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February, 2016

February 29 - Leap Day

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and I slept well, although I was up several times. The lake sang me to sleep. I got up around 8:30, and I felt much better, although I'm getting tired again. 

 

I knitted, of course, another four rows. When they go well, it seems to take about an hour and three-quarters to do four rows. For some reason there was no chapel this morning, which i missed, but oh, well. 

 

Last night when I was going over what I did yesterday (don't you do that? I always have), I realized there was one document I hadn't included with my tax package. Unfortunately, I didn't know where the folder I'd put it in was, so it meant going through all the piles on the shelf between the computer and the sewing machine. What a mess! I ended up putting most of it in the barrel I emptied last fall, but at least it's off the desk. Not that there aren't still piles there, but they're a bit shorter than they would have been. I found the document and the folder marked "2015 Taxes" and put the rest of the stuff in it. Now I can send off the bundle, but maybe not until Wednesday. We'll see. 

 

I found a bunch of stuff I wondered about and I neatened things up a bit, although it's still a mess in here, particularly because I had an avalanche when I got up to open the garage door so Ron could move the drift in front of it. I piled the stuff back up where it was, though, so I can walk from the door to my chair again.

 

I finally cooked something for dinner - my chicken with mushroom soup. It's been a while since I've had that, and it tasted good for a change. My back is bothering me, but that's to be expected.

 

Then there was the weather. When I went to bed last night, we were having as snow squall, but for most of the night there was no snow. The wind was high and the lake was singing loudly. When I got up, it was snowing, and the wind was clearly very strong. How strong, I didn't know until I checked the computer. The high temperature was 27 at 5:00 AM, and then it dropped quickly until 11:00, when it was 14. It was around that, or a degree or so lower, all afternoon. The wind peaked at 8:00 AM, with sustained winds of just over 40 mph and gusts of 54 mph. That, my friends, is a true gale, with strong gale gusts. I believe that 54 mph is the highest non-thunderstorm winds I have ever seen since I've been watching the Copper Harbor weather. The wind began to decrease after that, slowly, and it's still windy and gusty. It was coming from the north - still is - so I didn't feel the full force of it, but believe me, I heard some sounds out of the north end of the house that I've never heard before. The snow was being blown around the north end of my property so strongly that it wasn't possible to tell what was new snow and what was just blowing. It snowed on and off all day, as one would expect from lake effect snows, but apparently the period was a multiple of 15 minutes, because the camera only caught a little bit of it. I don't think there was more than three or so inches of new, but it was so windy that there was some heavy drifting, which is why Ron took out the tractor. Bless him.

 

The guys slept. I didn't see much of Louie after I got dressed, but Grayson was around and sat on me a couple of times, including at least once when I would rather have been doing something else. It was a good day for that, if you had a fur coat. It was sort of chilly in the great room.

 

So that was my day, and at least I can have the feeling I did something for a change. Now it's a frigid, windy night in the field, and it will be a good one to sleep long and hard.

 

February 28

I chickened out.

 

I didn't get to bed until 10:45, which was much too late. I was up twice, and I was awake when the alarm went off. I got up, and I ate breakfast, and I looked at the weather radar, and I decided maybe I could go. But then when I was sitting in the bathroom, I looked out the window at the snow coming down and swirling around and I decided, nah. When I looked down the harbor, I couldn't see anything, and besides, by that time it was too late. So I went back to bed and slept for two hours longer. I didn't get up until communion would have been almost over.

 

I got to knit, which was nice, and since I had done at least half of my surfing, I had lots of time. I didn't want to, but finally I got at my taxes and got everything together and in an envelope. I will have to take it to the post office, because I don't have any priority stamps, but at least it's done to the best of my ability. I still clutch up over taxes, even though somebody else is doing them for me. I do not want to cross paths with the IRS ever. Ever.

 

Then I had time to do some writing. I had framed another episode, so I wrote that, and then I started sort of writing whatever came to my mind. I'm not sure about that part, but I went as far as I could.

 

All the time I was doing that, it was mostly snowing. I don't think we actually had very much accumulation, but it was late in the day before I could see down the harbor. The temperature was 24 for most of the day and the wind was in the 15-25 mph range from the east, although lately it has calmed down and shifted to the north, as the dual lows that were south of us move off to the east. It snowed, maybe 2" or 3". Not nearly what the NWS was predicting. I guess there is another system bearing down on us, but that sounds like it will be even less dire. So it was a good day to do what I did.

 

The guys thought so, too. Louie got a nice loving while I was in the bathroom, and Grayson sat on my lap for an extended period twice. Otherwise, I'm sure they slept.

 

So it was a fruitful day even though I didn't make it to church. Now the snow has stopped, and it's a cold, cloudy night in the field.

 

February 27

Oh, I was late again last night, for no good reason...well, not a very good one. I was on my way up to the north end when I had an accident, and by the time I cleaned up from that, it was later than I wanted to be. I slept well, and I got up around 10:30. That wasn't enough sleep, and I'll pay.

 

I knitted, of course, without any problems. The inside diamond border is now history and I'll be working down the next one out (there are three). 

 

I ended up not doing anything but my surfing. There were a lot of ads that I just had to follow up on, although I didn't see anything I had to buy. That took the rest of the afternoon.

 

I am still getting some little twinges in my shoulder, but clearly I didn't do anything serious to it when I grabbed the steering wheel to haul myself into the car yesterday. It still feels better than it did before I saw Johanna. Thank God for that woman! I'm sure I'd be in a wheelchair without her.

 

Ron came by around 5:00 with the tractor, and later on, he called me to tell me what he'd done. He cut back the banks and ran the blade over the worst of the ruts, and he did some real work on the place where I got stuck. We had a long conversation. I think he gets lonely in the winter, too, even though he sees more people than I do. So if I want to get out tomorrow, I can.

 

It's debatable. If the NWS is right, I might want to stay home tomorrow. We are going to get snow. That's pretty clear. It could be 1-3" (Weather Underground) or it could be 4-6" (NWS) or it could be 6-10" (Accuweather, which isn't). We'll see. I'll make my decision around 8:00 tomorrow morning. I really want to go. There is communion, and the choir is down by two people, so I'm useful, and I need to shop and get gas. At any rate, if I decide to go, I shouldn't have any trouble getting out or back in.

 

The weather today was sort of blah and rather spring-like. It was cloudy and dull all day, and the high temperature was 43 for a couple of hours. It was very windy this morning, with gusts up to 34 mph from the north. The temperature has been dropping lately, and the wind has shifted around to the east and begun to rise again, although the gusts are only 25 mph so far. The lake is singing, though. Radar was showing rain and/or snow almost all afternoon, but none of it was apparently hitting the ground, because I didn't see it. There is a nasty mix of rain and sleet out over the lake now, and there is a cold front which is just about right over us. There are a couple of lows out to our west that are probably what has gotten the weather people going. We'll see what happens. Winter is not over in the Keweenaw.

 

The guys slept. Grayson, the snot, got out into the breezeway when Ron stopped by to leave off a package that was at the store. He went under the stairs, so I was able to go out and shut the garage door, which won't shut unless I keep my hand on the switch. When I came back into the breezeway, he was on the steps, and he went into the house without any prompting. Then he was all lovey-dovey and later on, he slept on my lap for a long time for him. I think he likes to sleep there, but I move, and he doesn't like that, so when I start twitching, he leaves. Louie was around, especially when I moved the dish his favorite food is in so that I could fill it, but otherwise, he was off asleep someplace.

 

So that was a quiet day, thankfully better than yesterday. Now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field. The temperature is dropping and the wind is rising and the snow is coming...the snow is coming...

 

February 26

Well, how unpleasant. I just had to reboot in order to get FrontPage to load. The whole day has been sort of like that, at least after noon.

 

I turned out the light around 2:00 AM this morning, which is pretty typical for a Thursday. I slept well, and I got up around 10:30. Not enough sleep, but oh, well. I knitted, of course, and I pretty much ended the inside diamond border. There are two more diamond borders to go before I'm working on just the outside pattern. I'm making progress, but it's slow, and it will get slower soon, since I won't be able to knit more than two rows. Probably I'll be down to one row before the end. As it was, I knitted for almost two hours, and that's about all my hands will stand.

 

I had to go to the post office, since it was Friday, and I figured I had a package. I did, and besides, Ron wanted to tell me his car troubles. He is driving an old Japanese car, and the problem do jour is that he seems to have a blown brake line. At least he has no brakes. One of our neighbors has a car he can loan to Ron, but then he discovered that the road was so icy he was afraid he would damage it, so he's been parking it up by US-41 and walking. His house is over a mile from the road. The road is so icy he has had a real problem to keep from falling down.

 

I knew the road was icy, because I was being thrown hither and yon as I went down it, but I didn't have any trouble getting up the hill. The parking places at the community center are icy, too, and my troubles started there. When I was trying to get into the car, my foot slipped and in saving myself, I wrenched my shoulder - the bad right one. Oh, my did that sting!

 

So I went toward home, and the Schwan's guy was parked and had my order all ready when I got there. Sorry Kevin.

 

Then I started down the road. All was well through the culverts and up the hill on our side, until I got to about 100 feet from my driveway, when suddenly I got shoved sideways and right into a snowbank! OH, NO!!! It took me about an hour and a quarter tank of gas to finally get myself out, and for a part of that time, I was going backward at about two inches at a time. I ended up in 4-LO, which I have never had to use before, but I think I actually had traction only on one of the four wheels for most of that time. Eventually, I got far enough back that by putting the transmission in "1" - LO in the old days - I managed to crawl out of the drift and start back down the road, and then I started slipping again. The only way I made it into my driveway was to stay in 4-LO and "1"  and crawl all the way into the garage. Yowee! I was a basket case by the time I finally got out of the car. Thank goodness I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow, and it's supposed to get cold and snow on Sunday, both of which should help. I've wintered here for 11 years now and this is the first time I've ever encountered anything like it, but we've had enough thaws and sunshine (today it was sunshine) that the road is a mass of glare ice and ruts. I'm actually glad Ron didn't try to drive back here, or he probably would have ended up in the same fix I was in, and I'm not sure he knows enough about getting out of things like that. Whew!

 

My shoulder is still sore, but not as bad as it was, since I had to flex it while I was putting away my groceries. In certain positions, it feels like somebody is shoving a dull knife into the front of my shoulder. I meant to shop on Sunday, but now I don't know. I do need eggs and lettuce, though. We'll see how I feel when the time comes. I will have to get gas, too. 

 

I didn't do anything else, except that I did cook rice tonight. I'm not sure where I'll put it if I freeze it, but I needed it. That was all the rice I had, too, so I had to order more. Actually, I was surprised; I last ordered it in July, so I don't eat as much as I thought I did. I only wish the bag came out an even number of cups of rice. I had to add a little white to make up the last cup.

 

I decided I didn't want to be up so late tonight, so after I finished eating and listening to the talking, I attempted to open FrontPage to write this thing...and it wouldn't completely open. After trying a few things, I finally gave up and rebooted. When I tried again, I got a "Windows Explorer is not responding," which I have not had in a very long time, and just now, my Internet connection died briefly. Geez, what next? I think I should go right to bed and cover up my head with the comforter.

 

The weather was warm and there was a lot of sunshine. The high temperature was 35, right about the time I was stuck on the road, and it was above freezing for the whole afternoon. There wasn't very much wind. There was a lot of sunshine all afternoon, which was nice, until I realized what it was doing to the road.

 

The guys slept, I think, and I didn't see much of them. 

 

So that was a rather unpleasant day. Dinner was pretty good, though, and I now have enough to eat to keep me happy for a long time, except for the lettuce and eggs. Now it's apparently a clear, warmish night in the field, but they keep insisting that the snow is coming...the snow is coming...even though there isn't a thing on the radar map.

 

February 25

I was ridiculously late getting to bed last night. It was just the usual, not wanting to take my bath. It is getting harder for me to shower and wash my hair, and as you may have noticed, I try to postpone it as long as possible. I did it, but I was late.

 

I got up around 11:00 and I knitted my four rows. The first row was one with 18 nupps in it, which I managed to execute with only one small glitch, not serious, for once. It just takes a very long time to do even the rows that are all plain knitting.

 

I was late enough that I didn't do anything but my surfing. I was toying with the idea of going down early and doing some food shopping, but I didn't, partly because I had an accident and had to change my underwear. It's still a mess, but it is nice not to have to change everything below my waist anymore. Tonight I took another capsule of psyllium, and I'll continue to do that and see if it helps even more.

 

I was probably wrong not to shop today, since it looks like there is supposed to be snow on Sunday, but we'll see. In a pinch, I can get the necessities - eggs, milk and lettuce - at the general store, but it would be nice to get some fresh meat and some more OJ. Oh, and some Bibb lettuce, which I like better than iceberg. We'll see how it works out.

 

I went to choir practice, and it was good. We went through everything through Palm Sunday. I'm not sure what we're singing on Easter. Two of our people have escaped to warmer climes, but Faye was back. She has a gorgeous voice. A couple of months ago, she broke her upper arm, and whoever tried to operate on it not only botched the job, he cut a nerve, and she now has no feeling at all in her right hand. She is the same one who broke her neck in a fall down some stairs a couple of years back. She seems to have very brittle bones. Anyway, she is still recovering, and of course, she is having to try to learn to do everything with her left hand, but she's back in choir. Pastor gave her a solo to sing, just so she would feel we need her, I think.

 

The road is clear and nearly dry from the head of our road all the way to Tamarack Street, which is where the church is, so I made good time both ways. It was so nice to be able to go at something near my usual speed! I took it easy on the covered road, because there had been some melting and refreezing, and when I went down, the wind was blowing some snow over the road at Medora, but still, it was as close to summer speeds as I've come in the past several months. It was still light when I got to church, too, which is really nice, even though the sun was in my eyes for a bit before it went behind a cloud. Oh, spring will come sometime.

 

The weather was not too bad. It was very windy overnight, and for a while we had sustained winds of 31 mph or more from the northeast, and around 9:00 this morning, we had 38 mph gusts. The wind has died down now, at least a bit, to 20 mph, but we had 29 mph gusts an hour or so ago. The high temperature was 29, this evening. It was cloudy for most of the day, but there were a few rays of sunshine here and there, and it was light enough that I am going to have to extend the time the camera takes pictures. I like the first and last ones for any day to be when it's dark, and it wasn't dark at 7:03 this evening. I like that. It's the only thing I really hate about winter: 8 hours is just not enough daylight. We're over 10 hours now, and closing in on 11 hours. That will be nice.

 

The guys were mostly sleepy, but they felt good, probably because the barometer was up. Louie wanted to play when I was ready to leave the bathroom this morning, and tonight when I got home and I was sitting in the powder room, Grayson fiddled around with the huge poison green catnip rat that stays in the hallway. I am very happy to say that neither of them shows any desire at all to go out into the breezeway. Grayson had plenty of time to run around me when I was coming in and turning out the lights, and he stayed behind the door. I guess he really did learn that lesson last year.

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired. I didn't get nearly enough sleep last night, but maybe I can make that up tonight. Now it's a cold night in the field, but when I was coming home, it was clear enough that I was able to follow Jupiter, which was rising in the east, so bright and pretty!

 

February 24

I think it was about 12:30 when I got to bed last night, which was later than I wanted to be, but that's usual. I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I was awake around 8:30, but that didn't feel like enough sleep, so I went back to bed and it was after noon when I got up. Yie! Then, of course, I knitted my four rows, so I didn't get dressed until around 2:30. Yie! I didn't do anything because I didn't have time to do anything. I will go to chapel after I finish this, and I have to wash my hair tonight. 

 

Well, I did do one thing. I emptied the wastebaskets in the bathroom and bedroom and I think I got most of the tissues out from under the bed. I had overflowed a bag in the closet, so I got that taken care of. No wonder I was so late getting to the studio.

 

The weather was nondescript again. The temperature was nearly steady, between 31 and 33. The winds were dead calm all night and until around 10:00 this morning, when they picked up rather suddenly, I think, and have been in the 15-20 mph range from the northeast ever since. The lake is singing, but not very loudly. It was cloudy and dull all day. When I got up, there was a rime of snow on the garage roof, from a little snow between 7:00 and 8:00, but it soon melted away. Blah.

 

The guys were sleepy again and I didn't see a lot of them. They always do their sleeping someplace near me, but not right on top of me. Today it was in the bathroom until I came down to the studio, and then it was in the great room. They have a nice life.

 

So that's all there is. Nothing much to report. It's a cloudy, breezy night in the field, but it's not very cold, at least yet.

 

February 23

I was late last night. It was 1:30 before I turned out the light, and then I had some problem getting to sleep - I don't know why. I was up several times, but I didn't get up until around 10:30.

 

I knitted, finally. I have only two rows left on Chart 7, and then I can go on to Chart 8, but I still have over 130 rows to go, so there is no way it will be done by Easter, unless I start knitting on it almost full time. I can't do that. For one thing, my hands won't stand it, but I need to have no distractions when I'm knitting lace. I can't sit in the bathroom all day, and when I'm in the studio, there's too much else going on. I could never knit it during the talking, which I can the other things I'm working on.

 

I had an accident. Sigh. And then I watched two days' worth of chapel services, which took the rest of the afternoon. Today's service was the Prayer and Preaching service, and the homily was by the same guy who did it last week, but this one was much better. Last week, he lost his place twice and repeated sentences. Not today, and it was good. It was aimed mostly at the seminarians, of course, but it was about the Office of the Keys, and I got a lot out of it, too.

 

This evening, I had a long conversation with Ron, the first time we've actually had time to talk in quite a while. It started with some stuff about the road, but then we talked about a lot of other things. He is such a nice man. He is getting used to not having his son at home, I think, and I think he likes it. Trevor is doing well, but he's living in Hancock, which is closer to where he goes to school, so Ron is all alone now. It has its advantages.

 

The weather was distinctly blah. There was a very little sunshine this morning, which the camera never saw, but most of the day was cloudy and gray. The high temperature was 36, and the wind was from the southwest, around 10 mph. Blah. There is still a film of ice over this end of the harbor, but it's probably not an inch thick, and there seemed to be areas of open water even down here. Not that we're complaining, you understand. We're enjoying the mild winter.

 

The guys slept. Louie got a good petting this morning, and both of them were playing with the rope in the bathroom when I was trying to leave. Grayson got his petting on my lap. I would be bored to tears with how little they do in the wintertime, but that's a cat's life.

 

So that was my day. I was supposed to make a couple of phone calls today that I forgot again, so maybe tomorrow. Now it's a cloudy, warmish night in the field. The moon is still nearly full, so the nights are bright, brighter than I think they would be if it was clear.

 

February 22

Oh, I'm forgetting to write a journal again. Darn. I was writing.

 

It was around 11:00 when I got to bed last night. I slept fairly well, but I was up a number of times and I had some sort of weird dreams. Then I went to sleep and I didn't get up until around 9:40, which was a bit later than I'd planned, and it meant I was late getting to Johanna's.

 

It was all right, though. We had a nice long session, and I can't tell you how much better I feel! The muscles of my back had gotten all tied up in knots, and now even my shoulders feel better. What a relief! She will be in and out of the harbor for the next couple of months, but when she's here, we'll try to get together to keep me mobile. I had forgotten how much good those massages do for me.

 

I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon, though. I had lots of email to read and lots of surfing to do. Ron had read the gauges on my propane tanks, and I have to call the company, because one of them is going down a lot faster than the other one, and I'm afraid there may be a problem with the tie-in between the two of them. When I first moved in, I had an instance where one of the hoses came loose and I emptied one tank while the other was nearly full. I don't want that to happen again, especially in the wintertime. Tomorrow.

 

The weather was rather nice, if cold. There was a lot of sunshine this morning, although it clouded up later in the day. The high temperature is now - 28 - and there was almost no wind all day. Nice. I noticed that the harbor seems to have iced up overnight, but it's a very thin, clear film, nothing you could walk on, with little ice mountains sticking out here and there.

 

The guys slept. Or at least, I think they did. I didn't see much of them.

 

So that was my day, and now I can go back to writing a bit. It's now a cloudy but warmish night in the field.

 

February 21

I got to bed around 10:00 last night. That was later than I wanted to be, but I just don't move as fast as I used to and I'm not used to it yet. I slept well, although I was up several times. I didn't want to get up, of course, because 6:30 is just too early for me, but I did.

 

I actually got away a bit earlier than usual, although I don't know exactly how I was so late. I started out early, but something happened between the bathroom and the back door. It froze overnight, and our road was a mess of ruts, but I didn't have any real trouble getting out, except that I don't like the sensation of the car going sideways. The covered road was a mess, too, but I'm not sure it was as bad as it looked, except in one or two places, where I slipped a bit. There had been a little snow overnight, and of course there was some ice under the snow. From Delaware south, it was all right, and from Phoenix south, it was good, except that there were some people in front of me who didn't believe that. I was a bit later than I like to be getting to church, but then I discovered that Mary Ann and her husband didn't come at all, so I felt pretty good about it. It wasn't that bad! It snowed from about Mohawk south, but I don't think there was any accumulation.

 

Church was nice, and I did get to sing. It was Matins, and I like that service. Since they do it every Friday at the seminary, I've gotten so that I can almost sing it by heart. Pastor's sermon was a good one. I found out that the reason there hasn't been any choir practice for the past two weeks is that he has a cold, which he is finally getting over. There weren't a lot of people in church this morning, though.

 

The trip home took me an hour, and I had to pass a couple of people going down the hill to Ahmeek. I had to get gas, this time at the posted price - $1.749 - but that still isn't bad, considering. By the time I left Calumet, the snow had stopped and the road was clear and nearly dry to Phoenix. Then it was snow-covered up to Central, and north of Central, they had salted. Don't ask me. I just drive there. The covered road was still snowy, but by that time I realized that it wasn't very slippery. I just had to drive slowly. There was a guy in front of me there, too, but I kept quite a way behind him. The only people I don't understand were the ones I had to pass. They should have been able to see that the road was nearly dry, but they poked along at around 45 mph anyway. 

 

I didn't do much for the rest of the afternoon. I finally got my planner all set up. There are some things I write on the monthly calendars, like holidays, the phases of the moon and Social Security day. It helps if I can just glance at the whole month and see that stuff. So now I'm good for the year. I have been getting the weekly pages as well as the monthly ones for some time now, and I am trying to be good about writing a note in them when I do something like talk to an insurer or somebody else I will need to remember. I don't always do that, but I'm trying. It's not that I can't remember what the conversation was about, but I frequently can't remember exactly when it happened. One of the joys of getting old.

 

The weather was cold to frigid, depending upon where you were. The high temperature here went down from 28 at midnight to 19 around the time I got home, before it recovered a couple of degrees. However, on my way home, I noticed temps as low as 14, according to the thermometer in the car. I'm not sure it snowed here this morning, but as I mentioned, it did snow from Mohawk to Laurium, and there were some flurries in the same spots on my way home. But later on, there were a few rays of sunshine around sunset, and between about 4:30 and 6:00 there were some patches of blue sky, too. When I was pumping gas, it wasn't too bad out, but of course, I had my down parka on.

 

As far as I know, the guys slept. Late this afternoon, I went out to the kitchen, and they were both in the pink chair again, and Louie was licking the fur on Grayson's back in the wrong direction. Grayson got tired of that, evidently, because he followed me. Later, he got on my lap, and I had to comb his back to get the fur settled in the right direction. I don't know if Louie is still in the pink chair now, but he was when I went to get my dinner.

 

So that was my quiet day. Even though it has gotten cold again, the harbor in front of my house is mostly water. I wasn't sure, but when I was in the kitchen, I could see that it was moving back and forth, not like ice at all. Well, if it stays this cold, it should freeze up again, but I'm afraid there will be no ice fishing this year. I wouldn't have stepped out on that ice that was in front of the house last week for anything! And I've noticed, when the MODIS imagery shows clear skies, that there is only a little ice around the edges of the lake this year, so our feeling that it has been a mild winter seems to be true. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. After the past two winters, I think we deserve a little respite. According to the Road commission, we've had 179" of snow at Delaware so far this winter. At this time last year, we'd had 214", and the total for the season was 271.5". Unless all hell breaks loose in March and April, we won't have nearly that much this year. I have my fingers crossed.

 

So now it's a cold, cloudy (I think) night in the field, but there is hardly any wind.

 

February 20

I was later than I wanted to get to bed last night, of course, but I was reading again. I got to bed right about midnight. I slept well. The song of the wind and the lake was like a lullaby. I got up around 9:15 and I knitted. Now I only have six rows left in Chart 7. However, from here on, it gets progressively more boring, since the center medallion is closing and all that will be left to do is peas and strawberries (which are what have the nupps). I still don't know if I can get it finished by Easter, since that's March 27 this year. We'll see.

 

I was going to go to the post office today, but Ron sent me an email saying that the road was very slippery and I should stay home, so I did. No need to ask twice. I will be going out to see Johanna on Monday, so I can stop by then. I particularly didn't want to go after I had another accident, but this one was my fault. I just didn't get up when I should have.

 

I finally got around to printing out the astronomical tables for the year, but I guess I can blame the printer for that. It worked fine today, so I hope it's finally fixed. We'll see. Maybe tomorrow I can finally get my planner calendars set up the way I want them.

 

The weather was sort of yucky. it rained all night, but the wind died down after about 11:00, when the wind peaked with 43 mph gusts. It was somewhat windy all day, but the wind is from the north. The high temperature was 38. More rain registered on my front windows today than did at the weather station, but it seems to have drizzled all day. Yuck. Weather like this makes me ache all over. We should be back to lower temps and less rain tomorrow, or I hope so.

 

The guys slept. I went through the great room this evening and found them both in the pink chair, with Grayson's back up against Louie's belly. Then I moved around and they both got up.

 

So that was another day. Now it's a dark, rainy night in the field, but not very dark, because the moon is just about full.

 

February 19

Well, last night I pulled an all-nighter. Sigh. At least I was reading for most of the night. As a result, I didn't get nearly enough sleep, and I don't plan to do it again tonight. I guess every so often I have to do that just to get a reset.

 

As a result, I didn't do anything. I didn't knit, because I had thoughts about going to the post office, and then I decided not to. It was probably a good thing; the weather was miserable. I didn't have time to do much else, because I had an accident. I will say that all my psyllium is working fairly well, so that's a good thing.

 

In the middle of the afternoon, my Internet connection went down - PastyNet was doing an upgrade - so I just finished my surfing a little while ago. At least it didn't happen until after I went to chapel.

 

Late this afternoon, Johanna called me, which I thought was very nice of her. So I am going to see her on Monday, and maybe we can begin to get my back and shoulders back into shape. 

 

The weather, like I said, was miserable. It was warm - the high temperature was 38 - and it was windy. The highest gusts were sometime overnight, at 41 mph, from the south. Then around 2:00 it got almost calm, and now the wind has shifted to the north and it's rising again. it mostly rained, I think, and we got almost half an inch of precip. Weather radar shows what's coming down as snow, but the temperature is so high that I don't think it's hitting the ground as snow. Nasty. Really nasty. I am glad that half-inch of rain wasn't snow - we'd be snowed in if it was - but rain on top of the snow is going to make driving and walking very dicey.

 

The guys slept. Not that I blame them. When I went up to the north end to clean up, they were both asleep in the bathroom again. They both got some lap time.

 

So that was a very truncated day, and I won't be up long. Really. I'm so tired I have a headache.

 

It's a nasty, rainy, snowy, windy night in the field, but it's still warm.

 

February 18

Oh, well, I was up most of the night last night, and for no good reason. Sigh. I slept very well, although the phone woke me up around 8:30. It was Pastor, saying that there would be no choir tonight. I didn't answer it, but I did listen to the recording as he made it. Then he called again, around 12:30, just to make sure I got the message and he also sent me an email. Wow! Of course, I called back (and left a message on his answering machine) to assure him that I heard. One of these days we'll have to have a regular practice again, but I guess we can get through the thing for Sunday, even though I'd never heard it before a few weeks ago. 

 

I got up around 11:45, which was not nearly enough sleep, but hey, tonight is another night. I knitted, and I'm just going to have to start doing fewer rows. It took a good two hours, made longer when I dropped a couple of stitches, even though I got up some speed on that last all-knit row. It's harder to get speed with that fine yarn than it is with thick. I'm making good progress. I'm starting the top heart in the first diamond strip. however, I have over 100 rows left to go. I hope I finish in time for Easter, which is my goal, and it's one reason I've been keeping to four rows a day.

 

Otherwise, I was so late that I didn't do anything but my surfing, and I did most of that while the talking was on. There were a lot of interesting emails today. I have been showered with spam lately, and yesterday I started shipping everything off to the government. They don't reply, but in the past, they have shut down the sites that were bugging me. Most of the ones I've been getting lately are about really questionable claims for medical cures for things - like hypothyroidism and diabetes - that have no cures. It's a disadvantage of having a website and email addresses that all the Internet knows. Oh, yes, and there are also the claims for cheap energy, but I haven't gotten any of those in the past few days, so I guess they've been taken down.

 

The weather was different. It was pretty clear overnight. When I went to bed, the moon was hanging over the point just east of the lighthouse, very bright, even though it's just a bit past first quarter. I didn't stay awake to see if there were stars, and it was light the first time I got up, and it was party sunny. The sun went away around the time I got up, and the wind began to pick up. The high temperature was 33, for a couple of hours this afternoon. The wind is from the south, and it is now up to 22 mph with 40 mph gusts. Swish. The wintry mix they were predicting hasn't happened, at least not yet, and there was no precip at all, but with the wind that strong, who knows? I hope it doesn't rain. That makes the road so slippery it's hard to get up the hill, and it's a pain. We'll see.

 

The guys were sleepy, of course. They were all lovey when I got up because their food bowls were nearly empty, so this afternoon I went out to the breezeway and brought in the bags that came the other day. I hope that will last until the UPS guy can get down the road. Grayson was very interested and he seemed very happy when I filled the last bowl, even though it was cold.

 

So that was my truncated day. Something else went through my mind, but it didn't stick. Now it's a warm, windy night in the field and it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Yuck.

 

February 17

Oops! Journal, and it's late. I was reading.

 

I was a bit late last night, too, for no apparent reason. I slept well, and i got up around 10:15 or so. I knitted, and it's taking close to two hours to do four rows now. I will have to start doing less quite soon. I suppose I could do three, but that would mean two right-side rows one day and two wrong-side rows the next, and those wrong-side rows are pretty boring. We'll see.

 

I didn't do much. I paid a few bills, and I replaced the print head in the printer. It worked on the one copy I made, but I'll just have to see how it goes. I don't print much, but when I do, I really need a working printer. I would hate to have to buy a new one, but we'll see. Oh, yes, and I was looking at my jewelry this morning and I noticed that my lapis watch had stopped, so I replaced the battery in it. It's one of the easiest to get into, so it wasn't too bad, although the arthritis in my hands makes me fumble a bit with small things. And each watch is different and getting the batteries out and in is different in each one. I haven't been wearing a lot of blue lately (wow - what a change!) but the lapis watch is one of my favorites. It's lapis with gold and a lapis band. Do love that stone.

 

The weather was mostly nondescript, but there was quite a bit of sunshine this afternoon after 2:30. It was cold, though. The high temperature was 20 and it cooled off quickly as the sun began to set. There was some north wind overnight, but it died down to nothing today. It wasn't completely clear, but it was nice to see the sunshine.

 

The guys thought so, too. They slept, and at one point, I came through the great room to find Grayson on the pink chair and Louie on the couch, both sound asleep in the sun. 

 

So that was another quiet day, and tonight I must wash my hair. It's a cold, clear night in the field and I should be able to see some stars.

 

February 16

Gee, here we are in the second half of February already! Where does the time go? 

 

To bed, I think. I didn't get to bed until around 11:30 last night - no apparent reason - but I slept well, with the usual wakeups. I got up at around 10:15, so I should have had enough sleep, but it doesn't feel like it.

 

I knitted, of course, and the first diamond border is closing very nicely, but I have around 350 stitches on the needle, so it takes a while to do four rows. One reason I'm still doing four rows is that the last one is the one row that is knit all the way across, which goes fast. It's the others that are slow. The first row today had 14 nupps, and those are very slow, both in making them and in closing them. I seem to have done it all right, though. 

 

I didn't do very much, but it was more than nothing. I had an accident, and since I had two dirty pairs of sweat pants, I washed a small load, which is now in the dryer and should be dry by now. And I finally got the dishwasher almost ready to run tonight. It's overloaded again, but considering how achy I was for the past week, I guess it's understandable that I didn't do much. I washed a couple of pots and pans, but there are more of those to go, too. I will put them to soak tonight. 

 

When it got time to make dinner, I didn't feel good at all, so I had the rest of my enchiladas. I'll have the fish tomorrow. I now have three varieties of fish that I like, so I might start having fish three times a week. It's all cod and salmon - with a little whitefish in between - so it's all good for me. Omega-3s, you know. I still don't feel very good, so I hope I will manage to go up to the north end when i finish this. If nearly 11 hours of sleep won't do it, I don't know what will. My aches are acting up again, although not like they were on Sunday. My back was horrible this morning, although it's better now, and both shoulders ache. And that doesn't include what happens when I try to stand up...Oh, it's hell to get old!

 

The weather was nondescript, mostly. The temperature got up to 32 briefly around 10:00, but it's been downhill ever since, and it's now 21. There was almost no wind before then, but then it got up to around 15 mph, and it's been rising since about 5:00. Now it's gusting up to 33 mph from the north. There was a little snow, but not much. I just checked the weather history now, but the lake has been singing for several hours, so I knew something had changed. 

 

The guys slept, of course, but they both got some serious lap time. Louie had a coughing fit this morning, which surprised me, because yesterday he was playing with the rope I have hanging from the door in the bathroom. I was surprised, because he doesn't play very much, except with Grayson's ears. Grayson was very loving again. He wanted to sit on me while I was eating my dinner, but it took me too long and he went away. Poo. He'd already gotten to sit as much as he wanted twice.

 

I finally read some of last week's newspapers, and I regret to report that somebody caused some vandalism up at the Copper Harbor overlook. They started a fire where they shouldn't have, and it melted some of the drain conduits, which were rubber. The rubber melted down into the drains, which will be a problem when the runoff starts. Why, oh why are people so incredibly stupid? Of course, they haven't found the idiots who did it, who should at least be responsible for the cost of the repairs. We like snowmobilers up here (and it has to be snowmobilers, because they are the only people who can get to the overlook at this time of year), but some of them are incredible idiots. GRR.

 

So that was another quiet day, and I will get the dishwasher started before I go to bed. It's a cold, windy night in the field.

 

February 15 - President's Day

I hope those of you who had the day off enjoyed it. This is one of the "holidays" I always looked forward to when I was working; it was another day to sleep and veg out.

 

I was in bed by 10:30 last night, and for the most part, I slept very well, although I was up any number of times. I did have something interesting happen, though. When I went to bed, I hurt all over, and particularly my shoulders were so sore it was hard to find a comfortable place to lie. They were still sore when I was up at midnight. However, when I was sitting in the bathroom around 3:00, I suddenly realized that I didn't have any pains anywhere. What a nice relief! Of course, there were some twinges when I got up, but not a lot. I have no clue what happened. It has to have something to do with the weather, but I can't pin it down. The barometer was very high yesterday, and it's been going down ever since, but other than that and the higher temperatures, there wasn't any difference. Weird. I'm not going to say I have no pain, but yesterday my shoulders ached when I was just sitting doing nothing, and today they don't. There is still a problem with my back, but I expect that. Weird, but a relief.

 

I got up around 8:30, but I was knitting very slowly today, so it was 11:00 before I got my breakfast. I did my surfing before I went up to the powder room and brought back my hymnal. The preacher at chapel was one of my favorites, and he had a wonderful homily (I guess the difference between a homily and a sermon is length, although this one was quite long). This guy is very dynamic, and a very good speaker. He also attends chapel every day and sits at the inside edge of about row five. He is tall and skinny and bald, but he almost always has a smile on his face. I wish I could meet him in person.

 

Otherwise, I did not much. I started trying to get the dishwasher ready to run, because I'm running out of dishes, but at that time, my back was bothering me. I'll try to get the rest of the stuff ready to go before I go to bed tonight. I think I am going to forgo the hair washing, but we'll see about that. Time seems to pass and when it's gone, I don't know where it went. Sigh.

 

The weather was nondescript. The temperature went up to 24 and stuck there, and there was no wind. It was dark and dull, but there weren't more than a few snowflakes. Blah.

 

The guys were their sleepy selves. They both got some lap time, and for some reason Grayson wanted to sit on me all the time. I hope he isn't sick.

 

So that was a lost day, for sure. Sigh. Now it's a warmish, calm, cloudy night in the field.

 

February 14

Happy Valentine's Day to those of you that observe it. I don't. To me, it's just another one of those so-called "holidays" foisted upon us by the makers of greeting cards (mostly), candy and sellers of flowers. If you love someone, you shouldn't have to wait until February 14 to tell them so, with candy and flowers if you wish. I think it's dumb. And yesterday, I was reading a blog by someone else who agrees with me (or whom I agree with, depending upon your outlook). Bah, humbug. Mostly humbug.

 

Anyway. I was later than I wanted to be getting to bed - around 10:30 - and then I had some trouble getting to sleep. And then I was up at least four times. Sigh. A good portion of the problem was that my shoulders were so sore I couldn't go to sleep until the Tylenol cut in. Both my shoulders are very sore, but the right one especially is so sore I can hardly pull up my pants.

 

I got up at 6:30 anyway. I had decided that if it was below zero, I would stay home, but it was 1 when I got to the studio and it went down to 0 at 8:00, so I decided to go. I was glad I did. It was a slow commute, and of course I started late, but I made it with not many problems. I remembered one of my warmest (and lightest) sweaters, and my down parka is very warm, so the only trouble was my hands, and they weren't so bad, either, inside my sherpa-lined deerskin mittens. Of course, I have to take them off to do anything, but not for very long. I did one thing I very seldom do, for historical reasons: I pushed the door lock before I closed the door, so that I didn't have to manipulate the key. 

 

Church was nice. Pastor's sermon was a good one, on Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, and there was communion. This time, I went to the bathroom before I left. I learned that lesson last Thursday.

 

The trip home was even slower than the trip down, because I got behind someone who clearly did not know the road and clearly was very nervous about driving on hard-packed snow or ice. I had to follow him all the way to the Harbor, and then he turned in at the Pines! Would you believe that someone would drive all the way from Calumet in this weather just to have turkey in Copper Harbor? Geez! I hope they were out.

 

I was so tired that I didn't do anything for the rest of the afternoon, although I did reboot the computer again, just in case it would help my mouse problem. It didn't. I cleaned what I could get to in the mouse, and there was a lot of cat fur and other gunk in the grooves. I think it's helped, but I also think I wasn't pushing on the mouse hard enough last night. We'll see how it goes. I've had that mouse for about three years, and I use it a lot, so it's possible that it's just wearing out, although it does seem strange that it happened all at once. There is probably still fur in it, and then I have to decide whether to disassemble it and risk ruining it. Usually I can get things back together, but occasionally, I haven't been able to.

 

The weather was actually beautiful, even though it started out frigid. Oh - I just looked and my temperature sensor is working again, so evidently it was a function of temperature that caused it to stop working. That probably means the battery is going, but maybe it will sort of last through the spring, when I can change it. So the weather. The 0 reading at 8:00 was the minimum, and it was warming fast by the time I left for town, because the sky was pristinely clear. It was clear for most of the night, too, but not especially pristine. It was nice to see a few stars, though. The temperature eventually got up to 23, which is quite tolerable for this time of year. The wind was from the southwest, and there wasn't much, if any, until just a couple of hours ago. It's now blowing about 14 mph with gusts to 27 mph. It certainly was nice to see all the sunshine, although it sort of went away after about 4:30. There was enough that I noticed that while it has been so cloudy, the sun has crept back into the view from the camera, and in fact, it set right about over the Mountain Lodge. So spring is on the way, the weather notwithstanding. When I got to look at the banks this morning, I was surprised by how high they are between here and Copper Harbor. We really got dumped on last week. They aren't nearly as high as they are in town - where they had plowed in the church parking lot, they are over the top of Jan's truck. So while it won't be the kind of winter we had last year - thank heaven - we will have a respectable amount of snow.

 

On that subject, Ron got out on the tractor this morning and did a really nice job of cleaning things up. The road is rather narrow, but that's mostly because by the time he got the blower back, we'd had a thaw and a freeze and he can't cut back the banks very far. I can get my newspapers without getting out of the car, and there is no problem getting into my driveway. I'm sure there won't be any trouble with the driveway, now that he knows what the difficulty is. We were just having a communication failure.

 

The guys were sleepy, I guess. Grayson had to sit on me at least three times after I got home, but I haven't seen Louie since I encountered him trying to get Grayson out of the pink chair. Tsk.  Oh - he's sitting on the floor behind me.

 

I am very tired, so I think I will just go up to the north end now. I forgot about filling the pill dispensers last night until it was far too late, so I will have to do it tonight. It's not much of a chore, but it does take 20 - 30 minutes, just because there are so many pills...

 

Now it's a warmer, breezy night in the field, but we had a nice, sunny day for a change.

 

February 13

I was in bed by 11:30 last night, and I slept well. Amazing. Two nights in a row! I got up around 9:30, I think, and I knitted, of course.

 

Today was washday, and I managed to get everything into two big loads, which are in the dryer and may even be done now. 

 

I had an accident, though, into a pair of brand new panties, which made me very angry, but I had a cat on my lap. That was before I did the white load, so they're clean again now, but there was stuff on my sweats, too, and I didn't want to wash just them. Sigh. My new bottle of psyllium says I can take them three times a day, and I'd like to, but I haven't figured out exactly when, since I'd like to space them out as much as possible. I'll figure it out.

 

Ron came by with the mail, and he could drive right into my driveway. That was a good thing, because he was able to see the places where I've been having problems even before Thursday. 

 

The weather was cold again. The low was 4 and the high was 9. It snowed lightly all day, but I don't think there was any accumulation. The wind peaked overnight, with 24 mph sustained and 37 mph gusts around 2:00 and it decreased steadily after that. until now it's nearly calm. That's a respite we need. The snow wasn't that heavy, but the wind made it really hard. The Weather Underground and Environment Canada still disagree on whether it's going to be below zero overnight, so we'll just have to wait and see tomorrow.

 

The guys slept, but they both got a lot of lap time, and Louie got his tummy rub, after he wiggled all over me until I started rubbing him. Grayson just wanted to be petted. He was up twice, including after breakfast, when he kept me too long, but he just wanted to be petted. He doesn't usually stay too long, for some reason, although occasionally he will take a nap on my lap. Every time I see that happen, I get angry at the people who think cats don't love their owners. Believe me, what I see is love.

 

So it was a quiet day, but I did get the wash done. I had to reboot the computer to get the camera running this afternoon, and ever since, I've been having problems with my mouse. I'm not sure if it's the reboot or cat hair in the connections. It's so late now - I was reading - that I guess I'll just wait until tomorrow and see how it is. Pounding on it seems to work, so it may be cat hair, and I'll have to see if I can blow it out. I need to fix the printer, too. Sigh.

 

Now it's a dark, frigid night in the field and I think it's still snowing a bit, but the wind has died down.

 

February 12

I was so proud of myself last night: I got to bed around 12:30. That's unusually early for a Thursday. I slept well, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 9:30. I knitted my four rows. The center diamond is now finished and I'm starting on the next one out, but that will take a while. I think I'm finally getting comfortable with all the patterns. It's a real shame that I have to knit the beginning of a project before I'm comfortable with the patterns. It usually means the beginning isn't as nice looking as it could be. Well, maybe nobody will take the project and inspect it stitch by stitch like I do every day when I finish my rows.

 

I didn't do very much else, actually. I did go out into the garage - dressed for the out-of-doors - and got the stuff out of the car, with some difficulty. All the cat food is in the breezeway right now, but I don't need any of it right away. I was a bit miffed that my psyllium capsules came in a box that had "diapers.com" stamped all over it. I thought that was a bit ironic. And the one that said it wasn't going to be delivered until next Friday came with everything else. So now I have my pills and the guys have enough food to last for several months. 

 

Ron got my Schwan's order, and he also had to clear out the culverts and my driveway. So now I have enough food to last a long time, too. I will run out of lettuce and maybe OJ, but that's about all, and not for a while. So now I can get snowed in. We'll all eat.

 

The weather was frigid. Really frigid. It's up to 7 now, but for a couple of hours around noon, it was 1. And at 9:00 this morning, the weather station reported 47 mph wind gusts from the north (sustained only 33 mph). I mean to tell you, it was cold! It also snowed all day. There was not even a hint of town or the mountain in any of the pictures. I'm debating trying to get to church on Sunday. The NWS and Environment Canada diverge completely on the temperatures Sunday morning; the NWS says above 10 and Environment Canada says below 0. Well, above 10 and I'm fine. Below 0 and I stay home. My outdoor sensor quit overnight, not that I'm surprised; it's been there for a couple of years or longer. And I can't get out the doors to retrieve it and replace the battery, so I guess it will just be down until spring comes. I have an amazing array of mini-mountains outside the doors to to the deck. And down at the kitchen and north, there is a good 2' or more of snow on the deck. The Road Commission hasn't updated its snow totals since Wednesday. I'll be interested to see what they report, but we still haven't had anything like what they've had in Calumet and Laurium.

 

The guys were sleepy. Louie got some serious lap time, including a nice tummy rub, but the only time Grayson came around was when I was eating my fish. Louie was upset by the tractor. Grayson sat right beside the door all the time I was out moving the stuff out of the car, but he showed no interest whatever in going into the breezeway. Shows he's getting a bit wiser.

 

So that was another quiet day. Now it's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field, another good one to hibernate.

 

February 11

Oh, I was late again last night, and right now I can't remember why, but I suppose it was because I had to wash my hair and you know how I hate that. I got up around 11:30 and I knitted. I almost closed the very center diamond - another 4 rows and it will be gone - so I'm making progress. Of course, I have a very long way to go still, but I'm making progress. I have to say that in spite of not liking the color very well, I do like the yarn. The thing is big enough now that I can see that it drapes exceptionally well, and it will be a joy to wear. If I can find something to wear with it...

 

I was so late that I didn't get to do anything much. I went to chapel before I went to the bathroom, which was a mistake, so I had to change my panties. Chapel was exceptional. Dean Grime (pronounced "grim") sang the litany, which is only the second time I've ever heard it. Pastor did it right before we got the new hymnals (I don't know why they didn't put it in the new hymnal - Dean Grime was the head of the committee), and I love it. If I'd known they were going to do it, I would have brought my blue hymnal down to the studio - it's up in the bathroom. I can't say the homily was the best, but it was good, fundamental Christianity. Anyway, I loved it. It's so nice to be able to go to church every day!

 

I left a bit early for choir, because I knew there were a bunch of packages at the store - and wow, was there a bunch! They are still in the car. I couldn't figure out which ones were which when I looked at them, so I'll have to unload them tomorrow and open all the boxes. I didn't do that tonight because I had already overflowed my incontinence pad and I I was hungry. 

 

Then it was off to choir. The trip down wasn't too bad, except that I got behind the plow again. I guess they come up M-26 and back down the covered road so that they leave Copper Harbor about 5:30 on Thursday. I will have to keep that in mind. The roads were sort of snow-covered, but there were bare tracks almost all the way, and at that time it wasn't snowing much, if at all.

 

Choir was good. We got most of the music we'll be singing between now and Easter, and it was a long session. We know a lot of it, which is a good thing. My fellow choristers love to sing as much as i do, and I think we'd keep right on if Pastor would. In the middle of it, I had a coughing fit. Singing has always cleared out my sinuses, but it takes time and a lot of high notes. We hit both tonight. I've still got those G's I recovered last fall for the concert, and it felt like there are a few A's in there, too.

 

Then there was the trip home. Ugh. It was snowing hard when I left church. There were cars in front of me all the way to Mohawk, and it was snowing so hard that the oncoming flakes were interfering with my ability to see the road. Well, before the fall of 2014, I wouldn't have been able to see at all, so there is a definite improvement. I could still see where I was going. And then, going out of Mohawk, I got behind another car and from the clouds of snow that were wafting around, I was pretty sure I was behind a plow, too. Well, I was, and both of us had to follow the plow all the way to Lac LaBelle Road, where the other car turned. It was a slow drive. The plow wasn't going much over 40 mph, mostly slower, and frankly, it wasn't doing any good. It's so cold and the snow is so light and fluffy that all he did was stir things up. 

 

The snow was heavy to past Mohawk, but right around the snow stick, which is between Mohawk and Phoenix, it stopped snowing, except for an occasional flake or two. Talk about lake effect... That meant that the only problem I had up to Lac LaBelle Road was what the car in front of me and the plow were stirring up from the road. Thankfully. The plow stopped at the top of the hill right beyond Lac LaBelle Road, so I went around him, and the rest of the trip was slow but not all that hard. Well...almost.

 

Our road was in good shape, with hardly any drifting in the culverts. And then I turned into my driveway. Ha. Much as I love Ron and all the hard work he does, there are a few places where he just doesn't understand what needs to be cleared. The end of my driveway is one such place. I immediately got stuck, and it took me several minutes to get unstuck and oriented so that I was going straight into the drive...and then I got stuck again. It seems to have taken me about 15 minutes to go probably 15 feet into my driveway, not to mention the wear and tear on my transmission. There was a strong smell of hot metal when I finally got into the garage. I have driven long enough, and long enough in snow, that I know what I have to do when I get into a mess like that. Rock it. Rock it. Rock it. It's one of the few things that's a whole lot easier with a manual transmission, but I've learned to cope. Back. Spin. Forth. Spin. Repeat, as fast as possible. And repeat. And repeat. I had to go back a lot, because I wanted to get straight in the path and have as much length of traction as I could get. Eventually, I was able to find a place where I could get enough traction that I could plow forward. Oh, yeah. One other thing it requires: 4 wheel drive. Any ordinary car would have been stuck for sure.

 

I had to go so bad that I wet my pants before I got into the house, but that was partly because I thought maybe I could bring some of the boxes in. Not so. I can't figure out what's in any of them, so I'll have to go out tomorrow and bring them into the breezeway and open them up. I wasn't going to do that tonight. And I'm not going anyplace until Ron plows out the end of the driveway. He will just have to bring me my Schwan's order tomorrow, as well as my mail. Or the Schwan's guy will have to walk. I don't want to get so stuck that I can't get out.

 

The weather was mostly cold. Until around 7:00, the high temperature was 16. It's warmed up to almost 20 and dropped back since then. This was the first day in five or six that I could actually see the mountain, at least while I was still here. The snow started again around 5:00 PM. The wind had decreased, too, but now it's blowing again, with 31 mph sustained winds and 41 mph gusts (I just noticed that, and said, "eyah!") from the north. Even without the wind and much snow, it was dark and dismal all day.

 

The guys slept, of course. When I went to change my undies, I found Louie curled up on some of my clean clothes that are on the floor in the laundry room. Clothes or rugs concentrate the heat under tile. He was very comfortable, and he was not about to move. Grayson was looking out the door when I got home, but he went away when he was sure it was me. And when I went out into the kitchen to get something to eat, both of them jumped onto the chair. I don't know what they wanted. Their dry food bowls are full and they got canned food this morning;  I brought it all in yesterday, but it was too cold to put it down then. Or maybe they just wanted to tell me they were glad I got home? I wouldn't be surprised if they heard the car while I was getting out of the drifts. They are funny little critters.

 

So that was my day, and I'm tired. Now it's a dark, cold, snowy night in the field and a good one to hibernate.

 

February 10 - Ash Wednesday

Last night I was later than I hoped, but not too bad. I slept very well, with only two wakeups, and I got up around 11:30. I knitted, and I think I see how Chart 5 and Chart 6 fit together. The next few rows are sort of wonky, but then they settle down. This chart is 40 rows, so I'll be working at it for quite a while. I did do four rows today, but pretty soon I won't be able to knit that long.

 

That was about all I did, besides my surfing. I cooked my cowboy pork chops. I opted for barbecued, because it's easier. They turned out pretty good, but I think perhaps the next time I make them I will either use more chili powder or add a bit of Tabasco sauce, which is what's in my barbecued ribs recipe. And the sauce is still too watery for the kind of chops I have. I can't cook them as long as the recipe says, and the meat juices dilute the sauce. Remember, this recipe is my grandmother's, and I know for sure that pork was an entirely different meat when I was a kid. In those days, I could almost not eat roast pork, especially with corn on the cob, because it was so fatty and rich that it upset my stomach. Ah, we've come a long way, for sure. These days, the center of the chops is so lean that it gets extremely dry, so it's nice to have a juicy sauce to soak the pieces in. I can't cook the chops nearly as long as the recipe says, either, although it's hard to make a comparison, since I use the convection bake setting, which cooks them faster, even in the cast iron Dutch oven. Anyway, I enjoyed my dinner, and besides, it got me thinking about dinner in grandma's breakfast nook, with grandpa, mama and daddy, on a hot summer afternoon. That's a good memory, and when I close my eyes, I can see it as plainly as if I was sitting there, with my back to the windows, so that mama and grandma could get up to serve. I don't remember what was on the walls, but everything else is perfectly clear. And that was 70 years ago. Sigh. I suppose all old people have the same kind of flashbacks.

 

I didn't go to church tonight. The lake effect advisory was still in effect, and I wasn't sure Ron would get the driveway plowed. Besides, I have very dirty hair. Ron did plow the driveway, although the wind drove a big drift into the garage, and he didn't clear that - why, I don't know, because he did shovel a bit. Anyway, I can get out tomorrow, I think, and I plan to do that. I have a bunch of packages at the store, including some stuff i need now. I ran out of psyllium husks today, and they seem to be making a big difference for the good. I had a slight accident today, but it's the first one in a while, and stuff isn't running down my legs anymore. So I will continue to take it. I opted for capsules because they are so much easier to take, but they're also more expensive. I also decided against anything like Metamucil or the other things of that sort, because they have stuff in them that I don't need and don't want. Metamucil is full of sugar, for one thing, and I don't need that. Anyway, it was an experiment, and it seems to be turning out pretty well. I only wonder if taking more every day would be even better, and I may try that and see.

 

Anyway, I did go to church at the seminary this morning, and that was very satisfying. They used my favorite service setting (setting 3), although it was considerably truncated and they didn't say the Creed. They made a big thing about the Imposition of Ashes, with which I don't entirely agree.  When I was coming up, only the Catholics did that, and I've never gotten over it, even though I understand the reasons for doing it. Anyway, it was a nice service with a good sermon, and I feel like I went to church even though I didn't leave my chair. I wish I could have physically gone to communion, though.

 

The weather is still snowy, and besides, it has gotten frigid. The temperature for most of the day was around 10 and the wind was from the northeast. Overnight, it was around 25 mph, with gusts up to 38 mph, but it died down during the day, to 20 mph with gusts to 28 mph. Still not very comfortable - the wind chills were around -10. It snowed off and on all day. The sun peeked in a couple of times while I was knitting - followed by a snow squall, of course - but mostly it was cloudy and dull, but not as dark as it was yesterday. I was looking at the camera archive just now, and I have had to add 15 minutes to the timing on each end. We now have 10 hours of daylight! Yea! Anyway, this was a good lake effect event, and it may not be over yet. According to the Road Commission, we had 4.5" yesterday, which brings our total for the season to 159". So we won't set a low snow record this year. Just to make us feel better, though, by this time last year we'd had 191". I would guess we had at least another 5" through this morning, and probably they had more at Delaware. The snow is supposed to continue until Saturday, or at least there's about a 50% probability that it will. So that's February in the Keweenaw. We ought to be used to it by now.

 

Actually we had more snow in January than we had last year, and so far this month, we've had a little more than we did last year. The problem last season was November, and we had almost no snow last November - well, 12", but that's no snow up here. We'll get more than 200", but not nearly 300" like last year. At least we can still get down the road, and the banks aren't so high that Ron can't blow the snow over them.

 

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

 

So that was another quiet day, and I will be going up to the north end pretty soon. I need to wash my hair and I need to sleep. I still think I'm fighting a bug, and I don't feel very good. I'm not very hungry, either, which is a good sign that there is a bug. All I know to do for it is sleep, and I will be trying to do the best I can with that.

 

It's a frigid, windy, snowy night in the field - the first really cold one we've had.

 

February 9

So last night I undid all the good I did over the weekend. I pulled an all-nighter. There was no good reason; I just went into zombie mode and time passed. Sigh.

 

I got up around 12:30, which was not nearly enough sleep, so I'm very tired now, and maybe, just maybe, I can get to bed at a reasonable hour? I knitted, and I have only two more rows to do on Chart 6 before I start Chart 7. That's the one where I don't quite understand the counting, but we'll see tomorrow. I had hoped to get the printer fixed today, but that didn't happen, so I'll just have to wait until I do the next two rows and turn the page. I print on both sides of a piece of paper, to try to conserve, but sometimes that can be inconvenient. And when I was printing a couple of extra pages, of course I printed Chart 6 and not Chart 7. Of course. Anyway, the one good thing is that I'm almost finished with the central diamond, the one with all the nupps. From now on, there will be a row of nupps every 20 rows or so, and eventually there will be something like 36 of them on the last row, but they won't happen so frequently. I did a nupp row today, and I didn't have very much trouble with them. Of course, I had to fiddle with one or two, but I don't think I dropped anything. I'm conflicted about this shawl. The knitting is sort of interesting, intellectually, and the yarn is fantastic, except for the color. But I now have over 300 stitches on the needle and I still have about another 100 rows to go. That's what happens when you knit a big shawl on size 1 needles.

 

I was so late that I didn't do anything else, and I even didn't go to chapel until after the talking. 

 

The weather is typical winter. It snowed and blew all night and all day. The temperature was nearly steady, around 15, although it's dropped a bit now. The wind was from the north to northeast, with sustained winds between 28 and 33 mph with gusts as high as 43 mph. We had 5" of snow since yesterday morning (to this morning) and I suspect we may have gotten that much more today. With all the wind, I don't think I can get out of my garage again. I'm not planning to go to church tomorrow. It's time to hunker down and hibernate.

 

That's what the guys did. Grayson wanted to sit on me a couple of times, but I was twitchy. I haven't seen Louie since this morning, and I suspect he's probably still up in the bathroom.

 

So that was a nothing day, and I'm very tired. It's a very cold, windy, snowy night in the field.

 

February 8

I got to bed around 10:00 last night, wonder of wonders. I went right to sleep, but I lost track of the number of times I was up overnight. I got up around 9:30, and it was clear to me even before then that I'm fighting off a bug, and it feels like the same bug I had over Christmas. So I feel pretty cruddy. I knitted for two hours, but even so, I had quite a bit of time after I finished my surfing.

 

And I actually did something that needed doing: I got my 2015 ledger all up to date and ready for the taxes. I haven't looked at the stuff the accountant sent me, so I don't know how I'll report it to her, but it's ready to go. It was actually a pretty good year. I bought too much yarn, of course, and I had a hair-raising amount of car repairs, but overall, I came a bit closer to living within my means. Or I think so. The credit cards are still an issue. I didn't start on 2016, although I created the ledger, because I have to hunt up the stuff from Social Security and the insurance carriers to get that stuff in right. And we're not halfway through February yet. Last year, I don't think I did this exercise until sometime in March.

 

The next tasks are to get all the documentation together and repair the printer. I've given up on making it work the way it is, so I will have to replace the print head, like I originally thought. The other task is has to do with my Amazon orders. When I was going through all the credit card bills, I found a whole bunch of entries from Amazon Marketplace that I can't tie back to anything they show in their list of my orders. It's going to take a long conversation with somebody, probably by phone, and I need to get my documentation in order before I pursue that. It looks suspiciously to me like somebody was debiting my credit card for stuff I never got. This year, I must try to be more careful about watching those things.

 

Oh, yes, and I realized that I've never set up my 2016 planner, so I have to do that, too.

 

It was good to do something like that, where I could sit down, because I have some serious aches in my back and my shoulders, and a lot of the other things I need to do involve standing up (like getting the trash collected). I believe those aches have something to do with the scratchy throat, drippy nose and occasional headache that I've had since last night. There is a bug in these parts that I have no immunity at all against, and any time it wafts by, I'm going to catch it. I didn't get it last year because I was never out, but this year, I've been going out and being among people. I think perhaps Johanna could help, but if I'm coming down with something, I won't go to see her and possibly infect her and the baby.

 

Anyway, I feel that I accomplished something today, and that's good. I had my lamb chop for dinner tonight, and that was good, too. Yum.

 

The weather has been wintry. It has snowed all day, although not heavily enough to register at the weather station. That may also be because it has gotten cold, and that light, fluffy snow probably doesn't get into the rain gauge like the heavy stuff does. Believe me, I couldn't see the mountain or even much of town all day. The temperature dropped steadily all day, until now it's 17. The wind picked up enough that the lake was singing all night long, but just in the past three or four hours, it's taken off, up to 27 mph with gusts to 36 mph, from the north, I guess tomorrow there is supposed to be some serious snow. Today we might have gotten a couple of inches. Hey, after all, it's not the middle of February yet.

 

The guys slept, and nobody even came to sit on me.

 

So that was another day and now I need to go to bed again. It's a cold, windy, snowy night in the field.

 

February 7

I was only a little later than I wanted to be last night, but I didn't sleep very well. I was up several times, and after I got up at 5:15, I never really got back to sleep. So I was a bit shaky on my feet today and I'm really tired tonight. That's why this is so early. 

 

I got up at 6:30, and I thought I was doing well, but I was still later than I wanted to get away. I'm not quite sure why, except that everything takes longer than I think it will. I wasn't much too late getting to church, and my parking place was still open. The trip was an interesting one. It snowed off and on all night, and there was fresh snow on the road, especially on the covered road, so it was slow going down to about Phoenix. South of there, they had salted as well as plowed, so it was messy but faster. They don't plow the streets in Laurium, or at least they don't do it very often, so it's interesting to drive around there. The trip was made more interesting because the temperature was right around freezing, so everything was slippery, and when I parked the car, what was hitting the windshield was wet, not frozen. Yuck.

 

Church was nice. It was Matins, but today was Transfiguration Sunday, so there were a lot of good hymns and we sang Beautiful Savior in parts, with the last verse in the higher key that was in the old hymnal, and another one we like, called How Beautiful. Who is Twila Paris? Is she somebody I should know? I like this song and there is a hymn of hers in the new hymnal that I also like.

 

So after that was over, I went off to Pat's. I was really shaky on my feet, and if I hadn't needed stuff, I wouldn't have gone. I did good; it was a very modest order, if you leave out the JD. And I got everything I needed, I think. My mind sort of blanked when I got there, but when I put the stuff away, it seemed like I got most everything. I got a lamb chop and the last, small piece of whitefish. I didn't have the chop tonight; I had a sort of lunch around 3:00, so I wasn't really hungry. I will have it tomorrow, and the fish on Tuesday, and I got some of Pat's special pork chops. It's been a while since I cooked anything serious. My only dilemma is whether to barbecue them or make them with onions and mushroom soup. Well, I have until Wednesday to decide, and it will probably depend upon how I feel then.

 

And then, if that wasn't enough, I had to get gas. My tank was only about half empty, but depending upon the weather and how I feel, I may have an extra trip or two this week. I only needed not quite 15 gallons, but I had accrued 25 a gallon in "pump perks" from Pat's. They only apply to 15 gallons or less. The displayed price was $1.639 a gallon, which is remarkable in itself, but when they discounted it, the price was $1.389, and my 15 gallons cost me less than $21! I can't remember when gas was $1.639 a gallon, and it's forever since it's been $1.389, although that doesn't really count, I guess. I only wish I had about a 200 gallon tank on my property to store it up for when it gets expensive again.

 

The trip home was quite difficult, because I got behind some people who were going much more slowly than they had to, and one of them went all the way to Copper Harbor and out the other end, but then he turned around at the waste management building. I don't know who it was or what he was doing. It was probably a little slippery, although the road was mostly clear all the way to Delaware, but clearly some people don't know how to read the road. Oh, yes, and at least two of them hit their brakes at every slight curve or dip. Dummies...

 

The weather was snowy and warm. The weather station has been reporting that the temperature here has been 33.1 since 11:00 this morning, which makes me very suspicious, although it does feel quite warm out. There wasn't any wind, but it did snow off and on all day. Or drizzle. Or something. We've gotten maybe another 3" or 4" over the past two days, but the Road Commission is a bit behind in posting the numbers, so I don't know. Ron was out on the tractor this evening, so I know the road is in good shape.

 

As far as I know, the guys slept. Grayson got a little lap time, but I haven't seen much of Louie since I got home. He would like to have eaten the plastic bags, but I took them out. I got a small bag of a different kind of cat food to tide them over until Friday, when I will get the big bags I ordered online, and they both thought that was good. I knew Grayson liked it, but Louie ate it, too. Louie would be content to eat the same thing every day, but Grayson gets bored and likes anything new I give him, at least once. I knew he likes the stuff I got today, because I've had it before, but not for quite a while. They have so little stimulation in the winter that I try to keep their food interesting.

 

So that was my day, and I am so tired! I may read a while, but I may just toddle up to the north end and crash. One thing I did last night was to make some headway on the Brianna saga, but then I forgot half of it, so I'm trying to reconstruct it. I know I should write these things down longhand, if I'm away from the computer, but then I'd be really late when I shouldn't be. I've always admired things like Mary Ann's husband, who carries a little notebook around in his pocket, where he writes down things that occur to him. I've just never been that disciplined, especially since until I got old and horrid, I could remember everything. Of course, you all know I'm not disciplined at all.

 

So now it's a warmish, dark night in the field, and it's still snowing off and on. Tomorrow will be worse...

 

February 6

Short day, short post.

 

I was stupidly late again last night, but I was reading. I slept well and I think I got up around 11:30. I knitted, of course. While I was knitting, I looked out the window and little snowflakes were coming almost straight down. Ron says about 2" fell. 

 

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

 

The temperature was around 30 overnight, but then it went down to around 28, where it has stayed since 8:00 this morning. There was no wind. It was dark and dull and it snowed lightly until around 3:00. 

 

The guys slept, mostly. Louie got a lot of lap time, but Grayson didn't come around until I was eating dinner and he doesn't seem to understand that when I'm doing that, I'm too busy to pet him - or whatever he wanted. He finally went away, landing with a thump on the floor.

 

Like I said, short post. I won't be up very long tonight. I didn't get enough sleep and I have to get up early tomorrow. I need to go to church and I need to shop for food and get gas. So now it's a dark, cloudy night in the field, but I don't think anything is going on.

 

February 5

I was late again last night, but not quite as late as the night before. I didn't sleep very well, and I'm not quite sure why, except that my shoulders are sore. It's not as bad as it's been in the past, and both shoulders hurt, but it might be enough to keep me awake. Or it might be the ice cream cone I ate.

 

Anyway, I got up around 10:00, I think. I knitted, of course, and I had a bit of trouble with one of the patterns. I missed a yarn over, and I thought I missed a decrease, too, but then it turned out that I hadn't, and I had turned a knit-two-together into a knit-three-together and I had to undo it, as well as adding back in the yarn over, before I could go on. One difficulty with these lace patterns is that in knitting the return rows, the yarn-overs get bigger and the other stitches get smaller, which makes it hard to undo them. I managed, though, and I think I'm halfway through this chart. The center diamond is decreasing nicely, but that means that there is a pattern that there are now four repeats rather than three, and before I'm done, there will be 19. Ugh. I guess it's a pretty thing, or it will be when it's blocked, but it isn't my favorite of all the shawls I've knitted. Well, I wanted to do an Orenburg shawl, so I am. 

 

I didn't do anything else. It took a while to do my surfing, and Ron came with the mail, and we had a conversation. I hope the tractor will be all fixed tomorrow and he can get the road widened so that I can get out on Sunday.

 

The weather was nice. Between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM there was a lot of sunshine and almost clear skies, with no wind to speak of. The temperature was around 25, plus or minus a degree or two. For sure, there was no snow. At this time of year, I'll take all the sunshine I can get, even though it was shining in the south window and I was having trouble seeing the screen. I guess next week we're going to get both snow and cold, although the Weather Underground is so far saying the possibility of snow is only around 50%. Well, after all, it's over a month before the spring equinox, and spring never comes that early here.

 

The guys slept, of course. Grayson got a lot of lap time, and when Ron came, he wanted to get out into the breezeway. Dummy. Louie has had a little lap time, but he didn't want to sit still, so I had to boot him off.

 

While I've been reading the Trine stories, I've been thinking about the one I was writing, and I realized that I have to make some severe changes to the beginning, just to put it in the right locale. I don't think I'll get at that tonight, because I'm tired, but I will have to before I can go on. Well, that's one of the lovely things about writing on the computer. Making changes like that aren't hard. In the old days, I would have had to rewrite the first several pages, making the changes as I went along, and there are several places in what I've already written where I would have had to rewrite several more pages. This is so much easier. Of course, I can barely sign my name anymore, because I hardly ever write with a pen, except for a few checks, but oh, well.

 

I also must get at the ledgers and get the taxes ready to go. I've postponed that long enough. All that means I have to get to bed earlier and get up earlier, so that I have time while it's light out to do these things. Sigh.

 

So now it's a cloudy night in the field, but it's still relatively warm and there is no snow. 

 

February 4

So last night I came close to pulling an all-nighter. I was reading, mostly, and listening to music. I have been re-reading the Trine stories, and I have to say I think some of them are pretty good. At least they held my attention far longer than they should have. And then I had to wash my hair.

 

I finally got up around 12:30. I had a phone call that I shouldn't have answered around 11:00, and it annoyed me and woke me up so much that I didn't really go back to sleep. Then Marcy called to say that Pastor had to go out of town and there wouldn't be any choir tonight, and while I was getting dressed, Ron called to tell me that it didn't look like I would be able to get out on the road, since the path he's cleared is very narrow. So I stayed home.

 

I was very late getting something to eat, because I knitted, but I didn't have any particular trouble today. It's just that I have around 300 stitches on the needle now, and it takes a while to knit them. It's going to be a pretty thing, even though I don't like the color very well. The way the designer worked the hearts into the patterns is neat.

 

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

 

The weather was rather nice for this time of year. It was cold; the high temperature was 24, but there wasn't any wind, and several times, there was some sunshine. Imagine that, in February! They said there might be some snow showers, but there weren't. There was another 3" of snow at Delaware yesterday, so the total for the event was 15". Not too shabby. I'm sure we didn't get that much here; we just got the wind.

 

The guys slept. They both got some lap time. I get a kick out of Louie, although he annoys me. When we're in the bathroom together, it seems like wherever Grayson decides he wants to sleep, that's where Louie wants to be and he bugs Grayson until he hits back, and then we have a wrestling match, with associated noises. It's not like there aren't several rugs or towels on the floor where they can sleep. The trouble is, Louie sort of gets wild and he hurts Grayson. This morning, I scored a direct hit on his nose with a roll of toilet paper, though, and that sort of settled him down. I think Grayson would like to be his friend - he's a lover, not a fighter - but Louie is so annoying that he gets mad. They're very much like little kids.

 

So that was about all there was. I had planned to go food shopping before choir tonight, so I will have to do that and get gas on Sunday. I'm running out of lettuce and there are a couple other things I want. I was looking forward to a lamb chop tonight, so I had a steak instead. Sometime last fall, I got a couple of strip steaks, and I didn't want to let them stay in the freezer too long (heh). The one I had tonight was remarkably tender and good. Lately, I've been able to get some flatiron steaks, which are very tasty and cheaper than strips. I cut them into two or three pieces to freeze, so I have a nice stash for when I get hungry for red meat. 

 

And that was it. Now it's a dark, cold night in the field, but it isn't snowing and it doesn't look like it will be until next week at the earliest.

 

February 3

Oh, I was late again last night, of course. I was reading, and I wanted to finish the story. Sigh. I got up around 11:30, I think, and I knitted, with some difficulty. Those nupps will be the ruination of me. I had missed a loop yesterday, and it took quite a bit of work to get it straightened out. After that it was better, and I don't think I made any mistakes today. The center diamond has four large hearts bordered with nupps, at right angles to each other, and I've almost finished the sideways ones. 

 

Otherwise, I was late enough that I didn't do anything. Ron came by with the tractor and plowed out my driveway, especially the drift in front of the garage, and we had to have a conversation, of course. He had some events to tell me about.

 

The story was the weather. It snowed all night, apparently quite heavily, and it was very windy. The peak winds gusted to 33 mph from the northeast, but that was this morning, after the snow had pretty much stopped. The Road Commission says there was 10", but I don't think we got that much here, maybe more like 6". It was enough, and of course, with the wind from that direction, I had a 2' drift in front of the garage door. I think I could have gotten through it, but it would have been messy. The temperature dropped from 30 at midnight to 20 now, and there might have been a little more snow, but not a lot. Well, this is the first one of these things we've had this year, so I guess we can't complain too much. The tractor should be fixed by the weekend, too, so that will be good.

 

The guys know what to do in  this weather. They slept. They both got a little lap time, but not a whole lot. 

 

So that was my quiet day, and I've been reading again, as well as listening to some rather nice music. Now it's a cold, dark night in the field, and it may still be snowing a little. Ah, winter!

 

February 2

I wanted to crash again last night, but instead, I just sat for a long time, and then I had to wash my hair, so I was much later getting to bed than I wanted. I slept well, with two wakeups, and I got up around 11:30.

 

Then I started knitting. Sigh. It seems that when I worked on Chart 6 (with a pencil) I miscounted when I placed my sanity lines, and they were wrong. It took me some fiddling to figure that out, and then I had to redraw them, as well as actually work the rows. I think it's right now, or at least the second two rows came out right. I think it's partly that the squares are so small it's easy to miss one or two. The knitting was right, but my markers weren't where the sanity lines are and it took me quite a while to figure that out.

 

So I was really late, and I didn't do very much. I had to make rice tonight, though, so while it was coming to a boil, I got the dishwasher almost completely loaded and I will run it tonight. Tomorrow, maybe I can get rid of the trash. I guess I've been postponing both of those things because my back has been bothering me - a frequent problem in the winter - and I ran out of cereal bowls tonight, so it was time. 

 

The weather was blah, at least until sunset. It was dark and cloudy and the temperature was around 30 all day. There wasn't any wind. Then, after 5:00, it started to snow and the wind has picked up from the east. It still looks like we may be on the northern edge of the storm, but we'll be getting a significant amount of snow over the next 24-36 hours. Ron wrote to tell me that he got the blower back on the tractor but the hydraulic cylinder is broken and a new one will be pricey, but he ordered it. I hope we'll have little enough snow that he'll be able to move it with the blade.

 

The guys slept, mostly. Grayson thought he wanted some of my fish, but when he tasted it, he didn't. I left it where he dropped it, because usually Louie comes around in the evening, but he hasn't been here yet.

 

So it was another quiet day, and I hope to get to bed tonight. It's a dark, snowy, night in the field, but it isn't too cold yet.

 

February 1

I almost crashed last night, but I was so tired that I ended up not getting to bed until about 11:00. I was too tired to move, I think. I slept very well, too, with the usual wakeups, and I got up around 9:30 or so, I think. I knitted, and I finished Chart 5. Tomorrow I can start Chart 6, and begin to decrease the central diamond. The edges continue to expand, so it just gets bigger...and bigger...and bigger... I had some trouble with the nupps, or rather, with one nupp, and I'm not quite sure why, but I was having a bit of trouble seeing, and I guess that was part of the problem.

 

Even though I was rather early, I didn't do anything with my day. I did take the time to have a slow breakfast - blueberry pancakes - and then when I got to the powder room, I read the second half of Sky & Telescope, even though it's the March issue.

 

I've still been thinking about my 15th anniversary, and it occurred to me that back in November, I never mentioned that it was the 15th anniversary of the website. I started it on October 23, 2000, but the first one I posted to the website was November 1. Oh, that was not a good time!  Anyway, except for the last week of October, everything else is still on the site. It's a lot of words, between 100,000 and 150,000 a month. For the first year, I didn't post every day, but I found I forgot about it and then I forgot what had happened, especially the weather. Now I wouldn't feel right if I didn't write something every night, even though my life is pretty boring most of the time.

 

Today was a boring weather day. It was dark and cloudy all day. The temperature was right around 25 or 26 all day, and there wasn't any wind. Blah. Things are likely to be more interesting tomorrow, There is a winter weather advisory out for from 4:00 tomorrow afternoon through 1:00 PM on Wednesday (which is later than they said this morning), and there is likely to be significant new snow. We probably won't get hammered like they will in the plains, but still. Groundhog Day or no, it's still winter here in Keweenaw and it will be for the nrxt two months, minimum. I think Groundhog Day is dumb, but it actually is a Cross-Quarter day, so I guess it's a harmless way to celebrate a pagan holiday. That means it's halfway between the Equinox and the Solstice, which it isn't quite, but that's the idea. And groundhogs are sort of cute, although I wouldn't want one to bite me.

 

The guys slept. They both got some lap time. Grayson thougt he wanted some of my enchiladas again, but I don't think they would be good for him, even if he actually ate some.

 

So that was my day, and now it's the longest month of the year, or at least it always seems that way. It's a dark night in the field, but it's not windy and it's not very cold and it's not snowing, so I'll take that.

Last  updated 03/01/16 08:48 PM