A View From the Field








December 2015

December 31 - New Year's Eve

Well, it wasn't much of a day, but at least I stirred around a bit. I got to bed so ridiculously late that I didn't get up until around 12:30. I didn't knit. I actually got dressed for the first time all week. My jeans weren't as much looser as I'd hoped, but I must have lost some weight, since I've hardly been eating anything.


Anyway, I got dressed, gathered up the mail that needed to go out and a thank-you gift for Ron and trundled off to the post office before I had anything to eat. It didn't bother me. There was a ton of mail, and two packages, one a very pretty pin from Debbie with three cardinals and a lot of bling. I need to get at her present, for sure. That will be easier, because the other package was the pair of crimp pliers I got on sale for almost nothing. There were a lot of pleas for money, a lot of catalogs and several magazines, but only one bill. The several other things will require some thinking. It makes me angry that these insurance companies don't tell you all the fine print they're changing until it's too late to change your company. I may have to call the broker and complain.


Anyway, I sat and read the mail and looked at a couple of magazines until I realized it must be time for the talking to start. In fact, it was 4:15. So I warmed up a focaccia roll and that was breakfast (and/or lunch), with a little spreadable cheese. I did my surfing while the talking was on, but nothing is happening, so it didn't matter much if I didn't hear everything.


Clearly, I'm not well yet, because I'm not hungry at all. I'm still coughing and blowing, and at times it's severe. I am still having night sweats, although they aren't as severe as they were over the weekend. Now I just get hot, but I don't break out in a sweat. Since the cancer, I'm always a little suspicious, but this is normal. Ever since I've been an adult, I could tell if I was sick or coming down with something by the night sweats and how severe they are. By that measure, I was pretty sick over the weekend. Slowly it's getting better, though.


I did have a nice dinner: a piece of flat iron steak and my rice and veggies. Not enough room for salad yet, unfortunately. And also unfortunately, I couldn't taste any of it. From Grayson's reaction, I guess it was pretty good, though. Beef is one thing he will eat after he begs for it. I gave him a little piece and he ate the whole thing, but that was all he wanted. When he sticks out that paddy paw and tries to hook my hand with his claw, I never know if he really wants something or he just wants to know I'll give him some. Beef is good, and I think he likes lamb, but fish and chicken usually just make him sniff. He hasn't discovered the joys of warm juice and gravy yet. What a funny little cat


It was another dull, gray day. The temperature actually got up to 30 around noon before it dropped back. Around 4:00, a brisk west wind picked up, with gusts to 20 mph. There were a few dribbles of snow, or snowballs, while I was out, but nothing to register at the weather station. It was very cloudy and dark, but not too bad to be out in. I will know it's lighter when the automatic headlights on my car don't come on. I noticed that today is a whole 54 seconds longer than yesterday. Wow, once we get to the bottom, it just takes forever to begin to come out of it.


Other than Grayson begging for dinner, they slept. I haven't seen Louie.


So that was a late and nothing day, and I hope this will be an early and nothing night. It's a dark, cold night in the field.


Happy New Year, all ye who stay up for that.


December 30

Yuck, another lousy day.


I went into zombie mode last night, so it was very late when I went to bed, and then I coughed for nearly an hour. I thought I would take some cough syrup, and it didn't work as advertised. I started coughing as soon as it hit my throat, so hard that I gagged, and I kept right on. It did loosen things up a lot, but that wasn't what I was aiming for. Finally I did get to sleep, and I was sleeping so hard that all three times I got up, when I started coughing, I peed my pants so badly I had to change them - three pairs for the night.  And wipe up the floor. Yuck.


I got up around 12:30. After looking at the shawl again last night, I decided there was no alternative to ripping back to where I screwed up, which by this time was about 26 rows, almost at the beginning of Chart IV. I finally did get things back together, and I think they're right now, but boy, did I ever screw up that one row! It was the beginning of a new center pattern, but still. And when I realized that I'd messed up (which was last week), I should have ripped right then. At that point it was only about 12 rows. Well, live and learn. Particularly, be careful with new patterns and rip back when you first realize you've screwed up. Anyway, it seems to be OK now. Only it took over two hours to get it right. The ripping goes fast, but picking up the stitches again and then unknitting until everything is in place takes forever, especially since there are about 140 stitches on the needle at that point. And then I had to fiddle with the part that was wrong until I realized what I'd done. I seemed to have one stitch too few, and it took me some fiddling to find out that I'd put a "knit-two-together" where there shouldn't be one. How I ever managed to misread the chart that badly, I never will know. Well, now onward and upward...all over again. I may make some other mistakes, but I won't make that one again (there are other places where there are the same sequence of stitches).


So I didn't get to do the other thing I'd planned. I need to get my taxes paid before the end of the year, so I had planned to do that and go to the post office. Since I'm sure I have packages, and I need to see Ron and make sure he postmarks the envelope and gets it into the right box (I mean, why send it all the way down to Kingsford and back?), I need to go when he's open. So I must go tomorrow, even if I don't knit at all.


I think slowly I'm getting over this thing. I'm still coughing almost constantly and blowing almost as much, and I don't feel good, but I do feel better than I did a couple of days ago. I'm beginning to be able to taste a very little bit, and my Eustachian tubes weren't clogged today. I didn't have any bad night sweats last night. Not that I feel good, or anything, but I don't think I have a fever. I'm still not hungry, but the idea of eating isn't turning my stomach. I guess that's progress.


The weather was forgettable. It was dark and cloudy. The temperature was about steady all day at 26. The wind was from the north at around 12 mph until recently, when it went to nothing. There was apparently a little snow between 2:00 and 3:00, but nothing to get excited about. The camera apparently hung around 10:30, so we didn't get a whole day of pictures, not that there would have been much change.


The guys slept, of course. Grayson got some lap time, but when Louie wanted to sit on me, he looked at my nightie and robe and he wouldn't jump up. I have no idea why. Usually it wouldn't bother him, but today it did. Cats are weird.


So that was another lost day, and tonight I must wash my hair. Besides, I'm tired again. I didn't get enough actual sleep last night. It's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


December 29

This is getting really old.


I was a little later than I wanted to be getting to bed last night, and I didn't sleep very well. I kept hacking and blowing and having to get up and pee. I did get some sleep, I guess, because time passed and I didn't notice it, and I didn't get up until around 12:30. I knitted, but it was slow going, because I had to fix all the mistakes I made yesterday. 


That was all I did, except to clean up after myself and clean myself up. Not eating anything hasn't meant stuff isn't coming out of the bottom, and since I haven't been eating much, it's very runny. I have two pairs of panties, compression hose and socks in the laundry room that need washing, and both yesterday and today I had to try to mop (not with a mop) up as much stuff as I could. I did get closer to the powder room today, but that's not saying a lot. Then, of course, later in the afternoon, I started coughing when my bladder was full, so I had to change my panties again and clean myself up again. I know a few of you haven't been very sympathetic, but you've never had to deal with these things day after day. Maybe you've never had such bad diarrhea that you couldn't make it to the bathroom - or if you did, you had somebody else to clean up after you. And maybe you have to be female to understand the incontinence problem. I can't tell you how I hate it, particularly when I'm sick.


I'm still sick. I feel bad, and while I was knitting this morning, I had an itchy ear and discovered a big chunk of stuff in it, but after that, I realized that I had managed to clog up my Eustachian tubes pretty badly, and it's just been lately that I've managed to get that to mostly go away - chewing, even fish, helps. I've been being very careful about blowing, believe me. My dad had the same problem, and I believe it's because I have a plumbing problem in my head. I think it will be better tomorrow, because I'm being very careful, and right now, it's not bad. For most of the day it sounded like my ears were full of water. I am still coughing and blowing, but less glop and more runny stuff. I don't know whether that's better or worse.


Other than doing my surfing, I didn't do anything. I did eat a little dinner tonight, although I didn't eat much of my rice. Oh, well, that reheats. I was hoping to eat enough rice to help my running along, but I'm still not hungry. 


I still feel pretty bad, and when I was changing my panties, I checked my temperature and it was about 99.3. That's better, but not good. It may be wrong, too. I wish there was a reasonably priced instant read fever thermometer. I have two, and neither of them are instant read, neither of them read the same number twice in a row, and neither of them reliably signal when they're ready to read. It seems to me that if they can make an instant read meat thermometer that works reliably, they should be able to make a fever thermometer that does and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.


I mostly ignored the weather, except that I noticed that when I was up during the morning, a couple of times there was clearly snow down the harbor. There wasn't much. The high temperature was 26, but it was nearly steady all day. The wind was pretty much from the east, and the gusts got up to 30 mph overnight. It has died down almost completely now. According to the County, Delaware had 29" of snow by yesterday, although we didn't get anywhere near that much down here. Well, rarely do we get more than Delaware does.


The guys mostly slept. Grayson got some lap time, but when Louie got on my lap, he didn't want to sit, for some reason. Grayson has been getting on the table and lying full-out on the shawl, which he knows makes me angry, but he keeps doing it, until I shake my stick (or my arm) at him. What a snot.


So that was another day that was mostly sleep. Now it's a cold, dark night in the field, but the snow was a dud and it's over.


December 28

Wow, talk about no day!


I was later than I planned last night, of course. I had to wash my hair, so I fiddled with the computer then I fiddled with the thermometers. I had a temperature of between 99.8 and 100.2 depending on which thermometer and where I put it, but it was definitely above normal, since normal for me Is between 96.8 and 97.6. No wonder I felt so cruddy. Then I fiddled some more, but eventually I got the deed done and got to bed. It took me a while to get to sleep, what with all the coughing and blowing. I was up about every two hours, but I had less trouble getting back to sleep after the first time. 


I got up around 10:30, and I knitted my four rows, very slowly, but I was having trouble seeing and I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, let alone in focus, so around 12:30, I climbed back into bed. I finally got up about 3:30. I do feel marginally better, so maybe I'll try the same thing again, hopefully starting earlier, since I don't have to shower. I had a large breakfast, which probably helped, too. I'm debating eating something more, but all I have that's quick is Mexican, and I'm not sure I want that. I'm not hungry, but I do need fuel every so often. No JD tonight, though, I don't think. And I've about had enough turkey for a while.


The weather was forgettable. The temperature has finally gotten to 24. The wind has been from the southeast, and it is now rising, to 27 mph gusts.  It was very cloudy and dark. The snow may move in tonight or tomorrow, but we're not supposed to get very much this time.


The guys aren't happy. Grayson, particularly, is clearly worried. In fact, he's sitting on my lap now, even though I'm typing. Louie slept in the bathroom the whole time I was at the north end, and after I went back to bed, Grayson was there, too. Mommy doesn't usually spend that much time in bed, and she usually doesn't make such loud, uncouth noises, either.


My ribs are still sore from coughing, but I have to say my head feels a bit better today, so maybe I'm getting past the worst of it. We'll see. Now it's a cold, dark night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


December 27

I was stupidly late last night, and the only reason was that I was reading. I slept marginally better than i have lately, but that had its disadvantages, too. At one point, I woke up coughing and I peed all over everything including the bed before I managed to get to the bathroom and change my underwear. I didn't get up until around 11:00, I think. I knitted, and I had to change my underwear again, and a third time when I had an accident later.


I still feel really cruddy. I may not be coughing quite as much, but it seems like I usually start right about the time I need to pee, and when I cough, I can't hold it. I've been coughing so much that my chest muscles are so sore I can hardly stand to cough. Coughing hurts my head, too, but at least that goes away when I can sleep some. I hope this is over soon. It's getting really old.


I didn't do anything except my surfing, which was a bit difficult because there seems to be a problem with my Internet connection. Hmm. I must try that again and see if it's been fixed.


The weather was cold. The high temperature was at midnight. During the day, it was 21 or 22. The wind was from the north up to 28 mph. It was mostly to completely cloudy, but there were lots of puffy gray clouds with little breaks of blue sky between them. There wasn't any snow.


The guys slept, of course. They both got some lap time.


So that was it, and now it's a cold, cloudy night in the field.


December 26

I made it into bed by about 1:30 last night. I did not sleep well. It took me quite a while to get to sleep and I was up around every two hours. I would wake up coughing and wetting my pants and blowing my nose. Eventually that would sort of subside, and I would go back to bed and it would take me a while to get back to sleep. The usual when I have as bad a cold as this one.


I got up around 10:45, and I knitted four rows, with stops to cough and blow. I didn't do much of anything else. I still feel lousy and every time I had a coughing and blowing fit, I felt worse. I had to change my underwear, because I had an accident, and a serious one, and I washed what I had on. I still have to put it in the dryer. Then, about the time I was going to get some dinner, I had a coughing fit. I simply do not understand why it is that I always seem to have these things when my bladder is full, and I can't hold it. So my nice clean sweats are now a bit dampish. Grr. Oh, how I wish I could get rid of this thing right now!!!


Late this afternoon, Ron called to tell me that there is a telephone wire down over the road close to US-41. He needed the AT&T repair number. 


I guess the reason it came down is that it's been snowing lightly all day. I doubt we've had 2", but if the wires had been dislodged by the wind we had early in the week, anything might bring them down. It's possible to get through, but anybody who came down here not knowing about it might pull them down. At least it wasn't the electric wires.


I tried to listen to the music, but it kept cutting out. I think there's something amiss with my Internet connection, but I don't want to bother Charlie with it now. If it's still bad on Monday, I'll call and complain. We've had enough electric problems lately that I'm not surprised it's affected the Internet.


There has been about 0.18" of water equivalent today. The temperature was nearly steady at 31 and around 2:00, the wind started to rise, from the east, until now the gusts are 27 mph.  The lake is singing softly. Of course it was dark and cloudy all day. There may have been more snow further down the peninsula. It's supposed to stop sometime overnight. Not that it makes any difference. I'm not planning to go anywhere tomorrow. Period.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but I think Louie is holed up in the bathroom where it's warm.


So that was my day. I feel cruddy. Coughing has made my chest feel sore, especially when I cough or blow. I don't think I have pneumonia or anything. It's the same thing that's making my head hurt. I need to take a bath, if only to clean up my bottom, but it will clean up my hair, too. 


Now it's a dark, snowy night in the field, but it isn't very cold. Christmas is over.


December 25 - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope your day was better than mine and you had time to spend with those you love the most.


I was stupidly late getting to bed last night - or this morning, actually, but it wasn't near an all-nighter. I slept fairly well, but I'm having to get up every two to three hours. I got up around 11:00, I think, and I knitted four rows with not much trouble. It would have been even easier if I'd turned on the lights, but I keep forgetting.


And that was it. I still feel really cruddy, I'm still coughing and blowing, and my head still hurts. So I sat and did nothing. At intervals I would start coughing again, and that made me wet my pants, so then I had to go to the powder room...and then I started all over again. I actually called Peggy to tell her I wasn't coming before I had breakfast, and I didn't eat anything until nearly 4:00. I feel bad enough that I'm not hungry, and besides, I can't taste anything, so it wasn't until my tummy started gurgling and I started feeling a bit faint that I decided I'd better fuel up a little. That was a bagel and cream cheese, and I just finished a turkey sandwich (on a focaccia roll) that I couldn't taste at all. That half-turkey has turned into a life saver. Besides, it's good. I determined that when I could still taste. I nailed the cooking time, so both the dark and white meat are done but the breast is still moist. I just wish I could taste it. Focaccia, turkey, Bibb lettuce, Miracle Whip...all kind of warm...yum! I can imagine.


The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 30 and there wasn't any wind except for a short while between 2:00 and 6:00 when the gusts got as high as 35 mph briefly before they died down completely again. I'd love to know what causes those glitches. That was when the wind sifted briefly to the north, but it's now shifted back toward the south. I think there may have been a few snowflakes before I got up, but not enough to register at the weather station. I guess we're in for some real snow tomorrow, but how much depends upon whether you believe the Weather Underground or the NWS...or John. It looks now like it will be between noon tomorrow and noon Sunday, but they've been moving it forward all day, so we'll see. I would really like to go to church on Sunday, because it's the last communion of the year, but the weather and my cold don't look like it will be likely. More likely, I should stay home and try to get well as soon as possible.


The guys slept and I didn't see much of them. Grayson is still nervous, though. He knows I'm not well, and it worries him. And yet, when I start hacking and blowing and he's on my lap, he goes away. Not that I blame him.


So that was a nothing day. I wanted to hear Symphony Cast tongiht, because they're doing Beethoven's Third, but it kept cutting out, and I'm not going to call Charlie on Christmas Day! So I guess I'll just wait a day or so and try it again.


Now it's a dark, calm night in the field, but the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


December 24 - Christmas Eve

Sigh. I bailed.


I was late getting to bed, mostly because of the nice music, and I had to wash my hair, but it was clear to me before I got to sleep that it would take a miracle for me to get to church tonight. There was no miracle.


I got up around 11:00, and I knitted about four rows. I would have done more, but I realized yesterday that I had goofed in one place and it took me a while to get it fixed. I was not going to rip out four whole rows, so I just worked where the mistake was. I got it back together eventually, and after tugging hard on it for a while, it doesn't look too bad. That took quite a while.


By that time, it was pretty clear that I wasn't going anywhere today, but I didn't actually admit it until around 4:00, when I called Nancy to tell her I wouldn't be coming. I really feel cruddy. I'm still coughing and blowing and my head hurts. My sinuses are so full that I keep tearing, and no, it's not all the Christmas carols. So I'm grounded. I'm not going anywhere. We'll see about Sunday, but otherwise, I'm staying home.


Obviously, I didn't do anything. I did listen to the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge (UK), and that made me tear up, too. Otherwise, nothing. Oh, well, I paid a few bills, but that was it. And I am definitely not going to be up very late tonight.


The weather was ferocious, but I can't say very much about it. We had a power failure around 5:00, it looks like, and the weather station was down until 8:00 tonight. Before it went down, the wind was gusting to 38 mph from the northwest, and I wouldn't be surprised to know it got even stronger than that later in the morning. It's over with now, though. The temperature for the day was around 28 or so. It was very dull and gray, and there were a few snowflakes. Since the temperature was around 35 when the power went out, I'm sure it's rather slippery outside. I would have gone if I could have, but it would have taken me a while.


The guys slept, but Grayson kept coming to sit on me. I think he knows I'm sick and it worries him.


The power failure this morning must have been a nasty one, because when I finally got to the studio, there was a gray screen of death that said Windows couldn't start. I decided to try to do a recovery, which it couldn't do, of course, but after it turned itself off and I rebooted, it was fine. We had another failure just after 5:00, but the generator came on for that one, so even though the computer rebooted and the clocks had to be reset (again!) there was no particular problem, and when the power came back on, the weather station came up, too. With the winds as high as they were, I would have been more surprised if we hadn't had a power failure. That's life in the UP.


So here I am, stuck at home with a nasty cold, on Christmas Eve. It seems to be the norm. It's a cold, dark night in the field, but the wind has died down. I'll leave you with this:


Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child,

Make Thee a bed, soft undefiled

Within my heart that it may be

A quiet chamber kept for Thee.



December 23

Well, I did it again. It was quite late when I finally went up to the north end, and then I got to fiddling with the charts for the shawl and it ended up being an all-nighter. I didn't sleep very well. I was awake about every two hours coughing and blowing and walking. I finally got up around 2:30. Sigh.


I knitted a couple of rows and I looked at the charts again, but I'm just going to have to wait until I get to those parts and see how they go. My gut feel is that there is a serious problem with the charts, but I won't know until I try to work them. 


Anyway, now I'm sick. I don't feel good, my nose and eyes are running and my head hurts. I can't taste much and I'm not very hungry. I will try to get to bed earlier tonight, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'll make it to church tomorrow. I think I can still sort of sing. Well, we'll see.


I was so late that I didn't do anything but knit and do my surfing.


The weather was not conducive to doing anything much. It was very dark and dull. It started raining around 10:00, and so far we've had 0.72". There was a strong west wind, but the peak gusts were only around 29 mph, about the time I went to bed. It sounded like it was stronger than that. The high temperature was 44 at 7:00 PM. I guess it's supposed to get cold and snowy tomorrow, maybe. At least the barometer has taken a dive. The snow should be over by the time I have to leave for church, but it won't be easy driving. Well, that's tomorrow. Oh, and the day was 10 seconds longer than yesterday. It's all up from here.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but he kept wanting to sit on me when I was about to do something else. When I came out of the kitchen with my dinner, he was laid out full-length on the shawl. Hey! He got chased off of that pretty fast. That cane of mine is a very useful tool for a lot of different things.


So that was not very much of a day. I notice that MPR is broadcasting the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College at 10:00 tomorrow, live. How I wish I could hear that! I doubt I'll be ambulatory by then, no matter when I go to bed, though. Ah, well. 


Now it's a dark, rainy night in the field. Now, when have I been able to write that on Christmas Eve Eve before?


December 22

So now it's winter by the calendar. Shows that doesn't have much to do with the actual season around here. It's either winter or it isn't, depending upon the day.


Instead of going to bed early like I wanted to, it ended up being late, but not too late - around 1:00, I think. I went up to the north end around 10:15, but then I got to fooling around with the charts for the shawl. I think there may be a serious error in them. Anyway, then I washed my hair, and by the time I did get to bed I was exhausted. I slept, although I had a coughing fit around 6:00, so it was 10:45 before I got up, and then I knitted. I did six rows, and I started chart 4, the first one that is on two pages. It's going to be messy to follow it. After that, I looked at the other charts again, so it was 2:00 before I ate, and then I had to change my bottoms.


As soon as I had that stuff in the washer, I washed the beaded shawl and it is now blocked and drying on the table - no help from Grayson, who wanted to sit on the table, on the towel and on the shawl. I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to him. Anyway, now that it's stretched out to its full size (not as big as I'd hoped, but pretty good) it's a very pretty thing. I will try to take a picture before I move it. That took so long I didn't do anything else.


The weather was sort of strange. We had a little sunshine (very little), a little snow, and the temperature has risen steadily since midnight, until now it's 38. There wasn't much wind until lately, when the gusts have gotten up to 38 mph from the south. The weather for the holiday depends upon who you believe, but I guess the precip will be tomorrow and Thursday and Friday will be all right. Now if I'm all right...


The guys slept. Grayson got quite a bit of lap time, but Louie just slept, when he wasn't bugging me on the table. I had to drop him on the floor twice and chase him off the table another couple of times. Well, he's a smart cat, and he'll learn he can't get on the table when there's something there - like a shawl being blocked.


I still don't feel good, and I'm coughing hard at intervals. It's particularly bad in the morning and my sinuses are draining, but I have a headache and I cough and blow a lot. Wet my pants, too, since I only seem to start coughing when I need to pee.


So now it's a warm, windy night in the field and I hope to do a better job of getting to bed early tonight.


December 21

Sometime around midnight EST, the sun reaches the winter solstice. It will be a month or so before we see any difference in the length of day, but it's nice to know we're on the upward leg, finally. 


Instead of going to bed early like I was planning, I ended up going late. I think I was just too tired to move and time just passed. I zoned out and pretty soon it was ridiculously late. I slept, of course. I got up around noon, and I knitted for longer than I was planning, so I didn't do anything much.


I did cook my half turkey, and it was good...is good...will be good. All I had was a wing for dinner, so I have a whole lot left. I will have to decide what to do with it, because there is no way I want to eat all of it this week. Besides, I have some nice whitefish for tomorrow, I'm going out on Friday and Thursday I may not get any dinner at all. We'll see. Anyway, the more I play with my big ovens the more fun it is. You plug in the probe, you set the oven temperature (convection roast, of course) and the internal temperature of the meat and you go away. When it's done, it beeps at you. The beep could be louder, since I'm not right there, but that's all right, because it turns itself off when it's done anyway. Love it.


I don't feel very good at all, and I was sneezing a while ago. I hope this isn't turning into something more than what I've been dealing with. 


The weather was better off ignored. The high temperature was 29 during the day. It fell from midnight. There was a brisk northeast wind, with gusts up to 23 mph. It was very cloudy and dark, and at intervals something came down, mostly graupel, I think. It wasn't much, but there was something on the garage roof when I got up. i hunkered down.


So did the guys. They slept. They both got some lap time and Grayson kept wanting to sit on me even when I was busy. 


So it was another useless day, and Debbie isn't going to get her Christmas present for a while. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field and I'm tired.


December 20

I actually got to bed before 10:00 last night - the time was spent filling the pill dispensers - but I had a hard time getting to sleep and I was up any number of times. I had a serious night sweat, too, which confirmed that I have some kind of virus. 


I got up when the alarm went off, though, and I managed to get away before 9:15, which is unusual. Of course, I rushed, my top wasn't on straight and I forgot to change my shoes, but oh, well. I did wear the shawl I blocked on Friday, and it was noticed. It would have been much nicer if I could have blocked it to the length it was supposed to be, but it will be all right. It is a pretty thing. I must try to figure out how to get a picture.


Church was nice, except that Pastor threw us a curve. He decided to have us sing a in a whole different order, and at different times, than he told us on Thursday. Well, we're resilient. We did good, although Stuart got a bit off-key on part of his solo. He got it back, though, and I doubt anybody else but our other organist noticed. Thank goodness we are finally done with the "O Antiphons!" The words are nice, and the settings are interesting, but since we didn't have time to learn the parts, we sang them in unison, and it wasn't nearly as nice as it could have been. Well, maybe next year...


The confirmands and the little Sunday school did their recitations for us, and it was, as usual, excruciating. The confirmands who didn't talk too fast talked so quietly it was hard to hear them, the Sunday school kids talked fast and quietly, except for the littlest one, who talked loudly but couldn't remember his lines. I didn't like those things when I was their age, and I still don't. It was interesting to see how old some of the kids have gotten. The girls look like sixteen or seventeen - and they can't be more than thirteen. Some of the boys have begun their teen growth spurt and some haven't, but none of their voices have broken yet. We have six confirmands in our congregation this year, and there are several more at Hubbell. It's so nice to see them all, but there were parents in church to see them who haven't been there for regular services in months. Sigh. I'm sure Pastor finds it discouraging. At least they send their kids to confirmation, and maybe it will stick.


After church, I had to shop. I was running out of OJ. The parking lot was a mess, and I was late enough that I had to park quite a way from the door, but they get their packers to help old people like me. The young man who helped me had a hard time getting through the snow, so I know I could never have done it myself. For once, I got all food, and it was a relatively modest order (for me). And for once, they had all the meat I wanted. I got two flat iron steaks for the freezer (I cut them in two or three pieces, which is just right), a nice lamb chop which I just finished eating, and some lovely whitefish. And I got a half turkey. That is something I have never seen anyplace else that is a wonderful thing and I've had it before. They slice a turkey in half lengthwise and sell just the half. The one I got came in at about 5 lbs, which is plenty for me and it will give me my turkey fix. I plan to roast it tomorrow. I have been invited out on Christmas Day, and there is a good chance I won't get anything to eat on Christmas Eve, so at least I'll have something to make sandwiches out of. I love turkey, and I'm looking forward to dinner tomorrow.


I succumbed to a package of bacon yesterday at the general store, and I had some for breakfast today.  Does anybody not like bacon? I know it's not good for me, but once or twice a year, I figure I can indulge. Volwerth's, our local sausage maker, also makes hickory smoked bacon, thick cut, and it's as good as any bacon I've ever eaten. Their sausage and ham is good, too. They are doing well, so I guess people in the UP don't pay much attention to the nattering of the CDC and the UN.


I do have some kind of virus. My nose is running, I cough a lot, and my head aches. I got so sleepy around 6:00 that I almost decided not to write this thing tonight, but I dozed in my chair for a while and I felt better. I came as near to falling asleep as I ever have. I might be able to do that in the ugly chair (if I could get to it), but this chair isn't comfortable enough. Then I read for too long, and ate late, so now I won't get to bed before midnight. Sigh.


The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 33, although it was 32 for most of the day. There was no wind to speak of. It was dark and cloudy again, but there wasn't any precip. Last night when I was up, the clouds were finally light enough that I could tell there was a waxing gibbous moon up there. It was nice to see the light. It's been so cloudy lately that the moon couldn't get through. So it was a blah sort of day.


The guys slept. Grayson got a lot of lap time but I didn't see Louie - well, I did this morning in the bathroom. Grayson kept coming toward the door when I was coming and going to get the groceries in, but he made not attempt to get out. I guess he finally learned his lessons. 


So that was my day, and I'm still awfully tired. So I will trundle up to the north end and maybe get up tomorrow. It's a dark, not very cold night in the field.


December 19

I was later than I wanted to be last night, but it was the music and I didn't want to move. I got up around 11:00. I knitted and I'm within 10 rows of the end of the third chart. The rows are getting long, though, so I'll either have to knit longer or do fewer rows. The next chart is in two halves, too, so I'll have to take one of my big magnet boards up to the north end. Even with the chart split in two, the squares are very small, so I understand why they did it that way, but it makes keeping track of where I am much more difficult, especially as the rows get long. I set the markers for the center diamond today, so I'm making progress.


I didn't block the other shawl. I was going to, but when I checked the white one, it didn't feel dry. I don't know if that's because it wasn't or it was just cold, but I wasn't going to take any chances. I still have a few days to do the other one. I sort of wanted to wear the white one tomorrow, so we'll see about that. Maybe it would be better to wear a nice, warm sweater anyway.


Today was washday, and the second load is ready to be put in the dryer, if the first load is done. I had to wash a pair of jeans with the white stuff, because I had an accident, but since they're light blue anyway, it won't hurt them to be bleached. In fact, that pair must be the oldest pair I'm wearing, because the edges are beginning to fray. Today is also the day to fill the pill dispensers, and I have the ones at the south end done. I feel a little frazzled for some reason...well, some reason.


I didn't go to the post office yesterday, so I went today, and there were packages there, as well as a ton of real mail - the catalogs have stopped for the time being - and two very nice checks, for which I thank you. You know who you are. There were also a ton of bills. Well, they won't get paid until Wednesday at the earliest. That's Social Security day.


And then I stopped at the store and got my candy, as well as some JD and a couple other things (bacon....mmmm). They are in the middle of revising their coolers, so the whole back of the store is torn up, and their selection of cold things is limited. It's going to be very nice when it's done, but right now it's a mess and there is a lot of stuff cluttering up the parking lot. I had to get Jeff to help me down the steps. That bottom step is a real killer, since I need two hands to get down it in good weather, and there's snow on the ground now.


Ah, snow. It actually only snowed enough to cover our tracks after I was out yesterday, which is a good thing, and there wasn't much after midnight. However, the high temperature for the day was only 24, for the past several hours, and until just lately, the wind was brutal. It was from the north with gusts up to 39 mph. Brr, cold! It was cloudy and dull, but not as dark as yesterday. I wore my parka.


The guys slept, and I didn't see much of them. The floors are nice and warm (thank heaven for small favors!) and they have their favorite spots. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie wanted to come when I was busy, so he didn't. He stomps around on my lap too much anyway.


So that was my quiet day, and now it's time to trudge up to the north end, fill the pill dispensers, wash my hair and try to get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour. It's a cold, dark night in the field, but the wind has died down and it isn't snowing.


December 18

I guess I made it into bed by 1:00, and I slept pretty well - not great. I'm not sure why. I got up around 10:00 and of course I knitted. 


I did my surfing and went to chapel. This is the last one until January 11, unfortunately. I miss it when it's not on. I called and found that my package had been delivered to the store. I think the UPS guy could have made it down the road yesterday, but he sure couldn't today, and I had to meet the Schwan's guy at US-41. So even though we haven't actually had that much snow, we're in winter mode. And after I got my order, I discovered that I won't get another Schwan's delivery for a month. If I'd realized that, I would have ordered a few more things. Well, I have stuff to cook in the freezer, so I'll make do.


Late this afternoon (too late, as it turned out), I decided it was time to buckle down and block a shawl. It isn't the one I want to wear Christmas Eve - that's next. This is the one that started the shawl thing. It's white, with about 4" x 4" diamonds of lace stitches, including nupps. I will take a picture when it's done, if I can find a dark background that isn't the floor (which is dirty). I couldn't block it out to the measurements that it was supposed to be. For some reason, the side borders were too tight. It will be big enough, I think, and it will be pretty, but it would have been nicer if I could have made it the size I thought I was knitting. The side borders were done in a strange way, though, so I'm not surprised that I had some problems with them.


Grayson was rather interested when I laid out the blocking squares on the table. The dining room table isn't nearly as long as I thought it was, so what I will do with the big shawls, I don't know. Anyway, that little gray snot got on the table and began trying to chew on the edges of some of the squares. I had to poke at him with the tube the blocking wires came in, in order to get him to stop. Getting the wires in and getting the thing stretched out was more of a chore than I thought it would be, and it was dark before I finished, by the light from the glass cabinet. I'll have to remember that when I do the next one. And after I went out to the kitchen to start my dinner, I found Grayson on the table - not on the shawl, at least yet - looking with interest at what I had done, and I had to chase him away. He has a real snotty streak in him.


At least I did something today.


It was a good day to be busy inside. The high temperature was only 24, and there was a strong northwest to north wind, with gusts up to 37 mph lately. It was dark and gloomy and it snowed on and off all day, sometimes very hard. When I was moving stuff into the great room to begin to block, I looked out and there was a real whiteout over the harbor. I don't think we had more than a couple of inches, but it was certainly blowing around.


When I got into the laundry room and began washing the shawl, I had two very interested people wondering what I was doing now. This was different, and anything I do that's different is interesting to them. Otherwise, they slept, and I think they're both asleep now. 


So it was another quiet day, but at least I accomplished one thing on my list. Tonight, I absolutely must wash dishes. I have nothing left to eat on. Now it's a dark, windy, snowy night in the field, and I'm tired again.


December 17

I forgot that yesterday was Beethoven's birthday. 


I tried to pull an all-nighter again, but I didn't quite make it. It was late by the time I got through washing my hair. I slept very well, of course, and I didn't get up until around 2:00. So I didn't have time to do anything, especially after I had a very nasty accident and had to change all my bottoms, from the waist to the floor. Yuck. I'd hoped to get over that, but I haven't been eating enough rice lately.


Tonight was choir practice, and I started early. I left the house right after 5:30 and it took me an hour to get there. It was snowing hard down to Delaware, and it had snowed south of there, so it was slow going. Fortunately, there was almost no traffic, so it was just a matter of gauging how slippery it was. There were spots that looked like they might have been icy, so I took it easy. Choir was good, but we will be having a special rehearsal the Monday after Christmas, because we are singing something on Jan. 3 that we haven't practiced at all (I've never sung it, because I was snowed in), and we didn't do very well. I'm excited to go, because that is the night there is Bible class at St. Paul's and I haven't gone to that. 


So that's all that happened today. No beading, no picking up the avalanche that happened while I was looking - again - for the crimp pliers. And I'm tired. It always takes me a while to get over one of those things. I wish I could stop myself from doing them. Sigh.


The weather. Oh, the weather. This is about the first really wintry day we've had this season. The temperature was almost steady around 29, and there was a very strong wind from the northwest that started before I went to bed and got up to as much as 33 mph gusts. And that means lake effect. We were having snow squalls all day - or all the day that I was awake. I don't think there was more than an inch or so of accumulation, but at time it got a bit hard to see. It was particularly bad down by Lake Medora, where the wind comes right across the lake and over the road and whips up the snow on the ground. Coming home was easier. It was only snowing lightly, if at all, and there was less traffic. The plow hadn't gone down the covered road in a while, but I could drive right down the middle of the road, which I did. Actually, I drove right on the yellow lines for a good part of the trip - the ones where the rumble strip is. I hate those, but it did serve to tell me where I was.


The guys slept. Grayson got a little lap time - it's one reason I had an accident - but Louie just slept. Wise guys.


So that was my day. Maybe I can be more productive tomorrow. Now it's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field, and I'm only grateful the snow has held off so long.


December 16

Blah! I really need to do something.


i got to bed by 1:30 last night, and I thought, good, I'll get up at a reasonable hour and maybe get something done. Ha. I didn't get up until almost 11:00 and then I knitted for two hours. By the time I ate breakfast, sat and read in the powder room, and went to chapel (it was communion today), it was 3:00 and beginning to get dark. 


I did do a few things, I guess. I sorted out some of the stuff on the desk and got my beading lap desk ready to make key fobs, and I downsized from three to two barrels of desk-type stuff that I removed several years ago, but that was mostly because I moved a lot of it to the desk. I can't find my crimp tube crimp tool. I know  it was in one of the barrels - I can visualize it, because it was in a strange place - but I can't find it, even though I was through everything twice. So I guess I'll just have to do the best I can with pliers. I know it's in this house, but it has probably dropped into the black hole. I can't just get another one, because they've gotten quite expensive, and besides, I need it now. So tomorrow maybe I can do something about key fobs and zipper fobs. I hope.


When I got to the studio, the computer had rebooted itself, and then I noticed that the microwave wanted its clock reset. Whatever happened, it didn't affect the ovens, the fridge, or the clocks in the bedroom and bathroom (or I don't think it did - they seemed to read right). Weird. I suppose it's good for the computer, but i hate when that happens. I have everything set up just the way I want it - all the stuff open that I want open, all the websites I want to watch open, etc., and when it reboots, I have to do that all over again, and it takes quite a while.


It was a good day to ignore the outdoors. The high temperature was 41, but it rained pretty much all day, and we've had 0.46" of precip. The wind was strong, with gusts up to 32 mph, from the south. It was dark and dismal, and I turned on the light in the bathroom while I was there. I guess it helped, but I wasn't seeing very well this morning. The weather for the next couple of days isn't inspiring. I guess we're in for some more snow, mostly of the lake effect variety. Well, it's time. I will try to go to choir anyway.


The guys slept, of course. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie didn't. He only asked once, and I was busy then. Grayson got some more ham this morning. I knew there had to be something he really likes, but since I don't eat a lot of ham, it's taken me a while to find it. Some other stuff is all right - he seems to like beef and lamb - but he really scarfs down the ham. Louie's the one who doesn't beg at all. If he finds a piece of people food, he'll eat it, but he doesn't ask.


So that was a rather truncated day, and I'm tired again. It's a warmish, cloudy night in the field and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...


December 15

Blah! I really need to do something.


I tried to pull an all-nighter last night, but I didn't quite make it, and I got up around noon. I knitted, and I'm going to have to go down to four or six rows. I did eight today, and it took me around two hours. That meant I was so late that I didn't do anything else. I was just starting my surfing (as differentiated from reading my email) when the talking started.


The weather is finally winding down some. They got 4" of snow at Delaware yesterday, and there was an inch or so on the ground here when I got up. There wasn't any more snow today, but the temperature was right around 32 all day. The wind is winding down, too, finally, and it's shifted around to the south. It was cloudy all day, but it wasn't as dark and dreary as it was yesterday. I think the lake is finally settling down, too, and there were tons of ships out there today. 


The guys slept. They both got some lap time, but probably not as much as they might have wanted. It seemed like just when they settled down, I had to type or get up or something, but they're used to that.


So that was it. Nothing. It's a dark, cold night in the field, but the wind has dropped to almost nothing.


December 14

Blah! I really need to do something.


I got to bed by around 11:30 last night, and I slept well, thank you. I got up around 10:00, maybe - I don't remember - and I knitted eight rows. It's beginning to go a bit easier now, as I get used to the yarn and the needles and the pattern. It's never going to be a fast knit, though.


The task of the day was to pay bunch of bills I have to write checks for and to go to the post office. I sent back a skein of yarn that I don't need, too. Getting all that together took some time. I made it, though, and since the delivery guy is usually late on Mondays, I made it before the mail went out, so all my bills went out today. That's nice. My beads were delivered on Saturday, so I got those, and now I have to start work on Debbie's Christmas present. Not today, though.


One good reason was the weather. I thought yesterday was yucky. Today was worse. It apparently began to rain around 10:00 this morning, and we've had 0.67" of precip since then. Only around the time I was going to the post office, it changed from rain to snow, or sleet or something equally yucky, and it looks like we've had an inch or a little more since then. The high temperature was at midnight, 37, and it has dropped slowly all day to 33 now. The wind has been from the east, with sustained winds as high as 37 mph and gusts as high as 47 mph. I'm mostly sheltered on the east side, but I can say I heard gusts hitting the house several times. The lake is singing tenor to baritone. It rained and sleeted and snowed and it's altogether hairy. It was a good day to stay in, and I was sorry I had to go out. The system is moving off to our east now, although there is one line of something out in the lake, moving east, even though the ground winds are from the east. This is the first really good blow we've had in a couple of years. I will say that there was apparently not one ship out in the lake today. Shows they've learned to respect Mother Superior. Anyway, it was very dark and dreary and I needed light to do anything. Since I don't want to light up the inside of the studio any more than I have to, I will have to make do with my task light. Maybe it will be a bit better tomorrow.


The guys slept, as any sane person would. Grayson slept on my lap for quite a while.


So that was my quiet day, and I'll be going up to the north end as soon as the section from Messiah ends. It's a windy, snowy night in the field, a good one to burrow under the covers and ignore.


December 13

Another nothing day.


I was in bed by 9:15 last night, and that gave me enough sleep that I didn't feel sleepy today. I had to rush a bit this morning, but then, I frequently move slowly in the morning. However, I got out of the house by 9:15 for a change, and I got to church by 10:00. Yes, I was driving fast, but there wasn't any traffic. It was raining, but with my new tires, I can ignore that.


Church was nice, except that Pastor pulled a fast one on the choir again. Last week, we sang the O Antiphons as a sort of call to worship. So this week, we sang it after the Gospel. Oh, well. It keeps us on our toes, because we don't usually ever know when we'll be singing.


After church, I got gas, and I'm happy to say that the price was still $1.959 a gallon, even though the station I pass on my way south had raised their prices to $1.999. And I had a coupon for 15 a gallon off on the first 15 gallons, so my bill was ridiculously low. I didn't need as much as the gas gauge indicated, but that was all right.


So I came home, changed my clothes and did nothing for the rest of the afternoon. I may not be sleepy, but I don't feel very robust.


The weather was atrocious. The temperature was nearly steady, around 38. It drizzled or rained all day. There was a rather strong wind from the southeast to east, with gusts up to 24 mph. That was enough to set the lake singing, even though the wind isn't from the optimum direction. It was so dark and dreary, I had to turn on a light even to see the keyboard. Yuck!


The guys thought so, too. They slept. They both got some lap time, but mostly they went off to wherever they go and slept. 


So that was it, and I will be going to bed shortly.


December 12

Not much to report today. I got to bed around 1:30 and got up around 10:30, so I got enough sleep. I knitted, and I finished the second chart (there are 9). It's an interesting project, and I'll finish it, but I keep finding that I don't like lace on a garter stitch ground very well. It will look better when it's stretched, but I never did like the look of purl stitches very well.


I didn't do anything. I was thinking about some things to do, but I just didn't. It's that blah time of year for me, I guess, and I still don't feel very good.


The weather was blah, too. The low temperature was 33 and the high was 39. There wasn't any wind. It was no wind, and around 4:00 there was a little fog that didn't last long. Blah.


The guys felt blah, too. They both got some lap time, because they both appeared at the same time while I was eating breakfast, and Grayson decided it wasn't worth it to fight Louie over my lap. So Louie sat down on me and Grayson curled up between the piles of stuff and the east windows. Later on, after I got up, Louie shifted to his scratching pad (on which he has never scratched, as far as I know) and Grayson got his lap time.


So, blah. I am going to try very hard to get to bed very early tonight and hope I can get to sleep, so I will be at least half-bright tomorrow. I need to get gas. I don't think my car is getting very good gas mileage right now, but fortunately the local price is down below $2 a gallon and I have a 15 a gallon (up to 15 gallons) coupon, so it won't max out the credit card. 


Oh, yeah. I turned on the printer for the first time in about a month, and - surprise, surprise! - it printed! Geez! So I apparently bought that print head for nothing, and now it's too late to send it back. Anyway, I immediately printed out the chart I need and I copied two bills that I need to pay. I always keep copies of the bills. There is another one, but I need to do something to that one before I copy it, so I turned the printer off again. I don't know why it should make that much difference now, when it never did before, but it does, so I'll do what I have to.


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


December 11

I got to bed around 1:00 this morning, which is good for a Thursday, and I slept fairly well. I was a bit wakeful around 5:00, but I went back to sleep, and I think I got up around 10:00. It felt like I could have slept longer, but I didn't want to get into that. Not that it made any difference. I knitted without much trouble, but it takes a long time and I did six rows. I decided to try to go to chapel before I went to the bathroom, and as usual, it didn't work. Someday I'll learn. So I had to change my panties before I could finish chapel and rush off to the post office.


I toyed with the idea of waiting until tomorrow, but when I got there, I realized that Winter Wonderfest (the town's winter market, etc.) is tomorrow, so I'm glad I went. The bill for my heating system was there, and it was a shock. Just the vent fan was $330, and they charged me for 8 hours labor. Eek! Well, they'll just have to get it in installments, that's all. There was also one heavy package that I thought might be my beads, but instead it was a couple of pounds of peanuts from Arthur - thanks so much, Arthur! They're good, and I enjoy them.


So as a result, I didn't do anything else.


The weather was pretty yucky. It was very cloudy and dark. The high temperature was at midnight, and it was nearly steady at 36. Overnight, there was quite a bit of wind from the north, with gusts up to 36 mph, which set the lake to singing loudly, but it died down as the day wore on, and it's nearly calm now. There was a little rain early in the morning, but the snow they were predicting never materialized, at least here. It was very dreary. 


The guys thought so, too, and they slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie is still someplace up at the north end. Zzzzzz...


Me, too. They're playing Vivaldi now, but I'm not sure I'll stay up for the Mozart. Well...


It's a dark, cloudy, not very cold night in the field.


December 10

I wasn't early to bed last night (except by my standards) but I did make it by midnight. I slept very well, with only two wakeups, and I didn't get up until around 10:30 or later. I knitted, of course, and I don't think I made any mistakes this time.


I didn't do much of anything else. I am going to have to cut back on the amount of  knitting I do in the morning, I guess. I had to stop the middle of the chapel service to make the potty run, but I didn't have an accident. I am just going to have to school myself not to start that before I visit the powder room, I guess. Sometimes it's all right, and sometimes it isn't, and frequently I can't tell in advance which it will be. I think my psyllium husks are helping some, but not as much as I hoped, and what else I eat seems to make more difference. Just wait until I get those pea and bean soups made.


The weather wasn't very nice. The high temperature was 43, but it was nearly constant all day, and the humidity was very high. There wasn't much, if any, wind. That resulted in a lot of fog, especially on my trip to and from choir. It was spotty, but between Mohawk and Central it was sometimes heavy. Of course, it was dull and gray all day and there was 0.15" of rain during the day. Not nice at all.


The guys reacted by sleeping. When I went up to the north end last night, Louie was asleep behind the bathroom door, which seems to be his new favorite place. Weird. He's all right, but he knows what to do in weather like this.


Not that I'm complaining, you understand. By this time last year, we'd already had 73.5" of snow, and this year it's 15", and most of that is gone. I think we deserve a year off.


So that was my day, and I'm not going to be up very much longer tonight. Promise.


It's a warmish, foggy night in the field. Yuck.


December 9

So I pretty much pulled an all-nighter again, and for no good reason. I didn't do anything. I wasn't even listening to music. I just sat until a ridiculous hour of the morning. I got up around 1:00.


I was looking at my knitting when I discovered that I had apparently dropped something (again!!). So I had to unknit six rows to fix the problem, which was in the edging, and then I knitted it up again. I was so late that I was in chapel when the talking started. I didn't miss much, since they replay the first half hour of ATC at 6:00.


Chapel was good. I like the professor who preached. I've heard him before, and he's a very dynamic speaker with a good message. I found out what the banners hanging from the organ loft are: the O Antiphons. Evidently this is the year for them. I wish I could see them more clearly, but they are way up in the air and the lighting isn't too good up there, but they look very pretty, if modern.


So that was all I did today. Nothing.


The weather was about the same as it's been lately. The high temperature was 42, and there wasn't much wind, although there were some gusts up to 20 mph from the west a couple of times. It was mostly cloudy, but late this afternoon, there was a little sunshine, but there also seem to have been a few rain showers.


The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but I haven't seen Louie, and he isn't sleeping on his scratching pad. I hope he's all right.


So that was a severely truncated day, and since I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night and I have to wash my hair, I hope to go up to the north end as soon as I upload this. It's a warmish, cloudy night in the field.


December 8

Well, see, it was like this: I was about to go up to the north end and do what I said I would when I got the urge to hear O Magnum Mysterium by Tomas Luis de Victoria, which is one of my very most favorite Christmas related pieces (other than carols, of course, and not one of the versions of later composers, even though I like them, too). So I went out to Google and first I found the sheet music, in PDF format, which I immediately downloaded. Then I picked the YouTube listing. That was nice, but I noticed that there was a version by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, who are one of the most excellent choral groups in the world, so I had to listen to that. It was much better than the first version.


Then I noticed that there was a listing for something from the BBC-4 called "Luther and Bach" or something, so I had to see what that was. It was an hour-long program about Luther, the Reformation and Bach. I have to say that it wasn't the most put-together narrative I've ever heard, although the pictures were nice and the music was very nice even though it was only snippets. That program(me) went right into one about the Paris school in the Middle Ages, which was very informative but also had the same problems - and many too many pictures of the "presenter." And that one led into another program(me) about Rome and Palestrina with the same problems. However, all three had bits and pieces that I didn't know, and the pictures, particularly of Notre Dame de Paris and the various basilicas in Rome, were spectacular. Oh, those stained glass windows!! I discovered that I can show YouTube videos full-screen, just like I do the chapel services, and then it's like I have a 27-inch TV in front of me. Neat. The singing was pretty great, too, but I would rather have heard all of some piece. And seen less of Mr. Beale. I had some problems with the video editing, too, where they cut much too quickly from one scene to another in a fashion that almost left me dizzy. Looked like it was done by someone who had just graduated from film school and was trying to show off all their newly- learned skills.


As an aside, I was interested in the composition of The Sixteen. They have five sopranos who are women, but the rest, including the altos, are men. Well, all right, but I still think they should let women sing the higher parts. It's not like there aren't any good professional altos around. Also, Harry Christophers is a dish. I could look at him a lot. And he sings, too, so there are really seventeen of them. Oh, and the choir of the Sistine Chapel is still all men. Sniff. However, I think, so is the choir of the St. Thomaskirche. I thought we were beyond all that.


By that time, it was much too late to do anything but go to bed, even though they wanted to cut to another hour about Vivaldi, and there are more that follow. So it was too late to do anything I planned and I went to bed.


I got up around 10:30 and knitted - six rows in an hour and a half. That was about all I did. The chapel service was Matins, which isn't usual for Tuesday, but they were installing a member of the administration. It hadn't occurred to me that they would install an Admissions Counselor, but he is an ordained minister, so I guess it makes sense. Besides, President Rast was the preacher, and he is a good speaker, so it was nice. I was a bit put out that the details for the service weren't in the worship folders PDF, but it worked out all right. They list the order of service (with some omissions) on the screen while the prelude is playing, so I was able to get my bookmarks in order. And Cantor Hildebrand (I assume) played a really great postlude. That is such a wonderful organ, even though I don't think it has four manuals, like the ones in the program(me) about Bach.


That was about all I did. It took me the rest of the afternoon to read my emails and do my surfing, and I had to call one of my sources about the change in my credit card. I figured it was easier to wait until I got the "we can't process your credit card" emails rather than try to remember every one that had my old card on file.


In the meantime, I discovered that I had some powdered chai that, with boiling water and some hot milk, makes a pretty good chai latte (which I love). I needed it because I just plain forgot to make coffee for breakfast. It's been so long since I was drinking it regularly that I'm out of the habit. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow.


I had my fresh whitefish for dinner, and oh, my, it was good. I couldn't eat all the rice I heated up, so that will be for tomorrow or sometime. Grayson thought he wanted some until he smelled it, and then he went away. Mostly, all he wants to know is that I'll give him some.


The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 42 and it was quite humid. There was very little wind. It was cloudy all day, but it was bright clouds. I just discovered that after the camera hung up, I never restarted it (it was hung trying to initialize the capture window) so we didn't get any pictures after 4:00. Not that there was anything to see. It's OK now, I think, but I don't want to take another picture of the studio. We've had too many of those lately. I just noticed, from the radar maps, that there is some rain headed our way.


The guys slept, of course. They both got some lap time. Louie would like more, but I'm busy, so he's behind the monitor.


So now it's a dark, probably rainy night in the field and I'm hoping to get to bed a tad earlier than last night. I won't look at any more BBC-4 videos tonight, promise.


It's a warmish, cloudy, and probably rainy, night in the field.


December 7

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. I guess most people have forgotten that, but even though I was only about four months old when it happened, it shaped the first five or six years of my life, maybe more, because I suspect my dad came home with PTSD. So I always think about it.


I was much later getting to bed than I wanted to be, of course. That seems like it always happens, but I think I was just too tired to move. Once I got to bed, I slept hard and long. I was only up once, and that was because my shoulder was so sore from not moving that I woke up. Then I went back to bed and I didn't get up until around 11:30, I think. I knitted for too long, but I'm anxious to get back where I was when I discovered the mistake. I'm not there yet, but I did about six rows. The nupps and "knit three togethers" went well. I only did the last two rows because they were mostly plain knitting.


When I got up to get dressed, I discovered that the clocks were blinking, so we had a power failure around noon. I was going to call the power company when I got to the studio, but just about the time I sat down, the generator turned off, so I didn't have to. I suppose it was because the wind was from the southwest, but it really wasn't strong enough to bring down any trees.


I was late enough that I didn't do anything much else. I made the mistake of going to chapel before I went to the powder room and I had a really bad accident - all over me and all over the floor. I washed what I had on, and it's ready to go in the dryer, but that took up any extra time I might have had. 


The weather was not bad. It was warm; the high temperature was at least 41, but the weather station was offline for three hours, so it might have gotten warmer. There was a brisk southwest wind, and the gusts have now gotten up to 28 mph or so. They were in the lower twenties when the power went down. It was mostly cloudy but bright.


The guys were sleepy. Louie slept with me for most of the night, and then he moved to behind the door in the bathroom. He tried a couple of times to sit, but I was busy, so he went away. Grayson got a little lap time, especially while I was at chapel.


Tonight I ate my nice lamb chop, and it was good, although I have to admit, with my upper respiratory thingie, I'm not tasting too well. Anyway, it made a nice pad in my tummy, along with rice, peas and corn and a Bibb lettuce salad with honey dijon dressing. That's the one I haven't been able to get until yesterday, and it's just as good as I remember. Yum.


So that was a quiet, truncated day, and I do feel better than I did yesterday, although I don't feel good. My throat isn't as scratchy, although I'm still drippy. I want to wash my hair tonight, because I've been skipping the Monday wash for the past few weeks and my scalp is showing the signs. We'll see if that happens. Now it's a cloudy, warmish night in the field.


December 6

I was in bed early last night. I can't remember exactly how early, but I think it was before 10:00. Unfortunately, I didn't really get to sleep until after 11:00. I couldn't sleep on my left side, so I turned over and my sinuses immediately drained out into my throat and I coughed and blew until I finally got up and then went back on my left side. After that, I did good, although I was up once more, and I woke up around 6:15. I had to pee so bad that I couldn't wait for the alarm, but that was all right. I got an early start.


I just do not like getting up in the dark. Never have, never will. Since the sun isn't rising until nearly 8:30 AM now, it will be dark when I get up on Sunday.


I made it out of the house before 9:15, in spite of several slowdowns. For one thing, I mislaid my checkbook, so I had to write out my offering check after I went up to the north end again. And then I wanted to wear one of my new tops and the camisole under it, which I had never tried on. It turned out that the black cami fits, but the black top is smaller than the ivory one. Go figure. The ivory one was made in Honduras, I think, and the black one was made in China, and I think that's the difference. It's not too small, but it almost is. I wore the gray Shetland stole over it, and I thought it looked very nice. I got the camis because the V neckline is low enough that if I'm not really careful about how I put it on, my bra will show, and besides, since I'm wearing it in the winter, I thought another layer would be more comfortable. It was. So at least I got some usable things for my dollars.


Church was nice, except that we weren't ready for our first song, which was right after the organ prelude. Once we all got up in front (there were two of our regulars missing) we sang well, thankfully. Pastor is preaching on the "O Antiphons" for Advent, and his sermon was very interesting. We sang the third and fourth today - O Root of Jesse and O Key of David. These are very ancient antiphons, dating back to about the fifth century. The hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" paraphrases them, and we are singing the relevant verses of that, then we chant the antiphon, then we sing a setting by Healy Willan. I'm not sure the congregation appreciates it as much as we do. This week, when there wasn't any communion, we also sang an arrangement of Bach's "Prepare Thyself Zion" from the Christmas Oratorio. Next week, when there is communion, we won't sing an extra song, or I don't think we will. Pastor is always changing his mind.


Anyway, despite all that, we got out early. Then it was off to Pat's for stuff like lettuce and eggs - and JD, of course. They had a few jars of a salad dressing I've been looking for since last summer. They discontinued it, I guess, and there must have been such an outcry that they finally got some back in. I got two jars, just in case. There were a few other things, but I was quite modest. I also resisted the kettle cooked potato chips, to which I'm addicted. I'll be eating enough salty, fattening things.


I got home around 2:00, I think, and I sort of zoned out in the powder room for a couple of hours. I was reading a catalog, but I didn't think it took that long! Then I put the food away. It was out in the breezeway, which is cool enough that I wasn't worried about it. I didn't have anything frozen. By the time I was done with that, it was too late for lunch, so I drank the rest of my lemonade. I wrote a little, too, but just based upon what I was thinking about last night, and I don't quite know where to go from here. I need to be sort of dreamy to write, but I can't do much when I'm really tired, which I am.


I really don't feel very good, and by the end of the church service, I was very hoarse. Johanna returned my call late this afternoon, and I was still hoarse, so I won't be seeing her tomorrow. Too bad; my back is bothering me. But she doesn't want to expose Sawyer to whatever is going around, and I can understand that. Hopefully, I'll feel better by the end of the week. I don't know exactly where the time went, but I wasn't all here for most of the afternoon.


The weather wasn't as nice as yesterday. The high temperature was 43, but it was nearly constant until around 3:00, when it began to drop. There wasn't much wind except for a couple of hours early this afternoon, when it was gusty from the north. It was mostly cloudy, at least over the land. There was some sunshine late in the day, but it was cloudy again around sunset. It's very humid.


The guys were mostly sleepy. Grayson was around while I was bringing in the groceries, but he didn't try to get out. I have discovered his food hot button: ham. He will eat a piece of beef, but he doesn't like chicken or fish very much. But ham - oh, boy! I just had a sandwich for dinner, since I wasn't very hungry, and he probably ate half a slice of ham. I finally had to tell him, no more.


So that was my Sunday. I will be going to bed as soon as I publish this and I suspect I will be sleeping for a very long time. I hope my voice is better tomorrow. 


Now it's a cool, cloudy but nearly calm night in the field.


December 5

So it was another all-nighter, but I checked the camera before I went to bed, and while there was one picture of the studio, after I turned off the lights, it was fine.


I got up around 1:30 and I immediately picked up the stole. After fiddling for a while, I decided I'd never get it back together right, so I ripped out 16 rows (ugh!!) and began over again. What had happened is something that has never happened to me before. The stitch was a "knit three together" and I dropped the first stitch. What a mess! Now I will be checking those "knit-three-togethers" very carefully. It's a shame I had to rip. The problem was before the rows with the nupps in them, darn it. After I had the stitches back on the needle correctly, I only did the rows where I made the mistake, so the next time I knit, I can start from there. The nupps are coming up on the next row. This is where I was on Thursday.


I was so late that I didn't do much of anything except wash a load of bottoms that had gotten soiled. I didn't have an accident yesterday, but I peed my pants this morning before I went to bed. For some reason I just did not want to get up. 


Anyway, I'm really tired, because I didn't get nearly enough sleep, but that's probably good. I should sleep well tonight.


The weather was really too nice to be sleeping and indoors. The high for the day was 51, at 4:00. It was quite breezy until sunset, with gusts up to 27 mph from the west. It was partly cloudy all day, but there was a whole lot of sunshine, which is nice. It certainly helps warm up the house, at least at the south end.


The guys slept. Grayson slept on my lap for a long time, but I don't remember seeing Louie. I wish I could feed the birds. They clearly don't get enough stimulation, since all they almost ever watch is me. Grayson looks out the windows onto the driveway sometimes, and I think Louie likes to look out of the window seat in the bedroom, but there's usually not much going on out there, either.


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


December 4

Well, it was another late night, but not nearly as late as the night before. I got up around 11:00 and I knitted. I thought I was doing pretty well, but as I was looking back at what I had knit, I discovered that I dropped a stitch or two right after I started. Oh, no!! I began to fix it, but it was getting late, so I just left it and I'll work on it tomorrow. Oh, I hate it when I do that! I don't want to rip out all those rows, so I hope I can figure out what's wrong and fix it.


Anyway, about all I did was go to the post office, where there were some large bills, like the taxes. I think I have the money to cover them, but wow! Oh, yes, and the health department is nattering at me about the tansy on my drain field. I don't know what they expect me to do about that. I should probably call them and chew them out. It's not a deep-rooted plant anyway, so it shouldn't bother anything except their ability to find the access spots.


I got into it with the prescription service again, but I think that's under control now. 


The weather was remarkable. The high temperature was 47, which wasn't exactly a record, and there were southwest breezes around 10 mph. It was partly to mostly clear. Nice. And remarkable, for December. Oh, the Road Commission finally got their website updated. We got 12" of snow in November. That's the official number, at Delaware. The Harbor didn't have that much by far. From the satellite imagery, It looks like a most of what we had is gone again, except for a little bit in the "higher elevations." There is still snow in Laurium and the side streets are slippery, but the next few days should get rid of a lot of that. Not, you understand, that we're complaining about it. It's lovely to have a clear road and have delivery people able to get in.


The guys were sleepy.


So that was my quiet day, and I'll be off to the north end soon. I want to be bright and on top of things tomorrow when I start working on the mess of my knitting.


It's a clear, warm (for December) night in the field.


December 3

Oops. I pulled an all-nighter last night, and the camera hung up sometime during the night, so all the pictures until I got to the studio this afternoon were of the studio. I don't know what picture it was using, actually. I wasn't sitting in my chair (you can see the top of my head when I am) and I think I'd gone up to the north end and turned off the lights by the time the first picture posted. It looks like it was more likely one from sometime last evening, when I was off getting my dinner. Anyway, somebody made a snide comment about it on PastyNet (which I resent) and a friend pointed it out to me. The only nice thing is, nobody else said a word about it. I can't help it if I do a lot of stuff and I want my stuff around me. I do NOT ever sit and stare at the TV or even the computer with my hands folded in my lap. Of course, there are three tubs of filing that I haven't done, and I probably never will. Sometime I'll get Mary Ann out here again and we will get that stuff put in file boxes and a lot of the rest of the stuff moved someplace else. And then, of course, I'll move it all back again. With my arthritis the way it is, I don't get up and down any more than I have to.


Anyway, I got about 8 hours' sleep, which wasn't enough, but it was enough that I could move a bit. I was sort of planning to go down to town early and do some food shopping, but I had an accident I had to clean up after and besides, I didn't feel good enough to do that. So instead, I loaded up the dishwasher and left it running when I went off to choir practice. I now have dishes to eat off again.


Choir was good, and we now have almost all the music we'll be singing through the Sunday after New Year's. Our alto is afflicted with the same throat thing I had several weeks ago, but she was there, if only to listen. They don't have as far to go as I do.


I was surprised by the amount of traffic going north when I was going south, but then, it was before 6:00, so I suppose people were going home from work. Going back was better. And again, I was amazed and annoyed by the number of people who leave their bright lights on when they are facing traffic. I try not to do that, although it seems I did at least once tonight. Sometimes I have to dim them enough that I forget where they are. It's also interesting the number of people who must change their own oil and never think to check their lights, and who have one dim and one bright light or only one light. It's one little perk I get from having my maintenance done at the dealership. They check all the lights, as well as all the fluids.


It wasn't a bad day, weatherwise, at all, although it didn't get as warm as they were predicting yesterday. The temperature has risen slowly all day, and it is now 40. The wind has picked up from the north, and we now have 27 mph gusts. It was cloudy this morning, I think, but it cleared up as the day went along. It was cloudy, or nearly so, at sunset, but there were stars when I was coming home tonight.


The guys were sleepy. Louie slept beside my head for most of the morning. Grayson got a little lap time, but I was busy when Louie came by, so he didn't get any. Grayson was nowhere to be found when I left. I guess he's getting used to having me go away on Thursday night. He was looking out the door when I came home, but he didn't come near it when I opened it. Possibly he's learned his lessons, finally. We'll see about that. I don't think I'd just leave the door open, though. 


So that was my day. Now it's a clear, breezy night in the field and it's rather warm for December.


December 2

I'm happy to say things are getting back to something like normal around here.


I didn't get to bed until around 1:00, mostly because I was reading, but once I was there, I did good. I didn't get up until around 12:30, so I got my rest. I knitted into the second chart, but I think I only got about 8 rows done. I've gotten far enough to put some markers, and that should help some, but I don't know exactly how they decided where to put the repeat markers. Oh, well, I'll figure it out.


I was so late, though, that I didn't do anything. I still have to get the dishwasher ready to run and tonight I absolutely must wash my hair. It looks like a pot of oil was poured on it. Besides, it itches. We'll see how that goes.


I do have heat and hot water, and the house is now nicely warmed up. The one disadvantage of the radiant heat in the floor is that it warms up very slowly, but it was pretty good by morning, and it's fine now. It didn't hurt that it was quite warm (for December) outside today. It certainly is a relief.


The weather was sort of blah. The high temperature was 40 again, and there was no wind for most of the day, although it's up to around 17 mph now, but from the east, which doesn't affect me very much. It was cloudy but not very dark until around 3:00. Weather radar was trying to say there was some rain or snow after that, but I didn't notice anything coming down. Well, I guess there was a little something, because the deck was wet right before it got dark, but it wasn't enough to register at the weather station. 


The guys slept. They are happy everything is back to normal, too. Grayson slept on my lap for a long time, for him, with a smile on his sweet face. Louie came by, but I was doing something when he did.


So that was a quiet day, and I don't feel very good again. Whatever I have, I still have it. Dinner helped, but I still don't feel good. Oh, well. Now it's a dark night in the field, but it isn't snowing.


December 1

So here we are, and the year is almost over. Sigh.


It's warm in here, or it's getting warm! Yea!!

I was so comfortable in the studio that I didn't get to bed until around 11:00 last night. By the time I did, the heaters in the bedroom and bathroom had gotten the temperature up to a sort of reasonable temperature. They were rather loud, but they were quite efficient. Of course, the floors were cold, but it was warm enough that I could sleep in my nightie without any extra stuff on, and that helped a lot. I was still up about every two hours. With it so much warmer, I didn't have cats all over me, and that helped, although Louie spent the whole night sleeping up by my head. 


I got up around 8:30 anyway, which was a mistake. I tried to knit, but I only got six rows done because on the first row, I dropped a bunch of stitches and had to fix that, which wasn't very easy, mostly because it was so dark i was having a harder time than usual seeing what I was doing. Eventually I did get to go on, though. I actually washed my face in that frigid water, but I really had to. 


So I didn't feel very good, and I still don't. I think it was down around 50 in the kitchen and great room, but I turned on the heater in the studio before I got my breakfast, so that was warming up by the time I got here. 


The guy, Matt, didn't call me until around noon, so I could have slept and knitted a lot longer, but who knew? He got here in the middle of a rainstorm, and he had the fan replaced in about an hour, but then he discovered that the transformer was right under the leak and it was fried. Duh. That's happened before. Not only is it a lemon, it wasn't designed very well. If I'd been doing it, I would have used a little more piping and moved the water lines away from the electricity. But what do I know? Anyway, he didn't have a transformer, but it turns out that some of his other guys were working at one of my neighbors' and they had one. So now I guess everything is back the way it was before Sunday. It's getting warm in here, and I have hot water, so I guess I will try to get the dishwasher ready to run tonight. I hope it's warm in the bathroom, especially the floor, but I haven't been up there yet. I certainly hope this is the only service call I'll need this year!


I didn't feel good enough to do anything much. The cold was making me very creaky, so I just sat. Oh, I did fill an orange bag with all the trash that was on the floor around my desk and chair. That should help the heat situation in the studio somewhat.


The weather was better ignored. Mostly it rained here, although there was some meaningful snow in Calumet and at the airport. We had a few flakes, but it wasn't cold enough to last. The high temperature was 39. It dropped to 34 around 3:00, but then it recovered. There was no wind. We had 0.31" of rain and other stuff, and it may still be misting. It was very dark and dismal all day. 


The guys will be happy that everything seems to be back to normal. They both got some lap time, but I think Louie spent most of the afternoon hiding. Grayson was awake and alert and interested, as he always is when there is someone working here. I had to yell at him once when Matt left the door open, but he didn't try hard to go out.


So now I'm tired and I think I am going to just ignore everything and go to bed. I think I still have enough plates to have breakfast tomorrow, and then I can do dishes. I'm very tired and I don't feel very good. It's a dark, dismal, rainy night in the field.

Last  updated 01/01/16 10:44 PM