A View From the Field








March, 2012


March 31

I broke the bank last night. I wrote about 8400 words and I could have kept right on, except that it was getting very late. I didn't get enough sleep again, but I got up around 10:30. I only knitted a couple of rows, and I got the next color tied in. I'm really getting toward the end of this project, it seems.


I didn't do much else because I wanted to visit Margaret again and see my enlargements. Before I got dressed, I dug Angel Procession out of the box of finished embroidery, because I want Margaret to finish the framing for me. And then came the shock. It has lots of gold beads on it, and all of the beads had tarnished! Aaarrggghh!! Now all my pretty shiny beads are dark bronze colored. I don't think there's anything I can do to restore the finish, so now, besides washing and blocking it, before I can lace it to the backing board, I have to replace all the beads. Aaarrggghh!! I don't know what happened, since it looked to me like all the other pieces in the box were just fine.


Anyway, I didn't do very much of my surfing before I was off for the afternoon, because I had to stop at the post office as well. There wasn't any mail, but there was a package. 


I took along two of the angels to show Margaret what we were aiming for, and Angel Procession. I also asked her opinion about the pony beads that the pattern calls for on the new angel, and I think she agreed with me that they are a bit too much. So I will try to figure out some other way to finish those little four-stitch holes. I may try to put a little cluster of seed beads there, or I might just fill in with thread. We'll see. 


I was there for quite a long time again, but this time it wasn't all my fault. A number of people stopped by for various reasons, including Two tourists looking for places to go. Well, I suppose one of them wasn't a tourist, since he's a student at Tech, but I guess if you're fifty miles away from home on your first trip to Copper Harbor, you're a tourist. Margaret actually sold one of her framed photographs, too. I hope she does well. She is a very talented photographer and framer.


Anyway, the enlargements came out just beautiful, the way I always knew they would be. and her matting was wonderful, too. She made me sign them, which I suppose is right, so everyone will know they're really my own work. We picked the frames - two silver and one black - and I'll have at least the silver ones back in a few days. It's exciting. It makes me want to begin hanging things again. Well, we'll see about that.


The weather was blah again. It was in the middle thirties all day, with a high of 39º briefly. The wind was from the south, and I guess it did get rather windy around 5:00, although I didn't notice it. It was very gray and dull all day long. We had a little rain between 5:00 and 6:00 - very little, more like a heavy mist. Blah.


I was sitting at the computer in the dark last night, writing, when I thought I heard something behind me, and I said, "Jasmine, is that you?" and she said hello. She has that word down quite well now. So we had a short conversation and she went off. She may not want me to look at her or get near her, but she wants me to know she's there, and she wants to know I'm there. Poor Jasmine. If she was human, I think I'd say she was autistic. Anyway, I haven't seen nor heard her today, and i may not, because my plan is to go op to the north end almost right away and get to bed very early tonight.


Now it's a misty-moisty, cloudy and cool night in the field and March is over.


March 30

I wrote about 5200 words last night and then I started fiddling around, paying a couple of bills and fiddling with LogMeIn, which I've installed but not used except to test. The free trial of the version that costs money has expired, and I wanted to see what difference it would make. Not much, it turns out, since the things the free version doesn't do are things I can do when I have both computers here, and I wouldn't want to do when I'm on the road anyway - and besides, it's $60. However, it is a neat thing, and I found out how to make the desktop on the remote computer big enough that I can see it.


So I was very late going to bed again, and I didn't get much sleep last night, since I got up around 9:00, without having gotten up once. I knitted a bit and I decided to change the number of rows I knit in the blue yarn, because I like it, but I will do the next two colors, sort of gray-rose and gray-lavender, in the order the pattern says. 


I did all my surfing and two days' worth of crosswords. Margaret called, and she has my photos all enlarged and matted and she has the backing board for the angel all cut. Boy, I'll have to get cracking. I didn't go to see the enlargements today, because I had my sweats on and I don't go out in my sweats, but I may go tomorrow, depending. She discovered that the place that has the molding I like is in England (as I suspected, when they spelled it moulding), but their prices seem reasonable. I spent the rest of the afternoon Googling picture molding, and that place plus the place I've used for years when I framed my own embroidery are the best sources that seem to be around. Geez, I wish I knew where Carey got her moldings! She had an even better selection than I've seen around anyplace. So we are going ahead with this project. I hope I have the money to pay for it. The frame for the angel isn't going to be cheap, but when I think about what the framing for the Angel of Love cost, I guess it will be pretty reasonable. Boy, is that a terrible picture. I must take another one when the sun isn't shining.


So that was my day. I spent a good couple of hours surfing picture frame molding, and as is usual with Google, I got into several sites that have very little, if any, relevance to what I was looking for. I had hoped there would be more sites that sell molding, and I guess gold frames are sort of out these days, because nobody has very many except the place in England.


The weather wasn't good. The temperature was around 35º all day, which is seasonal, and there were any number of little light snow squalls. There was snow on the garage roof when I got up, but it was gone before I got dressed. Several times later, though, there was a haze down the harbor and little flakes coming down. It might have rained a little, too. The wind got strong around noon, with gusts up around 27mph, but it died down later. It was from the south all day. So why didn't it get warmer? Anyway, it is supposed to warm up over the weekend, to around 50º at least. Having had a taste of spring, I don't want to go back to winter.


I didn't see or hear Jasmine all day. I suppose she was hibernating. She is such a strange kitty.


So now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field and there may be a few more snow flurries. i hope I can get to bed a bit earlier tonight or maybe sleep in tomorrow, but I want to write some more.


March 29

I didn't write, but I took the binder up to the north end with me, and even though I skipped over parts I know I will be writing out, I was still very late getting to bed, because I had to take a bath and cut down my fingernails, which were getting in my way. So I was late. I woke up around 10:30, I think, I knitted three rows before I got dressed. It's taking me a long time to do one row now.


The tasks of the day were to go to the post office, to retrieve my jewelry from LIz and to visit Margaret at her studio, North One, with the last angel and three pictures I want to have framed. All three photos are on the website. I'll leave it to you to guess which ones they are. 


The thing with Margaret took a long time, and we had a nice talk. She is an excellent photographer and a wonderful framer, and the studio is full of her framed pictures.


I always like to see other local photographers' work, because while we are all excellent at what we do, each one of us has a different eye and a different slant. And of course, each of us has would pick a different set of what we think is our best work. Margaret did seem to think the three pictures I chose were worthy to be enlarged and framed.


So that took up my afternoon. It was interesting to drive down to Eagle Lodge. I haven't been down M-26 in quite a while, and I could see the remains of some of our big windstorms last year, which unfortunately show some of the less lovely areas more than ever. Oh, well. I was also interested to see several  more lakefront properties for sale. I wonder what the asking prices are.


The weather was good for what I did, or for hibernating. The temperature was around 34º for the entire afternoon, and it has now dropped to 32º, but there was very light wind from the east and it wasn't bad outside. It was dark and gloomy, with not a glimmer of sunshine. Typical March weather, except warmer. Blah.


When I left to go out, Jasmine was sitting on her toy in the middle of the great room, looking at me. When I came home, she was sitting there again. She didn't move when I looked at her, and she mewed at me. I feel there's something a bit strange about the way she's acting, but she's still eating and she's still talking, so I guess I will just wait and see what happens. At least she apparently spent the afternoon upstairs, even though it wasn't sunny.


So that was my day. I just glanced over most of my surfing and I didn't do any crosswords, but I do want to get the angel framed, so that was a good thing. Now I think I will write a while tonight, but maybe not as long as the last time, because I'm tired. it's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


March 28

No wonder I was so late last night. I wrote 7600 words. Gosh. I slept fairly well. I woke up around 9:00 and just sort of laid there dreaming strange dreams for about an hour before I got up.


Sometime (and I can't remember exactly when) when I was knitting on the shawl, I pulled on one needle tip and it came off the cable (oh, that was the other bad one). So I got another cable and I transferred the stitches. When the cable broke, about 45 stitches jumped off, but with care, I was able to get them on the other end of the needle, so I don't think I lost anything. Fortunately, I was at a good place where the pattern was obvious. Then I knitted a couple of rows. I suppose I should use a longer cable, they are awkward to handle, so I will just have to hope the new cable isn't defective. I just did an increase row and I have 310 stitches. I'm getting toward the end, but I still have a way to go and two more colors to use. This has been another fun project.


I didn't do much else, I guess. I had an accident and had to wash some things. I wrote up the minutes of the meeting last Saturday and passed them on to Jill. It seemed to me that the minutes were rather short for a three-hour meeting, but there was a lot of talk and a lot of personal stuff I'm not going to put in a public document. I'll see what she says.


Tonight I got to doing something else, and I must take a bath, so I don't think I will write. I am happy to report that my foot is feeling pretty good, so I guess I'm over that flare up of the gout. We'll see when I go to bed. Sometimes it's worse then.


The weather was hardly worth talking about. It was very windy overnight. The NWS station only reported gusts up to 39 mph, but I think it was windier here. The wind was from the northwest, which really batters the corner of the bedroom, and it was so noisy I could hardly hear the lake. It didn't keep me awake, though. Once again we had our high temperature at midnight - 46º - and it went down all night. It was 37º all day, and it was so consistent I'm suspicious. The wind has died down a lot and switched to the northeast. Some forecasters are predicting snow sometime tomorrow or tomorrow night, but we'll see about that. Whether it will happen depends upon who you believe. It was dark and cloudy and yucky all day.


When I came into the kitchen this morning, Jasmine was sitting between the water dish and the wall and she mewed just a little bit. She sat there until I walked toward her to put something on the counter, and then she ran away. I don't know where she was for the rest of the day, because I didn't see her. Now I know she drinks out of the water bowl in the kitchen, so I will try to keep it fresh for her.


Now it's not too late, but I think I will just go up to the north end and take my bath and try to get to bed a bit earlier. It's a dark, cool night in the field.


March 27

I wrote about 6000 words last night, but I fiddled around at the north end for a while, so I was late getting to bed. I didn't sleep very well. Apparently my salmon and asparagus plus the few shrimp I had in my lo mein last night caused a reaction, and my right bunion joint got sore as soon as I went to bed, and It was sore off and on until just a while ago. I hope I'm over it. Well, at least it wasn't my fingers. It did make it hard to get to sleep, although I did good once I got to sleep


I woke up around 8:00 and the clock was blinking. Oh, a power failure, apparently shortly after 7:00. There was rain on the windows, too. So I went back to sleep, and I didn't wake up again until 10:30 or so. I knitted 3 rows (292 stitches now), so it was late when I got dressed. I put on my fleece slippers because my foot was so sore.


When I got to the kitchen, I could finally hear that the generator was running, so I called UPPCO. By that time, it had already been down for 5 hours. Fortunately, the computer came up fine and the Mountain Lodge had power, so I could do my surfing, although in the middle we had a strange slowdown. I didn't want to call about it, since I was sure everything was screwed up with the power, and eventually it came back. I think we finally got line power back around 6:00 this afternoon. About 11 hours! Wow, am I glad I have that generator! i think I've said that before.


I can't report a whole lot about the weather, of course, since the NWS station doesn't have another power source. I think the temperature was in the upper 40s or maybe around 50 for most of the day. The problem was the wind: it was from the south, which is an odd direction for us, and we had gusts that had gotten to 43 mph before the power went out. It was hairy all day. Late in the afternoon, we had a couple of hours of sunshine, which was nice, but now it's gotten cloudy again. The wind is dying down, too.


I was in the powder room around 1:30 when Jasmine stuck her head out of the cat door. She said hello very nicely and went toward the kitchen. I spooked her a couple of times during the afternoon. but then she settled down on the light blue chair for her afternoon siesta and the last time I looked, she was still there. The sun wasn't shining right on it, but it was nice and warm in the great room and she looked quite comfortable. She sleeps curled into a U, with her front legs straight out in front and her chin on the cushion between them. 


Every cat I've known has a nearly unique way of sleeping. DC used to lie on his back below the hot air register, which was behind the door, on Champine, and let the hot air blow on his belly. I don't think Buster ever slept on his back in his life, and Jasmine doesn't either. Dennis, my first cat (the beautiful one) often slept stretched out fully on his side on the end of my bed, and he was so big (he weighed in at 16 lb when he was in his prime) that he took up a big part of the bed. With both Dennis and Silkie and later with DC and Buster, I would wake up in the night and think I was paralyzed because I had one cat hugging each side of my legs.


So now I think I will write some more. I found another book prop that I hope will work a bit better than the one I was using, since it's bigger. I've read far enough ahead to know that the story gets interesting, although it is getting long. It has two distinct parts to it, and I could split it in two if I had to, but that isn't the way I wrote it.


Now it's a cloudy, windy night in the field and we may be in for some more rain or maybe a few snowflakes.


March 26

All told, I wrote 7600 words last night, and  I got to bed a bit after 12:30. I slept well, with the usual wakeups, until about 10:30. Then I knitted 5 rows, because I was at a color change and I wanted to get that row done. So it was nearly 1;00 when I got to the studio and I finished the jigsaw puzzle after the talking started. So I didn't do anything else.


I did get a UPS package, so Gary now feels he can get down the road again. Yippee! I won't have to pick up my toilet paper at the store anymore, and I can start using my street address for at least some stuff I buy.


The weather was cold. The temperature only got up to 33º for a little while. For most of the day it was around 31º. There wasn't very much wind except for a couple of hours this afternoon. It was cloudy until around 11:00, after which it cleared up and it was quite clear this afternoon. I suppose that means it will get cold overnight, except that it's supposed to cloud up and rain after midnight (yuck). 


I think I heard Jasmine a couple of times today, but I didn't see her. She missed it. She should have slept in the sunshine this afternoon.


I had another glitch in my Internet connection today and Jon seems to think he may have fixed the problem. We'll see. At least after he made whatever change he made, it's been working fine again. I'm really spoiled. I don't like having my receive speed to be less than dialup.


So that's about all I have to report. I did find a book prop and I moved the CPU back  way, so I think I can set up the binder and not have to lean over to read what's on the pages. I hope so. That's been doing nasty things to my back. I'll try it now and see what happens and try to write a bit more. It's a clear night in the field so far, but there are clouds over in the west and it's supposed to be a yucky twenty-four hours.


March 25

I did what I said. I went up to the north end early and I read for a while, and I got to bed by about 10:00, I think. I slept pretty good, although I was up several times. I'm in one of those cycles where my left ear and arm are sore, so when I get into bed, after I say the last of my prayers, I immediately have to turn over. I believe that for a good many years, I did that every night, but for the last 10 or 15, I can frequently start out lying on my left side. I have never been able to lie on my stomach, even when I was a baby, and I can't usually lie on my back. Sometimes I do, but my mouth drops open and I snore and my mouth gets drier than it usually is. Sleeping can be difficult for me.


I did not want to get up when the alarm went off. I was having a really strange dream which included copious amounts of snow over a place I've never been before. But I really didn't want to get up, and I had to lie there a while to come too. I ate something and I did some of my surfing, and I was late leaving for church. I got there in time, though.


When I got up, the temperature outside was 46º and the forecast said the high would be 52º. What I didn't know was that the high had been reached at midnight and the temperature fell all night long. So I dressed for a warmish day, and when I started for town, the car was reporting a temperature of 34º. What? Oh, well. I still didn't count on the temperature to keep dropping and drop a few snowflakes on us as we were leaving church. Geez.


I had to go to Pat's for a few things, and walking to and from the store was chilly. I got my lo mein that I hadn't been able to get a couple of weeks ago, some pasta salads that I had for lunch (not all of them) and  succumbed to another piece of fresh salmon. And they had fresh asparagus, the thin yummy kind that only comes in early. I went for the lo mein and JD, which I also got, but of course, I got a few other things as well. 


I had the salmon for dinner and it was another luscious piece. The only trouble was that it was very thick in the center, and it took a long time to broil in the toaster oven. I had to cut off the thin part so it wouldn't overcook. Oh, but it was good! So was the asparagus, which I sautéed. I had a lovely dinner tonight. Of course, all of what I ate, except for the brown rice, is verboten on the gout diet, bur oh, well. We'll see if my fingers get sorer than they are now. 


The trouble with that gout diet is that it is completely incompatible with my gut diet and any heart-healthy or weight-loss diet I might go on. If I tried to follow all of them, I'd end up eating brown rice or quinoa and kale exclusively and I just won't do that.


i put myself to sleep last night thinking about some changes I wanted to make to the story I'm putting into the computer (a romantic moonlit garden, so nice to go to sleep to), so this afternoon, I spent some time writing. It took me quite a while to decide whether one character goes home or goes with the rest of them, and when I did decide, I had to go back and try to rewrite what changed, and that was confusing. At least on the computer it's easier than it would have been longhand. At least on the computer I could search on the character's name or the name of the city (but not both at once, unfortunately), and I think I got everything, but one never knows. Anyway, I wrote 3300 words before I made dinner, and I think I'll be doing more, because I just discovered that Pipedreams is having another Bach program, two whole hours worth, so I'll have to listen to that!


The weather was nasty. The temperature fell all day, and it is now 31º, with a northeast wind in the 20-30 mph range. Much more typical March weather, but we got used to the warmth. There was a snowflake or two in Calumet and maybe a raindrop or two here. It was really dark and cloudy all day, until about 6:30, when it cleared up almost completely. When I just went to check something in the kitchen, Venus and the thin crescent moon were in conjunction high in the west. Oh, it's soooo pretty!


The NWS is now saying that we might have freezing rain tomorrow night and Tuesday. At the same time, they're still saying we may have highs of 50º, plus or minus a couple of degrees, for the next few days. All the forecasters have been really off lately. First they couldn't believe it was going to get warm, and now they can't believe it's going to get cold.


I didn't see Jasmine, but while I was making my dinner and filling her food bowls, she was out in the great room telling me she was hungry and all her bowls were empty. I hope she's happier now. She came upstairs when the sun came out, so evidently that's what draws her out of the basement.


I was very creaky today again, especially this morning in church. If pastor had made us stand up one more time, I'm not sure I could have made it. This afternoon has been a little better. because the barometer is rising, but the humidity is still high. I was able to get off the card table chair in the kitchen without very much soreness in my knees, which was good.


So that was my day. Now they're playing the fugue of the Toccata. Adagio and Fugue in C major (BWV 564), one of my faves, so I will go back to the writing and wallowing in Bach on the organ. It's a cold, partly clear night in the field.


March 24

I'm doing this a bit early tonight, but I'm tired and I want to go to church tomorrow.


I wrote 5900 words last night, but I didn't fool around much, so I was in bed by a bit after midnight. I had only three wakeups, and I got up around 10:00, maybe? I knitted a couple of rows on the shawl before I got dressed.


I did most of my surfing, and then it was off to the advertising reorganization meeting, via the post office, where there were a couple of packages and a nice note from my friend in Detroit, with sad news about a mutual friend, who has dementia. I was so sorry to hear that, because she was such a nice person.


The organizational meeting turned out quite well. The CHIA vice president, Jill, has a lot of energy and good ideas, and the advertising committee will now be a regular committee of CHIA, not separate, and instead of a small, exclusive group, it will have a lot of people, each responsible for a project or two. It's a rather loose concept, and only time will tell how it works, but it seems like a positive step forward. There was one person I was leery about, but at least three people apparently have the patience to keep her under control, and she is willing to do a lot of work, so that turned out all right. And I'm still secretary. I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I'll reserve judgment until I see how things go.


So why am I so tired and I have a a headache?


I did get to see Jill and Alex's new house, which is very nice, except that the living quarters are on the second floor, accessible only by a very steep stairway. I made it both ways, but no doubt that's one reason I'm so tired. I even had my cane, but that didn't help a lot.


The weather was blah. The temperature made it up to 48º briefly, but for most of the afternoon it was in the low 40s. There was hardly any wind, It was dark and cloudy and humid.


I haven't seen Jasmine today, but I think I heard her a couple of times. I wouldn't blame her for burying her head in the basement. So would I have if I could have.


So that was an interesting day and I think I may grab a binder and toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed early. It's a gray, blah evening in the field.


March 23

Last night I wrote nearly 5900 words, and then I fooled around both in the studio and when I got up to the north end. Then I took a bath, so I was really late and I slept hard. I didn't get up until 10:30 and I knitted about four rows before I got dressed. That means it was a lost day, except for the knitting, because I was too late to do anything.


When I went toward the studio with my breakfast, Jasmine ran out and hid, but that's all I saw of her all day. So I guess we're back to our old ways until the sun shines again.


It was another yucky day, but cooler than it has been. We did set a new record high, 52º, but it was at 4:00 this morning. For most of the day it was about 48º. There was a little wind between 1:00 and 3:00, from the south, and we had some rain overnight and a very little between 4:00 and 5:00 this afternoon. It was cloudy and very dark for most of the day. Down the peninsula, in the higher elevations, they had quite a bit of fog, but we didn't. It was very humid and the barometer is falling. This is April or May weather!


I think my sore fingers are more from what I've been eating, but my sore knees and ankles are from the barometer and the humidity.


Last night, I fetched in my cane, which I had left in the car, and I'm bound and determined I'm going to start my exercises again. I didn't this morning, but I will do it.


I think I mentioned that there was a problem with the cable of the circular needle I'm using for the shawl, so this afternoon, I switched to a new one and knitted two rows. Before I took off the old cable, I grabbed it and the tip and pulled, and yes indeed there was a problem - it came to pieces. That is the second 32" cable I've had that problem with. Long-time readers may remember a couple of years ago, I was working on the yoke of the black sweater (which I've never finished after I tore it apart) and the cable came apart, leaving me with 30 or 40 stitches not on any needle. Switching cables on that one was really hard. Anyway, when I realized I had another bad cable, I wrote the company and new cables are on their way. I hope these are better. The only thing is that these are interchangeable needles and I don't have to throw the whole thing away, like I did with the #1 I broke the other day. Anyway, now I have a new cable and I should be all right. I could use a longer one, but they are ungainly, so I will stick with what I have until I can't keep the stitches on the needles any longer. 


Now I think I will write some more before I toddle up to the north end. I just looked outside, and the fog is here, so it's a yucky, foggy, cool night in the field.


March 22

I wrote about 5100 words last night, so I was late, but I slept well, with the usual wake-ups. My shoulders and arms are feeling better, but the first time I woke up, after about 3½ or 4 hours, I was so stiff all over I felt like I was cast in concrete. I'm sure that's what wakes me up, even more than having to pee. After not moving for that length of time, I just have to, and getting up and sitting in a different position for a while helps. It was very humid all night, and that didn't help, either. 


I got up around 9:30 and knitted four rows. I finished the all-black and I've now started on the black and medium blue mix. It should be easier to see what I'm doing. However, I now have 274 stitches, so a row takes a very long time to knit. That's the only disadvantage with a circular or half-circular shawl. The further along you get, the more stitches there are. I don't have that many rows left to do, but they're all very long ones. I didn't bring the shawl to the studio this morning. I decided that if I had time to knit, I'd work on the sock.


I didn't have any time for that. Thursday is one of the days when I have the most to read, and there were some interesting articles in both Knitter's Review and the Security and Privacy email. So it was almost time for the talking when I finished everything but some of the crosswords. It didn't help that there was a half hour or 45 minute glitch in my Internet connection. It finally cleared up, but for a while I was offline or mostly offline.


The weather was yucky again. The temperature did get up to 58º for a couple of hours this afternoon, but it was gray and dismal and damp. There was almost no wind. We had 0.03" of rain overnight, but I don't think it rained today. Yuck.


I didn't hear Jasmine until late in the afternoon - evidently she thought the weather was yucky, too - but then she started complaining. I don't know why, unless she wanted some sunshine. I heard her playing with her ball toy, but when I got up to go north for something, she hid under the pale blue footstool. So we have our brave days and our not so brave days. She does want me to know she's here, though, and I think she wants to know I'm here, too.


I didn't do much of anything but read email. I did get the list together of the floss I need for the wedding gift and, as it turns out, two other projects from a magazine, including the bible cover. The other project will  be able to use the rest of the fabric I got for the wedding gift, so that wasn't quite such a waste of money as I first thought.


Now it's a dull, soggy night in the field, and I will write a bit more. I've been reading ahead and I have a whole lot of editing to do, so I might as well get at it.


March 21

I didn't write again last night, but I fiddled around and then I had to take a bath so it was late when I got to bed. I slept fairly well, but lately I've been having a problem with my upper arms getting very sore when I lie on them, so I was up several times. I got up around 9:30, and I knitted a few rows on the shawl. It's so big now (and I knit so slowly) that it takes me 15 minutes or so to do one row. I'm making progress. I have only two more rows of all black, and then I can tie in the blue. That will make it easier to see what I'm doing. I have to count every stitch, since I have a horrible habit of leaving out a yarn-over every so often.


I only got to do some of my surfing this morning, because I had to pay a couple of bills and in the course of doing that, I discovered that I'd forgotten to enter a check. Oops. 


Then it was off to Carolyn's for the afternoon. There were only seven of us, two of whom left early, but it was a good group. We had a lot of laughs, as usual. 


I decided to take the sock to work on, since I've had it on needles for a year, and when I took it out, I discovered that one of the needle tips, which was wood, had broken off, so I had to sit and do nothing, but that was all right. When I got home, I immediately got out a metal needle and put the sock on it, so now I'm good go to again. I wondered how strong those wood needles were, and now I know. The thicker ones are probably fine, but this is a #1, which is only 2.25mm in diameter. On the other hand, it occurred to me that it's a good thing that I've had it in progress for so long: I haven't spent much time in waiting rooms in the past year.


The weather was fairly warm but yucky. It didn't rain, but the humidity was horribly high - 100% this morning and nearly that high late in the afternoon. It was cloudy all day. We had a high of about 65º around noon, and then the temperature plunged to 50º. It recovered a bit then spiked to 63º around 5:00, after which it fell off again. It seemed to have something to do with the wind. When the wind was blowing it was warm, and when it went calm or nearly calm the big lake took over and it cooled off. Around 5:30 or so, suddenly we were surrounded by fog. That went away by around 7:15, but there are still some wisps lurking around. I love to watch the fog come and go on days like this. The barometer has suddenly gone much higher, so maybe it will be nicer tomorrow, although it looks like our 75º-80º temps are over for a while. We should be seeing mostly 50s and a few 60s for the next week or so. That's still so far over our normal temps for this time of year that we're still waiting for the blizzard. 


I didn't see Jasmine today, and I only heard her when I got home, when she said hi before she went back to wherever she had been. She doesn't like weather like this, either. In my experience, cats are even more affected by the weather than I am.


Tonight I think I can write a bit. It's relatively early, and I don't have much on the agenda for the next day or so. Now it's a soggy, coolish night in the field.


March 20 - Spring Equinox

Last night, I didn't write. I went up to the north end early, but I didn't knit, either. I think I was in bed by 10:30. I didn't sleep very well for the first half of the night. The things that happened during the day, plus that the room was very warm and my sinuses were draining copiously kept me awake for quite a while. I did get to see the planets almost set, which was really pretty. In fact, it was so clear that I put on my glasses to enjoy it. The planets apparently are in Pisces (or maybe Cetus), and I could see Taurus and the Pleiades. I should have been able to see Orion over the mountain, but maybe there were some clouds there. Anyway, it was very clear.


Finally, I went to sleep. I was up a couple of times, and I got up around 9:00 - or I tried. I was so stiff and sore in every joint and muscle in my body that I could hardly move. Oh, groan! I knitted a few rows on the shawl before I got dressed. Making breakfast was a trip and I barely made it to the studio to eat. I did make it to the powder room afterwards, though, and as the day wore on, I began to feel much better, and I'm fine now. I don't know what the problem was, except that the humidity was over 90% this morning. The humidity has gone down and the barometer is beginning to rise, which certainly is a help.


I decided that my task for the day would be something I could do sitting down, so I began on the studio. I filled two trash bags with stuff that was lying around, and I began on the horrible task of cleaning off the desk - again. It's a little better, maybe, but not good. At least the floor is a bit easier to get around on, and I found a few things I'd been looking for. I will be weeks at this mess, but at least I've made a start.


The weather was weird. As I said, it was extremely humid this morning. The temperature went down to about 51º, briefly, but by the time i got to the office it was up to 66º and the humidity was a bit lower. The temperature peaked at 71º at 4:00, then by 5:00 it was down to 50º! I don't know what happened, but the wind did go calm. It's recovered a bit, to 54º now, but it certainly was a drop. It was nearly clear until about 2:30, when the clouds started to move in. Starting around 6:30, it got quite foggy, and there wasn't an equinoctial sunset to save. It looked a little.  clearer at dusk. They kept predicting rain or thunderstorms or something, but there wasn't a drop of rain.


Jasmine really surprised me this morning. She apparently got up on the window seat after I went into the bathroom, and a while later, she jumped down with a thump and started talking and talking and talking. I began to hear some funny noises about the time I was ready to get up, and when I looked out the door, she was rubbing her chops on the bedroom door, which is held open by a big rock. She was talking all the time. She went down the hall, and when I came out of the closet after I got dressed, she was at the other end of the hall, talking. Then later when I went into the powder room she hung around the cat hole, talking all the time. I really think she's calming down at last. I was particularly happy to see her grooming her whiskers. It's been a long time since she's done that, and it used to mean she was sort of happy. Otherwise, I have to believe she was just making conversation. What a funny little cat she is. She did go downstairs to sleep today, though. One step at a time.


I forgot to mention that one reason I was so late getting to bed on Sunday is that I turned on the radio for a change. There was something I wanted to hear, and then Pipedreams came on with two whole hours of J. S. Bach on the organ. Oh, joy! I don't like modern organ music at all, and unfortunately, Pipedreams programs a lot of it, but this was a real treat, and I'm so glad i tuned in. Bach's birthday is tomorrow, which is no doubt why they did it, and I really enjoyed it. Then I was writing and the programming after Pipedreams was good, too, although I had to call a halt and turn the radio off around 1:00, even though they were going to do Schubert's Trout Quintet, which is one of my favorites. I think I have two copies of the CD here in the studio, so I can listen to it any time. 


Last night, I was so late getting home and there is something on between 8:00 and 9:00 that I don't like, so I didn't have the radio on at all. From what I heard tonight, I didn't miss any important news. I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to miss something important, but so far I haven't. I guess that if the world comes to an end, somebody will tell me.


Now it has somehow gotten to be 9:30, so I guess there will be no writing tonight, either, although I would really like to get at the story again. I'm tired, and I need to wash my hair. So I'll go up to the north end and do that and maybe knit a row or so. It's a warmish, partly cloudy night in the field and one of these days it will rain.


March 19

I'm back to my old habits again. I wrote about 4600 words last night and I got beyond the scene I was thinking about. Then I started reading ahead, and I have some real work to do for the next 6000 - 10000 words, because most of what's in the original is stuff I've decided not to talk about. So I'll be rewriting, and it's likely to be a lot shorter. That's a good thing, because this part is very long. Anyway, it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Sigh.


I got up around 9:00 because I had to, and I just stayed up, even though i didn't have enough sleep. I'm tired tonight, and a little headachy, so maybe I'll have to skip the writing, darn it.


I had a couple of things on the agenda today. I got the trash out of the kitchen and the hallway. There is still some in the powder room and the bathroom wastebasket is full again, but I can see my counters and I'm not falling over white bags anymore. The wastebaskets in the kitchen are empty. I washed a load of placemats and pot holders. Now maybe I can do something about cleaning the counters? 


There was a CHIA meeting this afternoon, and since the advertising committee has fallen apart, I wanted to go and see what I could learn about that. Well, I did. I won't talk about it here, but there aren't too many of us left, so there is going to be a meeting Saturday to try to reconstitute the whole thing. I will go to see what happens. There are a couple of people I won't work with, so I'll just have to see.


Anyway, Syd wanted to talk about it, so she invited me to dinner, along with Karen, who is CHIA's webmaster, and I found out as much as I wanted to know, or more. However, we had a nice time and of course we talked about other things as well. So that was a nice way to spend a Monday evening. Johanna and her significant other came in for dinner, too, and it was like old home week. I enjoy Syd, but she is into so many things that I don't get to see her much.


The weather was a little cooler today, but just a degree or two. The high was 72º briefly, and it was around 69º for most of the afternoon, with very light southwest winds. It was sunny again, although there were those high cirrus clouds. It's still very humid. It was so nice to go running out of the house without having to struggle into a jacket! I guess there might be some rain overnight.


I am getting a kick out of the Marquette NWS office. Every day they start out by saying well, maybe the temperature will get up to 60º, and several times, they've posted that at a time in the morning when it was already in the middle 60s. As it warms up, they revise the forecast upward, but both they and Environment Canada are missing the actual temperatures very badly lately.


When I came home, of course I went right into the powder room, and Jasmine started talking to me. I don't know if she was upset that I went away or that I hadn't fed her her canned food or maybe both - or maybe she was just talking. She actually came down to the studio door and talked to me. Even though she doesn't want me with her, she apparently wants me around.


So now I think that instead of writing, I will go and fill the dishwasher and get that chore done, then I will go up to the north end and maybe knit a while. It's a warm night in the field and for the time being, it's clear.


March 18

I did what I said last night. I went right up to the north end and filled the pill dispensers, then I took my bath and I was in bed not long after 9:30. Gee. I got to see the planets setting, although at one point, a cloud passed in front of them, so it wasn't completely clear. I slept quite well, in spite of the cat. until about 6:30, although I didn't get up until the alarm went off. 


For some reason, I was really early at everything today. It sure was nice not to have to struggle into any heavy coats or anything. And it was nice to be able to fly down US-41 at my usual pace. The roads were clear and nearly dry, although there was a lot of patchy fog that only lasted a few yards and didn't interfere much with seeing. Church was good again, but with no communion, we got out really early, so I was home by 12:30.


After I changed my clothes, I put the fleece in the washer and sat down and folded and put away all the clothes I washed yesterday, except for the underwear, which I will do either tonight or tomorrow. That was about all I did, though. I need to get the fleece out and folded, but that's for another day.


I listened to the radio this afternoon for a change, and while that was going on, I finally finished with the dark teal that was causing me so much trouble. Now I'm doing two strands of dark navy, which seems to be much better behaved. After that is royal blue and rose, then the edging is done with lavender. It's going to be a nice looking thing, although as the stitches pile up, it gets slower and slower. I think I'm about halfway through the rows. Knitting with two strands isn't much fun, but the yarn is all nice and soft, although there isn't any more alpaca.


The weather was amazing again. The temperature never got below 53º all night, and it was 62º by the time I left for church. It was around 70º for most of the afternoon, plus or minus a degree or two. The wind was still from the southwest, and it was gusty occasionally, but for most of the day the wind was very light. It wasn't as clear as it was yesterday. The cirrus clouds were a bit thicker today, but there was still a lot of sunshine. Its still very humid, which is not good for my arthritis. The barometer has dropped off a bit, which hasn't helped either.


For the second night in a row, there was a light show around 5:00 this morning, This time, it was all out over the lake, and again, there was no rain. One of these days, like maybe tomorrow night, it's going to hit us.


It's supposed to stay warm, and it's truly amazing. It was just about the same temperature in Detroit today, and this is warm even for them. Of course, we're breaking records all over the place. Our high temperature was 40º higher than the normal average and so was the overnight temperature. I think I said in January or early February that this will go down as the warm winter, and it sure will. It is supposed to be a bit cooler this week and we should have some rain, which we certainly need, but still. The average high temperature for this time in March is 31º and the average low is 18º. Wow. This is the kind of weather we frequently have in June and July and sometimes even in August. I do worry about that. I hope it doesn't mean a scorching summer, but we'll just have to wait and see.


It has been several degrees warmer in Calumet, and the snow is going fast...well, what do you expect when the temperature gets up to 75º? It's like taking an ice cube out of the freezer. Our snow is almost gone except for the piles, and I'm pleased to report that even most of the ice on our road is gone. 


It always amazes me when we first get warm temperatures in the spring just how warm they feel. When I came out of church, it was about 62º according to the car, but it felt so warm! I only wore a corduroy jacket, and even that was a bit warm. When I started out for town, my air conditioner came on! I thought that was a bit much, but I did turn on the outside air coming home. 


Little Jasmine is a funny cat. I opened a window in the window seat last night because it was warm in my bedroom (and I slept under only the sheet, except for my feet, which need to be very warm), and she wanted to stick her nose out the window. So every time she thought I was safely out of the way, she jumped up on the window seat - mewing all the way. She is a real motormouth. She was with Buster around, and I think it's a good sign that she's doing that again. What really got me laughing was that I was sitting in the laundry room folding clothes, with the washer on, so she yelled at me. When it's quiet, she mews very quietly, but she evidently knew I wouldn't be able to hear her, so she yelled. She can make quite a noise when she wants to. And every time she  went toward the window, and she knew I was awake, she had to talk to me, even though I was in bed. I don't want to speak harshly to her, but somehow she's going to have to learn that you don't bother mommy when she's in bed, or if you do, there are consequences. Even Buster had to learn that. He got thrown out the bedroom door any number of times when he was a kitten. The floors were carpeted on Champine.


The pair of geese are still dabbling out in front of the house. I think it's the same pair I've had in past years. The report is that the raptors are coming through and people are walking (!) up to the top of Brockway to see them, because the road is still closed and snow-covered. I'd love to see them some year, but I'm certainly not in any kind of shape to walk up Brockway! This is at least a month early for them.


I haven't heard very may birds around here, except for the geese and the ravens, but when I got out of my car in Laurium, they were twittering in the trees like they think it's spring. So at least the birds think spring has come. I hope they're right. Just what we don't need now is a blizzard and a frigid April and May. So far, it doesn't sound like that will happen.


I've been watching the camera these clear evenings, and I'm very satisfied with the way it handles the sun shining in. It can accommodate the brightness better than any other camera I've had. There are no streaks or blobs. The area around the sun is overexposed, of course, but the rest of the picture is just fine, thank you. Well, I suppose that the technology would get better in 10 years. I was suspicious because it's sold as a webcam for things like Skype, and they don't say much about its ability to handle very light or very dark conditions. It does both very well, thank you.


Now I want to write a bit and then I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour again. It's a clear, warm night in the field. My, but I'm talkative tonight!


March 17

St. Patrick's Day is another day I don't celebrate. I'm not Irish and I'm not Catholic. In fact, the ancestors I know about who came from Ireland were Orangemen - from Northern Ireland.


I wrote 6200 words and I still didn't get to the part I really wanted to write, but even so I got to bed late. The first time I woke up I think it was a growl of thunder that brought me to. While I was up, there was a very nice light show out over the end of Keweenaw Point, but there wasn't any rain. So I went back to bed and the next time i woke up was something like 11:30. 


Then I started knitting, and I found several errors in past rows that I had to fix. Fortunately, I could fix them without ripping back four or five rows. I'm being more careful about counting the stitches in each repeat, because that was what I didn't do. I think I spent more time struggling with the dark teal yarn than I did knitting, but I think I have it under control now. It seems like the ball has gotten inverted, but all that means is that I can unravel from the outside now. It was a real mess, and it still is, but I hope it's a little more manageable now.


Today was wash day, so I got right at that on my way to the kitchen and the last two loads are in the dryer now. I still have a load of fleece, but since it doesn't look like I'll be wearing that - except for Debbie's present - It can wait until tomorrow. The big thing I did was to  finally - finally! - fold up and put away all the clothes from the last two times I've washed. At least two times. I can finally almost walk around in the laundry room. If i get the fleece washed and put away, I should be able to get to the counter, which means I should be able to do some ironing.


The weather was amazing again. It was clear all day, and the temperature got up to 71º here - 76º in Houghton. There was some southwest wind earlier, but by the time I got the doors open, it was dying down, and it has been warm and quiet for several hours. This isn't even May weather - this is July weather! If it weren't for the bare trees and the ice around he edges of the harbor, I'd think maybe I'd been asleep for five months. It was humid, too, with relative humidity in the 70% range, and the barometer is dropping slowly. They are saying it may be a bit cooler tomorrow, but they weren't predicting this today, either. There may be another rumble of thunder early in the morning, but tomorrow is supposed to be clear and warm, too. Amazing. The Marquette NWS station is reporting records with a tone of awe in their bulletins. It sure has been a strange winter!


Jasmine came upstairs early - or about the time I did, maybe. She started out lying in the sun, but as it got warmer, she moved into the shade and she looked quite content. She has been delighted that  the doors were cracked a bit. She particularly likes the studio door, because that's where the birds are when the feeders are out, but she mews at me when she comes in and every time I move, she runs away.


We have a pair of geese, who were dabbling out in front for most of the afternoon, burbling at each other, until one of them started honking. Male, I presume. That intrigued Jasmine, too, but I don't think she could see them. 


Even with the doors open, it's 84º n here. I thought it might get warm, so I put on a tee with my sweat pants, and if my cotton knit pants had been folded, I probably would have worn them. I've been doing some sweating. 


So that was my day, and I did accomplish something, I'm glad to say. Now I will go up to the north end, because I have to fill the pill dispensers before I take my bath and go to bed early, We have 12 hours of daylight, and gaining. Now it's a warm, calm evening in the field.


March 16

So now we're halfway through March and I never noticed.


I finished part 9 last night - about 39,000 words - and I started part 10. This one has some really good writing and some really good situations in it but it also has a lot of stuff that I've decided needs to be left out, so it will require a lot of rewriting. After I stopped writing, I read ahead, into a really good scene, so it was 1:30 before I got to bed with no bath.  I wasn't planning to get up early, but around 8:30 I woke up having to pee but also with a leg cramp. I stopped fighting it around 9:00, and my initial idea was to go back to bed, but instead, I got up and knitted for a couple of hours.


It's not that this is such an engrossing project, although it is fun. The ball of dark teal yarn apparently got wound so badly that the whole center is tangled up, and i keep hoping to get rid of the tangles. I haven't so far, and in the course of the day, I've finished the all-teal part and gone on to the mixture of teal and very dark navy. I still have to stop every so often and untangle things, because I'm now knitting on 256 stitches (#8 needles - not all lace is knit on small needles), and that uses a lot of yarn.  I still have quite a way to go before I get rid of the teal. If i want to use it for something else, I'll have to rewind the ball. 


So I was late getting to the office and late finishing my surfing. My Schwan's man came today and now I have lots more good stuff, including a thing or two I've never tried before. I had a shrimp scampi dish I got at Pat's tonight, and while it smelled horrible when I opened the bag, after it was well cooked, it wasn't bad at all. I probably won't get it again, but it was definitely edible. Since I couldn't get any shrimp lo mein, I got a couple different brands of shrimp scampi. I'm toying with the idea of stopping at Pat's on Sunday and seeing if I can get my lo mein, some more JD, and not much else...but when have I ever gone into a supermarket and gotten only what I had on my list? We'll see.


I should have stuck my head outside today. The temperature got up to 56º for a couple of hours this afternoon, which may or may not break the record set back in 2009. There was hardly any wind for most of the day (from the south or southwest) although at times it got a bit gusty. The sky had all those cirrus clouds in it for most of the day, but they didn't interfere with the sunshine for most of the day. The temperature in the studio got up to 76º. If it gets any warmer, I'll have to open either a window or the door.


I heard Jasmine several times today, but I didn't see her until I came back to the studio with my dinner. She was sitting on a piece of cloth beside the pale blue ottoman (why is it that cats preferably sit on something, even a piece of paper, rather than on the bare floor?) and she immediately went under the couch after she mewed at me. When I took the frozen stuff downstairs, I checked her pans, and she has spoken about her preferences - the big yellow one for hard stuff, and the smaller blue one for the rest. The other two, including Buster's favorite very small one, have footprints in them, but she hasn't used them. O-o-o-kay. They all have their preferences. What intrigues me is that all the cats I have had since I got the big yellow trays use them exclusively for hard stuff. I understand why they would use a separate tray for that, but why the big yellow one? I mean, it's huge. If I could understand stuff like that, maybe I'd be a better cat person.


I thought about several things I might do, but I didn't. I did my surfing and I knitted while the talking was on, at least until it was time for dinner. Oh, well. Nothing is going away.


Now I think I will write some more - I really like the next several scenes - and I may decide to take a bath tonight. I have been sweating enough that I'm not sure my hair will last another day. Now it's a warm, partly cloudy night in the field and it might rain a bit tonight. Hope so. We need the moisture.


March 15

It was another one of those nights. I wrote over 6600 words, so I was late to begin with, and then when I got up to the north end, instead of going right to bed, I started fooling with the shawl. Finally, I realized I wasn't going to fix my problem then, even if I stayed up for the rest of the night. I had a little trouble going to sleep, but in the meantime, I realized how to fix the shawl without ripping out four whole rows. I didn't get up until after noon, and then I knitted another row, where I discovered I had made an error in another place that required me to rip out a few stitches and do them over - back four rows and all of the stitches decreases. Ugh. I got that done, finally, but then I had to go running off to the post office right after I ate. I missed the pickup anyway, but it's not vital.


I did most of my surfing after I got home from the post office, although I didn't do my jigsaw or my crosswords. I took a chance on some yarn from Craftsy, and I like it, although it's a little dark for summer, with dark red to maroon and black or navy. It's cotton and linen, so it will make a nice non-winter sweater. I originally thought I would make another short sleeved pullover (read: high class tee) but I have enough for a long sleeve cardigan, so I don't know exactly what I'll do with it. Most of these Craftsy deals sell out quickly - over half of them are sold out before I ever get to the site - so I wanted to get this one. There's a skein of cashmere on its way, too, in a color that looked like turquoise to me, although I don't know how accurate the color rendition is. It's lace weight, so I can have a cashmere stole, I think. I really just wanted to feel it and see how much softer (if any) it is than alpaca.


It was another rather warm day, although not as warm as yesterday. The temperature got up to 45º for the afternoon, and there was almost no wind at all. It was mostly sunny, with a lot of high cirrus clouds in the sky for most of the afternoon. It's supposed to clear up tonight, so maybe I'll be able to watch the planets set.


It's amazing how much of the snow is gone. There are still piles, of course, and there is still a whole lot in the shade in the trees, but slowly the road is getting better and we have little running streams down the hills. Now that the snow is going, I want it gone. It's supposed to be warm and dry for most of the next ten days or so, which is good for getting rid of the snow, but we need moisture in the spring.


The barometer was high today, so I felt pretty good, but I wasn't awake long enough to do anything, and I'm going to try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It may be hard, because I'm getting toward the end of the story and I want to write.


I heard Jasmine this afternoon, but I didn't see her, although I admit I didn't look real hard. It was sunny enough that I thought she might sleep upstairs again.


Now I will write a little before I toddle off to take a bath and try to get to bed early. I'm beginning to get my scalp back in shape, and I want to continue with that. It's a partly cloudy night in the field and there may be a star or two.


March 14

I wrote about 5500 words last night, then I fooled around a bit, and I took a bath, so I was late getting to bed again. I slept relatively well, and I got up about 9:30. Then I sat down and finished the stole! Wow! I don't remember when I originally started it, but I think it was probably the winter of 2003-2004, but when I got to the lily-of-the-valley square, I didn't know how to do nupps, so I put it aside. Last year, not only did I have a book on Estonian lace, I had the raspberry stole to practice on, so sometime last summer, I started it again, and I've knitted on it at least five days out of seven for an hour to an hour and a half ever since. This is by far the biggest project I've ever attempted, and while I feel quite a sense of accomplishment at having finished it, I wish it wasn't done. I've really enjoyed doing it. In the course of finishing it, I've found all sorts of errors I made, but it looks pretty good, or it will when It's "dressed", and I may even wear it.


Anyway, running in all those ends took a long time, so I was late getting to the studio, and about all I did was to look over my taxes and get the form signed that I have to send back to my accountant. When the talking started, I knitted on the new shawl, and I was making good progress when I had to stop and untangle a mess that had developed on the ball I'm knitting from. Well, I didn't pull the needles far enough out, and after a while I discovered that a whole bunch of stitches had come off the needles and I've lost a marker. The way the stitches unraveled, I can't pick them up, or I don't think I can, so I'm going to have to rip back four or five rows (almost 200 stitches a row now) to get it straightened out. Grr. Double grr.


The weather was amazing again, and I should have stuck my nose outside, at least. It was partly cloudy all day, and the temperature got up to 60º at 7:00. There was quite a wind from the southwest, with gusts up to 30 mph, earlier in the day, but it has now died down to nothing. And by 8:00, the temperature had dropped to 45º for no apparent reason.


Jasmine was upstairs when I got to the studio, and she was sitting on the couch in the one patch of sunlight that was coming in then. Later, she moved to the dark blue chair, and again, she was waiting when I came back to the studio with my dinner, then she jumped down and I think she went to see what she had for dinner. With not a whole lot to do, food is getting a bit more interesting to her. I'd play with her if she'd let me.


When I went to get my dinner, Venus and Jupiter were shining in high in the west, and I was amazed by how much Venus has moved since the last time I saw her. Then, they were about parallel to the horizon (at about 9:00 from Venus to Jupiter) and now Jupiter is at about 7:00. I suppose Jupiter has moved a bit, but Venus is much closer and moves much faster.


So that was my day, and now I think I will write for a while again before I totter up to the north end. It's a partly clear, calm, relatively warm night in the field.


March 13

I wrote about 3300 words last night, until I came to a scene that is probably going to be long. I think I was in bed around 10:30 or so. I didn't sleep well, and I don't know quite why, except that I was up a lot from the rest of my fish. It was a windy night, but usually that wouldn't bother me. Anyway, I got up around 9;00 this morning and I wove in a few loose ends on the stole before I got dressed, did a bit of my surfing and went off to see Johanna.


She seems to be doing well, but she is going down to Mayo next week to see about her problems. I pray for her. We exchanged news about town and we had a nice conversation. I feel much better. Part of that is the barometer, but my back was all stiff again. About three weeks is as long as I can go without getting it unkinked.


I came home via the post office, where my taxes had come, and the store, for eggs, and I didn't do anything but the rest of my surfing. I did knit on the new shawl, and I got it back to where it was when I thought I'd made a mistake, but that was a horrible problem, because the two yarns had gotten all twisted and re-twisted and then they began to melt together. I finally got everything straight, with the help of the bright sunshine, but it was a chore. Memo to self: check and recheck several times before you start ripping, at least when you're using two yarns held together!


Our road is a mess. It's nearly bare in my driveway and down to the culverts, but going up the other side, toward US-41, is a skating rink. There is one spot, going up, where Ron skidded toward the trees twice and I skidded in the same place. It's really horrible. I hope that the warmth and the wind helped it some, but it has a way to go to get down to the gravel. The trouble is, that part of the road faces north and is in the trees, so it doesn't get very much sun at any time and it always melts last. 


It was another amazing weather day, the kind I'd expect we might have in April. The temperature last night never went below 40º, and there was a very strong northwest wind. The wind didn't peak until around 1:00 this afternoon, when the gusts hit 40 mph. The temperature got up to 50º late this afternoon. It was cloudy all night and until around 11:00 this morning, when it began to clear up, and it was clear and sunny all afternoon. It's supposed to be clear tonight, too, so maybe I'll see my planets set, like I did Sunday morning. The barometer is on its way up, so I should feel better tomorrow.


I didn't think Jasmine was upstairs this afternoon, and then when I came by on my way to get dinner, there she was sleeping in the dark blue chair for a change. She looked up when I went by, and when I came back with my dinner, she was sitting up looking at me, but she didn't move when I went by. Just now, she actually came into the studio and mewed at me. I guess she was looking out the patio doors to see if there was a critter. That's very brave of her, and I think she is really beginning to calm down a bit.


So now I will write for a while and maybe get this next scene done, and then I have to tak e a bath. It's a clear, warm night in the field and the wind is dying down.


March 12

I was so tired and sore last night that I went up to the north end rather early and I was in bed before 10:30. When I went up to the north end, Venus and Jupiter were shining brightly in the west, but before I conked out, they were gone as the clouds moved in. It was cute: right after I turned out the light, Jasmine came down the hall meowing in an interrogative way (or so I thought), so i answered her, then I said, "I'm not sick, I'm just tired," and she went away. So she evidently is a bit concerned about me, especially when my routine changes. And I think she can understand me a bit, she just won't trust me very much.  I slept well, but with a number of wakeups, as is usual after I've eaten fish. The first time I got up, I could hardly walk at all, which made getting into the bathroom interesting. There are spots where I can either hang onto something or lean on something, but for a couple of steps between the nightstand and the bathroom door, I have to walk unattended. Wow, was I stiff! The later ones were better.


I finally rolled out of bed just before 10:00, so I should have gotten enough sleep. I spent well over an hour working on the stole, and there are now no stitches on any kind of needles or stitch holders. Whee! I still have almost all the loose ends to work in, but in a couple of days, I should have it ready to block. The plan is not to block that as the first project. I still have the stole and shawl I knitted last year to block, so I'll practice on those. I guess finally it's time to get the blocking boards out and start. I've left the dining room table opened out so it's all ready for me. Blocking is not one of my favorite tasks.


Right after breakfast, I had one of the worst accidents I've had in a long time, which always depresses me. I think this one was unavoidable. Anyway, I had to wash everything from the waist down, including my compression hose and me, so that took some time.


Otherwise, late this afternoon I took out the other shawl I've been working on, and for some reason I thought I'd done something wrong, so I ripped out eight or nine rows before I realized that no, it was right the first time. So now I have to knit up those eight or nine rows again. Grr. Double grr. This is the one with the pattern that looks like fish scales and I think it will be pretty if I ever get it done. The colors shade from light teal through navy blue to purple or rose (I can't remember right now) and those are all my colors. It's a half circle with a neckline. 


The weather was the kind that makes me ache all over, and boy, did I! The barometer plummeted and the dew point rose and we had a quarter inch of rain (which I missed altogether, if it ever got to this end of the harbor). The temperature got up to 46º briefly, but for most of the day it was in the low 40s. There was a wind that varied from the west to the south and back, and at its peak, there were 29 mph gusts. It was dull and cloudy for most of the day except for a few rays of sunshine between 5:00 and 6:00. Not a good day for the arthritis.


It's nice to have the sun setting at almost 8:00, except that I can't turn on the lights in the studio and If I want to write (which I do), I have to do it by the light of an itty-bitty task light, which isn't the best. However, I'll cope. 


I think Jasmine hibernated today. I didn't see her. Even though it's rather cool in the basement, I guess she prefers it down there when the sun isn't out. I think there are probably a few corners where it's warmer, although there aren't any soft cushions down there...unless she has burrowed into a box of fabric of some sort. I don't know if she's done that, but I've had several cats who did.


Someone somewhere that I read said that when spring comes the crows start cawing. Well, the crows are cawing in the bird feeder tree and on the deck. They are noisy birds! Now that the deck is completely clear of snow, I guess it's time to get the feeders out and lure back my little birds before the migration starts. I'm afraid it will also lure back the squirrel that bugged me all last summer, and I may have to break down and get a live trap and get rid of the pesky critter. We'll see. I've always thought it would be good to have a small-critter sized live trap around anyway, and this might be a good time to get one.


Late this afternoon, I got so sleepy that I actually laid down for an hour. I didn't sleep, and it didn't do much good, although I stopped yawning. You'd think I'd have had enough sleep last night! So I'm not quite sure whether to try to write a bit or just totter up to the north end and give up.


It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but I think most of the rain is over for now.


March 11

I was a good girl and I went right up to the  north end and did my thing, and I was in bed by 10:00 EDT. I didn't sleep well. It was very warm in the bedroom and I had all sorts of aches and pains. However, I was just starting to do it pretty good when the alarm went off, of course.


I made it to church, which was very nice, and then I went off to Pat's where I didn't do as much damage as usual for some reason, but I got a lot of very nice stuff to eat right now. They were out of my favorite lo mein noodles with shrimp, darn it, but I got a lot of interesting frozen stuff, as well as a rotisserie chicken (of course) and some other things. I remembered to get the two things I've been thinking about, but there was another thing that occurred to me early last week that I don't remember.


One thing I got, on a whim, was a nice piece of fresh salmon, and since fish doesn't keep, I cooked it tonight, by broiling it in the toaster oven. Well, it isn't really a toaster oven. It's a countertop convection oven that broils and toasts (but not very well). Anyway, it was just the right size for my salmon and it uses a whole lot less electricity than the big ovens do. Anyway, the salmon was delicious, one of the nicest pieces I've gotten from anybody. It was a large piece, and I should have cut it in half, since I'd eaten a rather late lunch. I'll have enough to warm up for tomorrow. The chicken will just sit.


I was hurting by the time I got home, and I'm still hurting. My legs feel like they are about to fall off at the knees, and besides that, I have been having shooting pains in my right shin. That's usually a sign of cellulitis, so when I take off my compression hose tonight, I will lay on some bactraban. I hope that's not what I've gotten again, but it sure feels like it.


I did my afternoon surfing with some difficulty, since the connection seemed very slow. Finally, it went to about nothing, and I called PastyNet. Apparently there is some kind of problem at the Mountain Lodge, which Charlie thought they were fixing, but it's still just about down two hours later, so whatever they did, didn't fix it. I hope I'll get to upload this tonight.


The weather was remarkable. When I got to the studio, the temperature was 50º, and it got up to 51º at 10:00. Then it dropped off a bit, but it was in the middle 40s all day. It was almost completely clear until about 5:30, when the clouds started to move in. There was a remarkable sunset, which, unfortunately, I missed. I was doing other things right then. The camera caught it, and I sure wish I had, too.


It was 54º in Calumet when I was pumping gas, and there were so many people out with short sleeved shirts on. Yoopers are tough, and they will come out at the first sign of a warm, sunny day. They had a whole lot more snow around there than we had here, but that usually happens.


Jasmine spent the afternoon sleeping in the pale blue chair, but then she moved over into the pink chair as the sun started to go down. She mewed at me, but she didn't move. I'm getting hopeful. She mewed as I went by with my dinner, and I wondered if she wanted some, although she doesn't seem to like fish very well, but she would have to come to me to get it. 


So that was my day. It would be tonight that I have pictures to upload, but I'll do my best to get everything up there.


Now it's a warm, cloudy night in the field, and it's going to rain tomorrow. Yuck.


March 10

I don't remember why I was late last night, but I was. The wind was blowing hard when I went to bed, but it was warm, so I kept waking up hot. I think I got up around 9:00 and I finished the top band of the stole, except to bind off. Since I didn't take my beeswax, I started working in all the ends. There are a few more ends, too. I used up almost an entire ball, and the last few yards were mostly in pieces about a foot long. I found enough to do the bind-off, but I had to join a new thread right on the last row. I don't like working in all those ends, but it's my own fault. When the first ball started to fall apart, I should have started a new one right then. I have plenty of yarn. In fact, I have a whole ball left, which doesn't make me love the pattern. On the other hand, I have something like 870 yards of yarn, which would make at least one scarf, maybe two. I can do some of the lovely lace patterns I've been collecting all these years.


Anyway, I didn't do much else. I ran the dishwasher last night, so I unloaded it this morning. I don't know why I don't do that all the time. It only takes a couple of minutes. Other than my surfing, I dug into one of he boxes in the studio and found the fabric and pattern for the bible cover. I've decided ti do it on even weave even though it isn't quite as black as the aida is. The idea of working on aida just turned me off. I really don't like the look of that fabric. I guess I will use it if I do a pattern that's all stitched, because it is easier to work on, but otherwise, it's even weave for me, preferably linen, but this is a cotton blend and it will be just fine. I also found a whole lot of other stuff that I've finished the embroidery on but never put together. Some of the things are very pretty, but they need sewing and backing and all that stuff. Ugh.


The weather was very springlike. The temperature got up to 46º briefly, and there was a strong southwest wind, with gusts up to 35 mph in the morning. It has now gone calm. It was cloudy when I got up, but soon the clouds went away and it was clear and sunny all day. It was nice.


Jasmine came upstairs, and when I made one trip to the potty, she was hiding behind the end of the couch mewing at me. Later on, she got up on the pale blue chair and when I came through with my dinner, she was sound asleep. She used to sleep there with Buster, so I'm a bit encouraged.


Now I need to go up to the north end and change those clocks so I get up tomorrow morning. It's bath and bed for me, and I would have gone early anyway. I haven't had enough sleep lately.


It's a clear, calm night in the field.


March 9

Well, I did it again. I wrote over 7000 words, so that made me late already, then I fooled around (I don't remember at what) so I was extremely late getting to bed. Then I got up at 10:00, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I think I am going to have to forgo the writing tonight and crash.


Anyway, I knitted a few rows on the stole, and it's coming along. Pretty soon I will have to get out the beeswax and the needle and start binding off. That isn't the end of it, though, because I have a whole lot of ends to weave in, and then I have to block it. This has been a major project, for sure.


I was about to say I didn't do anything, but I did do something. I cleaned Jasmine's litter trays. Whew! Maybe the next time I'll be good and not wait so long. While I was down in the basement, I found my Anchor floss and brought it upstairs. I have two projects now that need it, one for the wedding and one for a bible cover that I put aside a long time ago. I know I'll do the wedding thing, but the bible cover panel is on black, and I don't know about that. It is aida, so maybe I'll do it. I don't like aida very well, but it was much blacker than the other fabric I had and it went with the fabrics I got to make the cover out of. One of these days, I may have to start taking things downstairs again.


It was a beautiful but cold day. It was very windy overnight, with gusts that got up to 45 mph about the time I went to bed. I could hear the lake roaring and the wind slamming against the house from the north. It was good weather to sleep. It was apparently cloudy overnight, but around 10:00 it began to clear up and the afternoon was sunny and pretty. The temperature only got up to 28º, and the wind has died down, Since the sun set, the temperature is plummeting, although it's not supposed to get all that cold.


Jasmine was in the great room when I went downstairs. She meowed at me, but she didn't move. When I came back she was gone, but I don't know where. I have a suspicion that at times lately she's been sleeping in the bathroom. At least, the rug there has gotten a bit dirty. She's a very clean kitty, but she does track stuff around on her feet and there is lots of stuff on the floors for her to track.


When I went to get some dinner, Venus and Jupiter, which are in conjunction for the next week or so, were shining brightly high in the west. Venus is the evening star about every two years, and this is the spring and summer for it. It's still very high in the sky, so it will be our evening star for quite a while. I guess Saturn is gone, but Mars is rising in the east around sunset now. It would be nice if it would stay clear all night, but it isn't supposed to. With the moon just past full, it's hard to see anything else but planets anyway, and I don't know if there would be any northern lights anyway.


So that was my day. I felt much better and less creaky today, and when I checked, the barometer was high, although it's fallen a bit from it's high. It interests me that I can correlate how much my arthritis hurts to how low the barometer is. I wonder if there's fluid or something in the joints that expands when the air pressure is low. I had no problem at all going downstairs. Coming up was a problem, but by that time I'd been standing for quite a while. It's nice when I can perambulate easily.


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


March 8

I wrote about 4900 words last night, so that was good, but then I did something else I don't remember, so it was 1:00 or later when I got to bed. I slept well, and I didn't get up until after 10:00. I knitted, and I have now done about half the top border of the stole. It's getting there.


I had an accident this morning for the second day in a row, and I was changing my clothes when Vicky called to say that there was an ad committee meeting tonight, so instead of putting on my sweats, I got dressed. I didn't do much of anything else, because not only is Thursday the day when there's a lot to read, Herrschners was having a sale and I wanted to look at what they had...every cross stitch kit they have was on sale. I didn't see anything I absolutely had to have, fortunately. That took a long time, and then there was all my daily surfing, so there wasn't much time for anything else.


I went to the meeting, and it was just Vicky, Ron and me, and then Vicky announced that she has quit. Oh, dear. Politics in small towns can get so messy. I guess I'd better go to the next CHIA meeting and see what's going to happen now. There are some conditions under which I'd quit, too.


The weather was rather cold. It did get up to 30º for the afternoon, but that was all. It was also quite clear, more so than the forecasts, which was nice. It was windy overnight, but not so much today. It was nice to see some more sunshine, but we're under a lake effect snow watch overnight, so we won't see any northern lights. Of course not. If there's something up in the sky we're supposed to see, of course it will be cloudy.


Jasmine came upstairs sometime in the afternoon, and when I left to go to town, she was sitting  up in the dark blue chair, with the sun behind her, meowing at me. She has really lovely whiskers. She sat there while I passed by, but when I came home, she was gone. I don't know where. 


So that's about all I have to report. Now I will write some more and maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed a tad earlier tonight. I'm tired. It's turning into a cloudy, windy and maybe snowy night in the field.


March 7

I only wrote about 2500 words last night - I finished one scene and the next one is probably a long one, but then I had to read a catalog, so I was late taking my bath and I think it was about 1:00 when I got to bed. I woke up around 9:00 - not nearly enough sleep - and I had to pee, so I got up. I had some things I wanted to do this morning, and I thought I might get a phone call. 


I had to print my first note card on the new printer and it worked all right, except that it appears that I ran out of cyan ink right after the first of the two cards printed. At least, the second one has almost no blue in it at all. I'm not surprised. A lot of things I print have lots of blue in them. My colors are all running low, but evidently there is no way to find out for sure there is no ink. Otherwise, there wasn't a problem. I like that new printer, except for the automatic feed, which doesn't work. Sometime I may have to pursue that with HP.


Then it was off to the post office to mail the card and then to Carolyn's for the afternoon. That was fun, except that there were so many people there that my poor hearing cut in and I couldn't hear all the conversations I wanted to. The other Sharon brought her latest lap quilt, which is really neat and beautifully pieced and finished as usual, and Carolyn had been fooling around with a real interesting pattern called puzzle that she had gotten a pattern for. So we had a good time.


The only problem is that the temperature went up to 48º and our road and most parking lots are skating rinks. I was very careful with my walking, and I think I'll probably be hibernating for a while, except to go to church, the food store and the gas station on Sunday. I don't know what would happen if I fell down. My driveway was so slippery that when I started down the straight part at my usual speed, I ended up rather close to a tree trunk...I was a little more careful after that. 4WD all the way.


Anyway, the temperature was 48º from 10:00 until 2;00 and then it began to drop off. It's down to 35º now and tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be cold. I hope so. I was amazed by how much snow I lost on my deck. There are still big drifts about halfway down, but a lot of the bare decking is showing. There wasn't much wind for most of the day and it was gray and dark. About the time I left Carolyn's, a little after 3:00, there were some raindrops. Yuck. I hate it when the thaw sets in.


I didn't see or hear Jasmine all day, but then, I was gone for a while this afternoon. I wouldn't blame her for hibernating. I would have, too, if I hadn't wanted to go to Carolyn's.


So that was my day. I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I think (or I hope) I'll be going to bed early tonight. I did get a number of rows on the stole done, but that's 141 stitches and it goes slowly. I'd like to write a bit, but I don't know about that. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field and something may be coming down besides the temperature.


March 6

I wrote about 5000 words last night. Like I said, That scene was a long one. Then I fooled around a bit, and I was in bed before 1:00, which was good. I was up several times because I was so sore I couldn't sleep. The barometer has been going down, and that seems to be one thing that triggers my arthritis. 


I got up about 9:00 for that reason, and I decided to stay up. It didn't do my plans for the day any good, though. I finished the side band on the stole and set up and started the top band. That's 141 stitches, so it will go slowly. And the bind off is sewn, which isn't my favorite, but I want the ends to look the same, and I did a special cast on that should be the same. Anyway, I can see the end now. I was happy that with all the picked up stitches and increases, I came out right on the pattern. I used a lot of stitch markers, and that helped a lot. Of course, after i finish the top, then I have to go back and weave in a whole bunch of loose ends I got when I was knitting off that ball the moths got at. So I'm not there yet, but it's coming.


Ron came by and did the driveway this morning, which I appreciated. It was good to get it done before it began to melt. I think I can get in the breezeway door again, which I may have to. The door didn't go down when I tried it this morning, but it seemed OK when I went out to the garage this afternoon. I think the hinges get ice in them and then the opener won't let it go down unless I override it from the switch.


I didn't do a whole lot more. I had to go down into the basement, and I took a couple of bottles of kitty litter with me. I almost didn't make it. Going down just killed my knees. I had to get stuff out of the freezer to eat, though, I came up with a big bagful of stuff that should see me through until Sunday. Somehow, I can never make it come out even so that the OJ and the dinner stuff comes out the same. There are some other things down there I want to eat, but my bag was full and so was the freezer when I put everything in it, so I'll have to wait for another day to get the soup and the turkey noodles.


The weather was amazing. It wasn't clear overnight, and it was overcast when I got up, but before I got to the studio it cleared up and it was mostly clear for the rest of the afternoon, until not long before sunset, when it clouded up again, or so I thought. When I came back to the studio with my dinner, the moon was shining in the upper back windows, a little hazy but not clouded over. The high temperature got to 41º, and it was 39º for most of the afternoon. There was quite a southwest wind for a while, with gusts up to 28 mph, but it died down later and it's calm now. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Yuck.


Jasmine was upstairs again today, and at one point I came through and found her all tucked in on the light blue ottoman. We had a short conversation, but it really seems she is calming down a bit. Or at least, I hope so. She enjoyed sitting in the sun.


So now I will write a while again. I think I can do the next scene tonight, but I have to wash my hair. Now it's a partly cloudy, warm night in the field.


March 5

Well, I wrote around 1500 words, then I stopped because the next part is long, but I started fooling around and it was 1:30 before I got to bed. I slept well. Sometime around 5:00 I woke up and the gibbous moon - it looked a lot like those eggs we were drawing on the other day - was setting over the lighthouse. It was so bright it lit up the room. And way up in the sky was a very bright star - Arcturus, my summer star! It was a lovely clear night. The moon turned yellow as it set, and it was really pretty to watch. The moon was in Leo, so my sign was setting. The winter stars are off in the west at nightfall now. Anyway, I went back to sleep and I got up around 10:30. I knitted, and I only have about 36 rows to go before I'm done with the side band and I can start on the top band. I'm really sorry this project is coming to an end (except for the finishing, of course). I've had a lot of fun with it.


I ended up not doing much else. I did my surfing, and by then it was time to go to the post office. I didn't go for the mail, although there were a lot of magazines and a couple of packages, but because I had forgotten to write Ron a check for the parts for the blower last week. He goes to town on Tuesdays, and I wanted him to have the check to deposit.


The weather was cold. Not surprisingly, with the clear skies, it was about 3º all night long. It warmed up to 28º this afternoon. There wasn't any wind. From about 10:45 to 1;15 it was sunny and almost clear, and then it clouded up and snowed a few flakes around 2:30. There was a short clear stretch between 4:30 and 5:00 and then it clouded over again. It might snow overnight. I found it raw and nasty when I was out.


Speaking of snow, the report is that they had 18" on Saturday up at Delaware. We didn't have quite that much here, but probably 6" or 8". It's hard to tell because it was so windy. Anyway, that puts our official seasonal total at 189", so now I'm thinking it's pretty sure we'll hit 200" for the season. I doubt we'll get to 242", which is our average, but this might turn out to be an OK winter after all.


I was talking to my CPA this afternoon when i heard a meow, and Jasmine was sitting in the great room looking at me. She wandered around and at one point she went after a fly (yes, the cluster flies are still around) and another time she went dashing into the vestibule, probably after another fly. It really looks like she's relaxing a little.


I was interested to discover that my CPA's son is graduating from the same college I did 50 years ago. Gad! I can't believe it was that long ago! Anyway, we have more in common than we knew, and we've always had a lot in common. So we had a nice conversation and I will get a few dollars back from the state, which is nice.


Now I will write a bit more and maybe get through the next scene, before I totter up to the north end. It's a cloudy, cold night in the field. 


March 4

So last night, I took my bath and I was in bed by 10:00. I slept, except not very deeply between 5:00 and 7:00. I was up around 5:00 after not only having the potty dream but dreaming that I was dreaming the potty dream! Wow, talk about confusing! I finally decided I'd better get up before I wet the bed. After that, I didn't sleep very well.


I got up, made breakfast and checked the weather. Not only was it still snowing here, it was about 12º here and 10º in Houghton. After thinking hard about it, I bailed and went back to bed. I had dreams then, too, but I did get about three more hours' sleep, and I got up around noon. I knitted, and I have only about 80 more rows to go - sounds like a lot, but it isn't, since each row only has 15 stitches in it. I can do 40 rows in a little over an hour. So that's coming along.


I got dressed and finished my surfing, and after playing around a bit, I got back at the writing and I finished part 8. It came out at 60,501 words, the longest part yet. I guess that would be novel-length. Some of the parts are quite short and some are quite long. I think the thing to do, when I get around to going back over the whole thing, is to see if I can lengthen the short parts. I'm not sure how I could shorten the long parts, particularly this one. A lot goes on in it.


The weather was cold, cold, cold. The temperature did eventually get up to 16º and stayed there. The wind had died down to nothing by midnight. It was mostly cloudy all day, and the camera took some dramatic pictures. There was a ray or two of sunshine, but not much. There was a little snow, but only a few flurries. I was glad to stay in.


Jasmine spent most of the afternoon upstairs, and late in the afternoon, she curled up on top of the back cushion of the light blue chair and went soundly to sleep. She looked at me but she didn't move when I went through. That chair is over by the front windows, so she's well out of reach. Earlier in the day, she spoke to me and went running up the stairs to the loft, but she stopped when I spoke back and came down to the landing. She sat there for some time, looking at me, before she went running off toward the basement stairs. I don't like to get my hopes up, but this is a little bit different behavior than recently. She played with her ball in the groove a lot, too.


So that was a quiet day. I've written the first few paragraphs of part 9, which isn't quite as long as part 8. There was a folded piece of paper in the book with some notes on it that don't make any sense, but I wrote them a very long time ago. So I will forge ahead and see where I go.


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


March 3

I only wrote about 3000 words last night, but I was about to start a new scene, so I quit. I think I got to bed about 12:30, and I slept. I had to get up just before 9:00, and when I went to get back into bed and realized what time it was, I got up. I knitted, and I'm about three--quarters done with the left hand edging. So I will finish the stole sometime! Whee!


I didn't do anything with my longer day, I'm afraid. I didn't feel like it, and in the middle of the afternoon I was getting very sleepy. I should at least have written a bit, but instead i just fooled around. Oh, well.


It was snowing when I went to bed, and it's snowed light to medium all day. The wind began to kick up, too, and the gusts got up to 40 mph this morning. It's from the east-northeast, so all I can hear is the lake, which is roaring. I think the ice along the shore either melted or has been pushed out to sea, and now the lake is pounding the rocks again. I love that noise! The temperature dropped steadily from midnight, although it was around 19º all day. With that wind, the wind chill must be down around 0º or below. It was a good day to hibernate. About 3:00 they declared a lake effect snow event until 7:00 tomorrow morning.


Late this afternoon, I heard Jasmine rustling around in the great room, but she didn't talk again and I didn't see her. She pushed her ball around in the groove and scratched on something, I think just so I'll know she's still here. Just now she rustled around again and we had a short conversation. Poor Jasmine.


Now I think I will just go up to the north end and take a bath and go to bed early. I'm not sure I'll be able  to go to church tomorrow, what with the snow and the dogsled races, but I'll get up early and see how it looks. I am getting low on gas and I could shop for food. although I have another gallon of OJ before it gets critical. I am running low on yogurt and Chinese freezer meals, So we'll see.


Now it's a cold, windy and snowy night in the field.


March 2

I didn't even look to see when I got to bed last night, but I think it was probably around 1:00. I wrote about 4000 words, but I was late starting. I took a nice bath and I slept well. I got up a little after 10:00 and I knitted for a little while - not much - before I had a fast breakfast and did some of my surfing. Two whole days and no crosswords! What's going to happen?


Then I was off to the other Sharon's house for an afternoon of making Ukrainian eggs. It was a whole lot of fun. There were five of us, and Sharon is a very good teacher. I was disappointed in myself, because I can't draw a straight line without wiggling, but after all, it was and egg, and the tool was a new one for me. My second one came out neat, I thought, because I covered over a large area of one of the previous colors and ended up with a black background. When I look at both eggs, I'm satisfied for a first try at it, and I keep reminding  myself that ethnic artists who paint things for the tourist trade aren't very precise with their painting. I wish I could have avoided some of the blobs, but I was learning a bit better before I was done. Anyway, we all had a good time, and all our eggs came out very beautiful. Not very Ukrainian, but none of us have that background. They're all pretty, just the same.


So that was a fun way to spend an afternoon. The eggs are raw, and they will have to sit for several years before they are completely dried out, but eventually they will, and they'll last forever unless they get broken. Maybe I'll take a picture tomorrow.


This is nothing I'd want to take up as a full-time craft, but it was fun to learn a little bit about it, and if Sharon offers to have another class, I will want to go back. She also had a video of a Ukrainian lady doing eggs, and not only was I amazed by how easily she drew those straight lines, I was amazed by the beautiful embroidery on her blouse. I'm so glad these ethnic crafts are being passed down. Sharon said that when she first learned it, there was a big discussion in the Ukrainian community in Detroit that they shouldn't be teaching it to non-Ukrainians, but clearly most of them thought it was just fine.


My gouty finger has turned into a sausage and it doesn't want to bend at all, so that was another problem I faced. I may even have to make my middle finger do when I want to grasp something like a pen. I hate to, but right now, my finger is so stiff and so sore that I don't have much choice.


The weather was totally blah. There was no wind until after 11:00 this morning, when it settled down to about 5 mph from the east. The temperature was right around 34º all afternoon. It was cloudy, but it wasn't really dark, and there's a lot of light in Sharon's dining room. Blah. Really blah. I guess it's supposed to get cold overnight and snow tomorrow. The Copper Dog will go on, apparently.


I was listening to the talking when Jasmine started ripping into one of her scratching devices, but I haven't seen her and she hasn't spoken.


So that was my nice day, and I think I will write some more before I go up to the north end. It's a dark night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


March 1

Gosh, it's March! So now just when our winter gets going, it's getting to an end. Well...not so much. We have a couple more  months to go, but that's better than it was last October.


First, it seems like the camera software has gotten a mind of its own. It was working fine when it shut down last night. When it woke up this morning, it found a picture that wasn't even in the archive, latched onto it, and repeated it until I got to the studio. Unfortunately, it was an old picture of the inside of the studio. I have no clue where it ever came from, since it appears to be several weeks old. So I'm sorry if you spent the morning looking at my stuff. I hope it doesn't happen again!


I wrote at least 7500 words last night, and then i did something I don't remember, so I was very late getting to bed again. I slept, of course, and I got up around 10:30. I knitted, and I'm making slow progress on the stole. This afternoon, I went to the post office, where I mailed off my taxes (and forgot to call my CPA to warn her they're on their way) and I got a ton of mail, including a couple of things that aren't mine. Fortunately, I'll be seeing the other Sharon tomorrow, so the only thing I have to do is remember to take them.  I stopped at the store to get eggs and I think I made Kelly's day by telling her how much I enjoyed her sister's book. Among the mail I got was the makings for a gift for Amanda and Aaron's wedding. Oh, and bills. Always bills.


I was so late that I didn't do my crosswords today. Small loss. While the talking was going on, I knitted on the shawl, but one of my center-pull balls came to pieces, so i actually spent a most of my time untangling the thread and winding it up. These threads are about the thickness of #30 crochet cotton, except that since they're wool or alpaca, the fuzzies get all tangled up and it's hard to untangle them. I got it, though, and I think it will be clear sailing to the end of that color. Or I hope so. This is one that would look really neat as an accessory over my pea jacket, although I won't finish it this winter. The colors shade from teal at the top, through dark blue to shades of purple on the bottom. All colors I love, so even though the pattern is sort of boring, I'll persist.


I also had to uninstall the app that was supposed to be deleting tracking cookies and web  links. It kept hanging up IE, and even though I thought I disabled it, it was still working and blanking out a couple of entire web pages. Well, it was a good idea, but it just didn't work. I should report it to the company, and maybe i can do that tomorrow.


The weather was blah. I think it stopped snowing around dark last night, and it didn't snow anymore until late this afternoon. Or, I think it was snow. Something was hiding the mountain after about 5:00, which I guess was snow. The temperature was nearly steady between 30º and 32º and there was no wind. 


According to the final totals from the Road Commission, Delaware got 17" of snow on Sunday and  Monday, and another 10" yesterday. That gives us 51.3" for February and 171.3" for the year. That's good news. We won't set another new low, and we're within about 3" of our total for the entire 2010-2011 season, with two more months to go. We might even hit 200" for this year, or more. I hope so.


Of course, the road is a mess, and so is my driveway. The breezeway door is drifted in again and when I tried moving some of the snow, it's so heavy, I just gave up. Ron said he'd be by tomorrow morning, which will help. I may try again tomorrow to move some out of the path to the breezeway door.


It turned out I didn't need to worry about the door. I was expecting a package with some more quinoa to be delivered today, but it's stuck in Eagle River, WI, because of the weather and now it probably won't come until Monday. It makes some sense. The worst of the last two storms hit the Michigan-Wisconsin line a whole lot heavier than we got it. Over around Iron River, they were reporting 19" for yesterday.


The ironic thing is that a few days ago, the organizers of the Copper Dog dogsled races were worried that there wasn't enough snow, and now they think there's too much. Geez, guys! I would think that changing conditions would add to the interest in the race. The Iditarod doesn't worry about a few inches of new snow. I got those nuggets because I ran into Mary Ann at the post office, and she knows everything.


I haven't seen Jasmine, but she was upstairs early in the afternoon, about the time the talking came on, and she was complaining about something, probably no sunshine.


So now it's March. We have just over 11 hours of daylight, which is really nice, even when it's cloudy and it gets dark early. We're gaining time at about the greatest rate we ever do - 3m 23s a day, which is almost 24 minutes a week. Nice. And the equinox is in three weeks. Pretty soon it will be September again.


Now I think maybe I'll write for (hopefully) a little while before I toddle up to the north end to wash my hair. I'm going to learn how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs tomorrow, which sounds like it will be fun. 


It's a dark and possibly snowy night in the field.


last  updated 04/01/12 09:10 PM