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December 2014

December 31 - New Year's Eve

Oh dear. I pulled another all-nighter last night, and while I got up too late to go to the post office, I didn't get nearly enough sleep. Sigh. I think maybe I will crash tonight, but we'll see. I was reading Special Forces overnight, and now I've started on Bolin, but I'm really tired.

 

Usually, tonight is the night when I consider the year just past, but I think I will postpone that until tomorrow. Like more years, there was some bad and some good in it.

 

The weather today was so bad that I doubt I would have gone out even if I'd gotten up in time. The temperature bottomed out at 3 around 7:00 this morning, and it's been rising ever since. It's now 22. The highest wind gusts were about then, too, at 33 mph, from the west, but the wind has now swung around almost to the north, and it's still strong, in the 15-35 mph range. It has snowed constantly, and most of the time the snow was being blown horizontal. Bad

 

In fact, it's so bad that Marcy called me this afternoon to say that church was canceled for tonight. It's just as bad in Laurium as it is up here, and it's a lot colder. Well, canceling church is something that happens in these parts. I'm sure almost no one would have shown up, and while it's true that when two or three are gathered together, it's hardly worth turning the heat on in the church for that.

 

The guys slept. When I got up this afternoon, Grayson was under the bed. That is the first time I've found him there, but I suspect he spends lots of nights there. Both of them just want to be pretty close to me all the time. I forgot the reason why I haven't seen much of Louie is that I've had the space heater on, and he's afraid of that. He did jump up on the counter sometime overnight and come to stare at me, but then he went back the same way and went away. Grayson got some lap time today, and he actually went to sleep on my lap for a while. I only wish he wouldn't jump up and go away when I twitch.

 

So that was a nothing, truncated day. Now it's a very cold, very windy, very snowy night in the field. Happy New Year!

 

December 30

I didn't get my bath last night. I was late, of course, because I was reading, and when I finally got to the bathroom and looked in the shower, I remembered that I had pulled part of a hairball out of the drain, with the idea that I would take the strainer off and remove it before my next bath. It was so late I didn't want to do it then, so I went to bed. I slept, and I think it was something like 12:45 before I got up. I knitted a couple of rows, and before I got dressed, I got into the shower and removed the hairball. Since my hair is quite long, the strainer keeps it from going down into the trap, which is a good thing, but it gets all matted up into a big ball attached to the bottom of the strainer. It's less messy to remove it when it's dry. The ball was about 2" in diameter, attached by a hair cord to the strainer. So now I can take a bath any time I want to without the shower overflowing. I'll do that tonight.

 

I didn't do anything much else except wash the clothes I was wearing when I had an accident. They are ready to go in the dryer now. Oh, yes, and I finally wrote the checks that I need to take to the post office tomorrow. I think I may have things figured out so I won't run out of money before the end of next month, but we'll see. Something unforeseen always seems to happen.

 

I didn't go to the post office today because it was not a nice day. It's warmed up a bit now, but for most of the day the temperature was below 10 and the wind has been from the north in the 25-35 mph range, which puts the wind chill way below 0. It was best to stay in. It snowed off and on all day, too, sometimes rather hard. We are under a lake effect advisory for tomorrow night (New Year's Eve), but it should be a bit warmer. It still surprises me that now every time we have these high north winds, we get a lake flooding advisory, too. I guess I wasn't watching the weather the last time lake levels were high. 

 

Every time the lake levels get higher or lower than normal, everybody seems go go into panic mode, and it always makes me laugh. This has always happened; lake levels are cyclic. What goes up will come down, and what goes down will come back up. You'd think the NWS and the Corps of Engineers would remember that, but they never seem to. Besides the lakeshore flooding, the only other thing I've noticed is that there has been a whole lot more ship traffic on Superior than there has been for the past few years. I'm sure they're carrying full loads again, too.

 

Oh, yes, in case you didn't look at the camera today, there is ice on the harbor again. It's not surprising, considering the temperatures for the last 24 hours. This time, it may be for good. It looks like it is still rather broken up, but it's supposed to stay cold, so it will soon be solid.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie hasn't come yet. Grayson was full of ginger about the time I went to bed this morning, but I guess they both understand that they need to be quiet when I'm in bed. I guess they've figured out that if I could shut them out of the bathroom in the morning and I wanted to sleep, I can do it at night, too.

 

So it was another quiet, lost day, and I'm tired again.

 

December 29

So I was late last night. I got to reading First again, because there was something I wanted to change, and it got interesting. I still think that's a pretty good story. I'm not through yet, but I hope I won't stay up so long tonight. For one thing, I got up around 10:00, I think, and I didn't get nearly enough sleep.

 

I knitted, and it took a long time to do four rows. I'm getting to the point where there are a lot of holes in each repeat, and that means I'm knitting a lot slower. Otherwise, I didn't do much except look over the bills I have to pay. Shudder. I got the plumber to agree to let me pay that bill in installments, which will help a lot, but there are a bunch of other things that need paying. The end of the year is always difficult. I'm sure one of the medical bills is a partial repeat of one I've already paid, but I can't find the earlier bill, so I don't know for sure. I can either pay the new bill and let them figure it out or try to find the old bill. This is when the deficiencies of my "filing system" so-called (read: a pile of envelopes) isn't the best. Anyway, I may make it through to the end of January. At least, I hope so.

 

The weather was good for staying inside. It got cold overnight, down to about 12, and the high was only 17, very briefly. There was a strong north wind, in the 20-30 mph range, and it seems to be getting stronger. There was snow off and on, probably lake effect. I don't think there was any accumulation. There was even a gleam of sunshine a couple of times, but unfortunately the camera hung up at around 10:00 this morning and I didn't catch it until just now. Sorry about that. Most of the time, it looked like that anyway, but I do like to get the sunset.

 

The guys mostly slept, but Grayson was being sort of a pain, and he ate several pieces of my turkey tonight. Louie slept, or I think he did. I didn't see him.

 

Now I will read for a little while, I hope, wash my hair, and go to bed relatively early. I really must try to get myself back onto a human schedule. It's a dark, frigid and snowy night in the field.

 

December 28

I made it into bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept well, but around 5:00, I turned off the alarm. Then I woke up about 6:45, so I got up. I ate breakfast and did some of my surfing, and I did not feel very good. So I went up to the north end with the idea of getting ready to go to church. After sitting for a while, it was clear to me that I didn't feel at all good, so I brushed my teeth, washed my face, turned off the curling iron and went back to bed. I got up again around 11:45, and I felt better. I knitted four rows and I'm now halfway done with this chart. I'm not halfway through all the stitches, though, because the number continues to increase. 

 

I didn't do anything else. I still don't feel very good. It wasn't bad when I got up, but by mid-afternoon, I felt lousy again. So I played games and read.

 

The weather was not exactly conducive to going out. It snowed during the night, and when I got up this morning, the temperature had fallen to 23 and there were strong winds (20 - 30 mph) from the north. PastyNet has been up and down all afternoon due to power failures south of us, but it just came back up. It snowed and the temperature dropped all day. It's about 18, still with strong north winds. It was cloudy and dull. It was a good day to hibernate.

 

The guys thought so, too, although Grayson spent a long time on my lap on several occasions. Louie got a little lap time, too.

 

I got a couple of nice emails that made me feel a bit better, and I thank everyone who wrote. I hope that's the end of it.

 

Now it's a dark, cold night in the field and it's going to be a good one to sleep, so I will go and do that soon.

 

December 27

Well, I guess I did it again. Apparently something I wrote a couple of days ago upset some people who misconstrued it and they set their attack dog on me. I'm sure that statement will cause another blast, but what the person wrote me was entirely out of proportion to what I wrote. Ah, well.

 

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

 

That holds true even more in the Internet Age than when Omar Khayyam wrote it.

 

So I guess I will have to say it again:

 

1. This is my website and my blog. I pay the bills, with some help from my friends. I am free to write anything I want. I try to be careful, because I don't like to be flamed, but  it isn't possible for me to guess when someone may misunderstand what they read and it will set them off.

 

2. Nobody is forcing you to read this blog. if you don't like what I write, DON'T READ IT. In fact, if you are the kind of person who habitually misreads and misconstrues what people say, I hope you won't read it.

 

I was later than I'd planned getting to bed last night. I was writing, and I did about 2500 words. I slept well, with the usual breaks, but it was 11:00 before I got up. I knitted four rows. I think I'm almost over the most boring part of this chart. The chart is called "snowflakes" and the flakes are holes. It starts out with one every six rows or so (per repeat), but now most rows have two holes for each repeat. Unfortunately, that means I now have 460 stitches on the needle, and it takes a long time to do one row even when I'm knitting fast. Times like this when I think about switching over to Continental style (yarn in left hand), but there are too many problems with that. For one, I habitually manipulate the points of the needles with the fingers of my left hand and I really can't do that and keep the proper tension on the yarn.  At least the bump on my index finger is small enough now that I can hold the yarn where I want it, so I'm knitting about as fast as I can. So I plod along.

 

Otherwise, I did nothing. I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't have time to do much but read my emails and do my surfing. I am pleased that the number of advertising emails I'm getting has gone down by at least 30 a day since Wednesday. I almost wore out the delete key.

 

The weather was blah again, but snowier. When I was up for the first time, around 6:00, I think, I could tell there was snow on the garage roof, and when I got up, it looked like we'd gotten about 1". There was more during the day, although it had pretty much stopped by 3:00. The temperature was about steady around 30, although it's dropped off a bit in the past couple of hours. There wasn't a lot of wind, and it's shifted around to the north, which might mean lake effect. It was cloudy all day, but it was fairly bright until the sun started to go down. We still have only about 8 hours of daylight, and it's only getting longer at a bit over 30 seconds a day. The sun doesn't rise until about 8:40 in the morning, and it's setting a few minutes after 5:00 in the afternoon. Dark and dull.

 

The cats thought so, too. They slept, and Grayson wanted to sit on me all day, for some reason I don't understand. Is he sick, or does he think I am? Louie slept and I didn't see much of him.

 

So that was another nothing day. I will be going up to the north end soon, and I will be in bed as soon as I can, with the idea of going to church tomorrow, but I'm not going to count on it. Between the fact that I still don't feel good and there may be more snow, I may have to chicken out again. It's a dark, cold and possibly snowy night in the field.

 

December 26

I guess I just fooled around last night. I didn't write, but I did read for quite a while and I was late getting to bed. I made up for it by getting up very late, and I didn't feel much better when I got up than I had when I went to bed. I guess I have the Shari Syndrome. And my strange hours is leaving me with hypoglycemia again, so I didn't feel very good today. In the middle of the night, I woke up feeling so upset in the tummy that I actually got the barf bucket out of the closet, but it turned out it was caused by the need to eliminate, and once I got over that, I was good enough to go back to bed. 

 

I knitted about 3 rows and I roasted my half turkey, and that's all I did. Things are getting bad around here again. The turkey was OK, but it has some sort of off-taste, like it was in its wrapper too long, which it probably was. I guess the next time I get one of those, I will have to take it out of the packaging and put it in a plastic bag. It's OK, though. I had my usual problem programming the oven. I use it so infrequently that I never can remember in what order to set it up. Maybe now I will - it's probe first, and then oven temp. Oh. Anyway, I didn't check it for quite a while, so I ate later than I expected to. Fortunately, 5 or 6 lb of turkey doesn't take long to cook. And now I have that pan to wash, too.

 

My knees were bad but not too bad, which I appreciated. And my shoulder, while it was sore, wasn't so bad that I couldn't sleep last night. Now I'm tired again.

 

The weather was blah again. The temperature was nearly steady between 33 and 36, and there was hardly any wind. It was dark and cloudy. Blah.

 

The guys slept and I didn't see anybody very much. Grayson got a little lap time, but I had to move him to get to the bathroom and get the turkey in the oven. Louie wants to sit, but I've been doing too much other stuff to let him yet.

 

So that was a very quiet day after. I don't feel good, so as soon as they finish playing Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, I'll be off to the north end. Or I hope so. It's a dark, quiet night in the field. Blah.

 

December 25 - Christmas Day

 

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child,

Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,

Within my heart that it may be

A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

 

I was in bed by around midnight, but I didn't have a very good night. I ached, and particularly, my shoulder was so sore it kept waking me up, at least until 3:00 or so. I was up several times and when I finally found a way to lie so that I wasn't hurting, I didn't want to move at all. I did finally get some sleep, and I got up around 11:00. I didn't get nearly 11 hours of sleep.

 

I knitted, of course, and then I got dressed and went out for dinner. I did have a piece of cheese and some OJ so I could take my mid-morning pills, but my prime rib was my first meal of the day. It was good, but the piece was so huge that I couldn't eat half of it, so I brought it home and had it just a little while ago. it was still good. Those are very nice people, and little Lynnea is almost walking. She is technically a year old, but she was about two months premature, so she's still a little behind. She's a cutie, although she has inherited her great-grandfather's facial features, which is too bad. She has a nice head of very pale blond hair. Anyway, it was a nice meal and so nice of Peg to invite me.

 

There were some snowmobilers, even though the weather isn't the best for that sort of thing. The temperature varied between 34 and 36, so the snow pack is melting and getting slushy. Getting up the hill to get to US-41 was, um, interesting. I felt like I was clawing my way up and I probably was, pulling with the front wheels and pushing with the rear wheels. Around 3:00 this morning, I was awake when a blast of wind hit the end of the house so hard it sounded like it was trying to push the wall down. The figures  say the highest wind gust was around 28 mph, but what hit my house was a whole lot stronger than that. It was just one gust, though. There was no wind at all today. Between 8:00 and 10:00 we had some kind of precip, which I expect was rain, and there was rain on the west windows when I got up, but except for some extremely light drizzle, nothing came down after that. It was dark and cloudy and the days are still so short that it was getting dark when I got home at 4:00.

 

The guys mostly slept. Before I ate dinner, I went up to the north end to get out of my pants, which were a little tight, and Grayson found something in the hallway and started playing with it. I've seen that thing before, and I think it's the desiccated remains of a mouse. I guessed, from what he was doing, that the barometer has risen, and when I checked, it has, so that's good. Then he came, watched me while I ate, and then got on my lap and went to sleep for a while. He is so sweet. Louie hasn't come around, but I have the heater on in here, and he still doesn't like that.

 

So it was a nice, if quiet, Christmas Day. I hope yours was good, with all the things you like to do on this day. I won't be up late tonight. I wrote a bit last night, but I don't think I'll be doing that tonight. I will read a while and collapse again. It's a dark, cloudy, but rather warm, night in the field and Christmas is over.

 

December 24 - Christmas Eve

Oh, I was so late last night! I really did myself in. I was writing, and I was getting near the climax of the story, so I just kept on. I reread it tonight, and it wasn't as bad as I feared. Anyway, then I had to take a bath. Sigh.

 

I got up around 11:30 and knitted three rows. Plain knitting is faster than patterns. 

 

Anyway, I was thinking I would probably make it to church and I was about to get my dinner when Ron came by with all the packages I expected last Friday. Apparently, FedEx was so overloaded that they hired everybody they could find and decided they could just leave the stuff at the store. Probably those trucks couldn't have gotten down the road anyway, with it as slushy as it's been. However, we had to have a nice long conversation. I know he was angling for a dinner invite, but Peggy had called and invited me to Mariner tomorrow, so I couldn't ask Ron. I'm sorry.

 

Anyway, by the time he went on his way, it was too late for me to eat, get ready, and get out of the house by 7:30. By the time he left, I was too tired anyway, and I haven't felt very good all day. I'm sure part of it is lack of sleep, but not everything. One thing, my legs feel a little better. I'm beginning to believe that has something to do with the barometric pressure, which was a little higher yesterday. It's falling now, so we'll see how things are tomorrow.

 

The rest of the weather was blah. The temperature was between 32 and 35 all day, and there was not much wind from the northeast. We had one small snow shower about the time I got to the studio, but that was all. It was dark and cloudy all day. Blah.

 

The guys were blah, too. They mostly slept.

 

So I didn't make it to church, and I'm sorry. I just couldn't. If it's not one thing, it's another. And while I've written a little, and I may do a little more, because I'm at the climax and I'd like to get it written, but I'm going to be in bed early (or at least earlier) tonight. My head hurts.

 

It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, and I'm sort of dark and cloudy, too.

 

December 23 - Christmas Eve Eve

Oh, my.  I read for a while, then I started writing, and you know where that leads. I'm not at all satisfied with what I wrote, but I need to plow on, with the thought that this is only a first draft. Eventually I'll get over this transition part and get back to the good stuff.

 

So I was very late again, and since I got up around 11:30, I didn't get enough sleep, so I'm tired and I didn't do anything. I have to wash my hair, just in case I get to go to church tomorrow, and I have to wash dishes tonight, because I'm running out of clean stuff. I had an accident, and I just remembered that there is a bunch of stuff in the washer that needs rinsing. Sigh. I was walking a little better today, but it's still not easy. I had an accident partly because I couldn't walk fast enough.

 

It was snowing before I got to bed, and it continued to a greater or lesser degree all day. It was soft, wet stuff, so there wasn't a lot of accumulation. The temperature varied between 33 and 35, and the wind was from the south to east between 10 and 18 mph, which means I couldn't feel it at all. I bailed on choir practice. I just didn't want to cope with wet, sticky, sloppy and slippery snow on the roads. We'll see about tomorrow.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got on my lap when I came back from cleaning up after my accident and he went to sleep there. I only had to move him because I had to call Stu and tell them not to pick me up and i had to turn on the radio. I was sorry to do that, but my tail would have been going to sleep soon anyway. Louie just asked to sit, but he wasn't very persistent and he went away before I could move to let him come up.

 

So it was a nothing day and I'm tired. We'll see whether I get to bed at a reasonable time. 

 

It's a dark, snowy night in the field, but it's not very cold out.

 

December 22

Today was one second longer than yesterday. Woo-hoo! At least we're going in the right direction.

 

I went up to the north end at a relatively early (for me) hour last night, but then I sat and stared at the floor for a long time, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I know, that's early for me, but I was so tired I wanted to be earlier. I am not walking well at all, and it's such a chore that I tend to postpone it too long. I've been using my cane, and I've figured out a way to get my food tray to the studio, although it's dicey when I have a tall glass, like juice, on it.

 

Anyway, I slept pretty well. I was up in the middle of the night for about 45 minutes; nothing serious, except that every time I thought I could go back to bed, I started gurgling again until finally it settled down. Getting to sleep was a bit difficult, because not only my knees hurt. My shoulder is bad, too, and actually, at times, I hurt all over. I guess it's the weather. It would help if I could take some serious pain meds, but of course, I can't. So I sit too long and I have trouble getting comfortable to go to sleep. Sigh.

 

I got up around 10:00, and I knitted three rows and a couple of repeats of the fourth row. There are 367 stitches now, but most of them are plain knitting, which is faster than pattern stitches, but not a lot.

 

Otherwise, I did nothing. I think I can get the dishwasher ready to go tonight, because it's mostly loaded. It's going to be a full load. I should have run it last night, but I didn't think about that.

 

The weather was blah again. Apparently there was some precip overnight, but I think mostly it was rain, at least here. The low temperature was 34 and the high was 37, so most of what came down should have been liquid. Yuck. There was not very much wind for most of the day, but lately, the gusts have gotten up to 33 mph, from the southwest. The forecast is pretty dire. It is supposed to start raining or snowing or both overnight, and tomorrow we may get as much as 4 inches of wet, horrible snow. If that happens, I will not be going to choir practice tomorrow. If the whole forecast pans out, I may not get to church on Wednesday, either. But we'll see.

 

The guys slept and I didn't see much of them. Louie spent part of the night in bed with me, but after I got up to pee and turned over, he decided I was thrashing around too much and he left. Grayson got some lap time this morning and he wanted to see what I had for dinner, and when he did, he went off. He'll eat a piece or two of chicken, but mostly I think he wants to know I will give him some.

 

So that was my day. I will have to revise my proposed costume for Wednesday, if I go, because I was supposed to block a shawl today and I didn't. Oh, well, eventually I'll do it. In the meantime, I have other things to wear, I think.

 

So that was another nothing day and I hope to be in bed at a reasonable hour again tonight. It's a dark, not very cold, night in the field. Yuck.

 

December 21 - Winter Solstice

Not that winter didn't come to the Keweenaw two months ago! But now it's official.

 

I was later than I wanted to get to bed last night - about 10:45 - but I slept well, although I was up several times and the broccoli I ate with my chicken kept reminding me. Unfortunately, I had to pee around 6:00 and I never did get back to sleep, so I'm tired. In fact, I'm so tired that I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open this afternoon.

 

So I got up, but I was moving slowly, and I was very late leaving. As I was going out the door, I discovered that the moths had made a nice little hole right in the middle of the cashmere sweater I got for a gift several years ago. Oh, dear. I don't quite understand it, since it's been in the cedar closet and the fold, which is right where the hole is, was toward the back of the canvas sweater shelf. Anyway, it was too late to change my clothes, so I hope nobody noticed.

 

Nothing was quite right, as it turned out. I got to church so late that I didn't even get to use the restroom beforehand. We screwed up both of our songs. The Sunday School children (all four of them) and the confirmands (three of them) had a little program at the end of the service, and I couldn't understand a word any of them said, except for one confirmand and the little boy who sang "Away in a Manger" from the organ loft. That's one reason I don't like those things. There was an angel with neat wings edged with feathers (she took off her halo; apparently the headband was uncomfortable) and a couple of others who were apparently Mary and maybe a shepherd. He was too small to be Joseph. And baby Jesus was a doll in a manger. Well, ten minutes or so is a whole lot better than a whole hour of that stuff.

 

When I was a kid, no way was I going to get involved in Christmas programs. Even at age 9 or 10 (I don't remember exactly), I thought they were excruciatingly bad and I didn't want anything to do with them. And yes, the little boy who was the shepherd or something was cute, climbing up on a stool so he could get to the microphone, and NO, I didn't appreciate him forgetting half his lines. To me all that stuff is NOT cute. Sorry. I was a Scrooge about that sort of thing when I was their age. Bah, humbug.

 

It would have been better if the choir had sung better, but like I say, everything was a little off today, except for Pastor's sermon. That was about Mary, and it was good except that he kept losing his place, too. Well, it's the Sunday before Christmas, and I guess most everybody has too much on their minds.

 

The only thing nice about it was that a lady that I've talked to several times, who has had a bad case of cellulitis on her legs, gave me a goody bag as I was leaving. When I opened it, there was a nice plate of cookies and sweet breads (just enough), and a package that had a ruffle scarf in it. We'd talked about that, too, because she's knitted or crocheted a lot of them. The one she gave me is shades of turquoise with a metallic turquoise yarn in it. It is very pretty, and now all I have to do is figure out an outfit to build around it. She was very reserved when we first met, but now she's very open and pleasant. It was so kind of her to think of me. I guess I've always wanted people to like me, and I try to get them to. Sometimes it even works.

 

Anyway, we actually got out of church early, so I visited the restroom and then, despite that my knees were so bad I could hardly walk, I went off to Pat's and did a little shopping for a few things that will mean I won't have to go again for a while. I got a lot of meat. Some of it went in the freezer, but I had lamb tonight and I have a nice strip steak for Christmas Eve and a half-turkey for either Christmas Day or the day after. I need my turkey fix every so often and this one is only about 5 lb, which is a much more reasonable size for one person. Of course, there won't be any stuffing, but I guess I can handle that. I actually have some stuffing that I could use, but it would be a waste, so I will put that in the freezer, too, when there's room. The fridge is bulging again, but I'll be eating well. 

 

I had to get gas, too, and the price was $2.439. I got 19 gallons for about $46. That's a real shocker to me, when I realize that about 6 months ago, that much gas would have cost $70 or more. How weird. I wish I had a 100 gallon tank in my garage that I could fill up now, because I'm sure the price will eventually go back up. At least I can take advantage, when I'm going up and down the peninsula a lot.

 

By the time I got all that stuff out of the car and into the fridge, I was exhausted, so I didn't do much else for the rest of the afternoon. I did package up the rice I cooked yesterday and get that into the freezer, too. I have used almost a whole 5 lb bag of brown Jasmine rice. I like that kind so much I want some more, but I do have a lot of other varieties, including Royal Rice, so I guess I can wait to order some more Jasmine. I loved the white Jasmine rice, but that isn't as good for me, so I was delighted to find the brown (on Amazon, of all places!), and I will be getting more of it. I can't taste well enough to tell all the time, but when my sinuses are acting well, I've discovered that rice actually has a flavor, and the different varieties taste different. Whatever they sell in the supermarket as "brown rice" is OK, but not as flavorful as the Jasmine. Since it appears that the only way to keep my innards sort of in shape is to eat lots of rice, I'm learning a lot about it.

 

The weather was blah. The temperature was 30 overnight, and then between 7:00 and 8:00 this morning, it went up to 34 and essentially stayed there all day. It was nearly calm until around 11:00, and then the wind picked up into the 15-25 mph range from the southwest. It was cloudy and dull. There was a little snow late this afternoon around the airport, but I don't think it's been snowing here. Blah.

 

As far as I know, the guys slept. Grayson made a pest of himself while I was doing groceries, but I think mostly he was curious and he wanted to get petted. Louie, however, wanted to take a bite out of the plastic bag my gift came in and I had to shoo him away. I guess I hurt his feelings. Grayson wanted a taste of my lamb, but only one little piece, I suppose just to show him I'd give him some.

 

So that was my day, and I'm really tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. My knees have been very sore, but last night, I was sore all over, so I spent some time thrashing around. Tonight maybe I can make up for it.

 

It's a dark, cloudy and possibly snowy night in the field.

 

December 20

Of course I was late again. This time, I was writing - on Trine 5 - but I think I will have to delete and redo part of what I wrote, because I really wasn't into it. 

 

The Christmas Oratorio I was listening to was adequate, but not stellar, considering that the chorus and soloists were all professionals. One problem I have with a lot of the SymphonyCast segments is that the microphone placement is frequently very poor. In this case, the orchestra was much too loud and the chorus much too soft. Bach used a lot of oboes - and oboe d'amore and oboe da caccia - and they have a piercing enough sound that they tend to overpower the rest of the orchestra, even the trumpets and horns. And the tympani was much too loud. If you want to hear the whole thing in spite of that, it's at SymphonyCast.org. I've heard (and sung) much better.

 

Anyway, by the time that was over (they didn't play the whole thing) I was writing.

 

I slept well, but I didn't get up until noon and I knitted three rows. These went as fast as I can knit, because it was mostly plain knitting. The second "pattern" row, has one hole every 14 stitches, and no decreases. This section, which is 60 rows long, turns the shawl from a pointed triangle to a rounded triangle, or at least it looks like it will block like that. It's not my favorite, but now that I've started it, I want to finish it.

 

Today was washday, but everything was so late that the second load is still in the washer and needs its second rinse. I definitely use fewer clothes in the winter, and besides, because I have so many accidents, I wash in between times. I had an accident after breakfast, but it wasn't too bad, and it only soiled my panties, which I hadn't begun to wash yet. This one was caused by things happening faster than I thought they would.

 

The weather was dreary. The high temperature was 30 for a while this afternoon. It did get cold - 21 - overnight, but then, it was fairly clear. There was no wind. It was cloudy all day, and the days are so short - 8h 26m - that it began to get dark around 3:00. I was up around 7:00, and that was enough after the onset of astronomical twilight that the sky wasn't completely dark, but I could still see Polaris and some other stuff, Cassiopeia, I guess, over in the northwest. It clouded up more later, while I was still asleep.

 

Tomorrow is the solstice, but the day will only be 4 seconds shorter than today, so we've essentially reached the shortest days of the year. After tomorrow, it's all uphill. I don't like the short days very much, except that I can turn the camera off early enough to have light in the studio. In the late fall and late winter, I have to keep the lights off almost all evening, and I get tired of wandering around in the dark.

 

The guys were sleepy all day, so I didn't see much of them.

 

So that was my day, and it looks like I'm going to be late. I still have to fill all the pill dispensers, as well as finish up the wash and take a bath. Sigh. We'll see what happens in the morning. I need to go to church to sing, but I also want to lay in a little food and I need to get gas, so I'm not doing it at 11:00 on Christmas Eve.

 

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

 

December 19

I was late again last night, of course, but not later than the night before. I didn't get up until noon, though, so I only knitted two rows. Mostly, I fiddled with the computer. I needed to get Debbie's gift to the post office, hopefully before the pickup today, and since I lost all my priority shipping labels a long time ago, I had to make a shipping label and print it. The label was no problem: Word now has a direct link into Avery label macros. The problem was that I ran out of ink a week or two ago, so in order to print the label, I had to replace the ink cartridges.

 

I still don't understand this ink thing in the current printer. I can't believe I've printed that much in color, but apparently all the cartridges were empty. So I had to replace them all. That's $60 or $70 worth. Anyway, I did it and got my label printed and attached and got off to the post office before it closed, and then I discovered that the pickup hadn't happened yet, so I was in luck there. 

 

The store had called Ron to say that I had packages there, which I knew, so that was my next stop. I wanted to stop anyway, because I wanted some JD and some TV dinners and I owed them something for the eggs Ron got for me a while ago. Well, there were lots of packages. Jeff and Kelly are kind enough to put them in my car when I'm there, but I had to unload them, and it was almost as much of an effort to unload the car as it is when I go food shopping. Anyway, I managed, but my knees were really bothering me, so it was an effort. 

 

I now have the yarn for the next two projects. One is fuzzy and pink. The other is dark red (called Chianti), but the pattern wants beads, and since I don't like size 6 beads very well, I don't have any and I will have to order them. I'm not too much into beaded knitting, but I haven't done any, so one project won't hurt. I will have to check my sources for seed beads. I have to finish the current project first, and then I want to do the pink one, so it will be a while. 

 

The pink yarn is mohair and silk, and it's yummy. The red is alpaca. Both of them are so nice and soft it will be a pleasure to knit with them.

 

There was an order of cat food that was supposed to be delivered today, and the tracking says it was, but I've looked at all the doors and in all the crannies of the doors, and I can't find it. I don't know if they lied or if they put it under the deck. I will wait another couple of days, and if I can't find it, or it doesn't arrive, I will have to get on the phone with Walmart and try to find out what happened to it. I think the tracking lied. The garage door was open, and they could have left it there if they actually came. So we'll see. 

 

The weather was blah. The temperature got up to 32 briefly, but mostly it was right around 30. There was no wind at all. It was cloudy and dull. Blah.

 

The guys thought that, too, and they slept. 

 

So that was another nothing day. Right now, I'm listening to a professional (but not very good) rendition of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, or as much of it as will fit in two hours. Before that, there was part of a Christmas concert by Chanticleer which was very nice. I don't much hold with all-male choirs; after all, they're singing MY parts! But Chanticleer is a group of excellent musicians, and I do enjoy hearing them. After the oratorio, I hope to get to bed.

 

It's a dark, cold night in the field.

 

December 18

Oh, journal. Oh, yeah.

 

I was a lot earlier to bed than I have been lately, but it was still late. Mostly, it was Beethoven's Fifth. The radio station I listen to has the bad habit of putting the really deep, rewarding stuff late in the evening, like after 11:00, and I made the mistake of looking at the playlist. Then I absolutely had to wash my hair.

 

I slept well, of course, and I got up around 10:30, but then I knitted six rows. That was too much, but I wanted to move the markers for the new chart, and then I had to knit the return row to check where I put them. This part of the shawl is 60 rows long, and I'm sure I will be down to knitting two rows or less before it's done. There is a lot of plain knitting, at least at first, so that will go faster, but it starts out with 319 stitches per row and ends up with 559. Even in plain knitting, that takes a long time, and I purl more slowly than I knit.

 

I ended up being too late to get Debbie's present ready to go to the post office, because when I finally got through eating and went to the bathroom (yes, I went as soon as I finished for a change!) I had to sit for a lot longer than I'd planned. I did get the package almost ready to ship, though. 

 

I forgot to mention that yesterday I actually got the trash off the counters and out the door, or at least most of it. The counters badly need cleaning, but at least I have a little more room to work.

 

Tonight was choir. It was a slow trip both ways. The covered road is snow and ice covered, and while from Lac LaBelle Road south, it was mostly clear, it was wet and maybe icy. Besides, on the way south, I got behind a guy with a blade on the front of his pickup who wouldn't go faster than 55 mph, mostly slower. He wasn't using his bright lights, so probably he couldn't see where he was going very well, but still. People driving pickups with blades at this time of year are supposed to know the roads. I made it around the right time, though, and it was a good rehearsal. It will be difficult for the next couple of weeks because our practice night is on the holiday days, so we will have to go down to St. John's and practice with them on Tuesdays. Stu and Nancy have offered to take me from St. Paul's, and I appreciate that. It all depends on the weather, though, and we'll just have to see about that.

 

Anyway, it was almost 9:30 when I got home. Since I didn't cook yesterday (not hungry), I had to scrounge dinner, but I had a ham and cheese omelet for the first time in a long while. It was good and I have a nice, warm pad in my tummy now. The omelet was a bit brown on the outside - it's been a while since I've cooked one, and I'd forgotten - but it tasted fine. It even goes fine with JD.

 

The weather was beautiful to look at today. There were a few clouds this morning, but they were all gone by noon and it was clear and blue all afternoon. The high temperature was 30, briefly, but as the sun set, it plunged and while I was driving home, I wondered if the  thermometer on the car had broken, because it read 5 almost all the way to the Mountain Lodge. I guess it didn't. It was 17 here at 9:00 and 7 at the airport. Every time I could see the sky on my way home, when I'm driving mostly east, there was a bright star twinkling ahead of me. I guess it was probably Rigel (in Orion).

 

The guys were still mostly sleepy. Grayson wanted to sit on me as soon as I got to the studio with my dinner, and he got his lap time, even though he had to wait. I haven't seen Louie lately, but he has been sleeping in the window seat a lot.

 

So that was another day, and I'm hoping to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. We'll see. As you know, I'm just not good about that.

 

Now it's a clear, frigid night in the field and I may get to see stars. What a good reason to go to bed early!

 

December 17

I did it again. This time it was the music, although there wasn't any Beethoven at all, which was weird. There was a Haydn symphony that isn't played much, "O, Holy Night" with a fair tenor and a lot of other good stuff. So I was very late again and I only got about 8 hours' sleep. Not enough. I knitted my four rows, but I was eating breakfast about the time most people are thinking about starting dinner. So dinner was late and...sigh. And I want to go back to bed.

 

The weather was sort of blah. They canceled the weather advisory overnight, although it looks like it probably snowed until around 5:00 this morning. The temperature today was steady at about 28, and it was windy enough that the lake is still singing, although it's not as loud as it was yesterday. It was cloudy and dull.

 

About the time I started thinking I really should go to bed, both guys jumped up on the counter and came and looked at me, as if to say, "Aren't you ever going to bed?" Cats like things to be routine, and I sure haven't been routine lately. They slept all day, of course. Grayson got some lap time (and I had a nasty accident) but Louie didn't.

 

So that was another nothing day, and I have to try to get to bed a little earlier tonight, although since I'm not through eating, it won't be early.

 

It's a cold, windy night in the field, but it's not snowing.

 

December 16

Happy Beethoven's Birthday!

 

Well, I just don't seem to be able to do it. Much as I wanted to get to bed at a reasonable - or semi-reasonable - hour last night, I just couldn't get myself out of my chair, so I was very late again. Oh, sigh. I did get almost 9 hours' sleep, so I don't feel quite as tired today, but since I knitted four rows, it meant that I had hardly any time for anything else and I  ate dinner late. I don't know what I have to do to get myself out of this.

 

So I didn't do anything.

 

Before I went to bed, the wind was rising, and when I got up, after it was light, it was clear that it had been snowing for most of the night. The reason we couldn't see the mountain today was snow, not fog. The temperature dropped off after midnight, and it was nearly steady at 29 all day. The wind was from the northeast, around 25 mph with gusts up to 34 mph. It was still snowing when it got dark, I think, although I don't think we had more than a couple of inches. It was dark and dull all day, but not as dark as it was when it was foggy. 

 

The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie has been sleeping all day. Grayson wants more now, but he's going to have to wait a few minutes, until I get this thing posted.

 

Well, it was another nothing day, and now it's a dark, windy, snowy night in the field. Winter is back.

 

December 15

I was exhausted last night, but I just could not make myself get up and go to bed, so it was very late (again) when I finally did. I slept, of course, and I got up late. Then I knitted, and I finished the last rows of the blue/purple mix and started the purple rows. Well, it's not actually purple. The name is "Vineyard," and it's redder than purple, sort of the color of Lambrusco. I have only 12 rows to do in that color, and those will be the last rows of the leaves pattern. 

 

I was still tired, and I was so late that I didn't do anything. Maybe tonight. I need to wash my hair, but I need to sleep, too.

 

The weather was pretty much like it was yesterday but warmer. The high temperature was 46 and there was no wind. The humidity was nearly 100% all day, though, and the fog was extremely thick most of the time. Yuck. I was glad to ignore it. Of course, it was very dark and dull.

 

The guys slept, although both of them got some lap time. They know what to do.

 

Now it's a warm (for December) night in the field and it seems to be raining. Eventually, the rain will turn to snow, at least for tomorrow, and we'll be back to more normal winter weather, at least for tomorrow.

 

December 14

I managed to make it into bed by shortly after 9:00 last night, and I slept well, but not nearly long enough. I got up before the alarm went off at 6:30, which was good. I did most of my surfing before I got dressed, and I made it out of the house by about 9:10, I think.

 

It was an interesting commute. It was very foggy all over the Keweenaw this morning, although it was patchy. I got to church right about 10:00, which was also good, because I got my parking place. Church was good, and there was communion, although I don't think there were as many people as usual, probably because of the holidays. I think we sang pretty well, and Pastor's sermon was good.

 

I got home before 1:00. I was congratulating myself about my elimination, but on my way into the house, I had an icky accident that meant I had to wash my new black pants. Grr. They are in the washer now, and I will put them in the dryer when I go up to the north end. Right before dinner, I almost had another accident, but I made it to the powder room in time. 

 

I guess it's because I didn't have any rice yesterday, but that gets old after a while. I didn't have any today, either, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

 

It was extremely foggy all day, but it was warm. The high temperature, 44, actually happened at 4:00 this morning, and it's been around 36 all day. The humidity has been up around 97% all day, too, and there has been no wind at all for most of the day. The fog has been amazing, as anybody who looked at the camera could tell. I don't like this kind of weather; it's bad for my joints. However, I guess it's better than a foot of snow and high winds.

 

The guys slept, although Louie got some lap time twice. I actually think he was trying to tell me his favorite food bowl was empty, and I had to move him off both times. Grayson was probably trying to tell me that, too, so I finally filled up the empty bowls. I need to put in an order for more dry food.

 

I didn't do much of anything except read, and I got so sleepy around 4:00 this afternoon that I could have taken a nap. Instead, I will try to get to bed early. Maybe I'll even make it. Now it's a warm (for December), foggy night in the field. And I'm tired. Again. Or maybe still.

 

December 13

Hey, today is 12/13/14, the last of the numerology days, or at least the last one I'll see. Neat!

 

I was late again, of course. I just couldn't get myself up and moving. I read, and there was some nice music. Some not so nice, too, but not a lot. I didn't sleep long again, so tonight I should be able to get to bed early and sleep well. Or I hope so.

 

I didn't do much of anything today, though.

 

The weather was yucky again. The temperature has finally risen to 40, although it was cooler for most of the day. There was almost no wind, although it was enough to make the branches of the pine move. I like it when the pine branches move, because I can use the motion to check that the camera hasn't hung up. It was dark and cloudy all day. Really dark; the days are only 8 hours long now and it's still sort of dark at least an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset. Doing almost anything but using the computer means lights. Well, another week and we'll be starting on the upward side.

 

The guys slept, although they both got some lap time.

 

So that was my nothing day, and I expect to be going up to the north end soon. I'm really tired. It's a dark night in the field, but it's fairly warm.

 

December 12

Oh, it was another late night. I was reading, and for most of the evening my radio station was off line. They were tonight, too, in the middle of the talking, but they're back now. I got up around 10:00, even though I didn't have nearly enough sleep. I thought maybe a little tough love would help me get to bed at a more reasonable hour. I still hope that, although I didn't finish eating dinner until 11:00, so it won't be really early. I like to digest a bit before I go to bed.

 

All I really did was knit and go to the post office. One of the packages was a big can of peanuts and a smaller can of chocolate covered peanuts. Thanks, Arthur and Mary Ann. I like peanuts, and these are really good.

 

The bill for my heating system came in, too, and it's big enough to put a crimp in my budget. However, so far it seems like things are better around here, so I guess I just have to bite the bullet. 

 

Of course, the weather has been completely different than it was last year. The total snowfall for November came in, and it was 63". It wasn't a record, but it was among the five or six highest total for that month. And we've only had about 6.5" this month, whereas we'd already had 59" by this time in December last year. I like this year better, I have to confess. I'd always wanted to experience a year like last year, but having done it once, I can stand not to have it happen again. 

 

Today was a nothing day. The high temperature was 35, and the winds were very light. It was cloudy and there was fog down the harbor all day. Blah.

 

The guys thought that, too, and they slept. 

 

I would like to have slept, too, and I got really sleepy before I went to the post office. I still am, so I hope not to be up very much longer. It's a cloudy, foggy night in the field, but it's not very cold and there was no snow.

 

December 11

It was another late night. I must try to put a stop to that, maybe tonight. I didn't eat my first meal of the day until around 3:00. I did knit, and I have moved on to the next color combination, blue and purple, but I didn't do much except get the row started. I'm tired of leaves, even though the next part, called "snowflakes" is even more boring. I guess I like the really hard patterns better.

 

I was so late that I didn't get to do much at all. It took me 25 minutes to get ready to go to choir, although why it took so long I don't know. It was an interesting night to be out on the road. There was patchy fog, some of it quite thick, all the way to Calumet and back. I found a way to get around not being able to read my speedometer, and that helped, but I also found that my speeds, even without knowing how fast I was going, were mostly pretty modest. I guess one gets the feel for it after a while.

 

Choir was good, although everybody seemed to have a frog in their throats tonight. I guess it must have been the weather. We practiced for an hour and a half, because next Thursday is our last practice until after the first of the year, and there's a lot of singing between now and then. I'm not sure how much I will do, because it's dependent on the weather, but we'll see.

 

The weather wasn't very good. For most of the day it was foggy, and I also went through a couple of little snow showers on my way to and fro. The high temperature has now risen to 34, but it rose slowly all day. It was breezy all day, with gusts up to 23 mph from the northwest. It was cloudy and gray. Yuck.

 

The guys slept and I didn't see much of them.

 

So that was another nothing day. Now it's a dark, foggy, breezy night in the field.

 

December 10

Oh, I did it again. I just did not want to get up, so I sat and read. The music was nice and the story was interesting, so I sat. Sigh. It was very late when I got up, and I knitted my four rows. I'm going to have to cut back pretty soon. 

 

I didn't have time to do much, but I did get the dishwasher partly loaded. I'm running out of dishes for all of us. The kitchen is full of trash again, but I didn't address that problem. I cooked, so I will have something to eat tomorrow that's easy to warm up. And that was about it. I keep forgetting there are three or four phone calls I want to make (I still hate the telephone).

 

The weather was rather nondescript. The high temperature was 31, but it happened at 3:00 and it's been falling off ever since, to 23 now. The wind was 5 mph or less. It was cloudy for most of the day, although a few pictures showed a little blue sky, and it began to clear up around sunset (which is just after 5:00 these days). Blah.

 

The guys slept, although they both got some lap time. When I got up the first time, Louie was asleep in the window seat. For some reason, he likes to sleep cool, probably because the combination of his layer of fat and his thick coat keeps him warm. Grayson was in the bathroom on the floor. When I got up for good, Louie was on the floor and Grayson was on the tub surround.

 

So that was another nothing day, and tonight I have to wash my hair and do dishes. It's a partly cloudy, rather cold night in the field.

 

December 9

Not only did I not get to bed early, I almost didn't go at all. I just didn't want to move. I was reading, and the music was nice, so I just sat. Sigh. I did get about 8 hours' sleep, but I got up late, so it was a very truncated day and I'm tired again. Maybe tonight? We'll see.

 

The weather was forgettable. It was windy overnight, and I think there might have been a little snow this morning, but not much. The temperature today was just about steady at 25, and there was a moderate wind from the east. It was cloudy and dull. Blah.

 

The guys slept. When I got up, they were both asleep at the end of the bathroom near the doorway. Louie was on the rug and Grayson was by the wall, and pretty soon he rolled over onto his back and stayed there until I got up. Even though he's a small cat, he looks pretty long when he gets his legs all stretched out. Louie usually sleeps more neatly, and he almost always has his tail curled over his upper leg. Grayson leaves his tail hanging out someplace, usually. When I had to go back to the bathroom to clean up after my accident - a bad one - they were both back in the same place. I suspect that the floor is warmer at that end of the bathroom, away from the windows.

 

So now I will read for a while and hope to get to bed earlier tonight, but we'll see about that. It's a cloudy, rather cold night in the field, and my hands are out of sync.

 

December 8

Well, I didn't get to bed as early as I wanted to, of course. Another instance of just not wanting to get up. Once I got to bed, I slept, four hours at a crack, and I got almost 12 hours' sleep. I got up feeling just about like I did when I went to bed, so clearly I have something. My nose is runny again and my sinuses were so clogged up this morning that I was tearing (when my sinuses get full, it forces tears out).

 

I knitted, and I've now gone on to the next color combination, but from now on in this pattern, the colors change every twelve rows. I have 36 rows left to do before I change patterns. The short rows are about 244 stitches and the long rows are about 320 stitches. The stitch count on the repeat isn't constant; it goes from 12 stitches to 16 stitches, so it's hard to say just how many stitches there are on any row. Anyway, it's a lot. Fortunately, there is a lot of plain knit and purl, so it goes fairly fast. It's still going to take a while to finish, which will be hard, because the yarn for my next project - a stole in pale pink fuzzy yarn - is on its way, but I want to finish this project before I go on to the next.

 

Other than that, I didn't do anything. I don't feel very good. I had another accident, not, fortunately, too bad, and I have a load of bottoms ready to go in the dryer. I really must make myself move when the gurgling starts.

 

The weather was blah. It snowed all night long and until after noon. It was just cloudy this afternoon, but the camera hung up, so it's not possible to say if there was any more snow. The temperature was above freezing all day, which means that any snow there was was wet and heavy. There wasn't much wind. It was dark and cloudy. The wind has now shifted around to the north, and tomorrow is supposed to be colder but without much snow. Blah.

 

The guys mostly slept. When I went up tot the north end, some altercation the guys had yesterday resulted in my bath rug falling on the floor, and there has been one cat or another curled up on it ever since. I'm sorry to disappoint them, but tonight I need it, and then it will have to be hung up, at least until tomorrow, to dry. I guess I will have to put it back on the floor. They like the floor because it's warm, but they like something soft to lie on.

 

So now it's a dark night in the field, but it isn't snowy and it isn't blowy. I  won't be up very long. I need to take a bath to try to get my scalp back in condition, but that won't take long.

 

December 7 - Pearl Harbor Day

I think I'm going to declare myself sick and go to bed.

 

I made it into bed by 10:00 last night, and I slept well, except that I was up a couple of times, so I probably got 8 hours' sleep. I got up at 6:30, and everything was going well when I fell into my usual syndrome and didn't want to get up, so I was a bit later getting out than I wanted to be. It actually took me about the normal time to get to church, because while the covered road was partly snow covered and probably slippery (Bill, the retired big rig driver, said so), from Lac LaBelle Road south, it was clear and dry. They do a terrible job of clearing the roads in Calumet and Laurium, so getting into the church parking lot was interesting, but I made it, and I was in time to back into my usual parking spot. The other night, I backed in so I could see who went in, and it occurred to me that getting between the car and the door would be a whole lot easier if I didn't have to walk all the way around the car. Duh...

 

Church was nice, and I think we sang well, even though I was sight-reading the anthem. It was Matins, which I like, although we didn't sing the Te Deum, which I also like. It's long, and we sang some of the great Advent hymns instead.

 

I had a premonition that something might be wrong with my innards when I went to the restroom after church and evacuated. That's not normal. Oh, well. So I went off to get gas - $2.799. It's so nice to fill my tank (well - about 20 gallons) for less than $60. I had to run by the post office to drop off the forms for my prosthesis (Medicare, you know), but by the time I'd gotten gas, most of the church traffic was gone, so that wasn't a problem either. I got home about 1:00.

 

I sat in the powder room until 2:00, and then I had a bit of cheese and crackers. I got very sleepy, and I was ignoring the gurgling (bad idea, but I was too tired to get up) so I had a bad accident and changed my bottoms. It actually got all over my vest, too, so I took that off. Then about the time I thought I should get some dinner and decided not to try to have my lovely lamb chop tonight, I had another slight accident, but not enough to make me change anything. Then, just a while ago, I had a third accident, this one pretty bad. So I soiled two pairs of panties and two pairs of sweats this afternoon. That's not normal, so something is out of whack with my bod. My nose has been running and I'm very tired, too, so I think the best thing I can do is call it a night (if I can ever stop having to go) and sleep long and hard.

 

The weather was all right. the temperature was above freezing from noon onward, with a high of 35, but the wind has been rising all afternoon. I could tell it was starting when I was pumping gas. Gas stations are like big box parking lots: the wind seems to hit them harder than other places. The wind picked up after I got home, and while it's only been about 20 mph sustained, the gusts have been up to 35 mph. This is from the southwest, so it's been cold in the studio and warm at the north end. I used the space heater. It was cloudy all day, but not particularly dark.

 

The guys were mostly sleepy, I think, but Grayson kept wanting to sit on me or something. I wonder if he knows I'm not feeling very good? Or maybe he just wants me to know he's happy I came home.

 

So that was my day, and as soon as I publish this, I'll be off to the north end to clean myself up again and crash. I do not feel very good, and the best place for me is under the covers. It's a cloudy, windy, but not very cold night in the field.

 

December 6

Oh, well. I got to hear two Brahms' Symphonies last night (#2 and #3) and a lot of other good stuff, but I was ridiculously late getting to bed. I'm now sure it's because I am moving with so much difficulty that it's just more comfortable to sit at the computer and read or do nothing. Anyway, I did finally get to sleep, but I didn't get enough sleep, because I got up around 11:30. I knitted, and evidently I was knitting fast today, because I did four rows in a little over an hour. Or else, I wasn't reading the clock right, which is a possibility.

 

I did have a headache all day, so I didn't do much, but I got to the post office, where there was a lot of stuff, including some packages and the winter tax bill. Sigh. I got my phone bill, and dropping the second line has helped it a whole lot, although I won't know how much until next month. In spite of the confirmation they sent me, which made no sense at all, they evidently did do it right, which was a relief. I think it's the first time in the past 14 years when I tried to make changes to my phone service and it was actually right the first time. Or I hope so. I will see how it looks next month.

 

It was a pretty day, if not very warm. It was mostly sunny all day, and there wasn't a lot of wind. The temperature fell slowly all day, but it was in the middle 20s when I was out. Since there was no wind, it was quite nice out. It sure was nice to see the sun!

 

The guys slept, and I have no neat things to report about them. They both got some lap time, although not as much as they might have wanted.

 

One of my packages was my new prosthesis and bras, so I can retire the old, wrinkly one and the stretched-out bras. There were two packages of the things I put on my shoulder to hold the strap in place, which is good, even though I found the one I thought I lost. It's a silicone patch with a groove in it to hold the strap, and it's really wonderful. My left shoulder (the real one) has dropped so much that it's nearly impossible for me to keep a bra strap in place. 

 

At the beginning of the week, I ordered Debbie's Christmas present, and when I looked at the tracking information, it said the package was delivered on Wednesday. Huh? I didn't get a package. So I went looking at it, and I found it way over in the corner of the front porch, where nobody, including both Ron and me, ever saw it. I haven't opened it yet. Anyway, I've been thinking for quite a while that I need a sign to put on the door that says "Use other door" and an arrow pointing toward the breezeway. Now I know I do, and I'll be looking for one. I could print one myself, but it has to be in big black letters, which would use an enormous amount of ink. It might be cheaper to just buy one, if I can find one.

 

So that was a truncated, quiet day and I'll be off to the north end shortly. I am going to church tomorrow, so I need to be in bed early.

 

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

 

December 5

Well, somehow it was 2:00 before I got to bed. I slept hard, of course, although I decided to see what would happen if I started out on my left side, and about two hours later, I woke up with an extremely sore right shoulder. So I guess my shoulder isn't well yet. I didn't get up, I just turned over, and it was nearly 6:00 when I finally did get up for the first time. Then I crashed again and it was 11:30 before I got up. 

 

I knitted, and it's so nice not to have to take my glasses off to see! I can see my toes, too, as well as the outside a lot more clearly. I  forgot tonight and took my glasses off when I came into the studio with my dinner, but I put them right back on, because I can see much more clearly when I'm wearing them. I think I got the glitches in the fit fixed, although they do slip a bit. At least they aren't hitting my ear and making it hurt. I'm not sure they're quite straight, but that's more an annoyance. It doesn't seem to be hurting how I see.

 

Anyway, I didn't do anything. I was going to go to the post office, but I had an accident (Grayson again) and by the time I was cleaned up, it was too late. According to Ron, I have some packages there, so I'll have to go tomorrow. 

 

The weather was rather nondescript. The high temperature is 36, right now, but it was over freezing all day. It was windy this morning, but the wind was very light for most of the day. Now it's shifted around to the north and it's picking up again. It was cloudy and dull all day, but there was no precip. Blah. The Schwan's guy couldn't get down the road, so I guess I'll be meeting him at the road for the rest of the winter. He walked all the way on foot this time, carrying two very heavy bags. Whatever, I guess. 

 

The guys were sleepy, but Grayson did get out again when the Schwan's guy was here, but he investigated whatever it was that interested him - the bottom shelf of one of the shelving units seems to be fascinating him - and he came back in before the guy left. What a snot he is! Louie, of course, beat it when the guy came, so I guess I don't have to worry about him.

 

Now I'm listening to Brahms' Second, and after that is over, I expect to crash again. I'm really tired, and I ache all over. My legs were really bad today.

 

Now it's a warmish,  partly cloudy night in the field. It will be bright from the nearly-full moon.

 

December 4

Ugh, am I tired!

 

I was writing, and I wanted to wash my hair, so it was much too late when I got to bed. I slept, of course, but there was one of those weird phone calls shortly after 11:00, and after that, I decided I'd better get up. Not nearly enough sleep, but oh, well. I knitted, and I mapped out my day, and for once, things worked out fairly well. I did have an accident - Grayson again - but it wasn't a bad one, and I only had to change my underwear.

 

I decided that the way to handle all my problems was to leave late, go to the eye clinic and then do my shopping. I figured it was cold enough that my stuff would be safe in the car until I could get home. I would get a snack and park in the church parking lot until somebody opened the doors.

 

It worked out, and I have my new glasses. Oh, my, is it nice! I can see at all distances, much better than I have been able to for years. I still have the glare from the residual cataracts, but that only really bothers me when I look at bright point sources, and I still have the glare from the cornea problem, but I'm used to that. It's so nice not to have to take off my glasses to see something! It's so nice to see something! I'm still fiddling with the fit, but even so, they're more comfortable than the old ones.

 

Then it was off to Pat's, where I did my usual damage, but I'm getting much better at not buying stuff I won't use. I got whitefish and lamb chops (yum!) and stuff to put in the freezer. That took me a while, and there were a couple of very nice people who helped me to my car, because by that time, my legs were giving out.

 

I got to church about 5:15. There was clearly somebody there, but the door was locked. That was Jan, practicing the organ, and I guess she always locks herself in, which I think is a good idea. Calumet and Laurium are safe by big city measures, but not that safe. So I ate my snack and listened to the radio. Pastor came a bit before 6:30, so I was able to get in and use the restroom, which I sorely needed by that time.

 

One thing, though. I knew I had been having trouble with the display on my car radio, and when I started the car at Pat's, as it was getting dark, I discovered that I have no lights in the middle of the dashboard, where the dials are. The top, where the indicator lights are, and the bottom, where the gear shift display is, are fine, but nothing in the middle. Stuart thinks it's probably a fuse, and I suspect he's right, but I have no way of checking that or changing the fuse, so I guess I will have to trundle down to the garage and get them to fix it. Driving home was, um, interesting. I have no idea what speed I was driving. I suspect, on the basis of how long it took me to get home, that I was probably going more slowly than usual, but that could be partly because the roads were wet in spots (or at least dark, rather than white from the salt) and on the covered road, it was partly snow covered.

 

Choir was good, and it was good to be back. I guess I can sight-read as well as ever. The lady who broke her neck is back, still wearing a brace, but singing as well as ever. We're speeding toward Christmas, and I love the Advent songs. It will be good to get back to church again on Sunday. The weather looks to be good, so I should be able to go, particularly if I can figure out a way to get to bed early enough.

 

Then it was off to home, I didn't have any problems other than the speedometer, but once I got here, I had to unload the car. I do that by first moving everything from the car to the platform outside the back door, in the breezeway. It took me a while, because my knees were beginning to give out and I had to use my cane, so I could only carry one armload at a time. Then I went up the steps and inside and I sat in the powder room for a while before I began to bring in the stuff. While I was doing that, I didn't close the door enough and Grayson got out into the breezeway. He was going to be coy, so I just ignored him. Watching him squeeze between two of the steps to go under the platform gave me a chuckle. It was a bit easier to bring everything in; at least the distance is shorter. Then I sat down in the chair I keep in the kitchen and unloaded into the fridge. Most of the stuff I buy goes in the fridge or the freezer and most of the fresh stuff, except for the yogurt, goes toward the bottom. The fridge is stuffed now, but I think there may be room for my Schwan's order in the freezer. By the way, I keep the yogurt on the can shelf. It fits fine, and it uses some extra space that otherwise would go to waste.

 

I just nuked a tray of mac and cheese for dinner, but it was getting close to 11:00 before I ate, I think. This is not something I want to do frequently, but it solved my problem this time.

 

The weather was good for traveling and being out, although I don't say it was warm. The high temperature, which happened around 10:00, was 28, but for most of the day it was in the middle 20s both here and in Calumet. It was breezy, with west winds in the 15-30 mph range. I wasn't out long enough for more than my hands and my nose to get cold, but I was glad I decided not to get gas today - I wasn't dressed for it. There wasn't any snow, and in fact, there was some sunshine and blue skies this morning before it clouded over.

 

When I left, Grayson was someplace sleeping, but Louie watched me go. It was comical to watch them while I was unloading the car. They were both sitting at the door, watching me through the glass all the time I was out in the breezeway. Louie went away when I came in, but Grayson got out, and I was through bringing everything in before Louie came by to see what was happening. I know enough about cats to know the best way to handle Grayson was to ignore him, and when I went back to the door to put my onions outside, he was ready and willing to come in. If I'd tried to cajole him, he would have played games with me all night.

 

So that was my strenuous day, and it's time to go to bed. My Crocs Mammoths are nice and warm and the treads are deep enough (and they have little bumps on them) that they aren't as slippery as regular Crocs. The only thing is, I wish I had some boots that would keep my ankles warm. I have a pair of hiking boots that I didn't think I could get into, but they're the right size, so maybe I just didn't try hard enough. And I do have a pair of boots that I bought a very long time ago that ought to fit, but I haven't tried them. I will have to do that. People around here who have smaller feet have the neatest boots, and I really wish I could get a pair, but I almost always have to get men's these days, and men's boots are not, in general, neat. When my feet were smaller and I had to be impeccably dressed, I loved shoes, but now my feet are so huge that it's fruitless to even look at them.

 

Well, I'm exhausted, and I think I can make it to the bedroom, so I'll be going shortly. It's a cold, breezy night in the field, but it's not frigid, and there isn't much, if any, snow in the forecast for the next few days.

 

December 3

Still another day when things didn't go as planned, but this time it was the weather.

 

I made it into bed by about 12:30, and I slept quite well. I woke up around 9:30 and had to walk, so I got up. I would rather have gone back to bed, but I still hoped to get out. I knitted, of course. I'm down to four rows now, and it's taking me at least an hour, although the pattern is easy enough that I'm knitting pretty fast.

 

When I got up, the sun was rising over the trees, and there was even some sunshine, but about the time I started getting dressed, the snow started coming thick and fast and blown by high northwest winds. Uh-oh. So I ate breakfast and the snow hadn't stopped. I decided to wait a while, but noon came and went and it was still bad, so even though the snow eventually stopped for a while, I decided I was not going out in that wind. Sigh. Oh, how I want those glasses! And I'm getting to the point where I had to search for something to eat.

 

I did my surfing and spent the rest of the afternoon writing. There are parts of the old Trine 5 that I like and I could use, with some editing, so I folded them into the new story. I've gotten about as far as I can with that, though, so from now on, it will mostly all be new. One reason is that there is part that I ended up reusing for Erlon, and I don't want to use it over, but I've been rethinking the story and it wouldn't fit anyway. I reread what I'd done tonight, and I think I'm ready to start forward. It feels good to be writing again.

 

The weather, like I said, was not what I wanted to be out in. The temperature was steady around 24, but the wind was from the north to northwest, and around 2:00, it got up to 37 mph with 45 mph gusts. That should put the wind chill well below zero, and I just didn't want to be out in it. Besides, driving in it would have been difficult. So I chickened out and stayed home. The snow squalls more or less stopped around 4:00, but the wind has begun to rise again, or I think it has. We haven't had an update since 8:00. I hope the wind didn't break the weather station.

 

The guys slept, of course. Grayson got some lap time after dinner, and he got a piece of my chicken, too. Louie didn't come in all day, even though the heater wasn't on.

 

I got the temperature in here up to 68 yesterday afternoon, and with the shift in the wind, it was still nearly that warm this morning. So whatever Thomas did to the heating system has helped. It's a relief. Curiously, my knees felt much better today. I think the pain, at least in my left knee, has something to do with it being cold. I was moving a little more freely today, and that was a relief, too. 

 

Now it's a cold, windy night in the field, and I will be tottering up to the north end soon. 

 

December 2

It was another day when things didn't go quite right. I wrote a bit on Trine 5 last night, and then I had to take a bath, so it was 1:30 before I got to sleep. I slept well, but I didn't get up until after 11:00 - I seem to be in eleven hour mode lately. I knitted, and I still thought I could go to town, but then Grayson came and sat on me and I had an accident, and before I got cleaned up, it was 2:30, and that was that. Tomorrow, I hope. I really want those glasses, and I'm getting down to the end of the food I want to eat. The freezer seems full, but it's mostly side dishes and bread.

 

The wind shifted to the west overnight, and when I got to the studio, the temperature in here was 61. A bit cool for sitting around. So when I got cleaned up from my accident, I broke out the space heater, and it's now comfortable in here again. Thomas is undoubtedly right that it would be better if I could get the stuff off the floor, but I just don't know how to do that - or where to put the stuff if I move it. So I'll use the heater. It's kept Louie out, of course, although it doesn't seem to bother Grayson very much.

 

The weather would have been good to go to town, darn it. When I turned out the lights last night, the moon was shining through the clouds, about half-full and so bright! It was windy this morning, but the wind died down this afternoon. The high temperature was 26. It was cloudy and dull, but it didn't snow. Whether it snows tomorrow or not depends upon whose forecast you believe. John Dee and one of the WU forecasts say yes, and the other forecast says no. So we'll take our chances and see.

 

The guys were mostly sleepy, but like I said, Louie won't come in here when the heater is on. He cried for a while outside the door, and then he went back on his usual bed - one of the scratching pads. Grayson thought he wanted some of my dinner - fish - but when he sniffed it, he didn't even taste it. Phooey. It was orange roughy, which I like. 

 

So that was my nothing day. I will be earlier tonight. I will.

 

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

 

December 1

I can't believe I just wrote that. Where does the time go?

 

Last night, everything was late, so it was about 12:30 when I got to bed, and I had a hard time getting to sleep because it was so noisy. The wind was beating against the house so loudly that I had a hard time, but I wasn't very comfortable, either, so I had to turn over before I could sleep. I was up a couple of times during the night, and I didn't get up until about 11:30 this morning. I still don't feel very good.

 

I got the dishwasher running before I went to bed last night, but I didn't do much of anything today. I guess I succumbed to a couple of Cyber Monday deals, but one of them was a Schwan's order, and since I would have been putting one in later in the week, I couldn't turn down a 15% discount. Otherwise, I sat, except when I had an accident and had to change my clothes. i washed the two pairs of jeans and two pairs of sweat pants I'd already soiled, and I have to put them in the dryer. My knees have been so bad I've been sitting too long lately.

 

It was a hairy night. The wind howled out of the north and the lake sang all night long, but the peak of the storm was between 5:00 and 6:00 this morning, when we had sustained winds of 39 mph and gusts up to 51 mph. That's a real gale. the wind has been dying down ever since, and it shifted around to the west, too. It was frigid. The high temperature for the day (not including the middle of the night) was 10, which it is, officially, now. Out here, it seems to be about 8. As a result, it cooled off in the house. The bathroom is still quite comfortable, but it's been around 65 in the studio all day. I find I can deal with that as long as it doesn't last too long. I actually wasn't in here long enough to get really cold. It was cloudy and it snowed lightly for most of the day. I don't think there was any accumulation, but I couldn't see the mountain for most of the day. it was lake effect snow, so it would get dark and snow then it would lighten up a bit before it got dark and snowed again.

 

The guys slept, but they both got some concentrated lap time. Louie came about the time my hands got cold, and he warmed them up, then after dinner, Grayson sat on me for a while. They have nice thick coats, so the cold doesn't bother them a lot, but Grayson has been sleeping for most of the night in the bathroom, on the tub surround. There's no doubt that they like to be pretty close to me.

 

Tonight I want to take a bath, and tomorrow, if I feel all right and the weather is all right, I plan to get my new glasses, which have been waiting at the eye clinic for a couple of weeks now. We'll see how far I get. I also need to do some shopping. I'm running a bit low on things to eat, and what I'll be getting from Schwan's isn't everything I need. We'll se how that goes.

 

Now it's a dark, frigid night in the field and it will be a good one to hunker down under the covers. And it's December. Sigh.

Last  updated 01/01/15 10:22 PM