A View From the Field









February, 2012



February 29 - Leap Day

I think I'd like it better if it was an extra day at the end of the year and part of the New Year's holiday, but oh, well. We can't seem to get away from the calendar passed down to us because Julius Caesar was an egotist.


I only wrote about 3600 words last night, but I had an excuse. I have to combine two scenes into one and it would have taken too long...or so I thought. I don't know exactly what I did after that, but I diddled around, and then I had to take a bath, so I was late again. I slept well, and I finally got up around 10;30. I knitted a while, but that was about all I did.


I had sort of planned to go to the post office today and send off a couple of things, but when i looked out the window around 1:00, I decided not. The wind was gusting and the snow was flying and it wasn't at all nice outside.


It did snow, and in fact, I think it still is. It got to us later than predicted but when it came it came down. So far, we've had almost half an inch of water equivalent. The temperature was 32 until the snow got here, when it went down to 30, so the snow is wet and heavy, and in fact, there was water on the windows. The winds were from the southeast, but they were gusting up to 35 mph and swirling around the house so much that there was snow or water on the windows on all sides. It was another good blizzard-ish thing.


So I didn't do much. It took me most of the afternoon to do my surfing. While the talking was on, I knitted on the shawl I started a long time ago that is a half-circle - the one that with the pattern that looks like fish scales. It's sort of boring, but it's good to work on during the talking. The yarn is nice and soft and the colors are ones I like.


I think I heard Jasmine sometime, but I haven't seen her. It was a good day to hibernate, and I guess she did.


Now I will write a bit and try to get to bed at some reasonable hour, but no promises. It's a dark, snowy, blowy night in the field.


February 28

I did it again. I wrote about 3600 words, and then, instead of wrapping things up, I started fooling around on the Internet, and I was very late getting to bed. I got up around 10:30 and knitted for quite a while. I'm over half done on the edging and it's going well. After a while it gets into my fingers, you know. 


I unloaded the dishwasher and I went through all the filing to see if I could find my bank statements and a couple of other documents. I didn't find the other documents, but the piles are neater, at least. I have some work to do, of the kind I hate most. However, in order to get to the piles in my chair, I had to move the barrels, and all of a sudden I was finding hanks of beads - blue and silver beads! Yea, hallelujah! I think I mentioned some time ago that I had managed to dump my beading tray into the wastebasket. I found everything but the hanks of beads for the snowflake bracelet, and I was thinking I was going to have to go through the wastebasket again to find them. So it's been sitting there, over-full, and there's trash all over. Well, it seems like the beads didn't go into the basket, they went beside it, and I just didn't notice. So now, in due course, I can get that bag out of the basket and put another one in. 


I also lost a bank statement that I was using when I was trying to balance my checkbook. I still haven't found that, or a number of other things that should be around here, but every time I look at the desk, I can understand why some of those things got lost. There is definitely a black hole in my studio, as there is anyplace I spend a lot of time. Things disappear into it, and every so often, it spits out something. It's frustrating, but no matter how neat I try to be (and I'm not neat - I need my stuff around me), it always happens.


I think I can send off the tax stuff, though, and that will be a relief.


Tonight, I responded to an interview request (!) from the people I was talking to about "sewist", so that took some time. They've never had a blog post that got so many responses (over 600, he said), and he wanted to know what I thought about it. I suppose they will continue to use the word, and it will continue to irritate me. Not only isn't it an official word, it's an ugly word. You may be a sewist, but I'm not, and I won't ever be. But if you think about it, there isn't a general, gender-neutral word for people who create things using a sewing machine.


The weather was blah. The temperature was nearly steady, around 28 for most of the day, and the winds were light from the southwest. It was cloudy, but at times it was brighter than it was yesterday. The snow is coming, though. It's down in Wisconsin now and coming our way. Tomorrow should be an interesting day.


I guess I spooked Jasmine today. She was in the great room when I scooted the chair over toward the door and started moving the barrels, and she ran toward the basement door. She stopped there and looked, but I moved again and she bolted. I have no clue what she thought I was going to do! Poor kitty!


So that was my day. I will write a bit more tonight and take a bath and hope to get to bed a bit earlier, but no promises. It's a cloudy night in the field, and we're waiting for the storm.


February 27

As usual, I didn't do what I said I was going to do last night. Interweave Press, who publish Interweave Knits, Beadwork and my favorite Piecework has gone into Ebooks, and when they marked down the price to something reasonable ($4 or $5), I started collecting them. 


Some of them are interactive, which doesn't help me much. I think I've mentioned that I'm not a visual person, in that videos or live instruction doesn't help me a lot. Give me a written description with diagrams and I'm fine. So I don't get the complete experience out of the interactive book, but there are diagrams and some neat sock patterns that can be printed in PDF form. Actually, I was looking for the washcloth patterns I've collected over the past few years, but I got sidetracked. 


I got to bed around 11:30 and I slept fairly well, with several wakeups. I got up around 9:30. Now that I've gotten over the coming-down-with-a-sinus-infection thing (two months, I think?) 9 hours seems to do fine.


I was knitting when I heard some strange noises, and when I looked out the back windows of the great room, there was Ron, looking like the abominable snowman, clearing my driveway. So I opened the garage door and went back to my knitting, since I didn't have any clothes on. He did a good job, except that he forgot about the breezeway door, so in the middle of the afternoon, I dug that out.


It snowed until around 5:00 this morning, more or less hard. The wind yesterday was from the south, and I could tell when it shifted around to the east and then the north because the lake started to sing. A "co-op observer", whom I think is the fort manager, reported 8.3" of snow fell here, and from what Ron moved and what's on my deck, that looks about right. The wind drifted things completely differently. There is a 2' drift in front of the breezeway - I moved a fair amount of snow unblocking the door - and there is an 18" drift with a knife-edge top in front of the patio doors to the studio. The road didn't drift badly, but Ron's car was completely covered and Jean's driveway was apparently drifted in. How glad I am to have a garage!


The weather today was cold and cloudy. The temperature got up to 24 briefly and there was a north wind in the 15-20 mph range for most of the day, although it has now gone calm. It wasn't very nice out, and the cold dampness has done a job on my arthritis. My feet are almost too sore to walk on, my knees don't want to work at all, and we won't even mention my back. The joys of growing old.


The south winds yesterday apparently blew most of the ice out of this end of the harbor. Not that we could see it then. When I got up this morning, I was surprised to see open water quite close to my beach. Later on, when the wind shifted to the north, the ice blew back in, but it's pancake ice now, and certainly not safe to walk on.


They are saying we will be getting some more snow on Wednesday, although up here at the end of the Keweenaw probably not as much as further south. We'll see what happens. It would be fun to have a real blizzard again, although I think yesterday afternoon came close.


I had a moderately productive day. I dug out the door, as I said, and I got the dishwasher ready to run. I'm making progress on the stole and I worked on Jill's washcloth while the talking was on.


I think Jasmine was upstairs all day again today. I caught a glimpse of her this morning, and I heard her a couple of times today. She is happier now that she has full food dishes. I think she lies on the hard floor most of the time. It is probably warmer, but I can't believe it's really comfortable.


So that was another quiet day in the field, and now it's a cold, cloudy, calm night. I think I will write a bit before I totter up to the north end and bed.


February 26

I didn't take the book, and I went right up to the north end, so I was in bed before 9:45. I went right to sleep and did good until about 1:00, and after that I had to pee about every hour and a half. Comes from not eating salty stuff at night. Eventually, I got back to sleep, and I didn't want to get up when the alarm went off, but it wasn't snowing and I did want to go to communion.


A while ago, I sent an email to a newsletter I get expressing my extreme displeasure with their use of the non-word "sewist" for a person who sews (apparently on a sewing machine). Well. They decided to publish it in their online blog and invite comments. As I said when I wrote the editor again today, some people care about the English language and some don't. Some are philistines. It seems like somebody will misunderstand and misread almost anything anybody says. Those who care about English think "sewist" is a horrible non-word, like I do. Some others like it. I think it's execrable. Anyway, there were quite a number of comments, so I was almost too late leaving because I wanted to read them, or at least scan them. 


So I left about 9:20. It started snowing lightly at about Medora, but it wasn't too bad, it just took me longer to get to church. I still had time to make a pit stop before the service, so that was all right. It was nice to go to communion again. I think this is the first time I've been since Christmas, and that's too long. Pastor's sermon was a good one, linking Abraham and Isaac to Jesus. He always gets a good measure of Christ and Him crucified into every sermon, which I find most comforting. Then afterwards, he and I got to talking, so it was close to 12:30 when I finally left.


What a mess! It's been several years since I've been out driving in white-out conditions, but it certainly was. Fortunately, there wasn't much traffic in my direction, except that I got behind a guy going out of Mohawk who was obviously not used to the weather. He pulled over at the Vansville Bar, and I hope he didn't go in. I wouldn't want to drive in those conditions after visiting a bar.


Anyway, I was going 45 mph or slower the whole way, and peering out the windows so intently that my shoulder muscles were all tense, the whole way home. It must have taken over an hour. For a while, the windshield was icing up, too. It was not nice.


The temperature was around 26 when I was out in it, and there was a strong (15-30 mph) wind from the south, of all places. We have so far had over half an inch of water, so we have several inches of snow down. 


Needless to say, I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, I put the sweats I'd been wearing in the washing machine when I discovered a yucky spill on the back of the pants. I haven't put them in the dryer yet. i was going to work on this year's ledger until I discovered that I'd already started it. I need to do the credit card thing, but everything else is there and ready to go and January and part of February are already entered. I stopped that because I flaked off a bit of cornea into the inside corner of my eye and it hurts enough that I didn't want to peer at the screen anymore. So i spent the later part of the afternoon working on Jill's dishrag pattern, which comes out looking like a flower. It's very easy, and I think I have the rhythm of it already. Then while my dinner was cooking, I refilled Jasmine's dry food bowls. Oops. I forgot to give her her canned food. I'll do that when I go north. I also got most of the trash out of the kitchen, anyway. So I guess it wasn't a lost day after all.


It's still snowing, The winter storm warning is set to expire at 10:00 tomorrow morning, but we'll see about that. Then there is something developing in the Great Plains that could hit us or go south of us. So now, after a very un-snowy winter, we're beginning to get some meaningful snow. Shows you should never give up on the Keweenaw winter. There weren't many people in town today. I guess it was too snowy for the snowmobilers, but I guess I wouldn't want to go the speeds they usually do in this weather, either. Most snowmobile guys seem to be wimps. If it's too cold or snowing too hard, they won't go out. Piffle. I went to church.


Jasmine apparently was in the great room all day, although I didn't see her. When I went out to the kitchen and started filling her bowls. she started playing with the ball in the groove toy, and about the time I got my dinner together and was ready to start back to the studio, she started talking to me. I think she was saying, "Get the heck out of the way! I want my dinner, too!" She's a strange little cat.


By the way, the way I froze my quinoa (and rice) works just great. I put it in a quart Ziploc freezer bag and flattened it out as much as I could. It froze fast, and I opened the zipper about an inch and threw it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and it acted and tasted like fresh. I'd been wondering about that after I bought the frozen rice they sell in the supermarket. That's good, but it's pricey. This is a whole lot cheaper and works just as well. Now I have quite a bit of rice - not so much quinoa - and the next time I have to cook rice, I'll make a double batch and freeze the rest. For some reason, I've been craving something like that lately, and it's so great to be able to get it out of the freezer and have it ready in 3 minutes. Tonight I mixed it with mixed vegetables, and I did have some stuffed chicken breasts, but I think I could have done without that. I ordered some more quinoa today. I like that stuff. And it's sooo good for me!


So now it's a cold, snowy night in the field, and I think I'm going up to the north end early and maybe knit or maybe read for a while - not too long - before I settle down to a long winter's nap.


February 25

That was a fun couple of days, and I think I'm pretty much back to normal now. It was an interesting book. Its name is "The Emma Caites Way" by A.V. Walters, and it's about a women who finds a painting of the view out her apartment window, very well painted, and her quest to find out all about the painter. I like "quest" books, which overcomes my dislike of modern fiction. You can get it at Amazon. I think the reviews there are a little overblown, but it is a fun story.


I didn't finish it yesterday morning. It was getting to the point where I couldn't focus my eyes, so I went to bed and finished it last night. By the way, that's why the first couple of pictures from the camera show the studio. I was there, with the lights on.


Anyway, I knitted a while when I got up this morning, with some difficulty, because there was a break in the yarn, only the first, I'm afraid. I did get some done.


I did my surfing, then I got right at the credit cards, and not only did I get the 2011 ones all processed, I got the tax summary for my deductions that my CPA needs. Now all I have to do is try to get all the other pieces of paper together, and I can ship it off to her. I'd done enough today, though.


Oh, the weather. Yesterday the temperature was about 28 all day, and it was cloudy with some northeast winds in the 15-25 mph range. Today was interesting. The temperature went down to 20 overnight and it stayed there until sunset, and it has now dropped off to 12. There was a little northeast wind, which has now dropped to nothing. What was interesting is that it was snowing at the airport, and the sky was nearly clear and blue all afternoon here. When they posted the MODIS pictures, there was a big cloud over everything up to about Calumet, and then the end of the Keweenaw was in clear skies! It was amazing.


We enjoyed it. Jasmine spent most of the afternoon either on the couch leaning against a throw pillow or on the pink chair. She even let me walk by a couple of times without running away. When the sun set she did go away, but I have the feeling she may still be upstairs. I have a cat toy which is a big round thing with a scratcher in the center and a groove with a ball in it. Every so often, I will hear the ball start to go around. It's about the only toy I think she likes to play with, but it does amuse her sometimes.


When I was getting my dinner, I looked out the windows, and there, high in the sky, was the little crescent moon in conjunction with Venus. It was so pretty! And the sky is so clear!


I think we're going to pay for it, though. There is winter storm watch out from 10:00 tomorrow morning for heavy, wet snow. So I guess I have to prepare to go to church and see how it looks in the morning. I'd like to go - it's been quite a while since I've been to communion - but I'm not going out if it's snowy and blowy. So we'll see.


Anyway, I don't think I'll be doing any writing tonight. I may take a binder up to the north end and read the next story a bit. I felt pretty good this morning, but I didn't get enough sleep, and I'm tired again. 


Now it's a clear, cold night in the field, and we'll see how long that lasts.


February 24

I pulled an all-nighter last night, reading Kelly's sister's book. so I'm headed back to bed shortly. More tomorrow.


February 23

Last night, I wrote about 4500 words, and that was fine, but then I put in an order for some stuff on the Internet, and then I started looking at the book that came yesterday, which is huge - almost everything you'd ever want to know (or not want to know) about knitting. It's the size of notebook paper and 664 pages not including the bibliography and index. I mean, huge. It has pretty small type, too. I think I pre-ordered it last summer sometime, and the publishing date has been pushed back any number of times. It's something I'm glad to have in my library, although already I've read some instructions that use entirely different words from any I've ever seen in knitting pattern. I guess I'll  puzzle that out when I get to it. On the other hand, there are at least a dozen and maybe more ways to cast on, which could be useful. It's lacking in cast-off methods and it doesn't say anything about the technique I'm using to attach the side bands to the stole, but in most ways it's almost too complete.


Anyway, as a result of that, I got to bed ridiculously late. I got up around 10:30, I think, for the first time, and even though I hadn't gotten nearly enough sleep, I decided to get up so I'd have a decent length day.


Not that i did anything with it. I paid a couple of bills and I started working on the ledger again, but I'm working on my credit card bills, and I was tired enough that I was having a hard time reading the numbers. I got some of them done, but not all. I got through August, when the bills for the computers came through, and I rather overspent my budget, but not by as much as I'd feared. I have to say I got a whole lot of hardware and software for quite a moderate amount of money.


I started taking the hat apart, but then I decided to just leave it and make another one. I think if I use one size larger needles, it should come out a better size. Drat. I wanted to get done with that and either start the mittens or the blue hat. Now it's hardly worth the effort, and I may just go back to the shawl I have on the needles here, which is a half-circle. We'll see. I hate it when something comes out so bad. By the way, my gauge is exactly what the pattern specifies, so it was made for a lot smaller head than mine - I mean a lot smaller.


The weather was good for that sort of thing. It was dark and cloudy and maybe there was a snowflake or two but not much. The temperature got up to 30 and there were very light winds from the north. Blah.


I heard Jasmine a couple of times this afternoon, but I didn't see her. I guess she does want me to know she's around.


I guess that's about all I know. I installed a new add-in to my browser today, called DoNotTrackPlus, which blocks tracking cookies and incidentally does a pretty good job of blocking the ads that have bugged me since I got this system. I must put it on the laptop, but maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to do that. It really annoys me that these companies are putting all those cookies on my system and trying to track what I do. I still use PurgeIE, but that's a manual process and I don't do it every time I go to a new site. i've been glad to know that most of the sites I visit don't do that very much, but they use things like Google Analytics and Google Adsense, which do use cookies. Sorry, folks, I opt out. Where I go, what I do and what I click on are nobody else's business. If  I skew your results, tough. I'm not a statistic.


Now I don't think I'm going to write tonight, unfortunately. I'm tired. I'm going up to the north end and go to bed early. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field.


February 22 - Ash Wednesday

I wrote about 3800 words last night, and I finally just had to stop, but it was still 1:00 or later when I got to bed. I slept well, with only two wakeups. I was awake around 8:30, but that just wasn't enough sleep, so I finally got up at 10:30. I knitted a little, but not much, and packed up the stole.


I didn't have much time to do all my surfing, although I did everything but the crosswords. I was getting ready to leave when Ron called to say there was a package at the post office for me, so I stopped there on my way to Carolyn's. 


There were only five of us, but it was a good five and there was lots of laughter and Laurel brought her legendary spring cake, which is flavored with orange and is really good. So it was a nice afternoon and I got some knitting done. i also have a date for a week from Friday to learn how to make Ukrainian eggs. The other Sharon knows how and she wants to teach a class again. It should be fun.


I had to stop at the store on my way home to get a package there and some JD.


The reason there were only five of us at Carolyn's is that it started snowing around 1:00 yesterday afternoon and it kept it up until around 3:00 today. The temperature only went down a little bit, but it was around 32 all day. There was some wind this morning, with gusts up to 20 mph, but it died down later on. It was dark and cloudy all day, According to the Road Commission, we had  8" of snow from yesterday through this morning. Well, that's at Delaware, and we didn't get that much here, but it was enough. It's all wet, heavy stuff and some of it has no doubt melted.


The new snow means we've had 140" so far this season, which puts us about even with last year and a bit ahead for the month, The weather forecast is for snow for the next week, but that's different from the one I saw this morning, which had it for the next two weeks. At any rate, we're finally getting some meaningful snowfall, or I hope we will. Too bad it's so warm and the snow is so slushy. It does look beautiful  on the trees, though. Woodland Road has turned into a fairyland again.


I heard Jasmine sometime, either last night or this morning, but I haven't seen her. She likes to hibernate in this weather.


While the talking was going on, I got my little hat put together, and unfortunately, it's small. I think it will be wearable, but I wish it was bigger. I have enough yarn to make another one, and I may do that. I still need to make the tie for this one and then I'll evaluate whether or not to make another one. I have a very large head, and it causes me problems with hats all the time. I had to modify all the head wraps I bought when I was in chemo, and the skullcaps I wore all the time during the stem cell thing kept sliding up on my head and looking like an upside-down flowerpot on my head. They did keep my head warm in the winter, though. I still have them, and the one I wore most still reeks of perspiration. I had a pattern for a wrap that I made out of Polartec 100 that kept me warm and cozy that very snowy winter.


I had hoped to go to church tonight, but when I pulled out of Woodland Road this afternoon and saw the road, I decided that was not a good idea. I could have gotten there, but it would have taken a very long time and even longer to get home with the snow and all. So I bailed. Darn.


Oh, yes, and the camera screwed up around 5:30 this afternoon. I'm afraid the problem is the USB port, because when I restarted the software, it hung until I wiggled the plug. I really must find another place to plug it in. You'd think that with 10 USB ports, 6 on the back of the CPU, I would have enough, but no. Part of the problem is that I haven't ever gotten the old computer and printer out of the office and put the new ones where they belong, so there is hardware and wires all over this end of the studio. One of these days...


So now I will write a bit more before I go to bed. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


February 21

I only wrote about 3600 words last night, and I made it into bed by 11:30, I think. I had a so-so night. I was wakeful around 8:30, and I knew that if I peed and went back to bed, I'd never be in time for my massage, so I got up. I finished the right-hand band on the shawl and started the left-hand band. So I am making progress on it.


I needed my massage. My back was tight in a lot of places, and I feel much better now. Johanna is doing all right, not great, but she's been very busy with her business, which is good news.  


When I got home, I did my surfing and then I started on the ledger again - ugh! I use a calculator all the time, so I can't figure out how I make so many mistakes in subtraction. My calculator even keeps the last balance, so I just can't figure it out. I ended up apparently having about $20 more than I thought, but I don't reconcile to the bank at all, and the only way to straighten that out is going to be to go back through the statements. I've started collecting them, but most of them are in the piles behind the desk. That's not my problem now. I have to break down my credit card bills by category, so I can get my meds all in the ledger. I started doing that - thankfully, I didn't lose any credit card statements! The worst part of that is Amazon, because I buy so much from them. Fortunately, they keep all the orders online, and all I had to do was go through them and note on the credit card bills what was what. I just finished that, not including this year. 


Tomorrow is the ladies' meeting, so I probably won't get much done, but the next step is to add up all my categories on each month's credit card bill, then transfer it to the ledger. It's a pain to do, but it's the only way I can really see what I'm spending money on. Then, I have a few things I need to get out of the piles, and I should be able to send my taxes off to my CPA.


I had a nice chat with her this afternoon, because a couple of questions came up. I learned, much to my delight, that if you use a credit card to buy something like meds or to give to a charity, it's considered paid when it hits your credit card, not when you pay the card. Oh, goody! Now I'll find it much easier to support some of the charities I'd like to and didn't because I thought I had to have paid the credit card bill before the item was considered paid. Shows what I know. She also said I don't have to break down my medical expenses to the last penny, which eased my mind. How I would be able to tell what was doctors and what was meds and what was hospitals, I just don't know. And in what category would I put tests? Whew! What a relief.


The weather was good for burying my head in the computer. It snowed off and on all day. The temperature was steady at 34. The wind was from the south-southwest until recently, and around 9:00 this morning, we 34 mph gusts. The wind died down steadily after that, and it's been light and variable recently. It was dark and cloudy.


Oh, yes, camera hung up around 1:00 this afternoon, and I had to restart the software to get the last picture of the day. In fact, i almost thought I was going to have to stop it using the task manager, so apparently the software lost contact with the camera. Eventually, it did come back, but not before I got that dread green screen. What worries me a bit is that I wiggled the connector to the computer and that seemed to solve the problem eventually. I don't like that. I use too many of my USB ports to have any of them go bad. Maybe the next time I have a problem with the camera, I'll have to move it and see if that helps.


I didn't see or hear Jasmine today. it wasn't nice enough for her to be upstairs.


So that was my day, and I think I'll write a bit before I totter up to the north end. I need to wash my hair tonight so I look good for the ladies. Now it's a dark and maybe snowy night in the field.


February 20

I wrote about 6500 words last night, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed. Boy, did I sleep! The first time I woke up was 6:15, which is almost unheard of. I finally got up around 9:30, I think, and I felt much better. I knitted and one more day will finish off the right hand side band.


My back was bothering me, so I didn't so anything that required moving around. I have been putting off anything having to do with my taxes, so this afternoon, I decided it was time to at least start on my 2011 ledger, which I stopped keeping up to date halfway through April. What a mistake! I totally screwed up my checkbook balance at the end of April, so trying to get every month up to date is horribly difficult. Then there's the problem of the credit cards. I have to break them down by item type because I pay for most of my OTC drugs that way. I'll do that later. Fortunately, most of the stuff comes from Amazon, who keep their orders forever. I discovered that the bank doesn't seem to keep its statements for more than 8 or 9 months, which means that if I want to try to reconcile with them (and I was already off at the beginning of 2011) I will have to do it from the printed statements, which are someplace in a pile of two years' worth of stuff. Maybe I've learned my lesson, but probably not. The only thing I hate worse than filing is keeping my ledger. And no, it wouldn't be easier with specialized software. I use Excel, and I have a particular way of doing it that makes sense to me and most likely wouldn't fit in any software package.


I stopped at May because the talking came on, but I'll be back at it tomorrow. I have to get this done.


The weather was so-so. It was clear when I got up, but by 2:00 it had clouded up and the end of the day was dismal. The temperature went up to 37 this afternoon, and there wasn't much wind until recently. Blah. I guess it's supposed to snow tomorrow.


Sometime during the afternoon, i went out to the kitchen to get some water, and I startled Jasmine, who was curled up on the rug by the great room patio door. She mewed at me and ran off. I don't know why she ran; I wasn't near her and I was clearly going in another direction. She just can't figure out what I 'm going to do, poor kitty.


I finally cooked tonight, and it was a good dinner. I made my kale with a shallot and mushrooms, and that's a good combo. And I cooked up some quinoa, which I mixed up with the kale stuff. That was good, too. I have to package up the rest of the quinoa and freeze it, and I have another meal from what I made tonight. One pound of quinoa doesn't go very far, I find. I'll buy more the next time.


Now it's a dark night in the field and the wind is starting to rise. I will write some more - I had a couple of thoughts about what I wrote last night that I want to look at - and then I'll try not to be quite so late tonight. I have an appointment for a massage tomorrow, so I won't be able to sleep forever.


February 19

I made it into bed just after 10:00 last night and went right to sleep. I woke up around 1:00, and after that I didn't do so good. I did sleep, but not deeply. My left knee was sore in back, oddly enough, and I was hot. I finally got into a deep sleep again around 4:00 and woke up about five minutes before the alarm went off.


So I made it to church. This was Transfiguration Sunday, and pastor's sermon was a lovely one. So far this winter, I seem to have managed to miss all the Sundays when there was communion. I hope to fix that next week. I also hope to go on Wednesday evening, for Ash Wednesday. I probably won't go to all the services, because half of them are at St. John's in Hubbell, and I don't know where the church is. I'll find out, but I don' t want to try to find it for the first time in the dark. Anyway. that was a nice morning.


This afternoon, Amanda had a book signing and reading at the Laughing Loon, so of course I went and got my copy. It's a really cute book, and I recommend it to everyone who loves the harbor and environs. If you go to her blog and click on the picture of the book, you can find out how to order it. I didn't stay for the reading. Someone else got the only chair available, and I couldn't stand up for that long. But I did get to see her and congratulate her and she signed my copy, as did the illustrator, Kevin Blackstone.


Kevin is interesting. His wife is Julie, who has been hostess and waiter at Harbor Haus for years and years, and whom I know quite well. However, Kevin is one of the lead chefs, so he is always in the kitchen and I'd never met him. Not only is he a master chef, he's extremely artistically inclined and he's a really nice guy besides. They have two really cute little kids who were there, too.


It was nice to see so many people from Copper Harbor and the area come to see Amanda. Of course, she's a really nice girl, and I'm sure everyone is wishing her the best. The Waaras (owners of Harbor Haus, Chris and Ron) even came up. They live someplace south of Calumet in the winter. So that was a nice afternoon.


The weather was most un-February-like again. The temperature got up to 33 for most of the afternoon, and there was hardly any wind. It was clear, or almost clear, all day, and all of us agreed we really love that sunshine. Everyone who lives here is used to winters when we don't see the sun from mid-October until the end of March, so it's a real treat to see it as much as we have. Nobody's complaining, even though those of us who have an interest in the tourist trade wish there was more snow. Well, it's only February. We have two more months to go, at least.


Even Jasmine came up and laid in the box in the great room. I scared her away when I got up to go out, and I hope she came back after I left. Poor Jasmine. She's eating enough that I want to look at her and see if she's getting fat. She loves to lie in the sunshine...well, so do I.


I almost fell asleep before I went off to town, although I felt better when I got home, and I wrote about 1600 words before dinner. Then I read off the end of the story while I ate. This is a long one, so I'll be writing on it for quite a while. It's not very well written, so I'm having to do a lot of rewriting, and there are several things I am having to either write out or change completely. I'll be at it a while. It is a good story, but then, it's about wandering all over a world, and I love stories like that. So it will keep me occupied, and in the meantime, I can go on to read part 9.


When I went to get dinner, Venus was blazing high in the sky, and it seems like a clear night, so there may even be some stars. There were a few last night, but they weren't very bright. So I will write a while longer, then I'll totter up to the north end and try to catch up on my sleep.


February 18

I'm not sure how I did it, but I wrote 6600 words and still got to bed by12:30. A new record, maybe. I slept so well it was 5:30 before I got up for the first time. I finally got up for good around 9:30, I think (don't hold me to that).


I knitted, but I didn't get as much done as usual, because I discovered I'd screwed up the edge stitch and I had to rip out 10 or 12 rows. it's easier on the sides, though, because I can just rip and pick up the stitches later. I'm so close to the end of the right-hand band that I want to get it done and start on the other side. I discovered that I didn't follow the directions, but I like the way I'm doing the join better than the way they said to do it. Now if I can just do the left band the same way...


The weather was cloudy and cold, and there were some little snow showers. The temperature was 24 all afternoon, but the wind died down by 9:00 and it was nearly calm all day. I love to watch the snowflakes come down when there's no wind. They just float lazily down in big clumps.


I didn't do anything except go to the post office, where my new compression hose came, as well as a number of bills. It was busy in town. There was an antique snowmobile thing, and there were an extremely large number of snowmobiles around.


I'm not going to write tonight. I will read for a little while, though. I'm reading the end of the story I'm starting to rewrite. This episode is one of my favorites, if only I can write it well. It's a long one, too, so I'll be a while at it. As I'm writing along, every so often, I have to just sit and read for a few pages then think a while before I can see how to write it. But it's a fun story.


I have been trying for a week to remember to bring in some toilet paper from the garage, and I forgot again when I came back from the post office. So I just went out and got two packages. I need to empty the boxes and put the packages where they're supposed to be, but I didn't feel like doing that tonight.


I am feeling better, however, and I'm not coughing and blowing nearly as much, so I guess I'm getting over my thing. I was interested to discover, in connection with reading a  Science News article, that what I had is a sinus infection, not the same kind I had last spring, thankfully. This one doesn't respond to antibiotics and lasts about a weeks. Yup, I had all the symptoms, plus a couple of my own. Based on that, I think I've been susceptible to them all my life, and a lot of what I used to call "colds" weren't. A cold has some different symptoms and lasts two weeks - 14 days if you take drugs. I also notice that as I've gotten over the sinus thing, my back has been feeling better, so now I think some of the aches I was having a couple of weeks ago were actually symptoms of coming down with the infection.


I didn't see or hear Jasmine today. I guess it was too dark and gloomy for her. She's still eating, though, so she's still here.


Now it's a dark, calm night in the field and I'll be tottering up to the north end shortly.


February 17

I finished part 7 and started part 8 of the chronicles last night, so it was around 2:00 when I got to bed. I slept very well, with a couple of wakeups, until 8:30, when I had an explosion - not too surprising, since I had a night's worth of glop in my sinuses. Then I went back to sleep and got up around 10:30. 


I knitted, and when I looked at what I was done, I was surprised to find I'm three-quarters done with the right side band. Amazing. This is going faster than I thought. I knitted so long that I was late getting to the office, and I didn't do anything else. I was thinking about going to the post office, but I decided not.


I was minding my own business when my Schwan's rep showed up with his boss to make sure I was a happy camper, and I ended up getting several things, so my former menu has been postponed for a couple of days. I had chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight, and they were all right. I don't think I'll get them again, but it was a nice change from what I've been eating. I even got so little that I managed to get it all into the freezer upstairs and I didn't have to go downstairs.


The weather was so-so. The temperature dropped off slowly from 31 at midnight to 27 and there was hardly any wind. It was cloudy for most of the day, although there was some nice sunshine between 1:00 and 5:00, with a few puffy clouds. I was interested to see that we had about 3" of snow overnight, and it's snowing at the airport now. Not enough, but any flakes are appreciated.


Jasmine came down the hall and talked to me, I think this morning, but I haven't seen or heard her since. I wasn't sunny long enough for her to get upstairs.


So it was a lost day, and I didn't get anything done that I was planning, but oh, well. The trash and the checkbook aren't going away. Now I will write for a while before I go up to the north end.


It's a cloudy, calm night in the field and we may have a little snow.



February 16

I wrote far too long last night, and I got about 5700 words done. Then I read ahead in the story, and if the condition of the binder this morning was any indication, I read some of the next story, too. So after I took my bath, it was 2:30 before I got to bed. I slept quite well, I'm glad to say, with not so much coughing and blowing. I was up around 8:30, but that clearly wasn't enough sleep. I got up around 10:30. That was still to early, but if I'd gone back to sleep then, I wouldn't have gotten up until after noon, so I got up. I did my knitting, which took a long time. 


That was it. Thursday is a day when there are lots of things to read - I get two interesting newsletters on Thursday and I frequently have to follow the links in them.


I almost did something else, but the talking started, and I either have to listen to it and do something mindless or shut it off, so I finished the knitting on the cap. The directions aren't all that good, and I came up with the wrong number of rows, but I don't think it will matter much. Now I need to sew it together and make the tie. My yarn needles are either buried or up at the north end, so I didn't do that, and I can't really start the tie until the sewing is done. The pattern says to crochet the tie, but I'm going to use an I-cord and attached I-cord, which I did on the last hat I made, and it turned out nice. It won't take me much longer to finish it, even with working in all the ends.


I didn't pay much attention to the weather, but that's how it was. The temperature stayed right about 34, plus or minus a degree or two, all day, but the wind has been building all afternoon, until now it's in the 22-30 mph range from the north. There was a little snow, and between 1:00 and 3:00 there was enough to register in the rain gauge. I don't think any of it stuck. It was cloudy and dull all day, so I ignored it.


I didn't see or hear Jasmine, but she ate some of the dinner I put down for her at around 1:30 am. so I guess she's all right.


My quinoa came today, as well as some very nice nuts and some dried berries. I'd never had dried strawberries or blackberries before, and it was all I could do to keep from eating the whole pound. I can't wait to put them in cereal for breakfast - yum! i can't wait to cook the quinoa, either, but I decided not to do that tonight. Tomorrow - salmon, quinoa and braised kale. I can hardly wait! It's so nice to discover new things i like to eat. I have to say that after as long as I've been cooking for myself, what I normally ate got awfully boring. I would love to know what my mother would have thought about quinoa and kale. She would certainly have been suspicious, especially about the quinoa (she had a deep suspicion of "health food"), but I think if she'd tasted it, she would have liked it, and I'm pretty sure she would have liked the kale, too.


So that was a quiet day. Now I will write some more, hopefully not for so long, and then I'll crash. Now it's a dark, sort of snowy night in the field.


February 15

The scene I was writing last night turned out to be longer than I thought, so it was 12:45 before I got to bed with no bath. Bath tonight, no matter when. I had a much better night than I have in a week. I did some coughing and blowing, but not nearly as much as lately. I woke up at 8:30 and decided not to get up, so it was 10:30 before I got up. Then I decided I hadn't been doing enough knitting and I needed to catch up, so it was late when I got dressed, and there was so much stuff to read that I didn't finish my surfing until right before the talking started.


While the talking was going on, I worked on my hat until it got too dark to see, and I don't have very much more to do, except for the sewing and the tie. I almost certainly won't use it this year, since I'm making it to wear with my parka, and it looks like the chances of needing that again are slim. However, I want to get it out of my way so I'll have it next winter. I plan to make a pair of over-glove mittens to go with it (black with red, instead of red with black), but I don't know if I'll get to that, since I also have in mind a hat to wear with my heavy fleece jacket and my pea coat, in blue, maybe with beige and gray accents.


The NWS station came back sometime this morning, so I can report conditions again. The high temperature was 35 and there was almost no wind. It was bright cloudy until about 4:00, when it cleared up completely, and when I went to get dinner, Venus was glaring in the front windows. Actually, that was interesting. I just looked at the MODIS images and at 2:00, the western side of the lake was clear, except for a thick, round cloud right over the end of the Keweenaw. I wondered about that, since by the time I looked at the Keweenaw webcams, all the other ones showed clear. So we had a little black cloud right over us. No fair.


I was so late that I didn't do anything. 


I had to go out into the breezeway to get some Kleenex, and when I came back in, Jasmine jumped off the buffet. Evidently she thought I was going away or something. Poor Jasmine. She had no feel  at all for what I might do. I think it's something she's missing, since other cats aren't like that. After all the time she's been with me, she should have a better feel for what I'm going to do.


So now I will write some more. I won't finish this story tonight, but I'm getting to the climax, and that's always fun to write. I've been reading the next part, and I really need to get to that. It's a fun story, but the writing is some of the worst of any of the stories in this saga. Every time I read more, I just cringe.


Now it's a clear, calm night in the field.


February 14

To those of you who celebrate it, Happy Valentine's Day. I don't. It's another one of those days that's been hyped by the greeting card companies until it's horribly boring, besides being entirely too pagan (even though it's based on at least two saints by that name).


I made it into bed by 10:30 last night. I only wrote about 2700 words, but I did write, and it helped me relax. I used to read something I've written before I went to bed, and this is almost as good. I'm reading it and writing it at the same time. I might have written more, except i was at the beginning of another scene that I think Is a long one, so I quit. I slept better than i have lately, although between about 2:30 and 4:30 I spent most of my time coughing and blowing. It's a problem I have even when I don't have a cold: when I have to turn over, all the glop that has drained into the side toward the pillow gets on top and needs to drain down, mostly, it seems, into my throat. Eventually, I got back to sleep. I was up at 8:30, but I didn't think that was enough sleep. By 9:15, it was clear that I wasn't going back to sleep very soon, so I got up. I knitted for a little over an hour, and I'm making progress. I'm working on the fifth triangle (out of twelve). I'm getting the rhythm of it. Then I finally got the wastebasket emptied. All the wastebaskets in the north end were overflowing.


Sweet Ron picked up my packages and left them off at the door, so I didn't have to go out. I appreciated that. I spent the afternoon deleting almost 3000 email messages from my inbox. While I was doing that, I read some of the lovely messages you left for me when Buster died, and some of the nice suggestions about Jasmine. There are several lovely PowerPoint presentations that I kept, as well as most of the messages from people. I get emails (that I subscribe to) from at least ten sources every day, and I hadn't cleaned out the inbox since October. It took me 2 hours to get things cleaned up, and it didn't help that somehow I (or LiveMail, which I hate) kept putting things in the wrong folder. At one point, everything I wanted to keep got put in the delete folder and everything in the sent folder got put in the inbox! How the devil I ever did that, I don't know, and it was a nasty job to get things where I want them.


At least I did something.


The weather was good for that, although I can't tell you much about it. The NWS station hasn't reported anything but the barometric pressure since 11:00 this morning. I think, though that the temperature was about steady, just under freezing, and the winds were light from the north. It was a very dark, cloudy day, but I don't think there was any precip.


I heard Jasmine a couple of times, but I haven't seen her. It was a good day to hibernate.


Tonight, I made a double batch of Royal Rice, which I must store away in bags to freeze. I froze six cups of brown rice last night, so I'll be set for a while. Royal Rice is easier to cook, since it only takes 15 minutes, but sometimes I just want to throw something in the microwave. I had it mixed with peas and corn, which is a good combination. I can tell I'm entering a new phase of eating. I have some quinoa on order, and I'm eating something like rice every day, so I won't need to eat as much meat. We'll see how long this phase lasts. I still don't feel like cooking very much, so I'm eating some interesting combinations. We'll see how much this phase lasts.


Now I want to write for a while, and maybe I can take a bath tonight without getting to bed too late. It's a dark, cloudy, calm night in the field.


February 13

Well, I got caught up in the story and it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I didn't want to stop writing in the middle of about the most important scene in the episode, so I just kept on. I slept a bit better, but I still had several explosions and I had several more today. So I'm not over it yet, but I'm on the mend.


I knitted for quite a while, but I still have a long way to go. I misspoke yesterday. There are about 480 rows on each side. That's still a lot, but a bit less than I said.


I went to the post office, where there was a bunch of stuff including several packages. I stopped at the store before the UPS guy got there, so I will have to get my packages tomorrow, darn it. It's a real pain when he won't come down the road, but I suppose he knows his vehicle.


Otherwise, I did nothing. I was going to write, but I didn't finish my surfing until late and I knew I had to go out. 


The weather started out beautifully, with sunny skies and fairly warm temperatures. The wind was dying down. The temperature got up to 35 briefly, and the wind has died down to nothing. According to the camera, it was clear until around 5:30, when it abruptly clouded up. So much for our sunshine. it was nice while it lasted.


I haven't seen Jasmine for a couple of days, although I heard her this morning. I don't know why she would hide out on such a nice day, but then, what do I know? She is eating, so I know she's around.


Now I will write a little more before I crash. I find all the coughing and blowing really tires me out, but I want to write. Now it's a cloudy, calm night in the field. No stars tonight.


February 12

When I aim for the bedtime I want, I always have to allow for a little staring at the floor. I did that last night, but I was still in bed before 10:30. I had a better night last night. Not good, but better. I slept for over three hours before I woke up for the first time, but after that it was harder, because I was coughing and blowing. I was awake before 7:30, so I could have gone to church, except that I didn't want to explode in the middle of the service, nor did I want to explode while I was driving down US-41 at 65 mph (if I could have gone that fast).


I got up around 9:30 and I knitted on the stole again. Like I said, it's slow, but I'm getting a bit faster at it as I get used to it. After all, there are almost 1000 rows (short ones). This is a large item no matter how you look at it.


I didn't do anything today. Even though I feel better than I did yesterday, I still don't feel good, so I took advantage and vegged. I took advantage of getting up rather early, for me, and I spent a lot of the late afternoon working on the little red and black hat I started a long time ago, even though I probably won't need it this year. It goes with my down parka, which is cherry red with a black lining, and it's nice and thick, so it will be warm. If I don't need it this year, I certainly will eventually. I decided I really don't like doing Fair Isle knitting very well, especially back and forth, but the pattern is a nice one and the hat is a cute one. It's shaped like a baby cap, with ties, which I need because the back of my head is flat.


The weather was windy but beautiful. The temperature got up to 28 for a while this afternoon, but the wind was out of the north in the 25-35 mph range. It's dying down a bit now, but not a lot. The skies were pristine and blue, blue, blue! It was so pretty! Not what I want to see in the middle of February, but I'll take all the sunshine I can get, especially when the wind is as strong as it was.


I noticed a several things about the length of day today. It was getting light when I got up at 7:30. We now have just over 10 hours of daylight, but we're gaining time in the afternoon faster than in the morning. Sunrise is still after 8:00, but sunset is now after 6:00, so while we've only gained half an hour in the morning, we've gained an hour and half in the afternoon. I won't complain, since afternoon is when daylight means most to me. The sun is setting within camera range now.


Oh, and a couple of things about the camera. It's not quite straight, I noticed this afternoon. So one of these days when I feel robust, I will tape up that nasty light and try to get it straightened up. Also, the lighthouse is within range of the new camera (It's going to be the new camera for a while, since i had the old one for over 10 years). It doesn't show up very often, but occasionally after sunset, you'll see a little light off to the far right. It's happened twice this last week, and the first time I couldn't figure out what it was, but then it blinked again when it wasn't quite dark and I could see where the light was coming from.


I had the door to the studio almost closed for most of the day, since it was cool in the great room and I needed more warmth. I came out late this afternoon to start my dinner and Jasmine was in her pink chair, but at the edge and facing where I walk. She peeped at me, but she didn't move. I was a while in the kitchen, and when she saw me start back, she jumped off and hid under the sofa. Just now, she came almost to the door of the studio (it was dark) and spoke to me. Of course, I spoke back, but she went away. She is confused by all the coughing and blowing, particularly the coughing. I don't think she knows whether I'm shouting at her or just making conversation. When it's cloudy outside, I may not see her, but when the sun is shining, she wants to sit in the great room, where the sun shines in all afternoon. I like it, too, even though it sometimes shines in my eyes.


It's early, so I think I will try to write a little tonight, finally, and hope I don't get too caught up in the story. It's a clear, windy night in the field and Venus and Jupiter are shining brightly in the west.


February 11

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, but it didn't do a lot of good. I hacked and blew and around 1:30 I had an accident - I coughed and - oops! What a mess. Anyway, it was another bad night. 


I finally got up around 9:30 and I started up the border of the shawl. This isn't hard knitting, but it won't go fast, because every two rows I have to unwind, pull the thread back and pull up a new loop. It's a neat way to attach a vertical border as I'm knitting, though. I read about the technique a number of years ago (in a magazine that competes with the one the stole pattern is in, by the way), and I thought it was a good idea, but I don't very often knit borders separately, so I never tried it. Believe me, I will be more likely to do that after this. It's slow, but it makes a very nice looking border with no sewing.


When I got to the studio, the camera had hung up again, so all the pictures before about noon looked like the last one last night. I still don't know why that's happening. Sorry. However, I feel a little better that all the cameras I look at have the same sorts of problems. Well, I don't want mine to do that, so I'll have to try to figure out what the problem is.


I almost wrote "I did nothing," but that isn't true. I washed, and the last loads are in the dryer now. After I had another accident this morning and used my last clean pair of panties I decided I'd better do that. And I'll take a bath tonight. But that's about it.


I don't think I'll be going to church tomorrow. I do feel some better tonight, but at intervals i sort of explode, and my sinuses are so clogged that my eyes are tearing all the time. I regained at least part of my sense of taste this afternoon, which is a very good thing. I don't have much to eat that I don't like the taste of, and I hate it when everything tastes like nothing. Anyway, it's just a cold and it's progressing in a normal way, so if I take care of myself, in a few days the worst of it should be over.


When i got to the kitchen, the fisherfolk were all out on the ice. I don't know how they stood it, and all but one tent left around 2:00, I think. The temperature was around 12, the wind was gusting up to 32 mph from the north and it was snowing hard. It snowed more or less hard all day long. And now the wind gusts are 46 mph, although the temperature has warmed up (?!) to 22. Baby, it's cold outside! The last tent came down around 4:00, and they were folding things up and putting them away in the middle of a heavy snow squall. All fishermen are crazy, but some fishermen are crazier than others.


We had a respectable amount of snow today. Ron came around sometime after 4:00 and the blower is working fine again, much better than before, so I guess it must have been getting broken for some time. I hate to watch him blow when the wind is blowing the snow back onto him. Brr! He finally has the clothing for it, though, except that I think he should invest in a pair of ski goggles like Marty has. Ron has a wonderful leather hat that somebody gave him that really helps keep the snow from melting around his head. But when he was blowing, the temperature was in the mid-teens and the wind chill was below zero.


I opened the door and talked to him for a while, and evidently we missed a really good advertising committee meeting Thursday. But I was sick and he had a head-on on Woodland Road with another Copper Harbor resident that kind of messed up his car, so we both missed it. Oh, well, things like that always happen. I was in no shape to go trundling out in the cold Thursday night.


Now I guess I won't write again tonight, darn it. I absolutely must wash my hair and the rest of me, too, and I want to get to bed early and hope i get a better night's sleep tonight. It's a cold, very windy and snowy night in the field.


February 10

I was late doing the journal last night, and then I had to finish loading the dishwasher, so it was around 11:30 when I turned out the light. It was another bad night. I'm still in the drippy part of my cold, so I did a lot of blowing and wiping. I had to put on a pair of underpants after I leaked when I coughed. I finally got up around 10:30, but I was up about every 90 minutes all night. Yuck. I finished the last triangle today and started the right hand border. The instructions for that leave something to be desired, but I think I've got it right.


When I was up, I could see that it was snowing most of the night, although I think it was lake effect snow, because it seemed to come in waves. There was quite a wind, too, but it was from the north, so it was quite comfy in most of the house, except for the studio. The temperature went down to 8 this morning, and it has finally risen to 14, and with wind gusts up to 32 mph, it's mighty cold out there. It was cloudy and there were snow showers all day. The Road Commission says 4" for today, but I think that's until 10:00 or so this morning. We're 12" behind last year, which was a very dry one.


That didn't deter the fisherfolk, who were out on the ice when I got to the kitchen. They gave up around 4:00 this afternoon, and they spent most of their time inside their tents. They didn't look to me like they had enough clothes on, but I couldn't see them close enough to be sure.


I did almost nothing. I got the dishwasher unloaded and I drank a lot of Lemon Zinger herb tea, which I couldn't taste at all. I had noodles for dinner, and I couldn't taste that, either. I hope that part of it goes away fast. I do seem to be slightly less drippy tonight, which would be a good thing. Maybe I could sleep better.


I heard Jasmine this morning, but I said "Mommy's still sick," and she went away and I haven't seen or heard her since. So she doesn't want me to see her or get near her, but she wants to know I'm all right. Strange little kitty.


Now I think I won't write again tonight, darn it, and I will try to get to bed very early. Only sleep and time will cure this thing. It's a cold, dark night in the field, but it's snowing.


February 9

I've got it, and it's a nasty one.


I wrote around 5000 words last night, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I had a sore throat, but I slept for about four hours before I woke up the first time. The rest of the night was horrible. I have to breathe through my nose when I sleep, and it kept filling up with glop and I would have to snort or gulp to be able to breathe, so I didn't sleep well at all. I got up around 10:30, feeling worse than when I went to bed. I did one triangle and started the last one before I got dressed. 


My throat was still sore this morning, but it's better now, and it's just the glop in my head and a headache. So it's progressing. I hate colds. I feel so lousy for no good reason. Yuck. I just realized that I can't taste anything, either. Yuck.


So I didn't do anything except to gather up some of the trash on the counter and try to get the dishwasher ready to run. I'm having a hard time remembering to run the dishwasher, and it's over-full now, so it has to go tonight. I was eating my dinner when Sandi called, and we had a nice conversation until my phone started to die. I was supposed to go to an advertising committee meeting, but Vicki called me to tell me that she had changed the time and I decided I wouldn't go. I was sorry to miss it, because the guy from the TV station was there, but I don't feel well enough to do much of anything. I just had a sneezing fit, which didn't help.


The weather was rather pretty, although it was mostly cloudy all day. The temperature got up to 35, with northwest wind gusts up to 27 mph. Then, between 6:51 and 7:11. the temperature fell from 34 to 30 (and we got an off-hour report!), and it is now down to 26. It's supposed to get really cold overnight and tomorrow, and it might snow. Hope so!


When I got to the kitchen, around noon, there were a bunch of fisherfolk out on the ice, and they didn't go away until nearly 5:00. I hope they caught something. I think that was Marty's fishing group. Amanda had said they were coming last weekend, but I didn't see anybody then, so it must be that group. It's going to be so cold tomorrow that I wonder if they'll be back, although they do have a couple of tents.


I heard Jasmine this morning, but I didn't see her all day. It wasn't sunny enough, I guess. During the night she peeped at me and apparently came all the way down the hall, and I told her, "Mama is sick!" She went away then.


I almost forgot. We shot the moon again. It was more cloudy this morning, and you can see how much south the moon has moved, but the last picture is even better than yesterday's, I think.  I like those pictures of the moon peeking through the clouds. It's still amazing to be able to do that in the middle of February. 


So that was my day, and unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to try to write tonight. It's late, and I should wash my hair, although it's tempting not to. The steam should help with my sinuses, though, so maybe I will. So it's a dark, cloudy night in the field, and it's going to be winter again.


February 8

Well, I finished part six and started part seven last night, and then I fooled around for a bit. When I got up to the north end, I had to take a bath, so it was disgustingly late when I finally got to bed.


I woke up around 7:30, and there was the full moon shining gloriously over Hunter's Point. It was so pretty, and it was in a position where I thought the camera might catch it. It did. Imagine being able to see the setting moon in the middle of February! It was so pretty!


I finally got up around 10:30, but I didn't have nearly enough sleep. I've had a scratchy throat all day, so I guess I'm finally coming down with the thing I've been fighting all winter. I want to write some more tonight, but I hope to get to bed earlier tonight. Well, almost anything would be earlier.


So I just had time to have a fast breakfast and gather my stuff before it was off to Carolyn's for the ladies' meeting. It was a good group, except that there was so much talking that with my compromised hearing, I couldn't hear what I wanted to. I suppose one of these days I'll have to get hearing aids, but I can hear practically everything just fine, except for conversation in noisy settings. Of course, that makes social interaction something of a problem.


I took the stole, and I got one more triangle done, besides the one I did when I got up. I had to rip part of the one I did at the meeting, but not very much. My only problem was that Phoebe was there with her dog, Carly. The first thing Carly did was to grab the baby sweater Connie had brought for show-and-tell, and then when we got that away from her, first she tried to grab the stole, then she grabbed the ball of yarn and got all tangled up in it. She was really interested in that yarn. I would never bring my dog to a meeting like that, no matter how well-behaved she was, but Phoebe never goes anyplace without Carly.


So that was a nice way to spend the afternoon. I finished my surfing after I got home.


The weather was beautiful, clear and sunny with just a few clouds all day. The temperature got up to 33 for a while, and there was a strong northwest wind, with gusts up to 35 mph. That will blow in some more clouds. The only problem with our warm temps is that everything is horribly icy and driving and walking are both difficult.


Jasmine was in her chair when I got home, and she jumped down, but when I went into the studio and stayed there, she went back on it, and I was able to walk by her when I went to get my dinner. She was gone when I came back, though. Poor little Jasmine.


So that's about all I have to report, and I hope to get to bed early tonight and nurse my throat. It's a nearly clear, moonlit night in the field.


February 7

I only wrote 4700 words last night, and I was in bed by 11:30. I was tired and the roaring of the lake put me right to sleep. I was up a couple of times, of course, and around 5:00, there was a most gorgeous, pale yellow full moon shining over Porter Island right in my windows. It was so pretty! I was awake around 8:30, but I decided to go back to bed, and at 9:41, the exact same time as the call I got yesterday, I got a call from my prescription service saying something I didn't understand about a prescription I didn't know was ready for refill.


So I got up and knitted two triangles. These go much faster, so pretty soon I'll be ready to start the side borders. It's still hard to believe I'm getting to the end of this project. I've been working on it so long that I'll miss it when it's done.


Otherwise, I did nothing. 


The weather was beautiful but cold. There were a few clouds when the moon was setting, but by the time I got up it was beginning to clear, and after noon, it was completely clear for the rest of the afternoon. It was cold, though. It was 20 for most of the afternoon, and it has just now risen to 21. The wind died down overnight, and there wasn't much at all during the day. It's so pretty to see the blue, blue sky against the white ice of the harbor!


I didn't see Jasmine, but I heard her. She was in the great room this morning, and I only hope she spent the day there, because it was nice. The sun warmed it up very nicely.  She peeped at me, and she is eating, so I guess she's all right.


So it was another lost day, and I think I will write a bit tonight. I'm getting to the end of this part and it would be nice to finish it. I do have to wash my hair tonight. I realized yesterday that I actually have a zit on the top of my head, which is a good sign that I haven't been washing it enough. 


When I went to get dinner, Venus and Jupiter (I think) were over in the west and the full moon was rising in the east. That's weird, because it shines in the east windows and reflects off the front windows and looks like it's over in the west. Anyway, it's a clear, cold night in the field.


February 6

My little while of writing turned into 5700 words, and I got to bed around midnight. I got up around 10:00. I might have slept longer except that I got one of those horrible "short survey" phone calls around 9:45 and once I was awake, I had to pee. 


Oh, my how I hate those things, but there's no way to turn them off. I once tried to answer one and I discovered that the questions were worded in a way that made it impossible for me to answer the way I wanted to, and then the person who was asking the questions got snotty with me and hung up. Unfortunately, he had told me the organization he worked for, so I found them online and sent them a really nasty email. They said they would review the recording of the conversation, and I never heard from them again. So I've never been tempted to try to answer a survey again. These days, all they have to say is, "we're taking a short survey..." and I hang up.


Anyway, that wasn't the way I like to wake up in the morning, but it worked out all right. I knitted the last lace square - lily of the valley - with no problems except for a mistaken decrease on the last row. Now I have six triangles to do, one on the left-hand side and five across the top. They should go fairly fast. Gosh, it hardly seems possible that I could be getting within sight of the end of this project! The only bigger one I've ever done was the crocheted tablecloth. It's going to be pretty, though, when I get it finished.


I went to the post office just to mail a letter and refuse the package from the place that wanted to charge me more postage than the amount of my order, but that was about all I did.


I came up very creaky and sore again today. My feel are OK, or at least better, but my back and my knees were very stiff and sore all day. I think it's the change in the weather, or I hope so.


It was clear and lovely all night, and when I was up around 4:00, the moon was shining so brightly in the windows that I had to hide my head to get back to sleep. By the time I gor up, it had clouded over. The temperature dropped very slowly all night, from 36 at midnight to 27 now. It was quiet for most of the day, but after 4:00 the wind started to rise, and it's now 23 mph with 36 mph gusts from the northeast. We didn't have any snow that I saw. The lake is beginning to roar, so it will be a good night to sleep.


Jasmine was under the pink chair this morning and she ran under the sofa when I went by. I don't know if she's been upstairs lately. Poor Jasmine.


So now I will write some more and try not to stay up to all hours of the morning. The ideas behind all these stories are good, and it feels good to know the new writing is much better than the old. When I see how bad the originals were, it makes me all the happier I never tried to publish any of them when they were new. I don't know if my fragile ego could have stood the rejections.


Now it's a dark, windy night in the field and the lake will sing me to sleep.


February 5

Well, I was a good girl, and I went right up to the north end after I posted this last night. I think I spent some time staring at the floor, but still, I was in bed before 9:30. It took me a little time to get to sleep, but I did well. I got up when the alarm went off and did some of my surfing before I got dressed and went off to church.


Yea! Church! It was nice to be back. While I was away, there were three deaths and my 90-year-old friend is in the hospital, this time with a reaction to the antibiotics they were giving her. Poor Eleanor! She's such a nice lady, it's a shame to have this happen to her. Anyway, Pastor had a very good sermon today and we sang some good hymns.


Then I was off to Pat's to do my monthly shopping. Whew! By the time I got out of there, I was all sweaty and my legs were so sore I could hardly stand on them. They still are. One reason was that they have moved a whole lot of their frozen stuff around and I had to go up and down a lot more aisles than usual. I needed some other stuff I don't usually get, too, and that meant more aisles. When I checked out, the place was a zoo, with all the usual Sunday shoppers plus all the guys getting their snacks for the game.


I stopped and got gas, too. I wasn't really low, but if I hadn't gotten it and I couldn't get to church next week, I'd have been very low, so today was the day. I was glad to see the price as stabilized at about where it was the last time I was in Calumet, which was three weeks ago. Not that it's good, but at least it's not going up right now.


I got home around 2:00 and I unloaded part of the stuff from the car, all but the frozen stuff. I had some lunch, and I sat and finished my surfing. Finally, I got the frozen stuff out of the car. I wanted to wait a while because most of it had to go downstairs. Well, that was a trip. My legs were so sore, i had to hold on with both hands going down backwards, and when I came back up, I almost didn't make it. Wow! I don't know why my legs were so sore today; it wasn't humid and the barometer was high. Strange. Anyway, I still have very sore feet, and my legs hurt horribly when I stand up.


I was so tired I didn't feel like doing anything, but I got myself in hand and finally picked up all the stuff from the floor in the studio. I've been using the floor for my wastebasket for several weeks now. The problem is, the wastebasket is full, but I don't want to put it out until I go through it one more time. I've lost the bags with my pale blue and silver beads in them and I suspect they may have fallen into the wastebasket, even though I didn't find them the last time I looked. So I need to go through that bag again, only I didn't feel up to it today.


It was an amazing weather day for early February in Copper Harbor. The temperature got up to 43 by 1:00 and stayed there until 4:00. There wasn't very much wind until just recently. And the sky was almost completely clear all day long! Wow, those pictures from the camera were really beautiful! It's still clear, and when I went to get something to eat, Venus was shining in the front upper windows and the moon was shining in the back upper windows. 


I guess it's going to get cloudy and cool off some tomorrow, and they're talking about possibly some snow over the week. I sure hope so. Those high temps have really done a job on our snow. The trails are still OK, though, and our road has a nice, smooth matt on it. Somebody - I suspect Jack - sanded the hills on both sides of the culverts. His girlfriend doesn't have 4WD, and I imagine she was having an interesting time getting up those hills.


Sometime during the afternoon, I startled Jasmine out of the pink chair and she didn't come back. When I went by, she was sitting beside the chair and when I looked at her she flinched. I don't know why, after all this time, she still thinks she might be doing something I don't like or I might do something horrible to her. Just a while ago, she was peeping at me, so she's still upstairs, but she didn't get to sleep in the sun like she wanted to. Poor Jasmine.


Now I have to decide whether to write a bit or go up to the north end early again. The way I feel, the north end sounds good to me, but so does writing, at least until I finish my JD.


Now it's a clear, rather warm and breezy night in the field.


February 4

Last night, I only wrote about 4700 words, and I was in bed by 11:30. I was up several times, and at least twice, the very bright moon was shining in my windows, but it was apparently partly cloudy, because when it was setting over the lighthouse around 5:00, it kept going behind clouds. I was awake around 8:30, but I decided not to get up, and it was nearly 11:00 before I got up. 


I knitted my square, and I have only one more lace square to do. It's lily of the valley, so I'll end with a bang. Then there are six triangles, and then I can start the side borders. Finishing is going to be hard. The triangles are all seed stitch, and I hate that. But after working on it for so long, I'd hate to leave it unfinished.


I was minding my own business when a guy from Schwan's called to tell me he was going to deliver my order sometime this afternoon. So I ran off to the post office, where there wasn't much of interest except a book and the batteries I'm sending back. Well, that's not quite true. A cross stitch magazine came that has more beautiful projects in it than I've seen anywhere in a long time. After the problem I was having reading today, though, I'm almost afraid to try any cross stitch, even with my magnifier.


Anyway, I think I finally understand what happened to my Schwan's order, since I was talking to the manager, and it isn't likely to happen again. And I have all the good stuff I was afraid I'd have to do without for another couple of weeks. 


Otherwise, it was a most unproductive day. I did get some more pans washed up, but that was about all. I really want to go to church tomorrow, so I will be going up to the north end soon and try to get to bed very early.


The weather was blah. It got down to 31 overnight and up to 35 this afternoon. There was a little wind around noon, but only around 15 mph from the north for the afternoon. There were a few rays of sunshine this morning and some blue sky, but for most of the afternoon, it was cloudy and dull. From the look of the sunset, it seems the clouds were all over the land and it was clear, or mostly so, over the lake. After looking at the MODIS pictures, it seems the west half of the lake was clear and the east half, from Keweenaw east, was cloudy, like there was a line down the middle. Well, maybe some of that clear will come our way. It looks like we may have some snow next week, which is good news. What's on the ground now is pretty ugly.


If I do get to church, I will stop at Pat's for food - I'm getting sort of low on OJ and JD - and I will get gas. The weather looks good, and I think it's been warm enough that the road should be all right. And it's been nearly a month since I've been to church.


Ron had a report on the tractor. The parts have come in, and he will pick them up on Tuesday, but now he's afraid that there may be even more damage than they thought, and Mike didn't help any by telling him what might be wrong. We'll hope not.


I didn't see Jasmine today, although she peeped at me late this afternoon. I was doing some things I don't usually do, like answering the phone in the kitchen, and when I don't do as predicted, she always gets freaked out. 


I had to go downstairs to put away some of my frozen food, and while I was there, I decided to make one more try at finding some things I've been looking for. Well. I finally found, not only my cotton yarn for wash clothes, but all the rest of my nightgown material, or at least almost all of it. If there's more flannel, it's packed away in boxes someplace. Of course, that tub was on the very bottom of a stack that was wedged in between a bunch of boxes and it was the last one I looked at. Naturally. Anyway, now I've located everything I've been looking for lately, and that's a good feeling. 


When I spend so much time looking for something I know is there, I begin to realize just how much too much stuff I have, but the problem now is, if I wanted to get rid of any of it, I'd have to go through all of it, and then I'd have to figure out something to do with it. It's all good stuff, and I wouldn't ever just throw it away. Besides going through it, I'd have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Having done that at least three times in the past 10 years, I never, ever want to do it again.


So I came upstairs all sweaty from moving tubs around and that was all I did. I read a bit of what I wrote last night, and it seems clear that there are a lot of typos in all these stories that I'll just have to go back and fix. It's too bad nobody can come up with a really good text checker that would not only find spelling and grammar errors but would catch typos, too. You might think Word would do that, but you'd be wrong. It misses things that are clearly wrong and "catches" things that are clearly right. However, you'd think they might find unmatched quotation marks and sentences with no stopper at the end. Nope.


Now I will post this, and then I think I may just totter up to the north end and go to bed early. My sinuses have been so clogged up all day that my eyes are watering, so I think I might just give up and go to bed.


February 3

Another night, another 6000 words. This is going to be the longest part yet, to make up for the last one that was the shortest. I think I stared at the floor for quite a while, because I didn't turn out the light until 1:00. I slept well, and at about 9:00, I got a call from the electric company that they were going to service my generator. I dozed for a while, but I was up before 10:00. Not enough sleep again.


I knitted my square and got dressed, and the guy didn't show up until after noon. Then he left without telling me what he found. I guess it will probably self-test around 12:30 on Fridays now, but we'll see next week. I hope he would have told me if he found anything bad, but I would like to know how many hours I put on it last year. Lots, I'm sure. I figure at least 60. Even though it contributed to my current financial problem, I can't tell you how happy I am that I have that thing!


I didn't do much. I thought I was going to get a Schwan's order this afternoon, so I didn't go to the post office, then they didn't come. Something weird is going on there, and I don't have it figured out yet, but I did call them and we'll see what happens. I wanted that order - it had some things in it that I'm running low on.


I converted last month's journal to Word, although I didn't edit it. And I finally washed a couple of pans that were in the sink and put some more to soak. That's all.


The weather was blah and very un-wintry again. The temperature was around 35 all night, then it slowly fell all day, until it's 28 now. There wasn't much of any wind. It was mostly cloudy all day, although it seemed to clear up a bit around sunset. We've lost a whole lot of our snow.


I reset the end points of the camera last night, and I did it again just now. We now have 9h40m of daylight - we've gained over an hour in the past month! How nice. The only thing that ever bothers me about winter is how short the days are, and it's nice that we're on the upward leg now, almost 3 minutes a day. 


Jasmine tried a couple of times to come upstairs, but every time I was going toward her and she beat it. I sent for some of her favorite dry food, and it came today, along with a box of neat little toys. A long time ago, I had some foil balls for the Christmas tree that a certain black friend of mine just loved to play with. These are the same idea, but they're much smaller and so light they almost float. I hope she likes them. Maybe I should hang them from a little tree.


One problem with Jasmine occurred to me today. I've always had ESP with all my cats. I can tell what they're thinking and they can tell what I'm thinking. I can sometimes tell what Jasmine is thinking, but she has no clue about me. One thing that causes is that she comes out when I'm about to get up and move, and she has to run away, because she has no idea that I'm going to get up or where I'm going. I don't know if she has that problem because she has no ESP, or just that she didn't learn to use it when she was a kitten. Anyway, there is just no communication between us, and I'm afraid that won't ever change. Poor Jasmine. If only she knew.


So that was another day, and I'm going to write for a while tonight again. I still have quite a bit to write on this story, and I'm getting anxious to get on to the next parts, which are older and need a lot more rewriting.


Now it's a dark, partly cloudy night in the field and it still feels more like March or April.


February 2

I wrote another 6000 words last night. This part isn't very hard, since I'm doing a lot of transcribing. Then I took a bath, so it was very late when I got to bed. I slept very well, but I woke up around 10:00 and had to walk, so I decided to stay up. Not nearly enough sleep, and I'm really tired now.


I got dressed with the idea of going to the post office, where there is a package, but then I forgot about it until it was too late. Well, tomorrow. Otherwise, I didn't do much of anything. Too tired.


It was another blah day. There was a ray of sunshine early in the morning, but it soon went away and it was another dark and dreary day. The temperature went up to 36 and stayed there and there was almost no wind. Blah.


Last winter was the windy winter. This winter is going to be the warm winter, unless the next two months reverse the trend. If I'd wanted winters like this, I'd have stayed in Detroit. Blah.


When I got up to go to the powder room this morning, Jasmine was sitting in the hallway, and this time, instead of ducking downstairs, she ran toward me and ducked under the sofa. She was bound and determined she was coming upstairs. A few minutes later, she started talking to me, and when I looked up, she was sitting on a step near the top of the loft stairs and peeking out between the railing rungs. She looked at me a bit suspiciously when I walked by her, but when I kept on, she just sat there and watched me go back to the studio. I don't know where she went then, because I wasn't looking. She may have spent the day in the loft. I hope so. I noticed yesterday that it's cool in the basement, and the loft should be about the warmest place other than the bathroom. What a strange little kitty she is!


So that was another wasted day, but oh, well. Now I think I will write a bit  more and try to get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. It's a dark, cloudy but warm night in the field.


February 1

I wrote around 6000 words last night, but then I started reading ahead, and I ended up getting to bed ridiculously late. So it was ridiculously late when I got up and it was a sort of a lost day, I guess. 


I did half a square on the stole, and I did my surfing. Oh, yes, and just now, I finally set up the gallery files for 2012 and put out there the two pictures I saved from the camera. One was for January 15, which was a very nice sunset. I saved the last picture from yesterday, too, because it was so foggy down the harbor that it looked almost like a painting. So that task is done. Now we'll see if I can get it all uploaded right.


One of these days, I'm going to have to try letting FrontPage do the upload. Since I've had the new hardware and software, it's been apparent that most of my file problems on the old machine were due to Windows ME, and not due to FrontPage itself. Apparently the old software had a maximum number of files (2047) it could handle, and I exceeded that two or three years ago. The website doesn't take a lot of space on disk (about 72mb), but it does have a lot of files (nearly 5,000). I'm not quite brave enough to try it tonight, though. I want to write for a while.


The weather was blah, and I didn't go out. The temperature went from 30 to 33, and while it was windy overnight, it wasn't today. It was cloudy and dull all day long, and there wasn't any sunset. Blah.


The final snow total for January was 67", and 120" for the season. That's a little behind last year and so far February doesn't look good, either, but we can't ever tell. All I can hope is that it starts snowing hard, soon.


I didn't see Jasmine, but she was in the great room when I finally made it to the kitchen, and she told me so. 


I finally got downstairs late this afternoon, and although I didn't do everything I wanted to do down there, I did check the machine room, which looks all right, and I looked for my cotton yarn to make washcloths out of. I didn't find it, so maybe I never took it down? I don't know, but I'll check the closet tomorrow. I shopped the freezer and brought up some good things to eat. I'll be back at my noodles tomorrow. Sometime I'll cook again, and I do  want to cook up a bunch of rice and freeze it, but for the time being, I'll be eating the frozen stuff again.


So that was my quiet day. Ron emailed me and it seems like our snow blower may have more problems than he originally thought, but if he, Marty and Mike can get it back together again, we may have nearly a whole new blower except for the housing. It will be expensive, but it may be a good thing. We use that thing a lot.


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

last  updated 03/01/12 09:02 PM