A View From the Field








September, 2011

September 30

I guess I was really tired last night. I left all my windows open (on the computer, I mean), including FrontPage, and I totally forgot to upload the journal. Sorry to anyone who tried to read it before 10:30 or so this morning when I realized what I'd done.


I was tired, and I was in bed by 10:15. I slept hard, although I was up a couple of times. The wind blew and the lake roared all night long, which was a wonderful lullaby, I think I got up about 9:00 this morning, and Buster came to get petted, although he didn't stay. I finished the birch leaves square and started the next one, which is fern. 


I did my surfing, and then I spent about four hours deciding on a camera. I really appreciate the people who sent me the link to the Microsoft page that listed which cameras are certified to run with Windows 7 64 bit. That really helped a lot. I have also learned to appreciate the people who bother to write reviews for Amazon. That's how I found out about the Windows 7 incompatibilities and how bad Logitech is. One of their cameras is the highest rated on Amazon, but wow! Those bad reviews really turned me off from it. I have had bad experiences with Logitech in the past, and what I read just confirmed that I don't want anything to do with their stuff. Anyway, I finally decided on a Microsoft camera.


Then I ordered it, and when I got the confirmation, I realized I had made a mistake when I ordered it, so I had to call Amazon and get them to cancel it before I reordered it. 


So that took up most of my afternoon. I went to the post office, where there wasn't much stuff, and I got eggs, which I forgot the last time I was at the store. Trevor has a sinus infection, by the way, and is on antibiotics that are making him feel better already. So that was good news.


Then I had to rush home to receive my Schwan's order, but I made it, and I managed to circumvent a mistake I'd made in that one, too. Of course, I did it yesterday, and I was really tired yesterday. It all came out all right, though, and I have a couple of new things to try. I even got some of the last salmon teriyaki that they had. I'm sorry that one is being discontinued, but it is expensive, and that was probably one reason it didn't go over very well. At least, I liked it.


The weather was day-after-the-gale. We actually had the highest winds that were recorded about 10:00 last night, with 36 mph sustained winds and 48 mph gusts. Before I tottered off to bed, I checked Stannard Rock, which is about halfway between the end of Keweenaw and the Huron Mountains, and which always has the highest winds. It was reporting 51 mph winds with 66 mph (as well as I can remember) gusts. And the mid-Superior buoy was reporting over 12 foot waves. I mean, it was a nice gale.


It was still blowing today, although the wind died down slowly all day, and it is now only in the 17-25 mph range. All this was from the northeast, more or less. The temperature hung right around 46 all day. It was mostly cloudy, although every so often there would be a ray of sunshine or a patch of blue sky. All the clouds were those big, puffy ones that in the winter sometimes have snow in them. We didn't have any rain today. The total for yesterday came out at 1.76", which we sorely needed. Of course, they had a record over at Marquette, but that's the way those rain clouds seem to move. At least we got some.


So that is about all I know, and I will remember to do the upload tonight. Now it's a cool, windy night in the field, but the weekend is supposed to be better.


September 29

Generators are wonderful, but more about that later.


I was late getting to bed last night, and since I got up at 9:00, I didn't get enough sleep and I am tired. I read most of my email (Thursday is a day when I get a lot of interesting things) but I didn't have a chance to do any surfing before I was off to my massage.


I left in the middle of a rainstorm, of course, and it rained for most of the afternoon. Johanna and I had a lot to talk about. She is doing better but still doesn't have a lot of energy, and while she was sick, she got to thinking about everything she was doing and she has decided to cut back and make some time for herself. Since a lot of what she was doing was volunteer work, I have to agree that she needs to reorganize her priorities. Some stuff had happened that I only peripherally knew about, so that was all very interesting.


It was raining when I came home, too, so I ignored it and did the rest of my surfing. Around 2:00 the wind started to rise, so I went out in the rain and brought in the bird feeders, which were nearly empty any. Otherwise, I didn't do much.


Sometime between 3:00 and 4:00, the power went out. I don't remember exactly when it was, but the last report from the NWS station was at 2:50. By that time it was pretty hairy around here. It was raining, and it was blowing 32 mph with 41 mph gusts, and around here, at least, it was coming from the east, although down in Hougton it was from the north. Interesting. Anyway, by that time, we had already had 1.6" of rain, and for a while they had a flash flood warning out for Keweenaw County. I guess it's been canceled now, but that was a lot of rain. The temperature was around 59 all morning, but right before the power went out, it had dropped to 52. and I'm sure it's down in the 40s now. The lake has been roaring at a great rate, and earlier in the afternoon, every so often I would hear "whump!" against the east windows, followed by a handful of rain. It was interesting to hear the wind coming from that side for a change.


The power is still out. It came back for a few minutes at least three times, but it went right down again. A while ago, I got an automated call from UPPCO saying that the power was back up, so I called them, got a person and said, "The hell it is!". It most certainly is not up. I wasn't at all surprised that the power went down, though, with this wind.


The only casualties of the power failure were that I lost my Bookworm game, at which I had rung up over 3 million points - a new high for me. That was disappointing, but it's just a game, and I'll do it again sometime. Also, the microwave wasn't working at full power. I had been going to cook tonight, but I just didn't feel like it, so I put my pork chops in the fridge and I'll do it tomorrow. Power or no power, I do have to take a bath tonight.


Ah! The power has just come back up. I have no assurance that it won't go down again, but it's nice not to hear the generator anymore and to be able to really hear the lake roaring away.


So that was a very quiet day, and I was going to read, but I think I won't. I think I will totter up to the north end and cuddle down under the comforter. It's a hairy night in the field, and we are having our equinoctial gale.


September 28

I got to bed around 11:00 last night When I turned out the light, it was so foggy I could just barely see the lighthouse light. It didn't bother me. I slept pretty well, with the usual wakeups. I was awake at 8:00, but that seemed too early, so I went back to sleep, and it was 10:00 before I got up. I petted the cat and knitted. I finished the lily of the valley square and did about the first repeat on the birch leaves square. Unfortunately, there is another lily of the valley square on this tier, but not for a while. I've had enough nupps for a while.


So I didn't do a lot. I had so much stuff to read that I didn't finish my surfing until after I went to the post office. It was quiet around there today, but Ron had some news. Trevor has come down with some bug that left him a bit dizzy, and when he got up in the night to get something to drink out of the fridge, he blacked out for a few seconds and hit his head on the stove. So Ron had to take him to the doctor this morning, and it seems he didn't do any serious damage, but then they want him back for another blood test to make sure he doesn't have something serious. So Ron has been running up and down the peninsula like gas was 50 a gallon. Probably it's nothing serious, although he may have a slight concussion, but it's a worry for any parent.


I got the dishwasher mostly unloaded, and I washed some more throws and folded all the ones I washed yesterday. I need to get some of that detergent with Febreeze in it, because I think Buster can probably smell where he peed on the throws. When Febreeze first came out, it was a wash additive, and that was really convenient. Now it's always in something else, so I have to have all sorts of different detergents around for special things, and that's a pain.


Thanks for the input you've given on webcams. One reason I was so late with my surfing was that I got an offer for one from Amazon, and then I got to looking at the customer reviews of it and of the one I had put in my shopping cart, and I ended up taking it out. There seem to be two problems: Logitech has absolutely terrible customer support, very buggy drivers, and most important, nobody has been able to get one of their cameras to work with Windows 7 64 bit, which is what I have. So that takes care of all that. Microsoft makes webcams that should work, and HP makes some, too, but I couldn't find any information about whether they have a Windows 7 64bit compatible driver. I couldn't find any information about whether the Microsoft cameras take sill pictures. I don't know why they wouldn't, but there isn't anything that says they do. I stopped looking after a while, because I had other things to do, but it's taking so long, I guess I'm just going to have to leave things as they are until I get back from Detroit. I have to conclude that most people running webcams that take still pictures aren't using the same cameras one uses for Skype, for example, and my guess is that my new hardware is so far out on the curve that not a lot of vendors are supporting it. What a pain. I had hoped to get the old computer shut down, but it looks like I'm stuck with it for a while.


It was very foggy when I was up at 8:00, but it had gone away by the time I got up for good. It was a warmish, very humid day. The temperature got up to 63 for a while, although it was mostly around 60 plus or minus a degree or two. Most of the day, the humidity was over 90%, which was yucky, but it made it feel warmer than it was. There was no wind at all for most of the day.


I guess tomorrow we are in for more rain, and they are predicting the possibility of very high winds in the afternoon and evening. Drat. That will not be good for the leaves. It's also supposed to be a lot cooler. Well, we usually have a blow sometime around the equinox, so I guess that will be it.


So that was another quiet day, and I want to read a bit before I go to bed. I need to be up by 9:00 tomorrow, because I have my massage. Now it's a warmish, very damp, quiet evening in the field.


September 27

It was before 11:00 when I turned out the light. I had a little trouble going to sleep until I turned over onto my right side, then it was fine. I was up a couple of times during the night, and I got up around 9:00. Buster was right there, and he got his brushing, then I knitted half of the lily of the valley square.


I started out like every other day, doing  my surfing, and I finally got all the dirty fleece throws washed and dried. I am still not sure if Buster is peeing on them on purpose or if he is asleep and loses control of his bladder. I cleaned his tray, with him watching, so we'll see what happens now. I also folded and put away all the wash from last weekend. 


Then I finally had enough of the horrible mess on the stove side of the kitchen. I washed up all the pans, then I finally - finally! - got the stove cleaned up. it was a horrible mess, the worst it's ever been here, I think (the one on Champine got that way a couple of times). it's not pristine, but it's a whole lot better than it was. And most of the pans are clean, except for the one I used for dinner. Tomorrow maybe I can get them all put away, then I can start on all the bags, boxes and general stuff that is on the floor. I mean, it's a real garbage pit out there. I still have to go over the sink side, but it's not so bad, just a bunch of stuff I have to figure out what to do with. Suzanne wants her empty jars back, and I have a bunch of those I will have to put in a box for her.


I forgot I was going to wash dishes last night, so I have to do that tonight, because I'm out of cat dishes.


My back was stiff when I got up this morning, but after doing what I did, it felt pretty good, no thanks to the weather. 


My goodness, i really did something today! It's amazing. None of the things I did took that much time, but somehow I have a hard time getting started. I have been thinking, though, that I only have two weeks left before I go to Detroit, and there are some things that need to be done before I go, so I'd better try to do at least one thing a day. The really big one is the kitchen floor, but I have a way to go before I'll be ready to do that.


It was a good day to ignore the weather. It rained off and on all night until about 8:00, then it started again around 2:00 and it's been dripping off and on ever since. We've only had 0.29" of rain, so it hasn't poured, but we need any rain we can get. The temperature hung right around 60, plus or minus a degree or two. I had been ignoring it, and when I looked out in the middle of the afternoon, not only had it been raining, it was very foggy down the harbor. The wind was calm or nearly calm all day. It was a good day to do what I did. I'm only glad my aches and pains let me.


So that was all there was, and I'm tired again, so I will read a chapter or two, then I will totter up to the north end and snuggle down in my bed. It's a dark, dank, foggy night in the field.


September 26

I didn't look to see when I went to bed last night, but it wasn't very late. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I forgot to look up until about 6:00 this morning, when Polaris was sitting in the window, and some bright stars were rising over the trees - from the planisphere, it looks like it was the top of Cygnus, rising after it set in the evening - neat! 


I got up around 8:30 because I had to, and Buster came and got brushed and petted. I didn't knit because I thought I was going to have to go out. Along about 9:30, Johanna called to reschedule, because she has been down with a kidney infection for the past week. That girl is more fragile than I would have thought, but kidneys are nothing to fool with, so I was glad to postpone my appointment to Thursday. I hope she is better then, and I hope I haven't come down with my cold by then.


So I was early getting to the studio and early doing my surfing. I fiddled with computers for most of the day. I still could not get any pop-ups to load, even though I had the options set right, and I couldn't get Shockwave to work, either, so after I looked at the laptop, I took a deep breath and decided to do a system restore to last Thursday. It worked quickly, which was nice, but then Norton wouldn't start right. My cure for that was to do an update of Norton, and - gaak! - that was an 87mb file! Gaak!  It took quite a while, needless to say. After that, not only was Norton OK, I could do pop-ups, and Shockwave was working again, so my guess is that sometime between Saturday (when everything was fine) and Sunday, Internet Explorer got corrupted. I am disappointed that such a thing would happen on such a new system, but oh, well. The only thing that got zapped was Kabcam, but I can apparently download that at will now that I've bought it again.


That got me looking at cameras, and unfortunately, neither camera I own has a driver that will work with Windows 7. I had forgotten (again) that this system has the 64 bit version of Windows 7, and a lot of things aren't likely to work with it. So I went out to Amazon and looked at cameras. I would go with another Creative camera, because the one I have has been so good, but all of them had very low ratings. I am leery about Logitech cameras, because I think that was my first one was and it was a piece of junk, but there was one that had a very good rating, so I put it in my shopping cart, but I didn't buy it, because I have a call into PastyNet about what camera they are using for the BridgeCam, which seems to be a very nice one. I know it's down a lot, but that has more to do with the hardware and software that is backing it than with the camera itself. I haven't heard back from them. If any of you out there know about good webcams that aren't just for Skype or IM, I'd like to hear about them. This the last piece that needs to be taken care of before I shut down the old system (at least temporarily - I don't intend to get rid of it for a while), and I'd like to get it done before I go off to Detroit. Fortunately, webcams have come down in price a whole lot since I last had to worry about them, so it's not a fatal problem if I get the wrong one.


The weather was rather nice. It was clear and beautiful, and the temperature went from 48 to 59 between 8:00 and 10:00. It got up to 63 briefly, and it was over 60 for the whole afternoon. There was almost no wind at all. It was a very pretty day. 


I just got a good laugh. I thought the camera had missed the sky clouding over, but when i looked at the pictures, I realized that when I unplugged the camera from the old system, it hung everything up, and all the pictures have been the same since about 3;00 or a bit earlier. Ha! It did cloud up, and I don't know how it was at sunset because I wasn't looking. I'm rebooting now, and hopefully it will be OK from now on. Well, now it will be. I just learned that it's not nice to take away the monitor while Windows ME is shutting down. Oops. OK, now the camera shows that it's dark at 8:30, like it should.


We passed over 12 hours of daylight today, and we are still losing it at more than 3 minutes a day - sliding swiftly into the cold, dark days of winter. I hate to see it happen, although it's nice right now.


So that was another quiet day. I will read a bit before I go up to the north end and wash my hair. I have dandruff again, so it needs washing. Now it's a warmish, mostly cloudy night in the field.


September 25

I got to bed a little later than I wanted to last night, and I did not have a good night. I had a sneezing fit right after I laid down, and I woke up hot several times. Add to that sore hips and shoulders and a several trips to the bathroom, and it wasn't good. I did get up when the alarm went off, and I did make it to church, though.


As frequently happens, Environment Canada scored. The NWS had it cloudy in the morning and for most of the day, but it was nearly clear when the sun came up, and that persisted all day. Now it's completely clear. I made it to church in good time. I encountered one slow driver going up the hill to the Mountain Lodge, but he was kind enough to pull over, and the only other ones I encountered were going into Calumet.


Church was good, there was communion, and Pastor's sermon hit home with me. Both Mary Ann and Bill were there, and that was nice.


There were a few more slow drivers on the way home, but I was able to pass most of them, and I got home at 12:45 - 45 minutes from the church parking lot. Whew!


The color is coming at a good rate. It should be beautiful by next weekend. I would say that parts of the covered road are about 35% changed, and it looks to be another nice red and orange year. The top of the cliffs were orange. I didn't look across Lake Medora, because it was humid enough there that there was dew condensing on the windows of my car. Next week I must be sure to take the camera, and maybe I can capture a few good shots.


I was tired enough that I didn't do anything much this afternoon. For some reason, I couldn't get the PastyNet Day in History to open. I even reinstalled Java, and I checked my internet options, and I still couldn't get it to open. The other strange thing was that even though I purged almost everything, including my Flash files (my goodness, what absolute garbage there was out there!), I couldn't get Shockwave to work. It worked fine yesterday. I even rebooted the computer. Heaven knows what the problems are now. I've said before, gremlins live in my studio, and every so often they attack the computers.


I spent some time sitting in the ugly chair knitting on the studio shawl, and I'm finally getting to a place where I can see how the pattern works. It seems to go in waves or overlapping scales (they call the pattern Chinook, so scales make sense). It's sort of boring even though every row is different, because there are 18 repeats of the pattern on every row. And I'm not even at the first color change yet! Oh, well, it's a good project for days like today.


While I was in the ugly chair, I got to watch who was at the feeders. There weren't many birds, which I expected by the way the tube feeder hasn't gone down. There were a few goldfinches and chickadees, and at least one jay who couldn't figure out how to get into the feeder, so he scarfed up his seed on the deck, but he was shy of the squirrels. Mostly I had chipmunks, though, from the teensy ones the size of a large mouse, to one that is nearly as big as the squirrels. Of course, the squirrels are small, but that is one humungous chippy.


Like I said, it turned out to be a lovely day. There were a few clouds, but they didn't interfere with the sunshine. The temperature got up to 64 for a while, and the wind was under 5 mph for most of the day, from the south, although it varied. It cleared up around sunset, and the sky is glowing salmon right now. It was so nice to see the sun, even though it got quite hot in here.


We are down to within a minute of 12 hours of daylight now. The sun is rising at 7:42 AM and setting at 7:43 PM. I hate to see it set so early! And on Sunday, when I get up at 7:00, I hate to get up before sunrise! Oh, well. That's what happens when one lives so far north.


Buster is a bit better today. He ate well, and he came into the studio briefly several times, although i couldn't get him to sit on my lap, and he couldn't have what I had for dinner. I guess Jasmine thought he was better, too, because she spent some time sleeping in that strange scratching/sleeping box I got last year, which was in the sun for a while. Jasmine is a good one to tell me how Buster is doing. When he doesn't feel well, she is right with him all the time. I wish he appreciated her a bit more. I know he used his tray overnight, but I don't know if he did today, or if he peed on the fleece. I will check tomorrow.


On my trip, I nearly ran over a grouse and several chipmunks. I don't know why the grouse are out in the road now, when they weren't around for most of the summer. And the chipmunks are gathering their winter stores, but I still don't know why they think they have to run across the road! That's a long way for a little critter. Somebody hit a raccoon down around Centennial, and I think it was while I was in church. That was too bad, but raccoons are pests, too.


So that was my quiet day, and I'm tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, so I will try to get to bed early tonight. I have to get going tomorrow, because I have a massage. Now it's a calm, clear and warmish (for this time of year) night in the field.


September 24

Hey, where are all my proofreaders? I didn't change the date on last night's entry, and nobody noticed!


I got to bed before 11:00 last night and I slept fairly well, although I was up any number of times. I got up around 9:00. I finished the lily of the valley square, although just about the time Buster arrived for his brushing, I screwed something up and had to rip a bit. I did the right-hand triangle. It doesn't have that many stitches, so I wanted to be done with it. Then when I was setting up for the first square on the next tier (more lily of the valley), I dropped some stuff from the previous square. I got it back together well enough that the number of stitches is right, but it doesn't look too good. Oh, well, I'm not entering it in a contest, and probably nobody will ever notice but me. With all the mistakes I made in the first tier, I guess I can tolerate that one, too. 


So I knitted for a long time, and it was 11;30 before i got to the studio. I had mac and cheese for brunch, and of course Buster wanted some. He loves cheese. Before I even went into the kitchen, I started the first load of wash - the jeans - and I washed for the rest of the afternoon. I had at least six pairs of jeans, and it takes them forever to dry. In the meantime, Buster peed on a couple of his throws, and I changed his tray. 


I guess he is doing all right, but he needs to go to a doctor. We'll see how that works out.


Just a while ago, I tried to load the driver for the camera onto the new system, and of course it didn't work, so now I have a message in to the bendor to see if by any chance there is a driver that will work with this system. I hope so. I really like that camera, and it has been solid for a long time. I guess maybe there is a generic camera driver in Windows, but the one specifically for my camera should work better.


Anyway, be aware that there may be lapses in the camera updates for the next week or two while I try to get things moved over to the new system. Tomorrow maybe I will try the ToUCam and see how that works. But I like my PC-Cam!


i had my other tomato on a burger tonight, but I overcooked the burger, darn it. I also ate the last of my cukes, which have been so good. I may have to take a trip to Hughes farm next week.


I went to the post office, where there was a lot of mail, but I just went and came back, after talking to Ron for a while. There were the usual pleas for money, and a couple of bills.


There was something I forgot to write about yesterday that I remembered this morning, but now it's gone again. Hmm...


The weather wasn't nice, like they had promised. It was cloudy and dull all day long. The temperature got up to 57 briefly, and the winds were very light from the north. Blah.


The squirrels had eaten most of the seeds in the deck feeder and the cedar feeder, so after my pest climbed the screen to remind me, so I thought, I filled them, but a little while later he was climbing the screens again, so I'm not sure what his problem is, unless he thinks the seeds in the house are better than the ones outside. I certainly know why they say "squirrelly" - he sure is!


So that was my quiet day. Now I will read a bit more before I go up to the north end and get to bed early, since I have to get up early tomorrow. It's a cloudy, dark night in the field.


September 23 - Autumnal Equinox

So now it's autumn, and I can change the banner.


I wasn't very late getting to bed last night, but I didn't bother to see when I turned out the light. I didn't sleep very well. I was concerned about Buster, although he seems better today. Anyway, I was up several times, and I got up around 8:45. I finished the birch leaves square and did about a third of the next one, which is lily of the valley. The first repeat of the nupps came out as well as any I've done lately, and I knitted until they were beginning to degrade. I have no idea why sometimes I can knit them beautifully and sometimes they just don't come together. It was nice to be able to pick up all five stitches at once on the wrong side for a change. That is one of my favorite patterns, and it is so beautiful when it's done right. I only hope that when the stole is washed and blocked, they will even out and look nice. We'll see.


I did my surfing, and unfortunately, it was rather late when I decided I wanted to see if I could get the stuff together to send to the mortgage company to prove that I've paid my taxes. Well. It took me the better part of an hour to try to print an envelope, and I never did get the return address in the right place. I just don't know what's going on there, and I guess it's an HP problem, not a Microsoft one. So I finally gave up and printed the envelope without a return address, and put a sticker on it. Eventually, I'll figure it out. My first problem was that for some stupid reason, Word wants to print envelopes that are fed into the middle of the print area, and HP wants to feed them from the right. It took me a while to figure out how to change that. Then I printed and printed and nothing I did would put the return address in the upper left-hand corner. One time, it looked like I might have gotten it, but i have no idea what I did to make it do that, and I couldn't reproduce it. Needless to say, I wasn't printing envelopes. I printed all over one envelope, but after that, I used previously used paper folded in half. I still don't know what I did that one time, so I have some more experimenting to do, and I guess I'd better begin to think about getting some new cartridges before I run out of ink.


Then there was trying to copy the tax receipts. I had managed to mangle the automatic feed mechanism when I first got the printer, and it took me forever to get it together, and it still doesn't work right. I managed to get it to feed the receipts, but I had to sort of shove them into the feeder, and that's not right. There are some pictures - terrible ones - on the inside of the cover of the document feeder, but they don't tell me how to put the whole thing together right. I still don't think it's right.


So I was too late to go to the post office today. There were two packages, but Ron left them off on his way home.


I couldn't talk to him because I was on the phone. I finally made my motel reservations for the trip in October, and after I did that, I discovered that both my AARP card and my AAA card have expired dates on them, so I decided I'd better get that corrected. Hey, I'll take any discounts I can. October is after the rates go down for the season, but still. When I called AAA, it turned out that they still (!) had my old address in their files. They had changed my mailing address, but apparently that doesn't change the basic address on my account, so we took care of that, and I ought to get my new card before I go south.


I'm not so sure about the AARP. I ended up talking to a recording (which I abhor), and it seems to have worked. Apparently a lot of people either lose or don't get their cards. What freaked me out about that call was that they identified me correctly from my phone number...yie!! They know who I am and where I live and they definitely had my right membership number. Yie! I guess the only way to get away from that is to turn all my savings into cash and move up to Hudson's Bay, where nobody can find me, talk to me, or get to me via Internet. We'll see if it worked, but it could be a month before I get my new card. Humph.


So that took a while, and by that time it was too late to go to the post office. So I didn't do much else. I knitted on the studio shawl for a while during the talking, and it's coming along. I've gotten to the second chart. It's going to be a nice looking thing, but it won't look like anything at all until it's blocked. At least the first yarn is alpaca, and as I think you all know, I love alpaca. It's also a muted dark aqua, which is one of my favorite colors. I wish it went with any of my coats.


I got another shawl today, and it does go with my down-lined long coat, which is navy blue and lined with a brown and blue plaid wool as well as down. If I should have to wear that this year, the new shawl would be a good one to wear over it. I guess that's still in style, although "style" around here is not particularly stylish. Anyway, it starts with dark green and teal, has a lot of blue in the middle, then goes to several shades of brown. It will be more fun to knit than the new one, because there are several different patterns in it, instead of just one that gets bigger and bigger, like the current one.


I'm interested to see how long I will be knitting lace before I get bored with it. I'm actually a bit surprised I've kept at it for so long, but there is definitely an intellectual challenge to lace patterns, and one has to be absolutely accurate in order for them to come out right. So we'll see.


So that consumed the afternoon. I ate dinner a bit late, and after the talking stopped, I started reading again. I will try to be moderate about that.


Oh, yes, and when I got to the studio this morning, the camera picture was still the last one from last night. When I switched the monitor over to the old computer, there was a box on the screen that said Norton had encountered a program error and needed to be reinstalled (!). Oh, dear. Well, I really screwed things up then. I decided the thing to do was to do a GoBack to start of day yesterday, but when I tried to do that, it hung and I had to stop GoBack. The system came up after that, and after a few minutes, Norton said it was just fine, thank you (without my having done anything). but now I can't get GoBack to reinstall. It says one or more disks are in MS-DOS emulation mode. Huh? All I did was reboot! That just isn't so. I left it at that point, since the camera seems to be working, and I don't know whether it's worth the hassle to try to fix it. 


I am going to have to buy Kabcam all over again, since I simply can't get the developer to answer my emails. That is the next order of business, I'd like to get the camera on the new system before I go to Detroit, so I can shut down the old system and I don't have to worry about the vagaries of ME anymore. i might try one more time to get the ToUCam to work, although it might not, and I will have to try to install the driver for the current cam. I've diddled around long enough. It's time to get the old computer shut down.


The weather was hardly worth talking about. The minimum temperature since midnight was 51. the maximum was 54, and there were light winds from the east-northeast. It was dull and gray, and it rained for a couple of hours after midnight. Blah. Several times it looked like it might rain some more, but while there was some haze and fog, it didn't rain. Blah.


Now it's time to read a bit, then I will be off to the north end and try to get to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour again. It's a dark, dank, nasty night in the field, and autumn is officially here. Sigh.


September 22

Maybe tonight I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. I certainly didn't last night! I slept, of course, and I got up around 10:00, which wasn't nearly enough sleep. I brushed the cat and knitted half of a birch leaves square. I could have done the whole thing, but I was late enough as it was.


I didn't do a lot today, but I did try to make a little more order in the studio. Not much, but a little. I put my blotter back on the desk, since I'm keeping the cat out, so there won't be any more water. I was looking for the insert for  my planner. I never put the weekly pages in last year, and lately I've realized I have a reason or two to use them. I searched through the three barrels of stuff I took off the desk and several other places, and incidentally found a whole lot of stuff to throw away, but I couldn't find what I wanted. Finally, I was looking over toward the door and I realized there was another basket of stuff there - and there were my planner pages, as well as my SNB checkbook and a number of other good things.


One thing I discovered is that a whole lot of charities have sent me pads of paper of varying sizes and shapes. I won't need to buy any more scratch pads for the rest of my life. Neither will I have to buy any envelopes for cards. Usually I throw the cards away, but sometimes the envelopes come in handy. I found a few old note cards that I apparently printed out a long time ago when the old printer was still working, so I won't have to make any more for a while. Some of the ones I found were definitely flawed, and I threw those out. Why I kept them, I don't know, but I couldn't use them, so out they go. I don't usually respond to the people who send me things. They maintain that their note cards or scratch pads (or, in a couple of cases, tote bags) are free, no obligation, so I keep them. I suppose some people feel guilty about that, but I don't. I didn't' ask for those things, so I am in no way obligated to pay for them.


I rescued my best Hardanger scissors and several thimbles I might be able to use, so going through the barrels wasn't a lost cause.


It was not a nice day. The temperature was right around 50 all day. It got up to 52 and it got down to 45 overnight. There was quite a wind overnight, but it died down today. There was a little rain late this morning, but mostly it was dark and moist and hazy. Yuck. I didn't stick my nose outdoors. I guess we're in for another day of this, but the weekend is supposed to be better.


Now I am going to read a bit, and hope not to read too long, before I totter up to the north end and bathe. It's a dark, damp night in the field.


September 21

So last night, I read far too long. I decided that i want to make a list of the egregious errors I've found in Word's grammar checker, so I was working on that, then, when I decided it was time to stop reading, I wanted to see if I could clear up the grammar errors in the part I've read - the answer is no. It's frustrating, because some stuff that is flagged in the story doesn't get flagged when I transfer it to a blank Word document, so I'm not quite sure what's going on. So I didn't get to bed until nearly 1:30. Of course, I slept hard. I had one of the weird dreams I've had lately: I dream about having a dream about something. Weird, huh? And I usually wake up while trying to untangle myself from that. I was up several times, but I didn't get up for good until nearly 10:30. Then I brushed the cat and did the entire fern square. Of course, that's the easiest one, but as a result it was 12:30 before I got to the studio.


Buster, by the way, had gone in his tray and hadn't peed on the throws overnight. When I went in to check that, I disturbed Jasmine, who was sleeping in the corner, and Buster, who was on top of the blanket, which was in a wash basket. I have tried to rearrange things so he stays out of that. I don't know what he did today. He wanted egg yolk, and he sat on me for some time today, so maybe whatever his problem was, it's gone away for a while.


I was so late that I didn't do very much. I wanted to get the things I had to sign sent off to my insurance agent, and I had to pay the first payment on my new insurance, so I did that real fast and went off to the post office, where there was more stuff in my box than I'd thought there would be.


Short pause while I take my afternoon pills, which I tend to forget if I'm having wine rather than JD. Last night, I forgot until my toes started to hurt. So my neuropathy isn't getting any better. I am taking a huge amount of various Lactobacillus strains, including a lot of acidophilus, quite a bit of bifidus, and some yeast, and it may be helping, it's hard to say. At least I have to try it. But on the other hand, I'm taking five pills with breakfast and 12 before dinner, plus my usual morning and evening things, which sometimes leaves me wondering how I have room for any food.


Anyway, it was not a very nice day. The temperature did get to 60 for a while, and there wasn't a lot of wind. It was cloudy and dull all day, and after 5:00 it started raining a bit. Yuck.


On my way to the post office, I practically ran over a male grouse - boy, are they stupid - who was displaying his ruff as he ran away, and when I came back, there was the female, and I almost ran over her, too. I don't know what he was doing, displaying at this time of year - surely this can't be mating time. It is always neat to see the males when they spread out their ruffs, and he had puffed up his feathers, too. It always amazes me how small their heads are, particularly when they aren't displaying. They must have brains the size of a BB, which no doubt explains why they are so dumb. I guess they make up for it by laying lots of eggs.


Oh, darn, and I forgot to write about what I saw while I was exercising yesterday morning. I had flipped over onto my right side, facing the windows, when an adult eagle soare d over the house with its legs dangling down - my but those legs, and particularly those feet - are big! It soared down toward the beach and north toward my neighbor's beach, then a little while later, it came up again and flew down along the beach in the other direction, toward the south, again with its feet dangling down. I don't know what it was doing. I haven't seen an eagle that close for a long time, and it was really neat, even though I only saw it for a couple of seconds each time.  And those feet! Wow, I certainly wouldn't want to get underneath them! They looked almost as big as my hands, with such nice talons on the toes. I wonder if there was a dead fish or something on the beach, or if it was just checking to see if maybe there was. That is a wondrous bird to watch.


So that is about all I have to report. It's a cool, rainy night in the field, and it will be a good one for sleep.


September 20

I read for a while, then I had to get the dishwasher ready to go, and then I had to take a bath. While I was in the shower, I had to decant a new bottle of soap. I've had my soap for a long time and it is getting thick, and also it comes in those miserable pump bottles which are nearly impossible to use in the shower, so I pour it into a bigger bottle and thin it out some. I was a bit concerned that the hot water seemed to be giving out before I got out, but that seems to be just a one-time thing. It was about 11:45 before I got to bed.


I didn't sleep as well as I hoped, for some reason. I was up several times and once or twice I had to roll over onto my back because something hurt. I got up around 9:00, and I knitted the whole lily of the valley square, with Buster on my lap for most of it. Then I exercised, so it was late when I got dressed.


When I passed the laundry room, Buster was cowering in the corner of the counter, and it was clear that I would be doing some cleanup in there today. It reeked. Oh, poor Buster.


I did my surfing and i went to the post office. and after I read my mail, I got at the laundry room. Not only had Buster peed all over the throws, he had also gone on the cotton double bed blanket I had there. When I came into the room, Buster was sitting on the dryer, on a damask tablecloth that happened to be there. Fortunately, he hadn't peed on that! So I started washing, starting with the blanket, because those cotton thermal blankets take forever to dry. I used Clorox Cleanup on the counter and put a bunch of stuff in laundry baskets. The basket I thought was full of clean clothes is actually the one that has the ironing in it, but I didn't do that. I had to dry the blanket twice to get it dry and I had to wash the two throws twice to get the smell out - or I hope I got the smell out. 


In the meantime, I changed the pan and the papers under it, but when I came back into the room to do something with the laundry, Buster had peed over the edge of the tray, on the papers. Oh, poor kitty. He is not a happy camper, but I can't tell why. He is eating just fine, and he is certainly able to pee, so I don't know what the problem is.


I went downstairs to get some stuff out of the freezer, and i remembered the pizza slices, so that is what I had for dinner tonight, and he wanted some of that. He loves cheese and he sort of likes tomato sauce, too.


The weather was rather icky. The temperature got up to 66 for a while, and there was a very light wind from the southwest. It was mostly cloudy for most of the day, and around 6:00 it started raining lightly. 


So that was a day, and I think I will read for a while again before I move up to the north end. It's a coolish, drippy night in the field.


September 19

I got to bed around 10:30 last night, and I slept fairly well. It was raining when I went to bed, and it continued until around 4:00. I wouldn't know. I was up a couple of times, but i didn't have any lights to see out. I got up around 8:30.


The cat got his brushing and I finished the birch leaves square and started the next one, which is lily of the valley. I got up to the row where the first nupps are, and then I stopped.


I did a couple of things today. I cleared off the counter again, and I put away all the cat food I bought last week...or was it the week before? I guess we will be eating a lot of chicken things. I don't know why it is so hard to find turkey flavors, but it is. Anyway, the shelf is full, so we will eat. I looked at my bills, and the price of cat food has really gone up in the past year. I will go to Pet Supplies Plus and see what their prices are, and I have a place or two to try online...one is associated with a reader. Well, as I've always said, the cats have to eat. I don't, or I don't have to eat much.


I finally had my hamburger with a big slab of tomato on it. Given that Hughes Farm grows their tomatoes in greenhouses, it was a very good one, and I enjoyed my dinner, even though both the meat and the bun were sort of old. I was looking for something in the freezer yesterday that seems to have disappeared, and I found two hamburgers that had gotten stuffed way back in the back of a shelf. I decided I'd better eat them before I eat the newer ones I have in the basement, and I wasn't going down there just for one bun. There are onion rolls down there, which is what I really love for hamburgers. Anyway, it was good, and I ate the rest of the tomato on some of the mixed lettuces I got from Hughes. They are good, too, although I'm not sure I got all the sand off the leaves. That's the trouble with getting stuff from the farm, but the quality is so good I guess I'll just cope. I'm not sure I will buy any spinach from them, though, since that seems to be even harder to get the sand off.


I read for a while this afternoon and I embroidered for a while when the talking was going on. I am starting a section that is all done in silk perle, and as I've said before, I hate that stuff. It's going to be pretty, though, so I will just cope.


Oh, I was at the computer with Buster on my lap, i think, when Jasmine came in and got on the desk, and then I heard a few soft sounds. When I turned around, there was Jasmine sticking her paddy-paw into my tool box to try to hook out my soft yellow thimble! I said "Hey!" and she stopped, but she tried a couple more times before I chased her away. What a little snot! That thimble is one of the few I can wear more or less comfortably, so I wouldn't like to lose it.


The weather was all right, I guess. It was cloudy in the morning, and for quite a while this afternoon, but it cleared up later, and it is partly cloudy now. The temperature got up to 64 briefly, but it didn't get over 60 until around 1:00. There was quite a wind for most of the day, in the 15-25 mph range from the north, and there were a lot of whitecaps on the harbor for most of the day. It's calming down some now. I didn't go out.


I started reading again this evening, but I'm tired, and I must take a bath. I need to wash my hair every night for a while, because I'm getting some oily dandruff on top. I don't know  why now. I would have thought I'd have more trouble when it was hot, but not so. I washed my hair every night for over 30 years, so having a day or two off has been nice, but I'd better not let it continue. I hate the way it looks when it gets greasy and starts to separate and lays flat on my head. It would be nice if I could get some of that oil down to the ends, which are quite dry, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. So I must go. I need to wash dishes tonight, too.


Now it's a coolish, partly cloudy night in the field and soon I'll be off to the north end.


September 18

I was a good girl last night. I went up to the north end early, and I was in bed by 10:00. I slept, too. I woke up around 12;30 all hot, and had to walk, but before I got up at 3:30 it took two potty dreams to wake me up, I was sleeping so sound. The way the dreams went, it's a wonder I didn't wet the bed. Unfortunately, I woke up around 6;30 and really had to walk, but I didn't want to get up so early, so I dozed for half an hour until the alarm went off. 


I ate my breakfast and did most of my surfing before I got dressed and went off to church. When I got onto US-41 going south, I discovered that Mary Ann was ahead of me. She drives a huge bright yellow truck, so she is easy to identify. We found one slow guy, south of Delaware, but we were both able to pass it. I took Cliff Drive, while she went through Mohawk, and she got behind some big RVs, so I lapped her and we both got to church at about the same time.


Church was nice, as always. We sang "Onward Christian Soldiers" as our last hymn. It's been a long time since I've sung that. As usual, the editors of the 1978 hymnal changed some words for no reason, but it wasn't too bad.


I had to get gas. I'm not getting very good mileage lately, which I will have to discuss with the repair people when I take the car in for its fall work. Fortunately, gas has gone down about 10 since the last time I got it, and I had four coupons that amounted to $2.40 off the total, so I got away for less than $60, since the tank wasn't empty. I could have gone down to Wal-Mart, but I didn't feel like it.


I still got home before 1:00, and I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon. Well - I did my crossword puzzles, and I read. I discovered that I was strictly wrong about not being able to permanently flag things as "ignore", but it seems like I can't do it while I'm just reading. I have to do it by clicking on the grammar errors icon. Sort of dumb. Tonight, I tried to send Microsoft a message about some of the most egregious errors (I love that word!), and I couldn't get it to accept my product ID, nor could I get it to accept the ActiveX control to find it for itself, so I sent them a message (for which I may have to pay) about all that.


The fall color is beginning to show, although things are still mostly green. Every so often there will be a startlingly red or orange maple or part of maple. The hills on the other side of Lake Medora and on the cliffs are beginning to get yellowish, but not a lot. I'd say it will be another two weeks at least before it gets really nice. I will have to start taking my camera to church, just in case I see something.


The weather was nondescript. When I was up at midnight, when I went into the bathroom, it looked like there was a nightlight in the shower - and indeed there was. The moon was shining through the glass block and lighting the entire inside of the shower. it was neat. I think there was some cloud cover later in the night, because the moonlight wasn't nearly as bright. It was cool when I got up this morning, but it was 57 by the time I went to church, and the temperature peaked out at 62. There was a south wind that was in the 10-20 mph range for most of the afternoon. While we were in church, there were a few raindrops, and there were a few more on the way home. Apparently it's been raining lightly since about 7:00. It was mostly cloudy and dull all day long.


Now it's a cloudy, rainy night in the field, and I guess I will read a bit more (I'm working on the white binder now) before I totter up tot he north end.


September 17

After I published this, I remembered what kept me up the night before. I was reading and listening to some not very good music when suddenly something started to cheep. It seemed to be coming from behind the monitor, so I hunted and held all the speakers up to my ears, and even turned some things off and on, but I couldn't find it. Finally it dawned on me - the atomic clock/weather station was cheeping because its battery was dying. And indeed it was - when I took it down to look at it, the display went blank. Oh.


I have been waiting for that to happen. I have a remote sensor, but it needed to have the display module powered down before it could be successfully installed. So I took the batteries out of the display module, dutifully pressed a button 20 times to get rid of any static electricity, hunted up the sensor, printed out the installation instructions from the old computer, and went on my way. I did read a lot, but I also spent a lot of time in my fruitless search for the cheep. That thing has an alarm on it, and boy, am I glad I'm not using it for an alarm clock! That cheep would drive me batty.


Yesterday morning, I carefully followed the directions for powering up the display module and the sensor and getting them to talk to each other. That was hard because one of the batteries had evidently leaked onto a contact, but fortunately I was able to scrape off the corrosion and it did turn back on. This morning when I came into the office, the display was showing the right date and time and the temperature from the sensor. Now all I have to do is get the sensor mounted outdoors and I can see what the real temperature here is. That may be a problem, since I doubt the sticky tape would permanently adhere to the deck post, and the screws are about an inch long and very finely serrated. So we shall see. I didn't do it today because my back was bothering me.


I read too long last night, too, and it was around 11:00 when I went to bed. I slept well, with several wakeups. I got up around 9:00, I think. I brushed the cat, who was right there when I sat down, then I finished the left side triangle and started the first square of tier four - birch leaves again. In looking at it, it seems I screwed up the first triangle on that side - I missed a decrease row - and when I tried to pick up from the triangle I just finished, i was three stitches short, and I don't know why. With any kind of luck, neither error will be too obvious, so I knitted on. I have ripped that thing so many times, I just do not want to do it again.


I did my full set of exercises after that, because my back was very stiff when I got up, and it did some good, but I still have a stiff back. I guess it's time to get back into the swing of things. 


Then I decided I wanted blueberry pancakes for breakfast, along with coffee and pork sausage. That took time to make, so I was late getting to the studio. It was a good breakfast, though. The blueberries, which I got at Econo, were very expensive, but very good, and they are locally grown, from Lake Linden. They are yummy. I have about half a cup left, either for some more pancakes or for something else.


And that was about it. I did my morning surfing backward, for the second day, and I may have gotten myself into something by deciding to get some coupons from an online site. I'm not sure what will come of it, but I'm sure, after an almost immediate phone call I got, that it will take a lot longer and more effort to get out of it than it took to get into it. If somebody says they will give you a $100 gift card if...beware. What they want is your personal information so they can deluge you with advertising. I did get a couple of useful coupons out of it, though.


The weather was rather nice. The temperature got up to 62 for a while, and the southwest wind was under 10 mph all day. It was mostly clear until lately, although there were some high altocumulus clouds for most of the afternoon, and they have thickened a bit, so I doubt we'll have much of a sunset. It's supposed to be clear tonight, but we'll see.


it got so hot in here that I had to open the door, and I taped up all the holes the squirrel made. It seems that he couldn't find his way out of the hole he came through, so he tore another one near the bottom of the screen, above the first ones he made. Pretty soon the whole right side of the screen is going to be tape, from the bottom up to the door handle. What a pest!


I read for most of the afternoon, and I have found a few more things I don't like about Word 2010. You can tell it to ignore grammar and style "errors" until you're blue in the face and it will still say they're there. When I say ignore something, I mean ignore it, especially since what it's flagging are in fact not errors at all, and in most cases they are the ones who are wrong. They still can't get verbs with personal pronouns right. They want "I are" and "You is", and one that's new is the "So are us"  and "So am me" that occurs frequently in conversation. The only way I can see to turn a lot of that stuff off is to stop style checking all the time and turn grammar checking off occasionally. I don't want to do that, because they do catch a lot of my typos, but I still think that when I say ignore it, it should be permanently ignored! I'm working up to sending them a complaint. It was bad enough in Word 2001, but then you could actually make an ignore permanent. This is much worse, and they have added some really ridiculous stuff. They have gone crazy with semicolons, and most of the cases where they suggest them are actually wrong. Grr.


Anyway, I finished all the episodes from the blue binder that are in the computer, and I started on the white binder again. That is the one that's over 700 pages, so I'll be at it for a while.


Now the sun is behind the mountain, and it's a somewhat warmish, calm, cloudy night in the field. I will be going up to the north end early, because I have to get ready to go to church tomorrow.


September 16

I can't remember exactly what happened last night, but there were several things I found it necessary to do on the computer (and i forgot to pay my broadband bill! Eek! I paid it first thing this morning), so since I had to take a bath, it was after midnight before I went to bed.


I slept all night on the heating pad, but not until I did my exercises this morning did my back get better, and it was still stiff all day. I guess my poor old bod is trying to tell me something. I also had the second accident in two days, so it's a good thing I have lots of jeans that fit. This one wasn't quite as bad as yesterday's, but I did have to change everything from the waist down. Oh, that is such a drag!


Anyway, after I got up and before I did my exercises, I brushed the cat and knitted the entire birch leaves square, then I started the left side square, and I will be done with tier 3. I'm still not too happy with my tension, and I'm really not happy with how the lily of the valley squares look, but oh, well. I also discovered, the other day, that I didn't pick up the second square in the first tier right, but hopefully nobody but me will notice it. I am definitely not going to pull the whole thing out for that! I'm having enough problems anyway. I had to unknit a couple of rows  because I dropped something, which is an ongoing problem I'm having. The high-priced alpaca is very slippery and it's easy for something to drop off a needle.


And I didn't do very much. I didn't get up until around 10:00, but I was tired and creaky all day. I went to the post office, where nothing I was waiting for had come, and I stopped at the store because when I was there the other day, I forgot to get milk. And that was about it.


The pesky squirrel got inside the screen this afternoon and for once, he couldn't find his way out. I compounded his problem by pounding on the window for a while, which scared him. I hope it scared him enough that he won't come back. Finally, I left him to it, and when he calmed down, he obviously found the hole he made, since he isn't there now. What a pest! Tomorrow maybe I can get the feeders out.


The weather was a little warmer than yesterday. The high was 58, for a little while. The wind was wildly variable in both strength and direction. Around 6:00 it got up to 13 mph, but for most of the day it was under 10 mph and from all over. It was not as clear as both the NWS and Environment Canada were predicting. There were fair-weather cumulus clouds in the sky all day long, sometimes very thick. Now, however, it seems almost clear.


When I laid down on the bed to do my exercises, there was the gibbous moon shining in the clear blue sky this morning. It is amazing how long that moon is up in the sky. It's only rising at 9:30 tonight, so the night is bright and the stars are washed out, or they would be if it weren't so cloudy. I guess part of the problem now is that forest fire in Minnesota, which is pumping aerosols into the atmosphere. In fact, they said there might be smoke this morning, although I didn't notice any. I know forest fires are part of nature's way of keeping things growing, but they certainly are destructive, and they don't do much good for our polluted atmosphere, either.


On the other hand, the sunset tonight, while pretty and apricot, doesn't look like there is much smoke in the air. I was here the autumn after Mt. Pinatubo exploded, back in the late '80s or early '90s, and we had some really spectacular sunsets that year.


So now I will read for a while before I go up to the north end. I expect to sleep on the heating pad again tonight, but I have more hope for the exercises. If I needed an impetus to begin exercising regularly again, the state of my back has certainly given it to me.


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


September 15

I got to reading, and it was after 1:00 when I got to bed. I slept well until around 8:30, but it seemed like I was only dozing after that. That must not have been so, because it was 10:30 when I got up. I brushed the cat and finished the lily of the valley square.


I didn't do anything but read today. I felt tired, and my back was bad again. I must take myself in hand and start doing my exercises again. I must also get myself to bed at an earlier hour, so that I can go to church without being wiped out for the rest of the day.


The weather was cold and I didn't go out. It did get to 52 briefly, but for most of the day it was around 48. The wind was in the 20-30 mph range from the north all night, but it has now begun to die down. Perhaps tomorrow I can put out the bird feeders. It was partly cloudy all day, with those big cumulous clouds that have gray bottoms and sometimes bring rain. It is relatively clear now and the wind has dropped to almost nothing. The sun set at 8:04, and we have only 12 hours of daylight now. Sigh.


One of the reasons I was so late last night, I just remembered, was that there were a lot of updates from Microsoft and Adobe and I wanted to get them installed on both computers. I haven't figured out why they don't work the same way on both computers. I had to reboot at least three times on the desktop, but I don't think the laptop rebooted at all. Really strange. Anyway, the Microsoft updates were 60 mb, so even though I was getting a great rate on my downloads, it took a while to get them, and I didn't want to try to do both downloads at the same time, since the router would sort of split the bandwidth. Also, there were some nice things playing on the radio, and I was reading my favorite episode out of the blue binder. I finished that this afternoon.


Now I will read some more, on the next episode, and then I need to wash my hair tonight. I need to bathe, too, because I had an accident this morning. This one was mostly my own fault. I was reading some of my Thursday emails, and I just ignored the signs too long. Anyway, it was a mess.


So that was a quiet day, and now it's a cold, partly clear night in the field. The wonderful Harvest Moon is still rising at 9:00, even though full moon was Monday, so it should be a bright night and a lot quieter than it has been for a while.


September 14

I read more than I should have, so it was 11:30 when I got to bed. As I suspected, the wind and the lake sang me to sleep, and I did well, It didn't hurt that it was cool in the bedroom, so I could cuddle under the quilt. I was awake at around 8:00, and that just seemed too early, so I didn't get up until 10:30. Buster was right there again, and he got his brushing, then I knitted. I only got half of the lily of the valley square done, because I had to rip a bit, and some of the nupps don't look as nice as I'd like them, but maybe they'll relax after a while. 


That was about all I did, since I was so late. I went to the post office, where there was a bunch of stuff, and Phoebe was there, manning the information center. She was using her computer, but she also had her Kindle with her, and after looking at it and playing with it a bit, I think I could go for one. It is easier to read than I thought it might be, and one can change the font quite a bit, as well as switch it around so that you read it from the side (or upside down). She has found that she is reading more now that she has it, although that might just be its newness. I will have to think about that. After I resolve the webcam situation, I was planning to save for a new camera, but maybe a KIndle would be useful. Hmm. 


The weather was good for staying inside and reading or something. The temperature went down to 47 overnight, and it was around 52 all day. The peak winds were at about 6:00. with gusts up to 49 mph, from the north. It was windy all day, with winds in the 25-35 mph range, although they are dying down a bit now. There wasn't any rain or anything, and in fact, we had quite a bit of sunshine.


Jasmine was a bit put out that the window was closed and she couldn't get out onto the porch, but she doesn't know that it was cold and windy out there, and no way was I going to let that cold wind into the house. She wouldn't have stayed anyway.


The squirrel has torn another hole in the screen, but he did run away after that. Geez! 


So that was a nothing day, and I will be reading a bit before I totter up to the north end. It's a cool, windy evening in the field, but we may be able to see a bit of the moon.


September 13

I was so sticky and icky last night that I had to take a bath, so it was around 11:00 before I turned out the light - the first time. Then my feet brought to my attention that I hadn't taken my afternoon pills, so I got up and did that. Then I remembered that I hadn't closed the window in the powder room, so I got up again and did that. I had to wait until the Neurontin took hold before I got to sleep, but after that I did good. It was very windy all night, but the wind was from the north, so mostly I could hear the lake, except that every so often a gust would slam into the second story.


I got up around 9:30, and for once, Buster was right there when I got to the bathroom, so he got his brushing. I knitted, but I had to do some unknitting. I'm not sure quite what happened, but first I got too many stitches, and then I realized that back a bit there was one stitch that was much too big. It was the fern pattern, where the ferns are made of yarn overs with a knit stitch between them, and the center stitch had gotten enlarged for some reason. So I only got that one pattern done, but I set up the next square, which is lily of the valley. I'm anxious to do that with my new pointy needles. It won't be easy, but it should be easier than it was on the other needles I was using.


So I did nothing much else, except I did get the dishwasher all unloaded and put the dirty dishes in it. When the talking started, I got out the other shawl I started and transferred it to the pointy wood needles. I knitted quite a few rows. This one goes fast, although every row is different and I have to keep track of the pattern.


The weather was unsettled. The wind blew hard from the north  all night long, but it died down to between 15 and 20 mph around 8:00 this morning. It was partly cloudy, although there was some sunshine this afternoon. The temperature got up to 64 briefly, but for most of the afternoon, it was in the low 60s. Then around 7:15 or so this evening, it started to blow again. The last report was northwest winds at 26 mph with gusts to 39.


I put out the bird feeders, but I don't think I had many takers. When it started to blow, I decided I'd better get the feeders in, and that was a trip, since it started to rain just about the time I went out, and I was getting blown around and wet. I did get them all in, though, and I'm drying out. It will be a hairy night tonight, with wind and rain, and it's supposed to be quite cold tomorrow.


I have been doing some reading since the talking stopped, with the cat on my lap quite contented, and i will finish the chapter after I upload this. 


I downloaded some digital magazines today, and when I saw them, I was sorry I didn't get the print editions. But I am running out of room for magazines and books, so I will just have to cope. It would be nice if I could tip this monitor over 90 so that I could look at - and read - a whole page at a time, but there isn't any way to do that. So now I have several magazines more to read.  These are mostly knitting and crochet magazines published by the editors of my favorite Piecework, and besides patterns they have very interesting articles about the history of those crafts and the people who did them in the past. I will have to start reading them rather than my stories, but I still like to wind down with the stories.


Now it is a windy, rainy night in the field, and soon I will have to trudge up to the north end. It should be a good night to sleep.


September 12

Well. I goofed again and it was very late before I got to bed. I slept well, and my back seems to be better, although we'll see how it is tomorrow.


I didn't get up until 10:30, and I brushed the cat and knitted about half a square on the stole. I was so late that I didn't do much else, except that I partly unloaded the dishwasher tonight. I went to the post office, where my check had come, so I immediately signed it and sent it off. I had prepared an envelope and a deposit ticket just in case it came.


The weather was warm and rather windy. It was 82 for a while this afternoon, and there was a southwest wind in the 15-25 mph range - if the NWS station can be trusted. However, just a few minutes ago, at 7:51, the temperature had dropped to 69, and the wind had shifted to the northeast, at 33 mph with 45 mph gusts. I have been watching a line of severe thunderstorms coming toward us, and it has now hit, with thunder, lightning, high winds and torrential rains. I just love thunderstorms, but I had to jump up and closej the windows, because there was spray coming in on the computer. There was a little thunder earlier in the day, but there wasn't any rain. Now we're getting it full force. Apparently a while ago there was a 74 mph gust of wind at Freda, which is south of the bridge. Oh, goodie! It's been a while since we've had some good thunderstorms. Of course, it may zap the power and the radio and all that, but it's such fun. Since the sun set at 8:10, and the clouds are thick, there's a lot of lightning to watch.


Eek! A bolt of lightning just hit not far away that went off like a large, loud gunshot! i wonder what that hit? The lightning seemed to be a bit east of here, but I don't know for sure. The noise didn't seem to be coming from that direction. The storm line is moving east at nearly 50 mph, so it will be over soon.


So I guess i don't have much else to write about tonight. Buster is sitting on my lap, and he was happy, because we had yogurt twice today. I mixed the Greek yogurt with my mixed berries, and oh, was it good! Makes that Yoplait stuff taste bland and blah by comparison. I must get some more.


Now it's a stormy, windy night in the field, and I don't think I'll be up very late.


September 11

It was a quiet and rather sad day, although I didn't listen to any of the stuff on the radio. I remember what I heard that day all too clearly.


I got to bed by 10:00 last night, and I went with the heat wrap around my back. That made turning over or getting up rather difficult, but I think it had some good effect. When I woke up around 12:30, I remembered that I had to set the alarm, and I had to reset the time. I was up any number of times during the night. I saw the moon setting right over the harbor, with a very wide glitter track, and it was so pretty. I was up at 5;30 and I decided I had had enough of the heating pad, so I turned it off, but I didn't sleep very well after that, and I was up again at 6:30. I didn't get up then, but of course I didn't go back to sleep.


I got myself off to church at a reasonable hour, but for the second time this week, I got behind a guy who wouldn't go faster than 35 mph on the covered road. There were three motorcycles, another car, me, and a whole pack of motorcycles behind me, and this guy wouldn't speed up and wouldn't pull over. Besides, he was driving very erratically and putting on his brakes at every curve. Two of the motorcycles passed him at the first dotted lines, but i had to wait until Delaware to get around him. It's strange that I went the entire summer without much problem on the covered road, and now I've had two episodes in a row. Then, before Kearsarge, I got behind two trucks loaded with wood - it's the wood collecting time of year. The lead truck had a trailer and it was full of wood, too, so he couldn't go very fast. 


Church was good, as always, and their activities are revving up for the fall. Eleanor didn't make it, although she is apparently all right again. A woman who is actually a member of the other congregation, St. John's in Hubble, drives her, and it may be that she went there today. I hope she is all right. She is quite a lady, and I enjoy seeing her. Pastor's sermon was a good one and there was communion.


There were a couple of cars in front of me until I turned onto Cliff Drive, and one guy who turned onto M-26. After that, I didn't see another car in my direction, so I got home at a relatively early time.


The weather was summery. By the time I got home, the temperature was 84 here. It got up to 85 for several hours before it started to drop off. That was when the wind started to blow. It was extremely windy all afternoon. The wind was from the northwest, and it peaked at 17 mph with 34 mph gusts around 7:00 - and then it stopped. It didn't die down, it just stopped, and it's been very quiet ever since. It was really weird, but I've seen it do things like that before. Anyway, the wind made the temperature tolerable, but of course I couldn't put out the bird feeders. The humidity was quite low until the wind died, and now it is getting sticky again. There was fog on Lake Medora when I went by going south.


I have been leaving the deck feeder out at night, just to try to prevent my squirrel friend from destroying my screen, and when I came into the studio this morning, it was gone from its usual spot. Oh, dear, I thought, under the deck again. However, when I went back toward the kitchen, I discovered that no, it wasn't under the deck, it was up across from the great room patio door, at the top of the stairs down to the garden, Hmm. Evidently at least one squirrel found it and nearly cleaned it out before the wind took care of the rest, so I went out and brought it in during the afternoon, The wind seemed stronger to me than they were reporting, but the NWS station is sheltered on that side, too. 


So I did nothing much for the rest of the afternoon. I have almost completed the part of Zuma I need to get the rest of the game unlocked. The last screen looks to be nearly impossible, but I thought that of what I did today, until I started on it and it all worked. I'm tired now, so that is probably part of the reason. I will say that I never could have done what I have using my trackball mouse, so regular mice are good for something.


Oh - mice. When I walked out into the breezeway this morning, a mouse zipped across the floor and under the boxes. Not that I'm surprised, with all the birdseed I've spilled on the floor. I really don't want to let Jasmine out there, because I'm afraid I'd have a problem getting her in again. She has gotten at least two in the last week, so the autumnal mouse infestation is beginning.


However, apparently Friday when I went out to bring in the bird feeders, I stepped into a swarm of late black flies, and I now have a dozen or more bites in soft spots between my waist and my knees, in the same places I got them in the spring. If there's a black fly in Copper Harbor, she will find me and bite me at least once, probably more. So I itch.


We are supposed to have one more warm day, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon, so it won't be so nice. Not that it was so good this afternoon. In the wind, it was too windy, and if you were out of the wind, it was too hot. I'm never satisfied.


So that was my quiet and contemplative day, and now it's time to totter up to the north end. It's a warmish, at least partly clear, moonlit night in the field.


September 10

It was a quiet day. I got to bed around 10:30, I think, and I went right to sleep. When I got up in the night, the moonlight was so bright that I couldn't see any stars, but when I was up around 1:30, I thought I could see a glow in the north. It was gone by 3:30, but there might have been a few northern lights that were washed out by the moon,


When I was up at 3:30 and I turned over, that muscle I've been having trouble with that runs up the right side of my back was sore again, and lying down didn't help it much. It was so bad that I had trouble walking the next time I got up. and when I got up for good, around 9:00, it was in spasms again. All I can figure is that I didn't have enough covers over it and it got cold. I guess tonight I will have to go to bed with the heating pad. 


As a result of that, I didn't do much of anything today. I did get the bird feeders out, and I must get them in. I filled the cats' dry food bowls, and Buster ate some. I didn't think he was eating dry food anymore, but clearly he is, at least when I'm around. Jasmine will be delighted. She won't eat when I'm in the kitchen, so I don't know how much she eats of anything, but I do know she eats a lot of the dry food.


I sat in the desk chair, and I didn't have the patio door open, so it got warm in here, and right now my back feels pretty good, but it's taken all day to get that way. I will dig out the heating pad tonight and hope that will help. Geez, I had things I thought I might do.


The weather was nice again. It was clear but very humid, and there was some fog this afternoon. The temperature got up to 73 briefly, and there was hardly any wind. Now, just after sunset, there are some clouds in the western sky, and there was a kind of nice sunset that I didn't take a picture of. The nearly full moon is rising, big and bright.


I'm sure that the high humidity is part of the reason my back is acting up. Even doing my exercises this morning didn't help it much. 


So that was my day, and it's time to call it a night. I've decided I don't like having to do the dishes on Saturday, so I will use some of the backup cat dishes tomorrow and wash dishes tomorrow night.


Now it's a warmish, humid, nearly clear evening in the field. The broadband connection seems to have just gone to pot, so I guess it will be a while before I go up to the north end.


September 9

With everything I had to do, including a bath, it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I was sorry to be so late. I slept fairly well, but my feet were so sore it was hard. The first time I got up, I almost couldn't walk my feet and ankles were so sore. That kept me awake a little bit. The bunion on my right foot was so sore I couldn't stand any pressure on it at all, but fortunately, I can usually hang my foot over the body pillow so that it isn't resting on anything. I had set the alarm for 8:00, and I really didn't want to get up, but I figured I'd better.


I had to change all my clothes. My jeans got spotted with cherry tomato juice yesterday, and my polo was sopping. It turned out that my bra was so wet, and it was so humid, that it didn't dry overnight, so I changed it too. I didn't get to do most of my morning surfing.


I thought I got off in plenty of time, a little after 10:00, but I got behind the biggest RV I think I have seen around here, the size of a huge bus, and towing a car. It was so wide that it nearly filled up the lane between the white and yellow lines. And it didn't want to go faster than 35 mph, sometimes more like 30 mph. When I encountered it, there was another guy in front of me, and he went around it near the Mountain Lodge, double yellow lines or no. I kept hoping it would pull over, but those guys must think they own the road or something. I finally went around him not far south of Medora, again where there were double yellow lines (but in a place where they should be dotted in both directions), but it held me up extremely, and i was a little late for my appointment.


Well, Dr. Mike now knows all my problems, but he didn't have any answers. The efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of conditions like mine is questionable, but we have to try. We both decided I don't want to take any meds for my gouty finger unless it gets a lot worse. Evidently the side effects are mostly in the stomach, and I have enough trouble with that already. He is on my side in the question of the diverticula: if what I eat doesn't bother them, why worry? Apparently the classic treatment was to avoid nuts, seeds, and roughage, but I eat all of those without much trouble, so far. There were fewer polyps than I thought - something between 5 and 8, probably, but one of the tubular ones seemed to be ulcerated. So I am glad I had the colonoscopy and got rid of them. It's debatable whether the diverticula would show on a CT scan, and the polyps probably wouldn't - the largest as only 3mm, the size of the crystals I used for the spiky necklaces. I will ask Dr. Lehman anyway. As I thought, most people over the age of 65 have diverticula, and some have problems and some don't. I will assume I won't.


So that was a nearly wasted trip, but sometime in the next couple of weeks I will go back and get a flu shot. I'm debating whether I should wait, because evidently they only work for three or four months, but I would be getting it in October anyway, so we'll see.


I got home a little before 1:00, and I had just sat down with a cup of Greek yogurt (which is truly yummy) when my efriend Rose turned up with her daughter (also Rose). They had walked out to the lighthouse then along the rocks for probably half a mile. So we had a nice visit, and they left me with some cat toys, which I will put down for Jasmine. I think she probably enjoys the live toys better, but we'll see. Anyway, they are such nice ladies, and Rose has an awesome knowledge of nature. We got to talking about moths, and she could name all the ones she had seen. I'm not so good at that. I don't think there are any moths in my butterfly book. We even had a few visitors to the bird feeders while they were here.


So that was very nice, and I finished my yogurt and was going to pay a bill or two (oops - I forgot one) when Ron called to say there were packages for me at the post office. So I quick wrote a check for my taxes and went off to the post office, where there were three packages, one of which was my knitting needles, which I've been waiting for. I need wooden needles with sharp tips to work on the entrelac stole, and I didn't have any. I still have not found the needle tip I dropped on the floor, and I wanted to use a needle with a soft cable for the other shawl I started, so that is what came today. I haven't looked at the book very much yet, but it sounds intriguing.


The weather was beautiful again. It was clear and there wasn't much wind. The temperature here only got up to 69, but I think it was 78 in town when I left. I was gad to get out and back to my nice, cool field. This is supposed to last another couple of days, which would be really nice. It has been very humid, though. In fact, the humidity rose all day long, and it is now 84%, which is a little damper than I like. There was almost no wind, and it was calm for several hours.


I have been forgetting to report on the changing of the leaves. There are a few spotty yellow and orange leaves on maples that are stressed, but there is no great change yet. It looks to me, if I can remember past years, that we are on track for the peak to come between the last week of September and the first week of October, as usual. There is a lot of orange in the leaves I have seen, but I haven't noticed any great amount of red. Maybe that is to come. 


While I enjoy seeing the lovely colors, I have mixed feelings about the dropping of the leaves. It means we are heading into the dark months. Don't get me wrong, I like winter. Snow doesn't bother me, particularly now when I can stay home if it's bad out. But I find the short days and long nights are difficult, even with all the vitamin D I take. When the duration of daylight is only 8 hours, the sun sets at 5:00, and it is actually getting dark before 4:00 in the afternoon (not to mention that sunrise isn't until 8:30 am), it gets hard. I will finally have to change the light bulbs that burned out in the office and the kitchen early last spring. But that's the price we pay for 16 hours of daylight in June.


So now I think I will read for a little while before I totter up to the north end and crash. It's a calm, warmish night in the field and the sun has set already. We have under 13 hours of daylight, and the moon is 95% illuminated, so star and northern light viewing is out of the question.


September 8

I had an interesting time last night. I decided to take the laptop up to the north end and see what I could do with it. Well, I can't get any internet connectivity, but I did manage to open one of the stories, and I read until about 10:30. I couldn't do it from the bathroom so I got out the bed tray I have used for most of my 70 years (and possibly my mother used it before me) and I hauled my reading wedge up on the desk (you should have seen the dust bunnies - it's been a long time since I've read in bed) and I sat very comfortably, I thought, reading my story.


Well. When I tried to get up, my back had gone into spasms and I could hardly move, I have no idea what brought that on but I will have to be careful the next time I want to read in bed. I spent a not very good night, I went right to sleep, but after I got up at 1:30, I was just couldn't get back to sleep. Part of it was my back, but that wasn't the whole problem, and I don't know why, but I just dozed for the rest of the night.


I really wondered if I would be able to do what I wanted to do today, so I only knitted a bit on the next square (birch leaves again), and I did most of my exercises. That helped a bit, but I was still having a terrible time getting up, especially off the toilet.


When I got to the north end last night, I remembered that I had forgotten to shut the patio door, but I just said, oh well. I won't do that again. When I opened the door to the studio this morning, it was clear that there had been a squirrel in the house. He didn't do any damage, although I do wonder why the little soft-sculpture cat I keep on the bookcase over the computer was on the floor. Mostly there were sunflower shucks on the rug, and there was a nice, round squirrel-sized hole in the screen above the ones I had taped up with duct tape. He tried the duct tape, but it was too much for him, so he just chose a new place. Geez!


i didn't do my surfing because I had some bills I wanted to pay, and some things I wanted to mail, and just as I was starting that, my friend Rick called and wanted to do Skype. Well, I didn't, because I was hoping to get out of the house by noon, but we talked until the battery in my phone started to go - only 86 minutes. I'm not sure what's wrong with that phone, but I have the feeling the battery is going. I hope I can get a new one. I was very sorry to hear that he had been laid off from the job he had held for 20 years, but the company went out of business. He has a unique and very saleable set of skills, and he already has a line on a couple of prospects, but still, that is a blow to the ego. I was fired twice and laid off once, and I didn't like it one little bit.


Anyway, we talked until my phone died, and I didn't get off on my afternoon until 1:00. I had to stop at the post office because one letter had to be weighed, so of course I had to talk to Ron. He took the truck in to have the brakes repaired this morning early, so his car problems are getting under control.


Then I was off to the big town. On my way, I stopped at Hughes Farm, and I tried to be moderate - a beautiful pepper, a couple of tomatoes, lots of yellow cherry tomatoes that I ate on my way to town, and three ears of corn. It looks to be a good year for cucumbers and peppers, so I have some hope for the squash.


Next was the feed store. I got birdseed, but wow, was that sticker shock! Last year it was running around $18 for 50 lbs. Well, this year, it's $34, and the mixed seed has gone up, too, because of the sunflower seed in it. Evidently they are using sunflower seed for cooking oil now, and the growers aren't selling as much for birds, so it's harder to get. And they say there is no inflation...almost everything I use has gone up over the past year or so.


My next stop was Wal-Mart, but mostly I got cat supplies, although they didn't have much in the cat food department. I did get a few odd bathroom things, but I only got one toy, and I'm not sure you'd really call it a toy. Last year they had a calculator for $1, so I got one, but half the number buttons didn't work, so it's useless. So I got one for $4, and it seems better. Wow, and I just paid $60 for my new HP! Trouble with all those cheap ones is that they have an equals sign, and I'm a reverse Polish kind of person - I want an enter key. By the way, I like the new calculator a lot, as much as I've used it. Even before Buster peed on the old one, in certain kinds of warm, humid weather, the bottom row of keys was almost impossible to get to register. It's nice to have a calculator I can just touch a button and it registers.


Anyway, for once, Wal-Mart didn't have the lowest price on gas, but they are pushing their gift cards. It was $3.849. There was one station in Hancock that had it for $3.799, but I would have had to go around in circles to get to it. At least I got away for under $70.


The next stop was Econo Foods, and by that time I was dripping wet and I had a very sore left knee. My back was getting better, though. I did a lot of damage there, but I won't have to go to Pat's tomorrow. Econo carries some things Pat's doesn't, and I think their prices may be a bit better. I loaded up on cat food, so we will eat well for the next month or two, and by that time I'll be in Detroit and I can stock up for the winter. I did splurge on a couple of things. They have veggie trays that I like a lot, so I got one. And they have more of those frozen things I've been eating a lot of, and some that Pat's doesn't. Pat's has a better selection of frozen veggies, but Econo did have some creamed spinich, so i got that. Anyway, I did a lot of damage, but I'm done for a while. Eventually I will have to go to Pat's for some yogurt.


On that topic, I have been hearing about Greek yogurt, and Johanna said there was some in the organic food section, of which Econo has a huge one. They are going in heavily for gluten-free stuff. The plain Greek yogurt only came in large cartons, pints maybe, so I ended up with honey flavored. When I was putting it away, I stuck my finger in it, and then I said "yum!" It's twice as expensive as good old Yoplait, but for a treat, it's really nice. I can't wait to eat it. 


By the time I loaded up the car with the food, I was dripping wet and exhausted. My feet were so sore that I had a hard time putting one on the brake, which is not good. But I had an hour to sit and drive. It was after 5:00 when I took off for home, and there was quite a lot of traffic in Houghton and crossing the bridge, but not so much going north. Once I got beyond Kearsarge, there was hardly a car on the road. I got home a bit after 6:00.


I sat for a while, and Buster was very glad to see me. He has been wanting to sit on me since I got home. We had rotisserie chicken for dinner, and it was very good. We will have three more meals out of it, although I think I could probably get more than that if I wanted. I got all the refrigerated stuff into the house and packed away, and the fridge is now bulging with good things. The tomatoes need a bit of ripening, but then it will be time to have one of my summer treats: hamburger with a big slab of tomato on it. Yum! It's messy to eat, but so good. I got some mixed lettuces, too, and they would be good on it too. Yum! Then there's the corn, and I must make one of my recipes that will use that beautiful green pepper. Now we'll see if my diverticula bother me.


After the talking, I did most of my surfing, and I think I got the files on the desktop set up so I can modify them from the laptop, which was easier than I feared. I had just overlooked something.


The weather was lovely, clear and sunny and fairly warm. In fact, it got over 80 in town. All that sun made the inside of the car like an oven, and I had to use the A/C for a while on the way home. Here, it only got up to 73, and there was a light breeze from the north. Beautiful!


Now it's time to drag myself up to the north end. My feet are extremely sore, but not on the bottoms. It's the bones and joints that hurt, which leads me to believe I have arthritis in my feet - why not? I have it everyplace else. My back is much better, so I guess I won't have to sleep on the heating pad tonight. 


I do have to take a bath. Not only am I seeing the doctor tomorrow, I am all sticky and sweaty and my hair was sopping by the time I finished shopping, so I need to bathe just to feel comfortable in bed.


So now it's a clear, coolish night in the field and the gibbous moon is shining very brightly in the south windows.


September 7

I guess it was around 10:30 when I got to bed last night. Of course I had to stare at the floor for a while before I took my bath, and I was looking for a hair on my chin that I never did find until this morning. It's one of the downsides of getting old - if I didn't tweeze and shave, I'd have a beard and a  moustache. Of course, I come from a hairy race, so I've dealt with that problem for most of my life.


I got up around 8:30 and I brushed the cat, then I knitted. I finished the birch leaves square, then there was a right-hand triangle, which I worked because I wanted to find out how it was done, then I didn't want to leave it in the middle. So I knitted for more than two hours, Now that I'm into this thing, I'm enjoying it immensely. Of course, the next square is lily of the valley, which I don't enjoy so much, but most of it is great fun. I can even do birch leaves with only occasional glances at the chart and fern with no glances once I get the first couple of rows down. Not that it will go fast. The completed piece is about 80" long, so there are lots of squares. I suppose eventually I will get tired of it and go on to something else, but for the time being, I'm enjoying it. When I originally started it, 5 or 6 years ago, I had a hard time, and then I ran into lily of the valley before I got my book on Estonian lace, which explains how to do nupps. That was where I stopped until after I got the book and the raspberry stole. Now I know how to do nupps, and i know that I have to keep a very taut tension in order to make it not look messy. The last revelation was that putting each square on a stitch holder when i finish it makes it much easier to see what I'm doing. With regular entrelacs, you just keep everything on a long needle and it works fine. It did not work fine with this one. So I'm enjoying my morning knitting time.


The cat situation is about static. Buster had just peed on the throw when I went into the laundry room to check on him, but later this afternoon, I checked and he was sound asleep. He came out when I started my dinner, and what I want to know is how he knew we were having stuffed chicken tonight before I even had them out of the wrappers. He came down to the studio, and he was waiting when I brought my dinner down. He had quite a big helping, then he licked my plate, which had a lot of butter from the Kiev. Then he went over onto the bookcase again, and now he has gone away. I was just glad to see him come into the studio. I'm beginning to think he can read my mind.


Of course, I did find he had peed on a plastic bag behind the sewing machine and next to the sewing machine, but those clearly happened a while ago. I sat down at the sewing machine because I needed to put some extra thimbles away, but while I was uncovering the CraftStor, i discovered another pair of underpants that needed mending, so I did that. 

I did about half of Y on the sampler, but Buster wanted to sit on my lap, so that was as far as I got. Before that, i had taken every thing out of my tool box to find the needle threaders I keep losing. I did find them and the tool box is now a whole lot neater and has fewer thimbles I can't wear anymore. My middle finger isn't anything like my index finger, but it is enlarged with a very big joint, probably arthritis, and finding a thimble that fits has been really hard. I have a couple now, so I will be able to sew when I need a thimble.


I spent part of the afternoon on the phone, getting some money and trying to get my insurance straightened around. I am leaving the company that has written my policies for at least 40 years, because their prices have suddenly, in the past couple of years, gotten outrageous. My guess, from what little I could hear, is that they have new management who are much more interested in making lots of money than in serving their insureds, even though they are a mutual company, or they used to be. The new one is much cheaper, and I can't afford to be sentimental about things like that. It seems like the agent has had a whole lot of people in the same situation I am, and it's making a lot of work for them. I wonder when my old company will realize they are losing a whole lot of customers because they have changed their pricing. So that is all taken care of. Tomorrow, I will send off the signed applications. It means I can't leave for town until after noon, but I probably wouldn't anyway.


The weather was beautiful again, but windier than yesterday. There were whitecaps on the harbor for most of the day, but there almost no clouds in the sky. The temperature got up to 70 for quite a while this afternoon, and for a while there was a 20 mph wind from the north. Or so said the NWS station. From the whitecaps, I would have said it was stronger. Anyway, it was a pretty day, and from the forecasts, we are in for five or six more days like this. I can stand it.


So that was my day, and now I will be going up to the north end and try to get to bed early again. I have decided to go to town two days in a row - ugh. Tomorrow, I will go down to Houghton and hit the bank, Hughes Farm, the feed store, Wal-Mart and Econo, and Friday I will see the doctor and probably go to Pat's for whatever I don't get tomorrow. I don't like to shop two places, because I usually spend more money, but Econo and Pat's don't both have all the same things. It's been a while since I've been to Econo, so I need to stop there and they have cat food that I need.


Now it's a lovely, clear evening in the field and the moon is beginning to shine into the south windows. Oh, yes, and we are down to 13 hours of daylight, unfortunately.


September 6

I read off the end of the blue binder last night (the part that isn't done), and it was a bit after 10:00 when I got to bed. I slept well. When I was up in the night, there were stars, but not very bright ones. I can still see Arcturus at that time of night, setting in the west, but there aren't any very bright stars between it and Vega, which was over the window.


I woke up at 9:00 and I really didn't want to get up, but I figured 11 hours' sleep was enough, so I did. I finished the fern square on the stole and set up the next square, which is birch leaves. Buster came, got brushed, and sat on me until I got up. And he was hungry and ate well, but otherwise he's camping in the laundry room. He peed on a couple more throws today, so I moved his tray into the laundry room. Not really where I want it, but I want to encourage him to use it. I washed three more throws today.


i went to see Johanna, and that was nice. Massages really do help my aches and pains, although today the pains were mostly in my knees. I didn't get home until after 2;00, so I didn't do much.


While the talking was going on, I embroidered on the sampler, and I finished U, V, W and X. X was silk pearl and I hate working in that, but there is a lot of it in this sampler, so best I get used to it. I tried to start Y, but it seemed like I couldn't tell the difference between two squares and three. so after I ripped it out, I just placed the thread in the right place to begin. I'll work on that tomorrow.


There was some kind of problem with phone lines today. I heard (I don't know how true it is) that a beaver chewed through a fiber cable, so we had no phone, no 911, no cell, no long distance, no nothing for most of the day. Evidently the NWS station uses phone lines, because it was down until almost 2:00. 


So I can't say what the temperature was this morning, but it was chilly when I went off to see Johanna. She said it was about 52 at her house, and I believe it. It got up to 64 for a while before it began to drop back. The winds were variable and under 10 mph. There was not a cloud in our sky all day, and now the gibbous moon is shining brightly in the west windows. It got warm enough in here that I had to open the door.


Oh, well, I did do something, I guess. I got another barrel out and moved stuff around so that I have three barrels of the stuff I took off the desk, and they are piled up on top of each other, so I can get to the deck. I think I will be able to shut the door, too, although I had to turn the wastebasket around, so we'll see.


I began to get the laptop set up to go to Detroit. I loaded FrontPage onto it and copied the web over from the desktop (it's really nice to be able to do that, although I still haven't figured out why I can't access the laptop from the desktop), and I finally got Live Mail configured so that it will work. That was a long effort, because I mistyped something, but eventually it worked. There was also a humungous Norton update. I toyed with trying to get Zuma loaded onto it, but I don't think I'll bother. I have Bejeweled and Bookworm, as well as all the games that came with it, so that should occupy me. I'm finding Zuma too frustrating anyway.


So that was a shortened day, and now it's a clear, cool evening in the field and I think I'll go to bed.


September 5

I think it was around 10:30 when I got to bed last night, and I slept well for the most part. I was up around 7:15, and that seemed to early, but I had a hard time getting back to sleep because my shoulder was sore. I finally got up around 10:30. I brushed the cat, who was very purry, and he sat on me all the time I was knitting - and unknitting.


I finished the lily of the valley square and started the next one, which ferns, and I was going right along when I dropped something. I had to rip back four or five rows before i figured it out, and then I decided just to stop there.


I cooked my sausage, egg and potato breakfast, and I was shocked to see that it was 1:00 before I got to the studio. So I didn't do much else until lately. 


I had closed the studio door when I went to bed last night, and when I went looking for Buster in the middle of the afternoon, he was in the laundry room and he had just peed on the fleece throws I keep there. So I changed them, and when I went back to look for him tonight, he was still there. I went back a while later, and he had just that moment peed on the new throw, so a whole bunch are now in the washer. He clearly doesn't feel good, although he is still eating. I'm watching him. I changed his little tray, which was bad again, and I hope that will help get him out of the laundry room.


Otherwise, I hauled out the cross stitch sampler I was working on way back in the spring (reading my old journals reminded me of it). I finished "S" and managed, after three tries, to do "T", but that was all. I had counting problems and problems reading the graph right, but I'll get back into it.


The weather was beautiful but cold. It was mostly to all clear, but the temperature hung right around 55 all day. There were very light winds from the northeast to north. 


I didn't stick my nose outside. The barrels I had to move to close to the door are still in the middle of the room and will have to be moved again in order for me to get to the patio door, and i was so late it didn't seem worth the effort to put the bird feeders out.


Johanna called last night and rescheduled my massage tomorrow, so I don't need to worry too much about getting up early. I will be trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour anyway. It works much better when I can go to bed and get up at reasonable hours. 


I may read a while, though, because I finally dug out the laptop and started a Norton update on it, which was huge. I didn't know it was that long since I'd powered it up. I want to take it up to the north end one of these days and see if I can connect to the network from there. After my problems with the cordless phone, I'm dubious, but of course they are on different wavelengths, and I think the wireless network is probably less bothered by walls and things. Anyway, I have a few things to do before i go to Detroit in October, and I want to make sure the laptop is in good shape for that trip.


Now it's a lovely, clear, cool night in the field (it's supposed to go down into the 40s tonight) and there is a pretty half moon shining brightly in the south windows.


September 4

I made it into bed a bit after 10:00 last night. I would have been earlier except that I had found three little sampler kits that use silk in the basement - oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that when I went downstairs to get my pizza yesterday, I went through all the tubs looking for my nightgown material. I only found three pieces - two cotton and one flannel - so where the rest are I can only guess. I suppose they're in one of the boxes marked "fabric." Ugh. Anyway, among other interesting things, I found these three little kits that I don't know quite why I took down there, since I have several baskets of kits up here. They are interesting little things, done in silk and using a lot of specialty stitches (not all cross stitch). So I made the mistake of taking them up to the north end with me, and I read through one of them. I have to say that the charts are bad and the directions are horrible, but I think I can figure out how to do them.


Anyway, I shouldn't have done that. I slept well, but I wasn't ready to get up when the alarm went off at 7:00. I got up, but this is the first morning this fall when I had to turn on a light in the kitchen to see what I was doing. Not a good omen. I did my surfing and got off to church in the rain.


Church was nice, although there were fewer people there than usual, because of the holiday weekend, I'm sure, but there were some Tech students, which I thought was very nice. Come to think of it, I went to church when I was in college, too, but there was a campus ministry at Western Michigan (I went to Kalamazoo College), so almost all the congregation were students. I guess I would have gone to a regular church if I could have found one, but the one at Western was within walking distance, and I walked in those days.


There were a few slow drivers both going and coming. I was particularly glad to get around the one going, because he drove rather strangely - make that very strangely - and I was particularly suspicious of the rear end damage to his car. I can see how it could have happened. Of course he wouldn't pull over, so when we got to the passing zone, just before Lac LaBelle Road, I went by him and so did the guy behind me.  There was a strange one coming home, too, but I turned onto Cliff Drive and apparently he was going to Mohawk.


When I got back to Copper Harbor, it was a zoo. There were cars and people and bicycles everywhere and they were just about to start the kids' race. I was very glad to get home.


I wondered if they would have the races because the weather was terrible - very autumnal. The temperature was 61 when I got to the studio, but before I left, it had dropped to 58. the wind was a steady 25 mph with gusts to 38 mph from the northeast, and it had begun to rain. It was nasty. It turns out that the temperature was 64 at midnight, and it dropped off steadily to 56 about the time I got home. The wind peaked at 9:00, and it only rained for a couple of hours. The lake has been singing loudly, which I love to hear, and when I left this morning, there were breakers on my beach. That is the reason the bird feeders didn't get put out. The wind is dropping a bit now and swinging more toward the east, and the temperature has risen to 57.  There was just a ray of sunlight peeking through the clouds, which have been thick and dark all day. It's still very humid, which is no doubt the reason my knees have been so bad.


I learned that my friend Eleanor (the 90-year-old) is back in the hospital with her pneumonia back. I was very sorry to hear that. I've heard of too many old people who ended up succumbing to pneumonia. Eleanor is tough, though, and Pastor said she seems to be coming along. I must try to track down her address and send her a card. I've been wanting an excuse to print up some of my note cards. 


That would be a fun task for tomorrow, unless I decide to go back down into the basement and look for more nightie fabric. I really need new nighties. My cotton ones are so thin you could read through them and my flannel ones have patches on the patches. After considering the matter, I decided to make them all out of my favorite pattern, which has tucks on the front and back. It doesn't have a yoke, which means that the flannel ones tend to fray at the shoulder seam (and a lot of other places, too), but since I have at least six pieces of both cotton and flannel, and the flannel ones didn't start to get holey until they were at least 12 years old, I see no reason not to use the pattern I really like. It's very wide at the bottom, so I can wrap my legs up in the skirt. Since the reason I didn't do any sewing was that I needed the desk to be clear and now the desk is clear (or almost so), maybe I can get at that. Instead of doing what I should do, of course.


When I got home, Buster had made a puddle in front of the computer monitor, and then he sat in it. I made him go away, and when he came back, he sat in a basket that I have behind the new computer, and he hadn't cleaned himself off. I finally chased him away, and he just came back because he wanted some of my dinner, but now he is sitting on the other side of the desk on the bookcase. I really don't know what his problem is, but I am going to have to figure out a way to close the door to the studio - with him outside - when I'm not here. I think he knows he did something wrong, and I think this time he knows what it was. The only thing I wonder is whether it was on purpose or an accident. He is getting closer and closer to getting hauled off to the vet.


So I had a very quiet day doing nothing. The wind is still blowing and the lake is still singing, but the clouds are beginning to break up. It's a cold, windy, autumnal evening in the field


September 3

I read for a when I got up to the north end, and I took a bath, so it was 10:00 by the time I got to bed. Oh my, I did sleep. I was up every 3 hours, which is normal. I was awake around 8:00, which should have been enough sleep, but it didn't feel like it, so I went back to bed. I didn't really sleep soundly after that, but it was good enough that I got up around 10:00.


I knitted half of the lily of the valley square and that was enough for one sitting - too many nupps. Buster came, and he jumped onto the windowsill without checking whether the window was open or not, so he perched on the sill, which is about 2" wide, until I enticed him onto my lap for his brushing. Then I refilled the pill dispensers, so it was quite late when I got to the office.


I didn't do very much. I needed to get lettuce. I didn't get any the other day because I thought I was going to town, but then I didn't. So I went to the store and the post office, where I'm sure Ron was glad to see me, since my box was pretty full and the next shipment of pills had arrived. I had a real yen for ice cream, which I've had for a couple of days, so I went down to the Berry Patch and had Zanzibar chocolate and mint chip. Oh my, was it good! 


It was a zoo in town, though. I thought the Fat Tire Festival was tomorrow, but it started today and the town was full of cars, pickup trucks, people on bikes and people walking around. Yie! I nearly ran over three women jogging down US-41 when I went out, and one had to drive very carefully to avoid hitting something. I was glad to get home, although it was nice to see George and Brenda and I ran into Peggy at the store. She is hibernating, too. I will get it tomorrow, too, if not when I leave, at least when I get back after church.


The weather was all right. The temperature got up to 73 for a while, but for most of the day it seemed to be around 68. There was wind from the southwest all day, and it gusted up to about 25 mph during the afternoon, at least at the NWS station. I never trust it to report accurately, particularly southwest winds, which are sheltered by the mountain. It was partly to mostly cloudy for most of the day, although I watched a rather nice sunset reflected in the south window. Nice, but not nice enough to take a picture. It was very humid overnight, then the humidity went down for the afternoon, and now it is rising again. I guess we're in for some rain, too.


Tonight Buster and I had microwave pizza for dinner. Curiously, I like Schwan's microwave pizza better than the regular one I tried, but that's all right. Buster likes pizza. I don't give him any pepperoni, which he would probably like, but he loves the cheese and tomato sauce. And he got some ice cream, too, although he wouldn't eat it until it melted. He licked at it just a bit when it was frozen, but it was apparently too cold for him. Once it melted, he liked it just fine.


So now it's time to finish loading the dishwasher so it will run tonight and get ready for church tomorrow. That means early to bed, so I will go. It's a warmish, cloudy night in the field and we're down to 13h15m of daylight. Oh, sigh.


September 2

Well, I didn't. In fact it was nearly 2:00 before I crashed. This time it was the Word versions of the journal. I hadn't converted any journals since January (and that wasn't done), so I decided to do that. I had my usual problems with Word 2010, that is, finding what I wanted, but it's actually easier to get the journals in the right order (first first). So I did all eight months, then I started reading through them to get the headers in and correct the so-called grammar errors. There were a few real errors, too. For some reason I sometimes have a tendency to type "n" when I mean "h", among the ones I can remember. I'm sorry when those things get into the published journal, but FrontPage doesn't include a grammar checker.


Anyway, I finally stopped, much later than I planned. I'm not done. I was looking for the date when I came down with the sinus infection, and my feeling seems to be right - I was fighting it off for at least three months before it finally got the best of me. I'm not through with April, but I just had to call a halt.


I got up at 9:00, because I had to pee, and I knew if I went back to bed, It would be noon before i got up. I don't want to get into that, since i want to go to church on Sunday. I finished the birch leaves square and I was about to set up the next one, a lily of the valley square, when Buster appeared, so I stopped and brushed and petted him. I wish he would come every day, because he has had many fewer problems with hairballs since I've been brushing him regularly. Besides, he seems to like it, and he purrs at me, sometimes louder than other times. This morning, i had the window open and the wind and the lake meant I had a hard time hearing him.


I didn't do very much, I must admit. I did get the bird feeders out, and I must take them in tonight. I don't want that pesky coon to drink my hummingbird nectar again. It turns out that he bit off the top of the bee guard so he could pour the nectar out all over everything. 


The weather was rather weird. When I got up, it was 76, which turned out to be the high for the day. There wasn't a lot of wind. Within half an hour, the wind started to blow, and by noon the temperature was down to 68. It looked like it might rain, and there was a haze down the harbor that looked like it might be rain, but it was very humid, so I guess it was only fog. The temperature recovered a bit, up to 73 for a while this afternoon, but it is dropping off again. The wind shifted from the west, where it was all night, to the north after it started to blow, so that is no doubt why the temperature went down. It was partly to mostly cloudy for the rest of the day. There was a little sunshine, and the sun is shining in the door as it is about to set, but there are quite a few clouds in the sky. I must watch it - there might be a picture in there.


It was so humid that I had a terrible time getting my compression hose on. Everything felt damp, and it was nasty.


So I did nothing. I got a rather large order from Schwan's this afternoon, so now I have something to eat again. Well, the cupboard wasn't bare, but it was getting down there. I had salmon for dinner, and Buster has decided he doesn't like salmon with teriyaki sauce, so I got to eat it all myself. What he does like is cottage cheese with my favorite red dressing on it. i like it, too, but it's not something you would think a cat would like.


Now I'm getting really tired - as you would expect, with only 7 hours' sleep - and I must take a bath tonight. I have to admit, I'm certainly glad I'm not in Detroit for the beginning of this Labor Day weekend - the temperature got up to 98 there this afternoon, and I never could handle that. 


Now it's a warmish, very humid evening in the field and the sun is setting over Porter Island, very red.


September 1

It certainly doesn't seem like it should be September already, but oh, well.


I got hung up in Zuma again and it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well, thank you, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 9:00. That's not enough sleep, and I'm tired. I did my Zuma earlier today, so I don't have to do that tonight.

I didn't do much. I took out the trash bag I was working on yesterday and I filled the birdseed pail with the last of the seed. And that was about it. i thought I would go to town today, but it was warm and sticky and I just didn't feel up to it. i will have to make other plans.


The weather was most un-September-like. The temperature got up to 78, and it was warm and sticky all day with high humidity. From about 1:00 until 6:00 it was very windy, with gusts up to 33 mph from the southwest. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day.


There were some problems with the broadband when it got windy, and I had to reboot the old system. I wish I would hear from the Kabcam people, or I will just have to download it and pay all over. It's not expensive - about $30 - but still, since I already own it, I don't like to have to pay for it again. I really would like to get the old computer shut down and out of the way.


On the computer scene, I think I  know why my icons are getting mixed up. One of the games I play a lot - Bookworm - must change the screen resolution in full screen mode. I change it myself when I find a jigsaw I want to work. Even though it changes back afterward, it seems to confuse the icons, just like coming up in safe mode does. I guess, From what I've heard, that Windows 7 does have a safe mode. I sincerely hope I never see it. So far, with what little I do, it has been very stable and the only times it has rebooted are either when there are software updates or I did it by accident. It certainly is nice to have a computer that will run for days or weeks on end without needing to be rebooted every day. It's also nice to have a computer where I can have more than one Internet Explorer window open at a time (although I don't particularly care for the way it's implemented), and where I can have lots of applications open at one time without crashing the system. XP may be even more stable, but I don't want to get into that unless I have to. So far, the only things that don't run are my 16-bit games, and I guess I'll just have to put up with that. Goodbye, Taipei and Blockout. If I really need to play them, the old laptop still runs.


So that was a quiet day. Zuma was making my head ache, sort of like what happens to me in movie theaters, so while the talking was going on I worked on the Chinook shawl. Those 18 stitch markers are making it slow going, but I need them to show the pattern repeats. The needle I am using is very slippery (I still haven't found the needle tip I dropped), so it's something of a trial, but I will prevail. It starts with a dark aqua and shades from teal to blue to raspberry, and the edging is done with violet. I think it will be a pretty thing, and once I get enough stitches on the needles it will be easier to do.


Now it's a warm, cloudy night in the field and it may rain. And it's September. Sigh.


Last  updated 11/01/11 07:50 PM