cool and clear again. The temperature here was in the 40s all day. It peaked at 48 just a while ago, but for most of the day it was around 45. The only difference today was that the wind was under 10 mph all day, and for a while this afternoon, it was calm. It was a clear, blue day, and it was very pretty.


Amanda and I noticed yesterday that there seems to be a green haze around the trees on the mountain, but I must say that it's only on the lake side. The hills around Medora are all still brown, and while the birch twigs are very red, there aren't any leaves or catkins on them. There are catkins on a lot of my birch bushes (I don't have any birch trees left anymore). The buds are swelling on the serviceberries, and in not very many more days, they will be out, and that is always pretty. 


So that was my day, and I'm very disappointed about the broadband. Now I've finished reading the last episode from the blue binder that is on the computer, so I will go up to the north end and read there for a while and then I'll crash.


It's a cool, clear evening in the field.


May 15

I made it into bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept relatively well, although there was one strange dream episode that I don't remember. It turned out that the alarm went off at about 6:58, which was nice, because i woke up to the strains of the last part of Smetana's Moldau, with all it's swelling, billowing chords. It seems that after the last power failure, I misread the calculator clock, which isn't surprising, since I set the bedroom and bathroom clocks at about 5:00 in the morning. 


Anyway, I got up and fed the cat and me, but I couldn't do any surfing because the broadband was down. When I called the support line, I got Charlie directly, because he had just gotten off the phone with a neighbor. Anyway, it was still down when I left for church, so I had to guess at the temperature. From my recollection of the forecast last night, I expected it to be cool, and it was - about 40.


I didn't hear from Mary Ann, so I was off around 9:20, and when I got to the very slow driver at Kearsarge, she was right behind me. She drives a bright yellow truck, so she is easy to identify. She had some errands to run, which is what I expected.


Church was lovely. Today was Good Shepherd Sunday, so we sang the 23rd Psalm four times and said it twice, and Pastor's sermon was a good one. I like all the settings and paraphrases of that Psalm.


I got home around noon, and I was making some noodles when Amanda called, and when I got to the studio, I discovered that she had called earlier to say she would see how hard a walk it would be for me to go and see the arbutus. She had seen a lot of it, and I wanted to see it, too. She called again and asked if I was available, and she appeared with a sprig of the arbutus that she had picked (there is a lot of it around here), and she got me to smell it before I saw it. Oh, but it does smell good! It reminds me of gardenia. I think it also makes me sneeze.


I was surprised by how small the flowers are, about " across, but none of the pictures in my flower books have any scale in them. They come in bunches on both sides of the stem, and some of them are white and some of them have pink around the edges. They are so pretty and so fragrant.  You can't smell them, but here is what they look like. I must have taken 20 pictures to get one that good (and it's not very), but I seem to be very much out of practice with close-ups. I was also surprised to discover that the leaves have little hairs all around the edges. You can see that at the right-hand side of the picture. I don't remember any mention of that in the flower books.


Anyway, she stayed a while, and we had a nice conversation. They are planning to buy the old Copper Harbor Mercantile and the associated house (and rent out the commercial building), and that's exciting. The only thing they have to check is whether, when they removed the underground gas tanks, they did it properly, and the whole deal hinges on that. We'll have to hope. She is a writer, and she has a book almost ready to be published. I told her about the new publishing house, Mudminnow Press, that I discovered is someplace in Copper Harbor (where and who, I don't know), who might very well be a good fit to what she has written. That's exciting, too. I've mentioned her blog before (http://www.daharbor.blogspot.com/). She is a very good writer, with a whimsical sense of humor that I like a lot. She gets out and about much more than I do, and I love reading about her adventures and what she sees. She told me about several places she has been right around here that I didn't know existed, and I will have to try to see if I can get to some of them. 


So that was a nice way to spend the afternoon. After she left, I did the rest of my surfing (the broadband was up when I got home), and then I read some. I will read a little more before I go up to the north end. I have to take a bath, because my mammogram is tomorrow, and I hope to be in bed at a reasonable hour.


The weather was absolutely beautiful, but cold. It was around 40 for most of the day, and it has only now risen to 44. There was a brisk wind from the east until about noon, then it switched around to the north. When I came down the hill into town on my way home (oh, how I still love that first view of the lake!) The waves were coming in pretty good. Porter's Island is an island again, now that most of the snow is gone and the lake has risen a bit. The sky was clear and blue all day, and there was plenty of sunshine. So pretty, but not so pretty to be out in.


While we were sitting in the great room, a flock of ducks (mallards, maybe?) floated by, and there was a young eagle trying to grab one. He scared them away, but he didn't get any.


Both of us just love it here, and both of us love writing about it.


I forgot to mention that several days ago, we quietly slipped over 15 hours of daylight. Now it will get longer more slowly, since we don't get to 16 hours (about) until Jun 20 or so. It is so nice to have all the long days! My only problem is that I forget that I have to eat and go up to the north end before it gets dark. However, that's much better than having 15 hours of darkness, like we do in the winter.


Now it's a lovely, clear, cold evening in the field, and I will read a bit more before I go up to the north end.


May 14

I think it was about 12:30 when I got to bed, and I slept pretty well, except for a few strange dreams. In fact, I apparently slept hard with my left foot at an odd angle, and when I got up this morning, it felt almost like I'd sprained it. That seems to have gone away. It was about 9:30 when I got up, I think. I petted the cat and knitted and I did my exercises, which I needed.


Before I got dressed, I hauled my old backpack down from the top shelf in the closet and tried my summer hiking boots. As I suspected, they don't fit anymore. My feet have spread out too much. So I have an old pair of hiking boots, with not much wear on them, to get rid of. K-SNAG doesn't take clothes, so I may have to find another place to get rid of them. They aren't in bad enough shape to throw out, since I never wore them too much. I will have to see if I can get a new pair, since I hope to do a little walking this summer, and I think having a pair of high-tops would make it easier.


Otherwise, I did nothing again. Sigh.


The weather was a little better than yesterday. It was cloudy in the morning, although it was bright-cloudy, and there was a little sunshine. It got better this afternoon, although it hasn't cleared up completely yet. The temperature only got up to 46 a little while ago, so it was chilly outside. The wind was in the 15-25 mph range for most of the day, from the east. I can hear the lake singing, but there wasn't much wind around here. It has died down some and switched around to the north lately. The surf was coming in the gap pretty good this morning, and it sounded like it was beating on the rocks pretty good, too.


So that was my day, and I am going to try to get to bed early tonight so I can get up and go to church tomorrow. Now it's a partly clear, partly sunny evening in the field, but it's rather cool for this time of year.


May 13

Another numerology day - it's the only Friday the 13th this year. Since I'm not superstitious, it's just an interesting fact.


I got to bed around 11:30 last night, and I slept well, although I was up several times, and I had one of the recurring dreams - the one where I park my car someplace (this was a parking structure that was a maze) and can't find it when I come back. It probably has something to do with my having had a car stolen out of a parking lot. I don't know why it would come up now, but those things do surface every so often.


I got up around 9:30, but I had a cat to pet and I did a whole repeat of the pattern on the shawl. Remember the shawl? I'm back at it, at least at times. It was quite late when I got dressed.


Except to go to the post office, that was all I did. There was a lot of email to read and my morning surfing to do, although one of my comics sites has been down for two days now. They made some changes to the site, and evidently they really screwed things up. So drop back, guys. Don't leave the site down!


The weather was not nice. The temperature dropped down to around 40 overnight, and so was the dew point, so it was cold and damp, and when I went to the post office, there was a little fine drizzle coming down. Yuck. It was cloudy and dull and unpleasant.


Tonight I started reading again, and now it's later than it should be, so I will totter up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, dank, chilly night in the field.


May 12

I got to bed a little after 10:30, but it took me a couple of hours to go to sleep. I had forgotten my pills again, and evidently they do more for me than keep my feet comfortable. Since they give neurontin to epileptics, I suppose that makes sense, and evidently I've gotten addicted. I took them today.


Anyway, once I got to sleep, I really zonked out, and it was 10:30 before I got up. I knitted a while, petted the cat and did some exercises, but after that, I didn't do anything. Another lost day.


When I got up and looked outside, I saw nothing. We were socked in with pea-soup fog, which lasted all day. While I was in the bathroom, close to a window that faces north, a laker went by, with a very high-pitched foghorn. I guess it serves the purpose, but I still would rather hear the low-pitched ones, even though I'll never hear a steam horn again.


The fog let up a bit after 2:30, but around 6:30 it began to come in again, The temperature peaked at 60 at 9:00 am, and then it dropped off abruptly to 50, and it was in the middle 40s for the afternoon. The humidity was close to 100% all day, and there was very little wind at all. Not a good day for the joints.


So that was a zero day, and now it's a cool, damp and foggy night in the field, and in fact, the dampness could start coming down in big drops.


May 11

I made it into bed a little before 11:00 last night, and I started out fine. However, I woke up around 2:30, and when I opened my eyes, the sky was absolutely full of lightning. It was so far away there was no thunder, but the lightning was nearly continuous. It was awesome. So I got up, but I had a hard time going back to sleep, since I wanted to watch it. I woke up again just before 4:00, when it seemed like I heard something pounding on the shutters over the porch. I think it was thunder, but I couldn't tell for sure. The first storm had paralleled the north shore of the peninsula, so it was out over the lake. The second one came up from the south, through Keweenaw Bay, and across the tip, and there was not only lots of lightning but some nice rolls and rumbles of thunder, too. I love it when the last rumble is so low pitched that it makes the window frames vibrate. They were both really awesome storms, although none of the lightning was less than a mile away. During the second storm, I saw several flashes of lightning that were below the clouds. I love seeing that continuous lightning, too. It was amazing. There was hardly any rain at all, at least here.


So then I went back to sleep, but I knew I wouldn't make it to the meeting this morning. I got up around 8:45, but there was no way I could get to The Pines by 9:15, so I didn't even try. I petted the cat, who seemed to feel better today, and I started the second sock and I did all my exercises. 


The last ladies' meeting was today, and there were a whole lot of people there, so many it was impossible to keep track of all the conversations. I was sorry that it is the last meeting, but things are beginning to pick up in the Harbor, and I suppose that's the reason.


The weather was remarkable. It was very humid, and there was a gusty southwest wind, but the temperature peaked at 73. just about the time I left Carolyn's. Wow, spring will come! I opened up both patio doors when I got home, but that was the peak temperature, and it dropped off rather quickly, since there is another storm cell coming sort of toward us. There was some hazy sunshine for part of the afternoon, but I wouldn't call it clear.


I had rolled over on my right side to do my clam shell exercise this morning, when I looked out just as an adult eagle flapped over the house and across the harbor. I know that's what it was because I could see its tail. So that was the bird of the day.


The forsythia behind the lilac hedge to the north is out, and the daffodils my neighbor to the south threw onto the other side of the road many years ago are coming out. I would dearly love to get some daffodils into my garden beds. They are so cheerful, and they just never seem to go away. Carolyn has a whole lot of primroses beside her garage, and they are all out, too. So pretty! Spring will come.


The weather is supposed to cool off and rain now, but at least we've gotten our first tease of the warm weather to come. It was really nice out there for a while.


Now I think I will read for a while, then I will try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a cloudy, gusty evening in the field, and we are due some more thunder.


May 10

I didn't get to bed until after midnight, but I didn't get up until around 10:00, so I think I got my sleep.


I woke up around 5:00 and found the clocks blinking. The wind had been quite strong from the south, so I thought, oh, well, but when I called UPPCO they said they were overloaded with calls, so I deduced that it had affected everything down to at least Houghton. From what Charlie said on the Pasty Cam this morning, though, it affected the whole western Upper Peninsula, so it was a serious outage.


I got up around 10:00, finished the sock, petted the cat and did my exercises. When I got up, the generator (bless it!) was still running, but by the time I got to the kitchen it was off. According to the camera upload, the power came back up just before noon. Since it apparently went down around 4:30, it was nearly an 8 hour outage. Does not bode well for the summer. UPPCO is, unfortunately, a rather inept utility.


Anyway, it didn't affect me, since the generator took over, and by the time I started my surfing, everything was back up. There was a short broadband outage, but I went to the bathroom, and it came back up within half an hour.


I didn't do a thing, I have to confess. I did my surfing and I read a magazine, and that was it. I still don't feel very robust.


The broadband just went down again, so I guess I'll wait a while to finish writing this. There. Something just had to reboot.


The weather was sort of in-and-out. According to the WU, there was some rain between 11:00 and noon, but I didn't notice it. It evidently rained off and on all night long (well, that's hard to say, because the NWS station stopped reporting when the power went down). The the wind was from the south, with gusts almost to 30 mph, and it was mostly cloudy, although occasionally there was a bit of sunshine, mostly this morning while the power was out. The temperature got up to 57 briefly. It wasn't bad at all outside.


I got a kick out of watching the WU site. As the temperature rose this afternoon, the predicted high for the day followed the actual high. When it was 55, that was the predicted high. When it got to 56, so was the predicted high. I expect them to be a little better than that.


Anyway, that was a very quiet day, and I will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight. There is a meeting at 9:15 tomorrow that I should go to, but we'll see if I make it. And there's Carolyn's in the afternoon.


Now it's a cloudy, warmish evening in the field.


May 9

As it turned out. it was 12:30 by the time I got to bed. I wanted to catch up a little on my surfing before I went up to the north end. It's so nice to have a reasonably fast Internet connection again! It's only 384kb, but it sure is better than 26.4kb (or 24kb, which is what I usually got). 


So I crashed, and I was only awake twice during the night. I was up at 8:30, and that just didn't seem like enough sleep. Then around 9:45, Amanda, bless her, called me to say there were three huge trumpeter swans in the bay in front of her house. So I got up and came down to the south end, and there they were. They were far enough away that I couldn't absolutely verify that they were trumpeters, but they were big enough that I think so. They were so pretty. Apparently most trumpeters nest close to the west coast of Canada, so these guys were very much off course. They swam down toward the fort, and I went back up to the north end. When I got back, after I did the morning stuff and got dressed, they were gone. What a treat!


I didn't do much else. I went to the post office, where there were a couple of packages. I got most of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher, and I washed up a few pans and put some others to soak. I got the pails out into the breezeway, but I didn't get them filled, so the bird feeders didn't get out today.


The weather was cloudy and blah, but it was warm. I guess spring is finally coming. One of Mary Ann's forsythias was in bloom yesterday, and another was set to come out. The temperature got up to 60 for a couple of hours this afternoon. The wind was from the south and gusting up to 25 mph. Around 7:00, it started to rain lightly. Not so nice.


When I was out, I noticed that the flowers on the maples are out. The pollen count is very high, from all the trees that have early flowers. No wonder I've been dripping. 


I cooked my short ribs tonight, and they were yummy, although I couldn't eat very much of them. That's all right - I'll have something to eat all week. I still have to put them away and try to do something with the drippings in the pan, which are mostly grease. So that chore is done. 


Now, as soon as I get the food put away, I will totter up to the north end and take a bath. It's a dark, drippy night in the field, but both the flowers and the temperature say that spring has finally sprung.


May 8 - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. I never had that blessing, but I honored my mother today by going to church, since she was the one who took me to church with her (that's a long story) and served as one of the finest examples I know of a Christian woman.


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, but I did not sleep well. It seemed like every hour or hour and a half I woke up all hot and had to walk. I had to do that at 6:30, and when the alarm went off at 7:00, I was just getting back to a good sleep. Sigh.


When I went to bed, the crescent moon was shining brightly in the windows and it seemed quite clear, but when I was up later, at first there were some not very bright stars and eventually they went away.


When I got up, though, it was beautiful - sunny and calm and just so nice. I want to share it with you, since of course, it didn't get uploaded. A nice sight to wake up to, isn't it?


I was trying to do some surfing and eating my small breakfast when Mary Ann called, and was I going to church? Sure. Would I pick her up? Sure. So we went to church together and it was very nice. I'm not sure this was one of pastor's best sermons, but he left this afternoon for a week with his family,  so he can be excused. It was a nice one, anyway.


We got back to the Harbor about 12:30, but of course we had to talk, so it was after 1:00 when I got home. I did not (and do not) feel very good. Part of that has to be lack of sleep, which I hope to make up for tonight, but part of it is something else. Every time I eat something, I have cramps, which is probably good for my weight, but not so good otherwise.


Charlie finally arrived around 5:30, and he left around 7:30 and now not only don't I have broadband, I don't even have a client. He ended up taking it down from its bracket and bringing it inside, and try as he might (I think altogether he tried it a dozen times or more) he could not load any firmware into it. So clearly, the unit is sick. So he left with it, and hopefully, in the next day or two, he will be back to install and configure a new one. I've wondered for a while if there wasn't something wrong with it, since occasionally it would just cut out for no reason.  Maybe the new unit will be better.


It sure is frustrating to be without it. I can't get my funnies pages to load, and there are a lot of other pages that never load right, so my surfing is quite curtailed. Also, the phone line is so bad that it keeps dropping, which means that the camera isn't updating very often. Bear with me. This, too will pass.


Before he got here, I spent some time working on the bookmark. I finished "E" and started "A" (of READ). I have a problem using colored thread on the ecru background - the ends of the cut threads poke through the Kloster blocks and look ugly, and there doesn't seem to be any way to make them stop. I think I will try washing and pressing one of the bookmarks and see if that helps. I don't like this one very well anyway, although the thread, which is shades of mauve, is very nice. However, it's good practice with picots and also with the path through the weaving, so I will finish it.


The weather was nice. It was clear and partly cloudy here when we left for town, but the weather said that it had been raining at the airport, and the ground was wet when we got to the church. It was cloudy, and while there was some sunshine when we got out of church, it went away shortly after we got home, and the afternoon was cloudy and dull, but it was warm. The temperature briefly got up to  64, around 5:00, and it was in the upper 50s all day long, much warmer than the original forecast from the NWS. It never ceases to tickle me how they revise their forecasts to agree with what the temperature has already been. There was not much wind at all until lately, and it was calm for a good part of the afternoon. Ah, a real spring day at last!


Charlie just came back with two new units, and one of them should work, so we'll see. It won't be fun climbing the ladder in the dark, but I guess he's used to that.


My plan was to go crash after I upload this, but instead, I guess I will be waiting until we see what the outcome of the new units is. It's a partly clear, quite warm evening in the field.


May 7

I think it was a little after 11:00 when I got to bed last night, and there was the thin crescent moon hanging over Lighthouse Point, so pretty! I slept well, although I was up several times, and I had some strange dreams. One was a very detailed dream about putting on panty hose over my compression hose. Another, this morning, was about food. I didn't feel hungry, but evidently something in me needed to eat. I got up around 10:00. Buster got a good brushing, and I started the toe of the sock, and I did some exercises.


Doing my morning surfing was excruciating, and I can't read all my funnies because the pages won't load properly. As it was, it was 2:30 before I finished. Geez! Hopefully, that will be over with tomorrow. Charlie promised he will be here. I hope so. 


I started my washing late, but the last load should be ready to put in the dryer now. And, wonder of wonders, I folded up, sorted out, and put away all the clean clothes that have been sitting in the laundry room for most of the winter. Of course, now I have a whole bunch more to do, but maybe I can force myself to do that tomorrow. I found several more pairs of underpants, a good thing, and I found at least four sweatshirt sweaters and some other tops that had grease spots on them that had never come out. One of the sweatshirt sweaters looked like I had dropped a whole steak, or something equally big and greasy, down my front. I hope the stains come out this time, but if they don't, I will just have to wash them again. I just don't know what it is about Eddie Bauer cotton, but it is almost impossible to get the grease spots out of it. Then I looked at the top I was wearing, and not only did it have grease down the front, it looked like I must have put it away dirty, so I washed that, too.


I took everything clean into the closet and rearranged and neatened most of the shelves. It looks much better in there now, and the clothes will be less wrinkled when I want to wear them. I am counting on the weather getting warmer soon.


It wasn't all that warm today, but it was a lovely day. It was clear and sunny, with almost no wind. The temperature got up to 46 briefly, but for most of the day it was in the lower 40s. I think it was warmer inland, but since it appears that the lake temperature is about 40, it makes sense that it is cool here. 


I actually didn't feel all that robust today, but I promised myself that I would take care of the clothes. Usually, I am pretty good about putting the clean clothes away within a day or two of when I wash them, but occasionally, I will just stop, and I did that, evidently around Christmas. If there was something in there I wanted, I would just root around until I found it. However, when I started wearing long-sleeved polos again (rather than turtles), I discovered that most of my polos weren't in the closet. There is still one missing, I think, but most of them are there now. I sorted the tees by color (they were already sorted by sleeve length), so it will be easier to find them when I want them. I seem to have too many short-sleeved white tees, which may be a good thing, since I've been wanting to try carving a deep U neck out of one. 


So that was my day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end and try to get to bed early, with a detour into the laundry room to put the last load in the dryer. It's a clear, calm but not very warm evening in the field.


May 6

I didn't get to bed until midnight last night. I read for a while, and wouldn't you know it, they started playing Schubert's Unfinished just about the time I would have called it a night, so of course, I had to stay and listen. Then when I got to the north end, I sat and stared at the floor for a long time before I took my bath. I slept well, though.


I got up around 9:00, and it was raining when I woke up. I did the morning stuff, although I am still quite creaky from the weather. 


When I got to the studio, the broadband was down, and it is still down. It seems that they tried to upgrade the firmware in the client during the night, and it didn't work. Hmm. So I have been using the dialup (at 24Kb!) and it is so excruciating that even the camera didn't get updated very often. I spent part of the day working on the bookmark, part trying to do my surfing, and part on the phone with Charlie. In order to get me going again, somebody, probably him, is going to have to come out and flash the firmware, which, I discovered, is about 15' over the deck on the corner of the house, right under the eaves. Charlie says that isn't what he told them to do. 


I can imagine that dealing with local people around here can be most frustrating. I know Mike is sure he knows better than anybody else, and I suppose everybody else does, too. However, the other guy involved in the installation of that thing thought it would have to be replaced, so he doesn't know all that much about it either.


The result of all that is that things will be spotty until sometime Sunday at the earliest. For one thing, because of the way the network is set up, I can't send any emails. I can receive them, but I can't send. I know why, but I don't want to reconfigure Outlook, since it will be back the way it was in a couple of days. I will try to get the camera set up in the morning when I get up, but if the phone line dies (which it does every so often), I will have to restart it manually, so updates to the picture will be spotty. 


Anyway, as an aside, that is why I never tried to update the bios in this computer. If it worked, I could have installed a gig of memory, but if it didn't work, I would be left with a boat anchor. Updating firmware is an iffy business, especially if it is done remotely. It does make me chuckle that it is my client that got zapped. I've had that problem with vendors for forty years.


The weather was not nice for arthritic joints. The temperature got up to 46 briefly, but for most of the day it was in the low 40s. We had 0.14" of rain (officially), although from the drops on the windows I question if that's all. It was gray and dismal. There was a light wind (max 15 mph) from the north. It was not a nice day.


I had another accident this morning. I took Imodium for 24 hours and it did almost no good at all. From the way my gut is acting and the way I feel, it won't surprise me if we find that the C. diff has come back. However, I won't know about that until after the colonoscopy, and that will be a good six weeks away, at least, so I guess I will just have to try to cope.


So now it's a dark, dank night in the field, and my bones tell me it's past time to totter up to the north end and sink into my nice warm bed.


May 5

I was really tired last night, and I was in bed by 10:00, and then I remembered that I had forgotten to take my pills. So I sort of dozed until 11:30, then I took them and I slept well for the rest of the night, with the usual wakeups, of course. Sometime around 3:00, after running off again, I decided to see if Imodium would do any good. Well, not much.  Things are a little better this afternoon, but not a lot.


Anyway, I got up a bit before 9:00, when Buster started hollering. I think he does that because he wants his breakfast, but of course, he as to wait. My feet and lower legs were still sore this morning, and I was stiff, too, so I needed to do my exercises. I petted him and brushed him and did a little knitting, too.


It was late this afternoon before my legs felt better, although my back was fine after I exercised. What a good reason to keep doing them.


After that, I didn't do a thing. I don't feel very good, and I'm not very hungry, so something is going on.


I got a call from the surgeon's office, and I can't get in to see Dr. Mary until the middle of June, so it will be a while before I have my colonoscopy. On the one hand, I'd just as soon put it off as long as possible, but on the other hand, I don't enjoy looking forward to it, and I'd like to get it over with. Oh, well. She is such a good surgeon and wonderful person that I can imagine she is quite in demand.


When the talking started, I picked up the bookmark and got all the satin stitching done and started the filling stitches - more picots, which I hate. Well, they get used a lot, so I guess I might as well practice them.


The weather was nondescript. It was cloudy all day, with a temperature that got up to 57 early in the afternoon. There was quite a wind for a while, with gusts up to 23 mph from the south. I'm sorry I didn't at least stick my nose outside. The barometer is dropping now, and so is the temperature, and the wind. There may be some rain overnight. Yuck. Cool and damp - my least favorite weather.


Oh, I almost forgot. When I got up to go to the north end last night, I looked out the great room windows, and there was a teensy crescent moon hanging over the lighthouse, so pretty! It was clear until around midnight, and then it clouded up.


So that is about all I know, and I will read a bit before I totter up to the north end and probably take a bath. It's a cloudy, calm night in the field.


May 4

I think I was in bed by 10:00 or so last night, and overall I slept well. I was up several times, but that seems normal these days. I got up just before 7:00, and I had plenty of time to knit a bit and do my exercises, since Buster didn't appear until I was just about ready to get dressed. 


It was a relatively clear night, and I watched Gemini and Leo set in the northwest. My only problem was that the first time I got up, around midnight, something happened to my left knee, and I could hardly bend it at all without some severe pain. Thankfully, it was better by the time I got up this morning. I have no idea what caused that.


So I went off to town around 10:30, and I had a nice conversation with the doctor. They have made a whole lot of changes around that place, some of which are curious. Everyone is wearing a badge (a good thing) with only their first name and last initial on it. So is he now Dr. Mike? And the surgeon is now Dr. Mary? Weird.


Anyway, my boob feels normal (he isn't very gentle), but we will do the mammogram a week from Monday. And I agreed to schedule a colonoscopy. I really don't want to do that, but I am very tired of running off at the bottom, and the only way we have any hope of finding out what may be wrong is to look at it. I guess I wait to hear from Dr. Mary. I got to the post office before Ron left, and he agreed that he can probably take me down to Laurium, provided it's early enough. As Dr. Mary once  said to me, most of her patients prefer to get it over as early as possible. Also as soon as possible, but we'll see about that. I'm not looking forward to it at all, but I trust that she will be as gentle as possible.


I also signed up to get an anti-shingles shot, whenever the vaccine comes in. I doubt I will get the shingles again, if my immune system stays robust, but it never hurts to shore it up.


Then I was off to get gas. I ended up at Wal-Mart, because everybody else's gas was $4.28. It was $4.19 at Wal-Mart. It is real sticker shock to put $90  of gas in my car, but the tank was getting pretty empty. I can't complain too much, because I don't get very good mileage, and if the tank were smaller, I'd be filling it much more frequently. Anyway, I still think that price is all greed, and it makes me angry.


I had to drive back to Calumet, of course, because I wanted to shop at Pat's. Slowly, slowly they are getting more and more of the things I buy, and they have some things I really like, like rotisserie chickens. Unfortunately, I had to stop halfway down the first canned goods aisle and go to the bathroom, but the good thing was that I had just discovered where the restrooms are. Geez. That hasn't happened before.


I'd noticed that I was getting low on meat, so I had to get some of that, and since I'd eaten almost all my frozen stuff, I had to get a lot of that, too. And I was pretty much out of wine. So I did some real damage, but after all, it will be nearly a month's worth of food.


I also piked off Connie's Kitchen (a bakery with tables) and the Subway shop in the same area as Pat's, so now I know where they are. I was too tired to go into Connie's, but I will sometime.


I got back to the harbor around 3:15, but then I had to talk to Ron and then to Vicky, and it was about 4:00 when I got home. It was a couple of hours before I unloaded the car, because my feet and legs were extremely sore. Now the fridge is bulging, and I have some nice things to eat. Buster was delighted when he smelled the chicken, and I think he ate almost more than I did. He really likes that stuff. Of course, so do I.


The weather was nice. It was clear and sunny, with moderate north winds. It only got up to about 50 here (the lake is still frigid), but I think it was closer to 60 in town and even in Copper Harbor. Nice.


Now I am very tired, and it's time to totter up to the north end and crash. It's a clear, lovely evening in the field.


May 3

I made it into bed around 10:45 again, and I slept very well. There were stars, but not very bright ones, all night long, which was nice for a change. There weren't any lights in the north.


I got up around 9:00, I think, and I petted the cat and stuff. I have been brushing Buster in the mornings. He used to come at night to be brushed, but he doesn't do that anymore, and he is shedding. I'm sure I can't get enough fur out of him to prevent hairballs, but anything I can get will help. I did my exercises, which I really needed, and that was all I did.


I discovered that I had hit the wrong button on the dishwasher and the dishes were not clean, so I washed them this morning. Fortunately, I have enough stuff that I didn't need anything that was dirty.


Late this afternoon, i filled the dry cat food bowls and finally put away the cat food, just to see what I have. I have to shop tomorrow after I see the doctor.


I also will have to get gas, and I am debating driving down to Wal-Mart (an extra 15 miles or so one way) or just biting the bullet and going to the station that has a deal with Pat's. The station in Allouez had $4.15 on its sign on Sunday. Sigh.


The weather was nice, I guess. I didn't go out. The temperature got down to 29 at 7:00 this morning, but when the sun rose, the temperature went up fast to around 40, where it stayed all day, plus or minus a degree or so. It was clear or nearly clear all day, and there was just a light north wind. 


I should have filled the bird feeders, but that would mean filling the pails, and I just didn't (and don't) have any energy at all. I am tired again.


So that was my day, and now it's a clear, cool evening in the field.


May 2

For various reasons, I didn't make it into bed until around 10:45, and I didn't sleep well again, except between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning.  I'm still not sure what the problem is. Tonight I will take a Tylenol 3 and see if that helps.


One of the reasons I was so late is that I really screwed things up when I was trying to copy last month's journal to the archive file. I mistakenly copied it into the left-hand margin, which idiot FrontPage takes as a change to that border, even though I deleted it right away. Then I compounded things by accidentally deleting the temporary files...arrgh!! Man, what a mess I got myself into! First, I couldn't get FrontPage to close...I had to abort it from the task manager, which lost some of what I had done. I had to copy last month down from the server and rename a bunch of things. I did get everything together, finally, but it was messy and it took a while. Between its stupidity and my fast fingers, it's sometimes a wonder I can keep things in order.


Then I decided it was time to add a few years to the Previous Months page, and that took a while, although I seem to have it set up properly now. So I was late.


I needed to get up because I had a massage this morning, but I was late enough that I didn't exercise again. Bad me. Johanna is fine, except that she spent a couple of days at Mayo having some more-or-less minor surgery, which was totally unexpected and rather a shock. However, it all came out well, although she hasn't found out if it solved her problem yet.


I felt much better after my massage. She has some friends staying, and they have two lovely dogs, including one gray and white sort of wolfy-looking one with very pretty pale blue eyes. So I had to get treats for all of them, of course, and now they all think I'm just a great person.


I felt much better but very tired when I got home, and I didn't do much of anything except my surfing. Now I am very tired.


The weather was not nice. When I woke up, I looked out the window, and it was snowing. Ugh! It snowed quite hard for a couple of hours before it stopped, and while there was a little pile-up against the deck railing, there was really no accumulation. Then around noon, it snowed lightly again. Ugh. Then around 5:00 it began to clear up, and now it is pretty much clear. It was cold. The temperature hung round 35 (our average minimum) for the whole day, and there was a 15 mph or so wind from the north. It is very humid, so it is raw and unpleasant outside.


So now I am tired enough that I have a headache, and I have to bathe tonight, so I will be off to the north end relatively soon. It's a cold, clear and breezy evening in the field.


May 1

Well, a whole new month. It hardly seems possible that nearly half the year is gone already. Wow, my mother was certainly right - the older you get, the faster the time goes.


I  got to bed around 10:00 last night, but I didn't sleep well again. I think it has something to do with the change of seasons, and I can recall back as far as when I was still working that I always had trouble like this in the spring and the fall. Then it was a lot more serious than it is now.


Anyway, I got up before the alarm went off again, and I didn't exercise, so I had plenty of time to do my morning surfing before I got ready to go to church. I find myself conflicted about that. I really want to go to church, and I'm not that comfortable in the ELCA church here, but I do not like that drive.


Anyway, it was mostly an easy drive. I did run across a very, very slow driver or two in Kearsarge, but I had plenty of time to get there and stop at the restroom. I was delighted to sit with Mary Ann today. She and Bill didn't make it last Sunday, for family reasons, and I'm so glad she came. Pastor had another of his wonderful, Gospel-full sermons, and the hymns were mostly good, although there was one I just couldn't get. Since there was no communion, we got out early. This church doesn't expect the service to be over in exactly an hour, like Christ the King did, so if it goes over 10 or 20 minutes, nobody complains. I've never timed the sermons, but I don't think they are longer than 20 minutes, which is plenty, if they stay on topic. Of course, we did have one long hymn, but that was a nice one.


So I got home around noon. I really did intend to do something this afternoon, but I was tired and very creaky, so I just didn't do anything at all. I worked on the new bookmark a bit. I don't care for the design very much, but I do like the thread. I'm not looking forward to all the woven bars with picots, but oh, well.


Part of the reason I am so creaky is the weather. I thought I heard rain when I was up in the night, and I was right. It rained from midnight until 3:00 am, and it was so humid that there were still raindrops on the windows when I got up. The temperature this morning hovered around 46, but after about 10:00, it started to drop and it has now fallen to 38. At the same time, the wind shifted around to the northwest and started to rise, and the NWS station is now reporting gusts up to 27 mph, which I know is way wrong. It's a lot more windy out here at the east end, but northwest is one direction where the NWS station is sheltered, whereas I get the full force of the winds down the harbor. Anyway, it's not nice outside, and my bones are telling me so. When I went down to church, it was partly sunny, and I wore my sunglasses, but it soon clouded up, and the afternoon has been quite dull and dark.


By the way, I was creaky mostly in the legs, but my back felt pretty good, so I guess maybe my exercises are working. Boy, I hope so! I must make myself start working on the legs. I want to walk this summer, and maybe, just maybe, do a little gardening.


I noticed last night, after I published this, that the sun is now setting after 9:00, and we have almost 14 hours of daylight, so the days are getting nice and long. It's so nice to get up early and have it be light outside. Of course, the sun is only rising at 6:35, but it will only get better for the next couple of months.


Buster and Jasmine were sleeping somewhere all day long, and I didn't see them until I began to eat my dinner and Buster wanted some. He didn't get any - I had a steak - but he did get to lick the dish with the cheese sauce in it. He sat on me until I started typing, but he has now gone away. They are my little barometers, and days like this one leave them sleepy. Me, too.


So I will read for a bit then try again to get to bed early. I see Johanna tomorrow, and I think I need it. Now it's a cloudy, cold and very windy night in the field, a good one for sleep.


Last  updated 06/01/11 11:49 PM