A View From the Field








April 2012


April 30

I think I set  record last night. i was in bed by 9:00, and it was 5:19 when I looked at the clock and realized I needed to get to the bathroom - fast. I leaked a bit on the way, but I wasn't surprised. I can't tell you the last time I slept for 8 hours straight. I did move during that time - I rolled partway over from my left side to my side back. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to sleep so long. So then I went back to sleep and I didn't get up until nearly 9:30 this morning. I don't know if it did any good. I had a sinus headache when I got up, although that went away after I sat upright and blew my nose a lot. 


I knitted, although the shawl is getting big enough that I won't be able to do very many rows and I'll have to stop in the middle of one, like i did this morning. This is going to be a warm shawl, but I think it will be a pretty one.


Eventually I got dressed and fed the cat. I wasn't very hungry, so I had some cereal. It was good, but I was hungry again in the middle of the afternoon, which is my problem with cereal - not enough protein. I should try having quinoa for breakfast, since that has complete proteins in it. 


After I did  my surfing, I got at the wedding gift, and I worked on it for the rest of the afternoon, and it now done and ready for framing. It turned out pretty well, although I still don't like the colors very well. 


My usual routine was interrupted because Debbie called me and we talked for our usual couple of hours. First my phone started beeping, but I can go over to hands-free on the base unit. Then her phone started beeping, so we had to end it. All is well with her, and there have been no convulsions in her life, fortunately. It was nice to hear from her, and I was able to finish the wedding gift while I was talking to her, including ripping out the date and moving it. I didn't graph the date quite right, so it got miscounted and it wasn't centered.


The weather was blah. It was cloudy all day. The temperature was nearly steady, around 44. There was a southwest wind that got gusty during the afternoon, with gusts up to 20 mph, but now it's gone calm. For a while I thought it might clear up for the night, but no such luck. Blah. It's ironic that after all that really warm weather in March, our temperatures have been below normal this month.


Grayson was feeling really good this morning, bombing around and sliding on the rugs. This evening, he started singing while I was talking to Debbie, and when I looked up, there was Jasmine on the loft railing. While I was getting my dinner, there was a lot of thumping around in the loft, which is over the kitchen, but I don't know what was going on. Jasmine still looks down at Grayson like she doesn't trust him one bit. I wonder what happened in the loft.


So that was a very quiet day, and I expect to go to bed soon. It won't be as early as last night, because It's already 9:30, but that's all right. I still have whatever I'm coming down with, so I feel the need for a lot of sleep. Now it's a cloudy night in the field, and I doubt there will be any stars tonight.


April 29

I was in bed before 9:30 and I slept fairly well for most of the night. Around 3:30, when I got to the bathroom, I looked out the window before I sat down, and there was a streak of greenish-white light from the northwest almost to zenith and possibly down into the northeast, although I don't have a view from that direction. It was (just a guesstimate) about 10 wide. While I was sitting there the streak began to diffuse and it was much wider and dimmer before I got back into bed.  I think I could have seen it from the front windows, but I guess I was sleeping on my right side then and i don't usually turn over before I get up - it's too hard. I could see what was left of it before I went back to sleep. So we had a nice little light show in the middle of the night. One never knows. That's why I always look up and out when I get up in the night. It might clear up and there might be lights in the sky. If we're having this much activity so early in the solar cycle, we could have a real show in three to five years. Or not, Like the weather, we just don't know enough about the mechanisms behind solar phenomena to know what may happen  It's neat to look at the Hydrogen-alpha pictures of the sun right now. There are several sunspots, but they are all within about 20 of the solar equator. The real fireworks won't start until they start migrating north. Can't wait.


I woke up around 6:00, but I didn't get up. I dozed until the alarm went off. When I got up, I felt pretty good. I did my surfing, or all of it I can do at that hour on Sunday. I wasn't hungry, but I had a light breakfast that gave me indigestion and i got myself off to church pretty much on schedule.


Then, at the blinker, a guy towing a trailer with an ATV on it turned in front of me. Oh, no! Oh, yes, Not only did he go very slowly down the covered road, he refused to speed up or pull over, and to add insult to injury, his passenger threw a couple of empty cans out the window along the way. I hate to be picky, because I think he stayed at Brockway, but frankly, tourons like that we just DO NOT NEED!!!  Sheesh. I was able to pass him at the first dotted lines, but it meant I was a little late getting to church, and a guy picking up his kids from Sunday School parked in the spot I usually claim. He left just as I got out of the car, so I didn't move it, but I won't do that again. Getting into church wasn't a problem, but getting out was, and a very nice lady, Mary, helped me into the car. She also said that she is going to suggest to the council that they get handicapped signs for those three or four parking spaces. I agree, to the extent that I'd be willing to break the bank and pay for the signs.


Church was lovely. Since it was a fifth Sunday, not only was there communion, the service was from the old hymnal. I teared up when Pastor said, "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Oh my, how I miss the old hymnal. This was Good Shepherd Sunday, too, so there were all those paraphrases and settings of Psalm 23. Curiously enough, for all the trashing they did of a lot of other hymns, they left those alone, and they fit right in with the "thees" and "thous" of the old service. And Pastor's sermon was a good one, too, dwelling on the fact that Jesus died and rose again willingly, not as an accident or a plot to make it looked like he died and rose again. The only thing that was sad is that there weren't very many people there. The spring celebration season is in full swing, and most of the people in the church have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who don't live anywhere near here. What a pity. However, soon the snowbirds will be returning, and that will help.


I made it home in about 45 minutes, because there was no traffic in my direction except for one car that I passed. I fooled around for a while. I have been thinking about some nice slacks that fit me, and JoAnn's had a sale on fabric, but would you believe, they didn't have any pants material in camel or tan or khaki brown? I was very annoyed, so I went out looking and apparently tan, camel, stone and khaki are not "in" this year. Sheesh, I thought that was such a basic color it was always in style. I finally found some that isn't woo;. I don't want to get wool, both because I want four-season pants and because it's too hard to get things cleaned in these parts.


So finally I gave up without buying anything and I turned to the wedding gift. I finished the cross stitching, and i found a bunch more errors they made in the model and one error I made, Now I have a lot of backstitching and beads to do. I may actually get this thing done in time! By the way, the orange turned out all right. When I get two strands against the white background, it's light and not too bad at all. So it stays.


The weather started out cold but beautifully clear this morning, but it was below freezing. It warmed up fast when the sun rose, and it got to 53. It was over 50 for most of the afternoon. There wasn't much wind from the southeast. However, by 2:30 d deck of clouds had moved in, and it's been dull and gray ever since. No stars tonight, I think, but there may be rain tomorrow, which we need. If my bod is a good weather forecaster, It's not going to be nice tomorrow.


Around 5:00, Grayson started wandering around muttering, looking for Jasmine, getting in my way and generally making a nuisance of himself. I knew what he wanted, but I wanted to finish the cross stitch. Finally, he got his dinner and he's been quiet ever since. If he thinks he's going to change my habits that much, he'd better think again. I didn't see Jasmine all day, but from the way Grayson was acting, I think she was upstairs.


I am not going to do any more stitching. I finally made something to eat because I was beginning to shiver, which is a good sign I need fuel. However, I couldn't even eat a whole package of Schwan's mac and cheese.  I ate about two-thirds of it, and that was all. It probably wasn't the best idea anyway, because I've had indigestion all day. Time for some Rolaids, I can see. I'm also extremely tired, so if there are typos in this, forgive me. I'm not going to proof it. This may mean I'm coming down with something, or it may not. If I am, I wish I'd just get it and get over it, but my body doesn't usually work that way.


Now it's a cloudy, rather warm evening in the field and I am going to crash.


April 28

I think it was 10:00  or so when I got to bed. As I thought it might, the skies cleared after sunset, so I saw both Venus and the moon set, since I was up around 1:30 when the moon went away. Around 4:30, I was able to see the Big Dipper beginning to drop into the north, the first time I've seen it in a while. There weren't any northern lights.


I slept fairly well, with a number of wakeups, but I had some periods where I wasn't deeply asleep. I got up around 9:15 and I knitted and knitted and knitted. I have one more row to do, all knitted, and I'm through with the center of the shawl. Now, and for a long time, there is row after row of a V pattern. That might get boring except that there are some gotchas in it. I still like the color, although the yarn is a bit more scratchy than I like. I will use some Downy when I wash it (if I ever do) and that should soften it up a lot.


I did my surfing, although I only did one crossword. Periodically crosswords begin to bore me, especially when I have other things to do. Fortunately, on Saturday, there aren't usually a lot of things to read, which is what has held me up all week. I got at the wedding gift and I worked on it all afternoon. I was finishing up the green tendrils, I thought, when I realized I had made a counting error in the upper right corner, and then I discovered that I'd made a compensating error in the bottom left corner, so all I had to rip out was most of the right side. Oh, how I hate to rip! For something as small as this thing is, I've had a terrible time counting it. Usually when there are vines or tendrils, I can get a feel for the way it's laid out, but this one is different and I haven't been able to get in a groove. Anyway, I did get the green finished and I'm on the second half of the teal. I don't like the colors very well. To me avocado green and light teal aren't the best combination, and then the flower buds are pink and orange. I may just drop the orange. I don't like orange. I've said that before. I may replace it with a rose in the same family as the pink. Anyway, I'm making progress, and if I can get another whole afternoon tomorrow, I should be well on the way to finishing it. I've been debating how to mount it, but then I remembered I have the piece of mat board that was cut the wrong size for Angel Procession, and I think I'll cut a 4" x 6" piece out of that and just tape the embroidery to it. I discovered that the framer for the magazine used that horrible self-stick mounting board, which I won't touch, even if I had some. Of course, all they want to do is make it look good for the photo shoot. And by the way, while I was working on the teal, I discovered that there is a rather obvious error in the model - three stitches are missing. Now, three stitches doesn't sound like many, but when the whole thing is only 47 stitches high, it sticks right out. I hope it wasn't intended as an actual wedding gift.


The weather was pretty, but cold again. The high temperature only got to 44, and there was a little southeast wind during the afternoon, with gusts up to 23 mph. It's gone nearly calm now. It was pristinely clear all day, although there does seem to be a little haze in th sky now.


Grayson is getting settled in, I can tell. He wants things his way, like all cats, and he actually bit me this morning, after he had been sitting on my lap for a while. He also jumped on the middle of my gut with all four feet while I was doing my exercises. Oof! I don't know what his problem was, but he got dumped on the floor. We didn't see Jasmine all day, and Grayson wanted her, so he kept wandering around singing.  Poor Jasmine. It would not be good if I had to get another cat so Grayson could have a companion. The only thing is, Jasmine hasn't been crying. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.


So now I am going up to the north end early and try to get to bed early. I still don't feel very robust, and I was creaky all day. I may try to load up the dishwasher. It's gotten away from me again. Now it's a clear, nearly calm evening in the field and there should be stars tonight.


April 27

I made it into bed by 10:30, I think. I slept quite well, although I've been drinking enough water that I was up several times. I saw Venus and the moon, so pretty, and there were stars all night, but no northern lights. I woke up about 8:30 and dozed with a nice dream until about 9:15. 


I seem to be rather obsessed by this new shawl. I finally had to stop knitting because it was noon, but I'm at a point where I can stop using the magic loop and spread out the stitches on the 32" needle. It's still a little tight, but it's working. Somehow when they blocked and photographed the finished piece, the center got all messed up, and i don't know why. It's really very interesting, and I hope I can keep it flat and stretched so everyone can see it. There are a lot of purl stitches in it, which makes the knitting interesting. This is going to be fun one, even though it is big and it will take me a while to do. That's part of the fun. With these lace things, it's not the final product so much as it is the process, although I'd never leave it half-done, like I did with the alpaca one for so long.


I love knitting lace, and I always have. I have more than a dozen knitted lace doilies that I did from my late teens or early twenties through my 30s. They are all knitted with #30 crochet cotton, which is thin, and they were done on #0, or #00 (between 2mm and 1.5 mm) needles. However, doilies are of even less use to me than shawls, so I sort of stopped knitting them a while ago. I still have a half-finished crochet doily and a crochet tablecloth that will probably never be finished, but I've found the joy of knitting with wool on bigger needles.  I love cables and other textured stitches, and colorwork not so much,, but lace is something I can lose myself in for hours at a time, like I did yesterday and today. Every row is different and it takes concentration to knit it without errors, and probably that's what attracts me.


On the other hand, I didn't work on the wedding gift at all, although I may do some before I go to bed. I guess part of the problem with the cross stitch is that I'm not seeing very well these days, but I really don't like the fabric I'm working on and it's too late to change it. Some people love this stuff, but I'd rather pay the extra money and get linen, which I find easy to work on, especially 28 count. If I could find the rest of my embroidery fabric, I might have changed to linen, but I haven't located it yet and there wasn't time to get any off-white linen when I discovered how I hate this stuff. 


The weather was pretty, at least until right before sunset. The temperature was almost steady, around 38, and there wasn't a lot of wind. It was clear until around 6:30. when it clouded up. That wasn't supposed to happen, and maybe it will clear up after dark. I didn't go out, although I had to open the door to tell the Schwan's guy I had decided not to get anything. It felt chilly, although it was still sunny then.


As it turned out, there were a couple of things I should have gotten, but I don't have any room in the freezer upstairs, and I didn't feel up to going downstairs. Next time. They are having some sort of promotion for their 60th anniversary, but gee, one person (who hasn't been very hungry lately) can't eat all that much.


Grayson has been around me all day, but he's been getting into trouble. He pushed a dish onto the floor in the middle of the night and he tipped over the frame for the angel this afternoon. He was around me for most of the day. This morning he got picked up and cuddled for a bit. It's nice to have a cat that likes to be picked up.  It's cute when he's asleep and I shift in my chair. He starts to grunt at me, like he wonders what I'm going to do next. We did see Jasmine. She was standing on the second step down from the loft when I went out to the kitchen for some reason. She is still being very shy, like her coming into the studio the other morning was all a big mistake. Poor Jasmine. I don't think Grayson is scratching his neck quite as much. On his left side, the fur is beginning to grow back. The right side, which you could see in the picture the other night, is still bare and has scabs on it, but I don't see him scratching as much, so maybe my feeling that it was nerves is right.  Dawn is a wonderful person and she does a great job of rescuing and neutering cats, but she really has no deep feelings for the cats she rescues. Maybe that's a good thing, but it means she had no idea that perhaps nerves could cause a cat to scratch himself raw or lick himself bald. Even DC did that one year, and he was about as laid back a cat as I've ever known. Grayson will come around, and then we'll evaluate if he has any other medical problems. I'll be curious to find out what his real personality is. I still have faith that he'll bring Jasmine around, too, although that's going to be long-term. Buster was the second companion cat she'd lost, and she's not about to welcome Grayson with open paws.


So that's how things are around here. I'm finishing this with a cat sitting on my right arm, which makes typing hard. He weighs a lot more than the 8lb5oz he did when they got him to the vet. So it's a cold, quiet night in the field and it may or may not be clear.


April 26

What with everything that was going on last night, I got to bed sometime around 10:30 or 11:00. I don't remember exactly. I slept well, although at one point, around 2:30, I woke up drenched in sweat from lying on the heating pad, I think tonight I will try going without it and see what happens. My back was a bit stiff when I got up, even with the heat, so the next thing is to try to figure out how I'm lying that is stiffening it up. At least the spasms are all gone, thankfully! 


I got up around 9:30, I think, but then I started a new shawl. This one is circular. It starts with 7 stitches and ends up with 616. What I like about this is that the center is aqua, and there are just a few rows of turquoise, light and dark blue and purple around the edges. Those are all my favorite colors, and I was especially happy to get the aqua, although it is just a tad darker than my favorite shade. The yarn is thicker than what I've been using and it is worked on #6 needles. If i was sure I'd have enough yarn, I'd do it on #8s, but since It's a kit, I have to do it according to the pattern. It's an interesting pattern, and it incorporates some purl stitches on the right side. The only problem was, I got so interested in what I was doing that it was nearly noon when I finally got dressed.


I didn't have a headache today, but I don't feel very robust still. I had an accident, although not a very bad one, at least until I tried to get off the toilet in the bathroom and couldn't. I probably sat there for 15 minutes wondering what I was going to do, but finally everything worked together and I got up with not much problem at all. The way i have to get up off a chair with no arms is by putting one hand on the seat and one on the back of the chair, pushing up and off and hoping my right arm can hold the full weight of my upper body until I can rock forward enough to stand. It's not easy, and it's gotten me thinking about those gizmos with arms that people put on either side of a toilet. For quite a while I've been kicking myself that I didn't put in high-rise toilets when I built the house, especially since now I can't afford to replace them. I'd just send for some bars, but I have the suspicion that I can get Medicare to pay for them, and I don't see the doctor until the 18th. And don't anybody get angry. I certainly paid enough into Medicare when I was working. All my humungous expenses, from the cancer, were before I had Medicare.


Anyway, that all wore me out and depressed me, so I spent the afternoon first finishing my surfing and then working on the wedding gift, which needs to be done by Wednesday. I would like to go to the wedding, but if I'm still as rickety as I am now, I won't be able to.


The weather was cold. The temperature got up to 41. briefly, and that's all. It was cloudy all night and this morning, but the clouds began to part around 9:30, and by 2;30 the last little puffs had gone away. It's been clear and lovely ever since. There was a strong northeast wind overnight, that peaked around 8:00 with 40 mph gusts, but then it died down to around 11 mph. Needless to say, the lake was singing all night.


The lake doesn't bother Grayson as much as the wind did the other night when it was banging around the roof of the bathroom. We didn't see Jasmine today, but he was somewhere around me for most of the day. He thought he wanted some of my chicken, but he doesn't like white meat as much as he likes dark meat. Of course, it's a little dry. Anyway, he asked and I gave him some, so now he knows that he can get people food. Oh, sigh. Oh, well. I do spoil my cats. It still amazes me how loving he is and how quickly he has decided I'm a person to love. He even slept on my lap for a while this afternoon, but I was doing a crossword and that meant too much moving of the hands.


Now I think I will work on the wedding present for a while and go to bed early again. I still don't feel up to par and I'm sleepy and I am sort of achy all over. I wish I could write a bit, but I just don't feel up to it. It's a clear night in the field, so I should be able to see the moon and Venus. The sun is still belching forth CMEs, so I will have to be on the lookout for northern lights. Oh, this is exciting! The last ones, in 2001-2005, were so spectacular, and at that time I frankly didn't know if I'd still be around to see the next solar max. Now it looks like I will be, and I can't wait to see the show. God's shows, in the sky and on the ground, are so spectacular, I can't see how anybody can be satisfied with TV or movies. I live in the most beautiful place, where all I have to do is look out a window to see something wonderful.


I just noticed that the sun is north of the lighthouse and soon will be setting out of camera range, Summer is coming, despite the temperature!


Now it's a clear, cold night in the field and there should be stars and moons and all sorts of wonderful things.


April 25

When I went up to the north end last night, it had cleared up and Venus and the crescent moon were hanging over the lighthouse, so bright and clear and so pretty! I think i was around 11:00 when I got to bed, and I rolled up in the heat wrap and went to sleep. I was up several times, and the only problem is that It's hard to get settled again when I get back into bed. I ended up sleeping for a while on my back, which isn't good for deep sleep. I thought I did sleep enough, and I got up around 8:30.  I finished the shawl, and I'm not sure what I'll be doing next, so I guess I'll just finish the sock.


While I was doing my morning surfing, I got so sleepy I almost went back to bed, but instead I went off to the post office and Carolyn's. There were six donations today, and I thank you all for your very generous support. Already you're helping a whole lot.


My morning surfing was a bit difficult because the mouse kept going away. I even rebooted the computer to no avail, but then I wiggled the connector to the USB cluster and it's been all right since. I am very suspicious about that USB cluster. The camera has been much better since I moved it to a different port, but now i seem to be having a problem with another one. I'm sure the warranty is over on the computer, and I 'm wondering if it's possible to get a replacement USB hub. Well, we'll see how it goes. Someday I'll get the computer down under the desk where it belongs, and that may help, too.


Carolyn's was nice, as usual, although there were a lot of people there, which made it hard for me, since I don't hear very well in noisy situations, and there was no way I could hear all the conversations even if my hearing was good. So I sat and knitted and I finished the gusset on the sock. I'm not sure if I did it quite right, but it will be fine. Now I can start the foot and then I'll be done. Yeah!


The weather was sort of blah. There was a little sunshine this morning, but it clouded up during the day, although we didn't have any rain. The temperature got up to 53 for a while, and there wasn't much wind. 


Grayson was glad to see me when I got home, but we haven't seen Jasmine today. When I got my dinner, he got up on my lap because he wanted some, so I broke down and he has now tasted rotisserie chicken. He thought it was yummy. He's such a sweet kitty, but he knows what he wants.


I woke up with a sinus headache this morning, which I've had for several days and is most unusual for me. That, plus being so sleepy and not being v4ry hungry has made me wonder if I'm fighting something or coming down with something. Whatever it is, there's only one way I know to combat it and that's to go to bed early, so I will be doing that. In fact, I think I'll be going very early.


So now it's a gray, dull evening in the field, and I'll be off to the north end soon.


April 24

Well, it was a good night and a bad night. When I went up to the north end, the thin crescent moon was setting over the lighthouse, and apparently there were enough clouds that it was easy to see the unilluminated part. Quite a way above it was Venus, shining just about as brightly as the moon. It was so pretty! 


I got to bed around 10:30, and I went right to sleep. I woke up around 1:30, I think, and the sky was bright and pink, and I thought, oh, something must be going on. However I turned over and went back to sleep. When I woke up again, around 3:30, my back was going into spasms and it was still light enough that I could see myself, but it wasn't pink anymore. While I was in the bathroom trying to unkink my back, I was looking out the window. Mostly it was just a whitish glow, but every so often a greenish-white pillar would form and then dissipate. It was cool, but it was also late and I was tired. 


I didn't sleep very well for the rest of the night. I couldn't sleep on my left side at all, so I turned onto my right side, which is where the muscle is, and it took a long time for the pain to go away. I was up around 4:45 and the lights in the sky had gone away.


I got up around 8:45 this morning and I tried to do some of my exercises before I got up, but every so often I would twitch and the muscle would spasm. Finally, I sat down in the bathroom and gave Grayson a good brushing, then I got about half the ends worked in on the shawl. When I got up from that, my back felt OK - not good, but OK. However, then I did my exercises for real, and again my back kept going into spasms. It's one muscle in my side back right below my waist. I must have caught cold in it, or else I've been sitting funny in my desk chair.  Anyway, tonight I'm going to try a combination of Tylenol 3 and the heating pad and see if I can get this thing under control. I'm not sure even Johanna could do anything about this one, if she were around.


So I saw a nice light show, but I didn't sleep very well and I'm tired. Tonight I have to bathe.


I was sitting at the computer and doing my thing when I felt an urge, so I got up as fast as I could, and when I looked at the raised hearth in the studio, there on the end, where I have a couple of throws, was Jasmine, looking quite content. Amazing! Marvelous! Another baby step1 She was still there when I came back, but I made the mistake of looking at her too long and she ran away. I wanted to look at her, because it's been a very long time since I've seen her close up. She looks well, and I guess she's been eating and drinking, because she doesn't look especially thin. She was out of sight for the rest of the day and Grayson kept singing to her.


The task of the day was one I didn't really want to do, but it's the way to go. I called my church in Grosse Pointe and told pastor I want to transfer to St. Paul's. I hate to do it, but at the same time, it only makes sense. There are some things I might be able to do for them and some things they can do for me if I'm a member that can't happen if I'm not an official member. So that is done.


Then I called to schedule my mammogram. It will be in the middle of May, and originally they scheduled it for about a week short of when I had the one last year. Apparently Medicare is a stickler about that, so we had to reschedule it for the 18th, since I have a dentist's appointment on the 16th. So that's done.


I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the wedding gift. For such a little thing, it sure has given me fits. I ended up having to rip out everything I did today and yesterday and do it over right. Ack! How I hate to rip. How mad it makes me when I totally screw up the counting on something like that. However, I've now finished all the green on one side, so I did finally make some progress. Now I have to make sure I do the other side just the same.


The weather was a little warmer than yesterday. It got up to 50 briefly, but it was in the high 40s all afternoon. There was about a 15 mph wind out of the north. It was partly cloudy for most of the day, and it got quite cloudy at sunset, so I guess we won't see the conjunction of the moon and Venus tonight, darn it. Or any left over northern lights. Well, hopefully I'll be zonked out anyway.


At one point this afternoon, Grayson sat down in the middle of my chart, so I hauled out the camera and took a few pictures. Unfortunately, I was too close to use the flash and it overexposed his white bib. The ones I got with no flash were too dark because I was shooting into the patio door, but Photoshop is wonderful. So here he is, Grayson. I think he's rather pretty, and he has a very sweet expression on his face. He has quite a set of whiskers, too. Half of his eyebrows are white and the other half are gray. He has that short nose and overbite of a real domestic shorthair. He reminds me so much of DC, except that DC was a huge, rangy guy, whereas Grayson is compact and sort of square and he probably doesn't weigh more than 10 lbs. He's bigger than Jasmine, but not a lot. I hope there will be some better pictures later. I just took the opportunity to grab a few quick shots so that you can see who I'm talking about. His eyes are sort of greenish brass colored, but they contrast nicely with his fur. When I look at him straight on, I wonder if he isn't a little cross-eyed. But that's all right. He's a very loving fellow and he purrs very nicely almost any time I touch him - after he grunts.


So that was my day. Now it's a cool, cloudy night in the field and I need to go to bed.


April 23

I did crash. I was in bed by 9:30 and I slept quite well, but I was up several times, I think because of the fish. The first couple of times I could hardly walk, but it got better later. I have a stiff muscle in my right back, and that bothered me a lot, too. I got up around 8:30, which should have been enough sleep.


I finished the knitting on the shawl. Now all I have to do is weave in the ends and block it. That was a fun project. I have another shawl ready to knit, but I want to finish the sock I've been working on since this time last year. I could use the socks (they're a color I don't already have) and besides, I'm getting tired of knitting them. I am working on the gusset, so I'm more than half done, and this is the second sock.


I went off to see Johanna and she helped my soreness some, although it keeps coming back. Then I called Pat's and they said yes, they would take back the bread dough. I wanted to deposit the two checks I got, and it was such a beautiful day so I took off. I took the camera along, but nothing is our enough to make any good pictures. The birches and aspens are beginning to turn a bit green, so it's coming, but there are areas in the higher terrain where the maples are all still bare and brown.


Driving was interesting again. The Road Commission was out in force, and after I passed the guy in the truck who was ambling down the covered road, I had to pass two big trucks. They were nicer and pulled over as far as they could to let me by. Coming back, I got behind a line of four other cars following a guy who was clearly a tourist and a very timid one at that. I followed him out of town and he was nice enough to pull over and let me by. He should have done that on the covered road, because I think the other cars were all locals. Oh, well. Best we get used to it now and hope we have a lot of people like that this summer


The weather was beautiful again, without a cloud in the sky all day. It warmed up to 48 for a while and it got a little windy this afternoon, with north winds around 16 mph. It was nice to be out, even if it was only in the car. 


 I have to remember that in just the time I've lived here, I've seen years when there were no leaves until after the first of June. I haven't checked back, but I think spring is coming at its normal time, minus the thaw, which was last month. Temperatures have been about normal this month.


Grayson is settling in, although he doesn't like it when I leave, and he slept for a while on my lap when I got back from seeing Johanna. However, he wanted some of my fish, and when I didn't give him any, he pulled the tray and plate on the floor and started licking the skin. I took it away from him, but I guess I'll have to begin feeding him people food. He really wanted that fish. Later this evening, he went upstairs and when I looked out, Jasmine was hunched up on the loft railing over the stairs, looking at him. He's certainly being persistent about it. Now he's sitting on my lap wanting to be petted. He has his quirks, but he is a pleasant cat to have around. It's so nice to have someone to pet who wants to be petted. Now that i have some good batteries (I think) in the camera, I will have to try to get a picture of him. It won't be easy, though, because he doesn't sit still very much. He has been playing with some of the little toys I have scattered around, which is good.


I think after I publish this, I will forgo the writing tonight and go to bed early again. I've been up a long time for me. It's a clear, cool and breezy evening in the field and Venus will be shining in the windows.


April 22

I am going to crash.


I made it into bed shortly after 10:00, and I slept well until around 1:30. I didn't do so well after I turned over, and when, around 3:30, I turned back onto my left side, my sinuses started to drain. Eventually, I turned back onto my other side, and then I slept, but I was not ready for the alarm to go off! However, I got up eventually and fed us. Grayson was a bit confused, since I never get up that early! This was his first Sunday with me when I went to church.


I started out being very early getting dressed, but then i got doing something on the computer and I was a bit late leaving. Fortunately, there was no traffic going south. Church was good, and there was communion, so it was late getting out.


And then I went to Pat's to shop. Oh, dear. When I got out of the car, something had happened to my left knee, and I couldn't bend it at all and I could hardly walk on it. But I made it around the store. I know that store well enough now that even though they've moved some things around, I could chart a course so as to walk the minimum amount. I was gratified by the cost of my order; even with JD and cat food, it was less than I usually spend, and that was nice.


The trip home was more difficult. It seemed like there were a lot of people out for a nice Sunday drive, even though it isn't very pretty yet. There were also a lot of people parked off the road, and I have no clue what they were doing, since the few I saw weren't wearing blaze orange. I wonder if maybe they were hunting morel mushrooms. I don't know a lot about morels and I've never eaten one, but I know they grow around here. I think they come out in the spring, and our spring has been so early, they may be coming out now.


When I got home, I changed clothes, and of course, I had to get everything out of the car and into the house and into the fridge. My upstairs fridge is bulging, because under no circumstances was I going down to the big freezer. I'm beginning to think I really should get it moved upstairs to the breezeway, but I'm not sure yet. It would mean some rewiring as well as somebody who could bring it upstairs, and that would all cost money that I don't have. Grayson was very interested in the unloading and packing away, too. I think he knew there was some stuff for him in that load, although he ended up standing on a loaf of bread, which put a dent in it.


When I unloaded, in the bottom of the cooler was something I didn't buy - five loaves of frozen bread dough. While I was checking out, the woman behind me began to unload her cart while I was switching from the back to the front of the cart, and the checker tried to add her order to mine. I think that's how I got the bread dough. I was thinking about driving down to Mohawk tomorrow to deposit my checks, and now I'm thinking about going on to Calumet and returning the bread dough. I'm sure it's very good, but I'm happy with Ecce Panis, and I don't have to bake that.


So tonight, I had a nice piece of fresh salmon that I only ate half of, so I will have a good, easy dinner tomorrow, too. It was really good fish, as it has been since I discovered it, and I broiled it in the toaster oven. I had it with rice, and I really enjoyed what I ate. I do have to say, though, that with  my nose so stuffy, I'm not tasting very well. I have some sense of taste, but ever since the stem cell transplant, and again when I was taking the meds for the nail fungus, my sense of taste has not been what it used to be. However, I can taste enough to enjoy what I eat most of the time.


The weather was beautiful but cold again. It was clear or nearly clear all day. The temperature went down to 27 overnight, but it warmed up fast, as usual, and it got up to 44. I think it was warmer in Calumet, but there was a little cold wind there. There always is in that Pat's parking lot. Here, there was almost no wind at all, It was from the west overnight but it switched around to the east during the day. Without the wind, it was nice out. The barometer is still high, but the humidity has been very high, and that is giving me problems.


Well, tomorrow I get a massage, and it will be the last one for a couple of months. Johanna is going down to Mayo on Wednesday for what amounts to exploratory surgery in her gut, and she will be out of commission for at least six weeks. We all hope that will determine her problem and solve it, but one never knows. They've done all they could with scans and laparoscopes, and now  they have to open her up and see what's really there. I am praying for her. She's had a real siege.


Grayson was a bit discombobulated by what did today, but he was also very interested. Most of the time I was moving the food from the car to the back door, he was looking through it, and when I started unpacking, he was right there. He likes to sit on plastic bags because they crackle. There were evidently some interesting smells coming from the bags, too. I think he got the idea that there was stuff for him in those bags, too. I didn't see Jasmine, but the way he's been singing for the past hour or so, I think she's upstairs now. One of these days, I'll find them sleeping together, I'm sure. Have patience, little fella. While I've been writing and proofing this, he has been trying to get at my fish. Well, maybe he'll get some tomorrow, but I'm not going to have him licking on the fish I'm going to eat. I believe in togetherness, but only so far.


I did nothing this afternoon. I was just too tired. While I was playing a game, I got so sleepy I almost took a nap, but instead, I'm going up to the north end as soon as I publish this and crash. One problem I have (and I think I've had it all my adult life) is that my natural circadian rhythms are such that 7:00 is in the middle of a sleep period. I suppose I should get up at 6:00 and be done with it, but then I should be in bed by 9:00, and that's hard. I'll have to experiment.


By the way, we now have a bit over 15 hours of daylight and the sun is setting over the lighthouse on its way north. We have only a little less than an hour to gain by June 21, so it will be getting longer more slowly. I sure is nice to have all that daylight! Sunset tonight is 8:51. Last night I went to bed early enough that Venus was shining on my face when I fell asleep. The atmosphere was a bit unstable, and she was twinkling. Around 3:30, Gemini was setting upside down and I could see Polaris from the bathroom window. It got a little hazy early in the morning, but it cleared up by sunrise. There might have been a little glow on the northern horizon in the middle of the night, but it was nothing much. 


Now it's a calm, cool evening in the field, and I am going to crash, if I can ever get Grayson out of my dinner...


April 21

I wrote 4900 words last night, so it was around 1:30 when I got to bed. I was up several times and there was a period where I didn't sleep very well. I got up around 10:15 and knitted four more points. Now I have only three left.


When I got to the studio I had a sneezing fit - the pollen count is very high because of all the trees in bloom. Most trees don't have anything in the way of visible flowers, but they do put out pollen. Then I had an accident, for the first time in a couple of weeks. So that took care of a couple of hours.


I went to the post office, where there were a couple of very generous checks, for which I thank you very much. I will get them cashed as soon as I can. 


Then I went off to see Margaret, taking Angel Procession and the frame with me. The backing board seemed much too small to me, so she cut me a new one and now I don't have any excuses at all not to get everything mounted. We'll see. When I got home, I worked on the wedding gift again for a while. It's going very slowly. While I love linen, I do not love the cotton evenweaves. The threads are too big and too loosely spun and it's too easy to split them with a small needle, which is what I prefer to work with. Oh, well, I'll get it done.


The weather was beautiful but cold. The temperature got quite cold overnight - around 28 at 7:00, then after the sun rose, it warmed up fast to around 39 and it was between 36 and 39 for the rest of the day. There was hardly any wind. There were no clouds or almost no clouds all day and it was sunny and beautiful.


The sun contributed to a baby step forward on the cat front. Grayson got on the bathroom counter this morning and got a thorough brushing, until I couldn't get any more fur in the brush. I think if I'd kept on brushing, I would have gotten another handful of hair out of him. His coat is so much like DC's! When I got up to go out, he was lying on the floor in the great room, which I thought was a strange place for him, until I looked at the pale blue chair, and there was Jasmine. She wanted to take her afternoon siesta in her favorite spot in the sun, so she finally came out of the loft or up from the basement, whichever. She was still there when I got home, a little jumpy, but she wasn't going to move. She finally did move, but until recently she was still downstairs, and Grayson has been serenading her off and on. I thought Jasmine had some rapport with other cats, but she clearly doesn't, so it seems like I have an autistic cat. What a pity. I think eventually Grayson will reach her, because he's persistent and he wants to make up with her, but it's not going to be easy. Anyway, it's fun to watch him doing everything he can think of.


Margaret told me how cats get tapeworms. It seems like they are carried by cat fleas, and the cats eat the fleas when they are grooming and ingest the tapeworms too. I hope that's not his problem, but it looks mighty suspicious to me. I know a lot about cats, but my sources never talked about tapeworms (which is why I don't subscribe anymore), so everything I know is from experience. I don't know where they think most cats come from, but at least around here, most are strays, so they are likely to have fleas and worms and mites and all the other pests.


I don't think I got enough sleep last night and that plus my sneezing this morning has left me quite tired. So as soon as I publish this and finish my JD, I will to up to the north end and get to bed early. I will go to church tomorrow, so I have to be up early. Now it's a lovely clear evening in the field, but calm and cold.


April 20

So I wrote about 3600 words, but then I started fooling around on the computer (no games, just some things that occurred to me) and I got to bed around 1:00 with no bath. I slept well for most of the night. There was some evidence that Grayson had a fun night, but I didn't hear him. I got up around 10:00 and knitted four more points on the shawl. 


I tried to work on the mounting, but I had all sorts of trouble. The lining material really needs more ironing. I have a very hard time sticking the lining to the backing board. Pretty soon I'm going to use packing tape, which is not archival. I was beginning to work on the angel when I saw a slub in the linen that was too obvious, so I started picking it out, then I discovered that it was so big that the dye hadn't gotten through it and the thread behind it was nearly white (linen is usually dyed after it's woven). So I had to unweave a bit and weave in a new thread. It's still a little lighter than the rest of the threads, but it looks a lot better than it did. Ugh. So i began to attach it to the backing board and I discovered that it needs more ironing. So I gave up on that and worked for a while on the wedding gift. Not very much - I really have to get at that.


The weather was cold but pretty. It was cloudy in the  morning, but by the time I got up, the clouds were just cirrus. While I was doing my exercises, I watched them go by and they were coming from the northwest. I was most surprised when I got to the studio to discover that the ground winds were from the southwest. Hmm. That usually indicates unsettled weather. However, it cleared up and the late afternoon was beautiful. It was cold - the high temperature was 39 - but that didn't bother me, since I didn't go out.


The weather really affects Grayson. He was full of ginger all morning. At one point, while he was waiting for me to get dressed, he grabbed the string of an apron I had lying on the stool, came bombing down the hallway dragging it behind him, hit the bedside rug and slid and ended up under the bed. He was running up and down the hallway all the time I was getting dressed, and coming to a sliding halt at the closet doorway. I'm glad to see him getting some exercise. During the night, one cat toy ended up in a dry food dish, and he finally found one of the little tinsel balls. At intervals during the afternoon, he started singing. He got up on the dining room table (which I really don't like) and started singing, and when I looked up, Jasmine was sitting between the newels looking down at him. He sings so sweetly and he's so nice, I don't know how she can resist him. Oh, Jasmine...For the middle of the afternoon, he slept in the ugly chair, and it's funny, because every sp often he would grunt. I guess he sort of came too. so I grunted back and he went back to sleep. He is still eating too much, but I finally found something he doesn't like as well as the other things. Sorry, Grayson, we still have two cans left.


The barometer was high, so I wasn't nearly as creaky today, even though it was quite humid outside. It was a relief. I'm not saying I was without pain, but it was much better. I have been trying to drink more water, too, and that has helped my shoulder particularly.


So now I will write a bit more and try to decide whether to take a bath tonight and tomorrow. It's a cold, clear night in the field.


April 19

Last night, I only wrote about 3600 words, but I was in bed around midnight. I went right to sleep, but I woke up around 1:30, all hot, and when I got back into bed, I had a hard time getting back to sleep.  What was my problem in the middle of the night, I don't know. It wasn't all that hot in the bedroom, but I slept without any covers for several hours. I finally got up around 10:00 and I knitted four more points of the edging on the shawl. it's taking longer to do that than I'd thought, because it's not easy to do the knit-two-togethers.


When I got to the studio, there was a very generous contribution from another reader, and I thank you very much. Everyone's support means a lot to me, even if it isn't financial.


In the afternoon, I finally started getting the two pieces of embroidery ready to take to Margaret. Well...maybe. I discovered that Carey cut the backing board for Angel Procession very small and not quite squared off, and while I will mount it, I might have to do it over, if Margaret can't get it into the frame properly. I can tell that Carey was just trying to fulfill her obligations and wasn't taking too much care with things like that, which weren't finished pieces. I have to say I'm very satisfied with what she finished for me, but these other things don't look so good. Anyway, I got that backing board covered, and I started to try to get the embroidery in place, but I discovered that it needed more ironing, so I did that. Then I went on to begin to cover the backing board Margaret cut for me, but I got bored with it. I just tape the lining to the board, and while I have two different kinds of double-faced tape, neither of them work very well with fabric. So I made a little progress, but not a lot. I'm not looking forward to mounting Angel Procession anyway, because the backing board isn't straight and since the embroidery has a frame around it, it has to be exactly straight in the frame. Well, we'll see how it goes, but I might have to have Margaret cut me a new backing board.


The weather was just plain blah. The temperature was nearly steady at around 38 all day and there was hardly any wind. It was cloudy and dull...and blah. The barometer was up quite a bit, and the humidity has been going down, which means that both Grayson and I have been feeling better.


I was able to get the dishwasher unloaded and I actually put away some of the things on the counter over it.


Grayson was getting a bit jumpsome again, although he slept a lot. Watching him, I'm beginning to wonder if he has a tapeworm or some other kind of worm. He is jumpy and he is eating an enormous amount. I haven't seen anything on his butt, but that doesn't mean a lot. Dennis had a tapeworm, and it was a year or so before I realized it and had him dewormed. part of Grayson's problem may be that he is not yet completely at home here, although he seems quite happy and he likes me. While I was doing my exercises this morning, he actually jumped on my gut, but I screeched loud enough that I don't think he will do that again. That hurt! We didn't see Jasmine all day, but while I was getting my dinner, Grayson started fussing, and she started talking back from the loft, so she did get upstairs today. Have patience, Grayson. At least she was talking to you.


So that was another day. I want to write a bit more tonight and it's bath night. Now the skies are clearing a bit, and it looks like there is a pretty nice sunset out thee. It's a cold, calm, partly clear night in the field.


April 18

I only wrote about 2800 words last night, but this part has a whole lot of stuff that I have to write out, so I spent a lot of time reading and turning pages, then trying to put it together in a coherent way. Then I had to listen to Mozart (EIne Kleine Nachtmusik). and I had to take a bath, so it was nearly 1:30 when I got to bed. I slept very well, with the wind to sing me to sleep, and I didn't get up for good until 10:30.


Before I went to sleep last night, I decided that I would just do the edging on the shawl the way the pattern said, and it will be fine. What I saw that I didn't like in the picture is more likely a  mistake the knitter made. I had a hard time getting the first point right, but now I think I have it in my head and my fingers, so it should go faster. I did three points, and I have 15 more to go.


I exercised as much as I could, but my left knee is still extremely sore and every so often threatens to go out from under me. So I did what I could. I was late getting to the studio, and I didn't do a whole lot. I got the embroidery, the lining and the backing boards together, ironed and in the studio, but I didn't do anything else. I didn't feel very robust today.


Nobody did. It was the weather. According to the history, it started raining around 8:00, but I think it was earlier. It has been raining off and on ever since, and so far today, we've had 0.68". Wow, we sure needed that! The temperature only got up to 43. and it's been windy. The wind was from the southwest until about 5:00, when it shifted abruptly to the northwest and picked up, and we've had gusts up to 33 mph so far. Of course it was cloudy and dreary all day.


Grayson felt the weather. He slept in the bedroom until I got up, then he got up on the far end of the tub, where I have some towels, and he slept there until I was finished knitting. He spent some time in the ugly chair, and for almost an hour, he slept on my lap, with his head pillowed on my left arm. I'm glad he sleeps that way, so at least I can use the mouse. I was thrilled that he is happy enough with me that he would sleep on my lap. Jasmine came upstairs last night, and she and Grayson sang to each other, but she apparently won't let him near her. He keeps singing sweetly to her, and I'm sure he'll wear her down. I think he wants to cuddle with her.


I was tickled that the PastyCam picture of the day was two pictures from the BridgeCam and one picture from my cam, taken on Monday with all the snow on the ground and the deck. It was a good shot, with enough light on the deck that you could see how much snow there was. Ah, April in Keweenaw! 


I felt the weather, too, so I mostly sat. I think I have the dishwasher nearly ready to run, finally, but that's about all I did. Now I think I will try to write a bit, and it would be nice if I could get to bed earlier than I have lately. It's a cloudy, windy, damp night in the field, but the rain may be over for the time being.


April 17

Wow, that was a real scare! I decided to try letting FrontPage upload the web, because I made a change to the left border, and I think that means everything that uses that border needs to be changed. It seemed to go well, although the FTP they use is slow, but then all of a sudden it began to delete stuff, and when I looked, it had put the web someplace inaccessible and started deleting everything else. It had gone a long way before I stopped it, so there was a while when there was no website. Yow! So I deleted all the bad stuff and copied everything i have on disk here to the server. I think I got some stuff that isn't necessary, but by that time I was taking no chances! Still, if you find any broken links, please let me know. 


During the time I was copying, PastyNet grabbed the final picture of the day, which at that point was a picture from 2005, so it looked a little weird overnight. It rectified itself this morning. Wow, what a panic.


After the site was back together, I wrote for a while, only 1000 words or so, hoping that would settle me down. I got to bed around 12;30 and it didn't work. I don't think I got to sleep until around 1:30. I slept well then, and I finally got up around 10:00.


Then I was ready to start the saw tooth edge of the shawl, even though I had forgotten the needle I need to bind off. I don't like how they did it in the pattern, so I started trying to do it some other way. About halfway up the first point I realized it wasn't working, so I had to unknit everything I'd done. I could do it so that I ended the yarn at the tip of each point, I think, but that would mean a ton of ends to darn in, so I don't want to do that. I brought it down to the studio, but all I did was to put the needle in the bag. We'll see in the morning.


I was able to do most of my exercises, but the shoulder ones and one of the leg exercises were very painful.  I don't know what happened, but I'm afraid it will have to get warm and dry before I am truly ambulatory again.


I went to the post office early and got my stuff in before the pickup. However, I understand why people are going away from the post office for mailing packages. The rates for Priority Mail are outrageous. Oh, well, that's all done. 


When I got back, I started gathering up all the yarn I've bought lately into a big plastic bag, which incidentally left me with more room to walk, especially after I piled up all the magazines and catalogs. I finally opened up the sewing machine chair, which was my goal. I found a pair of underpants that needed mending and I zigzagged the edges of all the pieces of embroidery fabric I cut a while ago. Then I started working on the wedding present. I realized I only have about three weeks to get it done and I want to do a nice job on it. It's going to be a struggle. I started out by starting in the wrong hole, even though I counted carefully, but I got nearly one thread done. Starting a new project is always slow, because I baste in the centers and then i have to count to the right place to begin. This was slower because I had to graph the names, and they are so long that I had to fudge a bit. It looks all right, but I hope the final piece does. We'll see.


The weather calmed down. The temperature got down to 26 overnight, and it only got up to 35 today. That was warm enough to melt most, but not all, of the snow. There is still snow on my front stoop. There wasn't any wind. It was cloudy until nearly 3:30, when it started to clear up, and it was clear at sunset. Keweenaw county reported 2" of snow, and I believe we got that. Humph. Over the next few days we're supposed to have rain, which we really need, but I'm not looking forward to what it will do to my joints.


Grayson was around me all day, but Jasmine was down the basement, even though he serenaded her in his sweetest manner. Boy, is she stubborn! He is beginning to bug me, though. Every time I start to do something at the counter by the sink, he jumps up and stands on the windowsill or tries to sniff what I'm doing. I'm going to have to try to break him of that habit. He wants canned food, but he will eat anything canned, so I guess that's good. this morning, he felt really good, no doubt because the barometer was high. He kept bombing up and down the hallway. He skidded the rug beside my bed halfway across the room and when he got to the kitchen, going the other way, he barreled into the dry food dishes, upset one and pushed another one out into the middle of the kitchen. It's good to see him so energetic, but when he gets that way, he isn't too careful about what he does. Still, he is a very sweet cat, and he wants to sit on my lap a lot. Eventually, we'll settle down.


I want to thank the people who immediately donated to my appeal. I can't tell you how I appreciate your support. I hoped never to have to ask for support, but small donations are gratefully received and they really do help.


Now I think I will write a bit more before I go up to the north end and take a bath. It'is a clear, calm and cold evening in the field.


April 16 LATE

I just had a near disaster and for a while most of the website disappeared. If you find any missing or incorrect links, please let me know. I guess I won't be using FrontPage to copy the web again any time soon!

April 16

Well! It's winter in the Keweenaw again. More about that later.


 I only wrote about 3500 words last night, but it was after midnight when I got to bed. I slept well, with the lake roaring in my ears. I got up around 9:30 or 10:00, I don't remember, and I knitted three rows, so I am at the point where I needed the needle to bind off that I keep forgetting to take up to the north end. I tried do do some exercises, but my arms and legs were so sore I couldn't do much but the back exercise.


I was  planning to go to the post office today, because I have a lot of things that must be mailed, but Dawn called to ask about Grayson before I had eaten all my brunch, and just about the time I thought I might be able to get everything together, she called back, so I never did get out of the house. Everything is ready to go tomorrow, though, and I'll have to go early so I make sure to catch the pickup. That took up most of the afternoon. I tried to sort of catch up on my Monday reading while the talking was on, but that's hard, because I can't concentrate on two conversations at once.


The weather was the story of the day. After i posted this last night and determined that probably I can use FrontPage to upload it, all of a sudden the wind slammed into the side of the house and the lake began to roar. It started raining hard, too. The rain continued until at least 6:00 this morning. When I got up, I looked down the harbor and it looked like maybe there was fog. I couldn't see anything coming down then. However, when I got to the kitchen, there were ice pellets coming down hard enough to coat the deck, and shortly thereafter, it turned to snow. Oh, yuck! It has snowed and blown all afternoon, and it looks to me like there is an inch or a little more on the ground. There is actually a little drift outside the patio doors. The temperature was around 35 all night, but around 8:00 it began to plunge and it has been around 25 for most of the afternoon. There has been a northeast wind that peaked around 1:00 at 30 mph with gusts up to 41 mph. It's died down a bit and the wind has backed north, but it's still gusting over 30 mph. i was glad I didn't have to go out. This is the weather we should have had in March. Now the forsythia and the willow catkins are out, and there are buds on the juneberries. I hope nothing happens to them. 


I began to try to make some order on my desk and around it, but I didn't get very far. All I did was to get the sewing machine chair cleaned off and turned around so that if Grayson wants to, he can sit on it. I need to get to the sewing machine, but I have some work to do before I can get to it. That's why I brought all the huge Ziploc bags down here. I need to make some order. Ha.


We didn't see Jasmine all day, and Grayson wasn't happy about it. She usually stays down in the basement when the weather is bad, and she did that today. We had a good love-in this morning and he got a good brushing, which he needed. He liked that, and it calmed him down that he sat down and washed under his tail when he got off my lap. That's a good sign that at least then he was settling down. He had been restless all day, but I think that's partly because he hasn't seen Jasmine.


I just set up the Help page, in case you are moved to give me a small donation to help with the website. Now we'll see if I can really upload from FrontPage.


It's a dark, cold, snowy, windy night in the field. Yuck


April 15

I wrote about 4200 words last night, and I don't remember fooling around very much, but it was still almost 2;00 when I turned out the light. I did take a bath. My hair was horrible, so I had to do that. I slept well but not really long enough, since I got up a little after 9:30. I only knitted one row, because I had to fill the pill dispensers. I ran out of acetaminophen.


I didn't do much during the day. My legs and feet were so sore all day that all I wanted to do was sit. They're a little better now, but it will take another day to get them back in shape. I got the last two loads of clothes washed, finally. I spent most of the afternoon on Amazon, buying my pills and cleaning up my recommendations. A while ago, I investigated the books of an author mentioned by one of the blogs I read and as a result of that, I found all sorts of junk in my recommendations that I would never, ever read. I've just sent a bunch of emails about the things I found irksome. I did discover that there are a lot of household items, like laundry soap, that I can get from them. I need to go over my last few grocery bills and check prices, but maybe it's worth a bit more to have things delivered to my door. 


Actually, it was a rather nice day. When I looked at my email this morning, for heaven's sake, there was a message from etsy that somebody had bought three bracelets. Wow! What a lift in the morning. So I got busy, got the bracelets and packaged them up, along with an invoice, although I haven't gotten them in the envelop yet, so i can't print the mailing label. They'll go out tomorrow. I'd come to the conclusion I was never going to sell anything more, so it made me feel very good. I think, from the city on the address, that I have either sold some other stuff to this lady or to a friend of hers. Anyway, I thank her profusely. Any little bit helps.


The weather was nasty. It was cloudy and dull all day and around 1:30 it started dribbling rain and then it got foggy. Yuck. The temperature did get up to 46 for a while and there wasn't much wind. The temperature has started to drop off, and tomorrow they say there may be ice pellets. Yuck. Double yuck. Well, that's April in Keweenaw. We got spoiled by all the warm weather we've had. Yesterday was lovely.


Grayson is wooing Jasmine and it's cute to watch. He sings to her and grunts at her and sometimes she talks back. She isn't sure of him yet, but I'm sure he'll get under her skin eventually. I am only a little concerned by how much he's eating and by how much he bothers his ears and shakes his head. The vet told Dawn that he doesn't have ear mites, but boy, the way he acts, I wonder. The scratching could be nerves, so I'm going to wait a while before I rush him to my vet (who is not hers) but it sure looks suspicious to me. Anyway, he spent most of the afternoon in the ugly chair, grunting at me occasionally. When I get up to go somewhere, he has to go, too, especially if I go into the kitchen. I'm sure part of that is that he's just trying to figure out my habits. He finally jumped up on the counter in front of the toaster oven this morning, and I placed him firmly on the floor, saying "No!" I really don't want him walking around on the kitchen counters, especially when they're clean (which they are not).


So now maybe I will write a little more. I just turned Pipedreams on and back off again, because it sounds like this program is theater organ and I don't like that. It's a dark, rainy, foggy night in the field and the temperature is dropping. Yuck.


April 14

I wrote about 4800 words last night and I got to bed sometime around midnight - i don't remember quite when. I slept well, with only one wakeup, and I got up around 10:00. I knitted and did my exercises with a purry cat on my gut. I think possibly he helps me keep the proper tension in my muscles.


I wanted to go to the post office to mail something off to my financial advisor. It seems I'm old enough that now I have to take a certain amount out of my IRA every year, and I'd like it deposited to my checking account, so I had to sign a release for that. 


I was interested to find that according to the government, I'm likely to last 25 more years, more or less. Geez, that would make me 95! I guess I could stand it if my mind was OK and my hands and eyes were OK, but only if I was still living here. Well, it will be interesting. The oldest my close relatives have ever lived was 79, but somewhere in the murky background of my genetic makeup is one lady who was 95 when she died and her sister was 89. They both lived alone until the end. So who knows? I take one day at a time.


Anyway, I started the first load of wash before I left, and it still isn't in the dryer. I wanted to stop and see Laurel (Laughing Loon) and get Debbie a birthday present and show her my note cards, so I went and she was in a very talkative mood. Then Ron came in. Laurel has a nice selection of greeting cards and everybody goes to her for them. So we talked and just about the time my legs were giving out completely, I left, and Ron helped me down the steps (she doesn't have a place for a ramp) and then we got to talking and it was nearly 6:00 before I got home! Grayson was not pleased.


One reason we got talking was the weather. It was a beautiful day to be outside. It was a bit cloudy this morning, but it started to clear up around 1:00 and the afternoon has been pristinely clear. The temperature got up to 64. The wind started out from the southwest and it gusted a bit, then it switched around to the north and it's been gusty ever since. It was a really nice day to be outside. 


One of the things we talked about was my trash and the other stuff in my garage and Trevor wants to help with that. Ron is thinking about getting a trash bin for the stuff in his garage, and if he does, i will help him with the cost if he will help me get all the boxes and other crap out of my garage. He thinks we might be able to get a couple other people involved, too, to spread the cost. Gee, I wish we could! I have a real mess.


Grayson has been around me all day. He slept in the window seat, then He helped me do my exercises this morning. He went to sleep in the ugly chair and I disturbed him when I got up to go away. When I got home, he was in the loft, and about the time I was about to get my dinner, I heard him singing. When I looked up, there was Jasmine sitting on the loft railing looking at him and mewing. He came downstairs to see if there was any food for him - no, one big can a day is plenty! - and then he went back upstairs. Now, he is waking up and singing to Jasmine every so often, and she is still sitting on the railing staring at him. I don't think she's autistic, but she definitely has some of those traits. She has a very hard time understanding anybody else, cat or human. Grayson clearly wants to be her friend, and she just isn't sure about that. I was so happy to find her upstairs! In fact, I was happy just to see her, since the last time I did was Monday. I have faith that Grayson will win her over and pretty soon they'll be sleeping together and she'll calm down again, like she did with Buster. We just need to have patience with her. Grayson has such winning ways, I'm sure it will work out.


So that was my day. Not what I intended, since today was washday, but oh, well. This last week has been an incredibly social one for me. The only day I was home all day was Friday. I don't like that. Next week will be better. Tonight, I will dry my jeans, fill the pill dispensers and take a bath. I won't go to church tomorrow so I can sleep in. Then I can finish the wash.


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


April 13

I got to bed late because I wrote about 4800 words, and I slept for 5 hours before I woke up for the first time. I really like it when I do that. I don't know when I got up, because I didn't look at the clock, but it must have been after 9:00. I knitted my two rows and did my exercises, and that was about all the useful work I did today. Of course, I was late getting to the studio, but it was a lost day. It felt good not to have to go anyplace, so I didn't.


I haven't gotten very many responses to my question about asking for donations, but those who wrote were positive, so I will try to get a page set up over the weekend. I like the way John Dee did it, so I will take my cue from him. We'll see how it goes.


The weather was nice. It started off nearly clear, but as the day wore on, it clouded up. The temperature went up to 56 in the middle of the afternoon. Lately, the wind has picked up from the south, and the gusts are up to 26 mph. I went out when the Schwan's guy came, and it was rather nice outside.


My furry friend and I are getting used to each other. He loves to sleep in the window seat, and while he got on the bed while I was exercising this morning, he didn't sit on me. He is a real chow hound, and I'm going to have to watch that. He loves canned food. He ate a whole can of tuna during the day, and then he just about climbed me tonight before I gave him a small can. That's too much food for a fairly little cat like he is. He even got stepped on while I was opening the can tonight, which didn't seem to bother him at all. His really bad habit is that he runs ahead of me when I'm going anyplace, and when I have a tray of food in my hands, it makes it hard. I still haven't seen Jasmine, but the way Grayson was behaving last night right after I went up to the north end, I think she came upstairs then. He hasn't been quite so vocal today. I got to brush him a little, but i had to take the brush to the bed. He apparently doesn't like to be brushed on my lap, for some reason. He was antsy this morning, because I was late feeding him, but he's just going to have to learn that I don't keep regular hours. Apparently he wants some love in the morning and again after he wakes up from his afternoon siesta. That's nice. I really love to have a warm, purry thing on my lap. His purr has gotten louder, so I guess he's beginning to settle down a little. I think he likes it here.


That's about all I have to report. I brought a bunch of plastic bags to the studio this morning with the idea of consolidating some of the yarn, but I never got at that. I just felt the need to veg. I got very sleepy early in the afternoon, but that passed after a while.


So now it's a cloudy, warm evening in the field, and they say it might rain tonight. I hope so. We really need rain. 


April 12

I wrote about 2200 words last night. I didn't get to bed until 11:30, and I only slept OK. I had joint problems, I was up a lot, and sometime during the night, my left toe got really sore. It still is, and I don't know why, because I've been eating right this week. But as one website I looked at said, once you've had a gout attack, you have gout, even if it doesn't flare up. So I've had the gout since October of 1984, when I had my first attack between the biopsy and my mastectomy.


Anyway, i got up around 8:30, knitted two rows, did my exercises, and looked at my email. Thursday is a big day, so it took a while, particularly since I had to uninstall and reinstall DNT+ again. Would you believe, it wouldn't display the article that said it was the best tracking cookie remover? Sheesh.


Anyway, I got to the meeting a bit early, for once. We ended up with eight women and one man, and it went on for three hours or more, but it was a good meeting. We had a presentation from a graphic designer and marketing person, and I think she has given us some direction that we really needed. I think we're going to put a lot of our emphasis on the website and social media, and just use the leftover money for other advertising. That seems to be the way things are going these days, 


The weather was beautiful, completely clear all day. It was cold in the morning, but the temperature rose rapidly in the sunshine and it eventually got up to 48 for a little while. There wasn't much wind, and it was all over the map. Lovely.


Sometime after I got home, I looked at the camera and it had gone south, this time with squares on the screen. When I tried restarting it, the driver had disappeared. I took the opportunity to move the cable to a different USB port, and then I had to reload the software from the internet. It also downloaded a bunch of crap I don't need and don't want, but I can ignore that. It went haywire around 2:30, but I didn't notice it for an hour or more, so it was 4:15 before it was up and running again. I don't know what the problem was, but it is fixed now. If you see a weird picture when you check the camera, I would certainly appreciate it if you would email me. I check my email more frequently than I check the camera.


Speaking of emailing me, something has been brewing in my mind for some time. I have to admit that I am not in a good financial position. The new hardware was expensive, and just maintaining the website on my ISP is costly, too. Since the only products I can offer are the camera and perhaps the journal and information about doings in Copper Harbor, I don't know how much it's worth to anybody. I would like some input from you on whether you think it would be all right to solicit donations to help defray my expenses. Since I can't use Google ads, and I don't know any other place to get ad revenue, my only recourse is to ask you for help. Do you think it would be all right to do that? 


My new friend has decided the window seat is a great place to sleep at night, although he is still very restless. He does like to look out those windows and any other he can get to. He is still singing at intervals, and we haven't seen Jasmine, unless he's seen her while i was asleep. He is a very affectionate cat. This morning, he sat on my gut while I did my exercises, which is probably good for maintaining the tension on my muscles, but doing that, the leg or arm exercises and petting the cat make it interesting. Tonight, he sat on my lap and put his paws on my chest, and we had a nice love-in. He is so nice and so well behaved, I find it hard to understand why anybody would kick him out. He is obviously used to being a house cat. It's strange. Now all we have to do is beguile Jasmine into coming out of her hole. Poor Jasmine.


Late this afternoon, Debbie called, if only for a minute, and we exchanged the latest news. It was good to hear from her. It's been a while. It's so nice to have a friend I can take up with anytime and it was just like I saw her yesterday.


So that was my day. Now I will write for a while. I should go to the post office tomorrow, but I don't have anything else to do, thankfully. This going out every day bugs me. I'm looking forward to three days of nothing, and maybe I can mount my embroidery and get that to Margaret. I won't go to church on Sunday, because Pastor is out of town, and I have problems with services run by laypeople. So I can veg over the weekend.


Now it's a clear, mild evening in the field and it's so good to see blue sky! And Venus, of cousre.


April 11

It was nearly midnight when I got to bed, what with the bath and all. I slept quite well, thank you. I was up several times, though, and when I got up, my ankles and feet looked almost human at least until I'd been up for an hour or so. I got up around 8:45 and I knitted a couple of rows, did my exercises, and did most of my morning surfing before I was off to Carolyn's for the afternoon, via the post office, where there was a whole lot of mail, including some more yarn and the floss I set for. 


Carolyn's was nice, with quite a few people there, including one we haven't seen since last year, since she's a seasonal resident, and Christine, the Fisherman's Daughter. Margaret came with my pictures, all framed and finished, and everybody thought they were just lovely. So do I. They are three good pictures anyway, and I had them enlarged to 11" x 14", so the finished frames are 16" x 20". Now, if I only had a place to put them! I'm thinking on the small wall between the door to the studio and the doors to the vestibule, but that will mean I'll have to keep the vestibule doors closed all the time. Oh, well, right now, they're piled up with all the other stuff that should be hung.


So it was a nice afternoon and I got another couple of rows done on the shawl. I'm on the last color now.


The weather was cold again. The high temperature was only 39, and it was actually only around 35 for most of the afternoon. There was hardly any wind. It started out clear this morning, then it clouded up until around 4:00, when it cleared up again. Very uninspiring, although the sunshine was nice. We had warm. Now I want more warm.


Grayson went to sleep behind my legs, a place most cats seem to like, but he made it almost impossible to turn over, especially with the body pillow. He went away when I had to get up, and he hit the floor with a thud. This morning, he didn't want to be brushed very much, but he got out in the great room, I think in the loft, and sang a song until I got up to do my exercises. He came and sat down on my gut while I was doing my leg exercises, which makes it really hard to do that. Then he sang some more and lit into a can of food I opened for him. He was vocal all day, and I think he's serenading Jasmine, to try to lure her out of the basement. I haven't seen her. I hope she's eating. He is beginning to show his personality, which means to me that he is settling in. He attacked my arm this morning and bit me and he got really put out when I put my hand over his muzzle, which is my usual way to break a cat of biting, He does jump. He levitated onto the counter on the window side of the kitchen and went over and stood on the windowsill, and he would have eaten his breakfast right there, if I'd let him. Tonight, he wanted to sniff my dinner, and I had to put him on the floor three times, firmly, before he gave up. I don't think he wants the food, because I let him sniff the dish after I ate, and he didn't seem interested, but we'll see. I don't think he's been on the stove side yet, but that could just mean that he knows about hot. Anyway, he is still very affectionate, although not quite as clingy. So that is the update on the cat situation.


Tonight I'm going to write a bit, although I can't stay up all night, because the advertising meeting is tomorrow at 11:00. That seemed to me to be a reasonable compromise, although it means that probably a couple of people won't make it.


So that's all that's going on, and it's a clear, cold night in the field.


April 10

Ugh, just had a nasty problem. More later.


I was so tired that I didn't do any writing and I was in bed shortly after 9:00, I think. I went to sleep fairly fast, but it was a nasty night. I was up any number of times, my left shoulder and especially my knee were very sore, and I kept getting very hot. I think it was warm in the bedroom, but too cool to have just the sheet blanket over me. So I tossed and turned and got up a lot. My new friend slept at the end of the bed, and he got up every time I did. What a sweetie! Before I went to bed, I had him on my lap and brushed him, and I got an incredible amount of fur out of him. His coat reminds me a lot of DC's. Since Grayson's is gray, it looks like gray velveteen, and when he sheds, wow, does he shed!


Anyway, I got up around 8:30 and knitted a couple of rows on the shawl. Now there are 346 stitches on the needles, and it takes me a long time to knit one row. The first two with that count are just like all the other first two rows of the repeat, but then things get interesting, and it starts a mesh pattern which eventually turns into points. So pretty soon it should be more interesting knitting.


I was able to do almost all my surfing before I was off to see Johanna, and I felt much better afterwards, or at least until I saw the snowflakes swirling around outside. She will be going back to Mayo for what amounts to exploratory surgery on the 25th. She apparently has a lot of scar tissue - from who knows what - and it is partially blocking one urethra, which is very painful. So they are going to see if they can fix that and really see what her problem is. Well, I've had that surgery twice, and it's not pleasant, but if it solves the problem, it's worth it.


When I got home, I paid some bills. I am still very stiff and sore, but late this afternoon, I washed and ironed the two pieces of embroidery I want to get mounted, and put them on the drying rack to completely dry out. I can dry the linen by ironing it, but where the stitching is, I iron as best I can and then let it dry naturally. When it's all dry, I'll give it one more ironing before I start mounting. So the drying rack is up in the laundry room. 


The weather was nasty. For most of the afternoon, it was in the low to mid 30s and very windy, with north gusts up to 36 mph. After about 2:00, the wind started to die down a bit and the temperature rose a bit, to about 39. it was humid and nasty outside. Late in the afternoon, it began to clear up, so there was a sunset tonight. 


I still have not seen Jasmine. I hope she recovers eventually. Grayson has been around me all the time, and I think he likes me. Every so often, he will come and sit on my lap and want to get petted and he more or less follows me around. When I'm sitting in one place, he goes into the great room - or onto the desk - and goes to sleep, but when I get up, he is right there with me. He's still eating a lot. I did give him some breakfast, which he didn't like very well, so he ate dry food, and he seems to like most of the varieties. But he is very clingy and he is still nervous. He slept on the end of the bed at intervals during the night, except when I got up. He is still grunting a lot, which is cute. He apparently wasn't happy when I went off this morning, and he cuddled right up when I came home. He is just not a jumper. I don't think he's been on any counters except for the ones in the studio. He kept looking at what I was doing when I was ironing, but he decided that was too high, and the chair wasn't close by. So slowly we are getting used to each other. Tonight I have to take a bath, and that will be interesting.


I was minding my own business tonight and getting ready to write this when all of a sudden Internet Explorer stopped working. Eek! I even tried to restore to earlier this afternoon when I know it was working, but it didn't. So I called Microsoft and it turns out these new versions have a neat facility. You can reset everything from the Control Panel, so all your add-ins and display settings get reset. That's a pain, of course, but not as much as not having IE. So I did that, and I think finally I have everything back the way it was. I believe the culprit again was DoNotTrak+, but I like what it does well enough that I reinstalled it. Now that I know how to fix IE, I'll just cope. But it was a very hairy moment when it stopped working. Back in the ME days, I would have been dead in the water.


Now there is a critical system update that needs to be installed, so I won't be writing again tonight, darn it. 


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


April 9

Well, now we are three.


I think it was around 11:30 when I got to bed last night, although it could have been later, because I don't remember. I slept pretty well except after 7:00, when I started thinking about cats. I got up around 9:00, maybe, and actually knitted nearly 5 rows, because Dawn had called me just after I started a purl row. I'm now done with the elderberry and ready to tie in the gray-lavender. I'm sorry about that, because the elderberry is alpaca and silk, and it's even softer than the all-alpaca.


I had a hard time getting ahold of Dawn. Apparently she spends a whole lot of time on the phone. I was glad I did, because the Google directions I printed off were way, way wrong and I would have ended up in the middle of nowhere, like some people she had last week looking at a dog. I did most of my surfing before I left, and I stopped at the bank and the gas station before I started for her house. It was easy to find, although I had to brake fast and back up a few feet.


I had a hard time getting into her house, even with my cane and her help. These houses that are six feet off the ground with stairs that have no railings will be the end of me! Anyway, I saw the two black cats. One is a bit chubby and the other has an elimination problem, although she was quite interested in me. When I learned she didn't like one of Dawn's shy cats, I decided that would not be a good fit.


Then we met Grayson. I don't like that name, but he answers to it, so I'll have to take it and find a second name for him. He greeted Dawn and then he sat on my lap and then he played and ate, all while we were talking about cats. He seemed to like me from the first, although I understand he is that way. He's shedding something fierce. He is a dark gray cat with white feet and  a white bib, although his nose is  black. As soon as I can I'll post a picture of him. He talks, or really, grunts, a lot, which is nice, because I know when he's around. I guess he's a couple of years old. 


So after a lot of talk, we bundled him up in the carrier and started home. He was fine until about Central, when he barfed. I doubt he's aver had such a long car ride in his life. I could tell he was embarrassed about it. Then, on the covered road, I got behind some kind of conversion van that was going excruciatingly slow - the first touron of the year. He passed at least ten spots where he could have turned out, and finally did so at the Mountain Lodge, when he did it so suddenly that the cat carrier slipped off the seat and turned sideways, so he went on while I was trying to get things back together. I was really fuming. Poor Grayson. And besides that, not only did the guy go right out through town, he went on beyond Woodland Road, where I turned off! I don't know where he thought he was going. The signs for the fort aren't up yet, but it is open, I think.


Anyway, Grayson started complaining about halfway down the covered road, and he really complained when we turned onto Woodland. All my cats have complained coming down our road, even though it survived the winter pretty well and it's fairly smooth.


When I took him out of the car, he got to look out the garage door. When i brought him into the great room, Jasmine was sitting on her pink chair, and she saw him and meowed and meowed. I let him out and he immediately started exploring. He went around through the kitchen, and when he got to the basement door, Jasmine came from the great room, meowing, and they meowed at each other for a minute and sort of sniffed, then he ducked through the cat hole to the basement and she ran down toward my bedroom. I bet she's under the bed. He was downstairs for a while, so I'm sure he found the litter trays. He's been exploring ever since, except for a while when he laid down under the south windows - on the hard desk - and napped. Of course he's nervous, but i can understand that. He's sat on my lap several times and gotten petted, and for a cat in a new place, i think he's doing quite well. I fed him and he ate a lot. I hope he finds enough toys and enough time to play with Jasmine that he doesn't get fat.


I had to wash the throw I put in the carrier and the carrier, because he had eaten a lot. I think Dawn should have taken up the food when she knew I was coming, but oh, well.


So we are three. I think it will work out.


The weather was another story. It was cold - the temperature only got up to 42 - and this afternoon it got very windy, from the north-northeast, with gusts up to 34 mph. It was partly cloudy here until around 6:30, when it clouded up. That was here. It was cloudy down in Laurium and Lake Linden, and while I was at Dawn's house, it apparently rained a few drops. Well. Shortly after I started back, before I even got to Lake Linden, it was snowing or spewing ice pellets, and a lot of them. It snowed all the way to Phoenix, sometimes rather hard. The only good thing is that the ground has warmed up enough that it wasn't sticking, but the roads were wet. About the time I passed Lac LaBelle Road, it began to clear up, and by the time I got home, it was nearly clear. Really bizarre. Just goes to show what a difference 40 miles can make. There was a little black cloud over the south end of the Keweenaw, but it was nearly clear over the lake. 


So that was my day. I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night and it was a stressful day. I think i will try to write a bit, just to unwind. It's a cloudy, cold, breezy night in the field and I have a new cat.


April 8 - Easter Sunday

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


I had to prime the dishwasher before I went up to the north end, and then I sat around for a while, so it was 10:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, with a couple of wakeups. Thankfully, my shoulders and knees weren't very sore and the pain in the back of my left hand has almost gone away. I think I probably left it outside the covers in some strange position.


I woke up just before the alarm went off - the old internal alarm was working well - and when I got into the kitchen, the gibbous moon was setting over the Mountain Lodge in a clear sky. It was so pretty, but it was too far south for the camera to catch. Too bad. 


Unfortunately, my morning didn't start out very well. It started when I sneezed a good dozen times when I sat down at the computer. The pollen count is really high and my nose knows. Then I opened an email from someone who visits this site, starting with "I hope you found the package I left on your porch yesterday." Well, I found it, and it is a fifth of JD Single Barrel - much too nice a gift even for someone who enjoys the site a lot. Then I read the rest of the email, and the gentleman is suffering from terminal leukemia and has decided not to have more chemo because of the side effects. Of course, I had to reply, to thank him for the lovely gift, and I was in tears before I sent the message.


I thought I was making good time, but I had a terrible time getting into both my jacket and my coat. When I took my boiled wool jacket out of the cedar closet and set it down, I saw something black in a little indentation, and when I got rid of it, I think it was a clothes moth worm. I thought cedar was supposed to prevent clothes moths. I guess I need to get some clothes moth traps right away! Fortunately, the holes (there are two) didn't go all the way through and no one will see them but me, because they are right on my left forearm. It makes me wonder what else is going on in that closet, but I'm too chicken to find out. Geez, first I have tarnished beads, and now I have moths!


Anyway, I was too late to go to the Easter Breakfast, but I got to church early enough to try to compose myself. It didn't work very well, because the Easter hymns, which I love, always make me teary. We had an unusual thing today - a baptism. It's appropriate, of course, but not usual. Perhaps it had something to do with spring break, so that all the family could be here. The little baby was very good, which is more than I can say for a three or four year old (a boy) in the back of the church, who screeched throughout the first half of Pastor's sermon, almost loud enough to drown him out. Down in the big city, the mother would have taken him out at the first screech, but that apparently doesn't happen here.


Pastor's sermon was a very good one, based upon 1 Cor 15, in which he debunked all those who try to say that Jesus didn't rise from the dead. Even though I know all that, it's good to hear it over and over again.


The baptismal family had cake in the basement after church, but I didn't stay. I was able to take Cliff Drive both ways, which cuts a few minutes off the drive. I think I probably got home around 12:30. I changed my clothes and didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, except that I wrote over 7,000 words. The scenes I was writing are good ones, so there wasn't a whole lot to edit out. 


The weather was sunny but cool. The temperature has now risen to 47, but it was in the low to mid 40s for most of the day. It was very windy, with northwest gusts up to 37 mph at 2:00. It was mostly clear, although there were a few high clouds in the sky occasionally. For an Easter as early in April as this one, it was a very nice day. What a switch to have sunshine and no snow on Easter!


When I got up this morning and put on my robe to go to breakfast, Jasmine was sitting in front of the cat hole mewing at me. I think she was saying, "what are you doing up so early?" She went away and I didn't see her again before I left or when I got home. Sometime during the afternoon, she came upstairs and when I got up to make my dinner, she was in the pink chair, and she mewed at me some more, then she ran over to the other side of the room. When I came back, she was on the navy blue ottoman, which had some sunshine on it. She looked very suspiciously at me, but she didn't move. Maybe she did understand when I said I was going to get her a friend, and now she wonders where he is. Tomorrow, Jasmine, tomorrow.


I had the Single Barrel with my dinner, and it is very good, very smooth, and very strong. It's 94 proof instead of 86 proof, and I can tell the difference. It's delicious and I'm sipping it slowly. 


Now I think I will write some more, as I sip my JD and try to get to bed early. I didn't get enough sleep last night. It's a partly cloudy, coolish night in the field, and now they're saying the snow will come Monday night. It wouldn't surprise me if they cancel the whole thing.


Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


April 7

I wrote for a while last night - around 5500 words, I think, but after I thought about it, I deleted around 1000 words from the story today. Oh, well, This episode (11) has a whole lot of editing I need to do.


I think it was around 12:30 when I got to bed, maybe a while later. I didn't sleep very well. My left knee and both shoulders were very sore. I finally got to sleep in some strange position and I woke up this morning with a very sore muscle at the back of my left wrist, which has made it painful to do almost everything today. I was up once, and I got up around 9:30. I knitted my four rows - slowly I'm getting there! - and I did my exercises. Good girl, pat, pat.


That was nearly all I did today. I took the embroidery down to the laundry room and I put away all the polar fleece I washed a while ago, so things aren't too bad in there, except for the floor. I must really do something about that floor. Not only is it dusty, there is still stuff left over from Buster's last days that needs to be cleaned up.


I may have to do that in a hurry. I was doing my knitting when Dawn called this morning, and she has a cat she thinks would be a good match for Jasmine, a young gray male who loves cats as well as people. So we got to talking, and sometime this week, I may go down to see her and come home with as many as three cats. She also has a long-haired gray male and some females. I really need something to pet, and she has 15 animals in her house right now! She has a lot of rescue dogs, and the population of stray cats has just about overflowed this spring - and it's only April. I will try to be moderate, and I won't take anyone who doesn't like me. So we'll see. 


It will be either Monday or Tuesday, and I think Tuesday, because it's supposed to rain or snow or something on Monday and besides, i need to clean out the trays. Not that they're bad, but if I'm getting new cats, I'd like them to be clean. It will be an adventure anyway, because she lives down near Mud Lake, east of Torch Lake, and I've never been down there. It's a chance to see Bootjack, although I probably won't get to Dreamland or Jacobsville.


So that was a bit of excitement. I've been thinking about Dawn lately, so I wasn't too surprised when she called.


The weather was nice, but I didn't stick my nose out. It was partly cloudy all day, starting with pretty, wispy cirrus clouds this morning and ending with a mix tonight. There is a line of rain west of us that looks like it will definitely hit us. The temperature got up to 55 this afternoon, and it was around 54 for most of the afternoon. There was a strong south wind, that peaked with gusts up to 34 mph. My aches felt better this afternoon, because the humidity went way down, although the barometer dropped, too. Now if I could only type without pain...


I spent some time this afternoon going back over what I had been writing and deleting a lot of stuff. Even so, I wrote almost 1800 words, which is more than I deleted, so I made progress. This is hard episode to work on, because it has more stuff I've decided I don't want than almost any other episode in the chronicle. But it has some characters I really like, so figuring out how to write that isn't easy, and I expect to have to edit and re-edit a lot to get it the way I want it.


Jasmine was down in the basement until the middle of the afternoon, when she came up through the cat hole while I was in the powder room and said hello to me. She went to sleep on the pink chair, but when I went out of the studio, she ran to the other side of the room, then she settled down for her afternoon siesta on the pale blue chair. I hope she likes the gray cat and it will settle her down. She was crying at me this afternoon. Poor Jasmine!


So that was my day, and now I need to go up to the north end and get to bed early and hope to sleep better tonight. Tomorrow is Easter, and I need to be wide awake to celebrate. Now it's a cloudy, windy, but warm night in the field.


April 6 - Good Friday

Since I didn't go to church yesterday, forgot to note that it was Maundy Thursday. The church I go to doesn't have communion on that day (sometime I will have to ask Pastor why), so I didn't try to go.


I wrote about 4400 words, then I took a bath and I was in bed around 10;45. I slept very well. It bothers me that I'm not getting up more, because it means I'm not getting rid of the fluid, but it is nice to sleep until my shoulder is so sore I can't lie on it. I woke up around 8:30, so it was clear I would be going to church today. I knitted a couple of rows on the shawl, did my exercises, had breakfast and did the most important parts of my surfing before I got dressed. 


i had to leave the house about 11:30 to be sure of getting to St. John's by 1:00. I didn't have too much trouble finding it, although it would have been easier if I'd known that the numbered streets go down going south. I went around in circles a bit (I'm good at that) and took a back street, and I got there just after 12:30. The parking lot was almost empty when I got there, but a whole bunch of people arrived right after I did. I checked with a member there that I know, and he said that, yes, they do get there early. 


When I first saw St. Paul's, I thought that was a very small church. Well, St. John's is even smaller. It has a very long switchback ramp to get into it (apparently back in the early 1900s when it was built, you were supposed to be able to climb stairs or not go to church) and the inside looks to me like there was some kind of catastrophe that resulted in them having to redo the interior. The front is all paneling and the ceiling is rounded. They apparently saved the altar back and cross, the lectern and the pulpit, which are clearly older than the rest of the church. It has stained glass windows, but they are very plain, like a lot of others I've seen in small churches around here. They have a nice, if small, organ. 


It was a lovely service, although there was much too much standing up and sitting down. I was very creaky today, and I still am. I had a hard time getting up, and I think if we'd had to do it one more time, I wouldn't have been able to. For all that it is so small, St. John's has a small choir - about 10 people - and Pastor leads it. They sing mostly unison, which I think they wouldn't need to except that would take much longer to prepare. They sang two very nice songs.


I think the service took about an hour. and I noticed that while the members get there early, they leave in a big hurry after the service. Well, whatever. At St. Paul's, they get there late and stay a while afterward.


My plan was to stop at the bank in Mohawk on my way home, but when I got there, they were closed, and I finally found a sign that said they would be back at 3:00. Wherever outside the Copper Country do banks close between 12:00 and 3:00 on Good Friday anymore? Or ever?


I had to stop at the store, and Jason was there. Jason apparently doesn't like to man the store, but I got him talking about the brewery, and that got him going. I can't remember what they're calling it, but it will be a microbrewery, and it will be in the building across the road from the Gas Lite. I've heard rumors that he brews great beer. Since I'm not a beer drinker, I will never know, but I think it's a great addition to the tourist attractions in town. I left about the time Jeff and someone else showed up with a window they're putting in where one of the old signs was.


When I got home, I just crashed. I really feel like I've gotten cast in concrete again, and I hate it. Even getting off the toilet is hard. However, I plan to try as hard as I can to do my exercises every day and I know if I can persist, eventually they will work.


The weather was beautifully clear again and a little warmer than yesterday. It only got to 45 late this afternoon. It was in the low 40s for most of the day, but there wasn't any wind. It was a little warmer down in Laurium and Hubbell, but not a lot. The humidity was quite high, especially while I was out, and the barometer is dropping. It's always strange that in the spring, I can just wear a sweatshirt sweater when it's in the mid-40s and not feel cold, whereas in September and October, I freeze. How adaptable the human body is!


Jasmine was upstairs all day, as far as I know. She mewed at me this morning, although I didn't see her. When I got home, she was on the couch where her front end was in the sunshine, and then she moved over to the pale blue chair and zonked out. 


I have a suspicion of one reason she is upstairs. I noticed, when I was downstairs yesterday, that it smells sort of gassy in the whole basement. I have had strange noises coming from the machine room all winter, and I think maybe the pump that is supposed to pump out the exhaust gasses isn't working very well. I will have to call the plumber, but I hate to that. I have enough other places for my money. However, I don't want to gas the cat and I don't want an explosion in my basement, so I suppose I'll call him next week.


Whatever, she seems to be fairly calm again, even though the UPS guy came while I was gone and left two packages on my stoop. One is the frame for the angel, which came very fast. They packed it so well that I really can't look at it completely, because I didn't want to take the packing apart, but from what I could see, I like it. So that detail is taken care of.


Now it's a clear, calm night in the field. I will write a bit, I think, but I don't' expect to be up very late.


April 5 - Maundy Thursday

I wrote about 1600 words last night. When I went up to the north end, Venus was shining brightly in the west and I could see the beams of the moon. I was in bed by 10:45. For the first time in several days, I didn't have any sore joints, so I slept well. I don't remember when I got up, but it was fairly early, and I knitted another three rows on the shawl. I'm now working on a color called "Elderberry" which is a dark grayed rose, and it's alpaca and silk, which is noticeably softer than the merino colors and it's nice to work with. Unfortunately, only the beginning and this stripe are alpaca. I do love that stuff! I did my exercises again and now I have to try to find my instructions, because I think I'm not doing all of them. It's too early to notice results, but I have some hope. My shoulders and my left knee get incredibly sore when I move them around.


Other than that, I didn't do much. I went to the post office - and forgot to go to the store for JD - but that was about it. I finally went downstairs for food and I found the fabric I use for backing my embroidery when I mount it. I brought up a piece I thought was navy blue, but when I got it up here, I discovered it is hunter green. Oops. I do have a big enough piece to back the angel, thankfully. Mounted needlework looks a lot better if it is backed by a piece of plain cotton as close to the same color as possible. I used to go to stores that had lots of remnants, and I was able to get a lot of good stuff there. Now all I have to do is the washing and ironing and I'll be set.


I don't think that will happen tomorrow, because I would like to go to church, and that means finding St. John's in Hubbell. I have a map, and I will have to allow myself plenty of time to get there. Hubbell is along Torch Lake south of Lake Linden. I know how to get to the town, but finding 13th Street will be the problem.  A new adventure. It will give me an opportunity to stop at the bank in Mohawk and deposit the check I got from Liz, and maybe, just maybe, I can remember to stop at the store on my way home.


The weather today was beautifully clear, but cold. The temperature was 35. plus or minus a degree, all day. The wind was from the north, but it was 10 mph or under all day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and that does make one more cheerful. It also makes at a lot warmer in the studio - it's 77 in here now. 


Jasmine was upstairs all day, I think. I first heard her playing with her ball toy, and when I went out of the studio, she was sitting in the middle of it, looking at me. When I got back from the post office, she had shifted to the pale blue chair and she had been sound asleep, although she was awake when I came back. 


I'm sorry to report that my pesky squirrel survived the winter, and it climbed the screen this afternoon, although it went away when it couldn't see anything to eat. Darn. I may have to get a live trap and get rid of it. I'm tired of having my screens ripped up.


So that was my day, and now I'm going to write a little bit before I go up to the north end and take a bath, so I will be nice and clean for church tomorrow. Now it's a cold, clear, beautiful evening in the field.


April 4

I finished part 10 last night, and it came in at almost 77,000 words - novel length, i guess. I could break it into two parts, but it wouldn't be evenly split, so I guess  I'll leave it the way  it is. I think I fooled around a bit, and then I had to take a bath, so it was late when I got to bed. I didn't sleep very well. My left-side joints have been very sore, so I was awake a bit. 


I got up at 8:45, which means I didn't have nearly enough sleep. I knitted three rows on the shawl, and then, wonder of wonders, I did my exercises, or as many of them as I could remember. My left shoulder has almost seized up again, and doing my shoulder exercises was very painful. My left knee is very sore, too, and I couldn't extend it very far when I did my knee exercises. This is horrible - I'm almost back where I was when I started the physical therapy, and that just won't do. If I ever thought I could give up exercising at some point, now I know better. I will just have to make time for them.


I have been postponing a trip down to the basement because of my knees, but I am going to have to go tomorrow. I'm almost out of things to eat up here, and I need to find the backing fabric for the things I'm having framed. Tomorrow.


This afternoon, I finished he beading on Angel Procession and I filled in the little blue squares on the other angel with Rhodes stitch. The Rhodes stitch didn't take that long - there were only seven of them - but the beading took a while. I swept again several times and found a few more gold beads, but I will probably be turning them up forever. There is a black hole in the floor of my studio. I dropped a needle threader, and I saw it go down, but it isn't on the floor, as far as I can see, and it didn't fall into my shoe, so it must have gone into the black hole, where most of the beads went, too. Eventually, the hole will cough everything back up, but in the meantime, I'm down one threader. That's why I keep several of them around. I have a heart-shaped magnetic pin catcher that has been very useful for things like that.


Part of the reason I'm so creaky is the weather. While it was sunny and pretty, the temperature for the day only got up to 41 and the humidity has been in the 70% and 80% all day. (short pause while I reboot the computer - the camera hung up after the reboot I had to do this morning). The the wind was light from the north.


I didn't go out, but it sure was nice to see the sun. Jasmine thought so, too. This morning I found her lying in a patch of sunlight over by the front windows, and this afternoon, she slept on the pale blue chair. She seems to be spooked again, and I have no idea why. Oh, well, this too will pass.


When I finally got the camera running again, the sun is setting in the little gap between Porter's Island and Lighthouse Point, the only peek I have of the big lake. It's moving north very quickly now, and I noticed this morning that it is now shining in the window in the shower after it rises. The day is now a bit over 13 hours long and getting longer at 3.4 minutes a day, about as fast as it ever does. Oh, summer will come to Keweenaw!


Last night, the moon was wonderfully bright, when I saw it, but I wasn't awake to see it set. It is only a couple of days from full now, and it really brightens everything at night.


Now I think i will try to start part 11, but I don't think I'll be up very long, since I didn't get enough sleep last night. It's a clear, cool night in the field.


April 3

I wrote about 4900 words last night and got to bed around 1:00. While I was typing, I started seeing flashes of light out the south window, and there was one grumble of thunder. I guess we got a very little rain, too. It was over by the time I got to bed. I slept well, thank you. I think it was cloudy all night. I got up around 10:00 and I knitted four rows, which took me an hour and a half again. I was in the middle of making my breakfast when Johanna called, because my massage was supposed to be today, not next week like I got into my head. Oops. Well, we'll do it next week anyway.  That happens occasionally. I haven't looked at my planner in nearly two weeks.


For the second day in a row, I had an accident and this one was a bad one that took some time to clean up. I did my surfing, and I discovered that some settings I made to my Flash player had totally screwed up my crosswords, so I fixed that. So it was not a very good morning.


The designer of the angel replied to my email and made some very good suggestions for filling in those little squares that I hadn't thought about. So I will have to doodle in the margins and see whether I like Rhodes stitch or Algerian eyelet with a bead in it better. When the talking started, I got to work on Angel Procession and I'm about done. I was going along quite well when I had a spasm and the whole box of beads went on the floor. So far I've recovered about half of them by repeatedly sweeping the area where my desk is. I do that periodically, and it makes me so mad. I guess it's easier to recover the beads than it was on the carpets, but I'm not sure. With the carpets, I could just put a stocking over the end of the vacuum hose and suck them all up. I'm sure there are beads lurking in all the nooks and crannies and under everything that's on the floor around me. At least I have enough to finish what I'm doing, but darn it, that was a new pack of beads! It turned into the kind of day I'd like to start over.


The weather improved. It was cloudy this morning, but around 1:30 it cleared up and the afternoon was lovely. The temperature got op to 53 at 7:00 before it dropped off a bit. There was a wind that started out from the west overnight then shifted to the north and occasionally had gusts up in the low 20 mph range. 


Jasmine spent the afternoon upstairs again, and when I went to make dinner, she was in the pink chair. When I came back through with my dinner, she had  moved across the seating area to the pale blue chair. No need to be too close to me. She didn't rush and she seemed fairly calm, which is a good thing.


When I got to the studio this morning, the camera had gotten screwed up, so I'm sorry there were no good pictures, although they all looked about the same as the first good one it took. I'm not sure that happens because of the cable or because there is something not quite right about the USB port on the computer. That's one reason I check it as soon as I get to the studio and why I changed my morning routine eight or nine years ago. 


So now I will write a bit more and tonight is bath night. It's a clear, warmish evening in the field.


April 2

Well, I wrote around 2100 words last night, but then I started fooling around again, mostly out on the internet, so I was late getting to bed. I turned over once, but I didn't get up for the first time until 7:00. That's nice, but it means I'm not getting rid of the fluid, and my feet have been quite swollen.  When I turned over, around 3:30, the gibbous moon was shining very brightly right on me, out of a clear sky. I finally got up around 10:30 and now it's taking about an hour and a half to knit four rows on the shawl, because it's so big.


The task of the day was to work on the two things I want to have framed. I put the beads back on the angel, and I decided for sure that I don't want to use the pebble beads. I tried one, and I really do not like it. I wrote the designer for suggestions, but I'll probably just have to fiddle around to find something to do with those little empty squares. The problem is that some curlicues are supposed to end with the big bead. So I could either put a cluster of small beads there or I could probably fill them in with thread. We'll see.


Then I turned to Angel Procession. Getting all the beads off was a chore, because I had knotted the threads carefully to make sure the beads wouldn't fall off. I got the old ones all off, and as I took them off, I was putting them in a dark brown paper cup that chocolates comes in, and most of them were just about the color of the paper. I still wonder how that happened. I got about a quarter of the new beads sewn on. It's slow work, because I run the thread through the other threads on the back between each bead. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more time to spend sewing on beads. I hate to have to do things over, especially things like that.


The weather wasn't what they were predicting. The temperature got up to about 46. The wind was from the south and it was rather gusty at times, with gusts up to 23 mph, they say. I think it was stronger here. The NWS station is rather close to the hills there. They kept saying we might have rain or a thunderstorm, but actually we had a lot of sunshine and blue skies and when the clouds came in, they weren't very thick. There are some dark ones off in the west now, but the day was quite nice. It got quite warm in here.


I think Jasmine spent the day upstairs. When I went through the great room with my breakfast, she was sitting on her toy, and later on, I found her sitting on the pale blue footstool. She seemed quite calm, so just maybe she's beginning to get the idea that I won't go after her.


I embroidered through the talking, and now I think I'll write for a while, although I'm tired. It's a party cloudy, relatively warm night in the field.


April 1

I wrote about 1500 words before I went up to the north end early last night, and even though I stared at the floor for a while, I got to bed by 10:00. I slept pretty well. I was up around 3:00 or 3:30 and the sky looked really light. I wondered if maybe there were aurora above the clouds, but as far as I can determine, there wasn't. What caused it to be so light is a mystery. The moon is a first quarter and it was setting, but it was light over in the east, too. A mystery. 


Anyway, I got up at 7:00. No matter how much sleep I have, I just don't want to get up at that time, and I was moving slow all morning. That meant I was late leaving the house and I came up behind Mary Ann and her husband who were meandering down the road like they had all the time in the world, so as soon as there was a passing zone, I went by them. I was still a little later than usual, but I did manage to go to the bathroom before church. There was communion today, for a change, because next Sunday, which would be our usual communion Sunday, we are having a baptism. I think it's a little weird to have a baptism on Easter Sunday, but our little church doesn't get the overflow (or nearly overflow) crowds that usually go to Christ the King, and of course there is no choir. Anyway, the little baby who is being baptized had a hard start into the world, but apparently she is healthy now. In fact, I was a little bit surprised that they didn't baptize her when she was born, because she was so stressed.


Anyway, after church, I had to get gas. Eek. I think I should have gone to Wal-Mart. It was $4.06 at the station where I've been getting it. Eek. Next time I'll have to check Wal-Mart.


I got home around 1:00 and I didn't do anything but the end of my surfing. I got very sleepy around 4:00, but I decided not to take a nap then. I hope it will be another early night.


The saga of the Angel of Dreams continues. Margaret emailed me to say that the company that had the molding I liked, which is in England, doesn't ship to the US. So I went back out to my mainstay, and I found one that isn't too different and was on sale. Good thing, too, because they charge a lot to put it together. Anyway, I ordered it and it should be here in a week or so. In the meantime, I took another look at the angel, because there was a bead I thought was missing, and when I examined it, it turns out that it fell off. Oops. So I will have to repair that, too. I didn't do anything to Angel Procession. I am dreading taking off all those beads and replacing them. First I have to find the right color thread.


The weather was sort of yucky. It was foggy nearly all day. The temperature high was around 2:00 in the morning, then it dropped and it was around 40, plus or minus a degree or two, all day. It was 46 when I left Calumet. There was almost no wind. It would have been partly cloudy if it hadn't been for the fog. We did have a nice view right before sunset, which I missed but the camera caught. We haven't had a picture lately, so I thought I'd post this one. Neat clouds. Fifteen minutes later they were all covered up by some lower ones.


I didn't see Jasmine today, but in the middle of the afternoon, she came in and said hello. Strange little kitty.


So now I will write some more, while I listen to Pipedreams, at least until it gets too modern. It started out great, with a Bach piece, but I doubt it will stay like that. It's a cloudy, coolish night in the field.


last  updated 05/01/12 08:38 PM