A View From the Field








February, 2014

February 28

So February is almost history, Even though it's the shortest month, it's always felt like it was the longest one to me, and it doesn't have anything to do with the weather.


I was later than I wanted to be last night, and it was after 1:00 when I got to bed. The music was nice, and I think I spent a lot of time staring at the floor, a bad habit of mine. i slept well, with the usual wakeups, and I got up around 10:30. I didn't knit, so I got to do my surfing before I left.


Getting out was interesting. There are so many snow piles in my driveway that I had to back out to the turn (and it's not quite straight, so that was interesting in itself) and go back and forth several times, hitting a snowbank every time, before I could get turned around to go out. The excavator was there, though, and our road is in good shape. 


It was a slow drive to Laurium, but there weren't any problems except for slow drivers. In fact, on my way down, much of US-41 was clear of almost all snow on the southbound side. I stopped at the bank in Mohawk and I got to the clinic with plenty of time to visit the restroom. 


The doctor and I had a long talk, as usual, but evidently he likes to talk to me. We agreed that we're just about fed up with the cold. He pointed out something I've thought about, too: one of the reasons we have so much snow is that we haven't had our usual mid-winter thaws this year. The couple of days last week are the only one we've had, and that wasn't long enough or warm enough to do much. 


I do not have either pneumonia or bronchitis, although he did say that based upon some of my symptoms a couple of weeks ago, I may have had it and kicked it myself. He didn't have anything to say about the number of colds I've had this winter. All I can hope is that this is the last one and it doesn't happen again. 


We talked for quite a while, and it was 4:00 before I got to Pat's. And it was almost 6:00 when I got out. I don't know why it took me so long. I got enough stuff to pack the fridge and keep me happy for quite a while, including two nice pieces of fresh whitefish. I will freeze one, of course, but since they had it, I figured I might as well lay it in. Love that stuff.


So it was beginning to get dark when I left for home, and it had started snowing lightly about the time I left the clinic. That meant it was a slow drive home, because there was a glaze of new snow on the road. I didn't have any trouble, but I noticed that from the way they have plowed the covered road, I was driving down the center of the road most of the way. Fortunately, only one car passed going the other way, and that was at a spot where there was plenty of room. I got home around 7:00, very tired and with very sore feet.


Oh, and then I somehow managed to lock the car instead of unlocking it, and then I temporarily lost my key! Eek! It turned out it had dropped out of my parka pocket when I took it off, and I located it, just about the time I was ready to call AAA. It meant, though, that I had to go up and down the steps a couple of extra times. I'm tired. Then I had to bring in everything and pack it away. That's always a problem, because I don't want to have to take anything downstairs. I suppose I should figure out a way to bring the freezer upstairs to the breezeway, since it's not doing me a lot of good where it is. Well, that's a future.


The weather was cold. It was about -9 all night, and it got up to 11 here, and a couple of degrees cooler in Calumet. The wind was from the southwest, but it was very light. It was cloudy all day, although the camera hung up around 2:00 and there were no pictures. It started snowing very lightly about 4:00 and it was still snowing when I got home. 


Grayson wanted some of my dinner, and he sat on me for a while, just to tell me he was glad I came back. Louie sat outside the door and cried, but since I have the heater on, he won't come in. Poor Louie. Once it warms up, I'm sure I'll have a hard time getting him off my lap. 


I think most of the reason it gets so cold in the studio is that the seal on the patio door is bad. That's where I had the snow inside last week. If snow can come in, cold air certainly can, and there are times when I feel a draft from that direction. I don't want them coming out at this time of year and opening the door, though, so that will just have to wait until spring...if spring ever comes. 


So now it's a cold, cloudy night in the field and it's snowing again. I'm tired, and the music doesn't turn me on, so I think I will be going up to the north end soon. 


February 27

Well, I got to reading last night and it was a ridiculous hour this morning before I got to sleep. I slept well, although I was up several times. I think it snowed all night. I got up around noon and I didn't do anything much today - there wasn't time.


I have worked on the charts for the shawl off and on, although I still think I will just have to knit it and see how it goes. For some reason, I have a hard time counting on some of the rows, and every row has to fit properly on the row below in order for the pattern to come out right and the increases to be right. I discovered that I had managed to print one wrong chart, so tonight I did that, after I realized i had goofed it up. So now I should be ready to forge ahead, when I have time.


Tonight I am really tired - not enough sleep - and I have to take a bath so I will be clean for the doctor. Ron came by this afternoon with a couple of packages and my mail and he says that the excavator will be here tomorrow morning, so I should be able to get out when I need to go. Because he came, I don't have to stop at the post office or the store, so I can go down to Mohawk to the bank and on to the doctor. 


When I looked through my mail, there was an envelope with no return address on it, and when I opened it, there was a $100 bill inside! My secret admirer. Whoever you are, I thank you for your generosity. My finances are still rocky enough that I need all the help I can get.


The weather was - is - amazing. It was below 0 and very windy all night long, although since it was from the north, it didn't bother me a lot. I think it snowed all night long, too, but there wasn't a lot of accumulation. It snowed somewhat today, too, but the wind died down, and after about 4:30 this afternoon, it cleared up nicely. However, the temperature actually went down all day, and it is now -10 and falling. Thankfully, there isn't much wind. I hope it stays that way. Ron says the ledges on top of the drift in the culverts dropped off and filled up the road, so it was good I didn't need to get out today.


I didn't see much of Louie today, although he was asleep in the bathroom when I got up. He is just too afraid of the heater. Grayson was around, and he got some lap time. He also sat on the laptop and squinted at me when I sat down with my dinner. I'm trying to ignore that, and I will until he actually eats something when I give him a crumb or two of my dinner. He is a snotty little cat. The heater doesn't bother him at all.


So I finished reading Special Forces again - I really like that story - and as soon as I finish this I will totter up to the north end and take my bath. My back wasn't quite as stiff this morning, but I think that was because I wasn't in bed for so long. Well, tomorrow is the doctor, and maybe he can help with things like that, as well as with my cough, which I still have.


Now it's an extremely cold, clear night in the field, and it's time to go to bed. No fiddling around.


February 26

I took my shower and got to bed about 11:00 last night, but I had a little trouble getting to sleep. It was one of those things where I felt comfortable but I couldn't doze off until I turned over onto the other side. I wrapped my sore back in the heat wrap, but I have to say, I don't think it did any good. I was still as stiff as a board when I got up this morning. I need Johanna, but a couple of good karate chops would help that one muscle. Maybe I can talk the doctor into that on Friday. Otherwise, I just have to move around enough to work the stiffness out of the muscles.


Ron keeps nattering about whether I will be able to get out on Friday, but so far, it sounds like I probably will. If we get through tonight, with the 30 mph winds, it should be better. I know this has been a really hard winter on him, since he does most of the plowing and he has to get out every day to open the post office.


Anyway, I still don't feel good, so it's becoming imperative that I get to the doctor. I'm afraid it's pneumonia, so I need drugs.


I knitted up to the end of the second chart this morning, so this afternoon, I put together three charts to get me through the end of the shawl, although I found it impossible to visualize the increases well enough to put those in. So I left that part blank, and as i do it, I will write in the symbols by hand. I keep thinking I have it right but when I count stitches, I don't. Or maybe it's just because I'm not totally on top of things.


It was another frigid day with numerous snow showers. The high temperature was 7. I, and I think everybody else up here, am really tired of highs in the single digits or lower. Around 3:00 the wind started shifting around to the north and rising, and it's now 21-28 mph. It's supposed to go higher. They are saying it will be from the northwest, but our winds seem to run about 45 further north than they are at the airport, so i can hope it will stay out of the north. We will see some drifting, though. There's no way to avoid that. We are under another winter weather advisory (as well as a wind chill advisory) until noon tomorrow. Sigh. I sometimes wonder why they don't just make the winter weather advisory permanent and be done with it.


As usual, I didn't see much of the furfaces today, although Grayson is sitting on the laptop now. He thinks he wants some of my dinner, and he can't have any, because i only ate half of the package and I don't want him licking it. Louie was around when I was in the bathroom and the powder room, but a while ago he was sitting outside the studio crying. He simply will not come in when the heater is going, and thankfully, the heater is going.


So that was another quiet day and I won't be up late tonight. It's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field.


February 25

You know, I don't feel very good.


I was a bit later last night, but I don't know exactly how late. i did get up just after midnight to take a walk and some cough medicine. I had hoped not to need the cough medicine, but I think I coughed for about an hour before I gave up. After that, I went to sleep and slept well. I was awake around 8:30 or so, but i went back to bed and didn't get up until nearly 11:00. 


My first task was to see if I could repair the goof I made in the sequin scarf (I couldn't) and then I took it off the needle and put it on a piece of thread. I will put that down as a learning experience and go on. I still want to do something with the yarn, which I love, but I think it will be a simple garter stitch thingie. Then I did two rows on the shawl. I have about 12 rows left before I have to either stop or do some charting. I brought it down to the studio this afternoon, but I was so late I didn't get to work on it, so it will go back to the bathroom tonight.


Otherwise, I didn't do anything. Like i say, I don't feel very good, and as the day goes on, I get to feeling less good. I checked last night, and I didn't have a fever, so that's good, but I am sort of headachy and blah.


It turned out to be a much nastier day than they were predicting. The temperature was between 3 and 5 all day, and the wind was in the 25 mph range, although there were gusts up to 34 mph around noon, all from the north. It snowed off and on, mostly on, for most of the day, although I don't think there was a lot of accumulation. 


For the record, the Road Commission is reporting 16" between the 20th and the 22nd. That's a lot, but it was really the wind that was bad. M-26 between Cat Harbor and Great Sand Bay was closed for 4 days due to drifting. Of course, that area is right out in the open, with no hills on the other side of the road. I'm surprised it wasn't closed more toward Copper Harbor, where a lot of my friends live. I also heard that both Houghton and Keweenaw pulled the trucks at 9:00 on Friday night and they didn't go out until the next morning. We haven't had a blizzard like that in several years. If I didn't have to worry about getting snowed in, it would have been lots of fun.


The guys were sleepy as usual. Louie was beginning to get really anxious, since it's been several days since he got to have a tummy rub. He got one this afternoon, or at least a short one, until the heater went on. Poor Louie. I wish I could convince him that heater isn't going to hurt him. Grayson sat and stared at my fish while I was eating tonight, but he doesn't like that anyway, so he didn't get any. One of these days...


So that was a truncated day, and shortly I'll be tottering up to the north end to take a bath and get to bed early. I was going to write tonight, but I don't feel good enough, and besides, then I'd be late. Now it's a frigid, snowy, windy night in the field and it's time to hunker down under the covers again.


February 24

I think it was around 10:30 when I got to bed last night. I don't know quite why I was so early, except that I was tired. About an hour later I came down to the studio and determined that yes, I had indeed forgotten to take my evening pills, including my blood thinner and my neurontin. I can usually tell when I don't take the neurontin, because my toes hurt and my legs get twitchy and I have a hard time falling asleep. I don't know how I managed to forget the prescriptions, because I did take my probiotics. Oh, well, sometimes that happens. The problem then is, it takes an hour or so for the neurontin to kick in, so It was a bit after midnight when I finally got to sleep. I was up several times, but I did go back to sleep after that. I got up around 9:30 and I knitted a bit, only two rows.


I was about to get dressed when Ron called to tell me the culverts were not good and I might not be able to get out, or if I got out, I might not be able to get back in, so I immediately came down to the studio (to get the phone number) and called to reschedule my appointment. Now it's Friday at 3:20. I'm sorry it's so late in the day, because I do want to do some food shopping afterwards, but I'm glad it's this week. From what I've seen of the forecasts, while it is going to be very cold, it won't be snowing a lot, and that will give Ron time to orchestrate getting the road dug out.


So I got dressed and didn't do anything except finally get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. Both I and the cats are running out of dishes, so it's time. Once I get my dinner dishes in, it can run. 


By the time I went to bed Saturday, the wind had shifted around to the north, so it's been fairly comfortable around here. It was fairly windy, in the 15-25 mph range, but I didn't see any of it. The temperature has finally gotten up to 12. but it was under 10 for most of the day. It was a lake effect day, with partial sunshine alternating with snow showers. I don't think there was any accumulation.


The guys were both asleep in the bathroom when I got up this morning, and Grayson was acting weird for most of the morning. He spent quite a while asleep on my lap. Louie still won't come in the studio because of the heater, and while I was eating my dinner, he was camped out outside, crying. He hasn't gotten a proper loving for several days, and I think it's bothering him. Maybe I can entice him onto my lap while I'm sitting in the bathroom. Ron came with a package late this afternoon, and both guys came to the door. Ron has never seen all of Louie, and he was amazed by how huge he is. He is so fat!


So that was a nothing day and I'm tired and I don't feel all that good, so I hope I will be able to get to bed early again tonight. I am reading Bolin again, because I think I have figured out a way forward from where I stopped writing, but it's been long enough since I wrote anything that I have to reread it before I can go on. Now it's a frigid, cloudy and possibly snowy night in the field, but there isn't much wind.


February 23

I got to bed about 12:30 last night, I think. The temperature had gotten up to about 67 in the bathroom before I took my shower, which was tolerable. I wore my robe to bed, but I got rid of the two pillows and the underwear. I slept just fine, although i was up several times. I think it snowed all night, but since the blinds are still closed, I couldn't really tell. I got up around 10:30 and it was comfortable enough in the bathroom that I knitted. I'm getting to the point where soon I'll either have to graph the rest of the shawl or stop knitting on it.


Other than that, I didn't do anything. When I got to the kitchen, Ron had cleared away the drift across the driveway, but he hadn't done anything about the one in front of the garage door, probably because he couldn't get in. The breezeway door is frozen shut. The warm weather we had last week crusted over the snow and it's just about impossible to move it. Not that there is any room to put it. He came back later and dug out the garage by hand. We had a conversation later this afternoon, and I think we're going to have to invest in a hauling contractor to come in with an end loader and trucks to remove some of the snow. Later today, I was talking with Mary from church, and she says she doesn't remember a winter like this for at least 30 years, maybe more. It's amazing.


And it's still blowing, or it was earlier today. It's taking just about all the effort Ron and Marty can put into it to keep the road open, and they just can't find anywhere to put the snow anymore. The wind is dying down some now, but according to the forecast, that's just for a while. Wednesday and Wednesday night are supposed to be bad again. The wind has shifted around to the north, which helps a little, but not much. And we are getting wave after wave of lake effect snow squalls. All the time I was on the phone, I was watching the snow blow horizontally into the Lake Lily culverts. 


The temperature got up to 15 (the low was 12), which is still lower than our average minimum. It was mostly cloudy, although since the clouds were lake effect, every so often the sun would peek through a bit.


I saw both cats this morning. Grayson was asleep in the bathroom and Louie came in while I was knitting, but then they went away to wherever they go. The thing about cats is that they can always sleep.


Tomorrow I am supposed to go to the doctor. I am playing that one by ear. I will call Ron after he gets to the post office to see how the road is. If I can get out, I'll go, otherwise, I'll reschedule. I'd like to go, just to let the doctor hear me cough and listen to my lungs, but it depends upon how much drifting there is on Woodland Road. I hope i can go, not only to see the doctor, but to do a little shopping, so I can go back into hibernation with enough OJ, JD, eggs and lettuce to keep me going.


So that was my quiet day. I read, and that was about it. Now it's another cold, windy, snowy night in the field, but it's a bit warmer and the wind is a bit quieter, so maybe I can sleep without wearing my robe. 


February 22

I was late again last night. Part of it was the nice music and part of it was that I knew it was going to be cold up at the north end. I slept well once I got to bed, but I didn't get up until around 11:30. I didn't knit, because it was too cold in the bathroom - about 60. It was 55 when I got to the studio, and it has only lately gotten up to 65. I had on long johns and one of my heaviest fleece jackets (not the outdoor one), so I was comfortable, but I had a nasty accident. I even went to the powder room after breakfast, so I thought I was good, but a while later, I discovered that I wasn't fine at all. What a mess. And what a downer.


You know the hedge of lilacs between me and my neighbor to the north? I've mentioned them in the spring when they bloom. Some of the bushes are taller than I am, so they must be at least 6' high. They are completely covered by a humungous snowdrift. It's awesome. Late this afternoon, Marty came by and blew out the east-west part of the driveway, but he left without doing the rest of it, and I wondered why, so I went out to the garage, because I can't see out any of the windows anymore. Well. There is a drift from the front stoop to the trees on the other side of the driveway that must be at least 5' deep, if not more, and it goes all the way from where the driveway turns almost to the garage. I took a couple of pictures, but I have too much work to do to upload them yet. Ron tells me the drifts on the road have been impressive. And it isn't over.


When I got to the studio, I glanced at the patio door, and for heaven's sake, there was snow on the inside of the door! I tried to get a picture of that, too, but I couldn't, because it was too bright outside. I guess I will have to have a chat with the glass company, because it's clear that the wind forced the snow through a crack at the leading edge of the door. There was quite a bit, considering. No wonder it's so cold in here, with that kind of draft coming in through the door! Sheesh.


I was so late getting up that I didn't do anything. Besides, my inclination is to do nothing when it's this cold.


It only got down to about 11 overnight, but the wind was ferocious, with gusts up to 35 mph, mostly from the northwest. There were times when I could hear the snow hitting the siding on the bedroom almost like hail. It snowed all night and until around 4:00 this afternoon, when we had a little respite and some wan sunshine before it started to snow again around 5:30. The blizzard warning has expired, but now we have a winter weather advisory until 5:00 tomorrow. The lake has opened up enough that we are going to get some lake effect snows.


I am pretty sure that I'm going to cancel my appointment with the doctor on Monday. I don't want Ron and Marty to kill themselves trying to get my driveway open. I'm disappointed, but one has to go with the flow, and getting to Laurium would be difficult anyway. Sigh. At least I do seem to be slowly getting over my cold. I am not coughing and blowing quite as much. I still don't feel very good, but I seem to be getting rid of the glop.


I didn't see much of the furballs today. Louie followed me around when I was cleaning up after my accident. Grayson wanted to cuddle after breakfast, and he cuddled again after I ate my dinner. I think possibly at least one of them was in the cat bed in my closet, which is over in a corner and I think is the warmest spot on the first floor. Maybe both of them were there.  I think they like this even less than I do, but they don't understand there isn't much I can do about it.


While I was making my dinner, I turned on the heat lamp in the bathroom, so maybe it will be tolerably warm when I get there. I have to wash my hair tonight regardless. I was quite warm enough in bed with my robe on, or I thought I was, but it took me even longer than usual to get the kinks out of my back this morning. Actually, I think it seizes up when I get out of my warm bed. That one muscle on the right side of my back was really sore this morning. Obviously, I'm not going to church tomorrow.


Normally, I like winter, but this one has been a little much even for me. I feel so sorry for the guys doing the plowing, and I wish I could help them. If I ignore all that, the size of the drifts is just amazing. This is how it must have been the winter they were building my house, when they had to stop coming here in March because they were spending all their time moving snow. Somewhere I have some pictures of the driveway that winter, and it looks pretty much like it does this year. At least we don't get them like this every year. Well, we have probably five more weeks to go before we can hope for a thaw. I hope we make it. 


Now it's a cold, snowy, windy night in the field and I will be hunkering down under the covers and trying to keep warm.


February 21

I was a bit later getting to bed last night, but I slept well. I was up around 5:00, and when I got up to go back to bed, the clock read 5:16. In the time it took me to get back to bed, the power went off. I found out about it after I laid down and wanted to look at the clock to see if it read the same as the bathroom clock, since I thought I had gotten up a whole lot earlier than I apparently did. Sigh. So I called in my outage and burrowed under the covers and went back to sleep. I came too around 9:00, and I thought it looked light, and when I opened my eyes, the light was on and the clock was blinking. Whew! Only 4 hours, and it was warm enough outside (warm being relative) that it hadn't gotten too cold in the house, That came later. I went back to sleep and I didn't get up until 11:30, so I got my quota of sleep. 


I knitted and I could see that the wind was coming out of the west or northwest and it was very strong. It turns out that it had just picked up when I got up, and the temperature started to drop. It was actually around 34 most of the night, which explains the droplets of water on the screens. Well, it has dropped all afternoon, and the wind picked up to gusts as high as 43 mph from the northwest. Oh, dear. Northwest is almost the worst direction for keeping the house warm. It has died down some now, but the temperature is down to 17 and still falling. it snowed hard all day. They don't report actual conditions for Copper Harbor, but for Houghton the report was "heavy snow" for most of the day. It was that here, too. There was a long time when I couldn't even see the trees across the driveway from the house. and it was still blank white out the front windows when it got dark. My little heater has been working overtime all day, which has kept it fairly comfortable in here, but it can't get above 68. There is too much cold air coming in through the door and the window frames. The blizzard warning has been extended to 8:00 tomorrow morning, even though the low is way north of us in Canada now, and the radar map doesn't show all the snow that is falling around here. I sometimes wonder about weather radar.


By the way, last night I was looking at the Weather Underground page for Copper Harbor when I suddenly realized they were reporting an actual temperature for Copper Harbor! I checked, and the weather station apparently got fixed around 2:00 Wednesday afternoon, and I just missed it. It's a relief. I can see what my thermometer reports right now, but it doesn't keep a history, and sometimes I want to know what happened. I wouldn't have any idea how warm it was overnight if I didn't have that. So it's fixed, and maybe it will stay that way. 


I didn't see much of the guys. When I woke up, Grayson was plastered up against my legs, but after I got up and fed them, they went off to warmer climes and I didn't see much of anybody. Well, that's not true. I came out of the studio at one point to find Louie on one of the footstools, and every time I went into the kitchen or the bathroom, Grayson turned up. He thought he wanted some of my fish, but he doesn't like the marinade, so he went off again. 


So that was another quiet day. Now it's a blizzardy night in the field and it will be a good one to hunker down under the covers, maybe with a fleece robe on, and sleep long and hard.


February 20

Surprisingly enough, I was in bed a bit after midnight last night. I coughed some, but mostly I slept well, and I got up around 10:30. That's more like the sleep I need, and I will have to try to do it again tonight. I do want to wash my hair, though. My scalp is getting in bad shape again. Besides, I still think I sleep better after I take a shower.


Anyway, I knitted before I got dressed, so I was late getting to the studio, and then I had an accident - again - and had to change my pants. I needed to go to the post office and the store, but I wanted to wait until I was sure the UPS guy had come, so I went late. I didn't see Ron, but I saw a lot of other people who go late. When I got to the store, there were a couple of cars parked right where I wanted to park, so I waited, and while I was waiting, who should come out of the store but Johanna. She looks good, and she's working again, although she says she's somewhat sleep deprived. Both she and the baby are doing well. I explained why I hadn't called her, and she agreed, I won't be able to see her until I'm over my whatever-it-is. It was good to see her. She is always so sweet and upbeat it's a pleasure.


It was mostly a sunny day, and my thermometer got up to 41 again. That made the snow very greasy on our road, and I did slip into a snowbank once on the way home. The wind was brisk from the south, with gusts up to 23 mph or so. However, when I checked late this afternoon, there was a big area of blue to the southwest. In fact, the whole area isn't blue; some is white and tending toward pink, the first time I've seen snow that heavy all winter. At the last report, the wind has begun to swing around to the southeast, and the gusts are up to 31 mph. Oh, the blizzard is coming...the blizzard is coming...This morning, John Dee seemed to think the worst of it might be a bit west of us, but it looks like we might get hit pretty hard. The only thing that may make it more tolerable is that it won't be as cold as it was in December and early January. Small favors...


They guys were sleepy as usual today. I think they know something is coming and they're resting up for it. When I got up to go to the post office, Grayson was asleep in his box, and Louie was laid out in the middle of the floor, so that I had to be careful not to step on his head when I went out of the room. Nobody can relax quite like a cat.


So that was another quiet day. My nose was very runny today, and my coughing was quite juicy. Actually, I like that better than the dry, hacking cough I've had for the past several evenings. If it's juicy, sometimes I can get something up and get some relief. I don't seem to be getting much better, if any. Now it's a dark, cloudy, windy night in the field, and the snow is on its way. I can see it coming.


February 19

Oh, I did it again, and by the time I took my bath, it was just as late as the last two nights. Sigh. I slept well, of course, and I got up around 10:30. I knitted a bit and finished the next repeat. With over 150 stitches and a 20 row repeat, it takes a long time to do one repeat now.


Other than that, I didn't do anything except put one bag of kitchen trash out on the breezeway landing and fill the cat food bowls. They had eaten everything I'd put down and Grayson kept hanging around as if to tell me the bowls were empty and I'd better do something. I had to move the trash to get to the cupboard. Yes, it's that bad.


The weather was sunny and warm. My thermometer got up to 41, although I don't know how accurate that was with all the sunshine. There was a brisk northwest breeze, with gusts up to about 25 mph, although it has died down now. The blizzard watch has turned into a blizzard warning, starting at 7:00 tomorrow evening. It could get hairy around here. I need to go to the post office and the store, but I decided to postpone that until tomorrow, to the last minute. If I time it right, I should be able to get my package from the store and lay in enough eggs and milk (and JD) that I won't have to worry about being snowed in.


I have a friend who lives in San Diego, who has known me since I was born. She sent me a Christmas card, and of course I never got around to writing back, so she got worried, and this afternoon I got a call from the sheriff's department asking if I was all right. I guess Madeleine has a nephew (? I never knew that) who works for the Kalamazoo sheriff, and she called him and he called Keweenaw County. Geez, talk about calling out the cavalry...I will have to write her tomorrow, or maybe I will look up her phone number and call her.


The guys were off on their own today, although I did find Grayson lying almost in his box early this afternoon with the sun shining on his belly. We are all happy that it's been so warm around here. Maybe it won't get so cold, even with the wind, that we freeze again. That wasn't any fun.


So that was another quiet day, and I will read a while and see if maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour?


Right now, it's a cool, calm, cool night in the field...the calm before the storm.


February 18

Well, I didn't. It was just as late last night as the night before, only I got up a bit earlier, so I'm tired now. I'm making progress on the trellised leaf shawl. It's nice to knit something I'm not fighting all the time. It's getting wide enough that I'm down to four rows in a reasonable time period, but I expected that. I partially charted the pattern after I get through with this chart, and I brought it down to the studio to put through my charting software, but it's going to take some doing to get the edges right. The pattern is 12 stitches wide and 20 rows long, which means that every increase row is going to be different from all the others, and it will require a lot of counting to get it right. I don't care. I dislike the pattern so much I'm willing to put the effort into doing it right. I mean, those last 59 rows are really, really ugly. If I'd realized that when I bought the pattern, I probably wouldn't have, but the picture on the front of the pattern is wrong (I don't know what they did) and it wasn't until I looked at the whole pattern that I realized how ugly it is. Well, I like the leaves, so I'll just have to work from that.


Other than that, I didn't do anything except pay a bill. Really boring.


I think it may have been still snowing when I went to bed last night, but by morning it had stopped and the wind had died down. The temperature today may have gotten as high as 37, but only for a while, and there wasn't any wind. It was mostly cloudy. Sort of blah. I imagine the snow has softened up a lot with the warm temps, but I don't think we lost any. The exciting thing is that they have a blizzard watch out for tomorrow night and Friday. Ooh, goodie! We haven't had a real blizzard for a while, although some of the snow we had in December got close.


It's warm in the house, so I didn't see much of the fur faces. I got up to go to the bathroom late this afternoon, and Louie was lying in the narrow space between the boxes on the way to the patio door. I don't know for sure where Grayson was. His only problem is, he thinks it's as warm outside as it is in here, and he keeps looking out the window onto the porch, like he'd like to go out. I don't think so. Some things just don't register with cats, and the difference between outside and inside is one of them.


Now, tonight I will be going to bed early. I have to wash my hair, and I'm really tired. I am still coughing and blowing, and I had a couple of real explosions today, as well as an accident. This is getting old, fast. Well, Monday I should see the doctor (unless we have a blizzard again) and maybe he can figure out what ails me. Now it's a cool, cloudy night in the field, and the blizzard is coming...the blizzard is coming...


February 17

Well, I kept reading and reading and so it was ridiculously late when I got to bed, and I didn't get up until around 11:00. Then I knitted, so it was even later when I got to the studio. I hadn't even read my funnies when the talking started. I hope not to do that tonight. I didn't get enough sleep, and I need that.


I think part of my problem (besides that I like what I was reading) is that I was afraid of what would happen when I laid down. As it happened, nothing did. I now have two old, flat pillows under my pillow, and while it raises my head, it doesn't put such a crick in my back, so it's much more comfortable. I did wake up coughing once, but I more or less expect that. Stuff is still draining out of my sinuses, so of course I'm going to cough when I wake up.


I was so late that I did nothing except clean up after my accident (of course I had an accident, too). I did manage to look through the mail Ron brought, finally, although I haven't gone through it completely. There are a lot of bills. There were also a couple of checks, and a nice lady sent me a pair of neat fleece gloves with conductive patches on some fingers, so I could use a touch screen, if I had a touch screen. She was concerned for my cold hands. What nice readers I have! I thank you all very much. I'm sure I'll be wearing the gloves before this winter is over, and the site fund always needs help, especially after my problems at the end of last year. Thank you all.


When I went to bed it was snowing and it snowed more or less hard all day long, with strong south winds, and gusts up to 39 mph. that was around 1:00, and the wind has decreased a bit since. The temperature got up to around 20, I think, so it wasn't nearly as cold around here. I won't be surprised to hear we got quite a lot of snow. On that topic, it seems like last week, we got 2.5" on Wednesday and 9" on Thursday, so 11.5" for the whole event. We're still way behind on our February totals, but after today, there are more snow events predicted, so maybe we'll get up to a respectable total after all. We probably won't be getting much more in the way of lake effect snow. The entire lake is frozen over, although it probably isn't solid out in the middle. The MODIS pictures from yesterday were amazing; it's not often one sees Lake Superior almost as white as Lake Medora.


The guys were sleepy today, and I didn't see much of them, although I think Grayson slept in the studio for most of the day, and Louie was the guy asleep in the bathroom when I got up. I have kept a couple of towels at the far end of the bathtub, across from the door, and suddenly Louie has discovered them, and now he wants to sit there. That was Buster's favorite spot when it was warm enough (when it wasn't warm, he wanted to be under the covers with me, but he wanted to be able to knead my gut with his claws out, and I didn't really like that). What weird little critters they are.


So now it's a cold, but not frigid, snowy, windy night in the field, and maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour? I hope so.


February 16

So instead of going to bed early, like I usually do on Saturday night, I got to bed late - very late. I read for a long time, then I decided I had to do the dishes (which just barely fit into the dishwasher) and I had to take a bath. And I sat around staring at the floor in the bathroom for a long time, too, until i seemed clear I was about to fall asleep right there. I slept well, with only three wakeups. I was stiff enough when I woke up and I coughed little enough that I think I am going to try to sleep without the reading wedge tonight. I do have some other pillows I can use to prop me up a bit, if I have to, but I didn't have much trouble with coughing last night. Today, though was another thing altogether. Every hour or so I start coughing and blowing and I'm blowing out big gobs of stuff. That's a sign that things are progressing nicely, but it's nasty. I still think I may have bronchitis, but we'll see what happens when - or if - I get rid of all the glop in my sinuses. I still don't feel very good. I haven't taken my temperature lately, because I keep forgetting and drinking something cold. I do think I'm slowly getting my sense of taste back, although it's not all there yet.


I got up a little after 10:30 this morning and I knitted six rows on the trellis leaf shawl. I have enough stitches now that a row is taking quite a while. The piece looks very small, but it will need to be blocked severely, which will stretch it out to something like a useful size. I still haven't figured out the use of these "shawlettes" (what a yucky name!) I keep seeing patterns for. They are actually just small triangular scarves, and I don't know why they don't just call them "scarf" and be done with it. They certainly aren't good to cover anything much up except your neck. Oh, yes, and since they're small, they don't take long to knit, and they don't take much yarn. Never mind that they aren't useful. Well, some of them might be useful for somebody Debbie's size (5', 100 lbs), but for an average to large size person, they aren't. I must really start a knitting blog someplace where people can read some ot my opinions.


I didn't do anything. I was late getting to the studio and there was a lot of mail to read and a lot of surfing to do. 


This is the first day since I got it that I haven't had to use the space heater. The temperature outside got up to 20, according to my thermometer, and it was clear and sunny outside, with almost no wind. That meant that the sun warmed everything up, and it got up to 70 in the studio without any help. So nice! However, now the temperature outside has dropped to 2 (!). That's what clear skies will do for you. It's supposed to be clear through midnight, then we are under another Winter Weather Advisory for all day tomorrow. More snow. all day. It's not over yet. Anyway, today was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed the warmth.


I think the guys did, too. Grayson spent the afternoon with me, curled up on his box. Louie was delighted to come and sit on me and not have to worry about the heater. I had to shoo him off my lap eventually, because I needed to type something, and besides, he was making my hand go to sleep. 


I had an accident after breakfast, so I had to wash my sweats. They are in the dryer now. I think (or I hope) I won't be up nearly as late tonight, and maybe I can get more comfortable without stretching my back so much.


So now it's a cold, clear night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


February 15

I didn't get to bed until nearly 1:30 last night. it was a combination of the music - not all of which was nice - and general blah-ness. However, I had the best night I've had in over a week. I was only up about every three hours, and coughing wasn't too much of an issue. One issue, which I've forgotten to mention, is the noises from inside me. When I'm not upright and my nose is partially plugged, I get these weird flute-like noises coming out of the plugged side that drive me nutty. The other one that I've had for the past couple of nights, is a sort of high-pitched gurgling in front of my armpit when I'm lying on my left side. That one went away pretty fast last night, but It makes me wonder if maybe what i have is pneumonia, except that I don't think I've run a temperature since Thursday. Anyway, if I can blow my nose enough and get near enough to upright, the noises stop, and they were less annoying last night. I did wake up one time with a rather serious night sweat, but I would have expected more of those, considering. The other times I had to either cough or pee or both.


I got up around 10:30 and I finished the first chart on the trellised leaf shawl. That gave me a chance to go on to a new page in the directions, and it seems clear that I will have to do some charting if I want to continue the leaf pattern beyond what is called for. The center isn't hard, but it takes some figuring to work the added stitches (four on each right side row) into the pattern properly. Well, I have 50 rows to go before I have to worry about that, so I can knit merrily away.


Today is washday, but I got such a late start that I am still working on the last load. It was time to wash a load of fleece, and that is still in the dryer. I only had two regular loads to do, and I am halfway through the second. It's the time to reload the pill dispensers, too, but I'm afraid the ones at this end of the house will have to wait until tomorrow. I'm not going out tomorrow, so it won't be a problem. i also have to wash dishes tonight. I should have done it two days ago, but nothing was in the dishwasher, and I felt too bad to do it. I finally got the dishes loaded, so that will run overnight. I can almost taste again, which is nice, so I made something tasty for dinner, but after loading the dishwasher and making my dinner, I was all sweaty and tired by the time I could sit down. 


I was a little surprised to see snow when I got up this morning, and even more surprised when I got to the studio to see a winter weather advisory. And there was a fishing hut way out on the harbor. I guess this is the weekend of the fishing klatch. It's not the best. Not only is it snowy, I don't think the temperature got over about 12, although I didn't look at the thermometer much. The only good thing was that there wasn't a lot of wind, and it was mostly from the east. It was still snowing when it got dark.


When I got up, both kitties were sound asleep in the bathroom. When the wind isn't bad, that's the warmest room in the house, and the floor is warm. Besides, they know I'll get there eventually. They both got some good lap time, although Louie had to wait until the heater went off. I know it's hard to say for sure, but I think they really do love their mama. At least I know how to scratch the right places, which are different on each cat.


So that was a truncated day. I do think I am slowly pulling out of this thing, whatever it is, and getting a good night's sleep has helped a lot. Now if I can get some more, it should help even more. Now it's a snowy, cold night in the field, although with the nearly full moon, it's not all that dark.


February 14

Well, I've never seen much point in Valentine's Day except to the merchants, but it you do, i hope you had a happy one. 


I got to bed around 11:00 last night. I was a bit concerned, because I took my temperature and it was 100.3, which is a fever in just about everybody's book (no wonder I felt so lousy), but it was down this morning, so whatever was going on has stopped. About 1:00 AM I realized that when I iaid down, I coughed and when I sat up, I stopped, so I hauled the reading wedge up onto the bed. I also decided to try the cough medicine again. It's hard for me to find a comfortable place to lie on the wedge, because it's not that long and it stretches the muscles on the down side of my back, but I found a comfortable way to lie and finally I got several hours of sleep, from which I had to wake up when I had to pee, of course. After that it was more iffy, because my sinuses were full enough that sitting up didn't stop the coughing, and because the right side of my back is still stiff from the problems I had earlier in the winter, but I think I got a few more hours of sleep, although I did cough and blow a lot. I got up around 10:30, I think.


I knitted on the wool shawl, and I have resigned myself to designating the sequin scarf to the pile of failed experiments. I do want to try to repair the goof I made the other morning, and I'm not planning to cut the yarn, but i don't expect to do anything more with it. It's too bad, too, because if it had worked, it would have been beautiful, but it just won't work in that yarn. I will try again with garter stitch on bigger needles, and see how that works. It's a disappointment, but I can't see any more grinding my teeth on something that isn't going to come out up to my expectations anyway. In the meantime, I'm knitting away on Trellised Leaves with no problems and I will finish the first chart shortly. I'm not sure I really like the colors in the yarn so well - lavender, shades of pale green and a little yellow - but I think the result will be all right. I don't like the design very well, either. There is a wide border of a very dull, uninteresting pattern, so I think I will just be continuing the leaves for several repeats more and maybe put the dull pattern on the very bottom, before the edging. I haven't gotten that far yet. It has to be planned a bit, because the leaf pattern has a 20 row repeat, but I have 40 or more rows of increasing width before I have to decide what to do next. So that's coming all right.


I felt better this morning than I have for a while, but I'm not going to claim I feel good, so I didn't do anything. I talked to Ron a couple of times. It seems like there isn't any problem with the tractor, it was just cold because it hadn't been used for a while, so he was able to clear the road, but he didn't get to my driveway. I was very glad to hear there isn't a further problem with the mechanics. We've had enough trouble with that thing this year! 


he was kind enough to pick up my packages and bring my mail, so I didn't think i was going to have to go out, except that the Schwan's guy decided not to even try to make it down the road, so I had to go out to US-41 to meet him. When I opened the garage door, I was shocked to see a good foot of snow in front of the door, and there were at least 2' where the path to the breezeway door used to be. The road commission only reported 2.5" of snow yesterday, but someone in Eagle Harbor reported 8" and I'd say we had at least that much. Ron had only partially cleared the driveway and I had to back and fill a whole lot before I could get out. It was particularly hard because the sun on the snow made it almost impossible for me to see where I was going.


It snowed for most of the night, so maybe the road commission will report more on Monday. It also got cold, but the wind was from the north, so I was cozy and warm around here. The high temperature got up to 12 or so, and while the wind gusted up to about 33 mph overnight, it only got to around 27 mph today. There was a haze blowing off the drifts in the culverts when I went by, but nothing serious. The drifts look to be about 10' high in spots, though. Today, however, it was sunny or partly sunny for most of the afternoon, and it was so nice to have to squint again.


I didn't see a lot of the cats. They were both sleeping in the bathroom when Ron had the tractor out this morning. Grayson does not like that tractor. When he hears it, he growls, jumps up and runs off to see where it is. I don't know why. He got some lap time, but I didn't see Louie. The heater is running now, because the door is open, but for most of the day it was off. I don't know where Louie was.


When I had to gout into the cold this evening, I started coughing seriously - a good excuse to stay in - and it took me quite a while to get over that. It would not surprise me to know I have a touch of bronchitis. I hope I can hold out for a week until I see the doctor. In the meantime, I expect to be spending most of my time in hibernation.


I spent some time updating my software this afternoon. I just now took a look at the camera pictures, and geez, before it got dark, it was snowing again! Wow. It wasn't snowing hard, but still. So it's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field.


February 13

Bad? Hortible? Cruddy? Crappy? Shitty? Please excuse that last. My mama said it's a word no lady should use, but I spent a good part of my career working almost exclusively with men. There are a few words I won't use, but that's not one of them.


Anyway, that's about the size of it. I did get a few hours of sleep last night, about an hour and a half at at a time, but at least twice i woke up coughing and I almost couldn't stop. I was in bed around 10:00, and I got up around 9:30, but not only did I not feel any better when I got up, my rib cage and the back muscles on the other side are so sore that coughing (which I am still doing a whole lot of) is painful. So I sat and did nothing, including doing the dishes.


Oh, yes, I had a nasty accident and had to wash everything I had on below the waist. I've been eating mostly liquids for the past couple of days, and you can imagine what that caused. Sigh.


I don't think it started snowing until around the time I got up, but it snowed steadily all day long, and it's supposed to continue until sometime tomorrow. Fortunately, it's not extremely cold and the wind isn't extremely strong, but I think a lot of snow has come down. I think the temperature got up to around 24 for a while this afternoon, and the wind was from the south, with gusts as high as 31 mph, although that was this morning, and the wind was a little weaker this afternoon.


So Ron called me tonight to say that they they had gotten the parts for the hydraulic lines and changed them out, but when he tried to start the tractor, it wouldn't and the repair guys think the problem may be the solenoid in the starter. Sigh. It seems to me we've had just too many problems with that tractor this winter, and it's not because we've used it so much. It's been out of commission too much to use very much. Thank heaven for Marty, or we'd be snowed in for sure.


I didn't see much of the cats today, although since the heater hasn't been on since I warmed up the studio this morning, Louie did come and get some loving until i started coughing. While I was on the phone with Ron, somehow the door got almost closed, and he sat at it, meowing, until I ignored him, then either he put out his paddy-paw and pulled it open or Grayson pushed it open. See? They don't need me. Grayson was full of ginger this morning, for some reason, beating up on the rug in the bathroom, and he got some nice lap time, too, until i started coughing. And he wanted to sniff my dinner tonight, which I didn't want. Now he has gone off.


This morning when I got up, I worked on the wool shawl. I'm thinking about the sequined scarf. I'm thinking seriously about putting it on a thread and forgetting it. Maybe I will try the yarn in garter stitch, but this lace thing just isn't going to work. I'm tired of fighting it. We'll see what I decide, but it has been such a trial, and it's been more than two months that I've been working on it, that I think I will have to reconsider. Some things just aren't worth the effort.


So that was a nothing day. I'm still coughing, and I can't taste anything. I can only hope I might have a better night tonight. It's a cold (but not too cold), windy (but not too windy) snowy (pretty snowy) night in the field.


February 12

So I was late last night. It was a bit after 1:00 before I got to bed. I read for quite a while, then I had to take a bath, even though it was pretty clear I wasn't going out today. I may have slept marginally better, but only for around two hours at a time. I did wear underpants and an incontinent pad, and I had to change it twice. When I start coughing, I simply cannot keep from leaking. i got up around 10:30, I think. I tried to knit, but halfway across the first row I dropped a bunch of stuff, so I just put it aside. Tomorrow I may just work on the wool shawl. My eyes are still tearing a lot, and I'm still coughing and blowing a lot. Yuck.


So I didn't do anything, and I hope to be be in bed early again tonight.


I think it snowed last night, and it continued more or less lightly until around 12:30. Then it cleared up, and the afternoon was sunny. the temperature got up to about 15, I think. Overnight, the wind was from the west, and there were some gusts up to about 30 mph. Then it died down for a couple of hours before I picked up from teh north, but only about 20 mph gusts. Now it is nearly calm again. I guess there is snow coming tomorrow and Friday, but I'm hoping the frigid temperatures are over for the season. Hey, 15 feels warm after -10!


The guys are hibernating with me. Grayson sat on me for a while, and Louie got on my lap when I went to the powder room, which is unusual for him, but he is just spooked by the heater. Grayson has developed the habit of jumping up on the desk and staring at my meals, which I find annoying, but I suspect that one of these days, he's going to be wanting something of everything I eat, just like Buster did. I doubt Louie will do that. He's older and more set in his ways, and he isn't even so interested in canned food. Ah, little fur-faces!


Well, I can't taste or smell anything, and at intervals I start coughing. I'm not hungry, partly, I'm sure, because it doesn't matter what I eat. Tonight I'm having soup, and it seems a shame to waste such good stuff - Schwan's Chicken Wild Rice - when it tastes like nothing, not even cardboard. This too shall pass, but in the meantime it's a pain.


Now it's a cold, quiet night in the field. I don't think it will be clear, but the moon is almost full, so it will be light out.


February 11

Ugh. Last night was another bad night, and all day today I've been having paroxysms of coughing - just like the last cold - and wetting my pants. Oh, yeah, and that's on top of the accident I had this morning. I don't know of anything of a minor nature that leaves me feeling worse than a cold. I got up around 9:45, and I knitted, since it wasn't very cold in the bathroom. I did have my robe on, because the cold sort of radiates from the window and the tile wall, but it wasn't uncomfortable. i knitted and the fur-faces slept. 


I took my temperature when I got up, and it was 98, which is OK, except that my normal morning temperature is between 96.8 and 97.6, so I had a marginal temperature. No wonder my head hurts.


I did nothing except cough and blow - sometimes both at the same time. For some reason the blowing makes me cough and I just explode. I'm afraid I'm not going to get to Carolyn's tomorrow. Darn it, I was the one who nudged her about having the ladies' meeting. But I don't want to expose the other ladies, some of whom are older than I am, to this thing, and I don't want to explode in the middle of the afternoon, either. I hate this. I know it will eventually go away, but in the meantime, it's the pits.I do have to take a bath tonight.


The weather was rather nice, actually. It was clear or nearly clear all night and all day, and the temperature today has gotten to 15, which is warmer than it's been for a while. The wind was from the southwest and the gusts are now up to 24 mph, but from that direction, it doesn't bother me quite as much. It's nice to have it warm in here, although the heater is still working.


The guys were their sleepy selves, but both of them got some lap time this afternoon. Louie came when the heater was off, and I started coughing before it turned on again. They are so sweet.


So that was another nothing day, and I'll be off to the north end soon, to take my bath and crash. I tried a cough drop last night, and it did nothing, so I guess I'll just have to endure until it's over with. Sigh.


February 10

I don't feel good. My head hurts and feels sick, my nose is running and I'm coughing, my eyes are watering and my whole alimentary canal is screwed up. I was in bed by 10:00 last night, and I got up about 10:00 this morning, but I was up about every two hours all night long, peeing, so I never did get very much quality sleep, and that tells.


As a result, I didn't do anything but sit at the computer and stare at the screen which was a problem because of my watery eyes. The stuff coming out of my nose is getting gloppy but I have the feeling I haven't begun the healing yet. So I will go to bed early again and hope for the best.


The weather was cold. When I got to the studio this morning, my thermometer read something above 10, but it dropped all afternoon, and it is now -3. The wind was mostly from the north, around 15 mph, although it has dropped to nothing lately. I think it snowed lightly for quite a while overnight, but around noon the sun came out, and it was a pretty afternoon, if cold. I think the moon is shining in the sky, too, but it was behind the chimney when I went to get my dinner.


Oh, yeah, even though I seem to be hungry, I can't eat very much. I hate colds.


I didn't see a lot of the guys today. Louie came into the studio when he thought the heater was off, and then it came on, and I had to turn it off and shoo him out in order to get rid of him. I wonder what in his background caused that? It doesn't bother Grayson at all.


So that was a non-day. It's a frigid, i think clear, night in the field.


February 9

I didn't make it to church today. Oh, sigh.


I was in bed by 8:40 last night, but i didn't sleep well again. I was coughing and blowing and I just couldn't get into a deep sleep. I did find I could pass the gas safely without getting up, but then I also had some acid reflux. It was not a good night. Then, of course, since I went to bed so early, I woke up around 5:30, and I was just getting into a deep sleep when the alarm went off. I got up and I ate my breakfast and I did my surfing, and I realized that I didn't feel very good. When it got light enough to see, I realized it was snowing. Not hard, but it was snowing. So I went up to the north end and went back to bed. I got up around 10:00, and I didn't do anything all day.


I am coughing and blowing and my eyes are watering and I have a headache. Ah, the delights of a head cold! I won't be up very late tonight, either.


The weather wasn't supposed to be like this, but they changed their mind overnight. I think the high temperature got up to 12 or so this morning, but it's been dropping off slowly all day, and it's now 7. The good thing was that there wasn't very much wind, and what there was came from the north. It snowed lightly off and on all day long.


The guys were happy to have me home. Louie got some lap time when the heater was off, and Grayson got some, too. The only problem is with both of them that they want to come into the studio and when they do, they butt the door and sometimes open it completely. It's still cold in the great room, as it always is, and I don't' want the door open any further than necessary. Neither of them knows what Buster and DC did - you can pull the door open from the inside with your paddy-paw. I don't know how to teach them that.


So it was a totally lost day, and I still don't feel good. It's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field.


February 8

My nose has been dripping even more than usual for the past few days, and I thought it had something to do with the cold, but now I've developed a sort of loose cough, so it seems clear I have a small cold. It's one reason I've felt so yucky around bedtime. You know the old adage, "Feed a cold, starve a fever?" I think I know why they say that, at least for me. When I have a fever I don't want to eat, but when I have a cold, I'm ravenous. I try hard not to eat continuously, but it's hard.


I think I was in bed around 11:30 last night, but I didn't sleep well. I was very gassy, which made me most uncomfortable, and it was late in the morning before all that went away. So I'm tired, as well as not feeling very well. I knitted this morning, but otherwise I didn't do anything. When I was up, I noticed that it was almost clear; in fact, at one point, Jupiter was shining in the windows so brightly at first I thought it was the moon. It wasn't; the moon had set several hours earlier. I still have the blinds closed, so I could just get glimpses of it, and it kept hiding behind the clouds.


Apparently Ron was by before I got to the kitchen to dig out my garage door and the breezeway door, and in the middle of the afternoon, Marty came by and did his usual wonderful job cleaning up the driveway. I really must try to get out and take a couple of pictures. The pile of snow on the right (east) side of the garage door is almost up to the top of the door, and on the other side, the house window is half covered. We have a whole lot of snow!


We're not getting rid of any of it, either. I think the actual temperature here probably got up to 15 or so today, and there was a little weak sunshine. The wind died down last evening after it switched around to the north, and it was nearly calm this afternoon. 


It's really nice to be warm again. I had to warm up the studio when I got here about noon (slow breakfast - pancakes and sausage) but the heater hasn't come on all afternoon. It's quite comfortable at the north end. I went to bed with my robe on, but about an hour later, I had to take it off. It's really nice to sleep in a normal way.


The guys seem happy, too. In fact, since the heater wasn't on, Louie came twice and got petted and got his first tummy rub in almost a week. Just a while ago, Grayson came and sat on me and got petted, too, and he spent most of the afternoon curled up in or near his box under the sewing chair. 


I'm not saying the boiler isn't running almost fulltime: with the outdoor temperature mostly below 10, it has to. But the temperature inside is quite comfortable. It's a relief, but I don't expect it to last very long. Although the forecast for the week looks like it should be warmer - close to average highs, and not that much wind. Oh, that would be nice! 


Now it's a cold, cloudy night in the field, and I suspect I will be in bed quite early tonight. I plan to go to church, in spite of my cold, but we'll see how I feel at 6:30.


February 7

Last night I was in bed before midnight. The music was mostly modern, which doesn't turn me on, and it was getting colder by the minute in here, despite the heater, and I had to pee, so I went to bed. there was a nice crescent moon shining brightly in a clear sky when I went up to the north end. It was cold at at there, too, and momentarily I thought about sleeping in my clothes, but I decided that my robe would be enough. I was right, and i was warm and slept well all night. Getting up when I had to pee was actually not bad, and I think the temperature there more or less bottomed out before I went to bed. It was cold when I got up this morning, around 10:30, so I didn't knit.


In fact, I didn't do much except pay a couple of bills. This month it was the hospital bills, which I think - or maybe I hope - are finally straightened out and almost all of them have come through. 


It was cold and windy but partly sunny all day. The high temperature seems to be about now, at around 12. The wind is still blowing from the northwest, but I think in general it's a little weaker, so maybe I won't freeze tonight. It's still gusty, though, so I don't expect it to be warm. Polar fleece is a remarkable fabric.


When I was up right after it got light, I noticed something on the floor in the bathroom at the end of a sort of trail of blood, so I flushed it down the toilet. I gather that the guys got a critter of some sort, between about 5:30 and 8:30 this morning. I don't know what it was, and I wasn't going to look too closely at it. I guess they're too well-fed to eat those things anymore, which leaves it to me to dispose of them. However, I'm grateful that they catch and dispatch them.


When I got up this morning, I think both guys were in bed with me. Grayson was behind my knees and I'm not sure where Louie was. They got up to look at their breakfast, and then they went back to bed in the bed, and I didn't see anybody until after the talking started, when Grayson came to say hi. It may not be too warm in the bedroom - although the sunshine helped - but the down comforters on the bed are warm and cuddly. Well, this too shall pass and it will get warm again. Promise.


When I got to the studio this morning, it was 52 in here, so the heater has paid for itself already. It's now up to almost 67 and it's quite comfortable, at least with three layers on. It's very cold in the great room, and I really don't like it when the butter is so hard it acts like I just took it out of the fridge. It was warm enough to defrost my fish, although it took most of the day.


Ron wrote to tell me that there is a ruptured hydraulic hose in the blower on the tractor, and they have ordered parts for it. Even though we use that tractor awfully hard, it seems to me we've had just too many problems all at once this year. With the wind so strong, there has been a lot of drifting, but mostly out toward his house, although there have been a few problems in the culverts. I know when I see snow swirling off my roof or around behind the breezeway that there will be drifting problems. What a winter this has been!


So that was my quiet day and maybe I can get to bed relatively early tonight, too. I think I'm afraid of what I may find at the north end, so I just stay where it's relatively warm. I should be tolerable tonight. Now it's a cold, breezy night in the field.


February 6

Last night it was Sibelius. I haven't heard his Symphony #2 in a long time, and it's my favorite, Then I had to take a bath, so it was late. I slept well, and Carolyn woke me up at noon, to tell me there will be a ladies' get-together next Wednesday. I should have had enough sleep, but I don't feel like it and my eyes don't act like it. While I was listening, I was reading Erlon, so I probably would have been late anyway. I will finish that shortly, and I'm not sure what I will do next. I cut  my fingernails, so I can type comfortably again, but I don't know if I want to write or read. I do want to go to bed, so we'll seel.


I was so late that I didn't do anything but my surfing today. There were a shocking number of advertising emails in my inbox, some of which I wanted to follow up on.


The weather was very cold, and the wind was from the northwest, in the 20 - 30 mph range, so it was cold around here, too. My new heater has been working its little heart out. The temperature outside was around 7, plus or minus a degree or two, all day, so I guess it wasn't very pleasant outside, although it cleared up around 1:30 and it was mostly sunny for the whole afternoon. This will certainly go down as the cold winter.


Grayson sat on me a couple of times today, but Louie won't come into the studio because of the heater, and he really wants to sit on  me. I don't know how to convince him that this heater isn't dangerous, and besides, it's much more comfortable in here with it.


So that was another quiet day, and I'm tired, so maybe, just maybe, I can get to sleep earlier tonight? We'll hope so. It's another frigid, windy night in the field.


February 5

Oh, it was the music again. Along about midnight, they played Cesar Franck's symphony, which I haven't heard in a long time, so I just kept listening. Sigh. Maybe tonight. I didn't get up until 11:30 or so and i knitted, so my day was quite truncated. 


i did get the dishwasher nearly ready to run and I need to wash my hair tonight. 


This afternoon I opened my packages from yesterday. I didn't realize exactly how big a box of 684 baby wipes would be, but fortunately, they are packaged in reclosable (I mean really reclosable, not the way the White Cloud ones are) packages. Would you believe reclosable wasn't in Microsoft's dictionary? Sheesh! Anyway, now I have enough wipes to keep  me clean for a long time. I can even put a package in the powder room, which is good. I had a small accident, and they seem to work well. I guess if they're gentle enough for a baby, they should be gentle on my behind.


Then I got out my new space heater, and so far it is a success. I had a hard time figuring out a place ot put it, since there's so much stuff in the studio, but I got it sort of out of my path out the door and turned it on, and it is now 69 in here, which is quite comfy. Unfortunately, with all the cold air around, it won't go into energy saving mode, but I guess that's OK as long as it's warm where I am. When I turned it on, Louie got under the desk and started crying, and I had to move it and shoo him out the door. I can only assume that somewhere in his background, he had a run-in with a small black space heater and it scares him. Grayson is a little cautious, but it hasn't kept him out of the studio. So I guess that is a winner, at least so far. It's another thing like the heating pad: if you didn't do everything they warn you against, you wouldn't use it at all, but I guess that is to fend off lawsuits by stupid, greedy people. If I can keep the temperature around 68 or 69 when the outside temperature plunges and the wind rises, I'll be happy.


it was a nondescript day. I don't think the temperature got much above 7, but there wasn't a whole lot of wind - around 15 mph from the north. i don't think there was any snow, either, although it was cloudy and gray all day. Well, I think it was. i wasn't paying much attention.


When I got up Grayson was sleeping in the bathroom, and Louie came and laid down behind them and they both went to sleep. Instead of Louie covering his nose with his paw, he just buried it in Grayson's fur. I didn't see either of them until I started fooling around with the space heater, and now Louie won't come in the studio. That's the trouble with taking in orphaned cats: you never know what they went through before you got them. Well, if he won't come in, i'm sorry, but I'd rather be warm.


So that was anther nothing day. It's a dark, cold night in the field.


February 4

i didn't even check to see when I got to bed last night, but it was after midnight. Music again. I slept well, and I got up around 10:30. I knitted before I got dressed. 


I didn't do a lot. I wanted to send a letter, but I got into a horrible mess trying to print the envelope. I do that so rarely that I forget how, and I ruined about three envelopes trying to print using the default location. In the meantime, I had to change all the print cartridges (which reminds me, I need to order more). Finally, I gave up and went off to the post office and the store. The rest of my 1099s had come to the post office, so now it's time for me to get my part of things put together. Since I haven't done the main part of the ledger since March, it will be a job. My space heater came to the store, but I haven't looked at it yet, because it's warm in the studio today. I also got an enormous box of baby wipes, which should keep my tush nice and clean for a very long time. I didn't realize just what I was ordering, but the price was good.


The studio was warm because the temperature got up to 14 or so and it was sunny, without much wind. Actually it was cloudy this morning, but it cleared up by 1:30 and the afternoon was lovely. It's amazing what a difference a little sunshine will do both to warm things up and to put smiles on people's faces. Everybody I met was smiling.


The guys slept and I didn't see much of them. Louie got some lap time until I had to type something. Grayson slept in his box, but he didn't seem to want to sit on me. He did want some of my dinner - I dug out the piece of whitefish I'd frozen - and he actually ate a couple of crumbs. Oh, I know, one of these days' he's going to want a helping, but when he's sitting right beside the computer screen staring at my plate, it's hard to refuse him. He was squinting out of his left eye, so I'm afraid Louie got him. Louie has been exceptionally grumpy with Grayson lately, and I don't know why. I do know he's gained weight, and he's even bigger than he was when he came. I wish there was something I could do about that, but with two cats, it's hard.


So that was a quiet, truncated day. Now it's apparently a clear, cold night in the field, but there was a sort of halo around the moon, so I imagine it will shortly cloud up.


February 3

I really crashed last night. I was in bed by 9:30, and I slept, although I was up several times. I am so stiff that several times I think I woke up just because I needed to move. I was awake around 7:30, but that seemed too early (I don't like to get up before sunrise) so I went back to bed and got up around 10:30, I think. I knitted my four rows before I got dressed. After breakfast, I had a really bad, messy accident, which made me change sll my clothes. Sigh. I need to take a bath tonight.


That took up enough time, and there was so much stuff to read, that I didn't finish my surfing almost until the talking started, so I didn't do much. I forgot to mention that yesterday sometime I began filling a second orange bag with the trash from the kitchen, but my back is so bad I couldn't do as much as I wanted. One of these days I'll have to call Johanna and see how she's doing. 


The weather started out nice and sunny, but it clouded up after noon. I think the temperature got up to around 14 or so. The wind got up to 15 mph from the north in the middle of the afternoon, but it has died down again. It clouded up and the end of the day was dull and gray, although there was a little color in the southwest after sunset.


The guys were sleepy, as usual, but I think there is something Grayson wants to eat that he isn't getting, because he sat on the laptop and stared at my dinner all the time I was eating it and when I started eating my dessert (chocolate covered almonds) he came back. Well, they ate one kind of dry food, but there are two bowls of other things for them to eat before I'll fill that one again. I don't know if it's that they get tired of one kind or that the food is so inconsistent that one bag will be good and the next one won't. Louie got his lap time, but so far, Grayson hasn't wanted to sit on me today.


So it was another quiet day in the field, and it's a cold, cloudy night.


February 2

I got to bed a little later than I would have liked - about 9:45 - and I did go right to sleep, but only for about four hours, then I was up and down for the rest of the night. That frequently happens when I have to get off my usual schedule. I woke up about three minutes before the alarm went off, which is an old habit. I've been setting it for 6:30, since that seems to be more nearly my schedule. So I got up and did some surfing and ate and got dressed - and then I almost walked out the door with my Crocs on! Sheesh! So I was a bit later than I'd hoped to leave, but it didn't seem to make much difference.


I had some concern that the car might not start, because it has been about two weeks since I started it, but it worked just fine. Unfortunately, my muffler is getting more and more noisy, but I hope to nurse it along until spring, partly to avoid the salt and partly to try to bring down my credit card balance. We'll see. I noticed it particularly on the way home, because I didn't have the radio on.


The roads were snow-covered, and it looked like we had maybe an inch of new snow overnight, but as I was driving down Woodland Road, the sun was peeking through the trees and the sky was completely clear. It was cloudy in Laurium, but it cleared up during church. There wasn't any communion, but this was the Presentation and the Purification of Mary, so Pastor had a good sermon and we sang the Nunc dimittis in several settings. Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace... I got to see the baby whose baptism I missed, and he is a cutie and a very good baby. He apparently slept all the way through the service. Every time I see one of those combination carriers and car seats I am amazed by what they've done to help parents of little babies tote them around.


Then it was off to the gas station. I still had almost half a tank of gas, but I don't like to get too far down in this weather. I noticed when I was wandering around the station that I was pretty shaky, but oh, well. The next stop was Pat's. I was fresh out of JD and getting low on OJ, among other things.


While I was there, I checked out toilet paper. I can report that Charmin is by far the narrowest of the major brands. I checked both Northern and Cottonelle, which are both supposed to be soft. One is 4" and one is still 4.2" (Charmin is 3.92"). However, looking at both of the wider ones, they are both much thinner than Charmin, so now I don't know what I'll be doing. I have quite a backlog, however, so I have a couple of months to decide. I simply do not understand why they keep fiddling with things like that. So if making it wider costs more, raise the price. If we use more, it's going to cost us more anyway. In my opinion, trying to sneak a price rise in on us like that is unethical and immoral. And I'm not talking only about TP. Half gallons of ice cream are now 56 oz, and my OJ, which used to be 96 oz are now 89.2 (or so) oz, and that's just a couple of things I can think of offhand. So, they think we don't notice? So they think we're all morons?


I was disappointed that I couldn't get any fish. All they had was farmed salmon from Chile. If I'm going to eat that, I'll eat Schwan's frozen, which, they claim, isn't farmed. I think I got everything I intended, but if I didn't, I hope to be down that way next week again. This was a bad day to shop, since everyone else seemed to be gathering supplies for their Super Bowl parties, and the place was a zoo. Oh, well.


By the time I got out of Pat's I was exhausted and my feet and legs felt about ready to fall off. They still did when I got home, but I got everything into the house and into the fridge before I collapsed and ate a late lunch/early dinner of a sandwich and pasta salads.


When I started down Woodland Road at about 9:15, I was delighted to see the sun peeking through the trees and clear skies. As I drove down US-41, I could see a dark cloud in front of me, and it was cloudy in Laurium, but it began to clear up during church. It was a very pretty day. There were some clouds, but mostly it was clear and blue. The temperature probably didn't get much over 6, but except in Pat's parking lot there wasn't much wind, so it wasn't so bad out. All that sunshine had a wonderful effect on the house. It was nice and warm in here - well, maybe you don't think 67 is nice and warm, but compared to what it has been, I do. It's cooled off a bit now, but not more than a degree. Nice. Thanks for all the free radiant heat. 


I have to laugh at Groundhog Day, though. Around these parts, it doesn't matter whether it's sunny or not, and it's not six weeks of winter. We have at least eight weeks ahead of us, maybe more. Remember last April, when we had 55" of snow for the month. In fact, I've never lived anyplace where winter ended by the spring equinox, and that includes eastern Pennsylvania.


The guys were interested when I got up and ate early this morning, but when I started to get dressed, they knew what was going to happen and they went away. They were interested in the bags of groceries, and I think they were glad to see me, but mostly they slept. I know they like it that it's so much warmer around here.


I didn't see Mercury tonight, even though I sort of looked, but I did see the thin crescent moon up in the sky. So pretty! I wish the blinds in the bedroom weren't drawn so I could look out at the stars, but it's still too cold to open them. 


So that was my strenuous day on not very much sleep and I will read just a little bit before I go up to the north end and crash. It's a clear, frigid night in the field.


February 1

Well, we're now well into 2014. Sigh


I was late again last night, of course. The music was nice and I was reading. So I didn't get up until around noon and since I had to sit a while, I knitted. I'm now a third done with what I thought I would have to knit for the body of the scarf. 


I was so late that I didn't do anything, even go out, like I expected to. I was busily doing my surfing and when I looked up it was 2:45 already, and that was too late. The post office closes at 3:00 and I like to get there before it does, just in case there are any packages, and to say hi to Ron. So I got dressed for nothing again.


The weather was semi-decent. I think the temperature got up to around 14 or so. It was just cloudy this morning, and this afternoon it snowed lightly all afternoon. There was almost no wind. Not bad.


When I looked at the last picture from last night, I realized that I had missed the small crescent moon and Mercury. Drat. The chances of having clear skies at sunset for a while are poor. The camera did catch the moon, but with the wide angle of view it has, the white patch is only a few pixels wide, just enough for me to tell what it was. I have the blinds closed in the bedroom to try to keep it warmer, so I didn't get to check on any stars - not that I was awake long enough to look out anyway. I almost fell asleep in the middle of my prayers.


The guys were sleepy today, of course, but they both got some lap time, Louie more than Grayson. They have settled down now that things seem to be back to normal around here. I think the day I didn't see Louie, he was just afraid it would be too cold in here so he went and slept someplace else. Grayson didn't mind.


So now I will read for a little while - maybe i can discipline myself - and try to get to bed early tonight. I do intend to go to church tomorrow unless we're having a blizzard, which doesn't look likely. It will probably be cold, and there may be some snow, but it should be driveable.


Now it's a cold, snowy night in the field - so what else is new??


Last  updated 03/01/14 09:28 PM