A View From the Field

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June, 2012

 

June 30

Well, Jasmine is no more.

 

I didn't get to bed until 3:00 this morning. I had a horrible time getting the images right for the upload (by the way, the swelling is down, but it looks like it will blister, too). I had to try half a dozen times before I could get FrontPage to do it the right way.

 

So, of course, I was late getting up. I think I got up around 11:00, and I brushed Grayson a bit and knitted 8 rows before I got dressed. When I got to the studio, around 1:00, Jasmine was lying on the floor and she was almost unconscious. So I started making phone calls, and it seems it's impossible to get emergency vet services on a Saturday afternoon around here. Everybody pointed to the same guy. I tried to call him and got no answer, and just about when I was going to call him again, he called me back. It turned out that yes, he would see Jasmine, but he's in Bruce Crossing. Bruce Crossing is about 100 miles from here, down south toward the Wisconsin border in the middle of nowhere. So I changed my clothes, packed up my bag and the carrier, and got off around 2;00. 

 

I had to stop for gas and a pit stop in Calumet, but then I was on the road. Fortunately, everybody seemed to be going north, and while I had to pass a few slow drivers, I didn't have much traffic except around Houghton. Now I know where Painesdale, Toivola, Twin Lakes and Mass City are. A long way from here. 

 

I got to the clinic about 4:10 and the vet took one look at Jasmine and said she was probably terminal, but I said, well, let's try to find out what's wrong with her. He had just started to take blood when she died. So he didn't do the tests, but he saw that she was very anemic and very jaundiced, so the best guess is that it was a liver problem. Oh, my. So I left her with him and she will be cremated like Buster. I got home about 6:30.

 

Hindsight is 20-20 and I wish I had taken her to the vet the day after I found her in the middle of my bed, since she was clearly trying to tell me something. However, I suspect that even then it was too late for her. Only I could have avoided letting her suffer a lot.

 

So it was a very sad day and I didn't do much of anything here except get the dishwasher completely unloaded. I didn't eat much except a few crackers and fish spread and my OJ, so I was hungry when I got home. Well, not really, but I was able to eat.

 

The weather was beautiful. It was clear all day, with not a lot of wind. I don't know much about the actual numbers, because the NWS station here isn't reporting yet. By the car thermometer, the high temp (until now) was around 67. As I went south into the interior, the temperature went up, and when I got to the vet's, it was around 83. Now there are a few clouds in the sky, and I guess it's supposed to cloud up overnight.

 

Grayson seems OK with it, but I think he knew a week or two ago that she wasn't long for this world. If only I could learn to read the signs better! I've told Dawn that I would like to get him a playmate, but I'm not in a hurry, unless she finds another calico.

 

Now I'm on my second JD, and shortly I will be off to the north end to take a bath, which I need, and crash, which I really need. It's a partly cloudy, warm evening in the field and there are just two of us. Poor little Jasmine.

 

June 29

I'm still tired. I got to bed around 10:00 last night, I think, but I didn't sleep very well. Part of it was the noise. I finally closed the porch door, but then the window acting like an organ pipe bothered me. I had a hard time finding the right temperature, and I was up several times. So it was not a good night. Grayson was a good bed partner, though, only getting excited when I was awake. 

 

I didn't get up until around 10:00, but I certainly didn't get 12 hours' sleep! Grayson got a good brushing. He is shedding a bit again. I think the warmer weather has told his body that he needs less fur. For the past couple of days, I've gotten twice the amount I was getting earlier. i knitted eight rows, but that included having to fool around when I dropped something. I didn't get it back the way it should be, but I think only I will ever know it's not quite right. If I could stop dropping things, I'd get a lot more done.

 

I was so late that I never did all my surfing until after the talking started. Rick called while I was getting my breakfast, and he called back right after I finished it. I hope I helped him feel better. All the rest I did was to go to the post office, to the fish market - whitefish and smoked fish spread. Yum! - and to the Berry Patch. Yes the Berry patch is open, and they have Zanzibar dark chocolate. Not only did it get all over my hands, it got all over my pants and tee, but oh, my, is it good!  So was my fish. I wish I'd known ten years ago how easy it is to cook fish. I'd have been eating a lot more of it, although there is always the fear of heavy metals. Surely half a pound of Lake Superior whitefish isn't going to kill me any sooner than anything else. 

 

It was warm again, but I can't tell you how warm because the NWS station has been down since 2:00 this morning. I think it got into the lower 80s. The wind was strong all day long, from the west, and there were ...

 

Well, that was nasty. Around 8:00, I took a picture of my arm (I have an interesting black fly bite) so I could show you what happens to me. When I tried to read the flash card using the reader in the computer, it wouldn't work, so I tried the SanDisk reader and that didn't work. Then I couldn't get Internet Explorer to work, and I got messages saying Explorer had stopped working and the taskbar went away. Well, I rebooted several times and even did a restore back to Wednesday, and that didn't work, so I ended up calling Microsoft. Now about four hours later, I have a clean computer, but just as the guy was going to end his LogMeIn session, Explorer stopped working and the taskbar went away again. Gaak! So I may still have problems. The guy's shift was ending, so we're going to try to see how it works until tomorrow. In the meantime, I may have to call Gateway about the flash card reader. Now it's 1:20 am tomorrow, and I'm tired. Really tired.

 

So to get back to what I was saying when I was so rudely interrupted, there were whitecaps on the harbor for most of the day. Now the wind has died down. It was clear and beautiful all day, and about the time the computer went south, I looked out the window and the slightly-more-than half moon was shining in the south windows.

 

I don't have much to report about the cats except that Jasmine was acting weird again. Grayson was his usual self, except that I think this is the first time I've been up this late since he's been here and he doesn't quite understand. 

 

I think there must be black flies getting into either the studio or the bedroom, and I've gotten several bites over the past few days. Last night it was on my right hand and arm. The one on my hand is small and itchy. The one on my forearm is something else. I noticed it this morning because it itched and it was almost on top of a cat scratch. I was looking at it this evening when I realized that it had gotten really ugly. I don't think that's completely in focus, but it's the best I could do with the camera in my left hand pointing at my right arm. I don't think this is the first time I've had one swell like that, but it's been a while. I think I'd rather have them blister. We're getting to the end of black fly season (or I certainly hope we are) and they get really vicious.

 

While I was talking to Rick this afternoon, the UPS guy arrived with a package and it was a very expensive book I ordered about Shetland lace. I could tell at once that it was worth the price I paid for it, and almost the first page I turned to had - for heaven's sake! - almost the exact pattern I'm now knitting! I could hardly believe it, but that means it's pretty certain I'm reproducing an authentic Shetland scarf. While the tech was doing his thing on my computer, I started reading it - I can read again!! - and it's certainly worth the money. It's an exhaustive look at Shetland shawls, and all the patterns are charted. I don't like the way they're charted, but they're readable and I won't have to go through that agony again. If I can't find patterns to make my own shawls in this book, I'm just too picky. I also got another kit. This one isn't very pretty colors - mostly sort of shit brown - but it's a shape I've been wanting to try to knit and it has some nice patterns in it. So the lace saga continues. 

 

Now I am going to publish this, I hope with no problems, and then I am going up to the north end and crash and I don't expect to be up very early tomorrow morning. It's a warm, clear and now almost calm night in the field...and it's 1:45 am tomorrow.

 

June 28

I am tired. After I uploaded this, I remembered that my Norton subscription is expiring in about a month, and I hate seeing those stupid reminders every day. So I decided to renew it right then. Well. It turned out, after some fooling around, that I was updating to Norton 2012 and I needed to download the whole thing again. On both computers. Yuck. In the middle of that, Java informed me that there was an update to that, too. And then, I had to run Norton live update (which did something - you'd think when you download the whole shebang it would be the whole shebang, but not so) and they have a new scan called Reputation scan, which scans programs for reliability and CPU usage, among other things. And I had to make some changed to the settings on both computers (and a lot of them have obscure names that don't make a lot of sense). Whew! This was on both the desktop and the laptop. So it was around 1:00 before I got to bed.

 

I slept well, mostly, although my left shoulder was sore at first. I was up several times, and when I woke up at 8:30, I decided no way was I going to try to perambulate on 7 hours' sleep. So I went back to bed, much to Grayson's disappointment, and I got up around 10:30. I'm still tired. I think I will be in bed early tonight. Or I hope so. I usually end up doing these things late in the evening, but in part it's because I don't want to get tangled up with the camera, and sometimes - not so often lately - I get higher speeds later in the evening.

 

I knitted, and I only did 8 rows. I was doing the fourth row when I realized my tension had loosened up in the previous row and my holes were going to be huge, so I tried to unknit and of course I dropped something. So I had to rip back to the first row and do some fiddling before I got things right. After that, it went well and I finished the first 40 row repeat. Tomorrow I can start the second repeat (there are six). In spite of all the ripping I've had to do and all my difficulties with the pattern, I still like this thing. It's a challenge, and besides, once it gets stretched, it's going to be a very pretty thing. I might even make it longer than the pattern, so it will be more useful.

 

I was so late that that was all I did, besides my surfing.

 

The weather was another lovely summer day. Actually, it was cloudy and windy this morning, and despite the temperature, it was cool enough that I had to shut the bedroom door to the porch to keep the boiler from running. It began to clear up around 2:30, I think, and the later part of the afternoon has been clear, warm and windy. The temperature was 77 when I got to the studio, but by the next hour it had dropped to 70. where it stood until 4:00, when it had gotten back up to 78. It maxed out at 82 and it has now fallen back a degree or so. The wind was strong for most of the day, except when the temperature dropped. The wind was from the north or northwest, although it has now shifted around to the west. There were gusts up to 25 mph, which I think were stronger here. I know the NWS station isn't reporting right now, because it's very windy and there are whitecaps on the harbor. Altogether, it was a pretty, if windy, warm afternoon. 

 

The cats didn't do much of interest. Grayson is turning into a nice bed partner, although when he gets into bed and I'm awake, he has to attack the bedclothes and me and anything else he can get at. If I lie very quietly, he settled down and goes to sleep over on the right-hand side of the bed, near the windows. He did do a number on my right wrist this morning, but that was because I was trying to smooth out the towels and he wanted to play with them or me or both or anything else he could get his claws into. Jasmine looked at breakfast like it might attack her and I don't know if she ate any. She was sleeping in strange places today - in the vestibule, on the floor in front of the patio door in the great room, or on the floor right in my path to the north end. I don't know what her problem is now. I know she has food she likes and water, so I won't worry about her. She tried briefly to make up to Grayson, but he wasn't having any. Poor Jasmine. She brought it on herself, though.

 

I forgot to say yesterday that the reason I was so late getting to bed Tuesday is that I was looking at my files and I realized that I had never converted February, April or May to Word, so I did that. I didn't do a complete editing job on them, but I did get them sorted out so the first of the month is on top. I still have to edit them and put them in the format I decided on them lo those many years ago. It takes a while to do the sorting, and I had to search around before I found where Word 2010 is hiding the "convert table to text" button, since it's definitely not obvious. With three files to do, that took quite a while.

 

I did something to the little toe on my right foot yesterday. I don't know if I got a blister from my sandals or a hangnail broke loose or what, but I was bleeding last night. I put some tea tree oil and a band-aid on it, but I have now realized for sure that I don't have any comfortable sandals. Even though I wore flip-flops before they were hip, the way my toes have gotten scrunched together, I can't do that anymore (not to mention the compression hose) and I don't have anything else to wear. I tried a pair of slides I got years ago, but I can't keep them on. Tomorrow I will have to try the sandals again and see if they work all right. My feet are sore most of the time anyway, but I would like to be able to wear sandals in the warm weather. The fact is, I don't have any comfortable shoes. Even my Crocs hurt sometimes. No wonder I don't move around much.

 

Now I am going to totter up to the north end, take a nice shower, and go to bed early. It's a clear, windy, warm evening in the field. There should be stars, but it's too windy to have the porch door open.

 

June 27

I didn't get to bed until about 11:30 last night. I was late eating and late finishing the journal, then I had to wait a while before I took my bath, and after that, I had to cut my fingernails. I slept well, with two wakeups. When I went to bed, the nearly-half moon was shining in the windows, and when I looked for it, it looked like half a lemon over in the west. The first time I woke up, there were some stars, but not very bright ones. I got up around 9:15. Grayson got a short brushing and a love-in and he left on his own, so I started knitting. Well, I did 16 rows again, but this time it only took 2 hours. They were easy rows, and I only had to undo one little mistake. After the three rows of hexagonal mesh (six rows), the next band is what I guess they call daisies. It's actually one element of the middle of the third row of diamonds, and it does look like a flower. Next are three more rows of hex mesh, then we start over with puzzle. 

 

I could tell it was getting warm, so when I got dressed, I opened the porch door and put on my shorts and sandals, since I had no intention of going anywhere today. During the day, I got the dishwasher almost ready to run. All I have to do is put in the glasses and my fork and it's good to go. Oh, yes, and since today is Social Security day, I paid a couple of bills. Not much, but I was so late getting to the studio that there wasn't much time for anything else on my list.

 

The weather was really lovely. The temperature went steadily up from 60 at 1:00 am to 80 at 6:00 pm, with light southwest breezes. Then the wind shifted around through east and settled at northeast and the temperature plummeted, and it's now (at 8:00) 63 and there is a light, quite cool breeze coming in the east windows. I guess I'll have to shut some things. The only not-so-nice thing was that it was sort of cloudy all day. There was a high deck of light clouds over everything, so while there was sunshine, it was rather dim. It was so nice to be able to open up the house! 

 

Grayson, I think, is beginning to orient his waking and sleeping more to my schedule, although he slept on the desk all afternoon. He was energetic this morning and he's running around now again. He goes around with a little smile on his face a lot now. He has been running between the studio and the porch, I think. Jasmine looked a little more relaxed today. I think she ate a little, although just about the time my dinner finished cooking, I had an accident and when I came back to the kitchen, I had to interrupt her as she was eating some dry food. I wish she'd eat the canned, but as long as she eats something, I guess I can't complain.

 

Overnight, I somehow managed to get two insect bites, one on my thigh and one on my leg right above my knee-highs. They both itch like crazy at intervals, but I don't yet know whether they are black flies or mosquitoes. And the house wasn't open yesterday! How those buggers ever get in is beyond me. Well, I didn't think I could get through this season without a few bites.

 

The UPS guy delivered the last of the cat food (which I got from Amazon) today, so except for a few things I don't use a lot of, we are set for cat feeding for the foreseeable future. That's nice. I get nervous when the supplies start to decline, just like I get nervous when I begin to run low on TP, OJ and JD. I don't know why I have this thing about having sufficient supplies, but I always have. It's why I have so much yarn, cross stitch and sewing supplies. I just have this fear of running out. Well, we all have our foibles.

 

So that was my day, and  hope to get to bed a little earlier tonight. It's a partly cloudy, coolish evening in the field and I don't think there will be any stars tonight.

 

 

June 26

It's amazing what eleven hours of sleep can do for me. I was in bed around 10:00 last night, and I slept very well, thank you. I was up three times. At least once, I was able to see Polaris and the Big Dipper. The next time was around 6:30, I think, and it was light. I finally rolled out of bed around 9:00. Grayson got a short brushing and a good love-in and then I started knitting.

 

I ended up knitting 16 rows, which was more than I intended, but I wanted to see what the "puzzle" pattern looks like. It looks sort of like a spider web, which is neat. I hope from now on, I won't be knitting quite so long. It's much easier knitting, too. I placed markers every 20 rows, just for sanity's sake, and that made it easy to be sure I'd done the patterns right. Next, I have six rows of the big hexagonal mesh that is also the center of two rows of diamonds in the first pattern. It's easy and sort of boring. Maybe tomorrow it will be earlier than 12:15 when I stop knitting and I can do my exercises.

 

I was so late today that I didn't do much, but I did something. I began to get the dishwasher loaded and I cleaned the trash off the counters - again. One of the reasons I hate housework so much is that you have to do it over and over and over. It's never done forever. At least the kitchen looks a little better. Not much - my back wouldn't allow it - but a little.

 

The weather was beautiful. It got down to 52 overnight, but it warmed up steadily all day and got to 72 just a while ago before it dropped back a degree or two. It was in the middle 60s for most of the day with very light winds that shifted between north and east. It was nearly clear, but there was that high haze that makes the sky look pale blue instead of dark. Now there are some high, fluffy clouds, which are apparently going to persist through tomorrow. i can take a lot of this.

 

Grayson was his usual self. I got out a piece of soft cotton rope a while ago, and for some time I had it in the bedroom, but I don't play with him there, so eventually I attached it to the bathroom door handle. Boy, was that a genius move. He just loves it. it's long enough to trail on the floor, and he attacks it, grabs it in his teeth and jumps up on the platform around the tub. After he's bitten on it for a while, He lets go of it, and when it swings back down to the floor, he pounced on it and does the whole thing all over again. He's getting his exercise. He has also been exceptionally interested in what goes on outside. He spent the afternoon asleep on the desk. Every time I moved the chair, he would sort of come to and grunt at me. He has to be where I am. I don't know where Jasmine spent the day, but it wasn't in the great room. She is eating and drinking, though, and she's doing it when I can see her. I don't think her sides are quite a sunken as they were, but she's still emaciated and not very strong. It will be a long haul.

 

I peered out the window seat windows today, and I have a nice little cluster of coreopsis blooming out there. I'm not sure why different plants took hold at different spots. I thought I spread the wildflower mix pretty evenly, but the coreopsis took hold way over on the north end. They are extremely yellow, which is not my favorite color, but they are cheerful in an area where there isn't much else that blooms. The lupines are going. They didn't last very long this year. Next will be (shudder) the tansy and knapweed. Yuck. 

 

So now it's time to totter up to the north end and wash my hair. It's a mostly clear, warm, and nearly calm evening in the field.

 

June 25

One way or another, it was nearly midnight when I got to bed. I slept well; the first time i was up was 4:30. After that it wasn't so good. My left shoulder was sore and Grayson decided it was time to play. I got up around 8:30, I think, because I had to pee. He didn't want to be brushed, so I knitted. 

 

That turned into another marathon. I was on the third row (of six) when I dropped something and didn't realize it until later. Ugh, what a mess! I had to rip back most of both rows and a section of the row below to get it right. I did finish the end pattern - 88 rows - but it was after noon when I got to the kitchen. Tomorrow I can start the center section. The pattern repeats are only 10 stitches there and I hope it will be easier. I'll be working on it for a while, since there are 255 rows. I still think it's going to be a pretty thing, though, so I'll press on.

 

I wasn't planning to do anything much; in fact, I had my sweatpants on when Ron called to say that my cat food had arrived. So I put on my pants and socks and went off to the post office with my hand truck. I was so incensed that they sent it through the mail that, after having IE hang up when I tried to email them, I called them and explained about ten times that the post office does not deliver anything to my door, and if they don't do something so that I can get free shipping to my door, I will stop buying from them. Poo. To make matters worse, about half an hour after my call the FedEx truck pulled up to my door with my nuts and dried fruit. There is no reason except greed that they shouldn't have delivered my cat food as well. Two of those boxes weigh 29 pounds (canned cat food is heavy!) and I can't lift that. Ron was kind enough to load and unload the car for me, and the hand truck made it easier. 

 

Oh, yes, and right before Ron arrived to unload, Sandi called and he interrupted what would probably have been a nice conversation. We did get to talk some, and they will be here in a week or so. She wanted to talk to Ron as well, so that saved her a phone call. Such nice people!

 

The weather was lovely. The temperature was in the middle 60s all day. It peaked at 66 for the past three hours. There was a light north wind - around 10 mph. it was clear and lovely all day, although there seems to be a light haze in the sky. 

 

Speaking of clear, we shot the moon last evening. I just happened to look at the 10:53 picture, and there it was! I don't remember ever getting a picture of it at dusk before, but maybe it's because the new camera has such a wide field of view. It's not the best picture. The windows and the resolution made it kind of blurry and you can't really see that it was a nice narrow crescent. It was sitting up in the west when I went up to the north end, and I should have been able to see it when I turned out the lights, but evidently there was a cloudbank in the west and it disappeared behind that. While I could see it, it was so pretty.

 

I don't have much to report on the cats. Grayson was his usual wired self. I got him a new toy, or, I hope, a scratching pad he will use. It hangs from a doorknob (much too high, of course, but I put an extension on it) It is a piece of rug on a rope with a toy that has feathers attached. He really wants those feathers, which makes me guess he was a bird catcher in his outdoor days, but he seems to like the thing. I hope I can wean him away from scratching on the furniture. He has made hash of one back corner of the sofa and the French chair in the bedroom. Those little claws are sharp and strong.  He has played with the new thing a couple of times already, but I don't know if he's gotten the idea that the rug is to be scratched on. Jasmine was around, but not so active today. However, she seems to like the dry food bowls being full and I caught her eating a few pieces of kibble out of them today - after she carefully sniffed at all four bowls. I think she has gone back to the one she emptied, even though I put them down in a different order. She knows what she likes.

 

I have to mention that now that Grayson has relaxed, he has stretched out. And his coat is short enough that you can see the muscles in his shoulders and hips. He isn't a large cat, but he's all muscle. Again he reminds me of DC, except that DC had that big bag of loose skin on his belly. He's the only cat I've ever had who had that. I think he would have been top cat if he's been an outdoor, unneutered tom. This is one of the rewards of adopting stray cats: the toms are such sweeties it's a delight to get them out of all the fighting, and it's so good to see the females not become kitten machines. Now if I can only get them to like each other...

 

I was tired and creaky today, so it will be an early night tonight. My back was sore, too. Maybe I can do some exercises tonight. It was fairly humid all day, and I felt it. I'm really tired, too, so I may well be in bed before sunset (which is still at 9:52 pm!). It's a nearly clear, nearly warm evening in the field.

 

June 24

I was in bed by 9:30, and I slept fairly well, with the usual wakeups. I got up when the alarm went off and brushed the cat, and I was able to do some of my surfing before I got ready to leave.

 

Church was nice, with another good sermon. Today was the Nativity of John the Baptist, which I don't recall ever celebrating before. Of course, it's celebrated on June 24 and that doesn't come on a Sunday very often. Besides, the other churches I belonged to never celebrated the minor feasts. So that was nice. It was also quite long, and I didn't start for home until noon. 

 

I actually did something this afternoon, surprisingly enough. I cleaned out the corner of the kitchen in front of the pantry cupboard. There were a ton of plastic bags, a whole bag full of paper bags, and quite a bit of cat food in bags there. The dry cat food dishes needed to be filled. Some time ago, I dropped something on one of the dishes twice, so it was all over the floor. Jasmine had eaten all of one bowl and she was picking a few pieces off the floor. I had moved one bowl into the dining area, and then I kicked it, so there was kibble all over the floor there, too. So I swept some, with some difficulty. I put all the cat food away and reorganized it so that the stuff I use most is in front. Sometime this week, I should have a lot of canned food coming, so I wanted to see what I had. As I suspected, I hadn't been using it in any coordinated way, so there are a couple of varieties i have a lot of and several others that I have only one or two cans of. Now everything is organized as well as I can do it, so it will be easier to see what we've eaten and what we haven't. There were also a few things of mine to put away, so I did that, too. It's nice to have that corner clear so I can get to the pantry without difficulty. 

 

The weather was interesting. it was raining lightly when I went to bed, and that continued for several hours, off and on. We only had about 0.07" for the entire night, so it was a very light rain. Mostly, it was very humid. The temperature went down to 53 and stayed there until 1:00 this afternoon. About 8:00 this morning, I happened to look at the camera picture and noticed that it was very foggy. The fog only lasted about half an hour, but then a cloud bank came over. By the time I got out of church, it was clear and sunny and it stayed that way for the rest of the afternoon. The temperature finally got up to 64 briefly, at 7:00, but then i plunged and it is now down to 55. There was about a 10 mph wind from the north all day. It was pretty, if not very warm.

 

Grayson didn't sleep with me for very long last night. He got his brushing this morning, and Jasmine came in and hunched up on the rug in the bathroom. When I started fiddling with the cat food this afternoon, they both came in, and wonder of wonders, Jasmine was mewing just like Grayson does. I put the filled bowls on the floor, and she had to sniff them all and take about one piece out of each. She did seem pleased that the bowls were full and there wasn't anything on the floor. They wanted dinner, but they hadn't eaten all their morning food, so I only gave them one little can. Fancy Feast is expensive, until you realize how much food you're throwing away. Grayson isn't eating everything in sight anymore, which is a good sign. I think he was afraid he wouldn't get anymore if he didn't eat right when I put the food down, and now he knows better. He still gets very excited when I have the bowls of canned food in my hands, and he has one special, rather loud mew he uses when he knows food is coming. Food means a lot when you never know when your next meal will be. I think he's learning that he will get fed, although sometimes it's around noon. 

 

I'm not sure what was going on outside today, but Grayson spent most of the afternoon running between the windows in the great room and the windows in the studio and staring out like there was a parade going by. It must have been a good parade, because he was rather excited. I don't know where Jasmine was for most of the afternoon, but when I was fiddling with cat food, she was quite interested. I do hope she keeps on eating. She looks a little better, but she never was a big eater, and since it took her six weeks or so to get so thin, it will probably take her even longer to gain weight. When I filled the dry food bowls and she was sniffing at them, she was also purring, which surprised me quite a bit. She is a funny little cat, and she always has been.

 

I noticed, on my travels, that the meadow rue is in bloom. That is a very pretty plant, and I I took pictures of it way back in 2001. They're here and here. There are also daisies and buttercups. The lupines are beginning to go. The maple leaf viburnum is blooming. That is another pretty plant, and the pictures are here and here. One reason I don't take many pictures anymore is that I don't see any reason to take more shots of things I've already taken. I might reconsider the meadow rue and viburnum because the camera wasn't set at its highest resolution then. But those pictures are pretty good.

 

I was late eating tonight, and it's late now so it's time to totter up to the north end and crash. It's a clear, cool night in the field and there should be stars.

 

June 23

Well, last night it was 11:30, and I don't know how it happened. It was very warm in the bedroom, and I didn't sleep very well. I was up any number of times (partly because I ate fish, no doubt), and there were interesting dreams in between. I got up around 9:15. Grayson got a short brushing, and then I began to knit.

 

Well. About 5 rows in, I realized I had made a mistake starting the row, and when I tried to rip back, I dropped something - seriously dropped something. It was bad enough that I had to rip back to the last repeat before where I started in order to repair the mistake. So I knitted 6 rows twice and I didn't get to the studio until 1:00. Sigh. So I still have 6 more rows to go to finish the end part. Since I don't knit on Sunday (no time), it will be Monday before I can start the center section. Without a doubt, this is the most difficult project I have ever knitted, even harder than the Forest Floor shawl. The end pattern is very pretty, though, so it's worth doing right. 

 

I was so late I didn't do anything except wash the stuff I was wearing when I had an accident. I simply can't get it into my head that I have to get up immediately when I feel the first twinge, no matter what I'm doing.

 

The weather was OK, I guess. It started out clear, but then it began to cloud up and it's now completely cloudy and we may have some rain overnight. The temperature got up to 73 briefly, but mostly it was in the middle 60s, sort of up and down. The wind was up and down, too, from calm to 15 mph within an hour, from the north. 

 

Grayson slept with me for part of the night, but when I started throwing the covers around, he left. While I was knitting - and unknitting - he slept on the stand in the bathroom, and for part of that time, Jasmine sat all hunched up on the floor, mostly in the sun when it was shining in. Then I heard some clawing and when I came out, I found her in the window seat, still hunched up. I'd moved the French chair away from the controls for the vertical blinds and thus closer to the window seat, so she can claw herself up onto it and walk to the window seat. I'm glad to see that. I have some old pillows and lots of fleece throws on the seat and it's pretty comfy. Grayson was sleeping there when I got up. Later on, around dinnertime, I found her in the navy blue chair. I think she looks a bit less ratty and like there is a bit more of her. Grayson was torn this afternoon. He wanted to sleep in the south windows, but there was a wonderful parade going on out the east windows, so he kept going back and forth. I'm glad so many of you liked the pictures I posted yesterday. I'm sorry Grayson's face didn't show up better, but he had his hind end toward me, and the story was Jasmine anyway. It still interests me that they both want to be close to me when they're sleeping. Evidently, I'm their center.

 

When I went up to the north end last night, I spied the crescent moon, looking like a slice of orange rind, over the lighthouse. It was so pretty! It was gone by the time I went to bed. There were some stars, not very bright, but I did see Arcturus and at least part of the Big Dipper.

 

For the past few days, I've been bothered by sinus headaches. I think it has something to do with the humidity and the pollen (yes, I know the pollen counts aren't all that high, but I know I'm allergic to some of the things that are "blooming"). It is rather strange, because since I've lived here, my sinuses haven't bothered me very much at all. Maybe I have a little cold; I don't know. Perhaps that's part of the reason i haven't been sleeping well, besides the temperature. Also, the barometric pressure has been going up and down like a yo-yo and I know that always used to bother me. It's a disappointment. I hoped I'd left my sinus problems behind me in Detroit.

 

Now, even though it's early, I think I will toddle up to the north end and try to get to bed very early. I just don't feel like I've gotten enough sleep for the past few nights, and I have to get up early tomorrow. 

 

Now it's a warmish, calmish, cloudy night in the field and it may rain.

 

June 22

I didn't get to bed until around 11:00, and I don't know quite why. I was up several times during the night, and I don't feel like I slept very well. I had to walk around 8:00, so I got up. if I hadn't, it probably would have been 10:00 before I got up. So I knitted instead, although Grayson did get his brushing and a love-in. 

 

I knitted about 12 rows, I think, and I have only 12 more to go before I start on the center section. Eventually, I'll have to do another piece in the same pattern, but I can stand to put it off for a while. Actually, the last 24 or so rows are relatively easy and I had no problems except for an occasional missed yarn-over, which is easy to fix on the return row. I think I only knitted for a couple of hours, so I got to the studio at a reasonable hour.

 

i didn't do much. I went to the post office, where there wasn't anything much of interest - no first class mail at all. That means no bills. I stopped at the store and got a few things I needed. 

 

The weather was very pretty, but not very warm. It was clear last night, although not pristine. I watched the Big Dipper swinging down toward the horizon and my summer star - Arcturus - was setting about the time it began to get light. During the day, there were a few fair-weather cumulous clouds, but most of the day was clear and blue. The temperature only got up to 64, so it wasn't really balmy. Between 11:00 and 2:00 there was a 15 mph wind out of the north, but then it died down and swung around toward the east. That comes right in the window that I have kept open because Grayson likes it so much. He sits with his butt on the printer and his front end on the window sill and you'd swear there was a parade going by outside. Maybe there is, with the squirrels and chipmunks we have around here. It was nice, but not all that warm.

 

This morning, Jasmine wanted to cuddle with Grayson and he wasn't having any. So he got up on the stand in the bathroom and went to sleep and she sat in the sun until it went away, then she moved close to me and actually permitted me to scratch her head gently a couple of times. This afternoon, before I went out, Grayson was asleep under the south windows in the sun, and Jasmine got up onto the desk. I don't know how she did it, she's so skinny and weak. She wanted to cuddle with him, and he didn't want that, so he started fighting her. She jumped down onto the ugly chair and he went back to sleep, then she got back up on the desk, settled down behind him and went to sleep. I grabbed the camera, and here was the result. It's not that he's so big, although he's turned into a fair sized cat, it's that she's so tiny. After about half an hour, Grayson decided he'd had enough of this and he got up and went away. But she's persistent, and I have no doubt that eventually, they'll be sleeping together a lot. Grayson slept beside my pillow for part of the night. He likes the feel of the sheepskin, I think. I'm not sure we'll ever get Jasmine to sleep with us at night, although when it gets cold in the winter, one never knows. 

 

So we have taken another small step forward. Jasmine acted like she had a tummy ache this morning, but the way she's wandering around now (she was just on the back of the ugly chair a minute ago), I think she must be over it and perhaps she ate. We have fish on Friday, and that's not her absolute favorite.

 

So that's about all I have to report. It's a cool, clear, pretty evening in the field and I bet I'll see the teensy crescent moon tonight.

 

June 21

I got to bed around 10:30, I think, although I don't remember. I slept well, with a cat for  most of the night. How nice it is to have a cuddly cat! I got up around 8:30, I think, and I knitted, but only six rows in three hours. I had a terrible time with the first row I did, then I go the hang of it and the other rows didn't go badly, although they were slow. i finally think I understand the pattern, but it takes time to make sure every stitch is lined up properly. From now on, though, it gets easier, because I'm closing the diamond. I think there is one more hairy row, and then it will be better. Grayson got his brushing and his love-in, and he wasn't ready to leave when I wanted to knit. 

 

I got the dishwasher almost ready to go tonight. All I have to do is put my dinner dish, fork and glass in and it will go. It was sort of a shock to go into the kitchen and not see the sink full of dishes. I had a conversation with Jill about the advertising committee, and I think I understand some of the things that have happened lately. She still wants a committee, so we'll see how it goes.

 

The weather was nice today. It continued to rain after I went to bed last night, and by midnight, we had had 1.95" of rain for the day. It rained until about 4:00 this morning, and we had another 0.15", so the storms dumped 2.10" of rain on us. Boy, how we needed that! I hope we continue to get regular rains. The temperature for most of the day was nearly constant around 66, although it did get up to 71 late in the afternoon. The humidity was horrible overnight, but it has gone down steadily all day, and it's now pretty comfortable in that regard. The wind shifted to the northwest and picked up during the day, with gusts as high as 31 mph. It was a pretty day, mostly clear and sunny, with whitecaps on the harbor and blue skies, although it has clouded over now. It's supposed to clear up, but we'll see about that. 

 

Grayson was his usual self, maybe not quite so wired this morning. He slept for most of the day on the desk. He just wants to be close to me. The fur on his neck is growing in slowly, but he is not scratching any more than most cats do, which is good. It tells me he's not as stressed as he was when he came. He also weighs a lot more, Now he looks chunky but not fat. Without weighing him, I'd say he's 11 or 12 pounds. Jasmine tried a couple of times to make up with him, but he still isn't having any. When she comes into the bathroom, he jumps up on the little rack where I keep my stuff. He has also decided that if I can go into the shower to wash myself, so can he. I've been leaving the door open a crack to make it dry out faster in the humidity, so in the morning, he has been going in, getting up on the seat, and washing. I didn't see much of Jasmine today. I think possibly she was in the bedroom, but I was surprised that she wasn't in the great room in the sun. She still looks pretty ratty, but she is eating and she's doing better.

 

Now I will prime the dishwasher and then I'll go up to the north end. I haven't decided whether to take a bath tonight, but I probably won't, since I haven't had an accident in the past couple of days. I think my hair will hold until Saturday.

 

It's a cloudy, windy and not very warm evening in the field, but it may clear up later.

 

June 20 - Summer Solstice

Well, now it's officially summer, not that we haven't been having it for a month.

 

 It was 11:00 before I got to bed last night. I fiddled around when I got to the north end, and then I had to take a bath. I slept well, with only two wakeups, and I finally made it out of bed around 8:45, although I had been fighting a sore hip for some time before that. 

 

Grayson got a short brushing, but I think he deposited some scent on my leg, so he got booted off. I knitted, and I got into a bad mess. There are two rows in the next tier of diamonds that are extremely difficult. My count was off on the first repeat in the first hard row, so I decided to rip back and start over, and then I dropped at least one and probably two or three stitches. After looking at it for a bit, I decided to just unknit the rows back to where I knew everything was all right. It turned out to be only two rows and one repeat of the third, but I had a terrible time getting that third row right. Then I stopped. Even though the two rows i ripped are fairly easy ones, when I've been having such a terrible time, there's no use in going on. Repairing my mistakes took a long time, though, and it was 12:30 before I got dressed. 

 

I didn't do much else, because I was so late, except that I went to the post office to send off my return package.  When I left, there were two tourist ladies taking pictures of the roses outside. I think they are rugosa roses, and they smell heavenly. There are two rose doubles at either end of the windows of the visitor's center and in the middle are some pale pink single flowers. They grow like mad and have all kinds of flowers on them, only one has to be careful when smelling, because the bees love them.

 

it was an interesting day, weather-wise. The temperature hit 73 around 11:00, and by the next reading, it had dropped to 56 and the wind had gone calm. It recovered into the middle 60s by afternoon. It was cloudy until 1:00, when it cleared up very  nicely, except that I could see a bank of clouds way over in the west, and around 2:00 they put out a severe thunderstorm warning. I could see the line of storms over by Duluth and Grand Marais, Mn, and by 4:00 it was dark and threatening. When I went to bed, there was lightning all over the place, but it was far away enough that there was no thunder. Around 3:30, the NWS station reported a 44 mph wind gust. and it started to rain. We had 0.09" of rain between 3:30 and 8:00, and that was nice. Well. Between 4:00 and 5:00 this afternoon, the heavens opened and we had 0.78" of rain in an hour. So far we've had 1.5" since 4:00 and it's still bumbling around, so there may be more. Goody! And it's still raining.

 

It was fun to watch the storm move in, but since it was daylight, the lightning was harder to see. We had any number of thunder rolls that echoed over the hills. I love to hear that. The only problem was that the Isle Royal Queen sunset cruise to benefit the Forth of July fireworks was scheduled for tonight. Obviously, they had to cancel, but I got an email saying they were moving it to the Brickside Brewery (our new microbrew pub). The cruise might be rescheduled. We're used to the weather around here, and we know how to make do.

 

Grayson decided to sleep with me last night. When I turned back onto my left side, he settled down on the other side of the body pillow and he was still zonked out when I got up. I'm glad to see that he prefers to sleep on that side of the bed. Buster liked the right side, and that's the side I get out on, so every time I had to get up, he had to move. He didn't like the body pillow, either, but it doesn't bother Grayson at all. Jasmine came around when he was on my lap and turned around and left, but when he got down, she came back. She is trying her hardest to make up to him and he just doesn't want anything to do with her. I think he'll give in eventually, but for the time being, when she twines around him, he bites her ears and neck. I do think she is looking better. She is still very thin and her coat doesn't look so good, but every day it seems like she puts on an ounce or two of weight. She is definitely feeling better, and she even trots around sometimes. When it was sunny and rather warm, when I got home from the post office, she was stretched out in the sun on the porch. She is eating, but she has decided on one variety of dry food, and she was eating the pieces off the floor since the bowl is empty. I must get that bowl filled. I'm sorry to say she is reverting to her old habits, and she runs when she sees me. However, she was quite close to me in the bathroom this morning. She's all right as long as I don't reach for her, just like always. Well, it was nice while it lasted. I hope someday she'll let me pet her when she isn't sick.

 

Now I think i will try to get to bed a little earlier tonight, and maybe tomorrow I can conquer the hard rows in the shawl. Now it's a dark, thundery, rainy night in the field - a good night to pull up a warm cat and sleep long and hard.

 

June 19

I made it into bed by a little after 10:00, and for the most part, I slept well. I was up for a while around 3:00 - there were stars, but not very bright ones - and I turned onto my right side and for the next few hours I didn't sleep very well. I think it had something to do with my sinuses. When I was on my left side, everything had drained into the left side of my head, and when I turned over, it all began to drain back, including down my throat, so I was coughing a lot. It might not have been that. Sometimes I can't sleep on my left side but the right side is fine. I had to be firm with Grayson when I was up around 5:30, but then I went back to sleep and got up around 8:45, I think.

 

Instead of doing what i should have, I knitted and knitted and knitted - 20 rows. I'm now on row 57 (of 86), and the pattern is working out nicely. I really wanted to get to this part, because I'm not sure how the center pattern of the diamonds works out, but as it turned out, I only did the first row of it. Because this is knitted in garter stitch, the pattern is knitted on both sides, which is neat. I've never done that before. Because it's in garter stitch, it doesn't look like anything at all, just a bunch of stitches, some of which stick out a lot, and some rather large holes. The pattern in the middle of the last tier of diamonds was a hexagonal mesh that has very big holes. I did good, although I did drop something at one point. Fortunately, it wasn't too hard to pick up, and I think I did it right. Otherwise, my counts were right on, and I only put one yarn over in the wrong spot. 

 

I was so late getting to the studio, and I had an accident, so I didn't do very much but my surfing for the day. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, and I'm a dyed-in-the-wool procrastinator. 

 

The weather wasn't very nice. The temperature got up to 69 briefly, around 11:00, then the wind shifted around to the north, then to the east, and by the time it went calm again, it was 53, at about 4:00. It's recovered a little, up to 58, and the wind is now light from the southeast, so it has almost gone completely around the compass. It was cloudy all day, and sometime during the afternoon, and it was very humid again. I heard a distant rumble of thunder, but the rain was in the middle of the lake. There is a big glob of rain north of us, over northern Minnesota and Canada, which may or may not brush us. It's amazing how the lake guides so much weather either to the south or to the north of us.

 

The cats felt the weather. Even Grayson wasn't as wired as usual. He slept for most of the afternoon under the south windows. Jasmine was in the navy blue chair, and she looked very suspiciously at me as I walked by, so she's reverting to her old habits. I guess I should be consoled that when she felt really bad, she came to me, rather than running away and hiding. The tables have turned on her, though. When Grayson first came, he wanted to be her friend and she wouldn't let him. Now she wants to be friends, and he doesn't want any part of it. She wants to twine around him and rub under his chin, and when she does, he bites her ears. She's used to that, because Buster did it, too, but I feel a bit sorry for her. Eventually, it will sort itself out. She is such a strange little beastie, I'm not surprised that Grayson is a bit leery.

 

I seem to have gotten my first black fly bite yesterday, on the base of my left thumb. It isn't a very big one, but it itches like crazy. I may have had another one on my head, but that only itched for a couple of days and there was no lump, so I'm not sure what it was. Well, it's time. I've noticed that the later in the season it gets, the more the black flies start to bite, like they're getting anxious that they won't be able to lay their eggs. So we probably have a couple of weeks left to go, but they were so early this year, maybe they'll get over with early. I remember one summer a few years ago when it was so cold all summer that they never went away. I hope that doesn't happen this year.

 

I noticed in passing that it was 91 in Detroit at 8:00, while it was 58 here. I'll take the humidity and the bugs any day, as long as it doesn't get that hot. I still can't stand the heat. I also noticed that we now have 15h 57m of daylight, which is about our max. It's nice, but it's still twilight at 11:00, and it's getting light at 4:30 in the morning.

 

The sun rises at 5:54, and when I was up at 5:30, I got back in bed and watched some dusty rose clouds in the west for a while before sunrise. They were very pretty, but I needed more sleep. Unfortunately, they didn't show up in the camera at all, although there was something pink reflected in the harbor at 5:56.

 

So that was another lost day. Now it's a cool, humid, cloudy evening in the field and I'm off to the north end again.

 

June 18

I turned out the light at about 9:45 last night, and Grayson wasn't so wired. I think slowly he's getting the idea that you don't bother mommy when she's in bed, but I expect I'll have to throw him across the room a few more times before he gets it. i had that trouble with Buster, too, and at a time when getting my sleep was critical. I was up several times, of course, and along about 5:30, every time I got up, Grayson thought I was getting up for good. Hah. I finally rolled out at 9:45 this morning. For most of the time, I slept very well. I needed that. He got brushed and petted and I knitted 12 rows! These were fairly easy rows, but it seems like I'm finally getting the rhythm of the thing. I still like it, and it's going to be pretty.

 

It was sort of an upside-down day. I needed to go to the Laughing Loon to get a birthday card for my friend from church who turns 91 on Thursday, and I wanted to take the note cards with me, so instead of doing all my surfing, I got out the bags and began bagging up the ones I printed recently. I discovered that I've lost one package, and I ransacked the desk and I can't find it. My desk is somewhat nearer now (not a lot, but some). 

 

So I went off to see Laurel with my note cards and Eleanor's address. I found a nice card for her. Laurel has a small but very nice selection of greeting cards, which is really handy in a place so far from civilization. We had a nice talk until some paying customers came in. I didn't get to the post office until a little after 3:00, but it was still open, so I exchanged my card for a package. Elsebet was manning the welcome center desk, so I had to talk to her. She had to have her old cat put down, and she is still mourning that. I can very well understand it, since I don't think I've still gotten over Buster. While we were talking, Margaret came in with brochures she had printed for her shop and also with new business cards, so we had a nice conversation. I assured them that eventually I will get the angels mounted, and Elsebet, who was (and still is) a cabinetmaker, offered to hang the ledges for me if I ever get around to ordering them from Pottery Barn. I think she might help get some of the other things hung, too. So that was a nice conversation.

 

When I got home, I discovered I'd ordered the wrong size of Crocs, so they will have to go back, darn it. I love my Crocs, but they are a rather loud shade of blue and besides, I've worn them so much that the tread is wearing off the bottoms. Yes, Crocs do wear out. Oh, well, I don't really need the new ones yet.

 

The weather was damp. During the night, I thought I heard rain outside the open window, and it turns out I was right; it rained from about 3:00 until about 6:00, nice and soft, like we really need. It would be so nice if we'd get a rain like that every night. We had 0.13" again. But that left it extremely dampish. While I was knitting this morning, There was one rumble of thunder, but no more rain. All the heavy rain and thunderstorms went south and east of us. The temperature never got below 60 all night, and it peaked at 77 briefly, around 5:00. Then the wind went calm and the temperature dropped to 64. So it was warm and sticky all day. The skies are clearing now, and they're supposed to be clear all night, but tomorrow there is supposed to be more rain. Good. We need it. I don't like the humidity, but the temperature has been just fine. It was hazy to foggy down the harbor for most of the afternoon.

 

The weather had its effects on the cats. Grayson slept for most of the day under the south windows. Jasmine went up to the north end after breakfast and slept on the window seat. I'm so glad to see it - she's strong enough to jump up onto the window seat again. Cats tend to hide their true conditions, but the other day when she had to claw her way onto the bed, I knew she wasn't doing well. I think she's doing better now. She did eat a bit this morning (well, it was around noon) while I was in the kitchen, but she still doesn't like to eat when I'm around. I opened the window onto the porch this evening, and Grayson went out there right away. He loves it there, but he shows no desire to go any further out into the great out of doors. He was energetic when I got ready to get dressed, but it didn't last long. He is so funny when he starts to chase his tail.

 

So that is about all I know. I think I will try to bet to bed early again, I'm sleepy again. The rain has settled the pollen. Yesterday I had a couple of sneezing fits, because the "spring grasses" are out, and I'm allergic to them. The wind yesterday really riled things up. I may have to start taking more of my old-fashioned allergy meds. Well, that's another thing we have to live with in paradise.

 

Now it's a calm, warm, hazy evening in the field and the harbor is just like a mirror. 

 

June 17 - Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there. I think of my dad, whose 100th birthday is in October. He has been gone 29 years already, but I still miss him and I wish I'd been able to get to know him better.

 

I made it into bed by 10:00, but it was a horrible night. It started with Grayson getting wired and attacking the bedding, during which he punctured me twice and drew blood. For some reason I can't understand, I never did get into a deep sleep, so I had a number of very vivid, crazy dreams. Around 3:30, it got so windy I had to close the porch window because it was acting like an organ pipe and it was bothering me.

 

I was awake around 5:30, and Grayson started wandering around talking loudly, looking out the porch door and out the window. I couldn't understand what his problem was, and it wasn't quite light enough for me to see anything out there, so I ignored him. Well. When I finally got up at 7:00, I looked outside, and there was Jasmine curled up in grandpa's chair. I opened the door, and she immediately looked up. I left the door open when I went into the bathroom and she came in. Dear, sweet Grayson. He was worried that his little friend was locked out of the house.

 

When I went to get our breakfast, not only was Jasmine right there, she was twining around Grayson like they were good friends. So I fed them, and she ate a little. I think she must have eaten more while I was gone.

 

I got myself together and off to church pretty much on time, and it was a good service, honoring fathers as well as the Lord. There was no traffic on the way down, but there was lots coming back, and I had to follow a guy almost all the way to Copper Harbor. He wasn't terminally slow, but he wasn't going quite as fast as I wanted to. He and the guy behind me both turned into the Mountain Lodge, so I gather they had something special going on at noon today.

 

I didn't do anything after I got home. I was - and still am - terminally tired, so I just fiddled around. Grayson was glad to see me, and he slept on the throws for most of the afternoon. Last night, I got to thinking about my comment of several days ago that I had an idea for a new story, and it took me quite a while to remember what it was. So this evening, I sat down and wrote the beginning, about 1100 words, just so I won't forget it again. I still want to finish the other thing I've been working on, but I knew if I didn't write down the new one, it would go out of my head and I'd never remember it. So that's done. and I left it at a point where it will be easy to pick up when the time comes.

 

The weather was pretty nice. Apparently it rained from about 9:00 last night until midnight, and we had 0.13" of rain. Couldn't prove it by me. It was very windy, as I mentioned, and the wind was from the west and northwest, which means it was very noisy. The NWS station reported gusts up to 26 mph, but it sure sounded like more to me. It was windy all day, too, but it has all died down now. The temperature never got below 60 last night, and it got up to 73 briefly this afternoon. Aahh! My favorite temperature range. The humidity went down quite a bit, too, and the wind shifted to the north. The skies were mostly clear until lately, and now there is a deck of cirrus clouds overhead.

 

I am so encouraged by Jasmine. She has not only been eating, she has been coming around when I put down the food and sometimes she eats, although she is still very suspicious about eating when I'm in the kitchen. She is still so skinny, but her coat looks better, and I caught her washing her behind this afternoon. She is acting a lot more animated. She even spent some time in the open window in the great room (I forgot it was open) today. She has quite a way to go to regain her weight, but she didn't get so thin overnight and it will take her time. She only eats a little bit at one sitting, but I think she goes back to the bowls when Grayson and I aren't in the kitchen.

 

Grayson, for all his sweetness, is bugging me. He hasn't yet learned that you don't bother mommy when she's in bed. He got tossed across the room twice last night, but he's a persistent little bugger. He not only wants to play with the bedding, he is fascinated by my hands under the covers and he attacks them, too. That was how I got punctured. Well, he's not stupid and he'll learn.

 

We are turning into quite a little family, finally. I knew it would take time. I think everything will work out if I have patience.

 

On my travels today, I noticed that the daisies are out along the sides of Cliff Drive. They are so pretty. When I got my fish on Friday, Christine's Sweet William was in bloom. I looked carefully today and mine is coming out, too. There is so much junk along the driveway, I feared for the Sweet William, but evidently it's tough and it's still there. I like that stuff. 

 

Another thing I noticed was that there are a whole lot of new trees down. I think that storm on Thursday was a lot worse further down the peninsula. It didn't last long, but it was violent.

 

Now I am very tired, so I think I will totter up to the north end and crash. It's a warmish, breezy, cloudy evening in the field.

 

June 16

I went up to the north end on time and I got to bed around 10:00, but it wasn't a very good night. I expected to be up several times from my fish, but I had other tummy problems (not serious, just uncomfortable) and it was after midnight before I started to sleep well. I wanted to sleep in, but when I sort of came to about 8:00, Grayson decided it was time I got up, and he was into everything. Finally, I got up around 8:30, I think, and he went to sleep, so he didn't get brushed, and he gave up a rather large hairball.

 

I knitted eight rows with only a few problems and I exercised, although Grayson thought I should be doing something else then. 

 

I didn't do anything. Blah. I felt sort of blah and I was late getting to the studio, so I did my surfing and that was about all. Blah.

 

The weather was rather nice, overall. The temperature got up to 78 briefly around noon, and though it dropped back, it went to 76 later. It was warm and very humid when I got up, but the humidity dropped back later in the day. There was a southwest wind which had gotten up to 25 mph gusts lately. It was partly cloudy until noon, and then it clouded over completely. There is a little rain on the radar map, but not much very close to us. I had the house opened up for most of the day, although occasionally the wind seemed a little cool.

 

The cats. Oh, the cats. A while ago, Grayson found the pulls on the blinds in the bedroom, and one of the ways he tries to get me to notice him is by playing with them. I had the little French chair up against them, and that made it easy. So this morning in the middle of my exercises, I moved the chair. I don't like where it is, but it's away from the blinds. Then he was trying to play with the ends of the blinds themselves. I don't think he can claw them, but he was trying. He will play with absolutely anything.

 

Jasmine came down the hall while I was in the bathroom and took a drink out of the bowl in the bathroom. She actually got halfway into the bathroom before she realized where she was.

 

We made another small step forward on the Jasmine front this morning (well, around noon}. Evidently she didn't like what we had to eat yesterday. It was fish, and as I recall, she never liked that very well. Anyway, when Grayson and I came into the kitchen, there came Jasmine from the other direction. I put down his food, but I didn't put down a dish for her, and the next thing I knew, she was sticking her head under his chin in his dish and eating! Eating out of his dish when I was in the kitchen!! So I put her portion in a dish and put it down beside his, and she just moved a little bit away, eyeing me. When I went back toward the middle of the kitchen, she went right to her dish and ate. With me in the kitchen, moving around to make my breakfast! I could hardly believe it! She didn't eat a lot, and I don't know if she ate any more, but she ate. 

 

She spent some time in the great room this morning, but later on, she was gone, and when I checked on her, she was curled up in Grandpa's chair on the porch. The door from the bedroom was open, so she didn't have to jump up into the window. She looked quite content. After a while, when it got cloudy, I suppose she got cool, so she came back into the great room and curled up in the pale blue chair, but she still looks rather content. Not happy yet, but content. Oh, if only she'll keep coming back! I don't think she looks quite as emaciated, although her fur is still looking rather ratty, so she has a way to go, but I am so encouraged. I was afraid she had just given up and would pine away and die, but evidently she's not that kind of cat. Well, patience seems to pay off, so all I have to do is continue to be patient.

 

Grayson spent most of the afternoon curled up on the throws under the south window, although every time I got up to do something, he had to get up, too, and check out the porch and all the open windows. There is no question that he's a happy cat. He still wants to be wherever I am, but he's happy. He isn't scratching his ears any more than any other cat now, and the fur on his neck is beginning to grow back, slowly. When Jasmine stuck her nose into his dish, he just moved over and ate out of the other side. I think basically he's a very laid-back guy.

 

I forgot to mention yesterday that when I was out, I noticed that we are apparently going to have a bumper crop of thimbleberries this year. The road in the culverts is lined with thimbleberry bushes and I don't recall ever seeing more blossoms on them. They are very pretty when they're in blossom. I'm hoping the bilberry bushes around my driveway will have some berries this year, too and I can get out and pick at least enough to have some bilberry pancakes. After eating bilberry pancakes, blueberry pancakes just don't do it.

 

We need more rain. The forecast says there is supposed to be rain almost every day next week, but that doesn't always mean we'll get it here. We can hope.

 

Oh, yes, and on my way into the driveway yesterday, I checked the back field, and I do indeed have a nice crop of blue lupines. They are blooming quite nicely, and I think they may even be spreading a bit. I think they've moved into the areas where there isn't so much tansy. I wish I had pink and white ones, too, but the last time I checked on the price of seed, it was so expensive, I gave up on the idea. I love lupines, and they seem to grow so well in the Keweenaw. 

 

So now it's a warmish, cloudy and breezy evening in the field, and I will go up to the north end early and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, Church tomorrow.

 

June 15

About the time I thought I should go up to the north end, they started playing Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, and of course I had to listen to that, then there were some other things, so it was 11:45 before I finally got to bed, what with the dishwasher and the bath and all. I slept OK, not great, and I was up a number of times. I woke up around 7:30 and the clock was blinking, so it looked like we had a power failure around 5:00. More about that later. I didn't get up until 9:30, I think, so I didn't knit, especially since Grayson wanted to be loved and petted and brushed. I finally had to set him down, because I wanted to get up. I had an accident that meant I had to change my pants, darn it.

 

When I went to bed, it was raining and it was incredibly dark outside. So I closed my eyes and ignored it, and it had lightened up when I woke up for the first time. I think the lighthouse is out again, but I'll see tonight. I know the NWS station was off all night.

 

I got off almost on time for my massage. I am happy to report that Johanna looks pretty good, feels good and is getting back into things. I got the whole story of what they did for her, It was very major surgery. We all hope this will solve her problems and she will be pain-free from now on. We're back on schedule for Mondays, so I'll be seeing her regularly. She does Reiki, and it was really working for both of us today. Oh, yes, and I saw her scar and showed her mine. Hers is a bit higher on her gut than mine, but it's still below her bikini line. That may be important to her, although it never was for me. So we had a good talk as well as a good session.

 

I was very interested when Johanna said that she was without power from about 4:00 yesterday until around 5:00 this morning. I wasn't. I had those power glitches around 4:00 yesterday and the one overnight (or I think it was only one), but no sustained outages that I know about. I'm not sure how that happened, since I thought I 7was downstream from Copper Harbor, but I'll take it. Sort of strange. Actually, really strange, since I saw the lights of town overnight.  

 

From Johanna's, I went to the fish house and got another piece of whitefish, although this one was frozen. It's been slow in town lately, so Christine froze her fish to keep it fresh. It didn't interfere with its goodness. Then I stopped by the post office, where all there was was two bills. It was nearly 3:00 when I got home.

 

The weather was nice, if humid. The temperature got up to 73 briefly, about the time I got home, and it was around 70 for the rest of the time. I opened up the house, of course, although I didn't open the great room. Grayson was enchanted to get out onto the porch. It was a bit windy this morning, but it's been nearly calm lately, and it is completely calm now. Ah, summer evenings in the harbor! The sky was partly cloudy all day, but there was a lot of sunshine. Unfortunately, the clouds made the camera pictures look like they were in black-and-white. It really was nicer than that.

 

Grayson was very cuddly this morning and he only got excited when I got up to get dressed. He loves the porch, although when I opened the window yesterday and he felt the wind, he stayed in, so he's not stupid. After he woke up from his siesta today, he's been alternating between the porch and the east window in the studio. I guess there are several parades going on. Sometime this afternoon, I came into the kitchen just as Jasmine was going that way, and she meowed at me, then she scooted under the door to the dishwasher and went and sniffed Grayson's dish, although she wouldn't eat with me there. I think she went downstairs to pee. Now she is curled up in the pale blue chair. She still looks awful, but she is a bit more active, so I hope she is eating. I think I've done about all I can by moving her dishes. I want to fill the one empty dry food bowl and put that in the dining room, too, since I guess that's the one she wants to eat. I don't know about her.

 

I think I will toddle up to the north end and do something for a bit. I should knit, since I didn't this morning, but I feel like I'd rather read. The disadvantage of having most everything on the computer is that it's harder to read them. I may have to take the laptop up to the north end. I only don't know how safe it is in the bathroom. Well, we'll see.

 

Now it's a calm, warm evening in the field and it's time to go to the north end.

 

June 14

i made it into bed by about 10:00 last night, and I slept fairly well, although I was up a lot. I got up around 8:30. Grayson was asleep by that time, so I knitted. I conquered the row that was giving me so much trouble. It turns out I was reading the chart wrong. Oh. Well, that happens, too, and after all, it is 10 squares to the inch. After that it went well for a change, and I did 8 rows. Now that I have something to hang onto, I can see the pattern developing, and it's just as beautiful as I thought it would be, but it will have to be stretched drastically. This is the first lace I've knit in garter stitch. and the pattern doesn't stand out as much as It does in stockinette. However, since there is pattern on both sides, knitting it in stockinette would be very difficult or perhaps impossible. Anyway, I feel much better about it than I did yesterday. I took a magnet board and my best magnetic line minder up to the north end, and that has made it easier, too. I thought i would have to refer to the printed pattern a lot, and later on I think I will, but for the time being, the chart is working well. Even though there are some counting gotchas, the pattern is actually very logical. I just have to pay attention.

 

I didn't do very much more. I will prime the dishwasher tonight and take a bath. I have a massage tomorrow - oh, goodie! Otherwise, nothing.

 

The weather was interesting. When I got up, it was clear, but it soon clouded over. I can't report all the conditions, because the NWS station hasn't reported since 4:00. The temperature had gotten up to 65, but the wind, which was from the west, picked up to at least 30 mph gusts. The NWS station is somewhat sheltered on that side, and I think it was even windier out here. In fact, I know it was, because it blew one of the bird feeder hangers out of the tree with a crash. We had just a few drops of rain, although there was quite a bit of rain south and west of us. The barometer has been dropping, and at the last reading it had dropped off a cliff.

 

About the time the NWS station stopped reporting and the wind picked up, I started having a series of intermittent power failures, just enough to hit the computer. Fortunately, I had finished my Windows update earlier, and it didn't seem to bother the laptop. This is the first time I've seen Windows 7 do an automatic disc scan - and it did it at least twice. For a while, I just turned the computer off, which is why updates to the camera were somewhat scattered for an hour or so. I think things have settled down now. One of the later power glitches was 30 seconds or so long, which was long enough to stop whatever was going on in the machine room. The boiler seemed to be on and wouldn't shut off, but the power failure stopped it. I only hope it will come on when I take my bath so I'll have enough hot water. I've been postponing calling the plumber, and I'd like to wait until fall.

 

Grayson was energetic at about 5:00 this morning, but by the time I got up, he was sleepy. He didn't get brushed because he didn't come to see me. I was sitting on the side of the bed (I forget why) when Jasmine clawed her way up onto it, right beside me, but when I tried to pet her, she tried to run away and got a claw caught in the rug. I had to rescue her and she was clearly terrified, but I put her down on the bed and she went over into the far corner as far from me as she could get. So I couldn't exercise again. Later this afternoon, she shifted to the navy blue chair, and when I went by, she looked at me like she thought I might attack her. So she hasn't gotten over her fear of me. Grayson really appreciates the throws under the south window, and he slept there all afternoon. The barometer even affects him. He sat on me for a while and would have gone to sleep, except that we had to get up to get dinner. Every so often he has to check out what's going on outside the east window, which is open.

 

I've been forgetting to mention the flowers. The rose bushes outside the Community Center have been in bloom for over a week, and they smell heavenly, although you have to be careful not to inhale a bee. The cow vetch (purple) is out along the roadside between here and town, and the daisies and buttercups are out. Unfortunately, I don't have very many daisies anymore. The knapweed and tansy have crowded them out. My bright pink poppy is trying as hard as it can to bloom amid the weeds. I would dearly love to get out there and pull those weeds, but I'm not sure I could. I have been searching for my lupines in the backyard, but I haven't seen them. I hope they didn't get crowded out.

 

So that was a quiet day and I'll be off to the north end soon. I had to shut down Word when I did the Windows updates, and when I got to the studio this morning, the binder and my little black book were on the floor, so Grayson was active during the night. I would like to read something of mine, but I'm not sure what. I need to load the last stuff into the dishwasher and set it to go off in the middle of the night, and I have to wash my hair. It's a cloudy, breezy evening in the field, and it's still possible that we might get some rain.

 

June 13

I went up to the north end at a more or less reasonable hour last night, but then I fiddled around and ended up reading some of the story that is still there, so after I took my bath, it was nearly midnight when I got to bed. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I sleep best when I can make my own environment inside the covers, like last night, or when it's warm, like it was Sunday. The in-between temperatures are harder. I woke up around 8:30. I didn't want to get up, but I had to walk, so I did.

 

It wasn't a good morning. Grayson got his brushing and his love-in, but then I picked up the new project. I had knitted three rows and i was having a real problem counting on the fourth row. While i was unknitting, I dropped something - I'm not sure quite what - and after fiddling with it for a long time, I just ripped back to, as it turned out, the row before the one where I started. Oh, how I hate to do that! I got the next row done with not much trouble, and then I got up, but I found Jasmine curled up and sound asleep in the middle of my bed, so I couldn't exercise. So I sat down again and decided to try to get at least one more row done. Hah! I finally unknitted to the beginning of the the row and gave up. Somehow, I just did not have the level of concentration I needed. I fiddled with it for most of the morning before I gave up. And that's the trouble with this project. It needs complete concentration, and some days I have that and some days I don't. I can also start out doing well and lose it after a while, and I think it's a lot sooner than it used to be. Sigh. 

 

So I didn't do much. I went to the post office, where there were several packages, including pills. I got the second knitting book I've acquired lately that is really useful. The first one is called The Sock Knitter's Handbook and it has more really useful information in it than in all the others, and besides, it's easy to read and understand. The one that came today is called Cast On Bind Off and finally, finally there is one place that has almost all the methods of doing those things in one place. Just looking at it a bit, I've already learned some ways of casting on for socks that I want to try, and a couple of ways of binding off the lace that i want to try.

 

The weather was pretty but not quite as warm as the forecast. I guess it did get up to 68 around 6:00, but earlier it was in the low 60s. It wasn't bad, because there was almost no wind. It was mostly clear, but lately there have been a few clouds in the sky. Not a bad day at all, but not warm enough to open up the porch.

 

Grayson was totally wired last night and while I was trying to get my bath rug away from him, he gashed me pretty bad on the hand. He gets excited and forgets himself. When he's sitting on my lap, I'd never know he had a claw until he starts kneading me. He wasn't quite as excited this morning, although he did try to grab my yarn. We had a good love-in and he got a good brushing. While we were in the bathroom, Jasmine started walking around talking, and when I got up to exercise, she had bedded down in the middle of the bed. I think she stayed there for most of the day, although when I went to get my dinner, she was curled up against the patio door in the great room. I don't know about her. Somebody ate everything out of her dish overnight, and I think she got some of it earlier, but I don't know if she was the one who finished the dish. She seems to be moving around a bit more, which is good, but she is so thin and she sleeps most of the time. I try to watch her as much as I can, but she just will not eat when I'm looking at her.

 

I just looked outside and there is a rather good-sized cabin cruiser anchored in the bay. It's name is BettyRuth and there was a guy standing on the platform at the stern in a pair of swimming trunks (you've got to be kidding, right?). He kicked the water a few times before he decided maybe it wasn't such a good idea to try to swim. I don't know what it's doing there, but of course, our "private - keep out" signs don't apply to the water, which is public property. There seem to be a couple of guys on board. At least they aren't out in front of my house looking in. Well, finally they left. I don't know what their idea was.

 

I discovered the other day that it's still hard to tell if there's anybody at home in my house, which is just the way I like it. In the winter, of course, there are lights, but in the summertime, it's very hard to tell.

 

So that's about all I know, and when the Mozart piano trio ends, I will be off to the north end. I should wash dishes tonight, but the one I used tonight needs to soak, so I guess I'll postpone it until tomorrow.

 

It's a partly cloudy, coolish evening in the field.

 

June 12

Well, no bath again. Tonight's the night. I was so tired that I went right to bed, and I turned out the light before 10:30. I didn't sleep very well, though. My mind was going in circles, and I was concerned about Jasmine. So i was awake a lot and up several times. I finally got up around 9:15, but right now I don't feel like I got enough sleep. 

 

I cast on the Shetland scarf and worked 9 rows - in almost 3 hours. This is going to be a long project. The pattern repeat is 32 stitches, but that's not the whole story. I found I could get the right number of stitches and still screw up the pattern, which I did, several times. Since it's done on a garter stitch (knit every row) background, it's very hard to see the previous row, which is what I usually go on. Well, it will keep me occupied for a long time. I think the middle section is easier, but the end pattern is 86 rows long, a series of interlocked diamonds, and the centers of each row of diamonds are different. From the way the model was hashed up, I can tell already that the centers are very difficult to do correctly. I guess the Shetland knitters, who knit to make money, just ignored mistakes and forged ahead. The pattern, if it's done correctly, is so beautiful that it's worth the effort to do it right. It surprises me a little that in all those rows, I only found one mistake. I guess they did a lot of proofreading in that cheap little magazine I treasure.

 

Anyway, I was so late getting dressed that I didn't do much else. I did gather up the trash that had accumulated on the counters. My goodness, I do make a lot of trash! And i still haven't cleaned out the veggie drawer.

 

The weather was different. The temperature dropped and the wind rose all night long. I could tell even without the computer that the wind was from the northwest all night long, and it was banging against the house very loudly. They say that the maximum gust was only 26 mph, but that was at the waste ponds. Out here, I'm sure those gusts were stronger. The temperature dropped down to 46 at 10:00 this morning before it started rising slowly. It finally made it up to 59 at 7:00 before it dropped back a bit. Needless to say, the house is almost completely closed up, except for the windows in the bedroom and the studio. That wind was chilly! It was very cloudy until noon, when it began to clear up and it was clear and blue this afternoon, with some whitecaps on the DMC-924 (dark teal) harbor. Now the wind has dropped to almost nothing, and it's a lovely evening.

 

Jasmine was up and walking around and complaining when I got dressed. I think she was telling me that the trays are horrible, which I know, but I didn't get to them today because Grayson was sleeping on my lap for most of the afternoon. Jasmine, I think, spent some time in the bedroom before I found her cuddled up in the navy blue chair. She looks ratty, but I do think she's eating, and she showed some interest in food when I put it down, although she wouldn't eat when I was watching her. She did eat a little from her dish during the afternoon, I think. I'm watching her. Grayson was his usual jolly self, chasing his tail and pushing the towels into the corner and the rug almost under the bed. He got on the little stand in the bathroom and started trying to play with the end of his string that I have tied to the stand. He really doesn't like having the windows closed, but he doesn't understand that it's too cold out there for me to have things opened up. Tomorrow, Grayson. It's supposed to warm up. I don't completely know him yet, but he has a very sweet disposition and I know he is a happy cat. He wants to be close to me, and now he is asleep on the throws I put under the south windows.

 

This evening, I got tired of playing games, so I took another look at the story I started, and I wrote around 1100 words.  Not a lot, but something. I was thinking about that last night, too, and I had a couple of really interesting dreams that I promptly forgot when I woke up. Story-type dreams. The long story in the white binder took off from a very vivid dream I had back in 1981, and see what became of that. At least I haven't had the house dreams or the floating-down-the-river dreams I used to have a lot. And I haven't had a potty dream in a long time, which I guess means I'm getting enough sleep that I wake up before things get critical. I love to dream, especially if I can remember what I dreamed, because so many of my dreams are so wild and wonderful. Maybe that's why I like to sleep so much? No, I sleep because I need it.

 

I have been forgetting to mention: we now have 15h55m of daylight. We aren't gaining very much, but we only have about four minutes left to go by June 20. That's only eight days, isn't it? Wow, how time flies!

 

I was interested to see that some international body has finally determined that diesel smoke is not good for us. I could have told them that thirty years ago. When I smell a nasty ship going by (well, they burn something even heavier and no doubt even worse), I just want to shut them down right away. I know some of the ports on the west coast are trying to make the ships cut down on their emissions, but nobody has thought about doing that on the Great Lakes. So every so often, some guy sails by spewing the most noxious gunk into the pristine air. Yuck. There is one ship picture on the Live Ships page that shows the ship underway and a horrible line of yucky black smoke coming out of its stack. Yuck. There oughta be a law.

 

I need sleep, but I have to wash my hair tonight, so it will be a while before I get to bed. It's a cool, clear evening in the field and there should be some stars.

 

June 11

I ended up not taking a bath last night. When I got to the north end, I remembered I had to fill the pill dispensers, and when I finished that, I went right to bed. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. It was really warm when I went to bed, and not only was the porch door open, I had the ceiling fan on. I turned that off around 3:00, and I slept comfortably for the rest of the night. I got up around 8:30, I think. 

 

Since I had forgotten to take the beginnings of the new project with me, I finished the round shawl instead. I had to darn in all the loose ends. Since the wrong side may show, I had to be careful about it, but it wasn't a big job after all. One thing I've learned is to leave long ends when changing yarns. That makes it much easier.

 

I exercised but it didn't do much good. It was very humid, and about the time I started exercising, the temperature dropped off and it was cool. I've been closing things all day.

 

I didn't do much but put some dishes in the dishwasher. I thought I might start the new project, but I didn't, so I'll take all that stuff back up to the north end and maybe start it tomorrow. Cast on 100 stitches...

 

The weather was interesting again. It was very humid all day. The temperature when I got up was still 68. but between 9:00 and 10:00 it dropped from 72 to 63, which was a bit cool to have all the windows open. It went up and down, but it was around 63 for most of the afternoon. Then between 7:00 and 8:00 it went from 61 to 71. There wasn't a lot of wind, but it shifted to the north when it got cool. Then it went calm for a few hours, and now it's picked up again to 25 mph gusts. The humidity has dropped a bit, which is nice. It was very cloudy this morning but around 2:00 it started to clear up, and it's been partly cloudy ever since, with quite a bit of sunshine.

 

Grayson was his usual wired self this morning, but he's been subdued for most of the afternoon. Jasmine was up this morning to take a drink, but she's slept for the rest of the day. Her food is down and Grayson has his, so maybe she'll eat tonight. I hope so, or I may have to cart her off to the vet. She is weak enough that I think possibly I may be able to grab her and stuff her in a cage. Then she'll never trust me again. I petted her a couple of times today when she was in the pink chair. She'll tolerate it, just as long as it's only a stroke or two.

 

My exertions at the supermarket plus the high humidity and the cooler temperatures left me feeling terminally creaky today. I have been having trouble walking, which is one reason I didn't do anything. Now I'm sleepy again, so I guess I'll toddle up to the north end and maybe tonight I'll take a bath. My hair doesn't need it, but I still feel sticky in spots from all the sweating I did yesterday. I sweat like a horse at the slightest bit of warmth or exertion (something I inherited from my daddy) and I was really sweating yesterday, even though I didn't have many clothes on. 

 

Now it's become a rather warm, breezy evening in the field, but it's supposed to cool off a whole lot overnight and tomorrow. At least the skies are relatively clear.

 

June 10

Instead of going up to the north end like I said I would, I finished charting the first pattern for the shawl (actually, it's a wide scarf). Then I diddled around before I took my bath, so It was around 10:30 when I got to bed. I got sort of discombobulated because when I looked at the analog clock, I thought it said 5:30 when it actually said 6:30 when I started my dinner, so I lost an hour there. I slept fairly well, with several wakeups, the last one around 5:30, of course. I got up when the clock said to, but I sure didn't want to! 

 

I got off to church on time, and I must have taken my time, because I got there at just about the same time I usually do. It was warm in church, but pastor had a really good sermon today, about the Sabbath and how we are not obligated to go to church, we go because we want to. I hope the lady who was greeting listened carefully, because she doesn't seem to be able to get her head around the idea that I come "all the way" from Copper Harbor to go to church. Because I want to. "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." I tried not going, and that just didn't work. I tried another denomination, and that didn't work, either. 

 

When I was living around Philadelphia, most of the churches I went to were 20 or 30 miles away from where I lived. There aren't very many Missouri Synod Lutherans in Pennsylvania. So just because when i moved back to Grosse Pointe, my churches were at most two miles away from home doesn't mean I'm not used to going a long way, and it doesn't mean I won't go whenever I can. Evening services are sort of out, and in the winter there's the weather factor, but whenever I can go, I'll go. Because I want to.

 

I dithered about whether to go to Pat's or not, and I ended up going. I was just going to get a few things, but then I decided, heck, if I'm here, why not get a few more things? $250 of more things. A lot of that was cat food and JD. Grayson is eating me out of house and home, but that's all right. I got a bunch of pasta salads, but I didn't get a chicken. And I only decided to go because I was running out of lettuce and Pam. Well, I figured that would happen.

 

Then I had to get gas, since I was down below a quarter tank. After that, I could finally go home. I got here around 2:00, but after I changed my clothes, I had to schlep all those bags into the house and somehow find room for everything in the fridge. Everything fit except the salads, but I was going to eat those for lunch anyway. However, when it came time to put them away, I had to clean out part of the fridge to get them in. I still haven't attacked the veggie drawer, which I think is alive. Maybe tomorrow? It's gross in there.

 

The story of the day is the weather. The temperature rose overnight, and it was 70 for most of the night. it rose steadily after that. When I got to Laurium, it was 73 by my car thermometer. It was warm in church, but if we sat very still, it was all right. Pastor was sweating. By the time we got out of church, it was in the 80s, and by the time I was getting gas it was around 85. I hoped it would be cooler in Copper Harbor, but since the wind was from the southwest, no such luck. It topped out at 87. which demolished the old record for the day, and it's still 86 at 8:00. It was partly cloudy and hazy, but the dew point stayed steady at 60, so as it got hotter, it got less humid (theoretically - I couldn't tell). There was a slight breeze from the southwest, which helped, at least in the studio. 

 

Oh, I don't like this weather! Only this is the first summer since 2001 that I've been here when it was so hot (it was hot in July 2002, but I was in a hospital in Grosse Pointe during it). I had a hard time in 2001, but I was just coming off the stem cell transplant, and I was not a well woman. I don't like this weather, but now I am a well woman and I can cope with it. I have lots of windows and ceiling fans in every room. So I sweat. I have a lovely stall shower to cool off in. Tonight feels like a great night to take a tepid shower and stand in the porch door and let the wind dry me off. And let the ceiling fan cool me down.

 

They are predicting thunderstorms tonight and tomorrow, which should cool it down again, but this is shaping up to be the first summer in a long, long time when I can open up the house and leave it that way until September. I love to let the outside in.

 

Even with as few windows as I've had open today, when I got home from church, I opened the window in the bathroom and I could hear the birds tweeting in the woods to the north. Now it's perfectly quiet, except for the wind wafting through the pine tree. This is what I love about it here: these evenings when there is not a sound and it's so quiet all I can hear is my tinnitus. Or an occasional song sparrow.

 

I wanted to open the patio doors, so I had to try to block up the holes in the one in the studio. I think I managed, but the duct tape keeps falling off. At least the door is open, and i hope the bugs don't get in.

 

I was fooling around on the computer around 4:00 this afternoon when someone came down the driveway. The next thing I knew this nice lady was standing looking in my window saying, "I'm from the Census Bureau." Oh? I thought the census was two years ago. It seems like the Census Bureau conducts surveys every month to determine who is living in a county, how old they are, and what kind of disabilities they may have. They also check on household income, and what the household pays for utilities like power and heat. Oh. I didn't know that. Anyway, my name came up, so I was surveyed. It turns out that I was obligated by law to respond. She left me with the letter that I couldn't get because I get my mail through a post office box, and it seems like this is the law. It's important, too, especially in a county like ours (Keweenaw is the only county east of the Mississippi River that is designated as a "frontier" county). The results of the surveys are used to determine how much government aid we get, which is very important in a sparsely populated county where a lot of people are at or below the poverty level. So we had a nice half-hour conversation, in which I gave out a lot of information I usually never give anybody.

 

After that, I finished charting the shawl, although I have some real questions about the border. It just doesn't seem to go together right, so I'll have to knit it to figure it out. It was way too hot to knit on wool today. I did start a swatch of the sweater yarn on much smaller needles, which looks good enough for me to complete it. That's cotton and rayon, which isn't nearly so bad to knit on.

 

I ate some of my pasta salads when i finally got back to the computer, and I had a few more mouthfuls later, and I guess a nice JD with lots and lots of crushed ice is going to be my dinner. The idea of anything hot just didn't appeal, and I don't have that much cold stuff to eat. Besides, the heat has made me not very hungry, so I'm not going to force it.

 

Oh, yes, the cats. Grayson wasn't quite as wired this morning, although he did spend some time chasing his tail. He has quite a short tail for a normal cat, and it's hard for him to catch it. I can't see him ever draping his tail over his paw so he can wash it, like  Buster used to do. I guess I've mentioned that he is a square cat with short legs and a short tail. Jasmine is a longer cat with rather long legs and a long tail. Buster was all SIamese - long legs, long tail, long body, and long, squared-off muzzle. I can see why Grayson eats so much, since when he is active, he's very active. He loves having all the windows open. He had a wonderful time this afternoon, when apparently something ran under the east window, around the house and under the south window. He was enchanted. Jasmine is till sleeping most of the time, although I think she got up and went downstairs to pee this afternoon, and I thought I might have heard crunching at the dry food bowl. A couple of times, she has sat up quite alert. Since she only eats at night, I put her portion of the morning food in the fridge and only put it down when I gave Grayson his evening food. I think she's eating some again. The bowl looks much morel like the way she eats, leaving some. I'd worry that leaving the food for so long isn't good, but it has never seemed to bother any cat I've ever had. After all, stray cats eat out of garbage cans. However, if I can give them fresh food, I will.'

 

Now I am very tired, and I'm so sticky and icky that I think I will take a shower just to cool me down. I don't intend to be out of bed very long tonight. I'm tired. 

 

It's a partly cloudy, very warm (although the temperature is down to 79) evening in the field.

 

June 9

I went up to the north end like I said I would, and I didn't knit. What I did was start to chart the pattern for the Shetland shawl that I've decided will be my next project. It's going to be a hard one, but having the charted design will help. I'm not doing it just like the directions. The Shetlanders use only "k2tog" decreases, which is strange, because they use both left-slanted and right-slanted three-to-one decreases. Anyway, charting it has given me a heads-up on where the difficult rows are, and besides, I can see more or less what the pattern should look like. That's important, because there aren't very many pictures, and in a couple of them, it's clear that whoever knitted the sample totally screwed up the pattern in several places. 

 

Anyway, it was after 11:00 when I went go bed, having charted about 40 rows. I slept pretty well, but my fish resulted in numerous trips to the bathroom. I got up around 8:30, and I finished binding off the shawl. I still have to weave in the ends, but basically, it's finished. It's a pretty thing. I like the border patterns a lot, especially the couple of rows of purple on the edge. Blocking it will be a problem, and I may end up having to do it on the double bed upstairs. It's supposed to block to 60" around, and my dining room table isn't that wide, even if I had enough blocking tiles to do it on. So it will go in the bag with all the other shawls, and we'll see what happens.

 

Today was washday. It was a big wash, because I've been in slobberhanus mode again, and besides, there were several tops that still had grease in them from the last time I washed. The tops are in the dryer and the white stuff is in the washer waiting, so I accomplished what I set out to do. I also began to load the dishwasher. 

 

Otherwise, I worked on my charting, and I'm at row 78 and I was having a hard time seeing the little squares. Mostly, my new glasses work fine, but when my eyes get tired, it's hard to see anything. I've had this pattern since 1981, and at one point I tried to chart it on - of all things - printer layout paper. Only those who lived through the big-iron punch-card era will know what I'm talking about. However, I had a number of problems reading the written pattern (no wonder the sample was screwed up!) and there was no way I was going to use that for my shawl.

 

The weather was interesting. The forecast for lots of rain fizzled completely. There was no rain and no thunder. When I turned out the light, I could see some lightning, and I thought it might be wise to shut the window in the studio, since the new computer and printer and the surge suppressor are right in front of it. So I did that, and while I was at the computer, I checked the radar, and the storm was way out northeast in the middle of the lake, and there wasn't anything to our south or west. So I went to sleep disappointed. When I got up this morning, it was clear and beautiful - ha! - but when I got up to get dressed, there was lots of fog down the harbor. The temperature only went down to 54 overnight, and it was around 60 until about 2:00, when it began to rise. I think it was because it got a little more sunny. It got up to 75 at 7:00, and now it has fallen back a bit. There was hardly any wind at all, and it was horribly humid. Bad for gimpy backs. I'm so very glad I'm not back in Grosse Pointe, where it was 89 today. I can live without that, thank you.

 

Grayson was rather sleepy this morning until I started rustling around. He did get brushed and he got a long love-in. He has a great purr. He slept for most of the day. He was in the bedroom until that got a bit warm, and since then, he's been mostly out on the porch. I think Jasmine ate a bit, and when I came down to the studio to close the window last night, she was in front of the basement door, so I think she may have eaten some of the food there, too. Or I hope so. Somebody ate what I left for her in the dining room, and I think it was her, because Grayson cleans his dish and she doesn't. I hope so. Today she started out in the pink chair, and she let me give her one pet as I walked by. When the sun started shining right on that chair, she moved over into the blue chair where there was a little more shade. She is still sleeping most of the time, but a couple of times she looked fairly alert. I'm still worried about her. She's keeping her white fur clean, but the rest is looking a bit shabby. Poor Jasmine.

 

I've been forgetting to mention the results of my spring tune-up. My mammogram was fine and the blood work was fine except that my uric acid levels were high, which we knew already. So I am a well woman. Sore and gimpy, but well. 

 

The other thing I've been forgetting to mention is that the lighthouse is in operation again. I think it was Tuesday that I thought I would call Wednesday to find out when it would be fixed, and when I turned out the light, there it was. There are a couple of trees that are sort of in front of my line of sight, but the light is so bright that it bores right through them. Maybe someday they will shield the light, but not now. I just have to hump up the covers to keep it out of my eyes. Otherwise, I like seeing it reflect on the walls. When i went to bed last night, it was so humid and hazy that I could see the beam as it swept across the harbor, which is a neat effect.

 

Now I will be going up to the north end in stages. I need to get the dry stuff out of the dryer and the wet stuff in and the laundry cart back into the closet. I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight so I will be ready to get up for church tomorrow. I think I will leave the Shetland chart here so I won't be tempted by it.

 

It's a partly cloudy, calm, warm and humid evening in the field.

 

June 8

I think it must have been close to 11:00 when I got to bed last night. I went up to the north end and finished the row I was knitting and started the purple before I took my bath. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. I made it out of bed at 9:00. I guess I'll just have to live with the idea that I need 10 hours' sleep a night and plan accordingly. Grayson was way too wired to get brushed, so I knitted the two rows with purple and started the bind-off. I got about a quarter of it done. I'm sorry this project is ending - but then, I feel the same way about most of them. This was a fun knit, even though the rows got rather long at the end.

 

Let's see. I set the dishwasher to go overnight, and I managed to get it unloaded today. I paid some bills. I went to the post office to mail some stuff and turn in my paper for my post office box. The Postal Service has been getting stuffy about free post office boxes lately, so every year we have to fill out a form stating where we live. They say they require two pieces of identification, one with a picture. My driver's license is one piece, but for the life of me I can't figure out what the other one might be. Ron suggested Social Security card, but that's in my safe deposit box in Detroit. I certainly don't carry it around. Maybe my Medicare card would do. Anyway, since he knows everybody, he's a little loose about it. 

 

Then I swung around by the fish market, and low and behold, Christine had some lovely whitefish. Oh, I could eat that stuff a lot! I stopped at the store for eggs and JD before I came home. I was toying with the idea of stopping at the supermarket on Sunday after church, but now I won't have to do that unless I want to. I have enough JD for a couple of weeks and I got my fish today.

 

I had my fish for dinner, and it was soooo good, even though it was cold by the time I ate it. I was just sitting down when the Schwan's guy came, and there were a few things I wanted to get. When I sat down to eat, Grayson came by and sniffed the fish with interest, but he didn't push it when I told him to go away. I cooked up a big pot of brown rice, most of which I will freeze. I did mix a couple of meals' worth with mixed veggies, and I had some of that with my fish, as well as a nice salad. Such a nice dinner! I cooked the fish in the counter-top oven, and it worked out very well. I hate to warm up the big oven for a little piece of fish (only half a pound). It takes a little longer in the small oven, but that's a good thing, since it's easier to control how done it gets. I cooked it to perfection. Yum!

 

The weather wasn't very good. It was sunny and clear when I got up, but the time I got to the studio it had clouded up, and around 2;00 it started to rain softly, just in time for me to go out, of course. It rained until around 4:00, and we had a total of 0.20". Not a lot. We need a rain like that to last all day and all night. The temperature graph looks like the profile of waves on the big lake. It got to 66 around 10:00, then it dropped back to 57. It was up to 64 about the time the rain ended, then it dropped back again, and now it's up to 64 again. There was hardly any wind for most of the day. Of course it's been very humid.

 

Grayson was wired this morning, but after breakfast he finally wore down and slept for most of the day. He was at it again around dinner time - of course - but he's now gone away again. Jasmine spent the entire day in the pale blue chair, mostly asleep. The food dish was nearly empty this morning, but I can't tell if she ate it or Grayson did during the night. I hope it was her. He seems to know that's not his food, but who knows what he might do when I'm asleep? She did wake up and look fairly alert at one point, so I can hope. 

 

While the talking was going  on, I knitted on the sock. I'm tired of that sock, and I just want to get it over with. I have another one started that will be a good waiting room project, and this one has gone on too long. Besides, it's a Tofutsies sock and I could be wearing it. 

 

I got some interesting slubby yarn the other day, to make a summer top out of, and I cast it on with the recommended needles today and I just don't like it. It's way too loose. So I will have to fiddle around and find a good needle size for it. Too bad, because I could use it, or I would be able to by the time I finish knitting it. It's an interesting mix of rose and sky blue in short lengths, so it will come out blotchy. I like the colors and I love the texture, but it needs much smaller needles to really show up well. So I'll have to break out all the needles i have and fiddle. Bah.

 

Now I think I will go up to the north end and bind off some more. Binding off really gives me an idea of how many stitches 616 stitches really are. They are predicting thunderstorms and lots of rain overnight, but from the radar map, I can't see where they might be coming from. All the rain seems to be east of us now. It's a damp, partly cloudy evening in the field.

 

June 7

I made it into bed by 10:30 last night, and I thought I slept pretty well, but I'm really sleepy now. I got up around 9:00. I finished the rows with the blue yarn and started the dark blue last night, and I am on the last dark blue row now. I might have gotten further, but at the end of the first dark blue row, I suddenly stopped purling and started knitting, so I had to rip out about 50 stitches. Oops. Now I've started the pattern row in dark blue, and I may try to finish it tonight. Then I'll only have two more rows plus the bind-off to go. These large projects start out being fun and end up being sheer determination. I remember the same thing happened when I was knitting doilies, some of which had more rows than this shawl. Now I just want to be done with it.

 

I was going to do something, but I got to the studio so late that not much got done. Yesterday I got a notice from the people who make the software I use for the camera that there was a new version available, so I decided to update today, and that turned into an interesting time. I made the mistake of not writing down the parameters I use before I updated to the new version, and I had a terrible time getting the pictures to save in the right folder. I actually booted up the old computer (it still boots!) to get some of them, but I was still having trouble with the folder to save to, so I ended up reinstalling the old version in order to find out how to get to the right file. Then I reloaded the new version, and I think things are working all right now. There were a lot of uploads between 2:15 and 2:45.

 

Then I had to change my clothes because I waited so long to go to the bathroom that I had an accident. My fault, but it still makes me mad.

 

By that time it was too late to go to the post office, and too late to do anything else.

 

The weather was gorgeous again. It was clear or nearly clear all day, although there are some clouds in the sky now. The temperature was in the low 60s until lately, when it went up to 66. There was a bit of wind in the middle of the afternoon, but for a good part of the day it was calm or nearly so. It is again.

 

I woke up around 7:30 this morning and when it looked out, the harbor was a mirror. I saved one picture from the camera, so you can see what it looked like. It's mornings like these when I'm tempted to get up, but I couldn't go outside anyway, because of the bugs. So I go back to sleep and save pictures from the camera.

 

Grayson was his usual wired self, bombing around and chasing his tail. He gets really excited when I look like I'm going to get dressed, because he knows he'll get breakfast, and you should hear how excited he is when I have the dish in my hands.  He spent a lot f of time on the porch this afternoon. Jasmine is reverting, at least in part. She doesn't want to be touched again, but she did take a drink of water while I was at the other end of the kitchen. Grayson interrupted her, though. I have put her food in the dining area, and although she didn't eat it, I have hopes for the night. Grayson won't eat there, even though his bowl is empty. He has already gotten the idea that his food is in the kitchen and that's where he eats. Jasmine slept for most of the day, mostly in the pale blue chair, although lately she has been back on her scratching pad, and she let me walk by her without moving. What a strange little kitty she is! Now we just have to go back to waiting for the next breakthrough, which i hope will get her eating again.

 

I have one of the east windows in the studio open a bit, and in the middle of the afternoon, I started hearing the call of the pileated woodpecker. This is the first time I've heard it this year. It's a very loud, not very pretty call that I think I could probably hear through the closed windows. Kii-kii-kii-kii! Kii-kii-kii-kii! Later, when it was calm again, there was a pair of mergansers swimming in the bay, so they are pairing up. Pretty soon there will be ducklings, and then the males will molt and look just like the females. There was also a guy in a boat fishing down here, although I don't know that I'd call that wildlife.

 

So it was a quiet day and it's a calm, partly cloudy evening in the field. They are predicting thunderstorms for tomorrow, which would be good. We need the rain, and I love a good thunderstorm. So now I'll go up to the north end and knit a while and, I think, take a bath.

 

June 6

Well, I watched the transit on the internet until it was about half done before I turned it off. The site I was watching wasn't going to get to see the end of it anyway. As the guy who writes the LPOD said this morning, what was amazing was how big Venus was when it was passing in front of the sun. Also, how fuzzy the circle was. I guess I was actually seeing Venus's atmosphere. So I saw it, and it was cool.

 

I was late last night. When I went up to the north end, I picked up the shawl and started knitting, and I ended up finishing the cyan and starting the blue. I didn't finish that row, but I kept putting it down and picking it back up. Then I had to bath, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well. The moon is still very bright, but it is way off in the south - where the sun is in late December - so all I saw were the shadows. 

 

I finally got up around 9;00 and I knitted most of the blue. I think I have one more row, more or less, to go. There are 616 stitches on the needles now, so even a plain knit row takes nearly half an hour to do. Grayson didn't want to be brushed, but he was wired again this morning, and all the time I was trying to exercise, he was trying to burrow under the covers and be cute. Not. 

 

Let's see. I was on my way to doing nothing again when Johanna called. She is recovering from her ordeal, but she had a real mess in her gut and only now is she feeling better. I will be seeing her a week from Friday. She wants (read: needs; she's self-employed) to get back to work, and we can always find something to work on that won't stress her too much. I'll be glad for it. Even if she can't really lean into my back, she can always work on my hands and feet and knees. After she called me, three people called her and someone came to the door, so while I was waiting for her to call back, I straightened up the desk a whole lot and finally got the throws down under the windows. Right after we hung up for the first time, the 3-foot tower of books on the end of the desk collapsed in an avalanche, so I got that got straightened around, too. It seems like about the third book from the bottom was a small one (one I've been missing) and finally everything collapsed, fortunately on the desk and not on the floor. I need to move that pile, but there are books in there I want to read, so I've been leaving it. At least I can see the blotter again, which is amazing. 

 

The weather was beautiful again. Oh, but we need rain!! The temperature got up to 68 around 10:00 this morning before it fell back into the low 60s again, and only  now is it beginning to recover. The wind was calm for most of the day. There was not a cloud in the sky, but there are a lot of aerosols up there, so it wasn't the dark blue it sometimes is. We had weather like this two or three years ago for the entire summer. It was so beautiful it almost got boring, but there wasn't any rain for three months. I hope we don't do that again.

 

Grayson is into a phase where doesn't want to cuddle very much. He wants to play, and he'll play with anything, including my legs. I think he spent most of the afternoon out on the porch, mostly lying in the sun.  Jasmine has returned to her old ways, sort of. She doesn't want me to touch her anymore, and she looks very suspiciously at me. However, she doesn't run away quite as much. I tried to get her to eat for me this morning, and she sniffed the bowl twice, but she wouldn't eat. Whoever used to trap her with food did her a mammoth disservice. So I can only hope she's eating. She sleeps most of the time. She alternated between one of the scratching pads and the pale blue chair, where she is right now. She moved to the blue chair when the sun got there and that seemed to make her comfortable enough to sleep, but she acts like she is wondering whatever came over her Sunday and Monday that she actually let me pet her. Well, I haven't given up my patience yet. If only she'll eat.

 

Some very good friends gave me a very generous contribution to the website fund this afternoon, for which I thank them profusely. I am still amazed by how generous everyone has been, and it will be a great help when it comes to paying for my internet access, web hosting and the gear I had to buy last year. I'm so glad you enjoy the camera and my strange ramblings in the journal.

 

Now it's a lovely, clear, calm evening in the field, and I will be going up to the north end to knit a bit more.

 

June 5

I went up to the north end and got to bed around 10:00. I slept really well, with only about three wake-ups. I was up around 6:45, and Grayson thought it was time to get up, but he subsided when I went back to bed. I got up around 9:00, I think, and I knitted about three rows on the shawl. I am now on the last cyan row, which is the first row of the outside border, in feather-and-fan stitch. Wow, this has been a project! Grayson got brushed a little bit, but not a lot, and he was too wired to stay around.

 

I didn't do much but got to the post office, where there was a lot of mail, most of it junk, but a few interesting things. Bills, of course, but not a lot else except for some more yarn. This one will make a nice summer top by the same pattern I made for the one I knit six or seven years ago.

 

The weather was lovely. It was clear or nearly clear all day, and the temperature got up to 68 for a short while this afternoon. I had some windows open. There wasn't much breeze, and it has slid around to the east, which is nice. It was lovely.

 

Grayson was his usual wired self. He's getting really comfortable around here, and I think he is now getting the idea that this is his permanent home. He isn't scratching behind his ears nearly as much, which reinforces my belief that a lot of that was nerves. He still doesn't have enough fur there, so his neck is sort of skinny, but it's getting better. He has started chasing his tail when he wants me to watch him. Since he has a very short tail (compared to my other cats) it's really funny to watch. He has to tie himself in knots to even have a hope of catching it. 

 

Jasmine was on her scratching pad when I got to the studio, but she soon moved into the pink chair,  and wonder of wonders, she let me pet her every time I passed her. I'm going to keep doing that, so she knows I really like her and I want to be her friend. Later in the afternoon she moved into the pale blue chair, which was out of the sun, and really zonked out. I don't think she's eating very much, but the more I think about it, I think this has been going on since Buster died, but I never got to really take a look at her before. I hope she'll start eating a little more now. There is one dry food bowl that is empty, and I'm going to have to refill it, and hope she'll eat it. Tracking what she's eating is hard, since I think she eats mostly at night. Anyway, as long as I don't do anything horrible, we seem to have made a step forward and maybe we won't take a step back. 

 

Thanks to everyone who wrote me about Jasmine, and to those lurkers who posted on the PastyCam about her. No, she's not the little cat who wasn't there anymore, and nobody is happier about that than I am. I still don't think she'll ever be as cuddly as Grayson is, but then, I was wrong about never being able to pet her, so we never know. He may show her how to become a real cat. I do believe one of her problems was that Buster was so jealous she never got a chance to warm up to me. Grayson doesn't seem to be jealous about anything except his food, so maybe he'll show her how to be a proper cat. Never a dull moment, for sure.

 

In my excitement about Jasmine, I forgot to mention that when I got up to get dressed yesterday morning, there was a doe grazing in the backyard, and she looked very bulgy, so we're going to have another fawn in the Norland. I hope she's all right - she looked rather thin. Evidently at this time of year, there is some nice grass in my backyard, before the tansy grows up and takes over.

 

After thinking about it, I decided not to try to view the transit in person. It's too buggy out there, and i don't know that I could get a good view of it anyway. I found a couple of websites that are showing it, and I've been watching those. I got to see first and second contact streamed live. That was neat, except that it was on the side of Mauna Loa and it was so windy that the telescopes were being blown around a bit. Later on I found another site that is showing a picture updated every few seconds, so I've been watching Venus move sedately across the face of the sun. It's neat. What would we do without the Internet?

 

So that was about all I have to report. I am going to go up to the north end soon - this is a bath night - and maybe knit a few repeats. It's a clear, warmish evening in the field.

 

June 4

I went up to the north end right after I uploaded the journal and I knitted a bit before I went to bed. When I got to the bedroom, there was Jasmine, right in the middle of the bed. When I went to get in, I reached out toward her and she moved to the end of the bed, which is nice and soft and out of my way, so I went to sleep about 10:00. I was up once and she was asleep, and about 2:30, I had to get up again. When I returned to the bedroom, she was in the middle of the bed again, which was a problem. I sat down and reached out and put my hand on her, and she didn't move, so I started petting her. Yes, actually touching Jasmine! I could hardly believe it. I kept petting gently and soon I was rewarded by a soft purr. Not a big purr like she used to make when she was sleeping with Buster, but a real purr. I petted her for about five minutes, I think. Her fur is so soft, just like silk. It feels like Silkie's fur. Silkie was my first calico, companion cat to Dennis, and she was so named because her fur was so soft. So is Jasmine's. 

 

However, it was the middle of the night, and I was really tired, so I had to try to move around her to get in bed and she moved back to the end of the bed. It still seems hard to believe, after five years, and everything that's gone on, that she finally, finally, allowed me to pet her, didn't run away and just sat. And even purred. I was so excited I had a hard time getting back to sleep.

 

When I got up, around 8:00, she was gone. I didn't really want to get up then, but I had to pee, so I did. Grayson got his brushing and I knitted about two rows. I'm getting near the end of the cyan, and I only have 12 rows left on the shawl. Of course, that's 8000 stitches, so it's going to take a while, but I can see the end. I got past the last hard row, and the rest of the shawl is easy knitting.

 

I was so tired that I didn't do anything again except to begin to load the dishwasher and I washed a few pans. Not much, but I was creaky besides. Sigh.

 

The weather was lovely. It was mostly clear all day, with winds under 10 mph, and the temperature has now risen to 68. It got up to 85 in the studio, so I opened the door and the east window, and that has cooled it down a bit. Lovely. All the rain they were predicting for this week is gone from the forecast, unfortunately. We need rain, still.

 

Grayson was is usual wired self. It's been so long since I had a young male cat that I'd forgotten how energetic they can be. He just loves the open window in the studio, and he sat in it right away. Jasmine was gone for a while, but I walked by the pink chair sometime in the afternoon, and there she was in her little nest. She looked at me, sort of, but she made no move to run away. Later she moved over onto the sofa where she was out of the direct sunshine and when I went to get my dinner, she was socked out, lying on her side quite relaxed. I don't know if the petting was a one-time thing or I'll be able to do it again, in the middle of the night, probably. It just seems so amazing that she finally let me touch her. I hope it's the start of something, but we'll just have to wait and see.

 

So that was my exciting night and down day, and I'll be going up to the north end again soon. It's a partly cloudy, calm, warm evening in the field.

 

June 3

I didn't make it into bed until 10:00 and  I was up several times during the night, so I didn't get my full amount of sleep. I had to get up around 6:00, which is on my usual schedule, and I only dozed for the next hour. I got up and we ate and I managed to get away just about at the time I wanted.

 

There was no traffic going south, which was nice. When i got to church, I was a little disturbed by how quiet it was until I remembered that Sunday school is out until September. There were quite a few people in church, and since it was Trinity Sunday, we sang a lot of good hymns, including "Holy, Holy, Holy", which I love, even though the jerks who put together the 1982 hymnal managed to trash the middle verses. I wish I could talk to those people and ask them whatever possessed them to hash up the words to all our good hymns. Part of it may have been political correctness, which was in vogue then, but they had absolutely no ear for either poetry or music and the result was just awful. I wish I had the money to give the two churches the new hymnal. I think we'd all be happier. Anyway, pastor had a good sermon, and I wondered when I heard it if some of the conversations we've had got into his head and came out today. Probably not, because what we talked about wasn't all that novel, but we have discussed some of the same things he talked about today.

 

There wasn't much traffic coming home, either, except for a little lady in a small car with a license plate that said something like "GRANNY" who was going very slowly all the way to Kearsarge. Three of us passed her. Gosh, I hope I don't ever get to that point! However, one can never tell.

 

The weather was lovely, but not too warm. It was clear and sunny all day, and the temperature got up to 59 briefly. There was a 15 mph wind from the north. The barometer is rising, which is good for all of us.

 

Grayson thought it was playtime when I got up at 6:00, and I had a hard time convincing him it wasn't. He was full of energy all day, although he slept on my lap for a little while this afternoon. When I got to the studio this morning, Jasmine was lying on the sewing machine chair, which I have finally gotten uncovered. She went away when I came in, and when I saw her walk away, I could tell that she is very thin. She went away and I haven't seen her since. I suppose she is upstairs again. Like I said yesterday, there isn't much I can do for her, and I feel very sorry about it.

 

Trevor came today and took away another load of trash, and I think there is probably another load, at least, to go, not to mention all the stuff in the house. Maybe this week I can get that all bagged up and out there. Then all I have to worry about is all the cardboard, and I still toy with the idea of having an enormous bonfire and burning it all. Not by myself, of course, but with at least one other person. It might be fun.

 

In the middle of the afternoon, I got to sit in the ugly chair for a while, which interested Grayson no end. He might have sat on  my lap, except that I had other things there. I tried knitting on an afghan that I've had started for several years, but it's on #11 needles and it wasn't very interesting. I'm trying out doing some knitting with the yarn in my left hand, just to change positions. I can't knit lace that way, but I can apparently do plain knitting with just about the same gauge as the way I usually knit. It's just to try to keep my hands from cramping up. Anyway, I ended up looking at some of the books on lace knitting I've gotten in the past year, but I didn't get any inspiration. I also had to search through a couple books on knitting socks toe-up, because there was a way to bind off in one of them that is very stretchy, which I think I will try to use when I bind off the shawl. I sat there for some time, but in the afternoon, the sun shines on the chair and it gets very warm. I do like that chair, though, and I should sit there more often.

 

When I was on my way home, on the covered road, a deer walked across the road in front of me. While I was sitting in the ugly chair, I think I may have heard a loon, although with the doors closed, it wasn't clear. Later, I heard some geese but I didn't see any, and while I was getting my dinner, a lady merganser took off out of our cove with a male behind her. A hummingbird buzzed by the deck, making me feel really bad. According to Grayson, there is a parade outside the north windows every evening and every morning. I'm not sure anybody has seen any bears yet this year, but I'm sure they're around. So we have our wildlife.

 

Speaking of hearing things, when we started singing "Holy, Holy, Holy", at least three times, my ears must have popped and the whole thing got louder. The allergy season is coming along just fine - now it's oak, mulberry and walnut. I can see the flowers coming on the white pine that I hang the bird feeders in, so that will be coming out soon. My sinuses drain and during the night especiall, the glop gets into my Eustachian tubes and drains down into the back of my throat, making me cough and clogging up my hearing, which doesn't need any help. Well, my allergies are still better up here than they used to be in Detroit, so I can't complain a whole lot.

 

Now the sky is clouding up and it's a coolish, calm evening in the field. I'll be going up to the north end very soon and try to sleep long and hard.

 

June 2

I was going to do a little knitting when I got up to the north end last night, but after about two repeats, I dropped something. It was too dark to see what I was doing, and I kept pulling on the right hand side and dropping more stuff, so I stopped and went to bed. I went right to sleep, but around 12:30 I woke up, hot and needing to go (the one seems to be related to the other more often than not). I don't know why, but when I got back into bed, I couldn't go back to sleep and it was over an hour and another walk before I finally sort of did. The rest of the night wasn't a whole lot better. I was awake around 7:30, but I didn't feel like I'd had enough sleep, so I went back to bed and I didn't get up until around 9:30. I had some strange, very vivid dreams, none of which I can really remember.

 

Grayson got a short brushing and a long loving, then I knitted about two rows. The place I screwed up last night wasn't too hard to fix, thankfully, but for some reason I had a very hard time with that row. The triple decreases and the double yarn-overs just didn't seem to be in the right places. I got into trouble originally because i realized I had forgotten a double yarn-over in the previous repeat, and unknitting wasn't easy. When it came to the plain row, I discovered I had missed the same double yarn-over in two other repeats, but thankfully, it wasn't as hard as I'd feared to put them in without unknitting. A double yarn-over makes a big hole, and I was afraid I wouldn't have enough yarn, but I was able to steal some from the other one, and it worked out. I just do not want to unknit 560 stitches! It reminds me of the first shawl I knit, where the repeat was something like 40 stitches and I kept screwing it up. Instead of unknitting the entire rows, which were about 300 stitches at that point, I just unraveled the repeat that was wrong and renkitted it. It can be a bit difficult, but it sure is easier than unknitting all the rows! Now I am on the row with the knit-five-together, and the way I'm doing it seems to be working out just fine - after about two repeats.

 

the weather was yucky and I mostly ignored it. When I got up and looked at the roof of the garage, I realized that it was raining lightly, and when I went into the bedroom to do my exercises, the front windows were wet. It rained from about 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, but only very lightly, and we had 0.21" of rain, total. The temperature was nearly steady in the low 50s. There was a north wind in the 15 mph range and a couple of times we had some gusts up to about 25 mph. It was dull and gray and yucky.

 

Grayson was full of ginger again this morning, fighting with the rug and rushing around. He likes to burrow under the covers on the bed while I'm exercising. Then he went to sleep on my lap after breakfast. When I came into the studio, Jasmine was still sitting on the hearth, and she doesn't look very good. I hope she gets up to eat and drink and pee, but she hasn't when I was around. I think she's in here because it's warmer. I don't know about her. I hoped she would take to Grayson and he to her enough that she would stop pining, but it doesn't look like it right now. Well, I've had patience so far, so I'll just have to wait and see what happens. I don't think she's sick, except sick at heart, so there isn't anything we can do for her unless she gets over it. Poor little Jasmine.

 

Otherwise I didn't do very much at all except finish unloading the dishwasher. Of course, I was late getting up. I thought about doing something, but I was creaky, and everything I had to do involved standing up for some time, so I didn't.  Now I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early and hope I sleep well tonight.

 

It's a dark, dank, chilly night in the field.

 

June 1

So now its June! Amazing.

 

I knitted the plain row last night and I got to bed a bit after 10:00. I slept well, and I had a cat with me for a good part of the night. He likes to sleep behind my knees, and he stretches out from my butt to the middle of my calves. It's fine, because I sleep so quietly, but then I have to get up and that's a problem. If I can make it out of bed, he usually leaves after I've been in the bathroom for a while. I got up around 8:00, which should have been enough sleep, but by 8:00 in the evening, I'm getting tired again. 

 

Grayson got his brushing, but he did something I do not like. He got up and rubbed his behind on my shoulder, then he sat on my leg and my hand and leaked scent from his anal glands all over me. Yuck. His scent isn't as strong as Buster's was. but it's strong enough. Yuck.

 

I had to get up and wash my hands before I started knitting. i did the last two rows of light turquoise and started the next color, which is called "cyan" and it really is just that bright blue-green. It's not my favorite, but it goes with the other colors in the edging. These rows are interesting because they're all different. I've devised a replacement for "slip 1, k2 tog, psso" that I like much better, although it's probably harder to do. It's an exact mirror of "k 3 tog", and I like the way it looks. I haven't decided what I'll do about the "K5 tog", but i'll probably turn it into a centered decrease. Like I say, it's interesting. I think there is every possible kind of increase and every kind of decrease in this pattern. Of course, it's slow, with 560 stitches on the needle, and in ten rows or so, it will go up to 616, but the last ten rows or so are mostly either purled or plain knitting, so that will go faster. I do love to knit lace.

 

I was going to do something today, but I ended up not.

 

The weather was sort of nondescript. The temperature is now up to 55, but for most of the day it was around 53. There was hardly any wind, and the humidity was quite low. It was partly to mostly cloudy all day. There was some sunshine, but it was not strong, and the lake was gray all day. The barometer is dropping.

 

Grayson was wired for most of the day. He seems to be on a two-day schedule. One day he sleeps, and the next one he goes crazy. Jasmine was on her scratching pad when I got to the kitchen. Later in the afternoon, she found a small tote of mine and got it in he mouth and dragged it around for a while, and twice today I found her on the throws on the hearth in the studio - near me, but behind some boxes so I can't just look at her. She looks like she's still pining. Oh, dear. Well, at least she's on the first floor again, and I hope she's eating a bit more. What a strange little kitty.

 

I checked in with the bank today because my pension should have been deposited. It was, but my balance, which I reset a little over a month ago, was way off again, and when I checked back, I had managed to mangle the subtractions in my checkbook. I think it has something to do with not being able to see.

 

My new glasses aren't perfect. I'm still struggling with how to look at the very small print in some web pages. However, I can read the newspaper without any problem at all, and most things are much clearer. They are so much better than what I had that I'm very happy with them. I don't really like how I look in them, but they're more up-to-date than the old ones. I really don't like the style of those little, square frames. These are square, but the frame is very thin and not too obvious and they aren't that small. Well, styles come and go, and it wouldn't surprise me to see big glasses come back into vogue in a few years. The ones I think are totally ugly are the ones with lenses only about 1" high with wide side pieces that have rhinestones in them. Gaak! Sorry if I offend anybody, but they are of the ugliest styles I've seen in all the years I've worn glasses. To me they look like Spaceman Spiff (see Calvin & Hobbes) or an Inuit in winter.

 

Well, now it's time to toddle up to the north end, maybe knit a bit more, and dive into bed. It's a coolish, calm and cloudy evening in the field.

last  updated 07/01/12 09:24 PM