A View From the Field








October, 2011

October 31 - Reformation Day

If you celebrate Halloween, fine. I don't. I hated dressing up as a kid and I still think it's another one of those days that has been grossly over-hyped by retailers. So now I'll get off my soapbox.


Somehow, I managed to not get to bed until 11:30 last night, but I slept very well, thank you. I got up around 9:15, so I nearly got my quota. i knitted the next square, which was fern, and set up the last one in the tier, which is birch leaves.


I don't remember doing very much except that I made an appointment to get my car gone over on Thursday, and I ordered my Lake Champlain chocolates for the holidays. that was a trip, since they've changed their website and there is now apparently no way to send things to people other than yourself or to send gifts or to send multiple shipments. So I had to spend quite a while with a customer service rep, who had apparently heard some of those complaints before. What a way to screw up a really nice website. Anyway, then I had to call her back, because I got email confirmations of two of the orders but not the third one. So there are a lot of things screwed up in their system. Anyway, that's done.


I also left a message for Adam, because my pump has to be put to sleep for the winter, but I haven't heard back from him. I hope I don't have to dun him again. I think he is working elsewhere now, but he did say he was planning to continue his maintenance business. We'll see. I don't know what I'll do if he isn't.


The weather was very dull and cloudy, but it didn't rain here. The clouds made a difference. It was about 45 all night, and it got up to 50 briefly around 3:00. The winds were completely calm for most of the day. Very blah.


I brought the next episode from the blue binder down to the studio, with the idea of transcribing what I've written, so that I can read it and maybe continue writing, but I didn't get much done except to set up the file and type the first couple of lines. Somehow, I don't feel like writing longhand anymore, probably because it isn't easy with my gouty index finger. And I never seem to go up to the north end early enough to read there, so if it's in the computer maybe I will be moved to do something about it. Before I do, though, I remembered something I need to add to the story that explains the background of my characters, so tomorrow maybe I will work on that. And maybe not.


So that was another quiet day in the field, and it's a dark, cloudy night in the field.


October 30

So I made it into bed by 10:00 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I had a hard time getting to sleep, then the second time I woke up was about 5:00, and I didn't really sleep after that. I didn't want to get up when the alarm went off, but that's the story of my life.


Last night before I wrote the journal, I remembered that I've wanted to go upstairs and fetch down some shirts and maybe some other things, so I did. I found so much that the only way I was able to get back down the stairs was to throw everything down to the bottom. The railing is on the wrong side for me to go downstairs while holding anything - and I keep forgetting that I could go downstairs backward. Anyway, it didn't hurt anything because all the shirts I brought down had been hanging in the closet for so long that they were wrinkled anyway. I found a few sweaters, too - two that go with a couple of the shirts, one rose and one blue. The sweaters are plain and the shirts are a very small gingham check with a khaki background. I always have thought they made a very nice combination. There was also a very soft oxford gray v-neck and a fuchsia turtleneck with cables that is so soft I just want to pet it. 


All the shirts need to be pressed a bit, but I was able to wear the rose sweater with the coordinated shirt under it today and it looked pretty good. I need to iron, but then, I need to do a lot of things that haven't been getting done. I was running out of things to wear in the cooler temperatures, though, so it was time to fetch down a few more things. I didn't bring down any skirts. I had forgotten about a maroon jumper I got in the early 2000s, and there are several cotton knit dresses, a couple of flannel dresses, and one corduroy dress. I sort of looked at my panty hose, but I didn't inspect any of the opaque tights for stretched out waistbands. I will have to do that. The real problem, besides the waistbands, is to figure out what to wear on my feet, and I will have to dig into the big box of shoes and boots before I can determine that. I know I have a lovely pair of knee-high black boots that I have never worn. The only problem will be if I can get into them at all, because my feet have expanded in the last ten years or so. So we'll see.


I also discovered a lot of odds and ends in drawers that need to come downstairs, but I had enough to bring down without two boxes of note paper and a lot of other stuff.


Actually, I'm only hoping that I will be able to go to church this winter. I know last winter it seemed like we kept having our snow on weekends, and I'm sorry, while I love to go to church, I just don't think I want to attack the roads in the really bad weather. I'm sure God understands. I love Him, and I will be content to go when it's my time, but I'm not about to push the matter.


Anyway, I managed to do my surfing and order some more pills before I got dressed, but I was a little late leaving. Then I discovered that it had been so humid overnight that the roads were all wet and there was frost all over all the roadsides. I wasn't sure if the roads were slippery or not, so it was sort of a long drive. I don't think there were any slippery spots, but it was hard to tell. The temperature was 34 when I left here, but as soon as I got to the top of the hill, it dropped to about 28, which means the roads could have been icy.


Church was lovely. Not only was it a fifth Sunday, so we had communion using the old service that I love, we celebrated Reformation Day, which is actually tomorrow, and Pastor's sermon was a good one. There were a lot of people there, and it amused me how loudly they spoke and sang the old liturgy. So I'm not the only one who tolerates the blue hymnal but would rather not use it.


I got home just after 12:30, and I didn't do anything but eat after I changed my clothes. I finished my surfing. PastyNet doesn't update so early, and I hadn't had time to do my crosswords or catch up on my jigsaw puzzles. That took a while, since there were two round puzzles last week, and those are the only ones I do. However, I didn't do the one with 220 pieces. One can choose the number of pieces, so I did 122 pieces, which was a lot easier to see as well as to work.


The weather was blah. It was extremely humid overnight for the second night in a row. The temperature was around 34 all night, then when the sun rose, it went up to 45 rather quickly and stayed there all afternoon. It briefly hit 48. There was hardly any wind, and it was cloudy and a bit gloomy all day, although there was a little wan sunlight coming in the south windows when I was trying to do my jigsaws.


The sun at noon is only about 29 above the horizon, which means that when it is shining, it shines right into my eyes. Not that I will complain about any sunlight! The days are only a tad over 10 hours long now, and we are still losing daylight at 3 minutes a day. Sigh. The sun isn't rising until 8:30, and it sets at just after 6:30. When we go off daylight savings time next weekend, it will be even worse.


I heard Jasmine twice and saw her once today. She is a funny little kitty. She won't come near me, and she is spending much too much time in the basement, but every time she comes upstairs, if she knows I am awake, she peeps at me to let me know she is here. I haven't figured that out yet, but she wants me to know. She sat under a dining chair for a while this afternoon and talked to me, and I invited her to come closer. She sort of shuffled her feet, but she wouldn't move. And yet, she wants me to know she is around. It's really strange.


So that was my day, and for two days in a row, I haven't gotten enough sleep, so I think I will totter up to the north end and crash. It's a dark, cloudy but not very cold night in the field.


October 29

I read too long last night, and it was late when I got to bed. I was only up once during the night, about 4:30, and there were stars. I woke up around 8:30, and that wasn't enough sleep, but when I went back to bed, I didn't really go back to sleep, so I got up around 9:30. 


I knitted the whole lily of the valley square and set up the next one, more ferns. However, I won't get a chance to knit tomorrow. Anyway, it will be ready for me when I do.


I didn't do much. I started sneezing while I was knitting, and I didn't feel very robust for most of the day. I unloaded the dishwasher, though, so that task is done and I can start reloading it. Mostly i did my surfing.


The weather was not what they predicted. It got cold last night; the temperature got down to 34 between 7:00 and 9:00 this morning, but it warmed up steadily to about 45. There was almost no wind. For most of the day it was nearly clear and sunny. However, around 4:00 I began to see a large, very dark cloud in the west, and by 4:45 it was raining down the harbor. Shortly, it was raining here, too, and we got about an eighth of an inch of rain in an hour or so. Then it cleared up again, and it was nearly clear at sunset.


The rain was starting to die down when I went to the powder room, and when I looked out the window, there was the brightest rainbow! That isn't a place where I can take pictures, so I looked out the great room windows, and there was the other side of the bow, so I ran out on the front stoop (in the rain) and this is what I saw. Kind of pretty, huh? I saw several rainbows like that in the spring of 1999 when I was staying in Room 34 and making the plans for the house, which is why I have always called it Rainbow's End. From the other end of the harbor, all the rainbows I saw that spring ended right here. Anyway, in the second picture, you can see the inverse rainbows - two of them - inside the main bow. There wasn't anything on the other side, though, so the conditions weren't right for that.


Rainbows here tend to be brighter than any I had ever seen before, no doubt because the air is so clear and clean. I have always loved them anyway.


Oh, yes, and I got to play with the computer again. This desktop has a bunch of little slots in the top of it for various kinds of memory cards, and one of them fits the card in the Nikon. So I plugged it in, and Windows asked me what I wanted to do with it, and that was all there was to it. No fiddling with the USB reader or anything like that. I still need the reader, though, because unfortunately, the laptop doesn't have the right kind of slot. I was disappointed in that, but oh, well. I guess I can't have everything. Evidently the large card like the Nikon uses isn't as common anymore. Anyway, it was cool.


So that was my day, and now I must go up to the north end and fill the pill dispensers before I take my bath. It's a clear, cold night in the field and there should be stars.


October 28

I read too long last night, so it was midnight before I got to bed. The first time I woke up was around 4:30, but after that I didn't sleep very well, and there were a lot of weird dreams. There were some stars at 4:30, so it wasn't a completely cloudy night.


I was dozing when the phone rang at around 9:00. It was the manager (I think - I didn't get his name) of the Wal-Mart in Houghton, responding to the email I sent to the website the other night, about all the shelves that weren't stocked when I was in the store. He was most apologetic, but I got the impression that not much may change. At least they are aware of the problem. And he is sending me a gift card - I don't know for how much. It pays to complain, as long as you don't do it very often.


I'm getting my beautiful beveled glass stars at the price in the email from Gardeners Supply, too, instead of the actual price. It pays to complain.


I try not to complain too often, but there are times when I feel it's necessary to let someone know what I think, and the Internet is great for things for things like that. It turns out that most retailers seem to want to know what their customers think, so if something really irks me, what the heck. I've gotten lower prices, coupons, and now a gift card out of it. Oh, yes, and a very nice price on  my propane. 


It pays to complain.


It was a very slow day. I knitted, and completed the next square, birch leaves. The next one is lily of the valley, so I set it up and left it there.


I wasn't planning to go out, but Ron called to say that I had a package, so I went to the post office, where there was my package and exactly one thing in my box - a bill. I was glad I went, though, because it was a couple of books, and UPS came just after I got home with another one. They are all knitting books, and I am marginally satisfied with them. I may send the one from Amazon back, because it isn't as interesting as i thought - and it will keep me from buying the magazine the designs were from. Hmm.


The weather was uninteresting, too. It was mostly cloudy, although occasionally there was a ray of sunshine or two, including the best sunrise picture yet. The temperature got down to 35 overnight, and it was 46 for most of the afternoon. There was almost no wind at all. The brief times I was out of doors, it was rather nice out.


That snow and sleet they were predicting evidently went south and east of us, for which I am grateful. There is more snow in the forecast for the next couple of days, but it probably won't do that here on the shores of the big lake. So winter is coming. Slowly, but it's coming.


I didn't do much but look at my new books. I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I was rather logy today. 


Now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field, and I think I will be reading a bit before I go up to the north end. They are going to play Brahms' German Requiem, which I love, after they get through with a totally horrible violin concerto that was just written a year or so ago. I mean, it's absolutely horrible. However, I will endure, so that I can hear Brahms.


October 27

I think it was nearly 11:00 when I got to bed, and for the most part, slept well. I was up a few times, but not for long, although when I woke up around 3:30, the clock was blinking, so I knew there had been a power failure, so I had to sort of reset the clocks. Somehow, I just can't read the calculator clock in the middle of the night. I got up around 8:30. I've been trying to do that, because I know that if I don't, it will be 10:30 or later before I wake up again. So I got up and I knitted. I'm now back to where I was a couple of days ago, and I can go on to the next square tomorrow.


Apparently, according to Charlie, the power failure affected the whole Keweenaw, and it was down for quite a while. I have no idea - I can't hear the generator from my bedroom, and it was all fine when I got up.


So it was late when I got to the office. The first thing I discovered was that the computer had never come up after the power failure, and after a couple of reboots in order to get into setup, I discovered that somehow the action after a power failure had been changed from what it was when I got the thing to something that didn't reboot. I have no idea how that happened, since I haven't been in setup for a couple of months, and it annoys me that something - I have no idea what - changed the settings that I put in. I hope it is changed back now. Then the internet was down. Apparently, they switched Brockway over from solar to wind power yesterday, and there wasn't any wind today, so the batteries died. I ate my breakfast and did a few other things (including cleaning myself up after an accident) and when I got back to the computer, everything was all right.


 I had so much to read that I never did get all my surfing done. I got hung up reading war stories from IT professionals, and the problems haven't changed in the 15 years since I retired. Some of them are really funny, but some just make me (and everyone else) just roll my eyes.


I had to go to the post office, and I passed a truck with ladders on top on my way out, but I couldn't really see who was driving. There was a ton of mail, mostly catalogs (yes, it's beginning!), and I had to stop and say hi to Ron. 


When I got back, there was John in my driveway, and he was there to get my client permanently mounted. Well. That turned into a 2 hour marathon, because when he got it mounted, the signal strength was pretty poor, so he had to fiddle a lot. He had a problem, because by that time his laptop had gone through two batteries and was dead. Then we discovered that all my outdoor outlets were also dead. Eventually, he helped me read the list of circuit breakers, and we found the one that controls the outdoor outlets. Once I reset that, everything was fine. My client is now mounted at a strange angle on the deck post but not in a place where the camera will see it. There were a lot of interesting pictures from the camera this afternoon, of doorframes and one of me. However, now the signal strength is great, the throughput is amazing, and everything seems to be just fine.


The weather wasn't nearly as awful as they were predicting. The temperature was between 41 and 43 all day until sunset, and there was no wind to speak of at all. Now the temperature has fallen into the upper 30s. It was mostly cloudy, but there was a little sunshine, and around 5;00, the sky cleared almost completely for a while and there was some nice sunshine in the west. I think it has clouded up again. but we'll have to see.


It was clear for a while last night, too, and I saw a few stars. Since it's new moon time, it's really dark at night, but I like that.


So that was my day, and I have been reading a little since the talking stopped. I want to take a bath tonight and try some of the new stuff on my hair to see what it does, so I suppose I will go up to the north end fairly soon. 


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


October 26

I was in bed by 10:30, with a bath, but I didn't sleep very well. Something I heard on ATC in the afternoon upset me, and that set me off. Eventually I did get to sleep, but it was a lot later than that. I was up during the night, and there were no more northern lights, although I was surprised to see stars. Evidently I fell asleep too fast on Monday, because the reports are that they were out at 10:00, so they went on pretty much all night long. Now, that's the kind of display I like!


I got up around 8:30, I think, and I began knitting away, but right at the end of the first square on the next tier, I dropped something on the end of a square on the tier below. So I had to rip out the square I had just knit, the triangle, and half of the last square on the previous tier before I got everything cleaned up. I think I may have dropped a stitch when I transferred the stitches from the holder to the needle, so I must be more careful after this. I finished the square I ripped out half of, but I didn't do the triangle. So that's tomorrow. It really annoys me when I do things like that, but it usually happens when I think I'm really going along and I stop paying attention. 


Then, of course, when I was packing my tote for my afternoon, I discovered that the last time I knitted on the sock, I had stopped rather abruptly when the doctor came in, and I dropped half a dozen stitches off one needle there, too. That wasn't so hard to repair, but still. When they called me at the dentist's office, I made sure to pull the ends of the needles far away from where I was knitting.


I was off a bit before 1:00, and I should have gotten there earlier than I did, except that there was an excessively law-abiding driver ahead of me between Calumet and Hancock, and there was too much traffic to pass two pickup trucks until we got to the passing lanes. I was happy to see that my shortcut is open again, so I didn't have to go all around Hancock this time.


They didn't find anything wrong with my teeth or gums, and my teeth are all nice and clean again, so that was good. The woman who is doing my work now is slow but extremely thorough, and I feel like I've gotten good work for my money, which has gone up since April. She spent the better part of an hour and a half with me.


That was just as well, because I had plans. I went off to Wal-Mart and managed to spend an awful lot of money for two little bags of stuff. There were batteries, though, and I found a pair of slippers with pink ribbons on them that I hope will fit. I wanted to look at what they have for frizzy hair, since mine is driving me nutty and it looks horrible. I found a couple of things, which I will try the next time I wash my hair. The problem is, I have to wash it for the oil in my scalp and in the top two or three inches, and that dries out the long ends. One thing is a conditioner that you put on after washing and don't rinse out, and the other one is a rinse-out conditioner. We'll see what happens. 


Then I had to get gas, and it was $3.439 at Wal-Mart, which is at least 5 cheaper than anyplace else that I saw. So that worked out.


By that time, it was 5:00, so I moseyed on over to Bambu, only to find that now they are serving dinner after 3:00 and they aren't closing in the middle of the afternoon. That may change, but I wouldn't have wanted to eat any earlier anyway. I was glad I went then, though, because by the time I left, the joint was jumpin'. I won't say it was better than Canton Express, but it was equally good. I had noodles. Of course. They have tuned up their menu since the first time I was there, and they had a noodle dish that was very much like Canton Express's. It was good. Yum. They were out of JD, but that was the only problem.


I started home just after 6;00 and got here just after 7:00. Jasmine came out of the basement when I was in the powder room and meowed. I got her a few cans of food with beef in it, and we'll see what she thinks of that. She has been eating a little canned food, but I'm throwing a whole lot away. At 54 a can minimum, that can get expensive. If I didn't have so much on hand, I would have to think hard about it. We'll see when I run out.


The weather was not very good. The temperature was in the middle 40s here and lower 40s in town - the inverse of how it is in the summer - but there wasn't much wind. It was spitting drizzle when I left here, and it rained lightly off and on all the way down and most of the way back. It didn't rain hard enough here to register in the rain gauge, but I think it must have in Houghton, because the roads were wet. My car was wet when I came out of the dentist's office. It was dark and dreary, but every so often the clouds would part and a ray or two of sunshine would come out. When I came out of Wal-Mart, it looked particularly dark and ominous over the hills on the other side of the canal, but as far as I could see, nothing came of it.


So that was my day, and I am making up for my JD now. Once that is gone, I will totter up to the north end and hope to get a better night's sleep tonight. It's a damp, dark night in the field.


October 25

I bathed last night, forgetting that I have to do it again tonight before I see the dentist, and I was in bed by 10:30. 


I woke up around 1:30, and when I went into the bathroom, it was nearly as light as it was at 7:00 this morning. Whoa! The bathroom gets more light than the bedroom most of the time because it's a small room with a lot of windows, and it was light in there. It was also light outside, mostly toward the north. Ah, northern lights! I watched them for about 20 minutes, and they weren't moving very much - a little, but not much, and I didn't see any color, not like some other people reported. That may not mean there wasn't any, just that I couldn't see very close to the horizon and my old eyes, with their cataracts, just don't perceive color in low-light situations as well as they used to. Anyway, the light was all over the sky, as much as I could see, and it was very bright. Goody! We're getting into the five or six years when we're likely to have those things almost any clear night.


I went back to bed, because I needed my sleep, but it sure was nice to see. I think it had clouded up by the next time I was awake.


I got up around 9:00, and not only did I do the fern square, I did the left triangle, so I was late getting to the studio.


Jasmine was under the chair when I went to bed, and she meowed very sadly at me. She was upstairs when I got up, and she talked for a very long time, and when I went down the hall to the kitchen, she was sitting in the great room talking to me again. And she kept talking. She is clearly very sad, and I kept telling her that she could come to me and I would be nice to her, but she just won't believe it. Finally she went downstairs to sleep, but it was good to see her upstairs when it was light outside. Poor kitty. She just doesn't understand. I will keep trying.


I didn't do much of anything today. I was so late that after I read my email and did my surfing, it was almost too late to do much else. I did read for a while.


The weather was nondescript again. The high temperature was 44, and it was about constant all day, except for 9:00 this morning, when it dropped to 33 very briefly, for reasons I can't determine. There was not much wind all day, and what there was came from the northeast or east, until it went calm this evening. It was cloudy, but not too dark.


So that was my day. Tomorrow I get my teeth cleaned at 2:00, and I think I will go to Wal-Mart after for a few things, then, if the timing is right, I will stop at the Chinese place for some good food. We'll see how that comes out. Now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field.


October 24

After I uploaded this, I read for a while, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, but I was up any number of times. I was up around 7:45, but I didn't feel like that was nearly enough sleep, so I went back to sleep, and it was 10:30 before I got up.


I knitted, and I finished the birch leaves square, with a little backtracking. For the first time since I've been working on this stole, I started knitting on the wrong needle and had to rip four or five rows. I don't think I'll do that again. The next square is fern, and it's easy, and then there is a left side triangle. There are only four squares when I'm working from the right side, but there are five when I'm working from the wrong side. The next couple of tiers only have one lily of the valley square, so they should go quickly. It's going to be a really pretty thing, and even now, when it isn't stretched at all, there is this fluffy pile of off-white stuff on my lap as I knit. I think it's natural white alpaca color, which is sort of creamy. And it's so soft! Cashmere may be softer, but not much. I just like to work my fingers into it.


So I didn't do anything much today. I was so late getting to the office, and there is so much reading to do on Monday, that I didn't do much else. While the talking was going on, I knitted on the shawl and I did several rows. Each row is different, but there is still a certain sameness to them, so it gets boring after a while. However, that may be a good thing, since i don't have to be so careful of what I'm doing. I think I'm going to like it, and I've been thinking that it would be a neat thing to wear over my pea jacket or my long down-lined coat, if I get to go to church much this winter.


The weather was about as usual. It was up to 47 overnight, but today it was around 44 all day. There was a rather strong north wind, which got up to 37 mph gusts early in the morning, and the sustained winds were over 20 mph all day. They've died down a little now. It was cloudy for most of the day, although it cleared up a bit around sunset, as it often seems to lately.


Now it's a dark, cool night in the field, and I don't think I will be long at the south end.


October 23

I made it into bed by 10:00, and I slept pretty well for once. I wasn't ready to get up when the alarm went off, but it was still dark out, and I don't like to get up when it's dark out. For some reason, I was a little behind, but I managed to make up for it because there were almost no cars on the road.


Church was good as always, and I got home around 12:30.


I didn't do a lot, but I washed the last two loads - the towels and the placemats and potholders. The towels took a long time to dry, so I have just put the other load in the dryer now. 


i spent most of the afternoon reading, and i met Mike and Gary for dinner. They are the nicest guys, and we had a lovely conversation. They would really like to move up here, but Mike is still working, and Gary's former boss wants him back officially for a day or two a week, so they will have to make some life changes before they can move. They managed to hit most of the high spots, which I knew they would, but they have to go back tomorrow, so they didn't get to do everything they wanted to do.


The weather was cloudy and dull, but it didn't start to rain until just a little while ago. The temperature was cool this morning - about 40 here and in the mid 30s in Laurium - but it got up to 51 this afternoon and it wasn't bad. There was a little wind around noon, but it died down this afternoon. Sort of blah, like a lot of weather we've had lately.


Last night there were a few stars, and when I got up this morning, Jupiter was blazing over Porter Island, but it clouded up before the sun rose.


So that's about all I have to report, and I'm tired. It's a yucky, drizzly night in the field. There won't be any stars tonight.


October 22

I read too long last night, and it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept fairly well, for once, although I was up several times, and I think there was a weird dream or two. I woke up around 8:00 and I had to pee, and I decided I might as well get up, even though I didn't feel like it and I had a headache. 


I finished the lily of the valley square, with some difficulty, and set up the next one, which is birch leaves. It all started because one of the nupps didn't look good, and I ended up ripping out four or five rows a couple of times before I was satisfied. So it was 10:30 before I got dressed.


Today was washday, and I started the first load on my way to the kitchen. There are a lot of things I can do now that I don't have a hungry cat waiting for me to feed him. The last loads are drying in the dryer. I still have a load of towels to do, that were part of the pads on the desk and in my chair, and one that I have been sitting on in the closet, but the clothes are all done. I suspect I may have tees to rewash, but we'll see about that when I get everything folded to put away. Tomorrow. I have a small load of things like placemats and potholders, too, but that won't take long.


In the meantime, I read a lot. I am reading Part 3 from the blue binder, which is one of my favorite episodes, as well as the longest.


The weather didn't turn out as nice as the forecasts. They kept saying that it would be sunny or mostly sunny, and it was until around 10:30 this morning, but then it clouded up and it didn't begin to clear until around 4:30 this afternoon. Sunset was nice, though, and it looks like it's mostly clear now. The temperature was around 48 for most of the afternoon, although it has now plummeted to 39 again.. There was about a 10 mph wind from the north until around 6:00, and it's been calm or nearly so ever since.


I got some messages from Mike late this afternoon, and I will be meeting them at Mariner tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to seeing them. Knowing them, they've been all over the area today, and I imagine they will be tomorrow, too. Boy, do I wish I had some of that energy!


Jasmine was around this morning for a while, and we had some conversation, and I just heard her again now. She spends most of the day in the basement. When I got up to go to bed last night, she was cuddled up in her favorite chair - the pink chair - in the great room, and I don't think she ran away as I walked by. Poor little Jasmine.


So that was my day, but I did accomplish something that needed doing. Now it's a clear, cool night in the field, and it's time to toddle up to the north end and get ready for church tomorrow.


October 21

I got to bed around 10:30, I think, with nice clean hair. I slept better than the last two nights, but not all that good. I wasn't so hot, and that helped. I did have some really strange dreams, but they weren't bad ones. I think I have a mild upper respiratory thing. When I looked at myself when I got out of the shower, my eyes were all puffy and the whites were red. I have been using a new eye drop, and I wondered if that wasn't my problem, so I used the old one last night, and my eyes weren't so red this morning, but the lids are still puffy. That plus the continual running of my nose and the sneezing I have done at intervals leads me to believe I have a slight cold.


I got up around 8:30 and I knitted for a while. I started the next square, which is lily of the valley. 


I have been postponing my wash, so today I washed all the fleece throws, using the enzyme stuff I got for that purpose. I hope that got rid of all the odors I can't smell. I am washing the ones that were in the window seat right now. I don't think Buster peed on them, but they haven't been washed in quite a while, and I know he barfed on one. If Jasmine ever completely comes out of the basement, she will appreciate that. She used to like to sleep in the window seat.


She was upstairs when I got up this morning, and we had a little conversation, but when I got to the kitchen, she went away. I think she is trying, but she is still traumatized. Patience.


It was cloudy this morning, but it began to clear up early in the afternoon, and there was some nice sunshine this afternoon. The temperature got up to 48 for a while before it plummeted to 39 after dark. There was a north wind of around 15 mph for most of the day, but that has gone to nothing now, too. 


I went to the post office and it was nice outside. I know you who have to endure hot temperatures in the summertime think middle 40s is cold, but we never got used to that up here in the Harbor, so mid-40s seems quite comfortable to us. Of course, we wear some kind of jacket or sweatshirt, but when the wind isn't howling, it's quite comfortable. And the sunshine was nice.


I finally called the gas company to find out exactly what had happened with my contract, and it seems the lady I talked to did me proud. I got a very good price on my gas, and I have a contract, which will last until next August. I am grateful to her. Sometimes it pays to complain, as long as you're nice about it. It's still a lot a month, but since I seem to use an enormous amount of gas, it's a good price.


My other two bras came, too, so now I can switch over to the new ones. The old ones are beginning to stretch out, so it's time.


I spent some time reading during the afternoon, and I embroidered a bit while the talking was going on. 


I was looking at the pictures from the camera - I guess I'm getting used to it - and I realized that for the past several days, the hanger for the tube feeder has been missing. I didn't go out onto the deck, but I couldn't see it from inside. Frequently it ends up tangled in the branch when the wind is as strong as it's been for the past week, and I hope it's there. Otherwise, I'm getting low on feeder hangers. It's time to get the pails filled and start putting the seed out again. I want my little birdies to know I will try to take care of them before it gets cold and snowy.


So now it's a cool, partly cloudy night in the field, and I will read a bit more before I go up to the north end. 


October 20

I read for a while again, and I went up to the north end around 9:30. I finally fixed my WaterPik, which I have missed, and I was in bed by 10:00. I did not sleep well. I don't know quite what the problem was, but part of it was that I was hot. With the comforter over me, I was too hot, and without it I wasn't warm enough. I think I may be fighting off a bug, which would account for the night sweats, but it was a frustrating night of strange dreams and not enough deep sleep. 


I got up around 8:30, and I knitted the end triangle on the next tier of the stole and I did about half of the next square, which is fern and goes fast. I heard Jasmine peeping down the hall while I was in the bathroom, but I didn't say anything and she went away. She is still eating, but she is spending more time in the basement than I like to see. Poor Jasmine.


I didn't do very much at all. I unloaded the dishwasher and I embroidered on the sampler for a while, and I am making progress on the area in silk perle. That is such frustrating stuff to work with, but it's coming out all right.


The weather was blah again. The wind was from the northeast and it was strong. The sustained winds have mostly been in the upper 20 mph range with gusts into the middle 30s. The lake has been roaring at a great rate, and if I'd felt better, I might have gone over to Pebbly Beach and taken pictures. However, it was cloudy and gray all day, although it was brighter than yesterday.


If the sun ever comes out again, it's going to be shining right in the south windows around noon. It only gets 32 above the horizon at noon now, less than half as high as it is in the summer. The days are getting down to 10 hours, so we're getting into the really short days of winter. 


I was surprised and delighted to get an email from my friend Mike this afternoon. He is going to be coming up for just two days over the weekend, so I will get to see him. That will be really nice. I'm sorry he missed all the color, as well as the good weather and our gale of last weekend, but any days in Copper Harbor are good days. We will have dinner on Sunday, at Mariner, I guess.


So that was a nice end to a nothing day, and I will read a little bit before I go up to the north end and wash my hair, which is a grease pot, and try to sleep better tonight. It's a dark, windy night in the field again, and the lake is singing.


October 19

I read for a while last night, and it was 10;45 before I got to bed. I slept well. I was up a bit before 8:00, and that seemed to early, but it was 10:30 before I woke up again. I knitted the whole fern square, which does go fast, so it was late when I got to the studio.


I had to go to the post office, because a book came yesterday that I erroneously ordered twice. There was stuff in my box, but nothing except catalogs and pleas for money. 'Tis the season.


The weather was about the same, except that the wind is winding up again, this time from the east. The sustained winds are in the low 20s and the gusts are now up to 32 mph. The temperature has been right around 45 all day. It was dark and cloudy, although the clouds parted a bit at sunset. They parted a bit around 2:00 this morning, too, and the waning moon was shining in the bathroom windows for a while. Blah.


I knitted on the shawl a bit this afternoon, but that pattern is going to be boring. So I picked up the sampler and did cross stitch in silk for a while. It's coming along slowly. I hate that silk perle, but the stitches are coming out looking OK and the results are going to be nice. There is this one section that is all silk perle, and once I'm through with that, I don't think there is a whole lot more of it in the sampler. At least, I hope not!


I decided to do dishes tonight, even though the dishwasher isn't full. I must get used to doing them periodically now that I won't be using as many cat dishes. Maybe they will wash cleaner, and I can add a few things that I haven't been able to wash regularly, like the cutting board.


I didn't see Jasmine at all today.


Now it's a dark, windy night in the field, and the lake is fussing enough to send me right to sleep.


October 18

I think it was just about 10:00 when I got to bed last night, and I slept well again. There was still some wind overnight, and it served to sing me to sleep. I got up a bit before 9:00, and I didn't knit. I did some of my surfing before I was off to see Johanna. My massage felt really good, but it always leaves me tired, so I didn't do much for the rest of the day.


I stopped at the post office because Ron had said some pills came, and there were a bunch of catalogs and a magazine, as well as a bill or two.


And that was about it. I have been endeavoring to keep the kitchen a little neater than it had gotten before I left. We'll see how long that lasts. 


There were no power glitches overnight, and the camera came up on schedule and took pictures all day. Unfortunately, when I reset the start and stop times, I didn't allow enough time at the end of the day, so it stopped taking pictures before it was dark, but I've fixed that. I guess the reaction to the new camera is positive. I seem to be the only one who doesn't like it very much. However, there have been times in the past when I wished the old one was more wide angle, so now I have my wish. I keep forgetting that the wider the angle of view, the farther away everything looks. My eyes don't work that way, so I forget that that's how cameras work. I may fool around with the zoom feature, just to see how it works, but barring power failures, it seems to be pretty solid.


The weather was nondescript. The wind died down into the wind stopped gusting around 10:00, and for the rest of the day it was in the 10-20 mph range from the northeast. The temperature was nearly steady, starting at 42 this morning and getting up to 45. I think there were a few droplets of rain but nothing to register in the rain gauges. It was cloudy and gray. Blah.


I ate the last of my Chinese takeout tonight. I think all the rice has been good for my innards, and I must bear that in mind in the future. Now I have to figure out other things to eat. It's so nice to have leftovers around - I don't need to decide what to eat.


I did not see Jasmine today, but she came upstairs while I was getting my dessert and said "hello" again, but she ran away, and I don't know if she stayed up. I put down new food, and we'll see if she ate any of it. Poor Jasmine.


So that was my day, and I don't think I will be up very late tonight. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but our gale is over.


October 17 

It was 10:30 last night, and I don't remember why, but I slept well. The wind was rising when I got to the north end, and it roared all night long, so loudly that I could only hear the lake when I was sitting by the window in the bathroom. I was awake earlier, but I didn't get up until after 9:00. Then I knitted the entire lily of the valley square. That one is the slowest of all, because of all the nupps, so I was late getting to the studio.


In fact, I was about to get going when a person who looks at the webcam called me  from Ontonagon to tell me that the camera was facing toward the studio. Well, no it isn't. I had a hard time making him understand that what he was seeing were reflections on the window.


It did tell me that the two power glitches we had last night had messed up the computer, and in fact, when I finally made it to the studio, it was down. I don't know why, except that apparently the second glitch completely confused it. Usually, it notices that Windows didn't shut down properly and gives you 30 seconds to decide what to do before it automatically restarts. I would have to have been here to see why it didn't work. When I hit the "on" button, that screen came up properly and Windows restarted without a problem. All I can say is, sorry, but that's the weather. Maybe eventually I'll figure it all out.


I didn't do anything again, but I was too late to do much anyway. I knitted on the other shawl for a while this afternoon, and I finally got to the place where I change one of the strands of yarn. This one is going to be a slow knit. It has 18 repeats across, and the pattern works on both sides of the fabric. Interestingly enough, I got a book on socks the other day that has the same pattern in the round, except without the increases. It's an interesting pattern, but it needs to be stretched.


The weather was about the same, except that the wind is finally dying down a bit. It cranked up again last night, with gusts in the 45+ mph range, but the highest gusts for the day were about 10:00 this morning, at 49.5 mph. Whoosh! The sustained winds are still over 20 mph with gusts into the 30s. This has all been from the north. Believe me, when those 40 mph gusts were hitting the house last night, I wondered if something was going to tear loose, and I could see the upper pane of the windows in the window seat moving back and forth. The temperature has been nearly steady at around 46. I was glad to stay in again. It was dark and cloudy all day. There was measurable rain between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning, and a few drops later on. The "s" word is in the forecast for later in the week, and the days are down to 10 hours. 


By the way, i just looked at the camera picture, and what you were seeing was me. The white square on the left hand side of the picture is the computer screen, and the dark bluish and tanish things to its right is me, by the light reflected from the task lamp. The blue-white streak over the monitor is actually the reflection of the light on top of the camera that says it is running.


There has been a little break in the Jasmine situation. Not much, but a little. I was sitting in the powder room this morning when she came through the cat hole from the basement and said "hello". She really talks quite well. Then she continued to talk to me while I sat there, sounding very sad. She went around to the great room, and I went into the kitchen, which meant I had to pass her on the way to the studio, and she ran away. Just now when I went down the hall, she was under the pink chair in the great room, and I think she went under the sofa. So she is beginning to come upstairs again. I should think she is tired of spending all her time in the basement by this time. As I said from the very first, i need to be very patient with her, She is eating, and she is keeping herself clean, so she is all right. But I'm afraid she has lost any trust in me that she had gained, and it will take time for her to regain it. Sigh. I need a kitty to cuddle, but I am not going to bring any more cats into the house for quite a while, if ever. She will just have to get used to the new situation. 


So will I. Practically everything I do and eat reminds me of Buster.


So that was a quiet day, and I won't be up long tonight. It's a chilly, windy, cloudy night in the field.


October 16

I was in bed by 9:30 last night, and I slept well. The roaring of the lake and the banging of the wind didn't hurt a bit. As frequently happens, I woke up around 6:30 and had to pee, and I was just falling back to sleep when the alarm went off. Oh, well, that happens, too.


I do not like getting up in the dark. Never did, never will. Don't. However, I did, and in this case, it was for a good cause. I could check to make sure that the computer woke up when the camera wanted to take pictures. It did, so that's good. Unfortunately, something happened after I left, and it didn't take any pictures between about 9:00 and 1:30. when I checked on it. It had had a problem with its connection to the internet, and while Kabcam used to try again in 15 minutes, evidently it doesn't do that anymore, so it went down. I'm not quite sure how to solve that problem, since the Kabcam people don't do tech support anymore. It could be a problem when I have to leave the computer for a while. I just reset it to suppress error messages, and maybe that will help.


Church was nice, as usual, with two hymns from the old hymnal, but as we were getting ready to leave, a very old gentleman who was sitting in the back apparently collapsed. When I left, they had him lying flat on the floor and they had called an ambulance. I hope it was just weakness and not something more serious, but he didn't look good. Unfortunately, both Eleanor, who was a nurse, and our usual organist, who is a nurse, weren't there today, so I'm not so sure how good the care he got was.


It was nice to come and go without all the summer traffic for a change. There were a few strange drivers, but not very many, and it was nice. The wind didn't bother me very much, although in the more open areas, I could feel it sort of pushing me sideways.


I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon. I guess I'm still tired.


Johanna called and rescheduled my massage for Tuesday, so I can crash tonight, too. She is still having trouble with her kidneys and is having a test tomorrow. She is too young to have that kind of problem!


I forgot to mention that we had a power outage yesterday afternoon, from 4:00 until around 7:00. Not that I was surprised. With all that wind, something was bound to come down. We had a glitch this afternoon, too, but it was just 20 seconds or so, enough to make the computers reboot.


That was interesting, though. I had several things open, including Word, and I really like how Word handles situations like that. It lists both the original document and the changed one that it saved and lets you choose which one to open. Very nicely done.


The weather was about the same as yesterday. the temperature was between 48 and 50 all day. The sustained winds got down to below 20 mph (or that's what they reported - I don't believe it) for most of the day, but the gusts were over 35 mph, and now, at  7:00, the sustained wind has risen to 29 mph with gusts to 46 mph. They have continued the high wind warning until 8:00 tomorrow morning, so it will be another hairy night. There wasn't any rain reported, but when I came home, I got in on the tail end of a shower down on the covered road that was heavy enough to wet the road. All I got were a few drops, but it had rained. I wondered. Some of those clouds looked like they were full of rain and maybe had virga under them.


What was funny was that they had predicted (and Environment Canada had predicted) cloudy skies all day, but when I woke up this morning, the moon was shining brightly in a nearly clear sky, and by sunrise, it was all clear. The camera caught a really nice shot of the sun on the mountain. It was clouding up by the time I left for church, though, and it stayed cloudy for the rest of the day.


I should also mention that the problems I was having with FrontPage on the old system, where I couldn't add any more pictures, seems to have been a Windows ME problem and not a FrontPage problem. I added the ones last night with no problem, and I don't think I'll have any tonight, either. That's really nice to know, since it was a pain in the rear to do the whole process manually. One thing Microsoft apparently learned between ME and XP is to think big enough. You can never tell how many files, or how big a file, a user might want to create, manipulate and upload.


So now it's another hairy night in the field, and I will read a bit before I totter up to the north end and crash.


October 15

I crashed again. This time I waited until 10:00, but then I was out. The roaring of the lake and the banging of the wind was a wonderful lullaby and I slept well. I got up around 8:15 and I knitted the birch leaves square and set up the next one, which is lily of the valley. As I get into this thing, the squares are going faster. Of course, not having a cat to pet helps, too. I'd rather have the cat.


Speaking of cat, I was awake briefly around 4:30, and Jasmine sat down the hall, I think, and cried at me, but I haven't seen her since I've been home. She sounds so sad, but she is eating a little, I imagine it will take her a while to get over this, and we may be back at square one in our relationship.


I didn't do very much today again. However, if you look at the webcam, you will see that it looks different. I plugged in the new camera, it downloaded the drivers, and presto, it worked! Works with Kabcam, too, although it will be a day or two until all 100 pictures are available, since it is now putting an extra "0" in the archived file names. I fixed up the livecam page, but I wasn't going to rename all those files out on the server! I'm ambivalent about the camera. It does work well, and it is sharper than the old one, but I'm not really sure I like the wide-angle picture. It makes the mountain seem a long way away. However, in looking through the settings, I just discovered that there is a "zoom" feature, so I may try that tomorrow and see what happens. For the next few days, you'll never know what you might see when you bring up the camera page. I am going to be interested to see if the computer wakes up when Kabcam wants to wake up, too. It goes deeply to sleep overnight, and I only hope it will wake up when the camera wants to start.


Getting the camera aimed right and straight wasn't easy, believe me. The old camera, which could be used as a regular digital camera, has a viewfinder, so aiming it properly wasn't too hard. The new one has nothing, so I had to guess and take a picture to see what it looked like. I got it aimed right without too much trouble, once I realized that the preview doesn't show the whole picture, but getting the picture straight was really hard, since it was so dark out today. I think it's all right, but every so often my little furry friend starts rooting around in that corner - it's one place the mice come in - and knocks it askew. We'll see what happens.


The weather was fun. The temperature wasn't bad, 45 overnight and about 48 today. The wind, however, was something else. We had a real gale all night long, with sustained winds of nearly 40 mph and gusts at one point up to 50 mph, Even though it was from the north, I could hear it battering against the house. And the lake was roaring at a tenor pitch. I'm sorry the really high winds were during the night. The wind is still from the north, but it is slowly dying down, with sustained speeds in the mid 20s and gusts up to around 40 mph. It's still pretty hairy out there, and the harbor is still full of whitecaps. The skies are clearing a little bit now, but for most of the day it was very dark and dull. There was another 0.3" of rain overnight, but it was all before 7:00 this morning. Looking at some of the buoy data, there were some 15 foot waves out there early in the morning, and there is still a true gale blowing (winds 39 mph or more), I sure hope all the lakers took shelter.


I knitted on the other shawl for a while, but my hands hurt. I've been reading a little, but I intend to go up to the north end early and sleep some more so I can go to church tomorrow.


Now it's another wild night in the field, and it will be a good one for sleeping.


October 14

Oh my goodness, did I crash! I was in bed by 8:30. As I was sitting on the side of the bed, Jasmine cried twice from down the hallway. I haven't seen her yet, but she did eat, so that's encouraging. I'm afraid that every time I leave, she expects me to bring Buster back. If only.


Anyway, I slept like the dead. I was up several times, of course, but that's normal, and it didn't keep me awake. I was awake around 7:30, and I decided I didn't want to get up in the dark, so it was 9:00 or so before I finally crawled out of bed. Wow! Over 12 hours! I guess I was more tired than I thought. And I still am, by the way.


I knitted the next square on the stole, which was fern, and set up the next one, which will be birch leaves. I unpacked the suitcase and put everything away including the suitcase and the train case. And that was it. 


I tried several times to move my emails to the desktop, and while the files are out there and I can see them, and Live Mail says it imported them, they never get into the mail program. I left a message on the MS forums about it, but I'm not sure anything will come of that. It's annoying - there were several i wanted to follow up on, but I will have to do that from the laptop if I do it at all. Geez, oh for the good old days of IE6 when I could just manipulate the Outlook Express files (which I could find and work on) to get what I wanted. I don't know what their rationale is in hiding all that stuff, and it's horribly annoying.


I went to the post office, where there wasn't a whole lot of mail, but five packages. My wash additive came, so I can rewash the fleece throws, and several books came, so now I have some more reading I can do.  There was also a sympathy card from the vet, which I thought was a very nice thing for them to do, and it even had a kitty on the front, so they know who died.


I had the rest of yesterday's breakfast today and Chinese for dinner. Yum.


The weather was unspeakable. The temperature dropped slowly all day, from 54 at midnight to 46 now, The wind started to rise around 5:00, and it is now at 36 mph with 46 mph gusts, from the north, of course. There have been whitecaps on the harbor all day and the lake is singing. It has rained lightly all day, but we've only had half an inch so far. It is a good gale, though. It has been dark and dreary and nasty, and darkness went slowly and fell quickly.


I promised you the pictures of moonset on the 12th, and here they are. I'm sorry I didn't see it in person.


So I'm very glad to be home in the field. I'm sorry the beautiful weather is gone, but we are having a nice autumn gale, and that's fun. It's a dark and stormy night in the field.


October 13

Ah! I'm home! And no, I haven't seen Jasmine.


I'm very tired, so I'm going to do this early and go to bed very early.


I didn't sleep very well again last night. The bed was a little soft, but I'm not sure that was the whole problem. I got to bed around 10:30, after a reasonable bath, considering that the shower was one of those drippy things that hardly put out any water. I was up a couple of times, and I got up around 7:30 when the trucker who was parked outside fired up his rig.


The good thing about that was that even though I read my daily devotion and checked the weather, I was still ready to check out at 9:00...and then I had a nasty urge and had to find the nearest bathroom. So it was 9:15 or so before I was on the road. I got onto the freeway in the middle of a little rain squall, and it spit rain off and on the whole way home. It didn't slow me down much, and I pulled into the garage about 4:30. Aahh!


Since I filled up with cheap gas at Grayling, I didn't stop at Newberry, but instead I took my potty break at the Seney Stretch rest stop, which is the only rest stop with flush toilets on my route from the bridge. That meant I could stop at the Indian reservation and get a full tank of gas ($3.279 - eat your heart out!). I didn't feel like i really needed to take a potty break there, but then I remembered that I wanted to stop at Hughes Farm. It worked out, though.


I was glad I stopped at Hughes, because today was their last day being open. I got a few delicata squash - it was another bad year - some beets, and some kale. I have never cooked kale or even eaten it, that I know, and "they" say it is one of the veggies that is best for you, although it wasn't on my antioxidant list. I will have to research a good way to cook it, since I don't think I want to make the pasta dish that originally called my attention to it. Probably just steam it or braise it.


Traffic the whole way was nearly nonexistent, although there were some slow drivers and some weird drivers, The drizzle didn't bother me very much.


Besides the drizzle, the weather was blah the whole way. The temperature was mostly between 58 and 63 the whole way, with the highest around Marquette. There wasn't any wind. It was dark and gloomy.


So I got home, and I unloaded the car except for my purchases. The suitcase and train case are still outside the back door. I brought the laptop case in, but I'm not going to try to do anything about updating the desktop until tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the moonset pictures posted. I want to see if I can figure out how to move the emails I got while I was gone to the desktop. And I haven't read any of the emails I got during the day, and I don't think I read everything this morning, either. So I have some work to do.


Ron says that there are packages for me at the post office, so I'll have to go there tomorrow, but otherwise I intend to move rather slow for the next couple of days and relax and recoup.


So now it's a dark, drippy night in the field, and I'm back home, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own little bed.


October 12

So I was wrong. I got to bed around 10:30, but I didn't sleep well. Part of it was that there were people upstairs doing what people sometimes do in a bedroom, although that wasn't all of it. I just couldn't get to sleep, and while I did eventually, I didn't feel like I slept well.


I got up at 7:00 and I did my morning stuff at a leisurely pace. I was still early getting away, but that was all right. I spent some time at Staples and got some DVDs to make backups of my systems and drivers. I also got a few things to play with - some pens and a nice little flashlight. I think there are some other things in those bags, but I don't remember. For once, I didn't get any paper products. In looking through my stuff, I've realized that I probably have enough of those things to last the rest of my life. I have always been drawn to paper. I will probably have to get some printer paper eventually and maybe some return address labels, but not for quite a while. I also had a nice chat with the techie guy that mans the computer area. He was a nice kid, but I don't think he knew as much as I do.


Then it was off to Comfortably Yours, where I got two new bras and ordered two more, I last got bras a year and a half ago, and they are beginning to stretch out, so since I don't expect to be going to Detroit in April, I decided I'd better get them now.


That was funny. When I parked behind the store, there was a big truck and a back hoe digging up the sidewalk, and the only place I could get to the store had a curb. I don't do steps very well, unless I have something like a cane, and I deliberately didn't bring my cane along. So I asked one of the guys who was standing around if I could borrow his arm. So when I left, they had moved the truck enough that the ramp was clear, but another one of the guys lent me his arm to go back down. It's amazing what gray hair and a smile will do for you.


It was a bit early, but I went over to Fishbone's anyway, and when I saw a group of ladies go in, I went in, too, and I had a nice, leisurely and very good lunch. It was the same thing I have every time - Pasta Orleans, which is fettuccini with all sorts of seafood and a pesto cream sauce. It is just yummy, but there is enough there for two meals, so I can have some more tomorrow. Yum!


I left the restaurant at about 12:30, and I got to the motel in Grayling around 4:00, which included a stop for gas across the street. It interests me extremely that while I didn't see gas in Detroit for less than $3.439, it was $3.329 in Grayling, not much more than it was at the Indian reservation on Monday. I sure can't figure that out.


I am in a handicap accessible room with a king-sized bed and a shower that is more like a walk-in closet - it has no curb or anything. Good thing. I wasn't going to attack that shower at ParkCrest again, and my head is greasy tonight. My only complaint is that there isn't a decent place to put my suitcase except behind the bathroom door.


There have been a lot of changes here since last year. I think they have new furniture, and they finally got rid of the old restaurant, which wasn't very good. The new one is much more casual - they call it a "Grille" - but they had a neat special of an 8 oz. strip steak with a complete dinner for $8. It was very nice, and the cook came out while I was sitting there with a couple of pieces of focaccia (sorry - that may be spelled wrong, since MS doesn't recognize it) that were not only good, I got to use it to sop up the juice from my steak. I looked, and they still have my favorite breakfast, so I will eat well tomorrow, too.


The weather was not good for my arthritis. It was in the low 60s when I got going this morning, but it was very humid and threatening, and there were some occasional sprinkles while I was shopping. There was a little more than sprinkles while I was eating, and the temperature got down below 60. The rain stopped around Ortonville (I waved), and the temperature started to rise. There wasn't much sunshine, just enough for me to put on my sunglasses. When I got to Grayling, it was 70 and not very humid. It was even warmer in Copper Harbor than it was in Detroit. Weird weather we have these days. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, though, so that will slow me down and keep me from taking any side trips.


When I fired up the computer this morning and looked at the camera, there was the moon! It was really pretty, and I saved a bunch of pictures. I won't post them tonight, because that is a hassle, but as soon as I get home and get things up to date on the desktop, I will post the pictures so you can see how pretty it was, I'm sorry I didn't see it for myself. This is one of the times of year when we frequently shoot the moon, but with the weather so iffy, I was just delighted. I'm afraid we won't see it tomorrow.


I have been having the feeling there is a fog in front of my eyes for the past couple of days, and when I looked at my glasses tonight, indeed there is. They are filthy, and I think maybe the sunglasses are, too, so I will have to take care of that. I have enough trouble seeing without dirty glasses adding to my woes. Part of the problem could just be that the coatings are going, too, but at least I can try to shine them up as much as possible.


So now it is a bit too early to go to bed, so I will listen to some music and do something, maybe read, until it's time for bed. One more day and I'll be home in the field. Yippee!


October 11

Well, there. It's over. Tomorrow I can start home.


I didn't sleep at all well last night. It all started when I took my bath. It turns out that I had never stayed in this room before, and I never will again. The shower has a sort of mini-tub for a base, and when I stepped in, I discovered that the floor was as slippery as melting ice. In order to take my bath, I had to wedge my feet into the corners and try hard not to move too much. As it was, one foot was sliding toward one side before I was done, and then there was the problem of getting out. Deb suggested something I should have thought of - put a towel on the floor - but I was already in when I discovered how slippery it was. I had a chat with the manager this morning, both about that and about putting a grab bar in the showers. When I suggested that there might be all kinds of trouble if someone slipped and fell in the shower, he got really interested. We'll see if anything comes of it.


Anyway, it was 11:30 before I finally turned out the light, and I didn't sleep. I wasn't too surprised - I usually don't the night after I take a sleeping pill - but it meant that I was tired and groggy all day.


By the way, I got some more emails about Buster. Thank you all again. This has been a trying time for both me and Jasmine, and I really appreciate all your kind wishes. I know he is better off, but it's still hard.


Dr. Lehman said, come back next year. Dr Goldman (the eye doctor) said come back next year, too, but we had some interesting and enlightening conversation. He thinks that most of my problems seeing, besides the problem with my glasses, is coming from my growing cataracts. However, he says there are two criteria for cataract surgery:  I must have 20/40 vision that can't be corrected with glasses, and I have to want it. I don't qualify yet, so there will be a period of time where I will have difficulties seeing, especially at night. Well, nobody ever said getting older was easy. I did get a new prescription for glasses, and he said the one for my left eye was rather weird, although apparently whatever it was started happening last year, so he felt better about it. I should be able to see much better with new glasses. He also said that my retinas looked very healthy indeed. That was a concern, because my mother had detached retinas in both eyes. His comment was that evidently I eat a diet that has a lot of antioxidants, and he gave me a list of fruits and vegetables that are good sources. And yes, I do eat as much of those things as I can.


It interested me, as an aside, that bilberries, which I love, are even higher in antioxidants than blueberries. I hope we don't have another crop failure next year. And strawberries have more than blueberries. It's an interesting list. I don't know where he got it, but if it interests you probably you can Google it.


Of course, by the time I got out of there, I couldn't see much at all. In fact, driving  back to the motel, except for the dark lenses, I probably couldn't see much better than I can with no glasses at all.


So when I got back to the motel, I laid down and took an hour and a half rest. I didn't sleep, but I was floating there for a while. That made me feel much better, so I called Debbie, and we met for dinner.


That was wonderful. It's been a while since I've seen her, and we had a lovely dinner at the Blue Pointe - or I did, anyway - and a long conversation. Her life is as unsettled as ever, but she is used to that by now. 


The weather was warmer and sunnier than the forecasts. IT got up to 77 and it was mostly sunny and humid, although there wasn't much wind. In Copper Harbor, it was partly cloudy and hazy this morning, although it cleared up a bit in the afternoon. The high was 68, and it was quite humid. There wasn't any wind there, either.


It is getting pretty around here. The trees are beginning to turn, and this is a very attractive area. There are a lot of ashes, which have always intrigued me. The leaves on the outside of the tree turn purple, but those closer to the trunk turn yellow, which makes for an interesting looking tree. There are supposed to be ashes in Keweenaw, but I don't think I've seen any that turn just like that. I drove along Lakeshore Drive to and from the eye doctor's and it was foggy out on Lake St. Clair, and there were several small boats. On a day like today, I think I would have been out there, too, if I had the means.


When I ordered my JD tonight, they were out of it. However, they had Maker's Mark, which is Phoebe's favorite, so I had two of those, and now I see why she likes it. It is even smoother than JD and has a wonderful flavor. It's also even more expensive, so I guess it will be an occasional treat. Maybe I will lay in a fifth sometime, for medicinal purposes only, of course, to go along with my Crown Royal. Crown Royal is wonderful, but the sour mash whiskies have much more flavor, and I like that. 


Ah, tomorrow I will start home! I won't start early, though. I expect to sleep tonight, and checkout isn't until 11:00. Then i want to stop at Staples and at the mastectomy supply place before I have a nice lunch at Fishbone's. Since it's only three or four hours to Grayling, I don't have to rush. 


So that was my day and most of my trip and tomorrow I will be on my way back to the field. Thank goodness!


October 10

Well, I'm here.


I seemed to have a lot to do before I went to bed last night, so it was nearly 11:00 when I turned out the light. Two JDs and a sleeping pill got me to sleep, and in fact, when I woke up in the night to walk, I was a little rocky. I only got up once. I woke up around 6:15 and decided I might as well get going.


As it was, it was 9:00 before I got away, but part of that was that I had an accident and had to change my bottom clothes. I also had to pack the cooler and my lunch box. i won't do that again. The ice packs will hold all right, and I need to do everything possible the night before.


I think it was this morning that Jasmine was talking, but I didn't see her, and as far as I could tell, she still hadn't eaten anything. I hope she's all right. This has been a real trauma for her, and she is a fragile thing anyway.


I didn't run into very much traffic at all the whole way down, and I got to the Chinese take-out place around 7:00 this evening, and that included a stop for gas before I got there. The "low fuel" light came on just as I pulled into the gas station. How canny of me. So I guess I am still getting the same gas mileage.


There wasn't any construction in the UP, but around Saginaw it is a terrible mess. Fortunately, there were two lanes going south - only one going north, so that will be fun on Wednesday - and traffic was light. I did run into one slow-down between 14 Mile Road and I-696, but until then, while there was traffic, there wasn't much. I can remember the days when I worked on Crooks Road in Troy and it would be stop and go the whole way. And I can also remember the trips to and from the UP when there would be a terrible mess around Saginaw and again around Flint. Says a whole lot about the state of the economy in Michigan, for sure. It's sad.


It stinks here, It is also humid, and it's cooler here - 63 - than it is in Copper Harbor - 66.

The weather was pretty good for traveling. It was sunny, but there were cirrus clouds in the sky all day, and sometimes they got rather thick. It did get into the upper 70s for a while, but I don't remember where, and it cooled down after a while, even before the sun set. There wasn't much wind.


The color was disappointing. It is past peak in the UP - boy, did that go fast! - and the northern lower, and it seems rather dull in the rest, even though it may not be at peak yet. That may be because of the light, but I don't think so. The colors always have been brighter in the UP.


It was a clear, cool morning when I left Copper Harbor, but when I started down US-41 from Calumet, I could see a big cloud to the south, and the Portage Canal was full of fog, and in fact, there was dense fog almost all the way to Baraga. Surprise! I think it was quite humid all over today.


It seems like my eye problem causes things to look hazy when I am facing the light, like I was going south on I-75. I must try to remember to ask the eye doctor about that tomorrow. It was a difficult day for light anyway, a little too cloudy for sunglasses but too bright to be without them. I coped, but somehow I am going to have to finance some new glasses this winter, probably after the first of the year. I simply do not see very well, and surely at least some of that can be corrected.


So I got the car unpacked, although I was dripping wet when I was through, and I sat and ate Chinese while I caught up on my email and my surfing.


Somehow, when I checked the cell phone last night, not only did I not turn it off, I turned on the speakerphone. so when I got it out today, the battery was nearly dead. There was enough juice left to call the Chinese place, but that was all. I am charging it now. You know, I am getting very tired of batteries. The battery in this laptop seems to discharge awfully fast. I haven't done that much, but in the hour or hour and a half that I have been online, it has gone from 100% to 42%. That doesn't seem to be right.


On the other hand, the wireless works great. It was a good thing I'd played with it at home, because I knew what I had to do to get it going, and it connected right away. Of course, it's not a secure network, but I don't expect to do much anyway. And sometimes I think people overreact to those things anyway.


Evidently the ParkCrest people are doing OK, because they have refurbished the bathrooms, put in nice new refrigerators and some new lamps. It's still not a five-star hotel, but it's OK. 


So that was my day, and I'm tired and dripping and it's late. I need to take a bath, and my first appointment is at 10:00 tomorrow. And I'm away from the field.


October 9

So last night I went up to the north end early, took my bath, and was in bed before 10:00. I didn't sleep well again. Part of it may be that I took my evening pills in the morning and my morning pills at night, but that wasn't the entire problem. I had full-blown diarrhea. I think it's because I have been so upset, because I haven't been eating anything different. Anyway, it was not a good night.


I got up and went to church, where there was communion. I always like to take communion before I set out on a trip, even a short one like this is.


I didn't have much of a problem going south, but I ran across a lot of gawkers on my way home, even though the color has definitely peaked along the covered road. It was amazing to see how much difference there was in just two days. I got home before 1:00.


When I came out of the studio last night, Jasmine was sitting on the back of the navy blue chair, looking miserable. I don't think she ate anything overnight. She sure didn't touch the canned food. Poor Jasmine. The love of her life has been taken away from her, and she is hurting, even more than I am. I hope she will get used to it and not pine away. It will be hard to tell, unless i begin to see more of her than I have this weekend.


I did maintenance on her trays and took the one that was upstairs back downstairs. She is young and healthy, and she doesn't need a tray in the laundry room! 


One thing struck me again, as it has for a long time. I have one huge yellow tray and two other smaller ones, as well as the little one that was upstairs. We poop in the big yellow tray and pee in one of the others. Only when things get really bad do we either pee in the yellow tray or poop in one of the others. It's really amazing. All of my cats have done the same thing. I can tell you that Jasmine's elimination seems to be very normal.


I didn't have much that I was planning to do today. I did clean up the counters. The sink side was full of bits and pieces of stuff and it had some things that had spilled on it, and I got the junk off the end of the stove side, and that was dusty as well as a bit dirty. That didn't take very long. it's now as clean out there as it's been in a very long time. I have a vague hope that I can keep it more or less like that, and scrub the floor, too. I made four sandwiches, two from the remains of my rotisserie chicken and two from what turned out to be corned beef. That surprised me a bit, because I thought I was getting roast beef. It isn't at all salty, though, and frankly, it doesn't taste like much at all, but I got some Swiss cheese and that will help. Unfortunately, it's warm enough that I can't pack the cooler until tomorrow. 


The tote with the boos in it is in the car, as are my pillow and some empty crates. After I post this, I will copy it and then I will take the computer out to the car. That's about all I can do. I have the suitcase (well - a barrel bag) and the train case out, but I haven't done anything with them yet. After some thought, I decided to just forget the probiotics while I am gone. I couldn't take the acidophilus with me anyway, because it needs to be kept cold, and trying to fill a pill container with all those capsules - I'm taking 4 in the morning and 12 in the afternoon - was just too much. I don't think it will make much difference.


When I brought the camera in and checked it, it was totally dead - boy, am I glad I didn't try to take any pictures! The set of rechargeable batteries I tried next didn't work either, and I was beginning to wonder if maybe the camera had died, but I put a set of regular batteries in it and it's fine now. So I spent the afternoon recharging batteries. I simply do not understand why those rechargeable batteries lose their charge when they are sitting and doing nothing. What a rip-off! So now the second set is charged, and I can take the camera case out to the car when I take the computer.


I still have to pack the clothes and the train case, but that won't take long. I always overpack, because I never know when i will have an accident or the weather will change or something like that, but for four days, it's still not a lot of stuff. Most of it is the annoying little things, like pills and curling irons and shampoo. I've done this often enough that it really isn't hard, except for knowing what the weather will be.


The weather today was cooler, thank goodness! It was actually 71 and nearlyt calm overnight, so I had the porch door open. Probably that was part of my problem - I couldn't get the temperature right. It started to drop about the time I got up, and it was about 59 for most of the day, also with very light winds, from the north. It was clear when I got up, but it clouded over while we were in church. It was on and off all afternoon, although it cleared up around sunset - nice sunset! - and when I came back to the studio with my dessert the nearly full moon was shining brightly in the little window over the front door. 


I should have opened the patio door, because it got hot in here, but I didn't want to be bothered by that pesky squirrel. It climbed the screen a couple of times today, but evidently it didn't know I was in here, so it went away.


I am hoping the camera will behave all right until I get back. Evidently the battery is really dying and the computer has been losing a lot of time, so the timestamps are way off, and of course, if the battery dies, it won't work at all. So if it looks funny until I get back, you will understand. I've decided to stop at Staples while I'm in the area, to get some DVDs to make a system backup, and I will see if they have any 3032 batteries. When I get back, I will be fiddling with the new camera, but I don't want the old one to die in the meantime. I guess I just forgot to get some new batteries the last time I was at Wal-Mart.


So that was my day. I am really tired, but I'm on my second JD, and I will take a sleeping pill tonight (I know, I know - don't tell me), so I will sleep. I hope to get up early tomorrow and get on the road at a reasonable hour. We'll see. I still have stuff to do.


Now it's a clear, moonlit night in the field, and unfortunately, I can't just go right to bed.


October 8

Well, I had two double Jacks and I read for a while, and I still didn't sleep very well. Part of it was that it was warm, but I kept running off at the bottom, too. I finally got up around 9:00, and I finished the lily of the valley square and set up the next one, which is fern.


I want to thank all of you who sent me emails or who commented on the PastyCam about Buster. I will get used to it, but this morning was a hard one, with no little black furball sitting on my lap purring as I brushed him and butting his head into my front. I hope you understand why I didn't reply to each of you individually, but I just couldn't. It still hurts.


I haven't seen Jasmine all day today, and she didn't eat any of the canned food I put down. Last night when I was on my way up to the north end, she was in front of the basement door, and I think she peeped at me, and then when I went out into the great room she was sitting by the stairs to the loft, with her tail around her legs, looking like Bast, and watching me. I know she is grieving, too, and since I did it, I fear that all the steps forward she has made over the past few years have been erased. I hope not, but only time will tell. Maybe when I come back on Thursday, she'll have settled down a bit and decided it's nice to have at least one other living thing in the house. I hope so. From her point of view, I suppose she thinks that since I took Buster away, maybe I will want to take her, too.


 I do so wish there was some way to communicate with my four-footed friends a bit more. Buster wouldn't have suffered so much, and Jasmine would understand that I only mean good for her. Oh, well. Maybe someday.


I got all the trash out of the house and into the garage, and the throws are in the washer and need to be put into the dryer. That was about the extent of it. I went to the post office, where the parts for my WaterPik had come, so I will try to take care of that.


The reason I had to go back to the great room last night was that a package had come while I was gone, and when I got home, I forgot to get it out from between the doors. It is the new webcam, but I just don't have the time to fool around with it now. I hope it works, but I guess if it doesn't I can still use it for Skype from the desktop. Hmm. I hadn't thought about that. It's rather pricey for such a use, so we'll see. I hope it will work.


The weather was incredible again. The temperature maxed out at 81, so it was hot around here all day. There was a wind from the southwest with gusts up to 28 mph. Good thing, too. It wasn't humid, but you wouldn't have known that to see me sweating. The skies were mostly clear but hazy. We set another temperature record for the day.


Now, when I report that, I have to caution that they've only been keeping temperature records since 1996 or so, when the NWS station was installed, but still. This isn't the only warm Indian Summer we've had since I've been here, but it's one of the warmest. All that is supposed to end tomorrow, and while it should be sunny on Monday, it is going to be rainy and cool for the rest of the week, ending with a high around 50 on Friday. 


I hate that. It means that I have to take cool clothes for Detroit, but I have to take something warm, like a fleece jacket and a long sleeved shirt, for my trip home. It makes packing all that much more difficult.


it also means I can't pack the cooler until Monday morning, and I will probably have to get a bag of ice to keep my leftovers safe on the trip home.


How I hate to go!


I taped up the door some more. I discovered where the flying squirrel got in, and my pesky squirrel, or the flying squirrel, had chewed the duct tape all along one edge, so I covered all of that up. Pretty soon I'll have to hunt up another roll of tape. The pesky squirrel was around this afternoon again, but I managed to shoo him away.


That was funny, because my friend Mike, whom I worked with, called me and we had a nice long conversation, only cut short because my phone battery started to die. I think I am going to have to get a new battery. Surely, a cordless phone battery should last more than 85 minutes when I am using a headset! That is the only thing I hate about lithium ion batteries - after a while they stop holding a charge. I hope I can still get one. Or maybe I can just exchange the one in the phone at the north end. I don't use that phone much at all, because I can't get good reception on it.


Anyway, Mike and I got caught up. It's the same problem I have with Arthur - he reads my journal every day, so he knows what I'm doing, but I don't know what he's doing. So now I do.


Anyway, while we were talking, I had to get up two or three times and chase the squirrel away. What a pest.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end and hope I will sleep better tonight. It's a warm, breezy, fairly clear night in the field. It feels more like July than October.


October 7

Oh, what a day! I didn't sleep very well, and in the middle of the night I wondered if maybe we'd lost Buster right then. Jasmine started peeping, and then she hit the floor with a thud and said "meow!" However, he was still hanging on this morning, but it was clear that he was in distress, and she was right there with him until I came into the laundry room. He still had a little purr for me when I rubbed his chops. So I called the vet, and the only time they could see him was the same time as my car appointment, so I canceled that.


He didn't complain when I put him in the carrier, but sick as he was, he could still complain about the car trip. I didn't bring him home. He had terminal kidney failure, as well as a rather large tumor on his liver, probably cancer. So I made the only decision I could, and he fell asleep in my arms, and I watched while the vet gave him the lethal injection. I miss him, but for the past six or seven months, I've missed the kitty he used to be.


Buster came to us when he was 7 weeks old, so he and I have been buddies for a long time. He was a sort of frustrating cat, very loving, but very demanding, and very sure he knew what he wanted. When he was a youngster, he was absolutely wired, and he caused a lot of incidental damage on Champine, including pulling down some drapery rods and nearly killing  my hanging plants. But he was a lover, and he was a funny little cat. I miss him.


Anyway, after that was over, I really had chores to do. I had to get gas, and the cheapest place on this side of the bridge was that Citgo station right where US-41 and M-203 separate - $3.399. Everybody else was $3.499. So now that the tourist season is coming to an end, the price of gas is going down. And they say there isn't any price fixing!


I got into the early traffic jams, but I had to go to Pat's for food. I guess I didn't get a whole lot. I have been looking for spare ribs and haven't found any yet, so all the meat I bought was a chicken. That was Buster's favorite food, but I like it, too. I won't stop eating it, but every time I do, I'll think of him, just like I think about DC every time I eat liver. Anyway, except for a lot of frozen food and lettuce (a head of Bibb letttuce - yum! Just enough for tomorrow and Sunday), most of what I got was liquid. I wanted a small bottle of JD to take with me, and I was low on wine, so I got all that, as well as the usual OJ and lemonade.


It seems that around 3:30 on Friday is a good time to shop there, surprisingly enough. There weren't many people there, and I got checked out easily. 


There were some slow cars on both trips, but mostly I could pass them. The only one that bothered me was the one who preceded me down US-41 when we were going down. He was slow, and he was one of those guys who puts his foot on the brake at the slightest curve or dip in the road. There is a spot south of Medora where there is a double yellow line that shouldn't be there, so I just passed him there. Buster complained about that.


The color is spotty. There were places where it was still mostly green (and not conifers) and places where it was past peak. I would say the covered road is about peaking in most places. It's a very yellow year, for some reason, but it really is pretty, with all the trees glowing in the sunshine.


It was an amazingly warm day. It only got to 73 here, but it was 82 when I left the vet's, and it was over 80 almost all the way to Medora. It was hot! There was some wind from the southwest, particularly when I was getting gas. It was partly cloudy, and on my way home, the high cirrus clouds had almost covered the sun, which was fine with me. It has cleared up some, and there was a nice sunset.


I hope you understand why I didn't take any pictures.


I haven't seen a hint of Jasmine since I've been home. She knows I took Buster away, and she knows I didn't bring him back, but I'm sure she knows how sick he was. I feel for her, and I wonder what she'll do now. It will be interesting, with me going away on Monday. So we'll see what happens when I get back.


I have so much cat food that I don't need to visit the pet store in Detroit, which is a good thing. Jasmine seems to prefer dry food anyway.


So it was a very sad day, and I think I am going to bury myself in a story and have another JD before I toddle up to bed. It's a warm, partly cloudy night in the field.


October 6

Oh, I did it again, and it was very late before I got to bed. Sigh. I got up around 10:00, and that wasn't nearly enough sleep, but oh, well.


I had to disrupt Buster from drinking out of the toilet, and he ate a little, but that was about all I saw of him all day. I found him lying in the sink in the laundry room. I gave him some water, which he drank, but he is clearly not doing well. 


I did the first repeat of the lily of the valley square, but I didn't knit long because I was so late. it was even later when I started my chores. I did my surfing, and Thursday is always a day when there are a lot of things to read. I went to the post office, where there wasn't much except for a nice check from  my old insurance company for a little more than one payment on my house insurance. Nice. I need that. I guess I will mail it so that I don't have to go to the bank while I'm in Detroit.


Then I started on the breezeway. Oh, what a mess it was! There were all kinds of boxes, three trash bags full of paper grocery bags, and I took two very heavy trash bags out. I must remember never to buy onions or potatoes in the summertime. I don't have a place to keep them in the fridge, and they get really yucky. There are now a couple of really gross spots on the floor in the breezeway. While I was there, dug out the cat carrier, and while I was doing that, I dropped a full bag of pop bottles sideways. One of these days, I'll have to get into that corner and pick them up. I won't say it's pristine out there, but it's a whole lot better and I can walk from the front to the back without bumping into something.


I'm not sure what will happen tomorrow. If Buster is bad, I'll have to try to get him to the vet, but i have a 2:00 appointment to get the oil changed in the car, and I need to shop and get gas. I could be running up and down the peninsula all day. We'll see. 


The weather was incredible. The temperature was in the 70s all afternoon, with a high of 73, which broke the old record by 10. It was windy all night, but at sunrise the wind dropped to nothing and there was hardly any all day. It was sunny and clear and wonderful. At least I could have the garage door and the door from the garage to the breezeway open while I was working out there. And it smells so good! There is a sweet smell to the air that gives me a high when I smell it. This is Indian Summer the way it should be!


I had the patio doors open all day, and I turned on the ceiling fan in here because it got so hot. Today I didn't have any problem with my pesky squirrel, but oh! I was sitting in the dark, as I usually do when the camera is still going off (I really need to change the start and stop times), when I heard some scuffling behind me. It continued, and I finally turned on the lights. There on the inside of the screen was a little flying squirrel! When it saw me, it jumped onto the mantel, and then to the top of the fireplace stones, where we stood and looked at each other for a moment. He was so cute! I got something and tried to shoo him out, but he flew from near the ceiling to the footstool before he noticed that I had opened the screen, then he was gone in a flash. I can't see where he got in now, but I will have to check it out tomorrow.


I did get the birdseed into the breezeway, as well as the kitty litter, so the car is cleaned out. I could put out the feeders, but I think I will just leave them in until I get back from Detroit. It will work out better that way.


So now it's getting late and I must take a bath. I finished reading the story that kept me up so long last night, so instead of starting another one, i think I will just go up to the north end and try to get an earlier start on my sleep. It's a clear, nearly calm night in the field and the bulgy half moon is shining in the windows.


October 5

Today is my father's 99th birthday. He died in 1983, so he didn't live very long. I hope he can rest in peace now.


I got to bed around 10:00 last night, but I had forgotten to take my pills - which I just remembered I did tonight, too, so excuse me a minute - so I had to wait until the Neurontin cut in. That took a couple of hours, at least, and I didn't get to sleep until after it happened. I slept fairly well after that, but with the late start I got, it was 10:00 before I got up.


I brushed the cat and I knitted the side triangle, although I had a hard time with that. I was going along just fine, I thought, when I discovered I had dropped a bunch of stitches on the left hand side, so i had to unknit the whole thing and start over, then I discovered I was confusing which was the right side and which was the wrong side, so I had to fix that. Eventually, I got that done, but it took me a while. I set up for the next square, which is more lily of the valley, but that was all. I unloaded the dishwasher when I got to the kitchen, amazingly enough, so that is done and I can begin to reload.


I really didn't want to do my chores today, but eventually I got to them and I got some done. I threw all the boxes in the house over the front porch railing, then I went out through the breezeway and hauled everything into the garage. I guess, after seeing those boxes, that there were two years' worth in here, which certainly is why it was such a mess. I started on the breezeway, but I didn't finish. I was tired and my back was sore, so I quit. Tomorrow. Maybe I can get up earlier and get an earlier start.


The weather was nice for that sort of thing. The temperature was in the low 60s for most of the afternoon, although now it has gone up to 65. There was apparently a little wind, but it was mostly from the south, so I couldn't feel it very much except when I had the front door open. It was partly cloudy all day, and there was a lot of sunshine. It was so sunny that I had to open the patio door - and chase away my pesky squirrel. It was rather humid, so I got sweaty. There must be clouds up there. I should be able to see the moon, but I can't.


It is still sort of a shock to walk through the kitchen and not see anything on the floor. It's nice, too, because I don't have to dodge things. Oh, I should have done it long ago, but oh, well.


When I woke up this  morning, Missy Jasmine was sitting in the window seat staring out the windows with great interest and singing to me. She was full of energy this morning, dancing up and down the hallway. Buster is not doing well, but I think he'll hang on until I get back from Detroit.


Now I think I will read for a little while - or actually, I'm still trying to proof the white binder story - and then I will totter up to the north end, take a bath, and try to get to bed early tonight. It's a warmish, partly cloudy night in the field.


October 4

I was late again last night. I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour, but I read the whole 80 pages of the continuation from the white binder, and then I was so sticky and icky from the heat in the studio that I needed a bath. I think it was nearly 1:00 when I got to bed. I made up for it by not waking up until 7:00 or later. I don't like that - it means I'm keeping fluid - but it was nice to sleep hard. I went back to sleep, and I didn't get up until around 10:00, I think. Made for a short day, but I began to catch up on my sleep. I'm tired now, though.


I brushed the cat and finished the lily of the valley square. The next part is a triangle, which I should be able to finish tomorrow. I spent some time making a piece of paper with all the tiers and the order of the squares in it, so from now on, I'll be able to refer to it and know where I am and what I need to do next. Now all I will need to do is refer to the graphs for the patterns and the instructions for the side triangles.


So I was late eating, and Buster let me know he was not happy I was so late giving him his breakfast. Then I had an accident before I completely finished my own breakfast. It wasn't a bad one, but I had to change my underwear.


While I was washing out the panties, Buster came and watched the water flowing into the laundry sink. He's done that before. Then, when I was on my way back to the south end of the house, I found him in the sink, looking thoughtful. That usually means he's peeing, and boy, do I hope so! I don't think he's gone on any of the throws for the past couple of days, so maybe he's been doing his thing in the sink. That would solve a real problem for both of us. I will try to keep his tray clean, since he needs a place for the other stuff, but if he would pee in the sink, it would help a lot.


I was so late that I didn't get to do a whole lot. I went to the post office, where my new insurance policies have come, so that is taken care of. Late in the afternoon - later than I wanted - I got together all the odd stuff that was cluttering up the floor in the kitchen, old Schwan's boxes and grocery bags, mostly, and threw them out into the patio. I swept the floor, so even if the floor isn't clean, at least it isn't full of stuff. Tomorrow I must really try to do more. There is still 150lbs of birdseed and 80lbs of kitty litter in the car, all of which needs to be out by Friday. and I really want to get all of the empty boxes out of the house before I go, as well as all the full garbage bags. So I'm hoping to get up earlier tomorrow and have a productive day. I need to do some work on the kitchen counters, too, but usually that doesn't take very long, so long as they aren't gross, which the remaining ones aren't. And that was about it.


The weather was nice. The temperature got up to 66 briefly, but it was jagged, going up and down between 66 and 59 all afternoon, and since there was almost no wind, I'm not sure what caused it. I had to open the patio door, because I was dripping in here. It was mostly sunny all day, with only a few clouds, although there were clouds in the west that covered the sunset. Now the half moon is shining in the south windows. It was rather humid, which meant I sweated a lot.


I had the door open a crack earlier in the day, and my pesky squirrel came by. While I was chasing it, I got to look at its belly a bit more carefully, and now I'm beginning to think it's female. At least, I could see tits, even though they weren't very obvious. I will have to look some more. I guess I will call it "her" from now on, unless I learn otherwise. Anyway, I finally discouraged her, and I had the door open fully this evening and she didn't come back. I'd like to get the feeders out, but they are empty and so are the pails, and I can't fill them until I get the birdseed out of the car. I can't do that until I get some of the trash out of the breezeway, so I'm having my usual problem, that anything I want to do means I have to do two or more things beforehand.


It is nice to be able to walk around the kitchen, though, and get to the microwave.


I forgot to mention that my laptop briefcase came yesterday, so now I am equipped to take the new laptop to Detroit with me. I like it, although it doesn't have enough padding to protect the computer on one side. That shouldn't be a problem for me, though. It does have two large sections that have plenty of room for the cords and a few other things I take with me. I tried my earphones, and the sound is great, unlike the old one, where the sound from the earphones was just as tinny as through the speakers. I don't understand why laptop speakers are so horrible. There are other items that have teensy speakers and they aren't like that. Besides, even when I turn up the volume to the max, I can hardly hear what I'm trying to listen to...so I will use earphones. And the new case is quite lightweight, so I won't pull my shoulder out of its socket carrying it.


Today while I was at the post office, another package came, with some yarn and some sewing thread. Both Amazon and JoAnn are using FedEx, which I found interesting. UPS must be losing out on a lot of contracts these days. For me, it's a good thing (although I like the UPS driver), because FedEx will come down the road in the winter and UPS won't.


The yarn was Lion Brand Wool Ease. Some is for a beautiful Aran sweater I've been wanting to make for quite some time, because it's made in an interesting fashion, with a yoke attached to the sleeves. The rest was to make a red and black Fair Isle hat and mittens to wear with my parka. Now, if I can just get over the lace thing...


The sewing thread was an annoyance. I need some nearly black navy to hem my sweatpants, but they have apparently changed all the numbering since the last time I bought thread (not surprising, since I think it's been 5 years or more since I've bought any), and I didn't know what the right color was, so I had to buy six spools. One of them has to be right.


So that was my day. It was nice to be able to go out without a jacket one more time, and I guess the rest of the week is supposed to be nice, too. I think this the weather Shirley used to call "Indian Summer". I'll take it.


Now it's a clear (or partly clear) night in the field, and I'll be going up to the north end pretty soon.


October 3

I was late getting to bed last night, for the usual reason, and I slept pretty well, not great. There were some strange dreams again. I didn't get up until around 10:00, and I did about half of the lily of the valley square after I brushed the cat. And that was it.


It was a very lost day. I was tired, but I think I'm in my usual funk about having to go to Detroit, so I don't want to do anything. I did call to get my oil changed, and I can't go until Friday. Well, that's a little later than I hoped, but I guess it will be all right. I can go and shop afterwards. And I have the week to try to do something.


The weather was nice again. It was sunny all day, and the temperature got up to 64 for a while. The wind was 5 mph or less from the southwest. Nice. I didn't stick my head out.


I've forgotten to mention a few things on the natural history scene lately. The fly season is starting. So far, I don't have very many cluster flies, and I hope it stays that way. I do seem to have fruit flies, after not having them all summer. The little birds are hitting the screens all day, going after the bugs that cluster around the house because it's warmer. And yesterday, sadly enough, a female hairy woodpecker hit the windows and died. It only happens at this time of year, and not very often even then, but it always makes me sad. Apparently at the current sun angle, they simply cannot see that there is a barrier there. Since those are the second floor windows, there isn't any way I can get up to them to put anything on them, even if I wanted to.


So that was a nothing day. Now it's an almost clear night in the field, and the almost-half moon is shining brightly in the south windows.


October 2

With one thing and another, it was 11:00 before I got to bed. I didn't sleep exceptionally well, and I had some more interesting dreams. However, I did get up at 7:00. Not nearly enough sleep, and I was very tired all day.


I got to church and it was nice as always. The trip down was good, and the trip back was nearly as good. There was less traffic than I would have thought, but evidently the locals know that the color hasn't peaked yet. I would say it's 60% at most. There is still a lot of green, even in some of the maples. It's late this year, and I may see a good show on my way to Detroit. The MODIS pictures show some color in the higher elevations of Keweenaw, but I was over a lot of that today, and it didn't look that good to me. Of course there is a wide band of green around the shores, since that always turns last. There were some really good MODIS images of the UP yesterday and today (http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/modis/modis.cgi/modis?region=s&page=1) that show how it's progressing. Surprisingly enough, it's green in the eastern UP. The best color seems to be around Michigamme, but that almost always happens. Those of you who are coming up in the next week or so and were worried that you might miss it will be fine.


By the way, I always like to look at those MODIS images. Lake Medora and Lake Michigamme both look very big when you're right beside them, but MODIS shows how teensy they are compared to our great Mother Superior. Since the pictures are natural color, I think, you can't see the roads or anything, although you can sometimes figure out where the towns are, and there is a great big red scar south of Marquette which I think is the open pit iron mine. But Superior is so huge! No wonder she makes her own weather.


I didn't do anything this afternoon except cook my pork chops, and I overcooked them, but they tasted OK anyway. I made them with royal rice with beans, and even with the little sauce that was left, they turned out just fine. So I have something home-made to eat for the next couple of days.


I started proofreading the story in the white binder again. When I closed the file, it completely lost track of all the so-called errors I had told it to ignore, so I am going to have to go over the whole thing again. When I thought I was finished the first time, it still said there were errors, so I told it to find them, and it never stopped at anything, so clearly there is more wrong with that process than I thought. It's frustrating, and I've begun putting together my report on the problems.


The weather was crisp and autumnal but sunny and not too windy. The temperature got up to 57 between 11:00 and noon, then it dropped back when the wind picked up into the 15 mph range from the north. I went out to patch up the screen some more and it wasn't bad at all, although I really needed a jacket. As it got dark, there was a fat crescent moon looking in the south windows, although I think it's gone now.


So that was a quiet day, and it's about time to leave all this and totter up to the north end. It's a cool, clear autumn night in the field.


October 1

Well, it's October and the year is three quarters done. Sigh.


I got to bed around 11:00 last night, because I started trying to do the final editing on the story from the white binder, but I had to quit, because it was taking forever. I slept pretty well, although I had some really strange dreams in the middle of the night. I got up around 9:00.


When I was up in the night, I looked up and there were plenty of stars overhead. it was nice to see for a change. The bowl of the Little Dipper is hanging straight down now, and I think the Big Dipper is beginning to rise up in the northeast. Around 6:00, Vega was setting between the trees. While I hate to see the days get so short, it's nice to be able to see the stars again. The sun is slowly beginning to huff and puff, so on any clear night, I will have to look for Northern Lights. There was a CME about a week ago, but it was cloudy, and I think it hit over in Europe while we were still in daylight.


I brushed the cat and knitted. I finished the fern square and did the setup for the next one, which is more lily of the valley. Ugh. More nupps. I'm getting better at doing them, but i still don't like them.


Other than that, I didn't do anything much. I didn't feel very robust today, so I just sat. I spent a long time this afternoon working on the editing, and I'm still not done. There are a few things I think are style items that the grammar checker thinks are errors - or maybe it is just offering suggestions. That's fine, but then it shouldn't flag them as grammar errors. That story is 700 pages long - about 400,000 words - and it takes a long time to go through them. I could turn passive voice off now, I think, at least for this one, but there are several other things that I can't turn off that turn up a lot. And even though I tried to pay attention to the items that were flagged while I was reading, there are still some real errors that I missed. I will say that the new version of Word catches a lot of stuff that the old one didn't, but it still flags a lot of things that simply aren't errors, and it still makes suggestions that are horribly wrong. It's still saying "I are" and "You is" sometimes, but not always, and I haven't yet figured out why it does that.


The weather was pretty, but cold. The high temperature was 48, and the wind was calm for most of the day. There were a couple of pretty shots from the camera after sunset, and maybe I will post them sometime. It was beautifully clear all day long.


When I went to take my tray to the kitchen and go to the bathroom a little while ago, there was a lovely crescent moon hanging over the West Bluff. It was too far south for the camera to see it, unfortunately. It was very bright, and it left a lovely glitter trail on the calm surface of the harbor.


So that was another nothing day. I need to go to bed, because I have to get up early tomorrow, so I guess I will just leave the Word window open and continue on with my editing tomorrow. Now it's a cold, calm and very clear night in the field, and it's October.


Last  updated 11/01/11 07:50 PM