A View From the Field








January. 2014

January 31

So January has slipped by on me. Sigh.


I was reading and the  music was nice and time just slipped by, too so I was ridiculously late going to bed. I finally got up around 11:00 and I didn't knit. One thing I'm sure of is that when I spend so much time staring at the screen, I have a hard time seeing the next day. It's happened to me all my life, but I haven't figured out what to do about it this time. I did knit a bit on the old waiting-room sock while the talking was going on, but the trouble with that is that it happens around the time the sun begins to set and it's dark in here. It did keep me from the screen, at least a bit. I have become addicted to solitaire. I'll get over it eventually and go on to something else, but for the time being, I can't stay away from it.


I didn't do much of anything today. i missed going to the post office because I was composing a review for something on Amazon. I know some people just write them and post whatever they write, but I don't like to do that, so I spent a long time getting my wording just right and making sure I said everything I wanted to.


The review was about toilet paper, and after Amazon canceled my subscription to it, I looked around at the other reviews and realized that sometime last summer, Proctor & Gamble shaved a quarter inch off the width of their Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. Can you believe that? I thought the width of toilet paper was a standard, especially since there are certain kinds of holders that need the width to be 4". There were some really inane responses from somebody from the company, mostly saying "So what?" and I felt compelled to add my 2. I've wondered why I've been using so much more paper lately, and I suspect that's part of the reason. I have a backlog out in the breezeway, and when I looked at the pile, sure enough, the two later packages were a good inch smaller than the earlier ones. So now I guess I will have to cast around and try to find some other very soft, very absorbent toilet paper. What a pain.  That is something that should always be there and never be changed. It also amazes me at the hubris of P&G, to think they can unilaterally change the standard width of a basic item like toilet paper. Makes me want to look at all the household items I use and try to stop using any of theirs, although that will be hard. Sorry, but sometimes things like that really set me off. In my world, they'd go bankrupt real fast.


The weather was cold. There was some snow this morning, I think, but by 3:30 it was sunny and clear and so pretty. The sky is so blue at this time of year! The temperature probably got up to 6 or 7, although I wasn't paying close attention. It is now -7 and probably headed down, which just goes to show how much heat leaks out of clear skies. There was a moderate north wind for most of the day which has now died down almost completely. I prepared to go out, but I was just as glad not to. It is supposed to be warmer - mid teens - tomorrow.


Both guys got some lap time today, but otherwise, they were mostly wherever they go to keep warm. Grayson is curled up in his box now, although it's not much of a box anymore. Louie has bothered him enough when he's in it that there are only two sides standing. I will have to see if I can find him another intact box. 


So that was another quiet day. I guess I will have to hear at least part of the concert, because it's Beethoven, but I didn't get enough sleep (deliberately) and I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, because I really do have to go to church, the gas station and the grocery store on Sunday.


it's a cold, clear night in the field.


January 30

Another nothing day.


When I was looking for Louie, I turned on the heat lamp in the bathroom, and when I went up to the north end, after some very nice music and some writing, it was a balmy 73 in there - just right for taking a shower. So I am nice and clean again, except for where I dipped my hair into my dinner. I don't remember having that problem when I had my hair long in my 30s. So I got to take a nice bath and wear my nightie to bed and I slept very well. It was midnight before I got to bed, and I got up around 9:30, with only one wakeup - amazing.


I knitted four rows. Every time I start working on that thing, I wonder why I'm doing it, but then I look at what I've knitted and it's so pretty! I don't know if it's pretty enough to continue until it's big enough to be a scarf, but for now, I just push doggedly on and hope I don't drop any stitches or split any threads (that happens frequently). Especially when I look at when the heat lamp is on, it glitters so and the sequins are so pretty that it inspires me. I should have just done it in garter stitch, but this pattern is really much better, and much harder. Oh, well.


Other than that, I didn't do anything. My back is bothering me a lot, although my hip is mostly better, and it hurts less when I just sit.


The weather was not bad. I think the temperature got up to almost 20 and there wasn't much wind, although it is beginning to rise now, from the north. It's up to 18 mph with 24 mph gusts. That may cool down the north end a bit, but I don't have to shower tonight. The temperature is down to 8 now, and I guess it's supposed to go below zero tonight and be under 10 tomorrow, so it isn't over yet.


I called Louie for quite a bit before i went up to the north end, but he didn't come (Buster is the only cat I've ever had who would reliably do that), but while I was getting undressed in the closet, he stuck his head around the doorframe. I suppose he was zonked out upstairs, where it's warmer. However, it was warm enough in the bathroom that he was there when I got up, laid out full length on the rug. The first time I was up, he and Grayson got into a tussle, which involved some hissing and some meowing. I think he was telling Grayson that he'd had me to himself enough, because Grayson didn't come into the bathroom at all this morning. However, Louie went away after I got dressed, so Grayson had me to himself for most of the day. Louie came and got a nice tummy rub while the talking was going on, but now he's gone away again, leaving the field to Grayson. I think they're both jealous.


The temperature in the studio has finally risen to 64 in the studio, which I find quite tolerable. My hands get cold after I've been sitting for a while, but if I'm using them, like typing, or I have them buried in soft fur, they warm up, and they do get warm after I eat. I guess I'm getting used to this. And then the space heater will come, and if it works well, I should be all right, even though I may end up carrying it around a lot.


Ron wrote me that there is something else wrong with the tractor, although what bothered him at the beginning of the week seems all right. It was so drifted over when he went to town on Tuesday that he ended up having to carry his groceries from my house to his, which is at least half a mile one way. So I wasn't the only one who was freezing. 


Now it's a cold, breezy night in the field, and I don't feel like writing, so I guess I will read for a while. At least January is almost over.


January 29

Well, the worst of it seems to be over with, at least for now. Before I went up to the north end, around 11:00, it was 45 here, but it was 52 in the bedroom, and since I had turned on the heat lamp, it was 60 in the bathroom. Not balmy, but tolerable, at least up there. The temperatures rose all night long, even though it was windy and quite cold outside. The wind did drop some and I think it shifted, so that it wasn't beating on the front windows.


I slept very well, but I had almost all my clothes on, and I was warm. It was 60 in the bathroom again when I got up, around 10:00, and it was warm enough that I knitted four rows, although I had enough trouble that I probably shouldn't have. I never did put my bra back on. With all the layers, if anybody had come, I doubt they would have noticed. I never used to be able to do that, because a tendon in my real side would pull and get very sore, but as I've gotten old and saggy, that has apparently stopped. It feels good not to be strapped into anything, although the bra does have some warmth in it.


Anyway, I ran the dishwasher before I went to bed last night, and I ended up not doing anything much at all today except my surfing and paying a bill I almost forgot.


The weather started out cold but above 0, and my thermometer now reads 20. The wind has risen to 33 mph gusts, but they are from the southwest, which means it will still be cool in the studio, but it should be tolerable at the north end. The nice thing is that we had a lot of sunshine today. It has clouded up again, and I guess there is supposed to be snow overnight, but for quite a while today, it was sunny and the skies were nearly clear. I think that helped the temperature in the studio, too.


I am a little concerned because I haven't seen Louie all day. I wonder if I shut him into the bathroom? I'll have to check. Grayson took advantage and spent some time on my lap, although he wanted to sit on me while I was eating my breakfast, so he curled up on a pile of old flannel nighies that are just outside the door to the studio.


Well, it's not balmy in here, but it's better than it was, and i think the heating system is finally getting caught up a bit. I absolutely have to wash my hair tonight, so I hope I can get it to a reasonable temperature in the bathroom. I think I can wear my nightie - and possibly my robe - tonight without freezing. It's always surprising how one can get acclimated to different temperatures. I don't think I could ever get used to heat and humidity, but I seem to be getting used to the cold.


Now it's a cold, windy but tolerable night in the field and maybe we can get back to normal.


January 28

This is getting ridiculous, but unfortunately, it's not likely to end until tomorrow or later.


I went to bed fairly early (about 10:45) because it was about 52 in the studio and it was a little warmer at the north end - 52 in the bedroom and 56 in the bathroom. I'm happy to say that those temps have held today, and i left the heat lamp on in the bathroom, so it should be a little warmer when I go up there (soon) but not a lot. I didn't sleep well. I guess I didn't have enough clothes on, and i was up any number of times, running off about every hour and a half. I did get a couple of hours of deep sleep this morning, and I got up around 9:30. 


Of course i couldn't knit, because it was too cold, and I put on lots of layers, which I'm not going to take off tonight. When I got to the studio, it was 49. During the day, it got up to 50, but it is now 47.


The reason is the wind. It was below zero for most of the day, although the temperature on  my thermometer has now risen to 2, but the wind has been in the 15-30 mph range all day - from the west. That means it has been hitting the front windows and coming through, and there is no way the heating system can keep up with those kinds of wind chills. It's trying, but it just can't.


So I spent the day with the heating pad behind  me and my heavy fleece jacket on over my other jacket and my heaviest sweatshirt. I have longjohns on under my sweats and the fleece throw on my lap. The worst part is actually my hands, which I just can't keep warm for very long. Oh, and the cold is taking a toll on my knees and I'm having a terrible time getting off the toilet.


The guys don't like this any better than I do. Louie spent most of the afternoon asleep on my lap. We kept each other warm. Grayson was gone for a long time, but now he wants to sit on me and get warm, too.  Grayson thought he wanted some of my dinner and managed to push my tray onto the floor and break a glass (fortunately, not a good one), but that had the good side effect of getting the broom into the studio, so i can sweep the floor around my chair and maybe finally get the last of the needles up. He wants to sit on me, but he can't until I finish this, and then I will probably have to go to the bathroom again. Large quantities of herb tea does that to me.


I guess what annoys me most about this is that, bad as it would probably be, it would be better if I hadn't had that power failure yesterday. I know that once the house cools down, it takes quite a while for it to get warmed up again, even if it isn't cold and windy outside. The temperature is supposed to get into the middle teens tomorrow, with slightly slower winds from the southwest. That may not be good for the studio, but it should make it a bit more comfortable in the north end. And I think the temperatures are supposed to moderate a bit over the next four or five days. Boy, I hope so.


And no, I am NOT going to bail out, although I guess I will have to break down and order that space heater, darn it.


Anyway, I expect to go to bed with all my clothes on, except i will have to figure out how to get my bra off. I just can't sleep comfortably with my bra on. I will do what I did last night to warm up the body pillow: I got out the heat wrap and put it alternately under and over the pillow. Once I took the original chill off, I could pretty much handle it cooling off when I had to get out of bed. The cold isn't doing my arthritis any good at all, and one reason I kept waking up last night was that my hip was sore. Another was that I had a urge to go all night long, which was really annoying. So I will cope.


Now it's a frigid, windy (they say "breezy" - ha!) and snowy night in the field and it's cold in here!


January 27

What an interesting day.


I was late again last night, for various reasons, but partly because after my weekly virus scan completed, I wanted to see if it had found anything, and in the course of fooling around with Norton, the little icon down at the right hand bottom of the screen went away - eek! At best that means I can't interact with it, and at worst it means Norton isn't running anymore. So I had to reboot the computer to make sure it was all right. While Microsoft has made Windows so it doesn't have to be rebooted very often, they haven't speeded up the boot process - in fact, when you realize this computer is light years faster than the old one, it's a whole lot slower. Then I kept reading (Special Forces again) until I couldn't see the screen. I think I was afraid of how cold it would be up at the north end, and it was.


So I was late getting up. I didn't knit, but while I was sitting in the bathroom, I suddenly heard something like a loud "thud," which I wondered about. When I got to the kitchen and tried to put something in the microwave, I realized the power was off - all the power was off! And the generator didn't come on. Oh, woe. I actually went down to the basement to check that nothing had happened with the circuit breakers, and then I called UPPCO and the electrician who installed the generator.


UPPCO never did call me back, but while I had to leave a message for the electrician, he called back in a couple of hours and said somebody was on his way. Shortly after that, the power came back on, but I actually had to resort to reading a book! Fortunately, my cooktop is gas, so I could have a hot breakfast and a mug of hot herb tea, because it was cold in here even before the power went.


The electrician got here around 4:00, and what he discovered did not make me happy. The thud I heard was evidently the muffler on the generator exploding (yup, exploding). The guys said he's never seen anything like that. And the starter doesn't work anymore. Oh, woe! Just when I was thinking I was getting out of my financial hole...So they will have to order parts and then somebody will be back, and we'll hope we don't lose power again in the meantime.


The reason it's so critical is that when I got to the studio, the temperature was -14. It has now risen to 0, but there is still a very strong north wind, with gusts to 34 mph. And at sunset tonight, the snow had finally stopped and it was partly clear, which means, if it holds up, it's going to get very cold tonight. It is supposed to start snowing again - the lake effect advisory doesn't expire until tomorrow noon - and maybe that will keep it a tad warmer.


The poor heating system is trying, but it's not making much headway. It's down to 54 in the studio and my bedroom and about 57 in the bathroom. It will be fleece robe and bed socks tonight, for sure, and no bath.


The guys were not happy, either. They heard the thud and had to go and check it out, and I've had a very upset Grayson on my lap at least four times today. We keep each other warm. Louie got some lap time, too, but when the electrician came in to tell me what he found, he went away and I haven't seen him since. We don't like this. Any of us.


Tonight Pastor called to make sure I'm all right, and we had a nice conversation. I missed the baptism yesterday, as well as communion, so he sent me the few pictures he managed to take of the proud parents and the large, very alert baby, who was only born about three weeks ago. He sure looks older than that! He smiles and looks at his mama a lot.


So that was an interesting day, and I hope to get to bed a bit earlier tonight, just because it's warmer in my bed. However, there's still that reading...


It's a frigid, windy, and probably snowy night in the field.


January 26

Well, I didn't make it to church. i got to bed later than I planned last night - about 10:45. I slept well, and when I woke up a little before 6:30, it wasn't snowing here, so I got up. First I discovered that it was snowing - rather hard - at the airport, and then, by the time I was ready to start getting dressed, it was snowing quite hard here. Besides I had a headache, one of my side effects of not getting enough sleep. So I went back to bed and got up around 11:00. I knitted four rows. 


Since I had already done most of my morning surfing, I had the afternoon and I wrote a bit on Trine 14. I'm not completely happy with what I wrote, but I did break the ice (ahem).


It was another cold, snowy day, although according to my thermometer, the temperature got up to 12 or so. It was cloudy and snowy all day, but I don't think there was much accumulation. The wind was almost calm for most of the day, but around 4:00 it started rising, until now it's 29 mph with 36 mph gusts, from the northeast. We are under a lake effect advisory and the wind chill advisory starts at 1:00 AM tomorrow. It's already 0 (well, actually -0.9) by my thermometer. So the winter plods on. The only good thing is that the days are now 9h 20m long, so we're gaining light at a good pace.


The guys were sleepy for most of the day. Grayson got lap time three times, but Louie didn't, because he wanted to sit when I was writing or eating or I had to get up and walk. I don't know what came over Grayson, but he was extremely loving today. I wish I could tell what is in their little minds.


So it was another quiet day, and I will try again to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field...so what else is new?


January 25

It turned out to be a late night in spite of everything. The music was nice, and I was thinking about bed when I had an accident - the second one in the evening. The first one was while my dinner was cooking, so I just took off my underpants. When I had the second one, it went all over everything because there wasn't anything to catch it. So I cleaned up and put on my nightie and robe, but I had to come back to the studio to turn off the radio and turn out the lights, and I just sat for a while and read - quite a while, as it turned out. I'm sure the blood thinner is the cause of this, but it sure is disheartening.


I got up around 11:00. That wasn't nearly enough sleep, but I thought maybe I would be able to go to bed early tonight. I think so, although I've scratched church tomorrow, or I think I have. It's supposed to be frigid and snowy, and I think it would be a better day to stay home and hope for a better weekend next week.


I was so late I didn't do anything. I knitted four rows this morning, and that was about it. I have my sweats ready to go into the dryer. Ron came by late in the afternoon with all my packages and my mail - he is so good! - and the 1099s have started coming in, thankfully. I need to get cracking putting last year's ledger together so I can send everything off to my accountant. I got an incredible number of pills.


The weather was frigid and snowy. It is still snowing. The temperature got up to 2 or so, and the wind is still strong from the north. It peaked at 43 mph around 9:00 this morning, but it's still blowing hard. The lake effect warning has expired - not that it makes any difference - but we are under wind chill advisories almost continuously until Tuesday. what a winter this is!


Oh, yes, and there's something else wrong with the tractor...


I didn't see the guys much today, although they both got their lap time. Louie made me nutty. When I put on my clean sweatpants, which I washed a day or so ago, he came and started rubbing on the leg and even biting on them - and my leg! I finally had to shoo him away strongly. I am using some new fabric softener that has a sort of pine smell, but I can't see how that could be the reason. Sometimes he is a weird little cat.


So it was another truncated day, and I will be going to bed relatively early tonight. It's another frigid, windy, snowy night in the field. I wonder when this will end?


January 24

Well, the music was nice and I didn't want to stop reading in the middle of a good episode, but a long one, so it was very late when I got to bed. I slept well, and I didn't get up until a bit after 1:00! Talk about inverting my time. I knitted two rows because I had to sit in the bathroom.


I was so late that I didn't do anything else. In fact, I didn't do most of my surfing until after the talking started. Well, maybe I can get back on track tonight. In spite of the sleep I got, I'm not seeing too well and I'm tired. That may be partly because of the cold. It was only about 54 in the studio when I got there. It's warmed up to 59 now, and it's surprising how much warmer that feels. I used to wonder how the Victorians could stand their winters, and now I know.


Ron came around late this afternoon to blow out the driveway, and I was surprised by how big the drift in front of the garage was. The tractor came back really fast, thankfully. 


It was really cold and windy this morning, but the wind shifted around to the north this afternoon and the temperature went up, until it's 24 now, by my thermometer. It snowed all night and all day. The winter weather advisory ends at 7:00 tomorrow morning to be replaced by a wind chill advisory as the temperature plummets. Geez, what a winter!

I had at least one cat, probably two, in bed with me last night, one up under my butt and the other down by my knees. Didn't keep me awake. Of course, eventually they had to get up and case the joint to make sure everything was OK, but Louie was back in bed with me when I got up. I didn't see much of them today, although Louie got some lap time and Grayson was interested in my dinner, even though he didn't want any. One of these days, I predict he will start eating people food, and then I'll be in the same predicament I was with Buster, where I have to buy food like fish and chicken for two. When Buster was Grayson's age, he didn't like people food, either.


So it was another lost day, and I hope I'll be in bed a bit earlier tonight. It's a dark, snowy night in the field, but so far the temperature hasn't started down.


January 23

Today is my parents' 74th wedding anniversary.


About 10:00 last night I checked the weather, and I discovered that the lake effect warning had been replaced by a blizzard warning, and the wind was from the east at 34 mph with gusts to 46 mph. Woo! That was the height, though, and I think they overreacted. We had quite a bit of snow overnight, and it was windy, but it wasn't that windy. 


I got to bed around 1:00 with clean hair and i slept good until around 10:45. I had taken my MagEyes up to the north end last night, and i attacked the dropped stitches I ended up with yesterday and just put down. It took quite a while, but I got it back together right, and then at the end of the row, I dropped the edge stitch and had to pick that up. Geez! I only did two rows of new knitting, and I was still pretty late.


I was so late that I didn't do anything else, as usual.


The weather was very cold - I think the high was about 4 and it is now -4 - but sort of in between, and there was some nice sunshine for an hour or so this afternoon. So far, it's just cold. The wind is very light.


The guys were sleepy for most of the day. Louie got a whole lot of time on my lap this afternoon, but Grayson hasn't been there yet. In the middle of the night, I woke up to find Louie curled up behind my knees, in the middle of the bed. I had a horrible time getting out of bed and then I had an even more horrible time getting turned over and curled up with the body pillow. He was not going to move. I kind of think it was Grayson in bed when I got up this morning, but I didn't check to be sure. They still haven't gotten the idea that there is plenty of room for both of them and me and the body pillow. That was one reason I wanted a queen-sized bed. 


So now it's a very cold, dark and cloudy night in the field, and we're supposed to get another shot of snow tomorrow. Well, I can hibernate as long as necessary, I guess.


January 22

This will be short.


I was late last night, again, but the music and the story interested me. I got up around 10:30, but I had a lot of trouble with my knitting, so I was very late getting to the studio (around 2:00), and there wasn't much time to do anything else. I guess all I did was finish unloading the dishwasher.


The NWS station is still down, so I can't say much about the temperature for the day. It was 4 or so, I think, when I got to the studio and it is 10 now. There was not much wind all day. It snowed all night and all day, sometimes heavier than others. Not very nice weather. I think, though, that it snowed harder in Calumet and Houghton than it did here.


The guys were sleepy, and I didn't see much of them. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie was coming around at times when I was about to do something else, so he hasn't gotten his yet.


I had two accidents yesterday, and only luck kept me from having at least one today. Stuff is coming out of me at an alarming rate. I find it very discouraging. I'm also very sore all over, and that's discouraging, too. I am getting used to the cold temperatures, and while my hands are cold sometimes, the rest of me is OK, especially since I've been sitting on the heating pad for most of the day.


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


January 21

No gremlin attacks today. thank goodness!


I got to bed about 11:30 last night and I slept very well. I got up around 10:00 and I knitted 8 more rows. I really am picking up speed on this project, but I have to say, the thread is still driving me batty. It seems like where I thought there was one sequin, there are really three, all piled together, and even if I separate them, by the time I am ready to work them into the fabric, they've slid together again. And besides that, in between areas of sequins, the thread is so tightly wound it kinks up. Well, I guess that's what happens when you get the cheap stuff. The expensive sequin yarn is around $50 for a skein that isn't as long as these. I'm almost tempted to buy one, just to see if it behaves better - almost.


I didn't do very much, as usual, although I did get the dishwasher partly unloaded, and when I was out in the breezeway to say hi to Marty and close the garage door, I brought in some more canned cat food. I guess I forgot to mention that the blower on our tractor fell apart the other day and is going back to the repairman, so Marty is left with clearing the entire Norland again. He doesn't complain, but he sure looked cold, with the temperature about 4 when he was out there, covered with snow. I know why he wanted to do it today, because we are under another lake effect watch for tomorrow and Thursday. All I can say is, I'm sorry I can't help them.


Today turned out to be a rather nice day, if you weren't out in it. The last of the snow - it snowed all night long - ended around noon and it cleared up. For a while the sky was completely clear, and it was so blue and pretty. It was nice to see the sun, too, even though I had a hard time reading the computer screen. I think the highest temperature I saw was 4, and it is now back down to 1.6. It was quite windy overnight, but this afternoon, there was almost no wind at all. It's really nice when we have a day of sunshine between the "clipper systems" as John Dee calls them. It began to cloud up later in the afternoon, and it was all cloudy by sunset. More snow...


It's cold around here, of course, and the kitties are hanging out where it's warmer, although Grayson did spend the afternoon in his box in the studio. The box is almost under the sewing machine chair, and it probably is warmer there. Louie spends most of the night sleeping in the bathroom, and it's warmer in there, too. Both guys got some lap time today, although Louie caused me to have an accident. Grayson is standing on me now and purring.


So it was a typically quiet day and I hope to get to bed around the same time tonight. It's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


January 20

The gremlins have struck again! I was late last night, but I guess I have to expect that when I get up so late. I think it was around 1:30 when I got to bed. I got up around 10:30 or 11:00 (I don't remember) and I knitted eight rows, so I was a bit late getting to the studio. When I checked the camera page, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a picture of the inside of the studio! Ugh! It's such a mess in here that I try really hard not to show that. I have absolutely NO clue how that could have happened. The camera shut down at the proper time and I swear I didn't hit the "capture" button, but the 7:30 picture showed what was in the camera at 1:00 this morning. And it continued until I discovered it around 12:30 and reset the software. Oh, sigh. Now you know what a mess it is in here. Well, I've always said I'm very suspicious of people with neat desks and offices. I have all my stuff around me, so that I can pick up anything I can find and work on it. At least that sounds good.


I didn't do much, but I finally got the dishwasher almost ready to run. As soon as I put the dinner dishes and glassware in it, it can go. It's not that the sink was a mess. Everything was very neatly piled up...all the cat dishes and almost all my dishes. I sat on the heating pad for quite a while and that loosened up my back enough that I could do something. Not enough to take care of the trash, but maybe tomorrow.


The problem is, it is so cold outside that it's cold in here, too. I think the north end is still relatively warm, or at least it was this morning, but the studio has been around 62 all day. The highest temperature I saw on my thermometer ws 4 and that was around noon. it's 2 and it's been wavering between 1 and 2 all afternoon. At least it's better than Calumet, where it's been below zero all day. There is a rather strong northeast wind, with gusts up to 30 mpy, and there was snow almost all night and all day, but there wasn't a lot of accumulation. I hesitate to say that, because from my vantage point inside the house, I can't always tell how much is down in the driveway, but it doesn't look bad. 


It was cold enough in here that I didn't have cats for most of the day. Both guys got some lap time, but they were someplace warmer. I think they hang out in the loft. Warm air rises, and I've never gotten the fans turned around to blow down, so it must be more comfortable up there. 


So that was my quiet day, and maybe I can get to better a little earlier tonight. Part of it, you know, is that I'm afraid of how cold it will be up at the north end, and getting undressed and ready for bed is always a chore. Speaking of that. I had a nasty problem last night. My feet have been very dry, so last night I decided to put some old (very old, as it turned out) foot cream on them. Well. There is a fragrance in the cream, but that goes away fast, and in the middle of the night, I had to wash my hands because all I could smell was rancid palm oil. Yuck! Needless to say, I threw away the cream, and I will be using my trusty Lachydrin on my feet from now on. That gets old, but it doesn't get rancid and stink. What a nasty smell!


Now it's a frigid, windy night in the field.


January 19

Well, I didn't make it to church today. In fact, I decided not to when i went to bed last night. I turned out the light at 10:30, and it was snowing pretty hard, but what convinced me to bag it was that I was sore all over. I think every joint in my body hurt. So i slept...and slept...and slept. i got up around 11:00, which sounds awful, but I was up three times for a total of about 1 hours, so it wasn't all that bad. I feel much better today. My back and some other joints still hurt, but not everything. I sat on the heating pad this afternoon. It looks like I'm going to have to break down and start exercising again, although I hate to do that until it gets warmer. I keep the bedroom quite cool, which is fine for sleeping but not so fine for lying around outside the covers.


Other than clean up after an accident and fill the cat food bowls, I didn't do much, but I need to get the dishwasher loaded tonight. I am running out of cat bowls and my bowls, since just about everything I've eaten in the last week has been in either a bowl or on a bread and butter plate. Strange how things go in waves. For a while, I was running out of small plates - the 8" size. I rarely use the 10" plates. Anyway, it's time to wash the dishes.


Something got screwed up with the camera, right around the time I got to the studio, and I had to reboot to resolve it. I still don't know why I have so many problems keeping that thing up and running. Sure, it's across the room from the computer, but the cable is supposed to be a booster cable, so that shouldn't be a problem. It's an annoyance, but not so much of one when i catch it right away. I hope I won't have to reboot again soon. That takes forever, and it annoys me.


The weather was variable. The snow had stopped by the time I got up, although I think it was still snowing when I was up at 7:30. One reason I decided not to drive is that I knew the Road Commission wouldn't have gotten the road cleared by the time I had to leave and it would have been messy and slow. Anyway, I don't know what the temperature was this morning, but it was about 14 by the time I got to the studio, and it has dropped off slowly all day. Now it is about 8. There was a lot of wind overnight, with gusts up to 36 mph from the north, but it died down quite a bit today - or I think it did. It shifted around to the northeast, and although the NWS station is reporting gusts up to 24 mph, I haven't felt any of that here. it was mostly cloudy, except for a ray or two of sunshine around 2:00. 


The guys were very happy when I finally woke up and even happier when I went toward the kitchen, and the reason was, they had eaten everything in sight overnight, including some canned food they don't like very well. I gave them some canned stuff they do like, and this evening I filled all the bowls, so they should be content. Both of them got lap time today, and Louie wants more, right in the middle of my typing. Grayson still surprises me every so often. He is the only cat I've ever known who will start purring when he's just looking at me. Probably it was partly to induce me to feed him, but still. Talk about kitty love...


So now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and there will probably be some more snow, either tonight or tomorrow.

January 18

The nice music beguiled me again, so it was very late when I got to bed, but a little earlier than the night before. I got up around 9:30 anyway, in part because I had to, and in part because I hurt, and because I knew if I went back to bed it would be noon or later when I got up, and I wanted to be able to sleep tonight, although I don't yet know if I'll be going to church tomorrow. It depends upon the weather.


So I knitted six rows. I was doing well this morning, and they went fast. Sometimes I can't see and I'm all thumbs, and sometimes my eyes and my hands work. It's surprising, too, because my hands have been sore all day...not to mention my back and my legs and my feet...


Today was washday. It was a very small wash. I don't wear very many clothes in the winter, except for underwear, and especially when I'm hibernating. The last load, of underwear, is in the dryer now. The other task was to go to the post office and stop at the store to get my package.


I did that, and on my way home, as I was trying to get the papers out of the box, a couple of young men going in the opposite direction stopped and asked if I needed my roof shoveled. Well, maybe not my roof, but my decks could sure use it, and the roof of the breezeway did, too. I know, it was probably not the safest thing to do, but in most cases, things are different here in the Keweenaw. So they came and they worked their butts off. Not only was there a ton of snow on everything, it was hard and crusty enough that one guy was picking up chunks of it and throwing them off the decks. I paid them quite a lot, but they really did a job. I think they were probably here more than two hours, and they didn't stop very often. I should have gotten their names. But now I have nice cleaned off decks and the roof of the breezeway won't cave in. There was two feet, sometimes more, on the breezeway roof, and if you've been looking at the camera, you could see how deep it was on the deck. That went all the way to the north end. And on the front stoop, it was up to the door handle. 


We all agreed that there was a lot of snow. Makes me wonder if maybe we've gotten even more than the official 191" (as of the 16th). There have been  whole seasons when we had less snow than that!


Oh, yes, and when they had cleaned off the deck in front of the porch, they pulled down the shutters. They didn't lock them, but they really don't need to be locked when I'm here. It's not as nice with it all dark out there - I'll miss being able to sit in the closet and see what's going on down the harbor - but if I haven't already ruined my cushions, they should be better off now. There is a lot of snow on the porch, and on the cushions, but I didn't want to get into that. It will be all right, and maybe I can at least get out there sometime and brush off the snow - being very careful to be sure I have a house key with me when I do! Ahem.


The weather today was a nice respite from the dreary clouds and snow we've had so much of. I think it may have gotten up to 20 or more, but maybe that was just when my thermometer was in the sun. Yes, we had sun. Not as much as we would have liked, but there was sunshine and blue skies for most of the afternoon, and there wasn't much wind. It did cloud up after about 4:30, but it was so nice not to be able to read my screen because the sun was shining in my eyes. The NWS station is still down, by the way. I had to wear my sunglasses when I was driving. I don't mind.


The guys were sleepy for most of the day, although the people tromping around on my decks and thumping with shovels upset them. Louie went away, probably to the cellar, which he usually does when anybody comes. Grayson didn't go away, but he was clearly nervous. When the guys left, he came and sat on me for a long time and purred. I think he is very aware that Louie is bigger than he is, and while he'd like to be top cat, he respects Louie's size, so when Louie is hiding, Grayson cuddles with me. Not that I mind.


So that was my day. I filled the pill dispensers at this end of the house, and I have to do the ones at the north end before I go to bed. I will go early, or try to, just in case I can make it to church tomorrow. The forecast doesn't sound good, but one never knows. Now it's a cold, party cloudy night in the field.


January 17

Well, I was led astray by the nice music and what i was reading, and it was ridiculously late by the time I got to bed. As a result, it was after noon when I got up. I wasn't going to knit, but I had to sit there anyway, so i did four rows with no problems. There are just some days when I will have to stop doing what I'm doing and leave it. I was happy to find that I had made less of a mess of the thread than I feared. That thread is very wiry and it splits into strands very easily, which makes it easy to mess up.


I was so late that I didn't even finish my surfing until after the talking started. In the middle, I had to go and meet my Schwan's man and pack away the groceries. Now I am good for at least a couple of weeks.


It was a cold, snowy day. It snowed more or less hard all day long, and the temperature here was about steady at 14. I am disappointed that the NWS station is still down. There was apparently a rather strong wind, which is dying down now, but it was from the northeast, which means I didn't feel it very much at all. When I went out to meet the Schwan's rep, I was amazed by how much snow has fallen since Ron did the driveway yesterday morning - it looked like between 8" and 12". That could be because of the way it drifted, but I don't think so, since Mike was walking through at least 8" all along the driveway.


The guys were so sleepy - but then, so was I. When I woke up, around noon, Grayson was laid out behind my knees, sort of curved between my knees and my butt. And when I went back to the north end to clean up after my accident, he was curled up in the comforter again. He knows where it's comfy. i don't know where Louie was. They both got some lap time. Grayson was interested in my dinner again, but I gave him a couple of crumbs of salmon and he sniffed it and didn't eat. It has a marinade on it, and he'd probably rather it was plain.


Well, I hope the concert tonight is something I don't want to hear, because I'd like to get to bed at a reasonable hour for a change. I have to go to the post office and the store tomorrow, since when I checked the time this afternoon, the post office was already closed, and Monday is a holiday. I'm sure I have some bills at the post office, and I have a package at the store that was actually delivered yesterday. Shows how carefully I'm keeping track of the date, but it wasn't delivered until 3:30, and I'm usually back here by then.


Now it's a cold, snowy night in the field, and oh, the concert is Bruckner, which I don't mind, but which I don't need to stay up to hear in its (long) entirety.


January 16

Well, I was led astray by the nice music last night, so it was 1:00 when I turned out the light. The good thing about that was that I was so tired that slept well. I was awake around 8:00, but I decided that was too early, so I went back to bed, but I started coughing, and it wasn't until I turned over that I went back to sleep. I had some interesting dreams, but nothing i could remember very long. 


I got up around 11:00, I think, and I wasn't going to knit, but the light was good, and I wanted to get the last row unknit, so I did that and reknit it. Now, the next time I knit, I will be starting the next repeat (the seventh) all over again. I must say, I could see a whole lot better this morning, so I must not have had enough sleep the night before last.


I didn't do anything much else except pay a bill and put in an order to Schwan's, where I discovered that they are discontinuing a couple of things I like a lot and something I wanted to try isn't available yet. Grr. So I protested and had an email conversation with them, not that it made any difference. Grr.


The weather was sort of nondescript, for January. It snowed lightly all day, and the temperature was in the low 20s all day. There wasn't much wind. The NWS station is still down, although I think it might still be reporting wind and barometric pressure. We are under a lake effect snow advisory until tomorrow morning. I don't think there was a lot of accumulation today. I noticed that the wind (when was there wind?) has sculpted the snow on the deck into a respectable ridge that is about 3' high. I guess I haven't mentioned that the drift on my front stoop is up to the door handle, so I've decided to move some of the stuff out of the studio into the vestibule, if I can ever get around to it (Oh, my round TUIT! I lost that years ago!).


The guys were their sleepy selves today. Grayson got some lap time while I was in the powder room and he sat and watched while I ate my dinner tonight. He is getting really interested in what I eat, but he isn't trying ver much of it yet. Louie did get some lap time, although he went away when he heard something I didn't. Mostly they slept on the floor. They like it when there is stuff on the floor, because it concentrates the heat, but that's the reason I need to move it.


So that was my quiet day. Tonight I  really must wash my hair, and maybe get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. It's a dark, snowy night in the field, but it's not very cold or windy yet.


January 15

Sheesh! It's the middle of January already. I don't know where the time goes!


I was in bed by 10:00 last night, but I had a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. I guess I'm caught up on my sleep, but I've been running off at the bottom more than usual. So I'm eating lots of rice ahd hoping that will help. Anyway, after about 3:00, I slept fairly well, and I got up around 9:00.


The only problem I had was that I couldn't see very well, even though I turned on the lights in the bathroom, which meant I dropped something in the scarf and that meant I had to rip back six or eight rows. I finally gave up in the middle of a row when I simply could not see what I was doing, with or without my glasses. My eyes are really getting bad, and when my eyelids are nearly swollen closed, it's almost impossible. It doesn't help that the thread is black. I will try it again tomorrow, and I will probably take a pair of MagEyes with me and see if magnification will help.


Other than that, I didn't do a thing. My back is really bothering me, not to mention my hip, and in places I don't think I've ever had a problem before, so I spent most of the afternoon sitting on the heating pad. I think perhaps it's helped, but I'll probably have to do it tomorrow, too. Something like this seems to happen every winter, and I suppose It's because I sit where it's cool to cold and don't do much. Oh, I did do the monthly update of my software, and I discovered I hadn't had the laptop on since the end of November, so I had to do some Norton stuff on it.


The weather was cold, dreary and snowy. The temperature on my thermometer has finally risen to 17 or so, but it was colder for most of the day. It snowed lightly off and on all day, and it looks like there is more coming at us. I couldn't see the mountain all day.


I didn't see much of the cats, either. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie was a bad cat and he came around when I was doing other things - so he went and harassed Grayson, who was asleep in his box.


So that was a nothing day, and I am going to try to get to bed early again tonight. The only way to get myself back on a human schedule is to keep at it. When I go to bed, I'm still thinking about that Trine episode, although I haven't written on it yet. Part of the problem with my schedule is that there isn't much time to write except late at night, and I don't want to get into that. Tomorrow I must try to get the scarf back together and forge on.


Now it's a dark, snowy night in the field, but the full moon behind the clouds will make sure it isn't too dark.


January 14

I still felt tired last night, so I went up to the north end, washed my hair and I was in bed by 10:00. I didn't sleep nearly as well as the night before. I was up any number of times - maybe it was the fish. I was awake around 8:30, but that didn't seem like long enough, so I went back to bed. I awoke around 11:00 just before I got a call from the hospital. Since I had to walk down to the studio to get my papers together, that woke me up completely.


Well, it took three or four phone calls, but I guess the situation is resolved, but I have been instructed to wait until the next bill before I pay it. Yes, I have to pay. it seems like there were two doctor's visits I was never billed for at all, and that was what bollixed up the works. And there were two doctor's visits where, instead of sending payment to the hospital, my supplemental insurance sent the payment to me. I don't know why, but now I know what those two odd $9.20 checks I got were all about. Geez. Also, there was one item that was sent to the supplemental insurance and it was ten months before they responded to the hospital. So they're screwed up, too. It's no wonder our health care is so expensive.  I have some hope that the situation is under control, and at least I have a name and number to call if it isn't.


That took most of the afternoon, so I didn't do anything. Ron got the bill for the tractor, and it was a hefty one, so I will be paying him on installment, too. 


The weather was cold and dark and there were snowflakes drifting lazily down for most of the afternoon. According to my thermometer, it was around 14 all days - still is - and there wasn't much wind.


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


I think I will be trying to go to bed early again tonight and get up at a more reasonable hour tomorrow morning. I seem to be able to sleep just about continuously. I did notice that when I was up at 8:30, my back was very stiff, but it was better at 11:00 and just fine after I walked down to the studio and back. My hip hurt for a while this afternoon, but it seems better now. It's not pleasant to ache all the time, but don't let "them" tell you there is relief available (I know the Arthritis Society, or whatever it's called, was saying that for a long time). Maybe there is for people who don't have kidney damage, but for people like me, with other problems, there's not much I can do about it but endure. So I hang in there and try to ignore it as much as I can.


Now it's a cold, dark night in the field, but it's not so dark, because the almost-full moon is lighting the clouds and I can at least see the cats. 


January 13

Ah, nothing like a good night's sleep! I really crashed last night. I was in bed by 9:15, and I got up around 10:15 this morning. And I slept...and slept...and slept. I was up three times, and that was it. I don't think I'm fully recovered yet, because I'm not seeing my best, but I'm much better than I was yesterday.


I knitted my four rows, with difficulty, but I got them done. I'm afraid that's going to be the story of this whole scarf. It's terribly difficult thread. This afternoon, i gritted my teeth and got together my bills from the hospital, before I called them. The first time I called, I got someone who clearly didn't know anything and who even disconnected me when she tried to transfer me. I called back and got a very nice lady (I guess I haven't said lately how nice most people in this area are) who agreed with me that my billing is totally screwed up and who said she would send an email to another person who should be able to help me untangle everything. I hope so. When I looked back through my checkbook, I realized there were two bills I had not been able to find, which is what happens when five years of bills are stored in three tubs, and which may be the whole problem. I'm not sure how far up the ladder it may get, but I tried to communicate how outraged I am that they have been telling me I have a large overdue balance, when the majority of it is something I don't owe at all and most of the rest of it hasn't gone through my supplemental policy yet. I have to tell you, dealing with nice, helpful people makes these confrontations so much easier. I wish people in the big cities could learn that.


That took up most of the time after I finished my surfing, but at least possibly something may happen on that front. I hate billing disputes.


The weather was totally nondescript. It was dark and cloudy all day, but except for some drops of water on the windows, I didn't notice any precip. The temperature on my thermometer started around 31 and has dropped to 28. There was a little wind for a while, but it seems to have died down lately. I'm waiting for the NWS station to come up so I can report what really happened.


The guys were very sleepy today. Louie went to sleep on my lap this morning and again this afternoon. Grayson slept in his box this afternoon but when I started eating my lovely fish, he had to come and see what was happening. One of these days he'll discover how nice people food is, and then I'll have problems. The trouble with having Louie sleep on my lap is that he wants to stretch out, with his head on my right hand and his hind legs hanging off the left side. That not only makes it hard for me to do much, it makes my hand go to sleep. When Grayson sleeps on my lap, he curls up with his front legs around my gut and his head on it, and that's a lot easier. But they are both loving little guys, and I enjoy it.


January 12

i made it into bed before 10:00 last night, but I didn't have a good night. For some reason, when I know I will have to do something that might be difficult, like driving 75 miles in the snow, I have a hard time sleeping. I was up any number of times. Oh, yes, and I had just laid down when I got a brainstorm about how to forge ahead on the last, unfinished episode of Trine. Well. Not only had I forgotten a lot of it by morning, when I read over what I'd already written, there is a gaping transition about which I have no such brainstorm. Sigh. At least I have an idea of where to go next. I got up at 6:30 as I planned - well, no. I actually woke up at 6:25, so I turned off the alarm and got up. 


I didn't leave quite as early as i'd planned, but it was much earlier than I had been going, which was a good thing. From home down to Phoenix, the road was snow-covered and probably somewhat slippery, so I went slowly. I guess it didn't take me much longer than usual to get there, but I didn't want to be rushed.


Oh, it was nice to be in church again! And since today was the commemoration of Jesus' baptism, all the Christmas decorations were still up, so I got to see them all. The tree was beautiful. I guess it was 21' tall, with all white lights and chrismons. They didn't get very many poinsettias, but they were extremely nice ones, and whoever was looking after them did such a good job that they looked just like new. Actually, I guess they took out the flowers, which are those little yellow things in the middle of the red bracts, and maybe that helped, too. Anyway, it was very nice. The secretary had gathered together a bagful of stuff for me, which I appreciated, including my envelopes, my 2013 statement, the calendar and the newsletter, as well as all the bulletins for December. She is so nice.


Church was long, because there was communion and there were quite a number of people there. Pastor spoke about baptism and he clarified some questions I'd had about it.


Then it was off to Pat's for food. I discovered on my way down that being in the rather cramped car doesn't do my sore hip any good at all, and then of course there was a lot of standing and sitting, so I was tired before I got to the store. Then there were some things I needed that were off my usual path through the store, so by the time I left, with a rather large bill, I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. That's partly because my shoes are a bit small, but not entirely. I find that when I have to walk for any length of time, my toes get almost too sore to walk on. They still were when I got home, unfortunately.


Then I had to unload all those bags and bring them in the house and find somewhere for everything. It was a good thing the fridge was emptier than usual. And finally, around 3:30 or 4:00 I could sit down and have something to eat! So I had a late lunch/early dinner, which was fine. I have fish and a rotisserie chicken, but that will all keep.


Along about 5:00, I got so sleepy, I nearly went to bed right then, but I remembered I had to take my evening pills, and by the time I got around to that, it was 7:00. I made it to the kitchen, and then I had an accident, so I had to clean up after that. It did wake me up a little. Now I am sitting with my JD and my dessert (two truffles) and as soon as I have taken care of this and those things, I will crash. 


I looked over the Trine episode, but I am just too tired to try to push ahead on it now. Maybe tomorrow, although tomorrow I have to attack the hospital over the screwed up bills I keep getting from them. That may turn off any attempts to be creative.


The weather was yucky, frankly. It was dark and cloudy, and while we were in church, it began sleeting or raining in Calumet. It was raining fairly hard when I went into Pat's. Fortunately, it had stopped when I got out, but it had done a number on the roads, and further north, it was probably ice pellets, and here, it seems to have been light snow, or at least that's what was in front of my garage when I got home. The temperature got up above freezing, to 33, here. I'm not sure about the wind. It seemed very windy when I got out of Pat's, but that parking lot is usually windy. I'm sure the high humidity is one reason I was so achy. On the way home, the light was such that there weren't any shadows, and I had a horrible time seeing where I was going.


I haven't been down to Calumet since December 2, which was soon after the snow started. It is awesome how much snow there is. They've had to cut back the banks at least once, probably more, already, and the banks are probably 5' high. The piles around the parking lots are 15' high or more. Calumet and Laurium don't do a good job on their streets at all, frankly, and they are a mess. The rain won't do them any good, either. Anyway, we have had an impressive amount of snow, and according to the weather forecast, it's supposed to start again tomorrow. I think it's fun, and it is bringing in the snowmobilers and skiers, but I imagine it wouldn't be so much fun if I had to deal with it more.


The guys were happy to see me get up this morning, but then I went away, and they didn't appear until I started bringing the groceries into the house.  Grayson has been sitting beside the porch door or window and looking at me, like he thinks he'd like to go out. Hah! Not that I'll open either, but I think he'd be a bit surprised if he put his little paws into that cold wet stuff. Louie has no such desire, although he is interested in the breezeway. Grayson has been out in the breezeway a couple of times for a few minutes, but Louie hasn't, and I think they both know there are mice out there. They do know enough to stay away from the door. I think I caught somebody's neck in the door one time. That's the best lesson I can give them. They slept on the floor in the studio for the rest of the afternoon. 


So that was my strenuous day, and now I am going to go to bed as soon as I can. I am exhausted and I need  a long winter's nap. It's a dark, cloudy, but not very cold night in the field.


January 11

Wow, it's even getting hot in here! Not to worry, though. It will cool off, and in the meantime, I'm enjoying a little sweat during the day. Night sweats are something else.


I got to bed around 11:45 last night. There was a broadcast concert where they played two Beethoven piano concertos, and of course I had to listen to that, and then there was a rather nice violin concerto. As soon as that was over, I started for the north end, but that always takes a while. I had a bit of a problem going to sleep. I was obsessing over my billing problems with the hospital, and it took me a while to settle my mind. Once I did that, I slept well, although I was up several times. 


I got up around 9:30 and I knitted my four rows before I got dressed. At this rate, maybe I'll have a scarf for Debbie for next Christmas - maybe. Other than that, I didn't do anything except load the dishwasher. Once I get my dinner dishes in it, it will be all ready to run.


When I went to bed last night, it was snowing, and it snowed lightly all night long. However, by the time I got up, it had stopped, and as far as the pictures show, it didn't snow all day. I finally got an explanation from the NWS, and it seems that the fan that cools the station has failed, so they shut it down. They hope to have it fixed by the middle of next week. Mutter, mutter, mutter... Around here, it looked to me like it was about 31 all day. It was breezy at times, but warm. it was cloudy and gray, as is usual in the wintertime. I am not complaining about the temperature in the studio being 70 right now, except to say that I have the thermostat set at 84. Warm is warm, and I'll take it.


The guys will, too. I saw them this morning. It's warm in the bathroom, too, and they like that. Louie spent a good part of the afternoon on my lap, but I booted him off when he started washing himself. He can sleep on me, but when he starts treating me like part of the furniture, he can go. Grayson didn't come around, but he did spend some time telling me that his dry food bowls were mostly empty. Once I filled them, he at a few pieces of his favorite kibble and went away. Actually, when I moved to get up to make dinner, he came and sat under me (in the dark) and from the noises, it seems like I must have nearly stepped on him. He doesn't hold that against me, though, sweetie that he is. Both of them have a hard time understanding that I can't see in the dark as well as they can, and every so often something happens, fortunately, not serious. If I ever did step on one of them, I would probably end up on the floor, and heaven knows what would happen then. Or I would trip on one and go down, probably doing the cat even more damage than I did myself. I move very carefully around here.


So that was a nothing day. I have no energy at all, so things that should be done aren't being done. I am going to church tomorrow, and I will shop for food and get gas afterward, although I don't need a lot of gas. I do need a lot of food. I am so near the end of the orange juice that I had lemonade for breakfast, and the fridge is as empty as it's been in quite a while. It's time to hit the market.


Now it's a relatively warm, dark night in the field.


January 10

Oh, it's so nice to be warm!


I didn't get to bed until 11:30 last night, for various reasons, including the music, but once I did, I slept. I was up any number of times, though, because for some reason I had to pee a lot. i went right back to sleep when I did, though. I got up around 9:30 and I knitted on the sequin scarf, although my sinuses were full enough to make my eyes water, which makes it hard to see.


I didn't do anything much but go to the post office, where there was a lot of stuff that I haven't looked at. i was doing something else before I left, and I just kept on. I am going to have to bite the bullet and look at my bills from the hospital, because they are billing me again for things I've already paid - or never got billed for before. Ugh. I hate to get into that.


When I got up this morning, it was nearly clear and sunny. The clouds came and went all day, but there was a lot of sunshine. I would say that the temperature got up to 28 or so, although the NWS station is still down, so I don't know for sure. There wasn't any wind to speak of, so it was pleasant to be outside.


While I was knitting, both guys were sleeping in the bathroom. They like being warm, too. Grayson spent most of the afternoon in his box, which I notice has begun to come apart. Every so often Louie tries to get him out of it, and that isn't good for a cardboard box. Louie got some lap time, although he wasn't too pleased when I pulled a little bit of stuff off his rear. He doesn't clean up his rear, but he absolutely doesn't want me to touch it. So he gets upset when I do.


So I guess I don't have much to report tonight, except that I'm still here. I will try to get to bed even earlier tonight, so that i can be ready to go to church Sunday. It's a rather warm (for January) and possibly partly clear night in the field, although there is some snow south of us.


January 9

I was ridiculously late last night, and I can't blame it on the music, although some of that was nice. I just didn't want to go up to the north end, I guess. Eventually I did, and it was warmer up there than I thought it would be, but it didn't matter. I had to wash my hair even if it had been freezing. It was nice to be able to sleep without being all bundled up. However, I was so late that I didn't get nearly enough sleep. When I woke up, I knew that if I took a walk and went back to sleep, it would be early afternoon before I got up, and I didn't want that. I need to haul myself back onto a normal schedule, if I can. So I got up. I knitted, but I worked on the wool shawl I started before I got into the sequin yarn. One problem I have when I don't get enough sleep is that I have even more trouble than usual in seeing clearly. I still am.


I didn't do anything. It's still cold in the studio, and I think it's probably because so much of the floor is covered with stuff and boxes. I have a plan for that, but it will require work, and I didn't feel like starting it today.


I can't be too specific about the weather because not only is the NWS station nearly out of commission - first the temperature was ridiculously high, then it quit altogether - the Weather Underground website has been down all day. At first, I thought it was PastyNet, but I could navigate to every other site I visit, so it must be WU.  The temperature according to my thermometer was in the teens all day, and it has now risen to about 22. Wow, it's been a long time since it's been that warm! And the first time I was up, before dawn, there was a star, Vega, I think, in the northwest. When I got up it was clear and sunny - that's a first for a long time, too. Unfortunately, before I got dressed, it had clouded up, but it sure was nice to see blue sky and sunshine for a little bit.  Ooh, WU finally is up and running, although the NWS station is still down. The wind has died down a lot, although there are 20 mph gusts, and it's from the west now. 


The kitties were happy when I got up relatively early this morning (about 10:30, I think), but they mostly slept. Both guys got some lap time, so they were happy. I have been trying to collect the two sweater sets (sweater, hat and booties) I made for Johanna, and I had everything except one bootie, which I found in the bottom of the washbasket when I put the last of my underwear away. I left it in the basket when I went to get dressed, and wouldn't you know, Grayson found it and proceeded to bat it all over the bathroom. When I went to find it, he was sitting on it. So he felt good this morning. The bootie is fine, too.


So that's all I have to report. Not being able to follow the weather has been frustrating. I was watching my thermometer, and it seems pretty accurate, but of course, it doesn't keep any data, so I can only hope I remember what I saw. I am too tired to write tonight, so I guess I'll read a bit (hopefully, not long) and try to get a long sleep tonight. It's a cloudy but not so cold night in the field.


January 8

Last night, it wasn't the music again. It was the story. I ended up writing 4,200 words before I finally decided I'd better go to bed. I had to excise some of them tonight, because I was repeating myself, but mostly it was good stuff. I was so late getting to bed that it was noon before I got up, and again I had to move a comfy cat in order to get up. Grayson knows where it's warm and soft. The only thing is, when I'm keeping normal hours, they're awake when I'm asleep and vice versa. Grayson likes it when I keep to his hours.


I didn't knit, because I was so late. In fact, I didn't do a lot of things I usually do. There was a power failure in the Kearsarge area, where PastyNet is located, and I didn't get any emails all day. Then about 3:30 we had a power glitch, just enough to zap the clocks and the computer, and after that, my daily emails started coming through. It's amazing how much faster my daily surfing goes when I don't have to plow through all those ad emails. By that time, the talking had started, so it was a real lost day.


The weather is slowly moderating, although I can't give you complete data because there is clearly something wrong with the NWS station. It has been reporting temperatures in the upper 20s all day, while my thermometer has been around 12. Since it's been under 10 at the airport all day, i'm pretty sure my thermometer is right and the NWS station is wrong. The wind is still from the north, but the gusts were only in the upper 20 mph. So we're slowly, ever so slowly, coming out of the deep freeze. It's still cold in the house, but as the outdoor temperature rises and the wind dies down, it will warm up. Apparently there was snow all day, according to the NWS station, but not according to my pictures, so I don't know what its trouble is.


The kitties were around but sleepy. Louie got some lap time, but Grayson didn't. He spent most of the afternoon in his box, I think. They prefer it warmer, but the cold doesn't seem to bother them as much as it has other cats I've had.


So it was a lost day. I wrote a few words on Bolin, but I have been so late all day - I didn't get my dinner until 8:30 - that I think I will go up to the north end soon, take my bath - finally - and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's still cold in the field.


January 7

It wasn't the music last night, which was just OK. I think it was that I knew it was going to be cold at the north end and I didn't want to get undressed. So I was late, and it was cold. I undressed in the bathroom, which was incrementally warmer than the other places, but I don't think I'll do that tonight. Getting out of my clothes isn't easy in such a confined place. I have a big bathroom, but it's long and thin, and I get undressed while sitting down. It's hard enough getting out of my bottoms in the closet, where I have room to stretch my legs. Anyway, I went to bed in my fleece robe and with my socks on, and I warmed up the bed pretty fast. I slept well.


I was probably awake around 10:00 or so, but I realized there was a cat right in the middle of the bed, behind my knees, so I went back to sleep, sort of, until I finally had to pee. That was around 11:30, so I got enough sleep. Grayson was fast asleep when I had to move, and I was sorry to bother him, but I can't get out of the bed when he's where he was, so we both got up. Louie was in the bathroom waiting for us, and Grayson laid down beside him and went back to sleep, although Louie kept licking Grayson's ears. Grayson was leaning against Louie's belly, I suppose because it was warmer. I put on my compression hose, socks and shoes, and that warmed me up enough that I knitted four rows before I got into the rest of my clothes. I discovered that a couple of inches back, I dropped something close to one edge, but I think I managed to repair it well enough that it won't be noticed. Or I hope it won't. That thread is a real pain. The scarf looks all right when it's stretched, but I don't yet know if I can actually block it out and have it stay blocked. So I press onward.


Louie came and went to sleep on my lap after breakfast, and as a result, I had a nasty accident, the first real one in quite a while. So washed both pairs of sweatpants, and I'm wearing a pair that I never got around to shortening. The ones I got from Laurel (Laughing Loon) are men's, and the legs are even long for me. So I rolled up the bottoms, and they're fine.


After that, I didn't do anything much else. Marty came around close to dusk and blew out the driveway. There was more snow in front of the garage than I realized. We've had a lot of snow in the past few days. The Road Commission is finally getting their act together, but after looking at their numbers, it seems clear to me that we've had more snow here than they have up at Delaware. According to them, we've had 18" so far through yesterday and 173" for the season. Saturday when I was at the store, Jeff said we'd had snow for 46 consecutive days, so that would make it 49 days now. We may break the string before the end of the week, but it will surprise me if we do. That lake effect snow just keeps coming.


The temperature was -2 at midnight, and it rose very slowly all day and more quickly this evening, and now it is 8. Wow, the first time in days when it's been over about 3! The wind is still blowing hard from the north, although the gusts are down to 30 mph. And it's been snowing all day. The way it was blowing this afternoon, I i imagine Marty had quite a job getting through the culverts. It's not supposed to get below 0 here at the shore, although it will in the interior. Maybe, if it warms up a bit, it will get a little warmer in here? Hope so.


Except when they were sitting on me, I didn't see much of the guys. Louie came back later this afternoon, and I discovered that he likes to bite on gloves. He knows the difference between bare hands and gloves, just like he knows the difference between bare legs and pants. Unlike Grayson, I almost never feel Louie's claws on bare skin, but he was biting the gloves and my hands in my pockets this afternoon. He prefers to be rubbed with bare hands, too.  Grayson was interested in my fish tonight, so I gave him a little piece and he didn't like it. I guess I should be glad that they don't like people food. I'll be interested to see if they get into it as they get older. When Buster was their age, he didn't like it either, but when he got old, he almost preferred my food to his, and he especially loved fish.


So it was another quiet day. I think I will write a bit more tonight, although I'm at a transition point again and I'm not sure if I can get through it. And I have to wash my hair, no matter how cold it is in the bathroom. It's another frozen night in the field, but at least it's not below 0 anymore. 


January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

I was sort of late last night, a bit after midnight, I think, but I was reading and time just passed. I've always had problems with the passage of time. I get engrossed in something and I totally lose track of time. Anyway, I slept well. It wasn't too cold in the bathroom and I put on my slipper socks, so mu feet weren't cold when I got into bed, and I went right to sleep.


I got up around 9:30 and I knitted four rows, even though it wasn't very warm in the bathroom. The thermometer said 65, but the toilet is over by the window and it was colder there. It's only 58 in the studio, so I wasn't very comfortable, even with my heavy fleece jacket on, but oh, well. It was cold all over. I didn't do very much, but I did get the dishwasher unloaded, so maybe this time I won't end up with the sink full of dirty dishes. Maybe. Rustling around does warm me up, even my hands, but my back is bothering me, so I can't stand for very long. I think possibly my hip is a little better today, but it's still sore.


I didn't even think about going out today. The minimum temperature overnight was -6, and it has finally risen to 0 (or -0, whatever that is), but the wind was strong, and just a while ago we were having 38 mph gusts. It snowed all day, again enough to register at the NWS station. I don't think there was a whole lot of accumulation because when it's so cold the snow crystals are so small that they sort of pack together. Anyway, the temperature plus the wind meant that the wind chill was down in the -20 to -30 range, and nothing less than an emergency would get me out in that. I had to do that for too many years. So I hibernated.


So did the fur faces. Both of them got some lap time, which warmed me up, too. For somre reason they were full of energy this morning, but maybe that was just to get warm. The barometer was high, although it's fallen off now, and maybe that was what it was. They just eat a lot and that keeps them warm, although I think Louie is even fatter than he was. Poor Louie. I know his problem.


I was writing a bit tonight before I started this and I think I'll do some more before I climb into my nest. I probably should wash my hair tonight, but I think I'll just wait until tomorrow and maybe it will be a trifle warmer in the bathroom. Now it's a bitterly cold, windy, snowy night in the field and it's a good one to hunker down and keep myself warm.


January 5

I don't think it was quite as bad as they predicted, but we did have a lot of snow - enough for measurable precip at the NWS station - so my decision not to go out was a good one.


Before I go on, Johanna had her baby yesterday. He weighed in at 8lb 15oz. I haven't seen her lately, but I can imagine she was pretty uncomfortable. I've seen pictures of him - they're out on Facebook, where I lurk - and he's a big, healthy looking boy. He seems very long, but since both his parents are tall, it makes some sense. I'll be interested to talk to her, but I think I'll wait a few days for her to get acclimated to the new situation. I wonder if they'll make her come home tomorrow in the middle of the wind chill advisories.


Anyway, I got to bed a little after midnight last night and I slept well until 7:00. Yes, I could have gotten up if I'd wanted to, although when I start going to church again, I think I will be getting up at 6:30, just to give me enough time. It takes forever for me to get my clothes on and particularly for me to get my coat, hat, mittens, etc., etc. on and get ready to go out. i will have to leave a lot earlier than I do in the summer in order to get to Laurium on time. So I went back to bed, but I didn't sleep very well. For some reason not known to me, the ends of the third and fourth toes on my right foot were so sore I couldn't sleep. They were sore for most of the day, too, although they're better now. It may have something to do with having to wear my too-small shoes out yesterday, even though it's width and not length that's too small, but I don't think so. I have no clue. I got up around 8:30 and I knitted four rows. That seems to be about all I can do in a reasonable length of time. It was easier because I remembered to turn on the lights in the bathroom.


Then I had a nice big breakfast: pancakes and sausage. Yum. For the rest of the afternoon, i did not much. I couldn't decide what I wanted to do after I finished my surfing, so I did nothing. Eventually I began writing on Bolin again, and I may have overcome the hump I couldn't get over. I hope so. Anyway, I've written almost 3,000 words and it feels good.


While the weather wasn't quite as frigid as they forecast, it did pretty good. The temperature here fell from 12 at midnight to 1 at 10:00, and it has stayed right about there ever since. They were really wrong about Houghton; the lowest it got there was -0.4 this afternoon. Well, they tried, and the worst is yet to come. The wind has been from the north, of course, with gusts up to 27 mph. It snowed all day, light to medium, although with the wind, it wasn't possible to tell for sure what was coming down and what was just blowing around. I had no regrets about not going out. And for a while around noon, we actually had some perceptible sunshine. It's still low enough in the sky (20) that it shines in my face around noon, but it sure was nice to see. We're gaining time at about 1 1/3 minutes a day, so we've passed through the shortest days and we're on our way up. I had to reset the shutdown time of the camera today. I don't mind the rest of it, but I do not like the short days.


The guys were happy to see me get up so early, but I didn't see a lot of them. Both got some lap time, although Louie would sit on me all the time if I'd let him. Grayson got a good back rub this morning in the bathroom, and then this afternoon, he went to sleep on my lap until Louie came in. I don't know why it is, but when Louie comes around, he leaves. He shouldn't do that. He deserves his share of the loving.


So that was my quiet day. Louie made me have a small accident, nothing really serious, but if he hadn't been sitting on me I wouldn't have ignored the gurgling and I would have been all right. I haven't mentioned that for the past couple of weeks I have had a very sore right hip. At first I thought it was that muscle in my back that gets sore, and it may have started with that, but then it became clear that it's hips, the right one particularly. I sat on the heating pad today, which is nice when it's so cold, and maybe that helped a bit. At least I can raise my leg without so much pain. I have arthritis in every joint in my body, and every so often one or more will act up. I've had a sore elbow lately, too, but that's because I've been playing so much solitaire. Yesterday, both hands and wrists were sore, although that seems better today. Maybe knitting and typing are good for my hands. I'm sure eventually my hip will get better, but in the meantime, I hurt. I had to go downstairs yesterday to bring up food, and that didn't help either. None of that explains my toes, though, and I have no clue what that's about. I hope they're all right tonight. 


I don't think I'll be up so late tonight. I didn't get enough sleep last night, so I'll have to try to make up for it tonight. Now it's a dark, frigid, snowy night in the field and the bottom is supposed to drop out of the thermometer tonight. We'll see, but it is supposed to be awfully cold.


January 4

Well, scratch church tomorrow. With 100% probability of snow and high temperatures of -2 to -7 inland and 0 here with wind chill readings to -45, there is no way I'm going out. Period. Maybe by Wednesday, but the weather forecast is dire. I will hibernate.


i was late getting to bed again last night. Mostly it was the  music, but I spent a lot of time just staring at the screen. I was so late that I didn't do the dishwasher. I slept well, but I didn't get up until noon. Actually, the first time I got up, I looked at the clocks and they were blinking. Oh, shoot. So I got out my red flashlight and my clock/calculator and set them, correctly I think, but I'll have to check tonight, and then I went back to bed. I didn't knit again, since I was so late.


So today I began to get the dishwasher loaded. While It was so cold all over the house, I discovered that if I put an upside-down plate over my hot food it stays hot longer, especially if I warm the plates first. The only trouble with that is that the number of dishes has gotten out of control. For some reason, all I used this week were cereal bowls (not for cereal) and bread-and-butter plates (not for bread-and-butter), and it was a good thing I have 16 of each of them. Well, I could have washed dishes before, of course, but I seem to be stuck on only washing them when I run out of cat dishes. So the dishwasher is packed, and in fact, I'm wondering how I'm going to get the two bowls I used for dinner in there, along with various glasses, knives and cooking utensils. That, like the fridge, is an appliance that I think was designed by men who assumed everybody would wash dishes every day. And i suppose most do, but it means it isn't laid out very well for me. I don't know what they thought about the fridge, which is just another stupid design. Hopefully, i won't ever need a new one of either, but if I do, I'm going to try to inspect them thoroughly in person. Of  course, sometimes one has to settle for any old thing, which is what I did when my mother's fridge quit in the middle of August and I needed one that would fit in the space I had available. End of rant.


I went to the post office, where there wasn't anything worth going for, and to the store for eggs and my after-Christmas shipment of Lake Champlain Chocolates - half price. Oh, how I love those things! With a little self-control, I should be good almost until Valentine's Day. They didn't have any nice baskets this year, but I got lots of yummy stuff. Their truffles are to die for, but their other chocolates are just as good. Yum.


The weather today wasn't too bad, as things go. Of course, it snowed lightly all day. The temperature sat at about 20 all night, briefly spiked to 25 at 9:00 am, and then dropped off so that it was in the middle teens all afternoon. That is why I try to describe the weather here. From looking at the highs and lows, one just doesn't get any feel for what it was really like. The wind was strong, and between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning, it shifted from west to north and picked up, with gusts as high as 37 mph. I guess that's supposed to go on as the temperature drops into the deep freeze. I don't know how much snow there was, but there was a whole lot of water equivalent - 0.31". That would be a lot even if it was rain.


I forgot to mention that our official snow total for December ended up being 126.5". It wasn't a record, but it's the third highest since they've been keeping track (1957). For the season, through January 1, we've had 157" already. There were two seasons where we only got 161" for the entire season, so we're off and running. A whole lot of us in Copper Harbor are keeping our fingers crossed that it keeps up and we don't have a hard thaw someplace in the middle. I heard today that they think there might be a thaw at the end of January, which is a phenomenon that frequently happens, but I hope not. We need the business. 


We also need to get our tractor back as soon as possible. Marty did the roads this morning, but he broke a pin (a shear pin?) and had to drive down to the tractor store for parts this afternoon. He's so good about helping out, but he shouldn't have to do the whole job. Trevor got stuck out by their house last night, and I guess in one spot there was a 4' drift over the road. Ron, Trevor and their neighbor got him out, but it was an awful job. I don't know about the neighbor, but Ron isn't so young anymore and shoveling, even the light snow we have when it's cold, is hard work and hard on the heart. I keep thinking I need to take a couple of  pictures out the patio doors so you can see why I'm not feeding the birds and why I never got the shutters pulled down, but then I forget until it's too dark. Maybe tomorrow.


I didn't see much of the fur faces today. Grayson was waiting in the bathroom for me when I got up. He rolls around on the floor and likes to have his back and his chin scratched. He does not like to have his belly rubbed, so why he rolls over on his back with his belly facing me, I don't know. Maybe it's so he can scratch my hands with his needle claws. Anyway, it does indicate he's happy to see me.


Now that the wind has shifted, it's warmed up in the studio (to a balmy 64), but it's probably colder at the north end. And I expect it to be cold all over when the wind chill gets down to -40. Well, I can always put on more clothes. I determined that I can use the mouse with gloves on, but I can't type in gloves, so my worst problem is trying to keep my hands warm. My Raynaud's Syndrome means that the ends of my fingers get very cold very easily and then they hurt. Having a warm cat on my lap helps that, but I end up with my hands in my pockets a lot. I can't type with my hands in my pockets, either. I've been having hot coffee or tea with breakfast (I find I still prefer coffee with breakfast), and that keeps me warmer longer. Putting a saucer over the top of the cup keeps it nice and hot, too. One learns to cope, I guess. This temperature doesn't feel all that cold anymore, so my body is acclimating. Not that I'm about to put on my bathing suit, but I can cope with the bathroom except when I'm wet. It's so dry, though, that I dry off pretty fast, and then I'm fine. When I'm sitting and surfing or reading, I do get chilly, but I have a fleece throw that I put around my shoulders, and then if I could keep my hands warm, I'd be quite comfortable. Having cold thighs doesn't bother me a lot, I guess, but I might try a pair of longjohns. Or a warm cat.


So that's another quiet day in the field. Now it's a cold (and getting colder), snowy night in the field and a good one to hunker down under the comforter and sleep long and hard.


January 3

Oh, yeah, write. I almost forgot. I got to the end of Bolin and decided I didn't feel like writing tonight. Oh, well.


I was very late last night - so what else is new? The music was just too nice - Beethoven and Dvorak and lots of other good stuff. I still don't understand why they program the longer works so late in the evening. Anyway, then I had to take a bath. So I got to bed late. I woke up around 10:30, for only the second time, and decided I hadn't had enough sleep, so it was 12:30 before I got up. I didn't knit, since I was so late already. 


I actually didn't do anything, although I do have to do the dishwasher tonight. Almost all I had time for was my surfing. 


It was really cold overnight - around 3, but around noon the temperature began to rise, until now it's 17. However, around 1:30, the wind began to howl and the snow began to fall thick and fast. The wind is now up to 32 mph gusts, from the west-southwest, and it's still snowing. This is "system snow," as John Dee calls it, and while we may not get the brunt of it, we're getting our share, and then after tomorrow noon, the temperature is going to start falling and the lake effect snow will kick in. Gee, I really need to go to town Sunday, but with snow and temperatures that may not get much above 0, I'm not sure I will. That will mean a snap trip to town sometime next week, whenever the weather looks better. Well, that's winter in Keweenaw. At least I have frozen OJ in the freezer, even though I don't like it very well.


I didn't see much of the guys today. Louie sat on me for a while and Grayson sat for an even shorter time, but it's really cold in the studio, so they went wherever it's warmer. The north end isn't bad, so I suppose they're there, or up in the loft.


I don't know what I'm going to do about the temperature in the studio. I looked at space heaters on Amazon tonight, but they have so many choices that it's hard to decide which one to try. I'm not sure the cheap ones are any good, but I don't want to spend too much on one. I'll try again tomorrow. I guess that's about my only option. Getting some of the stuff off the floor might help, too, but I don't know how much.


So that was another nothing day, and maybe I can get to bed earlier tonight? It's a snowy, cold night in the field.


January 2

Well, it looks like I'm starting 2014 the same way I ended 2013. I didn't get to bed until around 1:00, and I got up around 11:30. I knitted my four rows and I did my surfing. And that's all. Of course, I was late getting to the studio, but still.


I was late because I finished reading all the episodes of Trine again, including the one that isn't finished. When i don't feel like writing, I reread my stuff, and sometimes that causes me to get inspired again. There is a whole lot of work I could do on Trine, but I don't feel like it. I'm starting Bolin again, since that's the one that seems to have the most promise right now. I'm stuck at one particular place, and if I can get over it, things should go easier. So we'll see. It's hard to do much of anything when I'm awake such a short time. 


The weather was about the same. The temperature was 3 to 3.9 until just recently, when it went up to 5. There wasn't much wind and it snowed lightly all day, although I don't think there was much accumulation. There was a short period where it got very light, although the sun didn't actually come out. Same old, same old.


Today was Louie's day. Grayson stayed with me in the bathroom this morning, but then he went away, and Louie spent most of the afternoon asleep on my lap. I don't like to stay mad at them for very long, since I'm sure after a couple of hours they don't remember what they did to upset me. Louie was a very happy cat and he got to leave me on his own. Fortunately, I didn't have any gurgles that required me to get up abruptly until after he left.


So that was another nothing winter day. Now it's a dark night in the deepfreeze and it's another good night to cuddle under the comforter and sleep for a long time.


January 1, 2014 - New Year's Day

Happy New Year! I hope your new year is healthy and happy and full of the people you love most.


I didn't stay up to ring in the new year. I took a bath and turned out the light at 11:50. However, at midnight, they set off fireworks in the park, so I heard that, but it was snowing too hard for me to see anything but colored clouds. Kind of neat that a little town like ours can do that. At least it keeps people from firing their guns, or I think it does.


I actually had a hard time getting to sleep. When I went up to the north end to take my bath, I thought it felt awfully cold in the bathroom, and the floor was icy. When I looked at the thermostat, the display was blank, except for a little thing in the corner that said "lo batt". Oh. So I put on my robe and slippers and trundled back to the studio and changed the batteries. Unfortunately, one thing I've found about having the heat in the floor is that it warms up very slowly. So I took my bath, and by the time I went to bed, my feet were like two blocks of ice. Before I got undressed, I finally bit the bullet and switched comforters, so that the heavy one is now over me and the lighter one is folded at the end, where it covers my feet. I sort of dozed until around 2:00, and when I got up, I put on my slipper socks. That was all I needed and I went right to sleep afterwards. Of course, I was up a couple of times during the night, and I could tell that the floor was slowly getting warmer, but it was morning before it was more or less normal. It sure was nice to hunker down under that heavy comforter, though. I've been thinking about that for a while, but doing anything to the bed is so hard on my back that I postponed it, but it was so cold last night that I figured I'd better do something.


When I went up to the north end last night, both cats were in the hallway, on alert. I wondered about that, but I didn't hear much. This morning, when I started down the hall, there was a dead mouse. My four-footed mousetraps were on duty last night. I praised them and I gave them something nice for breakfast, which they both ate. They are eating an awful lot lately, but I suppose it helps keep them warm.


I got up around 10:00, but I didn't do anything. I knitted four rows on the scarf this morning, but that's about all. Oh, I did get my 2014 planner set up and I transferred the last four months' worth of appointments to my 2013 yearly calendar. So now 2014 is all set up and 2013 is in shape so I can use it when I do my taxes. That took a while. I use colored pens to indicate all the holidays, the phases of the moon and the solstices and equinoxes and when I get my Social Security payment. There were also some appointments for the coming year that I needed to put in (in pencil - I never put an appointment in pen). So now that is all ready for the new year.


It was a good day to ignore the outside. It snowed lightly almost all day; it's been weeks since I've seen the mountain. The "high" temperature for the day is now: 3.9. It was around 1 all day. While it was sort of windy overnight, the wind died down by noon and there is very little wind now. It was dark and cloudy, except for one ray of sunshine around noon. Brr.


Grayson got a long time on my lap. He curls up with his legs on either side of my gut and his head on it, and he went to sleep purring. So nice. He came just about the time my hands were getting frozen, so I was able to warm up on him. Then Louie pushed the door open and Grayson jumped up and went away. Louie wanted to sit on me, too, but he made a mistake: he reached out his paddy paw and tried to snag my hand with his claws. That isn't allowed, so I batted him one, pushed him off my lap and sent him away. He kept trying to mix it up with Grayson, who had retreated to his box, but I wouldn't let him. Louie has a jealous streak. I don't know what the claws were about, but he just has to remember that isn't allowed around here and I won't stand for it.


So now I will read for a while, and then I will go and hunker down in my nice warm bed and take another long winter's nap. It's a frigid, cloudy night in the field, as usual, And it's 2014.


Last  updated 02/01/14 07:07 PM