A View From the Field








March, 2013

March 31 - Easter Sunday

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


I made it into bed right around 9:00, but I think I had a little trouble getting to sleep. I was up a couple of times, and I woke up around 6:45, needing to walk again. That was too close to 7:00 for me to go back to sleep, so I got up. I was early at just about everything except leaving, and I don't know quite why.


It was a slow drive down to Laurium. The sun was shining when I left Copper Harbor, but somewhere down the covered road, it started to snow, and it turned into almost a blizzard around Phoenix. I'm not sure if it was slippery or not, but the snow was sticking, so I wasn't taking any chances. Then just before Kearsarge, I came up behind a poor person in a Cadillac who would not go faster than 30 mph. Well, it might have been slippery, but it wasn't that slippery! The guy in front of me passed him in Kearsarge and I passed him right outside. I suppose that really terrified him. It was a little slippery in the other lane when I pulled out, but I managed to go around him without going too fast.


Church was very nice, pastor's sermon was very nice, and there were a lot of people there. It was a pretty long service, too, but that's to be expected. I didn't start home until noon. By that time all the snow that was on the road had melted, so the road was good.


Then first I got behind a truck spreading salt, and about the time I passed Central, I started getting bombarded by ice pellets. They got pretty heavy and started sticking to the road, but by the time I got to Medora, they had stopped and my only problem was that the wind had picked up and there was some drifting over the road. Medora always has that problem. All that was over by the time I got home, but it was a slow trip.


Well, that was the weather. The temperature was around 32 or 33 all morning, but around by 3:00, the wind was 37 mph from the north with gusts to 50(!) mph. The temperature had dropped to 28. The wind has died down a little bit since then, but around 2:30 or a bit later, I looked out and it was snowing like crazy and blowing like crazy. That particular squall only lasted about an hour, but there were others behind it and the wind is still gusting into the middle 40s. The lake is roaring baritone, and they are predicting 12 foot waves. All the ships that were off the Keweenaw this morning are gone now, and I don't blame them at all. It must be ugly out there, with snow and freezing spray and gale force winds. It's not spring in the Copper Country, no matter what the date!


The guys were sleepy, and I don't think they were very happy to see me go off this morning. Louie slept on my lap for quite a while this afternoon and then a while later, Grayson slept on my lap for a while. I hope they know i like that as much as they do. Louie has been indoors for a long time, but I think Grayson has some idea of how nice it is to be inside while the wind and the snow are blowing. He seems to be a happy cat in spite of how Louie bugs him. He gets back, though: Louie has a bad scrape on his chin right now where Grayson got him. Louie is still trying to become top cat, and Grayson just isn't having any. I suppose it will always be that way. I know it was between DC and Buster. I wonder if multiple females have the same problems.


So that was my day. I didn't do anything after I got home except eat, and I'm tired now, although I want to digest my dinner a bit before I go to bed, so I will read a while. It's a very hairy night in the field and the lake and the winds will sing me to sleep.


March 30 - Holy Saturday

I once worked with a woman who belonged to some charismatic Christian sect, who spent all night between Holy Saturday and Easter morning in a vigil. I'm not sure how religious it actually was - it sounded more like a party to me. She wasn't the best Christian I've ever met, either. She was fired because she became the treasurer of some work-sponsored club and embezzled their dues. 


I didn't get to bed until around 11:30, but I slept pretty well. I woke up around 8:00 with an urge to walk, but I ignored it and it was after 9:30 when I got up. that was almost enough sleep. I knitted, and I have now finished the row I was working on when I discovered the hole. I think I know what I did. There are places where I have to knit 3 stitches together in a certain way that is sometimes hard to do, and I dropped one of the stitches. Lace knitting unravels fast when you drop a stitch, and I didn't help it much by pulling it out to see the pattern. By the time I realized what I'd done, it was too late to recover without unknitting.


I didn't do much else today except get the dishwasher ready to run tonight and fill the cat food bowls. Ron came with a package that has a new toy in it - a thingie that plugs into a USB port and claims to give access to TV. Thanks, Dennis. I haven't tried it yet, and I'm not sure if my broadband is fast enough to use for TV, but it will be fun to play with.


The weather was miserable. It clouded up before dawn, I could tell, because the moon wasn't very bright, Sometime after 10:00 it started raining, and we had almost a quarter inch of rain by 3:00. Yuck!! It's stopped now, but they are predicting snow and/or rain for tomorrow, too. Yuck. The temperature never got below freezing overnight, and it was around 37 all day. There wasn't much wind. It was dark and dreary and very humid. Not good for the back at all.


The guys were sleepy all day, which wasn't surprising. Louie sat on me twice. Apparently they have been wrestling on the window seat, because the pillows were all spread apart and one of the throws was on the floor, so I fixed that. I hope they appreciate it. I finally found a brush that works really well on Grayson's fur, but he doesn't like it. I think it pricks him. That's a shame, because he really needs brushing. Both of them are shedding copiously. Grayson sort of wandered around bugging me for most of the afternoon until I finally filled the dry food bowls, then he went away satisfied. He wasn't hungry - he just wanted the bowls full. Little snot.


I didn't feel like reading this afternoon, so I looked through my expensive pattern book. It has some interesting stuff in it, but it isn't as good as I'd hoped. Also, some of the pictures are very poor for a Japanese book. Oh, well. I rarely if ever return a knitting pattern book (not garments, just patterns), because I never know when I might find something that is just right for a project. One of the best parts of it is how they put together different individual patterns into a pleasing whole. There are crochet patterns, too, and some of them are also pretty, but I don't crochet very much anymore, it's too hard on my hands.


Now it's not very late, so I will read a bit (hopefully only a bit) and get to bed early. i will be going to church tomorrow unless we have a blizzard or glare ice. It's a gloomy, moist evening in the field. 


March 29 - Good Friday

Well, I just kept on reading, and then when I got up to the north end I fooled around, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. I had some weird dreams and I didn't sleep very well. I woke up about 8:00, and I had to walk. I knew if I went back to sleep, there was no way I would get out of the house when I wanted to, so I got up. That was not nearly enough sleep and I'm really tired tonight. Maybe I can cut it off after one chapter.


I made it out of the house by 11:15, about, and for the first time since last fall, the entire drive was clear and dry, so I could let it all out. Whish! Well, not really. I don't go much over 55 on the covered road, and I keep it to 65 on the rest of US-41. There wasn't any traffic, so that was good. I got to Mohawk at 11:56, but they hadn't locked the doors yet, so a couple of checks I've had around for several months will now clear. I found out how to get into the lobby when the door is closed, so that was useful. It turns out that it was lucky that I got there before noon, because they closed at noon and didn't reopen, since they don't have that much traffic. Both ladies there are very nice, and they recognize me, even though I don't go in very often.


I was extremely early at church, even though I swung around to the post office to mail some bills, but there were a couple of other cars there and I heard Jan practicing the organ, so I went in and got to stop at the restroom and sit quietly in "my" pew. It was a very lovely service, and having people from both St. Paul's and St. John's there meant you could really hear the congregation. My only problem was that there was a lot of up and down, and we were supposed to stand all during the seven last words, and that tired me so that I couldn't stand up for the final prayers. Standing still is much harder on my legs than walking. There is no benediction between Thursday evening and Sunday morning, and everybody left remarkably quietly, although they were anything but quiet before the service. St. Paul's doesn't have a real narthex, so people standing in talking in the back of the church sound very loud.


It was a long service, too, which was fine with me. I got home around 3:15. I'm not sure if the guys were mad at me or it was just in the middle of their siesta. While I was changing my clothes, they both walked by the closet, but I haven't seen Louie at all since, and Grayson has only come by because he doesn't like what he has to eat.


It was another beautiful, clear day, although there were more aerosols in the atmosphere than there have been the past couple of days, so the sky wasn't quite as blue. The temperature here maxed out at 41, although it got up to 45 or 46 in town. There wasn't a lot of wind. I guess this is supposed to come to an end overnight, and there may be rain or freezing rain (ugh!) tomorrow, although the Weather Underground still says snow. Sunday isn't supposed to be very nice, either, with temps dropping in the afternoon and maybe some precip. As long as I can get to church, I don't care. Well, I doubt anybody will wear an Easter bonnet - we all know about weather at the end of March.


It really does look like we are starting the thaw, though, which would be nice. There is enough snow that it will take quite a while for it all to go away. I remember more than one Mother's Day when I was commuting when most of the snow was still on the ground. There are 8' drifts down around the public access at Lake Medora, and it's going to be a while before those go away. I don't know anybody who doesn't wish we could just go from winter to spring without this thawing period, which is no fun. Almost all the snow along the roadsides is dirty and nasty looking, and it will take a while for it to go away.


Oh, yes, and the moon has moved enough to the south that the camera didn't catch it. At least we got two days of good pictures! It is so neat to be able to look back and see when the moon set.


The guys were sleepy again and I think they were a bit miffed that I went off early and didn't come back until late. Wait until next week. I get prepped for my dental crown on Wednesday, and while I'm all the way down in Houghton, I will probably stop at Wal-Mart and almost certainly eat dinner at Bambu, which means I'll be late getting home. And the following Monday, I think, I have an appointment with my doctor. They just don't like changes to their routine, and their routine means mama at home. Tough.


So that was my day, and I'm really tired. I will read for a little while, but not for long, I think. It's a clear, calm and quite warm (for March) evening in the field.\


March 28 - Maundy Thursday

I read too long again and it was midnight before I got to bed. It was a very clear night, and the moon was so bright! I only got up twice, so I didn't see moonset again, but the camera certainly did, for about 45 minutes. I'm only posting the last picture, because it was so pretty, I'm afraid that tomorrow, moonset will be late enough and the it will be setting far enough south that we won't be able to see it.


I knitted, and I have only two more rows to go before I'm back to about where I was when I realized there was a problem. It was a slow knit, though, because I had screwed up one repeat rather badly, but fortunately, I was able to correct it without tearing out what I'd knitted yesterday. I don't know what it is that makes me unable to keep my concentration some days.


My only task of the day was to go to the post office, but I completely forgot there were some bills I wanted to pay that I have to send by snail mail. I got the pills I won't be taking anymore, and I got the extremely expensive book I ordered. I was a bit disappointed in it, but I haven't really looked at all 700 knitting patterns and 300 crochet patterns. I had hoped there would be more lace. But there is another book of all lace, so I will probably have to send for that one, too. It's not quite so expensive. All the text is in Japanese, but I think the patterns are all charted, so not being able to read Kanji won't be a problem. 


Anyway, the package the FedEx guy wouldn't bring to the house yesterday was at the store, but the UPS guy hadn't come yet. Then, much to my surprise, the UPS truck pulled right up to my door and delivered my Easter candy! It wasn't our usual driver, who probably wouldn't have come, and I was glad to get it. I try not to eat very much chocolate on any day, but every so often I feel the need for something sweet. I think one or two pieces of chocolate candy are less caloric than a dish of ice cream. I'm saving the Lake Champlain, and I will eat the See's first.


It was another beautifully clear day. It got cold overnight, not surprising with the sky clear, but it got up to 36 for several hours today. There wasn't much wind. All the sunshine and he warm temps have melted a lot of the snow on the road and my driveway. There is bare ground showing in my driveway and down by the culverts. It's messy down there, but of course, I live on a pebble pile, so it wasn't bad here.


The guys were sleepy again today. Grayson spent some time sleeping under the south windows, and some more under the east windows. I didn't see much of Louie, although he did get a pet. I don't know what it is that makes them active some days and not active others. 


Now, while I'd like to read some more, I think I'm going to give up on that and go up to the north end. I will go to church tomorrow, so I need to wash my hair so I look presentable. And since I am going to stop at the bank - I got another very nice check in the mail today, thank you very much - I will need to leave quite early, even though the service isn't until 1:00. I think the bank will be closed between 12:00 and 3;00, so I have to be in Mohawk before then, and it's been taking me 40 minutes to get there. So I'll have to sit around when I get to church. At least I'll get a place to park.


It's a clear, rather warm, calm night in the field and the stars and the moon should be bright tonight.


March 27

Well, I read for a very long time last night, and then I took a bath, so it was 2:30 before I got to bed. It was a pristinely clear night and the Paschal Moon was shining brightly in the sky. I wasn't awake to see it set, but the camera was. I wish I'd seen it. I got up around 9:30, because I had to. That wasn't nearly enough sleep, so I think I'll be in bed early tonight.


i finished the unknitting, and after I did two rows tonight, I think I have things back under control again. Oh, how I hate to do that, especially so many rows. All I can think happened is that I dropped something while I was knitting in poor light. It doesn't help that most of the yarn is dark and my needles are dark brown. I hope it doesn't happen again. "They" talk about putting in something they call a "lifeline", which is a piece of string that just goes through each stitch. It would make ripping back easier, but unless I put one in every other row, it wouldn't have helped me lot this time. Mostly I can knit accurately enough that I don't need any help. Just every so often I miss or drop something, and then it's agony. Well, I think it's fixed now, and I can go ahead. 


I didn't do much else but unload and start to reload the dishwasher. I was going to go to the post office, but then I realized that I have to go out tomorrow to get a bunch of packages, so I decided to wait. I had an accident, which also helped decide me to stay home. It was my own fault this time. I was so interested in my email that I ignored the signals. Every time I do that, I'm sorry.


Tonight when I started this, I wanted to display the moon shots, and then I realized that I hadn't ever set up the galleries for 2013, so I did that and I will have a lot of stuff to copy tonight.


The weather was remarkable. The second picture from the camera looks like there might have been a cloud over the mountain when the moon set, but if so, it was the only one all day. The sky was so clear and blue, it was amazing. The temperature was around 33 all day, although the high was 36. There was about a 15 mph wind from the north. It was just beautiful.


We all enjoyed it - or at least Grayson and I did. I don't know where Louie went. Grayson first went to sleep in the middle of the desk, where the sun was, and then he moved over onto the pad under the windows and slept there for several hours. Later, he picked several places where the sun was shining on the floor and sat there. I didn't get to sit in the sun much, but I certainly enjoyed it. 


So now I just remembered that I have to put my wash in the dryer. I will read a bit, but I don't think I'll be up very late tonight. It's a clear, cool, beautiful night in the field.


March 26

I think I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I got up around 9:00. 


I started knitting, and I was beginning the back-side row when I discovered a big hole at one point several rows back - eek! I tried to fix it without ripping back, but the pattern repeats interlock and I couldn't determine for sure how to knit up the rows, so I am in the process of unknitting nine rows of something like 350 stitches. Yuck. I did four or five rows while the talking was on, but I still have a long way to go, and then I have to figure out just where I am and knit it all back up. Oh, how I hate to do that, but there were loose stitches in the hole and I didn't know where they went, so there was nothing else to do. Yuck.


The nurse called me and we had some conversation about my questions for the doctor. Later on, she called back to say that since I seemed to be doing well on what I'm taking and my kidney function was not bad, I might as well just keep it up and be sure to get my blood tested, probably the afternoon I see my regular doctor. So that is all settled, and I don't have to worry about the expensive meds. I will stop the little purple pills at the end of the week and we'll hope I don't have any attacks. I'm glad to get it settled.


I was sitting and listening after dinner tonight when all of a sudden, I heard a bunch of loud banging noises from the machine room. It sounded like somebody banging a wrench on the pipes. So I went downstairs. The banging had stopped when I got there, but the air was full of steam and there was water pouring out of the back of the boiler and all over the floor. Eek!! So I called the plumber and he agreed to come. He is expensive, but he will come at odd hours. He isn't quite sure what the problem is, although it may be the main control (again). Evidently, something made the boiler stay on until the water in it started to boil, which caused the relief valve to rupture. So he replaced the valve and reset a couple of things, and we'll just have to watch it. I may need a new control Eek!! I was afraid it had been too long since I'd had a plumbing problem. I'm not quite sure what I'm hearing from down there now, but it seems to be all right. After two trips downstairs and some time in what felt like a sauna, I need to take a bath (even though it's late), so we'll see how the hot water is. I have a love-hate relationship with my heating system. When it works I love it, but when it doesn't, I wonder why I put it in.


When Bill left, I just sat and read, and now it's very late, but I needed to relax and cool off a bit. 


The weather was blah again. The temperature was over freezing all day, averaging about 34. There wasn't much wind. For the past few days, I've been growing a ferocious bunch of icicles on the east side of the studio. One of them was hanging down to the bottom pane of the window and it had little branches on it. I took some pictures, which are still in the camera. It was good that I did, because before the day was over, they had all fallen off. The big one I had in front of the patio door grew back, too, but it has fallen off as well. One of these days, I'll get all the pictures out of the camera.


I didn't see a lot of the boys today. I think they were sleepy most of the day. Grayson was too smart to go downstairs with Bill and me, although he did investigate Bill when he came into the studio later. Louie, of course, was nowhere to be seen, but I think he was up in the bedroom. Grayson can cope if his routine is changed, but Louie can't very well. 


Now it's very late, and I think it's a clear night in the field. I'm off to the north end to take a nice bath and crash.


March 25

I'm not exactly sure when I went to bed last night, but I think it was before 10:00. I didn't sleep very well, for some reason. I was up any number of times, although it was just to pee. I got up around 9:00. I knitted my two rows before I got dressed.


And I didn't do very much else. There was a lot of stuff to read today, as is usual on Mondays. While the talking was going on, I did two more rows, and I have now finished row 70, so I can go back to row 47 and start the second repeat of the second chart. It's going to take more than one ball of yarn, but I have two, so that isn't a problem. I also began reading part 10 of Trine. I'm not just reading, I'm trying to divide each part into chapters, which takes some time. And of course, every time I read, I find more typos and phrasing I don't like, which means I have to go back and recheck all the so-called "errors" Word finds. That's actually a good thing, because every so often either my heavy fingers or a cat or two cause extraneous characters in the text, so I can sometimes correct those, too. Word doesn't find all of them, though, which really freaks me out. You mean, I meant all those open brackets, slashes and other odd stuff on purpose? Huh. I still think that after all these years, it should be possible to create a better grammar checker.


The weather was blah. It was cloudy until about 3:30, and this morning, there were even a very few snowflakes coming down. The temperature was around 28 during the middle part of the day, and it has now risen to 32. There was a 15 mph breeze from the east for most of the day. Around 3:30, it started to clear up and there was some sunshine for a while, although by 6:00 it had clouded up again, at least over the land. The sun shone under the cloud layer, and it has really moved north in the past few days. I had forgotten how fast it moves. We have almost 12 hours of daylight, too. Oh, spring will come eventually.


It has been getting very warm in the studio lately, and I finally remembered that I set the thermostat high, so this afternoon I set it down again. It may be too low now, but at least that will cool it off. It got up to 74 in here this afternoon, and that's too warm for winter tops. Maybe it will be more comfortable tomorrow. It would surprise me a whole lot if the outside temperature got down into the low teens again.


The guys were pretty sleepy today. Louie spent a long time this morning asleep on my lap, until my arms went to sleep and I had to get up. Grayson spent a lot of time in front of the patio door watching the birds. Evidently there are little bugs that are fetching up against the screen and the birds keep hitting it while they're getting them. Now they are both asleep again. I wish I could do the bird feeders, but there is no way I could get out the door, and there is no way I would dare to try to shovel the two feet or more of snow out of the way. I will just have to wait until it melts.


I finally found out the price of the other drug the doctor wants me to take. It's expensive, but I think I might be able to afford it as long as I don't have to take the Colcrys anymore. So I made up a list of questions I need to ask about all of that and I called them. Evidently they don't work on Mondays, so I will have to wait until they call me back. She laid so much on me so fast the other day that it's taken me some time to mull it over enough to even know what questions I need to ask. There are a few things she said that don't make any sense to me. So we'll see what she says.


Now it's a cloudy, rather warm night in the field, and I will read a while before I go and try to get a better night's sleep tonight.


March 24 - Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday, as it's sometimes called)

I dawdled too long last night, so it was 10:00 before I got to bed. I slept well, but not long enough. Nine hours just doesn't do it anymore. I got up when I was supposed to - after a very colorful, very weird dream - and got myself off to church a bit earlier than usual, but not much.


I wanted to leave early, because something was coming down out of the sky, but oh, well. It was pretty nasty down to Delaware. There was stuff on the road and the fine drizzle was freezing onto my windshield. So it was a slow drive to town. Then I discovered that I almost couldn't find a parking place because of all the snow in the parking lot, and I can't park anyplace else, because I couldn't walk to the church. I made it, though, and I even got to have a brownie. 


There was somebody sitting in "my" pew, but I found a place that may even be better to sit. I don't believe in owning church pews, but one does get used to sitting in the same pew every week. It was a nice service, with setting three (the old one) and communion and all the good Palm Sunday hymns. I guess in some churches they read the entire passion narrative on this Sunday, but pastor is from the old school, so we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I like it that way.


I had to get gas, which was interesting, because there was ice all around the pump where I had to park, but I made it. I forgot to mention that either last Sunday or Thursday, the price of gas had gone up 10 a gallon over what it was the last time I filled up. I still say they're gouging us. Coming home was easier than going down, because the road seemed to be almost dry in most places. They had salted, and that helped everything except my car, which is now almost white. I got home around 1:15, and I was exhausted.


So I finished my surfing and read for the rest of the afternoon. 


The weather was not quite as benign as they were forecasting. The temperature was nearly steady around 28 all day, with light winds from the east. There were some ice pellets and some freezing drizzle at least until I got home. Yuck. I guess it might snow a bit tonight. 


The guys were very sleepy today, and nobody tried too hard to get on my lap. Grayson did, but he had visited the cat box and he doesn't wash himself very well. In fact, he was so smelly that Louie tried to wash him, but he wasn't having any. Louie only tried to get on me when I was doing crosswords, so he couldn't. Now they are both asleep.


I don't know if I mentioned that Johanna's father, Bob Davis, died on March 3. He has been failing for a very long time, and it was a near miracle he didn't go last fall. It was good that he didn't suffer any more, but I feel for Jo, Art, and their mother, Judy. I know what that's like. She is going to be in Florida for another couple of weeks - as I know well, there is a lot to do when a close relative dies - so I don't have to be anywhere tomorrow. 


I am very tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night and that drive, in not very good weather, is tiring to me. So far my altered pill regime hasn't resulted in any gout attacks. i have come up with a number of questions I need to ask the doctor or the nurse, but I think I will wait until I have a price for the other available med. And I need to see if I can send back the expensive one I just ordered, which I may not be taking at all pretty soon. We'll see.


So now there is a little bit of sunshine, close to the horizon in an otherwise cloudy sky, and it's a calm night in the field.


March 23

It was another night of reading and listening to nice music. I'm reading Trine again and dividing the episodes into chapters. I got to bed around midnight, and I slept quite well. I woke up around 8:30 and that was too early, so Grayson and I dozed until 9:30. That was better. I knitted my two rows, although this one was a bit difficult and the pattern row went very slowly. 


I didn't do much else. I am getting the dishwasher ready to run tonight.


It was an interesting day, weather-wise. It was cloudy at sunrise, then partly cloudy for a while, before the clouds rolled in again. Around 12:30, a nice snow squall rolled in and something came down for about an hour and a half. I think most of it was snow, but it was wet, yucky stuff and there might have been a little sleet or rain in there, too. The temperature was around 28 all day, and there wasn't much wind.  Around 5:30, it began to clear up, and now it's almost clear. I love Michigan weather. If you don't like it, just wait a little while...


The guys were rambunctious this morning again, but they soon settled down. Louie got his pet after breakfast and Grayson spent part of the late afternoon cradled in my arms. I'm afraid they are still trying to figure out who is top cat around here. Grayson is, but Louie doesn't like it. Either of them would probably have done better with a female or as only cats. Well, we'll just have to cope.


I spent some time looking at the information on the drugs I'm taking, and the doctor to the contrary, I think I will stand pat. I don't mind not taking so much Colcrys, because it's very expensive, and it has more side effects than the other one, but I see no reason to switch from the other drug to the newer one she suggested. They all have side effects. If I get my blood tested regularly, I should be just fine. Of course, that means I'll be getting it tested every month for the rest of my life, but oh, well. There are worse things, and maybe I'll get rid of my lumps.


I forgot to mention one thing the doctor said to me: I've had gout since I was born. It is a genetic thing, it just usually takes at least 40 years before the symptoms start to appear. The closest relative I have who had it was a great uncle, but then, I don't have any closer relatives. I seem to have lots of genetic screw-ups, which makes me happier that I never had any children. Several of the things that have plagued me aren't things I'd have wanted to pass on to anybody.


So shortly I will be out of here, first to prime the dishwasher and then to get ready for tomorrow and get to bed early. Now it's a clear, calm night in the field.


March 22

Well, I read too long again, and besides, there was some nice music, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I was only up twice, and I got up around 8:30. Not enough sleep, for sure. I knitted three rows, to get me back on track.


I went to the post office, and that was all I did. There was lots of stuff to read, so my surfing took almost until I went out, and then there was a pile of mail, most of which I threw out. While the talking was on, I knitted two more rows. They're getting really long now. I'm so glad I decided to make the shawl a lot wider. Not only would it have been much too narrow, the patterns will show up much better now that I'm repeating the rows. This set of repeats is a bit tricky - rows 41 through 70 with some changes to row 69, then 47 through 64. However, it will make the pattern match up.


The doctor's office called while I was knitting. My uric acid has come down quite a bit since October, although it's still too high. My kidney function is pretty good, but my liver function is a bit off. I guess I should have told them that happens. However, now I am on a double dose of the second drug, which is the best one for bringing down uric acid but may allow for attacks. We'll see how it goes. I was encouraged. My body is so weird it wouldn't have surprised me if the cheap drug hadn't worked, but it does, so we can go forward.


The weather was nondescript. It was cloudy and dull all day. The temperature was around 25 all day, and there was almost no wind. Some of the pictures from this morning look like there may have been a bit of snow, but I didn't see any flakes. Blah.


The guys were rather rambunctious this morning, and I couldn't let Louie sit on me because I had to get up and walk. Grayson seemed to want to be close to me for most of the day, but that may be because he thought Louie was picking on him. So did I. I think Louie would have done better as an only cat. However, we takes what we can gets.


So now I will read for a while, hopefully not as long as last night. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it's calm and there won't be any snow.


March 21 - J. S. Bach's Birthday

Well,  that's not scientifically accurate. There was a calendar reform after he was born in 1685, so by our calendar, he was actually born on March 31. So I guess we can celebrate twice. However, it's commonly said that today is his birthday.


I was late getting to bed last night - too much reading - but I slept well, which rather surprised me. I got up around 9:15, and I took the time to knit one row (half an hour) on the shawl. I managed to do most of my surfing, except for the games, before it was time to leave. 


It was a slow trip. It was snowing all the way, and the road was snow-covered to Phoenix and wet from there south. I couldn't find the Emergency entrance, so I went in the front doors of the hospital. That was fine, except that I had to walk all the way to the back to find Suite 4. They do have sufficient restrooms in that hospital, but I was very surprised to find they don't have seat covers in the handicap stalls. How strange. Fortunately, I had mine with me, although I forgot my cell phone and the graph of my uric acid levels.


Eventually I found the right place and they put me in an examining room so quickly that I didn't have time to fill out their questionnaire. Then I waited. Dr. Haller is interested in her patients and she was running late. That was all right. I had my knitting with me (not the shawl!) and I was content to sit. 


She does tend to talk more than she listens, but I think she heard most of what I said. She seems to be a nice lady. I do have gout. I do have renal insufficiency and peripheral neuropathy. I probably have Sjogren's syndrome, but since I've already had lymphoma, it's not vital to know if I do for sure. She told me some interesting things about one of the drugs I've been taking for the gout, and I have cut back to one a day because of it. I think she'd like me to get off it completely, because it can have some really nasty side effects. Otherwise, the course of treatment is to increase the other drug and do blood work every month and hope we can get my uric acid levels really low. 


She did say that alcohol is one of the worst problems for people with gout, but she left it up to me whether I give it up, at least temporarily. I had to give up my JD before, and I don't like it, but if we can get my uric acid levels low enough, it won't matter. She ordered some blood work, including several tests I've never had before. I expect to hear from her when she gets the results. I think I will wait and see what my uric acid levels are now.


It was 3:30 when I got out, and I came right home. Evidently it stopped snowing right after I went into the hospital, because there wasn't any snow on my car. I went right home, and the roads were much better. I didn't run into much snow cover until the Eagle Harbor Cutoff road, where I nearly ran into a county truck with a blade on it, and then I nearly spun out trying to accelerate away. It was slow from then on. I think it was around 4:45 when I got home, and then I almost ran into Ron on Woodland. He had left a package in the garage, which I couldn't close.


So that was my day.


The temperature was around 20, plus or minus a degree or two, for the whole day, although it has now gone up to 25. The wind was from the north all day, in the 15-25 mph range. It was cloudy and snowy until around 1:30, but after about 4:30, it began to clear up, and it's been almost completely clear since 6;00. 


There was only an inch of new snow yesterday, and I don't think there was much more today, but at least up at Delaware, they report there is 48" on the ground. I'd believe it, and I'd also believe they've had more in Calumet than we have. The banks are more impressive than they've been in four years. But then, we've had 250" so far this year. They have devices that cut back the banks along the roads, and it's always interesting to go by them. They look like the layers of sandstone in the Grand Canyon, only white and gray. It's also interesting to see how people cope with those banks, some of which are 8' high. Most people leave a wall between the road and where they dig out to park their cars, so there are these interesting snow structures in front of most houses. It's particularly clear in Kearsarge and Mohawk. I think it's so that the plows won't push more snow into their yards. Hey, we cope.


The guys were sleepy when I left, and they haven't been around much since I got home.


So now I'm tired, but I think I will read for a while, hopefully not too long, before I crash. it's a clear, breezy night in the field.


March 20 - Spring Equinox

Not that you'd notice it's spring around here!


I did it again, and then I had to take a bath, so it was very late when I got to bed. I slept, of course, but I got up around 9:30 because I had to. That wasn't enough sleep, and I didn't do much of anything all day. I did knit this morning, although when I started, I was having a hard time following the pattern, but I did get into a groove.


While the talking was going on, I did four more rows, and I'm now at the part of the pattern that is all new. It's not that hard, but I have to pay more attention to what I'm doing.


Our winter storm is now officially over, but as far as Copper Harbor is concerned, it was over by this morning. Keweenaw County got 14" of snow in the past two days and we have now had 249" for the season, which is over our average, and the first time since 2009 that we have had that much snow - and it ain't over yet. It's good to see. Not only do we need it for the tourism, we need the moisture for the forests and the lake. It's still quite windy, with 31 mph gusts from the north. After being below 20 all day, the temperature has now risen to 24. Of course, it was dark and cloudy all day.


Ron came around while i was knitting this morning and cleared the driveway and the road. The very high north winds overnight had drifted over the culverts, so nobody was going to get out until that was cleared. They called school again today. I suppose they figure they might as well use their snow days, and I think probably Calumet got hammered harder than we did. So I should have no problem getting out to go to see the rheumatologist tomorrow - q real relief. When they called this morning, I had to warn them I didn't know whether I'd be able to get out. I really, really want to see that lady.


The guys were sleepy as usual. I had to get up and unload the dryer so I would have underwear, and when I sat down in the bathroom to put it on, Grayson jumped onto my lap and we had a nice love-in and he got a good brushing. I still think they are shedding too early. I actually think he was trying to tell me all the dry food dishes were empty except for the one he doesn't like. When I went out to the kitchen to get my dinner, he made a real nuisance of himself, so I went out to the breezeway, moved the two trash bags that were on the platform, and brought in the new bag of one of his favorite foods - the lower-calorie one. Now all the bowls are full, so they can graze at will. He was very neat about it, eating the bits that fell out of the dish onto the floor. Very nice of him, I thought. It's also nice to know that they have passed on from the kind they used to think was best, since it's the one that isn't being sold anymore. I keep feeding them canned food, because it's really better for them, but I think they'd be just as happy if I stopped, although the bowls are usually pretty empty by morning. They don't like it fresh - they like it after it's sat all day. Yuck.


So that's another nothing day, and I need to take another bath, to be clean for the doctor, and I need to get to bed early. It's a dark, windy night in the field, but most of the snow has stopped.


March 19

I read too long again, and it was probably around 11:30 when I got to bed. It was snowing hard enough that I couldn't see the lights of town. I slept quite well, with the usual wakeups, and I got up a bit after 9:00. I knitted my two rows on the German shawl.


I didn't do much of anything but unload the dishwasher and watch the snow. While the talking was going on tonight, I did four more rows on the shawl, and i have now reached the part that is completely different from the first chart. I placed the markers for the 13th repeat, too, so a row is getting quite long. In fact, it's so long that while I was looking at what I've knitted, and stretching it, I dropped a dozen stitches off one end of the needle - eek! I got them back on with not too much trouble, but the stitches are beginning to bunch up. I think the total is around 321 stitches, and I'm at the smallest part of the border. I hope I won't have to go to a 40" needle, but I might, just to keep from losing things.


The weather was snowy and windy. It snowed until around noon, then we had about four hours of no snow (although it was still snowing in Houghton), and then it started again, with very strong north winds. The gusts got up to 39 mph about an hour ago. The temperature got up to 31 around noon and has dropped off ever since, until now it's 23. I don't know how much snow we got. It looked like a lot while it was falling, but there doesn't seem to be more than 3" or 4" on the driveway. I do love watching it blow horizontally across this end of the harbor! Even though it's stopped in Houghton, they say the winter storm warning is still on until tomorrow night. It will be a good night to sleep.


The guys were really sleepy today. Louie got his pet, and then he went away someplace, so Grayson got on my lap and went to sleep. He is a much better size to accommodate. They are both asleep again. That was a good thing to do on a day like this.


So now I will read a bit before I take my bath and dive under the covers. It's a dark, windy, snowy night in the field, and even though tomorrow is the equinox, it's still winter in the Keweenaw.


March 18

i was in bed before 9:30 last night, and I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I got up around 9:15, so I should have had enough sleep. I knitted my two rows before I got dressed. By visiting the bathroom frequently, I managed to avoid another accident, but it was hard. I wish I knew what it is that makes a difference in my elimination.


I didn't do very much, but I did get two bags of trash out onto the platform in the breezeway. Maybe tomorrow I can get them out to the garage. I had to do something because it looked like somebody was pawing through the trash overnight and it had spilled out of one of the bags in the kitchen. I swept a bit, too, and it's much better out there, although one of these days I simply have to scrub the floor. It's gross. Every time I see it, I think about the carpeting in the kitchen at Champine. The trouble with carpeting (at least dark blue carpeting like that was) is that you don't see the dirt so you don't know it's there. Ick.


The weather slid slowly toward our next snowstorm. It was partly cloudy and windy this morning, and for part of the time I was knitting, there was sun shining on my work or in my eyes. For most of the day it was just increasingly cloudy, as the snow moved slowly toward us. It started to snow around 6:30, and it's been coming down rather hard ever since. Before it started to snow, the temperature got up to 32, although it has dropped back lately. The wind was from the south-southwest all day, and the gusts got up to 38 mph around noon. It's still rather windy, but not quite as much. The barometer has been falling all day. According to the NWS, the snow is supposed to continue until Wednesday evening. After the system snow exits, the lake effect will take over. It's still winter in Keweenaw, no matter what the calendar says. I hope I can get out to go to the doctor on Thursday! I'd like to go to Carolyn's on Wednesday, but that's not as critical. Oh, well. we'll just have to see. Apparently there is a lot of snow in this event.


The guys were mostly sleepy today, so there isn't anything to report there.


Now I will read for a while and hope to get to bed early again. It will be a good night to sleep, although with the wind from the south, the lake isn't very noisy and the wind in the trees seems rather far away. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


March 17

I don't observe St. Patrick's Day, because my Irish ancestors were Orangemen. However, we sang two hymns with Irish tunes in church today.


I read for too long last night, and with all I had to do, it was 9:45 before I got to bed. I slept quite well, although I had to get up at 6:00 (for the last time), but I went back to sleep until the alarm went off. I was bound and determined to go to church today, and I made it.


I was hindered by having to revisit the bathroom at least four times before I finally left the house. The trip down to Laurium was rather slow. From my house to Delaware, the road was snow-covered, and I passed the plow going in the other direction (an interesting problem, especially when you meet it on a curve). From Delaware south, there were at least two tracks that were clear of snow and ice, which helped, but going out of Ahmeek, I got behind a guy hauling a very large snowmobile trailer. Anyway, I made it.


When I got there, Mary, who is a member of St. Paul's and the unpaid secretary, had gotten me an ice pick for my cane, but there wasn't a screwdriver to put it on. That isn't a problem; I'm pretty handy with a screwdriver. It was so nice of her, and she wouldn't take any money for ti. I'm sure it will be helpful. I've noticed that the bottom of the cane gets very slippery, and in fact, it slipped on the ice while I was going into church. They had also roped off a bit of the space I usually park in, because there are humungous icicles on the eaves of the church and they didn't want them to fall on my car. Wonderful people.


Church was good, although there wasn't communion. Pastor's sermon was a good one. And we sang two hymns with Irish tunes. That's all right; we don't venerate saints, but St. Patrick was certainly a great Christian, and we can acknowledge that.


Then it was off to Pat's. I did a lot of damage today, but I needed to lay in laundry supplies and dishwasher detergent, and that was expensive. I suppose I should get those things from Amazon, but they usually sell them in lots of four or more, and even though I'm using a lot of laundry soap, I'm not using that much. And I think the dishwasher detergent is going to last about six months. Oh, well. I did get a chicken, but I also got some Chinese stuff, so I had that tonight - not what I planned, but I grabbed what I had set aside.


Now the fridge is bulging on both sides, so I should eat well for quite some time, and I don't need to worry about shopping for a while.


The trip home was much faster than the trip down, because the road was clearer and there was no traffic. I think I got here about 2;00. Then I had to haul everything out of the car and into the house, and I think that's a harder task than buying it. By the time I was done, I was exhausted, but then I ate too much pasta salad, so I didn't really want my dinner. Oh, well; it will warm up.


The weather was cold but beautiful. The temperature was only 11 when I left for town, and it was about 16 when I got home. When I got up, it was partly cloudy, but by the time I left for church, it was clearing up, and the afternoon was almost completely clear. There wasn't much wind. The sunshine was lovely.


I had an accident in the middle of cooking my dinner, which annoyed me a lot. When I went to clean myself up, Louie was lying on the rug in the bathroom. Grayson came twice to sit on me and be scratched. He sits on my leg and puts his paws on my chest, and he just loves to have his neck scratched. I think they are feeling the oncoming snow, though.


I will make another attempt to see the comet tonight, because it's probably the last chance I'll have. We are under a winter storm watch from Monday afternoon through Wednesday evening...which means something might happen, but it's not sure yet. There is likely to be some snow, though, and it is definitely going to be cloudy.


So now it's a cold, clear evening in the field, and I don't think I will be up very late tonight - or if I am, I'll be late tomorrow morning.


March 16

I read for far too long last night, again. I like this story, no matter how many times I've read it. I got up around 9:30 anyway and I knitted my two rows. Actually, the next 12 rows are just the same as those on chart 1, so it's more of the same. 


Today was washday, but as usual, I only had two loads, and they are in the dryer now. i need to load the dishwasher, and I need to fill the pill dispensers. The ones at the south end are done, but I have to do the ones at the north end. Pills - ugh!


The weather was wintry. It started snowing around 4:00 AM, and it snowed off and on all day, but lightly most of the time. It was windy overnight, from the east, went calm around noon, and then this afternoon the wind picked up to 26 mph gusts, from the north. The temperature was nearly steady around 18. The wind is strong enough that there was a lot of blowing snow, too.


For some reason, the guys were not very sleepy today. Both of them got a long time on my lap, and I actually lifted Grayson onto my lap before I left the bathroom. For some reason he won't jump on me there, but he seemed real happy when I started scratching his neck. Louie went to sleep while I was surfing, and he wanted to come back, but I'd had enough of that. Now they've settled down, but they were getting into things for most of the afternoon.


I would like to keep reading, but I do have to finish loading the dishwasher and take a bath tonight, so I guess I won't. I need to go to church and grocery shop tomorrow, weather or no. I'm running out of OJ and JD and some things I like to eat, and I need to lay in some laundry products and dishwasher soap. Oh, yes, and bread. I didn't have any Brownberry bread in the freezer, and that is what I use for grilled cheese sandwiches and French toast. There was something else, too, but for the moment it escapes me.


So now it's a cold, windy and snowy evening in the field and I hope to get to bed early tonight.


March 15

i must say I've always thought that even though the Ides of March were unlucky for Julius Caesar, they aren't for the rest of us.


I read too long - again - and got to bed after midnight again. I slept well, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 9:45. I actually woke up around 9:00 and just dozed until I couldn't wait any longer. I knitted and I've now finished the first chart, and I think I see how to repeat the second one and preserve the pattern. 


And that was it.


The oven is a winner, but so far I've overcooked everything. Part of it is figuring out how to set it correctly - I mean, when I'm toasting the heel of an Ecce Panis loaf, how many "slices" is that? I had mahi-mahi for dinner and either that is a very dry fish or I overcooked it, too, but it's sometimes hard to get the timing right on fish the first time I cook it. I also have to begin to trust that the oven temperatures are correct.


By the way, even though mahi-mahi is sometimes called "dolphin fish" it is NOT dolphin. It is a fish, and dolphins are mammals. That was a confusion I was glad to get cleared up, because in spite of overcooking it, it's a very mild, non-fishy fish and I like it.


The weather was OK. the temperature was 34 at midnight, and it slid down all day, and it has been 16 all afternoon. It was quite windy overnight, with gusts up to 35 mph from the northeast, but the wind has died down now. It was sort of partly cloudy all day, although after looking at the MODIS display, until late this afternoon, evidently there was one wisp of cloud right over the Keweenaw. Meh.


The guys were very sleepy, Louie slept on the sewing chair all afternoon. I'm a little concerned about him because he's been sneezing. I hope he isn't coming down with something.


That's about all I have to report. I will read a bit longer, and then it's off to bed. Tomorrow is washday, pill dispenser day, and dishwasher day, so I will be busy. Now it's a cloudy, cold night in the field.


March 14

I read too long last night again, and it was 12:30 before I turned out the light. I slept quite well. I was up around 8:30, and that was too early, so I went back to sleep and didn't get up until nearly 11:00. I knitted my two rows, so it was late when I got dressed. 


I didn't do much except fill one orange bag in the kitchen. I went to the post office - forgetting the letter I needed to mail, of course - and to the store, where I had four packages, from very large to very small. Jeff put them in the truck, and when I got home, I was moving stuff to the house when Ron came by - Jeff had called him earlier about the packages - and he helped me get the oven unpacked and into its place.


So far the oven is a winner. I'm not exactly sure that it heats to the proper temperature on roast, but it certainly works, it's quite quiet, and it isn't hard to use. I had to call the company to get registered, because there seems to be something wrong with their registration web page. I will be excited to try toast tomorrow. One thing that makes me feel better about it is that they say to put toast on the middle rack position, rather on the bottom like the old one did. 


I was amused to read the instructions. Even though they say to read all of them, most of the verbiage is repeated for each setting. Clearly, they know that most people won't read the entire booklet. I didn't read about cookies or stuff like that, because I don't expect to use it for those, but I did read about toast, roast and broil, which are the three things I do. I put my oven thermometer in with my stuffed chicken, and it may be that the thermostat isn't quite right - or it may be that my thermometer isn't quite right. The chicken cooked fine.


The weather wasn't bad. The temperature got up to 32 for a while this afternoon, and it was more or less sunny for most of the day, even though it has clouded up now. There wasn't any wind to speak of. The barometer has taken a dive, and there may be some snow tonight or tomorrow or both.


The guys were their usual sleepy selves. When Ron came in, Louie beat it down the basement stairs and Grayson jumped up on the dining room table to greet him. They are so different! I'm sorry Louie runs away. I know he and Ron would like each other if they ever got to really meet.


I got lots of stuff to read at the post office, and the oven instruction book has recipes, but for tonight I think I will read the story for a while, and then see if I feel like taking a bath. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but it's not very cold.


March 13

I was a good girl last night, and I got to bed around 10:30. I was really tired, but I couldn't get to sleep until I turned over onto my right side - a common problem lately. Probably it was partly because I was thinking about some things I shouldn't, too. Anyway, once I got to sleep, I did pretty well, and I got up around 10:30, so even with my wakeful times, I got enough sleep and I feel much better today.


Not that I did anything with my time. I knitted, and it took most of the afternoon to get my surfing done. Then Mike came by with Marty's tractor and blew out my driveway - according to the Road Commission, we got 8" of snow yesterday - so nothing much else got done. There were some pretty hefty drifts in the driveway.


It seems the tractor broke yesterday, but apparently Jack was able to fix it today - more sheared bolts (not shear pins, this time). With the amount they've had to use the tractor lately, I'm not surprised that something broke.


It was a partly cloudy day, with quite a bit of sunshine, and it was pretty. The temperature was in the low 20s for most of the day, but it has now risen to 28. It was quite breezy, with north winds up to 32 mph. I've just been looking out the windows toward the west, to see if maybe I could see the comet, since it's sort of clear. There are clouds in the west, though, and since I can't even see the moon, I doubt I could find the comet. Well, I tried.


The guys were rather active this morning, but they slept for most of the afternoon. Louie did get his loving, but Grayson didn't, at least not yet. They are both afraid of the tractors, Grayson particularly, and they run away and hide when they hear it. Well, Louie hides. Grayson just sits in the kitchen looking worried. I don't know how to convince them that it isn't coming into the house after them, and they're safe, poor guys.


I discovered that my toaster oven came today - for some reason I thought the 13th was tomorrow (by the way, it's 3/13/13), but I didn't find that out until after the store was closed, so I will have to go another day with my broken one. I charred some toast this morning. It will be good to get rid of that thing. Actually, there should be three packages there for me, but the oven is the big heavy one. Sometimes I get rather confused about days and dates.


So now I will read a bit before I go up to the north end and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour again. It's a partly clear, cold night in the field.


March 12

Well, after two days on DST, I reverted. I read for too long, and then after I got up to the north end, I started thinking about my purchase, so I went back to the computer and tried to cancel it - I couldn't. However, when I looked through all the other options for toaster ovens and the comments about them, I decided I'd made the right decision the first time. I hate to spend that much money, but it does seem to be about the best option. so it was 1:30 before I got to bed. Ugh. I sure hope I get a good unit. It should be here Thursday.


I slept, of course, but I got up around 9:30, which was not nearly enough sleep. I knitted two rows on the shawl. I had another accident. I did get the dishwasher completely unloaded and started loading it again. I filled the cat dishes. I had hoped to do something about the trash, but I wasn't that robust. I expect to go to bed early tonight.


It was a cold, snowy day. It was snowing at sunrise (I didn't see that), and it snowed more or less hard all day long. It's still snowing quite hard. The temperature started at 23 at midnight, was 20 for most of the day, and has now risen to 22. The wind was from the northeast all day. It was brisk all day, but lately it has risen, and now there are 40 mph gusts. The lake is singing loudly, in baritone. Needless to say, it was dark and dull all day. Oh, winter isn't over in the Keweenaw!


The kitties were sleepy all day, but they both got their love-ins. Louie spent most of the day on the sewing chair, while Grayson was sleeping on the great room floor on the fleece.


Now I think I will read for a while, hopefully not as long as last night, and oh, yes, I need to take a bath tonight. It's a dark, windy, snowy night in the field.


March 11

I finished the row on the shawl and I was in bed by 9:45. I was up a number of times, which wasn't surprising, considering how much water I drank yesterday. When I was up around 3;30, I noticed that it had started snowing rather hard - not only couldn't I see the lights of town, even the lighthouse light was muted. I got up around 9:15, I think, and it was still snowing rather hard. So I knitted four rows on the shawl. I'm getting tired of this part of the pattern and I want to get on to the next chart.


That was all I did, except to partly unload the dishwasher. It was a lost day. However, I did order a new toaster oven. I looked at some last night, but I didn't look at Amazon. Not that it helped very much. It seems that all of them have reliability problems. That was one reason I wanted to get it from Amazon, plus that I don't have to pay any shipping and it will be here on Thursday. It was expensive, but the dead one had features I've come to really want, and even though Black and Decker makes what looks to be the same thing, I'm a little leery of it - and it never toasted right. So we'll see if getting an expensive one is any better.


I determined that the old one is definitely broken. For the first time since I've had it, it toasted my toast quickly and properly, but the thermostat is clearly broken. It broiled my fish tonight, too, but I won't be able to bake. For one thing, since it never stops heating, it's a fire hazard. Besides, when you bake, you need to have the temperature right.


I only hope mine doesn't turn out to be a defective one, or if it is, it dies before a year.


The weather was snowy. It stopped snowing for a while around 2:00, but then it started again around 4:00 and quit around 6:30. It's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow and maybe Wednesday, too. The temperature was around 25 all day, and the wind was strong from the east, with gusts up to 36 mph this morning. The wind died off a bit for most of the afternoon, but it's picking up again. The lake is singing loudly. When Jack came to do the driveway, I went out, and it wasn't too bad, if you were out of the wind. I was surprised by how much snow there was - probably 5" or 6", although with the drifting, it was hard to tell. It was wet, heavy stuff, too.


The guys were very sleepy today, so there isn't anything to report there.


Now I think I will read for a while and try to get to bed early again. I seem to have sleeping sickness again. It's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field.


March 10

Well, I made it into bed when I wanted to, whenever that was, and I slept fairly well, at least until 6:00 (EDT). I had to walk, and there was no helping it, and I did get partially to sleep after that, but the alarm went off too early.


I looked at the pictures and I looked at the weather forecast and I considered how I felt, and I decided to stay home. I probably could have gone, but it was so early and it was bound to be slippery, so I chickened out.


And I did nothing. I even only knitted a row and a half. I spent most of the afternoon reading and petting cats. My poor old bod just does not react well to changes in its schedule, and I didn't feel like doing anything, so I didn't. Maybe it will be better tomorrow, when I can get up on my own schedule.


The weather was blah, really blah. The temperature got up to 34, and the wind has now shifted to the northeast and risen to 29 mph gusts, so the lake is singing. The snow stopped sometime around 5:00, I think. Warm as it was around here, I noticed that in southeastern Michigan, it got up as high as 66! Egads! That's too warm for this time of year!


We are supposed to have a bit cooler temps and snow tomorrow. I hope so.


The guys were telling me all day that the weather wasn't so good. Louie got on my lap twice and even Grayson spent half an hour getting petted. 


I'm afraid I have a broken toaster oven. I noticed that my bread seemed to toast unusually well this morning, and tonight, my stuffed chicken breast got charred. It appears that the temperature control is broken in an "on" position, and the lower element won't turn off. Oh, dear. I guess I will have to get a new one, and this time I think I will be getting one with a five year warranty, even though they're expensive. I know I use that thing a lot, but it should be able to stand it. How annoying, but at least maybe my toast will come out all right, and I think I can probably broil with it, although we'll see. I hate to heat up the big oven to cook a 3.5 oz stuffed chicken breast!


So I think I will read a bit longer and then go up to the north end early, although I may finish knitting that row I didn't finish earlier. It's a dark, windy evening in the field and the snow is coming...


March 9

I'm doing this early, and I will go up to the north end early and go to bed early, but unless something amazing happens overnight, I don't think I'm going to church tomorrow. The webcam pictures of Calumet and the airport look to me like it's snowing harder down there, and particularly Calumet looks really ugly. Time to hibernate. I was interested to see that around 6;00 PM, there was not one car on Main Street (that's 5th Street). They still roll up the streets on Saturday night, just like they did forty years ago.


I think it was around 10:00 when I got to bed last night, and when I finally turned over onto my right side, i went right to sleep and did pretty good. I was up several times, of course. I got up around 8:30. I could have slept longer, but I knew I wanted to go to bed early tonight, so I got up.


I knitted two rows on the shawl, and it took a while, because I had made a few mistakes on the previous rows that I had to fix up. Now I have 13 repeats of the main pattern. 


That was about all I did. I got some stuff into the dishwasher, and I will prime it to run overnight before I go up to the north end. I reset the calculator clock so that I can set the clocks at the north end before I go to sleep. I hate - HATE - HATE daylight savings time, and from what I read, so do a whole lot of other people. One day we'll be in the majority and maybe we can get it stopped. It does not save energy, it screws up our internal clocks and it confuses almost everybody. I know I will be fighting it all summer.


The weather was - yuck. It didn't start snowing until around 11:30, and it has snowed and/or rained more or less hard ever since. The temperature varied between 30 and 34, and the wind varied from calm to 38 mph gusts from the south. It was dark and dreary. The wind has risen lately, and I hope the temperature will stay down so that the little rain squall we had a while ago isn't repeated.


However, it looks really ugly in Calumet, so my feeling is, I will probably be staying home tomorrow. I will probably get up and check things out, but I'm not counting on going. Too bad, too, because there is communion tomorrow. Oh, well. 


The guys were very sleepy today, most likely because of the weather. They did both get petted.


I just looked at my icicle, which had grown down to below the door handle, and the end has broken off, so it's now the length it was when I took the picture a week or so ago. Oh, poo! It's still quite a thing, though. It looks like a glass epee.  Maybe tomorrow I will get the pictures out of the camera.


Now I will read for a little while longer, and then I will go up to the north end, via the kitchen, and try to get to bed early. It looks to be a really good night to sleep long and hard, while the wind whips the snow around the house. With the wind from the south or southwest, the lake isn't very noisy, but that's all right, too. It's a dark, snowy, windy night in the field.


March 8

I think it was around 9:30 when I got to bed last night. I slept fairly well, although I was up any number of times. When I was awake around 4:00, there were a few stars, at least in the northwest, although it seemed cloudy in the west. I got up around 9:15, but you have to remember I didn't get 12 hours of sleep. I only knitted two rows before I got dressed - there are over 300 stitches on the needle now, and even though I'm getting the hang of the pattern, it takes a long time to knit them.


The only task of the day was to go to the post office, where the stuff I ordered seems to have come, and the store, this time for stuff like lettuce. My legs were a bit gimpy and my back was stiff, at least then, but even though the temperature was a degree or two under freezing, the ice was beginning to melt in the sun and I didn't have a lot of trouble getting around. 


I knitted another couple of rows while the talking was on and pretty soon I will have thirteen repeats of the main patterns. Basically, I'm adding two stitches on each right side row, but the edge is zigzagged, so it goes from four to ten stitches. This is another one that is going to need severe stretching to show the pattern, but I think it will be pretty. The yarn varies from pale gray-blue to very dark gray-blue, with a long repeat, but since there are so many stitches in a row, it looks striped. I'm not sure this pattern wouldn't be better in a solid yarn. Oh, well, it will be different. 


The weather was mostly sunny for most of the day. The temperature finally got up to 34 a couple of hours ago, but for most of the afternoon it was just under freezing. There was some wind, with gusts up to 20 mph or so from the southwest, for most of the afternoon, but now it's gone calm. It is apparently going to snow or rain or both tomorrow and Sunday. Yuck, Just my favorite kind of weather.


The kitties were sleepy all day and didn't do much interesting.


Now I think I will read a bit before I go up to the north end and try to get to bed early again. I'm trying to lead up to tomorrow, when I will have to go to bed really early in order to get up on Sunday, unless I just decide to bag it. We'll see what the weather looks like tomorrow.


Now it's apparently a fairly clear, warm (for March) evening in the field.


March 7

I turned out the light around 10;30 and I slept fairly well, I think. I was awake around 7:30, but that was too early, so I didn't get up until a little before 9:30. I knitted four rows, so it was nearly noon when I had breakfast. 


The task of the day was to go downstairs and not come up until I had cleaned cat pans. I had to schlep in four bottles of kitty litter (80 lbs), so I was tired before I started down the stairs. I took my cane, and that helped, although I had to go down backwards so that I could get the litter down there. I've been afraid to just slide the bottles down the stairs for fear one would either burst or lose its top. Maybe I should tie a rope around them...


When I turned on the light in the back part of the basement there seemed to be a lot of water on top of the sump pump, and I wondered why that cord was hanging out in the hallway. Well...it turns out that that cord was the power cord for the sump, and the water was because it was full and it hadn't pumped out since the day the guy unclogged the kitchen drain. He disconnected it so it wouldn't go off while he had the end of the pipe opened up and he forgot to plug it in again. Eek! When I plugged it in, it immediately pumped out everything, but wow! I don't know what might have happened if I hadn't gone down today. As it was, there was a wet patch around the drain in the machine room. That will teach me to wait so long to go downstairs!


So will the condition of the trays, but we won't talk about that. They had done hard stuff on the floor around the trays, but I think they had confined their elimination to that area, and I couldn't see that they had peed much of anyplace but in the (very nasty) trays. I hope they will forgive me, but they're very clean kitties. Dawn told me that when he was with her, Grayson was peeing over the edge of the trays, but I saw no evidence of that. 


Anyway, by the time I had dumped the trays, swept the floor, washed everything out with soap and water and filled the trays again, I was exhausted. I raided the freezer, but there wasn't as much there as I expected. I don't need peas, corn or mixed berries, and I brought up a few things to break the monotony, but not a lot. Actually, that's good. I was afraid the freezer down there was chock-full of stuff, and it's not. I was disappointed to find that I did not have another loaf of the bread I use for grilled cheese sandwiches, so I guess I'll just have to make do. And I didn't bring up everything. I had laid in a lot of beef stuff, and I'm trying not to eat too much beef anymore. One of these days I'll have to break down and have a steak, but not yet.


Then I had to haul myself back up the stairs. I was very glad that I took the cane with me, because it made it easier to get up the stairs, but it was still a chore. When I got upstairs and put everything away, I was totally exhausted, so I knitted through the talking and I have now started the repeat of rows 17 - 40. I didn't finish row 17, I don't think, but I've started it. The pattern gives a thing that is only about 16" wide, and that would be just a V-shaped scarf, in my opinion, so I am making it wider. I forgot to mention that I finally found the break in the yarn yesterday and spliced it together, and now it is coming out of the center of the ball very nicely. That was after 35 rows or so. It's nice yarn to look at, but it isn't easy to knit with.


The weather was blah. The temperature went down to 19 overnight, then it went up to about 25 and stayed there all afternoon. There wasn't much wind. There was a very little light snow about the time I got up, but it didn't last long. Mostly it was gray and dull. We had a lovely sunset for about 3 minutes, but I didn't catch it. First, I had to try to make my way over to the window, which was hard, because my legs are rubbery, and then I accidentally turned the camera on at the wrong setting (manual, rather than auto), and by the time I figured that out, it was gone. Sorry. I wish I'd caught it. We haven't had one like that in a while. Oh, well, maybe next time...


The guys were extremely interested in what I was doing in the basement, except that when I went off with the trays, they disappeared and I didn't see them again until I went upstairs. I think Grayson knew what I was doing, and he stayed around to be sure that I swept up all the stuff on the floor. But then, they are always interested in anything I do besides sit and knit or read. They both got some love-in time today. The difference in their sizes really comes home when they sit on me. Grayson curls up and hardly fills half my lap, but Louie laps over on all sides. He has at least as big a frame as DC did and he's a lot fatter. Grayson's frame is bigger than Buster's was, and he's fatter, but he's also a completely different shape. They both like to be petted and rubbed. They are both shedding, and I still think it's a little early for that.


Now I'm yawning. I should take a bath tonight, but I have the feeling I probably won't. I'm too tired. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field.


March 6

I got to bed around 11:15 last night, and I slept fairly well, with a couple of wakeups. I got up around 9:30 and I knitted four rows on the shawl. 


I was all set to go to Carolyn's, but I had a really nasty accident that ended up making me wash everything below my waist, and I was just getting dressed again when she called to say that Laurel (who has MS) reported that it was really slippery out. So I chickened out again and stayed home. I do hope to see those ladies again before the end of the season.


I was tired and depressed enough that I didn't do much. I did  my surfing and a little reading, and while the talking was going on, I knitted about six more rows on the shawl. I'm not too far from the end of the first chart, but I'm going to do a repeat of the last 24 rows, so it will be a while before I go on to the next chart.


The weather was better staying home. It was snowing when I got up, and it snowed lightly until a bit before 1:00 this afternoon. The temperature dropped off slowly from 27 at midnight to 21 at 5:00 PM and it has now risen a degree or two. There wasn't much wind. Even after the snow stopped, it was dark and cloudy. We might have had a couple of inches of snow.


The guys were pretty sleepy. They both got some loving today, but mostly they slept.


Now I am going to read a while longer and try to get to bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a dark, cold night in the field.



I'm going to 

March 5

I read last night, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept quite well, with not as many wakeups as usual. I woke up around 9:00, and I had just decided not to get up when there was a phone call, so I got up anyway. I knitted four rows, then I had to untangle more of the yarn. I think I'm finally getting to the end of the yarn tangles, although I still haven't gotten to where that break is. 


I got the dishwasher unloaded and began reloading it, and that's about all I did. While the talking was going on, I knitted four more rows on the German shawl, and it's coming along. I just finished a row that has some stitches in it that I don't like very well, and I'll have to think about that, but I'm making progress. 


The weather was blah. The temperature hung at close to 25 all day, although it has now risen to 28. There has been some wind all day, from the east, and it is now up to 20 mph. The lake is singing softly. The sky was cloudy and gray all day. Blah.


The guys were themselves. Louie got his love-in, although maybe not as much as he wanted. Grayson got his love-in, too, and I'm so glad he is coming to me again. I don't know what gets into his little head, but for the past few days, he's been very loving. Maybe he realizes that it's almost a year since I brought him home from Dawn's and he is trying to tell me he's grateful. He can be a real lover when he wants to be. Louie always is.


So it was a very quiet day. The phone call was from Carolyn, telling me that the ladies' group is meeting tomorrow afternoon, which I was glad to hear. I only talked to her for ten seconds or so, but she sounds fine, and I'm very glad to hear she has gotten over her sinus infection. 


Now it's a dark, not very cold night in the field and the lake will sing me to sleep.


March 4

I was in bed by 9:30 again last night, and I slept well. I was awake around 7:30 and that didn't seem like long enough, so it was 9:15 before I got up. I didn't knit, but I was moving slowly, so I just had time to eat and read my devotions before I went to the powder room to get ready to go to see Johanna. That took more time than I expected, too, so I was a bit late, but she's used to that. 


I felt much better for my massage, and Johanna expects to be back in town for my next appointment, so that will be good, if it happens. Her dad is not doing well, and unfortunately they are all just waiting for the inevitable. Even though it may seem harder at the time, it's really much better if you just have a massive stroke or heart attack and are carried off at once. I feel for her. I know what it was like watching my mother, particularly, die slowly.


I didn't do much of anything for the rest of the day. Massages always leave me feeling tired, so I did my surfing, which took until the talking started, and then I knitted two rows on the German shawl. I am going to like that pattern.


The weather was rather nice today. It was clear overnight, and again I saw Jupiter in Taurus and Orion hanging over the Mountain Lodge. But by the time I got up, it had clouded up again, and the morning was cloudy. It began to clear up around the time I got home, and it was partly cloudy for most of the afternoon, with a lot of sunshine again, but not enough to push the temperature in here up to what it was yesterday. The outside temperature went from 7 at 5:00 AM to 21 at 6:00, and it hung around 25, plus or minus a degree, for most of the afternoon. There was almost no wind again.


Grayson was particularly loving today, for reasons I don't understand, but it was nice to have him sit on me and get petted. Louie got some love, but he keeps picking just the wrong time to try to sit on me. They were rather active this morning, but by the time I got home, they had settled down again. 


Now I might read for a little longer, and then I am going to try to get to bed early again. It seems to be a rather clear night in the field again, but the snow is supposed to be on its way.


March 3

I turned out the light around 9:30 last night, and I slept fairly well. I was up several times, of course, but I mostly went back to sleep. The first time I got up, around midnight, I think, the sky was as clear as I've seen it in a long time. Jupiter was blazing in the windows and Orion was hanging over the Mountain Lodge. I could even see Polaris. The next time I was up, it wasn't nearly as clear, but at least I had that one glimpse of the winter sky. 


I was sort of asleep when the alarm went off, and I really didn't want to get up, but i did. Various things took longer than I thought they would, but I got to do some of my surfing. 


I left around the time I usually do (9:15 or a bit later). Getting out of town wasn't easy, because the mushers were just starting off. I had to go all around past King Copper. There were people (including Bonnie, I think) stationed at the trail crossing behind Minnetonka but nobody was passing through. Once I got beyond that, the road was clear and dry all the way to Laurium, so I was able to let'er rip for a change. 


Church was nice, with another good sermon by pastor, although it was a bit long. it was on that part of 1 Corinthians where it says God will not allow you to be tested beyond what you can handle. I think we all need to hear that every so often. That is a great bunch of people, and I enjoy seeing them.


I had to get gas, and I'm very happy to say that the price has gone down 20 in the last week, to a slightly more reasonable price - around $3.80. I think the oil companies were yanking our chain again.


That made me late leaving town, but as a result, I had a lovely experience. I got stopped at the trail crossing just before Phoenix, and while I was waiting, three dog teams crossed the road. I thought those dogs were bigger! One team had only six dogs, and the musher was running behind his sled. I wish I had noticed his bib number to find out how well he did. There were a couple of websites I looked at when I got home, and it seems like the best teams make about 12 mph, which is amazing. Anyway, it was a lovely sight to watch the dogs running their hearts out. I know they love it. I do hope they get to stop occasionally and at least have a drink of water. They must get awfully thirsty.


I got home around 1:00 and I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon except finish my surfing and read. 


It was an absolutely beautiful day, mostly clear with not a lot of wind. The temperature here was almost steady at around 20. Someone mentioned, though, that down in Calumet, it got to -7 overnight. Bless our big lake! Anyway, it was a pretty day to be out and a pretty day for the race. Everybody I saw had their sunglasses on, which is one reason I didn't recognize Bonnie. There was so much sunshine that the temperature in the studio got up to 76 and since I was wearing a sweatshirt, I almost melted away. However, I'll take any free heat I can get.


The guys were themselves, but they spent some time looking out the patio door in the studio. I guess the little birds come by occasionally, hoping I've put out something to eat. Louie was chewing plastic bags again, which I still don't understand. They slept a lot, of course.


I couldn't get out onto the deck if I did want to put out some seed. Not only is there that big drift, which hasn't melted much at all, there is an icicle hanging over the right side of the door which now goes from the eave to the door handle - must be four feet! I took a picture of it yesterday when it was about a foot shorter. I'll post it one of these days, because it's big and long enough to make a sword out of, and it's sharp on the end, too. Most of the other icicles fell off when the temperature warmed up last week.


When I sat down to do my surfing, I had a problem with a sore eye - a piece of cornea flaked off and got caught in the corner. It has to do with being tired, I think. 


So now I will put it to bed and hope it's better tomorrow. Now it's a clear, cold, dark night in the field.


March 2

I think it was around 10:00 when I got to bed last night, but I had a hard time getting to sleep and I was up several times. I had some sore toes on my right foot, for reasons I don't know, and I wasn't comfortable. I woke up around 8:30 and decided to get up, so that maybe I will sleep better tonight. 


I knitted four rows on the German shawl, and the first pattern turns out to be a flower! It sometimes amazes me how different the chart can be from the finished fabric, because at other times, it's exactly the same. This one charted as a triangle. Anyway, I like it, so I'll keep on knitting. Four rows is a little too much, especially as I get more stitches on the needles, but two rows is manageable. There are some interesting solutions to the problem of centering holes in a pattern that I will have to remember, since some other patterns I've seen are rather awkward.


I didn't do anything except get the dishwasher ready to run, read and talk to Debbie. She is still dealing with having her right arm in a cast from wrist to shoulder - the break is just below her elbow - but she's coming along and in a couple of weeks she may be able to get out of the cast. Not being able to use one's right arm at all, as well as not being able to take a bath or wash one's hair, is difficult, to say the least. The woman who hit her was drunk (0.23, I think she said) and Deb has hired a lawyer. It was so good to hear from her, and she seems to be in good spirits as well, so that was nice. By the way, the new battery in the phone is working great. We always talk for a long time and it's nice not to have to switch to speakerphone anymore.


Oh, yes, I spent some time fishing fur out from under the keys on the keyboard. I'm afraid to try to find out if the keycaps come off, for fear I'll break something, but I really need to get underneath them to get out all the fur and crumbs. I miss my old Gateway keyboard, where the keycaps came off. I suppose I could use it, but this one has a few useful keys that one didn't, so I guess I'll cope. There is still fur under there, but most of the big wads are gone for the time being, I think.


The weather turned out lovely. It was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up this afternoon, and it was beautiful, with lots of sunshine. It got really hot in the studio. The high temperature outside was only 19, though. There was not a lot of wind during the day, and what there was came from the north or northeast. It was nice to see a sunset, since the sun is now setting in the notch between Brockway and the West Bluff.


The guys didn't act like it was so nice, though. They were rather active when I got up this morning, but they slept for most of the day. Grayson got a nice pet, but I was busy when Louie came by, so he didn't. I'll have to make it up to him tomorrow.


Now I need to take a bath and get to bed early. I am going to try to go to church tomorrow, but it may be hard, because the dogsleds will be leaving Copper Harbor just about the same time I usually do, and they have US-41 closed and covered with snow in front of the park. We'll see how far I get. I'll need to leave early.


Now it's a clear, dark night in the field and there may be a star or two, at least early on.


March 1

Well, I pulled one of my all-nighters last night. It wasn't quite all night, but it was ridiculously late when I got to bed. I slept extremely well, of course, at least until 9:30. I sort of dozed for the next hour and got up around 10:30. That wasn't nearly enough sleep, but I will be going to bed shortly and that will help. I knitted on the Faroese shawl, because I forgot to take the German shawl with me last night. I'm familiar enough with the Faroese shawl now that I can do two rows of 420 stitches in the same time it takes to do two rows of 257 stitches on the German one, but the German one is more fun.


Needless to say, I didn't do much of anything, although I did get out to the post office, where I found Ron and paid him my part of the diesel. He had another kidney stone attack on Wednesday, which is why he wasn't there when I went. Poor Ron. I know what gall bladder attacks are like, and I've heard that kidney stones are worse. I stopped at the store and got my JD and eggs. And that was it.


The weather turned cold overnight. The high temperature for the day was 23, right now. The wind has been dying down all day, and is now around 17 mph from the east-northeast. It was partly sunny all day, and it's always nice to see the sunshine. The Copper Dog 150 will have about the same conditions for the weekend, which is good. 


I was awakened at 10:30 by the Schwan's guy, asking how the road was, so I was able to tell him not to bother to come. I'll hold until the 15th. Then later in the day, the FedEx guy called to ask how the road was. Geez! The road is fine, guys. There is a good bunch of guys keeping it smooth and wide. It is a little slick from the melting, but there is a good base down, and it didn't turn to ice, so it's not bad.


The furry guys were sleepy as usual today. They thought I was going to get up at 7:30, though. Hah! Not when I went to bed! Louie didn't get his love-in, but I was afraid I would have an accident if he got on my lap. Last night - or early this morning, really - when I was getting ready to go to bed, Grayson was lying on the rug sort of wagging his tail and the next thing, Louie was chasing Grayson's tail! Grayson was not pleased. Today they both went to sleep on the rug while I was there, and Louie turned over into his favorite position, on his back with his front legs twisted around to the left. So Grayson came and he rolled over on his back, too. I wish I had a camera with me all the time.


I did have an accident, but it wasn't a bad one, and all I had to change was my underpants. It was my own fault, too - I just ignored the signals. Oh, well. One day I'll learn. But there was a lot of interesting stuff to read today.


Now I am tired. I didn't eat until after 8:00, so I'm a little later than I wanted to be, but I think I can just crash without too much work. It's a partly cloudy, cold night in the field, but it isn't so windy and I don't seem to see any snow.


Last  updated 04/01/13 07:36 PM