A View From the Field

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July 2012

July 31

Happy Birthday to me.

 

Bleah.

 

I think it was around 11:30 when I got to bed last night, and I slept all right. In fact, it was around 4:30 when I got up the first time, which was nice. After that, it was a bit harder, with several wakeups, and an energetic cat. I was sleeping soundly around 8:45 and having a very vivid and very weird dream when I woke up abruptly and just made it to the bathroom. 

 

By that time Grayson was back to sleep, so I knitted and I finished the center part of the scarf. Tomorrow I will cast on the other end and begin that. I have an idea I want to try to attempt to keep better track of where I am in the pattern, and I hope it works. A 32 stitch repeat is just too long to commit to memory. So I will place markers every 20 stitches and hope that helps. Actually, the pattern has vertical symmetry, but even 16 stitches are too many to remember in most cases.

 

I did a few things, but not much. I began to load the dishwasher, and I filled up the dry cat food bowls. And I read. 

 

Tonight I took myself out to dinner at Harbor Haus, and it was very good. I brought home enough for tomorrow, too, but it was still a rather expensive meal. Oh, well. Once a year...

 

The weather turned out nice. It was cloudy this morning when I got up, but it cleared up and the middle part of the day was clear and blue, before some clouds moved in around sunset. The temperature was around 70 for most of the day, although it peaked at 73 fpr an hour or so. There was a northerly breeze, mostly around 10 mph. It was quite humid this morning, and it's still not exactly dry, although the humidity has gone down some. Nice. Very nice.

 

Grayson is still playful, but he has calmed down a lot. He gets into things when he wants attention, but I guess all cats are like that. He certainly enjoys sleeping in the sun in the morning.

 

So now I'm a year older. I was recalling last night that 10 years ago, I had just returned here from spending three weeks in the hospital in Detroit - this was for the blocked vein. On the 29th, I got out of the hospital and spent most of the rest of the day at the Secretary of State's office, because I had to get my license renewed and their computers went down. Then I drove back to Copper Harbor the next day, because I was not under any circumstances going to spend my birthday in Detroit! At that point, I still didn't know if I was going to make it to 65, so things are much better now. I have now outlived my father. This last year has been a pretty good one health-wise, at least. If it wasn't for my gimpy legs, I'd say I'm doing fine, more now that I'm getting medicated for my gout. The last time I checked, I still hadn't exceeded the deductible on my supplemental health insurance policy, and I don't remember the last time that happened. At least I'm here, where I want to be, and somehow I'm managing to make ends meet, sort of. It was sad to lose Buster and Jasmine, but now i have Grayson, and he's good to have around. So it wasn't a bad year, and maybe the next one will be just as good.

 

Now it's a relatively warm evening in the field, and a rather hazy nearly-full moon is hanging in the south.

 

July 30

Well, here I go again. I was reading again.

 

I got to bed around 10:30 last night, I think. I didn't sleep exceptionally well, but it was mostly because i kept having to get up. I woke up around 6:00 to find lightning and thunder and very shortly we were having a very violent, very heavy rainfall. There wasn't a lot of lightning, but the wind was strong enough - 35 mph gusts - to cause an off-hour report from the NWS station. And the rain was like somebody turned a bucket upside down. Between 5:51 and 6:11, there was 0.42" of rain. 

 

I was in the bathroom when the wind started, and by the time I got up and out, the floor in front of the porch door was wet and slippery. I mean, it was violent. So I went back to sleep and slept well until about 8:00, I think. I didn't want to get up, but I had to.

 

I knitted and I have started the last spider webs - the last 16 rows of the center. So I am making some progress. The end pattern is the hard one, though, and it will take some time, then there is an edging around the entire thing, so I'm by far not done yet. I have several other projects I'd like to start, too, so we'll see what happens.

 

Tonight was church and it was good. When I got there, a few minutes early for a change, It looked like only the few regulars were there, but right at the last minute, a lot of other people came in, so we had a nice crowd. Oh, yes, and i mentioned that my birthday is tomorrow so right before I got into my car, Pastor, Eleanor, Betty Ann and Chari all serenaded me. So nice. And when I went inside, there was a pail of blueberries from our congregation president. He had taken some to Pastor and Marcy yesterday and I made some comment, so he sent some up to me. Evidently there are lots of blueberries on some property he owns. I thought that was so nice of him, although I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I will have to freeze them for future use. I don't bake pies, but maybe I can hunt up a muffin recipe?

 

The weather was unsettled all day. The heavy rain ended by 8:00, although there was a little more between 9:00 and 11:00. It was cloudy and threatening all day, and there was quite a wind, with gusts up to 28 mph when the wind shifted around to the north after 5:00. The temperature got up to 77 and it was very humid all day. Yuck. Now it is cooling down into the upper 60s, so I will be able to close the door tonight. In total, we had 0.63" of rain, which we sorely needed. 

 

Grayson didn't like the wind at all. He got petted this morning and he got petted this evening and he slept for most of the day, as usual. He does get playful at times. 

 

I called the car dealership and i will be taking the car in to get the rear window wiper motor fixed on Thursday. That's probably good, because i forgot I was supposed to get gas last Sunday and I'm getting low. Dawn has a cat she thinks I should have, so I may call the woman who is fostering her.

 

Now it's late and it's an unsettled, windy night in the field, and I'll soon be off to the north end.


July 29

I made it into bed by a little after 10:00 last night and I slept fairly well, although I was up several times. The clock in the bedroom is a couple of minutes fast, which I'll have to fix, but I got up when the alarm went off. Grayson didn't want to be petted, so I got my breakfast and his and I did the better part of my surfing before I got dressed and got off to church.

 

I was dressed way early, but I fiddled around and I was a little late leaving. There wasn't much traffic going in my direction, so I wasn't much later than I usually get to church. As long as I get there before the hourly newscast is over, I'm good.

 

Church was wonderful. Since today was a fifth Sunday, we used the old service from the 1941 hymnal, which I still like better than anything I've heard since. There was communion and a lot of good hymns, since the psalm of the day was Psalm 23. We were late getting out, but that was all right.

 

The weather was great again. It was 72 when I left here, and almost clear. When we got out of church, it was about 80 in the interior, so I used the A/C almost all the way home. Not that it was so hot outside, but the inside of the car was like an oven. It was still in the lower 70s here, where it stayed for most of the afternoon. It's gone up to 76 now. The wind was calm for most of the afternoon, too, although it's picked up some now. There are some thunderstorms off to our west, but they seem to be moving southeast from Isle Royale, so they may miss us. It started out clear or nearly so, but it clouded up late in the afternoon.

 

Grayson was funny this afternoon. Apparently I have neighbors to the south and they have at least one, if not two, yappy, howling small dogs. When the one started to howl, Grayson was asleep, but he woke up and growled before he began to look around to see where the dogs were. I get the idea that in his former life he had some trouble with dogs. I was growly, too, since they were spoiling a very quiet afternoon and I like quiet. Eventually Grayson decided the dogs were no threat and he went back to sleep. Now he is lying on my lap and he has been purring very nicely. Oops. He just got up and went to look out the east window. He doesn't like it very well when I start typing.

 

 

I didn't do anything this afternoon. I was tired and a bit rocky, so I sat and read. This story, the long one of Voyages is a good one, I think, and it's a fun read. I was a little surprised by how many typos and other things I've found in it so far. I thought I'd been through it enough to have caught all of that stuff. As usual, I was surprised by what Word didn't catch, but oh, well.

 

So that was my very quiet day and if I can leave the story alone, I hope to get to bed early, since I'm rather headachy. Tomorrow I have to call the car dealership, because the motor on my rear windshield wiper has quit, leaving the wiper arm locked straight up. I want it fixed. For one thing, I can't get into the window part of the rear door, which I occasionally want to do. Sigh. This has been an expensive month.

 

Now it's a warmish, mostly cloudy, breezy evening in the field.

 

July 28

Somehow, I managed not to get to bed until 11:30 last night, but I slept well after I did. Grayson was a bit rambunctious early in the morning - he gets active just about the time it's getting light - but I went back to sleep and I think I got up around 9:30. I knitted and I finished the last daisy rows. Wow, I'm really getting done with this thing.

 

Of course, I still have the other end to do, and the ball of yarn I'm working on got chewed up almost as much as the other won did, which means I'm going to have a whole lot of ends to darn in. There are supposedly several methods of joining an old yarn and a new one, but I've tried them and they just don't work. So I will work them in after I'm finished, just like I did with the white stole.

 

That was about all I did, except to wash a few dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher. I had blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Yum. Not as yummy as bilberry pancakes, but they'll certainly do. It was about as large a breakfast as I ever eat - two large pancakes and sausage. Yum.

 

When I got on the computer, the thing I had ordered for my birthday present - a motorized yarn ball winder - was canceled, which annoys me a lot. I fired off a nasty email to JoAnn's, but a while later I got on Amazon and when I read the reviews, it just may be a good thing, since there are a lot of problems with it. Trouble is, the only really good one is close to $1000, and even though i have a whole lot of yarn to wind into balls, I can't afford that. So I guess I'll just have to make do with my antique (I got it in the '60s) manual ball winder and try not to mess up my wrists and shoulders. I've always liked that ball winder, except that now I don't have anyplace to attach it. The clamp won't go to 2" so I have to attach it sideways to the front of a drawer or something. If I had a stool or a hard chair upstairs, I could use that, but I don't. I am going to try a different swift when I start winding balls, because the umbrella swift has too much inertia and the balls wind too tight. In order to do that, I have to clear off the desk. Oh? I think I've heard that before, too. Heh.

 

The weather was glorious again. The temperature was in the low 70s all afternoon, with a high of 73. There was almost no wind, and what there was came from the north. The sky was virtually clear all day long and it was so pretty and blue. Just lovely weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be about the same, only slightly warmer, before we have some rain on Monday or Tuesday. I hope so.

 

I don't have much to report on the Grayson front.  He didn't get up with me, so he didn't get brushed. He finally came to about the time I was thinking about getting dressed. He did spend quite a bit of time watching the parade outside, but now he's asleep on the desk again. I wonder what he's going to think about the swift and the yarn winder.

 

I spent the afternoon reading and I finished part 2 of Voyages. Part 3 is the long one, and I have it set up to start reading tomorrow.

 

For the past week I have been bombarded by spam, all from the same place, ultimately. I used the opt out links for a couple of days, but they say to wait 10 days. I've been forwarding the messages to the FTC, and if it doesn't stop by next Friday, I'm going to file a complaint. I mean, since 11:00 last night, I've received 71 messages from those jerks, most of them repeats. I sent them a complaint last night, too. It's no wonder the Internet is overloaded, if other people are getting as much of this stuff as I am. I keep wishing I could bounce it right back to them. One thing that's missing with email is "Refused - return to sender." We really need that.

 

Oh, yes and the Battery D encampment is going on at the Fort, so at intervals, we have been treated to the sound of the cannons going off. They echo off the hills so nicely! I'm sorry I can't stand for long periods, because I'd love to see that sometime.

 

So that was a quiet day, and shortly I will be toddling up to the north end. I need to be up early tomorrow to go to church. It's a lovely evening in the field.

 

July 27

So instead of going to bed like I should have, I read, and it was 1;45 before I got to sleep. I slept well, mostly, although of course I was up several times, and at 8:30, Grayson thought I should be getting up. When I finally did get up, around 10:30, he was asleep, so I knitted. I only got six rows done, because I had a terrible tangle in the yarn I had to undo. The moths got into this ball of yarn, too, but not, I hope quite as badly as the last one.

 

I didn't do a lot. I took a bill and a check (thank you, Arthur. You shouldn't) to the post office. There was some more yarn there, and I'm not so sure I like it. It's pink, rose, yellow and orange, which is summery but bright. The reason I bought it is that it's bamboo (well, you know - rayon from bamboo). It's nice and soft and it would make a nice summer tee. I started swatching it, and the first thing I discovered is that the recommended needle size made the fabric too mushy, so I'm now doing it over on smaller needles, while reading and listening to Mahler. There was also another donation, for which I thank you very much.

 

The weather was glorious. It was a bit cloudy this morning, but the clouds soon went away and it was clear and blue and lovely. The temperature only got to 68. There were light breezes from the east, which have now shifted to the north, so there was a cold breeze coming in the east windows all day. It was wonderful.

 

Grayson was his usual self. He really wanted to play around 8:30, and I had to screech at him before he went away. He slept in the sun for most of the day, although he moved over under the east windows a while ago. 

 

Now I am going to try to make myself stop reading and go to bed at a reasonable hour. That will be hard, because they're playing Mahler's Second "Resurrection", which is one of the few Mahler symphonies I really like. So we'll see what happens. Now the half moon is shining brightly in the south windows and it's a cool, clear, lovely evening in the field.

 

July 26

Between my reading and my bath, it was nearly 1:00 before I got to bed. I did fiddle a bit in the bathroom, but it was all right. I counted out the row of the shawl I had just knit, and I found an error, which I flagged. Anyway, I slept well. Grayson thought I should get up at 6:30 and 8:30 and I ignored him, so when I got up at 10:30, he was so sound asleep he didn't finally get up until I was about to wash my face. I finished the spider web rows, so I can do holes tomorrow. I had much less problem today, and I suspect it was partly because I wasn't distracted by a little gray cat being cute.

 

Otherwise, I didn't do much at all. Right before I left for dinner, I put together my coleslaw and put the potato salad in a bowl, and that was about it.

 

Dinner was wonderful. The fish we ate was caught this morning, and it's hard to get it fresher than that. It was all perch, and it was so wonderfully good! Suzanne made a good pasta salad and Bonnie brought chocolate cake for dessert. It was a wonderful group and a wonderful dinner. I got to see how the campground is laid out. It's nice, but everybody is too close together for my taste. I guess it's better in the west campground, but this spot is nearly right on the lake (Fanny Hooe) and the view is nice. It was much less buggy than I thought it might be, although I did spray myself with Off! before I left home, just in case. I don't think I could ever be a camper. I'll leave that to my friends and my fictional characters.

 

The weather turned out all right. It was cloudy all day, but the temperature got up to 68 and even this evening it was 64, with not much wind. I was comfortable with just a long-sleeved tee on. 

 

Grayson sort of ignored me all day until just before I was going to start getting things together to leave, then he got very loving. He was glad to see me come home and he sat on my lap until I started to type. This morning, he was very energetic at 6:30 and 8:30, but I shouted at him then I ignored him and he went back to sleep.

 

So now it's late and I'm tired, so I will trundle up to the north end and crash. It's a coolish, cloudy night in the field, but it doesn't look much like rain to me.

 

July 25

I did some more reading and it was midnight again before I got to bed. I slept fairly well, at least until around 7:30, when the wind picked up and it started raining. It got cool and humid and yucky. I got up around 8:30, not that I wanted to, but it seemed like I wasn't going back to sleep. I knitted and I did well for about three rows, and then I messed up on the knit three togethers and had to do some ripping. Once I got that row fixed, I quit. It seems like I was catching a fourth stitch in my needle in several places and that screwed everything up. I think it's all right now.

 

I did some of my surfing, and paid a few bills - today was Social Security day - before I took off for Calumet. Now I have 15 feet of nylon screening and some caulking compound. I also got a new bumper for the bottom of my cane. They didn't have any of the very thin spline that is in my doors, so we'll just have to use what's there. Then I was off to Pat's, where I was very modest, only getting a few things I need for the fish fry and some pasta salads for me. And JD, of course. I get that every time I shop, even if I still have some. You never know...

 

The weather wasn't very nice. Around 7:30 it started to rain, and before it was over, around 2:00, we had had 1.1" that we really needed. It was a nice, steady downpour. There was quite a bit of wind while it was raining, with gusts up to 25 mph, and the temperature was down around 61, so it seemed cold and nasty. I was frozen by the time I left for town. By the time I got home, the temperature had risen to 68 but it has now dropped off and the wind has died down. It was so chilly that I closed up the north end, pretty much, and I will leave it closed up tonight.

 

Grayson was wired at about 6:30, but when I went back to sleep, so did he. He didn't seem to realize I was leaving when I did. Suzanne and Paul stopped by right after I got home, and he had to come to meet them and get petted. He is so good about things like that. Then he went back to sleep, although he's gone away now. He did seem happy to see me come back, but I think he knows I will.

 

Tonight, I started reading the 'Voyages" series (my stuff), and I will read a little more before I go up to the north end. I'm tired enough that I'm having trouble focusing, but I think I can read some. Word is good about zooming in so that I can read without trouble.

 

It's a cool, very humid, calm and cloudy night in the field.

 

July 24

So I read again last night, but I cut it off at two chapters. I got to bed around midnight, and I slept fairly well. I was only up a couple of times, and I got up around 9:00, I think. Grayson was interested in being petted, so he got a nice love-in. He isn't shedding very much these days, so I guess we've gotten rid of most of it.

 

Then I started to knit. Sigh. I miscounted at the first stitch of the first row I knit, and after four rows, I was hopelessly messed up, so I had to unknit the whole thing. As a result, three hours of knitting ended up with two rows done correctly. Some days it just doesn't pay to even try.

 

While I was knitting, I heard the loon call a few times, it sounded like from out in the lake. Last night, with the windows open, I could hear that the lake was quite riled up, even though there was hardly any wind here. All I can guess is that there was some wind someplace else that was causing waves to crash on the rocks, including a few rogue waves. It was nothing like during a real blow, but it was fairly loud. By morning it was all quiet again. I don't think I could ever again live where there wasn't some body of water very nearby.

 

That was about the extent of my activity for the day. I checked with the plumber to see if I could pay my bill in installments - I can - and I discovered I can't get any summer cole slaw for Thursday. When the talking started I moved over to the ugly chair and I did a couple of rows on the Faroese shawl - with no problems - while the talking was on.

 

It was another beautiful day. The temperature was 71 for most of the day, although it has now risen to 75. with light winds, mostly from the north. It was mostly clear, with only a few clouds here and there. Lovely. One reason I moved to the ugly chair was that I was cold from sitting and doing nothing. The sun is still extremely warm.

 

Last night when I went to bed, I discovered that somehow I had gotten a black fly bite right about under the lower rim of my glasses. Oh, they are sneaky little beasts. I may have another right at the inside edge of the eyebrow on the same side, but I'm not sure of that. One thing I do know: if there is a black fly in Copper Harbor, she will find me and bite me.

 

Grayson was mostly sleepy today. He is so happy under the south windows. He spends most of his time there. He was a little playful this morning, but it didn't last long. At night, he mostly sleeps on the pillows and fleece in the window seat. When I stir in the morning, he looks up and says "Mmm?" and gets up with me. It amazes me how easily he's gotten to be perfectly at home with me. We have an ongoing disagreement about who's in charge around here, but that's to be expected. I couldn't ask for a nicer companion.

 

Now it's a lovely evening in the field, and I will read a bit more before I go up to the north end and crash. I think I will be going down to Calumet tomorrow to get some stuff at Ace Hardware and some stuff at Pat's.

 

July 23

Oh, well, I did it. Instead of going to bed like a good girl, I stayed up and read until midnight, so I was late getting to bed. I didn't sleep very well. I was up any number of times to pee and I had some trouble finding the right temperature. That was partly because the high temperature for the day was at 5:00 this morning. Sometime around then, Grayson decided it was playtime, so that kept me awake. I finally got up around 8:45, and now I know it's only taking about 15 minutes (or less) to do one row on the shawl. I did two before I got dressed.

 

I got some of my surfing done before I was off to see Johanna. I feel much better for that. She is doing well and is, happily, very busy. When you do what she does, being unable to work for a couple of months can be difficult.

 

I stopped by the post office and the store on my way home, and then I finished my surfing. I didn't do much else.

 

There was church tonight, so I went and it was good. There were quite a few people there again, some returnees and some new people who were camping. So I think Pastor is convinced the effort is worth it.

 

The weather was glorious again. It was rather windy for a while during the day, in the 15-25 mph range from the north. The temperature during the day hung right around 75 until 3:00, when it began to drop off slowly and it is now 70. with not much wind. It has gotten a little more humid, though. It was mostly clear for most of the day, although there are some clouds now. Just lovely.

 

When I went back to sleep around 7:00, Grayson curled up beside my head and went to sleep, and he didn't want to get up when I did. In between his bouts of play, he sleeps a lot, just like all cats.

 

Now I am (really!) going to go up to the north end, take a nice shower, and try to get to bed early. I don't feel like I had enough sleep last night. it's a warmish, partly cloudy evening in the field.

 

July 22

I made it into bed by 9:30 last night, I think, and while it took me a while to get to sleep - side to sleep on, amount of covers, things like that - once I started, I did good. When I was up in the night, there were stars, but not very bright ones. When I can see the star that connects the handle of the Big Dipper to the bowl, I know it's a good night. It's been several years since I've seen that. Maybe if I was outside, I could see it, but not through the screen. But even my summer star, Arcturus, was sort of dim.

 

I got up around 8:30, I think. Grayson got brushed a little and petted a lot and he went off on his own, so I knitted, and I finished the fifth repeat of the center stitches. I toyed with the notion of starting the sixth repeat, but instead, I read the first several chapters of First Samuel. Portals of Prayer has been based upon them lately, and I wanted to catch up.

 

I didn't do much of anything, I'm afraid. For all my sleep, I felt tired and sleepy all day. I spent some time in the ugly chair working on the Faroese shawl, and I did the first row with a pattern in it - row 6. It takes a long time to knit 541 stitches, especially when I keep making counting errors. About halfway across, I got the hang of it and finished the row without problems, but the first couple hundred stitches were hard, for whatever reason. Part of it is knitting with almost black yarn, but part of it seems to be my eyes. 

 

The weather was glorious, and I should have been doing something outdoors. The temperature got up to 81 twice, but in between the wind suddenly shifted from southwest to north and it got down to 73 before it went calm for a couple of hours, then it went right back up to 81. It wasn't so bad because the humidity was very low - my favorite - and for the past couple of hours, the wind has picked up from the southwest again. It was partly cloudy most of the day. In fact, it got very cloudy for a while, then the clouds all blew away and it was clear for the later part of the afternoon. There are some thunderstorms way off to the west of us - in northern Minnesota - and they might get here before daybreak, but I'm not counting on it. Only I will close the south window.

 

Grayson was his usual sweet self. After we had our love-in, he went off and I think went back to sleep, but then he got playful and he dug out his yellow mouse, which he had apparently stashed behind the toilet, and he played with that and the rug for a long time. He slept under the south windows for a good part of the afternoon, but he also likes the new spot under the east windows. I don't know where he went while I was knitting this afternoon. He went away for quite a while. He has the cutest little face. Hr kept thinking he wanted some of my chicken until he sniffed it. He has learned about yogurt, and every time I have something on the tray, he has to check it out in case it's yogurt. He just loves that. I think he likes ice cream, too.

 

This evening, I hauled out a couple of the stories, including the one I started so I wouldn't forget it, and I read until just a while ago. I think I write rather well, but then, I'm biased.

 

Now it's past time to go to bed, and the wind is picking up. It's a nearly clear evening in the field and the temperature is just perfect for sleeping.

 

July 21

It wasn't such a good night last night. I got to bed around 10:00, It was taking me a while to get to sleep all night long, for various reasons. I was up around 12:30 and there was some lightning out over the lake, but not too much. It was interesting, because there were clouds in the west and I could see stars in the north, so it was just some small storm cells. I was up again around 3:00, and when I got back to bed, there was a lot of lightning off to the west, and pretty soon there was some thunder, but the real story was the wind, which never showed up at the NWS station. I don't have any idea when they decide to post an off-hour reading and when they don't. Here, at any rate, the wind has to have been over 30 mph from the west. I blew the hand towel off the rack and two pairs of jeans off the top of the pile in the laundry room. Finally, when I could hear thunder, I closed the door and the west window in the window seat. Grayson was telling me, loudly, that he didn't like all that wind, but he calmed down when I closed the door.

 

It was warm, too, and around 3:00 apparently the temperature got up to 79 for a while. and I had to turn on the ceiling fan. I went back to sleep, and sometime around 4:30 or 5;00, I opened the door again. The noise meant i had a hard time getting back to sleep, and I was up several more times during the night. I finally got up around 8:00 and i was beautifully clear, breezy and around 73. Perfect.

 

Grayson was sleeping with me when I woke up. He is so cute. When I move, he says "Mmm?" Really. With a rising inflection. He wanted to be petted and brushed, but then he went off for a while and I knitted. A while later, he was back with a mouse and he played and played and played, then he walked all over the nightstand and pushed a basket of stuff - pens, a flashlight and a ChapStick - onto the floor. Then he got onto the stand in the bathroom and went to sleep while i knitted.

 

I knitted eight rows on the scarf, and i am now within eight rows of the end of the fifth repeat, so I'm making progress. While the spider web pattern is long - 16 rows - the other patterns are only 8 rows each, so they go fast. I had another break in the yarn, but I was getting near the end of the ball anyway, so I put it away and started a new ball. I knew this thing was going to take more than one ball, so I decided not to fool around anymore.

 

Other than that, I didn't do anything. I was up so much last night that i didn't feel like I got my full night's sleep. Well, I can get it tonight. Tomorrow is the church picnic, so I am not going and I can sleep in.

 

The weather continued to be beautiful. The high temperature for the day was 75 and there was a north wind around 15 mph all day. It is still quite humid, but not excessively so. It was clear this morning and partly cloudy all day.

 

That's about all I can say about the skies, because the camera hung up around 9:30 this morning and showed the same picture - with changing times - all day long. I finally reset it just a while ago, and I think it's all right now. I am a little disappointed that the camera shows a grayish picture. It's really bluer than that. However, it does show the beautiful morning views with the blue skies and blue water. One of these days, I'm going to have to wash the window. It's really bad.

 

Grayson was playful this morning, like I said, but he finally pushed his mouse under the bureau so he went to sleep, He has been sleepy all day. Yesterday, I finally got things rearranged under the east window and put some fleece throws there, and now he is sound asleep there. So now he has two places to sleep near me, and I think he appreciates it. This morning and early afternoon, he was under the south windows, in the sunshine. Little angel cat, at least when he's asleep.

 

I am really sleepy tonight, so I think it will be an early night again. I will take a bath, just on general principles, and to try to keep my hair looking all right. I just got over an allergy attack. I must have sneezed a dozen times. I don't know what brought that on, but it always leaves me sort of headachy and feeling blah. Well, it's summertime and things are growing and pollinating, so I have to expect that.

 

Now it's a nearly clear, lovely evening in the field and I'm off to the north end.

 

July 20

Well, I went to bed at 9:00 last night, and I got up at 8:00 this morning. Of course, I was up several times during the night, but not for very long, and I slept well. There were stars but they weren't very bright. I felt much better today. Maybe I'll do the same thing tonight...well, not exactly, because it's already after 9:00. 

 

Grayson got his brushing and I knitted about 8 rows. Except to pick up the kitchen a bit (I'm really trying!) that was about all I did. Well, no. I folded all the clothes. They aren't put away yet, but they are folded and sorted out. I can put the underwear away tonight and work on the closet tomorrow.

 

This evening, I met Suzanne, Paul and Tyler for dinner at Harbor Haus. We had to wait a bit, but it was worth the wait. I had noticed beef Wellington on the menu when I was there last time, so I had it and it was wonderful. Puff paste like that doesn't come in sheets in the freezer.  So we had a pleasant time - they are wonderful people - and I am tired again.

 

It was another beautiful day. For most of the day, the temperature was in the lower 70s, although it got up to 78 at 5:00. There were light winds, mostly from the southwest. It was partly cloudy for most of the day and the humidity was quite low.

 

 it is really dry again.  I followed the Schwan's guy down the road and  he was lost in a cloud of dust. They are saying it might rain tonight, and I hope so, but we'll see.

 

Grayson was very loving today. He got brushed and petted this morning, and when I got home tonight, he sat down on my lap and is now nearly asleep. Makes it hard to type. He wasn't as playful today. Maybe he senses a change in the weather, but one never knows.

 

So now I will go up to the north end and forgo the bath again. We'll see how my hair looks tomorrow, but I don't intend to go out. Now it's a partly cloudy, breezy evening in the field and I don't think there will be any stars tonight.

 

July 19

I fiddled around for a little while, with socks, then I took my bath and went to bed. I thought I got to bed shortly after 10:00, but now I wonder. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. I was awake around 8;00, I think, but again, I'm not sure, and decided to go back to bed. Well. When I woke up again, the clock by my bed said 10:45 or something and I wondered, because it didn't feel like I'd been asleep that long. So I got up, and when i checked the clock in the bathroom, it was actually only 9:15. Sometime - and I'm not sure when - a little friend of mine walked all over the buttons on the clock/radio/phone and really messed up the time. I think it happened after I went back to sleep at 8:00, but I'm not sure. So my day started out rather discombobulated 

 

Grayson wanted to be brushed and petted and loved, so I did that, then I knitted about 8 rows and got dressed. I had finished my breakfast and I was doing my surfing when the bathroom called, and I didn't quite make it. And wouldn't you know, just when I got all my soiled clothes off, Suzanne came to the door. So I let her in - bare in the bottom - and cleaned myself up. I think she is enjoying her time here, and she brought me a meal of chicken parmesan, which I had tonight, and it was very good.

 

After she left, I got myself together and went off to Mohawk, where I got my license tabs, my hang tag and some cash. I stopped at the post office on my way home and of course I had to talk to Ron and Jean, who was manning the information desk. I didn't quite make it to the bathroom when I got home, and I peed my pants. So now there were two pairs of pants and two pairs of jeans to wash.

 

I was minding my own business before dinner when I felt an urge, and I didn't make it to the bathroom again, but this time, I didn't have anything on under my oversized t-dress, so I had to clean up the floor. So it was not a very good day, all things considered. Sigh.

 

It was another beautiful day weatherwise. The temperature got into the high 50s overnight, but it warmed up fast when the sun came up, and it peaked at 72. There wasn't very much wind, and what there was came from the east. The skies were partly cloudy all day, although it seems to be clearing up a bit now. It was a lovely day to be out and about.

 

Well...sort of. When I went down to Mohawk, there were "men working" signs along US-41 from the blinker to around Aetna Creek, but nothing was going on. There were some slow drivers, and more traffic in both directions than I've seen in a while. And then I ran into a couple of trucks striping the middle of the road, almost all the way from Central to Phoenix. When I came back the stripers were gone, but they had the road down to one lane from Aetna Creek to Copper Harbor, and they were having their usual problems directing traffic. I had to wait more than five minutes to get through, even though hardly any cars came in the other direction. And when I got to the blinker, the first car waiting to turn south was Marty. I don't know what they were doing, but it involved three or four big trucks of asphalt. However, at the rate they were working, it would surprise me very much if they got the couple of miles done this afternoon. Some people in Keweenaw work hard, but not the road commission, at least in the summertime.

 

Grayson was very loving this morning, and I think he was glad to see me when I got home. I kind of wonder if there's going to be a change in the weather, because he has been sort of sleepy all day.

 

One thing i got in the mail was a notice that the mortgage company needs my proof of insurance, so I dug into the pile, which is a lot bigger than I thought. However, I found it without too much trouble. So tomorrow I will have to call them and explain, without getting too exasperated, that the reason I didn't send it was that I didn't know where to send it, then I guess I'll have to go to the post office again and get it in the mail. I don't trust faxes for things like that, especially since I've never used the fax on this machine before. I thought the insurance company was supposed to forward that stuff to the mortgage company. I will have to ask them about that.

 

Now I'm tired and rather headachy, so I think I will be off to the north end early and try to get another good night's sleep. It's a nearly calm, coolish, partly cloudy evening in the field.

 

July 18

Well, I fiddled around with knitting needles and socks for a while last night, and I didn't take a bath, but it was still 11;00 before I got to bed. Oh, but I slept well. I was only up three times. The last time was around 7:30, and Grayson thought it was time to get up, but I steadfastly ignored everything he could do and eventually he went back to sleep in the window seat, and so did I. I didn't get up until 10:30. Ought to be enough sleep, and I felt pretty good today. Slowly I'm getting my path through Pat's down to the minimum, which helps.

 

He wanted to be petted, so I brushed him a while and then petted him a lot before I got out the scarf and knitted another four rows. I still didn't get to the studio until nearly noon. I had the rest of my sandwich for breakfast, along with some yogurt and a mouthful or two of pasta salad. I discovered that the tuna-mac salad I got yesterday didn't have any dressing on it at all. I don't like too much, but this goes a little too far in the other direction.

 

I did my surfing and I finally bagged up all the yarn under my desk and got it out of the way, except for the dishcloth yarn, which can stay there. Gee, I can almost get my feet under the desk again! The yarn was in bags, but they were opaque, so I put them in clear plastic. Most of them, unfortunately, need to be wound into balls, and I need to do some more work on the desk before i can do that. There is a lot of nice yarn for summer tops and sweaters (not to mention shawls!) that I won't get to this year. I can only hope that the place I've been getting it doesn't have a lot more nice stuff next year, but if today's offerings were any indication, they will. I ended up with an enormous amount of a yarn that they claim is made from recycled jeans that will make a wonderful big summer sweater. i have a sort of idea of what it will look like, but now i can't decide whether it should be a cardigan (my original thought) or a pullover. Well, maybe I have enough yarn for both...And all that lovely hand-dyed cotton for tees...oh, my. If all I did was knit, I would still never get it all done, and I can't knit all the time because of my hands. Besides, I want to knit lace.

 

I was interested to see, when I was reading my book on Shetland Shawls, that some of the old knitters knitted right from the skeins, just looping them over their arms. I suppose that would work, and it sure is tempting...except that I have a playful kitty to consider. I wish all yarn came in balls.

 

Late in the afternoon, I took the Faroese shawl over and sat in the ugly chair and spent some time enjoying my view. Part of the reason was that I was cold and it was sunny there, but I haven't spent enough time sitting in the ugly chair lately.  In part that's becaue the sun shines on it in the afternoons, and it's been too hot to sit in the sun. I'm working on row 4 of the 541 stitches, and I haven't started the pattern rows yet. I suppose it's a good thing to get the really long rows out of the way first. I'm also thinking about how to chart out the row and pattern repeats, which aren't shown exactly on the pattern (this is not a well-written pattern). but except to get out a pad of graph paper, I haven't decided exactly how to lay it out. After I get done with the 17 rows of the lower border, the thing splits into five pieces, each of which has its own pattern and number of repeats, and since it's lace, it will be hard to keep track unless I write it all down. Hmm...

 

The weather was glorious for a change. The high temperature was only 69 and the dew point was under 60 all day. There wasn't a lot of wind, but it finally settled down from the east or southeast, which blows right in the east windows of the studio. That was why I got cold. It was a great temperature for doing something, but not so much for sitting around with the breeze blowing on my neck. It was partly cloudy all day, with a lot of sunshine and a lot of clear skies. Lovely! I can imaging all the tourists and summer people were running around like maniacs, enjoying the cool. 

 

Grayson slept in the sun after I got to the studio. He was winding down by the time I got up, but around 8:00 he was really wired again. I suppose I should enjoy his energy while he has it, because all too soon he will settle down, but I just wish he'd pick a better time. When I was sitting in the ugly chair knitting, he wanted to play with the yarn and the needle, and he jumped into a big bag of yarn I have sitting there (an afghan project that bored me), then he went over onto the desk and pushed a pencil onto the floor. In his own way, he's as demanding as Buster was, but he exhibits it a bit differently.

 

I had to wash my shorts and a couple of pairs of underpants today, and I began to fold the wash that has piled up in the laundry room. However, I started late, so after I put the wash in the dryer, I stopped. I did get the stuff that was in the closet all put away, though, so that's a step forward. All my useable jeans ended up in the laundry room, and they are all folded and ready to be put away. I do these things in spurts, and it's been a couple of months since I've felt like folding laundry. 

 

I guess i must be feeling better than I was. I seem to have more energy this week. I will have to ask Teri and Rick to come up every summer and energize me. I seem to need somebody to goad me into action.

 

Now I will go up to the north end and take my bath and try to get to bed early. I think I will plan on going down to Mohawk tomorrow and get my license tabs and some cash. 

 

Now it's a cool, partly cloudy evening in the field and there might be a star or two tonight.

 

July 17

Oh, I'm tired again. It was nearly 11:00 when I got to bed, and I didn't sleep very well. I think I was having trouble getting the temperature right. I was wakeful for quite a while and I didn't get into a deep sleep until early this morning. I got up around 8:30, and Grayson wanted to be brushed today, so we had a good love-in, then I knitted four rows on the scarf. 

 

I had time to do most of my surfing before I packed up and got off to town. I left early, because I hoped Hughes Farm might be open, but they aren't yet, so i stopped and got gas, and the nozzle erupted all over me and left me smelling like gas for most of the afternoon. Yuck. So I got to the dealership early and turned my car over to them and sat down to work on the sock. It's finished! Wow, what a long-term project! I am so sick of those socks that it's a good thing it's too warm to wear them now. Now I can pick a new waiting-room project. I don't know if it will be the other Tofutsies socks or the brown wool ones. Knitting on the #1 needle made my left thumb hurt, so maybe I'll go with the wool. We'll see. I don't think I have any waiting rooms to sit in for a while.

 

I waited for four hours. I also took the new shawl along, and it was good that I did, because I finished the sock completely, including working in all the ends. Then I did about half of dca row on the shawl.

 

I now have new brakes, and the estimate was about right, which is good. I didn't notice a lot of difference on the way home, but I don't usually use my brakes very much anyway. I had no trouble stopping at the bottom of the hill.

 

I need to mention that I went up the hill behind two double-bottomed earth movers that barely made it to the top. Fortunately, they turned in at the gravel dump about halfway down the covered road, but then there was a slow tourist to follow. There was a lot of traffic going north while I was going south. In both directions, I ran across some people going very slowly on Cliff Drive, but I managed to pass them. Oh, tourist season!

 

From the car dealership, I went to Pats, where I did a little more damage than I intended to, but I have stuff to eat. I got a chicken, but I also got a sandwich and some more pasta salads. And OJ and JD, of course. I did forget one thing, but it went out of my head while I was there.

 

I got home around 6:30, but that was partly because I met Jack on the road and we had a conversation. He has been very busy, which is what I thought. He is maintenance manager at the Mountain Lodge, and of course that keeps him busy in the summertime.

 

Grayson was happy to see me when I got home and he mewed at me through the door while I was bringing my groceries to the landing. I unload in two stages, so I only have to go up the steps once: from the car to the landing and then from the landing into the house. 

 

The weather turned out nice. It was partly cloudy all day here, although it cleared up in town. The temperature here only got up to 71, although it was several degrees warmer in Calumet, but not unpleasant. It's still humid, but a lot less so than yesterday. The dew point has been nearly steady around 62. John Dee is right - if the dew point is over 60, it's going to be unpleasant. There was a very light southwest breeze.

 

Just after I got to bed last night, I began to hear distant thunder and I saw a few flashes of lightning, but evidently the storm cell was far out over the lake. I don't think it rained. What it did do, which was interesting, was to rile up the lake, so all night and all morning I could hear the waves hitting the rocks. I imagine it has died down now.

 

So now I have new brakes, so I don't have to worry about stopping suddenly for a deer or a bunny, and that's nice. I remembered that I have to go down to Mohawk either this Thursday or next, probably this, to renew my license plate and my handicap tag. Usually I renew my license plate by mail, but since I have to go down to get my handicap tag anyway, I might as well do both. The Secretary of State office is only open on Thursday in Mohawk, and I don't want to go all the way to Houghton to do it.

 

And now I'm tired again, and I'm sticky and icky and heaven knows where I still smell gassy, so I guess it's another bath tonight, then maybe I can get the temperature right and get a good night's sleep. It's a mostly cloudy, calm evening in the field.

 

July 16

I think it was around 9:30 when I got to bed and I slept well, except that for most of the night I couldn't sleep on my left side because my ear was too sore. It was yucky, though. I sleep on a satin pillowcase, and I was sticking to it, it was so humid. I was up several times, of course, and the sky in the north was bright, but it was cloudy again, so there wasn't anything interesting to see. Grayson got me up around 8:45. I guess he decided I'd been in bed long enough. He didn't want to cuddle, so I knitted and I finished the fourth repeat. The moths got into the ball of yarn I'm using, and there have been nearly a dozen breaks. I hope the one I had Saturday is the last one. I have my fingers crossed.

 

I unloaded the dishwasher while my toast was toasting, but I overcooked my eggs, so I had egg sandwich. I did my surfing, and around noon Suzanne came over with goodies, so i traded my empty jars for her full ones - green beans, tomato juice and beets. Yum!  We had a nice talk, and Grayson was a good host. 

 

The weather was unspeakable. For most of the day, until noon, the temperature and the dew point were about 69. Yuck. Then the temperature began to rise. It got up to 86 at 4:00 and it was horrible, but then it dropped back and around 5:00 the wind shifted to the north. It's been cooling off ever since, but it's still horribly humid. Until just now, the dew point was stuck at about 69, which is much too high! Now, with the temperature 66, the dew point is 64, which is 96% relative humidity. Yuck!! This morning between 11:00 and noon, there was a very little rain. It was cloudy all day.

 

Grayson was wired this morning, but when it began to warm up, he went back to sleep. I don't blame him. He was very nice to Suzanne, sitting on her lap and letting her pet him then playing with her feet. 

 

I invited them to Vespers and they came, which was nice, but we had a nice crowd tonight, with several people who come every year, so it was a good group with a good sermon. They left right after the service, because Paul and Tyler are going out to Schlatter Lake tomorrow - way out at the end of the point - and they wanted to get the boat into the back of the truck so they can get an early start. 

 

It was so good to see them. They are such nice people.

 

So that is about all I know. Tomorrow I go back to town to get my brakes replaced, so I will be knitting for most of the afternoon. I don't have to be there until 12:30, though, so I don't need to get up terribly early. Tonight I need a nice tepid shower and hope that my towels are dry enough to dry me off.

 

The thing I hate about this weather is that everything is damp. I had a terrible time getting into my compression hose this morning, and yesterday when I pulled on my shorts, which are knitted, they felt like they had just come out of the washer. My washcloth was still wet from yesterday, and all the towels are damp. I keep reminding myself that I shouldn't complain - this is the first really hot, humid summer we've had in quite some time. But still, I don't like it.

 

So now it's a cool, damp evening in the field and there won't be any stars tonight.

 

July 15

Geez, half over already! Only 16 days until I'm a year older.

 

I made it into bed by 10:00 last night, and I went right to sleep, but I was up about every two hours all night. Not a very restful night. However, when I was up, I could tell that we were having an aurora display. Unfortunately, it wasn't clear enough for any fireworks, but the whole northern sky was bright white, and it lasted all night. It looks to be cloudy tonight again, darn it. This is a good one.

 

I woke up just before the alarm went off, and I did not want to get up, but I did, and when I looked outside, it was thick fog, The temperature was 63 and the relative humidity was 100%. Ick.

 

So I ate breakfast and did as much of my surfing as I could before i was off to church. Sigh. For the first time this summer, I got behind a very slow driver, a guy from Texas hauling a camper that said "ultralight" but from the way he was driving, especially up the hill, it was anything but light...or he had a seriously underpowered vehicle. I finally was able to pass him right before Lac LaBelle road, and then I flew low, so I was pretty much on time by the time I got to Laurium. I need the extra time to stop at the restroom.

 

Church was good, although a lot of regulars were missing and there were a lot of visitors. Pastor's sermon was a really good one, all about thorns in the flesh. I know about that, and I hope I can accept them like St. Paul did.

 

I had toyed with the idea of stopping at Pat's today, but it was very humid and uncomfortable in Calumet, so I turned on the A/C and came home. When I got here, it was 64 and still foggy. So I changed clothes and finished my surging, although I forgot to check the PastyCam. Must do that before I go to bed. 

 

After that, I crocheted the rest of the 541 stitches, did the cast on row and one more. It takes a long time to knit that many stitches, especially when I am trying to get the count right. At least I have a start on it. The first 17 rows are the long ones, then it begins to decrease.

 

The weather was yucky. It was cool and damp, although lately the temperature has gone up to 71, with calm winds and humidity down to 84%. I guess up above the fog it was fairly clear, but now the fog has mostly gone away, leaving haze down the harbor and gray, cloudy skies. No wonder i was beset by various pains all day!

 

Grayson did what any good cat would do - he slept. Sometime during the afternoon, I realized that he was sleeping soundly and purring loudly. I've never heard a cat do that before, and it tells me he was having a lovely dream and he's a happy cat. He is also sleeping on his back a lot, which means to me that he is quite at ease. A couple of times, he woke up and wanted to play with my knitting, but i discouraged him. Now he is running between the open windows on the east side of the house. There seems to be a real parade going on out there.

 

He was sound asleep when I began to hear something peeping outside. I guess something fledged today, and it was very hungry. It flew over into the grove of trees behind the house before somebody stuffed its mouth with food and it shut up. If I were a bird, I'd get really disgusted when these big, loutly fledglings, who can fly as well as mom and pop, start peeping for food. It's doing it again. There have been some in the morning, in the bushes to the north, but not as loud and insistent as this thing. It makes me laugh.

 

Late this afternoon, I had an accident, and while I was cleaning myself up, I heard foghorns off the peninsula. It sure was nice to be able to look at live ships and see who they were, although I don't know who was honking, Buffalo or Edwin R. Gott. They passed each other right off the harbor.

 

Now I'm tired again. I think I can forgo the bath tonight; I didn't sweat that much today, even though it was very warm in church. I think I am going to crash and try to catch up on my sleep. It's a hazy, moist and not very warm evening in the field.

 

July 14

i made it into bed by 10:00 last night, all clean and mostly dry. I slept very well, thank you, although I was up several times. I woke up around 7:30 and decided that was just too early, even though Grayson didn't think so.  So I went back to bed and slept until almost 9:30. I feel much better. 

 

Grayson didn't want to be brushed, so I knitted, and I did 12 rows, I think. I got to where I had marked the halfway point of the center, but when I calculated it out again, I passed that quite a while ago. So I am working on the second half of the center pattern. These patterns aren't too difficult, so if I manage not to drop anything, they go relatively fast.

 

I puttered around for most of the day. and I think it looks a little better in the studio. I cleaned off part of the desk on the computer side, although I didn't try to get back into the corner and I didn't move all the CDs. There are still piles, but they are more organized piles. Then I worked a bit on the desk, but that's still almost hopeless. 

 

Late in the afternoon I started casting on the 541 stitches for the Faroese shawl. Gack! I got a bit over 200 stitches done, and I will do more tomorrow. Because the edging is knitted on, I'm using a temporary cast on, using a crochet hook and crochet cotton, and it's a rather awkward process. However, it will work out better than any other cast on, since it needs to be very stretchy. I still don't know that I like the colors in this one very well, but it's the process, right? Faroese shawls have a peculiar shape, which tends to fit over the shoulders better than a regular triangular or half-round shawl would. I've been wanting to try one, and this one should go fast, since it's on #7 needles and it decreases to the top. I would like to take it with me when I go back to the car place on Tuesday to get my brakes done. I will probably finish the sock, but then I need something else to do. When I wish I had an iPod or an iPad...or maybe a Kindle Fire?

 

The weather was much nicer than yesterday. The high temperature was only 75 and there was a breeze from the west or north all day. We did have a roll of thunder and a short rrain squall - only 0.09" around 4:00, which has made it very humid, but with the moderate temperatures, it didn't feel bad. According to the forecast, tomorrow is supposed to be nice, just a bit warmer than today, but Monday is going to be brutal. The temperature may get up to 90, with possible rain. Tuesday will be better. It's been a long time since we've had such a warm summer. I keep hoping that will mean a cold snowy winter, which we also have not had in a long time.

 

Grayson was wired this morning, at least when I finally looked like I was going to get up and feed him. This afternoon he slept for most of the time on the desk, although at one point, he jumped down because a critter came by outside. He just loves to look out all the windows and doors, to watch the parades going on outside. And almost every time I touch him, he grunts, then he starts to purr. Who can ask for more than that?

 

Speaking of critters, I was awake around 2:30 this morning, and I heard the coyotes. They weren't near here, but their voices carry when it's as still and humid as it was. And this morning, while I was knitting, I heard a loon call three or four times, I think from out in the lake.

 

My mother and father both smoked, and when they were alive, cigarette smoke didn't bother me very much. But my mother died in 1993, and for the past many years now, it's been illegal to smoke in restaurants, so my exposure to it has been minimal. Now I find that not only is the odor extremely unpleasant, it gets into my nose and I smell it even when it's not actually there. My neighbor to the north (who is a doctor!) smokes heavily, and since the wind was from the north this morning, I could smell when he lit up. It's apparently still in my nose, because I keep smelling something that smells like pipe tobacco. It's very unpleasant, and it overpowers the wonderful sweet smell of my field in the morning sunshine. Yuck.

 

So now I will trundle up to the north end and take another bath, so that I'm clean and nice looking tomorrow. I may have found some shampoo and conditioner that tames the bush my hair becomes when I wash it every day, but we'll see. I am undecided whether to stop at Pat's tomorrow or wait until Tuesday. I should go this week, since I won't be going to church next Sunday (church picnic day - just not my thing). I don't need much, but I am low on OJ and JD. So we'll see.

 

Now it's a nice, partly cloudy evening in the field. The temperature is lovely and so is the breeze.

 

July 13

So I went up to the north end and took a nice tepid shower and I was in bed by 10:30. I slept very well. I don't know how low the temperature got because the NWS station didn't report temperatures overnight. It was really lovely when I got up around 9:00. Grayson got a good brushing and I knitted 10 rows. About the time I quit, I could tell that the temperature had jumped. So I put on my shorts and tank top and did up my hair.

 

I didn't do a lot; it was too hot. Besides, I was having trouble seeing. I think I need another good night's sleep to get back on track. 

 

The NWS station started reporting temperatures around 11:00 this morning, so I can say that the temperature got up to 86. Fortunately, for most of that time there was a good southwest breeze, so it was sort of tolerable. Then between 5:00 and 6:00 the wind shifted around to the north and the temperature dropped to 78. Ah, relief! However, the humidity is rising. There was a rumble of thunder way off in the west a while ago but whatever caused that seems to be gone now.

 

Grayson was full of energy this morning when it was cooler. He dug out his mouse, which seems to have been under the toilet in the bathroom, and he played with that and almost anything else he could find. When it got hot, he crashed, and he spent the afternoon sleeping on the bookcase, because the throws were in the sun and too hot. I need to get things organized so I can put some under the east windows. I'm sure he would appreciate that. Right now, he's in the south window, staring out at the parade.

 

So it was a hot, slow day, and I am still having trouble seeing. I was really sleepy all day, too, so clearly I need more sleep to catch up. I like to see my friends, but they over-stimulate me and then I don't sleep very well. It's about the even tenor of my ways...

 

Now it's a warm, nearly clear evening in the field, and I'll soon be off to the north end to take another bath to cool me down, and I hope to be in bed even earlier than yesterday.

 

July 12

Ugh. My bags have bags. It was 11:00 before I got to bed, what with the bath and all. I slept very well, with a couple of wakeups. I got up around 8:30, and even though that wasn't enough sleep, It was good that I did. Grayson didn't want to get up. 

 

i managed to get on my way, and I think I was a few minutes early to get my car serviced. I told them I wanted to see my brakes, and when they took me out to the garage to look at them, I could tell before I got within six feet that they are shot. The pads are warn down to almost nothing, of course, but the reason I need all new brakes is that the the outer " of all four of them are so corroded that I've been braking on the inch or so near the hubs, and that part is scored. I mean, I really need new brakes. When I got the estimate for the new ones last fall, a couple of people wrote me saying it was high (around $700), but you have to remember that this is a full-sized SUV and it's not just linings - it's the whole brake that is being replaced. The parts came in at over $400. So I will go back Tuesday afternoon to get them done.

 

I had thrown the cat carrier in the car, and while I was waiting, I called the vet, only to find that the two cats were adopted a couple of days ago. Oh, well. All that means to me is that they weren't supposed to be my cats. i was glad I called, though, and I saved myself a trip to Houghton. Cell service in Calumet isn't all it could be and it took me about four tries to get connected. I emailed Dawn to be on the lookout for a new companion or two for Grayson, so we'll see what happens.

 

When I got my car back, I went over to the eye clinic, and now my glasses sit straight on my face and they feel like they belong there. That was where I saw the bags on bags. Ugh! 

 

I stopped at the post office, where there wasn't anything much, and I think I was home around 1:00.

 

Weatherwise, it was a day I would just as soon have stayed home. It was around 82 when I left Calumet, and the sun on all the paving made it feel at least 10 hotter. There was a breeze, which made it just hot, not brutal. I used the air conditioning all the way home. When I got home, I checked the weather, and the weather station is up! Yea! It apparently came up between 10:00 and 11:00 this morning. Yea! For the most of the afternoon, the temperature was in the high 70s, and there was a nice north breeze. Of course, now that has almost died down, and the temperature went up to 82. I didn't want to leave the powder room, because the breeze off the lake was coming in the window, and it was so lovely! I suppose you would say it was partly cloudy, although there weren't very many real clouds, only that high, whitish haze that doesn't block the sun. When I got home and got into my shorts and tank top, it wasn't bad at all, although my clothes were almost as wet as if I'd gone into the shower when I got home. I know to many of you who are suffering through the 100+ temperatures, 80 seems cool, to us here in God's country, it's hot. I guess it's going to continue, though. We haven't had a hot summer in a number of years, so I guess we're due. Just so those nice breezes off the lake continue!

 

Grayson did what any self-respecting cat would do in weather like this: he slept. He slept in my bed, he slept on the porch, he slept in the studio, but he slept. He wasn't ready to get up when I did (neither was I!) and he wasn't happy when I went away. When I got home, he squeaked at me. We haven't had a good cuddle in a day or two - it's too hot for that.

 

I haven't mentioned much about the black flies. Evidently there is a spot where they're getting into the house, and their preferential spot to bite me is on my thighs. I have been chewed to pieces. I got at least five new ones last night. And sometime Tuesday, I got one at the base of my right thumb. It was forming a nice blister yesterday when I broke it while I was working. and now it is covered with a BandAid that will stay there until it heals over. The way they are biting, I think this is their last hurrah, and shortly they should be gone. Or I certainly hope so. I do not like black fly bites on my butt.

 

I didn't do anything much about the mess on the desks. In fact, when I got home, except to read my email (Thursday is a day when there are lots of links to follow) I didn't do much at all. As soon as I publish this, I am going up to the north end and take a tepid shower and crash. Tomorrow and Saturday there is no reason why I shouldn't sleep for twelve hours or more. I will open up the windows in the window seat and turn on the ceiling fan and it should be comfortable to sleep without any covers. Aaahhh...I am tired.

 

Now it's a warm, hazy evening in the field and I am tired.

 

July 11

Wow, what a day! I think I was in bed by 11:00 last night, but I didn't sleep at all well. I had to get up around 7:15, and I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't. So I got up around 8:15 and went right down to the studio and called the plumber. Then I went back to the north end and knitted about 6 rows, Between being so tired and thinking about my heating system, it was slow going. When knitting lace, you have to pay strict attention to what you're doing, which is one reason it's usually so refreshing - you have to let go of all the other things you're thinking about.

 

I got my breakfast and did my surfing and around 11:30 or so, the plumber came - an old guy who owns the company. He found I had a blown transformer. That's probably what caused the circuit breaker to go. So he replaced that and so far everything is fine. He was a nice enough guy, but I have a hard time relating to plumbers in general. He mentioned how long a trip it is from Houghton, and I mentioned that I'm on a small fixed income. I am not looking forward to the bill.

 

So he went on his way and around 3:00, Teri and Rick came. We gathered up most of the rest of the trash then Teri attacked the kitchen while Rick and I first changed cat pans and then we attacked the computers. They took the rest of the trash to the compactor. They didn't leave until around 8:00, but of course they're operating on central time. 

 

My kitchen now doesn't look like my kitchen (and the veggie drawer is pristine), the old computer and assorted other stuff is in the basement, The area under the desk is spanking clean and very neat - no spaghetti wires - and the computer is under the desk on the dolly, the new printer is to my right, where the old one used to be, and my desk and the rest of the office are a terrible mess. 

 

Rick and I had some - ahem - discussions about moving the computer and rewiring it, but it came up just fine...well, as fine as can be expected. First it couldn't find the camera driver, even though I know we plugged it into the same USB port, then Explorer hung up the same way it did when I called tech support. However, I shut it down (via the off switch on the case, by the way) and rebooted it, it came up just fine and everything works...well, I haven't tried to print anything yet, but I'm not too worried. Rick may have the airy attitude of some of the CEs I knew, but he does know what he's doing, and he seemed very surprised that I do, too. Oh, it's so nice to have all that room again! Now all I have to do is move a few things and get some more throws and Grayson will have an alternate sleeping spot under the east windows.

 

It was a lovely day, but a little warm. My thermometer said it was 85 on the deck for most of the afternoon. However, there was a nice north breeze which made it more comfortable, and I turned on the fan in the studio. The NWS station is still down, so i emailed them again, and the next time I'm in the community center I'm going to see if I can find Ken (our township supervisor) and ask if there's anything he can do to get it fixed. It's been down for almost two weeks. 

 

Grayson was with us all the way. He seemed a little upset when we started emptying cat pans, and the minute we put new litter in them, he got in one and used it. It looked like we reminded him he had to pee, but he may have just been telling us it was nice to have clean litter. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared, although it wasn't good. I don't think Jasmine used them much her last few weeks. 

 

Tomorrow I go down to Calumet to get my car serviced. Then I think I will stop at the glasses place and see if they can adjust my new frames a bit. And then I think I will be going to the vet to see the two white cats. So we may be three by tomorrow evening. We'll see.

 

So it was a very busy day and I'm very tired, but I have to take a bath - I'm not fit to be seen in public right now. I will be getting to bed as soon as I can, because I have to get up by 9:00.

 

Now it's a warm, partly cloudy evening in the field, and that nice breeze we had all day is dying down.

 

July 10

With one thing and another, it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, but I had to get up around 8:30, so I really didn't get enough sleep. I brushed the cat and he wanted to go to sleep on my lap. 

 

I knitted without tears today and I finished the third repeat of the pattern. I forgot to mention that several days ago, I discovered that the moths had gotten into the ball of yarn I am using and clipped the threads. Fortunately, most of the lengths were long enough to do several rows, but it really annoys me, because one of the things I hate most is working in ends. I think I may be through the last break, but one never knows. There may be a little worm inside the ball chewing away even now.

 

Then I got up to wash my face and I discovered I didn't have any hot water. Again. So I called the plumber. He sent me downstairs to check the switches, but I forgot to check the circuit breaker. When I remembered to do that, I called off the plumber, because I thought everything was all right, but tonight when we got back from dinner, I wanted to wash my hands, and I have no hot water at all. Rick went downstairs and said that it seemed like there may be a problem with the boiler. It seems to be doing something down there now, so I guess I'll have to go down and see what's happening. Oh, woe. This has been a real mess, and it looks like I'll have to call them again tomorrow.

 

I didn't do much of anything. My legs were really sore from my exertions yesterday. I took the books to the post office to mail them back to Amazon, but I was just a bit too late to get them out in today's mail. Oh, well, it's not critical. Teri and Rick walked by while I was there, but I didn't stop them. I did get on the telephone and make my doctor's appointments in Detroit for October 9. The second week of October comes early this year. I don't think I need to make my motel reservations so early, but I do need to make the appointments, so that I can get them both on the same day. And I finally made an appointment to get my car serviced - what I should have done in April and just didn't. So all that is taken care of. Oh, yes, and I paid a couple of bills. So I guess I did do something after all.

 

We met for dinner at Harbor Haus, and it was delicious, as usual. They have several new things on the menu as well has having spruced up a few of their usual dishes. We came home with pieces of chocolate amoretto torte, which I couldn't finish. So I will have that as well as my fish tomorrow. Yum.

 

Then we came back to the house and Rick changed out all my burned out light bulbs and Teri moved the 3' stack of books off the desk. So my desk looks a bit more like a desk than it used to.. It's still a mess, but without all those books, maybe I can do something about it. I think tomorrow they're going to help get the last of the trash out, change the cat pans and maybe Rick will swap out the old computer. In a way, I hate to let go of it, but there hasn't been anything on it that I've needed since last year, so there's no reason to keep it here, and besides, every time we have a power failure, it boots up. Time to retire it to the basement.

 

It was a beautiful day, if a little warm. According to my thermometer, it got up to about 81. There wasn't much wind and it was nearly clear all day. Really lovely.

 

Grayson was very loving this morning and he was rather upset by all the goings on around here. He likes Rick a lot, and Rick thinks he's wonderful, so they had a real love-in, and then Grayson jumped off his lap and right onto mine, as if to say, "but you're still mama." He is so sweet. Now he seems to be glued to the fridge, and we guess there is probably some critter underneath it. Good. I've been wondering what kind of mouser he is. Now maybe we'll find out.

 

Thursday I think I will be going to the vet clinic to look at the two white cats, if they are still there. I'm not sure it's a good idea, but I feel Grayson needs some friends, as long as they are young (but not too young) and playful. We'll see what happens.

 

Now it's late again, and I have to go downstairs one more time. It's a warmish, calm, fairly clear evening in the field.

 

July 9

Well, I crashed at 9:00, and I had to plump up the body pillow to keep the sun out of  my eyes. I was up several times during the night, but I slept very well. I got up around 8:00, so I should have had enough sleep. I was knitting when I dropped something, and then the plumber called to say they would be here sometime between then (around 9:00, maybe?) and noon. I fixed my knitting error, but then I made another one, and after fiddling with that for a few minutes, I just put the whole thing down. Sometimes it's better to just stop and try again some other time.

 

When I got to the studio, I couldn't get the weather, and then I couldn't even get my homepage (which is the camera page on this site). Then I couldn't contact my own receiver. So I did the usual - rebooted the computer and power failed the receiver, but still no luck. You know, when I was working, we always had a lot more problems with the equipment, even in climate controlled rooms, in the summertime. Hmm. Anyway, I called PastyNet and discovered that that server virus the FBI has been warning us about for so many months, and has been trying to do something about, actually affected a good part of the internet this morning and everybody was having problems. It was very intermittent, but I finally managed to do my morning surfing. It helped that at on least two of my normal pages the cameras were down.

 

The plumber came, and just about the time he got here, it started to rain. I looked at the radar map, and there was this little yellow and red blob right smack over Copper Harbor and moving south at a very slow rate. So not only was the plumber wet because he sweats a lot and it's hot in the mechanical room, he kept having to go out in the rain and fetch more tools or put things away. It was a nice, soaking rain, though, and it went on for probably an hour. 

 

He was still here when Rick and Teri came, so we sat and talked for a while until he left. Then we got into it. They got almost all the bags into their truck, except for three that I took. Teri and I broke down and hauled out almost all the cardboard boxes that were in the house, in the breezeway and not in the right place in the garage. It's much nicer there already. There is still a bunch of stuff that needs to be put in bags and carted off to the compactor, but it sure is nice not to have my garage full of orange bags!

 

When we got to the compactor, there was another guy there, that I know by sight but not by name, and he started it cycling right when Rick started tossing bags into it, so that worked out very nicely and all my trash is gone.

 

Then Rick mounted my outside temperature sensor - in the meantime discovering there seems to be something wrong with my drill - and now I can at least report the temperature to you.

 

It turned into a beautiful day to work. The temperature got up to about 68, at least by my car, and there was a little north wind. After the rain, the skies cleared up - it really was a little black cloud right over the end of the Keweenaw - and it was sunny and pleasant all day. It is very humid, and of course I was sweating, so I will have to take a bath tonight. but it was nice out. It's 63 outside now.

 

I am tired and rickety, because I worked as best I could right along with Rick and Teri. So we parted for dinner and we met again at the community center for church, and it was good. There were only 9 of us, including Pastor, but we all had loud voices and we made a joyful noise. This is going to be an interesting series, about the "I AM" statements of Jesus, but it started with the stories in Exodus, where God said "I am that I am". It was a good sermon and there were good hymns. I was having a hard time getting up and after the sermon, I couldn't. Too much standing.

 

Grayson wasn't quite comfortable today. First that man came back and started making nasty noises in the basement, then he had to meet some new people. He was good with them, a little shy but quite interested. But all sorts of stuff started happening, and I think he went away to my bedroom to get his afternoon nap in. He was happy when I got home tonight.

 

So that was a very strenuous day, and I'm sipping on my JD. When I finish that, it's off to the north end and a bath, then I can collapse and sleep until noon if I want to. It's a clear, coolish, calm evening in the field.

 

July 8

I made it into bed by 10:10, and I slept fairly well for most of the night. I was awake at 6:00, of course, and Grayson thought it was time to get up and PLAY. I did go back to bed, but I had just fallen asleep when the alarm went off. Ugh. I got up and did my thing and got off to church in a reasonable fashion, although I had to visit the bathroom several times.

 

Church was nice, and there was communion. The situation I have been dreading happened - I was the last one in line, which meant I had to walk all the way over to the left side of the communion rail. I had my cane, but I wasn't moving fast today. Oh, well, at least I don't have to ask that Pastor come to me. His sermon was the stewardship one, and I don't think I've ever heard it said so gently. I don't think there are any rich people in our church and a lot of people have very little, but still, every year we all have to be reminded. I know I wish I could give more, but that's the problem with a fixed income.

 

With communion and a solo and all, church was late getting out, and then I had to get gas. I've put over 300 miles on my vehicle since a week ago Friday. It was after 1:00 when I got home. I changed clothes and had something to eat, and that was all I did. I am really tired.

 

The weather was lovely. It was 73 when I got out of church, but it was 71 when I got home (by the car) and I don't think it got any warmer all afternoon. There was a slight breeze that seemed to be from the north or northeast. Boy, will I be happy when the NWS station gets back up! However, Rick has offered to do some chores for me, and maybe I can get him to mount the outdoor thermometer, so at least I can report a reliable temperature. It was mostly sunny for most of the day, although there are some clouds in the south now.

 

Rick and Teri called from the Indian reservation around 4:45, so we decided to postpone our dinner until Tuesday. They'll be out tomorrow, and they said they'd like to go to church, so we'll see each other tomorrow. I'm anxious to see them.

 

I don't have much to report on the Grayson front. He did his usual, although when I went to make my dinner, he went out onto the porch and laid down on the table and went to sleep in the sun. He doesn't like it when I go away. When I came home, he was sitting in the hallway looking at me under his eyebrows. However, he was his usual loving self. 

 

It's really early, but I'm really tired, so I am going to go up to the north end soon and maybe knit a bit before I go to bed really early. I hope to hear from a plumber tomorrow and get my leak fixed. In the meantime, I need sleep.

 

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

 

July 7

It was a quiet day. I got to bed by 9:30 and I slept well. About 12:30, the moon was rising over the garage, but it was behind clouds. I got up at 8:30, not because I wanted to, but because Grayson was playing with everything he could find. So I got up and he laid down on the floor in the bathroom and went to sleep. Figures. So I knitted, and I got 16 rows done, I think, and I'm within 8 rows of finishing the third repeat. Not only do I love knitting lace, I love this yarn. It's alpaca and it's so soft.

 

Today was washday. I had a slight accident before the load of denim was finished, so I just washed everything over, including the jeans I'd been wearing. It takes forever to dry denim, so the last two loads are in the dryer now. Fortunately, I have an extra-large dryer. When I took the last of the stuff from last time out of the dryer, I found the missing compression sock, so I will wear that tomorrow. I'll be out of normal rotation, but that's all right.

 

When I got my first compression hose, I didn't mark them, and I've always had the suspicion that I was wearing the same ones all the time, so since then I've marked the pairs (and the year I got them). the current pairs are marked 2121 to 2124, with the initial 2 because I have another set that were too big.  Usually I wear them in order, but this time it will go 2-1-3-4. I figure if I wear each pair the same number of times, they will last longer. At $22 a pair, I need that.

 

I went to the post office, where there was the usual junk and two bills, but no packages. I talked to Ron and told him my latest woes. He was happy to know about an alternate source of plumbing and heating, but of course, I don't yet know how expensive they are.

 

There were a lot of people in town. The Copper Harbor School reunion was today, so there were lots of people wandering around with stickers saying "hello, I'm..." and a bunch of cars parked along the roadside. There were lots of trail bikers, too. I'm glad to see so many people in town, but I wanted to get out as soon as I could. I had to stop at the store, because I ate my last eggs today, and all I could get were medium eggs. They miscalculated and ran out of eggs. However, I got orange bags, so now I'm set again to do some more throwing away.

 

In the middle of the afternoon, I got an email from Rick and Teri saying they should be here tomorrow afternoon, just for a few days, so I invited them to dinner at Harbor Haus, since I haven't been there yet this year. I figure my refund from Microsoft should almost cover the cost. It will be good to see them. They haven't been here in a couple of years, since Rick's employment status is shaky, but he decided to hell with it, he wanted to come. I was surprised that they could get a hookup at Fanny Hooe Resort on such short notice, but I guess most people go to Fort Wilkins. So that will be nice. They're nice people.

 

The weather was beautiful. It was nearly clear all day, with light winds that were probably from the north. When I went out, the car thermometer read 71 and I don't think it got a=y higher. When i look at the temperatures downstate, I am so happy to be here! It only got to 93 today in Grosse Pointe, but it was 100 at the airport and 102 at Ypsilanti. It was just as hot yesterday. I've been in Copper Harbor when it was over 100 - 105 by the thermometer we had on the outside of the motel room door on the Fourth of July - and it's not any fun at all. Cooler is better.

 

Grayson was acting funny this afternoon, but I guess he's all right now. His exertions of this morning left him very sleepy, so he went away and slept for most of the day, then he got up on the desk and slept some more. He's rolling over on his back now, which tells me he feels quite safe. Right now, he's lying on my lap. It's not easy to type with a cat on your lap. And he let me rub his tummy a bit. That's only the second time he's let me do that without trying to bite me. He ate more of his canned food today. We had something new yesterday, and he did not like it. So I guess he ate dry food. Now that he's gotten filled up, he eats more slowly and he's beginning to let me know what he likes and what he doesn't.

 

So now it's time to trundle up to the north end and take my bath. I have plenty of hot water again, which is nice. But the sump pump is going off every so often, which tells me the leak is still going strong. I hope to get that fixed on Monday.

 

Oh, gee, I just remembered I have to fill the pill dispensers. I'd better go soon!

 

Now it's a clear night in the field and there should be some stars.

 

July 6

Well, if it's not one damn thing it's another. I am tired and hot and I have a headache.

 

Last night when I took my bath, there was barely enough hot water to wash with. I got to bed around 11:00, I think, and I slept fairly well. My temperature was a problem and I was up several times. I was awake when the Queen left, but I managed to drag it out until 9:00. 

 

When I checked for hot water, there wasn't any, so I came right down to the studio and called the plumber. Well, he was at the marina waiting for his buddies so they could take off for Isle Royale for the weekend. He suggested a couple of people to call, most of which I couldn't hear. Oh, no. It's the vet thing all over again. The third guy I called suggested somebody else, and when I called them, they were very professional on the phone, but they wanted information, so I had to go downstairs. When I went into the mechanical room there was water all over the floor. Oh, no! So they agreed to come.

 

I went back to the bathroom and knitted two rows before I got dressed and had something to eat. The guy said that it might be late in the day before they could get here, but I wasn't going to take any chances. After I ate, I got busy and got all the garbage bagged up and all the big bags out into the garage. What a job! I had to sit down several times. I used up all my big bags, and I have to remember that when I get eggs tomorrow (or I hope it's tomorrow). That in itself was a day's work. There were six bags, including one that has been out in the breezeway and full for quite a while. Then I got to rest for a while. In fact, the guy got here around 1:00, I think, although I'm having trouble reading the analog clock.

 

So I had to go downstairs again to show him what I knew. It seemed like one of the zone valves was probably bad, and the pump on the return end of the system was noisy - that must be the noise I've been hearing - but it wasn't until later that he discovered that the source of the leak was the water line from the well into the back of the boiler. It's apparently only a pinhole, but it's a bad leak. Of course, he didn't have any pipe that diameter - 1" - so he taped it up, and somebody will have to come back. He finally left around 3:00 or a little later. Nice guy, and he seemed to know what he was doing. While he was here, the UPS guy came. Whew!

 

I do have hot water. I think there's enough to wash dishes with, which I need to do. And it's real quiet down there, which i appreciate, after the racket I endured over the winter.

 

So I sat down quietly and rested. While I was resting, I logged in (or tried to) to my bank to pay some bills, and apparently the guy who scrubbed my system did such a good job that the bank completely lost track of me. It took me about 10 minutes to get logged in. I paid my bill and then I checked my credit card - and I discovered that I had been billed twice for the system scrub last weekend. Eek! Double eek, when it took me an hour and a half and a whole lot of wrong phone numbers before I finally - finally! - got to the right people. The guy I got on the phone couldn't help me, because my conversation had started as an online chat (my god, Microsoft is as bad as the government!), so I had to go back to online chat (I now know the URL to go directly there) and wait an interminable length of time before I finally got a techie, who immediately saw what the problem was and issued me a credit. Whew! It only took me about two hours! Apparently Microsoft has the idea that nobody should know what anybody else is doing, and I got redirected and given bad telephone numbers and numbers that didn't work anymore. I got disconnected and I got put on hold for minutes at a time. Gag!

 

However, I wasn't going to stand still for them double-billing me. I know how it happened, and I knew it was a double bill. Well, the result was worth it.

 

Then the Schwan's guy came and I got so much stuff I had to go downstairs again because it all wouldn't fit in the fridge. I barely made it back up the stairs. I have enough good stuff to eat to last quite a long time, including some of that yummy ice cream that is vanilla swirled with orange sherbet - reminds me of the Creamsicles I used get when I was a kid. Several of Schwan's ice cream flavors are good, but this one is special. I think I may crack the container tonight. I was going to have something Chinese tonight, but instead, I pulled out a couple of slices of microwave pizza. I don't like it too well, but it's easy and filling.

 

The weather was yucky, frankly. It was cool - I doubt the temperature got to 70 - and there was a breeze from the north. It was partly cloudy this morning, but it soon clouded up, and while I was on the phone this afternoon, there was some thunder and a few raindrops. Now it's cool and very, very humid. Yuck. About 7:00 tonight, I got a reply from the Marquette NWS office saying they are working on the problem with the station here, but they don't yet know when it will be back up.

 

Poor Grayson. He didn't like his canned food, and I did all sorts of things I've never done before. He looked into the mechanical room but he didn't go in, thankfully, and he ran away when the man came and when the other trucks pulled up. In between he slept on the desk, where he is now. A while ago, he sat on me and purred for a while. and now he's asleep again. Dawn says I can meet the two white cats any time I go down to Houghton, so I may do that sometime. Grayson acts very laid back, like DC used to, but he gets upset, and I'm beginning to be able to sense that. Grayson is not DC, nor will any other cat ever be, but they have some things in common.

 

So it was an eventful day, and I'm not looking forward to the plumber's bill, but at least I have heat and hot water again, and somebody will fix the leak either tomorrow or next week. And I'm getting my credit from Microsoft.

 

Now I am really tired, and I'm sticky enough that I really ought to take another bath. It's a cool, drippy night in the field and I hope to be in bed early.

 

July 5

The fireworks were very nice. There were a couple of new things, including one that exploded into smaller blobs of red, yellow, blue and green and was very neat. There were several of the Saturn things that we had last year, and lots of humungous ones that flashed red, white and blue. There were also a number of duds, and I think the wind and the very high humidity affected the height of some. It was very pretty and I'm glad I stayed up for it. I love fireworks, but doesn't everybody?

 

The fireworks started at 11:00 and I think they went on for about 45 minutes, so it was about 12:15 when I got to bed. i went right to sleep and slept until about 3:00. After that, it wasn't so good. When I got back into bed my left knee was sore enough to keep me awake, and it took a couple of walks before it died down enough that I could sleep much at all. Grayson didn't help, by getting quite rambunctious in the middle of the night. He seems to have lost his mouse. I was awake at 8:00, but that was just too early, considering everything, so I went back to sleep and didn't get up until 10:30.

 

While I was asleep, Grayson had eaten some dry food and barfed it right up on the bathroom floor, and he was quite subdued today, so I guess his tummy is bothering him a bit. He got a good brushing and a good loving and then I knitted 10 rows. 

 

I spent part of the night thinking about Shetland lace. I finished reading the book today, and there are two big shawls I would love to knit, but it appears that they require over 3,000 yards of yarn and I'm not sure I want to invest in that much yarn. Even in the cheapest yarn that would run me close to $70, and in the yarn called for in the pattern, it would be over $200. I'm not sure it's worth it just for the process. I don't think I will ever wear these things, although I might put one over my jacket in the winter. I'm not sure where I would block a 72" square shawl anyway. Maybe the one I'm doing, which is really a large scarf, will do for the time. I would like to cast on the one I just got the kit for, which is a Faeroese shawl, but the directions start out "cast on 514 stitches." Yeek! I need lots of markers for that one, for sure!

 

I got into it with my attempts to get my system back to what it was before it went haywire, and I ended up having to reinstall both DoNotTrack+ and Java several times before I got it right. I don't know what happened. but the DNT+ version I downloaded yesterday is apparently an old one, and it simply did not work, so I ended up having to reinstall the version I was using last week, after complaining to Abine about it. When it's working, it's a great thing, and I have a little hope that it's cutting down on the amount of information people are collecting about me. I don't know what the problem with Java was. It seemed to be there, but when I tried to enable it, it didn't work. So I deleted it and downloaded it all over again. That consumed most of my afternoon.

 

The NWS station is still down, so I don't have any accurate readings to report. It was very windy this morning and it felt like it was in the middle to upper 60s when I got up. The wind was from either the west or northwest. I think the temperature probably got up to the high 70s, because it was only 81 in Houghton. I finally broke down and opened the door a bit, and it was nice. It was partly cloudy or hazy clear all day.

 

Grayson slept on the desk for most of the afternoon, although he has gone off now. He was acting a little subdued, so maybe he has a tummy ache. I'll hope it's a hairball and not the ends of yarn he ate. I watch him. He is so sweet. I finally heard from Dawn, and she has a couple of kittens that are nearly all white who need a home together. She is in the middle of a family emergency, so it will be a while before I get to talk to her. Of course, I'd want to meet them and see if they like me, but I think Grayson needs companionship and a couple of six-to-nine month old kittens would be good for him. Anything younger and I'm afraid he would think they were toys and bother them to death - literally. So maybe I will be expanding my family. We'll see.

 

Now I am very tired. I don't know what this sleeplessness is all about, but I don't like it. I expect to go right back to sleep when I get up in the night, and for two nights in a row, I haven't. Now I will go and take  a nice tepid shower and try to get to bed relatively early. It's a clear, breezy night in the field.

 

July 4

Well, I'll write this while I'm waiting to see if we have fireworks from Copper Harbor or from the sky. We certainly have had bad luck with our fireworks displays for the past several years!

 

I finally got to bed around 10:45 last night. I seem to have spent a lot of time staring at the floor. I slept well, with a couple of wakeups, until around 5:30, when Grayson decided it was time to play. He finally calmed down, but I had a hard time getting back to sleep. I woke up again around 8:30, and it seemed clear I wasn't going back to sleep without getting up, so I did. By the way, when I went to bed the lighthouse was down again.

 

Grayson didn't seem to feel like getting brushed today, so I knitted, but only 12 rows. That seemed like a good place to stop. I'm starting the third repeat.

 

So I was fairly early in getting to the studio. I opened up the house, but it didn't get as warm as predicted. I didn't do anything, as befits a holiday. I began fooling around with IE and the add-ons, but every time I tried to enable the Norton add-ons, it hung up and I couldn't even disable them...in fact, I couldn't do anything. So twice I had to do a system restore. The first time was back to Saturday, before the tech had deleted his junk from the system and IE and everything else were set back to their initial state. The second time, I was able to restart from the first time, so I only had to do a little work on IE. Tomorrow I guess I will get in touch with Norton and ask them what's going on.

 

While I was restoring, I started reading my book about Shetland lace again, and I was so engrossed, I thought it was Saturday, so I didn't hear all of ATC. I turned off the music, because it was going to be all-American, and that's not my favorite, but also because I wanted to hear my neighbors and the thunder. 

 

The weather was nice for most of the day, with nearly clear skies and temps that I guess were in the low 70s. Of course, the NWS station is still down. Around 4:00 it started to cloud up, and now it is very dark and cloudy, and there is a thunderstorm cell off to our south that gave us a roll of thunder a while ago. It seems to be moving off to the east, and there isn't anything but perhaps a little rain behind it. However, the wind blew and the temperature dropped down into the low 60s, so I really should close up the house so the boiler won't try to heat up the great outdoors. So as of this moment (9:05), it looks like the fireworks display is safe, although I just turned around and it's raining lightly.

 

My neighbors to the south are here this week, but the kids are older - at least one has his voice change - and so far they have only set off a few firecrackers and screamers. They set off the cannons at the Fort a couple of times today. Grayson is suspicious of storms, but cannons, firecrackers and screamers don't seem to bother him very much.

 

Grayson was really wired this morning. He wanted to play with everything. He dug up a toy mouse from somewhere - it's yellow, and I don't even remember throwing it down - and he must have played with that thing for over half an hour. When it got where he didn't want it, he would pick it up in his mouth and move it. Of course the bathroom was a favorite place, both because I was there and because the mouse slides around on the tile so well. He can really dance when he's playing with a mouse. I hope he's as good with live mice, since I've lost my prime mouser.

 

Now all I have to do is something until 11:00, when the real fireworks are supposed to start. My neighbors are starting to set some of theirs off now, I still think that's dangerous, but oh, well.

 

It's a cool, cloudy, moist evening in the field. More on the fireworks tomorrow.

 

July 3

I turned out the light at 9:45 last night, which is a bit before sunset. It was warm, but I had the door open and the fan on and the temperature was just right with no covers. I woke up around 12;45, I think, and there was lightning. Shortly, it began to rain very hard and the lightning was continuous. I love lightning storms at night! For quite a while there was no thunder, but then the wind began to blow hard enough that I had to close the porch door and the bathroom window and then the thunder began. The center of the storm was out over the lake, but I don't think it was very far away. It really poured rain, even after the thunder moved off to the east. I wish the NWS station was working. We'll never know how much rain we had last night, but around Ahmeek they reported 2.5". There were also reports of trees down over the road. I don't know - I didn't go out. It was so neat before I had to close the bathroom window, listening to the ssshhh of the rain on the field. I had to close the window when the wind shifted slightly, and there were still drops on the glass this morning. I went back to bed and to sleep, and I don't know how long it rained. I was up around 4:45 or so, but I didn't notice whether it was raining then. I know it was windy. So that was a nice storm and we had a nice amount of rain.

 

I got up at 8:30. Grayson got a brushing and a love-in and he went off on his own accord, so I started knitting and I knitted 16 rows again. Now I have only 8 rows to go to finish the second repeat of the center pattern (there are 6). We had breakfast and Grayson went to sleep on the desk. I think he was awake for a good part of the night. I don't think he liked either the lightning or the thunder, even though he didn't run away. I hope that eventually he understands that he's safe and dry in here no matter what it does outside. 

 

My cats have been about fifty-fifty on whether they were afraid of storms. Dennis was, Silkie was a bit nervous but she would lie with me. DC wasn't and he taught Buster, who ignored all that noise. Jasmine ignored it, too. It looks like Grayson is the sort-of-nervous type, although part of his problem may just have been the noise of the wind. Winds like that can blow little kitties away. 

 

Anyway, he slept for most of the afternoon. Periodically, he would wake up and grunt and turn over. Of course, he had to get up when I did, and while we were up, he would check all the open windows, just in case there was a parade going by. Now he's back on the desk and he's rolled over onto his back, which indicates to me that he's very much at home now. He let me scratch under his arm this morning, too.

 

I wish I could be more specific about the weather. It was very windy this morning and for most of the afternoon, and there were whitecaps on the harbor, which means winds in the upper 20s, from the north to west. I think the temperature may be in the lower 80s now. i didn't open the patio doors because of the wind, so it's 84 in here. The wind is dying down now. It was cloudy in the morning, but it sort of cleared up and it was hazy-clear for most of the afternoon. I guess the NWS in Marquette must be on vacation this week. It's an annoyance not to have the NWS station reporting.

 

So now I will try to go up to the north end early. I have to take a bath tonight. I should have done it last night, but I was too tired, and i was sticky and icky all night long. I didn't want to bathe, because my hair is a big bush and it only needs to be washed near my scalp. It's beginning to bother me a lot, but I'm still afraid to let any hairdresser put scissors to it. I've seen too many horrible haircuts around here. I like to bathe frequently in the summer so that I'm not sticky when I go to bed. Whatever my sweat is made of, it leaves me very sticky when it dries, and my head is oily, too. I have my hair up with a French clip now. I don't like it that way, but it's off my neck and out of my way. Sometimes I think it was much better when I didn't have any hair, but society frowns on bald women. Besides, with no hair, I look just like my father. Not that that's bad, but from the back it's apparently hard to tell my sex. I prefer not to be called "sir."

 

It's a warm, nearly clear evening in the field.

 

July 2

I made it into bed by 10:00 or so last night, and for the most part, I slept well. Grayson thought I was going to get up around 5:30 - fat chance - but I managed to get him to go away and I finally got up around 9:00.  He got a good brushing and a good loving, but then he got sort of wild and among other things, he stuck a claw into my temple. Not very far, thankfully, but I am going to have to teach him that's a no-no.

 

I did some of my surfing before I was off to see Johanna. I feel much better for my massage. She is getting back into it and her Reiki was really working today. Then I dropped the sign off at the community center before I came home. I did the rest of my surfing, but I didn't do anything else. I was too tired. I hope to be in bed early tonight and maybe catch up on my sleep tomorrow.

 

It was a warm day, but I don't know how warm because the NWS station is still down. It probably got into the low 80s, because it's only 84 in here. There was a light south wind which has now picked up a bit, and we may get some rain overnight. It was fine as long as I sat still, at least until I ate.

 

Grayson wants to be close to me most of the time, although he's gone off now. He slept on the desk for  most of the afternoon, except that when I went to the powder room, he followed me and sat in the window, which is open. He was full of energy overnight and this morning, but I think he knows I'm sort of sad. He has settled in so well he might as well have been here for four years rather than four months. Basically, I think he's quite a laid-back cat, even though he was nervous when he was changing homes so much. He's settled down quite nicely and the fur is growing back on his neck. I don't imagine it will get really thick until next winter. Right now, every time it warms up, he sheds some more. It's nothing like it was when he first got here, but I got a nice wad out of him this morning. One more hairball he won't cough up.

 

There are a lot of people in town. I was surprised by the number of cars parked along the road and the number of people wandering around town even at 11:00, and there were tons of cars at both Mariner and the Pines, especially when I came home. This is one week when I'm very glad I don't live right in town. But it's good for the economy, so I'm glad to see so many people and hear the ATVs and motorcycles, which is what I'm hearing right now. I'll just stay out of it.

 

I still catch myself wondering where Jasmine is when I get up in the morning. I will just have to keep reminding myself that the Little Cat Who Wasn't There isn't here anymore. It's strange how even an animal who was as unsocialized as she was can get under your skin. 

 

So now I will go up to the north end and try to get to bed early, early early. I am really tired. it's a partly cloudy, rather warm and breezy evening in the field.

 

July 1

First, thank you for everyone who emailed me and wrote on PastyNet about Jasmine. i really appreciate your thoughts. We are a subdued bunch around here today.

 

I made it into bed around 10:00, and I slept fairly well. Unfortunately, I had to get up at 6:00 and I didn't really go back to sleep, so I finally got up about 10 minutes before the alarm went off. Buster got a short brushing and a lot of hugs. i did part of my surfing and I was so early that I knitted a few stitches on the black sweater (which is in the powder room) before I left for church. 

 

Oh, it was a nice service, with a great sermon. The text was the Gospel for today, about Jesus rebuking the winds (and the disciples), but mostly it was about Jesus being with us. The hymns were good, too - "Jesus, Savior Pilot Me" and the Navy hymn, both of which make me weep. It's a good thing I don't want a funeral, or they'd be in church for hours, singing all the hymns I can't sing.

 

After church, Pastor loaded up the sign for the Monday night services and I went off to Pat's to get some things I needed, mostly stuff like lettuce, OJ, yogurt and JD. But there were some fresh fruits, although I was disappointed that they didn't have any local strawberries, which are coming now. I may have to check back next week. The place was a zoo, which I more or less expected. Everybody who came up yesterday (and there were tons of people going north while I was going south) had to lay in supplies and they were all in Pat's around noon. It's a good place, even though the prices are rather high.

 

So I got home around 1:30, I think, and then I had to get all that stuff out of the car and put away. The fridge is bulging again. One of these days, when it isn't hot, I really need to unload the freezer, throw away the really old stuff and repack. The problem seems to be that besides all those dinners in bags and the stuffed chicken, salmon and breakfast biscuits, I have a whole lot of bags of frozen veggies. That's fine, because I seem to eat quite a lot of them lately, but it makes for a bulging freezer. The fridge problem is in part because I've never cleaned out the veggie drawer, which is really, really gross now. Maybe tomorrow, after my massage, I can do something about that and get some orange bags filled.

 

I got some nice pasta salads. They had some new ones that I had to try and I like them better than the ones they had the last time I shopped. So when I finally got everything else stuffed in the fridge, I took them to the studio and had a little lunch. I must say, I'm still not very hungry, and I had a bottle of lemonade on my way home to give me a little lift. I did get a rotisserie chicken, which will keep me happy for another three days.

 

I finished my surfing, but the NASA website has been down since yesterday, so I didn't get my APOD (astronomy picture of the day) or the Earth Observatory picture of the day. I hope it will be back up tomorrow.

 

The weather was just beautiful. It was clear or nearly clear all day long. The temperature got up to 78 or so down in town, but when I turned down Woodland Road, the car said 67, which was just what I needed at that point. It's warmed up quite a bit since, but I can't give any details because the NWS station is still down. There was just a light wind. I hope they can fix that tomorrow. Anyway, it was the kind of day I can stand a lot of, even though I was horribly hot when I left Pat's and again when I finished unloading the car.

 

I keep a towel in the car and one in the studio for just such occasions. I sweat heavily, and my daddy, who had the same problem, taught me what to do about it. When we used to go hiking, especially after he was sick, he would steal a hand towel from King Copper and throw it over his shoulder while we walked to wipe his brow. I've found that for my situations, an all-cotton bandana will do almost as well, and I'll have to remember to stash one in my purse when I know I'm going to shop after church...or even in church. St. Paul's isn't air conditioned, and when it's hot out and we start singing, I can get pretty warm.

 

Grayson was loving this morning and he slept on the desk for most of the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, he suddenly grunted and got up, walked over to me and sat down on my lap for another love-in. He's gone off now, but he'll do that during his wakeful periods. I think he spends some time on the porch and some up at the north end watching the parades go by. Damned if I can see anything!

 

I am missing Jasmine. When I went out through the great room this afternoon, I kept catching myself looking at the chairs, particularly the pink chair, to see if she was there. Poor Jasmine. She could have had a much happier life. I know she was happy while Buster was alive and well, and I know she appreciated what I did for her and she was happy here. She never understood that I would have loved to love her and pet her. And I'm so sorry I was too dumb to understand what was going on when I found her in the middle of my bed. She wouldn't have suffered nearly as much. Maybe someday before I go myself I'll be able to read the signals and do the right thing at the right time. I know I did the right thing, but it was far too late, just like it was with Buster. Sign.

 

Well, that's over with and now all I have to do is look after Grayson. I told Dawn that down the road I'd like a playmate for Grayson, and if she finds a calico, I want to be the first to know. In the meantime, Grayson and I will get along. He's such a lover-cat, and he's so playful, that he's fun to have around.

 

Now it's not very late, but I'm exhausted, and I'm sure it will be 10:00 before I get to bed. My massage is at 11:00 tomorrow, so I can't sleep in too late. It's a warm, almost calm, almost clear evening in the field.

 

Oh, yes, and it's July, for heaven's sake! Where does the time go?

last  updated 08/01/12 10:30 PM