A View From the Field








February, 2015

February 28

Sigh. It happened again. I was reading and time just passed, so it was very late when I got to bed. Sigh. I got up around 11:30, I think, and I knitted. It takes me around an hour and a half to do eight rows, especially when I screw something up like I did this morning. I dropped something and had to rip out a couple of rows in that section in order to get it right. However, I'm getting to the end of the fifth repeat, so I'm making good progress.


I was so late that I didn't do anything except my surfing and some more reading.


The weather was nice. It was nearly clear, although there were some high clouds during the afternoon. They mostly went away by sunset, though, and Venus was shining brightly in the west when I went to get my dinner. There may be a few clouds now, or she may have set, I'm not sure. The temperature got up to 23 briefly around 4:00, before it plunged, as you would expect when it's clear. I don't know how cold it got at the airport, but it only got down to 10 overnight here. The wind was under 10 mph and all over the map. It was a pretty day, and we enjoyed the sunshine.


The guys were sleepy, and I think they were happy that it was warm enough around here that they could sleep wherever they wanted to. We were so late that nobody got any lap time.


So that was it. I want to read just a bit more before I go up to the north end and crash. I am going to skip church tomorrow again and try to get myself completely back on schedule, although as you've seen, it's hard. I don't want to get mixed up in the dogsled race anyway.


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


February 27

Oh, here we go again! I just sat last night, and it was quite late before I finally got to bed. When I turned out the light, the not-quite-half moon was setting a bit north of the lighthouse, so bright and so pretty. I slept fairly well, with two wakeups, but I didn't get up until after noon. I knitted, of course, and I'm making progress, both on the stole and on getting my nupps and nine-into-threes right. 


I was so late that I didn't do anything, and in fact, I didn't finish my surfing until long after the talking started. I did have to go out around 3:30 to meet the Schwan's guy at US-41, and all that did was break both of my rear view mirrors. The culverts are so narrow, I can't get through them without hitting the mirrors. I told Ron about it, and he worked on them, but I don't know how much good he did. I will have to talk to the dealership. I managed to get them sort of back together, but they both need to be replaced now. Oh, sigh. It's always something.


The weather moderated a bit today. The temperature actually got up to 17 around 4:00 and it was clear and sunny all day. So nice! There was a little north wind around noon, but it died down later in the afternoon. I noticed when I was fooling with the camera timings last night that the sun is quite a way inside the camera picture, setting about over the Mountain Lodge. I didn't notice when it came into the picture because it was so cloudy for so long. So spring will come sometime. 


When I came back from getting my food, I worked on the garage door track some more, and now it almost goes all the way down. Of course, I had to put everything away, and then I had to break down the boxes. The freezer is bulging now, but I have a lot to eat, minus the fresh veggies and OJ, of course. The OJ is OK, but I'm getting low on veggies.


The guys were sleepy. Grayson got some lap time before dinner, but I haven't seen Louie yet. He spent the afternoon in the great room. When I came out of the kitchen after I put my food away, they were both lying in the light from the patio doors, basking in the sunshine. They are happy today because I filled all the dry food bowls and they got some canned stuff they like for breakfast. And nobody even came to the door when I came back with my food, which was a good thing, because it was so heavy I had a hard time getting it in.


So that was my quiet day. The symphony is Mahler's Ninth, which I don't like very well, so I think (I hope) I will be going up to the north end soon and crash. After getting myself sort of on schedule, I don't want to get off again.


Now it's a dark, clear and cold night in the field. There are stars.


February 26

I fooled around last night, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed, but I slept good and got up about 10:00, so at least I'm on a nine-hour schedule again. I knitted my eight rows, with some difficulty, but I got them done. The first side of the stole is getting long now and I'm thinking about other projects, but I'll plow on and get this one done. I have enough UFOs (UnFInished Objects) already without making some more.


Otherwise, I didn't do a lot. My surfing took most of the afternoon. If I'm going to get my stuff ready for the accountant, I'm going to have to get up earlier. I did finally get my enormous pot of rice packaged up and in the freezer. Four cups of brown jasmine seems to make about 70 ounces of cooked rice, which means I put four packages in the freezer and I saved out enough for tonight and tomorrow. Since I have to eat the stuff so much, it only makes sense to cook it in large quantities. I do like that brown jasmine. I love white Jasmine, but that isn't so good for me. The brown is nearly as tasty. What I get isn't really "brown" like the brown rice you get in the supermarket and takes 45 minutes to cook. This is light brown and it only takes 20 minutes. One of these days, I will have to cook up some plain brown, the kind that takes so long to cook, because I like it too. Good thing I like rice, I guess. I'd be in sad shape if I didn't.


The weather was cold but beautiful. The temperature got down to -9. but not until 8:00 this morning and it warmed up ("warm" being relative, of course) quickly once the sun got up, and it was above 0 (just) by 10:00. The high, though, was only 5, and that's right now. There was a little wind late this afternoon, with gusts up to 20 mph, from the north. We had our mandatory snow squall around 8:00 this morning and after that it cleared up almost completely. There were a few clouds in the sky during the middle of the day, but by sunset it was pristine, and I had to take an extra picture tonight, because the camera could see Venus in the west, around 8:00, shining almost as brightly as the lights down the harbor. It was soooo nice to sit in the sun! Helps with the heating bill, too, although the boiler is running most of the time, and so is my space heater.


The guys mostly slept. Louie got some lap time, but Grayson didn't.


So today was a mostly lost day, and I need to get to bed relatively early tonight. I'm tired and I still don't feel very good. I need to go to the store and tomorrow I will have some things to mail, but the Copper Dog 150 dogsled race is this weekend, so I think I will stay in. I think I will hibernate one more weekend and hope to get out and around next week.


Now it's a clear, frigid night in the field and I'm tired.


February 25

I was just about to go up to the north end last night when Ron called, and we had a nice, if longish, conversation, and then I had to take a shower, so it was midnight before I got to bed. I slept well, with two wakeups, and I got up around 9:00. It doesn't seem to matter how much sleep I get, I just don't feel very good, so it didn't matter much. I knitted, and I got my eight rows done.


I didn't do much else, except that I was out to the garage a couple of times. Ron came by with my mail and some of my packages, so now I have a whole bunch of magazines to read in the powder room and all my bills came. That was good, because one of them is due on Friday, so I paid some bills as well. I also got a refund check from the eye doctor. I wondered about the bills I was getting, and it turns out that their billing and my paying and the payments from the insurance got all out of whack. Hey, small donations gratefully received.


I also called the accountant Ron recommended and I have an appointment for next Wednesday, so I sat right down and brought my ledgers pretty much up to date. At least I did the easy part. The hard part is breaking down the credit card bills, since all my pills are on them, and I will get at that tomorrow. At least I've made a start at it. I just didn't want to know what the damages were, but it's something I have to do every so often. I set up and began to fill in the 2015 ledger, too, so that is under way. Last year, I set up the ledger, but I never put any data into it. Maybe this year, I can be a little better about it. That took most of the afternoon. My new insurance is giving me almost $200 more a month to work with, which put me in a rather cheerful mood.


I did have to go out to shut the garage door twice, since it won't go down via the clicker in the wintertime, and the second time, I had to dig out the track on one side, since it got about a foot from the ground and wouldn't go down any further. So I dug out the track...with the temperature at 0 and no coat on. I wasn't out there long, though. Ron did come by and clear out the driveway, so if I have to, I can get out. I doubt I'll be going anywhere.


It was a good day to stay inside and do nothing. It didn't get quite as cold as they predicted, at least here. The low overnight was -3, but it was below 0 for most of the day, and the high temperature, 1, only happened briefly. The wind started out around 20 mph from the north, but it died down as the day wore on, and it's been nearly calm for the past few hours. What was nice was that after some snow this morning, after about 11:00, it cleared up and it was mostly sunny for the rest of the afternoon. At this time of year, when it's so cold out, it's so nice to sit in the sunshine!


The guys mostly slept, and in fact, when I went out to get my mail, they were both in the pink chair, which is always a chuckle. Louie lies at the back, with his back up against the chair, curled around, and Grayson lies with his back to Louie, also curled around with his back against Louie's tummy. They look so cute. I wish I could get a picture, but I never know when they're going to do it. They both got some lap time, although Grayson didn't come around this morning. Louie got his and he wanted more, and Grayson was asleep on my lap until I decided I'd better write this thing. He won't stay on my lap when I begin to move around.


So it was a quiet day, and I feel just about the way I did at midnight last night, so I think I won't be up very much longer. It's a clear, frigid, nearly calm night in the field. There should be a moon and lots of stars.


February 24

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, even though I knitted four rows before I went. I slept very well, with three wakeups, and I didn't get up until 10:30 this morning. I was up around 8:00, but it just didn't feel right. So in spite of getting to bed early (for me) last night, it didn't make any difference. I didn't have much time for anything today. I did knit eight rows and I finished the fourth repeat, so now I'm a third of the way done with the stole.


Like I said, I didn't do anything.


If I had any idea of going out, I decided not, after I saw the weather. It snowed and blew all night and all day until about 5:00 this afternoon, and at sunset, it was nearly clear. Amazing. The temperature got up to 21 at 8:00 AM, and while it more or less held up until 1:00 this afternoon, then it started to plunge, and it's been 6 for the past couple of hours. It was so windy that frequently it wasn't possible to tell what snow was coming down and what snow was just blowing around. We had gusts up to 34 mph during the afternoon, although now it's blowing at a steady 25 mph, from the north. The barometer bottomed out around 8:00 this morning and has now risen as precipitously as it dropped yesterday. The weather systems come through fast at this time of year.


According to John Dee, the lake is pretty much completely frozen over. The MODIS imagery hasn't been very helpful, since it's been mostly cloudy. That means we won't have much more lake effect snow. Since we've already had 60" this month, I don't mind at all. And if the Weather Underground is at all accurate, we may be coming out of the frigid weather, at least after Friday. I don't know; I never trust long-term forecasts too much. Anyway, Sunday will be March, so it's about time it warmed up a bit.


The guys mostly slept today, and sometimes they slept on me.


So now it's a frigid night in the field and it's supposed to get down below zero again. Well, I can always hibernate.


February 23

The gremlins haven't gone away. Or I only hope they have.


I finally gave up and left the backup running because it was getting toward 11:00 and I was tired. I had a bit of trouble getting to sleep, but once I did, I slept hard. I woke up about two minutes before the alarm went off at 9:00, and I got up and got myself going, although it took me half an hour in the bathroom.


When I got to the studio, I discovered that the backup had aborted unsuccessfully, and then I found I couldn't eject the disk, even using the button on the side of the computer. Oh, no, what now? Finally, I rebooted, and then I could get the disk out of the drive, at least. Ugh, another reboot!


I was still intending to go to see Johanna until I discovered that it was -4! Then Grayson sat on my lap until I had an accident, and I decided I wasn't going anywhere. So I stayed home. I had lots of time, but I didn't do anything with it. I still don't feel very good.


Well, it's not true that I didn't do anything. I discovered that the Internet Explorer I downloaded on Saturday morning was not an up-to-date version (!!?!!), and there were three more updates today - for a combined total of twice the original download, which leads me to conclude that at least twice they just replaced the entire file. Of course, that meant a reboot. Then I discovered that there was in fact a fourth update, which needed still another reboot! Geez! After that, I tried to restart the backup and got the same result as before, except that I could get the disk out of the drive, so eventually I started the backup over again with a new disk, and not only did that one complete just fine, it didn't use all of one disk (almost, but not quite). So I hope my CD/DVD drive is not going bad and the problem all along was bad disks, but I'm not sure. I did not want to have to replace my CD/DVD drive right now, or ever for that matter, but I know from hard experience that Gateway does not put the world's best CD drives in their computers (I had to replace them in both my old computers), so I'm just waiting and watching. I also discovered that while I thought I had installed Internet Explorer 11 on the laptop, I didn't (how did that happen?), so I did that - and did the updates and reboots on it, although that wasn't quite as much of a problem, since I still had the big computer to play with. So I spent a lot of time watching a computer compute, which is not my favorite pastime. And by the time I was through with that, I was tired.


I was just as glad not to go out today, although it was a beautiful, sunny day, or at least it was mostly sunny until around 4:00. It was cold. The overnight low was -10, at 8:00 AM, but it got up to 13, which is what it still is at 8:00. The sun and blue skies were wonderful, and if I had to sit and watch the computer, at least I could sit in the sun, since it hasn't yet disappeared above the top of the windows. There wasn't a lot of wind, which meant it warmed up quite nicely in the north end, but I just noticed that the barometer has taken a real dive and there's snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. 


Grayson felt good. When I went up to the north end to clean myself up, he found a little piece of lint on the bathroom floor and started playing with it. Louie felt better, I think, and he found an almost-dead fly in the kitchen that interested him. He doesn't really know how to play, I think. Otherwise they slept, of course. Grayson spent a good part of the night in bed with me, but he finally - finally! - moved onto the other comforter, which is folded at the foot of the bed, and he was quite comfortable, even when I got up and then turned over, with accompanying thrashing around. Besides, he could make himself a little nest and snuggle into it, which kept him warm. It wasn't very warm in the bedroom when I went to bed last night, and my cold toes were probably part of the reason it took me a while to go to sleep.


So my plan was to go up to the north end soon and do the knitting I didn't do this morning, but they just started playing Beethoven's First, which of course I have to hear. Then I will go and knit and hopefully get to bed early. Oh, yes, and I want to run the dishwasher tonight. 


Now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


February 22

Well, tired as I was, I still didn't make it into bed before 11:00. I slept well, but I was up several times, as usual. I got up around 10:00 and I knitted before I got dressed.


It was a usual morning: small breakfast, Grayson on lap, accident, cleanup, whew! The story of my life lately. Oh, yes, and I washed two pairs of sweatpants and three pairs of underpants, which are in the dryer now.


In between all of that, I didn't do much of anything except remove my denim swatch from my good #4 circular needle. I wondered where that needle went to. It has the best join of any of my #4s and I might just transfer the stole to it, although the one I'm working with now is pretty good. I prefer standard circular needles to interchangeables, but I also prefer to do lace on wooden needles, so I'm sort of stuck with KnitPicks interchangeables. The tips are great, and I love them, but they have quality problems with the joins on their cables. So I keep buying more, hoping that the new ones will be better...Sigh.


By the way, the computer was behaving itself today. See? Gremlins. it did decide to do a complete backup tonight, but I also discovered that it thought I stopped last week's backup in the middle, so I suppose that's the reason. I swear I didn't do that, but oh, well, Gremlins. The backup is still going on. That is one task that is NOT fast, even on this computer. It didn't help that I was playing a game that is full-screen so I didn't get the mount disk message when it came up. And I thought I might get to bed early tonight - hah!


The weather was, ahem, cold. The high temperature for the 24 hour period was 3 at midnight. By 9:00 AM, it was -10, and it stayed around there for six hours before it began to rise. It's now -3. We had some sunshine, which was appreciated by all, but at the same time, there was snow at the other end of the harbor - a wonderful sight in the camera. I don't think it snowed much here. And that's just about 2 miles. Weather is wonderful. The wind was all over the map, but it's now from the north at about 24 mph. When I went to get my dinner, the crescent moon was shining brightly in the front windows, at the same time that the NWS was reporting snow at Houghton. Weather is wonderful, particularly here in the middle of Lake Superior.


The guys were sleepy today. Grayson went to sleep on my lap this morning, which is why I had an accident. Louie came and sat on me twice and he would like to come again, but I'm busy. They did seem to feel better with the barometer on the rise, but that meant there was some thumping and bumping and crying out where I couldn't see them.


So that was another quiet day. It was too cold to go out today. It's supposed to be a bit warmer tomorrow, and I hope so, because my massage was rescheduled for tomorrow at 11:00. I need that, but if it's still below zero, I'm not going. So there.


Now it's a below-zero, possibly clear night in the field and it's bedtime.


February 21

Ack! Run for your lives! The gremlins are loose in the computers again!!!


I was really tired last night, but I stayed up through the symphony concert, because Mahler's Fifth is one of his symphonies I like fairly well. Then, shortly after 11:00, I was shutting things down for the night. That involves doing one last Purgie and taking one last look at the weather. 


Well. When I tried to look at the weather, all of a sudden, I got a message that Internet Explorer had stopped running. What? It was running fine a few minutes ago, so what the... Well, the first thing to do is close the program, do another Purgie (that purges the cache files, cookies, visited sites, etc. and it keeps all those questionable cookies from cluttering up the system. Nice program.). Nope. No change. So maybe a reboot? Reboots take a while, and starting programs after them also takes a while, so I don't do it lightly. Well, no change. No IE. So maybe DoNotTrackPlus got screwed up? Nope. Aarrgh!


The next step is a system restore. There was one out there from the 15th, so let's do that. That takes a whole lot of time, and besides, it screws up Norton, so I don't do it unless I have to. Grit the teeth and go. And...nope. Nothing. Oh, yes, and download 286mb of Norton updates from the past week. Aarrgh! 


Well, the next step is to install IE 11, which I have been postponing, since I think IE 10 is fine. That's 56mb, plus the time to do the install after the download and another reboot. Maybe? Nope. No difference. So maybe I should go back to IE 10? Well, it turns out that I didn't create a restore point before I did the download, and MS system update creates the checkpoint AFTER the install, not before?!?!?!! Geez. Memo to self: before doing the MS monthly updates, CREATE A RESTORE POINT!!!!


By this time it was about 4:00 AM and I was so tired I couldn't see straight and I had a horrible headache, so I said, bag it. I spent some time, while I was getting ready to go to bed, and while I was up during the night, deciding on my strategy to get things straightened out.


I got up around 1:00 and knitted my eight rows. I'm finally (after 3 repeats) getting fairly comfortable with all the quirks of the program. I also found and copied an edging pattern while I was waiting for something to finish during the night. It will finish ends of the shawl very nicely.


So eventually, I got dressed, got something to eat and went back to the computer. I clicked on "Internet Explorer"...and it loaded and has been running just fine ever since. AARRGH!!! I did lose DoNotTrackPlus, and when I looked at the number of cookies on my disk after I did my surfing, I went out to find it, to discover that it has been replaced by something snazzier...that Norton doesn't like at all. Aarrgh!


In the meantime, I decided to install IE 11 on the laptop, so the two computers are always in sync. So I did, and when I started it...Internet Explorer has stopped running!!!!!!!!!! For HEAVEN'S SAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reboot? Nope. Run a full system scan? Well, yes, but that takes forever even on the desktop, which is faster than the laptop. Well, finally, after the scan finished on the laptop, I opened IE and it works. Evidently it's a timing thing, but I don't know what.


Geez. Experiments should be reproducible: they should fail in the same way (thanks to Murphy). What in the world the problem was/is, I have no clue at all, but at least so far, things are almost working. I still have the issue of the thing Norton thinks is suspicious, but I have an email into the company and maybe by the middle of the week we'll get that straight. I want to put that program on the laptop, too, but not until I know how to convince Norton it's OK. See, I have this thing about companies tracking what I do online and selling the information. It's nobody's business what I do, and if anybody sells it, I should be the one getting the proceeds. What a fiasco.


Anyway, after all that, I didn't do much else. I didn't have time.


The weather was forgettable. The temperature actually got up to 17, but at 2:00AM, and it went down from there to 8 at 10:00. Ever since, it's hovered right around there. There was a bit of wind from the north, up to 15 mph. It was dark and cloudy all day and we had some snow squalls. It was snowing when it got dark. I guess it's supposed to get down way below 0 tonight and never get above -5 tomorrow. Another good day to stay in and hibernate.


The guys did that today. I wasn't doing what I usually do today, so they were interested in that. Grayson got some lap time after breakfast, and he nearly caused me to have an accident, but I made it this time. Louie got some lap time, too, but I had to shoo him away when there was some computer stuff to do. Mostly they slept. When I woke up this afternoon, Grayson was curled up behind my legs, right in the middle of the bed again. He just doesn't understand that it makes it hard for me to turn over when he's there.


So that was an active 24 hours. I forgot to upload the journal last night, but it was right about the time I should have done that when I found that IE was dead. Sorry about that.


Now, even though it's only about 9:00, I AM going up to the north end and I AM going to bed, after I take a bath. I am exhausted. I only wish I knew what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.


Now it's a cold, dark, snowy night in the field and it's supposed to get even colder and snowier overnight and tomorrow.


February 20

I didn't manage to get to bed before 1:00 this morning, and I didn't sleep very well again. I was up any number of times. I finally got up around 10:30, and I knitted. If I keep plugging away at it, eventually, it will be done. It's a pretty thing, so that helps keep me at it. The last row had both nupps and the make nine into three, and while I didn't have much problem with the nupps, on one of the make nines, I twisted a couple of the stitches when I purled back, so I had to fix that. 


When I got up around 8:00, I felt so bad I even took my temperature, but it was normal, so while it appears that I have some kind of bug, it's not a serious one. I don't feel good and my nose keeps dripping. I suppose it's that same sinus infection I seem to get every winter, although where I got it I don't know, since I haven't been out. Anyway, it will keep me trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. Maybe tonight. The symphony concert is Mahler's Fifth, and as I think you know, I am not a great fan of Mahler.


The weather was about as usual. It was clear overnight, or at least it was clear in the west. In the north, there seemed to be some high clouds. The temperature got down to -14 at 11:00 last night, and it's been slowly rising ever since, at least until 8:00, when it got to 15. It dropped off a degree after that. The wind has been from the southwest in the 15 mph range all day. The problem is, we're in that syndrome where it gets clear and extremely cold, then it warms up and snows. And hey, if 15 doesn't seem very warm, just remember it's 29 warmer than it was at this time last night. So it started snowing around 1:00 this afternoon and it continued until it got dark, although it didn't seem to be snowing when I went to get my dinner. I don't think more than an inch or so fell, though.


The guys were their sleepy selves. Last night, I was reading when Louie decided to jump off the desk onto my lap and he landed on my hand and when he moved and I moved, he dug his claws into the back of my hand, which didn't feel good. Today, he tried that again, and this time he dug his claws into my leg, and that didn't feel very good either. I haven't looked at my leg, but I have some nice puncture wounds on the back of my hand. I don't know what this jump thing is. Before this, he was climbing down via the keyboard tray, and that was fine. Anyway, both times I screeched enough that he went away. I'm sorry to chase him, but he has to learn that I'm not made of stainless steel. Grayson went to sleep on my lap after breakfast, so I had an accident. Not a bad one, but it made me decide for sure not to go out today. He slept on the bed with me for part of last night. When I woke up the first time, he was behind my knees, right in the middle of the bed, and I had to contort myself to get up. He went away when I turned over, but I woke up sometime this morning and he was between my legs and the right edge of the bed. For some reason he won't sleep between my legs and the left side of the bed. I have to believe part of the reason was that it was chilly last night - I should think so, with those outdoor temperatures. I wish he would sleep with me more often. I wish Louie would, too, but he wants to sleep up beside my head, and he doesn't like it when I turn over. Boy, are they picky. I wish they would sleep at the end of the bed like my former cats would. Then I could get up and get back into bed without bothering them. Oh, well...


So that was my nothing day. I don't feel good and I'm tired again, so maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed earlier tonight. It won't be really early, because it's already after 10:00, but there isn't much to keep me up besides my reading.


So it's a dark, cloudy, snowy and very cold night in the field.


February 19

I was late again last night, and I didn't sleep very well. I wonder if I was cold? It wasn't that cold in the bedroom, but maybe I was chilly. At least my shoulders were sore enough that I was up several times. I got up around 10:30, but I'd already decided I wasn't going out unless it was a lot warmer than it was predicted to be. It wasn't, so I stayed in. I knitted, and I tried for an hour to call Johanna, but her active one-year-old had apparently jostled the phone and it was off-hook. She finally called me around 1:00 and we rescheduled for Monday. I hope I can go. I need some work.


The temperature was around -7 all night long, then it went up to -5 between 3:00 and 6:00 this afternoon, before it plunged down to -9 and it is now -11 and going down. There was a little wind earlier in the day, but it's been nearly calm for the past few hours. It was partly cloudy all day, with quite a bit of sunshine, and when I got up to get my dinner, Venus was shining brightly in the west. I guess Mars was below her, but I couldn't see him without optical aid. It was clear or partly cloudy all night, and I followed Jupiter down into the west. I'm looking forward to seeing the stars tonight, and I've been disappointed that any northern lights have been too far north for me to see them. We have so few clear nights in the winter that I keep hoping.


The guys were mostly sleepy. Louie's timing was off, so he hasn't gotten any lap time yet. Grayson did. He wanted more - right in the middle of my dinner! He did eat one small piece of chicken. That isn't what he wants. He wants love...and a warm lap to sleep on.


So it was a nothing day. NO way was I going out in this weather unless it was an emergency, which it was not. Now I need to go up to the north end and sleep. I don't seem to be able to get enough sleep lately.


It's an exceptionally frigid, clear, calm night in the field.


February 18 - Ash Wednesday

Well, I was much later than I planned last night, but the time just got away from me, and then I had to wash my hair. So I was late and I didn't get up until nearly noon, then I knitted eight rows, and then I had an accident, so nothing much else got done. I did cook one of my chicken dishes, but that was about it. 


The weather was - well, is there anything worse than frigid? It was 5 at midnight and it went down from there. For most of the afternoon, it was -6. The NWS station reported -5 at 9:00, but my thermometer says -7. There was a moderate wind from the north with gusts up to 26 mph or so, which would have given wind chills down around -30, I think. The sky was variable. We had several snow squalls but we also had a little sunshine. For the second day in a row, we set new record low highs. I had no desire to go out. I'm supposed to see Johanna tomorrow, but we'll have to see about that. It's supposed to be even colder then.


Grayson keeps gazing out the back door into the breezeway, and I suppose that means there are mice out there. If I can prevent it, I'm not going to let him out there. While it's warmer than it is outdoors, it's pretty cold out there. He got a little lap time, and so did Louie. Grayson got a taste of my chicken. All he wants is a piece or maybe two, just enough that he knows I'll give him some. Fortunately, Louie apparently never learned about people food or how to beg for it.


My radio station has been full of static for the past few days, although I thought it might be my poor old boom box, and tonight it went off, then it kept bouncing up and down. I suppose they're trying to figure out what the problem is, but I finally gave up on it. I listened to Marketplace and Fresh Air on the Internet, and Minnesota Public Radio streams their main Classical station - it's not the same as Classical 24 - so I'm listening to that. The speakers I got with the new system aren't the best, and if I ever get back into the basement I may bring up the old ones, which were better. However, most of the problem, I think, is that my old OS allowed me to change the treble/bass balance, and the new one doesn't. People who listen to rock music like a lot more bass than people who listen to classical do. So Dvorak's Seventh Symphony has a rather boxed in sound. I still prefer to listen to music somebody else programs rather than try to program my own - until they get into the 20th Century. Even then, I've heard a lot of newer stuff I like and listening to the radio has broadened my knowledge a lot.


So now it's an extremely frigid night in the field, and I want to go to bed. Soon.


February 17

Again I was a bit later than I planned - around 1:00 - and I was afraid it was going to be another bad night, but after I was up at 2:30, I slept just fine. I got up around 9:00. I could have gone back to bed, but I decided that was one way to try to get me back onto a reasonable scale. From what I've been reading, some writers do better in the middle of the night, and maybe I do, too, but it makes it hard to engage in any other human activities.


I made up for it by knitting ten rows. I was knitting quite quickly today, so it only took me a couple of hours. Otherwise, I did nothing with my new-found time. The usual.


The weather was frigid but there was some sunshine as well as a little snow this morning. The high temperature, 10 was at midnight, and it's been falling ever since, so now it's 2 and on its way down. Brr. There was a little wind this morning but it's almost calm now. There was some nice sunshine during the day, but there was a short squall around 5:00, and it was cloudy at sunset. Oh, it's snowing in Houghton, so I suppose it is here, too. The next two days are supposed to be brutally cold, with highs below zero, before it warms up and snows on Friday. Thankfully, this is not a reprise of last winter, but it's bad enough.


I still get a kick out of the people down south showing pictures of their 3" of snow like it was a blizzard. Ha. We've had 48.5" in February and 212" for the season. That's almost 18 feet, guys. Fortunately, it packs down, or it would be almost up to the eaves of the great room. As it is, the road commission is reporting 40" on the ground. I'm not sure we have quite as much here, but there's enough. Oh, and our average high temperature is 25 for this time of year. Not so this year, for sure. If I didn't have to go out or worry about Ron and the tractor, it would be fun.


The guys slept. Louie spent most of the afternoon on me, and while I was making my dinner, he sat in the middle of the kitchen, where he's never sat before. Grayson got some lap time and he got a little fish. He also got out when Ron came to deliver a package, but Ron got him to come back in. What a snot! It's too cold out in the breezeway for him to be there.


The package was shampoo, so I guess I'll have to go to the store to get the rest of my order. 


Now it's fairly early, but I think I will go up to the north end anyway and try for midnight. It's a cloudy, frigid night in the field.


February 16

I got to bed a little later than I wanted to, but not a lot. It wasn't the best night; I was up about every hour and a half. I could have gotten up around 9:00, but I decided not to, and it was after noon before I finally did. I knitted and I started a new ball of yarn. Most conveniently, the old ball ended right at the end of a row, so I did not have to worry about how to weave in the ends. I can do that in the garter stitch edge. This yarn is so fine and the silk is so tightly wound that I'm not sure how I would spice it anyway.


Otherwise I didn't do much of anything. Even with a lot of sleep, I don't feel very good. I guess I must have the Shari Syndrome again.


When I went to bed last night, I looked out the windows and there were stars. I could see Taurus and Jupiter. Later on, I could see Gemini out the front windows and Polaris and the Little Dipper in the north. I should have been able to see Orion, but there were apparently some clouds down in the west. It was so nice to see stars again!


The temperature actually warmed up a bit today. The low, round 5:00 this morning, was -4, but it got up to 14 for a couple of hours this afternoon. Gee, a heat wave. There wasn't any wind. It was cloudy and dull all day, but I don't believe it snowed. The next few days are supposed to be really brutal, though, with highs below zero. Well, that's the northwoods in the wintertime.


The guys mostly slept, although Grayson did get some lap time. Louie got a little, but as usual, he finally appeared just about the time I was going to get up and make my dinner.


So now it's time to totter up to the north end and wash my hair again. Sigh. It's a very cold, cloudy night in the field.


February 15

Last night was not a good night. I was later than I'd planned, of course, and I was extremely tired when I finally got to the bedroom. While I was reading my Portals of Prayer, I realized that I had bad abdominal cramps and I felt rather sick, so I went back into the bathroom and it was nearly an hour before I felt well enough to go back to bed. Even then, I couldn't lie on my back. I did sleep, though, and I slept and slept and slept, with the usual wakeups. So it was very late when I finally got up.


I had to fill the pill dispensers, so I only ended up knitting four rows, but I didn't have any problem with the nine-into-threes. I needed to wash the last load of clothes, the white stuff, but my bleach was out in the breezeway, so it was late when I got that started. The load is in the dryer now and it should be done soon. I do have a load of fleece to wash, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.


I was sitting at the computer after I had a small breakfast when I realized that I really don't feel very good. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it has to have some connection to my tummy problems of last night. I only wonder where I could have caught anything, since I haven't been anywhere in quite a while. Well, stuff happens, and the only way I know to cure it is to sleep.


The  wind had gone away before I got to bed, but the cold and the snow certainly didn't. The temperature bottomed out at -2 overnight and it snowed lightly until around 11:00 this morning. It got up to 5 briefly around 4:00 this afternoon, but it's down to -1 again now. Thankfully, there was no wind to speak of today, but it was cold enough anyway. Those of us who live on the shore of the great heat sink are lucky; it's been a lot colder elsewhere, even in the lower peninsula. It was actually partly cloudy for a good portion of the day today but after about 3:00, the clouds moved back in. 


I could see some of the lake in the MODIS imagery from today, and I was surprised by how far out into the lake the ice has gotten. Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, considering the temperatures we've had. It looks like the western half of the lake is mostly covered with ice, like from Thunder Bay to Copper Harbor. That's probably why we didn't have a lot of snow over the past couple of days, although the eastern half of the lake seems to be mostly ice-free, so when the wind shifted around to the east, we got some lake effect. That's all right. As of Thursday, we'd had 199" of snow so far this winter, so unless we get dumped on for the next six weeks, it looks like it will be about an average winter - 240" or so. I guess, after last winter, we can deal with that. I was just looking at my historical data, and if it's correct, the winter of 2013-2014 was the second snowiest ever. I can stand not to have that repeated.


The guys mostly slept, although they followed me around a lot, and Grayson spent a lot of time on my lap. I don't know if he's sick or he thinks I am. Louie got some lap time, but he had to chase Grayson away to do it, and then I got up. Grayson actually seemed to feel pretty good around the time I was getting dressed, so maybe it's that he knows I don't feel very good. I figured it was because the barometer was high, but it's started down again now.


So that was my nothing day. I had a hard time remembering that it was Sunday and not Monday. I guess that means I'm too confused and I need to sleep. Which I will.


Now it's a frigid but calm, cloudy night in the field. How nice not to have snow!

February 14

Well, happy Valentine's Day to everyone who celebrates. I fear I think that's another one of those "holidays" that was hyped out of control by the greeting card industry. Bah, humbug.


I was a bit later than I'd planned last night, but the music was mostly pleasant and the time just passed. I slept fairly well. I did wake up around 5:00 AM with a sore shoulder, which I fought for a while before I got up and got it back into place.  Last fall, I was talking to someone who had a shoulder injury, and from what she said, sleeping is the hardest thing for them. I know it is for mine. This time, sitting up for a while and then lying on it fixed the problem.


I didn't get up until around 11:00, and then I knitted. It seems like one skein of yarn is going to make about 2 repeats, maybe a row or two more, so I should be in good shape to add an edging. I realized that I can put an Estonian edging on this shawl, since at least some of the patterns in my book were worked from the top down. I guess the reason I didn't want to do it is that then I will have to bind off and I frequently have problems with my bind-offs being too tight. There are several ways to solve that problem, so I think I an figure it out. Anyway, there's a way to go before I have to worry about it.


Today was wash day, but I had an accident, so I had to wash a second load of dark stuff and the white stuff isn't done yet. I think I will just leave it until tomorrow. I have a couple of pairs of pants left and I don't want to have to wait until the wash is done to take my bath. 


Other than that, I didn't do anything. I filled the pill dispensers at the south end and when I get up to the north end, I'll do those, too.


The weather was stormy. Around 9:00 this morning, the gusts peaked at 51 mph from the north-northeast, and between 10:00 and noon the temperature was -3. It's still 0 or slightly below and the gusts are still 31 mph (wind chill -23), but I think the snow is abating somewhat. It's been hard to tell what's coming down and what's blowing around, but only in one picture from the camera could we see the mountain today. Ron wrote me that the culverts were drifting badly, and he was out between midnight and 3:00 AM clearing them out, because Trevor got his car stuck. I told him not to go out again. Monday will be warmer and he has time to get things cleaned out.


I wondered why Grayson suddenly growled and ran off around 2:00 this morning, and I think it was because he heard the tractor. Most things don't bother him very much, but he does not like that tractor. They both slept today, and he slept mostly on my lap. I hope he isn't sick. I don't mind having him as long as I'm not trying to type. Louie tried once, but Grayson was sitting on me then, and then I got up and went away. He hasn't tried since. I had to go out to the breezeway to get a potato this evening, and Grayson, dummy, looked like he wanted to go out there, too, but by jabbing at him with the cane (that cane is useful for a lot of things) I managed to keep him from running out. It has to be at or below freezing out there and I don't want him there. He forgave me, and he forgave me not giving him any pork, and he slept on my lap for quite a while after dinner.


So that was a nothing day. i am later than I usually go up to the north end on Saturday, but since I'm not going anywhere tomorrow (it's still supposed to be frigid and I expect I'm still snowed in), it doesn't matter much. I am tired. Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field and it will be a good one to sleep long and hard.


February 13

Oops, almost forgot again.


I was late, as usual, and late getting up, but not as late as yesterday. I knitted my eight rows, and I'm getting more comfortable with the pattern. This evening, I looked at my book on Estonian lace, and I can't use any of their edging patterns, because they all start the piece. I am not going to sew anything, so I guess I'll have to try to find an edging pattern that will sort of go with the rest of the stole. Most of my books pay a lot of attention to the centers of shawls and not much to the edging. I still think this stole would look better with a couple of inches of a nice sawtooth edging. I'll figure it out. I still have almost four repeats to go before I have to do the edging. It's such a pretty thing! The only thing I noticed about the pattern is that while the directions say to block aggressively, frankly, the pictures look almost like the sample wasn't blocked at all. I will block it, if I ever get around to it. You know me and blocking.


Otherwise, I was so late that after I cleaned up after my accident, the talking had started, so I didn't do much of anything. I did get the counter around the stovetop cleared up, although it still badly needs cleaning, and I got all the trash off the counter on the sink side. There is still a lot of stuff there that I need to do something with. I'm getting low on placemats again, and there is a real pile that needs washing. Maybe tomorrow, after I finish the wash? It depends upon when I get up.


I sort of ignored the weather. It was cold and windy and when I woke up, around noon, it was snowing hard. That didn't last long, but it's a harbinger of things to come. It did snow off and on all day. The camera hung up so badly that I had to reboot to get it to run, and while I was getting my knitting book, I sort of moved the tripod back where it belongs. It's still not quite straight, but you can't see most of the wall anymore. That was how I discovered that the camera was hung.


The temperature got up to 16 for a little while, and after that was when the wind picked up, from the northeast, in the upper 20 mph range with gusts up to 36 mph. It's now 11 and going down. It was dark and cloudy. The NWS still says there is a blizzard warning in effect, although from John Dee's site, it appears it's only for Keweenaw County. So we will get hammered, while there is only a winter weather advisory for Houghton. Oh. Okay, I see. We're out in the middle of the lake, so we'll get the weather. We'll see. I won't be able to hear the wind and the lake until I get to the north end, where it should be banging around the second story, since it's from the north.


The guys slept mostly. They both got a little lap time, but not much. Grayson was on the sewing chair until the music got loud - I got the boom box back on both speakers and it's sort of loud - and he went away. 


So that was another nothing day, and I'm off to the north end soon, although the way things go, I won't get to bed before midnight. That's early, the way things have been lately. I need several nights of good, long sleep.


Now it's a cold, windy night in the field and the snow should start soon.


February 12

I was late again, and I'm not quite sure why, but this has got to stop. I slept well, with the lake singing me a lullaby, but it was after noon when I got up. I knitted eight rows again, and this time I didn't have much trouble with the nupps and nine-into-threes. I still haven't finished the first ball of yarn, so I'm going to have plenty to put an edging on the ends. I will have to research Estonian edgings, since the other patterns are supposed to be Estonian. I found another pattern on the Internet that I want to do, too. I wonder when I'll get over this?


Otherwise, I did almost nothing. There wasn't time. I began to try to get some of the trash off the counters while my dinner was heating up, but I didn't get very far. At least there were no nasty phone calls.


The wind was strong overnight, although the peak seems to have been around 8:00 last evening. There were gusts up to 40 mph overnight, but by noon today, the wind had died down to more normal speeds. However, it was quite cold. The high for the day was at midnight, 9. It got down to 1 between 8:00 and 10:00 this morning, and then it went up to about 4, where it's been all afternoon. I think it snowed lightly all day, with not much accumulation. However...There is a blizzard warning in effect from tomorrow night through Saturday, at least according to the NWS. John Dee and the Weather Underground don't seem to agree, so it will be interesting. The NWS says there may be winds up to 50 mph overnight tomorrow. They are also saying travel along the lake may become impossible. The total snowfall doesn't look to be a lot, but there will be those winds. Well, we haven't had a blizzard yet this year, so we might as well get it out of our system. I love them, but I keep thinking about Ron and the tractor...


The guys slept, sometimes on me. Grayson sat on me until I had to go to the bathroom (NO accident! Yay!) and when I came back to the studio, he sat down again and went peacefully to sleep for what must have been an hour, while my left hand went to sleep. After he left, Louie sat on me for a while, although I don't think he slept. Grayson thought he wanted some of my dinner again, but I didn't give him any, since he didn't eat it before. He's sound asleep on the sewing chair now.


Well, I won't be early tonight, because it isn't early, but maybe I can make it earlier than I've been for the past few days. I do have to wash my hair. My scalp won't stand waiting until Saturday. I should go to the post office tomorrow before the snow starts, but we'll see when that happens. 


Now it's a frigid, snowy night in the field and the blizzard is coming...the blizzard is coming...


February 11

Somehow I forgot to upload the journal last night, but one of my loyal readers pointed it out to me. I was late getting to the studio, so it wasn't out there this morning, but oh, well. Thanks, Charlotte.


I was almost as late as I was the night before, and I really don't know why, except that time just passed. I slept well, of course, but I was awakened around noon by another call from the place I had my eye surgery. It seems the bill I got around the first of the year was in fact not a duplicate. I had talked to someone on Friday and wrote out the check and took it to the post office right away, but I missed the Friday pickup, so it went out Saturday. With the weather the way it is, I'm not surprised it hadn't arrived. Well, probably it did, but the collections and accounting departments probably don't talk to one another on a timely basis. So there was another pickled female voice on the other end, and since she woke me up, I unloaded on her. For one thing, they seem extremely prompt in turning over their bills to the bill collectors, but if somebody called you and spoke in the tone of voice she was using, you wouldn't be happy either. I don't know if she got the message, but it was an extremely unpleasant conversation and it did not set me up for the rest of the day. Grr. Ears back and tail whipping around.


At least it didn't interfere with my knitting. I had one nupp where I missed a loop and another where I included the stitch after the nupp (or was that the same one?), but I corrected that at the time. I finished the second repeat (48 rows each), in part because I wanted to make sure I had enough yarn in the first ball. I have six balls of yarn and six repeats on each side of the scarf, so one ball has to do two repeats, right? Anyway, I have plenty of yarn, and unless something happens in the meantime, I'll have enough to put a knitted-on edging on the bottom. This stole starts from the center back. The directions say to just bind off, but it's always a problem to make that loose enough, and besides, I like a few zig-zags on the bottom. It looks like I'll be able to do that with no problem, I still like to look at that blush-pink mohair and just pet it.


The weather died down overnight to a few squalls every so often, but by the time I got up, it started snowing again, and it's been snowing and blowing ever since. The temperature peaked at 28 around 7:00 this morning and it's been going down ever since. It's 11 now. The wind shifted to the north and started blowing around the same time, and now it's close to 30 mph with gusts up to 46 mph. The lake is singing so loudly I can hear it over the radio. It snowed off and on - mostly on - all day, but I don't think there was a lot of accumulation. With the wind from the north, I have some wonderful drifts in front of the studio doors. They aren't too high yet, but they're sculpted into wonderful shapes.


The guys slept so hard they didn't even come to say good morning until around the time I was washing my face, and they slept for most of the day. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie came along and he went away. Fortunately, that gave me time to almost get to the bathroom, so I didn't have to change my clothes. Louie got some time, too, I think, but I had to type so I had to move him. I can sometimes type around Grayson, although he doesn't like it, but Louie is too big. Grayson thought he wanted some of my ribs tonight, but when he tasted them, he didn't. I think he really likes the smell of tomatoes and onions, neither of which is good for him. They do smell most sentimental, though, so I understand it.


So that was a nothing day, and I am not going to stay up that late tonight. I have to take a bath, but I expect to get a good night's sleep, starting soon. 


Oops. I forgot to save this and upload it. I think it was because I began to hear noises and when I checked, Ron was out on the tractor (wind chill -11!). I had to go and open the garage door, because there was a drift in front of it that was over the first section. I had to go out to close the door from the switch in the garage: in this weather, it will only close if I hold down the switch. While I was out there, I got some canned cat food so the guys have something nice to eat. So by the time I got back inside, I'd forgotten what I was doing, and I only remembered it when I saw that FrontPage was still open. So now I will upload this and then I'm going up to the north end. My mind...


February 10

 I'm not entirely sure how I ended up being so late getting to bed. Part of it was George, of course, and I wrote for quite a while, and then there was the dishwasher and then I had to take a bath. So it was a ridiculous hour this morning when I finally got to bed. I didn't get up until around 12:30, but I'm still tired. I'm resolutely not going to look at George tonight, but the monthly updates are available, so I've started the install process for them on this computer. The laptop will have to wait until tomorrow, but I've been wanting to reboot this system anyway, so I want to get that done.


The reason I want to reboot is that I can't connect to the online explanations for the "errors" Word thinks it finds in my writing. That just started happening around the end of last week, so I suspect it's something that got screwed up that I can't find and fix directly. However, it takes so long to reboot that I didn't want to do it until I had to.


Otherwise, I did almost nothing except clean up after my daily accident. This one was my fault. I stayed in the studio longer than I should have.


The weather is back to normal again. It started snowing around 1:00 and we've had 0.23" of rain equivalent since, which should be a significant amount of snow, although it didn't look like it to me at sunset. The temperature went up to 27 and stayed there all afternoon. The wind was rather strange, but it was mostly from the south or southwest and mostly it wasn't very strong. The mountain has disappeared again. There is a winter weather advisory out until 7:00 tomorrow, so far.


The guys slept. Grayson wanted a small taste of my fish, but then he went away again. Louie has been sleeping in the great room on his scratching pad. He doesn't scratch on it; he just sleeps there. It's safe, since I'm not about to walk on it.


So that was my quiet day. It looks like the updates have downloaded, so pretty soon I'll have to reboot, and then I can find out if my problem with Word is fixed. It's a dark, snowy night in the field and I need to sleep.


February 9

I was later getting to bed last night than I'd planned, and I don't remember quite why, although I was fiddling with George. I've been doing that again. I keep remembering things I need to put in the first part and there were a few things I had to move around a bit. Now I need to read almost everything over again, just to make sure I didn't screw anything up, and right now, I've forgotten what I wanted to write next. Ah, the joys of the writer. Writing on the computer sure does make things easier, though. I would have had to rewrite pages and pages of stuff if I'd been writing longhand, whereas now I can just move and add and subtract. And hope it comes out right, of course.


I got to bed around 1:30, I think, and I got up around noon. I knitted, and I had an easier time with the nupps and nine-into-three, although for some reason I was having a little trouble seeing. I would have thought that now that my lenses don't deform like the real ones did, I wouldn't have so much trouble, and I do have less than I used to, but still, sometimes it's hard. I didn't do a lot, but I did get some of the dishes into the dishwasher, and unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to have room for all of them.


I made my barbequed ribs tonight, and they came out OK, I guess. The sauce was a little more watery than I meant it to be - misread the measuring cup, I guess - and the ribs weren't exactly what I thought they were anyway. They did taste good, though. I have to remember I can't eat a lot of that; it's too greasy. The potato with the sauce on it was good, though. I'd forgotten how much I like baked potatoes. Now I have to put it all away and finish the dishwasher. Even if I can't wash everything, I have to do what I can. We're all out of dishes.


Today was the first day since Friday or so that we could actually see the mountain. There was a little snow early this morning, and then it got partly cloudy for a while. It was so nice to see the sun, as well as the mountain! Unfortunately, it was cloudy at sunset tonight, and I guess we're in for it for the next couple of days. The temperature was around 20 for most of the afternoon, although it's gone up to 24 now. The wind was under 10 mph from the north. It's supposed to get really cold tonight, though, and then snow for the next two or three days. Ah, winter!


The guys slept, I guess. Louie came by once, and Grayson got a little lap time before I had my accident - yup, another one. When I went out into the breezeway to get my onions, Grayson ran out, darn him. So I left him and went on my way. In fact, I almost forgot he was out there. When I went back to the kitchen to get the potatoes and put them in the oven, he was staring in the door and he came right in. Then he had to try to make up to me, just to be sure I still love him. What a little snot he is! I know he wants to see if he can catch any more mice, and I wish he would, but it's cold out there and he keeps forgetting that. He thought he wanted some pork, but he tried it and decided he didn't like it. He's asleep on the sewing chair now.


So that was a quiet day, and I'm tired again. I don't know what it is about this time of year, but all I want to do is sleep. Tonight, not only do I have to wash dishes, I have to wash me, so it will be a while before I can go to sleep, but then, I don't have to get up tomorrow anyway.


Now it's a dark, cold, cloudy night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming.


February 8

Oops. I figured that since I wasn't going to church today I'd be late, but I didn't think I'd be up all night. Well, I was, pretty much. It was George, and I ended up writing a bit over 11,000 words. Of course, it took forever. When I'm composing like that, I can't write quickly. 


So I didn't get up until sometime this afternoon, and then I knitted - and that was difficult. I didn't think I was having much trouble with the nupps, and I think I see how I have to do the nine-into-threes, but when I looked over what I'd done, I discovered I'd dropped a loop on one of the nupps, so I had to go back and fix it. Not unknit, except for one stitch, but still, it was almost in the center of the piece. I also dropped a loop much earlier, but there is no way I can rip back that far, so I'll just have to hope the fuzz in the mohair will keep it where it belongs. That loop is on the back anyway, whereas the one I fixed was on the front. I must be more careful and check each set of nupps after I finish the return row.


I was so late that I didn't do anything but my surfing, and after that, I went back to George. I realized I had left out some things yesterday, so I had to go back and add in a bunch of stuff, and then I wrote another 2300 words. I'm tired again, so I think I will just let it go tonight. 


I think I know where I'm going next, so there isn't so much urgency to get it written down. The story was gnawing at my brain until I realized I just had to write it, and after all the additions and rearrangements, I think I have the first part under control. At least, I don't feel that gnawing anymore, so I should be able to sleep better without all the scenes whirling around in my mind. The rest of it is likely to be more episodic anyway, since it follows a boy from about age six through his life. The first year was what was bugging me, and most of that is done now. There's one more part to it, but I need to think about that. Ah, the life of the writer...


The weather was better off ignored. It's been snowing since Friday night, and it snowed all day today, too. Ron came and cleared the driveway, but he did it before I was awake, so there is a big drift in front of the garage that will have to be tended to eventually. I'm not sure I can get through it. The temperature during the day was nearly steady at 17 or so, although now it has risen to 20. It was rather windy overnight, but it's been nearly calm today. Any winds there were were from the east. It was dark and cloudy, as much as I saw of it.


By the way, speaking of seeing it: I'm sorry about the camera. It was working when it went off last night, but apparently it hung up during the night, while the lights were on, so until I managed to make it to the studio, it was showing the inside of the office, which is not something I like people to see! I think it's all right now, though, and I'll be checking it more carefully for a while. As soon as the month's software updates come through, I will be rebooting, though, and that should help.


As much as I could tell, the guys slept. Grayson got enough lap time after I ate my first meal that I had a yucky accident. Louie wants to sit on me, but I can't type when he's on my lap, so he hasn't gotten his yet. I feel for him, but his timing is terrible.


So that was what there was of a day - very little, actually - and I'll be off to the north end soon. It's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field. It would be nice if it stopped snowing sometime.


February 7

Well, with one thing or another, it was 12:30 before I got to bed last night. I slept well, with the usual wakeups, and I got up around 10:30.


I knitted, and now I know not to try to do the one hard row in the pattern as the first row I do. I didn't have a lot of trouble with the nupps, but that three-into-nine! Wow! I didn't make the stitches loose enough, and then on the return row, they got twisted around. One of them untwisted fairly easily on the next row, but the other one, oh, my! It took me forever to get it right. So I only did six rows. The stole only has 113 stitches per row in it, so I should be able to do more than six rows in one sitting, but not today, for sure.


I didn't do much of anything. I'm still tired. I have been thinking about George off and on (mostly on), so late this afternoon, I decided I'd better try writing it. In no way is it anything but a draft, and I know it will never publish for any number of reasons, but I wrote about 4500 words, and it feels good to begin to get it off my chest. I still have a lot more to do before it will be all gone, but I've at least gotten to the end of the first episode. It feels so good to write something new (I've said that before) even though in this case, it's for my private use only.


It snowed. It must have started around 10:00 last night, and it's been snowing more or less hard ever since. There has been 0.38" of liquid precip since midnight, which probably means at least 4" of new snow, probably more. The temperature has been right around 20 and the wind has been from the southeast. For most of the day it wasn't too strong, but lately the gusts have gotten up to 33 mph. It was a good day to do nothing and ignore the great out-of-doors.


The guys thought so. They slept. Grayson wanted to sit on me about the time I finally decided I had to get some dinner, and Louie tried once, not very hard, but mostly they were someplace else, sound asleep. Grayson ate a bit of pizza crust.


With the snow and all, and that it's supposed to be cold and snowy tomorrow, too, I won't be going to church again. Sigh. Well, eventually, spring will come, I guess. I hope I can make it for Easter.


Now it's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field, and I think I will write just a bit more before I go to bed.


February 6

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, but that was so unusual that I had some trouble going to sleep. Once I did, I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I find that my shoulders and hips are sore enough that I can't sleep on the same side for more than at most three hours. 


I got up around 10:30 and I ended up knitting 10 rows on the stole. Well, that's about the number of stitches I would have done in two rows at the end of the shawl, so it's not so amazing. I think I'm beginning to get the strange stitches under control, and while I still don't like nupps, I can do them fairly well most of the time. I did have one problem, where I purled together the seven nupp stitches and the two following ones, but that doesn't happen very often. Only I do have to count on the purl rows, just to make sure I'm not doing something I shouldn't.


Otherwise, I didn't do much. While I was knitting there was a phone call. I have stopped answering those when I'm in the bathroom, because most of them are solicitations, but this one was from the place I had my eye surgery. When I called them back, they were dunning me for a bill for the second eye. Well. I didn't pay that one because it was the exact same amount that I'd paid in December, and since the bill I got in January didn't have the detail on it, I thought it was the same bill. So I told the very unpleasant young woman that I would get the check in the mail today. She wanted me to put the amount on my credit card, and no way am I going to do that. I suppose I can understand why she acted the way she did, but she was a real pill.


So I wrote the check and took it and the other bills I had paid to the post office, where there was the usual amount of mail. I had a nice conversation with Ron, but it nearly did my legs in. I'm not used to standing for that length of time.


The weather was nondescript. The temperature was around 15 for most of the afternoon, and there was almost no wind. It was cloudy and dark and blah. Only there is another one of those "special statements" up now, for heavy snow tomorrow, tomorrow night and probably Sunday. I was hoping to get to church on Sunday, but unless they change their minds drastically, it doesn't look like I'll make it. we could get as much as 8" over that period. I hope not. Ron has the road in good shape right now, and getting rid of that much snow would be a problem.


The guys slept. They both got a little lap time. I found out why Grayson didn't want to come in from the breezeway on Tuesday night: he dispatched a shrew, which I found when I went out, and I suppose he was hoping for another one, until he got too cold. He is a mighty good mouser, almost as good as Buster was. I think Louie has enough eye problems and he's so fat that he's not quite as good, although he is interested. Louie's blue eye I think has a cataract, and it has since I've had him. The pupil doesn't close down as much as the other eye and one night when the light shone on it, it had that red look that I've seen in other cats with cataracts. It doesn't seem to cause him much problem, but he's had it so long that I suppose he's used to it. When the light shines in the eyes of cats with normal eyes, the retinas glow green, not red.


So that was a nothing day. I washed a pair of sweats and three sweatshirts that need to go into the dryer, and I will do that on my way north. I'm still awfully tired, and I don't think I will be able to stay up to hear the whole symphony concert. 


It's a dark, cold, cloudy night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


February 5

Between one thing and another, it was 2:00 before I got to bed. I slept all right, but my hips and shoulders were sore, so I was up and turning over every couple of hours. I got up around 10:30, I thought, and I got right at weaving in the ends on the shawl, hoping that maybe I could do a row or two on the stole, but after I finally finished the ends, I looked at the clock and it was 1:15 already. Time flies, and it doesn't matter whether you're having fun. I don't enjoy weaving in ends.


Anyway, then I had an accident, so I wasn't nearly done doing my surfing when the talking started. It's a good thing the first half-hour of ATC is repeated, because I don't think I heard any of it even though it was on. In my defense, there was a lot to read today, so processing my emails took a long time. Maybe I will go up to the north end early tonight and do a couple of rows. I'm really anxious to get back at that stole. Not only is it pretty, the pattern is an interesting one. I suppose that by the time I get done doing 70" of it I will be bored, but for the time being, it's holding my interest. And that blush pink mohair is soooo pretty!


The weather was sort of variable. There was even a little sunshine and some blue skies late this morning, but later on it clouded over and the temperature has now risen to 23. The wind was from the west and for a while it was quite strong, with gusts up to 30 mph.


The guys slept, although Louie slept on my lap a lot and Grayson just got off it. Louie was after Grayson again today. I wonder if maybe it's because Louie feels good and he doesn't really know how to play with another cat. Anyway, it annoys me and he knows it. He got his love anyway. So did Grayson.


So now it's a cold, sort of windy night in the field and I think maybe I'll go up to the north end and knit a while. Maybe I'll think about George some more, too.


February 4

I was so tired last night that I didn't want to move, so it was 1:00 before I got to bed. I slept, of course, and I got up around 10:30. Then I bound off for a while.


When I looked out the windows and only saw white, and then when I got to the studio and discovered that the temperature was 4 and the wind was blowing at 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, I decided I didn't want to go out in that, so I didn't go to Carolyn's. Instead I had an accident, caused mostly by my not getting up at a reasonable time after breakfast. So I washed two pairs of jeans and a couple of other things left over from the other day.


When the talking started, I hauled out the shawl and finished binding off. I still have to work in all the ends - that's an unpleasant part of using several different colors of yarn - but it's essentially done, and it's going to be huge, just like I wanted it to be. I still have to weigh the rest of the last color of yarn, to see how much I have left. Fortunately, I'd bought three skeins, so I probably have enough for a fairly large shawl, if I ever get around to using it. It isn't as pretty a color as I thought it would be.


That took up most of the afternoon, although I did pay some bills. I'm so glad to have that shawl done! Even the most interesting project will get old when it lasts so long, but now it's done and I can go on to other things, at least after I work in the ends.


The weather, as I said, was the kind you don't want to go wandering around in. The high temperature for the day was 7 and the wind has been from the north in the 20 - 30 mph range all day. it started snowing around 10:00, from the camera pictures, and it continued for the rest of the day. Snow and wind chills down around -15 are not my favorite kind of weather.


The guys mostly slept, although they were around, and they finally got some lap time after dinner. Grayson got a little piece of my dinner, too. All he wants is a taste, or knowing that he could have a taste. Louie did once eat something Grayson had left, but he won't beg, except to be petted.


So that was a quiet day and I'm tired again. My legs came out of yesterday better than I'd feared, and my feet aren't too bad either, and somewhat less swollen than they have been. It's too bad I can't walk more. It would help a lot of my problems. Although I certainly wouldn't be walking around outside in this weather!


Now it's a dark, frigid, snowy night in the field. A good one to sleep long and hard.


February 3

Oh, I am tired!


For one reason or another, it was 11:30 before I got to bed last night, and then I started thinking about a story I could never publish and may never write (the George story), so I didn't sleep all that well until sometime in the middle of the night. I got up around 10:30, and I finished the last row of the shawl and began the bind-off. Since I'm using a very stretchy bind-off, I'm actually going to be binding off about 1400 stitches, so It's going to take a while. I think I did about a quarter of it. The edges are curling, but that always happens when the edges are plain knitting. I think (or I hope) blocking will take care of that, but right now it doesn't look so good.


As I said last night, I had to shop today. I had a really nasty accident, the first in several days, and I think it was partly because I wanted to get through my email before I left. So I had to clean up after that, although I still haven't washed, and it was 2:30 or later before I finally left.


Our road was good, except for some minor drifting in the culverts, which Ron had cleaned up by the time I got home. Most of US-41 was snow-covered down almost to Mohawk, but it was so cold it wasn't extremely slippery. I can't go 55 mph on the covered road, of course, but I don't think it took me an hour to get to town.


Then there was Pat's. Sigh. A nice man helped me into the store, and inside, of course, I can mostly lean on my cart, but I had to go through the whole store to get what I needed, and I think I probably forgot a few things. I did get what I had on my list, as well as some good things to eat: lots of lettuce, lots of OJ, and I'm going to splurge, maybe not until Saturday, and have some spare ribs by the old family recipe. It's been an age since I've had any, and I like them. So I got some nice Yukon Rose potatoes to have with them (they need baked potatoes to soak up all the yummy juice). I was disappointed that there was no fresh lake fish, but i talked to one of the butchers and he said Peterson's doesn't have any fresh fish. I suppose it's hard to get out to fish at this time of year. Anyway, darn it, I had my mouth all set for some nice whitefish tonight. Oh, well. I think this happens every year.


Getting to the car was interesting. One guy pushed the cart - they have a special cart they use for big orders - and another guy gave me his right arm to help me walk. By the time we got out, my legs were telling me I'd had enough. We made it, though, and they got all my stuff into the car.


Getting home wasn't too hard, except that I got behind a very slow driver who looked to be heading my way, so I passed him going out of Mohawk, and I had clear sailing for the rest of the way home. it does make me chuckle, though. A lot of the covered road is looking sort of like a three-track, and I think I was driving on the rumble strip for a good part of the way home. That made it a little hairy going down, when a FedEx truck was coming toward me partly in my lane, and later on a guy in a car did the same thing. The road isn't that narrow, actually, but everybody stays as far from the edges as they can in this weather - especially the east edge, where there is a substantial drop-off and lots of steel barriers. Nobody wants to run into the barrier or drop off the road.


Anyway, I made it, but then I had to unload the car. Since I have to use my cane, it took a lot of trips to get everything onto the platform, and then I had to get up the steps and get stuff into the house. Grayson ran out when I opened the door, of course, and this time, he didn't want to come back in, darn his hide. Actually, that made it more convenient, because I could leave the door open while I moved everything into the house. Then I had to pack it all away, and the fridge is bulging, but I will eat well for quite a while. Whew!


Then I had to make my dinner, which turned out pretty good, actually, but I couldn't eat all my rice. I am tired. This is the first time I've done any walking in something like six weeks, and I could tell. I was afraid my knee would swell, but if it does, it hasn't yet, and it isn't any sorer than it normally would be after something like that.


The weather was about the same as it has been. The temperature has finally gone up to 15, but for most of the afternoon it was around 12, but there hasn't been much wind. There were snow showers off and on all day, and one fairly substantial one as I was getting into Calumet that left half an inch of fluffy stuff on my car. We actually had a little sunshine as I was driving down the peninsula, which reminded me that my sunglasses are in the wrong bag and I need to move them. 


I must say that the snow piles are getting deep. They've had more snow in Calumet than we have and some of the piles are 15' or 20' high, especially in the parking lots. There was a poor guy blowing out his driveway in the squall. People have a problem in the more populated areas around here. They can't park on the street in the winter and very few of them have garages. So they plow out their front yards and park there. Some of them leave a wall between the parking place and the road, so that the plows won't plow them completely in. It makes for some interesting snow sculpture.


Speaking of snow, the road commission finally got their snow totals updated. The total for January was 68.5" and we've had 7.5" so far this month. The January total was about average. We've had 171" so far for the season. Well, only three more months to go. April isn't usually a big month, but we sometimes get our biggest dumpings then. I hope not. Much as I love to sit inside and see the snowflakes come down, I feel so sorry for Ron and I have such a problem getting around that I could do with a bit less than usual for this year.


I'm sure the guys slept. They were both glad to see me come home, and while Louie has some interest in the breezeway, he doesn't push to go out there. Grayson stayed out until I went out to put my dinner together - it takes a bit under 20 minutes to cook the fish - and then he was very happy to get in. It's not outside temperatures in the breezeway - my lemonade hasn't frozen yet - but it's a whole lot colder than he's used to. Since I ignored him and went away, I guess he was wondering if I was ever going to let him in. Good. He has to learn that he shouldn't go out there. He's been trying to make up to me ever since, but I've been sort of ignoring him and he didn't get any fish. Now he's sitting on the sewing chair, and I'm sure he's trying to warm up. He was cold when he came in. Little snot.


So that was my active day, and now I'm tired and sore and I will be going up to the north end soon, although I may bind off a bit before I go to bed. It's a light - from the moon - cold, snowy night in the field.


February 2

Up here in the Keweenaw, we can ignore Groundhog Day, because shadow or not, we know we have eight weeks, minimum, of winter left. We're under a lake effect snow advisory. I think Groundhog Day is the cross-quarter day anyway, if I'm not mistaken, and it doesn't have a lot to do with winter here in the north, since that was England.


I got to bed around 10:30 last night, and I slept well, although I was up a number of times. I was getting rid of some of the fluid I've been keeping in my feet, but the weather made it impossible for me to sleep for more than a couple of hours on one side, at least until this morning. I was awake around 7:00, and that seemed too early - and the next time I woke up, it was after 11:00. I guess I was more tired that I thought.


Well, that and the fact that it was snowing when I got up made me decide not to try to go out today, so I knitted two rows instead. Now I have only one more knit row and the bind off and I'm DONE!!!! This thing has gone on too long and I'm anxious to get back to my blush pink mohair. Of course, this last row, and the bind off have 705 stitches in them, so it will take me a while, but maybe I can get it done by Wednesday. If not, Carolyn is hosting the ladies' meeting on Wednesday afternoon and maybe I can finish it then. I did run out of yarn, and the color I had is a different dyelot, a bit lighter and grayer, but it's only for a couple of rows and I doubt it will be noticeable. Right now, I don't care a lot; I just want to be done with it.


The weather was forgettable. It snowed on and off all day, even though the lake effect advisory didn't go into effect until 6:00 tonight. The temperature got up to 15 briefly. Most of the day was colder. The wind was in the quite light from the north until around noon, when it shifted around to the west and began to pick up a bit. It was dark and cloudy all day, although there was one peek of sunshine around noon. 


The guys slept mostly. Grayson got a bit of lap time, and he wants more now, but when Louie wanted to sit on me, I was doing something else, so he didn't get to sit. I'm sure he'll get his.


I didn't do much of anything else; I was too late. I hope I'm earlier tomorrow, because snow or no snow, early or late, I can't put off going to town any longer. 


Now it's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field. The groundhog can sleep for a while longer.


February 1

Well, I didn't. I got to bed at a reasonable hour - around 10:00, I think - but I couldn't get to sleep. Again. There seems to be something about setting the alarm that screws up my mind. Sigh. So sometime around 2:00 AM, I turned off the alarm. I slept a little better after that, but not great - there was an interesting dream - and it wasn't until after about 4:00 AM that I slept very well at all. I was awake around 6:00, but from the way I felt, there was no way I was going to get up. Besides, it snowed off and on all night and with the strong wind, I wasn't sure I could get out. That was only an excuse, though. Mostly it was that I didn't get enough sleep. So I slept until nearly 10:00 and I felt much better, although I began to get tired around 8:00 this evening.


I knitted two rows. It took me an hour and a quarter and at the end it began to be clear that I'm going to run out of yarn before the last two rows plus the bind-off. Fortunately, I bought some of the same color (although I'm not sure it's the same dye lot) a while ago, so I can finish the shawl sort of the way it was supposed to be, although I've made some changes as I went along. When I got to the studio, I fished out the yarn I'd bought and I found some lovely blue-violet that is enough for one of the other patterns I've gotten lately. So now I can rearrange my queue to use the blue-violet. And I can finish the Fall Seasons shawl. I was a bit disappointed to run out of two colors of yarn, but since I'm using a size larger needles (#6 instead of #5), I guess I can understand it. Thing is, if I'd used the #5s, the fabric would have been so stiff it wouldn't have draped nicely. The problem with using other people's patterns is that some of them knit very loosely and some of them knit very tightly. I'm in between, so usually things turn out all right, but I've noticed that as more people are publishing patterns, the vagaries of tension are more likely to turn up. 


Yesterday, I looked at a video someone posted (it was about another way to do short rows, and it was very interesting). She holds her yarn in her left hand, but I've never dreamed of the gyrations she goes through to knit. She holds the needles between her thumb and fourth(!) fingers and in some cases uses some other finger to hook the yarn over the needle. She does knit fast when she's knitting plain, but wow! If I had to go through all that, I think I'd find a different way to knit. 


Anyway, the point is, I'm not saying that the kit got the yarn amounts wrong. I'm only lucky that I had some more of that last yarn, because they aren't selling it anymore. I'm not sure it's the same dyelot, but since it's a "tonal" yarn (that is, different shades), it probably won't matter.


That was about all I did today. I read a lot and there were some emails that made me follow the links, although I didn't buy anything. I had some problems. The toes on my left foot are sore, although the sore spot on the bottom seems to be getting better, so I'm not sure there is a shard of glass in there after all. Maybe it just stuck me and fell out. The toes are another problem, and I'll be talking to the doctor about them whenever I see him. They feel better now, so I'm not sure what my problem was earlier in the day.


The weather was better off ignored. The temperature was nearly steady at 10 (not nearly as cold as they'd predicted), and the wind was mostly from the east in the 10-20 mph range, but it snowed off and on all night and all day. It was dark and cloudy. Brr.


The guys slept, although I did have someone on my lap several times and Grayson thought he wanted some of my enchiladas (sorry, guy, there wasn't enough chicken for me to give you any). It was a good day to sleep.


So now I am planning to go back to bed fairly soon and at least try to get onto a human schedule. I'm tired, so that will help. The plan is to go to town tomorrow and get food. I'm running out of important things. We'll see how that goes, but since I can go later, it will probably work. My knee was a bit sore today when I first stood up, but I think (or I hope) that was mostly the weather. Tottering around on my sore foot isn't easy, but I'm used to having sore feet.


Now it's a very cold, snowy night in the field and the nearly full moon is making it very light around here at night. And January is over. Wow.


Last  updated 03/01/15 10:26 PM