A View From the Field








May 2013

May 31

The end of May! Unbelievable!


I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups. I got up around 8:30 and knitted my two rows before I got dressed.


The only task of the day was to go to the post office, which I did, but I actually did something here! I'm not done yet, but the worst is over. I attacked the piles of magazines and other stuff that had been sitting around for a very long time, as it turned out. When Rick and Teri were here last summer, we moved a bunch of stuff into a crate, and when I went through that, I discovered that almost all of it was catalogs - very old catalogs. I also had saved some magazines that I eventually toss, so I did that, and I ended up with six bags of trash. Now, those bags aren't full, because when they get full I can't lift them, so it amounted to about three full bags. The old magazines I save are in boxes, except for two that I normally read and haven't been, which are in a basket with the current crop. I found a couple of knitting magazines I want to look at patterns from, and I seem to have lost a few recent ones, which I can't understand, since i normally don't throw anything like that away. Not all the bags and the boxes are out of the studio (I'm using my hand truck), but they will be by tomorrow, and then I can begin to move stuff so that I can remove the old sewing machine and set up the new one, which was the reason for this exercise. I have to get a lot better at pitching the catalogs. So now I'm tired and my hands are very sore from grasping those magazines. But at least I did something!


The weather was about like it was yesterday. The high temperature was 77º and it was in the 70s for most of the afternoon, except for a couple of hours when it inexplicably went down to 64º.  It's back to 66º now, but that's probably because there are thunderstorms in Houghton and out on the lake. There was a little wind, mostly from the west. It was humid.


The guys were sleepy, mostly. They were a bit interested in what I was doing, but it didn't seem anything worth bothering me about. Louie got a long tummy rub this morning, but I had to boot him off my lap when I had to take a walk. Grayson is now staring out the east window, which is open, like there is a parade going on outside, and there might be. I'm sure the critters are all out and about.


So even though my hands are aching and I'm tired again, I feel good, because I accomplished something today. I think I may have had a cold last week, and at least today I felt like I'm over it. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but maybe I can at least get the stuff out of the studio and begin to move the other stuff away from the sewing station. It does feel good to know I've accomplished something.


Now it's a cloudy, unsettled night in the field, and I keep thinking I may be hearing a little thunder off in the distance. I think it's going to rain. The sky is growling.


May 30

I have to report that I slept much better last night, but not nearly long enough. Instead of doing what I needed to do, I wrote a little more and then when I got up to the north end,I read for a while before I took my bath, so it was 12:30 before I got to bed. After that, I was only awake twice. I woke up around 9:00 and decided to get up even though I didn't feel like it. I knitted, of course.


After that I didn't do anything. I didn't even write. I might do a little tonight, but I rather doubt it. I'm tired and the next scene will probably take a while. I will read what I wrote last night, but I don't think I'll go on.


It was an interesting weather day. There was apparently a couple of hours of rain overnight which I missed, and there was a short squall shortly after 10:00, then there was some sunshine for a while this afternoon, although it was terminally humid. It got hot. At 5:00 the temperature was 79º, but then it started to drop off, and just a while ago we had some wind, like it was going to storm, but the rain and thunder missed us. It did cool off to 62º, thankfully. Now it is dark and threatening, but I don't know if there will be more rain or not.


I started opening up the house when the temperature got up to 72º or so. The guys got to go out on the porch for the first time, which they liked, and I opened the patio door and the window on the east side, so there was a breeze in here. I also took off my long-sleeved tee and put on a tank. It's not so long ago that I was cold, so I'm not used to hot, and I'm certainly not used to humidity! It's supposed to be cooler tomorrow, but then it wasn't supposed to be so hot today. Hey - when 60º feels pleasantly warm to you, 79º is the tropics! Like I said, it was humid, too. Not my favorite kind of weather, for sure.


The guys were sleepy for most of the day, although they did check out the porch and Grayson is sitting under the east windows with me. The wind a while ago made his ears twitch. Louie got his tummy rub, but I had to boot him off my lap when I needed to take a walk. 


The guys from the Health Department came and took their samples. They said hello, but they left without saying goodbye. I think the main guy was the same one who did it the last time.


The trees are budding out fast and things are turning green, including the tansy and spotted knapweed. I also have a good stand of hounds tongue around the front stoop that I really need to spray. Maybe that's something I can do.


So that was another unproductive day. Now it's a cloudy, unsettled evening in the field and the temperature is dropping back to normal.


May 29

Well, my troubles last night weren't over. I was so distracted by the camera problems that I forgot to take my Neurontin, so I had a terrible night. My feet weren't sore, but I was up about every hour and I didn't sleep well in between. I went to bed around 11:00, and I got up around 9:15, but I have been tired all day. Yuck.


I did my knitting, and I am now down to 379 stitches. Dogged determination does have some benefits. Every eight rows, I have to move my sanity markers one stitch to the right, and the last time I had to do that, I realized it would be a whole lot easier to do it on the purl row, so I did that today. 


And that was all I did. I spent the afternoon writing, and so far I have written 3,100 words. Before I go up to the north end, I have to get the dishwasher ready to run, and tonight I must take a bath. My hair is horrible. I had an accident this morning, so I have to clean up after that, too. 


The weather was so-so. It was mostly cloudy for most of the day, with a couple of hours of partial sunshine, including now. The temperature was mostly in the low 50s, but in the last three hours, it went from 56º to 61º to 52º to 65º. The wind was mostly calm, but it has now picked up from the southwest, which no doubt is why it's warmer. 


The guys were their usual sleepy selves. Louie got a long time on my lap and a nice tummy rub, but I had to boot him off when I wanted to start writing. Grayson spent the morning under the south windows, which were in whatever sun there was, and he is now sitting under the east windows looking at me. 


While I was up at the north end this morning, I got a call from the Health Department, and they want to inspect my septic system tomorrow. Drat. I thought I'd dodged a bullet because they didn't come last fall, but no such luck. They were probably just understaffed. It still annoys me to death that they have to do that, since the possibility of there being anything wrong with it is minimal. So they'll be here tomorrow afternoon. They are apparently going to train some people on my system.


So now it's a mostly cloudy evening in the field, and I will be going up to the north end in a while.


May 28

Geez, what a day! 


I was minding my own business and getting ready go to bed last night when I did my usual evening check of the camera and discovered that it had stopped updating with a nasty error message. I fiddled around with it and no way could I get it to update. So I finished reading Osara, and it was midnight before I got to bed. Not what I intended.


I got up around 8:30 and knitted, and when I got to the studio, the camera was still not updating, so I called PastyNet. A while later, Jon called me back and he made several suggestions, including doing a system restore. Ugh! When the system rebooted after that, I discovered that Norton had downloaded 101mb of updates since Sunday, which I had to reinstall. I think the downloads took an hour. Then I had the old Explorer problem, which meant I had to reboot again (about the fifth time) and the camera still wouldn't update. So I downloaded the software, and that didn't work, either.


I went off and did my surfing, as well as some writing, and finally, around dinnertime, I called again. Just a little while ago, Charlie called me back and suggested something Jon hadn't - and a flag had gotten turned off somehow! Gaak! So I reset the flag, and all of a sudden, everything was fine again. How that flag ever got turned off, I don't know, I hardly ever look at that particular page of the parameters unless something is wrong. Weird.


Well, at least everything is OK now. I'm sorry that we didn't have pictures for the past day. One thing I noticed while I was staring the software is that overnight, somebody was over in the corner and now the camera is off-kilter again. I will try to fix that tomorrow. 


The weather wasn't worth talking about. There wasn't much sunshine. The high temperature was 55º, but actually it see-sawed between 50º and 55º all afternoon. The wind was under 10 mph all day. Now it's cloudy and it may rain tonight.


The guys were sleepy today. Louie didn't get any loving; I was busy every time he came by. Grayson slept on my lap for quite a while this afternoon. Now Louie is asleep on the bookcase and I don't know where Grayson is.


So now I think I will totter off to the north end and take a bath before I go to bed. I'm certainly glad to have the camera up and running again, and I did write a bit, even though I only wrote about 1,200 words. Getting the preliminaries done so I can get into the meat of this story has been hard. It's a calm, cloudy night in the field.


May 27 - Memorial Day

I crashed last night. I was in bed by 8:30, and I had to bunch up the covers to keep the sun out of my eyes, but I went right to sleep, and I slept well, even though I was up at least six times. I woke up around 7:30 and decided that was enough sleep, so I got up and did my knitting.


I got my massage, and I hope that by tomorrow I'll feel better. Today I was very creaky and I was having particular trouble with my knees. I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon except read, but I did get out onto the deck to pull up the shutters. It's so nice to have it light in the kitchen and the hallway!


The weather turned out to be quite nice. The high temperature was 64º, for just a while, but it was around 63º for most of the afternoon. Late in the day, there was some wind from the south, with gusts up to 20 mph. The sky was partly cloudy, although there was a lot of sunshine. It felt quite warm when I was out on the deck, and that was nice.


The guys were surprisingly sleepy. I guess it's because the barometer is dropping. Louie got his loving before I left this morning. Grayson spent the time I was knitting with me and he got some loving, too, although he scratched me. I still have a hard time figuring what's in his mind when he rolls over on his back.


So now I will read for a little while longer, and then I will be going to bed early again. Every so often it's good that I reset the internal clock like this. It's a partly cloudy, fairly warm evening in the field.


May 26

I made it into bed by 9:30, after I fooled around for a while, but I had a hard time getting to sleep, even after I turned over, so I'm tired tonight. I was up several times, too. I got up when the alarm went off and I got off to church pretty much on time. 


I had an easy commute down to Laurium, and church was very nice. Since we absorbed the people from the Wisconsin Synod church, we've had a lot more people in church, and since it's Trinity Sunday, we started off with "Holy, Holy, Holy" and we made as much noise as Christ the King ever did. There aren't many of us, but we're fervent. Pastor's sermon was an interesting one, showing how Psalm 8 was actually talking about Jesus, if it's translated properly. And there was communion, which was nice.


My trip home was not quite as nice as the trip down. I ran across a guy on the covered road who was very, very timid about the curves, and he had four people behind him until one turned off at Lake Medora. Then I had to follow the guy all the way to the fort. Geez! I got to Delaware in half an hour, and then it took another half hour to get home!


I have to report that there is still some patches of snow in the woods and alongside the road where the sun doesn't shine. I'm not surprised. However, when I look at the MODIS imagery, the snow isn't visible from space anymore, and there are spots where the Keweenaw and the nearby UP are turning green.


I sat and read the paper for a while before I took off my clothes, and I had some lunch. I read for the rest of the afternoon. Unfortunately, I ignored the gurgling too long and I had another accident, so my sweats are in the washer now and they need to go into the dryer. It gets old. I've stopped taking the probiotics, because they didn't seem to be doing any good, and I have to say, I haven't noticed any difference. I gurgled and had accidents just as much when I was taking them.


The weather was actually rather nice, although still a bit cool. Officially, the temperature did get up to 57º here, but only for a while around 10:00. Then it fell back and it was around 54º, plus or minus a degree, for the rest of the afternoon. There was a little southeast wind for a while, but not a lot. It was nearly clear all day, although there were some clouds. When I got up this morning, there was no wind, and the surface of the harbor was like a mirror. I do so love it when it's calm like that! The wind is dropping again, but only the bay on this end is really calm. So pretty!


The guys were mostly sleepy. Louie got his love-in, and he kept wanting to come back, but he makes it hard to type. Grayson got a love-in, too, and he finally succeeded in getting me to fill the dry food bowls - or at least, he looks at it that way. They had nearly emptied all of them. As I was filling them, I set them on the floor, and he proceeded to sample the three he likes most. What annoys me is that there was one kind of dry food that they liked which isn't being made anymore, so I hunted down quite a large bag of it - and now they don't like it! Geez! However, at least Grayson and maybe Louie likes the restricted calorie one pretty well. So as they eat up the ones they don't like, I won't replace them. I'm not sure what Louie's favorites are, because he rarely eats when I'm around. I think he likes the restricted calorie one, though, because it gets empty first. That's a good thing, because he definitely has not lost any weight since I've had him, and in fact, he looks even fatter to me. Well, so do I.


So now I think I am going to go up to the north end and crash. I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I've done all my tasks here for a while. I think I have a line on how to continue Bolin, but it won't hurt to wait some more while I finish Osara. I'm getting to the end of Osara, although I have about a hundred more pages to read. As I go along, I'm chopping it up into much smaller chapters than I did the first time. I keep forgetting that there are at least 525 words on a page, the way I've formatted it, and a 35 page chapter is just too long. So I will go and crash and dream about Bolin again.


Now it's a nearly clear, nearly calm evening in the field.


May 25

I read for a while last night, and I stared at the floor for a while, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well, with just a couple of wakeups, and I got up around 10:30. I knitted my two rows before I got dressed.


And that was all I did, except that I think I got the dishwasher all unloaded. I read for most of the afternoon, on Osara. I've reached a place on Bolin where I need to make a major decision, and the answer hasn't come to me yet. It will, I'm sure, but right now I'm torn. So I'll read and wait until I see the way forward.


The weather was OK. It was sunny with only a few clouds. The temperature got up to 55º at noon, but then at 1:00 it was down to 49º, for some reason I can't see, and it has only now gotten over 50º again. There was almost no wind. I didn't go out.


The guys were awake when I got up, but they slept for most of the day. Louie slept on my lap this afternoon until I removed him, and he got his tummy rub. Grayson is now asleep under the east windows again. 


I thought about pulling up the shutters, but when the temperature went down, I didn't. Maybe tomorrow, and I do need to do something about the bird feeders, but that probably won't be tomorrow. Someone got rid of the last pieces of the tree next door this afternoon. I'm sure the owners will be most unhappy that their lovely tree is gone, because the afternoon sun is beating on the front of their house as much as it does on mine, and since it's a chalet style, that will make the upper floors awfully warm in the summertime. The tree was dead, though, and it needed to be removed.


So that is about all I know, and I will be going up to the north end shortly and try to get to bed early. I think I have a slight cold. My sinuses have been clogged and I don't feel very good. I do want to go to church tomorrow, though, because there is communion.


Now it's a mostly sunny, coolish evening in the field.


May 24

I wrote 6,100 words last night, so it was late when I got to bed - I forget how late, but I think it was after 2:00. I slept, of course, and I was only up twice. I got up around 11:00 and knitted, so I was very late getting to the studio.


The task of the day was to go to the post office and stop at the store, and I did that. There were some packages and a lot of mail that I threw out. 


The weather was cool again, but it was clear and sunny in the morning. In the afternoon some clouds started to come up and it's mostly cloudy now. The temperature got up to 51º a while ago, but for most of the day it was in the middle 40s. The wind was under 10 mph all day, which made it feel nicer than the temperature sounds. We're still way under the normal high for the day, though.


The guys were full of ginger while I was knitting this morning. Louie got his love-in and his tummy rub, and Grayson sat on me for a while this afternoon. Now he is sort of asleep under the east windows. The dry food he likes is all gone and he didn't like the canned very well either, so he's been bugging me. I guess he thinks if he's real nice to me and keeps following me around eventually I'll fill the bowls. Well, I will, but not until he's eaten some of what's still there.


I read what I wrote last night, but I don't feel robust enough to do any more on Bolin, so I'm reading Osara for a while. I was wrong about how much needed to change because of Special Forces, at least as far as I've gotten. So far it's been one line. I do want to check the rest of the story, though, because there are some more episodes that I want to make sure are up to date.


I met Jack at the post office and I got the lowdown on the tree next door. Evidently it wasn't all the fault of the guy doing the felling. Apparently they were about ready to bring it down in the right direction when a wind gust came across the harbor and blew it on the house. Evidently they got it down without any damage to the house. That was a big tree, and it was a very pretty one. I'm sure the people will be just sick when they see what a big hole it left. They'll be getting a lot more late afternoon sunshine now.


So now I will read a bit more and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a mostly cloudy, cool evening in the field, but there are a few rays of sunshine peeking through.


May 23

I was late last night. I was reading part of Osara that I like and they were playing Beethoven, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept fairly well, with a number of wakeups. I think it was around 10:30 when I got up. 


I did  my knitting and that was about all I did. Thursday is a day when there's lots of surfing to do, and after that I started writing on Bolin again. I'm not sure I'm really happy with it yet, but I'd like to get down on paper what I'm thinking about.


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy this morning, and it stayed that way until noon, when the clouds all went away, leaving lovely blue skies. The temperature, though, only got to 45º and there was a 10-15 mph wind out of the north. I didn't go out, and I had to jack up the temperature in the studio because I was cold. Just for reference, our average high temperature for this date is 57º, so our cold spring is continuing.


I was up around 8:30 this morning and when I went back to bed, Grayson came and made himself comfortable on the pillow with his back nearly up against my nose. A while later, Louie came by and he was going to walk across the pillow and harass Grayson until I shouted at him. Otherwise, they were both their usual sleepy selves. They both got petted, and Louie got to sleep on my lap for a long time.


I was going to go up to the north end, but I realized I have neglected one of the little sanity checks I usually put in my writings. When I start writing for a day, I put an asterisk and the date in red, and then I can use the asterisks to reference what I've been writing. I was good about that in Special Forces, but I just forgot about it when I started Bolin. I think I can regroup, but I want to do it tonight before I lose track completely.


So now it's a clear, cold, breezy night in the field and they're playing Beethoven again. Yay!


May 22

I took a binder up to the north end last night and read another old story before I took my bath, so it was about 11:00 when I got to bed. I know that, because I had turned out the light before I realized that the power failure had caused the clocks to blink, so I had to get up, get the calculator clock (how I enjoy that thing!) and set the clocks. The one in the bathroom was OK, except that in order to stop it from blinking I had to change something, so I had to cycle through a whole 24 hours to get it set right. There isn't a battery in the one in the bedroom (on purpose) so I had to completely set that one, and I think it was 11:02 when I got it set. 


I slept OK, with a couple of wakeups. I was awake at 8:00, but that seemed a bit early, so I went back to sleep and got up around 9:30. I knitted my two rows. I'm starting the third repeat of the main pattern, but it has 32 rows, so it doesn't mean much except that I've done 78 rows. There are 2½ more repeats to go, and then there is shoulder shaping, so I'm not halfway done yet.


I didn't do much except add some stuff to the dishwasher. It needs to run tonight. I am still without energy and hungry. Sigh.


Part of that has to be because of the weather. We didn't have much more rain today, but it was gray and dismal and cold all day. The high temperature was only 46º. The humidity was high until around 2:00, when the temperature started up (from 41º) and the dew point started down. It's still humid, but not like it's been for the past few days. The wind is beginning to rise, too, from the east, so maybe by tomorrow we'll have some more decent weather. We're having a nice sunset, too, but it's so far north I can't get pictures. Sorry.


The guys were sleepy again. However, after I ate my dinner, Grayson got up on the counter and started sniffing at what I didn't eat, and I gave him a few little pieces of rotisserie chicken, which he ate. Well, I never thought I could keep it from him forever. Maybe Louie won't want any, but I suspect that if Grayson eats people food, so will Louie. I know Buster had no interest in people food until he was 10 or 11 years old, and after that, he wanted everything I had. I'm sorry I hadn't started cooking fish at home while he was still around. 


About the time the talking stopped, I started hearing a chain saw, and when I looked out the south windows, somebody was trying to cut down the beautiful white pine that had died in  my neighbor's front yard. I was so sorry to see that tree go! Anyway, I'm only guessing who was doing it, and he screwed up. The tree went over toward the house rather than toward the water, and it is lying on the roof. I don't think it went over hard, and he's taken down most of the branches, but the problem is, there are a couple of deck railings below the crown that will catch when it slides down. It's getting dark now, and I don't know if they're going to try to get it down tonight, but I sure am glad it wasn't my house. Some of the guys around here are better woodsmen than others. Even Grayson was curious about what they were doing. 


Oh! I just looked out, and the tree is gone, and the deck railings seem to be intact, so I guess they figured it out somehow. I'm sorry I missed that part of the operation. And there's a hazy gibbous moon over their house.


Before the talking started, I got about 350 words written on Bolin, after I deleted about a hundred that I decided isn't the way to go. I'm still mulling over exactly how to handle the story, so I think I will put it to bed and go back to reading Osara. I know I thought about the last story (call it Special Forces) for a couple of months after I wrote the initial scene. I'd like to get the initial scene of Bolin written, but I'm still thinking about it. So there is a very small file on my hard drive called Bolin. At least I've started it.


Now it's a cold, cloudy but clearing night in the field, the lake is starting to sing, and I'll be off to bed soon.


May 21

Sometime last evening before I went up to the north end, I heard a single clap of thunder, which I thought was weird. Around noon today, Ron called to tell me that lightning had hit a utility pole on the way up the hill and charred the top 3' of it, leaving the wires hanging. We didn't have any power failures that I know about. so all it did was char the pole. Anyway, during the afternoon, the power company came out with a new pole and we had about an hour's power failure, while they installed a new pole. 


i went up to the north end with a binder again last night, and I found the second take at Bolin, which I read, so it was about 11:15 before I got to bed. I slept well, although I was up a number of times. I got up around 9:00 and knitted my two rows. And that was about all I did. The weather left me and the guys all feeling blah.


The weather was not blah, it was downright nasty. When I got up, it was foggy, but it started raining around 4:00 AM, and it has rained off and on all day, with fog. We have had 0.81" so far and it's still raining and foggy. The temperature was nearly steady around 43º and the humidity was 100%. Nasty! 


The guys got their petting, but mostly they slept. I can't blame them. They were interested because I finally brought in some canned cat food, and they were watching me through the door all the time I was out there. 


i have neglected reporting on the progress of spring. The alder catkins came out about two weeks ago, and the birch catkins about a week ago. The willow catkins are out now and over the weekend the forsythia finally burst out. OK, now I will believe it's really spring. I wish I could get a forsythia of my own, but the logistics are impossible, so I will enjoy my neighbor's. The buds on the juneberries are swelling, but nothing is out yet. The maples are in full bloom, and all the ones around me are red, so that is very pretty. I noticed that some of the birches that are still bushes have some green showing. It's going to be a very late spring. Some of the blogs I read have talked about summer being here. Well, it sure isn't here. It's barely spring. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It's bad for my achy joints and it makes me sleepy and hungry, but I'm not going to complain about cool weather. It was 84º in Grosse Pointe today. Thank you, I'll take 43º and rain. Evidently we have another day of rain to go. Well, I can always sleep.


Now it's a cool, foggy, rainy night in the field and time to hibernate, even though it's early. i think I'll take that binder with me.


May 20

I went up to the north end early last night, with a binder, and I read one story before I went to bed. You may be hearing more about it. I tried to write it twice before 1970 and I have never been satisfied with either trial, but I do like the characters and the basic premise, so I've been thinking about it again. It takes place on a planet named Bolin.


Anyway, I was in bed by 10:30. Before I turned out the light, I opened the east window in the window seat a crack. I discovered that another side of the screen had come undone, which I simply do not understand, but I got it back in place. Needless to say, the open window was a source of great interest. The open window with the southeast winds we were having cooled the bedroom down and I slept very well. I was awake at 8:00, but that seemed a little early, so i went back to sleep, and a single ring of the phone woke me up at 10:45. Remember, I was up at least four times overnight, so I didn't actually get over 12 hours of sleep. 


Anyway, I knitted my two rows before I got dressed. I was so late that I didn't do anything else except put a few dishes in the dishwasher. The story I was reading last night was take one on Bolin and I hunted up take two, which I'm reading  now. It's better than take one, but it still isn't right. I'll be working on it.


The weather was miserable, frankly. The high temperature for the day was 46º, and the humidity was around 90% all day long. We had a shower while I was knitting, and it dribbled rain for most of the afternoon. Now I think it's mostly foggy, but it was dark and drab and yucky. There was quite a wind from the southeast, with gusts up to 33 mph for a while. Not a nice day at all, although we didn't get the thunderstorms they were predicting.


The kitties did what kitties do on days like this. They both did get time on my lap, though. I agree with them.


I think I will do what I did last night: take my binder up to the north end and read a while. Before I take off on a new adventure on Bolin, I want to read what I wrote the last time, just for reference. Most of the characters and the planet will be the same, and just the adventures will be different.


There is also another story I have to hunt up, because characters from it end up on Bolin in a story that follows this one. All these things date from the late '60s, and my universe has changed a whole lot since then. These stories were the beginning of the changes that ended up in Osara, Voyages, and the one I just finished, and it's fun sometimes to go back and see how my universe evolved.


Now it's a dark, windy, rainy night in the field - another good one to sleep in.


May 19 - The Day of Pentecost

I got to bed around 9:30 last night, and I slept rather well. However, I woke up about fifteen minutes before the alarm should have gone off and remembered I forgot to set it. So I got up, but I had to spend quite a while in the bathroom, so I didn't gain much time at all. 


I got myself up and out on time. It certainly is nice to have clear, dry roads to drive on, especially with no traffic. Actually, I ran into several little rain squalls on the way down, but they were minor and they didn't slow me down.


Church was nice. There was only one confirmation, at the other church, but sixteen people were accepted into membership from the Wisconsin Synod church that closed in Calumet. One woman wasn't there. If there were only 17 people left in their congregation, I can see why they decided to close the church!


I didn't stay for the reception afterwards. I went off to Pat's where I was very moderate in my purchases. I got home around 1:30, but I had to fiddle around, so it was nearly 3:00 by the time I had some lunch. I had one mishap. I have been buying their packages of 18 AA-grade eggs, because they are very fresh and very convenient, but something happened to the carton and what I did with it, and by the time I got it into the house, more than half the eggs were out of the carton and five had broken. I should have kept them - I could have had a nice omelet for dinner - but I didn't. Oh, well. I will just have to be more careful when I bring things like that into the house. Now the fridge is bulging with goodies, and I should eat well for quite a while. Yum.


The weather was not very good. It was dark and cloudy all day, and on my way south, there were a few little showers. It was in the upper 40s when I left here, but by the time I got to church, it was 63º by the car's thermometer, and when I got out, it was 66º and extremely humid. Like, hot. Next fall, that won't feel so warm, but it sure does now. It never got that warm here. The temperature peaked at 57º at 9:00, and then it dropped off, and it was in the upper 40s for the rest of the day - much cooler than it was in Calumet! Oh, that lovely heat sink I live beside! There was hardly any wind. It wasn't very nice out, because the humidity was over 80% all day. Yuck.


The weather was hard on the guys. They didn't want to get up when I did, and they went right back to sleep. They got up when I came home and watched with interest as I brought in the groceries, but then they went right back to sleep. Grayson got to sit on my lap, but Louie hasn't yet, because he wanted to get on me when I was about to do something else. 


I was really tired after I got home, and I didn't do anything much but read. I would like to get to bed early tonight, but I'm finally getting to the part of the story where I will have to make changes, so we'll see how late I am.


Now it's a cloudy, coolish, calm evening in the field.


May 18

Now I can't remember why I was a bit late last night. Probably staring at the floor or something. It has to have been close to midnight when I went to bed. I slept OK, but I think I was hot. I got up around 4:00, and the northern horizon looked like dawn was beginning. Ah - well, the sun doesn't rise in the north. So we had a northern lights show. A guy in Dollar Bay took a bunch of pictures that showed we did, but I don't think he was up here. There was that layer of high clouds over everything that meant all I could see was the light. Drat. Well, eventually I'll see one that nobody predicted. We still have a way to go before solar max, and if this cycle is anything like the last one, we'll be having northern lights for several years. Anyway, they're coming.


I got up around 9:30, and I knitted two rows on the brown shawl. These rows had 417 stitches, and it decreases by at least 4 stitches on every right side row. It's sort of boring, though, since most of it is one pattern.


That was almost all I did. I forgot I was supposed to bring in some canned cat food, so they'll have to take pot luck tomorrow. I really think I wouldn't have to feed them canned food at all, since they don't eat a lot of it, but I keep hoping. I did get one orange bag filled from the stuff in the kitchen, but there are at least three more to go. I felt sort of blah.


It was a blah to nasty day. It was just cloudy this morning and the high temperature of 53º happened at 9:00. Then the it went down slowly, and around 1:00, it started to rain. so far, we've had 0.41" and it's still raining. The wind picked up, from the east, too, and we had some 27 mph gusts early in the afternoon. Not a nice day.


The guys slept, of course. Their spot of choice when it's cool is in the great room on the stuff on the floor. Louie gets the knitted throw most of the time, and Grayson curls up on the fleece, wedged between mama's chair and the ottoman. Louie wanted to make up for all the days he hasn't sat on my lap, and I let him up twice, but I can't type when he's sitting on me. Besides, the third time he wanted to get up, Grayson was under the east windows. Then he sat on me for a long time, too. P-u-u-r-r-r-r.


I don't think I'll be up to long tonight. I didn't sleep all that well last night, and I will have to shop after church tomorrow, so I want to get as much sleep as I can. Now it's a dark, rainy, windy night in the field, a good one to cuddle under the covers.


May 17

I decided I'd better take a bath last night, but I read for a little while before I did, so it was around 11;15 when I got to bed. I had some trouble getting to sleep. For the past few days, I haven't been able to go to sleep the first time while lying on my left side - I've had this trouble before -- and it was an hour or so before I realized it and turned over. After that, I was fine. I got up around 9:00 or so. I finished the blue shawl! Now all I have to do is block it, which isn't going to be easy, because it's V-shaped and quite long. I think it will be a pretty thing, although it isn't as sheer as the Shetland one of the Estonian one. One of these days, I will have to open out the dining room table and start blocking. Not my favorite task, for sure!


The only task of the day was to go to the post office, and I did that. There was a whole lot of mail, including some of the stuff I got for the new sewing machine. Otherwise, I did not much.


The weather was sort of nondescript. The high temperature was 54º but only for a while, and for most of the day it was in the upper 40s. There wasn't much wind. it was partly to mostly cloudy for most of the day, although the cloud cover was light and there was a lot of sunshine. I guess we're in for some rain tomorrow, and the clouds were beginning to move in. 


The guys were sleepy again, and I didn't see much of them. Louie didn't even ask to sit on me. Grayson came around while I was listening to the talking and we had a good love-in.


So tomorrow I can go back to the brown shawl - the Faroese one. I was looking at it, and I have a long way to go on it, but it's a big thing anyway. It's not nearly as interesting to knit, because it's mostly just the same little pattern over and over. I like the ones where the pattern changes a lot. But this one might even be useful.


So now I think I will read just a little more before I go up to the north end. It's a cool, calm, mostly cloudy night in the field.


May 16

Again it was around 11:00 when I got to bed. I was trying to load the dishwasher when I started gurgling, and again I didn't make it to the bathroom, although this time, it just messed up what I was wearing, so I finished my task bare from the waist down. Living in the middle of the woods has some advantages. I slept well, with only a couple of wakeups, and I got up around 9:00.


I started binding off the shawl, and in an hour and a half of work, I got it half done. I don't knit fast and I crochet even slower, especially with such nasty yarn. I also kept getting the pattern wrong. I think I can finish it tomorrow.


That was all I did. Sigh. I had some plans again, but I just didn't feel like it. Oh, sigh.


It was another pretty day, even though it was partly cloudy, and it was a whole lot cooler than yesterday. The high temperature only got to 46º. There wasn't much wind, only around 15 mph from the north, and it's been calm for the past three hours or so. Now it's sort of cloudy, so there won't be much in the way of stars tonight.


The kitties were sleepy, even though the barometer was high. Grayson is still looking longingly out the door at the porch, but it's supposed to rain, so I think I will wait until next week sometime to pull up the shutters. It was too cold out today anyway.


So that's all I have to report. It's a cool, sort of cloudy night in the field.


May 15

I made it into bed shortly after 11:00 last night, but not without difficulty. I was brushing my teeth, after I took my shower, when I started gurgling, but I made the mistake of trying to finish before I sat down. Well, I didn't make it, and I ended up with a horrible mess all over the floor. Sigh. I managed to get most of it cleaned up, but the floor is still not very clean. Nor, as it turned out, am I. It splashed all over me, too. That's what happens when you have chronic diarrhea. It gets old after a while. I wish they could find out why and what to do about it. Sorry to gross you out, but these are some of the things I live with.


Anyway, I slept well, with several wakeups, and I got up around 9:30, I think. I knitted the last knit row on the shawl, and tomorrow I can start the crochet bind off. I am going to have to fiddle with it, partly because the directions are written in British terms (they use different words for crochet stitches) and partly because I'm not sure if the hook size they specify and the number of chains between stitches are going to work right. I am finding that knitting gets more and more popular, more and more terrible pattern instructions are getting out there. 


That was about all I did, although I will do the dishwasher tonight before I go to bed. Oh, yes, and I washed the fleece from last weekend's accident. I had some idea of doing something else, but I never got around to it. There were a lot of things ot read today.


The weather was amazing. It was very windy. with north wind gusts up to 36 mph. There were whitecaps on the harbor. It was clear and lovely all day, until recently, when the sun disappeared behind a few clouds. The temperature got up to 69º here in the harbor! That wasn't supposed to happen. I didn't go out. It didn't get that warm here, according to my thermometer, only about 66º. But still. First we're 10º under our usual maximum, and now we're 16º over! Weather in the Keweenaw is always so interesting. Anyway, it was a pretty day, with all that blue sky and blue water and the whitecaps.


My little maple trees are all in flower, too, so slowly, ever so slowly spring is coming. I don't think the forsythia is in bloom yet, though.


The guys were full of energy but behaving themselves this morning. Grayson found a small box I missed the wastebasket with and he batted it all over the bathroom. They did wrestle a bit while I was knitting, but not very much. Of course, they slept for most of the afternoon. They seem to be at their most wakeful around dawn, although they don't go to sleep before they see what they're getting for breakfast. Louie only asked once to sit on me, while I was eating my breakfast, and Grayson didn't ask at all. This morning, Grayson was sitting in the sun, but this afternoon, neither of them was sleeping on the throws ont he floor in the great room. It was too warm.


So now we have a few clouds, although they are supposed to go away later, and it isn't supposed to be quite as warm tomorrow - although it wasn't supposed to be as warm today, either. I will start the dishwasher before I go up to the north end, and I'm tired again, so I hope I can go at a reasonable hour. Now that I'm not writing anymore, I can usually stop more easily. It's a partly cloudy, warm, windy evening in the field.


May 14

It was around 1:00 when i got to bed. I read for quite a while and listened to the nice music. I slept well, although the guys were at it around 7:00. I think it was around 9:30 when I got up. I knitted the last pattern row. Now I have the return purl row and then I can start the crochet bind-off. This has, overall, been a fun project, and I'm sorry to see it end. How many times have I said that before? This one would have been more fun if the yarn had been better quality and also if I had some needles that were lighter than the yarn, but overall, it's been interesting, and I've learned a new stitch or two.


I didn't do much of anything else except - finally - fill the dry cat food bowls. The trouble this morning was that Louie was hungry and he didn't like the stuff that was available, so he made a perfect pest of himself. For the past two days, I've been throwing rolls of toilet paper at him, until now, when he sees me pick up a roll, he runs away. He's not stupid. Finally, he did lay down on the rug and wait, sort of, but for a while he was chewing on his toenails. Grayson got over beside the toilet again and I think he went to sleep, knowing I'd protect him.


The weather turned out rather nice, although I didn't go out. It was cloudy for most of the day, but late in the afternoon it began to clear up, and it's quite clear now. The temperature got up to 56º briefly, a while ago. The low for the day was 39º, the first time it's been that warm overnight in a while. It was quite windy this morning, then the wind went almost calm, and now we have 32 mph gusts, from the southwest. It was nice to see the sun again.


I forgot to mention that a couple of nights ago, when it was clear, the camera caught the crescent moon over the lighthouse. It was so pretty. I may see the moon again tonight, but I don't think the camera will see it. 


I am still having a hard time realizing this is actually not April. The weather certainly has been April-ish. Today is the first time in a long time when the daily low and high temperatures have approximated normal. The only thing is, on Sunday, we had an exactly 15 hour day. Things will slow down now, since we have just about an hour to go before June 21. I certainly enjoy the long days. It's so nice to wake up around 5:00 and it's getting light. The only downside is that now that we will be having more clear nights, they are so short, it will be hard to see anything. At least I'll be able to see Polaris occasionally.


Tonight I need to take a bath, so I hope not to read quite so long. Now it's a clear, windy night in the field.


May 13

I got to bed a little before 11:00 and I slept well, with several wakeups. I was up around 8:00 (or was it 8:30?) but I had a headache so I went back to bed and I got up around 10:30. I knitted almost two rows, and now I have only two rows left, plus the crocheted bind off. That last row is a killer, though - about 660 stitches. I will probably have to do it in two sittings.


I didn't do anything much worth mentioning today, although I did finally download The Wind in the Willows, all the Oz books and all the Anne books to my Kindle software. I'm now getting them on the laptop, I looked for the Little House books, but there isn't a KIndle version of them.


I started reading Osara last night, and I had to backtrack today to make a couple of changes, and now I'm reading ahead. I realized, last night, that the last paragraph of the new story has to be changed (and then I forgot about it, of course) so when I finish this I will do that. 


The weather is still cold, but until about 2:30, it was a lovely day. The temperature got up to 43º, about 10º below our average high for this time of year. There was a little wind, up to 17 mph or so, from the north until around 3:00, when it went to close to nothing. The sky was clear and blue until around 2:30, when it abruptly clouded over, and it is now dull and gray again. I love to see the blue sky and the blue lake. It wasn't very windy this morning, and I could hear the bell buoy. The Alder apparently snuck it in on me sometime last week, but it's been so windy that until today I couldn't hear it, and Amanda had to tell me it was there. 


Louie was full of beans - or something - this morning, wandering around trying to chew on anything he could get his teeth into. The dry food bowls are getting empty again, but one bowl is full, as are the canned food bowls, so they have plenty to eat. About the time I was getting ready to stop knitting, Grayson wandered in and settled down beside the toilet. He knows Louie can't get him there. Louie did get a long time on my lap this afternoon, and a good tummy rub, although apparently that didn't satisfy him, because Grayson was asleep on the sewing chair and Louie attacked him there. I really don't think Louie likes Grayson very well. Oh, well, when you take potluck, you take what you get.


Now i am going to change the ending of the new story, and then I will read a while before I totter up to the north end. It's a dull, cloudy, cool night in the field.


May 12 - Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers and grandmothers out there. I always remember the last Mother's Day I had with my mother, sitting in the roof garden at the hospital trying to make positive plans for the future, even though we both knew she was going to die. I hope everyone who still has their mother with them treasures her like I treasured mine. She was such a much better person than I am. But in a way, it was good that she went when she did. If she had still been alive when I got the lymphoma, that would have killed her for sure. Until you've gone through what we went through together, you can never know how much your mother loves you.


It always surprises me when I have the discipline to do what I ought to. I went up to the north end, filled the pill dispensers, took my bath and was in bed by 9:10. No diddling around or staring at the floor. I did what I had to. I slept well, with a number of wakeups. The wind was banging and the lake was roaring all night long. Unfortunately, the last one was around 6:00. My natural cycle just is not in tune with getting up at 7:00. So I went back to bed and dozed until the alarm went off. 


I made a change to my routine this morning to see if it would help, and it did, a bit, but not a lot. I put on my compression hose before I got breakfast. My ankles have been swelling so much lately that I hoped it would help. It did, a little. It was a bit easier to get into my shoes. 


The nasty thing was, I had an accident while I was sitting at the computer in my nightie and robe, and it was an icky one. I left drops all over the floor (which I didn't discover until i got home after church) and I had to wash my nightie and robe. The nightie is done, but I will wash the robe, with some other fleece, tomorrow. Yuck. For some reason, that blue nightie is bad news. I've bled into it, peed into it, and I think I've had an accident into it before. It's not my favorite, since it doesn't open all the way down the front and it's hard to get into and out of, but it's one of the ones in the best shape. If I can figure out how to clean off the desk and the area around it, as well as get the new sewing machine set up and working, I want to make some new nighties. Maybe sometime.


Anyway, I got cleaned up and dressed and off to church. I was most surprised when I got down to around Phoenix, to see a glaze of snow on the ground over the green grass. It didn't snow here. Down in Calumet, it looked like they had an inch or so, and cars were covered. The parking lot at church was not in very good shape, either. 


Church was nice, with communion, and Pastor's sermon was an interesting and instructive one.


I had thought about stopping at Pat's for some things, but I had a hard enough time standing up and sitting down that I decided to just come home and veg, which is what I did. I'm not out of anything, and if I get low on JD, I can get that at the store here.


The weather was not May-like. The temperature was in the middle 30s all day (no typo) and the wind was very strong from the north, with gusts up to 45 mph. The wind began to die down around 4:00. It was mostly cloudy this morning, but the skies began to clear around 2:00, and it now clear and lovely, but cold. This is May? It's more like early April!


The guys were themselves. Louie got some loving, but I wanted to write, so he got booted. Grayson sat on me, too, but not for long. They slept for most of the day.


I wrote for most of the afternoon, 6,400 words, and I have finished the story! I'm not sure about the end, but I feel good about most of it. Like many erstwhile writers, I have poor terminal facilities. Now I will put it aside for a while, and go back to Osara. I know part of it needs to be updated, and I will be reading it with an eye to anything else that is out of date. I have had to make changes to all my older stories, where people were still using paper. I guess I'm not creative enough to have seen that paper would eventually be nearly extinct, although I will allow people to have particularly treasured books in hard copy. I don't think, in a case like books, that any medium will ever go completely out of style. You may read your textbook in some electronic form, but your prayer book will always be hardbound. Anyway, I have some work to do on Osara. That's the one that is almost 400,000 words long, so publishing it would be a problem anyway, even though I did break it up into three pieces a while ago.


I still feel good about having had a new thought and having gotten it down in the computer. It's around 95,000 words long, which i think is good novel length. And I'm energized to write more, although I'm not sure which of the unfinished stories I will be working on. Right now I have an editing job to do, and eventually I'll have to go back to the new one and edit it and put in the chapters. I write in a continuous stream and break it up later.


So now I think I might read a little bit, or I might just go on up to the north end and go to bed early. It's a clear, cold night in the field, but the wind has died down.


May 11

I was in bed by 9:00 last night and I slept and slept and slept. I was up any number of times, of course, but I went right back to sleep. I was up around 7:00, but when I looked out the window, it was dark and big flakes of wet snow were coming down - yuck! So I went back to bed and I think it was about 9:45 when I got up. I finished the row I was knitting on and started the next one, but I didn't do much because my bottom was sore. Would you believe I'm tired again?


The tasks of the day were to wash clothes and fill pill dispensers. The last load of wash is in the dryer and the pill dispensers at this end of the house are filled. I will do the others when I go up to the north end, which will be soon.


I wrote for quite a while this afternoon, about 4,700 words, and I'm thinking it's time to wind this one up. I only have a hint of how I want to do that, so I will see how it goes tomorrow. I think I have written the last episode. Now it's just the coda. In a way, I'm sorry to see this one end, but it's been getting harder and harder to think up new episodes, so I think it's time to quit. As an aside, when I finished this last episode, I realized I'm going to have to rewrite part of Osara, so maybe I can do that next. My thinking about fighting wars in the far future has changed a whole lot lately, and that part of Osara is way out of date. seeing that it's supposed to take place a very long time after the one I'm working on now.


The weather was weird. Like I said, there was a little wet snow this morning, although I think it was mostly rain. After that passed over, it was just cloudy until around 2:30, when it cleared up until about 5:30. Now it is dark and cloudy again. The temperature got up to 43º while it was sunny. The wind has picked up, too, with gusts from the north up to 32 mph. They keep insisting that there may be snow or sleet tonight, although I can't see anything coming, and it's going to be windy. That's all right: the lake will sing me to sleep.


The guys felt good this morning, and they both got some loving, although Louie didn't make it onto my lap and I now have four nice claw marks in my thigh. He got some love and some brushing later. Grayson got on my lap at least three times and he is now asleep under the east windows. He follows me around almost like a little dog.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end, fill the pill dispensers and take my bath. It's a cool, cloudy, windy night in the field.


May 10

Oh, dear. It was one of those nights. I didn't get to bed until 1:30, and I was exhausted, but I just couldn't sleep. After a while, I began to think I hadn't taken my Neurontin, but I was too lazy to get up and come down to the studio to check to see. I should have, because I hadn't. I didn't get any sleep at all until after 5:00, and then it wasn't very good. Needless to say, I'm a basket case now. I will not be writing anything tonight, and I just finished rereading what I wrote last night, so as soon as this is published, I will be crashing.


I got up at exactly the same time I did yesterday, strangely enough. I started to finish the row I was knitting yesterday, but the first time I had to move a marker, I dropped something, and by the time I got it sort of back together (correctly, I hope), I decided the best thing I could do for the day was to sit quietly with my hands folded and do nothing. Which is about what I did. I paid a couple of bills, called about one of them, and went to the post office to get my mail and tell Ron my colonoscopy is postponed.


 I got my Schwan's order and packed it away in the fridge. I had some problems with some of their fish, and i complained about it, so they replaced it, and I had a very nice piece of orange roughy for dinner, and not much else. I'm too tired to be hungry. I will hope the rest of it and the mahi-mahi is just as good. My new go-to method for cooking fish (except for the marinated salmon) is to roll it in cracker crumbs and sauté it in a very little olive oil. It's really good, and it was great for the roughy. It 's how I've done my last two pieces of whitefish, too. I still like it broiled, but right  now, I like this way even better. Yum. Or at least yum when it's good fish. Fishy fish or dry, tasteless fish is not good fish.


The weather was cool but clear. The temperature was just about steady at 36º, which is our normal low at this time of year. There was a little wind overnight, but not so much today, from the east. The lake was speaking this morning, but it's quieted down. Unfortunately, they are predicting some of the precip we will be having tonight and tomorrow might come down as snow (!), although there shouldn't be any accumulation because the temperature is supposed to be in the low 40s. Geez. There is still snow up in the woods, although there isn't any on my property.


The guys were sleepy today, although both of them got some loving. Lately, I have had to remove two knots from Louie's back, on either side of his tail. I'm afraid he is so fat he can't reach there to wash himself. After hearing him sound off when I pulled them out, now I know I can't tell who is hollering when they go at each other. They sound a whole lot alike. I also brushed Louie a bit today and got a handful of fur out of him. I guess I will have to be more diligent about that, since he has trouble cleaning himself. Grayson was just as loving today as he has been  lately, although he slept a lot today.


I didn't do anything but look at the new sewing machine or the pile of stuff where it needs to go. I figured after my problem with the knitting, I would just wait until I'm not so tired.


And I'm really, really tired. I know I took my pills tonight, so I will publish this and go right to bed. It's a cool night in the field, and it's beginning to cloud up.


May 9

I can't remember exactly what I did last night, but it was probably around 12:30 or 1:00 before I got to bed. I didn't wake up for the first time until around 5:00, and I couldn't figure out why the sky was so light - it's new moon time - until I realized that it was morning twilight. Our days are nearly 15 hours long now, and it just crept up on me. Anyway, I went back to bed, and I think I was up around 7:30 or so, when the guys were wrestling and I had to chase Louie, but I didn't have to close the door.


The next time I woke up was around 10:45. when the surgeon's office called to inform me that they couldn't schedule my colonoscopy for the 21st. The earliest they could schedule it was July 23! Or the 25th or August 6 or September...Geez! So I told them to schedule it for July 23, but I will have to check with Ron to make sure he's OK with it. Oh, yes, and I will have to visit the surgeon, because I have to have a doctor visit within 30 days of the test...Geez! So now I can go ahead and try to schedule my mammogram and all that other nonsense. I am a bit put out that nobody has reported on my test results, but when I call about the mammogram, I will ask about that, too.


I knitted, but I only knitted about a row and a half. With nearly 600 stitches on the needle, it takes too long to do two rows. So I have about 4½ rows to go, plus the bind off. Another week, maybe?


I was so late today, and it was Thursday, when there's a lot to read, that I didn't do much of anything else. My new toy eventually came, but not until about 3:45, so while I unpacked it and looked at it and put in orders for a bunch of stuff I'll need to go with it, I didn't even plug it in. Tomorrow, maybe. If it works like it's supposed to, it's going to be a lot of fun to play with. I think the "600 stitches" included every letter of five alphabets, but still there are a whole bunch of other ones. Oh, and one of the alphabets is Russian. Huh? Russian? All I can figure is that Singer must sell a lot of sewing machines in Russia. It will be fun to play with the stitch designs and the alphabets, but that's actually not why I bought it. One thing they don't seem to make anymore is a classic adjustable zipper foot, and in fact, I couldn't find one anywhere, but I think the old one from the Featherweight will fit, so I'm good. I will have to try the teensy zipper foot that came with the machine, too, to see how that works. First I still have a lot to do to free up space for the new machine. It will mean moving the old one, and there is stuff on the old one and around the old one...Oh, stuff. I have always had a terrible fear of not having anything to do, so as a result I have much too much around me to do...


The weather was cool and cloudy, but there was only a teensy bit of rain early this morning. Now I know why it was so dark when I was up around 7:00. The temperature actually went down from midnight, and it was in the upper 30s all day. The winds were from the east, and for a while they were around 20 mph before they died back. Sort of blah.


The guys were rambunctious early in the morning, and I had to chase Louie, like i said, but later on, when I got up, they slept together on the rug in the bathroom while I knitted. Louie got some petting, but he didn't roll over and let me give him a tummy rub. Grayson, however, went to sleep on my lap, and I only had to move him because I had to get down the hall to the bathroom in a hurry. I am so glad that he has finally figured out that if he wants love, he's going to have to ask for it. He slept someplace around here all afternoon.


Oh, yes, I fiddled with the camera this afternoon. When I looked at the picture, it seemed to me that the picture was just not straight. The top of the railing was at an angle and the shore of the harbor seemed tilted, too. So I fiddled and I think it's better now. The guys were very interested in that, because I was over by the door.


One of the several things I already don't understand about the new sewing machine is the  hard dust cover. It has a panel on the front that opens and has spaces for storage inside, but the places are too small for the manual or the foot pedal and just barely adequate for the cord. It's weird. If you wanted to make a place to store things, don't you think you'd tailor it for the things that needed storing? I think this is another one that was designed by men. The machine does have a handle on it, though, which is nice right now, although most of the time I will be able to ignore it. Unlike some people, I've always set up my machine and left it set up.


I wrote a bit after dinner and I think I will write some more now, but maybe I can go to bed tonight? It's a cloudy, cool night in the field.


May 8

I wrote a little more after I read what I'd written last night and I came up with around 3,500 words. The whole story is about 81,000 words now, so I guess I'd better think about winding it up. I have an idea for a final episode, so I'll be thinking about that. I wrote another one tonight, but it's only about 1,500 words long. I think I may try to get to bed a little earlier tonight.


Last night, I didn't finally get to bed until 1:30 or so. I wrote, then I read, as I usually do, and I had to take a bath. I slept hard, with only one wake-up, and I got up around 9:30 because I had to pee. I wished I could have slept some more. I knitted my two rows, and I now have something like 580 stitches, which means it takes me a very long time to do two rows. I just have to knit this part and then bind off (with a crochet hook) and then I'll be able to see what it looks like. This has been another fun project. Only it will need to be blocked before I can really appreciate it.


The weather was rather nice but cooler than yesterday. The temperature hit 60º at noon, but then it dropped off rather abruptly, and it was in the low 50s for most of the afternoon. I don't know why that happened - there was nothing in the barometer or the wind that would cause it. In fact, there was almost no wind all day and it was calm most of the time. The skies started out cloudy and ended up cloudy, although we had some nice blue skies and sunshine in between. It was cloudy at sunset, though. I think the sun has disappeared behind the corner of the house, but since the camera hasn't caught a sunset just right lately, I can't tell for sure. We won't see it again until at least August.


The guys were fairly sleepy today, which was surprising. Grayson got loved, but Louie didn't. He only asked once, and it was just as I had to get up and make a run for the bathroom. Grayson did attack the toy I have attached to the studio door and he disconnected the feather ball. I don't know where that went.


I spent some time trying to do a few things so that I have room for my new toy when it arrives tomorrow. As a result, I have another bag of old catalogs and a pile that needs a bag. It's still a mess in here, but I managed to make a little more room around the sewing station. From the dates on the magazines, it seems clear that I haven't done much of any cleaning for a year and a half. Oh, sigh. Oh, yes, and I did not find the long-reach tool. I thought it might be on the floor behind the stack of magazines, but it isn't, so where it went I do not know. See? I've always said there is a black hole in the floor of my studio. I'm sure it will turn up eventually, but in the meantime, I sure could use it. If I keep buying toys, I'll never be able to get things I need, like long reach tools and gab bars for the toilets. Oh, sigh.


The UPS guy finally got down the road today and delivered a bunch of cat food and another cat carrier, which I didn't put together. It's smaller than my other one, but I think it will fit Grayson. One of these days, I will have to take the guys to the vet, and I want to take them both at once, because it's a 45 mile trip, one way. The new one isn't as sturdy as the old one, but I think it will do. He will be back tomorrow with my toy. It sure is nice not to have to pick up those packages at the store.


The other thing that's on my mind is that I had all those tests last week and the week before, but I haven't heard any results, which annoys me. They should have them by now.


So now it's a cool, cloudy night in the field, and there may be a little rain coming our way.


May 7

I wrote about 4,900 words yesterday, but then I reread it at least twice and made some changes, so it was 1:30 again before I went to bed. I slept fairly well, and I got up around 8:30. I really wanted to go back to bed, but I had to walk anyway so I got up and did my knitting. It's going to be hard to do two rows from now on. I'm working on the upper border, and I already have about 450 stitches. I'll have 660 or more before I'm done, and it takes a long time to knit one row, especially when I'm working with such yucky yarn, which splits and snags and generally doesn't behave well.


I didn't do much but my surfing. I read what I read yesterday (again) and I've written about 2,900 words, which may well be it for the night. I've written the last scene I had in mind and now I have to go away and think for a while to see where we go from here. I'm pretty sure I'll come up with something.


The weather was amazingly lovely. The NWS station came up around 3;00, and by 4:00 the temperature was 66º! There was hardly any wind and there were no clouds in the sky. It was so pretty!


It was so pretty that I had to go out on the deck, where the camera caught me, but just in profile. My idea was to hang up the hook where I was hanging the tube feeder, but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that this year. That branch seems to be a whole lot higher than it was when the hook blew down, so I'm not sure I can get the hook back up there and I'm not sure I can reach the feeder if I do. I will try again tomorrow with a longer helper hook, but I may have to rethink the whole feeder configuration. Unfortunately, if I can't hang the tube feeder, you won't be able to see the birds nearly as well. I'll try again. I still have the patio door open, because it got up to 79º in here, with all the sunshine. I don't think the boiler went on all afternoon. I toyed with the idea of pulling up the shutters, but it's supposed to get cold and rain on Thursday, so I think I'll wait a while longer. I'm getting tired of the dark hallway, and Grayson is really longing to get out on the porch.


The guys were delighted by the open door, and they've hung around it for most of the afternoon. They really love to smell and hear the outdoors. Until that happened, they were pretty sleepy. Both of them got a pet today, although Louie's was just a while ago, because I had a small accident after breakfast, which is the time he'd like to sit on me.


I did something today I probably shouldn't have done. I bought a new sewing machine. Amazon had an incredible deal on a Singer with all the bells and whistles I've thought I might want, plus a few more, and I just couldn't resist. The reviews were mostly good, and the price was irresistible. Oh, sigh. I was hoping I could pay down my credit card a bit before I bought anything else big. Now I will have to dig out the sewing station and hope I can find the case for the old one. Stand by for sewing talk...


Now I will read over what I wrote this afternoon, and I might write a bit more, but I have to take a bath tonight, so maybe I'll just let it lie. It's a clear, cool evening in the field, and I just remembered I should be looking for the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury in the west...


May 6

I was really tired last night, so I finished up my rereading and corrected all the "errors" and left it at that. I was in bed by 10:30. I slept fairly well, although I was up a number of times. After being up at 5:30, I was awakened at 6:30 by an altercation, and I discovered that Louie had cornered Grayson under the rack in the bathroom. So I chased them both out and went back to sleep. I got up around 9:00 or so, but I was mulling over a dream I had, so I was slow to get dressed and I didn't get all my surfing done before I was off to my massage.


I feel much better for that. My back had tightened up quite a bit. I have a sore right knee, and there is some swelling under the kneecap, apparently, but I guess I can live with that. It felt better this afternoon and I think part of the problem has been the humidity.


I finished my surfing and as usual, I reread the last day's writing but I got a few words down before the talking started, and I've done a little more since. I got two of the things I was thinking about done, and I'm getting read to work on the third one, although I might not do it tonight. I'm tired again.


The weather was pretty but not very warm here at the shore. It was clear all day, but the high temperature here was 42º. It was at least 20º warmer in Houghton. It was nice, though, because there was no wind to speak of. I can't give an exact report on the weather because the NWS station has been up and down all day and is now down. Those clear skies sure are nice.


The camera has been going up and down all day, too, and it looks like I will have to reboot the computer to reset it. I don't know what the problem is. I should check the connections one of these days. I have a horrible fear there may be something wrong with my USB cluster on the back of the CPU. I hope not. Yup, I'm going to have to reboot. I have a green screen now.


I hope that Louie's trouble was that Grayson got a pet yesterday and he didn't, but I'm not sure. Louie did get a tummy rub this morning before I went off to my massage, so maybe that will put him in a better mood. They were sleepy again, but the sunshine made it very warm in here. 


So am I, and I'm going to have to stop everything and reboot. Phooey.


Now it's a clear, cool evening in the field, and I'm sorry there won't be many pictures of the sunset.


May 5

I didn't write any more after I posted the journal, but I diddled around a lot, including spending some time staring at the floor in the bathroom, thinking about the next two episodes in the story. So it was 10:30 before I got to bed. I slept OK, but I was up a number of times, and I really didn't want to get up when the alarm went off.


But I did, and I diddled around some more, so I was late leaving for church. I had to pass Mary Ann and Bill because they were going at a reasonable pace, and I wanted to be able to stop in the restroom. I did, and they got into church before me. It was a nice service. Pastor has been preaching on the Epistle, which during Easter is from Revelation, and it was a nice sermon. There wasn't communion today, but I got to say hello to my friend Eleanor (the 91-year-old) and the woman who drives her, BettyAnn. That was nice, In the rather shaky weather we've had for the past month, they've been going to St. Johns, so I haven't seen them.


I had to stop and get gas and I had to mail a letter, so it was 1:00 before I got home. I had something to eat, and for the rest of the afternoon, I've been rereading the story again. I keep finding things I need to add into the part I've already written, and it is so wonderful to just go to the right place and start typing! I always knew it would be, but I'm just getting to experience it for the first time. I haven't finished the reread, and I'm not sure I will tonight, because I'm really tired.


Besides, I was beginning to get my dinner when I had a nasty accident - stuff all over the floor, as well as all over me - and after dinner, I tried to inhale some water and peed all over everything, since I didn't have any pants on. Geez! What a nasty end to an otherwise pretty good day!


The weather was nondescript. It was cloudy with a little fog this morning, but by the time church was over, there was enough sun that I had to put on my sunglasses. While it got warmer in town, we just reached the high temperature here at 6:00 - 41º. The lake is already keeping us cooler than inland. There was hardly any wind at all, and it felt warmer than it was.


The guys were mostly sleepy, but Louie keeps trying to go after Grayson, even though his face is all scratched up. Grayson will defend himself, and those little claws are extremely sharp. Grayson spent most of the afternoon on the desk. I know Grayson goes after Louie every so often, but Louie is the aggressor most of the time when I'm watching.


The watch I usually wear, when I wear a watch, stopped, and I was going to try to replace the battery myself, but I can't get into it. I can't tell if the back just pops off or if it screws off. I fooled around some with it today, but I didn't want to slice myself up, so I've put it aside for a while. I hate to take it to a jeweler, because I can get the batteries much cheaper from Amazon. In fact, I may already have them. I'll continue to fool with it, but it's a weird watch.


So now I will read a bit more, and maybe try to finish up to where I am, but I hope to be in bed early. I'm really tired tonight, and it's calm and quiet and I'm sure I will be able to sleep long and hard. It's a partly cloudy, cool, calm evening in the field.


May 4

I wrote about 3,800 words last night before I gave up and went to bed about 1:00 or so. I slept well, but i was coming to around 6:00 when Louie jumped on the bed - and he lands like a ton of bricks - walked over my head and cornered Grayson on the night table. I stirred and they went bombing down the hallway, so I shut the door. Louie was probably hungry, even though there was stuff to eat. It wasn't what he likes, so he started bugging me. I went back to sleep, but I woke up again around 8:00, and even though that wasn't nearly enough sleep, I got up. I should have no trouble getting to bed early and sleeping well tonight.


I did my two rows on the shawl, and the next time I knit, I will be starting the upper border, which will be interesting. I know it is zigzagged, but I have no idea which stitches zig and which zag. When I got to the studio, the internet was dead, dead, dead. A call to PastyNet explained that there had been some power failures around the Keweenaw last night. It came up before I finished eating, so that wasn't bad for me.


I was so tired that I didn't do anything but write today. Often, I can write when I'm tired because I can get myself in to a sort of trance and the words just come out. So far, I've written about 4,700 words today, and it looks like that will be it for the day.


I did fill the dry cat food bowls, so that's done. I'm running out of a few things, so I need to put in an order to Amazon. I also discovered that I can get The Wind in the Willows for Kindle for free, and all the Anne books (e.g., Anne of Green Gables, et. al.) and all of the Oz books for 99¢. That isn't coming out right. I mean, all the Anne books for 99¢ and all the Oz books for 99¢. I was going to do that after I finished my morning surfing, but I forgot. Oh, well, they'll all be there tomorrow. I got into that because for some reason - strange thoughts come to me when I'm tired - I was thinking that I never read The Wind in the Willows, and it might be fun. I believe I remember looking at it when I was in my early teens, but when I started it, it didn't turn me on. Maybe it will now.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature was around 36º all afternoon and the wind was around 10 mph from the north. To look at the plot on the Weather Underground, it would seem like the wind was very choppy, but that's because of the vertical scale, which goes from 6 mph to 12.5 mph. I thought meteorologists were scientists and had to know something about graphing. Humph. It was mostly cloudy, but at times the clouds were rather thin and there was a little sunshine.


Louie was pouting when I put down the canned food this morning, and i don't know if he ate any. Grayson did. Louie got a little time on my lap, but I booted him off when he stood up and started stamping around. It's hard to read when he's doing that and besides, his pointy little feet hurt my legs. Grayson got a long love this afternoon, but that was before I filled the dry food bowls. Then he moved over under the south windows, and sometime later, Louie jumped up there and started trying to maul him, so I had to chase him away. Louie goes after Grayson a lot more than Grayson goes after Louie, even though it's always Louie with the holes in his head. Now they are both asleep, I think in the great room. 


So it was a quiet day, and i need to go to bed early and sleep hard. It's a mostly cloudy evening in the field, but there is no precipitation in the forecast for the next few days.


May 3

I read the story again last night, but I didn't write anything again. I have written a little tonight, but it won't be much, because I'm tired again.


I got to bed around 12:30, and i slept very well. I was up twice, and I woke up around 8:30. I toyed with the idea of going back to bed, but I need to haul myself back on schedule again, so I got up. I knitted, and now I have only 12 rows left on the shawl. 


I didn't do much. I went to the post office, where there were a bunch of magazines, When I got back, I looked at a pile of magazines in front of the seed bead cabinet, and I noticed it was leaning, so I tried to straighten it up and about a foot of magazines slid out of the middle onto the floor. Yuck! So after I looked at the mail, I got at the avalanche and threw out a whole small orange bag of old catalogs. The pile is much smaller now. I really need to go through both piles and sort the magazines, but somehow I never get to that. It was good to get the stuff off the floor, though.


I am happy to report that now that I have a working thermostat in the great room, it's a bit more comfortable around here. It's not as warm as I think it should be, but at least it doesn't freeze my nose off when I come into the kitchen from the north end. I really must get downstairs sometime and inspect the boiler. Well, next week seems to be clear of appointments after I see Johanna on Monday, so maybe I'll get to do that. It's supposed to be a little warmer, too, so maybe it will warm up around here. It's really amazing when I see how much solar heat I get in this house. Good thing summers aren't usually very warm around here.


The weather was yucky, but not as yucky as yesterday. Most of the snow and sleet went west of us, as it turned out. It was cold and dark, and there was some rain here, while it was snowing in Calumet. The temperature was nearly steady at 32º, and there was a moderate wind from the east. Not much of the rain registered at the NWS station - I just saw it dripping off my eaves. I guess that in the past hour or so it's started again. Not nice. Very hard on the gimpy joints.


The guys felt like the weather, too. They both slept on the rug in the bathroom while I was knitting. Louie got his loving and he got to sleep on my lap for a while, which he loves. Grayson got some loving, too, because he seemed upset when I put on my jacket to go out, and when I came back, he came running up to me. So we had some quality time together. Grayson tries to act like he's a cool cat, but I think he is still very insecure. He wants me around. Louie seems to be more used to someone going out for a while.


Now I think I may write for a bit longer. They are playing a Shostakovich symphony I like parts of (the 5th) played by the Philadelphia Orchestra, so I think I will stay here to listen to it. I don't like a lot of Shostakovich, but parts of this one send tingles down my spine.


It's a dark, wet, cold night in the field. Where did our spring go?


May 2

I was too tired last night to write much, or even to finish reading what I'd written, and I was in bed by midnight. I slept well with two wakeups. I was trying not to come to around 8:30 when the phone half rang. That woke me up, so I got up and did my knitting. I got most of my surfing done before it was time to pack up and leave.


I decided to go, because everything I saw seemed to say that while there might be some ice on cars and things, the roads were OK. The roads were wet and the wind was strong, so it was a slow trip. I found the emergency entrance at Portage, and now I know where it is. I see that my problem the last time was that it was snowing hard enough that I couldn't see the arrow on the first sign I saw.


I had my hearing test, and yes indeed, I could use some hearing aids. However, they start at $2800 a pair, so I guess I'll wait. If I have any social engagements this summer, I'll see how I do at them. Frankly, from what I remember, my hearing hasn't gotten all that much worse since the test I had in 2000. 


When I turned onto the road to the hospital, it was slushy, and there was sleet or wet snow coming down when I went in. That isn't too surprising, since it's at the top of the hil. It was still coming down when I got out, although there wasn't much accumulation on  my car, However, that was only the beginning. Almost all the way home there was stuff hitting the care like sand, and the roads had gotten quite a bit worse, with slush on the lanes and an accumulation on the shoulders. So it was a very slow trip home. I didn't slither around, but it felt like I was being pushed when the wind hit the car, so I didn't want to go too fast. I got behind a guy who thought he was driving on glare ice, which it wasn't, but he turned off at Eagle Harbor, and I had a straight shot from there. I was glad I went, but it wasn't fun getting home, so I didn't stop for gas and I didn't stop at the post office (it was nearly 3;00 anyway). I got home just after 3:00, and I am tired.


The weather wasn't quite as bad around here as it was further south. For most of the day, I think it just drizzled, but I looked out around 5:00, maybe, and it was snowing. For some reason the NWS station didn't report all night - I saw no evidence of a power failure around here - but it came up around 7:00. The temperature was right around 32º or 33º all day. The wind was rather strong, with gusts to 25 mph until  a couple of hours ago, when the gusts went up to 30 mph or so from the north. The lake is speaking. Needless to say, the lake was speaking. My worst problem with driving was actually that there was fog all day long, although here it began to lift around 5:30 or so. It was not a nice day and it was a very bad day for achy joints.


The guys were so glad to see me that Grayson actually got on my lap while I was in the powder room when I got home, and he didn't want to get off. That may be partly because they've eaten most of the food they like, but I think it was also because I went away for the second day in a row. Then when I sat down at the computer, Louie got on my lap, and then Grayson tried to get there too. That doesn't work very well, and it wouldn't even if Louie wasn't so huge. My lap just isn't big enough for two cats at a time. Now I think they've gone back to bed. 


For the past week or so it's been very cold in the house from the kitchen south. I thought it might be because there's something wrong with the boiler, and it may be, but I looked at the thermostat in the great room, and one reason is certainly that the batteries in it died. the display was blank. I didn't have time to fix that this morning, so when I got home, I changed the batteries right away. It doesn't seem to have done any good yet, but I will see how things are tomorrow, and I will probably have to climb down to the basement and see how things are down there. At least the bathroom is warm and the water has been hot.


Now I will try to write a little again. I am still trying to add something into what I've written, but it's so tightly written that it's hard, and last night I couldn't see how to do it at all. I think I've found one place where I can add something, and maybe, if I keep on reading, I'll find a few more. I don't think I'll be up too late tonight, and no bath. I am really tired. It's a cold, dark, noisy night in the field, and there will probably be rain, sleet and snow overnight. Well, spring was nice while we had it.


May 1

I forgot to mention yesterday that we had a power failure about an hour long, right around when the wind was strongest. Not that I was surprised, when I realized what had happened, but when my screen suddenly went blank, without even any buttons showing, it took me a moment to realize what had happened--and then the generator started up. Even though it nearly broke me, I am soooo happy I laid out the money for that generator!


Anyway, I wrote - or maybe read - for longer than I should have last night, and I was really tired when I went up to the north end, but I had to take a bath, so it was 1:30 again before I got to bed. I slept well, with only one wakeup. That's nice for my sleep, but not nice for my ear or my swollen feet. Anyway, I got up around 9:30 and knitted my two rows before I got dressed and had breakfast. 


Since my appointment was at 2:00, I had time to do most of my surfing. I collected my second sample, which looked like I had diluted it with water, and left about when I wanted to. Then I got behind two guys going down the covered road. The one right in front of me had a working cyclops, but his stop lights were either out or so dim I could barely see them when I really looked hard. The guy in front of him must have been crazy. At least four times between Copper Harbor and Delaware, he came almost to a complete stop, when there was no reason whatever for him to do so, and a couple other times he was going 55 mph. He turned down toward Lac LaBelle, and he turned so slowly I almost ran into him, having passed the other guy before. That made me wonder if maybe he had something in the back of his truck that he wanted to protect. US-41 is pretty rough right now.


I was so bothered by the guys in front of me that I almost missed the reason for the cones along the sides of the road on the way up to the Mountain Lodge. On the west side, it looked like the shoulder - such as it was - had washed out completely between the pavement and the barricade,  and on the east side, where the cliff is, the water had cut a deep channel for a couple hundred feet. On the way home, I noticed a real waterfall coming out of the cliff right about there. It's been melting so fast, it isn't surprising, but I hope they'll do something about the washout before the pavement caves in.


Anyway, I made it to Laurium a bit early, as I intended, and turned in my samples - or Fay did for me - to a person who didn't know what to do with them - yieee! If you've ever had an echocardiogram, you know about that. It took about 45 minutes, but the tech, Anna, is the same one I've had before and the same one who did my breast sonograms several years ago. She is a very nice person and also seems very competent.


Then I had to chat with Fay a bit, and then I went off to Pat's because I was running out of JD. Of course, I got more than that, of course.


I didn't get home until nearly 5:00 and I think the guys were happy to see me. I had to put away the stuff I got and I had to sit down for a while. The weather and sitting cramped up in the car, which I do, left me really sore.


It wasn't a really nasty day, but it wasn't very nice. There wasn't any rain, thankfully, but it was dark and dull and quite windy all day. The high temperature was at midnight and it dropped slowly all day, until now it's 36º. It was around 40º and very humid when I was out. That is the kind of weather that causes my fingers to get numb and sore. It wasn't nice ot be outside. There is evidently a wide swath of something coming in our direction. It might be rain (I can hope so) or it might be snow, or it might be freezing rain (yuck!). If it looks too yucky tomorrow, I will just stay home. A hearing test isn't that critical. I haven't been able to hear very well for a while now.


The guys were sleepy this morning, and I'm not sure they even knew I left, but they were very glad to see me when I got home. In fact, while I was making my dinner, they were up in the loft pounding on the floor. I haven't been up there in so long that I don't know what they're doing, but they sure do make a lot of noise. Both of them got some love time when I got home, although Louie went to sleep on my lap and I had to move him. Grayson came after dinner, and he is now sitting under the east windows, looking out. I guess there's a parade going by.


One thing I got at Pat's was a nice fillet of whitefish. The last one I got there was so good, I decided to try another, and it was just as good. I fixed it the same way, too: rolled in some breadcrumbs and sautéed in a very little olive oil. You couldn't do that with a thick fish, but whitefish fillets are thin enough. It was lovely. Yum. In the winter, I've been eating mostly salmon, because I had trouble with the quality of both the orange roughy and the mahi-mahi I got from Schwan's. One portion would be very nice, and the next one would taste fishy or just old. I've told them about it, but I don't have the boxes or much of the fish left, so I'm not sure what they will do for me.


While I was thinking about the story, I realized that I'd left out some important stuff, so now I'm rereading again, and I will add things as I come to them. Sometimes I can spring things without leading up to them, but I can't this time.


Now it's a cold, dreary night in the field, and something is going to be coming out of the sky before morning.



Last  updated 06/01/13 07:55 PM