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January. 2016

 

January 31

So January is over. Already. Sigh.

 

I turned out the light at 10:00 last night, the earliest I've been to bed in a while. I didn't have a lot of trouble getting to sleep, although I did some more work on Brianna before I did. Pretty soon I'll have to write it down.

 

I was up three times, the last one at 6:00, darn it. 6:30 is just not on my natural schedule. I did go back to bed, and I was just about asleep when the alarm went off, darn it. 

 

When I turned out the light, there were stars, and when I was up around 1:00, not only could I see Polaris, I saw Cassiopeia as I was sitting down, and Orion was high up in the southwest, so pretty! I don't think it was really clear, but I could see third magnitude stars. It always thrills me when I can see the Pleiades with my glasses off.

 

So I got up and ate and did some of my surfing, and I thought I was on time, but even though I didn't dawdle, I was still later getting away than I wanted to be. It didn't matter very much, actually. The covered road was snow covered and it might have been slippery, because it was right around freezing - down from 36 when I got to the studio - and I'm always suspicious when the temperature is around freezing. From Delaware south, the road was clear and damp, although I think there was some frost on it where nobody had driven.

 

Church was good, but a bit long. We sang three songs, but two of them related to Pastor's sermon, which was on Psalm 1, sort of, and the third tied in with the Epistle, which was the love chapter of 1 Corinthians. There was communion, of course, because this was a fifth Sunday, and we used the old service. It wasn't quite as truncated as it was last week, but he carved out quite a bit. I am going to at least request that we do the whole thing on my birthday, which is also a fifth Sunday.

 

This was one week when I could come right home. The gas tank was full and I didn't need to shop. Next week will be different, but I will at least think about shopping on Thursday before practice. Much as I wish otherwise, I need to shop about every two weeks, because I run out of eggs and lettuce. I try to be moderate about everything else, although I still do spend a lot of money on food.

 

The weather wasn't quite as nice as yesterday, but I won't complain. The high temperature got up to 40 here, and there was a lot of sunshine until about 4:30, when it clouded over. For most of the day there was almost no wind. Nice. The temperature is going to be going back down this week, and there will apparently be some snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but hey, this is still winter. It sure has been nice for the past couple of days, though - a little promise of spring to come, even if it's not until May.

 

I found Louie asleep on the couch in the sun when I came through the great room after I got home and changed clothes. They know where to be. Grayson got a lot of lap time, but Louie didn't, or he hasn't yet. They are awake when I get up at 6:30. When it's after 9:00, they've gone back to sleep. Grayson is getting to be a pest when I have food. He wants to smell it, even when he doesn't want any. He really thought he wanted enchiladas tonight, but I wouldn't give him any. I don't think so.

 

So that was another quiet day, and I'm tired. I didn't get enough sleep last night. Now it's a calm, warmish but cloudy night in the field.

January 30

Well, last night it was the music, or at least it started out with the music. I was about to call it a night and go to bed when I checked the playlist for YourClassical, and oh, sigh: the last thing before midnight was Beethoven's 6th - the whole thing!  They don't do that very often, and the 6th is one of my very favorite Beethovens, so of course I had to stay up to hear it; it's been a long time. It was wonderful, but by the time it was over, I was too tired to move, so it was extremely late before I got to bed - almost an all-nighter. I didn't intend that.

 

So I didn't get up until 12:30 or so. I knitted, and I don't know what happened yesterday, but I did my four rows in an hour and a half today. Now I only have four rows left on this graph, and actually, the central diamond starts to decrease on the next graph. That means there will be more nupps, but not on every row, at least after I get finished with the center. The center nupps are looking better than I feared they would.

 

I was so late that I didn't do anything else except my surfing and a bit of reading. 

 

However, there was the weather. Sunshine! Blue skies! 42 temperatures! Spring will come! Maybe not soon, but it will come. It was beautiful, but before sunset it was beginning to cloud up. However, we almost never get a clear day in January up here, so it was more than welcome. It was warm enough that there was some melting, too, and with the clear skies, it was evident from the MODIS imagery that the west half of the harbor isn't iced up yet. The high temperature was 42, and it wasn't just a brief thing: it was that warm for about 4 hours this afternoon. It was breezy, with west to northwest winds gusting up to 22 mph. And just so we don't think the worst is over, apparently there is going to be another snow event on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, I'll take whatever I can get, and it was lovely.

 

The guys didn't take much advantage, although when I went by the great room patio doors with my breakfast, Grayson was asleep on the rug in the sunshine. I don't know where Louie was, but he is sort of dumb about some things like that. I'm sure he was asleep. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie only asked just now, and I'm typing. He did get some love while I was sitting in the bathroom, so I haven't neglected him.

 

So that was a truncated day, and since I didn't get nearly enough sleep, I'll be trudging up to the north end as soon as I finish this. I started to load the dishwasher, but I didn't get far, and I don't want to get into that tonight. I still have dishes left, although I'm getting down to the end of the bowls.

 

So it's a partly cloudy, breezy, warm night in the field. It isn't supposed to get below freezing tonight.

 

January 29

I wasn't early last night, and I don't quite know why, but it was nearly as late when I got to bed as it has been lately. Sigh. I thought I got up around 9:30, but it must have been more like 10:30, because it was 1:00 before I got through knitting, and I just didn't do 3 hours' worth. Not even 2 hours, so I'm not sure what happened. I only knitted four rows. Strange, but I do occasionally read what I want to in the clock, rather than what's there.

 

I had to go to the post office, and I was just about ready to leave when the Schwan's guy called me, so that was convenient. I didn't have to come home and drive out to US-41 again. Now the freezer is stuffed, and I have a lot of new stuff, some of which is good and some of which is just OK. At least it's different.

 

Since this is almost the end of the month, all my tax documents came, too. I still get annoyed when all those people wait until the very last moment to send out their 1099s. They know what the numbers are before the end of the year. Anyway, now I have to buckle down and get ready to send the stuff to my accountant. I would like to get it to her early this year, since I know she is overloaded with hard returns. Mine is just tricky enough that I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. Ugh. It means I have to do the ledger for most of the year and go through all my credit card bills to get the pills. Ugh.

 

The weather was so-so. The temperature got down to about 11 this morning, but there was a little sunshine and a few rays of sunshine, too. The temperature went up steadily from about 9:00 and it's 28 now. There was a fairly brisk southwest wind this afternoon, and the gusts got up to 30 mph. I guess we're going to have a nasty mess overnight - snow and sleet and maybe freezing rain - but it's also supposed to get up to the upper 30s tomorrow. And the thing they were predicting for next week looks not to happen, or if it does, it won't be much. Good. There's enough snow for the snowmobilers - and there are a ton of them in town - but not enough to bother us very much. Ron came by and went up and down the driveway - and I hope, widened it a tad - this evening after dark, but the part parallel to the house is in good shape for a change.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got his lap time, but Louie hasn't been around yet.

 

So that was a quiet day. I still don't know what happened to the time this morning, but I do know I didn't get enough sleep and I need to go to bed. I would like to write some more about Brianna, but I don't want to get started.

 

It's a warmish, cloudy night in the field, and there will be some precip of some sort overnight.

 

January 28

Oh - journal. Oops.

 

I was ridiculously late getting to bed. I read for quite a while, and then I had to wash my hair, but I seem to have spent over an hour staring at the floor in the bathroom. In my defense, I was thinking about the next episode in the Brianna saga. Her hair is blonde, by the way, and it's very long and silky, and she likes to wear it hanging around her shoulders. She is still a pill, but I'm beginning to see how to bring her around.

 

Anyway, as a result, I didn't get up until around 1:30 this afternoon, and then I knitted, so I didn't have much time to do anything but eat and read my funnies. I wanted to allow an hour to get to Laurium.

 

So just about the time I was getting ready to leave, Ron came around to plow out the driveway. I was glad he did; there was a pretty big drift in front of the garage. But we had to talk, of course. I guess the blower is fixed, but it isn't attached to the tractor yet. 

 

Then the plow turned up US-41 in front of me at the blinker. I had resigned myself to a slow ride and being later than I wanted to be when he stopped, and I went around him. Nice guy. Actually, it might have been better if I'd stayed behind him to the other side of Medora, because there was some drifting there. Going through those drifts is similar in feeling to going through deep rain puddles - it takes a good hold on the steering wheel to keep the wheels straight. However, I made it, and I got to church when I wanted to. It's really amazing how much more snow they've had there.

 

Choir was good, and we did well, even though Pastor threw something at us that we hadn't practiced before. I've never seen it before, because they sang it last year when I was snowbound, but it's not a very hard piece, and he doesn't demand absolute perfection. There is so much music that we were rather late.

 

It wasn't a bad trip home, but the roads are snow covered, and the snow we're getting is clearly lake effect, because I kept going through squalls, some of them quite heavy. It was a slow trip - it took me over an hour, but I never went over 55 mph. The road didn't look slippery, and the temperature is low, but where there were some street lights, I could see ice, so I didn't push it. I didn't want to end up in a snowbank 20 miles from anything. It did mean that I didn't get home until nearly 9:45, so I'm running later than I wanted to be.

 

The weather overall was snowy and cold. It was 30 for most of the night, but then the temperature dropped, and it's 16 now. According to the car, it was a lot colder than that up in the "higher elevations." The real story was the wind. it peaked between 7:00 and 10:00 this morning with sustained winds around 33 mph and gusts up to 41 mph, from the north. No wonder I had a drift!. It was cloudy and gray, and there were numerous snow squalls, some of them rather heavy. Ah, winter in Keweenaw! Through yesterday, we'd had 71" of snow for the month (well, Delaware did) and 115" for the season, so we're catching up.

 

We haven't had nearly that much here. It's simply amazing to see the difference in the height of the banks along the road between here and Laurium. I would put them at close to 5' down there, whereas mostly they're around 12" here in the harbor. I'm not complaining, understand. With all the problems we've had with the tractor and blower, we'd have been in bad straits if we'd had as much as they have. The only thing that's nice is that mostly it's been so cold when it snowed that it has frosted the trees just beautifully. The trip down the covered road is just beautiful. 

 

Oh, yes, and it isn't dark when I leave the house at 5:30. It's dark by the time I get to Laurium, but at least I can get down to Delaware and still see where I'm going. I noticed that the last picture was at 6:17 tonight, and it wasn't completely dark yet. Aahh...spring will come.

 

That picture was sort of off schedule because I had just sat down at the computer to put in a Schwan's order for tomorrow (around 3:00) when we had a power glitch. i haven't noticed if the rest of the house saw it, but it did make the computer reboot. No wonder I didn't have time to read my email or do most of my surfing! Oh, how I wish I had a UPS!

 

The guys slept. Grayson got a lot of lap time, and he was asleep on my lap when I had to get up to leave for choir. Louie apparently spent a good part of the day in the basement, or at least he scrammed when he heard the tractor. I was getting ready to leave when he stuck his head through the cat hole - I think he was sleeping down there - and Grayson went up to him and batted him upside the head. I don't know why, but they do annoy each other. Then Ron came by, and Louie beat it downstairs again. 

 

So that was my day, and I have no intention of being so late tonight. I won't even start reading. Really. It's a cold, snowy night in the field, but I guess the wind is dying down and there might even be a little moonlight before the snow picks up again tomorrow.

 

January 27

I just read last night, so I was earlier to bed. Not really early, but better than the rest of the week. I slept well, and I got up around 9:30. With all the nupps, it's taking me an hour and a half to do four rows now. I will try to do four as long as I can, but eventually, I'll have to cut back. I think there are nearly 300 stitches on the needle now, and it just takes time to work them, even when there isn't any  pattern. 

 

I didn't do anything. Well, I did clean the toilet in the bathroom, but that's not much. With my problem and all the stuff - calcium and iron and things - in the water, it gets really bad really fast. I didn't take the pumice stone to it, so it is still stained where the water comes in, but it's cleaner than it was.

 

The weather was interesting. While I was knitting, there was even a little sunshine, although it didn't seem to shine on the harbor, then around 3:00, it started to snow, and it's been snowing ever since. We've had about a third of an inch of water equivalent. The temperature was in the upper 20s for most of the day, but it has now risen to 31. There was a strong southwest wind, with gusts up to 30 mph. Ah, winter! I'm glad Ron cleared the driveway yesterday, but I'm afraid it's drifted pretty badly.

 

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

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired again. It's a windy, snowy night in the field, but it isn't very cold.

 

January 26

I opted to write, so of course, I was late. I got about 2600 words out, but then I had to read and re-read what I'd written (priming the pump, you know), so it took a long time.

 

I got up around 10:30 again, so I didn't get nearly enough sleep. I knitted, and all but one of the nupps went well. I dropped two wraps on one of them, though, so I will have to fix that tomorrow. I didn't want to do it today, because It's in the middle, and that's about 130 stitches in. I marked it, and I'll fiddle tomorrow.

 

Otherwise, I did not much. I had a small accident, and I washed a load of my favorite tops and bottoms, which had all gotten dirty. Otherwise, I did my surfing. I have been thinking about the story, and I have a few tweaks to do to what I wrote last night, but I don't think I'll do that tonight.

 

The weather was the usual in Keweenaw in January. I guess it snowed lightly for most of the night, and there were some flurries today, but nothing much. The high temperature was in the middle of the night, and it dropped slowly after that. It was 26 or 27 all day. There was some wind overnight, too, from the northeast, but it's been around 15 mph with no gusts all day. It was dark and gloomy, of course.

 

The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie came around when I was busy, so he hasn't had his.

 

Ron came around late this afternoon and scraped off my driveway with the blade on the tractor. I guess we should get our blower back tomorrow, and it will be at least useable, if not in perfect shape. If we can get through the rest of the winter, we can get it fixed up over the summer. We actually haven't had that much snow here, but as usual, there was a mound in front of the garage door, which he scraped down very nicely. 

 

So that was another quiet day. I don't think I will write tonight, although there are a couple of things I want to tweak. It's a cloudy, cold night in the field, and we're in for a bit more snow for the next few days.

 

January 25

I was late again last night, and I think it was because I was so tired that I didn't want to move. I was only up once, and I got up around 10:30. That was nice, but I didn't do much with my extended day. I'm still tired.

 

I knitted, and the next row has the start of the center - the part with all the nupps - in it. I was just as glad to stop where I did. This is an interesting project, but I think if I'd realized there were all those nupps - this is only the start - I wouldn't have done it. Either I'll really learn how to do nupps or I'll go crazy. And this afternoon, while the talking was on, I knitted on the thing I started last summer, the one with the triangles at the edge. The yarn is such pretty colors, but I don't like it. It's scratchy and not very soft. I only hope that when I wash it and use fabric softener, it will soften up, or I won't ever want to wear it. I have about three more triangles to go, and then I can start on the body, which is garter stitch, but lots of garter stitches. The end product is crescent shaped, so it will be more like a scarf than a shawl, and I don't know how much use it will be.

 

The weather was, um, wintry. it wasn't cold. The high temperature was 31, briefly, and it was 30 for the whole afternoon. There wasn't any wind. The snow started about the time I got up, and it was apparently heavy and very fine flakes, almost like mini-graupel, I think. It snowed all afternoon, but I don't think there was much, if any, accumulation. It was dark and dull. I had to extend the start and stop times of the camera a bit, because the days are 9 h 15 m long now and we're gaining daylight at 2 minutes a day.

 

The guys slept, mostly. Grayson got some lap time, but I haven't seen Louie yet. Grayson was chasing his tail last night again. And sometime during the night, Louie got in bed with me and went to sleep right beside the pillow, as usual. Fortunately, I was facing the other way.

 

So that was another very quiet day. Tonight I made a chicken dish I haven't made in years, and it turned out pretty good. So I have something eat on Wednesday (tomorrow it's fish), but then I think I will have to cook rice again. The cooking isn't so bad, it's the putting away that's a pain, but it's so nice to have a freezer full of rice ready to eat.

 

Now it's a dark, probably snowy, night in the field, and the question is, do I want to write or go to bed? Well, both, but I can't do both at the same time. Sigh.

 

January 24

I didn't get to bed as early as I'd hoped last night, but I did sleep well. When I was awake around 4:30, there was a snow squall over the harbor. I actually woke up around 6:00 and I dozed until the alarm went off. I thought I had Brianna pretty well defined but now I'm not sure what color her hair is, so it's not time to start writing yet. I do have her back story down and some of the events around introducing her, so sometime in the next few days (when I finish reading Voyages Part 5, probably), it will be time to start writing.

 

Anyway, i got up, although I didn't want to. It was warm enough that I was able to wear the latest shawl with the top I planned to wear on Christmas Eve, and I think it looked pretty good.

 

Driving to church was, um, interesting. Around Mohawk, it started drizzling, and the drizzle was freezing to my windshield, so I had to go the rest of the way with the defrosters on, and it was still not very easy. Yuck. I'd rather have snow anytime!

 

Church was nice. The 2-week-old baby was baptized. He is a cutie, and he's not very small: he was almost 9 lb when he was born, and he hasn't gotten any smaller. He didn't like having that water poured on his head, but he didn't make a fuss, and when his parents stood at the back of the church afterwards, he was sound asleep. His name is Nathaniel David. His 2-year-old brother's name is Simon. I don't quite know why his parents chose those names, but at least they're not likely to be common.

 

There was communion, and Pastor preached on Jesus' first sermon, in Nazareth, and it was a good one. We used my favorite service (setting 3) and it was a long service. All the people who didn't make it last week were there today and they all took communion.

 

They had cake in the basement after church, but I left. I had to get gas. The station I usually go to had gas for $1.789, and I can't remember the last time I paid so little for it. It's so nice to fill my tank for less than $40!

 

I got home around 1:30, and I didn't do anything afterward. I'm really tired, so the plan is to go up to the north end as soon as I publish this, and i don't know of anything that should keep me. I can read tomorrow.

 

The weather wasn't very nice. There was a snow shower between 4:00 and 5:00 this morning, and more between 5:00 and 8:00 this afternoon, and that doesn't include the drizzle I went through. The high temperature was 32, but it was nearly steady all day. There wasn't a lot of wind, but just lately, it's turned east and risen to about 15 mph, which means that the lake is singing. It was dark and cloudy all day. It was so humid that I ache all over.

 

The guys didn't like it, either. Grayson got some lap time, and late this afternoon, he went to sleep on my lap and almost caused me to have an accident (I made it). Louie came around a couple of times, but he didn't get to sit on me.

 

Oh, by the way: 42 years ago today, I had an emergency appendectomy. That was my first serious medical problem, and I can remember nearly fading out while my mother was driving me to the hospital (in her Corvair, which didn't have a working heater). It was only the beginning...

 

So that was my quiet day, and now it's a dark, snowy night in the field.

 

January 23

Today is my parents' 76th wedding anniversary. I know they've been gone for a long time, but I commemorate the day every year, because without it, I wouldn't be here.

 

I was late again last night, mostly because I was reading. I don't know if anybody else would think my stuff is good, but I like it, and I like to re-read it.

 

I was up around 6:30, and the sky had cleared and the full moon was shining in the windows, so big and bright! I had to bury my head when I went back to bed. 

 

I didn't do anything much today. I knitted, and I started chart 5, which meant that I could go back to my small magnet board, since it's all on one page. I understand why they put each half of the big charts on a page, but it makes it very hard to find a way to keep track of where I am. I have two 18" x 24" steel boards that I use for charts, and it's been a very long time since I've had to use the one I'm using now. I don't like it because it has a 1" lip on one long side, and I have to put that at the top, because otherwise, it interferes with my wrists. My good, big board is the one I use for cross stitch, and it's here in the studio. So now I have boards at each end of the house. I need to swap the small (9" x 12") ones, because the one has a clip on the top, and I don't need that for knitting, whereas it's very useful for cross stitch.

 

Anyway, it took me all afternoon to do my surfing. I didn't get to the shawl until it was almost dark, but my task lights are good. When I took the beaded shawl to choir to show the ladies, I discovered a pull in the border. Clearly, a cat (ahem, Grayson!) had caught a claw when he was jumping up on the table. It's going to be warm enough tomorrow that I think I will wear it, so I had to work the pull back into the fabric. It turned out to be easier than I feared, but I needed good light to do it. The pull didn't happen until after the shawl was dry, so I could pull the stitches out to where the kinks were, and that turned out to be fairly easy with a fine crochet hook. So I'm good to go tomorrow.

 

The weather was sort of blah. There was some sunshine early in the day, but the clouds soon moved in and it was bright but cloudy all day. It was nice to be able to knit with bright natural light. The high temperature was (is) 31, and it's been that for several hours. The wind is from the southwest, and it's been a bit gusty lately, with gusts up to 20 mph. Tomorrow is supposed to be just about the same. I was curious this afternoon when radar showed a big patch of snow right over me, and there wasn't anything going on outside. I don't know where they get that data, but it sure isn't right. On the other hand, over the past several days, there have been snow flurries here when radar didn't show anything. Makes me wonder.

 

The guys were sleepy, but they both got some lap time. When I woke up this morning, Grayson was lying in the bathroom on one of the rugs, on his back, braced on the tub surround. Louie does that sometimes, too, and it looks so funny. Comfortable, but funny. Usually, they sleep curled up with their chins on their hind feet.

 

So that was my very quiet day, and now it's time to get ready for tomorrow. It's a warmish (for January), cloudy night in the field.

 

January 22

I was earlier to bed than I have been lately, but not as early as I wanted to be. I just sat in the bathroom and I guess I was zoned out. I did fix a name and personality for a character in one of the stories I've been writing lately, so I suppose that was useful, but it would have been better if I'd been lying down when I did it. Except that the last time I thought I did that, I completely forgot the name before I got up the next morning. It helps now because I've put a personality and body with the person. She's Brianna, and she's a pill, but it will be an interesting exercise to see if I can write her story.

 

Anyway, I got up around 11:30, and I knitted. I did my four rows in a bit over an hour, which was good, and it turns out I miscounted: I have only two rows left on this graph, and then I can go on to the next one. I think there are about 260 stitches. The next part will be interesting, and probably very slow. The center diamond is almost all nupps - at least four in every row - so either I'll go nutty or I'll really learn how to do these nupps.

 

I didn't do anything else except go to the post office and stop at the store, where there was a big, heavy package for me. Oh, and I had an accident for the first time in a few days. I had a pot pie for dinner last night, and that just doesn't give me the roughage I need, and then I delayed taking my morning walk. I doubt I'll ever learn.

 

The weather was nondescript. When I saw that big swath of blue on the radar map of the country, I felt for the people along the east coast. They just aren't used to that kind of weather. Cousin Arthur is in Virginia, and I hope he and Mary Ann are safely hibernating. Here, it was just blah. The high temperature was 25, but that was overnight, and it fell slowly after 6:00 this morning, to 20 now. I think there were a few little snowflakes, but not much. There wasn't much wind. It was dull and cloudy all day. The camera hung up today again. Sigh.

 

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

 

When I was out, I was amazed by how many snowmobiles there were parked at Mariner. For the sake of my friends, I'm glad to see it, but those people are pains in the kiester. I got tangled up in some who pulled out of the store right as I passed on the way to the post office, I had to wait to pull into a parking spot because some guys were going up the road, and while I was pulling out, one went right behind me and I never saw him until he was past. I know some snowmobilers are couth guys, but a whole lot of them aren't, and they try everybody's patience.

 

So that was a quiet day, and I'm hoping to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. My eyes haven't been right all day, and only sleep will fix that. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but there's no snow coming down.

 

January 21

And last night, I almost pulled an all-nighter. I was reading and I wanted to finish the story, and then, of course, I had to wash my hair. I slept hard for about 7 hours, with one wake-up, but the second time I woke up, I went back to bed before I should have and I had cramps, so I didn't sleep, and I was up about an hour later. I knitted, and I only have 8 rows left of this chart before I go on to the next one. It's taking me an hour and a half to do four rows, though, even when I'm knitting fast, so pretty soon I'll have to cut back to two or three rows. Then I fiddled with the sanity lines I've drawn on the next charts, so I didn't eat until after 3:00.

 

I didn't have time to even do all my surfing, because I left for choir at 5:30, or so. It wasn't a bad trip, even though there were some little snowflakes in the air. It wasn't completely dark when I left, so the days are getting noticeably longer. Choir was good, and we got a couple of our sopranos back, so we're a bigger group, and that's good. For the past couple of weeks, we've only had three sopranos, and that isn't enough.

 

I have been driving rather slowly, for me, and I followed a very prudent driver to Lac LaBelle road, so it was 9:30 by the time I got home. I didn't have much of a breakfast, so I was hungry by the time I got home. I'm tired, so I hope I won't be up very much longer. I already heard the best thing on the radio tonight - Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, one of my favorites - so I can go any time I can stop reading.

 

The weather was nondescript. The high temperature was 27, here at least, and the wind was between 10 mph and 15 mph from the north. It was cloudy and dull. There were a few snowflakes, but nothing to remark. The harbor finally seems to be iced over, although I certainly wouldn't walk on it. There has been an awesome amount of snow in Calumet and Laurium. The banks are a good 10' high at the corners, and we're having our usual hard time seeing around the cross streets.

 

The guys slept, although they both got some lap time. Louie slept with me for a while this morning, but I'm not sure if maybe it was because his food bowl was empty. He is a sweet kitty to me, but he just doesn't like Grayson very well. Grayson is a little more tolerant, I think.

 

So that was another quiet day - well, there wasn't much of it - and now it's a dark, cold night in the field.

 

January 20

So I was just as late last night as the night before. I was reading this time. I got my nine hours of sleep, with only one wakeup, though, so it was late when I got up, and then I knitted. When I got to the studio, there was a call from Ron and I had to make another call, so I still haven't finished my surfing for the day.

 

I did go to chapel. They are having a symposium at the seminary this week, and the chapel has been packed full both yesterday and today. A couple of their best speakers have preached, though, so it's been wonderful. Only today they got through with communion so fast that there was one choir piece that they didn't do, and I was disappointed, because it was by a Russian composer I love. However, they did do a setting of "Cantate Domino" that I sang when I was in college, a million years ago. They sang it as four-part male chorus, while we did it as mixed, but still. I remember it, and it's something I haven't heard very much since. Pity, but it's an easy piece. I remember that I got it when I sight-read it the first time I saw it. That hasn't made me love it less.

 

I also finally remembered to run Windows update on both computers, and I discovered why I wasn't getting any notifications on the desktop. I turned off one too many flags, it seems. Maybe it will work better next month. Anyway, now I'm as up to date as Windows 7 can be.

 

The weather has calmed down and warmed up. The high temperature was 24, for a couple of hours, so it wasn't a fluke. There hasn't been much wind, and there was actually some sunshine late this afternoon. The camera hung, though, so I don't know how much there was. The picture it hung on was a pretty one, though. I wished I could have saved the picture I saw when turned out the light this morning, because just about the time I did, the gibbous moon was setting over the lighthouse (now you can figure out when I went to bed) and it was shining so brightly in the windows that it made the lighthouse light look dim. There were still a lot of clouds, but the moon shone through a break in them. Ooh! I just discovered that we now have days that are 9 hours long! Wow! We've gained a half-hour in the last month, and now we're beginning to gain daylight at a reasonable rate.

 

The guys were sleepy. They both got some lap time, although Louie has been refusing to settle down on my lap, so he didn't get as much as Grayson did. I think Louie feels better, although I'm still watching him. I don't think he's barfed lately.

 

So that was a rather truncated day, and tonight I must wash my hair, no matter when I go up to the north end. It's a calm, partly cloudy night in the field.

 

January 19

Oh, well, I stayed up almost all night again. Sigh. I was reading, and then I got to wondering what would happen if I put parts of one of my stories out on the website. That took a while, and it's still not formatted exactly right, but it did work. I'm still not sure I want it to get out there where people can read it, so I'm still thinking about it. I seem to be a rather staid, sober person, I think, and what's in those stories might shock some people. This is just the first chapter of the background story, but it has some racy stuff in it. I'm still trying to decide what to do.

 

Anyway, I slept, of course. I think I got up around noon or a little later, and I knitted. Fixing the mistake I made yesterday was easier than I thought - the yarn over went after the "knit two together" rather than before it - so everything is good again. It's a mistake I will be continuing to make, because sometimes the yarn over is before the k2tog and sometimes it's after, and I have to pay strict attention to get it right, so that the holes line up properly. I'm making progress, and I only have 22 more rows to go on chart 4. That means I'm nearing the halfway point, at least in the number of rows. I think there are almost 250 stitches on the needle now.

 

Other than that, I didn't do much of anything, except that I did get the dishwasher almost ready to run tonight. I waited too long again, but not nearly as long as I have lately. I'm out of bowls, though, so it was time to run it.

 

The weather was boring. The high temperature was 18, and there wasn't much wind. There were a few snowflakes, but I don't think there was any accumulation. We're in for a few days without much snow or wind, I'm happy to say, and the temperature should be a bit warmer, too. The cold temperatures have caused the harbor to ice over, but I don't think I'd want to try to walk on it. I just noticed that the camera hung up sometime today, so we didn't get a true picture. I don't know why it did that; I rebooted last night (and it turned out I didn't have to), so it should have been all right. Grr.

 

The guys were sleepy. I thought Louie felt better, but then he barfed again today. At least his ears were cold, which is always a good sign. They both wanted to sit on me all afternoon, so they both got some lap time. 

 

So that was a quiet, truncated day, and it's a dark, cold, quiet night in the field.

 

January 18

So i got to bed about 11:30 last night, and I slept extremely well, at least until around 8:00. I was only up once. I was up again at 8:00, and I tried to go back to sleep, but around 9:00 i started coughing and blowing, so I got up. I knitted, but when I was looking over what I'd done, I discovered I made a mistake very near the middle of the piece. Since that's more than 100 stitches in, I flagged it, and I will fix it tomorrow when I knit. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with this thing.

 

I didn't do very much today. I had to call the pharmacy company - again! - but I think perhaps things are straight for the time being. I am still shocked by how much out of control those people are. But maybe I'll get my prescription before I run out.

 

The weather is still snowy and it's still cold, although the temperature was a bit warmer today - it got up to 14 - the wind is a bit quieter, and the snow isn't quite as bad. While we've gotten quite a bit of snow over the weekend, Delaware has had 16" and down by Redridge, which is southwest of Houghton and at Calumet, they've had 31". I'm sure we've all gotten a lot more today, but after tonight, the lake effect event should be winding down. The official amount for Delaware through yesterday is 46". So this is winter in the Keweenaw. I didn't think we'd get away without some snow. As I keep telling people, at least it's January and not November! It was very windy overnight, with gusts as high as 38 mph, but the wind is now down around 24 mph. It was dark and dull, of course. I do have to say that when I was coming home yesterday, in the middle of the worst of it, it was incredibly beautiful, when I had time to admire it. Every twig and branch was frosted with 3" or 4" of snow. Talk about a winter wonderland... Of course, driving in it was the pits.

 

The guys slept, mostly. Louie still doesn't feel very good and he barfed again today, I think. His ears are warm, which is not a good sign. He did eat a bit tonight, and I don't think he barfed that. I'm watching him. He really wants to eat plastic, but I don't want him to do that. I hope all he has is a hairball, and eventually it will pass. Grayson has been feeling good. Yesterday morning, he was chasing his tail in the bathroom. That's hard, because he has quite a short tail for the length of his body, but it was fun to watch. Today he has been a bit more subdued.

 

So that was all there was, and I want to wash my hair tonight. It's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field, but we should be getting over the lake effect event sometime soon.

 

January 17

Well, for one reason or another, it was 10:30 before I got to bed last night. I slept fairly well, except that I was up every 2 hours again, and the last time I was up was 5:30. That isn't fair. I had just gotten into a deep sleep when the alarm went off. Oh, I didn't want to get up, but I had promised myself I would go to church today and do my shopping. So I got up and did my thing, and I almost got away when I wanted to.

 

The first problem was that the garage door wouldn't close, but I just left it. The road looked like somebody had plowed it again, and the tractor was gone, although the blower is still at the end of my driveway. It was snowing lightly. I got to Lake Medora without much problem, although the road was a three-track. We tend to drive down the middle of the road in this weather, if we can. Then I got behind someone who lives there, and the rest of the trip to Delaware was difficult. The snow is so light and fluffy that it blows up into billows when a car goes through. They turned off to Lac LaBelle, which was good for me, and by the number of cars going north that I passed on the rest of my trip, I gather that Mount Bohemia opened today. More power to them. The temperature was around 10 or less for most of the day.

 

Anyway, it wasn't snowing very hard, if at all, until I got to Mohawk, but from there south it was nearly a white-out. Not my favorite kind of weather.

 

Church was a joke. Pastor was preaching to the choir, because the choir was almost all that was there. There were maybe 30 people total. It was a nice service, though. The sermon was on the Wedding Feast at Cana, and the officers and deacons who were there were installed. There are some good Epiphany hymns.

 

After that, I had to shop. It was still snowing hard when I left church, and bless Mary, who brushed off most of my car, because I was beginning to have a hard time walking. However, I made it to Pat's and I made it inside, and I got the things I needed - lettuce and eggs, mostly. They didn't have any whitefish again, but at this time of year, they have a hard time getting out to fish, and most of what they catch evidently goes to the restaurants. I was disappointed, but I have some in the freezer that I've been banking for just such a problem. I should eat some of it; even frozen, it doesn't keep forever.

 

Anyway, they have people who will help get our carts to our cars and help us unload them. I don't know what I would do without them - well, I do. I would have to leave my cart in front of the store and move the car. I simply cannot push a grocery cart through the snow.

 

It was snowing hard when I left Calumet, and the conditions were pretty nearly a white-out until I got to Mohawk. Then there was a short while when there was actually a ray or two of sunshine. That got me to put on my sunglasses, and I wore them the rest of the way home. I can see much better in the snow with my sunglasses on. I bought a pair of those yellow glasses that are supposed to help, and they don't. There were a couple of squalls north of there, but nothing serious. A lot of the people I passed going to Mount Bohemia were coming home when I was going north. I don't blame them. It was frigid. Is frigid.

 

I was exhausted when I got home, but I moved everything from the car to the platform before I went in, and it was two hours before I finally changed my clothes and got everything inside. At this time of year, the breezeway is a wonderful auxiliary refrigerator, so I wasn't worried about leaving everything out there for a while. I didn't have any frozen stuff anyway, and my worst worry was that something might freeze, but I don't think it did. Finally, I got everything in and stashed away, and now I'm good for at least another two weeks. The fridge is bulging, but it's full of good food...and a bunch of stuff that needs to be thrown away. Maybe I can get to that this week.

 

I didn't do anything for the rest of the day, and around 6:00, I nearly fell asleep. I won't be up very much longer, for sure.

 

The weather, as I've indicated, was frigid and snowy. Here, the temperature was nearly steady at about 12, with a northeast wind in the 25-40 mph range. That puts the wind chill around -10. We had a couple of inches of snow, I think. Down in Calumet and Laurium, it was a whole lot colder (around 5) and a whole lot snowier. They have had a remarkable amount of snow over the past week or so. Being out in it was not pleasant at all. Of course, bringing in the groceries from the car wasn't pleasant, either. I have Reynaud's syndrome, and my fingers were so cold and so sore I could hardly stand it by the time everything was on the platform. I guess I should have kept my mittens on over my gloves, but then I can't manipulate the bags. Sigh. I've had that since I was a little kid, and this winter it seems to be particularly bad.

 

The guys slept. So would I have, if I'd been here. They both got some lap time, and I think Grayson would have slept on my lap for the whole afternoon if I'd been quiet enough.

 

So that was my day. Now I have enough lettuce and OJ and JD for a couple of weeks and a couple of nice lamb chops for tomorrow. They had flat iron steaks again, too, so I got one of those. Yum. Now I can hibernate, although the latter half of the week is supposed to be better, and I will be able to get out to go to choir.

 

Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field - a good one to take a long winter's nap.

 

January 16

I got to bed right about midnight last night, and I slept well, except that I was up every 2 hours or so. I'm beginning to get back to normal. I slept on only one pillow, and I didn't wear any underwear. I'm hardly coughing at all now, so there was no problem, and it felt so good to be unencumbered. I got up about 10:00. I'm still having at least one bad night sweat a night, but hopefully that will end soon, too.

 

Today was wash day, and there were only two loads, but the second one still needs to be rinsed with fabric softener. I don't seem to wear as many clothes in the wintertime, and I did have to wash a couple of times over the last month. There were more underpants this time, which is good thing.

 

It's an especially good thing, since I had an accident today. It was partly because Grayson was asleep on my lap, I think, but it was annoying anyway. At least the rice helped a bit.

 

The weather was snowy, although not much of it registered at the weather station. The temperature was nearly steady between 18 and 19. According to the pictures, and what I noticed, it snowed lightly to moderately all day. It was windy overnight, but there wasn't much wind at all today, from the north. There has been enough lately that there is a nice drift - about 12" - in front of the patio doors to the studio. It was dark and cloudy all day, of course. It was a good day to stay inside and ignore all that.

 

The guys did. Grayson went to sleep on my lap after breakfast, which is why I had an accident, and he is now trying to sleep on the laptop next to the monitor. Louie probably slept, too. He got a little lap time, but mostly he was someplace else.

 

I have to finish the wash, and I have to fill the pill dispensers, and then I have to try to get to bed early. We'll see how all that goes. Snowy or not, I have to go to church tomorrow, both to sing and I have to shop. I'm running out of almost everything that I can't get from Schwan's, and a lot of that is stuff I can't get at the store here.

 

So now it's a snowy night in the field, and it's going to be a snowy day tomorrow. Ah, me. Winter in the Keweenaw. Sigh.

 

January 15

EEK! January is half over already!

 

I got to bed right at 1:00, for the first time in a while. I guess I was tired, because I was only up twice, and I didn't get up until after 11:00. It would be better, I'm sure, if I could get to bed earlier every night and get about the same amount of sleep every night, but so far, I haven't been able to get back on that kind of schedule. I'll keep trying.

 

I didn't have time to do much today, because I had to go to the post office, where I had to talk to Ron about the tractor that is parked right beside my driveway. He was out on it when he ran into a rock and apparently did something to the linkage between the tractor and the blower, so it's now at an angle to the front of the tractor. He will be talking to various people to see if he can find out what the problem is and how to fix it. In the meantime, we both hope it doesn't snow too much. And Marty, bless him, came around and scraped the road and my driveway down with his plow truck.

 

It did snow some last night, between about 1:00 and 4:00 this morning, I'm guessing, since when I went to bed and when I was up the first time, I couldn't see the lights of town. I could still see the lighthouse light, and it wasn't moving around, so it wasn't as heavy as it could have been. It's still a whole lot less than they've had in town. It was relatively mild today and there was almost no more snow. The high temperature was 27, early in the afternoon. Now the wind is rising again and it's shifting around to the north. The gusts are up to 32 mph from the northeast. It was cloudy, but not particularly dark, and it wasn't bad to be out in.

 

The guys ignored it, of course. I had some problem with Grayson, who wanted to sit on me when I had to do things like write checks and fill envelopes. Louie has been on his scratching pad for most of the afternoon, I think.

 

So it was another quiet, mostly useless day and now it's a dark night in the field. The temperature is going down and the wind is going up, but I don't think it's snowing much.

 

January 14

Last night I was even later than the night before. This time it was the music and what I was reading, and I had to wash my hair. I did sleep well, though, and since I was only up once, for a brief time, I actually got about as much sleep in 9 hours as I would have if I'd been up several times.

 

What wasn't so nice was that I had a really bad accident, for the first time in a while. It was probably my own fault for not starting for the powder room earlier, but I haven't been having much trouble lately and I didn't realize what was going to happen until it did. Yuck. Well, at least I hadn't filled my pockets, and washday is Saturday.

 

I did manage to get my surfing done before I started for choir. I toyed with the idea of going down early and shopping, but since somebody won the lottery last night, it wasn't that important, and I can go on Sunday. I will have to go to church on Sunday, unless there's a blizzard, because we still have only three sopranos, and even though everything we're singing is unison, that only gives us five women, and those guys have loud voices.

 

Choir was good, though. We are beginning to rehearse for Lent already, but Easter is very early this year (March 27, about as early as it can be) so Ash Wednesday is February 10, which is about a month from now. Geez!

 

The weather was warmer than it has been lately, but it was snowy. The high temperature was (is) 23 and there hasn't been much wind. We have had 0.14" of water equivalent since 2:00, although it did snow lightly before that. It was cloudy, of course, but not especially dark. I was interested, but not very surprised, by how much more snow they have had in Laurium than we've had. Ron ran the tractor over the road today, but more to get ahead of things than that it needed it. The banks are already about 3' high in town, even though we only have 3" or 4" down up here.

 

The guys slept. I didn't think they did much to the shawl when they sat on it, but when I showed it to the ladies at choir, there was a big snag down near the bottom, and the only way that could have happened is if somebody caught a claw... Well, at least it's off the blocking pads.

 

So that was a truncated day, and I'm not planning to be up so long tonight. It's a snowy night in the field, but it's not windy and it's not very cold.

 

January 13

So I was just as late as I was the night before, and I didn't have any excuse at all. Once I got to bed, I slept well, after I got through coughing. I think I got up around 1:30 again. I knitted, and while I only do four rows a day, I'm making some progress. I have almost half the total number of stitches on the needles now, but of course, I'm not nearly halfway done.

 

I didn't do anything else, because I was too late. 

 

The weather was sort of blah. There wasn't much new snow, but when I looked at the Keweenaw webcams late this afternoon, it was pretty bad from Calumet south. The high temperature was 15, briefly around 5:00. Otherwise, it was in the low teens. The wind mostly died down. So blah.

 

The guys thought that, too. They slept. Grayson slept on me for quite a while. Louie got some lap time, too.

 

What a nothing day. Tonight I have to wash my hair again, and I hope it's not at 4:00 in the morning, but we'll see. I am trying to get my scalp back in shape after the week when I didn't wash it at all, and it's taking a while.

 

Now it's a frigid night in the field, but it's not very windy and it's not snowing very much. Small favors...

 

January 12

Oh, I just didn't want to wash my hair last night, so I was ridiculously late, close to pulling an all-nighter, but not quite. My hair is clean, though. I didn't get up until around 1:30, and I knitted, so I didn't have much time to do anything, especially after I had the worst accident I've had in a couple of weeks. Served me right, too, although I did have a cat on my lap.

 

Actually, I did more than I have for a while. I got the dishwasher unloaded and washed the pans that were cluttering up the sink so I could put the dishes to soak, and while my dinner was cooking, I froze all the rice I cooked a couple of days ago - eight packages. Now I'll be able to have rice whenever I want it, at least for a while.

 

The weather is still better watched from indoors. The high temperature actually took place between 2:00 and 4:00 this morning, 17. During the day, the high was 14. It was very windy, with sustained winds up to 28 mph and gusts to 40 mph, from the north. It snowed, but I don't think we got very much more accumulation. Delaware has gotten 20" since the first of the year, but of course, we haven't gotten nearly as much. It was cloudy but not very dark. With those winds, the wind chill was well below 0. I was glad to stay in. I did notice that there is quite a shelf of slush in front of the house, so finally the harbor is beginning to freeze.

 

The guys were, too. They mostly slept, Both of them acted like they wanted to sit on me, but they didn't. Grayson wanted some fish, and he actually ate a couple of small bites.

 

So that was a truncated day, and I don't intend to be up nearly as late tonight. I'm beginning to get over my whatever-it-was. I'm not coughing nearly as much, which is a relief at night. I still don't feel very good, but that will pass, too. 

 

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

 

January 11

I was tired enough last night that I got to bed around 11:30. It would have been earlier - it should have been earlier - but I was almost too tired to move. I slept surprisingly well, without much coughing except when I was up at 4:00 or so. I tried to turn over to my left side, and I coughed until I turned over, and then I was fine. I didn't have that problem when I was up around 7:30. I got up around 11:00, and I noticed that the wind had died down.

 

I knitted four rows without too many problems. The next row has nupps, so it will go slowly, and I'm starting the next diamond. The pattern is for a triangular shawl, but it has a diamond shape in the middle with at least four different patterns and a center diamond (which is all nupps). I'm starting the diamond that surrounds the center.

 

I didn't do anything. Chapel services started again, and I had to change my underwear in the middle of that, and there was my usual surfing, which I didn't finish until halfway through the talking.

 

The weather is very wintry. While the wind died down overnight, the temperature was between 10 and 14 all day, and there was some light snow off and on, although weather radar never showed it. I don't think there was much, if any accumulation. We didn't get all the pictures, because the camera hung around 2:00 and I didn't notice it until around 5:30. I guess we may be in for it the next couple of days. There is evidently a clipper system headed our way, and the winds are favorable for some lake effect snow, too. The temperature is supposed to peak at under 10 tomorrow, too. So, it's January in Keweenaw. What else can you expect?

 

The guys slept. Grayson got some lap time, but I was busy when Louie came by. He got a good pet this morning, though. When I went through the great room with my dinner, I found both of them on the shawl and I had to chase them off. 

 

I will have to get that shawl off the blocking board. Clearly, I won't be able to wear it until it gets warmer, but I could block something else (what a concept!).

 

So that was another very quiet day. Now it's a frigid but quiet night in the field, and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...

 

January 10

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my stem cell transplant. I'm still here, and the cancer hasn't come back. It's kind of a big deal, because when I asked about it, they told me there was a 30% chance that it would be successful. So I beat the odds. It was also the most horrible thing I ever didn't want to go through. I've said that one of my visions of hell is a place where the chemo never ends. The relevant journals are still online - October 2000 through January 2001. They are somewhat sketchy, especially while I was in the hospital, because I was pretty nearly out of it for at least two weeks, but it does give one the flavor of what I went through to still be here.

 

I got to bed about 10:00 last night, and I slept very well. I hardly coughed at all until I was up around 5:30, and then I must have coughed almost continuously for about half an hour. I had just gotten back to sleep when the alarm went off. Thankfully, they usually play soothing music at that hour of the morning. Oh, I so did not want to get up, but I did.

 

I managed to get away not too much later than I wanted to. It was so cold that I didn't even think about wearing the shawl I was going to wear on Christmas Eve. I wore one of my warmest cardigans and the ultimate coat - the long one with the down lining and the weatherproof shell that comes down to my ankles. I got that coat (or one just like it in a different color) while I was still working, and it definitely saved my skin. Today I wasn't wearing high boots, though, so my ankles got cold, but the wind blew  the hood up over my head and I was quite cozy.

 

The roads were awful and it was snowing, and besides, I managed to get behind a guy leaving Copper Harbor who was convinced that he was driving on glare ice. I didn't pass him until Delaware, and I was chomping before I could get around him. Aarrgghh... The road wasn't like it was clear and dry, for sure, but the temperature here was only about 14 when I left, and at that low a temperature, it's not really very slippery. I didn't drive fast, and I was a bit later getting to church than I wanted to, but the person I have to vie with for the good parking place didn't come at all, so I was good.

 

I made it to church, and I managed to sing. There was communion, and Pastor had a lovely prayer of thanks for my anniversary. It was very nice, even though there weren't very many people. Eleanor made it, though, so I felt good that I did, too. She is about 94 or 95.

 

I had to get gas, and I toyed with the idea of stopping at the store and getting some stuff I'm running out of, but I didn't do that. It was snowing hard when I left church, and it was only about 8 in Calumet and Laurium. My hands and my ankles got cold while I was pumping gas, but the wind blew my hood up over my head the moment I got out of the car, and that kept my head warm. The fabric of the coat looks like a suede cloth, but it has a rubber backing and it really is windproof and waterproof (not that I needed that today!). The only problem I have is that I bought the coat when I weighed less and it's a bit tight across the shoulders when I have something heavy, like a thick mohair sweater, under it. Getting into it and out of it isn't easy, but it's worth it. 

 

So I got my gas and came home, slowly. There was more traffic than I would have thought, but nobody in front of me coming home, so I could drive at my own comfortable speed, which wasn't very fast.

 

I didn't do much of anything for the rest of the day, and late in the afternoon, when it was beginning to get dark, I got very sleepy. I doubt I'll be up too long tonight.

 

The weather is frigid and snowy. The high temperature actually happened at midnight, 19, and it went down for most of the night and morning. The low was 12, at noon, and lately it's been steady at around 13. The wind has been from the north, between 23 and 28 mph, with gusts that got up to 39 mph. It snowed all day, but with the temperature so cold, it was very fine snow and it didn't accumulate more than an inch or so. That was here. It was colder but not as windy and snowier down in Laurium and Calumet. And I ran through a patch around Delaware on the way home where it was a white-out. Fortunately, that didn't last long. They've had much more snow down in Laurium than we have, and there was a lot at Delaware, too. I don't know what the mechanism is at Delaware, but it's much higher at Calumet than it is here, and the "higher elevations" almost always get more snow than we do. However, I just checked, and even there the weather station didn't record any precip, even though it said it was snowing, so it's been all that fine, sandy stuff that messes up seeing but doesn't accumulate much.

 

The guys slept, wise beasts that they are. Grayson sat on me several times. After last year, he's just not used to me going away when the weather is like this. I haven't seen Louie since I got home, but he has his warm spots where he hangs out.

 

So that was my quiet day. Winter has finally come to the Keweenaw, but so far it isn't nearly like it was last year. Both Ron and I are grateful. The tractor works, we think, but it's nice that he doesn't have to take it out, especially when it's this cold.

 

Now it's a frigid, snowy, windy night in the field, and the lake is singing. Me, too, only not out loud.

 

January 9

Well, I was ridiculously late last night. I went up to the north end late, because I was reading, and then I wanted to check something in the Bible, and that led me to reading several chapters in Leviticus and Deuteronomy about the Jewish laws of conduct. I guess after reading what I did, I can understand why they strayed. Trying to follow all those laws would be impossible, and getting the animals to sacrifice for their sins would be expensive. It also seems they had a lot of problems with skin diseases, which might make some sense, considering that they weren't very clean by our standards. They kept saying "wash with water" which leads me to wonder what they usually used to wash...if they did.

 

Anyway, I was late. I did sleep well, but I was so tired it wasn't surprising. I didn't cough as much as the night before, but every time I woke up, I coughed until I sat up for a while.

 

I finally got up around 11:00, and I knitted my four rows. I forgot to mention that yesterday I got back to the place I was when I had to rip, so today I was able to forge ahead. While I like the yarn, I don't care for the color very much (natural camel) and while the pattern is interesting, I don't think it's very pretty. However, it's a challenge, so I won't abandon it.

 

I didn't do very much else except I did get to the post office, where most of my pills came, as well as a lot of other first class mail. Only one bill, though, which was nice. I got the questionnaire from the accountant, but it will be a while before I can fill it out. I guess I need to get at my ledgers for last year, since I didn't do anything with them after about March. Not only do I need that information for the questionnaire, I do need to see where all the money went. Sigh. Clerical tasks, like keeping ledgers and filing, are things I never have liked, and when they were giving us aptitude tests in middle school, I was never very good at them. Sigh.

 

The weather has turned cold, snowy and windy. The temperature fell from 35 at midnight to 20 now, and it's going to keep going down. The wind was from the north, and now it's 24 mph with gusts to 33 mph. It snowed lightly off and on all day, but there was very little accumulation. It did rain before it started snowing, and then it froze, so our road was crunchy and the highway was probably slippery. I try not to do anything that would tell me that for sure. It was dark and dismally cloudy all day. Well, it's about time. They say we are going to have quite a bit of snow over the next couple of days, although they keep pushing back the onset, and when I look at the radar maps, I don't see where it's coming from. Maybe we'll be lucky.

 

It doesn't matter; I have to go to church tomorrow, and I will go, unless it's a blizzard. There is communion, I need gas, and I should stop and get a few things to eat, like eggs. We'll see how it is in the morning.

 

The guys were mostly sleepy, although Grayson was following me around all day, and now he wants to sit on me again. I don't know what his problem is now. Louie just slept, and he didn't get any lap time, but he did get a rather good pet this morning.

 

So that was another quiet day, and now it's a cold, dark, windy night in the field. The snow is coming...the snow is coming... One of these days they'll be right.

 

January 8

I'm afraid it was close to 2:00 before I got to bed last night. I wish it had been earlier, but that happens on Thursdays, especially when I get home so late. However, then I coughed for at least four hours before it either settled down or I was just too exhausted and I got to sleep. I didn't get up until nearly 11:00.

 

I knitted four rows, which should have gone fast, but then I discovered that I had goofed on the first row and it took me a while to fix that, sort of. Some of the holes are a bit too big, but I have a long time to fiddle with them to try to make them smaller. With nearly 200 stitches in a row, I was not going to rip back a whole row. At least in this case, after a couple of tries, I think I at least have all the stitches right.

 

That made me too late to go to the post office, especially since I had to sit in the powder room for a while before I ate breakfast. And then I had to sit again after I ate. Well, I had rice for dinner tonight, and I have a whole pot full, so my gut should be doing better for a while.

 

The weather was warm and nasty. When I got up, it was raining, and before I got dressed it was turning to sleet. That continued all day, and we had 0.3" of precip. The high temperature was 36 and the low was 34, so there wasn't much variation, and the humidity was close to 100% all day. It was rainy or snowy and foggy. Yuck. Double yuck.

 

The guys knew what to do in this weather. Grayson got some lap time, but Louie came when I was busy, so he hasn't gotten his yet.

 

So that was another quiet day, and now it's a dark, rainy, foggy night in the field. Yuck.

 

January 7

I was late last night. I read, and I wanted to finish one part of the story, and then of course I sat and stared at the floor for quite a while. I did get my hair washed.

 

I slept fairly well. I tried two normal pillows, and for most of the night that worked well. It elevated my head and shoulders enough so that I didn't cough very much, but not so much that it put a kink in my back. However, I wanted to go back to sleep this morning, and I was coughing so much that I couldn't, so I got up a bit after 11:00.

 

I knitted, of course, and I actually got the dishwasher filled and run before I had to leave for choir. So now I have a dishwasher full of clean dishes that I really should put away. 

 

With the weather as it is, I had to leave for choir around 5:30. It was raining or sleeting here, but it was snowing further down the peninsula. The roads weren't bad, but they were snow-covered, so I took my time. Choir was good. There were only three sopranos, but we sounded good. For the next few weeks, we'll be singing easy stuff, which is probably good. It took me an hour to get home, too, so I should be trundling up to the north end as soon as I finish this. 

 

I still don't feel very good, and I was coughing for most of the day, but it was juicier than it has been lately, so that's good. I had trouble singing, as you might expect, but not as much as I thought I might.

 

The weather was sort of yucky. The high temperature was 36 and it has been nearly constant for the past ten hours. We had some precip, and overnight, it was light snow, not more than an inch. As I mentioned, it was rain or sleet or something today. Further down the peninsula it was snow, and it was snowing hard in spots when I was driving down. There was almost no wind. On the way home, besides the snow and/or rain, there were patches of fog. YIkes!

 

The guys mostly slept, as usual.

 

So that was another quiet day. Now it's a dark, warm, snowy night in the field.

 

January 6 - The Epiphany of Our Lord

Oh, I am getting so tired of this!

 

I wrote for a while last night, and I actually got to bed about 11:30. It would have been a bit earlier, but I ran out of Kleenex and had to get a box from the breezeway. In spite of cough medicine and two cough drops, I coughed for at least four hours, off and on, and at intervals after that. I didn't get up until around 11:30, though, so at least I got some sleep. Before that, I finally gave up on the reading wedge and threw it on the floor, and tonight I will try adding the other pillow instead. The only way I was comfortable and not coughing was lying mostly on my back and my right ear, and I can only do that for a certain length of time before my ear gets sore. It did enable me to get a few hours of sleep, though. Maybe two pillows will work better. It didn't help that I had some cramps that I had to take care of. So overall, it was not a good night.

 

I didn't do very much today except call the company about the prescription they had on hold. Oh, and I got the rest of the stuff cleared off the counters. Of course, then I put some more there, but it's much better. The bags are just out in the breezeway, though. Maybe tomorrow I can get them into the garage and out of my way. The one today is very heavy, because it has a number  of (I won't say how many) JD bottles. So now I can try to get everything into the trash basket, at least until it gets full. I have at least one more bag to fill, with the stuff from the north end, and I need to do that. The bags have a lot of incontinence pads that got very wet, so everything smells like a diaper pail - very yucky. Well, slowly but surely...

 

Except for the coughing, which isn't going away, I think I'm feeling some better. I guess I will have to plan to see somebody if the cough doesn't go away by next week. I sure wish I could still get terpinhydrate, but that hasn't been available for at least 60 years. It was a wonderful cough medicine, but it was grain alcohol and codeine, and they don't let people sell that anymore. Too bad, because it was the best cough medicine I've ever taken. I still have part of a bottle somewhere, but it's mostly an artifact, and I wouldn't actually use it. It was strong enough that one teaspoon would zap a cough for eight or more hours.

 

The weather was extremely dull and gray. I could have used lights all day. The high temperature was 31 and there was no wind. There was no snow, either, but I guess there may be some tomorrow. We'll see. I want to go to choir practice, although if my telephone conversation today is any indication, I won't be able to sing very much.

 

The guys slept.

 

So that was my very quiet day. Now it's a dark, calm and not very cold night in the field.

 

January 5

So I didn't make it to bed until about 1:45, but I have clean hair. I'll keep trying. I hauled the reading wedge up onto the bed, and while it's not the most comfortable way for me to sleep, after I settled down and got my sinuses reamed out, I slept much better than I have for several nights, so I guess I'll keep doing it for the next several days, at least.

 

I was up several times, mostly to unkink my back, I think. I sleep on my side, and sleeping on the wedge bends it at a strange angle. When I woke up the first time, around 4:00, I looked out the front windows and there was the Pleiades and Aldebaran, and when I sat up, Orion was balanced on the mountain. Rigel had already set, but the rest of it was there, as big as life. The part of the northern sky I can see from the bathroom window is pretty dim at that time, but Cassiopeia was setting behind the trees and I could see Polaris. If I craned my neck, I could see the end stars in the Little Dipper, which were nearly overhead. When I got up and looked out, Perseus was peeking out behind the cedar and Auriga was above and to the south. It was really very clear, and when I looked out the front windows again, I could see Castor and Pollux and Procyon, too. It was so nice to see stars, since that's so unusual at this time of year.

 

I didn't get up until around 11:30, I think, and I knitted 4 rows, since I seemed to be knitting fast today. I got the nupps done (again! That was part of what I had to rip out) with no problems, and I'm making good progress.

 

I ended up not doing anything much else. I did wash a load of clothes, including two pairs of compression hose that I messed up last week, and my favorite top, which I'd worn enough that it was dirty. I filled one orange bag with some of the trash from the kitchen, including the full bag in the wastebasket that was the reason it began to pile up on the counters again, but I have at least one more whole bag before I'll get everything out. I hate to do things that have to be done over and over again.

 

The weather was amazing. It was windy overnight, but the temperature never got under about 20 and it warmed up quickly after sunrise. The wind peaked at 36 mph gusts around 9:00 from the west before it died down. The high temperature, for most of the afternoon, was 33. It wasn't completely clear, like it was yesterday, but there weren't very many clouds until after 4:00. I guess there is some snow coming, but it doesn't look to be a lot.

 

The guys slept, as usual. The first time I woke up, I discovered that Louie was curled up right in the exact middle of the bed. That was behind my knees when I was on my right side, but I couldn't turn over with him there, so he had to move. In fact, I had already annoyed him, because I could hardly move at all with him there. That's the first time in a while he's slept there, so I don't know what brought that on.

 

So it was another quiet day. Now it's a warmish, cloudy night in the field, and tonight there should be no impediment to getting to bed at a reasonable hour. We'll see.

 

January 4

Well, I didn't quite make it by 1:00. Blame it on an infomercial, and I should have known better; I think I've heard that one before. The ad for it says it will tell you something (this one said "four foods you should never eat") and the commercial never says another thing about them. I did make it by 1:30, but then I had an absolutely horrible night. I coughed all night long, and my feet felt cold, even though they weren't. That's undoubtedly because I screwed up my south end pills yesterday, and it didn't help. I finally ate a cough drop around 6:00 and that helped, but not a lot, and I finally had to get up around 10:30 because once I woke up, I couldn't get back to sleep. I guess, like it or not, I am going to have to elevate my head. That isn't very comfortable and I don't like to do it, but I'm afraid it's the only thing that might help. Sigh.

 

I knitted, and I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open, but I didn't want to go back to bed then, because I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. So I got up, did my surfing, paid a bunch of bills, and ordered the pills I've been waiting until now to order. The price of the expensive one has gone up, but only by $10. There are some things I don't understand about those pills, but I have been having trouble with the website since I've been on Medicare Part D, and this is more of the same. Tomorrow, I will check into things and probably call them.

 

The weather was cold. It was windy - and cloudy - overnight, but after about 4:00 AM, the wind died down and it was very light all day. The high temperature was 21, and it's down to 17 already. Unfortunately, Environment Canada was wrong about last night. It was not clear. It was partly cloudy all day and almost completely clear at sunset, so we might see some stars tonight. 

 

The guys slept. Grayson got a lot of lap time, but he was on my lap the one time Louie came by, so he hasn't gotten his yet. 

 

So that was a quiet day, but at least I accomplished something. Not much, but something. My goal is to be in bed by midnight tonight, with clean hair, but we'll just have to see how that comes out. 

 

I have been meaning to mention that while my back has been killing me, my legs have been remarkably good, and I've been able to get onto and off of the toilet with very little problem. Thank heaven for small favors. 

 

Now it's a very cold, probably clear, night in the field. Stars, maybe?

 

January 3

Oh, I was late again last night. I finally got my hair washed, and I was only worried that I wouldn't get all the oil out of it. It seems all right today, and I will try to wash it again tomorrow. I don't remember the last time I went that long without washing my hair, and it looked like an oil pot was upended over it. Yuck. I hate that. I don't have beautiful hair, but when it's clean it's fluffy and shiny. The fluff I could do without, but I want it shiny, and not from the oil.

 

Anyway, I was late and I slept very well for a change. Of course, I coughed every time I got up, and in fact, it might have been the tickle in my throat that woke me up, but more likely it was still the night sweats. They aren't nearly as bad as they were over Christmas, but I still wake up all warm and uncomfortable. 

 

I got up around 11:30, I think, and I knitted two rows. I wish I could do more, but that takes me an hour, and that's about all the time I think I can allocate to knitting.

 

I actually got dressed, if you can consider sweats getting dressed. I think I've only had my bra on a couple of times in the last two weeks. I'm not going to say it's comfortable, but it feels more normal. I'm not hung up about my prosthesis, but I try hard to wear it wherever somebody might see me, more for their sake than mine. People who know me well know I had a mastectomy, but I don't want to flaunt it before the world.

 

I actually ate today. My sense of taste has returned pretty well, and so has my feeling of hunger, more or less. It was nice to have a regular breakfast, instead of a bagel, and I had a salad with dinner for the first time in quite a while.

 

 So slowly but surely, I'm recovering from this thing. The shower last night loosened up my chest and my coughing was mostly juicy today. I did have a couple of coughing fits, and I'm still giving up gobs of yellow goo that would make good glue, but it's not nearly as bad as it was. I will get over this!

 

I didn't have time to do anything but my surfing.

 

The weather is still roiled up. The highest wind gusts, 40 mph, happened before midnight, and the wind actually died down to under 20 mph for most of the day. It's rising again now, with sustained winds of 29 mph and gusts to 36 mph from the northeast, so the lake is singing loudly again. The high temperature for the day was 29. It was cloudy and gloomy all day and we had several snow squalls that registered at the weather station - only 0.03" of water, so it didn't actually add much to the snow already on the ground. Whether it will be clear or cloudy overnight and tomorrow depends upon who you believe. The Weather Underground says cloudy, and Environment Canada says yes. I wish it would clear up after midnight, because evidently the sun is hiccupping, and if it was clear, we might see northern lights.

 

The guys slept, of course. Grayson got a lot of lap time, but when Louie came, I was either busy or getting ready to do something else, so he didn't get anything.

 

I have made one promise to myself for this year, and we'll see how it works out. I am going to try mightily to get my schedule back to a more normal human one. My goal for tonight is to be in bed by 1:00, and I will try to go an hour earlier every night until I'm in bed by 11:00 at the latest. 10:00 would be better. That will give me more time during the day to do things more normal humans do. I'm still not sure how I got into this schedule, but I really hate it. As long as I get at least 9 hours, ideally 10, it shouldn't matter when I do it. So we'll see what happens.

 

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

 

January 2

Well, 2016 is fully here now.

 

I was late getting to bed, of course, and I didn't sleep very well, because I kept coughing. I got up around 11:30, which I thought should be enough sleep, and I wanted to get up because there was sunshine! However, when I began to knit, I found I couldn't keep my eyes open, so when I finished two rows, I went back to bed. The two rows took me an hour, so I guess that's what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future. Anyway, I'm not sure how much I actually slept, because I was coughing nearly continuously, but I guess I got some, because when I got up around 2:30, I felt better.

 

My surfing was all I did. 

 

The weather was, well, unsettled, but as a result we had some sunshine and blue skies, although they weren't completely clear. The high temperature was 33. However, around 2:00, the wind shifted to the north and picked up, and we've had gusts up to 40 mph (now, so they could go higher). I can't wait to get back up to the north end, where I can really hear the lake roaring! I can't tell you how nice it was to see some sunshine. It's been so long!

 

The guys both got lap time, although when I started to cough, they both got up and left. Sorry, guys...

 

I am still sick. I don't feel good and I'm still coughing and blowing. The only progress I can see is that I can sort of taste again, which is helpful, because I'm still not hungry. My head still hurts and I'm still coughing and blowing. Eventually, this will go away, but in the meantime, it's not fun.

 

So that was a lost day, and it's a dark, windy night in the field.

 

January 1 - New Year's Day

 

Happy New Year, everybody!

 

I remembered this morning (or thereabouts) that I usually summarize the year on New Year's Eve, but I forgot all about it. Maybe it was because it was a forgettable year. Not that I'm complaining, or anything, you understand. Nothing remarkable happened. My health was about as good as it's going to get, at least until I got this cold. The house is about as good as it's going to get. It would be nice to go one year without having to get the mechanical people out here, and I'll be paying down that bill for several months. It would be nice to be able to go to church one Christmas Eve again. Believe me, there was no way I was going anyplace last week! So I don't have anything much to talk about, which I guess is good. A quiet, nothing year is about all I can ask for.

 

I was reading and listening to the music at midnight when I heard some popping going on behind me, and when I turned around, there were fireworks! They didn't last more than two or three minutes, but they were pretty. I must ask Johanna or Mary Ann if they know who engineered that. At least I can thank them.

 

I should have gone to bed then, but I just sat, so I was late again. I slept well, with a couple of wakeups and a couple of paroxysms - no wet pants, though. Around 11:00 I was awakened by a call from my nearest relative - my second cousin Bob. We didn't talk much, since I was clearly having a problem. It was nice to hear from him. He thinks he's done that before, but unh-unh. I think he's down in Florida, where he usually winters. When we hung up, I went back to sleep and I didn't wake up until 1:30 or later - I forget now.

 

I knitted four rows, and it seems the patterns are right now, although the center one has some stitches that have pulled. I keep working on them and they're better already. I still don't like this thing very well, but it's an interesting one to knit, so I won't give up on it. I prefer patterns that aren't all about the holes.

 

That was all I did, except to read my email, not that I had much time. 

 

The weather was forgettable, too. It was brighter than yesterday, but it was still cloudy and dull. The high temperature was 29 and for most of the day there wasn't any wind. There was a little snow right after midnight, but that was all. Blah.

 

The guys mostly slept. Louie got a little lap time, but he went away when I started coughing. Grayson, as usual, wanted to sit on me when I wanted to eat, so he hasn't gotten his lap time today. They are both nervous about my cold, but they show it in different ways. Grayson wants to sit on me. Louie would like that, too, and he sleeps pretty close to me, although in the winter, he sleeps on the floor where it's warmer. He is eating more than usual, though, which is a problem a lot of fat people have when they're nervous. He is beginning to resemble a bowling ball with skinny legs.

 

So that was my New Year's Day. It's another cold, cloudy night in the field.

 

Last  updated 02/01/16 09:10 PM