A View From the Field








November, 2011


November 30

Well, November's over.


I switched between reading and sorting for much too long last night, and then I took a bath, so it was midnight again before I got to bed. I slept very well, with only a couple of wakeups, but when I woke up at 11:00, I felt almost paralyzed and I didn't really want to get up at all. I think I have some sort of upper respiratory thing that I am fighting, and as a result, I need a horrible amount of sleep.


I knitted the lily of the valley square. I was only going to do half of it, but it was going well until about the last few rows, so I decided to finish it. I was very late getting dressed. I had planned to go to the post office, but then I had an accident and I had hardly begun my surfing, so I didn't.


Actually, I thought I might be going to have a massage today, but Johanna called last night and said she was going to have another procedure today. She is still struggling with her kidney problem and they are still trying to diagnose it. I pray for her.


So as a result I didn't do much of anything except take a few things out of the dishwasher. 


I have been sorting a few beads tonight. I left this mixture to last because the whole two kilos is in one big bag and I was reluctant to open it. It has turned out to have some of the nicest beads of all in it, so I'm sorting out a few more things. Almost all beads are pretty and i like to look at them. Every so often, I'll run across one and say, "Ooh! Look at that one!" This mixture has more small beads and fewer big ones and bugles, which is nice. It's more likely i will find things I can use.


The weather was nondescript. There were some stars last night, although except for Jupiter they weren't very bright and they kept going in and out. There was some sunshine this morning, but it soon clouded over and it was dull and drab this afternoon. The temperature got up to 37 for a while, and there was very little wind. Now, however, the NWS is reporting light snow at Houghton, so I guess it's coming. According to radar, it might be raining a bit here, but I haven't looked outside. There might be some snow almost every day between now and Sunday. Well, it's time.


So that was my day, and I will sort and listen to Haydn for a little while before I go off to bed.


November 29

Well, last night I sorted beads again for too long, and then when I did get to bed, I couldn't sleep. I had some very strange muscle aches. I could understand why  my back might be sore, but my whole left leg, from hip to ankle, was achy, too. When I was up in the night, there were stars and I thought I saw a glow in the north, but it wasn't very high in the sky.


Anyway, I did get some sleep, but it was 11:00 before I got up. I was going to knit, but before I even started the pattern on the lily of the valley square, I dropped something along one edge, so I gave up and ripped it back to the beginning. Maybe tomorrow will be better.


So of course, I was late again, and I didn't do anything else for the day. Sigh. There are a few things I need to do.


However, I woke up with a headache and I didn't feel very good all day, so it worked out. I did sort beads, but just a few. One of the mixtures has a lot of big stuff and not very much small stuff, and I had a small bag of that which I went through.


Now I will read for a little bit and then I intend to go to bed early and sleep long and hard. Or I hope so.


The weather was cold but pretty. The temperature dropped slowly from 33 this morning to 30 now. The wind picked up around 4:00, but it died down by noon. It had switched around to the north last evening and it was from the north or northeast all day. It was partly cloudy, but it seems to have cleared up a bit, and the crescent moon was shining brightly i the upper windows of the great room when I went to get some dinner.


I must say, I am getting more and more happy with the camera. This evening, it took some beautiful pictures of the clouds around sunset - violet on the bottoms - that the old camera would just not have seen at all. It is a lot more sensitive in low light (well, it's been ten years, after all!) and in fact, the other night, it even showed shadows inside the studio with no light except from the monitor. And the colors are so accurate. It sees things the other camera washed out completely, and which I always wished it would catch, since I can't go running out onto the deck to catch every change in the scene. It's not like the Nikon, of course, but it's so much better than the old camera. I hoped that when I got it, and so far it's performed wonderfully. I don't think the problems I've had are with the camera itself, but more with the software and the connection. So I'm glad I got it - and believe me, when I was picking one out, it was a real crap shoot. Apparently not very many people use these cheap webcams to take pictures of scenery, and I had to sort of read between the lines of the reviews and the product descriptions to decide on which one to buy.


So that was my day, and I don't think I will be at this end of the house much longer. Now it's apparently a fairly clear, cold night in the field.


November 28

i read for a while last night, and then I succumbed to the call of the seed beads that have been sitting on my desk for a week. I sorted about 70 grams before I went up to the north end, so it was late when I got to bed. I slept exceptionally well, with wakeups at 4:00 and 8:00. That was too early, so I went back to sleep and didn't get up until around 10:30.


I knitted my triangle with no problems after a third try at the start, so i went right on and did the next square, which was fern. That is so easy it went fast, but it was still 12:30 before I made it to the studio - and then I discovered that the camera had hung up overnight and was still showing the last picture from last night. I must check the connections.


I have a USB-2 booster cable on the camera, but it is acting sort of like it did before I got that - way back in the dark ages when the camera was new. Anyway, stopping and starting Kabcam resolved the issue, but then I discovered that I set the stop time a tad too early for when it's not very cloudy. Oh, well. Actually, for those who look at the web page or the PastyNet cameras page at odd hours, it's nice to have a picture of something to look at.


I didn't finish my surfing until after the talking started, since there was another round jigsaw to do. This one was a picture of a radio telescope, since today is apparently "Mars Day," although none of my astronomy sites mentioned that. Anyway, then I started sorting again, and I finished up the 150 grams by the time the talking was nearly over.


This new batch of beads has some really interesting oddball beads in it, if I can ever find enough to do something with. I was glad to see that there weren't a whole lot of orange opaque beads or all that many huge ones, and only a modest number of bugle beads. I still don't know what to do with those horrible yellow ones with the black stripes. Some of the larger ones could be the bodies of bees, but I don't know what I'd make the wings out of. Otherwise, they are really ugly, even more ugly than the orange ones. No wonder all the mixtures have lots of them. However, there were the pretty white ones with aqua stripes, as well as some interesting square and triangular ones, mostly clear or silver lined, and some nice little drops. I hope to eventually find enough of those to use, at least in bead embroidery. I'm not sure this will kick-start me into beading again, but at least it's gotten me into something besides playing Bookworm or reading.


It isn't good for my back, though, and I have to clean off the desk enough to find my around-the-head magnifiers, since the one on the task light is hard to adjust right.


Unfortunately, while I was trying to look through the three barrels for something this afternoon, I dumped the bead tray into the wastebasket, not totally upside down, but close enough that a bunch of my tools went into the trash. Yikes! I once lost a good pair of scissors that way and I don't want to do it again. So I had to take all the stuff out of the bag and put it in another one to find what I'd dropped. Fortunately, the trash in the studio basket was clean - I haven't swept the floor yet - so I didn't get dirty doing it. I started looking in the basket for the top of a box that was on top of the bead tray, and it turned out that it was on the hearth, but it was dark enough in here by that time that i didn't know that, and it was just fortunate that I started searching the trash, because I didn't know what I had dropped. For you neatniks out there (if there are any), no, I don't ever put the bead tray and its contents away, since I never know when the fit will take me and I'll start beading again. I only put away stuff that I know I won't use for a long time. The beads aren't among those things.


The weather was actually rather nice. The temperature was above freezing all afternoon, and it got up to 37 a couple of times. The wind was from the southwest, and around 3:00 we had some gusts up to 27 mph, but then by the next hour, it had died down almost completely. It was partly cloudy, so there was some nice sunshine.


And that brings me to Jasmine. When I was cooking my brunch, I heard her mew, and when I looked around, she was sitting beside the sofa, which is about halfway up the great room. I talked to her and she talked back, but when I said, "Come here, sweetie!" she said "No", not angrily, just sort of sadly. She even almost rolled over, but then she caught herself, and when I got up to go to the kitchen, she went under the sofa rather than down to the basement. She went downstairs later, but she sleeps there anyway. Anyway, we've had a small milestone, and she was clearly thinking about it. When I went down the hallway to the powder room, there was a dead field mouse on the floor, so she is certainly still doing her job. She sat and watched me dispose of it. She usually eats the mice, so why she didn't eat this one, I don't know, although most of our mice are the little black house mice, and maybe she doesn't like the taste of field mouse. I was sorry to see this one, because I think field mice are cute, but still, I don't want them in the house. Or maybe it was a gift mouse. She's done that before. Anyway, I think we've taken a baby step forward, or I hope we have.


So that was my quiet day, and I think I'll read for a while before I totter up to the north end. It's a cloudy and sort of warm night in the field.


November 27

i made it into bed by 10:00 last night, and I slept, but I had some really strange dreams, and when the alarm went off this morning, I really didn't want to get up. However, there was no snow and no rain, so I got up. I've said before, I hate to get up before it's light outside.


I got to do some of my surfing before i got dressed. I decided to wear something fairly lightweight, and that turned out to be a mistake. It was windy and cold, and as I got into the higher elevations there was something - I don't know what - on the road. I don't think it was slippery, but I wasn't taking any chances, so I went fairly slowly. I took Cliff Drive and that helped, but I had to pass one jerk going out of Kearsarge. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt, since I don't know the condition of their tires, but this guy had a plow on the front of his pickup. Geez.


Church was nice, and besides communion, we got to sing "O Come, Emmanuel",  which I love, but where they ever got those two extra verses, I do not know, and they were as banal and dumb as the rest of the stuff they imposed on the 1978 hymnal. The people who tried to write new verses or modify the old ones for that hymnal had absolutely no feel for poetry at all, and it annoys me every time I have to sing what they wrote or trashed.


Most of the snow is gone in Calumet, except for the piles, which are all black and ugly, but it was cold enough that the melt ponds were partly frozen. When I got in the car, I discovered that I needed to stop for gas, and I really wasn't dressed for it, but I did it anyway, and I turned on my heated seat as soon as I got back into the car.  I took my time coming home, too, and it was around 1:00 before I got here. I put on my sweats and I didn't do anything worth mentioning for the rest of the afternoon. There was a 220-piece jigsaw that took me forever to do, and when I finally finished it, I discovered that it was a picture of Mars, sort of out-of-focus (boy, are we spoiled!), and it was no wonder it was hard to do.


The weather turned cold and windy overnight. The wind roared and the lake sang all night long, and it still is. The temperature went down slowly all night, to about 30, and it never got over 32 all day. It was in the upper 20s down the peninsula. There was a very strong north-northeast wind, in the 20-35 mph range all day. That doesn't affect the house, but it was really uncomfortable in my pea coat with no hat while I was pumping gas. Fortunately, I only needed about 15 gallons, so it didn't take very long. It was very cloudy and dull all day long.


While I was driving home, I kept passing through little squalls of ice pellets, and there was stuff on Cliff Drive and on US-41 north of the Eagle Harbor Cutoff. It looked pretty nasty around Delaware, but I didn't feel anything slippery. I took my time on the covered road. Just what I do not need is to encounter a tree somewhere on that road. Heaven knows who would find me, or when.


I still don't feel very good, I am still having night sweats, and I am still not very hungry, so I guess I'm fighting something. Even Eleanor has a cold, and the ladies who sit at the other end of the pew where I sit were hacking and coughing all through the service. I washed my hands carefully when I got home, and I hope I didn't pick up any of their germs. The advantages of being a hermit in the cold season seem obvious to me, but there will be enough times over the winter when I won't be able to go to church that I want to go as much as I can until then.


So that was another quiet day, and I hope to be in bed early again tonight. The lake and the wind will sing me to sleep, and maybe I won't have any more strange dreams.


November 26

It was another quiet day. I didn't get to bed until around midnight again. I was reading, and time just passed. I slept, but I was up a number of times during the night. It was so cloudy and dark that I couldn't see anything out the east windows of the bathroom.


 I finally got up around 10:00 and I knitted, but it was a problem. The square was more fern leaves, and I finished it once and decided to start the next triangle. I got into that and discovered that I had goofed and I had more stitches than I should have, and in the course of ripping, I dropped something, or several somethings. So I had to rip back about 12 rows, and while I was doing that, I decided to just rip back to the last break in the yarn and start a new ball. There is a lot of yarn left on the old ball, but it seems to be the one the moths got at worst and the back of the stole is already full of threads where I had to start a new end, and I was just getting tired of that. Since I have gotten to the 13th tier on the first ball and I have two more balls, it seems clear that I won't run out of yarn, so I ripped back to where the join was and joined a new ball instead. I finally finished the square, but I didn't start the triangle, and it was still 12:30 before I got dressed. Maybe it will go better next time.


I didn't do anything except go to the post office. Ron called to say I had a package - my vitamins, which I will need tonight - but I would have gone anyway, since I hadn't been there all week. There was a lot of stuff, mostly catalogs and pleas for money, but there were a couple of bills, too. 


The weather was miserable. It started raining around 6:00 this morning and it rained lightly all day long. We have had 0.42" so far today, which is as much as we've had in a long time. The wind was strong overnight, but it's been under 10mph all day, from the east. The temperature was just about steady at 42. It was dark and dreary and nasty.


So that was my quiet day, and I am writing this very early tonight because I want to read a bit before I go up to the north end and fill pill boxes, wash my hair and try to get to bed quite early. I had some more turkey tonight, and the amount I'm not eating, as well as the night sweats last night, lead me to believe I am fighting some bug or other, and only a lot of sleep will help that. I hope to be able to go to church tomorrow, but we'll see what the weather looks like when I get up.


Now it's a dark, damp night in the field and it will be good for sleeping.


November 25

It was a very quiet day.


I ended up not getting to bed until after 2:00. After I did the journal, I read for quite a while with a JD and a small plate of turkey, just to settle down after all the excitement. I slept very well, with only a couple wakeups. When I was up during the night, there were stars, but they weren't very bright. There was still a haze overhead. I got up around 10:00, and I finished the lily of the valley square on the stole and set up the next square. 


That was about all I did. I had an accident and had to change my underpants, and while I was at the north end, Adam called and said he would be here shortly. Well, I know Adam, but eventually he made it, with his son, and they made short work of the pump and the pond, as well as the storm doors. He did have to wade in the harbor, in his boxers and his water shoes, but not for long. I guess everything is all right, and he said the pump seems to be all right. I hope so.


Before he got here, I got the dishwasher loaded and most of the pots are soaking in the sink. I will run the dishwasher tonight and hope I feel more like doing the pots and pans tomorrow. However, with that out of the way, even with some pans and platters sitting around, the kitchen looks remarkably neat, much more so than it frequently does when I'm just doing the regular stuff.


I had my Thanksgiving dinner tonight, and the turkey and the stuffing are very good. The gravy could use a bit more salt, but I couldn't taste anything last night. And apparently the problem with the squash when I tasted it Wednesday was that it wasn't completely cooked. I reheated it yesterday in the oven and I just left it until we ate, and that cooked it so that it tastes fine now. So it was a meal I could set before guests.


The weather was not quite as nice as yesterday. It was clouding up at sunrise and it was cloudy all day. The temperature did get up to 46 briefly, but it was around 43 for most of the afternoon. There wasn't much wind until lately, when it's gotten up to nearly 20 mph from the east, and it was very humid, so it was sort of nasty outside.


So that was my day, and I am now battened down for the winter. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field and I think we're in for some weather over the weekend. Winter is coming back.


November 24 - Thanksgiving Day

Well, that turned out all right.


I didn't get to bed until midnight again, since I had to take a bath, but I slept well. When i was up in the night, there were stars, but they weren't very bright. It was neat, though to see Polaris with the two stars at the other end of the dipper off to the right instead of the left where I usually see them. Not many clear nights between October and April.


I woke up around 9:00 and it was clear that it was time to get up. I knitted half of the lily of the valley square, just to wake up a bit, and I did my morning surfing.


At 11:30, I jumped into action, and I can't tell you how happy I was that I cleaned the turkey last night. All I had to do was put the stuffing together and stuff it in and the bird was in the oven. I started boiling the neck and wing tips and went back to the computer. That's how it went all afternoon - I would work until my back started to hurt then I would sit for a while.


Ron came before Trevor, and he mentioned that Sandi and Bill were here, so I called them and invited them to join us. I had not opened up the table, so Ron helped me with that, and we got both leaves in, so now my table is all set up for blocking my shawls. It turned out that we were seated quite a way away from each other, because Sandi came and Bill didn't, because he has a very sore knee that he is nursing with ice packs and things. However, there were enough dishes of food that it would have been very crowded if it hadn't been open all the way.


Anyway, it all came together eventually, and judging from the amount everybody but me ate, it was good. I never can eat very much when I cook like that. The stuffing and the potatoes were good, and the gravy was great. The asparagus was overcooked, but I was afraid of that from the start. The squash tasted much better than it did when I tasted it last night, so that was all right.


The only problem I had when I was cooking (well, besides my back) was that the turkey got done quite early. I checked it with the instant thermometer and it was reading over 170 all over, and the pop-up thermometer hadn't popped. Believe me, it was done, because the legs fell away from the carcass with no problem. The white meat was overcooked. I should have checked it before I did, and I will remember that the next time I do a turkey. Part of that is that the FDA (I think it is) tells you to overcook it - up to 180. and that is far too high. Besides, it continues cooking after it comes out of the oven. I had to take it out early enough that it wasn't very warm when we ate it, but it was good. I will tell you better tomorrow.


It was so nice to see Sandi, and we had a nice after dinner conversation, and then they helped me get everything put away and organized so that I can fill the dishwasher tomorrow. Such nice people.


So that turned out all right. I do it so seldom that sometimes I wonder.


The weather was astounding. It was mostly clear all day, although there were some cirrus clouds in the sky. The temperature got up to 51 for a little while, and it was in the mid 40s for most of the day. There was a little wind around noon, but it soon died down, and for the rest of the afternoon it was almost calm. There was a very nice sunset, but it was right about the time I was getting dinner ready, so I didn't get any pictures.


The camera did take some really good pictures, though, and I am now happy with it. Here they are, and you will see why I'm happy. The old camera would have washed out those colors, and they wouldn't have been as good. The real thing was better, of course, but I'll take what I can get. In the last picture, you can see the outline of the studio door on the right, because for once, I had almost all the lamps in the great room lit. There isn't enough light in the great room, but I can't do a lot about that. I forgot to close the door, because it was so warm that I didn't need to worry about it. Anyway, it was very pretty, and Sandi especially was delighted to see it.


There are some advantages to facing west, although i didn't think so when I was sitting at the kitchen sink trying to peel potatoes with the sun shining in my eyes. 


So that was my day, and now I'm tired, so as soon as I finish my JD, I will be off to bed. I did my thing, and it turned out all right.


Now it's a partly cloudy night in the field and all that is over.


November 23

I almost repeated yesterday, but I did manage to get a few things done.


It was midnight before I got to bed. I read for quite a while, then I stared at the floor for a long time. I slept fairly well, although I spent some time thinking about tomorrow. I was up at 7:45, and that was too early. I had hoped to wake again around 9:00, but it was nearly 10:00 before I did, then I knitted the birch leaves square real fast, with, amazingly enough, no problems.


And then I just did my usual stuff for most of the afternoon. I never heard from Adam, darn it. If I don't hear from him on Friday, I will call him again. 


Late in the afternoon, I actually got all the boxes out of the house, including the ones the computer stuff came in. And I didn't do what I did last year, either. Last year, I just piled them outside the back door, in the breezeway, and I didn't move them until I got ready to go to Detroit. The ones I took out today are all out on the pile, which is getting ridiculous. I don't want to get rid of the computer boxes just yet, even though everything seems all right. If I hadn't thrown out the box the old printer came in, I could have sent it off for repairs, which would have saved me a lot of grief. So I will keep them. There was a lot of other stuff, though.


Finally, around dinner time, I fired up the oven and cooked my squash. I also stuck my few beets in there, too. I think I will put some of those beets in the liquid from Suzanne's pickled beets. The rest I will freeze, since I won't be eating them for a while. I wanted to get them cooked, though, because I don't want them to go to waste. All that stuff is on the counter now, cooling off, and shortly I will be working on it all. I found a recipe for winter squash where you just slice it into slabs and roast it, but I didn't want to try something that new for company. Sometime I will try it, though. They do it with acorn squash, and it might be good, although acorn squash have never been my favorite.


I tried the beets a bit differently this time. Instead of wrapping each one individually, which was a pain and a half, I wrapped them all in the same foil pouch. I hope it worked, but we will see.


Oh, yes, and I cleaned the turkey, so it is all ready for the stuffing. That will be interesting. The instructions say not to stuff the bird and the times are for an unstuffed turkey. On the other hand, they say to overcook it (the government again), so I will do it the way I and my foremothers have done it for at least a hundred years, probably more, with no ill effects. I do think I will tent the breast as soon as the skin browns, because the breast doesn't need to cook as long as the legs do. This turkey is "all natural" with no injections of salt, which is how I like them. 


Now I am tired and my back is stiff, but I will sit on my rolling stool and get the squash out of the shells and into a casserole and do something with the beets before i go to bed. When I left the office last night, I discovered that I had a very sore left foot. I can't tell if it was something muscular, like a cramp, or something joint related, although I'm leaning toward muscles, because my foot right behind the toes was very sore to the touch. It made walking difficult. It wasn't much better this morning, but over the course of the day, it has gotten less sore, thankfully. I'll be using that foot a whole lot 


I was about to start doing something when my Schwan's man came with desert and asparagus (and a few other things, too). I had to remove a whole lot of stuff from the freezer upstairs in order to get the things I need for tomorrow into it. So i had to go downstairs, too.


There is something going on in the machine room that I don't like, but I still have heat, so I won't call the plumber. It wouldn't be winter if I didn't have to call the plumber, right? There is a lot of noise coming from one side of the boiler, and it may be the main pump, but I couldn't tell what it was. I don't like to hear strange noises coming from the machine room. I checked it out, and so far everything is all right, but I will be watching it.


The weather was rather warm but nondescript. It was cloudy and around 39 for most of the day, with almost no wind. It cleared up around sunset, and it was quite clear for the last picture from the camera. Then just before 8:00, the temperature went up to 47. I don't know what caused that, but it's nice. 


Tomorrow I will have to do everything else. I was afraid of that - it's how I usually work - but oh, well. After I get the turkey in the oven and the pot with the neck simmering, I have to sweep up all the flies, set the table and try to figure out how I'm going to serve everything. Most of the stuff will be in casseroles and if I cook stuff like the potatoes a bit early, I can hold them in the oven. This is when I love having two ovens. The asparagus will be a problem, but I may just leave it in the dish I cook it in. The thing I hate about cooking alone is getting everything onto the table. I bet I forget the cranberries again. I usually do. Well, it will get done somehow.


I dug into one of the lower cabinets in the kitchen today to get, of all things, an apron. I usually slobber all over my belly when I'm cooking, so I decided the thing to do was wear an apron. Duh. Anyway, while I was there, I found some nice round placemats that will work on the table, including one set I forgot I had. Where did those come from, I wonder? Every so often I have to go through what I have hidden away in cupboards just to remind me.


Oh, yes, and I wanted to mention the tip I learned from Cooking for Geeks that really, really works. Splitting a squash has always been a struggle for me, since my wrists aren't strong enough to dig in. Well, the tip is, you take your little rubber mallet (every house needs a rubber mallet!) and first you pound on the knife until it gets into the squash, then you pound on the place where the handle and the blade meet - and bang, bang, bang, you're through! Of course, my squashes were quite small, but I'm sure it would work with bigger ones, like butternuts, too. The same trick would work anytime you're trying to cut through something very hard. Of course, I've been using my mallet on my alligator chopper ever since I read about using it, and that works great, too. It makes quick work of dicing an onion. So now I won't dread getting the squash ready to roast anymore.


So that's about all I know. I still have quite a bit of work to do, but I'll do what I can tonight and hope to get an early start tomorrow. No more knitting, I don't think, because the next square is lily of the valley, and that takes at least an hour and a half. So it's Thanksgiving Eve, and I guess I'm as ready for the big dinner as I'll ever be.


It's a clear, warmish night in the field, and there may even be a star or two.


November 22

Well, I did it again. It was a late night, a long sleep, and a wasted day. Sigh.


I spent too long staring at the floor before I took my bath last night, so it was around 11:30 when I got to bed. I slept well, with several wakeups. I was up about 7:45, and that was just too early, so I went back to sleep and it was 10:00 before I got up. I knitted the next square, which was fern, and I had to rip, so my mind must have been elsewhere. Actually, about 8 rows in, I dropped the last two stitches on the left, and before i realized what was happening, the outside one had raveled back to the second row. Since that is an edge stitch, which has to be slipped, I couldn't just knit it up, and I had to rip back. There were a couple of other little glitches, too, but eventually I got it done, around noon.


So I ate breakfast and did my surfing and all the packages I was looking for came, so nothing much else got done except that I threw a couple of boxes out the back door into the breezeway. So I will have a lot to do tomorrow. Well, what gets done will get done and the rest won't.


The weather was blah again. The temperature was around 35 all afternoon, and there was no wind. It was cloudy, with the exception of a little while around 1:00. This time, Environment Canada was wrong - they had us having a lot more sunshine. So much for that.


Last night before I went up to the north end, I finished typing the part of the story that is done, so now I can take off into the unknown when I have time. I have to be in just the right dreamy state to write fiction, so it will be a day or two before I have time to attend to that. So tonight I will continue reading the one from the white binder. I should know that one by heart by now, but every time I reread it I find a few more things to tweak.


Now it's a dark, cold night in the field.


November 21

Last night, I was reading the story from the white binder, then I decided to see if the changes I made in the grammar rules would make a difference in whether Word would mark everything all right. It didn't, so I guess all those green underlines will be there forever and I'll just have to ignore them. So I was late getting to bed. I slept well, mostly, although I had some strange dreams that I don't remember now. I was up around 7:45, and that was too early by far, but it was 10:30 before I woke up again.


Then I started knitting. I was going just fine when I saw what looked like a mistake in the last row I did on Saturday, and while I was trying to correct it, or at least see what was wrong, I accidentally hooked one thread of a nupp and twitched, pulling out about an inch of thread and tightening up the rest. Well, there was nothing else I could do then but unknit about six rows and do them over, so I was very late getting dressed.


And I was tired enough that I ended up not doing anything. I had one task that I wanted to do today, and it didn't get done, so I guess it will have to be tomorrow. I hope to get to bed a tad earlier tonight.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature got up to 33 for a while this afternoon and there was almost no wind. It was cloudy and gloomy all day. Yuck. I'd rather something happened.


I remembered to call the Road Commission this afternoon, and so far they have measured 17.5" of snow this month. And I called Adam and got him on the road on his way home. He says he'll be here on Wednesday. I hope so. I am quite concerned about my pump. Evidently he had been talking to his dad about that, so maybe he really will get here. I haven't figured out the dynamic between Adam and Philippe, but evidently they keep in quite close touch. Philippe was the builder who built this house, before he retired and turned his business over to Adam. He got out at a good time, I would say. I've always been thankful I had Philippe, because he had the imagination to do the house while I was busy in the hospital trying to stay alive long enough to live here. 


I think maybe I will type a bit tonight and try hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but nothing is coming down and there aren't any weather sounds outside.


November 20

Surprisingly enough, I got to bed by about 10:15 last night, in spite of everything I had to do. I slept fairly well, although I was up several times and I had to stop myself from thinking too much about my Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't want to get up when the alarm went off, but then, when do I? I ate a small breakfast and did some of my surfing before I got dressed, and I left a bit early


It was good that I did. There had been enough snow here that the roads were mostly covered, and they were covered all the way to Calumet. They had sanded the hill up to the Mountain Lodge, but the sand was pretty skimpy on the curves, so it was a slow trip. It took me almost an hour to get to Laurium, which is a lot longer than it usually does. It sprinkled snow all the way, and it was very pretty, especially over the covered road, because there wasn't much wind and every twig and branch and the sides of the tree trunks were all snow covered.


Church was good, as usual. This was the last Sunday of the church year (wow!), so we got to sing Wachet Auf. That was kind of weird, because the tune the organ was playing was not the arrangement in the hymnal, nor was it Bach's arrangement. It was one I'd never heard before, and I didn't get a chance to ask where it came from. I got to sing loud, because the organ was playing loudly and I doubt anybody heard me. As we were leaving, they hauled out the ladder and hung up the Advent wreath, and I suppose the tree will be up next week. Yikes!


Then I was off to Pat's for, I thought, the few things I needed for Thanksgiving. Ha. I got everything I wanted, but I also got a bunch of other things, as usual. They didn't have very many fresh turkeys of the brand I wanted, and when I hefted one, I thought it felt about right, but it had no tags on it, so I had to ask a nice lady to weigh it for me, and it came in at just over 14lbs. That's a lot, but I think I may make tetrazzini this year, so I'll use it up. The one thing I forgot was that I was going to see if they still had some odd pieces of cut up turkey - the last time I was there, they had a wing - to make some broth for my gravy. So besides the neck, I think I may just clip the last joint off the wings and boil those up, too. They always get overcooked and dry, so I might as well use them for something. I couldn't get my usual brand of stuffing mix, so I hope it will turn out all right. I put enough herbs in it anyway that it probably doesn't matter what I start with.


I got home just before 2:00, but I didn't unload the car until much later. It didn't matter - it was cold outside.


In fact, the temperature here was right around 25 all day, and there wasn't much wind. It was cloudy and there were a few snowflakes every so often. It was colder - around 22 in Calumet and there was a whole lot more snow there. I fear for my pump.


Among the other things I bought was another rotisserie chicken. I know, I'll eat chicken all week, then turkey on Thursday. Pretty soon I'll start to cackle. However, it appears that I am going to have to try to watch what I eat and not have anything that is too fatty, like beef, unless I have a lot of carbs with it. I really like those chickens, and one makes four easy meals. So I had that for dinner with some of the coleslaw I got the last time I shopped. 


With everything I bought today, I probably won't have to shop again until right before Christmas, which is a good thing. The last time I shopped on Sunday, it was a zoo at Pat's, but today it was quite reasonable, so I may just do it again. Particularly in this weather, I want to keep the trips to town to a minimum. 


So that was my day, and I'm tired. During the night and when I got up this morning, I had a very sore left heel. I have no idea what has caused that, but it's probably more arthritis. Anyway, walking was a problem, and I have a lot of stuff to do this week. Well, we'll see what happens.


Now it's a dark night in the field and it will be good for sleeping.


November 19

I don't know how I do it, but by the time I loaded the dishwasher, stared at the floor for a while and took my bath, it was nearly midnight again. I slept well, I must say. I was awake around 8:15, as usual, but that was too early, so it was 10:30 before I got up. I knitted my triangle and half of the next square - more lily of the valley - so it was late by the time I got to the studio.


I started the wash before I ate, but with everything else, the second load is still in the dryer and the third load is in the washer waiting. I have been in slobberhanus mode again, and a couple of weeks ago, I had to put on a new sweatshirt sweater every day, in successively lighter shades of blue, so there was a full load of those. If it stays this cold, though, I'll have to transition into turtlenecks and fleece. Anyway, I had a huge wash. Usually in the winter I use fewer clothes than in the summer, but no such luck this time.


The weather was good for doing something like that. It didn't start precipitating until around 3:00, and I think it's still rain, but it was dark and gloomy. The temperature got up to 39 this morning, then it settled down at 36. It has fallen to 34 now, but it's still well above freezing. The wind has been from the northeast since around 11:00 this morning, but it wasn't strong until recently, and now it's in the 15-25 mph range and the lake is starting to sing. The NWS didn't report any rain until after 4:00, and there hasn't been a lot. It's not nice out.


So I did my thing; it took most of the afternoon to do my surfing. After that, I started reading the story from the white binder again, since I don't feel like typing. I need to try to get to bed early tonight. It looks like the snow may slide south and east of us, although it has apparently been snowing lightly at the airport all day. I will go to church tomorrow unless we're having a blizzard. I have to do my Thanksgiving shopping, so I might as well combine that with church so that I don't have to go twice.


Jasmine said good morning to me while I was knitting, but I haven't seen her since. It's a good day for hibernating.


And that is about all I know. It's a dark, wet and noisy night in the field and the lake will sing me to sleep.


November 18

I didn't get to bed quite as early as I'd planned last night. I spent quite a while typing, and then when I got to the north end, I spent some time staring at the floor. Anyway, It was 11:30 when I turned out the light. I slept fairly well, with a number of wakeups. I was awake at 8:15, but that seemed to early, so it was 10:30 before I finally got up. I feel like I might have recovered most of my sleep. At least I knitted the next square on the shawl - more lily of the valley - with almost no problems, and I set up the left side triangle.


Of course, it was very late when I got to the studio. Even when everything goes well, lily of the valley is hard to do and takes lots of time.


I didn't do anything much except almost finish loading the dishwasher, and I packed up my vitamins and went to the post office to send them back, as well as turn in a couple of misfiles. There was a lot of stuff, but no catalogs for once. Most of it was pleas for money, but the rest of the month's bills came.


The weather was not very nice. It snowed some more early this morning and when I went out this afternoon, it was very slippery. When I started up the hill on the south side of the culverts, I really slithered around until I finally realized I needed to be in 4WD, but then I still slid a bit, and I went careening around the corner by the Pines and into a parking place in front of the post office. Oh, yeah, when it's like that, I have to slow down. Oh. The temperature got down into the upper 20s overnight, but it got up to 34 this afternoon, so the snow on the ground was slushy and icy. There was hardly any wind. It was cloudy all day, but not too dismal, but when I looked out over the lake on my way home, the clouds on the horizon were steel gray and ominous looking. They are predicting more snow overnight tomorrow, but no matter what happens, I have to go down to Calumet, both for church and because I have to do my Thanksgiving shopping, and I don't want to make two trips.


While the talking was going on, I tried to work on a new project: I want a new hat and mittens (over-glove mittens) in colors that go with my down parka. I think when I start doing the color pattern it will go better, but I have to start with a bunch of plain stockinet rows and after doing the lace, it's incredibly boring. So I didn't even finish the row I was in the middle of. 


 I want to type a bit more, but the next part is rather long and I don't know if I should even start it. I would like to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. 


When I finally got up this morning, Jasmine sat at the south end of the hall and I stood at the north end and we wished each other a good morning, then she went away and I haven't seen her since. I forgot to mention that when I was talking to Jon the other night, at least twice she came up to the door, which was nearly closed, and meowed at me. I think she was saying "What the heck are you doing?" I occasionally pull an all-nighter, but I haven't done that much since she's been here, and she was puzzled.


When the wind is blowing, I've discovered that I can keep the temperature in the studio and in the bathroom much more comfortable if I keep the doors nearly closed. The great room is always cold, because it's such a big open space, and I keep my bedroom cool on purpose, but I want the bathroom and the studio to be warm. In the studio the problem is compounded by the thermostat being behind the door, so closing it at least partway helps keep the temperature up.


Just a little while ago - in the middle of ordering some of the right vitamins - I had the same problem with my broadband that I had the other night, but I fixed it by wiggling the wires under the desk, and again, I'm not sure which ones. Jon thinks there's some RF interference under there, and I guess he's right, but I haven't figured out which power supply is causing it. If it's not one damn thing, it's another.


So now it's a dark, cold night in the field and I guess I will type a bit.


November 17

I'm not going to say when I went to bed this morning, but it was outrageous. I slept, of course, although I did wake up at the usual time, around 8:30. I went back to bed and then I got a call from someone I had placed an order with, about 9:45. I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't so I got up around 10:00. I was clearly not all there, because I had a lot of trouble with the fern square, which is by far the easiest of all. In fact, I had to rip out almost half of it because I had done something weird - I have no idea what - and ended up with too many stitches on each needle. Anyway, I finished it and set up the next square - more lily of the valley. So I was really late getting out of the north end.


And I didn't do anything but my surfing. I was going to go to the post office, but I decided not. Tomorrow.


The weather was downright wintry. The high temperature was only 33, and there was a strong wind, in the 15-25 mph range from the north. There was a little sunshine around the time I was doing my surfing, and at this time of year, when the sun is only 23.5 above the horizon at noon, it shines right in my eyes when I am trying to see the screen. Then a while later, around 3:30, maybe, I looked up and it was snowing big flakes. 


I am concerned about my pump, since the temperature is below freezing now, but hopefully, Adam will be back on Sunday and he will come next week.


So that was my day, and I am going to crash tonight. It's a dark night in the field, although the wind has died down, and there may be more snow.


November 16

I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night, but I spent a long time staring at the floor, so it was after midnight when I got to bed. It will be later tonight. I woke up around 8:30, as usual, and I just felt that was too early, so I turned over. I didn't think I slept, but I must have, because the next time I looked at the clock it was 10:30 and time to get up.


I knitted the next square, which was birch leaves, and for some reason I had a lot of trouble with it. Probably I wasn't all there, and I've had trouble typing all day.


I started typing after the talking tonight, but then something happened to my broadband, so I called PastyNet. Jon called back around 8:30, and we managed to get it to work although we don't know why it failed or why it started working again. He said it was acting like there was ice on the receiver, so I went out onto the deck twice (brr!) and tried to scrape the face of the unit. That didn't work, but I started fooling around with the wires under the desk and all of a sudden it was working again. Weird.


And then we started to talk. We talked until the battery in the phone went dead - I think it was about 188 minutes, then he called back and I put him on the speaker phone and we talked some more. We finally hung up around 2:30. He is such a nice person and we have a lot of interests and attitudes in common. It was a very far-ranging discussion, but I learned a few things, and I think perhaps he did, too. They will be moving back to Keweenaw in about a year and a half, and I hope to see more of them when they do.


So that is why this is so late.


Other than that, nothing happened except for the weather. The temperature was around 37 for most of the morning and up until around 1:00, then it dropped down to 30, where it stayed until about 8:00 before it rose a bit. It was partly cloudy in the morning and we actually had about an hours' worth of sunshine between noon and 1:00. It was windy, with gusts up to about 32 mph. Then the temperature dropped, the black clouds blew in, and the next thing I know, somebody was throwing ice pellets at my windows. The precip started down the harbor around 3:00, and it wasn't all ice pellets or snow, because for a while the window was covered with raindrops. Then it snowed or something for a while, and then it quit. The camera pictures show a little snow on the deck, and there was some on the ground, too, but not much to speak of. When I went out to check the receiver, the wind was blowing out of the north-northwest, which means right down the length of the deck, at 24 to 32 mph. It was 32, so it wasn't that cold, but it was nasty out there, even without the snow.


I think they got a lot more snow down Calumet way. There was 2.5" at Delaware overnight, and I will have to check tomorrow, because I'm sure they got more today, even if we didn't.


So that was an interesting day. I had a nice conversation with someone I like, and it was a conversation about ideas, which I also like, and otherwise I did nothing much. Now it's a dark, windy night in the field and I won't be getting up early tomorrow.


November 15

I typed for a long time last night, and it was after midnight when I got to bed. I slept fairly well, with two wakeups, but I woke up around 8:30 and had to walk badly enough that I couldn't go back to sleep. So I'm tired.


I did the lily of the valley square, but I had to rip about four rows at one point so it took me quite a while. I did my surfing and I went to the post office, where my box was full of catalogs, pleas for money and dunning about Medicare supplemental plans. That annoys the heck out of me, since I am locked into the retiree plan. Fortunately, it's a good one. But I keep getting all this junk that I don't want.


After the talking was over, I typed another 3,000 words, so I'm making some progress. I'm not there yet, though. I knew this was a long one, just from the number of handwritten pages, and there are a lot of things to write about yet, so it will be another big episode.


The weather was nondescript, cloudy and about 42 with not much wind. The temperature has dropped to 32, though, and there is snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. This time we may get some.


I spent a little time looking for some electrical tape to put over the light on the camera, but I don't seem to have any anymore. I went food shopping in the basement and brought up a few things to have. They were talking about defining pizza as as healthful meal for kids in school (yeah, sure), and that reminded me that I have some microwave pizza slices in the basement, so I went down to get those.


I haven't seen Jasmine in a couple of days, but she did say good morning this morning before she went to bed, and she ate, so I know she's still here.


Now it's a dark night in the field, and it might snow.


November 14

I don't remember now what kept me, but it was midnight before I got to bed. I know because I checked the clocks and they were both about 8 minutes fast, for some reason. However, I think I set the one in the bedroom in the middle of the night, and sometimes I don't see very well under those circumstances. I didn't wake up for the first time until almost 5:00, so I got a lot of good sleep time in. That's nice, but it means to me that I'm not getting rid of all the fluid. I got up around 9:00. So I should have had enough sleep.


I knitted my triangle and the first 8 rows of the next square - more lily of the valley. 


I'm not sure what happened to the camera this morning, It started out just fine, then it got all streaky until I stopped and restarted Kabcam. Since that worked, I'm not sure where the problem was. Like I said yesterday, I try to keep an eye on it, because things do happen.


I didn't do anything much else, I guess. Monday is a day where there's a lot of reading and some extra surfing, so that took quite a while.


It was another surprisingly nice autumn day. The temperature got up to 50 for a while this afternoon. The winds weren't too strong, and there was some sunshine, although it clouded up later on. It was quite cloudy at sunset, then sometime between 9:00 and 10:00, we had a short, sharp thunderstorm, of all things. Just a few booms and bangs and a little light and 0.05" of rain, but it was a bit of a surprise. Rain, yes, but thunder?


Tonight after the talking, I typed another 3,000 words. That seemed like about enough. I've been typing so much that my hands get stiff pretty fast.


So that was a quiet day, and it's time to totter up to the north end. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it's warm for November.


November 13

So last night I was in bed before 10:00 and I went right to sleep, but around 2:00, I woke up and I was all hot, and I couldn't get cooled off. In fact, I think I went to sleep for a while with no bedclothes over me. I was restless, though, and it was quite a while before I got back to a real deep sleep. Of course, I woke up at 6:40 and had to pee badly enough that I had to get up, and I was very close to going back to sleep when the alarm went off. It seems like neither of my north end clocks is set quite right, so I will have to fix that.


I got myself up and out to church, and even though I left late, it seems like I always get there within about 5 minutes of the same time. It was nice, as always.  Mary Ann and her husband, Bill, were there with their two granddaughters, who were quite good for such little kids. The older one is beginning to look at the hymn book, and maybe one of these days, she'll be singing.


There was communion and there were a lot of announcements at the end, so we were late getting out, and it was nearly 1:00 before I got home. Then I just about made it to the bathroom in time to avoid a bad accident. Whew!


I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, and I'm really tired now. After I finished my surfing, I started typing again and it seems like I typed almost 7,000 words. That's about my limit. My fingers are getting quite stiff.


I have been meaning to mention how wonderful it is to have a computer with a stable operating system. With the old one, I had to reboot every night and sometimes during the day, depending upon what I had been doing, and I never knew when it would go crazy. Now, it only reboots on a power failure or when some of the software updates come in. I have been leaving IE, mail and Word open all the time with what I'm working on. I do save the story I'm typing into at the end of every session, but I don't need to end any programs. Even on a power failure, all my Word documents are out there on disk and all I have to do is open them up and continue what I was doing. It's so great. Of course, I do check things, because Kabcam has hung a couple of times, but it's not a constant thing like it was with the old one. And I can have all the programs I want open at the same time without maxing out the system. What a relief! Every time I look at that big credit card balance, I remember how great it is to have my new hardware!


The weather today was rather nice again. It never got below 43 all night, and it got up to 48 for a while. It was cloudy, but it wasn't dark-cloudy, and there were a few stray rays of sunshine. There wasn't any wind until just a few minutes ago, when all of a sudden it picked up and things are starting to get roiled up again. I think the wind is from the west or maybe it's switching to northwest. Environment Canada predicted that it would get windy tonight, and it sounds like they were right.


So that was my quiet Sunday. In the middle of church, I suddenly realized that next Sunday is the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I will have to do some shopping, to get my turkey and things like that. For some reason, I thought there was another week in there, but I don't look at the calendar nearly as much as I used to. Eleanor (the 90-year-old lady at church) says we're allowed to have little lapses like that. If I were as mentally sharp as she is, I wouldn't mind living to 90. She is a little hard of hearing (more so than I am), but there is nothing at all wrong with her mind.


Now it's a dark night in the field and it sounds like it's going to be a windy one, so the lake will sing me to sleep.


November 12

Oh, I was late last night, and I'm really tired tonight. I think I will be in bed early, or I hope so. I've done all the typing I intend to do tonight. It may have been partly cloudy last night, but with the nearly full moon floating overhead, seeing anything else in the sky was impossible. If there were northern lights, I certainly didn't see them.


I got up around 10:00 again, and I did the next square on the stole. This one was lily of the valley, and I had to rip a bit a couple of times, but it came out looking all right. That ends tier 10, and the next thing is a right triangle, which I didn't start. The start of that is sort of strange, and I had knitted enough. While the other squares are all right, the lily of the valley pattern requires me to do a lot of pinching and pulling and it's hard on my hands.


I hadn't planned to do anything, or if I did, it was something else, but Trevor called about the trash, and so while he went off to the dumpster to see if it was full or not, I scurried around and got all the trash collected up, even the stuff in the fridge that needed to go out and all the papers and lemonade bottles I had left on top of the bags beside the car. Then he called back to say that the dumpster was full. So no trash collection today.


We had a nice conversation. He is turning into a really nice kid, and he can hold a great conversation with an older person. Ron should be proud of him.


I ate dinner early and turned my attention to the typing, and I typed to the next break. It wasn't a lot, about 3500 words. I discovered one of the nice little things about Word 2010. IF you highlight a section, like a chapter, it will tell you how many words are in the highlighted part. Really neat, and really useful. I've often wondered how many words were in a chapter, and now I can find out.


The weather was nice for November. The temperature got up to 46, and there was only light wind from the southwest until recently, when it has started to gust up to 25 mph. The sky was partly cloudy, so there was a lot of sunshine. You wanted a jacket, but it wasn't frigid.


We are down to just under 9 hours of daylight now, but it's only getting shorter at about 2 2/3 minutes a day. It has six weeks or so to get rid of the next hour. The sun is setting at about 5:20 EST, which is just too early.


Oh, I nearly forgot. I did an oops last night. It was right around 6:30 when I went out to the kitchen to get dinner, and I just flipped the light switches on as I left, and it turns out that the last picture the camera took was a minute or two later, so it showed a beautiful shot of the messy studio. It wasn't too bad when I went to Detroit, but now it's just as bad as ever. Sorry for the startling picture. I'll try to see that it doesn't happen again.


Actually yesterday was a bad day for the camera. Something weird had happened to Kabcam, and it never woke up in the morning, so the first picture didn't happen until around 11:30 or later. Then it caught the studio before it shut down. Today it was fine again, so I don't know what happened to it.


Anyway, I had scuttled around enough doing the trash that I was tired, so i didn't do much of anything for the rest of the afternoon, and I'll be off to the north end as soon as I get this published. It's a dark and breezy night in the field.


November 11

It's here - 11/11/11! In about two minutes, the atomic clock will say 11:11 11 11. A magic number day.


I was really late getting to bed last night, and I will be tonight, too. I've really gotten into the typing, and while I'm not sure the story would interest many people, it interests me, and it's pretty well written, too, if I do say so myself.


There. It's 11:11 on 11/11/11...well, actually, that was this morning, but the clock shows civil time, so that's what it says. It's kind of cool.


Anyway, I slept well, but I got up around 10:00, which wasn't nearly enough sleep. I did the next square on the stole with only a little trouble.


And that was about it. The dishwasher is nearly ready to run, so I will do that, and tonight I do have to wash my hair.


After the talking was over, I started typing and I did a chapter, although it's a short one. I still don't know how long a chapter should be, and I have some that are anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 words. If I made a new chapter every time there was a break in the action, I'd have hundreds of small ones, but that isn't right either. When I write, it's just one long story, so I've had to go back and put in chapters later, and it's not always easy.


The weather was blah. When I woke up this morning, there was snow on the garage roof and on the deck but none on the ground. There wasn't more than half an inch and it melted pretty quick. The temperature went from 33 overnight to 39 late this afternoon. The wind shifted around to the west or southwest. At times it was in the 10 to 25 mph range, but at other times it was nearly calm. I guess we're between fronts and it's trying to make up its mind. It was cloudy all day, although there was one beam of sunshine right before it went below the hills. It is supposed to clear up tonight, and I hope so, since there may be northern lights.


I didn't go out because I got a Schwan's order this afternoon, and he was a bit later than I thought he'd be. There wasn't anything remarkable in it, but I did have chicken lo mein for dinner tonight, and it was good.


So that was my nothing day, and now I really must totter up to the north end and do my thing. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but there may be a star or two.


November 10

I'm late again. Typing again. Oh, well.


I was in bed by shortly after 10:00 last night, and I slept fairly well, although I was up several times. However, I woke up just before 4:00 to find the clock blinking. Oh, dear. Everything seemed all right, though, so after I took my walk, I sat down to set it. It went off two or three times, then it was off for a minute or so, and when it came back on, I was sure I was on the generator, but I wanted to check that before I called the power company. So I tottered down to the kitchen, and sure enough, the generator was running. Since I had come that far, I continued on to the studio and called from there, then I checked to see that the computer had come up correctly. Of course it had, because I checked it. One version of Murphy's law says "Things that are supposed to happen will not happen when people are looking." Or the converse, "Things that are not supposed to happen will only happen when people are not looking."


After that, I was wide enough awake that it took me a while to get back to sleep. I think I was up around 8:00, but that wasn't enough sleep, so I didn't get up until 10:00. I knitted another square on the stole, 


That was about all I did except to go to the post office, where my probiotics finally came, and I paid a couple of bills.


Then there was the weather. We did not have any snow here in the harbor. It sleeted some yesterday, but the rest was rain, about 1/8". However, the south side of Brockway is white and the West Bluff, where the Mountain Lodge is, is white. The temperature here has been a nearly steady 36, and there was some wind from the north-northeast, with gusts as high as 30 mph. 


I called the Road Commission. We might not have gotten anything here, but they measured 9" at Delaware, which is just 11 miles southwest of here. There is no more graphic illustration of the effect of the big lake. It was a good November gale, though. I still haven't decided how I am going to present the snowfall data, so for the time being, I will report it here and keep track, until I decide what to do with it. I will get it onto the site eventually, and I hope to put the whole history table out there, too. We won't be having a snowfall contest or anything, but I'll try to keep track of it for you.


Anyway, it was a dark, cloudy day. The clouds were rather thin during the night, and I could almost see the full moon shining in my windows early this morning, at least for a while. 


After the talking stopped, I started typing and that's why I'm so late. I like to stop at the end of a scene, and some of them are rather long. There's a lot of talking in this one. So now I will toddle up to the north end and forgo the bath. It's a dark, windy night in the field, and the lake is still speaking.


November 9

I typed for far too long last night. The thing is, I am reading as I type, and I wanted to end at a break point. Then I had to wash my hair, so it was 1:30 before I turned out the light. I slept well, of course. I was up around 8:30, but that was much too early, so I went back to sleep, and it was 10:30 before I woke up again.


I had some interesting dreams before I woke up, including one where Jasmine jumped up on me and rubbed and wiggled and got petted and rubbed and purred and refused to leave me. I can only hope that's a prediction. I didn't see her at all today, but it was that kind of day.


I didn't do anything again except for a little work on the kitchen. I'm trying to keep it sort of cleaned up. There were a lot of emails to read, as well as all my surfing.


The weather was miserable, but it wasn't as bad as it was forecast to be. The temperature only got up to 41, and there was a strong east to northeast wind, in the 25-35 mph range. It didn't start precipitating here until about 3;30, and then it was mostly rain, although I looked up at one point and it looked more like sleet - yuck! We haven't gotten any snow yet, although apparently it did snow at the airport. Curiously, even with the east winds, the storm is moving off to the northeast now. Dusk came really early, though, and it was dark and gloomy all afternoon. So it was a dud, like I hoped it would be.


I guess I'm going to have to get up my nerve and call the Road Commission tomorrow. Now that George is gone, I guess it's up to me to keep track of the snowfall for Keweenaw County for the season. I haven't found any other site that does it consistently, and I always liked his almost daily reports of snowfall. So I will be calling them and setting something up, probably a new page. I have toyed with putting it on the camera page, but there's already a lot of stuff on that page.


The other thing I wanted to call to your attention is the page that Charlie gave us the other day, that shows the plot of ships on the lake, overlaid on a Google map. It's not perfect - there's an ad right over the Soo - but it does give one a good idea of what's going on. The other day, when it was so windy (Sunday or Monday, I don't remember now), I looked at it and there were seven lakers at various places in the lee of the Keweenaw, including one at the South Entry to the Portage Canal. Today, there is one guy over in Bete Gris bay. Check it out:




So now it's a dark, cold and windy night in the field and I think it's still doing something outside. I don't hear the wind very much when it's from that direction, but I've been listening to the roar of the lake all all day. It will be another good night to sleep. Zzzz...


November 8

I was more out of it last night than I thought at the time. I discovered this morning that I had taken the morning pills rather than the night pills, so I was up about every hour and a half all night long. I did sleep in between, so it wasn't a terrible night. That's the reason I take my diuretic in the morning, but every so often I can't tell the difference between the yellow box and the blue box and I pick the wrong one.


I got up around 9:00 and I even got to knit a little bit before I got dressed, and I did most of my surfing except for the crosswords before I was off to my massage. That was nice, and I felt much better, if more tired, afterwards.


Johanna had been to Mayo last week, and she did not have a good experience. She encountered one of those insufferable jerks who thinks he knows everything and the patient doesn't need to know anything, even what's wrong with her. I hate those guys. Fortunately, the last one I encountered was when I was in the hospital with the shingles, and his jerkiness wasn't aimed at me. Maybe she's slowly getting over her problem, but she still has some pain, which isn't good.


I stopped at the post office and got my packages, and I discovered that the place I got my antihistamines from had sent me another bottle, so I am well supplied with those. I emailed them, and they said just to keep them - the total order was less than $10, and it would probably cost nearly as much to send them back. My pretty star ornament came, and I will probably hang it from the chain for the ceiling fan, where my bug is now. I've had the bug there for years, and it's time for a change. I got one for Debbie, too, and it's very nice, although I have to say I think it was overpriced. Anyway, now all my Christmas presents are taken care of. I still have to send it to her, of course, but that's not much of a problem.


I didn't do much of anything this afternoon except for my games. I usually feel tired after a massage, and I still think I'm fighting some kind of bug. At least, I was sneezing again.


The weather was cold, but there wasn't any wind. The temperature stayed right around 40. plus or minus a degree or two, all day, and the winds were mostly under 10 mph. It was cloudy in the morning, but there was some sunshine and partly cloudy skies for most of the afternoon. 


They are still saying we're going to have snow tonight and tomorrow, and they have a winter storm watch out for tomorrow - something between 3" and 6" of snow. We'll see. Sometimes they are right, but many times they overreact and their dire predictions turn out to be wrong.


So now I think maybe I will type a bit before I totter up to the north end and wash my hair. I used some old shampoo and conditioner on my hair on Saturday and it helped the ends a lot, but it means that my scalp and the hair close to it are all oily and yucky. I'm at one of those in between stages where I'm not oily enough for oily shampoo and too oily for normal shampoo. It only surprises me that I've gotten to such an age before it started to happen. I kept expecting to go through that 20 years ago. Not that I'll complain very much. It will just take some management.


Now it's a partly cloudy, cold night in the field and the snow is coming! The snow is coming! But the sky is falling, too.


November 7

I started reading and fiddling around with the story, and it was after midnight before I got to bed. I slept well until around 7:00, and then I just dozed for an hour or so. I really didn't want to get up until 9:00, but I had to pee, and it was clear that I wasn't going to get back to sleep, so I got up. I knitted for a while, although when I get up that early, it always means I'm going to have to do some ripping.


I was going to get dressed and do my surfing before my massage when Johanna called from Houghton to ask if we could do it tomorrow instead. Well, sure, I'm not doing anything, so one day is as good as another. So then I was able to finish my square and set up the next one before I put some clothes on (sweats) and got breakfast.


Adam finally called back and he is in North Dakota and is planning to move there as soon as his child is born. There is much more work out there, so he is planning to stay. I am sorry to hear that, because I like him, but he has responsibilities now and there just is no construction in the Keweenaw anymore. If anybody is interested in a nice house someplace around Mohawk, his will be for sale. I think he got a lot of good ideas from building my house. He will be back sometime this month, and he promised he will do my maintenance when he gets here.


I didn't do much of anything. I spent some more time fiddling with the story from the white binder. I am testing the theory that if I tell it to ignore some of the rules, I will be able to get it to be happy and not leave all those little green underlines lying around. We'll see, because I started reading it, then I got bored with that and went back to part 5 from the blue binder. I managed to figure out a way to put the pages on an easel so I can read them, and as it got darker, I plugged in a reading light to light them. I think it will work, but then it was dinnertime.


While my dinner cooked, I got the dishwasher unloaded. I discovered a paring knife in the bottom of the dishwasher, as well as a bunch of pieces of clear plastic that must be pieces I cut off various frozen bags. Maybe that's one reason I keep having water sitting in the bottom. I hope so. I also changed out the garbage bags in the kitchen and started filling another orange bag. There is some stuff in the powder room that needs to go in it, and then it will be full. The one in the breezeway is full, too, but I didn't feel like fiddling with that today.


I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, and I'm groggy.


The weather was good for hunkering down. The temperature was about steady in the lower 40s, but it was the wind that made the day. It was strong overnight, then it died down for a couple of hours before it switched around to almost north and picked up again, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Not as dire as what was forecast (you know, the sky is falling again), but respectable. It was clear when I got up, but the clouds soon moved in and it got very dreary in the afternoon. I think it's clearing up some now, because when I came through the great room with my dinner, the gibbous moon was shining brightly in the upper east windows. I was glad to stay in.


So now I think I may type a little more before I trudge up to the north end and crash. My hair will be a mess tomorrow, but oh, well.


It's a windy, partly cloudy night in the field, and the moon will light the landscape.


November 6

It was a good thing that we went back to regular time last night, because I ended up getting to bed late. I didn't sleep very well for some reason, and I had one long and wild dream that, unfortunately, I can't remember very much of anymore. It was a variation on the water dream, except that I wasn't being chased. Something about rowing a rowboat from Detroit to Keweenaw? And at one point, someone fitted wheels to the boat and we went overland on a road that had been completely dug up to be rebuilt. It was very vivid in spots. I had to get up, and unfortunately, I lost the thread, but it was a strange one.


I got up at the usual time, but I got an extra hour of sleep, which I needed. And I got myself off to church in time. We celebrated All Saints' Sunday today, and the hymns were great. Pastor talked about how we are all saints through Jesus, so that was good.


I got home around 12:45 and I sort of collapsed. I didn't do anything this afternoon. Maybe sometime Trevor and I will get the trash to the compactor, but not today. I didn't feel like typing, so I loaded up the long story from the white binder and I am trying again to convince Word that there aren't any grammar errors in it. I have a couple of ideas, but before I can put them into use, I have to go through the entire thing again and ignore all the stuff it keeps finding. That is one thing that annoys me most about Word 2010 - unless it decides all the grammar things have been fixed, it doesn't remember most of the former fixes, so every time I go through it I have to redo those things. Grr.


The weather was so-so. It was warm; the temperature got up to 54 this afternoon, and it was windy. Actually, the wind had died down about an hour ago, and then suddenly it shifted from southwest to northwest and it's blowing again, with gusts up to 25 mph. It was cloudy all day, and as the afternoon wore on, it got really dismal, even before the early sunset.


The sun is now setting a bit before 5:30 EST, and we have only 9 hours of daylight. It was nice to be able to get up after sunrise, though, so I guess I can live with the early sunset.


So now it's late again and it's time to crash. It's a dark, windy night in the field.


November 5

Well, it was another lost day. I got to bed around 10:30 and I slept well, thank you. There were stars in the night, as well as a very bright moon for a while. I got up around 9:00 or so, but I knitted both the last square in the tier and the left-hand triangle, so it was late when I got to the studio.


I did nothing much. I still feel like I'm fighting something off, but that seems to be the story of my life in the winter. Late this afternoon, I started transcribing the story from the blue binder that isn't finished, but it's been hard. When I did it the last time, I had room to my left to set up a page holder and a light, so I could see what I was doing. Today, I had the pages in front of the monitor, flat, and I was trying to type from them that way. It makes for some strange sitting positions, and I don't think I can do it for long. I got about 1,000 words done before I stopped to have dinner. I'm getting the hang of the new keyboard, but I still don't type as well as I did with the old one.


The weather was really too nice to be inside, but I didn't go out. The temperature got up to 52 for a while and there was a strong southwest wind, in the 18-32 mph range, all day long. There was sunshine, but there were those same high clouds we had yesterday, so the camera pictures were gray and blah.


I took my huge bottle of vitamins up to the north end last night and compared it to what i have been taking, and I discovered that it was not a replacement, as advertised, so I complained to Amazon and to the place I got them from, and I think I will be sending them back. it was really too big a bottle anyway - 1000 pills, which is a 2 year supply. I get 1000 of my allergy meds, because I take them twice a day and sometimes more, but that's too many for a vitamin. Now we'll see how easy it is to return them. They came UPS, but it's nearly impossible for me to send things back that way.


I saw all of Jasmine today, and she looks good, and when I got up, we had quite a conversation. Then when I got to the kitchen, I discovered that the door to the breezeway had come open, and I'm wondering if she was telling me she had mouse for breakfast. I know there are mice out there because I've seen them, but I haven't wanted to let her out there because I'm afraid she will hide. I don't know if she would go anyway, since that was the place where she got trapped and freaked out when she was an adolescent. And she doesn't forget things like that. I'm afraid that her problem is that since I took Buster away and he didn't come back, she thinks i might trap her and take her away, too. It really hurts me to see such a basically sweet kitty be so fearful, but I don't know if there's ever going to be anything I can do about it.


So that was a nothing day, and I think I may type for a little while before I go up to the north end and prepare myself for church tomorrow. It's a partly cloudy, windy night in the field.


November 4

When I got up to go to bed, the half moon was floating high overhead in a clear sky, so pretty! I'm not quite sure why, but it was 11:30 before I got to bed again last night. I did stare at the floor for a while, but not that long. I slept, although I was up for a while in the night, because of all the coleslaw I ate. There were stars, and Jupiter was bright in the west. 


I got up around 9:00, but I didn't feel like that was enough sleep, and I have been rather groggy all day. I went to the post office, where the catalog blitz is beginning. I now have some of the pills I ordered, so that is good. The pile of catalogs and magazines is reaching toward the top of the desk, so it's time I went through them.


The weather was nicer than it looked. There was a high haze of cirrus clouds in the sky all day, and while it didn't seem to interfere with the sunshine, the camera pictures were all gray. It wasn't really that dismal. The temperature got up to 48 for a while, and there was almost no wind at all. It wasn't at all bad when I went out.


So I didn't do much of anything, and i had a sneezing fit this evening. I hope I'm not coming down with something, but right now it feels iffy.


All I saw of Jasmine today was a pair of hind legs, and she didn't talk. She did eat the dinner I left her, so that was good, and tomorrow I will have to replenish her dry food. I don't think she's eating enough to get fat, although i haven't had a chance to study her lately. I think it's good that she's eating. That must mean that while she's sad, she's not pining away.


So that was a nothing day, and now it's a relatively clear, dark night in the field. For the next couple of weeks, it won't be too dark, though, with the moon moving toward full.


November 3

I read for too long last night. I'm not totally happy with that story, but it has its good parts. I got to bed around 11:30 again. I was up a couple of times in the night, and there were stars, although not really bright ones. We seem to have those high aerosols in our atmosphere almost all the time these days. I was up around 7:00 this morning, and Jupiter was setting over Porter's Island, twinkling like mad. Pretty, though.


I didn't get up until 10:30 or so, and I knitted the next square on the shawl, so I didn't eat breakfast until around noon. I had time to do most of my surfing before it was time to go off to the car dealership. That turned out OK, but they warned me that my brakes are getting really bad. The rotors are apparently quite rusty, and the pads are quite worn. They said they didn't think it would be a very good idea to just replace the pads. However, that is a $700 repair bill, so I will have to plan ahead for it. Maybe I can make it through the winter, since I won't be going down to Calumet twice a week for therapy.


From there, I went to Pat's and spent my usual amount. Sigh. However, I have been doing some calculating this week, and it seems I was wrong about wine being cheaper than JD. In fact, because of the kind of wine I like, a double Jack is about $1 cheaper than half a bottle of wine. So I am rethinking that whole thing. I did get some wine, because every so often I like some, but I suspect I will be drinking more JD from now on. Aw, too bad!


I got home around 6:30, and I just sat and listened to the end of the talking before I unloaded the car. Now the fridge is bursting its seams again, but I have some nice things to eat. For dinner, I had part of a rotisserie chicken, coleslaw and potato salad. Sort of summery, but yummy. Oh, yes, and a little Greek yogurt for dessert. Yum, although I won't buy this one again: it tastes almost like it has flour in it. The ones with nothing but milk, yogurt cultures and flavoring are much nicer.


When I was in the bathroom this morning, Jasmine came upstairs and started mewing at me, so I mewed back. Then when I got out into the kitchen, she came out again and cried and cried at me, so I tried to explain again that Buster is gone and he's not coming back, but I don't think she still believes it. Poor little Jasmine! I keep hoping she will relax and start spending her days upstairs again, but we seem to have a way to go before that happens.


The weather was lovely. The temperature got up to about 46 for most of the afternoon, and there was a little north wind for a while. It was mostly sunny all day long, although there were a few clouds in the sky down the peninsula and some high stuff in the west later in the afternoon. There was lots of sunshine, and it was really nice to see after all the dull, gray days we've had.


So now it's getting late again, and I'm tired. I need to wash my hair tonight, so I guess I'll be tottering up to the north end pretty soon. It's a clear, calm night in the field.


November 2

We learned this morning that George Hite has died. I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear that. He had returned to Eagle Harbor, and it looked like he was going to resurrect the website, have a snowfall contest, and hopefully, fill our eyes with his wonderfully written musings on practically everything Keweenaw. I never met George in person, although I had considerable conversation with him via email from the time I first discovered his website (not long after I retired, I think). He had had so many health problems and come through them all that he was a real inspiration to me when I was getting through and over the stem cell thing, For the past few years, it seemed like every winter he went back to the hospital for more surgery, but he seemed to recover from all of it. I was particularly worried last winter when he ended up in California and had to spend the rest of the winter there recovering. On the other hand, I was not particularly surprised that he passed, especially since it seems to have been from a heart attack. He had snatched life out of death so many times that it had to end sometime. I am happy that he got to spend some time this summer in his beloved Peregrine on his beloved Lake Superior. I will miss his writings, and I'm so sorry I never got to meet him.


I fiddled around again last night and it was late when I got to bed again. I didn't feel like doing what needed doing when I got to the north end last night, so instead, I knitted the right side triangle on the shawl. Then I had to take a bath, so it was 11:45 when I made it into bed. I got up a bit before 10:00, and i knitted some more, and I finished  a birch leaves square. For some reason, it took me a long time to do it, even though I didn't have many problems, so I didn't get to the studio until nearly noon. 


And I didn't do anything except my surfing. George's death meant I spent some time looking at various web pages, including Facebook, so it took me a long time. 


It was another gray autumn day. The temperature was 46 all day - when it's so consistent, I get suspicious that there's something wrong with the weather station, although it was reporting changes in other measurements. There was a very light north wind. There were thick clouds all day. There was a rather nice sunset. I admit, I enhanced that picture, because the camera washed out what I actually saw. It was more like that.


I forgot, yesterday, to point out that it was one of the magic number days this year - 11/1/11. So is today: 11/02/2011. There will be another on the 11th. Somehow, those numerology things fascinate me.


I spent the afternoon after I finished surfing working on the story, and I got the stuff added in that I wanted, although I'm not very satisfied by what I wrote. I will have to go over it in the future to get it the way I like it. So now I can go back and read the rest of it. There are a lot of things I still don't like about this one, and it is so important to the rest of what I write that I will just have to keep poking at it. Or maybe that's why I'm not satisfied: I had to write it to explain a lot of things, and most of the important parts didn't come easily or naturally, which is how the better things I've written have gone. Well, I'll keep thinking about it.


So that was my day. For some reason, I had a little headache all day, and I hope to be able to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a dark, and I think cloudy, night in the field, but Environment Canada promises it will clear up before midnight, so there may be stars.


November 1

It hardly seems possible that it's November already, but oh, well.


I fiddled around last night, and it was late before I got to bed. I remembered that I had gotten a notification that there were new  Windows updates to install, so I did that on the desktop, and then I got on the laptop. Not only were there Windows updates, it finally realized that there was a Java update that hadn't registered, so I did that, too. And finally, Norton told me that it hadn't updated in a couple of weeks, so I started that, and it was huge, so it took a long time to download. In the meantime, I read. I decided to try to find a place to insert what I need in the first story, but just now realized that everything is so tight that I'm going to have some work to do before I can begin writing. That's when I wish I had hard copy, so I could easily leaf back and forth to find the right place.


So I got to bed around 11:30 again. I slept well, but when I woke up just after 8:00, that was too early. I woke up again around 9:00, and I wanted to keep sleeping but I didn't get into a deep sleep. I got up around 10:00.


I knitted the next square, birch leaves, which is the last on on the eighth tier except for the side triangle. I am a third of the way done! I started the triangle, but I totally screwed it up, and I discovered halfway through that I had 21 stitches instead of 20, so I had to unknit the whole thing and start over. I started it again, but I didn't go very far, and it was still almost noon when i got to the studio. That's one thing about this project: there's a whole lot of counting, not only within each pattern, but the overall dimensions of each part. Each square has to be exactly 20 stitches wide (although two patterns increase to 21) and 40 rows long, and I have to keep counting to make sure I haven't gotten off track. I'm still not sure what I did with the triangle, but it started out wrong, so I just went back to the beginning and started over.


That was about all I did, actually. I went to the post office, where there was a lot of mail, which I just remembered I haven't looked at yet, and I stopped at the store for lettuce and eggs. I will be shopping on Thursday, but I needed lettuce and I always get my eggs here.


There was an odd incident that caused me to call the paper. When I turned onto US-41, there was a paper in a blue wrapper in my box, I don't remember passing more than one car on my way to town, and on my way back, the only one I passed was the delivery girl, but when I got back to our road and stopped, the paper in the blue wrapper was gone and only today's paper was there. I was only gone about 15 minutes, so what happened to it is beyond me. I know in the past, I've had problems like that in the fall when the hunters are around, and we concluded that somebody was ripping off my papers, but how that happened today, I don't know. I find it really annoying, and I've wondered how I could secure my box without making it impossible for the delivery person to do her job. People, just because I don't get my paper every day does not mean I don't want it or I won't get it the next time I go by the box! What's really weird is that when I was in Detroit, all four papers were there when I got home.


The weather was dark and gloomy again, but again there was no rain. The temperature got up to 51 this afternoon for a while. There was some west wind this morning, but it dropped to nothing after 3:00. It was cloudy all day, except for one ray of sunshine early in the afternoon.


This evening, I started reading the story I want to modify, but I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed. I may have to write in an extra day in order to add what I need to add, and that will be hard. I don't want to print it off - it's 100,000 words, after all - but I need to be able to flip back and forth more than I can using word. With the broad ribbon across the bottom of the page and all the stuff at the top of word, I don't get many lines on a page at the zoom level I need in order to read easily. I'll figure it out, but probably not tonight.


So that was my day, and now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field and winter is approaching, even though it doesn't feel like it now.


Last  updated 12/01/11 08:31 PM