A View From the Field








November, 2013

November 30

I am getting very tired of this cold. I didn't get to bed until around 11:30 last night, for reasons I don't remember now. That was too late, especially since I coughed and blew for at least an hour before i finally settled down. And I was up, coughing and blowing, about every two hours all night long. I got up around 9:45, as far as I can remember, and I coughed and blew some more. Ugh.


I finished a bootee and cast on the second one, so that is under way. When I looked at the shawl I started a while ago (the one on the very fine yarn), some of the stitches seemed caught on the cable of the circular needle, and when I looked carefully at it, it looked suspiciously like there were tooth marks on it. Aha! I had left it on the desk and not in a bag, and now I see that isn't a good idea. I tried to smooth it down with a nail file and it seems to be better, but now I have a needle in my favorite size and length that is defective. Grr. I will try working with it, when I finally get to the shawl, but I may have to put it aside. That will be a while, since I have to knit the second bootee and put buttons on the jackets and the one hat. I have an appointment with Johanna a week from Monday, and I want to give her the things then.


That was about all I did. I still feel lousy, and I am still coughing and blowing, and besides, today I was having trouble seeing, partly because my eyes were watering all the time. I sort of cleaned off the desk and got out the bead board, but just when I was going to start looking at what was there, Grayson came and insisted upon sitting down on me and purring, and when he finally went atway (when I coughed), I didn't feel like looking at beads again. Tomorrow.


Especially tomorrow, because if I feel anything like I do today, I'm not going to church.


The weather was really blah today. The temperature rose to 34º and hung there for several hours. The wind has finally gotten up to 15 mph from the north, but for most of the afternoon it was calm. It was dark and gray and not nice outside. Blah.


The guys were a bit active around the time i got up, but then they went to sleep, and except that Grayson wanted to sit on me at least three times, they slept. The first time he got on me, Louie came and said he wanted to sit on me, too, but the guy on the lap has dibs. I won't shoo one cat off so the other one can sit.


So I do not feel good. I will do my thing as though I was going to church tomorrow, and I may set the alarm, just in case, but I doubt I'll be going. Now it's a dark, not very cold night in the field.


November 29

It was around 10:00 when I turned out the light, but as has been usual, I coughed and blew for quite a while before I turned over. And sometime around 4:00 I had another explosion. I don't understand what these things are; I'll be just fine, and all of a sudden everything comes running out for no reason. It happens during the day, too, but that's less annoying than when it happens at night. I had to eat cough drops all night long to keep things under control. I hate that; they leave such a bad taste in my mouth, not that I'm tasting very well lately. 


I got up around 9:00. I considered - briefly - just peeing and going back to bed, but I'd been in bed for a long time, and it looked like I'd have another explosion, so I got up. I finished the shawl! I started it on August 14, so it's been a long project. Of course, it needs to be stretched to bring out its true beauty, but even sort of lumpy and curing it's a pretty thing. I'm not sure what I'll do with it, since it's pale blue, but that's all right; it's not why I made it anyway.


That took quite a while, so I was late getting to the studio, but I decided I wasn't going out today anyway. I feel marginally better than I did yesterday, or I did, but I still don't feel good, and the explosions, like the one I just had, leave me feeling yucky. 


i have several things to do. Yesterday, much to my surprise, I received an order for a snowflake bracelet. Unfortunately, I never finished making one after the last order, so I have some work to do, and pretty quickly, too. I had just about given up on my Etsy shop. I ordered some interesting yarn that is metallic with sequins spun into it, and I know what I want to do with it - for Debbie's Christmas present - but it needs charting and directions. It's not going to be easy to knit, so I need to get at it as soon as the yarn comes. And there are all the other things I should be doing and aren't. The kitchen is full of trash again. The shutters aren't down over the porch, but it will mean digging a path to them, and I'm not up to that yet. Oh, if it's not one thing, it's six others...


The weather was really nondescript. The temperature was around 27º all afternoon, until lately, when it went up to 29º. There wasn't much wind at all, and it shifted from the west to the south. It was cloudy and dismal. Blah.


I don't know where the guys were this morning. Louie slept on the rug in the bathroom for a while when I was knitting, but Grayson was someplace else and he only turned up around the time I was getting up. Both of them got some lap time today, which they liked. Either they found and dispatched the mouse that was around here for a couple of days or it died or went away, because there was no scuffling around today. 


So that was another nothing day, and I won't be up very much longer, although I'm taking another look at Bolin, so I will read for a while. I was reading Voyages, because there was some talk about a subject I don't want to mention and I didn't know where it was, but getting to it will be hard and i  want to look at something more interesting. It's time to let Voyages rest for a while. 


Now it's a dark, cold, calm night in the field.


November 28 - Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone. My day was very quiet. The dinner invite I got was canceled, so I didn't have to decide whether to brave the weather and go out. 


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, with clean hair. I slept fairly well, although I was wakeful in the middle of the night again, coughing and blowing. I woke up around 9:00 and had to pee, and I tried to go back to sleep, but it looked like that wasn't going to happen so I got up around 9;30. 


I was knitting when I got a call that said Peg and Donny had to take their daughter, Lydia, to Marquette, because she went into premature labor (she's 30 weeks), so the dinner was canceled. I do hope she's all right and that the baby is all right. Lydia and her significant other aren't married, but they've been together for several years, and they've bought the gas station in Copper Harbor. She must be 23 or 24, so a baby is OK. I've been so out of things I don't know the whole story, although I did know she was pregnant. The last I heard, they had managed to slow the contractions, so they may be all right. What a way to spend a holiday - and they had to drive in the snow last night, too.


Anyway, I knitted five repeats of the edging. I realized that if I knitted five repeats today and five tomorrow I would be done and I could go on to other things. There are a few things I don't like very well about this pattern, but most of them are minor quibbles (except for the edging, of course) and nobody but me will ever know about them. It looks pretty wnen it's spread out, and if I ever get it blocked, it will look even nicer. I still love the color. I had to start by splicing in a new ball of yarn, but I'm getting the hang of that.


Otherwise, I did nothing. I still don't feel very good, although I am coughing and blowing marginally less and my head wasn't so sore today, so I guess I'm progressing.


The weather was very wintry. It snowed more or less hard all night and until 3:30 this afternoon. The NWS station reported 0.55" of liquid, and they didn't see all the snow I saw. I don't know what the final totals will be, but we had a lot of snow. There was easily 6" on the deck railings, and it had to be piled up at least 12" at the bottom of the railings. Somebody said 14" this morning, but I don't know where he got that figure. It was a lot. The temperature was around 20º all night and 25º all afternoon. It wasn't very windy until around 3:00, when it picked up from the east and we had gusts up to 30 mph. It was dark and cloudy all day. 


The guys were nowhere to be found this morning, but I found them in the studio, and every so often I would hear scuffling from over by the patio doors. I guess maybe they didn't get that mouse last night. Grayson finally gave up and went to sleep in his box. I thought Louie wanted to sit on me, but what he really wanted was to get at the grocery bag I brought into the studio to put all my Kleenex in. I don't know what it is about grocery bags, but he just loves to eat them. I hope they manage to get the mouse tonight.


Around 1:30, Ron came by with the tractor, so I guess it must be fixed. I was sitting in the powder room with nothing on below the waist - yup, I had another accident - but I managed to get the garage door open before i went up to the north end to clean up. He did forget about keeping the breezeway door accessible, but since he had people at his house cooking, I imagine he was in a hurry. He cleaned it up well enough that I could have gotten out, and i'll be able to get out tomorrow to go to the post office. However, now that the snow has started, the garage door doesn't want to close unless I hold down the button in the garage, so I need to be able to get out by the breezeway. When I go off to town for the afternoon, I don't want to leave the garage door open. We had a lot of snow.


So that was a quiet day, and I'm going to be in bed early tonight again. I need to get over this thing - it's getting really old.


Now it's a cold, rather windy night in the field, but I don't think it's snowing right now.


November 27

I think I got to bed before 11:00 last night, but not much. I had to turn over onto  my right side before I could go to sleep; I was coughing too much. I slept fairly well, although in the middle of the night, I had the opposite problem: I had to turn over onto my left side because I was coughing too much. This gets old real fast. I'm not sure when I got up, but it might have been as early as 9:00 because I had to walk. I knitted my four repeats. Ten more to go.


i got a phone call while I was in the bathroom but I couldn't get the cordless phone to show me who was calling so I let it go over to voice mail. It turned out to be Peg from Mariner, inviting me to dinner tomorrow. How do these people know? I told her I couldn't commit, because It depends upon how I feel. She could tell I have a cold. If I feel better tomorrow, I'd like to go - get my turkey somehow - but I don't want to go if I feel like I do today, which is not very good. I am still blowing and coughing and every so often I explode and it takes half an hour to settle things down. Yuck.


So of course, I didn't do anything much, although I did load the dishwasher, since it has to run tonight. I also had to go out to the breezeway to get a bunch of things I need, including TP and Kleenex and incontinent pads. 


The wind was still gusting to 34 mph this morning, but it was from the east-northeast, so I couldn't feel it and it was relatively warm in here. The lake effect advisory may have ended at 7:00 this morning, but we had lake effect squalls all day, some of them quite heavy. There is another LES advisory that will go into effect at 5:00 AM tomorrow until 5:00 PM. I don't know why they don't just leave the LES advisory up, since there was also a special statement saying that there would be LES events all day. Don't make no sense to me.  Anyway, the temperature was right around 23º all day, so it was cold in the breezeway. It feels like I can start using it as an auxiliary fridge now. I was glad to stay home.


The guys were rather active this morning, possibly because the barometer rose for a while, but it declined again and so did they. Grayson spent most of the afternoon asleep on my lap. Fortunately, he finally got off, before I had to move him so I could pay a bill and do my Christmas shopping. Grayson had just settled down on my lap when Louie came by, so he didn't get any lap time today. Sometimes Grayson will move when Louie comes around, but not today. After I wrote last night, evidently the critter came out of hiding, because Grayson was skittering around the studio door for a while, and when I went to bed, both of them were staring at a spot beside the glass cabinet. I am going to assume that sometime during the night, they got it, and it may have been a mouse, because I haven't seen any bodies. Considering where I live, it sure is nice to have cats. Some guy I heard a while ago was pooh-poohing cats as mouse catchers, but my experience has been entirely different. Not only are they pretty good at catching mice, evidently the mice can smell them and tend to stay away. I don't want to kill all the mice in the world - some of them are cute - but I do not want them in my house. My experience has been that the cats are good for that.


So tonight i have to prime the dishwasher and I really have to wash my hair, especially if I might be going out tomorrow. It's getting pretty greasy anyway. And i've started yawning, so I don't expect to be up very long. It's a dark, cold, possibly snowy night in the field.


November 26

It was more like 10:30 when I got to bed last night. I had to turn over before I went to sleep, but then I slept well for quite a while, until I had to move. Then I discovered that Louie was behind my legs, and when I wanted to turn back over when I got into bed again, he was right in the middle of the bed. Well, we fiddled around for a while and I dozed and then I got up again and fortunately, so did he. I did have a wakeful period later in the night, where I was coughing and blowing - why I don't know - but then I slept some more until around 9:30.


I knitted my four repeats, and I now have only 14 more to go, so with any luck, I should be done with this project (except to block it) by the weekend. That's good; as much as I like the color and the pattern, I'm getting tired of it. I need to go on to something new. Well, maybe I can finish off Johanna's baby jackets first.


I still don't feel very good, and every time I think things are getting better, I start coughing and blowing some more. I did have several phone conversations. I talked to Pastor and got the phone number of the people who were going to pick me up, and I called them. Later in the afternoon, I got a call from the hematologist/oncologist's office at the clinic. My doctor wanted to consult with him about how much and how long I should be taking this blood thinner after I get through with the first three weeks. So I will have to try to get to Laurium on both Tuesday and Wednesday next week, as well as on Thursday evening. I sure hope i feel better by then! Otherwise, I didn't do much. I got the dishwasher unloaded and ready for the next load, which I will have to do tomorrow night.


Ron finally emailed me and I had to tell him I am not doing Thanksgiving this year. I certainly am glad I didn't plan on it, because under the circumstances, not only couldn't I have done the cooking, I didn't go to town on Sunday to get the food! I'll miss my turkey, but oh, well. Maybe I can get a half turkey or a breast for Christmas week.


The weather was wintry - very wintry. The temperature dropped all night long, and it was around 20º all afternoon. We had several nice, heavy snow squalls. It windy, with gusts up to 30 mph from the north. The lake is singing nicely. It was mostly cloudy and dull. The Keweenaw County website hasn't updated the snow totals this week, so it may be next week before I can report the official totals. We probably haven't had more than 3" or 4" here, but there may have been more at Delaware. Anyway, it was good to stay in and hibernate.


The guys thought so, too. I didn't see much of them, although something is happening around the base of the étagère. When I came through with my breakfast this morning and again when I went to get my dinner, both of them were sitting in the middle of things staring into the corner. There may be a mouse under the étagère. Louie actually spent the whole day right there, where I had to step over him or around him every time I went by. If it was a mouse, I hope they get it. 


I did get dressed today, at least in my sweats. I figured I'd sat around in my nightie and robe enough. It was warmer in the studio, too, although not exactly tropical. I think it's because the wind is from the north.


Late in the afternoon, I was informed (by Microsoft, this time) that there was an important update to install, so I did that on both computers. When I went to the powder room after breakfast, I took the laptop with me, so I got to read my email while I was there. That was convenient, although it meant that I had to update Norton and do a system scan. I'm not sure I can get a connection at the north end, but I get a good one in the powder room, so I may do that again. One reason I've been having so many accidents lately is that I get interested in my email and wait too long. If I can continue my morning reading while I'm taking care of business, that should help. We'll see. 


Well, tonight I really must wash my hair, so it will be off to the north end soon. It's a cold, windy, snowy winter night in the field. I don't care what the calendar says, winter has come to the Keweenaw.


November 25

I got to bed around 10:00 last night, and I slept well, except for a couple of hours when I first tried to lie on my right side. I don't know why there are times when I can't sleep on one side or another. I coughed a lot, and I guess I did sleep some. It didn't matter, because I didn't get up until around 9:30. I knitted, and if I can keep up the pace, I should be able to finish this thing in five or six days. Somehow, most of my lace projects seem to be about two weeks too long.


I still don't feel good, although I'm not blowing quite as much, so I didn't do much of anything, not that I had time for it. The clinic called and I do not apparently have a bladder infection, although they want me to continue the antibiotic (huh?) and they referred me to my doctor, whom I will see a week from Wednesday. There is still a lot of blood in my urine, although I don't have the pain I did Friday and Saturday. i  need to try to get ahold of the people who were going to pick me up at church tomorrow (whose last name I don't know), but I couldn't make contact with pastor today, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I'm not going anywhere until Friday at the earliest, when i will need ot go to the post office and probably the store.


It was a good day to hibernate. The temperature got up to 36º, which was nice because it warmed up in here, but it was dark and cloudy. The wind started out from the west-southwest, but it switched around to the north and in the middle of the afternoon, it gusted up to 32 mph. We had a respectable amount of snow, enough to register on the rain gauge at the NWS, and it evidently snowed for several hours. We ignored it all. There is going to be another LES event starting tonight. Oh, winter is truly here.


The guys mostly slept, although both of them got some lap time. Just now, Grayson pushed something on the floor and I shooed him away. He just wanted attention. That's the way they are. Not that I didn't know he was there. Grayson has a puckish streak in him.


Now I'm tired again, and yawning. i am debating whether to take a bath tonight, but I doubt I will. All I want to do is sleep or stare at the screen. Well, this too will pass, and we'll get to the bottom of my other problems eventually.


Now it's a cold, dark and snowy night in the field and another good one to sleep.


November 24

I didn't make it to church today. I just couldn't. I was in bed around 9:30 last night, and I slept fairly well until around 4:00, but after that, my lower abdomen hurt enough that I couldn't get into a deep sleep. It turns out that that was only partly my bladder problem, but it wasn't until about 6:15 that I discovered that. When I was up then, I felt so lousy that I bailed and turned off the alarm. I went to sleep and it was 9:30 before I woke up again, still feeling lousy. I feel bad about it; it was the last Sunday of the church year, there was communion, and the choir sang a couple of things I like a lot, but I just couldn't. For one thing, I'm not socially acceptable. I have been coughing and blowing and wiping my eyes and I doubt I could have sung very well at all. I wouldn't have wanted to spread my germs around anyway.


So eventually I got up and ate, and then I had one of the worst accidents I've had in a very long time. Not only did I have to wash everything I had on, including  my slippers, I had to clean up the floor all the way from the studio to the powder room. Yuck. So I didn't do much of anything but read for the rest of the day. 


It's cold enough around here that I guess one of these days I'm going to have to get down to the basement and check my zone valves. It's been 62º in the studio, even though I have the thermostat turned up to something like 78º. I really don't want to go down there, but I hate being so cold.


The weather was cold, too. It has finally got up to 23º, but for most of the day it was under 20º. For most of the afternoon, there wasn't much wind, but lately, it has gotten up to 30 mph gusts from the southwest. It was cloudy and dark, and there were a few very light snow squalls.


I don't know where Louie went - someplace warmer, I suppose - but Grayson spent most of the day with me, curled up in his box, except when he was curled up on my lap. He evidently sat down in a place where his tail encountered what I left on the floor, but unfortunately, I didn't find it until it had dried. I hope he finds it, too. None of us are used to this cold weather.


I think the diarrhea is a side effect of the blood thinner I'm taking, and I will just have to deal with it. While I was concerned this morning, it looks like possibly the antibiotic is beginning to work on my bladder, and there seemed to be less blood in my urine this afternoon. I hope so. At least I was in a whole lot less pain during the day. This cold is bad enough that I am not going to try to sing Tuesday (rehearsal) or Wednesday. Now all i have to do is try to make contact with the people who were going to pick me up at church and take me to St. John's. That's for tomorrow. 


I am a bit concerned that I've had two colds this fall, but I suspect this one was because I was at the clinic on Thursday. I do try to wash my hands when I come home from being out, but I know from experience that I can get cold germs just from blowing my nose with a wet tissue, and I suspect that's what happened. Anyway, I don't feel good, and I'm not hungry, and I expect to be in bed at an early hour again tonight.


It's a very cold, dark, windy and possibly snowy night in the field and winter is starting early.


November 23

Well, last night I turned out the light before 11:00, but I didn't sleep very well. I probably waited too long to start the antibiotic, and my bladder - or at least the bottom part of my abdomen - didn't feel good. i can't call it a pain, just a strange and uncomfortable feeling that got worse when I needed to pee. So I was up any number of times and I didn't sleep all that well in between. Part of the reason is that I am coming down with a cold, and my nose was runny, my throat was scratchy, and the stuff draining into my throat made me cough. Ugh.


That was a shame, because it was a great night to sleep. The wind was banging on the house and the lake was roaring, and it was cold and snowy, although the actual amount of snow wasn't much.


I got up around 9:00, because I had to pee. I knitted and I am now back to where I was when I discovered that I had made mistakes. Whew! I'm glad that's over! If I could knit four repeats every day, I'd be done in about a week, but that means I have to sit and knit for a long time, so I think I may cut back to three repeats and just let it take a while longer. I've counted enough that, if I can avoid any more mistakes, means I will come out just right at the end. I can see reasons why the designer didn't put an edging on the shawl, and it has taught me some interesting lessons for when I start doing my own patterns.


Today was washday, and I would have had only two loads to wash except that I forgot my purple hoodie, so there were three after all. The third one is in the washer, and I will move it to the dryer when I go up to the north end. As it's turned out, I've been washing my bottoms as I soiled them, so there weren't any today. There would have been, because I had an accident, but I didn't get dressed.


The weather was extremely wintry. The high temperature, 19º, took place at midnight, and it was around 16º all day. The wind was out of the north, with sustained winds from 25-30 mph and gusts up to 41 mph. It was cold around here. There was snow, but it was fine enough and light enough that it didn't register at the NWS station. I'd say we had an inch or inch and a half of very fine, light snow. It was enough to cloud the view down the harbor for most of the day. As usual, the NWS overreacted, and everybody else's predictions were more realistic. Of course, it was cloudy and dark, mostly, although once or twice the sun poked through for a few minutes as it usually does in LES events. So far it doesn't look bad enough to keep me from church tomorrow, although it may be a slow drive. Ah, winter! At least it's supposed to warm up a bit over the next few days.


The guys were very sleepy today. Grayson sat on my lap this morning and contributed to my accident. Louie got a little lap time, too, but he kept wanting to put his feet on the keyboard, and after he either put a row of "0s" in the story or kept hitting the up or down arrow keys, I had to boot him off. Mostly, though, they slept.


I do not feel well. I guess part of my problem before dinner was that I was hungry, so my gut hurt and I was cold, but the bottom of my gut still doesn't feel right. And i have a sort of headache and a runny nose that means I either have a cold or I'm coming down with it. Well, maybe I can get everything over with all at once and then I'll be good for the rest of the holidays. I think I can sing tomorrow, but if I don't feel much better, I won't be going down Tuesday or Wednesday.


Now I don't intend to be up for very long. I have to fill the pill dispensers, so I will be tottering up to the north end shortly. it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field. Winter is here.


November 22

I didn't get to bed until around  midnight last night, but I slept well, in spite of waking up and finding half the bed occupied by Louie. He is a big cat. I woke up around 9:30 this morning, and then the telephone rang - a knack I don't seem to have lost since I retired. I have almost never been asleep when the telephone rang. I was a bit doubtful about answering it, because I've been getting a lot of those "unknown name - unknown number" calls lately, and I don't have a caller ID display on the corded phone in the bedroom, but I did and it was the clinic, calling to tell me my CBC was normal. That's a good thing: it means I probably don't have a kidney infection. Later they called to say that the x-rays showed that my problem is probably all arthritis, which I knew. The results from the urine cultures didn't come back, but they urged me to begin the antibiotics, and I will, because I still have the blood and I have had some strange feelings in the lower part of my abdomen today.


Anyway, that woke me up enough that I decided to get up, even though I didn't get enough sleep. I knitted, and one more day will bring me back to where I was when I started ripping. Geez, I could have been done by now! But then the pattern wouldn't have come out evenly and I would have had to rip out the whole thing instead of just half of it. The knitting took a while, of course.


I went to the post office, where there was the usual load of stuff, mostly catalogs and pleas for money, but there were some bills for next month and some magazines. I met Mary Ann's latest dog, a small Japanese breed, who seems like a nice dog, although she says he is a Tasmanian devil dog. Evidently he is very high strung.


The weather had turned cold. The high temperature was 30º for a while this afternoon, but I'm not used to the cold yet. It felt colder. There was some sunshine, which was nice. There wasn't much wind while I was out, but now I notice that it has risen to around 32 mph with gusts up to 39 mph from the north. I don't think it's started yet, but with that wind and any amount of moisture in the air, we're about to get our first really significant snowfall if the season. I should have pulled down the shutters today. Oh, sigh.


The guys were sleepy, although Louie spent some time on my lap. The trouble is, he's a big cat and he wants to lie in a place that presses my legs against the chair and makes me twitchy, so I finally had to boot him off. Grayson was around, although he didn't sit on my lap. He seemed rather interested in my salmon, but there isn't enough in those portions for me to offer him any that he probably wouldn't eat anyway.


I have developed a scratchy throat this afternoon, probably as a result of spending time at the clinic, so I hope to get to bed early and take a throat lozenge. Back in the old days, I had a throat lozenge called Thantis that seemed to be solidified mercurochrome, I've never found anything that worked as well as they did to zap an incipient sore throat or cold. I wish they still were made, but probably they had some ingredient in them that has been decreed to be bad for us.


Anyway, so far, it's a cold, windy night in the field, and the snow hasn't started yet.


November 21

Well, the crisis du jour. I realized, before I went to bed last night, that there was blood in my urine. It's the first time I've ever had such a thing, but it's easy to spot. Then, overnight, I had trouble sleeping because the left side of my back was so sore. So I got up around 9:30 - not nearly enough sleep - and called the clinic. My doctor is on vacation until next month, so they got me an appointment with a nurse-practitioner...for an hour and a quarter after I talked to them. Eek! I hadn't finished my breakfast.


I discovered that, in decent weather and during the day, I can get from here to Laurium in 45 minutes. I was that late because after I ate, I had to go to the bathroom, and after I thought I was through, I discovered I wasn't, and besides, since I didn't know what would happen, I had to fill the cat food bowls. 


Anyway, I made it, and met another of the nurse-practitioners. She's OK, but like all those people, she leans too much on pills. After hearing my sad tale and poking me a lot, she concluded that I have two problems, not one. The back thing is the back thing - and I have evidence that she was right. We don't yet know about the blood, but probably I have a bladder infection. That means antibiotics, but I am waiting until tomorrow before I take them. She thinks, and she may be right, that all the abdominal surgery I had messed up the nerves around my bladder so I don't have any of the usual symptoms. I can easily see how such a thing could have happened: when my leg was so sore and I felt so cruddy, I was sitting until my bladder overflowed before I went to the bathroom, and that could easily cause an infection to take hold. 


I also had x-rays of my lower and middle back, which is probably a good thing, because the last time I had them was in 1993, and I'm sure my arthritis has advanced since then (and it was bad then). 


While I was on the x-ray table, I noticed that if my hips were in just the right position, my back didn't hurt at all. That's not to mention my hips. I thought I was too well padded for my bones to poke through, but that's not the case. That table was hard! 


Anyway, after that and after I got my prescription filled, I came home. I was so tired that I laid right down and wiggled until I got my back in the right position. However, I couldn't sleep, because my hands and feet were so cold, and besides, my feet and legs were twitchy, but I felt much better after an hour and a quarter of resting my eyes. Tonight should be better, at least until my ear gets too sore.


Then of course, I had to go back to Laurium for choir practice. Well. that wasn't nearly so fun. It was drizzling a bit when I came back from the clinic, but when i started for town again, it was drizzling in Copper Harbor, but it was sleeting until it started to snow around Mohawk. It was ugly, because the snow was on top of the water from the drizzle. I made it to choir in time, although it was a slow ride.


We had a long practice, because Pastor gave us a new piece of music nobody had ever seen before to sing on December 1, and we don't have any practices before then. Well, we will practice with St. John's on Tuesday, but that's just for Wednesday. I think he was delighted by how quickly we got the music, but most of us are seasoned choir singers, and I managed to convince him that I can sing the high notes as well as Fay can. This is the first choir I've ever sung with where an F is considered a high note. Where I've sung, all sopranos are expected to sing Gs and most of them are expected to sing As. Fay has the most beautiful tone in her voice, which I don't, but I always wanted to sing as loud and high as possible, and evidently I still can, at least with practice.


My trip home was not only miserable, it showed me there's not much wrong with my heart. Coming down the hill to Allouez, I lost it - I was going too fast, I admit - and while I didn't do a 360º, I did a couple of 180ºs. I would like to see what my tracks looked like. I finally realized I had brakes, and I ended up nose-first in a shallow ditch on the other side of the road. Thank God there was no traffic, either to get in my way or to laugh at my antics. So I put it in 4WD, backed out, and went on my way, much, much more carefully. It took me at least an hour to get home...well, probably an hour, since I had to scrape my windows before I left Laurium. 


Houghton County doesn't do a good job on the northern part of their roads (thus my problem at Allouez). Keweenaw County had salted almost all the way to Delaware, and while there was some blowing snow over the road in spots, it was pretty good. North of there, it was snow-covered and slippery (or I guess it was). I met a plow truck coming in the other direction, but darned if I could see what he had done. I was glad to get home.


Looking at the weather history, I can see what happened. The high temperature was 40º, but around 4:00 the wind picked up from the north, and in the next two hours, it dropped from 40º to 32º, and we began to get 34 mph gusts from the north. It's only about 30º here, but it's colder (25º) at Laurium, and it's been snowing lightly bur steadily since I left at 6:00. It was very gloomy and cloudy all day.


As far as I know, the guys did what all good cats do on days like this. When I came home the first time, Grayson was asleep in his little box in the studio. I don't know where Louie was, but after I laid down, he came and laid down behind my knees. Grayson wasn't happy when I left again, but he did come and sit on me a while ago, just to let me know it's OK.


So that was my day. i am really tired now, so I don't think I will be up much longer. I will call them late tomorrow to find out the results of my tests, and in the meantime, I will hang on and hope I can keep my back happy. The N-P suggested using ice on my back, but I don't think so, at least in this weather. Tomorrow if it's still bothering me, I may try the heating pad. I'm sure a lot of the pain is muscular.


Now it's a dark, snowy night in the field, and the lake is singing again. I am tired.


November 20

I seem to have fooled around again last night, and while I got to bed before midnight, it wasn't much before. I slept well. I was awake around 8:30, but that seemed too early and the next time I woke up was 11:00. 


I knitted, and I got my four repeats done, but it looks like it's taking me 22 minutes, more or less, to do one repeat, so I was late getting dressed. However, if I can keep up the pace, in a couple of days I should be back where I was when I realized I was going to have to rip. I'm much happier with the results now. Not only will it come out even, there were two errors that I would have seen every time I wore the thing.  I know things like that don't bother some people, but they do bother me. I want what I do to be right.


I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't get my surfing done before the talking started. There was a lot to read today. I have gotten the dishwasher almost ready to run, and I have only to put in my dinner dishes.


The weather was dull and gray and blah, although it was windy. The temperature was nearly steady at 42º untl recently when it dropped off a bit. The wind was strong and gusty, with gusts up to 34 mph from the southwest. We didn't have any precip, although it got so dark several times that I thought we might.


The guys were so sleepy that when I had to go back to the bathroom after i had an accident (yup, another one), they were still asleep there. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie came up when Grayson was still there, so he didn't get any. I'm sure that causes jealousy, and it may be why after a while I heard some scuffling around under the sewing machine chair.


Tonight I have to take a bath as well as prime the dishwasher, so I hope to go up to the north end at a reasonable hour. It's a dark, windy night in the field, but so far it's not too cold.


November 19

I went up to the north end early enough, but I took a bath and I diddled around for a long time, so it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I was awake around 8:30, I think, and that seemed too early, so it was 10:00 or so before I got up. I knitted 4 repeats of the edging, so I wasn't early getting to the studio. 


Not that I did anything. About all I can remember that I did was to begin loading the dishwasher, which has to run tomorrow night.


The weather was very quiet, especially compared to yesterday. The temperature got down to 24º overnight, but it just recently got up to 35º. The wind is picking up again, but this time from the south. It was mostly cloudy except for around noon, when there was some welcome sunshine. Sort of blah.


The guys were sleepy, as usual, but they both got some lap time today.


So nothing happened and I will try not to be so late tonight. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field.


November 18

Well, I was not a good girl last night. I read and fiddled around and it was late when I got to bed. Sigh. I slept fairly well. The wind and the lake sang me to sleep. I was awake around 9:30 and that seemed too early, so it was nearly 11:00 when I got up.


Then I ripped out all but two repeats of the edging on the shawl and reknitted two repeats. Now I think I have the pattern down and I know where each repeat should end on the lace pattern, so I'm good to go. Of course, I ripped out 9 or 10 days' work, but at least I'm confident it will come out all right as long as I watch carefully. I didn't have the pattern down completely when I made the mistakes. Basically, it's an easy patrern, but there are a couple of gotchas that I've only noticed as I went along.


All that meant I was very late getting to the studio, and since there is a lot of stuff to read on Mondays, i didn't finish reading my funnies until after the talking started. There wasn't any time to do much else.


The weather was stormy. The wind was over 30 mph all night long, with gusts over 40 mph. The high was 49.5 mph around 9:00 this morning. When it started blowing was when it switched around from the north around 3:00 yesterday afternoon, and it is still from there. I missed the height, because I was asleep, but it was blowing pretty good when I was awake and the lake was roaring tenor to baritone. I know I could see big waves hitting the rocks in the gap and even the south shore of the harbor. It is dying down now, but it's still in the 25-35 mph range. When I got up, there was snow in the valley between the garage and the breezeway and in all the cracks of the shingles, and there were a few little squalls during the day, although not much. There is a dusting of on the ground, but not very much. The temperature has been falling since sometime yesterday. It's now 29º and it may get a little colder overnight, but then it's supposed to warm up again. I do love these storms!


The guys don't love the storms. They don't like the noise, so they hung around me pretty much. They were sleepy today, and Grayson came and sat on me for quite a while during the talking. 


So that was a non-day. I am still tired, so I hope I will be able to get myself to bed earlier tonight. It would be nice to get up a little earlier, too, so i have more time to do something - anything. The days are getting very short, which means there are some things I won't have time to do no matter what. Well, we'll see. It's a cold, windy night in the field.

November 17

I was a good girl, and it was around 9:30 when I turned out the light. I coughed for 45 minutes before I turned over, and then i went right to sleep and I slept well, with the usual wakeups. It was a neat night. It was cloudy out, but the full (or nearly full) moon was so bright that it looked like around 7:00 all night long. I woke up around 6:15, and I had to pee, and I didn't really get back to sleep before the alarm went off. I think I may have to start getting up earlier on Sunday, if I want to get some of my surfing done before I leave for church. I was a little late this morning again, although not quite as late as I have been lately.


Church was good, with a good sermon, and i guess the choir sounded pretty good (being part of it makes it hard to tell just how we sound), because a young woman met me on the way out and told me how good we sounded. That's always nice to hear. We work at doing it right, and I guess we're doing it.


I had to get gas. This going down to town four times a week really takes a toll on the gas. But I got 25¢ a gallon off on the first 15 gallons, so that helped. The price has gone up about 7¢ a gallon since last week for some reason, but it's still only $3.30 a gallon. 


I got home about 1:00, and then I had the rest of my soup from last night and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't tired enough to take a nap, although now I am, so I don't think I'll be up very long.


It was a nondescript day, rather warm and cloudy. The high temperature was 50º, around 3:00, but then it started to drop. There wasn't a lot of wind. It was cloudy but not particularly dark. The high wind advisory is in effect, but if it happens, it hasn't started yet, and now it's only on until 1:00 PM tomorrow, rather than all day. I still say the NWS overreacts a lot of the time. I hope we do get some winds. I love to hear them and what they do to the lake.


The guys were sleepy and I didn't see much of them all day. Grayson sat on me this morning, because he didn't want me to leave. He will be happy for the next couple of days, because i intend to stay home.


So that was a quiet Sunday, and I don't think I will be up very late tonight. It's a warmish, quiet evening in the field and we're waiting for the wind.


November 16

My timing is getting all messed up again. I didn't get to bed until after 2:00. I slept well, but I didn't get up until almost 11:00. Well, maybe I can haul myself back on to human hours this next week.


I knitted, and I made it almost to the middle, but I think I'm going to have to rip out almost all I've done. I discovered that I screwed up two repeats close to the beginning, which, if I don't do it over, is going to mess up the entire counting for the whole edging. I have until Monday to think about it, but I probably will, just because if I don't it will always bug me. Stay tuned. 


I didn't do much, but I didn't have much time. I had an accident, so I had to wash my sweatpants, and just now I got a different folder to put my choir music in and I sorted it out. Otherwise, my surfing took most of the afternoon.


For some time now I've subscribed to some blogs on knitting, crochet and beading. Several weeks ago, I got fed up with them, since they read more like infomercials, and I unsubscribed from the daily emails, but when I got the weekly recaps today, I discovered there were some interesting things that I should have read as they came out, so I resubscribed. The knitting one isn't very useful, since I'm fairly sure I know more about knitting than the woman who writes it. The one on crochet isn't very interesting, since I don't do much crochet and then only with thread. The quilting one is mostly about "modern" quilting (whatever that is) and it talks mostly about dying and painting fabrics and machine stitching, but every so often there are some interesting tidbits. There is one on sewing, which is mostly about non-clothing sewing, and it pushes a magazine they publish. There may be some useful things in the magazine, but the colors they use in their projects are so horrible that I wouldn't spend the money to buy it, since the colors would turn me off so much I would never try any of the projects. So I resubscribed, and we'll see how it goes. I spend a whole lot of time reading emails in the morning anyway, and this just adds to the mix. Not to mention all the ads.


The weather was curious. This morning - or when I got up - it was cloudy and windy and hazy down the harbor. As the day went on, it got dark, although the wind died down after 4:00. The high temperature was 46º, and the wind, from the southwest, got up to 32 mph gusts. Just a few minutes ago, I heard raindrops on the south windows. It was a good day to stay in and ignore all that. There is a high wind watch for tomorrow night and Monday, and there may be some snow, too. Fortunately, that shouldn't happen until I've been to church and filled my gas tank and gotten home.


The guys certainly ignored the outdoors. They slept for most of the day.


So now I think I will read a bit more then I'll totter up to the north end early and take my bath. It's a dark, rainy night in the field.


November 15

Oh, journal again. I've been behind all day.


I think it was around 1:30 when I got to bed, and I slept very well, thank you. I got up around 10:00 or a little later, and I only knitted two repeats of the edging. I was late enough that I had to pick and choose which of my usual surfing sites to look at. I wanted to clean out the fridge before I left, and that got done. The veggie drawer was totally gross, but now it's clean and nearly empty, and the rest of the fridge was ready for new stuff. I got away when I planned, but I had to stop at the post office, and between me telling Ron about my health problems and he telling me about his, it was 2:20 by the time I left for town. That meant I had to scream. 


I did, and I got to the hospital at just about the time of my appointment. The doctor and I had a nice conversation, and I think my questions have been answered. Nobody knows why people get blood clots and whether they will recur. I will probably be on the meds for six months - he wants to run it by the local oncologist/hematologist - and I'll just have to watch it. Since I'm not having any trouble with it and it doesn't affect the problems I'm watching, like kidney function, liver function or uric acid, there shouldn't be a problem. i got to see my blood test results, and the uric acid was great, the kidney function was so-so, but it was clear that I was dehydrated. My total cholesterol was wonderful - the second lowest since I've seen it - but the triglyicerides and LDL were high. So I researched that when I got home, and getting them down would take all the fun out of life, so while I'll try to be a little more careful, I'm not going to obsess about it. So that all turned out pretty good. My blood tests usually turn out with some anomalies, so I unless the doctor says something, I don't worry too much.


Then it was off to Pat's. I decided to shop today, because it's supposed to rain on Sunday, and besides, I will have to get gas then (this tooling up and down the peninsula uses a lot of gas). I was very moderate, and everything I got was food. If I could wean myself away from the frozen prepared stuff, it would be even better, but I just don't feel like cooking these days. I did discover a couple of things I didn't get that i should have, but I think I can get them locally. So that turned out all right.


My doctor's appointment was at 3:00, so it was 5:15 before I left Calumet, and I was treated to a glimpse of the setting sun behind me, and the nearly-full moon guided me home. I discovered I can actually see better in the dark or near dark, so the only problem I had was the headlights of oncoming cars. Now that my leg is under control, I will have to see about my eyes.


I got home before 5:30, but it took me a while to get the stuff in and put away, and then I just relaxed for a long time, listening to the radio. I got two lovely pieces of whitefish, one of which I froze. The other one was yummy. This fish was so fresh that its expiration day was five days away, and it tasted like that. Oh, yum.


The weather was nondescript again. It was cloudy until the middle of the afternoon, although by the time I got to Laurium (around 3:00), it was beginning to clear up. By the time I started for home, it was completely clear, and when I turned into my driveway, Venus was shining in the south, and the moon was shining brightly high in the east. The high temperature here was 45º, for most of the afternoon. When the sun set, it plunged, but it's recovering a bit. There was almost no wind, at least here. Once it cleared up, it was a pretty afternoon.


The guys did not want me to go away, and they were very glad to see me come home. They made pests of themselves while I was bringing in the groceries. I don't let them out into the breezeway, and Louie kept trying to get to the door. Then later when I got up to get my dinner, Grayson put a claw into my finger, which is a first. I let him know I did not like that, and I have no idea what brought it on. He wanted to sit on my lap before I had eaten my breakfast, which didn't work too well. They will be happy tomorrow, because I'm not planning to go anywhere. I guess I see their problem, since in the past few months I haven't gone anywhere much, and now it seems I'm going away three or four times a week. Maybe we can fix that.


So that was another day. Now it's a clear (I think) calm night in the field and I doubt I'll be up too much longer.


November 14

I think it wasn't until around midnight that I got to bed last night. I spent some time just unwinding. By the time I woke up the first time, the wind had died down. I slept well, of course, and I got up around 10:00, maybe - I don't remember. I knitted, of course. I'm making progress on the shawl, and one side is now free of the needles and getting in the way or hanging down on a cat.


My massage was at 1:00. i was doing well, and I even made it to the powder room in time, or so I thought, but I had just gotten back to the studio when i had another urge and this time I didn't make it. So I had to change everything on my bottom, and I had to wash, because there were three pairs of jeans and a pair of sweatpants, as well as several pair of undierpants, ready to be washed. I finally got them into the dryer when I got home tonight.


Choir was good, and we had two more women, although I'm not sure one of them will be around much. Anyway, it's a good group. Our organist was missing tonight, so Pastor had to play, and he's a good pianist. That impresses me. I was late getting home, because I wanted to tell Pastor about my experience of yesterday, and that turned into a long discussion. That's all right. I like talking to him. He's an even better listener than I am.


The weather was rather nondescript, but it was cloudy for most of the day. It cleared up around sunset, and when I was driving down to Laurium, not only was there a very bright gibbous moon off in the east, Venus was shining brightly in the south, so pretty! While I was in church, it clouded up, though, and I didn't have the moon to guide me home. The high temperature was at midnight, and it dropped very slowly all day. For most of the afternoon it was in the upper 30s. There was hardly any wind. There might have been a raindrop or two, but nothing that registered. It got very dark in the middle of the afternoon, but nothing came of it. Sort of a blah day, except for the clear twilight.


The guys were so happy to have me around and so unhappy when I went away. They are fine now, but wait until I leave again tomorrow. When I left for church, Grayson was looking out the door at me with his whiskers hanging down. Well, maybe next week will be a little quieter and I can stay around more.


So now it's late and I have to take a bath so I'm presentable for the doctor tomorrow, but I have to finish my JD first. It's a nondescript, cloudy night in the field.


November 13

Well, I'm home, but it was a near thing.


I didn't get to bed until close to 2:30. I slept well until around 7:00, but after that, it was hard. I got up around 10:00 and I knitted a couple of repeats on the shawl edging. I did my surfing, and lo and behold, the NWS station came up right around the time I got to the studio. Yay! Then I decided to pack a bag, just in case, and that took a while. I need my own pillow to sleep, and I wanted to be sure I had enough stuff to keep me occupied. I've been in hospitals before. There were also three orange bags in the middle of the breezeway that I needed to move.


So it was around 2:00 when I finally got away. I was just going to get my blood work done and then go off to the ER, but I explained to Fay what was happening and they took me there right away, just in case they wanted some other blood work, which they did. So around 3:00, I was ensconced in a gurney and hooked up to a blood pressure and pulse monitor. I have to say, hospitals around here (or at least that one) are much more old-fashioned and caring. The ER doctor is a real character, but he's a Christian, so we got along just fine. His take was that possibly my cellulitis had invaded my bloodstream, and I really hoped so.


Eventually (that's why they call us patients, right? Because we sit around and wait) a nice young thing came and drew close to half a pint of blood, for bacteria cultures as well as the rest of my blood work, and Anna, the senior ultrasound tech (I've met her before on several occasions) came to take me up and do ultrasounds of both my legs. When I said what was on the screen for my left leg didn't look at all like my right leg, she said, "You're too smart for your own good."


So down I went to the ER again, and sometime later the ER doctor came in to tell me that indeed, I have a "deep vein thrombosis," a/k/a blood clot, in my leg. Oh, woe! I remember too vividly my last blood clot. A while later my doctor turned up, and after telling me what I would have to do if we used the old-fashioned treatment: Coumadin, plus daily injections until the Coumadin was regulated and weekly blood tests, and oh, yeah, I could either spend a couple of days in the hospital or inject myself, he suggested that there are some new drugs that, while they're pricey, make the whole thing a lot easier. I'll say they're pricey! I don't know what the retail price is, but I paid $140 copay for 42 of them. Anyway, that sounded like a whole lot better solution to my problem, so I got dressed, got wheeled down to the pharmacy, and was on my way around 6:00. 


Oh, yes, and I need to mention that I hadn't had anything to eat since 9:30 the previous night, and nothing to drink after I left home. Fortunately, I'd packed a snack, including some OJ, before left, so I could fortify myself before I drove home. I wasn't particularly hungry, but I was extremely thirsty before I got out of there.


I have to say, I thought from the get-go that that was my problem, but based upon my last experience, it's why I hesitated to check it out. This thing starts behind my knee and goes down my leg for six or seven inches - from about where my baker's cyst is to where the pain has been lately. 


So I got home a little before 7:00 and I just sat and listened to the radio for a while. I'm really tired, and I don't think I'll be up for very long. I still have the appointment for Friday, and I think I will keep it, because I have a lot of questions. But I'm home, my problem can be treated as an outpatient, and I can resume my normal life. Whew!


The weather was pretty good for tooling around the country, although I wish I'd been outside this afternoon. The temperature here got up to 52º. but it was quite windy. I knew it was getting that way while I was driving home, and by 7:00, the wind was gusting to 41 mph from the northwest. Well, the last report had 47 mph gusts. It was nearly clear all day long, and when I could see it, the gibbous moon was shining brightly. It was too nice a day to be stuck in the ER.


The cats knew something was up. Grayson came and sat on me as soon as he could, until Louie meowed, then he went away and hid. Louie followed me around all the time I was packing, and he was sitting in the hallway watching while I moved stuff from the breezeway to the garage, and he was watching and looking very sad when I finally left. They are much happier now that I'm home again.


So that was my eventful day. I came away much more comfortable with my local medical services, and If I need the ER at Aspirus again, I will be much more comfortable there. Now it's a partly cloudy, very windy night in the field, and I won't be sitting around much longer.


November 12

Hey! It's 11/12/13! Another numerology day! Cool.


It was after midnight when I got to bed. I was reading and the music was nice. I slept well, again, with only three wakeups, and I got up around 10:00. I knitted, but I think I only did three repeats of the edging. I don't know why it takes so long to do, since there aren't that many stitches, but it does. The more I do, the more I am satisfied with how it's turning out. It definitely finishes off the shawl much better than the original.


Otherwise, I didn't do a lot, but I did get three bags of trash out of the house and into the breezeway and I got all the trash off the counters. That's at least a step forward. The counters are gross, but i don't have time to work on that. 


I also finally, after about a week, got the back off my good Seiko watch. Whoever replaced the battery the last time torqued it down so hard I was beginning to think I wouldn't be able to open it. Of course, the el-cheapo watch tool I bought was partly to blame; the pins kept moving around and it was hard to get them to stay in place long enough. Anyway, I got it open this afternoon, and I was happy to find that the battery was one I had, so now it works again. The truth about changing the batteries in modern watches is that the hard part is getting the backs open. It was nice to know, though, that I didn't have to buy another kind of battery. That watch was one of the last presents my mother bought me, and I treasure it. It's gold, too, and i like to wear it when I'm wearing other gold jewelry. Now I think I've replaced the batteries in all the watches, and I know I don't have to spend the money to get a jeweler to do it. I think it was my e-friend Phil who first suggested the idea to me, and i thank him.


The monthly updates from Microsoft were ready, too, and I got them installed on both computers with  no problems. My 1.5mbit download speed helped a lot, even though I still have problems with streaming video.


The weather wasn't quite as cold as it was yesterday. My thermometer got up to about 34º, I think. The wind was strong, from the west, but the rumblings about gale force winds overnight was a fizzle. This afternoon, there was quite a lot of nice sunshine, which I enjoyed, and there was a moon overhead when it got dark.  The NWS station is still down. Evidently its modem died on Friday, and it may not get fixed until this Friday. Clearly, we are not a real high-priority station. It annoys me, because there aren't enough other stations nearby enough to give accurate readings about what's going on here.


The guys were their sleepy selves. Grayson has been spending the afternoon in the box on the floor in the studio. Louie got a good love-in and a tummy rub, but I had to boot him off my lap when I had to type. He was using me as a pillow, and he's a little too big for that. I still think they know something is up.


So that was another nothing day. I do intend to go and get my blood work tomorrow, and I do intend to check in with the emergency room to see about my leg, which has settled down some, but it's still sore. We'll see what happens next. I'm not looking forward to the whole thing.


Now it's an apparently clear, cool night in the field.


November 11

I got to bed around 10:30 last night, and I slept well, with only a few wakeups. I was awakened around 9:00 by the telephone, and Johanna said she had had a bad night and couldn't do my massage today. So I went back to sleep, and I didn't get up until around 10:45. I knitted, but I've been disappointed that it seems to be taking quite a while to do do one repeat of the edging. I only did three today. I suppose that by the time I'm through, it will go faster, but for now, it's slow going. The more I do the better I like it, though, so at least it's coming out well.


I didn't do much of anything. I finished unloading the dishwasher, and before I go to bed tonight, I have to load it up and start it, because I'm running out of cat dishes. Otherwise, I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't do much but my surfing, but of course, there's a lot ot read on Mondays.


The real story was the weather. It was windy and noisy all last night, although the NWS station is still down, so I don't have any data for here. When I looked outside, there was snow on the ground, and the roof was all white, so we have had our first meaningful snow in Copper Harbor. The temperature was in the upper 20s all day and the wind was in the 25-40 mph range from the north or northwest. It was not nice. I didn't stick my nose outside, and I didn't want to!  Of course it was dark and cloudy, but not as dark as yesterday. The snow sort of let up by mid-afternoon.


The cats were sleepy, but Grayson spent most of the afternoon sleeping on me. I finally had to get up and go to the bathroom, and Louie got a little petting before I had to turn the radio on, then Grayson came back. I don't know what his problem is, unless he knows something isn't right with me and he's worried. Or maybe it's just that it's gotten cold and my lap is nice and warm. Anyway, I like it when he sleeps on me. Louie is too big and I can't do much when he is sitting on me, but Grayson is small and he curls up with his fron paws on either side of my gut, so I can type or do other things.


My leg seems to have stabilized. It is supposed to warm up on Wednesday, so I think I will go down to Laurium, get my blood test, and get my leg checked out. Or at least that's the plan right now. 


So it's a dark, cold, windy night in the field, and a good one to hunker down and sleep long and hard.


November 10

Oh, yeah, I have to do a journal before i crash or you'll all assume the worst.


I made it into bed before 10:00 last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I was up every hour and a half, it seemed, running off for some reason I don't understand. I didn't get to sleep until nearly 11:00, when I turned over, because my sinuses were draining so much I was coughing constantly. Clearly, besides the problem with my leg, I have the "Shari Syndrome" again. I wish i knew what that was and how to get rid of it. Makes me feel cruddy, too.


I got up at the usual time, but I had to spend 20 minutes in the bathroom before I got my breakfast, and that put me behind. I like to read my funnies before I go off in the morning. I made up 10 minutes, which was good, so I got to church not too much later than usual. We sang pretty good today, I think. There was communion and Pastor preached on YHWH - the name of God. It was nice.


I had to get gas. I put 350 miles on the car since last Sunday, and that's about all I can get out of one tank of gas, although I actually only needed about 21 gallons. The nice thing was that the price had gone down to $3.20 a gallon. I hope not to use quite as much this week, but one never knows.


The weather was nasty, although again, i don't have any Copper Harbor statistics, because the NWS station is still down. The temperature was nearly constant, around 37º. We had a respectable blow overnight, with gusts into the middle 30s. The lake was singing nicely. The wind started out more or less from the west, but it shifted around to the north by morning. It has died down now, but according to the forecast, it's supposed to pick up into gale force strength by tomorrow night. I think there was probably some rain here, and in Calumet, there was an appreciable accumulation of snow - half an inch, probably. It was melting by the time I got to church, but the parking lot was icy when I got there. It was not a nice day to be out, and while I was pumping gas, I was very glad to have taken my hat with me. I have a heavy fleece jacket that I've practically worn out since I've lived here, but it's nearly windproof. With the right stuff underneath (and it's big enough that I can get lots of stuff underneath it), it's very comfy until temperatures get down to where i need down. Tonight, after it got dark, the quarter moon kept peeking through the clouds, so it wasn't completely dark.


The guys were very sleepy, of course. Grayson wanted to sit on me while I was eating my lunch and I had to remove him, so he got in his box and spent most of the afternoon there. Louie got some latp time, too, before I had to get up and make dinner. They still are worried every time I go off that I'm not coming back, I guess, and they are very relieved when I do. 


For the rest of the afternoon, I mostly read. My leg is still sore, but the soreness keeps moving around in a weird way. Right now it's the whole back of my calf. I am very tired, and I won't be up very much longer. It's a dark, cold, windy night in the field.


November 9

Well, i didn't go. And I don't intend to, although I may go down Tuesday for my fasting blood tests. For one thing, it was a really nasty day. For another, when I got up, my legs felt fine. They got sore later, but the soreness does go away after I sit for a while. 


I read for a long time, and it was midnight before I got to bed. I took a bath, just in case I had to leave, but that didn't take long. I slept very well, with just a few wakeups and I got up around 10:00, maybe? 


I ripped out the part of the edging that I changed, and then I knitted four and a half repeats, so I sat there for a long time. I think I'm going to like it. Maybe with more ripping, I could make it even nicer, but then it would be nicer than the shawl it's attached to, so i think it will do just fine. Of course, I have only done six out of 46 repeats, but that's all right. The one thing that kept me at the calculator is that there is no way to get the points of the edging aligned with the points of the lace portions of the shawl. It has to do with the borders and the center pattern. That annoys me, and if I was creating the shawl from scratch, I might do something about it, but as things are, it will just have to stay the way it is. Little things like this are one reason I am very cautious when I look at so-called "indie" patterns. Designers who work for yarn manufacturers or who sell patterns to magazines seem to be much more careful about things like fitting patterns together. The difficulties of doing that are one reason I probably won't ever try to sell any of my patterns. I would have to do it right, and it's hard!


It was a good day to ignore the outside, but there were times when I couldn't. I still don't know what the actual data was, because the NWS station is still down. I think the temperature was nearly constant around 37º or so. It rained off and on all day (they had half an inch at the airport), and around noon, the wind picked up from the west, with gusts of at least 33 mph, probably more up here. Of course it was very dark and dreary all day. I wish they would get the NWS station up and running, because we look to be having our first November gale from tomorrow night through Monday, and I'd love to know what the data is. Oh, well. I'll send them a nasty email when I finish this. I don't know if the webmaster works on Monday or not.


The guys did their thing: they slept all day. Grayson did come and sit on me for a while before some sound made him rush away. Louie didn't get any lap time today. He wanted to sit on me while I was still eating my breakfast.  Almost every day, around the time I get to the kitchen, Louie runs up into the loft and starts thumping around up there, and sometimes he starts singing. I have no idea what he's doing up there, and he never stays very long, but it's really funny to hear.


So that was a very quiet day. I read a lot, and I won't be up very late tonight. I do intend to go to church tomorrow. 


Now it's a dark, windy, rainy, very nasty night in the field.


November 8

It was 11:30 before I finally made it to bed last night. I slept well, although I had a little problem the first time I woke up. Grayson was plastered against my legs again, and I had a hard time getting out of bed and then getting back in on the other side, because he was right in the middle of the bed. He left sometime later, which made it easier to get up. I got up around 9:00, I think, and I worked on the edging again until I got it to where I thought I wanted it, so I started it. After doing a little over one repeat, I decided I needed to work on it a bit  more, so I used my (relatively) new knit charting software to to do some more. I think I may have it now, but I need to rip out the second half of the first repeat. It may not be quite what I was dreaming about, but it will be a nice edging that goes with the rest of the shawl, or I hope it does.


I didn't do much of anything. I was late getting to the studio, so I did mostly my surfing.


The weather was cold and dreary, but I can't give any particular details because the NWS station is down again. I think it was around 37º all day again, and there was less wind than yesterday. There wasn't any precip that I could see. There was a a little clear sky this evening for a while, because I looked up to see the crescent moon shining in the windows. It's gone now, so I guess it's clouded up again.


The guys were sleepy. Louie sat on my lap for a long time, and late this afternoon, Grayson came and did likewise.


I think they may sense that something is wrong, and I guess I'd better come clean because there is a finite chance I may be incommunicado for a while after tomorrow. I have had some strange cramps in  my right leg for most of the week, and I've put off calling the doctor about it, because of what it might mean. Finally, around 3:30 I did call and was told I needed to get myself to the emergency room. Well, I was waiting for a Schwan's order, and I really don't want to go at all. When I go, I will have to be prepared to stay a while. As it turned out my Schwan's guy was late and he didn't get here until after 5:00, and no way was I going to try to get ready to go, eat, and drive down there in the dark. Besides, when I do go, before I check in at the hospital, I need to get gas. So I will go tomorrow during the day. Anyway, if you don't hear from me for a day or so, you will know why.


I don't feel very good, so I won't be up late tonight, but I expect to be able to sleep. It's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


November 7

i made it into bed by 10:30, bath and all, and I slept well, although I was up any number of times. I got up around 9;00 (maybe 9:30?) and I knitted another row on the shawl, as well as fiddling around with the edging. I see why the designer of the shawl didn't put an edging on. That is hard. However, I think I may have it figured out, so Tomorrow I will begin to try it. I'm not sure I will like what I've designed, so I may have to rip a number of times. However, I'm determined to conquer it.


It was nice not to have to hurry up and get ready to go someplace for a change. I got my pants packed up and sent back, and I went to the post office to send it off. The catalog tsunami is in full swing, so there was another pile of those to go through. 


Tonight was the first time I've had to drive down to Laurium in the dark, and I don't care for it very much. There is a lot more traffic at 6:00 than there is at 8:30, and the lights bother my eyes as well as my night adaptation. The drive home was better: I didn't meet another car in either direction after I left Mohawk. Nice. Choir was good, and Pastor continues to throw stuff at us. I think we have it down, and if we flub it, nobody in the congregation is likely to know. Evidently, the theme of the Sunday is Moses and the burning bush. I'll be interested to see what he does with it.


The weather was nasty. When I got up this morning, there was snow in the valley between the garage and the breezeway (that's the last time I'm typing the whole thing; after this, when you see "snow in the valley" you'll know what I mean). About the time I was getting ready to get dressed, the sky threw a few handfuls of snow pellets at us - rather large snow pellets. If we had it in the summer. we'd probably call it hail. The temperature was just about steady all day at 37º, and there was a wind out of the north at around 15-20 mph. It was dark and cloudy. Not nice.


I woke up in the middle of the night with Grayson plastered to the back of my knees. Unfortunately, I had to get up, which was very hard, and then I had to turn over. Louie slept on my lap this morning until I booted him off, and Grayson got some lap time, too. When I got home, a little gray head was peering over the edge of the doorframe to see that it was me. I hope I can spend at least a couple of days at home to settle them down. They just don't like it when I go away.


I went away so much this week that I will have to fill my gas tank again on Sunday. Fortunately, gas is still decreasing in price. I saw it for $3.09 yesterday in Hancock, and it was $3.23 at the high-priced place in Allouez.  It's about time. We deserve a little break fpr a change.


I find the trip down the peninsula is very tiring, especially at night, and when I don't feel all that well (why, I do not know). So I don't think I will be up very much longer tonight. It's a dark, cold night in the field, and there were a few snowflakes coming down when I left Laurium. It's time...


November 6

I was in bed by 9:30 last night, and I slept fairly well. I was awake a lot the second half of the night because I was creaky. I got up around 9:00 and I was really creaky.


By being very careful, I managed to get out of the house when I wanted to, which was a while before I had to, but I wasn't sure how the roads would be. Well, there was a slight bit of snow on the grass at the sides of the road, but the roads themselves were just wet north of Ahmeek and almost dry south of there, so I got to the dentist early. Nothing to report there: come back in six months. 


However, when I got out, at about 2:15, my legs were so sore that instead of going to Wal-Mart and Bambu, I came right home. That was too early for dinner and too early for lunch for me, so there was no point in going. I'm sorry to miss my nice dinner, but as it's turned out, I'm still not hungry, so it was probably a good thing. I know I could have brought the leftovers home with me, but they're never as good as they are fresh. I could have gotten take-out, too, but I would have had to reheat it and that never works too well either. That's the problem with Chinese.


So I came home and sat. Now my knees are all right - maybe it was a gout attack after all - but my calves feel like they are all in cramps, and standing is a real pain. Oh, sigh.


The weather was pretty yucky. The high temperature here was 39º, but that was at 8:00 this morning, and it was 37º for the rest of the day. We had some very light rain - or something - until around 9:00, after which it was just dull and gray and cold. There was a north wind up to 20 mph for most of the day, although it has now died down. Not nice at all. I wore a sweatshirt sweater (cotton) and my mid-weight jacket and i was cold when I was outside.


Again, I don't know what the cats did, although Grayson sat on me until I had to get up this morning  and he sat on me again when I got home until I had to stand up to turn on the radio. He is not at all in favor of this going off and being gone all day, I guess he hasn't realized yet that when I'm going away overnight, there will be suitcases and things like that, and it looks like every time I leave, he doesn't know if I'll come back. Makes me wonder (again) about his early life. 


So now I expect to go up to the north end soon, although it's bath night again, so I won't be as early as I was last night. It's a dark, cold, dismal night in the field.


November 5

I think it was around 11:00 when I got to bed last night, and I slept fairly well, although I was up a number of times. I got up around 9:30 and I knitted one row. I think I know how I'm going to do the edging, but I have a couple more rows to do before I start it. I'm going to have to try some things, though, since I couldn't find an edging that even slightly approximated what I want, except for the German shawl I did earlier this summer. I was disappointed, but I guess that's how new patterns get made.


I was on track to get away when I wanted to, and then I had a nasty accident that meant I had to change almost everything below my waist, as well as mop up the floor a bit. The powder room is still gross. As a result of that, I had to run out of the house and speed to get to the hospital, and then all the handicap parking places were taken, so I had to walk. I hurt.


I did have a nice conversation with the doctor. I took the two shawls I always show everybody who wants to see knitted lace, and she was suitably impressed. She tats, but she doesn't knit or crochet. She says everything looks like it's on track, and I told her how delighted I am that the lumps on my fingers are going down, even though I can't get my glove on yet. When I showed her how I can clench my fists, I could actually bend my index finger a bit - I can't now - and that was a delight. So she said to come back in six months and I should get my blood work that the other doctor ordered and I forgot about. I got home about 4:30.


I don't feel very good, and that 90 mile trip has left me very sleepy. SInce I have to do it, and then some, again tomorrow - the dentist - I won't be up very late tonight. Fortunately, I don't need to take a bath tonight. I hope I feel better tomorrow, because I think I will have to attack Wal-Mart. There are a couple of things I can't get from Amazon that I need. I hate that place.


The weather was better than they said it would be. There was even some sunshine for most of the day today, although there were a lot of clouds. The high temperature was 48º, but only briefly. There wasn't much wind, and before it went calm, it switched around to the north. I guess the next two days are going to be sort of nasty, with rain and/or snow, but at least I had one trip that was clear and dry. At this time of year, the covered road never dries out after the morning dews, but it's not dangerous.


I don't know how the cats did. they were gone when I left, and Grayson only came around after I'd been home for a while, although he did sit on me for a while.


So that was my day, and I will have a repeat tomorrow, except that I will get a nice dinner at Bambu. That makes up for a lot. I hurt all over, but especially my legs. The doctor looked at my baker's cyst and said it looks OK, I'll just have to endure until it deflates. Now that the gout is getting under control, she is more willing to talk about my arthritis, but there's not much she can do about it, since i can't take NSAIDS. This cool, damp weather is not good for it anyway.


Now it's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


November 4

I guess it was around 9:30 when I turned out the light last night. Around midnight, I woke up because I had to pee, and I felt horrible. Oh, now what? After that, I felt better, but I sort of dozed for several hours. I have been gassy at night lately, and until I get rid of that, I don't sleep very well. I also had one wakeup where I didn't quite make it to the toilet, which annoys me a lot. Anyway, I was awake around 8:00, and that seemed too early, and the next time I woke up was around 10:30. 


I knitted the last pattern row on the shawl. Now I have to figure out how to do the edging and what it should look like, and whether I want a row of purl stitches and a whole lot of other things, so I quit right there. I suspect it will be a day or two before I do much more knitting in the morning, but I will be working with pencil and graph paper. Well, I got into it  myself.


Otherwise, I did not too much. I was hoping to get to the post office with my pants, but first I got a phone call from PastyNet that said they wanted to swap out my client this afternoon, and then I couldn't find the receipt for my pants, and by the time I did (it was behind the desk) it was too late. I did find the receipt, and I also seem to have confirmed that the three doctor's visits Aspirus billed me for are probably legit, since I couldn't find any bills. It appears, from my experience and Ron's that apparently the Aspirus bureaucracy is finally beginning to tighten things up at the local hospital. I have some more checking to do, but it appears they never billed me for three visits between December and March of last year. You know, much as there are bigger problems with our health system, if the government, the health insurers and the hospitals could just follow reasonable accounting practices, it would save a whole lot of money for all of us.


Todd showed up eventually and for once, the swap-out went well. When I checked this morning, they had throttled back my speed to what it used to be. Todd doubled it, which is all I can expect, but boy, that 4-5 mbits (that's MEGA bits!) sure was nice. Probably I was hogging the whole bandwidth, though. Well, I can dream...


The weather was good to stay in. The high temperature was 48º, but it was windy all day. The winds were from the south, and the highest gusts were around 40 mph this morning. It was dark and cloudy all day, but we didn't get any rain until after 4:00. It's been raining lightly ever since. Not very nice.


The guys didn't think so, either. When Todd came, Louie ran away and Grayson was very interested in him, but apparently Todd doesn't like cats, and he got ignored. For most of the rest of the day, they slept, of course.


I still don't feel very good, and since I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow, I have to take a bath. So I won't be up very long. It's a dark, windy, rainy night in the field.


November 3

Well, I made it into bed by 8:45 EST (9:45 EDT) and I slept well, except that I was up twice for half an hour each. It sure was nice not to have that alarm go off at 7:00. In fact, I woke up around 6:30 EST and i got up about 6:45. That gave me time to do some surfing and try on my new slacks.


Well, the slacks seemed to be OK, but before I got home, I knew they were going back. The back crotch length is so short that after I sat down for a couple of times, I was in danger of not only losing my slacks but my underpants as well. That's just not acceptable, and I'm not going to struggle with them. I am so disappointed. I was hoping to get some navy ones that fit better than the ones I have, and I still don't have any black ones. Sigh.


I got off to church almost on time, but it didn't matter, because it was a clear, dry (mostly) sunny morning. The choir did good, and Pastor had a very good sermon for All Saints Sunday. They had a potluck lunch afterwards, but I skipped out on that. I just don't like that kind of thing.


I had to get gas; this running down the peninsula a couple of times a week is hard on the gas tank. And I have appointments down there Tuesday and Wednesday, so I wanted to be prepared. Gas has gone down to $3.29 a gallon here, and I had a 15¢ a gallon off coupon for the first fifteen gallons. Unfortunately, I needed about 18 gallons, and now I know that if I try to do the whole transaction at the pump, it will shut off after 15 gallons, and I will have to start a new transaction. Poo. Anyway, I got over that hurdle, and now I know that when I have coupons, I need to say "pay inside." At any rate, it was certainly nice to fill my tank (around 18 gallons) for under $60. I sometimes think it's too bad I can't stock up on gas when it's cheap so I can last through the expensive times.


I got home a bit before 1:00, and I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon but surf. My Internet connection was working awesomely well this afternoon (I won't say any more, in case they throttle me, but it was amazing). I got to listen to all the choir anthems I was looking at yesterday - "Salvation is Created," "E'en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" and "Joy in the Morning" by Natalie Sleeth. Phil, you'd like that one; it's for choir and organ. "Joy" is something I sang a couple of places when it was new, back in the early '60s, and it has more or less gone out of style, apparently, especially in the north. I loved it when I sang it, and I love it now. Unfortunately, it takes a big choir, and there aren't any of those around here. I also downloaded my first two MP3s: "Salvation is Created" and Barber's "Agnus Dei." Amazon does not make it easy to do that, since they are mostly set up for devices other than classic PCs, but I finally figured it out, and now I have three MP3s I downloaded myself. I also have a nice CD in my shopping cart, but it's not cheap, and I didn't complete the transaction. It has Randall Thompson's "Alleluia" on it, as well as a bunch of other neat things. I sang "Alleluia," too, back in my youth, and it's another one I just love.


The weather was cold, but it was partly sunny all day, which was quite nice for a change. The high temperature was 44º, briefly. For most of the morning it was in the upper 30s and for most of the afternoon it was in the low 40s. The wind has picked up this afternoon, with gusts into the low 20s. It was partly cloudy, with quite a lot of sunshine. Not bad for November. However, tomorrow and the rest of the week...


The guys were sleepy, which tells me this nice weather isn't going to last. Grayson spent the whole afternoon curled up in the box in the studio, dead to the world. Louie came and sat on me twice and got rubbed. He gets the nicest smile on his face when I'm doing what he likes.


Now I will read a bit more, but I am very tired, and I won't be up very long tonight, I promise. I need to get back on human times this week. The time change is nice in the morning, but the sun is setting at 5:30 in the afternoon now. Of course, the days are under 10 hours long and getting shorter at about 3 minutes a day, so we're getting to the dark part of the year. I don't mind the cold and I don't mind the snow, but I sure do hate the short days!


It's a dark, cool evening in the field.


November 2

So I managed to get to bed just before midnight, which isn't early, but it's a lot earlier than I've been this week. I slept fairly well, although between about 2:00 and 4:00 I was wakeful. I was gassy, and until I got rid of all that, I had a hard time sleeping. My cellulitis hurt and itched. I've developed another problem, one that really surprised me. 


I have had a baker's cyst on the back of my right knee since I was a teenager, and it used to be very painful at intervals. I think it's been at least 40 years since it bothered me at all, as far as I can remember. But now it has swelled and gotten quite sore. It's OK when I'm sitting down, and it isn't too bad when I've been standing for a while, except that it hurts when I walk, but when I just get up, it's very painful. I can't imagine what brought that on. This cool, damp weather has done a number on my knees and my back anyway, and I hurt. Sigh.


I didn't get up until nearly 11:00, so even though I was up during the night, I should have gotten enough sleep. I knitted, and I am on the last two rows! Then I have to design an edging and knit it, but the worst is over with, and in a couple of weeks, I should be able to go on to something else. I like this project, but it has been going on since the middle of August, and it's time to do something different.


Other than that, I didn't do anything. I had an accident, but not severe enough to make me wash my sweats. I put some more stuff in the dishwasher, which I will run tomorrow night. And I began to prepare for the time change. Oh, how I hate that! It's so stupid, and it's such a pain!


The weather fizzled out. According to the NWS (both Marquette and Duluth) we were supposed to have snow today. Ha. Maybe there was a little bit south of Houghton this morning, but there wasn't even any rain. The temperature went down overnight to around 37º, and that's where it stayed all day. There was some wind this morning, but it died down, too, and it was nearly calm for most of the day. It was dark and gloomy, but nothing came out of the clouds. Blah. Evidently the sun is belching forth again, but it's been so cloudy here, there has been no possibility of seeing any northern lights. That's the trouble with this time of year. Even if comet ISON is a great comet, the chances of our seeing it are slim. It's always cloudy when things are supposed to be happening in the sky.


the guys were a little active this morning, while I was knitting, but they soon settled down. Louie has almost given up on the box in the studio. I found him in the bathroom, which is the other very warm place in the house. Grayson spent the entire afternoon in the box, sound asleep. They know what to do in weather like this!


So now I will go up to the north end early (even for DST) and try to get to bed early. I get an extra hour to sleep tomorrow, which should make getting up much easier. It's a dark, cold, calm night in the field.



November 1

Well, here we are, and the year is almost over. Sigh. I'm not sure whether it's really that time goes faster as one gets older or one is just more aware of it.


I just discovered that the camera hung up sometime early this morning, and I never checked it today. Sorry about that. There wasn't much to see anyway.


Unfortunately, I'm listening to something I like a whole lot: Brahms' German Requiem. The unfortunate thing is that there was a piece of modern junk before it, so it's getting late - again. I would like to hear the whole thing, but I'm really tired.


That's because I repeated the night before's hours, perhaps more so. I won't tell you when I got to bed, but it was ridiculous. it was mostly the music then, too. They played a lot of Halloween-related music, much of it that we don't hear often the rest of the year, and it was nice. Oh, well.


I got up around 11:00 again, not because I wanted to, but I had to walk, and I figured I should try to begin to haul myself back onto daylight hours again. I knitted, and that was about all I did. There wasn't much time to do anything else. I keep reminding myself that if I got up earlier, i would have more daylight hours to do some other things I would like to do, or I should do. But that music is just so nice...


the weather certainly wasn't conducive to doing much. The temperature was nearly constant, around 43º, which is the average for this time of year. There was a little wind this morning, which died down to nothing as he day wore on. It was cloudy and really dark all day long. It was a good day to ignore all that.


That's what the cats did. Grayson has taken over the larger of the two boxes I have on the floor, much to Louie's disgust. So Grayson slept there all day long and Louie slept on the floor. They just want to be near me, wherever I am. When I get up in the morning, they are both asleep in the bathroom, which is warmer than the bedroom.


So now I will probably listen to the end of the requiem, and then I will crash, not as early as I'd hoped for. But I don't get to hear the Brahms very often, and I don't think that is in my collection, as extensive as it is.


Now it's a dark, cool night in the field, and it will be a good one to sleep.


Last  updated 12/01/14 08:44 PM