A View From the Field








April 2015


April 30

Well, I'm actually writing this tomorrow.


I was a little earlier to bed last night, and it was partly because I had to take a bath. I slept well, and I got up around 11:30, I think. Then I started Hillflowers again, and I knitted eight rows. It took a while, and I hope it will go faster after this. The pattern is really easy, except for one stitch on the wrong side, where I have to purl two together from the wrong side, and it took me a little time to figure out how to do it without twisting the stitches. This one is on big enough needles and loosely enough knit that it matters, and would be obvious, if a stitch was twisted. 


I figured out why the designer calls it "HIllflowers:" it has part of the Frost Flowers pattern (the part with the twisted stitch in it), but rows of garter stitch instead of the faggoting. Frost Flowers is one of my all-time favorite patterns, and I used it in the very first stole I ever knitted, back in the late '60s. I loved doing it, but the only fine yarn one could get in those days was nylon baby yarn, which really didn't work very well, so I gave up and kept knitting doilies. Now there are all kinds of lace-weight and cobweb-weight yarns, so I'm going back and catching up on all the lace I couldn't knit before. Heh.


Anyway, Hillflowers is not knit in lace-weight yarn; it uses sock-weight and #7 needles, so it isn't the really fine stuff I like best, but it's a pretty pattern and I do like the yarn. I only hope I'll be able to go faster as I go along, because it's going to be 24" wide and 84" long. Not a fast project.


I didn't have much time to do anything but my surfing, because I decided to go down to Calumet early and do my food shopping. I could have waited until Sunday, but considering the way I've been feeling on Sundays, I decided it would be safer to get it done today. Not that I felt so great, but still. Besides, I felt the need for some new things to eat...like fresh fish and lamb chops, and they even had one (and only one) flat iron steak, even though they didn't have the cut of pork chops I like. In fact, there were several things I like that they didn't have, which I find annoying, but oh, well. If I leave out the JD (I always buy JD when I go food shopping, even if I have some), I was actually very modest, and now the fridge is packed again. 


I left here just after 4:30 and I got to church around 6:30, which was ideal, because somebody turned up to open the door only a few minutes after I arrived, and I had time to use the restroom before everybody else came. It was a good practice, even though there were only four sopranos. I think we'll sound pretty good on Sunday. We only practiced until around 8:15, which I appreciated.


When I got home, of course, I had to unload the car, and then, after I sat and read the paper for a while, I had to move everything into the house and pack it away. What a chore! I still have to pack the rice I cooked a couple of days ago, but I can do that tomorrow. I don't know where I'll put it in the freezer, but I'll find a place. That will free up some room in the fridge for some of the stuff I have just piled up in spots. My fridge seems to be rather full of pills (probiotics) right now, for some reason, and I will have to see if I can reorganize things a bit. 


Anyway, even though I had a frozen dinner, it was really late before I ate, and now it's even later. I'm tired.


The weather was just about the same as it's been lately. It was cloudy overnight (take that, all you weather forecasters!) and it didn't clear up until around 1:30 this afternoon. It was still partly cloudy until right after sunset, and then it cleared up. The high temperature was only 44º. I was reading in the paper that the NWS people say yes, it's been a colder than usual spring, but it should be warming up to average (highs in the low 50s) in the next few days. Huh. Last spring was worse, and I remember one year when the trees didn't begin to show any leaves until the first of June. Anyway, there was almost no wind, so it wasn't bad out. 


Speaking of that, I saw a couple of trees on my way south that looked like they must be pussy willows, although the willow catkins aren't out here yet, and the birch catkins aren't open. I don't think the forsythia in my neighbor's yard is in bloom yet, but I'll be checking that again tomorrow. There are little teensy buds on the serviceberry bushes in my yard, and a very little green grass showing. It needs to be warmer than it's been for the past couple of weeks before we'll see much progress.


The guys were sleepy. Louie has a nice scratch on his neck, and after the way he's been bothering Grayson lately, I can see why. I don't know what gets into him. Grayson is more playful than Louie is, and sometimes he wants to wrestle, but Louie gets wild, and he seems to hold a grudge. When I came home tonight, Grayson watched through the door for a little while when I was unloading the car, and then Louie watched for a little while. Louie was interested in the open door, but I put a barricade down in the hallway (that's easy to do, with all the junk there is out there) and he went away. He might have been interested in the plastic bags, but I got everything in before he realized what was in the kitchen, and I was careful (I hope) to put all the bags where he can't chew on them. Actually, since I spent several days brushing him every time he sat on me, he has been having less problem with hairballs, and I think he only chews plastic when they are bothering him. You wouldn't believe the amount of fur I got out of him in three or four days. If I kept it all, plus what I get out of Grayson, pretty soon I could spin enough yarn for a shawl. Not that I would. That's a bit too weird for me. 


Anyway, now it's getting late, and it's actually the first of May...May Day! May Day! I'm tired. It's a clear (I think) cool night in the field.


April 29

Another zombie night and late arising. Sigh. I finished working in the yarn ends on the Waterlily stole. Then I attempted to start Hillflowers, and that didn't work out very well. This is the first project I've done in a long time that starts with a regular cast on edge, and I tried a new one that just didn't work, so I tore it all out. I also wanted to try knitting from the skein without winding a ball. That does work, but it could get messy. I didn't wind any balls, though, so I guess I'll be working from the skein. Tomorrow I will try another cast on and see if that works any better. The pattern is an interesting one in that it is formed on both sides of the fabric, which means there will be some rather awkward decreases. Well, it will keep it from getting too boring.


Anyway, I fooled around long enough that I was late getting to the studio again, and then I had a minor accident, so I didn't do anything. Sigh.


The weather was about the same as it's been lately. The high temperature was 45º, briefly. There was a little north wind, but it never got over 14 mph. It was partly cloudy for most of the day and completely cloudy at sunset. There was a lot of nice sunshine, though. It has occurred to me, though, that we haven't had a lot of moisture in the past month. That's not a good sign, and I hope we aren't in for another summer drought. The forests need sufficient rain.


The guys slept, in the bathroom until I got up and then when I came back from cleaning up, they were both laid out on the couch, where the sun was shining in. This evening, I had to stop in the powder room and while I was there, Grayson found a little length of yarn and he played and played with it. He can be so cute! Louie isn't as playful. Of course, he's a couple of years older than Grayson, but I don't think he was ever played with enough. 


So that was another nothing day, and now it's a cool, cloudy night in the field.


April 28

So I went into zombie mode again and it was nearly morning before I went to bed, and after noon when I got up. Then I knitted. I finished the Waterlily Stole, except to darn in the ends. Whew! I've been working on this thing for four and a half months, and I'm tired of it. The question, of course, is what I'm going to do next, and I haven't decided that. Should I do the HIllflowers Stole or the Trellis Stole - the one with my beautiful hand painted yarn? Decisions, decisions! I think I will probably cast on both of them and see which one takes my fancy most. Hillflowers is actually pretty easy, with a single pattern repeated for the whole length. Trellis is interesting (besides the yummy merino and silk yarn) because it has a central panel and the side and bottom and top edgings are each different. On the downside, I have to figure out how to lengthen it, because the pattern is just too short for me (only about 54", if I recall). Decisions, decisions.


I was so late that I didn't get to the studio until after the talking started, so except to do my surfing, I didn't do anything. 


The weather was nice. It started out clear, but by the time I got up, there were clouds beginning to form, and the late afternoon was cloudy. The high temperature was 48º, but it could have been higher because there was a two hour hiatus in the readings. There was a little north wind, up to 15 mph, in the afternoon, but it had gone calm by sunset. Sort of a meh day.


I don't know what the guys did, since I was mostly sleeping. They thought I was going to get up around 7:30 - hah! Grayson got a little lap time, but Louie hasn't gotten his yet.


So that was a very truncated day. Now it's a calm, cloudy night in the field.


April 27

I went into zombie mode again last night, so it was later than I wanted when I got to bed - I think around 12:30. I slept very well, with the usual wakeups. I was awake around 8:30 and I just decided I didn't need to get up, so I didn't. I finally did, around 11:30, and then I finished the last part of the body of the stole and started on the edging, so I knitted for a long time, but it was going well, so it wasn't as long as it might have been. Then there was another zombie episode, so I didn't eat until late, and I didn't eat dinner until after 9:00. And I'm tired again. Oh, well.


I was so late - and I had a small accident - that I didn't do anything at all. I didn't finish my surfing until well after the talking started, but it wasn't all my fault. One of my funnies pages wasn't responding properly, and there was one comic that I didn't want to miss, so I had to fiddle around some. It turns out that it was probably a problem with IE, and not the website at all. At least closing IE entirely and reopening it worked fine. There are two or (as of today) three cat comics that I've been following that are really cute.


The weather was beautiful again. There were stars again last night, although they weren't quite as bright as the night before. Some time ago, there was an article in Sky & Telescope by a meteorologist that pointed out that the sky is clearest right after a front passes through, and that seems to be true up here. I did get to see the moon set, and I got to see Cassiopeia rising in the east. There were a couple of clouds around noon, but they soon went away. So pretty!


The high temperature was only 41º during the day, and there was almost no wind. The state of my joints tells me it was very humid again, and I was right. I hurt.


The guys slept mostly. Louie was going after Grayson again, including on the desk, which I do not like - he got batted with a magazine - and they were both coming around and bothering me more than I like, for some reason I don't know.


So it was a quiet, truncated day, and the way I feel, I'd better not be up very much longer. It's a cool, calm, clear night in the field.


April 26

Oh, my. I went up to the north end early enough, but when I sat down in the bathroom, I zoned out and it was 11:30 before I finally got to bed. It was so lovely and clear that if I hadn't been so tired, I would have wanted to stay up until my dark adaptation was complete so I could see everything that was going on over in the west. I had seen Venus - so pretty! - and when I went up to the north end, Jupiter was chasing the not-quite-quarter moon down to the lighthouse. I was up around 2:30 and it was clear and pretty, and when I went back to bed, the moon was right over the horizon just to the north of the lighthouse, with Jupiter over it. 


I was up again before it began to get light, and it was clear enough that I was left wondering what all those little stars between the Big Dipper and the horizon were. Turns out, they were mostly the rest of the stars in Ursa Major's head and front paw. Since I learned my constellations in a place that was rather light-polluted even in the '50s, there are a lot of the dimmer constellations that I'm not very familiar with. I was too tired to try to trace out what I was seeing. Anyway, it was pretty.


I woke up around 6:30 and had to pee, so I got up. That was not enough sleep, but oh, well.


I managed to get out of the house early enough that I arrived at church before 10:00, which was nice. The woman who had been taking my parking place finally realized that she can walk better than I can, so she left my spot open, which was very nice of her. Some time ago, I realized that if I backed into the spot, I had only a few steps to go to the door. That can backfire, of course. When I went to choir practice, I had put my big bag full of books in the back seat, but when I got to church, I discovered that there was a patch of ice right in front of the back door. Oops.


That had something to do with how I mislaid my sunglasses. I had to wear them to choir, and when I got out of the car, I sort of forgot I was wearing them, so instead of changing glasses before I went in, I just threw the case in my bag. That was fine, except that when I left, I didn't want to try to negotiate that patch of ice, so I threw the bag in the front seat, and, as I discovered this morning, the glass case slid out of the bag and down between the passenger seat and the console and wedged itself in right at the back of the seat. I couldn't find it Friday, but I did this morning, except that it was so wedged in that I could almost not get it out. I managed, but it hurt my hands. Anyway, the lost is found, and now I will be leaving the sunglasses in the car so that I can switch back and forth easily. I don't usually do that in the winter because they get so cold that they fog up when I put them on.


Anyway, church was nice. It was Good Shepherd Sunday, with all those hymns I love, and there was communion and we used the old service. It was nice. I think we sang all right, too, although we were missing a soprano. The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want... Or, The King of Love my Shepherd is...


I had some thought of doing some shopping, but I was tired enough from my lack of sleep that I decided not to. I still have Thursday and next Sunday before it will be getting serious. I'll miss my lamb chops and fresh fish, but the freezer is full enough already that it won't matter much. I will have to do another batch of rice, but that's all right.


So I came right home. I had other ideas, but I ended up sitting in the powder room reading, first my last two newspapers, and then the magazines that came Friday. Two of them are ones I read cover-to-cover, so I skimmed those to see what I will be reading. I am finally getting the newspaper again. I had to stop it in November because the plow pushed over the box and piled snow up to the extent that the carrier couldn't leave the papers and I couldn't get them, but now that the snow is gone, I have started it again. It's still a pretty lousy paper, but it has some local news in it that I find interesting. It's the only paper I've ever read where good news frequently gets top billing on page one, and that's refreshing.


There is still a lot of snow in the woods, but it's mostly gone in the towns and around the edges of the roads. The Woodland Glacier continues to melt.


The weather was pretty, but cool. It was completely clear all day. When I came down the hill into Copper Harbor, the lake was that intense, deep blue that I love so well. There is still some ice around the shore, but most of it is gone from our end of the lake. The high temperature was only 45º, and we did have some north breezes, up to 15 mph, this afternoon.


The guys were sleepy. Louie spent most of the afternoon in the navy blue chair, which was right in the sun. You should see the fur on that chair! I don't know quite where Grayson was, but he may have been on the desk. He spent some time on my lap. So did Louie, but they both got brushed, which isn't their favorite. I think I got most of the serious shedding out of Louie last week, but Grayson hasn't gotten brushed as much, and his fur is still falling out. The frustrating thing is that they sit on me with one side down, so I can only brush the side that is up, and I miss a lot. By the way, I always thought Grayson was a made-up name, but Friday I heard about a guy down in Texas whose name is Grayson something. So I guess it's a legitimate name after all.


So now it's a clear, cool evening in the field, and I am tired. I think I will go up to the north end and crash.


April 25

Today is Astronomy Day, and it's going to be a nice clear night tonight. Actually, it was a nice clear night last night, too, although I was so late that I didn't get to see much of it, except that there seemed to be a whole lot of stars out after I turned out the light.


It was the music again, but it was also the sad fact that I just don't seem to want to get up and go to bed. I don't know why. Anyway, eventually I did, and I slept very well, with two wakeups. The first one was after it was getting light, so I didn't get to admire the sky. I finally got up around 11:30. I knitted, and while I could see all right, I had a terrible time with the nupps.


Maybe it was because I had a very vivid and really weird dream right before I woke up. I don't have those very often, and I had to spend some time getting myself out of it. It was a science-fictiony thing about some people landing on a weird planet like maybe Jupiter or one of Saturn's moons and the weird and persistent life forms they found. Actually, the life wasn't so weird. There was one little thing that looked suspiciously like a beetle that I saw very clearly. Anyway, that was interesting, but it's not something I would be likely to be able to work a story around. It just took me a while to get out of it, as is usual with my very vivid dreams.


Anyway, I was late enough that I didn't do much of anything but clean up after my accident and do my surfing. 


The weather was just about like yesterday. The high temperature was 39º and the wind was from the east at less than 10 mph, although now it seems to have shifted to the north. It was clear and lovely all day long. The last of the floating ice is finally out of this end of the harbor, although the rocks are still ice-covered and I suppose it will take quite a while for that to melt.


I was reading the newspaper this morning, and it occurred to me that after the past few winters, we are all having trouble realizing that this spring is a very normal one. The Park Service remarked that this is the first time in three years that the Ranger has made its first trip to Isle Royale on time (it was earlier in the week - I saw it over there on the Live Ships page). There is still ice in the harbors at Isle Royale, and there is still a lot of ice at the east end of the big lake, but otherwise, the center and west half of the lake is ice-free. When there is a wind blowing, I can hear the water hitting the rocks out by Ron's house. 


We have gotten so used to these weird and wonderful winters we've had lately that we have a hard time getting our minds around a normal one. Well - it wasn't completely normal, with all the snow we had in November, but otherwise, it was. The Road Commission says we had another 6" of snow ending Thursday morning, so the total for the season is 271.5", which is about 30" above average. That 30" is what made us have to get the Road Commission out here to open up the road. The Woodland Glacier is down to about 4' now, and with all the sunshine, it will be getting smaller fast.


Spring isn't really here yet, although I noticed that the buds are swelling on the serviceberries and the catkins are beginning to show on the birches (just barely). The grass isn't greening up yet, and there is still a lot of snow in the woods. When I look at the MODIS imagery, I can see that there is still snow right down the spine of the Keweenaw and continued down below the bridge, although in the past few days, it has disappeared somewhat from Mohawk to south of Houghton. Lake Medora and Gratiot Lake are still iced in.


The guys were their sleepy selves, although neither of them got as much lap time as they wanted.


So that was another short day, and already it's later than I wanted to be. Oh, well. Now it's a clear, cool night in the field and it's time to trundle up to the north end and get ready for tomorrow.


April 24

I was later than I intended to be, but they played Mozart's 20th piano concerto after midnight, and I like that one well enough to stay up and hear it. Once I got to bed, I crashed, although I was up twice. There were stars when I went to bed, but no northern lights that I could see. When I got up the first time, it was beginning to get light. Twilight is much longer in the summer here, and even at 5:30 the sky was beginning to gray enough that I couldn't tell if it was clear or not. 


I didn't get up until around 11:00, I think, and I knitted, so I was late getting to the studio. I had to go to the post office and stop at the store for JD, and I had just gotten back when the Schwan's guy came. That meant I had a bunch of stuff to put away, and last night when I was thinking about it, I decided to rearrange the freezer, so I had to do that, too. It's full, but I think it's a bit better than it was. My freezer is unfortunately full of a lot of old stuff that I will probably never eat, but I will have to attack throwing it out a bit at a time. While I didn't live through the depression, my mother did, and there was a thing in our house that one never threw away good food. Well, that loaf of bread that had been there for at least five years was not good food. I should probably cut it up and give it to the birds, and I may do that still. It had gotten tasting very much like freezer, so I couldn't eat it. I try not to buy things like that anymore.


The weather was cold but pretty. The high temperature was only 39º, and there was an east wind that got up to 15 mph for a short while. It was nearly clear, but there were high clouds for most of the day and it was a bit cloudy at sunset, although it is supposed to clear up later.


The guys slept. Today Louie slept in the navy blue chair. I don't know where Grayson was, but he was somewhere around. He likes to be someplace around me.


So it was another quiet day, and I hope to be in bed a bit earlier tonight. They are playing Mahler's First Symphony, which is tolerable, so I will probably stay through that, but then I hope to go up to the north end before I find out what they'll be playing between 11:00 and 1:00. They seem to play all the really meaty, long stuff that I really like after midnight, and that's not fair.


So now it's a cold, partly cloudy (I think) night in the field.


April 23

Ooh, another late night. The music was nice and I was reading, and then I had to wash my hair. I slept very well, with only one wakeup, but I didn't get up until around 11:30 this morning. I knitted, and I only have 24 more rows to go before I do the border, so in about four days, I should finally be done with this thing. It's going to be very pretty. I'm only a bit sorry that my nupps aren't very even. It's only lately that I have finally figured out how to do them right. And I suppose I will have forgotten by the time I have more to do.


Anyway, with all that, I didn't have a lot of time this afternoon, and it was made worse by a rather nasty accident. I made it to the bathroom, and then everything let loose as I was trying to get my pants down and sit, so I ended up having to change almost everything I had on. Cheese binds up most people, but it has the opposite effect on me, which is one reason I know that my intestinal biota are still all screwed up.


I did manage to finish my surfing before I had to go to choir practice, but barely, and almost everybody else was there before me. We had a good practice. Barbara is away, so we were down one soprano, but the rest of us did all right. We're not doing anything that requires any very high sopranos anyway.


When I got into the car and looked at the dashboard, I freaked. I was so disgusted by the rain on Sunday that I completely forgot that I wanted to get gas. I had a quarter tank, which is plenty to get me to Laurium, but no way could I make another round trip. I only get about 16 or 17 miles to a gallon, which means I use about 5 gallons for every round trip, and I only have a 26 gallon tank. Of course, I had the trip to the dentist last week, which is about 100 miles round trip, rather than the 75 to church, so I was getting very low on gas. Fortunately, it isn't dark when we get out of choir these days - around 8:30 - so I went off to the station and filled my tank. 


However, that meant I didn't get home until around 9:45, and then I had to make something for dinner - beef and broccoli, which I love - so it was 10:30 before I ate. I am digesting now. I've said before that I knew the disadvantages of living here when I moved, and I still say it's worth it. Just so you don't think it's easy.


The weather was cold but pretty. When I got up, it was sunny and clear and very windy. When I got to the kitchen to make my breakfast, there were whitecaps on the harbor. I must say, though, that it certainly is nice to be able to hear the waves hitting the shore again. That's one disadvantage of winter that I'd never thought about: when the lake ices over, it gets quiet, and all I can hear is the wind. I like to hear the breakers hitting the rocks. The high temperature for the day was 39º, but that was at 7:00 this evening, so it was in the mid 30s all day. The wind was from the north, with gusts up to 32 mph. But it was so pretty and blue, and it was so nice to see the blue harbor! I just had to adjust the start and stop times for the camera. It's been so dark lately that I didn't realize how much earlier sunrise and how much later sunset had gotten.


The guys were sleepy, of course, and they seem to be used to me going away on Thursday night. Louie spent most of the afternoon laid out on the couch, which is half in sun and half in shade. Evidently that gives him just the right temperature at this time of year. Grayson sat on me several times - no doubt one reason I had an accident - and he slept on my lap. Now he is someplace behind the monitor where I can't see him. They were glad to see me come home.


Now it's time to go to bed and get a real night's sleep for a change. It seems like there were some northern lights that I missed at the beginning of the week when it was clear, and maybe there will be some tonight, too. I'm tired, and I need to reset my clock again. Now it's a clear, dark night in the field.


April 22

The music was nice again last night, so while I was a little earlier getting to bed, it wasn't much. I slept well and got up around 11:00. I knitted, of course. I'm trying to get done with this thing as soon as I can now, but with the weather as it is, I just can't knit too long without my hands getting sore.


I was so late getting to the studio that I didn't do much of anything. I did finally get a whole bunch of pots and pans put away. That was partly to find a pan I wanted for what I thought I was going to have for dinner, and then I didn't, but at least that stuff is off the counter.


The weather was miserable. When I got up this morning, the ground was covered with snow. The driveway was mostly clear, but before the end of the day, it was snow-covered, too. According to the Road Commission, we've had 5" of snow over the past two days. Of course, there was less here in Copper Harbor, but still. The temperature was a miserable 26º for most of the day, with north winds gusting up to 35 mph, although they're dying a bit now. It was dark and cloudy. Yuck.


The guys thought so. Louie spent the entire afternoon asleep in the navy blue chair in the great room - you should see the fur! Grayson moved around a bit, but he slept, too, on me a couple of times. 


So it was a quiet day. Now it's a cold, dark, snowy night in the field. I hope it will be better tomorrow.


April 21

Oh, the music was so nice, and it kept getting nicer, so I didn't get to bed until a ridiculous hour this morning. i slept, of course, and I didn't get up until after noon. Then I knitted - the first 8 rows of the last repeat - so I was extremely late getting to the studio.


I didn't do much, but I washed the robe I spilled the OJ on and I opened a whole bunch of boxes and brought a whole bunch of pills into the house. Pills seem to be mostly what I spend my money on these days - other than TP and incontinent pads. So it wasn't a complete zero.


Oh, and the UPS guy has delivered stuff to my door twice in the past two days, so I guess it's safe to declare that the road is OPEN and everybody who needs to get here, can.


I was knitting when I looked out the window and there was something coming down - I guess you'd call it graupel, hard little balls of stuff smaller than hail. It was coming down hard, but a while later, it stopped and the sun came out. Well, after I got to the studio, it seemed to snow off and on all afternoon. There is even a trace on the ground, or there was at sunset. Yuck. It's too late in the month for snow.


The temperature hovered around 35º all day, although it's fallen off to 33º now. The wind was fairly strong from the north, and we've had gusts up to 25 mph. It was dark and dismal for most of the afternoon. You know, I've had about enough of this.


So have the guys. They were very sleepy all day. Well, so was I.


So that was a nearly useless day, and even though I haven't been up very long, I'm tired. It's a dark, cloudy, snowy (!) night in the field. Well, spring will come someday.


April 20

Yesterday was a bad day from the get-go. I spilled a whole glass of OJ on the floor and myself as I was setting my tray down in the studio, which started it. Then there was the weather. And then my first accident. I was all ready to go to bed around midnight when we had a power failure. Not a little glitch - a failure. The generator kicked in, which was good, but since I had a load of clothes to dry as well as a dishwasher full of dishes to wash, I decided to stay up and hope the power would come back on. I don't use any of those big appliances when I'm on generator power; my generator isn't that big.


Anyway, I waited until 3:00 or so and the power never came back on, so I decided to go to bed, and then I had the second of my two accidents of the day. This one was particularly yucky, because I wasn't wearing any underpants. So I cleaned up after that and finally got to bed. I slept like the dead, of course, with only one wakeup, and I got up around 11:00. Not nearly enough sleep, but oh, well. The power was back on when I got up, but I don't know when it came back. UPPCO will call when they think the power is back on, but considering when I went to bed, I didn't want to be awakened for that.


I knitted and I finished the fifth repeat, so I have only one more to go. Can't wait! I'm tired of this one, and I want to get on to one of the new ones I have in the queue. I didn't do much of anything else all day.


While I was knitting, I realized it was raining, and it continued to rain or snow all day long. Yes, we had snow. It didn't stick to the ground, but it stuck to the ice that is still right at the end of the harbor, down around the notorious culverts. So far, we've had 0.33" of rain. Around 5:00, the wind, which is tending northwest, began to blow, with gusts up to 39 mph. The temperature has been nearly steady around 34º. What a yucky day! The only good thing about it was that it wasn't dark and gloomy. Considering all the rain that has fallen, it was rather bright, which was nice.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on me for a long time, and he is back again now, wanting to sit on me. Louie asked once, rather insistently, but I was typing at the time, so I wouldn't let him sit. 


I need to sleep again. I should take a bath, but I think I'm too tired. I think I'm going to go right to bed as soon as the Dvorak cello concerto ends. It's a dark, windy, rainy night in the field - not nice at all, but then, that's "spring" in the Keweenaw.


April 19

I managed to get to bed around 10:15 last night, which I thought was pretty good. I had a bit of a problem getting into a deep sleep, but after the first time I was up, I slept well. I woke up around 6:30, and I wasn't going to lie there and want to pee for half an hour, so I got up. 


When I went to bed, Venus was shining in the windows bright enough to almost be annoying, and I saw most of Orion, too. Rigel was behind what I guess was a cloudbank, but from the nebula north it was visible - so pretty! It was clear when I was up around 2:30, too, but by the time I got up, it had clouded up.


I somehow managed to be a bit late getting away, although I don't know how, but I made it to church around when I wanted to. It was a good service, although there wasn't communion. I think we sang all right. I think Pastor is trying to sing as many Easter hymns as he can cram into the service - there are a lot of them. They're all good ones, though.


I had some thought of stopping at Pat's and picking up a few things I want, but when we got out of church, it was pouring rain, so I came right home. The rain was spotty. In a couple of places, it came down remarkably hard, but in other spots, it was barely misting. I got home around 1:00, and i didn't do much of anything for the rest of the afternoon except clean up after my accident.


i have started getting the newspaper again, now that the snow is gone and I can reach the paper box, and that is interesting. Compared to big-city newspapers, it's not much, but there is a lot of local news that I find interesting.


Today is Debbie's birthday, so I called her, and we just had a nice conversation. She is fine. On that topic there is one interesting thing I've noticed. I get older, year by year, but for some reason I startles me when I realize that my friends are getting older, too. I won't tell you her age, but it amazes me every time I think about it. And when I think of people I used to know, I think of them at the age they were when I knew them, not the age they are now. I guess that happens to everybody, but I find it strange.


The weather was lousy, and better off ignored. It spitted rain all the way down to church, and as I mentioned, it was raining rather steadily on the way home. It's gone off to the east now, but it's still very cloudy. It was cold and windy, too, my least favorite kind of weather. The high temperature was 47º. which it is now. The wind is from the south, with gusts up to 29 mph. Ah, now I know why I felt the gusts so much when I was driving. I'm not used to strong winds from the south. Anyway, it was not a nice day, and it was not nice to my gimpy legs.


The guys did what cats usually do when the weather is nasty, but Grayson wanted to do most of his sleeping on my lap. He slept for a long time on me, purring all the time. Louie came while I was on the phone, but he went away again, and I don't know if he'll be back. He did his sleeping someplace else.


So that was a quiet Sunday, and now it's a cold, damp, windy night in the field. I think I prefer snow.


April 18

So last night, I pulled an almost-all-nighter. I'm not quite sure why, but the music was nice, and I've often noticed that they seem to play the best stuff after midnight. Anyway, I didn't get up until around 1:00 and I knitted slowly. I did finish my surfing, but that was about all.


I don't know whether there were any stars, because I wasn't up in the night when my night adaptation is good, and otherwise I was so tired that I was asleep.


It was (is) a clear day, except that I can see some clouds off in the west and south now. The temperature sat right about 40º, and there was almost no wind. It was nice to have sunshine for another day. Starting tomorrow, it's supposed to rain for two days, and then almost everybody says we will have a couple of days of snow. Hey, enough already! I'm tired of white! The lake is slowly but surely losing its ice, and so is the harbor. There is open water now right in front of the house, but then there is a band of ice over to about the end of Lighthouse Point. I will be glad when that goes away.


The guys slept, especially since I was sleeping. Grayson got a long sit on my lap, but I haven't seen Louie since about the time I got up. If you don't have opposable thumbs, sleep is a good way to pass the time. 


I will be going up to the north end shortly. As I mentioned before, my circadian rhythms are rather befuddled by a combination of Daylight Savings Time and the normal lateness of sunset at this time of year. Our days are now about 13¾ hours long now and getting longer at around 22 minutes a week. Sunrise is now before 7:00 and sunset is around 8:45 PM. I love the long days, but I'm having a hard time getting used to them this year.


Now it's a clear, nearly calm evening in the field and I'm off to the north end to get to bed early. Really.


April 17

Oh, well. I went up to the north end relatively early last night (considering when I ate dinner), but then I spent over an hour staring at the floor, so it wasn't so early when I finally got to bed. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. When I went to bed, it was cloudy, but it cleared up overnight, and by 4:00 or so it was very clear and pretty, at least in the north. Yesterday morning, I put another coat of nail polish - this one thicker - on the nightlight, and I think I have it fixed now. I can put away my little blue square that I've used since I moved in. The new one is brighter than that one had gotten, but it's not so bright that it's bothersome, and since it's red, it doesn't interfere with my night adaptation very much. I liked that little blue square, but it was getting dimmer and dimmer all the time, and with one cat that is mostly white, I felt the need for a bit more light, just so I don't step right on him, since he has the horrible habit of lying down right in the middle of where I walk.


I got up around 10:30, I think, and I knitted, of course. I am making slow but sure progress. Knitting this pattern with this yarn is hard enough on my hands that I don't want to try to do much more than eight rows a day anyway. I'll get done with it.


I went to the post office, where all my packages were waiting, including the one that had been at the store, and the yarn for my next project. This was very expensive yarn, alpaca and silk and hand-dyed. It's beautiful. I ordered it some time ago, but they dye as they get orders, so it took a while to get to me. After I ordered it, I was doubtful, because the colorway (called "Abalone") looked very bright and almost garish on the website, but what I got is a very nice muted purple, pink and mauve that will make a lovely stole. The pattern is an interesting one, too, so it should be a fun project. I won't start it until after I finish the pink one, though. One project at a time, please. I have too many UFOs (UnFinished Objects) already. The yarn is so soft I just want to pet it, and it's going to be a great thing to wear. You notice that I'm not thinking about any more triangles for a while. The thing about this one is that the pattern as written ends up only being about 54" long and that's not long enough for a big person like me, so I need to lengthen it, and the way it works up, that will require some math. I figure at least 72", maybe longer, depending on how the math works out. I bought an extra skein of yarn just for that reason.


The weather was nice. The temperature got up to 56º at 1:00, but then it dropped back for a couple of hours before it went up to 60º. Oh, I see. Between 1:00 and 4:00 the wind was calm, and the ice cooled things off. There wasn't much wind all day, actually. It was clear and lovely, and the sun set over the end of Lighthouse Point. Pretty soon it will be out of the camera on the right. The ice is melting, slowly. There was an area of slush in front of the house, although there is still some ice between there and a line between Lighthouse Point and the bay across from the fort. It's supposed to cool down for the next week or so, which will slow the melting, but it's going. It's amazing how much has gone out of the big lake. It's mostly clear except right around Whitefish Bay. I'm sure the ships are happy, and when I looked at the Live Ships Map around 1:00, there were at least 25 out in the lake. The  Pierre Radisson hasn't left yet, though, so it's not over.


The guys mostly slept. Louie got brushed this morning in the bathroom even though he hates the brush I use there. Grayson got some lap time, but he kept wanting to knead my midriff, and the top I'm wearing is thin enough that his little needles go right through - and that hurts! 


While I was knitting this morning, I was treated to the serenade of a Pileated Woodpecker drumming, I think in the woods to the north. I'm not sure why, but hearing that always makes me smile. I hope someday to actually see a Pileated out here. I know they're here; I've heard them drumming and in past years I've heard their extremely loud (and not very pretty) call, but I've never seen one here. Someday...


So now it's a clear, dark night in the field, and I guess I can go to bed any time.


April 16

Tired as I was, it still took me until 11:00 to get to bed. I slept fairly well, but I was up about every two hours. I guess it has to do with the amount of water I drank after I got home, as well as how much my feet had swollen. When I have to go on one of those jaunts, I tend to restrict my fluid intake - I know, not the best idea, but otherwise I would be stopping at every restroom, and since I've seen most of them, I'd rather not. Anyway, once I got home, I drank a lot, so I was up a lot.


I got up around 9:30, and I knitted. Only one and a half repeats to go now! Oh, I'm getting done with it. By the time I start the edging, I'll be sick of the whole thing, even though it's pretty. It is rather annoying, though, that the instructions specified a whole ball of yarn more than I will be using. Even so, it is going to block out at the right size or maybe even bigger. It annoys me when the directions call for the wrong amount of yarn. Now I will have one ball (about 240 yards) that won't be good for anything, and I seriously doubt I could get any more in the same dye lot. Oh, well. I guess it's better than not having enough of a yarn that has been discontinued.


Anyway, I didn't do much. I hadd an accident, but not a bad one, and it served as a way to get my clothes changed to go out. I went to choir practice, and it seems like there was some confusion about when it was to start. Those of us who have been coming at 6:30 came at 6:30, but evidently it was listed at 7:00 in the bulletin. We had two new members who apparently had been singing in Hubbell, and that's nice.


I got home around 9:00, and then I had to heat up my carry out. Oh, my, was it good! I ate and ate and ate, and I didn't have any soup. I still have some lo mein left, too. Yum!


It was another warm day, although it was a bit strange. The high temperature, 57º, happened around noon, and then it dropped back some, into the low 50s for the rest of the afternoon. It was warmer in Laurium, of course, and it was 62º or more when I got there. There wasn't much wind. It was partly cloudy all day, and it was completely cloudy at sunset. 


The guys slept, mostly. Louie has been urping all over the house, and when he came to sit on me, I brushed him and brushed him until he went away. He is shedding amazingly, but he always goes around in a cloud of fur. I could have brushed him all day and not come to the end of the loose fur. Grayson is shedding, too, and I got quite a bit out of him when he came to sit on me this evening, but not like Louie. No wonder he has hairballs.


I forgot to mention that I splurged on a plant yesterday. I have wanted another ponytail palm since I killed the one my mother left me, but as long as Buster was around, there was no point in getting one, since he would chew them right down to the trunk. I thought I would try another one, and WalMart had some nice, fairly little ones, so I bit. Well, so did Louie. I left it on the chair in the kitchen, and when I came in this morning, he was sitting beside the plant, chewing on the leaves. He had apparently done that before, because he coughed up some of them on the floor. Oh, dear. Well, maybe I can keep it out of his way more easily than I could get it away from Buster. I think ponytails are neat. This one has three tops on it, which is not usual, but somebody topped it, and that's what happened. So I will try to see if I can keep it alive. It's another plant that doesn't need a whole lot of water, so maybe I have a chance. I used to love having houseplants, and since I can't garden outside, maybe I can have a few inside. I will be getting into it slowly, though. I have kept the two sanseverias I bought a year or so ago alive, so maybe I can do it. We'll see. Louie won't help, though.


So it was another quiet day. My legs were still tired, so I didn't do a lot. Now it's a cloudy night in the field.


April 15

Well, I did it to myself again last night. I just didn't go to bed. Once I finally got up to the north end, I had to take a bath, and that takes time, with the speed at which I move these days. So it was ridiculously late when I got to bed. I set the alarm for 10:00, but I was up at 9:45, and I got out of the house and to my appointment on time - not early, but on time. I was and still am extremely tired, but I made it.


My teeth are fine, thankfully. I like it that way, and I do what I can to insure it. Then I was off to WalMart. Oh, how I hate that place! Malls used to be that big. In the meantime, I had lost the list I made, so I'm not sure I got everything I went for, but I think so.  I didn't find much to play with, and I suppose that's just as well. I got a bottle of red nail polish, which I hope I can use to cover the lens of the little nightlight I got a year or more ago, so that I can use it. The light is white and very bright, which I don't want, since I like to look up at the sky when I'm in the bathroom. I figure that if I can cover the light with something red, it won't destroy my night adaptation. And since I can't use the light the way it is, it doesn't matter much if I mess it up. By the way, the polish says "insta-dry" which it definitely is not. At least it was cheap.


I got to Bambu around 4:00, and I had a nice dinner, of which I brought half home. I also brought enough for at least one more dinner - possibly two - as carryout, so I will feast tomorrow night. Yum. Their food is so good!


Unfortunately, I hit the rush hour in Houghton, so It was a rather slow trip home, at least until I passed the last person going out of Mohawk. There are always a few excessively law-abiding drivers around, and some of them are obviously timid. I feel sorry for people who have to drive who are so frightened of it.


Anyway, I got home around 6:00, and I just finished the rest of my dinner. It was still good.


The weather was perfect, at least for me. The high temperature here got up to 59º, which was quite a bit warmer than they predicted (so much for Best Forecast!) and it got up into the 60s in Houghton. It was a bit breezy. The sky was clear and without clouds all day, so I got a lot of free heat - it was 79º in the studio when I got home. It was a nice day to have to drive, I guess, although frankly, I prefer driving in overcast. This was nice, though. I'm not over enjoying clear skies and sunshine.


I suppose the guys slept. Grayson sat on me before I left and after I ate. I guess he never knows, when I leave with all my stuff, if I'm coming home today or not. I haven't seen Louie yet, but he doesn't usually come around until later, although later tonight, I expect to be in bed. I'm exhausted.


So now it's a clear evening in the field, although it's supposed to get less clear later. My spring trek to Houghton is done, and it came out well.


April 14

I guess I was in bed a little after midnight last night. I slept very well, with only two wakeups, but I have some hints that I am harboring a virus - some sort of upper respiratory thingie - again. Anyway, I got up around 10:30 and I knitted. Mostly it went well, but I had trouble with one nupp, for some reason. It's partly that I have a hard time seeing close up when I first get up, but that's not the whole problem. I was just missing a stitch and I couldn't find it until I undid the whole nupp and did it over again. Yuck.


I didn't do very much except for my surfing. I finally got the load of underwear sort of put away, and I washed the sweats I soiled last night - and I found a big splotch on the floor in the studio that I didn't know I'd left. No wonder I had to wash my compression hose. Anyway, I determined that the last spin doesn't happen when I have the load size set at extra-large, but it may be all right when it's set at large. I still have to verify that - I only did the rinse only with that setting, so I'm not sure about it. Well, I will just have to cope for a while and hope it doesn't get any worse, since I can't allow anybody in my house yet.


I fetched some canned cat food and some JD into the house, and I am going to have to do some things in the breezeway. There is a bag of trash that has been there all winter that is now getting very smelly and I have to get it out. That was a yuck, too.


At least my back felt better today, so that was good.


It was a beautiful night and a beautiful day. When I was up during the night, there were stars - lots of stars. I was up around 4:30 and I could see Cassiopeia rising in the east, and when I craned my neck, the Big Dipper was beginning to set in the west, so bright that I could easily see the star where the bowl and the handle come together. that is the dimmest one, and if I can see it easily without my glasses, things are pretty good. I could sometimes see a few little points of light near Polaris, too, one of which is the delta star that is fourth magnitude. It was nice. There wasn't much to see in the west, but that's because Virgo was setting, and it's mostly dim except for Spica, which I could see. Boötes was too high in the sky for me to see my summer star, Arcturus. But it was lovely to see the sky so clear - and to be able to see again! I hope there are lots of clear nights from now on through the fall so I can take it all in.


It was a beautifully clear day, too. The high temperature was 56º, briefly. There was a little breeze from the north, and for a while we had gusts up to 24 mph. Nice. It got nice and warm in here. I appreciate all the free solar heat I can get.


The guys mostly slept. Grayson didn't get to sit on me this morning because I had to rush to the bathroom - I didn't make it - but Louie sat on me for a long time and got his tummy rubbed. Grayson got his after dinner, and Louie wanted some, too, but he'd had his, and I don't like to play favorites. They are both shedding like mad. 


I'm not shedding, I don't think, but I'm growing hair at a greater rate than usual. So my body knows spring is coming, if I don't.


So that was my quiet day, and not only am I tired again, I have to wash my hair, so I hope I'll be able to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I have to go to Houghton tomorrow for the dentist, and I have a long list of stuff I have to get in person from WalMart. Then I hope to have a nice dinner at Bambu, and it occurred to me that just because I eat there doesn't mean I can't bring some takeout home for Thursday. Yum! I need my Chinese fix. We'll see what happens.


Now it's a clear, coolish night in the field, and there should be stars again.


April 13

I read and wrote too long last night, but I finally finished the parts of Trine 6 that I wanted to add - it's up to around 32,000 words now - and I started reading Trine 7. That one is at least the right length, but there may be some changes or additions I should make. I'll see when I finish reading it.


Anyway, it was too late when I finally got to bed. I slept very well, with only a couple of wakeups. I was awake around 8:00 and I was still so groggy I almost fell asleep in the bathroom, so I went back to bed and I didn't get up until around noon. That meant I didn't finish my knitting until 2:00, which meant I didn't get to the post office today. Oh, well, it will still be there tomorrow. I was so late that I didn't do much of anything, and I didn't finish my surfing until long after the talking started.


I did finally finish the load of white stuff. I discovered, unfortunately, that when I wash a full load, the final spin doesn't happen, so it's taken me a long time to get that load done. It's finished now, but I have to put it in the dryer. I have some experimenting to do. I'm not sure, at this point, whether the problem is with the main control or it has something to do with the actual size of the load. So the next time I have to wash, I will just have to use a lot of water and see what happens. I know when I do the small loads, it works fine, but again, I'm not sure if it's the weight of the clothes or the control. Today, I managed not to have an accident, at least so far, so I don't have any small loads to do.


It was an interesting day, weatherwise. When I was up at 8:00, it was pouring rain and very windy, but when I got up around noon, the skies were clear and blue, although it was still sort of windy. We evidently had a quarter of an inch of rain between 7:00 and 11:00. I missed most of it. It was clear for the afternoon, but around 5:30, the clouds started to move in again, and it was quite cloudy by the time it got dark. it's supposed to clear up again later. The high temperature was 57º, which is a little warmer than average. I should have stuck my nose out the door, but I didn't.


The guys were mostly sleepy. While I was making my dinner, Grayson got ahold of the green mouse he had dredged up from somewhere a few days ago - it was covered with cat fur - and he was batting it around until he got the fur in his mouth, so he feels good. Louie slept. I'm not sure if he doesn't feel good or he's just a sleepy cat. He's older than Grayson, so it might just be his age.


So after a very truncated day, I think I will try to get to bed at a reasonable hour and hope I can get up and going earlier tomorrow. I think I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday, so I need to be sure I'm on a human schedule at least until then. Now it's a rather warm (for this time of year) cloudy night in the field. I'm hoping for stars later.


April 12

Oh, spring has come! Oh, I could have gone running out with no coat! Oh, I can get through the road without using 4WD! Oh, I had to open the car windows to cool off the inside! Oh, it was so nice!


I was late getting to bed last night, for the usual reasons. I guess it was around 11:00. I slept well, with the usual wakeups, and unfortunately, I was up about 6:15 for the last time, but I had set the alarm for 7:00, so I got a few minutes more of sleep. I didn't get to read all my emails, and one of my funnies pages wouldn't load, but I got out of the house not too much later than I intended. It was soooo nice to drive down to Laurium at my usual summer speed! No traffic, either, at least going.


Church was nice, with communion. Choir was interesting. We had only practiced three verses of the song, and we sang four, and Pastor thought that Ted was going to sing the German as a solo - but we'd decided on Thursday that he wasn't. I was amazed that these life-long Lutherans had never heard "Christ lag in Todesbanden" before; it's one of the oldest of the hymns. Luther wrote the words, and the music was from the century before him, I think. Bach embellished it a bit, of course, but these people had never sung it before! Wow. It's in the hymnal. I have to admit that if it isn't sung right it sounds like a dirge, but the words are good and if you can keep up the tempo, it's not all that bad. Luther liked minor keys, and those tend to be darker. But it ends with "Alleluia."


Anyway, that was all right. We were late, because of communion, and then I had to get gas. This running up and down the peninsula is hard on the gas tank. It was $2.339 at the station where I usually get gas, which, in my book, is a pretty good price. I remember all too clearly when it was $2 a gallon more. Shudder!


I was late getting home, and I spent some time in the reading room, so it was late when I ate lunch, and then I didn't get hungry again until after it was dark, so I'm way behind schedule. I should be in bed now, but I want to digest a bit before I go.


The weather was amazing. It was very warm in the north end when I went to bed last night, and I'm afraid I didn't cover up enough, so my back was bad today. It was already 53º when I left for church, and when I got out, my thermometer in the car said it was 64º there. It eventually got up to 72º at the airport, but it only got to 66º here. It was quite breezy. The wind was from the southwest, and there were gusts up to 28 mph. The sky was mostly clear after sunrise, but there were some little high, wispy clouds until late in the day. It was mostly clear and blue, though, and the ice is beginning to go. I'm sure that's why it was so much cooler here than at the airport - we have all that ice right around us. Oh, it was so nice!


The guys didn't think so, or I don't think they did. They slept. Grayson wants to sit on me, and so did Louie. Grayson got a bit of lap time but Louie has only come around when I was about to do something else. Grayson is now sitting on the laptop, waiting until I'm done with this. He was looking longingly out onto the porch, too, but I'm too suspicious to pull up the shutters so early. If we don't have any more snow, maybe in a couple of weeks I'll do it.


So that was my quiet day. Now it's a warmish, breezy night in the field, but I think it's mostly clear.


April 11

Oh, the music was so nice - or at least most of it was - so I was later getting to bed than I'd planned, but not nearly as late as I've been lately. I didn't sleep well. I had to walk a lot, and my left shoulder (yes, the left one now) was so sore I had a hard time getting back to sleep once I turned over. I got up around 10:00 - not enough sleep - and I knitted. I now have only two repeats left to do on the stole, plus the edging. I'm getting done with it. This is the time in any project when It's beginning to get boring, but I will press on and I will finish it.


Today was washday, but I dawdled around and I only got one load done - and when I went to put it in the dryer, I discovered that I had missed a pair of compression hose and three socks. Sigh. I guess I was hungry enough that I just forgot to check in the bag before I started the load. Well, so they will have to go with the white stuff tomorrow. I don't think it will hurt.


Otherwise, I did nothing except fill the pill dispensers at the south end.


The weather turned very nice, although I didn't stick my nose outside. When I was awake while it was dark, there was a bright glow in the north, but it was mostly behind the trees. I'm so disappointed that those trees have grown so much. I won't be able to see nearly as much of the northern lights. Anyway, it was clear, and it was beautifully clear all day, too. I haven't been able to look at the MODIS imagery in full size yet (I get a broken link), but it looks like most of the ice is now way down at the eastern end of the lake, with just a little bit north of the Keweenaw. I wondered why everybody is running all over the lake, and now I know. The Radisson is still breaking ice down at the east end, and this morning I saw the Mackinaw working into Whitefish Bay, but in another few days, they'll be able to leave.


Because it was warm! The high temperature here was 58º, briefly, but it was over 55º all afternoon. For most of the day, there was hardly any wind. It was completely clear and blue and beautiful. Only at this time of year, I'm getting tired of looking at the white harbor. I want blue!! At this rate, it will come, though. It's supposed to be rather warm with a lot of sunshine all week. I might add that the sun is setting over the east end of Porter's Island, and in not too long it will disappear out of the camera range. 


The only problem I have with that is that I'm so used to standard time and short days that I have a hard time realizing what time it is, and I've been eating rather late. I had hoped to be up at the north end by now, because I also have to fill the pill dispensers today, and I do want to get to bed rather early tonight. Or, I should say, I hope to. One never knows what I might do.


The guys were a bit feisty this morning, but mostly they slept, of course. I saw Grayson a couple of times, but I haven't seen Louie lately.


So it's a clear warmish night in the field - although the temperature is down below 50º now - and I hope to see some more northern lights tonight. 


April 10

Well, today was another backward one, but different from yesterday. I made it into bed by midnight last night, and I set the alarm, but I was up around 8:00 and I decided I didn't want to get up at 9:00, so I turned off the alarm and it was 10:15 before I got up. That meant I couldn't make it to Johanna by 11:00, so I came down to the studio to call her - and I didn't leave. After I called, I did my surfing and some other stuff, and I ate potato chips and chocolate for breakfast. Eventually, I did get up and get my pills and get dressed, but then around the time I was going to get my dinner - yes, I ate a real dinner - I had an accident. Altogether backward.


I just wrote a few words on the sequel to Special Forces, but I can't go to bed until the symphony concert is over. It's a great one: Beethoven's Triple Concerto (much better played) and now they're playing the Sixth Symphony, which is one of my favorites and I don't hear very often.


It was snowing when I went to bed last night, and it seems to have snowed lightly all night. Not the disaster they were predicting, but it was pretty when I was awake around 8:00. Then I think it began to rain, and by this evening all the new snow and some of the old was all gone. It was icky out there this morning, which was the other reason I didn't want to go out. The high temperature was 39º, briefly and late in the day. Mostly it was around 37º all afternoon. There was a wind, around 20 mph from the north. Of course, it was dull and cloudy all day. 


I have to say that the barometer went up and the humidity went down and I was not nearly as sore as I was yesterday. I guess I'm going to have to break down and take some extra Tylenol when I hurt as bad as I did yesterday. I don't like to do that, because I'm trying to guard my liver, but that's about all I can take, and sometimes I need something.


The guys were sleepy. When I came down to the studio this morning, Grayson immediately got on my lap and went to sleep and slept there for a long time, and when he left, Louie got on me. They just do not understand my weird habits lately.


So that was a strange day, and I expect to be in bed soon. It's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but at least all the new snow is gone.


April 9

So I got completely turned around last night. I don't know quite why, except that I knew I had to wash my hair and I didn't want to move. Anyway, I did get a reasonable amount of sleep, and I knitted, even though I ate late. And then I had an accident, of course. 


I was very creaky today, too, because of the weather, and I forgot how long it takes me to get ready to go out when I feel like that, but I made it to choir at just about the right time. We only practiced for about an hour, because we don't know everything we'll be singing, and besides, Nancy had to try to play (actually, she did very well), because our accompanist couldn't make it. 


I was glad it wasn't longer. It rained all day, very lightly but constantly, and it was nice to drive home before it got dark. The temperature was around 33º, too, and I was glad to get home before it dropped below freezing. As it was, there wasn't any problem with ice on the road. However, I just noticed that they are reporting that the rain is freezing at the airport. Yuck. There wasn't very much wind, although it has increased to 14 mph lately, as it switched around to the east. They are still saying we're going to have wet, heavy snow overnight and tomorrow morning. Yuck. I don't like winter storm warnings in April.


By the way, when I got up this afternoon, all the ships I was watching overnight had gotten safely into the western side of the lake, except for Herbert L. Jackson, who was bound for Marquette and hadn't quite made it yet. That was interesting. He was stopped for a good part of the night, and the Edgar B. Speer was going in circles around him, then the Speer stopped and the Jackson went around in circles. As I suspected, the icebreaker Pierre Radisson waited until the three guys going east got to him and escorted them to the Soo. The other seven guys stayed bunched up all the way to the west end. Oh, how I wish I could have heard their radio communications! It must have been really interesting. Now the Radisson is escorting the CSL Niagara and the CSL Laurentien westward, and there are two other guys stopped in Whitefish Bay, probably waiting for the Radisson to come back (update: the Radisson is beginning to turn back now). Watching the lakers in the summer isn't quite as interesting as it's been for the past few days. By the way, the icebreaker Mackinaw is down in Whitefish Bay, too, but I suspect its task is to keep the lane open between Whitefish Point and the locks. It's so much fun to watch this stuff in real time - and it's real stuff, too.


As far as I know, the guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, which is partly the reason I had an accident, and he didn't want me to go away tonight. He was very glad when I came home. They are both a little puzzled by my weird hours lately, especially when I go back to bed after I've been up, but most cats prefer things to be the same all the time.


So now I am planning to get to bed at a reasonable hour, so that I can get up and go to my massage, although we'll see what the weather has to say about that. I hurt, especially my shoulders, so I'm hoping to be able to sleep tonight. it's a cold, rainy night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


April 8

Sigh. It started because I wanted to hear Beethoven's Triple Concerto, which I haven't heard in a while, and it just went on from there. I was ridiculously late going to bed and ridiculously late getting up, and then I knitted. Wow, how to get completely turned around! 


Tonight, I have to get it sort of back under control, partly because I'm tired, and partly because I got a call from Nancy at church and the choir is going to practice tomorrow, even without Pastor and Marcy. I really want to go, weather permitting, but we're apparently going to get hammered tomorrow night and Friday, so we'll see. If it's all right when I have to go, I will, and hope it's not too hard to get home.


We got air time on ATC this afternoon! There has been such a traffic jam on the lake over in Whitefish Bay that NPR heard about it. So I've spent the later part of the afternoon watching the Live Ships Map. It's been fun. The arctic icebreaker Pierre Radisson (Canada) finally made it to the Soo, so around 4:00 it, the Samuel Risley (Canada) and the Presque Isle (US) led a caravan of ten (!) lakers out of the bay and into the lake. Right now, they are all north and a little east of Grand Marais, and the Radisson and the  Presque Isle are leading six of the lakers onward toward the Keweenaw The Risley and four others have stopped for the night. The guy who talked to ATC mentioned that icebreaking at night is risky, but I guess those guys are so hot to get on with it that they'll take their chances. There are three other guys who have just rounded the Keweenaw, and I suppose the Radisson will meet them and lead them back, and the guys who are stopped will take off in the morning. The last good pictures I had from the MODIS imagery showed that the ice sort of thins out around the Keweenaw, but the prevailing westerly winds have pushed what's left to the east end of the lake.


It's been fun to watch all the maneuvering. Every so often somebody will report a heading that is 180º, more or less, different from their last one, and I wonder what the heck that guy thinks he's doing. Oh, now Burns Harbor has turned east from where he was stopped, and it looks like he might want to get in at the end of the line the Radisson is leading - but it's not possible to tell exactly what they're doing. I wish I had a receiver that could get their radio signals, but they're too far from here anyway. Even though it's nearly calm now, and there will be a pretty bright moon, I sure wouldn't want to be out in the middle of that ice field tonight! But with the weather supposed to move in, I guess everybody wants to get as close to Duluth as they can before tomorrow night. 


Yes, it sounds like we're going to get our April storm. Sigh. Today wasn't too bad, although I think I remember seeing some snowflakes this morning when I was up. The sky was clear at sunset, and that's nice, but it isn't likely to last very long. The high temperature for the day was 37º, briefly. The wind has been from the south, and it was breezy this afternoon, with gusts up to 24 mph. It cleared up around 5:00, but I guess that isn't supposed to last very long. The only good thing (?) about the storm is that the temperatures will be above freezing the whole time, but if the forecasts are at all accurate, it may be nasty. We'll see.


The guys seemed to be all right with me sleeping half the day. When I finally did get up, they both came in and went to sleep in the bathroom with me. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie wanted to sit on me while I was typing this, so he hasn't had any yet. Every time I see them doing something like that, I know the guy who said cats don't really like people never saw my cats with me. I know my guys think I'm great. 


Ooh! The Cason J. Calloway just decided to start up! Maybe he will follow Burns Harbor in the caravan. I can't wait to see what happens next. Unfortunately, I can't watch them all night, but it sure is fun! I guess the Risley will stay with anybody who wants to anchor for the night, but there are only two of them now, or I think so. It's too bad that by the time I get up tomorrow, it will be too late to see what they do overnight. This is fun! You should watch - http://pasty.com/marinetraffic.html. It's better than television! This is real.


So that was a sort of day. Now it's a clear, warmish night in the field, but the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


April 7

Well, last night I was reading, and as a result it was a ridiculous hour before I got to bed. Thanks to Phil for pointing out that I forgot to do the upload until I got his email. My mind... I set the alarm and I got up at 9:00 to get ready for my massage. Then, just as I was getting ready to leave, Johanna called to say that her driveway was a skating rink and probably I couldn't make it into the house, so why don't we do it on Friday. That was fine with me. I immediately took off my jeans and put on my sweats and went back to bed for about three hours. I still didn't feel all that good when I got up, but I was good enough to make it through the afternoon.


Of course, that meant I didn't do anything. Oh, well. I have to wash my hair tonight, I think, but maybe I won't be quite as late. 


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy at sunrise, but by 9:00 it had cleared up and it stayed clear or nearly clear until around 3:00, when it clouded up again. The high temperature was 36º, briefly. It was a bit cooler mostly. The winds were light, but they had switched around to the east by sunset. I guess we are supposed to be in for some nasty mixed precip for the next couple of days, but oh, well. That's spring. At least I don't have to go to town this week.


The guys were sleepy. When I went back to bed, Grayson immediately jumped up on the bed and walked over the pillow and settled down next to my head, where he stayed until I got up. Sweetie! Louie wasn't around, though. I don't know where he went. I knitted when I got up, and Grayson stayed in the bathroom with me until I got up from that. I know he doesn't understand it when I do something different, and twice in the past three days, I've gone back to bed after I got up. I'm sure he wonders if there's something wrong with me. I wish I could assure him that there isn't.


So that was a nearly useless day - I did order some TP and some other stuff. Now it's a cloudy night in the field and there may be some yucky stuff coming down before morning.


April 6

Well, for one reason or another, it was 11:30 before I got to bed. I was so tired I just didn't want to move, I guess. I slept well, although I was up several times, and I got up around 10:30. I knitted, and slowly I'm working my way to the end of this project. I'm still trying to decide what the next one will be, but it will probably depend upon whether I get my Abalone yarn (colorway, not brand) before I finish this. 


I didn't do much else. I had an accident, of course, and I did my surfing, of course. That was about the extent of it. While my dinner was cooking I partially loaded the dishwasher. The rest of the dishes needed to be soaked a bit, so before I go to bed, I will have to complete the load. 


The weather was so-so. It was cloudy in the morning, cleared up for a few hours during the middle of the day, and then got cloudy again. The high temperature was about 31º, and that was for most of the day. There was a little breeze from the east early in the afternoon, but there wasn't much wind at all. Sort of blah.


The guys were sort of blah, too. Louie has taken to sleeping on the couch in the great room, where the sun shines a bit if it's sunny. Grayson sleeps around. He sat on me a couple of times. It's quiet around here, and we all like that.


So now I will probably read a bit before I finish loading the dishwasher and go up to the north end. I don't feel like writing tonight, although I'm not as tired or as achy as I was yesterday. It's a cloudy night in the field.


April 5 - Easter Sunday

Christ is risen, Alleluia!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!


Well, I was later than I intended last night. I just didn't want to get up, it seemed. Sigh. I slept, but I was up about every two hours, and as frequently happens, I was up a few minutes before 6:00, and I had fallen back to sleep when the alarm went off. Ugh!


I got up anyway, and I actually got going quite early. I noticed, when I was up in the night, that the roof of the garage was covered with snow, and when I left the house, there was snow on the road all the way to the other side of the Mountain Lodge before it all went away. You know that black cloud I noticed last night? It dumped on us and then it went away. It was nearly clear all night long. Humph.


I got to church a bit early, and that was nice, because I was able to have a little of the Easter breakfast, and it was good. So I was well-fortified when I went upstairs. Unfortunately, the weather or something did a number on my bod, and every joint in it ached, to the extent that after we had to stand through from the Old Testament lesson through the psalm and two songs, I was so achy I couldn't stand up any longer. I did finally stand again for the prayers, but barely. That worked out all right, because we had to stand for the last hymn anyway and I didn't have to sit down and stand up again to leave. Oh, I ached! I still ache!


It was a nice service, though. As usual, they sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" and I didn't even try to sing it. I get weepy just hearing it. Old memories, plus the words.


The weather was cold but clear. The temperature bottomed out at 13º at 8:00, but then it rose quickly, and by the time church was over, it was 26º. That was about it, though. the high for the day was 27º. There was hardly any wind, and it was all over the map. It was clear until around 1:00, and then it was partly cloudy, although it's completely cloudy in the west now. The snow last night was very local, and there wasn't any down the peninsula. The road was fairly clear by the time I got home, although our road is rather nasty right now.


The guys slept. They were awake when I got up this morning, but they were sleeping when I got home. Grayson got a lot of lap time, but I haven't seen Louie yet. He tends to come around later in the evening.


When I got home, I changed my clothes and went back to bed. I was exhausted. I think I probably slept for an hour and a half or so, I'm still very tired, but it enabled me to get through the rest of the afternoon, when I wrote on Trine 6. I'm not through with what I wanted to add, or the changes I need to make to fold it into what else I'd written, but I did do around 2800 words, which is good. As usual, what I wrote isn't nearly as good as what I was dreaming about for the past few days, but it will do for the time being.


Now I could either write some more or I could go to bed, and I think I will be going to bed. I still ache, and even though I ache when I'm lying down, it's a bit better than it is when I'm sitting up. If I stay up, heaven knows when I might get to bed, and besides, one of the things that aches is my hands. 


We just had a very nice sunset which the camera couldn't see because it was rather bright. The sun is setting over Porter's Island now, so we're making progress. It's a cold, partly cloudy night in the field.


Christ is risen, Alleluia!

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!


April 4

i didn't make it into bed until 11:30, but that's early for me. I slept well, but I was up any number of times. I got up around 10:30 and I knitted, and then I had a nasty accident, so I didn't do much of anything. I did go to the post office and the store, where there were a couple of packages. 


The weather was clear and windy but not very warm. The high temperature was only 34º, for a couple of hours. The wind was from the north, and there were gusts up to 34 mph. It was clear and beautiful all day, and if Environment Canada is right, it will be that way all night and for most of tomorrow, too. Right now, it's interesting out there. It's clear except to the north, where there is a big dark cloud and according to radar, there is a patch of snow out in the lake north of us. Weather around here is always so interesting!


The guys were mostly sleepy. Louie apparently felt good this morning (or around noon, I guess), because as I was leaving the bathroom, he started playing with the end of the rope I have tied around the bathroom door handle. I played with him for several minutes, and he was really into it. The trouble is, his idea of playing is to hook his claws into the rope and then start to bite it, and I'm supposed to pull on it while he's doing that. Maybe fun for him, but not so much for me. He was jumping around trying to catch the end, though. It was good to see him feeling so good. I don't think Grayson does, though. He was on my lap several times today, and at least once, when he was sitting on the ugly chair, he coughed a little, like he has a hairball. If so, I'm not surprised. Both of them are shedding like mad. I'd say it's a little early, but I think it's a daylight thing.


Speaking of that, days are 13 hours long now and getting longer by about 24 minutes a week. Sunset isn't until 8:25, and when i get up at 6:30 tomorrow, it will be getting light. I like that. I think I've said before that I hate to get up in the dark.


I thought it was going to be a clear night, but there is that big dark cloud moving in on us, so now I don't know. At any rate, the full moon will make it bright, and I like that. There's less possibility I will walk on a cat when I get up in the night. So now I can say it's a partly cloudy, cool and windy night in the field, and I will be going to bed early, so I can get up and attem tomorrow.


April 3 - Good Friday

Well, I didn't make it to church. I didn't get up until just about the time it was starting. Oh, well. With the entire St. John's choir there, they didn't need me. I knitted, and I finished the third repeat on the second side, so I am 75% done. It's still a pretty thing, and I like it, but it's beginning to get old. Three more repeats...


I was so late last night partly because of the music, partly because I just didn't want to take my bath and partly because I started thinking about Trine 6 and I now see the way forward. If I want to get to bed tonight, I can't do the writing, but I now know what I want to write, so that's a step forward.


Other than knit, I didn't do anything. I was so late, there wasn't time. I did have a good dinner; I had my lovely fresh whitefish, and oh, my was it good! Yum! There was more than I really needed, but that's all right. I can indulge every so often.


The weather was much colder than yesterday. The high temperature during the day was 25º. The wind was strong until around 9:00 this morning, with gusts up to 34 mph from the north. After that, it started to die down a lot. It was cloudy until around 4:30, when it began to clear up, and it was completely clear at sunset. That isn't supposed to last, but we'll see. The Paschal Moon is full either tonight or tomorrow night, so it will be bright out there. There is an eclipse tomorrow morning, but we won't get to see it, since it doesn't start until after the moon sets here. Hey, even with lunar eclipses, things like that happen.


The guys both slept, but they both got some lap time, and they both left for the same reason: I started coughing. 


I'm not sure, but I think I have a slight cold. At least my nose is running and my sinuses are draining. I had a sinus headache for most of the day. In the morning, I sometimes cough up some nasty glop, which is a good sign.


I was sitting in the bathroom this morning after I finished my knitting and I saw something move on a dead birch at my northern lot line, so I grabbed the binoculars (yes, I keep a pair of binoculars in the bathroom! Never know what I might see out the window). What I saw was a nice male hairy woodpecker pounding his lunch out of a dead trunk. He was really into it, and he was there long after I stopped looking at him. From the amount of red on the back of his head, I know it was a male. He is a neat bird, and while when you look at him by himself, you might not think so, the black and white markings on his body are really quite good camouflage. If I hadn't seen him fly onto the trunk and seen his head moving, I would never have known he was there. Neat bird.


So otherwise, I have nothing to report. I am so tired that I hope to get to bed after the Mozart stops. It's a clear, cold night in the field.


April 2

I did it again, and I have no excuse except that the music was nice and I was so tired I just didn't want to get up and go to bed. Sigh. I got up around 11:00 this morning and I knitted, so that was nice.


Otherwise, I didn't do a thing. The knitting took long enough that I was still reading my funnies when the talking came on. And when dinnertime rolled around, I sort of ignored it, so I just finished eating. Weird.


It was a strange weather day today. The high temperature was 59º, briefly, and it was in the upper 50s for most of the afternoon. It was also very windy, with gusts up to 32 mph from the northwest. I really should check that door again, because I keep hearing a little whistling. Hey, doors that are closed tight should stay closed tight. Anyway, the temperature is already down to 44º and it's supposed to get back down into the upper 20s tonight and tomorrow, Well, what the high temperature is depends upon which of the four or five forecasts I look at you believe. I wish Environment Canada could extend its forecasts to us, because as much as I can see, they're more accurate than anybody else. The others are pitiful. Anyway, there's no question that it's going to be cold over the weekend. At least that means we don't have to have "Easter outfits" to go to church. Just wear something warm under your winter coat...


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time and Louie tried, but he jumped up on my lap from the floor, and he dug his claws so deep in my leg that I screeched at him and shooed him away. I don't suppose he has any idea why, but he hurt me. They were sleepy enough today that I I know there's a change in the weather coming.


When I went to get dinner (such as it was) there were nice stars out, and I think the moon was shining, too, although I couldn't see it. Venus was setting in the northwest, and Jupiter was shining brightly, as well as some stars I didn't bother to try to identify. Probably Aldebaran and maybe Regulus. I guess it's suppose to cloud up, tomorrow, too. It sure is nice to see stars.


So now I have to go up to the north end, once I've finished my drink. I have to wash my hair, and I'm really tired tonight. Not enough sleep, I guess. 


It's a clear, windy night in the field.


April 1

I've noticed that as the years have passed, there are fewer and fewer April Fool's jokes. That's fine with me. I have no use for practical jokes at all. Most of them are cruel and nasty and I can do without that. Besides, we had our April Fools yesterday, with 2" of wet, nasty snow. According to the Road Commission, it was today, but they measure in the morning, so what they reported actually happened yesterday.  Anyway, the total for March was 25", which is about normal, and the total for the season, including today, is 254", which is a bit above normal, but not much. I'm tired of white, and I think everybody else is, too.


I was extremely late getting to bed last night. I started writing on the sequel to Special Forces, which I started a while ago, and time just passed, and then I had to wash my hair, and all the rest of it. After I take a bath, I put one kind of glop on my face and another on my hands and feet after I comb out my hair. It all takes a while, and it always takes me a while to stop staring at the floor and get moving, too. I didn't get up until around 1:30, so I got my sleep, and I felt fine until lately. Now I'm tired.


I didn't have time to do much but my surfing, because I decided to go down to town early and do some food shopping. It's still cold enough that I can leave stuff in the car for a while. So I left a little after 4:00 - snuck out on the cats - and went to Pat's. I think I got what I needed. I have lots of lettuce, and I got some fresh meat, too. I was disappointed that they didn't have the boneless, skinless chicken thighs I've been eating lately, but I still have some in the freezer. I did get some nice lamb and some very nice fresh whitefish. I'll have the lamb tomorrow and the fish on Friday. Yum.


I walk slowly enough that I got out of Pat's by a little before 6:00, so I only had to wait a few minutes before somebody showed up to open the door and let us in. Jan was there, but she locks the door behind her, just because she's all by herself and Laurium isn't paradise either. We had a good practice. Everybody seemed to be in a good mood and I think we're as prepared for the next four days as we can be. I won't go to Maundy Thursday, because that's too many trips, but I will go on Friday and of course on Sunday. We aren't singing anything spectacular, and in fact, we're doing a lot of chanting. That's nice, but it's time we did something else. One of the ladies had brought in a song she had sung with another choir, and we sang it at the end. It would be a wonderful Advent song, and I hope we do it. So I learned a new hymn.


When we left, after practicing for an hour and a half, it was raining, but every week, it's lighter a little later, so I got to drive about halfway home before it got really dark. I was grateful. However, I had to unload the car and put away all the stuff I bought - the freezer is bulging - so it was after 10:00 before I finally ate dinner. I got to have a potato with my pork chop, and that was nice. I don't like "baked" potatoes so well when I do them in the microwave, but it's hard to argue with having one in five or six minutes. It was very tasty.


The weather wasn't very nice. The high temperature did get to 41º briefly, but mostly it was in the middle 30s. There was a brisk wind from the south with gusts as high as 41 mph, and it's still windy. There was a little rain between 2:00 and 3:00, but nothing until around the time I got to Calumet, and then it started again around 8:00. It was dark and cloudy for most of the day, although there was enough sun that I had to wear my sunglasses part of the way down to town.


The roads were clear on the way down and just wet on the way home. Our road is a real mess, as usual. I'm getting very tired of white.


I think the guys mostly slept. They both turned up when I was bringing in the groceries, although nobody tried to get out. I think Grayson may finally have learned his lesson. They were sniffing around, and I had to shoo them out of my way several times. Grayson came and sat on me after I ate, but I think they've gone back to sleep. I think that's a good plan.


So now it's a dark, rainy night in the field, but it's not very cold. I think I am going to go up to the north end as soon as I upload this. I'm tired. And finally - finally! - March is over with!


Last  updated 05/01/15 10:31 PM