A View From the Field
December 31 - New Year's Eve
Oh, I was late again last night. I just can't seem to stop reading. I slept well, of course, and I got up around 10:00, which means I didn't get enough sleep. I knitted four rows, and I would like to have done more, but I didn't want to be that late getting breakfast.
I didn't do a lot, but I wrote a last couple of checks and I went off to the post office. Ron blew out the driveway very nicely right about the time I got up, so I had no problems getting out. After several demonstrations, he has the knack of getting the garage door closed down pretty good. We had a power glitch around 7:00, apparently, so I had to recover from that. What interested me is that while the clock in the bathroom saw it, I don't think the one in the bedroom did, which is the opposite of what usually happens. Of course, the ovens in the kitchen saw it, and the computer rebooted, which meant I had some work to do to get things back the way I want them.
Considering the weather, I wasn't surprised. It was frigid. I mean really frigid. The high temperature was at 2:00 this morning, 8º, and at 1:00 this afternoon, it hit a low of 1º. It was colder in Houghton. There was a strong north wind, with gusts up to 32 mph, and it snowed all day, but lightly enough that the NWS station didn't see it. A lot of the time it was hard to tell if the snow was coming down or just blowing. Driving through the culverts was exciting, with the windblown snow whipping across, and on my way home, the wind crossing the road around the fort sort of blew the car sideways a bit. It's cold in here, too, but I've gotten so I expect that. I wish I could get the temperature in the studio higher than 62º, though.
The guys spent most of the day wherever they go when it's cold, although they both wanted to sit on me. Grayson slept on my lap for a while, and he's back. We keep each other warm.
So this is the last day of the year. I don't have a lot to say about 2013. I guess it was about as good a year as I could expect. At least I'm still perking along and I didn't have any really serious health problems. Plumbing (internal and external) problems, and financial problems, but that's the way it goes. If 2014 isn't any worse, I won't have a lot to complain about. There were no extreme highs, but there weren't any extreme lows, either. Not a bad year at all.
Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field and the plan is to take a nice warm bath and be in bed befoe midnight. We'll see.
I got to bed around 11:00 last night, and I got up around 10:00 this morning. I really am in hibernation. I think it snowed all night, and it snowed all day. I didn't do anything. I knitted four rows on the scarf, and that was it. Nothing.
The weather was frigid. I wanted to go to the post office today - I have a few things that should be mailed before the end of the year - but since the high temperature, 9º, didn't happen until 5:00 this afternoon, I decided not. The low was 4º, overnight, so there wasn't much variation. The wind died down for a while, but it has picked up again, from the north, of course, but it's only in the 10-20 mph range. There was enough snow this afternoon to register water at the NWS station.
It was so cold in the studio that Grayson came and curled up into a little ball on my lap and warmed my hands for quite a while, and later on, Louie did the same thing. We keep each other warm. Louie was running around this morning, but that's because I was earlier than usual.
So that's all I have to report. It's a dark, snowy, frigid night in the field and I'll be hunkering down under the covers soon.
Well, I didn't make it to church again. When I went to bed last night - at about 10:30 - it was snowing so hard that I could barely see the lighthouse, and mostly I saw the light reflected over the harbor, an interesting phenomenon I've mentioned before. It snowed more or less hard all night. I was up around 6:30, but it was snowing hard then, too, so I went back to bed and I didn't get up until 10:00. Ah, blissful sleep...I knitted, but only four rows. I was having some problems with the thread today, so I decided not to push it. I need to try to remember to turn on the lights, even when it's supposedly daylight outside.
I had a nice breakfast, including some coffee, for a change. Do you know that if you don't wash your coffeepot for some weeks, even though it's cold, the dregs will grow mold? Well, don't. I had to wash it out with soap and water before I got it clean (it's an old percolator, by the way). Fortunately, cleaning it up didn't bother the coffee. Ron gives me a pound of some very good coffee every year, and I ration it and keep it in the freezer. Since I can't get decaf Colombian coffee here, this is the next best. I suppose I could drink regular coffee these days, since I don't drink it often, but I just don't. Besides, the box with my Yuban and my herb teas is someplace in the basement and I can't find it. One of these days, I'll hunt it down, but I do have some decaf stashed away that I should drink.
Otherwise, I didn't do anything. A lady - the unofficial church secretary - called me this afternoon, which I thought was very nice. They notice when you aren't there for a long time. We had a nice conversation, and she caught me up on the news. I certainly hope I can make it next week! Well, unless it's a blizzard out there, I have to go, both to get my new envelopes and to go food shopping afterwards. I've been hibernating long enough.
It was a good day to hibernate. It snowed more or less hard all night and all day, even though it didn't register at the NWS station. As I recall from past years, when it's really cold, somehow the rain gauge can't pick up the snowfall. The temperature was 18º at midnight, and it fell steadily all day. Currently, the official reading is 7º, but it's 5º by my thermometer. The wind started out from the northeast and has now shifted to the north. It's been strong, with gusts up to 38 mph, although it's been dying down lately. Needless to say, it was dark and dreary.
The guys slept. In fact, Grayson didn't even show up until after I put down their breakfast. Late this afternoon, they both got some lap time, though. I don't blame them for sleeping through this.
So that was another quiet day. There is a nice drift in front of my garage door, and while it looks like possibly I could get the breezeway door open, there is a drift across the end of the path Ron cut out to the part of the driveway he plows. i would say we got several inches of snow today, and it was breezy enough that there has been quite a bit of drifting.
Now I will read a while, and then I am going to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. I slept well last night, and I don't need to stay up half the night to do that again. It's a very cold, windy, snowy night in the field, and it's very dark, too, since the moon is new or nearly new.
This was a severely truncated day. I went to bed late, of course, but I didn't get up until 1:00 this afternoon (and I discovered, when I looked at the clock in the bathroom, that it said 1:00 AM! Oops.) I didn't knit, and I didn't do much but my surfing.
When I got up, it was snowing quite heavily. It got lighter later, but there was snow for most of the day, and there is a lake effect advisory until tomorrow night, with as much as 8" or more or snow to fall. It looks like I won't get to church, although I will go to bed early tonight and see how things go. It's a disappointment, but I'm not surprised. The only thing is, sometime soon I'm going to have to go to Calumet, because I'm going to run out of OJ, and that's serious. I do have some frozen, which I could use, but i don't really like it. Well, we'll see. These days, it doesn't do to plan too far ahead...well, it never does.
The temperature was quite warm. The high, 32º was at midnight, as it has been lately, and it fell slowly all day. It's now 24º. Around 8:00, the wind went dead calm (I wouldn't know - I was out at that time), then it switched around to the east and it's been rising ever since. Now the gusts are up to 31 mph and the lake is singing. I didn't really try to find out how much snow fell today. Of course, it was very dark and drab.
The guys just slept. I didn't even see them until I was just about dressed, and then they went back to sleep. Both of them did get some serious lap time, though. They are both such loving little critters.
So that is about all I know. I will read a bit longer before I go up to the north end. At any rate, I have to wash my hair tonight, so I will prepare as though I was going to church and see how things are in the morning. Now it's a dark, windy and probably snowy night in the field and the lake will sing me to sleep.
i was awake late as usual. The music was nice, although because Beethoven is playing right now, i can't remember what it was, and then I had to finish loading the dishwasher. So I didn't wash my hair. I slept well, but not long enough. Maybe tonight...
I got up around 11:00 and I knitted 8 rows - half a repeat - with some difficulty. Sometimes I'm better at it than others. I can only hope that washing and blocking it will make it look better, because right now, it doesn't look very good at all. Such pretty yarn, and such a pain in the ...
I didn't have time to do much, but I did write the check for my taxes and I went to the post office and the store, where I laid in JD and lettuce, so if it's too bad to go to church on Sunday, I'll be all right at least for another week.
There was a whole lot of mail, including a whole lot of bills and some very nice Christmas cards. I hope everybody understands that I don't send cards anymore, but I do enjoy receiving them. A childhood friend is still alive, which I was glad to hear. There was a wonderful present from Arthur, which I appreciate more than I can say.
I finally got the thing from the Social Security Administration that says what I will be getting next year. It's a modest raise (about $25), but of course, my Medicare payment went up, too. At ;east I've finally gotten it, so I can try to plan a bit for next year.
The weather was warmer than it has been in quite a while: the temperature is up to 34º now, although it's supposed to cool down fast enough that I don't think there will be much melting. We had our requisite snow shower, but it didn't snow for long. There was a brisk wind which was from the west while I was out and has now shifted around to the north. It always amazes me that sometimes when the temperature is warmer but it's damp and windy it feels colder than it does when it's really much colder. This is the kind of weather when my Raynaud's syndrome is more likely to kick in. My hands were frozen by the time I got home. It was another dark and dreary day, although there was a sort of sunset tonight. The camera didn't catch it because it hung up around 10:30 this morning and I didn't notice until after sunset tonight.
The guys were their usual sleepy selves, although they both got some lap time today. Louie has a tendency to show up when I'm doing something else and he gets shooed away, but that always makes me feel bad. I don't want him to think I don't love him, because I do. Grayson is somewhat changeable (I can't think of an exact word to describe him), but Louie is more steady and staid. He does get jealous of Grayson, but otherwise, he's not a very demanding cat. In that he reminds me a lot of DC, although he's not nearly as intelligent as DC was (few animals are). Anyway, i want Louie to know that even though Grayson was here first, I love him, too.
So that was another quiet day and now it's another dark, cold (but not very) night in the field.
I was awake ridiculously late this morning, but the music was just too nice, and then I had to sit in the bathroom for quite a while. I think I evacuated my entire colon. Eventually, I got to bed, and I didn't get up until noon. Louie was getting worried by the time I finally got up. I knitted four of rows, but I made a mess of the first one and had to recover as best I could. That's the worst thing about this thread - it does not react well to be unknitted.
I didn't do anything much because there wasn't time. I was thinking about going to the post office and the store - I'm running out of JD - but Ron brought my TP and I had wine for dinner, for the first time in a long time. I like wine, especially the ones I've collected, and I only stopped drinking it because I realized that with the JD and the wine I was spending a whole lot more money than I would have if I'd just drink JD. Every so often it's nice to have a bottle of wine. I will have to try to replenish the one I drank, a nice Riesling. I think Pat's has it.
The weather was cold and snowy. So what else is new? The high temperature, 19º, was at midnight, and it was around 16º all day. There was a brisk north wind until around 3:00 this afternoon, when it went nearly calm. It snowed for most of the day. They say we had 8" or so yesterday. According to the Road Commission, we've now had 108.5" of snow, not including today and 137" for the season so far. At this rate, unless we have a blizzard between now and Wednesday, we won't break the record, but we're doing very nicely, thank you. If we had this much for the next three months, we'd break 400", which is the total we keep aiming for.
The guys were sleepy. When I began to come to around noon, Louie jumped up on the bed and walked back and forth over my head, grunting, until I shooed him away. Grayson has been very loving again, even getting on my lap when I was in the powder room. Sometimes I understand them, and sometimes I just don't.
So tonight I absolutely must wash dishes, since I should have done that last night, and I should wash my hair as well. I hope not to be up quite so late. I got my 9 hours, and I slept for over 6 hours before i woke up the first time, but I think it would be better if I started earlier.
Now it's a dark, snowy, quiet night in the field, and a good one to sleep long and hard.
December 25 - Christmas Day
Merry Christmas, everyone. i hope you had a wonderful day with those you love best.
As usual, I was very late getting to bed last night, but I got up around 10:30 and I didn't knit. I had a snack, just so I could take my morning pills, and I did my surfing before I got dressed, very casually. Dinner was very pleasant, with just Peggy and Donnie, Lydia and Brian, her significant other. Little Lynnea is doing very well, now breathing on her own and even beginning to nurse, and they think they'll be able to bring her home sometime in January, so that is turning out better than it might have. I saw pictures, and while she is still tiny, she looks good. She is long and skinny, and I hope that as she gets stronger and eats more, she'll put on some weight, although she is gaining at a good pace. She is evidently a very active baby with definite likes and dislikes already. Peg and i had a long conversation afterward, since we only seem to see each other once a year. I got my turkey, as well as some prime rib, and I brought more of it home than I ate, but I just finished it off. It was all good.
It snowed all day, but there wasn't a whole lot of accumulation. Evidently the snow was all right here. Donnie was out several places and he said it wasn't snowing nearly as hard wherever he was. There were even a couple of groups of snowmobilers, which bodes well for the season, as long as the snow keeps up.
The high temperature, 20º, just happened over the last couple of hours. For most of the day it was around 15º. The wind has switched around to the north, with gusts up to 35 mph, which bodes well for the lake effect snow. It was dark and cloudy all day. Typical Keweenaw winter.
I don't the guys were very happy that I got dressed and went away for a while. They watched me getting dressed, and they each got some lap time when I came home. Otherwise, I think they slept.
The drifts on the deck keep getting deeper all the time. There is now a solid two feet up against the sliding door in the great room and it's even deeper out toward the railing. The road is holding up quite well, although if those north winds keep up, it will drift down by the culverts. There was about a foot in front of my garage door, but I didn't have much trouble getting through it. The real problem is the path to the breezeway door, which is badly drifted. All that means is that I can't close the garage door when I go out, because when I do, I have to come out through the breezeway. Well, sometime that will get shoveled out again. We all agree that this is a real Keweenaw winter, the like of which we haven't seen in a long time. Peg pointed out that if you take the snow we got last season after the first of the year and add to it what we've gotten so far this season, we actually have had over 400" of snow. Now, if we can just do that for the season...And get our tractor back.
So now I'm listening to the last of the lovely Christmas music and reading a while before I trundle up to the north end. It's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field.
December 24 - Christmas Eve
I was late again last night, and I guess the only reason was that the music was so nice. The station I listen to is playing non-stop Christmas music, and a lot of it was really nice. I was only a bit surprised by how many recorded choirs mumble. One of the joys of Christmas music is the words, and so much of what I heard was unintelligible. i don't think that's because my hearing is going or there is something wrong with my radio. They mumble. Oo-oo-a-ee-aa'u (although haven't heard that one this year). Anyway, it was after midnight when I went to bed. I think it was last night when I had to get up right after I laid down and go back in the bathroom for a bit.
One of the problems with writing this thing at night is that things happen after I write and I forget them by the next day. Either Friday or Saturday night, I'm not sure which, when I sat down in the bathroom, I heard a really strange noise. I determined that it was coming from outside, but it took me quite a while to realize what it was: oo-oo--ooo-ooo. followed by a higher-pitched ooo-ooo. It went on for several minutes, and it was several minutes before I realized that what I was hearing were two owls having a conversation. I've never seen an owl, but now i know I've heard them. It was neat. They were having a real conversation. I had the lights on, so I couldn't look out, but from where the noise was coming from they were either in my cedar or a good-sized red pine at the north end of the lot. oo-oo--ooo-ooo.
Anyway, last night there were no interesting noises, and I slept rather well. As usual, I was awake around 8:30 and decided not to get up, so it was 11:30 before I finally did. I knitted six rows and decided not to do any more. It's going really slowly, but at least I seem to be making progress. I did drop something, but I was able to recover it (whew!) without any ripping.
That was about all I did except to finally get the dishwasher unloaded. I should do dishes tomorrow, so now i need to load it back up.
The weather was so-so. When I woke up at 8:30, it was snowing, but when I got up, the sun was shining and there was clear, blue sky! I don't remember the last time we had that! It didn't last very long, but we didn't have any more snow. The temperature has finally risen to 20º, although for most of the day it was in the upper teens. The wind has shifted around to the west-southwest, and it wasn't very strong. It was so nice to see the sun!
The guys were still sleepy, so I didn't see much of them. They both got a little lap time. They are both so loving. While I was knitting this morning, Grayson was lying on the rug on his back, braced up against the curb of the shower, sound asleep. He looks so cute when he does that, and when he puts his paw over his nose. It appears that they trade off; one or the other will spend the morning with me in the bathroom but rarely will they both be there. Today was Grayson's day.
This evening, Peg called me and invited me to dinner tomorrow - well, really, lunch - so that's nice. Their lives are still revolving around Lydia's baby (Lynnea) who is still in Marquette. I'll be interested to talk to her. Maybe I'll get my turkey, too.
i had already decided I wasn't going to try to go to church. I just don't feel safe trying to drive in the dark these days. So I am listening to the nice music and remembering Christmases past. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field and time for another long winter's nap.
With one thing and another, I didn't make it into bed much before midnight, but at least it's a start! I slept fairly well. I was awake around 8:30, and that didn't seem like enough sleep, so the next time I woke up it was 11:00. The only trouble with sleeping so long is that my back is very stiff when I get up. I have some trouble with keeping my eyelids up, too, for some reason.
I knitted, six rows, I think. I'm reluctant to try to go faster, because then I start splitting the thread and dropping things, both of which would be a disaster with this yarn. I like the way it's turning out, although for some reason more sequins end up on the wrong side, so it's a good thing I'm doing it in garter stitch, which means there really isn't a "wrong" side. So I will forge ahead, slowly and carefully.
Otherwise I didn't do much of anything. One reason I was late last night is that I decided I'd better fill the cat food bowls, so as a result, nobody bothered me. I was late enough getting to the studio that I didn't have much time to do anything but my surfing. I was curious and a bit annoyed to discover that I had only gotten about half a dozen emails since yesterday afternoon. Among the things I hadn't gotten were my daily devotions and some other stuff i subscribe to, so when there was no inundation by the time the talking started, I called. It seems somebody's password had been compromised and their userid started spewing out spam - something like 40,000 messages (maybe more, I don't remember exactly what Jon said). They were busily deleting them, but it took them a long time. Eventually I got everything I should have, but not until close to 7:00 this evening. Sometimes I'm glad I'm not in the ISP business.
The weather was the usual. I can't tell how many snow showers we had because the camera hung up around 10;00 this morning (sorry about that), but it did snow off and on all day. The driveway doesn't seem bad, but the breezeway door is drifted in again. The high temperature was 18º, but that was at midnight, and it was around 15º all day. The wind is still from the east or northeast, in the 20-30 mph range. It was cold in here, too. Evidently the heating system just can't keep up with colder temperatures.
The guys slept where they usually go and I didn't see much of them after I got my breakfast. Louie did get a tummy rub, and I think Grayson got some lap time, too. I don't know if they think something is wrong with me because I haven't been going out, or they are just happy that I don't.
So it was another nothing day, and I will be going up to the north end soon. It's a cold, dark, snowy night in the field.
Well, I didn't make it to church. it was 10:45 when i got to bed, and it was a bad night. I was up any number of times with a growly tummy, and it was probably around 3:00 before I finally got into a deep sleep. i was awake around 6:00, but I went back to sleep and the next time I woke up was 8:30. So that shot any attempt to go to church, and I went back to bed and didn't get up until 11:30. I guess I got enough sleep, but not when I wanted it. I must try to get to bed earlier! It doesn't bother me, but the rest of the world isn't on my schedule, and besides, at this time of year, too much of the time I'm awake is dark.
I knitted, but only four rows, since I was so late. That gives me two repeats. I'll never be able to see the pattern like I would in regular yarn, but it looks good, and it will look better when it's stretched - if it will stretch.
I didn't do much else.
It was snowing when I went to bed last night, and it must have snowed until nearly 3:00. Then it stopped and didn't start again until around 10:00 and it's been snowing lightly ever since. The high temperature, 27º was at 2:00 and it's been dropping off ever since, until now it's 20º. The wind died down a bit overnight, or at least the lake wasn't singing so loudly, but it picked up again during the day. Not that it's really strong; the highest gusts were only about 28 mph. It's still coming from the east, which is nice for the temperature in here, since I am well-shielded on that side. It wsa dark and dreary all day.
The guys slept, too, although Grayson has been telling me there isn't enough food in his bowls. Too bad. He as food, and it will wait until tomorrow. They've been eating a lot lately. I suppose it keeps them warmer.
So that is about all I know. Now it's a snowy, cold night in the field, and I really am going to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. This has gone on long enough.
December 21 - Winter Solstice
It was another nothing day. I got to bed late, as usual, and I got up late, around 11:30. I didn't really want to get up then, but I had to. I knitted 12 rows without much difficulty. I now have knitted up all the thread I ripped out and some more besides, and I seem to be getting the hang of knitting with this thread. It isn't easy, but It's working better. One thing I have to keep reminding myself is to take it slow and easy. That helps as much as anything. I realized, while I was knitting, that the place where the repeat starts in the original pattern was much more difficult than it needed to be and resulted in moving markers around much more than necessary. I think I may have straightened that out, but we'll see the next time I get to knit.
Today was washday, and all three loads are now in the dryer. I think I've mentioned before that I tend to use far fewer clothes in the winter than I do in the summer, and it's even fewer now that I've been hibernating and wearing my sweats most of the time. Speaking of that, I put on my lovely purple hoodie today and discovered that the string in the hood had come almost completely out. Well, actually, Grayson discovered it, when he lunged after the string hanging down. I tried to find my tool to thread the string back through the hood, but I couldn't. I will look more thoroughly some other time.
The weather was snowy today. I think it snowed lightly all day. The high temperature got to 28º - the warmest it's been in six weeks or so. The wind started out at almost nothing from the west-southwest overnight, then it swung around to the east and picked up. It's now around 25 mph. I can hear the lake singing, but I am so sheltered on that side that I'm not getting any gusts from it. It was dark and cloudy all day, of course.
The guys were their usual sleepy selves, although Grayson did go after the string, briefly. When I went into the closet to get dressed, Louie was in the cat bed, as I suspected. He was actually hanging over the edge, looking at me, but I think he spends a lot of time there. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie didn't, since he kept coming around when I was doing something else, like eating.
So now I need to go up to the north end. Besides this being washday, it's also the day I fill the pill dispensers, and I have to do that tonight. I will try to get to bed early, although I don't know if I'll sleep, with the idea that I might go to church tomorrow, but it seems like it's going to be a snowy day again, so I will probably stay home. We'll see.
Now it's officially winter, and it's a dark, snowy night in the field.
I was late again. The music was so nice I just lost track of the time. I slept well, but not nearly long enough, and I got up around 11:30. I knitted, and I seemed to be on a roll, or maybe I'm finally figuring out how to handle this nasty thread. I finished the first repeat of the pattern, and I like how it's turning out. Now, if I can just keep from dropping something...
Otherwise, I did nothing. I was so late it was too late to do anything.
The weather was really blah. It was bright this morning, but it got progressively more gray as the day went on. The high temperature was 21º. There wasn't any wind and I don't think there was any snow, at least when I was looking. Blah.
The guys were sleepy, of course. When I got up, Grayson came into the bathroom and went to sleep on the rug, and he was so cute, grunting a little and covering his face with his paw. Both guys got some lap time. When the Schwan's guy came to deliver my order, he left the door open and Grayson scooted out into the breezeway, but even though he looked around a lot, he couldn't find the mice, and when the guy left, he shooed him back into the house, which I was glad for. It's cold out in the breezeway and I don't want to have to leave the door open. So at least Grayson got to case the joint. I think he'd have to spend quite a while out there to catch the mice. He knows they're there, though.
So that was a nothing day, and they are going to play Sibelius' Second, so I have to stay up for that, and then I'm going to try to get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour tonight. It's a cold, cloudy night in the field.
It was another late night. The music was just so nice, and then I wanted to take a bath. I had to turn over to go to sleep, but once I did, I slept well, with only one wakeup, but that was partly because I didn't get my full quota of sleep. I got up around 11:00.
I started knitting, and on the third row, I dropped something - eek! After trying to unknit for a while, I gave up and ripped out the whole thing again and started over, although I only did the setup row. Now I am bound and determined to do this thing, but it may be the undoing of me. The thread is so wiry that if I drop a stitch, it immediately unravels three or four rows down, and since every row is all decreases and increases, it isn't possible to just pick up what I've dropped. That will make me knit even more slowly. Grr.
I didn't do much of anything else except for my surfing. I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't finish until around the time the talking started. Another lost day.
I thought I might go to choir practice, but I find I'm just too timid. I had enough trouble getting home the last time I went, in the dark and the snow, that I just don't want to try it again. I'm really disappointed, because I love to sing, but I don't want to end up wrapped around a tree, either. After the first of the year I really must get going on my eyes. I just can't be constrained not to drive at night. So anyway, I didn't go. Sigh. Maybe I can at least get to church on Sunday, but that's dependent on the weather.
The weather today was blah again. The temperature was mostly under 20º (I can't be more specific because all of a sudden I can't get out beyond PastyNet) with some north winds. There was some snow, but not more than an inch of accumulation. It was dark and and dreary. Blah.
The guys both got some lap time today, for a change. Grayson was particularly loving, for some reason. He gets that ways every so often, I guess. I think I have discovered where Louie hangs out. When I moved in here, I put a cat bed (my only one) way back in the corner of the closet, under a shelf. Buster and DC never used it, nor did Jasmine, I don't think. Grayson isn't interested, either, but several times, I've caught Louie sitting in the door from the closet when I got up. I think he sleeps there. It is a cozy corner and probably as warm as anyplace in the house in the winter. When it's warmer he sleeps someplace else, but lately I think he's been hanging out there.
I almost hate to mention the temperature in the house, because if it gets cold and windy outside, it will get cold in here, too, but for the past few days, it's been very comfortable. I guess it just took quite a while to warm up. What a relief! It's nice to be comfortable again. I'm not saying it's hot or anything, but I'm comfortable.
So now it's another dark cold night in the field and I hope to be in bed a little earlier tonight. I don't know, though, because I'm reading Special Forces again and listening to a concert by Chanticleer that is starting out to be really wonderful.
Oh, I was late again. The music was nice and I was reading and time just passed. Sigh. I'll be late again tonight, because there was the St. Olaf's Christmas Concert, which I usually enjoy. This year was nice, because there wasn't nearly as much strange modern stuff as there has been in the past. I enjoy hearing all those young, fresh voices.
I didn't get up until 11:30 again, and I cast on and knitted eight rows on the scarf. I like it much better. The fabric has some structure to it, and while the holes are plenty big enough, it's not sloppy like it was on the larger needles. Of course, it's going to take a lot of repeats to get it long enough, but that's all right.
So I was late getting to the studio, as has been usual lately. I didn't do a lot, but I did almost get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. Otherwise, I just about got my surfing done before the talking started. Right about the time it was getting dark, Marty came by and blew out the driveway and cleared out the drifts in front of the garage and the breezeway doors. Apparently they have finally hauled away our tractor, but heaven knows when it will come back, since the repair people are overwhelmed. I hope it's soon, because it doesn't look to stop snowing any time soon.
The weather was blah again. The high temperature was 23º for a little while this evening. There wasn't much wind, and there was a little snow. It was dark and cloudy all day. Blah.
The guys mostly slept, as usual. Grayson was very bad last night and pushed my embroidery toolbox onto the floor, where everything came out and the bottle I was keeping some of my needles in broke. He knew I wasn't pleased, and he's been trying to get on my good side ever since. I did let him sit on my lap tonight, so he knows I'm not still mad. He as a quirky streak in him, like lots of cats do, and every so often he will do something he knows he shouldn't just to see what will happen. What usually happens is that somebody shrieks at him and chases him away.
So that's about all there was to another quiet day. It's a dark, cold night in the field again and there will probably be some more snow.
The music was nice - they finally played a Beethoven sonata - so it was late when I went up to the north end and afrer 1:00 when I went to bed. I slept very well again. I don't think I'm sick or anything - I'm not having night sweats, which I usually do when something isn't right - but I just seem to need a whole lot of sleep. I was awake around 8:30, and I went back to sleep until 11:30.
I knitted, but after I did six rows on the body of the scarf, I looked at it and decided I just did not like it, so I ripped the whole thing out, except for what I had to throw away because it was too tangled. I started it again on #1 needles, and after I did half of one repeat of the edging, I decided that was a much better needle size. At least all the stitches are about the same size. However, then I decided that instead of constructing it the way I originally planned, I should do the center first, then knit on the edging, so I ripped out what I did on #1s and did a little calculating. All that took at least two hours, so I was very late getting to the studio again.
I had to go to the post office today to send off the bracelet and some other stuff, so I had to collect some clothes to wear, some from the window seat and some from the laundry room. I didn't get to do very much at all besides eat before I was off to the post office. Our road is good, and US-41 is about the same way it will be all winter, with hard-packed snow on most of it. One gets used to driving on that. There wasn't a lot of mail, but my Christmas present from Debbie came, and it was fun. I could tell she's been collecting stuff for a while. There were two scarves, one of which is an infinity Mobius, a pretty top, and some goat's milk soap. Fun stuff.
The weather was a whole lot warmer than it's been lately. The high temperature was 27º, which felt almost balmy. The temperature rose from 21º to 27º in about half an hour around 1:00, when the wind shifted and picked up from the north. The wind went from 7 mph to 24 mph with 30 mph gusts in that same half an hour. Why it would warm up when the wind shifted to the north, I don't know. It's been windy for the rest of the afternoon, with gusts up to 35 mph, and the temperature has been falling and is now 19º. It's supposed to get quite cold tonight. It was dark and dreary all day, and we had our normal snow showers, although no more than an inch fell.
I didn't see much of the cats today, although Louie did get a tummy rub. I think they slept all day. They seem to be up and around between 4 and 8 in the morning, then they stir a bit when I get to the kitchen and they see what's for breakfast today before they sleep for the rest of the day. I can relate to that, although my schedule is a little different. We are all in hibernation, and they seem to understand my schedule. There are things that are good about having cats that are a little older and more staid. Last night before I went to bed, Louie went to sleep on the rug, and Grayson came and laid down parallel to him with his back leaning up against Louie's belly. It was so cute. It makes me sorry I don't take the camera with me all over. It didn't last long, though, because I got up and went away and so did they.
I finally did get my surfing done, and I will read for a while before I climb back into my warm nest. If there's some nice music, I may be up late, though. The station seems to play the really good stuff after about 10:00 at night. Right now they are playing some Christmas music, which I enjoy. Most of the year, they don't play much choral music at all except at Christmastime, and I like to listen to it.
Now it's a dark, cold night in the field. It's not really dark, though, because the full moon is lighting things even when it's cloudy and snowing. Looking out when it's snowing and the moon is shining on the clouds is really interesting. It's too bad no camera could capture that.
December 16 - Beethoven's Birthday
Happy Beethoven's Birthday, everyone. Curiously enough, the radio station I listen to hasn't played one bit of his music since the music started at 8:00. Bah, humbug!
I went up to the north end at a reasonable hour last night, but with my usual fiddling around, it was almost 11:00 when I got to bed. I slept well. I was awake around 8:30, so i called the clinic and told them I wasn't coming, then I went back to bed and didn't get up until around 11:30. Whew!
i knitted, and knitted, and knitted and it was 2:00 before I got to the studio with something to eat. I got the body of the scarf picked up, so now I can have at that two rows at a time. I am not happy with how it looks, at least so far, but I will press on regardless and see how it looks when it's blocked (if it's possible to block it). The thread is extremely hard to work with, and at least twice I had to unknit a row or two when I dropped something. I certainly hope that doesn't happen when I have 62 stitches on the needle! I ended up doing the lower edging on a couple of 6" double pointed needles, since the circular was just a bit wiry itself and I kept losing it. I mean, this is hard knitting. Why, oh, why do I keep getting myself into these things? If it turns out the way I envision it, it will be worth it, but right now I don't know if it will. We shall see.
I was so late that I didn't get to do much of anything, even all my surfing, before the talking started, but I did find the part of the packing for the bracelet that I was missing, so tomorrow I will venture forth from my den and take it to the post office. That will be a relief.
The weather was nondescript. There was some snow overnight and some snow this afternoon (wouldn't be Copper Harbor in winter if there wasn't some snow every day, right?) but I don't think there was much accumulation. The high temperature was 17º, and there was very little wind all day long. This morning, there was some sunshine and blue skies (at least around noon), but it was dark and dreary this afternoon. Well, that's hardly fair. With the sun setting at 5:00, by 4:00 it's getting dark, so that makes it look dark.
The guys went off and did their thing for most of the day today. I don't know where they go. Of course, I was asleep for most of the day, so I couldn't tell where they were. Grayason slept on the rug in the bathroom for most of the time I was knitting. Right after I went to bed last night, I heard some crunching or tearing noises, and I assumed it was Louie eating plastic grocery bags, but it wasn't. i think it was Louie tearing a hole in one of the bags of dry cat food I brought into the house yesterday - the one they decided they didn't like. At least there was a hole in the bag when I looked at it tonight, and I don't think it was there yesterday. So I filled the bowls. One way they've been keeping warm is by eating a lot, and since they like dry food better than canned, they've been eating a lot of dry food. I still think canned food is better for them, but both of them were used to dry food when they came to me, and the only way to change their minds would be to not put down any dry food, which would mean I'd be awakened at all hours of the night by hungry cats. So I'll just go with the flow and give them what they want. They do eat some canned food, so that helps.
Tonight I packed up the bracelet and some bills I have to pay by check, and tomorrow I will be off to the post office. Now I will read for a bit, then go and wash my hair and hope I can get up earlier and get an earlier start tomorrow. It's a dark, snowy but not very windy night in the field.
Well, I didn't make it to church this morning. When I looked outside, I realized I couldn't have gotten out of the garage anyway, so it didn't matter. When I got to the north end last night, at a sort of reasonable time, I realized I had screwed up the scarf pattern, and by the time I got that straight and took my bath, it was 11:00. I slept well again. It's amazing what a little heat will do. I was up around 7:15, but I couldn't see the other end of the harbor, so I went back to bed, and the next time I woke up it was 11;00.
I tried to start the scarf. Oh, this is going to be a nasty project. I knitted the first repeat of the edging three times before I got it sort of right, and I'm not sure it still is. The first thing I found was that I was going to have to add a stitch at the beginning, just so I could do the yarn over right. Then I kept dropping things. Not only does this thread have sequins in it, it has several plies which want to split, and sometimes it wants to slide and sometimes it doesn't. I kept dropping things, and the thread is wiry enough that I couldn't just pick up what I dropped, when I could see what I dropped. I was having a hard time seeing at all, for some reason. Sometimes I can see just fine, and other times I can't, for no apparent reason, and this was one of the can't days. Anyway, I did one repeat in two hours. I hope it will start to go faster as I learn how to control the thread.
So I did my surfing and I reworked the pattern again. One of these days I'll get it right. I thought it was wrong last night, but now I'm not sure it was. Anyway, I fiddled with it today and I have a little more confidence now. Ron came over this evening and dug out the garage, and while I was out there, I brought in a bunch of cat food.
I didn't tell him I've decided not to go to see the doctor tomorrow. When I thought about it, I decided it wasn't worth the trip to ask the doctor one question that I can ask on the telephone. So I will cancel and just wait until the appointment I had already scheduled for February.
The weather was the usual, although while I was asleep, some interesting things happened. Between 6:00 and 8:00, the wind shifted from west-southwest to northeast and rose from 5 mph to 39 mph with 50 mph gusts. The temperature rose to 23º for an hour or so before it started to drop again, and it is now 15º. The wind has dropped off, too, to 18 mph with 28 mph gusts. It snowed off and on - mostly on - all day, sometimes quite hard. Whether there will be snow tomorrow or not depends upon which of the four or five forecasts the Weather Underground publishes you believe. I tend to think it will snow. I know they want to be inclusive, but sometimes they are just confusing.
The guys were sleepy all day. Grayson wanted to sit on me after I ate, but I had to shoo him off when I went to the bathroom. Louie wanted to sit on me just about the time I decided I'd better find something to eat. OTherwise, I didn't see much of them. Grayson was around, looking out the door, while I was out talking to Ron, and they were both interested in the bags of cat food.
When I moved the cases of canned cat food, I discovered that my little mice have been caching sunflower seeds in the bottom case, very neatly, with hardly any on the floor. I don't like to let the cats out into the breezeway, but I may have to sometime. Not now; I'd have to leave the door open, and it's too cold out there. Every so often I will see a mouse when I go out there so I know they're there. I suppose I should set some traps or something. They seem to prefer sunflower seed to cat food, which is interesting.
There seems to have been some kind of problem with PastyNet's email last night and today. I got only a few messages this morning, not including one I should have gotten by 7:00 PM last night, and I didn't get any all day until after 5:00, when they started coming through in small dribbles. I'm not sure what the problem was.
So that was a quiet day. Now I think I will read for a while again before I totter up to the north end for another long winter's nap. It's a cold, windy and snowy night in the field.
Well, the music was nice and i was reading, so it was late when I got to bed. Oh, well. I slept well, too. The temperature at the north end was pretty much what it ought to be, and that was much more comfortable. I didn't freeze myself on the sheets and pillows when I climbed into bed, and I slept extremely well. I was up around 8:00, but that was far too early, and the next time I woke up, it sounded like the smoke alarm had beeped, once. I still can't tell when that is something I really hear or when it's something in my head. Anyway, it was 12:30, so I got up. I didn't knit, because I was so late.
Either last night or this morning, I realized that I needed more of a pattern for the scarf, so I worked on that while I was in the bathroom. I spent most of the afternoon working on it, and now I have something I can at least start to knit from. When I do a pattern like this, everything is subject to change. I'm not sure of the gauge, and I'm not sure I will like it in garter stitch, although I want to try it, because then it will be essentially reversible. At least I have enough that I can cast on... Not that it it was easy. There were a lot of things I needed to change from my first idea, but I think I have it refined now. So we'll see. I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to actually work on it.
The weather was really blah today. The temperature has been steady at 17º all afternoon, with very light to calm breezes from the south. The storm that hit southern Lower Michigan missed us, like John Dee said it would, but we are under a lake effect advisory from 2:00 AM tomorrow. I will have to see how it is in the morning, but I doubt I'll be going to church - again. It was dark and cloudy and blah. I'd rather something was going on. I think there were a few light snow showers, but nothing that accumulated. Blah.
It is so nice to have some heat in the house! The bedroom is at its set temperature, and it was about 68º in the bathroom, which is certainly tolerable. It was still cold in the studio - 62º, which doesn't feel nearly as cold as it did two weeks ago - but it has warmed up during the day to about 65º. The temperature in any room in the house depends a lot upon where the wind is coming from, but since it was nearly calm this afternoon, everyplace got a chance to warm up. And the boiler is running as much as it should. So I guess everything is about as good as it's going to get.
I think the guys probably spent the day in the bathroom. At least I didn't see them very much. Grayson went to sleep on my lap until I had to go to the bathroom, and Louie wanted to sit on me just about the time I was getting up to get my dinner. They do seem happy that it's warmer in here, just like I am.
So now I think I will try to totter up to the north end soon and take a bath - my hair is horrible - and go to bed early just in case I can go to church tomorrow. I am disappointed that I seem to have gotten very timid since last winter. I don't want to drive in this weather at all. And I shouldn't be driving at night under any circumstances. However, there is a real question of whether I'll be able to get out of my garage, so we'll have to see what happens.
Now it's a calm, cold night in the field and there is more snow on the way.
it was a little later when I got to bed last night - about midnight - but I slept well with very little coughing at all. Yay! I'm getting over it! I got up around 9:30 and I knitted for a while before the plumber called me to say he would be on his way shortly. He got here around 1:00 and worked for quite a while. I now have a new control and a new pump and a severely depleted bank account. It feels warmer in here, although the thermometer doesn't read much higher, so maybe my weather station is defective. He said that the sump pump was working, so I turned on the humidifier, and the humidity is going up a bit already. I will have to try to remember to go downstairs tomorrow and check to make sure the sump is working. I do not need water all over the boxes in my basement.
The plumber had not so good news about that, though. I have had to run regular water through my heating system, because there has always been a leak in it that we can't find and the fluid keeps leaking out. My water is so hard that it is eating away at the pipes. He was trying to sell me on the idea of putting in a forced air system when the boiler goes. I just don't want to do that. I like my warm floors. However, that is sometime in the future, so I'll worry about it when it happens. I did stop him when I told him I know there is a leak and I think I know where it is, but this is not the time to get into that. Oh, the joys of the happy house owner!
Otherwise, I didn't do much of anything. For some reason it felt colder in here today than it did yesterday, so I sat and read and tried to keep my hands warm.
Ron brought out the tractor and did some work on the driveway, but there are still drifts up against the garage door and getting out will be interesting, to say the least.
The weather was frigid again. The wind peaked last night with gusts of 43 mph from the north. It died down overnight, so even though the temperature was just about steady at 8º. it didn't feel so cold today. While we had some snow showers, we also had a little sunshine. I was just as glad to stay in.
Only Louie was asleep on the rug when I got up this morning, but he was right where I needed to put my feet, so i had to get him to move. Grayson came a while later. Both guys got some lap time today. Grayson was interested in the plumber, who was not interested in him. I'm glad I'm around. Buster was like that when he was young, and somebody was mean to him when I wasn't around, which soured him on people after that. I don't want that to happen to Grayson.
Well, with any kind of luck I will have a warm house tomorrow. I sure do hope so. This has been difficult. I don't think I'll be up too late tonight, unless the music turns out to be exceptionally nice. It's a very cold, but not very windy, night in the field.
I was in bed by 11:00 last night, and I slept well. It was the first night I haven't eaten a cough drop when I went to bed, and it worked out, so I guess I'm finally getting over my cold. I still drip a lot and cough occasionally, but it's better. I didn't get up until 10:00 this morning. It was - and is - still cold in here, but I knitted a bit. I had a terrible time getting onto and off of the toilet, because both cats were asleep on the rug, which I put in front of the toilet so my feet won't freeze.
As soon as I got to the studio, I called the plumber, and he blew me off, or I thought he did. He finally called tonight, and after rambling on for quite a while, he said he will try to be here tomorrow afternoon or Saturday. Well, I hope so. I've had about enough cold. Evidently this control is quite expensive, but I guess I'll figure out some way to pay for it. Because he's retiring at the end of the year, he wants a full payment. Oh, sigh. So much for budgets. At least he may come sooner than the other guys.
I didn't do much, but I moved around enough that I wasn't as cold as I was yesterday. I have lost part of the packing materials for the bracelet, but since it looks like I won't be getting out any time soon, I have time to ransack the studio to find it. That warmed me up some.
It was "warmer" today. The temperature is now 16º, which is practically balmy by recent numbers. Unfortunately, the wind is rising, too, and we are now having 40 mph gusts. They are from the north, and the house is sheltered a bit on that side, but I don't have much hope that it will have warmed up in the bathroom. We had snow showers all day, and there was even a little sunshine and some blue skies - followed by heavy snow, being blown horizontal by the wind. We aren't used to this kind of weather until January or February. We have had a total of 86" of snow so far for the season, as of yesterday, so we are going good for a banner winter. I'd be happier if it was a little warmer.
The tractor is still dead, and I don't know if Ron has been able to find somebody to do any plowing for us. If Jack can't find somebody to get the tractor to the repair shop by the middle of next week, we will just have to pay to have the shop take it away. There are all sorts of things that need fixing. In the meantime, I am pretty much snowed in. I think I could get out if I had to, but it would be hard. The road is all right; Ron plowed before the tractor broke, but he never got to my driveway.
The guys spent the day wherever they have been lately, although Grayson was around a bit. They look so cute when they are asleep on the rug, and Grayson keeps covering up his nose. I don't think they like the cold either.
I am debating taking a bath tonight. i should, or my hair will be a mess by Saturday, but if it's still 60º in the bathroom, I probably won't. I'm getting really good at getting out of one set of clothes and into another in a real hurry.
So it's another frigid night in the field, and I hibernate.
I was late again last night. When I got up to the north end, after reading for too long, it was 63º in the bathroom again. My heat lamps do a pretty good job when it's like that, if I stand right under them, so I was able to get my bath and rush into my nightie and robe without getting chilled. I slept fairly well, but I only slept until around 10:00 before I started coughing. The stuff puddles in the back of my throat and my nose and by morning, I can't get it all blown out for quite a while, especially since it's getting more and more gluey. So I got up and knitted on that shawl I started a while ago with the very fine yarn. I didn't get very far because I screwed up the first row I knit and had to rip and redo. I am now beginning to put in stitch markers, which will help.
I had an accident - and I never finished washing the load - but otherwise, I didn't do anything. It's too cold around here to do anything. I finally got a pair of gloves, and that helped, but my hands are still cold all the time. I can use the mouse with gloves, but I can't type with them. I decided I wanted one of the things I got from Schwan's for dinner, so I had to go downstairs and get it out of the freezer. That's always a trial. Those stairs are steep, and I have a hard time with the last two, both going and coming. However, the shepherd's pie wasn't bad, and it was warming, so I guess it was worth it, although I won't order it again.
The weather continues frigid and snowy. Here in the harbor, the temperature varied between 6º and 10º. We've been breaking low temp records all week. It snowed lightly several times, although it was hard to tell whether it was coming down or just blowing, since the wind was gusting up to 33 mph again. The wind is dying down a bit now, so maybe it will be a bit warmer at the north end tonight. On the subject of snow, the road commission reported 17" of snow at Delaware on Monday, and we've now had 52" so far this month. We could even break that record for December we set in 2000 - 133". The tractor broke again, so I didn't get my driveway cleared. I guess I'll just hibernate.
The guys did. When I got up, they were both curled up on the rug in the bathroom, which was in front of the toilet so I could put my feet on it. I think they may have spent most of the day there, not that I blame them. Both of them did come and sit on me and go to sleep. I'm apparently even warmer than the rug. Grayson keeps coming around and telling me he doesn't like this. Well, guy, I don't either.
I think I am going to try hard to get to bed earlier tonight. I can't decide what to read next. and that will help. Besides, the only warm place in the house is in my bed after I warm it up. Now it's another frigid, snowy night in the field.
I guess I was afraid of what I'd find when I went up to the north end last night, so I just didn't. Besides, the music was really nice, Beethoven and Haydn and things like that. So it was ridiculously late when I did finally go, and I was right. It was 63º in the bathroom and 60º in the bedroom. So I bundled up in my fleece robe and went off to sleep. I woke up twice, the second time around 10:00. I really wanted to go back to sleep, but I started coughing, so at 10:30, I got up. I finished the bonnet, and both sets are now in the laundry to be washed.
Besides that, I emptied the wastebaskets at the north end. This has been a three-box (of Kleenex) cold and the wastebaskets were overflowing.
Actually, now that I think about it, I accomplished a number of things today. While the talking was going on, I got at the bracelet and finished that, too, so now all I have to do is find the packing materials and I can send it off, I'm still fiddling around with the pattern for the scarf. The pattern for the main part is 9 stitches by 16 rows, which is incommensurate with any reasonable border unless I want to make the finished item too wide, so I'm going to have some figuring and fiddling to do. As I think I said when I was designing the border for the shawl, lace knitting design isn't trivial. I need to start that scarf soon, though, because it's going to be hard to knit and I'd like Debbie to get hers sometime around Christmas.
The weather was better ignored. The temperature got down to 1º for six hours or so overnight, and it only got up to 16º this afternoon. During the morning, the wind shifted around to the north and it has now risen to 38 mph gusts. There were numerous snow showers, but I don't think there was much accumulation. I guess tomorrow is supposed to be worse, and the temperature may not get out of single digits. Brr.
The guys were mostly wherever they go to keep warm, although when I got up they were both asleep on the rug in the bathroom (and the temperature there had risen to 65º). Grayson came and went to sleep on my lap a couple of times. Evidently he likes how warm it is here. The only thing is, if I twitch at all, he jumps off and goes away. I don't know why. I may only want to reach for something. Anyway, they are making do about as well as I am.
Tonight I have to wash my hair, no matter what the temperature in the bathroom, and I hope to be in bed early. I am looking at Bolin again, but I don't know if I'll be able to do any writing on it. Now it's a dark, frigid - really frigid - night in the field and a good time to hibernate.
When I went up to the north end last night, much too late, I was amazed and delighted to find that the temperature in the bedroom was 67º (what the thermostat is set at) and 68º in the bathroom (10º under what the thermostat is set at, but tolerable anyway). I don't know how that happened, but it was sooo nice to go to bed and sleep in a normal fashion! i think it snowed lightly off and on all night, even though it didn't register at the NWS station. When I can't see the lights of town, I know it's snowing.
I slept pretty well, although I finally got up around 10:30 because I started to cough and I had to pee. I knitted for a long time and I was later than ever getting to the studio. I'm almost finished with the bonnet, and then I can go on to the sequin scarf. When Igot to the studio, it was 61º in here, so there is definitely something wrong with the heat for this room. Probably a zone valve. It actually doesn't bother me very much (I'm wearing my heavy fleece jacket) until late in the afternoon when I'm getting hungry, although my ankles got cold today.
I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't do anything. I really must finish that bracelet. Maybe tomorrow, when I will finish the bonnet and I don't have the pattern for the scarf done yet. I did try to get somebody to work on the heating system, and I can't. Everybody is too busy. And my regular plumber had forgotten to order the control he wants to change out. So maybe by the end of the week, I can get some relief in the studio. With him retiring, I don't know what I'm going to do. At least he would usually come.
It was a very hairy day. The high temperature was 19º, but it dropped off a lot late in the afternoon, to 12º with 35 mph wind gusts from the north-northwest now. I actually don't believe the report from the NWS station, which said there wasn't much wind all day. That's not what I saw. The snow was being blown horizontal all day, and all the screens, all around the house, are covered with snow. Yes, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. Hard. Ron said it was amazing how much had fallen this afternoon.
I didn't see much of the kitties today. I think they were up at the north end, where it was warm. They did both sit on me for a while, but it's too cold down here for them. They will go where it's warm, and they like the bathroom.
My plan is to go into deep hibernation, probably for most of the week, although I will try to finish the bracelet and get it sent off (promise, John). It shouldn't take long, since all I have left to do is the clasp. Otherwise, I don't expect to stick my nose out of the house until I absolutely have to. I mean, it's nasty out there. RIght now, it looks like there may be a break in the snow by next Monday, when I see the doctor. I hope so.
Now it's a very cold, windy, very snowy night in the field and a good night for a long winter's nap.
So instead of going to bed early, I went late. I was reading and time just passed, and then i had to take a bath. It was 62º in the bathroom and 60º in the bedroom, and that felt warm to me when I got there, because by that time it was 56º in the studio. I managed to get the temperature up to 63º by turning on the heat lamp, but stepping out of the shower wasn't very much fun, and I got into my nightie and robe as fast as I possibly could. I slept well for most of the night. Every time I woke up, I coughed and blew out a bunch of goop. I woke up around 9:30 and I really wanted to go back to sleep, but that time, I couldn't stop the coughing, so I got up. I knitted several rows on the bonnet. It wasn't any warmer in the bathroom, but it took me a while to cool off. It's been nice and cozy in my bed, at least after I get it warmed up. Almost makes me want an electric blanket, but I like my down comforters too much.
Anyway, I started the day by having blueberry pancakes and sausage, the first time in quite a while that I've done that. I discovered that it works quite well to mix frozen blueberries into the pancake mix, and they cook just fine. Good. I have quite a few blueberries frozen. Anyway, that made a nice warm pad in my tummy, and i had some coffee for a change, and that helped, too. The only thing is, there's not enough protein in three pork sausages, so I was hungry. I think it's probably partly because I'm slowly getting over my cold, too. Too bad; I lost about 5 lbs while I was sick, and I could stand to keep that up.
I didn't do much else. It was too dark to bead.
It was actually a rather nondescript day. The temperature went down to 5º overnight and it has finally risen to 12º. It was 10º for most of the afternoon. The wind was very light, from the southwest, and it is now nearly calm. I don't think there was any snow during the day, but it snowed overnight, a bit, and I think it is probably snowing now. I guess we're in for another stretch of snow starting tomorrow.
I didn't see a lot of the guys again today. it's too cold here. They were romping around this morning. I discovered last night that indeed Grayson had stepped on the hour button on the clock radio during the night and it was two hours ahead of the actual time. He got some lap time and Louie got a lot of tummy rubs. I guess I've forgotten to mention that Louie knows how to open doors. I rather thought so, after the couple of times last fall when the door to the breezeway unaccountably opened. I don't think he can open one that's latched, but if it is ajar, he knows enough to push on it, or stick out his paddy-paw and pull it open enough to get in. Grayson, on the other hand, will wait patiently for somebody to open a door enough for him to get in or out. But then, Louie has the longest toes I've ever seen on a cat, while Grayson's are as short as any I've ever seen. So Grayson has these cute little round paws, whereas Louie's are long and pointed. If I ever saw paw prints, I think I could tell which one made them.
I called Johanna - she is fine - and canceled my massage for tomorrow. I don't want to bother her, and I want to be around in case I can get a plumber here early. I know there is still something seriously wrong with the heat, and I'm wondering how I will be able to impart that to the plumber, who is a male chauvinist. I don't know how many times I have to tell him that things were fine last Tuesday, and now they are NOT fine, and get him to believe me. I know it wasn't all the wind and the temperature. And with the lack of wind, there is no reason at all for it to be so cold in the studio. I find all this very frustrating, and I only hope that now that he is retiring I can find somebody who will believe me and can fix my problems as they occur. It's a real pity, too. When the system is working, I really like it. I love my warm floors. But I've had more problems with it than anybody has a right to have. So we'll see what happens tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Now I am going to read for a little while longer, and then I am going to bundle up and hope to get another good night's sleep. I am still coughing and blowing - and I just had a coughing fit - but every day it gets a little better, so eventually I hope to get over it. If I'm not by a week from tomorrow, I will be complaining to the doctor, believe me. Now it's a frigid, dark, but calm night in the field, and the snow is still coming. Oh, it's winter in the Keweenaw.
December 7 - Pearl Harbor Day
I was only 5 months old when Pearl Harbor was attacked, but it shaped at least the first five years of my life, and probably the rest of it, too. So I always try to remember it.
I actually slept last night! it was so nice! I didn't get to bed until after midnight, but I settled down and cleared out my sinuses, and I fell asleep! I woke up several times, of course, and every time I did, I coughed and blew out copious quantities of goop, but then I went back to sleep. I hope I can do as well tonight. I didn't get up until around 10:00, although I need to check the clock in the bedroom, because I thought it read 12:00 when I woke up. Possibly a little four-footed person, who was around all night, stepped on one of the buttons. My digital clocks drive me batty. The one in the bedroom, that has the phone, has buttons that can be pressed anytime. The one in the bathroom needs a second button to be pressed, but there is something wrong with the minute button and I have a terrible time making it work at all. Almost makes me want to go back to an old analog clock.
Anyway, in spite of the cold, I worked several rows on the cap before I got dressed. I have figured out something about keeping food warm when it's cold. I've found that if I put a second plate over my plate or dish, or a saucer on top of my mug, the food stays much warmer. And I warm the plate on top of the toaster oven while I'm toasting my bread. So I have been able to have hot eggs and warm toast and hot herbal tea. That's nice. I hate cold eggs, and any number of times, I haven't drunk my tea because it was lukewarm at best when I wanted it.
Yes, it's still cold in here. What the plumber did yesterday has had no effect whatsoever on temperatures in here. So I will have to call him on Monday and voice my displeasure. Something broke down there on Wednesday, and it was not only the diaphragm on the overflow tank, and until it's fixed, I'm not going to get any heat up here. Grr.
Today was mostly a Ron day. He borrowed my car and had a terrible time getting out of the driveway. Evidently it had drifted rather badly south of the house. So when he came back - with my other package - he got the tractor and blew out the driveway very nicely. Actually, when he came back with the truck, he dug out the breezeway door, so now I should be able to close the garage door when i leave. His car is dead, and his son's truck is in the shop for transmission work, so he's stuck. That's all right. When he drove me home after the colonoscopy, I determined that he is a careful and knowledgeable driver, so it doesn't concern me much. And he has to open the post office. We didn't have much of an accumulation of snow today, but Wednesday and Thursday, they reported 16" at Delaware, and it looked to me like we had almost that much here.
Otherwise, i did nothing. I was going to finish the bracelet, but I didn't. I read some, and that was about it. It's cold around here.
It's cold everywhere. The high for the day, briefly around 7:00 was 15º, and it is now 5º, which breaks the low we set in 2000, the year we had almost 134" of snow in December. As of Thursday, we had already had 47.5" this season, so we're on our way... The highest wind gusts, 38 mph happened around 4:00 this morning, but the wind was strong all day. It has now swung around to the southwest, which means there won't be any LES, but it still seems to be snowing anyway. I didn't really stick my head outside much today, but it was cold - frigid, really. At the same time, not long after it got dark, I looked up and there was a crescent moon shining through the clouds.
I don't know where the kitties are hanging out, but every so often one or another of them would come and sit on my lap to warm up. That's all right; I was cold, too, and they make a nice warm pad on my legs and I can sink my fingers into their nice warm fur.
I have decided I'm not going to church tomorrow, again. It is going to be exceptionally cold overnight, and the roads are a mess; as I suspected on Thursday, there was ice before that snow, and what I've heard is that the roads are awful. Besides, I discovered while I was talking to Ron that every time I start talking, I start coughing, and I'm sure that would happen while I was singing, too. So I will hibernate.
I do have to take a bath tonight; my hair is greasy on top again. I don't know how that will work. I can warm the bathroom a bit with the heat lamps, but not to much more than 63º. Stepping out of the nice warm shower into that is not fun at all. And I will have to cover my head with the covers to keep my wet head warm. Oh, this is horrible, and I'm really tired of it. All I hope is that I can sleep again. I was sneezing a while ago, and I hope I'm not getting reinfected.
So that is how it is. It's a dark, frigid night in the field.
I was in bed by 10:30 last night, but it was not a good night. I was warm enough, after I got the bed warmed up, but I coughed almost all night long, and the cough drops didn't do a thing. I finally did get to sleep deeply around 5:00, but I woke up around 7:30 needing to go bad and having a night sweat. So I'm not well yet. Anyway, I was sitting in the very cold bathroom when I decided the best thing I could do was call the plumber ASAP, so I trundled down to to the studio and did. He was very grumpy, but he was on his way to Medora anyway and he agreed to come and look at things.
I tried to go back to sleep, but after coughing for an hour, I gave up and got up. I knitted two rows on the baby cap before I got dressed. After I ate, Grayson came and sat down on my lap and went to sleep - he knows where it's warm - and as a result, I had an accident, although not a bad one. I did have to change my underwear, though, and wouldn't you know, while I was doing that, the plumber came.
Well, it was inconclusive. The only thing he found was that he had turned down the control that governs the temperature going out of the boiler, so he turned that up, and he gave me the bad news that it may need to be changed. It has too much play in it. He maintained that everything else was working fine, which I'm still not sure I believe. He also gave me the unwelcome news that he is retiring. I can see why he would. He's 62, he has an awful job, and he never bounced back from prostate surgery several years ago. I hate to see him go, much as I've had hassles with him. He was always willing to come any time I had a problem. The people who serviced the boiler a couple of years ago have agreed to take over maintenance of his installations, if his son won't.
Anyway, he went on his way. The temperature in the studio has now gone up to just over 60º, which is an improvement (I think it was 56º when I got here this morning), but it's still awfully cold in here. So we'll see.
In the meantime, Ron still doesn't have a car. He got someone else to drive him to the post office, because at the time the plumber was clogging up the driveway. I went in to town about the time the post office closed to get my mail - including the neat yarn with the sequins in it - and pick him up. Then I discovered that the plumber had plowed the east-west part of my driveway and in so doing had made a mess of both my driveway and the road. I had a hard time getting out of the garage, because there is quite a drift in front of the door. Anyway, I drove him to his driveway and for the first time I saw the house the guy built beside him. It is hideous, three stories high, olive green, with outrigger decks on each side and just about as close to Ron's lot line as possible. It really messes up Ron's view out his kitchen windows. Neither of us can understand why anybody would do such a thing. He didn't even make provisions to put in an elevator, and his main kitchen is on the third level! Geez! Well, my installation isn't exactly small or inconspicuous, either, but it is a bit more useful.
So I came home and admired the new yarn. Before I left to get Ron, I had graphed out the pattern I want to use for the body of the scarf - all openwork, which will be interesting in this yarn. I want to put an edging on it, but most of that will be knit in. I have some calculating to do before I decide exactly how to do the edging, but I want to finish the baby cap first anyway. If I can do this scarf, it will be spectacular, almost more like a piece of jewelry than a scarf. We'll see.
During the night, the wind shifted from northwest to north, although it didn't die down much. I could tell, when it stopped banging against the side of the bedroom. The temperature hung in right around 18º all day, and with winds around 15 mph and gusts up to 40 mph, it was cold outside. Now the sustained winds are up to 28 mph with gusts of 38 mph, but it's from the north. The temperature is down to 15º, though, so it's going to be a cold night. I will wrap up in my polar fleece robe and put on my slipper socks again. We didn't have more than a few snow flurries today, and every so often there would be a ray of sunshine or a peek of blue sky - typical lake effect weather.
The guys spent the day someplace I don't know, except when they came and sat on me to get warm. At least they have fur coats! Grayson was interested in the plumber, but he's smart enough to know that when somebody is stomping around with big feet, it's wisest to stay out of his way. Louie, of course, was nowhere to be found while there was a stranger in his house.
Oh, i heard about Don and Peg's daughter. She had the baby - a girl, 3.3 lbs and apparently as healthy as can be when 31 weeks. She will be in Marquette for a month. Under the circumstances, it's about the best outcome we could hope for.
So now I think I will read for a while before I trundle up to the north end and try to sleep. I"ve been coughing all day, though, so I'm not too hopeful. It's a frigid, snowy night in the field.
Somehow I managed not to get to bed until around 12:30 last night. I had to load the dishwasher and I had to take a bath, and that, plus some fooling around, probably explains it. I noticed that it seemed rather cool in the bedroom, but oh, well.
It was quiet outside when I went to bed, but I coughed a lot, so it took me some time to get to sleep. I was up around 4:30 and again around 6:30 and in between the wind started. Since it was just about from the west, it sounded strange, but I knew it was really blowing. I woke up around 9:30 and decided I might as well get up, even though it was early. I knitted an inch or a little more on the baby cap before I got dressed, but I only put on my sweats. After looking outside and hearing the wind and seeing the snow, I decided I wasn't going anywhere today.
It was extremely cold in the kitchen and great room and it was only 61º in the studio, and besides, all of a sudden, I couldn't hear the couple of pumps that have been bothering me. Oh, dear. I just didn't feel like going downstairs today. Late this afternoon, I discovered that the thermostat in the studio had quit, so I changed the batteries and discovered a corroded contact, but I fixed that and it hasn't made any difference. I'm afraid I have a serious heating problem (so what else is new?). I plan to wait until tomorrow before I haul myself down into the basement to check things out, but I'm afraid I'm going to need the plumber. Just what I did not need, with my budget the way it is. It could be a combination of the pumps and the zone valve that controls the entire first floor (a dumb way to do it, in my opinion), but I'll just have to see.
Anyway, I spent a very uncomfortable day, and I didn't work on the bracelet, because it was just too cold for that detailed work. Along about 5:00, I got a call from Pastor's wife telling me they were calling off choir practice. I said, "Good!" I do want to go, but I had already decided I wasn't going anywhere tonight. It is just too ugly out there.
Oh, yes, and I managed to cut myself a bit and I bled enough that I know my blood thinner is working. It's just a scratch, and I have no idea how I did it, but I shall have to make sure to be very careful about things like that.
The weather - oh, the weather! The wind has been from the northwest all day, with gusts as high as 45 mph and wave after wave of lake effect squalls whipping down the harbor. One minute it will be clear and five minutes later, it's not possible to see the lake. The temperature, which had gotten up to 37º around midnight, has fallen all day and is now 18º and falling. The amusing thing about lake effect snow is that it was really quite bright outside, and there were even a couple of rays of sunshine between squalls. The lake effect advisory is on until 7;00 Sunday morning, and besides, it's supposed to be really cold for the next couple of days. Brr!
I didn't see much of the guys today, except for a couple of times when they wanted to sit on me. I'm warm. Grayson runs away when I cough, and Louie only tried once. I don't know where they go, but I suppose it's either up in the loft or down into the basement, where it seems to be marginally warmer. Grayson was complaining, and I don't blame him; so am I.
I am still coughing and blowing and it's still driving me crazy, but I just have to live through that. I do plan to try to get to bed earlier tonight. Between my socks and my fleece robes, I think I can keep warm enough to sleep if my head will let me. This problem has even gotten me thinking about the fireplace, but not only would I have to move a ton of stuff out of the studio, I would have to bring in wood from the garage, and I just don't think I'm up to that. We'll see tomorrow. Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field, and winter is here with a vengeance, no matter what the calendar says.
I read too long, as usual, but I was earlier in bed than the past two nights. Then I started coughing, and I had to turn over to get to sleep. Every time I woke up to pee, I coughed again, so I didn't have a very good night.
When I got up, around 10:00, there wasn't any precip, but I cast on a baby hat - three times, before I got the end right - and by the time I finished that, I was late and there was snow coming down. So I ate and got myself together. I wanted to stop at the post office on my way, but by the time I got there, I decided there was no way I was going 37 miles in that stuff! It looked like heavy snow, but what was hitting my windshield had a lot of water in it, and it was slippery and seeing was poor. So I stopped at the store and got my packages, as well as some pork sausage, which I keep forgetting to get at Pat's, and some bags, and I came home. The person I talked to didn't seem very surprised or upset when I called to cancel my appointment, but now it will be the 16th before I can see the doctor. Oh, well, it isn't important. The pills came and the doctor yesterday told me I'll have to continue taking them. I do want to talk to my doctor about that and several other things, but it's not vital.
I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon. I don't think I got enough sleep last night. I'm hoping tonight is better. I should have finished the bracelet, but it was so dark that I just didn't.
The whole story was the weather. It started snowing around 11:00 and it's snowed (or something) all day. As far as I know, it's still snowing (or something). The temperature hung right below freezing all day, and however much snow we got, it was 1" water equivalent. The wind has been from the south or southeast, and a while ago, we had gusts up to 50 mph. It was nasty out there.
The guys slept for most of the day, as you would expect. When I came back so quickly after I left, Grayson was very happy and he let me know. He doesn't like it when I go away. Louie seems to be more philosophical about things like that.
The winter advisory ends at 4:00 AM tomorrow, but it is replaced by a LES warning. I'll have to see how it goes, but I doubt I'll be going out tomorrow. I really hoped to go to choir, but I'm not really interested in wandering around the countryside in the dark in weather like this. The snow is supposed to continue through Saturday night, and then pick up again on Monday, I think. So winter is coming with a vengeance this year. It reminds me of December 2000, when I was prepping for the stem cell transplant, and having to drive to Ann Arbor in all sorts of horrible weather. That night we had to drive home in Deb's car, get our stuff together and drive back so I could start my prep the next day is stuck in both our minds forever.
So that was another quiet day, and I think I will be going up to the north end soon. I do want to take a bath tonight, and I'm tired. It's a dark snowy, windy night in the field. And this is only December...
I read for too long again last night, and then I had to take a bath, so I was late getting to bed again. Then I started to cough. Ugh. I didn't get to sleep really deeply until probably after 4:00, and then at 10:30, they called to remind me of my doctor's appointment tomorrow. So I got up, and I sewed the buttons on the jackets and the hat, and that meant I was so late getting dressed that I didn't have time to even read my funnies before I had to pack up and take off for town.
The roads were pretty good, all things considered, but it was a slow drive, because they were not clear and dry. Laurium does not do a good job on their streets, and the hospital parking lot, especially the drives, was really bad. You'd think they would think about that.
So I met the hematologist, and except that he is Indian or Pakistani (I can never tell) and since he talked very fast and I had a hard time understanding him, I guess he is all right. His take is that I will have to be on the blood thinners for the rest of my life, since once one has had a blood clot or two, it is far more likely that one will have another one. Besides, I'm so crippled that I can't move very much, and that's a risk factor, too. I'm of two minds. I hoped I would not have to be on this stuff long, because it's outrageously expensive and it's so new that there may be side effects nobody knows about, but on the other hand, it is so much better than Coumadin that I'll just have to cope. So that didn't take very long.
Then I was off to Pat's, where I did the usual damage, but at least it was all food. Now I'll have lots of choices to eat again. I got a nice piece of fish, but I didn't have it tonight. Tomorrow. After that, I had to get gas. I didn't exactly need it, but I would have had to get it tomorrow, and with the weather forecast, I didn't want to take any chances. I got home about 5:00.
The weather was cold and raw, and it was not a nice day to be outdoors. It was one of those days when the high temperature took place at midnight. For most of the day, it was in the upper 20s, with a strong southeast wind. It was dark and cloudy. Not very nice.
I didn't see much of the guys this morning, but they both come to inspect when I came home with all the bags. Grayson seemed very glad to see me. He was just sitting on my lap - makes it very hard to type - but I coughed and he ran off. I suppose they slept while I was gone.
I am tired, and I am still coughing and blowing. Except for when I first get up in the morning, it's a dry, hacking cough and I have a tickle in my throat almost all the time. I am still dripping, especially when I'm outside. Yuck. In the morning, I cough and blow gobs of goop for at least an hour. Yuck. I think I feel better. At least I didn't have much trouble getting around Pat's. I'm tired now, of course, but that's a combination of exertion and not enough sleep.
I hope not to be up so late tonight, and I hope to devise a way to sleep better. This coughing for hours on end is the pits. Now it's a dark, rather windy night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...
Not only didn't I go to bed early last night, I went to bed extremely late. Oops. I slept much better, with a lot less coughing, so I guess my cold is slowly progressing. I was awakened by the phone at 11:30. It was Johanna. She had me down for my massage today, but when I looked at my calendar, I had it for next Monday. Oops. So I will call her on Sunday to see how she's doing and maybe I'll get a massage on Monday. If not, well, oh,well.
I finished the second bootee. Yes, i found the other skeins of yarn, which was good. Now it's buttons, and then I might try to make another bonnet, but we'll see how that goes. However, with all that, it was 2:30 before I ate my first meal, so I am all off-schedule, especially since I have to be up and about tomorrow.
I didn't do a whole lot this afternoon but my surfing and trying to keep ahead of all the "Cyber Monday" emails. I don't care what day it is, I'm not going to buy anything when you think I should. I made one exception - Schwan's had 15% off all orders, so I put in the order I would have done on Wednesday or Thursday anyway. As for the rest of it, I deleted them all. Bah! HUmbug!
The weather was nondescript, except that when I woke up, it was clear this morning. It was so nice ot see the sun! However, it clouded up while I was knitting, and the afternoon was typical December - cloudy and dark. The high temperature was 35º and there wasn't any wind. I guess we are going to get some more snow during the week, but so far they can't tell exactly when or where, so I will go off to see my doctors and hope I can get home OK.
The guys were sleepy, so that is a good indication that the weather won't be the greatest.
While the talking was on, I nearly finished the bracelet. I have the clasps left to do, but first I had to find the stuff for them. Tomorrow. I hope the person who bought it wasn't in a big hurry. It will get done, and it will get sent off, but it may take a while.
Now I will read a while (hopefully not all night) and I have to take a bath so I'm clean for the new doctor. It's a cloudy, cool night in the field.
Wow, December already! Hard to believe.
Well, I didn't get to church. I got to bed by 10:00, but I coughed until midnight and it was after 1:00 before I got to sleep. Fortunately, when I woke up after that, I didn't have as hard a time going back to sleep, but since I didn't get up until 9:30, I didn't get enough sleep and I don't feel very much, if any, better than I did yesterday. I haven't had a real explosion all day, but I have been coughing regularly. It gets old real fast.
I knitted on the second bootee this morning, and as I feared, I don't have enough yarn. Now, if I can find the rest of the yarn of that brand, I might find another skein in that color. Otherwise, Johanna isn't going to get bootees to go with that jacket. I was disappointed but not surprised. Oh, and I have to remember to hunt through the yarn (no easy task) before I go to bed. I did my usual thing, and late in the afternoon, I finally got at the bracelet. After getting off to a rocky start, I made progress, until I discovered that I had used a gold bead (how did that get in there?) instead of silver and had to rip back a couple of rows, then I had tangles and knots and half an hour of mistakes before I got going again. I have about 2/3 of it done. Maybe I can finish it tomorrow and get it mailed off before I go to the doctor's on Tuesday. I hope so. Once people have bought something of mine, I don't like to keep them waiting. Of course, not only does it mean finishing the bracelet (which entails finding the bead and the stretch cord for the closure, I need to find a tag and a gold bag and the packing bag, as well as where to buy the mailing label and postage...it would be easier if I did it more often, but then I'd have to make more bracelets...
IT was a good day to ignore the outdoors. It was dark and cloudy all day long. The temperature was right around 32º, plus or minus a couple of degrees. There was no wind to speak of. It was very uninspiring outside and I was glad to ignore it.
The guys were not inspired either. They ran around a bit while I was getting dressed, but then they went to sleep. Both of them got a little lap time.
It is really very boring around here. The guys like things to be quiet and consistent, and I don't do much that shakes the even tenor of their ways. Of course, this week I will, with doctors on Tuesday and Wednesday and choir on Thursday. They will just have to get used to that.
Last night, after I finished reading Bolin, I decided I wanted to read Special Forces again. I had been thinking about one particular scene and how I might make it more dramatic, but I want to read the whole thing again. When I opened it in Word, I discovered that Word had totally lost the list of all the so-called "errors" that I had told it to ignore - every single one! I started to correct them last night, but it seemed clear it would take too long, so I left it. Tonight I got back at it while I ate dinner, and I think I had to go through the file at least three times before I got them all. I just do not know about that program. I occasionally had problems like that with the 2001 version (and older) but you would think that in 10 years they could have corrected some of that stuff. Obviously, spelling and grammar are not things that Microsoft thinks are very important. Which reminds me, I should save the file before I go on.
Now it's a dark, cool night in the field and I hope to be in bed early again, but we'll see.
Last updated 01/01/14 09:30 PM