A View From the Field

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August, 2011

August 31

I wonder where August went?

 

I didn't get to bed quite as early as I had hoped last night. I read two chapters rather than one, and they are long chapters. Then I had to take my bath, so it was close to midnight when I turned out the light. I slept well, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 9:30.

 

The cat got his brushing, and I knitted half of the next fern square. WE had the rest of the tuna salad for breakfast and yogurt for dessert. WE thought it was pretty good. Buster eats a little of his own breakfast then he runs into the studio so that he will be ready when I bring mine in. He loves just about everything I eat for breakfast, from eggs to tuna salad, ham and bacon. He also likes most kinds of cheese including cottage cheese, and a lot of other things I eat. He does eat his own food, too, and he isn't quite as skinny as he was last winter. Not to say he is fat or anything like it, but it's a little harder to feel his whole backbone than it used to be.

 

I went to the post office, because I had to mail something, and there was only one piece of mail, a plea for money. So that was a waste of gas, but I stopped at the store for eggs.

 

The weather wasn't nice at all. The temperature was 66 when I got up, but around 1:00 it started to rain lightly and for the rest of the afternoon, it was around 63. The wind was from the south but it was around 5 mph all day. It was dark and cloudy even when it wasn't raining, and the humidity was around 90%. Ugh.

 

The only thing good about it was that every so often I would catch a whiff of the air, and there is no sweeter smell than the woods and fields when they are wet. Aahh! I could breathe forever. Of course, at this time of year, that odor is mingled with the smell of damp campfires, and I don't like that so well. Also at this time of year, my nose tends to run, so I can't always smell as well as I'd like.

 

So it was a quiet day in the field, and now it's a damp, chilly night, and I am on my way up to the north end.

 

August 30

Tonight I will do this early and hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I certainly didn't last night. Those games are really addictive. Besides, just as I was about to upload the journal, something happened to PastyNet downstream, and for half an hour or so I couldn't connect to anything. So I waited until it cleared. I don't like to wait to upload the journal until morning because some of you read it early in the morning and you get worried if the journal hasn't posted.

 

I didn't get up until 10:30, and then I finished the fern square, did the end triangle and the setup for the first square on the second tier. 

 

So it was late when I got dressed, and I had a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast (or lunch, depending on how you look at it). I've been thinking about tuna salad for some time, and I just never got around to it, so today I got out the tuna, the celery and the salad dressing and got at it. I have enough for another sandwich tomorrow. I always split the mixture before I add the dressing and only add it right at the last minute, because it gets soggy and weeps if I don't. I (being an engineer at heart, I guess) always weigh the tuna and add about the same amount of celery, chopped fine, then I split it into two dishes. Anyway, both Buster and I thought it was wonderful. Then later we had yogurt, and pizza for dinner. I didn't think much of the pizza, but he liked the cheese just fine. Watching him lick the inside of the yogurt container is always fun. It's amazing how long a cat's tongue really is.

 

I got up so late that I didn't do very much except start a new orange bag, which I will take out to the breezeway and finish filling tomorrow. I did get down to the basement (to get my pizza, which doesn't fit in the upstairs freezer) and I got a number of other things to eat.

 

I have been thinking about going shopping, because I'm running out of birdseed (and cash - I need to go to the bank), and I may do it Thursday. This is the time of year when I shop on Tuesdays or Thursdays so I can stop at Hughes Farm for produce. I may go Thursday. I made an appointment to see the doctor a week from Friday, so I will go to Pat's afterward, but I need birdseed and I need cat food, so I may just go Thursday and do Hughes, the feed store, Wal-Mart and probably Econo, because Wal-Mart has been kind of light on the cat food lately. I need to make a complete list and a list of what I don't have. I know some people have cats that only eat one thing, and boy, are they lucky. Buster has always had a varied diet, and I notice that he gets bored if I give him the same flavor too close together. Spoiled, isn't he?

 

The weather was all right. It was clear this morning, but it clouded up later in the day. The temperature got up to 72, briefly, and for most of the afternoon the wind was from the south or southeast at under 10 mph. It is cloudy now, and radar shows there are a few light showers around, mostly in a line just south of Houghton. They could get here, but they won't be much.

 

So that was my day. I think I will read a bit before I go up to the north end, but I don't intend to be up that long. It's a warmish, cloudy night in the field.

 

August 29

I was late again last night. I probably played a game or something. Then when I got up to the north end, I started looking for a hymn that I can only remember the third line of, and that took sometime, so it was 11:30 or so before I got to bed.

 

While I was doing the journal, I started hearing some little noises outside on the deck, but I thought, oh, well, it's only the flying squirrels. Ha. When I went out to bring in the feeders, the hummingbird feeder had been completely drained, mostly all over the deck. So my coon friend was around early. I was sorry I didn't get up when I first heard the noise, because I probably would have caught him in the act. Oh, well.

 

I got up around 10:30, I think, and I finished the birch leaves square and did the setup for the next square, which is ferns. That's the second one of of that pattern in this row, and it's the easiest one of all, so it will go fast. Slowly, slowly I'm getting back to where I was when I decided to rip and start over. I could have gotten further today except that I dropped something and had to unknit five or six rows. That's a continuing problem. Buster came late and didn't stay because I bent over to get a needle I had dropped just as he arrived and that made him mad.

 

I was late enough that I didn't do much except unload the dishwasher and change the small tray I'm keeping in the upstairs hall. Unfortunately, Buster is peeing over the edge a lot, and it is ruining the floor under the tray. But he had done that before. I have some newspaper under it and that helps a bit, but still. He is getting old and funny. He spent mot of the day today either on the desk between the computer and the monitor or on my lap.

 

Tonight there was church, and it was another good sermon with some good hymns. I'm really sorry that this was the last Monday night service. I've enjoyed them so much. And an efriend of mine, Jim, was there with his wife June and daughter, and their pastor and his wife. We stayed for a long time talking and it was a fun gathering. Mary Ann had made cheesecake, and it was really good. So it was a lovely evening. I gave Jim permission to use the road, which I usually do for people who want it. None of the people I know would presume to trespass on anybody's property or destroy anything along the road, so why not?

 

The bird feeders didn't get out today because there were whitecaps on the harbor. The NWS station only reported a maximum of 25 mph gusts, but I'm very suspicious about that. I'm sure the winds were stronger than that out here, and I think it would take higher winds to get the whitecaps I was seeing. I used to think the NWS station reported the highest gusts in the last hour, but now I'm beginning to believe it only reports what is happening right at the time it uploads its measurement, which means it could miss 45 minutes of high winds altogether. the temperature got up to 79 at 5:00, but the wind was strong and it was fairly comfortable, even though I couldn't have the doors open. With the mess I have in the house, there would have been paper all over the place if I had. There were some clouds and some clear skies, and while we were in the Community Center, there was a light sprinkling of rain, just a few drops. It looked like the clouds might be breaking up when I came home.

 

This is the first time since last April that I have had to drive in the dark, and I'm sorry to report that it isn't getting any easier. There is more glare than ever from oncoming headlights. I will have to practice looking at the left hand side of the road.

 

We are down to 13 hours of daylight now, and days are getting shorter at a rate of 3 minutes a day - as fast as it ever goes. That's over 20 minutes a week, so it's getting dark fast. The sun is setting at close to 8:30 now and it doesn't rise until after 7:00 in the morning. Sigh. I do hate to see it happen. It also means I'm getting closer to my trip to Detroit, which I am not looking forward to at all. Oh, well.

 

So that was my day, and I think I will change my plans for tomorrow, not take a bath, and just go to bed. It's a warm, cloudy and breezy night in the field.

 

August 28

Last night I made it into bed by 9:30, bath and all, and I slept well. I did have some strange dreams, and I had to get up around 6:30. That was too early to get up, so I dozed until the alarm went off. 

 

When I went to bed last night, there was a lovely apricot band across the northwest horizon, with beautiful dark blue sky above it. There were stars during the night, but they weren't very bright. I guess I'll just have to get used to all the aerosols in the atmosphere and become resigned to never having the pristine seeing we've had in the past.

 

It was clear this morning, although there were a few clouds in the sky when I got up. I did my surfing. For the fourth morning in a row, I had an accident. I guess I'm going to have to see the doctor and discuss with him what sort of problem I might have now. A week or so ago, I thought I was making progress, and then everything went to pot again. It's the same problem I had when I was getting rid of the C. diff. So I don't know if I just haven't gotten rid of the rotavirus or I have something else now. It's discouraging.

 

Anyway, I was in my nightie when it happened, so I had to wash that and me. It upset my schedule a bit, but I got off by 9:20 anyway. I wish I'd been earlier, because I got behind a guy and a girl on a motorcycle who absolutely refused to go faster than 35 mph and absolutely refused to pull over. I had to follow them until the passing zone right before Lac LaBelle Road. Aargh! Then there was another slow one I got behind going into Kearsarge, and he went all the way to where I turn off to go to church. Aargh!

 

I made it in time to hit the potty before church, and who should be coming out of the bathroom as I was waiting but the lady who has (or had) lymphoma. She had only one node, so they did surgery (not a very good job, in my opinion), and mostly radiation, but they are also going to give her three cycles of chemo. She didn't know what it would be, but I warned her she will be sick. I didn't warn her that she will lose all her hair. I was saddened by how little they had told her. I think she was in the service and she goes to the VA hospital in Ironwood. I will have to tell Dr. Lehman, when I see him, how much I appreciate the way they inform their patients about what they will be getting and what it will do to them. Ellen isn't the first person I have encountered who went into treatment without a very good idea of what they are in for.

 

Church was good again, and there was communion, so that was nice. Eleanor was there, and she was wearing a sweater set that has a band around the edges embellished with pearl buttons, seed beads and bigger beads shaped sort of like leaves. She has worn it before, and it is very pretty. It's also aqua, which is one of my favorite colors.

 

I got behind some slow drivers coming home again, but I was able to pass one, and the other one pulled over on the covered road so that the guy in front of me and I could pass him. The guy in front of me didn't drive all that fast, either, but eventually I got home. 

 

I washed two pairs of white jeans, the jacket I was wearing, and the nightie when I got home, and they need to go in the dryer now. I folded all the laundry from yesterday and put away the stuff that goes in the closet. I will put away the underwear when I go up to the north end.

 

The weather was nice but cool. The temperature was in the middle 60s for most of the day, although it did get up to 71 briefly. The wind was under 10 mph all day, shifting from the west to the north and back. There were some pretty fair-weather cumulous clouds during the afternoon, but it was clear again by sunset, and we had another pretty apricot sunset.

 

I don't take pictures of clear sunsets very often because the only interest in them is the color, and that's hard to get right, even with the Nikon.

 

When I came into the studio this morning, something had pulled the hummingbird feeder apart. The bottom was very near the deck feeder, but I was in my nightie and slippers and the temperature out there was 54, so I didn't go after it. By the time I got home from church, it was on the ground under the deck, so I had to haul out another feeder to set out. So I guess I'd better bring everything in tonight. The sunflower pail is in the breezeway, and maybe I can get it filled tomorrow. 

 

Buster informed me, by peeing on the desk, that his tray needs changing, so I will have to do that tomorrow, too. He made me so mad that i shut him out of the studio while I ate my dinner, and I think he knew it and knew why, because when I let him in, he didn't lick the dish very much, and it was something he should have liked. He has been sleeping on my lap, though, so I guess everything is all right between us again.

 

So now I will toddle up to the north end and crash. I would like to have been earlier, but I was reading, and I like to read to a new chapter. This is part 2 from the blue binder, and the chapters seem a bit long. I am rereading all these things, because apparently the grammar changes I made in Word 2000 didn't carry over to Word 2010, so I'm having to make them all over again. They still haven't changed the "I are" and "you is" problem I had in Word 2000, nor any of the other stupid things they think are wrong, and I think they've added a few. I even looked to see if there was a place I could complain directly, but they apparently don't accept emails from customers anymore. They do want me to let them see the grammar changes I've made (purportedly to improve the proofing - ha!), and I just may let them do it one of these days, since the mistakes they've made are so bad.

 

One of the little things that has been bugging me about Windows 7 is that it seems to be impossible to keep the icons on the desktop in the places where I put them. When I go into full screen mode in one of the games or Word, especially, when I go back to the desktop, everything is shuffled around. Do any of my nerdy friends out there know if there is a way to lock the icons on the desktop (not the taskbar - I know about that)? It's making me crazy. I have quite a few icons on my desktop (some of which I don't think I need), and I hate having to search through them to find the thing I want. I position them where I want them, and I want to be able to find them at the same position all the time, and I can't.

 

So it's a clear, cool night in the field and I'm yawning.

 

August 27

It was another late night, even more so, because I just couldn't go another day without washing my hair. In fact, I am going to have to change my schedule somehow, because I was even getting a little of that nasty scaly dandruff that plagued me for so long. The price of having oily skin, I guess. On the other hand, I have almost no wrinkles on my face yet, so I don't complain very much. I just wash my hair more often. Now, if I could only get some of that oil into the ends of my hair so it wasn't dry and frizzy all the time...I know, I should cut it short enough that that doesn't happen, but I wore my hair between chin length and shoulder length for over 30 years, and I'm tired of it. And I just don't like the way I look in short hair. The long hair (most of it is down to my shoulder blades now) is bugging me, too, so one of these days, maybe I will do something about it. Maybe.

 

Anyway, I got up around 10:30, even though that wasn't nearly enough sleep. Buster got his brushing and I got half of the birch leaves square knitted. The gotcha in this square is that the stitch count isn't constant, but that's not too bad. It is shaping up very nicely with the tighter tension.

 

Today was washday, and I got the first load - jeans - into the washer before I made breakfast. The problem with that load is that they take forever to dry. I guess I should use the "cotton" or "hot" setting for those. I'll try that the next time. Anyway, the other two loads, which were both large, piled up, and they are now in the dryer. While the jeans were washing, I spotted the second load, which was mostly tees. I have been in slobberhanus mode again, and most of the shirts had spots on them. I had to wash my linen shirt for the first time, because I got something very black on the back hem - I don't know what it was. If I wasn't such a slob and I didn't sweat, I would hardly ever have to change my clothes at all. It's very clean up here, so the black stuff was a surprise. I suppose I brushed up against the door lock of the car, which is always messy.

 

I have had two pairs of jeans set aside for a number of years. One is from Eddie Bauer, and the rise isn't deep enough - or it wasn't - but the other pair was from Land's End during their abortive attempt to downsize their jeans. I had it marked with an "S" and a star, which means I never expected to be able to get into them again. Well, not only did I get into them, they fit quite nicely, thank you. No tightness except right over my bellybutton, which is a problem with old age. I am tickled to know that I seem to be holding my weight to about what it was after the sinus thing. 

 

There are a lot of things upstairs that might fit again. One of these days, I will have to climb up there and look over what i have. Nobody "dresses" for church, but I like to look nice - maybe business casual in the big city. Very few women wear skirts, except for Marcy, Pastor's wife, and even most of the people who wear them don't all the time. In the winter nobody wears skirts, which means I don't have to worry about whether the beautiful high boots I bought ten or so years ago fit. I doubt they do - my feet have stretched out too much. And I'm pretty sure most of my panty hose waistbands have deteriorated beyond use.

 

Anyway, maybe tomorrow I can wash up a couple of more loads. I need to wash my down parka, and since Buster has peed on them, I need to wash four or five fleece throws and a couple of towels that I sit on. Since I sweat most of the time, the arms of my chair and the seat, when I have shorts on, stick to me and get very uncomfortable. I started out by draping a couple of towels across the arms and seat of the chair and somehow (I don't remember how), I got a fleece throw on the chair and discovered that it raises me up just enough so that I can comfortably work at the desk. Two or three times, he has peed on the chair and I've sat in it, which makes me very angry. I wish he would just go back to doing it in the sink, but no such luck. He seems to have forgotten about that.

 

I went to the post office this afternoon, and there was quite a bit of stuff, most of it bills. Sigh. We're beginning the next monthly cycle. 

 

Ron's car problem turned out to be a blown radiator. His car is older than mine, although he bought it used. I was surprised. My first Blazer had two radiators, but it was a '78. I haven't had that problem with the Yukons, even though I've owned them for 10 years or more. Maybe there are some good things about American cars. i know his RAV4 is pretty primitive by my SUV standards. Of course, even new it wasn't as expensive as the Yukon, either.

 

The weather was glorious. It didn't get very warm - it hit 70 briefly at 6:00 - but it was gloriously clear all day, and there was only a very light breeze - under 10 mph from the north - all day. Just lovely! 

 

When I looked at the pictures the camera took, I remember a summer a few years ago, when we were in middle of a drought, when every day for three months looked like that, except that it was a tad warmer. That was the last summer I've been able to have the house completely opened up and nearly live out of doors. I don't mind the rain we've had - we always need rain - but I do hope to have another outdoor summer sometime again.

 

On the other hand, I feel for the people on the east coast. When I was living in south Jersey, and getting ready to move to Yardley, PA, I went through a hurricane - in 1971, I think - and it wasn't any fun at all. Mostly it was the rain, although the wind was bad, too. There was so much rain that the underpass where the Black Horse Pike went under the Turnpike flooded right up to the top. I went looking for a new apartment that day, and first I discovered that when the brakes on the GTO got wet, they got glassy. When I got back down to the vicinity of where I was living - Blackwood, NJ - I had to go all the way down to Turnpike exit 3, which was near where I worked in Paulsboro, before I could get off, and then I had to drive back north on back roads in the dark, the rain and the wind. That hurricane, whose name I don't remember, came right up the Delaware River and just hammered the greater Philadelphia area. It wasn't a pleasant experience. I'll take a Superior blizzard any old day.

 

So that was my day. Now it's a lovely, clear evening in the field, and I am going to try to get to bed really early tonight so that I can safely drive to church tomorrow. Besides, I'm tired. Have you noticed that I seem to get more accomplished when I'm tired? Comes from running a sleep deficit for 40 years.

 

August 26

I did it again, but when I woke up just before 9:00, i decided not to get up. I didn't sleep deeply, but I must have slept, because time passed and I got up around 10:30. Buster came for his brushing after I started knitting, but he did get brushed. I finished the lily of the valley square with few further problems and did the prep for the next square, which is called "birch leaves." It will go better with a tighter tension, too.

 

I was so late that I even forgot to go to the post office until it was too late. I had another conversation with the Ferrell Gas people, and the nice lady is going to try to get both my contract and my monthly payment reduced. We'll see how that goes.

 

The weather was rather nice. The temperature was about 62 all night and all morning, then between 11:00 and 2:00 it went up to 80. Twice during the day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, the wind began gusting up to 25 mph, and in between it died down to almost nothing. I don't know if there were some fronts going through or what, but it was strange. It was mostly cloudy all day, but around 5:00, the wind shifted to the north and it cleared up in about half an hour. It was clear at sunset.

 

I did not feed the squirrel this afternoon, but I had a horrible time getting him to stay off the screen, and apparently while I was making my dinner, he started trying to tear holes in the screen right beside the door handle. By the time I chased him again, he had torn at least two 1" holes in the screen and made several smaller ones. I'm not going to get the screen repaired this year, because it's too late, but I will have to have it done next summer again. I don't like to kill anything, but I'm seriously thinking about asking someone around town to dispatch this guy. He is the only one who does these things, and I think he chases the other squirrels away when the food is out. He is a real pest, and I don't know what to do with him. I suppose I could try to live trap him and relocate him, but I don't have a live trap. Oh, dear.

 

I cast on the shawl I have been wanting to knit, but it is going to be a project that needs all my attention, too, because every row has a pattern. I only did four rows today, and i had a problem with every one. I really need that needle tip I lost, because the cord on the needle I am using is very stiff and awkward. The Knit Picks cables are much softer and bendy. Part of the awkwardness is that there is a marker between every pattern repeat, and so far I only have four stitches in each repeat, so there are almost as many markers as there are stitches. It will get better as I go along, though. So now I have a bathroom lace project and a studio lace project. If I can get going on this one, it will be very pretty, in shades of blue mostly, although the last two colors are raspberry and dusty purple. it will be a fun thing to do, and it should go fast, using two strands of yarn on #8 needles. 

 

Anyway, that was my short day, and I need to take a bath tonight. It's a clear night in the field

 

August 25

Well, it will be another late night. 

 

It was 1:30 when I got to bed, and I slept hard. I was up once, around 5:30, and I got up about 9:30. Buster came and got brushed, but not until I had dropped something in my lily of the valley square, so after he got his brushing, I looked at what I had and tore the whole thing out. I just don't know what my problem is, except for inattention. I mean, these squares are only 21 rows wide by 40 rows long. I don't know why I have so much trouble with them. Anyway, i knitted for an hour and a half, and I finished the first repeat (there are three). I think I have it straight now, but even using bamboo needles, the alpaca yarn is so wiry and slippery that it's easy to drop stitches, and in lace, it's sometimes hard to find them.

 

So it was noon before I got to the studio, and I didn't do much besides my surfing. Oh, yes, and chasing a pesky squirrel off the screens. First he climbed the screens on the east side, where the windows were closed, then he climbed the patio door screen. I finally threw out a few handfuls of seeds, which disappeared rather quickly, and he climbed the screen again, so I threw out a few more, which seemed to satisfy him. What a pest! At this time of year, there have to be other things for him to eat.

 

The weather was beautifully clear, but rather cool and breezy. There were whitecaps on the harbor, which is why the feeders didn't get put out. It was still blowing when I went to bed, and I could hear waves breaking on my beach. That's rather unusual. It had calmed down a little by morning, but it was still windy, in the 15-25 mph range from the north, although I wonder at that. I think it was windier out here. The temperature got down to 61 overnight, and it got up to 72 in the afternoon. 

 

I have some questions about that, too. When it's warm, I've noticed as I drive by that it is frequently several degrees warmer at the water treatment plant than it is out at this end of the harbor. With the wind from the north or northwest, there shouldn't be that much difference, but there seems to be. I had the windows closed for most of the day, but it got so hot in here late in the afternoon that I had to open an east window. They say the wind is from the west-southwest now, but then why is it blowing in my east-southeast window?

 

it's interesting to me that temperatures that feel warm when we first have them in the spring now feel cool or cold, and it's not that I'm wearing so many fewer clothes. My body does acclimate to the warmer weather, although I never got used to upper 80s and 90s. I don't know how people in the southwest can stand it.

 

Now it's late and I should take a bath. It's a cool, clear night in the field.

 

August 24

Gee, I almost forgot to do a journal tonight. Oops.

 

I started looking at the entrelac stole when I got up to the north end, and I realized I had not done a good job on the first square, either, so I tore that out, too, and knitted up a couple of rows. So it was nearly 1:00 when I got to bed again. Oops. I got up around 9:00, because I wasn't going to get back to sleep unless I peed, and then heaven knows when I might have made it out of bed. Buster didn't come, for some reason, so I knitted the first square and got back to where I was last night on the second square. Now maybe i can go forward instead of backward for a while!

 

I don't know why, but when I started doing the lace squares, my tension loosened up a whole lot, and it made the squares look very messy (not to mention the nupps that were done wrong). So this time I'm doing it with very tight tension, which looks a lot better to me and is more the gauge i was getting on the seed stitch. I will have to retrain my fingers when I go back to socks, which need to be knit rather loosely. The problem is, none of these things can be corrected by changing needle sizes, because they don't make needles in the sizes I would need. Knitting so tightly makes doing the decreases a challenge, but I'll manage. Doing the nupps right, with the stitches around them tighter, is going to make that square look a lot better, too. 

 

I didn't do a lot more. I tidied up the office a bit and looked for my needle, and I can't find it. It has to be there, because I heard it drop, but I don't see it anywhere. Well, I have other #8 needles, but I didn't get any out. So I didn't start the new shawl. Maybe tomorrow.

 

It was not a nice day. The temperature peaked at 77 at 9:00 (I thought it was warm when I went into the bathroom), but it sort of dropped off. When I got up, it was sunny and very windy, and there were whitecaps on the harbor. By the time I finished my knitting, it had clouded up and the temperature had begun to drop off. Around 2:00 it started to rain, and we ended up with about a quarter inch between then and 6:00. It was very windy, but not as windy as the NWS had predicted, so they canceled the high wind advisory - and then it started to blow again. The peak so far was between 8:00 and 9:00 tonight, with sustained winds of around 25 mph and gusts to 38 mph, from the north-northwest. After the rain stopped, the temperature dropped to 64. where it's been ever since. We usually have a sort of blow in August, and I guess this is it. It's supposed to be warmer and nice tomorrow, so no three-day gales this time. It was a good day to stay in, and I was glad I brought in the bird feeders last night.

 

However, as a result of there being no food on the deck, twice today, that genius squirrel of mine (who seems to be a male) jumped onto the east window screens and climbed around on them, as if to say, "Hey, I'm hungry!" The second time he did it, Buster had been asleep on the desk, and the squirrel got him really interested, which I was glad to see. He sleeps or rests most of the time these days. It got me interested, too, because I don't want him tearing holes in my window screens. Boy, what gall!

 

So that was my day, and now it's past time to go to bed. It's a cloudy, windy night in the field, and I guess I'll have to shut a few windows.

 

August 23

To make up for my early night the night before, I got to playing a game and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Oh, well. The first time I got up was nearly 6:00, so once I made it into bed, I really zonked out. I got up around 10:30, I think.

 

Buster got his brushing, and then I started looking at the instructions for the entrelac stole, and I realized I had done the nupps wrong. This one has only one panel that has nupps, and it is one of  my favorite Baltic patterns - it's called lily of the valley, and it can be so pretty. But I hadn't done it right, and besides, I had knit that panel very loosely. Sooo...I ended up having to rip back six panels and a side triangle. I started the lily of the valley pattern over, but I didn't get very far, because it took me a long time to unknit. I wonder if I'll ever finish that thing. This is about the fourth time I've had to rip most or all of what I had knit. I should finish it, because the pattern is really pretty and quite challenging, and besides, the yarn cost me a fortune. Suri Alpaca has come down in price considerably since I bought it, but when I got mine, it was expensive.

 

So that was nearly all I did. I did put the clean pots and pans away and I washed the Dutch oven. And that was about it until late in the day. After dinner, I got out my yarn swift and my ball winder and wound eight balls of yarn - almost 3600 yards. I worked up a sweat, but now it's done and i can start the shawl I really want to work on, provided I can find the needle tip I dropped on the floor. It bounced off my foot and I heard it hit the floor, and it seems to have dropped into the black hole. Tomorrow, when it's light, I'll look for it again. In the dark, i couldn't find it, and the camera hadn't gone off when i was looking for it. Well, at least the chore of winding balls is done. Yarn companies seem to put up their yarn in any old way they feel like, I wish they would consider their customers a little more. 

 

It was a warm, humid day. The temperature got up to 83 briefly, at 2:51, and then by 3:32 (a very rare off-hour report from our NWS station) it had dropped back to 73. I think it was because the wind switched around to the north. It recovered to about 75 after that, when the wind went calm. It was partly cloudy all day, and it was quite humid - over 70%. There was a kind of nice sunset, but there were a lot of clouds and we could have a little rain overnight.

 

So that is about all I know. Now it's time to toddle up to the north end and take a bath. It's a rather warm, breezy, humid night in the field.

 

August 22

Well, I really crashed last night. I was in bed at 9:00, and the next time I woke up was almost 1:30. I slept well for the rest of the night, with the usual wakeups. I woke up a little before 8:00 and I really didn't want to get up, but I had to pee badly enough that I couldn't go back to sleep. Probably I couldn't have anyway. I was slept out.

 

When I was awake at 1:30, the stars were bright out the bedroom window, but when I was up around 3:30 (I think), the sky had gotten hazy and I couldn't see anything. That was partly the moon, but there were some clouds in the sky, too, I think. And when I was up at 5:30, it was still dark. Oh, the days are getting short!

 

Buster got a good brushing this morning, and I think he feels better today. At least he had eaten some of his food overnight and he wanted his breakfast. He has taken up residence on the computer desk between the new CPU and the monitor, on top of all the wires and things in a very little space. Maybe he likes the heat from the CPU.

 

I did a few things. I resolved one issue that came up Friday and called the insurance agent who never calls me back. I unloaded the dishwasher, amazingly enough. And I took out a bag of trash that was too big to fit into the orange bag in the breezeway. That bag needs to be changed anyway, because something died out there and it really stinks.

 

Tonight was church, and it was nice, as usual, although I nearly lost my hymnal. I've been taking my own hymnal to the Monday services, and a nice lady thought she was being helpful and put it in the box with the ones Pastor brings with him. We found it, though, and I will have to be more careful to keep my hands on it in the future. As usual, a couple of people brought goodies, including some blueberry muffins made with newly picked wild blueberries - yum! My friend Eleanor, the 90 year old lady, was there, and she was wearing shorts! Wow, I wish I could wear shorts! she has pretty good looking legs, too. 

 

I had to stop at the store, because I needed eggs, and as I was putting my stuff in the car, Trevor came by and asked for a ride home. He was walking, because their car seems to be ailing. I wondered, because it was parked right by the intersection of Woodland Road and Lake Lily road when i went to church. They aren't sure what is wrong with it, but it may need to be towed. If it's not one thing it's another, I guess.

 

The weather was pretty good. It clouded up around midday, but most of the clouds went away later on, and just enough of them stayed to give a pretty nice sunset, which I didn't get to see because I was driving home. The temperature was around 70 all afternoon. here was a little north wind - around 15 mph - around noon, but it died down later in the afternoon.

 

I also replenished a couple of the bird feeders and rescued the hummingbird feeder. The wind the other nigh had blown the hanger partly off the railing, so that it was hanging down on the inside, and of course it blew all the nectar out of the feeder. So that is done. And that pesky squirrel has been trying to tear the duct tape off the hole he tore in the screen. Geez!

 

Now it's time to totter up to the north end. I think I may take a bath tonight. I feel rather sticky, and a bath will take care of all that. It's a calm, partly cloudy night in the field.

 

August 21

I managed to make it into bed a little after 10:00 last night, and overall, I slept well, just not long enough. I was up around 3:00 and i kept seeing flashes of light - lightning. Shortly after I got back into bed the wind started to blow strongly, and there was some thunder, and it began to rain. Overall, we only had another eighth of an inch, but it came down hard for a little while. It was so humid that the windows were still wet this morning when I got up. Ugh.

 

I got up before the alarm went off, because I had to walk, so I had plenty of time to do my surfing before I got dressed and went off to church. That was nice, with a good sermon and some old hymns that weren't trashed too badly in the blue hymnal. 

 

I had letters to mail, so I went around by the post office in Calumet, and I only went to the Holiday station for gas. I suppose I paid more than I should have, but I just didn't feel like going all the way down to Houghton. It was $3.699, and I got a $2.40 discount, which helped a little. 

 

I was dreading the drive home, because the art fair is still on, but there wasn't much traffic. I did run into a couple of slow cars around the Burma Road, but they both turned in at the Mountain Lodge. 

 

I didn't do anything this afternoon. I was so sleepy i was yawning in church, so I just sat and played games or read. I did have to clean up the desk some more and move some more stuff off of it. I don't think Buster feels well at all.

 

The weather cooled off overnight, and it was a cool, breezy and partly cloudy day today. The temperature finally made it up to 68, but for most of the day it was in the middle 60s. The wind was around 15 mph from the north. I really wonder about that NWS station, though. They said the wind last night was only 16 mph with 23 mph gusts during the thunderstorm, and I know it was stronger than that out here. Usually they are pretty good about north winds, but I don't believe what they were reporting last night.

 

Now the sky has cleared up almost completely, and the wind is dying down a bit. The humidity has gotten quite low, but it's going to be a cool night tonight, good for sleeping.

 

So now I will totter up to the north end and get to bed early. It's a clear, cool, breezy night in the field.

 

August 20

I spent some time looking at the instructions for a stole I started a long time ago - with very expensive yarn that the moth larvae just loved - before I gave up and went to bed last night. When I last worked on it, I sort of stuffed it into its bag, and it was all tangled up. It is knitted in small squares called entrelacs, which has the nice effect that I will be only working on one lace pattern at a time, but the way it works, it will be nearly impossible to see what it looks like until I get quite far into it. It will be a beautiful thing when it's done and blocked, though. 

 

Anyway, I think it was around 11:00 when I got to bed, but I didn't sleep very well. Too many things happened yesterday, and although I wasn't worrying about them, I was thinking about them, and that interfered with my sleep. I had some hours of deep sleep, but not a lot. I got up around 9:00 because I had to.

 

I brushed the cat and worked on the next square of the stole, although I only got about 10 rows (of 20 stitches) done. This one is alpaca also, and it is so soft I just like to pet it, so it's nice to work on. It's frustrating not to be able to see what I'm doing, but I'll just hope for the best and plow on.

 

I woke up around 6:45, which was about 10 minutes before sunrise, and there was the most beautiful Girdle of Venus I think I've ever seen, wide and a lovely shade of mauve-pink. I'd like to have a blouse that color. By the time I got back to bed, it was fading, but for a minute or two it was just gorgeous.

 

The weather was nearly clear, not very warm, and rather windy. The temperature only got up to 70 for a while this afternoon, and there was a 15-20 mph wind from the north, There were a few clouds, and I don't think there was much of a sunset. It wasn't at all humid, which was nice.

 

it was a nice day for Art in the Park. I toyed with the idea of going, but I knew if I went I'd buy something, and I just don't want to do that. I need to get gas tomorrow, and I've been toying with the idea of going to Econo Foods and trying to lay in some more cat food. I haven't found everything I thought I bought, but then, I haven't looked too hard. 

 

Buster peed on the desk again, as well as over the side of his tray, and that got me moving on something I've wanted to do for a while. Now there is almost nothing on the desk at all, and I have two barrels and a file box of the stuff I took off of it - and there's more between the task light and the old printer. I will get at that tomorrow. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the stuff I took off the desk, or the stuff I will take off it tomorrow. There just isn't enough room for all that stuff. Right now, I can't walk over to the patio door. Oh, my.

 

Tonight I cooked a turkey breast I've had in the freezer for some time. It was OK. I like the recipe, but either I overcooked it or it was old and tough - or maybe both. Buster thought it was fine, but he didn't eat all I gave him, so he still knows his capacity. There is enough for another couple of meals.

 

I also washed up some pots and pans and the dishwasher is almost ready to run. So now I can toddle up to the north end and take my bath and maybe get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a coolish, calm and partly cloudy night in the field.

 

August 19

I read for a while when I got to the north end, and I took my bath, and I was in bed by 10:30. I slept well until around 3:30, when I woke up having dreamed about Hillcrest. Hillcrest was where my first house was, and it's been a very long time since I've dreamed about it. It was the morphing house dream, but why there? I loved that little house, and most likely I should never have moved out, but I have a history of making bad financial decisions. Oh, well.

 

Anyway, after that I was wakeful for a couple of hours. I think probably the temperature wasn't right. It had cooled off a bit, but not enough for the comforter, yet too much for just the sheet blanket. Eventually I went back to sleep and I got up around 9:30

 

I brushed the cat a bit and started the edging of the shawl. This was considerably easier knitting than the rest of it, and I did eight rows. 

 

I got the bird feeders out, but I probably shouldn't have, because it was very windy, and most of the nectar blew out of the hummingbird feeder. When I opened the door, I discovered that my genius squirrel had begun to tear another hole in the screen above the duct tape, so I had to tape that up, too. 

 

I cleaned Buster's little tray, since he had peed on the desk again, and he was right: it needed it. However, not long after I did that, he tried to pee on the floor right beside me. I don't know about him

 

I went to the post office, where there were a lot of bills and some other stuff i have to act on, and I got us a piece of whitefish and some fish spread for dinner. i had a chat with Christine, and possibly next year, I will be placing some of my jewelry with her. She makes all kinds of jewelry, but nothing like what I do, so maybe my things would be a good addition to her shop. She also runs the fish house.

 

Buster and I had some of the fish spread for an appetizer, and he loves that. When I went out to the kitchen, I discovered that he (or they, possibly) had eaten all their breakfast, so I put down a small can, and Buster ate some of that, then he realized we had real fish for dinner. Not only did he eat a lot of it out of his dish, I gave him my dish to lick, and he ate a lot there, too. Even cats' tastes change: he didn't care much for fish when he was young, but then, when he was young, food didn't mean as much to him as it does now. Now he is sitting on my lap, making it hard to type.

 

While the talking was going on, I finally finished the shawl! Wow! What a long project that has been! Now all I have to do is weave in the ends and wash and block it. It seems like that's how I felt when I finished the  last shawl, and that one hasn't been blocked either. I really must do that. It means putting both leaves in the dining room table, though (since I can't work on the floor) and I just haven't gotten around to that. Maybe now that I have two things to block, I'll get at it. I want to see if I can really block the second one out to the suggested measurements, since I used a needle three sizes smaller than the pattern called for.

 

When I was awake around 5:30, I started seeing lightning way off in the west, right on the horizon, and a while later, it was a little higher in the sky. Eventually, sometime after 6:00, we had a short thunderstorm that dropped about an eighth of an inch of rain on us in a few minutes. It was really neat to see that lightning so far off in the west. Not so neat was the realization that it was still dark at that hour of the morning. Oh, well.

 

The weather, after the rain, was pretty, but windy again. It was a lot warmer than yesterday. It got up to 81 for a while, and I had to open the patio doors a bit because it was so warm in here. The wind was in the 15-30 mph range all afternoon, from the northwest or north-northwest. It was mostly clear, with just a few little cumulous clouds. For a while, I could see a big cumulous to the south, but it went in the other direction. There seem to have been some showers down south of us all afternoon, but it was clear and dry here.

 

I read for a little while tonight, while I consider what project to do next. I have one shawl on the needles (which I have had for at least 10 years), and three pairs of socks, and two more shawls to start. One, the one I want to do (of course) needs to have the yarn wound into balls. So we'll see.

 

I noticed in passing that the sun is setting before 9:00 now, and it's rising around 6:50...just a little over 14 hours of daylight. Oh, how I hate to see it go! It was so nice! Now we are heading into the dark time of year. It sure was nice while it lasted, though.

 

Now it's time to toddle up to the north end and crash. It's a warm, fairly clear night in the field.

 

August 18

Last night was frustrating. Right after I got to the north end I remembered I had forgotten to take my afternoon pills, so I went and did that. I want to keep up the acidophilus, and I knew that if I didn't take the Neurontin, I wouldn't be able to sleep. I got into bed around 930. It takes a while for the Neurontin to kick in, which is one reason I take it in the afternoon (a drug interaction is the other), and it did, so for a while I had very sore toes. The other problem was that the window in the hallway was open and acting just like a very large organ pipe. I think it was around 3:00 when I finally gave in and closed the window, and it wasn't until after that that I could finally get to sleep. 

 

I got up around 10;30, and I finished the 29th repeat on the shawl with no problems, but of course, I was very late. Thursday is a day when there are lots of things to read, and it was around 3:00 before I finally finished my surfing.

 

I did do a few things. I am slowly creeping toward getting the kitchen under control. Today I washed a bunch of pans that had been sitting around for a while. There's a lot more to do, but I'm starting to get there, slowly. The big thing is the counters around the cooktop, and that will take time. Also, there are bags of bags and boxes in the kitchen that need to go out. I'll get there.

 

When the talking started, I got out the shawl, and not only did i finish the 30th repeat, at long last, I also did the 10 rows of garter stitch. Now there are 24 rows of edging, and I'm done. This has been a long project, but of course, there was quite a while when I didn't work on it. I think it's going to be rather pretty when it's blocked.

 

I was knitting away, a while after 4:00, when I noticed the task light was flickering. I couldn't figure out why, but not very long after that, the power went out. As soon as the generator came on, I called UPPCO, and it was apparently not long before 8:00 when the power came back on. With the radio on, I couldn't hear when the generator went off. I'm guessing the times from the NWS station. It's last report was at 3:51, and the next one was at 7:52. I have a hard time believing the waste treatment station doesn't have a generator, and if it does, that the NWS station isn't hooked up to it.

 

Heaven knows what the problem was, but it was still windy, so I suppose a tree came down on the wires someplace. When wires short out, there are interlocks that cut the power downstream, and of course, it takes UPPCO a long time to get people out and find the problem.

 

It was a pretty day, mostly clear, but it was quite windy all day. The window stopped being an organ pipe when the wind shifted from northwest to north. There were whitecaps on the harbor most of the day. The temperature only got up to 74. Now the wind has dropped and it's nearly calm. There are a few clouds in the sky, and we could have a little rain overnight.

 

So that was my day, and even though I spent a lot of time in bed, I didn't get a lot of sleep, so I'll be off to the north end shortly and try to get a better night's sleep tonight. It's a calm, warm evening in the field.

 

August 17

I got sidetracked last night, and since i had to wash my hair, it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, although I had a very weird dream this morning. I got up around 10:00. 

 

I tried to knit, but that was a disaster. I had dropped something yesterday and I didn't repair it right, although it looked OK. But then I discovered that I hadn't gotten all the wraps of a nupp (in the same area) knitted in, so using my rule of two mistakes means unknit, I started doing that, even though it meant going back about six rows. Well. I started dropping more things, and I only got back to where the mistakes were. So I brought the bag down to the studio, and this afternoon I sat down in the ugly chair to try to finish - I only had about 18 rows plus the border left - and I dropped some more things and got into a real mess. I ended up having to rip back to the beginning of the 29th repeat, and just now, after dinner, I finally got back to where I left off yesterday, but without the mistakes, I certainly hope! 

 

It makes me wonder if there's something in me that doesn't want to finish this project, even though I have several other lace projects lined up. Actually, there are several problems. I shouldn't pick up my knitting the moment I get into the bathroom, because I'm not usually awake. When Buster was there waiting for me, it was better, because I could brush him first and be a little more with it before I started to knit. The other problem is one I noticed this afternoon in the ugly chair as well. When the light is in front of me, which is is in the bathroom and in the ugly chair, I have a very hard time seeing through the combination of my cornea problem and my slowly growing cataracts. I think the cornea problem is probably to blame for most of it. After dinner, I shifted to the desk chair because the sun was shining on the ugly chair, and with the task light beaming directly down on my work, I didn't have any trouble at all seeing, with or without my glasses. It's also true that I don't focus up close very well when I first get up. Oh, the joys of getting old! Bah, humbug!

 

Anyway, I did a few other small chores today. I unpacked the cat food, although I don't seem to have all I thought I did. I must go through some of the other bags in the breezeway. I filled the dry cat food dishes. And I started cycling the dishwasher. I went downstairs to get some bread and something to eat tomorrow, although I couldn't find something I wanted for breakfast. So I guess it wasn't an entirely wasted day.

 

The weather was nice but much too windy to have the doors open. I was surprised to see, when I looked at the history for the day, that we had a little bit of rain between 2:00 and 3:00 this morning, There were showers west of us when I went to bed, but it looked like they might go south of us. The temperature this afternoon got up to 78 briefly, and it was in the middle 70s all afternoon. The wind was from the northwest in the 15-30 mph range, which meant whitecaps on the harbor and no bird feeders. It was clear all day, although there are enough aerosols in the atmosphere that it wasn't really pristinely clear like it used to be. It was really pretty to look down the harbor and see all those little whitecaps on the blue, blue water.

 

Something else went through my mind a few minutes ago that I can't remember now. Obviously, it wasn't very important.

 

So that was my day, and I am going up to the north end as soon as I upload this - no games tonight - and try to get to bed at some sort of reasonable hour. Now it's a clear, warm, very windy evening in the field.

 

August 16

i managed to get to bed by about 11:00 last night, and I slept well. I was awake around 8:00 and I just decided not to get up, so it was 10:30 before i made it out of bed. Then I knitted and brushed the cat, so it was noon before I made it to the studio.

 

I had some ideas of what I might do today, but it turned out to be rather warm, so I didn't do anything. Sigh. That is getting to be my usual thing, and there are some things i should do. Oh, well.

 

It was warm. The temperature got up to 82, and it was over 80 for several hours. Fortunately, there was a light breeze from the southwest, and the humidity wasn't too bad when it was warmest. Actually, the dew point was about constant, in the low 60s, so it was very humid this morning, and as the temperature drops, it's getting that way again. it was partly cloudy this morning, and it has pretty much clouded over now. There might be a little rain tonight.

 

Everything is quiet on the computer front. I am waiting to hear something about Kabcam (the software I use to drive the camera) before I start fiddling with cameras and things. I will warn you when I start that. I need to work with Publisher a bit, and I need to copy the website so I can start trying to learn Expression. Since I spent most of the afternoon doing my surfing, I didn't get to that today.

 

The only thing running on the old computer now is the camera, and both Buster and I are getting tired of all the hardware sort of lying around. I would very much like to get the camera working on the new hardware (or discover that I need a new camera) so that i can shut down Old Faithful and move it and the old printer out of the way. Then I can get the new stuff arranged the way I want it. The new printer, by the way, is smaller than the old one, so I should have a little more room for stuff around the computer desk. I finally had to move the old keyboard onto the top of a pile of stuff because Buster kept sitting on it and screwing up the old computer - like about 50 copies of Explorer or things like that.

 

On that subject, I've been going around and around with the site I got Jewel Quest Heritage from for over a week, and I finally got them to give me a refund. I just do not like the platform they use for their games. All the other places I've gotten games from do it straightforward - you get the download and play the game. This place has some hokey arrangement where an Internet Explorer window needs to be open, and it has ads on it. Besides, I had the game just stop running at least three times. That may not be their fault, but it just added to my irritation. Don't get your games from WildTangent. PopCap, Gamehouse and Shockwave are all better. I've been trying to get mine from the original publisher, if possible.

 

I found a newer version of Bejeweled last night, which seems to have some advantages, but it takes the better part of an hour to download, so I haven't played it long enough to know if it would be worth my while to buy. The graphics didn't seem to be as nice, but it seemed easier to get farther into the game. I'll have to consider that one. My version of it is pretty good. 

 

I do want to search out the last Collapse Puzzle, the one that wouldn't run on ME. Collapse is sometimes fun, but I really like the Puzzle version. And just think - I can replay all the ones I already have, since scores and things don't carry over! Gee, I can play games forever without buying anything new. Now you know what I'll be doing.

 

So that was my day. Buster spent as much of the afternoon on my lap as I'd let him, but he wanted to put his paw on my arm, and he wanted to put out a claw to hold it there, and that hurts, so eventually I gave him the bum's rush, at which he complained bitterly. He had some of my dinner, and he is now sitting on the desk. Besides putting his claws into my arm and my legs (I'm wearing shorts), he was hot. Poor Buster. I think he is feeling a bit better, because Jasmine is bugging him and he has been talking about it.

 

Now it's a warm, cloudy evening in the field, and tonight I need a bath.

 

August 15

I had some excuse I don't remember for not getting to bed until nearly midnight. I slept well until around 8:00, then I just dozed for 45 minutes or so before I got up. When I was awake during the night, the moon was so bright that I couldn't see any stars at all. I think there was that high haze in the sky.

 

I did most of my surfing and was off to visit Johanna, and I feel much better for my massage. I stopped at the store on the way home for eggs and a few other things. They have a wonderful selection of all sorts of fresh food at this time of year, but I controlled myself.

 

And that was about all i did.

 

There was church tonight, and that was nice, too. We had about a dozen people, which is a good-sized group. The 90-year-old lady, who was down with pneumonia for a while in July, was there, and she is such a wonderful person. She is very deaf, but there is nothing wrong with her head. She was a nurse, and I certainly wish I could have had her for my nurse.

 

The weather was nice but very humid. The temperature got up into the low 70s and there was a little wind from the north. It was partly cloudy all day, but there was a lot of sunshine.  I almost wrote "sumshine", which is my private word for partly cloudy.

 

So that was another day. I am waiting to hear from lots of people, so it's nice to have a new toy to play with.

 

Now it's a calm, partly clear evening in the field and it's time to totter up to the north end and crash.

 

August 14

I made it into bed a little after 10:00 last night, and mostly I slept well. The alarm went off entirely too early, but I got to do most of my surfing and get dressed in a leisurely manner. It always amazes me how much faster getting out the door is when there aren't any coats and hats to put on.

 

it was a lovely sunny morning, if rather brisk, but that went away fast. There wasn't much traffic going south. 

 

Church was nice, if a little long, because there was communion, and for two of the hymns, Pastor added the final two or three verses from the old hymnal, which meant we sang seven or eight verses. So it was about noon when we got out.

 

Coming home was a chore, because there were some very slow drivers, and some who obviously didn't know where they were going. 

 

I didn't do anything much for the rest of the afternoon except to fill the deck feeder.

 

The weather was nice but cool. It got down to 52 overnight, making me very glad I had shut the windows. When I got to the studio, it was 55, but when I checked again before I left, it was 64 already, and it eventually got up to 69 for a while. There was a little wind for a while, up to around 15 mph from the north, but it calmed down late in the afternoon. The skies were just about clear all day long. Nice.

 

For an hour or so in the middle of the afternoon there was a boat anchored off my beach with an orange flag with a white diagonal through it. I believe that is the  "divers below" flag. I took a good look at it when I first noticed it (on the camera page, of course), and there was nobody on board. I would like to have watched them come up, but I had my back to it and then I forgot. While the lake is public property, and they were several hundred yards off shore (I don't estimate distances very well), I don't really like having boats anchored in my front yard. Oh, well. I hope they saw something interesting.

 

Buster spent the entire afternoon asleep on my lap, which makes it very hard to do anything. He just wants to be with me all the time now.

 

So that was another day, and it's a cool, probably clear night in the field.

 

August 13

Today would have been my mother's 94th birthday. She has been gone 18 years now, and I still miss her. An item in Science News Online today gave me at least one reason: researchers have found that hearing mother's voice when a girl is stressed calms her down. Yup, sure does, besides what she was saying to support me. They tested 12 year old girls, but I don't think you ever lose that need, and even the best of friends can't replace mom.

 

I made it into bed by midnight last night, and it was a good night for sleeping. I got up about 9:00, and I did six more rows on the shawl - now I only have two more repeats and the edging. Buster got his brushing, too.

 

I didn't do much except add some more stuff to the dishwasher, which will run tonight. 

 

The weather wasn't very nice. The temperature was in the low 60s until just recently, when it got up to 66, and there was a light but very cold wind from the east. When I realized I was trying to heat the great out-of-doors, I shut all the east windows, and it's much more comfortable in here now. I do have the patio door open, but it was almost hot on the deck. It's one of those days when you freeze on one side and roast on the other. It was cloudy for most of the day, and radar showed some light rain showers around the area, but we didn't get any. It has begun to clear up lately, and the sun is shining on the deck.

 

Now my late nights are beginning to catch up with me, so I will load the dishwasher and totter up to the north end and take my bath. Tomorrow is an early morning. Now it's a cool, breezy, partly clear evening in the field.

 

August 12

I won't tell you when I went to bed this morning, but it was incredibly late, and since I got up around 11:30, I didn't get enough sleep. Sigh.

 

So I didn't do a lot, but I did get the bird feeders out and the dishwasher cycled. I will run the dishwasher tomorrow night, so it was time. 

 

Last night when I was playing, several times flying squirrels jumped onto the east window, which alarmed both Buster and me. And when I opened the patio door to put out the feeders today, there was a squirrel-sized hole in my brand new aluminum screen! I don't know what to do - maybe hardware cloth? I guess I'll have to make sure the feeders are always put out. That makes me really angry, but I can't afford to have the door rescreened again. So I patched it with duct tape, and maybe I should spray it with hot pepper spray. 

 

The weather was so-so. There was a little sunshine this morning, but it has been cloudy for most of the day, with the temperature around 68, plus or minus a few degrees. It got up to 72 briefly. There were light winds, mostly from the north. It has been humid - around 80% humidity - all day. I think there was a little rain in Calumet around noon, but we didn't have any.

 

So now I don't have anything else to report, and I'm going to crash tonight. It's a cloudy night in the field, of course, because the Perseids peak tonight.

 

August 11

I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and mostly I slept well. I was up a lot, but I guess I should be used to that by now. I think it was cloudy all night. I got up around 9:00 and I did six rows on the shawl after I brushed the cat and added the pill I forgot to put in the morning dispenser (geez, where was my mind that day?). I seem to be knitting a bit faster now, which is good. I have only 2 repeats to go, plus the border. Wow, but this has been a long-term project. It is fun to knit something that requires me to think about it, though. I'm not sure what good a shawl is, but they're fun to knit.

 

That was about all I did. I went to the post office, where there was no first-class mail at all, although Ron was still sorting today's. That's something of a first, I think.

 

About the time the talking started I started playing Jewel Quest, and that occupied me for the rest of the evening. I made some progress, but I should have stopped long before I did.

 

The weather was summery. The temperature was in the lower 70s for most of the day, but around 6:00 it suddenly rose to 81. I didn't have the doors open, so no wonder I got hot. There wasn't much wind but what blew was from the north. The skies were partly cloudy all day, I think.

 

So I don't have much to report, and it's late. It seems to be fairly clear tonight, and the nearly full moon is shining in the south windows very brightly.

 

August 10

I remember what i was doing the night before last that kept me up so late. After the trouble I had with Shockwave, I decided I'd better try Flash and Java. Flash worked fine, but Java didn't, so I had to download it for this browser. That took a while, but so far all my games and things have been working just fine.

 

Last night, i went up to the north end around 9:00 and read for a little while before i took my bath and got to bed around 10:00. I slept all right, although I was up about every two hours. I believe there were probably northern lights last night, although it was cloudy over the Keweenaw. i could see a bit of clear sky over the lake and it was very bright. This was at 3;00 am, when the moon would have been about to set. The next time I was up, it was dark. It's really too bad that the moon is moving toward full. Not only won't we be able to see the northern lights, we'll miss most of the Perseid meteor shower. which peaks Friday or Saturday. 

 

I think it was round 9;00 when I got up. Buster didn't come for a long time, so I started to knit. I was on my second row when I dropped something. Yikes! What a mess lace becomes when you drop a stitch in slippery yarn! It was such a mess that I not only had to unknit what I'd just knit up, I had to unknit the last row and part of the row before it. Ugh. I finally got it all back together right, but I only knit two new rows, enough to finish the 27th repeat. Not what I planned.

 

I weighed myself this morning, and not only have I not gained any weight, I may have lost a couple of pounds. I want to keep track of it, because I've been eating yogurt during the day when, last year, I would have had a couple of pieces of chocolate. Chocolate is like cigarettes: you can stop using it, but you never get over your addiction. What I wouldn't give for a Lake Champlain truffle! Yum!

 

Anyway, I didn't do very much. I made a couple of phone calls. I need to add the new computers and the printer to my insurance policy, but we are apparently still waiting to hear if the company will let us cancel the old policy and write a new one. I am still having a terrible time with my agent: she simply will not return phone calls. I'm not sure what to do about that.

 

I also called the propane company to complain about my new budget bill. That turned into a long conversation, in which I learned a few things about how they figure the budget payments. It turns out that they completely miscalculated my budget payment last year - it should have been about $100 more, and while they said they would look at it in January, they don't do that anymore. So now it's up to me, the customer, to keep track of my balance and tell them if I think I will have a large balance, which I do now. The only way they have to get my monthly payment down to a reasonable amount is to pay the remaining balance by the end of the month. I'm not sure how I'm going to do that, what with the computer bill coming due and my taxes due in September - and oh, yes, I just remembered, my long term care insurance comes due then, too. Yie Time to call Terry, I'm afraid. Anyway, I kept having a hard time not thinking about all of that at 3:00 am this morning, 

 

Still, I'm not sorry I got the computers. I will just have to start paying interest, i guess.

 

Later this afternoon, the guy from the glass company came and replaced the screen in the patio door with aluminum. We all hope that will help me not have to have the door rescreened every year. It was good that I could keep the door closed for the past few days, because that pesky squirrel tore a hole in the other side, and although I taped it up a bit, he began to tear into it above the tape, and he tore another small hole up by the door latch. He was apparently out there when the repairman was working. He knows where the good stuff comes from, and he wants some!

 

The weather was more like September. It was clear when I got up this morning, and it stayed clear all day, although it's not very transparent. The temperature got down to around 60 overnight, and it has been windy all day, with gusts up to almost 30 mph from the north. The temperature did finally get up to 69, but it's still breezy. There were little whitecaps on the harbor all day.

 

I did a very few things, getting rid of some of the boxes in the studio and organizing a few magazines, but I didn't do very much. When I got dressed, something had happened to my right shoulder, and it was sore and creaky all day. I think that probably means I'm not getting enough fluids and I will have to take care of that. It's some better now, although it still aches, and i was tottering around all day on creaky legs. My back hurt when I got up, but it's better now, too. Part of that may be because it was very humid this morning and now the humidity has dropped to around 50%. It just takes me a while to catch up.

 

Now it's time to toddle up to the north end again and try to get to sleep early. I was sorry to see that the days are down to 14 hours now, and it's really getting obvious. I'm not sure, because I've lost my charts, but I get the feeling that we spend a whole lot more time with very little sun than we do with lots of sun. i will have to try to print out those charts on the new printer.

 

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

 

August 9

After I uploaded this last night, I did something i don't remember on the computer, and it was close to midnight before I got to bed. So even though it was 10:00 before I got up this morning, I'm tired, and I didn't do anything much to speak of today. Sigh.

 

The cat didn't come when I got up, so I knitted four rows on the shawl, added what I had forgotten to the night pill dispenser, and finally Buster got his brushing. 

 

I was tired and creaky all day, so I did nothing. I finally had to give up and buy Zuma's Revenge, because they rooked me out of the coins I was supposed to have. When I tried to buy it from the Gateway partner that put it on my computer, they would only sell it to me if I joined their "club", at great expense to me. So I went  out to Google and discovered that it is for sale by the publisher for the same price, no strings attached. It took over an hour to download, and i had to start it over from scratch (not a bad thing, after the practice I've had), but I played it until I just couldn't win one level. Now I can play it any time I want. I need to find a way to tell WildTangent that I don't like their way of doing business. I do like to play games - always have - but I don't want to get roped into paying $7 a month for the next year, with no assurance I could get out of the deal after that. They may think they have a cash cow, but some of us know better.

 

About the time I started for bed last night, the rains came, with some thunder and lightning, and that cooled it off a whole lot. I was up around 3;00, and there were stars in the north and lightning in the south. Sort of neat. Some people said they saw northern lights, but I didn't, but it was still quite cloudy. The temperature today stayed right around 70 all day, with winds in the 20-30 mph range. Now it's down to 64 and still windy. For a while it was almost clear, but now the sky is mostly cloudy again, and it's still windy. There were whitecaps on the harbor almost all day.

 

Now I'm tired, and I do need a bath tonight. It's a cool, windy night in the field.

 

August 8

I was too tired to take a bath last night, so I was in bed by 10:30, and wow, did I sleep! I was only up twice all night long. I got up around 9;30, so I guess I mostly got caught up. I brushed the cat and did four more rows on the shawl.

 

I had two tasks for today but only one of them got done for various reasons. There is a lot of email to read on Mondays, and then there is my surfing. I did finally wash sheets, towels, and a whole bunch of placemats and potholders. They are in the dryer now. I've only been meaning to do that for a month or more.

 

Another reason I didn't do the bird feeders was that I spent about three hours on the phone with Adobe. Ever since I've had this computer, I've been having trouble with the Shockwave player. My daily jigsaw puzzle uses it, and I would download it, it would work for a couple of days, and then it would stop. So I would download it again...or try to. The download stopped working a while ago. So we went around and around for about three hours until I found that a nasty little line under the "Safety" button had been checked - "ActiveX filtering". Well. As it turns out, Shockwave won't download or run with out Flash and Flash won't work without ActiveX. I'm not sure how that check mark got there or why, and why it would sometimes work and sometimes not, or why Flash worked on my crossword puzzles, but then, I don't know the innards of ActiveX. It all worked, finally, and we'll see how it works tomorrow.

 

I have to say that I was impressed by Adobe's tech support. Obviously, they are all Indians, but they were knowledgeable, patient and polite. My only complaint was that the tech had the tendency to talk too fast and mumble a bit, so with my slight hearing impairment, sometimes I had a hard time understanding him. His boss was great. And even though the website says you have to pay for it, the call was free. So I had a good tech support experience and my Adobe plug-ins all work.

 

Then we had chicken, and Buster ate so much I'm sure his little tummy was bulging. He is a happy kitty, I think. 

 

After that, it was off to church, and we had a nice crowd tonight - 18 or 20, I think. It was another good sermon with lots of gospel, even though it took off from the story of Joseph and his brothers. MaryAnn had baked a mixed berry pie, and that was good, too. So it was a nice evening.

 

Now Buster is trying to sleep with his chin draped over my left arm (better than the right one) and I am finishing up my JD. 

 

The weather turned out to be nice. It got down to 55 overnight, with very high humidity, but it rose quickly into the low 70s, and the dew point stayed in the 50s, so it was nice. The high temperature was 77, briefly, around 4:00, but it was around 75 for most of the afternoon. The skies were partly cloudy. Now there is a half moon shining in the windows, but it keeps getting covered by clouds. There wasn't much wind, although now it's gusting up to about 15 mph from the southwest. There was a rain cloud off to our west, so we may see a shower tonight.

 

I didn't open the patio door, because I have to do some more work on the tear in the screen. The squirrel was inside it, between the screen and the door a couple of times over the weekend, and it clearly knows what a door handle is for. Anyway, while I was on the phone, I got pretty warm in here.

 

I was on the phone so long that the battery died. I had expected that battery to hold more of a charge than 3 hours' worth, but what do I know. I think Rick's has the same problem.

 

My feet and ankles were still sore this morning, and they still aren't right. I didn't think i did that much walking yesterday, but then I might have. I should wear a pedometer when I go shopping, just to find out how far I really walk. Anyway, my legs are telling me it was too far. So it was good to sit on the phone this afternoon.

 

Now it's a partly cloudy night in the field, and it's time to totter up to the north end again. 

 

August 7

I got to bed a little after 10:30 last night, after I had to trudge back to the kitchen and reset the dishwasher. I don't know what happened, except that I hit "wash" instead of "delay wash", and then I might have hit another button or two before I decided to let be. Anyway, I was glad I checked back, because it hadn't run, and that would have been an unpleasant surprise this morning. 

 

I started out to sleep well, except that I was up every hour and a half or so with more watery stools than I've had in a while. I think it may have been the steak I ate last night. If so, I guess I'll just have to live with it, because I'm not going to stop eating an occasional piece of beef. Anyway, after I got back to bed the second or third time, my feet were so sore and twitchy that I just could not get to sleep. I wondered, because before I took my bath, what had come out looked very cloudy, like there was flour in it or something. So it seems like all my before-dinner meds went right through, including the Neurontin. Finally, around 3:30, I gave up and took some more. I don't like to do that, but clearly, the first dose had never gotten absorbed. Then I slept, but of course, I didn't get nearly enough sleep, and I really, really didn't want to get up when the alarm went off at 7:00.

 

However, I did get up, because my plan was to go shopping after church. When i washed my hair last night, I decided to use the least drying shampoo and conditioner I have, and see what happened. Well, what happened was, the ends, which have been very frizzy and dry, weren't nearly as dry, but with the humidity, i had the same frizzy bush I've been dealing with for some time. I think it may be time to invest in some less drying hair products, so the next time I'm at Wal-Mart, I will look around and hope I can get small quantities of some things. The problem is, my scalp is still oily, so I should use products for oily hair, but my hair isn't oily anymore. I may just have to deal with it for a while. I think my mother was about my age when she began to dry out, so I'm not terribly surprised. but getting used to not being oily is going to be hard.

 

Anyway, I put my hair up in a French clip, although it took me six tries to get it looking at all good, and then before I got to church, the little short hairs were starting to hang down in all directions. That looks messy, and I don't like it, but I'm not going to start using hair spray on it. I did that for years; I hated it then and I hate it now.

 

Then I was off to church. I was a bit concerned, because a car pulled out in front of me at the fort (like there was so much traffic behind me! I hate people who do that) and went very slowly into town and turned down US-41. Fortunately, they turned in at the Mountain Lodge, or I would have been a basket case before I got to Lac LaBelle Road. There were a few cars, and I think one camper, but nothing too serious.

 

Church was good again. Pastor leans heavily on the basic message of Christianity: God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life," and even we who believe that need to hear it over and over again. MaryAnn and her husband were there with their two granddaughters, who were pretty good for 6 and 4 years old. So that was nice.

 

Then it was off to Pat's. Bad idea. Evidently Sunday after church (or in the early afternoon if you don't do church) is THE time to shop around these parts. The place was a zoo. It was particularly hard because with the weather, I was having a hard time walking, and by the time I zig-zagged through the store (I was over in the dairy section when I remembered that I needed to get cat food), I was totally crippled. My shoes fit fine when I put them on, but as soon as my feet start to swell, ouch! My toes were so sore I could hardly walk at all by the time I got out, with a very large order, although the total came to less than I was afraid of. 

 

I will be eating lots of Wan Chai Ferry frozen Chinese (not a bad thing), but it seems that the new fad is these things in bags that you cook in a skillet, so I tried a couple of new ones. They had raspberries, at great expense, but that is still my favorite berry, so I got some. I also got our usual rotisserie chicken, but I didn't have any tonight, because I got some pasta salads. When I finished (finally!) putting everything away, including a trip down to the basement to the freezer, I was starving, so I started eating my deli salads and  grape tomatoes, but then I wasn't hungry for dinner, so I had some more pasta salads. We will have chicken tomorrow. Buster liked both the ham in one salad and the tuna in the tuna-mac salad (that is good, and sooo simple - pasta, tuna, mayo and peas). 

 

Anyway, by the time I got done with all that, I was exhausted, and my legs are so sore (and my right knee) that I can hardly even hobble. That, plus Zuma, is probably the reason I had a horrible accident late this afternoon, so my nice stone-colored shorts are in the washer, ready to be dried now. Sigh. It was my own fault, I know, but still. I ought to be able to hold it.

 

The weather was all right. It started raining lightly before I took my bath last night, and it rained until nearly 3:00. Then there was another light shower right after I got up, I guess. So it was cool and very humid when I started for church (64 and 87% humidity). When I got out of church, it was around 75 in Calumet, and I was dripping by the time I got out of Pat's. It's surprising how warm 75 feels and how cool 71 feels. However, it never got warmer than 71 here, and the dew point has been dropping all day, so it's not at all bad right now. There was hardly any wind all day, but what there was came from the northeast, which is sure to keep the temperature down.

 

When I got home, Buster went and very carefully did his business in the tray, so I would know he knows about it, but he has also been peeing over the side instead of in it. Clumping litter is great, but it's not so good when it's very humid and the clumps tend to have the consistency of wet clay. I did clean it out, and I'll hope he will go inside the next time. If not, I may have to bring up one of the big trays...not that he couldn't go over the side of that, too. I'm sure he would never use one of those things with the lid on it, which is the only way to be sure of keeping the stuff inside. I think he may have felt a bit better today, but he still wanted to sit on me all afternoon, and he is now asleep and using my left hand for a pillow. That's better than my right hand, which needs to be able to move from the keyboard to the cursor keys to the mouse. I was sure he wouldn't be pleased that I went away at a bit after 9;00 this morning and didn't get back until 2:00, but evidently he was more relieved than mad, so he didn't pee on anything that I know of.

 

Now the sky is almost clear, and the half moon is shining in the south windows. It's a calm, nearly clear evening in the field and i am tired. However, after my escapade of this afternoon, I think I need a bath tonight, so I'll be off to the north end soon. I am really tired.

 

August 6

A rather large CME (Coronal Mass Ejection - I won't write that again) hit the earth yesterday, and Amanda and I saw it, and so did one of her friends. When I turned out the lights at about 11:00, as soon as my eyes adapted to the dark, I knew we had northern lights. The sky was as bright as clouds under the full moon, bright enough to cast shadows in the house. But I was tired, so I decided to take my chances and i went to sleep. I woke up around 1:30, and when I looked out the bathroom windows, the light was still there, and my hand was casting shadows on my leg. Mostly the sky was just very light, all the way up to zenith, or as near as I could see, but there were pillars and billows and clouds, and it was changing rather rapidly. I watched it as best I could for about half an hour before I smiled happily and went back to bed. When I was up around 5:00, it was all over, but oh, it was a nice show for so early in the solar cycle.

 

I have to say, it made me feel really good. I still remember the shows we had in 2002-2005, and I remember very clearly only hoping that I would live to see another solar max. It won't happen for a few years yet, but at this point, chances look good that I'll see it.

 

The only problem I have now is that the trees to my north have grown so high that I don't have nearly as good a view as I did back then, and as we head toward max, I may have to break down and make myself totter out to Pebbly Beach, or even better, up to the top of Brockway. We'll see. 

 

Amanda says they saw some meteors, too, most likely early Perseids, but I wasn't outside. so I didn't see anything like that. Unfortunately, I think the moon will interfere with the Perseids this year, but we'll see about that. Most years, it's more like clouds that interfere with meteor watching.

 

So I got up around 9:00 and filled the pill dispensers, brushed the cat, and finished the 26th repeat on the shawl. That was about all I did besides playing with the computer. I was no good at Zuma at all, although I finished a level. 

 

There were a few things I should have done. Buster peed on some of the porch furniture cushions, and I should have tried to hunt up some of my Nature's Miracle to treat them, but I looked at all those boxes and got tired. I have no clue where it might be. I did get some Oxy Clean stuff that is supposed to blitz pet odors, but frankly, I think it doesn't remove them like Nature's Miracle does, it just covers them up, and the so-called "perfume" it leaves makes me ill. I will use it, but i don't like it.

 

I don't think Buster feels good, and Jasmine thinks so, too. He is still eating, though, and I think he used the little tray overnight, although I could be wrong about that. I wish he'd just go back to using the sink. Then I could keep track of him. He spent a good portion of the day on my lap, although it's really hard to type when he sits down. Now he is sitting up, so it's easier. I had a little steak for dinner tonight, and he really wanted some, but he can't have that. He did help me finish off the fish spread, though. At least his ears are cool tonight. This morning, they were warm, and i don't like that.

 

The weather was so-so. I mentioned that the humidity was rising last night. It continued to rise all day, and the relative humidity was over 80%. Now, it's 90%. Ugh. The temperature last night and until around 1:00 was between 70 and 72, and then it dropped abruptly to 66, where it has been ever since. There was almost no wind, but what there is swung around to the east before it went calm. At least it was calm according to the NWS. There has been a light breeze coming in my windows all afternoon, sometimes quite chilly. It started out fairly clear this morning, but it has now clouded up completely. There is rain south and west of us, which may be coming our way. At least, it's supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow morning. I will go to church, though.

 

So that was my quiet day. I have to get the dishwasher ready to run and I have to take a bath, but I think I will read a bit before that. It's a cloudy, calm evening in the field.

 

August 5

After I uploaded this, I started reading again for far too long. I had to take a bath, and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. This has got to stop. I woke up around 8:00, I think, and went back to bed - and it was noon when I woke up again. Oops. It made for an awfully short day. What with the email and all, I had only just finished the daily surfing when it was time to listen to the talking. 

 

I got to playing Zuma again, and I'm making progress slowly. This one has a definite end, I think, and I'd like to either reach it or determine that I can't go further without having to buy it. They have game coins that you can buy, and I got a bunch when I bought Jewel Quest. The only thing is, I don't quit the game until I have to. That just happened. As I mentioned before, when I play these things, there comes a time when I just can't concentrate on them enough anymore, so I might as well quit for the day.

 

In the course of the afternoon, I discovered that Buster has been doing his business on the couch cushions on the porch, evidently for some time. It seems clear that for some reason not known to me, he won't go downstairs anymore. So when I went down to the basement to get my dinner, I brought up his small tray, and he seems to have used it even before i took the litter scoop out of it. I need to clean up the porch, both to get up the odd turds and to get the glass up. We'll see how soon I do that, but i really must. I wish I could get inside his little fuzzy head to see what his problem is, but I guess we will have a tray upstairs for some time. At some point, I may try coaxing him downstairs again by moving the tray, first inside the door, and then down to the bottom of the stairs. That has worked before, but I won't start too soon. He is old and funny, and heaven knows what set him off this time. He did go downstairs after the last couple of times I washed out the trays, and then he just stopped, even though the trays are quite clean. Jasmine still goes down there, but then she's not quite as fussy as he is. Strange.

 

The weather was nice. The temperature has been around 75, plus or minus a degree or two, for the past 24 hours, There was a little wind around noon, 15 mph or so, but it died down later. The dew point is rising, and the humidity is now around 73%, which is getting a bit damp. It was partly cloudy all day, but there was a lot of sunshine. I like having the house opened up.

 

However, I almost had squirrels in the studio again. I didn't get the feeders out today, and late this afternoon, there were at least two squirrels outside having an argument, and one of them, I think the one who got in before, kept trying to get in again, at the new hole I taped up yesterday. That is one smart squirrel. It knows where the hole was, and it knows how to tear the screen. I kept having to stop what I was doing and shout at them, and they made a real racket.

 

Now I have to decide whether to go to bed, which I should, or stay up and listen to Smetana's Ma Vlast, played by, I think, the Czech Philharmonic. I love that piece, and this is performance was recorded last Wednesday at the Proms in London, with a humungous orchestra (four harps, for heaven's sake!).

 

It's a lovely, warm summer night in the field.

 

August 4

In spite of my problems, it seems like I got FrontPage to work all right. That's a relief.

 

I got to bed by 10:00 or so, but I had forgotten to take my pills, and I had a hard time getting to sleep. After I took the Neurontin, around midnight, I was fine, and I slept well and long. I was awake around 7:30, and I heard the Queen sound off at 8:00, but then I went back to sleep and it was after 10:00 before I got up.

 

Buster got his brushing, and I folded and put away the underpants, so that job is done. I had to throw away four pairs of the oldest pants, that either had no elastic left or had holes and runs at various places Some of them were still wearable, but why should I put up with holes and runs? 

 

Let's see. I went to the post office where, amazingly enough, my new calculator had just arrived. The rest of the stuff was junk, not worth the trip. However, I had my rebate to mail and I deposited Arthur's gift (thanks, Arthur, but you really shouldn't, you know. I'm grateful). I went to the store and got some JD, a large bottle. Their prices are higher than the supermarkets, but after all, there is the mileage and the convenience to consider. I also got some lettuce and some eggs. I have two nice heads of lettuce that have gone bad (after a month, I should thinks so), which disappointed me, but there were a couple of weeks where I couldn't eat any. And that was about it.

 

Right before i started this, I copied the entire web from the TravelDisk again. I thought Expression might have screwed it up, and it seems I was right. Then I copied what has changed back from the server, so everything should be up to date. Now everything looks just fine (I haven't tried the navigation view, though), and all I have to do is keep Expression from doing it over again. Well, the TravelDisk and the server are still there, so I can do this exercise again, any time. I am going to copy everything into a different folder for Expression to work on, and when I get it all right, then I'll copy it back. What a pain! It seems to me there should be a better migration path to the new software, but of course, that would never occur to Microsoft.

 

The weather was nice, if summery. The temperature flirted with 80 all afternoon, and there was a light southwest wind. It was clear for most of the day, although there are some high clouds now. The humidity was quite low. I opened up the whole house and turned on the fan in the studio, and I wasn't too uncomfortable.

 

I know, the bird feeders didn't get out today, but they and the pail all need filling and I didn't get around to it. My pushy little squirrel tried to tear a hole in the screen again, so now I have some more duct tape on it. I threw out what was left in the deck feeder, and maybe that will be enough.

 

The new calculator is impressive, a lot more than I'll ever need, but it has an enter key, and all the functionality of the old one and a lot more. It is programmable, but the user guide is on a CD, so I will have to read that before I really know what I have. At least it does what the old one did, and I now have my checkbook balance safely saved in it. It uses the same batteries that the computers and my garage door opener do. Evidently that is the new norm - 2032 instead of 357. Well, OK, I can live with that, I guess. They seem easy to get. What's neat is that they gave me an extra set of batteries, even though there are batteries in the calculator already. 

 

So now it's a warm, partly cloudy night in the field, and I'll be going up to the north end soon. Tonight is bath night, and after the sweating I did yesterday and today, I need it.

 

August 3

Well, I gave up. I just finished downloading FrontPage to the new computer. I spent a couple of hours in Expression this afternoon trying to figure out how to get the left-hand border to show up, and I couldn't. I even went out to Amazon to see if I could find a good book, and none of the ones available had good ratings, so I gave up. FrontPage doesn't work quite the same way it did under ME, but it seems to work. It found my website, and I can get to the journal. A lot of the pages look really weird, and possibly Expression screwed up the borders, but I think I can up load this file using WinSCP. I will be checking it. What a pain, but now I don't have to switch over to the old computer (or I hope I don't!). We'll see how it works. Eventually I hope to transition over to Expression, but in the meantime, I don't want to postpone shutting down the old computer indefinitely.

 

For some reason I don't remember, I didn't get to bed until about midnight last night, but I slept very well, with the usual wakeups. I got up around 9:30, and I knitted four more rows on the shawl (let's see...if I knit four rows a day and I have four and a third repeats plus the edging to go...) and i brushed the cat.

 

That was about the extent of my activities for the day. When I got to the studio, I discovered that somebody had drained the hummingbird feeder, and a while later, I discovered that the mesh feeder wasn't there. So when I went out to get the hummingbird feeder, I looked over the deck railing, and there it and its hanger were on the ground. So I took a foray out the front door and around the studio. They had unhooked the feeder and dropped it on the ground, but they couldn't get it open. So I was one day too late. I just forgot to bring things in last night. I won't do that tonight. Squirrels and chipmunks are all right, but not coons.

 

The weather was nice. It was very humid overnight, But the humidity dropped off a lot this afternoon, and the skies cleared up nicely, although it is still a bit hazy overhead. The temperature got up to 74 briefly, and for a while this morning there was a 15 mph wind from the north. It was too cool to have the doors open, but the east windows are all open.

 

Now i must try to get this thing uploaded properly, then it will be off to the north end. It's a nearly clear, warmish evening in the field.

 

August 2

I don't remember exactly what I was doing last night, but I did it until after 2:00 am, so it was 2:30 before I got to  bed. Oops. I slept, of course, but after about 9:00 I only dozed, so I got up around 10:30. I brushed the cat, but I didn't knit.

 

I do remember that I downloaded the latest version of the Acrobat reader, and I wanted to ask them about the PDF writer I have on this system, but (around 11:30) I kept getting messages saying they were having a high volume on their website, so I quit that. I just looked and the PDF writer is an Adobe product, but it is circa 1997, and I couldn't find any reference to it on the website. Boy, would I love to port it to the new system. It's so nice, when I loook at those recipe sites, to just print a PDF of the ones that seem interesting, rather than have to waste paper on them. One of these days, I'll get back to Adobe and ask them about it.

 

Anyway, it was a short afternoon, although it didn't take that long to do my surfing. i played some games, including an updated version of Zuma, which I loved when I started playing it, but it kept bringing down the old-old computer and probably contributed to its demise. It's a sort of shooter game, but not quite. I played it for over 2 hours, which is about enough. I've found that with most ot these games, especially those that are timed and require a lot of concentration, after two or three hours (or maybe less), I begin to lose it and it's best to stop, even for a few minutes. I tried that, and when I got back with my dinner, it was even worse, so I gave up. I can play it for free for a while, but eventually, I'll run out of "coins" and either have to give it up or buy it. As I recall with the old version I bought, I finally came to a level I couldn't win. It was the same with jewel quest, although I don't think I've quite hit that point with the new one yet. Anyway, it's fun. i haven't gotten back to Jewel Quest lately. Mostly, I play Bookworm or Spider Solitaire. I like those because they aren't timed, but even with Bookworm, I burn out after a while and have to quit.

 

Anyway, late in the afternoon, I finally swept the kitchen floor a bit (it is really gross), and I got all the clean dishes out of the dishwasher and actually put most of the stuff away. There. That's done.

 

I didn't look outside when I got to the studio this morning, but later, I went out to fill the deck feeder for the squirrels, and I discovered that somebody (ahem!) had unhooked the tube feeder and its branch hook and neatly hooked them over a branch about 4 feet from the ground. I was able to reach it, but then I had to get a longer hook to pull the branch down to where I could hook the branch hook over it.  Amazingly enough, I managed to do the whole thing between camera shots, so you didn't see me bending down and reaching up.  So tonight I better bring in the feeders. I don't know who did that or how, but I don't want them to get other ideas.

 

The weather was yucky, frankly. I was awake around 8:00, and a nice fine, soft rain was falling. According to the NWS, it rained from about 6:00 until about 9:00. So when I finally got up, it was horribly humid. It was like that all day. There was a little sunshine around the middle of the day, and the temperature got up to 78 for a couple of hours. It wasn't bad, because thee was a west wind gusting up to around 20 mph. Then between 2:00 and 3:00. we had another rain shower and the temperature dropped. Now it's 66, the humidity is 97%. and there is a light wind from the north. It's very foggy.

 

I kept forgetting to remark about the length of daylight. We passed through 15 hours of daylight over the weekend - 15:01 on Saturday and 14:58 or so on Sunday. So we've lost a little over an hour from the first of July. The sun rose this morning at 6:30  am and set at 9:24 pm. I hate to see the long days go, but that's the way it is. Sigh. I had to reset the camera start and stop times.

 

I had another conversation with my insurance agent, although not with the person who is supposed to be my agent. I don't know what will come of that. Apparently the company has to sign off on the maneuver they are trying to pull, and sometimes that takes a while. In the meantime, my last payment is overdue, and that bothers me. Besides, the mortgage company wants my proof of insurance, and I can't give it to them. Sigh. It's always something.

 

I got together the stuff I need to get a rebate on Photoshop Elements, and it was amusing. It was so humid that the automatic document feed ate my receipt, and I had a heck of a time getting it out. I learned a few things about that gizmo, though. The paper felt like it had been dipped in water. Otherwise, I like that printer a lot. One of these days, I'll be fiddling either with my note cards or with my prayer book and we'll see how well it really works. I think it even chimes when it's through printing. Wow.

 

I love all these newfangled gadgets, as I'm sure you can see, but I keep marveling at how far things have come even just in the past ten years. And your cell phone has a more powerful CPU in it and much more memory than the first computers I ever programmed for. The printer has a more powerful CPU in it than this old computer. I found a desktop gadget that shows CPU usage on the new computer, and I finally closed it, because everything I did didn't register on it. I wonder what you have to do to get it to really work? Maybe I should join SETI at home, except that I don't believe in what they're doing. This isn't a supercomputer by any means, but wow! I sure have a humungous amount of computing power on my desk! I need to move (or try to move) the fractal programs over and see how they work. Fast, I bet.

 

So now I'm tired, and I do need to take a bath tonight. It's a foggy, yucky night in the field.

 

August 1

I did crash last night. I was in bed by 8:30. The sun should have been shining in my eyes, but fortunately it was placed right behind the vertical center bar of the windows, so it didn't bother me.

 

I must have gone to sleep, because when the phone rang at 9:30, I was groggy. It was Debbie calling to wish me a happy birthday. She was on her way home from work (I guess) and somebody passing on the other side of the road ran her off of it, but she was all right. It wasn't a marathon conversation, because she had to get up and go to work this morning at 7:00. Ugh.

 

Anyway, that woke me up, and I had a little trouble going back to sleep. I was up any number of times, but I was able to go back to sleep. I got up around 9:30, brushed the cat and did four more rows on the shawl.

 

I didn't do anything, again, except play with the computer. There are some things I should be doing, but oh, well.

 

Tonight was vespers, and I was almost late, but they were a few minutes late starting, too, so it was all right. It was another nice service and another good sermon. There weren't as many of us tonight, but that's all right, too. People come and go in the summer.

 

The weather was nice again. The temperature was in the low 70s all day, and for a while this afternoon there was a north wind around 15 mph that has now gone away. The skies were nearly clear, and it was lovely weather. I can take a lot of this.

 

Buster has peed in my desk chair twice now, and he spent part of the day on my lap. I just may have to break down and take him to the vet, even though I don't want to, and I'm sure he doesn't want to go. First I will have to dig out the carrier, which is in the breezeway under a huge pile of grocery bags and returnable bottles. I know where it is - getting it out will be the problem. We'll see.

 

A while ago, the coyote pack started howling again. It scared away a flock of geese, and they have been howling off and on ever since. I hate that noise! I don't know why they start howling at this time of year, but they have ever since they moved in around Lake Lily. Better come and go quietly like the wolves do.

 

So that is all I know, and it's time for bath and bed again. It's a clear, calm quite warm night in the field. And it's August already. Sigh.

 

Last  updated 09/01/11 08:59 PM