A View From the Field








January. 2015

January 31

Well, it was a start. I got to bed at midnight and I got up around 9:00. I didn't think I was sleeping very well - I was dreaming - but I guess I did. I knitted about a row and a half on the shawl, but I timed it and I decided I wouldn't knit for more than an hour. So I at least got a start on getting myself under control. We'll see how it goes.


I didn't do anything with the time I had. I didn't have an accident, except right when I got to the powder room, so that turned out all right, and all I had to do was a little wiping up. Mostly I read. There were a lot of interesting emails that sent me off to various websites, and that took time. So it was a very dull day.


The weather was cold and snowy. The official high temperature was 25, but that was at 7:00 this morning, and it has been going down all day, until now it's 12. The wind has been strong from the northeast, with sustained winds in the 20-25 mph range and gusts up to 34 mph. It was mostly cloudy all day, but it was one of those days when one minute it would be snowing rather briskly and the next there would be a ray of sunshine. I don't think there was much accumulation. The lake has been singing all afternoon. In a way, I'm glad to hear it, because it means there isn't much of an ice shelf yet. However, it's supposed to get very cold tonight and tomorrow, so we'll see.


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, although Louie didn't get as much as he wanted because he wanted to stomp on me and his pointy little feet hurt. Grayson did get to sleep on my lap, with his head on my gut, for a while late this afternoon. He is still too jumpy. Louie will stay when I want him to go and Grayson will go when I want him to stay. Maybe eventually they'll even up.


So it was a quiet day, and it won't be much longer before I'm off to the north end to try to get to bed very early tonight. I don't care if it's cold and snowy tomorrow, I must go to church and I must go food shopping afterwards. No buts.


Now it's a very cold, snowy, windy night in the field, and January is history. 


January 30

It was another turned-around night again, but I got up around noon, and I have to get myself under control. If I can do that, maybe I can get my environment under control, too, but first things first. So I didn't sleep as long as I wanted to, I only knitted for an hour - a little over one row - and I will - I REALLY WILL - go to bed right after the symphony concert. I ate dinner a little later than I wanted to, but not that late. 


I was late enough that I didn't do a whole lot. I didn't let Grayson sit on me, and as soon as I finished breakfast I went to the powder room. I was planning to go to the post office anyway, although I had to sit back down before I could get my coat on and go off. I had a couple of barrels to return to the post office, and I expected that all my 1099s would have come in this week, which they did. All the places I get those from wait until the last second before they send out their tax documents. There were some magazines, and a couple more balls of that extremely fine yarn I like so well. 


I stopped at the store for a package that had come in and some more JD. I like to keep a lot of that around, just in case...


I thought my knees were doing rather well today, until I tried to get into the car for the first time and as I hung my seat over the car seat, my left knee collapsed. Fortunately, I had a good hold on the steering wheel and my arms are still strong, so I didn't fall, but it's not a good feeling. After that first problem, it was fine, though, so I just have to watch myself. 


The Schwan's guy walked all the way from US-41. For some reason, when he tried to call me, the call didn't go through. Since it didn't show up on my answering machine, I suspect he dialed the wrong number. Now I have lots of good things to eat, and when I shop on Sunday, I'll be good for another month or so. I am going to run out of OJ, but I have some frozen stashed away that will do until I get to the store. I knew I should have shopped last weekend, but I couldn't have, the way my knee was. 


I still have a little pain in that, and the first step or two that I take when I get up is quite painful, but then it's all right. My real problem now is that while I was shuffling around hardly able to walk, I evidently got a sliver of glass in the ball of my left (of course) foot, and that is extremely painful. I have the hope that it will eventually work itself out, or I will have to see if the doctor will try to remove it for me. My feet are sore all the time anyway, but this just makes it worse. If it's not one damn thing, it's another.


The weather was sort of blah. Cold, but blah. The high temperature, 16, is now. Fortunately, the wind died down overnight, and it's been nearly calm all day. It was dark and cloudy and there was a little snow this morning. Blah.


The road is still good, although there was some minor drifting in my driveway. Ron said that it was rather deep in the culverts last night, but he blew it out, and it was still good today. He isn't complaining a lot. Compared to last winter, this is nothing. Let's hope it stays that way.


The guys slept. Grayson finally got his time on my lap, although I had to shoo Louie away and he hasn't been back yet. When the Schwan's guy came, he left the door to the garage open and Grayson made a beeline for it, but I shouted and the guy went after him and Grayson galloped back inside the house. I sure don't know why he'd want to go out in this weather. He'd freeze his tail off. He just got off me after sitting for quite a while, so I guess I'm forgiven for shouting. What a weird little kitty he is! Louie, on the other hand, has no interest at all in getting out. I think he'd like to get into the breezeway just because he's never been there, but he doesn't really push the issue. Mostly they're happy where they are. I'm sure they'd like a mouse or two to liven things up a bit, but mostly they seem content.


So that was another nothing day. The symphony is playing Haydn now and then there's Dvorak, and then I'm off to the north end. Really. I've had a talk with myself and I am really going to try to get things under control. The way I've been living lately isn't any fun at all, actually, and I need to do a reset.


Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but the wind has died down and it's not that bad out.


January 29

I got completely turned around last night. I didn't eat until after the talking started, and then I had an accident - thanks to Grayson - so it's been a weird, nothing day. I just finished eating my main meal at 11:00, but I had to cook it first. Sigh.


The weather was not the kind I wanted to go out into anyway. The temperature peaked at 32 between 6:00 and 8:00 this morning, and it's been going down ever since. It's 16 now (or less - my thermometer reads 12). The wind picked up around 8:00 AM, and it peaked at 33 mph with 46 mph gusts from the north. It seems to be dying down a bit now, but who can tell? The lake has been singing loudly. We don't seem to have much shore ice, so it's still possible to hear the waves, and both the cats and I could hear when a wave would go bang! against the rocks. It was dark and cloudy and a bit snowy all day, although the bulk of the snow happened between midnight and 4:00 AM. There was a lot of blowing snow.


The cats were sleepy all day. Grayson sat on me after I ate my first meal, so I had a nasty accident. Louie hasn't been around yet, but he was on the rug when I got up and he moved into the bathroom when I did. Grayson was a pest all day, because I didn't give him any canned food and I guess he wanted some. Not that he eats it when I do, of course. It's like he wanted a piece of my chicken tonight, but just one piece, to make sure I would give him some.


So it was a real nothing day. I have a new task, I guess. Pastor and I want to transpose "Since By Man Came Death" to a lower key so that the ladies in both choirs can sing it (most of them can't hit a high G). There is software out there to do that, I was pleased to find. However, I have to research it to see which app will do what I want to do, and I think I will probably have to do a little research on music theory, too. I am largely a self-taught musician (such as I am). I learned to read music partly by playing the clarinet in grade school and partly by teaching myself some piano, but things like key signatures and that sort of thing aren't something I know a lot about. I had it figured out once, a long time ago, but I've forgotten it all, and my notes are buried in the basement someplace. Thank goodness for the Internet! I'm sure I can find what I need to know, but it may take a while.


Now it's a very cold, windy, snowy night in the field and I want to go back to bed as soon as I've digested a bit.


January 28

Oh, so I was ridiculously late again last night, mostly because I knew getting up would be painful, I think. When I first get up, and my first couple of steps, it's horrible, and then it's all right, except that I've been sitting so much that my legs cramp up anytime I stand for any length of time. I wish I could make myself stop sitting so much. Oh, well.


So I was late getting to bed and very late getting up, but I think I almost had enough sleep. I knitted two rows on the last edging, but not enough to see how it's going to look. It's 605 stitches now, and that takes time, even though the right side rows aren't too hard.


I did have an accident, but only moderately bad, and by the time I was through cleaning up from that, it was after 5:00, so clearly I didn't do much. I did put in a Schwan's order. I might not have OJ and I might not have JD, but I will have food. I was going to make chicken tonight, but I took the package out of the freezer so late that it wasn't thawed by the time I wanted to eat, so I had soup. I need to cook up another pot of rice, too. Maybe tomorrow, or maybe Friday.


The weather was nondescript, cloudy and dull. The temperature has risen to 32, and in the middle of the afternoon we had some periods of winds up to 27 mph gusts. There was a little snow between 2:00 and 3:00, but not much. Very blah. Radar shows that it should be snowing, but I don't think it is.


The guys slept, of course. They didn't like their breakfast very well, so they ate the one kind of kibble I don't have much of. Well, I fixed that. When I filled the bowl, I missed and there is now that kind in two bowls. Oops. That's all right; they like both kinds, but it will probably confuse them.


Otherwise, it was a short, nothing day. And now it's a nothing night in the field, but it's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow.


January 27

I kept an ice pack on my knee all the time I was sitting last night, and that turned out to be quite a while. When I finally got up to go to bed, I could hardly walk at all, and I thought, oh, no, that didn't work either. It took me about five minutes to walk from the back of the closet to the front - about 8 feet. Then, all of a sudden, the pain went away. It was so sudden and such a relief that I didn't believe it, but it was true. I got to take my bath and get into bed with ease, although I was late again. 


However, it ached when I was lying down and when I got up for the first time, it was all back again, and when I decided to get up for good, I was having a hard time. Most of the problem, I think, is inflammation of the joint, but the weather has a lot to do with it, too, and that can change rather quickly.


Anyway, I knitted the last two rows of the first edging pattern and a couple of repeats of the final edging, so I'm making progress. I only have twelve rows plus the bind-off to do now. That should take about a week, and then I can go back to my beautiful blush pink mohair - and a pattern that doesn't have any increases! It will be nice to work on something that doesn't end up with almost 700 stitches.


I didn't get enough sleep, so I'm tired, and that hasn't made my legs any better. I had already decided I was going to call Johanna when she called me - probably to say she couldn't make our appointment - so I told her I didn't think I should try to go out today. I think she was relieved. She does massages at Mariner in the winter, with not very much time off after 1:00, and she has to work around her significant other's schedule. Sawyer is walking now, and that must cause her problems, too. We'll get together sometime. My back is beginning to bother me, and I know she could do some good for my shoulders. We'll just have to try to work something out, if I get walking better. 


I kept an ice pack on my knee for most of the afternoon. In order to keep it in place, I've been taping it to my pants, which works fine, except that when I took it off and pulled the tape off, I opened a hole in it that got me and my food tray all wet. Yuck. Actually, it seems that I have to walk every couple of hours or my legs seize up. So while my dinner was cooking, I loaded the dishwasher, except for tonight's dishes, and I will wash them tonight. That was a little too much standing, but it's clear that in the time I've been sitting so much, my legs have gotten weaker, not to mention my problems with my knees. I will have to do something about that. And I have to hope that when spring comes, it will be better.


Other than the dishes, I didn't do anything. I had a nasty accident, caused by not wanting to get up, of course, and I had to clean up after that, but otherwise, I didn't do much.


Oh, yes and I got a solicitation call that really amazed me. After some silence when I answered, a voice said, "please hold for the next available agent," and then, a few seconds later, "all agents are still busy. Please hold for the next available agent." Huh? So I'm supposed to stay on the line to hear from somebody who wants to sell me something? Are you kidding? I have no clue who it was, but I sure wasn't going to wait to find out. What chutzpah!


As I walked into the bathroom when I got up, I heard some strange noises, and there, out by my propane tanks, was the delivery guy! Yea! After he filled me up, he went out and did Ron's tank, so now we're good for a couple of months at least. I would have more sympathy for the delivery guy if I didn't know he had been able to get back here very nicely in past years when the temperatures were fairly warm and the road wasn't in as good condition as it has been. I do know I wouldn't want to drive one of those things.


The weather was quite mild. The temperature for most of the day was around 25. There wasn't much wind, and it's been calm since about 5:00 PM. It was clear when I got up at 7:00 AM, and Jupiter was shining brightly in the northwest. It stayed clear until around 10:30, when a shelf of clouds came in from the south, and it was dreary and dull after that. We didn't have any snow.


The guys were mostly sleepy, but both of them got some lap time. They are so funny. Every time I make a move, they have to come and see what I'm doing now. I had to go out into the breezeway to get a couple of things and Grayson thought he might go out, too. That cane of mine is useful for a number of things, and one of them is moving a cat.


Speaking about canes, I lowered the handle of my cane by about 2" and it seems to be working better, now that I have to lean seriously on it. I originally set it at the same height as the family cane, and that was fine for when I just needed it to stabilize myself. This will work better now. That cane was used by my great-grandfather, I think, and he was a relatively tall man. And a higher handle works well if you're just trying not to lose your balance. My problem now is more than that.


So that was a quiet day, and I hope to be off to the north end soon. It's a cold, dark, quiet night in the field. And I don't have to fret about running out of gas.


January 26

Oh, well, I was late again last night. I read some and played Collapse some and time just passed. Sigh. I slept, of course, but I didn't get up until nearly 12:30. I knitted two rows, and I have only two more rows left of the current pattern before I start the final edging. Mercifully, the stitch count is constant, too, until the last three rows - 605 stitches. It takes me an hour to do two plain rows. I will be glad when this one is done.


I actually did something. I wondered if heat would help my knee, so I tried it, and the answer is no, it makes it worse, so now I'm trying ice, and I think maybe that will help. I hope! In spite of that, I finally - finally - got the pans out of the sink that were clogging up the works and I have my dishes soaking. I should wash them, but they have been sitting for so long that I think I will wait until tomorrow. That was while my dinner was cooking. I was standing for almost an hour and a half - that's what not being able to walk will do for you! - but except that I got very sweaty, it didn't bother me a lot, as long as I was standing still. Moving, however, was another thing altogether. Well, at least I got something done!


The weather was sort of interesting. When I got up, there was some clear, blue sky and even a ray or two of sunshine, but the next time I looked up, it was drizzling snow, and the snow kept coming down, lightly, all afternoon, although the mountain didn't go away until 5:30. The high temperature was about 25, and the wind was from the southwest in the 10-20 mph range. After 6:00, there was enough snow to register at the weather station.


The guys mostly slept, although Grayson got some lap time. Both of them seem to realize mommy isn't doing well, and when I try to walk around, they are right there, staring at me and no doubt wondering in their little minds. At least today I haven't been whimpering quite as much.


So that was my day, and I'm hoping the ice helps my knee enough that I can take a bath tonight. I didn't get enough sleep this morning and I'm tired. And I'm not going to open Collapse! They're playing Bach right now, so I will read a bit. It's a dark, snowy night in the field.


January 25

Well, I didn't make it. I was a little late getting to bed - after 11:00 - but that would have been all right except that I didn't sleep. It was 4:00 or later before I finally slept, and by that time it was clear that I wasn't going to be able to walk well enough to do anything. So I slept, with one more wake-up, until after noon. I guess I got my sleep, but I'm tired again.


The real issue is my knee, and it has been horrible all day. It's been almost impossible to put any amount of weight on it. I guess I really need a walker, at least for some days, and today was one of those. Finally, when I had to stand for a while to make my dinner, it got to feeling better, but I still have to be very careful how I put weight on it or it feels like somebody is sticking a knife into it. And it takes me forever to walk anywhere. 


That's partly why I had a yucky accident, but part of that was that I waited too long to get up. That's one of the problems with this thing: I know that when I stand up, it's going to hurt, so I don't, usually for far too long.  I must try to make an appointment to see the doctor, before it gets so bad that I can't walk at all. Sigh.


It wasn't a good day to be out anyway. The temperature was OK - around 16 until it began to clear up late in the day, when it plummeted, to 4 now, and I suspect it's on its way down still. It snowed lightly off and on until about 3:00. There wasn't any wind.


The guys mostly slept, but I think Grayson, at least, knows I'm not doing very well, because he has been sitting on me off and on all day, and I had to shoo him away in order to start writing this thing. I'm not sure Louie realizes it, but Louie isn't as smart as Grayson is anyway. They mostly slept, otherwise.


I was very disappointed not to get to church and the grocery store, but there was simply no way. For one thing, I don't like to drive on so little sleep, and for another thing, when I'm that tired, it's more difficult for me to walk even when my knee isn't paining me. I still haven't nailed down why it's sometimes better and sometimes worse, but it was cold and humid today and the barometric pressure was outside the narrow range where I don't feel so bad. Oh, well. This too will pass, one way or another.


I knitted a bit over two rows after I got up, but other than that I didn't do anything. I gave in and bought a game yesterday - well, actually eight games. One of my favorites is Collapse, especially the Collapse Puzzle games, and the maker has finally gathered them altogether into one bundle and is charging what they used to for each piece. Since I didn't have Puzzle 3 - 5, it was a bargain I couldn't refuse. I've been dipping into all of them ever since. There are certain configurations that I have a very hard time with, but I figure it's exercising my brain, either by solving the puzzle or by trying to remember the steps when I ask for hints. Only it can keep me interested for hours on end. Sigh.


So now I'm tired again and it's a clear, frigid night in the field. The crescent moon was shining in the windows when I went to get my dinner.


January 24

I'm not quite sure why I was so late last night. The music was nice and I was reading until my eyes gave out. It was only 2:00, which is early by my standards. I slept well, with a couple of wakeups, and about 11:30, I got one of those phone calls that says. "This is technical Windows support" in an Indian accent. Huh. I may be a crippled up old lady, but my brain isn't crippled yet. I've been wanting to engage those people in conversation. They always say my computer has a virus, and I'd really like to know what they would say when I ask, "How do you know that?" However, they essentially woke me up, so I just hung up on them. So much for the "do not call" list. Oh, and by the way, Indian guy, the term is "Windows technical support." You think I don't know the difference?


So I got up and knitted two and a half rows on the shawl. I ended the tan and started the off-white, which is the final color. I'm at about 590 stitches and I really should transfer to a longer needle, but I'm not sure it would be worth it for 20 more rows. We'll see. I won't get to do anything tomorrow morning, so I have time to think about it.


Anyway, that made me so late that I didn't do anything else. My knee started out really bad, but it got slightly better as the day wore on.


The weather was blah again. It was warm all night long, but the temperature dropped 4 in 30 minutes, from 6:51 to 7:19 this morning and then it plummeted to a low of 19 around 4:00 PM. It recovered just a tad (0.9) but not much. The wind picked up, too, to about 15 mph with 24 mph gusts from the northeast. And it started snowing about the time I got to the bathroom. I don't think there was any accumulation, but it snowed little snowflakes for the rest of the day. It was dark and cloudy. Blah.


The guys mostly slept, although as frequently happens, Grayson made me have an accident. He was asleep on my lap and so peaceful that I didn't want to move him - bad decision. Louie got some lap time, too, so both of them were happy.


So that was my nothing day, and I'll be off to the north end as soon as I publish this, to take my bath and get my beauty sleep. I am going to church tomorrow, and I need to shop for food, too. I also have some cents-off at the gas station that I need to use before the end of the month, so it will be a busy day. I feel tired already.


Now it's a dark, cold night in the field and it may still be snowing.


January 23

Today is my parents' 75th wedding anniversary. I always try to mark it, because without it, I wouldn't be. Of course, my father would be 102 and my mother would be 97, so there isn't any possibility they would actually have celebrated it, but I raise a glass of JD to them.


I was later than I wanted to be last night. I was right when I said it might take me a while to get the 2015 gallery pages set up. I simply could not get the grid on the cam page to go away, until I finally deleted the whole table and started over. Then I noticed that there were parts of tables on the gallery page, so I had to go back and fix them, too. FrontPage is so illogical. It would seem to me that if I tell the "table" dialog to blank out the grid, I shouldn't have to go back and do the same thing to the "cells" dialog, but noooo, I have to do both. Grr. So stupid.


I guess I got to bed around 1:30, and while it took me a few minutes to get to sleep, once I did, I did well, with several wakeups. I noticed when I was up that my knee had gotten bad again, and both shoulders were sore. I think it was a combination of a falling barometer and rising humidity. My knee was really bad today. Anyway, I finally got up around 10:30 and I knitted my two plain rows. 


I was planning to go to the post office, but I had an accident and then it was too late, so I didn't. I also washed two pairs of jeans and two pairs of underpants. I was late enough that I was still doing my surfing when the talking came on, but that was partly because I read for a while when I was in the powder room.


The other night I complained to Schwan's about their cooking instructions and they said I should talk to a live person, so this afternoon, I called them and voiced my displeasure. The woman said she would pass it on to somebody else. So I used the instructions (modified for my convection oven) to cook my marinated salmon and it was overcooked. I've decided I like baking the fish - it's easier and not nearly so messy - but I'm going to have to figure out how long to cook the salmon. I originally complained because they said to cook a 6 oz. piece of orange roughy at 400 for 40-45 minutes. Can you imagine? It would be as hard as a rock in that time. I cooked it in the convection oven, starting cold, for 18 minutes and it came out perfect. I've had to devise my own cooking methods for almost all the Schwan's stuff I buy, which is annoying, especially since I often end up nearly ruining the first try. Anyway, it wasn't a satisfactory conversation, but I never expected it to be.


The weather was interesting, but stupid. The high temperature was 38, and it's been 37 for most of the afternoon. It was over freezing from about 6:00 AM on, and there was a strong northwest wind, with gusts up to 32 mph. It was cloudy, although there were some patches of blue around noon. I guess this is our January thaw. There was actually some rain overnight, I think. I know it was too cold for it to snow.


The propane guy is still trying to get down the road, but when I thought about it, I can't understand why. When I came home last night, the road was as good as it's ever been in the winter, and he's gotten down here in prior years (excluding last winter, when it was frozen solid). I'm having a problem understanding what his problem is. They called me again about it, and when I called back, I told that to the person I talked to. I think Ron got the fort to send out their big tractor, so things should be even better now. I think we both have enough gas, but we need a fill and things will be getting dicey soon. The warm weather helps; the boiler has hardly run at all today, I think. However, it's supposed to be cold tomorrow and medium cold for the next few days, so it will run more. Ah, well, if it's not one damn thing, it's another.


The guys were sleepy today and I didn't see much of them. However, I had to go out into the breezeway to get my JD and some cat food and bring in some TP for the powder room, and I had the door open for a few minutes. Of course, Grayson had to get out. He poked around, but he was ready to go in before I had made it back up the steps. He forgets that it's not all that interesting out there, at least now. He did seem to appreciate the cat food. It's one they liked a lot when I first got it, so I got more and they didn't like that. Now it comes in a new bag, so it has to be fairly fresh, and both of them just love it. It all just makes me shake my head.


So that was another quiet day. The symphony concert didn't get aired tonight, for some reason I don't understand, so I don't have to stay up to hear the end of it. Too bad, too - Dvorak's "New World" was on it, and it's been a while since I've heard that. However, they played Mozart's 41st, which made up for it. I'm tired again - or maybe still - so maybe I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'm reading Voyages 3, but I'm beyond the part that always kept me up, so I don't have to worry about that.


So now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but it's not very cold. Just wait.


January 22

Again it was the music, and then I had to wash my hair. It was a ridiculous hour before I got to bed. I was awakened about 12:30 by some sort of solicitation call. I don't know what - by the time the person on the other end said "Hello?" like she didn't hear me answer (and I made sure I said "Hello" loudly and distinctly), I had heard all the talking in the background and I knew what it was, so I hung up. Grr. So much for the "do not call" list.


Anyway, it was so late that I decided I'd better get up, even though I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I knitted my two rows - one was the pattern row and the other was knit - and both of those go as fast as it's possible for me to knit 580 or so stitches. After breakfast, I had an accident. In fact, I got right to the door of the powder room, but I didn't make it, so I had to change everything below the waist. By the time I finished all that, the talking had started.


I thought I was getting ready for choir at a reasonable hour, but just about the time I realized I had to get up, Grayson came and sat on me and then Louie came and sat on the laptop. How did they know? I still can't figure that out. Then it takes me longer than I estimate to get ready to go, with the speed at which I move these days. I made it there by 6:45, but I that was later than I hoped.


The road is ice- covered from my house to Delaware, which means I had to go slowly, but south of there, it was either a little damp or dry. There was so much salt on the dry parts that I really didn't know whether it was snow or salt, and since I forgot my flashlight, I didn't know how fast I was going. It was only getting dark when I left here, which was nice, and I missed a lovely sunset, but it was completely dark before I got to church. That picture doesn't do justice to what I saw, but it's the best I can do. It was a lot redder than that.


Anyway, we had a good practice, although not as long as it should have been. Lent is coming up, and the choir will be singing a lot on Wednesdays, but we quit about 8:00, so we didn't get to practice a lot of that stuff. Pastor wants us to sing "Since By Man Came Death" from the Messiah, but it is high, and the other high soprano has never sung it before, and my voice wasn't good tonight. I hope we can convince him we can do it. I may try to find either a UTube or an MP3 so I can sing along. I do know that piece, but it takes practice to sing those high notes consistently - standing up helps, too. So we'll see.


There was a surprising amount of traffic coming home. I followed a guy all the way to Delaware, when he finally decided he didn't like being in front of me and pulled over. Then about halfway to Copper Harbor, I came up behind a guy who was going very slowly - like 30 mph or less - and he wouldn't pull over. Arrgghh!! It was a slow drive. I admit the road is icy, but it's not that icy. Then, after sitting at the blinker for a minute or so, he turned right, in the same direction I go, and I got fed up with him and passed him. Geez! So it was 9:15 by the time I got home. A nice JD and a nice omelet has put me in a better mood.


The weather was rather nice, actually. The high temperature was 32, but it was between 8:00 and 10:00 tonight. There wasn't much wind at all. It was clear this morning for a while, and partly cloudy for the rest of the day. The clouds in the picture I saved moved in late in the day. It sure was nice to see the sunshine.


The guys mostly slept, except when they tried to convince me not to go away. Actually, Grayson has been feeling quite feisty lately. He was beating up on the bathroom rug this morning and he wanted to do the same with the rug at the back door when I got home tonight. He and Louie have been getting into it a lot, too, and I'm sure he's partly to blame. The problem is, Louie gets mad and he gets violent, which makes Grayson cry, and then I intervene. 


So that was my rather truncated day, and I'm really going to go to bed as soon as I get this whole thing uploaded. That may take a while, because In order to post the picture, I had to set up the whole 2015 gallery, and I have to make sure it's right. I hate broken links and I try to avoid them as much as I can. So if you find any, please let me know.


It's a cold night in the field, but it's not as cold or as dark as it might be.


January 21

It was the music again: Beethoven's Fifth, Haydn #102, some Mozart, and a whole lot of other nice stuff. Sigh. I was late getting to bed and I was late getting up. I knitted my two rows - these are the plain rows, very boring.


When I got up, my knee was bad again, but it got better over the afternoon, in part because the barometer was rising and I think I may have discovered a way to help it along. I discovered that if I shake it slightly in just the right way, the pain lessens. I wonder if that means there's something loose in there. Probably not, but it doesn't matter, as long as I can walk around without much pain. I had an accident, and it was a bad one, possibly because it's been a couple of days since I ate any rice. I fixed that tonight by cooking up a big pot of royal rice.


That's annoying, too. If you are supposed to cook it a cup at a time, why don't they fix their package sizes so that there is an even number of cups in a package? The rationale (if any) of marketing will forever elude me. Anyway, I had some Royal Rice and some Royal Rice with Beans, so I cooked it all. While I love my brown Jasmine, I like a little variety, too. This tasted good.


Otherwise, I was so late that I didn't do anything much.


The weather was blah again. The high temperature was 29 and there wasn't any wind. I saw a couple of snowflakes, I think, but not much. It was dull and gray. Blah.


The guys thought so, too, except that Grayson got quite playful late this afternoon. I think it was the barometer. Both of them got some lap time, but not as much as they wanted. 


So it was a nothing day, and it doesn't look like the music is that good tonight, except for another Haydn symphony. I need to take a bath. I've been trying to get my scalp in shape again, and that means baths. Besides, if everything works out, I want to go to choir tomorrow night, and I like to have clean hair for that. Now it's another dark, cold night in the field, but it doesn't seem to be snowing and the wind isn't blowing.


January 20

So last night it was the music - Beethoven, Mozart, some Bach and some other stuff I don't remember. Then I wanted to take a bath, so it was a ridiculously late hour when I finally went to bed. I slept fairly well, but I had some strange dreams. I got up around 11:30 and knitted two rows, so I was late getting to the studio.


However, I actually got out of the house! I went to the post office, where there wasn't much mail, and to the store, where I needed some stuff, including drain cleaner, and my rice had come. Now I have 10 pounds of brown Jasmine rice and I'm in business again. I didn't cook any tonight, because I was too late, but I may tomorrow. Or maybe I'll wait until the weekend.


When I got up to go out, my left knee was so sore I could hardly stand on it, and it stayed that way until around the time I was putting my dinner together. Then it stopped hurting, but now my shoulder hurts. Oh, woe. I'm very seldom without some pain, but the shoulder and the knee are hard to cope with. Anyway, Johanna called me this morning, and when I called her back, I made an appointment to see her next Tuesday. I need her, even though she can't do much about my knee. She can manipulate the muscles around my shoulder, and that should help some.


The weather was sort of blah again. When I got up, there had been some snow overnight, and since there wasn't any wind, every twig and branch was covered with snow and it was so pretty! Before I got dressed, a lot of that had fallen off or sublimed or something, but what a way to start the morning! There was a little more snow, but not a lot. The high temperature got up to 25 briefly, and it was in the 20s for most of the day, although it has dropped to 14 lately. There wasn't any wind, and it actually wasn't bad to be out in. I just discovered that the camera hung up sometime today - sorry about that - and it looks, from the difficulty it's having getting restarted, that the driver didn't load right. So I will have to reboot. Drat.


The guys were mostly sleepy, although Grayson sat on my lap twice. Louie tried to sit on me when I got back from the post office, but I was doing something else, and then he tried to get at a plastic bag I have beside me. In shooing him away, I swatted his nose, so he went away mad. I don't like him to eat plastic bags, but it's hard, since I like to use them for other things.


Now it's a dark, cold night in the field. It's particularly dark because today is the new moon, and it's cold because the skies were partly cloudy at sunset and the heat escapes fast.


January 19 - Martin Luther King Day

I hope all of you who had an extra day off today enjoyed it.


I actually got to bed at a reasonable hour last night. I went up to the north end early - I'm reading Voyages and it just didn't appeal - but then I knitted a couple of rows, so it was 1:00 or so when I got to bed. I was up several times, but otherwise I slept fairly well. I got up around 10:15 and I knitted a couple more rows - these were straight knitting or purling, no pattern, so they went as fast as possible, except that I had some aches and pains that interfered a bit.


I didn't do much except serve as a pillow for a cat. Today was Louie's day, and he got to sit on me for a good part of the afternoon, except when I had to clean up after an accident. Louie's problem is that if he gets a little love, he wants a lot of love. Grayson is more content with a shorter time.


The weather was blah. The high temperature was 21, early in the afternoon, and there was almost no wind, so that the snow flurries came almost straight down in little clumps. I don't think there was much, if any, accumulation. It was cloudy and dark for most of the day. Blah.


Except when somebody was sitting on my lap, the guys slept.


In the middle of the afternoon, while Louie was on my lap, I got so sleepy I might have been able to take a nap, but then I had my accident. I'm still tired, so I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. Between the humidity and the dropping barometer, almost everything ached today, so I wasn't interested in doing much except sit. I have a small problem - well, maybe not so small - the drain in my kitchen sink is nearly stopped up. I think it's probably grease. I hope to get out tomorrow and stop at the store and I will have to get some drain cleaner and try to get it open myself. The kitchen is too much of a disaster for me to get the drain guy out here.


So that was another nothing day and I'll be off to the north end soon. It's another dark, cold night in the field.


January 18

Because I decided not to go to church, I was ridiculously late last night - or this morning. I slept fairly well, although I was sore in spots. I got up around 11:30 and I finished the section of the shawl I've been working on for so long. I can say that for the most part, not winding the yarn into a ball worked well, or it would have if I hadn't gotten it tangled up. I'll be trying it again. I think it's another one of those things where practice makes perfect. If the Shetland women who knit for a living can do it, I can, too. So there.


I started the next section, which is in a sort of gray-tan mix - not very pretty - and is feather and fan. This is a ridiculously simple pattern that is extremely pretty when done. It's only about 24 rows wide, and then I start the outside edging. I knitted a few repeats, then later when I had to go up to the north end to clean myself up, I knitted a couple more. I don't even need to look at the chart for this one. It's nice to look at the end of this project. The end product is going to be quite large, which I like.


Otherwise, I was so late that I didn't do much. I did finally remember to do my Windows update, so that's done. It went well on the laptop, but I had to do it twice and reboot in between on the desktop. The first file didn't download right and sent the computer into a loop, so I had to shut down and start over. I was not pleased. It seems like most months, I have problems with one computer or the other.


I cooked my pork chops tonight, very simply, just braising them with mushroom soup. They came out dry. When I was a kid, there was so much fat in pork that eating roast pork would give me indigestion or worse, probably one reason I don't eat much of it now. They have taken so much of the fat out of pork in the last 30 years or so that now it's extremely hard to cook without it getting dry. They tasted good, but when I eat the other one, I think I'll probably revert to the old tried-and-true remedy - ketchup. And I'm going to have to figure out a better way to cook them. Pat's has a special cut of pork chop that I actually like better than the double-thick loin chops I had tonight. It has more fat in it, and is therefore more moist, but the last time I shopped, they didn't have any. All the recipes I looked at that said "moist" either had too many ingredients and were too fussy, or they had flavors I don't like, or they wouldn't have made moist chops the way they were cooked. I think they didn't need to take all the fat out of the meat. I thought everybody knew most red meat needs some fat to moisturize it. And yes, pork IS a red meat. It's not quite as bad for you as beef, but it's not as good as chicken or fish. Well, it was an interesting experiment, and now I know I don't want to pay a premium for double-cut loin pork chops when the cheaper cuts cook better.


Ron came late this afternoon and cleared out the driveway, and now I have no excuse for not getting out. I will probably go out on Tuesday, to the post office, to mail a bill, and to the store. I should have a package and I can lay in some lettuce and JD to last me until the weekend. I'm still aiming to get to choir on Thursday.


The weather was blah again. There were some snow flurries but no accumulation. The high temperature, 30, was at midnight, and it fell all day until now, when it's 22. There was some wind from the northeast, but the gusts only got up to 25 mph. The lake was singing quietly late this afternoon. That could be because the wind wasn't that strong, or it could be that there is enough ice around the shore that it's getting hard to hear the waves. It was a dark, dismal day. 


The guys thought so, too. They mostly slept. Grayson got a little lap time after dinner, but Louie decided he wanted to walk on the laptop while I had it open and running, so I had to drop him on the floor, and I guess that hurt his feelings enough that he didn't try to come back. 


While I was fiddling with computers, all of a sudden I noticed a key cap on the mouse pad, and when I tracked it down, it was the "alt" key to the right of the space bar on the laptop. Oops. I tried to fiddle around with it, but clearly there was something missing. When I sat down with my dinner I looked on the floor and there was another part, but it seems there is still something missing that I can't find. I don't feel like fiddling with it tonight anyway, but it doesn't look to me like anything is broken, it just came apart. I don't know what that key is for anyway. The cap says "AltGr", and I don't know what that means, but then, there are a whole lot of keys on that laptop I don't understand, and there isn't any manual specific to that model to tell me what they mean and what they're supposed to be for.


I guess it's time to break out the broom and sweep around the desk and computer desk. Not only may there be some more parts to the key, there are two teensy screws and probably some seed beads on the floor, plus a lot of paper and stuff that needs to be sorted or thrown out. Tomorrow, maybe. The kitchen needs sweeping, too, but it's harder to do that sitting down.


So that was another short, nothing day. I didn't get enough sleep, on purpose, so I'm planning to get to bed a whole lot earlier tonight. Wish me luck. It's a dark, cold night in the field.


January 17

Well, there won't be any church tomorrow. Last night, it was the lovely music, with a whole lot of things I like very much. Sigh. When I finally did get up to go to bed, I had to get the dishwasher running and then I set up the shawl so that I could start knitting when I got up today.


I'm happy to report that the new yarn is the same dye lot as the old - I think that's the fourth time in the last year that's happened and it's not something I usually expect. Either the places I've been getting my yarn get their stock in very large lots or they don't sell a whole lot of the colors I've been using. In the current case, I think it's probably the latter. The color is called "basalt heather" and it's a dark, heathered taupe. I don't know about you, but it's not a color I'd want to make an entire shawl out of. There is actually more of it in this one that I really like, but it was a kit and some of the colors aren't available anymore, so I had to do it the way the instructions said and hope the basalt was the same lot. It was, and I lucked out.


I knitted two rows, with some difficulty. The first row was a purl row, but about two thirds of the way across, I discovered I had actually dropped something on the right side row, and since there are a lot of "yarn over, knit two together" in this pattern, and it had raveled back four rows, it took me some time to get it back together. I finally did it, but I'm not sure it's quite right. I can only hope it won't be obvious. Anyway, now I have three rows left in this pattern and I certainly am glad. The pattern (such as it is) has a 23 stitch repeat and the yarn-overs are pretty much at random, which makes it hard to do. And I don't like the colors very well.


So with all that, it was extremely late before I finally got dressed. Today was washday, but I had a very small wash. I haven't been wearing much but sweats and I've had to wash them frequently, so it was mostly socks and underwear. The underwear is in the washer waiting for its final rinse and drying. It's also the day I fill the pill dispensers. I just did that at the south end, and when I go north, I will do it up there, too. But that means I'll be too late to get enough sleep to get up tomorrow.


Besides, Ron was planning to get up early and clear out my driveway in the morning, and I was happy to tell him he didn't need to worry about that.


We had a few snow flurries today, but nothing serious. The temperature actually got up to 33 briefly around 8:00 this evening, but it's dropped back already and for most of the day it was around 31 or so. There were some gusts of wind this morning from the west, but there hasn't been any wind to speak of for most of the day. It was gray and cloudy, at least when I was up. A real blah day.


The guys slept. When I got up, Louie went to sleep on the rug in the bathroom, and a while later Grayson came and he went to sleep closer to me, but after a while, he turned around and curled up with his back against Louie's belly, and at one point, his head was on one of Louie's hind legs. So at least sometimes, they like each other. I haven't figured out Louie's problem yet, but his ears were warm yesterday, so maybe he gets cranky when he doesn't feel good.


So that was a rather truncated day, and I'm tired again, even though I got 9 hours' sleep last night and I haven't been up long. I do hope to get to bed at a sort of reasonable hour tonight, but with the wash and the pills and a bath and all that, I won't be early enough to get up in time for church.


So now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and there's a bit of snow around.


January 16

I almost did it again last night, but I managed to take my self in hand and I think it was only about 2:30 when I finally turned out the light. I slept well, of course. I was awake around 9:00, but that was too early, and the next time I got up it was nearly 1:00. Well, at least I got enough sleep, although I'm tired again already. 


I only knitted two rows, but the pattern row was the hard one with the "make 9 out of 3" and nupps. I messed up one nupp, too, so I had to slip over to it and fix it. 


I wanted to go to the post office and the store, and I was so late that I was just in time leaving. Well. I thought, because I didn't have a problem getting out of the garage, that everything would be all right, but then after I turned the corner into the east-west part of the driveway, I got seriously stuck in a rather deep drift. I finally managed to get out of that one by rocking the car back and forth, but then I got stuck again, right at the end, and that one almost did me in. I had a very hot transmission before I finally got onto the road, but it was 3:00 by that time, and the post office closes at 3:00. So I turned into the road, backed up and went back into the driveway. I almost got stuck at the first spot on the way in, but I managed that, finally. So then I called Ron and said, hey, can you bring me my mail - and can you blow out my driveway? He said he'd looked at it and it looked fine. I looked at it, too, and it looked fine to me, too, but it wasn't fine at all. I've driven in snow and other things long enough that I can usually get out of anything eventually, provided there aren't any gotchas. I did get stuck several years ago when I pulled off the road into a snowbank and found that when my nose is pointing down a hill, backing up can be impossible without help. Otherwise, it was a matter of making sure my wheels were straight and hoping I wouldn't slip off the driveway into the ditch on either side. I'm sure the state of my tires made it harder, too, but I've been doing so little driving lately that I will probably wait until spring to replace them. Interesting afternoon.


The weather was OK. The wind died down overnight to around 15 mph from the north, and the temperature was fairly steady around 13, until just lately, when it has begun to rise. It was mostly cloudy, but there were a few patches of blue sky occasionally and it was a kind of nice sunset. I'm going to have to give in and reset the stop time of the camera, though. I like it to go until it's dark, and we've been gaining minutes on the late end, so that now it's not dark at 6:05 anymore. So spring will come eventually.


The guys slept, mostly. Grayson didn't get his lap time because I had to get up right after I ate breakfast. Louie hasn't come yet, but Grayson was sleeping on the old nightgowns right outside the studio door, and Louie went after him and wouldn't leave until I actually had to get up and chase him. I don't know what gets into that cat. 


Oh, yes, I did a couple of things. The dishwasher is almost ready to run, so when I get tonight's dishes in it, I can start it. I finally got the winter banner hung. Ron left my mail, and the hank of yarn I need to continue with the shawl came. I'm going to try the Shetland way and not wind the hank into a ball. The old Shetland knitters just draped the hank over their right wrist. If it works for them, it might work for me. I only have five rows to do with that color anyway, so it should work. One of the projects in the queue uses beads, and those came, too. Since that company requires a $25 minimum order, there were a few other things as well, including some seed beads with a very nice new finish and some two-hole beads I would like to play with sometime. Some bills came, too. Sigh.


So that was my day. Entirely too exciting. Now I can go back to bed, but they're playing a Dvorak symphony that I like, and I think there's a Mozart to follow it, so i won't be going for an hour or so. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow and it might not snow again.


January 15

Geez, midmonth already! Where does the time go, even though I'm not doing anything?


I did it again last night. I didn't go up to the north end until very late and then I had to wash my hair, so it was a ridiculous hour this morning when I finally turned out the light. I was up once, when I got a phone call saying that the propane guy couldn't get down the road to deliver my propane. Since they don't usually deliver until I have only about 400 gallons left, that's a problem. I peed and went back to bed, and when I finally got up - I never did look at the time - I knitted six rows, although they are the six easy rows.


I was so late and I still felt so tired that I decided I probably wouldn't go to choir, and after I had an accident and it was 4:30 before I got myself back together, I knew I wouldn't be going. I hadn't even done all my surfing by that time.


Looking at the weather, I think it was a good decision. It was partly cloudy for most of the day, and it was lovely to see the sun again. However, it was extremely windy. The wind was as much as 36 mph with 46 mph gusts from the north. There was a lot of snow blowing around. The temperature was very mild, though. It got up to 33 for a couple of hours around noon, although I don't think it was quite that warm out here. Now the barometer is rising (yea for my knees!) and everything else is falling. Tomorrow is supposed to be much colder, but the snow isn't supposed to come back until Saturday.


The guys slept, of course. Louie slept with me for most of the time I was in bed. He was a bit upset when I was waking up the second time and I was trying to roll over on my back and there he was, but he didn't go away. Grayson was the occasion for another accident. He was sleeping on my lap and he was so comfy and peaceful I didn't want to bother him, and well... He also thought he wanted some of my ham and cheese omelet tonight, but while he ate a couple of little pieces of ham when they were cold, he didn't want them once they were cooked. Weird little cat. 


The omelet was good. That's one of the things I haven't had very often lately, since I've been eating light for my first meal, but it certainly makes a satisfactory dinner. I had a chat with Ron this afternoon, and he will get ahold of the propane guy and try to schedule a delivery for both of us when he has time to work on the road. It looks like we won't be having many snowy days for the next week or so, so it should be possible. 


Oh, yes, and about the time I was going to get dressed, I got one of those phone calls...the guy, who had a slight East Indian accent (I know it, because I had a prof in grad school who was from India) who said he was from a company he wouldn't name that "works with" Medicare insurers, and then he started asking me if I had lower back pain... Excuse me? I don't discuss medical problems with anybody but my doctor and my friends. I certainly never answer questions like that from people with Indian accents who cold-call me! Beware, all you Medicare people! They're after us. I'd love to know what the point was, but I'm not quite brave enough to find out. Next thing, he probably would have been asking for my Social Security number, and very few people ever get that over the phone. Makes me want to move up to the shores of St. James Bay and deal solely in cash.


So that was a nothing day, and I'm tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. I was at a spot in Trine 6 where I had to start writing again, and I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to say. I don't think I am yet, so I will read a bit on Voyages, which isn't likely to keep me up so long.


It's a dark, windy night in the field, but it's still not too cold.


January 14

I was a little later last night, but not excessively. I slept fairly well, and I got up around 9:30, I think. But then I started knitting again, and I did six rows. it took me a long time, because I had some trouble with the nupps again, as well as with the "make 9 stitches in 3." When I do the nupps, I need to elongate each stitch so I can get the needle through them on the return row, but when I do the 9 out of 3, I don't want them to be so big - so in one case, I made them too tight. One of the nupps was too tight, too, and I dropped one stitch and used the stitch after the nupp, which meant the count was off on the next row, so I had to fix that. I was fairly late getting dressed, but I didn't spill my OJ today.


Instead, I had an accident, although it wasn't a really bad one. I decided to skip the Imodium for several days, and then I started it again, which seems to have helped. I'll have to remember that.


I didn't do anything to speak of, but then Debbie called me on her way home - yes, she's working again - and we had a longer conversation than we've had in a long time. It was nice. Things are settling down in her world, although she'd like to try to get a job that fits her skills a bit better than what she's doing now. The only problem is, she's getting to an age where age discrimination is beginning to become an issue. I wish her well. Anyway, we talked so long that I didn't get to cook my pork chops. That will have to be Saturday or so.


Oh, yes, I spent most of the afternoon looking around the Internet for pork chop recipes, and I must say, I was underwhelmed. There are a lot of them, but a lot of them have too many ingredients or use too many pans, and a whole lot of them look to me like they're stretching a bit. It should be possible to make something easy and good and not weird. So I hauled out the old recipe files and found three from my mother and possibly grandmother, any one of which I may try. I may just do them with mushroom soup and forgo the onions, too. The only thing is, I have to cook rice, too, and I didn't want to get into all of that at 9:00 tonight. So I had a TV dinner. 


When I got up this morning, it was snowing. Again. It was dark and dismal, too. The only good thing was, the high temperature was 23 and there wasn't a lot of wind. I think it snowed lightly for most of the day, but it didn't look like there was a lot of accumulation. The road commission finally got around to updating the snow totals, and we have now officially had 46" of snow so far this month. There was 8" on the 11th and 7" on the 12th, at least up at Delaware. I sometimes wonder about those totals. I know John Dee doesn't think much of them. However, they do show sort of what kind of snow we've had. December was rather sparse, but this looks to be a more or less average January, at least unless we get dumped on. The only thing you must remember is that they take the measurement every morning around 10:00, so the 2" they reported for yesterday probably happened during the day on Monday, and the 1" they reported this morning happened overnight. I guarantee there was no snow yesterday during the day! Johanna uploaded a spectacular picture onto her Facebook page that she took on the covered road yesterday, with all the snow on the road and all over the trees and that intensely blue sky overhead. Sometimes it's really pretty.


The guys mostly slept, as usual, although while I was talking to Debbie, they both got up on the counter and looked at me, as if to say, gee, are you still talking? Mom doesn't usually do that.


So it was another quiet day, and I'll be off to the north end pretty soon to get ready in case I decide to try to go to choir tomorrow. The way my knees were today, I'm not sure I'll make it, but we'll see. I hope I can go.


Now it's a dark, cold, probably snowy night in the field and it's still winter in Keweenaw.


January 13

I actually made it into bed a little after midnight last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I had a lot of dreams, some of them very vivid (although I don't remember them now) and very weird. I was awake not long after 8:00 and I could have gotten up, but I didn't know why, so I went back to bed and I didn't get up until 11:30 or so. I knitted for a long time - six rows - so I was late getting dressed. I do feel some better today.


I made a nice breakfast, with eggs and toast, and then while I was going across the dining area, my full glass of orange juice (about 10 oz.) tipped over, all over the floor, all over the tray and all over me. Oh, yuck. I took care of me first, getting a new sweatshirt, then I sort of mopped up the floor with paper towels, although it wasn't a good job and I suppose it's still sticky. And then I had to make a fast trip to the bathroom before I could clean up the tray and get a new glass of OJ. I hate to waste OJ like that! By the time I was ready to sit down with my nice breakfast, my eggs were lukewarm and my toast was cold, so it wasn't nearly as nice a breakfast as I'd been looking forward to. And then I had an accident. Not a bad one, but still, it was just the end of a not-very-nice morning. Sigh.


I thought that if I didn't have the glass completely full, I could make it to the studio with my OJ, but evidently the tray slanted just enough to tip it over. Those glasses are sort of tippy anyway, since the bottom is much smaller than the top. For a while I was using a smaller glass that is more stable, but it doesn't have enough OJ in it. When I poured a new glass, I used one of my cobalt double rocks glasses, but those are too big. I don't know what I will do, but I won't be using my regular 12 oz. glasses again, at least as long as I need to use the cane and can't hold the tray in both hands. Sigh.


I didn't do a lot else except for my surfing. There wasn't time.


When I got up the first time this morning, a bit before sunrise, there were some pale apricot clouds behind the garage roof in an otherwise clear sky. By the time I got up for good, it was clear all over, and it was clear for the whole day. Oh, it's so nice to see the sun! Better not get used to it, though. The temperature went up to 15 around 2:00 and it's been stuck there ever since, to the extent that I wonder if there's a problem with the weather station. It only got down to 4 overnight, although it may have been colder at the airport. The wind was under 10 mph all day, until just recently. In looking at the MODIS pictures, it appears that there is a band of clouds west of us, which may be over us already, and we're supposed to go back to the old cloudy and possibly snowy tomorrow. It sure was nice to see blue sky! The MODIS pictures show that the harbor is frozen over, which I assumed, but at least right along our coast, there isn't much ice right at the shore yet. In fact, considering our temperatures, there isn't a lot of ice at all. The bottom of Keweenaw Bay isn't iced over at all. I'm not quite sure why, but it might have something to do with all the wind. Not that I'm complaining, you understand.


The guys were mostly sleepy, but they were a bit more active than usual. The box where Grayson has been sleeping is now upside down, for some reason I don't know, since I had the door to the studio almost closed. Grayson wanted some of my fish, but he doesn't like cod as well as he likes orange roughy.


So it was another nothing day, but it was so nice to see sunshine. I'm planning to get to bed at a reasonable hour again tonight, and maybe I can begin to get switched around. We'll see. Now it's a cold, dark, and probably cloudy night in the field and we may get a little more snow tomorrow.


January 12

Well, it was almost a repeat of the night before, but I did manage to get a bath and get to bed before it was getting light. I got about 9 hours' sleep, too, although I was awakened by a phone call around 11:15. That was good; now there are only two things on my to-do list. It was the newspaper, and after I explained that the plow had knocked over the paper box and they couldn't deliver the paper, they suspended my delivery until whenever I call them. It's too bad; I like to read the paper when I'm in the powder room, but I've been going out so infrequently lately that even if they could deliver it, I wouldn't get it for days.


I went back to sleep for a couple of hours, and I don't feel too bad, but this has got to stop. Maybe I can start tonight. I knitted four rows, and I'm halfway through the first repeat. It's long - 48 rows, but that's because one pattern has a 12 row repeat and the other one has a 16 row repeat. At least the two are commensurate, so I only have to keep track of rows. And the author of the pattern kindly charted the whole 48 rows, so it's easy to follow. I can't say it's easy to knit. I think I have the nupps conquered, but I'm still having a problem with the "make 9 stitches in 3." The last repeat of that, I got some of the stitches much too long. It's a matter of remembering that the nupp stitches have to be elongated and the "make 9 stitches in 3" shouldn't be. Anyway, it's such pretty stuff, and it's as light as a feather, so the fact that it doesn't stretch at all isn't a problem. I've knitted enough in crochet cotton that I know how to handle that. I have the suspicion that after I've done all 48 rows 12 times it will get old, but it's so nice to be knitting a difficult pattern and not having to worry about how the edges increase. This is a rectangle; no increases at all. It's a nice change.


The weather was better off ignored. It snowed again, lightly, all night and all day, although it looked like it was winding down around sunset. The high temperature during the day was 8 (the high for the 24-hour period was 12 at midnight), and while there was a little wind in the morning, it was close to calm all afternoon. It's supposed to be clearing tonight and get very cold. We'll see. It would be nice to be able to see the mountain for a day or so. It would also be nice not to have to deal with gale-force winds for a while. It gets cold in the studio, but I think Thomas is right that it's because there is so much stuff on the floor. It's been quite comfortable at the north end.


Louie slept beside my head for most of the night (day?). It sometimes hurts my feelings that Grayson won't sleep with me, but there's no  accounting for cat tastes. He came in when I was emptying the wastebasket in the bathroom and rolled over on his back close enough that I could tickle his tummy. He doesn't like a real tummy rub at all, like Louie does, but he will let me rub down by his hind legs if I'm very gentle, at least for a while.


I was so late that I didn't get to do much of anything but my surfing, so it was a slow day. I do want to read a bit, but I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. Wish me luck. It's a frigid (and going to get worse) night in the field, but I don't think there's much snow or much wind right now.


January 11

I pulled another all-nighter again, and I didn't do anything today.


It snowed lightly all day, but the last lake effect advisory has either expired or been canceled. The high temperature was 16, which made it warmer inside, and there wasn't a whole lot of wind. Sort of a nothing day.


The guys slept, as far as I know. Grayson spent the afternoon with me in the studio. I don't know where Louie was, although when I went to get something to eat, he was lying in the great room asleep, right where I wanted to walk. Since I'm not walking very well, I had to sort of boot him out of the way.


Now it looks like the snow may have stopped, but it's a dark, cold night in the field.


January 10

Oh, I'm all turned around again. I was reading last night, and time just slipped by, so it was nearly morning when I finally got to bed. I got up around noon and I knitted. I did six rows, and I didn't think it was taking that long, but when I looked at the time, it was after 3:00. So I didn't eat dinner until 9:30 or so, and I still need to take a bath. Well, considering the weather, I didn't plan to go to church tomorrow anyway, so it doesn't matter a whole lot. I don't know quite how to break this cycle.


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


When I got up this morning, it was still snowing, but we did get to see the mountain for a while this afternoon - before it started to snow again. It was snowing when it got dark. The wind died down completely by 3:00 AM, and there wasn't much today. The low temperature this morning was 4 and the high was 16, very briefly, and it began to plunge almost at once. It's back down to 9 now. There was one ray of sunshine, sometime early in the afternoon, and I could see a few patches of blue sky occasionally while I was knitting, but mostly it was cloudy and dull. It still gets dark around 4:00 in the afternoon. However, it looks like our latest storm is finally over with and if the forecasts are right, we may be in for a week or so of respite. I hope so. We need it.


The guys slept, of course. Louie slept with me for most of the time I was in bed, and when I got up, he looked so cute, with his cheek on the fuzzy pad, all comfy. I don't know where Grayson was then, but he appeared when I got dressed and he got some lap time. He just wanted some more now, but I can't have him on my lap while I'm typing.


So it was a nothing day - almost no day at all. I didn't get enough sleep, so I hope I will be getting to bed at a sort of reasonable hour tonight. We'll see. I wish I could break this cycle, but I don't know how to do it. 


Now it's a cold, cloudy night in the field, and it may be snowing again, but I can't see out, so I don't know.


January 9

I got to bed around midnight, but I didn't sleep well. I was coughing a lot. I guess I did sleep, because time passed, but I didn't feel like I got enough sleep, even though I didn't get up until nearly noon. 


Then I knitted six rows on the stole. I guess that's too many. There are some fiddly stitches in this pattern, and they take a long time to do. I did my first 7-stitch nupps, and while I still don't like to do them, they came out all right. I didn't lose any stitches on the return row, although it was hard and I had to count a lot. I have a tool that has a pick almost like a dental tool on one end and that enabled me to open up the stitches enough to get my needle into them. There's a lot of tugging and pulling, though, and that's hard on the fingers. I laugh at myself. The shawl is too easy, and this one is hard (but not too hard). I guess I just can't get it right. This is going to be a pretty thing, though, so I'll keep at it, at least until I get the ball of yarn I ordered for the shawl.


Anyway, I was so late getting dressed that even if I hadn't decided not to go out, I wouldn't have time. Then I looked outside, and while Ron had done the driveway, the snow was piled up against the garage door up to the top of the bottom panel. So I was snowed in.


It was so late that I actually didn't do all my surfing, just the essentials. Ron came by around 5:00 and shoveled out the rest of the driveway with a borrowed Yooper Scooper, which is a neat gizmo and works very well. I could get out now, if I wanted. He said that this morning the drifts were 5' deep in the culverts, which didn't surprise me, because the wind was strong all night long. I went out to get the stuff in, including my last bottle of JD, and it was really, really cold out - like about 4, and the wind was so strong that he said there was a white-out down in the culverts. Brr.


The official high for the day, which is now, is 7. It was warmer (11 at midnight) but it went down to 3 at about 8:00 this morning. The wind has been from the north all day, with sustained winds up to 33 mph and gusts up to 46 mph. It was snowing, but it was blowing so hard it was hard to tell how much was coming down and how much was blowing around. Like I said, it was cold out there. Like, frigid. Brr.


The guys slept. I don't understand why they spend so much time in the great room, where it's cold, but they sleep on their favorite scratching pads, and I guess that concentrates what heat there is.


I got several bills, several catalogs, a misdirected Christmas card and my Christmas present from Debbie today. Well, I suppose the present and the card came in earlier in the week, but they didn't get to me until today. So now Christmas is officially over?


Well, the lake effect snow advisory has been extended until 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, and there is another Wind Chill Advisory in effect for overnight. It looks like this may let up on Sunday and right now things look a little better for next week. I hope so. This is what we had all last winter, and it's still old. Mostly I don't mind staying in, but I sure would like to get to choir and church. And sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will have to do some food shopping. It's not critical yet, but I will need to get out. I hope I can.


Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field and I'll be off to bed soon. Promise. I'm tired.


January 8

Still haven't switched banners, but I was late today.


I went up to the north end early last night. My legs were too twitchy to read comfortably, so I decided to go early. When I got there, I decided that since I was so early, I would cast on the pink stole, so I did that, and then I washed my hair. So it was 12:30 or so before I turned out the light.


I slept in my fleece robe and I slept well, with a couple of wake-ups, until 11:45. I do feel better today, I must say. Then I got at the stole. Hah. It took me three tries before I got the first row right. Curiously, my problem wasn't with the side patterns, where there are things like "make nine out of three" and "make three out of one."

It wasn't even the part of the center that says "make two out of two." Anyway, I had a terrible time counting, and then I wanted to do two more rows just to make sure I had it right. So I didn't eat my first meal until 3:00 or so, and then I had an accident, so I was doing my surfing while the talking was going on. I don't know that I did such a good job comprehending either.


While my dinner was cooking, I unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded everything except the dinner dishes, and I will do the other load of dishes tonight. It's not a full load, but there are three casseroles and some other stuff I want to get washed. Maybe I can get back on a schedule, especially since I shouldn't be trying to wash dishes on Saturday night again.


It was another good day to stay home. There was actually an hour or so early this morning when the camera could see the mountain, but it was gone again by the time I got up, and it snowed more or less lightly all day. The wind dropped off to nothing this afternoon, but now I just noticed it's blowing again, from the north-northeast, with gusts up to 38 mph. Just a couple of hours ago the temperature spiked at 20, but until 6:00 this afternoon, it was under 10. It was another good day to hibernate.


I'm not sure I could get out if I wanted to. The blow of the past couple of days seems to have dropped a nice drift in front of the garage, as usual. According to Ron, the road is drivable, or it was when he got through blowing it out, but there were 4' drifts in the culverts and he had a real job digging out. Thankfully, the tractor seems to be working fine. If the wind stays a bit east of north, maybe the drifting won't be quite so bad. I gave him a choice - he can blow out my driveway, or he can bring me my mail. I don't care. I'd just as soon stay in, although if I get out, I will stop at the store for a couple of things. My remaining head of lettuce is nasty, and I should lay in some JD. We'll see.


The guys were sleepy, of course. When I went back to the bathroom to clean myself up, Louie was lying on the rug, and he was not too pleased to be disturbed. Too bad about him. Grayson got some lap time, but I had to move him when I had to go to the bathroom.


So that was another severely truncated day. I would like to get to bed reasonably early again tonight. I don't know if I will sleep for 11 hours again, but if I do, I need it. From what has been coming out when I blow lately, it seems clear that I had a cold a couple of weeks ago that has lasted at least three weeks. No wonder I didn't feel very good. I admit I wondered. My nose drips a lot, but usually it doesn't drip like that. Now it's just the glop that's left, but blowing it out is hard enough that I've had some nosebleeds, and I cough up some stuff every so often. It wasn't a bad cold, fortunately, but even a not-so-bad cold makes me feel bad. Now if I can only get back onto a human schedule again...


Now it's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field - and that sounds like a broken record. Well, it's winter in Keweenaw.


January 7

Oh, I forgot to take down the banner, but since this is the Orthodox Christmas, I guess It's all right. 


I was so late last night and I was so tired that I woke up the first time realizing that I had apparently forgotten to pull the pillow under my head. It was all right, except that I'm getting so round-shouldered that the back of my neck was stiff until I got up and sat for a few minutes. Needless to say, I used the pillow for the rest of the night.


I got up around 11:00 and I knitted. Well, I have now run out of one color of yarn. I wondered if I would, because I am using a size larger needle than the pattern called for. So I put in a fast order for another skein, and now I have no reason to keep me from starting the luscious pale pink stole I've been looking at longingly. When the yarn comes, I will go back to the shawl, because I do want to finish it, but for a week or so I can do something different, and something considerably harder. 


This pattern has nupps (which I hate, but I like how they look) and one place where you make nine stitches out of three, as well as places where the stitch count changes drastically. It's much more of a challenge than the shawl. I thought I might be able to at least cast it on this afternoon, but I had an accident, and after I cleaned up from that, it was late enough that I was finishing my surfing while the talking was going on. Tomorrow. The yarn is a lovely pale pink, and it's mohair and silk, so it's a bit fuzzy and so soft! 


I've had a love for mohair for at least 55 years, and after it came and went out of style in the '60s, I haven't been able to knit with it very much. I still have some yarn I squirreled away then, if I could ever find it. They didn't make yarn this fine in those days, at least not in the US. You'd have had to go to some obscure corner of Europe - Iceland, the Shetland Islands, Estonia or Russia - to get lace weight wool yarn then, which is why I knitted doilies. I think that's one reason I've been knitting all the shawls: I'm getting my love of lace knitting out of my system. It's not gone yet.


It was a good day to do something other than look out, if you could see out. It has to be six or seven days since I've seen the mountain. The temperature got down to -1 overnight, but after about 11:00 it started to rise and it's around 13 now. Not that it makes much difference; the wind has been rising, too, and now is 32 mph with gusts to 45 mph, from the north. They have extended the Winter Weather Advisory until 7:00 tomorrow morning, and it wouldn't surprise me to see that it's been extended even more tomorrow. This has been a storm of monumental proportions, even though the amount of snow we've gotten hasn't been all that great. 


It's a good thing. Ron, Bill and Bill's tractor all got stuck going up the hill on the other side of the culverts today. Apparently the drifts in the culverts are up to about 3' deep, which means it will require a blower to get it cleared out. Poor Ron. He was out in it most of the day, except for the three hours when he was at the post office. I guess our tractor is almost back in service. All it needs now is to get the oil changed and it will be ready to go, we hope. We'll need it.


Not that I'm planning to go anywhere. I have declared myself snowed in, and I'm in hibernation. We all have plenty to eat, although I could run out of lettuce in a week or so. So I have no need to go out and no desire to. There are some advantages to being retired.


The guys thought so, too, and they slept. Grayson got to sit on me twice. I haven't seen Louie yet. I think they spent the night in the bathroom, since it's still fairly warm in there.


So that was my nothing day. I'm still tired, and I really need to break this cycle, although I'm not sure if I can. For one thing, I have some phone calls to make and I don't have enough time to do that when people are at work. So we'll see what happens. 


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


January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord.

Well, tomorrow I can take down the Christmas banner and put up the winter banner. It certainly is winter!


I was very late again, of course, and this time I don't have any excuse. I read quite a bit, but I also fooled around and listened to the nice music. I might have been earlier except that they played Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, which I love, and I had to stay up for that, as well as the Haydn and a bunch of other nice things. Sigh.


I got up around 11:00, but I knitted for nearly two hours - three rows - so I was late getting to the studio and I didn't have time to do anything much except my surfing.


And then there was the weather. Winter weather advisory, wind chill advisory, lakeshore flooding advisory...and Marquette only got up to 0 yesterday. Oh, it's winter in the Keweenaw, for sure. The road commission finally got around to updating their snow totals, and we've had 16" since the first of the year. They measure every morning around 10:00, which discombobulates me. I have never gotten over wanting things to be on a 24-hour schedule. Oh, well. We've had a lot of snow and a lot of wind.


Today the wind has shifted back to the north, and as of 9:00, the sustained winds were 32 mph with gusts to 51 mph. There are a couple of ships sheltering, one in Bete Gris and one down by the ship channel, but there are several out in the middle of the lake. I sure wouldn't want to be them! The marine forecast calls for "heavy freezing spray." Ugh! I'm sure they're rockin' and rollin', too. As my mommy always used to say, pity a poor sailor on a night like this! The temperature did get up to 16 early this morning, but it dropped off after about 8:00 and it is now 7, I guess on its way below zero. It snowed all day, more or less heavily, but I'm not sure there was much additional accumulation. It was a good day to hibernate.


And we did. The guys slept, and I should have done that, too. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie was stretched out in the bathroom on his back when I went up there to clean myself up. The bathroom is the warmest place in the house until I get the temperature up in the studio, and the floor is always warm. He knows how to be comfy.


So it was another nothing day in hibernation. Tonight I must wash my hair, and I've been having enough trouble seeing that I really must get to bed a bit earlier. We'll see how that goes, but I'm only reading right now, so maybe it will be easier. It's a dark, frigid, windy, snowy night in the field.


January 5

Early, my foot. Not only wasn't I early to bed, I was very late. Sigh. I had been writing on Trine 5 for most of the afternoon, and after I published this, I got back at it. Well, by 2:30, I'd written 9100 words and finished it. It just seemed to flow, and I hate to interrupt those things. That was late enough, but then I read all of Trine 6. That one isn't so long - it's the thing I don't like about it - but it meant it was very late before I finally got to bed.


I got up around noon and knitted three rows. I would like to have kept on, but I was already so late I knew I wouldn't finish my surfing before the talking came on. Then, when I finally got to the computer, the Internet was down. Apparently PastyNet had a couple of towers get messed up by the wind. However, the first thing I discovered was that we had had a power glitch - I don't know when - and I had just started trying to recover from that when we had another one. Neither was long enough to cause the generator to come on, but it was long enough for the computer to reboot. Oh, how I wish I could afford a UPS. Only if I got one, I'd have to find somebody to crawl under the desk to hook it up. So I cope. That was the last one, though and the network came back up before 4:00. Ah, the joys of storms!


It was a storm. When I finally got to check the weather, I discovered that the winter weather advisory has been extended to 7:00 PM Wednesday. It was bad enough today. The high temperature was 5. The wind was strong from the north until 1:00 this afternoon, with gusts up to 38 mph, although it was dying down, then between 1:00 and 2:00 it shifted around to the west in the 10 - 25 mph range. That is a bad direction for me, and it's cold in here. It was cloudy and dark and it snowed all day. The county hasn't updated the snowfall totals yet, so I don't know how we've had. It was a good day to stay in.


The guys slept, mostly. Louie slept with me for most of the morning. The space heater has been keeping him from getting his loving, and this morning, while I was reading, I didn't want him on my lap. Poor Louie. He took a small notch out of one of Grayson's ears a while ago, though, so I'm not so pleased with him. That was uncalled for and it doesn't add to Grayson's beauty at all. Grayson will scratch Louie a bit and bite at his ears, but he hasn't taken any chunks yet. I'm afraid Louie gets mad and forgets himself, and unlike little kids, it isn't possible to talk him out of it.


Late this afternoon, I finally got everything in the dishwasher that would go - there was some left over - and I washed those dishes. I have another load to go, but not a big one. At least we will have some clean dishes again.


So that was my day. I have Trine 6 up and ready to go, and I know a few things I want to do with it, but I think I will probably just read tonight. I didn't get enough sleep last night. Now it's another dark, frigid, snowy night in the field.


January 4

Since I'd already decided I wouldn't go to church, I stayed up, and then I had to take my bath, so it was about 1:30 before I got to bed - early for me! I slept well, and I didn't get up until around noon. That should be enough sleep, but I'm tired again. I knitted three rows on the shawl. I have 511 stitches on the needle now, and that's a whole lot. Makes me wonder if I want to get into that one I like with the ruffle, that begins by saying, "cast on 1600 stitches..." I'd never considered that many stitches on one needle, but the ruffle is nice, and the shawl is shaped like a crescent, so it would make a good scarf. I do like ruffles, and I got the yarn for it...well, I have a while to consider that, since I have the pink one and the red one to do beforehand. 1600 stitches?!!?! Eek!!


I was so late that I didn't do anything but my surfing. I really, really need to run the dishwasher tonight. I'm running out of cat dishes and cereal bowls. But it will mean loading the whole thing, and I'm not sure I have room for everything that's dirty. I have to stop this and get back to washing dishes every 6 or 7 days. I use a lot of cereal bowls anyway, for salads and rice and some of the other things I eat, and I'm using a lot of small plates and bread-and-butter plates these days, since I put one over the other to keep my food warm while I creep into the studio from the kitchen. It works fine, but frequently the top plate gets dirty, too, so I can't use it again. Sometimes I wish I had some of those things they put over the food in restaurants. On the other hand, if I'm eating something like fish and rice, the rice goes in a bowl and I only need a bread-and-butter plate for the fish. Well, I cope.


It started snowing sometime before I went to bed, I'm not quite sure when, and it's still snowing. It's been coming through in waves, like you would expect from lake effect snow. They've extended the winter weather advisory until 4:00 PM tomorrow, and it wouldn't surprise me if it gets extended further yet. I don't think there's been a lot of accumulation. At least, when I finally got to the studio, I could still see my tire tracks from yesterday in the driveway. The temperature has fallen steadily. It was about 20 at midnight, and it's 3 now, probably on its way below zero. The wind is still strong. It hit its max around 8:00 this morning, with 41 mph gusts, but it's still gusting into the middle 30s. The wind is steady from the north, which is good for me, Well, all I can hope is that the tractor gets fixed before we can't get out anymore. I have plenty of everything so I can hibernate.


The guys did. Grayson spent some time on my lap, and Louie slept. Louie wanted to come and sit on me when I finally turned the space heater down from "HI", but I was doing something else and he couldn't. They can always sleep. The barometer is slowly rising, and Grayson feels pretty good, but he can sleep, too.


I hope the barometer continues to rise. My shoulder was so sore this morning that it was just aching while I was knitting, and my knees are so bad I'm creeping around again, grasping the cane. Every time I think maybe things are getting better, the barometer goes down, and then I know they're not. At least I've found a couple of ways to sleep that don't hurt so much.


So that was another nothing day and I think I'll try again to be relatively early to bed. I'm working a bit on Trine 5 again, although I've made a couple of changes that may mean I have to go back and reread everything before it. The trouble with writing series is that everything has to agree from beginning to end and that's sometimes hard, especially when there are 23 episodes and counting. Trine is particularly hard, since I wrote the first drafts of that a long time ago and I've rethought a lot since then. One reason I was so late last night was that I was thinking out an entire episode of Bolin 2. I hope I can remember it when I go back to that one, because it was a good episode, but it doesn't directly follow where I am in writing the story. That happens to me a lot. And while I was thinking about Trine, I named a race of people and renamed their capital city, which means a lot of checking back...It never ends.


Now it's a frigid, snowy night in the field, and only the full moon makes it tolerable...and that I don't have to go out in it.


January 3

Late again, of course, but there were two Beethoven symphonies - 3 and 6, two of my favorites. I got up around 10:30 because I had to and I knew if I went back to bed, I'd never get up, so I'm tired now. I won't be in bed really early tonight, either, but I've already decided to bail on church tomorrow. The wind started rising around 6:30, and we are under a winter weather advisory which may actually continue all week. Ugh. I hoped it wouldn't be that bad.


I didn't do anything but my knitting and my surfing. My knees were telling me there was a change in the weather coming, so standing and walking weren't fun, so I didn't.


The weather has taken its good old time about getting here. The temperature got up to 30 for part of the afternoon, and there wasn't any wind to speak of until 6:25, when we had a blast of 46 mph that caused the NWS station to make an off-hour report. It switched around right then, too, from north-northwest to northeast. There was a low pressure cell coming through right about then, and I suppose that's what caused it. Anyway, it's not blowing that hard yet, but the lake has started speaking loudly, so it's coming...it's coming. It was dark and cloudy all day.


The guys slept, although Grayson sat on me several times. They know when the weather is changing, too.


Now, even though I don't have to be up early tomorrow, I am going up to the north end, take my bath and go to bed. It's a dark, noisy night in the field and sooner or later the snow will start.


January 2

I was late last night, of course. I was reading, and I wrote down a few ideas for the start of a sequel to Special Forces. I don't know where, if anywhere, it will lead, but I wanted to get it written down before I forgot  more than I already had. When I finally turned out the light, it was partly cloudy outside and the gibbous moon was shining brightly in the windows, but that didn't last long


I got up around 11:00, though, and I only knitted two rows. I now have over 500 stitches on the needle, and even though the pattern is pretty easy, it takes a long time to do a row.


Otherwise, the only thing I did was finally go to the post office. Thanks to everyone who sent me a Christmas card. Yes, it's been two weeks since I've been there, so I didn't get any of my mail until today. There was also a lot of other stuff, including bills, and a lot of catalogs. I thought I was going to meet the Schwan's guy at the end of the road, but I was in the bathroom when he called me, so he was going to walk in when he met Ron, so Ron delivered my order. The freezer is really bulging now, but it can snow for a long time before I run out of anything but JD.


The weather was blah. It was very windy overnight, but the wind has died down now. The high temperature was 18, where it's been for the past three or four hours. It did snow some before 2:30, but not a lot. It was cloudy and dull. There were a couple of guys - Aaron and a friend, I guess - out on the ice for a while, and the report is that there are 4" to 6" of ice at our end of the harbor now. I just noticed that according to the county, we'd had 95" of snow this season. That's a lot, but it's 60" less than we'd had the same time last year, so I guess we should count ourselves lucky. We're also lucky that we had some warm enough weather that most of it melted. It's kind of thick down in the culverts, but otherwise, we've done OK without our tractor. Let's hope that continues.


The guys slept, and I didn't see much of them. It was cute to see the loving look on Grayson's face when I came home with the mail, with his little mouth all pursed up.


So that was another nothing day. Over the weekend, I have to do a few things - set up the checkbook, set up the planner, find my new insurance cards, figure out how I'm going to pay my bills this month, etc. But tonight I think maybe I will go to bed. The symphony concert was great - Mozart and Beethoven's Third, which I hear all to rarely - but now they're playing something by Prokofiev that I don't like at all. Maybe that will impel me up to the north end. It's a cold, dark night in the field, but it's not blowing and it's not snowing.


January 1, 2015


Happy New Year!

I was a little late last night, but not like the days before. I slept well, and I didn't get up until nearly 1:00, so everything was late today. I knitted, but other than that, I didn't do much. 


I cooked, a new recipe (to me) to use up some of the remaining turkey. It has noodles and mushroom soup, and it has some parmesan cheese and mixed vegetables in it, which I thought would be good. It's not bad, but I think I will have to tweak it a bit. It's another one of those recipes from the soup can, and I've found most of them require some tweaking to get them right. I'll never forget the one where you were supposed to cook the chicken breasts for a while and then pour the soup over them...don't try that one when you've cooked the chicken in a glass baking dish. I never did understand what they were thinking about, at least not warning about that. So this one was good, and it I have a lot of it left, which is nice. I won't throw the recipe away, at least not yet, but I won't add it to the working set yet.


The snow stopped around noon, and it was partly cloudy for the rest of the day, but it was cold and windy. The temperature spiked to 27 at 10:00, but then it dropped off and it was in the middle teens for the afternoon. The wind has been from the north and it was very strong, with sustained winds as high as 34 mph and gusts up to 45 mph. I was asleep when that happened, but it's still blowing hard. There was a bit of blue sky and a peek of sunshine, but not much of either.


The guys slept. Grayson sat on me and the second time I had to shoo him off because I was about to start typing. When I got up, they were both asleep on the rug in the bathroom, back-to-back, head-to-tail. A while after I sat down, Louie woke up, and Grayson wasn't completely asleep, because his tail was flipping, so the next thing I knew, Louie was playing with it, and then he tried to bite it. That didn't make Grayson very happy, so he finally got up and turned over and tucked his tail under him. Louie has tried that a couple of times lately, and it annoys Grayson. I think it would annoy me, too, if somebody started playing with my tail, and especially if they tried to bite it. I don't think Louie likes Grayson very well, whereas Grayson is willing to live and let live. I may never figure out the dynamic.


So that was my day. I think I will just forget about recapping the year. It ended all right, because it's nice to be able to see again. I have a hard time remembering what happened before that. We didn't have a summer, at least here in the Harbor, but we had a lovely fall, with an extended color season that was one of the nicest in years. Then there was November, but in December we had hardly any snow at all - only 29" - and mostly very warm temperatures. So it all turned out OK.


Now it's a dark, cold and windy night in the field, but it's not snowing. Or I don't think it is.


May your New Year be healthy, happy and prosperous.


Last  updated 02/01/15 09:13 PM